Glenbrooks Speech and Debate Tournament
2018 — Northbrook and Glenview, IL/US
Tim Alderete Paradigm
Judging Philosophy - Tim Alderete -The Meadows School - firstname.lastname@example.org
Time before a round is Limited - you usually can't read the Whole Philosophy -the first part is the Short Version, the second part is if you have time to read it all.
First Part - Short / Pre Round Version
-"If nobody hates you, you are doing something wrong." - Dr. House
-I do want to be on the email chain - email@example.com
-I have a minimum standard for coherence of arguments or evidence. This probably means you think I’m “Interventionist.”
-I am not the best judge for Bad Theory. This is the area where my “minimum standard” gets used the most.
-I don’t inflate speaker points. To offset my low speaker point range, I offer incentives for flowing and sharing documents.
-I have often voted for kritikal affirmative and negative arguments
-I "can handle" your "speed" and I will call "Clearer" if you are unclear.
-I will vote on Defensive arguments.
-Prep time ends when you hit Send on the Email or hand over the USB.
-(Never thought I would have to state this in my philosophy...) Misrepresenting the context of evidence is cheating and can result in (up to) the loss of the round and points.
Second Part - Longer Version
Initially - I don't think that many people describe accurately how they judge. This is how I think I judge, but it is always better to ask Other people how I judge - they may have more accurate information.
Speaker Points – My speaker point range: 26 (Bad), 27 (Decent), 27.5 (Pretty Good), 28.0 (Very Good), 28.5 (Outstanding). 29.0 and above are saved for the most exceptional speakers – I have only given 3 people over a natural 29.0 in the last five years. I recognize that this range is lower than many judges. My Reason for my range is based upon my 28 years judging well over 4000 rounds at the high school and college levels – I am probably harder to impress than most judges. I have thought about changing my range, but I have chosen not to inflate speaker points, for the same reason that I chose not to inflate grades – it gives me no way to rate truly exceptional debaters, and doesn’t let fair to middling debaters know that they need to improve.
However, I Have chosen to augment points with incentives. If you keep a good flow, and show it to me after the round, I will give you up to an additional speaker point if I agree that it is a good flow. I do this to encourage flowing and organization. If you do not steal Any prep time during the debate and practice good USB/Paperless norms, I will give you up to .5 more. Remember that once I have entered my E-Ballot online, I cannot change your points, so you must Ask before I turn the ballot in.
The Theory – Good theory arguments are essential to prevent abusive practices by teams. Good theory is one aspect of debate that makes our activity unique, because it gives students a sense of empowerment as they control the rules of the game. Theory arguments are sometimes your only option – your “Plan B” – and I respect debaters who recognize and utilize their most strategic options. Bad Theory arguments make it harder for me to take Good Theory arguments seriously, because if everything is a voting issue, then nothing is. I think that currently, Bad Theory is drowning out Good Theory. I admit that there is no precise line or list dividing the two, and I won’t “Automatically Intervene” against arguments that I think are Bad, and I Often vote against my “defaults” or “preferences” on Theory. I will Try to take your Theory arguments as seriously as you do, but at a fundamental level, It is Harder to Convince me of a Dumb argument than a Good argument.
For the most part, debaters do a bad job of justifying that arguments are a reason to vote against a debater, rather than to drop an argument. Debaters too often conflate “Bad Debate Practice” with “Abusive Practices.” Too often, debaters focus on comparing fairness and education as terminal impacts, rather than focusing on the Link Magnitude and Probability of your theory arguments. Too often people overcommit, or go all-in, on theory too early in the debate. I believe that good theory can/should drown out Bad theory. Because that is such an imprecise line, I will try to give you some examples, so that you can see what my proclivities are:
Bad Theory –
Affirmative Framework Choice – this, Literally, Argues that Argument is Bad
“No Solvency Advocate = You Lose” – this is a solvency press, not a theory argument.
“PICs must have one card which advocates the Action it takes and Advocates Not taking the Action it PICs out of” – like above, but Waaay more silly.
“I cannot turn your theory argument, so you lose.” – Fundamental misunderstanding of how arguments work.
“Topicality is a Reverse Voting Issue” – No, it isn’t.
“You lose because you put your Role of the Ballot on the Bottom, not the Top, of the AC.” – Stunning.
"You said no reverse voting issues. That's a reverse voting issue." I'm speechless...
“You lose because you ran both theoretical and substantive justifications for your framework” – Really?!
“You didn’t number your Spikes = You lose.” – Strike me. Seriously.
Good Theory –
Whole Resolution / Plans Bad
Truth Testing vs Competing Worlds
Role Playing Policymakers vs Discourse
PICs Good/Bad (only run against Counterplans, not against Plans or the Resolution… Just FYI)
Fiat issues (Multiple Actors, International Actors, Contingent Fiat, etc. NOT "No Neg Fiat")
Offense and Defense – Offensive arguments are good because they give you options and they pressure the other debater. Defensive arguments are good because they often are necessary complements to offensive arguments, and because they are often the strongest logical flaws against a position. The idea that Defensive arguments cannot take out a position alone is misguided. "Offense/Defense" is a useful teaching concept but it is often misapplied as a debate argument or comparison, most often on theory. It is not an excuse to avoid responding to Link answers or Violation Answers or Counter standards. I am easier to convince than most judges that there is No Case, No Violation or No Interpretation. I rarely default to "There is always some risk." I evaluate impact calculus After I decide whether you have won an argument, not before (or instead of) it. I do not see "Defensive" arguments as being weaker arguments. An Intelligent Defensive argument is better than a Poor Offensive argument. I am willing to vote on Defensive arguments that take out the entirety of a case or the entirety of a Theory argument. It may be a high Threshold, but there is a Threshold. Again, Examples:
“You did not extend your Impacts – therefore there are no impacts” – this is just a weak press.
“Alternative Causality – they cannot solve all racism in the world” – I don’t believe that was their claim to start with…
“Economic Decline doesn’t cause war” – this is Defensive, but just because it doesn’t cause war doesn’t mean that decline isn’t bad.
“There is no Offensive reason why they Don’t have to number their spikes.” – Defense will probably suffice here.
“Obama won’t lose political capital if Kenya decides to ban oil” vs “There is always a risk of a link” – this has crossed the threshold of No Risk.
Kritiks - Good Kritik debates are some of the best debates that I have judged. They are interesting, creative, demand challenging case specific research, and respond to core issues and assumptions raised by the Affirmative. Bad Kritik debates are some of the worst debates that I have judged. They avoid engaging the debate either through obscure jargon or shallow procedurals, or conflate kritiks with other arguments, or are hopelessly generic, or are about Baudrilliard. I think that kritiks often balance well the philosophical and the political in LD – as such, I think that LD has been “Doing Kritiks” for decades, without calling the arguments kritiks. I think that it is a mistake to conflate all discourse arguments with “Micropolitical Activism” – they are not always synonyms.
Prep Time – LD has not developed norms or practices for sharing paperless evidence. This causes a substantial waste of time, which extends or moots prep time limits. At a minimum, I have these expectations:
-Prep time should end when you hand the USB to the opponent.
-Debaters must provide a USB or Email copy of every card they read to their opponent prior to the speech. Paper copies can be handed to them as they are read.
-Reading over someone’s shoulder is NOT a sufficient substitute – it is a major distraction, interferes with flowing, and it means one person will not be able to use their computer
-The Cases, Disads, frontlines, evidence, etc. must All be in One word document, rather than spread out over multiple documents.
-You may time yourself, but only My time is official.
-Why wouldn't you use Microsoft Word?
-I won't read evidence that isn't shared via USB or email. I realize that some teams have a Policy against sharing evidence. Those teams either already strike me, or should in the future.
Policy – I have coached both Policy and LD – although I have focused on Policy for most years. While I have judged a substantial amount of LD, my judging will always, inevitably, be influenced by my Policy background. Because of that:
-I hold debaters responsible for high quality evidence.
-I am familiar with Counterplan, Kritik and Topicality positions and burdens.
-I “can handle” The Speed.
-I have a lower point range.
-I reward strategic choices, and believe that Diverse Options are good.
-I don’t like Disclosure games – Although Don’t take this to mean I want to hear Disclosure theory…
-I will disclose decisions after the debate. I am not used to disclosing points, but I am not opposed to it.
I am usually loud and long winded when explaining decisions - I am not trying to be mean, just loud. I do enjoy judging a lot, even if I appear intimidating. In general, I will flow pretty much any intelligible speed. I will consider pretty much any intelligent argument.
Grant Brown Paradigm
Grant Brown (He/Him/His)
Millard North ’17, Swarthmore College ’21 (Studying Philosophy)
Instructor at the National Symposium for Debate and the Texas Debate Collective
Assistant Lincoln-Douglas Coach at Lake Highland Prep
Conflicts: Millard North, Lake Highland Preparatory
A spreadsheet, for your reference, with my decisions can be found here.
Last Updates: 2019 Bronx
The Short Version
As a student when I considered a judge I usually looked for a few specific things, I will answer those here:
1. What are their qualifications?
I qualified three times to the TOC, cleared twice, and reached semifinals my senior year. I have taught seven weeks of camp for three summers and am in my third year as an assistant coach at Lake Highland.
2. What will they listen to?
Anything - excluding discourses and practices which exclude other participants.
3. What are they experienced in?
I coach a wide variety of arguments and am fairly comfortable adjudicating any style of debate. I am most familiar with kritik based arguments, particularly those which are invested in critical-theory and continental philosophy. I find myself to generally be the least certain of my decisions in debates involving dense amounts of theory and tricks.
4. What do they like?
I don’t have any predetermined notion of what debate should look, act, feel, or sound like and I greatly enjoy when debaters experiment within the space of the activity. In general, if you communicate clearly, are well researched, show depth of understanding in the literature you are reading, and bring passion to the debate I will enjoy whatever you have to present.
5. How do they adjudicate debates?
I generally have a fairly systematic way of adjudicating debates. I begin by attempting to discern the priority of the various layers of arguments presented, examples include frameworks or weighing arguments which specify which types of impacts matter, a theory argument which contests the fairness or education of a position, a kritik which indicts the performance of the affirmative, etc. Once I have determined the priority of layers, I proceed to evaluating the different arguments on each layer, looking for an offensive reason to vote, accounting for defense, bringing in other necessary layers, and whatever else is necessary to find an adequate resolution to the debate.
General things to note:
I flow on a computer in an excel document.
Speed is great so long as you’re clear – I will call “clear” or “slow” a reasonable amount of times – I have a very high threshold for clarity.
I’ll do my best to be tabula rasa and be “tech over truth” but these concepts are vague at best. Smart technically work can make up for weaker truths and pinpointed truths can overwhelm technicalities.
I find the evaluation of embedded clash to be inevitable. This isn't to say I ignore the line-by-line of the flow, but that what I determine to be relevant parts of the flow for a particular portion of the debate - the pieces that make up the arguments I'm evaluating - tends to be based on a fairly holistic and interconnected view. This is not something I prefer, I'd rather not have to do any embedded evaluation, but I find it to be a necessity in many debates which have lackluster weighing and explanation by debaters.
There must be an explained and impacted warrant to an argument in order for me to vote on it. I have a high threshold for explanation. If they entirely concede a theory argument and you extend it with no warrants, I will happily refuse to vote on it. It is impossible to resolve a set of competing claims and I refuse to do that work for you – warrants are an unmovable threshold. I don’t care if the warrant is a misunderstanding or perhaps even false, for example: “Dogs can fly because they have legs which enable movement that could allow them to ascend vertically.” That is sufficient if it is conceded, but there must be some potential justification/reasoning for your claim.
I prefer not to have to use defaults to make important judgements about a debate, as hopefully they’ve been explained by the debaters, but in the cases where they are required, I’ve listed my general views here. I default to a comparative worlds paradigm in which I weigh the desirability of the affirmative versus the negative based on provided impact framing. I default to presuming negative, unless there is an alternative advocacy (counterplan, kritik) in the 2NR without the choice of the status-quo, in which case I presume affirmative. Furthermore, I presume that the status-quo is always an option for the negative, but I will only evaluate it as such if the 2NR explicitly does work on this question. Lastly, I default that layers can be weighed against each other on the same level (theory, topicality, kritiks).
I’ve decided that absent thorough explanation of what arguments such as “evaluate the theory debate after the 1AR/2NR” mean I am not going to evaluate them. If you can explain which layers and arguments in the debate this applies to when you extend it, feel free to go for it, but otherwise I’d recommend against it.
As my time in the activity steadily increases, I find myself more frequently compelled by arguments which are positionally defended, well researched, and grounded in educational content and less frequently compelled by arguments which are frivolous, poorly justified, and used entirely for technical advantage. This stands as a general rule of thumb, but in practice has led to a real distaste for cheap-shots, tricks, and frivolous theory arguments, as I find the ones that I frequently judge to be at least intuitively pointless, unnecessary, and unoffensive. After these types of debates, I almost always find myself asking “Why couldn’t they have just responded to the substance of their opponent’s argument?” Though I imagine I will still vote for those positions, this certainly effects my distribution of speaker points and threshold for responses to certain positions and is something to keep in mind. Practically, this just means that I’d prefer to see, regardless of your preferred style of debate, a few well-developed and defended positions, be it a theory interpretation, kritik, counterplan, or otherwise, rather than a random smattering of underdeveloped and unjustified ones.
I’m most familiar with this style of debating, usually from the poststructuralist and continental philosophy angle, and they are my favorite debates to judge when done well.
I really value clarity of explanation, especially in the context of dense philosophy. The most common concern I find myself raising to debaters is a lack of through development of a worldview. Working through the way that your understanding of the world operates, be it through the alternative resolving the links, your theory of violence explaining a root-cause, or otherwise is crucial to convey what I should be voting for at the end of the debate.
I find that a large number of alternatives are either not competitive or are poorly explained but the affirmative fails to articulate a solid permutation. Similarly, explain your permutations - one sentence in the 1AR and 3 minutes in the 2AR won't cut it.
I'm a fairly receptive judge to these positions. I don't really care if you defend the topic entirely, a little bit, or not at all. You should just advocate what you can justify and defend. It generally holds true that the further the affirmative is from the topic the more topicality’s concern for fairness becomes persuasive, but well developed arguments on either side can shift this greatly.
You should forefront an explanation of what you defend, be it a methodology, implementation of a plan, theory of approach or analysis, or otherwise. It is usually shiftiness in conjunction with a lack of clear story from the affirmative that results in sympathy for procedurals such as topicality and other negative objections in these debates in front of me.
I generally find negative tricks against these positions (switch-side debate, topical version, truth-testing, fairness first) to be fairly weak but I end up voting on them quite frequently due to lack of a forwarding of a different vision for the debate from affirmatives.
I am least comfortable adjudging intricate theory debates; however I enjoy these debates when there is a lot of clash and weighing on one or two shells. I do not enjoy these debates as much when there are multiple shells, meta-theory, or a lack of clash and weighing. A majority of my decisions on theory come down to either dropped arguments or weighing in an otherwise extremely messy debate.
I default to no RVI, drop the argument, and competing interpretations. I default to a pretty modest understanding of competing interpretations in which a risk of offense isn't "game over" - if you disagree you ought to explain your version.
I am profoundly unpersuaded by any claims that appeal to a constitutive nature of the activity/judge and jurisdiction claims. So unpersuaded that if it is anything less than dropped I'm unsure if I would vote for it. It seems logically incoherent.
The later in the round the shell is read the less likely I am going to feel comfortable voting on it. That's not to say I won't vote on 2NR or even 2AR theory, but I'd really prefer that I didn't have to, plus you're basically putting the debate in my hands in that point - it's a big risk.
I will vote on disclosure theory and brackets theory, though using either, especially increasingly specified interpretations, for purely technical gain is yucky.
I have a voting record that is fairly favorable towards theory, however I have become increasingly aware of my bias against theory "tricks". This includes things such as "must read a counter-interpretation," arbitrary independent voters (e.g. strategy skew, I'm fine with things such as resolvability), etc. These are usually extended without a warrant and are dependent on either intuition/prior interpretative beliefs about the nature of theory or a purely technical evaluation that will vote on mere claims - in these instances I am likely to refuse to vote on these arguments. I will however vote on these arguments when they actually have a warrant.
You should have a clear interpretation and violation that explains your vision of the topic. The affirmative should either defend the violation or have a counter-definition or competitive counter-interpretation.
You should isolate the ground that you lose, the limits that are broken - reference case-lists and be specific.
I enjoy T debates that include carded topic-lit evidence to support their impacts and interpretation.
Everything in the theory section applies here as well.
I enjoy these greatly and wish I judged them more.
Good analytics can be more effective than bad evidence - I'm a good judge for strong "spin" and extrapolation outside of the evidence itself.
Explain your scenarios in later speeches - advantage/disadvantage overviews are great.
I'm mostly neutral on multiple condo, though I suppose I slightly lean affirmative if its more than two or three.
I've gotten significantly better at judging these debates and I spend pretty much all my time in college reading, studying, and discussing philosophy.
I'd implore you to give overviews and slow down to explain the main points of clash in later speeches. These debates can get very messy with a variety of preclusion claims, hijacks, etc. and a clear explanation of the implications of your extensions and arguments can sway the debate in your favor.
I'm a fan of frameworks interacting with kritiks, theory, and otherwise.
I have voted on these arguments frequently when they are well explained in the context of the rest of the debate in terms of both their content (the claim and warrant) and function (their impact). You should therefore explain how your trick interacts with other layers and arguments in the debate if you want to go for it.
Being honest with your sketchiness is in your best interest - for both strategic reasons and for my own comprehension. I'm okay with voting for an argument I didn't see coming, but if I can't logically put together from the pieces you explain in the later speeches how the argument functions i.e. why it affirms, takes out theory, etc, I'm probably not going to vote on it.
If accusations of clipping/cross-reading are made I will a) stop the debate b) confirm the accuser wishes to stake the round on this question c) render a decision based on the guilt of the accused.
If I notice an ethics violation I will skip A and B and proceed unilaterally to C.
Questions of misrepresentation/miscutting should be addressed in the round - in whatever form you determine to be best.
I disclose speaks. I believe it helps students learn what they can do better and helps discourage bad practices.
A thirty requires an affective component – passion and exceptionality – that is what distinguishes it from a very high 29.
Here is a rough framework I will attempt to follow – I assign speaks relative to the pool so a 29.5 at a local tournament is different than a 29.5 at the TOC:
<25-26: Unethical; offensive, clipping of cards.
27-28: Significantly below average, unlikely to clear.
28-29: Slightly below, at, or slightly above average, potential to clear but won't make it far (I try to average a 28.5)
29-30: Significantly above average, most likely to clear and will be competitive in late elims.
Ernest Chomicki Paradigm
I have been head coach at Bradley Tech High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for 17 years, and just now semi retired. but still helping out with the team for the last two. I have been influential in having students qualify for our State Tournament in all debate categories, and Nationals in Policy Debate. We have focused on Lincoln-Douglas the last 6 years however.
Not a fan of speaking so fast that you pass out in the round. I can usually flow a decently fast speaker as long a you are clear. I will let you know if you are too fast or I can't understand you.
I love topicality! I'm biased because that is how I used to win my negative rounds. HOWEVER, a bad T violation will not persuade me to vote for your side. T violations should be well constructed and given weight, as well as how it impacts the negative adversely. For Aff, definitely give justifiable reasons why you should win the T debate; not just with theory arguments.
RUN THEM! Just make sure the impact is strong.
RUN THEM! HOWEVER, for the purpose of LD, theory might not completely persuade me to vote against a counterplan, unless the neg side drops it, then I will vote on it.
RUN THEM! But you don't automatically win them if you do not understand them yourself. If you run it, run it well!
Not very clear on these. I understand Kritiks, so if they are run in this manner, I'm on board.
This is my weakest area. Still I will listen, if you are very knowledgeable and can convince me.
Overall, I am very tabula rasa when it comes to debate, and I love to learn from the debates I judge. Which is why I am not too much a fan of extremely high speed debates. So I will listen to pretty much ANYTHING if you can persuade me how you win. I look forward to judging you.
Sarah Chowdhury Paradigm
Traditional judge. I like theory, philosophy, and logic. Very big on value/value criterion. If you are going to run theory shell or a K, there better be a compelling reason and you need to tell me that reason. If running theory shell, do not waste more than 3 mins time discussing it. You should have other substantive arguments as well.
DO NOT SPEED READ EVIDENCE TO ME!
I'd rather you summarize the evidence in your own words and tell me why its relevant and should be valued. You should only be quoting blocks of evidence when absolutely necessary.
You MUST tell me the impact of your argument for me to give it any weight.
Betsy Cohen Paradigm
I am a third year parent judge. I have judged at a local and national level, mostly in Novice. I will flow and keep track of arguments and vote for the best arguments. I prefer a conversational speed and it is your responsibility to make sure that your speech is clear and understandable. If you are speaking too fast, I will ask you to slow down. I prefer quality over quantity.
I expect people to be respectful and I do not appreciate bully tactics during rounds. I consider constant interruptions to be rude. I love well-constructed arguments with well-supported evidence; I prefer to evaluate arguments based on the specific resolution and value/criterion.
I love judging. Have fun and be yourself!
Shari Cruz Paradigm
I AM A PARENT - NOT A FORMER DEBATER OR DEBATE COACH. I AM A TRADITIONAL JUDGE.
SPEED: DO NOT SPREAD. HOWEVER, SPEAKING FAST, AS LONG AS I CAN UNDERSTAND YOU IN ORDER TO FLOW, IS ACCEPTED. IF I CAN'T UNDERSTAND YOU, I WILL CALL "CLEAR." IF YOU DO NOT BECOME INTELLIGIBLE, I WILL PUT DOWN MY PEN AND STOP FLOWING YOUR SPEECH.
TOPICALITY: YOUR ARGUMENTS SHOULD BE IN-LINE WITH THE RESOLUTION. IF YOUR ARGUMENTS ARE NON-TOPICAL, YOUR OPPONENT CAN USE THIS AS A VOTER.
I DON'T VOTE ON THEORY.
CRITERION IS IMPORTANT AS A MEANS TO MEASURE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE VALUE. FOR NOVICE LD DEBATE, I WEIGH THE FLUENCY OF THE CRITERIA AT A MODERATE RATE. SO THE DEBATER SHOULD BE ABLE TO, AT A MINIMUM, EXPLAIN TO ME HOW HE/SHE CAN MEASURE WHETHER OR NOT THE VALUE HE/SHE HAS CHOSEN CAN AND SHOULD BE MEASURED AND ACHIEVED.
VOTING ISSUES ARE IMPORTANT, SHOULD BE SPECIFIC, AND SHOULD BE PRESENTED CLEARLY. NON-PRESENTATION OF VOTING ISSUES WILL NOT NEGATIVELY AFFECT SCORING.
REBUTTALS SHOULD BE LINE-BY-LINE, AND CAN INCLUDE VOTING ISSUES.
I DECIDE WHO IS THE WINNER OF THE KEY ARGUMENTS OF THE ROUND
BOTH ANALYTICAL AND EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE ARE PREFERRED
I AM FAMILIAR WITH THE BASICS OF VALUE AND CRITERION. THE BEST WAY FOR A DEBATER TO EARN MY VOTE IS TO PRESENT A CLEAR & LOGICAL VALUE AND CRITERION, SUPPORT THE CRITERION WITH A COMBINATION OF EMPIRICAL AND ANALYTICAL DATA, ATTACK THE OPPONENT'S ARGUMENTS USING EVIDENCE AND LOGIC, AND WITH RESPECT, REBUILD YOUR CASE WELL, AND PRESENT LINE-BY-LINE REBUTTALS. ALWAYS USE YOUR CRYSTALIZATION TIME WISELY- I'M OPEN MINDED RIGHT THOUGH THE END OF THE DEBATE.
Amogh Dendukuri Paradigm
ABOUT ME: I debated policy for 4 years at Milpitas (CA) and am currently the president of speech and debate team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where I compete and coach NFA-LD and NPDA-Parli formats of debate.
I coached the policy debate team Woodlands MR (TX) from 2017-2019 who ended up earning 4 bids to the TOC and winning the Michigan RR their senior year. I currently coach the policy debate team Hebron BS (TX) and the LD debater Evergreen Valley SS (CA)
Please put me on the email chain – firstname.lastname@example.org – feel free to email me with any questions you might have before or after the round. If there's anything I can do to make this round more accessible, please let me know!
GENERAL VIEWS: My debate career and involvement as a coach has been almost exclusively invested into kritikal and/or performative styles of advocacy, but I actively try to not have any fixed biases that cannot be changed with good debating. I won't have a problem understanding or evaluating most traditional arguments, but this is an area of debate that I do not have too much personal investment in. I tend to get preffed for Policy vs. K (on either side) and K vs. K debates. If your idea of an ideal debate is a nitty-gritty Policy vs. Policy round, I'm a competent flow judge to have in the back of the room but you should still probably pref me mid/lower. With all that being said, I will do my best to evaluate any argument you want to make without any preconceived biases as long as it isn't problematic.
**If this is a Novice or JV round, I would much rather you stick to arguments that you are comfortable with than try to poorly adapt to what you think I'll want to hear.
TLDR: I am more familiar with and invested in the kritikal side of debate, but you do what you do best and I'll do my best to evaluate it objectively. Regardless of what you choose to defend, specificity and depth are key to my ballot.
WHAT I LOOK FOR IN (GOOD) DEBATES:
- I generally believe that tech > truth.
- Organization, specificity, evidence comparison and argument interaction are key to amazing debates.
- Framing (at every level) is crucial in my decision-making process. Tell me how I should view the debate and why.
- The debate is not determined by evidence in a vacuum; it's up to YOU to explain (or spin) warrants, regardless of how amazing (or unfortunately terrible) your cards may be.
- Cross-x is an underutilized art. Destroy your opponents with precision. Be one step ahead. Be a witty asshole.
POLICY AFFS: Not the types of affirmatives I read, but I'm open to evaluating them. I appreciate well thought out and creative approaches to the topic (if I wanted to listen to uninspired garbage every round, I would probably be judging public forum). I would much rather you read one or two well developed and strategic advantage(s) than several mediocre ones. I've noticed a troubling trend of terrible/outdated evidence in the policy rounds I've had the opportunity to judge – I appreciate teams that put in the effort to utilize and debate out the merits of evidence. I don't default to any particular framework when evaluating the round – it's up to the debaters to tell me what is important and my ballot ought to prioritize.
Because the policy rounds I judge usually end up being versus the K, here's some specific thoughts on those debates:
- Defend your affirmative - while a certain degree of adaptation/pivoting can be strategic, you're probably better off sticking to your guns. Avoid resorting to vague permutations and shifty link defense.
- Utilize/Apply the affirmative - take the time to make specific link/impact turn arguments.
- I have a high standard for perm articulation from the Aff and link articulation from the Neg -- that means in addition to not letting lazy K teams get away with bad link analysis, you need to do the work to truly explain how the permutation functions.
- Substantive 2AC framework arguments are more likely to influence my decision than whiny procedural stuff.
KRITIKAL AFFS: These are the types of affirmatives I am most familiar with and find most interesting. I strongly believe that there is a level of investment with the literature and knowledge about debate as an activity necessary for successful execution of kritikal affirmatives – while I fully encourage you to experiment and go for whatever you'd like (in the pursuit of creativity and education), just know that I will not uncritically vote for you just because of your choice or style of argumentation.
I've debated, written, and judged a variety of kritikal Affs (both on the level of form and content), so you do you. I tend to think that the most interesting and strategic K-Affs are unique to the resolution in some way (whatever that may mean to you). If you're looking for an idea of literature bases I'm most familiar with, look to the "Kritiks" section of my paradigm below.
I think that taking the time to make smart and offensive application of your Aff's criticism and explaining the unique friction between your methodology and the Neg's argumentation is a necessary component of effective K-Aff execution – supplement your blocks and cards with smart in-round analysis and contextual application of your theory.
KRITIKS: My favorite argument in debate – most of my debate career consisted of various 1-Off K strategies.
I have a general understanding of most K's read in debate, but my personal knowledge and interest lies in criticisms dealing with identity and/or structural positionality (various branches of theory dealing with Anti-blackness, Asian/Indian American Identity, Necropolitics, Settler Colonialism, Feminism, Queer/Quare/Kuaer-ness, Disability...etc). If the edgy and unintelligible works of old/dead white dudes is your cup of tea, I'm not a terrible judge for you either – feel free to read your post-modern sludge in front of me, but I'm going to hold you to a higher standard for explanation and contextualization (due to the often dense nature of these works).
Regardless of what I'm familiar with in terms of literature bases, if YOU understand your criticism and YOU do the work to explain and contextualize your offense, you'll probably be fine.
Specificity and depth are key to good K debates – you can probably make generic link arguments and still get me to vote for you, but the best debates happen when you generate unique links to the Aff and are able to reference specific warrants or lines in your opponents' argumentation and evidence. I appreciate creative link stories. I'm down to listen to long overviews. You don't always need an alternative if you win your framing. I will reward you generously with speaks if you are really well versed in your literature and are able to demonstrate your knowledge by making smart analytic claims and arguments in your speeches and cross-x. I value 2NC/1NR's that are less card-intensive and more focused on explanation and contextualization.
DISADS/COUNTER-PLANS: Although I didn't personally go for these types of strategies during my high school career, I have no problem evaluating them. I don't have too many thoughts on these debates – the more specific and less generic your strategy is, the happier I will be. I'm a computer science student whose involvement in debate revolves mostly around critical theory – this means that I may not be super familiar with any specific political terminology of scenarios you may be talking about, so be sure to explain things and be precise. It would make me happy to not have to listen to politics-esque DAs unless you genuinely believe your evidence is hyper-specific or hyper-recent – I'll evaluate them to the best of my ability, but I think they're incredibly boring and often a product of ridiculous assertions/terrible evidence.
TOPICALITY: I have and will vote on well developed and impacted out topicality arguments. If you're reading T as an aimless timesuck argument, I will probably know and be very salty that I'm having to waste a perfectly good sheet of paper. I expect both sides to be taking the time to do real comparative work on the level of interpretations and standards.
I am more than excited to listen to any innovative or unconventional topicality arguments about identity, body politics, agency, boredom, death, simulation, education...etc.
FRAMEWORK (VS. K-AFFS): Despite almost always being on the other side of this argument, I see the value of Framework arguments and find the clash of civilizations debate to be an enjoyable one to evaluate.
For decision-making purposes, I evaluate these debates as a question of competing models for debate on the level of form AND content. My ideal Framework debates consist of well-executed procedural offense supplemented with tailored methodological arguments about institutional knowledge/political engagement. Explain to me what your model looks like in the context of the affirmative's criticism. I find well developed TVA and SSD arguments to be very persuasive and an easy place to vote neg in procedural debates. The TVA probably has to solve the Aff or at least be comparatively better (but I'll leave it up to the debaters to tell me what "better" really means).
Framework can get really stale, so I appreciate specificity and innovative approaches to the argument (Street-T, Black Framework, Embodiment, Counter-Tactics, Materiality, Utopianism...etc).
THEORY: Not really a big fan of most conventional theory arguments, but if it seems particularly strategic or necessary in your round, feel free to go for it.
Isaac Dorn Paradigm
Question: Am I a bad judge?
Answer: Maybe? Probably. I'm either dumb or just slow.
Experience: I debated policy three years for Neenah High School (WI) and have been judging/coaching since 2016. I was an ok (subpar) debater with some nationals experience, but I was double 1s so evaluate that however you want.
Paradigm: Tabs. I'm good with speed. I will vote for anything well run in a debate round. I am pretty good at following K proper flows. I can have a hard time with heavy theory debates. That being said, feel free to run whatever you are comfortable with.
In Round stuff: I really really really would prefer you to time your own speeches/prep/cross. I am very disorganized and absent-minded so I will probably forget to write down the prep usage or start speech times late if at all. Its also just good practice to be mindful of time in a round.
Feel free to ask me before a round. Chances are you know more than I do, I generally think I know what I'm talking about but I probably don't. In the words of my partner "Remember that time you thought you invented dispo"
My email is email@example.com
Email me if you have any questions about your ballot or my paradigm, Im happy to reply!
Policy affs with a plantext: Go for it.
Plantext affs with K impacts: Go for it
Non Traditional Affs (advocacy, narratives, performance, kritikal, etc.): Go for it, but make sure to clearly extend case. Also I need a clear ROB so that I know what I'm voting for at the end of the round.
DAs: Go for it.
CPs (Consult, Process, Agent, etc.): Go for it, make sure there is a clear net benefit. I tend to grant affs a bit more leeway when it comes to solvency as long as there isn't a competitive fiat debate. I also appreciate good explanations of the perm on both sides (i.e. whether there is functional severance, redundancy, works/doesn't work etc.). Some caveats; I have a history of defaulting affirmative on counterplans that I am unclear on or if the permutation debate seemed muddled to me (I am, however, beginning to shift my mindset on this towards tech>truth)
Ks (any kind): Go for it. Love em'. Like I said, I can keep up with K proper flows. Make sure your alt and link are clearly explained. While I like kritiks, I prefer for them to be educational rather than strategically ambiguous. I am also not an expert on all of the literature which means concepts need to be explained clearly. On kritiks that center around identity, I will enforce my role as an educator to ensure that debate is a safe and inclusive environment. I have not encountered significant issues in this domain so far in my experience as a judge, but I will not tolerate discriminatory speech.
T - Let me preface this by saying I have never voted on T. That being said, there are a few things you need to do to win a T debate in front of me. 1) Clear and present standards AND voters 2) In round abuse (which could be strategically planned) or a compelling reason for me to vote on potential abuse 3) Commitment in the 2NR, the argument is theoretically that you can't engage with a non-topical aff, if you spend half the 2NR with offense on the aff that makes your argument less compelling. IMO Topicality is a tool to keep affirmatives in check, I am much more Truth>Tech on the T flow.
Most of my squirreling on panels is usually because my understanding of theory. I didn't really get it as a debater, so most of my knowledge comes from my experience as a judge/coach/just thinking about it. I think my biggest problem with theory is that it is rooted in quick one-liners that don't have a ton of substance. Seeing that I've never been great at flowing my preference is depth over breadth on theory.
(Update) I will not retract my previous statement, however I have developed my thought process some more. When you are engaged in a theory debate in front of me, make sure you have two things. 1) A sufficient claim that you meet your interpretation of debate better than your opponent. 2) Comparative offense calculus so that I as a judge understand why I should care about your interpretation of debate.
I will for sure vote for theory arguments in a debate, if I can understand them.
I will not accept "they conceded this card, extent this card" as a valid extension of your arguments. I guess you could call this truth over tech but I need to understand what your offense is in every speech. Drop out of contentions that you are losing on and focus on how the arguments you are winning on outweigh your opponents arguments if you are concerned about time.
Zarek Drozda Paradigm
General: I debated for four years on nat circuit at Harker. I'm open to any sort of argument, but here are my defaults:
- If your A strat is to run a bunch of theory spikes/presumption triggers every round and do no topic prep, don't pref me :D I will not vote on frivolous theory.
- I'll still listen to any shell you read, especially if there is legit abuse in the round. Well-executed plans good/plans bad, pics good/bad, etc. are fine.
- I default to competing interpretations and drop the argument, but I'll vote on whatever is decided in the debate.
- RVIs are fine.
- I ran mostly util and policy style arguments, but you can read whatever you want so long as you justify your framework fully and explain how you (and your opponent) can weigh under your standard clearly
- Just because you win framework or ROB doesn't mean you win the round - weigh your links
- I'm not very compelled by skep - its probably defense
- Run them - I think they're the most educational part of debate, but if you read a rather uncommon K (i.e. something other than Cap, Fem, Racism, Anthro, etc.) make sure you explain them in english and not esoteric philosophical terms.
Most importantly, have fun! Debate is about learning and having fun while learning, not just trophies :D
Vamshi Eppanapally Paradigm
I debated PF, did extemp for three years in high school and judged on the local circuit. I'm currently a sophomore at UChicago.
- I'm most familiar with traditional AC/NC framework/contention debates, but can also judge progressive positions if you choose to read them.
- Don't spread but feel free to speak at a brisk pace. Weigh and crystallize clearly
- I would prefer if you stuck to traditional case debate, but if you choose to read CPs/DAs/Ks, just explain more than you usually would. I've also judged normal AC/NC debates and simple theory debates.
Speaker Points: I'll try to average a 28.5. I'll give you speaks based on your strategy, explanation, and efficiency. +.1 if you bring water, +.2 if you bring a cookie.
Abraham Fraifeld Paradigm
I cannot flow spreading, so please don't do it.
In making arguments you cannot skip any steps. I know how to evaluate debates, but I am new to LD, so there are lots of arguments that most LD judges know all about that I am unfamiliar with. That does not mean you can't run them in front of me - you just have to be able to fully explain everything part of the argument, avoid jargon where possible, and be crystal clear about why you winning it matters for the round.
- Please time yourselves
- I appreciate concision, but I think evidence too often gets misconstrued when it's paraphrased. I understand paraphrasing is common now, so I reserve the right to check evidence at the end of the round even if the evidence is not challenged by the debaters (I won't look for holes in the evidence - I just want to make sure what was said matches the original writing).
- I accept logical defensive responses made in crossfire as part of the flow. Cross is still not for reading cards.
- I don't think defense needs to be extended in late round speeches unless it is answered. The alternative to this would be to allow extensions through ink, which is wrong.
- I try my best to flow. I won't vote for things I don't understand. I don't want to keep you in the dark about whether or not I understand something, so my face should give away when I am confused.
- If multiple arguments flow through to the end of the round and there isn't good, explicit weighing, I will vote for the argument that was best constructed/most persuasive to me. Since how I feel about arguments is pretty nebulous, you should weigh early and often. Do not leave it for the last moment. If you can't think of anything productive to do in crossfire, set up weighing mechanisms.
Meera Ganesh Paradigm
I competed for four years in speech and debate at James Logan High School. I am pretty familiar with all types of debate although I only seriously competed in public forum.
When judging rounds I focus most on impact. If your impacts aren't extended through the second half of the debate I won't pay much attention to them. It is also especially important to tie the impact calculus back to the framework that you want me to judge the round on.
If arguments are left without a response I carry them through to the end.
If you're not competing in policy then I see absolutely no reason to spread. I can keep up with relatively fast speaking but if it gets too fast I will just stop flowing.
Lastly, don't be rude or obnoxious. I will drop you if your arguments are preposterous or blatantly ignorant.
Conor Halbleib Paradigm
National Tournament Contestant 2010
National judge 2012 & 2013
Congress and PF contestant
Winner of the 2010 Trinity High School Speech Award
Look for full arguments
Defend vigorously from all sides
Sandi Hibbard Paradigm
I am a Tradition LD judge.
I do not care for Theory or Kritiks. Debate the Resolution given. No funny, crazy or wild stuff.
Speech speed - I Flow along with the Debate. I suggest you do not Spread. I am semi-fast but I want to make sure I get ALL of your case. Please go slow over Author tags/cards/evidence, I don't want to miss giving an Author their due. I do not want to see your case, your job is to tell me about it. You will benefit from being well-spoken and limiting your speech speed.
I am an expressive judge, you will know if you've lost me with your speed, speech clarity or funny stuff. Take my cues and correct your actions.
Speaker points range from 27-29 usually. I rarely give a 30. Swear words or being abusive to your opponent are a no-no and will immediately go to 25 and continue to go lower if you behavior continues.
I expect you to respect your opponent and me. And my decision. I am the "worst Judge ever" to at least one debater in this round. I am OK with that.
Cover your case and your opponents. Road map, sign post and voters are always a good thing. If you feel the need to destroy or talk down to your opponent, I'm not your judge.
During cross-examination you will look at me, not at your opponent. If I write during CX, that means I missed something in your speech. CX is my favorite part of the Debate, please don't make me write. If you bring what you've learned out of CX, that makes me happy.
Flex Prep - nope. That is why you have a cross-examination.
I've found I dislike - "if you don't believe that Judge, then...," makes me feel like you are lying me.
I do not disclose.
Jim Kellams Paradigm
Experience: High school LD, PF, Policy judge since 2006; LD, PF, Policy coach since 2008
Pronouns: he, him, his
Updated 11/12/2018: Add me to the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I can handle speed to a point but how well depends on your clarity as a speaker. Please make tags and cites clear. I never flow CX but I will pay attention. Tag team CX is okay. Be 'professional' and polite at all times, especially with me. I enjoy interesting and new kinds of arguments and like a good theory debate. Kritiks on both sides are okay as long as they are clearly explained. I am not always familiar with 'less common' critical literature so make it clear. The implications need to justify the K and the alternative, especially if the alt is simply, "reject the opponent's case" . CPs should be competitive. Topical CPs can be acceptable but I tend to look unfavorably on PICs. I will vote for severance or intrinsicness violations. I flow on paper so signpost and don't bury me.
Debate is a game. Follow the rules and remember, someone will win and someone will lose. Don't take it personally.
I will expect a value/criterion framework and will tend to weigh the value clash but am open to alternative frameworks if you can justify it. If you give KVI, save them for the end or clearly enumerate them in your speech.
I am not a fan of T but you can win it if you give me good reason to vote for it and not just read a shell. If you run a CP I expect to flow the NB separately. If you kick any argument, please do so properly so it clear what you are doing.
Kyle Kopf Paradigm
Kyle Kopf (He/Him/His)
West Des Moines Valley High School ‘18 University of Iowa ‘22
I want to be on the email chain: email@example.com
Conflicts: Iowa City West High School, West Des Moines Valley High School, American Heritage Boca/Delray NT
Bio: I debated LD for Six Years. Received one bid my junior year and 3 my senior year. I taught at NSD Flagship and NSD Philadelphia in 2018.
I won’t automatically ignore any style of argument (Phil, Theory, K, LARP, T, etc), I will only drop you for offensive arguments within that style (for example, using LARP to say racism is good). That being said, I am more familiar with certain styles of arguments, but that does not mean I will hack for them. Shortcut for my familiarity with styles:
K – 1
Theory/T – 2/3
Phil – 2/3
Tricks – 3/4
LARP – 5
Based on strategy, quality of discourse, fun, creativity etc. NOT based on speaking style. I will shout “clear” as needed without reducing speaks.
Don’t start speech at top speed, build up to it for like 10 seconds. Slow down significantly on author names.
SPEECH IMPEDIMENTS, PRONOUNS, ETC:
I stuttered for my entire life, including the 6 years I was in debate. Speech impediments will in not impact speaks or my evaluation of the round whatsoever. I default shouting “clear” if needed (I always preferred being told to clear than losing because the judge didn’t understand me) so please tell me if you prefer otherwise.
If there is anything else related to identity or anything else that might affect the round, please let me know if you feel comfortable doing so. Even if it doesn’t affect debate but you just want to talk still feel free to let me know! :)
This is what I primarily read in high school. I’m familiar with K strategy, K tricks (floating PICs need to be in some way hinted at in the 1N), etc. I enjoy seeing a K executed well.
I read some theory although significantly less than Ks. People read T against me very often, so I am familiar with that too. I think the strategy behind Theory/T and the tech of Theory/T is cool and fun to watch. Assuming literally no argument is made either way, I default:
- No RVI
- Competing Interps
- Drop the argument on theory
- Drop the debater on T
- Text of interp
- Norms creation model
- “Converse of the interp” is sufficient
I went to Valley, so I started out reading phil. I enjoy the nuance of framework debate, especially related to competing moral theories.
I never read tricks and I haven’t seen them in action too much, but I will still evaluate them like any other argument. I think tricks are often very fun, so I’d enjoy seeing them in debate.
I never LARPed and I rarely engaged in the LARP debate, but I will also evaluate it like any other argument. I think the depth and applicability of LARP makes it enjoyable to watch.
I think post rounding is a good norm for debate to encourage good judging, preventing hacking, etc. Always feel free to postround me. I'll be VERY strict about starting the next flight/round, allowing debaters to be on time, etc but feel free to find me or email me later (email at top).
*All arguments must have some sort of warrant. The warrant doesn’t have to be good or true
*If an argument is conceded, you do not need to extend the warrant.
*if an argument is new in the 2, I will disregard it even if it’s not pointed out. To clarify, you still should point it out in case I missed it.
*I won’t evaluate embedded clash unless an argument is made as for why I should.
David McGinnis Paradigm
I spent a bunch of time before New Trier 19 writing a policy paradigm and in the one round I got the aff read "queer eroticism" so I am done trying to explain to policy teams how to adapt to me. Those of you who would strike or otherwise depref me because I am an LD coach: good call. Those of you who would refrain from striking me and then read "queer eroticism": please reconsider.
I am the head coach at Valley High School and have been coaching LD debate since 1996.
I coach students on both the local and national circuits.
I can flow speed reasonably well, particularly if you speak clearly. If I can't flow you I will say "clear" or "slow" a couple of times before I give up and begin playing Pac Man.
I'm most familiar with philosophical framework debating, but you can debate however you like in front of me, as well as you explain your arguments clearly and do a good job of extending and weighing.
UPDATE JUNE 2019: AND IMPACTING!
Kiran Merchant Paradigm
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign ‘20
Background: I actually went to Glenbrook South High school and did policy my freshman year, then did LD for 3 years. I’ve also been judging at the Glenbrooks for a couple of years now.
Speed: Just be CLEAR. No insane spreading please, but if you are communicative and clear go for it.
Speaks: I will award speaks based on the arguments made as well as appropriate debate etiquette.
Tricks/Spikes: Not a huge fan
Theory: Prefer substantive theory. Don’t just call abuse on everything.
Conceded and dropped arguments will obviously not flow through.
Love impact calc, voting issues, role of the ballot: Tell me how to vote.
Das/CPS: Perfectly fine.
Poor/bad K debates are not my favorite and no long K overviews. Clear explanations of how your K works and functions!
Framework debate: Make it quick! Explain any phil args it will only help you if you end up spending time on fw debate
Prep time ends with email is sent/flash drive is out!
Robert Norwood Paradigm
Is it right before round and you don't have time to read my paradigm?
- No evidence violations pls. There's too many.
- Include me on the email chain: email@example.com
- I give high speaks
- Let me be lazy. If you give a clear path to the ballot and your opponent doesn't (literally say "this is how you vote for me...) then 99/100 times Imma vote for you
-I assume util in PF unless told differently.
Bettendorf High School '17
Northwestern University (Industrial Engineering and Economics '22)
I did LD for all 4 years, and extemp/PF every so often. Mostly competed on Nat circuit my junior and senior years
Mostly flow based, just don't run anything that requires intervention. (If you say "racism is good," "ableism is good" etc, that's begging for intervention)
Include me on the speech doc chain: firstname.lastname@example.org. I haven't had the time to judge as much as I wish, so my flowing skills have decayed, though they will probably be adequate for PF.
1. Slow down on taglines, things you want to make sure get caught, etc.
2. I'll say clear or speech twice (each) then stop flowing
3. I think speaker points are inherently ableist and very arbitrary. As such, I will be giving everyone an automatic 29.5. I may lower there is racism, sexism, evidence violations, etc. But for 99% of people I will be giving an automatic 29.5. Few will earn anything different.
1. I have a running total of my side skew and speaker points. I'll upload it when I have time.
2. Give trigger warnings
3. If both debaters wish to agree before the round to debate a different topic I have 0 problem with it.
4. I like a good theory or K debate. Friv theory is fine, I will listen to anything.
5. Reading dense phil in front of me is not the best idea. Nothing against it, I'm just an engineering major.
I will, time permitting, always try to give an oral decision and RFD. Please feel free to ask questions about the decision. Coaches should feel free to come to me after a round and ask questions if they want. I try to write-up a full RFD, but that is not always possible due to time constraints.
I think debate has been overrun with people committing evidence violations. Don't do that. I'll call for cards. I do not allow for paraphrased cards. Anything that is purely paraphrased will be dropped from the round and not considered. I will call for evidence that sounds fishy (especially paraphrased evidence). If you misquote or severely misconstrue evidence it will be a loss-20 and you will be reported to tab.
For any questions on my paradigm feel free to email me at email@example.com, facebook message me, or text me if you have my phone number. +0.5 speaks if you say you read this and mention you want the speaks (auto 30). I usually try to arrive at the room early for any additional questions. Please feel free to approach me at the tournaments before/after round.
Andie Peterson Paradigm
firstname.lastname@example.org thats my email before you ask.
Experience: I am currently the head coach for Neenah high school and have been a coach for debate the last 5 years. This is my fourth year as a judge ('19-'20). I judge all categories, except varsity policy. I was not a debater in school, so I have a more basic understanding of the more obscure things that go on in debate.
"I have 5 minutes and wanted to check your paradigm quick, whats the headlines?"
I wasn't a debater- explain things clearly or I drop arguments I don't understand.
***note on that- I understand the terms of debate (link, turn, impact, etc), just not more niche philosophies and less popular arguments***
Be nice to each other- respect will get you far with me
Impact calc and weighing of final arguments is the best strat with me
Don't argue with me in rfd. If I drop you and you think you should have won, explain it better next time.
I can handle post-nov level speeds for spreading, but thats it.
Use a timer, and stick to it- I hate it when kids go over time. I stop flowing within 5 seconds of the end of your time.
See below for more in-depth explanations
Preferences: Please be clear and professional in round. I hate that the attitudes and behaviors seen in other styles is seeping into PF. As noted in other sections, I was not a debater, so don't expect me to know every single term you share. Generally, if i make a somewhat confused face, define your term.
A few things I love to see: Please, collapse arguments. It's so awesome to watch a veteran team (or even a novice team) weigh arguments and determine the largest impacts and points in the round and weigh them against each other, rather than slowly increase their speed in through the debate to try and get every single argument in to the last speech.
A few things I hate in rounds: Veteran debaters being overly hard on novices- we want to keep them in the activity, don't discourage them by running super dense over the top arguments- you will probably win if you just run a standard argument simply by being more experienced. "Stealing" prep- if you need prep take it, don't make me sit for 35 seconds and then tell me you're taking prep.
Preferences: I’m generally tabs. I will flow everything and I will say clear if necessary, but only once before I stop flowing you. I was not a debater, so my knowledge of progressive arguments is lacking. Let me say that again. I WAS NOT A DEBATER- EXPLAIN WHAT YOU MEAN. I encourage you to run whatever you like, but explain it very well, especially if it is not something common. Err on the side of caution if you are not sure if it is common- like I said I am not well versed in most of the different arguments. In terms of speed I judge a lot of policy, so I would say I am comfortable with most speeds seen in LD- like a 6/10 if I had to rate it.
A few things I love to see in round: Impact calc- it is the most important thing to me; please weigh & please tell me how to vote so I don’t have to intervene in any capacity. I also like to see super high respect for your opponent. This is such an underrated part of PF that is not nearly as present in LD or Policy, and it totally should be.
A few things I hate in rounds: Swearing- This seems like an obvious one, but is lacks professionalism if it is not needed to actually make the points. "Stealing" prep- if you need prep take it, don't make me sit for 35 seconds and then tell me you're taking prep. Veteran debaters being overly hard on novices- we want to keep them in the activity, don't discourage them by running super dense over the top arguments- you will probably win if you just run a standard argument simply by being more experienced. Finally- straight theory arguments- its done to death, and isn't really making either debater better. I will still pick you up if it wins, but I would prefer to see more educational rounds. Last thing: if you run a "fairness" argument that you couldn't prep against your opponent and then you have a case against your opponent, expect me to completely drop your fairness argument. You just proved that you lied about the fairness.
Preferences: I do not like any tricks or unprofessional behavior in round. I prefer not to hear teams talking to each other while their opponents are presenting, as it is distracting to me as a judge. Open speeches are a no-go. If you don't have your own stuff ready, then take prep time. If you're out of prep time, organize yourself better next time.
I am fine with spreading, (probably a 6/10 for speed) however if you are not understandable, I will only tell you clear two times before I stop flowing you. Please be aware of your own speaking issues- for example, if you have braces and rubber bands, you probably should not spread, since you will be almost unintelligible. On the topic of spreading- I understand it is a strategy to get as many arguments in as possible, but be aware that a large breadth of arguments you do not understand is basically useless.
Impact calc is huge for me. If I don't clearly hear you explain why your impacts are bigger or more important, I judge completely by what is on my flow. DA's and CP's are fine in a round, and good experience for a novice/Post nov. I always flow cross x, and keep track of questions asked. I do not want to see a framework in novice policy.
Misc. Stuff for any style debate:
-I am not about speaker points- I think its a really biased system, but I do it because its required. I would not consider myself generous with points, but I try to be fair with the way the system is set up. That said, if you’re mean to your opponent I will substantially dock your speaks. If you can’t control your round without being disrespectful there is something wrong.
-I usually flow CX. I find it to be one of the more telling parts of any round about who has stronger arguments and better understands the content
-Please understand whatever you’re running before you run it in front of me- it is super frustrating to hear kids hem and haw about defining terms when they didn't take time to understand what they are saying.
-I dislike timing rounds and I've found I'm extremely inaccurate. I will keep time, but it is best if we have multiple timers going to ensure accuracy. Please time yourselves and hold your opponent accountable so that I don't have to.
Julie Scott Paradigm
I debated for Glenbrook North in Policy and LD, did parli in college and coached parli at the college level for a year.
My email is email@example.com
Providing it's not offensive, I will vote for whatever is on the flow. I don't prefer any type of argument to another, that being said I prefer to see comparative argumentation and impact analysis. A dropped argument is true for the round.
Also, everyone is choosing to give up their weekends to participate in an activity that is competitive, but should also be fun. Be nice to one another.
Birdal Serbest Paradigm
Kriti Sharma Paradigm
- Presentation High School - Class of 2015 - 3 years of Lincoln-Douglas Debate, 4 years of Speech
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Class of 2019 - 2 years of Parli, LD, and Speech (Interp)
- Add me to the dropbox/the email chain/wtvr: firstname.lastname@example.org
Things I Like
- Environmental & Systemic Impacts
- Plan-specific links, disads, and CPs
- Impact calculus that isn't just about magnitude
- Clever CX
- Clear roadmaps
- Good speaks
Things I Dislike
- Accidental racism, sexism, etc. that isn't corrected with an appropriate apology
- Men talking over female debaters
- Climate Change Denial
- Affs that aren't topical
- Avoiding clash in the debate
- Both debaters speaking during the same speech outside of prompting
Things That Will Cause You To Lose
- Any kind of harassment or intentional 'isms'
- Referring to immigrants as "illegal"
- Clipping cards, manufacturing evidence, or otherwise cheating
Cards should be used as logical support for your contentions. I especially respect empirical evidence and real-world examples. Evidence means nothing until you link it to your case and the resolution. Explain why the evidence brought up matters. For me, content is what counts. I am more likely to weigh evidence if the content is thoroughly covered and does have a fair impact in the round.
If you run T, do it right. T is a question of "is the aff topical." Break it down. Read cards on it. Do not use T as a time skew. If you choose to run T, make sure that you have a version of the aff that is topical.
I will vote on these if they are convincing and if legitimate and compelling evidence is used and explained to back up the argument. Simply make sure that they are actually competitive against the aff, and tell me why I should vote on it. As for the aff side, please explain why I should vote accordingly with your own evidence and reasoning.
If you use K, explain it as clearly as possible since K should never be used to make yourself, as a debater, sound more like a genius or to inflate your own ego; nor should it be used to force your opponent to respond to it even if it isn't topical (aka abusive argumentation).
If run and explained well, I will weigh it in the round. "Reject the argument, not the team" is generally sufficient, but I am familiar with some other theory if you decide to use it. That being said, still explain the theory as well as the reason why the theory argument applies; do not just name drop it or leave it underdeveloped.
Framework (Value and Value Criterion)
I love framework debate. Framework is fundamental in high school LD Debate, so while you read each contention, I expect you to outline a clear connections back to your value criterion as well as back to your value (like a link chain). Contentions should contain smaller arguments for why your V/VC is the most ideal/most pertinent/most important etc. Make your lines of reasoning explicit. I may have an idea as to where you're going with your thoughts, but I can't write down these said ideas if you don't fully elaborate on them yourself.
- I'm generally okay with some speed/spreading, but I'm a stickler for clarity. If you're going too fast, I will say "Clear" so you know that you have to slow down in order for me to follow the flow.
- Follow your roadmaps. If you have to divert, be clear about where you are going on the flow. Please verbally emphasize and tag your arguments/evidence. Also, I definitely appreciate when debaters "write the flow for me"/crystallize/discuss voting issues towards the end of the round.
- I use a standard speaks system. Speak up and enunciate, but don't yell. Unless you need a lot of improvement, I wont give you less than 26. If I give you anywhere between 26-28.5, I'll explain what you need to improve. To get 29-30: As I'm also a speechie, I'll admit that I'm 5% lay judge at heart, so I definitely value confident, straightforward, eloquent, succinct, expressive delivery.
- I'm open to any argument as long as it is not offensive.
- As always, be respectful towards your opponent. That being said, I do enjoy clash/if you are a clever asshole during CX. However, try not to be too smug. Channel your inner Spock (for ST nerds - I mean TOS Spock).
- If you have any questions about your case, high school/college debate in general, or want to talk about college life, feel free to find me at the tournament or email me! :)
Sanjim Uppal Paradigm
i love MVLA and basis so freaking much omg. also im sad literally every topic requires some econ knowledge and i am not good at econ so please explain econ things to me like i am 5 years old. i agree with everything here
i always disclose + give RFD. you can talk to me about the round later, message me on fb or email (email@example.com) if you have questions. please come into the round w/ pre-flows done
i don't care what you wear in round. if you do anything blatantly rude, sexist, racist, abusive, etc., i'll drop you. don't be afraid to be aggressive if you're a girl!!
i won't vote for args that don't make sense, and my facial expressions will usually reflect that
please do comparative analysis, meta/weighing + impact calc, signposting, properly extend things (not just card names), ideally frontline, defense is sticky (but good to have anyways if important). first summary needs defense if second rebuttal frontlined
I think of weighing in layers, beginning with probability. You need to have a certain amount of probability your impact happens before you access the other layers of weighing like magnitude, timeframe, etc (Zhu 2019).
the faster you speak, the worse my flow will be. i don't like rounds that are super tech
i am tech > truth but if you don’t extend warrants and link stories don’t expect me to do the work for you and evaluate the arg
i'm not well-versed with K/theory debate and don't know how to properly evaluate it, but (and i say this with great hesitation) i'm open to hearing it in a round -- just explain it super well. more importantly, you better have discussed this with your opponents and only choose to run theory if EVERYONE in the round is 100% comfortable with it. everyone seems to love this whole "omg listen to my BS warranting and pick me up because im """changing the debate space""" when in reality i just want a cheap win and/or 30 speaks and continue scaring teams for no reason because this type of argumentation is exactly what makes PF inaccessible!!!!!" but as u might be able to tell, i'm not a fan at ALL.
if u are a team of 2 dudes who are not-minorities in debate and are delusional enough to read 30 speaks theory and claim u will SOLVE discrimination..... lets just say u wont be getting anything near 30 speaks
i don’t pay attention during cx. in the rare case that i do, it has no impact on the outcome of the round
avg speaks are ~28, goes up if u are clean on the flow + make strategic decisions + lay appeal (its called speaker points for a reason ok), goes down if you're rude or ur speeches are messy. +2 speaks for GT dave's guava goddess kombucha or anything else healthy/vegan. -0.5 speaks for making me wait for u to preflow.
there are 2 instances where i will call for a card: if you tell me to (in a speech), or if it sounds too good to be true. if whatever cards i call for are powertagged/misconstrued, i drop the cards. if it's *heavily* misconstrued/blatantly made up and a deciding factor in the round, i drop the team + give lowest speaks possible.
if my own kids aren't following evidence standards, lmk immediately and i'll handle it
please ask any questions u have about my RFD/paradigm and i'll be happy to answer them. don't shake my hand bc i don't want to get sick
If you find yourself disguising your anger at losing the round as "just asking questions about the flow/round to get better," or worse, trying to embarrass and discredit your judge or your opponents, I'll tank your speaks and I'll be glad I didn't vote for the entitled team. but if you're genuinely curious about something, feel free to ask bc i am here to help
Brian Zhu, 08-05-2019, "Tabroom.com," No Publication, https://www.tabroom.com/index/paradigm.mhtml?search_first=brian&search_last=zhu
Angela Vrana Paradigm
Raymond Zhang Paradigm
LD: Roseville, MN (3 years)
Policy: University of Minnesota Policy (3 years)
Head LD Coach at Minnetonka High School
zhan1087 at umn.edu
Updates for Blake
My opinions of debate have not changed please refer to the information below. I have not voted off of a trick in awhile but do consider them in my decision. Also i will evaluate every speech of the debate.
Circuit debaters should adapt accordingly. I will intervene on behave of the traditional debater.
I find myself voting more and more for non topical teams against T, while I try to decrease intervention I find myself just more persuaded by Non-T arguments than framework arguments and letting the evidence stretch a bit than usual.
You can read whatever argument you want in front of me. Debate is a game. Strategy matters. Evidence quality matters. Speaks are given based on your strategy in round.
Circuit debaters should adapt accordingly. I will intervene on behave of the traditional debater.
Debate is a game (unless contested). Evidence quality matters (especially statistical accuracy).
Speaks will be given out based on how strategic I think you are in round. So if you beat your opponent on the flow but your opponent pursued the better strategy you can expect a low point win.
I am obligated to flow your arguments and evaluate them. I will yell clear if necessary and will continue do so remainder of the round. However, if I cant flow you I cant flow you, so be clear. I will also tell you to slow down if it is extremely necessary.
I will read evidence after round if I feel is necessary. (Or if it is contested in round enough) I will either be apart of email chains or not depending on my mood. (LD: I may ask to examine initial shells, or cases).
CX is binding, I haven't decided if I am going to flow this or not but I will most likely pay attention.
All arguments are valid. Creative arguments should be tested in debate if the debater desires and not be punished. I am an okay judge for silly arguments that trick people.
It is better to ask before round what I think about a specific argument. But also realize that what I think of arguments doesn't mean I'll evaluate them that way.
You probably should explain how you resolve your impacts, I have too many debaters skip this step and just explain why their impacts matter without solvency.
Everything is fine. I am not as flow centric as other judges in the pool. Probably more big picture now so adapt accordingly. New theory and norms, I will have no idea how to deal with so explain why those things matter.
Examples of low point wins:
Going for theory when you are clearly winning on the substance.
Reading bad arguments that you know are bad.
Focusing on the part of the debate where both debaters have lots of links instead of going for dropped arguments.
Reading arguments that you cant give a 3 min crystallization on. If you cant go for the argument at the end of the round then why did you read it?
Things I don't think are bad but might give you low speaks for b/c you are bad at debate:
Triggers that are implemented later in round
Some weird K that doesn't really say much. But if you're good at debate and run some weird K and explain it well i'll give you all the speaks. (Meaning 30)