King Round Robin
2020 — Houston, TX/US
Clement Agho-Otoghile Paradigm
Forensics is a speaking competition in which the art of rhetoric is utilized - speaking effectively to persuade or influence [the judge].
I take Socrates's remarks in Plato's Apology as the basis of my judging: "...when I do not know, neither do I think I know...I am likely to be wiser than he to this small extent, that I do not think I know when I do not know" (Ap. 21d-e).
My paradigm of any round is derived from: CLARITY!!!
All things said in the round need to be clear! Whatever it is you want me to comprehend, vote on, and so forth, needs to be clearly articulated, while one is speaking. This stipulation should not be interpreted as: I am ignorant about debate - I am simply placing the burden on the debater to debate; it is his or her responsibility to explain all the arguments presented. Furthermore, any argument has the same criteria; therefore, clash, at the substantive level, is a must!
First and foremost, I follow each debate league's constitution, per the tournament.
Secondly, general information, for all debate forms, is as follows:
1) Speed: As long as I can understand you well enough to flow the round, since I vote per the flow!, then you can speak as slow or fast as you deem necessary. I do not yell clear, for we are not in practice round, and that's judge interference. Also, unless there is "clear abuse," I do not call for cards, for then I am debating. One does not have to spread - especially in PF.
2) Case: I am a tab judge; I will vote the way in which you explain to me to do so; thus I do not have a preference, or any predispositions, to the arguments you run. It should be noted that in a PF round, non-traditional/abstract arguments should be expressed in terms of why they are being used, and how it relates to the round.
Set a metric in the round, then tell me why you/y'all have won your metric, while your opponent(s) has lost their metric and/or you/y'all have absorbed their metric.
The job of any debater is to persuade the judge, by way of logical reasoning, to vote in his or her favor, while maintaining one's position, and discrediting his or her opponent's position. So long as the round is such, I say good luck to all!
Ask any other clarification questions before the round!
Chris Castillo Paradigm
I am the LD coach at Strake Jesuit in Houston, Tx. I've been involved in debate since the year 2000. I judge a lot. Mostly on the national/toc circuit but also locally. Feel free to ask questions before the round. Add me to email chains. Jchriscastillo at gmail dot com.
I don't have a preference for how you debate or which arguments you choose to read. Be clear, both in delivery and argument function/interaction, weigh and develop a ballot story.
Theory: I default to competing interps, no rvi's and drop the debater on shells read against advocacies/entire positions and drop the argument against all other types. I'm ok with using theory as a strategic tool but the sillier the shell the lower the threshold I have for responsiveness. Please weigh and slow down for interps and short analytic arguments. D
Non-T affs: These are fine just have a clear ballot story.
Delivery: You can go as fast as you want but be clear and slow down for advocacy texts, interps, taglines and author names. Don't blitz through 1 sentence analytics and expect me to get everything down. I will say "clear" and "slow".
Speaks: Speaks are a reflection of your strategy, argument quality, efficiency, how well you use cx, and clarity.
Prep: 1. I prefer that you don't use cx as prep time. 2. It is ok to ask questions during prep. 3. Compiling a document counts as prep time. 4. Please write down how much time you have left.
Things not to do: 1. Don't make arguments that are racist/sexist/homophobic (this is a good general life rule too). 2. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand or arguments that are blatantly false. 3. Don't be mean to less experienced debaters. 4. Don't steal prep. 5. Don't manipulate evidence or clip.
Isaac Chao Paradigm
*NSDA Nats Update: Teams have clipped in front of me on three separate occasions this tournament. Maybe stop doing that.*
Coach at Heights High School (TX)
Set up the email chain before the round starts and add me: email@example.com
I debated LD for Timothy Christian School in New Jersey for four years. I graduated from Rice University, am currently a teacher at Heights, and predominately coach policy: my program competes through the Houston Urban Debate League and the Texas Forensic Association so I judge regularly. My ideas on debate are heavily influenced by Kris Wright via the Texas Debate Collective Teacher's Institute. Most of the sections below are relevant for both policy and LD; see the very bottom for policy-specific thoughts, although policy teams might also want to review the sections for LARP/T/K.
- LARP/Policy: 1
- T/Theory: 1-2
- Phil: 2*
- One-off Kritik: 3*
- Tricks: Just strike me and we'll spare everyone some pain and suffering
*Ratings vary as function of what you're reading and whether I'm familiar with it. It's not that I will refuse to evaluate an author or position that I haven't seen before - rather, it'll just be more challenging for me to adjudicate. Feel free to ask me before round about a specific author.
- I will try to be tab and dislike intervening so please weigh arguments and compare evidence. It is in your advantage to write my ballot for me by explaining why you win which layers and why those layers come first.
- I won't vote on anything that's not on my flow. I also won't vote on any arguments that I can't explain back to your opponent in the oral.
- I default to competing worlds
- Tech > Truth
- I'm colorblind so speech docs that are highlighted in light blue/gray can be difficult for me to read; yellow would be ideal because it's easiest for me to see. Also, if you're re-highlighting your opponent's evidence and the two colors are in the same area of the color wheel, I probably won't be able to differentiate between them. Don't read a shell on your opponent if they don't follow these instructions though - it's not that serious.
- Prep time ends when you've finished compiling the document. I won't count emailing but please don't steal prep.
- Signpost please. I prefer debaters to be explicit about where to flow things and I appreciate pen time. If you're giving a speech and I'm looking around the different sheets of paper instead of writing, I'm likely trying to find the argument and will probably miss something.
- Not fond of embedded clash; it's a recipe for judge intervention. I'll flow overviews and you should read them when you're extending a position, but long (0:30+) overviews that trade-off against substantive line-by-line work increase the probability that I'll either forget about an argument or misunderstand its implication in relation to arguments elsewhere.
- I presume aff in LD: neg side bias exists so in the absence of offense from either side the aff did the better debating. It is unlikely, however, that I will try to justify a ballot in this way; I almost always err towards voting on risk of offense rather than presumption in the absence of presumption arguments made by debaters.
- Debaters should time every speech and should always count down on their timer for their own speeches. That way, it'll go off when your time runs out, which will keep you honest and ensure that you don't accidentally go over. I might not cut you off if your time runs out, but I'll stop flowing and deduct 0.1 speaks for every 2 seconds you go over if your timer doesn't ring.
- Given that I predominately coach policy, I am probably most comfortable adjudicating these debates, but this is your space so you should make the arguments that you want to make in the style that you prefer.
- You should have be cutting updates and the more specific the counterplan and the links on the disad the happier I'll be. The size/probability of the impact is a function of the strength/specificity of the link.
- Politics disads are generally stupid/unrealistic, but you do you.
- Terminal defense is possible and more common than people seem to think.
- I think impact turns (dedev, cap good/bad, heg good/bad, wipeout, etc.) are underutilized and can make for interesting strategies.
- Perms are tests of competition, not shifts of advocacy.
- If you want to kick a conditional advocacy you have to tell me. Also, I will not judge kick unless the negative wins an argument for why I should, and it will not be difficult for the affirmative to convince me otherwise.
- A 1NC strategy that doesn't include a substantial investment on case (i.e. 1:00+) is generally sub-par.
- I default to competing interpretations. I'll evaluate shells via reasonability if you ask me to but I'd prefer an explicit brightline for determining what constitutes a reasonable vs. unreasonable practice rather than drawing upon my intuitions for debate. If you just ask me to intuitively evaluate the shell without an explanation of what that constitutes, my aversion to intervention will likely lead me to gut check to competing interpretations.
- I default to no RVIs (and that you need to win a counterinterp to win with an RVI).
- You need to give me an impact/ballot story when you read a procedural, and the blippier/less-developed the argument is, the higher my threshold is for fleshing this out. Labeling something an "independent voter" is rarely sufficient. These arguments generally implicate into an unjustified, background framework and don't magically operate at a higher label absent an explicit warrant explaining why. You still have to answer these arguments if your opponent reads them though.
- A note on Nebel: I'm good for a semantics vs. pragmatics debate, but if your 2NR block is super deep in the weeds on semantics you might lose me. I've only skimmed the Nebel article(s) because it's highkey boring and I don't care enough. I may have known at some point what the upward entailment test meant but can't say that I remember anymore~
- Because I am not a particularly good flower, theory rounds in my experience are challenging to follow because of the quantity of blippy analytical arguments. Please slow down for these debates and clearly label the shell - the interp especially - and number the arguments to hedge against the possibility that I miss something.
- I would not recommend reading disclosure theory in front of me because while I will (grudgingly) vote on it, it will not be difficult to convince me to reject it. I believe that universal compulsory disclosure disproportionately disadvantages under-resourced debaters.
- "If you read theory against someone who is obviously a novice or a traditional debater who doesn't know how to answer it, I will not evaluate it under competing interps."
- I will not evaluate the debate after any speech that is not the 2AR.
Framework (as distinct from T-FW)
- I believe that impacts are relevant insofar as they implicate to a framework, preferably one which is syllogistically warranted. My typical decision calculus, then, goes through the steps of a. determining which layer is the highest/most significant, b. identifying the framework through which offense is funneled through on that layer, and c. adjudicating the pieces of legitimate offense to that framework.
- You should assume if you're reading a philosophically dense position that I do not have a deep familiarity with your topic literature; as such, you should probably moderate your speed and over-explain rather than under. Especially if your framework is complex or obscure, a brief summary of how it functions (i.e. how it sifts between legitimate and illegitimate offense) would be helpful.
- Read them if you'd like; I've read almost none of the literature, however, so explain well. I especially appreciate kritikal debates which are heavy on case-specific link analysis paired with a comprehensive explanation of the alternative. Good K debates typically include quotes from lines in your opponent's evidence/advocacy with an explanation of why those are additional links.
- If your alternative is just a string of buzz words, I probably won't think it makes sense and will be receptive to responses from your opponent arguing the same.
- Never understood why perms are illegitimate in a methods debate so if you defend a counter method it should probably be competitive.
- I would prefer that the affirmative is at least tangentially related to the resolution. In my experience, most topics have space for critical, topical arguments and this is what I'd prefer to hear if you're a critical debater, although I won't hack against non-T AFFs. I am persuaded by the value of topical switch-side debate, however, so if non-T AFFs are your thing I am probably not the best judge for you.
- I am increasingly convinced that Role of the Ballot arguments (or oppression frameworks) are just self-serving impact-justified frameworks that don't adequately fulfill the central function of differentiating between legitimate and illegitimate offense. Most of the time when I see these frameworks they just end up as impact filters under util. Although I am more than willing to assume that all ethical frameworks ought to condemn oppression and dehumanization, the question most of these frameworks don't answer is the strength of the link of those arguments back to the standard.
- Speed is generally fine. I'd place my threshold for speed at a 9 out of 10 where a 10 is the fastest debater on the circuit, although that varies depending on the type of argument being read.
- Slow down for and enunciate short analytics, taglines, and card authors; it would be especially helpful if you say "and" or "next" as you switch from one card to the next. I am not a particularly good flower so take that into account if you're reading a lot of analytical arguments. If you're reading at top-speed through a dump of blippy uncarded arguments I'll almost certainly miss some. I won't backflow for you, so spread through blips without pausing on different flows at your own risk.
- If you push me after the RFD with "but how did you evaluate THIS random analytic embedded in my 10-point 2NR dump?" I have no problem telling you that I a. forgot about it, b. missed it, or c. didn't have enough of an implication flowed/understood to draw lines to other flows for you.
- My flowing limitations are a contributing factor to why I'm probably not a great judge for you if tricks are your A-strat. If you're reading tricks one of three things is likely to happen: I'll miss it, I won't understand it, or I'll think it's stupid. Additionally, I won't hold your opponent to a higher standard than I hold myself to, so if I didn't understand the implication of an argument (especially a blippy/shady one) in a prior speech, I'll give them leeway on answering it in a later one.
- I'll yell "clear" or "slow" once but that means I already missed something. Honestly though, it's not uncommon for me to be so preoccupied with trying to keep up that I forget to call clear or slow.
- A 28.5 or above means I think you're good enough to clear. I generally won't give below a 27; lower means I think you did something offensive, unless it's at a local and the round is so bad it makes me want to go home.
- I award speaks on the basis of quality of argumentation and strategic decision-making.
- I won't disclose speaks so don't bother asking.
- I give out approximately one 30 a season, so it's probably not going to be you. If you're looking for a speaks fairy, pref someone else. Here are a few ways to get high speaks in front of me, however:
- I routinely make mental predictions during prep time about what the 2NR/2AR will go for and what's the optimal speech. Give a different version of the speech than my prediction and convince me that my original prediction was wrong. Or, seamlessly execute on my prediction.
- Read a case-specific CP/Disad combo that I haven't seen before.
- Teach me something new that doesn't make me want to go home.
- Be kind to an opponent that you are more experienced then.
- If you have a speech impediment, please feel free to tell me. I debated with a lisp and am very sympathetic to debaters who have challenges with clarity. In this context, I will do my best to avoid awarding speaks on the basis of clarity.
- As a teacher and coach, I am committed to the value of debate as an educational activity. Please don't be rude, particularly if you're clearly better than your opponent. I won't hack against you if you go 5-off against someone you're substantively better than, but I don't have any objections to tanking your speaks if you intentionally exclude your opponent in this way. As a former competitor from a school with very limited competitive infrastructure, most of what I know about debate I had to learn myself absent formal instruction. This makes me very sympathetic to debaters from small schools or under-resourced programs who might not be familiar with the technical jargon of the activity but who, nevertheless, make good arguments. It behooves you, if you've had access to more privileged instruction, to debate in a way that keeps the round accessible for everyone.
If Judging Policy
- Please keep in mind that although I coach policy now, the entirety of my competitive experience and the bulk of my training, judging and thinking about debate has been funneled through the lens of LD. If you're a policy debater, it's probably still useful for you to read the specific argumentative sections above (ex. LARP, Theory, K), depending on what you're planning to read.
- Prep time ends when the flash drive leaves your computer or, if you're using an email chain, once you've finished compiling the document. I won't count attaching and emailing as prep time, but please don't steal prep.
- I presume neg in policy because in the absence of offense in either direction, I am compelled by the Change DA to the plan. However, presumption flips if the 2NR goes for a counter-advocacy that is a greater change from the status quo than the aff.
- I frequently see teams read half a T-shell in the 1NC (unwarranted standards/voters/implication/paradigm issues, or missing those pieces altogether) and then blow it up in the block. I think that if you read a disad in the 1NC it should probably contain the core parts (uniqueness/link/impact), even if you read additional evidence in the block, and I hold T to the same standard. Otherwise, I'm receptive to efficient 2AC responses along the lines of "that's not a complete argument; lack of warranted standards means there's no offense to the interp and you should reject the shell" and will allow new responses in the 1AR in response to developments in the block.
- If your counterplan is 8 seconds long with no cards, the 2AC probably needs no more than 0:15 answering it and I'll be super lenient with 1AR responses if you blow it up in the block. Neg teams are getting away with murder for some of these CPs, and I'm just waiting for the 2AC to read a "must not read conditional counterplans without a solvency advocate" combo shell.
- Smart, analytical arguments (particularly as no-links on a kritik or an improbable impact chain) are heavily underutilized in policy. My ideal 1NCs/2ACs incorporate analytics as a component of a layered response strategy. I see too many policy debaters who are just card bots, including reading cards that don't actually contain warrants and reading additional cards in a later speech instead of going for preexisting evidence (which might actually require some evidence-comparison...).
Patrick Fox Paradigm
Last Updated - Cougar Classic '21
This is at the top because I know it's why you're here - the tier list for framework 2NR tricks/impacts is:
S: “Clash turns and outweighs the case because persuasion and complex thinking skills”
A: “Procedural fairness means no incentive to research the aff or play the game” (this is still good, and I'll happily hear this done well if its your thing)
B: Skills/topic ed, I guess
C: Literally anything else
FF: “Fairness means you can't evaluate the aff because it hasn't been tested yet,” “small schools”
"Trill recognize trill shalt be the whole of the law." - me
VERY IMPORTANT: Before the debate, both teams/debaters can give me recommendations for a song/s to listen to during prep time, which I will do, and if I vibe with it I may bump speaks.
Because everyone seems to have one of these sections these days - will update as time goes on.
Policy 2020-21 - CJR - Please, god, can we have some innovation? I (still) have a lot of personal interest in dense court precedent debates on this topic, and will reward good evidence and debating on this subject. Also (still) super interested in forensic science debates, so same rule applies. My usual "topic ed is the worst framework impact" stance is still in effect, but I think it is far better on this topic than others. Topicality questions I don't have many hardline stances on, mainly because nothing in this topic is a real term of art which sucks.
LD JF21 - LAWs - I debated (space) arms control and coached on the arms trade topic last year. Additionally, I think arms control is one of the most fascinating areas of IR and security studies, so even before this topic was announced and external to coaching/debating I have read tons of articles on global arms regulations and emerging weapons tech because I'm a sick, sick person. In short, if you're a policy or K debater, I know more than you, but I won't use that background knowledge to fill in blanks and you shouldn't expect me to. However, good research and good mastery of that research will be rewarded with a bump in speaks, because this is legitimately the best topic LD has had in years for good debates grounded in robust literature. Love arms control debates. Can't stress it enough. Questioning whether or not single state affs are T, mainly because to me "bans" in arms control usually means international laws/externally imposed - did South Africa "ban" itself from having a nuke? Haven't entirely made up my mind though, mostly just think those affs are cheaty/too good and interested to see these debates play out. Phil stuff seems wackily good on this topic.
"Who is this guy?"
Jack C Hays '19
UH Debate '23
Conflicts 2020-21 -
I am a consultant for Westside High School's policy team, mainly working with Westside SK and Westside RY.
In addition, I currently coach Trinity Valley KK, Coppell VS, Plano West DJ, Lindale PP, Garland LY, Live Oak RS, Westlake AK, *inhale* Mount Pleasant RP, Cooper City NR, Los Altos BF, Northview YS and Cardinal Gibbons RS in LD.
I have previously coached Lovejoy KC, George Ranch NS, Newsome DB (before he quit lol), Princeton TK (very briefly) and Memorial DX.
I have a personal friendship with Plano East NG, so I conflict him too.
I graduated from Jack C Hays HS in 2019.
Don't call me "judge" or any other honorific please. Patrick is fine. Fox is fine if you don't wanna call me Patrick.
"Sure, but like... who is he debate-wise?"
I started debate at Kealing Middle School, and debated for four years at Jack C Hays HS for four years (two in policy, two in LD). I read a mix of policy strategies (mostly this) and the K throughout my career, moving more heavily towards the latter my senior year (lots of Brodrillard 2NRs and a weird cybernetics aff that nobody understood but me and JD). My coaches were JD Sanford, Adam Tomasi, and Aimun Khan, and my thoughts on debate reflect theirs. I'm a sophomore policy debater at the University of Houston coached by Ricky Garner and Rob Glass, and I mostly go for the K these days. My favorite judge in high school was (still is tbh) Phillip DiPiazza, and some judges I pref highly in college are Scott Harris, James Allan, and Alex McVey (D3 baby). I coach policy for a school in the Houston UDL and coach LD for various lone wolves and small programs across the US. I study english literature and journalism, and am working on (loose term) research pertaining to psychoanalysis, cybernetics, the anthropocene and capitalism, which I may even get to publish someday - the joys of academia!
"So how should I pref him?"
My paradigm used to be absurdly long (yes, even longer than this) and full of a bunch of weird prescriptions and distinctions I realized were both somewhat inaccurate and needlessly contrived, as many paradigms are. If you wanna read it, here's a link - https://drive.google.com/file/d/17FJi69MGvvfIAR_vt5W6zihuYuX-WkUY/view?usp=sharing - but I only recommend it if you're extremely bored and/or get some sort of masochistic enjoyment from subjecting yourself to other people's ramblings on debate.
I think the answer to the above question is predicated on a lot of different things depending on who you are and how you debate, so while its kind of a cop-out, the most honest answer is "it depends." That being said, overall I tend to be mostly tech over truth, in that my threshold for a complete/coherent argument is very rigid (and probably higher than the current LD meta, lol), but if what you say meets it, go off I guess. In general, robust explanation of good arguments and explicit comparison is a safer bet with me than blippy nonsense that relies on stuff going unanswered.
I'm very expressive. Read my non-verbals.
"Okay well, should I pref him..."
"...if I'm a policy kid?"
Yeah, but your ordinal 1 spot is better given to someone else. I can't say I judge a lot of these debates (although I'm finally getting more of them, thank christ) but I've certainly had them frequently enough to know my way around them. I'm a journalist, so I genuinely enjoy dense and technical research and I value good evidence very highly, but none of that matters if you can't do the work to explain why it matters. As such, I care a lot about explicit and deep evidence comparison, and I will most likely read key cards after the round (although it's ideally because I'm just confirming the 2N/AR's explanation of evidence, not just to figure out what it said for myself).
- I think my ideal policy 1AC is two well constructed advantages with robust internal link evidence to 3-4 different impact scenarios. Fewer big impacts with better internal links > shotgunned extinction scenarios with 5 second cards. I expect case debate as I expect the sun to rise, as I am proud to say I actually go for the 1NR's case args a lot in my debates - 0% risk probably isn't a thing but I still think that if there's negligible risk of the aff vs the DA I'm inclined to just not vote for you. Impact turns are underutilized, as debaters are a cowardly people. Policy: Err on the side of overexplaining some stuff - I don't judge here as much and while I cut a lot of K stuff and impact things, I'm not super well versed in the CJR meta.
- My ideal 2AC/1AR/2AR to the K is one that gives concise, technical arguments and contextualizes offense to the aff's internal links - you may not know the K better than the 2N, but you should definitely know your aff better than them; use it. Some evidence is probably essential, but moderate cards + aff explanation and spin > The Dump (TM). Impact framing/comparison is sometimes lost here - the 2AR solely on Framework + case o/w is not only welcome, but appreciated.
- I think my ideal 2NR on a DA is one that can articulate a clear warrant for DA turns case as well as/or an external impact, and does a lot of work on comparative risk. Politics is a fine and dandy argument, but the Rider DA is a godless abomination. Uniqueness > link, because nothing else makes sense. Not much to say here. Do it.
- CPs are very cool and well-researched process CPs in particular are very impressive to me (which means ConCon and consult Japan don't count, lol). Default to sufficiency framing because why wouldn't I? Condo and negation theory are good and probably infinite (LD: its still good but less infinite, after like 2-3 condo I become more sympathetic), but I think judge kick is a mistake and will very much try not to kick the CP for you (basically unless the 2AR straight drops judge kick, don't count on it).
"...if I'm a K person?"
Absolutely. These are the debates I think about the most these days, and I do a lot of reading and research in this area both inside and outside of debate. Outside of debate, I'm a disabled Marxist. In debate, I have experience going for and/or coaching afropessimism, Baudrillard, Deleuze, psychonalysis, settler colonialism, Agamben, and a bunch of other things. I say this not to discourage you from reading non-disability/Marxist/etc positions, but to let you know this is where I come from. We all have biases, I'm just being honest about mine. Good K debaters are (imo), no matter what their literature base or background, organized and technical, with lots of contextual and specific explanations/examples.
- K affs should be coherent in the barest sense of the term i.e: if I don't know what the hell your aff does after the 1AC my threshold for neg answers goes way down and my threshold for voting for you goes way up. I think presumption is often underexploited by the negative but affs are also bad at answering it - the same standards of having clear impacts and internal links/solvency I'd apply to a policy aff apply here. Overviews are cool but as time goes on, returns diminish. I don't have any illusions my ballot does anything but indicate a decision, but this doesn't mean I don't think debate has liberatory potential (quite the opposite), and explaining why voting for/debating your aff is valuable is crucial. Case debate is, as in any round, crucial here - I think the aff should be able to explain to me what it does and why it's good, and 2ARs that fail to do so run the risk of losing my ballot. Floating PIKs should be set up explicitly in the block (LD: if it's not set up in the 1NC, the 2AR gets new responses - you don't have a block! When does it "float?"), and if I miss it, that's your fault for trying to cheat.
- K neg blocks/2NRs vs policy affs should be highly organized, with overviews kept to a minumum and most of the explanation done on the lbl. Organizing your 2NC/1NRs to mirror the 2AC order is good. Link debate on the permutation, framework on framework, etc. The closer your 2NC interp is to letting the aff have most of their aff, the more convinced I am that it's legit. Links should be contextualized to disprove why I should vote for the plan unless you have an alternative framework of offense, and even then should always be impacted out to some sort of turns case or external piece of offense. Again, examples - lines from aff ev, references to CX, etc. I also like knowing what the alternative does, and if I don't by the end of the 2NR my threshold for the 2AR goes way down. I think impact framing and comparison is sometimes forgotten in these debates, and should be present in the block/2NR.
- K v K debates - possibly my favorite debates to be in, although I get them way less than clash rounds. Stuff gets very muddled very fast in these debates, so, again, examples + organization + clear impacting out of your arguments is the winning move here. I'm sure I could be convinced "no perms in a method debate" may be a good argument in the abstract, but it certainly doesn't rise to the level of one in most debates I hear it in.
"...if I expect a lot of clash debates?"
Most definitely. I am very far from both "Framework is genocide" and "no plan no ballot" types, which makes me a pretty ideal mutual pref for these rounds imo. I think on a capital-T truth level I err slightly aff for reasonability reasons, but my actual voting record errs slightly neg so do with this what you will.
- Affs - I think some form of dialogue/role for negation is good and there should be a general telos and stasis for discussions - my ideal affirmative articulates a model of debate that has both but impact turns the negative's specific stasis point/telos i.e: not "debate is bad" but "their model of debate is bad, ours is better." There is a value to debate and I intuitively think it's important to be able to preserve and explain it, even if there's disagreement over what said value is.
- Negatives - yes I will vote on Framework lol. TVAs and SSD don't need to solve the content of the aff, but they do need to solve the aff impact turns/telos to debate (or at least most of it - I think of this stuff through sufficiency framing too). 2NRs lose when they don't collapse and explain a terminal impact or comparative internal link work on the limits/ground DA. They also lose when they don't allude to the aff at all. They win by doing all of the above. I tend to think clash/arg refinement > procedural fairness > topic ed. Debate may be (probably is) a competition, but what does that mean?
- All of the above can be changed by good enough (or bad enough) debating. I've voted aff on impact turns to debate itself with no counterinterp (cringe), and voted neg on "topic debating is good because we all should be lawyers someday" (also cringe). To me, Framework (and good 2ACs to it) are about the process of debate over the course of a topic/season rather than the content of individual rounds/arguments. As such, "state good/bad" or even "topic good/bad" doesn't really make sense as a response to/argument for Framework.
"...if I'm a phil debater?"
Maybe. Not the most well versed in these debates (although I do coach them a lot more lately), and there are just better judges for these rounds you could pref.
- Clear explanation and explicit interactions are good. I find these debates are simultaneously too blippy and also too top-heavy, and making sure you avoid both will help your chances a lot.
- I'm well versed in certain philosophies of ethics, but my issue is I have an issue with explaining how that translates to an impact metric in a debate round, so explain this stuff like I'm a decently well-read non-debater I guess?
- If you're going for phil affs vs the K, pref me a bit higher - I find these interactions interesting and actually do like these debates, provided they don't devolve into blippy nonsense and there's genuinely robust contestation.
"...if I'm a tricks machine?"
Please god no. I despise these debates and my threshold for these arguments is gonna be substantially higher. I will (begrudgingly) vote on them if a clear claim/warrant/impact is asserted and won (which is rare, but happens), but these debates are legitimately emotionally exhausting for me to judge because of how banal and infuriating I find them and I'm seriously gonna start tanking speaks moving forward for a prioris/TT/skep/logcon/etc. Also not voting on condo logic/tacit conditonals.
"...if I'm a topicality/theory monster?"
At your own risk. Lower for tons of spammy shells, higher for more policy-esque topicality debates, between the two for Nebel. I've been told my evaluation of these debates is erratic when interactions aren't very clear in very dense 2NRs, but I also did coach Aditya, so it's not like I know nothing. The wonkier the shell, the greater my threshold for winning it is.
- Topicality is a question of predictable models of the topic, which I personally believe is determined by research and literature. As such, I value evidence with intent to define terms of art more than good limits in the abstract. LDers: This doesn't mean semantics, it's actually the opposite - I care much more about topic literature consensus than grammar, because the latter has much less to do with how topics play out. You can go for semantics, but tread carefully. Offense/defense because why wouldn't I. Reasonability and competing interps could go either way in these debates, but reasonability is a question of the aff's interpretation, not what the aff did. Saying "the aff is/n't reasonably T" makes no sense to me, because it's about whether their model of debate is reasonable. Generally speaking, linguistic descriptivism > prescriptivism.
- Paragraph theory good, RVIs bad, disclosure good. These are predispositions I have (along with the condo stuff above) that are quite difficult (but not impossible) to debate out of.
- LDers: The universe is not infinitely expanding - nobody in theoretical physics has thought this was a thing since about the late 2000s - expansion is finite and constrained by the total amount of matter that exists, so it'll eventually stop. This is where theories about the inevitable heat death of the universe comes from. Nick Bostrom is a stupid moron and I'll never forgive him for popularizing this nonsense. Big pet peeve.
- LDers: Not voting on any sort of shell about clothes or people's behavior. It's worthless and annoying at best and violent at worst. Stop it.
- LDers: 2NRs on shells should focus less on lots of blips and more on sitting down and explaining internal links with explicit comparison. Treat it like a topicality 2NR in that regard and your chances of winning go way up, otherwise I may intervene to resolve unclear parts of the debate in ways you dislike.
- LDers: 1AR theory is fine, but again, impact out stuff very explicitly and don't leave it in my hands to decide.
- LDers: I'm evaluating every part of the debate after the 2AR. Trying to change this loses you 0.1 speaks for every speech you exclude.
"...if I'm an LDer doing policy and want to read tricks and Kant on the policy topic?"
Weirdly specific, but it happened. Your speaks are capped at a 28.5 and I'm not flowing half your aff.
"What about the weird pet peeves and thoughts every judge has but always forget to put in their paradigms?"
This will be updated over time, but...
Deeply uncomfortable voting on "this person did this thing and that's bad" unless I literally see it happen. I don't feel comfortable evaluating the conduct of minors who I don't know outside of these very limited interactions.
"Perm, do both" isn't an argument by itself and if this is all you say I will treat it as a new argument in your next speech when you explain it.
Inserting re-highlighting of opponent's cards is fine. Inserting whole cards from different parts of the article is a no-no.
Not okay with cards about debate written by active debaters at the time of authorship. Non-negotiable. Won't flow them. Sorry.
My debaters have pointed out that when people go for indexicals, if I decide under my index that these arguments aren't real and I don't need to flow them and it's impossible to deny this. Will be thinking about this moving forward.
The best way to make me want to claw my eyes out is overly semantic debates over Role of the Ballot/Judge. I vote for who wins. These arguments are cop-outs for actual framing arguments 9/10 debates. No clue why people pretend these arguments are magically above any other framing argument in the debate because you used a cheeky four-word phrase.
Mich KM hasn't been funny for years (if they ever were) and I only recommend showing me your shitty Will Morgan impression if you want a 27. Glorify predators if you want, but don't expect me to vibe with it.
That being said, debaters who display the true Poster's Spirit will be rewarded handsomely.
Stealing prep time annoys the hell out of me. Don't.
I will protect the 2NR like a mother protecting her firstborn.
Extra points for authors/args and cards I haven't seen before in K debates - I like rewarding original research over backfile recycling.
Long "framing contentions" alone are not good ways to answer DAs, but using them in conjunction with smart i/l defense is pretty cool.
I enjoy small talk, actually.
"Wow, that was certainly, uh, thorough. Anything else?"
Debate should be a safe space for everyone. Respect pronouns, respect people's personhood, and be conscious of social positions.
Debate should also be fun! Jokes, charisma, and being interesting to judge (even if it includes some pandering, lol) will all boost speaks.
Stolen from Yao-Yao: "I believe judging debates is a privilege, not a paycheck." You work hard to debate, and I promise I will work hard to judge you and give a decision that respects the worth of that.
Finally, a wager, as I am a gambling man at heart - if the 2AR/2NR sits down early, +0.3 speaks for every 30s saved if you win, but -0.3 speaks for every 30s if you lose. Your move.
Good luck, and see you in round!
Nate Galang Paradigm
Put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Conflicts: Klein HS, Seven Lakes HS, McMillen NG, Jack C. Hays HB, Village AI
K (high theory): 1
LARP: 1 or 2
K (identity politics): 3
5 minutes before the round
I will evaluate any argument that:
a. Has a warrant
b. Does not render debate unsafe
It would be helpful if you do these things:
1. Pop tags, author names, and pause at the end of cards or when switching between sheets. It makes speeches so much easier to follow.
2. Slow down on interps, standard/role of the ballot texts, and advocacy texts. I don't think anyone will but if you do I'll appreciate it a lot and might bump speaks a tiny bit.
3. Give me a ballot story at the end of the round.
I debated for Klein from 2014 to 2018, starting with PF in freshman year and switching to LD halfway through sophomore year. I qualified to the TOC my senior year and octofinaled at TFA.
I went for a few different styles of arguments, primarily high-theory kritiks, social contract theory, and soft-left policy affirmatives.
Explain and over-explain your arguments. If you give me contextual, comparative analysis and weighing, it'll make it easier for me to understand your arguments (and it will probably help your speaks).
If something doesn't make it onto my flow, I won't evaluate it. I don't look at speech docs during the round. This doesn't mean every word has to be crystal-clear or that you can't make fast arguments, it just means that if you are going to make blippy arguments, delineate between them well enough that I can catch a warrant in the few seconds you spend making each argument.
Tech > truth unless you say something that's outright false.
LARP/Policy arguments Plan + Advantage(s)
This was my a-strat most of senior year. I mostly read soft-left affs, but if you want to go for three extinction scenarios then do your thing.
Develop a ballot story for the plan. Explain how the plan resolves the specific harms raised in the advantage(s) and collapse to/expand upon specific warrants in later speeches.
Good solvency wins ballots. If you have good empirical solvency with well-explained reasons why your evidence is contextual to the topic and solves the advantage(s), you'll have a good time.
I'm good with this. Please don't go for everything in the 2NR. Give a good explanation of the overall DA story and how it turns/outweighs/interacts with the case. Similarly, give a good 2NR explanation of how the CP solves the case especially if the advocacy is some obscure policy.
Since my background is in LD, I will evaluate CP theory to a far greater degree than a lot of people with policy backgrounds. I'll evaluate things like one condo CP bad, one dispo CP bad, etc.
This is what I did most often in high school. I read mostly high-theory kritiks and also some stock kritiks like cap. The authors I'm most familiar with are Deleuze and Guattari, Baudrillard, Weheliye, and Bataille (a little bit). I'm not as fond of identity politics and it was never what I read during high school, but I think there can be excellent rounds on identity politics.
I like any and all K debate done well. By extension, bad K debate will make me really sad. Don't read a K just because it's what I like. I would much rather see you read something you like and read it well than read the K poorly.
If the 2NR has a really long overview with a ton of embedded clash, don't be surprised if you're not happy with how I resolve the debate. Do the work on the line-by-line and implicate arguments on specific sheets to resolve clash instead of reading a 4-minute overview that your coach wrote for you.
Explain what your author says. Don't rely on my prior knowledge of your author to substitute for your explanation. Don't expect me to examine speech docs to try and piece together what your argument was saying after the round. I need to understand your version of the argument.
I did a decent amount of this my senior year. Some phil debate, especially all-analytic frameworks, is really hard to flow. Try to delineate between arguments clearly and give me time to catch up when you're blazing through analytics.
Similar to what I wrote on K debate, don't assume I know what your author says and give your own explanation of the argument.
Theory is fine. I don't care whether you use theory to check abuse or if you just use it as a strategic tool.
Give a clear abuse story. Unified analysis in terms of how you approach answering the counter-interp and developing offense on the interp will make evaluating the round way easier.
I don't think I should ever have to have "defaults" on theory because you should be implicating everything in the shell. But I'll default to competing interps, no RVIs, and drop the debater.
Delineate between arguments to make them easier to follow. Theory debates are really fast so please try to minimize how blippy you are.
If you're extemping theory, you should pre-write your interp.
Weigh early with theory, especially since you often have fewer speeches on theory (i.e. if it gets introduced in the 1AR). Make them count and make sure that I know how different standards interact as quickly as possible.
I think that disclosure is probably good in general. If you're from a big school or you have bids, you basically have no excuse for not disclosing.
I'm sympathetic to small schools not disclosing. I was the only LDer from my school and I disclosed, but I get why not everyone would want to.
Be honest about your arguments. I don't like the sketchy kind of tricks debate that happens where people are super evasive in CX. If you want to go for presumption/permissibility triggers that's fine, but don't intentionally make arguments unclear in order to gain an advantage. If you do, you will probably be unhappy with how I render my decision.
If you make me laugh I'll probably bump your speaks. Don't be mean pls
Dominic Henderson Paradigm
EMAIL CHAIN: email@example.com
I was a policy debate in the 1800s. This means debate is about the flow although I am old so your speed should be at 80-90% of what you think is appropriate. I currently coach LD and PF, although I mostly have LDers. I tend to have more of a policy oriented views on issues given my history and given where I coach tends to push those formats more often than not. In terms of judging, I judge almost exclusively LD. Personally, I am a classic liberal. This means, I will listen to anything, but argument from those place will have language that is more understood by me. I have personal experience with violence. This means you should be very considerate and understanding when it comes to warnings so that I can prepare myself mentally.
I am an educator first. This means that I am concerned about the what happens in the debate more than I do about what the debate claims to achieve. This does not lessen my focus on argumentation, rather it is to say that I am sensitive to the issues that concern the debaters as individuals before I am my concern about various claimed link stories. Be honest, fair and considerate to each other. This manifests itself in my judging when I pay particular attention to the division of prep time. Debater who try to steal prep or are simply not consider of opponents prep will irritate me quickly (read: very bad speaks). Also, debaters who attempt to spread out an opponent because they are a newer or lesser debater will quickly lead me to give them the lowest possible speaks. Let me be clear, I do not have a probable with speed. I have a probably when debaters use it to exclude others. Foster an inclusive community. In general, treat your opponent in a considerate manner and if choose not to my brain starts to find reasons to vote against you. I will never back-flow, this is a oral activity.
This is a common question given I tend to be critical on points. Basically, If you deserve to break then you should be getting no less than a 28.5. Speaker points are about speaking up to the point that I can understand your spread/read. Beyond that there are mostly about argumentation. Argumentation includes strategy, crystallization, and structuring of speeches. If you have a creative strat you will do well. If you are reading generics you will do less well. If you tell a full story on the implication of your strat you will do well. If I have to read cards to figure out what you are advocating you will not. If you collapse well and convene the method and meaning of your approach you will do well. If you go for everything (neg) or a small trick you will not. Finally, if you ask specific questions about how I might feel about your strat you will do well. If you ask, "What's your paradigm?" because you did not take the time to look you will not. Previously, I had a no speaker point disclosure rule. I have changed. So ask, if you care to talk about why; not if you do not want to discuss the reasoning, but only want the number.
I truly like a good theory debate. I went for T often as a debater and typically ran quasi topical cases so that I could engage in theory debates. This being said, what you read should be related to the topic. If the words of the topic do not occur in what you read you are in an uphill battle, unless you have a true justification as to why. I am very persuaded that we should learn about certain topics outside of the debate topic, but that just means you should create a forum or propose a topic to the NSDA, or create a book club. Typical theory questions: Reasonability is defense, competing interps are offense. Some spec is generally encouraged to increase clash and more nuance, too much should be debated. Disclosure theory is not very persuasive too me, unless debate very well and should only be used when you are had an actual conversation with your opponent prior to the debate.
I was a policy debater, so disads and counterplans are perfectly acceptable and generally denote good strat (read: better speaks). This does not means a solid NC is not just as acceptable, but an NC that you read every debate for every case that does not offer real clash or nuance will make me want to take a nap. PIC are debatable, but I default to say they are acceptable. Utopian fiat is generally not without a clear method story. Politics disad seem mostly silly in LD without an explicit agent announcement by the AC. If you do not read a perm against a counterplan I will be very confused (read: bad speaks). If you do not read uniqueness then your link turns are just defense.
A kritik is a disad with a counterplan, typically to me. This means I should understand the link, the impact and the alternative as much as I would if you read a disad and counterplan. I vote against kritik most often because I have no idea what the alt does. This happens when the aff fails to engage and you think that you now just need to extend tags on the alt and assume that is enough. I need a clear picture of the link and the alt most importantly regardless of how much the aff has engaged or not. Gut check is a real thing. If your kritik is death good, skep, determinism you are working uphill. If you are reading "high theory" know that I have not read the literature, but I will do my best. In the 1890s, when I debated, I was really into Cap and Gender based positions. My debaters like Deleuze and Cap (probably my influence, if I possession such).
If you are trying to convince me that what you are doing matters and can change people in some way I really need to know how. If your claim is simply that this method is more approachable, well that is generally not true to me and given there is only audiences beyond me in elim.s you are really working up hill. If it is more approachable for you, then make that clear and then go for it. Access trumps all! You are definitely behind if your argument is simply that you are the one to introduce this concept into the debate space. If your method somehow interrogates something, what does it interrogate? how does that change things for us and why is that meaningful? And most important you should be initiating this interrogation in round. Tell me that people outside the debate space should do this is not an interrogation. That is just a plan with a specific mechanism. Pre-fiat claims are fine, but again I need to understand the implication. Telling me that I read gender discrimination arguments and thus that is a pre-fiat voter is not only not persuasive it is not an argument at all. Please know that my debaters have read narratives and this approach can be very effective, but when not developed well it is frustrating to me.
I really enjoy good framework debate, but I really despise bad framework debate. If you know what a normative ethic is and how to explain it and then how to explain your philosophical basis, awesome. If that is uncomfortable language then read bad. Please, avoid cliche descriptors. I like good framework debate but I am not as versed on every philosophy that you might be and there is inevitable coded language within those scholarship that might be unfamiliar to me. Most importantly, if you are into phil debating do it well. Bad phil debates are painful to me (read: bad speaks). Finally, a traditional framework should have a value (something awesome) and a value criteria/standard (something to weigh or test the achievement of the value). Values do not have much function, whereas standards/criterion have a significant function and place. These should be far more than a single word or phrase.
This is not my area of strength; thus much of this taking or based on others.
A PF round is a funnel. Your case should be fulled with lots of source qualification when appropriate, nuance and development. Then most important arguments should be articulated in the summary and final focus. If you are "going down the flow" in the summary and final focus, it is going to frustrate me, because you are probably going too quickly for PUBLIC forum and neglecting to explain why I should prefer certain arguments over others. Even if you do decide to go fast, I will flow of course but do not expect the best speaks and then I will be doing most of the decision making about which arguments are most persuasive to me. Argument selection seems to be the important skill in PF in my view. You should work on this skill every round as selecting arguments and explain why one argument is more significant structurally or materially is the function of this format to me.
I am fine with paraphrasing, but debater who use authors wording will receive better speaks and the default on close arguments. If you are paraphrasing you should have the original paragraph(s) you are drawing the conclusion from. Having the full original article is useful, but debaters who are rude about debaters who do not have access to full articles just irritate me (read: bad speaks).
The second-speaking team doesn't have to answer first-speaking team in rebuttal. However, if second-speaking team chooses not to, then defense from first-speaking team's rebuttal will not have to be extended in summary for me to evaluate it, but turns from first-speaking rebuttal will have to be extended. Overviews in the rebuttal are not require, but seem to be strategically smart and obviously acceptable. If zero weighing is done by the 2nd team until final focus I won’t consider the impact calc, as the 1st team should have the opportunity to engage with opposing comparative analysis.
I’m very resistant of theory debates in Public Forum. However, if you can prove in round abuse and you feel that going for a procedural position is your best path to the ballot I will flow it. Contrary to my paradigm for LD, I default to reasonability in PF.
I think the function of framework is to determine what sort of arguments take precedence when deciding the round. To be clear, a team won’t win the debate exclusively by winning framework, but they can pick up by winning framework and winning a piece of offense that has the best link to the established framework. Absent framework from either side, I default utilitarianism.
Finally Word for All
I am sure this is filled with error, as I am. I am sure this leaves more questions than answers, life has. I will do my best, as like you I care.
Chetan Hertzig Paradigm
EXPERIENCE: I'm the head coach at Harrison High School in New York; I was an assistant coach at Lexington from 1998-2004 (I debated there from 1994-1998), at Sacred Heart from 2004-2008, and at Scarsdale from 2007-2008. I'm not presently affiliated with these programs or their students.
If you're in high school, please just call me Hertzig.
Please include me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
CLARITY in both delivery and substance is the most important thing for me. If you're clearer than your opponent, I'll probably vote for you.
THINGS I LIKE:
- Trad debate
- K affs, performance, & Ks (just explain why you're non-T if you are)
- Framing sentences/overviews
- Speaking slower than average circuit speed
- Crystallizing/giving voters
- Explicitly linking to a standard or ROB in speeches, especially rebuttals
- Weighing between your extensions and your opponent's (not just giving me two non-clashing sets of extensions)
- Case debate (esp. comparing evidence & weighing)
- Good word economy
THINGS I DISLIKE:
- Ad homs against opponents/schools/coaches
- Verbal and non-verbal rudeness/reactions (including rude post-roundings)
- Friv theory/tricks (see below)
If, after the round, I don't feel that I can articulate what you wanted me to vote for, I'm probably not going to vote for it.
I will say "slow" and/or "clear," but if I have to call out those words more than twice in a speech, your speaks are going to suffer. I'm fine with debaters slowing or clearing their opponents if necessary. I think this is an important check on ableism in rounds.
I'm generally fine with policy args, although they're not my favorite (not a huge fan of wild extinction scenarios).
I don't view theory the way I view other arguments on the flow. I will not vote on theory that's clearly unnecessary/frivolous, even if you're winning the line-by-line on it. I will vote on theory that is actually justified (as in, you couldn't have answered the position without it, or there was something about the opponent's strategy that made it impossible for you to engage without theory). Is that subjective? You bet. Is there a brightline? Probably not. Don't like this view? Don't pref me.
I need to hear the claim, warrant, and impact in an extension. Don't just extend names and claims.
For in-person debate: I would prefer that you stand when speaking if you're physically able to (but if you aren't/have a reason you don't want to, I won't hold it against you.)
Link to a standard, burden, or clear role of the ballot. Signpost. Give me voting issues or a decision calculus of some kind. WEIGH. Be nice.
To research more stuff about life career coaching then visit Life coach.
Clark Johnson Paradigm
A couple of thoughts before I address specific arguments
not a good idea to read disclosure theory in front of me unless some shenanigans happened before the round that you can prove, I will vote on it, but it will not be an enjoyable round for me.
If it’s important say it more than once, I don’t necessarily mean that you should just repeat yourself, but make the argument in more than one place with more than one application.
Highlighting should be able to be read - I think that your evidence should be highlighted in a way that makes at least some grammatical sense - this is kind of subjective but if its a true abomination of words slapped together I won't read around your highlighting to understand what you're trying to say.
I tend to find myself defaulting to a policymaker more often than not, but mostly due to a lack of framing of the round, start weighing impacts and explaining to me how I should be looking at the round as early as you can.
I would like to be on the email chain, email@example.com
T debates (and theory debates) are already very blippy, if you want me to evaluate it, slow down. I like it when teams use T strategically in other areas of the debate.
DA's: good spin > sepcific ev > generic ev. I like intuitive turns case arguments and I love when you can implicate the aff’s internal links and solvency using other parts of the disad. I think that
CP's: These are fine, if you want to know my thoughts on judge kick see Rob Glass's paradigm.
K’s: Not my speciality, as long as you approach the debate assuming I won’t understand your version of baudrillard we’ll probably be fine. 2nr (and 2nc to some extent) explanation of what the alt world would look like, how the alt solves the links to the aff, and how the alt solves the impacts are important to me, I find myself to be much more persuaded by neg teams that can do this well.
K affs v fw: I think your aff should in some way be related to the topic, my threshold for framework/T arguments will go down if you can't defend how you are directionally related, that's not to say though that you have to be, just that it will make it easier for you to win those debates.
K affs v k's: this is by far the debate that I have the least experience with, something that's really important to me in these debates is clarity of how the alt/aff functions and how it interacts with the links to your opponents argument, I tend to find myself being persuaded by detailed alt analysis
if you’ve noticed a common theme here, it’s that I think the alt debate is important
Theory: Default neg and reject the argument, you should give me reasons to do otherwise, don't expect me to vote on it if you don't slow down and explain your argument, most debaters spread blippy blocks that make it difficult to flow and evaluate, if the 2nr or 2ar want to go for theory in some form or fashion you're going to have to do a modicum of work, saying severance perms bad for 10 seconds at the top of your 2nr is not enough to get me to vote on it as long as the 2ar makes any sort of response.
Counterplans bad is probably not a reason to vote aff
I don’t judge this event as often so I may lack a more nuanced understanding of how things function in LD compared to policy, but with that being said I’m open to however you want to do it, be it traditional or progressive. Your phil and theory debates are a little alien to me coming from how we approach similar arguments in policy, so if that’s what you think you’ll be going for in your 2ar or nr be super clear. Most of my thoughts about args in cx will color my analysis of the arguments you make in LD.
I dont consider the time it takes for your opponents to provide you their evidence as prep time, and I don't think you need to take cx time for it either. If you can’t tell, I am primarily a policy judge and as such I probably have a higher standard for evidence quality and access than your average judge.
other than that I don't have strong opinions when it comes to what arguments you want to read as long as you justify them (read: impacts matter!)
im not familiar with pf norms when it comes to whether you should or shouldn’t answer opponents args in summary or 2nd constructive. And sometimes I feel like I’m inconsistent in trying to figure out and apply what they are in my rounds judging it. As such I will treat it as I would a cx round unless you tell me otherwise - new args can be made in first two speeches, summary should not be new args (but can if they are answering a new argument, ie 1st speaking team makes an argument that directly answers a new arg made by 2nd speakers in the last constructive speech) in terms of extensions through to ff I don't think that saying something in grand is enough for me to weigh it at the end of the debate if you dont extend it through your last speech.
I will probably call for evidence. If you paraphrase, expect me to not treat your evidence with the same level of veracity as someone citing specific parts of their cards.
Aimun Khan Paradigm
Yes I want to be on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org. In an effort to reward clarity, I will no longer look at docs until after the round.
Tldr: I don't care what you read. I like: 1) Good argument resolution that makes me not have to think, 2) Seeing smart strategic decisions, 3) Learning something because an argument I didn't understand before was explained well. I type fast but my flow gets messy when I'm not told where to flow things.
I graduated in 2016, debated in Texas and on the national circuit, and qualled to TOC my senior year. As a judge, my goal is to get out of the way of the debaters and let them do their thing. Since graduating I've become pretty familiar with different styles of debate, and I don't really care what you read as long as you read it well. Policy, K, phil, theory, tricks are all the same to me as long as I understand the argument resolution. I enjoy watching debaters make smart/strategic decisions much more than I care about the particular arguments being read.
I'm willing to vote on anything I understand by the end of the round if it's won (and warranted). If an argument is bad, the other debater should be able to point it out. My only exception to that rule is I will not evaluate actively problematic arguments e.g. racism good.
Things that get you good speaks (and make it more likely that I make the decision you want me to):
1) Spell it out for me. Some amount of implicit clash is inevitable, but the more I'm left to resolve on my own, the lower your speaks will be. If I'm left to resolve two arguments, I will look for the path of least intervention. Good collapses get good speaks. Tell me what to care about and what not to care about.
2) Make yourself easy to flow. Slow down on important things that you want to emphasize. It's really hard to get warrants down in blipstorms. I have trouble with flowing big blippy analytic dumps so go like 80% of your top speed.
3) Explaining complex theories in a way that is understandable to a non-debater or someone with no background in the literature base you're reading will get you high speaks. I appreciate slower thesis explanations at the top of the 2NR/2AR. If I learn something from the round because you explained an argument I didn’t understand well, your speaks will be great.
In short, the easier you make it to evaluate the round the better your speaks will be.
Other things that affect your speaks:
1) Err on the side of slightly over-explaining warrants and interactions between args.
2) If you're reading stuff on case, I'd appreciate if you tell me where to flow your arguments. Good line-by-lining of the 1AC/1NC, as opposed to card dumps, is a lost art. Good warrant-to-warrant comparison and smart analytic responses make rounds enjoyable, and I express that enjoyment in the form of speaker points.
3) If you're debating a novice and you knowingly spread them out of the round, the highest your speaks will be is a 28.5 and I won’t feel bad about going even lower. By contrast, if you're debating a novice and you slow down and explain things simply to them (in other words, if you make the round accessible), your speaks will be high. Just use your best judgment here and don’t be mean.
4) In theory or K rounds, tell me what your model of debate looks like and how that frames the way I evaluate things.
5) I'd prefer you be straight up about what you're reading. If someone asks where the a prioris are in the aff, say where the a prioris are in the aff.
6) Big pre-written overviews are generally not incredible at argument resolution, and fully doc'd out speeches can make it hard to know where to flow things. If you’re reading off a doc for most of the 2NR and it makes my life harder, your speaks will reflect that.
Gurmeet Kindra Paradigm
I am a simple judge
1. I will say clear or slow-But please don't make me- slow on tags and evidence
2. If I don't have the doc don't plan on spreading
3. I don't have a preference to what you run K's, LARP etc. as long as you can defend your case clearly. If you are spreading make sure you slow down on tag lines.
4. I love smart CX, and I pay close attention to it.
5. Be Eloquent as I do pay attention to that as well
1.Let Weighing live in LD, I don't want a blitz of back file answers without leveraging the AC- then whats the point besides wasting 6 minuets?
2. I know there is a skew! Please don't waste more time complaining about it, it is an acceptable standard in a counter interp or just argument but shouldn't be the the main point of the 1AR, the more time you spend, the less i'll buy it.
3. Not super familiar w/ performance/Non t affs but please go for it- just break it down and you'll be fine
1. I won't vote you down but i'll kill your speaks if you run more than 5 off that are all condo, it always leads to bad debate- I'm generally good with condo but 5 or more off is just abusive
2. I expect clear articulation of what operates on the highest layer, K or Theory- If they go for one and you don't kick the other i'll assume risk of offense so for your benefit be clear
Please Note: I don't disclose. when you see it you will see critique clearly showing what and why.
email the doc to email@example.com
Rodrigo Paramo Paradigm
i debated LD and policy in high school, graduating in '13. this is my 3rd year coaching 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)]
if you plan to have an IR heavy debate, I do not think I am great to be in the back of a high speed version of that debate. i encourage you to slow down and be very clear in the claims you want me to evaluate in these debates.
i have not cut any cards on this topic - would warn heavily against running into a debate using a lot of acronyms from the lit/assuming familiarity on my part. this topic is dense, complicated, and large - all of those things should implicate how you explain the case, disads, topicality, etc.
- online debate has seen me give far more "yeah, you went too fast, i couldnt flow it" rfds than i ever did in previous years - i do not enjoy giving these decisions and you dont enjoy hearing them so please just slow down!!! especially on theory !!!!! please!!!!
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.
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!
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 think this also applies to things like “evidence ethics,” “independent voters,” "psychological violence," etc., though in different ways for each.
This used to be much longer - I have preserved the older version, but understand it was cumbersome for pref purposes, too long to read immediately pre-round, etc.
12 things to know:
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.
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.
- 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. My longer thoughts on that are available on the archived version of this paradigm, including what kinds of violations will trigger this, etc. If you are uncertain if your evidence is miscut, perhaps spend some time perusing those standards, or better yet, resolve the miscutting. Similarly, I will vote against debaters clipping if i notice it.
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. In principle, this is also true for your 2ARs. an important caveat: 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!
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.
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 you have great evidence that explains what your aff defends, great! you should read it - i am not particularly sympathetic to unread ev in a doc/ unread lists that explain what the affirmative/cp/whatever does/does not defend.
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. i prefer more experienced debaters to modulate their speed/presentation to be closer to that of their opponent's as i believe this facilitates better debates.
i mark cards at the timer and stop flowing at the timer.
I think disclosure is good, and "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
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. a lot of k debates i've coached/judged this year have taken for granted that "explanatory power" has some innate value that is sufficient to win debates - i don't understand why this is true, or why explanatory power is intrinsically valuable/something i should view as sufficient to grant a ballot!
I am not particularly good for the following buckets of debates:
IR heavy debates
Impact turn heavy strategies
Bad theory arguments / theory debates w/ very marginal offense
Identity ks that appropriate the form and language of antiblackness literature
affs/nc's that have entirely analytic frameworks (even if it is something like util!) i think this is often right on the line of plagiarism, and my brain simply cannot follow it!
SunHee Simon Paradigm
BLAKE (and rest of the eSeason) UPDATE
Please don't spread. Sorry y'all I'm just so burnt out with Zoom and it's getting harder to keep up without getting super exhausted. Going a bit over conversational speed is totally fine but your regular spreading is not. I won't stop flowing but I might miss stuff and dock your speaks, just so you know. And trust I'll be honest about this and say slow a couple times if you need reference. Otherwise, the rest of my paradigm is still the same - adjust prefs accordingly if you'd like.
I'd love to be on the email chain. My email is email@example.com
I'm the current assistant coach at Coppell High School where I also have the lovely opportunity to teach Speech & Debate to great students. I did LD, Policy, and Worlds in High School (Newark Science '15) and a bit of Policy while I was in college (Stanford '19). I'm by no means "old" but I've been around long enough to appreciate different types of debate arguments at this point. As long as you're having fun, I can feel it and will probably have fun listening to you, too!
Pref shortcut for those of you who like those:
Theory (if it's your PRIMARY strat - otherwise I can be preffed higher): 3
Notes for this lovely eSeason:
1. Slow down. 70% speed max. I don't think you need me to explain why.
2. I love this idea going around about recording your speeches on your phone or elsewhere in case the call drops. I'd be so grateful if you did. Not a fan of restarting entire speeches.
3. The further along in the day, the more I need you to start slower and pick things up. Zoom fatigue is real and I want to be present while judging you. Help me help you. I'm not a robot and get tired too!
Everything else below is older but I still feel pretty much the same - take a look if you want more details. So excited to judge your round, learn from you, and help you learn through my decisions. Ask any questions before the round if you need me to clarify something. I'm very honest if I didn't understand something so don't be taken aback by that in an RFD. Just do your best, defend things you have fun defending, and enjoy :)
Credentials that people seem to care about: senior (BA + MA candidate) at Stanford, Director of LD at the Victory Briefs Institute, did LD, policy, and worlds schools debate in high school, won/got to late elims in all of those events, double qualled to TOC in LD and Policy. Did well my freshman year in college in CX but didn't pursue it much after that. Now I coach and judge a bunch.
LD + Policy
Literally read whatever you want. If I don't like what you've read, I'll dock your speaks but I won't really intervene in the debate. Don't be sexist, ableist, racist, transphobic, homophobic, or a classist jerk in the round. Don't make arguments that can translate to marginalized folks not mattering (this will cloud my judgement and make me upset). Otherwise have fun and enjoy the activity for the 45 or 90 mins we're spending together! More info on specific things below:
I get this.
I understand this.
I also understand this. But don't abuse the privilege. I am not a friv theory fan.
I understand this too.
I don't default to anything necessarily however I do know my experiences and understandings of debate were shaped by me coming from a low income school that specialized in traditional and critical debate. I've been around as a student and a coach (I think) long enough to know my defaults are subject to change and its the debaters' job to make it clear why theory comes first or case can be weighed against the K or RVIs are good or the K can be leveraged against theory. I learn so much from you all every time I judge. Teach me. Lead me to the ballot. This is a collaborative space so even if I have the power of the ballot, I still need you to tell me things. Otherwise, you might get a decision that was outside of your control and that's never fun.
I will be able to evaluate whatever debate you want to have. Your job is to make signing my ballot easy. This usually happens when you debate the style you are best at instead of reading K arguments in front of me because you heard I'm a K judge.
On that note, let it be known that if you're white and/or a non-black POC reading afropessimism or black nihilism, you won't get higher than a 28.5 from me. The more it sounds like you did this specifically for me and don't know the literature, the lower your speaks will go. If you win the argument, I will give you the round though so either a) go for it if this is something you actually care about and know you know it well or b) let it go and surprise me in other ways. If you have a problem with this, I'd love to hear your reasons why but it probably won't change my mind. I can also refer other authors you can read to the best of my ability if I'm up to it that day.
Last thing, please make sure I can understand you! I understand spreading but some of y'all think judges are robots. I don't look at speech docs during the round (and try not to after the round unless I really need to) so keep that in mind when you spread. Pay attention to see if I'm flowing. I'll make sure to say clear if I can't understand you. I'll appreciate it a lot if you keep this in mind and boost your speaks!
Honestly, the same things above apply. I never did PF so I'll do my best to adjudicate by flowing and coming to the best decision laid out for me by you, the debaters.
1. Rebuttal speeches: Slow down on your analytics please. I do not have the doc. Even though I flow on computer, I am not a robot and I have long nails. Y'all are going 400 words a minute and there is no verification of what you say. Slow down. Slow down. Slow down. I won't feel bad if I missed it and drop you. You can spread but please be reasonable. Use numbering and pause. Name your analytical disads and pause between them. Do SOMETHING to show that you remember debate is still about communication. I will say slow/clear 2 times and start docking .2 each time I struggle if you don't listen after those warnings.
2. If you plan on reading a link that requires me to dig into what happens in your personal life with your opponent before we hit the timer, I won't do it. A screenshot of an empty wiki/lack of disclosure on your email is one thing. Personal texts or just word of mouth is out of line. On a related note, if someone makes you legitimately feel unsafe and worried about your ability to participate, I am fine pausing the debate and bringing it to tabroom/coaches/etc. and advocating the best I can. But I will not evaluate the debate like nothing happened and it is just an argument. If you need further clarification, please let me know.
Neville Tom Paradigm
Facebook: Neville Tom
Hi! My name’s Neville. I debated for four years at Strake Jesuit (got a few bid rounds during my career if that makes any difference), and I’m currently a freshman at UH. I’m still kinda working out the whole judging thing, so there’ll probably be some edits to this as time goes on. As such, please feel free to ask me any questions prior to round if you need any clarification about my judging style or my paradigm.
How to Win (the TL;DR version):
You do you – just do it well. Tell me very clearly how to evaluate the round and why you’re winning compared to your opponent and that’ll probably be what I decide on. I liked to read a little of everything in my rounds, so don’t be afraid to try out some obscure strategy in front of me – just know how to explain it well enough for the win.
How to Greatly Improve Your Chances at Winning & Boost Speaks:
- Weigh: Do it. A lot. As much as you POSSIBLY can manage. It doesn't matter to me if you're winning 99% of the arguments on the flow; if your opponent wins just that 1% and does a better job at explaining WHY that 1% matters more in terms of the entire debate, you will probably lose that debate.
- Crystallize: Don't go for every possible argument that you're winning. You should take time to provide me a very clear ballot story so that I know why I should vote for you. It might even behoove you to explicitly say: "Look. Here's the thesis of the aff/neg: (insert story of the aff/neg). Here's what we do that they can't solve for: (insert reason(s) to vote aff/neg). Insofar as we're winning this/these argument(s), we should win the round."
- Use Overviews: I find that debaters who use overviews effectively tend to win more rounds. It will definitely help me evaluate if you start off your rebuttal speeches with an overview, so... *shrug*. A good overview will have these three components: (1) explain which issues matter most in the debate, (2) explain why those issues matter most (why I should care about them most), (3) why you're winning those issues. After that, feel free to go to the line-by-line to do the grunt work. This will help clarify the round and will help me to focus on the issues that matter.
- Warrant your Arguments: When making arguments, be sure to provide clear WARRANTS that prove WHY your argument is true. Highlight these warrants for me and make sure to extend them for the arguments that you're going for in later speeches - if done strategically and well, I will probably vote for you.
- Signpost: Make very clear to me where you are on the flow and where you want me to put your responses. This will help to prevent any disambiguities that might affect my decision.
- Creatively Interpret Your Arguments: Feel free (in fact I encourage you) to provide your own unique spin to your arguments by providing implications that may not be explicit on first glance. Just make sure your original argument is open-ended enough to allow for your new interpretation. For example, if you win a Hobbesian framework and claim that the sovereign should settle ethical dilemmas, then feel free to make the implication that theory is illegitimate because it is not a rule that the sovereign has proposed.
How to Greatly Improve Your Chances at Losing & Lower Speaks (Borrowed from Chris Castillo's paradigm):
1. Don't make arguments that are racist/sexist/homophobic (this is a good general life rule too).
2. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand, so don't just read some dense phil or K and expect me to understand it.
3. Don't be mean to less experienced debaters.
4. Don't steal prep.
5. Don't manipulate evidence or clip. If I get conclusive evidence that you are purposely clipping, then I will down you.
I’m fine with it – make sure to start off slow and ramp up to your higher speeds so that I can get used to it. I flow on my computer and will say slow or clear several times if necessary – that being said, if you still continue to be incoherent, I will not get your arguments on my flow and will not be able to evaluate them.
That being said, there are things I will DEFINITELY want you to slow down for to make sure that I catch them.
Slow down on:
1. Advocacy/CP Texts
2. Text of Evaluative Mechanism (This can include the text of your ROB, your standard/value criterion, etc.)
3. Theory Interps
5. Author Names
6. After Signposting (Just pause for a second so that I can navigate to that part of my flow)
7. Analytics (in rebuttals)
**NOTE: I'm not asking to talk at a snail's pace when making analytical responses to arguments. However, if you blitz out ten 1-sentence analytics in the space of 5 seconds, I will not be able to catch all of them, so it would be to your betterment to slow down a bit. Additionally, it would help me flow analytics if you provide a verbal short 2-word tag prior to making your argument. For example, "A-point, no warrant: (insert argument here). B-point, missing internal link: (insert argument here). C-point, turn: (insert argument here). D-point, turn (insert argument) here." etc., etc. Feel free to be creative with your tags.
I will assign speaks based on your strategical decisions in round, but sounding pretty doesn’t hurt. I’ll start at a 28 and go up or down based on how you do.
Explicit Argument Preferences:
Read what you want. I'm cool with plans, CPs, DAs, PICs etc, as I tended to run them quite a lot as a debater. Just run them well.
Things that I would like to see in LARP rounds:
1. Rigorous Evidence Comparison. In my opinion, this skill is the key to being a good LARPer. It is much more compelling to me if you read one card about climate change being false and winning why your evidence is better than your opponents compared to your opponent spreading 18 cards on climate change being real.
2. Weigh. Do it as often as possible and make sure to do comparative weighing between your arguments and your opponent's. Prove to me why your arguments matter more than your opponent's. The earlier this debate starts, the better.
3. Advocacy Texts/CP Texts. I need to know what I'm endorsing.
4. (Borrowed from Matthew Chen's paradigm) Case Debate is Amazing. People don’t do it enough. A 1N that isolates every internal link to solvency on the aff and line by lines the warrants + reads weighing and comparison for their turns vs aff solvency links / 2NR that collapses to the case debate and just gives a really good ballot story and explains all the interaction will really impress me. Similarly, a 1AR that deals with a heavy 1N press well and explains/weighs their own ballot story will impress me.
5. Small Plan Affs/PICs. These really interest me. Don't lose on the case debate as (a) if your aff/PIC is really a small one, they really shouldn't have any good answers to the aff/PIC and (b) it will indicate to me that you weren't all that prepared to defend your position to begin with, which will not be good for your speaks. Also, be sure to be prepared for the theory debate as I tend to err towards the abuse story of the interp, especially if they provide round-specific abuse stories.
Again, read what you want. While I was definitely fascinated by critical literature and knew how to read and go for one, I admittedly didn't read Ks all too often, and so may not know/be aware of all the nuances of this style of debate. I have a decent understanding of some critical literature, including (but not limited to): Wilderson, Deleuze & Guattari, Edelman, Puar, Lacan, Agamben, Baudrillard, Tuck and Yang, etc.
I tend to view debates as an issue of testing the truth and falsity of the res (but this can easily be changed). Unless convinced otherwise, I view Ks similar to frameworks: to me, Ks filter what offense matters. As such, I view ROBs and FWs to function on the same level (you can convince me to think otherwise in round, but that's my view).
Things that I would like to see in K Rounds:
1. A Clear Link. I need to know explicitly what the K is criticizing. It doesn't matter whether it is the method, the reps, the discourse, or whatever. Just make clear to me that the aff has done something wrong and what exactly that is.
2. A Cohesive and Comprehensive Explanation of the Alt. Make sure to spend a decent chunk of time in the 2N explaining the alt. Explain to me (1) what the world of the alt looks like, (2) why this is net preferable to the aff, (3) why the alt solves the impact, and (4) why the alt is mutually exclusive. If you can explain all of these very clearly to me, I will be much more inclined to vote for you and will definitely boost your speaks.
3. Normatively Justify your ROBs. While not ABSOLUTELY necessary, I find completely impact-justified ROB somewhat uncompelling. Providing a conclusive ethical theory (this doesn't necessarily have to be justified by analytic phil - it can be justified by your critical author of choice) that provides a framework for your ROB will provide more nuanced discussion and will definitely give you a leg up in justifying your ROB as the framing mechanism. If done well, I'll give you speaks a big boost.
4. Make your K Accessible. Show me that you understand your K. Explain it to me (especially in the 2N) in easy-to-understand language. Also, even if you're using generic literature, use your K to provide a very close, nuanced analysis of the aff and paint a very detailed picture of the world of the aff vs that of the alt. This will help me to learn and understand more about the K and garner you good speaks.
5. Provide an Explicit and Unambiguous ROB Text. Give me an explicit metric through which I should view the round and adjudicate. If I can not make heads or tails of how to weigh using your ROB, I will use an alternate weighing mechanism. If the ROB is ambiguous and doesn't provide a clear way to weigh arguments, I will be much more compelled by a Colt Peacemaker-type shell that has a contextual story to the round, should it be read.
6. Notes for Non-T Affs. I have no problem with them. If that's your style, then go for it; just do it well and tell me why I should vote for you. However, if T-FWK/T-Defend the Topic becomes an issue, then be sure to: (a) provide good justifications for why you could not have been topical as I tend to be compelled by nuanced TVAs, (b) provide ample well-justified reasons for why the aff/your voters come prior to fairness and any impacts to it, (c) depict a clear picture of what your model of debate looks like and why it's net preferable to that of the interp, and (d) (Borrowed from Matthew Chen's paradigm), generate impact turns based on your aff, not just random impact turn cards like Delgado. I’ll vote on these external criticisms, but it’s much much less compelling and persuasive than your specific arguments about the aff.
7. Notes for Aff v.s. K. (a) PERM THE ALT. I will listen (and evaluate) any type of perm that you come up with, even "silly" ones like judge choice or method severance. (b) Go for "Case Outweighs", ESPECIALLY if the alt is very vague: I have not heard many great responses to this argument. (c) If your opponent's alt is vague, point this out: if I think you're correct in your assessment, I will be much more lenient in your responses to the K as a whole.
8. (Borrowed from Matthew Chen's paradigm): Performances are fine, but it ends after your speech. If you try to play music during your opponent’s speech, for example, I will drop you. Believe it or not, I need to hear your opponent’s 1NC to evaluate the debate.
9. (Borrowed from Matthew Chen's paradigm): Personal attacks in a debate round are unacceptable. I will not vote on an argument requiring someone lose for something that happened out of the round or out of their control, such as an attack on someone for their school/coach/affiliations. This is not limited to the K debate, but it is where I have seen it happen most.
As a debater, I loved the framework debate as I found the literature super engaging and the style super strategic. Unfortunately, the style seems to be falling out of fashion (#bringbackfwdebate), and so I am definitely down to judge this kind of debate. I'm decently well-versed with a lot of philosophies, such as: Util (duh), Kant (and Neo-Kantianism), Hobbes, Deleuze, Innoperative Community, Agamben, Particularism, Virtue Ethics, Derrida, Existentialism, Testimony, Levinas, Butler, etc.
Things that I would like to see in FW-heavy rounds:
1. Have a Meta-Ethic. Not only is this super strategic in excluding other frameworks (and thus, offense), but it also provides a great starting point to any framework.
2. Provide a Syllogistic-Framework. Explain why each premise (following your starting point) is necessarily the only possible derivation from the former proposition. This will make your framework (a) a lot harder to attack, (b) a lot easier to understand, and (c) a lot easier to defend, which is a definite win-win. It's a lot more compelling than random blips about "preclusion" or impact-justified frameworks. Also (especially if you're aff), draw out implications from your premises so that you can apply it to different scenarios. For example, if you've justified that there is an intent-foresight distinction (i.e. all that matters in judging the morality of an action is the intention behind it), feel free to draw out the implication that this means that you should not lose on theory because you did not intend to violate the shell. If you do this, I will definitely give your speaks a boost.
3. Use Skep. Do not be afraid to justify why skepticism is true as long as you justify why your framework resolves the problem. Use it to justify why your theory is better than others. If necessary, feel free to trigger skep in round for your strategic necessity - I feel that this is a legitimate strategy and that the onus is on your opponent to prove why it is not, should they have a problem with it.
4. Provide a Explicit Framing Mechanism. Be able to explain in simple terms (a) what your normative starting point is, (b) why your framework is the only one that can be drawn from this point, and (c) what actions your framework cares about. In other words, be clear about your view of what ethics is. Be sure that you provide a clear weighing mechanism that explains how I should evaluate arguments.
5. Don't be Sketchy. Make it clear to everyone what offense links and doesn't link. if in CX you do not provide a clear answer to your opponent about the offense that links to your framework, chances are that I won't know how to use your framework. As such, I will be very lenient to new reinterpretations of your opponent's arguments and will be much more like persuaded by a theory argument about vague weighing mechanisms.
6. TJFs/AFC are great. Read them if that's what you want. I will definitely be impressed if you manage to have decent nuanced theoretical reasons to prefer frameworks that aren't Util as I feel that this is an area that is (as of yet) unexplored by the debate community.
7. (Borrowed from Matthew Chen's paradigm) Framework hijacks are super strategic. Well explained and executed strats based around hijacks will get you high speaks. If you are able to provide good clash in defending your framework against a hijack, that will also garner you high speaks.
This style of argumentation was one that I initially struggled a lot with. Later in my career though, I grew to love and implement it in a lot of my round strategies. If you are able to run theory and debate it well, I believe you will definitely go far in your debate career as it definitely improved my winrate and my capacity to generate arguments quickly as well as my critical thinking skills.
Things that I would like to see in Theory Rounds:
1. WEIGH and CRYSTALLIZE. Theory has a bad rep of being super blippy and unaccessible and I can't say I blame the people that feel this way. The theory debate tends to collapse down to who blitzed out the shortest analytic responses which tends to result in very, very messy and hard to adjudicate debates. Doing this can make you a "good" theory debater. However, in order to really get to a higher level in this style of debate, you have to master the essential skills of weighing and crystallizing, which are generally seen in the later speeches. These speeches on the theory debate should be less and less blippy and focused on the essential issues of that debate. In front of me, you should (a) provide an overview where you isolate how I should evaluate the theory debate and what offense matters under this framing, (b) explain your offense really well, (c) prove that your offense comes prior to your opponent's, and (d) clearly indicate why this offense links back to a voter. If you do this successfully, I will definitely give you high speaks.
2. Do Comparative Analysis between the World of the Interp and the World of the Counter-Interp. Use this framework to explain what the net benefit is in terms of the interp/counter-interp. Don't be afraid to explicitly say, "Under the world of the interp, there is (some net benefit). The counter-interp can't resolve this issue, and as such, you should reject it."
3. Default Theory Paradigms. I do not like to default to any specific issue in this style of debate, as I believe that it is your job to justify them. However, if there comes a situation in which I need to default, then here they are:
(a) Theory > K/ROB
(b) Fairness > Education/Other Voters
**NOTE: I will only default to these if these voters are read. If you do not read voters on your shell, then I will not evaluate the shell - the onus is on you to provide a framework through which I should evaluate the debate.
(c) Competing Interps > Reasonability
**NOTE: if you're going for reasonability, PLEASE provide an actual brightline that tells me conclusively what counts or doesn't count as reasonable. If you tell me to gutcheck the shell or something along the lines of "you know this shell is silly", I will simply evaluate the line-by-line of the theory debate to determine the winner.)
(d) No RVIs > RVIs
(e) Meta-Theory > T/Theory
(f) T > Theory
(g) Semantics > Pragmatics
(h) Text of the Interp > Spirit of the Interp
**NOTE: If you go for spirit of the interp, provide some sort of metric through which I can understand the "spirit" of the shell, as (a) I dislike gutchecking as it can lead to arbitrary decisions and (b) I'm rather compelled by the argument that the text is the only objective metric as I cannot truly know what the spirit of the interp is.
(i) Drop the Argument (DTA) v.s. Drop the Debater (DTD): I do not have a default on the implication of the shell. The onus is on you to read them.
**NOTE: Conceded paradigm issues do not need to be extended. For example, if Competing Interps and No RVIs are conceded, you do not need to extend them again. If you need to refer to them again for whatever reason, feel free.
4. Be Creative. This style of debate really rewards those who like to go off-script and try new things. As such, I encourage you to try new ideas with theory in front of me. For example, use creative independent voters and argue why said voter comes prior to other voters.Just be sure to explain how to evaluate the argument and why it means that you are winning.
5. Be Nuanced. Make your shells as contextual as possible to the specific round. Feel free to extemp your shell (just be sure to provide either a written or digital copy of the actual interp before your speech so that I have something to hold you to). This will not only boost your speaks, but is also much more strategic as it becomes more difficult to respond to.
6. Policy on Frivolous Theory: To be perfectly honest, I've never quite understood what frivolous theory is. If you can provide a definition that conclusively defines what differentiates frivolous theory from a "normal" theory shell and why it's bad, then I won't evaluate the shell. In other words, use theory however you want.
I got introduced to this style of debate late in my career, but I really developed a liking to it as I found justifying and running meme-y arguments very entertaining. If done well, it can be a really fun round to both watch and adjudicate; if not, though, it can be near-impossible to judge.
Things that I would like to see in Tricks Rounds:
1. Be Upfront. I like debaters being tricky by reading tricky arguments (like NIBs or burdens). However, this does not give you free license to be shifty. In other words, be open with the implication of your tricks and how they function. That being said, I am okay with you providing slightly ambiguous answers. However, I heavily discourage you from providing responses like "I'm not sure, it COULD be a trick," or "I have no idea what you're talking about," or "What's an a priori/spike/NIB?", or just blatantly lying and later doing a complete 180. I will dock your speaks heavily if you do this, will significantly lower the burden of rejoinder for your opponent, and will want to vote for a theory argument indicting your practice, should it be read..
2. I'm not a huge fan of a prioris. I will vote on them provided you do a good job both (a) warranting why they should be my foremost concern under a truth-testing paradigm (if necessary, win that truth-testing is true and should be the framing mechanism first) and (b) provide a well-warranted reason why the a priori tautologically proves the resolution true/false. I will hold you to a higher threshold on proving these issues. If you do this well, then I will not dock your speaks and will likely pick you up if I deem that you won the argument. If you do not do it well, then I will likely dock your speaks and adjudicate the rest of the debate. Other than a prioris, I'm perfectly fine with every other trick, including, but not limited to: NIBs, Burden Structures, Triggers (i.e. Skep, Trivialism, etc.), Contingent Standards, Theory Spikes, etc.
3. Be Creative with your Tricks. Try not to default to recycled tricks like the Action Theory NC or a recycled Distinctions Aff from yesteryear with a slightly changed up burden. Creative tricks will be rewarded with higher speaks.
4. Weigh. Win why your winning of the trick is a prior question to adjudicating the rest of the debate. This can be done via making some claim towards fairness or education, for example. Admittedly, this can be tricky in a trick v.s. trick debate. In this case, attempt to provide unique reasons for why your trick is more true/comes first, and also have an additional out if that debate becomes too messy.
- Tech > Truth: Technical proficiency outweighs the actual truth value of an argument. Even if I do not personally agree with your argument, the onus is on the opponent to prove why the argument is false or shouldn't be evaluated. If your opponent fails to do this, then I will view the argument as legitimate and will evaluate the argument accordingly.
- Talk to me prior to the round if you need any accommodations. If you have a legitimate problem with a specific argument that impedes you from debating at your best, then please, by all means, let me know before the round starts. In order to avoid any mishaps, please provide a trigger warning prior to reading any (possibly) sensitive issue. If you are doubtful on whether you should give a trigger warning, then provide one anyway to be safe.
- Have Fun with the Activity: feel free to make jokes/references/meme (a bit) in round. Debate is admittedly a stressful activity and so is school and basically the rest of life, so feel free to relax. Make sure that your humor is in good taste, however; there is a very fine line between humor and arrogance/insults and I do not want to have to deal with a situation where "fun goes wrong".
- Disclosure is probably good: I find myself compelled by the argument. This does not mean that I will auto-hack for Disclosure Good or any of its variants - I believe that it is a legitimate debate to be had and if you conclusively win that disclosure is bad, then I will vote for you. That being said, do NOT run it on someone that is clearly novice level/just started circuit debate. If you win the argument, I will vote for you, but I will not be giving you higher speaks.
- Strength of link is a great weighing argument. Use it.
- People I Share Similar Judge Philosophies With: Chris Castillo, Matthew Chen, Tom Evnen, Erik Legried, Etc.
*Edit - Here’s my wikis from senior year so that you can get an idea of the type of debater that I was:
Andrew Whitaker Paradigm
Background/experience: I debated for 3 years at Montgomery High school competing two years in policy and my senior year in ld. As far as other events go, I competed in extemp, congress, and even World Schools on occasion. I qualified to TFA state every year in policy and ld respectively. I also qualified to the TOC my senior year in ld.
General Paradigm: I really think debate has become an activity involving strategy over anything else in policy and ld especially. Therefore, I will tend to be more perceptive to strategy over grandstanding on your critiques. Additionally, I felt like during my career that judges tended to put their own personal beliefs about debate and the issues being debated on a pedastool making them biased toward certain arguments like Ks over theory or theory over Ks. My goal is to be a complete blank slate as far as that goes. I believe things like frivolous theory can be a strategy even though some judges are biased against it. That's not to say I'm a theory hack because I'm probably the opposite, but I am receptive to it just as I am to a DA or K. Also don't say racist stuff or I probably won't like you.
K: I read Ks throughout most of high school and am well read in most of the literature. That being said, I am not a K hack. I am probably going to know if you don't understand what you're reading or talking about. Most of the critiques I read were high theory involving authors such as baudrillard, deleuze, bataille, Heidegger, etc. I'm not going to grandstand about how you have to explain Ks thoroughly. They should have some explanation in the 2nr but some of this stuff can't be simplified down to a third grade level so I don't expect that to occur. I feel like the debate community has allowed some kids to get away with little explanation and say they are a great debater while other times judges use it as a cop out to not give an RFD. Just know what you're talking about and I'm cool with it. Also k affs are great and strategic.
LARP: I read policy affs and DAs throughout my policy career and somewhat as an LDer. I really like these arguments because they allow debaters to be strategic with turns and usually allow me to learn some cool stuff too. Have fun! I love DAs, CPs, plans, etc.
Theory: I never really read theory unless I was forced to. That's not because I didn't like it but I thought some judges would hesitate to vote on frivilous theory. I am happy to say that I am not one of those judges. Read frivilous theory all you want. Just remember that usually there are simple intuitive responses that are effective. Also I default competing interns but I don't have a specific leaning toward reasonability or competing interps one way or another. And yes! Reasonability is something I will vote on if you are winning that I should use it. I also don't have any presuppositions as far as rvis and drop the debater vs drop the argument. Tell me which I should use and if you don't I'll probably default to drop the argument if applicable and no rvis. Lastly, definitely weigh standards and impacts or you won't like my decision.
Phil: I didn't read Phil whatsoever until my senior year. I still am not read on the literature. That being said, I think Phil arguments are great and I will do my best to evaluate them just as I would a k. Just be prepared to explain it to me and how it interacts with offense in the round. If you like reading Phil, go for it.
I will say clear twice, then deduct speaks. If you are clear, then the main thing that I use to evaluate them is strategy. I will also adjust my speaks depending on the caliber of tournament. I will give a regular debater around a 28.8, a poor debater 28.5 and a good debater 29+
My goal is to be the most tab judge you have ever had, so read anything you want, be strategic, and have fun.
Aurelia Williams Paradigm
Im currently studying philosophy at Loyola and last debated for GSU. I have a background in coaching, judging and debating LD, PF, and Policy and I have been working at camps for 6 years (GDS, UNT, Harvard, and Stanford). I will listen to most arguments as long as I do not find them offensive. I prefer clarity over speed- that being said I am perfectly fine with speed. If I have to call clear more than three times I will stop flowing. Counter plans and theory arguments are fine as long as they are coherent, the same goes for K's. However, I typically only like to vote on theory arguments in which the violation can actually be resolved by the ballot. Can go either way on tricks, but I don't hate creative attempts at securing the ballot. Most importantly Ive been involved in this activity a long time- so I like when debaters do a little something something.
My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maggie Zollo Paradigm
I currently coach LD, PF, and CX at A&M Consolidated, and did LD at Northland Christian in high school. If you're here for PF, skip to the third paragraph.
As a debater, I read a lot of plans, DAs, and CPs and so I like listening to them, but I'm cool with other off case positions, too. When it comes to Ks, I would really appreciate it if the position was clearly explained (especially in terms of ROB/ROJ and the layer of the debate it functions on) and cleanly extended throughout the round, since I may not be as familiar with some of the literature (especially if you're reading pomo type stuff). I won't vote on any argument that tries to justify unjustifiable things (the Holocaust, slavery, other forms of oppression). If you need clarification on what that means, feel free to ask. If you're reading a process CP I'll be more receptive to perms/theory against it.
I would prefer that you don't read frivolous theory in front of me, it bums me out. I know my definition of that is different than others, so feel free to ask for clarification before the round. I'm open to listening to T, but I'd honestly prefer to not have it become the only layer in the round/the only thing I have to vote off of. Same with RVIs. Also, I find myself voting for K's a lot more often in TvsK debates, so my threshold for "non-topical" affs is probably more forgiving than some. I default to reasonability if it's a situation of potential or frivolous theory but will go with competing interps if you justify it, which isn't hard to do, so please take the extra 15 or so seconds to do so if that's what you want to go with. Also, extend voters and drop the debater arguments please. Condo is fine when limited to one (or two in CX) positions, but feel free to take the time to explain otherwise in either direction. I think conditional K's can be kind of bad perceptually depending on what the pre-fiat impact is if there is one, or if there's a performative/different method-based aspect to it.
You'll get high speaker points if you speak clearly, extend arguments, and weigh, and you'll get low speaker points if you're rude and/or offensive to anyone in the room (I listen to CX, too, so be civil during that), especially if you're debating someone clearly out of their depth and you're obviously winning but you decide to go about it obnoxiously, or if you speak particularly unclearly. In more competitive rounds aka at bid tournaments, speaks will be more likely to be based off of strategy. If you go all in on T or theory when you don't need to, for example, there's a chance I'll dock speaks. You can read as fast as you want, please just be clear. I'll ask you to be clearer a few times, but eventually I'll just have to try my best with guessing if you don't listen, and that isn't good for anyone. Also, for PF, the 2nd speaking team should cover part of the case in the rebuttal speech, terminal defense is fine to extend, and line by line is alright up until the summary, arguably the final focus. Don't go for everything, have solid issue selection since y'all don't get the best time constraints.
Feel free to ask for clarification on any of these points before the round, or ask any more questions that you think could apply to the debate. Thanks for reading this!
My email is email@example.com, I would love to be added to the email chain.