Middle School TOC hosted by UK
2018 — KY/US
Hannah Allison Paradigm
Email chain: email@example.com -- please add me to the email chain
Always feel free to email me after the round and ask specific questions -- my goal is to help you learn as much as you can.
General Bullet Points
I love case debates -- I have no problem voting neg on presumption if you thoroughly destroy or turn the affirmative case.
I am very flow centric and will vote based on your arguments in the debate. I tend to fall on the tech over truth side of the spectrum, however the most compelling arguments are true arguments debated well. If you take care of the tech, and your arguments are solid, you're golden. A few good analytics will serve you far better than another card.
I am reasonable with prep-time, bathroom breaks, etc. Cross-ex should start within a few seconds of the speech ending. Prep ends when you're done prepping your doc. As long as you're not obviously stealing prep -- if it looks like you are, I will watch you closely and dock speaker points.
All rebuttals should close doors. There is a big difference between new explanation developing in rebuttals and brand new arguments. I hold the final rebuttals to a high standard of no new arguments.
Please make tags and switching between flows clear so that I can flow every argument you make. "And/next," and a bit slower for tags, and label flows with a slight pause when switching between them. Going off your road map is fine as long as you signpost. With that, if you tell me you're going to signpost, please signpost.
I don't make a habit of flowing cross-ex, but if something seems like it could become key later in the debate, or you clarify something that I found confusing, I will make a note of it on my flow.
I like assertive, opinionated, entertaining debaters, but there is a line between being assertive or funny, and being rude. Please don't cross that line. If it gets out of hand I will dock speaker points.
I tend to grant reasonability as the framing mechanism for close Topicality debates—a “good is good enough.” However, you still have to win the T flow for me to give you that framing.
I will vote on T-spec if it is done well, but it needs to be contextualized correctly in terms of what it does for debate and what it means for the effectiveness of their policy.
The K needs to win a specific link to the aff, and weigh their impacts against the aff. Not the impacts of the K in general, but the impacts that the aff uniquely causes. I find contextualized serial policy failure arguments persuasive. If your strat is to confuse the other team, I will probably be confused as well. Assume I don’t understand—bring your theory down to its most basic level and what that means in the context of the aff.
To beat it, tell me explicitly why it is most important for my ballot in that particular debate to do. That means why what you are doing is good, and why it belongs in debate and should receive my ballot. Show me what debate looks like in your world and I can feel comfortable voting for it.
To win it, tell me explicitly and contextually why your interpretation should be preferred, and if you are arguing that it is a prior question, why I should view the round that way. The more arguments and examples specifically contextualized to the round, the less chance you have of coming across as a whiny policy debater.
Caspar Arbeeny Paradigm
I debated for 4 years at Poly Prep and was relatively successful on the national circuit.
I now coach PF for Edgemont Jr/Sr HS in New York.
You know how you debate in front of a classic PF flow judge? Do that. (Weighing, Summary and final focus extensions, signposting, warrants etc.)
That said there are a few weird things about me.
0. I mostly decide debates on the link level. Links generate offense without impacts, impacts generate no offense without links. Teams that tell a compelling link story and clearly access their impact are incredibly likely to win my ballot. Extend an impact without a sufficient link at your own peril.
1. Don't run plans or advocacies unless you prove a large enough probability of the plan occuring to not make it not a plan but an advantage. (Read the Advocacies/Plans/Fiat section below).
2. Theory is important and cool, but only run it if it is justified.
3. Second summary has an obligation to extend defense, first summary does not.
4. I am not tab. My threshold for responses goes down the more extravagant an argument is. This can include incredibly dumb totally ridiculous impacts, link chains that make my head spin, or arguments that are straight up offensive.
5. I HATE THE TERM OFF TIME-ROADMAP. Saying that term lowers your speaks by .5 for every time you say it, just give the roadmap.
6. You should probably read dates. I don't think it justifies drop the debater but I think it justifies drop the arg/card.
7. I don't like independent offense in rebuttal, especially 2nd rebuttal. Case Turns/Prereqs/Weighing/Terminal Defense are fine, but new contention style offense is some real cheese. Speak faster and read it as a new contention in case as opposed to waiting until rebuttal to dump it on an unsuspecting opponent.
- Don’t extend through ink. If a team has made responses whether offensive or defensive they must be addressed if you want to go for the argument. NB: you should respond to ALL offensive responses put on your case regardless if you want to go for the argument.
- Collapse. Evaluating a hundred different arguments at the end of the round is frustrating and annoying, please boil it down to 1-4 points.
- Speech cohesion. All your speeches should resemble the others. I should be able to reasonably expect what is coming in the next speech from the previous speech. This is incredibly important especially in summary and final focus. It is so important in fact that I will not evaluate things that are not said in both the summary and final focus.
- Weighing. This is the key to my ballot. Tell me what arguments matter the most and why they do. If one team does this and the other team doesn’t 99/100 times I will vote for the team that did. The best teams will give me an overarching weighing mechanism and will tell me why their weighing mechanism is better than their opponents. NB: The earlier in the round this appears the better off you will be.
- Warrants. An argument without a warrant will not be evaluated. Even if a professor from MIT conducts the best study ever, you need to be able to explain logically why that study is true, without just reverting to “Because Dr. Blah Blah Blah said so.”
- Analysis vs. Evidence. Your speeches should have a reasonable balance of both evidence and analysis. Great logic is just as important as great evidence. Don’t just spew evidence or weak analysis at me and expect me to buy it. Tell me why the evidence applies and why your logic takes out an argument.
- Framework. I will default to a utilitarian calculus unless told to do otherwise. Please be prepared to warrant why the other framework should be used within the round.
- Turns. If you want me to vote off of a turn, I should hear about it in both the summary and final focus. I will not extend a turn as a reason to vote for you. (Unextended turns still count as ink, just not offense)
- Speed. Any speed you speak at should be fine as long as you are clear. Don't speak faster than this rebuttal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pg83oD0s3NU&feature=youtu.be&t=1253
- Advocacies/Plans/Fiat. I grant teams the weakest fiat you can imagine. The aff is allowed to say that the action done in the resolution is passed through congress or whatever governing body we are discussing. That is it. This means that you cannot fiat out of political conditions (i.e. CUTGO, elite influence, etc.) or say that the resolution means we will increase infrastructure spending by building 20th century community learning facilities in the middle of Utah. If you want to access plans and still win my ballot, you must prove a rock solid probability of the advocacy occurring in the real world.. (Note the following is just a guideline, other forms of proving thee following are ok as long as they actually successfully prove what they say will occur.) In an ideal world that means 3 things. First, you prove that there is a growing need for such action (i.e. If you want to run that we should build infrastructure in the form of low-income housing, you need to prove that we actually need more houses.). Second, you prove that the plan is politically likely (Bipartisan support doesn't mean anything, I want a bill on the house floor). Finally, you need to prove some sort of historical precedent for your action. If you are missing the first burden and it's pointed out, I will not by the argument on face. A lack in either of the latter 2 can be made up by strengthening the other. Of course, you can get around ALL of this by not reading any advocacies and just talking about things that are fundamentally inherent to the resolution.
- Squirrley Arguments. To a point being squirrely is ok, often times very good. I will never drop an argument on face but as an argument gets more extravagant my threshold for responses goes down. i.e. if on reparations you read an argument that reparations commodify the suffering of African Americans, you are a-ok. If you read an argument that says that The USFG should not take any action regarding African Americans because the people in the USFG are all secretly lizard people, the other team needs to do very little work for me to not evaluate it. A simple "WTF is this contention?" might suffice in rebuttal. NB: You will be able to tell if I think an argument is stupid.
- Defense Extensions. Some defense needs to be extended in both summary and final focus, such as a rebuttal overview that takes out an entire case. Pieces of defense such as uniqueness responses that are never responded to in summary may be extended from rebuttal to final focus to take out an argument that your opponents are collapsing on. NB: I am less likely to buy a terminally defensive extension from rebuttal to final focus if you are speaking second because I believe that it is the first speaker's job to do that in second summary and your opponent does not have an extra speech to address it.
- Signposting/Roadmaps. Signposting is necessary, roadmaps are nice. Just tell me what issues you are going to go over and when.
- Theory. Theory is the best way to check abuse in debate and is necessary to make sure unfair strategies are not tolerated. As a result of this I am a huge fan of theory in PF rounds but am not a fan of in using it as a way to just garner a cheap win off of a less experienced opponent. To avoid this, make sure there is a crystal clear violation that is explicitly checked for. It does not need to be presented as the classic "A is the interpretation, B is the violation, etc." but it does need to be clearly labeled as a shell. If theory is read in a round and there is a clear violation, it is where I will vote.
I give speaker points on both how fluid and convincing you are and how well you do on the flow. I will only give 30s to debaters that do both effectively. If you get below a 26 you probably did something unethical or offensive.
I may call for evidence in a few situations.
- One team tells me to.
- I can not make a decision within the round without evaluating a piece of evidence.
- I notice there is an inconsistency in how the evidence is used throughout the course of the debate and it is relevant to my decision. i.e. A piece of evidence changes from a card that identifies a problem to a magical catch-all solvency card.
- I have good reason to believe you miscut a card.
I encourage teams to ask questions about my RFD after the round and for teams to come and find me after the round is over for extra feedback. As long as you are courteous and respectful I will be happy to discuss the round with you.
Jack Ave Paradigm
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Affiliation: American Heritage Plantation, Poly Prep Country Day
Background: I competed for Okoboji (IA) and was at the TOC '13 in LD. I also debated policy in college the following year.
General: Debate rounds are about students so intervention should be minimized. I believe that my role in rounds is to be an educator, however, students should contextualize what that my obligation as a judge is. I default comparative worlds unless told otherwise. Slow down for interps and plan texts. I will say clear as many times as needed. Signpost and add me to your email chain, please.
High theory: 1
K: I really like K debate. I have trouble pulling the trigger on links of omission. Performative offensive should be linked to a method that you can defend. The alt is an advocacy and the neg should defend it as such. Knowing lit beyond tags = higher speaks. Please challenge my view of debate. I like learning in rounds.
Framework: 2013 LD was tricks, theory, and framework debate. I dislike blippy, unwarranted 'offense'. However, I really believe that good, deep phil debate is persuasive and underutilized on most topics. Most framework/phil heavy affs don't dig into literature deep enough to substantively respond to general K links and turns.
LARP: Big fan but don't assume I've read all hyper-specific topic knowledge.
Theory/T: Great, please warrant extensions and signpost. "Converse of their interp" is not a counter-interp.
Disclosure: Not really going to vote on disclosure theory unless you specifically warrant why their specific position should have been disclosed. If they are running a position relatively predictable, it is unlikely I will pull the trigger on disclosure theory.
Speaks: Make some jokes and be chill with your opponent. In-round strategy dictates range. I average 28.3-28.8.
Other thoughts: Plans/CPs should have solvency advocates. Talking over your opponent will harm speaks. Write down interps before extemping theory. When you extend offense, you need to weigh. Card clipping is an auto L25.
PF Paradigm: I am a flow judge. Offense should be extended in summary and the second rebuttal doesn't necessarily need to frontline what was said in first rebuttal (but in some cases, it definitely helps). Weighing in Summary and FF is key. I'll steal this line from my favorite judge, Thomas Mayes, "My ballot is like a piece of electricity, it takes the path of least resistance." I have a hard time voting on disclosure theory in PF. Have fun and be nice.
Shridhar Bharadwaj Paradigm
Padmanabh Bhatta Paradigm
Julia Bittencourt Paradigm
Stating something that contradicts what your opponents have said isn't debating; it's disagreeing. I look for the path of least resistance when I'm deciding a round.
If you misrepresent evidence I will drop you.
I'm not going to time you. If I catch you pausing your clock in the middle of the speech to get more time, I will stop flowing and dock your speaks :)
Debated in PF during all four years of HS for Bronx Science, Policy for a year at Emory.
Judged PF, LD, and Policy since like 2013.
David Brown Paradigm
Siobhan Connolly Paradigm
I coach beginners and novice students at Ivy Bridge Academy. I taught this topic, but a very basic version of it.
I'm not too strict on things. You'll win because you had the better case and presented it better, not because of some technicality. I don't care if you speak quickly, but don't sacrifice clarity for the sake of getting every little thing in.
I enjoy heated crossfires, so feel free to be aggressive.
In the summary, respond to your opponent's response speech. Try and extend, but you're not going to automatically lose if you don't. For the second summary, it will only help you to respond to your opponent's summary, but if you don't that doesn't mean you'll lose.
I'll flow the debate, but I focus more on the big picture rather than minute details. Winners generally know their case inside and out and deliver it better.
I'll time your speeches and crossfires, but I probably won't time prep so be sure to keep up with it yourself!
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!
Kirsten Craft Paradigm
Eddie Fitzgerald Paradigm
I graduated from Liberty University in the spring of 2011 after debating for 5 years. Before that I debated 1 year of LD in high school. Since then I worked as a debate coach for Timothy Christian High School in New Jersey for 6 years, traveling nationally on both the high school and college circuit. Currently I am the Associate Director of Poly Prep.
Last updated 1/18/2019
I view debate as a forum to critically test and challenge approaches to change the world for the better. I prefer in depth debate with developed material that you look like you have a grasp of. I will always work hard to evaluate correctly and with little intervention, especially if you are putting in hard work debating.
Learning debadste from within the Liberty tradition I began by running conventional policy arguments with a proclivity to go for whatever K was in the round. However, during my final 3 years my partner and I did not defend the resolution and our 1nc looked very similar to our 1ac. Personally, I’m a believer and coach for advocating liberatory and conscious debate practices. However, there will certainly be a gap at times between my personal preferences and practices and what I vote on. I’m not going to judge from a biased perspective against policy arguments, and although tabula rasa is impossible I will try to evaluate the arguments presented with limited interference.
Ultimately, do not let any of this sway you from debating how you prefer. Doing what you think you are best at will probably be your greatest option. If any of this is unclear or you have questions that I have not address below please feel free to ask me before a round. Have fun, debate confidently, and be genuine.
PUBLIC FORUM SPECIFIC:
A quick overview statement: It seem that circuit PF is going through a growing period where it is solidifying some norms and practices. As a result of this, I will default to the understanding of the debaters in the round. I am also open to different interpretations as long as they are defended.
Concerning defense in summary: As indicated above, this is something that I am going to let the debaters determine / debate for themselves. However, if at any point the defense has been front-lined / responded to (either in 2nd rebuttal or 1st summary), then these arguments need to be answered and the defense needs to be extended for it to be available in final focus.
PAPERLESS and prep time (LD and Policy specific):
Prep time ends approximately when the speech doc is saved and you remove the jump drive. An overall goal (for both paperless and traditional teams) is to be prepared to begin your speech when you say end prep.
Speaking mostly to HIGH SCHOOL students:
Everyone involved in the round should be able to have access to any read piece of evidence once it has been presented. This means that if you are reading off of a computer you are responsible for providing your opponents with either a jump of what you are going to read or a physical copy before you start your speech. We shouldn’t be unreasonably fearful of people ‘stealing’ ‘our’ evidence, as source information should always be provided, and also because it’s certainly not really ‘ours’. You may, however, respectfully require your opponents to delete anything you provided them with during the round.
SPEAKING STYLES and speaker points:
I’m certainly open to (for lack of a better word) alternative and non-traditional approaches to your speech time. Passion, ethos, and emphasis are things that are usually underutilized by most speaking styles and debaters, and should be present in both constructives and rebuttals. After all, debate is at its core a communication activity. Cross-ex is a great time to exhibit this as well as advance your arguments. I may call clear once if it is an issue, however it is your responsibility to be an effective communicator during your speech. Being a jerk, unnecessarily rude, offensive, stealing prep, and not being helpful to the other team during cx or prep time are all things that will negatively effect your speaker points outside of the quality and delivery of your arguments.
HIGH SCHOOL LD SPECIFIC:
Yes, I am fine with speed, but that does not give you an excuse to be unclear. I may call clear once if it is an issue, however it is your responsibility to be an effective communicator during your speech.
I have experience to evaluate theory, but certainly prefer substantive theory (topicality, NIBs, parameterizing are all examples) as opposed to frivolous theory. You should probably slow down when reading your shells if you want me to be able to write down the nuances of your argument. Due to my background in college policy there may be a few preconceptions that I have that you should be aware of. Theory is not automatically an RVI, and I probably take a little more convincing on the flow than most judges in this area. You need to explain to me why a violation has resulted in abuse that warrants either voting down the other team or rejecting a specific argument. Simply claiming one to be true is not enough work here. When answering theory, showing how the abuse can be solved by rejecting a particular argument can make the violation go away.
Conceded and dropped arguments are considered true on my flow, unless they are morally repugnant or blatantly false. An example of the latter is even if your opponent drops a theory shell, if the team clearly does not link to the violation your accusation does not make that true. Conceded arguments must still be extended, warranted, and argued, but you should focus more on their implications.
Please read the paperless / prep time and the speaking style / speaker points sections of my philosophy located above.
The rest of my philosophy is not specific towards ld or policy, high school or college, and it may do you benefit to read it as well, especially if some of your arguments tend to look like policy arguments.
FRAMEWORK (when run by the neg):
I think that negatives have the ability to and should engage with affirmatives that don’t defend a normative implementation of a plan. Even if the aff doesn’t defend the resolution there are still many substantive things that they will defend that provide ample ground. Although this ground might not be as predictable as your interpretation on FW calls for, it is still predictable enough to meet the threshold that you should be prepared for it.
Having said that, I think I’m one of those few sick individuals that will actually enjoy listening to framework debates as long as they are well developed on both sides. Granted, I will most likely be a harder sell than most, but I don’t think this should dissuade you from going for it if you think it is your best option. You will need to make inroads to the aff’s arguments by articulating ways traditional debate solves for their impacts. If you lose the impact turn to politics you will not win FW debates. You need to make arguments to the effect of traditional policy debate being key to a better form of politics and articulate net benefits to your interpretation from this. I think that the type of education we foster in debate far outweighs the preservation of the game in the strictest sense. That is to say that fairness claims alone are not the way to persuade me on FW. You should instead use claims of fairness to hedge against the impacts from the aff.
However, the main substance of FW debates (for both sides) should be about the competing benefits to the type of education and scholarship different traditions lead to.
For affirmatives concerning framework strategies, your greatest offense will be specific to your particular argument. I will be more easily persuaded if your aff is connected to the topic. I don’t appreciate aff’s that are written that hide their purpose or are exclusively constructed to impact turn FW. While I prefer some kind of relationship to the topic, I don’t think it is necessary. However, you do lose the ability to make an important strategic argument that other plan-less aff’s should employ, which is that your aff is important to topic education. More developed, this argument should be that your aff is necessary to topic education and that without it the debate ground that is left leads to bad forms of scholarship. That is to say that you aff is essentially topical. This argument is both inherently offensive and also provides the ability to make defensive claims against the neg’s offense.
This is the type of debate that I am most familiar with and have the largest literature base with (I was a philosophy major). However, messy and poor K debates are probably the worst. The key to winning this kind of debate is making the general link and alternative cards as specific as possible to the aff. I am not saying that the key is reading the most specific evidence (although this would be nice, however most of our authors here don’t write in the context of every affirmative), but that you need to find ways to apply the generic concepts to the specifics of the aff. Without this it is easier to be persuaded by the perm.
Teams are responsible for the discourse and performances in which then engage in given the context of the world we are situated in as well as the argument style the team engages in.
Aff’s have a wide range of arguments they can deploy, and are probably best sticking with the ones they are most comfortable with while doing a good job showing how they relate to the critique.
Concerning the perm, it is usually not enough work to simply show how the two different advocacies could work together. At this point it becomes easy to vote on the alternative as a purer form of advocacy without the risk of links. Aff’s should articulate net benefits to the perm to hedge against residual links and different DA’s to the perm itself. Case should be one of these net benefits, but aff’s need to watch out for indicts to foundational assumptions (concerning methodology, epistemology, ontology etc.) behind your impact claims.
Concerning framework: when was the last time a relatively moderate judge decided that the neg shouldn’t be able to run their K? The answer is probably a long time ago. The majority of these debates are compromised in the 1ar by allowing the K given that the aff gets to weigh their impacts after a lot of wasted time by both teams. I can hardly think of a situation where I would be persuaded to only evaluate the plan verses the status quo or a competitive policy option that excluded the alternative. However, I can envision certain ways that this debate goes down that convinces me to discount the impacts of the aff. In general, however, most of debate is illusory (somewhat unfortunately) and these framework questions are about what type of education is more important. If you chose to run framework with you aff you should keep these things in mind concerning your interpretation for debate.
PERFORMANCE or project verses a similar style:
These debates are some of the most important and essential ones for our community, particularly as more and more teams are participating in this form of advocacy. We need to debate and judge in light of this fact. These are also some of the most difficult debates to have. There are several reasons for this, one of the most poignant being the personal nature of these debates combined with the close relationships that most people amongst this insular community have with one another. We need to realize the value in these opportunities and the importance of preserving the pureness of our goals for the debate community. That might mean in some situations that conceding and having a conversation might be the best use of a particular debate space, and in others debating between different competing methodologies is a correct rout to go. In either case we need to realize and cherish common goals. In light of this it isn’t a bad thing to agree with large portions of your opponent’s speeches or even advocacy. Instead of reproducing the gaming paradigm of traditional debate, where competition is valued over advocacy and winning over ethics, we should instead choose to celebrate the areas of alignment we find. Conceding every round where this happens, however, is not a good idea either. This would send a message to the debate community that debate dies under this framework. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a possible time and place for it though.
When both teams largely agree on certain foundational framework questions efficacious debate can still happen. While making distinctions between advocacies and methodologies is essential for this kind of a debate, you should probably not manipulate and create links that are artificial. Distinctions that are made out of an in depth knowledge of the issues are far more beneficial and consistent. Traditional debate might look at these kinds of rounds as two ships passing in the night, but I think there can be a different metaphor – one where the teams are two ships starting at the recognition that the resolution and the debate community is flawed and that the round can be decided upon which team provides a better methodology and performance to get their ship further in the direction of what we should be as a community and culturally aware individuals.
I am undecided as to whether the aff should be allowed a perm and this should probably be debated out. However, I think that the aff should always have the ability to point out when a negative advocacy is the same as theirs.
THEORY / T:
Any bias I have towards theory will probably result in placing a burden on the team that reads the violation to prove that it should result in a voting issue. However, I don’t like shady stuff done only to be obnoxiously strategic. Don’t do it.
One thing that I definitely do not like is when teams read multiple conditional strategies that contradict each other. This will usually call into question the solvency of the critique if the aff takes advantage of this.
I don’t think that I have a bias concerning reasonability or competing interpretations, but I will probably default to competing interpretations until the aff is shown to be reasonable and from there it is up for debate.
COUNTERPLANS / DA’s:
I am probably liberal concerning counter plan theory, and aside from the question over conditionality most other theory arguments are probably reasons to reject the cp. Aside from traditional theory answers, showing why a certain CP is justified given the specific aff is a good response.
PICS that are specific to the aff are great, however word pics should probably just be articulated as links to the K.
Uniqueness controls the link only if a particular side definitively wins it.
I generally evaluate from an offense / defense standpoint, but it doesn’t mean anything if the CP links less than the plan does to a DA if the CP still meets the threshold for triggering the link. In that world there isn’t greater offense to the CP.
Jacob Fontana Paradigm
Homewood Flossmoor High School 2011-2015
Pomona College 2015-2019 (not debating)
The more work you do, the happier you will be with my decision. By this I don’t just mean that I reward smart strategies, research, etc. (I do), but rather that the better you explain and unpack an argument and tell me how to evaluate it, the less likely my own biases and preferences will affect the decision. With this in mind, there are a couple takeaways
- Framing is important. At a certain point, this seems redundant to say (obviously impact calc is important), but all too often debaters fail to “tie up” the debate in a way that is easy to evaluate. What impacts matter? What arguments should I look to first? How should I think about making decisions? Leaving these calls up to my gut may not work out well for you. Do not assume that I will put together the pieces of your argument in the way that is most favorable to you, or the way that you they should be viewed. Your best bet is to do this for me. As a general rule of thumb, your likelihood of picking up my ballot is directly proportional to the number of “even if” statements you make.
- truth and tech are both important and the divisions between them are far more arbitrary and vacuous than it is usually given credit for. That being said, it is up to you to give me a metric for evaluating what claims are true. What types of evidence should I look to? Should I view that evidence through a certain lens? How should I treat dropped/under covered arguments? Obviously I have some personal proclivities that may be harder to overcome than others
o I will always tend to evaluate dropped arguments far less than extended arguments. This does not mean that dropped arguments are automatically “true” or that truth claims made earlier in the debate are suddenly gone (that may well require more work on my part), but it does mean that I am less likely to give these arguments weight.
o Although they can be important parts of a speech, I am not inclined to give as much weight to solipsistic narratives as evidence. This is not a hard or fast preference, and some smart framing arguments about the way I should evaluate narratives will go a long way, but do not assume I will immediately evaluate a narrative as evidence in its own right sans an evidenced claim that I should evaluate them this way.
o Make smart analytic arguments, these can often be better than reading yet another terrible uniqueness card on the politics disad. The more I see you thinking for yourself and making creative and smart arguments in a debate, the better speaks you will get.
I appreciate creative and innovative strategies, maybe more than others. If you want to bust out that weird impact turn or super cheating counterplan or sweet ass new K, you should do that. You will always be better at doing what you do best. Please don’t feel deterred from reading a strategy in front of me because the community has generally frowned on it (spark, death good, etc.), I’m down to hear things outside of the norm. That being said, I included a few notes about how I feel/debated like in high school, you can take these preferences however you want, they are subject to change within a round.
As a caveat, Debate should be a space where everyone feels welcome. Please do not read racist/sexist/anti-queer/ableist/ or otherwise offensive arguments in front of me.
Please add me on the email chain: Jacob.email@example.com.
I debated both sides of this extensively in high school. I will not “penalize” you for reading framework; I think it is a smart and strategic argument. Similarly, do not assume that because you read framework you have my ballot, I am very middle of the road on these issues. You should treat this as any other K/CP strategy you have read. Too often teams miss nuance in these debates and read a bunch of state good/bad evidence while neglecting the smaller moving pieces, I tend to think those are important, and the more you address the internal link level of the debate, the better off you will be.
Affirmatives should find ways to leverage offense against the negatives interpretation. Playing some light defense and reading some reasonability blacks is not going to win you my ballot. I generally tend to default to competing interpretations. Furthermore, teams need to treat this debate more like disad, you should do impact calc, read impact, link, or internal link turns, explain why your interp solves a portion of their offense, etc. I greatly enjoy smart T debates and will reward you handsomely in speaker points if you execute it well.
Absolute defense (or defense to the point where I should cease to evaluate the disad outside of the noise of status quo) is a thing and far too few debaters go for. 90 percent of disads are absolute garbage and you shouldn’t be afraid to point that out. More broadly, Offense defense tends to be a heavily neg biased model of debate and contributes to a lot (in my eyes) to the denigration of the activity towards the most reality-divorced hyperbolic impact claims, and I will not default to it. Obviously this is subject to change in a given round, but you should be conscious of the weight I tend to give to defensive arguments. In general, I think link controls the direction of uniqueness, but I can easily be persuaded otherwise
Please, if you have it, read something different than politics. I don’t hate the politics disad, but it is an often overused strategy and I will reward your innovation with speaker points
Any argument is legitimate until it is not, don’t hesitate to read your cheating counterplans in front of me, but be ready to defend them. Theory debates are good and valuable, but I do not want to listen to you read your blocks at 400 words a minute. Slow down, make smart arguments, and go for what you’re ahead on. Less is often more in these situations. I actually very much enjoy good theory debates and find them quite interesting. You should treat these like any other type of debate, you should do impact calc, flesh out internal links, etc.
I have a reasonable familiarity with most mainstream critiques and greatly enjoy these debates. In high school, I would most often read the security or the cap K, but this should not be interpreted as an exclusionary list. You do you and I’ll likely jive with it. I will reward innovation, reading a tailored critique is far more interesting to me than rereading the same Spanos block your team has had for the last 8 years. The one caveat here is that my familiarity with certain “high theory” authors (Bataille, Deleuze, etc.) is rather passing. I am more than certainly open to hearing these arguments and don’t have any prejudices against them (I debated on the same team as Carter Levinson for 3 years), but this does mean that you may need to take extra time to unpack arguments and contextualize them in terms of the debate.
I have not worked on the China Topic, for you this means you probably want to slow down on, and possibly explain, acronyms the first couple times.
Ethic violations are deliberate, not accidental. Missing a few words or accidentally skipping a line isn’t a big deal, but repeatedly doing that or doing it in a way that is clearly intentional is. If you believe that someone has committed an ethics violation, please start recording the round, I also reserve the right to do this. If I think you are clipping, I may start a recording of my own, I will also try read along in the speech docs whenever possible. If I do determine you’ve committed a violation, you will lose the debate and receive 0 speaks, I will also speak to your coaches. Clipping is a serious offense and I will treat it with the attention it deserves.
Pooja Gupta Paradigm
Mackenzie Hagood Paradigm
I have been in the debate world for 7 years as a head coach and a debater. I debated public forum all through-out high school. After high school I founded and coached the Saline Middle School Debate Team. If you bring me a grande chai tea latte, I'm not saying I will give you higher speaks, but I will definitely be in a better round which will likely be beneficial to everyone's scores from that round.
In a round I prefer road mapping (organized speech pattern), evidence, and follow through. DO NOT road map outside of speaker time. You are in public forum not policy, don't steal extra time. If you do road map outside of time I will take speaker points and be frustrated thriugh-out your speech. Don't scream in crossfire, be nice to reach other.
During crossfire be civil. Per MIFA rules judges are not supposed to be voting based off of crossfire, so I will only take comments in crossfire into consideration if it is brought up during a timed speech before final focus. (Exception to this would be statements from grand crossfire.)
I give long verbal critics at the end so be prepared! I hate writing down my RFD's so I will likely just do it verbally.
Skyler Harris Paradigm
Kaylon Kennedy Paradigm
Ruchir Khurana Paradigm
Yilin Mao Paradigm
Alex Martel Paradigm
Hey I did speech and policy in high school. Started off with the straight-up style but got to college and saw the rest. I'm better suited for K-style feedback but go with your heart on w.e you want.
I'll evaluate every argument. The debate room can be a fun place so feel free to throw some humor into your speeches. Videos and dank memes are cool.
On an unrelated note, bringing granola bars or some snackage would be appreciated. I don't care much for soft drinks though. In other words please feed me nice food because in-round picnics make everyone's day. <--
What you care about:
Please don't make judges do the work for you on the flow. If you don't do the line-by-line or clearly address an argument, don't get upset if I reach an unfavorable conclusion. Reading me cards without providing sufficient analysis leaves the purpose a bit unclear.
Aff- reasonabilty probably has my vote but I can be persuaded to vote for creative and convincing non-topic-related cases.
Neg- Get some substance on the flow. T should not be a go-to-argument. I hate arguments dealing with "should", "USFG", etc and you should too. Impact out the violation. Simply stating that the team is non-topical and attaching some poorly explained standards will not fly or garner support. On K affs remember you can always go further left as an option.
Theory- Typically a pretty boring discussion but if it's creative I'll approve. If you notice yourself thinking "I wish I were reading something else" then it's a clear sign I wish you were too. Remember to slow down on those analytics though- hands cramp.
Being able to cite authors and point to specific cards = speaks. (same for neg)
Throw some case defense at the end of your 1nc after you do your off-case arguments. Aff has to answer them but you already know that. Reading through aff evidence and showing power tags or misuse is great.
Aff- if you can turn this in some way then you'll be fine. Point out flaws in the Link story when you can. Figuring out a solid internal link story might be a good idea.
Internal links will only help you. Let's avoid generic stuff.
You need to show that it's noncompetitive and you can perm or that their argument just sucks.
Show a net benefit and how you solve the impacts. Furthermore show how your cp is awesome.
Explain: how case doesn't link, perm, or alt doesn't solve or do anything. Weigh your impacts if appropriate. If the neg is misinterpreting an author and you sufficiently illustrate his/her message, then you'll be doing well in the round.
I like K's a lot. Hopefully will know what's up. Just explain your story clearly (seriously). Stunt on em.
Side note for everyone: In round actions are easy performative solvency to weigh btw
It's going to come down to how well you can explain the impact you are addressing with your performance and the solvency story under framework.
I suppose you can do framework or T if you have nothing else but try and interact because the aff team will be prepared. Or if you want to go down this route it's cool. Swayed by creativity though.
Primavera Martinez Paradigm
Yes, I want to be on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I will not be following along on the speech doc, but I will be checking periodically to make sure extensions of cards are consistent with the actual evidence.
I debated for Fresno State for three years. I started off in traditional policy debate, but then made my way into K debate. I do not have a preference; I am just as likely to vote for T as I am to vote for a performance K. It all comes down to how persuasive your arguments are, and I evaluate that based on three criteria:
1) Your ability to explain the thesis of your argument. Even if I am familiar with the literature, it is still your responsibility to thoroughly explain your methodology. Relying on buzz words is bad for education and hurts your growth as a debater. I will never make extrapolations of arguments for you. If I’m left wondering what your policy/advocacy/alternative does by the end of the round, then you are at a severe disadvantage.
2) Your explanation of why the argument you are making matters, and why it should be presented in this space. Having a good idea/theory is awesome, but why do it here? Why should I care about the discussion of policies, identity, power structures etc. that you decided to forefront?
3) Your overall ethos and presentation. This last point is supplemental to the two more substantive points listed above, but it is still extremely important. Whether you speak quickly or at a conversational pace, you should make sure that your speeches are engaging.
1. Respect is mutual. I expect you to respect each other by not engaging in unnecessarily rude behavior. I understand that cross ex can get heated, but make sure you do not let this interfere with the fact that debate is an educational activity.
2. I will respect you by listening to you and devoting my attention to making a carefully thought out decision. When I am giving my RFD, it is your turn to reciprocate that respect by actively listening. I will not tolerate excessive post rounding and being rudely interrupted. Questions are highly encouraged but arguing with me will not change the outcome of the debate. If you are angry with my RFD, I recommend that you write down your concerns with the decision, talk with your coach, and if there is still an issue, take time to cool down before approaching me again to talk about the round.
1. Prep ends when you send the doc. If you send the wrong doc or it is missing cards, you are responsible for taking prep to send it to the other team.
2. Stealing prep will lead to a deduction in speaker points.
3. Clipping cards and misrepresenting evidence are very serious issues and threaten the integrity of the activity. I take these two issues very seriously.
1. I expect both teams to provide me with a way to frame the round. You do not get access to your arguments unless you win the framing question, or you prove that you are still ahead through the other team’s method of framing the round.
1. I think topicality arguments are very interesting. Make sure you give specific contextual examples of what ground was lost, as well as why that ground is uniquely valuable.
2. That being said, I think there are very valid justifications for not being topical. Do not assume that my preference for Ks as a debater will mean that you have a low threshold for proving that you do not need to be topical.
1. I enjoy current and relevant example of why engaging in the state is essential or unproductive.
2. If you are arguing policy making/political engagement good, you must prove that it is net better for everyone, regardless of their identity.
3. Saying, “The USFG is racist” or “policy making is rooted in patriarchy” is not a sufficient response to framework. It is not that I don’t agree with you, but you need to elaborate more on these phrases that get tossed around. Your arguments will be much more persuasive if you go beyond reading cards and pre-made answers and contextualize and elaborate on these claims.
1. Performance debate is great and very creative. However, you still need to explain what your method is and what you have accomplished at some point in the debate. It needs to be purposeful.
1. You need to clearly highlight the abuse in the round and make a convincing argument about why this creates a bad model for debate beyond this round.
Alex McVey Paradigm
Alex McVey -
Yes Email chain - j.alexander.mcvey at gmail
I flow on paper. I need pen time. Clarity is really important to me. I'll always say "clear" if I think you're not being clear, at least 1-2 times. If you don't respond accordingly, the debate probably won't end well for you.
I find myself increasingly making decisions on the basis of the quality of rebuttal warrant explanation and impact comparison. It's really important to me that you're not just extending your evidence, but explaining the internal warrants of your evidence, telling a clear and compelling story, and telling me why these things matter. I find that the more I judge debates, I'm reading less and less evidence, and relying more and more on 2nr vs 2ar explanation and impact calculus. If there are cards that you want me to pay attention to in particular, you should call the card out by name in the last rebuttal, and explain some of its internal warrants. Debaters who make lots of "even if" statements, who tell me what matters and why, who condense the debate down to the most important issues, and who do in depth impact calculus seem to be winning my ballots more often than not.
I have always leaned toward the K side of things, and almost exclusively cut K cards, but have also coached very policy oriented teams, again, mostly helping them to answer K stuff.
Run what you're good at. Despite my K leaning tendencies, I’m comfortable watching a good straight up debate. I’ve seen a number of debates where the block focused on a kritik that the aff thoroughly covered and left behind what seemed to be a good undercovered disad/cp strat in order to adapt to me as a judge. Didn't think it was necessary.
Theoretical issues: Blippy, scatter-shot theory means little, well-developed, well-impacted theory means a lot. Again, pen time good.
I have no hard and set rules about whether affs do or don't have to have plans, and am open to hearing all types of affs and all types of framework arguments for/against these affs. Against planless/non-topical affs, I tend to think topicality arguments are generally more persuasive than framework arguments. Or rather, I think a framework argument without a topicality argument probably doesn't have a link. I'm not sure what the link is to most "policy/political action good" type framework arguments if you don't win a T argument that says the focus of the resolution has to be USFG policy. I think all of these debates are ultimately just a question of link, impact, and solvency comparison.
I tend to be expressive when I judge debates. I don't really try to have a poker face. Nodding = I'm getting it, into your flow, not necessarily that it's a winner. Frowny/frustrated face = maybe not getting it, could be a better way to say it, maybe don't like what you're doing. But please, don't let that deter you from your strat because I vote for plenty things that frustrate me while I'm hearing them executed, and vote down plenty of things that excite me when first executed. All about how it unfolds.
I tend to err on truth over tech, with a few exceptions. Dropping round-winners/game-changers like the permutation, entire theoretical issues, the floating PIC, T version of the aff/do it on the neg, etc... will be much harder (but not impossible) to overcome with embedded clash. That being said, if you DO find yourself having dropped one of these, I'm open to explanations for why you should get new arguments, why something else that was said was actually responsive, etc... It just makes your burden for work on these issues much much more difficult.
Be wary of conflating impacts, especially in K debates. For example, If their impact is antiblackness, and your impact is racism, and you debate as if those impacts are the same and you're just trying to win a better internal link, you're gonna have a bad time.
I intuitively don't agree with "No perms in a method debate" and "No Plan = No Perm" arguments. My thinking on this is that these arguments are usually enthymematic with framework; there is usually an unstated premise that the aff did something which skews competition to such a degree that it justifies a change in competitive framework. It makes more sense for me for the neg to just win a framework argument. That being said, I vote for things that don't make intuitive sense to me all the time. I'm interested in hearing arguments about how competition shifts in response to various conditions of aff and neg argumentation, I just tend to think those are arguments about the permutation rather than reasons the aff doesn't get one.
I like debate arguments that involve metaphors, fiction, stories, and thought experiments. What I don't understand is teams on either side pretending as if a metaphor or thought experiment is literal and defending or attacking it as such. I think there's value to recognizing the rhetorical and philosophical work of a metaphor, story, or fictional thought experiment and its capacities to affect us in round, and treating it as such. I feel like the perceived need to externalize debate politics pushes people to literalize metaphors which takes away from the powerful intervention into thought that those metaphors otherwise could perform.
A nested concern with that above - I don't really understand a lot of these "we meets" on Framework that obviously non-topical affs make. I/E - "We're a discursive/affective/symbolic/psychoanalytic restriction on Presidential Power" - Nope. You're really not. You aren't restricting pres powers, and I'm cool with it, just be honest about what the research and academic labor in the 1ac actually does. I think Neg teams give affs too much leeway on this, and K Affs waste too much time on making these nonsensical (and ultimately defensive) arguments. If you don't have a plan, just impact turn T. You can make other args about why you solve topic education and why you discuss core topic controversies while still being honest about the fact that you aren't topical and impact turn the neg's attempt to require you to be such.
RIP impact calculus. I'd love to see it make a comeback.
I like having the docs, but I am pretty much never reading along as it happens, fwiw. I'm not going to call for your blocks. You should be especially clear on blocks and tags bc I'm not going to do the work of trying to comprehend it.
Be kind to one another. We're all in this together.
Megan Muldoon Paradigm
Debate is a game. Choose the arguments you know best and go for those. I am open to being persuaded to vote for whatever you run if you explain it well and tell me why I should vote on it. If you can explain why the plan is a good or bad idea better than your opponents then you are that much closer to a ballot.
If you go for a K, I need to have a clear understanding of the alt; don't morph from speech to speech.
I come into debates as a blank slate.
Time yourselves and keep track (I will too - so don't steal prep).
If you want to know something then ask me.
Sure, be aggressive in CX if you're making a point, but don't be rude.
Email chain? Yes: email@example.com
Esther Mulkerin Paradigm
Background: 1yr of speech & debate at Leland High School; Speech&Debate Aide/Coach since February
Experience: Not a whole lot of professional experience in speech & debate
Judging: Since February, judged a few rounds in semi-finals to elims in a couple of tournaments
RESOLUTION!!! All the topics you bring up during your speech & debate, make sure to tie it in to the resolution since that is what you need to convince our judgement on
DON'T RUSH! If you speak too fast you will lose your audience if your audience is not experienced in speech & debate like me
DON'T USE FILLER WORDS! It looks bad when you use too much of filler words. You should've practiced more and been more prepared to prevent using filler words during your debate
EXPLAIN! If you use abbreviations or not a common term than don't assume all judges will know what your talking about. It will help if you give at least one sentence to briefly explain what a word/term/group/etc. is
DON'T BE RUDE! Having some sass during cross is fun, but be mindful and respectful to everyone
EVIDENCE! Provide solid proof
Hongguang Pan Paradigm
Tina Qin Paradigm
I debated public forum throughout high school and judge in local circuits. I just finished my freshman year at Vanderbilt University.
My preferences are pretty standard across the board. I don't have any strict policies regarding what you must do inside the debate and I'll weigh everything throughout the round. I typically won't vote off technicalities; Public forum should encourage well-rounded, persuasive debating. My final decision comes down to the impacts of both cases.
Links should be clear/well-supported.
When a question is asked during cross-fire, I expect a direct, clear response.
Strong impacts are extremely important to me in order to weigh arguments as offense for each side.
Final speeches of any debate should emphasize voting issues. Tell me how I should weigh the round and explain which key arguments I should vote for.
Jaffar Razool Paradigm
Jake Riggs Paradigm
Tech > truth
Please learn2framework (presumption is filter not layer unless specified)
as tab as I can possibly be
cool with: speed, k, t (boring), theory, performance, bribes
not cool with: you wasting my time to pre flow, in round abuse, equity violations, the USA
I don’t care what’s real outside the round, I’ll only vote on things said in round. Something is true until you tell me it isn’t true. Don’t be boring and also don’t be bad thank you
Do all of your weighing for me. I will not weigh anything on my own.
If its not in summary I wont evaluate it in final focus.
2nd rebuttal does not need to frontline/case defense, definitely still can though
Presumption is neg in any instance that demands intervention, risk of solvency arguments fair game for the aff.
signposting saves lives
Picky about extensions:
An extension is NOT reading an authors last name. An extension is NOT telling me your opponents drop something. Telling my hand what to do on a piece of paper does not equal you winning an argument- much less analyzing, crystallizing, or in any way convincing me to vote for you.
An extension is:
Extend Author 97 who our opponents fail to respond to
->What author 97 tells you is warrant/analysis
->What this means is we access Impact 1, which wins us the round because of X.
Only god, in her infinite wisdom, can forgive me now.
In memory of those radicalized:
tech > truth
tech tech tech tech tech tech tech
***Updated Berkeley Day 2*****
Y'all have really pushed me to my limits ): and now I'm not even feeling entirely tab as a paradigm because no weighing is being done for me. I WILL GO NEG ON PRESUMPTION IF PRO DOESN'T DO ANY WORK. IM TIRED OF HAVING TO DO YOUR WEIGHING FOR YOU.
An extension is NOT reading an authors last name. An extension is NOT telling me your opponents drop something. Telling my hand what to do on a piece of paper does not equal you winning an argument- much less analyzing, crystallizing, or in any way convincing me to vote for you.
An extension is:
Extend Author 97 who our opponents fail to respond to
->What author 97 tells you is warrant/analysis
->What this means is we access Impact 1, which wins us the round because of X.
If you don't really get this by now you're probably gonna lose the round.
Like many judges I try my best to be tabula rasa, like all of them, however, I fail. I'm comfortable with just about any argument at any speed. I like good K debates and long walks on the beach. Tech comes before truth for me until I'm told otherwise.
Thats like 2 or 3 years old^
In reality nowadays I'll probably beg you to spread or read something kritikal or perform or do anything (fun).
^Thats old too now
Tech > truth
Tech tech tech tech tech tech tech
THANKS TO ALLEN ABBOTT I WONT EVEN CALL FOR CARDS TO AVOID ANY INTERVENTION
I ONLY INTERVENE IN ONE WAY: IF I DONT SEE IT IN MY FLOW FOR THE SUMMARY I WONT VOTE ON THE EXTENSION IN FINAL FOCUS REGARDLESS OF WHO TELLS ME TO DO IT OR WHY I SHOULD DO IT
UNLESS YOU HAVE SOME WILD THEORY ARGUMENT ABOUT WHY I SHOULD ALLOW IT OR NOT INTERVENE ON IT IN WHICH CASE PLEASE HMU WITH THAT ID LOVE TO HEAR IT.
Jacinda Rivas Paradigm
Whitney Young ‘15
University of Kentucky ‘19
Coach at Whitney Young
Post judging at Kentucky/Greenhill
Needed to update my philosophy now that I’m judging more consistently and have been in debates that I didn’t think I would be judging so this will be a more thorough explanation of how I think I judge debates now. My previous views still stand if you don’t want to read this but I think that this will be clearer for those of you that don’t know me/ my judging style. I still know nothing about space despite judging 8 rounds on the topic thus far btw.
Add me to the email chain- Jacindarivas@gmail.com
I will reward smart teams that can effectively and efficiently communicate their arguments to me. Engaging with your opponent, having a well-thought out strategy, and demonstrating that you’re doing consistent, hard work is what this activity is about.
I'm pretty expressive when I'm judging so I would look up every once in a while to know how I feel about particular arguments.
First things first- Everyone is always so angry and doesn’t want to be in these debates. No one ENJOYS clash debates. Please be nicer. Substance wise, I really do believe that affs should have a tie to the topic and should be in the direction of the topic. I am not the judge for an aff that has a couple cards that say a theory and then pretend to say something about the topic. I also believe that debate is an inherently good activity so indicting the entirety of the activity we participate in is not great for me. I think this matters a lot for the way some teams answer framework so be cognizant of this. The only thing that my ballot decides is the winner.
Links should be causal, specific and about the plan. They NEED to be contextualized to what the aff actually did. I have too often judged debates where a team presents a theory of the world but have not explained what the aff has done to implicate that. Explanation is key. That applies to all Ks cause if you are just spitting jargon at me and the other team, you aren’t gonna have a good time. I am not persuaded by arguments that the aff just doesn’t get fiat
I default to judge kick unless expressly informed not to
I am a little nicer for the aff in terms of CP theory questions- I just think that some counterplans are egregious but that might be the 2a in me. I think this can be dealt with a lot more easily if you have a substantive competition push from the neg.
Conditionality is good.
There can be zero risk of a DA
Politics DA is dead and we should all let it die
I don’t like them. Read impacts. Spend more time developing the actual advantage instead of preempting the random disad that the 1nc might read.
Random Policy Things
You can insert a re-highlighting of a card- you shouldn’t have to waste time re-reading a card if they suck at research
Impact turn debates are some of my favorite
Ethics violations (ex. Clipping, a card being cut in the middle of the paragraph, etc.) should just have the debate staked on it. It is a bad form of education and should be rejected. No point in drawing it out.
Further questions- email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Victor Rivas Umana Paradigm
OK here's the deal. I did policy debate for 4 years in high school and two semesters in college (once in 2007 and recently in 2016 in Policy Debate)
. Judged Tournaments up until probably 2008 and have not been judging since. I also judged Lincoln Douglas Debate a few times at some of the national tournaments throughout california but it was not a debate I did in high school. For me my philosophy is simple, just explain what you are talking about clearly. That means if youre going to spread, be clear. If you are going to spread in front of me right now, do not go too fast as I have not judged in awhile so I may have hard time catching certain ideas so please slow down on your tags and cites.
Public Forum: please make sure Summary and final focus are consistent in messaging and voters. dropped voters in summary that are extended in final focus will probably not be evaluated. I can understand a bit of speed since I did policy but given this is public forum, I would rather you not spread. talking a bit fast is fine but not full on spreading.
I am not fond of the K but I will vote for it if explained properly. If I feel it was not, do not expect me to vote for it I will default to a different voting paradigm, most likely policy maker.
-IF you expect me to vote on Theory or topicality please do a good job of explaining everything clearly and slowly. a lot of times theory and topicality debates get muddled and I just wont look at it in the end. EDIT as of 1/28: I am not too fond of Theory and Topicality debates as they happen now. Many of you go too fast and are unclear which means I don't get your analysis or blippy warrants under standards or voting issues. Please slow the eff down for theory and T if you want me to vote on it.
I will vote for whatever paradigm you tell me to vote for if you clearly explain the implications, your standards and framework.
-I know you guys spread now like Policy debaters but please slow down as I will have a hard time following everything since its been awhile.
I guess LD has become more like policy and the more like policy it sounds, the easier it is for me to follow. Except for the K and Theory, I am open for all other policy arguments. Theory and K debaters, look above ^^^^
UPDATE FOR LD at Golden Desert and Tournaments moving forward. I don't think many of you really want me as a judge for the current topic or any topic moving forward. My experience in LD as a coach is limited which means my topic knowledge is vague. That means if you are going to pref me as 1 or 2 or 3, I would recommend that you are able to break down your argumentation into the most basic vocabulary or understanding of the topic. If not, you will leave it up to me to interpret the information that you presented as I see fit (if you are warranting and contextualizing your points especially with Ks, we should be fine, if not, I won't call for the cards and I will go with what I understood). I try to go off of what you said and what is on your speech docs but ultimately if something is unclear, I will go with what makes the most sense to me. If you run policy arguments we should be fine (In the order of preference, policy making args including CPs, DAs, case turns and solvency take outs, Ks, Topicality/Theory <--these I don't like in LD or in Policy in general). Given this information please use this information to pref me. I would say DA/CP debaters should pref me 1 and 2. anyone else should pref me lower unless you have debated in front of me before and you feel I can handle your arguments. Again if its not CP/DA and case take outs you are preffing me higher at your own risk. Given many of you only have three more tournaments to get Bids (if that is your goal for GD, Stanford, Berkeley) then I would recommend you don't have me as your judge as I would not feel as qualified to judge LD as I would judging most policy rounds and Public forum rounds. Is this lame? kinda. But hey I am trying to be honest and not have someone hate me for a decision I made. if you have more questions before GD, please email me at email@example.com
For all debaters:
clarity: anunciate and make sure you are not going too fast I cannot understand
explain your evidence: I HATE pulling cards at the end of a round. If I have to, do not expect high speaker points. I will go off what was said in the debate so if you do not explain your evidence well, I will not consider it in the debate.
Something I have thought about since it seems that in Public Forum and even in other debates power tagging evidence has become an issue, I am inclined to give lower speaker points for someone who gives me evidence they claimed says one thing and it doesn't. If it is in out rounds, I may be inclined to vote against you as well. This is especially true in PF where the art of power tagging has taken on a life of its own and its pretty bad. I think something needs to get done about this and thus I want to make it very clear if you are in clear violation of this and you present me with evidence that does not say what it does, I am going to sit there and think hard about how I want to evaluate it. I may give you the win but on low points. Or I may drop you if it is in outrounds. I have thought long and hard about this and I am still unsure how I want to approach this but given how bad the situation is beginning to get with students just dumping cards and banking on people not asking questions, I think something needs to be done.
anything else feel free to ask me during the round. thanks.
Rakeem Robinson Paradigm
I love a well-executed impact turn debate . If you can give me this your speaks will show my joy
Frame the ballot for me in the 2NR/2AR. Don't just extend a bunch of cards and highlight concessions, but be explicit about why a particular argument or collection of arguments wins you the debate.
Evidence quality may become important in close debates but is a secondary concern to persuasion within the debate. This is not to say that I won't read your evidence after the debate because i probably will, but I won't evaluate warrants that are in your cards or make judgments about evidence quality unless they were fleshed out adequately in the constructives/rebuttals.
- You should assume that I am not up on the literature you have read. You should not expect me to know every acronym or all the latest developments in your DA scenario, nor should you assume that I understand all of the jargon in your K. Err on the side of ,at least, briefly explaining a concept before jumping into the intricacies of your argument.
- Defense can win debates and I have no problem pulling the trigger on presumption. I can be compelled that there is 0% risk of solvency to an affirmative case, or that there is no internal link within a DA. "There's a 1% chance that we're good for the world" is not a sufficient justification unless you provide a reason for why the opposing team's defensive argument is false or simply mitigates your claim (rather than taking it out terminally).
- I have a tendency to be somewhat expressive. If I find something stupid happening within a debate, I will likely face-palm, and/or shake my head; if I didn't understand you, I will give you a quizzical look. You should look up occasionally and take hints from the visual cues that I am sending. I won't make verbal interjections within a debate unless you're being unclear in which case i will say clear twice
- There is a fine line between being assertive and being rude. Don't cross it. If you don't know the difference, just watch for how I react
Some specific concerns:
Topicality-- I default to competing interpretations . To make these debates even close to enjoyable for me this requires an explicit list of what specific cases your interpretation permits and why this is beneficial for the activity. As for "Kritiks of T": I tend not to view these as RVIs, but instead as counter-standards that privilege an alternate debate curriculum that is more important than traditional conceptions. Negatives that plan on defending T against these criticisms should not only maintain that the 1AC does not meet what they view as fair and educational debate, but also need to go into a more specific discussion that impacts why their vision of a fair and educational debate is good and why the negative's alternate curriculum is worse in comparison.
Theory-- pretty similar to T debates but the one difference is that I will default to "reject the argument, not the team" unless given a reason otherwise. I have been known to go for cheapshots, but these require fulfilling a high standard of execution (a fully warranted and impacted explanation of your cheapshot, and closing the doors on any cross-applications the aff can make from other flows). Stylistically speaking, slowing down in these debates will help me put more ink on your side of the flow--otherwise I may miss a part of your argument that you find important. Additionally, a well-thought out interpretation and 3 warranted arguments regarding why a particular practice in debate is bad is significantly stronger than a blippy, generic re-hashing of a 10-point block.
Straight-up Strategies-- My favorite strategies often involve more than one or more of the following: an advantage counterplan, topic specific DA(s), and a solid amount of time allocated to case turns/defense. I am obviously open to hear and evaluate more generic arguments like politics, dip cap, delay counterplans, and process counterplans if that is your thing, and you should obviously go for what you are winning.
K and Performance Strategies-- I enjoy philosophy and have spent a significant chunk of my free time reading/understanding K and performance arguments. My familiarity with this style of debating makes it a double-edged sword. I will be very impressed if you command significant knowledge about the theory at hand and are able to apply them to the case through examples from popular culture or empirical/historical situations. On the other hand, if you fail to explain basic theoretical ideas within the scope of the K or fail to engage particular points of contention presented by the affirmative, I will be thoroughly unimpressed. Similarly, when opposing a K or performance, I am much more interested in arguments (analytics and cards) that not only substantively engage the K but thoroughly defend why your theorization of politics and interaction with the social should be preferred, rather than a generic 50 point survey of claims that are made by positivist thinkers. This is not to say that generic "greatest hits" style arguments have no value, but they certainly need to be backed up with a defense of the conceptual framing of your 1AC (eg, if the negative wins that the kritik turns the case or a no v2l claim, I'm not sure what "predictions good" or "cede the political" does for the affirmative). In terms of a theory/framework debate, I am much less likely to be persuaded by generic "wrong forum" claims but will be more likely to be compelled by arguments pointing to abusive sections of the specific K that is being run (eg, the nature of the alt).
It's also important to defend your impacts thoroughly. My favorite straight up affirmatives to read when I debated had big hegemony advantages. My favorite K authors to read are Wilderson (Afro-Pessimism) and other forms of Black liberation startegies. As a result, I am unlikely be swayed or guilted into voting for you if the only argument you make is a moralizing reference to people suffering/dying. This is NOT to say that I won't vote for you if you choose a strategy that relies on these impacts. However if these impacts are challenged either through impact turns or comparisons, I will not hack for you; I require an adequate refutation of why their impact calculation or understanding of suffering/death is false/incomplete and reasons for why I should prefer your framing. In other words, if the opposing team says "hegemony good and outweighs your K" or alternatively, reads a "suffering/death good" style kritik and your only comeback is "you link to our arguments and people are oppressed" without much other refutation, you will lose. When your moral high ground is challenged, own up to it and refute their assumptions/explanations.
Mackenzie Saunders Paradigm
Make an argument in your interp, and I’ll be happy.
Patrick Smith Paradigm
I have been a PF debate coach at Ivy Bridge Academy for the past 7 years and I also did policy debate at Chattahoochee High School and UGA. Here are things that are important to me in debates and will influence my decision:
1. Debate is fundamentally about winning arguments, so make good arguments. I will do my best to evaluate your argument as objectively as possible but make sure contentions are well developed with clear warrants, evidence, and impacts. The more unrealistic the argument, the less likely I’ll vote for it, but I do also believe it is the burden of your opponent to clearly articulate why the argument is wrong.
2. Frontlining - while not doing this isn’t technically against the rules, I highly encourage it and will reward teams that do it effectively with better speaker points. I don’t consider something dropped in the 2nd rebuttal, but I do expect teams to cover everything you plan on extending. I also like teams condensing to one contention in the second rebuttal if it makes strategic sense.
3. Summary - condensing down to a few key voting issues is important to me. If you don’t do weighing in rebuttal, then it should start here. Anything, including defense, must be in the summary if you want me to evaluate it. Don’t drop responses or contentions in these speeches. I will reward summary speakers who make good strategic decisions and manage their time well.
4. Final Focus - Clear voting issues and weighing is important to me. I will only evaluate arguments extended in the summary here. Having a clear narrative and focusing on the big picture is important, as well as answering extended responses. This is also your last chance to win key responses against your opponent's case. Make sure to not just extend them, but explain them, answer the summary, and what the implications are if you win x response.
5. Paraphrasing - I’m fine with it, but you need to be able to produce either a card or website if asked. If you can’t produce it in time or deliberately misrepresent the evidence, then I will ignore the argument, and in extreme cases, vote the guilty team down.
6. Weighing - this is important to me, but I think debaters overvalue it a bit. The link debate is more important in my opinion and realistic impacts are as well. Try and start the weighing in the rebuttal or summary speeches. Comparison is key to good weighing in front of me.
7. Crossfire - any argument established in crossfire must be brought up in the subsequent speech for me to evaluate it. I will reward creative and well thought out questions. Please don’t be rude or aggressive in the crossfire. That will definitely hurt your speaker points. Civility is very important to proper debate in my humble opinion. You can sit or stand for the grand cross.
8. Speaking - I will give higher speaks to passionate speakers who are good public speakers. I did policy, so I’m fine with speed, but I don’t like spreading unless you absolutely have to to cover. Please clearly signpost which argument you are responding to and when you are moving into the other side of the flow or weighing.
9. Prep - I will do my best to keep track of it, but please, both teams should also be tracking the time.
10. References - any well executed Biggy, Kendrick, Logic, Drake, or Childish Gambino reference will be rewarded. Don’t overdo it though and I reserve the right to decrease points if it’s way off point.
11. Speech docs - if you share your case with me, then it will help me flow, understand your arguments, and I won't have to call for ev, so I will give both speakers 2 extra points if they do so.
Matt Struth Paradigm
Matt Liu (formerly Matt Struth)
University of Wyoming
Last updated: 5-15-19
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I put a pretty high premium on effective communication. Too many debaters do not do their evidence justice. You should not expect me to read your evidence after the round and realize it’s awesome. You should make sure I know it’s awesome while you read it. I find many debaters over-estimate the amount of ideas they believe they communicate to the judge. Debaters who concentrate on persuading the judge, not just entering arguments into the record, will control the narrative of the round and win my ballot far more often than those who don’t. I have tended to draw a harder line on comprehensibility than the average judge. I won’t evaluate evidence I couldn’t understand. I also don’t call clear: if you’re unclear, or not loud enough, I won’t intervene and warn you, just like I wouldn't intervene and warn you that you are spending time on a bad argument. Am I flowing? You're clear.
Potential biases on theory: I will of course attempt to evaluate only the arguments in the round, however, I'll be up front about my otherwise hidden biases. Conditionality- I rarely find that debaters are able to articulate a credible and significant impact. International actor fiat seems suspect. Uniform 50 state fiat seems illogical. Various process counterplans are most often won as legitimate when the neg presents a depth of evidence that they are germane to the topic/plan. Reject the arg not the teams seems true of nearly all objections other than conditionality. I will default to evaluating the status quo even if there is a CP in the 2NR. Non-traditional affirmatives- I'll evaluate like any other argument. If you win it, you win it. I have yet to hear an explanation of procedural fairness as an impact that makes sense to me (as an internal link, yes). None of these biases are locked in; in-round debating will be the ultimate determinant of an argument’s legitimacy.
Clock management: In practice I have let teams end prep when they begin the emailing/jumping process. Your general goal should be to be completely ready to talk when you say ‘end prep.’ No off-case counting, no flow shuffling, etc.
Cross-x is a speech. You get to try to make arguments (which I will flow) and set traps (which I will flow). Once cross-x is over I will stop listening. If you continue to try to ask questions it will annoy me- your speech time is up.
Pet-peeves: leaving the room while the other team is prepping for a final rebuttal, talking over your opponents. I get really annoyed at teams that talk loudly (I have a low threshold for what counts as loudly) during other teams speeches- especially when it’s derisive or mocking comments about the other team’s speech.
Ranjit Tulasi Paradigm
- I don't care about cases whether they are K's or stock cases. All you need to do is convince me.
- I think PF undercovers weighing. Weighing is key to get my vote
- The second rebuttal has to at least frontline turns
- The first summary has to make extensions on their case
- FF is probably going to extend summary anyway, but clear the round up for me here
- I don't flow cross, but I definitely listen to it
- Clarity > Speed, I care about what you say and the quality rather than random responses you dump (this gives you high speaks for me)
Good luck and I look forward to judging you!
Kamala Vadlamudi Paradigm
Amith Vadlamudi Paradigm
Molly Wancewicz Paradigm
Harker class of 2017, currently a junior at Rice University
I debated policy at Harker for 4 years, and I was a 2a for the last 3 years.
please put me on the email chain - molly dot wancewicz at gmail dot com
Scroll to the bottom for stuff specific to LD. Everything else was written with policy in mind but pretty much applies to LD too.
Don't be rude - If you're mean to your opponent or partner your speaker points will reflect that.
Nontopical affs - I’m definitely neg-leaning in the nontypical aff vs. topicality debates. I find topical version of the aff arguments very persuasive. Fairness is a less compelling topicality/framework argument to me, but I would still vote on it as a net benefit to the TVA. I can't see myself voting for a nontopical/planless aff in the event that framework is competently extended.
Kritiks - Besides the basics like security, cap, and colonialism, I’m not familiar with much of the literature of these arguments, especially high theory. Contextualization to the aff is extremely important to me in the kritik debate, and I find generic kritiks that aren't contextualized very unpersuasive. I also find that most k alts are implausible/prohibitively vague and/or don't solve the link - I find CX pressing the plausibility and details of the alt are really effective. In addition, I am often very willing to vote on case outweighs and/or case solves the K given that these arguments are well-explained in the 2ar.
DAs and case - My favorite debates. I think politics DAs and their spinoffs (reverse politics, wag the dog, etc.) are good, elections DAs are great, and topic-specific DAs are great as well. Technical case vs. DA debates are great and have a big impact on speaker points. I have a higher threshold on voting for neg arguments that aren't contextualized to the aff.
Counterplans - Need to have a solvency advocate. I like specific counterplans and I think DA+CP is a great 2nr, but I'm not a fan of cheating CPs (see theory) and I'm pretty aff-leaning on the theory question for these CPs.
Topicality (vs policy affs) - I’m willing to vote on T. Even if your violation is bad, I’ll vote on tech in the T debate (within reason obviously)
Theory - I'm pretty aff-leaning on theory questions regarding cheating counterplans like consult, add-a-condition, object fiat, etc. PICs are also probably bad but I would still vote for one if you win the debate. My ballot in any other theory debate (e.g. conditionality) would come down to in-round abuse and other arguments about the specific debate.
For LD specifically:
Theory - I think I have a higher threshold than most LD judges for voting on theory. There needs to be significant in-round abuse for me to vote on theory. I will literally never vote on an RVI.
Framing - I'm a big fan of util as a framework - I find it persuasive and I think we should default to it (but can still be persuaded otherwise and will vote for you if you win another framework).
Phil - I'm probably not a good judge for a phil debate. In these debates, both sides need to explain how their philosophy means that I should evaluate the debate, and the implication of their philosophy for the rest of the offense in debate. I tend to view all debates in terms of offense and defense so keep that in mind.
NR - In LD I've noticed people consistently going for multiple offensive arguments (e.g. a DA and case turns and theory) in the NR. I think it's crucial to collapse down to one argumentative strategy in the NR.
For PF specifically:
- Impact comparison is really important at the end of the debate; I don't want to do it for you.
Curtis Wang Paradigm
I debated for Loyola High School for 4 years (policy), Wake Forest University for a semester (policy), and El Camino College for two years (parli). I now coach PF at the Harker School.
I've debated both traditional and nontraditional forms of debate. There really isn't an argument that I won't hear. I have a higher threshold for theory, and rarely vote on potential abuse. But beyond that I do not have any serious predisposition to any arguments you read. Or at least I shouldn't... Blatantly offensive arguments, like impact turning racism or etc, probably will lose you the round though. Just be smart.
Speaker point break down - I'm pretty fair about speaker points (though I don't think there will be a judge who will tell you they aren't fair about speaker points) but I'm quick to catch on to things on general impoliteness vs sass (love sass). Just be a good person and speak well etc etc. Y'all should be mature enough to know what that means.
PF -- "paraphrasing" your evidence is not evidence and will result in a loss.
Bryan Weber Paradigm
I consider myself tabula rasa and enjoy the intellectual diversity that critical theory, performance, and other non-traditional advocacies bring to debate. Almost every facet of the round is open to debate and I'm open to alternate frameworks. That said, my educational background is largely in political theory and IR. While this shouldn't affect how I assess the round, it's to your advantage to spend more time on arguments from other academic fields or if you plan to use unconventional abbreviations or acronyms.
As an academic exercise, arguments should emphasize one's methods more than one's conclusions. What this means to me in-round is that I evaluate warrants and link/internal link analysis before impacts. "Risk of a link" is generally not very persuasive unless all preceding conclusions are equal and the impact calc is balanced. Small magnitude/high probability impacts generated through specific link scenarios, especially if those are then used to turn large magnitude/low probability impacts, are devastating. Additionally, don't expect me to flow entire arguments or schools of thought based on buzz words. For me, good arguments occur at the warrant level and answer questions of causality and probability.
I'm generally fine with speed but will do my best to get your attention if I'm having comprehension issues. Quantity of argument is a non-issue for me so don't feel that speed is that important either. Depth over breadth.
Topicality is a voter but usually not the best time commitment unless there are legitimate ground concerns or if used to set up a clever strategic choice. If you go for T, don't expect me to vote on it unless you're willing to spend the bulk of your rebuttal addressing it. If you decide to do that, standards/internal link debate is key.
Critical argumentation and kritiks do best with a case-specific link story and strong alternative. I’m more likely to vote for a plan/CP alternative than rejection in general but am open to rejection through framework and role of the ballot arguments.
Counterplans typically boil down to specific solvency evidence on-case and net benefit/s. For me, good solvency lit checks theory/abuse questions and keeps policy options rooted in practice.
Disadvantages are where excellent research tends to stand out, in my opinion. The difference between generic and case-specific link scenarios is considerable when it comes to predicting impacts. Because of this, I'm typically less persuaded by a race to extinction than by a discussion of uniqueness/link evidence and probable outcomes.
Most importantly, have fun, respect yourself and fellow debaters, and enjoy the tournament. Feel free to ask questions before the round if you have any.
Sean Wu Paradigm
Please speak slowly so I can clearly understand you. Please focus on / reemphasize your main points and rebut other side’s main arguments instead of flooding me with information about everything. Depth than breadth. Sometimes less is more :)
Darrell Yarbrough Paradigm
Speak very slowly.
State the resolution, as that is what is being debated
Explain everything. Don't assume that I know what a K is. Because I don't. Don't assume I know what anything else is either. I probably don't.
Speak very slowly.
Explain what the big arguments are and why the opposing side is not winning.
Be nice to each other.
Give me a reason to vote for your side. Or more than one.
Taylor Yazel Paradigm
Experience: 5 years coaching middle school public forum debate, 4 years competing in Public Forum and Extemp
Speed: I’m fine with speed where it’s neccessary, but not at the cost of diction or persuasion . If you are attempting it and I can only understand every other word, you’ll lose points
I flow arguments very heavily so signposting will get you far. If you counter opponents points but don’t direct me which contention or sub point, it’s possible I won’t follow. Don’t make me do the work for you. Don’t argue framework too much, bring it up in final focus to frame contentions.
Try to cover as much ground as possible. Clashing and focusing on one argument the entire debate frustrates me, and I prefer if you provide counters for all parts of your opponents contentions rather than focusing on only one part.
I don’t flow cross examine, but I do pay close attention it. This is an excellent spot to make up some extra speaker points or solidify your lead.
It also goes without saying, but keep it civil. Yelling or rudeness will lose you huge points. I very much value a professional and confident debater rather than a bully or poor winner.