The Longhorn Classic
2022 — Austin, TX/US
Public Forum Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I'm Melina and I use She/Her pronouns. I mainly competed in Public Forum for 4 years in high school, as well as Congress and Duo Interpretation. I now compete in Policy debate at Trinity University. I have one summer of experience as a Junior Instructor at Capitol Debate Summer Camps where I taught public speaking basics and specialized in Public Forum instruction.
Addme to the email chain if there is one: email@example.com
You will get good speaks and do well if you have comprehensive, clear overviews at the top of every flow and present your arguments with the consistent organization. I appreciate when you indicate that you are switching from on-case to off-case arguments etc.
I am a relatively blank slate when it comes to impact weighing in PF, so do not assume I will weigh anything unless you articulate it and defend it. A lot of debates always under-focus on impact weighing. If you have similar impacts, like climate change and extinction, weigh probability or magnitude because I can't do anything if you just repeat your impacts.
Both speakers need to take into account your summary and final focus. I pay the most attention and consider both speeches heavily as I think the summaries are the most important in the round. You do NOT need to address everything they dump on you, but I need summaries to address two or three major voting issues. I prefer that you address major voting issues and prove why they are important over spending 10-20 seconds on every single argument of the round.
T-It’s probably jurisdictional but you’d be more persuasive if you made that argument. Fairness can be a voter but try to show proven abuse in-round, otherwise, I feel more comfortable evaluating it as an internal link to education. Predictability is also important.
Theory/Procedurals-These can be very useful and fun when utilized properly. They can also be incredibly annoying. Disclosure is important, provided aff isn’t breaking new. Vagueness can get dicey but if you tell me why specifically you’re being harmed I’ll be able to evaluate. Condo is annoying, but again, if you tell me why it’s harmful in-round I’ll evaluate it.
DA/CP-I tend to be a little suspicious of the link on politics DAs, but that won’t affect my ballot unless aff brings it up. I think CPs are great and the perm is usually pretty competitive.
K-I love a good K debate and have a working familiarity with Baudrillard, Agamben, Foucault, Nietzsche, Cap, Security, Militarization, and SetCol. If you run something different, that's cool, just make sure you have good overviews and explain the moving parts. Link and impact debate are critical for me. For aff, perms are very competitive.
FW-Similar to my thoughts on T. Having a clear role of the ballot is critical – tell me exactly how to vote and why I’m voting that way.
Grace Baldwin (she/her)- Paradigm
quick info: The Woodlands High School 20' and UT Austin 23', debated policy for over a year, have limited debate experience in PF, LD, and Congress and other IEs. Have judged numerous tournaments in Parli, PF, LD and CX (and IEs).
Feel free to ask questions before the round starts about anything, including UT, college, etc.
my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLS PLS PLS use SPEECH DROP.
Name the doc or subject line "Tournament- Round #- 1AC/1NC etc"- "Lake Travis Round 2 1AC" for example
I can and do give low point wins. Clarity is key. Signpost and just give me the order- stick to it. Please organize your speeches well, most people don't. Speed is NOT always better. Spreading will not automatically get you better speaking points. If you choose to spread, SLOW DOWN during your rebuttals or I simply will not flow.
I encourage funny tags and playing music during prep to lighten the mood :)
Lose speaks if you
- go over time
- make me keep track of your time
- speak too quietly/i can't hear you
- unclear enough that I have to yell clear
- make bad puns or make me cringe
- arrive late and you're not cross entered
- don't give me an order
Heads up to people debating the great power conflict topic: I am an international relations major and senior at UT, and I have studied great power conflict. My research focus is on US-China relations and Chinese domestic security. As such, for this topic, do not BS your argument, I will not buy it . If you don't understand great power conflict, unipolarity and multipolarity, learn it and learn to debate it.
I have limited experience debating PF, but I have judged several tournaments in it. I'm a lot more generous in PF. Be clear.
CROSSFIRE Engage in active crossfire, don't bullzone a crossfire. Don't make it a CX either. Don't give speeches in crossfire either. Use it to clarify arguments. I consider crossfire in my decision if it is well or badly used. Don't go into tangents in crossfire and bring up arguments if they won't appear in the speeches at all. Give me a good grand crossfire. I do not like lopsided teams/one person carrying the team, so please ensure both members are engaging in the debate. I also admire mavericks.
ROLE OF THE JUDGE AND PERSPECTIVE: I generally view PF as mostly educational-- LD and CX are more of games to me-- so I sometimes default to truth. I'm not convinced I can vote on an issue if it is egregiously untrue, however if the opposition concedes, I reluctantly will vote but leave many comments in my RFD.
I haven't been in enough rounds in PF where debaters claim fiat, so I have no strong enough opinions- if you believe PF has fiat, tell me why. I default to role of the judge being to pick the best debater - like CX, I often think about who is winning the central issues- not who wins the most- or pushes a winning framework.
FORMAT/HOW I EVALUATE A ROUND: PF is a short format, exceptionally shorter than policy which I have experience in. As such, be mindful so introduce less arguments and contextualize the debate for me. PF doesn't have burdens, solvency, anything like that, however, I would like you to impact weigh for me.
If you decide to be fancy, especially if you are in VPF, and throw in a CP, DA, or anything like that, make sure it works !! I personally find PF to be too short of a format to manage and have full DAs in. If the link chain in your DA is bs, I will not buy it. Don't make a dumb midterms DA shell and expect me to vote on it. PFers- LD and CX people know midterms and politics DAs are bad- learn from them.
Please don't use theory, Ks, T, or anything else unless you're in varsity, thanks. I am a relatively blank slate when it comes to impact weighing in PF, so do not assume I will weigh util against structural violence or anything like that unless you articulate it. Everyone always under-focuses on impact weighing. If you have the same impacts, like climate change and extinction, weigh probability or magnitude- I can't do anything if you just repeat your impacts. Don't just say "extinction bad" or "our impact is bigger than theirs"- I am a person always interested in the WHY- basically WHY should I evaluate extinction in this round over structural violence.
WINNING THE DEBATE AND SPEAKING: Don't spread in PF unless you are in the upper echelons of varsity. emphasize tags please. Both speakers take into account your summary and final focuses. I pay most attention and consider both speeches heavily as I think the summaries are the most important in the round. You do NOT need to address everything they dump on you, but I need summaries to address two or three major voting issues. I prefer you address major voting issues over spending 10-20 seconds on every single argument. You will not win on just a card but the argument.
CX and LD
Pref order: Traditional, K, K aff and most theory, phil
Disclosure- I will NOT be disclosing for TFA state
SPREADING- I'm not a huge fan of spreading despite doing a lot of it in high school. It often makes debate difficult and not that much engaging. HOWEVER, do it if it is most comfortable to you, I will listen and flow, but you must send docs obv if you spread. Do NOT spread if your opponent is not spreading. Figure it out in advance. I will yell clear if I cannot understand you. Emphasize and slow down on tags please, thank you.
FRAMEWORK-I am a framework judge, I like it a lot. Like PF, but even more so in CX and LD, I am evaluating who is winning the framework. I don't see debate as merely who is winning singularly on contentions/advantages nor do I like to vote on a single CP or DA. I need a lens in how to view the round and particularly in LD, what I ought to value. I feel like there is too much judge intervention if I have to rely on just advantages or a CP to vote on as that ultimately comes down to a personal judgement on which I think is working more in the round, rather than the debater who has successfully framed it. Terminal impacts are important and I think sometimes the link chain doesn't get properly extended so remember that.
I mostly end up judging to what is left on the flow and what I can evaluate. I won't necessarily judge off this one minor point that goes conceded if the other team is winning the critical analysis. A properly extended and explained adv and impact goes a very very long way for me. Conceded arguments are not the end all be all if the warranting and impact isn't extended. Don't say, extend my first contention whose impact is extinction, and expect me to vote off of that. Clash well with the framework, give and extend a solid reasoning why yours is better. Often util vs SV frameworks are just "my framework is better bc mine takes into account more people" like okkkkk...
THEORY- Okay, so I've come to the conclusion that I don't like theory debates. I have been in numerous theory debates and I find them all dreadfully boring. Fundamentally, I think the vast majority of theory debates require too much judge intervention in determining the winner on my end, as there's significantly less critical analysis I'm able to look at and evaluate and more often than not I just defer to case. For example: debates I've been in where people run spreading or specific vs generic resolution affs or disclosure theory. Most often the theory is super generic and I default that you have to prove ill intent - or else why are we wasting a debate discussing theory and not issues? I can vote on theory, I just very much do not want to. Also, if you decide to read theory, especially those long bolded shells- you know what I'm talking about that have 8 points- SLOW DOWN or else YOU HURT MY BRAIN AND I WON'T VOTE FOR YOU. I default to education most often in theory particularly at a place like TFA state.
CPs and DAs-analytical DAs are always better, politics and midterms DAs are almost always bad, generic CPs make me cry and make sure you articulate a good perm thanks.
PICS- pics are fine lol
ROLE OF THE JUDGE-Considering I wax in and out of PF and LD as a judge, more often than not I defer to truth, particularly if it is a policy resolution, unless I am told otherwise. However, if the opposition doesn't say much or push back substantially, then I am more than willing to vote on something stupid. I don't see the judge to be an arbiter of truth but more so a decipher of who is telling a better story or framing their arguments more effectively. I will only buy bs if you bs well enough essentially.
Ks- I ran into many Ks and am familiar with some literature. I ran a K or two during my time in high school. However, don't veer too much off topic. If we're having a discussion on US-China trade, don't plunge into a hole on afro-pessimism performance. I like performance myself and ran into many cap Ks. If you are going to use one, make it a good one. If you run a K Aff, give me a good reason why you're doing it. I'm not a solid traditionalist when it comes to debate but I much prefer an interesting debate about policy and morality. Generic links are meh and while you can win, case specifics are better. I am familiar to a degree with abolition, pess, cap, foucault, setter colonialism, fem, epistemology, ableism, etc. However, considering I mostly judge PF and LD, I would generally strike me if you are running a K that I didn't list, or you should definitely spend more time explaining it thanks. Like framework, I need a good warranting for the alt.
Value, Criterion- establish them early and debate them. I'll accept Affs if neg doesn't have anything substantial.
T- I don't weigh T heavily unless it dominates the debate and I personally find T more often than not distracting as there is rarely ever good clash to come out of it.
Tricks- not a fan, don't do it (or if that's your thing strike me pllsssss)
CX- I like a good CX, and I pay attention. A poorly used CX can reflect badly on whoever is asking. Don't use it for repetition unless for clarification. Don't ask irrelevant questions either. I think CX is pretty binding.
Organization- stick to your roadmap. While I'm ADHD and understand the tendency to move around a lot, it's annoying on the flow when you move around. Use prep time to organize your thoughts. Most people don't organize their speeches well, pls organize yours well thanks.
Debate performance itself is somewhat important to me, but your arguments matter more. I personally really like framework debates and good impact weighing. I very much judge on how the debate ends rather than how it begins.
Make my RFD easy.
SPEECH AND IES
Give me a good and clear roadmap. For novices, if you need a moment to think, better to pause and regroup rather than spitting out something. Calm, cool, and collected.
I like jokes but in good taste.
Organize your thoughts. Give clear evidence.
I know what the "Speakers Triangle" is. Do it, but if you don't do it, I probably will not notice.
Keep the tone conversational or formal.
Keep a steady pace. Go in depth. You don't have to teach me something but you do have to engage me. The best speakers can make the dullest topic engaging.
Use relevant evidence. Evidence for evidence's sake I notice.
Just because you know all the debate lingo doesn't make you a great debater. I was out of debate and came back in long enough to find that just dumping debate language on top of me IS NOT an argument. Be clear. Thanks.
I have mild ADHD, so if you see me messing with my hair, tapping my foot, or flicking my pen, don't worry, I am listening.
I am an international relations student and well versed in geopolitics, US and Texas politics, and current events. Assume I have a baseline or great amount of knowledge about your topic unless it is completely niche.
flex prep is fine, open CX/cross is fine. keep your own prep and speech times, thank you. I don't care where you sit so long as I can hear you.
Give a trigger warning if you need to. I am warning any speakers and debaters to strike me preemptively if your case/speech/performance includes an abundance of discussion or trivalization of r*pe or SA.
If one might construe what you are saying as racist, misogynistic, ableist, etc. , I do not condone that and will mark you down for it.
In regards to abuse and fairness- I only take it into consideration if you break my paradigm or bring it up during a round.
I debated four years at Emporia High School and Washburn Rural High School (Kansas)—class of 1991. I went on to debate at the University of Texas for three years. I suppose I should be considered a traditionalist, but I don’t have any predisposition against more progressive styles of debate.
My judging experience is mainly from policy debate. I expect my approach to public forum debate will be similar. You tell me how I should view the round. I will default to a utilitarian calculus, but it is up to you to define how I should rank competing impacts and values. I view the competing teams as authors of their own worlds, and I must choose which world I prefer.
Debates that demonstrate substantial interaction with the positions of the other side are more interesting than debates that operate in independent universes. Strategically, conceding too much of the case debate leaves you fighting an uphill battle.
I was around during the early days of the kritik, but I don’t have a lot of knowledge of most of today’s kritiks. If you abandon the case debate to focus on a generic kritik with only tangential links to the affirmative you potentially relieve the affirmative of their burden of proof.
Tactics that will help you win my ballot:
Be intelligible. I’m not going to flow the emailed text of your speech. I’m going to flow what I hear you say in the round. Go as fast as you want as long as you are not sacrificing comprehensibility. The goal is to deliver an efficient speech that maximizes word economy.
Explain the implications of the arguments that you are winning. It’s not enough to win the argument. Explain how the argument fits into how you want me to evaluate the overall round.
Specifically counter your opponents’ arguments. Highlight the weakness of their sources, or of the logic of their sources’ assertions. I’m looking for a demonstration of your ability to think independently of your front-line blocks.
Evidence is a tool to support your arguments and analysis. I’ll give more weight to a logical, original analytic than a piece of evidence with thin reasoning.
It’s an honor to participate in this activity with you. Have a great weekend!
I did public forum debate for 4 years at Westlake (graduated 2022), qualified to the TFA twice and the TOC once. My email is email@example.com - include me on speech docs/email chains, which I prefer everybody sends.
Tech>truth. I can evaluate a flow
I don't have any topic knowledge but it shouldn't matter. Bring up everything you want me to know in speech.
Don't go too fast. I haven't debated for a while and was never great with too much speed, especially if you're unclear. I evaluate MY flow, so I can only evaluate the responses and weighing that I was able to hear and flow in round.
Don't say anything offensive or I'll tank your speaks and potentially down you.
Be respectful to everyone in round or I'll tank your speaks.
As far as progressive argumentation goes, I'm fine with theory and probably okay with K's (I ran a couple cap Ks but otherwise am not super familiar with any others, though I generally know how they work. also keep in mind I did PF). Friv theory is fine, but my threshold for responding to it will be lower than it would be for a regular shell. Extend all parts of a theory shell and the underviews that you want to be considered in summary/final.
Disclosure is good but I won't hack for it if you can't defend it. Paraphrasing is probably bad but I'm more lenient to it than a lot of judges and I won't hack for it if you can't defend it. Content/trigger warnings are good and it will be difficult to sell me on tw bad theory, but I won't hack for it if you can't defend it.
Second rebuttal has to frontline. Summaries have to extend everything you're going for (defense is not sticky) with warranting (NOT just card names and jargon) and should collapse. Everything in final needs to be in summary. You should point it out if your opponents bring up new stuff in final so that I can scratch it off in case I didn't catch on. With the exception of second constructive, arguments are dropped if they aren't covered in the next speech.
I presume by flipping a coin unless told to do otherwise in round.
I don't look at evidence unless I'm told to call for it/it becomes a major point of contention. Indicts need to have clear warranting.
PLEASE weigh. Your defense is probably not as good as you think it is and I will need weighing to evaluate the round. Strength of link is not a real weighing mechanism. Probability usually isn't either. If your opponent reads responses as "probability weighing" or does strength of link just point it out and tell me to scratch it off my flow so I don't have to evaluate it.
2008-2011 debate kid from san antonio
competed in public forum, congress, and extemp at state & national levels for 3 years with experience in LD at UIL local / regional / state tournament
since i have not judged debate in almost a decade would suggest i'm quite happy to follow your lead in the round -- i'm pretty traditional in how i think about debate and really like arguments that are firmly impact based -- however i am down to go down the rabbit hole of whatever chaos you've prepped and if you give me a firm & compelling reason why you should win on said argument, i'm good with that too
Debated for Westwood High School in Austin, TX for 3 years.
If you plan on going fast, start off at like 70% speed and ramp up from there. Your speaks are capped at a 27 if you're gonna zoom through paraphrased cases and blocks. If reading from cut cards, slow down on tags and pls pls pls number your responses.
Goes without saying but advocating for racism, sexism, homophobia, or anything that is oppressive is an L25 and a report to tournament staff.
My partner and I mostly read big-stick and soft left positions. You shouldn't feel the need to adapt to me, and I will judge whatever you choose to read, but these sorts of debates were always enjoyable.
People I agree with- Amogh Mahambare
I'm somewhat stubborn with speaks and will probably average around 28.5-29 . Receiving anything above necessitates a combination of good strategy, reading from cut cards (whenever evidence is first introduced), and disclosing broken positions.
Flex prep and tag-team crossfires are fine. Skip grand cross if everyone agrees too. Please don't steal prep, I will notice. Your pens should be down and fingers off your computer if you're not prepping.
Go as fast as you want but your speaks will HEAVILY reflect lack of clarity. Regardless of what speed you're going, if you plan on reading evidence in your speech, send a compiled doc of cut cards BEFORE your speech to your opponents and firstname.lastname@example.org. This means you should create an email chain and send your docs as attachments in the email, NOT in the body. Sending google docs links is a no-go; download the doc as a word document and attach it to the email instead.
Every claim needs to be warranted the first time it's introduced for you to go for it later. I keep a pretty clean flow and will notice if there are incomplete or missing warrants.
Second rebuttal should frontline everything on the argument they go for and probably collapse. Summaries should definitely collapse. Final foci should prioritize offense and win compelling weighing off it.
In the wise words of Evan Burkeen- "I care slightly less about impact weighing than the average pf judge, weighing is just an issue of sequencing for me so you might want to spend more time winning the link in front of me."
Make weighing comparative and please don't throw buzzwords around. If you're going for a "link-in", I need a reason why your "link-in" outweighs their impact standalone. Also, don't use weighing as a crutch for the actual link debate. I'm very sympathetic to strategies that involve good defense/link debate to remove the need for weighing in the first place.
I have a pretty high threshold for extensions. This encompasses everything- any offense, defense, or argument you want to be evaluated must have a coherent extension of it.
Link turns need to have uniqueness attached to it. For example, if the aff says HSR makes Democrats win the midterms, to link turn this the neg has to win that HSR makes Democrats lose AND that Democrats are winning the midterms now.
For you to go for an impact turn, you have to extend the ENTIRETY of the scenario you are impact turning (unq, link, why the impact is good/bad)
Kicking turns by conceding no-links requires an explanation of why the no-link kicks out of the turn.
Please come to round having already preflowed. I really don't want to delay tournaments more than they already are plus it wastes mine and your time.
Most open to hearing disclosure and paraphrase theory but happy to see what other violations you can extrapolate. Personally think disclosure (open source) is good and paraphrasing is bad but obviously won't hack for these arguments. Just know it's an uphill battle for you if you're on the receiving end of such a theory argument. However, if I find that you violate your own interp (even if your opponents don't point it out), your speaks are capped at a 25; whether you lose or win the round is entirely up to what arguments are made in round. I'm also not interested in hearing arguments about new or novice debaters not having to disclose/cut cards, don't compete in Varsity if that's the case. I default to competing interpretations, exact text of the interp and (no?) RVIs. The no RVIs debate has always been confusing to me and it really depends on the CI being read. I.e if the interp is "must read from cut cards" and the CI is "must read paraphrased cards", the CI team should obviously get to win if they win their interp. For other CIs that are not competitive, probably default to no RVIs. Shells must be read after the first instance of the violation. There are no limits on this- you can read paraphrase theory in 1st summary if 2nd rebuttal is the first instance of paraphrased cards. Topicality is also fire if you have a good definition card and are able to articulate a violation.
Probably not the best for kritiks but have decent exposure to them. Pretty familiar with generics like Cap and Security but will do my best to understand/judge other literature. Please clearly delineate links to the Aff and explain the alt/rotb/rotj. I think good explanations for how the alt functions and what it means are critical (pun intended) because otherwise your K is just a disad/impact turn with no uniqueness. Links of omissions are suspect and I'm pretty convinced by a working explanation of "perm do the aff" against them. The Aff obviously gets perms and you'll have a hard time convincing me its severance when there are no plan texts. Method vs Method debates are also underrated and really enjoyable to judge (when done well). K affs- I probably err neg on T/Fw but I think an Aff strategy of impact turns against impacts like fairness, and a durable CI makes voting Aff substantially easier.
I think there are very obvious situations where a CW/TW is needed. But, I don't ever see myself voting on "trigger warning theory" unless it is blatantly apparent that a trigger warning should’ve been read.
This is still kinda incomplete and I'll add more things as I remember but if you have any questions please don't hesitate to reach out to me via email (it should be hyperlinked above).
email@example.com for the chain
*Please show up to the round pre-flowed and ready to go. If you get to the room before me or are second flight, flip and get the email chain started so we don't delay the rounds.*
Currently the head coach at Southlake Carroll. The majority of my experience is in Public Forum but I’ve spent time either competing or judging every event.
You would probably classify me as a flay judge. The easiest way to win my ballot is through comparative weighing. Explain why your links are clearer and stronger and how your impacts are more important than those of your opponents.
Speed is fine but if I miss something that is crucial to your case because you can’t speak fast and clearly at the same time then that’ll be your fault. If you really want to avoid this issue then I would send a speech doc if you plan on going more than 225 wpm.
I do not flow cross so if anything important was said mention it in a speech.
I would classify myself as tech over truth but let’s not get too crazy.
Typical speaks are between 27-30. I don’t give many 30s but it’s not impossible to get a 30 from me.
I would much rather you sacrifice your speed for clarity. If you can’t get to everything that you need to say then it would probably be best to prioritize your impacts and do a great job weighing.
Any comments that are intended (or unintended in certain circumstances) to be discriminatory in any form will immediately result in the lowest possible speaker points.
I’m probably not evaluating your K or theory argument at a non-bid tournament. If you’re feeling brave then you can go for it but unless the literature is solid and it is very well run, I’m going to feel like you’re trying to strat out of the debate by utilizing a style that is not yet a norm and your opponents likely did not plan for. If we're at a bid tournament or state, go for it.
Don’t just extend card names and dates without at least briefly reminding me what that card said. Occasionally I write down the content of the card but not the author so if you just extend an author it won’t do you any good.
I have a super high threshold for IVIs. If there's some sort of debate based abuse run a proper shell.
LD Specific (This is not my primary event so I would make sure I check this)
Cheatsheet (1 is most comfortable, 5 is lowest)
Topical Ks: 2
Non-Topical Ks: 4
I’ll understand your LARP arguments. I’ll be able to follow your spreading. I can evaluate most K’s but am most comfortable with topical K’s. I will understand your theory arguments but typically don't go for RVIs. I would over-explain if you don’t fall into those categories and adjust if possible.
I have not judged any debates since 2018 and I am slightly hard of hearing. With that being said, it would make all our lives easier for you to be explicitly clear both in argument and in speaking.
I enjoy hearing all types of arguments, whether kritikal or policy. It only matters to me that it is well-explained. As a judge, I think it's my role to evaluate the debate that both teams wish to have. When I last debated, I did enjoy kritiks and I am generally knowledgeable of the various literature.
In the last two speeches, I prefer that both teams are writing my ballot for me.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, please add me to the email chain.
Time your own prep!
I did PF for 4 years (grad '22)
For email chain: email@example.com (send docs please)
General PF Substance Stuff
- Tech>Truth, I evaluate the flow
- Assume I don't know anything about the topic
- Pre-flow before round
- Quality > Quantity of arguments / responses
- Everything you want to go for must be mentioned in summary (defense not sticky)
- The latest a new argument can be read is first summary
- Have the cut cards available for any pieces of evidence you mention
- 2nd Rebuttal has to frontline
- Collapse + extend warrants not just card names
- Okay with speed (no spreading) but make sure to send docs over before speaking if you are planning to go faster.
- (impact lvl) weighing is important but remember that you need a link into your impact for it to matter
- Cross is for questions, not arguing. As in, I'm not using cross to judge (with the exception of obvious concessions) so you don't need to counter something your opponent says if you don't agree, just move on w/o conceding anything unless you actually want to keep talking about it.
- Comparative weighing + link lvl warranting please
- I'm judging based on the flow so be clear about where you are on it
- I won't look at evidence unless it becomes a major problem in round / someone asks me to look at it
- Goes without saying but don't run offensive arguments
- Read TW w/ opt outs please (if argument is explicit)
- Be nice/ respectful to your opponents during round, your speaks will reflect your actions
- Wear what you want in round
- Extend shell in summary and final focus
- Don't run theory on people who obviously don't know what it is / are unfamiliar with it just to win
- On disclosure: I'll only evaluate if you prove that you asked your opponents to do it but they refused. (look at Emma Guan's Paradigm for more info)
- Paraphrasing (substance specifically): honestly no bias here, if it comes down to a paraphrasing debate I'm going to vote for whoever makes more sense
- If you are planning to run multiple offs just to win in prelim rounds that matter / elim rounds, I won't evaluate in a way you like
- I default to competing interps/ No RVI's/ drop the debater unless argued otherwise
- Must read shell right after the violation
- Okay w/ frivolous theory (again, your opponents must be familiar with theory tho + must be in prelims where breaking is not an option)
- I'm okayish with K's but run at your own risk (I ran a few topic specific cap K's but keep in mind this was in PF and I am overall not super knowledgeable about these type of arguments + perfectly evaluating them)
- I'm probably not familiar with the K you are running so you will need to SLOW DOWN and explain more (I'm not voting for it if I can't understand it)
- Like normal, extend everything you want me to evaluate from 1st summary on
- Don't paraphrase K's
- Weighing is VERY important here, honestly more-so than it is for substance just because you are often talking about out-of-round impacts
Feel free to ask me any questions both before and after round
Who am I?
I am a social studies teacher the assistant debate coach. I mainly judge public forum and believe it is a positive space for open and healthy rhetoric. I hope you agree with my view that public forum is an event for the common person.
I am hard of hearing
I will be using a transcription aid on my phone to follow the round. It is not recording the speech and the transcript is deleted after 24 hours. Please, speak loudly and clearly for me and the transcription.
How I evaluate debate.
Treat me like a lay person who can flow. Use email chains, cut cards rather than paraphrasing, and avoid the use of debate jargon. I want to see clear defense, impacts, and links. I am a social studies teacher, so focus on your ability to use evidence and real-world understanding. I will vote on understanding of the issue, evidence, and explanation.
If you don't talk about it in summary, I'm not evaluating it in final focus.
Don't use crossfire as an opportunity to bicker. I don’t pay attention to cross. In my opinion, cross is meant to examine your opponent’s case and clarify any questions. Seeing people using cross just to dunk on the opponent is not useful.
I am new to debate and English is not my first language so I cannot judge spreading - nor do I believe it has a place in *public* forum. I need to understand your argument and your ability to adapt to your audience will be judged.
If your opponent does any of the Big Oofs and you read theory about it, I'm inclined to think you're in the right.
I don't want to listen to K debate - I will be honest and admit I do not know enough about debate to evaluate them fairly (except for the aforementioned exception)
These are things that will make a W or high speaks an uphill battle. If you read theory against any of these (when applicable), I’m inclined to side with you. Avoid at all costs.
1. Misuse Evidence. Know the evidence and cut rather than paraphrase. Use evidence that is relevant, timely, trustworthy, and accurate. Use SpeechDoc or an email chain to keep each other accountable and save time.
2. Be late to round. Especially for Flight 2. I understand the first round of the day, but please try your best to be in your room on time. Punctuality is a skill and impressions are important.
3. Taking too long to ‘get ready’ or holding up the round. Have cards cut, flows setup, and laptops ready to go before the round. Especially if you’re going to be late.
4. Not timing yourself. Self-explanatory.
5. Not using trigger warnings. Debate is better when it’s accessible. Introducing any possibly triggering topics or references without consent is inaccessible.
6. Doing any of the 2023 no-no’s. Homophobia, misogyny, transphobia, racism, ableism, etc. is a one-way free ticket to a 25 speak and an L for the round.
The Respect Amendment
This section was added for minor offensives that rub me the wrong way. No, I will not vote on these. I might dock speaks for not following these - depending on severity.
I want to forward a respectful, fair, and accessible environment for debate. The Big Oofs are a good place to start. But I hope that every debater would…
1. **Respect their partner.** Trust that they know what they’re doing.
2. **Respect their opponent.** Don’t belittle them or talk down to them. Aim to understand and give critiques on their argument, not to one-up them on something small.
3. **Respect the judge.** All judges make mistakes and lousy calls - especially me. We can respectfully disagree, and that’s okay. However, not a single judge has changed their mind because you were a bad sportsperson.
So I guess I'll start off by letting you know that I did PF all four years of high school and I am now going to college so that I can be a debate coach.
That being said, onto my actual paradigms:
First of all: I will almost always vote based on impact weighing; this means at the end of the round I will use any empirics to make my final decision(usually this ends up being numbers unless it is a debate where numbers are not a possibility on one or both sides). To follow impact weighing, I cannot weigh your arguments if they don't have proper links so please, please, please, have links and make them obvious!
Secondly: If you are doing a speech event I will make sure you have all parts of a speech(intro, body, conclusion, sources- I have things I look for in each section) and then I will go off of speaking ability.
As a note for debates! I promise I keep track of time! I stop flowing arguments when time is up but if I let someone go a little long it's because I'm giving them just a second to figure it out!
Coppell '21 | UT Austin '25 | He/Him
Coach for Coppell High School
1. Extend your arguments, please... I hate having to vote teams down because of this, but it is the simplest thing to do and one of the easiest ways to make sure you don't lose a ballot. If you are confused as to how to do this, please ask me before the round.
1a. An extension just needs to include the claim and warrant of an argument. If you want to include the author/cite and the full tagline, then go for it. However, the bare minimum of an extension is claim+warrant.
1b. Regarding the extension of progressive arguments. I think that there is an inherent advantage to a theory/(non-topical) critical/ROB argument compared to case/substance-based arguments so if you read one of the former arguments in a constructive speech you must extend said argument in the rebuttal (this is not necessary for the latter).
2. Make sure that you have some form of offense at the end of the round. It is really easy to get caught up talking about one point and making sure that you win it, but make sure that said argument is going to help you win the round and isn't purely defensive.
3. Defense is not sticky. I don't want to sound like an old man, but back in my day we had 2-minute summaries and we still had to extend our defense. If you can't make it happen in a 3-minute summary, read fewer arguments.
4. I'm a little more lenient with impact terminalization (i.e. poverty decreases by 2%, saves 20 million lives per degree increase, etc.) but note that this makes it easier for your opponents to turn your impact and it makes it harder for you to do impact calculus. Also, while I won't dock you directly, if your opponents point out that your impact is vague/unclear it might make me less likely to vote for you.
5. I would like to think I am pretty decent at evaluating theory and other progressive arguments, but slow down a little if you are going to be reading something that you think is hard to understand. When in doubt, run it by me before the round (email or just ask). That being said, I do have certain beliefs (disclosure good, paraphrase bad) that won't affect the round unless you ask me to vote on reasonability (instead of competing interpretations).
6. Evidence ethics are important, but I won't verify evidence unless one team explicitly tells me to do so. I hate calling for/having to read the evidence, so if I can find a way out of it (without intervening) then I will definitely try to do so. Misrepresenting evidence is a really easy way to lose a round if your opponents call it out and give me an independent voting issue. Without an IVI, I will just drop the evidence from the round if I find it is miscut.
7. I am okay with speed, but as I said, if you are reading something super progressive, then slow down. Other than that, if you are going to spread, then send a speech doc ahead of time.
8. I am tech over truth. The exception is if you say something racist, homophobic, sexist or otherwise exclusionary.
9. If you have any other questions, just ask me. I'd like to think I am a nice person (although Shabbir might disagree) and I'm much more likely to be happy if you asked at my preferences instead of just guessing.
Pay attention primarily to 1, 1a, 2, and 4. I can answer any other questions you have before or after the round.
If you have any questions about debate (theory or progressive arguments specifically) please shoot me an email and I'd be happy to answer any that you have!
I am not experienced in debate or judging. Please talk at a conversational level. I vote off of logic and reasoning. I value clarity in a debate round over most things, if I cannot understand or hear your argument because you are talking too fast or using terms I'm not familiar with, I will not evaluate it. Clarity is most important in later speeches, give me voters and lots of weighing. Don't use buzz words, instead contextualize why things matter, and what they have to do with the world and the round.
Strake Jesuit '19|University of Houston '23
Email Chain/Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tech>Truth – I’ll vote on anything as long as it’s warranted. Read any arguments you want UNLESS IT IS EXCLUSIONARY IN ANY WAY. I feel like teams don't think I'm being genuine when I say this, but you can literally do whatever you want.
Arguments that I am comfortable with:
Theory, Plans, Counter Plans, Disads, some basic Kritiks (Cap, Militarism, and stuff of the sort), meta-weighing, most framework args that PFers can come up with.
Arguments that I am less familiar with:
High Theory/unnecessarily complicated philosophy, Non-T Affs.
Don't think this means you can't read these arguments in front of me. Just explain them well.
Speaking and Speaker Points
I give speaks based on strategy and I start at a 28.
Go as fast as you want unless you are gonna read paraphrased evidence. Send me a doc if you’re going to do that. Also, slow down on tags and author names.
I will dock your speaks if you take forever to pull up a piece of evidence. To avoid this, START AN EMAIL CHAIN.
You and your partner will get +.3 speaker points if you disclose your broken cases on the wiki before the round. If you don't know how to disclose, facebook message me before the round and I can help.
Extend your evidence by the author's last name. Some teams read the full author name and institution name but I only flow author last names so if you extend by anything else, I’ll be lost.
EVERY part of your argument should be extended (Uniqueness, Link, Internal Link, Impact, and warrant for each).
If going for link turns, extend the impact; if going for impact turns, extend the link.
open cross is fine
flex prep is fine
I require responses to theory/T in the next speech. ex: if theory is read in the AC i require responses in the NC or it's conceded
Defense that you want to concede should be conceded in the speech immediately following when it was read.
Because of the changes in speech times, defense should be in every speech.
In a util round, please don't treat poverty as a terminal impact. It's only a terminal impact if you are reading an oppression-based framework or something like that.
I don't really care where you speak from. I also don't care what you wear in the round. Do whatever makes you most comfortable.
Feel free to ask me questions about my decision.
do not read tricks or you will probably maybe potentially lose
just signpost during your speech, please no fOR aBrIeF oFfTiMe RoAdMap (unless there's tshells on top of substance).
I debated for Vista Ridge (graduated 2021) and study Finance at UT Austin
Currently I am involved with Texas Debate and previously coached for Seven Lakes
I’m a “tech > truth” judge whatever that means to you
I competed for A&M Consolidated for 4 years in PF, extemp, and policy. I now actively coach PF and attend UT Austin.
Contact info (for email chains): email@example.com
I'll try my best to adapt to your style - debate the way you want and enjoy the activity
The time it usually takes for evidence exchange to happen in PF is a major problem; however, having quality evidence is also paramount to education in the activity. As a result, if you are debating in Varsity PF at a TOC-bid tournament, please send speech docs before constructive with cut cards (as attached .docx to the email chain) or your speaks will be capped at a 28
If you follow (2), my speaks usually range around 29. If you get 29.5+, I was very impressed.
As for speed, I am ok with it generally but I flow on computer so if you conjure up a blip-storm in summary (ie- read a bunch of one-liners) because you don't properly collapse, I will end up missing something.
I'll vote off of the least mitigated link chain with an impact at the end of the round
To make an argument into a voting issue, it should be properly extended in the latter half of the round, warranted throughout the round, and weighed against other arguments
Have tangible impacts (extinction works) - statistics about the economy growing don't count and reading "x increases trade and a 1% increase in trade saves 2 million lives" doesn't make the impact of your individual argument 2 million lives
Frontlining is required in second rebuttal - if you drop offense, it becomes conceded and defense on an argument you collapsed on should be frontlined or it'll be an uphill battle
Each response should have a warrant - you can read as many as you'd like, but no warrant means it doesn't matter. 10 warranted responses with weighing is generally far more effective then reading 30 blips
In my experience, most rounds can benefit from collapsing early & weighing in second rebuttal
PF Summary/Final Focus
Any argument (defense or offense) that wants to be a voting issue needs to be in both speeches - "sticky" anything doesn't exist
Extend and weigh any argument you go for
Arguments not responded to in the previous speech are conceded - just call it that and extend it and move on
Metaweighing is good but hard - try your best to do it when needed and you'll be rewarded
Read what you want but I'd prefer shells to be accompanied by examples of in-round abuse; for example, if you are reading paraphrase theory, it would be nice to see which piece of evidence in their case is misconstrued (although its not required).
Out-of-round abuse cannot be adjudicated by me - this stuff needs to be reported to your coach or the tournament's committee if a reportable offense
Other non-standard arguments in PF
I'm down to vote on anything that is well warranted. I'm a big fan of frameworks (with clear standards) and will vote on K's as long as they are well laid out (ie- if you want me to vote on biopolitics, explain in a couple of sentences what that means and what it looks like in the real world). For reference, in high school, I read versions of neolib, imp, bioptx, spark, and cap in pf
Try something new! I've gotten to the point where I've judged so many debates that look virtually identical to another that I will probably reward you with speaks if you try out a new strategy/case position/argument, etc.
Every piece of evidence needs to be cut - you can choose to paraphrase but must still have cut evidence for it
Make evidence issues part of the debate rather than out-of-round issues - each team should be given a chance to justify the abuse or explain why it warrants a loss.
I'll never call for evidence unless explicitly told to - if you want me to read evidence don't just call it bad and tell me to read it, take the time to explain why you believe it's bad if it's a critical part of the debate
I will always disclose as long as the tournament allows it - if they don't, shoot me a message on messenger and I will
Post-round. Although I will never change my decision, you should use this opportunity to learn what you could've improved on
Credit to my friend Shabbir Bohri for letting me use his formatting & some text
Extensions need to include warrants - simply saying extend Smith '20 isn't enough, you need to be warranting your arguments in every speech. This is the biggest and easiest thing you can do to win my ballot. Rounds constantly end with "extended" offense on both sides that are essentially absent any warrants in the back half and I end up having to decide who has the closest thing to a warrant which means I have to intervene. Please don't make me intervene - if you actually extend warrants for the offense that you're winning you probably will get my ballot.
Make my job as easy as possible by clearly articulating why you've won the round - write the ballot for me in summary and final focus. Even though I'm flowing and doing my best to pay attention, I'm not infallible and so if the summaries and final focus are just going over a bunch of arguments without clear contextualization of how they relate to the ballot, I'm going to struggle to decide the winner.
Don't do debater math.
You should give content warnings if you're reading any sensitive content in order to make the round as safe a place as possible for all participants.
Don't steal prep or do anything else that makes the round last longer than it needs to be (not pre-flowing beforehand, taking forever to pull up evidence).
Don't go too fast in front of me.
Defense isn't sticky anymore with the 3-minute summary
Second rebuttal needs to frontline.
If you want to concede defense to get out of a turn it needs to be done the speech after the turn is read.
No new weighing in 2nd FF, unless you're responding to weighing from 1st FF.
Anderson 21' PF 3 years and some gold bids, LD 1 year and I was a novice lol
Debate is a game
K's, T, disads, theory, and any progressive args are fair ways to play
I endorse good norms...I am happy to evaluate arguments that establish them
Don't read theory bad IVIs in front of me (you're literally saying we should ban checks on abuse)
Instead, if you think you've encountered bad theory read your own shell (or IVI) about friv theory or any specific shell you find abusive
Default competing interps
I flow real good so follow the rules
No new offensive arguments past rebuttal; don't read extinction framing or struc vi in final
Every part of your offense (claim, warrant, impact) must be extended in summary or it is dropped
If it's not on my flow when it should be, it's not in the round anymore
You should frontline in second rebuttal
Defense is not sticky; extend it in first summary
I don't listen to cross so bring up concessions in speech
I give speaks based on strategy in round and technical prowess
bellaire '21 | ut '25
put me on the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
tech > truth
trad is good, theory is a coin flip unless violation is blatant
send a doc if fast
quality > quantity
no offensive overviews in second rebuttal
make it clear what ur going for
be clear, should cover what summary covered
For nsd '23: no theta or epsilon team should initiate theory on a lambda or kappa team
Tech > Truth
Speed fine but don't be exclusionary to your opponents
Speaks will be high unless you are mean. then they will be low
second rebuttal respond to first
Defense is not sticky
there are RVI's and you can't change my mind
for arguments that ask me to endorse a norm with my ballot I'm truth > tech
reasonability is live
plano west '22, ut '26
did pf for three years at plano west, qualified to nats + silver toc junior year. did wsd senior year
for ut tournament: i have zero topic knowledge so please make sure you explain things specific to the topic or you are risking me not understanding your argument. i will not vote on something that doesn't make sense to me.
debate is supposed to be a safe space for everyone!! don't say anything racist/sexist/homophobic/ableist/etc., pls read content warnings for sensitive arguments, respect ppl's pronouns, etc. if there is anything i can do to accommodate u, pls email me.
standard flow judge
here's how i view the round:1) weighing tells me what impacts matter/to vote off of. 2) offense: basically whoever has offense that links into the weighing that won. this means you can win weighing and lose the round if you lose the turn/contention that linked in to the weighing. this also means you can lose weighing and win rounds through turns or link ins
tech > truth, but my threshold for responses goes down the more untrue an argument is. ex: if u say the sky is purple, someone telling me the sky is not actually purple is probably enough.
warrant!!!!!!! i won't vote off anything that doesn't have a warrant extended throughout every speech in the round.
actually implicate your responses or else they don't rly matter. this means telling me why defense is terminal, weighing turns, etc.
second rebuttal, at the minimum, should frontline any turns on case
if you choose to dump responses, PLEASE make sure everything has a warrant and don't go ridiculously fast unless you're reading cut cards
collapse in summary/ff
not too much experience with theory and none with k's -- only read theory if you feel like you really have to and i will do my best to evaluate it but be aware that i am not that familiar with it
ask questions before round
grossly overqualified parent judge
Current affiliations: Director of PF at NSD-Texas, Taylor HS
Prior: LC Anderson (2018-23), John B. Connally HS (2015-18), TDC,UTNIF LD
Email chain email@example.com;please share all speech docs with everyone who wants them
Quick guide to prefs
Share ALL new evidence with me and your opponents before the speech during which it is read. Strike me if this is a problem. A paraphrased narrative with no cards in the doc does not count. This is an accommodation I need and a norm that makes debate better. I have needed copies of case since I was a high school debater. Even with me complaining about this, it often doesn't seem to make a difference. The maximum amount of speaks you can get if you don't share your constructive with me is 28.4 and that's if you are perfect.
Tech > truth unless it's bigoted or something
Unconventional arguments: fine, must be coherent and developed (K, spec advocacies, etc)
Framing/weighing mechanism: love impact framing that makes sense; at the very least do meta-weighing. "Cost-benefit analysis" is not a real framework. Must be read in constructive or top of rebuttal
Evidence sharing/disclosure: absolutely necessary but i won't ever vote for a disclosure shell that would out queer debaters. I will err toward reasonability on disclosure if there is contact info on the wiki and/or the case is freely shared a reasonable time before round.
Theory: I am gooder than most at evaluating theory but don't read it if you don't know how. Evidence ethics is very very very very very important
Speed: Fine. Share speech docs
Problematic PF bro culture: ew no
Weighing: wins the majority of PF debates, especially link weighing
Default: offense/defense if there's no framing comparison or reason to prefer one method of weighing
Flow: yes, i flow
Sticky defense: no
LARP/topicality/MEXICAN STUFF: 1+
1-off ap, setcol, cap/1nc non-friv theory: 1-2
kant without tricks: 1-2
deleuze/softleft/psycho/non-pess black studies: 2
most other k/nt aff: 3
rawls/non-kant phil/heavy fw: 3-4
queer pess/tricks: probably strike although I'm coming around on spikes a little bit
disability pess/nonblack afropess: strike if you don't want to lose
TLDR: Share speech docs. Don't be argumentatively or personally abusive. Debate is a game, but winning is not the only objective. Line by line debate is important. No new case extensions in 2AR or final focus. I will intervene against bigotry and disregard for others' physical and mental wellness. I don't disclose speaks, sorry :). I promise I'm trying my best to be nice. LD and policy-specific stuff at the bottom of this doc. I love Star Wars. I will listen to SPARK, warming good, and most impact turns but I generally believe that physical death is not good. Pronouns he/him/his.
Speaks range: usually between 27 and 29.8. 28.5 is average/adequate. I usually only give 30s to good novices or people who go out of their way to make the space better. If you are a man and are sexist in the space I will hack your speaks.
Note on ableism: It is upsetting for me personally to hear positions advocating unipolar pessimism, hopelessness, or the radical rejection of potential futures or social engagement/productivity by the disabled or especially the neurodivergent subject.DO NOT read disability pessimism/abjection or pandering arguments about autism to get me to vote for you. You will lose automatically, sorry
Post-rounding: I can't handle it. This includes post-rounding in email after rounds. I am autistic and it is psychologically and behaviorally triggering for me. I'll take the blame that I can't handle it, just please don't.
Afropessimism: I will vote you down regardless of any arguments made in the round if you or your partner aren't Black and you read afropess. Watch me I'll do it
I have the lowest threshold you can possibly imagine for a well-structured theory argument based on the refusal to share evidence not just with me but with your opponents.
Personal abuse, harassment, or competitive dishonesty of any kind is strictly unacceptable. Blatantly oppressive/bigoted speech or behavior will make me consider voting against a debater whether or not the issue is raised by their opponent. If a debater asks you to respect and use preferred pronouns/names, I will expect you to do so. If your argument contains graphic depictions of racial, sexual, or otherwise marginalizing violence, please notify your opponent. Also see mental health stuff below, which is personally tough to hear sometimes. You do not need to throw trigger warnings onto every argument under the sun, it can be trivializing to the lived experience of the people you're talking about. Blatant evidence ethics violations such as clipping are an auto-voter. Try not to yell, please; my misophonia (an inconvenient characteristic shared by a lot of autistic people) makes unexpected volume changes difficult.
Our community and the individual people in it are deeply important to me. Please do your part to make debate safe and welcoming for competitors, judges, coaches, family members, and friends. I am moody and can be a total jerk sometimes, and I'm not so completely naive to think everything is fluffy bunnies and we'll all be best friends forever after every round, but I really do believe this activity can be a place where we lift each other up, learn from our experiences, and become better people. If you're reading this, I care about you. I hope your participation in debate reflects both self-care and care for others.
Mental and emotional well-being are at a crisis point in society, and particularly within our activity. We have all lost friends and colleagues to burnout, breakdown, and at worst, self-harm. If you are debating in front of me, and contribute to societal stigmas surrounding mental health or belittle/bully your opponent in any way that is related to their emotional state or personal struggles with mental wellness, you will lose with minimum speaks. I can't make that any more clear. If you are presenting arguments related to suicide, depression, panic, or self-harm, you must give a content warning for me. I am not flexible on this and will absolutely use my ballot to enforce this expectation.
PF: Speed is fine. Framing is great (actually, to the extent that any weighing mechanism counts as framework, I desire and enthusiastically encourage it). Framing should be read in constructive or at the TOP of rebuttal. Nontraditional PF arguments (K, theory, spec advocacies) are fine if they're warranted. Warrants in evidence matter so much to me.
PF Theory: I agree with the thesis behind disclosure theory, though I am less likely to vote on it at a local or buy an abuse story if the offending case is straightforward/common. Disclosure needs to be read in constructive. Don't read theory against novices. I will have a low threshold for paraphrasing theory if the violation is about the constructive and/or if the evidence isn't shared before the speech. Don't be afraid to make something a paragraph shell or independent voter (rather than a structured shell) so long as the voter is implicated.
I will always prefer evidence that is properly cut and warranted in the evidence rather than in a tag or paraphrase of it, especially offense and uniqueness evidence. I have an extremely LOW tolerance for miscut or mischaracterized evidence and am just *waiting* for some hero to make it an independent voter.. So nice, I’ll say it twice: Evidence ethics arguments have a very low threshold.
DO NOT PERPETUATE THE TOXIC, PRIVILEGED MALE PF ARCHETYPE. You know *exactly* what I’m talking about, or should. Call that stuff out, and your speaks will automatically go up. If you make the PF space unwelcoming to women or gender minorities, expect L25 and don’t expect me to feel bad about it.
I absolutely expect frontlining in second rebuttal, and will consider conceded turns true. I will not vote on new arguments or arguments not gone for in summary in final focus. No sticky defense.
"It's not allowed in PF" is not by itself a warranted argument.
Crossfire: If you want me to use something from crossfire in my RFD, it needs to be in subsequent speeches. I am not flowing crossfire; I am listening but probably also playing 2048 or looking at animal pictures. I don't really care if you skip Grand, but I won't let you use that practice as an excuse to frontload your prep use then award yourselves extra prep time.
Speed: Most rates of delivery are usually fine, though I love clarity and I am getting older. If you are not clear, I will say "clear." Slow down on tags and analytics for my sake and for your opponent's sake, especially if you don’t include your analytics in the doc. For online debates, the more arguments that are in the doc the better. I will listen to well-developed theoretical or critical indictments of spreading, but it will take some convincing.
Kritik: I have a basic understanding of much of the literature. Explain very clearly why I should vote and why your opponent should lose. For me, "strength of link" is not an argument applicable to most kritik rounds - I ask whether there is a risk of link (on both sides). Your arguments need to be coherent and well-reasoned. "Don't weigh the case" is not a warranted argument by itself - I tend to believe in methodological pluralism and need to be convinced that the K method should be prioritized. A link is *not* enough for a ballot. Just because I like watching policy-oriented rounds doesn't mean I don't understand the kritik or will hack against them. If you link to your own criticism, you are very unlikely to win. I believe the K is more convincing with both an alternative and a ballot implication (like most, I find the distinction between ROB and ROJ somewhat confusing).Please be mindful and kind about reading complicated stuff against novices. It is violent and pushes kids out of debate.
Theory/T: Fine, including 1AR theory. Just like with any other winning argument, I tend to look for some sort of offense in order to vote on either side. I don't default to drop the debater or argument. My abuse threshold on friv shells is much higher. I will not ever vote for a shell that polices debaters' appearance, including their clothes, footwear, hair, presentation, or anything else you can think of (unless their appearance is itself violent). I'll have a fairly high threshold on a strict "you don't meet" T argument against an extremely common aff and am more likely than not to hold the line on allowing US/big-ticket affs in most Nebel debates. One more thing - all voters and standards should be warranted. I get annoyed by "T is a voter because fairness and education" without a reason why those two things make T a voter. I don't care if it's obvious. Don't abuse theory against inexperienced debaters. A particularly egregious example would be to read shells in the 1AC, kick them, and read multiple new shells in the 1AR. Underviews and common spikes are fine. Please, I strongly prefer no tricks or excessive a prioris.A little addendum to that is that I do like truth testing as an argument, but not to justify skep or whatever dopey paradox makes everything false
Frameworks: Fine with traditional (stock or V/C), policy, phil, K, performance, but see my pref guide above for what I am most comfortable evaluating. While I don't think you have to have your own framework per se, I find it pretty curious when a debater reads one and then just abandons it in favor of traditional util weighing absent a distinct strategic reason to do so. I think TJF debates are interesting, but I seldom meet frameworks that *can't* be theoretically justified. Not sure if there's a bright line other than "you need to read the justifications in your constructive," and I'm not sure how good that argument is. I will vote on permissibility/presumption, on which I often lean aff in LD/policy.
LARP: My personal favorite and most comfortable debate to evaluate. Plans, counterplans, PICs, disads, solvency dumps, case turns, etc. Argue it well and it's fine. I don't think making something a floating PIK necessarily gets rid of competition problems; it has to be reasoned well. I'm very skeptical of severance perms and will have to be convinced - my threshold for voting on severance bad is very low. Impact turns are underutilized, but don't think that means I want you to be bigoted or fascist. Cap/heg good are fine. I'm very skeptical of warming good but will vote for it. To the extent that anyone prefs me, and no one should ever pref me under any circumstances, LARPers ought to consider preffing me highly.
Condo: Be really, really careful before you kick a K, especially if it is identity-related - I think reps matter. I am more likely to entertain condo bad if there are multiple conditional advocacies. More likely to vote on condo bad in LD than policy because of time/strat skew. One conditional counterplan advocacy in LD or 2 in policy is generally ok to me and I need a clear abuse story - I almost never vote for condo bad if it's 1 conditional counterplan.
Flashing/Email/Disclosure: I will vote for disclosure theory, but have a higher threshold for punishing or making an example of novices or non-circuit debaters who don't know or use the wiki. Reading disclosure at locals is silly. Lying during disclosure will get you dropped with 25 speaks; I don't care if it's part of the method of your advocacy. If you're super experienced, please consider not being terrible about disclosure to novice or small-school debaters who simply don't know any better. Educate them so that they'll be in a position to teach good practices in future rounds. My personal perspective on disclosure is informed by my background as a lawyer - I liken disclosure to the discovery process, and think debate is a lot better when we are informed. I won't vote on disclosure theory against a queer debater for whom disclosure would potentially out them. One caveat to prior disclosure is that I do conform to "breaking new" norms, though I listen to theory about it. In my opinion, the best form of disclosure is open-source speech docs combined with the wiki drop-down list. Please include me on email chains. Even if you don't typically share docs, please share me on speech docs - I can get lost trying to listen to even everyday conversation if I'm not able to follow along with written words. Seriously, I have cognitive stuff, please send me a speech doc.
I do not care how you are dressed so long as your appearance itself is not violent to other people.
Flex prep/open CX: Fine in any event including PF. More clarity is good.
Performative issues: If you're a white person debating critical race stuff, or a man advocating feminism against a woman/non-man, or a cis/het person talking queer issues, etc., be sensitive, empathetic, and mindful. Also, I tend to notice performative contradiction and will vote on it if asked to. For example, running a language K and using the language you're critiquing (outside of argument setup/tags) is a really bad idea.
I do NOT default to util in the case of competing frameworks. If the framing debate is absolutely impossible to evaluate (sadly, it happens), I will try to figure out who won by weighing offense and defense under both mechanisms.
I tend to think plan flaw arguments are silly, especially if they're punctuation or capitalization-related. I have a very high threshold to vote on plan flaw. It has to be *actually* confusing or abusive, not fake confusing. I do like interp flaw arguments as defensive theory responses in the 1ar
I won't ever hack against trad debaters, but I am what you’d call a “technical” judge and if a debater concedes something terminal to the ballot, it’s probably game over. If you’re a traditional debater and the field is largely circuit debaters, your best bet to win in front of me is probably to go hard on the framework debate and either straight-turn or creatively group your opponent’s arguments.
Warrant all arguments in both constructives and rebuttals. An extended argument means nothing to me if it isn't explained. “They conceded it” is not a warranted argument.
New for 2022: I'm older than most judges and I don't judge policy regularly anymore; I need you to slow down just a tick (300 wpm is fine if clear). I generally don't get lost in circuit LD rounds; think of that as your likely standard.
I was a policy debater and consultant at the beginning of my career. Most of this doc is LD and PF-specific, because those are the pools to which I'll generally be assigned. Most of what is above applies to my policy paradigm. I am most comfortable evaluating topical affirmatives and their implications, but I am a very flexible judge and critical/plan-less affs are fine. That said, just like in LD I like a good T debate and I will happily vote for TFW if it's well-argued and won. One minor thing is different from my LD paradigm: I conform a little bit more to policy norms in terms of granting RVIs less often in policy rounds, but that's about it. Obviously, framework debate (meaning overarching framing mechanisms, not T-Framework) is not usually as important in policy, but I'm totally down with it if that's how you debate. I guess a lot of policy debaters still default to util, so be careful if the other side isn't doing that but I guess it's fine if everyone does it. Excessive prompting/feeding during speeches may affect speaks, and I get that it's a thing sometimes, but I don't believe it's particularly educational and I expect whomever is giving the speech to articulate the argument. I am not flowing the words of the feeder, just the speaker.
Everyone: please ask questions if I can clarify anything. If you get aggressive after the round, expect the same from me and expect me to disengage with little to no warning. My wellness isn't worth your ego trip. I encourage pre-round questions. I might suggest you look over my paradigm, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't ask questions.
Finally, I find Cheetos really annoying in classrooms, especially when people are using keyboards. It's the dust. Don't test my Cheeto tolerance. I'm not joking, anything that has the dust sets me off. Cheetos, Takis, all that stuff. I get that it's delicious, but keep it the hell out of the academy.
EMAIL CHAIN: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please do not call me judge - Henderson - no Mr/Ms just Henderson. This is what I am most comfortable with.
Please share speech docs with me, your opponent in a timely manner. If it get long, your speaks drop. I've been saying for a couple years now that I cannot physical handle the top debaters speed any longer. I will not backflow or flow from doc. This is an oral activity so adjust. I am very expressive in round and you should have no issue discerning if I am with you or not. For me it is definitely that my pen times needs more time, so look periodically and you should be fine.
The older I get the more triggered I find I am when someone spreads unnecessarily. If you using speed to increase clash - awesome! If you are using it outspread your opponent then I am not your ideal judge. I can understand for the AC but I think a pre-round conversation with your opponent is both helpful and something as a community we should attempt to do at all time.
If you do not adjust or adapt accordingly I will give you the lowest speech possible. If this is a local, I am likely to vote against you - TOC/State - you will likely get the ballot but again lowest speaks possible.
I am an educator first. This means that I am concerned about the what happens in the debate more than I do about what the debate claims to achieve. This does not lessen my focus on argumentation, rather it is to say that I am sensitive to the issues that concern the debaters as individuals before I am my concern about various claimed link stories. Be honest, fair and considerate to each other. This manifests itself in my judging when I pay particular attention to the division of prep time. Debater who try to steal prep or are not considerate of their opponents prep will irritate me quickly (read: very bad speaks).
This is a common question given I tend to be critical on points. Basically, If you deserve to break then you should be getting no less than a 28.5. Speaker points are about speaking up to the point that I can understand your spread/read. Do not docbot. If you do not intonate you are not debating you are reading and that is just frustrating to me. Beyond that there are mostly about argumentation. Argumentation includes strategy, crystallization, and structuring of speeches. If you have a creative strat you will do well. If you are reading generics you will do less well. If you tell a full story on the implication of your strat you will do well. If I have to read cards to figure out what you are advocating you will not. If you collapse well and convene the method and meaning of your approach you will do well. If you go for everything (neg) or a small trick you will not. Finally, if you ask specific questions about how I might feel about your strat you will do well. If you ask, "What's your paradigm?" because you did not take the time to look you will not. Previously, I had a no speaker point disclosure rule. I have changed. So ask, if you care to talk about why; not if you do not want to discuss the reasoning, but only want the number.
I truly like a good theory debate. I went for T often as a debater and typically ran quasi topical cases so that I could engage in theory debates. This being said, what you read should be related to the topic. If the words of the topic do not occur in what you read you are in an uphill battle, unless you have a true justification as to why. I am very persuaded that we should learn about certain topics outside of the debate topic, but that just means you should create a forum or propose a topic to the NSDA, or create a book club. Typical theory questions: Reasonability is defense, competing interps are offense. Some spec is generally encouraged to increase clash and more nuance, too much should be debated. Disclosure theory is not very persuasive too me, unless debated very well and should only be used after you sought to have an actual conversation with your opponent prior to the debate. I am very persuaded by contact info at national tournaments - put up contact info and any accomodations you need - it makes for a safer space.
A kritik is a disad with a counterplan, typically to me. This means I should understand the link, the impact and the alternative as much as I would if you read a disad and counterplan. I vote against kritik most often because I have no idea what the alt does. This happens when the aff fails to engage and you think that you now just need to extend tags on the alt and assume that is enough. I need a clear picture of the link and the alt most importantly regardless of how much the aff has engaged or not. Gut check is a real thing. If your kritik is death good you are working uphill. If you are reading "high theory" know that I have not read the literature, but I will do my best. In the 1890s, when I debated, I was really into Cap and Gender based positions. My debaters like Deleuze and Cap (probably my influence, if I possession such).
If you are trying to convince me that what you are doing matters and can change people in some way I really need to know how. If your claim is simply that this method is more approachable, well that is generally not true to me and given there is only audiences beyond me in elim.s you are really working up hill. Access trumps all! If you do not make the method clear you are not doing well. If your method somehow interrogates something, what does it interrogate? how does that change things for us and why is that meaningful? And most important you should be initiating this interrogation in round. Tell me that people outside the debate space should do this is not an interrogation. That is just a plan with a specific mechanism. Pre-fiat claims are fine, but again I need to understand the implication. Telling me that I read gender discrimination arguments and thus that is a pre-fiat voter is not only not persuasive it is not an argument at all. Please know that I truly love a good method debate, I do not enjoy people who present methods that are not explicit and full of nothing but buzzwords.
Arguments should be competitive otherwise they are just FYI. This means kritikal argument should likely be doing more than simply reading a topic link and moving on. All forms are perms are testable - I do not default to a view on severance/intrinsic - it's all debatable. I do default on perms do a test of competition. If you want to advocate the perm this should be clear from the get. A perm should have a text, and a net benefit in the opening delivery otherwise it is a warrantless argument.
In policy, (LD its all debatable) a few layers are fine - 4+ you are testing the limits and a persuasive condo bad argument is something I would listen to for sure. What I am absolute about is the default. All advocacy are unconditional unless you state in your speech otherwise. No this is not a CX question. You should be saying, I present the following conditional CP or the like, explicitly. Not doing this and then attempting to kick it means an advocacy shift and is thus debatable on theory.
I was a policy debater, so disads and counterplans are perfectly acceptable and generally denote good strat (read: better speaks). This does not means a solid NC is not just as acceptable, but an NC that you read every debate for every case that does not offer real clash or nuance will make me want to take a nap. PIC are debatable, but I default to say they are acceptable. Utopian fiat is generally not without a clear method story. Politics disad seem mostly silly in LD without an explicit agent announcement by the AC. If you do not read a perm against a counterplan I will be very confused (read: bad speaks). If you do not read uniqueness then your link turns are just defense.
I really enjoy good framework debate, but I really despise bad framework debate. If you know what a normative ethic is and how to explain it and how to explain your philosophical basis, awesome. If that is uncomfortable language default to larp. Please, avoid cliche descriptors. I like good framework debate but I am not as versed on every philosophy that you might be and there is inevitable coded language within those scholarship fields that might be unfamiliar to me. Most importantly, if you are into phil debating do it well. Bad phil debates are painful to me (read: bad speaks). Finally, a traditional framework should have a value (something awesome) and a value criteria/standard (something to weigh or test the achievement of the value). Values do not have much function, whereas standards/criterion have a significant function and place. These should be far more than a single word or phrase that come with justification.
I have very frustrated feeling about PF as a form of debate. Thus, I see my judging position as one of two things.
If this is a debate event then I will evaluate the requirements of clash and the burden of rejoinder. Arguments must have a claim and warrant as a minimum, otherwise it is just an assertion and equal to any other assertion. If it is an argument then evidence based proof where evidence is read from a qualified sources is ideal. Unqualified but published evidence would follow and a summary of someone's words without reading from them would be equal to you saying it. When any of these presentation of arguments fails to have a warrant in the final focus it would again be an assertion and equal to all other assertions.
If neither debate team adheres to any discernible standard of argumentation then I will evaluate the round as a speaking event similar to extemp. The content of what you say is important in the sense that it should be on face logical and follow basic rules of logic, but equally your poise, vocal variation and rhetorical skills will be considered. To be clear, sharing doc.s would allow me to obviously discern your approach. Beyond this clear discernible moment I will do my best to continue to consider the round in my manners until I reach the point where I realize that both teams are assume that their claims, summaries etc... are equally important as any substantiated evidence read. The team that distinguishes that they are taking one approach and the opponent is not is always best. I will always to default to evaluate the round as debate in these situation as that is were I have the capacity to be a better critic and could provide the best educational feedback.
If you adhering to a debate model as described above these are other notes of clarity.
I’m very resistant to theory debates in Public Forum. However, if you can prove in round abuse and you feel that going for a procedural position is your best path to the ballot I will flow it. Contrary to my paradigm for LD, I default to reasonability in PF.
I think the function of framework is to determine what sort of arguments take precedence when deciding the round. To be clear, a team won’t win the debate exclusively by winning framework, but they can pick up by winning framework and winning a piece of offense that has the best link to the established framework. Absent framework from either side, I default utilitarianism.
Finally Word for All
I am sure this is filled with error, as I am. I am sure this leaves more questions than answers, life has. I will do my best, as like you I care.
Since I judge a lot more Public Forum now than the other events, my paradigm now reflects more about that activity than the others. I've left some of the LD/Policy stuff in here because I end up judging that at some big tournaments for a round or two. If you have questions, please ask.
NONTRADITIONAL ARGUMENTS: These arguments are less prevalent in PF than they are in other forms. The comments made here still hold true to that philosophy. I'll get into kritiks below because I have some pretty strong feelings about those in both LD and PF. It's probably dealt with below, but you need to demonstrate why your project, poem, rap, music, etc. links to and is relevant to the topic. Theory for theory's sake is not appealing to me. In short, the resolution is there for a reason. Use it. It's better for education, you learn more, and finding relevancy for your particular project within a resolutional framework is a good thing.
THEORY ARGUMENTS IN PF: I was told that I wasn't clear in this part of the paradigm. I thought I was, but I will cede that maybe things are more subtle than they ought to be. Disclosure theory? Not a fan. First, I am old enough that I remember times when debaters went into rounds not knowing what the other team was running. Knowing what others are running can do more for education and being better prepared. Do I think people should put things on the case wiki? Sure. But, punishing some team who doesn't even know what you are talking about is coming from a position of privilege. How has not disclosing hurt the strategy that you would or could have used, or the strategy that you were "forced" to use? If you can demonstrate that abuse, I might consider the argument. Paraphrasing? See the comments on that below. See comments below specific to K arguments in PF.
THEORY: When one defines theory, it must be put into a context. The comments below are dated and speak more to the use of counterplans. If you are in LD, read this because I do think the way that counterplans are used in LD is not "correct." In PF, most of the topics are such that there are comparisons to be made. Policies should be discussed in general terms and not get into specifics that would require a counterplan.
For LD/Policy Counterplan concepts: I consider myself to be a policy maker. The affirmative is making a proposal for change; the negative must demonstrate why the outcome of that adoption may be detrimental or disadvantageous. Counterplans are best when nontopical and competitive. Nontopical means that they are outside of the realm of the affirmative’s interpretation of the resolution (i.e. courts counterplans in response to congressional action are legitimate interpretations of n/t action). Competitive means there must be a net-benefit to the counterplan. Merely avoiding a disadvantage that the affirmative “gets” could be enough but that assumes of course that you also win the disadvantage. I’m not hip deep sometimes in the theory debate and get frustrated when teams choose to get bogged down in that quagmire. If you’re going to run the counterplan conditionally, then defend why it’s OK with some substance. If the affirmative wishes to claim abuse, prove it. What stopped you from adequately defending the case because the counterplan was “kicked” in the block or the 2NR? Don’t whine; defend the position. That being said, I'm not tied to the policy making framework. As you will see below, I will consider most arguments. Not a real big fan of performance, but if you think it's your best strategy, go for it.
TOPIC SPECIFIC ARGUMENTS: I’m not a big “T” hack. Part of the reason for that is that persons sometimes get hung up on the line by line of the argument rather than keeping the “big picture” in mind. Ripping through a violation in 15 seconds with “T is voting issue” tacked on at the bottom doesn’t seem to have much appeal from the beginning. I’m somewhat persuaded by not only what the plan text says but what the plan actually does. Plan text may be topical but if your evidence indicates harm area, solvency, etc. outside of the realm of the topic, I am sympathetic that the practice may be abusive to the negative.
KRITIKS/CRITIQUES: The comments about kritiks below are linked more to policy debate than LD or PF. However, at the risk of being ostracized by many, here is my take on kritiks in PF and maybe LD. They don't belong. Now, before you start making disparaging remarks about age, and I just don't get it, and other less than complimentary things, consider this. Most kritiks are based on some very complex and abstract concepts that require a great deal of explanation. The longest speech in PF is four minutes long. If you can explain such complex concepts in that time frame at a comprehensible speaking rate, then I do admire you. However, the vast majority of debaters don't even come close to accomplishing that task. There are ways you can do that, but look at the section on evidence below. In short, no objection to kritiks; just not in PF. LD comes pretty close to that as well. Hint: You want to argue this stuff, read and quote the actual author. Don't rely on some debate block file that has been handed down through several generations of debaters and the only way you know what the argument says is what someone has told you.
Here's the original of what was written: True confession time here—I was out of the activity when these arguments first came into vogue. I have, however, coached a number of teams who have run kritiks. I’d like to think that advocating a position actually means something. If the manner in which that position is presented is offensive for some reason, or has some implication that some of us aren’t grasping, then we have to examine the implications of that action. With that in mind, as I examine the kritik, I will most likely do so within the framework of the paradigm mentioned above. As a policymaker, I weigh the implications in and outside of the round, just like other arguments. If I accept the world of the kritik, what then? What happens to the affirmative harm and solvency areas? Why can’t I just “rethink” and still adopt the affirmative? Explain the kritik as well. Again, extending line by line responses does little for me unless you impact and weigh against other argumentation in the round. Why must I reject affirmative rhetoric, thoughts, actions, etc.? What is it going to do for me if I do so? If you are arguing framework, how does adopting the particular paradigm, mindset, value system, etc. affect the actions that we are going to choose to take? Yes, the kritik will have an impact on that and I think the team advocating it ought to be held accountable for those particular actions.
EVIDENCE: I like evidence. I hate paraphrasing. Paraphrasing has now become a way for debaters to put a bunch of barely explained arguments on the flow that then get blown up into voting issues later on. If you paraphrase something, you better have the evidence to back it up. I'm not talking about a huge PDF that the other team needs to search to find what you are quoting. The NSDA evidence rule says specifically that you need to provide the specific place in the source you are quoting for the paraphrasing you have used. Check the rule; that's what I and another board member wrote when we proposed that addition to the evidence rule. Quoting the rule back to me doesn't help your cause; I know what it says since I helped write most or all of it. If you like to paraphrase and then take fifteen minutes to find the actual evidence, you don't want me in the back of the room. I will give you a reasonable amount of time and if you don't produce it, I'll give you a choice. Drop the evidence or use your prep time to find it. If your time expires, and you still haven't found it, take your choice as to which evidence rule you have violated. In short, if you paraphrase, you better have the evidence to back it up.
Original text: I like to understand evidence the first time that it is read. Reading evidence in a blinding montone blur will most likely get me to yell “clear” at you. Reading evidence after the round is a check for me. I have found in the latter stages of my career that I am a visual learner and need to see the words on the page as well as hear them. It helps for me to digest what was said. Of course, if I couldn’t understand the evidence to begin with, it’s fairly disappointing for me. I may not ask for it if that is the case. I also like teams that do evidence comparisons. What does your evidence take into account that the other teams evidence does not? Weigh and make that claim and I will read the evidence to see if you indeed have made a good point. SPEECH DOCUMENTS: Given how those documents are currently being used, I will most likely want to be a part of any email exchange. However, I may not look at those electronic documents until the end of the debate to check my flow against what you claim has been read in the round. Debate is an oral activity; let's get back to that.
STYLE: As stated above, if you are not clear, I will tell you so. If I have to tell you more than once, I will give much less weight to the argument than you wish me to do so. I have also found in recent years that I don't hear nearly as well as in the past. You may still go fast, but crank it down just a little bit so that this grumpy old man can still understand the argument. Tag-team CX is okay as long as one partner does not dominate the discussion. I will let you know when that becomes the case. Profanity and rude behavior will not be tolerated. If you wish me to disclose and discuss the argument, you may challenge respectfully and politely. Attempts at making me look ridiculous (which at times is not difficult) to demonstrate your superior intelligence does little to persuade me that I was wrong. My response may very well be “If I’m so stupid, why did you choose to argue things this way?” I do enjoy humor and will laugh at appropriate attempts at it. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask. Make them specific. Just a question which starts with "Do you have a paradigm?" will most likely be answered with a "yes" with little or no explanation beyond that. You should get the picture from that.
Please email your case ahead of the round to email@example.com If I can preflow ahead of time, it will help me during the round. I want to know your contentions ahead of time.
Please do not spread; I want to understand your words and ideas clearly. If you spread, I will dock speaker points.
I appreciate logical, sequential arguments. Make sure throughout the round you are clearly explaining to me what your argument is and why it matters.
Present clear framework.
State impacts clearly; terminal impacts are more convincing.
Off time roadmaps are appreciated.
Make sure during your speech, you are sign posting. Otherwise, I will have a hard time following your argument.
Don’t run theory or k; I tend to vote for logical, warranted out evidence.
Make sure you convince me in your final focus why you should win. I will weigh heavily on that.
Be respectful in words and actions to your opponents. If you interrupt, cut them off, or speak over them, I will dock speaker points
Do your best and have fun!
I value your ability to communicate your ideas in a well organized structure. A good speaker is one that is able to keep the audience engaged but also has good ideas and argumentation that flows with good transitions, sources, and analysis. There shouldn’t be any holes in your speech where I’m able to question the credentials of the author or their research or their analysis or any other number of things.
-You have to weigh it has to be comparative and I prefer specific warrants based on in-round argument vs general ideas on how two impacts interact in a vacuum
-I wont accept new weighing in first final unless no other weighing is done before and 2nd can respond but can't read their own weighing
-in 2nd rebuttal two things you have to frontline and dont read disads if theres a legitimate violation/issue I'll evaluate a new off but I don't recommend doing it on a ticky-tack violation
-Im fine with progressive arguments but you cant kick it you can collapse on specific warrants but any argument you read should make it to final and i wont evaluate no RVIs or must read competing interps
-im fine with any speed in the front half of the round but in the back half the faster you go the more I'll miss or not get which makes it hard to vote for you so make a judgement call
-warrants and contextualization are more important in the back half than the front half that doesn't mean you can make up new warrants in the back half it just means dont forget if your argument doesnt make sense I wont vote for it because I dont know what Im voting for
-Ill give block 30s if I can so if you dont get a 30 its because of your behavior in the round so I would call on you to reflect a little on what may have happened in the round to warrant it
Hi! My name is Atirikta Kumar and I'm a novice debater at the University of Houston. I’m currently a sophomore at UH pursuing a double degree in journalism and political science.
Be kind and Treat People with Kindness.
Add me to the email cycle at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm hyper tech judge. K's are fine but i don't evaluate theory. Start email chains for every round and give all evidence and rhetoric before your speech. I don't want google docs - only pdf and word docs. I won't evaluate evidence sent to me as a part of my decision making unless you tell me to. Smart weighing, good arguments, and evidence ethics are your path to the ballot. I think grand cross is dumb but we gotta do it for UT.
I qualled for TFA, TOC, and Nationals in PF. Have fun and live 365.
i debated for westlake for 3 years (graduated 2021), and i did pf and some extemp.
i would consider myself to be flay leaning tech.
1. WARRANT. i need more than just jargon.
- this goes for everything in the round (responses, weighing, etc).
- i am tech over truth (excluding offensive arguments), but you need to warrant everything out.
2. collapse and extend too.
- defense is not sticky; pls extend.
- i will only evaluate what has been extended in summary AND in ff. don't bring up new stuff in ff.
3. an argument is dropped if there is no response to it in the next speech.
4. be respectful to everybody in the round.
feel free to ask me questions before or after round! :)
Good for you at checking paradigms.... I judge several different types of debate:
As a communicator, you should be able to adapt to your audience...ie Judge.
Have fun! Debate is a wonderful activity where you can be smart, have fun, and learn at the same time.
Some items I think you should be aware of that I think weakens your presentation:
Being rude, forgetting to tag your cards, not having cards formatted correctly, and not making some kind of eye contact with judge during cross.
DO NOT say please vote for Aff/NEG...your argumentation and evidence should demonstrate your side should win.
Things to help your presentation: Smile, being polite, and organizing your arguments with internal signposting...sharing cards and evidence before using them.
Public Forum- DO NOT PROVIDE AN OFF TIME ROADMAP- I do not need it.
Please have started the email chain and flipped as soon as you can.
include me in the email chain email@example.com
There is not enough time in PF for effective theory/K to run. I will not vote for you if tricks or theory are your only arguments. I expect the resolution to be debated and there needs to be clash.
I think you should be frontlining offense (turns and disads) in rebuttal. Straight up defense does not need to be frontlined, but I do think it's strategic. Summary to final focus extensions should be consistent for the most part. Overall, the rule of thumb is that the earlier you establish an argument and the more you repeat it, the more likely I will be to vote for it, i.e., it's strategic to weigh in rebuttal too, but it's not a dealbreaker for me if you don't.
To me warrants matter more than impacts. You need both, but please please extend and explain warrants in each speech. Even if it's dropped, I'll be pretty hesitant to vote on an argument if it's not explained in the second half of the round. Also, I have a relatively high standard for what a case extension should look like, so err on the side of caution and just hit me with a full re-explanation of the argument or I probably won't want to vote for you.
The most important thing in debate is comparing your arguments to theirs. This doesn't mean say weighing words like magnitude and poverty and then just extending your impacts, make it actually comparative please.
I can flow most of the speed in PF, but you shouldn't be sacrificing explanation or clarity for speed.
I will try my best to be "tech over truth", but I am a just a mom of two five year olds and I do have my own thoughts in my head. To that end, my threshold for responses goes down the more extravagant an argument is.
If you want me to call for a piece of evidence, tell me to in final focus please.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me before the round.
Policy I am a stock issues judge when adjudicating Policy. I am fine with speed/spreading with signposting and roadmaps.
I can't stand the K. Please don't run one. Debate the resolution or run a T argument but very rarely will I vote off case arguments.
Parli/World Schools- Need to see fully developed warrants, impacts and confidence. I love stories and learning new TRUE stuff...
LD- I love debates about Criterion and no neg cases are great if ran with logic, links, and detailed examples. Tell stories. I will buy it if presented professionally and with logic. I need weighing of worlds and chrystalization.
Congress- Please make sure to reference previous representatives speeches and show me you have been flowing and are responding to what has been said in round.
Showing decorum and being polite- like thanking the previous representative always a good thing :)
PLEASE DO NOT ask if I am ready- I am always ready or I will say to please wait.
Coach for Westwood
I will flow every speech and be focused on the round. I love the activity and know how much time you put in - you deserve a judge that pays attention and that cares. Go as fast as you want but be clear. More often than not you don't need to read 4 contentions or go as fast are you're going - quality is way more important than quality.
Speaks are a function of strategy (good collapsing, weighing, going for dropped turns and doing it well, etc) and practices (disclosure, cut cards, etc). I do not care what you wear. Speaks will range from 28 to 30 unless you do something unacceptable.
I will research most, if not all, of the topics. So, you can assume I have background knowledge, but if you're reading something super specific explain it and your acronyms.
Smart analytics > bad evidence or paraphrased blips.
If you want a short version - I agree with Akhil Bhale.
- No prep stealing (it's quite obvious)
- Have the cut card for any piece of evidence that you read easily accessible (bare minimum), if your going to send links to large PDFs please strike me.
- I am uninterested in listening to and will not vote for arguments that endorse self-harm or suicide. Spark and other hypothetical impact turns are fine.
- Do not use racist/sexist/misogynistic rhetoric.
- I will "flow" cross-examination and it is binding (it exists for a reason). I hate it when teams don't understand their own arguments and this is the time to make it obvious. Probably won't be a voting issue but could be made into one.
"Preferables" (your speaks will automatically improve but I won't hold it against you unless convinced otherwise by theory etc.) :
- Disclose previously broken positions on the wiki (personally think new Affs/Negs are good but that is a debate to be had)
- Read from cut cards
- Send constructive and rebuttal docs with all the cards before your speech. I will never call for specific evidence after the round. If I think the evidence will decide or influence my decision I will go to speech docs to read it, if it isn't there too bad. Sending evidence after the round is just a way for debaters to send new evidence they didn't read, highlight evidence, cut parts out - I don't want to deal with that. TLDR: It helps both you and the debate if you send docs. I am a sucker for good evidence. If you have some really good evidence make sure I know about it - call it out by name. Again not an excuse for not debating - don't hide behind your evidence.
- Pre-flow before the round.
- Tech > Truth (to an extent) - if an argument is dropped it is considered true but still has to be an argument for you to win on it (ie. it must be extended with uniqueness/link/internal link/impact), new implications or cross applications justify new responses to the specific implication. If you blow up a 2-second rebuttal blip - my threshold for responses won't be very high. More stuff on progressive arguments later.
- Read whatever you want to read - do your own thing. More on specific progressive arguments later.
- Open CX is fine (both people can speak/explain during cross-examination). Flex prep is fine and often good (ask questions during your prep time).
- 2nd rebuttal should collapse and frontline everything on the argument you're going for. Efficiency will be rewarded with good speaks. Defense is not sticky. Most "weighing" is new responses more on that later - at the latest 1st final but that's probably way too late and justifies 2nd final responses which isn't good for you anyway. 0 risk is a thing, but most defense will be evaluated on a probabilistic scale. 1st summary is the last time, I will flow new arguments. (There is a distinction between new arguments and new weighing - be careful.)
- Most substantive questions will be revealed on a probabilistic scale - comparative risk of the arguments. In 99% of debates, both sides will win some offense so comparative weighing and impact calculus can and often decides rounds. Procedural arguments often have to be evaluated on a yes/no basis (does the AFF violate the interp, RVIs or no RVIs, etc.)
- Turns. I love them but they are often done terribly. 99% of link turns need uniqueness to be offensive (ie. If the AFF tells me there is no negotiation in the status quo, and the NEG goes for a link turn about how the AFF makes negotiation worse, I have no idea what the impact to negative negotiation is.) Impact turns are also often interesting debates - if the link is contested (I hope it isn't if you're going for an impact turn) or if your opponents go for a different argument, then extend it clearly. If both teams seem to agree to the link and it just becomes an impact debate, I don't really care about link extensions too much. There are only 2 types of turns. Link turns and impact turns. New DAs and ADVs are often labeled as turns but you won't fool me and don't try - more on that later.
- Weighing. Also something I love but is often done wrong. There are three weighing mechanisms: probability, timeframe, and magnitude. Any other mechanism is either a subset of those three (ie. scope is a subset of magnitude) or isn't a weighing mechanism (ie. clarity of the strength of the link or whatever people like to say.) Unless convinced otherwise (which is easily possible), link weighing/debating > impact weighing. I often find that nuclear war outweighs climate change or poverty outweighs death is irrelevant with good link weighing. I will give examples of link weighing below: at the latest these arguments need to be introduced by 1st summary. Probability link weighing are no-link arguments or "mitigatory defense." Stuff like "it is hard for terrorists to get BMDs because of monetary and technical constraints" is definitely link defense and needs to be in 1st summary at the latest. Probability is a function of how much defense you win on an argument, I will not arbitrarily assign probabilities (ie. say climate change is more probable than nuclear war) - you have to explain to me why that is the case which often is just link defense. Timeframe link weighing can be great. Arguments like the NATO bank at the earliest even if created won't get funding for years etc. Magnitude link weighing is really good and often underused (ie. "scope of solvency"). Solving bitcoin emissions won't solve climate change writ large etc. That being said, I can be convinced that impact weighing comes before link weighing. Arguments like extinction first and Bostrom and viable and can also be good. I hope everyone knows what impact weighing is so not going to go too in-depth on that. Last note - turns case is really, really good and also really, really underutilized in PF. Conflict probably ends negotiations, climate change probably makes war more likely, economic growth probably resolves underlying conditions for crime, etc. These types of arguments can really help you frame a round and establish why your came case comes first. Impact weighing and turns case can come by 1st final by the latest.
- Try or die can be convincing if done well. It is often a great strategy if you are going for an extinction impact and the NEG has conceded uniqueness. This is not an excuse for not frontlining - 0 risk is a thing. Timeframe is a really good weighing mechanism in try or die/extinction first debates and can often implicate probablity.
- Framing debates are also really interesting - extinction first etc. Framing arguments are not a substitute for link debate but a supplement. If you win policy paralysis and the other team wins a very large risk of their extinction scenario, the other team has probably won the round.
- Quality > quantity. Not too many interesting thoughts here. Good weighing and link debating wins rounds - avoiding clash, being shifty, and dumping blips doesn't.
- Empirics aren't arguments but can help your position combined with warrants. If you have good empirics that are specific to the mechanism of the resolution/your argument you're probably in a good spot.
- I could care less about quantified impacts. They are often random predictions by conspiracy theorists or terrible models. Even worse, debater math. I would much rather your impact be economic growth than some math you did with different studies and percentages. Extinction is an impact, recession is an impact, etc - I do not care about your 900 million card.
- Kicking case in reading a new DA/ADV in 2nd rebuttal is a bad idea. You essentially just wasted half of the debate. I will have a very low threshold for responses and encourage theory. This is different from reading 4 minutes of turns (ie. kicking case and just going for prolif good). I am perfectly fine with that, in fact, that would be quite fun.
Below are some thoughts on progressive argumentation. Don't read these arguments to win rounds - it's quite obvious. You disclose for the first time and read disclosure theory, change from full text to open source for 1 tournament to meet your interp, etc. I will still vote for it if you win but your speaks won't be great. Also, don't read progressive arguments just to beat novices - I will give you the worst speaks I possibly can.
- I have mixed feelings on disclosing broken interps - could be convinced either way. In general, meta-theory is interesting and under-used.
- Topicality is also interesting. Define words in the resolution. Intent to define and evidence quality is extremely important. Unlike most theory debate, precision, your interpretation, and the evidence matter a lot more to me than the limits/ground debate.
- While I will not "hack" against these arguments be aware it is an uphill battle if you are defending paraphrasing good or disclosure bad. If you win your CI and everything on the flow of course I will still vote for you. If it is a close-round, you know which way I am probably going to vote.
- I default to competing interpretations, no RVIs, spirit of the interp, and drop the debater. I can easily be convinced otherwise. If paradigm issues are dropped/agreed upon they do not need to be extended in every speech. If the debate devolves to just theory under competing interps - I am voting for the better model of debate, I could not care that you won no RVIs (personally, no RVIs doesn't mean you can't win on a counter-interp in my mind)
- Reasonability is a good tool against mis-disclosure (open-source versus full text etc) and frivolous shells. You should still read a counter interp - but explain why the marginal differences in your models of debate are outweighed by substance crowd out etc.
- Read your shell the speech after the violation (if they paraphrase in 2nd rebuttal - feel free to read paraphrasing theory in 1st summary.) Theory after that is fairly late and really hard to have good clash, thus probably will result in intervention but if you think its necessary read it (bad language etc.)
- For some reason, small school counter-interps are quite popular and I get why (I read them myself a few times.) However, I am inclined to believe that arbitrary entry limits are just that arbitrary. Also, a lot of small schools are in big prep groups with a lot of resources, or just don't have a lot of people competing etc.
- Theory is unaccessible is a terrible argument - there are tons of resources out there and if you need more help/advice feel free to email me. It is just like responding to any other argument.
- Theory cards, in most cases, are overrated and are often just written by former debaters and will be evaluated on the same level as any other standard/argument. This is different from topicality interpretations and impact weighing/cards against Ks.
- "Substantive Ks" like Cap K or Security K are great but probably will just be evaluated as DAs or impact turns. Reading it as a K is often just an excuse to get out of the uniqueness debate, and when your alternative is just rejection, I don't think that gets you very far.
- Non-topical positions are also fine - I am familiar with most of the stuff people read in PF, but if you're reading high-theory or something confusing - slow down and explain it. I won't vote for something I can't explain back to you. This is my one exception to disclosing new Affs/Negs. I strongly believe non-topical positions should be disclosed before the debate to allow for clash.
- I slightly lean towards T/FW against K affs/negs probably because K debate in PF isn't done very well - but can easily be convinced otherwise. K teams should go for impact turns, weigh the K against the shell, and have a good CI that mitigates the limits offense. Do not read a K based on research about x argument and discourse and then make a prepouts bad argument on theory - that doesn't make too much sense. Weighing is really important in these rounds and I find that the theory teams get away with some stuff too easily (answer stuff like fairness is key to participation which comes before your method.)
- I am also down for a method v method debate, or PIKs etc. Conditionality is probably good against a new K aff/neg (ie. fine with T/FW combined with a PIK etc)
- Long pre-written overviews are not as useful as line-by-line and specific weighing.
- Also, please have an actual method. If you say "vote for me because I pointed this out," you probably won't get my ballot.
- Paraphrased Ks are a big no. Non-negotiable.
If you got this far, thank you for taking the time to read this. If you have any questions feel free to email me whenever. I will always disclose unless the tournament explicitly tells me not to. Postrounding is good if it is constructive and educational - but this time, I will have already submitted my ballot and will not be able to change it. Feel free to email me questions after the round as well.
I am a commercial litigator. In my law practice, I am apply the law to the the facts and evidence to persuade the court and jury to rule/vote in favor of my client. Therefore, in judging rounds, I am not interested in theory or technicalities.
I look for persuasive, evidence-based arguments. For example, if your opponent uses your card against you, beware that might be outcome determinative unless you find a way to rebut.
In cross examination, I look for crisp and targeted questions to drive the point home to me, your judge. Don't flounder. Respectfully try to make your opponent concede to your point. I will be flowing.
In your closing arguments, tie it all together and persuade me why your opponent's argument or case fails.
Please don't spread. I just don't find it persuasive. It interferes with the substance of the arguments you may wish to make.
Hey guys! My name is Hrishi (pronounced Rishi). I competed in Public-Forum Debate for four years, and qualified to TFA state three times, so I consider myself a flow debater/judge.
Here are a few basic things to help y'all understand me as a judge.
- Pre-Flow before the round starts
- Create the email chain before round starts, my email is linked below.
1. Extensions are important. If you want to go for an argument it must be extended in every speech. If you drop defense or offense, I am not going to evaluate it.
2. Unless you are kicking case to go for turns/disads, Second Rebuttal has to respond to defense and turns that are read in First Rebuttal.
3. Collapse in the second half of the round. Trust me going for one arg is always better than extending 6 different contentions.
4. Don't misconstrue evidence, it's really annoying for both me and your opponents. Please share evidence in a timely manner. (If it takes an abnormal amount of time to find something, it will be dropped from the round)
5. Weighing is important but make sure you do it well. Don't just shout mechanisms at me without explaining the warranting behind them
6. I'm not familiar with progressive args, so run them at your own risk. I never ran progressive args while competing and I have very little experience evaluating these arguments. If you still want to run progressive arguments you are welcome to, but don't blame me if you don't like how I evaluate them.
1. If you say something that I know isn't true I'm probably not going to buy it.
2. I am a PF debater at heart, I am not a fan of spreading. Don't speak faster than I'm able to flow.
3. If the debate is a wash I will presume Status Quo. (This rarely happens though)
4. Don't be a jerk. If you are sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, or xenophobic then I'll drop your team.
5. It's okay to match energy in round, just try to stay civil and respectful towards everyone.
6. My debater brain has deteriorated after I came to college, so I don't particularly care about the minor technicalities.
7. I know debate is stressful, but have fun. Make jokes and laugh, I promise you the world will not end because of the results of one round.
If you have any other questions ask me before the round begins.
TLDR: Focus on warranting, extensions, and weighing and you'll do great.
Good luck with y'alls rounds!
i did 4 years of debate in hs
**i want to emphasize that I was a pretty traditional PF/LD debater and my experience with theory/other progressive arguments was very limited **
- I vote on the flow, with that being said if it is not said, I can't vote on it. However, if both teams are not doing the work, I'll have to do it alone, and you might not like my decision.
- Respond to everything if you are going for an argument. If you don't respond to it, it's conceded.
- Whenever you extend a case you need to extend the entire link chain, not just the argument. This includes extending authors, warrants, and impacts.
- Don't speak fast.
I competed in IE for Butler University for four years; I was a GA for Marshall University for 2 years, where I worked with LD, IPDA and Speech teams. While I didn't do LD in college, I did compete in NPDA (three years), Public Forum (3 years) and Policy (one year) and I've been judging debate (LD primarily although this season I'm covering PF as well) for the past five seasons, so I understand most of the terminology that you could throw at me. If this preface to my paradigm worries you, I encourage you to read the rest of my paradigm anyways, it may change your mind (and always feel free to ask me questions in person or in a zoom round).
1. I encourage you to ask me specific questions before the round. Asking me general questions (EG: "How would you describe your paradigm", etc.) before the round won't prompt me to give you very helpful answers. Just be specific with your questions and we'll be good, I'm happy to answer any questions I can. If you have questions that are going to determine or guide your strategy in round then ask them! But I'm not great at summarizing all my thoughts for you on the spot.
2. Most of the thoughts that follow are inspired by my experience judging and coaching LD, especially the Policy-lite model of LD that's become common at the college level. If you're concerned about how these thoughts translate to PF or to more traditional LD settings please ask about that in-round.
3. Tech over truth in nearly every regard, I want to see your arguments and responses to opponents'. Give me clear, evidenced links to support impact scenarios and narrativize them well. I will avoid judge intervention in almost all cases and to the extreme. That is to say, to put yourself in the best position to win I want to see you clearly defend and weigh your points because I will not weigh them for you. I will not automatically default to one position over another when given no reasons to prefer. From a strategic standpoint, it is in your best interest to give me a framework by which to evaluate your impacts even if that framework is localized to weighing your impact.
4. I'm always happy to answer questions and listen to concerns/criticisms of my decisions afterwards. I want to get better and so do you, why not help each other. However, I will not change my decision, even if you convince me I've made the wrong one.
5.THIS IS A NOTE FOR PF. If it takes you longer than 20 seconds to find a card that you claim to have, I will ask you if you want to run YOUR prep time to find it. If you say "yes" then carry on, but maybe consider familiarizing yourself with your evidence so you can find it quicker. If you say "no" then that evidence won't "exist" until you demonstrate that it's real (which could include reading it in the next speech, though that might be too late if your opponents speak between when you cite it and then). Obviously I will be understanding if there are technical difficulties (IE internet cutting out, computer crashing) which I have been made aware of.
Also, while we're on evidence in PF, sending just like, a link to a website isn't great. If your opponent doesn't interact with it I will probably take you at face value, but know that there is a chance (slight) that I will, unprompted, click your link and read the article and if it says something other than what you claimed then I will intervene to vote against you because of this. I won't do this with a cut card unless someone in the round makes it an issue. TL;DR: If you're sending just hyperlinks to articles make sure they say what you claim.
Speed: Sure. I can keep up as long as you are able to maintain clarity. I will call speed if you go too fast, and I encourage you to call speed on your opponent if they are going too fast for you. I will begin docking speaker points on the third time I have to call speed, and if your opponent calls a third time you should expect a good hit to your speaker points. This isn't necessarily a voting issue for me (unless your opponent makes it a voting issue). I definitely want to be on the speechdrop/email chain (though I prefer speechdrop). firstname.lastname@example.org.
AFF: I prefer topical AFFs. I am open to listening to an engaging K AFF (or if your opponent doesn't call T then I guess run whatever you want, obviously), but I would still prefer to listen to a topical AFF. I strongly prefer AFFs that include a plan text of some sort (even if it's a vague/open-ended plan text). I don't like the idea of "reserve the right to clarify" but I understand it's functionality given time constraints. Don't clarify in an utterly unreasonable way (my threshold is pretty high here).
T: Topicality is a stock issue, and as such I will vote on it if it's won. I don't particularly enjoy listening to T arguments, but who really does. I don't particularly love definitions (I.E. "substantial"), unless the original definitions are completely misrepresenting the words of the resolution/rule/etc. That being said, competing interpretations has been doing well in front of me recently so I would hardly call it unviable. Upholding your standards is pretty much the most important thing to do to win T in front of me. You can make your voter "NFA-LD rules" if you want, but there needs to be an articulated voter on T for me to vote on it. I default reasonability, but really I strongly prefer one or both debaters to give me a FW. I will evaluate T on whatever FW is given to me by the debaters. NOTE: My threshold for voting on T is lower than it was my first two years judging, if you happen to remember/have heard that I would not vote on Topicality.
Theory: Pretty much the same as my T paradigm. I'll listen to theoretical positions, just give me some clear standards if you want to win that position in front of me. I default drop the argument, but will vote on drop-the-debater if that argument is warranted out to me. Clear in-round abuse stories tied to theory arguments, especially those focused on research burden and unfair ground have been successful in front of me in the past, but I don't perceive myself as being uniquely drawn to them. I don't mind Neg debaters running Disclosure Theory against Affs, but unless the Neg runs a CP or an Alt I don't think Affs running Disclosure Theory against Negs is a viable strategy in front of me (NOTE: this is for LD, for PF aff's can run disclosure theory, it is viable in that realm). if the Neg DOES run a CP or Alt then suddenly Disclosure is a viable aff position.
Disclosure in PF is a fine theory position to run in front of me, but I will not vote for it on principle alone. I DO generally think disclosure is a good norm that should be adopted into PF, but that being said, you need to have clear standards, voters and weighing on a theory argument to win. My desire to not intervene in a round far outweighs my desire to punish teams for not disclosing. A role of the ballot framing is also a good strategy in any context if you're going for theory and if you're defending against a position like this then having a counter framework is also a good idea.
I will vote on conceded RVI's but the threshold for voting on an RVI that's been effectively defended against is probably fairly high. "Don't vote for an RVI" is not enough defense. Explain to me literally any reason to not vote for the RVI.
CP: I don't have a strong personal predilection to voting on conditionality one way or the other, but I conceptually dislike conditional CP's a lot- that being said, it's not a strong enough dislike for it to matter unless someone in round forces my hand. "Condo Bad" arguments are viable in front of me but by no means will they always win. Perms of the CP need to be actually explained to me. Just hearing "both" won't be a winning position in front of me. I will evaluate the plan vs. CP debate in pretty much the same way that I evaluate the SQ vs. plan debate unless one side offers a different FW. I am okay with the Neg going for CP and SQ in the NR, but I feel like the strategy is risky given that you have to split your time between both positions.
K: I love critical arguments and I'm a critical scholar professionally, but don't necessarily expect me to be read up on all of the literature (though I may surprise you). I'm okay with generic links to the AFF, but I definitely like to see good impact calculus if your argument is reliant on a generic link; I need one or the other to be strong for your K to have a chance in a round. I need to know why the impacts of the K outweigh or precede the impacts of the AFF. I prefer Alternatives that have some type of action, but am open to other types of Alts as well. I don't particularly love hearing alts that say we need to theoretically engage in some different type of discourse unless there's a clear plan for what "engaging in X discourse" looks like in the real world (which can include within the debate round at hand, but might have more). Particularly, I enjoy hearing alternatives that call for the debaters in the round to engage in discourse differently (I think this is the easiest type of Alt to defend). Even if the Alternative is to simply drop the AFF in-round, that is enough "real world" implementation of a theoretical Alt for me.
Clarification: K debate is not the absence of tech- you still need to demonstrate a link an impact even if those things take a different form or are about different things than they would be in a more traditional arg.
DA: Not much to say here. Give me a good DA story and if you are winning it by the end of the round then I'll probably vote on it. Definitely remember to do weighing between the DA and the AFF though because there's always a good chance that I won't vote on your DA if you can't prove it outweighs any unsuccessfully contested Advantages of the Aff. DA's with no weighing are only a little better than no DA at all.
Solvency: A terminal solvency deficit is usually enough of a reason for me to vote against the aff BUT I need this extended as a reason to vote. You can always say that it's try-or-die, tell me there's a risk of solvency and sure, I'll still grant you that begrudgingly (unless you've really lost the solvency debate). If you're getting offense somewhere else good for you, I'll still vote on that; so like, if your case falls but you have a turn on a CP or an RVI on T or something those are still paths to the ballot. This note is here because I've seen a few rounds where the aff just sort of says "they have at best a terminal no solvency argument" and like- that's enough for them. That's what neg needs at the minimum to win the round.
please add me to the email chain
New Paradigm 2/19/23
Top level thoughts
I have voted on pretty much everything. I prefer depth and clash to running from debate. Engaging will be rewarded.
Don’t be a jerk to your opponent or me. We are all giving up lots of free time to be here. I won't vote on oppressive arguments.
I think preparation is the cornerstone of the value this activity offers. You shouldn’t rely on theory to avoid reading.
I don't think it’s possible to be tab, but I try not to intervene. Arguments must have a warrant or they aren’t an argument. This applies to all debate styles. (Ex. "6-7-4-6-3" is not a full argument)
I shouldn’t have to have background on your argument to understand it. I have read and seen a lot, but that will be irrelevant to my decision. I won’t fill in gaps for you.
I think most debates are way closer and more subjective than people give them credit for.
Collapsing is a good idea generally.
I will not flow off the doc. That is cheating.
Don’t let my preferences determine your strategy. I’m here for you! Don't over adapt to me.
General thoughts on arguments
Ks: My favorite literature. I have a fair bit of experience with most lit bases commonly read and I really enjoy clash of civ and k v ks debates. I wish I saw more K v K debates. I dislike long overviews and super generic links. I think critical literature is great, but I think you should at least attempt to tie it to the topic if possible. Spec advantage links are great. I will vote on non-T affs and I will vote on T. Usually that ends on the TVA flow.
Policy Args: I have the most experience evaluating these arguments (I debated them for 8 years). I think comparing evidence and links is more important than generic impact weighing. Turns are OP, and I will vote on smart analytics. I only really read evidence if debaters don’t give me a good mechanism to avoid it. I tend to default to offense/defense paradigm, but I’m open to whatever framing you want to read.
Frameworks: I find phil frameworks interesting and fun. I wish these debates were a bit deeper and used actual phil warrants instead of just extending tricky drops. I think LD is a really great opportunity to get into normative ethics.
Theory – I find frivolous theory a bit annoying (despite what my pf teams might have you believe), but I flow these debates pretty thoroughly and evaluate them pretty objectively. I will accept intuitive responses even if they are light on proper terminology. (i.e not explicitly saying the word counter-interp)
Tricks – Lots of different tricks that I view differently. Things like determinism and skep are better than mis-defining words or 15 spikes. I find good apriories interesting. I have a fairly low bar for intuitive responses. I will probably not vote on “evaluate after x speech”. If I cant flow it I wont vote on it. Hiding one-line paradoxes in tiny text after cards is obviously a waste of everyone's time
2nd rebuttal should collapse and frontline
If it takes you longer than a min to produce evidence, it doesn't exist. I think you should just send all cards before you read them.
If I think you inappropriately paraphrased, I will ignore evidence. Read cards to avoid me thinking your paraphrasing is bad.
Use email chains. Send cases and cards before you start your speech. Stop wasting everyone's time with outdated norms
2016 - 2019: Debater at All Saints Episcopal School
2019 - Present: Student at UT Austin
TLDR: I've been out of debate for about ~3 years now. The last round I judged was probably March 2020 so I am quite out of practice. You can run most arguments so long as it is warranted, contextualized, impacted, extended, and cleanly articulated in the round. That being said, there are arguments that are better fit for certain debate types due to exterior factors (speech timings, norms, etc). Quality > quantity. Do whatever makes you most comfortable. Also, because I've been out of the debate ecosystem for a good amount of time, please do take time to ask me specific questions at the beginning of a round.
PF-Specific Strategy: Defense is not sticky through first summary speech. You should be extending critical defense through each speech. Also, there seems to be a really bad habit within PF of only extending claims. If you want be to vote on an issue, extend every aspect of the argument (claim, warrant, impact).
Speed: If you are going to speed, please send a doc of only what you will be reading. After yelling 'clear' more than twice, I'll start deducting speaks. It's in your best interest for me to hear and understand the evidence you are reading to me, otherwise you risk me not flowing or evaluating evidence missed.
Paraphrasing: I really dislike paraphrasing in debate. I think it is usually a poor attempt to inject extra warrants, links, or impacts by short-handing what authors write. Strategically, evidence is credible because the author who writes the text has subject matter expertise in some way. Paraphrasing and rephrasing what is written can easily lead to evidence distortions. It is probably not advantageous for you A). because paraphrasing can distort authors' intent within the process of changing and B). paraphrasing lends itself to improper extensions of warrants. If you are going to paraphrase, you should have cut evidence ready to go in case the opponent or myself call for evidence. Excessive time spent searching for cut evidence will be taken out of your prep time. Overall, I will likely scrutinize paraphrased evidence at a greater level
Evidence Ethics: This is a really important issue for me. Miscut evidence can become a voting issue in a round. If you call out evidence misinterpretations or improper cuts of evidence, please mention it by name. It would also be helpful to implicate why dropping the evidence matters in the context of the round (ie. 'this evidence provides the sole warrant' or smtg like that). I'll likely call critical contested evidence at the end of a round. It is in your best interest to represent the evidence as accurate as possible. I'll do my best not to intervene on evidence ethics. That being said, call out bad evidence and I will listen.
Non-traditional Arguments: I've spent considerable time debating LD and CX. I used to run Ks, critical DAs, CPs, Theory, etc. in PF. However, I am quite out of practice. I'll listen to non-traditional arguments if they are clear, clean, and properly warranted. Generally, I think it is much harder to run non-traditional arguments in PF, so if you are running non-traditional arguments do it well and I will happily vote for you. I do think that these forms of arguments have a place in PF but should be done exceptionally well.
Please ask me any specific questions if you are hesitant or unclear about something before a round. Have fun!
Ruth (they/them). Add me to the email chain: email@example.com.
I did policy for three years at Grace Academy ('22) and now compete for Trinity University ('26).
I think debate is a game and we’re here to have fun and maybe learn a little. Tech > truth but you need to explain why your arguments matter otherwise I’ll have a hard time voting on them.
You'll get good speaks if you have comprehensive, clear overviews at the top of every flow.
Your 2AR/2NR should try to write my ballot for me.
Obviously, I won’t tolerate behavior that's racist, queerphobic, discriminatory, etc.
Feel free to email me if you have lingering questions after a round – I get overstimulated easily and as a result it's sometimes hard to verbalize the finer points of an RFD.
Tricks- Strike -- I'm not a good judge for this. You'll probably be disappointed by my ballot if you read it.
T- It’s probably jurisdictional but you’d be more persuasive if you made that argument. Fairness can be a voter but try to show proven abuse in-round, otherwise, I feel more comfortable evaluating it as an internal link to education. Predictability is also important.
Theory/Procedurals- These can be very useful and fun when utilized properly. They can also be incredibly annoying, so do everything in your power to make the procedural flow clean and easily understood, particularly if there are multiple and if you are competing in an event that isn't policy.
DA/CP- Not a lot to say! I tend to be a little suspicious of the link on politics DAs, but that won’t affect my ballot unless aff brings it up. I think CPs are great and the perm is usually pretty competitive.
K- I love a good K debate and have a working familiarity with Agamben, Foucault, Nietzsche, Cap, Security, and SetCol. If you run something different, that's cool, just make sure you have good overviews and explain the moving parts. Link and impact debate are vital.
FWK- Similar to my thoughts on T. Framework is often two ships passing in the night, which makes my job harder, so try to get into the competing interpretations and what they mean for your model of debate. Having a clear role of the ballot is critical – tell me exactly how to vote and why I’m voting that way.
Hello. I am a lay judge, so just make sure to speak clearly and enunciate. I want you to lay out your arguments and weigh all of the impacts for me, I don't want to make decisions completely based on my own thoughts.
Plano West '22, UT '26
PF for 2 years, WSD for 1 year, qualified to Nats & TOC
Don't say anything racist/sexist/homophobic/etc, read content warnings for justified arguments, respect ppl's pronouns, and make sure that debate remains a safe space.
1. Prioritize warranting & weighing throughout the round. I will only vote on arguments extended through both Summary and FF.
2. Treat me like a lay judge: I will vote on theory, Ks, prefiat args, etc. if properly explained, warranted, weighed, and implicated in the round
3. Frontline all offense in 2nd rebuttal or 1st summary to minimize the time skew and preserve fairness
4. I have no topic knowledge so please explain jargon and contextualize arguments
5. Signpost, collapse, send speech docs if you're spreading
6. Will average 29 speaks + extra for humor
Ask any specific questions before the round. Good luck y'all!
(update for Nats) - PLEASE just share your docs. If I have to sit through one more round where I watch both teams spend 5 minutes between speeches asking for certain cards and figuring out what cards to share and...just, if you read evidence, share the evidence. Use the tabroom Share, use speech drop, use an email chain, I don't care. just spare me.
Experience in PF, CX and LD. I was an LD/CX debater in high school, and have judged all three for years.
I try to run as close to a tab judge as I can, I'm willing to judge anything you run I just ask for justification in the round for why I should care about debating for it.
I'm fine with speed, I'm fine with theory and I'm fine with progressive arguments, HOWEVER I need you to demonstrate to me that you understand them and why they are important in the round, AND I need you to maintain arguments throughout the round and keep the flow updated.
My name is Raquel, and I am a policy debater at the University of Houston debate team. My experience is entirely with policy debate, but I have judged public forum in the past.
I recently went 3-3 at the Texas open and ADA nationals. I also finished 2nd speaker overall in my division at the open.
For me, warrants and contextualization are very important. It's not just enough to state evidence, your evidence needs to be supported with warrants that explain why said argument is true, and that needs to be further contextualized to the entire debate. Create a story for me. I like to see the development of arguments throughout the debate so I can thoroughly understand your position.
I consider myself more policy oriented, but I often read K's as part of my own negative strategy when debating. K's are great and if you're going to read them, framework should always be present. I need to know how your critique should be evaluated in terms of the consequences/impacts and why that matters. In general, my feeling about k's is the same for all arguments. There needs to be a line of development that unfolds into a story from beginning to end. I need to know how your critique interacts with the topic at hand and what arguments are the most important.
Important-At the end of the day, however, you should always debate in a way that is most comfortable for you and demonstrates your best abilities. Regardless of my paradigm, I will always vote for the strongest argument, and that is wholly dependent on what the debater does. So go all in.
Other than that, have fun and do your best. Please be respectful to one another. There is no need to be disrespectful or overly aggressive with your opponents. Healthy debate is always encouraged. We are all here to learn and use this space as an educational opportunity. Please keep it that way.