Lexington Winter Invitational
2017 — MA/US
Tomy Abraham Paradigm
Parent judge for last couple of years, with a traditional style. While I am open to judging many types of arguments, spreading is one style that I cannot follow and you will be at a disadvantage. If you choose to run more progressive arguments, please be aware that I have limited experience in judging progressive debates, but will do my best. I generally do not disclose during the rounds unless instructed to do so.
Carlos Astacio Paradigm
I competed in LD at University High School in Newark New Jersey, I was nationally competitive for three years.. I also compete in policy debate for Rutgers University.
Presumption: I think it highly unfair for me to presume to any side when debaters have NO control over which side they are going to be debating. So I don't have any bias toward Aff or Neg.
Speed: I don't generally have an issue with speed, however I do have a problem with monotone speed, unclear speed. I will yell clear if I can't understand you, but it will only be maybe once or twice, if you don't become clear by then, my ability to properly evaluate the arguments may possibly become impaired. Also, your speaks probably won't be awesome if I have to keep yelling clear.
-I would like you to significantly slow down when reading tags/card names so I can have a properly structured flow, but while reading the card you are welcome to go at top CLEAR speed(a few caveats to be explained later)
-When making analytical arguments, please be clear, because it's difficult for me to follow analytics when they are weirdly phrased and also being spread.
-I don't like speed for the sake of being fast, I prefer when speed is used as a catalyst for an awesome case or a multilayered rebuttal with really nuanced responses on case.
Evidence: Despite what happened in the round, I may call for the cites for cards read in round, I'll specify which specific cites I would like to see. I do this for two reasons: to ensure that there was no miscutting of evidence, and because I believe in disclosure and am from the school of thought that everybody in the round should have access to all evidence read in the round. I don't appreciate a denial to share citations, if citations are not readily available, I may choose to disregard all evidence with missing citations(especially evidence which was contested in the debate).
Cross Examination: I don't know how much I can stress it...CROSS EX IS BINDING! I don't care if you present arguments for why it shouldn't be binding or why lying in CX is ok, or any arguments with the implication which allows dishonesty in CX, there is NO theory to be ran to change my mind. Nevertheless, I don't flow CX, so its up to the debaters to refresh my memory of any inconsistencies between speeches and CX answers. On the other hand, CX can be the BEST or the WORST part of a debate, depending on how it plays out. A funny yet not disrespectful CX will score big when I'm deciding on how to assign speaks, while a rude and boring CX will negatively influence how I assign speaks. Clarification questions during prep is fine, but I'm not cool with trying to tear down an argument during prep, if it was that important, it should have been in the formal CX, rather than during prep. Don't be afraid to refuse to answer a non-clarification question during your opponents prep time.
Critical/Weird Arguments: I love well explained critical positions. With the caveat that these critical arguments are logically explained and aren't insanely convoluted. I have no issue voting for the argument. But if I can't understand it, I won't vote on it. Also, I am a fan of interesting debate, so if you have a neat performance to run in front of me, I would love to hear it!
Theory: I don't presume to competing interpretations or reasonability. The justification for either one needs to be made in round. I don't like greedy theory debates, which means that I generally view theory as a reason to reject the argument rather than the debater. YES, this means you must provide reasons in or after the implications section of your shell, for why this specific violation is a reason for me to use my ballot against the other debater. I'm not persuaded by generic 12 point blocks for why fairness isn't a voter, I prefer nuanced argumentation for why fairness may not be a voter. RVIs have to be justified but I'm willing to vote on them if the situation presents itself, but its up to you to prove why you defensively beating theory is enough for me to vote for you.
Prestandard: I don't like having preconceived beliefs before judging a round, but this is just one of those things that I need to reinforce. I WILL NOT vote on multiple apriori blips, and winning a single apriori is an uphill battle, a serious commitment to advocacy is necessary(you devote a serious amount of time to the apriori position.)
Speaks: I average about a 27, I doubt I'll go lower than 25(unless you do something which merits lower than a 25) because I personally know how disappointing the 4-2/5-2 screw can be, nevertheless I am more than willing to go up or down, depending on the performance in that particular round. The reason I average around a 27 is not because I generally don't give nice speaks, its because the majority of tournaments, I'll judge only a few rounds that deserve more than a 28. It's not difficult at all to get good speaks from me. I reserve 30's for debaters who successfully execute the following: speak really well, good word economy, good coverage/time allocation, takes risks when it comes to strategy, weighs really well, provides AWESOME evidence comparison, and adapts well to the things happening in the round. I really enjoy seeing new strategies, or risky strategies, I.E. I am a fan of the straight refutation 1N, attempting something risky like this and pulling it off, gives you a higher chance of getting a 30. Another way to get high speaks is to be a smart debater as well as funny without being mean or making any kind of jokes at the expense of your opponent(this will lose you speaks)
Delivery: I need evidence comparison! It makes me really happy when debaters do great evidence comparison. Also, I would appreciate for you to give status updates as the rebuttals progress, as well as giving me implications for each extension. When extending arguments which rely on cards, in order for it to be a fully structured extension it must contain: The claim/tag of the card, author/card name, warrant from the card, and the implications of that extension (what does it do for you in the round).
Miscellaneous: You are more than welcome to sit or stand, I don't mind people reading from laptops or being paperless as long as it doesn't delay the round. Also, I don't care if you are formally dressed, jeans and a tshirt will get you the same speaks that a shirt and a tie will. :) I also believe its impossible for me to divorce my judging from my beliefs, but I'll do my best to attempt to fairly adjudicate the debate.
P.S. I don't like performative contradictions...(just felt like I should throw that out there)
Stanley Baxter Paradigm
I am a College, Highschool, and Middle school debate judge. History includes three years high school competition experience (LD Debate) and over two years experience judging. My philosophy is simple: Debate the best way you can, give adequate analysis and deliver with persuasiveness. Voting usually involves Framework,
My preferences are standing for speeches, cross-ex, rebuttals. Unorthodox arguments are fine.
Michael Bogaty Paradigm
Sophia Caldera Paradigm
Updated Feb 2019
I debated LD for Walt Whitman High School for four years on the local and national circuits and qualified to TOC my junior and senior years. I’m now a senior on the Harvard team.
My goal is to write RFDs based entirely on comparison made by the debaters in the round, so the easiest way to get my ballot is to give me direct comparisons and weighing. I'll say clear/slow as many times as necessary. Plan to slow down for any short analytics, interpretations, or arguments that must be flowed verbatim so they're clear to everyone the first time around.
Feel free to ask me before the round if you have specific questions.
- Because the Harvard tournament has a difficult 4-2 break, I will push in-round speaks in a direction that indicates whether I think you should make the break based on the quality of that round.
- If the content of your position is something graphic or reasonably foreseeable as potentially distressing, please be a good person and check whether all the other people in the room are okay hearing it.
- Be polite to people with different debate backgrounds than your own. Dominance and snark are great; you should be able to tell the difference between these and bullying. If you're uncomfortable with how your opponent is treating you, please say something about it. If you're asked by an opponent to be more respectful and don't make any effort, I'll be very unhappy.
- I have a very low threshold for extensions of conceded arguments -- for instance, if substance is conceded, pointing that out is sufficient for me to vote on it.
- Evaluating theory is most straightforward to me under competing interps. I'm happy to use anything else you justify, but you should be clear about what you want me to do with it.
- I will be sad if you use CX for a series of clarification questions, and annoyed if you use it for prep. I'm entertained by clever tricks I haven't seen before.
- Debate is a game—you should make arguments you enjoy and feel good about. If that's not working out, think about reaching out to someone to check in.
William Caugherty Paradigm
As a Lincoln Douglas Judge I am a very traditional judge from a very traditional area of the country. With that, comes all of the typical impacts.
I am not able to flow spreading very effectively at all.
I, very rarely, judge policy, but those would be in slower rounds as well. Because of that, though, I am at least somewhat familiar with K debate, K AFF, theory, CP's, etc.
For me to vote on progressive argumentation in LD, it has to be very clearly ARTICULATED to me why and how you win those arguments. Crystal clear argumentation and articulation of a clear path to giving you the ballot is needed.
Kieran Cavanagh Paradigm
Henry Curtis Paradigm
--This is my first major edit to my paradigm in, like, two years, so ask me questions before the round if there's anything here that doesn't make sense or I forgot.--
I debated four years of policy and one year of LD in high school from 2003 to 2008. I've been coaching LD since I graduated and I've been with Lexington for the past 5ish years. I'm also working on a PhD in philosophy (this doesn't mean what you think it means, see below).
General info/Speaker points stuff
--Run whatever you want to run as long as it isn't actively offensive. If you want a K debate, have a K debate. If you're looking for a values or stock debate, that's cool too. The space is yours, do what you want with it. There's stuff that I'm probably less good at judging than other people, but I won't drop you for running a specific type of argument unless, again, it's actively offensive.
--I'm 100% team tech over truth. A dropped argument is a true argument. That being said (and this applies generally as well), the dumber an argument is, the lower my threshold for a response is. So, while most arguments require actual, thought out responses, if you respond to "must concede after the AC" by just saying "no I don't", that'll count. So, don't drop stuff, but don't waste time on really bad arguments. If an argument is given without a warrant, it doesn't need as developed of a response.
--On that subject, warrants are cool too. I hate vague extensions, they bother me and that'll reflect in your speaker points. If you're extending a card, a theory shell, anything really, give me the warrant behind the card. What does the [evidence/shell/value/whatever] say, why is it right, and what does that have to do with my ballot? Better extensions and better storytelling mean better speaker points. Blippy extensions with no explanation require less to respond to because, as above, blippy extensions are bad arguments.
--I'm not the best at flowing. This matters less in a world of speech docs, but for stuff like detailed underviews (like cramming drop the debater, RVI, reasonability, and random evaluate theory after the 1AR spike into the same subpoint) or longer theory shells, slow down. No, seriously, slow down. I won't get all of the details, and then when you're posting me after the round about how I could have missed underview A, subpoint 3, as extended with random other thing on a totally different flow as defense somewhere else, I'll just say I didn't get it on the flow and we'll both be mad.
--I don't like doing work for debaters. Embedded clash is a nicer way of saying judge intervention. Don't make me do it. Offense weighing and comparison is probably the most important thing for me (and key to good speaker points). Don't just say why your stuff is good, say why your stuff is better/more important to my ballot than their stuff.
--Last thing for speaker points, the most important factor for me is strategy. If you make strategic arguments and there isn't anywhere where I think you should have done something different, then you'll get very high speaker points. Strategy is number one for me, but that gets weighed against not being a jerk in round, being funny, and being a good speaker. If you do everything perfectly but you're not a clear speaker, then you won't get a 30, but you'll still get above a 29.5. I'll say clear or slow if I need to, but if I say it a couple of times, then you should know what'll happen to your speaks. If I say clear, don't do that thing where you're clear for a couple of seconds and then just go back to how you were speaking before. Also, general rule of thumb, be loud. I don't hear stuff very well, so the louder you are the better. Don't scream at me, but you get the point.
--Email chains are cool, include me on them: firstname.lastname@example.org
--At least 80% of my neg ballots when I debated policy were on T. Love me a good T debate.
--General stuff: I default to competing interpretations, no RVI, drop the debater unless told otherwise. Also, general pet peeve, if you're going to tell me drop the argument and it isn't blatantly clear what argument I'm dropping, then tell me what argument I'd be dropping.
--RVIs need a little bit of work for me. You need to convince me why you get RVIs in the first place (RVIs are much more convincing against multiple shells or 7 off strats) and then actively identify what constitutes an RVI and why.
--1AR theory is fine-ish, but when a round turns into shell versus shell, it usually breaks down into incomprehensible nonsense and then I get sad and then I trash your speaker points. If it gets to this point, what makes me happy is offense comparison. This is usually easier if we're weighing between fairness and education voters, but if it's fairness v. fairness, then be super specific about why your opponent is being worse for fairness than you are. Compare offense, don't just extend yours. Alternatively, go meta and tell me why aff or neg theory comes first. Either way, don't ignore the other side of the flow, because then I have to do weighing for you and nobody likes that.
--I'll vote for disclosure shells, but the dumb argument vs. strength of response weighing from before applies here. If there's straight up nothing on the wiki and they're from a school where you'd expect something to be there, then fine. But if it's a small school non-circuit debater and/or your interp is "must disclose all speech docs, past 2NR strategies, and what they've had for lunch the past five days", then a lesser response is required.
--Generally speaking, if there's an obvious win on substance and a more difficult win on T or theory and you go for T or theory, I consider that a less than strategic move and it'll reflect in your speaker points.
--I was a policy debater after all, so I'm pretty comfortable with this kind of debate.
--Impact calc is your best friend. Good impact calc means good speaker points and typically is a tiebreaker if I want to avoid intervening. If I have a better understanding of why your impacts matter more than your opponent's, then you're probably going to win.
--This is a general thing, but I'll highlight it here and elsewhere, but extensions should include storytelling for me. Don't just extend the cards from the disad, explain the warrants and tell me how they link together into the story of the disad. Better extensions, better speaker points.
--So remember how I said that me being a philosophy PhD doesn't mean what you think it means? I study bioethics and general normative theory and have had any knowledge/appreciation of continental philosophy beaten out of me over the last 5 years. So, I'm actually not the best at evaluating super dense Ks, high theory, that sort of stuff. That being said, you can totally run it if that's your thing. However, you're going to ahve to take extra time for storytelling. What's going on in the K, what does the aff/res do that is bad, why should I care, and what do you do to make it better/different? So, don't avoid running Ks if that's your A-strat. Do what you do best. Just be good at it and we're fine. If you've grabbed a K from a teammate that you haven't seen before and don't know how to properly extend and explain, it probably won't go well and you should consider doing something else (this applies generally).
--Framework v. framework debates are almost as bad as theory v. theory debates in terms of incomprehensibility. So, do active weighing work. Why does your framework matter more? If your framework precludes, why? If they say their framework precludes, why doesn't it. If both frameworks preclude each other and I have no in-round way to determine whose actually does, we're all going to be upset.
--Role of the ballot/role of the judge is probably the single most important layer of the flow. I mean, you have the power to tell me what my ballot does. Use it to your advantage. If you win that the only thing I should care about is whatever the role of the ballot says I should care about, that's kind of a big deal. Use it to your advantage. On the other side of the flow, you really should spend time here if you're responding to a K.
--Totally fine with performances, but, and this also applies generally, weighing pre versus post fiat offense and why the performance itself matters is pretty important. This is another area where the role of the ballot is your best friend.
--Like I said, I'm usually pretty good about ethics frameworks since that's kind of what I do for a living. That being said, debate phil is 99% of the time waaaaaaayyyyyyyy different from academic phil. This is especially the case for K authors like Foucault, but also for Kant, Mill, Rawls, etc. So, you'll have a little more leeway with explaining evidence for something like a Kant framework, but you still need to do actual extensions and explanations.
Other miscellaneous stuff
--Again, if this is your thing, this is your thing so do it, but I'm generally not a fan of tricks. Most tricks arguments fall into the camp of bad arguments I describe above where a response of "nuh-uh" is sufficient. Again, if this is what you do, then do it, just be super clear about where stuff is located, both when you're reading it and when you're responding to stuff in c/x. Nothing is more infuriating than shifty c/x responses. Saying stuff like "lol I don't know what an a priori is" when it's pretty clear you do is an easy way to get your speaks docked. Don't be that person.
--In that regard, unless you legitimately don't know what the person is asking about, don't say "I don't know what that means". If you've been to camp or the TOC or on the circuit at all, I assume you at least have some understanding of what terms like pre-fiat or spike mean. That's being shifty and wasting c/x time and it's annoying.
--Flex prep is fine. To a lesser extent, so it using c/x time as prep if you want. It isn't a good look, but c/x time is your time to ask questions and use it strategically. Asking questions is generally better than not. Also, both c/x and flex prep are binding.
That's all I can think of for now, I'll try to be better about updating this more regularly. Again, if something here isn't clear or if you want to know more, find me at the tournament and ask or ask me before the round starts.
Kate Dunbar Paradigm
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
Rahul Gosain Paradigm
I debated for 4 years for Scarsdale High School. I qualified to TOC twice, reaching octofinals my senior year (2015).
Debate is your activity not mine so I’ll try to avoid injecting my personal biases into my evaluation of arguments. If you’re ahead, even by just a little bit, on the side if an issue I’m not inclined towards, I’ll vote for you. This means that I’m not committed to a particular set of "noninterventionist" norms; I’ll attempt to use the paradigmatic preferences that debaters assume in the round.
The preferences below are for situations in which debaters' assumptions are unclear or there are no arguments resolving a clear disagreement. They are (unless specifically noted) entirely up for debate. In general, I hope to evaluate rounds similarly to Tom Evnen or Mark Gorthey. Here are some basics:
- I default to truth testing.
- Theory and topicality are questions of competing interps, but by that I only mean that defense isn't sufficient to win a theory debate. If you have a different understanding, explain how your warrants for the paradigm justify the conclusion you want them to, preferably in the first speech you read it.
- Theory is drop the argument, topicality is drop the debater.
- I have an extremely low threshold for extensions of conceded arguments, but I would like some mention of the argument in every speech. The exception is conceded paradigm issues (drop the debater, competing interps, aff gets perms in method debates, etc).
- No new 2AR RVIs. This is a hard requirement. I don’t see a way to evaluate these debates in a wholly noninterventionist way, so I’d prefer to minimize the direct ballot implications of new 2AR arguments.
I assign speaks mainly based on strategy and argument quality.
- I'll say slow, clear, or loud as much as necessary – if you're making an effort to adapt, I won't lower speaks, and I will be especially conscious about not penalizing debaters with speech impediments. However, if I don't hear an argument because of a lack of clarity, I won't vote on it.
- I won’t hesitate to lower speaks for rude post-round behavior like exaggerated expressions of confusion or loudly dropping objects. I believe that post-round discussion is valuable so this deliberately doesn’t apply to questions from the debaters or others who watched the round.
Tom Gushue Paradigm
[Last update 2/26/19]
I competed in LD, Extemp and Congress back before you were born (the 90s). I then returned and judged for a number of years before becoming an Assistant Coach (focusing on LD and Congress) -> Head Coach -> Assistant Coach (focusing on financials and tournament organization). I have spent the better part of the last decade-plus working tab on the local and national levels, but still do dust off the cobwebs occasionally to judge. I have judged everything, so individual event notes below.
I started when LD was a values debate and still consider it so. The Affirmative has a burden to prove the resolution true and it's the job of the Negative to prevent that from happening (not necessarily by proving the resolution false). Though I think the progress of modern-day jargon has forced the event to become more esoteric, I've begrudgingly become accustomed to it. My biggest issue with contemporary debate is when debaters try and solve for some real-world problem. This is a theoretical debate; you can't assume the problems you're trying to solve for exist in the first place.
It's been a long while since I've been outspread in a round [and that was in policy], so you're probably okay to speak like you would normally in round. But understand that the actual clash of ideas can get devalued by hyperspeak, particularly when your opponent can't handle that same pace. So if you going fast detracts from the quality of debate, then that's your fault -- not your opponent's -- and that will reflect in your speaker score. Note if by some chance you are outspreading me, my pen will hit the desk and I will try and stare through your very soul. Take that as your sign to slow the heck down.
Lastly, keep your kritiks to yourself and don't try to skirt the resolution. The debate is supposed to be a battle of competing values on a nationwide topic. When your case is based around the expanding the education of debate, then you're avoiding the fundamentals of the event. You want to expand your education? How about you learn to argue the resolution you were given.
Unlike LD, I have been outspread (rare as it may be). The best thing you can do to avoid that happening is to be very organized and sign post for me when you're moving to different arguments. Slowing down for tag lines also helps reduce that risk. Otherwise, it's easiest for me to approach CX as a hypo-tester [though I realize that's kind of obsolete], so assume I'm simply tab but be sure to explain to me how your arguments impact the round.
No major preferences in terms of argumentation, as the event isn't really long enough for that to be a big issue. Get to your key points and be wary of your word economy. For crossfires, don't be too rude [dominating the question time and/or just being snarky] or too nice [the "Do you have a question?" game] lest you risk your speaker points for the round.
STOP PLAYING NICE!!! Just because someone in the room has a speech on the bill/resolution does not mean they deserve to give that speech. If the argumentation on a bill has gone stale, then let's move onto the next bill for crying out loud! Besides, you're doing that person a favor and giving them better recency on a new bill rather than keeping them in the position of chamber custodian, left to clean up all the argumentation that has already taken place. Seriously, there is nothing I hate more in a session than rehash, and it seems that Congresses these days value decency and equity [perhaps as an opposition to Washington...] over quality.
My ranks usually get calculated on a two-prong system, ranking total speech points and speech score average, then combining them for a chamber rank. Ties are usually broken on everything else [question quality, number of questions, chamber usefulness, not being nice].
I read the rules for whatever event I'm judging. I then apply those rules to your performance. That probably makes me better than half the judges you sometimes get. Seriously though, stumbles and stutters are one of the first things I pick up on. If you're doing it a lot (particularly in rhetorical events), I'll start a counter and you'll be sad to see the results at the end of the round. Characterization and pantomime are generally my focal issues for interp events -- your goal is to make me forget that I'm sitting in a desk that is too small for an overweight adult. :)
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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Riba Hossain Paradigm
I did policy in high school for 3 years and then spent some time in LD my senior year. I now do college debate because I either hate myself or love this activity??
I tend to prefer watching k/performance rounds but I will vote on anything as long as you win it(unfortunately that includes disclosure theory)
I vote off the flow, but that should still take into account that everyone has biases- just cause I will vote on it doesn't mean that convincing me to vote on a terrible interp isn't going to be an uphill battle.
My major is essentially a cap K, stop running it badly in front of me.
That's all I have to say because no one has time to read or write detailed paradigms anyways. Feel free to ask me questions.
Wesley Hu Paradigm
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I debated for Millburn High School from 2012 to 2016. I'll vote on anything so long as a semblance of a warrant for it exists, and I understand it. Debate is a game of arguments, so my job is not simply to evaluate claims. “The sky is blue thus affirm” is never going to be sufficient for my ballot, even if conceded.
General: Please weigh, and be responsive to your opponent. Absent explicit comparison between two arguments that justify directly contradictory conclusions, I will not hesitate to intervene and decide myself which is better warranted. I have a really low threshold for extensions of conceded arguments, especially if you’re the aff. But, if you need an argument to win the round, you should at least mention that it exists. Otherwise, it doesn't make much sense for me to reward you for a winning strategy that includes the argument. An argument is new if it would have been directly responsive to your opponent’s arguments in a prior speech. I will ignore new arguments in late rebuttals, but new implications or weighing are not necessarily new arguments.
I only care about execution. Do what you do best. But if your position is one that you think I’ll be unfamiliar with or have a hard time understanding, please slow down and emphasize explanation.
Defaults: The fundamental principle guiding how I judge debates is to vote for who did the better debating; this is the principle I default to and it encompasses how I treat rounds. Consider what I should do in this scenario: the aff gets up, declares "the standard is maximizing expected well-being," and reads 6 minutes of util advantages. The neg responds with 7 minutes of disadvantages, turns and defense on case, evidence comparison, and impact calc. The entire debate is contention weighing. My intuition tells me that I should evaluate which debater won the most offense under util. There are an infinite number of assumptions implicit in any conversation. We agree about some things just by virtue of being there and speaking with each other. We debate about the essential identified points of contestation.
Thus, if I need to default on any issues, I'll default to whatever both debaters seem to implicitly agree.
Speaks: I will say clear, slower, or louder. Please be audible since I can’t vote on arguments I don’t flow. I assign speaks based on a combination of strategy (understanding how layers in a round interact, and collapsing to the layer(s) that is/are important) and efficiency (how effectively you engage in the line by line arguments within said layers), and only those two things – notably, I do not consider how well you speak (not what this activity is about), or how good your arguments are (it would be biased, and debaters shouldn't have to conform to a judge's stylistic preferences). Do whatever you want in round – stand, sit, eat, do pushups, etc., as long as you're not mean or exclusionary; if and only if you are, I will dock speaks, and I will do so significantly. Also, just please don't be mean or exclusionary.
Here’s a list of individuals in the activity who influenced me as a debater, coach, and judge.
Amos Jeng Paradigm
Neal Kapoor Paradigm
Kathryn Kenny Paradigm
Amit Kukreja Paradigm
Updated for TOC 2019
Conflicts: Any former/current students of Debatdrills, Success Academy, and Newark Science.
I’m Amit Kukreja and I debated for Newark Science in Newark, NJ for four years.
If it helps, I debated on the local NJ Circuit, the national circuit, and was a member of the USA Debate Team. I did PF for a couple of tournaments my freshman/sophomore year. I went to the TOC in LD my junior and senior year. I competed in policy my senior year at one national circuit tournament and received a bid in policy to the TOC and won the NJ State championship in policy. I debated internationally in worlds format for Team USA my senior year. For the better part of three years, I mainly did LD.
I like judging debates. I'm seriously a nerd. I don't judge at debate tournaments as much as some people do, but I watch debates. Like a lot of debates. I watch random debates online for 2 hours about capitalism vs. communism or about freedom of speech vs. censorship. I genuinely enjoy the art of argumentation and I believe it influences how I think about the world. However, I also really care about public speaking. The art of performing to me matters even more sometimes then the content of what is said, which means how you control the room/audience/judge is VERY integral to me. Basically -- keep me entertained. Yes you can spread. Yes you can read a thousand cards. But if I am not entertained in the debate, I just won't care that much about what you have to say. Find a way to grab my attention as the judge and hold on to that attention as much as you can. I like debate, I enjoy watching debates, but I need to be entertained to actually provide the energy it takes to vote for you. Make sure you get my attention and then use it to win your arg.
FOR TOC 2019 --
I haven't judged much on this topic so I really am not up to date on the all the basic arguments. It's been a couple months since I went to a tournament. Please just be clear on explanation because the most common counterplan you read against affs that you know how to win may not be clear to me because I just don't know about the argument as much as most judges. Just explain a bit more to be on the safe side about exactly what your aff or neg does.
I like these arguments. My main thing is framing in the 2NR when going for the K. I need to know why the alt matters, how it affects my ballot, why I shouldn't look to the aff, etc. I am becoming much more hesitant to the idealism of all Kritiks (i.e marxism solves everything) - so when going for the alt, please explain to me your links in order for me to grant you that a "rejection of cap" solves every problem. That doesn't mean I won't vote off a super vague alt or a general rejection alt or just an alt that is idealistic, my point is that when you explain it try to find ways for it to be a bit more material in explanation so I can contextualize what the alt does a bit better. Aff - go for the perm, disads to the alt, and explain why the aff solves the impacts to the K.
K affs are fine. Please just be able to explain the relation you have to the topic (if you do not have one, please explain why it's not relevant) and be able to explain what your method does to solve the impacts you've contextualized. If you don't really have a method that does something, I'm not going to be the most comfortable voting aff if I don't know exactly what I'm voting for.
I like really cool CPs with net benefits. Have net benefits. I really enjoy fun word pics or pics out of the aff which force the aff to engage. I'm fine with theory against abusive CPs.
These are fine as well, please explains turns case arguments and have uq. Explain the story of your disad in the 2NR vs just explaining each part individually. Impact analysis is really important for me.
Theory is fine. I like knowing what the abuse is. I'm fine with framework v k aff debates. These debates ultimately boil down to what purpose I believe debate should serve, so the team that better compares how debate as an activity allows specific impacts and contextualizes why those impacts are relevant will win in front of me.
I dont really like this. Some tricks are fine, but aprioris and random theory shells are not cool. Don't read this in front of me please.
Speaker points -- I'm not that strict on points but even getting a 29 requires some hard work. I do believe some judges give out points at an inflated level way too much now. Being funny, being passionate, making the other debater look really bad, using CX to your advantage, weighing - that increases speaks. Seriously, i will fall asleep if you don't make the debate interesting. If you do, your points will reflect that.
Other than that, if you have any questions email me at email@example.com
Phoebe Kuo Paradigm
Conflicts: Success Academy, Phillips Academy TC, Westlake EE, Collegiate School
Competed in LD in Arizona 2009-2011, in CX at Cornell 2011-2014.
I start running your prep if emailing out the doc takes more than a minute; exceptions allowed for tech.
Speed is good. You do you. I don’t inflate speaks. Don't postround.
Send me speech docs: firstname.lastname@example.org
How to get better speaker points
- don't go for everything in your last speech
- make beneficial concessions when possible
- be organized
- 30s are for people I think are a model of what debate should and can be. It's not enough to be good at debate, be good for debate.
- I won't vote off:
- NSDA rules theory
- plans bad theory
- "need an explicit text" interps
- Disclosure against novices and traditional debaters
- I don't understand jurisdiction.
- I am sympathetic to a "gut-check" on friv theory
- Good interps to run:
- condo bad;
- abusive perms bad (severance perms, intrinsic perms, etc);
- abusive CPs bad (delay CPs, etc);
- abusive fiat bad (object fiat, multiactor fiat, etc).
- If I'm being honest, I don't enjoy flowing more than 20 sec worth of spikes/theory pre-empts at the bottom of the AC; just read a better aff.
- high threshold for explanations on high theory, but becoming more familiar as Tiffany makes me recut the random things she reads.
- don't read model minority.
- parametricization is fine, you just have to defend it.
- everyone loves good CP/DA debates.
- Non-T, performative notes:
- LDers do not understand performance, it's not just reading an eDgY speech doc.
- "mindset shift" alts better do or say something that actually makes me rethink my positions.
- if you cannot do a better job than I could embodying your method, idk
-I have a bad poker face. My face is very expressive; if this is an issue, strike me. I've also been told I nod or shake my head a lot or fidget, etc. It does not mean I am buying it or that I agree/disagree with it. I really just have a problem with not moving around. I leave the room a lot to get water/pee. Again, if any of this makes you uncomfortable, then go ahead and either strike me or let me know very early on.
-Please don't go for everything in the 2NR/2AR, idk how many times this is listed in my paradigm.
-I have a relatively high threshold for extensions, ask me for any clarification before the round.
-Do the work to resolve arguments so that I don't have to. This means a lot of weighing. I have so much trouble voting on "independent voters" because, believe it or not, they interact with the rest of the debate. Calling it independent doesn't make it independent from the rest of the reps/performances/args in the round.
-I understand "flex prep" to mean you get to ask questions during your prep time if your opponent wishes to answer them. You can't just jettison your CX in favor of additional prep time, lol.
Chris Kymn Paradigm
Chris Lee Paradigm
Education: Harvard University '18
Affiliation: Lexington High School
Years Debated: 2010-2014
Debated: Policy (4 Years)
Judging Experience: I have experience judging policy and LD rounds for 5+ years. Haven't judged in 4 years, so I'm a bit rusty.
For this year - I'm not familiar with the topic yet, so acronyms and other topic specific things will need to be articulated more.
Note on Prep Time: Just ask for prep, not specific amounts that's annoying. Just prep.
Theory - Most things are reasons to reject the argument (except for like Condo). I love a good theory debate. If you attempt to weigh theory versus a T violation, you must explain reasons to prefer one or the other.
T - I think reasonability is a strong argument (#2aandproud). But that being said, you have to address the voting issues.
Ks - Fine by me. I'm not the best at understanding these, but if you articulate well, then you're fine.
CPs & DAs - A good, clean strat. Impact calc is always good. Bonus points if you run XO and politics and you don't go to Lex.
Case - Please, please, please label/signpost where you are on case. Especially in the 2AC.
Non-traditional, Race, Identity, etc - Probably not the judge for you. I never looked forward to these affs/negs, and don't understand the intricacies of them. That being said, I have voted for them, greatly respect them, and do have a basic understanding of the arguments as a whole.
Flashing - I don't take prep time for flashing, but if you take an absurd amount of time, then the timer starts.
Clipping - If you clip and the other team catches you (via a recording or other method) you will lose and get 0 speaks. I have a zero-tolerance policy on card clipping - the tabroom and your coaches will be notified.
Marking - You must flash/physically mark after your speech the marked evidence. In extreme cases of not knowing where you have marked MANY cards it will result in disregarding the evidence.
Rudeness - C'mon be chill - we're all part of a community. Be fun, be cool, be funny! If you are rude, violent, bully, or insult the other team your speaks will suffer accordingly.
Jokes - For every good joke told in round, you get 2 brownie points. If you tell a bad joke/pun, you lose 1 brownie point.
Swag Moments - If you say or do something that demonstrates the massive amount of swag you have (like getting a concession or admission in CX that gets the room to go 'WHOAAAAA') you get 3 brownie points.
Brownie points - If one gains enough brownie points, said points may be exchanged post round for prizes of little to no value.
Mostly the same as above. Spell your arguments out more. I'd prefer more policy-esque arguments, but if you want to to kritikal stuff, then just explain it WELL.
Really spell out your AC/NC in the rebuttals. As a policy debater I tend to do more weighing on issues and view framework a bit differently. Watch out for other jargen type things that I might not get (I get like Value Critereon and stuff, but blowing through theory is not a good idea).
Danny Li Paradigm
I debated for Hunter College High School from 2010-2014 on the national circuit (focused in the Northeast) and attended the TOC my senior year. I am currently a student at Columbia University.
I will try to judge based on what debaters do in round, rather than on my own opinions. But, I do have some preferences that will affect your speaks and, inevitably to some degree, my evaluation.
I won’t disregard impacts based on an arbitrarily narrow standard, such as a “minimizing war” standard that is just justified through util. Also, you can’t drop spikes and then respond in the next speech, but you can respond to the way the spike interacts with your case. This also goes for theory interps in the AC. Lastly, I will not default to presuming for one side in particular – if there is no presumption argument in the round and I find myself with a truly irresolvable round, I will vote for whoever I feel did a better job, as this seems less arbitrary to me than automatically presuming aff or neg.
I suppose I default to competing interpretations in the sense that I will compare offense and defense on the theory debate to evaluate it, but I do not really have any strong feelings about this. If you are running reasonability, though, you need to have a standard for what it is to be reasonable, not just assert that I should gutcheck on theory.
1) Due to the proliferation of generic theory spikes in ACs such as "CX checks meets all theory interps" and "neg must quantify abuse", know that speaks will suffer if you rely on these to win the theory debate and do not do a good job of addressing the specific abuse story. Additionally, be sure that the spike explains exactly what happens if dropped (i.e. should I drop the shell, vote them down etc.)
2) I will give the neg leeway on these spikes, meaning that if I'm not sure if their 3 responses really answer back your 1 sentence assertion, I'm going to ignore your spike.
I don’t think I will be the best judge for a K debate. I am not familiar with the literature, and I often find them flawed. Additionally, I find that many K impacts do not link to a justified framework, and I will not vote for those arguments. Lastly, I find pre-fiat or micropolitical voters uncompelling.
Speaks and Stuff
If I think you should clear based on your performance in this round, you will get a 28.5 or higher. These are based on your strategy, argument quality, and technical skills as well as your actual speaking skills. In terms of in-round behavior, I would prefer that you have real cross ex (not just prep the whole time), but you can stand or sit to do this. Asking questions in prep time is of course fine. Try not to be mean to your opponent, and if you are way better than your opponent, please don’t beat them down – make it an educational and enjoyable experience for them. I do not mind if you sit during speeches. I am happy to call clear if I cannot understand you and I am willing to call for things after the round.
Good luck and feel free to ask me questions before or after the round!
Daniel Lu Paradigm
Updated for Harvard 2018, 2/12/2019. Only two updates since my last paradigm, both just in the quick summary section.
I did high school national circuit LD. Generally read what you're best at. I like framework and substance, but I'll try to be as tab as possible (eg I don't love frivolous theory but you won't get docked speaks for it and you can definitely still win on it). I err towards theory over the K, I don't like tricks but the more obvious/less shady you are about it the more likely I'll be to vote on it. Be respectful and have fun!
Personal preference of mine: Please extend all arguments with at least a claim and a warrant, even if it's dropped. Exceptions to this would be things like plan texts & interps since I think those are more just advocacies/positions, not arguments. I won't ignore unwarranted extensions, but I will feel comfortable using that as a tiebreaker if I'm not sure how to resolve conflicting claims or if your opponent points it out.
Update: I haven't touched debate in a year, ever since the last Harvard tournament, so I'm probably rusty on all the normal debate skills like flowing and I'm definitely not up to date on recent trends or the current topic. I'm certainly not ancient since I was actively coaching/judging just last year, but yeah not as fresh as I used to be. On the upside, I think I know a lot more now about Kant, legal philosophy, and some social justice issues than I used to since I'm still majoring in philosophy/involved with some social justice work.
Update: Even more than before I really hope and think debate should be a fun activity, and I really hope you have a good time in the round! That doesn't mean I don't respect the competitive or educational elements of it, but yeah I hope no one worries too much and everything will be fine. Be considerate and respectful and we'll all have a good time!
Debated for 3 years for Concord-Carlisle High School (MA), both locally and nationally but mostly national circuit my junior and senior year. I graduated high school in 2016 and now do parliamentary debate with the Harvard College Debating Union.
Feel free to ask me anything specific before the round, I know that it's not always easy to read paradigms right after you get pairings.
I was never great at flowing, but I did debate on the national circuit just last year so I can probably flow you if you’re just reasonably fast. If you flash/send me speech docs I’ll definitely be able to flow a lot better.
Please slow down on short analytics, like everyone says it, so please do it. If I don't get the argument down I won't feel comfortable voting on it.
I'll yell clear and speed as many times as necessary, but after the 5th time I'll probably start docking speaks.
If you have any speaking issues, feel free to do whatever is necessary for you to speak comfortably, basically what Ben Koh says on the topic.
Analytic philosophical framework cases are definitely my favorite form of debate. I'm fairly familiar with most common LD frameworks, but still please over-explain framework justifications and interaction. Good framework debates will get you extra speaks.
I'm not that familiar with continental philosophy, so explain it more. I want to hear the actual warrants.
I don't really like theoretical justifications for standards, but you can still read them.
I like framework against the K/ideal theory good arguments. I think those arguments are more true than not so I'm probably biased in that direction.
I think applying framework arguments to theory is pretty cool as long as it makes sense.
Plans, counter-plans and disads are all cool. I'm not super familiar with all the policy jargon so also just err towards over-explaining. I don't really care if your extinction scenarios are ridiculous as long as you have the evidence, but the more realistic scenarios are probably more compelling. Well-researched and unique plans, cp's and disads are impressive.
Generic util frameworks are fine, nuanced util frameworks are better.
Theory is hard to flow for me, especially the voters, so please slow down on short/blippy arguments or just make your arguments not blippy.
Frivolous theory is fine as long as you can clearly articulate the abuse story.
I default reasonability, RVI, drop the debater, and spirit of the interp. Please make these arguments on the voter section.
I like it when people go for defensive strategies on theory, like reasonability with a good brightline, drop the arg, I meet's, or even epistemic modesty between theory and substance.
I err towards theory/topicality over the K mainly because I think I understand the whole "fair/topical version of the Aff/case exists, fairness is necessary for engagement" arguments better. That said you still need to do all the work in round.
If you see your round boiling down to a 2NR dump vs. 2AR answers to the dump (exp. 2N says 1AR theory bad, 2A says 1AR theory okay; 2N says meta-theory same layer as theory, 2A says meta-theory first etc.) please do weighing and if possible meta-weighing since those rounds are near-impossible to resolve.
K's are really cool. I think identity politics are a nice/valuable part of debate, and I've recently come around to think that a lot of high theory actually does make sense. That said, I'm not very experienced with a lot of K literature, so try to over-explain the syllogism of the K.
For performance, I didn't debate many of these rounds in high school, but I'd be excited to judge this type of debate if you can do it well. I'm a pretty sentimental person so I might legit start tearing up if you're reading a really sad narrative. Persuasive speaking/ethos is good for speaks, but perceptual dominance won't make me more likely to vote for you.
I usually will not vote on arguments like "my role of the ballot says they need a methodology and they didn't provide an explicit method so drop them on face" so long as your opponent has at least tried to engage on the K debate (eg read a framework NC and turns, even if they never explicitly said it was a method). I think these arguments are typically either not well-warranted or not thoroughly extended. If you want me to consider it an actual voting issue, spend more time fleshing out the warrants and impacts.
I've heard/seen that high theory is in this year which is totally cool, I just don't have a lot of background in this. If you want to go for Foucault or Deleuze be my guest, but please slow down even more on taglines or even do something like a short 15 second explanation of the general syllogism of the K - I promise you the time tradeoff will be worth it since otherwise I might legitimately not understand what the K is saying.
If you're reading a complex K with language I haven't heard before please spend a little more time explaining what the alt is or what the thesis of the K is. The simpler it is, the more I'll be able to understand it and vote on it.
I don't really like tricks, but if you can execute them really well that can still be impressive. I'm more likely to vote on tricks that are made explicit/obvious when they're read and that are more just clever arguments than shitty unwarranted statements.
Skep is fine, skep/permissibility/presumption triggers are fine as long as you give a good reason for why something actually triggers it.
Even though I won't dock speaks for bad arguments like all neg interps are counter interps, coin flip theory, whatever, if you're reading really frivolous theory against a clearly not abusive case please just don't.
I'll try to average a 28-28.5. I'll give speaks on strat and efficiency mainly. I'll also factor in to a lesser degree well-developed/interesting cases & arguments, smart CX's, and ethos/persuasiveness (ethos won't get you docked speaks, but if you're especially good at it I think it deserves a bit of a boost).
So far I've given speaks from 28-29.6. I don't really have the heart to give people lower than 28, but if you want to get in the high 29's you just have to be really good (see rep-hacking section two paragraphs below). Still working on normalizing my speaks more.
You really don't need to read the next two paragraphs, they're just kinda all my thoughts on speaks:
On the one hand, I think judges are often too critical of debaters, asking them why they didn't do such an "obvious" strategic thing even though when you're in the moment debating it isn't really that obvious. In that sense, I think I'll lean to the side of giving higher speaks to people. On the other hand, speaker points are seriously inflated and after debating locally for a while and being a kinda mediocre national circuit debater, I think I mentally just don't perceive speaker points the same as some others, like flat 29's seem good to me while I know some Varsity debaters would disagree.
Also, rep-hacking is definitely a thing when it comes to speaker points. To be fair to everyone, even if you're normally a great debater, if you seriously fuck up in a round you'll still get not-so-great speaks. That said, if you're a top debater don't be worried about being punished, since you're probably going to get good speaks normally based on technical skills like efficiency.
1. Disclosure theory is fine, but I don't really mind if you disclose or not. I'm definitely sympathetic to small school debaters not disclosing.
2. Evidence ethics violations should be dealt with out of round. I'd seriously prefer it for you to stop the round, present whatever evidence you have of it happening, and then I'll go to tab to help make the correct decision.
3. Prep ends when you finish putting the speech doc together. If you normally don't read from a speech doc and only need for it your opponent, you can end prep before you put the speech doc together but then I expect you to not use the speech doc at all in your speech. As I mentioned above, I'd love to have speech doc's emailed or flashed to me so I can flow better.
4. Be respectful! Trigger warnings are good, but trigger warning theory is debatable (I'd prefer it if you just reminded your opponent). Don't impact-turn oppression, don't read skep against the K (for most identity politics K's at least), consider the implications of your arguments. If you do or say something offensive out of genuine ignorance, I hope that we can all take it as an opportunity to learn and I won't necessarily drop you if it was a genuine mistake and you're willing to apologize and learn. Otherwise, expect a loss with horrible speaks if you're disrespectful or offensive.
5. Absent arguments to the contrary, I presume aff for side bias.
6. Be nice to your opponent. If you're an experienced debater hitting a first- or second-year debater, please at least flash them your case so they can follow. I don't feel quite as strongly about this but I mostly agree with Marshall Thompson's view on the issue.
7. Biggest debate influences are probably my former coach Jacob Nails and the other people in the Nails Squad (Henry Wu, Justin Kim, Parker Kelly) Bonus speaks if you make good jokes or puns about any of them.
David McGinnis Paradigm
I am the head coach at Valley High School and have been coaching LD debate since 1996.
I coach students on both the local and national circuits.
I can flow speed reasonably well, particularly if you speak clearly. If I can't flow you I will say "clear" or "slow" a couple of times before I give up and begin playing Pac Man.
I'm most familiar with philosophical framework debating, but you can debate however you like in front of me, as well as you explain your arguments clearly and do a good job of extending and weighing.
Molly McGuire Paradigm
Ashley Murphy Paradigm
Head coach at Unionville High School. I mostly judge policy but spend a significant amount of time in PF and some in LD.
· Don’t be sketchy (as debaters or as people)
The Long Version:
1. Framework/Narrative: If you want the ballot, make clear, compelling and warranted arguments for why you should win. If you don’t provide any framework, I will assume a cost/benefit analysis. If there is an alternate framework I should be using, warrant it (with cards). I appreciate debaters who are able to make clear strategic choices in the second half of the round. You’d do better to use the back half of the round to present a cohesive story with a few key answers on your opponents’ case rather than to fly through a blippy line by line.
2. Argumentation: Generally Tech>Truth but I also appreciate rounds where I don’t hate that I need to vote for you.
Most of this is standard but I'll say it anyways: Don’t extend through ink. Don’t try to oversimplify your response by telling me how your opponent literally didn’t respond to anything you said (unless that is actually true… then you should probably bring it up). I'll listen to cross but I don't flow it; if it is important enough for me to evaluate, make sure you say it in a speech. Weighing is key and the earlier you set it up, the better. Terminalize your impacts and spend your time on the analysis, not card dumping. Also, for the love of all that is holy, give a roadmap before you start/tell me where to place arguments as you are going. I will be happier; you will be happier; the world will be a better place.
For PF: I don't require 1st summary to extend defense, but link/impact extensions should be in summary for me to evaluate them in final focus.
3. Evidence (PF): Having evidence ethics is a thing. I see debate as an educational activity and using sketch evidence/miscutting cards to prove an argument that is inherently untrue isn’t great for you or for the activity at large. As a general rule, I prefer that your cards have both authors and dates. Paraphrasing makes me sad. Rounds where someone calls for a card and you spend 15 minutes trying to find it only to realize it doesn’t say what you said it said hurt my soul.
4. Why yes, I would like to be added to the email chain (CX/LD): AMurphy@ucfsd.net (Side note: As Gen Zers, I have faith in you to successfully hit "reply all" when continuing an email chain. Don't let me down.)
5. A Final Note: This is a debate round not a divorce court and your tone should match accordingly. Additionally, I appreciate wit and will probably respect you more as a debater if you are able to use humor effectively.
Devane Murphy Paradigm
My name is Devane (Da-Von) Murphy and I'm a former debater for Rutgers-Newark. My conflicts are Newark Science, Pace Academy, University High School and Rutgers-Newark. I debated 4 years of policy in high school and for a some time in college, however, I've coached Lincoln-Douglas as well as Public Forum debaters so I should be good on all fronts. I ran all types of arguments in my career from Politics to Deleuze and back and my largest piece of advice to you with me in the back of the room is to run what you are comfortable with. Now to get to the specific kinds of debate arguments. Also, i stole this from Elijah's philosophy and agree with
"If you are a policy team, please take into account that most of the "K" judges started by learning the rules of policy debate and competing traditionally. I respect your right to decide what debate means to you, but debate also means something to me and every other judge. Thinking about the form of your argument as something I may not be receptive to is much different from me saying that I don't appreciate the hard work you have done to produce the content"
Also, don't assume because of my appearance that I'm going to like or dislike certain arguments. I jumped for joy SO HARD when someone ran midterms in front of me this season and have cried because of terrible structuralism debates.
So something has been up with my writing hand over the past few months going back to the summer and it has honestly affected how quickly I can flow. So if you're preffing me at least for the near future, please make sure that you aren't going blazing fast because i just won't be able to keep up sadly.
The current trend in debate of coaches and judges just flat out not listening/evaluating the ideas of competitors because it doesn't align with you ideologically is disheartening to say the least. So, I'm gonna be upfront about which arguments I don't want to hear and then everything else is on the table:
- Weird frivolous theory (i.e. can't read with two different highlights, spikes, etc)
- constitutivism/truth testing (for the LD folks)
***Emory LD Edit***
I'm a policy debater in training but I'm not completely oblivious to the different terms and strategies used in LD. That being said, I hate some of the things that are supposed to be "acceptable" in the activity. First, I HATE Theory debates, particularly "metatheory" debates (whatever that means). I will vote for it if I absolutely have to but I have VERY HIGH threshold. Second, if your thing is to do whatever a "skeptrigger" is or something along that vein, please STRIKE me. It'd be a waste of your time as I have nothing to offer you educationally. Please compare impacts and tell me why I should vote for you. Other than that, everything else here is applicable. Have fun and if you make me laugh, I'll probably boost your speaks.
DA's: I like these kinds of debates even though alot of folks don't utilize them anymore. My largest criticism is that if you are going to read a DA in front of me please give some form of impact calculus that helps me to evaluate which argument should be prioritized with my ballot. And i'm not just saying calculus to mean timeframe, probability and magnitude rather to ask for a comparison between the impacts offered in the round. (just a precursor but this is necessary for all arguments not just DA's)
CP's: I like CP's however for the abusive ones (and yes I'm referring to Consult, Condition, Multi-Plank, Sunset, etc.) I'm hella persuaded by theoretical objections. I'm not saying don't run these in front of me however if someone runs theory please don't just gloss over it because it will be a reason to reject the argument and if its in the 2NR the team.
K's: I like the K too however that does not mean that I am completely familiar with the lit that you are reading as arguments. The easiest way to persuade me is to have contextualized links to the aff as well as not blazing through the intricate details of your shit. Not to say I can't flow speed (college debate is kinda fast) I would rather not flow a bunch of high theory which would mean that I won't know what you're talking about. You really don't want me to not know what you're talking about. SERIOUSLY. I will lower your speaker points without hesitation
FW vs. K-Affs: Even though I'm usually debating on the K side of this, I will vote on either side. I go with the flow and if the negative is winning and impacting their decision-making impact over the impacts of the aff then I would vote negative. On the flip side, if the aff wins that the interpretation is a targeted method of skewing certain conversations and win offense to the conversation I would vote aff. This being said, I go by my flow. Also, i'm honestly not too persuaded by fairness as an impact, but the decisionmaking parts of the argument intrigue me.
K-Affs/Performance: I'm 100% with these. However, they have to be done the right way. I don't wanna hear poetry spread at me at high speeds nor do I want to hear convoluted high theory without much explanation. That being said, I love to watch these kinds of debates and have been a part of a bunch of them.
Theory: I'll vote on it if you're impacting your standards. If you're spreading blocks, probably won't vote for it.
Adam Nir Paradigm
I competed in LD debate, Extemp, and Congress from fall 1998 - spring 2002 (plus some other speech events). I then competed in Parliamentary debate for all 4 years of college. I find speech and debate to be highly valuable to the participants and wish to give back to the community. That is why I started coaching in 2014 when I returned to the US after my army service.
Current Affiliation: Needham High School Assistant Coach (speech and debate)
Last Update: January, 2018
QUICK: I am old school / traditional. I expect LD to be like it was when I did the activity. If someone has a value and criterion, links their arguments back to their criterion and impacts how those arguments achieve their value, I am extremely happy and give high speaker points. I also really like it when people have strong crystallizations (voters). Clearly weighing and explaining why I should value your arguments more than your opponents make my job easier, which give you more speaker points.
I dislike theory / policy debates in LD. Policy debate exists, do whatever you want in a policy round. Don't do it in a LD round.
Additional Details: I love LD debate because of the standard debate inherent to the activity. The ability to explain why I should use a certain moral standard and then explain how your arguments lead to the achievement of your standard are critical in my mind. That is the only thing I want to vote on. I expect the debate to be centered around the resolution provided.
Any other argument, ie, policy debate, theory, fairness, etc, no matter how well done, or how much time is devoted to it, misses the point of the activity in my mind, so it will be treated as such in my RFD.
Also, as a speech and debate coach, I value both the delivery and the analysis. Both are part of the speaker scale. For speech aspects, speed, clarity, sign posting, eye contact are things I look at. For analysis, the more in depth, the better. I want to hear the student, not the card. Telling me to extend a card without telling me why the card is important in the round in not analysis.
In addition, since I do believe in the educational merit of this activity, I will gladly talk with anyone after the round. I usually don't disclose, but am fully willing to explain how I saw the round, what can be improved, and what was done well.
DO NOT BULLY! I will punish anyone that is abusive / racist / sexist with low speaks and a loss rather quickly. Making fun of an argument can be acceptable, though not necessary or helpful. If it is a bad argument, then just beat it, don't waste time mocking it. Mocking someone is never acceptable! Abusive arguments are also never acceptable.
Finally, I object to the concept of a low point win. Points represent the entirety of the round so it is impossible to have a low point win!
Everything I hate in LD is kosher in Policy, so knock yourself out. That being said, I enjoy rounds on substance and the speaker points I give reflect that. I will repeat from before: DO NOT BULLY! I will punish anyone that is abusive / racist / sexist with low speaks and a loss rather quickly. Making fun of an argument can be acceptable, though not necessary or helpful. If it is a bad argument, then just beat it, don't waste time mocking it. Mocking someone is never acceptable! Abusive arguments are also never acceptable.
Finally, I object to the concept of a low point win. Points represent the entirety of the round so it is impossible to have a low point win!
I enjoy judging PF. Due to my LD background, having some sort of framework / framing the round helps me as a judge and helps you win the round and get higher speaker points. Due to the short speech times, I really want you to explain why one or two arguments that you are winning are more important than the one or two arguments your opponents are winning. Weighing is really important!
Something a bit more specific - being the second team to speak in a round means your rebuttal can deal with the first 3 speeches, and while I don't require you to do so, it really helps your side when you deal with both the pro and con cases. Use that advantage!
I will repeat from before: DO NOT BULLY! I will punish anyone that is abusive / racist / sexist with low speaks and a loss rather quickly. Making fun of an argument can be acceptable, though not necessary or helpful. If it is a bad argument, then just beat it, don't waste time mocking it. Mocking someone is never acceptable! Abusive arguments are also never acceptable.
Finally, I object to the concept of a low point win. Points represent the entirety of the round so it is impossible to have a low point win!
Paloma O'Connor Paradigm
I did LD for 3 years at Cambridge Rindge and Latin (MA), graduating in 2016. I almost exclusively competed on the national circuit, and qualled to TOC senior year.
I used to have a fair number of preferences & thoughts about this activity, but I'm far enough out that most of those preferences have faded. I will listen to anything that is not horribly messed up and try to intervene as little as possible. Clear weighing goes a long way in getting my ballot.
Extraneous things that may/may not be relevant to you:
- I won’t call for cards unless 1) there’s a genuine dispute over what the card says or 2) I fell asleep/experienced a comparable loss of consciousness and missed it
- I read a fair number of Ks back in the day, but you should not take that to mean (a) I know what you're talking about or (b) you do not need to explain your arguments
- My flowing ability has regressed over time, which means I'm probably not the judge for a very fast tricks debate (though a slow one is fine). Similarly, you should significantly slow down for theory interps and other important analytics.
- The fastest way to lose my ballot is to concede a bunch of preempts in favor of reading a few cards that "implicitly answer" those preempts. Please just make implicit comparisons explicit, so I don't have to drop you on a silly argument because you didn't pay lip service to it. This is particularly relevant to topicality debates.
- I was fairly flex as a debater, and appreciate well-designed neg strategies that capitalize on a variety of styles.
- If you say "game over" in your speech, it's "game over" for your speaks! :)
Have fun, be nice to each other, and feel free to ask me any extra questions before round.
Neha Pai Paradigm
Yong Pu Paradigm
Christian Quiroz Paradigm
Hey, I'm Chris, and I debated for Newark Science for four years in LD and Policy. To start, I'd like to say that although I was known as a particular kind of debater, I encourage you to do what you can do the best, whether that be Kant, theory, performance, etc.
As a common rule, please don't go your top speed at the beginning of your speeches. Go slower and build up speed so I can get accustomed to your voice. I've had times where debaters started at their top speed, which wasn't really that fast, but I wasn't accustomed to their voice at all, so I missed a few of their arguments. To prevent this, please don't start blazing fast. Build up to your top speed.
I've come to realize I am probably one of the worst flowers in the activity. This doesn't mean I won't hold you to answering arguments but it does mean that I am far less likely to get a 5 point response than the next person. Take that as you will.
I'm far from a tabula rasa judge; if you say or do anything that reinforces racist, heterosexist, ableist norms then I will vote against you. This is not to say that you'll always lose Kant against Wilderson; rather, it's about the way in which you frame/phrase your arguments. If you say "Kantianism does x, y, and z, which solves the K" then I'm more willing to vote for you than if you say "Kant says empirical realities don't matter therefore racism doesn't exist or doesn't matter"
On that note, I'm an advocate of argument engagement rather than evasion. I understand the importance of "preclusion" arguments, but at the point where there are assertions that try to disregard entire positions I must draw a line. I will be HIGHLY skeptical of your argument that "Util only means post-fiat impacts matters therefore disregard the K because it's pre-fiat." I'm also less likely to listen to your "K>Theory" dump or vice versa. Just explain how your position interacts with theirs. I'm cool with layering, in fact I encourage layering, but that doesn't mean you need to make blanket assertions like "fairness is an inextricable aspect of debate therefore it comes before everything else" I'd rather you argue "fairness comes before their arguments about x because y."
I think that theory debates should be approached holistically, the reason being that often times there are one sentence "x is key to y" arguments and sometimes there are long link chains "x is key to y which is key to z which is key to a which is key to fairness because" and I guarantee I will miss one of those links. So, please please please, either slow down, or have a nice overview so that I don't have to call for a theory shell after the round and have to feel like I have to intervene.
These are just some of my thoughts. If I'm judging you at camp, do whatever, don't worry about the ballot. As I judge more I'll probably add to this paradigm. If you have any specific questions email me at email@example.com
UPDATE: I will not call for cards unless
a) I feel like I misflowed because of something outside of the debater's control
b) There is a dispute over what the evidence says
c) The rhetoric/non underlined parts of the card become relevant
Otherwise, I expect debaters to clearly articulate what a piece of evidence says/why I should vote for you on it. This goes in line with my larger issue of extensions. "Extend x which says y" is not an extension. I want the warrants/analysis/nuance that proves the argument true, not just an assertion that x person said y is true.
Yvonne Robbins Paradigm
Flow Judge - If it is not on my flow it does not exist in the round.
Speed is fine. Enjoy technically proficient debaters. Poor time allocation is a pet peeve of mine.
Will doc speakers for uncivil/ungracious opponents.
Former LD/Policy/PF Debater
Bailey Rung Paradigm
Hey y'all, I'm Bailey. I'm the LD coach at Ridge HS (NJ), and help out with CX as well. I competed successfully in NFA-LD (1-person policy) & limited preps @ Western Kentucky University, and in a multitude of formats for Blaine HS (MN). I'll be graduating in 2019 with a B.A. in Communications Studies. I also minor in Phil.
I consider my self as tab as possible, and familiar with the conventions of all debate events beside PF. I judge around ~100 rounds of LD a year, ~25 rounds of CX a year, and occasionally find myself watching Congress and Extemp.
Treat others as you would want them to treat you. Stand up for yourself and others when others violate that expectation. I'll do the same. Forensics should be accessible and comfortable.
Performance skills matter and boost speaks/determine ranks, but of course it's different what that looks like in each event. Speed is fine, but be cognizant of your opponent, other judges, and which event you are actually competing in (Policy is policy, local LD is not circuit LD, and congress & extemp require public address skills). If you can't/don't want to stand, go for it.
Strategic execution (tech) always comes first, but any page can only be won with superior warrant analysis (truth) under an offense/defense paradigm. After that, weigh everything. Weigh dropped arguments, don't just extend them. While clearly dropped arguments can be devastating, if it's simply a poorly constructed argument then it probably won't factor heavily for me.
Don't advocate for fascist, racist, sexually violent, ableist, or otherwise bigoted arguments. I don't want to hear death good, skep, or religion. Other than that, you do you - Mearsheimer to Moten, I'll listen - but it's still your prerogative to properly articulate your argument. T/Theory is fine.
I read/went for the following most often (in order): big advantages & topic DAs, politics, impacts turns, T/Theory, advantage & agent CPs, post-structuralism, cap, a range of environment literature. I'm academically experienced (in order of depth) on semiotics, discourse theory, normative ethics, Marxist theory, post-structuralism, and existentialism. I pursue a personal reading interest in IR theory, criminal justice, environmental issues, and the milieu of national politics.
Event specific -
Specificity of plan text and quality of solvency evidence matter to me. If the neg ultimately defends the status quo but doesn't have good case args, it's likely the neg will lose. It's surprising I have to say these things, but it happens more often than one might expect.
Kritikal and Performance affs are fine, topical or not. This does not imply I won't vote on framework if won by the neg. That, however, does not imply i automatically vote neg on framework every time. I hold the advocacy to the same scrutiny I would for a plan.
I enjoy framing & weighing out of the 1AC.
I most often see DA debate as a question of who controls the direction of the link offense. Obviously weighing is a must, but I put a lot of stock into this - that or impact turns. Solely defensive strategies, even with impact framing tend to be non-persuasive. Some terminal defense exists (like bill already passed, etc.) - definitely an exception.
I went for politics A LOT, and really enjoy these debates.
I'm open to most strategies.
It's pretty uncommon for me to vote on condo bad. I'm more open to positions like PICs or States bad.
Presumption doesn't necessarily flip to the aff - specifically if the 2NR has good case arguments with DA/Turns.
CP solvency/text should be at least as detailed than the 1AC's, if not more. That said, the CP doesn't necessarily need to solve 100% - whether on probability or scope, if CP has a high risk of solving the most of the aff that can be sufficient if the DA/Turns outweigh.
I enjoy good K debates the same as any other strategy. As a judge I end up seeing this debate a lot, and have no real preferences for or against any given strand of literature or in-round execution.
I'm most familiar with literature stemming from the continental branch of philosophy. Some of my personal favorite authors include Baudrillard, Bookchin, Butler, Deleuze, Debord, Foucault, Luxembourg, Marx, Morton, & Zizek. That said, the majority of K debates I judge tend to be questions of identity and security (respectively) - which I also enjoy. I feel comfortable evaluating most anything.
I don't think the neg must absolutely go for/win the alternative, so long as the neg has good framing. Really, though, the neg should always be winning framing.
I generally find pure theory to be unpersuasive as an aff response. Perms are usually the best route, so are researched defenses of contemporary policy-making.
I've been finding lately that really close K debates have come down to who better presents empirical examples of the link and alt to contextualize theoretical warrants.
I particularly enjoy good topicality debates. I default to competing interps & jurisdiction voters.
I like theory debate so long as it relates to a Plan/CP/Alt/RoB text, or another theory text (a good RVI is rare but persuasive). In other words, ASPEC is cool - bracket theory is meh. Strike me if you're going to complain about your opponent's attire.
I'm neutral when it comes to FW debates - I'll vote for performance/sans-plan K affs as much as I vote for Framework. I generally place a high value on arguments over the academic & personal value of one's scholarship. Fairness is important, but I see these debates as ultimately a question of who wins (in the context of the round) that their educational/pedagogical praxis is preferable.
Clear & specific wording of interpretations is critical. Same with contextualized violations. If you're going to go for it, make it clean.
Great 2NRs/2ARs go all-in, and put voting issues at the top of the speech.
I don't like abstract reasonability arguments - my likeliness to vote for reasonability is entirely based on either the strength of a legitimate I-meet or the counter-interp's ability to resolve a substantial portion of the neg standards.
Outside of framework, I generally think fairness comes first.
Please use speechdrop. Prep stops when everything is put in your document. Don't steal prep.
Flex prep is fine.
CX is binding. I pay attention to CX. Excellent CX will boost your speaks.
Always weigh everything. Excellent weighing will boost your speaks.
Always collapse the debate. Excellent collapses will boost your speaks.
If the round is left unresolved, I will intervene and do my own comparison. I will be as fair as I can do each side and will let you know if this happens.
I'll always disclose unless told otherwise. More than happy to answer questions.
Bonus speaks for 'Good' Anarchism, DeDev, & Extraterrestrials arguments.
You can really just check my CX paradigm for most of my substantive preferences. Here are some event specific thoughts:
>Please justify your framework.
>I have a low threshold for 1AR/2AR extensions given the time, but warrants are still a must. I hate tag fights more than anything. 2AR impact weighing is fine.
>spending ~2:00 extending the aff card-by-card will likely lose you the round and tank your speaks. Part of the game is parsimony and efficiency. Have an overview for a page and do line-by-line.
>I will evaluate and occasionally vote on 1AR theory, but the stupider the argument, the less likely I am to vote on it. Things like CP theory, and RVIs against super abusive T/Theory NCs are infinitely better than, say "pre- or post-fiat, but not both" or "my opponent is wearing a tie". Even when 1ar theory is good (rare), there's usually not enough time to develop and win.
> The 1NC should have framework comparison - waiting until the NR rarely pays off. 2NR impact weighing is fine.
> Please collapse in the NR - don't go for everything. Winning/high speaks NRs usually go all in on T/Theory or the K, or go for case and/or CP with a DA. Leaving yourself multiple outs is smart, but this should be done in reference to whatever you go for ('case or CP' or 'turns or DA') - not wildly extending everything in the NC.
>80% of my rounds end up being Policy-making or K debates, and I don't have any event specific thoughts here. K framing work should be done in the NC, though this seems obvious.
>'Phil' debate: I think ethics debates are super fun, and really enjoy the literature. I will evaluate these debates, though I have two thoughts: (1) Just because it's LD doesn't mean I have to/will automatically default to ethical theory over policy-making or the K (2) extending 5-second blips you label 'a prioris' without warrants and spewing jargon without explanation is not a winning strategy - understand your ethic and interact it.
> Again, T/Theory is fine, but the dumber the argument, the less likely I am to vote on it. I enjoy actual T debates over words in the res, and theory debates over writing of the plan (ASPEC, Vagueness, etc.). I can't stand 'formal dress theory' or 'bracket theory' - do some prep and make real arguments.
> I'm slightly more likely to vote on condo bad in LD than CX. Same thing with reasonability - though this is all relative.
Do your thing - I'm super tab, keep a good flow, and am fairly well read. I've invested a lot of time into this style of the event as a coach and really enjoy it. I don't have many thoughts here - I'd check my tl:dr section for general debate things.
> Please justify your framework - it's shocking the proportion of debaters who don't or do so poorly.
> Warrant and weigh - the earlier the better.
> Don't take excessive prep for early speeches (NC/1AR).
> If you want to kick framework and go for case, go for it. These debates are often the most fun.
Jon Sahlman Paradigm
Hey my name is Jon Sahlman. I debated at Western Kentucky University and currently am a GA. I've done LD-(1 v 1 policy) for 4 years and previously did NPDA for 2 years. I've coached HS Public Forum, LD, and Congress as well.
I try to be as hands-off as possible, and really just let the debaters do what they want and direct the round. I think that debate is educational and therefore allowing debaters to debate how they wish promotes creativity and education in the debate space. I will listen to ALMOST every position (Let me clarify)...
I beleive that my ballot has some form of actual endorsement of arguments. Because of this I refuse to endorse any argument that is descriminatory or offensive. For example, "Capitalism is good because it brought slavery which built America".....(Yes that actually happened in a round once).....I will automatically drop you. Any sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, etc. argument that is made.. I will refuse to endorse and will drop you.
I do not care how fast you go as long as you don't use speed as a tool to exclude your opponent. This means that if your opponent says "clear" or "slow down" I expect you to honor it. If I cannot understand you then I will say so. I suggest at least slowing down a little bit on tags and cites. If your opponent continuously says clear or slow down and you refuse to, I will drop you.
I default to Counter-interpretations unless you tell me otherwise. Make the standards debate clear. If the warrants are poor and there isn't a good comparison of interpretations I will most likely just call it a wash.
I will listen to any theory position. Cross apply what I said about the standards debate.
Proven abuse is not needed but obviously makes your argumentation better.
Condo Good? Sure
Condo Bad? Sure
Disclosure theory? Sure
love it. Make the links clear. I need to be able to understand your alternative. If it's something really out there break it down for me. Alt solvency is pretty important.
Please don't double-turn yourself and link into a DA you read. Conidtional CPs are fine, its up to you and your opponent to have that debate. Again I do not really care what you read. PICS are cool.
Make sure you have the UNQ going in the right direction lol....Links links links links links... make it clear. Impacts...actually have one. I dont believe quality of life is really an impact.
Biggest complaint is FW. If I do not understand what your FW is then I don't know how to vote for you. Solvency is most important for me on the aff. If you have no FW then I default to Net-benefits.
Performance either aff or neg:
Again do what you want. I've seen some awesome performance debate. I played Beyonce in a round once....Beyonce is amazing. Just make sure I know what the thesis of your performance is/why the topic either does or doesnt matter. As the judge If interrogating a part of my mindset or identity is necessary thats completely fine with me.
I dont care if you sit or stand
I dont care what color your suit is..and the people that do are terrible.
I dont care what you wear in round...and the people that do are terrible
I dont care if you wear heels...and the people that do are terrible
Have fun. Debate should be a expression of yourself. Don't let anyone tell you your "style of debate" is wrong.
Daniel Shatzkin Paradigm
Been around debate for 15 years I'm fine with speed as long as you're clear. I'll say clearer or slower a few times as needed.
Lincoln Douglas (Updated 2/25/19)
Run what you want as long as it isn't frivolous theory, or an argument that is disrespectful. You should be topical, I default to reasonability but I'm willing to evaluate T and theory however you tell me to. K's should have specific links not just ones of omission. Potential abuse probably won't get my vote on a theory shell.
I haven't judged policy regularly in about 5-6 years so my knowledge on the current k lit and common off case positions is pretty low. Aff's should be topical even if they don't have explicit plan texts if you can tell my why your addressing the topic you're probably ok. I default to being a policy maker but I'll vote on pretty much everything as long as it's a reasonably topical aff or the neg arguments have explicit links and are logical and understandable. If you actually weigh impacts I'll probably vote for you.
Martin Sigalow Paradigm
Pre-Harvard updates are here.
Lake Highland Prep School, Millburn AJ, Millburn AW
I debated LD for four years for Lake Highland Prep (11'), won an octos bid, a semis bid, and a finals bid. If you have any questions, and I mean this in the most forward way possible, email me. I check my email constantly and will answer any questions you want. firstname.lastname@example.org.
I like arguments of all types. I was a philosophy major and did lots of phil debate, but I also did policy (Emory 2015) so I enjoy policy-style and k debate too.
There are five "technical-foul" sort of norms I will enforce against without any argument needing to be made.
- New arguments wont be evaluated.
- A debater is not allowed to make an argument that is the exact opposite of an argument they made earlier in the debate. For example, if the affirmative says cap is bad in the AC, the 1N reads link turns to cap, the 1AR cannot concede those and then read 4 cards about why cap is good (that happened in a debate I judged). For the same reasons, cross ex and past speeches are binding.
- If an argument is mislabeled in the ac, aka an argument is tagged as the second impact to a contention card but is in fact a theory argument against counterplans, then the negative is allowed to make new responses to that argument. In that case, the affirmative has lied about what their argument means. I could be very easily persuaded that this is probably a voting issue for academic integrity.
- No arguments contingent on the identity of the other debater will be evaluated.
- I will not a) abandon the flow and vote on truth or whatever, b) give people higher speaks because of some argument they made about why I should do that, or c) evaluate the debate at any point before its end.
To get good speaks in front of me:
- Be fast and efficient
- Be strategic
- Don't read stupid arguments (I will vote on stupid arguments, though)
- You don't have to extend your theory interps or plan texts or counterplan texts. In fact, please don't. I want those seconds of my life back.
- If a layer is dropped you can refer to it in passing and I'll count that as an extension.
- If warrants conflict the more developed and intricate extension will usually win out.
- The 2AR of a 1AR theory argument is obviously not allowed to introduce new paradigm issues, although they can sort of respond to 2N arguments. Obviously if the first time I'm hearing "education is better than fairness" is during a speech in which the negative could not answer it, I can't evaluate it, on the very basic grounds that I'm sure the negative would have had something to say.
- I default to competing interps if no one makes any arguments either way on the assumption that if no decision calculus for theory debate is introduced debaters would have wanted me to resolve the debate as mechanically as possible. This also applies when the first time a debater advances an argument for one paradigm or another is the 2ar.
- In some rounds, a theory defender does not explicitly give a counterinterpretation text. In those rounds, I will assume a counterinterpretation that is the opposite of the interp.
- I default to offense-defense.
- Some of my favorite debates to judge these days.
- I assume that affirmative fiat is durable unless otherwise stated. Negative rollback arguments probably need to say in the 1n why fiat isn't durable.
- Permutations are tests of competition.
- I believe that sequencing permutations are theoretically illegitimate, personally, because I believe that timeframe-based competition is bad for debate. I also believe that intrinsic perms are bad.
- Severance perms aren't allowed at all because I believe that the aff can't go against something they've said earlier in the debate. No number of arguments will cause me to give that belief away.
- Perms, on counterplans and Ks, do not need "net benefits." They can have net benefits, but they don't need them. If the perm is just as good as the alt or counterplan then the counter-advocacy is not competitive.
- Like these.
- If the first time the alt is mentioned as a floating PIC is the 2N, almost any aff 2AR argument will incline me to think it is not.
- ROB stuff and framework maybe interact, but if no argument is presented either way I will assume they do not directly clash.
- I can judge tricks and framework rounds.
- I will allow new 2N responses to Aprioris in the AC. Whether an argument is an apriori, for this purpose, is up to my discretion. This doesn't apply to spikes that aren't aprioris, and it doesn't apply to neg aprioris. An apriori is an argument that wins the round immediately on substance, prior to the framework.
- Slow down for tags so I'm very clear on whats responsive and what's not.
- I'll assume that the aff defends implementation unless they say they don't in the AC or CX. The 1ar is too late to say they don't. That's normal means for being aff.
- Bullying is bad. Ad hominem attacks are bad. Although that may be controversial in Policy debate, I hope that it will never be in LD.
- "I'm inserting these graphs into the document" - you can insert lists to save some time sometimes, but don't insert random tables. This is a speaking event. That's literally all that's required. Stuff that can't be translated into the spoken word are not allowed.
- Poorly tagging arguments is awful. If your tag starts with "military aid does..." and then your card is not about military aid? I could be convinced that's a voting issue for academic integrity.
- If someone says in cross examination that they do not know what a kind of argument is, they are not allowed to magically learn in the middle of the debate. It is okay to say "what is an apriori to you?" as a response, but if you say "I do not know what an apriori is" you are not allowed to explain anything as a apriori later in the debate, especially if it is obvious that you are lying for a tactical advantage.
- Document compilation is prep. Flashing and emailing is not, but any time putting things into one document is prep time.
- Any card from a current or former LD coach relying on some asserted fact, about debate or otherwise, will be treated as analytics.
- If you run theory or a K on a novice or a local debater who won't get it, I will treat the argument as not existing for the purposes of the decision. Also, if you are mean to novices or local kids in other ways, I will tank your speaks. What you can do: go a little above conversational speed and read an nc and turns to the aff. At least then the debater you are hitting understands the terms under which they lost. When you're aff, it can be dense but not too fast. Beat your opponent by making arguments against them that they understand the form of, at least, if not the content.
- Claiming that fairness not being a voter or skepticism or determinism or something means you can do whatever you want and attempt to sign the ballot or smash your opponent's laptop (Berkely 2011) is unacceptable. Physically coercing your opponent, or threatening to, will result in a loss.
- If you make fun of or insult someone's debate background, school, or personal appearance, with an argument or otherwise, I will tank your speaks, or, if things are serious enough, I will drop you.
- If you argue directly that a certain identity group of debater should not make arguments or should lose on the spot or something like that, I will not vote on it/might consider more drastic steps.
Trigger Warnings (TW: mental health, violence, and sadness):
- If a debater wishes to read a debate arguments about suicide, severe depression/specific mental health issues, sexual violence, or any similarly situated issue, I expect debaters to ask before the debate for their opponent/spectators/judges permission to read the stuff. If a spectator wants to leave, they have that option, but otherwise if another judge, perhaps, or opponent has a trigger-warnings based reason against those sorts of issues, then the expectation is that you will read something else if you have it. If you feel affected by such an issue, raise the issue before cross ex and after the speech, but if it gets really bad you are allowed to interrupt your opponent, in which case I will, if I am the only judge in the room, stop the debate and take appropriate steps. I will not enforce a genuine-ness standard for whether it really has affected you, but I will enforce a restriction on the content of what you can object to in order to discourage frivolity. In the cases where a debater does not raise an objection on the basis of their own personal well-being, those issues do not warrant interruptions or pre-cross ex appeals for my ballot: instead, those must be initiated in the form of theory arguments.
(preharvard) Arguments I hate (I'll try not to intervene against these but boy do I dislike them):
1. "Switch-side debate solves because you can just do something in a different debate" - what?
2. Contentions in deontological cases that are obviously consequentialist, if they are labeled to not be.
3. Nitpicky disclosure interps like "Oh you disclose everything but refused to post the lined down version? Shame on you!" I don't want to have debates at major tournaments come down to random pre-round nonsense because then the debate isn't about anything real.
4. Arguments that are so poor that it is clear they could literally only be won if dropped. Example: "Right is a direction and reporters can't have that so negate." These arguments are intellectually dishonest.
5. Arguments that are confusingly worded to hide what their simple (always bad) argument. Example: "There is a continental contiguous distinction" which means "How do I know if the US contains Alaska?" These arguments are also intellectually dishonest.
6. "Grammar is racist." This argument is false and specious in a terrible way. "Grammar can be racist" does not mean "Grammar must be racist." Example: "this word has an s at the end and so is plural" does not fall prey to the "How dare you?! Racist!" objection.
7. The truth testing good "all roles of the ballot collapse to truth testing" argument (Frege). This is based on a conflation. Truth testing means testing the truth of the resolution. Just because everything is true or false obviously doesn't require that the question of the debate center on the truth value of the resolution.
8. "White uncomfortability is good." Since when did we get to a place where we thought that consciously being violent to a child is a good idea?
9. Positions so uncontroversial that there is no negative position. This includes incredibly specific topical affirmatives and unchallengable non-topical affirmatives (such as "my advocacy is that I should feel better"). I believe, in a related way, that if there are no articles written criticizing a position that it is bad for debate.
10. "Philosophy bad" arguments.
11. Arguments that confuse the pre-fiat post-fiat distinction, such as "well you need freedom to make arguments so my framework comes before theory."
12. "Topicality is psychological violence." It isn't.
13. Psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis at any deep roughly scientific level is discredited gibberish.
14. "All theory interps must be weighed against side bias" - that's impossible. "Well it's a good thing I was 2% disadvantaged, but then they gave me 2% points by giving me presumption."
15. "My framework solves oppression because if we fiated it as a policy oppression wouldn't exist." Disobeying the Hobbesian state one time will not trigger the "total anarchy" oppression disadvantage.
16. Affirmatives that "don't defend implementation." That sentence is meaningless. "I believe this action would be good if we did it but, uh, am not considering the action happening." ???
17. "Jurisdiction is a voter because the ballot says you have to vote on the resolution" - no it doesn't. It doesn't say that. This is a lie. It is a successful lie, but it is a lie. A literal, actual falsehood.
18. "The role of the ballot and the role of the judge are distinct." What do you think "the ballot" means in "role of the ballot?" Judges literally don't anything else except fill out a ballot and give comments. They mean the same thing.
19. "I'm only defending a subset of the topic, so that subset doesn't have to be topical." Incorrect. In order to be a subset of something it has to be a topical version of that thing.
20. "CX checks is an I meet." No. It's an "I could have met." Arguments for CX checks in an interp or counterinterp that say "if I would have met" is obviously absurd. Are we supposed to just take your word for it? How do we know that you would have just met? I'm skeptical.
21. "Must weigh between role of the ballot and theory." Theory voters are role of the ballot arguments. They do not caterogically outweigh each other.
22. "Truth testing comes before theory" - only if "policymaking/comparative worlds" also comes before theory - which it doesn't. Theory voters coexist with and side constrain role of the ballot arguments.
23. "If I couldn't debate the aff, how do I know whether it is true?" This is a very wonky view about truth and falsity.
24. "Metaphors and poetry are bad for people with disabilities" - this is offensive and demeaning to people with disabilities.
25. Parameters without a definition. This argument hilariously proceeds "Theory constrains definitions of words which includes frameworks. [sic]. My framework is best for fairness." You need to actually have a definition of ought in there, or your "reasons to prefer" aren't "reasons to prefer" anything.
26. Arguments that appeal to warrants people don't actually read in the debate. You can't reference warrants in someone's wider literature they didn't actually read in the debate. This applies to appeals to Wilderson's psychoanalytic theories that don't make it into the speeches.
27. "This is ontological because it has happened a bunch of individual times I can name in the past.
I may add more later.
Policy Debate: assume I'm generally consistent with policy norms most of the time because I did the activity for awhile, but haven't done it few years. I went to Emory, so Policy-style arguments are probably what I'd be best at. Making the debate very difficult for me is not in your best interest. LD predispositions that probably affect the way that I will judge:
1. It is probably much easier than you are used to with judges to convince me to drop the debater on a CP theory argument like PICs bad.
2. I'm worse at flowing on average than most policy judges for organizational reasons. For that reason, being abundantly clear where you are at any given point in the debate is very important. Signpost lots.
3. Although I'm way closer to Policy on this than LD, be aware that in LD arguments won are often treated as won or lost according to a yes/no focus instead of a "risk it is true" focus. Some of this bias may seep into what I'm judging.
4. I am more tab than a lot of policy judges, in the sense that I will vote on arguments about, say, religion, or zeno's paradox, or random skeptical stuff without an air towards intervening. I am probably more likely to vote negative on presumption in the case where I think the neg is decisively ahead on an issue like this.
5. I will probably treat conceded warrants as being more important than policy judges. That is to, the burden of rejoinder for arguments is significant. Evidence can matter to those arguments and how much they matter, of course. And, of course, evidence can diminish the importance of the factors cited by the conceded card. But people need to be responsive to specific stuff.
6. Unless it's something like Framework, I think it would be unwise to get involved with a huge T debate in my case. I always found policy T debates really complex. (LD T debates I've been totally good with me for some time). There are just lots of definitions floating around and some counterdefinitions and some not and basically ugh. It may be wise in this scenario to be the initiator since I'm more inclined to pull the trigger on this rather than use intuitions? I really think you would be better off not putting it in the block and doing stuff I actually did in college at Emory, which was almost never to go for T.
John Staunton Paradigm
UPDATE FOR SCARSDALE: Typing is pretty difficult for me right now, so I'm going to flow with pen and paper over the weekend. If you can bring me computer paper, I'd greatly appreciate it.
I debated for four years at the Bronx High School of Science. I primarily debated on the national circuit and I got a bid in my senior year, while competing in many bid rounds during my sophomore, junior, and senior years. I didn't debate much in my senior year. Since then, I worked at NSD and VBI for 2 summers, coached multiple independent debaters and coached Bronx Science. So far, I have coached 7 bids and 3 kids to the TOC.
Conflicts: Bronx Science, NCSSM AM, Westview/Beaverton Independent RS, American Heritage BG, Sage Hills TG, Lake Highland SL
Short Version: I ran almost all types of arguments throughout my career, so I'll be fine listening to anything. Make sure you weigh back to some sort of framework and compare your arguments. I take the route of least intervention. If you're running a confusing position, please explain it well. Spreading is cool and I will yell "clear." If you have any questions, my email is at the top.
1. Theory/T: I read this extensively during my sophomore and junior years and enjoyed having these debates a lot. I don't default to any voters or paradigms, meaning you will have to justify those yourself. If no voters are read and there are no arguments that tell me to evaluate the shell otherwise, I will evaluate it as a response to whatever argument violated the shell. That being said, if paradigms and voters are conceded in the following speech, it is not necessary to extend it, but at your own risk. If your opponent points out that you didn't extend it and makes arguments as to why that means theory is no longer a voting issue, I will then move on to the next layer. I would prefer it if these debates are based on weighing offense back to each interpretation. I also don't care if you use it as a strategic tool or not. However, if you hit a K, I would prefer you read it as a link to the role of the ballot rather than something that just excludes any and all discussion on their issues. Lastly, asking me to gut check frivolous theory isn't a response to theory, so I will not do that, absent some mechanism telling me what theory shells to "gut check" and why said theory shell fits that description.
2. Kritiks: I read Ks a lot more often later in my career, starting junior year, and I also enjoy these debates a lot. I probably enjoy listening to K debates more than anything else, granted there is comparison and weighing. You should start your later rebuttal speeches with the role of the ballot or other framing arguments. I try to be well read on as much literature as possible, so I know and understand most of the common K arguments on the topic (from identity politics to high theory). However, that does not necessarily mean I, or your opponent, will understand your particular position; so, be sure to explain it well. That does not mean repeating what your tagline says; rather, it means you should explain it in a different way, using simple terminology and concrete examples. These examples don't even have to be real historical occurrences, since you can often relate an argument to some physical scenario (I know what yellow is because it is not any other color). When it comes to making a decision, it is necessary that I understand how each argument functions in round: why it answers your opponent's argument, the relevant advantages and disadvantages, etc. In other words, you should aim to explain your positions in the best way possible, but I will be primarily concerned with the interactions I see on the flow. Non-topical ACs are cool, but I think it's better if they're disclosed. It's hard to have a debate against a case you had no idea would be run and it is impossible to expect that you'll have prep against it absent disclosure. You will not be penalized for not disclosed your non-topical cases and I will not have a bias for disclosure theory in this instance.
3. Framework: Framework debates can be very interesting and have some of the best interaction. Not many debaters opt to do framework debate anymore, which is sad. Make sure you explain how offense functions under your framework and what the arguments in your framework mean with complicated philosophy. I enjoy cases that use non-utilitarian frameworks with a plan. I am also open to hearing framework arguments against Ks. You can make arguments for why your framework comes first, but you can also read your framework as a counter method. Just don't make arguments for why your framework means their issues don't matter, as the other option is not only more interesting and involves better interactions, but it also ensures that debate remains a safe space. Impact justified frameworks aren't great either. The only impact I assume is bad coming into the round is oppression.
4. LARP: Unique plan texts are fun to hear and they should be disclosed. However, I prefer plans in the context of non-utilitarian frameworks. I think politics DAs, and most extinction scenarios are rather ridiculous, but that just means if your opponent loses to these arguments, that's completely their fault. I also will not automatically prioritize evidence over analytics, absent reasons to do so.
5. Tricks: I enjoyed running this a lot - just not against Ks involving issues of oppression. Those debates are uncomfortable for everyone else in the room, and if you use tricks to conclude that oppression is permissible, then you should expect to be dropped with low speaks. That being said, I will definitely evaluate tricks and will enjoy rounds with interesting and unique tricks - even if they are straight up ridiculous. I'll probably laugh, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Also, tricks don't necessarily mean just "skep" or "presumption." They can be topical and substantive too. Putting substantive tricks inside your T and theory shells is something I'd find cool too.
6. Speaks: I will generally follow the guidelines for calculating speaker points in the document under "Speaker Points Calculation." Your speaks will automatically go to 0 if you are offensive or violent in the round. Additionally, I do not think it is under my jurisdiction to evaluate arguments about speaker points in round. Clearly, they are not a source of contestation or impact my decision calculus, and so I will ignore arguments that ask me to change your speaks.
a. Sit or stand - I don't care. Just be clear (and yes, I will yell "clear" or "slow.")
b. It would be nice if you slowed down on taglines, author names, interps, plan texts, and important stuff like that.
c. I want CX to start right at the end of the speech and prep to start right at the end of CX. Don't waste time asking "Is everyone ready?"
d. I think disclosure it good for debate, but I also think forcing your opponent to disclose is bad. In general, I prefer seeing disclosure.
e. I personally don't think flashing should count as prep, but I don't think that is under my jurisdiction. If both debaters want flashing to count as prep, then it will.
f. Spreading is good. I will yell "clear."
g. I tend to not evaluate embedded clash, unless I cannot logically come to a decision without evaluating it. If the aff is winning an argument for why pineapple pizza is terrible on one part of the flow and the neg is winning an argument on another part of the flow that pineapple pizza is great, I will have to evaluate embedded clash in that instance, even though the aff is probably correct.
h. If you have any questions you can ask me in round or email me. My email is at the top.
Generally, I try to evaluate rounds by making the most logically consistent decision, while also intervening as little as possible. First, I look at all of the framing arguments that tell me how I should prioritize layers in the round. For example, which comes first: substance or theory? Once I sort through the layers in the round, I start from the top. If a debater wins that layer and wins that it is a reason I should vote for them, then I will vote for them. On a particular layer, I have to have some sort of framework for how I evaluate arguments on that layer, so I evaluate those framing issues first. Then, I need impact calculus for how to evaluate arguments under that framework on that layer. Lastly, I determine who wins the best impacts under that framework. For example, say that fairness is a voter and theory is drop the debater with competing interpretations and no RVIs. Then, the impact calculus is that impacts to strategy come before any other standard no matter what. So, I have to determine which interpretation is best for strategy and I determine who wins on the theory flow there. If the person responding to theory wins, then I simply move on to the next layer below that since there is no RVIs. This is a very simple example, but the same logic applies for any situation. This describes how I view the round at a macro level.
At a micro level, things get a little bit more complicated because we have to consider questions such as whether I evaluate embedded clash, whether I can even evaluate arguments that I don't fully understand, etc. The general way I go about evaluating arguments on the micro level is to compare the claims and see which person has the best warrant. Of course, what counts as the "best" warrant is subject to the judge and is why judge intervention is inevitable, but to minimize the risk of intervention, you should tell me why your warrants are the better warrants. This is just basic warrant comparison. Given this, I do need to understand the argument's premises and how it interacts. I find that in most rounds, only one debater will be doing warrant comparison on any given issue, so resolving that is easy. I evaluate arguments primarily on the place of contestation. Physically speaking, this would mean where the arguments are on the flow. Therefore, I will not freely evaluate embedded clash, unless I'm told to. If I'm told to, then I will just cross apply whatever arguments you are making to the correct place on the flow. However, after I draw a conclusion from a specific place on the flow, it needs to be logically consistent with every other part of my decision calculus. Therefore, I will evaluate embedded clash if and only if conclusions I draw from two different parts of the flow contradict. For example, consider a round where the aff wins on the AC that material strategies are good because the state is inevitable. Say this argument was conceded. However, on the K flow, there are arguments for why the state is not necessarily inevitable and those arguments are won. It would be logically inconsistent to say that material strategies are good since the state is inevitable if I can also say that the state is not inevitable. The way I resolve this is to take the arguments on different parts of the flow and see what comparisons exist.
There are three categories of arguments that I find to be paradigmatically outside my jurisdiction, and so I will not evaluate these arguments even if you make arguments as to why I should. The first category of arguments are offensive ones. If you make a claim that someone needs to warrant why oppression exists, or if you make a claim that is outright offensive or violent, then I will not only ignore the argument, but I will also drop you and give you a 24 (or lower depending on the degree of violence I find in the argument). The second category is arguments about speaker points. Clearly, your opponent is not going to focus on disproving your argument for why I should give you 30 speaks and so it is not a source of contestation and is not relevant to my decision calculus. Therefore, I will just ignore these arguments. The third category of arguments are new arguments in the last rebuttal speech. I will not evaluate new arguments in the 2AR, with the one exception that you criticize an egregious form of violence in the 2NR. This means I will not vote on 2AR theory in almost any circumstance. I will only evaluate new arguments in the 2NR if you explicitly justify why that is allowed (allow new 2NR responses to spikes). So, while I generally follow a specific path to deciding the round, this outlines the few exceptions to that.
Speaker Points Calculation:
Christian Tarsney Paradigm
Most important datum: As of Minneapple 2018 (for which I'm writing this paradigm), I haven't seen a debate round or thought about debate since TOC 2017. I was never particularly great at understanding or flowing fast debates, and I can only imagine I've gotten significantly worse in the last 18 months. Also, whatever new fads or jargon have emerged in that time, I'm completely unaware of them.
Background: I debated LD for two years in high school (2003-5) and coached for about 12 years after graduating, mainly for schools in the Midwest. I'm now an academic, with a background in analytic philosophy.
"Paradigm proper": My default view of debate (which I'm open to revising in round on the basis of argument) is as follows: (1) As the judge, I adopt a "neutral prior" for purposes of the round -- an assignment of probabilities to the various propositions that might play a role in the debate that assigns the resolution a 50% probability of being true and assigns probabilities to other contentious propositions that reflect a neutral/conservative (conservative = erring in the direction of 50/50) balance of reasonable opinion. (2) I update those beliefs based on the arguments and evidence presented in round. (3) If, after those updates, the resolution is more likely true than false, then I affirm. If it's more likely false than true, then I negate.
Presentation/delivery preferences: In principle, I have no problem with speed. But, like I said above, I've never been especially good at understanding or flowing it, and I'll try to be very strict about not voting on any argument that I didn't flow the first time around. If you're clear, but I'm just failing to flow you because you're fast and I'm old, I'll yell "slow." If you're sufficiently unclear, I'll yell "clear," but after I've yelled "clear" once, I don't promise that I'll yell it again any time you're unclear. It's on you to adjust, significantly and permanently, to become clear. If you're unclear enough that individual words are getting lost, I won't do very much interpolating for you.
Argumentation preferences: I'm open to anything, but (a) I'll only vote on an argument if I understand it, and I think I have a higher standard for what it means to "understand" an argument than a lot of judges -- specifically, I should be able to identify premises and conclusion in what you said (without interpolation) such that the premises reasonably and significantly support the conclusion; and (b) I'll weight arguments, to some extent, by the prior plausibility of the premises. (If an argument depends on an apparently implausible premise, then that premise ought to be supported by an argument of its own.)
In more nuts-and-bolts terms: (1) I tend to think that most "critical" arguments are just a mix of banalities and absurdities dressed up in obfuscating and poorly defined jargon, though I'm willing to be convinced otherwise in any particular instance. (2) I don't particularly like theory debates, and I have a pretty high threshold for abuse claims. (3) I'm very skeptical of very long, very specific causal link chains. (4) I'm somewhat skeptical of normative frameworks that don't care at all about consequences.
The best way to get my ballot is a deeply justified and prima facie plausible normative framework coupled with contention arguments that, where they rely on empirical claims, are justified by high-quality empirical evidence that you know backwards and forwards, and where they rely on predictive/causal claims, are robust in the sense that they don't depend on a lot of very specific and jointly improbable assumptions.
Jose Torchio Paradigm
I have 7 years of both debate and judging experience combined, ill go into deeper detail before an actual debate round (feeling lazy)
I consider myself to be an all around judge, in the sense that my sole purpose in the debate round is to evaluate it and vote on who made the most convincing argument.
Becca Traber Paradigm
My email is beccatraber (at) gmail (dot) com
Accessibility note: If you don't flash the exact text of your speech, please do not play any additional sounds underneath your speaking. If there is sound underneath your speaking, please flash the exact text of what you are reading. I do not want to undermine the performance you want to engage in and whichever option you prefer is fine for me. It is fine to have part of your speech be on paper with music underneath and then turn the music off when you go off paper. I struggle to understand what is being said over noise and I'm uncomfortable being unable to know what is being said with precision. (Dec2018)
Jan2019: Feel free to run these arguments if you want, but know that my threshold is extremely high for "evaluate debate after [speech that is not the 2ar]." It is very difficult to persuade me to meaningfully do this. A better way to make this argument would be to tell me what sort of responses I shouldn't permit and why. For instance, new paradigm issues bad, cross-apps bad, no embedded clash, no new reasons for [specific argument] -- all fine and plausible. I just don't know what it means to actually stop evaluating later speeches. Paradigmatically, speech times are speech times and it makes no sense to me why I should obviate some of your opponents time for any in round reason. If you have a specific version of this argument you want to check with me, feel free to do so before round.
I debated on the national circuit for the Kinkaid School, graduated 2008. I've been coaching and teaching on the national circuit since. I currently am the assistant coach for Lake Highland Prep.
I try to be as tab as possible, but we all know, that a truly tabula rasa judge is impossible. Just know that everything I'm about to say is simply a preference and not a rule; given a warranted argument, I will shift off of just about any position that I already have or that your opponent gave me.
Speed: I have no problem with spreading -- all I ask is that you are still clear enough to follow. What this means is that you need to have vocal variation and emphasis on important parts of your case, like card names and key arguments.
I have a slightly higher threshold for extension of warrants than most judges. If the full argument and warrant is not extended, than it does not exist.
I prefer an explicit ROB defended as a framework for evaluating the round. I do not have a preference as to what the ROB is, as long as it capable of filtering offense. I am willing and able to judge tricks debate or k debate. When civilizations clash, I regularly vote in both directions.
Cross-X is really important to me, please use it. You have very little chance of fantastic speaker points without a really good cross-x. I would prefer if y'all don't use CX as prep, although I have no problems with questions being asked during prep time. That being said, please do not be unnecessarily mean. It is not very persuasive.
Theory: I'm willing to listen to either reasonability or competing interpretations. I don't assume either fairness or jurisdiction as axiomatic voting issues, so feel free to engage on that level of the theory debate. I do really enjoy a well-developed theory argument, just make sure you are holding to the same standards of warranting here that I demand anywhere. Internal links between the standards and the interpretation, and the standards and the voter, are both key. Make sure you have a robust interpretation that isn't simply the same thing as the violation, particularly if you are going under competing interpretations paradigm. It is meaningless for me to vote for a norm that is simply "x bad."
Last: I don't default any particular way. I am willing to listen to presumption arguments which would then make me default, given the particular way the round shakes down, but my normal response to a round where no one meets their burden is to lower my standards until one person does meet their burden. Now, I hate doing this and it makes me grumpy, so expect lower speaker points in a situation where nobody meets their burden and nobody makes an argument about why I should presume any which way. This just points to the need to clearly outline my role and the role of my ballot, and be precise as to how you are meeting it.
Zach Trotz Paradigm
I'm a college junior with some experience in college parli. The majority of my judging experience has been in PFD, so LD is new to me. With that in mind, here's a quick rundown of my preferences.
Speed: I am not used to spreading and would therefore appreciate a slower speed. I will prompt with "Slow" three times, and then I will start deducting speaker points. If I say "Slow", I have probably missed something, so be aware that speed will not be to your advantage in my rounds. Cards and taglines need to be slower so that I can flow them more easily.
Presumption: I will not evaluate presumption arguments nor will I presume any side. It is your duty to prove to me that you should win the round. I will not assume any side wins.
Evidence: I will call for evidence if there is an in-round challenge or dispute about the contents of or cutting of a piece of evidence. I also like author and year in your verbal cites/extensions.
CX: I believe CX is binding and I will hold you to your concessions made in CX. Other than that, don't be rude. Shouting or general rudeness in CX will negatively affect your speaker points.
K: I will evaluate topical kritiks only. I am not familiar with the vast majority of critical literature, so I would appreciate some work in explaining the function, meaning, and background of any kritiks presented. I am interested in performances and will evaluate them as long as they are germane to the topic.
Theory: I have never judged theory before, and I will not evaluate frivolous theory. Please save theory for actual abuses, and make sure to explain the function of each standard to me clearly. Also, I will not assume any voters, so please prove to me why fairness is prereq to debate, etc. SLOW DOWN on interps. In general, I'm probably not the best judge if you want a theory heavy round. Save it for those who can evaluate it more.
Policy-style: I will evaluate plans, CPs, DAs, etc. Explain the interaction between the policy elements to me clearly in all of your speeches and make sure to have good extensions. I actually like this arguments quite a bit compared to most other LD styles.
Extension: Don't just say extend X card, give me the author, year, function in the round as well as AT LEAST the tagline and probably a quick summary of the card. This is critical for high speaks.
Tricks/Skepticism/Generally bad impact turns (Sexism good, homophobia good, etc.): I will never evaluate these. Don't even try.
Prep: I will stop prep when you remove your flash drive / get ready to email your opponent.
I give high speaks for:
- Clear overview in rebuttal speeches
- Clear delivery
- Good time allocation/good word economy
- Good extensions
I give low speaks for:
- Bad impact turns i.e. sexism good, racism good, etc
- Rudeness to competitor
- BLATANT In-round discrimination (I will stop the round if this happens and report it to tab, you will probably get 0 and a loss)
- Spreading even though I've asked you not too
- Ignoring "CLEAR" / "SLOW"
Kathy Wang Paradigm
now that multiple people have subtweeted me i guess it is time to properly update this paradigm on tabroom. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Conflicts: stuyvesant (school), quarry lane sk, needham zl, lexington jg, colleyville cw, cambridge rindge and latin ag & mb, american heritage boca delray nt
Background: i debated LD for stuyvesant from 2012-2016. i currently debate for the nyu policy team. i'm an assistant to the ld director at vbi. as a debater in hs i read a lot of policy-type arguments and soft-left affs and i now read more radical ks in college with a smattering of policy, if that matters to anyone. my primary judging background is in lincoln douglas debate -- i've judged literally hundreds of rounds there, but there's a smattering of policy here and there when i'm needed. either way, this paradigm should be applicable. here's a link to my judging record w speaks and all if anyone's morbidly curious. feel free to call me kathy, she/her pronouns.
email chain: email@example.com
General/tl;dr: i find that my stance in debate is one of the least intervention. obviously it's impossible to be perfectly tab, but i won't needlessly impose anything ideologically on the round, with an exception for blatantly offensive or terrible things. try to have a good time and i'll be happy with whatever you do. i try my best not to screw up really bad but hey, i'm not perfect!
i'll lift a little from lawrence zhou's paradigm to describe decisionmaking: "I evaluate rounds by attempting to construct two separate RFDs, one for the aff, one for the neg. The RFD that I feel is the most logical, requires the least intervention, and most consistent with the arguments made in the round is the one I go with."
in addition, i care a lot about safety in round. debate can be an space for people as young as like, 13 or 14 to be wading through. it has a lot of power in being a very personal space but that can get p violent and unhealthy. if you are uncomfortable or unsafe at any time, please let me know -- feel free to even mouth "stop this round" at me if you're uncomfortable vocalizing it and i'll stop the round and begin a discussion. don't worry about feeling bad or feeling under the spotlight. i'll do my best for that not to happen. i think debate is certainly a special place, for good or for bad, and so comfortable environments for everyone in a round are extremely important to me. if ya only got a few years here, might as well make it enjoyable.
also !! please stop misgendering ppl in round !!
1) do you care if i defend the topic?: no.
2) do you care if i read t?: no. i've judged a lot of clash of civs rounds and gone both ways.
3) sit or stand?: whatever makes you most comfortable.
4) why do you keep looking left?: idk to hear you better i hear better out of my right ear so the ear faces you.
5) do you disclose speaks?: if i remember. i reserve the right to say no. if i do, usually at least one of y'all really doesn't wanna know.
6) how speaks?: ld average is a 28.5. haven't worked it out yet for policy.
7) tech or truth? tech. my threshold is that if i can re-explain an argument in the rfd, it's good enough to vote on.
8) anything you refuse to listen to?: blatantly offensive stuff like racism good or the sorts, double win/loss, "give me [x] speaks" arguments.
9) trigger warnings?: give them and be ready to adjust if your opponent is not okay. please give me a heads up for discussions of mental health and suicide that are articulated in a personal manner. you can read it, i'd just like a moment.
a shortcut to my understanding: LARP/Ks > Performance/High theory > Theory/Phil/Tricks.
please slow down for tags or author names. nobody likes blazing through things. add me to the email chain, but i won't flow it during the speech bc y'all should be clear!
LARP/Straight Policy: i enjoy these debates more than people think i do! doing traditional policy style stuff was very fun for me in high school. i won't be super read up on specific nuances (especially at the beginning of topics) so err on over-explaining context if you want to go for these. policy v policy rounds, in general, do not have as much ev comparison or weighing as they really ought to, so keep an ear out for that as well.
Kritiks: yup, that's fine! i think k debate is valuable and when it's done well, i really really enjoy it. i think i'm pretty well read in most k literature (feel free to double check though!), but here's a pretty important rule of thumb: if you think you are the only person in the pool (or even debate as a whole) to read your position, tech implications need to be explained because i tend to not enjoy voting on warrantless args :( this goes for more analytic phil stuff and high theory as well -- just because something sounds complicated does not mean you can skimp on a warrant for its implications and i've noticed debaters tend to forget that!
Analytic Phil: white people philosophy is kinda hard for me to get lol. i'll listen to it & have judged surprisingly many phil rounds so i think i'm developing an understanding of basic LD phil just from exposure, but it's not really my area of the library. if you want to go techy on the phil debate, please make sure there exists some sort of framing mechanism that makes sense and a ballot implication under it -- a lot of the time phil debates get swarmed in handling framing nuances and not a lot on substance and that's really hard to handle. also please slow down on those analytic kant frameworks please.
Theory: fine. i'm getting really frustrated with a lot of theory rounds because it's very difficult to evaluate without intervening somewhere, since a lot of them (especially 1ar theory rounds) are just not fleshed out -- in situations like that, there needs to be more emphasis on in-round impacting and how things break down on a big picture level. tech is good but make sure your tech matters.
defaults: comparative worlds (no, andrew, this doesn't mean you HAVE to read a policy advocacy, just that it's a comparative question between what's better: aff or neg.), drop the arg, reasonability, no rvis, presume whatever is closer to the status quo.
Tricks/A prioris: i mean, i'll listen to them, but anything i don't catch isn't in the decision and you gotta be clearer. i will be preeeeetty unimpressed if you run this kind of stuff against a novice. also, don't be a jerk. you know what an a priori is.
anyways, thanks for reading! do whatever it takes to make debate a rewarding space for you because you deserve to have a good and safe time in this activity. feel free to reach out to me for any other questions or concerns, about this paradigm or even if you just need a friend. i hope you find the strength to be the best and bravest you that you can be. good luck & have fun!
Linnea Warburton Paradigm
I debated LD for four years at Lexington High School, attending both circuit and local tournaments. I graduated high school in 2016, so its my third year out. So at this point, I have no idea what you kids are up to these days.
As a debater I ran mostly kritiks, but feel free to run what you are most comfortable with. However, I never enjoyed theory as a debater so I cannot promise that I will be able to make the right decision in a convoluted theory round. Here are some other things to keep in mind.
1. Evidence integrity is very, very important to me. If your opponent abuses evidence and you run theory against them, I will be very convinced. If your evidence is bad and the entire round hinges upon it, that will not look good for you.
2. Please no frivolous theory. But if there is actual abuse I will vote for it.
3. Please speak clearly and enunciate. Spreading is fine but if I cannot understand it I will not be doing work for you on the flow.
4. I love kritiks. I especially love a kritikal framework with a plan.
5. I am absolutely fine with non topical advocacies, as long as they are not abusive. I like when they are disclosed, and have a specific methodology, and other things that make them positions that can be engaged with in the round.
6. I do not love tricks or spikes. The aff can give reasons for why they should get the Rvi in the aff, but other than that I would try to limit them. How about for just this round you take out your spikes and add another card or framework justification instead?
7. You must be respectful of other debaters in the round. You may yell loudly, but please do not spit.
8. I think that trigger warnings are probably a good idea. If you think one may be necessary, I would suggest giving it.
If you want high speaker points, have a good strategy, speak clearly, and be respectful.
Dongling Wu Paradigm
As a parent, I judged VLD, NLD, and PF tournaments, such as State Final, Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Big Lex, etc. in the last 4 years. I am well versed on the elements in traditional LD debate with background knowledge in philosophy, politics, economics, legal, religion and so forth within traditional LD debate format. I focus on the logical arguments and clear delivery of messages in your framework and contentions. I am not very familiar with progressive debate, and I will give low speaker points for spreading.
Ken Wu* Paradigm
I am a parent/lay judge with limited judging experience.
DO NOT spread on me. If I cannot follow your argument, then I won't be able to judge you and you will be at disadvantaged.
1. clearly state your value criteria, contentions
2. make concise, clear and logical argument. link your argument, point out voting issues
3. Be respectful in cross.
4. stay on topic. do not digress too far, or if you do, you need to be able to link back to your argument
1. No offensive language or remark
2. No spreading
Paul Zhou Paradigm
Can't Judge: Stuyvesant, Lexington
Background: I debated for 4 years at Lexington and competed almost exclusively on the national circuit.
I coached for Stuyvesant from 2014-2017 and also helped out some former students for TOC 2018. I haven't judged since that tournament and have 0 content knowledge about the topic.
I think part of what makes debate great is its incredible openness. Given that fact, I am fine with speed, theory, policy-style argumentation, dense framework arguments, kritiks, performance, tricks, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Debate is your game. Play it how you want to.
Feel free to message me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Some judges that influenced me: Sam Azbel