Greenhill Fall Classic
2016 — Addison, TX/US
Varad Agarwala Paradigm
Greenhill School '16
Email Chain: Varad.Agarwala@gmail.com
General Debate Predilections/Requests That You'll Inevitably Ignore
- Theory in LD is beginning to be a non-starter. I like debates about the topic. The stupider your interp the closer I get to completely ignoring it.
- Tech over truth. Notwithstanding, if your “technical concession” took two seconds it probably doesn’t matter.
- I really, really enjoy impact turn debates. They will be rewarded with higher speaks if done correctly.
- I'm a sucker for the perm double bind
- Clash debates - weigh your impacts! These debates are hard to judge because no one does comparative analysis
- Extra speaks for negs that come up with creative case negs that demonstrate you've done research about the aff
- I hate, hate, hate long overviews. Just do it on the line by line.
- deleting things from the doc is prep time, it's not my fault you can't flow
- max 28 speaks if you don't disclose
Critical Affirmatives/Non-Traditional Affirmatives/Framework/Topicality
I don't care. Do what you want.
Theory (For LD folk)
- The worse the arg the more annoyed I'll be. RVI’s seem silly to me, but that’s also because most theory arguments seem silly to me. I believe that reasonability is underutilized in LD and can be used to beat most theory arguments.
- The 1AR: I don’t think that you have to read theory as a separate off – just read it on the sheet of paper that it applies e.g. condo bad on the counterplan flow.
Disclosure (This is for you, LD people)
Pre-Round Disclosure: The affirmative must tell the negative what the aff is before the debate, unless it is a new aff. This involves (a) disclosing the advocacy text, (b) the advantages. If it is a new aff, the affirmative does not have to tell the negative what the aff is/what the advantages are/what the advocacy text is/anything. All they need to say is "new aff." If it is a new plan but the same advantages, the aff must disclose the advantages being read, but does not have to disclose the plan. Same is true of new advantages.
NDCA Wiki Disclosure: Teams must disclose all broken positions on the NDCA Wiki. Failing to do so will make me sad. It will also result in a loss (likely) if the opposing team reads an argument about why you must disclose. I think most arguments against disclosure are pretty silly, and don't worry about whether or not the violation can be verified. I will check their wiki for you.
Two caveats to this. (a) Forgetting to disclose one or two positions does not constitute failing to disclose. (b) If you are debating someone with clearly far less experience, reading disclosure theory will just make me sad and make me ignore your argument and likely dock your speaks.
In-Round Evidence Sharing: Use an email chain. My email is at the top of the paradigm.
If you are caught clipping, it will result in a Loss 0. That being said, if you accuse someone of an evidence ethics violation and you are proven to be wrong, the same punishment will be given to you. If I am following the doc and catch you clipping you will still be punished even if your opponent doesn't call you out.
Speaker Point Scale
29.6 - 30: You did everything I could have ever wanted and more; thank you for ceasing my unending cycle of terrible debates.
29 - 29.5: You'll be in deep elims, there were few technical mistakes made and I think you'll beat most of the debaters in the pool based on your performance.
28-29: I think you'll probably break. You did very well as a whole, there were a couple moments of brilliance, but not brilliant throughout.
27-28: You probably won't break and there are larger debate techne issues that need to be resolved.
26-27: Major errors committed, effort questionable.
Below 26: You're bad and you should feel bad.
Clement Agho Otoghile Paradigm
Forensics is a speaking competition in which the art of rhetoric is utilized - speaking effectively to persuade or influence [the judge].
I take Socrates's remarks in Plato's Apology as the basis of my judging: "...when I do not know, neither do I think I know...I am likely to be wiser than he to this small extent, that I do not think I know when I do not know" (Ap. 21d-e).
My paradigm of any round is derived from: CLARITY!!!
All things said in the round need to be clear! Whatever it is you want me to comprehend, vote on, and so forth, needs to be clearly articulated, while one is speaking. This stipulation should not be interpreted as: I am ignorant about debate - I am simply placing the burden on the debater to debate; it is his or her responsibility to explain all the arguments presented. Furthermore, any argument has the same criteria; therefore, clash, at the substantive level, is a must!
First and foremost, I follow each debate league's constitution, per the tournament.
Secondly, general information, for all debate forms, is as follows:
1) Speed: As long as I can understand you well enough to flow the round, since I vote per the flow!, then you can speak as slow or fast as you deem necessary. I do not yell clear, for we are not in practice round, and that's judge interference. Also, unless there is "clear abuse," I do not call for cards, for then I am debating. One does not have to spread - especially in PF.
2) Case: I am a tab judge; I will vote the way in which you explain to me to do so; thus I do not have a preference, or any predispositions, to the arguments you run. It should be noted that in a PF round, non-traditional/abstract arguments should be expressed in terms of why they are being used, and how it relates to the round.
Set a metric in the round, then tell me why you/y'all have won your metric, while your opponent(s) has lost their metric and/or you/y'all have absorbed their metric.
The job of any debater is to persuade the judge, by way of logical reasoning, to vote in his or her favor, while maintaining one's position, and discrediting his or her opponent's position. So long as the round is such, I say good luck to all!
Ask any other clarification questions before the round!
Jonathan Alston Paradigm
I am a head coach at Newark Science and have coached there for years. I teach LD during the summer at the University of North Texas and I previously taught at Stanford.
I like many types of arguments, but I like them to be smart.
I don't presume to any side. I listen to student arguments.
Be clear. Be very clear. If you are spreading politics or something that is easy to understand, then just be clear. I can understand very clear debaters at high speeds when what they are saying is easy to understand. Start off slower so I get used to your voice and I'll be fine.
Do not spread philosophy. If I have a hard time understanding it at conversational speeds I will not understand it at high speeds. (Don't spread Kant or Foucault.)
Slow down for analytics. If you are comparing or making analytical arguments that I need to understand, slow down for it.
I want to hear the warrants in the evidence. Be clear when reading evidence. I don't read cards after the round if I don't understand them during the round.
Make it make sense. I'll vote on it if it is reasonable. Please tell me how it functions and how I should evaluate it. The most important thing about theory for me is to make it make sense. I would like for the debates about the debate to be interesting.
Every argument has a standard, even if it is pre the agreed upon standard in the round. Explain to me why it is important or makes sense. I like smart, substantive arguments.
Don't take it out of context. I do ask for cites. Cites should be readily available. Don't cut evidence in an unclear or sloppy manner. Cut evidence ethically. Do not take evidence out of context by cutting qualifiers like "might" or "maybe".
30 I learned something from the experience. I really enjoyed the thoughtful debate. I was moved. I give out 30's. It's not an impossible standard. I just consider it an extremely high, but achievable, standard of excellence.
Byron Arthur Paradigm
Byron R. Arthur
Holy Cross School
Judging Since September 1983
Debate Events Judged : All of Them
Debate Events Coached: All of Them
I have worn a number of professional hats through the years and they all influence how I see the debate. First, I am an attorney. This means that I insist upon evidence and its integrity. Under no circumstances do I tolerate debaters who play fast and loose with interpretation of evidence. Second, I am a teacher which means I seek to maximize education for all of us who are involved in the debate. Please join me in that effort when you are debating in front of me.
Topicality – I am happy to vote on T if it is argued well. You should know that I tend to interpret T very broadly so in some instances you might want to choose something else if your violation is one that is based upon a fairly strict interpretation. Not a huge RVI fellow. I tend not to ignore all else in the round in order to give the AFF a win for meeting one of its burdens.
Types of Arguments – There are no arguments that I reject out of hand. While I was in high school when LD was created, I am not opposed to all of the ways in which it has evolved. Counterplans are not only acceptable but encouraged as long as they are meeting all of the traditional burdens such as competition and net benefits. I would say the same for the disadvantage and its burdens.
I am very fine with the K debate as well. But at the end of the day, there must be a link for me to consider. I love debates about race, gender, sexual orientation, and other opportunities for debaters to engage in discourse about issues that are important. Yet, I also believe that individuals spend time crafting topics for a reason and call me old-fashioned but I still like those discussions. Most topics allow us to have the best of both worlds but at times they do not. Learn to recognize the difference if I am in the back of the room.
Theory is a means to an end and those who love the idea of theory as its own thing should definitely strike me.
Speed – There was a time when I would walk out of a room very impressed with the debater who was incredibly fast and offered a cornucopia of arguments. That was about 30 years ago. Now I am impressed with the debater who does more with less and values depth of discussion and argument.
Points- My range for points is generally between 26.5 -29.9. 26.5 is reserved for those who are incomprehensible, disengaged, non-responsive, or simply missing the boat. 29.9 is reserved for the debater who demonstrates a mastery of argument, communicates nuances, has the ability to analyze arguments and make meaningful comparisons, has on-point evidence, and has outstanding communication skills. THOSE WHO ARE RUDE TO OPPONENTS OR USE PROFANITY WILL RECEIVE A 20. IF YOU ARE UNEASY WITH THIS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER STRIKING ME.
I am very sensitive to the way that we treat each other in this activity. I take allegations of bullying and intimidation very seriously. As an adult in the room, I will immediately deal with these issues and protect the rights of all individuals involved. If you feel that there is an issue when you are debating in front of me, know that we will proceed in the following manner:
1. Please raise the issue when you are aware of it. I will then allow both debaters to go and find their respective coaches/adult chaperone before we proceed. I will not engage students on issues of this magnitude without their adult advocates present.
2. I will listen to both sides of the discussion to determine whether or not we can proceed with the debate or if it should be brought to the tournament director for further resolution.
Mike Bietz Paradigm
Head Coach: Harvard-Westlake School, Los Angeles CA | email@example.com
Use speechdrop.net for sharing speech documents. No more email or flashdrive problems. The affirmative should have this ready to go before the round starts.
Jonah Feldman, coach at UC Berkeley, summed up a lot of what I have to say about how I evaluate arguments
I do not believe that a dropped argument is necessarily a true argument
I am primarily interested in voting on high quality arguments that are well explained, persuasively advanced, and supported with qualified evidence and insightful examples. I am not interested in voting on low quality arguments that are insufficiently explained, poorly evidenced, and don't make sense. Whether or not the argument was dropped is a secondary concern...
How should this effect the way I debate?
1) Choose more, especially in rebuttals. Instead of extending a lot of different answers to an advantage or offcase argument, pick your spots and lock in.
2) If the other team has dropped an argument, don't take it for granted that it's a done deal. Make sure it's a complete argument and that you've fully explained important components and implications of winning that argument.
His full paradigm: https://www.tabroom.com/index/paradigm.mhtml?judge_person_id=6366
I never thought I'd have to say this, but you have to read aloud what you want me to consider in the round. Paraphrasing doesn't count as "evidence."
The affirmative probably should be topical.
I think that I'm one of the few circuit LD judges who votes affirmative more than I vote negative. I prefer an affirmative that provides a problem and then a solution/alternative to the problem. Negatives must engage. Being independently right isn't enough.
I would probably consider myself a policy-maker with an extremely left bent. Answering oppression with extinction usually doesn't add up for me. I'll take immediate, known harms over long term, speculative, multi-link impacts 90 out of 100 times. This isn't paradigmatic so much as it is negatives failing to engage the affirmative.
Given my propensity to vote affirmative and give the affirmative a lot of leeway in defining the scope of the problem/solution, and requiring the negative to engage, I'd suggest you take out the 3 minutes of theory pre-empts and add more substance.
Topicality is probably not an RVI, ever. Same with Ks. Today I saw someone contend that if he puts defense on a Kritik to make debate a safe space, the judge should vote for him because he'll feel attacked.
Cut your presumption spikes. It's bad for debate to instruct judges not to look for winning arguments. It also encourages debaters to make rounds unclear or irreconcilable if they are behind on actual issues.
Where an argument can be made "substantively" or without theory, just make it without theory. For example, you opponent not having solvency isn't a theory violation. it just means they can't solve. Running theory flips the coin again. So it's both annoying and bad strategy. Other examples might include: Plan flaws, no solvency advocate, and so on. Theory IS the great equalizer in that it gives someone who is otherwise losing an argument a chance to win.
Cross-x cannot be transferred to prep time.
- Not letting your opponents answer a question. More specifically, male debaters who have been socialized to think its ok to interrupt females who have been socialized not to put up a fight. If you ask the question, give them a chance to answer.
- Ignoring or belittling the oppression or marginalization of people in favor of smug libertarian arguments will definitely not end up well for you.
- People who don't disclose or they password protect or require their opponents to delete speech documents. I'm not sure why what you read is private or a secret if you've read it out loud. The whole system of "connected" kids and coaches who know each other using backchannel methods to obtain intelligence is one of the most exclusionary aspects of debate. This *is* what happens when people don't disclose. I'll assume if you don't disclose you prefer the exclusionary system.
Some considerations for you:
- if you’re reading such old white male cards that you have to edit for gendered language, maybe consider finding someone who doesn’t use gendered language... and if you notice that ONLY white men are defending it, maybe consider changing your argument.
- if you find yourself having to pre-empt race or gender arguments in your case, maybe you shouldn't run the arguments.
Dylan Cavanaugh Paradigm
Courtney Coffman Paradigm
Berkeley 2019 Update: I haven't judge a lot of circuit LD rounds this year. I've been judging a lot of World Schools Debate. Please don't go your top speed and please slow down on tags & author names.
Background: I'm the Director of Debate at Northland Christian School in Houston, TX. I graduated in 2008 after debating for three years on the national and local circuits (TOC, NFL, TFA). I was a "traditional" debater whenever I competed (stock and policy arguments, etc). I have taught at Global Debate Symposium, Mean Green Workshops and Pinnacle.
Email Chain: Please add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Judging Philosophy: I prefer a comparative worlds debate. When making my decisions, I rely heavily on good extensions and weighing. If you aren't telling me how arguments interact with each other, I have to decide how they do. If an argument is really important to you, make sure you're making solid extensions that link back to some standard in the round. I love counterplans, disads, plans, etc. I believe there needs to be some sort of standard in the round. Kritiks are fine, but I am not well-versed in dense K literature; please make sure you are explaining the links so it is easy for me to follow.
Theory: I think running theory is fine (and encouraged) if there is clear abuse.
Speaker Points: I give out speaker points based on a couple of things: clarity (both in speed and pronunciation), word economy, strategy and attitude. In saying attitude, I simply mean don't be rude. I think there's a fine line between being perceptually dominating in the round and being rude for the sake of being rude; so please, be polite to each other because that will make me happy. Being perceptually dominant is okay, but be respectful. If you give an overview in a round that is really fast with a lot of layers, I will want to give you better speaks. I will gauge my points based on what kind of tournament I'm at...getting a 30 at a Houston local is really easy, getting a 30 at a circuit tournament is much more difficult. If I think you should break, you'll get good speaks.
Speed: I'd prefer a more moderate/slower debate that talks about substance than a round that is crazy fast/not about the topic. I can keep up with a moderate speed; slow down on tag lines/author names. I'll put my pen down if you're going too fast. If I can't flow it, I won't vote on it. Also, if you are going fast, an overview/big picture discussion before you go line by line in rebuttals is appreciated. You can consider me a 7 out of 10 on the speed scale. I will say "clear" "slow" "louder", etc a few times throughout the round. If you don't change anything I will stop saying it.
Miscellaneous: I think permissibility and skep. arguments are defense and don't prefer to see them in a round. I default to comparative worlds.
1. Don't try to win on tricks...I will severely dock speaker points and just be generally sad when making a decision (aka don't mislabel arguments, give your opponent things out of order, or try to steal speech/prep time, etc). I am not going to vote on an extension of a one sentence "argument" that wasn't clear in the first speech that is extended to mean something very different.
2. Please don't run morally repugnant positions in front of me.
3. Have fun!
David Dosch Paradigm
I debated for four years at John Marshall High School in Los Angeles, California. I qualified to the TOC my junior and senior years, attaining a career total of 8 bids. I am the Co-Director of the San Jose Debate Intensive. I am a conflict for any competitors on this list: https://camp.thesjdi.org/instructors/
Speed is fine. I don't care if you sit or stand, feel free to lay down if that’s how you're most comfortable. I come into the round with very few rigid preconceptions about what arguments should be read. Nearly all of the defaults outlined below can be changed by explicit arguments to the contrary. I will not blatantly intervene against any position (save for those which are morally repugnant).
As a competitor I ran primarily policy style arguments, so I feel very comfortable evaluating these types of debates. Robust evidence comparison is a tool that I feel is very underutilized. Identifying power-tagged evidence and pointing out intuitive logical gaps in an advantage can be just as effective as reading a hefty carded prep-out. I would say that I am fine with more conditionality than most judges. Feel free to read condo bad theory, just know that it’s a slight uphill battle.
The bulk of the K debate should not be centered around arbitrary assertions about the "role of the ballot." I absolutely loathe the state of K debate in contemporary LD. I will reward competitors who can make it through the round without using the phrase ROB or relying on the contrived pre/post-fiat metaphor, with extra speaker points. Rather than relying on Trifonas 03 as your ace in the hole, you should make arguments which actually explain why your criticism is a prior question to the hypothetical consequences of the 1AC. Many kritiks suffer from links which are overly generic and alternatives which are horribly convoluted. Remedy this by pulling specific lines from the Affirmative and by being able to provide an intelligible explanation of your alternative in CX. I'll vote on your silly K tricks (floating PIK, VTL > Extinction, Alt solves the case) just be prepared to defend them theoretically.
I gave this topic a separate heading because it presents unique challenges that may raise more nuanced questions. I am fine with performances and non-topical positions; often they introduce very interesting discussions and literature bases into the round which might otherwise be over looked. I would prefer that your position be at least in the direction of the topic, but that’s no mandate. Please defend something tangible. By tangible I do not mean realistic (feel free to burn it down, just please do tell us what that means!), rather I ask that you defend a consistent position so your opponent can formulate a coherent strategy. I will vote on T. I think topical version of the Aff arguments are pretty close to being silver bullets, so be sure you are winning impact turns to topicality or some other offensive reason why the topical version of your position is bad.
I default to viewing theory as an issue of competing interpretations. To me this means that you need offense on theory to either beat it back, or, assuming you've justified it, gain access to an RVI. Offense on the theory flow can come in the form of turns to your opponent's standards or a counter interpretation with standards of its own. I do not believe that competing interpretations necessitates an explicit counter-interp. If you want to justify an alternate understanding of competing interpretations, go for it, just explain the effect it has on the theory debate. To me reasonability means that winning sufficient defense on your opponent's abuse story is enough to beat back theory. Again, if your understanding of reasonability differs from the above explanation, warrant it and impact it. I default to drop the debater and no RVIs. As mentioned above, you must have offense in order to access an RVI. I will not vote on the RVI + I meet double whammy or any similarly preposterous shenanigans.
I'll touch on the issue of "spikes" here because it fits more neatly under the theory heading than any other. I strongly dislike spike-heavy strategies that rely on deception and trickery to snag a few easy ballots. Please slow down for short spikes. Though not mandatory, it would be greatly appreciated if you numbered your spikes. If your 1AR is four minutes of extending 1AC blips, expect very poor speaks. I am extremely receptive to the argument that spikes needn't be answered until they are extended. I will not tolerate CX evasiveness about the implication of spikes. Answer your opponent's questions honestly or face the wrath of the loss 25.
I default to a paradigm of epistemic modesty where I assign offense credence to the extent that the framework it links back to is won. I do not view frameworks as being entirely preclusive impact filters. I find framework heavy strategies that concede the entirety of the opposing contention to be unpersuasive. I find framework heavy strategies to be more effective when coupled with case turns/case defense. If you are going to read a generic NC against a plan, please read a link specific to the plan just as you would for a DA or a Kritik.
Be comparative with warrants for your framework. Don't just insist that your framework justifications "come first", instead address the differences between your frameworks at the warrant level. I enjoy good framework clash and appreciate the strategic value of contesting framework.
My range is 25-30. An average performance will earn a 27. Good disclosure practices will earn you extra speaks (like a .5 boost or something).
Adegoke Fakorede Paradigm
I have debated in Lincoln-Douglas Debate for 4 years in Science park high school. I recently graduated and I am now on the Rutgers Newark debate team. I've qualified to the TOC in both Lincoln-Douglas and Policy debate my senior Year.
I am ok with speed. I love k's and critical arguments when they are ran correctly.
Theory is fine with me as well as topicality but I need really good analysis on the violation and impacts back to standards.
Im really ok with any argument that isn't racist, sexist, or offensive in anyway.
I give high speaks if you are clear and really good in the big picture debate. I like a good story.
3 Rick and Morty references executed smoothly= 30 hands down
Chase Hamilton Paradigm
Hunter Harwood Paradigm
Experience - I debated LD for 4 years in high school, 3 on the national circuit. I'm now a Political Science major at the University of North Texas, where I debate policy. I coach at Liberty Christian School and Prosper High School.
Where I've Judged This Season: St. Mark's, UT, Isidore Newman, UH, Strake, The Strake Round Robin, Colleyville Heritage, The Hockaday Women's Round Robin, The Kandi King Round Robin, TFA State, and a lot of locals,
Sidenote beforehand: I would love to sit down with anyone who would like to know what to work on/is confused by the decision after the round. Always feel free to approach me at tournaments and ask me questions, it would make my day.
IF YOU"RE DOING TOC PREFS: I like to judge good K, performance, micropol, and theory/tricks debates. These are the positions that I ran and still run, and the ones that I tend to cut for debaters I coach, so I'm familiar with how they work.
I will vote for any type of argument, at any speed. With that said, here's how to win in front of me:
1. Do phenomenal topic prep: I don't care how you present your arguments to me. V/C frameworks, burden structures, role of the ballot, role of the judge, theoretically justified frameworks, etc., are all valid ways to frame an argument. With that said, however you choose to debate, PLEASE make topical, well fleshed out, well-researched arguments at the contention level. If you win a generic K or frivolous theory argument, you'll win the round, but I'll give you speaks such that you'll wish you had chosen a different, more substantive strategy.
2. Debate about things that matter: I strongly believe that debate is a space that changes the way which we view the world. It is a primarily educational activity, and it influences people to do things with their lives that actively create change. Rounds where debaters discuss actual, real-life issues, and present topic solutions to problems that the resolution presents are the best rounds to adjudicate, and the most fun rounds to participate in.
3. Be clear and concise: I'll say clear as many times as I have to. I don't think it's fair of me as a judge to stop trying to understand you just because I'm having to work a little harder at it. However, you're liable for anything I don't get the first time. If you're trying to extend an argument in the 1AR and I have no idea what you're talking about because the 1AC was 6 minutes of garbled tags and authors, that's on you. However, being clear and concise doesn't just apply to spreading. Word economy and time allocation are super important. One of the biggest pitfalls debaters fall into is reiterating the same argument 10 different times, at various points in time, during their rebuttal, simply to make sure that the judge understands how key of a voting issue it is. Please don't do this. You'll be amazed at how much time you have remaining in your rebuttal if you weigh and do argument interaction concisely, while telling a good ballot story. When you're reading a good novel, the climactic portion of the plot isn't reexplained in every chapter through the resolution.
4. Speaker Points: You'll start at a 28. I give speaks for strategy and how well you debate.
5. Theory Specific Stuff: I ran a lot of theory in high school. Although my views on the subject have changed significantly since then, I understand that theory is the crux of some debaters' strats, and I will vote for pretty much any theory arg, given that it's structured properly. There is one caveat: DO NOT READ WIFI BAD IN FRONT OF ME. This is the only arg I have ever gut checked.
Chetan Hertzig Paradigm
EXPERIENCE: I'm the head coach at Harrison High School in New York, and have previously been a coach at Sacred Heart and Lexington (both in Massachusetts), as well as at Scarsdale High School in New York. I debated for Lexington from 1994 to 1998. I'm not presently affiliated with these programs or their students.
If you're in high school, please address me by my last name (no "Mr." is required).
Please include me on the email chain: email@example.com
BIG PICTURE: CLARITY in both delivery and substance is the most important thing for me. If you're clearer than your opponent, I'll probably vote for you.
PRACTICES I WILL REWARD WITH HIGHER SPEAKS:
- Starting speeches slowly and building speed as you go (rather than starting at top speed)
- ENUNCIATING and INFLECTING throughout
- Speaking slower than average circuit speed
- Providing an explicit decision-calculus/voting issues
- Explicitly linking to a standard or ROB in speeches, especially rebuttals
- Telling a clear and coherent ballot story
- Weighing between your extensions and your opponent's (not just giving me two non-clashing sets of extensions)
- Reading a whole res aff that defends the topic as a principle
- Having a layered NC and responsive/specific turns off the aff
- Making topical critical arguments/reading Ks that are grounded in the topic lit
- Comparing evidence and weighing
- Giving structured speeches
- Using good word economy
PRACTICES FOR WHICH I WILL DECREASE SPEAKS:
- Using profanity in the round. I don't care what your purpose is; it's not necessary.
- Using ad homs of any kind against your opponent (e.g., commenting on their race, clothing, or practices as a debater). Find a non-personal way of making the argument.
- Reacting non-verbally when your opponent is speaking (e.g., violently shaking your head, making faces, waving your arms). It's rude, unpersuasive, and unnecessary.
- Indicting or insulting an opponent's team or coach in round (e.g., "It's no surprise [team name] is going for T this round")
- Sitting during CX and/or speeches unless you're physically unable to stand
GENERAL: For the most part, I want to see a substantive round about the topic. My conception of what counts as topical argumentation is based on what's in the topic literature.
*PLEASE READ: If, after the round, I don't feel that I can articulate what you wanted me to vote for, I'm probably not going to vote for it.
Speed: Slow down, articulate/enunciate, and inflect - no monotone spreading, bizarre breathing patterns, or foot-stomping. I will say "slow" and/or "clear," but if I have to call out those words more than twice in a speech, your speaks are going to suffer.
*PLEASE READ: I would like debaters to allow their opponents to slow or clear them if necessary. I think this is an important check on ableism in rounds.
Theory: I don't view theory the way I view other arguments on the flow. I will intervene against theory that's clearly unnecessary/frivolous, even if you're winning the line-by-line on theory. I will vote on theory that is actually justified (as in, you couldn't have answered the position without it, or there was something about the opponent's strategy that made it impossible for you to win without theory). Is that subjective? You bet. Is there a brightline? Probably not. Don't like this view? Don't pref me.
Framework: If you and your opponent agree on a FW, great. If not, make the FW debate relatively short (i.e., not 4 minutes of a 7 minute speech). Also, please explain the philosophical concepts you're using instead of assuming that I know them. I probably don't.
Policy Arguments: I dislike generic politics DAs and extinction impacts on topics that clearly don't link to them. If you want to run those impacts on a topic about nuclear weapons, go for it. If the topic's about compulsory voting, I'll be very receptive to good defensive answers from the aff.
Ks and Micropolitical Arguments: I generally prefer TOPICAL critical arguments. I encourage you to talk about issues of race, gender, class, representation, etc., but do so within the confines of the resolution, not in some external method I don't have jurisdiction to evaluate. I prefer Ks with tangible alts (although I'm more okay with reps Ks now than I used to be). Update: I'm more okay with non-topical affs than I used to be if you make it super-clear why you had to be non-topical to read them. Otherwise, I tend to think a TVA will solve.
Disclosure Theory: I'll vote for this if I think it's won on the flow, but I'm not a huge fan of rounds that come down to this.
Tricks: Shut the front door! Who are you?! (In other words, "no.")
Extensions: I need to hear the claim, warrant, and impact in an extension. Don't just extend names and claims.
"Flex Prep": Different people use these words to mean different things. I am fine with you asking clarification questions of your opponent during prep time. I am not okay with you ending CX early and taking the rest of the time as prep time.
Other Stuff: Link to a standard, burden, or clear role of the ballot. Signpost. Give me voting issues or a decision calculus of some kind. WEIGH. Be nice. And stand up.
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Jacob Koshak Paradigm
Jenn Melin Paradigm
Jenn (Jennifer) Miller-Melin, Jenn Miller, Jennifer Miller, Jennifer Melin, or some variation thereof. :)
Email for email chains:
If you walk into a round and ask me some vague question like, "Do you have any paradigms?", I will be annoyed. If you have a question about something contained in this document that is unclear to you, please do not hesitate to ask that question.
-Formerly assistant coach for Lincoln-Douglas debate at Hockaday, Marcus, Colleyville, and Grapevine. Currently assisting at Grapevine High School and Colleyville Heritage High School.
I was a four year debater who split time between Grapevine and Colleyville Heritage High Schools. During my career, I was active on the national circuit and qualified for both TOC and NFL Nationals. Since graduating in 2004, I have taught at the Capitol Debate Institute, UNT Mean Green Debate Workshops, TDC, and the University of Texas Debate Institute, the National Symposium for Debate, and Victory Briefs Institute. I have served as Curriculum Director at both UTNIF and VBI.
In terms of debate, I need some sort standard to evaluate the round. I have no preference as to what kind of standard you use (traditional value/criterion, an independent standard, burdens, etc.). The most important thing is that your standard explains why it is the mechanism I use to decide if the resolution is true or false. As a side note on the traditional structure, I don't think that the value is of any great importance and will continue to think this unless you have some well warranted reason as to why I should be particularly concerned with it. My reason is that the value doesn't do the above stated, and thus, generally is of no aid to my decision making process.
That said, debates often happen on multiple levels. It is not uncommon for debaters to introduce a standard and a burden or set of burdens. This is fine with me as long as there is a decision calculus; by which I mean, you should tell me to resolve this issue first (maybe the burden) and that issue next (maybe the standard). Every level of analysis should include a reason as to why I look to it in the order that you ask me to and why this is or is not a sufficient place for me to sign my ballot. Be very specific. There is nothing about calling something a "burden" that suddenly makes it more important than the framework your opponent is proposing. This is especially true in rounds where it is never explained why this is the burden that the resolution or a certain case position prescribes.
Another issue relevant to the standard is the idea of theory and/or off-case/ "pre-standard" arguments. All of the above are fine but the same things still apply. Tell me why these arguments ought to come first in my decision calculus. The theory debate is a place where this is usually done very poorly. Things like "education" or "fairness" are standards and I expect debaters to spend effort developing the framework that transforms into such.
l try to listen to any argument, but making the space unsafe for other bodies is unacceptable. I reserve the right to dock speaks or, if the situation warrants it, refuse to vote on arguments that commit violence against other bodies in the space.
I hold all arguments to the same standard of development regardless of if they are "traditional" or "progressive". An argument has a structure (claim, warrant, and impact) and that should not be forgotten when debaterI ws choose to run something "critical". Warrants should always be well explained. Certain cards, especially philosophical cards, need a context or further information to make sense. You should be very specific in trying to facilitate my understanding. This is true for things you think I have read/should have read (ie. "traditional" LD philosophy like Locke, Nozick, and Rawls) as well as things that I may/may not have read (ie. things like Nietzsche, Foucault, and Zizek). A lot of the arguments that are currently en vogue use extremely specialized rhetoric. Debaters who run these authors should give context to the card which helps to explain what the rhetoric means.
One final note, I can flow speed and have absolutely no problem with it. You should do your best to slow down on author names and tags. Also, making a delineation between when a card is finished and your own analysis begins is appreciated. I will not yell "clear" so you should make sure you know how to speak clearly and quickly before attempting it in round.
I will always disclose unless instructed not to do so by a tournament official. I encourage debaters to ask questions about the round to further their understanding and education. I will not be happy if I feel the debater is being hostile towards me and any debater who does such should expect their speaker points to reflect their behavior.
I am a truth tester at heart but am very open to evaluating the resolution under a different paradigm if it is justified and well explained. That said, I do not understand the offense/defense paradigm and am increasingly annoyed with a standard of "net benefits", "consequentialism", etc. Did we take a step back about 20 years?!? These seem to beg the question of what a standard is supposed to do (clarify what counts as a benefit). About the only part of this paradigm that makes sense to me is weighing based on "risk of offense". It is true that arguments with some risk of offense ought to be preferred over arguments where there is no risk but, lets face it, this is about the worst type of weighing you could be doing. How is that compelling? "I might be winning something". This seems to only be useful in a round that is already giving everyone involved a headache. So, while the offense/defense has effectively opened us up to a different kind of weighing, it should be used with caution given its inherently defensive nature.
Theory seems to be here to stay. I seem to have a reputation as not liking theory, but that is really the sound bite version of my view. I think that theory has a place in debate when it is used to combat abuse. I am annoyed when theory is used as a tactic because a debater feels she is better at theory than her opponent. I really like to talk about the topic more than I like to wax ecstatic about what debate would look like in the world of flowers, rainbows, and neat flows. That said, I will vote on theory even when I am annoyed by it. I tend to look at theory more as an issue of reasonabilty than competing interpretations. As with the paradigm discussion above, I am willing to listen to and adjust my view in round if competing interpretations is justified as how I should look at theory. Over the last few years I have become a lot more willing to pull the trigger on theory than I used to be. That said, with the emergence of theory as a tactic utilized almost every round I have also become more sympathetic to the RVI (especially on the aff). I think the Aff is unlikely to be able to beat back a theory violation, a disad, and a CP and then extend from the AC in 4 minutes. This seems to be even more true in a world where the aff must read a counter-interp and debate on the original interp. All of this makes me MUCH more likely to buy an RVI than I used to be. Also, I will vote on theory violations that justify practices that I generally disagree with if you do not explain why those practices are not good things. It has happened a lot in the last couple of years that a debater has berated me after losing because X theory shell would justify Y practice, and don't I think Y practice would be really bad for debate? I probably do, but if that isn't in the round I don't know how I would be expected to evaluate it.
Finally, I can't stress how much I appreciate a well developed standards debate. Its fine if you choose to disregard that piece of advice, but I hope that you are making up for the loss of a strategic opportunity on the standards debate with some really good decisions elsewhere. You can win without this, but you don't look very impressive if I can't identify the strategy behind not developing and debating the standard.
I cannot stress enough how tired I am of people running away from debates. This is probably the biggest tip I can give you for getting better speaker points in front of me, please engage each other. There is a disturbing trend (especially on Sept/Oct 2015) to forget about the 1AC after it is read. This makes me feel like I wasted 6 minutes of my life, and I happen to value my time. If your strategy is to continuously up-layer the debate in an attempt to avoid engaging your opponent, I am probably not going to enjoy the round. This is not to say that I don't appreciate layering. I just don't appreciate strategies, especially negative ones, that seek to render the 1AC irrelevant to the discussion and/or that do not ever actually respond to the AC.
Debate has major representation issues (gender, race, etc.). I have spent years committed to these issues so you should be aware that I am perhaps hypersensitive to them. We should all be mindful of how we can increase inclusion in the debate space. If you do things that are specifically exclusive to certain voices, that is a voting issue.
Being nice matters. I enjoy humor, but I don't enjoy meanness. At a certain point, the attitude with which you engage in debate is a reason why I should choose to promote you to the next outround, etc.
You should not spread analytics and/or in depth analysis of argument interaction/implications at your top speed. These are probably things that you want me to catch word for word. Help me do that.
Theory is an issue of reasonability. Let's face it, we are in a disgusting place with the theory debate as a community. We have forgotten its proper place as a check on abuse. "Reasonability invites a race to the bottom?" Please, we are already there. I have long felt that theory was an issue of reasonability, but I have said that I would listen to you make arguments for competing interps. I am no longer listening. I am pretty sure that the paradigm of competing interps is largely to blame with for the abysmal state of the theory debate, and the only thing that I have power to do is to take back my power as a judge and stop voting on interps that have only a marginal net advantage. The notion that reasonability invites judge intervention is one of the great debate lies. You've trusted me to make decisions elsewhere, I don't know why I can't be trusted to decide how bad abuse is. Listen, if there is only a marginal impact coming off the DA I am probably going to weigh that against the impact coming off the aff. If there is only a marginal advantage to your interp, I am probably going to weigh that against other things that have happened in the round.
Grammar probably matters to interpretations of topicality. If one reading of the sentence makes sense grammatically, and the other doesn't that is a constraint on "debatability". To say the opposite is to misunderstand language in some pretty fundamental ways.
Truth testing is still true, but it's chill that most of you don't understand what that means anymore. It doesn't mean that I am insane, and won't listen to the kind of debate you were expecting to have. Sorry, that interp is just wrong.
Framework is still totally a thing. Impact justifying it is still silly. That doesn't change just because you call something a "Role of the Ballot" instead of a criterion.
Util allows you to be lazy on the framework level, but it requires that you are very good at weighing. If you are lazy on both levels, you will not make me happy.
Flashing is out of control. You need to decide prior to the round what the expectations for flashing/emailing are. What will/won't be done during prep time, what is expected to be flashed, etc. The amount of time it takes to flash is extending rounds by an unacceptable amount. If you aren't efficient at flashing, that is fine. Paper is still totally a thing. Email also works.
Rodrigo Paramo Paradigm
toss me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated ld and policy in high school, coach ld @ greenhill starting in 2018
[past affiliations: woodlands ('14-'15), dulles ('15-'16), edgemont ('16-'18), westwood ('14-'18)]
(current conflicts: westwood (all), edgemont rg)
here are some thoughts i have:
0) on nebel 2019 - i really did not understand the warrants in this article i tried hard but we skipped grammar at my middle school and it is finally catching up with me - im not saying i won't vote for it but you gotta make it parsable for me and i am *very* receptive to pragmatics first
0.5) i am so deeply deeply unreceptive to and uninterested in this trend of explaining new identity categories with the same form and language of antiblackness literature. if you do not have a psychoanalytic warrant, dont claim you do! if you do not have evidence identifying a structural antagonism, i do not know why you are using that language! sigh.
1) if the 2nr is split that is rarely a great sign for speaker points
2) i do not think debates where the affirmative does not clarify until the 1ar whether they operate under comparative worlds or truth testing are productive - i will default to a comparative worlds paradigm unless the 1ac justifies otherwise - the 1ar cannot shift to truth-testing without an indication of that interpretive claim in the 1ac.
3) i am not going to vote on an impeachment impact unless you tell me how we get from a 53-47 gop senate to 67 senators voting to remove trump from office - absent that warrant, i will not grant you "impeachment proceedings remove trump from office"
4) miscellaneous thoughts on perms: a. i do not understand why the aff doesnt get perms in a method debate - never seen a compelling warrant - default assumption on my part is that the aff does and its an uphill battle to convince me otherwise, b. will not grant you the perm if i am uncertain about the perm text bc the articulation between 1ar and 2ar was different c. (perm texts should be more than "perm do both")
5) the phrase "evidence ethics" means something - if someone says it and their opponent clarifies "is this an evidence ethics challenge," i understand this to mean that the debate ends - whoever has made the accusation wins if i believe the evidence ethics violation is correct, they lose if i believe the accused did not commit an evidence ethics violation - i will not independently end the round if the accused does not ask for this - if they do, i am happy to - words matter and evidence ethics matters - see the relevant section on bennett eckert's paradigm for more of my thoughts on this question
6) slow down on theory - will say slow twice, after that it is on you if i cannot flow it - i will miss your arguments and feel very comfortable disregarding them regardless of what is in the doc. this is similarly true for perm texts etc - dont super care what the doc said if i didnt flow the text near verbatim in the 1ar
7) please dont read shitty politics disads in front of me, i will be frustrated. i keep up with politics / will know if you are lying
8) i do not think i have ever been convinced by the claim that judges have a jurisdictional constraint to only vote for topical affs - i do not foresee that changing
9) i am not compelled by the insistence that the negative or affirmative answer t/k first in cx or theory arguments deriving from it
10) i will not vote for a position i do not understand - this includes poorly explained kritiks, incoherent link scenarios on a disad, and dense ncs that i probably just wont get
11) i have a good ear for when clipping is occurring - if i suspect it is, i will follow along in the speech doc - if i determine i am correct, the person clipping will lose. to be very clear, this does not necessitate the opponent making a clipping accusation - i feel very comfortable making this adjudication on my own.
12) one notable contradiction in my thinking - i am very receptive to semantics bad claims on t (not into nebel t) but also pretty receptive to text of the interp/text of the rotb/plan flaw args - i generally think that when issues arise in those 3 things, they are a result of students not giving much thought to them which is a shame bc all 3 are pretty important in my view - well crafted interps, as well as cxes that isolate plan flaws/interp issues will be rewarded (this doesnt mean i like /bad/ plan flaw args.............)
13) if you suspect that i may need to look at interps/counter interps you read, those should be flashed before the speech [likely applies to perms as well]- i will not look at interps that are written down at the end of the round and will just evaluate the t debate based on what i have written on my flow.
14) given how clear it is to me that no one could flow theory as it is delivered, i am cool w debaters tossing out a "slow" at their opponents if they can't flow at top speed
15) have to say i think my place on the ideological spectrum has been misidentified, which has led to perplexing strategic decisions being made in front of me - yes i f w kritiks, i also am down w theory arguments when kritik debaters push too far - i would always rather see a 2ar definitively win contradictory condo advocacies bad, or even just condo bad, than one that attempts to split itself on both t and the case page; there are obviously limits to this! i dont want to see rotb spec etc - use your best judgment to determine what shells to go for or if you really are unsure i guess you can ask me my thoughts on interps?????
16) flex prep means asking questions during prep time - in no world does unused CX time become prep time - what?????
17) tab judges dont exist
im down with almost everything - read ahead for specifics
I will be frustrated if you walk into round and ask a question that is already answered here, (applies mostly if you are the second flight)
LD: Pref Shortcut (Roughly Speaking)
K debaters: 1
Theory debaters: 1-3 (depending on your strats against the K/ the frivolity of your interps)
Framework debaters: 3-4 (lack of familiarity with much of the literature means i'm always a step behind - high threshold for explanation)
Debaters reading positions about suicide, depression/specific mental health, sexual violence, or any similarly traumatic issue, the onus is on them to ask those in the room permission to read the position. Spectators may leave, but judges and opponents do not have that option, meaning there is an expectation that if one of them objects to the triggering subject, that the debater will not read that position. If a debater does not adjust their strategy after being asked to, they will start the round with a 25. If you do not ask before round, but someone is triggered, speaks will similarly be docked. If there is no trigger warning but no one is triggered, the round can continue as normal.
The question for what necessitates a trigger warning is difficult to objectively delineate - if you have a reasonable suspicion someone could be negatively impacted by your position, ask before you read it - explicit narratives are probably a good starting point here. Trigger warnings are contentious in debate but I've seen students negatively impacted in rounds because they were not present and have engaged in conversations with other coaches that lead me to conclude something along these lines is necessary. At the very least, debate is (or should be) a 'safe space', and I believe this is a necessary first step towards achieving that goal. Feel free to discuss this before the round if you are worried it will become an issue in round.
This (admittedly strangely) probably means I'm not the judge for "must read a trigger warning" shells - they often make debate rounds uncomfortable and i have seen them leveraged in ways that make debate spaces unsafe - if no one was triggered, don't spend your time on that shell.
This article is very good at articulating my views on the importance of trigger warnings
It is not up for debate that if someone was triggered on account of your failure to adequately make use of trigger warnings, you'll be punished through speaks and/or the ballot
please flash well
- Clarity is important, and I’ll prompt you if need be. Slow down for tags and emphasize authors.
- nothing is more impressive than a slow, efficient debater winning the line-by-line against a fast opponent.
- I'll say clear twice - speaks will be deducted after this
- im fairly expressive when i cant follow you - keep an eye out
- clarity is important for high speaks but more important than how you sound is making strategic decisions in the 2AR/NR;
- don't go for 6 arguments if one is sufficient to win the round, don't waste time addressing all 4 levels of the debate if you're clearly winning the top 2, don't read unnecessary theory, etc.
- give a strategic and efficient 1AR,
- here are my average speaks for past tourneys, do with this what you will
- grapevine: 28
- greenhill: 28.3
- marks: 28.4
- gbx: 28.08
- strake/rr: 28.21
- churchill: 27.98
- debate la: 28.63
- hwl: 28.48
- emory: 28.22
- berkeley: 28.58
- tfa state: 28.25
- toc: 28.28
- grapevine: 28.03
- greenhill: 28.45
- marks: 28.07
- dont re-read your ac or nc taglines for extensions - bad
if the arg isnt listed here/talked about in the misc. section above just assume im into it
im most familiar with literature surrounding a variety of identity debates though i also see a fair share of deleuze rounds - again, do with this what you will
i really dont understand baudrillard in debate rounds i have tried and i just cant wrap my head around it feel free to try to be the one to change that but it is... an uphill battle
do w/e, last year one of my students read a silent 1ac, i am here for it if you justify it
Skep/permissibility/all your tricky args
speech times dont change presumption lol, ill presume neg if the aff doesnt do anything
- I default to theory as a question of competing interpretations though I can be persuaded otherwise
- I'm more than happy to listen to 6 minutes of theory in the 2nr, just do it well
- *low* threshold for semantic i meet's on poorly worded interpretations
- Fairness isn’t a voter, it is an internal link - this does not mean i would /never/ vote for fairness claims but i have a very low threshold for reasons education would come first Education /is/ a voter, and it is /always/ a voter - im very skeptical you can win my ballot with "education bad" or "education is not a voter"
- you should not just say 'its in your paradigm that fairness isnt a voter lol'
- i will likely be easily compelled by a "debaters should not bracket evidence" argument - i have grown sympathetic to this argument as abuses become increasingly egregious
Any questions at all, ask before round, and above all, do what you’re most comfortable with, don’t just read something because you think I’ll enjoy it, I’ll enjoy seeing you be good at your specialty infinitely more (unless its like skep then yeah dont read it i'd rather see a bad k or policy debate than a skep round).
Scott Phillips Paradigm
My general philosophy is tech/line by line focused- I try to intervene as little as possible in terms of rejecting arguments/interpreting evidence. As long as an argument has a claim/warrant I can explain to your opponent in the RFD I will vote for it. If only one side tries to resolve an issue I will defer to that argument even if it seems illogical/wrong to me- i.e. if you drop "warming outweighs-timeframe" and have no competing impact calc its GG even though that arg is terrible. 90% of the time I'm being postrounded it is because a debater wanted me to intervene in some way on their behalf either because that's the trend/what some people do or because they personally thought an argument was bad.
Rounds Judged on the topic- a lot
My Ideal affirmative- 2 well constructed advantages
My Ideal 1NC- 5 off and case
Cliffs Notes-Top 10 Things you should know
1. I vote on arguments commonly considered "bad" frequently because a team mishandles them, it is my belief belief that most bad arguments can be defeated by making a thumbs down motion, so if you fail to meet that minimum threshold I will be qualmless voting against you. The overarching principle of my judging is "least intervention"-Much like Harrison Ford in Ender's Game under no circumstances will I help you with bad arguments, I believe in self help.
2. I vote on kritiks a lot because the team answering them reads a lot of bad generic answers instead of making analytic arguments based on the specific arguments they have made in that debate. To clarify this sentence - what I mean is an analytic based on your 1AC- ie "tradable permits empirically don't cause commodification and extinction since we already have them for SO2". In general I think most debaters have no idea what they are saying when reading a K and that affirmatives SHOULD win about 80-90% of the debates in which the negative goes for one.
3. No plan affs- 100% of the time when I vote against you on framework its because the other team won theory was a trump card over issues like education/K impacts and you didn't advance theory offense for your interpretation. I end up voting for no plan args frequently because the neg collapses/has no idea what to do.
4. Theory needs to come back with a vengeance
A. Entirely plan inclusive counterplans- I have never heard a theory argument to defend them that passes the minimum threshold explained above. That being said, winning a solvency deficit against them is basically impossible.
B. More than 2 conditional counterplans is just you being a chazzer
C. K frameworks/roles of the ballot that stack the deck absurdly are worse than entirely plan inclusive counterplans
D. Reject argument not team produces terrible debates with very bad strategies. Voting on theory doesn't fix this, but it improves it substantially.
5. I believe you have a choice
A. Clearly articulate your ground/say as much in CX
B. Because your position is vague you are susceptible to a reduced credibility modifier that taints many of your arguments. Plan vagueness affects plan solvency, alternative vagueness affects.... etc.
6. IMO there are, in fact, risks of things. Debaters should be aware of this and make arguments about how I should resolve risk. The plan may be popular with 5 people and unpopular with 6, should I place more emphasis on the number of people or maybe are those 5 more important? Very few link cards establish such a clear threshold that you can say with certainty (when contested) yes definite link. (this point is largely irrelevant now as the tides of history have turned and no risk people have been successfully marginalized)
7. I will always defer to debater argument resolution if one side does it and the other doesn't-no matter how bad or illogical I think the argument is. This is to me, the most important part of debate.
8. I try really hard to flow well. Teams who willfully ignore line by line/structure - I will not do work for you to figure things out if the other team does line by line barring some argument why I should.
9. I often call for lots of evidence after a debate, most of the time this is just out of curiosity. When making my decision evidence is only a factor when it is a point of contest or someone has made an argument for why it should be a part of the decision. I am not a judge who reads every card from both sides and makes a decision based on the evidence.
10. Evidence quality in debate is in terminal decline. If you have good evidence and you make an issue of it in the debate (talk about quals, or recency for uniqueness) you will most likely crush.
Making a decision:
Everything is debatable but speech times: The role of the ballot, whether evidence or analytic arguments are more important, is it acceptable for the other team to read off their computers, who gets presumption and why etc. If neither team makes an argument on the issue, the following are my defaults:
1. Evidence and analytic arguments are treated equally- I will look at the total sum of explanation offered for an argument, from any form. So if a well explained analytical will beat a poorly written piece of evidence. If one teams reads qualifications and the other doesn't, the team who read quals will receive a slight bump in the level of quality I assess to their explanation (assuming all other factors are equal). Treating them as equal until told otherwise is my way of encouraging debate.
2. Presumption, in the case of a tie or too close to call resolution of an argument, goes to the team advocating the least change. I would use presumption in the instance where each team had an advocacy and an offensive argument, and each team dropped a terminal defense argument to their own offense such that the net risk in either direction of presented offense was exactly zero. In that instance the "hidden disad" of change makes sense as a decision making tool. In no other circumstance I can think of would I use presumption unless explicitly instructed by the debaters.
3. If an argument is unresolveable (or tough to resolve) I will use a "needs" test- the burden of explanation will be assessed to the team who NEEDS the argument to win. So for example
-on a CP permutation, if the neg would win the debate without the permutation, then the aff needs it to win- so the burden of explanation is on them
-for CP solvency, if the neg would lose if the CP did not solve the case, then the neg needs to win solvency- so the burden of explanation is on them
4. Concession= truth. If you drop epistemology comes first/is a side constraint, then it is. You can drop that framing issue and still win as long as you beat the link (that your epistemology is flawed), but you will not be allowed new answers to the impact. I use a reasonable person standard- if I was unaware that the 1NC presented a epistemology first argument (based on what was said in the 1NC, not my prior knowledge of the negative team), then if the aff says "they didn't say this, therefore our answers aren't new" I would allow it. But remember, everything is debatable. If the 2NR comes back and asserts it was clearly stated when they said XYZ, the aff has to disprove that.
5. The threshold for how good a response to an argument has to be is directly related to the quality of the initial argument. Saying "RANT" is sufficient to beat a lot of voting issues. If the other team answers RANT in their 2NC sever perms are a VI block, and thats all you say, you will be in trouble. Similarly, many counterplans (consult, recommendation, delay, lopez) are easily defeated by theory arguments but almost impossible to beat on substance. A well rounded debater should avoid trying to ice skate uphill.
6. I spend a lot of time on debate. Other than eating and playing video games, basically all of my time is spent cutting cards, coaching, writing and reading about debate. A lot of judges say "I'm not a very good flow". I'm a very good flow, I may even go as far as to say probably one of the best. All that being said, it is very possible that you could say a string of words, or utter a quote from an article I have written that fully conveys your argument to me, but would leave a less experienced/judge with a life with no idea what you were saying/what your argument was. I try to temper this fact by using a "reasonable person" standard for what makes a complete argument. I feel this is essential because otherwise any student who was in my lab, had emailed me a question, or had just read a lot of the 3NR would have an absurdly unfair advantage vs a similarly skilled student. So if I made a joke in lab about saying "purple monkey dishwasher" and that meaning "we do the whole plan minus the reps", so you say that in a debate and expect me to vote on it, I won't. Unless you are debating someone else from the lab who had equal access to that information. Similarly, even if I flowed an argument/got the jist of what you were saying, but feel that the other team is being reasonable when they say your argument was poorly explained/did not constitute an argument I will be open to that and you need to respond.
1. I like fast debate. That being said, some people give fast debate a bad name. You can be fast only after you are clear and efficient. I should be able to understand every word you say, not just the tags. If you are stammering (or displaying other verbal missteps) excessively you are going faster than you are capable of going imo.
2. Points are determined by how well you perform your function, which depends on what speeches you give. A 1AC should be perfectly smooth because you can practice it as much as you want. A 2NC assembled on the fly vs a new case can be excused a few missteps on the other hand. I think auto giving the 1N low points because they could be replaced by a robot in most debates is a bit unfair- a blazing fast 1NC and devastating 1NR can be game changing. That being said, rarely do people perform up to that level.
3. Points are assessed relative to the field in which you are competing. The same speech can be a 29 at a local, but a 27.5 at St Marks.
What is your threshold for T?
The threshold is established by the other teams answers- if they make good defensive arguments and argue reasonability well than my threshold will be high. If they don't it will be very low.
What are you favorite kinds of debate?
Ones in which there are clash, since that is not really a thing anymore its usually impact turn debates- heg bad, de-dev, CO2 ag and warming good- loved to go for these when I debated and love to see them debated now. CO2 ag is the upper limit of stupid I think is acceptable.
Did you run kritiks when you debated?
Not as much as Bricker would want you to believe. My senior year in HS and my senior year in college I went for K's about 30% of the time, in the other years of my debate less than 5%.
Did you ever read a critical aff?
By today's standards no- I always had a plan, though sometimes the advantages were not nuke war.
You bash the politics disad a lot, will you still vote for it?
Yes, almost always because the affirmative never does anything of the things that highlight the problem with politics.
Are you OK with speed?
Yes, if anything I dislike slow debate. However this is a double edged sword- if you do fast debate terribly I will punish you for it.
Is Fem IR beatable?
What race do you play in SC2?
Usually random, but if I pick -zerg.
If you were in Game of Thrones, which house would you belong to?
A note on jumping:
I want to see good debates. I'm not interested in charging you 10 seconds of prep to jump your speeches. If, however, you show total technical incompetence at jumping/severely delay the round your speaks will suffer. A good jump is like a good road map- its not hard, so get it over with quickly.
Standards for sharing should be reciprocal, and as such are established by the team willing to do the least. If Team A doesnt jump speeches as a policy that is fine by me, but then Team B is under no obligation to let Team A see any of their evidence. If Team A doesn't jump analytics, Team B doesn't have to etc.
A note on quality:
I generally believe that there are certain "norms" in debate- don't steal prep time, don't clip cards etc. These norms are not rules, and as such as a judge I don't think its my job to enforce them. In fact, I think it SHOULD be the burden of a good team to be on top of is the other team stealing prep, are they clipping cards etc. Encouraging students to take responsibility for this is the best model imo. However, there are debates where there is a huge mismatch in terms of the quality of the teams involved. I no longer think it reasonable to expect novices entered in their first varsity tournament to check to see if the Baker Award winning team they are debating is stealing prep. I also don't really care to argue with you about whether or not you are stealing prep. So my solution is that for all things that could be considered a violation of good sportsmanship I will severely jack your points if it is a debate where I subjectively decide the other team should not be responsible for checking you.SO
-If I think you are clipping cards/stealing prep/misquoting evidence/lying in cx in the finals of the TOC vs another excellent team I would expect the other team to catch you
-If I think you are clipping cards/stealing prep/misquoting evidence/lying in cx during a preset vs a vastly inferior team I will severely dock your speaker points
Demarcus Powell Paradigm
Feel free to email me with any questions about my paradigm. email@example.com
Only send speech docs to for Dallas tournaments firstname.lastname@example.org.For national circuit tournament please send speech docs to email@example.com
ASK FOR POLICY PARADIGM - The paradigm below is designed mostly for LD. Some things change for me when evaluating the different events/styles of debate. Also when you ask please have specific questions. Saying "What's your paradigm?", will most likely result in me laughing at you and/or saying ask me a question.
About Me: I graduated from Crowley High School in 2013, where I debated LD for three years mostly on the TFA/TOC circuit. I ran everything from super stock traditional cases to plans/counterplans to skepticism, so you probably can't go wrong with whatever you want to run.I debated at The University of Texas at Dallas, in college policy debate for 3 years .Running any sort of Morally repugnant argument can hurt you, if you're not sure if your argument will qualify ask me before we begin and I'll let you know.
Speed: I can flow moderately fast speeds (7-8 on a scale of 10), but obviously I'll catch more and understand more if you're clear while spreading. I'll say "clear"/"slow" twice before I stop attempting to flow. If I stop typing and look up, or I'm looking confused, please slow down!! Also just because I can flow speed does not mean I like hearing plan texts and interpretations at full speed, these things should be at conversational speed.
Cross Examination: While in front of me cx is binding anything you say pertaining to intricacies in your case do matter. I don't care about flex prep but I will say that the same rules of regular cx do apply and if you do so your opponent will have the chance to do so. Also be civil to one another, I don't want to hear about your high school drama during cx if this happens you will lose speaker points.
Prep Time: I would prefer that we don't waste prep time or steal it. If you're using technology (i.e. a laptop, tablet, or anything else) I will expect you to use it almost perfectly. These things are not indicative of my decision on the round rather they are pet peeves of mine that I hate to see happen in the round. I hate to see rounds delayed because debaters don't know how to use the tools they have correctly.UPDATE. You need to flow. The excessive asking for new speech docs to be sent has gotten out of hand. If there are only minor changes or one or two marked cards those are things you should catch while flowing. I can understand if there are major changes (3 or more cards being marked or removed) or new cards being read but outside of this you will get no sympathy from me. If you are smart and actually read this just start exempting things. I don't look at the speech doc I flow. If you opponent doesn't catch it so be it. If this happens in rounds I am judging it will impact your speaker points. If you would like a new doc and the changes are not excessive per my definition you are free to use your own prep time, this will not effect your speaker points.
Theory: I don't mind theory debates - I think theory can be used as part of a strategy rather than just as a mechanism for checking abuse. However, this leniency comes with a caveat; I have a very low threshold for RVI's (i.e. they're easier to justify) and I-meet arguments, so starting theory and then throwing it away will be harder provided your opponent makes the RVI/I-meet arguments (if they don't, no problem). While reading your shell, please slow down for the interpretation and use numbering/lettering to distinguish between parts of the shell!
Also theory debates tend to get very messy very quickly, so I prefer that each interpretation be on a different flow. This is how I will flow them unless told to the otherwise. I am not in the business of doing work for the debaters so if you want to cross apply something say it. I wont just assume that because you answered in one place that the answer will cross applied in all necessary places, THAT IS YOUR JOB.
- Meta-Theory: I think meta-thoery can be very effective in checking back abuses caused by the theory debate. With that being said though the role of the ballot should be very clear and well explained, what that means is just that I will try my hardest not to interject my thoughts into the round so long as you tell me exactly how your arguments function. Although I try not to intervene I will still use my brain in round and think about arguments especially ones like Meta-Theory. I believe there are different styles of theory debates that I may not be aware of or have previously used in the past, this does not mean I will reject them I would just like you to explain to me how these arguments function.
Speaks: I start at a 27 and go up (usually) or down depending on your strategy, clarity, selection of issues, signposting, etc. I very rarely will give a 30 in a round, however receiving a 30 from me is possible but only if 1) your reading, signposting, and roadmaps are perfect 2) if the arguments coming out of your case are fully developed and explained clearly 3) if your rebuttals are perfectly organized and use all of your time wisely 4) you do not run arguments that I believe take away from any of these 3 factors. I normally don't have a problem with "morally questionable" arguments because I think there's a difference between the advocacies debaters have or justify in-round and the ones they actually support. However, this will change if one debater wins that such positions should be rejected (micropol, etc). Lastly, I do not care if you sit or stand while you speak, if your speech is affected by your choice I will not be lenient if you struggle to stand and debate at the same time. UPDATE. If you spend a large chunk of time in your 1AC reading and under-view or spikes just know I do not like this and your speaks may be impacted. This is not a model of debate I want to endorse.
General Preferences: I need a framework for evaluating the round but it doesn't have to be a traditional value-criterion setup. You're not required to read an opposing framework (as the neg) as long as your offense links somewhere. I have no problem with severing out of cases (I think it should be done in the 1AR though). NIBs/pre standards are both fine, but both should be clearly labeled or I might not catch it. If you're going to run a laundry list of spikes please number them. My tolerance of just about any argument (e.g. extinction, NIBS, AFC) can be changed through theory.
Kritiks and Micropol: Although I do not run these arguments very often, I do know what good K debate looks like. That being said I often see Kritiks butchered in LD so run them with caution. Both should have an explicit role of the ballot argument (or link to the resolution). For K's that are using postmodern authors or confusing cards, go more slowly than you normally would if you want me to understand it and vote on it.
Extensions and Signposting: Extensions should be clear, and should include the warrant of the card (you don't have to reread that part of the card, just refresh it). I not a fan of "shadow extending," or extending arguments by just talking about them in round - please say "extend"!! Signposting is vital - I'll probably just stare at you with a weird look if I'm lost.
Some of the information above may relate to paper flowing, I've now gone paperless, but many of the same things still apply. If I stop typing for long stretches then I am probably a bit lost as to where you are on the flow.
Chris Randall Paradigm
Debate for me first and foremost is an educational tool for the epistemological, social, and political growth of students. With that said, I believe to quote someone very close to me I believe that it is "educational malpractice" for adults and students connected to this activity to not read.
T/ and framework are the same thing for me I will listen. I believe that affirmative teams should be at the very least tangentially connected to the topic and should be able to rigorously show that connection.
DA'S- Have a clear uniqueness story and flesh out the impact clearly
CP's- Must be clearly competitive with the aff and must have a clear solvency story, for the aff the permutation is your friend but you must be able to isolate a net-benefit
K- I am familiar with most of the k literature
CP'S, AND K'S- I am willing to listen and vote on all of these arguments feel free to run any of them do what you are good at
In the spirit of Shannon Sharpe on the sports show "Undisputed" and in the spirit of Director of Debate at both Stanford and Edgemont Brian Manuel theory of the TKO I want to say there are a few ways with me that can ensure that you get a hot dub (win), or a hot l (a loss).
First let me explain how to get a Hot L:
So first of all saying anything blatantly racist things ex. (none of these are exaggerations and have occurred in real life) "black people should go to jail, black death/racism has no impact, etc" anything like this will get you a HOT L
THE SAME IS TRUE FOR QUESTIONS RELATED TO GENDER, LGBTQ ISSUES ETC. ALSO WHITE PEOPLE AND WHITENESS IS NOT THE SAME THING
Next way to get a HOT L is if your argumentation is dies early in the debate like during the cx following your first speech ex. I judged an LD debate this year where following the 1nc the cx from the affirmative went as follows " AFF: you have read just two off NEG: YES AFF: OK onto your Disad your own evidence seems to indicate multiple other polices that should have triggered your impact so your disad seems to then have zero uniqueness do you agree with this assessment? Neg: yes Aff: OK onto your cp ALL of the procedures that the cp would put into place are happening in the squo so your cp is the squo NEG RESPONDS: YES In a case like this or something similar this would seem to be a HOT L I have isolated an extreme case in order to illustrate what I mean
Last way to the HOT L is if you have no knowledge of a key concept to your argument let me give a few examples
I judged a debate where a team read an aff about food stamps and you have no idea what an EBT card this can equal a HOT L, in a debate about the intersection between Islamaphobia and Anti-Blackness not knowing who Louis Farrakhan is, etc etc
I believe this gives a good clear idea of who I am as judge happy debating
Jharick Shields Paradigm
Hello! My name is Jharick Shields and I am the assistant debate coach at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Mississippi. I enjoy listening to/voting for functionally all forms of argumentation, provided that it is clearly explained, implicated, and weighed. Speed is fine, people usually have problems with clarity however. I will say clear twice and then you should watch for me to put my pen down. I am a huge fan of non-verbal cues, so you should watch for those as well. They can give you key insight into how well you’re doing. I am a fan of explanation and thoroughness. People should not expect me to “check in” for certain types of analysis, but should expect to get my ballot if they tell me why they won. Claim. Warrant. Impact. Easy as pie. I am not a fan of blippy analysis and the weight i give each argument will be based on how much work went into it. You shouldn’t expect me to understand words that you do not explain. The rule of thumb is that if you had to read multiple articles to understand it, you should not just throw it at me and then complain indignantly when I tell you I didn’t understand it. I like impact analysis and this part of the debate is important. I get that your impacts are important. Weigh long term v short term. Weigh probability and magnitude. Tell me what my ballot does and tell me why it goes to you. I am not a fan of under-explained theory arguments – theory and topicality are functionally the “death penalty” so just saying the words “the neg skewed my strategy because it’s hard to respond’ doesn’t constitute an adequate reason for me to drop the debater. However, don’t interpret this as “this judge won’t vote for theory, I can’t go for condo in this debate even if it’s the right option” as some have previously. Speaker points start at a 28. They can go up or down from there based on strategy, execution, clarity, and persuasiveness. I like games, so here’s an interesting one: for every correctly identified conceded argument, you get +.1 speaks and for every incorrectly identified conceded argument, you get -.2 speaks. I look forward to judging your debates!
Also, unless you are a peer of mine or graduated, please call me Mr. Shields. K, thx.
John Sims Paradigm
Carlos Taylor Paradigm
Don't be lay. Don't be boring. Don't be anti-semitic. Facts>Feelings.
"The infants in the graveyard smile widely without teeth, Carefully sewn in columns and rows, rotting little seeds...Raking tears from upturned eyes"
Christopher Vincent Paradigm
Assistant Debate Coach
Isidore Newman School
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional Conflicts: Dulles (NB & AW)- TX, Brown School (KY), Torrey Pines (CA)
Additional Conflicts: Holy Cross School (LA), Dulles (NB, & AW) (TX), Brown School (KY),
This is my 15th year in debate. I competed for 4 years in high school, 5 years at the University of Louisville, and was the graduate assistant for the University of Louisville debate team. I have been actively coaching high school LD and Policy for the past 8 years and was previously the Director at Brown and Fern Creek in KY, along with being the Director of Debate at LSU.
TOC 2015 UPDATE: All ethics challenges will be decided through the infamous RuPaul Paradigm: "The Time Has Come for you to Lip Sync for your life."
I view my role as a judge as an educator. While I believe that debaters should shape this activity, I do not believe that judges are or even can be neutral in this process. I will always try to embrace the teachable moment in debate. I debated for 5 years in what the community deemed "performance debate." If you put me in the back of the room you either know me, read this, or a combo of the two. Long story short: Do what you do, be who you are, and defend your actions in the debate.
I evaluate debates holistically, which means I prefer the debate to tell me a story and it requires more than just winning your argument is true. You MUST WIN WHY THAT ARGUMENT MATTERS. I will attempt to evaluate the debate as objectively as possible. I say "as possible" because I do not believe that judges can truly be objective. We are all humans, and we all think and formulate opinions and thoughts. Failure to do comparative analysis in debate will result in messiness, and inevitably some level of judge interventions (which you don't want).
Here are a few of my predispositions coming into the round:
I WILL NOT VOTE FOR ARGUMENTS THAT ARE RACIST, HOMOPHOBIC, SEXIST, OR ABLEIST IN NATURE!!! Depending on the nature of the offense, this may result in an automatic loss!!!
1) Speed- Slow down on the tag lines and the authors. I will yell clear ONE TIME. After that, I will put my pen down and stop flowing. So, please don't be mad at the end of the debate if I missed some arguments because you were unclear. I make lots of facial expressions, so you can use that as a guide for if I understand you.
2) Dropped Arguments- Dropped arguments are not enough for me to vote someone down. Don't expect me to automatically pull the trigger on a dropped argument without you doing the work necessary and giving me an in depth analysis of why that argument shuts down the entire debate. I evaluate debates holistically. =
3) Theory- Theory is not a substantive response to critical positions and arguments. This is not to say that I won't vote for theory, but you must prove ACTUAL IN-ROUND ABUSE. One of the unique aspects of debate, is that it gives us a chance to explore different positions, and to be critically self-reflexive. Thus, my interpretation of the topic may not be the same as yours, and that is okay. Theory seems to limit the liberating and unique educational opportunity this activity provides us.
-I do not believe in neutral education, neutral conceptions of fairness, or even ground, or limits. If you run theory, be ready to defend it. Actual abuse is not because you don't understand the literature, know how to deal with the argument, or that you didn't have time to read it. You should probably read their literature and engage it. I will still stand by this position. If you are not reading the literature then you probably link to their criticism in the first place. Don't be scared, just engage.
4) Critical Arguments- Don't run them just because I am in the back of the room. While I am familiar with a wide range of literature, and while I have coached students with a wide range of literature, I will not be impressed just because you do it too. There are implications to the things we talk about in debate, and I believe that our social location inevitably shape the beliefs and ideologies we hold. If you do not believe that there is a place for performative/critical arguments in debate, and if you believe that social location and subsequent discussions have no place in this space, I am probably not the judge for you.
5) PAPERLESS DEBATE: Prep time ends when the flash drive leaves your computer.
Finally, make smart arguments and have fun. I promise I will do my best to evaluate the debate you give me.
I debated for 5 years at the University of Louisville and engaged exclusively in what the community deemed “performance debate.” I believe that debate is what you make it and you only get out of it what you want and what you put into it. I expect that if you put me in the back of the room you either know me, read this, or it’s a combination of the two. Be who you are and defend your actions in the round. The most important thing you should know about me is that I love debate and I believe that debate is a place where we should exchange ideas, beliefs, and differences. I view my role as a judge as an educator and while I believe that debaters shape the activity through the rounds, I don’t believe judges are neutral in this process. That means I will always attempt to embrace the teachable moment in the debate round when given the opportunity.
I promise I will flow the round but will probably not use the flow the same way you do. I believe that the debate should tell me a story and so I want to know how the arguments interact with one another and how they function. I will not examine arguments as isolated parts of a speech, but instead holistically.
I don’t believe affirmatives have to be topical. They can be, but they don’t have to be. You should just defend your actions.
I WILL NOT VOTE FOR ARGUMENTS THAT ARE RACIST, SEXIST, HOMOPHOBIC IN THEIR NATURE.
PAPERLESS: Prep time ends when the jump drive leaves your computer and is in your opponent's hand.
Finally, make smart arguments, clash with your opponent, and defend what you say. I will do my best to evaluate the debate I am given. While I ideologically believe that identity shapes how we approach debate, and while I debated exclusively in one style, I was trained in traditional and nontraditional debate and so I will attempt to evaluate the debate I am given.
If you have any other questions just ask!!!