California Invitational Berkeley Debate
2023 — Berkeley, CA/US
Varsity LD Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
This is my third time judging LD. Please speak clearly and not too fast. Explain your arguments thoroughly and signpost in rebuttals. Also, be respectful to your opponents. Good luck and have fun!
Talk slow, don’t use jargon, keep it simple and focus on conveying your arguments. Try to talk to me as much as you can, act as if you're teaching me about the subject, don't merely read your case/flow. No need to send me any documents. I don't respect arguments that catastrophize or claim that everyone will die unless you have very strong reasoning and evidence, all of which is articulated.
Judging Philosophy - Tim Alderete -The Meadows School - firstname.lastname@example.org
I've tried to make this much shorter:
-It's either Aff prep or Neg prep - No one preps for free.
- Text, from a debater I just judged to their coach, who is a friend of mine: “What is your friend on? He started my timer early because I took a deep breath.” Me: I'm gonna put that in my Paradigm!
-I do want to be on the email chain, but I won't be reading along with your speech doc - email@example.com
-I am cantankerous about Prep time - for me, it ends when you hit Send on the Email.
-The majority of my decisions will revolve around a lack of flowing or line by line structure.
-I will vote for most any coherent argument. A "coherent" argument must be one that I can defend to the team or debater who lost. Many think this makes me interventionist, but they don't pref me anyway.
-I not the best judge for bad arguments, the Politics Disad, or dumb theory. I will try to take them as seriously as you do, but everyone has their limits. (For example, I have never voted for disclosure theory, because I have never heard an intelligent argument defending it.)
-I do not vote for unethical arguments. The "Contact Information Disclosure" argument is dangerous and unethical because it abets online predators. It will receive a loss and minimum points.
-I don't give great speaker points. To compensate, if you show me decent flows you can get up to an extra point. Please do this Before I enter the ballot.
-I "can handle" your "speed" and I will only call "Clearer" once or twice if you are unclear.
-I have judged and coached a lot of LD rounds – I like philosophical arguments more than you may expect.
-I have judged and coached a lot of Policy rounds – I tend to think like a Policy debater.
Experience: 4 years of PubFo and Parli at the circuit level
Speaker Points: I'm an old-school debater. I grew up debating at the dinner table so I'm going to be looking keenly for how well you listen to your opponent, actually understand what they say and how they think, and how well you articulate and explain yourself to them. This means you should be on your A-game during cross-examination. I also like to see your speaking style. I did a lot of OO and Impromptu so I'm pretty critical of this as well. I'm going to determine a winner based on what you say, not how you say it. But how you say it will go a long way towards determining how influential what you say is to winning.
Speed- I've been out of circuit debate for a while so proceed at a reasonable speed. No spreading please.
Ks are fine but don't stretch it. Only use it if it's necessary. I'm here to listen to something substantive about a real-world issue. Theory shells are fine but make sure it's well-structured and concise, especially if it's abstract reasoning. Sell all Ks and T-shells directly to me.
Topicality- Only do this if it's necessary. Debate over topicality shouldn't run past the first cross-examination, otherwise the debate becomes pointless. Don't try to win on topicality because I want to be able to weigh contentions on a common framework.
Impact Calculus- This is where you're going to make your money. All contentions should have a well-supported and well-defined impact. All impacts should be related directly to the value criterion, then value, and then the resolution such that the last thing you say should literally end with "...which is why we affirm/negate the resolution...(insert resolution)." Disads and extensions are good. I think it's important to the identity of a debate to exchange perspectives on the same idea. In the end I will be the ultimate judge of which impacts are valid and which impacts weigh more.
Respect- I spent all four years of my high school debate career actively working against the notion that your opponents are your enemies. Yes, you are debating against them but they're across the table from you because they share the same love for debate as you do. Appreciate the fact that they are there and treat them with respect, otherwise, I might just give you a loss. Watch your demeanor, be nice, and mean it.
Flow- I flow debates. If you're talking and I'm not writing it means that you didn't come across clearly in your last point and I'm trying to figure it out or that I'm waiting for you to say something substantive. Sometimes I will look up at you if I think you're making an important point. Don't waste your time and energy worrying over what I'm thinking because it could be the exact opposite. Make sure you address all of your opponent's points on the flow. Internal links are huge. If you don't link your points and support those links with evidence I won't buy it. Signpost everything. If you didn't explain something properly the first time i'll give you one more opportunity to clarify and validate your point. I look at the flow holistically so don't lose it over small things but if they add up it's going to make a difference, especially in a close round.
This is the first time I’ve judged this event.
Please keep your delivery slow and clear;I appreciate clear analysis of why you should win in the final focus.
HI. You can call me Aaron. Currently a Junior at UT and I did LD at Northland Christian School in Houston, tx for 3 years and competed on the national circuit my last 2. I stuck to mostly DAs, CPs, T and Theory, but I've been exposed to just about everything at this point.
Add me to chain please: firstname.lastname@example.org
- BE CLEAR. I haven't judged in about a year so if it's early in the tournament let me get warmed up. Go a little slower on tags, card names, and especially blocks of analytics.
- If you're going to blitz through analytics please send them. If you don't, I'll probably miss some which hurts you.
- Please do framework interaction.
- Collapse and your speaks will be happier
- The less I have to wait before the round begins the happier I will be
tech>truth (but won't vote off an argument that is incomprehensible---probably won't be an issue)
2/3 - Ks (don't expect that I know the lit tho, explain)
3 - phil (I'm fine w the more common stuff like kant, hobbes, etc., but anything more nuanced pls explainnnn) Likely if you really know what you're talking about, I'll be able to catch on.
4 - tricks (I can probably evaluate them ok just never read tricks in high school so explain well)
*If any questions feel free to ask me before rd or email/facebook message me.*
- 29-30 : makes the strategic decision when collapsing, good explanation, writes out the path to the ballot (I think you should break)
- 28-28.9 : either makes the strategic decision or has good explanation and the one you didn't do isn't horrendous (you're on the bubble to break)
- 27-28 : don't make strategic decisions and explain poorly
- 26 : defend something racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, etc.
Local (I'm pretty lenient I think)
- I'll likely give speaks by the 0.5
- 29-30 : speak clearly, sound knowledgeable about the topic, and make good arguments
- 28-29 : don't do one of the above
- 27-28: don't do two of the above
- +1 to speaks if you don't use all your prep time (by like a decent amount)
My name is Aida Bathily
I debated for Success Academy LD/PF and currently debate for Wake Forest University.
love the kritk and LARP debate
Please add my email address, email@example.com, to the email chain before the round starts. It would be appreciated if you refrain from spreading.
Before I begin, I want to credit my friend Vishnu for a great paradigm that I used to make mine.
As a judge, please consider me an experienced flay judge rather than a circuit judge.
I prefer if you pre-flow before the round and are ready to start as soon as you enter the room. I will not tolerate post-rounding from coaches. If post-rounding from competitors is necessary, please keep it respectful and brief.
Debate carries significant educational value for me, and I don't view it as a game. The gamification of debate, especially in LD, has led to inequities. Progressive argumentation only deepens the gap between big and small schools. Therefore, I believe traditional debate is the most educational way to approach this activity.
Your job is to make my job easier. The less truthful your argument, the more work you have to do to convince me. While I prioritize technical arguments, egregiously unreasonable arguments will not be considered. I accept theory only if there is demonstrated abuse in the round, based on CHSSA/NSDA rules.
I am not a fan of nebulous or hyperspecific theory shells. I prefer clear author and philosophy explanation for Ks. Cross-examination is not a major concern.
In LD, I am most easily convinced by substance and policy debate, as well as traditional philosophy debate. Framework debate is good, but I am not a huge fan of value/VC debate. Progressive debate has a high threshold for me.
Tricks, performance Ks, K Affs, and RVIs are a byproduct of debaters seeking to win the "game" of debate. However, you win by genuinely convincing me of your argument, not by utilizing ridiculous strategies.
Dougherty Valley '21, Cal '25
Adults in debate need to stop involving children in their weird clout chaser politics and treat this activity like the educational space that it is.
be comprehensible/go slower - i dont judge as often as you compete
probably better for the K now than I was 2 years ago - I still require explanation and examples to the same extent though
Debated mostly in LD but went to policy camp and some policy tournaments. If you're a PF-er you shouldn't have counteradvocacies but other than that I will judge it like it’s a policy round - read cards
add me to the email chain (firstname.lastname@example.org).
if you're short on time, just read this top section:
don't overinvest, have fun
Tech>Truth, but it’s easier to win more truthful arguments.
arguments require a claim and a warrant and (eventually) an implication. i wont pretend you said something you didn't and have no problem voting on lack of explanation or not hearing something.
online: record speeches locally if online, flash analytics if possible
email chain should be set up at start time
- you don't need to adapt to novices if on the national circuit
- sending a marked copy does not constitute prep, requesting a doc where "unread cards are deleted" does
- tell me to judge kick or I won't: condo assumes 2NR collapse exists.
- circumvention and impact turns are nice
- you can insert rehighlights
- number/delineate your arguments
- will reward fun, high-risk strategies such as 1-off disad, a massive impact turn , 7 minutes of case turns or circumvention etc.
- "independent voting issues" are rarely ever independent or voting issues
- if you or your opponent might read theory or topicality as a viable out, read the "rant" under the theory section. everything else in the paradigm is extremely standard and you'll be fine even if you don't read it.
- disclosure is good, read theory
- happy to give the "i don't get it" rfd
- defaults: comparative worlds (LD), no judge kick, "competing interps", no rvi, drop the debater on T and condo and disclosure theory and drop the argument on all other theory, fairness and education are voters, everything other than fairness and education is not a voter
-clipping if you do catch clipping, do not make clipping an argument in the debate - stake the round and show me the recording.
- ev ethics - any misrepresentation of evidence (stopping in the middle of a paragraph, if the article concludes the opposite way after the card ends, mis-cited) is an automatic L even if not called out. if your link is dead but the article can be procured through a different method you won't lose.
- i expect evidence to have cites/qualifications and not be bracketed unless offensive language. read theory
- i read a lot of ev, the quality of the warrant is the quality of the argument.
- extend warrants, weigh, and answer warrants. implicate each argument, don't leave it to me to do the work for you
- you still need to answer the disadvantage
- this just shifts the burden of explanation, it doesn't magically make extinction not a problem anymore. that being said, you should still leave some time for the framing portion of the debate
- politics disads are cool
- do impact calc
- no new links/IL/impacts/uq arguments in the 2NR, but may use cards to answer (new) 1AR arguments
- 2NR/2AR impact calc isn't new
- love smart and creative counterplans
- start the solvency debate in the 1NC (card or analytic), not the 2AC. burden of proof on the negative!
- defining "sufficiency framing" isn't enough - make it contextual.
- read CP theory but don't speed through blocks. Counterplan theory is generally a question of research and predictability, having a specific advocate is important.
- i do not have a predisposition for/against condo/dispo bad in LD (they're good in policy)
- err neg/drop the argument on 1AR theory is persuasive in LD
- LD only: while i do think non-resolutional actor CPs in LD don't provide an opportunity cost to the plan insofar that the aff's obligation is to prove an actor's moral obligation, i will still evaluate them as they are read and debated unless that argument is made.
Kritiks (on the negative):
- good k debates are cool but rare - consequently good k debates with explanation and knowledge of your argument will get great speaks and bad k debates meant to take your opponent by surprise or rack up easy wins with blocks will get extremely deflated speaks.
- the more the negative wins their link the easier it is for them to win Framework
- filter alt solvency through Framework - and actually explain it please!
- please actually warrant your fairness arguments on Framework - 'moots the aff' absent an explanation of why consequences are specifically key is probably not enough
- LD only: Link walls must be in the 1NC. New 2NR links from the 1AC are new and will not be evaluated. New 2NR links based on the 1AR will be evaluated. In policy, new 2NC links are fine
- not relying on precluding the aff = higher speaks.
- extensions of 'ontology' and similar broad claims need to be much more robust than you think they do. you can't just say the buzzwords "natal alienation" or "gratuitous violence" or "metaphysics" without telling me 1) what they are and 2) how they implicate progress.
- i will vote for warranted K "tricks" but keep the overview shorter rather than longer please
- vagueness in cx bad
- particularity vs Ks is good and Ks should either link turn or impact turn this and overinvest time on this argument
Kritiks (on the affirmative):
- T-USFG/Framework - aff teams can easily out-tech neg teams but i usually went for T/Fwk. Don't care which internal link/impact you choose: fairness, skills, testing, etc. as long as they have an actual impact
- try to answer the case even if you go for T especially the parts that interact with the shell
- you get a perm
- go for presumption if the 1AC is just an impact turn to Framework
- i like T, went for it a lot.
- weighing is essential
- evidence comparison is underutilized
- Rant: Reasonability vs Competing Interps is much less important than you think it is. If the substance tradeoff DA or overpunishment DA by dropping the debater outweighs mitigated interp offense, I will vote against theory because of "reasonability". If neither of those arguments are introduced or leveraged successfully, I will not use reasonability (i.e. there must be some offense vs the interp to vote against theory). if both teams pretend like this part of my paradigm doesn't exist, I'll likely just use competing interps because it causes me less of a headache to evaluate
- RVIs are bad but don't drop them
- if a 1AC theory underview has more than yes/no theory, competing interps/reasonability, dtd/dta, voters you instantly lose 0.5 speaker points for making me flow all that :)
- Interpretations are models of debate, and definitions are the warrants for why those models are predictable - standards should be filtered through predictability
- "semantics first" is not persuasive, precision as an internal link is persuasive
LD Philosophy/Ethical Framework Debates:
- i am much better for literally any other argument
- if your cards and rebuttals do a good job of explaining the syllogism and reasons to prefer(they usually don't), you'll be fine.
- tricks: If there's a clear claim, warrant, and implication to an argument when it is first introduced, then I will flow and evaluate it like any other argument. Even if you go for terrible one-liners that are almost definitively false, you should still collapse and oversell the truth of your arguments.
- "we defend the aff as a general principle" is a topicality issue about implementation.
- general confidence vs modesty bores me - contextualize (with cards) !
CX matters, -0.1 speaks if you shift around your order multiple times when giving it or if you don't label your flows in the 1nc ("next off" is insufficient).
Credit to whoever I copped some lines of this paradigm from
TL;DR mostly trad flow judge. Can judge circuit stuff, rankings go phil (NOT TRICKS PHIL)>LARP=K’s>theory>tricks, i did some PF in HS u can trust me for that as well
I do college debate (BP) which has increased my appreciation for reasonable debate (still tabula rasa tho).
I DO NOT KNOW THE TOPIC LITERATURE OR ANYTHING PLEASE DO NOT TREAT ME LIKE I DO
I don’t want to HAVE to flow off of the doc but put me on the email chain. It is email@example.com
I have adhd and thus some auditory processing problems so if you are a fast spreader go about 80% of full speed especially if it isn’t on the doc. If you’re a clear spreader a lot of problems go away lol.
Hey! I go by she/her pronouns. I’m an FYO who did pretty well at traditional debate and qualified to the TOC my senior year. Not gonna make my paradigm a list of accomplishments because that is lame, just know that I know how debate works.
General stuff (pls read at least this before you have me as a judge):
Round safety is a first priority for me. I had a really traumatizing situation in a final round because of the lack of trigger warnings. If it's a very egregious violation I don’t care if your opponent runs theory or not, your speaks are getting tanked and I may stop the round. This is stolen from my past debate coach’s paradigm (Eva Lamberson), who many of my debate opinions are stolen from, “If you are feeling unsafe in a round, please feel free to email or FB message me and I will intervene in the way you request.”
I like snarky and relaxed debate. If you make me laugh, that's a win. People need to be less afraid to add some spice to the round. Just don’t be mean. This includes being aware of societal imbalances in debate rounds, the level of snarkiness can feel very different based on different power dynamics.
I don’t care what type of argument you run as long as it isn’t offensive.
I try my best to be tabula rasa and tech>truth. Let me be tech by explaining why you win. To do the whole tech thing I want to do I need to know what the warrant is how it functions and why I care.
One more stolen thing from Eva here because I am too lazy to type my own version “Rounds should be accessible to your opponent. This means that you should, of course, use inclusionary language, correct pronouns, content warnings if necessary, etc. but also means that you should not spread complex Ks or tricks or anything otherwise unnecessarily high level against novices, lay debaters, etc. If you do this I will be supremely annoyed and you will be very unhappy with your speaks. What is the point of winning a debate round if your opponent never has a chance to compete?”
Tricks - They annoy me and I probably won’t catch them
Policy/LARP - Go ahead I understand it and like it. Please just do it well. Give me evidence AND give me warrants. If there isn’t analysis or reasoning and you spit cards at me I won’t be happy. I have no strong opinions on condo when it’s small amounts of cp’s but once it gets to like 5 I start thinking it’s defintely bad.
Kritiks - I actually quite enjoy K’s. BUT, I am not super well versed in them. I probably won’t know the nuances of your literature. I will happily vote off of basically any K if you explain it well. I still need the same things as for every argument, warrants and why I care. Performance and non-t stuff is on the table just be very clear about how it functions in the round. Don’t use non-t stuff as an excuse to not have warrants, use it as an excuse to be even clearer.
Phil - I ran some heavier frameworks in high school and feel pretty comfortable with a range of philosophy. Just don’t run it wrong, it will annoy me. Even though I will know a fair amount of philosophies, please still explain clearly to me how I’m supposed to use it to weigh the round. People apply things differently, if you just say your philosophy without explaining you can’t be mad when I don’t use it to weigh exactly how you want me to. So just tell me.
Theory/T - Use sparingly and be very clear. I have very minimal experience with theory and will get confused very easily. I will mess up judging complicated theory. I am not a good judge for you if this is your strat. I know and understand TW and disclosure theory well so those you can definitely feel comfortable running in front of me. If you are running any theory (it most often is disclosure…) as a time suck I will be very very very unhappy. This does not mean I won’t vote off of theory besides those two I listed. I just am not the best judge for evaluating the nuances of those types of rounds.
I find myself to be as flow as it gets for traditional rounds. I care about the warrants and interactions on individual arguments but make sure you tell me why I care at the end. Give me the claim warrant impact and why that impact matters the most under the framework of the round. If you give me those things you are on track for a win as so many traditional debaters are missing one of those things.
On framework, you can run any traditional framework in front of me. Call it like it is though. Don’t give some fake name to util that makes it sound like a completely different framework. Also don’t forget that framework is a lens to view the arguments in the round through, link your arguments back to framework please. I’m always extra happy to watch a traditional debater run an interesting framework in a smart and strategic manner!
Note: Things that are bolded in my paradigm are things I think people are generally looking for or I think are worth noting about my preferences. Read the bottom for my speaks paradigm.
Intro: Hi I'm Austin. I mainly debated LD in high school, but I'm familiar with most other event formats. I graduated from Northland Christian HS in 2020 and UT Austin in 2022 with a psych major phil minor. I'm currently a 2L at Texas Law. I competed on the local and national circuit all four years of high school (and have been judging/coaching consistently since graduating), so I like to think I'm pretty up to date on the technical nuances of LD. Add me to the chain at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to email me with specific questions before the round or thoughts on how I could improve my paradigm!
TLDR paradigm: I don't gut check "bad" arguments; I really love highly technical debates especially on a theoretical layer but I'm good with evaluating policy, kritik-al debate, etc.; I feel like this goes without saying but I will not vote on something I don't understand; by nature (even outside of debate) I default erring on the side of the person who is most logically consistent which means I will not vote for you unless you are ahead on a technical level (absent someone proposing an alternative method for me to evaluate by); I enjoy analytics more than empirics; I love tricks, but I think they're only pedagogically valuable for their ability to boost critical thinking other than that they're generally just for funzies and potentially bad for debate; due to the nature of my paradigm and the debates I typically judge because of it please read the fourth point in the general section as well; lastly my opinion on anything in this paradigm can change, just make the proper arg.
- I default comparative worlds but love truth testing
- I presume neg unless the neg reads an alternative that is farther from the squo than the aff's plan/advocacy (or presume aff/neg args are made, same for permissibility)
- I will vote on literally anything given the proper framing metric and justification
- I will NOT make arguments for you because I believe judge intervention is the worst for the activity; consequently if your opponent does something that propels a model of debate that is sexist/racist/homophobic/transphobic/abelist or something similar I will not drop them unless you mention it. It can be as simple as "they said/did x and that makes debate less accessible so they should lose." Otherwise the only thing I have jurisdiction to do is give them god awful speaks. To clarify if you don't say that they should lose for their discriminatory actions and they are ahead on the tech debate I will vote for them and be very very very sad about it. Please do not make me do this and call them out for being unethical. It's an easy ballot and better for debate.
- you don't have to ask me to flow by ear; I promise I'm both listening and reading your doc (to clarify, I'll catch extemporized blippy analytics)
- I probably default more T>K but that's really up to you
- Weighing makes me happy, as well as a strong fw tie/explanation
- For ethics challenges/evidence ethics calls reference the NSDA guidelines for this year; if the guidebook doesn't make a speaks claim I will either evaluate them myself given the speeches read (if any) or default normal round evaluation (meaning speaks spikes are viable)
- I don't have a default on disclosure at the moment but in debate I defaulted disclosure bad; regardless of my default it doesn't affect my ability to listen to either stance and adjudicate accordingly
- My ability to understand spread/speed is pretty good; feel free to go as fast as you want but please be clear
- Please please please ask your opponent if your practices are accessible before the round so you are 1. not exclusionary and 2. not susceptible to an easily avoidable independent voter; if you don't ask and end up doing something inaccessible you'll probably lose (provided they make it a voting issue); this includes giving trigger warnings
- flex prep is cool
- if you don't read a fw/fw is a wash I'll presume neg (same for voters on t/theory)
- there are only a few norms I think are pretty true; among them are judge intervention bad, no new 2ar arguments, and normal speech times (although these can easily change and I'm coming around to new 2ar args as the default; idk it's complicated)
- you don't have to ask if I am ready for you to speak; I am probably paying attention (to clarify, default I am ready unless I say something that suggests otherwise)
Pt. 1 Pref Shortcuts (by my confidence in my ability to adjudicate and 1 being most confident 5 being least):
Theory/T/Tricks- 1 or 2 (depending on density)
Phil/High Theory- 1 or 2 (depending on density)
K- 1 or 2 (depending on density)
LARP- 1 to 3 (depending on density)
Pt. 2 Pref Shortcuts (by my desire to see them in round and 1 being most desirable 5 being least):
Phil/High Theory- 1
note: I will be happy to adjudicate LARP it's just not my highest preference
- Love these please know what your own plan says though
- I default plans are abusive mainly because I never read one for its PeDaGOgiCaL VaLUe it was always for strategy but don't let this discourage you from reading a plan seriously they're fine
- Honestly severance is cool with me but if they point it out and make a theoretical reason to drop it could be hard to beat back; if they read a condo or dispo CP, however, it becomes a little easier to get out of
- the solvency section is important for plans, if you don't have one it's gonna be rough
- please have an advocate just for the sake of an easier theory debate
- These are cool but better if they're actually competitive; read as many as you want just know anything more than 1 is hard to justify theoretically especially if it's not uncondo (although I love multiple cp debates)
- Any cp is cool (including actor, process, etc.) just make sure the 2nr extension is sufficient to vote on
- I default condo bad but don't let that discourage you from utilizing it as I think condo is super strategic (which is good for speaks), you just have to be technically ahead on the theory debate; feel free to read like 8 condo cps just know it's an uphill theoretical battle (but certainly not impossible)
- I default perms as an advocacy because they always seem to be extended as such but it is really up to you
- Probably my least favorite position because they all seem to go down the same path towards the 2nr, but a good explanation and coupling with a competitive cp makes this position much better
- the more unique the da the more I'll like listening to it (please don't make me listen to a basic three card econ disad unless you don't plan on going for it)
- Please do notttt confuse this with basic fw debate
- I used to read a few high theory positions but that doesn't mean my threshold for explanation on those positions is lower/higher than any other argument
- Kant is kool but I'm not a hack
- If the aff doesn't have a fw and the neg strategically reads a fw the aff can't link into, aff is probably losing
- If no one reads a fw I will probably not evaluate any post-fiat implications of either side and just vote on strength of link weighing (if justified)/presumption or a higher layer (i.e. I will NOT default util or sv for you this isn't pf)
- I'm hesitant to say this but I did read a decent amount of Baudrillard just know there is a reason why I stopped lol feel free to still read it though I love hearing it as well as any other high theory author
- I especially love hearing new philosophies that are either obscure or that I just haven't heard of yet; phil debate is one of my favorite parts of ld
- I am more likely to vote on presumption than I am to evaluate strength of link to fw in the instance I cannot decide which model to evaluate under
- K Affs are fun but I am more inclined to err on the side of t-fw as that's what I mostly read and it seems intuitively true; it really depends on the framing metric though and I will definitely vote on a k aff vs t-fw as long as there is sufficient tech offense
- KvK is cool
- poems/music/art/performance can be offense and if you don't respond to it your opponent can extend it as conceded (I have no problem voting on conceded performance offense with the proper framing mech)
- should have a ROB and/or ROJ (and the best ones are not blatantly inaccessible to one side)
- if your opponent asks you a specific question about the framing of your kritik and you cannot give them a cohesive answer it's gonna look bad
- if the distinction is unclear between the method the k evaluates by and the aff's you will have a hard time winning
- please don't read links that you yourself link into
- Having specific rhetoric from the aff itself or your opponent is great and much better than just topic/omission links
- I love seeing the extrapolation of links as linear das in the 2nr
- I am comfortable voting off state/omission links they're just boring
- you must have them and they must be unique; please do weighing as well because k impacts don't always contextualize themselves
- explain plz; It doesn't have to be explained super well if your opponent doesn't press the issue but I need to have a basic understanding of what I'm voting on i.e. what the world of the alt looks like (unless a set col type arg is made about imagining the alt being a move to settlerism, etc.)
- Please don't make the alt condo/dispo if your k is about some sort of oppression it looks bad
- do not read two contradictory alts in front of me you will probably lose; if they work well together that's cool
- I LOVE these they make it easier to evaluate the line by line because all the big picture issues are out of the way
- Please make sure the overview is not just line by line in disguise (I was guilty of this) but is instead framing the ways I need to evaluate offense
- literally my fav the more you read the more I'll enjoy the debate as long as you know what you're doing
- friv is fantastic
- please make them positively worded
- be careful of your wording; poor wording leaves you susceptible to easy i meets
- have them and extend them in the next speech
- screenshots/photos are the best
- there are really only like four good standards that the rest fall under categorically but it's whatever
- the more the merrier
- if you do fairness and education linkage inside the standard block I'll be happier
- I default rvi's good and competing interps unless otherwise specified
- I tend to default fairness first but am VERY easily able to be persuaded otherwise
- you must justify voters independently of the standards section (i.e. explain why fairness, education, fun, etc. matter)
- I evaluate these arguments like any other (if they have a claim/warrant/impact you're good)
- I think a block of text is funny but definitely annoying as far as the organization of your spikes/tricks so preference is at least numbering but it's really not a big deal if you can explain them well
- These arguments are generally so bad but if you don't respond or spend too much time messing with them the round becomes significantly more difficult for you
- I can be persuaded by some sort of spikes k so be wary
- I'm unsure if afc/acc are tricks, but know I'll listen to both and any other pseudo-trick
- aprioris and eval after the 1ac are the a-strat
- I'm fine with indexicals, condo logic, log con, etc. (idk how else to say i'll vote on literally any trick/arg generally)
- I will grant a 30 speaks spike (i.e. give both/one of the debaters 30 speaks for x reason) as long as it is extended throughout
- if no ties are allowed on the ballot I technically am unable to perform "give both debaters 30 speaks" and i'll evaluate like i normally would; if you know no ties are allowed/are uncertain if ties are allowed, spec 30/29.9 rather than 30s bc that's always permissible on tab (and i'll give the 30 to whoever would be ahead under my typical speaks evaluation unless told otherwise)
- if you're uncertain if tab
- I generally give speaks based on strategic decision making (and will try to justify the deductions if asked, although ultimately they're always on some level arbitrary)
- Anything that you do that purposefully makes your opponent uncomfortable, expresses discrimination/oppression, or generally makes the debate space unsafe will result in your top speaks being a 25 and more likely will result in a 0 or whatever the lowest allowed speaks value is
- for locals I generally give 28-30 and for nat circuit 27-30 unless the tournament has a specified structure; occasionally if the round is super underwhelming I'll evaluate a local like I would a nat circuit
- If you make me laugh you're definitely getting a speaks inflation but this is rare and it has to be genuine
- I'll clear twice without a speaks deduction and definitely have more lenience in the online format (i hardly ever clear anyways)
hi !! i'm lilly - I debated for Northland Christian from 2019-2022. I qualled to the TOC my senior year, got 2nd speaker/made it to octos, and bid/broke at a few tournaments.
EMAIL CHAIN: email@example.com
Tech > Truth
Fairness > Education
1NC Theory/T > 1AR Theory
T/Theory > K
No RVIs, Competing Interps, DTD
(obviously my opinion on these can be swayed if u make the arg - these are j defaults)
HOT FLAMING Ls
Racism/sexism/homophobia/transphobia/anything else that makes the debate space unsafe
1 - T/Theory
1 - LARP
2/3 - Trix
3 - Phil
4 - Ks
What I mostly debated and am most comfortable with
Pls explain semantics
Friv theory is good but the threshold for responses is lowered
Good for all types of positions + enjoy cheaty counterplans
weighhhhh oh my godddd
In depth scenario analysis in rebuttals/a display of understanding of plan nuances will make your speaks happy
debated heg good v bad debates way too often and now kind of enjoy IR debates
are for kids but i will evaluate
threshold for responses is pretty low tbh
your speaks prob won't be fantastic
I don't spend that much time thinking about this
pretty good understanding of: util, kant, hobbes, prag, ilaw
anything else please please warrant and explain
good for k affs but also pretty receptive to t-fw
the argument i spent the least amount of time with in debate
alt explanations/analysis are extremely important
willing to vote on anything but the burden is on you to explain your literature
30 - breaking @TOC
29 - late elims of any given nat circuit tournament
28 - you'll prob make it to a bubble round
27 - well youre def here and you def said words
26 - you said something shitty/just had really bad strat/incomprehensive after warned
25 - racist/sexist/we had a problem in the round
if u include a haiku ill boost ur speaks by .3 :)
pls add me to the chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
prolly go 85-90% of your speed if you're spreading super quickly-- will call you out in you aren't enunciating clearly. Slow down on analytics in your rebuttal speeches.
clipping is a L25
Currently attend Loyola Marymount University
3 years Varsity LD at Loyola HS.
If you have any questions pls ask me b/f the round.
Tech > Truth.
Strategic decision making > Pandering to me. Good tech will override any preferences I have below.
I'll only intervene if there are arguments of equal strength without weighing claims to resolve them. In these situations, I look to evidence first, then truth.
Misc: Sometimes emotive; always flowing (but not off the doc). Not a fan of one-line cheap shots. You have my consent to record, but ask others. I don't keep time. 100% fine with post-rounding (time permitting).
Banned arguments: Racism good and oppression good
Argument history: Affs defended a plan and mostly big impacts. Negs were almost strictly policy: sometimes 6+ off, sometimes 6 minutes of impact turns, but usually something in between. K when policy ground was scarce.
DA: Terminal impact calc >> strength of link barring instruction. Topic disads are good. Politics and riders are fine. Uniqueness puts the straight turn in a much better place. Zero risk on ridiculousness like 2014 midterms. I like it better when turns case is earlier. New 2AR and 2NR weighing always.
Case: Case debate, impact turns, presumption, analytics, and/or re-highlighting are appreciated. Read re-highlight for offense. Insert for defense. No preference between soft left and big stick.
T: Slightly lean against bare plural arguments for clash/predictability reasons. I think Pics is a true arg the Aff should make on Nebel. One aff a topic is a terrible model. Model/vision of the topic is more persuasive than "9 factorial affs" in a vacuum. A staunch believer that the neg needs definitions otherwise we get infinite T debates.
Theory: Save for literal double turns or technical drops from 1AR shells, not good for the condo 2AR. Easier to convince me the abuse is unreasonable rather than to use competing interpretations.
K: Better for teams that utilize K tricks than those that wax poetically about society. Read cap, security, dualism, and anti/post-humanism during my career. Roughly familiar with other meta lit and their answers. Imo neg needs either solves/turns case, framework/methods , unsustainability/inevitability, or a robust external extinction impact to win. I'll probably vote aff on case o/w otherwise.
K affs: Skeptical about framework's ability to cause either genocide or grassroots movements. Affirmatives need a counter interpretation/model of debate. Negatives need to answer case. Affs gets perms. Not the best judge in the world for it.
Phil: Will try to evaluate fairly, but more experienced and think generally util is true. Epistemic modesty makes sense. Also extinction o/w's seems to be a persuasive arg.
Other Things: Tricks should be sent via doc. If you extemp just send a doc after b/f cross.
Speaker points: Will not punish for humor, sarcasm, or minor cursing. 29 for breaking.
sbrowndebate at gmail
background: mcdonogh ('08) policy debater & have coached debate ever since
my decisions are highly flow based - i'm a great judge for technical, mechanical flow based line by line debate
i'm an excellent to great to good judge for most arguments that originate in policy debate, think: disads, cps, pics, kritiks, k affs, plans, not plans, theory, topicality, performance, etc
i'm an ok to mid to meh judge for phil - if your phil/kant is more card heavy, less tricksy/paradoxy, i'd put me in the middle of your sheet. if this isn't you, i'd probably avoid taking me
i'm probably not the best judge for t-framework/usfg/must "larp" against k affs - i'll vote for it, just being open/honest that i'm historically atrocious for this argument
i'm an awful judge for card text speed analytics (please just slow down), tricks, and disclosure/wiki arguments
speaker point floor typically 29.0
there is zero risk that i will win a gold medal in the 100m dash at the 2024 paris olympic games
I am an LD debater from the distant past (2009-2012). I did 4 years of high school debate and coached Palo Alto for 4 years as well.
I'm not up to date with all the fashionable arguments and I'm a little rusty in terms of flowing speed, so go easy on me and explain your args. Other than that, I don't have strong preferences. I'm happy to go along with whatever the debaters tell me to do. If I had to pick a favorite style, I'd pick framework debate with strong warrants and good explanation of how fw interacts with the arguments in the round.
No longer active in debate. Please refer to Raffi Piliero for all thoughts, comments, questions, and concerns regarding my ideology.
USC '25 (Debating)
Use speechdrop or whatever file sharing platform the tourney offers - it usually avoids the delays associated with email sending.
If not, add me to the email chain: email@example.com
TLDR - most of the stuff remains true, but I don't care about the nit picky stuff as much(i.e. I'd prefer being referred to as Dhruv, but don't care if you end up calling me judge)
I continue to love policy-oriented debates, but I've begun exploring/debating more the K more so I've begun to appreciate goodK debates more and more. I still think that K affs should be topic-centered, and those that will win in front of me will often redefine words rather than relying on impact turns vs T.
Fun debates/Debates where the atmosphere isn't hostile will receive high speaks: Innovative, fun, complicated, etc strategies that are executed well will be rewarded. That isn't to say you will be penalized for going for a "generic" strategy - if you can execute your strategy well, do it because I will enjoy that just the same.
Tricks - Strike me, don't really care to judge those debates because they're used in a way that's meant for the other team to drop them for you to win. It's the only predisposition I have vs any argument.
Phil - Good Phil = run it, but over explain.
1 - Policy, T, Impact Turn debates, Topic/Generic/Innovative Ks, T-USFG/Resolved v K affs, K affs with plan-texts, Cap v K affs
2 - K Affs(no p-text), T-FW vs K affs, Identity Ks, K v K
3 - High theory K/K-affs(i.e. Pomo)
I'm a current debater at USC and competed in LD and Policy throughout high school, I've been a 2N throughout my career, but have switched to being a 2A as of late.
I'm pretty comfortable for whatever you want to do(some exceptions)... I've run most arguments on the spectrum, from being solely straight-up my sophomore year, to practically one-tricking the Security K my junior year, and ending up debating flex my senior year.
I'm not fond of the "1- ... 2- ... 3-" stuff, but I guess it can be helpful so:
1- Policy(DA, CP), T, T-Fw vs K Affs, Generic Ks or Topic Ks(things like Security, Cap, Berlant, etc)
2- Theory, K Affs, K v K
3- High theory Ks, Pomo Ks, Identity Ks
4- Generic Phil(like Kant)
5- Phil other than Kant
STRIKE ME if your main strategy relies on making arguments that you can only go for if dropped(i.e. blippy theory arguments like Shoes theory, indexicals, and other tricks). Arguments must have a claim, warrant, and impact, I will not vote on anything that falls short of this threshold.
Please record your speeches and if the call drops, keep going and send the recording at the end of the speech. Also, please go 75% speed max, thanks :)
I love them, straight turns are amazing, impact calculus is a must, Ptx DAs are good, Turns case with impact calc is great(especially when there's timeframe contextualization with these).
I love a good counterplan debate.
CPs MUST have some mechanism of solving the aff in the 1NC itself, preferably a solvency advocate(card) but a simple line explaining how it would solve (if it's intuitive) works.
PICs do not need to have a specific advocate that advocates for the entirety of the plan excluding the thing being PICd out of.
Cheaty CPs are fine: process, advantage, etc are all good and valid.
I default to competing interps, DTA on everything but condo and T, Condo good. That said, those are just my defaults, I can very easily be persuaded the other way via good debating. Fairness is an impact, so is education.
SLOW DOWN on theory, please. If I don't catch something and it becomes the entire 2NR/AR, I will not feel too bad not voting on it... don't tell me I didn't warn you.
Err neg and DTA are really persuasive arguments in my opinion, unless there's some real reason for DTD.
Pragmatics>>>>>>Semantics - Semantics don't matter to me unless it's setting up an argument for predictability or precision or something like that.
Ks (on the neg) -
I really love good K debates with nuanced link works and the sauce. A lot of my 2NRs my junior year was the K, and the K was often present in the 1NC my senior year as well. That said, don't take it as an excuse to just throw out buzzwords or expect me to know what you are talking about. I will not do work for you.
I'm very comfortable with the generics or with topic-specific Ks, anything else must be explained to me(little more so than the generics). I'll really like it if your OV explicitly states your theory of power, and that will make the rest of your work on the K proper much cleaner and it will make much more sense to me. I think I catch onto the thesis of Ks pretty quickly, so if I'm not making any sense in the RFD as to why I voted against you, it's probably because your explanation was incoherent.
Speaking of OVs, please keep them on the shorter side... If you say "new page for the OV", I will not be happy... and neither will you with your speaks.
Default to Affs should get to weigh the case, can be persuaded otherwise.
Make ROB/ROJ arguments explicit and do weighing as if it is any other T/Theory arg.
Perfcon is an issue of condo UNLESS you are using the aff's responses to one position to garner offense for the other(as an ind voter)
Perfcon is a good argument to take out a lot of reps offense too(or to justify a severance perm), but it's very beatable.
PIKs and FPIKs are prob illegitimate
K affs -
I'm down to listen to a good K aff. Affs must be in the direction of the topic somewhat, not saying "no K affs" but rather I'm saying that there must be some connection between the aff and the topic that is made in the 1AC. A really good example of this was this one aff that St Francis read on the arms sales topic about Queer Militarism with definitions of munitions being related to queer bodies... not saying that's true but rather that I love clever strategies.
T-Fw is very persuasive vs K affs - movements, fairness, education, whatever you want to read. Tbh I have yet to see a good answer to movements.
PIKs vs K affs are strategic, probably won't vote for PIKs bad
K affs get perms
K vs K affs are interesting, so if that's your strat, go for it.
- I default Comp Worlds(tough to convince me otherwise), no RVIs(though that doesn't mean I won't vote on one).
- Condo is probably good, but it becomes somewhat abusive past 2
- Ks on the neg in LD: I am fine with new Link extrapolation in the 2NR(i.e. recuttings of the aff), esp if its breaking new. That said, you need to have some card in the 1NC that provides the thesis of those links
Good phil = read it, but err on over-explaining because Im not familiar w most of the lit.
Trix = L 27(not actually, but if you make me suffer i'll return the favor)
Good extensions of your Moen and/or Pummer evidence vs Phil should get you out of a lot of trouble
A lot of the paradoxes are terrible arguments, try to make intuitive responses to them
Theory vs trix is a very good strat in front of me
T-implementation vs "General principle" affs was my go-to strat, and I think that it is a good one
Grouping args(like calc indicts) is good and doing that little overview-y grouping work can help you in a lot of places, especially when going against blippy analytical walls.
I will not give you good speaks if you go for trix and will try to not vote on it in any and every way possible, so please just do not include it in the round itself, thank you.
The rest of the LD section should be the same as Policy
1. Please disclose on the wiki(open source w/ highlighting is best practice) if you are in Varsity unless you have some issues(either school-related or wiki troubles). Sending docs when requested is fine too, but suboptimal.
2. Prep time is whatever has been determined by the tourney, prep stops when you have finished saving your doc. If <= 3 cards, body is cool, anything more please send a doc.
3. I actually have no qualms about giving the "I don't get it" RFD
4. I don't judge kick unless instructed to, and justifying should(if contested) go past "it's a logical extension of conditionality"
5. Ev ethics challenge ends the round there, I will evaluate and the winner of the challenge gets a W30, loser gets an L27 (if it was a false claim) or L and lowest speaks possible if the challenge was true.
6. CARDS SHOULD HAVE AUTHOR QUALS. Though this is probably not a DTD argument, it's definitely a DTA.
7. Clipping challenges needs evidence(recordings, unless I notice it - then i'm your witness), but it's also the same as an ev ethics challenge. If I notice it and the opp doesn't, your speaks won't look so hot.
8. I will read your ev, so good quality prep gets high speaks in front of me.
9. If it's a lay tournament but both debaters want a flow round, go ahead and have fun!
10. If it's a bid tournament, I don't think you have to adapt to novices or non-circuit debaters. If theory was dropped, just extend it for a quick sec or two and continue the debate for educational purposes, that will earn you a ton of respect and good speaks.
11. If theory/T is dropped in a circuit round, I will be very unhappy if the next speech(if rebuttals) isn't that argument or if that speech is longer than 30 seconds tops...
12. Tech>Truth, except for things like racism good or the like. I will not tolerate any instances of racism, sexism, etc in round.
13. Sending a marked copy does not constitute prep, but requesting a doc where "unread cards are deleted" constitutes prep
Ultimately, just have fun and do you! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at my email above!
I am a parent judge, please be mindful of that.
- No speed
- Do better with contentions
- I highly highly prefer speaks and will likely vote you up if you speak well
- NO kritikal or theory arguments, I have a very basic understanding of these and it’s honestly a gamble with me
- Be respectful, any bigotry results in immediate 25 speaks and down vote
- The only info I have is what my student has explained to me, no previous debate experience, so I may not know debate norms
- I prefer disclosure, put me in the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Parent judge with a couple of years of judging experience.
I will vote on any argument with a claim, warrant, and impact but you should error on the side of over-explaining things if you’re concerned I won’t pick up on something.
I determine speaker points based on clarity, creativity, research quality, rebuttal explanation, and organization.
I am a parent judge and new to PF judge.
Please speak slowly and clearly so I can follow you.
I did speech and debate for about ~2.5 years in middle school and high school. I mainly did PuFo while doing some LD. I haven't judged in a while so I would appreciate clear organization and diction. I haven't been in the S&D world for a while so I would appreciate it if y'all did not spread. I will try to flow the best that I can, so please sign post and clearly state what your main points are !!! I have 0 knowledge of this topic before coming in, so you have to be articulate. Remember to weigh impacts, voters, values, and framework, and clearly explain to me why your arguments outweigh your opponents.
Please remember to be respectful and honest to your opponents and yourself :)
last updated: 11/28 for the longhorn classic
please add email@example.com to the chain
conflicts: Clear Lake MK, Downtown Magnets SS, Jordan KV, Jordan VS, Heritage WT, Liberal Arts and Science Academy AB, Liberal Arts and Science Academy AR, Liberal Arts and Science Academy RX, Liberal Arts and Science Academy OX, Oak Ridge AA, Rock Hill DG, The Woodlands SP, Unionville AS, William G. Enloe PD, William G. Enloe RN
Hi! I'm Ammu (they/them/thems), I'm a second year at Texas (competing). In the past summer, I taught at the UTNIF and TDC.
For full disclosure, I do have ADHD and (likely) the 'tism, so the way I think about debate arguments may be distinct or different from neurotypical people. However, I'm very amenable to my thoughts and my evaluative measures for debate surround relational and functional approaches (i.e: think interactions between arguments, winning offense/defense zeroing out, etc). I'm always learning and constantly shifting my thoughts about my debate, so use your round to teach me why your thoughts and takes on debate should win!
I'll vote up anything barring a few exceptions:
2] "Racism/sexism/[insert antagonism here] good"
3] Arguments without a warrant
I believe debate is a communication activity that has norms agreed upon from thousands and thousands of speeches and debates. Each debate constitutes a performance act that adheres to the speech times governing the activity.
At some levels, this activity is very insular and resistant to producing "spillover change", which in of itself can be a good thing. However, a lot of people's first exposure to sociality of change and activism is through this activity, which means the activity benefits from discussions of those topics from former debaters creating change, whether its adhering to the legal systems of the status quo or producing newfound communal resistance to institutions, I'm cool for any spin to your rhetoric.
My ballot does absolutely nothing but endorse the communicative aspect of your speeches to be more persuasive than the other team's rhetoric, and consequently, to vote up the "better debating". It does not signify material change, nor make any descriptive claims about the characters of anyone. You can make arguments for what better debating looks like, but I'll default to my own subjective understandings, if nothing else.
An argument requires a claim, warrant, and an impact. Asserting something as true without explaining why (or contextualization of why you can assert something as true) will be a hard sell in front of me.
Addendums for LD (11/22) -
1] given the nature of tech over winning arguments sufficently well, I tend to begin from the starting point that the aff should get more 'lee-way' in the debate. It is up to the negative to sufficently disprove the affirmative, whereas if there a sizable benefit to the affirmative, I'll find myself erring affirmative in the question of bad spin/bad evidence on the negative. I still find myself refining this process of evaluating debates given the nature of judging messy-ish debates from debaters who are in positions yet-to-be experienced. This happens a lot in K debates, where for example 2NRs will give me a buffet of words and sit on a link of omission and wonder why they lose when the 2AR wins that there is not a link to the actions of implementing the plan. I think this distinction however becomes murky on the question of planless constructions of affirmatives such as a phil AC that does not implement anything.
2] I am getting increasingly frustrated and jaded at most theory and trick arguments. I don't think these arguments hold much educational value nor are real arguments and this hasn't been disproven as of this season. You should consider me a strike for tricks and frivolous theory arguments without an IRA story. My litmus for determining if theory is frivolous is that the violation must occur in-round and must be pertaining to the way debate as an activity operates. Theory arguments made external (see: appearance, safety out of round as a theory interp, etc) to that will be considered warrantless. Theory with IRA is still fine for me to evaluate, read your paradigm issues, etc. For any safety concerns, I am more than happy to stop the round and proceed with either ruling a decision then and there/resolve using proper channels.
3] I'm uninterested in adjudicating 2NRs/2ARs on evidence ethics theory shells. If that's at the top of your 2NR/2AR, I'm automatically voting for the other side, no exceptions. Your best bet is to stop the round and begin a challenge -- malice and bad-faith intention must be proven in order to win the challenge.
4] IVIs must be made explicitly clear in the speech they are read in and must have warrants as to why they are DTD. Just saying "X is an independent voter" or "X is bad because [antagonism]" in 2 seconds without warranting is not a strategy you should go in front of me.
5] I usually can keep up in most phil debates, but I require a lot more judge instruction than most. I am perfectly capable to evaluate the Util v Kant, Kant v K matchups and you can pref me normally. For other interactions outside of those two philosophies should consider how much explanation their arguments need to win.
6] Here's where you should be preffing me for LD:
1 - Policy, K
3 - Theory
4 - Phil
Strike - Tricks
Data is tenable to critique and can be optional at times, but the other three are required for me to vote up anything. Data doesn't trump all, but given two equal positions, better argumentation/testing can be found with data that has clear and concise warrants. Data can be skewed, misrepresented, or have illogical bases. It is your job as a debater to make it clear why the methodology/epistemology of their data is bad.
I tend to give speaks based on if I think you can make it to elims/late-elims or not, the enjoyability of the round, pettiness, and execution of strategy.
1] Plan affs/DAs:
Nothing much to comment here. Run and gun with your favorite big stick impact affs/DAs and we'll be good vibes here. Winning good links to the affirmative/affirmative winning a net-benefit preferable to the squo is the way to go in these debates.
On the topic of PTX DAs...:
1] Political capital is a farce
2] The Rider DA and Horsetrading DA are the worst PTX DAs.
3] State governments probably don't have that much say in how climate change policy is being shaped in the next decade
4] Specific bills in the agenda in the senate/house usually have the best links to the DA in non-election years, second to the Elections DA in election years. (we will miss you thoroughly, USMCA Farm bill!)
5] I wouldn't be surprised if the 2024 election results in a Trump re-election. Personally don't think Biden re-election key warrants are going to be any more convincing that Vivek Ramaswamy taking away voting rights for anyone below the age of 25.
6] I also like UQ in these debates. Not all UQ evidence is the same, and some polls are just bad measurements of the direction of voters.
7] Courts DA are actually some of my favorite of the PTX-DA adjacent of the bunch. Hollow hope might be true.
8] Affirmatives should know the direction of their plans and its reception to voters to get ahead in these debates
1] Conditionality is awesome. Negative teams should probably get anywhere between 2-4 in Policy, 2-3 in LD, however I can be convinced other interpretations based on the abuse story.
2] Affirmative teams get ahead in these debates by having smart deficits from the 1AC and unique ways to approach the competition and/or permutation debate.
3] A counterplan probably needs both textual and functional competition to be mutually exclusive with the affirmative. If you're missing one, the permutation becomes a lot more feasible.
4] I think severance/intrinsic permutations against shifty PICs are awesome. But to each their own on how these debates play out.
5] Will not be judge kicking unless told. Probably convinced by 2ARs that explain the negative by the end of the debate should either defend the squo or one world.
6] perms are a test of competition between the squo and the CP, usually not an a new world advocacy, though it could be justifiable against alternatives
7] Nothing much else comes to mind. Boring process CPs are boring.
1] I judge this a lot. Fun stuff.
2] i've read lots of lit bases, here's the list if you care: Cap, Grove, Beller, Spivak, Psychoanalysis, Settler Colonialism, Security IR, Caste Studies, Munoz, Wilderson, etc. Most of these literature I have a pretty good understanding content wise, but I will probably need their debate application explained more to me.
3] Kritiks need links to the actions and assumptions made by the plan. I'm very receptive to affirmatives sitting on links are a link of omission if the 2NR sounds like you're reading the same O/V to the K every round. That being said, not everything is a link of omission.
4] 2NRs on the K either need to be FW/ROB+Link, or Link+Alt solves case.
5] Alts that do more than just rejecting are awesome, and contextual ones to the topic (or even the affirmative's impacts) are even better.
6] Cap K is one of the best Ks there is in the game. Read up on that fountain of knowledge, its amazing.
7] I find high schoolers can't explain Deleuze well in a debate sense and find myself frustrated evaluating these debates. Please take some time (about 5 minutes) before the round to look up what a google blog says about Deleuze and give me that explanation over making something up.
8] Negative teams need to stop letting aff teams get away with butchering the alternative with the explanation on the permutation. Clearly the aff and alt will have disagreements, make that clear and get ahead on that debate.
9] Reject alternatives/reps based Ks/Ks that 'do nothing' suck.
10] Cap K is one of the best K. Vertical organizing is gas. People's war is gas. A Cap K explained as an election pitch I would hear at a dem-soc rally sucks.
1] One of my favorite types of theory. Definitions matter, and so does their intent!
2] Don't split up terms of art to define words individually.
3] [LD] Pragmatics > Semantics. I still evaluate semantics since like not everything is just based on "the vibes" of how the statement is constructed and things like the adverb or upward entailment test in terms of plural sets and groups matter.
4] [LD] I think a lot of people underscore the importance of the semantics subset debate versus the plural 's' debate that occurs. While interesting, I find the justifications from the plural 's' side usually kind of bad.
5] Yes read your paradigm issues. I don't know how to make sense of DTA on T but I will not vote on an RVI on T. Your explanation of norm setting on T should be contextual to how debates on the topic should occur, not just about debate generally. I will know if you docbotted paradigm issues, and will have a lower threshold for the affirmative to win defense to the shell.
Yes this is awesome, planless affirmatives definitely need a good answer to either why the current model of debate is bad and should be rejected on face, or that there is an interpretation in the squo that debates under the topic should be in the direction that the affirmative thinks is a good idea/producing different debates.
2NRs on T should probably be one of the following:
1] Clash+Fairness - usually contextualized to the affirmative, where engaging with the affirmative not plausible because [predictability/ground/skew/limits] which is unfair because [contextualization]
a] I don't think the reading of critical literature constitutes some form of unfairness. I think affirmatives that do no attempt to engage with the topic and shift out of core neg ground need robust answers as to why the impact of the affirmative o/w things like procedural fairness. Negative teams should probably be making the "abuse story" in context of the topic and how debates under the topic would get produced.
2] TVA+SSD - there is an affirmative that is the 1AC and debatable under the topic, and the critiques made in the 1AC can be read on the negative to test other affirmatives under the topic.
3] Skills - where debating about the topic allows us to learn and use our new knowledge to "energize" movements/activism.
1] Theory needs an IRA story. I will ignore theory shells that do not.
2] Not really interested in evaluating 1AR/NC theory. I care more about the explanation of the abuse story than sitting on a paradigm issues. I won't straight out flat refuse to evaluate these, but you shouldn't overly worry on trying to get ahead on that specific part of the technical debate.
3] Weighing voters/impacts to the shell is your best bet in these debates.
4] Combo shells are a lot more better imo and usually allows anyone reading the shell to be ahead on these debates because people are not great at contextualizing standards in context to the abuse story.
Good to evaluate the Util v Kant matchup. Everything else should be done with caution since I'm fine understanding what the framework says, I need their debate applications and implications of things explained a lot more than other judges. Yes I do know the things about like phenomeonology, bindingness, etc - I just need phil debaters to explain their positions more and less on being super-technical in these debates.
8] Here is a brain dump of miscellaneous things:
- if you insert rehighlighting, at the end of the debate i will read that card as well as any others that are contextual to my understanding in relation to the argument in question
- if you're clipping and your opponent doesn't notice, i don't plan on intervening in context to wins and losses, but take some hints: i will probably say clear up to three times and you will see me holding my pen away from any flow paper. I think if you clip through a substantial amount of cards, i will straight up refuse to flow and you'll be very sad to wonder why I didn't evaluate.
- i think if you can't respond to an "anti-intellectual" argument (see: "5G radiowaves causing cancer"), then maybe you should lose?
- meta-weighing is fantastic in LD and will award you my praise and speaker point allotments if you do this
- neg teams should punish bad LD affirmatives with bad internal links to their impacts - I feel more than happy evaluating zeroing out offense for the aff if the evidence looks like it was taken from the 2000s era backfile and plastered together into a file like a scrapbook
- Spread as much as you'd like - but I am following along and will yell out clear
- blue highlighting => green highlighting > yellow highlighting > weird purple highlighting
- i like pettiness and competitive drive, make it entertaining and I will shower with speaks :<
- prep ends when you stop typing
+.2 speaks if you can figure out my favorite Lil Uzi Vert song (unreleased & released each)
Hi there, I've been judging debate (LD, PF, Congress, Parli, WSD) for about 6 years. I am tabula rasa when it comes to judging a round; don't expect me to know the topic. It is up to the debater to provide a framework that best upholds their arguments. I flow but if you spread, send me (and your opponent) your speech doc. That said, I don't want to look through pages and pages of your speech doc with a couple of words highlighted on each one. If you couldn't tell, I'm more familiar with traditional LD and have little experience in circuit debating. I weigh on framework and impact analysis. I like evidence and logical link chains with clear warrants. I like clash. I don't like falsified evidence, misleading evidence, disclosure theory or bad theory. I'm less familiar with K's, so make sure I can thoroughly understand them if you decide to run them. I'm pretty flay, so make your preferences accordingly. Please be respectful to one another. Being rude, disrespectful, racist, homophobic, and aggressive is not cool and will result in low speaks and/or loss. I like Yale's Speaker Points guide:
29.5 to 30.0 - WOW; You should win this tournament
29.1 to 29.4 - NICE!; You should be in Late Elims
28.8 to 29.0 - GOOD!; You should be in Elim Rounds
28.3 to 28.7 - OK!; You could or couldn't break
27.8 to 28.2 - MEH; You are struggling a little
27.3 to 27.7 - OUCH; You are struggling a lot
27.0 to 27.2 - UM; You have a lot of learning to do
26.0 to 26.9 - OH MY; You did something very bad or very wrong
Good luck everyone!
The preferences below are a reflection of the way I debated in high school and the way I coach students, not the way I evaluate debates 100% of the time. Most of them can be changed through persuasive argumentation. I’m just going to vote for whoever wins the round.
Debate should be fun and I want to see you have fun and excel at what you do best. Please don't adjust your debating too much to me. I regularly vote for arguments and strategies I passionately disagree with and vice versa. No matter what strategy you defend, act as if my prior knowledge of it is close to 0. Even if you're right, I will judge and hold you accountable for warranting your arguments as if my knowledge was in fact 0. I treat judging as a serious obligation and no matter what you do, I'll give you my full attention and effort!
1) Disclose. Full text is a bare minimum to win in front of me.
2) I will not vote on any argument about events outside the debate (I consider disclosure pertinent to the debate). Death good, arguments about your opponents appearance/clothing, and facially offensive actions end the round. I am not comfortable using my ballot as a moral judgement on students.
3) Fair Play. Miscut evidence, clipping, reading ahead, outside communication, evidence fabrication, etc are cheating. Accusations without proof mean you lose. “Evidence ethics” ends the round.
4) I won't vote on arguments I can't understand in the speech they're first made.
5) Show up to round on time. Prep ends when the doc is sent. Flow clarification is prep/CX. Marked docs should be sent immediately after the speech. If your opponent did not mark any cards in their speech, but did not read certain portions of the speech doc (i.e., skipped certain cards entirely), you must start prep before receiving a marked doc. If, however, your opponent marked cards, you may wait until you receive a marked doc to begin prep. The reason I have different policies for these circumstances is that the former is just flow clarification, whereas the latter actually affects the way you answer arguments.
1) I don't want to judge rounds about heinous tricks. I enjoy judging Phil debates but think they benefit from more explanation and less tricks.
2) In general, I lean neg on CP theory. Creative counterplans are underutilized. Creative perms are too. Judge kick makes sense to me, but is not my default. I'm not opposed to voting on condo, but err heavily neg, and I don't find hail-mary condo 2ARs fun to judge. To make it a viable 2AR, condo should be more than a sentence in the 1AR.
3) "Not defending implementation" doesn't make sense to me.
4) I err neg in K Aff vs. T debates, but my judging record in these debates is fairly even. Thoughts:
Aff: I think affirmatives have a burden of "affirming" something - I’m easily persuaded that pure pessimism is neg ground and presumption is winnable if the aff doesn't do anything (I don't know why this is almost never the 2nr). When answering T, counter-define words and have a debatable counterinterp ("discussion of the topic", "only our aff", etc. don't count - they wouldn't make sense in any other T debate). An effective strategy against framework should explain what your model of debate looks like, not just why your aff is important.
Neg: Listen to the 1AR - when I vote aff, it’s usually because of technical drops. Neg usually under-develop the TVA, but I find having one less important than a lot of judges do.
5) A kritik should disagree with and disprove the aff - you should be able to point out specific lines in the aff the K disagrees with. “Pre-fiat” does not mean anything. Answering the case is important. Weighing is important. The K should turn and outweigh the case, even if it’s an indictment of the representations the aff uses rather than the consequences of the plan. The 2NR should incorporate K tricks - they are smart and underutilized.
6) Independent voters don't exist. All arguments need to be tied to a specific framing argument.
7) Tired of hearing the same topicality debates over and over again. If it's just a dressed up version of plans bad (Nebel/T-a/etc) I'm probably not the best judge for it (although I vote for these arguments all the time). I don't think complex grammar debates are the best way to set the limits of the topic.
8) Random paradigmatic things:
- 1AR doesn't get add ons. 2NR doesn't get new uniqueness, links, etc.
- Insert re-highlighting: sure
- "You didn't read a fairness voter" isn't super compelling to me w.r.t. paragraph theory. It seems obvious to me that both sides should have a roughly equal shot at winning, all things equal.
- I will disregard any argument about my "jurisdiction" as a judge.
I am lay parent judge. I am good with progressive and critical arguments within right context.
I'm a first time lay judge, I have not judged any rounds before.
Make sure to thoroughly explain all your cards and warrants to make it easier to understand. Make sure to impact and explain the importance of those cards as well. I will be expecting you to time yourself during rounds.
Do not spread, I will not be able to catch what you're saying. Make sure you speak slower and enunciate. Always signpost so I know where you are on the flow, and clearly state the taglines and the card names.
I have been an Assistant State's Attorney in Chicago, Illinois for 9 years. I been involved in serval debate competitions in Law School and received Best Appellate argument in Law School. I have been an active debtor throughout high school. I have observed and participated in many tournaments for NSDA.
I am an assistant coach for Immaculate Heart High School. I debated for Immaculate Heart for four years. I am now a 4th year philosophy student at UC Berkeley.
Most important stuff:
I try my best to not let my argument preferences influence my decision in a debate; I have no problem voting for arguments that I disagree with. That said, I will only vote on arguments — that is, claims with warrants — and I have no problem not voting for an "argument" because it is not properly warranted.
I will not vote on arguments that I don't understand or didn't have flowed. I do not flow from the doc; I think the increasing tendency of judges to do this is abetting the issue of students being literally incomprehensible. I will occasionally say clear, but I think the onus is on you to be comprehensible.
You must send to your opponent whatever evidence you plan to read before you begin your speech; you do not need to send analytics. If you mark cards during a speech — that is, if you begin reading a card but do not finish reading that card — then you must indicate where in the card you stopped, and you should send a marked doc immediately after your speech. You do not need to send a document excluding cards that were not at all read.
If you want to ask your opponent what was read/not read, or what arguments were made on a certain page, you of course may, but you must do it in CX or prep. There is no flow clarification time slot in a debate!
The upshot of the last few comments is that I think flowing is a very important skill, and we should endorse practices that cultivate that skill.
You will auto-lose the debate if you clip cards. Prep ends once the speech doc has been sent. If you want to advance an evidence ethics violation, you must stake the debate on it.
Be respectful to your opponent. This is a community.
Above all, I like clash-heavy debates between well-researched positions.
My favorite negative strategies include impact turns, counterplans, and NCs. My favorite affirmative strategies are plans with “big-stick” or “soft-left” advantages.
I don't really like "tricks" of any genre because I think overwhelmingly they simply lack warrants.
I don't like strategies that depend entirely on framework or framing arguments to exclude your opponent's offense. You should always answer the case even if you are reading a framework/impact framing argument that explains why I should prioritize your offense over your opponent's.
As I said, I will never not vote on an argument simply because I disagree with it. I will, however, ignore arguments that are not warranted, and I think certain claims are very difficult, if not impossible, to provide a warrant for.
Here are some examples of claims that I think are very difficult to provide a warrant for:
It would be better if debates lacked a point of stasis.
The outcome of a given debate is capable of changing people's minds/preferences.
It would be better if the negative could not read advocacies conditionally.
I should win the debate solely because I, in fact, did not do anything that was unfair or uneducational.
There is a time skew between the aff and neg in a debate.
A 100% risk of extinction does not matter under my non-utilitarian/non-consequentialist framework.
My 1ar theory argument should come procedurally prior to the negative's topicality argument.
There is something paradoxical about our understanding of space/time, so you should vote for me.
Here are some claims that I will never vote on, whether you try to warrant them or not:
That which is morally repugnant
This debate should be about the moral character of my opponent
X is a voting issue simply because I labeled it as such.
Archbishop Mitty ‘21
Wake Forest University '25
Been both a 2N/2A
Done both Policy and LD ( 4 years policy, 1 year LD )
Yes Email Chain: archbishopmittydr[at]gmail.com -- please format the subject As “Tournament Name -- Round # -- Aff School [team code] vs Neg School [team code]. Example: “Berkeley -- Dubs -- AFF Archbishop Mitty DR vs NEG Interlake GQ”
I find paradigms to be largely useless because no one is ever transparent and 99% of times debaters and judges put way too much value into these things. I could care less about argumentative preferences -- I have coached, judged, and participated in debates where teams have gone for everything from Politics DA, Process CP’s, K’s, Trix, Phil NC’s to T. TLDR: Stick to your guns and you do you.
At the end of the rebuttals -- I start by looking at what the teams have flagged as the most important pieces of offense. 2NRs and 2ARs rarely do enough judge instruction. The best type of RFD is where I don't have to do too much work and I can parrot back to you what the rebuttals said.
I guess I’ll do the thing about argument Preferences (although it would behoove you to stick to what you are good at). In the words of Debnil Sur “Above all, tech substantially outweighs truth. The below are preferences, not rules, and will easily be overturned by good debating. But, since nobody's a blank slate, treat the below as heuristics I use in thinking about debate. Incorporating some can explain my decision and help render one in your favor”.
Speed: Fine -- just make sure you are clear (especially true in the context of e-debate). Yes I will have the doc open, but no I will not be flowing off it -- only what you say will be on my flow.
Insert or Read: All portions of evidence that has already been introduced into the debate get to be inserted. This is a way to provide an incentive for in depth evidence comparison while also creating a strategic incentive to read good quality cards. Any portions of evidence that hasn’t already been introduced into debate should be read.
Paradigm Issues: I will almost always default to an offense defense paradigm -- if you argue about stock issues, I will most likely get bored.
Tech vs Truth: Seems like one of the most asinine things on everyone's paradigm. Obviously if you drop an argument or something on the flow it is considered true, but in a world where another team clashes with you Truth (argument/ev quality) becomes an important tie breaker.
Policy Affs: Do your thing. 1AC’s with 3 minute advantage and framing page is fine, but please do not just make it a bunch of probability indicts have some offensive framing in either an alternative understanding of ethics or a kritik of the way that impact calculuses are framed. Affs with as many impact scenarios stuffed together as possible probably have terrible ev that should be re-highlighted and pointed out.
K Affs: Not dogmatic about whether or not you follow the resolution. Make sure you have offense on framework that isn’t just you exclude our aff. I’m fine for impact turn or counter interp strategies -- just do impact calculus. The easiest way to lose reading a K aff in front of me is just saying buzzwords in the overview without unpacking what the aff does -- I am not scared to say I vote neg on presumption because I don’t know what the aff does. Neg teams debating K affs do whatever you think is best -- just remember impact calculus wins debates. Going for framework is fine, fairness can be an impact, but oftentimes it's a better impact filter, and having something external to fairness will be more persuasive. I've thought about this a little bit more now that I finished my first year of college debate and the 3 most convincing AFF turns to FW are 1] K v K debates good + offense about the model of clash they produce 2] An Indict of the performance of the Negative team that i should evaluate prior to the debate and proof of how violence gets naturalized in debate and 3] A critique of FW that articulates its relationship towards the history of debate and why the negative team shouldn't get to kick out of such baggage.
K v K debates are dope -- make sure you have offense on why the perm doesn’t shield the link.
Topicality: While freshman and sophomore year being my least favourite argument that I dismissed as negative teams whining, it has honestly become one of my favourite arguments in the activity. My senior year I was undefeated going for T-Substantial. I think a lot of teams do not put enough practice into debating teams making it one of the most strategic arguments for neg teams. I probably lean towards competing interps -- reasonability is a defensive argument for filtering how I evaluate interps. 2NR’s and 2AR’s shouldn’t go for every argument on the T page but collapse to one impact and do thorough weighing. I am a huge sucker for a precision 2NR/2AR.
Counterplans: Love em -- go for em. Cheaty Counterplans are cheaty only if you lose the theory debate. Having a solvency advocate or core of topic cards will go a long way to helping you win that debate. No strong predispositions on counterplan theory -- its up to the debaters.
Disads: Yes -- Do them. Not sure what's a good topic DA on this year’s policy topic. I have a soft spot for politics DA with a thick link wall -- just do impact calc. Teams don’t do enough of link turns case analysis that if conceded is just gg.
Kritiks: Despite my reputation as a K hack, I’m pretty agnostic here. My decisions tend to start from the framework debate and this guides how I evaluate the other parts of the flow. This determines the threshold needed for link UQ, whether the aff gets to be weighed, etc. That being said if you impact turn the K -- you can make f/w largely irrelevant. K teams should do more link turns case analysis -- it allows you to short circuit a lot of offense on the case page. If not make sure you make persuasive framing arguments about why the case doesn’t outweigh. If you are aff, your best bet is either to go for a big framework + Extinction outweighs push or just impact turning the K. Not the best for a team that wants to go for link turn and perm because I typically don't tend to find a net benefit to voting aff that the alt doesn't solve.
Theory/Trix: Not my favourite argument in the world, but I will vote on it. I’m pretty neg leaning on conditionality in traditional policy vs policy debates, but have heard some pretty fire kritiks of condo by some K teams. No real dispositions regarding anything else. Theory interps need to be impacted out and have a claim warrant and an impact.
Speaker Points: I’m gonna steal Debnil’s scale which makes a lot of sense to me.
“Note that this assessment is done per-tournament: for calibration, I think a 29.3-29.4 at a finals bid is roughly equivalent to a 28.8-28.9 at an octos bid.
29.5+ — the top speaker at the tournament.
29.3-29.4 — one of the five or ten best speakers at the tournament.
29.1-29.2 — one of the twenty best speakers at the tournament.
28.9-29 — a 75th percentile speaker at the tournament; with a winning record, would barely clear on points.
28.7-28.8 — a 50th percentile speaker at the tournament; with a winning record, would not clear on points.
28.3-28.6 — a 25th percentile speaker at the tournament.
28-28.2 — a 10th percentile speaker at the tournament.”
Ev Ethics: Clipping will receive a 25 L. The team going for ev ethics needs recording as proof and must be willing to stake the round on it.
Any other alleged ethics violation, I will ask the team going for the ethics violation whether they would like to stop the debate and stake the round on it. In this case, like Debnil, I will let both teams offer a written defense of their practice and decide based on such defenses. This is important because I feel that this will disincentivize ethical disintegrity, while also letting the accused have a chance to defend themselves (especially when ev ethics has been weaponized against small schools using open ev or otherwise widely circulated ev cut by bigger schools that has a flaw that the debaters didn’t know when receiving the ev). If teams would rather let the debate continue (which would be my preference), I will evaluate it like I would any other theory debate.
firstname.lastname@example.org for the email chain.
Hi, I’m May. I was on the Speech and Debate team at Mira Mesa High School for four years (team captain). I went to NSDA Nationals three times, but I’m not nearly as experienced with circuit debate. I’m not very good at understanding spreading, so please include me in the email chain and do a lot of signposting. I am a parent judge.
Don’t be discriminatory or make people feel unsafe. You will be penalized with speaker points and the ballot.
Phil>K>Theory>Policy. I was a Philosophy major in college, and I love seeing it applied to debate, but please explain frameworks assuming I haven't read the literature.
If you can’t understand your opponent, you have the right to call clear. I will clear you if I can’t understand enough to flow.
I care about good evidence.
Weigh arguments as soon and comprehensively as possible.
No tricks or frivolous theory, please.
K: Please assume I know none of the literature or the K you’re reading.
I previously competed as a Lincoln-Douglas debater in high school for two years, but this is my first time judging. I ask that debaters please keep their delivery slow and clear; I appreciate clear analysis of why you should win in the final rebuttals. The debater that wins framework usually wins the debate.
Hi everyone! I competed in speech & debate for a solid 6 years, mainly in Congressional Debate and Original Oratory. I finaled 3x at the NSDA tournament and championed the House in 2020, so I understand where you all are coming from and the experience you go through to prepare for these tournaments. Here's how I judge rounds in the following events:
No matter what event you're doing, if I see you're having fun, are engaged, and enjoy what you do, I'll love it. Thats what debate is about! I don't want it to seem like you hate your life when you're doing debate.
this was my main event in high school--I'm super familiar with how the event works, so feel free to go in full congress mode.
CONTENT: I want to see a very in-depth, nuanced debate with quality sources. Every claim you make should be rooted in fact--I can easily see through an hyperbolic extrapolation you make. You should be citing professionals in the field at all times possible and referring to databases/think tanks. If I don't trust your source, I can't agree with your argument. if you make up, falsify, or misconstrue evidence at any point in your speech or cross examination and I find out, I will drop you off of my ballot.
SPEAKING: I don't have a speaking style preference really as long as you remain respectful. Don't talk over others, don't cut people off, don't make faces, etc. etc. I know in congressional debate its easy to fall into these habits, but its simply unprofessional--you shouldn't have to make your point stronger by disrespecting others! if at any point in the round you say something/insinuate/at in a way that is derogatory, discriminatory, or in poor taste, I will drop you off of my ballot.
CROSS-EX: ask thoughtful, thorough questions. I judge cx very strongly as it is the best opportunity to stand out in a round when you only have 3-9 minutes of speaking time. Do not try to stall/beat around the bush for an answer.
ROLE: if you're giving an authorship, you better explain what the issue is and how the bill solves it. Every single speech after the first should involve clash. If you're giving the last speech, you better crystalize.
CLASH: my FAVORITE part of congressional debate--this is what I'm looking for in your speeches if you're not first aff!
Public Forum & LD
SPEED: if you spread I simply will not flow. Your job is to convince me and you won't be able to do that at 2394323 wpm.
SPEAKING POINTS: I usually start off at a 28/29, and if you're really good I'll bump you up. If you are really bad, I'll start taking points off, but 80% of the time you'll be in the 27-29 range.
CONTENT: nuanced, in-depth arguments please!!! You better have fantastic, recent sources and very strong links. Please have arguments that are unique to the debate--It's hard to convince me to vote for you if your impacts exist in both worlds. if you make up, falsify, or misconstrue evidence at any point in your speech or cross examination and I find out, I will drop you off of my ballot.
THEORY: don't run theory just to run theory. you better have a reason for doing so, and you better convince me why it means you win.
CROSS-EX: I LOVE CX. MAKE ME ENJOY IT. DO NOT YELL. ASK FANTASTIC QUESTIONS. If at any point in the round you say something/insinuate/at in a way that is derogatory, discriminatory, or in poor taste, I will drop you off of my ballot.
I dabbled in speech--I really believe in creative freedom here, the only thing I ask is that you stay organic and true to yourself. Don't try to cater to me!
I debated for 2 years at Brophy College Preparatory in LD. I did NPDA at Berkeley.
- I’ll vote on any argument that’s warranted
- Speed is fine, just be clear.
- If you’re going to do an analytics dump just slow down so I can catch them and if you are reading multiple responses to an arg please number how many points there are before you spread through them (i.e. 4 points…)
- Speaks boost if you flash analytics and disclose open source.
Flows the doc ----------------------------------------X--Flow what I hear
Fairness/clash/research impacts on T --------X----------------------------------Movements?
Offense/defense on T -------------------------X-----------------Impact turns
Extinction outweighs vs K ---------------------------------------X---- Link level args/perm
Conditionality bad -------------------------X--------------------Infinite and good
Aff-leaning on T vs Policy Affs --------------------X----------------------Neg-leaning on T vs Policy Affs
Internal Link Answers ----X--------------------------------------Impact Defense
Actually extending arguments ----X--------------------------------------- Shadow Extensions
Policy: Love these. Please know the evidence and the internal link story well and extend arguments not just authors during cross applications. As always, weighing is ultra-important. Affs should have inherency and weighing should start in the 1AR. For CP’s you should say "condo -> judge kick" if you want me to judge kick. For DA’s quality over quantity- a couple well-cut cards with warrants that says what you want it to say > seven one-liners
Phil: I know a lot of phil as it was actually written by the author and I’m very comfortable judging these types of debates. Be sure to make comparative fw answers as well as line by line their framework. In debate I think phil gets used as a cop-out in favor of hiding tricks which I’m not a fan of. I’m fine with independent voters justified by the fw just be clear about them. If you must read tricks then be upfront about them and they should be grouped at the top or the bottom of the doc
Theory/T: Great. I think that line-by-line is especially important in these kinds of debates and value as many specific ties to the topic as possible. Weighing between standards is also a must that is too often overlooked. I default competing interps, DTA, no RVI, and fairness as a voter; however, I can be easily persuaded otherwise. Semantic heavy shells like nebel can be ok if it's cut right. I have a low tolerance for friv theory shells. Also, if you have a saucy justification or explanation of a standard that is unique from what most people would read SLOW DOWN so I can flow that independent of the stock stuff.
K: While I didn't run many kritikal positions in high school, I do it much more now and enjoy these types of debates. I’m comfortable with Baudrillard, Warren, Deleuze, Bataille and stock Ks, anything else I approach through how you explain the thesis of the K so be sure to describe what exactly your K is/does and why that means I should vote for you (clear overviews that explain the framing > extending obscure terminology) . I tend to buy “non-falsifiable” evidence versus most psychoanalytic theories, provided they’re warranted. I don’t like Floating PIKs and think the K needs to win its thesis of the world to win the round. I always appreciate a good link wall. For K affs v Topicality you need to explain how the process of debate functions under your model and should do more than just impact turn the voters. I think most K ROB don’t make much sense and the analysis of why certain impacts come first should just be included in the framing.
Graduated from CK McClatchy High School in 2020. Currently debate for UC Berkeley. Conflicts: CK McClatchy, West Campus, Harker.
yes email chain please -- email@example.com
I flow straight down on my laptop.
These things suck. Everybody lies and says they are agnostic but in my experience nobody but maybe 10 people really mean it. I am not going to pretend like I don't have preferences and won't internally eye-roll and react negatively to certain arguments, but I will try my absolute hardest to stick to my flow (with the exception of the arguments clearly identified in this paradigm as non-starters).
That in mind, here is my general approach to judging and some preferences:
I was largely a k debater in high school but I am exclusively a policy debater in college. I feel comfortable judging both sides of the spectrum. Regardless of the issue at hand, evidence quality matters a lot to me, and I will read every card mentioned by name in the final rebuttals before making my decision.
I think I care more than other judges about judge instruction. Telling me how to read/understand cards, how to frame warrants, etc. will be taken very seriously when the debate comes to an end. Smart, strategic judge instruction and framing will quickly earn speaker points (addendum: this does not mean I want you to give a 5 minute overview to "frame out" their offense - under no circumstances should judge instruction come before line by line.)
Most of my paradigm is about k debate because I have far less feelings about policy rounds. That is not to say I am not a good judge for them. My favorite debates to judge are big, in-depth policy rounds that are vertically oriented and have lots of good evidence. That being said, I have far less instruction to offer you because those rounds are more straight-forward to evaluate. I will reward smart turns case arguments and clever analytics above a wall of cards in these debates.
Non-resolutional debate -
I generally think that debates are better, more interesting, and more educational when the aff defends a topical plan based on the resolution.
I have been in many of these debates, mostly on the aff and always impact turning some part of T. I think that raises my threshold for the aff a bit because I have first hand experience with how easy it can be to beat framework with args that suck. If you are going for an impact turn to T without a counter-interpretation, you should probably win offense against model v model debates. If you do have a counter-interpretation, tell me why your offense doesn't link to that model and it resolves some predictability/limits/whatever.
- I like impact turns a lot. I am a good judge for heg/cap good, and a bad judge for affs that don't want to defend anything. In my opinion, if you have taken a radically leftist position and forwarded a structural kritik but are unwilling to debate the most surface level right-wing propaganda, you are both bastardizing the literature and being cowards. As someone that genuinely subscribes to a lot of leftist political ideals, I find this sort of revolting. I will not be convinced that your indictment of settler colonialism/some other superstructure is conviently okay with whatever the neg has impact turned. Inversely, if you are a k team that is ready to throw down on these questions, I will consider you strong-willed, brave, and smart.
- Skills/clash solve the case with a big external, a TVA, and a robust presumption push on case is the quickest way to my heart.
- Procedural fairness is not a silver bullet for aff offense. If this is your impact, a vague sentence about not weighing the aff is not sufficient for me to zero all of their stuff, especially if they have impact turns to your model. I have never heard the sentence "procedural fairness is the only impact your ballot can remedy," nor do I know what it means, please don't say it at me.
- Similarly, presumption pushes against affs that are just built to impact turn T are very persuasive.
- I don't like offense that hinges on the subject position of your opponent or me as a judge. I also very strongly prefer not to be in charge of your mental health, livelihood, or identity. EDIT 11/21: have received questions about this and would like to clarify -- args about value to life, ressentiment, etc. are totally fine. I don't want be in charge of you as an individual -- meaning your role in the community, your mental health, or your sense of self.
Neg - I consider myself fairly sufficient in most kritik literature and have researched extensively, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't explain your theory. I don't think its fair of me to just fill in gaps for you (for example, deciding in my own head what it means if you "win the ontology debate.") The best way to win in front of me is to have a unique link that turns the case and beats the aff without framework.
Aff - Impact turn things. Weigh the aff against the alt for more than just fairness -- see my framework thoughts for the neg above. If you are going soft left against the k that is also fine, but sounding nice and in the direction of whatever your opponents say doesn't tell me why the alt doesn't solve the aff.
Usually these debates are pretty bad to judge because people just spread through their blocks and don't do line by line. I tend to be lenient with all neg shenanigans. I will totally kick positions for you if you tell me to, but please remind me to do so -- I have no theoretical qualms with judge kick, but I sometimes forget to do it unless you tell me to in the 2NR.
I largely think if cps compete, they are legit. I can sometimes be convinced otherwise, but if your theory argument is just "this counterplan is bad," I am going to be convinced by neg arbitrariness arguments (with the exception of ConCon -- I think there is a case to be made that we should just arbitrarily exclude that counterplan because it is so clearly bad for debate.)
All of that being said, I also think most cheat-ey cps don't compete! So if you're aff, you're not tanked -- you are just better off going for the perm than, say, theory.
Please do not go for condo in front of me. I have no idea why the neg thinking they can kick a counterplan or an alternative is a voting issue -- simply saying conditionality is bad is not sufficient for me to nuke the other team from the debate. I have never participated in or seen a debate between competent opponents in which even the most egregious abuses of conditionality effected the decision. If the neg drops it twice, I guess you have to go for it. I can think of very few circumstances where it is a good idea otherwise. Slightly more sympathetic for LD because of 1AR time pressures, but still will lean heavily neg and will cap speaks at 29 for the aff.
If my camera is not on, please assume I am not ready for you to begin speaking.
I would very much appreciate if you could record your speeches in case there are internet issues while you are talking.
I am not comfortable evaluating arguments about debaters being in the same room together, "the COVID procedural," or anything else that has to do with out of round conduct. If you make the debate about this, I will be angry with you and likely vote you down.
Even the clearest debaters tend to be tougher to flow in an online format. I understand that this comes with some strategic cost, but I will reward you with speaks if you go a little slower than usual and make sure to be extra clear.
If you do not ask for a marked document in your debate, I will add .1 to your speaker points. Unless your opponent legitimately marked cards, your speaker points will be capped at 29 if you ask for one. Flow better. Asking about what was and wasn't read is CX time. Every time you ask "did you read x" that's minus .1 speaker points.
EDIT 4/10/22: adding this after judging ~120 LD debates:
1. There seem to be issues with clarity plaguing this activity. To try and discourage this, I will do the following things: a.) I will never open your documents during the debate. I will read cards after if you tell me too. b.) I will say clear 5 times, after that, I'm not flowing c.) If, on the other hand, you are clear, I will give way too high of speaks. Some of the best teams in this activity sound great -- its clearly possible to win without being unflowable.
As my record indicates, I overwhelmingly vote neg in LD debates. Usually, this is because the 1AR runs out of time and drops something important, and I feel like my hands are tied on new 2AR args. That in mind -- 1ARs that set up big framing issues, start doing impact calc, and cut out superfluous arguments in favor of barebones substance will be rewarded with speaker points and usually the ballot. Aff teams, the entire activity seems to be stacked against you -- so debate accordingly, and don't waste time on useless stuff like condo.
I am gettable on Nebel/whole rez, but don't usually find it particularly persuasive. Seems counter-intuitive.
Please go easy on the theory -- I get that its a big part of the activity, but if your plan going into the debate is to go for a theory arg, you shouldn't pref me. I am usually going to vote neg.
I am not 100% familiar with all of the LD nomenclature so I may need a little explanation of things like "upward entailment test" and other LD-specific vocab
No RVI's ever under any circumstances
- Consider me dead inside -- moralizing and tugging on my heart strings will only earn you negative speaks - debate is not about individual feelings, and I will not consider yours when deciding your round.
- I strongly believe that you should be allowed to insert rehighlightings of evidence that has already been read in the debate if you think it goes the other way/want to add context to an argument. Please do not abuse this by inserting a million rehighlightings, but I will be hard to convince that it is not okay to do so in moderation (especially in the 1AR.)
- There is nothing more off-putting to me than debaters who take themselves too seriously. Please stop acting like this is anything other than a silly game we all want to win at.
- In that same vein, being rude does not make you cool or interesting. Snarky CX comments, saying mean stuff in speeches, etc. will make me dislike you and actively hope that you lose the debate. If I think you are too rude, I will say something after the round and take pleasure in giving you bad speaks. If it gets to the point where I am saying something to you, you should assume I bombed your speaks. If you are a team that can't make your arguments without being mean to other debaters, strike me.
Public Forum (copied from Greg Achten)
Pretty much everything in the above paradigm is applicable here but there are two key additions. First, I strongly oppose the practice of paraphrasing evidence. If I am your judge I would strongly suggest reading only direct quotations in your speeches. My above stated opposition to the insertion of brackets is also relevant here. Words should never be inserted into or deleted from evidence.
Second, there is far too much untimed evidence exchange happening in debates. I will want all teams to set up an email chain to exchange cases in their entirety to forego the lost time of asking for specific pieces of evidence. You can add me to the email chain as well and that way after the debate I will not need to ask for evidence. This is not negotiable if I'm your judge - you should not fear your opponents having your evidence. Under no circumstances will there be untimed exchange of evidence during the debate. Any exchange of evidence that is not part of the email chain will come out of the prep time of the team asking for the evidence. The only exception to this is if one team chooses not to participate in the email thread and the other team does then all time used for evidence exchanges will be taken from the prep time of the team who does NOT email their cases.
running list of arguments that are simply too bad to be evaluated:
new affs bad
no neg fiat
plan focus allows you to say the n word in debates
my opponent did something outside the round that they should lose for
Please do not ask me for high speaks -- you lose half a point every time you bring it up
I will only flow the person who's speech it is (edit: Feel less strongly about this during the 1AC/1NC)
email me if you have questions -- I kind of suck at responding to email sometimes but I will get around to answering your questions.
I am new to judging debates. This is the first time that I've judged this event.
Don't assume I have had much exposure to debating or the topic of the debate.
I will be doing my best to judge the debate fairly with the guidlines I am given.
A few things to keep in mind:
Speed: If you want me to understand your argument it is to your advantage to speak slowly.
Arguments: I will look for convincing arguments that are rationally presented.
Debate jargon: I am unfamiliar with most debate jargon. If you use jargon it is best to explain it.
Presentation: Please be respectful and kind to each other during the debate. Doing otherwise may create conflict in my ability to judge fairly.
Hi there! My name is Kenneth (he/him) :D
I mainly debated policy in high school, and now I don't WOOOOOOO!!!
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel free to ask me any specific questions before the round!
Run whatever you want as long as it's not discriminatory + tricks in LD (strike me)
Spreading really annoys me and makes me scream, shake, cry, and throw up internally
Please follow any accommodations requested
Be kind, have fun, and take this as an opportunity to learn!
Eat it up...devour even, and leave no crumbs behind
Debated 2 years at Downtown Magnets High school and 1 Year in College. I am familiar with both LD and Policy Debates.
I'm not the most experience debater, but I have a grasp of most concepts in debate. Explain at the end why your winning the debate.
· Add me in the email chain before the round starts
· I will not keep track of time and flashing evidence is not considered prep time, but don’t be slow
· I am experience enough, but find the middle ground in speed for important arguments later in the round.
· Flush out arguments and explain high theory well including the importance of the debate
· I’m more techy
· I like performance and K’s and T
· Framework needs to be clear and concise.
I like performances and kritikal affirmatives, that’s basically summarizes my preference on K-affs. I am not well versed in most hard theory kritiks. I ran Cap K mostly, but I’m fine with any other kritik’s if you explain them. Don’t be intimidated to run any hard theory kritik’s, but take the time to explain the arguments.
I like all policy aff’s except the most generic ones. The more unique the affirmative is the more likely I will like the aff and probably vote on it.
Disadvantage links is what I focus a lot on. The structure for the DA should stay the same and answering them should stay the same not tangled in a mess. I will consider who has a more a updated Uniqueness card. Uniqueness is the foundation of the DA, so the card must be relevant. I like all Cp’s even consult, Cp w/ planks, and 2nc cps are okay. Give me a good reason why to outweigh the Cp against the aff and answer the perm. A good net benefit could be the very reason you win on the CP.
Any theory is fine. Topicality is one of my favorite arguments so make sure to extend interpretation and counter-interps. I want to see both negative and affirmative topicality to be contested. If you run T as a time skew that is also fine. Debate is all about strategy and using the tools you have.
I dislike trick debate
My RFD's can sometimes be unclear so ask questions
Don’t be toxic. (less speaks). I always give high speaks so don’t worry about speaks to much
ONLINE DEBATE: start off at 70-80% top speed and go from there. I'll speak up for you to slow down if needed.
BERKELEY UPDATE: I realized I'm dogshit at flowing so please please please slow down if you like to blitz non-sent analytics and signpost if u extemp anything
CHURCHILL UPDATE:I don't really know anything about the topic lol extend a lil more
add me to the email chain: email@example.com
Hi, my name is Eric! I am a parent judge so please adapt well to me. Speaking persuasively and professional dress are very important to me in round. I believe that these LD debates should be similar to the debates between the OGs Abraham Lincoln and Michael Douglas (I got a 4 in my APUSH AP tests so I know what I'm talking about). All debates should have a clear value/criterion and good weighing under that said framework!
Here is a quote that sums up how I feel about this Lincoln-Douglas activity:
"They conceded the sand paradox which triggers skep" - Abraham Lincoln
have fun ill vote off literally anything (except if it's oppressive IE racism good, sexism good, etc)
tech > truth, truth > tech when it's idpol Ks and stuff that's about violence
FUN CASE > SERIOUS CASE
epistemic confidence > epistemic modesty
debate is a game that has educational value
novices should learn by fire. read whatever against them
don't read stuff just cause you think I'd like it - a clean LARP debate is a lot better than a tricks debate that I have to intervene in
don't be a fascist
Explain the K thesis well - I don't know the thesis level claims of most kritiks past cap, set col, baudy, security and identity Ks.
I have a lower threshold for responses for these and I'll buy RVIs good more easily for these args - funny if done right tho - the more frivolous it is, the more i'll enjoy judging it
ngl, i really used to like LARP vs LARP debates, but now they get stale. I think they are good if you are creative with it.
Go for it. I am more inclined to believe that FW is a procedural issue that has an issue on how the 1AC debatability, so "T is policing" args usually can be beat back super quickly.
Go for it. I assume you have FW blocked out so respond to it properly not just "iTs gOoD tO dEbAtE aBoUt _____ IsSuE"
I'm reasonably versed in Kant, Hobbes, and Butler with some Deluezean understanding so I'm alright on that. Skep triggers for phil takeouts are super underutilized (IE the Moen devolves to skep bc of pleasure/pain robots arg)
slow down for analytics that aren't pre-sent
what to do to get good speaks:
collapsing to my favorite arguments and win: spark, evaluate after 1ac/nc/ar, a prioris, paradoxes, friv theory = + whatever I feel like at the time - 99% of the time super high
crack some jokes don't be so stiff
give me food (preferably like soda) = +1
sit down really early and still win = +2
what to do to get bad speaks:
be racist, invalidate someone's identity, not following a trigger warning request = L25 :)
clipping/lying about evidence - if me or ur opponent catches u thats an L25 :(
at the end of the day, debate is a game. we should all be vibing w each other yk? I think we should all strive for new ways to understand the world around us and find solutions for stuff we need solutions to. just try to have some fun in debate while ur at it.
POLICY (if i'm forced to judge it):
I'm gonna be fully honest - I'm not too well versed in K lit or whatever so if ur reading some wack stuff please err on the side of over-explaining on extensions
I'll also evaluate tricks, phil, and friv theory because I think that it would be funny in policy if u wanna fw ur opponents
I'll give you a 20-30% chance that I WILLjudge screw you - I get tired quickly so I'll boost yall's speaks if you sit down early :)
I don't care what you wear. Be comfortable in round that would probably make you speak better too tbh
I am a parent judge and looking for cool and calm presentation.
Please provide analysis on evidence and explain to me why it matters. Simply reading evidence and saying "I have evidence that negates my opponents' claim" does not make me buy the argument, that evidence must either warrant that or you explain that warrant to me. I am not in tune with any debate jargon, uniq and link make no sense to me so just use layman terms for those, impact is the only thing I understand please weigh for me.
If you are doing LD, I will probably not understand any framework besides Util, so please just use util if you don't want to spend 2 minutes of your speech explaining rawls or some other FW to me.
I don't know what a Theory or Kay is.
Basically, treat me like I am dumb, signpost everything explain why the other side doesn't win, tell me what to vote on and weigh. If you bring up new evi in the 1NR or 2AR I will catch that and you will be dropped so don't do that.
Good luck and most importantly have fun!
Background: Debated LD in Colorado during high school; coach since graduation also in Colorado, MA in International Studies (Governance, Human Rights, and Civil Society). 2021 - 2022 season: I've watched equal amounts PF and LD, only a few CX rounds.
I have judged at Stanford and Berkeley tournaments for several years, plus numerous out rounds in LD and CX at NSDA Nationals.
Apparently I haven't updated this in a while...since that last update I've come to believe that paradigms are even more useless. I write it. You read it. We probably both ignore it.
- Please impact your extensions. I won't simply flow through a card author.
- Give me voters! Probably with some weighing and clash...
- I dislike it when individuals run arguments that they don't understand: 1) quality over quantity; 2) don't waste my time. (I am seeing SO much power tagging. I can pull up your evidence very quickly and do a keyword search.)
- I think the best debate rounds are those in which the debaters agree what is being debated and don't try to play games--don't try to confuse your opponent, don't try to tell me you addressed something when you didn't, etc. Just be clear and engage with the issues of the round.
- If you want to ask me additional questions before a round, please be specific. Otherwise you prepped for a round and my paradigm is just some words on a screen.
I've never really thought about having a PF specific paradigm... My overall thought is that PF is meant to focus on the topic. I want substantive debate and not theory. I'm normally pretty tab at debate, but I find it so uninspiring to hear a whole round on theory.
Nothing special for LD. Be smart on time use.
My debaters have called me out and said I seem anti-CX here. Truth is, I think really good CX debate is better than anything else, and I've come to really appreciate CX. The problem is that it is rare to see a good round of CX. There's never clash. People read arguments they don't understand. People ignore evidence at a whim. There's a tension between just reading a bunch of cards and wanting the judge to do the work of analysis and then complaining about judges not understanding arguments. And more. And it's not unique to CX.
So, long-story short: I try to be pretty tab in CX -- because I wasn't a competitor I have very few preconceived ideas of what I want to see in a round. Take some extra time and explain any CX theory to me. I'm not going to love a lot of "education is better" or "truthiness is better" either. Do some work if it comes down to theory.
Speed: I have no preference and a pretty high threshold for an LD judge from backwards Colorado. I try to keep a rigorous flow so if you get too fast I will clearly stop typing or writing. If you also don't slow down a bit on taglines, arguments and cards probably won't get flowed where you want them.
Arguments: I tend to be more interested in philosophical debates and "traditional" LD (for CX this means I probably enjoy a good K debate, but I also appreciate a clear policy framework), but I will listen to, and flow anything. Start with a clear framework, provide clash, and make it clear for me where I vote. I have a pretty solid background in political theory and an interest in German philosophy broadly (Kant to Habermas).
I am a parent judge and have judged speech and debate over the last several years across ~12 tournaments. I try to judge tournaments using a balanced approach that focuses on content, delivery, language and quality of research.
I am a parent debate judge who has judged 11 rounds (POI, LD, IMP, OO, INF, EX).
- 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.
quick prefs: 1 - phil, 1-2 policy and k, 2-3 theory, and strike tricks.
policy - 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. Share similar views to phil debate and frameworks as Andrew Garber.
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.
theory - check Matthew Berhe for his thoughts on theory debate and defaults as mine are relatively the same.
I debated Policy for 6 years (2014-2020), so I’m pretty much fine with anything. Also did some PF and LD. I’ve also been out of debate for a few years though and have little topic knowledge. Don’t be offensive. I mostly read topical affs and was predominantly policy debater on the neg. I am fine and familiar with Kritiks, but it wasn’t my go to 2NR strategy. I love T debate and theory, but that very much does not mean RVIs or tricks, which I will generally not vote on.
Add me to the Email Chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
-Debated 4 years LD, graduating in 2013; qualified to TOC twice and reached Quarterfinals my senior year.
-Have coached for 10 years; am currently the Head Debate Coach at Lynbrook High School.
- My goal when judging is to be tab.
- That being said, I am way better at judging phil debates than policy debates.
- Start your last speech with an overview that tells me as directly as possible why you win. It shouldn't be prewritten. It should go something like: 'I'm winning X argument because Y, and it comes first because Z.'
- Please compare clashing arguments as soon as possible (i.e. in the NC/1AR). Weighing is more important to my ballot than extra cards.
- I like theory but NOT when it's extra ridiculous (i.e. shoe theory).
grossly overqualified parent judge
Current affiliations: Director of PF at NSD-Texas, Taylor HS
Prior: LC Anderson (2018-23), John B. Connally HS (2015-18), TDC,UTNIF LD
Quick guide to prefs
Share ALL new evidence with me and your opponents before the speech during which it is read. Strike me if this is a problem. A paraphrased narrative with no cards in the doc does not count. This is an accommodation I need and a norm that makes debate better. I have needed copies of case since I was a high school debater. Even with me complaining about this, it often doesn't seem to make a difference. The maximum amount of speaks you can get if you don't share your constructive with me is 28.4 and that's if you are perfect.
Tech > truth unless it's bigoted or something
Unconventional arguments: fine, must be coherent and developed (K, spec advocacies, etc)
Framing/weighing mechanism: love impact framing that makes sense; at the very least do meta-weighing. "Cost-benefit analysis" is not a real framework. Must be read in constructive or top of rebuttal
Evidence sharing/disclosure: absolutely necessary but i won't ever vote for a disclosure shell that would out queer debaters. I will err toward reasonability on disclosure if there is contact info on the wiki and/or the case is freely shared a reasonable time before round.
Theory: I am gooder than most at evaluating theory but don't read it if you don't know how. Evidence ethics is very very very very very important
Speed: Fine. Share speech docs
Problematic PF bro/clout culture: ew no
Weighing: wins the majority of PF debates, especially link weighing
Default: offense/defense if there's no framing comparison or reason to prefer one method of weighing
Flow: yes, i flow
Sticky defense: no
LARP/topicality/MEXICAN STUFF: 1+
1-off ap, setcol, cap/1nc non-friv theory: 1-2
kant without tricks: 1-2
deleuze/softleft/psycho/non-pess black studies: 2
most other k/nt aff: 3
rawls/non-kant phil/heavy fw: 3-4
queer pess/tricks: probably strike although I'm coming around on spikes a little bit
disability pess/nonblack afropess: strike if you don't want to lose
TLDR: Share speech docs. Don't be argumentatively or personally abusive. Debate is a game, but winning is not the only objective. Line by line debate is important. No new case extensions in 2AR or final focus. I will intervene against bigotry and disregard for others' physical and mental wellness. I don't disclose speaks, sorry :). I promise I'm trying my best to be nice. LD and policy-specific stuff at the bottom of this doc. I love Star Wars. I will listen to SPARK, warming good, and most impact turns but I generally believe that physical death is not good. Pronouns he/him/his.
Speaks range: usually between 27 and 29.8. 28.5 is average/adequate. I usually only give 30s to good novices or people who go out of their way to make the space better. If you are a man and are sexist in the space I will hack your speaks.
Note on ableism: It is upsetting for me personally to hear positions advocating unipolar pessimism, hopelessness, or the radical rejection of potential futures or social engagement/productivity by the disabled or especially the neurodivergent subject.DO NOT read disability pessimism/abjection or pandering arguments about autism to get me to vote for you. You will lose automatically, sorry
Post-rounding: I can't handle it. This includes post-rounding in email after rounds. I am autistic and it is psychologically and behaviorally triggering for me. I'll take the blame that I can't handle it, just please don't.
Afropessimism: I will vote you down regardless of any arguments made in the round if you or your partner aren't Black and you read afropess. Watch me I'll do it
I have the lowest threshold you can possibly imagine for a well-structured theory argument based on the refusal to share evidence not just with me but with your opponents.
Personal abuse, harassment, or competitive dishonesty of any kind is strictly unacceptable. Blatantly oppressive/bigoted speech or behavior will make me consider voting against a debater whether or not the issue is raised by their opponent. If a debater asks you to respect and use preferred pronouns/names, I will expect you to do so. If your argument contains graphic depictions of racial, sexual, or otherwise marginalizing violence, please notify your opponent. Also see mental health stuff below, which is personally tough to hear sometimes. You do not need to throw trigger warnings onto every argument under the sun, it can be trivializing to the lived experience of the people you're talking about. Blatant evidence ethics violations such as clipping are an auto-voter. Try not to yell, please; my misophonia (an inconvenient characteristic shared by a lot of autistic people) makes unexpected volume changes difficult.
Our community and the individual people in it are deeply important to me. Please do your part to make debate safe and welcoming for competitors, judges, coaches, family members, and friends. I am moody and can be a total jerk sometimes, and I'm not so completely naive to think everything is fluffy bunnies and we'll all be best friends forever after every round, but I really do believe this activity can be a place where we lift each other up, learn from our experiences, and become better people. If you're reading this, I care about you. I hope your participation in debate reflects both self-care and care for others.
Mental and emotional well-being are at a crisis point in society, and particularly within our activity. We have all lost friends and colleagues to burnout, breakdown, and at worst, self-harm. If you are debating in front of me, and contribute to societal stigmas surrounding mental health or belittle/bully your opponent in any way that is related to their emotional state or personal struggles with mental wellness, you will lose with minimum speaks. I can't make that any more clear. If you are presenting arguments related to suicide, depression, panic, or self-harm, you must give a content warning for me. I am not flexible on this and will absolutely use my ballot to enforce this expectation.
PF: Speed is fine. Framing is great (actually, to the extent that any weighing mechanism counts as framework, I desire and enthusiastically encourage it). Framing should be read in constructive or at the TOP of rebuttal. Nontraditional PF arguments (K, theory, spec advocacies) are fine if they're warranted. Warrants in evidence matter so much to me.
PF Theory: I agree with the thesis behind disclosure theory, though I am less likely to vote on it at a local or buy an abuse story if the offending case is straightforward/common. Disclosure needs to be read in constructive. Don't read theory against novices. I will have a low threshold for paraphrasing theory if the violation is about the constructive and/or if the evidence isn't shared before the speech. Don't be afraid to make something a paragraph shell or independent voter (rather than a structured shell) so long as the voter is implicated.
I will always prefer evidence that is properly cut and warranted in the evidence rather than in a tag or paraphrase of it, especially offense and uniqueness evidence. I have an extremely LOW tolerance for miscut or mischaracterized evidence and am just *waiting* for some hero to make it an independent voter.. So nice, I’ll say it twice: Evidence ethics arguments have a very low threshold.
DO NOT PERPETUATE THE TOXIC, PRIVILEGED MALE PF ARCHETYPE. You know *exactly* what I’m talking about, or should. Call that stuff out, and your speaks will automatically go up. If you make the PF space unwelcoming to women or gender minorities, expect L25 and don’t expect me to feel bad about it.
I absolutely expect frontlining in second rebuttal, and will consider conceded turns true. I will not vote on new arguments or arguments not gone for in summary in final focus. No sticky defense.
"It's not allowed in PF" is not by itself a warranted argument.
Crossfire: If you want me to use something from crossfire in my RFD, it needs to be in subsequent speeches. I am not flowing crossfire; I am listening but probably also playing 2048 or looking at animal pictures. I don't really care if you skip Grand, but I won't let you use that practice as an excuse to frontload your prep use then award yourselves extra prep time.
Speed: Most rates of delivery are usually fine, though I love clarity and I am getting older. If you are not clear, I will say "clear." Slow down on tags and analytics for my sake and for your opponent's sake, especially if you don’t include your analytics in the doc. For online debates, the more arguments that are in the doc the better. I will listen to well-developed theoretical or critical indictments of spreading, but it will take some convincing.
Kritik: I have a basic understanding of much of the literature. Explain very clearly why I should vote and why your opponent should lose. For me, "strength of link" is not an argument applicable to most kritik rounds - I ask whether there is a risk of link (on both sides). Your arguments need to be coherent and well-reasoned. "Don't weigh the case" is not a warranted argument by itself - I tend to believe in methodological pluralism and need to be convinced that the K method should be prioritized. A link is *not* enough for a ballot. Just because I like watching policy-oriented rounds doesn't mean I don't understand the kritik or will hack against them. If you link to your own criticism, you are very unlikely to win. I believe the K is more convincing with both an alternative and a ballot implication (like most, I find the distinction between ROB and ROJ somewhat confusing).Please be mindful and kind about reading complicated stuff against novices. It is violent and pushes kids out of debate.
Theory/T: Fine, including 1AR theory. Just like with any other winning argument, I tend to look for some sort of offense in order to vote on either side. I don't default to drop the debater or argument. My abuse threshold on friv shells is much higher. I will not ever vote for a shell that polices debaters' appearance, including their clothes, footwear, hair, presentation, or anything else you can think of (unless their appearance is itself violent). I'll have a fairly high threshold on a strict "you don't meet" T argument against an extremely common aff and am more likely than not to hold the line on allowing US/big-ticket affs in most Nebel debates. One more thing - all voters and standards should be warranted. I get annoyed by "T is a voter because fairness and education" without a reason why those two things make T a voter. I don't care if it's obvious. Don't abuse theory against inexperienced debaters. A particularly egregious example would be to read shells in the 1AC, kick them, and read multiple new shells in the 1AR. Underviews and common spikes are fine. Please, I strongly prefer no tricks or excessive a prioris.A little addendum to that is that I do like truth testing as an argument, but not to justify skep or whatever dopey paradox makes everything false
Frameworks: Fine with traditional (stock or V/C), policy, phil, K, performance, but see my pref guide above for what I am most comfortable evaluating. While I don't think you have to have your own framework per se, I find it pretty curious when a debater reads one and then just abandons it in favor of traditional util weighing absent a distinct strategic reason to do so. I think TJF debates are interesting, but I seldom meet frameworks that *can't* be theoretically justified. Not sure if there's a bright line other than "you need to read the justifications in your constructive," and I'm not sure how good that argument is. I will vote on permissibility/presumption, on which I often lean aff in LD/policy.
LARP: My personal favorite and most comfortable debate to evaluate. Plans, counterplans, PICs, disads, solvency dumps, case turns, etc. Argue it well and it's fine. I don't think making something a floating PIK necessarily gets rid of competition problems; it has to be reasoned well. I'm very skeptical of severance perms and will have to be convinced - my threshold for voting on severance bad is very low. Impact turns are underutilized, but don't think that means I want you to be bigoted or fascist. Cap/heg good are fine. I'm very skeptical of warming good but will vote for it. To the extent that anyone prefs me, and no one should ever pref me under any circumstances, LARPers ought to consider preffing me highly.
Condo: Be really, really careful before you kick a K, especially if it is identity-related - I think reps matter. I am more likely to entertain condo bad if there are multiple conditional advocacies. More likely to vote on condo bad in LD than policy because of time/strat skew. One conditional counterplan advocacy in LD or 2 in policy is generally ok to me and I need a clear abuse story - I almost never vote for condo bad if it's 1 conditional counterplan.
Flashing/Email/Disclosure: I will vote for disclosure theory, but have a higher threshold for punishing or making an example of novices or non-circuit debaters who don't know or use the wiki. Reading disclosure at locals is silly. Lying during disclosure will get you dropped with 25 speaks; I don't care if it's part of the method of your advocacy. If you're super experienced, please consider not being terrible about disclosure to novice or small-school debaters who simply don't know any better. Educate them so that they'll be in a position to teach good practices in future rounds. My personal perspective on disclosure is informed by my background as a lawyer - I liken disclosure to the discovery process, and think debate is a lot better when we are informed. I won't vote on disclosure theory against a queer debater for whom disclosure would potentially out them. One caveat to prior disclosure is that I do conform to "breaking new" norms, though I listen to theory about it. In my opinion, the best form of disclosure is open-source speech docs combined with the wiki drop-down list. Please include me on email chains. Even if you don't typically share docs, please share me on speech docs - I can get lost trying to listen to even everyday conversation if I'm not able to follow along with written words. Seriously, I have cognitive stuff, please send me a speech doc.
I do not care how you are dressed so long as your appearance itself is not violent to other people.
Flex prep/open CX: Fine in any event including PF. More clarity is good.
Performative issues: If you're a white person debating critical race stuff, or a man advocating feminism against a woman/non-man, or a cis/het person talking queer issues, etc., be sensitive, empathetic, and mindful. Also, I tend to notice performative contradiction and will vote on it if asked to. For example, running a language K and using the language you're critiquing (outside of argument setup/tags) is a really bad idea.
I do NOT default to util in the case of competing frameworks. If the framing debate is absolutely impossible to evaluate (sadly, it happens), I will try to figure out who won by weighing offense and defense under both mechanisms.
I tend to think plan flaw arguments are silly, especially if they're punctuation or capitalization-related. I have a very high threshold to vote on plan flaw. It has to be *actually* confusing or abusive, not fake confusing. I do like interp flaw arguments as defensive theory responses in the 1ar
I won't ever hack against trad debaters, but I am what you’d call a “technical” judge and if a debater concedes something terminal to the ballot, it’s probably game over. If you’re a traditional debater and the field is largely circuit debaters, your best bet to win in front of me is probably to go hard on the framework debate and either straight-turn or creatively group your opponent’s arguments.
Warrant all arguments in both constructives and rebuttals. An extended argument means nothing to me if it isn't explained. “They conceded it” is not a warranted argument.
New for 2022: I'm older than most judges and I don't judge policy regularly anymore; I need you to slow down just a tick (300 wpm is fine if clear). I generally don't get lost in circuit LD rounds; think of that as your likely standard.
I was a policy debater and consultant at the beginning of my career. Most of this doc is LD and PF-specific, because those are the pools to which I'll generally be assigned. Most of what is above applies to my policy paradigm. I am most comfortable evaluating topical affirmatives and their implications, but I am a very flexible judge and critical/plan-less affs are fine. That said, just like in LD I like a good T debate and I will happily vote for TFW if it's well-argued and won. One minor thing is different from my LD paradigm: I conform a little bit more to policy norms in terms of granting RVIs less often in policy rounds, but that's about it. Obviously, framework debate (meaning overarching framing mechanisms, not T-Framework) is not usually as important in policy, but I'm totally down with it if that's how you debate. I guess a lot of policy debaters still default to util, so be careful if the other side isn't doing that but I guess it's fine if everyone does it. Excessive prompting/feeding during speeches may affect speaks, and I get that it's a thing sometimes, but I don't believe it's particularly educational and I expect whomever is giving the speech to articulate the argument. I am not flowing the words of the feeder, just the speaker. While I'm fairly friendly to condo advocacies in LD, I'm even more friendly to them in policy because of norms and speech times. I'll vote for condo bad, but it needs to be won convincingly - I'll likely err neg if it's 1 or 2 counterplans. Much more likely to vote for condo bad if one of the advocacies is a K that links to the counterplan(s).
Everyone: please ask questions if I can clarify anything. If you get aggressive after the round, expect the same from me and expect me to disengage with little to no warning. My wellness isn't worth your ego trip. I encourage pre-round questions. I might suggest you look over my paradigm, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't ask questions.
Finally, I find Cheetos really annoying in classrooms, especially when people are using keyboards. It's the dust. Don't test my Cheeto tolerance. I'm not joking, anything that has the dust sets me off. Cheetos, Takis, all that stuff. I get that it's delicious, but keep it the hell out of the academy.
EMAIL CHAIN: email@example.com
Please do not call me judge - Henderson - no Mr/Ms just Henderson. This is what I am most comfortable with.
Please share speech docs with me, your opponent in a timely manner. If it get long, your speaks drop. I've been saying for a couple years now that I cannot physical handle the top debaters speed any longer. I will not backflow or flow from doc. This is an oral activity so adjust. I am very expressive in round and you should have no issue discerning if I am with you or not. For me it is definitely that my pen times needs more time, so look periodically and you should be fine.
The older I get the more triggered I find I am when someone spreads unnecessarily. If you using speed to increase clash - awesome! If you are using it outspread your opponent then I am not your ideal judge. I can understand for the AC but I think a pre-round conversation with your opponent is both helpful and something as a community we should attempt to do at all time.
If you do not adjust or adapt accordingly I will give you the lowest speech possible. If this is a local, I am likely to vote against you - TOC/State - you will likely get the ballot but again lowest speaks possible.
I am an educator first. This means that I am concerned about the what happens in the debate more than I do about what the debate claims to achieve. This does not lessen my focus on argumentation, rather it is to say that I am sensitive to the issues that concern the debaters as individuals before I am my concern about various claimed link stories. Be honest, fair and considerate to each other. This manifests itself in my judging when I pay particular attention to the division of prep time. Debater who try to steal prep or are not considerate of their opponents prep will irritate me quickly (read: very bad speaks).
This is a common question given I tend to be critical on points. Basically, If you deserve to break then you should be getting no less than a 28.5. Speaker points are about speaking up to the point that I can understand your spread/read. Do not docbot. If you do not intonate you are not debating you are reading and that is just frustrating to me. Beyond that there are mostly about argumentation. Argumentation includes strategy, crystallization, and structuring of speeches. If you have a creative strat you will do well. If you are reading generics you will do less well. If you tell a full story on the implication of your strat you will do well. If I have to read cards to figure out what you are advocating you will not. If you collapse well and convene the method and meaning of your approach you will do well. If you go for everything (neg) or a small trick you will not. Finally, if you ask specific questions about how I might feel about your strat you will do well. If you ask, "What's your paradigm?" because you did not take the time to look you will not. Previously, I had a no speaker point disclosure rule. I have changed. So ask, if you care to talk about why; not if you do not want to discuss the reasoning, but only want the number.
I truly like a good theory debate. I went for T often as a debater and typically ran quasi topical cases so that I could engage in theory debates. This being said, what you read should be related to the topic. If the words of the topic do not occur in what you read you are in an uphill battle, unless you have a true justification as to why. I am very persuaded that we should learn about certain topics outside of the debate topic, but that just means you should create a forum or propose a topic to the NSDA, or create a book club. Typical theory questions: Reasonability is defense, competing interps are offense. Some spec is generally encouraged to increase clash and more nuance, too much should be debated. Disclosure theory is not very persuasive too me, unless debated very well and should only be used after you sought to have an actual conversation with your opponent prior to the debate. I am very persuaded by contact info at national tournaments - put up contact info and any accomodations you need - it makes for a safer space.
A kritik is a disad with a counterplan, typically to me. This means I should understand the link, the impact and the alternative as much as I would if you read a disad and counterplan. I vote against kritik most often because I have no idea what the alt does. This happens when the aff fails to engage and you think that you now just need to extend tags on the alt and assume that is enough. I need a clear picture of the link and the alt most importantly regardless of how much the aff has engaged or not. Gut check is a real thing. If your kritik is death good you are working uphill. If you are reading "high theory" know that I have not read the literature, but I will do my best. In the 1890s, when I debated, I was really into Cap and Gender based positions. My debaters like Deleuze and Cap (probably my influence, if I possession such).
If you are trying to convince me that what you are doing matters and can change people in some way I really need to know how. If your claim is simply that this method is more approachable, well that is generally not true to me and given there is only audiences beyond me in elim.s you are really working up hill. Access trumps all! If you do not make the method clear you are not doing well. If your method somehow interrogates something, what does it interrogate? how does that change things for us and why is that meaningful? And most important you should be initiating this interrogation in round. Tell me that people outside the debate space should do this is not an interrogation. That is just a plan with a specific mechanism. Pre-fiat claims are fine, but again I need to understand the implication. Telling me that I read gender discrimination arguments and thus that is a pre-fiat voter is not only not persuasive it is not an argument at all. Please know that I truly love a good method debate, I do not enjoy people who present methods that are not explicit and full of nothing but buzzwords.
Arguments should be competitive otherwise they are just FYI. This means kritikal argument should likely be doing more than simply reading a topic link and moving on. All forms are perms are testable - I do not default to a view on severance/intrinsic - it's all debatable. I do default on perms do a test of competition. If you want to advocate the perm this should be clear from the get. A perm should have a text, and a net benefit in the opening delivery otherwise it is a warrantless argument.
In policy, (LD its all debatable) a few layers are fine - 4+ you are testing the limits and a persuasive condo bad argument is something I would listen to for sure. What I am absolute about is the default. All advocacy are unconditional unless you state in your speech otherwise. No this is not a CX question. You should be saying, I present the following conditional CP or the like, explicitly. Not doing this and then attempting to kick it means an advocacy shift and is thus debatable on theory.
I was a policy debater, so disads and counterplans are perfectly acceptable and generally denote good strat (read: better speaks). This does not means a solid NC is not just as acceptable, but an NC that you read every debate for every case that does not offer real clash or nuance will make me want to take a nap. PIC are debatable, but I default to say they are acceptable. Utopian fiat is generally not without a clear method story. Politics disad seem mostly silly in LD without an explicit agent announcement by the AC. If you do not read a perm against a counterplan I will be very confused (read: bad speaks). If you do not read uniqueness then your link turns are just defense.
I really enjoy good framework debate, but I really despise bad framework debate. If you know what a normative ethic is and how to explain it and how to explain your philosophical basis, awesome. If that is uncomfortable language default to larp. Please, avoid cliche descriptors. I like good framework debate but I am not as versed on every philosophy that you might be and there is inevitable coded language within those scholarship fields that might be unfamiliar to me. Most importantly, if you are into phil debating do it well. Bad phil debates are painful to me (read: bad speaks). Finally, a traditional framework should have a value (something awesome) and a value criteria/standard (something to weigh or test the achievement of the value). Values do not have much function, whereas standards/criterion have a significant function and place. These should be far more than a single word or phrase that come with justification.
I have very frustrated feeling about PF as a form of debate. Thus, I see my judging position as one of two things.
If this is a debate event then I will evaluate the requirements of clash and the burden of rejoinder. Arguments must have a claim and warrant as a minimum, otherwise it is just an assertion and equal to any other assertion. If it is an argument then evidence based proof where evidence is read from a qualified sources is ideal. Unqualified but published evidence would follow and a summary of someone's words without reading from them would be equal to you saying it. When any of these presentation of arguments fails to have a warrant in the final focus it would again be an assertion and equal to all other assertions.
If neither debate team adheres to any discernible standard of argumentation then I will evaluate the round as a speaking event similar to extemp. The content of what you say is important in the sense that it should be on face logical and follow basic rules of logic, but equally your poise, vocal variation and rhetorical skills will be considered. To be clear, sharing doc.s would allow me to obviously discern your approach. Beyond this clear discernible moment I will do my best to continue to consider the round in my manners until I reach the point where I realize that both teams are assume that their claims, summaries etc... are equally important as any substantiated evidence read. The team that distinguishes that they are taking one approach and the opponent is not is always best. I will always to default to evaluate the round as debate in these situation as that is were I have the capacity to be a better critic and could provide the best educational feedback.
If you adhering to a debate model as described above these are other notes of clarity.
I’m very resistant to theory debates in Public Forum. However, if you can prove in round abuse and you feel that going for a procedural position is your best path to the ballot I will flow it. Contrary to my paradigm for LD, I default to reasonability in PF.
I think the function of framework is to determine what sort of arguments take precedence when deciding the round. To be clear, a team won’t win the debate exclusively by winning framework, but they can pick up by winning framework and winning a piece of offense that has the best link to the established framework. Absent framework from either side, I default utilitarianism.
Finally Word for All
I am sure this is filled with error, as I am. I am sure this leaves more questions than answers, life has. I will do my best, as like you I care.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (please put me on the chain)
Background: I debated policy in high school at St Vincent de Paul High School in California, went to the University of Michigan and didn't debate there. I did a little bit of coaching/judging policy throughout college, and now I'm a coach at The Harker School.
TLDR for prefs: If you want to have a technically executed K debate, I'm your girl. I love a good framework debate. Classic substantive topic-based policy debate is great too. If you rely on theory tricks or are big on phil, I'm probably ~not~ your girl. Above all, be respectful and kind.
Lincoln Douglas: I judge Lincoln Douglas now. I coached at an LD camp (SJDI) a few years ago, but still be gentle with the quirks of the activity please. Some thoughts:
- If you want to persuade me on theory arguments, you're going to have to actually debate and explain the theory arguments. I'm not the best judge to go for conditionality in front of. This isn't to say I won't vote for theory arguments, because I will - just note that I have a low tolerance for bad theory arguments and theory debates that arent warranted and fleshed out. Any LD-specific theory arguments (tricks, etc) please take extra time on (or avoid).
- I love a good K debate, but note that my K background is in policy debate (gender, queer theory, high theory, identity stuff, cap, colonialism, etc etc) and I'm less familiar with LD phil stuff so you'll need to be clear/slow and really write my ballot for me.
RVIs - I will not flow them. Not gonna happen for you. Goodnight moon, game over, no.
Debate is a game. I will vote for literally anything* if you argue it well, frame the debate, and have good evidence supporting it. Techy line-by-line is the way to go always but especially in front of me. If someone drops an argument, don't just say they dropped the argument and move on. Explain how the dropped argument impacts the debate and why I should vote for you with it in mind. The same is true of critical moments in cross-ex. Framing in the last two speeches is incredibly important - write my ballot for me.
PLEASE slow down on taglines, analytics, theory arguments. If you are not clear I will let you know. If you don't adjust when I tell you you're not clear, speaker points will start to go down.
*Literally anything still has its limits. I will vote for "death good" type arguments, impact turns of critical arguments (heg good, war good), and really any silly argument that you win but I will NOT vote for any argument that defends racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other form of oppression, or for personal attacks on your opponents' character.
Ks: This is my wheelhouse (any and all). Note that this does not mean it will be easier for you to win a debate just because you read a K - because of my background in this type of debate I will hold you to a higher performance threshold. For the love of god please do line-by-line.
K affs: When I debated, I consistently read a K aff without a plan text. I also consistently went for framework/topicality against other planless K affs. My knowledge is strong on both sides of this debate, so if you're going to do it, do it well.
DAs/CPs: Not sure if I have anything special to say here. Make sure you do deep impact analysis and case turn work. I err neg on condo + counterplan theory most of the time.
T: Make sure your definitions aren't from silly sources. You have to do internal link and impact debate for topicality too. Topical version of the aff is huge.
Theory: As said above, this is probably my achilles heel in terms of debate knowledge. If you're going to go all in on theory arguments, go slow and explain things.
I'm new to this, but thus far my policy and LD experience has served me well! A few important things:
1) If I am your judge you must have an email chain or google doc. Calling for cards is a waste of time -- send your speech docs before your speeches WITH YOUR EVIDENCE IN THE DOCUMENT! If you do not do this, I will be taking the time it takes you to find the evidence and send it to your opponent out of your prep time.I cannot emphasize this enough.
2) I don't want your "off time road map" to be a list of the arguments you're going to answer. Just tell me which flow goes where - a simple "our case, then their case" works fine.
3) CLASH IS KEY - in the final speeches I NEED some sort of impact and link comparison or else I end up having to intervene more than I like to. Draw lines through the entire debate - your speeches are not islands. Connect them.
Northview AI, IS
I still just do not understand the outright refusal of judges in this community to flow and not arbitrarily inserting their own pre-dispositions in what happened in the debate. Debaters work hard, whatever argument you choose is up to you. Debaters' only job should be to research and technically debate arguments. The judge's job is to evaluate both sides OBJECTIVELY based on flowing and technical debating, that is the judge's ONLY job. It is NOT the judge's job to pick sides, make alliances, or "ethically" insert their own thoughts into the debate based on rep, external influences in the room, or numerous other things. This is literally collapsing debate. Judges have this FANTASTIC ability to destroy all value to life debaters have. Debaters work hard, they enter tournaments thinking years of work and preparation will be awarded. Instead, they are met with judges that do not pay attention, enter their own biases into the round, yell at students when they ask questions post-round, vote on rep, or just refuse to evaluate some arguments. This is not just an evaluation of judges that I've had but also one of the judges I've witnessed in high school debates, it's just absolutely atrocious. Literally, debaters that worked hard for years want to quit because of this. The one thing I can guarantee when I judge debates is I will not adhere to this terrible practice.
1—Tech over truth to its logical extent. Debate is not about solely the truth level of your arguments but your ability to substantially defeat the other team’s claims with your technical ability.
2—I valued agnostic judging when I was a debater so I will do my best to replicate that when I judge you. My favorite judges when I debated in high school: Kevin Hirn, Kevin Sun, and Gio.
3—When debating ask the question of Why? Technical debating is not just realizing WHAT was dropped but WHY what was dropped matters and how important it is in the context of the rest of the debate. “If you start thinking in these terms and can explain each level of this analysis to me, then you will get closer to winning the round. In general, the more often this happens and the earlier this happens it will be easier for me to understand where you are going with certain arguments. This type of analysis definitely warrants higher speaker points from me and it helps you as a debater eliminate my predispositions from the debate."- Matt Cekanor
4—Biggest influences: Matt Cekanor, Arnav Kashyap, Kevin Hirn, Giorgio Rabbini, Rafael Pierry, Josh Harrington, David McDermott, Conner Shih.
"I will follow something resembling the following structure to make my decision:
A) List the arguments extended into the 2NR and the 2AR
B) Ask myself what, as per the 2NR and 2AR, winning these arguments will get for either the affirmative or the negative. The answer to this question will sometimes be “absolutely nothing” at which point I will strike these arguments off my flow.
C) Trace whether these points of disagreement were present previously in the debate. This will only include substantive argumentation but will not include framing devices introduced in the 2NR and the 2AR."
D) Compare the negative and affirmative’s central issues by asking myself if losing a certain argument for a certain team will still allow for that team to win the debate.” – Vikas Burugu
1. No preference on what impact you go for. Some impacts require more case debating than others. For example, if going for fairness, you need to spend more time winning the ballot portion of your offense and defense against the other team’s theory of how debate operates. If going for clash, you need to spend more time winning how your model over a year’s worth of debates can solve their offense and spend more time with defense to the affirmative.
2. I have spent a large part of my high school career thinking about arguments for the negative and the affirmative in these debates. To put it into perspective, almost 90% of my debates over a given season are framework debates, on the neg and the aff. For a large amount of framework debates, the better-practiced team always wins.
3. Use defense to your advantage. Nebulous claims of inserting the affirmative can be read on the negative with no specific internal link or impact debating will largely not factor in my decision. However, there are fantastic ways to use defense like switch side debate and the TVA. "Most 2NRs assert TVA and SSD with no connection to the rest of the arguments. The 2NC and 2NR should spend time applying their impact filters to specific parts of aff offense. This can be made most effective by explaining your switch side argument on the impact turn you believe it resolves the best."- Arnav Kashyap
4. Very specific TVA’s can work against very specific types of framework arguments. If the affirmative has forwarded a critique of debating the topic then TVA’s can mitigate the affirmative’s DAs. However, if the affirmative team has forwarded an impact turn to the imposition of framework in the round, they are less useful.
A)Finding a middle ground
While this approach will be significantly harder to assemble / formulate, it gives affirmative teams the ability to impact turn both the content of debate’s that would occur under the negative’s interpretation AND the reading of framework with significantly less drawbacks than the impact turn approach. It will, however, require affirmative’s to wade through the traditional components of a topicality debate and will be subject to good negative teams closely scrutinizing affirmative counterinterpretations. An important question that not enough negative teams ask is how the aff’s counter-interpretation solves their impact turns. “Aff odds of winning are substantially higher if you persuade me that the negative can debate the aff over the course of a season with a relatively even win-percentage. Advance impact-turns boldly, but do not forget defense” – Rafael Pierry.
B) Impact turning topicality
"This argument is only particularly persuasive if you win an argument aside from competing interpretations for how a debate should be evaluated. Unless your argument is debate bad, I will struggle to find a way to vote for no topic at all against a competent negative team. However, if you do win an argument that reduces the question of my ballot to an individual debate, the impact-turn only approach becomes much more viable. Aff offense here should focus on why the 1NC’s reading of framework is violent."- Arnav Kashyap.
6. Often times when starting out, 2AR's go for too much in the 2AR. If you are impact turning T, go for one DA's and do sufficient impact comparison. Your 2AR should answer the questions of how T is particularly violent or links to your theory of power and most importantly HOW MY BALLOT CAN RESOLVE THOSE THINGS. Your impact only matters as much as its scope of solvency. You must also do risk comparison. Most neg framework teams are better at this. The way the aff loses these debates is when there's a DA with substantive impact turn and there's a negative impact that is explained less but is paired with substantively more internal link work and solvency comparison.
If going for a CI, focus on one impact turn and focus on how the CI solves it and how the DA links to their interp. Think of it like CP, your CI should include some aspects of their interpretation but avoids the risk of your DAs.
Misc: live list
1--- Saying you're "X" identity position really loud does not constitute an argument.\
2---What is up with people saying impact turns to topicality means people will weaponize "title 9" violations against framework tf.
K v Policy AFF
Ks do not disprove the desirability of plan action, those are DAs
I am finding this trend of the middle ground framework interpretation increasingly difficult to comprehend. If the aff gets the plan, it is an auto aff win, if the neg wins framework, it’s usually a negative win. Ks that go for links to the plan even with case turns are unstrategic because usually there’s an uncontested affirmative. After reading this if you are like okay, we’ll read impact defense to, then why are you even going for the K at that point, read a DA.
As you can tell, I will start my decision in these rounds on framework.
2ARs that don’t pick between clash and fairness and go for both usually fail.
K v K Debates
1. Technical Debating is often lost in these debates but this necessarily happens due to the nature of K v K debates as theory of power debating is often the most important part. That being said, vague link debating will mitigate you winning your theory of power. 2. You need to pick something and defend it. The neg team will ask about the affirmative in 1AC CX, that explanation should stay consistent throughout the round. Lack of a consistent explanation will lower my threshold for buying a risk of a link and higher the burden for you to win the permutation.
3. Use links to implicate solvency. Often times its hard to make a K aff stick to in round or out of round solvency. Use links in the 2NC and 2NR to mitigate parts of both so even if the 2AR consolidates to one, you still have defensive arguments.
4. "This might sound terrible for the neg, but if the neg does not refute aff shifts with specific link explanation, I’m likely quite a good judge for the aff. Kritikal affirmatives have easy angles to exploit vs substantive negative strategies. Neg teams are often awful at contesting the aff, so applying your theory and solvency explanation to different pages effectively should be an easy route to victory."- Arnav. K affs have built in theory of power and solvency that's inherently offensive. I'll be grumpy if you jettison the aff but will not if you provide extrapolated offensive explanations in the 2AR using your affirmative and pieces of offense that they dropped. 2AR's that do this will be rewarded with higher speaks.
Topicality (Policy v Policy)
1. Fine judge for these debates. T can lower your burden of prepping out some affirmatives that are inherently untopical and it's a good strat to have in your back pocket. However, for this topic the caselists and violations are pretty overlimiting.
2. Caselists are always useful for understanding these arguments.
3. Impact debating doesn't matter much in these debates but internal link debating does. Make sure to indict and compare interps and both sides. Predictability is the IL to all impacts.
4. The best 2AR's in these debates are ones that pick through negative evidence and identify no intent to define, arbitrariness, and combine that with reasonability
1. Probably err negative on theory concerns but if there's a technical crush I will certainly vote affirmative.
2. My predisposition toward counterplans is that they must be both textually and functionally competitive but always up to interpretation by the theory debate in round.
3. The best counterplans are PICs and other counterplans that are cut to beat specific affs.
4. Presumption flips aff when you read a CP.
5. Affirmatives always freak out when they hit a CP they don't have blocks to but your advantages are there for a reason, its not hard to write specific deficits during the 1NC.
1. Risk matters most when evaluating a DA. The affirmative arguments are made to give me skepticism in the internal links and the negatives job is to mitigate that by link work and turns case debating implicating affirmative solvency.
2. DA is not a full DA until a uniqueness, link, internal link, and impact arguments are presented. If not present in the block, the 1AR will get new answers.
3. When the DA is the best utilized is the 1NR. Very hard for the 1AR when 1NR gets 5 minutes to read a slew of cards answering all 2AC claims.
1. Yes you can win on a straight-up presumption ballot. This type of ballot is not popular anymore but it should be. Too many teams get away with reading an affirmative with no specific evidence or internal links. This was especially prevalent on the criminal justice reform topic but it is still a problem on the water topic too. Teams will highlight evidence terribly and act like the solve it even though it makes no sense, especially against the K. K teams should take advantage of this. Ex. aff that talks about financing technologies- solvency advocates will mention one type of technology but the advantage area will be about a different kind. Neg teams call this out and go for presumption.
2. Affirmative teams must answer all case arguments not merely by extending their impact again but by answering the warrants in the card. Most policy teams just say "doesn't assume our x" without refuting the warrants in the card.
North Broward Preparatory School (Assistant Director): 2021 – Present
University of Michigan (Assistant Coach): 2020 – Present
Northwestern University: 2016 – 2020
Email Chain (yes): gabrielj348 [at] gmail.com
The affirmative team should read a topical plan that agrees with the resolution. The negative team should defend the status quo, a competitive alternative, or a topicality violation. The ballot picks a winner and I’m not likely to be persuaded I should attempt to use it for anything more.
Debate is a voluntary academic contest. Debate rounds should be as fair as possible. I’d strike me if you disagree with that premise. I’d also strike me if your argument says debate is bad, debate rounds should be unfair, the other team/school/community is bad, or in general requires avoiding a well-prepared opponent.
Community events and historical disputes should be separate from debate rounds. If a genuine issue arises during the debate, please alert whomever you feel most comfortable with (judges including myself, your coaches, the tab or tournament staff, etc.) and we will stop the debate. I won’t decide these issues through offense/defense, tech over truth, or line by line. Adhering to debate norms like speech and decision time, spreading, and the flow seems antithetical to resolving genuine concerns and is a disservice to all involved. Please avoid ad hominem attacks, reference to out of round events, or disingenuous complaints and/or accusations. I generally will not vote for them even if dropped.
Tech over truth in most debate... see above. Any argument is on the table. I won’t reject false arguments for the sake of truth alone, even when confident about the issue. I have a low threshold for dismissing incomplete or illogical arguments, especially if you are technically proficient and on the side of truth. My goal as a judge is too avoid unpredictable intervention without giving you a change to adapt. I’ll communicate in my decision if and where I thought I had to intervene, especially if an argument makes writing a coherent ballot for either side difficult.
I default to extinction bad/util good, especially if not told otherwise.
Topicality v. Planless
If the 1AC is planless or does not defend topical enactment of a government policy I am much better for the negative. If debated close to evenly I have a hard time reconciling affirmative offense with the competitive nature of debate.
I have presumptions that debate is first a game, games should be fair, and enforcing norms is not de facto violent. The negative does not need many words to convince me those things are true. If your arguments disagree with those premises, you should strike me.
Both fairness and clash are impacts and considering reasons why they might not be requires fair adjudication and clash.
I have a high threshold for what a complete argument is in framework debates (claim, data, warrant) and labeling something as a DA does not substitute for the parts that constitute one.
I will not footnote in presumed community knowledge or events and strongly prefer debates about the current topic to debates litigating past community conflicts. Even if included I’m not automatically convinced that these are inherently impacts, that the only negative ballot disavows history or that it’s inherently violent to agree with an interpretation that past 1ACs also violate.
I’ll likely vote neg if the following arguments are included: debate is a competition/game that requires fairness, preserving fairness is a prerequisite to achieving other potential worthy outcomes, well-prepared opponents who clash over the same topic improve the quality of rounds, improving rounds is good, strategic choices and competitive desire for the ballot motive every argument, claims to the contrary are strategic choices even if genuine, I should presume them to be motivated by competition since the only certain motivation I know is that all participants currently want the ballot, competing interpretations must consider the likely and worst allowed examples under each interpretation, no interpretation is every interpretation, the resolution is the most and likely only predictable interpretation, and what matters for predictability (and what the ballot is a referendum on) is whether the negative should be able to go for topicality in future debates when faced with a similar 1AC.
Topicality v. Plan
I’m best if you have a specific violation that was clearly tailored to the affirmative ahead of time. If your violation can be read against most 1ACs on the topic I think it’s probably wrong. I’ve voted for bad interpretations but have a low threshold for calling nonsense if there’s an answer that justifies doing so. Acknowledge strategic costs and benefits of an interpretation truthfully rather than asserting it is “best” for both sides or solves everyone’s offense.
I lean affirmative especially if the interpretation is unpredictable, poorly evidence, or creates a slightly more limited topic for the sake of limits. I often find myself frustratingly reading through the unhighlighted sections of out of context definitions that I wish someone had pointed out with an implication beyond “your card is from X”.
I’m more persuaded by debatability and fairness concerns than education. Connecting your standards to impacts and differentiating them each interpretation is important.
Fine for PTIV arguments and have made peace with vague plans. I think solvency and circumvention arguments are a better remedy than topicality.
Usually, I think that arguments that the topic is broken or unworkable for one side are overstated and should be mentioned once if not skipped.
Conditionality is the only presumed voting issue. Conditional advocacies may be infinite in number and introduced in either constructive. Advantages with intrinsic internal links are my preferred recourse. Most persuaded by logic.
I’d prefer if the negative didn’t CP out of straight turns but more for cowardice than theory reasons.
States uniformly doing the plan and/or all amending constitutions is questionable.
International fiat is bad.
Good for most but the more it tests the plan the better I am. Not a fan of CPs without evidence but evidence may be read after the 1NC.
Fine for process and I appreciate the craft that goes into writing them. They aren’t a personal strength or research priority so try to clearly explain the mechanism, scope of fiat, and standards. Mandate, effect, function language is useful.
Competition debates should include normative justifications for both definitions and counterplan/permutation interpretations.
You cannot selectively “defend” something for a DA but not for CPs.
Politics is on life support. You should let it go. I have not judged a coherent politics debate backed by quality evidence in years. Most of these scenarios are nuked by a few analytics. There’s no bill yet? Zero risk. No vote for months? Zero risk. Biden must “sign off” tagged as “PC key”? Zero risk. No cards but somehow prices in all thumpers but can’t overcome the link? Zero risk. Bill solves climate change? Probably zero risk.
The block should read additional impact mods and carded turns case arguments.
Zero risk is possible but rare.
I prefer numbered 1NCs that include solvency and internal link presses, re-cuttings, and case turns over a slew of analytics and impact defense. Don’t number if you can’t correctly refer to them throughout the debate. I’ll number my flow regardless.
Impact defense and alt causes are good but you should make arguments specific to the 1AC rather than copy paste a generic block.
2As get away with murder on the case. “Yes X, that’s Y” is not a complete argument. The block should exploit light 2AC coverage. I have a low threshold for zapping case. Being present in the 1AC is not a free pass to resurrect an argument in the 2AR.
Impact turns are great, some of my favorite debates. I tend to start with sustainability/impact framing before transition. Remember to answer/exploit arguments based on the specific internal link conceded to access the impact turn.
I’m better for the aff than neg but went for, have researched, and am gettable on kritiks. The more they test the plan the better.
I generally think the plan should be weighed for fairness/clash reasons, the neg should engage/turn/solve the case, and that permutation double bind is a good argument. I can be persuaded not to weigh the plan at all. I can also be persuaded to say Ks should functionally be CP/DA with link uniqueness, alt solvency, etc. The negative usually spends too much time doing a little of everything without developing anything. I’m more likely to vote neg on a K that’s clearly the Fiat K, no tricks or disguises, than a K that attempts to do everything at once and fix it in the 2NR.
Framework is the most important part of the K for me. I've often sat for the affirmative when the neg was ahead on most of the page but losing framework. If case is dropped and the affirmative gets to weigh it, I generally vote affirmative.
Don’t spend unnecessary time one FW without explaining the implication of winning your interpretation for the other parts of the debate. When both interpretations are compatible with one another (this happens too often and means your interpretation is probably not serving as much utility as you think) the team that identifies that first and allocates time accordingly usually wins.
Neg teams lose me when they conflate being slightly ahead on an interpretation like "we get links to stuff other than the plan" with "we don't need to answer case/those links auto-disprove/dismiss entire affirmative".
If you want the implication of your framework to be that I shouldn't weigh the case, clearly state that in the block.
I'm most persuaded by in descending order: neg can get links to stuff other than the plan, neg can lower the threshold for alt solvency, neg needn’t necessarily solve case to win, case doesn’t matter.
My ideal compromise is the neg gets links to things other than plan implementation but must win that the implication of those links outweighs/denies the hypothetical benefits of implementing the plan.
I am not “deep” in any particular literature base so explain your theory and apply it to the case as much as possible for Ks that are more complex than Capitalism, Security, etc.
I have yet to see a compelling reason why most identity kritiks negate the desirability of the plan or why debate should be primarily about a particular group. Explaining how the kritik implicates the case is very important in these debates. If your strategy does not attempt case debate I am probably bad for it.
Demonstrating an ontology argument does not automatically accomplish that task, necessitate a d-rule framing, or substitute for specific impact instruction and/or comparison. The neg needs to include reasons that winning a descriptive claim implicates normative ones. The world might really really really suck... the plan might make it better. Absent a strong framing argument that implicates that type of thinking, I’m probably voting affirmative.
CX is important and you should consider it an extension of speeches. CX is binding and starts with the first question (no “did you read” before starting the timer).
You don’t have to answer questions after the timer, after rebuttals, or during prep time and I may not pay attention to questions asked outside of CX. Be reciprocal if you want them to clarify something post timer.
The negative should almost always include questions about the plan in 1AC CX. Random questions about impacts are not going to make or break the debate.
Questions about solvency/mechanisms/links/internal links/alternatives/competition > alt causes, meh analytics, impacts, revisiting past questions.
Inserting evidence is fine but should preferably be read out loud before the debate ends if you think it’s important. I’m probably won’t care much about recuts if you don’t restate the important lines in final rebuttals.
Ethics "violations" are not a thing. Ethics challenges are. I will stop the round and attempt to reconcile them according to what seems most fair and/or true, best adhering to the governing rules of the tournament. If your argument is best made as a link to something else, make it as a link. Anything rising above that threshold will stop the round and include the possibility of either team losing. Practically speaking this means think hard before saying "new sheet". If you aren't willing to stop the round, I'm not flowing or evaluating it. Speaks will be capped at 28.7 if the round stops. The round will not resume after it stops. There are too many low to no cost voting issues or ethics violations that heavily favor the accusing team, especially when it is evident that pre-tournament preparation has occurred. I will not continue the debate or "draw a line" from past speeches when questions of integrity or character on made.
Treat each other with respect. If you cannot, do not expect respect from others. Put simply, ask yourself if the room would be pleasant were everyone to behave like you.
If a core component of your strategy is ad homs, out of round accusations, screenshots, or refusing questions, strike me.
29.6 – 30.0: Top 1-10 debater at the tournament.
29.0 – 29.5: Should clear/win a speaker award.
28.5 – 28.9: Above average to solid.
28.0 – 28.4: Still learning, stick with it.
27.6 – 27.9: This was tough…
27.0 – 27.5: You were rude. Being here sucked.
25.0: You cheated/clipped/etc. Coaches or Tabroom should be alerted.
I coached LD at Harker for a year but was mainly tasked with policy assignments. If you get me and treat it like a policy debate, you'll be fine. I'm not familiar with phil shells or tricks and very likely won't vote on them.
I'm honestly truth over tech in this activity because so many of the things people say are nonsensical. T is not an RVI. Conditionality is okay. Aff framework choice is fake. Don't proliferate new pages.
Treat me like a lay judge, and include me on the email chain email@example.com
Speed: Please don't spread at full speed and slow down on taglines and authors.
DA: please have an overview and explain the disad; don't just read pre-made blocks.
CP: these are fine as long as you explain the arguments. Perms need explanations.
Theory/Topicality: not the best judge to judge theory debates, but if you really want me to vote on it really explain the voters
K: Will vote on Ks, but won't understand complex Kritiks unless you explain it very well.
Phil: not the best judge for Phil arguments.
Trix: not the best judge for Trix.
hi, i'm graham. i competed at vestavia hills for two years, acquiring two bids and qualifying to the toc my senior year. i go to stanford now, and i know that it is college apps season, so if you have any questions / do not know where to start / need help (to an extent) feel free to reach out below!
add me on the chain- firstname.lastname@example.org
tldr: read anything. the pref chain is just indicative of what i read as a debater/how comfortable i am with each style. argumentative dogmatism is bad! i also heavily align ideologically to my former coach sira ahuja, whom i will quote multiple times in this paradigm.
k - 1
policy - 1/2
theory - 2/3
tricks - 2/3
normative phil - 4/5
i do have very slight hearing issues so i will sometimes corroborate my flow with the doc. however, that also means that you should slow down and clear off the doc (which you should have been doing anyways). if i don't catch something, i'll be upfront about it if applicable.
- i like to read evidence (especially in policy rounds) - if you read good, warranted evidence and follow it up with contextual, explanatory analysis that makes it to where i have to do less reading, your speaks will be rewarded tremendously.
- lean neg on process and condo and some actor, lean aff on multi-actor, international, etc.
- (in the context of policy) big fan of new 2nr evidence - but will limit it to 4-5 cards at max.
- with regards to t-framework, i actually really love framework debates. despite reading mainly k affs in high school, i have been on both sides of the debate many times and am as neutral as can be. that being said, k 1ars against framework with little-to-no clarity regarding the affirmatives model of debate/the role of the negative will lose in front of me.
- in terms of k literature, most familiar with ir k's (namely grove), baudrillard, set col, psychoanalysis, cap (mainly beller), and queerpess. i never encountered afropess as a debater, but i did read some of warren, wilderson, and gillespies' works.
- i love creative arguments regardless of which style of debate they're categorized as. things like clash royale theory, the 21 savage kritik, the rider disadvantage, and alien wipeout ( thanks anshul) are things i enjoy very much. creativity/interesting strategy will be rewarded with better speaks if executed well!!! (this does not mean spamming random 1ar shells and throwing every other flow.)
things i don't like / will refuse to evaluate:
- do not commit one of the isms
- reading an argument that violates a pre-stated accommodation.
- very high threshold for disclosure against novices and / or small school trad debaters (anything else is fair game tho, i just think disclosure against those who don't know how to disclose / know what it is should be taught out of round.)
if you do any of these things (except maybe disclosure), expect a 25
i'll disclose them if you ask. picture of a cute pet animal (must be yours or a relatives) in first doc will bump your speaks up .2 at max.
Brian McBride. I love you so much, you will always be cherished in my memories. The impact you had on the community is immeasurable - thank you for being such a big part of why I love debate and am still involved today. If you haven't heard Stars of the Lid, give it a listen - I hope his music can bring all of us comfort when we need it.
I am a coach at Emory, Liberal Arts and Science Academy and The Harker School. Other conflicts: Texas, Westwood, St Vincent de Paul, Bakersfield High School
Email Chain: yes, email@example.com
Two Important things, rest kind of whatever by comparison:
1. Targeted verbal or physical attacks on your opponents, teammate, or anybody else in the room will result in the debate being ended. You will then receive the minimal points the tournament allows me to assign. I understand things get heated, this is not an attempt to eliminate that part of the game but I have no interest in tacitly consenting to students being attacked.
2. I'm totally uninterested in adjudicating arguments that endorse self harm. I won't auto-vote against you but if someone you're debating asks me to stop the debate I will. If I end up voting for you, you will not like your points.
Things like wipeout/spark/other impact turns or like "death k" are a little different than this category for me and you can still read those types of hypothetical impact turns as they don't feel the same as [self harm good].
You will receive a speaker point bump if you give your final rebuttal without the use of a laptop. I will give higher points to speeches with errors/pauses/inconsistencies etc. where the speaker debates off their flows than speeches that sound crystal clear and perfect but are delivered without the speaker looking up from their computer screen. If you flow off your laptop I will use my best judgement to assess the extent to which you're delivering arguments in such a way that demonstrates you have flowed the debate.
Ultimately, do what you do best. Giving speeches you're comfortable with is almost certainly a better path to victory than attempting to adapt to any of this stuff below. Debate is extremely hard and requires immense amounts of works. I will try to give you the same level of effort that I know you've put in.
Debate is an activity about persuasion and communication. If I can't understand your argument because what you are saying because you are unclear, haven't explained it, or developed it into a full argument-claim, warrant, impact, it likely won't factor in my decision.
The winner will nearly always be the team able to identify the central question of the debate first and most clearly trace how the development of their argument means they're ahead on that central question.
Virtually nothing you can possibly say or do will offend me [with the new above caveat] if you can't beat a terrible argument you probably deserve to lose.
Another new thing - my favorite debates are ones where the affirmative defends a topical example of the resolution (how you interpret the words in the resolution are up to you, but in this scenario you would defend a change from the status quo and defend the implications of your change w/either a traditionally topical plan or a well thought out and carded counter-interpretation) - the negative then criticizes the representations, justifications, philosophy, ethics, or method of the plan and make arguments about whether I should weigh the plan or prioritize something else first. Obviously you shouldn't try to over-adapt and do this if its not your thing, but well executed policy v K debates with lots of research, examples, and high quality evidence will be rewarded with extremely high points for all four participants.
I don't judge many non-framework debates anymore. I tend to vote neg when the neg wins clash is the biggest/most portable impact + explanation for how it improves over the year as a result of their interp and access aff offense via TVA or SSD. I also tend to vote neg if the 2nr goes for fairness + wins ballot proximity means no spillover for aff imapct turns. I tend to vote aff when they win an impact turn to the end result of clash alongside robust answers to the neg ballot can't access that offense args. I also tend to vote aff when the 2nr extends multiple offensive arguments (clash+fairness) because the combination of no models + clash or yes model + fairness generally leads to major issues the 2ar can exploit.
I think 2NCs that lack an explanation of how 2nd and 3rd level testing occurs under their interp and changes over the year, with examples, lacks credibility when going for only clash matters (you can maybe win the debate on a different terminal impact, but lately I haven't really voted on other ones). Fairness is both an internal link and an impact. Debate is a game but its also so much more. You can persuade me to think one way or the other in any given debate and I've learned to love judging these debates because I often learn new things about the activity and its potential.
-spamming permutations, particular ones that are intrinsic, without a text and with no explanation isn't a complete argument. [insert perm text fine, insert counter plan text is not fine].
-if evenly debated, better for textual competition is silly
-instead of saying "logical limited intrinsicness," say what it is you mean by that specifically
-pretty neg on "if it competes, its legitimate." Aff can win these debates by explaining why theory and competition should be separated and then going for just one in the 2ar. the more muddled you make this, the better it usually is for the neg.
-non-resolutional theory is rarely if ever a reason to reject the team. Generally don't think its a reason to reject the argument either.
-I'm becoming increasingly poor for conditionality bad as a reason to reject the team. This doesn't mean you shouldn't say in the 2ac why its bad but I've yet to see a speech where the 2AR convinced me the debate has been made irredeemably unfair or un-educational due to the status of counter plans. I think its possible I'd be more convinced by the argument that winning condo is bad means that the neg is stuck with all their counter plans and therefore responsible for answering any aff offense to those positions. This can be difficult to execute/annoying to do, but do with that what you will.
-affs usually lose these by forgetting about the case, negs usually lose these when they don't contextualize links to the 1ac. If you're reading a policy aff that clearly links, I'll be pretty confused if you don't go impact turns/case outweighs.
-link specificity is important - I don't think this is necessarily an evidence thing, but an explanation thing - lines from 1AC, examples, specific scenarios are all things that will go a long way
-these are almost always just framework debates these days but debaters often forget to explain the implications winning their interpretation has on the scope of competition. framework is an attempt to assign roles for proof/rejoinder and while many of you implicitly make arguments about this, the more clear you can be about those roles, the better.
-i'm less likely to think "extinction outweighs, 1% risk" is as good as you think it is, most of the time the team reading the K gives up on this because they for some reason think this argument is unbeatable, so it ends up mattering in more rfds than it should
I have been judging LD for a year now. The policy section all applies here.
Tech over truth but, there's a limit - likely quite bad for tricks - arguments need a claim, warrant and impact to be complete. Dropped arguments are important if you explain how they implicate my decision. Dropped arguments are much less important when you fail to explain the impact/relevance of said argument.
RVIs - no, never, literally don't. 27 ceiling. Scenario: 1ar is 4 minutes of an RVI, nr drops the rvi, I will vote negative within seconds of the timer ending.
Policy/K - both great - see above for details.
Phil - haven't judged much of this yet, this seems interesting and fine, but again, arguments need a claim, warrant and impact to be complete arguments.
Arguments communicated and understood by the judge per minute>>>>words mumbled nearly incomprehensibly per minute.
Unlikely you'll convince me the aff doesn't get to read a plan for topicality reasons. K framework is a separate from this and open to debate, see policy section for details.
If you read cards they must be sent out via email chain with me attached or through file share prior to the speech. If you reference a piece of evidence that you haven't sent out prior to your speech, fine, but I won't count it as being evidence. You should never take time outside of your prep time to exchange evidence - it should already have been done.
"Paraphrasing" as a substitute for quotation or reading evidence is a bad norm. I won't vote on it as an ethics violation, but I will cap your speaker points at a 27.5.
I realize some of you have started going fast now, if everyone is doing that, fine. However, adapting to the norms of your opponents circuit - i.e. if they're debating slowly and traditionally and you do so as well, will be rewarded with much higher points then if you spread somebody out of the room, which will be awarded with very low points even if you win.
Former national level public forum debater. Good understanding of the flow on a pf level but novice level understanding for LD and policy. Berkeley student.
clarity > speed, tech > truth. content warnings/disability accommodations/etc should be made verbally before disclosure/round.
Give me judge instructions and do impact analysis.
I can handle light to medium speed.
I have no personal speech and debate competition experience. I began judging in early 2014; I have been involved in the community ever since and have attended/judged/run tournaments at a rate of 30 tournaments per year give or take. The onset of online in early 2020 has only pushed that number higher. I began coaching in 2016 starting in Congressional Debate and currently act as my program's Public Forum Coach.
General Expectations of Me (Things for You to Consider)
Consider me "flay" on average, "flow" on a good day. Here is a list of things NOT to expect from me:
- Don't make assumptions about my knowledge. Do not expect me to know the things you know. Always make the choice to explain things fully.
- Post-round me if you want, I don't care. If you want to post-round me, I'll sit there and take it. Don't think I'll change my mind though. All things that should influence my decision need to occur in the debate and if I didn’t catch it, that’s too bad.
- Regarding Disclosures/Decisions. Do not expect me to disclose in prelims unless the tournament explicitly tells me to. I will disclose all elim rounds unless explicitly told not to.
- Clarity > Speed. I flow on paper, meaning I most likely won't be looking at either competitor/team too often during the round. Please don't take that as a discouraging signal, I'm simply trying to keep up. This also means I flow more slowly than my digital counterparts, so there may be occasions that I miss something if you speak too quickly.
- Defense is not sticky. Coverage is important in debate; it allows for a sensible narrative to be established over the course of the round. Summary, not Rebuttal, is the setup for Final Focus.
Should other things arise, I will add them to this list at that time.
General Debate Philosophy
I am tech > truth by the slimmest of margins. I am here to identify a winner of a debate, not choose one. Will I fail at this? At times yes. But I believe that the participants in the round should be the sole factors in determining who wins and loses a debate. At its most extreme, I will vote (and have voted) for a competitor/team who lies IF AND ONLY IF those lies are not called out/identified by the opposing competitor/team. If I am to practice tabula rasa, then I must adopt this line of reasoning. Will I identify in my ballot that a lie was told? Absolutely.
Why take this hard line? Because debate is a space where we can practice an open exchange of information. This means it is also a space where we can practice calling out nonsense in a respectful manner. The conversations of world beyond will not be limited by time constraints or speaker order nor will there be an authority or ombudsman to determine what is truth. We must do that on our own. If you hear something false, investigate it. Bring it to my attention. Explain the falsehood. Take the time to set the record straight.
Public Forum / Lincoln Douglas Paradigm
Regarding speaker points:
I judge on the standard tabroom scale. 27.5 is average; 30 is the second coming manifested in speech form; and 22 and under is if you stabbed someone in the round. Everyone starts at a 27.5 and depending on how the round goes, that score will fluctuate. I expect clarity, fluidity, confidence and decorum in all speeches. Being able to convey those facets to me in your speech will boost your score; a lack in any will negatively affect speaker points. I judge harshly: 29+ scores are rare and 30 is a unicorn. DO NOT think you can eschew etiquette and good speaking ability simply due to the rationale that "this is debate and W's and L's are what matter."
Do not yell at your opponent(s) in cross. Avoid eye contact with them during cross as much as possible to keep the debate as civil as it can be. If it helps, look at me; at the very least, I won’t be antagonistic. I understand that debate can get heated and emotional; please utilize the appropriate coping mechanisms to ensure that proper decorum is upheld. Do not leave in the middle of round to go to the bathroom or any other reason outside of emergency, at which point alert me to that emergency.
Please signpost. I cannot stress this enough without using caps and larger font. If you do not signpost or provide some way for me to follow along your case/refutations, I will be lost and you will be in trouble. Not actual trouble, but debate trouble. You know what I mean.
In Public Forum, I default to Cost-Benefit Analysis unless a different FW is given. Net-Benefit and Risk-Benefit are also common FWs that I do not require explanation for. Broader FWs, like Lives and Econ, also do not require explanation. Anything else, give me some warranting.
In Lincoln Douglas, I need a Value and Value Criterion (or something equivalent to those two) in order to know how to weigh the round. Without them, I am unable to judge effectively because I have not been told what should be valued as most important. Please engage in Value Debates: FWs are the rules under which you win the debate, so make sure your rules and not your opponent's get used in order to swing the debate in your favor. Otherwise, find methods to win under your opponent's FW.
Do not take this to mean that if you win the FW debate, you win the round. That's the beauty of LD: there is no dominant value or value criterion, but there is persuasive interpretation and application of them.
Should other things arise, I will add them to this list at that time.
Regarding the decision (RFD):
I judge tabula rasa, or as close to it as possible. I walk in with no knowledge of the topic, just the basic learning I have gained through my public school education. I have a wide breadth of common knowledge, so I will not be requiring cards/evidence for things such as the strength of the US military or the percentage of volcanos that exist underwater. For matters that are strictly factual, I will rarely ask for evidence unless it is something I don’t know, in which case it may be presented in round regardless. What this means is that I am pledging to judge ONLY on what I hear in round. As difficult as this is, and as horrible as it feels to give W’s to teams whom I know didn’t deserve it based on my actual knowledge, that is the burden I uphold. This is the way I reduce my involvement in the round and is to me the best way for each team to have the greatest impact over their respective W or L.
A few exceptions to this rule:
- Regarding dropped points and extensions across flow: I flow ONLY what I hear; if points don’t get brought up, I don’t write them. A clear example would be a contention read in Constructive, having it dropped in Summary, and being revived in Final Focus. I will personally drop it should that occur; I will not need to be prompted to do so, although notification will give me a clearer picture on how well each team is paying attention. Therefore, it does not hurt to alert me. The reason why I do this is simple: if a point is important, it should be brought up consistently. If it is not discussed, I can only assume that it simply does not matter.
- Regarding extensions through ink: This phrase means that arguments were flowed through refutations without addressing the refutations or the full scope of the refutations. I imagine it being like words slamming into a brick wall, but one side thinks it's a fence with gaping holes and moves on with life. I will notice if this happens, especially if both sides are signposting. I will be more likely to drop the arguments if this is brought to my attention by your opponents. Never pretend an attack didn't happen. It will not go your way.
- Regarding links: I need things to just make sense. Do not use terrible links. If I’m listening to an argument and all I can think is “What?” then you have lost me. If using a link chain, link well with appropriate warrants. I will just not buy arguments at that point and this position will be further reinforced should an opposing team point out the lack of or poor quality of the link.
I do not flow cross-examination. It is your time for clarification and identifying clash. Should something arise from it, it is your job to bring it up in your/team’s next speech.
I'm not a big fan of theory/kritiks. If it comes up and it's warranted, make sure I know it. But most of the time, I won't be happy that it's happening. I advise against it.
Regarding RFD in Public Forum: I vote on well-defined and appropriately linked impacts. All impacts must be extended across the flow to be considered. If your Summary speaker drops an impact, I’m sorry but I will not consider it if brought up in Final Focus. What can influence which impacts I deem more important is Framework. I don’t vote off Framework, but it can determine key impacts which can force a decision.
Regarding RFD in Lincoln Douglas: FW is essential to help me determine which impacts weigh more heavily in the round. Once the FW is determined, the voters are how well each side fulfills the FW and various impacts extending from that. This is similar to how I vote in PF, but with greater emphasis on competing FWs.
I am a paper flow judge; I do not flow on computer. I’m a dinosaur that way. This means if you go through points too quickly, there is a higher likelihood that I may miss things in my haste to write them down. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, SPREAD OR SPEED READ. I do not care for it as I see it as a disrespectful form of communication, if even a form of communication at all. Nowhere in life, outside of progressive circuit debate and ad disclaimers, have I had to endure spreading. Regardless of its practical application within meta-debate, I believe it possesses little to no value elsewhere. If you see spreading as a means to an end, that end being recognized as a top debater, then you and I have very different perspectives regarding this activity. Communication is the one facet that will be constantly utilized in your life until the day you die. I would hope that one would train their abilities in a manner that best optimizes that skill for everyday use.
This section is meant for things that simply anger me beyond rational thought. Do not do them.
- No puns. No pun tagline, no pun arguments, no pun anything. No puns or I drop you.
Should other things arise, I will add them to this list at that time.
What's up. I'm Lukas/Luka (either is fine, they/them). Yes, I do want to be on the email chain. Lukrau2002@gmail.com, but I prefer using the fileshare option on NSDA campus, or speechdrop. If you would like, I am happy to send you my flow after the round.
Important Warning: the longer the tournament goes the worse I become at judging. If I've judged like 10+ debates be prepared for short rfds and be clear so I don't misflow you and make things obvious so I dont do illogical things.
I will listen to any argument, (yes, including tricks, nebel T, intrinsic perms, extra T, K affs of any type, listing these as they are supposedly the most "controversial") in any event, against any opponent, with the exception of the obviously morally objectionable arguments (use common sense or ask), arguments attempting to change the number of winners/losers, and arguments attempting to take speaker points out of my hands. With those exceptions, my only dogma is that dogma is bad. If you are confident in your ability to beat your opponents on the flow, pref me high. If you have certain arguments you dogmatically hate and are terrible at debating against, it is probably in your best interests to pref me low, because I will almost certainly be willing to evaluate those arguments no matter how silly you find them.
I believe that paradigms should exclusively be used to list experience with arguments, and that judges should not have "preferences" in the sense of arguments they dont want to evaluate. We're very likely being paid to be here to adjudicate the debates the debaters want to have, so the fact that some judges see fit to refuse to evaluate the fruit of some debaters' labor because they personally didn't like the args when they debated is extremely frustrating and frankly disrespectful to the time and effort of the debaters in my opinion. So below is my experience and a quick pref guide, based not on preference, but on my background knowledge of the arguments.
Experience: HSLD debate, Archbishop Mitty, 2018-2021; TOC qual 2020, 3 career bids. VBI camp instructor - Summer of 2021, Summer of 2022, Summer of 2023. Private coaching - Fall 2021-2022 (no longer actively coaching). Happy to talk about math stuff, especially topology! My current favorite theorem is Brouwer's fixed point theorem.
Pref guide - based on experience as a debater and judge, not personal arg preference
1 - Weird/cheaty counterplans
1 - Policy Args
1 - Phil
2 - Ks (queer theory, cap)
2 - Tricks
2 - Theory
2 - Ks (other Ks, not high theory)
3 - Ks (high theory)
Again, I cannot stress enough that this is solely based on my knowledge of the lit bases, not my love for the arguments. I read and enjoyed judging many a deleuze aff as a debater and more recently judge. The amount of reading I did to read those affs was very minimal and I mostly just stole cards, so would I say I actually know the args very well? Probably not. Would I enjoy evaluating them? Absolutely.
Below are purely procedural things
Ev ethics note: I will evaluate ev ethics claims the way the accusing debater wants me to out of 2 options: 1] stake the round on the egregiousness of the ev ethics claim, if the violation meets my arbitrary brightline for egregiousness I will drop the debater with bad ev ethics, if not the accusing debater will lose 2] if you read it as a theory shell I will evaluate it as a theory shell. If you're unsure about my arbitrary brightline for staking the round, note that such ev ethics violation need to be reasonably egregious (to auto end the round, I would prefer to see malicious intent or effect, where the meaning of the evidence is changed) - whereas my brightline for voting on it as a theory shell is much lower, and given the truth of the shell you will likely win on the shell, regardless of effect or intent. This means if you have an edge case its better to debate out the theory because you'll probably win simply bc those theory shells are pretty true but I'm pretty adverse to auto dropping ppl so you might not if you stake. If it is obvious and egregious though feel free to stake the round I will definitely vote against egregious miscuttings.
CX is Binding. This means with respect to statuses, etc, your arguments must abide by the status you say in either the speech you read the argument, or the status you say the argument is in cross X. If you say an arg is uncondo in CX, but attempt to kick it in a later speech, & I remember you saying it was uncondo in CX, I will not kick the arg.
But I take this notion farther than just argument statuses. If your opponent asks you "what were your answers to X", you may choose to list as many arguments as you like. You may say "you should've flowed" and not answer, that's your prerogative. But if you DO choose to answer, you should either list every argument you read, or list some and explicitly say that there were other arguments. If your opponent asks something like "was that all," and you choose to say yes, even if I have other args on my flow I won't evaluate them because you explicitly told your opponent those were your only responses. DO NOT LIE/GASLIGHT IN CX, even by accident. Correct yourself before your opponent's prep ends if you've said something wrong. I will not drop you for lying but I WILL hold you to what you say in CX.
My personal beliefs can best be described via Trivialism: https://rest.neptune-prod.its.unimelb.edu.au/server/api/core/bitstreams/3e74aad4-3f61-5a49-b4e3-b20593c93983/content
LD: Claremont, Peninsula
Add: gordondkrauss [at] gmail [dot] com
I evaluate debates technically, based primarily on what I've written down. I try my hardest not to intervene and will vote on nearly all arguments that are complete. I'm most likely to intervene against philosophy arguments and theory arguments that aren't about a counterplan.
You should flow, compare offense, and answer the other team's arguments in order. If you have a good understanding of what you're talking about and capitalize on strategic errors, you will probably win.
Nearly all arguments are evaluated probabilistically, so I rarely vote on presumption.
I will read evidence, especially when I'm told to, but would prefer that you debate about and through evidence instead of handing me a set of cards after 45 minutes and expecting me to read all of them.
I don't look at the documents after the 1NC unless I need to read cards after the debate.
Flowing is important. If you don't notice when the neg skips a DA, you deserve to lose 45 seconds answering it. Similarly, you do not need to send out a new document without the stuff you didn't read. Clarification questions must be asked during cross-ex.
I prefer not to vote on cheap shot arguments, but I will if I determine that the argument is complete. I dislike being put in this position, and I'm least confident evaluating debates that boil down to one or two lines about a theory thing because I'm left to decide whether or not it's sufficiently warranted.
That said, there are certain arguments you're best off avoiding. For instance, I have never voted on an RVI because I've never found that the warrant (time skew, deters bad theory, etc.) justifies the claim (the aff should win because the plan was, in fact, topical).
Counterplans: I'm of the belief that the neg can read as many counterplans as they want. Diminishing marginal utility is true. Dispo is absurd. Number doesn't matter. If new, condo should not even be said. Aff wins by explaining why they need to straight turn CPs and how the neg strategy made that impossible. I will judge kick unless the 1AR has a reason I should not do that. Any counterplan that results in the whole plan and/or competes off of words that are in every topic is probably not legitimate. I'm also aff-leaning on multi-actor and international fiat. Neg-leaning elsewhere.
Topicality: Generally speaking, larger but more predictable topic is better than tiny, unpredictable topic. Both sides should have a caselist to substantiate their limits arguments instead of general arguments about why it's harder to be aff/neg. Plan in a vacuum is winnable---the neg needs a defense of philosophical competition. Reasonability is also winnable. The neg needs to win why their limits or precision offense is more important than the substance debate that would have otherwise occurred. The aff needs to win why substance crowdout matters more than limits or precision, generally by winning that their interpretation sufficiently captures the negatives offense.
Kritik: Ideally, the link to the kritik also disproves the case. If it doesn't, I would prefer to hear arguments about why the alternative could solve the case than an exclusive framework interpretation. In a (relatively) even debate, it should be impossible to win that psychoanalysis is true, there is an overwhelming bias against a certain group that necessitates the end of the world, or anything about signs and signifiers. Even in a relatively uneven debate, the perm double bind should zap 90 percent of link arguments that are made.
I judge based on the arguments presented, not on my own convictions. Apart from listening to first affirmative and negative constructs carefully, I pay close attention to cross examination, rebuttals, and timings before voting.
I am based out of East Bay, California.
I have been judging for past 8 years (in fact earlier than that).
2023 Update - It's been a while since I've judged, but I've noticed that the quality of evidence has dropped significantly. Going forward, I will be reducing speaks substantially for poor evidence. I also think there's not enough specificity in argumentation. Debaters will say "x piece of evidence is fantastic and says EU unity is low", but won't point out the warrants in the evidence for why EU unity is low. This also means I rarely hear debaters doing any good evidence comparison, which makes for messy debates and difficult decisions. Finally, please don't put anything in the 1NC that you can't give a 2NR on. I've judged too many debates already where an off is completely dropped but the 2NR goes for something else.
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated in LD for Dougherty Valley High School for 4 years.
-good with speed
-SLOW DOWN ON THEORY AND T—they are especially hard to flow at top speed and in an online format
-slow down in the 2NR, especially at the beginning
-offense/defense (extremely unconvinced by truth testing)
-will not vote on arguments I don't understand
-2AR and 2NR impact calc are not new
-CX is binding
-compiling doc is prep, but flashing is not
-disclose (open source is good)
-ev comparison is important and will give you better speaks
-all arguments (even dropped ones) need a warrant
-clipping and ev ethics violations will result in a loss
-scrolling ahead in the doc is cheating
-enjoy this type of debate and was what I went for almost every round
-process cps/PICs are good so please read them in front of me
-consult cps (most of the time) are not good
-sufficiency framing is convincing
-politics DAs are good when they make sense and usually need to be coupled with a CP to beat a competent Aff
-for Affs, I like plans and enjoy small Affs—please have good evidence
-soft left and extinction impacts are both fine—I don't really have a preference
-heavily dislike Affs with large theory underviews/spikes
-ideally my threshold for a good kritik is one that is as tailored to the aff as the aff is
-I like the security K because I dislike shoddy Affs with poor evidence quality
-this goes for all Ks and especially security, but you need to answer the case or you'll almost certainly lose
-I'm extremely skeptical of pessimism arguments and I think pomo is often (underexplained) nonsense. K debate is usually just a bunch of buzzwords.
-good K debate=having impacts for your links, having links to the plan (not necessary but recommended), knowing how the alt works, not being evasive in CX, not relying on framework to win you the round, doing impact calc and explaining why the K outweighs the case and not just saying util bad, and answering the case
-links of omission are not links and the perm resolves them
-I am very persuaded by particularity arguments (the Aff should make the debate about the Aff, not the K)
-affs get to weigh the case—the K's impacts are consequential too and consequences prove the goodness of reps
-most Ks don't have a link and the alt fails—the Aff is probably a good idea
-if you win an extinction impact, the case should outweigh
-please defend the topic, but if you win your Aff (and I understand what the offense is), I will vote for it
-no, limits is not a prison—metaphors like these are meaningless and don't constitute real arguments
-many K affs appeal to various ephemera as ways to escape the question of T—these include buzzwords like “role of the ballot” that don’t actually explain what they’re winning, or concessions from the aff that are clearly irrelevant
-KvK debate is extremely difficult to evaluate usually and the Aff will probably win on the perm
-the impacts most convincing to me on framework are movements/skills
-default is reasonability, no RVIs
-condo, PICs, process CPs are probably good
-consult is not good
-not a fan of friv theory
-debaters should do weighing on standards, not voters
-debaters should make arguments about what an interpretation justifies to answer things like friv theory
-I really like well-fleshed out interpretations and really enjoy judging T debates
-have good evidence with an intent to define and exclude, offensive/defensive caselists, etc.
-very persuaded by util
-please explain your syllogisms clearly if not util
-I doubt any serious ethical theory would think extinction isn't a bad thing
-couple your NC with a CP or answer the case
-please don't read them
-most tricks don't have a warrant or make enough sense for me to vote on them
-please be nice to your opponent
-debate should be fun
Email thread: email@example.com
I did parliamentary debate for 1 year in high school, so consider me a lay judge who can follow the arguments. I'm not as familiar with the terms and norms of circuit debate and I won't be able to follow if you spread. I try to judge based off the arguments made, not whether I think the arguments are true or false outside of the debate.
First time judging, so I have no reference point for a lot of things.
PF: My paradigm for public forum is fairly simple. If you are using a framework make sure to weigh properly on it throughout the round. Weigh your arguments in the summary and final focus so I know who to vote for. Also be nice to each other please.
LD: Please do not spread in the round. I am a more traditional LD judge and was very traditional when I competed. If you run policy args you are going to have to do a very good job of convincing me because I will be coming in with a bias towards those types of arguments. Please use a value and value criterion and engage in the value debate.
Background: I competed in LD for four years, finishing in TOC finals. I actively judged/coached/taught at debate camps from 2014-2018 but since then have been less active.
I'll vote for the side that requires me to do less work. When flowing, I try to get down as much of your original rhetoric as possible; when giving the RFD I'll try to reference and directly quote as much of that as I can. So comparing/weighing/impacting arguments will go a long way.
The round belongs to you! So please run arguments that you're excited to talk about, rather than content you think I'll prefer. In any case, I'd suggest you err on the side of over-explaining jargon (debate-specific, academic, or otherwise) and making sure arguments have been warranted in-round.
A few other points:
- I don’t need super formal extensions. If your 5-card extinction scenario is conceded, briefly summarize the argument and move on to weighing. Just signpost carefully if your extension is short.
- I'll give an argument the function you tell me to so long as (a) there's a warrant for that function, and (b) I understand what the function means. An example of (b) I don't understand is when a debater says "this turns all arguments" - you're better off labeling it as pre standards or an impact turn to X, whatever it may be.
- If I have to call clear, I’ve probably missed something.
- If you have questions regarding specific arguments, feel free to ask prior to round. I’m most likely “okay” with evaluating whatever argument you bring up, and I’m happy to comment on how to run it better.
Mostly based on (execution of) strategy and effort in giving a clear decision calculus. Especially creative arguments and high-clash strategies will also be rewarded. Here are some other things you can do to get higher speaks:
- Make the round enjoyable to judge
- Use little prep, and/or extemp significant portions of speeches
- Give clear and concise overviews in final speeches
- Compare/indict evidence effectively
- Neutralize silly arguments efficiently
Ask before the round if you want more suggestions.
- Slow down for advocacy texts, theory interpretations, and other short arguments, such as lists of weighing arguments or paragraph theory.
- If you’re affirming, make permutations and ask the status of counterplans, when applicable. (Do ask if you don’t know what either means.)
- You should verbally emphasize parts of evidence that you think will be important later on. Slowing down in rebuttals to re-explain or state an important line in evidence is also appreciated.
Please add me to the email chain: CameronLange@gmail.com
I was a LARP-y national circuit LD debater at Marlborough from 2016-2020.
- Speed is fine, but I'm out of practice, so I will judge a lot better if you slow down a little.
- I'm unfamiliar with the topic, so please explain acronyms and jargon.
- I dislike tricks, stupid plan flaw arguments, frivolous theory, etc. and will look for reasons not to vote on them.
- I don't vote on arguments I don't understand. If I can't articulate what your alt is/does in my RFD, I won't vote on it.
- I'll give you low speaker points if you are rude to your opponent. Be kind to one another! :')
If you know you know.
"You...kicked me. But I can't be seen by ordinary humans. Are you saying you can see me?" - Rukia Kuchiki
I am an undergrad at Cal, and it has been a while since I debated (PF experience). This is my first time judging VLD so I would appreciate it if you could be mindful of that when/if you ask for feedback. I value clarity over speed, logical reasoning, and consistent framework. Please refrain from spreading if you're not confident that you can enunciate properly; I will skim the cards but will not rely on them. Let's be respectful, considerate, and humble. :)
Additional preferences: timing, roadmap, minimize interruptions
I am a parent judge. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Please speak in a conversational pace.
Stay focused on the merit and substance of your cases, instead of spending a significant amount of time on attacking procedural errors of your opponent's.
I am unpersuaded by existential risk arguments -- there is a very low bar for responding to these.
I expect cameras to be on all the time.
I don't believe "the more" is necessarily "the better." That is, I won't be impressed just by the quantity and speed of words delivered. I encourage you to speak in your normal speed, be calm, firm, concise and highlight your key points repeatedly.
I value logic reasoning, common sense as much as relevancy of the evidence. Hope you can understand that continuous recitation of a large chunk of quantitative evidence can hardly be absorbed in such a short time. I encourage you to be selective for only those strongest numbers.
Counter-arguments and other responses to your opponents indicate the extent and depth of your preparation. I put a lot of focus on those.
For final speeches, please emphasize the points that I should care about.
Include me on the chain: email@example.com
I competed for Brentwood in LD on the circuit from 2017 to 2021, competing for Emory in policy, 25'. He/Him.
For nats, lay, pf:
Ignore everything below. Debate is a game of persuasion: a] i'm influenced by winning arguments, b] i'm influenced by influential speakers. Lay/pf debate is an exercise in accessibility, strategic choices, efficiency, and judge adaptation. Think of me as a debater roleplaying as a parent judge and you'll have a good time.
Damien update ---
I know nothing about the topic. It might behoove you to not throw never-ending acronyms at me. As I judge less and less LD and debate more and more policy, I am no longer in love with 6 minute explanations of 5 second theory args. I think affs should be in the direction of the topic at a minimal and cases and advocacies should be supported by the literature. That being said, having debated both, I don't think conditionality in policy works the same as it does in LD and am perceptive to warranted arguments against it.
For circuit LD/policy:
tl;dr / prefs: Debate is a very really highly educational game evaluated through whether or not I'm persuaded to vote for you. Debate how you want to debate, I think good argumentation is extremely persuasive. I think my primary obligation as a judge is to evaluate the round, but value the educational aspect of debate which has a strong likelihood of persuading my ballot.
I am likely bad for pomo and tricks and will vote for it only if there is a very compelling explanation in the rebuttals that tell me what it is I'm voting for exactly and why that means you win. I don't feel particularly comfortable voting for positions that I couldn't explain back to you.
At my core, I think debate is good. I think clash is the focal point of what makes the activity good. I'm not particularly compelled by arguments that say "debate is irreparably bad" because I don't know where to go from there. I would love to be told where to go from there.
are logical, good, and neg gets them. I think they should have solvency advocates and LD (arbitrarily and open to changing) at most gets two.
are yay -- if consequences matter and the consequence would be on balance negative then I would probably negate.
are intriguing. My favorite debates have been critical -- I think throwing buzz words at me without warrants doesn't make for a compelling position and warrants are good. Please don't not read them, but if you do read them I think that there's a moderate-to-high threshold on me being able to explain it back to the debaters for you to win on them.
I love a good 1ac -- I think if you are referencing your 1ac in your 1ar frequently then your 1ac was probably well thought out.
I don't think saying "extend the advantage" is enough -- an explanation of the story is the floor and the way the advantage implicates the round is the gold standard.
I like impact scenarios
I dislike blips and would probably only vote on it if it's the only option
I think in round violence against people in the room can be a compelling ballot - I think there's a sliding scale of when I'm obligated to intervene and I will gladly end it shamelessly and seemingly arbitrarily, especially for children.
Clipping and other evidence violations ends the round with an L + lowest speaks
I like pastries and coffee cough cough
Please don't read win 30 in front of me
Debated for Winston Churchill High School (TX). Debated at Texas. Camps worked at: VBI, Baylor, UTNIF.
Please have the email chain ready as soon as both opponents meet before the round.
A few thoughts:
- I consider my role in the debate is to decide who did the better debating.
- I prefer for there to not be any room in the debate to input my own opinions. Prefer debates to be as clean and explicit as possible to make the most objective decision.
- I'll listen to most any type of argument. Not a fan of vacuous theory arguments or paragraphs of spikes/preempts (most pertinent to LD).
- I tend to/prefer to flow on paper. Take that into consideration. If you see me flowing on my computer, be mindful when you are transitioning between arguments.
- I flow what you say. Not looking at the doc during speeches unless I have absolutely no idea what you are saying (at which point I will stop flowing and stare at you until you notice). I read the docs between speeches/during CX/after the round.
- Please slow down during analytics. For some reason people tend to read through these faster and faster every year.
- I'm very expressive. My face is a good indicator of where the debate is going.
- If I'm absolutely unsure of what is going on/no arguments have been made, I'm most likely going to err neg.
- I'm always listening.
- Speaker points: I like to be entertained. I care about pathos. I enjoy creative and strategic argumentation. I generously doc speaks if I feel that you are being unnecessarily rude.
Please add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Preferable if the subject line has info about who's debating, what round, and what tournament. (i.e. Bees Invitational Round 3 XY High School AB vs ABC High School YZ).
A little about me: I did debate for 3 years in high school mostly reading policy arguments. I cleared at a few bid tournaments but never really went any further than that. Additionally I haven't been involved with the activity for over 2 years now so I have little to no topic knowledge and I'm pretty washed in terms of understanding technical jargon. (pref me at your own risk)
I do have a preference for strong evidence, data, and statistics when appropriately applied and explained well.
I find myself reading evidence a decent bit to see if explanations match what was read
All arguments are cool (assuming they aren't problematic). I enjoy debaters who understand their arguments and demonstrate it in the round through solid explanations. Any of my preconceived beliefs for judging can be changed with solid debating within the context of the round. I try to defer my ballot's structure to judge instruction in the 2nr/2ar above all else.
Tech > Truth. HOWEVER - an argument consists of claim, warrant, impact. If I don't understand the argument and/or it's implications it probably won't weigh much on my ballot even if it was completely conceded (looking at you tricks). A dropped "argument" is a true "argument" but if you only made a claim in the 1nc then what is there to extend? Even though I do defer to tech, I will probably be more truth leaning than your average judge. Obviously this is a relatively arbitrary distinction because the two are intertwined, so just know that I like arguments that you can explain well and efficiently.
Hi! My name is Aditya Madaraju. My email is email@example.com, please add me to the email chain. I debated LD/Policy for 3 years at Dougherty Valley during HS, and I am now a sophomore at Berkeley. This paradigm is for LD/Policy if I am judging you for PuFo or something go to the bottom of the paradigm.
Tech>Truth, but it’s easier to win more truthful arguments. I still won’t vote for tricks. Email me at the address listed above if you have any questions that aren’t answered in this paradigm.
I like these and went for them most of the time during my career. 2NRs on the DA should have an overview and good impact calculus at the top, which makes it far easier for me to decide debates. If you’re kicking out of these, make sure that you concede defense properly to make sure you don’t accidentally concede a straight turn, because that can be tragic. If you’re going for a DA without a CP make sure to spend enough time on case in the 2NR as well.
I like these, and think they are underutilized a lot in debates. The 1NC on the counterplan ideally should have some solvency mechanism, be it a carded solvency advocate or a sentence explaining how it solves, but it’s not something that I care too much about.
If you are going to read a kritik, please try to read ones that are somewhat relevant to the topic. Please don’t read identity Ks or pomo in front of me.
Going for the K--Links to the plan are more persuasive but if the aff has terrible scholarship go ahead and read reps links, I’ll vote for them. 2NRs going for the K should thoroughly explain the K and not rely on buzzwords.
Answering the K--I am persuaded by arguments like framework and particularity, which I will vote for most of the time. Impact turns vs perm+link turns should be utilized depending on how your aff is oriented.
Topicality--I like topicality debates and started going for this argument more during my senior year. These debates hinge on predictability; weighing is essential and evidence comparison is underutilized.
Theory--I won’t vote for frivolous theory. 3 condo or less is fine in policy, in LD I don’t really have a preference/default. PICs, advantage CPs, and some process CPs are probably good, while consult counterplans and some process CPs are bad.
Regarding disclosure, you should open source documents. Contact info being disclosed on the wiki and disclosing when asked is a bare minimum, but it’s better if you open source with cites on the wiki.
An evidence ethics violation (clipping, missing paragraphs/ellipses, starting or stopping in the middle of a paragraph, or mis-cited evidence) with proof is a stake the round issue and L 20 for whoever is wrong.
These are cheating and I will pretty much never vote for them. Framework is true.
I default util and modesty, and will have a hard time voting for anything other than these. However, if you are winning on the flow with another framework and have thoroughly explained your syllogism, I will still vote for you. No tricks.
Impact turns are highly underutilized, and good case debates are fun to watch. Spark is fine, but not wipeout.
My thoughts on this ld topic:
Pirates are evil? The Marines are righteous? These terms have always changed throughout the course of history! Kids who have never seen peace and kids who have never seen war have different values! Those who stand at the top determine what's wrong and what's right! This very place is neutral ground! Justice will prevail, you say? But of course it will! Whoever wins this war becomes justice!
Feel free to do with that information what you will...
idrc what u do just read directly from cards don't cite them and make up random stuff and send all your cards that you read. otherwise its def an ev ethics violation. SAVIT BHAT's paradigm more accurately sums up my...thoughts on this issue.
Please add me to the email chain: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm a parent judge, please speak slowly and clearly. Please respect me and your teammates throughout the round.
The main thing I am looking for is that you write my ballot for me in the final speeches. Please explain all your arguments clearly and backed up with facts and evidence. I will not infer what you want to convey, you must clearly tell me what you want me to know and my decision will be based off of what you say in the round. If something is brought up in cx, it needs to be reiterated in the speeches again for me to take it into account. I will do my best to flow, but make sure it isn't messy or unclear since I am still new to this. There are a lot of terms I don't know, so it would be advised to explain everything.
Most importantly, have fun!
Harker '21 - debated for 7 years in LD and Policy
email chain - email@example.com
Policy args > Ks >> Phil / Tricks
Vast majority of args I read in my career - i feel very comfortable evaluating these debates, go for it. love to see creative and well-researched strategies, which will be reflected in speaks
impact turns are some of my favorite debates - co2 ag, dedev, etc are all on the table, and good execution will be rewarded with high points.
politics probably a thing, but also probably can lose to smart analytics especially if your cards are bad. that said i'm a sucker for a good politics disad
i lean very heavily towards judge kick -- probably a really hard uphill battle for the aff to persuade me against that.
i'd be very hard pressed to vote on zero risk.
good for more stock theory args (mostly CP theory) than frivolous theory -- i am more receptive to reasonability and arbitrariness args against spec, new affs bad, etc. good for regular disclosure but not niche args like "round reports", etc
i prefer paragraph theory on the offending page (eg condo on a CP) then as a "new off"
i lean neg on most counterplan theory except for international fiat.
i find competition arguments against cheating counterplans more persuasive than theory arguments
default drop the arg (unless it's condo), competing interps, no rvis
i'll flow by ear for these debates so slow down
have warrants for your arguments beyond "vote aff for deterrence" or similar stuff
better for these debates than you might think based on the arguments I read as a debater. I read through most literature bases during my time as a debater, and I feel comfortable evaluating these debates. 2nr link contextualization (e.g., drawing lines from 1ac/1ar evidence) factors heavily into my decision calculus.
Negs will do best by saliently dealing with the case -- either with robust link turns the case, alt solves the case, and unsustainability arguments, or with a *heavy* push on framework. the case page should make the 2nr. I find critiques of extinction impacts more persuasive than "structural violence outweighs". that said, i think most critiques have more compelling extinction impacts than a good deal of policy affs. i find aff ballots most persuasive when the negative underexplains the reasons behind their structural claims (especially regarding ontology arguments). equally debated, i think the aff generally gets access to the case, but specific framework evidence goes a long way for the negative (especially regarding epistemology claims). ROJ/ROB are silly/contrived mechanisms.
For the aff, I find 2ars on case outweighs or impact turns most compelling. impact turns are often underutilized. please explain perms -- "perm do both perm do the alt perm double bind" in one breath can be answered by a thumbs down from the neg. weighing is most important for me when judging this genre of debates.
between debaters of equal caliber, i think soft left affs would consistently lose to the critique. hard left/topical K affs (that assert a theory of power) seem extremely strategic to me *if* well-researched and germane to the topic.
line by line >>>> big overview
floating piks should be identified in the 1nc.
Prefer affs that are within the parameters of the resolution. better for k affs that have a spin on the topic rather than impact turning every element of limits/debate. if you're negating, i mostly prefer arguments about skills or clash over fairness on framework. K affs probably get perms. the 2nr should cover the case. I think K v K debates can be incredibly interesting (and what I normally went for in these debates), but specific link and alt work by the negative is crucial.
update: *not a good judge for nebel t - i very often vote affirmative in this debates*
probably lean towards competing interps. i'd prefer a substance debate to topicality but good T debates are enjoyable to watch and get good speaks.
i prefer topicality to be well developed in the 1nc, and I find many 2nrs to be almost completely new in explaining their standards. i dislike how prescripted these debates tend to be, especially with regards to nebel T -- I’ll lean against pre scripted nebel 2nrs and underdeveloped 1nc t arguments when pointed out by the aff.
i appreciate philosophical literature but find these debates to usually be exceedingly blippy or underwarranted -- not the judge for you if that's your style. i prefer ACs & NCs with evidence justifying the framework. slow down on dense or niche framework explanations. I did not read these arguments in high school but debated them a number of times.
just read a disad please
"underview" of more than a minute caps your speaks at a 27. please debate the topic.
presumption always flips neg, unless the 2nr includes an advocacy.
Other things --
fine with inserting rehighlightings
i will definitely read your evidence. i'll reward good ev with good speaks, and punish bad ev with bad speaks. evidence quality caps your truth claims, even if they're dropped -- please reference ev quality in your speeches in general (this shouldn't substitute for explanation though). good topic knowledge is also good for speaks
smart analytics can beat bad cards
"independent voters" are usually not independent voters -- i am unlikely to vote for args flagged as such without a theoretical justification for doing so
dropped arguments are still influenced by how true they are -- e.g., dropping no neg arguments is not an issue. i won't be too interventionist/this is more aimed at tricks but dont prioritize lots of terrible blippy offcase or arguments in favor of a smaller more substantive strategy
good humor/sarcasm is very good for speaks
I prefer moderate speed. I vote for clear speaking and convincing arguments.
Debating: St. Vincent de Paul ‘16, UC Berkeley '20
Coaching: South Eugene 16-18, Analy 22-23, Sonoma Academy 2023-Present
I did policy debate for 6 years. I went to the TOC 3 times. I made silly K args about death, baudrillard, bifo, and queerness. I then coached a policy team. Then I left debate for 4 years. Then I coached a parli team. Now I run a Speech and Debate program. I am a big adult man now.
I judge like a computer. I give all arguments equal weight regardless of how “objectively” bad they are. I am the best judge you could have for cheap args and the worst judge you could have for guilting me into voting for you. Despite being a K debater, my judging style is significantly better for a tech-heavy team. I also love framework.
I may stand up and stretch while you speak - I promise I am still paying attention.
Put me on the email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
Update for 2017 Tournaments:
Aside from tinkering with some things that I had written in my philosophy prior, there are some words for each 'type' of team that (following Nate's majestic lead) I think would be good to start with.
'Policy' Teams Read This:
My academic interests and preferred positions to read in high school and college are very misleading when it comes to both how you should debate if you have me in the back of the room and how you should pref me.
I am not looking for you to engage in ivory tower philosophizing just because I like to. I am a cynical millennial who hates when people have opinions and tries too hard to not have emotional investment in arguments that I read or judge. I am probably way better for you when you are going for framework than you would think. I adore exclusion. I will vote neg on presumption due to the aff dropping subpoint E of your predictability block faster than Trump castrated the EPA. If you are aff against the K, I am sitting and waiting for that 2ar on 'Ks are unfair vote aff'.
For reference, my judging record contains more votes for the heg good K against an identity aff than it does on the death K. I would way rather you read a one advantage heg aff and impact turn interventions bad than have to sit through your pathetic "global warming hurts my disenfranchised grandma" policy aff that you think gives you an 'edge' against the K. It doesn't. If your coaches say it does, they are wrong and get a better coach.
Finally, surprise surprise, we postmodern goo-drips like judging policy v policy rounds too. Turns out that a fresh-out-the-oven cp that defaces the absurd cherry-picking that is the aff's solvency mechanism gets me just as excited as it would get anyone else. Just debate well please.
Kritikal Slime Read This:
Now's your chance. I try too hard to avoid being biased in round, so I do not care about how utterly insane the claims you make are. As far as I am concerned, the risk that death is a biological incident and the risk that it is a mere hop between quantum timelines is pretty much equal.
My previous statements about loving when policy teams win on 'Ks are unfair' or on 'heg is more important than your feelings' should only worry you if you are bad at debate. Its not as if I give these terrible arguments a lot of credence, I just am like every other judge on the planet and don't like when scholarship I spend my life acting like I know better than other people is read poorly. I won't whine and drop you if I think you interpreted Baudrillard incorrectly - I clearly have no jurisdiction as to what that cigarette canister was trying to say - but I also will not make up arguments for you just because you scream about the Matrix until you are red in the face.
ok now here's the judge philosophy that is actually a judge philosophy:
How I Evaluate Rounds
I try to stick to a pseudo-objective rubric for evaluating rounds in order to exclude intuition and individual preference. I will try to lay that out for you now because it is something I always wish I knew about whoever is judging me. If you don't agree with some of these presuppositions, give a reason why I should disavow them in round. This is also a running list so it may change throughout the year.
(admittedly, much of this will sound obvious, but it is nice to have a set of rules and a rubric so that we are all on the same page)
- I will begin with framework. If it is a policy vs policy round, I will skip this step. Otherwise, I will determine which styles of advocacy I get to evaluate. Usually this will merely be me determining if the aff gets to weigh the plan and if the neg gets a non-fiated advocacy, but it could also extend to questions such as; are floating piks legitimate?
- I then calcify what I think voting aff and voting neg signifies. Most of the time, voting aff means me determining that the plan/advocacy is a good idea, but this could change with more complicated/kritikal rounds.
- I will then make a list of every impact in the round.
- Next, I will attempt to figure out which impacts each team solves/causes. This is constituted by advantages the aff solves, case turns, internal link turns, straight turns, and all of that good stuff.
- Naturally, I will then weigh the impacts. This will be done by first determining what I am trying to maximize (usually it is subjective pleasure through body count). I will then look at other impact framing arguments such as Bostrom, Scheper-Hughes, and a v2l claim.
- This usually produces a winning team. After I have a preliminary vote, I will go through all of the arguments made by the 'losing' team to see if any of them complicate the initial decision that I have written down.
- I then submit the ballot and give the decision.
Here are a few more notes about how I view arguments:
- If I don't have it flowed, it is not an argument. I type very quickly and get down most every word you say so if I don't have it written down, I will not feel comfortable voting on it.
- I will usually weigh theoretical impacts before substantive ones. They tend to predetermine substance.
- If the affirmative reads a few advantages, and the neg never contests them (possibly because it is a K that attempts to exclude fiat), I will extend the aff for the affirmative even if the internal link scenario is not explained up through the 1ar. This means the 2ar must at least reference the fact that they have an extinction impact in the 2ar with some semblance of how they get there or I will consider the aff not going for their advantages.
- The above statement is true about the core advantages of the aff, not random cards the 1ac reads. If you read Zanotti in your framing contention, you do not get to wait until the 2ar to explain why it matters.
- Until an argument is made to the contrary, I think of voting for an advocacy as me signifying that that thing would be a good thing if done, not that the negative or affirmative has actually performed said advocacy.
- I will kick the CP for you if condo is never mentioned or won by the neg and I decide that the aff is a bad idea. This is something I am going to think about a lot but as of now, I will presume judge kick.
- Cross-applications are not new arguments. If the 1ar says reasonability on one T violation, and the 2nr goes for a different one, the 2ar can cross-apply it legitimately. However, this does assume that there was a reason why their c/i is reasonable in the 1ar.
You can have my flow
I always wished that it wasn't awkward to ask the judge for their flow, so this is me telling you that it is not awkward for you to ask me for mine. I think that reading someone's flow of your speech is incredibly educational and so I will happily send you a copy of my flow.
***DISCLAIMER*** by requesting my flow, you agree to release me of all liability regarding what is written on it. you're reading the train of thought of an exhausted college student who is undoubtedly thinking more about where he can find an energy drink than how to phrase his transcription of your speech; that can be a spooky thing to read
- I like K’s. I read the most untopical aff you could think of. I literally advocate doing nothing. I go for wipeout in front of parent judges and Schopenhauer with real judges. Baudrillard is my best friend. In summary, if you read a K aff or a K on the neg, I will be happy, as long as you don’t majorly suck at it.
- However, this does not mean that I hate policy style arguments. I go for framework religiously, I love a good politics/case debate and I will totally vote for heg is good and the most ethical system. Don’t read a K you do not know in front of me if you want to win the round. I will enjoy it, but I will give you bad speaks and drop you.
- I will vote for anything. To quote Calum Matheson “If you can’t beat the argument that genocide is good or that rocks are people, or that rock genocide is good even though they’re people, then you are a bad advocate of your cause and you should lose.”
Long Version with all the Juicy Details
Kritiks – I go for them in every 2nr. It is my favorite thing and I like when people read them. I am well versed in the majority of kritikal literature. I am most comfortable with Bifo, Bifo, Bifo, Bifo, Baudrillard, Baudrillard, Baudrillard, Marxism, Deleuze, Queerness, Bataille, Nietzsche, Security, Ableism, Fem, and probably other ones I can’t remember right now. You can read any kritik in front of me. For the aff in this case, pull them into your playing field. You have an affirmative, try not to forget that. While they are spewing out whatever Baudrillard wrote after May 1968, it turns out that they often forget to say why your aff is a bad idea. I am very convinced by aff contextualizing themselves out of the generic K goo the neg read. Also, and this is true for both sides, do not underestimate the framework debate. If you are on the neg and reading some K and the aff doesn't read strong evidence for why fiat is good, I expect you to go for they do not get to weigh their advantages. If you are on the aff and the neg skimpily answers your bomb Mitchell card from "after Mitchell changed his mind", capitalize that and go for they don't get their alt. I will easily vote for either of these claims.
Framework – It’s an argument (probably my favorite argument). It wins some rounds (it should win more). I answer it every aff round and go for it against pretty much every K aff on the neg. Even though I have spent all of my years in high school learning why framework is wrong, I truly believe that the answers teams read to framework are utterly horrible, not to mention I spent a while over summer learning framework from Wimsatt, so I am in love with fascism now. I will easily vote neg on framework; I know what it means to lose a framework debate. However, I do not think that anything is a jurisdictional voting issue and if you say that I may determine that it is out of my jurisdiction as a judge to vote for you. Also, fairness is not an inherent good. Impact it out or you will lose rounds.
Kritikal Affs – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dnTLx4XQDI
Topicality (Not Framework) – Sure, I don’t have any weird pet peeves here.
Disads – Read them, win on them. I am very pleased with case specific disads that turn the aff on a deeper level than "econ collapse turns warming".
Counterplans – I have no predispositions against any of them. I will vote for the shiftiest illegit counterplan you can think of or a very legit advantage CP. Delay CPs and “The president should sign the bill with a blue pen instead of black pen” CPs are probably abusive but I will vote for it if you win it. There is such a thing as zero percent risk of a net benefit, but only if the affirmative wins that the net benefit is missing a piece - I do believe zero risk is a thing, but it will hardly ever come up in a round
Theory – I LOVE THEORY. I don't think I have any relevant opinions when it comes to theory debates. I try to stay un-opinionated, so I will evaluate ASPEC just as objectively as I would condo. If you are reading a K aff, you should make sure that your theory arguments are consistent with the thesis of your aff. I say clash is bad on the aff, so I do not read condo; you should do the same thing. If you are neg and the aff does that, utilize it to your advantage.
Evidence vs Arguments – I believe that evidence exists for the sole purpose of making an argument. Very often, I could care less about whether or not you read a card on an argument. Now, to be fair, this is likely true because I spend the most of my time in kritikal debates in which statistics, uniqueness and quals and such are not an issue. So yes, if it is a study, or a statistical claim about the squo, or something you need an expert to say, then read evidence. However, what I will not do is call for your evidence (especially in a K round), then read it to see if the author was smart enough to make the argument you didn’t make in round. Debate should not be about how good your coaches are at cutting cards, but how good you are at arguing. Due to this, I may not call for many cards after the round. If I do, I might just be curious or stealing your cites.
Conceded Arguments – I will vote for any cheap shot you want to go for if you can make it impacted out. Severance bad probably isn't a voter if they don't extend the perm, but if they don't say that and you gave a reason it'd be a voter in the block, go for it. However, this does not mean I am an easy sell on conceded claims. I will not feel bad voting against you if your entire 2ar strat was based on a claim that they conceded. If you do not have a warrant for it, I will ignore it, even if the other team fails to answer it. This is especially true with kritikal arguments. If you go for "state engagement is impossible because people are socially dead" but fail to tell me why they are socially dead, you will lose.
Case – Any good neg strategy includes a good amount of time spent on case. This is true no matter what style of round it is. I will be very pleased if you do not let the aff get away with the shifty and illogical claims that they are making at the top of every case overview. It turns out that much of what aff teams say they can solve (especially with K debates), they cannot actually solve. I always love seeing a strong 2nc on a K then a 1nr that rips through case. This will heavily boost your speaker points and help you out of the aff pulling a fast one on you.
Stuff I Have Been Told I am Weird About
I have compiled a list of thoughts I have about debate that seem to be in the minority (this will grow as I start actually judging) -
1. Performative Contradictions are only abusive if the negative asserts two opposing truth claims neither of which did the affirmative explicitly defend. This standard usually means it is more strategic to just cross-apply one of their claims to take out the other then spend your time no-linking the first position. To give an example, I do not think that it is abusive for a team to read a death reps K and then read a disad that has death impacts if your affirmative also had death impacts. I just can't conceive of how that could be abusive. There is no functional distinction between '1nc - Death K, DA, Case' and '1nc - Disease Reps K, DA, Case' in terms of abusing the affirmative. However, reading the cap K and then a DA that says the aff hurts cap and cap is good against an aff that is about emission reduction and doesn't mention capitalism is obviously abusive. The negative has made two competing truth claims, neither of which did the affirmative defend. HOWEVER, this rant is just my thoughts, and can be used by either team in the round but it does not mean that I won't vote for perf con if the neg reads a Death K and an extinction-level DA, I'll still evaluate it like any other round.
2. Framework Doesn't Need an External Impact. If the negative wins that framework solves the aff better than the aff (either by winning a spill-up claim the aff didn't claim or by winning case defense), then I vote neg. Framework is a counterplan, if there is no perm and it solves the aff better, vote neg. HOWEVER, this can only work in very particular situations when the neg is definitively winning strong case defense and there is no push against 'fw solves the aff' and no offense vs framework. Hopefully the aff doesn't let this situation happen.
3. I will vote for a nihilism (K?). I think the logic of 1% risk doesn't make sense if the neg properly deploys the thesis of nihilism. I know no one will go for it and if they do its because they have nothing else to say so the round will be a mess, I just really wanna vote on that. The K was in parenthesis because I'm not sure it counts as a K, more a procedural.
4. No Precedent Setting is a good argument against framework. The claim that voting neg doesn't stop people from reading K affs is probs true and I think can be coupled with some in-round offense to make a pretty clean aff ballot. I used to go for this arg but judges seemed to hate it so I stopped, but if you have me in the back, plez go for it.
Speaker Points – (I inflate/curve points depending upon the difficulty of the tournament)
- Above 29.5: I will spend tonight crying about how beautifully you debated
- 29.5: I will tell my friends about you
- 29 – 29.5: You should get a top 5 speaker award
- 28.7 – 29: You should probably break
- 28.5 – 28.7: You gave solid speeches
- 28 – 28.5: You are a good debater, some strategic errors
- 27.5 – 28: You are decent, but made many errors
- 27 – 27.5: You made many mistakes, and probably lost the debate for your team
- 26.5 – 27: You made many errors and should end 1-5 or 0-6
- 26 – 26.5: You shouldn’t be in whatever level of debate you are
- Under 26: You were literally incomprehensible or offensive
- Death is probably good
Please deliver your arguments to me as you would to your younger sibling. This means speak slow and don't assume that I already know anything about what you're talking about. I am more interested in the quality of the arguments than in their quantity.
Please also listen carefully to your opponent and respond to their arguments or explain how their arguments are irrelevant. Merely repeating your position in response their arguments is not persuasive. I tend to be persuaded by the side that has done the best job of clearly identifying the disagreements between the two sides. Whoever can do that often has the stronger contentions anyway.
Speech Events: I look for a clear preview of your main points of analysis, integration of multiple sources, effective use of gestures and a speech clear of fluency breaks. Nonverbal cues are important and help make your analysis more effective.
interp Events: Great performances will feature clean transitions between characters that have distinct voices for unique characters. I look for students/teams that are well prepared and jive well together. Your personal analysis in the teaser should be easily tied to your piece and a greater theme throughout.
Debate: In all forms of debate I look for a clear impact calculus that sets your impacts apart from your opponents. You are safe to speak at a brisk pace but if you spread I won't be able to keep up well. I'm not a great judge for theory debates, though I understand the basics of topicality. Try your best to persuade me and I will consider any argument.
Hi! I'm Sam. Harvard Westlake '21, Vanderbilt '25. Email chain please: email@example.com. LD TOC qual 4x (octos soph year, skipped etoc junior year, quarters senior year), 20 bids, won some tournaments (Valley, Yale, Stanford, etc). I mostly read policy args, some basic T/theory, and some Ks/topical K affs (settler colonialism, fem IR, etc). I also coached for the past two years/am coaching this year, so I have some topic familiarity.
Everything in this paradigm (minus the hard and fast rules) is just a preference - my strongest belief about debate is that it should be a forum for ideological flexibility, creative thinking, and argumentative experimentation. I realized this paradigm was way too long so I tried to bold stuff for pre-round skimming.
Hard and Fast Rules--
If you are going too fast for me to tell if you are reading all the words in your cards, I will assume you're not. I will call clear and slow, please listen or we will all be sad.
Won't vote on any arg that makes debate unsafe. This includes any arg that denies the badness of racism/sexism/etc, or says death good (args like spark/wipeout = ok, cuz it doesn't deny the value of life, it's just fancy util maths that says extinction better preserves the value of life). If your opponent wins your argument is repugnant (absent any larger framing or judge instruction), I'll drop the argument, unless you presented your argument with the agreement that it was repugnant (ie, if you admit your position is racist, but attempt to say that doesn't matter), in which case I will consider your repugnance purposeful and drop you.
Ev ethics - stake the round on it (ie W30 to the person who is right and an L with the lowest possible speaks to the other) if evidence is misrepresented (an omitted section contradicts or meaningfully alters the meaning of the card). I think a good litmus test for misrepresentation is: does the article agree with the claims presented in the card? If it's missing a sentence or two at the beginning/end of a paragraph but it doesn't change the meaning of the card, you're better off reading it as theory. To make everyone's life easier, just cut ev well (this means full citations, full paragraphs, in alignment with the author's intent).
Clipping = an L with the lowest speaks I can give.
Speaks are my choice, not yours (put away 30 speaks theory).
For online debate, I expect that you record all your speeches in case you, your opponent, or I drops out.
Defaults: reasonability on theory, competing interps on t, drop the debater on t/theory, no RVIs, T>theory>everything else, comparative worlds, fairness + education are voters, policy presumption, epistemic confidence
^All those can be easily changed with a sentence.
K debate - Line by line >> long overviews. Winning overarching claims about the world is helpful, but you need to apply those claims to the specifics of your opponents arguments or else I will not do those interactions for you. Framework is important (honestly most of the times in K v policy debates, the person who wins fw wins the round). Links to the plan are preferred, but not necessary - the less specific your links, the more fw matters, and the more persuasive the permutation is. I also tend to think debate should be about arguments, not people, which means I'll likely be unpersuaded by personal attacks or "vote for me" arguments. I'm more persuaded by skills impacts on T Framework than fairness, and more persuaded by non topical affs that impact turn things than try to find a middle ground.
Policy - Yay! Zero risk not a thing but arguments still must be complete to be evaluated. Underdeveloping off in the 1nc = they get less weight in the 2nr. Rebuttal ev explanation > initial ev quality, but if your opponent's ev sucks and you point that out, that falls under the first category. Read your best evidence in the 1NC - I'll be persuaded by arguments that the 2NR doesn't get new evidence unless it's directly responsive to the 1AR. Big fan of creative counterplans <3.
Theory - PICs and condo are probably good. Cheating CPs (international fiat, agent, process etc) are a bit more suspicious. All of this is up for debate. Descriptions of side bias are not standards. The more frivolous the shell = the truer reasonability and DTA are, and the lower the bar for answers. On that note, reasonability and DTA are under-utilized.
Philosophy - Not the area i'm the most comfortable in, but I'll try my best. I'd love to see a well explained phil debate, but I will not enjoy a blippy phil round that borders closer to tricks debate. I'd rather you leverage your syllogism to exclude consequences rather than relying on calc indicts. Debaters should take advantage of nonsensical contention args.
Tricks - I don't think a model of debate predicated on the avoidance of clash (ie relying on concessions) is an educational model. My test for whether an argument falls under this model of debate is: ask yourself if you would be willing to go for an argument if it was responded to competently. The same idea also extends to the formatting of your argument (ie you should delineate + thoroughly explain all your arguments with clear implications). I won't purposefully insert my personal beliefs about the value of tricks debates into the round, but it does mean that I'll probably be more receptive to arguments that indict tricks debate as a model. Some arguments are truer than others, and it's easier to win true arguments in front of me than false ones. I also default comparative worlds, and have given more than one RFD that boils down to "X trick was won but there's no truth testing ROB under which it matters." Up-layering tricky affs with Ks or strategic theory is smart, and when leveraged correctly make claims of new 2NR responses more persuasive.
Lay - I have respect for good lay debaters since I know I could never be one. That said, I will definitely evaluate the debate on a technical level regardless of the style. Good lay debaters can beat circuit debaters by strategically isolating key arguments. Circuit debaters vs lay debaters don't need to modify their style of debate, but should do everything they can to be accessible (explain stuff in CX, send docs, etc) (same applies to debates where there is a large skill gap).
Misc - My threshold for independent voters is high. Emphasizing this after a couple rounds where it's been relevant.
Tech > truth, but separating the two is silly. The more counter-intuitive an argument, the higher the bar for winning it, and the lower the threshold for responses. Saying "nuclear war bad" probably requires less warranting than "nuclear war good" cuz the second one has the burden of proof to overcome the intuitive logical barrier to its truth value.
I'll deal with irresolvability using the "needs test" - the burden of proof falls on the side that "needs" to win the argument (ie the burden of proof is on the neg in the perm debate because the neg needs to beat the perm, but the aff doesn't need to win the perm).
I won't vote on arguments telling me to "evaluate the entire debate after X speech" that are introduced in X speech - it generates a contradiction. Also, the 2AR is after all the speeches before it - interpret this as you choose.
Likes: plans bad 2NR on semantics if you understand the grammar behind it and are not reading someone else's blocks, creative and non-offensive policy impact turns, creative process CPs (no this is not the ICJ CP or consult the WTO), plan affs (yes I realize this contradicts with my first like), multiple shells bad, Ks with links to the plan, presumption/case presses vs non T affs, topical K affs, reasonability/DTA on frivolous theory, collapsing, flashing analytics
Dislikes: the grammar DA, RVIs, plans bad 2NR on semantics when you don't understand the grammar behind it, plans bad 2NR that's just reading off someone else's doc with no topic specific analysis, standard spec, buffet 2NRs, hidden args, non T affs that are an FYI not an advocacy, combo shells that don't solve their offense, "strat skew", "this argument is bad" [then doesn't explain why the argument is bad], "that's an independent voting issue" [doesn't explain why it's a voting issue past just the label] (this also applies to 1AR arguments not labelled as voting issues that magically become voting issues in the 2AR), "what's a floating PIK" "what's an a priori", being rude or interrupting your opponent (especially if you're more experienced or in a position of power) (at best it adds nothing at worse it's unkind)
Debated as a 2A for James Logan High School for 4 years. Went almost exclusively for K’s on the aff and the neg. Qualified and broke at the TOC and won a handful of circuit tournaments. Currently debating as a 2A for the University of California. I exclusively go for policy arguments now.
A majority of my debates have been one off/K Affs so do with that what you will. Im a sucker for a good Security/Cap/Settler Colonialism Kritik. However, this does not mean I wont vote for a policy argument. I love debate and do not have a predisposition to certain types of arguments. At the end of the day my rfd is a referendum on who debated better. That being said, do not try and over-correct for me. I think debate is a space for you to pursue whatever you want (as long as it’s not overtly violent like racism/sexism/discrimination good).
Don’t bomb through analytics its annoying to flow and you will lose speaks. The less you act like a jerk the better. Theres a time and place for everything.
Rebuttals are often the most frustrating part of debate. This is when people have to get off the blocks and start thinking big picture. I like debaters who write their ballot for me in the 2NR/2AR. More judge instruction will not only get you better speaker points but dramatically increase your chances of winning. Im more than likely not going to vote on ticky tacky arguments, but who has a better big picture analysis for why they’ve won the debate and can flush out the benefits to granting them a ballot. In close debates, impact calc goes a long way. I will read evidence at the end of the round, but that is not an excuse for lazy debating.
extra .1 speaks for making fun of a current cal debater
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tldr: My name is Jonathan Meza and I believe that at the end of the day the debate space is yours and you should debate however you want this paradigm is just for you to get an insight on how I view debate. One thing is I won't allow any defense of offensive -isms, if you have to ask yourself "is this okay to run in front of them ?" the answer is probably no. I reserve the right to end the debate where I see fit, also don't call me judge I feel weird about it, feel free to call me Meza or Jonathan.
debate style tier list:
S Tier - Policy v k, Policy v Policy, Debates about Debate
A tier - K aff v Policy, K aff v Framework, Performance debate (either side)
B tier - K v K, Theory,
C tier - Phil
D tier - Trix
F tier - Meme/troll
about me: Assistant debate coach for Harvard Westlake (2022-). Debated policy since 2018 that is my main background even tho I almost only judge/coach LD now. Always reppin LAMDL. I don't like calling myself a "K debater" but I stopped reading plan affs since 2019 I still coach them tho and low key (policy v k > K v K). went 7 off with Qi bin my senior year of high school but not gonna lie 1-5 quality off case positions better than 7+ random shells.
inspirations: DSRB, LaToya,Travis, CSUF debate, Jared, Vontrez, Curtis, Diego, lamdl homies, Scott Philips.
theory: Theory page is the highest layer unless explained otherwise. Aff probably gets 1ar theory. Rvis are "real" arguments I guess. Warrant out reasonability. I am a good judge for theory, I am a bad judge for silly theory. Explain norm setting how it happens, why your norms create a net better model of debate. explain impacts, don't just be like "they didn't do XYZ voter for fairness because not doing XYZ is unfair." Why is it unfair, why does fairness matter I view theory a lot like framework, each theory shell is a model of debate you are defending why is not orientating towards your model a bad thing. Oh and if you go for theory, actually go for it do not just be like "they dropped xyz gg lol" and go on substance extend warrants and the story of abuse.
Topicality: The vibes are the same as above in the theory section. I think T is a good strategy, especially if the aff is blatantly not topical. If the aff seems topical, I will probably err aff on reasonability. Both sides should explain and compare interpretations and standards. Standards should be impacted out, basically explain why it's important that they aren't topical. The Aff needs a counter interpretation, without one I vote neg on T (unless it's kicked).
Larp: I appreciate creative internal link chains but prefer solid ones. Default util, I usually don't buy zero risk. For plan affirmative some of you are not reading a different affs against K teams and I think you should, it puts you in a good place to beat the K. as per disads specific disads are better than generics ones but poltics disads are lowkey broken if you can provide a good analysis of the scenario within the context of the affirmative. Uniqueness controls the link but I also believe that uniqueness can overwhelm the link. straight turning disads are a vibe especially when they read multiple offs.
K affirmatives: I appreciate affirmatives that are in the direction of the topic but feel free to do what you want with your 1ac speech, This does mean that their should be defense and/or offense on why you chose to engage in debate the way that you did. I think that at a minimum affirmatives must do something, "move from the status quo" (unless warranted for otherwise). Affirmatives must be written with purpose if you have music, pictures, poem, etc. in your 1ac use them as offense, what do they get you ? why are they there ? if not you are just opening yourself to a bunch of random piks. If you do have an audio performance I would appreciate captions/subtitles/transcript but it is at your discretion (won't frame my ballot unless warranted for otherwise). In Kvk debates I need clear judge instruction and link explanation perm debate I lean aff.
Framework: I lean framework in K aff v framework debates. These debate become about debate and models defend your models accordingly. I think that the aff in these debates always needs to have a role of the negative, because a lot of you K affs out their solve all of these things and its written really well but you say something most times that is non-controversal and that gets you in trouble which means its tough for you to win a fw debate when there is no role for the negative. In terms of like counter interp vs impact turn style of 2AC vs fw I dont really have a preference but i think you at some point need to have a decent counter interp to solve your impact turns to fw. If you go for the like w/m kind of business i think you can def win this but i think fw teams are prepared for this debate more than the impact turn debate. I think fairness is not an impact but you can go for it as one. Fairness is an internal link to bigger impacts to debate.
Kritiks: I am a big fan of one off K especially in a format such as LD that does not give you much time to explain things already reading other off case positions with the kritik is a disservice to yourself. I like seeing reps kritiks but you need to go hard on framing and explain why reps come first or else the match up becomes borderline unwinnable when policy teams can go for extinction outweighs reps in the late game speeches.
Generic links are fine but you need to contextualize in the NR/block. Lowkey in LD it is a waste of time to go for State links, the ontology debate is already making state bad claims and the affirmative is already ahead on a reason why their specific use of the state is good. Link contextualization is not just about explaining how the affirmatives use of the state is bad but how the underlining assumptions of the affirmative uniquely make the world worst this paired up with case take outs make for a real good NR Strategy.
speaker points: some judges have really weird standards of giving them out. if I you are clear enough for me to understand and show that you care you will get high speaks from me. I do reward strategic spins tho. I will do my best to be equitable with my speak distribution. at the end of the day im a speaker point fairy.
Dougherty Valley '22
Did LD and Policy - went to camp a couple of times.
Add me to email chain (email@example.com)
if you're short on time, just read this top section:
Tech>Truth, but it’s easier to win more truthful arguments.
Arguments need Claim, Warrant, Impact
Flashing Analytics is a big bonus on speaks
in prelims - 5 mins prep for LD, 10 for policy
email chain should be set up before round starts
- paradigm agrees exactly with Savit Bhat
- defaults: comparative worlds (LD), no judge kick, competing interps, no rvi, drop the debater on T and condo and disclosure theory and DTA on all other theory, fairness and education are voters, everything other than fairness and education is not a voter
-clipping if you do catch clipping, do not make clipping an argument in the debate - stake the round and show me the recording.
- ev ethics - any misrepresentation of evidence (stopping in the middle of a paragraph, if the article concludes the opposite way after the card ends, mis-cited) is an automatic L even if not called out. if your link is dead but the article can be procured through a different method you won't lose.
- i expect evidence to have cites/qualifications and not be bracketed unless offensive language. read theory
- i read a lot of ev, the quality of the warrant is the quality of the argument.
- ptx da are my fav
- 2NR/2AR impact calc not new
- concede defense to kick
- answer the straight turn plz
- main 2nr strat for me was going for a topic da with a smart, creative cp
- start the solvency debate in the 1NC (card or analytic), not the 2AC
- err neg/drop the argument on 1AR theory is persuasive in LD
Kritiks (on the negative):
- good k debates are cool but rare - consequently good k debates with explanation and knowledge of your argument will get extremely inflated speaks and bad k debates meant to take your opponent by surprise or rack up easy wins with blocks will get extremely deflated speaks.
- the more the negative wins their link the easier it is for them to win Framework
- filter alt solvency through Framework
- LD only: Link walls must be in the 1NC.
- new links resulting from the 1AR fine in LD, anything else isn't
- extensions of 'ontology' and similar broad claims need to be much more robust than you think they do. you can't just say the buzzwords "natal alienation" or "gratuitous violence" or "metaphysics" without telling me 1) what they are and 2) how they implicate progress.
- i will vote for warranted K "tricks"
-short ov, do contextualization on case page (links, k trix, etc.)
- particularity vs Ks is good and Ks should either link turn or impact turn this and overinvest time on this argument
Kritiks (on the affirmative):
- T-USFG/Framework - aff teams can easily out-tech neg teams but i ideologically lean slightly neg. Don't care which internal link/impact you choose: fairness, skills, testing, etc. as long as they have an actual impact
- try to answer the case even if you go for T
- you get a perm, probably not the best for K v K though
- go for presumption if the 1AC is just an impact turn to Framework
- went for T a decent amount of times
- weighing is essential
- evidence comparison is underutilized
- RVIs are bad but don't drop them
- if a 1AC theory underview has more than yes/no theory, competing interps/reasonability, dtd/dta, voters you lose speaks
- Interpretations are models of debate, and definitions are the warrants for why those models are predictable - standards should be filtered through predictability
- "semantics first" is not persuasive, precision as an internal link is persuasive
Phil/FW typa debates
- if your cards and rebuttals do a good job of explaining the syllogism and reasons to prefer(they usually don't), you'll be fine.
- tricks: If there's a clear claim, warrant, and implication to an argument when it is first introduced, then I will flow and evaluate it like any other argument.
- "we defend the aff as a general principle" is a topicality issue about implementation.
- general confidence vs modesty bores me - contextualize (with cards) !
- didn't read many NC but im familiar w/ Kant, Hobbes, etc.
CX matters, -0.1 speaks if you shift around your order multiple times when giving it or if you don't label your flows in the 1nc ("next off" is insufficient). +0.1 if theory hedge is called "sauce"
- CX not binding
Online Debate : You should record your own speeches. Be prepared to send them if the wifi goes out mid-speech. No re-giving speeches.
Misc stuff :
Don't cheat. Disclose. Clipping = L25
"There is no "flow clarification" time slot in a debate. If you want to ask your opponent what was read/not read, you must do it in CX or prep -- better yet, flow!" - Danielle Dosch
I don’t care if an argument is a “voting issue." Tell me why that matters. Same goes for "terminal defense" and "zero risk" -- these words mean nothing to me.
Strong impact calculus wins debates
2AR and 2NR impact calculus arguments are not new (2AR turns case arguments are new though)
I'm flowing CX. Treat it like a speech, not prep.
Your 1NC should always answer the case.
I'll only vote for an argument if I heard it and can reasonably explain it.
Know your positions well; it will win you debates.
I'm of the belief that conditionality is good. More than 2 is pushing it. When answering condo, the 2NR needs to do impact calculus. “Cheaty” counterplans are smart and should be included in more 1NCs. Will judge kick if you tell me to! (so do)
Negating: Links must be tailored to the aff. A good kritik with disagrees with and disproves the affirmative. Ideally, your 1NC should include a link wall.
Affirming: Make the debate about your aff! The case outweighs. Answer -- and ask about -- the alternative. Impact turn when you can.
Affirming: Arguably most important to me is a coherent counter-interp. Explain your offense and make it super clear which affs would be allowed under your interpretation.
Negating: I think one-off framework is a smart strategy (especially if you have no idea how to give a 2NR on the other positions you're filling the 1NC with.) Fairness is an impact but you need to explain it as such.
If you're reading FW, answer the case. FW 2NRs must be thorough. Don't rely on your 5 minute overview to answer every 1AR argument -- it probably won't.
I believe that framework serves as impact calculus, not a preclusive impact filter. I can be persuaded otherwise.
Read NC's! But answer the case
I like reasonability. The more frivolous an argument is, the lower the threshold I have for responding to it.
Preferred pronouns: he/him
I debated for Garland High School for four years in LD. I routinely competed on the national circuit and broke at multiple bid tournaments over the years. I now attend the University of Texas at Dallas ( Class of 23') for Finance.
Speed: feel free to spread in front of me, I can probably handle your top speed but I will say clear should the need arise.
Disclosure: please disclose and throw me on the email chain @ firstname.lastname@example.org
LARP: go for it and go all out this is what I know extremely well
K's: don't be afraid to go one off k just make sure you can explain the thesis really well because I had some limited experience. Check the in depth section below for more information on my experience.
T and theory: I'm all fine on this layer but just please don't spread analytics at full speed because that will make me sad. I have a low threshold for frivolous theory so just keep that in mind but aside from that I don't have an opinion on most shells.
Phil: Do not assume I know your Phil NC at all. Practically no experience during my career but go for it if you think it's strategic.
Skep/ Presumption/Tricks debate: I wouldn't advise going for this in front of me because I of my lack of experience with this debate and my personal dislike for it.
I'll allow you to run any argument you want in the round as long as it doesn't promote racism, sexism, ableism, etc.
In depth- section:
LARP: This is what I consider myself to be the best at.
everything else: just ask me specific questions you have before the round that you have
After some months back on the circuit, I've had some other realizations about my paradigm. Please don't go for skep in front of me, I have an extremely low threshold for it and am unlikely to vote for it/ evaluate it the way you want me to. When it comes to high level, multi-layered t/theory debate, please flash analytics that you're reading because that makes my life way easier and also make sure to do some weighing between the layers that allows me to decide which layer to adjudicate first.
Haven't judged on the circuit since TFA state so wouldn't recommend blasting full speed right out the gate. Aside from that the rest of the paradigm is the same.
October 2022: If you're gonna blitz through analytics, do us both the favor and send them to me. I know you're not spreading analytics off the dome at top speed for complex layer analysis. Don't force me to resolve 5+ layers of debate without implicating them and telling me how to vote in the 2nr or the 2ar. Also, I have a high threshold for condo bad especially if it's one condo advocacy.
After so many years of judging and hearing the same non-t affs over and over again. I would highly advise against reading very buzzword-centric non-topical affs that frankly aren't interesting to listen to. I much prefer listening to interesting new policy affs that have some sort of basis for new engagement and contestation. If you do choose to read it, I will err heavily towards t- framework and similar style arguments unless thoroughly and well beat back. If you absolutely must read it, then make sure to really explain every point of the thesis in detail during cross or your rebuttals or extensions. I'm much more likely to vote for it if If fundamentally understand why it's SO IMPORTANT that you cannot affirm the resolution.
Hi! I’m Arfa (er-FAH). I did 4 years of PF and 2 years of Informative/Oratory. Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
TD;LR: warrant, collapse, implicate, weigh, extend consistently and don't be offensive
I do not tolerate disrespect, racism, sexism, transphobia, etc. in round. Please respect your opponents and read trigger warnings BEFORE the round.
For novices: The learning curve in debate can seem daunting. The most important things are to try your best, fill your speech times, explain your arguments clearly, and tell me why they matter more than your opponent’s.
Speed: Clarity > Speed. I do not prefer spreading. If you do spread, I will only flow what I can follow.
Extensions: I expect internal links in arguments (including those within impacts) to be extended for you to maintain the full weight of your argument. Extensions are things you can always practice, so I expect them to be clean and well-articulated.
Defense is sticky until it’s frontlined.
Weighing: Tell me WHY the extended argument matters more than your opponents. If your opponents give me a different mechanism than you to prefer their argument, explain why your mechanism should be evaluated first (metaweighing).
You can start weighing as early as 2nd case or 1st rebuttal. (Weighing overviews are great when possible!)
Tech > Truth: If you didn't say it in the round, don't expect me to evaluate it regardless of how "true" the argument may be. That said, use common sense and have good judgement.
Signpost/Road Map: I like an organized flow so let me know where you are.
Framework: Default is cost-benefit analysis unless otherwise stated. If not addressed in rebuttal, it’s conceded.
Collapse: This is critical in PF with such short speech times, especially in the second half of the round. Consolidate and crystalize, group arguments, and do not go for everything on the flow.
IMPLICATE: You need to tell me HOW each of the arguments you make fit within the scope of the round. I will not make any connections for you unless you do it explicitly. → Tell me what argument serves as turns/terminal defense, why, and what that means for you/your opponents in the round.
Progressive Arguments: I prefer substance, which is where I have the most experience and will be best able to evaluate the round. However, feel free to read them if you like, just explain things very clearly to me.
If you want more breadth: you can refer to Alina Shivji's paradigm (I took most of this from her); she taught me everything I know about debate.
I am a parent judge. If I don't understand your argument, I will not vote on it. You can spread during the 1AC and 1NC (as long as you send the full doc) but please slow down during the 1AR, 2NR, and 2AR. Please be very clear and considerably slow because I have hearing issues. I do not flow CX.
Please use SpeechDrop for sharing cases.
1 - Advs/DAs/CPs
Please be very clear and explicit about your link chain - do impact calculus and weighing against your opponent's arguments.
3 - Theory/Topicality
I will only vote on theory if there is actual abuse within the round. However, I generally think that affs disclosing 30 minutes before is fair and so is disclosing on openCaselist - HS LD 2023-24. I will also vote on topicality if the negative proves why the aff is not topical and why that is a bad thing for debate.
3 - Kritiks
I understand generic kritiks such as capitalism and settler colonialism. Please do not read confusing kritiks that I will not understand. I will try to evaluate them to the best of my ability but there is a very unlikely chance that I will vote on them unless they are explained extremely well.
4 - Philosophy
Please do not read dense philosophy. If you do read philosophy, please explain it very well or there is a high chance that I will not understand it and I will not vote for it.
Strike - Tricks
Objective and reasonable having moderate experience judging and being a parent for Saint Francis High School. I welcome fair, considerate, and rational arguments which are not needlessly biased, discriminatory, rascist, or sexist. It is crucial that debaters demonstrate polite and respectful behavior to all during the entire debate process.
Do not expect me to act as a gatekeeper during the debate process and debaters are reminded to be articulate, be mindful of process and time constraints, and speak at a reasonable flow rate. Policy and factual arguments are preferred - particularly when mixed appropriately with creativity to yield a point. Please be mindful that I have a wide breadth of background and knowledge but often minimal depth relative to specific positions.
Thank you and I look forward to consider your presentation and debate!
email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aniruth Narayanan (He/Him/His), Berkeley M.E.T. '24, C. Leon King High School '20. Picked up a bid in LD, quartered at states, blue key, sunvite, and elims a couple places my junior year. In case it's relevant, I went to HS in Florida. Although it has been some time since I've debated, I have been judging varsity LD - Cal every year, Glenbrooks, Blue Key, Valley, etc - so I consider myself able to judge most debates.
If you debate traditionally, skip down to the bottom and don't worry about the other stuff.
Phil/Theory - 1
LARP - 1/2 (used to be a 2, but most debate I've judged recently has been LARP so am more familiar with it)
K – 3 (but if you’re willing to explain the warrants and taglines you should be good)
NonT/Performance - 4
I will listen to any argument except those that are exclusionary - if you find yourself asking "is this exclusionary?" it probably is. Explain complicated ideas.
All defaults are super loose; the round is yours. I'm about as close to tabula rasa as you can get.
Strategy is important. Pick the right arguments to read and collapse well.
Tech > Truth if there is some semblance of truth to an argument (is that actually truth > tech? No idea. I never understood this anyway). No, this doesn't mean you can't read bad arguments, but they still have to be arguments. I have evaluated arguments in the past that effectively asked for the ballot because of the number of bids each debater had, how many years left they had to win the tournament, etc. I don't think any of them had any truth and thus no implication on the round, however, despite me evaluating them.
The worse the argument, the lower the threshold for response and the more work you have to do to justify it.
I will say "clear" and "slow" as many times as need be - but it might get annoying after a while. If you don't clear/slow when I say it, your speaks will reflect that. If it's earlier in the day, ramp up your speed. I flow by ear and I will not flow off the doc (though I will have it open).
CX is not prep, but prep can be CX. I don't flow it, but I do pay attention.
You can read a lot of evidence if you want, but I would prefer that you do comparative analysis with warrants in evidence.
I will not say that a layer is a wash by default - I will determine how the arguments are resolved even if it takes time. If it takes time simply because you both did not clarify or explain well, that's going to reflect in speaks. You can always tell me to treat a layer as a wash.
I do not default presume to a side.
I default to comparative worlds.
I default that layers can be weighed against each other if you don't give me a reason why they can't.
Whatever you want to grill me on, I honestly don't really mind, but I'd prefer it (and I think you would too) if you just clarified the arguments in your last speech how you would after the round is over. Also, the more you grill me, the more brazen I'll be.
When time stops, you stop.
No shell is frivolous to me. Some shells are just bad, others are very strategic because there's no offense to the counter-interp. Read the latter kind.
If a debater justifies competing interps, and the other debater concedes it but fails to provide a competing interp, I will assume (on their behalf) that they defend the violation. Ideally, there is some specification beyond just the violation to garner more specific offense.
I will vote on disclosure theory. I like creatively planked disclosure shells that make it really hard to justify that particular combination of actions - especially when someone violates their own disclosure interp and it is pointed out with weighing and implications.
If you read disclosure theory on someone whose school is not listed, please try to message them first. I'll vote on it, but I don't really want to and I will cap your speaks at 28.9. You can read it and win off something else instead and I'll give you higher speaks.
Phrasing things as "voting issues" such as when reading condo bad need to be clear theory arguments for me to evaluate them as theory for uplayering - with a voter. You need to do some work to get me to vote on these.
If paradigm issues (drop the debater, no rvi, competing interps, fairness/education - although you can add more by mention/warrant) are conceded, they don't need to be extended (I'll consider it implicit agreement).
Most of the stuff from theory applies here. I hardly went for T, preferring to just go for theory. I personally don't hold either T or Theory as being more important, justifiable, useful, etc. Go for what you want.
Variations of T are welcomed - like extra-topicality. Just make sure you explain as needed.
Creative tricks are good; bad tricks are bad. If someone catches you being sketchy, be upfront and honest about it. If someone asks you where tricks are i.e a prioris, and you respond with the nc you read and not the a priori you put in the truth testing section above where it says "now negate", I think your answer in cx is binding in the sense it makes me hesitant to vote on the a priori because of the way that it's framed in cx. Just be upfront. Winning arguments is cool. Being shady is not.
If you read a trick that implicitly relies on truth testing but then you don't justify truth testing, I won't justify it for you.
I default that new implications of arguments in later speeches allow new responses. I would prefer the debater making the new responses justify it, however. If I have to use this default I'll be disappointed.
Clearly number spikes, space them, do whatever you need to.
Any argument asking me to grant new responses or evaluate the debate after that speech must be made at least in a speech prior to it (i.e. new 2n responses should be justified in the 1n, not the 2n). I default to evaluating the whole round (I can't believe this is a real sentence I'm writing). I think it's fine for me to evaluate a specific portion of the debate earlier than the end of the round, as a form of filtering or as a weighing mechanism, but for me to stop the whole debate is difficult for me because I don't think I can evaluate the extension at that point.
No speaks theory. It's literally up to me to give based on how well I think you did in terms of strategy. If you read an argument for why you should get higher speaks, that time could've been better spent making real arguments - so I will end up dropping your speaks for that.
This was my go to as a debater. I don't think as much about authors any more, so I've forgotten the nuances. Include how offense is filtered under a given framework (i.e. is it consequentialist? if not, what matters and why does it matter? when your opponent tries to implicate their offense under your framework, is that legit? why? etc.).
Fine with voting on skep triggers, also good with them being used as framework justifications. I like seeing metaframeworks, framework conditions, takeouts, hijacks, etc.
If you use big words in the tagline that the average high school teacher would not understand, I probably won't either. Give me clear overviews and go through the 2NR in a systematic and strategic manner for high speaks. The 2NR shouldn't be just an overview or a 6 minute blip storm; do a mix of both that responds to the arguments efficiently and in an organized manner. Extensions through ink make me sad, particularly when they're accompanied by a pre-written generic overview.
If there's a lot of cards in the round like the 1ar reads new cards and the 2nr reads a new card or two, make the weighing as clear as you possibly can. Ex. If you say author qual, make sure you tell me what that qualification is or if you tell me your evidence is more recent, something that changed that explains why the recency matters. Flag what goes with what too, if you want to make interactions more clear (i.e. what responds to what).
Do more than just strength of link weighing. Please.
I'm fine with analytics against empirics. This means I won't intervene and say, this person has a card and you don't so you must be wrong; it's just that I'll evaluate it. In my opinion, it normally is easier to win if you have a card since empirics probably do need empirical warrants, but sometimes causal analysis to beat back a card analytically if it misunderstands something is fine in my book as long as you warrant it. This might be a bit different because I won't say your claim is absolutely true just because you read a piece of evidence; if your evidence makes an analytical claim, I will treat it as such unless you tell me why I should not.
I'm good with these. Articulate a clear ballot story of why you should win the round.
If something is an independent voter, do some work explaining why it is an independent voter and weigh it in the context of the round. Just (read: only) saying a phrase like "perfcon - it's an independent voter. It's pre-meditated murder" is the opposite of this.
Prep ends when the flash drive leaves the computer or when the email has been sent. Putting the document together is prep. Stealing prep is wack.
I'll disclose speaks - ask me if I forget.
Strategy is the main factor. Creative positions will also get boosts. I still think debate is about making persuasive arguments, so the more persuasive you are, the higher speaks I'll give you. Using CX well will also boost speaks.
Scale depends on the tournament, in general I'll (try) average a 28.5 but I'm very sympathetic to the screw as it's happened to me many times.
If you're clearly winning a round - i.e. a dropped 1AC disclosure shell - and you end your speeches early so we can have a discussion about the results of the round, I'll give you higher speaks. Do this at your own risk.
If there is an accusation of clipping cards, I will stop the debate and render a decision - if the accuser is correct, they will win the round; if the accuser is incorrect, they will lose the round. If I see it, I will automatically drop you. My definition of a clipped card is one that is misrepresenting the original evidence, such as cutting in the middle of a sentence to exclude the word "not" right before something, which also includes stating that you are reading highlighted/bolded sections of cards but you actually didn't and failed to mention it (i.e. if you're cutting a card early, say "cut the card at ...").
Of course, you could always read a shell instead and not stake the entire round on it - but it's entirely your call, I'm fine either way.
If the tournament has its own procedures, those supersede anything here if there are conflicts (applies beyond clipping cards as well).
I think traditional/lay debate is pretty cool. I will take into account how persuaded I am by your argument; no this does not mean I vote for whoever spoke the best, but the way in which you deliver an argument probably does matter in terms of persuasion. Keep the debate clean, crystallize/give clear voters, have a clear case, and be nice and respectful.
If someone reads anything technical against you - do your best to respond! I don't mandate anyone to be super technical in any round; do your best and make arguments to your ability. I have seen too many rounds where theory shells like disclosure go straight conceded and I end up voting on them.
Debate is a stressful activity. Take time to have fun and grow - you'll have graduated before you know it. In a few years, the exact rounds you won or lost won't matter, but being able to to ask insightful questions, read and understand complicated arguments quickly, as well as summarize and articulate yourself well are invaluable skills.
Hi, I’m Sameer (he/him). I debated for Loyola for 4 years and got 3 bids my senior year. Put me on the email chain: email@example.com. This paradigm is fairly long, so Ctrl+F anything you want more information on.
I will vote for any argument as long as it isn’t egregiously offensive.
I haven't been involved with debate for a few years, so please err on the side of over-explaining anything super topic-specific or anything that has just popped up on the circuit in the last year or two.
Please record all your speeches in case the connection drops. I’m willing to let you redo a speech if need be, but I will not be happy about it. I don’t care if you keep your camera on or off.
General / Non-Negotiable
I will attempt to impartially evaluate all arguments presented in the round.
I do not feel comfortable voting for egregious offensive arguments. I also will refuse to vote for you if you say/do things that clearly make your opponent feel unsafe. Please do not put me into a position in which I will have to drop you, message tab, and contact your coach because of arguments you read and/or things you did in the round. If you feel unsafe in round, please message me discretely and I will stop the debate early.
I will adjudicate evidence ethics challenges and issues of cheating/clipping according to the guidelines provided by the tournament. If the tournament is vague on these questions, I will end the debate early if the accusation is egregious (blatant miscutting or misrepresentation of evidence, clipping more than 10 or so words, falsified citations, etc.) and let the debate play out as a theory argument otherwise (lack of paragraph integrity, clipping only a couple of words, etc.).
Everything below this section is subject to change based on arguments read in-round.
I think that it’s easiest to win if you read an affirmative that defends a common position in the topic literature that is backed up by quality evidence. However, I am also a fan of strategic plan texts and interesting new affs.
Heavy solvency presses are cool.
I enjoy all impact turns, even the weird ones.
Impact calc is essential.
I am more than happy to vote on politics disads, process disads, and rider disads, as long as you propose a model of fiat that gives these arguments weight.
Intrinsicness is a highly underutilized argument.
2AC/1AR impact turns on disads are cool.
Counterplans are conditional by default, and I will judge kick them by default. Planks are also conditional by default.
Uniqueness counterplans are cool and really underutilized.
I’m a big fan of process counterplans and various other “interesting” counterplans.
Condo is often the best 2AR option.
“Object fiat” is a made-up idea.
T interps do not strictly require a definition, but you can argue that they should.
I will vote on an RVI on T if it is won, though I don’t think you need to justify why RVIs are bad until the affirmative reads an RVI.
I will also consider “dropping the argument” on T if it is won and I understand what that entails by the end of the debate.
I am persuaded by grammar/semantics/precision 2NRs on T.
I will vote on any theory argument that has impacts and explicit implications on how I evaluate the round.
Please tell me what reasonability means or I will be forced to intervene to adjudicate the round.
I think disclosure is good and will vote for all varieties of disclosure theory.
I am generally familiar with most kritiks commonly read in debate. If you are reading something unusual, some extra explanation wouldn’t hurt.
I generally think that you should have a framework interpretation in the 1NC if you are reading a K.
Floating PIKs are only legitimate arguments if they are a logical consequence of an articulation of the alternative in a constructive speech. I would encourage you to go for these arguments.
I am persuaded by that argument that extinction outweighs.
If a K links to the consequences of the plan, the aff should logically be able to leverage the impacts of the plan against the K, absent some sort of higher-level takeout of the affirmative.
I think impact turning kritiks is strategic.
From my experience, these affs tend to lack robust ballot stories. If you can explain to me why it is good to vote for you, I’ll do it in a heartbeat.
I do not think reading a non-topical aff is “cheating.” Making the job of the negative difficult doesn’t seem to be an impact in itself. The best framework impact, in my opinion, is clash.
I think that the impact turn strategy against framework is most persuasive.
I am a fan of going for kritiks against non-topical affs.
Unless the affirmative indicts the idea of truth, I am very comfortable voting on a truth-testing style argument on framework.
I think the affirmative needs some kind of framework, whether that is an ethical theory or just impact calculus.
Epistemic modesty makes sense to me, but I am easily persuaded by epistemic confidence as well.
I find TJFs to be strategic. I think T-Parameters is underutilized.
I think straight-turning arguments is strategic.
I will vote on presumption, permissibility, and skepticism, but I think in most cases these positions are argued poorly.
I am unusually persuaded by the “induction fails” argument.
I like kritiks of ethical theories and would encourage you to read them.
I will vote for these arguments as long as they are impacted out.
Do not be a coward.
I will give out speaks based on a combination of how well you executed your strategy and how much I enjoyed judging the debate.
Please be nice to me and your opponent. There is no excuse for rudeness.
I won’t base speaks on your presentation or speaking style.
Please feel free to message me if you have any questions pertaining to my paradigm or any suggestions of information you would like to see removed from or added to my paradigm.
Immaculate Heart '21, Berkeley '25
I am an assistant coach at Immaculate Heart
Do not clip or cheat in general ie; scrolling ahead in the doc, stealing prep, etc.
Please read the arguments you feel most comfortable with - I will listen to and vote on arguments with both claims and warrants regardless of my argumentative preferences.
I will not vote on arguments that I do not have on my flow - I don’t flow off of the doc and expect you to be clear.
As a debater, my favorite affirmatives were ones with plans and big-stick advantages. Being knowledgeable about your affirmative is invaluable perceptually and strategically.
I enjoy NCs that include counterplans and DAs. I think that case debate is important and should be utilized far more.
Smart impact calculus and turns case arguments win debates - don’t rely on your prewritten overview.
Arguments in debate are probabilistic. I rarely vote on presumption because I think there’s almost always a risk.
I will kick the counterplan if you tell me to. Condo is good but more than 2 is not great.
I like smart competition arguments and permutations.
I think that K link walls must be read in the NC; 2NR is too late
K framework arguments are usually under-warranted and too reliant on winning the K's theory. You should have to win offense for why your model is better.
I lean heavily neg on T-FW debates. I think that the aff should defend a plan and I find fairness impacts the most compelling.
Generally I am sympathetic to reasonability and not a fan of silly theory arguments.
If a debater makes a good-faith effort to open source, I am unlikely to vote on an arbitrary disclosure shell.
I am not a fan of Nebel T. I find most shells to be 'plans bad' in disguise, which is a hard sell for me. I think the Aff’s PICs argument is true and very compelling.
I don’t like tricks and believe that you must win truth testing for them to be a reason you win the debate.
I like well-constructed NCs and framework arguments. I think framework should be a reason why your impacts matter, not a preclusive impact filter.
Inserting rehighlighting is fine.
Disclaimer: I can only argue with what is presented to me in round. Ultimately, if you want to run something, who am I to stop you? I'm flexible enough to deal with it.
TLDR: Speed fine. K's n stuff fine. Be organized. Do what you want.
I don't usually count flashing as prep unless it becomes a problem. Never had a problem outside of policy rounds.
All Prep is running prep. If you say you're only going to take two minutes of prep, end up taking an extra 30 seconds and try to pass it off as only two minutes... no... just no. I'm not setting a timer, I'm using a stopwatch for all prep. Watch your own time.
Flex-Prep is valid. As in, asking questions during Prep time. I prefer if Flex-prep is less confrontational than CX and much more used for clarifying arguments rather then finding tricky questions... you had your chance in CX. Flex prep is Not binding as far as tricky questions go, however, if a debater willfully misrepresents their argument, I'm either slashing speaks or treating just that misrepresentation as binding, depending on how much that misrepresentation shifts the round. IE. If it becomes a centerpiece for the debate, it's binding. If it's just a side argument... speaks. Try not to do it.
As a judge I really like framework, it tends to make for an easier decision. I.E. some arguments that are argued don't really fit within frameworks in round, and I can just drop them. If there are competing frameworks I expect you to debate them, and end up with one superseding the other. That being said... if you have the same or similar frameworks, unless you're gonna describe what the nuance difference is and how that changes the valuation in round, it's almost better to just agree that the Fw's are the same.
K's function as their own FW. They don't necessarily need a super comprehensive FW with a K, the ALT and Link's are FW on their own. If those aren't sufficient, you can run a bit of FW up top or something, especially if your Alt is Drop the Debater... that isn't really a FW sufficient Alternative and you're going to need some work to set that up. Honestly, I have a higher threshold for Drop the debater args with no intrinsic justification then I do a more progressive mindset alt. You have to disclose an alternative for your K's when you read them, no more hidden drop the debater alt. I weigh the Alt as part of the K's FW. I think it's also good form for accessibility. If you don't disclose an Alt, I'm going to default it to Drop the Debater, and hope you provide justifications in the next speech and probably drop speaks a point or two.
I definitely prefer depth of argumentation over breadth,knowing your evidence is key to educating yourself on the topic. I will always buy a warrant from your evidence that's well explained and utilized over one that isn't. A lot of responses to arguments made against a card can be found within the card itself.
I'm fine with Speed and progressive argumentation.
In a round, I prefer loud, clear, concise speech. I appreciate arguments that get to the point and spoken relatively slowly and clearly. Empirics are extremely important. I am a parent judge so I will not be familiar with debate jargon, as such, I am much more likely to vote on arguments that are thoroughly explained.
I have been judging mostly LD and Policy events and have been judging for 4 years
In a round, I prefer loud, clear, concise speech. I appreciate arguments that get to the point and spoken relatively slowly and clearly. Empirics are extremely important.
I would consider the following when I award speaker points
-how you speak
- if you are courteous and would let opponent complete their thought
- how you conduct during cross-ex
My general philosophy is tech/line by line focused- I try to intervene as little as possible in terms of rejecting arguments/interpreting evidence. As long as an argument has a claim/warrant I can explain to your opponent in the RFD I will vote for it. If only one side tries to resolve an issue I will defer to that argument even if it seems illogical/wrong to me- i.e. if you drop "warming outweighs-timeframe" and have no competing impact calc its GG even though that arg is terrible. 90% of the time I'm being postrounded it is because a debater wanted me to intervene in some way on their behalf either because that's the trend/what some people do or because they personally thought an argument was bad.
I am a good judge for you if/A bad judge for you if not
- You cut good cards and highlight them to make complete arguments in at least B- 7th grade English, which is approximately my level. Read uniqueness. If your disad is non unique, not putting a uniqueness card in the 1NC is not cute, its a waste of time. If your best answers to an IR K are Ravenhall 09 and Reiter 15 you are not meeting this criteria, ditto answering pessimism with "implicit bias is malleable".
- You debate evidence quality/qualifications and read evidence from academic sources rather than twitter/forum posts. If you are responding to a zany argument not discussed in academia, blog/forum away. If that is not the case I implore you to ask why these sources are the only ones you can find.
- You listen to what the other team is saying and give a speech that demonstrates that you did by answering all of their arguments correctly and in the order in which they were presented . Do not read a collection of non responsive blocks in random order. And then in follow up speeches you compare/resolve those arguments rather than repeating yourself.
- You make smart analytics against arguments with obvious weaknesses. Most 1NC disads and 1AC advantages in current debate are incoherent/missing several pieces. You do not have to respond to an incomplete argument, point out it is incomplete and move on. Once completed you get new answers to any part of it.
- You rely on knowing what you are talking about more than posturing/grandstanding.
- You understand your arguments/can explain things. In CX and speeches you should be able to explain words/concepts from your evidence correctly, and be able to apply them. If your link card says "the aff is not disarm" thats not a link, thats an observation
- You can cover/don't drop things. Grouping things is fine. Making a philosophical argument for why line by line debate is bad, and instead making your argument in the form of big picture conceptual analysis is fine. Randomly saying things in the wrong place, dropping 1/2 of what the other team said and then expecting me to figure out how to apply what you said there is not. I will not make "reject argument not team" for you.
I operate on a "3 strikes" rule: each side gets up to 3 nonsense arguments- a CP that is just a text, a bad disad or advantage, an unexplained perm etc. After that your points and credibility plummet precipitously. If I'm reading your card doc I will stop reading your evidence after 3 cards highlighted into nothing. If you include 3 "rehighlightings" of the other teams evidence that are obviously wrong I will ignore all your evidence/default to the other sides.
If debated by two teams of equal skill/preparation, the following arguments are IMO unwinnable but I vote for them more often than not because the above suggestions are ignored.
-please let us weigh our case or we said the word extinction so Ks don't matter
-the framework is: object of research, you link you lose, debate shapes subjectivity, ethics first without explaining what ethics are/mean
-War good, pollution good, renewables bad- it doesn't matter if these are in right wing heritage impact turn form or academic K form
-the neg needs more than 1cp and 1K for debate to be fair. Arguments like "hard debate is good debate... so make it hard for them" are so bad you should be able to figure it out/not say them
-PICS that do/result in the whole plan are legitimate. The negative can actually win without these, especially on a topic where there are 3 affs.
-counterplans that ban the plan as their only form of competition are legitimate, especially on a topic with only...
Hey I’m Jack! I went to and now coach at Northland in Houston, TX. Feel free to ask questions before or after the round. Add me to email chains at firstname.lastname@example.org
TLDR: I will vote on anything that has a claim, warrant, and impact. I most enjoy judging policy arguments.
- Tech > Truth
- Fairness > Education
- 1NC Theory/T > 1AR Theory
- T/Theory > K
- Comparative Worlds
- No RVIs, Competing Interps, DTD
- Presumption flips neg unless they go for an alternative advocacy
- No judge kick
- I'm cool with anything as long as it has a claim, warrant, and impact. None of my personal opinions or interests in arguments will factor into my decision.
- I want you to debate the way you debate best. I want debaters to read what they know and are invested in.
- No buffet 2nrs please
- Be nice to one another and don't take yourself too seriously
- If you are sexist/racist/homophobic/transphobic/ableist or something similar
- Clipping/losing an ethics challenge OR a false accusation
- Stealing prep
Things I'm not voting on
- Any argument concerning out of round practices (except disclosure)
- Any argument concerning the appearance/clothes/etc. of another debater
- Any auto affirm/negate X identity argument
- "Evaluate the entire debate after X speech". However, I will evaluate "evaluate ___ layer after X speech".
- IVIs not flagged as IVIs in the 1NC/1AR (possibly a 2NR exception)
- My favorite type of debate to think about and judge
- Evidence comparison and impact calc are the most important things
- Great for heavy case pushes. Impact turn heavy strategies are good and solid execution will be rewarded with solid speaks
- Please have an actual internal link
- All CPs are fine and all CP theory args are fine
- I don’t have a strong preference for or against certain literature bases
- I won’t fill any substantive gaps in your explanation (this goes with anything, but it seems most relevant to what I’ve seen in K debates)
- I really enjoy when the 2NR includes lots of examples, especially with more uncommon literature bases.
- K framework args should be in the 1NC
- I think the interaction between Ks and Phil affs are really interesting and when done correctly turn out to be some of the best debates.
K Aff/T Framework
- The affirmative needs to provide a model of debate with a role for the negative.
- It is vital that aff teams provide an explanation of solvency that I can easily explain back (maybe slow down a bit here)
- I’m skeptical of arguments that say framework is some form of policing or genocide
- Negatives should have an answer to case
- Not good for dense phil v dense phil (good for util vs other phil)
- I’ve noticed that lots of phil aff contentions are pretty weak, I’d like to see more neg teams go for turns on the contention
- CPs with phil offense under the aff are very underused
- I guess :(
- Don’t be sketch in CX, it’s just annoying
- Not voting on something that I don’t understand/can’t explain back.
- Great for theory.
- The frivolous nature of some shells does not factor into my evaluation. Although, reasonability tends to become easier to justify and the answer becomes easier.
- I’ve never voted for a team that violates in a debate where they don’t disclose (this means they didn’t disclose anything in any way) the exception is obviously new affs.
- Good T debates are so much fun, bad T debates are so painful.
- Caselists are a must.
- The negative needs definitions. Debate over T definitions are great. Slow down when doing comparison
- Recent explanations for bare plural arguments by negative teams have been nothing short of atrocious – please understand the semantics before you read Nebel.
- Prep ends when the email is sent
- CX is binding
- Less prep and sitting down early will be rewarded with higher speaks.
- Clarity is VERY IMPORTANT. If you are unclear and I miss a “game changing” argument – that’s a you problem.
- Speaks will be awarded for good debating (strategy, technical ability, good CX, etc).
- I am a lay parent judge. Please speak slowly and clearly. Spreading won't help.
I request you to keep your own time.
Off time road maps are preferred. Deliver organized speeches.
Stay away from overly technical, high-leveled debate jargon.
I do take notes throughout the round so emphasize your important contentions/points.
Clearly state voting issues in your final speech.
If you would like to share your cards, please email me at sreerao at hotmail dot com
This is my first time as a judge. In high school, I participated in speech and debate for one year. While I competed in speech events, I have spectated multiple public forum debate rounds. Here are my preferences:
1. I prefer careful, concise, and reasonably-paced speaking. If you plan on spreading, make sure you are understandable, and provide me a printout of your case beforehand.
2. I am 100% tabula rasa – I will act as if I do not know anything on the topic, so define key terms.
3. Please evaluate your sources and provide dates when you bring up evidence.
4. I will not evaluate theory arguments and kritiks.
I am a parent judge with 3 years of experience.
I expect the participants to speak slow and clearly
Respect other participants
updated nov 2023 for gbx
I have been out of debate (washed/retired) for almost 2 years
1) start your speeches SLOW so i can actually hear them
2) if i dont catch/minunderstand anything because its unclear/makes no sense to me,its your fault
yes email chain : email@example.com
Debated in LD for 5 years
favorite argument I ever read: T/FW vs K aff
(Case/DA/CP) > T/Theory >> Phil/Tricks > K
99% of my debates have been here - take that as you will
logical argument > unexplained claims, i love some W logic
i also enjoy creative impact turns, examples i have gone for: co2 ag, renewables bad, heg, spark, decol bad->loose nukes
i have had some fun theory debates, some with arguments worth hearing, some not
defaults: NO RVIS, reasonability (debate it out tho)
will be a lot harder to convince me to vote on an rvi
thugs ts out
if it doesn't look like I understand what's going on its because I don't
lbl in the 2nr>>> the big overview
answer this question pls (or question its answer as aff): "lowkey what does the alt do?"
i have zero debate experience here - mostly avoided it all my life
fine with inserting rehighlightings
refer to arnav dani and muzzi khan's paradigm for debate arguments I agree with
I debated for 4 years in policy at Head-Royce as a 1A/2N and went for the K on both the aff and the neg for my last 3 years. I now debate at UC Berkeley and go only for policy args.
Put me on the email chain rileyreichel[at]gmail.com and hrsdebatedocs[at]gmail.com. Please name the chain something reasonable.
Do what you do best. This paradigm is short because I will vote for almost any argument so long as it is won in debate. Below are predispositions but every single one can be overcome by debating well. I know everyone says this but I will try my hardest to stick to the flow and judge as objectively as I can.
I read all the evidence mentioned in the final rebuttals. I've realized a put a lot of weight in evidence quality and you should be very loud about telling me if your evidence is good, I'll reward it with high speaks.
K: Fairness is an impact but I usually prefer skills/clash. I do think that this activity has some effect on debaters and judges but to what extent is up to debate. While debate is a game, I think simply saying it's a game and therefore fairness is not only not a full argument but ignores other ways this space can be used. I have a pretty good understanding of most critical theory but have gone for more security/cap rather than identity args in the past.
K v K: Never heard a convincing arg for why K affs don't get perms. Most reasons are predicated off of winning T. I think these debates tend to devolve into perm vs link which seems hard to win for both sides. I like affs that stick to their theory and go for impact turns rather than just becoming whatever the neg read.
Theory: I fully believe in cheaty CPs and think the neg should do anything to win. I'm rarely persuaded by theory arguments and love creative neg strats.
- Won't vote on stuff that happened outside the round
- I will drop you and give 0s for anything blatantly offensive done in round and am willing to end debates early if I think something unsafe is happening.
- I only flow stuff that is said during the speech time and won't vote for arguments that literally break the format
- I think reading extinction arguments and not being able to defend against the death K is cowardice
- I have become increasingly annoyed with people acting like jerks in round. It's a communicative activity and everyone is spending their time here willingly, try to keep that in mind. I'm very willing to drop speaks.
Some people and paradigms to look at to better understand the way I view debate: Larry Dang, T Weddington, John hines, Nathan Fleming, Nick Fleming, Katie Wimsatt, Emilio Menotti
extra .1 speaks for references to old Head-Royce debaters or current cal debaters
Last updated - 9/22/23
Garland HS - '20
The University of Texas at Austin - '24
Put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Conflicts: Garland (TX), McNeil (TX), Westwood (TX)
LARP - 1
T/Theory - 2
K - 2-3
Phil - 2-3
Tricks - hurts me physically (pls strike)
TLDR: Please just read the bolded stuff, speaks at bottom
Background: Hey I'm Ishan (pronounced E-shawn). My pronouns are he/him and I'll use they/them if I don't know yours. I debated for Garland High School for 4 years in LD and competed on the national circuit for almost 2. I broke at several nat circuit tournaments, got a bid round, but never bid - do with that what you will - also broke at NSDA nats and was in octos and trips of TFA State for my last 2 years. Debate focuses/expertise include: LARP, T/Theory, and generic Ks and phil (Cap, Security, word PIKS, Kant, etc.)
People I agree with/have been coached by who I may or may not have modeled this paradigm after: Khoa Pham, Alan George, Bob Overing, Devin Hernandez, Vinay Maruri, Patrick Fox
debate is a game
Tech>Truth with the caveat that burden of proof>burden of rejoinder - I'm not going to vote on a conceded argument if I can't explain the warrant/impact - the bare minimum is saying this argument is bad because of XYZ.
CX is binding
DTA>DTD (except for T/condo)
1AR theory is cool
Presumption goes neg (absent an alternate 2NR advocacy)
(Tbh these don't matter as long as you make the argument for the other scenario)
Ev Ethics: (PLS READ)
- I didn't enjoy rounds that were staked on this a debater so I obviously won't as a judge. However, this doesn't mean you should not call out your opponent for a violation.
- If/when an accusation is made, I will stop the debate and determine if the accusation is true/false. Whoever is right about the accusation gets a W30, and whoever is wrong gets an L0.
- Reading an ev ethics shell is not the same as an accusation and I will evaluate it like a theory debate, so you might as well go for the accusation. That said, winning "miscutting ev good" is a hella uphill battle and probably the wrong decision.
- PLEASE have complete citations - if you don't and it is pointed out by your opponent, I will not evaluate the argument/card and your speaks will drop. Make it a voting issue! It's your responsibility as a debater to cut good ev.
- Don't intentionally clip cards - I will follow along in the doc to prevent this as much as I can. If I notice this in prelims, it's an L0, if I notice this in elims, it's an auto-L. Seriously, don't do it. >:(
- Don't miscut your ev (cutting out counter-arguments/modifiers, breaking paragraphs, etc.) - If I notice this in round, it's an auto-L.
General notes I think are important:
- BE NICE, bigotry of any kind will result in an L0 and me reporting you to tab.
- I will not vote on morally repugnant arguments (racism, sexism, homophobia, death good, etc.) - I will vote you down.
- Debate is fundamentally a game, but it is also a very competitive game that can get very messy. If at any point in the round you feel uncomfortable/unsafe, let me know verbally or by some sort of message and I will stop the round to help you in any way I can.
- If you are hitting a novice or someone who is clearly behind in the debate, don't be mean. Go for simple strats (2 or less off, no theory, 50% speed, etc.) and err on the side of good explanations. Doing so will result in me bumping your speaks.
- I'll call clear/slow as many times as a need to be able to flow. If you don't listen after 5+ times, that's your fault and your speaks will suffer.
- Please do NOT start off your speech at max speed, just work your way there.
- If the tournament is online, I understand tech issues will happen, so I'll be pretty lenient.
- Get the email chain set up ASAP. Sending docs in between speeches shouldn't take that long. Don't steal prep, I'll know and drop your speaks.
- Speech times and speaker order are non-negotiable.
- I'd really prefer you don't interrupt another person's speech, even if it's a performance. CX is obviously an exception.
- Performances that justify voting for anything outside of the debate realm (e.g. dance-off, videogames, etc.) are not persuasive to me. If you're conceding the round (exception), however, just let me know ahead of time.
- I know my paradigm is not short and you might not have time to read it, so ask questions if needed - I won't be an ass about start time unless tab forces me to - I think debaters should always read their judges' paradigms and take them to heart since it often results in better debates/speaks. That having been said, I'd rather see you debate well with a strategy you know than a strategy you're bad at just because you're trying to model what I did as a debater.
- My favorite style of debate and the one I'm most familiar with
- Link/impact turns require winning uniqueness!
- I think doing your impact calculus/weighing in the 2NR/2AR is fine - idk how the alternatives are feasible - making your weighing comparative/contextual is a must. I think debates about impact calc are really interesting and carded meta-weighing will get you far.
- If your extensions don't have a warrant, you didn't extend it - I won't do your work for you. (Ex: The aff does X and solves Y by doing Z)
- I'm perfectly fine with reading evidence after round, especially if was a key contestation point. Also, call out your opponents on having bad evidence. Debate fundamentally requires well-researched positions.
- Having clever analytic CPs, especially when the aff is new, can be really strategic - negs should always exploit aff vagueness, especially on questions of solvency.
- I really liked going for theory as a debater, but often felt discouraged by judges who hated frivolous theory. That's not me though so feel free to go for it - with the exception of egregious arguments like policing people's clothes - also keep in mind that intuitive responses to friv theory are pretty effective. Reading bad/underdeveloped shells does not equate to reading friv theory and will make me sad.
- Please slow down on theory interpretations and analytics and number/label your arguments - especially in underviews - I don't type very fast - seriously tho stop blitzing theory analytics
- I think paragraph theory is cool and prefer it most of the time. I don't think you need paradigm issues, but if you know your opponent is going to contest it, you might as well include them.
- I think going for reasonability is under-utilized and strategic, so doing it well with up your speaks. However, you need to have a counter-interp that you meet, even when you go for reasonability. I don't think a brite-line is always necessary, especially if the shell was terrible and you have sufficient defense.
- I'll resort to defaults absent any paradigm issues, but they are all soft defaults and I'd rather not, so literally just make the argument for the side you are going for.
- Winning the RVI isn't a super uphill battle with me, but I find that it often is a poor time investment.
- Having CIs with multiple planks (provided you actually construct offense with them) is cool/strategic.
- Weighing between standards, voters, and shells is just as important here as it is in LARP!
- I ran and debated Nebel T a lot as a debater, so I'm quite familiar with the nuances. If I can tell you don't know what this argument actually says e.g. you don't know what semantics being a floor/ceiling means, your speaks will suffer.
- I'm quite fond of topicality arguments and think they are a good strat, especially against new affs. That being said, if your shell is underdeveloped or you can't properly explain an offensive/defensive case list, the threshold for responses drops.
- Having carded interps and counter-interps is key.
- I don't care about your independent voters unless you can actually explain why they're a voter.
- T-fw/framework (whatever you wanna call it): I read this argument a lot as a debater and this was often my strat against k affs.
- Procedural fairness is definitely an impact, but I will gladly listen to others e.g. topic ed, skills, clash, research, etc. and I often find these debates to be very interesting.
- Contextualized TVAs are a must-have.
- Contextualized overviews in the 2NR are a must-have as well. If I wanted to hear your pre-written 2NR on framework, I'd go read my own.
- I think disclosure is good for debate, but I'm open to whatever norm is presented in round. I think reading disclosure theory, even at locals (provided you also meet your interp) is fine. I was a small-school debater and I disclosed all my stuff with full cites and round reports. I think the first 3/last 3 is a minimum, but you do you. Open-source, full text, round reports, new affs bad, etc. are all shells I feel comfortable evaluating like any other theory debate.
- This is the only theory argument about out-of-round abuse I will vote on.
- Don't run disclosure on novices/people who literally don't know about the norms - maybe inform them before round and just have a good debate?
- I have a good understanding of Marxist cap, security, afropess, and humanism. I have a very basic understanding of Deleuzian cap, Baudrillard, and Saldanha. That being said, I can't vote for you unless you properly explain your theory to me and you should always err on the side of over-explanation when it comes to the links, alternative, turns case arguments, and kritiks your judge doesn't know front and back.
- For afropess specifically (cause apparently this needs to be on my paradigm) - if you are making ontological claims about blackness as a non-black debater, I will vote you down.
- The K needs to actually disagree with some or all of the affirmative. In other words, it needs to disprove, turn, or outweigh the case. Actual impact framing>>> bad ROB claims.
- Please don't spend 6 min reading an overview - if I can tell someone else wrote it for you, I will be very sad and drop your speaks - if your overview is contextualized to the 1ARs mistakes, however, I will be very happy and bump your speaks up.
- I think CX against the aff and CX against the K are very important and I make an effort to listen. Pointing out links in the aff and using links from CX itself is cool. I also find that sketchiness in CX is acceptable to some extent (ex: it's a floating PIK), but I'd prefer you not be an ass to your opponent. If you make an effort to actually explain your theory, links to the aff, and alternative sufficiently, I will make an effort to up your speaks. Absent a sufficient explanation, the threshold for responses to K plummets.
- I think K tricks/impact calc args (alt solves case, K turns case, root cause, floating PIK, value to life, ethics/D-rule) are under-utilized.
- Please have a good link wall with contextualized links from the case!
- The words pre/post-fiat are inconsequential to me. Just do proper impact framing.
- I think these strategies can be very interesting and these debates tend to be very fun to listen to. However, I'm not the best person to evaluate dense KvK rounds (not that I won't).
- If your K aff has no ties to the topic whatsoever, don't read it in front of me, it won't be a fun time for either of us.
- Your aff should be explained with, at the bare minimum, a comprehensible, good idea. If I can't explain what I think your affirmative/advocacy does, the threshold for responses along with your speaks drops.
- The 1AR vs T-FW/T-USFG should have a robust counter-interpretation that articulates a vision for the topic. Having counter-definitions is a good thing to do. "Your interp plus my aff" is not convincing.
- I'm more lenient to 1ARs with case arguments that apply to T, but I'm very hesitant to vote on new cross-apps in the 2AR unless they're justified.
- I'm most familiar with Kant since it was one of my generic strats, although I know some basic Hobbes/Testimony/Rawls.
- Please slow down on phil analytics/overviews as well.
- Be able to explain the difference between confidence and modesty and go for one in a rebuttal.
- If you can't explain your NCs syllogism in a way that I can explain it back, I'm not gonna feel comfortable voting on it.
- I think using examples to prove how a philosophy allows for some morally repugnant action is strategic.
- Please do proper weighing between framework justifications (if both sides keep repeating my fw precludes/hijacks yours without comparison, I will be sad and dock speaks)
- This is likely the type of debate like/want to see/feel comfortable evaluating the least. However, if this is your bread and butter, don't let that discourage you. That being said, if even I can tell you don't know how the trick you read interacts with the debate, your speaks will suffer.
- I'm from Texas and never debated in the Southeast or Northeast, so if you're from those states, err on the side of over-explanation.
- I'm probably going to be more lenient to you if you're not reading 30 hidden a prioris and skep triggers, so just keep that in mind.
- If you aren't winning truth testing, I'm probably not going to evaluate any of the tricks.
- I view presumption as a reason the judge should vote aff/neg in the absence of offense. I view permissibility as whether the aff/neg actions are permissible under some ethical theory/ in a world without morals. Winning skep will rely on you winning either 1- moral facts don't exist, 2- moral facts are unknowable, or 3- all moral statements are false.
- I'm generally pretty nice with speaks so long as you're clear and debate well - I prefer strategy over clarity but hey why not have both - I'll start from a 28.5 and go up or down depending on the round.
I'll up speaks for doing the following:
- ending a speech/prep early (<2 min) - up to +0.5 depending on strategy (I would prefer a shorter/concise and conversational speech to a repetitive long one, especially when debating a novice)
- if you make an arg with a funny analogy - up to +0.3 depending on quality
- keeping me interested in the debate (interesting affs, bold NCs, good/funny CX, etc.) - +0.1
Hello, I'm Emilio Rivera. I used to debate in HS, specifically LD from 2012-2016 for Chaminade College Prep. I debated on the national circuit, and mainly ran theory/framework.
I haven't been a part of the debate scene for the past several years, so my ability to parse arguments spoken quickly or understand newer jargon likely (much) worse than it was previously.
If you want to spread, start slowly then ramp up.
Some things that help me out, and thus should help you, are
1. Slowing down on tags/author names. This makes things easier for me
2. Don't read blocks of cards in replacement of actual line-by-line in rebuttals. It makes it difficult to evaluate in later speeches. Less is more.
3. Overviews that tell me which things matter. The less thinking on which impacts/arguments matter to the round, the better things will be for you.
Berkeley 2023 update:
I wrote the above about 4-5 years ago and most of it still holds true. However, since I've been removed from the scene for quite some time I'm going to reiterate that you should err on the side of overexplaining jargon/arguments rather than expecting me to piece it together. I'll probably get what you mean but its better to be safe than sorry. In that same vein if I don't get what you mean and your opponent says "this doesnt make sense and theres no warrant" I will happily agree with them and move forward in my evaluation of the round. In other words, do not rely on me having a shared understanding of your particular philosophical canon/debate meta that you are using to make arguments for you.
My email is email@example.com
2023 NDT Champion
2023 CEDA Champion
I used to read plans and afropess. I used to do LD in high school.
The Black Chorus Sings
I am a parent judge. My child debates in Policy.
This is my first year as a judge so please bear with me as I get up to speed.
I prefer well-paced speak, don't spread. Do not rush, if I don't understand you I can't correctly evaluate your performance.
Use of credible evidence and analysis is important to me.
During cross examination, be respectful to your opponent. Rebuttal should be right to the point, refutation can be sharp but be polite.
I value debate skill and truthful arguments equally.
Email chain -- firstname.lastname@example.org
berkeley update: havent judged in 2 years so go slow. also theres a lotta inexperienced debaters in the pool. be nice or your speaks shall suffer!
I debated at Mission San Jose High School in California for four years and graduated in 2016. I mostly read util and theory.
Debate is your activity and I don't have a strong preference for any particular sort of argument, so do whatever you want. I will vote on any argument as long as it is warranted.
I mainly assign speaks based on strategy and argument quality.
Please stop reading theory, especially disclosure theory, against debaters that are clearly less experienced than you. your speaks will suffer
This is LD centric, scroll for PF.
1: Traditional Debate.
3: K's~T/theory. explain it well.
4: Phil. Explain it VERY well.
email chain: email@example.com
Hello! I'm Natasha (she/her). I attended Cary Academy and debated LD all four years, and dabbled in Worlds and PF.
What I like: Probability>magnitude. Debate is about communication-- I need to understand what you're running. Analysis, persuasion, nuance > card dump.
I debated a lot of trad and sometimes progressive at more circuity tournaments, but that was limited to cp/da and a K once or twice. If you're going to spread, go at ~50/60%.
If your opponent is trad (and does not know progressive debate) and you're not, I would highly suggest you take a trad approach to that round.
"High level" phil, theory, etc. needs to be explained VERY well.
The round will stop if you say anything sexist, racist, homophobic, ableist, xenophobic, transphobic. Please include content warnings where they are needed.
I am not flowing cross.
Feel free to email me after the round for a copy of the flow, general comments, or just about debate in general--I'd love to chat. Also, feel free to ask questions before the round.
I will only vote on disclosure if there's CLEAR CLEAR abuse in the round. I think in many cases reading disclosure is REALLY bad for inclusivity in the space.
Exactly Aryan Nair's paradigm.
I'm a former LD competitor and coach, now back to coaching after a significant hiatus. I'm generally open to hearing any kind of arguments, although if you decide to run theory, please make sure you are doing that because you genuinely think there was an egregious violation of some sort. I really hate it when people run theory to waste people's time or when they do that against an inexperienced debater. Disclosure theory in particular: I really dislike when people run it against a stock case. If it's a stock argument, just answer it. I know you've heard it before and it's not unfair. In my opinion, theory should never be run in Public Forum. I do appreciate if you make me think. Please be super clear and crisp in your delivery, if you decide to be quick. Some of the recent developments in progressive argumentation are new to me, so make sure you explain them fully and why I should vote for them. I'm a history teacher and have my Ph.D. in Political Science, if that helps you understand my background knowledge base. Also, it bothers me if debaters are rude or mean.
I am a parent judge. Just because you share a speech doc does not mean I will be able to fully understand your contentions or the weight of your arguments if you spread at an incomprehensible rate. Spread at your own risk.
Weight out contentions, be respectful, etc. Engage in a good, substantive round with argumentative clash.
I'd like to see you present a structured, sequenced argument where you explicitly emphasize your core contentions and not just read out your case flat and fast. Make sure to take calculated pauses.
Good luck, don't get nervous or intimidated, you got this!
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have read and voted for many different styles of arguments. I appreciate thorough, technical debating, regardless of the content of your argument. Try to understand what issues you're winning, which ones you're behind on, and how that shapes the debate. Explain why winning certain issues frames the debate.
Being confidently wrong isn't a good thing. Debaters who exhibit general lack of awareness of the world or the topic will lose speaker points. I am far more likely to vote for the team that knows what they are talking about.
I am a parent judge so I am new to doing LD and Debate.
In rounds just make sure to tell me where you are going in your speech. Off time road maps are helpful as well as signposting.
Speed is fine with me in beginning speeches but make sure your speed doesn't affect the clarity of the argument.
As for different types of debates such as traditional, theory, K debate etc. Just make sure to explain what I should be looking for.
Finally, you as the competitor should be clear in your thought while asking questions or answering them.
My expectations are simple:
1.) Speak clearly and at a reasonable pace.
2.) Explain your arguments well. I should be able to reasonably agree or disagree based on your reasoning.
3.) Be kind and respectful.
Don't worry too much about technical debate preferences. As long as you can reasonably explain something, I'm all for it.
If you have any questions about these points, please do not hesitate to ask me before the round!
My email: email@example.com
I was involved in speech and debate since I was in middle school and throughout my four years of high school. I attended Los Alamos High School in New Mexico and graduated in 2017. I competed in several national circuit tournaments in Arizona, Texas, and National Speech and Debate tournament in 2017. My events included PF debate, LD debate, Original Oratory, and USX/IX. I graduated from UCLA in 2021 and I am currently a PhD student in Statistics at UC Berkeley.
My judging philosophy
1. (esp for CX) DO NOT SPREAD. I understand that you have a lot of ground to cover in a short period of time, so speaking quickly is fine. However, there is a difference between speaking quickly and spreading. Trying to talk at lightning speed will impact your speaker points and in turn the ballot because I cannot understand you. If you are speaking too fast, I will verbally tell you to slow down. Please do not make me tell you more than twice. Speech and debate is about effective and clear communication and spreading detracts from that.
2. Be polite. If you encounter a debater less experienced than you, let them down easy and politely. I will not accept any rude or demeaning behavior. Being rude or patronizing discourages new competitors from staying in the speech and debate community. I am not afraid to punish you with the ballot if you are disrespectful to your opponent.
3. Statistics as evidence. I am a statistician, so I am particularly intrigued by anything involving statistics or data. That being said, I reserve the right to view any and all cards and their corresponding sources upon request. To avoid this, please avoid making statistically incorrect conclusions based on data. I will not consider your contention/subpoint in my RFD if an incorrect statistical conclusion is made. The most common being "X causes Y" when in reality it is "X is associated with Y". In other words, report the results as they are and don't try to oversell them to me.
4. Impacts matter! Make these clear! I care a lot about end-of-round crystallization. Voting issues are a must.
5. Being Progressive (K's, T Shells, Counterplans). You should explain why these are important because I have no idea what they are. It is fine if you want to run this stuff but you should explain the argument to me like you would to your grandmother.
If you search up my debating record, you will probably see that I have a roughly even win/loss record was never a national/state champion or even a tournament finalist. I think I might have made it to semifinals during one year, but I honestly cannot remember (I promise in 4 years you will not remember either).
However, I found speech and debate to be a rewarding time in my high school career, where I learned the importance of effective communication and advocacy on behalf of others. Win or lose, please do not forget about the skills you gain from each round and each tournament you compete in. Good luck!
I did PF for 4 years in high school, It's been ~3 years since I've done debate and ~2 years since I've judged.
It is probably best to consider me as a flay judge by LD standards. I'm not familiar with the norms of LD at all so I don't have any opinions on the format itself, because of this I don't intuitively have a feeling for if a debater is doing something uneducational/abusive and I'll be more receptive to theory because of this.
If you want to win me over, win the warrant-level debate, I find this is the most important & interesting part of debate that is the most lacking in most rounds.
Read whatever you want and I will give my best attempt to understand the arguments, but keep in mind I have very little experience judging Ks, heavy theory rounds, or nuanced phil, if you want to make those arguments, please put extra effort warranting them.
tech>>truth, I try extremely hard not to intervene. The only exception this is that I'll be more receptive to arguments that are explained better (sorry about this :( - not familiar with LD)
please don't assume I know any literature
speed is fine, just signpost
IF YOU ARE EXCESSIVELY RUDE TO YOUR OPPONENT(s) I WILL OBLITERATE YOUR SPEAKS
About me: I'm a second-year at UC Berkeley studying Environmental Sciences and Legal Studies. I competed in parliamentary debate for four years in high school, captaining my junior and senior years. A few awards my partner and I earned include championing Stanford's national invitational and breaking at the Tournament of Champions. I have also coached for Berkeley High School's debate team and I'm currently competing on the Cal Mock Trial Team.
• Argument structure - Please use a consistent argument structure throughout the round (e.g. uniqueness, links, and impacts) and signpost throughout your speech
• Always weigh your impacts - please terminalize and weigh your impacts. It's not enough for you to link out your advantages/disads to death or climate change. You have to explain how I should weigh those against the other impacts in the round.
• Citing evidence - Follow any rules for citing evidence that the tournament provides. If none are provided, citing the name of the source and date of publication is enough for me
• Feel free to run whatever kind of theory you want as long as you do sufficient weighing/layering (tell me how I should evaluate this argument compared to everything else in the round)
• Not a fan of frivolous theories and anything that's run to skew your opponents out of the round.
• I'm generally unreceptive to K's but feel free to run them. If you do, please explain your framework, links, impacts, and alt very clearly and do sufficient weighing/layering.
• Please signpost because I may get lost if you don't
This is just a brief summary of my judging preferences. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions! And just remember that debate is a fun and educational activity, so just enjoy yourselves and you'll do great!
Email: misimha4[at]gmail[dot]com. Archbishop Mitty '22. Michigan '26.
Tech over truth. I will try to be as non-interventionist as possible. Above all, this takes precedence. None of my individual opinions are too important but debating in congruence with my priors is likely the path of least resistance. My most meaningful bias is towards arguments with better evidence.
The burden of proof supersedes the burden of rejoinder. I will not vote for unwarranted claims. Any warrant, regardless of quality, will suffice.
Plan vs DA/CP
I assess risk as cumulative probability of the internal links multiplied by the magnitude of the impact. 'Extinction first' is not assumed and impacts other than extinction matter. Absolute defense is rare but attainable.
Send perm text for anything that isn't 'do both' or 'do CP.' Do CP is yes/no and should be supported by normative justifications. Offense/defense for other perms. 'Scramble perms' are fine and I often find myself thinking that they are neither functionally nor textually intrinsic.
Most issues are best settled at the level of substance rather than theory, such as competition, vagueness, etc. 'Competition determines legitimacy' is my default. Theory is best when interpretations have clear language about which practices are illegitimate. If equally debated, I will lean neg on most theory, with a few exceptions such as international fiat, counterplans that fiat non-policy actions, counterplans that fiat both federal and sub-federal actors, etc.
Default judge kick but would prefer if the 2NR flagged it. Unlikely, but gettable on condo bad. Other theory is a reason to reject the argument, not the team. Arbitrariness is very strong for the neg insofar as it relates to the interpretation. 2NC counterplans are fine in response to 2AC newness but questionable if not, especially if conditional.
Plan vs T
Fine for the neg if evidence with intent to define a word in the resolution. If not, it's a non-starter.
We meet is yes/no. 'Plan text in a vacuum' is generally more persuasive than the proposed alternatives.
Given equal debating, better for limits outweighs precision than the converse.
Default competing interps. Reasonability can be persuasive, but it requires substantial external defense to really mean much.
Plan vs K
Good for the K as long as there is external mitigation to the aff in some way (i.e., an exclusive framework, alt solves and/or case debating).
I'm not making up my own middle ground framework interpretation. Given equal debating between entirely exclusive frameworks, I will likely conclude aff. Inclusive frameworks are more intuitive than exclusive ones.
Denying the desirability of competitive equity between the aff and the neg does not seem strategic to me. Claiming that my ballot does anything other than determine the winner/loser of the round is a tough sell.
K vs T
Equally debated, I will conclude in favor of the neg.
For neg: Fairness is the best impact. Not sure how a competitive game functions if it's imbalanced. Fairness might not be an ‘intrinsic good' in the sense that it begs the value of debate as an activity, but that doesn’t seem hard to find since debate is a voluntary game.
For aff: do whatever it takes to beat 'switching sides solves.' Counterinterpretations that define words to make affs at least defend some meaningful change from the status quo are strategic. Aff offense is often best when explaining some other value as a benefit of the counterinterpretation.
K vs K
The aff usually should get perms, but they should be explained in depth.
Also fine for policy-style or whatever other counterplans and DAs. Sometimes the non-framework option is the cleanest.
Anything explicitly racist, sexist, transphobic, etc. is not allowed. I will not evaluate arguments about someone's character based on actions outside of the round. Please be respectful. Not allowing your opponent to ask questions in CX, for example, is not acceptable conduct. Additionally, do not turn ethics issues into arguments for the ballot.
Clipping requires a recorded violation presented by an alleging team. I will then evaluate the evidence presented and issue a loss to the team which allegedly clipped if they have clipped, or the alleging team if there was no clipping.
Evidence ethics challenges require staking the round on the challenge. If you do not stop the round, I will not consider it. If the round is stopped for this, I will then decide whether or not the challenger has a legitimate claim or not based on NSDA/tournament guidelines and will use the appropriate recourse. When possible, however, I would strongly prefer to see debating of the evidence in a substantive manner. If it's that egregious, settle it before the round.
Rehighlighting can be inserted if part of the original card text, read the card if it's outside of that or a distinct argument (e.g., a CP). Absent verbal explanation of the rehighlighting, it will not be considered.
In most cases, I will only intervene to strike an argument off my flow for being "too new" if the argument in question is made in the 2AR. If you want me to outlaw an argument for newness, tell me it's new and ideally why it's too new to be an extrapolation of something previously said.
Sending the email is not on prep time but be reasonable. You must start CX to ask questions. You can also ask questions outside of CX, which requires using prep time after the CX timer ends. Minimize dead time.
Speaker points are awarded for passion, delivery, original research, and technical proficiency.
I keep meeting fellow folks in the debate community with my same conditions (migraines, nausea, fatigue, vertigo, chronic spinal pain, neurodivergent and on). I created this doc with stuff that's helped https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vYS4o8JEqE0N1BO-HsaDUEzNz_Ck-gFt4P5jK2WzPT4/edit
& a podcast for my fellow migraineur/chronic pain/chronic illness debaters https://open.spotify.com/episode/3Tk0Pr7MM61JNWFH7RTVtZ?si=DoOOrI8FQr2nrTh3JHW9Sw
BEFORE ROUND PLEASE READ:
Please email me the speech docs before your first speech & any evidence read after each rebuttal (-.5 speaker points if not). If you’re Aff do this before the round so we can start on time & if you're Neg you can do this before your speech but please have speech docs ready so this doesn't take long thanks! Copy & paste this email email@example.com you sent it we’re good, no need to ask a bunch if I got it (internets slow at tourneys but it eventually works:)
I’m always ready, no need to check in with me before each speech (I sit down to flow & have a standing desk so then I don't have to sit and stand over and over messing up my flow :). Ironically, I also get up here & there to stretch (I do this during prep time) as I have Scheuermann's. Time each other including each other’s prep time & CX
Please don't have your timer super close to your mic (the high pitch beep isn't fun for vertigo/migraines thanks :).
Flex &/or running prep is fine. If we’re at a zoom tournament and video is making your audio choppy/etc then it’s fine to emphasize the audio as that’s the key:). Ps Tournaments Please if possible don’t start zoom rounds ridiculously early with the different time zones so debaters can do their best as well:)
PF: Please share the evidence you’re reading with your opponent before the round so half of the round isn’t “can I have this specific card” (it ruins the flow/pace of the round) thanks! Feel free to run disclosure theory every round I judge (aka drop my opponent for not disclosing their cases on the wiki, disclosure makes debate more accessible/educational) when your opponent doesn’t have their case on the wiki https://hspf.debatecoaches.org/ It makes debate more fair & outweighs if someone runs your case against you/your school as you should know how to block it anyway:).
Pronouns: they/them/theirs; genderqueer, no need for judge and please no mister, that’s my cat Mr Lambs. Nicky is fine:). If you insist on last name formalities, students have called me Dr Smith
Your oral RFD can be done as Gollum, John Mulaney or Elmo if you so choose.
I have coached Lincoln–Douglas debate as well as other forms of debate and speech since 2005.
I participated in debate throughout high school, won state twice, and was competitive on the national circuit (advanced far at Nationals and other prominent tournaments like Harvard, Valley, etc) so I understand the many different styles of debate that exist and the juggling you as debaters have to do in terms of judge paradigms. My goal is for you to learn/grow through this activity so feel free to ask any questions.
I studied philosophy at Northwestern, my PhD was in sociology (intersectional social movements/criminal injustice system) at Berkeley/San Diego & have taught many courses in debate/theory at the graduate & secondary level so I love hearing unique arguments especially critical theory/strong advocacies/anything creative. When I judge debate, I flow throughout the round. I appreciate debaters who take time to crystallize, weigh arguments/clearly emphasize impacts (when appropriate), and who are inclusive in their debate style and argumentation. By this I mean debaters who respect pronouns, respect their opponents, and who work to make debate more accessible (as someone who has been disabled/queer since the time I competed, there is a lot more that needs to be done, but it starts with each of us and beyond the activity).
PRACTICES I LIKE:
- Taking risks to advance debate (such as using theory and arguments that are often ignored in debate both in high school and beyond, ie not the same several social contract theorists/arguments for every debate topic/round). Advocating, being creative, showing your passion for something, researching different perspectives, and bettering/supporting your fellow debaters and our community as a whole and beyond are some of the best skills that can come out of this.
-Sharing cases/evidence with your opponent/the judge before your speeches/rebuttals; there should be no conditions on your opponent having access to your evidence.
- Enunciating clearly throughout the round (I can handle speed, but I need to be able to hear/understand you versus gibberish).
-Having explicit voters. Substance is key. Signpost throughout.
- To reiterate, I am open to a range of theory and frameworks and diverse argumentation (really anything not bigoted), but be clear on why it matters. With kritiks and any “non-traditional” case, avoid relying solely on buzz words in lieu of clearly explaining your arguments or linking where needed (and not, for example, jumping to exaggerated impacts like extinction).
- And again, delivery matters and being monotone gets tiring after judging rounds throughout the day so practice, practice.
PRACTICES I DISLIKE:
- Any form of discrimination, including bigoted language and ableist actions (such as using pace as a way to exclude opponents who are new to circuit).
- Also ad homs against your opponent such as insulting their clothing or practices, and attacks against an opponent's team or school. Don't yell. Be kind.
- I have noticed lately more and more debaters trailing off in volume as they go; ideally I don't like to have to motion the "I can't hear you or slow down" sign throughout the round.
- Non-verbal reactions when your opponent is speaking (e.g., making faces, throwing up your hands, rapid "no" shaking).
Be as clear as you can. Uniqueness/making the round not like every other round is nice! Be funny if possible or make the round interesting :)
If there's anything I can do in terms of accommodations please let me know and feel free to contact me after the round with any post-round questions/clarifications (I can give my information or we can speak at the tournament) as my goal is for all of you to improve through this. I see debaters improving who take advantage of this! Good luck!
Hi, I'm Allyson Spurlock (people also call me Bunny)
I did policy debate for 4 years at CK McClatchy High School in Sacramento, CA where I qualified to the TOC three times and was a Quarterfinalist. I am currently a debater at Georgetown.
I will diligently flow the debate, read the relevant evidence flagged by the final rebuttals, and assign relative weight to arguments (which originate completely/clearly from the constructives) in accordance with depth of explanation, explicit response to refutations, and instruction in how I should evaluate them.
I have few non-obvious preferences or opinions (obviously, be a respectful and kind person, read qualified/well-cut + highlighted evidence, make smart strategic choices, etc).
I have thought a lot about both critical and policy arguments and honestly do not think you should pref me a certain way because of the kinds of arguments you make (HOW you make them is pretty much all I care about). Judge instruction is paramount; tell me how to read evidence, frame warrants, compare impacts, etc.
Evidence quality matters a lot to me, but your speeches need to do the work of extending/applying specific warrants. Condo is probably good, but many CPs I think can be won are theoretically illegitimate/easily go away with smart perms. Debating the risks of internal links of Advs and DAs is much more useful than reading generic impact defense.
Different approaches (on both sides) are all fine, as long as you answer the important questions. Does debate change our subjectivity? What is the role of negation and rejoinder? What does the ballot do? Fairness can be an impact but the 2NR still needs to do good impact calculus/comparison.
Policy Aff v K:
FW debates are often frustratingly unresolved; the final rebuttal should synthesize arguments and explain their implications. Because of this, it is often a cleaner ballot for the 2NR to have a unique link that turns the case and beats the aff without winning framework. 2ACs should spend more time on the alt; most are bad and it is very important to decisively win that the Neg cannot access your offense.
Would prefer not to judge debates about silly theory arguments, RVIs, T arguments written by coaches, or other tricks. Err on the side of extra explanation for LD-specific things.
+0.2 speaker points if you don't ask for a marked doc after the speech
Affiliation: Winston Churchill HS
*I don't look at docs during the debate, if it isn't on my flow, I'm not evaluating it*
**prep time stops when the email is sent, too many teams steal prep while 'saving the doc'**
Do what you do well: I have no preference to any sort of specific types of arguments these days. The most enjoyable rounds to judge are ones where teams are good at what they do and they strategically execute a well planned strategy. You are likely better off doing what you do and making minor tweaks to sell it to me rather than making radical changes to your argumentation/strategy to do something you think I would enjoy.
-Clash Debates: No strong ideological debate dispositions, affs should probably be topical/in the direction of the topic but I'm less convinced of the need for instrumental defense of the USFG. I think there is value in K debate and think that value comes from expanding knowledge of literature bases and how they interact with the resolution. I generally find myself unpersuaded by affs that 'negate the resolution' and find them to not have the most persuasive answers to framework.
-Evidence v Spin: Ultimately good evidence trumps good spin. I will accept a debater’s spin until it is contested by the opposing team. I often find this to be the biggest issue with with politics, internal link, and permutation evidence for kritiks.
-Speed vs Clarity: I don't flow off the speech document, I don't even open them until either after the debate or if a particular piece of evidence is called into question. If I don't hear it/can't figure out the argument from the text of your cards, it probably won't make it to my flow/decision. This is almost always an issue of clarity and not speed and has only gotten worse during/post virtual debate.
-Inserting evidence/CP text/perms:you have to say the words for me to consider it an argument
-Permutation/Link Analysis: I am becoming increasingly bored in K debates. I think this is almost entirely due to the fact that K debate has stagnated to the point where the negative neither has a specific link to the aff nor articulates/explains what the link to the aff is beyond a 3-year-old link block written by someone else. I think most K links in high school debate are more often links to the status quo/links of omission and I find affirmatives that push the kritik about lack of links/alts inability to solve set themselves up successfully to win the permutation. I find that permutations that lack any discussion of what the world of the permutation would mean to be incredibly unpersuasive and you will have trouble winning a permutation unless the negative just concedes the perm. Reading a slew of permutations with no explanation as the debate progresses is something that strategically helps the negative team when it comes to contextualizing what the aff is/does. I also see an increasingly high amount of negative kritiks that don't have a link to the aff plan/method and instead are just FYIs about XYZ thing. I think that affirmative teams are missing out by not challenging these links.
FOR LD PREFS (may be useful-ish for policy folks)
All of the below thoughts are likely still true, but it should be noted that it has been about 5 years since I've regularly judged high-level LD debates and my thoughts on some things have likely changed a bit. The hope is that this gives you some insight into how I'm feeling during the round at hand.
1) Go slow. What I really mean is be clear, but everyone thinks they are much more clear than they are so I'll just say go 75% of what you normally would.
2) I do not open the speech doc during the debate. If I miss an argument/think I miss an argument then it just isn't on my flow. I won't be checking the doc to make sure I have everything, that is your job as debaters. This also means:
3) Pen time. If you're going to read 10 blippy theory arguments back-to-back or spit out 5 different perms in a row, I'm not going get them all on my flow, you have to give judges time between args to catch it all. I'll be honest, if you're going to read 10 blippy theory args/spikes, I'm already having a bad time
4) Inserting CP texts, Perm texts, evidence/re-highlighting is a no for me. If it is not read aloud, it isn't in the debate
5) If you're using your Phil/Value/Criterion as much more than a framing mechanism for impacts, I'm not the best judge for you (read phil tricks/justifications to not answer neg offense). I'll try my best, but I often find myself struggling to find a reason why the aff/neg case has offense to vote on
6) Same is true for debaters who rely on 'tricks'/bad theory arguments, but even more so. If you're asking yourself "is this a bad theory argument?" it probably is. Things such as "evaluate the debate after the 1AR" or "aff must read counter-solvency" can be answered with a vigorous thumbs down.
7) I think speaker point inflation has gotten out of control but for those who care, this is a rough guess at my speaker point range28.4-28.5average;28.6-28.7 should clear;28.8-28.9 pretty good but some strategic blunders; 29+you were very good, only minor mistakes
I like to hear logical, cogent arguments delivered with confidence, but not arrogance. I think a skilled speaker can capture the audience by using story telling to bolster their arguments. I like good eye contact and an engaging speaking style.
Just explain your arguments well. don't speed talk, dont spread. I strongly believe that the ultimate objective of debate is lost if the listeners do not understand what you are trying to say. Inorder for me to judge effectively, I must understand what you say, your arguments and your supporting evidence. I will give you my rapt attention and commitment that I will listen to you very carefully, that I will flow and make every attempt to understand what you are saying. You inturn have to make a commitment that you will speak clearly and make better argumentation.
Affiliation: Marlborough (CA), Apple Valley (MN)
Past: Peninsula (CA), Lexington (MA)
I like substantive and engaging debates focused on the topic's core controversies. While I greatly appreciate creative strategy, I prefer deeply warranted arguments backed by solid evidence to absurd arguments made for purely tactical reasons.
I find the tech or truth construction to be reductive — both matter. I will try to evaluate claims through a more-or-less Bayesian lens. This means my knowledge of the world establishes a baseline for the plausibility of claims, and those priors are updated by the arguments made in a debate. This doesn’t mean I’ll intervene based on my preexisting beliefs; instead, it will take much more to win that 2+2=5 than to prove that grass is green.
I default to viewing resolutions as normative statements that divide ground, but I’m open to arguments in favor of alternative paradigms. In general, I believe the affirmative should defend a topical policy action that's a shift from the status quo. The negative burden is generally to defend the desirability of the status quo or competitive advocacy.
Affirmatives should advocate a clearly delineated plan or advocacy, which can be the resolution itself. The aff's advocacy text is the basis for negative competition and links, and as such, it must contain any information the aff feels is relevant to those discussions. Affs cannot refuse to specify or answer questions regarding elements of their advocacy and then later make permutations or no-link arguments that depend on those elements. "Normal means" claims can be an exception but require evidence that the feature in question is assumed. Proof that some possible version of the aff could include such a feature is insufficient. Refusal to answer direct questions about a particular element of the advocacy will likely take "normal means" claims off the table.
I prefer policy/stock arguments, but I’m certainly open to critical or philosophical positions and vote for them often.
If you refer to your arguments as “tricks,” it’s a good sign that I’m not the best judge for you. Debaters should, whenever possible, advance the best arguments at their disposal. Calling your argument a "trick" implies its value lies in surprise or deception, not quality.
Note: an odd topic construction could alter these priors, but I'll do my best to make that known here if that's the case.
Generally, affirmatives should be topical. I have and will vote for non-topical positions, but the burden is on the aff to justify why the topicality constraint shouldn't apply to them.
Topicality is a question of whether the features of the plan/advocacy itself being a good idea proves the resolution. This means I will look unfavorably on a position that is effects topical, extra-topical, or related to the topic but doesn't in and of itself prove the resolution.
In topicality debates, both semantics and pragmatic justifications are essential. However, interpretations must be "semantically eligible" before I evaluate pragmatic advantages. Pragmatic advantages are relevant in deciding between plausible interpretations of the words in the resolution; pragmatics can't make those words mean something they don't. I will err aff if topicality is a close call.
Affs nearly always must disclose 30 min before start time, and both debaters should disclose which AC they will read before elim flips.
Affirmatives should usually be topical.
Plans are good, but they need to be consistent with the wording of the topic.
Extra T is probably bad
Severance is bad
Intrinsicness is usually bad, but I'm open to intrinsic perms in response to process cps
Conditionality is OK
PICs are OK
Alt agent fiat is probably bad
Competing interpretations>reasonability, usually
Probably no RVIs
Almost certainly no RVIs on Topicality
I don't like arguments that place artificial constraints on paradigm issues based on the speech in which they are presented.
No inserting evidence. Re-highlights should be read aloud.
I am open to Ks and vote on them frequently. That said, I’m not intimately familiar with every critical literature base. So, clear explanation, framing, and argument interaction are essential. Likewise, the more material your impacts and alternative are, the better. Again, the more unlikely the claim, the higher the burden of proof. It will take more to convince me of the strongest claims of psychoanalysis than that capitalism results in exploitation.
Establishing clear links that generate offense is necessary. Too often, Ks try to turn fundamentally defensive claims into offense via jargon and obfuscation. A claim that the aff can’t or doesn't solve some impact is not necessarily a claim the aff is a bad idea.
It's essential that I understand the alternative and how it resolves the harms of the Kritik. I won't vote for an advocacy that I can't confidently articulate.
Arguments I will not vote for
An argument that has no normative implications, except in situations where the debater develops and wins an argument that changes my default assumptions.
A strategy that purposely attempts to wash the debate to trigger permissibility/presumption.
A contingent framework/advocacy that is "triggered" in a later speech.
Any argument that asks me to evaluate the debate after a speech that isn't the 2AR.
Arguments/Practices I will immediately drop you for
Any argument that concludes that every action is permissible.
Any argument that creates a hostile environment for either myself, the other debater, or anyone watching the debate.
Any argument that explicitly argues that something we all agree is awful (genocide, rape, etc.) is a good thing. This must be an argument THAT THE DEBATER AGREES implies horrible things are ok. If the other debater wins an argument that your framework justifies something terrible, but it is contested, then it may count as a reason not to accept your framework, but it will not be a reason to drop you on its own.
I only judge PF a few times a year, mostly at camp. Arguments are arguments regardless of the format, so most of my typical paradigm applies. The big caveat is that I strongly prefer teams read actual cards instead of paraphrasing evidence. I understand that there are differences of opinion, so I won't discount paraphrasing entirely, but I'll have a lower bar for indicts. Also, I'm not reading ten full articles at the end of the debate, so I'd appreciate it if you could prepare the paraphrased portions in advance.
Dartmouth, TAS, Interlake. He/him.
Add me: ant981228 at gmail dot com
College people, add: debatedocs at googlegroups dot com
Please include the tournament, round, and teams debating in the subject line of the email.
Key Things to Know
I will flow and vote based on the things you said. NEGs can say whatever but the more it says the plan is bad the better. Conditionality and judge kick are good. AFFs should be T and are likely to lose if they aren't. If you say death good you lose. If you ask for a 30 you will get a 25.
I STRONGLY prefer that all cameras be on whenever anyone in the debate is speaking, but I understand if internet or other considerations prevent this.
If my camera is off, assume I am away from my computer and don't start talking. If you start your speech while I am away from my computer you do not get to restart. That is on you.
Here is how to successfully adjust to the online setting:
1. Inflect more when you are talking.
2. Put your face in frame. Ideally, make it so you can see the judge.
3. Get a microphone, put it close to your face, talk into it, make sure there is an unobstructed line between it and your mouth.
4. Talk one at a time.
Tech determines truth unless it's death good. If you tell me to embrace death because life is bad I will vote against you even if you do not go for the argument. More broadly, all else being equal, I strongly prefer to solve problems without resorting to violence or force if possible.
Otherwise, unless my role as a judge is changed, I will attempt to make the least interventionary decision. This means:
1. I will identify the most important issues in the debate, decide them first based on the debating, then work outward.
2. What is conceded is absolutely true, but will only have the implications that you say it has. Unless something is explicitly said, conceded, and extended, or is an obvious and necessary corollary of something that is said, conceded, and extended, I will attempt to resolve it, rather than assuming it.
3. I will intervene if there is no non-interventionary decision.
4. I will attempt to minimize the scope of my intervention by simplifying the decision-making process. I would prefer to decide fewer issues. If an issue seems hard to resolve without intervening, I will prioritize evaluating ballots that don't require resolving that issue. Example: a DA is heavily and messily contested, and may be straight turned, but the case would outweigh the DA even if the DA was 100% NEG. I will likely not attempt to resolve the DA page. In complex debates, it would help you to instruct me on how I should do this, or instruct me not to do this if you would prefer that I resolve the debate a different way. You can also stop this from happening by debating in ways that don't require intervention to evaluate.
I am aware that this procedure can influence my assessment of substance. Given infinite decision time, I would not do this. However, decision times are shrinking. Post-round time is limited; minutes spent resolving complex or under-debated issues that are not outcome-determinative trade off with the quality of my assessment of issues that are. I believe this process net reduces error costs.
I have voted NEG 53% of the time.
I often vote quickly. This does not necessarily mean the debate was lopsided or bad; more likely, it is a sign that the teams clearly communicated the relationships between their arguments, allowing me to perform evaluations as the debate is happening. If I take a long time that means I was unable to do this, either because there was significant complexity in the debate or because communication was poor.
The following are my inclinations - if you don't like them you can change them.
The agenda DA is not a serious argument, but can be a strategic one.
"Framing pages" where you say "DAs are bad" are bad.
CP'ing in offense is underrated.
If no one says anything I will assume I can judge kick. It is very hard to use theory to stop me from thinking about the status quo. Nothing but conditionality is a voting issue. Pretty NEG on most theory, except fiating out of your own straight turned offense.
Competition is usually more impactful than theory. Theory arguments that logically presume you have won a competition argument ("CPs that steal the AFF are a voting issue" assumes you have demonstrated that the CP has stolen the AFF, which is a competition argument. "CPs that are not functionally and textually competitive are a voting issue"... come on, what are we doing here) are a waste of time. Just win the competition argument.
Functional competition + explaining what your plan does + definitions + reasons to prefer your definitions >>>>> anything involving the concept of textual competition. Textual competition is mind poison that corrupts any competition model it touches.
If I can't explain what a CP does and how it accomplishes whatever the NEG says it does, I am unlikely to vote for it. You can avoid this by writing a meaningful CP text AND explaining it in the speech.
I like judging good T debates. I really don't like judging bad ones. What sets these apart is specific application of broad offense to interpretations and impact debating that is specific to internal links, grounded in a vivid vision for debates under your topic.
I do not think the intrinsic value of being "factually correct" about your T argument is very high.
Many parts of a T argument can be enhanced with cards - e.g. link to limits, claims of AFF/NEG bias in the literature, predictability via prodicts/indicts.
Argue by analogy and comparison to other AFFs, especially in CX.
Ks / Planless AFFs
OK for specific Ks on the NEG, bad for random backfile slop, bad for K AFFs, death good = L.
If your K is secretly a DA, refer to the DA section. If your K is not a DA then yes, you need framework and you need an alternative. Whatever issue your framework says should determine the round should be what your link, impact, and ALT are about.
I do not judge many debates involving nontraditional AFFs. The biggest hurdles to voting AFF for me are usually: 1) why can't the AFF be read on the NEG, 2) why is the AFF's offense inherent to resolutional debate or to voting NEG on framework instead of some avoidable examples, and 3) how do I reconcile the AFF's vision of debate or the topic with debate's inherently (even if not exclusively) competitive nature.
I am open to different understandings of what it means for things to compete if there is no plan. However, "no plan, no perms" is nonsense.
The only effect of my ballot is to decide the winner.
Strong strategy, being fun/engaging to watch, being smart, being classy, being clear = higher speaks.
Making wrong strategic choices, being underprepared or ignorant about substance, making CXs annoying/pointless, making bad arguments, being needlessly mean, being a mumbler... = lower speaks.
I do not view speaker points as divorced from substance.
My points are slightly below average.
Asking for a 30 will yield a 25.
Ethics and Conduct
If the tabroom tells me to do something, it is not up for debate. I will do that thing. The rest is what I will do if left to my own devices.
Evidence ethics (out of context? straw-person? lied about quals? cut in middle of paragraph?) should be debated out like any other theory argument. Alternative remedies short of an automatic loss could be more responsive or proportional to the harm: scratching the argument AND evidence, scratching only the evidence and treating the argument as if it is made analytically, assuming an author is absolutely unqualified, requiring the team to produce the full text of articles in question, requiring the violating team to establish a paper trail authenticating other important evidence and presuming unauthenticated evidence to be fabricated, requiring a team to produce the full text of every article in the debate and presuming unauthenticated evidence to be fabricated, reducing speaker points, informing the team's coaches after the fact. They MAY be a reason to reject the team, but I will not treat them as such by default.
Clipping - claiming you read words from evidence that you did not read - is different, and a voting issue. It is a form of dishonesty that irreparably distorts teams' speech times, which affects every other issue in the debate, and which opponents are uniquely poorly positioned to police. If you are inexperienced or appear to have clipped by mistake, I will be lenient. Otherwise, it is non-negotiable.
Thoughts on stopping the debate early:
1. This is an exceptional measure to be avoided if possible.
2. Once the debate stops because of an ethics challenge, my first step is to consult the tabroom and do whatever they say.
3. Unless expressly instructed otherwise by the tabroom, the debate will not resume once stopped. The winner and loser will be determined solely by the ethics challenge.
4. An accusing team can stop the debate at any time. They win if they are correct, present compelling evidence that they are correct, and I agree that the conduct justifies a penalty loss. The winner will receive 28.5 and 28.6. Losers who have personally committed an ethics violation receive the lowest points allowed. Losers who have not personally committed an ethics violation - either due to an unsuccessful accusation, or because the partner committed the violation - receive a 27 and 27.1.
5. An accused team can stop the debate, even if the accusing team does not wish to do so, if the accusation concerns the fundamental academic integrity of the accused. This is a very high bar.
6. An accusing team may ask me if I believe certain conduct justifies a penalty loss without stopping the debate. I will take judge prep to answer. This answer is not an invitation to negotiate and obviously doesn't bind the tabroom.
7. I will proactively end the debate for clipping. I will not do this for other evidence ethics or academic integrity issues.
8. Basically none of this applies to novice or JV, where I will resolve the dispute as quickly and narrowly as possible with the aim of maximizing the number of speeches that can happen.
Being racist, sexist, violent, etc. in a way that is immediately and obviously hazardous to someone in the debate = L and 0. My role as educator outweighs my role as any form of disciplinarian, so I will err on the side of letting stuff play out - i.e. if someone used gendered language and that gets brought up I will probably let the round happen and correct any ignorance after the fact. This ends when it begins to threaten the safety of round participants. You should give this line a wide berth.
Economic Inequality: I don't know anything about the topic, so please err towards over-explaining/avoid topic-specific acronyms.
Lay Debate: I'll evaluate the debate as a slow round unless both teams agree to go fast. Adapt to the rest of the panel before me.
Topicality: It's the negative's burden to prove a violation - if I can't clearly explain why the aff doesn't meet, I can't vote for you. I think debate is both an educational space and a competitive game, so I will be more persuaded by the model that maximizes its benefits for debaters and creates the most level playing field for both sides.
Counterplans: I think unlimited condo is good. I'm better for the aff in competition/theory debates where the counterplan competes off of certainty/immediacy, forwards a process and net benefit that aren't intrinsic to the aff, or fiats a bunch of large-scale planks without evidentiary basis. Deficits should be clearly impacted out from the 2AC to the 2AR for me to vote on them.
Disads: Turns case arguments, aff-specific link explanations, and ev comparison matter most for me. I think logical, smart analytics can do just as much damage as ev.
Ks: Most familiar with cap/setcol/security/IR or law bad stuff. I look at framework first to frame the rest of my flow. I think I have a higher threshold for links - so contextualization, turns case analysis, pulling lines from the 1AC, etc. are really important.
K-Affs/KvK: I have the least experience judging these debates. "As the negative, recognize if this is an impact turn debate or one of competing models early on (as in, during the 2AC). When the negative sees where the 2AR will go and adjusts accordingly, I have found that I am very good for the negative. But when they fail to understand the debate's strategic direction, I almost always vote aff." - Mr. Sur
I mostly judge LD now, but I've never competed in the activity and I'm not familiar with most of the specific theory/tricks/jargon. Explicit judge instruction and impact calc will go a long way for me, especially in the final rebuttals.
Correct me before the round if this is just a different community norm and I might re-evaluate, but prep time stops when you're done creating your speech doc, not before you even begin assembling it.
There's a less-than-1% chance I vote for an RVI (sorry).
I won't read evidence at the end of the debate unless you explicitly tell me to and send a compiled card doc.
Read whatever you want - if an argument is truly so bad that it shouldn't be debated, you should be able to beat it with zero cards. With that said, there is a clear difference between going for certain args and being actively violent in round, and I have zero tolerance for the latter.
+0.1 speaks if you make fun of a current cal debater/anyone on the lowell team and i laugh
Be nice, don't cheat, and have fun!
I debated throughout high school and then at Idaho State University for 5 years. I then coached at Idaho State University for 2 years, Weber for 1, and USC for 1. I've been out of the game this season, fair warning.
I am a firm believer that debate is for debaters. I've had my time to make others listen to whatever (and I mean absolutely whatever) I wanted to say, and it's my turn to listen to and evaluate your arguments, whatever they may be. While I'm sure I have my limitations, make me adapt to you instead of the other way around.
I try my damnedest to line up all the arguments on my flow. I am, however, open to alternate flowing styles. I really do prefer when debaters make specific reference of which argument(s) they are answering at a given time regardless of flowing style. I also flow the text of cards.
I prefer not to call for evidence (although I would like to be on your email chain... firstname.lastname@example.org). This means explain, explain, explain! Tell me what the card says; tell me why I should care and how I should apply it. That being said, I do not think that cards are always better than analytics.
Be prepared to defend all aspects of your argument.
Everything is open to (re)interpretation. For example, some questions that may be relevant to my ballot include: What is the purpose of debate? How does this affect the way that impacts are evaluated? These kinds of top-level framing issues are the most important to me.
This means things like framework and T (fun little-known fact: I've always found topicality in general super interesting--I love the nit-picky semantics of language) can be viable options against K affs. However, you are better off if you have a substantive response to the aff included as well.
I'm still kind of deciding how I feel about how competition functions in method debates. I think the most accurate depiction of what I think about it now is this (and it all obviously depends on what's happening in the debate/on the flow, but in general): I'll probably err that the affirmative on-face gets a permutation to determine if the methods are mutually exclusive, and so that means the best strategy for the negative in this world is to generate their links to the aff's method itself to prove that mutual exclusivity.
I'd really appreciate it if you could warn me in advance if there will be graphic descriptions of sexual violence.
- I don't like crappy cheap-shot arguments.
- I like substantive debates about the core controversies of the topic. My preferences have evolved over time to become very similar to Gordon Krauss's. I would look at their paradigm for specific thoughts that I might also hold. However, I am more reluctant to judge critical negatives and less reluctant to judge critical affirmatives (affs that talk about the topic) than they are.
- Let me know if you need any accommodations/anything before or during the round so you're more comfortable. Don't be late, don't contact me after the tournament ends.
- Not a fan of blanket good/bad claims and I will appreciate specificity. Make arguments you understand.
- The decision is yours but speaker points are mine. You can read incredibly bad arguments in hopes your opponent will miss something. I will evaluate that round objectively and if you win, you win. But you'll get <27.5 speaks!
- I don't flow off the doc.
I debated from 16-19 doing PF and LD and coached a top 10 parli team in the 19-20 season. Davis CS '23. This is my fifth year judging and eighth year in the debate-space.
Three absolute essentials from my friend Zaid's paradigm:
1. Add me to the email chain before the round starts: email@example.com. Make sure that the documents are .pdfs (so that I can open it directly within the browser).
2. Preflow before the round. When you walk into the room you should be ready to start ASAP.
3. I will NOT entertain postrounding from coaches. This is absolutely embarrassing and if it is egregious I will report you to tab. Postrounding from competitors must be respectful and brief.
I do not view debate as a game, I view it almost like math class or science class as it carries tremendous educational value. I generally dislike how gamified debate has become - especially LD. There are a lot of inequities in debate and treating it like a game deepens those inequities. Progressive argumentation is a practice which big schools utilize to extend the prep gap between them and small schools. Hence, I believe that traditional debate is the MOST educational way to go about this activity.
Your job as a competitor is to make my job AS EASY as possible. The easier you make it, the greater the likelihood of getting my ballot. The less truthful the argument, the more work you have to do to convince me that your argument is true. I am tech over truthbut it's a lot of work to prove factually untrue arguments. It's in your best interest to make sure your arguments are truthful because then you do a lot less work to convince me which makes the round easier for you to win.
I'll accept theory on the condition that there's real demonstrated abuse in the round(going over time repeatedly, spreading when asked not to etc). You should be willing to stake the round on theory - meaning that it should be the only argument that matters in the round. Running shells and dropping them is dumb. Breaking "norms" are not indicative of abuse - you cannot expect someone new to debate to be familiar with every norm on the national circuit.
I generally dislike theory shells like Nebel or hyperspecific/friv shells. You have to do a ton of work to convince me that bare plurals is actually abuse and not just an article written by some random guy at VBI - and there's a variety of other shells that this applies to.
Disclosure theory created by big schools to trick smaller schools into giving up their prep advantage on the wiki because it's "more equitable". A fundamental part of debate is developing the ability to think and interact with your opponents' case, not reading off pre-written responses that coaches write for you (which is really easy to tell when you're doing it and irks me).
Performance Ks, K Affs, RVIs and tricks are a byproduct of debaters seeking to win this "game" of debate so needless to say I don't really enjoy listening to them.
Ks are fine. If it's something unique, you need to explain it thoroughly. If I don't understand the K, I can't vote for it.
Spreading is silly. Slow and good >>> fast and bad. I don’t think being unintelligible on purpose is a very good strategy to winning debates in real life either.
Thus, my threshold for progressive debate is high.
Generally in LD, the arguments in which you will have to do the least work to convince me are substance debate and policy debate. Phil is enjoyable as well. But you need explain explain explain explain.
I don’t think off-time roadmaps are a real concept. When you speak, outside of introductions and niceties, it should be running on someone's time.
Framework debate is good but I'm not a huge fan of value/VC debate (because the analysis is really shallow - "they don't support my VC so they auto lose". If its not that then I really enjoy it. )
If I am judging PF and you run progressive nonsense, it's an automatic loss. PF is MEANT to be accessible to the public. My 90 year old grandpa should be able to judge a round and understand what is happening.
In all events, I don't really care about cross since it's an opportunity for you to set up future arguments. I usually know who's won by the second to last speech (1NR in LD and negative summary) so unless the round is particularly close I don’t flow the last speech (2AR or FF).
It will serve you best to think of me as a deeply experienced flay judge rather than a circuit judge.
I will reward smart arguments with higher speaker points. Weigh effectively and weigh often and provide warrants for your arguments. This is the path to my ballot! Just tell me how and why to vote for you, do not trust me to understand and extend your implicit arguments.
Other than this, have fun, crack jokes, reference anecdotes and be creative. I'll give you +1 speaker points if you use a computer science concept in an analogy.
Updated November 2023
I am currently the speech and debate coach at Theodore Roosevelt HS.
I debated policy and LD for four years at Winston Churchill HS and qualified to the TOC senior year.
I have been judging debate (mostly policy and LD) for over 5 years.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions before or after rounds.
I have no preference to any sort of specific types of arguments. Sure, some debates I may find more interesting than others, but honestly the most interesting rounds to judge are ones where teams are good at what they do and they strategically execute a well planned strategy. I think link and perm analysis is good, affs should probably be topical/in the direction of the topic but I'm less convinced of the need for instrumental defense of the USFG. Everything below is insight into how I view/adjudicate debates, its questionably useful but will probably result in higher speaks.
Public Forum: Be polite and courteous during cross fire. Make sure to utilize your evidence and warrant arguments. I am open to whatever arguments you would like to make (obviously avoid racist, sexist, etc. arguments). I am open to all styles and speeds of delivery, but if your opponent is not speed reading, it would help your speaker points if you can avoid speed reading too. Everything else is more relevant to policy and LD debate, but you may find it useful for PF too.
Share your evidence before you deliver the speech. If you ask to see multiple cards from your opponent after they have given their speech, I will start running your prep time.
Speech Drop is great, please use it. https://speechdrop.net/
You should always follow the NSDA evidence rules: https://www.speechanddebate.org/wp-content/uploads/Debate-Evidence-Guide.pdf
You should do your best to be honest with your evidence and not misconstrue evidence to say something that it clearly does not say.
Theory interpretations and violations, plan texts, and alternative advocacy statements should all be included in the speech document.
If you are reading a card and need to cut it short, you should clearly state that you are cutting the card and put a mark on your document so that you can easily find where you stopped reading that card. If you are skipping cards in the speech document, make sure to mention that and/or sign post where you are going. This should avoid the need to send a marked copy of your document after your speech if you do these things, unless you read cards that were not included in your original speech document.
Prep Time Standards:
Prep time begins after the preceding speech/cross-examination ends.
If you have not transferred your speech document to your opponent, then you are still taking prep time. Prep time ends when the flash drive leaves your computer. Prep time ends when the document is uploaded onto speech drop. Prep time ends when the email has been sent. Once the team taking prep time says they are done with prep, then both teams need to stop typing, writing, talking, etc. The speech document should then be automatically delivered to the opponents and judge as fast as technologically possible.
Speaker points: average = 27.5, I generally adjust relative to the pool when considering how I rank speakers.
-Things that will earn you speaker points: politeness, being organized, confidence, well-placed humor, well executed strategies/arguments, efficiency.
-Things that will lose you speaker points: arrogance, rudeness, humor at the expense of your opponent, stealing prep, pointless cross examination, running things you don’t understand, mumbling insults about myself or other judges who saw the round differently from you.
-Truth v Tech: I more frequently decide close debates based on questions of truth/solid evidence rather than purely technical skills. Super tech-y teams probably should be paying attention to overviews/nebulous arguments when debating teams who like to use a big overview to answer lots of arguments. I still vote on technical concessions/drops but am lenient to 2AR/2NR extrapolation of an argument made elsewhere on the flow answering a 'drop'. This also bleeds into policy v policy debates, I am much more willing to vote on probability/link analysis than magnitude/timeframe; taking claims of "policy discussions good" seriously also means we need to give probability of impacts/solvency more weight.
-Evidence v Spin: Ultimately good evidence trumps good spin. I will accept a debater’s spin until it is contested by the opposing team. I will read evidence if said evidence is contested and/or if compared/contrasted to the oppositions evidence. I will first read it through the lens of the debater’s spin but if it is apparent that the evidence has been mis-characterized spin becomes largely irrelevant. This can be easily rectified by combining good evidence with good spin. I often find this to be the case with politics, internal link, and affirmative permutation evidence for kritiks, pointing this out gets you speaks. That being said, there is always a point in which reading more evidence should take a backseat to detailed analysis, I do not need to listen to you read 10 cards about political capital being low.
-Speed vs Clarity: If I have never judged you or it is an early morning/late evening round you should probably start slower and speed up through the speech so I can get used to you speaking. When in doubt err on the side of clarity over speed. If you think things like theory or topicality will be options in the final rebuttals give me pen time so I am able to flow more than just the 'taglines' of your theory blocks.
-Permutation/Link Analysis: this is an increasingly important issue that I am noticing with kritik debates. I find that permutations that lack any discussion of what the world of the permutation would mean to be incredibly unpersuasive and you will have trouble winning a permutation unless the negative just concedes the perm. This does not mean that the 2AC needs an detailed permutation analysis but you should be able to explain your permutations if asked to in cross-x and there definitely should be analysis for whatever permutations make their way into the 1AR. Reading a slew of permutations with no explanation throughout the debate leaves the door wide open for the negative to justify strategic cross applications and the grouping of permutations since said grouping will still probably contain more analysis than the 1AR/2AR. That being said, well explained/specific permutations will earn you speaker points and often times the ballot. In the same way it benefits affirmatives to obtain alt/CP texts, it would behoove the negative to ask for permutation texts to prevent affirmatives shifting what the permutation means later in the debate.
The same goes for link/link-turn analysis I expect debaters to be able to explain the arguments that they are making beyond the taglines in their blocks. This ultimately means that on questions of permutations/links the team who is better explaining the warrants behind their argument will usually get more leeway than teams who spew multiple arguments but do not explain them.
Topicality/Theory: I tend to lean towards a competing interpretations framework for evaluating T, this does not mean I won't vote on reasonability but I DO think you need to have an interpretation of what is 'reasonable' otherwise it just becomes another competing interp debate. Aff teams should try and have some offense on the T flow, but I don't mean you should go for RVIs. I generally believe that affirmatives should try and be about the topic, this also applies to K affs, I think some of the best education in debate comes from learning to apply your favorite literature to the topic. This also means that I generally think that T is more strategic than FW when debating K affs. I've learned that I have a relatively high threshold for theory and that only goes up with "cheapshot" theory violations, especially in LD. Winning theory debates in front of me means picking a few solid arguments in the last rebuttal and doing some comparative analysis with the other teams arguments; a super tech-y condo 2AR where you go for 15 arguments is going to be a harder sell for me. Other default settings include: Topicality before theory, T before Aff impacts, T is probably not genocidal. These can be changed by a team making arguments, but in an effort for transparency, this is where my predispositions sit.
Kritiks: I have no problems with K's. I've read a decent amount of critical literature, there is also LOTS that I haven't read, it would be wise to not make assumptions and take the time to explain your argument; in general you should always err towards better explanation in front of me. I do not enjoy having to sift through unexplained cards after K v K rounds to find out where the actual tension is (you should be doing this work), as such I am more comfortable with not caring that I may not have understood whatever argument you were trying to go for, that lack of understanding is 9/10 times the debater's fault. Feel free to ask before the round how much I know about whatever author you may be reading, I'm generally pretty honest. I generally think that critical debates are more effective when I feel like things are explained clearly and in an academic way, blippy extensions or lack of warrants/explanation often results in me voting affirmative on permutations, framing, etc.
CP: I have no problems with counterplans, run whatever you want. I think that most counterplans are legitimate however I am pre-dispositioned to think that CP's like steal the funding, delay, and other sketchy counterplans are more suspect to theory debates. I have no preference on the textual/functional competition debate. On CP theory make sure to give me some pen time. If you are reading a multi-plank counterplan you need to either slow down or spend time in the block explaining exactly what the cp does.
DA: I dont have much to say here, disads are fine just give me a clear story on what's going on.
Performance/Other: I'm fine with these debates, I think my best advice is probably for those trying to answer these strats since those reading them already generally know whats up. I am very persuaded by two things 1) affs need to be intersectional with the topic (if we're talking about China your aff better be related to the conversation). 2) affirmatives need to be an affirmation of something, "affirming the negation of the resolution" is not what I mean by that either. These are not hard and fast rules but if you meet both of these things I will be less persuaded by framework/T arguments, if you do not meet these suggestions I will be much more persuaded by framework and topicality arguments. If you make a bunch of case arguments based on misreadings of their authors/theories I'm generally not super persuaded by those arguments.
Public Forum: Be polite and courteous during cross fire. Make sure to utilize your evidence and author qualifications. I am open to whatever arguments you would like to make (obviously avoid racist, sexist, etc. arguments). I am open to all styles and speeds of delivery, but if your opponent is not speed reading, it would help your speaker points if you can avoid speed reading too. Everything else above is more relevant to policy and LD debate, but you may find it useful for PF too.
It's been a hot minute since I've updated this so I figure now is as good a time as any.
Experience: 4 years hs debate @ Bonita High School, i've done parli, ld, pf, so I will somewhat know what's going on. In my fourth year debating for UC Berkeley's British Parli / American Parli team, and have mostly judged parli tournaments.
tl:dr: warrant everything and be comparative. I don't like being interventionist as a judge, so please make my ballot as easy for me as possible by making your wins on every clash explicitly clear, and outweigh your opponent on everything that's left on flow.
I've been debating for a while in mostly parli, so I'm fairly well versed in the game at this point. I make my decisions based on who can access the strongest impacts within round. Make sure everything you say has strong, believable mechanization and realistic impacts. Be comparative and charitable to your opponents. I don't like to have to insert myself into round too much, and I am more likely to vote for you if you do my work for me!
Speed: I will flow as best as possible, but I recognize I'm not the fastest. Err on the side of caution with speed. I can handle it (I speak decently fast myself) and will flow it up to a certain point, but if you're unintelligible, I will miss things and I might accidentally judge-screw you. Signposting will help with this, so if you are going to go fast, make sure you slow down at tags and emphasize your impacts.
Evidence/Warranting: Specifically for parli tournaments that allow evidence from online prep: please please please do not just read me a card. You'll give me flashbacks of my pf days. Contextualize your evidence well and give me a mechanism behind why that evidence is true. If you're giving me a piece of evidence about the US about to go into recession and spitting out economic metrics at me, you better be explaining what is foundationally causing the US to head into recession and how y'all solve.
Impacting: If you mention nuclear war in a social justice round I will cry (make your impacts reasonable I beg of you).
Weighing: Every speech should at least implicitly weigh the impacts that your side is presenting with the impacts that the opposite side is presenting. Terminalize your impacts and provide tangible reasons (probability, magnitude, timeframe, reversibility, etc. ) why I should believe your impacts matter more than your opponents.
For parli whips: I should be able to find every substantive point that you're making on my flow somewhere. I'm usually pretty generous to whips on POO's, so as long as you've said something related to the point you're making in the prior two speeches, you should be fine.
For almost every parli round, give me:
- A way to weigh impacts (weighing mech)
- A model (what happens on the aff side that doesn't happen on the neg?)
Framework debates: If aff is proposing a framework that is never contested, I will default to that framework and both teams should weigh and whip with that framework in mind. I am receptive to counterframing, but neg has to provide a good reason as to why I should prefer their framework over the aff framework. Neg, if you wish to get into a framework debate, you better bring back your counterframework during your MO/whip speech, otherwise you have just wasted some of your time.I advise both teams to weigh and win on both the aff and neg weighing mechanisms,as I've seen good cases lose because they failed to weigh on the more reasonable weighing mechanism.
I adjudicate theory before case. The threshold for winning on theory for me is very high, so if you are running theory, bring a strong case to go along with it. I advise against running parli theory unless your opponent is doing something blatantly against the spirit of debate (incredibly absuive definitions, discriminatory statements, etc.).
On topicality: Run it if aff is running a framework that the neg could have never anticipated (e.g. aff is running that the entirety of communism = the Israeli kibbutz system), but understand that if the aff is being even relatively reasonable with their definitions, I will likely side with the aff. If you do run the T, propose counterdefinitions and pray that I buy them over your aff.
On ks, I'd generally advise you not to run the k with me judging. For some topics its warranted, and if you really believe in it, go ahead. But I'll warn you that I've voted for very few ks.
On RVIs - I don't find them compelling. Even though I don't like ks, I think there is a place for them in a debate. If your opponent's k is frivolous, explain why it's frivolous, and win on case. I'm not going to vote for you solely because you beat a k.
If you don't know what any of the above terms mean, don't worry about it, you'll learn about them when you need to.
Last thing. Be kind to your opponents please. I really hate the style of debate that a bunch of people go for where they say that their opponent's arguments are "ridiculous" or "non-sensical." I think it keeps people out of the activity yadda yadda yadda. But honestly, I just really didn't like going against people who did that, and I still don't like voting for teams who come across as uncharitable or rude. Don't be that team pleaseeee.
Okay, that's enough with the serious stuff. Parli takes itself too seriously sometimes. Just go out there and have fun, and you'll probably have me vote for you! I like wild arguments, and parli as a format lends itself to those types of arguments. Good luck in round! <3
p.s. if you email me for feedback, add your favorite emoticon to the end of the email and I'll add it to this paradigm!
I am a lay judge so please articulate your points and speak clearly.
I will judge based on logically constructed arguments well supported by facts. I am not familiar with technical terms, so please explain them if you use them. My preference is for a straight-forward policy debate.
My background is in economics, finance, and tech, so advanced arguments there will be effective with me, while philosophy (like Kant) and psychology-based arguments will be harder for me to understand and follow so it will be hard for me to vote on them. Off topic arguments will not be effective with me.
I'am a lay judge, I had over one and a half years of judging. One years in PF, and this year in LD. I don't know anything about ks and please don't read theory.
Make your arguments straitforward, or else I won't be able to vote off you easily. I will take notes so don't lie, just because I'm a lay judge, I can catch stuff like that.