Lexington Winter Invitational
2019 — Lexington, MA/US
Maneesh Agrawal Paradigm
You can disagree without being disagreeable. So enjoy the debate and make it enjoyable for the audience. I like it when your need for speed doesn't interfere with my ability to flow. I am excited to see you in action and giving it your very best. All the best and see you at the tournament.
Gil Alon Paradigm
I did debate for four years.
I'll be mad if you don't weigh or collapse (you can drop your case idc just pick your offense).
I'll be even more mad if you are mean :(
I'll be happy if you smile and look like you might be actually enjoying yourself. Sad debaters= a sad round.
I'll be even happier if you weigh, please do this (that's convincing).
I don't have many preferences, so you can ask if you have a specific question.
I won't vote on an argument without a warrant extended, so extend warrants in your later speeches.
Just make smart arguments and you'll be fine.
Jeremy Andreades Paradigm
I am a law student at Emory. I coached PF at Delbarton, CBI, and ISD. I competed in PF Bronx Science.
1. Please don't give line by line final two speeches.
2. Limit what you're going for in your final two speeches (prioritize good substantive warrants rather than more blippy responses). Group responses when you can in summary, and explicitly weigh in both speeches but especially in final focus.
3. If you would like me to vote on certain offense bring it up in both summary and final focus.
4. Use the summary to respond to responses made in the rebuttal and give me voters (alternatively you can devote time in the second rebuttal to front-lining). I am uncomfortable voting for an argument that hasn't developed at all since your case (unless of course you show me it's been dropped and bring it up in summary and final focus).
5. Please have your evidence available promptly. I will get fed up and start running prep time or docking speaker points if you can't find it quickly enough. In extreme cases, or if I feel like you are intentionally being unethical, I will drop you.
6. That being said, don't call for every card. Only ask to see evidence if you are legitimately concerned about understanding the content or context.
7. If you aren't using prep time (as in, they are searching for a card to show you), then don't prep.
8. When in doubt I will vote for the most consistently brought up, and convincingly warranted arguments.
9. Only give me an off time roadmap if you're doing something atypical.
10. You should have your preflows ready on both sides before you enter the room.
11. If you card dump, there is no way for me or your opponents to fairly ascertain credibility. I will not flow it as evidence.
12. I give speaker points based on persuasiveness and good rhetoric not technicalities. If you win every argument but sound like a robot, or just read off your computer, you will get low speaker points.
Caspar Arbeeny Paradigm
I debated for 4 years at Poly Prep and was relatively successful on the national circuit.
I now coach PF for Edgemont Jr/Sr HS in New York.
You know how you debate in front of a classic PF flow judge? Do that. (Weighing, Summary and final focus extensions, signposting, warrants etc.)
That said there are a few weird things about me.
0. I mostly decide debates on the link level. Links generate offense without impacts, impacts generate no offense without links. Teams that tell a compelling link story and clearly access their impact are incredibly likely to win my ballot. Extend an impact without a sufficient link at your own peril.
1. Don't run plans or advocacies unless you prove a large enough probability of the plan occuring to not make it not a plan but an advantage. (Read the Advocacies/Plans/Fiat section below).
2. Theory is important and cool, but only run it if it is justified.
3. Second summary has an obligation to extend defense, first summary does not.
4. I am not tab. My threshold for responses goes down the more extravagant an argument is. This can include incredibly dumb totally ridiculous impacts, link chains that make my head spin, or arguments that are straight up offensive.
5. I HATE THE TERM OFF TIME-ROADMAP. Saying that term lowers your speaks by .5 for every time you say it, just give the roadmap.
6. You should probably read dates. I don't think it justifies drop the debater but I think it justifies drop the arg/card.
7. I don't like independent offense in rebuttal, especially 2nd rebuttal. Case Turns/Prereqs/Weighing/Terminal Defense are fine, but new contention style offense is some real cheese. Speak faster and read it as a new contention in case as opposed to waiting until rebuttal to dump it on an unsuspecting opponent.
- Don’t extend through ink. If a team has made responses whether offensive or defensive they must be addressed if you want to go for the argument. NB: you should respond to ALL offensive responses put on your case regardless if you want to go for the argument.
- Collapse. Evaluating a hundred different arguments at the end of the round is frustrating and annoying, please boil it down to 1-4 points.
- Speech cohesion. All your speeches should resemble the others. I should be able to reasonably expect what is coming in the next speech from the previous speech. This is incredibly important especially in summary and final focus. It is so important in fact that I will not evaluate things that are not said in both the summary and final focus.
- Weighing. This is the key to my ballot. Tell me what arguments matter the most and why they do. If one team does this and the other team doesn’t 99/100 times I will vote for the team that did. The best teams will give me an overarching weighing mechanism and will tell me why their weighing mechanism is better than their opponents. NB: The earlier in the round this appears the better off you will be.
- Warrants. An argument without a warrant will not be evaluated. Even if a professor from MIT conducts the best study ever, you need to be able to explain logically why that study is true, without just reverting to “Because Dr. Blah Blah Blah said so.”
- Analysis vs. Evidence. Your speeches should have a reasonable balance of both evidence and analysis. Great logic is just as important as great evidence. Don’t just spew evidence or weak analysis at me and expect me to buy it. Tell me why the evidence applies and why your logic takes out an argument.
- Framework. I will default to a utilitarian calculus unless told to do otherwise. Please be prepared to warrant why the other framework should be used within the round.
- Turns. If you want me to vote off of a turn, I should hear about it in both the summary and final focus. I will not extend a turn as a reason to vote for you. (Unextended turns still count as ink, just not offense)
- Speed. Any speed you speak at should be fine as long as you are clear. Don't speak faster than this rebuttal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pg83oD0s3NU&feature=youtu.be&t=1253
- Advocacies/Plans/Fiat. I grant teams the weakest fiat you can imagine. The aff is allowed to say that the action done in the resolution is passed through congress or whatever governing body we are discussing. That is it. This means that you cannot fiat out of political conditions (i.e. CUTGO, elite influence, etc.) or say that the resolution means we will increase infrastructure spending by building 20th century community learning facilities in the middle of Utah. If you want to access plans and still win my ballot, you must prove a rock solid probability of the advocacy occurring in the real world.. (Note the following is just a guideline, other forms of proving thee following are ok as long as they actually successfully prove what they say will occur.) In an ideal world that means 3 things. First, you prove that there is a growing need for such action (i.e. If you want to run that we should build infrastructure in the form of low-income housing, you need to prove that we actually need more houses.). Second, you prove that the plan is politically likely (Bipartisan support doesn't mean anything, I want a bill on the house floor). Finally, you need to prove some sort of historical precedent for your action. If you are missing the first burden and it's pointed out, I will not by the argument on face. A lack in either of the latter 2 can be made up by strengthening the other. Of course, you can get around ALL of this by not reading any advocacies and just talking about things that are fundamentally inherent to the resolution.
- Squirrley Arguments. To a point being squirrely is ok, often times very good. I will never drop an argument on face but as an argument gets more extravagant my threshold for responses goes down. i.e. if on reparations you read an argument that reparations commodify the suffering of African Americans, you are a-ok. If you read an argument that says that The USFG should not take any action regarding African Americans because the people in the USFG are all secretly lizard people, the other team needs to do very little work for me to not evaluate it. A simple "WTF is this contention?" might suffice in rebuttal. NB: You will be able to tell if I think an argument is stupid.
- Defense Extensions. Some defense needs to be extended in both summary and final focus, such as a rebuttal overview that takes out an entire case. Pieces of defense such as uniqueness responses that are never responded to in summary may be extended from rebuttal to final focus to take out an argument that your opponents are collapsing on. NB: I am less likely to buy a terminally defensive extension from rebuttal to final focus if you are speaking second because I believe that it is the first speaker's job to do that in second summary and your opponent does not have an extra speech to address it.
- Signposting/Roadmaps. Signposting is necessary, roadmaps are nice. Just tell me what issues you are going to go over and when.
- Theory. Theory is the best way to check abuse in debate and is necessary to make sure unfair strategies are not tolerated. As a result of this I am a huge fan of theory in PF rounds but am not a fan of in using it as a way to just garner a cheap win off of a less experienced opponent. To avoid this, make sure there is a crystal clear violation that is explicitly checked for. It does not need to be presented as the classic "A is the interpretation, B is the violation, etc." but it does need to be clearly labeled as a shell. If theory is read in a round and there is a clear violation, it is where I will vote.
I give speaker points on both how fluid and convincing you are and how well you do on the flow. I will only give 30s to debaters that do both effectively. If you get below a 26 you probably did something unethical or offensive.
I may call for evidence in a few situations.
- One team tells me to.
- I can not make a decision within the round without evaluating a piece of evidence.
- I notice there is an inconsistency in how the evidence is used throughout the course of the debate and it is relevant to my decision. i.e. A piece of evidence changes from a card that identifies a problem to a magical catch-all solvency card.
- I have good reason to believe you miscut a card.
I encourage teams to ask questions about my RFD after the round and for teams to come and find me after the round is over for extra feedback. As long as you are courteous and respectful I will be happy to discuss the round with you.
Satej Bhandarkar Paradigm
I am a parent of a Lexington debater. I have been trained as a judge and this is my third tournament. I try very hard to keep my personal opinions out of the debate, and score the debate entirely on the relative merits of the arguments made by you and your opponents. That will be easier for me if you weigh and evaluate your arguments and if you compare your arguments to the arguments made by your opponents. I will take notes, but I do not want you to speak quickly because if you do I will not be able to write down what you say. I encourage you to ask for feedback after the debate and I will endeavor to be encouraging and constructive.
Joe Blatt Paradigm
I am the father of a Lexington policy debater. I have been trained as a judge and have been judging PF debates for four years, perhaps ten tournaments so far.
I am very careful to ignore my own opinions, and I try hard to listen to your arguments and make a fair decision. I take lots of notes, so it helps me a great deal if you don't speak too quickly, and if you speak loudly enough for me to hear easily.
I think debate is a great activity, and I respect you enormously for the good thought and hard work you invest in preparing your arguments. Because of that, I always try to give some feedback at the end of a debate, even when the tournament schedule is rushed.
Yuanfan Branson Paradigm
1/ No position is taken until the decision time.
2/ I'm a parent judge. Assume I'm not familiar with your topic. Convince me and make an impact.
3/ Will take point(s) off if you drop an argument or fail to extend an argument.
Terri Brosius Paradigm
I am looking for speakers who express their arguments with confidence and clarity. Fast talking during the opening arguments is fine, but if you talk too fast, I might miss your points. I consider cards essential if you are going to make claims that are not public knowledge.
Before a debate I ask the teams to time themselves and each other, and to have a plan should anyone go over by a few seconds.
Please let me know when you are taking prep, and when the next portion of the debate will begin.
I’m not a stickler for little technicalities; you are there to convince me using your excellent research and debate skills!
Lara Bursal Paradigm
i debated for 4 years at lexington high school (1 year in novice policy and 3 in varsity pf) and am now a sophomore at boston university.
i'm not super particular about much, but here's what i do care about:
1. warrants: have good ones. i don't care who said what if you can't explain why.
2. weighing: do it, as early in the round as possible.
3. dates: read them. recency is important on pretty much every pf topic.
4. framework: i will default to util unless you give me a compelling reason to do otherwise.
5. analysis and evidence: i want to hear both. i want neither for you to spew evidence at me nor for you to make a bunch of unsubstantiated arguments. that said, if you're second speaker and you don't have evidence against an argument your opponent made, i would much rather hear a fully analytical response, rather than you wasting my and your time with a random card that's only vaguely relevant.
6. responses: there are few things that annoy me more than a second speaker getting up for rebuttal and saying some shit like "we have 17 responses" and then reading a bunch of weak cards that only sort of respond to the contention as a whole. i would rather hear fewer but better responses, that actually respond to the specific arguments being made.
7. extensions: don't extend through ink.
8. collapsing: do it. if i hear all of the arguments in your case again in summary and final focus, i will be sad. please don't make me sad.
9. speaker points: obviously, speaking more fluidly and persuasively will earn you higher speaker points. if you have a good sense of humor, i will raise your speaks. i really appreciate it if you make me laugh. if you are rude or offensive, i will lower your speaks. please be nice!!
if you have questions about any of this or something i didn't mention, feel free to ask me about it before the round! if you have any questions about my rfd after the round or want some extra feedback, i'd be happy to talk to you.
Shreyas Chakravarti Paradigm
I am a parent of a Lexington debater. I have been trained as a judge and this is my fifth tournament. I will try very hard to keep my personal opinions out of the debate. That will be easier for me if you weigh and evaluate your arguments and if you compare your arguments to the arguments made by your opponents. I will take notes, but I do not want you to speak quickly because if you do I will not be able to write down what you say.
H Chen Paradigm
Joshua Cohen Paradigm
I have been judging PF since 2011.
Please do not speak quickly - I will not be able to follow you.
I place a premium on well-supported, "real-world" links, which are to me a prerequisite to your impact, no matter how large.
I am a judge from Newton South HS, just outside of Boston, MA. I have been judging PF since 2010. I debated in high school in the early 80s. But don’t let that fool you.
FLOWING – I can flow SOMEWHAT faster than conversational speed. As you go faster, however, my comprehension drops. In addition to speed, I have trouble with the following: (1) Evidence tags: Because I am unable to catch most evidence tags, I probably won’t know what you are talking about when you remind me that “Smith in 17” told me something important in your partner’s last speech – unless Smith is a big deal in the round and you have talked a lot about that evidence. (2) Short argument tags, especially in the two-minute speeches, in which debaters often introduce their own argumentation structure. If you say something like, “On economic growth, remember…”, I will end up spending 5-10 seconds trying to figure out what “economic growth” argument you are referring to (and perhaps even what side of the resolution you are on). As a result, I may miss a few of your responses. It’s more helpful if you build a bit of the link chain into your tag. For example – “Our opponents say more H-1b visas boost jobs and hence economic growth, but remember…”
IMPACTS AND LINKS – I find that which side wins my ballot often depends more on link credibility than on impact magnitude. If I don’t find your link chain compelling, I will have a hard time voting for you, even if there’s something very big at the end of that chain. Argumentation that contributes to link chain credibility includes: (1) Inferences based on rigorous analysis of empirical data – i.e., a well-designed statistical analysis. If you can explain why the data in the analysis apply to (i.e., can be generalized to) the scenario being debated in the round, and why the statistical methods mitigate the risk of invalid inferences, I will find you to be compelling. (2) Consistency with history / the world we live in – For a lot of arguments, there are no rigorously conducted statistical analyses. For example, for few statistical studies look at how policies may influence public opinion, politicians, the policies of other countries, and so forth. But if you can identify pertinent historical precedents and argue that they inform the scenario being debated in the round, I will again find you to be compelling.
LESS COMPELLING ARGUMENTS – (1) Just because Professor Smith says something is true won’t necessarily convince me unless I understand *the basis* for Professor Smith’s beliefs. Yes, I’m looking for a warrant. But hopefully, you have more than your *own* explanation for Professor Smith’s conclusion. It’s best to show me that your evidence presents a coherent story with both warrants and resulting conclusions that support your argument. (2) Pasting together links from different sources often produces less compelling arguments. For example, Source A tells us that certain policies are politically divisive; Source B says that political division leads to federal gridlock; and Source C says that gridlock delays funding for the military and undermines national security, which, naturally, causes nuclear war. A problem with this sort of link chain in my mind is that the different sources use similar phrases to describe various types of events, but they aren’t really talking about the same things. For example, is the “divisiveness” described in Source A really equivalent to the “political division” described in Source B? And is the political division described in Source B emblematic of what has caused gridlock, as documented in Source C? If your opponent fleshes out these limitations, and if they have an alternative, more plausible description of how the real world works, that could be a problem for your position.
BOTTOM LINE – Fast argumentation challenges my ability to follow you. Stretched link chains challenge my tendency to believe you. You are best off presenting an intuitive narrative (i.e., a story that is consistent with how the “real world” works) and using that narrative as your foundation for establishing why your position is more credible than your opponent’s.
Irina Costache Paradigm
im a sophomore at umass amherst studying political science and journalism! i did 1 year of LD and 3 years of PF at lexington hs. I'm a fairly straightforward, classic pf judge so just do what you know you're supposed to.
I don't want to waste your time with a super long paradigm, but if you do care about the technical parts of what I look for when judging, you can read my old debate partner lara's paradigm.
these are the shorter, 3 main "rules" i have:
1. its your round so idc what you run, just be clear with why you're winning (I don't want to have to do extra work for ya'll on the flow) and make sure to extend what you want me to weigh in every speech (there are exceptions but overall im kind of a hardass about this sori).
2. be nice and cool - being offensive or rude will make me drop your speaks
3. have fun! tournaments are stressful, but I really want debate to be a great experience for everyone - so don't worry and don't be afraid to joke around a bit!
ask me in round if you have any questions!
Malcolm Davis Paradigm
I debated in high school a lot, I debated some in college. I now help out with debate when I can.
I like debate, and I hope you do too!
I think debates should be fun and I do not like it when people aren't friendly.
I am somewhat new to judging CX (Bronx 2019 was my first time judging circuit policy) but I really enjoy it and am excited to improve! I have lots of experience judging PF and college parli, but I'm well aware policy is a different beast and so I hope you'll bear with me! If I can't understand you I'll yell clear!
Do add me to the email chain: email@example.com
I don't have strong beliefs that should move you to alter your style in front of me. My favorite thing about CX is the creativity y'all have with arguments and strategies; please do your thing and tell me why it's dope.
I have more experience judging policy-style rounds than K debates. That said, my academic interests are much more in line with the sort of literature I understand appears in many K debates (I'm a philosophy major with specific interests in french post-structuralism, german idealism, and psychoanalysis). That said, my experience with this sort of literature is not in the context of debate.
If you have more specific questions, ask me before the round or shoot me an email.
As I get old and grumpy, I am increasingly frustrated with PF's bells and whistles. We are all regular people. You don't need to 'strongly urge an affirmation' or proudly declare what the 'thesis of your case' is or anything, you just need to debate the round and explain what's going on clearly. There needn't be pomp and circumstance in a room where we're talking about ideas for fun on the weekend.
I will evaluate the arguments as best I can based on what I understand in the round and what lands on my flow. I regret to admit that if something makes no sense to me I will be deeply reluctant to vote on it.
I don't have strong opinions about most practices in PF (defense in first summary, frontlining case in second rebuttal) beyond my personal beliefs about what is strategic. I am more than open to hearing arguments in the debate about why I should care about these things.
I deeply appreciate clever strategies and will reward them with speaker points that reflect how stylish the play was.
If you want to win my ballot, win the round. If you want to win my heart, concede everything your opponent says and still win the round.
If you have specific questions that I have failed to answer here, feel free to ask them before the round, shoot me a message on Facebook, send me an email, or mail me a postcard.
Michelle Deng Paradigm
I do not have very much experience as a public forum judge, but I am the parent of a debater. I value clarity, logic and precision in the speaker's voice and appreciate when teams weigh and clearly state which issues to vote off of during summary and final focus.
Sunny Douglas Paradigm
I am a parent of a high school debater and have been judging PF for 2 years. I grew up in SIngapore debating, parliamentary style debates. My judging ethos is fairly straightforward:
- i suspend my opinions and what i know about a topic outside the room and come in as a blank canvas. My role is NOT to be an expert, but to be an objective and neutral civilian, being exposed to arguments, fresh, in each round.
- i strongly prefer civilized, thoughtful and persuasive debate. I will credit professionalism, civility and a good sense of humor.
- i will discredit rudeness of all kinds. I do not enjoy theatrics (such as actively eye rolling toward me when your opponent is speaking - it will work against you, not for you), nor do i value those who simply railroad and speak loudly and fast over others in cross. Debate requires active listening to one another which is not possible if you won’t listen to your opponent or let them finish what they are saying. Please avoid all theatrics and distraction techniques.
- i will consider unanswered arguments as defeated; and will not credit (may even take point away) for new arguments introduced late in the game. And please stick to the truth and actual facts, not fake facts.
- volume and speed are not what i value. So yelling loudly or jamming numerous arguments extremely quickly and tripping over your words do not impress me. I value a debater who is confident enough to stay focused and rely on the strength of their research their ability to nuance and react thoughtfully and speak at a reasonable volume and pace. And be civil to their peers across the table.
Maura Evans Paradigm
I am a lay judge, a parent of a student at Newton South High School, Massachusetts.
I have been judging public forum debate since 2016. Here are some things to consider.
Slow down and speak clearly so that you don’t stumble over your words. Don’t spread. If I don’t hear your contentions and your responses they don’t count
I like organized well structured arguments. I encourage starting with your framework so I understand the basis for your arguments and the use of sign posting in your responses. Tell your story, paint your picture and re-enforce it in the summary. In your final focus explain why your team won the debate.
When stating your evidence, explain why it is important and why I should believe it. Don’t quote individual source names or publications and expect me to know who and what they are. Explain why I should be convinced by what they say.
If you use debate jargon, explain what it means, otherwise I may waste precious seconds trying to remember what it means and may not hear your next response.
Be respectful to your opponents and your judges.
Sergio Fefer Paradigm
I have judged Public Forum Debate from time to time. I am not familiar with this month's topic. I therefore ask you to refrain from using jargon or speaking quickly. Thanks
Eddie Fitzgerald Paradigm
For the email chain and any contact you need - firstname.lastname@example.org
I flow debater's speech performances and not docs, but may read evidence after speeches.
I graduated from Liberty University in the spring of 2011 after debating for 5 years. Before that I debated 1 year of LD in high school. Since then I worked as a debate coach for Timothy Christian High School in New Jersey for 6 years, traveling nationally on both the high school and college circuit. Currently I am the Associate Director of Poly Prep.
I view debate as a forum to critically test and challenge approaches to change the world for the better. I prefer in depth debate with developed material that you look like you have a grasp of. I will always work hard to evaluate correctly and with little intervention, especially if you are putting in hard work debating.
Learning debate from within the Liberty tradition I began by running conventional policy arguments with a proclivity to go for whatever K was in the round. However, during my final 3 years my partner and I did not defend the resolution and our 1nc looked very similar to our 1ac. Personally, I’m a believer and coach for advocating liberatory and conscious debate practices. However, there will certainly be a gap at times between my personal preferences and practices and what I vote on. I’m not going to judge from a biased perspective against policy arguments, and although tabula rasa is impossible I will try to evaluate the arguments presented with limited interference.
Ultimately, do not let any of this sway you from debating how you prefer. Doing what you think you are the best educator on will probably be your greatest option. If any of this is unclear or you have questions that I have not address below please feel free to ask me before a round. Have fun, debate confidently, and be genuine.
Last updated 1/10/2020
PAPERLESS and prep time (LD and Policy specific):
Prep time ends approximately when the speech doc is saved and you remove the jump drive. An overall goal (for both paperless and traditional teams) is to be prepared to begin your speech when you say end prep.
Speaking mostly to HIGH SCHOOL students:
Everyone involved in the round should be able to have access to any read piece of evidence once it has been presented. This means that if you are reading off of a computer you are responsible for providing your opponents with either a jump of what you are going to read or a physical copy before you start your speech. We shouldn’t be unreasonably fearful of people ‘stealing’ ‘our’ evidence, as source information should always be provided, and also because it’s certainly not really ‘ours’. You may, however, respectfully require your opponents to delete anything you provided them with during the round.
SPEAKING STYLES and speaker points:
I’m certainly open to (for lack of a better word) alternative and non-traditional approaches to your speech time. Passion, ethos, and emphasis are things that are usually underutilized by most speaking styles and debaters, and should be present in both constructives and rebuttals. After all, debate is at its core a communication activity. Cross-ex is a great time to exhibit this as well as advance your arguments. I may call clear once if it is an issue, however it is your responsibility to be an effective communicator during your speech. Being a jerk, unnecessarily rude, offensive, stealing prep, and not being helpful to the other team during cx or prep time are all things that will negatively effect your speaker points outside of the quality and delivery of your arguments.
HIGH SCHOOL LD SPECIFIC:
Yes, I am fine with speed, but that does not give you an excuse to be unclear. I may call clear once if it is an issue, however it is your responsibility to be an effective communicator during your speech.
I have experience to evaluate theory, but certainly prefer substantive theory (topicality, NIBs, parameterizing are all examples) as opposed to frivolous theory. You should probably slow down when reading your shells if you want me to be able to write down the nuances of your argument. Due to my background in college policy there may be a few preconceptions that I have that you should be aware of. Theory is not automatically an RVI, and I probably take a little more convincing on the flow than most judges in this area. You need to explain to me why a violation has resulted in abuse that warrants either voting down the other team or rejecting a specific argument. Simply claiming one to be true is not enough work here. When answering theory, showing how the abuse can be solved by rejecting a particular argument can make the violation go away.
Conceded and dropped arguments are considered true on my flow, unless they are morally repugnant or blatantly false. An example of the latter is even if your opponent drops a theory shell, if the team clearly does not link to the violation your accusation does not make that true. Conceded arguments must still be extended, warranted, and argued, but you should focus more on their implications.
Please read the paperless / prep time and the speaking style / speaker points sections of my philosophy located above.
PUBLIC FORUM SPECIFIC:
A quick overview statement: It seem that circuit PF is going through a growing period where it is solidifying some norms and practices. As a result of this, I will default to the understanding of the debaters in the round. I am also open to different interpretations as long as they are defended.
Concerning defense in summary: As indicated above, this is something that I am going to let the debaters determine / debate for themselves. However, if at any point the defense has been front-lined / responded to (either in 2nd rebuttal or 1st summary), then these arguments need to be answered and the defense needs to be extended for it to be available in final focus.
The rest of my philosophy is not specific towards ld or policy, high school or college, and it may do you benefit to read it as well, especially if some of your arguments tend to look like policy arguments.
FRAMEWORK (when run by the neg):
I think that negatives have the ability to and should engage with affirmatives that don’t defend a normative implementation of a plan. Even if the aff doesn’t defend the resolution there are still many substantive things that they will defend that provide ample ground. Although this ground might not be as predictable as your interpretation on FW calls for, it is still predictable enough to meet the threshold that you should be prepared for it.
Having said that, I think I’m one of those few sick individuals that will actually enjoy listening to framework debates as long as they are well developed on both sides. Granted, I will most likely be a harder sell than most, but I don’t think this should dissuade you from going for it if you think it is your best option. You will need to make inroads to the aff’s arguments by articulating ways traditional debate solves for their impacts. If you lose the impact turn to politics you will not win FW debates. You need to make arguments to the effect of traditional policy debate being key to a better form of politics and articulate net benefits to your interpretation from this. I think that the type of education we foster in debate far outweighs the preservation of the game in the strictest sense. That is to say that fairness claims alone are not the way to persuade me on FW. You should instead use claims of fairness to hedge against the impacts from the aff.
However, the main substance of FW debates (for both sides) should be about the competing benefits to the type of education and scholarship different traditions lead to.
For affirmatives concerning framework strategies, your greatest offense will be specific to your particular argument. I will be more easily persuaded if your aff is connected to the topic. I don’t appreciate aff’s that are written that hide their purpose or are exclusively constructed to impact turn FW. While I prefer some kind of relationship to the topic, I don’t think it is necessary. However, you do lose the ability to make an important strategic argument that other plan-less aff’s should employ, which is that your aff is important to topic education. More developed, this argument should be that your aff is necessary to topic education and that without it the debate ground that is left leads to bad forms of scholarship. That is to say that you aff is essentially topical. This argument is both inherently offensive and also provides the ability to make defensive claims against the neg’s offense.
This is the type of debate that I am most familiar with and have the largest literature base with (I was a philosophy major). However, messy and poor K debates are probably the worst. The key to winning this kind of debate is making the general link and alternative cards as specific as possible to the aff. I am not saying that the key is reading the most specific evidence (although this would be nice, however most of our authors here don’t write in the context of every affirmative), but that you need to find ways to apply the generic concepts to the specifics of the aff. Without this it is easier to be persuaded by the perm.
Teams are responsible for the discourse and performances in which then engage in given the context of the world we are situated in as well as the argument style the team engages in.
Aff’s have a wide range of arguments they can deploy, and are probably best sticking with the ones they are most comfortable with while doing a good job showing how they relate to the critique.
Concerning the perm, it is usually not enough work to simply show how the two different advocacies could work together. At this point it becomes easy to vote on the alternative as a purer form of advocacy without the risk of links. Aff’s should articulate net benefits to the perm to hedge against residual links and different DA’s to the perm itself. Case should be one of these net benefits, but aff’s need to watch out for indicts to foundational assumptions (concerning methodology, epistemology, ontology etc.) behind your impact claims.
Concerning framework: when was the last time a relatively moderate judge decided that the neg shouldn’t be able to run their K? The answer is probably a long time ago. The majority of these debates are compromised in the 1ar by allowing the K given that the aff gets to weigh their impacts after a lot of wasted time by both teams. I can hardly think of a situation where I would be persuaded to only evaluate the plan verses the status quo or a competitive policy option that excluded the alternative. However, I can envision certain ways that this debate goes down that convinces me to discount the impacts of the aff. In general, however, most of debate is illusory (somewhat unfortunately) and these framework questions are about what type of education is more important. If you chose to run framework with you aff you should keep these things in mind concerning your interpretation for debate.
PERFORMANCE or project verses a similar style:
These debates are some of the most important and essential ones for our community, particularly as more and more teams are participating in this form of advocacy. We need to debate and judge in light of this fact. These are also some of the most difficult debates to have. There are several reasons for this, one of the most poignant being the personal nature of these debates combined with the close relationships that most people amongst this insular community have with one another. We need to realize the value in these opportunities and the importance of preserving the pureness of our goals for the debate community. That might mean in some situations that conceding and having a conversation might be the best use of a particular debate space, and in others debating between different competing methodologies is a correct rout to go. In either case we need to realize and cherish common goals. In light of this it isn’t a bad thing to agree with large portions of your opponent’s speeches or even advocacy. Instead of reproducing the gaming paradigm of traditional debate, where competition is valued over advocacy and winning over ethics, we should instead choose to celebrate the areas of alignment we find. Conceding every round where this happens, however, is not a good idea either. This would send a message to the debate community that debate dies under this framework. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a possible time and place for it though.
When both teams largely agree on certain foundational framework questions efficacious debate can still happen. While making distinctions between advocacies and methodologies is essential for this kind of a debate, you should probably not manipulate and create links that are artificial. Distinctions that are made out of an in depth knowledge of the issues are far more beneficial and consistent. Traditional debate might look at these kinds of rounds as two ships passing in the night, but I think there can be a different metaphor – one where the teams are two ships starting at the recognition that the resolution and the debate community is flawed and that the round can be decided upon which team provides a better methodology and performance to get their ship further in the direction of what we should be as a community and culturally aware individuals.
I am undecided as to whether the aff should be allowed a perm and this should probably be debated out. However, I think that the aff should always have the ability to point out when a negative advocacy is the same as theirs.
THEORY / T:
Any bias I have towards theory will probably result in placing a burden on the team that reads the violation to prove that it should result in a voting issue. However, I don’t like shady stuff done only to be obnoxiously strategic. Don’t do it.
One thing that I definitely do not like is when teams read multiple conditional strategies that contradict each other. This will usually call into question the solvency of the critique if the aff takes advantage of this.
I don’t think that I have a bias concerning reasonability or competing interpretations, but I will probably default to competing interpretations until the aff is shown to be reasonable and from there it is up for debate.
COUNTERPLANS / DA’s:
I am probably liberal concerning counter plan theory, and aside from the question over conditionality most other theory arguments are probably reasons to reject the cp. Aside from traditional theory answers, showing why a certain CP is justified given the specific aff is a good response.
PICS that are specific to the aff are great, however word pics should probably just be articulated as links to the K.
Uniqueness controls the link only if a particular side definitively wins it.
I generally evaluate from an offense / defense standpoint, but it doesn’t mean anything if the CP links less than the plan does to a DA if the CP still meets the threshold for triggering the link. In that world there isn’t greater offense to the CP.
Rebecca Freedman Paradigm
Anson Fung Paradigm
I teach Mandarin 1 at Strake Jesuit. Good debaters are like big politicians debating on a big stage. Persuasion is necessary. Speak clearly if you want to win. Please make sure your arguments are topical. I'd like a clear story explaining your position and the reasons you should win.谢谢!
Luis Gomez Paradigm
For PF: I'm looking for well argued rounds. Please don't spread - it's not conducive to a good round, and it makes everything harder for everyone. Additionally, please don’t just read off a prewritten response or block of analysis outside of case - I want to see you thinking on your feet. Don't be domineering and respect your opponent. If you're running nuclear war as an impact you need to have a really good reason. No counterplans. I'm going to primarily judge within the context that you present, so the focus will be on your cases and the rebuttals to those. If you say "is anyone not ready" at the start of your speech I will mock you.
For speech: demonstrate some passion! This is an artistic performance, so show me some interpretive spirit in your work. Getting flustered and working through it is better than knowing your whole piece and delivering a boring rendition.
Mala Gopalsamy Paradigm
I am a parent of a Lexington debater. I have been trained as a judge and this is my third tournament. I will try very hard to keep my personal opinions out of the debate. That will be easier for me if you weigh and evaluate your arguments and if you compare your arguments to the arguments made by your opponents. I will take notes, but I do not want you to speak quickly because if you do I will not be able to write down what you say.
Linda Gu Paradigm
I am a parent judge for Acton-Boxborough and I have judged on the local/national circuit for two years.
English is my second language, so please please don't spread. Keep the word count at 180 will be great.
I like arguments that are logical and explained clearly. If you do this, then you will be successful.
I do not flow cross, but I do pay attention. Be civil and respond logically. Don't be over-aggressive.
I like arguments that are logical and are supported by cut evidence. Rebuttal is your time to point out flaws in your opponent's arguments with clear logic from your side. Please don't read a bunch of general prepared blocks - I want to hear relevant, targeted responses.
However I do think extent on your own contention is important. The case can't be solely won just on rebuttal.
Adam Harrington Paradigm
I debated at Lexington High School for four years. First in novice policy, and then 3 years in public forum. I've gotten to bid rounds, got bids, and broken at multiple national tournaments so I have some idea of how to debate. I finished my senior year getting 5th speaker at NDCA and 3rd place team overall. I attend University of Maryland, College Park, with a major in goverment and politics, and a minor in rhetoric. I currently do Parlimentary debate there.
I try to intervene and put as little work into the round as possible. If you make it easy to vote for you I probably will and the easier it is the higher your speaks will be.
One big thing that is pretty make or break in my eyes: Don't do anything that makes debate unwelcoming for anyone, e.g. racism, sexism, etc. I think debate is a really valuable activity and therefore it should accessible to everyone, so making people feel unwelcome/unsafe is a big issue. There have been times where I have been a jerk in round without realizing or things got heated when they shouldn't have, so I get how it can happen. I will probably not drop you for that alone, however, your speaks will suffer and I will find it far more difficult to justify voting for you. That said, there is a difference between saying something accidentally boneheaded in CX/something comes out really wrong/etc. and making an argument rooted in racist/sexist/etc. ideology.
Beyond that, I don't really have many preferences in terms of the actual arguments you go for (nothing too ridiculous or stupid pls, or at least make it funny if you're gonna be dumb lmao), but I may in terms of speaking and articulation of those arguments. Be clear, be clever, extend your warrants, weigh, and interact with your opponents arguments and my ballot should be easy for you.
This is not an exhaustive list of the things that you should/should not do in round, so use your common sense and good judgement. Try to debate as well as possible.
-Be nice, don't be a jerk, share crossfire/CX, make the debate bearable to watch, this also ties into the whole debate as a welcoming activity point that I made above (no racism, no sexism, you get the idea).
-The easier you make it for me to vote for you, the more likely I am to do so cuz I'm lazy. That said, if the round isn't clear I will intervene as much as I need to, in order to find a winner, and you may not like my decision so don't make it necessary.
-Building off of that, the easier it is to watch a debate and the more fun the round is for me the higher your speaks will be, so don't make the debate miserable
-You can talk fast so long as you are clear, but don't spread cuz you won't be clear, if you're going too fast I will say clear and you should slow down or else I'm gonna miss stuff on the flow and that isn't good for you.
-Extend your arguments, I can flow as fast as you can talk, but if you really want me to get something, slow down and emphasize it and tell me why its important.
-I don't care if second rebuttal doesn't respond to everything that first rebuttal put on case, I don't consider it dropped but try to cover what is important
-Also please extend warrants and refer to your cards by their arguments as well as author name, saying "extend [author name], this means we win" is a terrible argument. Tell me why you win and what your cards mean, give me warranted analysis.
-I really dig analytics as arguments, but if it directly conflicts with evidence I probably side with evidence (i.e. "we have evidence of an increase in X" "but "X isn't increasing" is a bad analytic)
-If there are analytical reasons (read warrants) why there argument is wrong or misapplied, or their warrants are bad or non supportive, I would love to consider analytics ("we have evidence of an increase in X", "but increase in X doesn't solve because..." is a good analytic)
-Basically, if warrants are good, you make clean extensions, you collapse in summary/final focus, and you give me clear reasons why you are winning, my ballot is pretty easy.
-Being funny is always a plus but please prioritize showing respect to your opponents and the activity first, winning second, and being funny after all that.
I also got out spoken by my PF partner (Peter Lawrence) all of senior year!!!
Pratheek Hegde Paradigm
If you treat me as a normal flow judge, you will likely be fine. If you want any more specific info on how you can win my ballot or improve your speaker points, either read below, or ask me before the round.
I don't require second rebuttal to cover first rebuttal's responses, but I generally look favorably upon teams that do so. First summary does not have to cover defense. Weighing is important.
Above all, I value efficiency and consistency in Public Forum. That is to say, I look very favorably upon teams that can build a strong narrative and develop it throughout the course of the round. Probability weighing is essential, since a high probability argument with a strong link chain builds a better narrative than a high magnitude, low probability, unrealistic "debate" argument. The final focus and summaries should also be very consistent with one another, and I will not vote on blatantly new arguments brought up in the final focus.
At the same time, I like teams and debaters that can speak slowly and clearly and still cover the entire flow with cohesive arguments. I do not like teams that speak extremely quickly and simply dump dozens of blippy responses to every facet of the opponents' case. I will not vote you down if you do this, but your speaker points will most likely suffer. In many cases, forgoing an additional response and spending more time to explain a better response will be a good strategic move in front of me -- I value clarity highly.
Making non-traditional or unique in-round moves correctly will improve your speaker points by 0.5, since I believe they are examples of debate ingenuity and critical outside-the-box thinking. I want to reward debaters that are able to adapt to specific rounds with non-traditional strategies, rather than using the same exact argumentation in every single round. However, in a lot of cases, these strategies will not benefit you, so think carefully about the situations to use them in.
1. Grouping arguments
2. Terminal logical responses
3. Non-traditional speech structures
4. Pre-emptive frontlining
5. No defense in Final Focus
Michael Johnson Paradigm
At first glance, I’m a parent judge with two years of PF experience. But in reality, in a long-forgotten past, I debated in high school — national semi-finalist in LD, finalist in extemp — and college and I paid my way through college judging LD, policy and speech on weekends.
Since I’m mainly judging PF these days, a few helpful hints on how I judge PF:
1. Obviously, I try to be unbiased. Generally, I don’t believe there a “harder” side of a resolution, so don’t pick sides expecting to win based on that. I always vote the most compelling argument.
2. PF was invented to avoid the jargon that has crept into LD and the tired old cliches of policy. I don’t expect to see either here — no spreading, no shouting, no “counterplans”, etc. If you can’t imagine someone doing it in an actual public forum (e.g. a presidential debate) don’t do it here. Instead, try persuasion.
3. I still remember how to flow (with actual pen and paper), so don’t drop important arguments. At the same time, don’t expect me to vote based on the fact that your opponent dropped one of your contentions; it may not have been very good, and this isn’t ping pong.
4. It generally doesn’t help for you to get into meta-arguments about the rules of PF. Focus on substance and trust that most of the things that your opponent might try that seem unfair/against the rules also make for pretty uncompelling arguments.
5. As a former business school dean, I’m a little sensitive to bad economic logic and analysis, especially on economic topics, so don’t waste time trying to connect capital gains taxes to nuclear war. That’s just stupid.
6 I see the structure of PF generally as the gradual crystallization of key issues and themes over the course of the round. If you find yourself using your summary (or worse, final focus) to spread point by point through a million attempts to refute minor points, you’re going the wrong way. Step back, take a deep breath and give me the 2-3 key issues and why your argument is more persuasive. (Oh, and don’t conclude with “vote for us”; that’s a terrible way to end a speech.)
Other than that, enjoy, do your best, don’t overadapt based on this paradigm, make a joke (a funny one), don’t stare at your iPad while you’re talking (did I mention I did speech?) and have fun.
Lawler Kang Paradigm
I am a parent of a high school debater and I have been judging PF for the last four years.
I love the guidance "To what degree will an argument improve the world as holistically as possible given the resolution––humans, environments, economies, etc.?" Using numbers, and sizes of numbers, to make these cases is critically important to my decision-making processes.
I love ethically-collected, fact-based contentions from reputable sources, such as from the gray circle at the top of this curve: https://www.adfontesmedia.com/interactive-media-bias-chart/?v=402f03a963ba Think tanks on both ends of the spectrum, particularly those funded by right-wing/Koch money can get a bit sketchy in this context.
And above all else, I expect measured cadence during statements (if I can't understand you, it does you no good!), and a spirit of graciousness during crosses. Points will be taken away for the above misses (particularly if I can't understand what you are saying) as well as any demeaning, sarcastic, or derogatory comments, facial expressions, tone, or evidence. I dislike using debate tribal language in excess and particularly in lieu of content. The "frothing at the mouth preacher style" does not work well with me; I merely ask you to be authentic. Your content should convey the weight of your arguments, not your actions. I will not stand for discussions, nodding, or other facial/body expressions while the other team is presenting.
I also delight when humor can be interjected. And smiles are always appreciated.
I will happily share my thought process with teams once the ballots have been entered, while respecting the rules of the specific debate.
Jesung Kim Paradigm
I am a new and relatively inexperienced judge.
I will not follow debaters who speak fast.
English is my second language.
Mikhail Kozlov Paradigm
I am a parent of a Lexington debater. I have been trained as a judge and this is my third tournament. My goal is to keep my personal opinions out of the debate. Please weigh and evaluate your arguments and compare them to the arguments made by your opponents. It is critical for me to see that you listen to your opponents and respond to their position. I encourage you to speak clearly and not too fast, as the quality of the argument is more important to me than the number of cited references or other prepared information.
Sundar Krishnasamy Paradigm
Vinay Kumar Paradigm
Hello TOC debaters,
Congrats on making it to this prestigious tournament!
I am a lay parent judge from Westborough, MA who has been judging for the last three years at local and natcir tournaments. This paradigm was written by my son. I will take notes on the round kind of like flowing. However the easiest way to persuade me and get my vote, is in final focus.
truth>tech - I already have a limited understanding of the technicalities of debate, please don't run low probability - high magnitude arguments and expect me to vote for you.
I will deduct speaks if I can't understand you (please don't spread)
Things I think will be helpful for the round
I will pay attention and take notes on crossfire
It might be a good idea to respond to arguments from first rebuttal in the second rebuttal
Try to build a narrative throughout the round.
I have a low threshold for random debate words - phrases like "terminal defense " are useless to me. Your word economy should be simplistic and effective.
Please refrain from bringing up new argumentation in the second half of the round.
Weigh in FF. This speech helps me sign my ballot for you, so give me clear reasons why i should prefer you over your opponents.
Please do not run theory or k's, I do not understand them.
Don't be toxic, this debate round doesn't matter in the long run.
I will disclose after the round, hopefully you find my feedback helpful.
For TOC - if you are sharing evidence with the opponents and wish for the judge to be on the email chain, please ask me before the round for my email.
Good luck and have fun!
Qiang Lai Paradigm
* Live-long engineer dealing with logic and deduction on a daily basis.
Amateur PF judge striving to take good notes and follow the flow. A few notes:
* Prefers acronyms explained when they first appear. As you apparently have done more research on the topic than I do. Both sides knowing the term doesn't necessarily mean I know the term as well.
* Be respectful and act professional. Use reasoning and logic to win the "public" in your public forum debate.
Ryan Leung Paradigm
A little about me: I have debated for three years in LD, and now I'm a freshman in College.
General in Round stuff:
1) I will be keeping track of the speech times, but please keep track of your own prep time.
2) I am open to evaluating any argument that is legitimately warranted and clearly explained. The exception to this rule is if you read something extremely offensive or nonsensical.
3) Don't extend through ink
4) I won't flow your cross-fires, but I will be listening in.
5) Please weigh and engage with your opponent’s arguments. Provide at least a brief framework for me to evaluate the round. Tell me why you are winning and why the impacts that you read in case are more significant.
Sharon Li Paradigm
I am a parent judge from Newton South High School, MA. I have been constantly learning to improve my judging skill since I started judging Public Forum Debate in February 2018. Prior to being a Public Forum Debate parent judge, I served as a parent speech judge for 4 years in various speech categories.
My goal: is to be a fair judge, to do my best to provide helpful feedback so the debaters can improve their own skills.
Based on what I have learned as of now, I currently follow below principles when judging:
1. I value overall truth of the resolution, overall speaking and debating skills.
2. Walk in a session like a baby knowing nothing and take in anything as true without judgement or personal opinion.
3. Winner would be the team who convinced me the most, not the team who had better presentation/speaking skills.
4. I ask you to be respectful to the other team and speak clearly at a speed that I can follow. Please refrain from using jargon or speaking too quickly.
Jay Liu Paradigm
I am a parent of a Lexington debater. I have been trained as a judge and this is my second tournament. I will try very hard to keep my personal opinions out of the debate. That will be easier for me if you weigh and evaluate your arguments and if you compare your arguments to the arguments made by your opponents. I will take notes, but I do not want you to speak quickly because if you do I will not be able to write down what you say.
Zhen Lou Paradigm
I am typically OK with most arguments.
For evidence, I prefer well accepted sources. However, if the team can demonstrate the authors are qualified despite being not well known, I will accept that too.
I like to see a direct clash of arguments and want to know how specific arguments interact with each other.
I also like to see well explained internal link chains and overview to help me better understand your arguments.
Sam Lu Paradigm
Asim Maqbool Paradigm
I am a parent of a PF debater. I have judged PF debates [2018-2019] at the JV and varsity level.
Sergio Martinez Paradigm
See record below.
Anika Mehra Paradigm
I debated at Lexington High School for four years with a year in LD and three years in PF. I'm a flow judge who votes based off of clearly cited evidence and weighing.
- The easier you make it for me to vote for you, the more likely I am to do so.
- I evaluate any argument that is legitimately warranted and clearly explained. If you have a link, explain it. The exception to this rule is if you read something extremely offensive or totally nonsensical.
- Please weigh and actually engage with your opponent’s arguments. Tell me why you are winning on certain points and why your impacts matter more to me. If you have a framework, weigh using that framework. There have been so many times where debaters introduce frameworks and don't ever actually use it (despite it potentially winning the round for them if they did).
- It needs to be in summary to be in final focus so EXTEND. The exception to this rule is if you're speaking first and your opponent brings up some new arguments in their summary. In this case, it's fine for you to make a new response in final focus. But outside of that, you really shouldn't argue something new in FF if it wasn't in summary. If you are a Novice PFer, I will likely be more lenient about this rule but do try to not bring up new arguments in Final Focus.
- Collapse your arguments. Don't leave me with 17 different arguments to weigh after the round. It's annoying and basically an evidence dump. I recommend using voters in your summary and/or final focus. It's not mandatory but heavily recommended.
- I won't flow your cross-fires. So if you think you won something during cross you better tell me during your speech.
- If you want me to call for evidence, tell me and I will. I may call for evidence at the end of the round anyway if things have become muddied.
- Don't spread; you can talk fast, but don't spread. I can understand you if you do spread but I hate it when PFers spread.
- I can keep track of the speech times and prep time if you'd like. You can silently prep during your opponents’ speeches (at your own expense) or during cross-fires but don't talk (loudly) during your opponents’ speeches. It'll cost you in terms of speaker points.
- For speaker points, I start at a 28 and adjust accordingly based off of presentation and general pathos of each debater. I rarely give anything below a 27 unless you actually annoy me. I will not dock off speaker points based on the actual content of a speech and to that end, I will not decide a round based off of speaker points either.
Ryan Monagle Paradigm
UPDATED FOR NCFL 2019
Ryan Monagle Ridge High School PF coach
In general the clearest ballot story tends to win the round.
Speed: I'm fine with most speed, easiest way for me to comprehend your speaking style is by starting off at conversational pace through the first card so I can familiarize myself with your cadence. After that feel free to take off. Just a note on speed and spreading, I'm 100% 0kay with speed and enjoy it in really competitive rounds, however the speed needs to be justified by a greater depth in your argumentation and not just the need to card dump 100 blippy cards. If there is ever an issue of clarity I will say clear once, afterwards I will awkwardly stare at you if there is no change and then I will stop flowing.
Rebuttal: MAKE SURE YOU SIGNPOST, If I lose you on the flow and miss responses that is on you. I'm fine with line by line responses though most of the time they tend to be absolutely unnecessary. I would rather you group responses. Card dumping will lead me to deducting speaker points. Trust me you don't need 6-7 cards to respond to a single warrant.
Summary: Don't try to go for literally everything in the round. By the time Summary comes around the debate should have narrowed down to a few pieces of offense. Any offense you want to go for in final focus has to be in summary. Whether or not you go for defense in 1st summary is up to those debating in round, sometimes it isn't 100% necessary for you to go for it, sometimes you need to so it to survive the round. You should make that evaluation as the round moves along.
Final Focus: Weigh in final, if neither teams weighs in round then I have to do it at the end of the round and you may not like how that turns out. Weighing should be comparative and should tell me why your offense should be valued over your opponents.
Crossfire: I don't flow crossfire, typically I spend time writing the ballot and reviewing the flow. However, I still pay attention to most occurrences in crossfire. If you go for a concession be explicit and I'll consider it, but you need to extend it in later speeches. Also if you happen to concede something and then immediately go back on it in the next speech I am going to deduct speaks.
Speaker Points: My evaluation for speaker points revolves around presentation and strategy/tactics in the round that I'm judging. Feel free to try to make me laugh if you can I'll give you big props and you'll get a bump up in speaker points.
Please, I beg debaters to take advantage of the mechanisms that exist to challenge evidence ethics in round, I would gladly evaluate a protest in round and drop debaters for evidence violations. I think the practice of lying about/misrepresenting evidence is something a lot coaches and competitors want to see change, but no one takes advantage of the system that currently exists to combat these behaviors in round.
For NCFL: Judges can read evidence if the validity of the source is in question you have to explicitly tell the judge to call for the card in question.
Venu Moogala Paradigm
I am a parent of a Lexington (MA) High School debater. I have been trained as a judge and this is my second year judging & have judged at 4 tournaments thus far.
I try hard to keep my personal preferences and opinions from influencing my decisions as a debate judge.
I take notes during the debate. So please do not speak too fast, otherwise I will not be able to take notes and/or follow your arguments.
Adam Nir Paradigm
I competed in LD debate, Extemp, and Congress from fall 1998 - spring 2002 (plus some other speech events). I then competed in Parliamentary debate for all 4 years of college. I find speech and debate to be highly valuable to the participants and wish to give back to the community. That is why I started coaching in 2014 when I returned to the US after my army service.
Current Affiliation: Needham High School Assistant Coach (speech and debate)
Last Update: January, 2018
QUICK: I am old school / traditional. I expect LD to be like it was when I did the activity. If someone has a value and criterion, links their arguments back to their criterion and impacts how those arguments achieve their value, I am extremely happy and give high speaker points. I also really like it when people have strong crystallizations (voters). Clearly weighing and explaining why I should value your arguments more than your opponents make my job easier, which give you more speaker points.
I dislike theory / policy debates in LD. Policy debate exists, do whatever you want in a policy round. Don't do it in a LD round.
Additional Details: I love LD debate because of the standard debate inherent to the activity. The ability to explain why I should use a certain moral standard and then explain how your arguments lead to the achievement of your standard are critical in my mind. That is the only thing I want to vote on. I expect the debate to be centered around the resolution provided.
Any other argument, ie, policy debate, theory, fairness, etc, no matter how well done, or how much time is devoted to it, misses the point of the activity in my mind, so it will be treated as such in my RFD.
Also, as a speech and debate coach, I value both the delivery and the analysis. Both are part of the speaker scale. For speech aspects, speed, clarity, sign posting, eye contact are things I look at. For analysis, the more in depth, the better. I want to hear the student, not the card. Telling me to extend a card without telling me why the card is important in the round in not analysis.
In addition, since I do believe in the educational merit of this activity, I will gladly talk with anyone after the round. I usually don't disclose, but am fully willing to explain how I saw the round, what can be improved, and what was done well.
DO NOT BULLY! I will punish anyone that is abusive / racist / sexist with low speaks and a loss rather quickly. Making fun of an argument can be acceptable, though not necessary or helpful. If it is a bad argument, then just beat it, don't waste time mocking it. Mocking someone is never acceptable! Abusive arguments are also never acceptable.
Finally, I object to the concept of a low point win. Points represent the entirety of the round so it is impossible to have a low point win!
Everything I hate in LD is kosher in Policy, so knock yourself out. That being said, I enjoy rounds on substance and the speaker points I give reflect that. I will repeat from before: DO NOT BULLY! I will punish anyone that is abusive / racist / sexist with low speaks and a loss rather quickly. Making fun of an argument can be acceptable, though not necessary or helpful. If it is a bad argument, then just beat it, don't waste time mocking it. Mocking someone is never acceptable! Abusive arguments are also never acceptable.
Finally, I object to the concept of a low point win. Points represent the entirety of the round so it is impossible to have a low point win!
I enjoy judging PF. Due to my LD background, having some sort of framework / framing the round helps me as a judge and helps you win the round and get higher speaker points. Due to the short speech times, I really want you to explain why one or two arguments that you are winning are more important than the one or two arguments your opponents are winning. Weighing is really important!
Something a bit more specific - being the second team to speak in a round means your rebuttal can deal with the first 3 speeches, and while I don't require you to do so, it really helps your side when you deal with both the pro and con cases. Use that advantage!
I will repeat from before: DO NOT BULLY! I will punish anyone that is abusive / racist / sexist with low speaks and a loss rather quickly. Making fun of an argument can be acceptable, though not necessary or helpful. If it is a bad argument, then just beat it, don't waste time mocking it. Mocking someone is never acceptable! Abusive arguments are also never acceptable.
Finally, I object to the concept of a low point win. Points represent the entirety of the round so it is impossible to have a low point win!
Richard O'Connell Paradigm
Hey guys, it's the kid here. Good luck, you'll need it.
My dad is a fairly lay judge.
He flows Case and Rebuttal but then kinda stops.
He doesn't really like turns so you probably shouldn't read them.
Also he has a masters in business and understands economics so you don't have explain every little economic concept to him.
HE COUNTS DEFENSE AS OFFENSE: He really likes it when you just tear apart their case. He will pick you up on defense.
READ WARRANTS: He likes it when you put evidence in context.
DON'T SPREAD He likes to take notes so if he's writing something, he won't catch the things you say while he is writing.
Malar Pannirselvam Paradigm
Hello my name is Malar Pannirselvam, I have a son who participates in VPF Debate, so I have some degree of experience regarding judges. I'm tabula rasa (literally don't even know the topic or the viable stategies at the start of most tournaments), but I will definitely get a feel for the argumentation on a resolution over the course of a tournament. I will not disclose unless the tournament allows it, as I believe that not disclosing takes a fair amount away from the actual debate and devolves to blaming immediately after you drop a ballot on a bubble/break/bid round. Please ask me questions after the round is over, I will give each speaker comments (from my relatively normal lay perspective) on both argumentation and speaking stuff (unless we're low on time or lunch is 5 minutes away)
- no spreading
- ideally no kritiks, but if you do read kritiks, articulate the alt super well
-since this is my first time judging LD, I'm going to expect y'all to keep time and whatnot, but my timer app does have an LD function
- no weird theory violations
Things I like:
Respect among teammates and opponents
Communication between both members of your team
Effective use of prep and speech times (including cross fire)
Weighing and impact calculus (impact, magnitude, timeframe)
Offtime roadmaps, and other methods of signposting (as long as you aren't stealing prep)
Keeping your own time (and not misrepresenting it)
Extending arguments and cards in your Summary and Final Focus (rebuttal speeches for LD)
Voting Issues (voters) in your Summary/Final Focus (rebuttal speeches for LD)
Things I don't like:
Sketchy math or evidence misrepresentation (I may call for a card at the end of a round if time permits)
Disorganized speeches: I will not connect your dots for you.
Stealing prep or other ethical violations.
Excessive profanity (or profanity directed at a person in round)
Unethical/sketchy arguments (racism good, sexism good)
(Low point wins do in fact exist, by the way)
Speaker Point Scale (I award in .5 points, since that's generally what local tournaments ask me to do)
25 or below: You messed up big time in this round. Please try to find me later in the tournament for specifics, but you probably violated one of the things that I really don't like.
26: Beginning Debater who has a solid start, but requires some work
27: Good debater, about average, but could use some fine tuning in regards to speaking and/or strategy
28: Great debater, did a great job of adapting to the expectations that I set.
29: You legitimately did something exceptional this round in regards to the way that you spoke, and I commend you for doing so through this 29. Either that or you carried your team on your back, and your partner got bad speaks.
30: Hasn't happened yet, and probably won't be happening for the near future.
Most importantly, never ever forget that debate is a game, and is intended to be enjoyed to the maximum, otherwise you wouldn't be spending a weekend morning speaking in front of 2-3 other people in some empty history classroom. Good Luck!
Michael Poe Paradigm
Mr. Poe is a high school Spanish teacher who has judged at basically every local Massachusetts tournament ever.
- Does he flow (most crucial question): sometimes
Sitting versus standing in cross: he wanted me to include that he “has no preference”
Extending defense in first summary: not needed in either summary (as long as it’s been said before he says it’s “fair game”) (he also doesn’t know what this term means)
Going new in the two: just because he might not catch it doesn’t mean you should do it
Kicking out of turns: he probably finds it unpersuasive
Frontlining in second rebuttal y/n: he doesn’t care (asked about it, and he also doesn’t know what the word “frontline” means)
Weighing: the sooner the better (you can start in rebuttal)
Speed: he says “medium speed” but I think that means lay judge level
Extensions: you need to extend card context not just the author and implicate it in the context of the round
Types of argument: tech > truth
Progressive args: obviously not
Speaker points: historical precedent - he will drop you with 25s regardless of your argumentation if you are a) rude and/or b) yelling
Autodrop for running racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise bigoted arguments
Humor: good (direct quote: “so long as it adds something to the round”)
Disclosure after the round: no guaruntees
Natalie Polanco Paradigm
Yongchang Qiu Paradigm
Chandra Ramanathan Paradigm
I am a parent of a Lexington debater. I have been trained as a judge and this is my third tournament. I will try very hard to keep my personal opinions out of the debate. That will be easier for me if you weigh and evaluate your arguments and if you compare your arguments to the arguments made by your opponents. I will take notes, but I do not want you to speak quickly because if you do I will not be able to write down what you say.
Gopi Sadagopan Paradigm
I am a parent judge from Westborough, MA with three years of judging in local and natcircuit tournaments.
Talk slow and do not spread
Organize your speeches and explain your arguments well
Avoid debate jargons
Do not assume I know all the abbreviations
Relative numbers provide lot more information than absolute numbers. For example, if you tell me the impact is $50 million, Is that on a GDP of $20 trillion or on a country with a GDP of $500 million
If you are providing a statistic, check on what the other team is talking about too. For example, one team could say that imports increase of 15% and the other team could say exports decrease by 20%. Ideally both teams should talk about the same statistic and the impact. If not, you should tell me what matters the most (import or export) and the impact in terms of dollars, employment etc.
Try to build a narrative and a theme throughout the round
Overwhelming me with data and evidence tags is not good. I am looking for a combination of logical reasoning with data
Exclude Extinction arguments and theory
A few well defended high impact arguments are way better than going all over the place
Please weigh well and provide clear reasons to vote for you
Mahesh Saha Paradigm
I debated PF for Stuyvesant and have a good amount of experience in the national circuit. Don't speak fast at the cost of enunciation. Extend warrants with impacts and weigh, please!
Feel free to ask me any questions before round.
Mehak Sikka Paradigm
I debated PF for three years at Acton-Boxborough. Treat me as your normal flow judge – signpost, collapse, weigh, etc.
Important things about me:
- I will evaluate any argument as long as it is well warranted. But if the argument is extremely jank and/or abusive, my threshold for responses goes significantly down.
- I have little to no experience with theory, Ks, or most other forms of progressive argumentation. That being said, I'm not opposed to it and I'll evaluate it if I understand it, I guess. lol.
- I would prefer that second speaking teams address responses from the first rebuttal in the second rebuttal. Allocate time however you wish. That being said, I don’t require defense in first summary, unless it has been frontlined in second rebuttal.
- I am not a huge fan of long offensive overviews, especially in second rebuttal. I find it unfair for the first speaking team to have to respond to an entirely new contention in summary, along with the rest of it. Read me a nice weighing overview though.
- Collapse/Crystallize. Don't go for every argument on the flow. It just makes both of our jobs extremely tedious. :( Commit to an issue or two and tell me why it’s the most important in the context of the debate.
- Warrant. I will most definitely always buy the logical reasoning behind your argument over a sus piece of evidence that just claims that something is true.
- WEIGH. Please!! You would probably benefit more if you explained to me why your argument is more important than your opponents', rather than having me do it for you. Also, weighing turns in rebuttal is nice.
- Please don’t spread. <3
- Preflow before you walk into your round. I don’t wanna wait.
Something to keep in mind: I will probably tank your speaks if you 1) act offensively and 2) lie about your evidence.
This isn't very thorough, so please ask me before your round if you have any questions! Good luck!!!
also, don't shake my hand lol.
David Silvian Paradigm
I am a lay judge, but I am on my second debater kid, so I do know a little bit about PF, just don’t go too fast. I'm an estate tax attorney in my day job. I like appeals to philosophy but only if you get it right.
In terms of style I like weighing and frameworks so I know what's important upfront. I'm okay with front lining in second rebuttal, but don't require it. Extend defense in first summary please.
If there is anything that I should know about you, anything I should accommodate, please let me know.
Jen Sousa Paradigm
I was a speech competitor in the '80s and for the last 2 and a half years have been advising/assisting a team of self-directed debaters some of whom attend camps/private coaching. This year I have needed to step in to judge since our parent judges' students have all graduated.
Sahana Sreeprakash Paradigm
- will flow super detailed (well, depends how much coffee I've had and how clear your speaking is)
- debated in hs in policy and pf and have judged all 3 divisions since
- will vote on anything u articulate in a way that makes sense
- attack your opposing arguments not your opponents: be assertive but be kind
- learn something and enjoy yourself!! You’re voluntarily here in ridiculous dress shoes on a long weekend in a new English winter!!!
TJ Sridhar Paradigm
I am a parent and have been judging for four years. I typically flow the rounds. Speaking speed is not an issue for me, but if you are going to cite a lot of evidence, please slow down. If you weigh your contentions and impact, it makes it easier for me to decide.
David Stolow Paradigm
I am a parent of a high school debater. I do not have a technical background in debate. I have judged at about 6 tournaments in the past two years.
I can't flow as quickly as the debaters. Therefore I prefer that debaters speak at a moderate, conversational pace so that I can understand their arguments and how those arguments relate to what has been said previously in the round.
I prefer that debaters are respectful to each other, including during cross-ex. Questions and responses should be concise.
I prefer that debaters avoid using the phrase "you must vote ..." Instead, organize and explain your arguments clearly and allow the judge to make a well-informed decision.
I enjoy judging rounds when it's clear that the debaters are enjoying their experience as well.
Nick Stratigakis Paradigm
I debated at Poly Prep for three years and am two years off the circuit. I make my decisions based on my flow.
Some things to note before the round:
1. Second summary has an obligation to extend defense, first summary does not.
2. Be nice.
3. Weigh as early as possible
4. Please signpost
5. Do not speak too quickly
Jakob Urda Paradigm
Background: I competed for four years in high school for Stuyvesant. I have coached for four years for Poly Prep.
I am a flow judge. Offense should be extended in summary and the second rebuttal doesn't necessarily need to frontline what was said in first rebuttal (but in some cases, it definitely helps). Weighing in Summary and FF is key. I'll steal this line from my favorite judge, Thomas Mayes, "My ballot is like a piece of electricity, it takes the path of least resistance." I have a hard time voting on disclosure theory in PF. Have fun and be nice.
General: Debate rounds are about students so intervention should be minimized. I believe that my role in rounds is to be an educator, however, students should contextualize what that my obligation as a judge is. I default comparative worlds unless told otherwise. Slow down for interps and plan texts. Signpost please.
Ceci Villasenor Paradigm
I debated PF for four years at Acton-Boxborough, meaning you can treat me like your normal flow judge—signpost, collapse, weigh, etc. However, I don't coach, so don't expect me to have any prior topic knowledge.
I don't require second rebuttal to cover case (but I think you should do it—I just won't penalize you if you don't). First summary should extend defense to whatever was frontlined (if anything) in second rebuttal. If you want higher speaks, give me a clear link story/narrative and comparative weighing.
Some other things about me: I hate overly aggressive/rude crossfires but love funny debates, I'm not familiar with progressive argumentation (but will evaluate it if necessary), and when I competed, I never really liked having to shake the judge's hand (so please don't shake mine lol).
Have fun debating and good luck! Feel free to ask me any other questions.
Bingquan Wang Paradigm
The following is what I will consider more valuable in the debate:
clarity over speed
Technique over truth
quality over quantity
argument = claim with warrant
attitude=nice to others
Yong Wang Paradigm
Hello. Son here. This is what you should know about my father.
He kinda flows. I've seen it, it isn't pretty - it's a bulleted list - but it works a little bit. He'll know your contention taglines and will flow rebuttal responses that he deems worthy. That's better than nothing? He relies mostly on his memory so good luck.
Limit speed to conversational level. His English is fine but he absolutely hates debaters who speak really fast because he can't understand them and thinks they're losers. Speak slow and with confidence, he likes people who present themselves well.
Debate jargon to a minimum. I guarantee that he has absolutely no idea what a non-unique is, or even what a delink is at that. Just say that they're wrong and provide evidence. No need for technical terms, it'll just r/wooosh.
On the topic of speaking, he's like really harsh with speaks. He routinely gives out 26.5s to people who he thinks didn't do well. But if you follow this paradigm, you can get a 27.5 maybe.
Be respectful. He loves it when you like destroy someone in cross but you can't be super rude doing it, or rude in any facet. It's a fine line I know.
Aniruddha Weling Paradigm
I'm a debater parent and I've judged PF debates for 3 years. My evaluation is based on a combination of flow, delivery, and clarity of thought.
I'm an engineer/scientist by trade so I value logic and data-driven arguments and quality over quantity. Rather than overwhelming me with debate jargon, extend a few well-researched warrants through your crossfires into your summary and final focus with clearly articulated impact.
Please speak slowly and clearly, and maintain civility and courtesy, especially during crossfires. If you'd like me to vote on a particular claim, be sure to include it with appropriate evidence in your summary and final focus.
Please refrain from creating too many distractions by obscure interpretations of facts or by calling for evidence/cards unless there is a clear need to establish integrity or accuracy.
Above all, enjoy the debate and good luck!
Peter Zopes Paradigm
Debate Coach, Chelmsford High School
I participated in Policy Debate and Extemporaneous Speaking in high school (in the late 70s), though mostly Extemp. I teach US and World History, Speech and Debate, and Government. I’m in seventh or eighth year of coaching Speech and Debate. I think formal debate and argumentation has real value; it drives public discourse and helps society progress. I am very interested in what I see going on in the debate community, though not all do I agree. That being said, here is my judging paradigm that outlines my position on debate.
The Resolution. I prefer substantive debate that focuses on the resolution! There is a reason we have a resolution, debate that! Be clear, concise, and clash. Be topical. Debate the contentions, the evidence, the link, warrant, etc. Don’t waste time on frameworks or arguing about debate! I’m not a fan of theory or kritiks. (They smack of deconstructionist word play!) Be professional, speak to the judge (me!) not your paper or laptop, and address your opponent with respect. Stand during the round. Dress professionally. (Yes, imagine that!) I can flow most thing that comes my way, however, speed and volume (not loudness, but the amount of information put forth) do not necessarily further the debate.
Case and Evidence. This is key. In LD debate is value based, you must demonstrate how your case is constructed to achieve the value and value criterion you identified. If not, this will negatively affect my judgment on the round. In PF show strong case development against your side of the resolution, with quality claim, evidence, and warrant. Arguments need to be developed and elaborated upon, not just with vague value statements, but supportive evidence (statistics, analogies, statements, data, etc, from philosophical, legal, theological, historic, and news sources). This should be used both in case development and rebuttal (when appropriate!). Evidence used should be clearly identified in the reading of the card in terms of both author and source. (Name of author, title of article, and if needed title of publication and date) During rebuttal explain how you or your opponent did or did not support their value or value criterion with their case, contentions, or evidence. Specifically identify voting issues raised or dropped.
Speaker Points. Be professional, polite, articulate, strategic, and clear. This is the basis for determining speaker points. DON'T Spread or even try to talk really fast. All words have a clear beginning and end. I need to hear them. IF YOU SPREAD, YOU LOSE. Your case should be presented in a manner that is not over flowing with debate jargon or nomenclature.
Something to keep this in mind; In the original debates, if either Lincoln or Douglas conducted their debates in the manner modern debaters do, neither would have won. The audiences would have walked away. Modern LD and Policy debate may provide you with some great learning experiences, however, constructing and delivering a case in the manner I hear today is not one of them. All you are learning is how to deliver to a narrow, self-selected audience. I hope and will do what I can to prevent PF from proceeding down that path. Further, too often debaters dismiss parent judges for not knowing enough about debate. That is the wrong mindset. It is not their job to become an expert in your type of debate. Your job is to educate them on the resolution and your case, and convince them you are right. You need to adjust your delivery to reach them. Keep in mind the number one consideration for any debater or speaker is reaching their audience. If you lose the audience, you lose the debate. Simple. The supposed "cool" judges who let you do whatever you want are not helping you develop your skills beyond the narrow world of debate. Selecting judges with widely different judging paradigms does! Good luck!