Heart of Texas Invitational
2017 — Dallas, TX/US
Megan Boyd Paradigm
For email chains and/or any questions: email@example.com
I am open to both traditional and progressive styles. My only preference is that you debate the style that is most comfortable for you.
Framing: Please give me lens through which to view the round. If you don't give me any framing, I'm either going to vote based off your opponent's framing, or worst case scenario something completely arbitrary. It's incredibly difficult to judge a debate with two entirely different impacts and zero weighing mechanism. Please, please, please don't waste your time reading me definitions for literally every single word in the resolution.
Theory: This is public forum, I truly believe you have no time to read incredibly progressive and complex arguments here. If you want to, I will listen. However, keep in mind I am now four years out and have not kept up with the literature. With that being said, basic arguments relating to topicality, reasonability, and competing interps are always welcome.
CP/K/Aff Advocacy: Sure. I personally think the time constraints of PF make it hard to do any of these things, but that doesn't mean you can't pull it off in an abbreviated sense.
Flow: Now for what you all really came here for, I do not expect the second speaking team to extend offense in the first rebuttal. If you have time to extend offense, more power to you. I understand that four minutes is an incredibly short amount of time to attack your opponent's case then literally defend against all their attacks. This was literally never an issue when I debated and don't know who decided the second speaking team has to work twice as hard to win the round. If you actually want to waste your breath calling out your opponent in your two minute speech for not extending offense I will literally sit there and stare at you until you actually say something worthwhile. Your summary is your second, and final rebuttal. I expect you to take 1 or 2 (3 if you're fast) of the round's biggest arguments at this point. The final focus is not meant for line by line debate. At this point, hand me clear voters and call it a day.
Speed: Chances are if you are spreading in PF you're literally just doing it for clout points you won't get. Mind you, I'm not saying you cannot speak fast. I understand how short four minutes is to get through a lot of information. Speak as fast as you'd like, but I will tell you to stop if I nobody can discern a word you're saying.
Speaker Points: I don't hand out 29s or 30s. If you're looking for presentation points, I suggest you go ahead and strike me right now. If you have a pretty voice, but terrible argumentation skills I'm not your girl. A 29 from me is rare, but very possible. My range is generally 27.25-29.25. I don't tolerate racism, sexism, misogyny, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, the list goes on. I will dock your speaks for those issues. If your opponent calls you out, you might even lose the round. If it's utterly abhorrent I will stop the round.
Lastly, I will not do any work for you. I'm not here to babysit you, or connect any dots that you may have missed. It is your job, and your job alone, to tell me why I should vote for you.
Darren Collins Paradigm
I consider myself a tabula rasa judge, and will vote on anything if given a proper rationale and justification. I consider debate a game. That said, I am more familiar with policy arguments then critical ones. I place a high value on analytics and people who actually apply cards and arguments instead of reading large banks of cards with little application or reasoning. Please weigh the round or present me with a framework under which you believe the round should be judged. Do not take tag lines at face value. Challenge evidence and internal links (CX/crossfires are a great opportunity to do this). Nothing is more frustrating then having to weigh cards/links/impacts that aren't really there but are never challenged by an opponent.
Speed is fine, but don't do speed for speed's sake. I believe speed can give people the ability to present many more positions and arguments and ultimately make the round more educational and enjoyable to judge. However, I have seen people spread who could have covered more ground by not spreading and people who become completely unintelligible when they pick up speed. If you aren't clear then I can't understand your arguments. Vary speed, tone, volume, or something else to differentiate between tags and cards, emphasize transitions, present important analysis, signpost, etc. If you are lynch-pinning your entire case on one card or a challenge to one card, it would probably benefit you (and certainly me) to make sure I understand the card completely.
Ks: I have voted on K arguments but make sure you explain the links well and place the argument in the context of the round for me. It is safe to say that these arguments may have a higher bar for me just because of less familiarity than what I have with traditional policy arguments.
Conditionality is fine as long as you can explain what it is accomplishing in a round (a test of competitiveness, etc.). That said, I won't let you kick a DA with a clear turn on it unless your opponent also argued non-uniqueness, no link, or some other reason justifying kicking it.
Be careful with flips and inconsistent arguments. I have seen countless number of teams this year argue link flips and impacts flips against the same DA/Advantage, or go for and win a huge link flip but then separately argue that there will be no impact. Make sure you are telling a consistent story and don't shoot yourself in the foot. Sometimes you can go for too much.
T- I seem to be voting for T frequently as of late, but you need to make a strong argument and devote attention to it throughout the round. If you don't treat it seriously, don't expect me to. You must explain how it is impacting (or not impacting) the current round, as theoretical T arguments have less impact on me.
Be civil and professional. Passion is great, but avoid being mean-spirited.
Matthew Koshak Paradigm
I graduated from Christ Episcopal School in Covington, Louisiana in 2014. I qualified to the TOC my senior year and competed on the national circuit for about a year and a half.
To win and get 30 speaks in front of me you need to do three things. First, provide me with a weighing mechanism of some sort. I have no preference as to the form that the mechanism takes, just make the mechanism clear. Second, you need to have some form of offense and that offense should be extended in round. My threshold for extensions is low. Lastly, I need you to do some comparative weighing between your offense and your opponent's offense. The offense can take any form you want it to. I am fine with all forms of argumentation although if you have specific questions you can look further down the paradigm.
Here are some things I don't like a whole lot:
- Recycled frameworks (whether they're the same old policy making frameworks that everyone is using or some recycled K framework cut from articles and books you've never heard before)
- Arguments read straight from backfiles you didn't cut
- Debates with little to no comparative weighing
- Not giving me voters at the end of your last speech
- Debates with competitive framing that has no framing debate or in which the framing debate is really muddled.
Just always be clear in front of me. Whether you are reading some abstract theoretical framework or a policy-making AC, just be clear about all the different parts of your case and the way those parts interact with your opponent's case.
If you are clear I am fine. I will yell "clear" as many times as I need to before you are clear enough to understand and if it is something else that is causing me not to be able to understand you (i.e. if you are going too fast or if you are speaking too softly) I will say something like "slower" or "louder".
I have a pretty low threshold for extensions. I just want to know where it is on the flow, I want a short summation of the argument, and I want you to tell me why it matters in the round. If it is a contested piece of evidence, you may want to go more in depth and extend the warrant, but if it's flat out dropped, you shouldn't spend a ridiculous amount of time on the act of extending itself. Impacting out is the most important part of this process to me.
Just be super clear about the parts of your case. Slow down on texts and important tags. I enjoy judging these rounds when they are done well but I think the whole "race to extinction" can get really old when everyone uses the same impact cards that don't really have much of a warrant, so just cut well warranted impact cards (that probably don't have to impact to extinction) and you can avoid my biggest pet peeve of larping. Just be super super clear when you are impacting out and weighing between impacts since that should be the most important parts of debates like this.
Don't rely on any knowledge you assume I have about what you're running. If you are running something critical, have an interesting and unique link story, a well-thought out framework, and a fleshed out alt (so don't just run a link of omission and some under-explained alt with a recycled framework). Please don't run something from backfiles you hadn't seen until ten minutes before this round or that you haven't actually cut anything in. You should be fluent enough in the literature so that you can explain it in your own words to me as the judge. If you are engaging in this type of debate, you are going to have to be doing some clear framing and you should be fleshing out the link(s) you are making. Also, I think critical affs (especially post-fiat critical affs) are really cool and should be run more often in debate and if you are running arguments like that, just be sure to do the framing work that that requires.
So, I never ran much theory as a debater. That being said, I harbor no ill-will towards theory. My threshold for answering theory goes down as the theory becomes more and more tedious and frivolous. I default competing interps. The easiest way to win a theory debate in front of me is to be really clear about the link story and to really crystalize the debate at the level of the standards. I tend to think fairness is an internal link to education but that it isn't a compelling voter independent of some link to education (however I can be persuaded otherwise). I am not the biggest fan of the strategy of running 3 or 4 shells to suck time but if you win one of the shells then I will vote for you.
- I don't like it when a debater who is clearly better than their opponent beats them into submission. Be respectful, please. The entire point of this activity is education and no one is educated when they get needlessly destroyed. If you do this, it will reflect in your speaks.
- I don't vote for morally reprehensible arguments. A lot of ambiguity is usually attached to that statement, but I will make it clear. If the argument you are making makes the debate space hostile for someone else, I will not vote for it. This doesn't mean I won't vote for skep, but I won't vote for "racism good", "sexism good", etc.
- I have no preference when it comes to in round composure.
- You should have something to give your opponent during round for them to read off of. I don't care if you flash the case, e-mail it, print it out, or write it by hand, there should be something for your opponent to look off of.
- No eating or drinking in CX time. That's super rude and it wastes time and I don't like it. You can eat or drink at any other point in the round.
- I'm fine with flex-prep and I will try to pay attention during it but I can't promise I will so you should probably try to get concessions during CX time.
- I'm not a fan of blippy spikes and arguments. I can't flow them well and if I don't flow them they don't exist. You probably shouldn't run a strategy that relies heavily on these kinds of arguments.
- I give speaks based on strategy. I start at a 28 and you move up or down depending on how you approached clash in the round and the strategies you go for.
- Have fun and be substantive. I don't really care on what level the substance exists. Be courteous and don't make me feel uncomfortable with your treatment of each other and everything will be pretty good.
Hunter McCullough Paradigm
For me, the idea that the judge should remain impartial is very important. I've had long discussions about the general acceptability/desirability of specific debate arguments and practices (as has everybody, I'm sure), but I've found that those rarely influence my decisions. I've probably voted for teams without plans in framework debates more often than I've voted neg, and I've voted for the worst arguments I can imagine, even in close debates, if I thought framing arguments were won. While nobody can claim to be completely unbiased, I try very hard to let good debating speak for itself. That being said, I do have some general predispositions, which are listed below.
T-Theory - I tend to err aff on T and neg on most theory arguments. By that, I mean that I think that the neg should win a good standard on T in order to win that the aff should lose, and I also believe that theory is usually a reason to reject the argument and not the team.
- Conditional advocacies are good, but making contradictory truth claims is different. However, I generally think these claims are less damaging to the aff than the "they made us debate against ourselves" claim would make it seem. The best 2ACs will find ways of exploiting bad 1NC strategy, which will undoubtedly yield better speaker points than a theory debate, even if the aff wins.
- I kind of feel like "reasonability" and "competing interpretations" have become meaningless terms that, while everybody knows how they conceptualize it, there are wildly different understandings. In my mind, the negative should have to prove that the affirmative interpretation is bad, not simply that the negative has a superior interpretation. I also don't think that's a very high standard for the negative to be held to, as many interpretations (especially on this space topic) will be hot fiery garbage.
- My view of debates outside of/critical of the resolution is also complicated. While my philosophy has always been very pro-plan reading in the past, I've found that aff teams are often better at explaining their impact turns than the neg is at winning an impact that makes sense. That being said, I think that it's hard for the aff to win these debates if the neg can either win that there is a topical version of the affirmative that minimizes the risk of the aff's impact turns, or a compelling reason why the aff is better read as a kritik on the negative. Obviously there are arguments that are solved by neither, and those are likely the best 2AC impact turns to read in front of me.
CPs - I'm certainly a better judge for CP/DA debates than K v K debates. I particularly like strategic PICs and good 1NC strategies with a lot of options. I'd be willing to vote on consult/conditions, but I find permutation arguments about immediacy/plan-plus persuasive.
- I think the neg gets away with terrible CP solvency all the time. Affs should do a better job establishing what counts as a solvency card, or at least a solvency warrant. This is more difficult, however, when your aff's solvency evidence is really bad. - Absent a debate about what I should do, I will kick a counterplan for the neg and evaluate the aff v. the squo if the CP is bad/not competitive
- I don't think the 2NC needs to explain why severence/intrinsicness are bad, just win a link. They're bad.
- I don't think perms are ever a reason to reject the aff.
- I don't think illegitimate CPs are a reason to vote aff.
Disads - Run them. Win them. There's not a whole lot to say.
- I'd probably vote on some sort of "fiat solves" argument on politics, but only if it was explained well.
- Teams that invest time in good, comparative impact calculus will be rewarded with more speaker points, and likely, will win the debate. "Disad/Case outweighs" isn't a warrant. Talk about your impacts, but also make sure you talk about your opponents impacts. "Economic collapse is real bad" isn't as persuasive as "economic collapse is faster and controls uniqueness for the aff's heg advantage".
Ks - My general line has always been that "I get the K but am not well read in every literature". I've started to realize that that statement is A) true for just about everybody and B) entirely useless. It turns out that I've read, coached, and voted for Ks too often for me to say that. What I will say, however, is that I certainly focus my research and personal reading more on the policy side, but will generally make it pretty obvious if I have no idea what you're saying.
- Make sure you're doing link analysis to the plan. I find "their ev is about the status quo" arguments pretty persuasive with a permutation.
- Don't think that just because your impacts "occur on a different level" means you don't need to do impact calculus. A good way to get traction here is case defense. Most advantages are pretty silly and false, point that out with specific arguments about their internal links. It will always make the 2NR easier if you win that the aff is lying/wrong.
- I think the alt is the weakest part of the K, so make sure to answer solvency arguments and perms very well.
- If you're aff, and read a policy aff, don't mistake this as a sign that I'm just going to vote for you because I read mostly policy arguments. If you lose on the K, I'll vote neg. Remember, I already said I think your advantage is a lie. Prove me wrong.
Case - Don't ignore it. Conceding an advantage on the neg is no different than conceding a disad on the aff. You should go to case in the 1NC, even if you just play defense. It will make the rest of the debate so much easier.
- If you plan to extend a K in the 2NR and use that to answer the case, be sure you're winning either a compelling epistemology argument or some sort of different ethical calculus. General indicts will lose to specific explanations of the aff absent either good 2NR analysis or extensions of case defense.
- 2As... I've become increasingly annoyed with 2ACs that pay lip service to the case without responding to specific arguments or extending evidence/warrants. Just reexplaining the advantage and moving on isn't sufficient to answer multiple levels of neg argumentation.
Other notes -
- Really generic backfile arguments (Ashtar, wipeout, etc) won't lose you the round, but don't expect great speaks. I just think those arguments are really terrible, (I can't describe how much I hate wipeout debates) and bad for debate.
- Impact turn debates are awesome, but can get very messy. If you make the debate impossible to flow, I will not like you. Don't just read cards in the block, make comparisons about evidence quality and uniqueness claims. Impact turn debates are almost always won by the team that controls uniqueness and framing arguments, and that's a debate that should start in the 2AC.
Paperless debate - I don't think you need to take prep time to flash your speech to your opponent, but it's also pretty obvious when you're stealing prep, so don't do it. If you want to use viewing computers, that's fine, but only having one is unacceptable. The neg needs to be able to split up your evidence for the block. It's especially bad if you want to view their speeches on your viewing computer too. Seriously, people need access to your evidence.
Clipping - I've decided enough debates on clipping in the last couple of years that I think it's worth putting a notice in my philosophy. If a tournament has reliable internet, I will insist on an email chain and will want to be on that email chain. I will, at times, follow along with the speech document and, as a result, am likely to catch clipping if it occurs. I'm a pretty non-confrontational person, so I'm unlikely to say anything about a missed short word at some point, but if I am confident that clipping has occurred, I will absolutely stop the debate and decide on it. I'll always give debaters the benefit of the doubt, and provide an opportunity to say where a card was marked, but I'm pretty confident of my ability to distinguish forgetting to say "mark the card" and clipping. I know that there is some difference of opinion on who's responsibility it is to bring about a clipping challenge, but I strongly feel that, if I know for certain that debaters are not reading all of their evidence, I have not only the ability but an obligation to call it out.
Finally, here is a short list of general biases.
- - The status quo should always be an option in the 2NR (Which doesn't necessarily mean that the neg get's infinite flex. If they read 3 contradictory positions, I can be persuaded that it was bad despite my predisposition towards conditionality. It does mean that I will, absent arguments against it, judge kick a counterplan and evaluate the case v the squo if the aff wins the cp is bad/not competitive)
- - Warming is real and science is good (same argument, really)
- - The aff gets to defend the implementation of the plan as offense against the K, and the neg gets to read the K
- - Timeframe and probability are more important than magnitude (because everything causes extinction anyways)
- - Predictable limits are key to both fairness and education
- - Consult counterplans aren't competitive. Conditions is arguable.
- - Rider DA links are not intrinsic
- - Utilitarianism is a good way to evaluate impacts
- - The aff should defend a topical plan
- - Death and extinction are bad
If you have questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Melin Paradigm
Email chains are good. Include me email@example.com
**This PF Part used to be at the bottom of the paradigm but for TOC 2020 I have moved it up**
1. You must email/flash/give a copy of your cases (and evidence in later speeches) to your opponents prior to the beginning of your speech. Asking to see cards outside of prep time is a bad practice. We should either be in speech time, prep time or moving from prep time to speech time. The amount of time being wasted and prep being stolen is ridiculous. This is not negotiable and if you refuse I will dock whatever speaker points I feel is appropriate.
2. You may not read paraphrased evidence and expect me to evaluate it. I will not give any weight to unwarranted arguments like paraphrased claims. None.
3. I will listen to disclosure arguments and theory arguments about bad evidentiary practices.
Debate Coach @ Coppell 9th Grade Center and Coppell High School (2018- )
Mean Green Comet Debate Institute -Director of LD (2019 - )
Previously coached teams: Grapevine and Colleyville (2017-2018), Law Magnet (2015-2017), Hockaday (2009-2014), Southlake Carroll (2006-2009), Colleyville and Grapevine (2005-2006).
I debated for Grapevine High School, graduating in 1997. I judged debate for a few years after that before taking some time off for grad school. In have been a classroom teacher and debate coach since 2007. I was an LDer in high school but competed in policy at some tournaments junior and senior year. I also debated for UT Austin for one year. While most of my time coaching has been spent focusing on LD, I began coaching policy debate regularly in 2015 when I worked at Law Magnet. I coached the policy kids at Grapevine last year and now (2018-2019)coach policy at Coppell and Coppell 9.
I think debate operates in a unique place in the high school experience, where it serves as a crucible for the development of advocacy skills and critical engagement that is not replicated anywhere else. I love this activity and want each successive generation to be able to enjoy it. As such, be good to one another! Take care of our space and leave it better than the way you found it. Come back and give back if debate has given you a space to develop yourself.
1. Please forward a well-developed ballot story.
2. Tell me what you want me to vote on.
3. Compare evidence - this doesn’t happen enough and it’s usually what close debates depend on to resolve.
4. K aff’s - I default to believing that K aff's should still be affirmative arguments. I think switch-side debate is good and develops a portable skill that other activities do not. K aff's should forward counter-interpretations as needed. I am willing to vote on framework. That being said I am unimpressed with teams that run framework but never go for T in other debates.
5. Counterplans - when they are case-specific they are great less specific is obviously less good. I am not thrilled by the 50 states cp or consult cp’s generally. PiCs are fine. The aff should have to defend their plan.
6. I prefer line-by-line debate more than long overviews. Too many rebuttals I’ve seen recently spend a ton of time explaining arguments in overviews that should just be done on the flow. Numbering arguments and following the order of your opponents is preferable or at least be explicit when re-grouping the flow.
7. I cannot flow a string of unending analytics with no time to type even if its in perfect outline form in your speech doc. This means slow down on theory arguments, 2ac blocks of text that you have read a lot of times but I am hearing for the first time, etc. I will not vote on what I don't catch.
8. I will be following along with the evidence read in the debate on my computer. I will not be on Facebook or otherwise doing things that would take my attention away from the debate. I wish more judges would commit to paying attention to every debate.
LD specific (also see notes above)
Theory is over-used in LD. You will always have links of omission to generate violations. I have a high threshold for frivolous theory.
RVI's can be justified but not on topicality. That said ditching substance and going for 4 minutes of RVI in the 1ar is not the A-strat in most rounds in front of me.
Jenn Melin Paradigm
Jenn (Jennifer) Miller-Melin, Jenn Miller, Jennifer Miller, Jennifer Melin, or some variation thereof. :)
Email for email chains:
If you walk into a round and ask me some vague question like, "Do you have any paradigms?", I will be annoyed. If you have a question about something contained in this document that is unclear to you, please do not hesitate to ask that question.
-Formerly assistant coach for Lincoln-Douglas debate at Hockaday, Marcus, Colleyville, and Grapevine. Currently assisting at Grapevine High School and Colleyville Heritage High School.
I was a four year debater who split time between Grapevine and Colleyville Heritage High Schools. During my career, I was active on the national circuit and qualified for both TOC and NFL Nationals. Since graduating in 2004, I have taught at the Capitol Debate Institute, UNT Mean Green Debate Workshops, TDC, and the University of Texas Debate Institute, the National Symposium for Debate, and Victory Briefs Institute. I have served as Curriculum Director at both UTNIF and VBI.
In terms of debate, I need some sort standard to evaluate the round. I have no preference as to what kind of standard you use (traditional value/criterion, an independent standard, burdens, etc.). The most important thing is that your standard explains why it is the mechanism I use to decide if the resolution is true or false. As a side note on the traditional structure, I don't think that the value is of any great importance and will continue to think this unless you have some well warranted reason as to why I should be particularly concerned with it. My reason is that the value doesn't do the above stated, and thus, generally is of no aid to my decision making process.
That said, debates often happen on multiple levels. It is not uncommon for debaters to introduce a standard and a burden or set of burdens. This is fine with me as long as there is a decision calculus; by which I mean, you should tell me to resolve this issue first (maybe the burden) and that issue next (maybe the standard). Every level of analysis should include a reason as to why I look to it in the order that you ask me to and why this is or is not a sufficient place for me to sign my ballot. Be very specific. There is nothing about calling something a "burden" that suddenly makes it more important than the framework your opponent is proposing. This is especially true in rounds where it is never explained why this is the burden that the resolution or a certain case position prescribes.
Another issue relevant to the standard is the idea of theory and/or off-case/ "pre-standard" arguments. All of the above are fine but the same things still apply. Tell me why these arguments ought to come first in my decision calculus. The theory debate is a place where this is usually done very poorly. Things like "education" or "fairness" are standards and I expect debaters to spend effort developing the framework that transforms into such.
l try to listen to any argument, but making the space unsafe for other bodies is unacceptable. I reserve the right to dock speaks or, if the situation warrants it, refuse to vote on arguments that commit violence against other bodies in the space.
I hold all arguments to the same standard of development regardless of if they are "traditional" or "progressive". An argument has a structure (claim, warrant, and impact) and that should not be forgotten when debaterI ws choose to run something "critical". Warrants should always be well explained. Certain cards, especially philosophical cards, need a context or further information to make sense. You should be very specific in trying to facilitate my understanding. This is true for things you think I have read/should have read (ie. "traditional" LD philosophy like Locke, Nozick, and Rawls) as well as things that I may/may not have read (ie. things like Nietzsche, Foucault, and Zizek). A lot of the arguments that are currently en vogue use extremely specialized rhetoric. Debaters who run these authors should give context to the card which helps to explain what the rhetoric means.
One final note, I can flow speed and have absolutely no problem with it. You should do your best to slow down on author names and tags. Also, making a delineation between when a card is finished and your own analysis begins is appreciated. I will not yell "clear" so you should make sure you know how to speak clearly and quickly before attempting it in round.
I will always disclose unless instructed not to do so by a tournament official. I encourage debaters to ask questions about the round to further their understanding and education. I will not be happy if I feel the debater is being hostile towards me and any debater who does such should expect their speaker points to reflect their behavior.
I am a truth tester at heart but am very open to evaluating the resolution under a different paradigm if it is justified and well explained. That said, I do not understand the offense/defense paradigm and am increasingly annoyed with a standard of "net benefits", "consequentialism", etc. Did we take a step back about 20 years?!? These seem to beg the question of what a standard is supposed to do (clarify what counts as a benefit). About the only part of this paradigm that makes sense to me is weighing based on "risk of offense". It is true that arguments with some risk of offense ought to be preferred over arguments where there is no risk but, lets face it, this is about the worst type of weighing you could be doing. How is that compelling? "I might be winning something". This seems to only be useful in a round that is already giving everyone involved a headache. So, while the offense/defense has effectively opened us up to a different kind of weighing, it should be used with caution given its inherently defensive nature.
Theory seems to be here to stay. I seem to have a reputation as not liking theory, but that is really the sound bite version of my view. I think that theory has a place in debate when it is used to combat abuse. I am annoyed when theory is used as a tactic because a debater feels she is better at theory than her opponent. I really like to talk about the topic more than I like to wax ecstatic about what debate would look like in the world of flowers, rainbows, and neat flows. That said, I will vote on theory even when I am annoyed by it. I tend to look at theory more as an issue of reasonabilty than competing interpretations. As with the paradigm discussion above, I am willing to listen to and adjust my view in round if competing interpretations is justified as how I should look at theory. Over the last few years I have become a lot more willing to pull the trigger on theory than I used to be. That said, with the emergence of theory as a tactic utilized almost every round I have also become more sympathetic to the RVI (especially on the aff). I think the Aff is unlikely to be able to beat back a theory violation, a disad, and a CP and then extend from the AC in 4 minutes. This seems to be even more true in a world where the aff must read a counter-interp and debate on the original interp. All of this makes me MUCH more likely to buy an RVI than I used to be. Also, I will vote on theory violations that justify practices that I generally disagree with if you do not explain why those practices are not good things. It has happened a lot in the last couple of years that a debater has berated me after losing because X theory shell would justify Y practice, and don't I think Y practice would be really bad for debate? I probably do, but if that isn't in the round I don't know how I would be expected to evaluate it.
Finally, I can't stress how much I appreciate a well developed standards debate. Its fine if you choose to disregard that piece of advice, but I hope that you are making up for the loss of a strategic opportunity on the standards debate with some really good decisions elsewhere. You can win without this, but you don't look very impressive if I can't identify the strategy behind not developing and debating the standard.
I cannot stress enough how tired I am of people running away from debates. This is probably the biggest tip I can give you for getting better speaker points in front of me, please engage each other. There is a disturbing trend (especially on Sept/Oct 2015) to forget about the 1AC after it is read. This makes me feel like I wasted 6 minutes of my life, and I happen to value my time. If your strategy is to continuously up-layer the debate in an attempt to avoid engaging your opponent, I am probably not going to enjoy the round. This is not to say that I don't appreciate layering. I just don't appreciate strategies, especially negative ones, that seek to render the 1AC irrelevant to the discussion and/or that do not ever actually respond to the AC.
Debate has major representation issues (gender, race, etc.). I have spent years committed to these issues so you should be aware that I am perhaps hypersensitive to them. We should all be mindful of how we can increase inclusion in the debate space. If you do things that are specifically exclusive to certain voices, that is a voting issue.
Being nice matters. I enjoy humor, but I don't enjoy meanness. At a certain point, the attitude with which you engage in debate is a reason why I should choose to promote you to the next outround, etc.
You should not spread analytics and/or in depth analysis of argument interaction/implications at your top speed. These are probably things that you want me to catch word for word. Help me do that.
Theory is an issue of reasonability. Let's face it, we are in a disgusting place with the theory debate as a community. We have forgotten its proper place as a check on abuse. "Reasonability invites a race to the bottom?" Please, we are already there. I have long felt that theory was an issue of reasonability, but I have said that I would listen to you make arguments for competing interps. I am no longer listening. I am pretty sure that the paradigm of competing interps is largely to blame with for the abysmal state of the theory debate, and the only thing that I have power to do is to take back my power as a judge and stop voting on interps that have only a marginal net advantage. The notion that reasonability invites judge intervention is one of the great debate lies. You've trusted me to make decisions elsewhere, I don't know why I can't be trusted to decide how bad abuse is. Listen, if there is only a marginal impact coming off the DA I am probably going to weigh that against the impact coming off the aff. If there is only a marginal advantage to your interp, I am probably going to weigh that against other things that have happened in the round.
Grammar probably matters to interpretations of topicality. If one reading of the sentence makes sense grammatically, and the other doesn't that is a constraint on "debatability". To say the opposite is to misunderstand language in some pretty fundamental ways.
Truth testing is still true, but it's chill that most of you don't understand what that means anymore. It doesn't mean that I am insane, and won't listen to the kind of debate you were expecting to have. Sorry, that interp is just wrong.
Framework is still totally a thing. Impact justifying it is still silly. That doesn't change just because you call something a "Role of the Ballot" instead of a criterion.
Util allows you to be lazy on the framework level, but it requires that you are very good at weighing. If you are lazy on both levels, you will not make me happy.
Flashing is out of control. You need to decide prior to the round what the expectations for flashing/emailing are. What will/won't be done during prep time, what is expected to be flashed, etc. The amount of time it takes to flash is extending rounds by an unacceptable amount. If you aren't efficient at flashing, that is fine. Paper is still totally a thing. Email also works.
Dawn Paciotti Paradigm
Speaking fast does not make you a better debater. I can tolerate a clipped conversational pace. If you are double breathing and blurring words together, I will say clear. If you are in an outround and the other two judges are okay with speed, you may be tempted to go faster. It's certainly your choice, but if I don't understand your arguments, I'm not going to vote on them. I have a higher tolerance for speed in the 1AR. Speeding through cases will just annoy me.
In terms of argumentation, I am open to anything that isn't offensive. If you're trying to make an argument based on debate jargon you will want to explain it to me. Just because you think you sound cool saying something doesn't mean I am going to vote on it. I do not vote off tricks on the flow. Not every dropped argument actually matters. On the flipside, don't ignore arguments. LISTEN to your opponent. Respond to them.
I vote more on the big picture - overall impacts, overall strategy. I want to see you show why your side of the resolution is comparatively better than your opponent's. I do not like overwrought impacts. I am going to buy the impact about a million people that has a high probability of happening and a strong link chain over an existential impact that has a shady link story. If you think your opponent's impact is ridiculous, I probably do, too. Point that out to me so I can vote on yours instead.
Lastly, be respectful of me and of your opponent. If I am cringing by how rude you are in CX, you won't be getting high speaks. If you disregard my preferences on speed, that's another route to lower speaks. I don't vote for bullies. I vote for debaters. If you have questions about how to get better after the round, you can ask me. If you want to re-debate the round, I will not be tolerant. You had a chance to communicate to me, and if you lost, you lost. I am not going to change my mind, and arguing with me will just mean I will be in a bad mood if I ever have to judge you again. I judge often enough you want to be the person I smile when I see.
Claudia Ribera Paradigm
Katy Taylor '17
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cal/NDT/TOC 2020 conflict update: Coppell DR and Rutgers-Newark AH
I have 0 rounds on the space topic.
Previous Conflicts: Houston EP, Alief Kerr EG, Guyer CM, Woodlands MR, Cy-Fair TW and Katy Taylor.
Background: I am currently a junior at Texas and I have been coaching high school CX and LD for the past three years. I was coached by Elijah Smith (Emporia SW) in high school and he taught me everything I know about debate. In the past, I've had my fair share of reading and/or coaching teams going for policy arguments and/or critical arguments. I debated nationally in high school and have coached kids in both events to deep elims of tournaments, round robins, and accumulate bids to the TOC.
Overall thoughts: I believe it's important to be consistent on explicit labeling, generating offense, and extending some sort of impact framing because this is what ultimately frames my ballot. Debate is place for you to do you so don’t choose your strategy based on what I read during my career because I prefer you to debate what you enjoy reading. I will make my decisions on what was presented to me in a debate and what was on my flow. I am unlikely to decide debates based on my personal feelings about content/style of argument than the quality of execution and in-round performance. It is up to the debaters to present and endorse whichever model of debate they want to invest in i.e. the USFG, grassroots movement, etc. Have fun and best of luck!
Some people who I agree with and/or have been heavily influenced by in debate: Dr. Shanara Reid-Brinkley, Daryl Burch, Amber Kelsie, Devane Murphy, Taylor Brough, Ignacio Evans, Greg Zoda, Jon Sharp, Michael Harrington, and Chris Randall.
Case is incredibly underutilized and should be an essential part to every negative strategy. You need to have some sort of mechanism that generates offense/defense for you.
Policy vs. Policy
While I've had experience reading policy arguments during my high school career, I don't really judge these debates as often as I would like during the year. This means prioritize the line by line, generate offense/defense, have comparative impact analysis, and be very clear in the 2NR/2AR on what my ballot should evaluate and prioritize first on the impact level debate.
Policy affs vs. K
I am most familiar with these types of debates. With that being said, I think the affirmative needs to prioritize framing i.e. the consequences of the plan under a util framework. There needs to be contestations between the aff framing versus the K's power of theory in order to disprove it, not desirable, or incoherent and why your impacts under the plan come first. Point of the flaws of the kritiks alternative and make solvency deficits. Aff teams need to answer the link arguments, read link defense, make perms and provide reasons/examples of why the plan is preferable/resolve material conditions. Use cross-x to clarify jargon and get the other team to make concessions about their criticism.
CP(s) need to have a clear plan text and have an external net benefit, otherwise I'm inclined to believe there is no reason why the cp would be better than the affirmative. There needs to be clear textual/function competition with the Aff or else the permutation becomes an easy way for me to vote. Same with most arguments, the more specific the better. The 2NR should generally be the counterplan with a DA/Case argument to supplement the net benefit. The 1AR + 2AR needs to have some offense against the counterplan because a purely defensive strategy makes it very hard to beat the counterplan. I enjoy an advantage counterplan/impact turn strategy when it’s applicable. I don't care for condo bad/good debate unless 3 or more cps are conditional.
Please have good evidence and read specific DAs. If you have good internal link and turns case analysis, your speaker points will be higher. For the aff, I think evidence comparison/callouts coupled with tricky strategies like impact turns or internal link turns helps you win these debates.
I don't really have a threshold on these arguments, but lean towards competing interps over reasonability unless told otherwise.
Comparative analysis between pieces of interpretation evidence wins and loses these debates – as you can probably tell, I err towards competing interpretations in these debates, but I can be convinced that reasonability is a better metric for interpretations, not for an aff. Having well-explained internal links to your limits/ground offense in the 2NR/2AR makes these debates much easier to decide, as opposed to a floating claims without warranted analysis. A caselist is required. I will not vote on for an RVI on T.
I like framework debates a lot more when they're developed in the 1NC/block, as opposed to being super blippy in constructives and then the entire 2NR. I lean more to competing interps than reasonability and believe that the neg should make sure to fully flesh out the link and internal link to your impact and actually make offensive arguments against fairness/education voters. Make strategic TVAs. Aff teams need to answer TVA well, not just say it "won't solve". Framework is about the model of debate the aff justifies, it’s not an argument why K affs are bad or the aff team are cheaters. If you’re going for framework as a way to exclude entire critical lit bases/structural inequalities/content areas from debate then we are not going to get along. I am persuaded by standards like limits or clash over fairness being an intrinsic good/better impact.
There are couple things you need to do to win: you need to explain the method of your aff, the nuanced framing of the aff, and the impacts that you claim to solve. You should have some sort of an advocacy statement or a role of the ballot for me to evaluate your impacts because this indicates how it links into your fw of the aff. If you’re going to read high theory affs, explain because all I hear is buzzwords that these authors use. Don’t assume I am an expert in this type of literature because I am not and I just have a basic understanding of it. If you don’t do any of these things, I have the right to vote neg on presumption.
K vs. K
I am always interested with these debates, but sometimes there are some missing components on both sides that make the debate harder to be resolved. I think presumption is underutilized by the neg and I think permutations are allowed in a methods debate. However, it is up to the teams in front of me to do this. There needs to be an explanation how your theory of power operates, why it can preclude your opponent’s, and how your method or approach is preferable and how you “resolve” X issues. Your rebuttals should include impact comparison, framing, link defense/offense, permutation(s), and solvency deficits.
K affs vs. T-Framework
You need a counter interp or counter model of debate and what debate looks like under this model, and then go for your impact turns or disads as net benefits to this. Going for only the net benefits/offense without explaining what your interpretation of what debate should look like will be difficult. The 2AC strategy of saying as many ‘disads’ to framework as possible without explaining or warranting any of them out is likely not going to be successful. Leveraging your aff as an impact turn to framework is always good. The more effectively voting aff can resolve the impact turn the easier it will be to get my ballot.
K vs. Policy affs
I went for the K in the almost every 2NR my senior year. I have been exposed to many different types of scholarship, but I am most familiar with structural criticisms (afropessimism and set col), psychoanalysis, capitalism, and anti-humanism kritiks. This form of debate is what I am most comfortable evaluating. However, it is important to note I have a reasonable threshold for each debater's explanation of whatever theory they present within the round, extensions of links, and impact framing. I need to understand what you are saying in order for me to vote for your criticism. You should have specific links to affirmatives because without it you will probably lose to "these are links to the squo" unless the other team doesn't answer it well. Link debate is a place where you can make strategic turns case/impact analysis. Make sure you have good impact comparison and weighing mechanisms and always have an external impact. The alt debate seems to be one of the most overlooked parts of the K and is usually never explained well enough. This means always explain the alt thoroughly and how it interacts with the aff. This is important time that the 2NR needs to dedicate time allocation for if you go for the alternative. If you choose not to go for the alternative and go for presumption, make sure you are actually winning an impact framing claim.
In order for you to get good speaks, I must understand what you are saying so clarity is key! I will yell clear three times before I stop flowing. You should make sure you have good word economy in your speeches, are extending fully fleshed out arguments in your speeches (e.g. claim, warrant, impact), and using your cross-x time effectively.
Maggie Zollo Paradigm
I currently coach LD, PF, and CX at A&M Consolidated, and did LD at Northland Christian in high school. If you're here for PF, skip to the third paragraph.
As a debater, I read a lot of plans, DAs, and CPs and so I like listening to them, but I'm cool with other off case positions, too. When it comes to Ks, I would really appreciate it if the position was clearly explained (especially in terms of ROB/ROJ and the layer of the debate it functions on) and cleanly extended throughout the round, since I may not be as familiar with some of the literature (especially if you're reading pomo type stuff). I won't vote on any argument that tries to justify unjustifiable things (the Holocaust, slavery, other forms of oppression). If you need clarification on what that means, feel free to ask. If you're reading a process CP I'll be more receptive to perms/theory against it.
I would prefer that you don't read frivolous theory in front of me, it bums me out. I know my definition of that is different than others, so feel free to ask for clarification before the round. I'm open to listening to T, but I'd honestly prefer to not have it become the only layer in the round/the only thing I have to vote off of. Same with RVIs. Also, I find myself voting for K's a lot more often in TvsK debates, so my threshold for "non-topical" affs is probably more forgiving than some. I default to reasonability if it's a situation of potential or frivolous theory but will go with competing interps if you justify it, which isn't hard to do, so please take the extra 15 or so seconds to do so if that's what you want to go with. Also, extend voters and drop the debater arguments please. Condo is fine when limited to one (or two in CX) positions, but feel free to take the time to explain otherwise in either direction. I think conditional K's can be kind of bad perceptually depending on what the pre-fiat impact is if there is one, or if there's a performative/different method-based aspect to it.
You'll get high speaker points if you speak clearly, extend arguments, and weigh, and you'll get low speaker points if you're rude and/or offensive to anyone in the room (I listen to CX, too, so be civil during that), especially if you're debating someone clearly out of their depth and you're obviously winning but you decide to go about it obnoxiously, or if you speak particularly unclearly. In more competitive rounds aka at bid tournaments, speaks will be more likely to be based off of strategy. If you go all in on T or theory when you don't need to, for example, there's a chance I'll dock speaks. You can read as fast as you want, please just be clear. I'll ask you to be clearer a few times, but eventually I'll just have to try my best with guessing if you don't listen, and that isn't good for anyone. Also, for PF, the 2nd speaking team should cover part of the case in the rebuttal speech, terminal defense is fine to extend, and line by line is alright up until the summary, arguably the final focus. Don't go for everything, have solid issue selection since y'all don't get the best time constraints.
Feel free to ask for clarification on any of these points before the round, or ask any more questions that you think could apply to the debate. Thanks for reading this!
My email is email@example.com, I would love to be added to the email chain.