2015 — CT/US
Fionn Adamian Paradigm
Towsif Ahasan Paradigm
Shira Almeleh Paradigm
Rachel Baron Paradigm
I did PF for Walt Whitman and graduated in 2013. I coached at Whitman for threee years, and Riverdale Country School for one year
Speed and technical debate are both fine with me, but you need to be clear. This means signposting, warranting your arguments, and weighing explicitly. I am not going to do work for you, so if you don’t literally tell me why I should vote on something I will not vote on it. I am not going to do any analysis that you do not do for me in your speeches.
I am open to any type of argument. That being said, I can be easily persuaded by opponents’ claims that particular interpretations are unfair ways to view resolutions. If you do anything risky, you need to be able to A) defend why what you’re doing is fair and B) obviously win it if you want me to vote on it. The one caveat to this is if you run anything that is discriminatory in any way (racist, sexist, classist, etc.) I will get really, really angry. Please do not do this, I don’t want to hear your genocide is good contention even if you are down four and not breaking.
If you are first summary, I do not need you to extend defense on arguments that your opponents’ have not gotten to go back to in their rebuttal. If your opponents do not answer that defense in their summary, I am fine as having that as a reason not to vote for them on that argument as long as you extend/explain that they didn’t answer that response in your ff. Any offense you want to go for in final focus need to be in first summary though, including turns on their case (if you don’t extend the turn in your first summary, but extend it in final focus I can evaluate it as defense on their argument but I won’t vote on it).
If you are second summary, you know what your opponents are going for so my standard is a little higher. Any defense you want to extend in final focus need to be in your summary. Only exception to this is if your opponents switch what they are going for in their first final focus (don’t do this please), and you need to remind me that they never answered the defense you had put on that argument.
Weighing needs to be comparative or superlative in some way. The structure should generally be phrased as x is more important than y because or x is the mot important issue in the round because not just x is important because.
Stefan Bauschard Paradigm
1. I think you should present strong evidence to support your arguments. I think you should directly quote evidence and have it readily available upon demand. If I ask you to see your evidence after the debate and you hand me an entire article and say, "It basically says it in these 4 pages," I'll just hand it back.
2. You need to extend arguments in Summary and FF for me to vote on them.
3. I flow.
4. You can talk as fast as you want.
5. Debater math...c'mon.
6. Weigh, compare, etc.
7. I have two kids, but that doesn't mean you have to treat me like I'm an idiot.
8. I read an awful lot about the PF topics and I generally ready a lot.
9. If I say I'm going to judge at a tournament I show up and judge at it. I've never ghosted any debaters.
10. If you start screaming at each other in crossfire then I'll just tune out.
Policy philosphy that is applicable where relvant.
1. I don’t have any real substantive argument preferences. I do my best to let those play out in the debate as they do. Unless topicality, a theory issue, or a kritik is involved, I attempt to determine the desirability of the plan relative to the status quo or a specific alternative. I think most arguments that are presented in debates are pretty interesting.
2. Although I'm not actively coaching, I've read a lot about health care and I'll likely be familiar with what you are arguing about, particularly the details of the cost debate. I haven't thought much about the resolution, however, so T arguments will require more explanation and application.
3. I think the affirmative should present an advocacy that is reasonably topical. I strongly believe that non-topical affirmative debate has really hurt at least the volume of debate participation, at least at the high school level. Since I think debate is good, I wish people would debate a reasonable interpretation of the topic. "Reasonability" of any interpretation is certainly up to debate, but not advocating for the resolution in some reasonable way is going to be hard, even with me trying to listen more. That said, I'll still do my best to be fair if the situation arises, so negative teams should engage the debate.
4. Link v. Uniqueness. I don’t think that uniqueness is ever absolute and that the direction of the link *usually* has a lot bigger role to play in the debate that most people give it credit for. Certainly proposals can make things worse or better, and that increment, be it large or small, always deserves some calculus in the assessment.
5. Offense v. Defense. Offense helps, and it is USUALLY impossible to reduce the risk of an argument to zero. However, unlike many others, I do not think it is impossible.
6. Back to topicality. I’m old. I thing things have gone way too far in terms of “competing interpretations.” I think that in order for “competing interpretations” to be relevant that both sides need to have a reasonable interpretation that is grounded in a definition/contextual card. Basically, I think most Affs are topical unless they are unreasonable.
7. Theory. I think theory blocks have somewhat ruined theory debates. People can’t win theory debates because the debates are dry, stale, old and not very interesting. If you want to win a specific theory debate explain why the particular argument practice at hand significantly undermines your ability to win the debate and then convince me that I should vote against the other team for having engaged in that practice. Both of those are possible, whereas reading your great “conditionality bad” file is not.
8. Voting issues. I think if you do a good job explaining why a theory argument other than topicality is a voting issue that you can win that it is. HOWEVER, I will IGNORE the random “independent voting issue” consequence.
9. Reading along. I usually read along the speech documents. While I realize this is controversial, I'm not sure why it is desirable to know less about what is going on in the debate than the debaters do during the debate. I also closely look at evidence that is being discussed in the CX. That said, I can more about how debaters use the evidence and won't independently evaluate its strengths unless I'm forced to choose between two arguments and offered little guidance.
10. I'm old and prefer, "flow, line by line" debate.
11. I think the 1NR is a rebuttal and should not be full of new arguments.
12. I prefer less aggressive communication styles and that debaters just focus on the arguments. I realize that these styles my persuade others, I'm just simply not persuaded by them.
Alisa Behne Paradigm
Jack Belk Paradigm
I'm from south florida and I did high school debate for four years (shoutout to St. Thomas BS). I love PF and the way I judge is pretty straight forward.
Have you ever watched a finals round and wondered why the competitors don't spread? It's because this is PF. If you're spreading you're doing something wrong. Public forum is not about reading evidence quickly, it's about using evidence intelligently.
If you do not sign post in your case I will be very sad; especially if you're going to ignore my advice about reading quickly.
The "tabula rasa" Judge Myth:
There's no such thing as a truly "blank slate" judge. I am not a blank slate. I will not take whatever you say at face value. If you say something that is outlandishly ridiculous, even if you're reading a card, you need to support whatever it is that you're saying with a solid explanation. It's not up to your opponents to prove you wrong, its up to you to prove yourself right. If you can do that though, then I'm all ears.
Use of Evidence:
Evidence is good. Logic is good. Logical evidence that is used effectively is great. Teams should read cards only when it is fundamental to the development of their argument. If you read a card and then never use it, it makes you look sloppy. Don't be sloppy. Read a card, explain it, interpret it, and then expand on it. I will read cards if your opponents call for it, and I'll probably call for cards myself. If you lie about evidence, or use a card so as to misconstrue the authors original intent, I will hate you forever, drop your lying ass, and call your mom to tell her what you did.
Impacts, Weighing, and Framework:
I like when teams get creative. Pre-fiat impacts, discourse arguments, and alternative frameworks are all awesome. This resolution has the word "ought" in it. Please, for the love of God, talk about morality. When it comes to the final focus, you don't have to reread every card you used to make an argument, but if you don't even mention the argument at all, I can't weigh it. This is why good sign posting and organization early on is so important. Instead of having to waste time being redundant, you can say "Let's discuss the impacts of our first contention," and then go on to weigh or clarify your C1. I haven't forgotten what you said in your earlier speeches, you don't need to simply repeat yourself.
Best of luck!
Nathan Blain Paradigm
Lily Burdick Paradigm
Bonnie Burke Paradigm
Emily Burke Paradigm
Sharon Bushman Paradigm
Bilal Butt Paradigm
I am the assistant director at Ardrey Kell High School and mainly coach Public Forum Debate.
“Flow” judge I guess, can follow the fastest PF debater but dont use speed unless you have too.
If you can, PLEASE flip the coin before I get there and you can be seated in the room.
Ok without handshakes.
5 Things to Remember…
1. Sign Post/Road Maps (this does not include “I will be going over my opponent’s case and if time permits I will address our case”) – After constructive speeches, every speech should have organized narratives and each response should either be attacking entire contention level arguments or specific warrants/analysis. Please tell me where to place arguments otherwise they get lost in limbo. If you tell me you are going to do something and then don’t in a speech, I do not like that.
2. Framework: I will evaluate arguments under frameworks that are consistently extended and should be established as early as possible. If there are two frameworks, please decide which I should prefer and why. If neither team provides any, I default evaluate all arguments under a cost/benefit analysis.
3. Extensions: don’t just extend card authors and tag-lines of arguments, give me the how/why of your warrants and flesh out the importance of why your impacts matter. Summary extensions must be present for Final Focus extension evaluation. Defense to Final Focus ok if you are first speaking team, but you should be discussing the most important issues in every speech which may include early defense extensions.
4. Evidence – prefer if you DO NOT paraphrase. Tell me what your evidence says and then explain its role in the round.
5. Narrative: Narrow the 2nd half of the round down to the key contention-level impact story or how your case presents a cohesive story and some key answers on your opponents’ contentions/case.
**I am not a calculator. Your win is still determined by your ability to persuade me on the importance of the arguments you are winning not just the sheer number of arguments you are winning. This is a communication event so do that, with some humor and panache.**
"30: Excellent job, you demonstrate stand-out organizational skills and speaking abilities. Ability to use creative analytical skills and humor to simplify and clarify the round.
29: Very strong ability. Good eloquence, analysis, and organization. A couple minor stumbles or drops.
28: Above average. Good speaking ability. May have made a larger drop or flaw in argumentation but speaking skills compensate. Or, very strong analysis but weaker speaking skills.
27: About average. Ability to function well in the round, however analysis may be lacking. Some errors made.
26: Is struggling to function efficiently within the round. Either lacking speaking skills or analytical skills. May have made a more important error.
25: Having difficulties following the round. May have a hard time filling the time for speeches. Large error.
Below: Extreme difficulty functioning. Very large difficulty filling time or offensive or rude behavior."
Speaker Points break down borrowed from Mollie Clark.
Byju Byju Paradigm
Bernice Chen Paradigm
David Childree Paradigm
Joshua Cohen Paradigm
I have been judging PF since 2011.
Please do not speak quickly - I will not be able to follow you.
I place a premium on well-supported, "real-world" links, which are to me a prerequisite to your impact, no matter how large.
I am a judge from Newton South HS, just outside of Boston, MA. I have been judging PF since 2010. I debated in high school in the early 80s. But don’t let that fool you.
FLOWING – I can flow SOMEWHAT faster than conversational speed. As you go faster, however, my comprehension drops. In addition to speed, I have trouble with the following: (1) Evidence tags: Because I am unable to catch most evidence tags, I probably won’t know what you are talking about when you remind me that “Smith in 17” told me something important in your partner’s last speech – unless Smith is a big deal in the round and you have talked a lot about that evidence. (2) Short argument tags, especially in the two-minute speeches, in which debaters often introduce their own argumentation structure. If you say something like, “On economic growth, remember…”, I will end up spending 5-10 seconds trying to figure out what “economic growth” argument you are referring to (and perhaps even what side of the resolution you are on). As a result, I may miss a few of your responses. It’s more helpful if you build a bit of the link chain into your tag. For example – “Our opponents say more H-1b visas boost jobs and hence economic growth, but remember…”
IMPACTS AND LINKS – I find that which side wins my ballot often depends more on link credibility than on impact magnitude. If I don’t find your link chain compelling, I will have a hard time voting for you, even if there’s something very big at the end of that chain. Argumentation that contributes to link chain credibility includes: (1) Inferences based on rigorous analysis of empirical data – i.e., a well-designed statistical analysis. If you can explain why the data in the analysis apply to (i.e., can be generalized to) the scenario being debated in the round, and why the statistical methods mitigate the risk of invalid inferences, I will find you to be compelling. (2) Consistency with history / the world we live in – For a lot of arguments, there are no rigorously conducted statistical analyses. For example, for few statistical studies look at how policies may influence public opinion, politicians, the policies of other countries, and so forth. But if you can identify pertinent historical precedents and argue that they inform the scenario being debated in the round, I will again find you to be compelling.
LESS COMPELLING ARGUMENTS – (1) Just because Professor Smith says something is true won’t necessarily convince me unless I understand *the basis* for Professor Smith’s beliefs. Yes, I’m looking for a warrant. But hopefully, you have more than your *own* explanation for Professor Smith’s conclusion. It’s best to show me that your evidence presents a coherent story with both warrants and resulting conclusions that support your argument. (2) Pasting together links from different sources often produces less compelling arguments. For example, Source A tells us that certain policies are politically divisive; Source B says that political division leads to federal gridlock; and Source C says that gridlock delays funding for the military and undermines national security, which, naturally, causes nuclear war. A problem with this sort of link chain in my mind is that the different sources use similar phrases to describe various types of events, but they aren’t really talking about the same things. For example, is the “divisiveness” described in Source A really equivalent to the “political division” described in Source B? And is the political division described in Source B emblematic of what has caused gridlock, as documented in Source C? If your opponent fleshes out these limitations, and if they have an alternative, more plausible description of how the real world works, that could be a problem for your position.
BOTTOM LINE – Fast argumentation challenges my ability to follow you. Stretched link chains challenge my tendency to believe you. You are best off presenting an intuitive narrative (i.e., a story that is consistent with how the “real world” works) and using that narrative as your foundation for establishing why your position is more credible than your opponent’s.
Elizabeth Decker Paradigm
Lay judge/teacher chaperone
-enjoy a civil flow not too fast.
Christina Deprez Paradigm
Joey DiColandrea Paradigm
I prefer a traditional style of LD that doesn’t run kritiks or feature spreading. If you do something more circuit style, you have to break it down for me very clearly so I follow you.
Xueru Ding Paradigm
Brian Dorfman Paradigm
I competed in PF my freshman year, LD my sophomore year, Congress my junior year, and DP/Duo/OI my senior year. I know all of the debate terms. If you spread, I will drop you, end of story. I value presentation, but obviously in a debate round logic reigns supreme. Don't get bogged down by the little arguments; focus on winning the resolution war, not the small battle over a tiny fact.
Robert Dorfman Paradigm
Jonathan Evans Paradigm
Matthew Feng Paradigm
I competed for four years for Plano West Senior High School mainly in Public Forum and Extemporaneous Speaking, currently debate in college in British Parliamentary, have judged at a reasonable amount of national tournaments in the past three years (mostly along the east coast), and help out both Plano West and Dalton. Last year (2016-17), I was affiliated with Plano West and Flanagan.
Look, I don't think that I judge particularly differently from other judges - I think that I am open to evaluating all arguments but have different thresholds for evaluating certain types of arguments. I like consistency and really appreciate weighing. There are some particulars that I've listed below that have been commonplace in debate over the past few years, but here is the top-down:
I'll look for the path of least resistance for my ballot - that means giving me proper extensions of arguments (i.e. warrant and impact extension in both the summary and final focus) as well as a framework under which I can evaluate them. What's really important is that I really, really want you to weigh. I can't discern which of ten poorly weighed arguments is more important, but I can easily vote on one argument that is presented as the most important in the round. If I am not presented with a way to weigh, I would default to my own intuitions, but for your sake, you should do the weighing for me so you don't leave the round vehemently disagreeing with my decision (which, to be clear, would be because of your absence of weighing).
Technical Idiosyncrasies: The main questions I get are about the obligations of each speech. I'm fine with anything. In general, I think that if the second rebuttal goes back to frontline their case (which by no means is required by me), then the first summary is then required to extend defense on the relevant parts of the flow that were defended by the second speaker on the second speaking team. That means that the first speaking team does not necessarily need to extend defense in the summary if the second speaking team did not do that in their rebuttal. That said, I think that my flow is not perfect and that everything is a signaling effect - if you choose to still make an extension of some defense in the first summary, it will show to me that that's clearly important, and it will be easier for me to follow you in the round.
Rebuttal DAs: I'm not a huge fan of these - I think that they can be super blippy and also, particularly in the second rebuttal, are quite abusive. I don't know how I would handle these, but I think a fair expectation you can have is, if the round is at all close, I would assign less importance to these arguments and would be hesitant to vote on these.
Theory/T/Ks: I think there is a place in PF for them, but I think that a vast majority of instances in which these arguments are read, they are poorly fleshed out or misapplied (e.g. reading NIBs Bad when the arguments aren't NIBs). In those instances, I will have an absurdly low threshold for accepting a response to the argument, but I don't want this to deter you from reading these arguments if you think your opponents genuinely are perpetrating some egregious abuse or if you think that the round is important for a specific message. That said, I would proceed with caution about reading these arguments.
Speaks: I try to follow the scale for the tournament. That being said, I think that speaks are a good way for me to express appreciation or disapproval for things that might not be reflected by a binary win/loss, such as being cordial and maybe making the round more fun. Additionally, I think that particularly interesting, smart, or strategic arguments/decisions in the round will also cause me to give you better speaks (the converse of this is that if you are reading baseless arguments, I might still reward you with the win if you're ahead on the flow by a considerable margin, but I probably would give you comparatively lower speaks).
Jargon: I'm not a big fan of jargon - I think I probably get a vast majority of it, but I think that a lot of jargon is misapplied. In general, explaining something in plain terms will increase the probability that I understand your argument, so it's in your interest to do that. One thing in particular that I really don't get is this new 'uniqueness controls the direction of the link' or something - like I am pretty sure I get it, but just use real words.
Speed: Proceed with caution. I think that I can keep up with briskness and can catch most things said at faster paces, but keep in mind that my experiences and relative understanding of speed are based on Public Forum. In this event, neither you nor I should have to ever feel as though we are going too fast.
Evidence: I think that debaters should be unafraid of me calling for evidence. I'll call it if I'm told to call it explicitly, but I think it's also reasonable for me to call something that plays a significant role in the round that may sound too good to be true or to call clashing evidence when there is no resolution in the round. I wouldn't hesitate to vote on an evidence violation if it's particularly egregious, and often times when I find something is being misconstrued, it's a piece of evidence that was important for a key argument anyway. But I think what you should make sure of is that your evidence is at least generally solid and that your portrayal is consistent with the original intent.
Crossfire: I'm not going to lie, I spend crossfire on a lot of different things. Sometimes I'll listen, in other instances I'll use it to fill out the ballot (i.e. write comments to debaters), other times I'll think hard about the round and the prior speech, and yet other times I will probably use it unproductively. But in all instances, I won't be listening particularly deeply to crossfire, and you should definitely not consider an argument made in crossfire as something that has registered to me on the flow. I sometimes will pick up on things said in crossfire but not always, and that consideration should guide your decisions.
If any questions still remain, feel free to ask me before the round.
Christopher Fielder Paradigm
Argumentation/debate teacher and Assistant Speech Coach at Cornell University. I previously ran Public Forum and taught full-time at Delbarton School in New Jersey. I have six years of coaching experience, four years of competitive high school experience in PF on the Missouri circuit, and three years of competitive limited prep/public address experience with Seton Hall University on the AFA individual events circuit. This "clashing of worlds" lends itself to a demanding paradigm: wins come from winning arguments, speaker points from SPEAKING WELL. Forensics is an activity rooted in the communication arts; thus, I have a few deep-seated preferences:
- Spreading is punishable by death. A saliva-filled gasp for breath is unlikely to persuade a jury during closing arguments.
- Debate jargon should be limited.
- Crossfire is annoying. I would rather swim in lava than listen to Grand Crossfire.
- I am not opposed to low point wins.
The route to my ballot is winning the flow as per the winning framework. The route to a speaker award is arguing like a PFer while speaking like an extemper. Plain and simple. I am a somewhat traditional PF judge, but I appreciate a (VERY) well-linked critical argument. Complaints about a legitimate pre-fiat issue will be dismissed quickly if you simply don't understand its nuances. Similarly, fiat can only exist when the resolution involves a policy or a political pivot.
- My sympathies to the first rebuttal speaker. Your life sucks. I do not expect you to make every correct extension from your case, partly because you speak before your opponent responds to the case. I will accept a first-speaking team extending evidence case to summary. Do not abuse this privilege. Extensions can just be author name/what author said.
- I don't flow CX. Mention any occurance of note in another speech.
- If you don't signpost well enough, I will be looking for where you are on the flow. I will miss things you say. Those things might decide the round.
- I'm an open book. If I grimace rudely at you, it means I think your argument is non-responsive and wrote N/R on my flow. Adapt to me both before and during the round, or go for the other two judges on a panel.
- As your lowly judge, I require strict instructions. I won't do ink-work for you. "Extend ____". "Turn _____". "Stop playing ________ during our crossfire".
- I won't weigh for you. If you don't specifically tell me why your argument is more important than your opponent's, I will play argument roulette.
- My mind is usually made up by final focus. Do not wait until then to say important things.
I hate it. It's the part of the round where two and sometimes (gulp) four competitors shout about things like warrants and net benefit without accomplishing anything. More often than not, everyone in the room is rude. It's when I check my text messages and the score of the Knicks game. You can convince me not to ignore crossfire simply by being calm and respectful to one another.
- Below 25 ----- You did something that offended me.
- 25-25.5 ------- You were an ineffective speaker with vocal fillers all over the place. You struggled to get through your speeches. The speech performance was a distraction to your content.
- 26-26.5 --------You showed developing speaking skills, but still lacked the tools employed by an effective speaker. The speech performance was sometimes a distraction to your content.
- 27-27.5 --------You were an average speaker.
- 28 -------------- You were a good speaker who shows developing mastery of speaking skills. The speech performance sometimes supplemented your content.
- 28.5 ------------ You were the same as a 28, but did something else to make me want you to break even more.
- 29 --------------- You were a great speaker who has mostly mastered speaking skills. The speech performance unquestionably added to your content.
- 29.5 ------------ You were the same as a 29, but did something else to make me want you to break even more.
- 30 -------------- I believe you are one of the best speakers on the national circuit.
- Harvard didn't write the study. Someone affiliated with Harvard did. Use the author name.
- Metaphors which turn into solliloquies and equally absurd responses to them. Analogies should take no more than 20 words to explain. Do not ask someone in crossfire if it's okay to kill a baby.
- Talking during your opponent's speeches. You have notepads. Write each other notes like you do in class.
- Asking me how much prep time you have. If you're not prepped for prep time, it won't do you any good.
That's about it. Ask me pre-round if I didn't cover something here.
Abraham Fraifeld Paradigm
I cannot flow spreading, so please don't do it.
In making arguments you cannot skip any steps. I know how to evaluate debates, but I am new to LD, so there are lots of arguments that most LD judges know all about that I am unfamiliar with. That does not mean you can't run them in front of me - you just have to be able to fully explain everything part of the argument, avoid jargon where possible, and be crystal clear about why you winning it matters for the round.
- Please time yourselves
- I appreciate concision, but I think evidence too often gets misconstrued when it's paraphrased. I understand paraphrasing is common now, so I reserve the right to check evidence at the end of the round even if the evidence is not challenged by the debaters (I won't look for holes in the evidence - I just want to make sure what was said matches the original writing).
- I accept logical defensive responses made in crossfire as part of the flow. Cross is still not for reading cards.
- I don't think defense needs to be extended in late round speeches unless it is answered. The alternative to this would be to allow extensions through ink, which is wrong.
- I try my best to flow. I won't vote for things I don't understand. I don't want to keep you in the dark about whether or not I understand something, so my face should give away when I am confused.
- If multiple arguments flow through to the end of the round and there isn't good, explicit weighing, I will vote for the argument that was best constructed/most persuasive to me. Since how I feel about arguments is pretty nebulous, you should weigh early and often. Do not leave it for the last moment. If you can't think of anything productive to do in crossfire, set up weighing mechanisms.
Brendan Gaffney Paradigm
Peter Gavaris Paradigm
Marc Geller Paradigm
Matthew Gillespie Paradigm
Your job as a debater is to persuade me. It's not to prove your point; it's not to destroy your opponent's case; it's not even to win. It's to persuade me as the judge that I should see the world the way you want me to see it, and thus put your name down on the ballot. This requires the total package, appealing to my reason, my sense of right and wrong, my emotions, and the common ground between us. Just pointing out logical fallacies, or having more recent cards, or pleading for me to "think of the children" does not cut it.
A few specifics on content:
I'm fine with any style of case construction, as long as it is well-explained. Value and Criterion/Standard, while the norm, are not necessarily required. It is sad that I have to specify this, but I appreciate when a case is built to confirm or negate the resolution, and not grudgingly tweaked to fit whatever the resolution happens to be.
If you throw a card at me, please explain why you read it. Why does it matter? The fact that you read something you printed from the internet, quoted from someone I've never heard of, means precisely squat. In LD, please back up and extend what you read.
When you provide impacts, they should link clearly, be well-explained, and absolutely credible. Please, minimize squirrel cases and implausible claims. Let's keep things real. Debaters have been predicting nuclear war and mass extinction for decades and we're still here.
If you state something as a fact, but any person with two brain cells to rub together would know it to be false, I will take that into consideration, even if your opponent does not point it out.
There must be legitimate abuse. I will not take into consideration any theory argument presented in the AC.
A few specifics on presentation:
I am perfectly fine with speed, so long as it is confined to Policy Debate. ;-)
I can listen quite quickly, but if I can't understand it due to lack of diction or sufficient explanation, or can't stand it due to fatally uninteresting presentation, I don't flow it. I highly value eloquence. Eloquence is impossible above 300 wpm. Please give your speech more meaning than the mere words. THAT is the mark of a great debater.
Please don't yell at me. I have pathologically sensitive hearing. Don't take offense if I put in earplugs. Do take it as a sign that you're getting too loud.
Cross examination / Crossfire:
Please be polite, allowing your opponent to answer your questions, and answering theirs succinctly. I am mightily turned off by monopolizers.
Other than this, I try very hard to be tabula rasa. I will consider any well-explained and well-linked argument when filling out the ballot. Again, persuade me.
Degrees in philosophy and logic from Boston University, Université Stendahl, and the Sorbonne. Currently a debate coach and teacher of multiple subjects. I am also a trained gemologist, genealogist, and proofreader, and enjoy a host of other occupations. Promethean.
Darby Ginsberg Paradigm
Some of you may know me as Zachary's Mom. Yes, I'm a "mom judge," but don't despair. I will do my level best to flow the round competently.
This will be my sixth year judging PF, so I'm am not a novice anymore. I do, however, like to keep it simple.
Please give me your case in a logical format and give me the reasons why I should vote for you. Please don't speak super fast, since that just makes my head spin and I won't be able to follow your brilliant arguments as easily.
If you don't extend in summary, I can't weigh it. (How's that for debate jargon?)
Lastly, please be professional and courteous to each other. No eye-rolling, tongues hanging out, general snottiness. I don't appreciate that. Win with grace and class.
Johnny Goulandris Paradigm
I am a current APDA debater and former national circuit PFer. I evaluate off the flow, but will not credit arguments if critical links are missing. I am more sympathetic to analytical claims than most judges. You do not have to extend defense past rebuttal, but if you want me to vote on an offensive claim, please extend it into final focus.
Richard Haber Paradigm
2018 Tournament of Champions
Richard Haber, Chagrin Falls High School.
Practicing Trial Attorney and Coach of Public Forum team for 6 years.
I can handle a fair amount of speed, but please exercise some common sense with pace.
Generally, I decide the round on who persuades me. It is not a question of how man argument you win, but which arguments you win, the impacts of those arguments and how you weigh them. I am a flow judge and will track the round. If you do not respond to a contention of your opponent, you risk losing the argument, and if important in the weight of the round it could result in a loss. However, just because you opponent fails to respond to a contention or sub-contention, does not mean you win the issue. You must still persuade me why it matter.
As a trial lawyer, I think evidence is important, but it is equally important to me to logically extend your evidence. Please explain why your evidence is more important or impactful than the evidence that your opponent inevitably will argue in response. I view Summary as the opportunity to reset the round. Structure the round for me as the judge and tell me what I should be looking for through the rest of the round. It may require you rebut additional points, but in the end, start to focus and weigh the round on the 2 to 3 key issues that I will be voting on.
You should extend your case and arguments through out the round. If you don't extend, I will assume you are dropping a contention (assuming opponent rebutted). Do not lay in wait until second speaker final focus to extend the argument - though I understand the strategy, I prefer teams debate the issues that matter, rather than prevail on a failure to debate.
To this end, cross-fire is not an opportunity to filibuster. It is intended as an exchange of ideas. Your opponents response to a well framed question can be far more impactful to me, than refusing to allow them to answer. If they are evasive, I will get it.
Kritiks are acceptable.
I will consider arguments raised in grand crossfire if reasonable in the flow of the round because your opponent can respond in grand cross and final focus. I will not consider new evidence or arguments raised in either final focus.
the best speakers may not always win. The team with the best reasoned arguments, offering the greatest reasonably extended impacts will prevail on my ballot.
Alon Handler Paradigm
Ottavio Hartman Paradigm
Susan Hayes Paradigm
I am tabula rasa. Speed is fine.Open CX OK, open rebuttal NOT OK. Will vote on T only if it is clearly untopical- FXT is of more interest. OK with K but Alts need to be actionable.
Emanuel Hermosillo Paradigm
John Imredy Paradigm
Leni Kagan Paradigm
Soumya Kambhampati Paradigm
Ramesh Karri Paradigm
I am a parent judge from Hunter College High School. I have been judging for a few years now. Please speak slowly and clearly, no jargon. You should concentrate on the 1-2 most relevant arguments at the end of the round and point out to me why I should vote on those. If you want to win off of an argument, please highlight it in the summary and reiterate it in the final focus speeches. Please be civil to your competitors.
Kidus Ketema Paradigm
Young Kim Paradigm
Morry Kolman Paradigm
I went to the TOC 3x, have worked at CBI and Capitol, and have coached Bronx Science and Scarsdale. Please believe me when I say I can understand fast and technical debate but I absolutely abhor it and my decision will reflect that. I want you to treat me as if I am a small child, or maybe a Labrador, and make things excruciatingly, brain-deaddeningly simple for me.
Mary Krauland Paradigm
Esun Lee Paradigm
Catherine Lindsay Paradigm
Adam Lowet Paradigm
Robert Mahowald Paradigm
Reid Marcus Paradigm
Michele Masucci Paradigm
Andy McCord Paradigm
I am a parent of a Hunter College High School PF debater. I have judged both LD and PF, with more experience in LD. I can handle speed, but probably not full on spreading.
I can be sympathetic to arguments over frame and theory. But, in my opinion, the main ethical context in a debate round is the round itself. So any arguments about frame and theory, or alleged abusiveness, should be shown to be rooted in the resolution itself or in the conduct of the round being debated.
Signposting can be either implicit or explicit. Dropped arguments are more of a factor when they are shown to be important arguments rather than tangential ones. A coherent account of voting issues is very useful to me as a judge, as is weighing of impacts.
Bhisma Mehta Paradigm
Douglas Miller Paradigm
Assistant Coach at Lake Highland Prep in Orlando, FL
Formerly of Fairmont Prep (CA), Ransom Everglades (FL) & Pembroke Hill (MO)
Coached for 15 years – Have coached all events. Have coached both national circuit policy & PF.
Public Forum Paradigm
- If you want me to evaluate anything in the final focus you MUST extend it in the summary.
- Absent any other framing arguments, I will default to an utilitarian offense/defense paradigm.
- Narrow the 2nd half of the round down to one key contention-level impact story and 1-2 key answers on your opponents’ case.
- No new cards in 2nd Summary. No new cards in 1st Summary unless directly in response to new 2nd Rebuttal arguments.
- Make sure you evidence really says what you say it does.
1. Summary extension
If you want me to evaluate anything in the final focus you MUST extend it in the summary. Yes, that includes defense & turns from the rebuttal. In fact, that especially includes defense & turns from the rebuttal. If you want to go for it in the FF, make sure your partner knows to extend it. Even if it is the best argument I’ve ever heard, failure to at least mention it in the summary will result in me giving the argument zero weight in my decision. Basically, too many 2nd speakers just ignore their partner’s summary speech. Attempting to extend things that were clearly dropped in the Summary will result in a lowering of speaker points for the 2nd speaker. This is # 1 on my list for a reason. It plays a major factor in more than half of my decisions. Ignore this advice at your own peril.
2. Offense defense
Absent any other framing arguments, I will default to an utilitarian offense/defense paradigm. Just going for defensive response to the the opposing case in FF won’t be persuasive in front of me. Additionally, I am open to non-traditional framing arguments (e.g. rights, ontology, etc), but you will need to have some pretty clear warrants as to why I should disregard a traditional net offensive advantage for the other team when making my decision.
3. Narrow the final focus
It would be in your best interest to narrow the 2nd half of the round down to one key contention-level impact story and 1-2 key turns on your opponents’ case, and then spend most of your time doing impact comparisons on those issues. Going for all 3 contentions and every turn you read in rebuttal is a great way to lose my ballot. If you just extend everything, you leave it up to me to evaluate the relative important of each of your arguments. This opens the door for judge intervention, and you may not like how I evaluate those impacts. I would much rather you do that thought process for me. I routinely find myself voting for the team that goes all in on EFFECTIVE impact framing on the issue or two they are winning over the team that tries to extend all of their offensive arguments (even if they are winning most of them) at the expense of doing effective impact framing. Strategic choices matter. Not making any choices is a choice in itself, and is usually a bad one.
4. No new cards in 2nd summary
I do not believe that if 2nd rebuttal fails to answer all the 1st rebuttal’s arguments, that they have dropped their case. Answering 1st rebuttal arguments for the first time in 2nd summary is fine, with one major exception. If you need to read new cards to answer the 1st rebuttal arguments, those new cards need to be read in 2nd rebuttal, not 2nd summary. New cross-applications of existing arguments are OK, but any new cards need to be read in rebuttal. Just like with extending things straight into FF & ignoring the summary, I won’t evaluate any of those new carded responses, and your speaker points will take a hit.
I will, and am often eager to, vote on debate theory arguments. That being said, debaters in PF rarely, if ever, know how to debate theory well enough to justify voting on it.
I believe that there are several highly abusive forms of advocacy that have appeared recently that are very bad for PF, and just bad debate in general. I welcome a discussion of those practices in round, and believe that the best way to stamp them out is for teams to make those abuses voting issues in rounds. I won’t vote on these issues unless the objections are raised and effectively argued in-round (e.g. impacted, extended in all the necessary speeches, etc). but I have strong leanings that make me VERY receptive to several theory arguments.
Fiat – Until the “no plans” rule is changed, PF is essentially a whole-resolution debate, no matter how much teams would like for it to be policy. Thus, if teams want to read a specific subset(s) of the resolution, they need to provide some warrants as to why their specific subset(s) of the resolution is the MOST LIKELY form the resolution would take if it were adopted. Trying to specify and only defend a hyper-specific example(s) of the resolution that are unlikely to occur without your fiat is ridiculously abusive without reading a plan text, and makes you a moving target – especially when you clarify your position later in the round to spike out of answers. Plan texts are necessary to fiat something that is unlikely to happen in order to create a stable advocacy. Basically, in my mind, “no plans” = “no fiat.”
Multiple conditional advocacies – Improbable fiated advocacies are bad enough, but when teams read multiple such advocacies and then decide “we’re not going for that one” when the opposing team puts offense on it is the zenith of in-round abuse. Teams debating in front of me should continue to go for their unanswered offensive turns against these “kicked” arguments – I will weigh them in the round, and am somewhat inclined to view such practices as a voter if substantial abuse is demonstrated by the offended team. If you start out with a 3-pronged fiated advocacy, then you darn well better end with it. Severance is bad. If teams are going to choose to kick out of part of their advocacy mid-round, they need to effectively answer any offense on the "to-be-kicked" parts first.
6. Arguments in Crossfire
If you want me to evaluate an argument or card, it needs to be in a speech. Just mentioning it in CF is not sufficient. You can refer to what was said in CF in the next speech, and that will be far more efficient, but it doesn’t exist in my mind until I hear it in a speech.
7. Evidence availability
If you read any evidence, have the card available to hand over. Immediately (within reason, of course). Constructives should have their cards ready to hand over, in order, (probably even in the same document) because you know someone is going to ask for them. And having a bunch of PDF’s that you have to Command-F is not having your cards available. That is just lazy debating. Cut a card like a real debater. If you don’t know what that means, look it up. If you are reading this deep into a judge paradigm, it means you’re a big kid now. Act like it. As far as time is concerned, taking 10 minutes to find a card is inexcusable. At some point, I will just say you can’t find it, and and tell you to move on. This is becoming enough of a problem that I’m considering starting a running clock for “evidence hunting time.” I’m not there yet, but this practice really annoys me (and ALL judges), and needs to be stopped. If you can’t find the card you read in a reasonable amount of time, “Just drop it off the flow,” is not a sufficient recourse. In my mind, that is tantamount to evidence fabrication. If it happens once, I will be annoyed and chastise you after the round, but I’ll likely grudgingly give you the benefit of the doubt. If it happens multiple times, I am likely to be persuaded should the opposing team make such offenses a well-warranted and properly extended theory voting issue in the round.
8. Evidence Quality
I will, on occasion, ask to see key pieces of evidence at the end of the round as I make my decision. If I do ask for cards, and the text of the evidence you provide me doesn't match up with the argument you make in-round (e.g. eggregious power-tagging, taking out of context, etc - basically, more than what I perceive to be an honest mistake), I reserve the right to penalize the team providing the evidence, even if the opposing team does not bring up the quality of the card in question as an issue in the round. Best case for the offending party: I will simply not evaluate the evidence in question and decide the round as though that card has been redacted from the debate, leaving the argument with the same functional weight as an unsupported analytic. Worst case: If I see multiple offenses in the round, see a particularly eggregious offense, or have seen and commented on the team committing the same kind of offense in previous rounds I've judged, I may choose to drop the team solely on evidence quality. This is the one and only form of judge intervention I will engage in, as I have increasingly seen far too many teams get by functionally fabricating evidence and getting away with it because there is simply not enough time for opponents to question each and every card. Someone needs to serve as a check on such practices, and I believe judges should have a hand in that service. Rest assured, I will not decide a round in such fashion often, or without serious cause. I understand the serious ramifications of judges deciding rounds arbitrarially. If I do have a serious enough issue with your evidence to warrant some sort of intervention (which, again, is still very rare for me), I will be very clear in my RFD what the issue was, and how it factored into my decision, so that students can learn to not make the same mistakes again.
9. Evidence citations
You should probably read the citations according to whatever the NSDA says, but I’m not likely to vote on any irregularities (e.g. no date of access) unless the abuses are proven to be especially egregious and substantive in the round.
10. Speaker points
My reference point for “average” is 27.5. That’s where most everyone starts. My default is to evaluate on a scale with steps of 0.1, as opposed to steps of 0.5. Below a 25 means you did something offensive. A true 30.0 in HS debate (on a 0.1 scale) doesn’t exist. It is literally perfect. I can only think of 3 times I have ever given out a 29.6 or higher, and each of them were because of this next thing. My points are almost exclusively based on what you say, not how you say it. I strongly value making good, strategic choices, and those few exceptional scores I’ve given were all because of knowing what was important and going for it / impact framing it, and dumping the unnecessary stuff in the last half of the round.
11. "What's your methodology?"
Asking “What’s the methodology of your study” is a huge pet peeve of mine. Nails on a chalkboard bad. It’s a lazy way of saying, “I don’t really have an answer to this, so I’m just going to ask a bunch of questions about it and hope that clouds the debate enough to make it go away.” Questions about a card / study without evidence/warrants supporting the opposite aren’t arguments against it. They are just tricks debaters who got out-researched use to cover up that they got out-researched. In short, they are defensive only, and are only offensive if there are warrants / evidence as to why the opposite conclusion is true.
12. Ask for additional thoughts on the topic
Even if you’ve read this whole thing, still ask me beforehand. I will probably have some specific thoughts relating to the topic at hand that may be useful.
Notice how I didn't say anything about that above, even though it's the first questions like half of kids ask? Yeah, that's intentional. If you can't fugure out the answer to that quesiton from the numerous comments above, then you really are beyond help. But basically, yes, I can handle your blazing speed, you debate god, you. But it would still probably be a good idea to slow it down there a little, Speed Racer. Quality > quantity.
I debated for 4 years in high school (super old-school, talk-pretty policy), didn't debate in college, and have coached at the HS level for the last 15 years. I am currently the Head Coach at Fairmont Prep in Anaheim, CA, and have previously coached at Ransom Everglades School, in FL, and The Pembroke Hill School in MO.
Generally, do what you do, as long as you do it well, and I'll be happy. I prefer big-picture impact framing where you do the comparative work for me. In general, I will tend to default to such analysis, because I want you to do the thinking in the round, not me. My better teams in the past read a great deal of ontology-based Ks (cap, Heidegger, etc), and they often make some level of sense to me, but I'm far from steeped in the literature. I'm happy to evaluate most of the normal disads & cps, but the three general classes of arguments that I usually find less persuasive are identity-based strategies that eschew the topic, politics disads, and to a lesser degree, performance-based arguments. But if any of those are your thing, I would in general prefer you do your thing well than try and do something else that you just aren't comfortable with. I'll go with the quality argument, even if it isn't my personal favorite. I'm not a fan of over-reliance on embedded clash, especially in overviews. I'd rather you put it on the line-by-line. I'm more likely to get it down on my flow and know how to apply it that way, and that's the type of debating I'll reward with higher speaks. Please be sure to be clear on your tags, cites, and theory/analytic blocks. Hard numbering/”And’s” are appreciated, and if you need to, go a little slower on those tags, cites, and theory/analytic blocks to be sure they are clear, distinct, and I get them. Again, effort to do so will be rewarded with higher speaks.
I generally think affs should have to defend the topic, and actually have some sort of plan text / identifiable statement of advocacy. There are very few "rules" of debate, thus allowing tons of leeway for debaters to choose arguments. But debating the topic is usually a pretty good idea in my mind, as most issues, even those relating to the practices and nature of our activity, can usually still be discussed in the context of the topic. I rather strongly default to competing interpretations. I like to see T debates come down to specific abuse stories, how expanding or contracting limits functionally impacts competitive equity, and exactly what types of ground/args are lost/gained by competing interps (case lists are good for this in front of me). I usually buy the most important impact to T as fairness. T is an a priori issue for me, and K-ing T is a less than ideal strategy with me as your judge.
If you are going to go for it, go for it. I am unlikely to vote either way on theory via a blippy cheap-shot, unless the entire argument was conceeded. But sometimes, for example, condo bad is the right strategic move for the 2AR, If it's done well, I won't hesitate to decide a round on it. Not a fan of multiple conditional worlds. With the notable exception of usually giving epistemology / ontology-based affs some flexibility on framework needing to come before particulars of implementation, I will vote Neg on reasonable SPEC arguments against policy affs. Affs should be able to articulate what their plan does, and how it works. For that reason, I also give Neg a fair amount of theoretical ground when it comes to process CPs against those affs. Severance is generally bad in my mind. Intrinsicness, less so.
Personally, I think a lot of the standard CPs are, in any type of real world sense, ridiculous. The 50 states have never worked together in the way envisioned by the CP. A constitutional convention to increase funding for whatever is laughable. An XO to create a major policy change is just silly. All that being said, these are all legit arguments in the debate world, and I evaluate and vote on them all the time. I guess I just wish Affs were smart enough to realize how dumb and unlikely these args actually are, and would make more legit arguments based on pointing that out. However, I do like PICs, and enjoy a well thought out and deployed advantage CP.
Most topic-related disads are fine with me. Pretty standard on that. Just be sure to not leave gaping holes / assumptions in your link chains, and I'm OK. However, I generally don't like the politics disad. I would much rather hear a good senator specific politics scenario instead of the standard “President needs pol cap, plan’s unpopular” stuff, but even then, I'm not a fan. I'll still vote for it if that's what is winning the round, but I may not enjoy doing so. Just as a hint, it would be very easy to convince me that fiat solves for most politics link stories (and, yes, I understand this places me in the minority of judges), and I don't see nearly as much quality ground lost from the intrinsic perm against politics as most. Elections disads, though, don't have those same fiat-related issues, and are totally OK by me.
I don’t read the lit much, but in spite of that, I really kind of like most of the more "traditional" ontological Ks (cap, security, Heidegger, etc). To me, Ks are about the idea behind the argument, as opposed to pure technical proficiency & card dumping. Thus, the big picture explanation of why the K is "true," even if that is at the expense of reading a few more cards, would be valuable. Bringing through case in the 2NR to directly mitigate some of the Aff advantages is probably pretty smart. I think Negs set an artificially high burden for themselves when they completely drop case and only go for the K in the 2NR, as this means that they have to win 100% access to their “Alt solves the case” or framework args in order for the K to outweigh some super-sketchy and ridiculous, but functionally conceded, extinction scenario from the 1AC. K's based in a framework strategy tend to be more compelling in front of me than K's that rely on the alt to actually solve something (because, let's be honest here - they rarely do). Identity-related arguments are usually not the most compelling in front of me, and I tend to buy strategic attacks against them from the left as more persuasive than attacks from the right.
I understand that some teams are unbalanced in terms of skill/experience, and that's just the way it goes sometimes. I've coached many teams like that. But I do like to see if both debaters actually know what they are talking about. Thus, your speaks will probably go down if your partner is answering all of your cross-ex questions for you. It won’t impact my decision (I just want to know the answers), but it will impact speaks. Same goes for oral prompting. That being said, I am inclined to give a moderate boost to the person doing the heavy lifting in those cases, as long as they do it respectfully.
Michael Miller Paradigm
Sara Morningstar Paradigm
Emil Moussa Paradigm
NOVICE AND VARSITY PUBLIC FORUM DEBATE
When it comes to Public Forum debate, it's meant to be a debate style that's easily understood by the mass public. Your case (Aff or Neg) should conform to this style as best you can. Make your case understandable and accessible. You and your partner usually get very interesting topics, so, make the best of it.
For novice, I usually help keep time to ensure that we're all on track and where we should all be in the round. Please also keep time, it just makes things easier. Also, keep accurate prep time too. Furthermore, even if time runs out and you're mid sentence, I usually let you finish, if you keep going I will cut you off. Time is time.
Very easy to do and I'm very straight forward about this: at this point in the debate it is not really that scripted so I need you to make this as informative and interesting as possible. However, debate is meant to be an exciting and informative exchange of ideas between you and your opponent. The discussion should be lively but not a shouting match. If you are blatantly rude, disrespectful, and/or verbally assaulting your opponent, I will deduct speaker points from you.
What I Look for in a Round
Please tell me the weight of your arguments. If you do NOT tell me, I will weigh them for you. I generally flow what I can understand. If your case makes no sense or you're speaking too fast, I just won't flow your arguments. Extensions are important. I look for which of your contentions, arguments, and cards can be extended throughout the debate. Turns are interesting...but a debater can be abusive about it sometimes because they think everything is a turn when in fact it's not. So, it's good to know what's a turn but keep in mind I ultimately decide that. Scope, magnitude, and impacts are very important to me. I really look for those in a round.
NOVICE AND VARSITY LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE
I have grown fond of the LD debate round. Novices shape their moral philosophy arguments while Varsity gets very complex with their arguments and speed of speech. Very interesting indeed. I really enjoy the philosophical debates, so the more you can philosophize about your case (Aff or Neg) and do it in a way that's clear and concise we should be in a good round.
For novice, I usually help keep time to ensure that we're all on track and where we should all be in the round. Please also keep time, it just makes things easier. Also, keep accurate prep time too. Furthermore, even if time runs out and you're mid sentence, I usually let you finish, if you keep going I will cut you off. Time is time.
Very easy to do and I'm very straight forward about this: at this point in the debate it is not really that scripted so I need you to make this as informative and interesting as possible. However, debate is meant to be an exciting and informative exchange of ideas between you and your opponent. The discussion should be lively but not a shouting match. If you are blatantly rude, disrespectful, and/or verbally assaulting your opponent, I will deduct speaker points from you. Please avoid awkward silences and come prepared to a debate. I don't like it when you ruffle papers and are disorganized. It wastes debate time. Also, use all your time in a crossX or speech. If you don't use all your time it gives me the impression you're unprepared and that the round just won't be interested. So, again, be prepared.
What I Look for in a Round
Please tell me the weight of your arguments. If you do NOT tell me, I will weigh them for you. I generally flow what I can understand. If your case makes no sense or you're speaking too fast, I just won't flow your arguments. Extensions are important. I look for which of your contentions, arguments, and cards can be extended throughout the debate. Turns are interesting...but a debater can be abusive about it sometimes because they think everything is a turn when in fact it's not. So, it's good to know what's a turn but keep in mind I ultimately decide that. Scope, magnitude, and impacts are very important to me. I really look for those in a round. I try to be as non-interventionist as I possibly can be in the round. I like to have the debate round take it's own course. Also, sometimes a lot can happen in an LD round so please sign-post just to make sure we're on the same flow.
Marion Mullen Paradigm
Anthony Muslin Paradigm
Fredrick Ni Paradigm
I have coached PF for about 5 years so I have a fair bit of knowledge about the style and most likely the topic that is being debated as well. This means that you should not worry too much about speed or giving arguments that are too complex. My comments after the round will usually involve RFD and how to improve some arguments. The second part has no impact whatsoever on my decision in the round is only meant as something to take into your next round. I do not complete arguments for teams or refute them based on my own knowledge. I will judge the round only based what was said in the round.
-I weigh content much more heavily than style
-Clear logical analysis of evidence
-Use evidence to support arguments; do not use as an argument itself, that said, do have evidence to support each claim
-Show me clear impacts and weigh them for me. This is super important in how I adjudicate rounds. Just proving a superior number of contention does not give you the round, proving why your contentions are more important in the round wins you the round. Very rarely will there be a round where one side has no contentions standing at all, so I need some sort of metric to measure. This also means that I value a clear framework from both sides and potentially a debate about framework should that influence how I would adjudicate
-Do not assume I know the basics about the topic, I try to be a “blank-slate” judge as much as possible
-Crossfire is not super important to me unless either you go back to it in one of the speeches or something absolutely killer comes out of the exchange
-I do not care as much about flowing everything through in summary and final focus. It should mostly be used to clarify the round for me. If some point is not mentioned again in summary and final focus, then I will judge as that point stands from material in the first half. However, this usually means the weight of the point is up to my discretion
-Be courteous during cross-fire (ie. do not shout over each other)
-Eye-contact and other stylistic aspects are not weighed heavily (ie. If I can hear you and understand you fully then you're good to go)
-Have evidence ready; if the other team asks for it and you cannot give it to them in 1 min, it will be discounted from the round
-Time looking for the evidence does not count towards your prep time
-Time reading the other side's evidence will count towards your prep time
-Please don't refer to cards ONLY by author name because I don't note down author names for cards
-I will stop crossfire questions right at 3 minutes but I will allow for you to finish your sentence if the time is up during an answer
-I rarely write out RFD's on Tabroom ballots so my oral feedback after the round is where the majority of my RFD is explained
-I welcome questions or concerns about the round, and if you feel that I judged unfairly, please let me know after. While I cannot change the ballot, I will do my best to explain my RFD.
Dr. Phyllis Pacilli Paradigm
Tracy Palmer Paradigm
I am a parent judge, but I have been judging the National Circuit PF for five years and judged 600+ rounds (including TOC semifinals). I am scientist so if you are making science arguments please make sure you understand the science..
How to win my ballot
- Speak clearly
- Extend arguments- not cards
- Focus the debate to what you are winning
- Keep theory reserved for actual abuse
- Keep Ks in policy
- Keep aliens and zombies for bad movies and out of debate
- Summary in line with final focus
- Be polite
- Have your evidence ready (you have 1 minute)
How to get good speaks
- Make good arguments
- Make good choices
- Don't yell
- Don't argue with me
- Arguing with me after the round- I GIVE SPEAKS AFTER I GIVE MY RFD FOR THIS REASON
Barbara Pascale-Blossom Paradigm
Donald Peck Paradigm
Alex Petrillo Paradigm
Jamie Pincus Paradigm
Heather Pincus Paradigm
Kristen Poff Paradigm
Lay judge. 2 years experience judging.
Alex Posner Paradigm
Jim Poyner Paradigm
I describe myself as a "flay" judge. I flow a round but I rarely base my decision solely on flow. If a team misses a response to a point, I don't penalize that team if the drop concerned a contention that either proves unimportant in the debate or is not extended with weighing. I have come to appreciate summaries and final focuses that are similar, that both weigh a team's contentions as well as cover key attacks. I like to hear clear links of evidence to contentions and logical impacts, not just a firehose of data. I prefer hard facts over opinion whenever possible, actual examples over speculation about the future.
I ABSOLUTELY DEMAND CIVILITY IN CROSSFIRES! Ask your question then allow the other side to answer COMPLETELY before you respond further. Hogging the clock is frowned upon. It guarantees you a 24 on speaker points. Outright snarkiness or rudeness could result in a 0 for speaker points. Purposely misconstruing the other side's evidence in order to force that team to waste precious time clarifying is frowned upon. Though I award very few 30s on speaker points, I very much appreciate clear, eloquent speech, which will make your case more persuasive.
I have seen a trend to turn summaries into second rebuttals. I HATE THIS. A summary should extend key offense from case and key defense from rebuttal then weigh impacts. You cannot do this in only two minutes if you burn up more than a minute trying to frontline. If I don't hear something from case in summary you will lose most definitely. Contrary to growing belief, the point of this event is NOT TO WIN ON THE FLOW. The point is to research and put forth the best warrants and evidence possible that stand up to rebuttal.
When calling cards, avoid distracting "dumps" aimed at preoccupying the other side and preventing them from prepping. In recent tournaments I have seen a rise in the inability of a team to produce a requested card QUICKLY. I will give you a couple of minutes at most then we will move on and your evidence likely will be dropped from the flow. The point is to have your key cards at the ready, preferably in PDF form. I have also seen a recent increase in badly misconstrued data or horrifically out of date data. The rules say full citation plus the date must be given. If you get caught taking key evidence out of context, you're probably going to lose. If you can't produce evidence that you hinge your entire argument on, you will definitely lose.
The bottom line is: Use your well-organized data and logic to win the debate, not cynical tactics aimed at distraction or clock dominance.
Alison Price Becker Paradigm
Yes, I am a parent judge, yet travelled with my son's team for three years and judged at every tournament. I want you to convince me with your arguments, not with a bunch of PF lingo. I do not like speed for speeds sake, as I can't flow. If I can't understand what is coming out of your mouth, I can't follow you. If I can't follow you, I can't vote for you. I originally came from a speech background, I care about speaking technique. Quality of argument over quantity.
Public Forum's roots are based in "one" going before the general public, persons of diverse education, intellect and knowledge. I expect the presentation of your arguments to reflect that. Please don't dumb down because I am a "parent" judge.
Be clean: Please do not play dirty, the world is dirty enough. Be clean.
Be respectful: In crossfire, don't get muddled in stupid arguments, use them intelligently to undue the other side. Please do not be rude or condescending. There is no room for that.
Your constructives to set me up for your arguments - build your case, tell me the story.
Your rebuttals to give me reason to disagree with your opponent. Don't just attack, you need to defend.
Your summaries to clean up anything vague or muddled.
Your final focus to make me vote for you.
Michael Ramdatt Paradigm
Bruce Reinhold Paradigm
Mostafa Remh Paradigm
Mark Ricci Paradigm
Tonya Rosinbaum Paradigm
Anusua Sanyal Paradigm
John Scanlon Paradigm
Most of my experience is in PF but I have judged everything (debate and speech) at one point or another.
If something is important to your case or argument do not be afraid to repeat it. Despite my best efforts there are always going to be times where a stat, date, figure, name, or card is mentioned but missed in the heat of the round. It never hurts to repeat what matters.
You may time yourselves, but if I call for time you should end what you're doing. You may finish a thought/sentence after time ends but do not abuse this by adding multiple sentences or thoughts.
In the interest of keeping rounds moving, I do not disclose after round unless specifically instructed by the tournament directors. If you want feedback later I will gladly discuss the debate with you between rounds.
Max Schachere Paradigm
If you don't weigh your impacts, you're going to have a bad time.
30 speaks if you make me laugh.
Daniel Schifrin Paradigm
Laurie Schmid Paradigm
I am a traditional debate judge. I like clash, weighing of arguments, and substantive, not blippy arguments. I do not believe that Kritiks and other cases like that have any place in PF debate. Speed should be reasonable. I can handle speed, but again, I don't think it belongs in PF.
Harry Seavey Paradigm
Avery Seavey Paradigm
James Shapiro Paradigm
Alisha Sharaballi Paradigm
Pankaj Sharma Paradigm
Jasmine Sinanan-Singh Paradigm
Maria Sinatra Paradigm
Sandeep Singal Paradigm
I am a parent judge from West Windsor Plainsboro High School South. Here are some of the most points about my judging philosophy. Don’t spread, if I can’t understand your arguments I can’t vote for you so slow down or take something out of your case. I am a strong believer in speaking well and making logical arguments, if you can explain your position with clarity you will get high speaker points and more than likely win.
I will not call for evidence unless you ask me to. All I care about evidence is that you don’t lie or alter the author’s purpose. If the evidence is doctored and your opponents tell me that, you lose.
I write down all your arguments during your first speech and see how they play out during the debate. Convince me that your arguments stand at the end of the debate and if I see that they were emphasized at the beginning then you will win.
This is one aspect of debate that I find really important. I pay attention to every cross because it shows me how strong of a debater you are. Reading from paper is a lot different than on the feet thinking. I don’t want cross to be a shouting battle, but more of an opportunity to show your skills. If you get something good in cross make sure you bring it up in your speeches and I will definitely weigh that heavily.
I don't care for it so keep it to a minimum.
Please debate with respect. I will disclose my decision at the end of the round and provide all debaters with feedback. If you have any questions please feel free to ask me.
Sean Singleton Paradigm
Doris Su Paradigm
Dave Szczepaniuk Paradigm
Lawrence Tenn Paradigm
Daniel Tenreiro-Braschi Paradigm
Harry Townsend Paradigm
Amy Trunnell Paradigm
Arun Upneja Paradigm
I’ll get right to the point.
I have six years of experience judging in Public Forum Debate as a parent. I do keep track of contentions and their responses, though my ability is limited by the speed at which you speak. I want you to take special care about being crystal clear when saying the first sentence of each contention. I am a fan of signposting. If I am keeping time, don’t ask me for X seconds. Tell me when to start or stop.
There are only three ways you can lose a round with me judging.
1: Believe it or not you can be out debated. J
2: You speak too fast for me to flow.
3: You are extremely rude to your opponents.
My judging style is as follows:
I don’t judge just off lives impacts or random pieces of evidence. I want you to tell me a story and be compelling with your arguments. That’s the whole point of Public Forum.
Note on rudeness: If you are somewhat rude to your opponents, I will most definitely dock speaker points, but will still listen to your arguments. If I believe you cross the line, I will immediately drop you.
Akhil Upneja Paradigm
Zack Vrana Paradigm
- Strike me if you're a relatively inexperienced "circuit" debater who is trying to debate in a "circuit" style: i.e. spreading for its own sake, running theory because you haven't researched enough case material, etc. Pref me highly if you are not such a debater or if you come from a traditional circuit and expect to be debating a value and value criterion (by no means am I saying you must have those things). Pref me in the middle if you are an experienced debater who truly understands when using certain strategies is important and you're not just reading me what a coach/teammate told you to run.
- On spread--I can flow spread just fine; however, I don't like spread when it is used as a barrier for discourse. If you and your opponent are comfortable with spread (defined as 250 wpm or above) then go for it. Speak loudly and clearly and I'll be fine. If not, if your opponent can't flow spread, please do not spread. If your opponent can't respond to your arguments simply because you're speaking too fast then it is your fault, not hers. You won't lose the round for it but your speaker points will suffer.
- On arguments--run whatever you think is most effective. However, know that I don't really like Topicality as a response. I have judged an awful lot of debate and can count on two fingers how many arguments have truly been nontopical. Usually, T is run against arguments that debaters don't otherwise know how to respond to and I don't like that. You are welcome to tell me a nontopical argument is nontopical but please also engage the substance of the argument.
- On evidence--I believe this to be a community of integrity. There are individuals who will do shoddy things and we should discourage that but there are others who call falsification without proof as a strategy. Both are bad. THE MOMENT I HEAR "FALSIFICATION" THE ROUND STOPS. I evaluate the evidence and award a loss to the debater/team that was wrong. If you're calling clipping, calling falsification, etc, prove it. The burden of proof I'll use is not a steep one but it needs to show misrepresentation. I'm not encouraging falsification nor am I discouraging calling it; however, those are tall accusations and it is your burden to prove it.
- I'm a big backpack rap fan--work in a Watsky, Macklemore, Wax, or Dumbfoundead reference and I'll smile and be happy with you and might give you an extra speaker point.
The rest of this paradigm is a verbose discussion of my thoughts on the activity to which I've dedicated much of my life for the past eight years.
Assistant Coach of Forensics and Debate at Brookfield East High School. Previously coached at Whitefish Bay High School. Competed in Wisconsin and nationally in Congressional Debate and in Public Forum debate with Brookfield East (class of ’12). I have a bachelor's degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee, majoring in Political Science (concentration in public policy/political economy) and Economics (analysis in international trade, econometrics, and public finance/policy evaluation) with a minor in Spanish. I'm a nerd for the studies and empirical research. In real life, I run a restaurant and small investment firm with differentiated subsidiaries.
I judge almost every weekend from September through March and am well versed on the topic literature as I research and cut cards with my team. I coach PF and LD as well as Congressional Debate (and IE’s in the spring) so I read lots and lots of evidence.
I'm extremely progressive on this topic. I feel that the debate is ultimately decided in the metaphysical realm and there are generally few empirics you can run strongly on the topic. Give me something to chew on here, more than usual. I think a lot of the debate is going to be framework and theory. I will accept Anti-values, Standards, et cetera, instead of a traditional V/VC structure. You can advocate a standard-less debate as well as long as you give me good theory to back it up.
I will only vote on a definition if it goes dropped and really does redefine the debate in a way that I can only vote for one side. That being said, if you present me a really shady definition that defines it so that the Aff/Neg has no chance of winning the round and your opponent provides a legitimate and fair definition in response I, as a judge, am always going to favor the definition that provides equality to the grounds of both sides. This shouldn’t have to be said but I will always prefer a term of art definition to Webster’s even if the dictionary is the only card presented. I am a word nerd; please don't BS me in the definitions debate.
I generally don't like verbose discussions of framer's intent with resolutions. I'm intimately familiar with how these resolutions are actually written--don't try to run ridiculous things on these grounds.
Types of Arguments:
I will accept any type of argumentation you throw at me as long as it's well argued with warrants and impacts. You can kritik the resolution; read me poetry that helps me better understand the plight of the needy; K the opponents case or his language; run a narrative alternative; run a priori reasons to negate; or tell me my ballot is a tool and I should vote for you for some obscure yet well argued reason. I personally believe that good argument is good argument—if you give me reasons why it should be the voting issue in the round I will vote on it. That said, if you provide an argument that requires me to accept something completely non sequitur with reality, I will reject it. In other words, if you tell me I should affirm because there are only 49 states and that is a prime number, I won't vote on it because, well, there aren't and it’s not. Otherwise, I don't intervene.
I can follow complex philosophy pretty easily but you shouldn’t assume anything and take shortcuts here, as I’m nowhere near as proficient as I’d like to be. I love philosophy; I’ve read a lot on many subjects and can follow along with sound analysis; however, it's bad form to assume that your opponent will be familiar with your concepts. Debaters should generally subscribe to the ELI5 method. That is to say, if you can’t explain your argument to a five year old, you don’t fully understand the concepts yourself. I will vote on theory but please explain why voting on theory should trump case evaluation.
Extending arguments is important; however, telling me to "extend contention 2--it went cold conceded" is far less effective than summarizing the argument and presenting it as a round issue. Same goes with cards. "Extend the Coase analysis" is valid but less effective than explaining it to me again so I know why it's important.
I've developed a slight disdain for plans over time as they present an infinite research burden but will still vote on them.
People who say evidence doesn’t belong in LD are, for some reason, clinging to the archaic as a means to bring the activity towards where they think it should be rather than allowing it to grow organically. Use evidence if it's necessary for your argument. I’ll buy sound analysis over a shoddy card any day but you should back things up with research. My thoughts on this are developing over time as I watch more rounds. Really, I appreciate the debaters who make sound arguments that are based in analysis over those who rely on their evidence to analyze things--it shows a better understanding of the issues. However, reading me cards without analyzing them yourself is the equivalent of saying nothing. Signpost then analyze the evidence—tell me why I should care about what the author is saying—why does it impact the debate?
I’ve never had to ask for a card before but will if I have to. Don’t clip cards. This is a community of integrity—keep it that way. I generally won’t vote on cards; I vote on arguments. I don’t really care whether a Ph.D said it… if it’s sound, I’ll buy it and if it’s not, I won’t. To be clear, I expect more than regurgitation or carpet-bombing.
I need adequate citations. Name is usually enough if they’re not claiming anything weird but sometimes it’s best to hear a few words on the credentials too. If you’re citing an analysis of Rawls or Kant, name-drop the master so I know what’s going on, please.
I can flow pretty quickly and can handle “debate speed” but don’t want to hear much more. This is more a philosophical issue than anything else—I generally will pick up a spreader 50% of the time, as they tend not to make any more, or better, arguments than a non-spreader. Quality will always beat quantity. As this is a communication event, don’t forget that you have to communicate your arguments so that I may understand them. I'll yell at you if I can't hear/understand what you're saying, of course.
I like signposting; it enhances the debate. You have to tell me where things go on my flow if you expect me to write them down. If you’re giving an overview, tell me. If you’re starting with the second contention and then coming back to the first for some cockamamie reason, tell me.
As a general rule, if I’m looking back at you in a speech (not in CX) you’re likely not saying anything worth writing down. If you read me a canned 1AR that has nothing to do with the opponent’s case, I’ll read the posters in the room or count down the seconds on my timer until the time-wasting has completed. I like clash and debating, if you haven’t noticed.
I don’t care whether you sit, stand, or lay on the table when you debate. Do what makes you comfortable. If that means taking off your jacket because it’s hot—go for it. Take off the heels—I don’t care.
Be nice. I get that things get heated—I was a debater too. I get it. Not much more to say here. However, if you are disrespectful it will reflect in your speaker points. There’s a fine line between assertive and jerk. I’m liberal here but have seen many rounds get out of hand. As a general rule, treat others the way you want to be treated: respectfully.
Give them to me. If you don't, I will intervene strangely and vote in ways you won't like. Tell me how to vote. This is your round and not mine. You don't have to give them all at once, but if they aren't given I am left without a methodology to adjudicate things
Please weigh your impacts. If you tell me that I should vote aff for puppies, and I should vote neg for kitties, I'll be happy you've given me voters but lost on how I'm supposed to weigh them—link back through your criterion or make sure I understand there are real world impacts outside the resolution. If you're still reading this exceedingly long thing you are an excellent human and probably already know how to weigh impacts.
I used to be a stickler about them but have seen the trend of inflation coming. With their use as a common tiebreaker, I’ve become a sort of point fairy. However, there is a scale. I'm a big backpack rap fan--work in a Watsky, Macklemore, Wax, Dumbfoundead, et cetera, reference and I might have to give you an extra point or two.
30) Excellent, passionate and engaging performance. Not uncommon but hard to attain. Argumentatively speaking, not much else you could have done better. I’m impressed. Most likely on par with the best thing I’ll see in the tournament; you deserve a speaker award.
29) Sound arguments and leadership in the discussion. Not much to improve in the way of argumentation. I’m impressed. Much more common that 30’s. You've taken the time to read your judge's paradigm--bravo to you for doing what I try to get my kids to do--you'll do fine with points.
28) Great job with the argumentation. Good delivery and good leadership. You did all that was expected of an experienced debater.
27) Great job with the arguments but you likely lost the round because of something here. You did all that was expected of a good debater.
26) You could have done more with the argumentation. You likely dropped something or committed a logical fallacy or two. Competent delivery.
24) Argumentation was deficient in some way. Delivery was likely lacking in poise.
23) You’re likely out of your league and still learning. That’s still good though—learn from our mistakes. Few refutations made and delivery was lacking. Usually didn’t fully utilize time given
20) Equally as common as 30’s. I give these because they’re usually the lowest I’m allowed to go. Only given when there’s misconduct of some sort. I’ll note on the ballot what you did to irk me.
Steve Walker Paradigm
Samuel Wang Paradigm
Barry Wax Paradigm
Caroline Wechsler Paradigm
Daniel Weinberg Paradigm
Devon Weis Paradigm
I’m a tabula rasa judge with a heavy commitment to nonintervention.
Don’t extend every single thing you read in case.
I need parallelism (summary+FF) for any offense you want me to vote for.
I don’t require defense in either summary, although sometimes it makes sense to extend in 2nd summ.
Signpost pls. Roadmaps are a waste of time if I don’t know when you’ve moved from one arg to another.
I love me some good framework
Theory is cool, but make it PF. Sometimes works nicely in rounds, but please don't read a shell in front of me.
I will vote for kritikal args if you win/extend role of the ballot :-)
Shoutouts to my boo thang, Shamshad Ali #thepartnership
Jack Weisman Paradigm
Win the flow. As long as I understand you (read: no spreading), I couldn’t care less about how you speak.
My full paradigm is a little long so I've written up a summary of my preferences below.
1) Weigh all of your arguments. Odds are, both debaters will be winning arguments by the end of the round, so make sure to tell me why the ones that you’re winning are the most important. Also explain why your weighing mechanism (probability, magnitude, etc.) is the best one.
2) I place a lot of work on framework. If you provide a weighing mechanism at the top of your case, and actually engage in the framework debate, I will be very happy and more likely to vote for you.
3) If you're the second second speaker, you can spend four minutes on your opponents' case. Both first speakers may spend two minutes on their side of the flow in summary. All arguments that I may consider must be brought up in final focus.
4) I always prefer going down the flow line-by-line in summary, rather than randomly-numbered voting issues. Do whatever you want in final focus, but make it clear which arguments you're talking about. Whichever strategy you choose, SIGNPOST.
1) You need to weigh arguments. I think of weighing as really important in LD, but in PF, where a consequentialist framework is almost always accepted on face, weighing is absolutely necessary. I don’t want to intervene, but I’ll have to if no one is telling me what specifically I should be voting on, and why those issues are the most important. If you rely on a standard weighing mechanism (probability, magnitude, etc.) I expect you to tell me why that weighing mechanism is better than others.
2) Since my background is primarily LD, I place more weight on framework than most PF judges. Framing the round to provide a weighting mechanism that benefits your arguments is extremely helpful, especially if your opponent doesn’t have a framework at all (this strategy won me quite a few PF rounds). I do default to utilitarian cost-benefit analysis, but I will evaluate the framework debate before the contention-level debate if one is presented in the round, and I am more likely to view the round as a whole in a positive light (read: higher speaks) if there is some sort of framework debate going on.
3) In rebuttal, I don't think the second second speaker has an obligation to respond to their opponents' rebuttal, so they can spend all four minutes attaching their opponents' case. Similarly, since summary is primarily for extending offense, it's okay if both first speakers spend the entire time on their side of the flow. Neither of these are mandatory - do what works for you. In final focus, I expect all arguments you want me to consider to be brought up.
4) In summary, I’d prefer you go down the flow and emphasize important issues by telling me that they’re important (and why), rather than giving randomly-ordered numbered voting issues. You can give voting issues if you want, and I will try to find them on the flow, but you have to remember to SIGNPOST. In final focus, I don't really care what you do as long as it's very clear which arguments you're talking about (that often means referencing contention numbers/subpoints). I don't you to risk me missing one of your arguments, so SIGNPOST. (Did I mention SIGNPOST?)
Wexler Wexler Paradigm
Paul Wexler Coach since 1993, Judge since 1987 Debated CEDA,College Parli, HS LD and Policy, College and HS Speech
Current Affiliation: Needham High School Coach (speech and debate) I coach a little with Arlington HS (Massachusetts)
Previous Affiliations: Manchester-Essex Regional, Boston Latin School, San Antonio-LEE, College of Wooster (Ohio) (competitor) , University of Wisconsin (Madison)(coach): Debate and Speech for Irvine-University HS (CA)
LD Paradigm is here first, followed by Policy and then PF at bottom (though much of LD applies to PF where appropriate)
For outrounds and flip rounds, please especially note section marked 'outrounds' at end
Shorter Version (in progress) (if you want to run some of these, see the labeled sections following)
-Defaults to voting criterion.
-Theory-will not vote on fairness or disclosure. See below for note regarding Arlington HS specifically.
Education theory OK but if frivolous RVIs encouraged.I will almost always vote on reasonability.
Will not vote on generic skepticism. May vote on resolution-specific skepticism
-Blips in constructive speeches blown up large in 1NR or 2AR are weighed as blips in my decision calculus
It is highly unlikely I shall vote on tricks, or award higher speaker points.
-No 'kicking' out of arguments unless opponent agrees with said kicking. "You broke the argument, you own it."
-Critical arguments are fine and held to same analytical standard as normative arguments
-Policy approaches (plans/CPs/DAs) are fine. They are held to same prima facie burdens as in actual CX rounds-
Narratives are fine, and should provide a rhetorical model for me to use to evaluate approach.
See below for 'role of the ballot'.
To Access higher speaker points...
Be kind/professional towards those less experienced or skilled. i.e. , make their arguments sound better than they probably are, make your own arguments accessible to them, organize the disorganized ideas of opponents, etc. while avoiding being condescending.
If clearly outclassed, stay engaged and professional. Try to avoid being visibly frustrated. We have all been there! You will absolutely get this eventually. (plus, you never know- you may make the 'golden ticket argument ' to winning the round without knowing it...)
If I think you have done either of these, it will always result in bonus speaker points.
exhibit the ability to listen.
exhibit the ability to use CX effectively (CX during prep time does not do so)
Avoid making offensive arguments, 'ist' arguments or behaving like a jerk - If you have to ask, chances are you shouldn't. "if it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, chances are it IS a duck." (Being racist or sexist or homophobic means one loses regardless, but behaving like a jerk in a non-'ist' way still means you lose speaker points and if offensive enough I'll look for a reason to vote against you.
The voting standard is the most important judging tool to me in the round. Whatever else you do or say, weighing how the different arguments impact COMPARATIVELY to the voting standard is paramount.
I strongly prefer debaters to focus on the resolution proper, as defined by the topic literature. I tend to be really,really bored by debaters who spend the bulk of their time on framework issues and/or theory as opposed to topical debating.
By contrast, I am very much interested in how philosophical and ethical arguments are applied to contemporary challenges, as framed by the resolution.
My speaker points to an extent reflect my level of interest.
I evaluate a debater's ENTIRE skill set when assigning speaker points, including the ability to listen. See below for how I assess that ability.
One can use alternative approaches to traditional ones in LD in front of me. I am receptive to narratives, plans, role of the ballot to fight structural oppression, etc. But these should be grounded in the specific topic literature- or at least why the specific resolution being debated undermines the fight against oppressive norms.
I am NOT receptive to generic 'debate is bad' arguments. Wrong forum.
Specifics of my view of policy, critical, performance, etc. cases are at the bottom if you wish to skip to that.
Skepticism bores me. I also usually think that (at least for high school students) that it would be a failure on my part to vote for it in a debate round. While it may well be the case that we can't make moral judgements about a particular class of action on a particular topic, skepticism as a whole is substantially different.
I will not vote on...
a)Fairness arguments, period. They will be treated as radio silence. - See famed debate judge Marvin the Paranoid Android's paradigm on this in 'The Debate Judges Guide to the Galaxy.' by Douglas Adams. "The first ten million (fairness arguments) were the worst. And the second ten million: they were the worst, too. The third ten million I didn’t enjoy at all. After that, their quality went into a bit of a decline.” .
Instead, tell me why the perceived violation is a poor way to evaluate the truth of the resolution, not that it puts you in a poor position to win.
b) I will not vote on disclosure theory, it shall be treated as radio silence. I have assisted a little with Arlington High. Arlington High by team consensus does not permit its' members to disclose except at tournaments where it is specified to as requirement to participate by tournament invitation.
c) I will vote on education theory. However, I am actively favorable to RVIs when run in response to 'cheap' , 'throw-away' , generic, or 'canned' education theory.
d)Shells are not always necessary (or even usually). if an opponent's position is truly bollocks fifteen seconds explaining why is a better approach in front of me than a two or three minute theory shell
e) Finally, I am highly unlikely to vote on arguments that center on an extreme or very narrow framing of the resolution no matter how much framework you do- and 100% unlikely based on a half or full sentence blurb.-
'Extreme' in this context means marginally related to the literature (or a really small subset of it)
ON BLIPS AND EXTENSIONS
I believe that debaters indicate through analysis and time management what their key arguments are. Therefore, a one sentence idea in case, if used as a major voting issue in rebuttals, will receive 'one sentence worth' of weight in my RFD. even if the idea was dropped cold.
Simply extending drops and cards is insufficient, be sure to connect to the voting standard and explain the argument sufficiently. I do cut the Aff a little more leeway in this regard than the neg due to time limitations, but be careful.
OLD SCHOOL IDIOSYNCRASY- THE IMPORTANCE OF LISTENING
1) On sharing cases and evidence,
Please note: The below does not apply to the reading of evidence cards.
1) I believe that listening is an essential debate skill. In those cases where speed and jargon are used, they are still being used within a particular oral communication framework, even if it is one unique to debate. It makes no sense to me to speak our cases to one another (and the judge), while our opponent reads the text afterwards, and then orally respond to what was written down (or for the judge to vote on what was written down). If that is the norm, we could just stay home and email each other our cases.
In the round, this functions as my awarding higher speaker points to good listeners. Asking for entire cases or demonstrates you are still developing the ability to listen and/or the ability to process what you heard. That's OK, this is an educational activity. But don't expect higher speaker points. My advice is to work on the ability to process what you have heard rather than ask for cases or briefs.
Asking for individual cards by name to examine their rhetoric, context etc, is acceptable, as I don't expect most debaters to be able to write down cards verbatim. I expect those cards to be made available immediately. Any time spent 'jumping' the cards to an opponent beyond minimal is taken off the prep time of the debater that just read the case.
I will most likely only ask for cards at the round's end in the case of ethical challenges, etc, or if I failed to make note of a card's substance through some reason beyond a debater's control (My own sneezing fit for example, or the host school's band playing '76 Trombones on the Hit Parade' in the classroom next door during the 1AC)-
ON Non Debater authored Cases
I believe two of the most valuable skills in debate, along with the ability to listen, are the ability to write and research (and do both efficiently).
I further believe the tendency of some in the debate community to encourage students to become a ventriloquist's dummy, reading cases authored by individuals post-HS, is antithetical to developing these skills. Most likely it is also against most schools' academic code of conduct. I reject the idea that students are 'too busy to write their own cases and do their own research'
I will drop debaters -with minimal speaker points- who run cases written by any individual not enrolled in high school.
In novice or JV rounds I will drop debaters who run cases written by a varsity teammate.
Further, if I suspect, given that debater's level of competence, that they are running a position they did not write ( I suspect they have little to no comprehension of what they are reading) I reserve the right to question them after the round about that position. If said person confirms my suspicion about their level of comprehension, they will be dropped by me with minimal speaker points.
THAT SAID my speaker points will reward debaters who are trying out new ideas which they don't completely understand yet- I think people should take risks, just don't let yourself be shortchanged of all that debate can be by letting some non high school student write your ideas for you.
Finally, I am not opposed to student written team cases/briefs per sae. However, given the increasing number of cases written by non-students, and the difficulty I have in distinguishing those from student-written positions, I may eventually apply this stance to any case I hear for the second time (or more) at a tournament. That day has not yet arrived however.
ON POLICY ARGUMENTS (LARPING)
I am open to persons who wish to argue policy positions as opposed to voting standard If that framework is won.
Do keep in mind that I believe the time structure of LD makes running such strategies a challenge. I find many policy link stories in LD debate, even in late outrounds at TOC-qual tournaments, to be JVish at best. Opponents, don't be afraid to say so.
Policy-style debaters assume all burdens that actual policy debaters have, That means if solvency -(or at least some sort of comparative advantage, inherency, etc. is not prima facie shown for the resolution proper, that debater loses even if the opponent does not actually give a response while drooling on their own cardigan. (or your own, for that matter)
I am also actively disinclined to allow the negative to 'kick out' out of counterplans, etc., in face of an Aff challenge, during the 1NR. Think 'Pottery Barn'- "You broke the argument, you own it."
ON NARRATIVE ARGUMENTS
In addition to the 'story', be sure to include a rhetorical model I can use to evaluate the narrative in the course of the round. if you do so effectively, speaker points will be high. If not, low.
ON CRITICAL ARGUMENTS
I hold them to the same analytical standard as more normative or traditional arguments. That means quoting some opaque piece of postmodern writing is unlikely to score much emphasis with me, absent a complete drop by the opponent. And even if there is a complete drop, during the weighing stage I could easily be persuaded that the critical argument is of little worth in adjudicating the round. When debating critical theory, Don't be afraid to point our that "the emperor has no clothes."
In round, this functions as debaters coherently explaining what both they and their sources are being critical of, and doing so throughout the round.
In any case be sure to SLOW DOWN when reading critical arguments.
ROLE OF THE BALLOT-
I believe that debate, and the type of people it attracts, are uniquely superior opportunities to develop the skills required to fight oppression. I also believe that how i vote in some prelim at a tournament is unlikely to make much of a difference- or less so than if the debaters and judge spent their Saturday volunteering for a group fighting to make changes. I tend to take the arguments more seriously when made in out rounds with audiences. In fairness, people may see prelims as the place to learn how to make these arguments, which is to be commended. But it is not guaranteed that I take an experienced debater making such arguments in prelims as seriously, without a well articulated reason to do so.
Also bear in mind that my perspective is that of a social studies teacher with a MA in Middle Eastern history and a liberal arts education who is at least tolerably familiar with the literature often referenced in these rounds. But I also default in my personal politics to feeling that a bird in hand is better than exposing the oppression of the bush.
if simply invited or encouraged to think about the implications of your position, or to take individual action to do so, that is a wild card that may lead to a vote in your favor- or may not. I feel obligated to use my personal knowledge in such rounds. YOU are encouraged to discuss the efficacy of rhetorical movements and strategies in such cases.
ON MORALLY OFFENSIVE ARGUMENTS
Offensive debaters, such as those who actively call for genocide will be dropped with minimal speaker points. The same is true for those who are blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.
I default to skepticism being in the same category when used as a response to 'X is morally bad' types of arguments.
By minimal speaker points, I mean 'one point' (.1 if the tournament allows tenths of a point) and my going to the physical tabroom to insist they manually override any minimum in place in the settings.
If an argument not intended to be racist or sexist or pro-murder could be misused to justify the same, that would be debatable in the round- though be reasonable. "if it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, chances are it IS a duck." Arguing over if general U.S. immigration is irredeemably racist is debatable in the round, arguing that an entire group of people should be excluded based on religion is racist on face, and arguing that it is morally acceptable (or even amoral) to tear gas children is a moral travesty in and of itself.
Outrounds/Flip Rounds Only
I believe debate offers a unique platform for debaters to work towards becoming self-sufficient learners, independent decision makers, and autonomous advocates. I believe that side determination with a lead time for the purposes of receiving side specific coaching particular to a given round is detrimental to debaters developing said skills. Further, it competitively disadvantages debaters who do choose to emphasize such skills (or do not have access to such coaching to start with).
In elimination rounds this functions as
a) flip upon arrival to the round.
b)avoid leaving the room after the coin flip (i.e., please go to the restroom, etc. before arriving at the room and before the flip)
c) arrive in sufficient time to the round to flip and do all desired preparation WITHOUT LEAVING THE ROOM so that the round can start on time.
d)All restrictions on electronic communication commence when the coin is in the air
Doing all of this establishes perceptual dominance in my mind. All judges, even those who claim to be blank slates, subliminally take perceptual dominance into account on some level. -Hence their 'preferences'. For me, all other matters being equal, I am more likely to 'believe' the round story given by a debater who exhibits these skills.
Have fun! Learn! "If you have fun and are learning, the winning will take care of itself"
In absence of a reason not to do so, I default to policy-maker (though I do have some sympathy for hypothesis-testing).
The above largely holds for my policy judging, though I am not as draconically anti-theory in policy as I am in LD because the time structure allows for bad theory to be exposed in a way not feasible in LD.
I've judged it and coached it since the creation.
Most of what I say under Lincoln-Douglas applies here- The differences OR key points are as follows.
1) I judge PF as an educated layperson- i.e. one who reads the paper but doesn't know the technicalities of debate lingo.
As such your 'extend this" and "pull that" confuse me for the purposes of the round - I will ignore debate lingo unless you explain the argument itself.
Your rate of delivery should be appropriate to the types of arguments you are making.
2)Stand during the cross-fire times. This adds to your perceptual dominance.
3) --Offer and justify some sort of standard I can use to weigh competing arguments.
4) On Evidence...
--Evidence should be fully explained with analysis. Evidence without analysis isn't persuasive to me. (the best evidence will have analysis as well, which is the gold standard- but you should add your own linking to the round itself and the resolution).
--Quantitative claims always require evidence, the more recent the better.
--Qualitative claims DO NOT always require evidence, that depends on the specific claim.
-5)-Be comparative when addressing competing claims. The best analytical evidence compares claims directly within itself.
-6)Produce requested evidence in an expeditious fashion- Failure to do so comes of YOUR prep time, and eventually next speech time.
-7)-Blips in constructive speeches blown up large in summary or final focus are weighed as blips in my decision calculus
8)No 'kicking' out of arguments unless opponent agrees with said kicking. "You broke the argument, you own it."
9) As noted above, I will most likely only ask for cards at the round's end in the case of ethical challenges, etc, or if I failed to make note of a card's substance through some reason beyond a debater's control (My own sneezing fit for example, or the host school's band playing '76 Trombones on the Hit Parade' in the classroom next door during a speech.
Most Importantly- as with any event " Have fun! "If you are learning and having fun, the winning shall take care of itself."
Janna White Paradigm
Update for Bronx LD:
I'm only in for Sunday as our LD coach could only judge Fri/Sat.
I did policy debate for 4 years in HS and 4 years in college. I coached college policy at NYU, then became the Director of Debate at Byram Hills. I am now the Director of Debate at Poly Prep.
I'm fine with all forms of argumentation.
MAJOR CAVEAT: I am have major issues with my hands at the moment which is why I haven't been judging recently. While I can perfectly understand you at whatever pace you choose, I am not going to be able to flow at a remotely fast pace. I promise to do my best but will undoubtedly miss things and forget they happened if you have rapid fire theory args, 5 analytical turns in 20 seconds, or 2 second cross applications. You have been warned. Sorry and thanks.