Robert Garcia Memorial Invitational
2022 — Mountain View, CA, CA/US
Policy Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I've been in debate as a whole for about 9 years. I've debated for Chabot College (Parli, LD). I've coached various formats of debate (Policy, LD, Parli, Public Forum) along with being a participant in those formats as well. Here's my view: Debate is a space to challenge ideologies and come to the best way of making a change. That may look like a plan text that has an econ and heg or, it's an advocacy that talks about discourse in the debate space. I'm here for you as an educator so tell me where and how to vote. Impact Magnitude in the later speeches will help you and me a lot.
Add me on the Email doc: email@example.com
Here's my view on certain arguments:
T and Framework: I'll listen and adjudicate the round based on the information that you frame my ballot in however my threshold on voting on T is high. You must prove ACTUAL in-round abuse. I'm not the biggest fan of T and Framework in its entirety because personally, I view it as a one-shot kill for Aff teams. Don't let that stop you from running it in front of me though.
Counterplans: Gotta prove the Mutual Exclusivity of said CP. Not really a preference or style choice on this.
D/A's: Uniqueness has got to be relatively recent or the debate is gonna be a tough one to win. If paired with a C/P you must prove how you avoid said D/A or perm is gonna be super cheezy here. Again don't let that stop you from running it in front of me.
K's: I'm good with whatever you desire to run but if its some super high level (D&G or around that lit base) stuff you gotta explain what that means. Also, please be sure to know your author's lit bases here. Perm debates against K's have to prove the accessibility of the Perm along with the net benefits of the perm. Also, Impact Framing the K is gonna make your job along with mine a lot easier.
K Aff's: You do you. Tell me where to frame the ballot and how to view any performances within the round. You do you.
Update 2022: I've been out for a minute so please signpost and start at 80% speed so I can tune my ear to the round.
I've been around a long time. I've seen a lot of conventional wisdom come and go. I don't always agree with the consensus of the moment. Be fast, be clear, read a K and/or a counterplan.
I flow on paper and actually make an effort to watch you and listen to the words you are saying. It's hard to give speaker points to a glowing dot, so turn on your camera when speaking if possible. I will not follow the speech doc as you are talking, so be clear.
Want to be on the email chain? - Yes, but know that I won't look at the docs until the debate is over.
Please send docs to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Speed? - Yes
Open CX? - Sure, but if you aren't involved somewhat, your speaker points suffer.
When does prep time stop? - When you cease to alter your speech doc and to talk about the debate with your partner.
Judge Disclosure - Unless the tournament has some terrible counter-educational policy preventing it (looking at you, NCFL).
Can I read (X argument)? Yes, if it's not offensive.
T? - Reasonability (whew - really feels good to be honest there)
Will you vote on disclosure theory? - No. Disclosure is a good community norm which I support, but I do not think ballots can or should enforce this norm. The exception would be if you can prove that someone straight up lied to you.
Tech over truth? - Yes, but I think people often take this way too far.
Years Judging: 16
Years Debated: 4
I debated for four years in high school for Nevada Union (1998-2002) during which time I made two TOC appearances. I did not debate for Berkeley during my time there, but I was an assistant coach for the College Preparatory School from 2002-2006. After that, I was off the circuit for a few years because I moved to Hong Kong for a year and then went to graduate school. 2010-2011 was my first year back. I worked for New Trier for a year after that and at Nevada Union from 2011-2012. After that I went back to CPS for three more years. I then spent four years running the program at St. Francis. I now work with the Washington Urban Debate League. I have judged a lot for a long time.
Tech Over Truth - This is not dogma
I think that the phrase "tech over truth" is just as vacuous as its inverse, "truth over tech." I honestly have no idea what either of these slogans is trying to say, but I do know that people who repeat either of them incessantly tend to make decisions that I don't get.
"Tech" is just as subjective as "truth" because whether someone's embedded clash has answered something, whether an argument has a warrant, whether someone has explained something enough to have extended it, etc. are all judgement calls at some level anyhow.
I think that dropped arguments are conceded. I think that I should refrain from dismissing arguments that I don't agree with. I think that arguments which I think are bad should still win the debate if the debater advancing them has argued better than the opponent. I guess that's tech over truth?
At the same time, I am the kind of judge who thinks that one compelling, well-developed argument can be more important than three specious, underdeveloped ones. I don't think that the concession of a less significant argument necessarily outweighs a more significant argument that is won despite contestation. Is that truth over tech? Is this whole tech vs. truth binary kind of pointless?
My bumper sticker slogan would be something like: "Analysis over blips."
Speaker Points - No, you can't have a 30.
It used to go without saying that I award speaker points solely based on how well I feel the debaters performed in each round. These days, it seems that I need to say that I will continue to do this regardless of what anyone else does and regardless of what debaters tell me to do during the debate.
I think that there's a performative/communicative aspect to this activity. Speak persuasively and your points will improve.
Try to be nice.
Judge Disclosure - I do it.
I'll disclose my decision and talk about the round with you in depth afterwards. I remember getting a lot out of post-round discussions when I was a debater, and I hope I can pass something along. If your analytics are in your speech docs for my later reference, I'll even give you my flows.
Speed - Go ahead, but be clear
I can flow any rate of delivery.
Lately, someone out there has been telling high school debaters to slow down and emphasize tags. Stop it, whoever you are. This advice implies that I don't care about the text of the card. In fact, I care about how you tagged the card far, far less than I care about what the text of the card actually says. When you slow down for the tag, but slosh unintelligibly through the card, you are implying that I can't understand high speed and that the actual card text is a mere formality. If this is so, you may as well just paraphrase the card like a PF debater.
Believe it or not, I actually can understand your card at high speeds if you read it clearly. I'm actually flowing what the card says. Often as not, I won't flow your (often misleading) tag at all.
I'll yell "clear" at you if you're not being clear. I'll do this twice before putting my pen down and pointedly glaring at you.
Line By Line - Please and Thank You
I'll look at evidence, sure, but I will be grumpy if you make me sort out a huge rat's nest of implied and unexplained clash for you. I am a believer in directly responsive line-by-line debate. I think that explaining warrants is good, but comparing warrants is better.
Framework - Can't we all just get along?
I am one of the last folks out there who won't take a side. I vote neg on framework sometimes; I vote aff on framework sometimes. I think framework debates are kind of fundamental to the activity. I'm up for any kind of argument. I love a good K debate, but I'm equally pleased to adjudicate a game of competing policy options. Run what you love. In my heart, I probably don't care if there's a plan text, but I'll vote for theory arguments demanding one if the better debating is done on that side. Please don't read offensive/amoral arguments.
Conditionality - Yeah, sure, whatever
I think one or two conditional CP's and a K is just fine. You can win a debate on conditionality being more permissive than that or being bad altogether. I won't intervene.
T - I am different from the folks at Michigan
I think that winning complete or nearly complete defense on T is sufficient for the aff even in a world of competing interpretations. If the aff meets, they meet. I'm unlikely to give this RFD: "Even though you're winning a we meet, the neg interpretation is better, so any risk that you don't meet etc etc." Ever since someone told me back in 1999 that T should be evaluated like a DA, I have not agreed. It's a procedural issue, not a predictive claim about the consequences of implementing a policy. As such, I evaluate T procedurally. Whether or not the aff meets is a binary question, not a linear risk.
I think sometimes people think that "competing interpretations" means "the smallest interpretation should win." To me, smallest is not necessarily best. Sure, limits are a big deal, but there is such a thing as over-limiting. There are also other concerns that aren't limits per se, like education, ground, and predictability.
I can be persuaded otherwise in a debate, but I think we should evaluate T through the lens of reasonability.
Open Cross Ex - Yeah
Just make sure that you're involved somewhat or I'll hammer your speaks.
Stop it. People choose to disclose as a courtesy. It is not and should not be a requirement. I tell all my teams to disclose. I think you should disclose. If you choose not to, so be it.
If you make a disclosure theory argument, I will ignore you until you move on to something else. I will never vote on a disclosure theory argument, even if it is not answered.
I always find it sadly hilarious when big, brand-name programs tell me that disclosure is good for small schools. It most definitely is not. The more pre-round prep becomes possible, the more that coaching resources can be leveraged to influence debates. That's why the most well-resourced programs tend to be the most aggressive about disclosure theory.
New affs are fine. I will not consider arguments which object to them, even if the aff team never answers such arguments.
Welcome to the wonderful world of debate! I debated three years for Kelly high school (2006-09) in Chicago. I currently coach 3 high schools in San Jose.
I believe debate should be fun and a space where high school debaters have a platform to discuss the ideas of the resolution.
I usually vote based off an offense/defense paradigm.
Impact Calculus are always a win in my book!
I welcome all arguments and styles of debate if impacted, well explained and not ignorant and/or discriminatory in nature.
I am NOT a fan of tag team cross-x I like evaluating everyone individually.
I like overviews that give me a clear picture of what the debate comes down to. Why your arguments outweigh that of your opponents.
email@example.com if you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me.
I love good clean road maps, sign posting, line-by-line and an emphasis on tags.
Good luck in your debate careers!
Put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I did policy debate for four years at Gunn High School.
My background is in economics/finance/security studies - I usually haven't studied topic lit in depth.
Tech > Truth
DAs: I love obscure disads that rely on internal mechanisms of the plan. Politics are fine. There is such thing as a risk of a disad low enough for me to disregard the impact.
CPs: More often than not, a solid strategy. I like smart rehighlighting of aff evidence as a solvency advocate for a CP.
Ks: If your only link is "state bad" against an aff that restricts the scope of the state, don't expect a win. I place a very high threshold on the link debate; specific link cards predicated off aff internal link chains will help you go far. High theory is not my jam; if that happens to be a debate I'm judging, entertain me.
Case: It's underutilized. Speaks will reflect solid case debates.
Non-traditional/performance/K affs: Topicality isn't exclusive/racist/genocidal because it excludes your aff. The K must have some relation to the direction of the resolution. More often than not, that isn't the case and I tend to err neg in these types of debates. Put your responses on the line-by-line. I won't line up your arguments for you. Probably not the best judge for these types of affs. K v. K can also work if there's sufficient clash.
Theory: Infinite condo, agent/consult CPs ok (must have clearly articulated net benefits), PICs ok
Assistant coach at Immaculate Heart. She/her. email@example.com
I’ve heard/debated it all and will listen to/vote on anything, provided you do it well. Specific argument preferences are below, but none of these preferences should significantly change what you read or how you debate in front of me. If you win the debate, I will vote for you.
Ks: I’ll vote for them. I'm familiar with most commonly read Ks. I think good K teams do more than just read the same shell and 2NC overview every round, and I’ll appreciate it and find it easier to vote for you if you have contextual links to the plan/impacts. It will be difficult to convince me that debate is bad.
K vs K: the area where I’m least familiar. I'm not super comfortable evaluating these rounds. You will have a hard time convincing me that the perm doesn't solve.
Counterplans: On condo: it’s good. On kicking planks: you can do it. On 2NC counterplans: they are good. None of these preferences mean I can't be convinced otherwise, but if debating on the question is equal, that is how I will typically lean.
Disads: I really care about evidence quality – if any card you’re planning to read has frankensteined a sentence out of words from three different paragraphs, it’s probably a bad disad, and I won’t be a fan. Zero risk is definitely a thing.
Framework: yes. Plans = good, debate = good, topic education = good. I’ll vote on fairness. I think portable skills are real and that movements-style framework can be strategic. I am not the best judge for you if you read a k aff, but I certainly won't auto vote neg on framework. Always tech over truth.
LD: I strongly dislike and do not feel comfortable judging theory/tricks debating, I love policy-style arguments, and am not fond of judging traditional LD philosophy debates (convincing me util is wrong/not the best way to make governmental decisions will be difficult). It will be nearly impossible to win an RVI in front of me. You should not pref me if you frequently go for theory or tricks. I will functionally judge the debate as if it is a 1v1 policy round (with the exception of maybe being more sympathetic to condo).
It is often in your best interest to go slower than your top speed. I do not flow off the doc and will not vote for arguments that I do not have on my flow.
Record your speeches locally in the event of a technical issue.
I am not timing your speech or your prep time.
Very experienced judge and coach for Saint Francis high school. I will consider pretty much any arguments that are not blatantly sexist, racist or crudely discriminatory (blatant is the key word here, much of this stuff is debatable and I will try not to punish you for my general feelings about your arguments).
It is important to me that debaters be respectful and polite to each other, this puts the spotlight on the arguments themselves and I am not a fan of extra drama.
I try hard to be fair and the following things help me do that:
- I rarely call cards. I like to focus the debate on the analysis given by the debaters (of course I will usually give more weight to analysis that is taken from qualified sources). I do not like to decide debates on random parts of a card that neither debater really focused on. I will call cards if I forget what they said, if there is a conflict about what they say and I can not remember, or if I am personally interested in the card.
- I try to judge on the flow in the sense that I evaluate the debate on the arguments presented, explained and extended into the rebuttals. I will occasionally do the work to weigh impacts or decide framing if the debaters are not doing that for me.
- I will not yell "clear", so mumble and slur at your own risk (I don't yell clear because I don't want a team to find that sweet spot where I can understand them but their opponents can not). I will also not evaluate arguments that I can not hear. I do not read speech documents during the debate rounds, sometimes I will look at them after the round (see calling cards stuff above).
I am cool with critiques on the aff and neg.
I am cool with framework (I like the debaters to work this out and I am pretty neutral on this question).
I like clarity (both in speech and arguments). I am not impressed by things that are "too complex" for me to understand but I will do my best to try to make sense of it. I am confident enough to not pretend I know your position and I will not fill in the blanks for you.
I am cool with policy arguments.
I have a wide breadth of knowledge but little depth on certain positions, don't assume I know your literature.
I give high speaks for clarity, efficiency, a pace that I can flow, respectfulness and occasionally speaking style.
I feel like the speaker point range I give is pretty close to average (I am not a reliable source of high speaks for everyone, but I will reward excellent debate with high speaks).
mail all speech documents to: firstname.lastname@example.org
anything else (if you want me to read the e-mail or respond): email@example.com