Florida Blue Key Speech and Debate Tournament
2022 — Gainesville, FL/US
Varsity Lincoln Douglas Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Clear points including cited evidence.
Want to see advancement of the bill.
Your speech should stand up to questioning.
I did LD for four years at Scarsdale High School in NY, attending the TOC my senior year.
My email is email@example.com, add me to the email chain!
I'm pretty much good with whatever arguments you want to read, just be mindful of how you're treating the other people in the room. As a debater, I tended towards tricks, theory, and framework debate, but I wish that I had been a k debater, and really love to see whatever you're best at. Obviously don't read anything offensive (racist, sexist, transphobic, etc).
I also ask that you slow down a little. Don't pref me if you don't feel confident that you can have a solid round at a fraction of your normal speed, I haven't done debate in four years and it takes me a second to get re-adjusted to spreading.
Weigh arguments, and weigh them well. This should be a given, but compare your weighing against your opponents' weighing. Interaction makes it make sense. Don't just extend things and presume I know what to do with them: I need you to spend time painting the bigger picture. If you want to minimize judge intervention, do the work yourself.
If nobody makes arguments, then I will default to these standards...please make arguments, so that I don't have to use defaults.
- truth testing
- competing interps
- drop the debater on T
- drop the argument on theory
- no RVIs
Take yourself lightly, this is an extracurricular activity and it can feel all-consuming, but it also can be fun if you let it be. Odds are you won't remember the wins and losses in a couple of years. I wish someone had reinforced this more for me when I did this activity.
Cypress Bay 2020
I've been with Champion Briefs since the 2020-2021 season
I'd like to be on the chain :) firstname.lastname@example.org
Public forum stuff is near the bottom
Super duper short pre-round version: If you read Ks, I should be a high pref. If you read tricks and/or phil, I should be a low pref or strike. I'm more familiar with the pomo side of Ks. I try to be as tabula rasa as possible. I say probably a lot. I generally don't flow author names, and I wasn't the best at flowing while I was competing. So... slow down on extensions a lil bit?
You can debate, really, however you want to debate. However, help me help you, and don't paraphrase your evidence. Reading essay style cases can also be hard to follow, so do with that information whatever you will.
If that didn't help, you have questions, and you don't want to read my rambling, just shoot me an email. If it's before a tournament, I can't promise as to how quickly I'll answer, but at tournaments I have my email open 24/7.
Small 2023 update: I'm pretty okay with listening to phil/tricks positions, I think. However, you must be aware that this is not a branch of theory I think about often, or a form of debate that I coach or did while I was in high skill. Phil v K debate is probably an uphill battle to win. You also must slow down when reading the big/abstract positions, and you should explain implications tome. If you read phil/tricks, I want you to explain it to me like I'm your younger sibling -I will not understand the phil buzzwords and jargon. ALSO, unrelated: 1AC theory makes me feel icky. You get infinite prep, you shouldn't have to read theory in your 1AC. Just debate. I believe in you.
- Some of the judges/coaches who particularly influenced me and my debate style during my career include: Daniel Shatzkin, Alex Landrum, Aleksandar Shipetich, Allison Harper, Sawyer Emerson, Mitchell Buehler, Bailey Rung, Rob Fernandez
- Defaults: Role of Debate > Judge > Ballot; comparative worlds first; competing interps; drop the debater; presume negative; reps/pre-fiat > literally everything else
- Background + my thoughts on the (negative) K: My career started at the Samford Debate Institute in the policy lab where I learned how to disad/counterplan/case debate. At my first tournament of the year, I turned around and read a death good aff and haven't turned back from the K since. In my senior year alone, I read: Anthro, Baudrillard (a few variations of this one), Dark Deleuze, Abolition, and Security. I don't think kritiks are really ever cheating unless they create a perfcon. I'm far more familiar with the post-modernism/high theory side of K debate over the identitarian side, though I have read a considerable amount of literature on both sides. Other Ks that I haven't read in round, but know the literature well enough include: Psychoanalysis, Afropessimism, Wake Work, settler colonialism, and queer pessimism, among others. You'll get +0.1 speaks if you use correct human/nonhuman animal rhetoric. Please don't read a K you don't understand just because I like Ks :)
- The (affirmative) K: I read these from pretty much day 1. There was only one instance in which I didn't (looking at you, UK), and that was a bit of a mess. Similar to the negative section, try not to read confusing (but fun) K affs just because I like them. It's more painful to listen to someone butcher a Deleuze aff than a hard right policy aff. I primarily read Fiction theory my senior year, and I love it more than anything, so you get brownie points if you also read these :)
- - - FW v K affs: It is often a true argument, and I will definitely vote on it. I think that TVAs are overhyped and to win on one, it should definitely solve at least 80% of the aff. That said, I think that affirmative debaters often just don't know how to beat back framework with their aff. You should leverage case v fw. You read six minutes of dense theory. You should use it.
- - - K v K affs: I think these are really cool. I don't really know if I know some of the identity lit well enough to judge something like afropess v afropess, but if you can explain the nuances well enough, then by all means go for it. The Baudrillard v Baudrillard debate was one of my favorites to be a part of in high school.
- - - Counterplans v K affs: I think these are often underutilized by debaters, myself included. The glitter bomb cp is legitimate. No questions asked.
- - - Plan affs - I like these. I think they're cool and very fun. Not really my style but that doesn't mean I hate them or won't vote on them. I think if you're gonna go for the policy option, you should just read a hard right plan with like a space-col advantage. I feel like the competitive advantage that soft-left policy affs traditionally got access to in HS Policy debate is kind of moot in LD because of the prevalence of both K debate as well as phil debate.
- - - Case debate: This is where the good stuff is. Also a great place to flex and/or show some personality and not be a robot. In my own words, "This inherency is awful 5head, cut a better card."
- - - CP/DA v Case: please don't say ceepee or deeaye, stop trying to be edgy and cool. Same thing goes for "arg" instead of argument. Just say the word pls. But yes these are cool. I like these. I didn't read these but I liked these a lot.
- - - Impact turns v Case: As long as it's not oppression/bigotry good, go for it. ffs i read death good lol
- - - T/th v Case: If there's an abuse, there's an abuse. If not wearing shoes is abusive to you, then we have different concepts of abuse. Do with that what you will. If you have to ask, "Is x shell frivolous?" The answer is probably yes. I probably don't think that T is really ever an RVI. The only feasible justification for an RVI on T that I can possible imagine is if you cross applied abuse from other shells. But eh who knows?
- - - K v Case: Yes please :) This was my favorite debate to have. I feel like there are the most potential layers to interact on. There's the case page itself, framing, the K, and anything else you might throw in there. "K bad judge help" isn't a legit argument. If the 1NC is one off, you shouldn't concede the entirety of the 1AC. I made this mistake a few times; it's not the move. Clash of civs is goated and I will not argue with you on this.
1. If I laugh I promise it's not at you
2. I enjoy it when two debaters clearly get along
3. Please don't be mean to younger debaters
4. R e s p e c t e a c h o t h e r
5. Do your own thing and do it well
6. Don't be afraid to ask questions
7. I have much less patience for frivolous arguments the farther we get into the tournament.
8. If you have any questions about the things that I read in particular, feel free to email me.
- Those Chart things because I think they're cool and fun
Condo ---------X------------------------------------Not Condo
Bowdreearrd X-------------------------------------------- Balldrilard
Ampharos X---------------------------------------------Literally any other Pokemon
A2/AT ------------------------------------------X-- A healthy, inconsistent mix in every file
A2 --------X------------------------------------ AT
Analytics in the doc -X------------------------------------------- A blank text file
Extending warrants ----------X---------------------------------- Extending authors
Jokes in the speech -----X--------------------------------------- Hello it's me, debate robot #6
I am a big meanie -------------------------------------------X- I am not a big meanie
Getting the shakes before a drop X-------------------------------------------- I don't understand this reference, grow up
Starship Troopers ----------X---------------------------------- Dune
The alt is rejection ------------------------------------------X-- Part of the alt might necessitate rejecting the aff
Defense ------------------------------------------X-- Offense
Please don't dodge questions in cross
I have a lot of feelings about this event. A lot of them boil down to, "If you want me to judge this round like a tech judge, you should probably follow the norms of technical debate." This means that I'll pull the trigger very easily on theoretical arguments that justify things that are "normal" in other forms of debate. Id est, disclosure and paraphrasing bad. It's possible to win disclosure bad or paraphrasing good in front of me, but it will for sure be an uphill battle.
I'm okay with speed.
I'm good with technical arguments.
Please don't read Ks or other "tech" arguments just because I like them. It's more painful to listen to them read poorly. That said, if you know the arguments, then feel free to read them.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them, I promise I'm not as mean as this paradigm likely makes me out to be.
Update Blue Key 2022
you're definitely going to have to do a lot to convince me that phil is worth voting on. it's not an argument that i spent or currently spend time thinking about. Probably leave the weird stuff at home, but you're even going to have to slow down and explain kantian arguments to me.
See update at the top:much of this is still true.
also; theory. Totally cool with topicality/framework, but theory debates get messy really easily for me. Please explain why your model of debate is actually net-better than the alternative.
I competed in Lincoln-Douglas Debate throughout high school both locally and nationally. I went to two separate debate camps during that time, one of which being NSD. I graduated in 2017. I just judged the Bronx 2020 tournament. All of this is to say that I'm familiar with National Circuit LD as it exists in the present.
Super Short Version: I am 100% tab, and will be happy to evaluate absolutely any argument or style, provided that your conclusion logically follows from your premises (unless you'd like to debate against logic, which most likely won't work, but you can try). Please explain your arguments thoroughly, because I vote on warrants but can't do so if I don't hear or understand them. I strongly believe that I should be a 1 for everyone.
Short Version: My goal as a judge is to be completely tabula rasa. I think debate should come down to who is the better debater, and I think it is unacceptable, and harmful to debate as an activity intended to evaluate skill, for people to insert their completely subjective preferences into a round such that it blinds them from selecting the debater who actually did a better job. My aim is to vote for the debater who more effectively justifies their position and demonstrates the failure of their opponent to do the same, whatever the positions in question may be, and with no regard given to how I feel about them (which should not be difficult, as I am simply not an emotional person, so I probably won't feel about your arguments). I will vote on absolutely any argument that has a warrant, no matter how counterintuitive it may be, if it is won. I find sarcasm, sass, and the like entertaining, but please do not take that as an excuse to be entirely cruel. My only major weakness is that I am not great at flowing, so please be very clear and explain yourself thoroughly. I flow warrants, not necessarily author names (I'll try to flow author names but will probably fail because I'm more interested in not missing your actual arguments), so when extending arguments, don't read a bunch of names and expect me to have any idea what you are talking about. Do not assume that I know ahead of time what your case says, as I only read two authors in any kind of detail throughout my entire debate career, and I am definitely not keeping up with the topic literature.
Also, please feel free to email your speeches to email@example.com so I can read along (though it is not required, and now with online tournaments, I think using file share is quicker and easier). Spreading cards upon cards of esoteric material off of a computer screen simply isn't how real-world speeches work, so I think it is unproductive for me to limit my ability to get your arguments down as part of some attempt to promote speaking skills in an activity that is so far gone from it to begin with.
Long Version: As you probably know by now, I am very very tab. I genuinely enjoy watching any type of debate so long as it is debated well. However, there are some things I enjoy more than others, and other matters that require clarification in spite of my being tab, and I will devote this section to clarifying those matters. The best thing you can do is over-explain. The more you tell me why you are winning, the easier it is for me to vote for you. I do not plan on having any defaults, so if you are not sufficiently clear, I will try to evaluate the round according to what both debaters seem to assume. While I think I am pretty good at psychoanalyzing others, if you do make me psychoanalyze you in order to figure out your arguments, there is a chance that I could be wrong and you will not like the result. Thus, please be clear or I'll be forced to make assumptions and make my own connections. Now for specific matters:
Things That Aren't Necessarily Related to the Arguments
· I do not care if you stand or sit.
· I do not care where you position yourself relative to me, so long as I can see you.
· I do not care if you call yourself "we" or something along those lines.
· Introductory quotes that aren't actually pertinent make me cringe.
· I do not have dogmatic rules regarding when prep time should start or end. Please do not abuse this.
· I am unlikely to ever call for evidence, as I prefer to evaluate based upon what was articulated by the debaters in the round.
· I have a very low threshold for extensions, but you would do well to thoroughly explain what you are extending anyway just to make certain I understand its implication and evaluate it correctly; however, if its implication is painfully obvious and it was dropped, you merely need to tell me to extend the claim, repeating the warrant is unnecessary (e.g. "Extend the resolved a priori. It was conceded.").
· I will tell you to slow down or be clear as much as needed, but if I do say it, it means that I am really desperate because I detest interrupting speeches, so you would be wise to slow down and clear up very substantially if I do say something.
· While I will vote for you if you win your position, I am generally not a fan of people just reading off of their computer screens. I think debate is an intellectual activity, and so I want to see you actually thinking about what you are reading and making intelligent arguments from it. Don't just rely on what other people say, because then it's like those people are winning the round, but I can't vote for them, I have to vote for you, so you should be the winner. Evidence is good, but I am not going to award high speaker points to someone who is clearly not making their own arguments. Extrapolate, spin, be rhetorically proficient, etc. I say this not because I think Policy-style debate is inherently less intellectual than other styles, but because it is most common for debaters of this style to rely too much on other people's words and to not make their own arguments. Debaters who I think did very well with this type of debate (and in extremely different ways from each other) who you should try to emulate are Varad Agarwala and Raffi Piliero.
· Because these debates are based on empirical data rather than being merely conceptual, I can't just reason my way to a good decision if you aren't clear, so it is vitally important that you explain your arguments thoroughly, are flowable, and WEIGH. If you can conceptually summarize your data-based position well, I will certainly be impressed, and will have an easier time evaluating it.
· I am good with any sort of Plan, CP, DA, or combination, no matter how abusive or odd.
Philosophical Framework Arguments
· I thoroughly enjoy philosophy, and think that philosophical justification for your arguments is a necessity. Even if you're reading a heavy util case, you should have some justification for util. While, if no one points out your lack of a justification, I won't vote you down, if your opponent does say something akin to, "No philosophical reason is given for why util is good. Therefore, disregard the entire case since we have no reason to care about its impacts," I am going to be highly inclined to vote against you. For me, justifying things logically is what debate is all about. You don't have to read a dense piece of analytic philosophy, but I expect some reason to prefer your framework.
· If you do choose to read dense analytic philosophy, that is wonderful, but remember that I've only read two authors (who I will not name, because they are extremely obscure and I'd like to be impressed by people who discover them on their own), so do not expect me to understand your framework ahead of time. I am good at understanding things, though, so as has been a theme in this paradigm, if you explain well, you will be fine.
· I consider skepticism to be an actual philosophical position (and one of the few that I deeply understand, but not from one of my two authors), and will evaluate it as such.
· Kritiks have a lot of variation. Some are Policy-esque, in which case my thoughts on policy arguments apply, and some are philosophical, in which case my thoughts on philosophical arguments apply. Stylistically, the only real difference between these sorts of Ks and the cases described above is structure. While they are very different content-wise, I am fine with all types of content, so that doesn't change anything about my evaluation. I will write about more unusual sorts of Ks in separate sections below.
· Kritiks tend to be murkier than other types of arguments. Please be sure to understand your K well so you can explain it to me well, and be doubly sure to provide me with a clear and justified evaluative mechanism (i.e. a clearly articulated role-of-the-ballot).
Non-Topical Ks and Topicality
· Entirely fine. I do not have a bias regarding which comes first (T or K), so you will have to have that debate for me.
· I will probably be very amused if you read an absurd Topicality shell (e.g. "The United States is a landmass, therefore cannot have moral obligations or enact policy, therefore negate."). I really love semantics, as I will expand upon in a later section, so if you want to have a definition debate, please do it. Note that loving definition debates is not the same as thinking Topicality is a good thing, however. Again, it is an issue I do not take a stance on.
· I really like Deleuze (no, this not one of my two authors, either) and other "high theory" arguments, but you would do well to explain yourself thoroughly.
Micropol, Identity Arguments, Narratives, Pre-Fiat Arguments, and the like
· Also fine. Just be sure to have a clear reason why your identity should count as offense, or I may be left rather confused. I generally find these positions very difficult to defend as they seem very susceptible to theory arguments, but if you can successfully rebut the theory arguments or explain why your K outweighs, I will certainly vote for you, because again, I don't take a stance on T vs K. Note that this does not mean that I have a higher threshold for voting on these arguments. I don't. I am simply warning you about what I perceive to be a potential weakness regarding them so you do not fall into that weakness. Although I am ultimately persuaded by logic, I actually can and will vote on emotional arguments if you win a reason why that should count as offense. Do not be afraid to read emotional presentations in front of me. All I ask if that you don't devolve to a total reliance on emotion in order to avoid engaging in rational argumentation.
· Ks of Debate are also fine. I don't take a stance on the issue of whether Debate is good or bad, as I have had perpetually mixed feelings about it myself, so I would probably really enjoy watching this argument unfold.
· Broadly defined as "meta debate- debating about debate in any context from standard fairness discussions to the role of the judge to the constitutive nature of the activity to the legitimacy of anything that occurs pre fiat and in the 'real world'," this is probably what I am most qualified to judge. The reason for that is I have barely read anything substantive, so will probably learn a lot of things for the first time when hearing your arguments, and only have a few minutes to consider them before having to make a decision. However, Lincoln-Douglas Debate is something I have deeply analyzed to the extent that a framework debater analyzes Kant. As I said at the top, I deeply understand the activity, and if you're going to ultimately debate about the activity in some way, then I think I will be extremely well-suited to evaluate that. I probably invested so much time into thinking about theoretical arguments because I was too lazy to do actual research, so spent much of my time thinking of how I could spin the nature of the event itself to preclude other people's arguments, and come up with arguments that did not require me to do any actual research myself. Do not take that little anecdote to mean that I will give you any sort of advantage if you tell me that you didn't do any research. I don't vote for people just because they mirror my style of debate.
· Theory in the traditional shell format is just as fine as everything described above. While I do not have a bias in favor of it, as it is an issue I never had to research and could therefore just think about, I do understand it better than I understand any substantive position except for those that I read. However, if you are not a theory debater, do not be discouraged, because if you are, say, a K debater against a theory debater, if you read reasons why the K comes before theory, I will be able to evaluate that just as well as I will be able to evaluate the theory shell because that is a meta-debateissue, and, as said above, I consider myself an expert on all meta-debate, not just standard fairness-based theory shells.
· I have no problem whatsoever with any type of shell you want to read, no matter how frivolous. Jack Wareham's theory shell saying that the judge should vote people down for wearing suits was one of my favorites.
· I do not take a stance on disclosure, and will evaluate it like any other argument.
· I do not take a stance on paradigm issues, or issues such as meta-theory.
· Please slow down on your interp to make sure that I get it.
· Just as is the case with Policy-style debate, a theory debate can have a lot to do with specific details, and I may not be able to reason my way to a good decision if you are unclear. Thus, explain well, be flowable, and please WEIGH.
A Prioris, Tricks, etc.
· As I think Debate is ultimately an intellectual activity, I really like these arguments, as I think they show cleverness. I will vote on absolutely any a priori, no matter how absurd, so long as it possesses a warrant (e.g. the Resolved a priori, and even worse ones I do not want to give away because I want you to come up with them yourselves). I will probably award higher speaker points to people who actually manage to win a ridiculous a priori if it is contested, because I think it shows immense argumentative talent to win a position that is obviously incorrect (note that the speaker point boost doesn't apply if your opponent simply drops it, because then I won't know if you're actually capable of beating back responses to it and therefore cannot be as impressed).
· Generally, I really enjoy abusive strategies, and find them hilarious. The more unfair you want to be, the better. Of course, I am going to vote on theory if that part of the debate is won by your opponent, so be careful, but as expressed above, if you are able to win that you are fair when you clearly aren't, or if you can win that fairness is not useful in a competitive activity, I will probably be highly impressed with your ability to counter arguments that are obviously true. Thus, if it wasn't clear yet, I am very strongly in favor of tech>truth.
· My favorite a prioris are usually semantic, as I enjoy definition debates and, as someone who studied and used semantics when I debated, am very qualified to evaluate them. My love of semantics means that I take things extremely literally. While I find that to be very useful in a judge for the most part, there is a bad side to it in the event that debaters do not want me to take things literally. So, if I am not supposed to take something literally, please be clear about that even if you don't think it is necessary for the debate, or I may do something such as evaluate a theory debate according to the text of the interp when you wanted me to evaluate it according to the spirit of the interp.
My relative lack of emotion leads me to have far more tolerance for certain practices than other judges. I do not view myself as a moral authority or an educator on the grounds that I do not think many of us judges are truly qualified to take such positions, and that many moral assessments are subjective, so for us to take a position of moral authority would entail us imposing subjective beliefs on others, which I find problematic. My only job is to adjudicate between arguments to select who did the better debating in a given round, no matter what I feel about the debaters or the content of their arguments. While, if you win a reason for me to view the round through a different lens (such as that of an educator), I will do so, my ability to adopt a different view is still ultimately contingent upon my starting role as an adjudicator, as I first have to decide that you have won that I should be an educator before I decide to do so. Please do not let this worry you. I will not let my views of judging bias me against role-of-the-judge arguments that contravene my views, as to do so would be to actually contravene my views. That said, here are some controversial facts about my judging:
· I do not give special weight to issues of "evidence ethics", and will simply evaluate them like any other argument on the flow, so if you really want me to vote someone down for clipping cards, you had best warrant why it comes before everything else very well.
· I do not think debaters are under any obligation to cater to novices or lay debaters. While I will probably award higher speaker points to someone who does attempt to make the round educational as I think it takes more skill to simplify a position and still win it, I do not require debaters to slow down to accommodate their opponents, and will not penalize a debater who does not do so.
· I am profoundly unpersuaded by the argument that skepticism should be voted against on the grounds that it is morally offensive. I think what Kris Wright wrote on the subject is quite good, so I will put it here: "I think it worth noting here that I deeply dislike debaters to give mere blips or ad hominems as a "good enough reason" for me to disregard relatively-well developed arguments. The absurd claim that making an argument about moral skepticism should be disregarded because it is morally bad is a perfect example of begging the question and, therefore, is not a response at all. Given that this "strategy" must ask me to completely intervene, as it makes an impact to a (moral) standard that the skeptical argument substantively refutes, I will disregard this discursive objection entirely and give an RFD heavily focused on why the "strategy of moral outrage" against skepticism is super-duper shitty: any argument with well developed warrants deserves to be taken seriously and responded to in kind. Anything less than that is intellectually (and in many cases ethically) objectionable." To clarify, I think that a K of skep could function, but not if all it says is "skep is evil". If you are going to read a K of skep, I expect to see some grander reason why I should vote against the position. For example, if you substantively justify why oppression (or whatever your K is predicated on) is objectively bad even if the rest of the skep framework strands, or if you show that the K is a prerequisite to the skep argument, or make a role-of-the-judge argument, or something along those lines, I could very well vote for you. All I am saying I will not be inclined to vote on is the self-defeating argument that I should vote against skep because skep is evil. If you happen to make the self-defeating argument anyway and your opponent does not answer it, I will probably vote for you, but neither of you are likely to get high speaker points, because you made a self-defeating argument, and your opponent failed to recognize the obvious fact that your argument was self-defeating.
· I think some teasing between opponents is good. I like witty condescending remarks, sarcasm, and things of that nature, as I think they show intellectual superiority, and can be entertaining. I would say that I have a MUCH higher tolerance for this sort of thing than most judges on the circuit, who make it a point of saying "be nice" a lot in their paradigms. However, it should be noted that I do have some limits when it comes to these things. Ultimately, I think whatever you say should be said in good taste. Whatever mockery you would like to make should appear justified. If you are clearly losing an argument, you don't get to stand up and act super arrogant about an argument you can't defend, as that will look really silly. Also, if your opponent is the most polite person on Earth, you don't get to just start slamming them with insults. I think teasing and condescension works best when it reasonably escalates. I think it is easiest for this to happen in CX by making fun of bad answers to questions, making fun of bad questions, or whatever you would want to do to troll each other and be perceptually dominant in CX (which is arguably my favorite part of the debate round, as it is when the debaters get to interact, which allows for extremely entertaining exchanges to take place, personality to shine through, and a more direct clash of intellects). An example of this happening in speeches might start with a debater saying something typical, such as, "[Name] made a huge mistake in the 1N! You shouldn't have dropped this!" Then, in the next speech, since the opponent was personally called out, said opponent would then be justified in escalating by making a condescending remark about the first speaker, and so forth. That is basically what I mean by reasonable escalation. I love watching debaters be sassy with each other, but it has to appear justified. Also, regardless of what occurs, I do expect debaters to maintain civility, and I also expect sensitive issues to be treated differently than less sensitive issues. Two debaters having an insult-fest over their semantic a prioris is fine. A skep debater condescending to another debater about their personal narrative is almost definitely not going to be fine. In short, I am more tolerant than almost every other judge on the circuit, but be tasteful. I am also good with unspoken displays of dominance, such as packing up during your opponent's 2AR, but I will be highly displeased if you do something that prevents me from hearing your opponent's argument, such as interrupting them while they are speaking.
· You can be as shady as you want in CX (e.g. pretending not to know what an a priori is). I think it is the responsibility of your opponent to ask strong questions and pin you down, and if you are creative enough to shift out of very clear and thorough questions, then I will be impressed because that indicates that you are smart. However, be warned that your opponent can read theory on shady CX practices which I am liable to vote on, but if you think you are capable of technically winning that debate, then you're good to go.
· This isn't controversial in the same sense that everything else is, but I flow similarly to Paul Zhou- I do not keep a spatial flow but instead flow each speech straight down. I do this because I think it minimizes judge intervention, and because it maximizes my ability to write your arguments down since I don't have to waste time searching for where to put a given argument. This means that you will have to do a lot of interaction and explanation for me.
Short and Convenient Speaker Point Guide
I will conform to whatever speaker point standards are set by the tournament in question. If no standards are set, I will define 28 as being my idea of the average debater at the tournament in question, and go from there. Refer to the points below for how you could end up with low or high points.
· Things that get you low points:
o Just reading off of your computer screen without making your own arguments.
o Making it difficult for me to flow.
o Lack of logical justification for your points and/or underlying assumptions.
o Abhorrent cruelty.
o Perceptual weakness.
· Things that get you high points:
o Strong conceptual analysis of whatever it is that you are reading, such that it makes the round easy to evaluate and demonstrates intelligence.
o Creative arguments and positions.
o Sarcasm, sass, wit, and generally keeping me entertained.
o Perceptual dominance.
o Doing things that are difficult (e.g. winning a point that is obviously false).
o Good cross-examination skills.
In all types of debate, keep in mind: QUANTITY IS NOT QUALITY. Don't try to win by simply overwhelming your opponent(s) with arguments. Gish gallops will not work with me, so don't try them.
I am an old-school LD judge. I want to see a clear values clash and hear some philosophy, not just a long list of cards. Cases that are not grounded in ethical theory will have a harder time winning me over. Kritik cases are fine so long as they are not abusive -- that is, so long as they leave the opposition some ground from which to argue. A kritik of the resolution is fine, but generic kritiks that could be run against any case / resolution are not.Also, any out-of-round kritiks just aren't going to work with me. These almost always revolve around claims that I have no way to verify, or debaters essentially making up rules that they they then accuse their opponents of breaking.
I am STRONGLY opposed to spreading in LD. I believe that it is the bane of the event. Certainly it is an excuse to toss out a lot of abusive one-way hash arguments. Anything much faster than a typical conversational pace is likely to cause me to stop flowing your case. Make your point with QUALITY, not quantity.
Please do NOT offer to send me your case. If I cannot follow your case AS YOU PRESENT IT IN THE ROUND, you are NOT communicating it clearly enough.
Tech cases are unlikely to impress me. Win with strong arguments, not technicalities.
Semantic arguments are fine, but keep them on point; don't descend into trivialities.
In Public Forum, I am similarly NOT a fan of "progressive" debate. This is PUBLIC forum, so make arguments that could impress any reasonably well-informed and attentive audience, not just judges who know all of technical debate language. Make reasonable claims which clearly support your side of the resolution, support them with significant and relevant evidence, and weigh impacts. Tell me why your impacts outweigh your opponents', tell me why your evidence is superior to theirs, tell me why your claims lead to me voting for your side of the resolution.
Hello! My name is Michelle Carras, and I am the mother of four children-- three of which are adamant Speech and Debate kids. I have a background in alternative education and currently teach preschool in Georgia. Though I am a new judge, I hope to host fair, honest, and impartial rounds, and to judge to the best of my abilities.
I am a relatively traditional judge; that is, I pay most attention to the use of reason and logic in a debate. Sides that are running theory will be judged more harshly than well-credited, well-planned cases. Opponents should be kind and compassionate at all time-- unnecessary aggression in a round will not be tolerated, and will hurt your credibility.
I respect the skills of the tournament participants I will be judging, and ask for patience. I want to do my best as a new judge, and have spent a great deal of time studying the rules for Lincoln Douglas debate specifically-- but if I need a reminder for certain rules or a moment to write critiques, your patience will be much appreciated.
Please send your cards to firstname.lastname@example.org .
I have coached LD at Strake Jesuit in Houston, Tx since 2009. I judge a lot and do a decent amount of topic research. Mostly on the national/toc circuit but also locally. Feel free to ask questions before the round. Add me to email chains. Jchriscastillo@gmail.com.
I don't have a preference for how you debate or which arguments you choose to read. The best debaters will 1. Focus on argument explanation over argument quantity. 2. Provide clear judge instruction.
I do not flow off the doc.
- I rarely read evidence after debates.
- Evidence should be highlighted so it's grammatically coherent and makes a complete argument.
- Smart analytics can beat bad evidence
- Compare and talk about evidence, don't just read more cards
- I default to competing interps, no rvi's and drop the debater on shells read against advocacies/entire positions and drop the argument against all other types.
- I'm ok with using theory as a strategic tool but the sillier the shell the lower the threshold I have for responsiveness.
- Please weigh and slow down for interps and short analytic arguments.
Non-T/Planless affs: I'm good with these. I'm most compelled by affirmatives that 1. Can explain what the role of the neg is 2. Explain why the ballot is key.
Delivery: You can go as fast as you want but be clear and slow down for advocacy texts, interps, taglines and author names. Don't blitz through 1 sentence analytics and expect me to get everything down. I will say "clear" and "slow".
Speaks: Speaks are a reflection of your strategy, argument quality, efficiency, how well you use cx, and clarity. I do not disclose speaks.
Things not to do: 1. Don't make arguments that are racist/sexist/homophobic (this is a good general life rule too). 2. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand or arguments that are blatantly false. 3. Don't be mean to less experienced debaters. 4. Don't steal prep. 5. I will not vote on "evaluate after X speech" arguments.
What's up I'm Vedansh - I debated for four years at Princeton High School and qualled to the TOC my senior year. Email: email@example.com
1 - T/Theory
2 - Phil/Tricks
3 - K
3 - LARP
4 - Performance
Disclosure Theory is fine, I'll be more receptive to reasonability if the shell is egregious.
Regardless of my preferences, read whatever you want and do your thing, I shouldn't have to restrict you from reading a position because of my ideologies. I'll do my best to evaluate every argument that has a warrant.
Tech > Truth and I'll only evaluate args that I have on my flow.
Don't make any offensive arguments otherwise your speaks are going to get tanked
Truth-Testing > Comparative Worlds
Competing Interps > Reasonability
Drop the Debater > Drop the Argument
No RVIs > RVIs
Presumption Negates > Presumption Affirms
Permissibility Negates > Permissibility Affirms
Layers from Highest to Lowest: T, Theory, ROB
Epistemic Confidence > Epistemic Modesty
CX Is Binding > Not Binding
Stuff to get high speaks:
1) Be funny
2) Bring me food/snacks and water.
3) Be passionate about what you read
I've been out of the loop of the circuit so don't really expect me to have knowledge about the topic. That said, please slow down initially and build speed so I don't have my ears fried by someone speaking 350+ wpm at the start of their speech.
Be mindful when you are reading tech arguments up against traditional debaters. Try to make the round educational and actually engage otherwise I'll be disappointed.
(Update for UK Online: I think extensions of the ROB text are good. This is a technical paradigm issue for me, if it is delineated in a doc differently then just like copy paste it from the NC please I beg)
Please add me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi a lot of you already know me but I'm Amanda, FSU grad. Bachelor in Intersectional Women's Studies and Media/Comm. I competed in LD for four years (Im sure you can find my records somewhere idk, I've judged enough to be qualified anyway), I also competed as a varsity policy team for UMW my freshman year of college pre-covid. I've coached the FFL State Champion (2x), TOC qualled debater (they've done more but Im lazy). I also coach a highly competitive Public Forum team (they definitely are sm better then some of the stuff I hear in LD and sometimes I wish I judged more there).
QUICK hack sheet:
LARP : 2
Tricks: 5 ( i strongly urge you to not read these in front of me, definitely am tired of being the subject of a discord chat after someone loses a round because they didn't read my paradigm)
Performance:2/3 (just add trigger warning if necessary! Im good with anything)
Alright here are some people I paradigmatically agree with: Deena Mcnamara, Charles Karcher, Delon Fuller, Joey Tarnowski, and Crawford Leavoy.
Here is a list of things I used to get asked and now people just don't read my paradigm anymore (please at least read 1 and 6):
1. I've debate plenty of times on the national circuit, I've seen it during its highs and lows. PLEASE MAKE DEBATE ACCESSIBLE!
2. I will try my best to evaluate the round in which you wish it to be evaluated, however, I need a clear articulation on how to do so.
3. I will adapt to you. If you are a speed demon then go ahead. As long as you are clear I am totally cool with it.
4. There is a difference between being witty and being arrogant. ZERO tolerance for disrespect in debate.
5. Please use proper pronouns when referring to your opponent-they are not an object, they are a person so don't say "it says". Please don't say "The judge believes x,y,and z."- you have no clue what Im thinking. Also just be a nice person, it's not that hard to adapt strategies for opponents that may or may not have the same experiences as you (I will evaluate the round as such and even if you win, I will indeed tank your speaks for being hella exclusionary) :)
6. I STRONGLY hate 1AC disclo. It is the one thing that will absolutely send me into a spiral if I hear that round one. The 1NC is a reactive strat, for the love of god don't complain if this is an issue of someone didn't properly disclo round reports. Seriously, the only thing we cared about when I debated was past 2NR's so can we just please learn how to actually debate. xoxoxo your friendly K judge.
Traditional- I am perfectly alright with traditional debate. I loved it as a freshman and sophomore. A good friend of mine, Fiona Barry, was a phenomenal trad debater. Highly recommend preffing me for a lay judge. I value debaters making strats accessible for all debaters. Make sure that you are weighing and using that short 1AR/2AR to crystalize and extend your arguments. Nothing is ever implied, please use well-warranted args.
LARP- I'm fine with LARP debate. Policy-making is cool, do whatever you want. Plan texts need a solvency advocate, idc what ur coach says. CP's are cool, make sure there is some sort of net benefit and also if you don't answer the perm I'll be very sad. DA's are fun as long as there is a clear link to the aff, also for the love of god weigh.
K's- K's are groovy. I think non-t k affs are cool, just need clear explanation why that is good for debate. Don't like when it creates assumptions about your opponents identity because that just creates hostile rounds (that I have definitely had and they are not fun). Intersectional Fem Lit was my jam, everyone can read fem (it's not a framework that is meant to exclude people from reading it, love a good fem debate :))
Phil- I love good phil debates, I'm comfortable with standard Util v Kant and more abstract framework debates. I think if you go this route you need to win why your paradigm is ethically relevant, and then be able to win offense/defense underneath that framing mech. Love Derrida, Hooks, and anything that has a little philosophical spice.
Theory- I used to say theory debate was okay as I started to judge it more. I lied. Don't make this round a headache for me to adjudicate. I dislike when 5 shells are read with stat skew standards then is followed by a six page card dump on the aff flow. MAKE THIS EASY FOR ME. I think I need clear extensions of warrants if the debate winds down to theory v (insert anything) or theory v theory debates. By now I've realized that most kids sigh when they get me as a judge and they predominantly read theory, as long as you don't make it messy then I'll be fine lol. This is just a question of adapting, if you can't do that then work on it.
Tricks- This is probably my weakest place in regards to judging but that doesn't mean I won't try. If you want to pref me and read tricks then just make sure they are clear and there is an explanation somewhere in the round about how it functions in the round and I'll try my best to judge accordingly. I hate debates that are just sloppy tricks debate, if this applies to you then dont pref me at all like please don't pref me if you just want to meme around.
Performance- I have a pretty decent ability to judge a performance debate and I think they are pretty dope. However, I don't think that debaters need to degrade their opponent during a round to "get the point across" especially because I think that ruins the integrity of the round itself. If you are going to engage in an in-round performance, please extend it in rebuttals or else I fail to understand how it is important to the aff/neg.
Dear All: As you can tell from judging history, I judge LD sparingly if at all over the last few years. My role in the activity is mostly yelling at people to start their rounds. Take your chances with my abilities to follow what is taking place. I don’t have predispositions to vote for anything in particular. My views that “bait theory” incline me to not want to vote for you if that is your primary strategy is still as true now as it was five years ago. Outside of that, I am open to whatever you can do well and justify that is interesting.
Since I am judging more PF these days:
Clear ballot story. I care about evidence. If you are paraphrasing in your case constructive, you had better have tagged, cited, and lined down carded evidence to support what you say. If you are looking for evidence in your prep time or in cross ex or I have to wait 5 minutes for you to find something before prep time even starts, you are debating from behind and your speaks will reflect your lack of preparation.
CX: Don't talk over each other. They ask a question, you ask a question. Bullies are bullies. I don't like bullies.
If it wasn't in the summary, it doesn't become offense in the Final Focus. Sign-post well. Have a ballot story in mind.
I hate generic link stories that culminate in lives and poverty. The link level matters a lot more to me than the impact level. Develop your link level better. High Probability/Low Magnitude impacts > Low Probability High Magnitude impacts.
Don't be a baby. If you and your coaches are trying to get cheap wins by bullying people with Ks and Theory and hand-me-down shells from your teams former policy back files, go to policy camp and learn how to become a policy debater. Disclosure is for plan texts. If you are running a plan, disclose it on the wiki. If you are not, no need to disclose. Disclosure privileges resource-rich debate programs with a team of people to prep your kids out.
I have been coaching speech and debate since 1999, first in south Florida and now in central Florida.
LD: I am not a fan of Kritiks. In most respected academic realms, students are not rewarded for giving an off-topic response to a prompt. I have found that most Kritiks (and many RoBs) fall under the "off-topic response" descriptor, thus I do not take them seriously as a response to the resolution (or, as I see it, the prompt). Further, I find these types of arguments counter to the essence of the debate activity, excluding new and small programs and creating an exclusive sub-group (clique, if you will) within the debate community.
So in that respect, I consider myself more of a traditional LD judge than a progressive one. I want to hear a clear debate about the values that are in conflict in the resolution. Your cases should be comprised of arguments that are based in credible, academic sources; they should be built on clear logic, creative and innovative ideas; and they should actively and directly clash with your opponent's arguments. Debaters who can present a strong case with great logic and evidence, effective refutation of their opponent's case, and ultimately prove their Value/Value Criterion will win. If both debaters are equal on contentions and rebuttals, I will decide the round on which value holds up. So, make sure everything you argue ties back to your V and VC.
Special Note about progressive LD: While I do not like this style, I will (of course) judge you on your performance in the round, whatever shape each particular round takes. I will not judge anyone solely based on style/type of case. But let me elaborate a bit on why I find progressive style LD so problematic.
First, the speed is antithetical to real communication. Ideas, especially complex, nuanced, layered ideas (the likes of which one would hope to encounter in LD) require momentary breaths, pauses to let them settle. While sharing cases can help, it does not solve the issue fully. Also, the prevalence of JARGON in progressive debate is a distraction from the arguments in the round. Do your best to limit the use of jargon.
My next concern is the facile, reductive treatment given to the philosophical and academic theories often used by students. While I applaud your efforts to engage with these complex, rich, important ideas and texts, debaters are too often punching above their weight. That is understandable. Scholars spend their entire careers unpacking these theories. It is the very rare teenager who can engage with them without reducing them to tag lines and washed-out, oversimplified shadows of the textured ideas they actually are. IF you truly understand the ideas you are using (and you’re not just parroting something written by your team/coaches/camps), then go for it.
Finally, as the coach of a burgeoning team at a Title 1 school, I am very concerned about the fairness of this type of debate for programs like mine. Much has been written about this issue, so I will not belabor the point.
PF: The team that is able to support their contentions with strong logic and good evidence while effectively refuting their opponents' case will win the round. I am okay with some speed. You will see me flowing during most of the round, but I am still looking for all of the hallmarks of good communication: eye contact/hand gestures/facial expressions/voice modulation. Although I won't decide a round based on a single dropped argument, I will consider that as part of my decision. The best rebuttals are those who can systematically go down the flow and address most arguments. Strong contentions will include important impacts. Strong cases will provide some sort of framework. A good final focus will include impact weighing and voters.
Again, I am not a fan of the changes occurring in PF. Jargon (lots and lots of it) has crept in, and we have left the “public” in Public Forum far behind. (Sigh).
Final note: I value clarity over speed, and I consider civility to be of paramount importance in all rounds. Assertiveness does not require aggression. Assertiveness is applauded; aggression will be penalized.
Please be respectful of your opponent. Make eye contact, and please avoid filler words and spreading.
Please provide cards to me at email@example.com
University of Central Florida Alumnus
Four years of LD for Fort Lauderdale HS and former policy debater for UCF.
***Avoid graphic explanations of gratuitous anti-black violence and refrain from reading radical Black positions if you are not Black.***
If you're rushing to do prefs here's a rough cheat sheet:
1- K and performance debates
2- framework debates, general topical debates
3- LARP debates and util debates
4- Theory/ Tricks debates
I will evaluate any argument so long as they are not morally repugnant, actively violent, or deeply rooted in foolishness. I can handle speed but due to the online setting, please go slower than you usually do. Also, be sure to properly extend and implicate your arguments in the debate as well, saying "extend X" and moving on doesn't really do much. In short, tell me why your arguments matter and why I should vote on/evaluate them. At the end of the day do what you do best—unless it's tricks and/or frivolous interps— and have fun doing it.
Last significant update - December 2022
Graduated in 2020. LD TOC qual 2x (cleared junior year) + 13 bids. Coaching actively in 2023-24 for the DebateDrills Club Team and familiar with topics/ arguments - here are incident reporting forms, roster, and MPJ/ conflict info.
I probably don't want to be judging. Speaks boost for taking less prep and sitting down early if you've clearly won.
I read policy args + T/theory (in LD). I am familiar with but don't particularly care for philosophy, tricks, or the K. I will limit the insertion of my preferences absent an annoying or poorly resolved debate.
Debate is a competitive game that imparts useful life skills, flow clarification is CX, CX isn't prep, speaks are my choice and not yours
You should disclose properly, and it doesn't take 30 minutes to "make changes" to the aff
Not voting on:
---Args that deny the badness of racism/ sexism/ homophobia/ etc (potential auto-loss given severity)
---Death/suffering good (spark and wipeout type stuff is fine)
---Ad-homs or args based on out of round actions or a debater's appearance/ location/ etc (except disclosure screenshots)
---Arguments that are "vote for me because I’m x" or "I get [to do] y because I'm x"
---Independent voters that are not labeled as such in the speech they are introduced with a reason why they are
Defaults: f/ e are voters, drop the debater, competing interps, no RVIs, comparative worlds, util, epistemic confidence, policy presumption, OCIs incoherent
Tell me to read ev if you want me to
Judge kick requires winning an argument for it
Read rehighlightings if they make a new/ different argument - insert them if they show x thing is in y context, and explain any insertions
1ARs should probably read theory and 2NRs should probably answer it
Consequences probably matter but perhaps you can convince me otherwise
Tricks tend not to have warrants in the speech they're introduced or in the speech they're extended in
Ks need to prove that the aff is a bad idea, affs probably get to weigh case and extinction probably outweighs
I seem to vote for Ks far more vs phil affs than vs policy affs
K affs need to do something but usually do not
I do not want to adjudicate personal survival strategies or callouts
T framework - fairness and clash/ research > skills/ movements
Things I shouldn’t have to say
---All arguments need to be both originally made with and extended with a coherent warrant
---Won’t vote on arguments that I don’t understand the warrant for in the first speech they're introduced
---Delineate and explain arguments and their implications throughout the debate
Speaks probably getting tanked.
Clipping: Ending the debate if I catch it. If you have a recording, you can stake the round. Skipping at least 3-5+ words multiple times probably constitutes clipping.
Ev Ethics: If I catch a violation, speaks will plummet and the card will be ignored. These constitute a violation such that I'd act or you can stake the round/ make a challenge:
---Card starts/ends in the middle of a sentence or paragraph
---Text has been added to or removed from the original text of the cited article within the start/end of the card
---Card has been cut/highlighted/bracketed to make a claim that the article does not warrant
You can read any of these or any other violation you want as theory. If another part of the article contradicts the argument made in the card, I'd prefer to see a recutting of the article read as an argument.
I did debate for 4 years while I was in high school, primarily congressional debate and world schools debate. I look primarily for quantified data and good uses of rhetoric. Being rude to fellow competitors will not reflect well on you upon my ballot. I fully expect refutation after the first cycle or two of the round.
When judging Pf or LD, I don’t particularly enjoy spreading unless you know you are speaking clearly. I am looking for strong arguments and again heavily favor quantified evidence. I highly favor traditional LD.
I am a lay judge. This is my first time judging LD but I do have some speech and debate experience. I will be looking for cohesive reasoning. I prefer expanding on a few ideas over many ideas delivered quickly and I will drop Ks. I cannot guarantee that I will be able to keep up if you spread.
My name is Jacob Hague. I am a student at the University of Florida and major in English, Philosophy, and Political Science. I have judged local, traditional debate but this will be the first time that I have judged at a national tournament.
I enjoy philosophical arguments, so if you are a traditional framework debater, you should pref me. You should not pref me if you intend to spread, read theory, or make non-topical arguments.
Some of my favorite authors are James Baldwin, Gilles Deleuze, Don DeLillo, Franz Kafka, Jacques Lacan, and Toni Morrison.
I am a second year at UVA and debated LD for Lexington High School for 4 years and qualified to the TOC. As a debater, I mostly ran phil and policy-style arguments, notably Kant and Virtue Ethics. Coaching actively on the DebateDrills Club Team - please click here to access incident reporting forms, roster, and info regarding MJP’s and conflicts.
Chain: speechdrop.net or firstname.lastname@example.org
- I will never vote on "vote for me because I am x identity" arguments.
- Disclosure is good.
- Don't be offensive and arguments must have warrants to meet a threshold for evaluation. Saying "no neg analytics, cuz of the 7-4,6-3 time skew isn't sufficient" you need to justify why no neg analytics compensates for the time skew. Won't vote on conceded claims.
- Please time yourselves.
- Death/suffering good (spark and wipeout type stuff is fine)
quick prefs: 1 - phil, 1-2 policy and k, 2-3 theory, and 4-6 tricks.
Policy- I like policy arguments and feel comfortable evaluating them. Strong impact calculus wins debates and is often the first part of the flow I took to when making a decision. Default - judge kick unless aff makes args otherwise.
Phil - This is the format of debate I did the most thinking about in my career. I mainly read Kant and Virtue Ethics but also occasionally read more niche frameworks such as Testimony and Double Effect. Share similar views to phil debate and frameworks as Andrew Garber. I love good phil debates so NC/AC debate will be rewarded with higher speaks!
Kritiks - K's should prove that the aff is a bad idea - your job to win framing debate because it decides the debate. Familiar with most K's but that doesn't mean the 2NR gets away with a lackluster explanation of K's thesis and impact and how it interacts with the affirmative & Kaffs - don't lose to T and presumption so explain what the aff does. I think the best kaffs have some tether to the topic while shutting out potential negative disad and counterplan links.
Theory - Check Matthew Berhe for his thoughts on theory debate and defaults as mine are relatively the same. Don't spam shells - read with a purpose.
Thresholds (more of a preference than a yes/no on whether I'll evaluate them)
---Fine - counterplan theory, T, resolutional spec, AFC, spec status, etc.
---Not fine - font size/type/color, dinosaurs, avatars, etc.
Strake Jesuit Class of 2020
Email - email@example.com
Debate is a game, first and foremost.
I qualified for the TOC Junior and Senior years and came into contact with virtually every type of argument
Summary of my debate style - I just enjoyed the activity while reading all types of arguments with my own spin on them. I think debate is often boring with debaters just reading blocks and not being innovative.
Please note that I have strong opinions on what debate should be, but I will not believe them automatically every round they have to be won just like any other argument. Tech>truth no exceptions.
Triggers - French Revolution and Freemasonry
I am not a fan of identity-based arguments. Please don't run arguments that are only valid based on your or your opponent's identity.
How to get good speaks
- be entertaining either with good music, good jokes etc
- If you are against a novice win the round then use your remaining speech time to sing an Avril Lavigne song
- making arguments that I like or agree with; this includes Catholicism and Monarchism.
- Reference something from Scooby-Doo
Do any of these things, and you will for sure get above a 28.5
How to get low speaks
- Having bad strategy choice
-being really rude or mean. Aggression can be a part of a good strategy but being aggressive to the point of making your opponent uncomfortable is what I mean.
- Swearing or cursing, try to keep it professional and respectful, please.
Styles of Debate -
Before I get into every style just know that I will vote on all of them if I see your winning them, this is just to say what my bright line for winning the arguments tends to be.
K - Just make sure to explain it super well, as I think a well-done explanation allows you to use the K in a more strategic way on other flows. I will not vote on something I don't understand. Be warned I will not walk into the round thinking an impact is true; I will vote on impact turns to any argument, you need to be ready to defend the impact of the K as I'm not going to accept it as true automatically.
Larp - Being a good larper requires knowing your evidence more than your opponent and CX is where this becomes clear. If you know your Aff and you have good evidence you will get good speaks.
Tricks -I read a lot of tricks but like most judges find them less interesting debates to judge. If you just blip storm a ton of aprioris I will probably miss some so please be clear with what you're doing. That being said if you are just reading some stupid generic aprioris or skep I will not be impressed and you will not get higher speaks. please be innovative.
Theory - Make sure to be clearly extending and weighing your standard and please read paradigm issues. I don't get this new trend of not reading voters. I will vote on anything no matter how frivolous if its won. If the round becomes a messy theory debate with little to no weighing done I will be leaning towards fairness impacts first and default competing interpretations.
Phil - If you have skep or permissibility triggers make sure to do a good job explaining why they are triggered just saying "extend this card it says trigger skep in the tag gg" does not do it for me. Side note I really enjoy theological debate if it’s possible. I promise good speaks if you make the debate interesting. Do with that what you will.
I have been coaching Policy Debate full time since 2014. Arms sales is my 7th year of coaching.
I view my primary objective in evaluating the round to be coming to a decision that requires the least “judge intervention.”
If debaters do not give me instructions on how to evaluate the debate, and/or leave portions of the debate unresolved, they should not expect to get my ballot. My decision will end up being arbitrary, and (while I will likely still try to make my arbitrary decision less arbitrary than not) I will not feel bad.
In the final rebuttals, debaters should be giving me a “big picture” assessment of what’s going on in the debate to give them the best chance to get my ballot. Extending 25 arguments in the rebuttals doesn’t do much for me if you’re not explaining how they interact with the other team’s arguments and/or why they mean you win the round. In my ideal debate round, both 2NR and 2AR have given me at least a 45 second overview explaining why they’ve won the debate where they dictate the first paragraph of my ballot for me.
Important things to note:
-I don’t ever think Topicality is an RVI (*this is distinct from kritiks of the neg’s interp/use of topicality*)
-If you don’t signpost AND slow down for tags, assume that I am missing at least 50% of your tags. This means saying a number or a letter or “AND” or “NEXT” prior to the tag of your card, and preferably telling me which of your opponents arguments I should flow it next to. Speech docs are not substitutes for clarity and signposting.
-I'm probably a 7 on speed, but please see above ^^^^
-High-theory will be an uphill battle.
-I would prefer not to call for cards, I believe it’s the debaters job to clearly communicate their arguments; if you tell me they’re misrepresenting their cards – I will probably call for them. But if I call for it and they’re not misrepresenting their evidence you’ll lose a lot of credibility with me and my cognitive biases will likely run amuck. Don’t let this deter you from calling out bad evidence.
-You can win the line-by-line debate in the 2AR but still lose the debate if you fail to explain what any of it means and especially how it interacts with the 2NR's args.
-Don’t assume I have any familiarity with your Acronyms, Aff, or K literature
-Swearing is probably word inefficient
-You’re in a bad spot if you’re reading new cards in the final rebuttals, very low propensity for me to evaluate them
-CPs that result in the aff are typically going to be a very hard sell, so are most other artificially competitive CPs. Perms are cool, so are time tradeoffs for the aff when this happens. If you really think you've got a sick techy CP make sure to go out of your way to win questions of competition/superior solvency / a specific link to the aff plan alone for your NB
-I think debate is a competition.
-the best “framework” arguments are probably “Topicality” arguments and almost probably don’t rely on cards from debate coaches and definitely don’t rely on me reading them after the round
-Impact everything out... Offense and Defense... I want to hear you telling me why your argument is more pressing and important than the other team's. I hate having to intervene... "Magnitude," "Probability," and "Timeframe" are not obscenities, please use them.
Arguments you shouldn’t waste your time on with me:
-Topicality = RVI (*this is distinct from kritiks of the neg’s interp/use of topicality*)
I am going to have the easiest time evaluating rounds where:
-warrant and evidence comparison is made
-weighing mechanisms and impact calculus guiding how I evaluate micro & macro level args are utilized
-the aff advocates a topical plan
-the DA turns and Outweighs the Case, or the CP solves most of the case and there's a clear net benefit that the perm doesn't solve for
-the negative has a well-researched neg strategy
-I am not expected to sort through high-theory
-the 2NR/2AR doesn't go for everything and makes strategic argument selection
Presumptions I bring into the round that probably cannot be changed:
-I’m voting Neg on presumption until the aff reads the 1AC
-Topicality is never an RVI (*this is distinct from kritiks of the neg’s interp/use of topicality*)
-There is no 3NR
-Oppression of humans = bad (note: I do not know how this compares to the end of the planet/human race, debaters are going to have to provide weighing mechanisms for me.)
-Earth existing = good (note: I do not know how this compares to other impacts like oppression of humans, debaters are going to have to provide some weighing mechanisms for me.)
-I will have a very difficult time bringing myself to vote for any sort of Consult CP if the aff even mumbles some type of “PERM”
-Once the 2AC perms, presumption goes to the neg to prove the perm unworkable or undesirable if the CP/Alt is not textually/functionally competitive
Unimportant things to note:
-Plz read your plan before you read solvency – I will be annoyed and lost if you don’t
-I really enjoy author indicts if/when they’re specific – it shows a team has worked hard and done their research
-I really enjoy case specific strategies – I enjoy it when a team can demonstrate that they've worked hard to prepare a case specific strategy
-I enjoy GOOD topicality debates
-I’ve been involved in policy debate in some capacity for 11 years now – Education is my 5th topic coaching.
-I put my heart and soul into policy debate for four years on high school. I worked tirelessly to put out specific strategies for specific affirmatives and I like to see debaters who I can tell have done the same and are having fun. So, show me you know your case better than anyone else if you're affirmative, or on the neg, show me specific links and answers to the affirmative... I tend to reward this in speaker points. ...That being said, generics are fun, fine, and essential for the negative team. Feel free to run them, you will not be penalized in any way.
I'm good for just about anything that is well debated: T, Theory, DAs, CPs, Ks... I can even be persuaded to vote solely on inherency if it is well debated - if the plan has literally already happened, for the love of god please punish the aff.
That being said, I enjoy seeing a strategy in argument selection, and appreciate when arguments don't blatantly contradict each other (i.e. the DA linking to the CP, or Cap Bad and an Econ Impact on politics). Especially in the 2NR.
I am pretty tab when it comes to LD. My goal is to reach a decision that requires the least amount of judge intervention.
Signpost and slow down on tags. Slow down even more for theory args. Spreading through tags and theory interps is absolutely not the move if you want me to be flowing your speech. I will not be flowing from the doc.
Slow down. No, you don’t have to be slow and you should certainly feel free to read the body of your cards at whatever max speed you are comprehensible at. If you’ve used signposting, slowed down on tags and pre-written analytics, you’re golden. It's inexcusable and unforgivable to not have signposting in the 1ac.
I come into the round presuming:
-the aff should be defending the resolution
-the aff is defending the entirety of the resolution
-my ballot answers the resolutional question
-debate is a game
These presumptions can likely be changed.
Stylistically agnostic, but probably not your best judge for:
-dense phil that you’re spreading through
-undisclosed affs that don’t defend the entirety of the resolution
-process CPs that result in the aff
-more than 2 condo
-friv theory - I ❤️ substance
-Probably not interested in hearing condo if it’s just 2 condo positions
-theory interps that require me to ignore other speeches
I think that I have a low propensity to vote for most arguments regarding things that happen outside of the round or prior to the 1ac. I am not interested in adjudicating arguments that rely on screenshots of chats, wikis, or discord servers.
Questions, or interested in my thoughts on particular subjects not covered in my LD paradigm? Check out my POLICY PARADIGM above!
Hi I'm David. I debated for Strake Jesuit for 4 years now I'm at Princeton. I qualed to TOC junior and senior year and broke my junior year. I primarily read K's and Theory/tricky stuff so that's prolly what ill enjoy the most.
Alright I'm gonna list the things I don't like to judge (not to say i can't judge, just something I recommend you steer clear from)
- dense tricks with terrible formatting
- being rude to your opponent
- really not a fan of evidence ethics I just don't think it deserves someone losing a round. If there is a violation made, I will reference the tournament rules and strictly abide by them.
- if you steal prep I won't say anything ill just give you a 27.
Some things I do love judging
- great LARP debates (just not too fast)
- good k debates (not too dense)
- fantastic and innovative strategies like blending a counterplan with kritikal framing!!!
- nice theory debates that arent just reading off a doc
Generally going to average 28.5 speaks but if your clear/strategic/not a doc bot, you could get well above a 29.5
get a coach to message me if you have any questions or concerns I'm happy to help!
quick note: if the 2n is completely on theory, the 2ar must still extend case.
I am a parent judge.
I will try to be as unbiased as possible. Please make clear points and over-explain their significance to me.
No spreading please. I will be unable to catch your arguments so refraining from spreading is in your best interest.
Please number and label your contentions clearly.
Please read only lay traditional cases to me. Make sure to weigh your points and link them back to a framework. I value framework debate a lot, because without a framework, good and bad are arbitrary.
Your speaker points will start at 28.5 and vary based on how articulate your arguments are.
General description of how I evaluate debates.
1] I exclusively debated policy (including topicality) and K in high school. I evaluate all arguments, which has a claim warrant and an impact in the first speech presented but the further you are from how I debated, the less comfortable that I am. I am best for policy v. policy, clash debates, good for T vs. policy K v Ks, ok for phil, meh for everything else.
2] I view debate through a lens of relative risk (magnitude of impact * probability of impact). Weighing arguments bring up the magnitude of an impact and are usually not preclusive filters. If you win that X outweighs Y, I will not evaluate the round on who has a stronger link to X but consider X to have a higher risk. This means that weighing arguments (K vs. theory, warming vs. nuke war, predictability vs. limits) all still need to put defense on the other impact. The exceptions are non-consequential Ks and phil frameworks.
3] This means that I strongly value well-warranted arguments. Risk starts from 0 and goes to 100 with how well you warrant it. A well-warranted, dropped argument has near 100 risk. Good evidence or historical examples bolster empirical debates such as K and Policy (although good evidence alone without spin wont help you). Well thought out logical syllogisms will help in phil debates (don’t require cards as much because of the abstract nature of these debates).
Specifics: All of below can be changed with good debating.
Policy—Not much to add here. I am somewhat worse for convoluted politics disads than other judges. Agnostic on whether I think agent counterplans, process counterplans, states are competitive. Tend to think competing off certainty and immediacy are illegitimate. Near impossible to convince me that international fiat is legit. Any advantage counterplan that doesn’t fiat negative action (US should not go to war) is legitimate. Object fiat is not a real thing. Judge kick is a logical extension of conditionality and unless the aff contests conditionality, I will judge kick.
Ks—Strongly dislike overuse of buzzwords. Bad for framework arguments that make it impossible for the aff to win. Good for links indexed to the plan with root cause, links turn aff arguments. Fiatted alternatives should lose to permutation double bind. Good for alternatives that have a framework argument and establish competing values from the aff. Bad for utopian alts that say that people should be “nicer to each other.” Good for any aff offensive strategy (extinction outweighs, link turn perm, da to the alt). Affs should mercilessly attack the alt. Terrible for Ks that ripoff Afropess when your cards don’t make an ontology claim.
K aff vs. Fwk—Personally think debate has value which is why I spent so long doing it. Good for K affs that re-define words and have a coherent counter-model. Worse for affs that impact turn everything (although I get why it’s strategic with LD’s short 2ARs). Great for fairness and clash. Bad for skills. Hard to convince me that fairness and clash aren’t impacts; can convince me other things matter more. Terrible for five second arguments that debaters treat as TKOs (ci: your interp plus our aff, truth-testing).
Theory—strongly dislike frivolous shells. Hard to convince me that all theory is DTD. Very persuaded by DTA and reasonability. Unwarranted 1AR shells that blow up in the 2AR are unbelievably bad. Think counterplans should be resolved at competition, not theory. Need argumentation for why an argument makes it harder to answer other layers of the debate; otherwise it’s a reason to drop that individual argument.
Phil—I like good warranted phil debates. My understanding is quite bad in these debates admittedly which means that extra judge instruction, warranting, and weighing is needed than if you debated in front of average east coast judge. Agnostic on epistemic modesty vs. epistemic confidence. Personally think nuclear war matters more than lying.
Likes (will help speaker points)
Strong historical knowledge/examples
Tasteful snarkiness (see below)
2NRs off paper
Dislikes (will strongly hurt speaker points)
Scripted 2NRs and 2ARs
Unfunny/just rude snarkiness
Shadiness about disclosure
Being rude to novices (don’t think you have to debate down whatsoever but don’t be rude)
Throwing a water bottle because you lost a round
Director of Speech and Debate at Lake Highland Prep - Orlando, FL
Email chain info: firstname.lastname@example.org (Don't be shy. Any and all questions are welcome).
I'm somewhat ideologically opposed to judge prefs. As someone who values the educative value of our events, I think judge adaptation is important. To that end, I see judge paradigms as a good way for you to know how to adapt to any given judge in any given round. Thus, in theory, you would think that I am a fan of judge paradigms. My concern with them arises when we are no longer using them to allow students the opportunity to adapt to their judges, but rather they exist to exclude members from the potential audience that a competitor may have to perform in front of (granted I think there is real value in strikes and conflicts, but prefs certainly feed into the aforementioned problem). I'm not sure this little rant has anything to do with how you should pref/strike me, view my paradigm, etc. It kind of makes me not want to post anything here, but I feel like my obligation as a potential educator for anyone that wants to voice an argument in front of me outweighs my concerns with our MPJ system. I just think it is something important and a conversation we should be having. This is my way of helping the subject not be invisible.
The Paradigm Proper:
Debate is meant to be a fun activity! I think you should do whatever you need to do to ride your own personal happiness train. So have a good time in our rounds. That said, remember that riding your happiness train shouldn't limit someone else's ability to ride their's. So be kind. Have fun, learn stuff, don't be a jerk though.
I've been around debate for over 15 years. You can read whatever arguments in front of me and I'm happy to evaluate them. I'm fine if you want to LARP, read Ks, do more trad stuff, or whatever else. I'm good with theory as long as you're generating genuine, in-round abuse stories. Frivolous theory and tricks is not something I'm interested in listening to. If I'm judging you online, go like 50% of your max spreading because hearing online is difficult. I'd like to be on email chains. Otherwise, do whatever you want.
I am a parent Judge. I have the most experience in congressional debate, judging many congressional rounds in the past two years. I have also judged extemp (limited), and several speech events.
I want to be persuaded by arguments and moved by speeches. Please limit rehash by listening to each other. I will look for creative arguments and strong sources. Did you do your homework on the topic. I will also look at the way you are addressing and using the space. I will look for passion, logic and creativity
For dramatic and humorous interpretation, I will be looking at character and use of space. In general there should be a dramatic arc and I look for detail in the characters. I find the better you can stick to Aristotle's unities the more effective you will be - unity of action, time, character, place, etc. This are my favorite events.
Let me know how you want time indicated and I will be happy to give you the appropriate signals.
Debate is communication and it should hit me in the head and the heart.
The only thing when it comes to speeches is that I do not like any form of spread. Other than that as long as your speeches are full of arguable, quality content and they are cohesive that is fantastic. Of course I also care about the usual procedures and mannerisms that are preferred during debate as well.
Shortcut: Identity/Materialism Ks > T > Larp > Ethical frameworks or High theory Ks> Theory > Dense tricks
Please time/record yourselves and each other
I did four years of LD and qualified to the TOC twice. I taught at NSD Flagship '20, NSD Philly '20, and TDC '20. I have not judged since Yale 2021. This is my wiki from senior year.
I will evaluate any argument in the round and try to refrain from inserting my opinions as long as arguments a) have a warrant that I can explain in my decision and b) are not clearly offensive. I will not understand your position (especially philosophical/high theory ones) as well as you do. If you are reading a non-T aff or high theory K, explain what the aff/alt/method does. If an argument is important, let me know: have explicit weighing, spend time on the argument, or even tell me to highlight it on excel.
Additional preferences: https://linktr.ee/sklein.debate
PF: I am looking for the most persuasive debater given the arguments on the flow. I taught PF for four weeks at the NYCUDL and am familiar with the format, but have no background on the current topic. I am fine with speed (I neither expect nor prefer it) but would like to have the speech doc if you spread.
Send Speech Docs!!
Hello I'm Arun Kodumuru, I'm a Freshman at the University of Michigan and I debated for 4 years in LD at Lexington Highschool
General Things --
1) If you are unclear and as a result I miss arguments it is your fault. I will yell clear 4 times before I hop on Tetris.
2) tech > truth
3) Don't be bigoted -- I forget which paradigm I got this from but: "don't use words, phrases or slurs outside of your social location," period. You can run arguments that may be on the edgy side but just make sure your opponent is comfortable.
4) I'm good with any speed just maybe go 90% of your normal speed if it's early in the morning.
5) Use good ev ethics -- I agree with Tej Gedela's stances on this
6) More time spent on weighing + explanation is always in your best interest
7) If you're circuit going against a trad debater to get high speaks you can still read your usual circuit strat, but just don't spread.
8) Debate is tough and if you're feeling down watch this -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGOQfLFzJj8
Quick Pref Sheet --
Theory/T - 1
K (Identity) - 2
Phil - 2/3
Tricks - 3
Policy - 3
K (High Theory) - 4/5
Defaults: (These can be altered and changed very easily based on arguments made in the round)
Truth-Testing > Comparative Worlds
Competing Interps > Reasonability
Drop the debater > Drop the argument
No RVIs > RVIs
Presumption Affirms > Presumption Negates
Permissibility Negates > Permissibility Affirms
Layers from highest to lowest: Theory, T, ROB, ethical fwrk
Novice LD --
I will evaluate the debate based on the arguments made in the debate rather than ethos. However, ethos will determine speaker points. I would prefer that you do not spread if your opponent does not spread or read arguments that your opponent may not understand and cannot engage in (i.e theory or tricks). DO NOT read tricks in a novice debate, I will vote on them but you will get 25 speaks.
DO WEIGHING! Most novice debates come down to who weighs there impacts better so please do weighing. Debates without weighing make me sad and are often irresolvable. Clash with each others arguments as much as possible.
COLLAPSE! Don't go for every argument you read in the debate. If you read 3 contentions choose 1 to extend in the 1AR and 2AR and do lots of weighing for why that 1 contention comes first in the debate. You also don't need to extend every card in the aff - extend a few and compare your evidence to theirs.
How to get high speaks: Be respectful, Collapse, Weigh, Clash with your opponents arguments, Use CX strategically.
Varsity LD --
Tricks -- Sure, but there are some caveats -- The warrant for an argument starts at 0 and then goes up, with that being said just make sure there's an actual justification for your tricky arguments. Be truthful during cross and I would appreciate it if you formatted your doc so that I could see each argument. Also the roadmap is super important with these debaters so please walk me through the order for each flow and whether I should flow a certain argument on a separate page .
-- If you have analytics pre written in a constructive speech send it
T/Theory -- Yeah sure go for it. I every read shell from condo to glizzy theory throughout my career. I'll always be technical, but my threshold for reasonability also decreases with the frivolity of the shell. Structure your shell and make sure I know what I'm voting on. Make sure to do lots of framing and weighing for different impacts in the round so that I can judge the round off the flow.
-- Don't read disclosure against traditional debaters, I'll still vote on it, but your speaks won't be lookin too hot.
K -- K's are dope and I'm always open to them. In debate I primarily ran Mollow and Queerpess as my main K strategies, but I've taken classes on Nietzsche and looked into Berardi. I will say I am a lot more comfortable with the identity side of K debate but I'll evaluate your wacky K's as well. Don't spend five minutes on the overview about your theory, I would much more appreciate if you do the explanation along the line by line. Also framing is a huge part of these debates, just make sure I know what your model's orientation looks like.
-- If you're reading a reps K please proactively explain why I should drop the other debater/whatever your impact is -- "that's a voting issue" isn't a warrant.
K affs -- Read them, go for it, I don't care if you don't implement but explain your model of debate and why it deserves the ballot. I'm also a big fan of performances and I think that its important that debate can be inclusive to allow this type of discourse in the space. That being said I will not evaluate call out arguments or arguments based on out of round violations other than disclosure. Lastly, explanation for your method is super important -- I need to be able to repeat back to you what it is that the aff does in order for you to get the ballot.
Policy/LARP -- Yeah policy is dope a well-constructed CP or DA is always strategic. I guess like if you're very far west coast i.e. going into heavy IR theory I am not the best judge for you, but with my lesser east coast policy style knowledge I should be a good judge. I won't read evidence unless instructed to read it by a debater or if it's actually necessary to adjudicate a messy round.
-- I live for impact turn debates! -- If you actually understand the turns that you're reading and give me a good explanation of them your speaks will be rewarded handsomely.
Phil -- Philosophy is a very interesting style and I advocate for it because of how specific it is to LD. That being said I understand most of my phil experience in debate was between Util, Kant and Hobbes with a little bit in Virtue Ethics and Hegel. Some of the more abstract philosophies that are read these days are a little harder for me to digest, but with a good explanation of the meta ethic and standard in a round I should be able to understand your argument. I also encourage debaters to cut substantive evidence for the syllogisms of their frameworks -- it just makes the argument a lot stronger.
-- Please enunciate more on your permissibility triggers and provide sufficient explanation for them. I'm not willing to pull the trigger for you for a 1 second trigger you made in the NC.
Hi I'm Archit - email@example.com - I debated for four years at Lexington High School and qualified + broke at the TOC 2x.
**I AM BAD AT FLOWING - GO 60-70 PERCENT MAX SPEED OR I WILL MISS ARGUMENTS
TLDR - Don't be offensive and arguments need warrants. I have a high threshold for warrants and I am not afraid to give an RFD on x blip didn't have a sufficient warrant.
1- T/Good Theory/Substantive Phil/Policy args
2 - Dense phil.
3 - Tricky phil, Topic Specific Ks
4- Ks or K affs, Heavy tricks, Bad Theory
Stuff I like
1] Topicality! T Framework, Topic specific stuff, Nebel all great. Bad and doc botted Nebel debates are terrible but good Nebel debates make me very happy. High speaks for a pics 2AR versus nebel. Semantics can be confusing so make sure to explain it.
2] Good Theory arguments. (Counterplan theory, Open Source, True combo shells).
3] Policy debate. Love innovative affs + new pics. Read these and go for these. 2NR gets new cards to some extent (can't be egregious and to the point where you are functionally reading new scenarios).
4] Substantive phil. My favorite argument in debate was Kant but I almost always read util against phil affs. I err Util against dense, confusing phil but am very, very even on Kant vs Util or Hobbes.
Stuff I don't like or wouldn't be good at judging -
1] Tricks - I won't gut check but these make me sad and speaks will reflect that. Some innovative philosophical tricks are ok but paradoxes, nibs, skep not great. Won't vote on eval debate after _______. If I don't flow it, I'm not voting on it. (I'm not great at flowing so slow down if you still decide to read 1000 nibs. (Answering tricks with tricks is totally fine. You can go for the dropped resolved a priori if ur opponent initiated a trick debate.
2] Bad theory (must read condo, nit-picky disclosure violations, shoes theory) is terrible and while I won't gut check it I will be inclined to vote on reasonability and hurt your speaks. PLEASE USE REASONABILITY AGAINST BAD THEORY.
3] Kritiks - I don't dislike Kritiks but I literally never read one so it would be hard for me to evaluate these rounds lol. Extinction outweighs seems true to me and I err aff on getting to weigh the case.
4] K affs - Again don't dislike but I have 0 experience and err towards T framework. I'll do my best to be tech though.
Defaults: (Will only use these if no argument is made in the round)
1] Theory is drop the argument, no rvis, competing interps, fairness and education are voters anything else is not.
2] Permissibility negates, presumption negates until the negative introduces a counter-advocacy
3] I'll default to util if no framework argument is made
4] The aff gets to weigh the case vs the K
5] T > Theory > K = Case
6] Truth testing (I probably err towards comparative worlds once an argument is made for it tho)
"All are Allowed, Simply Improve" - Julian Kuffour
Hi I'm Archit. This is my fourth year of debate at Lexington High School and I qualified to the TOC 2x. I've done circuit, tech debate and also done lay debate. Anything is fine with me.
Debate the way that you are most comfortable and I'll evaluate the round the best I can. I will evaluate the rounds based on arguments made and not ethos but ethos can be used to determine speaks.
You do not need to give voters, read a value (though you should read a value criterion/framework) or repeat arguments.
If you want to read advanced positions go ahead, but please consider your opponent.
How to get high speaks:
1] Weigh - This can win you 99 percent of novice debates. Say your impacts outweigh on magnitude, probability, timeframe etc. and explain why that weighing mechanism matters most.
2] Collapse - you don't need to extend every contention, chose 1 or 2 that are best and explain them in depth and weigh them against your opponents args.
3] Don't have a values debate (I don't care if morality or justice matter more, debate over your value criterions instead (i.e util vs deontology or structural violence for example).
4] Be respectful, and use CX strategically.
Crawford Leavoy, Director of Speech & Debate at Durham Academy - Durham, NC
Email Chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a former LD debater from Vestavia Hills HS. I coached LD all through college and have been coaching since graduation. I have coached programs at New Orleans Jesuit (LA) and Christ Episcopal School (LA). I am currently teaching and coaching at Durham Academy in Durham, NC. I have been judging since I graduated high school (2003).
- Speed is relatively fine. I'll say clear, and look at you like I'm very lost. Send me a doc, and I'll feel better about all of this.
- Run whatever you want, but the burden is on you to explain how the argument works in the round. You still have to weigh and have a ballot story. Arguments for the sake of arguments without implications don't exist.
- Theory - proceed with caution; I have a high threshold, and gut-check a lot
- Spikes that try to become 2N or 2A extensions for triggering the ballot is a poor strategy in front of me
- I don't care where you sit, or if you sit or stand; I do care that you are respectful to me and your opponent.
- If you cannot explain it in a 45 minute round, how am I supposed to understand it enough to vote on it.
- My tolerance for just reading prep in a round that you didn't write, and you don't know how it works is really low. I get cranky easily and if it isn't shown with my ballot, it will be shown with my speaker points.
SOME THOUGHTS ON PF
- The world of warranting in PF is pretty horrific. You must read warrants. There should be tags. I should be able to flow them. They must be part of extensions. If there are no warrants, they aren't tagged or they aren't extended - then that isn't an argument anymore. It's a floating claim.
- You can paraphrase. You can read cards. If there is a concern about paraphrasing, then there is an entire evidence procedure that you can use to resolve it. But arguments that "paraphrasing is bad" seems a bit of a perf con when most of what you are reading in cut cards is...paraphrasing.
- Notes on disclosure: Sure. Disclosure can be good. It can also be bad. However, telling someone else that they should disclose means that your disclosure practices should bevery good. There is definitely a world where I am open to counter arguments about the cases you've deleted from the wiki, your terrible round reports, and your disclosure of first and last only.
- Everyone should be participating in round. Nothing makes me more concerned than the partner that just sits there and converts oxygen to carbon dioxide during prep and grand cross. You can avert that moment of mental crisis for me by being participatory.
- Tech or Truth? This is a false dichotomy. You can still be a technical debater, but lose because you are running arguments that are in no way true. You can still be reading true arguments that aren't executed well on the flow and still win. It's a question of implication and narrative. Is an argument not true? Tell me that. Want to overwhelm the flow? Signpost and actually do the work to link responses to arguments.
- Speaks? I'm a fundamental believer that this activity is about education, translatable skills, and public speaking. I'm fine with you doing what you do best and being you. However, I don't do well at tolerating attitude, disrespect, grandiosity, "swag," intimidation, general ridiculousness, games, etc. A thing I would tell my own debaters before walking into the room if I were judging them is: "Go. Do your job. Be nice about it. Win convincingly. " That's all you have to do.
- I'll give comments after every round, and if the tournament allows it, I'll disclose the decision. I don't disclose points.
- My expectation is that you keep your items out prior to the critique, and you take notes. Debaters who pack up, and refuse to use critiques as a learning experience of something they can grow from risk their speaker points. I'm happy to change points after a round based on a students willingness to listen, or unwillingness to take constructive feedback.
- Sure. Let's post round. Couple of things to remember 1) the decision is made, and 2) it won't/can't/shan't change. This activity is dead the moment we allow the 3AR/3NR or the Final Final Focus to occur. Let's talk. Let's understand. Let's educate. But let's not try to have a throwdown after round where we think a result is going to change.
I come from a Policy Debate background. You can spread...or not, but if I can't flow it, I can't know it.
I probably won't be impressed with arguments that attempt to circumvent discussion on the actual resolution, so you may be better served scrapping your K affs (or negs) or topicality negs (unless, of course, you are responding to a K aff with a topicality neg). If you choose to run one or more highly philosophical and/or theoretical argument(s) and proceed to read cards that say things like: "Having one’s experiences obscured and rendered unintelligible due to herme-neutical injustice is an infringement upon the epistemic agency...," or "Particularly the Cartesian dualism between the extended physical world and the nonphysical world of thought was seen as the definitive completion of the pre-Socratic turn from mythos to logos, when myth finally became synonymous with the subjective and the irrational. From this point onward, myths could neither serve as cosmological narratives of the universe, nor as valid allegories of nature, for they were now fully associated with the inner realm of subjective experience and not with the outer realm of the objective physical world," you should know that I will NOT understand them. I am a highly educated former debater, but I cannot possibly digest any of this in the few minutes of time I get to do so. I, unlike you, do not have the benefit of being able to think through these types of arguments in advance of the round. Frankly, even if I did, I am quite certain I still would not understand them standing alone let alone in the context of the debate. In fairness to you, you should know that.
I think that debate on matters unrelated to the resolution fundamentally stifle fairness for several reasons. In the first instance, they impede a competitor's ability to adequately prepare by creating a universe where one side dictates the narrative of the debate, or, alternatively, the debate consists of two people talking past each other. This strategy creates a world where there is absolutely no point in even having a resolution. The rules tell me that the competitors are to debate a particular resolution, and the debater tells me I can't until we first talk about ageism or ableism or the relative value of dogs over cats or whether french fries are proof of a higher being (they are). Secondly, they heavily favor schools and students with copious economic resources who have the privilege and luxury of being able to expand their preparation into this infinite universe of argument. Let's level the playing field a bit better (maybe we should debate that instead?).
On that note, I value responsiveness to your opponent's arguments, and I love a good common-sense position. However, if you are going to rely on factual/empirical arguments, please make sure they are supported by evidence. Most importantly, I do not tolerate unsportsmanlike conduct. I was a litigator for many years and stared down many an adversary, but I was always respectful, polite, and kind. Since I am judge and jury in this debate, I will not be impressed by the debater that yells louder or whose tone is more indignant. Rather, the debater that makes the more compelling arguments will win the round.
Other things: I don't love pics or piks. If you run one anyway (which is completely fine) do not extend disads that your pic/k would equally trigger AND the pic/k into your rebuttal. If you give me contradictory arguments, I won't know which to vote on, and they will likely cancel each other out in my decision calculus.
If I cannot hear or understand what you are reading during the allotted time you are given, I will not consider it in my analysis of the round. Sharing your constructive should not be an end-run around time limits by emboldening you to speak so incoherently that the content is indiscernible based on your belief that I can simply read the case on my own.
Also, a note about tech troubles. I think the best debater should win and not the one who had a better WiFi connection (unless, of course, they are one and the same). I understand that technology is not infallible, and I will NOT punish you if your connection is lost or you cut out. I believe that an important tenet of fairness and sportsmanship is the right to be heard. That means that I will show you grace and patience if you have tech troubles. I will ask you to repeat things and add time as necessary.
Good luck everyone!
**NSD: Don't bully novices - I will severely tank speaks and err against your arguments. If you can't win those debates without tricks and spikes then you don't deserve the ballot.
I did LD debate at LHS for four years. I qualified for the TOC twice and currently coach the Lexington Debate Team.
Speech docs are good for numerous reasons, especially evidence ethics, so send them.
If you have any questions about my paradigm please feel free to email or messenger me.
1) If you are unclear and as a result, I miss arguments it is your fault. I will yell clear when needed - if an argument was half a sentence and unclear in the 1AR/1NC assume it doesn't meet the litmus test for having a warrant... meaning I won't vote for a collapse on it.
2) I am not debating, so I don't have a right to tell you what you read. Please do and read what you like.
3) Truth over tech is wack - A complete argument (claim, warrant, impact) if dropped is automatically true.
4) I have a low threshold for 1AR and 2AR extensions for dropped arguments - just mention the tag or interp - but I need explanations for its implications and applications on the flow.
5) Debates a game
6) I do not vote on ad hominems
7) I will boost speaks if you sit down early or/and take no prep only if you can still win.
Theory - 1
Kritiks - 1
Phil - 2
Tricks - 3
Policy/LARP - 4
For specifics -
Tricks: I'm well versed - people give this style of debate a bad name by extending every dropped sentence and throwing crap at the wall with no weighing or implication - impact out a few well and explain why they justify a ballot.
Theory: No such thing as frivolous theory, reasonability is strategic if well justified, do standard weighing between multiple shells or I'll default substance. I'm not very well versed in grammar rules so err on the side of over-explanation. 1AR theory makes being aff so easy so read it lol. Yes, RVIs is a good argument.
Stock K's/Topical K's: Please err on the side of heavy LBL rather than reading a 5-minute overview with loads of embedded clash. I view the K as a philosophical argument so framing is important. Have a counter-interpretation to weigh the case and read case defense (extinction inevitable is smart) or else you'll lose. I'm open to VTL arguments, debate bad, ID pol tricks, K tricks (e.g. floating PIKs), and death good. K v K debates are fun as long as there is good impact calc, link analysis and examples.
Non T: I read a lot of these. I enjoy the "debate good-bad" debate. T Framework makes the game work though so have well developed impact turns.
Policy/LARP: Getting better at evaluating it.
Philosophy: I'm confident in evaluating this correctly. Please make framework interactions (hijacks are good). Don't shoehorn terrible offense just so you can read the Phil you want, you will probably lose. if you justify epistemic modesty, explain how I resolve the round correctly under it. I have a high threshold for winning extinction o/w against deontic theories - you probably won't win this if you lose util under epistemic confidence.
Slow down; pause between flows; label everything clearly; be aware that I am less familiar with policy norms, so over-explain. Otherwise I try to be more-or-less tab.
I am the head coach at Valley High School and have been coaching LD debate since 1996.
I coach students on both the local and national circuits.
I can flow speed reasonably well, particularly if you speak clearly. If I can't flow you I will say "clear" or "slow" a couple of times before I give up and begin playing Pac Man.
You can debate however you like in front of me, as well as you explain your arguments clearly and do a good job of extending and weighing impacts back to whatever decision mechanism(s) have been presented.
I prefer that you not swear in round.
he/him, appleton east ‘19, wisconsin ‘23
if you have any questions before i judge you, PLEASE just ask - i'm not picky, but i'm also not a robot, i would rather be transparent than leave you with concerns over your strategy
i view debate near identical to tej gedela, sam mcloughlin, jonathan jeong, ishan bhatt, and rex evans
1. tl;dr - not formally involved in debate anymore but judging is a privilege and i am plenty qualified to judge your round, i care about good debating and really nothing else, don't worry too much about tailoring towards my ideology from when i was a debater/coach
2. background - i did ld and dabbled in policy at appleton east in wisconsin, i broke at the toc in 2019, led 3 summer labs, and have coached on all types of circuits - my main experience is with policy debate and kritiks, but i have extensive experience coaching, debating, and judging every style of debate at national and local levels
3. hard and fast rules - strike me if you don't disclose/flash your evidence or i will rigorously tank speaks, an arguments risk starts at 0% and goes up based on the quality of it's warrant, evidence quality matters so i will read cards you reference in the 2nr/2ar, yes judge kicks but tell me to, won't vote for stuff i can't explain back to you which means winning arguments require a ballot implication, arguments that demonstrate your work put into debate are always better than tricks you grabbed from backfiles or had your coach explain to you pre-round
4. for high speaks - my avg range is 28.2-29.4, biggest boosts for ending the debate early/speeding things up and being casual/personable - have fun, make jokes, be technical, and write my rfd
I am a parent judge and fairly new to judging. I am not a fan of spreading and fast speaking. If I can't understand, then it is not going on the flow. This is a verbal activity and therefore I will only flow things that are verbally communicated.
I am traditional judge, and don't have experience with progressive arguments, so I am not a fan of Kritiks, Theory Shells, or ROBs. I am looking for debaters who can presents a strong case with great logic, evidence and effective refutation of their opponent's case. In order for me to weigh your case effectively, you need to show me which framework is best and how you win under that framework. I like to have crystallization and voters in the 2AR and 2NR - this is especially important. The clearer you make to me why your argument is better and outweighs, the easier it will be for me to vote for you.
I don't believe in tabula rasa judging. I will cast my opinion on an argument if I think it makes zero sense or is well warranted. I am going to judge arguments on their merits.
I have a foundation in Policy (Baylor Institute) and LD, with more experience in LD (2nd NCFL Nationals '98). Started the speech and debate program at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. Now a parent-judge.
- Tabula rasa. Tech>truth. I enjoy originality, but it is up to you to persuade that your argument has substance and should be a voter.
- I still strongly believe that the framework debate is integral in Lincoln-Douglas debate, and that every word of the resolution has meaning and is fair game for debate. That being said, I'm fine if framework is essentially punted by both sides, and will then go where the flow sheet takes me.
- I should be comfortable/familiar with most philosophical arguments in LD. There was much more of a focus on the same when I was debating, while now LARP/Policy seems the norm. I do enjoy a vigorous debate on philosophy, but am good if it is merely utility.
- If you are going to spread, you have to enunciate the words sufficiently for me to understand without simply reading your case. I would recommend you going a little slower, as I can't flow what I can't hear clearly.
- Enjoy yourselves. This is supposed to be fun. Make it fun for me as well by not being obnoxious to each other in cross.
- I highly enjoy theory and K's when done well, but highly dislike them when not done properly and reasonably. Do not assume that I know the current customs of the debate world when making these arguments. I probably don't.
- Don't make me decide what is important in a round...get "Meta" and weigh properly and persuasively.
- In debate and life, the quality and reliability of your evidence matters. This is particularly true in this world of utility LD. Show me any card after the round that you think I need to see, and hold your opponent accountable for misuse or miscategorization of a the actual content of a study/article.
I debated at American Heritage Broward both on the local and national circuit. As a debater I mainly read Phil, Tricks, and Theory but dabbled a bit in K’s and LARP debates. When I say dabbled I mean that they are not my expertise so be cautious. My email for speech docs is: Nicholas.email@example.com
General: I am very much a tech > truth person who will vote for pretty much any argument you make no matter how seemingly ridiculous or bizarre, all I need is a warrant. I also have a low threshold for extensions of conceded arguments but they need to be extended (explicitly) in each speech. My goal is to evaluate rounds with as little intervention as possible. Here are some defaults that I make in each round (they are only made for the sake of evaluation of the round assuming that these framing issues are not touched by either debater):
- I default to truth testing if no other RoB is read in the round.
- I am not the best at flowing, so when you are making analytic arguments you should label them and sign post as clear as possible. Also maybe take half a second after author names.
- I don’t evaluate embedded clash unless there is an argument as to why I should or the round is irresolvable without it.
- I do not believe you get new 2n responses to AC arguments unless an argument is made for why you get those arguments in the NC- making an argument in the 2n that says something like “this was just a dumb blippy argument” is not sufficient. This goes for 2ar responses to NC arguments as well.
- Believe it or not, I will vote on disclosure theory/friv theory, but I still think it is a bit annoying. Not disclosing period is one thing, not cohering to every aspect of whatever you think is good is another. Also, don’t read it against novices/lay debaters/people who clearly don’t know what it is. I also won’t evaluate it if it becomes clear/verifiable the debater’s team won’t allow it or other similar circumstances.
- PLEASE FLASH ANALYTICS. If you don’t you must be super clear because I promise you that I will miss things if you are not. I am not a robot and I will judge what I have written down before I consider an argument I didn’t hear.
- Even if something is labeled an independent voter, if there is no warrant for why it is one, I won’t evaluate it as such. I also don’t really think “x author is sexist/racist/etc so you should lose” makes much sense, especially if they didn’t read that author in the first place explicitly (e.g. a debater reading Korsgaard while you read Kant racist). However, if you win it you win it.
- I have preferences for the arguments you make but I will do my absolute best to ensure that those preferences are both clearly mentioned in my paradigm and also affect the round as little as possible (if there is any bias at all, it is completely subconscious).
- You can grill me, I just ask that you don’t be too aggressive.
- If your offense is conceded but you don’t extend it, it doesn’t exist. Too many affs take for granted the offense is conceded and don’t even mention it in the 2ar. Literally all you have to do is say “extend the offense, it was conceded.”
- Explaining why a card doesn’t have a warrant is terminal defense if you can’t answer with a clear articulation of a warrant.
- Saying “the aff is a good idea” necessitates that your conception of the good is correct (which requires you winning that debate).
- I really like a good CX. People trying to be edgy without the personality for it is cringe, but people with the personality for it can be dominant. I won’t vote on arguments made in CX, but concessions will be taken into consideration and making people look silly will boost your speaks.
- I think reading a non-T aff would be an uphill battle if your arguments are that T is violent and the warrant is a false equivalency (however, a conceded argument is a conceded argument).
- Please weigh. It almost never hurts you.
- Evidence Ethics, clipping: you need to formally stake the round for me to call tab in & I will defer to tournament policy when that happens. otherwise, I will adjudicate this like any other theory debate. I personally see ev ethics concerns as DTA but you agree to be ethical with your evidence when you sign up for the tournament.
- In-Round Safety: if you judge that the round needs to be stopped, please ask me to and I will call tab in & defer to tournament procedure/tab's judgment. I am highly unlikely to stop the round unprompted, or vote on an in-round conduct issue if it is not made into a voting issue by the other debater. My policy on this is intended to place the judgment of the affected debater in higher regard than my own.
Theory: Go for it - this is probably one of the easier things for me to judge, and I really enjoy judging nuanced theory debates. Slow down on the interpretation a bit if it’s something more nuanced. I don’t “gut check” frivolous shells but obviously if you are winning reasonability then I will evaluate through whatever your brightline is. If neither debater makes arguments I default to the following:
- There is no impact to a shell without drop the arg or drop the debater warrants so I will just eval substance
- Competing interps
- Norms creation model
- no RVIs
- Fairness is a voter
- Education is a voter
Go for a paradigm issue like RVIs. These debates are rare undeservedly.
T: I don’t like it quite as much as theory but it’s still fun to judge. If weighing isn’t done in round (why wouldn’t it be) Semantics>Pragmatics unless theory is also read.
T “framework”: I find non-T affs pretty interesting and fun to judge but naturally prefer affs be T. I don’t consider an aff that doesn’t defend fiat but does defend the principle of the resolution non-T, and I am less persuaded by T in that sense.
Tricks: This was my most used style of debate when I competed and clever tricks are entertaining but that doesn’t mean I will instantly vote for you if you read them without winning why they are relevant (aka you are winning truth testing). The more clever your arguments are, the higher your speaks will be. Despite my old love for them, I usually have a low threshold for responses since the arguments are usually fairly weak. If you obviously just included an a priori because I am judging you and don’t extend a conceded one, your speaks will probably suffer. I also prefer you be more up front with them in CX if your opponent catches them, I have a lot more respect for people who are straight up about their sketchiness. If you say “what’s an a priori” or anything of the sort I will lower speaks. If you are not the best at answering these arguments I wouldn’t worry too much, I will be more than happy to disregard them if you are winning a role of the ballot that excludes them or a shell that indicts them. Also, calling something a trick doesn’t mean anything to me -- tell me what the implication of the argument is. It also bothers me how tricks debaters have become reliant on the same resolved a priori every debate - I'd much rather listen to an interesting phil round than watch u extend the same a priori people have been reading for years. Think of new and clever arguments. Also, reading 16 spikes with a Kant framework isn’t a tricks aff and I really don’t like it (even if it is something I did as a debater). I judge these constantly cause I’m probably one of the few that will listen, and that hasn’t changed but don’t expect high speaks or for me to be impressed.
Ks: My knowledge of Ks is almost entirely composed of what my coaches have explained to me when I was in high school so I am not necessarily the most well-versed in this literature. I understand set col, Wilderson, Nietzsche, Baudrillard, Psychoanalysis (though some strands I am not necessarily as familiar with) so I definitely think Ks like these are interesting and strategic. I occasionally enjoy judging these debates the most because of how interesting and unique the arguments are. However, I cannot stand unwarranted “this is just another link” arguments, you need to explain or give a warrant as to why what you say is a link actually is one. Additionally, I prefer to see line by line debate, and it seems as though a lot of Ks begin/consist of long overviews without much specific reference to arguments in previous speeches, which can be difficult to flow, so you may want to consider this when going for the K in the 2n/1ar/2ar. I also am very open to you kicking the alt and going for disads, and would almost advise this in front of me cause winning the alt can be a pain. Ultimately if this is your favorite/ best style of debate, you should go for it, but explanation is very necessary if you want me to understand your args and vote for you.
My favorite K’s: Baudrillard, Nietzsche, Psychoanalysis
Larp: I only read util args a bit and have never judged a high level larp round. If you can’t defend util against a dump or well justified framework you shouldn’t pref me, because “the aff is a good idea” will not get my ballot. That being said, I still understand how it works. Fair warning: the Util K is true and unless you have really compelling arguments against it you should be very cautious reading util. If you DO have good arguments against it please read util because I think that would be very interesting to hear.
Fwk: This is my favorite type of debate. I enjoy a good framework debate, and it is probably my favorite thing to judge. As long as you clearly label arguments and make sure to weigh I feel very comfortable evaluating these rounds. However, these debates can often become muddled and devolve into a chicken and egg debate, which makes it near impossible to resolve so be careful of that. My philosophical studies in college have given me a revitalized passion for interesting frameworks so I would love to hear whatever unique positions you got. Also extra speaks for meta-ethics that aren’t practical reason – let’s be creative people.
Favorite phil positions: KANT!!!, Aristotle, Aquinas, Libertarianism (which is not the same thing as Kant), Petit, Heidegger. If you oversimplify any of these positions to the point where the arguments (if read without the name) would be unrecognizable to the philosopher themselves it will personally hurt me very much and your speaks will suffer. I also think that philosophy is such a rich topic that if you stray from the original author’s perspective you are doing yourself a disservice by formulating a weaker argument.
Speaks: I average probably a 28.5. I assign them based on mostly strategy/execution with a little bit of content, but content can only improve your speaks not make them worse really (with the exception of disclosure probably). I like unique and clever arguments and well executed strategy - I would not advise you to go for a tricks aff if you are a larp debater just because I am judging you, do what you do well to get good speaks. I am also somewhat expressive when I think about how arguments interact so don’t mind my face. Also, if I can tell your 1ar/2n/2ar is pre-written your speaks will probably suffer.
How do I get a 30?
I won’t guarantee a 30 based on these strategies but it will definitely increase your chances of getting one if you can successfully pull off any of the following:
1) Going NC, AC really well with a phil NC
2) A trick I haven’t heard before (THAT IS NOT TERRIBLE)
3) Any unique fwk/K/RoB that I haven’t heard before or think is really interesting
4) A true theory shell or one I haven’t heard before
5) Execute a Skep trigger/contingent standard well
6) Really good CX
7) Successfully going for an RVI
8) Making the round super clear
Lay debates: If you are clearly better than your opponent and it is obvious that you are winning the round, please, dear lord, do not use all of your speech time just because you have the time- win the round and sit down so we can have a discussion and make it more educational than just you repeating conceded arguments for 13 minutes. Please don’t be mean.
Philosophy - 1
Theory - 1
Non-Identity Ks - 1/2
T - 2
Identity K's - 2-4 depending how you read them
Policy - 5/Strike
General: I'm tech > truth, read whatever you want. I have a low threshold for extensions of conceded arguments but they need to be extended in each speech. Also, if I don't think an argument has a warrant I won't vote on it. Speaks are inflated by good strategy and execution and capped by how bad i think your arguments are. If you're reading a bunch of unserious nonsense you might win but most likely won't get good speaks.
- I default to truth testing if no other RoB is read.
- I don’t evaluate embedded clash unless there is an argument as to why I should or the round is irresolvable without it.
- I do not believe you get new 2n responses to AC arguments unless an argument is made for why you get those arguments in the NC.
- I will vote on disclosure theory. Just don’t read it against novices or people who clearly don’t know what it is. I also won’t evaluate it if it becomes clear/verifiable the debater’s team won’t allow it or other similar circumstances.
- Don’t need to flash analytics to your opponent but I would like them
- Even if something is labeled an independent voter, if there is no warrant for why it is one, I won’t evaluate it as such. I also don’t really think “x author is sexist/racist/etc so you should lose” makes much sense. I’ll vote on it if you win it but it’s an uphill battle.
Theory: Go for it - this is probably one of the easier things for me to judge, and I really enjoy judging nuanced theory debates. Slow down on the interpretation a bit if it’s something more nuanced. I don’t “gut check” frivolous shells but obviously if you are winning reasonability then I will evaluate through whatever your brightline is. Also, for counter interps “converse of the interp” is not sufficient, if your opponent says “idk what the converse is so I can’t be held to the norm” I will buy that argument, just actually come up with a counter interp.
I really like RVIs and think they are underutilized so if you successfully go for one I will be happy.
T: T debates weren’t nearly as nuanced when I debated so you may have to explain some of the particulars more than you may be used to. I am also a sucker for semantics.
T “framework”: To be honest I am agnostic on whether affs should be T. I probably lean yes, but I also find non-T affs pretty interesting and fun to judge at times. I don’t consider an aff that doesn’t defend fiat but does defend the principle of the resolution non-T, and I am less persuaded by T in that sense.
Tricks: Sure, but speaks might suffer depending how they're executed and how dumb I think they are.
Ks: I really enjoy a good K debate. Especially psycho, baudrillard, nietzsche, and cap. The more specific the links the better. In a relatively equal debate i dont think i've ever voted for deleuze.
Larp: Probably the worst for this but will listen to it, just need to explain things a little more than you normally would. It is probably an uphill battle to win util vs other phil or Ks but possible if that's your thing.
Framework: This is my favorite type of debate and really want it to make a comeback. Great speaks if you can execute this well and/or read something that interests me.
Speaks: I average probably a 28.5. I assign them based on mostly strategy/execution with a little bit of content, but content can only improve your speaks not make them worse really (with the exception of disclosure probably). I like unique and clever arguments and well executed strategy - I would not advise you to go for a tricks aff if you are a larp debater just because I am judging you, do what you do well to get good speaks. I am also somewhat expressive when I think about how arguments interact so be mindful of that i guess. Also, if I can tell your 1ar/2n/2ar is pre-written your speaks will probably suffer.
How do I get a 30?
I won’t guarantee a 30 based on these strategies but it will definitely increase your chances of getting one if you can successfully pull off any of the following:
1) Going NC, AC really well with a phil NC
2) A good analytic PIC
3) Any unique fwk/K/RoB that I haven’t heard before or think is really interesting
4) A true theory shell or one I haven’t heard before
5) Execute a Skep trigger/contingent standard well
6) Successfully going for an RVI
Lay debates: If you are clearly better than your opponent and it is obvious that you are winning the round, please, dear lord, do not use all of your speech time just because you have the time - win the round and sit down so we can have a discussion and make it more educational than just you repeating conceded arguments for 13 minutes.
My email is beccatraber (at) gmail (dot) com. I want to be on the email chain. I don't disclose speaks.
I am a debate coach and former teacher at Lake Highland Prep school. I help run NSD Flagship on site. I'm currently a law student at Texas.
Added Nov 19, 2022: Several recent rounds made me think I needed to make something clear. I probably won't find your arguments that funny--I am old, I've certainly seen it before. Please don't waste my time with meme rounds stuffed full with things like shoes theory or other outrageous offs. Particularly don't run things where the joke basically depends on it being funny to care about something related to social justice. I have no aversion to tricky or clever arguments, but I do strongly care about argument quality and if it's something that's been floating around since 2004, I've definitely seen it too many times to actually find it clever. Your speaks will suffer if you don't take this seriously.
I predominately coach k, phil, and theory debaters. I'm comfortable judging any given round. I regularly vote for every type of case/debater. If you want to know what my preferences are, the following is pretty accurate:
K - 1
Phil - 1
Theory - 2
Tricks - 3
Policy - 3** (see details below, in the circuit section)
(My debaters told me to add those numbers, but it bears repeating: I can and will judge whatever round you want me to have. This is just what makes me happiest to judge)
Traditional LD Paradigm:
(If you are reading this at a CFL, this is what you should focus on. You can read the circuit thing if you want, but this overrules it in a very non-circuit context.)
Overall, I want to judge the debate you want me to judge, so you do you. A few thoughts about what I think on things:
- Please don't go new in the second speeches, especially the 2AR. I will not evaluate new evidence or new framing that your opponent doesn't have a chance to answer.
- If an argument is dropped and unresponded to in the first chance it has to be responded to (eg, the NC doesn't respond to something in the AC), I consider it true. You can't respond to it directly, but you may frame the argument or weigh against it. You can contest the implications.
- I flow the whole round on my computer. That's how I make my decision. That's why I am typing the whole time.
- I would prefer if you time yourself--I am very out of the habit of time signals. Tell me if you want them.
- In general, I think the value/criterion is crucial for LD. You must normatively justify a criterion that is capable of serving as a measuring stick for what impacts matter in the round. This means that ideally for me, your criterion should be warranted in terms of why it is the right way to think about morality, not just defining it. This has the effect of me generally preferring criteria that are specific actions ("not treating people as a means to an end") than broad references to the intellectual history of the idea ("Kant's categorical imperative.") To generalize: criteria should have a verb.
- I am willing to exclude consequentialist impacts if the framework is won explaining why I should.
- Comparative impacting is very important to me. I want to know why your argument is good/true, but I want to know that in terms of why your opponent's argument is bad/false.
- Be extremely clear about what you think is aff ground and what is neg ground and why. I've judged a lot of CFL debates lately where there has been intense disagreement about what the aff could defend--be clear when that's happening and try to explain why your approach is more consistent with the literature. Part of that involves looking for definitions and sources in context: avoid using general dictionaries for technical terms.
- If you raise issues like the author qualifications or any general problem with the way that your opponent warrants something, I need an argument from you as to why that matters. For instance, don't just say "this evidence is older than my evidence," point out the intervening event that would make me think the date matters.
- I am fine with speed in theory, but it is very important to me that everyone is on the same page. If your opponent is not used to flowing full spreading, please don't. You may speak quickly, you may sit down, you may do whatever jargon you like--as long as you prioritize sharing the space and really think about explaining your arguments fully.
- I don't mind you reading progressive arguments, but it is very important to me that everyone understand them. What that means is that you are welcome to read a k or topicality, but you have a very high burden of articulating its meaning and function in the round. I'll vote on T, for instance, but I'm going to consciously abandon my assumptions about T being a voting issue. If you want me to vote on it, you must explain it in round, in a way that your opponent understands. The difference between me and a more traditional judge will mostly be that I won't be surprised or off-put by the argument, but you still have to justify it to me.
- I tend not to be allowed to disclose, but I will give oral feedback after the round. You don't have to stay for it, but I'm happy to answer any questions you have!
Circuit LD Paradigm:
Qualifications: I debated on the national circuit for the Kinkaid School, graduated 2008. It's a long time ago, but I finaled at the TOC and won several national tournaments. I've been coaching and teaching on the national circuit since. I am finishing my dissertation at Yale University in Political Theory. In Fall 2020, I started working as a full-time teacher at Lake Highland Prep in Florida. I've taught at more camps than I care to think about at present, including top labs at NSD and TDC.
K - 1
Phil - 1
Theory - 2
Tricks - 3
Policy - 3** (see details below)
Some general explanations of those numbers & specific preferences, roughly put into the categories:
I am well-read in a wide variety of critical literature. I'm familiar with the array of authors commonly read in debate.
I like k-affs, both topical and non-topical. I generally buy method links, method perms, advocacy links, advocacy perms, and so on. I can and do buy impact turns. That being said: I also regularly vote against ks, and am willing to hear arguments about acceptable and unacceptable k/link/perm/alt practices.
I think it is important to be able to articulate what the alt/advocacy looks like as a material practice, but I think that's possible and persuasive for even the most high theory and esoteric ks.
The critical literatures I've coached or read the authors myself include (but aren't limited to): ableism, a variety of anti-capitalisms/marxisms including Jodi Dean, anthropocentrism, a variety of anti-Blackness literatures, Baudrillard, semiocapitalism, ecology critiques, securitization/threat construction, nationalism critiques, a variety of queer theories, Heidegger, Deleuze, Laruelle, Lacan, Derrida, Foucault, Bataille, and others. I'm old and I read a lot. I'm comfortable in this space.
Ontological Pessimism: I am uncomfortable with debaters reading ontologically pessimistic positions about identity groups that they do not belong to. I won't auto-drop the debater reading it, but I am an easy get for an argument that they should lose by the opponent.
As a general thing, I would like to strongly remind you that these are positions about real people who are in the room with you, and you should be mindful of that when you deploy narratives of suffering as a way to win the round. And yes, this applies to "invisible" identities as well. If you're reading an ontologically pessimist position, especially if the thrust of the debate is about how things that are or are not consistent with that identity, and things that identity cannot or can do--I completely think it's fair game for your opponent to ask you if you identify in that way.
If you're not willing to answer the question, perhaps you shouldn't be running the case. I've sat through a lot of disability debates recently and I'm starting to get very frustrated with the way that people casually talk about disabled people, without any explicit accountability to disabled humans as people in the space and not just figures of Lacanian abjection. I will vote on it, but try not to be a jerk. This isn't just a debate argument.
If you read a slur or insult based on an identity that doesn't apply to you (race, gender, ability, class...anything), I am not voting for you. You lose. There's no debate argument that I'll listen to justifying it. Even if it is an example of a bad thing: I don't care. You lose. Cut around it. Changing letters around isn't redacting it if you still read it.
Policy FW/T-Must-Be-Topical: I regularly vote both that affs must be topical and that they don't have to be. I regularly coach in both directions. I think the question is very interesting and one of my favorite parts of debate--when done with specific interaction with the content of the aff. I particularly like non-standard T-FW and TVAs which aren't the classic "must defend the hypothetical implementation of a policy action."
Accessibility note for performances: If you don't flash the exact text of your speech, please do not play any additional sounds underneath your speaking. If there is sound underneath your speaking, please flash the exact text of what you are reading. I do not want to undermine the performance you want to engage in and whichever option you prefer is fine for me. It is fine to have part of your speech be on paper with music underneath and then turn the music off when you go off paper. I struggle to understand what is being said over noise and I'm uncomfortable being unable to know what is being said with precision.
I am well-read in a variety of philosophical literature, predominantly in the post-Kantian continental tradition and political theory. I also enjoy a well-constructed phil case. Some of my favorite debates are k v phil, also--I see them generally as dealing with the same questions and concerns.
For phil positions, I do think it is important that the debater be able to explain how the ethical conception and/or the conception of the subject manifests in lived human reality.
I am generally more persuaded by epistemic confidence than epistemic modesty, but I think the debate is usually malformed and strange--I would prefer if those debates deal with specific impact scenarios or specifics of the phil framework in question.
I prefer detailed and well-developed syllogisms as opposed to short and unrelated prefer-additionalys. A good "prefer-additionally" should more or less be a framework interaction/pre-empt.
In general, I've been in this activity a long time. The frameworks I've coached or read the authors myself include (but aren't limited to): Kant, Hegel, Marx, alienation, Levinas, Butler, Agonism, Spinoza, Agamben, Hobbes, contractualism/contractarianism, virtue ethics, testimony... I'm really solid on framework literatures.
I'm willing to listen to either reasonability or competing interpretations.
I don't assume either fairness or jurisdiction as axiomatic voting issues, so feel free to engage on that level of the theory debate.
I'm suspicious of precision/jurisdiction/semantics as the sole thing you extend out of a T-shell and am generally compelled by reasonability in the form of "if they don't have any pragmatics offense, as long as I demonstrate it is compliant with a legit way of interpreting the word, it doesn't have to be the best interpretation."
I do really enjoy a well-developed theory argument, just make sure you are holding to the same standards of warranting here that I demand anywhere. Internal links between the standards and the interpretation, and the standards and the voter, are both key.
I love a good counter interp that is more than defending the violation--those result in strategic and fun rounds.
I'm willing to buy semantic I-Meets.
I find AFC/ACC read in the 1AR annoying and unpersuasive, though I have voted for it.
I am willing to vote on RVIs. I don't generally think K-style impact turns are automatically answered by RVIs-bad type arguments, unless there is work done.
Disclosure: Is by now a pretty solid norm and I recognize that. I have voted many times on particular disclosure interps, but in my heart of hearts think the ways that most people handle disclosure competing interps tends to lead to regress.
I enjoy when debaters are substantive about what it means to prove the resolution true/false and explain how that interacts with the burdens of the round. I am more inclined to vote for substantive and developed tricks/triggers, and even if you're going for a short or "blippy" argument, you'd be well-served to do extensive interactions and cross-applications.
I want a ballot story and impact scenario, even with a permissibility trigger. (Even if the impact is that the resolution is tautologically true, I want that expressed straightforwardly and consistently).
I have a fairly high gut-check for dumb arguments, so I'm not your best bet if you want to be winning on the resolved a priori and things that are purely reliant on opponents dropping half-sentences from your case. But if you can robustly explain the theory of truth under which your a prior affirms/negates, you're probably okay.
Also: you know what an apriori is. Or you know what they mean. If you want to hedge your bets, answer in good faith -- for instance, instead of saying "what does that mean?" say "many of my arguments could, depending on what you read, end up implying that it is impossible to prove the resolution false/true. what specifically are you looking for?"
"Don't Evaluate After The 1ar": Feel free to run these arguments if you want, but know that my threshold is extremely high for "evaluate debate after [speech that is not the 2ar]." It is very difficult to persuade me to meaningfully do this. A better way to make this argument would be to tell me what sort of responses I shouldn't permit and why. For instance, new paradigm issues bad, cross-apps bad, no embedded clash, no new reasons for [specific argument] -- all fine and plausible. I just don't know what it means to actually stop evaluating later speeches. Paradigmatically, speech times are speech times and it makes no sense to me why I should obviate some of your opponent's time for any in-round reason. If you have a specific version of this argument you want to check with me, feel free to do so before round.
I have policy as a 3 only because I often find myself frustrated with how inane and unsubstantive a lot of long impact stories in LD are. If you have good, up to date evidence that compellingly tells a consequentialist result of a policy: I'm all in, I love that.
I really enjoy specific, well-researched and creative plans. I find a well-executed policy debate very impressive. Make sure you're able to articulate a specific and compelling causal story.
Make sure you know what all the words mean and that you can clearly explain the empirical and institutional structure of the DA/plan. As an example of the sort of thing that annoys me: a DA that depends on a Supreme Court case getting all the way through the appellate system in two weeks to trigger a politics impact before an election will make me roll my eyes.
There's also a disturbing trend of plans that are straight-up inherent--which I hate, that doesn't make any sense with a consequentialist/policymaking FW.
I am absolutely willing to buy zero risk claims, especially in regards to DAs/advantages with no apparent understanding of how the institutions they're talking about work.
I find the policy style affs where the advantages/inherency are all about why the actor doesn't want to do the action and will never do the action, and then the plan is the actor doing the thing they'd never do completely inane--that being said, they're common and I vote on them all the time.
I am generally compelled by the idea that a fiated plan needs an actor.
Assorted Other Preferences:
The following are other assorted preferences. Just know that everything I'm about to say is simply a preference and not a rule; given a warranted argument, I will shift off of just about any position that I already have or that your opponent gave me.
Speed: I have no problem with spreading -- all I ask is that you are still clear enough to follow. What this means is that you need to have vocal variation and emphasis on important parts of your case, like card names and key arguments.
Threshold for Extensions: If I am able to understand the argument and the function of it in the context of the individual speech, it is extended. I do appreciate explicit citation of card names, for flowing purposes.
CX: CX is really important to me, please use it. You have very little chance of fantastic speaker points without a really good cross-x. I would prefer if y'all don't use CX as prep, although I have no problems with questions being asked during prep time (Talk for at least three minutes: feel free to talk the rest of the time, too). If you are getting a concession you want to make absolutely sure that I write down, get eye-contact and repeat to me what you view the concession as.
Do not be unnecessarily mean. It is not very persuasive. It will drop your speaks. Be mindful of various power-dynamics at play in the room. Something I am particularly bothered by is the insistence that a marginalized debater does not understand their case, particularly when it is framed like: [male coach] wrote this for you, right [female debater]? Or isn't there a TVA, [Black debater], you could have used [white debater's] advocacy. Feel free to mention specific cases that are topical, best not to name drop. I can't think of an occasion when it is appropriate to explicitly challenge the authorship or understanding of a particular argument.
When debating someone significantly more traditional or less experienced: your speaks will benefit from explaining your arguments as straightforwardly as you can. I won't penalize you for the first speeches, but in whatever speech happens after the differences in experience level becomes clear, you should treat them almost as a pedagogical exercise. Win the round, but do so in a way where you aren't only trying to tell me why you win the round, but you're trying to make sure your opponent also understands what is happening.
Presumption: I don't default any particular way. I am willing to listen to presumption arguments which would then make me default, given the particular way the round shakes down, but my normal response to a round where no one meets their burden is to lower my standards until one person does meet their burden. Now, I hate doing this and it makes me grumpy, so expect lower speaker points in a situation where nobody meets their burden and nobody makes an argument about why I should presume any which way. This just points to the need to clearly outline my role and the role of my ballot, and be precise as to how you are meeting it.
note for blue key '22: i haven't judged/coached consistently since the 2020-21 school year. please assume that i am unfamiliar with the topic, topic-specific jargon/knowledge, the current meta of debate, etc. when i judged frequently, a large majority (>~80%) of the rounds i judged involved phil fw, t/theory, or tricks to some extent. this is my wiki from senior year.
i debated on the national circuit for a couple years and qualified to the toc as a senior ('19). i taught at nsd flagship '19, nsd philadelphia '19, tdc '19 & '20, and legacy debate '20, and i coached hunter college high school in the '19-'20 season (see hunter sk, hunter nk). in the '20-'21 season, i coached hunter md and lindale pp. i currently attend swarthmore college ('23), where i study philosophy and math.
in the interest of full disclosure, i am profoundly deaf in both ears and have bilateral cochlear implants. i do not believe that this significantly impacts my ability to judge, as i debated on the circuit and wasn’t horrible at it; you should be clear, give overviews, slow down for anything important, and explain to me how i should write your rfd—as you should with any judge. i will use speech docs in the 1ac/1nc, but will not in rebuttals for anything besides advocacy texts and interps. i will call clear or slow in your speech if i can’t understand you.
i do not have any preferences for style of debate; my only preference is that you debate in the way you choose, as opposed to what you think i’d like to see. i will vote for any argument so long as it is fully warranted, won, and implicated. i won’t vote on links/violations that i can’t verify. i am most familiar with philosophical framework and theory/t debates and least familiar with policy/k debate. i won’t supplement a debater’s explanation of arguments with things i know that weren’t on the flow, so it should not matter if i’m unfamiliar with literature that is read because it is the job of the debaters to fully explain and implicate their arguments—nor will i help you out even if you read a framework that i know well.
i will attempt to operate under the shared assumptions held by both debaters—e.g. if both debaters collapse to theory shells in the 2n/2a but forget to read voters, i will act as if a voter had been read rather than ignore theory and vote on a random substance extension. however, it will always be to your benefit to debate in a non-messy way: even if the 2n collapses to T, concedes substance, and it is assumed by both debaters that substance flows aff, the 2a should still quickly extend the ac. you should also attempt to extend interps & violations. the more i have to think about what the shared assumptions of the round are (and the less clear you are about your ballot story), the more your speaks will suffer.
if i am unable to determine what the shared assumption is, and if no argument has been made on the issue, i will assume the following defaults:
- theory is drop the debater, no rvi, competing interps, fairness and education are voters, fairness > education
- strength of link to weigh between layers, and theory > t > k if strength of link is irresolvable
- epistemic confidence
- presumption and permissibility negate
- evidence ethics, clipping: you need to formally stake the round for me to call tab in & i will defer to tournament policy when that happens. otherwise, i will adjudicate this like any other theory debate.
- in-round safety: if you judge that the round needs to be stopped, please ask me to and i will call the equity ombudspurson or tab in & defer to tournament procedure/tab's judgment. i am highly unlikely to stop the round unprompted, or vote on an in-round conduct issue if it is not made into a voting issue by the other debater. my policy on this is intended to place the judgment of the affected debater in higher regard than my own.
speaker points: higher when you utilize judge direction, make creative strategic choices rather than spamming args, and are good at cx. lower when you clearly haven't read my paradigm, comport yourself in an uncompassionate way, and read largely prewritten args. i average around 28.6 and i don't disclose speaks.
important notes, especially for west coast debaters:
- if you read reasonability without a brightline, say only that “good is good enough,” or tell me to “gut check,” i will gut check competing interps. reasonability should have a brightline that tells me how to differentiate between abusive and nonabusive scenarios.
- i would really prefer it if you read and normatively justify a rob/standard/vc, even if it's short. i tend to think that normative ethic spec is a true argument, and if neither debater indicates a framework and there is not a clear shared assumption of a certain framework, i will be forced to default to my intuitions to frame offense—which you likely don’t want because i’m not a utilitarian.
- i will vote on an rvi if won.
- i will vote on framework preclusion of impacts if won.
- i don’t care if your theory shell is frivolous. "this is frivolous" is not an argument.
- i think epistemic modesty is weird and have never understood it. (if it means strength of link, just say that instead?)
- ethos is created through persuasion/passion/showing you have a ton of knowledge about the subject—not snarky taglines and personal jabs—and good ethos never comes at the expense of safety in the round.
ask me if you have any questions (especially if you're a small school debater). good luck and have fun debating!
Traditional Lincoln-Douglas parent judge, preferring it over the circuit debate. I evaluate all of the arguments made on the flow, relevant through to rebuttal. Please extend do weighing and clear signpost. Please present arguments at reasonable speed, or flowing is difficult. I do not understand tricks, ks, non-topical, & frivolous arguments.