California Invitational Berkeley Debate
2023 — Berkeley, CA/US
HS Congressional Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
my email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
background: currently a sophomore @ uc berkeley - I competed in speech and debate for four years on both the CFL and national circuit, with my main events being parliamentary debate, policy debate, and congressional debate by the end of senior year. I finalled at two TOC bid tournaments and State my senior year, and qualified to the TOC in Congressional Debate.
Here are a few of my judging preferences:
1.speaking: first and foremost, be respectful in round, and in cross-examination. If you bring harm to the debate space in any way, I will drop you. You’re in the round to further your point to your side, and fully participate in the round. Don’t use canned speeches or intros - I value original, unique, and nuanced arguments over delivery every time and will rank as such. Try to show some variety in the types of speeches you give (first few cycles vs. crystals)
2.cross-examination: don’t treat cx as throwaway time! I judge on the quality of all aspects of round engagement, including asking quality cross examination questions to further your argument, as well as poking holes on the other side. be present and engaged - it makes a huge difference!
3.argumentation: just to reiterate what I mentioned earlier: make original, unique, and nuanced arguments. please don’t rehash arguments late into the round. if you cite credible sources, tag them as such - they’re crucial to validating the argument you’re making.
I love clash and weighing (a lot)! please make an effort to integrate it in your nuanced argumentation. At the very least, be organized and understandable.
if you’re introducing a unique impact to the round, make sure to explain the link chain thoroughly; if you’re rehashing/validating a previous impact brought up on your side, make sure to be explicit for how your impact/argumentation is different from previous speakers. I don’t mind either, but the goal is to add depth to the round.
(For Congress) POs: I default to tournament rules on POs, but I tend to rank POs highly if they are well-paced, engaged, and prepared.
Look above for my prefs on argumentation
Don’t use time in between speeches for prep
Plans/evidence whatever you want to use is up to you!
make sure you properly cite sources & empirical examples
Don’t evidence dump in speeches, I’ll give more points for warranted reasoning/connecting to the larger ideas of your case (two world analysis in rebuttals)
Ask and answer at least 2 POIs in the constructive
Be clear on taglines & condense off cases in later speeches
I am a parent and a new judge. I value clarity and respect for all participants. Have fun and do your best.
Hi! I'm Varsha, and I'm a current first-year at UC Berkeley. I did speech and debate all four years of high school, competing primarily in Impromptu and Extemp, but I also have some experience in OO and OI. The most important thing for me is authenticity and a natural flow. I like hearing good analysis and speeches with solid structures, but remember to be yourself and have fun!
I am a parent judge and may not flow. I enjoy all logical and creative arguments. I am claiming no expertise in debates; however, as long as you have solid explanations of your arguments, I should be able to follow them.
You are here to convince me with your excellent research and debate skills! I am more impressed with debaters who apply certain public speaking skills and who can express their arguments with logic, confidence, and clarity. If you follow all debate rules and technicalities, you are in good shape; I'll certainly let you know if you cross the lines.
Feel free to ask me any questions before the round starts, but here are my answers to some issues you may have.
· Speed___I'd prefer moderate speaking speed and slow-down for facts, authors, and taglines. I'll try to follow, but I do not guarantee that I will catch everything being said. Make sure you don't sacrifice clarity for speed.
· Arguments___I'm all ears for any types of arguments -- traditional, progressive, or anything in between -- as long as they are not morally offensive. Just make sure you articulate your arguments with logic, evidence, claims, and impacts.
· Speaker Points___I adjudicate speaks based on your delivery and in round behavior.
· Others___I'm big on organization throughout the speech, including roadmaps and signposts. If I don't know where to put your arguments, I'm probably not going to flow it.
·Cards and evidence___If I am not sure or confused about certain pieces of evidence or facts, I will call to see the cards at the end of the round. If you bring up information that is false without evidence to back it up, even if the opposing team does not call you out, I will hold that against you.
· Calling Cards___Don't take too long when asked to bring up cards. I will hold that against you and it will impact your speaker scores.
1. Remember that this is an educational and friendly competition.
2. Debate in the style you feel most comfortable. Don't be bogged down by debate jargon or styles that your opponents use.
3. Tell me at the end why I should vote for you. Especially in Final Focus. Don't make me weigh the impacts and do the work, make sure you are weighing and being explicit.
4. Although using logic to support is great, try your best to have quantifiable impacts.
I am an experienced speech and Congress coach, and a former competitor.
In Congress, I value respect and courtesy, delivery, an analysis of real-world impacts, evidence and clash - so unless you are the first speech, you need to show me that you are listening and responding to the other speeches in the round. I don't want to hear the same arguments restated and rehashed at the end of the round - give me some new ideas, or some summative analysis. Even if you give a fantastically delivered and well cited speech, if you aren't trying to ask good questions at every opportunity throughout the round, I'm not going to rank you highly. It is, after all, a debate event.
In Lincoln Douglas, please don't treat debate like a game. I
Assistant Director of Speech and Debate at Presentation High School and Public Admin phd student. I debated policy, traditional ld and pfd in high school (4 years) and in college at KU (5 years). Since 2015 I've been assistant coaching debate at KU. Before and during that time I've also been coaching high school (policy primarily) at local and nationally competitive programs.
Familiar with wide variety of critical literature and philosophy and public policy and political theory. Coached a swath of debaters centering critical argumentation and policy research. Judge a reasonable amount of debates in college/hs and usually worked at some camp/begun research on both topics in the summer. That said please don't assume I know your specific thing. Explain acronyms, nuance and important distinctions for your AFF and NEG arguments.
The flow matters. Tech and Truth matter. I obvi will read cards but your spin is way more important.
I think that affs should be topical. What "TOPICAL" means is determined by the debate. I think it's important for people to innovate and find new and creative ways to interpret the topic. I think that the topic is an important stasis that aff's should engage. I default to competing interpretations - meaning that you are better off reading some kind of counter interpretation (of terms, debate, whatever) than not.
I think Aff's should advocate doing something - like a plan or advocacy text is nice but not necessary - but I am of the mind that affirmative's should depart from the status quo.
Framework is fine. Please impact out your links though and please don't leave me to wade through the offense both teams are winning in that world.
I will vote on theory. I think severance is prolly bad. I typically think conditionality is good for the negative. K's are not cheating (hope noone says that anymore). PICS are good but also maybe not all kinds of PICS so that could be a thing.
I think competition is good. Plan plus debate sucks. I default that comparing two things of which is better depends on an opportunity cost. I am open to teams forwarding an alternative model of competition.
Disads are dope. Link spin can often be more important than the link cards. But
you need a link. I feel like that's agreed upon but you know I'm gone say it anyway.
Just a Kansas girl who loves a good case debate. but seriously, offensive and defensive case args can go a long way with me and generally boosters other parts of the off case strategy.
When extending the K please apply the links to the aff. State links are basic but for some reason really poorly answered a lot of the time so I mean I get it. Links to the mechanism and advantages are spicier. I think that if you're reading a K with an alternative that it should be clear what that alternative does or does not do, solves or turns by the end of the block. I'm sympathetic to predictable 1ar cross applications in a world of a poorly explained alternatives. External offense is nice, please have some.
I acknowledge debate is a public event. I also acknowledge the concerns and material implications of some folks in some spaces as well. I will not be enforcing any recording standards or policing teams to debate "x" way. I want debaters at in all divisions, of all argument proclivities to debate to their best ability, forward their best strategy and answers and do what you do.
Card clipping and cheating is not okay so please don't do it.
NEW YEAR NEW POINT SYSTEM (college) - 28.6-28.9 good, 28.9-29.4 really good, 29.4+ bestest.
This trend of paraphrasing cards in PFD as if you read the whole card = not okay and educationally suspect imo.
Middle/High Schoolers: You smart. You loyal. I appreciate you. And I appreciate you being reasonable to one another in the debate.
I wanna be on the chain: email@example.com
Hello, my name is Nevan Hanford and I competed in the Arizona circuit in high school, participating in PF Debate, Extemporaneous Speaking, and Congress. Overall, I believe speech and debate is about rhetorical, argumentative, and logical skills - please keep those in the fore front of your mind for any given event. I have preferences listed below for PF, Extemp, and Congress, take a brief look at your event. Please ask questions before and after round if you have any and email me if you would like more feedback (also add me to email chain) at firstname.lastname@example.org
PF debate is, was, and always will be a debate centered around a general audience. It is my philosophy that PF should be a debate understood and weighed upon through this lens. Therefore, please clearly and persuasively argue why you should win a given round.
- I can handle moderate speeds, please don't go over 250 wpm, spreading will ultimately make it harder to communicate and understand arguments, so take that as you will.
- I will vote upon any contention clearly warranted and with links. At the end of the day, I am a flow judge and will vote upon which arguments flow through. It is your job as debaters to extend the arguments you want voted upon. Anything dropped in summary will not be voted upon.
- Cards/Evidence: Calling cards is an important aspect of debate, I may call cards throughout and after debate. If a card looks suspicious, please tell me that in your speeches and why I shouldn't vote off that evidence. I don't like to intervene, but if needed, at the end of round I will call any cards I don't buy, but you need to call out the oppositions cards!
- Etiquette: Please be respectful to each other. I don't mind argumentative cross fires, but if it becomes unnecessarily aggressive, crossfire becomes unproductive. I prefer speakers to stand during speeches, excluding grand cross.
- Crossfire: I will listen to cross, however will not flow anything unless extended. Bring up anything you want flowed through during cross in the next speech. DO NOT say your opponent conceded if they didn't actually concede to anything - yelling my opponent conceded doesn't mean they did.
- Weighing: Please weigh your arguments against your opponents - this doesn't mean bigger numbers are always better - I will vote on the validity of the argument in addition to the weighing mechanism you provide.
- Speaker points: I won't ever give below 27 speaker points unless your disrespectful in round, that being said, I will always give more speaker points for better speaking ability. Extra speaks if you make me laugh in round.
Congress is about engaging and collective argumentation amongst the house. That being said:
- Speeches should be extemporaneously given with the help of legal notepad. Pre-written speeches will be ranked lower.
- Please do not repeat old arguments, congress is about interactive debate - every speech following authorship should contain refutations of the opposing sides arguments.
- Congress is supposed to be fun - I love when debaters have fun intros to their speeches, please feel free to.
- Evidence: Speeches should contain evidence, however, congress is not PF or LD. Please do not cite evidence as cards - you should be interlacing your arguments with your evidence. Ex: "A recent report from the NY Times found ..." NOT "Carr 15 finds..."
- PO: I will be more than willing to rank PO high if they either a) have excellent command of procedure or b) volunteer when more veteran debaters refuse to PO
- Please don't have more than 3 speeches in a row on one side - then it is no longer a debate. If you planned on giving an affirmative but there is no negation - flip!
Extemp is my favorite event to judge - it is also often the toughest to judge. When I did extemp, I often didn't know what criteria judges were ranking by. The following is what I will be using in rankings:
- Analysis: Extemp is not about reporting on evidence, it is about analyzing evidence in relation to the question. Given this, don't get too far away from the question - stay on topic. Analysis should be the majority of your speech, don't just state evidence and move on. Use evidence as examples to answer the question.
- Delivery: This includes projection, eye contact, physical pacing, tone, volume, enunciation, etc... Using a notecard is apart of this event; however, don't let it take away from your delivery. You should be looking at your notecard no more than 10% of the time, I recommend using a notecard for your evidence source and date
- Evidence: Please do not make-up or misconstrue evidence, not only is this highly unethical, if I find out your evidence doesn't exist, you will be dropped in my rankings. Please cite your evidence; however, if you don't remember a date or publication - don't make one up. Cite evidence as if you were speaking to a general audience, use common sense - if it is a report, tell me the organization; a research paper, the author; an article, the publication company.
I love extemp: be confident and have fun!
My paradigm for congressional debate is quite simple:
I would appreciate if competitors do not spread or talk too fast: the goal of this event is to engage in insightful discussion surrounding the legislation but talking too fast often defeats this purpose.
Clash is important, but clash politely! I enjoy when debaters weigh the impacts of the opposing side with their own. However, I take into careful consideration how you carry yourself throughout the round. How you treat the PO, your fellow competitors, judges, and yourself will be a point that I look at when I cast my ballot. Please be respectful and polite because the kindness you treat your opponents with is more important that any award or trophy you can win. Especially in this online setting, you should be attentive during the round. Asking questions and taking notes lets me know that you are active and participating. With that being said, don't ask questions for the sake of raking up points on my ballot. I appreciate questions that genuinely have a purpose and move the debate forward.
Most importantly, I have no tolerance for any sort of racism, homophobia, sexism, or bigotry. I deem that unacceptable and I will not hesitate to dock you on my ballot.
Make sure to have fun and enjoy yourselves!!
Thank you for letting me judge. I'll do my best to explain why I'm voting a certain way. I tend to favor arguments that are clearly organized and have some emotional resonancy. It's great if you can lay out the framework and tell me how the arguments should be weighed.
tldr: former congressional debater with strong priority on content and engaging with the round. my 1 goes to whoever answers why your side's world is better than the other's. please be respectful and have fun!
i'm Rohit (he/him/his). i competed in congressional debate for 4 years and am now the assistant congress coach at James Logan High School, as well as a co-owner and coach at Ascend Speech and Debate. i hope my paradigm is relatively straightforward, but if you do have any questions please feel free to ask me them before the round!
my ranks are pretty heavily determined by the content of your speech. your speaking and presentation need to be good enough to where i can clearly understand what you're saying and i think you're presenting it in an effective manner, but from there the majority of the distinction between speakers on my ballot will be based on what was said and not how it was said. that being said, particularly eloquent speakers will get an extra boost from me and ineffective ones will get a lower rank, so it makes sense to give the best speeches you can. plus, it's good practice for the real world where how you say things is often the most important.
case wise, i look for well structured arguments that are easy to follow and have strong backing. this means i should be able to clearly isolate the logical warrant behind the argument, and you should be able to defend the argument based upon its logic alone. moreover, i should be able to point to the evidence as credible supplementary material that helps reinforce your logic, and ideally adds new depth to your argument. finally, it should be clear to me why your argument is important in regards to the real world impacts it has, and the more specific you are here about what exactly it looks like in the picture you're painting, the better it is.
the most important thing to get a good rank from me is engaging with the round. everything you say, from your rhetoric to your arguments to your cross-x, should have a purpose in terms of showing me why your side's world is better than the other's. try to answer questions that are defining the round and resolve issues that are being contested. i think turns and weighing are the two most effective forms of interaction in congress, yet also the most slept on, so please use these! i expect everyone after the sponsor to interact with other speakers' arguments, and moreover i expect you to tell me why this interaction matters in the ultimate context of whose side is better in the debate.
the final thing i'll say is to make sure you are respectful and have fun! a lot of people in this activity forget that debate is an extracurricular just like any other, and so it should be a welcoming space for everyone to come and enjoy their time in. obviously you'll have stressful moments, but try to balance them out with making sure you're enjoying yourself and finding tournaments fulfilling. they will fly by much faster than you know it.
anyways, thanks for reading all that and i look forward to being your judge!
I am a lay judge with very minimal experience judging policy debate. Hence, I appreciate rounds with an emphasis on clear and effective communication of subject matter and arguments.
Looking forward to it. Good luck!
My name is Francis (Sae-Rom) Kim,
I am a parent and an assistant coach at Redlands High School, have been judging Congress for about 5 years now, and I am very excited to see all the amazing, talented speakers today.
As a judge, I evaluate the "Best Legislator" in the chamber based on a demonstration of various skills, not just speaking. I often use the congressional debate rubric chart. This means I evaluate basic skills as well as participation in setting the agenda, making motions, asking questions, as well as content, argumentation, refutation, flow and delivery. Most importantly, I'm looking for effort, passion, and consistent participation in the round. Just because you gave a good speech doesn't mean you get an automatic good rank. You need to show you are engaged with the chamber.
I will try to be as fair and just as possible, so enjoy the experience and be respectful during the round!!!
He/Him pronouns, email is email@example.com. Even if you don't spread, I recommend you share at least your constructive. If you don't like the idea of people having your case, you can always share on Google Docs, turn off downloading, then kick them off the document after. Trust me, they don't have time to copy your case in round. If you don't it won't be held against you.
If I HAD to choose, I am a tech > truth judge that will switch to truth > tech when it becomes necessary to judge the weight of impacts based on my experiences. IF YOU WEIGH IN ROUND, I WILL LISTEN. The only time I feel like a truth > tech judge is when there is no weighing, so I am left to weigh with my own devices. This is bad. Don't do this.
You can run K's, you can run theory. If you win the K or theory debate I will vote for you, but know that I can be picky at times about either. I will not vote against you because I do not personally agree with your K or theory, but I am human and I am being honest about how it is impossible to completely separate the subjective and the objective. Please do not run disclosure theory.
Most importantly, remember that we are debaters because we argue! I am absolutely in love with clash, and seeing it in round will make me very happy. Don't just skirt around each other's points and instead engage head on with each other. All while keeping in mind that we ought to stay respectful.
tl;dr: If you weigh and extend arguments properly I will vote off of what you tell me. If not, I am forced to use my own judgement (but I want to do that as little as possible).
- Canned speeches ( Unless 1st affirmative) are going to be ranked lower; Meaning that debating and involving other competitors' points will be seen as a high-ranking speech; Don't read off a prewritten speech
- Questioning; Don't deflect questions given; No expository questions
- Confidence is key!
Hi y'all! I am a former speech and debater for Bellarmine College Preparatory in the Coast Forensics League. I have finished my undergrad at UC Berkeley, studying Political Science and Philosophy. Although I have done speech for a majority of my four years competing in high school, I have done a year of slow Policy Debate and was a Parliamentary Debater during my senior year of high school. I am now an Interp coach at Bellarmine College Prep and a Parliamentary/Public Forum Debate and Extemp Coach at The Nueva School. These past few years, I have been running Tabrooms at Tournaments as compared to judging. And even if I have been judging, I am almost always in the Speech and Congress judging pool.
The tl;dr: Be clear, concise, and kind during debate. I will listen to and vote on anything GIVEN that I understand it and it's on my flow. Spread and run arguments at your own risk. Evidence and analysis are a must, clash and weigh - treat me as a flay (flow + lay) judge.
If you want more precise information, read the event that you are competing in AND the "Overall Debate Stuff" if you are competing in a Debate.
Table of Contents for this paradigm:
1. Policy Debate
2. Parliamentary Debate
3. Public Forum Debate
4. Lincoln Douglas Debate
5. Overall Debate Stuff (Speed, Theory, K's, Extending Dropped Arguments, etc.)
6. IE's (Because I'm extra AF!) (Updated on 02/13/2019!)
For POLICY DEBATE:
I feel like I'm more policymaker oriented, although I started learning about Policy Debate from a stock issues lens, and am more than comfortable defaulting to stock issues if that's what y'all prefer. I'm really trying to see whether the plan is a good idea and something that should be passed. Offensive arguments and weighing are key to winning the debate for me. For example, even if the Neg proves to me that the plan triggers a disadvantage and a life threatening impact, if the Aff is able to minimize the impact or explain how the impact pales in comparison to the advantages the plan actually offers, I'd still feel comfortable voting Aff. If asked to evaluate the debate via stock issues, the Neg merely needs to win one stock issue to win the debate.
Evidence and analysis are absolutely crucial, and good analysis can beat bad evidence any day! Evidence and link turns are also great, but make sure that you are absolutely CLEAR about what you are arguing and incredibly explanatory about how this piece of evidence actually supports your argument.
Counterplans - They're great! Just make sure that your plan text is extremely clear. If there are planks, make sure that they are stated clearly so I can get them down on my flow! Make sure that you explain why the CP is to be preferred over the Plan - show how and explain explicitly how you solve and be sure to watch out for any double binds or links to DA's that you may bring up! Counterplans may also be non-topical.
Topicality - Yeah, it's a voting issue. It's the Negative's burden to explain the Affirmative's violation and to provide specific interpretations that the Affirmative needs to adhere to. Further, if T is run, I must evaluate whether the plan is Topical BEFORE I evaluate the rest of the debate.
I'm not too up on most arguments on this year's topic, so again, arguments need to be explained clearly and efficiently.
For PARLI DEBATE:
In Parli, I will judge the debate first in terms of the stronger arguments brought up on each side through the framework provided and debated by the AFF (PROP) and the NEG (OPP). If you win framework, I will judge the debate based on YOUR framework. However, just because you win framework, doesn't necessarily mean that you win the round. Your contentions are the main meat of the speeches and all contentions SHOULD support your framework, and should be analyzed and explained as such. If it's a Policy resolution round, I tend to judge by stock issue and DA's/Ad's (see the above Policy Debate paradigm). If a fact or value resolution round, I tend to judge through framework first before evaluating any arguments that come afterwards.
Counterplans - They're great! Just make sure that your plan text is extremely clear. If there are planks, make sure that they are stated clearly so I can get them down on my flow! Make sure that you explain why the CP is to be preferred over the Plan - show how and explain explicitly how you solve and be sure to watch out for any double binds or links to DA's that you may bring up! Counterplans may also be non-topical.
Similar to Policy, by the end of the 1 NR, I should know exactly what arguments you are going for. Voting issues in each of the rebuttals are a MUST! Crystallize the round for me and tell me exactly what I will be voting on at the end of the debate.
In regards to POO's, I do not protect the flow. It is up to YOU to POO your opponents. New arguments that are not POO'd may be factored into my decision if not properly POO'd. POO's should not be abused. Be clear to give me what exactly what the new argument/impact/evidence/etc. is.
I expect everyone to take at least 1-2 POI(s) throughout their speeches. Anything short is low key just rude, especially if your opponent gives you the opportunity to ask questions in their speech. Anything more is a time suck for you. Be strategic and timely about when and how you answer the question.
I strongly believe that PF should remain an accessible type of debate for ALL judges. While I do understand and am well versed in more faster/progressive style debate, I would prefer if you slowed down and really took the time to speak to me and not at me. Similar to Policy and Parli, I want arguments to be clearly warranted and substantiated with ample evidence. As the below section explains, I'd much rather have fewer, but more well developed arguments instead of you trying to pack the flow with 10+ arguments that are flaky and unsubstantiated at best.
For PF, I will side to using an Offense/Defense paradigm. I'm really looking for Offense on why your argument matters and really want you to weigh your case against your opponents'. Whoever wins the most arguments at the end of the round may not necessarily win the round, since I think weighing impacts and arguments matters more. Please make sure that you really impact out arguments and really give me a standard or framework to weigh your arguments on! So for example, even if the Pro team wins 3 out of 4 arguments, if the Con is able to show that the one argument that they win clearly outweighs the arguments from the Pro, I may still pick up the Con team on the ballot. WEIGH , WEIGH, WEIGH. I CAN'T EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH!Really explain why your impacts and case connect with your framework. Similar to LD, if both teams agree on framework, I'd rather you focus on case debate or add an impact rather than focus on the framework debate. Though if both teams have different frameworks, give me reasons and explain why I should prefer yours over your opponents'.
The second rebuttal should both focus on responding to your opponents' refutations against your own case AND should refute your opponents' case. If you bring up dropped arguments that are not extended throughout the debate in the Final Focus speeches, I will drop those specific arguments. If it's in the Final Focus, it should be in the Final Summary, and if it's in the Final Summary, it should be in Rebuttal. I will consider an argument dropped if it is not responded to by you or your teammate after the rebuttal speeches. For more information regarding extensions, please look at the "Overall Debate Stuff" section of this paradigm.
Please use the Final Focus as a weighing mechanism of why YOUR team wins the round. I'd prefer it to be mainly summarizing your side's points and really bringing the debate to a close.
Most of all, be kind during crossfire.
For Lincoln Douglas Debate:
Similar to PF, while I did not compete in LD, I have judged a few rounds and understand the basics of this debate. I am more old-school in that I believe that LD is something that focuses more on arguing about the morality of affirming or negating the resolution. The Affirmative does not need to argue for a specific plan, rather, just needs to defend the resolution. However, I have judged a handful of fast rounds in LD and do understand more progressive argumentation from Policy Debate. I have also judged policy/plan centered LD rounds.
So there's framework debate and then we get to the main meat with contentions. With the framework debate, I'm open to essentially any Value or V/C that you want to use. If you and your opponent's Value and V/C are different, please provide me reasons why I should prefer your Value and V/C over your opponents. Weigh them against each other and explain to me why you should prefer yours over your opponent's. Please also tie your contentions that you have in the main meat of your speeches back to your Value and V/C. For example (using the anonymous sources resolution from 2018-2019), if you're Neg and your Value is democracy and your V/C is transparency because the more transparent news organizations are the more accountable they can be, your contentions should show me that in the your world, we maximize transparency, which allows for the best democracy. The best cases are ones which are able to link the Value and V/C seamlessly into their contentions.
If you win the framework debate, I will judge the debate based on YOUR framework. However, just because you win framework, doesn't necessarily mean that you win the round. Your contentions are the main meat of the speeches and all contentions SHOULD support your framework, and should be analyzed and explained as such.
If you and your opponent agree with V/C and V, move on. Don't spend extra time on stuff that you can spend elsewhere. Add an impact, add a DA, add an advantage, add a contention, etc.
By the time we get to rebuttals, I should have a decent grasp about what voting issues I will be voting on in the debate. A lot of the 1 AR should really be cleaning up the debate as a whole and weighing responses by the Neg with the Aff case. 1 NR should really spend a lot of time focusing on really summarizing the debate as a whole and should give me specific voting issues that the debate essentially boils down to. Feel free to give voting issues at the end of throughout your speech. They usually help me crystallize how I will be voting.
I usually decide the winner of the debate based on which side best persuades me of their position. While this debater is the one which usually wins the main contentions on each side of the flow, it may not be. I usually think of offense/defense when deciding debates! As a result, please WEIGH the contentions against each other, especially when we get into the rebuttal speeches. Even if you only win one contention, if you are able to effectively weigh it against your opponent's contentions, I will have no issue voting for you. Weigh, weigh, weigh - I cannot emphasize this enough!
***Here's an example of how I decided a round with the Standardized Testing resolution: The AFF's value was morality, defined as what was right and wrong and their V/C was welfare, defined as maximizing the good of all people. The NEG's framework was also morality, defined in the same was as the AFF's but their V/C was fair comparison, defined as equal opportunities regardless of background. Suppose AFF dropped framework, I would then go on to evaluate the debate under the NEG's Value and V/C. AFF had two contentions: 1. Discrimination - Standardized testing increases discrimination towards low income and minority communities, and 2. Curriculum - standardized testing forces teachers to teach outdated information and narrow curriculum thus, decreasing student exposure to social sciences and humanities. NEG had two contentions: 1. GPA Inflation is unfair - standardized testing allows for the fairest comparison between students since GPA could be inflated, and 2. Performance Measurement - the SAT accurately measured academic performance for students. Thus, in making my decision, I would first ask, how do each of the contentions best maximize fair comparison and thus, maximize morality. Then I would go down the flow and decide who won each contention. I do this by asking how each argument and responses functioned in the debate. For example, did the AFF show me that standardized testing discriminates against people of color and low-income households? Or was the NEG able to show that adequate resources devoted to these communities not only raised scores, but also ensured that these communities we better prepared for the exam? Another example, was the NEG able to prove that if colleges no longer accepted standardized testing scores, would grade inflation result in impossible comparisons between students? Or could the AFF prove that grade inflation would not occur and that there would be heavier reliance on essays and not GPA? After deciding who won which contention, I analyze the debate as a whole - Was the GPA contention outweighed by other issues throughout the debate? (ex: Even if NEG won the GPA Contention, did AFF win the other three contentions and prove that the other three contentions outweighed NEG's winning contention? Or if AFF only won one contention, did that ONE contention outweigh any of the other contentions the NEG had?) Ultimately, the winner of the debate is who BEST persuaded me of their side through each of the contentions brought forth in the debate.
I'm also totally fine with policy type arguments in an LD round. However, while I did do a year of slow Policy Debate and feel more comfortable evaluating these type of arguments, I think that Policy and LD Debate are two different events and should thus be treated as such. Unless both debaters are comfortable with running Policy Debate type arguments in round, stick to the more traditional form of debating over the morality of the resolution. If both debaters are fine running more policy type arguments, go for it!
Overall Debate Stuff:
I'm kinda stupid - write my ballot for me. It is your job to help me understand complex arguments, not the other way around. Don't expect me to understand everything if you're spreading through an argument and you can certainly not expect me to vote on an argument that I don't understand. In other words, "you do you", but if it's not on the flow or I don't understand it, I won't vote on it.
Speed - Consider me a slow lay flow judge. While I can handle medium-slow speed, I'd prefer it you just spoke in a conversational manner as if you were talking to your parents at the dinner table. If you want to run a Kritik, Counterplan, Theory, etc. go ahead and do so, just make sure that you say it in a speed I can understand it in. Remember, if you go too fast to the point where I just put my pen down and stop flowing, your arguments aren't making it on my flow and I will not vote on them. I will yell "SLOW" and "CLEAR" a maximum of three combined times in your speech if you are going too fast or I cannot hear/understand you. If you see me put my pen down and stop flowing, you have lost me completely. Moreover, try to avoid using fast debate terminology within the round. I may not be able to understand what you are saying if it all goes over my head.
Truth v. Tech - I feel like I have a very rudimentary understanding of these terms, so if you are a debater who loves running K Arguments, Theory, 10+ DA's, likes to spread a bunch, and is unwilling to adapt to a lay judge, do us both a favor and strike me. I run a very fine and nuanced line with truth v. tech. I feel like I'm slightly tech > truth, but ONLY SLIGHTLY so. I will do my absolute best to evaluate the round solely based on the flow, but I do think that there are arguments that are just bad, like (generically listing) "racism/homophobia/ageism/poverty good" or just linking everything to nuclear war. Let me illustrate this with an example:
The Neg tries to prove that an excess of immigration within the United States will result in Trump starting a nuclear war against country "x" as a diversionary tactic because he is losing his hardline immigration battle. Personally, I do not believe this will happen, but if this is the only argument left in the round and the Affirmative drops this and the Negative extends this throughout the debate, I will have no choice but to vote Neg to prevent more lives from being lost. However, if the Affirmative is able to show me that nuclear war will not occur or can effectively delink or turn the Negative's argument of nuclear war or can outweigh nuclear war (i.e. benefits of passing plan outweigh the possibility of nuclear war, which only has a close-to-zero percent chance of happening), I will be more inclined to believe that the Affirmative has won this argument based on any evidence/turn they give me, but also based on what I personally believe will happen. I will not arbitrarily insert my own beliefs into the debate, but if the debaters create a situation in which that case occurs, as with the example seen above, I will be inclined to vote for the debater that has the more true argument and the argument that makes more sense logically with me.
Tabula Rasa - As seen with the example above, I'm not Tabula Rasa. I really don't think that any judge can truly be "tab," for who am I to decide what is true? Again, I won't arbitrarily insert my beliefs into the debate, but if the debaters have an argument that I believe is "true," I will be more inclined to buy that argument unless a team convinces me otherwise. In other words, there exist arguments that I am more likely to agree with and arguments I am more likely to buy and vote on. Either way, I will evaluate the round from what I have written on the flow. Furthermore, take these examples:
The Affirmative claims that Santa Fe is the capital of California while the Negative claims that Santa Fe is the capital of New Mexico. In making my decision, I will side with the latter based on outside knowledge and because it is the argument I think is more "true" based on outside knowledge.
The Affirmative claims that Santa Fe is the capital of California. The Negative does not respond to this claim. While I do not think that the Affirmative's claim is true, the Negative does not respond to this argument and thus, I will consider the Affirmative's argument as valid and evaluate the round as such.
Judge Intervention - Take this as you will, but I strongly also believe that I as a judge should not arbitrarily intervene during the debate and should listen to the arguments presented in the round as brought up by the debaters. So like what I wrote under the Policy Debate part of the paradigm, go ahead and run whatever argument you want. As long as I understand it, I will put it on my flow. See "Speed" and "K's/Theory" portion of this section for more information about what arguments you should run if I'm your judge. It is ultimately a debater's job to help me understand their/his/her argument, not vice versa. Moreover, I will not weigh for you - that being said, if neither team runs arguments that I understand and neither team weighs, I will be forced to intervene.
Brief note: OK, so I get that the non interventionist approach contradicts the fact that I am more inclined to vote for an argument that I think is "true." As a judge I can promise you that I will flow what I can listen to and will evaluate the round holistically. I am an incredibly nuanced person and I think my paradigm reflects this (perhaps a little too much)...
PLEASE CLASH WITH ARGUMENTS! CLASH! CLASH! CLASH! Don't let the debate devolve into two boats sailing past each other in the night. At that point, it's completely pointless. I'd also prefer fewer well developed arguments over that of many arguments loosely tied together. Please don't brief barf or pack the flow with pointless arguments which aren't well developed. I may not include undeveloped arguments in my RFD if I deem that they are pointless or unimportant to the debate overall. Also, over the course of the debate as a whole, I would prefer fewer, but more well developed arguments, rather than a ton of arguments that go unsubstantiated.
Tag-Team CX/Flex Prep - I'm fine with this, just make sure that you're the one talking for most of the time. Your partner can't and shouldn't control your time. It is your Cross-Examination/Cross-fire after all. Same with speeches - essentially, don't have your partner be constantly interjecting you when you are speaking - you should be the one talking! If it seems as if your partner is commandeering your cross-examination or speech time, I will lower your speaks. Also totally fine with flex prep - you may use your prep time however you'd like, but since this time is not considered "official" cross-ex time, whether or not the opponent actually responds to the question is up to them. While I do not flow CX, I do pay close attention and if I look confused, I am more often thinking intensely about what you said, rather than emoting disagreement.
Roadmaps + Overviews - Please have them, and roadmaps may absolutely be off-time! I literally love/need roadmaps! They help me organize my flow make the debate/your speech a lot easier to follow! There should be a decent overview at the top of (at the minimum), each rebuttal - condense the round for me and summarize why you win each of the major arguments that comes up. Don't spend too much time on the overview, but don't ignore it.
K's and Theory - I'm not familiar with any literature at all! While you may choose to run K's or Theory (it is your round after all), I will do my very best to try and understand your argument. If I do not understand what you are saying, then I will not put it on my flow or vote on it. If you go slow, I will be more inclined to understand you and flow what you are saying. Again, not on the flow/don't understand = I won't vote on it.
Conditionality - This is fine. Though if you decide to kick anything, kick it earlier in the debate, don't wait until the 2NR unless it is strategic to do so. Please also make sure that your arguments are not contradictory - I have had to explain to teams about why running a Capitalism K on how the government perpetuates capitalism and then also running a CP where the Federal Government is the actor is ironic. In any case, kick the whichever argument is weaker and explain why Condo is good. Also, don't advocate for an unconditional position and then proceed to kick it or drop it. That would be bad.
Cross-applying - Don't just say "cross-apply my responses with Contention 1 on the Aff Case with Contention 2 on the Neg Case." This doesn't mean anything. Show me specifically how you group arguments together and explain how exactly your responses are better than your opponent's. Moreover, show me how your cross-application effectively answers their arguments - Does it de-link a disadvantage? Does it turn an argument? Does it effectively make Aff's actor in the plan powerless? Does it take out a crucial piece of evidence? What exactly does your cross-application do and how does it help you win the debate?
Dropped Arguments + Extensions - In regards to dropped contentions, subpoints, or impacts, I will personally extend all contentions, arguments, impacts, etc. that you individually tell me to extend. For all those arguments that were not extended and were dropped by the opponent, I will NOT personally extend myself. You must tell me to extend all dropped arguments or I will consider it dropped by you as well. All dropped contentions, subpoints, impacts, etc. should not be voter issues for the side that dropped it. I will drop all voter issues that were stated in the rebuttal if they were dropped by your side.
I did Interp, so my facial expressions will be turned "on" for the debate. If I like something, I will probably be nodding at you when you speak. Please do not feel intimidated if I look questioned or concerned when you speak. It does not show that you are losing the debate, nor does it show that you will be getting less speaks. However, if I seems like I am genuinely confused or have just put my pen down, you have lost me.
In regards to all debates, write the ballot for me, especially in the rebuttal speeches. Tell me why you win the round, and weigh arguments against each other!
ALSO, SIGNPOST, SIGNPOST, and SIGNPOST. The easier you make it for me to follow you in the round, the easier I can flow and be organized, and the easier you can win. Trust me, nothing's worse than when you're confused. KEEP THE ROUND CLEAN!
Don't be a jerk. It's the easiest way to lose speaker points. (Or even perhaps the round!) Good POI's/CX Q's and a good sense of humor get you higher speaks.
Links/Impacts - Be smart with this. I'm not a big fan of linking everything to nuclear war, unless you can prove to be that there is beyond a reason of a doubt that nuclear war occurs. So two things about impacts/links - the more practical and pragmatic you can make them, the better. I'm more inclined to buy well warranted and substantiated links to arguments. For example:
Plea bargaining --> incarceration --> cycle of poverty (These arguments are linked together and make logical sense. If we added "nuclear war" after "cycle of poverty," I'll just stare at you weirdly.)
Second, truth v. tech also applies with impacts and links, so if the Aff brings up a nuclear war will be caused by Trump as a diversionary tactic due to more immigration, and the Neg refutes that logically by taking out a link, I'll probably buy their argument (see the truth v. tech example I give). If the Neg doesn't respond, then the argument is valid. However, if the Neg is able to essentially group arguments and respond to them while weighing and shows me that even if they didn't answer this argument, Neg wins most everything else, I may still vote Neg.
I firmly believe that debate is not a game. It is an educational opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and to communicate efficiently between groups of people. Please don't try to make debate more complicated than it already is.
In regards to evidence in all debates: Yes, you need it - and should have a good amount of it. I know you only get 20 minutes to prep in Parli, and that you're not allowed internet prep (at some tournaments). But I need you to substantiate all claims with evidence. It doesn't have to be all subpoints and for every argument, but I will definitely be less inclined to vote for you if you only have one citation in the 19 minutes you speak, while your opponents have 7+ citations in the total 19 minutes they speak. Do not give me 7 minutes of analytics with no evidence at all. More evidence = more compelling. That being said, make sure that you also have a very strong amount of analytics as well. Don't just give me a lot of evidence without good analytics. Good analysis props up evidence and evidence supports good analysis. I would also much rather have a 4-5 good/solid pieces of evidence over 10+ trashy cards that don't help your case or add much to the debate. Essentially what I'm trying to say here is that good analysis > bad evidence any day, any round, and QUALITY > QUANTITY!!!
Do not CHEAT and make up cards, or clip cards, or anything of the like. Just don't. I will give you an automatic loss if you choose to do so. (Please don't make me do this...)
Time yourselves using whatever method you feel comfortable with! iPhone, SmartWatch, computer timer, etc. If you are taking prep, please announce it for me and your competitor to hear. Flashing or sending documents does not count as prep, though this needs to be taken care of in an expeditious manner. If you are caught abusing prep time, I will tank your speaks.
WEIGH - WEIGH - WEIGH!!! This is SO IMPORTANT, especially when debates come down to the wire. The team that does the better weighing will win the round if it's super tight! I won't weigh for you. Make my job easy and weigh. Again, as pieced together from previous parts of the paradigm, even if a team drops 3 out of the 5 arguments, if the team is able to show that the two arguments they do win outweigh the 3 arguments they lost, I will be more inclined to vote for that team that does the better weighing. I also love world comparisons, so weigh the world of the Affirmative and Negative and tell me which one is better for society, people, etc. after the implementation or non-implementation of the plan!
I will not disclose after the round (if I'm judging in the Coast Forensics League)! I usually disclose after invites though, given enough time. Either way, if you have questions about the round, please feel free to come and ask me if you aren't in round! I'll make myself visible throughout the tournament! If you can't find me, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the round! Please also feel free to contact me after the tournament regarding RFDs and comments!
Ok. Now onto my favorite events of Speech and Debate. The IE's. First, I did Interp for a lot of my years competing, specifically DI, DUO, and OI. I've also done EXPOS (INF) as well. Take the Platform Events paradigm with a grain of salt. While there are many things that you could do to get the "1" in the room, I am particularly looking at several things that put you over the top.
For Extemp (IX, DX) - I will flow your speech as thoroughly as I can. Please expect to have CITATIONS - at the minimum: news organization and date (month, day, year). An example: "According to Politico on February 13th of 2019..." If you have the author, even better - "John Smith, a columnist for Politico, writes on February 13th of 2019..." Please note that fabricating or making up citations or evidence is cheating and you will be given the lowest rank in the room and reported to Tab. You must have strong analysis within your speech. This analysis should supplement your evidence and your analysis should explain why your evidence is pertinent in answering the question. Good evidence and analysis trumps pretty delivery any day. Most importantly, make sure that you ANSWER THE QUESTION - I cannot give you a high rank if you do not answer the question.
For Impromptu (IMP) - I will flow your points as thoroughly as I can. I expect to see a thesis at the end of the intro and two to three well developed examples and points that support your thesis. While you do not have to have citations like Extemp, I would like to see specificity. Good analysis is also important and you need to make sure that your analysis ties into the thesis that you give me at the top of the intro. I also don't really like personal stories as examples and points in the Impromptu. I feel like personal stories are really generic and can always be canned. However, if done well and tied in well, personal stories do enhance the Impromptu! Use your discretion during prep time to decide if you want to use a personal story in your speech and how effective your personal story is. I also give bonus points and higher ranks to originality rather than canned speeches. Most importantly, make sure that you clearly develop your points and examples and explain why they apply to your thesis. I will default to California High School Speech Association (CHSSA) rules for Impromptu prep - 2 minutes of prep, with 5 minutes speaking - unless told otherwise by Tab/Tournament Officials.
Time signals for Impromptu and Extemp: With Extemp, I will give you time signals from 6 minutes left and down, Impromptu from 4 left and down. 30 seconds left will be indicated with a "C," 15 seconds left will be indicated with a closed "C," I will count down with my fingers for the last 10 seconds of the speech, with a fist at 7 or 5 minutes. I will show you what this looks like before you speak so you know what each signal looks like. With Impromptu prep, I will verbally announce how much prep is left: "1 minute left," "30 seconds left," "15 seconds." I will say "Time" when prep has ended. If I forget to give you time signals: 1. I fervently apologize; 2. This is probably a good thing since I was so invested in your speech or getting comments in; 3. You will NOT be responsible any time violations if you go overtime because it was my fault that you went overtime in the first place. #3 only applies if I literally forget to give you time signals; ex: I give you a time signal for 6 minutes left, but not 5, 4, 3, 2, or 1. If I forget to give you a signal for 4 minutes left, but get everything else, you're not off the hook then. I will also not stop you if you go beyond the grace period. Continue speaking until you have finished your speech.
For Original Advocacy and Original Oratory (OA/OO) - I will be primarily concerned with content. I will be looking for establishment of a clear problem (harms) and how that is plaguing us/society (inherency), and then I will be looking for a solution of some sort to address this problem (solvency). There must be some combination of these three in your speech. I will also be looking for evidence, analysis, and a strong synthesis between the two. Good speeches will have solid harms AND will explain how the solution solves their harms. Delivery should be natural, not canned or forced and facial expressions should not be over exaggerated.
For Expository Speaking/Informative Speaking (EXPOS/INF) - Again, primarily concerned with content. While Visual Aids (VAs) are important, they should serve to guide the speech, not distract me. That being said, I do enjoy interactive VAs that not only enhance the piece, but make me think about what you are saying. While puns and humor are both important, jokes should have a purpose in guiding your speech and enhancing it, and should not be included for the sole purpose of making anyone laugh. While I think that there doesn't necessarily need to be a message at the end of the speech, I should most definitely be informed of the topic that you are speaking to me about and I should've learned something new by the end of the 10 minute speech. Transitions from aspect to aspect in the speech should be clear and should not leave me confused about what you are talking about.
General Stuff for Platform Events:
1. Content > Delivery (Though I did Interp, so delivery is pretty important to me as well. Kinda like a 60-65% content, 35-40% delivery.)
What I have below is taken from Sherwin Lai's Speech Paradigm for Platform Events:
2. Projection and Enunciation are not the same as volume.
3. Repetitive vocal patterns, distracting hand gestures, robotic delivery, and unneeded micromovements will only hurt you.
4. Pacing, timing, and transitions are all important - take your time with these.
5. Natural Delivery > Forced/Exaggerated
6. Time Signals for OO, OA, and EXPOS - I am more than happy to give time signals, but since I am not required to give time signals for these events, I will not hold myself personally responsible if I forget to give signals to you or if you go overtime. It is your responsibility to have figured out time before the tournament started.
I am most well versed in DI, OI, and DUO, but as a coach, I've worked with DI, OI, HI, POI, OPP, and DUO.
For Dramatic Interpretation, Dramatic Duo Interpretations, and Dramatic Original Prose and Poetry (DI, DUO, OPP) - Subtlety > Screamy, any day, any time. I'm not against screaming, but they should be during appropriate moments during the piece. Emotions should build over time. At no point should you jump from deadly quiet and calm to intense and screaming. Gradually build the emotion. Show me the tension and intensity over time. Screaming when you erupt during the climax is perfectly acceptable. Further, intensity can be shown without screaming, crying, or yelling. The quiet moments of the piece are usually the ones I find most powerful. THINK and REACT to what you are saying. Emotion should come nearly effortlessly when you "are" your piece. Don't "act" like the mom who lost her daughter in a school shooting, BE that mom! Transitions and timing are SUPER IMPORTANT, DON'T RUSH!!!
For Humorous Interpretation, Humorous Duo Interpretations, and Humorous Original Prose and Poetry (HI, DUO, OPP) - Facial expressions, characterization, and blocking take the most importance for me. I want to see each character develop once you introduce it throughout the piece. Even if the character doesn't appear all the time, or only once or twice throughout the script, I want to see that each character is engaged throughout the piece itself. Most importantly, please remember that humor without thought is gibberish. What I mean by this is that you should be thinking throughout your piece. Jokes are said for a reason - use facial expressions to really hone in on character's thought and purpose. For example, if a character A says a joke and character B doesn't get it, I should see character B's confused reaction. I will also tend to reward creative blocking and characterization. However, note that blocking should not be overly distracting.
For Programmed Oral Interpretation, Prose Interpretation, and Poetry Interpretation (POI, PRO, POE) - Regarding emotion, facial expressions, and character development, see the above text in the two paragraphs above regarding DI and HI. Personally, I place a little more emphasis on binder tech - the more creative the better! I think binder events are the synthesis of good binder tech, good script selection, and good facial expressions/emotion. Obviously, it's harder to do, since you have multiple characters in multiple parts of your speech and each have a distinct mood and personality.
For Oratorical Interpretation (OI) - Please err on the side of natural emotion over forced facial expressions. I am not a big fan when speakers try to force emotion or simply convey no emotion when speaking. Script selection is obviously a big deal in this event. Choose a speech with a promising and important message and see if you can avoid overdone speeches.
General Stuff for Interpretation Events:
A lot of this and my Interpretation paradigm is very much similar to Sherwin Lai's Speech Paradigm. He and I agree on a lot of things, including what I will write below.
1. Subtlety > Screamy - I tend to enjoy the small nuances of emotion. Build the emotion throughout, don't go from "0 to 100 real quick." Don't force emotion.
2. "Acting is reacting." - Each movement and action should have a purpose. Swaying or distracting micro-movements are bad. When one character or partner says something or does something, there should be a reaction from another character or by the other partner. Watch what is happening and react accordingly.
3. Let the eyes speak. Eyes are underutilized in Interp - I feel like everyone is so focused on facial expression and eyebrows/body language, that they forget about the eyes. Intensity can be portrayed in absolute silence.
4. If I am not laughing during your speech, it's not because it's not funny. I am just super focused on you and watching every little part of your blocking and your facial expressions.
5. Please watch body position - misplaced feet, hands, or mistimed blocking is a big no-no.
6. No blocking > bad blocking - you don't need to be doing something ALL the time. Sometimes, standing still and doing nothing is better than always doing something.
7. Use pacing and timing to your advantage.
8. Quality of cut is fair game.
9. Message of the piece - I don't think that there necessarily needs to be a super strong message to the piece itself. I'd be totally fine if the piece was literally 7 short stories that were interwoven together and each story had it's own little thing going on. I'm more concerned about the performance/technical blocking itself. That being said, if I literally do not understand what is going on in the piece, we have a big problem. Exception to this is OI.
10. THINK!!!!!!!! And do not let the energy wane!
11. Time Signals for DI, HI, DUO, OPP, POI/POE/PRO, OI - I am more than happy to give time signals, but since I am not required to give time signals for these events, I will not hold myself personally responsible if I forget to give signals to you or if you go overtime. It is your responsibility to have figured out time before the tournament started.
I have only judged Congress a handful of times, so please take what I write with a grain of salt.
In regards to speeches, I do not value speakers who speak at the beginning of a session more than those who speak towards the end, or vice versa. Opening speeches and the first couple speeches (around 2-3 on each side) afterwards should set up the main arguments as of why the chamber should be voting in favor or against the piece of legislation. After the 5th speech on each side, you should really be clashing with arguments, impacting out both evidence and analysis, and weighing arguments against each other. Rehashing arguments made by other Congressional Debaters or "throwing more evidence" as a response to arguments is unimpressive.
During cross, if you just toss around random questions that do not actually pertain to the debate, your ranks will suffer. Remember to attack ideas and engage with the speaker who just spoke - save the argumentation for the speech. If you get the other speaker to concede something and you are able to use that in your speech, ranks will go up.
Respond to the actual links or the claims themselves and convince me why your claim is stronger. I welcome direct responses and refutations to another Congressperson's arguments, though please make it clear whom you are responding to and what the argument is. For example: "Next, I would like to refute Rep. Liu's argument that this bill would disadvantage states in the Midwest."
I'm a big stickler for Parliamentary Procedure, which means that if you are a PO, mistakes will be costly. Further, if you are acting like a biased PO, favoring certain speakers or debaters over other, you will be dropped.
Also, please note that "motion" is a noun. "Move" is a verb. So it's not: "I motion to adjourn." It would be: "I move to adjourn." PO's, remember that you cannot "assume unanimous consent" - a member of the chamber must ask for unanimous consent.
Feel free to ask me any questions about the paradigm, both speech and/or debate before the round begins. Or feel free to email me questions about my paradigm at email@example.com.
If you are confused about the RFD/comments I have written for either speech and/or debate, please also feel free to contact me whenever you'd like to at the above email.
GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!!! GO. FIGHT. WIN.
For all debate events- I don’t encourage spreading, though it is allowed. I prefer to have debaters speak at a normal pace so that I am able to hear all of your arguments and use them to help make my decision.
Hi! My name is Sydney O’Connell. I competed for Northland Christian School in Houston, TX for four years and I'm now a junior at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. I primarily focused on Congressional debate and Extemp, dabbling in worlds schools as well. In WSD, I competed locally, as well as at NSDA Nationals, the Kandi King RR, and Greenhill. In Congress, I competed on the national circuit for three years finaling at tournaments such as ASU, Berkeley, UT, and more; I qualified to the TOC my junior and senior year and TFA state sophomore, junior, and senior year.
First and foremost, don't feel like you need to change yourself as a debater. I will evaluate you all equally regardless of your technique and style.
Don’t lie about/make up your sources.
- Please stay active in the round. Even if you've already spoken, keep asking questions or getting up to question. It makes my rankings a lot easier when competitors are active the entirety of the round.
Think about the kind of speech you are about to give. Is it a constructive AFF/NEG, Rebuttal, Crystallization, Refutation, Combination? If you find yourself in a position where arguments have already been said, adjust your speech to bring a new perspective to the round or wait until the next item to speak.
- I'm not a fan of one representative giving 2 speeches on the same legislation as it increases rehash and takes away opportunities from other debaters to speak.
For POs: Please be efficient. I'm not asking you to abbreviate parliamentary procedure but think about your word economy when calling for speakers and questioners after the first cycle. If you make a few small mistakes, it will not affect your rank, but if I see consistent mistakes it will.
I am looking at teams that are sticking to the heart of motion throughout the entire debate. I want to hear a cohesive story down the bench.
You need to have logical warrants, links, and weighing of the principle and practical down the bench. Examples are good but they don’t count as links or warrants.
I would like to see a comparative worlds at the end of the debate.
Treat me like a traditional judge please.
- I'm fine with disads, counterplans, and plans.
- Do not spread. please.
Have fun :)
Be respectful and be kind
Debate is an inclusive and educational activity, so if you are racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, or anything that is targeted or harmful to a community, you will get dropped.
Harker, now UChicago, did Congress all 4 years of HS.
I reward people who are prepared to speak on both sides, actually refute people instead of just namedropping, PO efficiently or at least make an effort to, have high quality evidence, unique and high quality intros, jokes in speeches, and GOOD QUESTIONS/LINES OF QUESTIONING IN CX
Things I won't reward: Politicking to stop ppl from speaking, not coming prepared for the debate, only giving constructives even late on bills, not filling the time on your speeches, canned intros, speaking from your laptop.
Also I really like when Congress rounds are fun, so try to make rounds fun, don't be cutthroat, use humor, support each other, don't get mad when people don't know procedure, Congress procedure is stupidly complicated and everyone does it different, I promise you I don't care.
Here are some additional criteria I will use. Thank you!
Debaters must speak clearly Make truthful arguments with real examples/stats/facts Show me that you are listening to your fellow debaters, not just waiting to talk Be respectful to your fellow debaters, judges, and officials Do not interrupt others & or be disruptive in any way NO racist or sexist or hateful arguments.
UPDATE FOR WSD @ TFA:
I am pretty new to world's but I judged every single round from prelims to finals at the Berkeley tournament, so my experience is not null.
Big things for me: I like clash, I want yall to answer the question, and I reward good on the spot analysis of your opponents argument, don't get so caught up in your case that your forget to answer your opponent's argument. Also I am fine with speed, but I don't think its necessary in worlds and honestly I prefer speech's that are stylistic and given like a PA. Please let me know if you have any questions and congrats on making it to state!
IE: I am pretty open to any stylistic choices or preparations of a speech/script, it is an Interpretation after all, so creative choices are welcome!
Extemp- You should have ample amount of evidence for the three main claims you decide to make. Please have your speech as structured as possible as it makes it easier for me to follow along and judge. It’s better for your speech to run 5 minutes, but be clear and conscie than for you to stay up there for seven minutes rambling on.
OO/INFO- There should be at least three sources in your speech. I don’t mind when you try and break the very formulaic structure of OO or info, but I should be able to easily follow along. I.E. you dont have to go “But first, then, finally” but hey whatver works for you, works for me, speak clear, be confident, and have fun up there.
HI- Use your space, HI is about physical humor as much as its about the jokes you are telling! Racist/misogynistic/Xenophobia etc humor is not funny. It’s not.
DI- Be careful with your content, DI’s are serious and I understand that, but be careful with how graphic you get. I am not a squimish judge so curse words dont bother me and mature material is fine, just try and be as tasteful as possible. And DONT mis-represent a character I.E. if you are playing a forty year old mom who just suffered the loss of her son, thats fine, but if you are speaking for an identity you cannot identify with, maybe not. DONT USE SLURS. Even for effect. It’s not needed. Use the space and be comfortable with silence. There is a lot of pauses and silence in DI and when its intentional l it works really well, so dont be afraid of it!
PR/PO- Don’t let your binder fall flat. I don’t think there is one right way to hold the binder, but there are a million wrong ways. It’s awesome when you find a way to incorporate the binder for techy stuff, but its def not necessary.
Your teaser should give me a clue about what your piece is about, (AND IT SHOULD BE MEMORIZED) it doesnt have to be a summary, but a couple of lines to let me know where the piece ie headed is great!
TIME. Be concious of it. Don’t run 10:29 or 10:30, once the fist is up WRAP IT UP.
If you forget your piece, take a moment to pause and collect your thoughts, try not to show it in your face and dont worry about it too much.
Be respectful to other performers, if you are on your phone, eating loudly, sleeping, or being distracting in anyway. I might factor it into your rank. It’s not cool, respect eachothers work.
First, keep in mind that congress is a debate event, which means that there should be refutations and clash in pretty much every speech. This shows me that you are engaged in the round and know what you are talking about.
For the PO: Show me that you know how to run a round. I will rank you fairly if you show me that you know how to run a congress round and all the procedures and little things along with it.
In general, make sure that you maintain good eye contact rather than reading off of your screen, exude confidence in round, and make sure that you keep the round going rather than restating old points
I am looking for a good understanding of the matter at issue and content that promotes healthy debate. I value well-structured and cogent arguments with relevant evidence. I prefer quality over quantity! So please lean towards clarity of delivery rather than the number of words you can get out. I am a lay judge, so if your content is not clear to me you will hurt your ranking. Feel free to do a roadmap for me (off time if allowed in the event rules).
Claim uniqueness is important and entering new evidence and unique perspectives always make for a more interesting debate, and scores points with me. How well you defend your arguments or how relevant and incisive your questions/refutations are will rank you higher in my book.
Overall, I am looking for erudite content as well as an effective speaking style. The speakers with an optimal combination of both will get the highest ranks in my judging.
I would like to extend my best wishes to all debaters. I understand that many hours of research and preparation have gone into this before this actual event. That is incredible.
These are the things that I would like to see from a debater
1) Speech delivered clearly and slowly.
2) Precise and effective arguments on negative or affirmative side.
3) Respectful conduct with judges and other fellow debaters
4) Respect the rules and follow them
5) Good eye contact with the audience
Overall impactful speech that hooks audience to the topic. Please have fun. Getting this far is a milestone achieved in itself !
I am looking forward to being a judge and listening to the speeches and cross examination. Good luck !!
I am a high school counselor. My husband is the speech and debate coach at Westlake High School in Austin, TX.
I am a lay judge. You need to speak very, very slowly (like you are having a casual conversation). I will not flow the round; however, I will take copious notes. If I am staring at you, you are probably speaking too quickly and I cannot understand what you are saying. If I have my head down and am taking lots of notes, that means I am following the arguments.
Instead of trying to cover every single argument in the round, I would rather you choose the most important arguments and explain those arguments thoroughly.
I will not evaluate new arguments that are brought up in the summary and/or final focus.
I will base your speaker points on the clarity with which you speak. I will dock your speaker points if you are rude or condescending. For example, if you cut your opponent off when they are trying to explain something during crossfire, I will dock your speaker points.
In the end, the arguments that are going to win you the round are ones that are clearly and consistently explained.
Don’t be rude, condescending, or otherwise insensitive - it says more about you and anyone you’re referring to.
I certainly enjoy good humor/jokes and I think certainly make the debates interesting.
Focus on the merits/demerits of the bill - how well you speak only goes so far, what you say matters a lot more.
I also enjoy well researched and well laid out speeches with good transitions - these factors make it much easier for me to relate to your perspective.
Speak passionately - it leads me to think that you believe in what you’re saying.
I like POs a lot - it's not an easy role to play. That said, be sure you’re aware of and enforce the parliamentary procedures appropriately.
If you are not the first, do make an effort to refute/corroborate prior speakers - it shows that you’re attentive, able to adjust to what is happening around you, and also that you really care about your cause.
Try to not rehash too much and bring up unique points, it advances the debate and makes you stand out.
Competitors should hold themselves to a high standard of etiquette.
Reasonable arguments are the best kind of arguments.
Social justice is favored.
Your judge does not shake hands.
I’ve been a parent judge since 2019 with experiences in Congress, Public Forum, and Lincoln Douglas.
In my judging, I weigh more on how the debaters make their argumentation clear and understandable to the audience than how much information they cover. Appreciate a complete argument with definitions, claim, reasoning, and impact.
In addition, real-world impacts matter. I value a strong and convincing rebuttal focusing on key points/facts that can materialize.
Very importantly, follow the tournament code of conduct and respect your competitors and partner.
Enjoy debate and have fun!