2019 California Round Robin
2019 — Oakland, CA, CA/US
Jonathan Alston Paradigm
I am a head coach at Newark Science and have coached there for years. I teach LD during the summer at the Global Debate Symposium. I formerly taught LD at University of North Texas and I previously taught at Stanford's Summer Debate Institute.
I do believe that basic things are true, though. The Affirmative must present a problem with the way things are right now. Their advocacy must reasonably solve that problem. The advantages of doing the advocacy must outweigh the disadvantages of following the advocacy. You don't have to have a USFG plan, but you must advocate for something.
Be clear. Be very clear. If you are spreading politics or something that is easy to understand, then just be clear. I can understand very clear debaters at high speeds when what they are saying is easy to understand. Start off slower so I get used to your voice and I'll be fine.
Do not spread philosophy. If I have a hard time understanding it at conversational speeds I will not understand it at high speeds. (Don't spread Kant or Foucault.)
Slow down for analytics. If you are comparing or making analytical arguments that I need to understand, slow down for it.
I want to hear the warrants in the evidence. Be clear when reading evidence. I don't read cards after the round if I don't understand them during the round.
Make it make sense. I'll vote on it if it is reasonable. Please tell me how it functions and how I should evaluate it. The most important thing about theory for me is to make it make sense. I would like for the debates about the debate to be interesting. I am not into frivolous theory. If you like running frivolous theory, I am not the best judge for you.
Don't take it out of context. I do ask for cites. Cites should be readily available. Don't cut evidence in an unclear or sloppy manner. Cut evidence ethically. Do not take evidence out of context by cutting qualifiers like "might" or "maybe".
30 I learned something from the experience. I really enjoyed the thoughtful debate. I was moved. I give out 30's. It's not an impossible standard. I just consider it an extremely high, but achievable, standard of excellence. I haven't given out at least two years.
For policy Debate (And LD, because I judge them the same way).
Same as for LD. Make sense. Big picture is important. I can't understand spreading dense philosophy. Don't assume I am already familiar with what you are saying. Explain things to me. Starting in 2013 our LDers have been highly influenced by the growing similarity between policy and LD. We tested the similarity of the activities in 2014 - 2015 by having two of our LDers be the first two students in the history of the Tournament of Champions to qualify in policy and LD in the same year. They did this by only attending three policy tournaments (The Old Scranton Tournament and Emory) on the Oceans topic running Reparations and USFG funding of The Association of Black Scuba Divers.
We are also in the process of building our policy program. Our teams tend to debate the resolution with non-util impacts or engages in methods debates. Don't assume that I am familiar with the specifics of a lit base. Please break things down to me. I need to hear and understand warrants. Make it simple for me. The more simple the story, the more likely that I'll understand it.
I won't outright reject anything unless it is blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic.
Important: Don't curse in front of me. I don't like high school students cursing in front of me. Please don't do it. I may take off points because of it. If the curse is an essential part of the textual evidence, I am more lenient. But that would be the exception. Ultimately, I do not think that high school students are grown, and the language that is used should be consistent with my classroom standards.
Note: I generally don't enjoy debates that are more than three off in LD. However, do what you do well. Just going by what I've seen in the past.
Byron Arthur Paradigm
Byron R. Arthur
Holy Cross School
Judging Since September 1983
Debate Events Judged : All of Them
Debate Events Coached: All of Them
I have worn a number of professional hats through the years and they all influence how I see the debate. First, I am an attorney. This means that I insist upon evidence and its integrity. Under no circumstances do I tolerate debaters who play fast and loose with interpretation of evidence. Second, I am a teacher which means I seek to maximize education for all of us who are involved in the debate. Please join me in that effort when you are debating in front of me.
Public Forum (Updated for Harvard Workshop July 2020)
I encourage you to read the LD section of this paradigm from the section on Points through the end. That information pertains to you as well.
During practice rounds I have had debaters ask me if I am ok with speed. Please see my comments below but I will add this to the mix: Why? Given the format of this event, I have seen debaters strain to make a plethora of arguments in the first two speeches that they never mention again due to time constraints. I would rather you seek a depth of arguments rather than breadth.
I can tell you that if I don't hear it in the Summary, I am not paying any attention to it in the Final Focus.
Do not assume that because I am a lab leader that I am going to supply analysis for your arguments. Explain what you say and tell me its implications. This is not an exercise in how much I know but what you can convince me to be true
Topicality – I am happy to vote on T if it is argued well. You should know that I tend to interpret T very broadly so in some instances you might want to choose something else if your violation is one that is based upon a fairly strict interpretation. Not a huge RVI fellow. I tend not to ignore all else in the round in order to give the AFF a win for meeting one of its burdens.
Types of Arguments – There are no arguments that I reject out of hand. While I was in high school when LD was created, I am not opposed to all of the ways in which it has evolved. Counterplans are not only acceptable but encouraged as long as they are meeting all of the traditional burdens such as competition and net benefits. I would say the same for the disadvantage and its burdens.
I am very fine with the K debate as well. But at the end of the day, there must be a link for me to consider. I love debates about race, gender, sexual orientation, and other opportunities for debaters to engage in discourse about issues that are important. Yet, I also believe that individuals spend time crafting topics for a reason and call me old-fashioned but I still like those discussions. Most topics allow us to have the best of both worlds but at times they do not. Learn to recognize the difference if I am in the back of the room.
Theory is a means to an end and those who love the idea of theory as its own thing should definitely strike me.
Speed – There was a time when I would walk out of a room very impressed with the debater who was incredibly fast and offered a cornucopia of arguments. That was about 30 years ago. Now I am impressed with the debater who does more with less and values depth of discussion and argument.
Points- My range for points is generally between 26.5 -29.9. 26.5 is reserved for those who are incomprehensible, disengaged, non-responsive, or simply missing the boat. 29.9 is reserved for the debater who demonstrates a mastery of argument, communicates nuances, has the ability to analyze arguments and make meaningful comparisons, has on-point evidence, and has outstanding communication skills. THOSE WHO ARE RUDE TO OPPONENTS OR USE PROFANITY WILL RECEIVE A 20. IF YOU ARE UNEASY WITH THIS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER STRIKING ME.
I am very sensitive to the way that we treat each other in this activity. I take allegations of bullying and intimidation very seriously. As an adult in the room, I will immediately deal with these issues and protect the rights of all individuals involved. If you feel that there is an issue when you are debating in front of me, know that we will proceed in the following manner:
1. Please raise the issue when you are aware of it. I will then allow both debaters to go and find their respective coaches/adult chaperone before we proceed. I will not engage students on issues of this magnitude without their adult advocates present.
2. I will listen to both sides of the discussion to determine whether or not we can proceed with the debate or if it should be brought to the tournament director for further resolution.
Leah Clark-Villanueva Paradigm
Yes, please add me to the email chain.
Program Manager at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League (LAMDL). Former CSUF policy debater.
I frequently judge for Harvard-Westlake in high school LD, and CSUN for college policy.
PLEASE BE PROMPT TO YOUR ROUND. Don't make the tournament late because you're still prepping after start time. AFF - set up an email chain once you know who your opponent is.
Speaker Points (HS Policy/LD)
27.0 = base speaker points/below average
27.5 = average novice level debate
28 = average varsity debate
29+ = excellent varsity debate
Speaker Points (College Policy)
28.0 = base speaker points/novice level
28.5= average open debate
28.6- 29.1 = above average open debate
29.2+ = excellent open debate
*I will adjust speaker points that align with community norms.
These are common debate beliefs I come into the round with. If your arguments don't align with them, I will still listen to it but in order to win the ballot you must provide warrants and impacts as to why I should prefer your framework/arguments over my implicit debate bias listed below:
*I listen to and flow your arguments and evidence. I don't read cards unless: 1. I suspect you are clipping, 2. you call on me to read warrants in a specific card., or 3. I think your tagline is supercharged vs what your evidence says. It's up to *you* to explain your cards to me, it's not my job to read them because you are unclear in your analysis, weighing, reading, or identifying which arguments matter. Debate is a persuasive competition, not Judge Has The Doc Therefore They Can Read My Evidence and Vote on an Argument (my blocks) Explained/Answered for 5 Seconds In My Last Speech competition.
-AFFs should present a plan in the direction of the resolution, I will vote on risk on solvency outweighs CP/K alts
-AFFs should solve or try to solve something
-(More specific to LD) Narrow down the debate to the *most* important arguments I should weigh. The AFF doesn't have enough time to go line by line on everything and the most common reason why I vote down AFF teams in LD is because they attempt to answer every NEG answer (poorly) without framing the round and crystalizing which arguments I should vote for. The NEG can always outspread you - tell me why your AFF still matters despite multiple offs the NEG read.
-K AFFs that do not present a plan text must: 1. Be resolutional - 1ac should generally mention or talk about the topic even if you're not defending it, 2. Prove the 1AC/AFF is a prereq to policy, why does the AFF come before policy, why does policy fail without the aff? 3. Provide sufficient defense to TVAs - if NEG proves the AFF (or solvency for AFF's harms) can happen with a plan text, I am very persuaded by TVAs. K teams must have a strong defense to this.
-Link to the squo/"Truth Claims" as an impact is not enough. These are generic and I am less persuaded by generic truth claims arguments without sufficient impacts, explanation of author literature & arguments, and defense to policy edu good arguments. I can agree with your analysis and root cause to squo impacts, but if it does not answer policy solvency questions or if idk how the AFF solves its own impacts (or what it aims to solve), I can easily vote for policy alternatives good args.
-Critique of the resolution > Critique of the squo
-NEG K alts do not have to solve the entirety of the AFF, but must prove a disadvantage or explain why a rejection of the AFF is better than the alt, or the squo solves.
-If AFF gets a perm, the NEG gets condo
-Debate is a game, if it is a survival strategy I need more warrants and impacts other than "the aff/alt is a survival strategy" with no explanation of how you are winning in-round impacts
-Framing is important, the team that gives me the best guide on how/why I should vote for X typically wins the round. What's the ROB, ROJ, the purpose of this round, impact calc, how should I evaluate the debate?
-Edu is the most important impact in each round, when the debate is messy or close I tend to evaluate the round in terms of 1. who did the better debating, 2. who best explained arguments and impacts and made me more clearly understand the debate, 3. who understood their evidence/case the most.
-I have never heard or voted on a convincing RVI - I find condo bad arguments to be more persuasive.
-If I have to read the warrants/impacts in your cards, you haven't done a good job of explaining your arguments. Don't expect me to follow the doc and read your cards. I will do so to clarify something I must have missed or misheard, but I should not be reading cards because you are unclear and do not explain your evidence.
-Dropped arguments are not always necessarily true - I will vote on dropped arguments if it was impacted out and explained why it's a voter, but not if the only warrant is "they conceded _____it so it's a voter"
-I flow arguments, not authors. It will be helpful to clarify which authors are important by summarizing/impacting their arguments instead of name dropping them without context or explanation.
POLICY (scroll down for LD)
K Teams - If you're high theory, explain like you're low theory. If I don't know what the function of your alt/advocacy is or what it does, I'll vote for the team that makes the most sense or I understand more. Your Aff/K is a journey, guide me through it. Do the work for me throughout the debate and it makes it easier for me to cast a ballot for you. Explain how your alt/advocacy solves. Real world comparisons/spillovers are important, but why you why is the debate space necessarily key to you performing your K? What's the ROB, what's the ROJ? How should I evaluate the debate?
Policy Teams - Impact out your T/FW. Evidence is good but I need more impact calc and real-world and in-round comparisons about why your aff or neg case is key. Your education, fairness, ground, etc. and how you outweigh. Do the work for me. T/FW args should be specific to the AFF. What and how did the AFF violate the rules and why should I default or vote on the rules/args you presented?
EXTEND ARGUMENTS, NOT JUST AUTHORS. I flow args and sometimes authors. If you say "Extend this Yi evidence..." and move on without at least summarizing what the Yi evidence is, I might miss it. Again, do the work for me so it's easier for me to vote for you.
Overviews should tell a story about your case. I'm very big-picture, and will vote on pragmatic solutions as well as theoretical ones.
Quality over quantity is always better; don't run 6 offs and read a few cards on each and expect strong arguments. If I miss something because you're unclear, that's on you. I listen to your speech more than I read cards, unless you tell me to highlight a specific author.
Debate however you want, but if your arguments and CX is bigoted then you will get lower speaks.
I don't lean towards K debates vs Traditional debates more. Debate how you want, but do the work and make clear distinctions on voters, impact, solvency, links, etc.
I did traditional debate in high school but moved to K debates in college. I have a better lit background on K affs and arguments but will vote on CPs, DAs, and T if it applies and the work is done. Case extensions, clash, impact scenarios, WHY your educational value is better than the other team, etc. are all important things to discuss during round.
If you don't have a warrant for your arguments, I'm not counting it. Given that, you don't need a piece of evidence for every claim, but you have to explain your logical reasoning for WHY I should agree with your claim.
Extend arguments. If you bring it up in the 1A/N but it never gets mentioned anywhere else but your 2AR/NR, it's dropped.
Condo is fine. My default is if the AFF gets a perm, the NEG gets conditionality. Convince me otherwise by impacting out why multiple worlds is bad, uneducational, etc. Be ready to answer performative contradiction arguments.
Paperless: I stop time after the flash gets taken out of your laptop or you indicate that you're just sending the email. I'm pretty lenient with this as I understand how frustrating computer problems may be, but if I sense a team is abusing this and not using prep, then I start time again.
Read my face. I don't have a poker face. If I look confused you probably said something that didn't make sense. If I'm nodding, keep going. I either agree with the arg you're making and/or think your response is fire. If I look neutral/look up look down or if I'm not typing anything, I'm processing your speech and info and thinking about what it means. Use this as clues as to where you want to allocate your time and focus on certain arguments in the rebuttals.
Sometimes I flow cx, other times I just listen. I take notes for any potential links the neg can garner from the AFF's answer. I also write down any arguments I'll be looking out for in the remaining speeches and want to hear. USE THIS TIME TO BETTER EXPLAIN YOUR PLAN/ALT/ADVOCACY IF YOU'RE ASKED ABOUT IT, ESPECIALLY IF IT'S HIGH THEORY AND NEEDS TO BE REARTICULATED.
CX should be utilized more than just clarification. This is your time to engage with your opponent and frame the debate/your performance in your favor.
Pretty basic and straightforward. I need specific reasons why the perm won't work. Call out illegitimate perms and why those arguments are abusive to the NEG. Links and net benefits should be extended throughout the round. Call out severance/intrinsic perms.
T is fine. I need reasons why an untopical aff is uneducational *in* the round and why you definition is more beneficial. Provide competing interps or I will default to the one that was extended and impacted.
IMPACT OUT EDUCATION ARGUMENTS - and provide TVAs. I give this argument more weight than other standards - I'm an educator and view debate as a game. If you believe debate is a survival strategy, provide reasons why I should view it as a survival strat and why I should vote on that argument.
There's a difference between being topical and being resolutional. Policy team = topical plan, K teams = resolutional i.e. critiquing the resolution (K AFF) but still talking about the general area of the resolution. These are separate arguments so please answer/differentiate them accordingly.
Make it clear how the AFF is abusive, how it's unfair, etc. Don't run generic T arguments unless you can develop the impacts more clearly and effectively. If it's a strategic time suck then you do you.
Other standards like reasonability, ground, fairness, etc. come second to education since I believe that to be the most important goal in debate - to educate one another. If something about the other team hindered you from getting more education in a round i.e. not disclosing, not being topical, etc. then impact those other arguments as well and why they're voting issues.
Framework is an important tool to evaluate debates. Why is your FW better I enjoy FW debates more than T, but these can work cohesively to beat K AFFs. What I look for in T/FW agrs to beat K AFFs: Why is the resolution important to debate, why the FW of the AFF is wrong or doesn't analyze ___, even if AFF wins root cause their method doesn't solve for _____, pragmatic/material solutions vs theoretical ones.
K AFFs: I believe teams tend to pref me bc of my K background, but I find myself voting down teams that have generic "Links to the status squo" type AFFs without a specific reason why *the topic* needs to be critiqued first. K AFFs need to talk specifically about the resolution and make prereq to policy arguments, otherwise I will be easily swayed by T/FW arguments especially TVAs. Analyzing/winning root cause does not automatically mean your method solves your impacts. Focus on method/topic specific solvency rather than *just* critiquing the squo/state/civil society/modernity.
K NEG: I enjoy K debates when you know your case and not a filler K that you decided to run. Know your alt. Why do you solve better? Why are you mutually exclusive? Why are you a prerequisite to the plan/advocacy? Why doesn't the Perm solve?
Proving root cause (Cap, Set Col, Antiblackness, Ableism, Patriarchy, etc.) does not mean you win the round. Prove HOW the AFF specifically makes these impacts worse than the squo. If you do not make these arguments, I am more inclined to vote for the AFF if they make a "the K is non-unique and a link to the squo, not the AFF" argument.
Traditional vs. Policy-oriented/K teams
Policy LD - Paradigm about policy debate applies here. LD is difficult to be thorough in your K/CP/Plan text explanations. Impact calc + card analysis > overspreading your opponent. If you read a bunch of cards with no explanation or impact calc during your last speech, do not rely on me cross-applying or analyzing arguments if you didn't do that work during the debate. Have blocks ready to answer procedural arguments. Just because I allow CPs/Ks/Plan texts in LD does not mean I will vote for it.
Traditional LD teams - I am open to voting for teams who do not have a clearly labeled FW (i.e. "My value is X, my value criterion is X"). I am also open to voting for teams who have a plan text/advocacy statement/CP. If a team has these components, it doesn't mean I will automatically vote for them, but be prepared to make arguments as to WHY policy-oriented style of LD debate is unfair, uneducational, take away ground, etc. If the other team's performance clashes with your view of how LD debate should be, make that an argument. Do not assume that I will default to how LD traditionally should be unless you can impact out why I should vote on procedurals.
Traditional LD vs. Traditional LD
I like clash. I've voted for V and VC that have apriori arguments and have been extended throughout the round. I'm not super techy so I focus more on the argument than definitions. Contentions should be consistent with your value and value criteria and you should show why your opponent is inconsistent or why your V and VC is better.
Evan Engel Paradigm
Email Chain: email@example.com
I debated LD for 3 years for Harvard-Westlake School (2014-17) - 13 career bids, Dukes and Bailey 17', won some tournaments/broke at the TOC. I loved debate because of the variety. I could be a fan of any argument you want to read, provided it 1) is explained in a way I can understand and 2) has an explicit reason why that means you should win. I like when debaters appreciate the space they've been given and use it to do what they like. This means engage in the resolution and your speaking time however you want whether that means dense ethical philosophy, debate theory, or critical debate. Just do what you find meaningful even if that just means doing what gives you the best chance to win. My biggest preference in terms of what you run is that you make good arguments, which you understand and execute well. I hated judges that say "I won't vote on X because I disagree with/don't like it" so I try not to be one, but I reserve the right to hold debaters to a reasonable standard of quality argumentation.
You must share your speech docs with your opponent. Flashing, emailing, pocketbox, whatever method of sharing you prefer as long as it's more effective than looking over your shoulder.
I think disclosure is very good for debate - this is not to say you cannot beat disclosure theory in front of me - it just means you will have a very hard time.
Prep ends when the flash drive leaves the computer/the email is sent
- Here is the procedure i will follow if a student drops off a call, or I drop off a call: students are expected to maintain local recordings of their speeches - if they drop off, they should complete the speech and immediately email their recording upon completing it. I will not allow students to restart speeches / attempt to figure out how much time they had left, particularly in elimination rounds.
- If someone drops off a call, please do not steal prep time.
- It will make the round easier for all of us if you figure out a way to be able to see both me and your opponent on screen - non-verbal communication is really helpful for e-debate working at its best, and if we both nod at "everyone ready," you need to be able to see that, not just be waiting on us to un-mute ourselves and speak up! if you do not hear from me or see me indicate I am ready in some form, you should not assume i am ready. one thing i think this means is that "is anyone not ready" is no longer the right question to ask - "is everyone ready" is gonna be key to ensure no one misses anything.
- Slow down. i think online you should be going at 70% or so of the speed you would go in person. if you do not slow down and technical difficulties mean i miss arguments, i will not be very sympathetic to the post round - I have had a lot of kids not be able to hear me bc of the way zoom handles microphones - i am sorry if you do not hear me say "slow", but i cannot emphasize enough the need for you to slow down.
- You should have an email chain - if you are flight b, the chain should be set up before you hop on the call if possible.
I like good K debate a lot. An NR containing a well explained, and well impacted K that doesn't forget about the case is a good thing. An NR containing a K you've never read the lit for is hair pullingly frustrating. Ask yourself if you can explain your position without the use of buzzwords, if the answer is no, you risk being in the latter category.
I'm not generally a huge fan of the 4 minute K overview followed by line by line constituted primarily by "that was in the overview". Take time to clearly explain and implicate the links/impacts/framing arguments and contextualize them to the aff.
I believe people should be able to do whatever they want with their affirmative, and I will by no means auto vote you down for not being topical. That said, T/Framework was my favorite argument in high school, and I will be hard pressed to vote aff absent a robust defense against it - whether that comes in the form of impact turns, a counter-interp, or something else is up to you. I find myself voting aff during these debates more often than not for two reasons - 1. The NR on framework is more whining about how hard the aff was to prep than it is clear impact comparison 2. The NR doesn't engage the 1ar arguments properly - the 2nr should both deal with the warrant AND implication of these arguments because too often I have on my flow "this doesn't make any sense" without an explanation of why or why that matters.
I think these can be some of the best debates around. I would love you if you did good evidence comparison and comparison of links to the impact rather than doing superficial weighing of impacts. I've read DA's, CP's, and Plans (basically every aff round), so I like to think I know most of the lingo and the function. The straight turn and impact turn are both deeply underutilized arguments in LD. I'm sick of judging 1ARs that are 80% defense against the DA.
I'm not a fan of plans bad theory arguments. I think you should either read a T shell or a more nuanced reason why their type of plan text is bad.
Your interp needs evidence, standards and voting issues. A good T debate is one of my favorite debates and should involve a deep comparison of the world of debate each interp justifies, not just competing 6-points of the limits standard. Textuality as a voter just barely meets the standard for coherent argument, i'll vote on it, but it will be defeated easily in front of me. RVIs on T are not a thing.
I'm not a fan of frivolous theory, i'll vote on it, but there is a low bar to answering it. If you're struggling to figure out whether a certain shell is too frivolous for me to give the benefit of the doubt, don't read it. I am extremely persuaded by infinite regress/arbitrariness arguments against the vast majority of spec shells.
I am far and away the least versed in this part of LD. I'm not unwilling to vote on anything you choose to read, just understand that if it's more complicated than the simple end of ripstein or util, you will need to explain it to me like I'm a distracted 5 year old. You should know that I generally speaking am a firm believer that comparative worlds is the best interpretation for debate, as a result, I will likely not love your burdens aff/whatever postdating related trend is popular.
I will vote for these arguments if I absolutely have to, but I greatly dislike them. Chances are if you're winning in front of me on a blippy theory spike or an apriori it's because the rest of the debate was literally impossible to evaluate and you will not be happy with your speaks because of it.
Adegoke Fakorede Paradigm
I have debated in Lincoln-Douglas Debate for 4 years in Science park high school. I recently graduated and I am now on the Rutgers Newark debate team. I've qualified to the TOC in both Lincoln-Douglas and Policy debate my senior Year.
I am ok with speed. I love k's and critical arguments when they are ran correctly.
Theory is fine with me as well as topicality but I need really good analysis on the violation and impacts back to standards.
Im really ok with any argument that isn't racist, sexist, or offensive in anyway.
I give high speaks if you are clear and really good in the big picture debate. I like a good story.
email is: firstname.lastname@example.org for email chains
Katherine Fennell Paradigm
Stuyvesant High School ‘17
UC Berkeley '21
Summer Camps: Instructor at NSD Flagship (2017, 2018, 2019), NSD Philadelphia (2017, 2018, 2019), and Texas Debate Collective (2017, 2018, 2019). I am the co-director at NSD Philadelphia (2020) with Zoe Ewing.
Updated for Strake: 12/9/19
Hi! My name is Katherine, and I debated LD for Stuyvesant in NYC for four years, and qualled to TOC my senior year. I now coach.
(a) If you read disclosure against someone who is obviously a novice or traditional debater who doesn’t know how to answer it, I will not evaluate it under competing interps.
(b) I will not vote on a theory interpretation or violation that involves policing the appearance or clothing of an opponent. I also will intervene against (i.e. not evaluate) extremely frivolous shells.
Defaults – these only matter if no one makes any arguments to the contrary.
- If you read theory (paragraph or shell) in the 1NC/1AR/2NR, you need to justify voters (fairness/education/drop the debater) in order for it to be a complete argument that I will evaluate. This means, if the 1AR says "condo kills aff strategy because it creates a moving target and allows the negative to go whichever flow the 1ar undercovered, which kills fairness," I will not evaluate it because there is no voter or implication.
- If you read theory in the 1AC and don't justify voters, the 2NR gets to contest new 1AR voters.
- I will default competing interpretations and no RVIs
- Epistemic Confidence
- T > theory > substance
- Theory > K
- Fairness > education
- Pragmatics > semantics
- Truth testing
- I’ll say ‘slow’ or ‘clear’ if necessary. I don't flow off of the speech doc, so if I keep saying 'clear' and you aren't adapting there is a solid chance I'm missing arguments.
- I very much think you need an impact filtering mechanism (a standard text, a ROB, etc) -- otherwise, I will be left to evaluate impacts as I see fit which probably won't make you happy.
- Extensions need warrants and impacts, even if you are extending a conceded argument. If you are extending a case that is conceded, it isn't sufficient to say "extend my whole case."
- If you are debating a novice or someone who lacks a lot of circuit experience, please make the round educational and inclusive. This does not necessarily mean go full on traditional (although that's definitely fine), but it does mean don't go full speed and a bunch of offs. Your speaks will go way down if you are rude/exclusive/inaccessible.
- Flashing isn't included in prep time. Compiling the doc is.
- I am fine with disclosure theory and other shells that require out of round violations if you have a verifiable violation (screenshots, for example). I really don't want to hear a debate over who said what in some pre-round encounter.
- If you go for reasonability, please provide a brightline. If you don't provide a brightline, or provide a brightline of gut check, I will probably gut check to competing interps.
- I am familiar with a good amount of literature and I am open to whatever. That being said, you should err on over explanations and don't assume I know the lit you are talking about. I will only vote on arguments made in the round, not on my understanding of the literature.
- K ‘tricks’ are great and I am totally fine voting for them if they are won– VTL, alt solves case, floating PIKs, etc. They probably need to be at least hinted at in the 1NC. (See this article).
- I think the conceptual divide between Ks and phil is pretty arbitrary. Ks should have a ROB/framework to evaluate impacts - People often read Ks with an unjustified consequentialist framework which makes it really easy to answer with a phil aff. Just because you say the word "role of the ballot" doesn't mean it comes above the framework debate.
- Link analysis is key – make it specific, quote aff evidence in the 1NC, have an external impact to the links (ie not just the aff does X and that’s a link, but the aff does X and that is bad because Y and leads to this bad impacts
- Impact turns on DAs are good – I’m fine with cap good/bad, extinction good/bad, econ collapse good/bad, warming, etc. Death good/bad is also fine.
- Empirical warrants should have statistical methodologies, sample sizes, etc – good evidence and study comparison necessitates methodology comparison and will be rewarded with higher speaks.
- Please weigh impacts and internal links (IE compare the way you access X impact versus how they do).
- Go for it! I probably will not be the best for super dense analytic framework v. framework debates, but I will do my best.
- I am going to be annoyed if your A-strat is an argument that boils down to, "I defined this word as this, thus vote aff." Arguments need warrants or I will not vote on them, even if conceded. I would prefer if you had a clever trick, like a thoughtful contingent standard, rather than arguments that would justify voting one side every single round.
- A prioris and other sketchy things need to be clear in the first speech or else I’ll probably be convinced by reasons why your opponent should get new responses.
- If you go for a trick, you actually have to go for it – I will probably not vote off an argument that was extended for 10 sec in the 1AR or 2AR
Performance/non T affs –
- Fine with whatever you want to do. Preferably your aff is in the direction of the topic and provides a coherent method and role of the ballot to evaluate the debate, but I’ll listen to and evaluate whatever.
- Make sure that if you don’t defend the resolution, it’s clear that you don’t defend the resolution or you defend some method affirmation of the resolution
- Be nice to kids who don’t know how to engage your aff
K affs v. T –
- I don’t have a leaning on this debate and won’t decide ideologically. You should both be making arguments specifically in the context of the 1AC, not just “K always comes above T” or “T always comes above the aff”
- I tend to think that affs answering T-FW need to defend some model of debate instead of just impact turning theory. Whether that's articulated as a counter interp or just an explanation of "here is my model of debate" doesn't matter. This debate should be a debate between competing models of debate, weighing the DAs and net benefits to each model instead of just floating impacts that are never interacted.
- Extended the TVA without any analysis/implications done is not persuasive to me. You have to explain what the implication of winning the TVA is (ie which arguments does it exclude?).
- I’ll give speaks based on strategy, technical proficiency, in round persona, how interesting you make the debate, good collapses in the 2NR/2AR
- Things to get higher speaks:
- Start off slowly at first and get faster gradually
- Say "And" or "also" in a different tone of voice and speed when you are transitioning to a new argument in your case (IE after cards)
- Collapsing in the 2NR/2AR and giving a ballot story
- Not wasting time flashing
- Line by lining the aff / not just reading a card dump
- Having the speech doc sent by the time you enter the room if you are flight B (+ .1)
- Things that will hurt your speaks
- Being mean or obnoxious
- Going for the "Resolved" a priori, or any other a priori that relies on a definition that would justify voting one side every round
- Not answering the aff at all
- Reading 1AR theory when substance is easily winnable
- Only reading off of a speech doc for any speech that is not the 1AC.
Skyler Harris Paradigm
Hello, I’m Skyler (They/She) (email@example.com) - I coach and judge both Policy and LD debate.
About me: Debated in HS, TOC qualled, debated in College for a bit (Policy).
(2017-2019) Futures RA - 2 TOC quals and deep elims at every tournament including the TOC.
(2019-2020) Oak Hall KZ - TOC qualled, deep elims at every tournament + several tournament wins
(Currently) Bellarmine EG
Coached multiple policy teams as well, but focus on LD season-long.
I’ve worked with all styles of debate/literature, and I enjoy judging all styles of debate.
I love this activity and think it holds immense value, please be respectful to one another and please have fun.
How I think about debate:
Debate is a game.
There is no tech vs. truth, there is only the truth which is produced by tech.
Technical debate is good debate, and if debate is not technical it is probably awful.
Strategic maneuvers, well placed theory arguments, etc. are integral to every style of debate.
I only adjudicate the round I am watching, please leave your personal qualms, along with things that have happened out of the round, out of the round. Each debate is a new, hypothetical world in which students test theories, methods, and strategy against one another
“Real World,” “Out of round spillover” claims are pretty ridiculous and nonetheless, counterproductive. That being said, as debate is a site of method testing- all impacts are illusory, and will be evaluated based on the level of impact comparison and warranted explanation done by the debaters. I am VERY sympathetic to the argument that believing debate directly influences actual real world policy = serial policy failure. I am also VERY sympathetic to the argument that believing K debate directly influences actual real world structures = ressentiment/reality denial/bad activism/delusional pseudo-intellectuals.
"Fiat" is the idea that __X__ happens when I vote for a certain argument, it is not intrinsically tied to role-playing, policymaking, etc. It is a mechanism that every style of debate relies on.
I believe that using personal experiences as evidence under the guise that debate is a “space for real world change,” is quite awful, and unnecessarily uncomfortable.
However, I believe that personal modes of communication (poetry, music, dance, etc.) can be effectively used for strategic benefit in the context of debate as a winnable game.
Debate is not a site for "subject formation," nor should it ever be. The belief that it is, in my opinion, is harmfully delusional.
For all K debaters - I believe that “armchair philosophers” such as Baudrillard/Bataille, can accurately explain instances of gendered/racialized/etc. violence. I am not a fan of view-from-nowhere-esque indicts/arguments.
---> Please don't make the "Non-Black people shouldn't read AfroPess" argument in front of me
---> There seems to be a trend in debate where people believe their identity allows them to bypass fair disclosure practice. If you aren't breaking a completely new aff, it needs to be open sourced. If not, you are cheating and you should lose.
For all Debaters: I feel that debate is lacking creativity - Whether you're reading a counterplan or a criticism, I think that creativity, paired with technical execution and good strategy is what separates good from great. The value of debate is found in technical execution, as well as spontaneous adaptation and strategical maneuvers that change over the course of a debate. I reward debaters who adapt.
****** Specifics for LD Debaters *******
Policy/Larp Stuff: Love it, always super proud of debaters who read Aff Scenarios, CP's, DA's etc. that are well-researched, creatively strategic, and recent. In Larp vs. Larp T debates you must win that the Aff justifies a world of debate that is bad for education/clash, otherwise I'm sympathetic to reasonability.
The K vs. Larp: I love the K, not the biggest fan of judging it. I have an extremely high threshold for voting for them and think they are rather useless if not executed with a heightened level of technical efficiency. Links must be to the 1AC, not the status quo. I think that debaters should be able to fiat the metaphysical impacts of a K/K aff, but only after meeting a VERY HIGH threshold of explanation. This also means, that if you don't meet that threshold, you will probably lose to extinction outweighs.
K Affs: Should be topical. Simply affirming the resolution and then reading random K cards that talk about a K thesis isn't being topical. I think Non-topical K Affs are bad for education and make K debate vacuous. If you try this, I'll be sympathetic to Neg teams reading Generic Disads to the topic and going for extinction outweighs, I will also have a low threshold for voting on T.
^^^ If there is no internal link between the substance of the topic and your K advantages/impacts, you should lose on presumption.
K v K debates: Love em
Underviews in LD: usually unflowable, usually useless
CREATIVITY gets you high speaks
Feel free to ask me anything, I love education, creativity, and a drive to become better.
Once again, remember to have fun!! Win or lose, life goes on and you will continue to be a bright individual. Stay calm, composed, and just be cool how you be cool.
Miguel Harvey Paradigm
AUTO STRIKE IF YOU DON'T LIKE JUDGES WHO ARE PARENTS I AM IN MY FORTIES AND I AM A PARENT VERY OLD PARENT. YOU WILL NOT LIKE MY CROTCHETY AND BADLY REASONED RFD.
Current affiliation: head debate coach at LC Anderson in Austin, TX.
brand new late Sept. 2020: It is currently somewhat difficult and potentially upsetting for me personally to hear positions advocating unipolar pessimism, hopelessness, or the radical rejection of potential futures or social engagement/productivity by the disabled or differently abled subject. I will never punish debaters for pursuing arguments that explore their own agency and relation to societal structures. Just be mindful that it's very hard for me to hear right now.
Summer/Fall 2020 update: if you don't identify as Black, please respect the wishes of many of your peers in the community and don't read afropessimism in front of me. This is not a pronouncement that I agree or disagree with any particular person's position on whether this practice should be allowed. But the bottom line is, if people in our community who we value and respect articulate to us that they are hurt by this practice, it's on us not to do it or encourage it. This doesn't mean you can't argue against the theory or read other positions that deal with antiblackness or structural racism. I am specifically willing to listen to Wynter, racial capitalism, Afro-futurism, and racially-oriented semiotic arguments that are philosophically, structurally, and most importantly methodologically distinct from Wilderson, Warren, and Sexton et al. Note: I will have a *very* high threshold for dropping a debater as retroactive punishment for reading afropessimism in the past. This is an evolving norm without a broad community consensus, and we are all learning as we go. The exception is if you were called out on it before or made verifiable pronouncements indicating you stopping the practice but continued to do it afterward. If that's the case, sorry bud, you kind of brought it on yourself.
TLDR: If you or your coach are a person who post-rounds after losses, please know in advance that I am an extreme lay judge and strike/block me forever. This includes post-rounding in email after rounds. Please, it is psychologically and behaviorally triggering for me. I'll take the blame that I can't handle it, just please don't. I'm fine with you thinking my decision was incorrect; it probably was. I am what a lot of people would call a "flex judge." I don't default one way or another on most arguments. Don't be argumentatively or personally abusive. Debate is a game, but winning is not the only objective. Line by line debate is important. No new case extensions in the 2AR. Don't insult my (admittedly limited) intelligence. I will intervene against bigotry and disregard for others' physical and mental wellness. Tricks and excessive preempts/triggers make me so very unhappy. I don't disclose speaks, I think it has the potential to feed toxic attitudes. I promise I'm trying my best to be nice. There's a lot of PF-specific stuff at the bottom of this doc. I love Star Wars. I don't hack. Pronouns he/him/his. For email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
Quick guide to prefs (updated Sept. 2020):
1-off ap, setcol, cap/1nc non-friv theory: 1
deleuze/softleft/non-pess black studies: 1/2
kant without tricks: 2
most k/idpol/high theory: 2-3
non-kant phil/heavy fw: 4
friv theory/skep/trump good: 4/strike
tricks/abusive strats: strike no matter what
Generally, I don't think it's my job to tell debaters what to do; rather, it's the job of the debaters to tell me why to vote a certain way.
Debaters shouldn't lie or act like jerks. While I get that debate is ostensibly a competitive activity and can get very intense, this is supposed to be educational, good-spirited, and fun. Personal abuse, harassment, or competitive dishonesty of any kind is strictly unacceptable. I don't like to intervene, but blatantly oppressive/bigoted speech or behavior will make me consider voting against a debater whether or not the issue is raised by their opponent. If a debater asks you to respect and use preferred pronouns/names, I will expect you to do so. If your argument contains graphic depictions of racial, sexual, or otherwise marginalizing violence, and there's even a slight question as to whether it might be a trigger, please notify your opponent. Blatant evidence ethics violations such as clipping are an auto-voter. I consider bullying nontechnical debaters or over-employing jargon against them a violation of the "shouldn't act like jerks" maxim. Stop yelling at each other.
Our community and the individual people in it are deeply important to me. Please do your part to make debate safe and welcoming for competitors, judges, coaches, family members, and friends. I am moody and can be a total jerk sometimes, and I'm not so completely naive to think everything is fluffy bunnies and we'll all be best friends forever after every round, but I really do believe this activity can be a place where we lift each other up, learn from our experiences, and become better people. If you're reading this, I care about you. I hope your participation in debate reflects both self-care and care for others.
Mental and emotional well-being are at a crisis point in society, and particularly within our activity. We have all lost friends and colleagues to burnout, breakdown, and at worst, self-harm. If you are debating in front of me, and contribute to societal stigmas surrounding mental health or belittle/bully your opponent in any way that is related to their emotional state or personal struggles with mental wellness, you will lose with minimum speaks. I can't make that any more clear. If you are presenting arguments related to suicide, depression, panic, or self-harm, you must give a content warning for my sake and for your opponent's. I am not flexible on this and will absolutely use my ballot to enforce this expectation.
Speaks: You're probably not going to get a 30. I tend to start at 28 and work my way up or down. If you get a 26 or below, you likely did something bigoted/abusive. I usually range between 27.5 and the mid 29s. I'm a little more generous in PF and at locals. I will dock you hard if you make the space unsafe, particularly for women, gender/sexual minorities, disabled or differently abled debaters, religious minorities, and debaters of color. I'm not afraid to give good speaks if you're good, but yeah 29.8 is usually as high as I'll go
Speed: Any rate of delivery is fine, though I love and prioritize clarity. If you are not clear, I will say "clear" once. I generally consider fast debate more entertaining. If you won't flash or email docs, maybe slow down on tags and analytics for my sake and for your opponent's sake. For online debates, the more arguments that are in the doc the better.
Kritik: Fine. I have a basic understanding of most of the literature. Explain very clearly why I should vote and why your opponent should lose. For me, "strength of link" is not an argument applicable to most kritik rounds - I ask whether there is a risk of link (on both sides). Your arguments need to be coherent and well-reasoned. "Don't weigh the case" is not a warranted argument by itself - I tend to believe in methodological pluralism and need to be convinced that the K method should be prioritized. A link is *not* enough for a ballot. Just because I like watching policy-oriented rounds doesn't mean I don't understand the kritik or will hack against them. If you link to your own criticism, you are very unlikely to win. I believe the K is more convincing with both an alternative and a ballot implication (like most, I find the distinction between ROB and ROJ somewhat confusing).
Theory/T: Fine, including 1AR theory. Just like with any other winning argument, I tend to look for some sort of offense in order to vote on either side. I don't default to drop the debater or argument. My abuse threshold on friv shells is much higher. An exception to me voting on friv theory is that I will not ever vote for a shell that polices debaters' appearance, including their clothes, footwear, hair, presentation, or anything else you can think of (unless their appearance is itself violent). I'll have a fairly high threshold on a strict "you don't meet" T argument against an extremely common aff and am more likely than not to hold the line on allowing US affs in most topicality debates. One more thing - all voters and standards should be warranted. I get annoyed by "T is a voter because fairness and education" without a reason why those two things make T a voter. I don't care if it's obvious. Don't abuse theory against inexperienced debaters. A particularly egregious example would be to read shells in the 1AC, kick them, and read multiple new shells in the 1AR cough cough I see you
Frameworks: Fine with traditional (stock or V/C), policy-oriented, phil, critical frameworks, performance, narratives but see my pref guide above for what I personally prefer. While I don't think you have to have your own framework per se, I find it pretty curious when a debater reads one and then just abandons it in favor of traditional util weighing absent a distinct strategic reason to do so. I hate framing that is abusive for abuse's sake, like "the aff/neg must win every round." Examples of this are a prioris that say "Resolved" means the resolution has already been affirmed or "evaluate the round after the 1AC." I'm the worst person to pref if you are a tricks debater. I think TJF debates are interesting, but I seldom meet frameworks that *can't* be theoretically justified. Not sure if there's a bright line other than "you need to read the justifications in your constructive," and I'm not sure how good that argument is. I don't enjoy permissibility triggers, but I understand them and will vote on them.
LARP: Great. Plans, counterplans, PICs, PIKs, disads, solvency dumps, whatever. Argue it well and it's fine. I don't think making something a floating PIK necessarily gets rid of competition problems; it has to be reasoned well. I'm very skeptical of severance perms and will have to be convinced - my threshold for voting on severance bad is very low. Impact turns are underutilized, but don't think that means I want you to be bigoted or fascist. Cap/heg good are fine. I'm very skeptical of warming good. Any position that argues death or war is good will need to be argued really well. For UIL/traditional policy debaters - please read the entirety of the aff in the 1AC and please divide labor in the block. To the extent that anyone prefs me, and no one should ever pref me under any circumstances, I don't understand why more LARPers don't pref me really highly apart from the fact that I've coached good K debaters. I am most comfortable and conversant with policy arguments.
Condo: Fine, although I don't think 100% of conceded offense on kicked arguments just goes away because the argument is conditional (specifically stuff like theoretically unjustified argumentation or oppressive/discourse-related offense). Be really, really careful before you kick a K, especially if it is identity-related - I think reps matter. I am more likely to entertain condo bad if there are multiple conditional advocacies. More likely to vote on condo bad in LD than policy because of time/strat skew. One conditional advocacy is generally ok to me and I need a clear abuse story.
Flashing/Email/Disclosure: I will vote for disclosure theory, but have a higher threshold for punishing or making an example of novices or non-circuit debaters who don't know or use the wiki. Lying during disclosure will get you dropped with 25 speaks; I don't care if it's part of the method of your advocacy. If you're super experienced, please consider not being shitty about disclosure to novice or small-school debaters who simply don't know any better. Educate them so that they'll be in a position to teach good practices in future rounds. My personal perspective on disclosure is informed by my background as a lawyer - I liken disclosure to the discovery process, and think debate is a lot better when we are informed. I won't vote on disclosure theory against a queer debater for whom disclosure would potentially out them. One caveat to prior disclosure is that I do conform to "breaking new" norms, though I listen to theory about it. In my opinion, the best form of disclosure is open-source speech docs. For sharing, I prefer email. Please include me on email chains. Even if you don't typically share docs, please share me on speech docs - I can get lost trying to listen to even everyday conversation if I'm not able to follow along with written words.
Sitting/Standing: Whatever. I have my own debaters stand if they can because it helps with volume and clarity. But do your thing, it won't affect speaks. Maybe look at me every once in a while, your call. For online debate specifically I fully recognize and accept that most debaters are sitting and whatever.
Flex prep: Fine. More clarity is good.
Performative issues: If you're a white person debating critical race issues, or a man advocating feminism against a woman, or a cis/het person talking queer issues, etc., be sensitive, empathetic, and mindful. Also, I tend to notice performative contradiction and will vote on it if asked to. For example, running a language K and using the language you're critiquing (outside of argument setup/tags) is a really bad idea. "Perf con good" arguments had better make a metric ton of sense.
I do NOT default to util in the case of competing frameworks. If the framing debate is absolutely impossible to evaluate (rare, but it happens), I will try to figure out who won by weighing offense and defense under both mechanisms.
I tend to think plan flaw arguments are silly, especially if they're punctuation or capitalization-related. I have a very high threshold to vote on plan flaw. It has to be *actually* confusing or abusive, not fake confusing.
I don't vote against a "traditional" value debater because they're "less progressive" or "less cool" or whatever. Every person in our community has value. PUN INTENDED!
Warrant all arguments in both constructives and rebuttals. An extended argument means nothing to me if it isn't explained.
Some of this is LD-specific, because that's the pool to which I'll generally be assigned. Policy debaters, most of what is above applies to my policy paradigm. I am most comfortable evaluating topical affirmatives and their implications, but I am a very flexible judge and critical/plan-less affs are fine. That said, just like in LD I like a good T debate and I will happily vote for TFW if it's well-argued and won. One minor thing is different from my LD paradigm: I conform a little bit more to policy norms in terms of granting RVIs less often in policy rounds, but that's about it. Obviously, framework debate (meaning overarching framing mechanisms, not T-Framework) is not usually as important in policy, but I'm totally down with it if that's how you debate. I guess a lot of policy debaters still default to util, so be careful if the other side isn't doing that but I guess it's fine if everyone does it. Excessive prompting/feeding during speeches may affect speaks, and I get that it's a thing sometimes, but I don't believe it's particularly educational and I expect whomever is giving the speech to articulate the argument. I am not flowing the words of the feeder, just the speaker.
PF: If you're actually reading this, congratulations! Speed is fine. Framework is great (actually, to the extent that any weighing mechanism counts as framework, I desire and enthusiastically encourage it). Nontraditional PF arguments (theory, spec advocacies) are fine. I will listen to disclosure theory, though I am less likely to buy it if the offending case is straightforward/common. Offense is important. I'm surprised and impressed when PF debaters cut actual evidence rather than paraphrasing it, especially offense and uniqueness evidence. If you try to read a policy/critical argument you don't understand, I will flame you in the oral, so be ready for that. For god's sake, do weighing.
I absolutely expect frontlining in second rebuttal, and will consider conceded turns true.
If I call for evidence and you give me a link to an article, I will auto-dock speaks and flame you in the RFD.
All that said, I love that the format is sometimes still accessible to actual regular people. I believe PF debaters should be adaptable, like all-weather shrubbery.
More PF specifics:
Anything above regarding performative issues applies to PF, so please read carefully. I am primarily an LD judge on the national circuit and at Austin-area locals. Take from that what you will, and assume I am fine with either a more progressive or traditional style of PF debate. "It's not allowed in PF" is not a warranted argument. Line by line debate is important, and as it's what I am used to, I am not likely to vote on new arguments (or arguments that weren't gone for in Summary) made in Final Focus. This means sticky defense justifications are probably a no-no. Weighing offense is important. Framing should be established in constructive or at the very latest on the top of rebuttal. Don't call something terminal without a warrant. Don't call link defense a turn. Don't say you are "turning an impact" if you're not. An impact turn argues that the impact itself is good. If you want me to use something from crossfire in my RFD, it needs to be in subsequent speeches. I am not flowing crossfire. I have an extremely LOW tolerance for miscut or mischaracterized evidence. Evidence ethics arguments have a very low threshold - if you're shady and there's a shell or implication I am very inclined to vote on it. If you're running theory, don't run it wrong or I'll make it really obvious how little I care for your debating.
Everyone: please ask questions if I can clarify anything. If you get aggressive after the round, expect the same from me and expect me to disengage with little to no warning. My wellness isn't worth your ego trip. I encourage pre-round questions. I might suggest you look over my paradigm, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't ask questions.
Finally, I find Cheetos really annoying in classrooms, especially when people are using keyboards. It's the dust. Don't test my Cheeto tolerance. I'm not joking, anything that has the dust sets me off. Cheetos, Takis, all that stuff. I get that it's delicious, but keep it the hell out of the academy.
Jonas Le Barillec Paradigm
Cal RR Policy Update: I did mostly LD in high school, and attended a few policy tournaments. I went to policy camp going into my junior and senior year. I have yet to judge a round on this year's policy topic, however I coached on last year's military aid topic which has quite the overlap in the topic literature with the arms sales topic. I believe argument explanation, regardless of content, is very important. Any of my defaults can be challenged and I will vote for any argument that is won. I am more than happy to entertain any questions either through my email, facebook, or before the round.
2013-2017: Competed at Peninsula HS (CA)
Yes I want to be on the email chain, add me: email@example.com
I primarily read policy arguments during the regular season. At camp I experimented with everything including high theory, performance, (ethical) framework, theory, and tricks.
I am willing to judge, listen to, and vote for anything. Just explain it well. I am not a fan of strategies which are heavily reliant on blippy arguments and frequently find myself holding the bar for answers to poor uneveloped arguments extremely low.
Speed should not be an issue, but be clear.
Drop the argument
If I shout TAGS it means that the end of your cards and the beginning of your next tags are not distinct enough.
If you want a better chance at winning and higher speaks start rebuttal speech with a real impact overview and not just explaining how debate works.
Explaining dense arguments will make me more likely to vote for them/higher speaks.
CX and prep are both flex prep. You can just use CX to prep if you want to, and you can use prep to ask questions, and both!
Incomplete extensions will be viewed with heavy skepticism when evaluating the argument. 99% of the time this is just shouting an argument or an author name without explaining what they say/warrant.
Aff vs. the K: No Link + Perm (Yes)
K vs. the Aff: Ks without a link (No)
"Read the Cards!" : If your 2NR/2AR puts your faith in me to just read all the evidence in the debate without any prodding as to what I am looking for, odds are you may be disappointed. I will not make arguments for you/come to conclusions about an argument on my own.
Only the negative reads off-case positions, if you call a 1ar shell a "new off" and not a "new sheet", you will lose speaks.
No, I do not disclose speaks.
Role of the Ballot = Roll of the Eyes; It's just impact calc.
CX begins immediately after the 1AC and the 1NC.
Rodrigo Paramo Paradigm
i debated LD and policy in high school, graduating in '13. i coach LD @ greenhill.
i would like there to be an email chain and I would like to be on it: firstname.lastname@example.org. I strongly prefer an email chain to the NSDA Classroom file sharing, and would love for the chain name to be specific and descriptive - perhaps something like "Tournament Name, Round # - __ vs __".
[current/past affiliations: coached independent debaters from: woodlands ('14-'15), dulles ('15-'16), edgemont ('16-'18); team coach for: westwood ('14-'18), greenhill ('18-now)]
I am most comfortable evaluating critical and policy debates, but thoroughly enjoy 6 minutes of topicality or framework [like, T-framework against k affs, not kant] if it is delivered at a speed i can flow. I will make it clear if you are going too fast - i am very expressive so if i am lost you should be able to tell. **please read the online debate section of this paradigm.**
I am a bad judge for tricks debates, and am not a great judge for denser "phil" debates - i do not coach or think about analytic philosophy or tricks outside of debate tournaments, so I need these debates to happen at a much slower pace in order for me to process and understand all the moving parts - notably, this is also true for whoever is answering these positions. every time i have voted for an analytic phil arg, it has been because the relevant rebuttal tailored its speed to a level where i understood the arguments!
Thoughts I have
0) ***Online Debate***:
- zoom mics means it is very difficult for debaters to hear me cue "slow" - if you would like me to type it in the chat, i will, but otherwise facial expressions will have to be your best cue. if i am not flowing at the speed you are reading, you will know.
- i would much much prefer to run the debate w/ cam on if possible.
- i get... so distracted when there are random notifications going off in the background. would appreciate if that did not occur during your speech, and it will almost certainly make my flow better which is good for everyone involved in the debate.
- here is the procedure i will follow if a student drops off a call, or i drop off a call: students are expected to maintain local recordings of their speeches - if they drop off, they should complete the speech and immediately email their recording upon completing it. i will not allow students to restart speeches / attempt to figure out how much time they had left, particularly in elimination rounds.
- if someone drops off a call, please do not steal prep time.
- fell off a call today at the tail end of the 1nc - when i was able to get back on, the kids were mid cross-x and hadnt noticed! in order to avoid things like this, it will make the round easier for all of us if you figure out a way to be able to see both me and your opponent on screen - non-verbal communication is really helpful for e-debate working at its best, and if we both nod at "everyone ready," you need to be able to see that, not just be waiting on us to un-mute ourselves and speak up! if you do not hear from me or see me indicate i am ready in some form, you should not assume i am ready. one thing i think this means is that "is anyone not ready" is no longer the right question to ask - "is everyone ready" is gonna be key to ensure no one misses anything.
- slow down slow down slow down slow down slow down. i think online you should be going at 70% or so of the speed you would go in person. if you do not slow down and technical difficulties mean i miss arguments, i will not be very sympathetic to the post round - i have had a lot of kids not be able to hear me bc of the way zoom handles microphones - i am sorry if you do not hear me say "slow", but i cannot emphasize enough the need for you to slow down.
- i am back to flowing on paper for online debate - adjusting your speed will go a long way towards ensuring i am able to flow your arguments.
1) Miscellaneous New Thoughts I Have Had Recently:
- this is placed in various places throughout this paradigm, but i figure i will put it at the top: please do not split your 2nrs! you will be far likelier to win if you develop one flow for the 2nr, and will be served poorly by the attempt to go for every 1nc arg in the 2nr.
- i think the word "unsafe" means something and get uncomfortable when it is deployed cavalierly - it is a meaningful accusation to suggest that an opponent has made a space unsafe (vs uncomfortable), and i think students/coaches/judges should be mindful of that distinction.
- i find the insistence on labeling non-independent voters as independent voters exhausting and off-putting - i will not consider an argument an independent voter if there is not a warrant for why the argument should be treated that highly.
- there is no chance you get me to exclude/disregard a speech from the debate - i will evaluate every portion of the debate after the 2ar, with relevant content from the 2ar taken into consideration.
- i don't particularly enjoy impact turn debates. obviously will evaluate them, but... i'd just rather the nc/2nr be something else.
- i rely heavily on framing claims made by both teams in deciding debates, and i much prefer these claims to break early than late - if neither the 1nc/1ac have particularly clear framing claims, my decision is liable to get wild
2) Evidence Ethics: In previous years, I have seen a lot of miscut evidence. I think that evidence ethics matters regardless of whether an argument/ethics challenge is raised in the debate. If I notice that a piece of evidence is miscut, I will vote against the debater who reads the miscut evidence.
I think that a piece of evidence is miscut if the text of the card is not identical (in both form & meaning) to the text published in the cited article. For further clarification (this list is not exhaustive):
- it starts and/or ends in the middle of a sentence or paragraph.
- text is missing from the middle of the card (replacing that text with an ellipsis does not make it okay),
- the next paragraph or another part of the article explicitly contradicts the argument/claim made in the card,
- the card is highlighted in a way that modifies or does not accurately represent the author’s claim - i think students & coaches both are far too comfortable highlighting only parts of words/sentences in a way that drastically changes the meaning of a card, and i think this is bad. [Be careful with brackets - I don’t think they always mean a card is miscut, but I’ve seen that they very often do. I think that brackets, more often than not, are bad - if a bracket changes the strength of a claim made by the author, or in some other way changes the *meaning* of the evidence, it is miscut],
- if a cite lists the wrong author, article title, etc. (I hope to decide 0 debates this year on citations - I’ll only decide debates on them without challenges in the most egregious cases).
- if a card does not have a citation at all and the debater is asked for it, but cannot provide it, i think this means you do not get that argument. i do not think it would be super hard to convince me that this is a voting issue, but i will not presume that.
If I decide a debate on evidence ethics, I will let the debate finish as normal. If the debate is a prelim, I will decide speaks based on the content of the debate and subtract two speaker points from the debater that I vote against. If the debate is an elim, I will submit my ballot and won’t say anything about my decision until the decision is announced.
If both sides read miscut evidence, I will vote against the debater who read miscut evidence first. (I really don’t love this as a way to evaluate these debates, but the only comparable scenario that I can think of is clipping, and that’s how I would resolve those debates.)
I do not plan to go out of my way looking for miscut evidence or checking to see whether every card is cut correctly. If I do notice that something is miscut, I will vote against the debater who reads it regardless of whether a challenge is made.
Please do not hesitate to ask questions about this before the debate.
Evidence Ethics Procedures: the phrase "evidence ethics" means something - if someone says it and their opponent clarifies "is this an evidence ethics challenge," i understand this to mean that the debate ends - whoever has made the accusation wins if i believe the evidence ethics violation is correct, they lose if i believe the accused did not commit an evidence ethics violation - i will not independently end the round if the accused does not ask for this - if they do, i am happy to - words matter and evidence ethics matters - see the relevant section on bennett eckert's paradigm for more of my thoughts on this question. i also believe that debaters should think carefully before accusing their opponents of academic dishonesty, plagiarism, etc. - these are heavy claims that should not be deployed frivolously.
3) Clipping: i have a good ear for when clipping is occurring - if i suspect it is, i will follow along in the speech doc - if i determine i am correct, the person clipping will lose. to be very clear, this does not necessitate the opponent making a clipping accusation - i feel very comfortable making this adjudication on my own. speaks will be a 25.
4) miscellaneous thoughts on Theory/topicality:
- slow down on it. after that, i will miss your arguments and that will be the RFD. this is similarly true for perm texts etc - dont super care what the doc said if i didnt flow the text near verbatim in the 1ar. if i say "slow" i have almost certainly already missed an argument - do with that what you will.
- defaults: dtd, no rvi, c.i.
- im pretty receptive to text of the interp/text of the rotb/plan flaw args - i generally think that when issues arise in those 3 things, they are a result of students not giving much thought to them which is a shame bc all 3 are pretty important in my view - well crafted interps, as well as cxes that isolate plan flaws/interp issues will be rewarded (this does not mean i like /bad/ plan flaw args). i am also fairly willing to check in on semantic i meets against frivolous theory.
- you should always flash or have written down interp/counter-interp texts readily available for both your opponents and your judges
- i will likely be easily compelled by a "debaters should not bracket evidence" argument *if* you can execute it well - i have grown sympathetic to this argument as abuses become increasingly egregious
- my reluctance to vote on bad theory arguments is not because they are bad but because i sincerely dont understand the abuse story on many many shells. some examples: spec status; spec standard; rotb spec; cant concede the aff framework; must concede the aff framework. i am not interested in judging these debates and do not think the feedback i give in these debates is that helpful for anyone involved. good theory debates can be great, but i will feel comfortable saying "i did not understand the abuse story so i did not vote on this shell" (this also applies to framework v k affs)
- "in the interest of disclosing my own bias, i think the best debates happen when both teams are able to reasonably predict what arguments will be read (with the exception of new affs + unbroken neg positions). i am unsympathetic to arguments about disclosure that do not contest this point. even if you cannot post broken positions on the wiki for whatever reason, it is my belief that you should be willing to provide them, in good faith, to your opponent upon request in some way." - anna
- Generics: in the past i have made clear that the nebel argument did not make a lot of sense to me. in many ways, i am still receptive to the "pragmatics first" school of thought. however, nebel 19 (the second one) is compelling. i intuitively believe that a world where debate has plans is a better one, but jake has convinced me that our topic wordings do not often justify that world. i will obviously still judge these debates based only on what happens in the round, but i am newly receptive to the nebel argument (this is primarily true for the semantic claims. given that, please slow down on it if you read it - portions of the grammar stuff still confuses me at the speed of a debate round, so please slow down)
- theory and topicality are different and i think this implicates what the 1ar is expected to do to respond to each. it also implicates what topicality vs theory interpretations (and counter interpretations) are expected to include. under competing interpretations i do not believe the negative should ever let the aff get away with a theoretical counter interp that does not interpret the semantic meaning of the terms in the resolution
5) miscellaneous thoughts on T-Framework
- i do not think i have ever been convinced by the claim that judges have a jurisdictional constraint to only vote for topical affs - i do not foresee that changing [really, *any* jurisdictional constraint is unlikely to be compelling to me bc it is a claim that just kind of is incapable of a particularly good warrant]
- the claim behind a good framework shell is stronger than just “the resolution determines the division of aff and neg ground.”
- your shell should define a word in the resolution besides just "Resolved:"
- pretty close to 50/50 voting record in clash debates last time i ran it
6) miscellaneous thoughts on permutations:
- i do not understand why the aff would not get perms in a method debate - i have never seen a compelling warrant and can't really think of one - thus, the default assumption on my part is that the aff does get perms and it is a fairly uphill battle to convince me otherwise
- i will not grant you the perm if i am uncertain about the perm text b/c the articulation between 1ar and 2ar was different - to that end, perm texts should be more than "perm do both" - *especially* in the 2ar, and you should always flash or have written down perm texts readily available for both your opponents and the judges
7) miscellaneous thoughts on the Kritik
- i am so deeply deeply unreceptive to and uninterested in this trend of explaining new identity categories with the same form and language of antiblackness literature. if you do not have a psychoanalytic warrant, dont claim you do! if you do not have evidence identifying a structural antagonism, i do not know why you are using that language! if your authors don't discuss social death in the context of the identity group you are discussing, you probably shouldn't either.
- kritiks i have spent a lot of time thinking about: deleuzean scholarship, queer theory (a lot of authors fall under this second category), borderlands
- kritiks I judge a lot: afropessimism, settler colonialism
- kritiks I don't really get: baudrillard [i am far far more receptive to baudrillard on the negative than on the affirmative, but i think it is a kinda uphill battle against identity affs in front of me]
- i think that the best k affs will have a defense of why *debating the aff* is good - not just why *the aff* as an object is good - why is the process of reading it in an environment where the neg must respond to it good? (in other words, the affirmative should answer the question of why it is good to read non-t affs on the aff, not just in debate)
- i really enjoy a good performance debate
- i think that people often attempt to go for performative offense when all they have done is read cards that are formatted in a normative way, at a conventional speed, and where later speeches revert to a hyper technical style of debate - i am *very, very* skeptical of the level of offense that these performances access - to get access to a "we change debate" claim, you should... do something I haven't seen before. a performance debate should not be indistinguishable from a policy debate, and these days almost all of the ones i judge are. that is a real shame.
- my threshold for "debate bad" is fairly high - my presumption is that there is a lot of value in debate, and that is why I have stuck around for so long.
- arguments about communication being bad/inaccessible need to explain my ability to comprehend the kritik if communication is impossible - how did i understand that i should vote aff/neg, why is this not an internal contradiction between the form/content of the position, etc.
8) miscellaneous thoughts (strategy):
- i am not particularly interested in and do not believe that i can be entirely objective in warming good debates - fair warning.
- i am a bad judge for IR heavy debates - happy to judge them, but you should not assume i am comfortable w/ what the different flavors of realism / other IR theories are.
- Evidence quality is directly correlated to the amount of credibility I will grant an argument - if the card is underhighlighted, the claim is likely underwarranted. The 1ac/nc should have evidence of high quality, and the 1ar/2nr/2ar should have explanation of that evidence of a similarly high quality
- if the 2nr is split that is a bad sign for speaker points - it also is liable to implicate your ability to win the debate - very difficult for me to imagine giving higher than a 28.8 for a split 2n.
- i will not vote for a position/argument i do not understand - this includes poorly explained kritiks, sloppy link scenarios on a disad, dense ncs that are delivered too quickly, and theory shells whose abuse story i can not adequately explain back to the debaters. when the 2nr goes for too much, i often vote aff. when the 2ar goes for too much, i often vote neg.
- given how clear it is to me that no one could flow a debate round as it is delivered, i am cool w debaters tossing out a "slow" at their opponents if they can't flow them at top speed
- clarity is important for high speaks but more important than how you sound is making strategic decisions in the 2AR/NR collapse in the 2nr/2ar
- if any of your 1nc positions are too short to sustain a 6 minute 2nr on it i think that likely means the 1nc arg is underdeveloped. that issue should be resolved pre round, not by relying on 2nr cards/new args - i think this is particularly true of very short topicality arguments - a sentence or two of standards will likely not be enough to beat a 1ar thats just like "hold the line" (a similar logic applies to 1ar theory args!)
- I love a robust debate on the case line by line - I do not love a case debate that is just three disads read on the case page, or that dumps generic case turns on the page with no signposting / interacting with cards from the ac - this is particularly true when you read all the generic turns and then do the line by line after.
9) miscellaneous thoughts (rules of debate):
- i can't think of any instances where a debate round would be better if it included personal invectives against specific debaters/institutions/etc - i can think of many when it is worse for it.
- on flashing: i think if you send a doc with a lot of analytics that you do not get through, you cannot just refuse to tell your opponent what analytics you did/did not read
- i mark cards at the timer and stop flowing at the timer.
- flex prep means asking questions during prep time - in no world does unused CX time become prep time
- speech times dont change presumption (and neither do other random theoretical warrants - i will presume negative if the negative defends the status quo, and affirmative if the negative does something to flip presumption (read: defends more change from the status quo)) - people should deploy presumption more against affirmatives that do not defend anything!
- i generally do not believe you can merely "insert" a list of what the aff defends/specifies - I think this is functionally equivalent to not reading it. if the negative asks me to hold the aff to the text they read, not what was in the doc, i will gladly do so.
10) on trigger warnings:
The onus is on debaters planning to read positions about potentially triggering issues to ask those in the room for permission to read the position. Spectators may leave, but judges and opponents do not have that option, meaning there is an expectation that if one of them objects to the triggering position, the position will not be read. If a debater does not adjust their strategy after being asked to, they will start the round with a 25. If you do not ask before round, but someone is triggered, speaks will similarly be docked. If there is no trigger warning but no one is triggered, the round will continue as normal.
The question for what necessitates a trigger warning is difficult to objectively delineate - if you have a reasonable suspicion someone could be negatively impacted by your position, ask before you read it - explicit narratives are probably a good starting point here. Trigger warnings are contentious in debate but I've seen students negatively impacted in rounds because they were not present and have engaged in conversations with other coaches that lead me to conclude something along these lines is necessary.
This (admittedly strangely) probably means I'm not the judge for "must read a trigger warning" shells.
This article is very good at articulating my views on the importance of trigger warnings
It is not up for debate that if someone was triggered on account of your failure to adequately make use of trigger warnings, you'll be punished through speaks and/or the ballot
Chris Randall Paradigm
Debate for me first and foremost is an educational tool for the epistemological, social, and political growth of students. With that said, I believe to quote someone very close to me I believe that it is "educational malpractice" for adults and students connected to this activity to not read.
T/ and framework are the same thing for me I will listen AND CAN BE PERSUADED TO VOTE FOR IT I believe that affirmative teams should be at the very least tangentially connected to the topic and should be able to rigorously show that connection.
Also, very very important! Affirmatives have to do something to change the squo in the world in debate etc. If by the end of the debate the affirmative cannot demonstrate what it does and what the offense of the aff is T/Framework becomes even more persuasive. Framework with a TVA that actually gets to the impacts of the aff and leverages reasons why state actions can better resolve the issues highlighted in the affirmative is very winnable in front of me.
DA'S- Have a clear uniqueness story and flesh out the impact clearly
CP's- Must be clearly competitive with the aff and must have a clear solvency story, for the aff the permutation is your friend but you must be able to isolate a net-benefit
K- I am familiar with most of the k literature
CP'S, AND K'S- I am willing to listen and vote on all of these arguments feel free to run any of them do what you are good at
In the spirit of Shannon Sharpe on the sports show "Undisputed" and in the spirit of Director of Debate at both Stanford and Edgemont Brian Manuel theory of the TKO I want to say there are a few ways with me that can ensure that you get a hot dub (win), or a hot l (a loss).
First let me explain how to get a Hot L:
So first of all saying anything blatantly racist things ex. (none of these are exaggerations and have occurred in real life) "black people should go to jail, black death/racism has no impact, etc" anything like this will get you a HOT L
THE SAME IS TRUE FOR QUESTIONS RELATED TO GENDER, LGBTQ ISSUES ETC. ALSO WHITE PEOPLE AND WHITENESS IS NOT THE SAME THING
Next way to get a HOT L is if your argumentation dies early in the debate like during the cx following your first speech ex. I judged an LD debate this year where following the 1nc the cx from the affirmative went as follows " AFF: you have read just two off NEG: YES AFF: OK onto your Disad your own evidence seems to indicate multiple other polices that should have triggered your impact so your disad seems to then have zero uniqueness do you agree with this assessment? Neg: yes Aff: OK onto your cp ALL of the procedures that the cp would put into place are happening in the squo so your cp is the squo NEG RESPONDS: YES In a case like this or something similar this would seem to be a HOT L I have isolated an extreme case in order to illustrate what I mean
Last way to the HOT L is if you have no knowledge of a key concept to your argument let me give a few examples
I judged a debate where a team read an aff about food stamps and you have no idea what an EBT card this can equal a HOT L, in a debate about the intersection between Islamaphobia and Anti-Blackness not knowing who Louis Farrakhan is, etc etc
I believe this gives a good clear idea of who I am as judge happy debating
John Scoggin Paradigm
I would like to be on the email chain, my email is jpscoggin at gmail.com
I am the coach of Loyola High School in Los Angeles. I also own and operate Premier Debate along with Bob Overing. I coach Nevin Gera. I prefer a nuanced util debate to anything else.
In general, I am not a fan of frivolous theory or non-topical Ks.
High speaker points are awarded for exceptional creativity and margin of victory.
I am fine with speed as long as it is comprehensible.
If you are not comfortable disclosing to your opponent at the flip or after pairings are released it is likely in your best interest to strike me. If the tournament has a rule about when that should occur I will defer to that, if not 10 minutes after the pairing is released seems reasonable to me.
Compiling is prep. Prep ends when the email is sent or the flash drive is removed from your computer.
Marna Weston Paradigm
Marna Weston (coached by Dale McCall at Twin Lakes High, WPB, FL)
Condo is probably bad. I don't like tricks and rude stuff. I don't like people beating their opponents down in a disrespectful manner. True champions find a way to win with style, finesse, and some measure of grace. Basically, "say what you mean, and mean what you say" in front of me. Kick outs and shifts are not received well. I am comfortable with crystal clear debaters and crystal clear rebuttals. I've been focused on my policy teams this year, so I'm not familiar with the LD topic. I think there is still such a thing as an LD topic, although I keep hearing the same positions regardless of the topic a lot, and I guess that's ok. I am open to a lot of different types of discussions, and I'm excited to listen to what you bring to the debate space.
NO MATTER WHAT YOUR ARGUMENT, In a nutshell:
Tell Me What Your Argument Is
Tell Me Why I Should Prefer It
Tell Me Why If I Do Prefer Your Argument Why You Should Then Win The Debate---Some form of Impact Calculus/Weighting Magnitude, Probability and Time Frame-ish args are goods.
If you think you are really winning something, "sit on it" and explain why you win.
Sacred space except
The room where we exchange thoughts
is not for condo
Overview: I firmly believe that policy debate is first and foremost a communication activity. Consequently, oral presentation plays a larger factor in my adjudication process than in most decisions in recent years. I focus on the “story” of the debate, but line-byline refutation can be a component of that. Know your order before you announce it. Don't change the order after you announce it. Clearly articulated arguments at any speed can be evaluated. Inarticulate utterings that cannot be understood cannot be evaluated. Be quick, but don't hurry. I will not tolerate rudeness. Cross X is binding.
My paradigm is one of few dispositions; the rest is up to the debaters. They are as follows:
1. I agree that conditionality is "probably" bad. So its "probably" not a bad idea to speak to this and support reasons why I might or might not vote on this. When you time skew and then kick out, I am predisposed to vote for the other team, absent compelling reasons why I should not do this. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
2. Topical Counterplans are not OK. If at the end of the round I haave been effectiely persuaded there are two Affirmative teams, I'll probably vote Affirmative.
3. I prefer not to judge topicality debates. If you're ahead on it, explain to me why its important to care about this, or I might not understand why to vote on it.
4. I enjoy case debates. Solidly clear and irrefuably presented and reasonably current inherency evidence could really win a debate. No, really.
5. Kritikal arguments on both AFF and NEG are fine, but pay close attention to the way you communicate your positions (clear and concise!).
6. The topic should be debated, but how you approach the resolution, and how you approach debate generally (content, style, etc.), should be left up to the debaters.
7. If you're Negative, show me how your approach is specific to this Affirmative. Be thoughtful in explaining what a vote for your side means and why I should endorse it. Ask me to vote for your side. Don't completely on-face grant the 1AC in favor of pre-set tangentially related points and expect me to get why that means the Negative wins the debate. Be particularly clear on fairness and why ground is or isn't lost and warrants a decision.These are usually not presented clearly and powerfully. And without why they should matter, i tend to be persuaded by other issues
8. I will appreciate teams who competently deploy arguments from the earlier days of CEDA, such as Justification, Hasty G, etc. I also appreciate when the AFF and NEG teams sit on the correct sides of the room with respect to the judge. Otherwise, I might vote for someone but accidentally vote for the wrong team. "Sort of kidding" but I know this has happened to teams and that in my career in the activity, more than one judge thought they voted for a team, when they hadn't. If you're not on the proper side of the room, at least say in your speech which team you represent and why you think your side should win the debate. That is taken for granted a lot.:)
Public Forum Paradigm
To be truthful, it all goes by a little quickly for me in a PF round. I never competed in PF. The speeches are really short. I do appreciate the skills developed through the practice of concisely presenting so many arguments in a limited space of time.
On a personal note, I thought the whole idea of yet another "policy is too fast and there is too much research" debate event, was that PF would remain slow for lay audiences. I have observed this is not the case, but good debates are still where you find them in PF--- as in Congress, Policy, LD, and Worlds. As such, please watch me closely and clearly indicate why as a judge I should prefer your way of evaluating the round over your opponents. Also I tend to vote against rudeness just on the principle that a good educator should not encourage bad behavior.
I'm always pretty much up to speed on current events through working on Policy & Extemp each week of the season, so I'll probably be up to date on your issue. The key will be to express reasons to prefer your interpretation of what is important-------over what your opponent is saying. Whoever does that most effectively will likely win my ballot.