Blue Valley West Invitational
2019 — Blue Valley West High School, KS/US
Barb Anderson Paradigm
Barb Anderson is an Assistant Debate and Forensics coach at Blue Valley Northwest High School. Ms. Anderson stresses communication, logic, and credible evidence over speed. Eye contact and persuasion are preferable to resolving issues. Please adapt accordingly.
Carolyn Cook Paradigm
I certainly have arguments that I enjoy and am more comfortable evaluating than others, but I also find that I much prefer seeing you do what you do best in rounds. I also dislike when debaters are mean. This activity is awesome--I believe that it pushes us and makes us better thinkers and people--and debaters cheapen that opportunity when we choose not to respect one another. Please just be kind humans.
I am most comfortable functioning as a policy maker. If you don't think the aff should get to weigh their 1AC against the criticism, you have to tell me why--same if you think that we should abandon the topic as the aff. Understand that I have less experience evaluating critiques, so unorganized debates that are heavily reliant on jargon that I am unfamiliar with and expect me to evaluate literature that I have little experience with and you do little work on become frustrating.
You should clearly articulate the arguments you want to forward in the debate--I value persuasion as an important part of this activity.
Please be organized--doing so allows me to focus on the quality of argumentation in the round. Debates are so much more fun to watch when you have a strategic approach that you execute with care. Talk about your evidence. Warranted and strategic analysis that demonstrates your understanding of your own arguments and their interactions with your opponent's make debates better.
I default competing interpretations on Topicality and think T debates should include case lists and topical version of the aff. I think that weighing impacts is important. I also just enjoy good case debate. I tend to find consult and and condition CPs to be cheating...but you still have to answer them. You should always answer conditionality.
I really prefer that you are as explicit about HOW you would like for me to evaluate the debate and WHY this approach is best.
Please speak clearly... if you are incomprehensible my flow will not be great and the quality of my evaluation of the round will likely decrease.
I debated in high school in Kansas from 1999-2003. I coached high school debate throughout college but did not debate in college. I was the director of debate at Lansing High School where I coached and taught from 2009-2018. I am now in the second year of directing debate at Shawnee Mission South.
My email is email@example.com and I think it would be awesome for you all to start the email chain before I get to the debate so that we don't have to waste time doing it once I arrive:)
Ethan Eitutis Paradigm
email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Info on myself:
I debated for 4 years in high school (graduated 2017) where I debated at state and nationals. This is my third year as an assistant coach for Annie Goodson at Blue Valley West.
IMPORTANT: Read as fast as you want, but slow down on tags, cites, and blocks so I can get them on the flow. Your analytical arguments need to be this slow as well, and if you're firing standards on T at me at the same speed as when you read a card I am not going to get them all. Just because you can read your pre-written blocks about limits and grounds at 8,000 wpm doesn't mean I can flow them that fast.
I think a lot of debaters get caught up in making sure they have a card to answer every single argument, and that isn't always necessary. Using your brain and making smart analytical arguments that are as warranted out as possible needs to happen more in debate.
You should be looking big picture at the debate and having some vision.
If you are mean/represent why people quit debate the ballot will reflect that, especially if the other team makes it an issue in the round.
Topicality- I think I default to competing interpretations. If you are going for T you need to have impacted out reasons why your interp is better. Don't read something from dictionary dot com if you are trying to define terms relating to arms sales. Like I said above, slow down on those short arguments on T that I need to get on my flow. Affs should read a plan text.
Case, Disadvantages, and Counterplans- I think case debate is very important to winning debates and good case debate shows that you are very knowledgeable about the topic. I wish more negative teams would debate case with more than just a couple defensive arguments and a bad case turn. Affs should have evidence that actually says what the tag says it does and has warrants. Not enough affirmative teams do impact calc early enough. Please don't read trash disadvantages (most of which can be answered by like two analytical arguments from the aff). The aff should ask some hard questions of the negative's disad link chain just like the neg should ask hard question of the aff's. Counterplans are fine, do whatever.
Is Joe Biden really going to save us from global warming?
The K- I am not a K expert, so I probably won't understand as many of the big abstract words as you want me to. I am generally willing to listen to K's as I have learned more about them in the past couple years. I think some 1ac's might need to answer hard questions about why they chose to make small incremental changes to the system.
Have fun losing with garbage speaks and points if you read death good.
Any other questions just ask.
Gavin Fritton Paradigm
Debated through high school and for one year at the University of Kansas.
I would say that I'm a hybrid stock issues/policy maker but with a strong policy-maker lean. However, I'm also there to arbitrate your arguments, so if you want me to apply another paradigm, as long as you can cogently argue it and convince me why I should change, I'm flexible and willing to change for the round. I would seriously LOVE to judge more hypo-testing.
I will accept the K, provided you capably understand it and can demonstrate that understanding to me and translate your understanding to a compelling rationale for voting for it. I tend to flow Kritikal arguments similarly to disads.
I will accept generic disads, but try to have them link. Specific disads are always better and with what seems like functionally all affs available via wiki, there's no reason not to do the research to find a specific link. In evaluating disads, my natural inclination (which you can overcome) is to prefer realistic impacts even if they are small, to enormous but highly attenuated impacts such as multiple extinction events/nuke wars/etc. I don't like to count who has the highest number of nuclear exchanges at the end of the round, but if I have to, I will.
I am a dinosaur and, as such, value topicality. I will almost certainly not make topicality a "reverse voter" and give the aff a win if the only thing they've accomplished is to beat neg's T arguments. However, I will vote neg on T only, assuming neg wins it. In line with my feelings on T, before you run a PIC, ask if the aff is topical.
Speed is fine and I can usually follow and flow very fast debaters. If I am holding a pen, even if I'm not writing at any given moment, I am following you. If I have put down my pen, it means you've lost me and should probably back up or make some other effort to get me back. I greatly prefer closed cross; my view is that you should be able to spend three minutes defending the speech you just gave. While speed is fine, in my position as a dinosaur, I still value rhetoric and persuasion. If you're a compelling speaker, let that shine. Group the other side's arguments and go slower and compel me to vote for you.
Again indulging my prerogative: I not only accept, I encourage new in the two. It's called a "constructive" speech for a reason. Go ahead and construct. Similarly, I will accept add-on advantages from the aff and internally inconsistent arguments from the neg as long as they have kicked out of whatever makes them inconsistent and still allows the affirmative a chance to respond by the end of the round. As befitting a Gen X'er, I value courtesy and think you can absolutely hammer someone and not be a d**k about it. Play nice. Being a jerk probably won't earn you the "L," but I will punish you on speaks if your conduct warrants it. My politics lean left, but I consciously try to monitor and check my biases. If your best argument is something that I would not support in real life, you can run it and know that I will make every effort to fairly consider the argument, the way you argue it and its merits in the debate.
On vagueness and topicality: I have noticed a trend where the aff's plan text is essentially the text of the resolution but with a specific "whatever" (country, program, etc.,) stated within the "plan." This is not a plan. It is vague and if the aff is not willing to specify what they are or are not doing/curtailing/removing/adding/replacing, then I will absolutely be open to the argument that they are unfairly claiming and denying territory necessary to allow a fair debate. I won't vote on this if no one brings it up, but I think it's fair to expect an affirmative case to actually specify what it will do.
Thoughts on the email chain: I do not want to be on it. This is still a verbal activity. If you say something clearly and intelligibly enough for me to hear it, I will hear it and flow it. From time to time, I might ask you (during prep) to give me your tag or the name of the person cited. But if you say something so unintelligible that I can't understand it, I won't credit you for having said it and the fact that it might be on the email chain isn't going to change my mind. I might ask you to show me a card or cards at the end of the round so that I can make sure it says what I think it says or what you say it says. But I don't like the notion of crediting a verbal statement because I read it in an email.
Bottom line: I'm the arbiter of your arguments. While the above is a statement of my preferences, I'm more than happy to judge a debate outside those boundaries and you should feel free to argue your best stuff if I'm your only judge. If you find me on your panel, you should consider going for the other judges as I consider myself to be highly adaptable and can judge a round geared for lay judges and I can just as easily judge one geared to impress college judges.
Sharthak Garg Paradigm
KEVIN KINSELLA Paradigm
Current Director of Debate and Forensics (JC Harmon High School - Kansas City, Kansas)
(DEBATE - Kansas City)
(NSDA - East Kansas)
Yes, email chain - email@example.com
Yes, you may shake my hand. Shaking hands and introducing oneself is a cultural norm that I value.
I do not get "lost in the sauce" in regard to technicalities in debate. However, if I comment "lost in the sauce" on your ballot, then you probably lost. Debate is a game of chess, in which teammates are setting up his/her/their partner for the next move. I was raised in a stock issue style debate mentality. Through the years and moving from and participating in more traditional, suburban debate to more progressive, urban debate, I am more flexible to all styles. I often find that I make my decision during Cross-Examination (CX). Anyone can read files that someone from the University of Michigan wrote and put in DropBox. Trust me. I have read all the files that you will run unless you wrote them yourself. You have to bob and weave with the flow of the debate. I ultimately reward whichever team convinces me that they have the better argument (sound simple, eh?).
I love when teams are aggressive, not rude, but aggressive. I often find that whichever team is able to control the narrative of the debate, is often crowned the victor.
I love a high rate of speed. However, if you are not comfortable or confident in your ability to spread, then don't.
I value reputable and recent evidence. If you use some trash source, I will judge you (that's my job). I also believe that it is highly important that you promote your evidence and chastise your opponents. I am a voracious reader of the news. Impress me with your knowledge of how the current topic applies to today, not whenever someone from Northwestern cut this card a year ago from a source that is several years old.
I am a fan of K debate. I am an urban debate coach, so K and performance debate is what we are all about. However, K arguments are a double-edged sword. They offer high risk, yet high reward for debate teams. If you run a "K" because your argument is weak or you are unprepared, it is painfully obvious. The "K" that you run must have some reason that it is being run for this particular debate. If it is not relevant to the debate at hand, then do not run it. Many teams try to run a "K' (especially one that they deem as controversial and outside mainstream thought) in an effort to shock a judge and hide a weak and unprepared argument.
I am a big fan of Counter Plans. However, CPs are a double-edged sword. They offer high risk, yet high reward for debate teams.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Ken King Paradigm
I debated for 4 years in Kansas in the late 80s and early 90s.
I have been a head coach in high school for 19 years.
I can listen somewhat quickly…but not very fast. I’m a very traditional policy-maker.
Flash Time: In Kansas, I’m pretty strict that if you are flashing to the other team, it needs to be done in a very reasonable time, if flashing between partners, that is prep time. When judging on the National Circuit, I allow it to be done however that circuit accepts as the norm. please don't abuse flash time
I want really good explanation of all arguments. I try hard not to do analysis work for you. Overviews really help me!
Topicality- If the case is clearly non-topical, please run the argument and I’ll pull the trigger on it pretty quickly. If it is probably topical…I am very slow to pull that trigger.
Critiques- Not really a fan. I am very policy-maker in this regard. If you choose to run a K, I will listen and try and understand it. However, the way my brain works in a debate context is that I will probably weigh the impacts of the K against the other team’s impacts…you know…like a policy maker would.
Counterplans – probably a good thing to have. Not a fan nit-picky word pics, but agent counterplans and others like it are a good thing for me..
Critical affs- Not a fan…they typically confuse me…
Jesse Marden Paradigm
Experienced former competitor and coach in debate and forensics. While my experience is primarily in forensics, as a policy debate judge I’m familiar with and open to all types of arguments (disads, counterplans, critiques, etc.). I consider myself a tabula rossa judge, in that I will vote on any argument to decide a round assuming the teams have framed it as a primary voting issue. That being said, I rarely vote on procedural arguments like topicality. When it comes to speed reading I can’t keep up like I used to. It’s ok to read fast, but try to keep it around a 7/10 so I can keep up.
Doug Miller Paradigm
Currently a law student + Assistant Coach for Washburn Rural (KS)
Formerly Assistant Coach at Lake Highland (FL), and Head Coach of Fairmont Prep (CA), Ransom Everglades (FL) & Pembroke Hill (MO)
Coached for 15 years – Have coached all events. Have coached both national circuit policy & PF.
Address for the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scroll down for Policy Paradigm
Public Forum Paradigm
- If you want me to evaluate anything in the final focus you MUST extend it in the summary. That includes case attacks.
- Absent any other framing arguments, I will default to an utilitarian offense/defense paradigm.
- Narrow the 2nd half of the round down to one key contention-level impact story and 1-2 key answers on your opponents’ case.
- No new cards in 2nd Summary. No new cards in 1st Summary unless directly in response to new 2nd Rebuttal arguments.
- Make sure you evidence really says what you say it does.
- 2nd Rebuttal should rebuild + extend any portions of case they want to go for in FF.
- For NSDA Nats, don't go too fast. I don't trust the tech to convey a pace of delivery that I normally would have no problem with in an effective fashion.
1. Summary extension
If you want me to evaluate anything in the final focus you MUST extend it in the summary. Yes, that includes defense & turns from the rebuttal. In fact, that especially includes defense & turns from the rebuttal. If you want to go for it in the FF, make sure your partner knows to extend it. Even if it is the best argument I’ve ever heard, failure to at least mention it in the summary will result in me giving the argument zero weight in my decision. Basically, too many 2nd speakers just ignore their partner’s summary speech. Attempting to extend things that were clearly dropped in the Summary will result in a lowering of speaker points for the 2nd speaker. This is # 1 on my list for a reason. It plays a major factor in more than half of my decisions. Ignore this advice at your own peril.
1A. 2nd Rebuttal Rebuild
Everything I just said about Summary also goes for 2nd Rebuttal. Anything you want me to evaluate at any later point in the round needs to be mentioned/extended in 2nd Rebuttal. That includes extending / rebuilding the portions of your case you want me to weigh at the end, even those that were not addressed by your opponents in the first Rebuttal. For example: 1st Rebuttal just answers your links on C1. You not only need to rebuild whatever C1 links you want me to evaluate at the end of the round, but you also need to explicitly extend your impacts you are claiming those links link to in at least a minimum of detail. Just saying" extend my impacts" will be unlikely to cut it. At least try to reference both the argument and the card you want me to extend. And, yes, I know this means you won't be able to cover as much in 2nd Rebuttal. Make choices. That's what this event is all about.
2. Offense defense
Absent any other framing arguments, I will default to an utilitarian offense/defense paradigm. Just going for defensive response to the the opposing case in FF won’t be persuasive in front of me. Additionally, I am open to non-traditional framing arguments (e.g. rights, ontology, etc), but you will need to have some pretty clear warrants as to why I should disregard a traditional net offensive advantage for the other team when making my decision.
3. Narrow the round
It would be in your best interest to narrow the 2nd half of the round down to one key contention-level impact story and 1-2 key turns on your opponents’ case, and then spend most of your time doing impact comparisons on those issues. Going for all 3 contentions and every turn you read in rebuttal is a great way to lose my ballot. If you just extend everything, you leave it up to me to evaluate the relative important of each of your arguments. This opens the door for judge intervention, and you may not like how I evaluate those impacts. I would much rather you do that thought process for me. I routinely find myself voting for the team that goes all in on EFFECTIVE impact framing on the issue or two they are winning over the team that tries to extend all of their offensive arguments (even if they are winning most of them) at the expense of doing effective impact framing. Strategic choices matter. Not making any choices is a choice in itself, and is usually a bad one.
4. No new cards in Summary, unless they are in direct response to a new argument brought up in the immediately prior speech.
1st Summary: If you need to read cards to answer arguments first introduced in opponents case, those needed to be read in 1st Rebuttal, not 1st Summary. Only if 2nd Rebuttal introduces new arguments—for example a new impact turn on your case—will I evaluate new cards in the 1st Sum, and only to specifically answer that new 2nd Rebuttal turn. Just please flag that your are reading a new card, and ID exactly what new 2nd Rebuttal argument you are using it to answer.
2nd Summary: Very rarely, 2nd summary will need to address something that was brought up new in 1st summary. For example, as mentioned above, 2nd Rebuttal puts offense on case. 1st Summary might choose to address that 2nd Rebuttal offense with a new carded link turn. Only in a case like that will I evaluate new evidence introduced into 2nd Summary. If you need to take this route, as above in 1st Summary, please flag exactly what argument you say was new in the 1st Summary you are attempting to answer before reading the new card.
In either case, unless the prior speech opened the door for you, I will treat any new cards in Summary just like extending things straight into FF & ignoring the summary—I won’t evaluate them and your speaker points will take a hit. However, new cross-applications of cards previously introduced into the round ARE still OK at this point.
4A. No new cross-applications or big-picture weighing in Final Focus.
Put the pieces together before GCF. This includes weighing analysis. The additional time allotted to teams in Summary makes it easier to make these connections and big-picture comparisons earlier in the round. Basically, the other team should at least have the opportunity to ask you about it in a CF of some type. You don't have to do the most complete job of cross-applying or weighing before FF, but I should at least be able to trace its seed back to some earlier point in the round.
I will, and am often eager to, vote on debate theory arguments. That being said, debaters in PF rarely, if ever, know how to debate theory well enough to justify voting on it.
I believe that there are several highly abusive forms of advocacy that are very bad for PF, and just bad debate in general. I welcome a discussion of those practices in round, and believe that the best way to stamp them out is for teams to make those abuses voting issues in rounds. I won’t vote on these issues unless the objections are raised and effectively argued in-round (e.g. impacted, extended in all the necessary speeches, etc). but I have strong leanings that make me VERY receptive to several theory arguments.
Fiat – Until the “no plans” rule is changed, PF is essentially a whole-resolution debate, no matter how much teams would like for it to be policy. Thus, if teams want to read a specific subset(s) of the resolution, they need to provide some warrants as to why their specific subset(s) of the resolution is the MOST LIKELY form the resolution would take if it were adopted. Trying to specify and only defend a hyper-specific example(s) of the resolution that is unlikely to occur without your fiat is ridiculously abusive without reading a plan text, and makes you a moving target – especially when you clarify your position later in the round to spike out of answers. Plan texts are necessary to fiat something that is unlikely to happen in order to create a stable advocacy. Basically, in my mind, “no plans” = “no fiat.”
Multiple conditional advocacies – Improbable fiated advocacies are bad enough, but when teams read multiple such advocacies and then decide “we’re not going for that one” when the opposing team puts offense on it is the zenith of in-round abuse. Teams debating in front of me should continue to go for their unanswered offensive turns against these “kicked” arguments – I will weigh them in the round, and am somewhat inclined to view such practices as a voter if substantial abuse is demonstrated by the offended team. If you start out with a 3-pronged fiated advocacy, then you darn well better end with it. Severance is bad. If teams are going to choose to kick out of part of their advocacy mid-round, they need to effectively answer any offense on the "to-be-kicked" parts first.
6. Arguments in Crossfire
If you want me to evaluate an argument or card, it needs to be in a speech. Just mentioning it in CF is not sufficient. You can refer to what was said in CF in the next speech, and that will be far more efficient, but it doesn’t exist in my mind until I hear it in a speech.
7. Evidence availability
If you read any evidence, have the card available to hand over. Immediately (within reason, of course). Constructives should have their cards ready to hand over, in order, (probably even in the same document) because you know someone is going to ask for them. And having a bunch of PDF’s that you have to Command-F is not having your cards available. That is just lazy debating. Cut a card like a real debater. If you don’t know what that means, look it up. If you are reading this deep into a judge paradigm, it means you’re a big kid now. Act like it. As far as time is concerned, taking 10 minutes to find a card is inexcusable. At some point, I will just say you can’t find it, and and tell you to move on. This is becoming enough of a problem that I’m considering starting a running clock for “evidence hunting time.” I’m not there yet, but this practice really annoys me (and ALL judges), and needs to be stopped. If you can’t find the card you read in a reasonable amount of time, “Just drop it off the flow,” is not a sufficient recourse. In my mind, that is tantamount to evidence fabrication. If it happens once, I will be annoyed and chastise you after the round, but I’ll likely grudgingly give you the benefit of the doubt. If it happens multiple times, I am likely to be persuaded should the opposing team make such offenses a well-warranted and properly extended theory voting issue in the round.
8. Evidence Quality
I will, on occasion, ask to see key pieces of evidence at the end of the round as I make my decision. If I do ask for cards, and the text of the evidence you provide me doesn't match up with the argument you make in-round (e.g. egregious power-tagging, taking out of context, etc - basically, more than what I perceive to be an honest mistake), I reserve the right to penalize the team providing the evidence, even if the opposing team does not bring up the quality of the card in question as an issue in the round. Best case for the offending party: I will simply not evaluate the evidence in question and decide the round as though that card has been redacted from the debate, leaving the argument with the same functional weight as an unsupported analytic. Worst case: If I see multiple offenses in the round, see a particularly egregious offense, or have seen and commented on the team committing the same kind of offense in previous rounds I've judged, I may choose to drop the team solely on evidence quality. This is the one and only form of judge intervention I will engage in, as I have increasingly seen far too many teams functionally fabricating evidence and getting away with it because there is simply not enough time for opponents to question each and every card. Someone needs to serve as a check on such practices, and I believe judges should have a hand in that service. Rest assured, I will not decide a round in such fashion often, or without serious cause. I understand the serious ramifications of judges deciding rounds arbitrarily. If I do have a serious enough issue with your evidence to warrant some sort of intervention (which, again, is still very rare for me), I will be very clear in my RFD what the issue was, and how it factored into my decision, so that students can learn to not make the same mistakes again.
9. Evidence citations
You should probably read the citations according to whatever the NSDA says, but I’m not likely to vote on any irregularities (e.g. no date of access) unless the abuses are proven to be especially egregious and substantive in the round.
10. Speaker points
My reference point for “average” is 27.5. That’s where most everyone starts. My default is to evaluate on a scale with steps of 0.1, as opposed to steps of 0.5. Below a 25 means you did something offensive. A true 30.0 in HS debate (on a 0.1 scale) doesn’t exist. It is literally perfect. I can only think of 3 times I have ever given out a 29.6 or higher, and each of them were because of this next thing. My points are almost exclusively based on what you say, not how you say it. I strongly value making good, strategic choices, and those few exceptional scores I’ve given were all because of knowing what was important and going for it / impact framing it, and dumping the unnecessary stuff in the last half of the round.
11. "What's your methodology?"
Asking “What’s the methodology of your study” is a huge pet peeve of mine. Nails on a chalkboard bad. It’s a lazy way of saying, “I don’t really have an answer to this, so I’m just going to ask a bunch of questions about it and hope that clouds the debate enough to make it go away.” Questions about a card/study without evidence/warrants supporting the opposite aren’t arguments against it. They are just tricks debaters who got out-researched use to cover up that they got out-researched. In short, they are defensive only, and are only offensive if there are warrants / evidence as to why the opposite conclusion is true.
12. Ask for additional thoughts on the topic
Even if you’ve read this whole thing, still ask me beforehand. I will probably have some specific thoughts relating to the topic at hand that may be useful.
Note for NSDA Nationals 2020 - See # 7 in the Short Version
Notice how I didn't say anything about that above, even though it's the first questions like half of kids ask? Yeah, that's intentional. If you can't figure out the answer to that question from the numerous comments above, then you really are beyond help. But basically, yes, I can handle your blazing speed, you debate god, you. But it would still probably be a good idea to slow it down a little, Speed Racer. Quality > quantity.
I debated for 4 years in high school (super old-school, talk-pretty policy), didn't debate in college, and have coached at the HS level for 15+ years. I am currently a law student + Assistant Coach at Washburn Rural in KS, and previously was head coach at Fairmont Prep in Anaheim, CA, Ransom Everglades School, in FL, and The Pembroke Hill School in MO.
Generally, do what you do, as long as you do it well, and I'll be happy. I prefer big-picture impact framing where you do the comparative work for me. In general, I will tend to default to such analysis, because I want you to do the thinking in the round, not me. My better teams in the past read a great deal of ontology-based Ks (cap, Heidegger, etc), and they often make some level of sense to me, but I'm far from steeped in the literature. I'm happy to evaluate most of the normal disads & cps, but the three general classes of arguments that I usually find less persuasive are identity-based strategies that eschew the topic, politics disads, and to a lesser degree, performance-based arguments. But if any of those are your thing, I would in general prefer you do your thing well than try and do something else that you just aren't comfortable with. I'll go with the quality argument, even if it isn't my personal favorite. I'm not a fan of over-reliance on embedded clash, especially in overviews. I'd rather you put it on the line-by-line. I'm more likely to get it down on my flow and know how to apply it that way, and that's the type of debating I'll reward with higher speaks. Please be sure to be clear on your tags, cites, and theory/analytic blocks. Hard numbering/”And’s” are appreciated, and if you need to, go a little slower on those tags, cites, and theory/analytic blocks to be sure they are clear, distinct, and I get them. Again, effort to do so will be rewarded with higher speaks.
I generally think affs should have to defend the topic, and actually have some sort of plan text / identifiable statement of advocacy. There are very few "rules" of debate, thus allowing tons of leeway for debaters to choose arguments. But debating the topic is usually a pretty good idea in my mind, as most issues, even those relating to the practices and nature of our activity, can usually still be discussed in the context of the topic. I rather strongly default to competing interpretations. I like to see T debates come down to specific abuse stories, how expanding or contracting limits functionally impacts competitive equity, and exactly what types of ground/args are lost/gained by competing interps (case lists are good for this in front of me). I usually buy the most important impact to T as fairness. T is an a priori issue for me, and K-ing T is a less than ideal strategy with me as your judge.
If you are going to go for it, go for it. I am unlikely to vote either way on theory via a blippy cheap-shot, unless the entire argument was conceded. But sometimes, for example, condo bad is the right strategic move for the 2AR, If it's done well, I won't hesitate to decide a round on it. Not a fan of multiple conditional worlds. With the notable exception of usually giving epistemology / ontology-based affs some flexibility on framework needing to come before particulars of implementation, I will vote Neg on reasonable SPEC arguments against policy affs. Affs should be able to articulate what their plan does, and how it works. (Read that you probably ought to have a plan into that prior statement, even if you are a K team.) For that reason, I also give Neg a fair amount of theoretical ground when it comes to process CPs against those affs. Severance is generally bad in my mind. Intrinsicness, less so.
Personally, I think a lot of the standard CPs are, in any type of real world sense, ridiculous. The 50 states have never worked together in the way envisioned by the CP. A constitutional convention to increase funding for whatever is laughable. An XO to create a major policy change is just silly (although over the last two administrations, that has become less so). All that being said, these are all legit arguments in the debate world, and I evaluate and vote on them all the time. I guess I just wish Affs were smart enough to realize how dumb and unlikely these args actually are, and would make more legit arguments based on pointing that out. However, I do like PICs, and enjoy a well thought out and deployed advantage CP.
Most topic-related disads are fine with me. Pretty standard on that. Just be sure to not leave gaping holes / assumptions in your link chains, and I'm OK. However, I generally don't like the politics disad. I would much rather hear a good senator specific politics scenario instead of the standard “President needs pol cap, plan’s unpopular” stuff, but even then, I'm not a fan. I'll still vote for it if that's what is winning the round, but I may not enjoy doing so. Just as a hint, it would be very easy to convince me that fiat solves for most politics link stories (and, yes, I understand this places me in the very small minority of judges), and I don't see nearly as much quality ground lost from the intrinsic perm against politics as most. Elections disads, though, don't have those same fiat-related issues, and are totally OK by me.
I don’t read the lit much, but in spite of that, I really kind of like most of the more "traditional" ontological Ks (cap, security, Heidegger, etc). To me, Ks are about the idea behind the argument, as opposed to pure technical proficiency & card dumping. Thus, the big picture explanation of why the K is "true," even if that is at the expense of reading a few more cards, would be valuable. Bringing through line-by-line case attacks in the 2NR to directly mitigate some of the Aff advantages is probably pretty smart. I think Negs set an artificially high burden for themselves when they completely drop case and only go for the K in the 2NR, as this means that they have to win 100% access to their “Alt solves the case” or framework args in order for the K to outweigh some super-sketchy and ridiculous, but functionally conceded, extinction scenario from the 1AC. K's based in a framework strategy tend to be more compelling in front of me than K's that rely on the alt to actually solve something (because, let's be honest here - they rarely do). Identity-related arguments are usually not the most compelling in front of me, and I tend to buy strategic attacks against them from the left as more persuasive than attacks from the right.
I understand that some teams are unbalanced in terms of skill/experience, and that's just the way it goes sometimes. I've coached many teams like that. But I do like to see if both debaters actually know what they are talking about. Thus, your speaks will probably go down if your partner is answering all of your cross-ex questions for you. It won’t impact my decision (I just want to know the answers), but it will impact speaks. Same goes for oral prompting. That being said, I am inclined to give a moderate boost to the person doing the heavy lifting in those cases, as long as they do it respectfully.
Parker Mitchell Paradigm
Parker Mitchell Updated for: WaRu 2020
He/They/She are all fine.
Plz don't shake my hand
Yes email chain, no flash chain
Equal chances on framework
Fairness is an impact but not the only impact.
Competing interps are best
There is NOT "always a risk"
I flow cx
Speed is good (except when accessibility/disability concerns)
Postround if you want
I have now judged about 10 online policy rounds. They mostly went well. I have had little issues flowing speed, but debaters who are borderline in terms of clarity have their issues compounded. You should make a note of the ability of your microphone and speed of your internet connection when you assess how fast you want to go. It's difficult to unmute and say clear during flowing, so be cognizant: If you're unclear, I simply will not be able to flow you and have no way of warning you.
My preference is camera on. I don't read along with docs during speeches and reading the lips of debaters helps with clarity. This is simply a preference: if you calculate that your internet/sound setup will interfere more with clarity if your camera is on, I have no objection to your decision.
Sidenote: testing a dual screen setup for online judging. This won't need any adaptations from you but it may sometimes look as if i'm looking past the camera or to the side during cx due to the way my screens are setup. I am still paying attention. This note is less relevant for BVSW as I just broke my HDMI cable while setting up :(
Debate is a game, I'm open to almost* any of strategy that will help you win that game. My ballot will probably decide whether the proposition of the affirmative is better than the proposition of the negative.
*exceptions: blatant/unapologetic racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism. I have only used this exception once because someone was defending George Zimmerman.
TOPIC SPECIFIC NOTE
This topic is more aff leaning than i expected, a couple theories why that can help your strategy:
1) Many disads on this topic lack external impacts (containment/appeasement etc.) Affs are often set up to beat these strategies, so Negs need to be trickier. T is a better option than you think, as are tricky or "cheating" CPs. Create offense.
2) In K debates, the negative has shied away from being hardline on framework. Framework is harder when the negative is afraid of their best offense. Win an impact and worry less about trying to accommodate the aff. Again, create offense. Same for the aff: worry less about the middle and more about your offense.
4 years of debate for Shawnee Mission East high school in Kansas, 5 years for the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Currently assistant coach at Shawnee Mission East (5 years), occasionally assist for the Asian Debate League (ADL). Also worked with DKC and Turner HS.
Topic Experience (HS): 0 rounds on the CJR topic, I did not coach at a camp this year so I might be behind on specifics, acronyms and community norms on the topic.
Topic Experience (College): 0 rounds on the Alliance topic. I don't actively coach for a college team so I might be behind on specifics, acronyms and community norms on the topic.
T: Often an underrated strategic option. RVIs are bad, but I'm open to impact turns from K affs. Both sides should have an interp. I (almost always) evaluate under competing interpretations. I (almost never) consider precision separately from limits and ground debates, it strikes me closer to an impact framing argument than an impact or internal link in and of itself.
CPs: "Cheating" CPs are "fine", win theoretical justifications+substance and you will win, probably not going to reject the team.
Statuses: I lean that Condo is good, dispo/uncondo is bad. Status theory is winnable, you need an interp and remember to ask. (n-x) interps are unpersuasive.
DAs: I've sat against the negative in a couple close debates with DA/Case strategies. I have difficulty assigning "minute risk" on disads if defense is persuasive and/or conceded. Winning requires a clean 2nr or significant defense.
Ks: The neg can critique both plan and non-plan parts of the aff. The aff can weigh itself. Work out nuances. I think I have a pretty good, but not universal, grasp on most critical literature in debate.
K Affs: They can be good. Framework can also be a good strategy against them. I find framework debates to be extremely interesting, although they make my hand hurt afterwards. I usually take a lot of time deciding in both Framework debates and K aff vs K debates because they tend to have a lot of nuance and/or moving parts.
Flowing: One sheet in the 1nc will remain that way. Each individual sheet will be straight down, overviews not separate. Preferably don't give sub-orders before the speech ("I'm doing framework, interp first, then tva, limits da..." etc), they confuse me/are irrelevant because I am flowing straight down.
Speed: Speed is generally good. Maintain clarity. I may "clear" you a few times. I should hear the full body of the card, I want to listen to every word, you shouldn't be able to get away with slurring during the body.
CX: I flow cross-x. It's binding. Open > Closed. Won't pay attention to "flex prep." Try to ask all of your questions during CX because I can't hold the other side accountable during "flex prep."
Language: The use of racial/sexist/homophobic/transphobic slurs, in any way other than as used by individuals who are affected by those slurs, results in 0 speaks and a loss. Be mindful of problematic (non-slur) language. Mistakes happen, but so must sincere apologies.
Postrounding: you are welcome to.
Ethics: Ethics challenges stop the round immediately and require proof. If the accused party did violate a legitimate challenge they will receive the loss and 0 speaks, the reverse is true if the challenge is illegitimate. Clipping is definitively a violation. I will surrender to tournament regulations.
Disclosure: I will orally disclose provided the tournament allows it. Please disclose pre-debate. It's good.
Prep: Flashing is not prep.
Speaks: I use CDR's points rubric, adjusting for estimated pool skill.
APPENDICES (LD/PFD paradigm see top)
I have limited LD experience, I debated it for a couple of years in KS and went to NSDA nationals.
Traditional LD makes little sense to me. I really don't get Value/Criterion, they simply read as impact framing args to me, so you should probably treat them as such. I'm more attracted to LARP/Phil and the wild west of progressive LD than traditional LD as these are more familiar to me.
Speed, Ks, plans are fine, LD theory is intriguing but somewhat new to me. Please, roadmap and signpost I will flow.
Default to deciding whether the resolution is true or good unless presented with different ballot framing. Get creative: i find many LD topics are one sided and dull when played traditionally. T really can help out here.
I get a bit lost in this event. I will evaluate the debate technically using an offense defense paradigm unless persuaded otherwise. I will attempt to flow on two sheets (AC/NC). Your case should include offensive reasons to vote for your side, not just defense.
All debate events require clash or they are just oratory: That means whichever team goes second should explicitly answer the other team's case. The second round of speeches need to both extend arguments and answer opponents. Final speeches should include a brief overview with ballot instruction and also continue LBL work. Do not eschew clash for the sake of speaking pretty, that is a quick way to lose my ballot.
Robert Owens Paradigm
I am an assistant coach at Washburn Rural High School. However, I don’t coach the varsity teams. I mainly work with the open teams. I have not listened to a round at speed for over two years. So I would not decide to pick it up anymore than just a moderate competition speed. I don’t listen to K’s. Mainly because I am not current on the literature. So I wouldn’t suggest taking that risk. I will vote on a good T argument however if it is frivolous I can be convinced to vote against you. Generic DA’s are ok with specific link analysis. Finally, I default to. Policy maker paradigm. Good luck and have fun.
Lainey Schrag Paradigm
I debated 4 years in high school from 2011-2015 and 3 years in college from 2015-2018 at KU. I read policy arguments, but am not opposed to k debate. Do whatever style you are most comfortable with. If you can convince me of an argument then I'll vote for.
I like listening to debates, I hate making decisions.
Do whatever you're good at, I don't care.
-Open Cross-X: Yes
This is the style I am most familiar with.
-Topicality: I think team's should be topical, but I also believe that it's up to the other team to prove why.
-Counterplans: I enjoy counterplans a lot. Open to hearing theory on 'cheating' CPs, however I think CP theory is usually a reason to reject the arg and not the team.
-Disads: Remember to have impact calculus on both sides. Explain why your disadvantage outweighs the advantages of the 1ac.
I will listen to kritiks on both sides.
Top leveling framing is important (how do I evaluate the debate?).
Affirmative- I am a policy debater so I evaluate the K similar to how I would evaluate any other policy argument. Win your impacts/framing.
Negative- I think that kritik should try to have a specific link to the affirmative and do their best to engage it. Links of omission do not persuade me. Teams should explain how the alt interacts with the impacts of the 1ac otherwise the K just becomes a non-unq da.
I'll vote on condo if that's what it comes down to.
For most other theory args, I am more likely to reject the argument instead of the team.
Caleb Vering Paradigm
email: email@example.com put me on the email chain pls
[updated for BVSW/BVW]
Rounds judged on foreign arms: 4
The Run Down:
Pronouns are he/him/his, they/them are also fine. Y’all means all. I have zero tolerance for disrespecting anyone due to their identity, or any disrespect for that matter.
4 years of debate experience in high school (LD and policy). Open to all forms of argumentation (traditional policy, soft left, K, planless, performance, etc.). Currently a junior at KSU, however, I do not debate for them. Despite this, I have stayed active in the community, judging a couple of tournaments each year.
I am an assistant coach for SMW. In HS I went for traditionally policy arguments, so my knowledge of the K is somewhat limited.
Questions? Ask pre-round or send me an email. Asking questions pre-round will not influence the outcome of the debate in any capacity. I'm more than happy to contextualize myself.
PARADIGM STARTS HERE
I have seen a few affs on this topic. I have found myself having trouble keeping up with some of the semantics of the topic, so, explaining the semantics of your aff or counterplan is a useful strategy in front of me.
I have not done any research on the topic and generally don't know what it looks like. Don't assume I know anything you didn't know before you began your topic research. My coaching for SMW is exclusively sponsoring tournaments. Last time I heard spreading was November of last year, so clearly tagline your stuff if you want me to flow it.
Pronouns are he/him/his, they/them are also fine. Y’all means all. I have zero tolerance for disrespecting anyone due to their identity, or any disrespect for that matter.
I study political science and social studies education at KSU, so I do know what I'm talking about in regards to social sciences. I do also have a personal interest in philosophy beyond debate, so the K is chill but don't expect me to have the knowledge you might see from a collegiate debater.
Clarity over speed. I’ll clear you once, after that it’s docked speaks. Only exception is a room with bad acoustics, which happens sometimes.
Overviews are good and you should use them.
Tech over truth, but truth value of arguments does matter. All arguments need a substantive warrant, and sufficient credibility in the card backing up that warrant.
Cross-ex is important in establishing your credibility, and it is also binding.
You should disclose previously read arguments prior to the round, ideally on opencaselist.
Wanna win? Stop reading so many cards and start explaining and contextualizing them to the debate.
Have fun. Make jokes. Enjoying what you’re doing helps your credibility, ability to win, and your speaks.
I know cursing feels edgy and cool but unless it's important to your argument try to leave it out of the debate.
Playing your music out loud preround or during prep without the permission of your opponent is incredibly rude and distasteful and will dock your speaks. (this does not apply to performative aff wherein the music is a part of the argument).
Note on Rhetoric
In most good debates I see, a lot of my decision can come down to the rhetorical and persuasive ability of a team. I will do my best to stay as close to the flow as I can in my decision, but I cannot separate myself from the influence strong rhetoric from a debater can bring to the debate. I do think rhetoric in a fast debate is different from rhetoric in a normal speech. Things like cohesiveness between you and your partner, knowing your argument well, and strong cross-ex, are all examples of things that can push me one way or another in close debates.
Not a huge fan of theory debates and I’m more apt to vote in the direction that the community generally sees theoretical aspects of debate (condo good, disclosure good). This doesn’t mean you can’t go for theory, but it isn’t your best source of offense when debating in front of me.
I like T. I went for it a lot in high school. I default to competing interps but can be convinced of reasonability. I view T as offense. T should be two competing visions of the topic, and why one vision is preferable to another. T should have offense and defense just like any other argument. T is not a time suck, and RVI’s are bad.
Perms are a test of competition. It isn’t some weird alternative world that exists in between the aff and the neg. All the perm does is demonstrate why the aff and the neg can exist in the same world, and you should contextualize it as such.
I am comfortable voting neg on presumption. I think that the affirmative needs to prove that there should be a substantial departure from the status quo, and that their method of solvency will work. If nothing happens when I vote aff, I vote neg. I am comfortable voting aff on presumption. The negative needs to prove a substantial net benefit to their counterplan. If a world of the aff and a world of the neg look the same, I vote aff.
K’s are cool and I like hearing them. Any K is fine, and I’m more versed on “core” K’s like cap, security, etc. In terms of more nuanced kritiks, i.e. setcol, afropess, etc. I am more than happy to listen to these, but, you need to be able to explain it to me in terms I can understand. I have some fundamental knowledge of philosophy and generally can understand the argument you make. But, if it is filled with buzzwords, you need to do some work catching me up. I expect you to understand and be able to explain the direct warrants of your K if you want to win.
Planless and Performance:
I am happy to pick you up on this kind of aff. However, I am also fully willing to vote for framework/T-USfg. I have only judged a few of these debates, and I very rarely encountered these arguments when I debated. I believe that any form of performance you bring into the debate must have a purpose.
I'll do my best to try to keep up with the standard of the tournament, whatever that may be. However, my standard points scale:
30: Absolutely flawless. If I could personally hand you the top speaker trophy I would. Not only was your technical argumentation impeccable, but your rhetorical persuasion was also incredible as well.
29.9-29.5: Top 5 speaker at least. Missing a small piece from the puzzle listed above.
29.4-29: Top 10 speaker at least. Small problems emerging in both rhetoric and tech, but still very good.
28.9-28.3: Larger cracks emerging in either rhetoric or tech, usually a small problem with one and a larger with another
28.2-27.7: This is about average. I can see bigger problems in both rhetoric and tech, but you generally held together a cohesive debate and put up a good fight. While there were problems, if I'm noticing a commitment to improvements, such as making good analysis, deploying a smart argument or strategy, or having strong points in rhetoric you will fall here.
27.6-27.2: This is where you will fall if I see you making large and critical mistakes. Reading directly from blocks and a small bit of analysis. If I'm giving you speaks in this range, I will do my best job as an educator to try to explain how you can improve. This range does not mean failure: it means room for growth.
27.1-26.5: Falling into this range generally means obvious mistakes with no attempt to fix them, or just straight up giving up. I will still do my best to try to be an educator and teach you to improve, but this is generally if I see a lack of effort, i.e. reading directly from blocks and practically no analysis.
26.4-26: Smaller instances of disrespect or distastefulness will fall here, see above for what might qualify for this. This applies to both your partner and opponent. Things like talking over your partner in a disrespectful manner, or being rude during prep.
25.9-0: This would only occur in the instance of some heinous act of disrespectfulness, verbal abuse, racism, etc.
note: my speak criteria has gone up since previous tournaments.
Allison Winker Paradigm
About me: I debated for 4 years at Mill Valley (2014-18), I am now in my third year of assistant coaching and second year for Blue Valley West.
Please add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I don't have any strong opinions on how you should debate or what arguments you should read - though I was a policy-focused debater and have more experience with those arguments, I will evaluate anything you read to the very best of my ability. I try to leave any biases at the door and make a fair decision no matter what.
Tech > truth, but warrants of arguments should still always be extended and explained. Evidence quality is still important to me, but I won't make arguments for you based on the ev that weren't made in the round.
Debate is a communicative activity. I take clarity and the ability for me to hear and understand everything you say very seriously, and this is 100x more important in online debate. It will help me immensely (and in turn, help you) if you slow down and are as clear as possible, especially in blocks and rebuttals. This doesn't mean you can't spread - just make sure you're being clear and maybe not going at your absolute max speed.
Please be respectful of one another. I know debates can get heated, but there is a difference between confidence/assertiveness/being sassy and being mean - if you can't figure out that difference, then just be nice. Problematic behavior will result in speaks that reflect it and potentially an auto-loss/report if it is warranted.
In general, I do not have a high level of knowledge of any critical literature because I never read Ks as a debater. However, my knowledge has increased since I began coaching and judging after high school. You should err on the side of over-explanation regardless of what you are reading. Please slow down and don't use buzzwords or acronyms that I won't understand. Good line-by-line and impact comparison is very important to me in making my decision.
Literature I am more comfortable with (i.e. I have some background knowledge and have debated, judged, or coached before): security, neolib, cap, set col. Assume that I am unfamiliar with anything else.
Ks on the neg: Explain clearly what the alt does and how it solves for the impacts you're claiming - this is the most important thing to me when making a decision and I think this is an area people don't cover thoroughly enough. I don't think that links of omission are links and links that are very specific to the plan are most persuasive. I will let the affirmative weigh the case unless I'm given a convincing reason not to do so.
Long overviews (either aff or neg) are not a good idea with me in the back of the room - you will lose me.
Framework vs. K affs - I have voted both ways in the past. I think that affirmatives should probably defend a topical USFG action, or at least be in the realm of the resolution. A predictable stasis point is necessary for productive debates. There should be a clear explanation from the aff of the role of the ballot and why debate is the necessary space for the argument you're making. I am usually pretty persuaded by the TVA if it's done well, so the aff needs to explain why the TVA can't access the same impacts as they can. Neg teams should actually engage the aff and do impact explanation and comparison - a lot of times it's hard for me to evaluate the round at the end because there has been so much back and forth on general things rather than specific line-by-line/clash/contextualization/etc. Reading your pre-written blocks at top speed without actually applying it to the aff doesn't do much for me.
The more aff-specific, the better. I will reward you/give more leeway on creative counterplans and ones with recut 1AC ev. They need to be competitive and should probably have a solvency advocate - if it doesn't have one I'll have a much lower threshold for voting aff on solvency deficits. I default to judge kick unless I am told otherwise. I don't mind sketchy counterplans - if you can win the theory debate, then read whatever you feel like.
I generally think that condo is good but that isn't to say I wouldn't be persuaded otherwise, especially when it starts to get excessive (i.e. 3-4+ advocacies, kicking a bunch of plan planks, etc.) Everything except condo is a reason to reject the argument, not the team.
I default to competing interps. I'm generally not a big fan of reasonability and think it's usually a waste of time unless you give convincing reasons as to why I should vote on it. Make the flow clean, explain your impacts clearly, and be clear on what your interp includes and excludes and why that is a good thing. Case lists are a good idea on both sides.
I will happily answer questions after the round and want you to understand my decision and learn. However, I really hate getting aggressively post-rounded (and I don't know anyone who enjoys it?). Please just be respectful when asking questions, even if you don't agree with my decision.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask. Good luck and have fun!
Tyler Woodcock Paradigm
Debated at the University of Kansas (3 years) | Assistant at Shawnee Mission South
I'm fine with speed. K affs are a legitimate strategy, but I do find myself having a bias for framework (i.e. should things break even - which hardly happens - I would probably vote for framework). K's are fine, but links to plan action are preferable (unless your framework convinces me otherwise). I strongly dislike it when you're being a jerk and your speaker points will reflect this if you are being one.