California Invitational Berkeley Debate
2023 — Berkeley, CA/US
Varsity Public Forum Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I am the first time Judge, please speak slowly and clearly.
I’ve debated a mix of public forum and parli in high school and have judged PF and policy(not recently tho so explain everything pls ty) for a long, long time. I major in cs and econ so you would benefit from bringing up methodology for your evidence. I'm tired of hearing endless statistics spewed at me. If you do not explain why your numbers are true, I will not grant you the statistic. I don't care what evidence is there, I care about the causal reasons for why the world works the way it does. Warrants are better than just a statistic. So please warrant.
At National Tournaments: please flash or email chain your case cards to me and your opponents.
In PF I value truth >= tech and am neither a tabula-rasa judge nor a traditional judge. As long as the opposing team agrees before round, read whatever you want. In CX I am tabula-rasa.
I am impartial to speed but will say "Clear" if it is difficult to understand. If yk it's going to be fast make sure to let me know.
Summaries:Unless the rebuttal is a stomp, the round is usually determined in summary. I do not extend anything for you. Second summary needs to extend defense if they want it in FF. All offense arguments in FF must have already been in Summary. No need to extend cards for impacts in Summaries, but you must weigh. I like line-by-line. I will grant sticky defense in first summary, unless it’s terminal.
Citing Cards: I care tremendously about the source's credibility, so stop saying just the last name. I'd rather hear the affiliated organization or academic journal the study was published in. If you aren't reading a peer-reviewed study from a journal, government agency, or educational institution, I'm probably not writing that card down.I don't mind paraphrasing, but you leave the interpretation up to me. I will call cards out of interest.
Calling Cards:If you argue over the specifics of a piece of evidence, you're wasting time in the debate. Call the card, say the indictment in a speech and request that I call the card myself. After this is mentioned, the evidence should not be contested anymore in the round and I will consider it credible until I have looked over it after the round and decided for myself on the relevance of the evidence. In addition, unless you specify, I will choose whether the indict drops the argument, evidence, or team. Telling me how to vote off of subtleties in evidence makes it so much easier for me.
If a card is called during the round, please don’t prep until the other team receives the card. If you're giving the evidence, please don't stand by your opponents' desk awkwardly...j chill.
Please time yourself and use the honor system. Please don’t communicate with anyone outside the round or spread without letting everyone else know before the round.
I will disclose after round with an RFD if time allows. I can give individual feedback as well after the round by email or if you track me down.
Less serious stuff:
I want to hear more one-liners than a Marvel movie.
If you read a turn, bonus speaks if you physically turn around during the speech.
If you define every word in a resolution, your speaks will drop by the number of words in the resolution.
Bonus speaks if you show off mental math and it's correct.
I'm down to hear meme cases if you know you're not advancing to out-rounds. The danker the better.
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.
my email address is:
Please include me on email evidence chains and case sharing.
I am a head coach of a Speech and Debate Team. When it comes to Debate, I am lay judge but can understand tech-type jargon. I do not flow, but take shorthand notes. If you give me a verbal outline, I can track it.
These are do’s and Don’t for me judging your round:
Please do not use ‘K’’s to win your round, or run anything progressive, as you probably won’t win.
I appreciate off time road maps. Sign Posting is also very helpful for me to track your arguments
I will defer to the tournament organizers as to disclosure at the end of the round. If there are no instructions, I will disclose at the end of the round
A disrespectful team will most often lose the round
Trigger warnings are appreciated, but must be followed if asked to
I default to most lives affected/saved if no other framework is presented
Please do not spread, I asked nicely.
Make link chains as clear as possible, with clear warranting, especially when they are lengthy
Evidence is important. Accurate evidence is even better. Valuable evidence is best. This means if your opponent is using faulty or poor evidence call them out on it. Thus, ask for evidence.
As a lay judge, crossfire allows me to see the caliber of each team. Respectful, meaningful, and purposeful crossfire will help me decide the victor of the round.
Post round questions are helpful for my growth as a judge, so please ask for reasoning. However, your obligation is to beat your opponent, not argue with the judge, so clarifying questions will be entertained, but attempts to change my mind will not.
I debated LD (4 yrs nat circuit) & Policy (2 yrs at states) and graduated in 2020.
I haven't heard spreading in 2 years, so I'd avoid it. If you still choose to spread and I miss something on my flow, that's on you.
You can read whatever you want in front of me. Feel free to ask me any questions before the round.
Email me the constructive before your speech.
If I am your judge, please put me on your email chain: email@example.com
I prefer Aff to be topical. I prefer a traditional Value/Criterion debate. I like clear signposting, that opponents refer to when refuting each other. I also require evidence to uphold your warrants and link to your personal analysis. All affirmatives should have some kind of standard that they try to win, value/criterion. The negative is not necessarily tied to the same obligation. The affirmative generally has the obligation to state a case construction that generally affirms the truth of the resolution, and the negative can take whatever route they want to show how the affirmative is not doing that sufficiently.
When I see a traditional debate that clashes on fundamental issues involving framework, impacts, and what either side thinks, really matters in my weighing of the round, it makes deciding on who was the better debater during the round an easier process. I like debate that gets to the substantive heart of whatever the issue is. There are very few arguments I would actually consider a priori. My favorite debates are the kind where one side clearly wins standards, whichever one they decide to go for, and has a compelling round story. Voters are crucial in rebuttals, and a clear link story, with warrants and weighted impacts, are the best route for my ballot.
I will listen to a Kritik but you must link it to the debate in the room, related to the resolution in some way, for me to more likely to vote for it. I am biased toward topicality.
I hold theory to higher bar. I will most likely vote reasonability instead of competing interpretations. However, if I am given a clearly phrased justification for why I should accept a competing interpretation and it is insufficiently contested, there is a better chance that I will vote for a competing interpretation. You will need to emphasize this by slowing down, if you are spreading, slow down, speak a little louder, or tell me “this is paramount, flow this”.
Reasonability. I believe that theory is intervention and my threshold for voting on theory is high. I prefer engagement and clash with your opponent. If I feel like negative has spoken too quickly for an Affirmative to adequately respond during the round, or a Neg runs 2+ independent disadvantages that are likely impossible for a "think tank" to answer in a 4 minute 1AR, and the Affirmative runs abuse theory, and gives direct examples from Neg, I'll probably vote Affirmative. Common sense counts. You do not need a card to tell me that the Enola Gay was the plane that dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima.
I default Affirmative framework for establishing ground, I default Kritiks if there are clear pre-fiat/post-fiat justifications for a K debate instead of on-case debate. I do not flow cross examination. If there are any concessions in CX, you need to point them out in your next speech, for me to weigh them.
Sitting or standing, whatever you are comfortable with. I'm fine with flex prep. I think debaters should be respectful and polite. Cross examination concessions are binding, if your opponent calls them out in their next speech.
If I do not understand what you are saying, don’t expect to receive anything higher than a 28. You will lose speaker points if your actions are disrespectful to either myself or to your opponent. I believe in decorum and will vote you down if you are rude or condescending toward your opponent. I do not flow “super spreading”. I need to understand what you are saying, so that I can flow it. I will say “slow” and “clear” once. If there is no discernable change, I will not bother to repeat myself. If you respond, slow down, then speed up again, I will say “slow” and/or “clear” again. For my ballot, clarity over quantity. Word economy over quantity. I reward debaters who try to focus on persuasive styles of speaking over debaters who speak at the same tone, pitch, cadence, the entire debate.
If something is factually untrue, and your opponent points it out, do not expect to win it as an argument.
Please give me articulate voters at the end of the NR and 2AR.
I disclose if it is the tournament norm.
If you are unclear about my paradigm, please ask before the round begins.
Public Forum Paradigm
RESPECT and DECORUM
1. Show respect to your opponent. No shouting down. Just a "thank you" to stop their answer. When finished with answer, ask your opponent "Do you have a question?" Please ask direct questions. Also, advocate for yourself, do not let your opponent "walk all over you in Crossfire".
2. Do not be sexist/racist/transphobic/homophobic/etc.... in round. Respect all humans.
I expect PF to be a contention level debate. There may be a weighing mechanism like "cost-benefit analysis" that will help show why your side has won the debate on magnitude. (Some call this a framework)
I really like signposting of all of your contentions. I really like short taglines for your contentions. If you have long contentions, I really like them broken down into segments, A, B, C, etc. I really appreciate you signposting your direct refutations of your opponents contentions.
I like direct clash.
All evidence used in your constructed cases should be readily available to your opponent, upon request. If you slow down the debate looking for evidence that is in your constructed case, that will weigh against you when I am deciding my ballot.
I do not give automatic losses for dropped contentions or not extending every argument. I let the debaters decide the important contentions by what they decide to debate.
In your summary speech, please let me know specifically why your opponents are loosing the debate.
In your final focus speech, please let me know specifically why you are winning the debate.
Hello, I am a new judge. Try not to talk too fast, thank you.
As a former National Forensic League State Champion (Debate, Poetry, Dramatic Interp & Impromptu Speaking), I appreciate the hard work that all of the participants have invested in their preparations to date. As a parent of a debater/speech participant, I also recognize the selfless support that coaches and parents have made to allow their students to excel and achieve.
Speech and debate prepares orators that will move nations towards greatness while collaborating to craft policy that will solve the world's toughest humanitarian challenges. I take participants' work seriously and expect you to do the same by aiming to do your very best and continuously improve from round to round, tournament to tournament. It is with this mindset that I carefully provide thoughtful feedback on every ballot, which I hope you find valuable.
I respect your work, fellow judges and expect all participants to show the same respect for each other, before, during, after and behind closed doors.
It is a privilege to be a tournament judge.
Hi! I'm a junior at UC Berkeley studying CS & Business and I debated in PF for Gunn High School for 4 years.
I haven’t judged/done anything debate related in a WHILE and know nothing about this topic - old paradigm below
Experience (only competed in PF): 3x TOC, 2x Elims @Nats, Championed Berkeley, Semi-ed Stanford, Top Speaker Awards at Yale, Berkeley, etc.
I'm cool with all types of argumentation so feel free to do whatever you want - if you're planning on running a K or T please explain your argument thoroughly.
I am fine with speed but if you are going wayyy too fast or speaking totally unclearly, I'll let you know.
Have fun in cross and please stay calm and polite.
Some important things to note:
- read TWs if/when needed
- defense is sticky
- tabula rasa, tech > truth
- I will ALWAYS (unless you argue otherwise) presume first because I believe the first-speaking team has a structural disadvantage and significant time skew.
- pls weigh
- respond to all turns in 2nd rebuttal AND frontline
- engage with clash
- if you are extremely rude or offensive (racist, sexist, ableist etc.) in any way at all I'll drop you and give you 25 speaker points.
- I won't call for evidence unless you tell me to and it's a) essential to adjudicate the round and b) sounds misconstrued
- Sajan Mehrotra is my idol (if you want more specifics, please read his paradigm, which I believe is a link to someone else's paradigm lol)
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions after the round - I'm happy to give advice or further explain my decision at any time!
Please pre-flow before rounds!!!
Hey everyone, I’m Elliot. I debated with my sister Claire as part of College Prep BB. I'm a sophomore at Duke University and I coach for Durham Academy.
Add me to the chain: email@example.com
Remember to collapse well, extend your argument fully, and weigh! Good weighing fully compares the impact you are going for with your opponents impact, and tells me through what lens I should make my decision.
I prefer a substance debate with good clash. I am open to evaluating any kind of argument — however I reserve the right to intervene if debaters are reading arguments in an inaccessible manner. Don’t be mean or problematic please, it won’t go well for you.
Feel free to go fast if you want but you should definitely send a speech doc! I can listen to and understand speed but I much prefer to have a doc to make sure I don't miss anything when I flow. If your opponents call for evidence and you have a doc with all of your evidence, just send the whole doc, and send it as a Word doc or in the text of an email. Stop sending a google doc and deleting it after the round...Have all your evidence ready please. If you take a while to send evidence - you’ll lose speaker points and you are also giving your opponents a chance to steal prep.
I think that almost all structural violence framing needs to be in rebuttal or constructive. I wont evaluate a blip read in summary thats like "don't evaluate any other impacts bla bla bla." You can read new weighing in summary but if it's not in summary it shouldn't be in final, unless you are just tweaking implications of the same piece of weighing or making a backline to a new response from first final or second summary.
Returning to in person debate norms:
- You can sit down or stand when speaking, whatever makes you feel most comfortable
- Please at least try to make some eye contact during your speeches and during crossfire
- During prep time, don't talk so loudly that everyone can hear what you are saying
Some of my favorite judges when I debated: Eli Glickman, Will Sjostrom, Sanjita Pamidimukkala, Gabe Rusk
Update: If you love to run theory in LD, you probably should strike me.
I've never particularly liked theory, but over the last couple years theory in LD has turned into a profoundly uneducational whine-off that devolves into students running baseless accusations of "abuse". Especially in a time where debaters are starting to call out real life abuse they may face from the debate community, it's becoming harder and harder for me to stomach rewarding "their definition is abusive because now I have to run theory and that's a time skew" (which is self-fulfilling) type theory arguments with a ballot. I firmly believe that the discourse we use in rounds can shape our worldviews and community norms. "Abuse", a term that should carry significance, is subconsciously rendered meaningless because it's flippantly tossed around to win a ballot. It develops connotations of self-serving technicalities that I firmly believe seep into how we view people speaking out about real abuse.
(It occurred to me that some debaters may want to borrow the above paragraph, so if you do, please keep the cutting I've bolded to avoid accidentally misrepresenting the argument.)
Short version: I’m a flow judge down with most K’s, spreading, CPs (condo or uncondo) narratives, performance, and projects. If you bite into your own K, you're screwed. For the love of coffee, SIGNPOST. Don’t run bad science. I love IR and current events. I hate Eurocentric perspectives. Theory debate is meh at the best of times when it’s done well and downright painful when it’s done poorly or unnecessarily. (update: just don't run theory in front of me) I really don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other on RVI’s. Topicality: ¯\_(ãƒ„)_/¯ . Weigh impacts. I will listen to whatever you have to say as long as it is well supported, do not just assume certain things are good or bad. Case debate is fun. Framework debate is interesting, whoever wins framework controls how I will view the round and usually gets my ballot. I’m incredibly non-interventionist (unless someone’s winning the “the judge should be a critical intellectual” arg, then be prepared for what intellect you have unleashed.) and rarely vote on presumption, unless something egregious happens in round. Don’t be a jackass - at this point, and especially given how misogynistic debatespace can be, if you're excessively rude to your opponent I am not going to reward that type of behavior with a ballot if it's an otherwise close round. Like, it's not that hard to not be a jerk, it usually saves you time.
Last thing - lots of teams have been running Indigenous something or other in front of me. I guess they inherently assume this is good judge adaptation. It frequently is not. If you are planning on doing this, please scroll down to the bottom and read my opinions on this instead of telling me how to think about my own identity.
(Also, I like a lot of different things. I'm super nerdy. Please don't feel constrained in the breadth of arguments you can run in front of me; there's more to me than my race. *cries single tear*)
^you’ll probably be fine with just that, the rest is provided for kicks and giggles.
Launching the Logorrhea
Use your head! Analysis: I want to see critical engagement with the literature. Don’t just say that something is true or desirable because some author said so. Explain what you are arguing in your own words, tell me why it matters and why it is important to be heard in this round. Blippy arguments aren’t going to have much punch. When you extend, restate the analysis; I dislike extending points for the sake of just having stuff on the flow, tell me why it’s important in the round.
Disads: I want a clear link/internal link story. This is often lacking in politics disads, which are interesting when done well and awful when they’re like “voting for this bill drains the president’s political capital”. Be specific and intrinsic. Impact calc is important as is reminding me why I should be weighing all this under your framework. I’m not tied to Probability >Magnitude or Manitude>Probability – you convince me which one I should prioritize. Timeframe can be a good tie-breaker for this.
Theory: See update at the top. If you run it, please make sure it's warranted. I have voted on it and will if it isn't responded to, but it’s not exactly my favorite type of debate. Clarify what you mean by “reasonability” and why you are being more reasonable.
Non-topical Affs: Go for it. Extra-topical plans: If you’re all debating the resolution straight up, being extra-T isn’t very fair.
Let's be clear on the need for speed: I can handle pretty fast spread, just make sure to enunciate. I will yell clear if needed, but after 2 or 3 "clears" you will start losing speaks if you don’t listen. Please don’t spread out teams that can’t spread; it’s mean and I will be mean back to you on the ballot.
Speak up! I award speaker points for content, strategy, and structure more than talking pretty.Let's all play nice. Watch your rhetoric; anything racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, abelist, or transphobic will nuke your speaks. My speaks are generally higher than 26. 27-27.5 is average-proficient, 28 is awesome, 29 is " I really wanted to give you 30, but there was (blank) tiny issue". 29.5-30 means the round was pure beauty in motion.
RVI's: Ok, for whatever reason, this is like cilantro for most people in the debate community; they either think they're the best, most clever thing ever or that they're a horrible abomination. I really, seriously, don't have a strong opinion either way, I think it is very much a case by case situation.
K's: Feel more than free to be creative and unique, just make sure it makes sense. What I mean is that you should thoroughly understand what you are running, stay consistent with your framework, be able to handle the obvious questions it will incur. Back it up with analysis and justify why this is significant. It is always really obvious when somebody is running a case that was just handed to them by a coach or more senior competitor. I’m decently familiar with critical literature/arguments regarding Anthropocentrism, Ecofem, Indigeneity/Settler Colonialism, and Racial Positionality. I know little bits and pieces of other areas (like Disability Politics or Queer Theory – and a bunch of random stuff written by Marxist doctors on healthcare and neoliberalism; I had a weird summer in 2016.) and am more than happy to listen to whatever you want to run, I just might not be terribly familiar with the lit so make sure to clearly explain the thesis. Please feel free to ask me before the round if you want a clarification on my knowledge base. Furthermore, if you are critiquing somebody's rhetoric within the round and tell me that the role of the judge is to be a critical intellectual, don't bite into that rhetoric. It will end badly for you.
There are a few specific K's that I have more strict criteria for.
Nietzsche: Please for the love of all that is good in the world, don't run a Nietzsche K in front of me unless you have actually read some Nietzsche. All the bastardized embrace suffering stuff I hear all the time is not Nietzsche.
Give Back the Land/Decolonization: This can either be done really well or really poorly. A lot of the time, running this is pretty much just commodifying the suffering and exploitation and genocide of hundreds of Peoples for the ballot in a round. Please don't be one of those teams or I will drop you. Read “Decolonization is not a Metaphor” if you disagree with this and then think about what I said again. If you are running this case without any cards from Native authors, that is a serious paternalistic problem. It's also hard when the "plans" proposed don't leave room for biracial Native Americans, especially considering we have the highest "out-marriage" rates of any ethnicity. I don't wanna hear any "Noble Savage" type garbage. If you argue that we need to increase Indigenous knowledge production and all the stuff happening to Natives is really bad and oppressive and stuff, but you don't have a goddamn plan for tangibly reducing harm to people like me, stop talking. Things like rates of substance abuse, suicide, domestic violence, poverty,and cultural erasure have affected my life and my family and friends. THIS IS NOT A GAME TO ME. These are not arguments for your academic curiosity. These are real things that affect real people. I do not have the luxury to play with these concepts in academic abstraction, and I won't tolerate you doing so. If you want to argue in-round solutions, they better actually be solutions. None of this "we need to imagine a different government" BS. We have been imagining for a long time. If you are running this case to help rhetorically overthrow colonialist power structures and are actually representing Native voices, then you belong on the other half of the equation are running this case for the right reasons.
Speed K's: Just have solid reasons for why your opponent spreading is abelist or exclusionary. If you have a disability that makes spreading either impossible for you to perform yourself or listen to/flow, if you have asked your opponent not to spread before the round, and your opponent still spreads, then yes absolutely run a speed K.
Quick thing on poetry- a lot of arguments I’ve heard against poetry being used in round are really classist and racist. I do not believe that poetry is only a tool of the elite and educated or that marginalized individuals who use it are traitor pawns of the ivory tower. Arguments that essentially boil down to “poetry is exclusionary because it’s bourgeoisie” are not going to work for me. Arguments that say poetry only embodies White ideals of beauty and that PoC poetry will inevitably be co-opted are viscerally offensive to me.
I won't drop you in the round if you run this, but I will drop the argument.
Narratives: Hell. Yes. I strongly believe narrative debate has an important role in asserting the voices of marginalized groups in academia. These are experiences and perspectives that the overwhelmingly wealthy white able cis/het male institutions of academia have isolated. Other authors publishing nuanced work on these topics can be rare, which is part of where narrartives come in to fill that gap. Narratives are NOT whining- narrative debate is a way for the debater to become a producer of knowledge. Talking about structural violence with first person language does not make these topics any less academic; somebody else does not need to study you for your problems to be worthy of being heard and debated.
That being said, if you are running a narrative – do NOT make sweeping assumptions about your opponents or judges, particularly in regards to things that nobody should have to feel forced to disclose about themselves to a room full of strangers, like mental health status, gender identity, sexual orientation, or a history of experiencing abuse/domestic violence. Your job is to attack power structures, and I have no tolerance for teams who invalidate their opponents' identities and their rights to display them how/when they choose to.
Please don't let the round turn into the Oppression Olympics. Don't let your args against narratives devolve into "actually, I am more oppressed than you because X " - narratives are to highlight structural violence, it's not personal. It is not about you, the debater running a narrative is an empiric to a larger argument that highlights particular systems of power. We shouldn't have to pretend like these systems don't apply to us in some way when we run cases, and at the end of the day, nobody is attacking YOU, they are indicting particular systems of power. Engage with the power structures in the round.
Each round is different, so these are just guidelines and if you have a question that this didn't answer, feel free to ask.
Good luck, have fun!
I am parent judge for Public Forum. I can flow speeches as long as I understand what they are saying. Here are some general preferences:
- I am not familiar with debate jargon or with theory debate
- If you choose to speak fast, provide speech document
- Cross Examination is an important part of the debate to me and I will pay attention to it
- Hold each other accountable for time
- It would help if you can provide a roadmap before speech after constructive
- I will give/cut speaker points based on coherency and substance
- Weighing is very important and explain properly
Lastly, have fun and be respectful!
I weigh impacts based magnitude, timeframe and probability
I'm fine with Policy speed but be careful about overuse of jargon or regional dialects.
I prefer Analytics over Spreading Cards without analysis or understanding of what you are reading. Explain your arguments.
I won't tolerate ad hominem attacks. Have good ethics but also don't be afraid to stand up for yourself if the other team is being mean.
I am relatively new to judging, though have been familiar with Debate for some time. Please plan to speak clearly. Make your important points clear. Respect your opponent team. Also, please track your own time and opponent's time.
I am a first timer as debate judge. I will learn along the way.
Hi! I'm Varsha, and I'm a current first-year at UC Berkeley. I did speech and debate all four years of high school, competing primarily in Impromptu and Extemp, but I also have some experience in OO and OI. The most important thing for me is authenticity and a natural flow. I like hearing good analysis and speeches with solid structures, but remember to be yourself and have fun!
Attended Loyola High School and competed in LD for two years, and Public Forum for two years.
Currently attending Loyola Marymount University
Give an off-time roadmap
Extend arguments through every speech
Call for cards during YOUR prep time
Refer to specific arguments (contentions and sub-points)
Keep your own time
Weigh your arguments and impacts in your final focus
Interrupt each other during crossfire/Be rude to your opponent
Drop your Framework
Exceed your given amount of prep time
If you have any questions, please ask me before the round begins. Please keep the debate respectful.
I am a lay judge, so PLEASE DON'T SPREAD. I won't flow/vote off of what I can't understand.
I prefer unique arguments over stock arguments.
Extend all arguments in summary and final focus and make it clear why you win the debate.
Three things I look for in 2nd half debate:
1. Frontlining: This is extremely important.
2. Weighing: Be sure to use comparative weighing instead of just saying you outweigh. Also explain why (i.e. We outweigh based on magnitude vs. we outweigh on magnitude because saving lives is more important than saving the economy.)
3. Extend your responses to your opponents case.
4. Do not be rude in cross.
Once again, do not spread.
Mariel Cruz - Updated 9/20/2022
Schools I've coached/judged for: Santa Clara Univerisity, Cal Lutheran University, Gunn High School, Polytechnic School, Saratoga High School, and Notre Dame High School
I judge mostly Parliamentary debate, but occasionally PF and LD. I used to judge policy pretty regularly when I was a policy debater in college. I judge all events pretty similarly, but I do have a few specific notes about Parli debate listed below.
Background: I was a policy debater for Santa Clara University for 5 years. I also helped run/coach the SCU parliamentary team, so I know a lot about both styles of debate. I've been coaching and judging on the high school and college circuit since 2012, so I have seen a lot of rounds. I teach/coach pretty much every event, including LD and PF, but I have primarily coached parli the last few years.
Policy topic: I haven’t done much research on either the college or high school policy topic, so be sure to explain everything pretty clearly.
Speed: I’m good with speed, but be clear. I don't love speed, but I tolerate it. If you are going to be fast, I need a speech doc for every speech with every argument, including analytics or non-carded arguments. If I'm not actively flowing, ie typing or writing notes, you're probably too fast.
As I've started coaching events that don't utilize speed, I've come to appreciate rounds that are a bit slower. I used to judge and debate in fast rounds in policy, but fast rounds in other debate events are very different, so fast debaters should be careful, especially when running theory and reading plan/cp texts. If you’re running theory, try to slow down a bit so I can flow everything really well. Or give me a copy of your alt text/Cp text. Also, be sure to sign-post, especially if you're going fast, otherwise it gets too hard to flow. I actually think parli (and all events other than policy) is better when it's not super fast. Without the evidence and length of speeches of policy, speed is not always useful or productive for other debate formats. If I'm judging you, it's ok be fast, but I'd prefer if you took it down a notch, and just didn't go at your highest or fastest speed.
K: I like all types of arguments, disads, kritiks, theory, whatever you like. I like Ks but I’m not an avid reader of literature, so you’ll have to make clear explanations, especially when it comes to the alt. Even though the politics DA was my favorite, I did run quite a few Ks when I was a debater. However, I don't work with Ks as much as I used to (I coach many students who debate at local tournaments only where Ks are not as common), so I'm not super familiar with every K, but I've seen enough Ks that I have probably seen something similar to what you're running. Just make sure everything is explained well enough. If you run a K I haven't seen before, I'll compare it to something I have seen. I am not a huge fan of Ks like Nietzche, and I'm skeptical of alternatives that only reject the aff. I don't like voting for Ks that have shakey alt solvency or unclear frameworks or roles of the ballot.
Framework and Theory: I tend to think that the aff should defend a plan and the resolution and affirm something (since they are called the affirmative team), but if you think otherwise, be sure to explain why you it’s necessary not to. I’ll side with you if necessary. I usually side with reasonability for T, and condo good, but there are many exceptions to this (especially for parli - see below). I'll vote on theory and T if I have to. However, I'm very skeptical of theory arguments that seem frivolous and unhelpful (ie Funding spec, aspec, etc). Also, I'm not a fan of disclosure theory. Many of my students compete in circuits where disclosure is not a common practice, so it's hard for me to evaluate disclosure theory.
Basically, I prefer theory arguments that can point to actual in round abuse, versus theory args that just try to establish community norms. Since all tournaments are different regionally and by circuit, using theory args to establish norms feels too punitive to me. However, I know some theory is important, so if you can point to in round abuse, I'll still consider your argument.
Parli specific: Since the structure for parli is a little different, I don't have as a high of a threshold for theory and T as I do when I judge policy or LD, which means I am more likely to vote on theory and T in parli rounds than in policy rounds. This doesn't mean I'll vote on it every time, but I think these types of arguments are a little more important in parli, especially for topics that are kinda vague and open to interpretation. I also think Condo is more abusive in parli than other events, so I'm more sympathetic to Condo bad args in parli than in other events I judge.
Policy/LD/PF prep:I don’t time exchanging evidence, but don’t abuse that time. Please be courteous and as timely as possible.
General debate stuff: I was a bigger fan of CPs and disads, but my debate partner loved theory and Ks, so I'm familiar with pretty much everything. I like looking at the big picture as much as the line by line. Frankly, I think the big picture is more important, so things like impact analysis and comparative analysis are important.
I'm a parent judge but I want you all to just follow some basic guidelines when having your debate.
- Before the round starts, send me your cases with the cards highlighted as well, just in case I miss any part of your argument I can cover them. Most likely will dock speaks if you don't send it and I do miss something. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Just try and be logical with your contentions and how they go into summary and final focus. When you use cards, instead of just saying that they dropped the card or dropped another part of the argument, tell me why it matters and give me some explanation.
- Your partnership should be coordinated and you should mirror each other for summary and final focus to make it clear to me that you understand the round and how to win
- Compare your arguments to your opponents and not just why yours is good. Debate's all about comparisons so do that for me it's an easier way to win.
- When you speak, just be clear. If you can't be clear when you speak, go slower. I'm not that experienced with speed so just go slow. Don't waste your time on rhetoric but make sure your argument gets through to me clearly.
Apart from that, have fun and make sure y'all just respect each other. You're both trying to win so have that mindset. Have a good round.
I'm a lay judge and this is my second time judging.
Please speak clearly and talk slower if possible. I appreciate logic and supporting facts in your speech.
Good luck to you all and enjoy!
I will most likely give you a 28-30 if you:
- Speak loudly and clearly, no "spreading" please, the slower you speak the easier it will be for me to comprehend your arguments so please do not speak too fast
- Be polite to your opponent, if you mock/insult/rudely interrupt your opponent, you will lost speaker points. During cross-ex please try to be as polite as possible and do not get too aggressive
- Explain arguments properly, when explaining your arguments to clearly tell me where you are on the flow and explain terms such as "turn" and "non-unique"
Appearance: While it will not influence my decision, please respect the tournaments dress code and wear appropriate clothing.
Decisions: I will most likely vote for the team that best explains and extends their warrants and impacts. Please throughly explain why your impact matters and why we should solve for it as it makes my decision much easier.
Use of evidence: I highly value evidence and believe most of not all of your claims should have evidence to back it up. If you believe your opponents evidence is not credible please throughly explain why.
Debate skill and truthful argument: While a value a truthful argument over debate skill, presentation will impact my decision. If you do not seem confident in your argument it will make me feel the same way.
Email Cayman1@gmail.com if you have questions. If the questions are about a specific flow, please mention the round/flight/tournament. Please don't try to reach me via any social media you find me on; I'm not likely to check them in a time-sensitive situation at a tournament.
Unless tournament rules say otherwise or both teams are sending actual speech docs over SpeechDrop, everyone needs to be on the Email chain. I'll still read evidence sparingly unless asked to, but it's important that everyone is on the chain to verify what evidence gets sent when (and that it was sent to all participants instead of accidentally choosing 'reply' vs 'reply all'.) Because these rules and norms are relatively new and still in flux, I'm inclined by default to drop the card and not the team if one side can't fully/correctly comply with an evidence request.
I probably won't be looking at Campus/Cloud/Zoom very much during speeches. My ballot/comments, timer, flow, and any relevant evidence are already competing for screen space.
Since automated flips are time-sensitive and inflexible, if you have any questions for me that may influence how you flip, I'll try to get into the virtual competition room early with time to spare. If you're in the room and don't see me there, Email me. Normally, I try to avoid answering questions about specific hypotheticals where one team can hear me and the other can't, but I'll make an exception under this ruleset if one team needs to know before their coin flip timer expires and then I'll make an effort to fill the other team in as similarly as I can before the round starts. Also before the round starts, I'll verbally confirm who won the flip and which choice each side made, in case it becomes relevant to mid-round arguments.
However fast y'all think you can go without sacrificing clarity is modified by both your microphone and your opponents' speakers. I'll let you know if you're unclear to me; if your opponents are unclear to you, either clarify in cross or err on the side of asking for more evidence from the last speech.
If you're waiting for a card to start prep, please don't mute yourselves until prep starts. Prep starts when the requested cards (if any) arrive in the Email chain (or when debaters are obviously prepping) and stops when someone from the prepping team un-mutes and says to stop prep. If your opponents gave you the wrong card, I'll reset prep to where it was when you started, but if you just want to ask for more cards, please do so all at once rather than constantly trying to pause and un-pause prep.
Should you feel compelled to run a theory argument, please make sure that the interpretation and standards take the current online format into account.
If y'all want to ask your opponents clarifying questions during your own prep time, you're welcome to do so, but it's up to them whether to answer.
Cross can get especially messy when feedback and dueling microphones are involved. Please be mindful of the technical issues that talking over each other can cause and interrupt sparingly.
- Policy and LD since 1998
- Parli and PF since 2002
- WSDC and WUDC since 2009
- Big Questions since it became a non-meme event*
- Coach for Howard County, MD teams (Atholton, Centennial, Marriotts Ridge, Mt Hebron, Oakland Mills, River Hill, etc.) 2007-2020
- Capitol Debate camps & travel team from 2008-2013
- James Logan Forensics Institute from 2012-2013
- SNFI Public Forum 2010-2019
- Bethesda Chevy Chase 2019-2022
J-V, NCFLs, NJFL, Round Robins, etc.:
- If I'm judging you in a format where you don't get prefs or strikes and judge assignments are random, it's more my job to adapt to you than your job to adapt to me. Issues with stylistic choices or execution are more likely to find their way into the ballot comments than into the speaker points.
- Do what you do best; don't second-guess yourselves and do what you think I want to hear if it's not what you're good at.
- Don't take your norms for granted. If you and your opponent have different ideas of what debate should be or how it should be evaluated, tell me why the way that you do it is superior, the same way you would with any other argument.
- If you have a panel, do what you have to do to win the panel. If the easiest way to win is to pick up the two lay parent-judges sitting on either side of me and doodling on their ballots while trying to look attentive, so be it. I won't hold panel adaptation against teams. Making me feel engaged and useful is not why you're here.
- Some leagues ban disclosure. Some leagues ban verbal feedback. Those rules are bad for education and bad for debate. If you have questions about your round, find me after the round and we'll talk about what happened.
- I don't like calling for cards. If I do, it's either because of a factual/ethical dispute between teams about what the author actually says, because the round had a total absence of weighing outside of the quoted impact cards, or for educational reasons that aren't going to affect my RFD. How teams spin the cards matters, as does how well teams seem to know their cards.
- I assume ignorance over malfeasance. If you think the other team is being unethical, be able to prove it. Otherwise, correct/educate them by going after the evidence or citation instead of the people.
- Smart analytics beat un-smart cards every time.
- If you haven't read the article or chapter or study that your evidence is quoting, you probably shouldn't be using that evidence yet. When I'm evaluating impacts, it does you no favors to add a second sub-level of probability where I have to wonder "But do they know that the evidence actually says that? If so, did they make X argument on purpose?"
- Saying the word "Extend" is not extending evidence. You're extending arguments, not authors, which means there should be some explanation and some development. Repetition is not argumentation.
- If you're using digital evidence, it's your responsibility to be able to show the other team. It is not your opponents' responsibility to own laptops or to bring you a flash drive. I'm fine with teams using Email to share evidence - with the notable caveat that if I catch you using internet access to do anything outside tournament rules, your coach and the tab room are both going to hear about it. "Can I Email this so I don't risk getting viruses on my USB?" is a reasonable question most of the time. "Can I get on Messenger so my assistant coaches can type up theory extensions for me?" is NOT an acceptable interpretation of that question.
- Prep stops when you stop working with the evidence: either when the flash drive leaves the computer or when you send the Email and stop typing or when you stand up with the evidence in hand.
- I care more about clarity than speed. If I can't understand you, I'll let you know.
- If you can't understand your opponents, let them know in CX/CF/Prep. Deliberately maintaining an incomprehensible speed to stop your opponents from refuting arguments they can't comprehend is probably not a winning strategy especially in Parli and PF, where speech documents and wikis don't check.
- Quality > quantity. "Spreading" isn't some arbitrary brightline of WPM; it's when you're talking faster than you can think. Doesn't matter which event. Don't get discouraged just because your opponents are faster than you.
- Check the judge philosophies Wiki.
- If your strategy relies on preffing only judges like me and then telling other teams they can't read their arguments in front of the judges that you've preffed, then please rethink your strategy.
- I've coached and run a wide variety of arguments. One of the easiest ways to lose my ballot is to be dogmatic and assume that because I've coached it, I like it, or that I think it's intrinsically true. If you have guessed an argument that I actually enjoy running and/or believe in, that still doesn't mean you'll be held to a lower standard on it.
- With the (hopefully obvious) exception of status theory, I'd prefer to be able to reject the argument instead of the team. You probably want to hedge your bets by telling me how the round changes if the argument is(n't) rejected.
- Kick your own arguments; don't leave it up to me to decide what should or shouldn't be kicked unless you're actually ok with either option.
- The majority of L-D I've judged in recent years has been fairly traditional/local; it's probably the event I judge least at bid tournaments on the national circuit, so it's probably best to treat me as a recovering policy judge.
- I try not to intervene on theory. If you're winning it, I'll vote for it, even if doing so makes me feel dirty, as long as it's warranted/impacted/developed like any other winnable argument. That said, my theory norms have been largely calibrated by the arguments' CX analogues., so if you think there's something L-D specific I should be aware of (no 2NC's role in disclosure, the absence of a second CX when determining whether answers are binding/whether clarifications are sufficient, the difference between neg block and NR in creating side bias, etc.) be explicit about it.
- In-round discourse probably comes before theory, T/FW probably come before other theory.
- I'm not convinced there's such a thing as a "pre-standard" argument. An argument might operate on a higher level of standards than anything else currently in the round, or on a mutually conceded standard, but it still needs to be fully developed.
- I strongly prefer for the second-speaking team to adapt their definitions/burdens in their initial speech and frontline in 2RB to create clash. I won't auto-drop you for using the 2RB the same as you would have the 1RB, but you're not doing your partner's 2SM any favors.
- Deliberate concessions early in the round can get you a long way. Just know and explain where and why they're strategic.
- Cite authors when possible. The university your author went to / was published by / taught at / is not your author. The way to get around a dearth of source diversity is to find more sources, not to find as many different ways as possible to cite the same source.
- Teams that start weighing in RB typically have an easier time getting my ballot than teams that just spit out a bunch of constructive arguments and wait for reductive speeches to weigh anything.
- CF should be focused on asking actual questions, not repeating speeches or fitting in arguments you didn't have time for. "Do you agree", "Isn't it true that", "How would you respond to", and "Are you aware" are rarely ingredients of genuine questions. Good CFs will clarify and focus the round by finding where common ground exists and where clash matters. If you think something in CF matters, mention it in your team's next speech. If you or your partner have no intention of referencing something in your next speech,
- SM cannot go line-by-line in most rounds. There's literally not enough time. There are more and less technical ways of looking at the big picture, but you do need to look at the big picture. My standards for SM coverage (especially 2SM) have increased since the speech length increased 50%, so spending the extra time on comparing warrants and weighing is probably better than re-ligitating the rebuttal
- GCF is a hard place to win the round but an easy place to lose the round. Make sure that you and your partner are presenting a unified front; make sure that you're investing time in places that deserve it, make sure that if you're trying to introduce something new-ish here that you tie it into what's already happened this round.
- FF shouldn't be a notable departure from SM. Offense matters, especially if you're speaking first.
- Naming arguments is not the same as making arguments. I can't easily vote on something that you haven't demonstrated intellectual ownership of.
- My threshold for beating arguments is inversely proportional to the silliness of the argument.
- "but [authority figure] says X" is not an argument. Especially in an event where you can't directly quote said person. I don't want to know whether Paul Krugman says the economy is recovering. I don't want to know whether Nietzsche says suffering is valuable. I want to know why they are right. Your warrants are your own responsibility.
- Intelligently asking and taking POIs is a big factor in speaker points.
- Most rounds come down to how well the PMR answers the Opp block. If the Opp block was much better done than the MG, there might be no PMR that could answer well enough, but that's rare. Parli seems to have much more potential for teams that are behind to come back than most other events.
- I'm generally tech > truth. In Parli, however, depending on how common knowledge the topic is and whether internet prep is allowed, a little more truth can beat a lot more tech. Don't be afraid to stake the round on a question of fact if you're sure it's actually a question of fact.
- I should not have to say this, but given the current state of HS Parli, if I am confident a team is lying and I already intend to drop them for it, I may double-check the relevant fact online just to make 100% sure. This is not me "accessing the internet on behalf of" the team I'm voting for; this is me going the extra mile for the team that I was already intending to vote against anyway. Suggesting that the losing team should be given a win because I gave them a second chance before I signed my ballot is asinine.
- If you have a collection of 2 or 3 Ks that you read against every opponent, I don't think that aligns with the intention of the format, but I can certainly be convinced that fidelity to that intent is overrated. That said, you should make an extra effort to engage with your opponents and show how your criticism creates clash rather than sidesteps clash.
- Extemp - Source diversity matters. I will look ev up online if it sounds sketchy. I do care that you give a direct answer to the actual question you drew, but not every question is written in a way that deserves a definite yes or no answer: if you don't, your speech should still contain elements of nuance and advocacy beyond "...well, yes and no" and should show me why all the simple answers would have been wrong.
- Impromptu - I don't have a strong preference for one structure over another, but some prompts lend themselves more to certain structures. Not everything needs to be forced into a 3x1 or a 2x2 if it doesn't fit the procrustean bill. Recycled anecdotes and tropes are somewhat inevitable, but canned speeches defeat the purpose of the event.
- How did you end up with me as a judge? I'm so sorry. You're probably sorry too. Someone probably desperately needed a judge to stop the tournament from running grossly overtime, and all the other potential volunteers either ran faster or hid better than I did. We'll both make it through this somehow. It'll be a learning experience.
I coach for the College Preparatory School. I debated for two years for Bethesda-Chevy Chase HS. In my senior year I won Glenbrooks, the Strake Round Robin, Blake, Durham, the Barkley Forum, Stanford, Harvard, the King Round Robin, and NDCAs.
Tech>truth. Weigh, give me good warranting, and speak as fast as you want. Defense is sticky; first FF may read some new weighing (NOT elaborate weighing… no overviews, prereq analysis, etc.). Extend your arguments with card names, warrants, links, and impacts in the back half. Weigh links and turns, defense, and pretty much everything else. Please read the evidence section of my paradigm and abide by those rules, they will be enforced.
DEBATE IS A GAME, PLAY TO WIN.
Tech>truth. I will vote for pretty much any argument as long as it's warranted well. have experience with traditional and progressive. I will vote on the flow.
How I Judge:
If my paradigm is unclear, my favorite judges were Will Sjostrom, Chad Meadows and Marcus Ellinas; anything PF-specific in their paradigms should give you a fairly good idea of how I hope to evaluate the round.
———PART I: SPEECHES———
This is essential; do it.
I might listen but I won't vote off or remember anything said here unless it's in a speech. Don't be rude. Feel free to skip GCX if everyone agrees—both teams get 1min of prep.
Read as much offense/DAs as you want, just please implicate them on the line-by-line and weigh them. Second rebuttal MUST frontline terminal defense and turns, probably some defense too, but blippy NLs from the first rebuttal don't all need to be answered here.
First summary only needs to extend turns but should also extend terminal defense if you have time. Defense is sticky, however, I’d prefer for the second summary to extend as much defense as possible. The only new turns or defense I’ll evaluate in summary are as responsive to new implications made by the other team.
First final can do new weighing but no new implications of turns, or anything else UNLESS responding to new implications or turns from the second summary. Second final cannot do new weighing or new implications. Final focus is a really good time to slow down, treat me like a flay judge in these speeches and my decision becomes a lot easier.
———PART II: TECHNICAL STUFF———
I default to util. If there's no offense I presume to the first speaking team. I will always disclose after the round. I can also disclose speaks if you ask.
I will not accept paraphrased evidence. I treat paraphrased cards as equal in link strength to analytics. (You can make a theory argument as to why I shouldn't). If there are two pieces of competing evidence that will determine the round and both teams want me to look at it... I will almost always err on the side of the non-paraphrased evidence. Whether or not you paraphrase, YOU MUST have cut cards, if you don't I will cap your speaks at 27 and you should strike me (27 speaks cap does not apply for MSPF, NPF or JVPF).
When evidence is called for, take less than 1 minutes to pull up the cards or it comes out of your prep.
If you misconstrue evidence—you know who you are—and I find out, I will either drop you or give you the lowest possible speaks, depending on the severity of the misconstruction (I am more than willing to assign an L20 or below). If you catch your opponents misconstruing evidence, call it an independent voting issue (IVI) and I will treat this as a pre-fiat round-ending argument if the evidence is sufficiently misconstrued.
Please label email chains adequately. Ex. "TOC R1F1 Email Chain Bethesda-Chevy Chase GT v. AandM Consolidated DS."
Whether or not the tournament is online I will require an email chain for every round, evidence exchange is faster and more efficient. If you are spreading or reading any progressive argument you must send a doc before you begin; otherwise, sending a doc will not be required.
Don't steal prep or I will steal your speaks. Feel free to take prep whenever, flex prep is fine too.
These are non-negotiable. I stop flowing after the time ends, and I reserve the right to scream "TIME" if you begin to go over. Cross ends at 3 minutes sharp, if you’re in the middle of a sentence, finish it quickly.
I can follow speed (300wpm+) but be clear, if I can't understand what you're saying that means I can't flow it. I'd like a speech doc if you're going to go over 275 words per minute. Speed is good in the first half and bad in the second half, collapse strategically; don't go for everything. If you spread (300+ wpm) paraphrased cards there is no way you get above 27 speaks. If I miss something in summary or final focus because you're going too fast and I drop you it's your fault; slow down, don't go for everything, and be efficient.
Clarity and strategy determine your speaks. I disclose speaks as well, just ask.
Postround as hard as you want, I think it's educational. Before you start make sure I've submitted your speaks.
I do not require trigger warnings. I will not reward including them, nor will I penalize the absence of them. This is informed by my personal views on trigger warnings (see J. Haidt and G. Lukianoff, The Coddling of the American Mind) This means that I will never opt out of an argument. I will not hack for trigger warning good theory; I am open to trigger warning bad arguments (though I will not hack for these either).
———PART III: PROGRESSIVE DEBATE———
I enjoy theory debate; I ran theory frequently. You do not need to ask your opponent if they are comfortable with theory; 'I don't know how to respond' is not a sufficient response. To quote my former partner, "don't put your kids in varsity if they cannot handle varsity arguments" (saying that is terminal defense against any 'idk how to respond' argument and will result in a 30 for whoever says it).
Theory/T - 1
LARP - 1
Kritik - 3
Tricks - 3
High Theory - 4
Non-T Kritik - 5 (Strike)
Performance - 5 (Strike)
Yes, I think paraphrasing is bad and disclosure is good. No, I will not hack for either of these shells.
I really like theory. I think frivolous theory is bad. I'll evaluate it, but I have a lower threshold for responses the more frivolous the shell. Poorly executed theory will result in low speaks. If you've never run theory before, and feel inclined to do so, I'm happy to give comments and help as much as I can.
I default to competing interps and no RVIs. I believe that winning no RVIs applies to the entire theory layer unless your warrants are specific to a shell, C/I, etc. Non-friv theory should be a zero risk issue to check abuse, I will still vote for RVIs if you win them.
Unless I am evaluating the theory debate on reasonability you must read a counterinterp... if you do not all of your responses are inherently defensive because your opponents are the only team providing me with a 'good' model of debate.
Theory should be read immediately after the violation. Eg. if you're speaking first disclosure must be in your constructive for me to evaluate it. However, I am willing to vote off of paraphrasing theory read after rebuttal if your interpretation is that people shouldn't paraphrase in rebuttal. You MUST need to extend your own shell in rebuttal if it was read in constructive; you must frontline your opponent's shell in the speech after it was read (unless there is a theoretical justification for not doing this).
I have run Ks a few times, however, I am not the best judge for these rounds. I'm more familiar with biopower, security, cap, and imperialism than anything else.
These are pretty stupid but go for them if you want to.
Framework, soft-left Ks, CPs, and DAs are fine.
If your opponent has no path to the ballot (conceded theory shell or them reading a counterinterp that they do not meet themselves) invoke a TKO and you win with 30 speaks (unless you have violated any previous clauses related to speaker points), if they did have a path to the ballot you lose with 21s.
I use the following set of criteria to evaluate and score the performances of debaters and speakers.
Content: This is the substance of the speech or debate and includes the arguments, evidence, and reasoning presented by the participants. I look for clear, concise, and well-structured arguments that are supported by credible evidence. I also look for arguments that are logically consistent and relevant to the topic at hand.
Organization: This refers to the structure and flow of the speech or debate. I look for speeches that have a clear introduction, body, and conclusion, and debates that are organized in a logical and coherent manner. I also look for speakers who effectively use transitions to connect their ideas and maintain the flow of their argument.
Delivery: This refers to the way in which the speech or debate is presented. I look for participants who speak clearly, use good posture and gestures, and have a confident and engaging manner. I also look for speakers who use appropriate pace, tone, and volume to engage their audience and convey their message.
Evidence: This refers to the use of facts, data, and other forms of support to bolster arguments. I look for participants who use evidence that is credible, relevant, and appropriately sourced. I also look for speakers who effectively use evidence to reinforce their arguments and counter the arguments of their opponents.
Rebuttal: This refers to the ability of participants to respond effectively to the arguments and evidence presented by their opponents. I look for participants who are able to effectively challenge the arguments of their opponents and provide counter-arguments that are well-supported and logically consistent.
Style: This refers to the way in which the speech or debate is presented and the use of rhetorical devices, such as humor, analogy, and irony, to engage the audience and convey the message. I look for speakers who use style effectively to enhance their arguments and engage their audience.
Time Management: This refers to the effective use of the allotted time in a speech or debate. I look for participants who use their time effectively, staying within the time limits and focusing on the most important points. They also look for speakers who are able to effectively manage their time and maintain the flow of their argument.
Poise and Professionalism: This refers to the overall demeanor and behavior of the participants during the speech or debate. I look for participants who are poised, professional, and respectful to their opponents and the audience. They also look for speakers who remain calm and focused, even in the face of difficult questions or objections.
You can time yourself, but I am the official timekeeper. If you time yourself, your alarm needs to silent. If you argue with me, you are begging for the loss.
Speed - You can speak at the pace you prefer, but it is your burden to make sure that your speech is clear and understandable. If I miss an argument, then you didn't make it.
Off time roadmaps - No. You speak, my timer starts.
Voters - If you don't provide them, I have to choose. Don't roll the dice.
Evidence - You get two free card requests, for the rest must be on your prep time.
Cross - Is non binding. If you uncover something, bring it up in your next speech.
Kritiks and counter plans - Don’t - wrong event to run those.
Burden - Pro and the con have an equal and opposite burden of proof, clash, and persuasion.
Framework - This is everything. This needs to be clear and connect to all the contentions. I expect strong framework clashes. Impact analysis should revolve around this.
Ethics violations - Do not propose these lightly. If you assert an ethical violation, you have the burden of proof. If you don’t meet it, you lose the debate.
Frameworks - I default to an "on balance" metric for evaluating and comparing impacts. I will not consider unwarranted frameworks, especially if they are simply one or two lines asserting the framework without even attempting to justify it.
Kritiks and Plans/Counterplans - No. Join policy.
Burden - Pro and the con have an equal and opposite burden of proof, clash, and persuasion.
Rebuttals in Crossfire - Don’t. I reserve the right to stop a crossfire that ceases to be in a question-answer format or one that becomes abusive.
Final Focus - This needs to have clear voters and extend the summary speech. My RFD is largely dependent on the voters.
Flashing - One free flash. After that, it comes out of prep time.
Be kind to your opponents in the round, or face the wrath of a default loss (this is more of an issue in policy debate than any event)!
I judge on stock issues. In terms of stock issues, the most important one is significance.
I am a parent judge with some experience.
Please speak slowly and clearly.
Please respect other speakers during crossfire and do not interrupt opponents.
Your case is the most important part of the round.
Please weigh in the round and compare your arguments.
Hello, my name is Nevan Hanford and I competed in the Arizona circuit in high school, participating in PF Debate, Extemporaneous Speaking, and Congress. Overall, I believe speech and debate is about rhetorical, argumentative, and logical skills - please keep those in the fore front of your mind for any given event. I have preferences listed below for PF, Extemp, and Congress, take a brief look at your event. Please ask questions before and after round if you have any and email me if you would like more feedback (also add me to email chain) at email@example.com
PF debate is, was, and always will be a debate centered around a general audience. It is my philosophy that PF should be a debate understood and weighed upon through this lens. Therefore, please clearly and persuasively argue why you should win a given round.
- I can handle moderate speeds, please don't go over 250 wpm, spreading will ultimately make it harder to communicate and understand arguments, so take that as you will.
- I will vote upon any contention clearly warranted and with links. At the end of the day, I am a flow judge and will vote upon which arguments flow through. It is your job as debaters to extend the arguments you want voted upon. Anything dropped in summary will not be voted upon.
- Cards/Evidence: Calling cards is an important aspect of debate, I may call cards throughout and after debate. If a card looks suspicious, please tell me that in your speeches and why I shouldn't vote off that evidence. I don't like to intervene, but if needed, at the end of round I will call any cards I don't buy, but you need to call out the oppositions cards!
- Etiquette: Please be respectful to each other. I don't mind argumentative cross fires, but if it becomes unnecessarily aggressive, crossfire becomes unproductive. I prefer speakers to stand during speeches, excluding grand cross.
- Crossfire: I will listen to cross, however will not flow anything unless extended. Bring up anything you want flowed through during cross in the next speech. DO NOT say your opponent conceded if they didn't actually concede to anything - yelling my opponent conceded doesn't mean they did.
- Weighing: Please weigh your arguments against your opponents - this doesn't mean bigger numbers are always better - I will vote on the validity of the argument in addition to the weighing mechanism you provide.
- Speaker points: I won't ever give below 27 speaker points unless your disrespectful in round, that being said, I will always give more speaker points for better speaking ability. Extra speaks if you make me laugh in round.
Congress is about engaging and collective argumentation amongst the house. That being said:
- Speeches should be extemporaneously given with the help of legal notepad. Pre-written speeches will be ranked lower.
- Please do not repeat old arguments, congress is about interactive debate - every speech following authorship should contain refutations of the opposing sides arguments.
- Congress is supposed to be fun - I love when debaters have fun intros to their speeches, please feel free to.
- Evidence: Speeches should contain evidence, however, congress is not PF or LD. Please do not cite evidence as cards - you should be interlacing your arguments with your evidence. Ex: "A recent report from the NY Times found ..." NOT "Carr 15 finds..."
- PO: I will be more than willing to rank PO high if they either a) have excellent command of procedure or b) volunteer when more veteran debaters refuse to PO
- Please don't have more than 3 speeches in a row on one side - then it is no longer a debate. If you planned on giving an affirmative but there is no negation - flip!
Extemp is my favorite event to judge - it is also often the toughest to judge. When I did extemp, I often didn't know what criteria judges were ranking by. The following is what I will be using in rankings:
- Analysis: Extemp is not about reporting on evidence, it is about analyzing evidence in relation to the question. Given this, don't get too far away from the question - stay on topic. Analysis should be the majority of your speech, don't just state evidence and move on. Use evidence as examples to answer the question.
- Delivery: This includes projection, eye contact, physical pacing, tone, volume, enunciation, etc... Using a notecard is apart of this event; however, don't let it take away from your delivery. You should be looking at your notecard no more than 10% of the time, I recommend using a notecard for your evidence source and date
- Evidence: Please do not make-up or misconstrue evidence, not only is this highly unethical, if I find out your evidence doesn't exist, you will be dropped in my rankings. Please cite your evidence; however, if you don't remember a date or publication - don't make one up. Cite evidence as if you were speaking to a general audience, use common sense - if it is a report, tell me the organization; a research paper, the author; an article, the publication company.
I love extemp: be confident and have fun!
I'm a parent judge. I do not understand spreading.
Please add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org or better to use the site drop if available.
I like Policy Debates. I prefer non-extinction impacts. Please either use a value/value criterion, or clearly explain to me how your framework works and how to evaluate the round under it. Please refrain from using buzzwords uncommonly known by lay parent judges.
You can run Kritiks, but I won't know your lit base, so please err on the side of over-explanation.
If you run theory then you need to explain to me your model of debate and its implications for my ballot -- again, no buzzwords please as typically won't evaluate frivolous theory. I need to see an actual violation in round.
You can email me to ask questions before round for clarification.
On top of all -- please be respectful.
For speaksI, I start with 28.5 and go up or down from there.
was an ex pfer, competed at TOC gold from colorado tho. if you run prog make sure I understand it or else I can't vote for it. also will say that i prefer to listen to content and have a higher standard for K's and prog. if both sides want to debate on a different topic thats fine with me too. 10 second grace period, and time yourselves please. any violations and i will be mad. debate is meant to be fun so go have fun
Things that get you higher speaks!
+ 1 speaks, (I would like it a lot) if you start your speech with something of the sort "my (handsome/pretty/beautiful) partner and I affirm/negate, the more creative the better.
+1 please name your contentions something interesting.
+1 if you do a pushup before the round starts
+1 if you use the wordle daily word in your speech
Things that will get you lower speaks!
-1 if you ask for my paradigm
-0.25 for every time the following occur
don't refer to me as judge, I have a name and it is Wilson.
you interrupt someone
you ask me how much prep you have left
you ask me if i'm ready, i always am
Things that will win you the round!
please speak coherently, if I can't understand you I can't vote for you.
won't vote neg on presumption, i will flip a coin instead
please weigh weigh weigh.
Hi! I'm a sophomore at Stanford and competed on the PF national circuit as College Prep HO for 3 years. Add me to the email chain please:
tldr - I'm a pretty standard tech judge, w/ tech > truth, and simply put the more work you do for me, the less likely I am to make a decision that you disagree with!
Heads up, I know damn near nothing about the topic lol so please spell out acronyms the first time around and all that to make sure there aren't any leaps you're taking that I miss.
For non substance arguments (e.g. theory, Ks, etc) while I've seen a fair amount of rounds and find them super interesting, I don't have a lot of direct experience myself. Basically just a quick disclaimer to proceed with caution and make your advocacy very clear for me if that's the direction the debate is headed, and it should hopefully make for an interesting round!
Tech > Truth
Make sure you weigh your arguments vs your opponents'! It'll make things a lot easier for me and make it so I don't have to intervene with my own biases/opinions.
An argument has to be fully extended in both summary and final focus for me to vote on it. That means every step of the link chain along with the impact should be in the back half of the round! If you're speaking 2nd, you also have to frontline it in 2nd rebuttal (respond to their responses from 1st rebuttal).
To re-emphasize, extending warrants is critical. Don't just throw out card names and dates. In fact, I'd rather you have warrants than just naming the piece of evidence from earlier in the round. Final focuses should have both though.
(like I said above...) Frontline in 2nd rebuttal!!
I'll vote off the flow based on what's said in speeches (not in cross). If you get a concession in cross, point it out in speech.
Defense is sticky, you can still make my job easier by extending it anyways. If you do want to read it in rebuttal and bring up that it was dropped later, please point out that defense is sticky as you implicate it however you will.
I won't call for cards unless you specifically ask me to within speeches.
Once again (because this is particularly important), PLEASE WEIGH!! Not just the numbers and impacts, but also the warrants, links, etc. Tell me why your argument is more likely, more clear, affects more people, and/or needs to be prioritized for any other reason.
Time yourselves please.
I'm ok with mild speed but definitely rusty so I might miss some things on the flow (especially online considering technical difficulties)... aka proceed at your own risk.
Be respectful, don't say anything hateful or offensive, and fill your time; you'll at least get a 28 from me if you do those things.
Best of luck, and have fun! Feel free to ask me any questions before and after the round, and even reach out to my email way after if you want :)
I am a parent judge, and this is my second tournament. Please no spreading. I appreciate clear, cordial communication. Best wishes to all the debaters.
I participated in parliamentary debate during college. Currently, I coach at the middle school and high school levels (modified parliamentary and public forum) with nearly 20 years of coaching experience. I'm also the founder of a non-profit debate league in California (OCDL).
In my opinion, the Pro (Affirmative) has the burden to prove the resolution. I'm a blank slate as much as possible, so I don't know anything until you tell me. I ask that you point out any misinformation from your opponent. Overall, I base victory on the number and weight of arguments, and for me, contentions/arguments should carry through from start to finish.
Students earn speaker points based up their argumentation, refutation, organization and presentation. I recommend using engaging speaking skills (eye contact, pausing, vocal inflection) and compete sentences and avoiding debate-specific jargon (without context).
*Please avoid fast talking, hostile/snarky interactions with teammates/opponents and off time roadmaps.
B.A Government/Pre-Law (Claremont McKenna College)
M.A Education (San Diego State University)
California State Credentials: Social Studies, English Language Arts, Administration Services
Director of P-8 Speech and Debate (Fairmont Private Schools, Anaheim CA)
Lead Instructor (New England Academy, Tustin CA)
Crossfire is important to me. I want to see competitors having equal speaking time with interaction between each other. Competitors should provide insightful and relevant questions and be respectful. In cross-fire I also want it to flow as well, i.e. the cross and responses have to be related and not orthogonal. In delivery, I want to see eye contact and deliberate clear speech (no rushing or spreading). Please address the judge clearly and confidently. I want to see flow of thought, not disjoint ideas and talking points strung together. For content, I value well-researched content with clear links and subpoints. Concise is always better. For the effort put in I take and send out detailed notes on all aspects of the debate: content, depth and quality, delivery, and crossfire.
Freshman at UC Berkeley
phone number: 408-913-3189
Cambrian Academy'22 - reached Gold TOC/round robin level, should be able to keep up w most pf rounds, maybe LD Policy
Feel free to ask me questions before round, also no handshakes cuz covid
WARRANTS OVER EVIDENCE, I NEED WARRANTING TO VOTE
Novice/Flay Paradigm(if you consider yourself a non-technical debater, read below)
in second rebuttal respond to the responses made on your case, address first rebuttal in second rebuttal
the arguments in final focus must be in summary
READ WEIGHING, tell me why YOUR arguments are more important than your opponents, don't just restate your argument!
Varsity/Tech Paradigm(If you consider yourself a flow or technical debater, read below)
tech > truth
Read TWs, avoid gendered language, No misgendering.
TLDR: Weigh everything, metaweigh, lots of signposting
everything in 1st rebuttal/summary is conceded if not responded too in 2nd rebuttal/summary - nothing is sticky, i want everything in final to be in summary - if you dont frontline properly in second rebuttal i will be very very unhappy
Second rebuttal has to respond to first rebuttal
Rebuttal has to be responsive to case, no new contentions, if ur reading generic DAs weigh them
Note: if you claim things are sticky/conceded but they are responded too - i wont be happy
You'll get good speaks(30s ish), just don't prep steal
Postrounding is cool
Full extensions required(every warrant, link) has to be extended
Send speech docs, I can probably flow around 275 wpm but send docs
TKOs are cool, Hidden links are fine, DAs/OV's cool, no framing past summary, I presume loser of the coin flip / first
Impact turns are fine
Weigh every turn/response - I like comparative analysis
I buy link level probability weighing(with warrants that aren't just asking for intervention i.e. historical precedent, actor analysis) ~ i'd be careful here though DONT READ CLARITY WEIGHING, also i love pre-reqs/link-ins w weighing
Metaweigh!! if you dont - Strength of Link > Magnitude > Timeframe > Link Level Probability ig
Go for it - Trix are cool, Im not too familiar with a lot of high theory K literature but go for it, im pretty comfortable with theory - read it whenever, read phil if you want
I think disclosure and paraphrasing are probably good, but i can be persuaded either way
You can win turns/offensive CI's without winning RVIs, i think RVI debates are dumb
I default to competing interps, no rvi's, drop the argument
Katie Jack (she/her)
I would like to be on the email chain please:email@example.com
I debated was a traditional LD debater for most of high school with one semester of policy. Now, I debate at USC.
General Thoughts– I try to be as tab as possible. However, I think everyone inevitably comes in with some preconceived notions about debate. Please don’t feel like you have to adapt to my preferences--you should do whatever you do best. But if what you do best happens to be judge adaptation, here are some of my thoughts:
Framework– Please try to engage each other's interpretations and arguments instead of just extending your own. Look to my comments on topicality if you're interested in how I try to evaluate standards-based debate.
Case Debate– I think the case debate is really under-utilized -- case-specific strategies that integrate intelligent on-case arguments into the 1NC can be really compelling.
DA/CPs– The more specific the better, but I’ll vote on anything.
Critiques– Please don't assume that I'm familiar with your literature base -- I'll evaluate your arguments as if I'm hearing the literature for the first time. I think critiques are most persuasive when they interact explicitly with the 1AC/2AC, so I appreciate specific 2NC link analysis (doesn’t necessarily need to be carded) that points to arguments being made in the 1AC/2AC, and I like 2NC attempts to gain in roads to the case by suggesting the alternative is a necessary precondition to case solvency. I like critical affirmatives so long as you explain the significance of voting affirmative.
Topicality– My threshold for T is the same as any other type of argument, but like all other positions, there are central issues that the 2NR needs to resolve in order for me to vote on T. If neither team articulates a framework within which I can vote, then I’ll default to competing interpretations. Assuming I’m voting in a competing interpretations framework, I think of standards as external impacts to a vote for a given team’s interpretation. That means comparative impact calculus has a huge place in a 2NR that’s going for T. Explain to me what debate looks like if I vote for your interpretation and why that vision should be preferred to one that would allow for cases like the affirmative.
Theory– Please engage the other team's arguments -- don't just read blocks and talk past one another. If you expect to win on theory (independently), you should probably give me some kind of substantive reason why a given violation merits rejection of the team, and not just the argument.
Nontraditional Debate– As long as I’m provided with a standard for evaluation that I feel both teams can reasonably be expected to meet, you can do whatever you'd like.
In Round Decorum– Don’t be mean. Try to have fun.
Speed– As long as you’re clear, I’m fine with speed.
add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
tech > truth
Everything in ff must be in summary
turns must be responded to in second rebuttal
all offense not responded to in rebuttal is conceded
cross won't affect my decision so bring up anything important that happens in cross in a speech
“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” - Sun Tzu, The Art of War
My paradigm as a public forum debate judge is based on the following criteria:
Clarity: I value debaters who are able to articulate their arguments in a clear and concise manner. I expect debaters to explain their arguments thoroughly and avoid overly complex language or jargon.
Evidence: I value debaters who use relevant and credible evidence to support their arguments. I will evaluate the quality and relevance of evidence presented and consider how well it supports the argument being made.
Clash: I value debaters who engage in substantive back-and-forth argumentation with their opponents. I will evaluate the quality and depth of the debaters' responses to the arguments presented by the other team.
Persuasiveness: Ultimately, I will decide which team has persuaded me that their arguments are the most compelling. I will evaluate how well debaters have made their case and used evidence to support their position.
Rules: I expect debaters to comply with the rules of the debate, including time limits, cross-examination rules, and other procedures. I may deduct points or disqualify a team for violations of the rules.
Decorum: I expect debaters to maintain a professional and respectful demeanor throughout the debate. I may deduct points for disrespectful or uncivil behavior.
I will use these criteria to evaluate the arguments presented by each team and make a decision on which team has won the debate. I encourage debaters to ask questions before or after the debate if they have any concerns about my paradigm or the criteria I will be using to judge the debate.
I am a parent judge. I have judged Public Forum and LD high school rounds for 1 year. I will take notes so presenting your points in an organized manner will be particularly helpful. Also, I appreciate if participants can keep a steady pace and not speak too fast so I am able to follow the arguments.
I am a judge in PF for Dougherty Valley High School.
- Please do not speak fast, and try to be as clear as possible when you speak.
- You should be telling me how I should be weighing the round.
- Be polite to your opponent and be respectful.
I am a new judge this year, please don't spread in your speeches and talk at a moderate pace.
Follow these guidelines and you will be successful with me as a judge -
1. The Most Obvious - Be Nice!
Be nice to your opponents in round, and if you are rude in crossfire or speeches I will drop your speaker points.
2. Please provide full cards
When giving cards, please send the link to the website, the authors name and date, and the paragraph from the website.
3. I am big on weighing
Please make sure to weigh your impacts to show why you are winning the round and tell me what you are weighing off of.
4. Make sure to time yourself
tldr: former congressional debater with strong priority on content and engaging with the round. my 1 goes to whoever answers why your side's world is better than the other's. please be respectful and have fun!
i'm Rohit (he/him/his). i competed in congressional debate for 4 years and am now the assistant congress coach at James Logan High School, as well as a co-owner and coach at Ascend Speech and Debate. i hope my paradigm is relatively straightforward, but if you do have any questions please feel free to ask me them before the round!
my ranks are pretty heavily determined by the content of your speech. your speaking and presentation need to be good enough to where i can clearly understand what you're saying and i think you're presenting it in an effective manner, but from there the majority of the distinction between speakers on my ballot will be based on what was said and not how it was said. that being said, particularly eloquent speakers will get an extra boost from me and ineffective ones will get a lower rank, so it makes sense to give the best speeches you can. plus, it's good practice for the real world where how you say things is often the most important.
case wise, i look for well structured arguments that are easy to follow and have strong backing. this means i should be able to clearly isolate the logical warrant behind the argument, and you should be able to defend the argument based upon its logic alone. moreover, i should be able to point to the evidence as credible supplementary material that helps reinforce your logic, and ideally adds new depth to your argument. finally, it should be clear to me why your argument is important in regards to the real world impacts it has, and the more specific you are here about what exactly it looks like in the picture you're painting, the better it is.
the most important thing to get a good rank from me is engaging with the round. everything you say, from your rhetoric to your arguments to your cross-x, should have a purpose in terms of showing me why your side's world is better than the other's. try to answer questions that are defining the round and resolve issues that are being contested. i think turns and weighing are the two most effective forms of interaction in congress, yet also the most slept on, so please use these! i expect everyone after the sponsor to interact with other speakers' arguments, and moreover i expect you to tell me why this interaction matters in the ultimate context of whose side is better in the debate.
the final thing i'll say is to make sure you are respectful and have fun! a lot of people in this activity forget that debate is an extracurricular just like any other, and so it should be a welcoming space for everyone to come and enjoy their time in. obviously you'll have stressful moments, but try to balance them out with making sure you're enjoying yourself and finding tournaments fulfilling. they will fly by much faster than you know it.
anyways, thanks for reading all that and i look forward to being your judge!
I have done no topic research and don't even know the resolution. So assume I know nothing, because I truly know nothing.
I debated PF for 4 years
If you want me to vote on it, it needs to be in the summary and the final focus
Please don’t just yell cards at me. Some analysis of what it says is appreciated.
If there’s an evidence misconduct problem, I’d rather you point out the issues with your opponent’s interpretation of evidence during your speeches, but I’ll call for a card if you tell me to.
Any concessions in cross need to be in a speech for me to flow it
- Don't Spread at me
- I'm not flowing anything after the 10-second grace period
hi! i'm sky.
email is email@example.com. add me to the email chain.
please try to have pre-flows done before the round for the sake of time.
tech over truth. i don't intervene, so everything you say is all i will evaluate. be explicit; explain and contextualize your arguments. extend evidence properly and make sure that they are cut correctly. tell a thoughtful and thorough story that follows a logical order (i.e. how do you get from point a to point e? why should i care about anything you are telling me? i should know the answers to these questions by the end of your speeches). pursue the points that you are winning and say why you are winning the round. remind me how you access your impacts and do NOT forget to weigh. telling me how to prioritize the arguments read in round is helpful (generally, this is the case for judge instructions). sounding great will earn you higher speaks, but my ballot will ultimately go to those who did the better debating.
read any argument you want, wear whatever you want, and be as assertive as you want. any speed is fine as long as you are clear. i will yell "clear!" if you are not. my job is to listen to you and assess your argumentation, not just your presentation. i'm more than happy to listen to anything you run, so do what you do best and own it!
just don't be rude.
rfds. i always try to give verbal rfds. if you're competing at a tournament where verbal rfds are impermissible, i will still try to give you feedback on your speeches. write down or type suggestions that you find helpful. feel free to ask me any questions regarding my feedback. i also accept emails and other online messages.
topicality. it would behoove you to tell me which arguments should be debated and why your interp best facilitates that discussion. make sure your arguments are compatible with your interp. if you go for framework, give clear internal link explanations and consider having external impacts. explain why those impacts ought to be prioritized and win you the round.
theory. make it purposeful. tell me what competing interps and reasonability mean. i like nuanced analyses; provide real links, real interps, and real-world scenarios that bad norms generate. tell me to prioritize this over substance and why.
counter-plans. these can be fun. however, they should be legitimately competitive. give a clear plan text and take clever perms seriously. comparative solvency is also preferred. impact calc is your friend.
disadvantages. crystallize! your uniqueness and links also matter.
kritiques. i love these, a lot. i enjoy the intellectual potential that kritiques offer. show me that you are genuine by committing to the literature you read and providing an anomalous approach against the aff. alts are important. again, tell me to prioritize this over substance and why.
cross. i listen, but i will not assess arguments made in crossfire unless you restate your points in a speech. use this time wisely.
evidence. i'll read your evidence at the end of the round if i am asked to do so, if your evidence sounds too good to be true, or if your evidence is essential to my decision in some fashion. however, this is not an excuse to be lazy. extend evidence that you want me to evaluate or else it flows as analysis. the function(s) of your evidence should also be clear. narrative coherence is crucial!
public forum debaters should practice good partner coordination, especially during summary and final focus. arguments and evidence mentioned in the final focus need to have been brought up in summary for me to evaluate it. i flow very well and will catch you if you lie, so don't read new arguments or new evidence. focus on what you are winning on and please weigh, meta-weigh, and crystallize!
tl;dr. show me where and why i should vote, thanks :)
you are all smart. remember to relax and have fun!
I am a parent-judge so for me to vote for the side that better convinces me, so make logical, coherent arguments and speak clearly so I can understand you. I will not tolerate spreading in the round; if you spread in the round, I may vote against you for that reason alone.
The way I judge is straightforward and methodical. Keep this in mind when I am judging your debate. This is the way I judge rounds:
1. First I decide which framework (i.e. value and value criterion) is best suited for the round
2. Then, I go through each contention on either side individually and evaluate whether the aff or neg on each contention. If the aff won an affirmative contention, then I will consider that in my final decision. However, if the neg won that contention, I will drop that contention. Same goes for the neg side.
3. Finally, I weigh the standing contentions on each side against each other. I decide which contention(s) are stronger in the context of the winning framework.
So, these are the things you should do to win a round that I am judging:
1. First and foremost, do not spread. I cannot understand a debater that spreads and will tend to vote against them. As a general rule, do not talk faster than 7.
2. To ensure that I catch all the most important parts of your case (like the value, value criterion, and each of your contentions), try to slow down and emphasize when you are introducing your framework and each of your contentions. Throughout your entire case, speak clearly.
3. Make sure you clearly advocate for why you won your contentions and why your opponent lost their contentions.
4. Make strong weighing arguments and explain clearly why your contentions fit the winning framework better than the opponent's contentions.
5. On Ballots I may not say much but key points why you won or lost.
I am looking forward to judging your debates. Good luck debaters!
Hello, I am a parent judge. Please make sure to always be polite to your opponents and try not to speak super fast. I hope to judge a great round!
I have been judging since 2018 in tournaments from the rookie to varsity levels. I have been a lawyer in the past and like to view both viewpoints with good supporting evidence. Support for your contentions have to hold solid ground.
I also love clarity over ambiguity. I do not prefer spreading/speaking fast.
I run a software consulting firm here in Bay area. I judge for Dougherty Valley, and have judged in the past 2 years at a few tournaments in Lincoln Douglas, Public Forum, Speech, and Congress as well.
Things I would be judging will be based on the following criteria
- Make an complete argument (claim, warrant, and impact).
- Topic grounded strategies/demonstration of research and topic knowledge are good for speaks.
- I am the numbers guy and like to hear solid numbers or quantitative data for your arguments.
- Quality always trumps quantity.
- Evidence matters, but your explanation matters more. Great cards that are explained terribly won't get maximal weight.
- Clarity over speed
- Get to the point: focus on the core issues of the debate
- I have researched the topic to some extent but do not understand very nuanced arguments.
- I like when two teams have clash on their cases, but don't be overly aggressive or rude when pointing it out.
- Insults, rudeness, and swearing are not good and will be looked down upon .
- Respect your competitors, partner and the time everyone in the room puts into this activity.
- I like to vote for the team that made the world a better place. That is my very Important criteria for judging of debate rounds
Finally make the debate fun. Being nice is good. Smile and have fun. Winning and losing is a part of life so have fun and enjoy and do your best.
I am an interp coach and have recently started judging PF and LD debate. I prefer traditional rounds and will vote based on who simplifies the main ideas.
Hi, I am a parent judge. I understand that since I am parent, I am not as qualified a professional judge, so feel free to strike me. With that said, I do have quite a bit of experience judging have judged several national circuit debates and late elimination rounds at nationals.
Overall, I really appreciate if you go slow and really explain your arguments. For me, while sounding pretty is good, I will look at who is winning the merit of the argument and throughout the round who most consistently rebuts and actually analyses the arguments better on a technical sense.
Crossfire is also important as well as other regular lay norms.
February topic: I hate it. The topic literally forces neg teams to read straight up right wing propaganda to win rounds. I will evaluate and vote for kritikal and/or theory based arguments from neg teams explaining why they shouldn't have to defend explicitly anti-labor arguments. I think it's far more productive to have debates where the neg argues the unfairness of fighting an uphill battle (plus having to defend fascist arguments) and the aff argues the benefits of switch side debate in gaining education to fight anti-labor movements in the real world. Ask me any questions about this if you have them.
Kyle (he/they), did circuit PF (and some policy and extemp on the local level) and coached for Fairmont, currently attending Cal. Not debating in college. Please use my first name and don't call me "judge", I promise I'm not much older than you.
I've judged rather infrequently over the past three years - I like to think I still keep a very good flow by PF standards, but keep in mind my rust and don't spread. After judging in February I found that I started missing stuff after ~250 wpm, but I can still get every card down up to that point. Signpost well.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Tabula rasa is a myth, the best a judge can do is explain the ways in which they are not tab before the round. So read this.
The best way to win in front of me is to win one piece of offense, properly extend it in each speech, and convince me it's the most important thing through weighing. I strongly prefer you going very in depth on one argument than trying to win every argument and undercovering everything.
Do meta weighing - why is your impact that wins on magnitude more important than your opponents' impact that wins on probability? Don't just use buzzwords. And saying "we read link defense, therefore we outweigh because their impact is nonexistent" is NOT WEIGHING. Assume both arguments are true and show why yours is better.
Every claim you make should have one (or more) warrants, and the team who does better comparative warrant analysis will almost always win. Empirics without warrants mean very little to me.
Tech > truth but you'll find true arguments are very easy to warrant. Read above.
Cut your cards properly and have every card you read in a document, I will dock speaks if you take too long to give cards to your opponents or if I call a card and it's not properly cut. If I call for a card and you misconstrued it, bad things will happen to you. That being said, good debaters will win on the warrant level so that evidence comparison (and thus me calling for evidence) isn't needed.
If you go over time in crossfire to get the last word in I will dock speaks, it's not that important. If both teams agree to skip grand crossfire that's fine, each team can get 30 seconds of prep.
At least 80% of the speaker points I give are between 28 and 29, though I might shift that distribution up at a tournament with inflated speaks. If you're respectful to your opponents and have good evidence ethics the absolute minimum score I'll give is a 27.5. If you read auto-30s in front of me you'll get auto-27.5s.
Neither side can read new independent offense in rebuttal. Weighing and turns are obviously fine, but reading a new contention as an "overview" is not cool.
If you only read one section from this paradigm, make it this one: if you are the second speaking team, you need to respond to everything from the first rebuttal related to the arguments that you intend to go for in summary and final focus. If you want to go for a contention in your case, you better cleanly frontline at least one link and impact. Anything said in the first rebuttal that isn't addressed in the second is considered dropped.
Go for one thing and go for it hard. I love early collapse strategies (as early as the rebuttal speeches). Go for one of the six links into your case, go for a turn, concede defense against your own case to kick out of a turn, make smart decisions and be creative.
Three minute summaries are one minute too long. There's no excuse to not cleanly extend everything you want to go for. This means frontlining, extending cards, extending warrants, and extending/weighing impacts.
If it's not in summary, it better not be in final focus. This applies to both offense and defense. If you are a second speaker and you completely ignore your partner's summary, your speaks will get nuked.
Go read Doug Miller's paradigm, he goes over everything from the last two sections but in more detail. I agree with him on everything there.
Theory should be used to set norms and check against abuse. Please don't read frivolous theory in front of me.
Re: "tabula rasa is a myth" - here are some of my general beliefs on theory arguments, but keep in mind that I can be (and have been) persuaded to vote against these beliefs. I believe disclosure is good. I'm ambivalent on more specific disclosure interps (ex: round reports), but please understand the inherent differences between PF and policy before you read these arguments. I believe paraphrasing is fine, read Gabe Rusk's paradigm and this meme. I generally believe that if theory is read, a team should be willing to stake the round on it and shouldn't go for theory alongside non-theory arguments. I default to yes RVIs, a team shouldn't win because they demonstrate they're following the rules however a team that has theory read against them should be able to argue that spending the round debating theory hurts topic education. Again, I will not hack for/against any of these arguments, but I want to list my general dispositions here for full transparency's sake. Ask me before round if you have any questions.
I will vote for your K or policy argument with kritikal framing (think structural violence type stuff). If you're reading the former, keep in mind I'm not super familiar with the literature so warrant and explain well. K vs. FW debates are among my favorite to watch and evaluate. Both teams in a K round should warrant why I should prefer their model of debate (i.e. have a good ROTB argument). I generally believe K's should have some link to the topic.
Things I would be a very good judge for:LARP vs. LARP, disclosure, K vs. FW, LARP with K framing
Things I would be a pretty good judge for: LARP vs. K, other non-frivolous theory, K vs. K
Things I would be a very bad judge for: non-topical K, frivolous theory, tricks (really any argument that doesn't have a claim, warrant, and impact at bare minimum)
Respect your opponents and especially your partner. Have fun.
I am an attorney who handles appeals, so I guess you could say that I am a professional debater. I will judge your debate the same way that a judge decides an appeal. I will identify the contentions, evaluate the arguments and evidence presented by both sides in support or in opposition of each contention, and then choose which side made the more persuasive case on each contention. The side that wins the most contentions, wins the debate.
I should note that I strongly disapprove of the practice of spreading (or speaking very, very quickly). The purpose of debate is to exchange ideas. If a debater speaks so quickly that neither the judge nor the opposing party can understand them, we are no longer having a debate. Please speak clearly, so that everyone can follow your arguments.
I have had 6 years of experience judging for various schools. I first started judging for Mission San Jose High School and am now judging for Stonewall Academy. The majority of my judging has been in Public Forum and I am familiar in the fundamental concepts of the format.
I always come in with an open mind and vote based off of each side's arguments rather than personal bias. In order to win the round it is important that each side weighs each of their impacts. If impacts aren't weighed I won't flow them. If you want higher speaker points and want me to be able to flow your arguments, it is important that you speak clearly and at a good pace. I also appreciate it if you give me a little background into the topic and clear up a few things. Each side should provide a standard for me to weigh on so I can vote for a side based on the impacts. Both sides can also argue which standard is more relevant to the debate and which I should be judging on. If neither side proposes a standard for the debate I will just be judging on which side makes the world a better place. As for links, make sure that your links are logical and aren't huge jumps. If you suddenly jump from the EU joining the BRI to a nuclear war, I won't buy it. Please don't run theory. I will only take it into account if it is actually justified and reasonable (which it almost never is). Lastly, if a side brings up a new argument or point in Final Focus, I will ignore it. You're just going to be wasting your time.
I will reward a debater with more speaker points if they remain clear and speak at an understandable pace. I dislike spreading as I feel its unnecessary. It is also important that each speaker is respectful in crossfire and other speeches. If any debater starts yelling and is overly aggressive I will lower their total speaker points for the round.
If you have any other questions feel free to ask me during the round. I hope you provide me with an interesting debate!
Please do not ask every single person in the room if they are ready before starting to speak. One simple, "everyone ready?" does the trick! Once you ask, give a little bit of wait time before you actually start speaking.
Theory does not belong in PF so please do not run it! If you want to run theory, there are two other debate events where that works. PF was designed for a reason and I am super baffled by the race to make it as much like Policy as possible when it is not Policy! The shorter speaking times make PF a very specific genre of debate; arguments that play out in Policy or even LD do not translate well in PF.
Kritiks: See theory above
Spreading: See above
Please share all cards you are reading in a speech before the speech. Set up an email chain! This will avoid the annoying wait times associated with "calling for cards." All cards should be appropriately cut, please do not share a PDF or link and ask the other team to look for the relevant passage.
I am up for a fast paced round where delivery is at a fairly rapid clip. Spreading, however, has no place in PF so do not go there. See my comments about theory above.
As far as I am concerned, the only road map in a PF round, is "Pro/Con" or "Con/Pro". Please do not use the term "brief off time road map." Or ask if I time them!
Dates matter and NSDA rules say you should at a minimum read the year of the card; please follow these rules or I will not flow your cards.
I will vote off the flow if I can which means you need to sign post and keep the same names and structures for arguments as they were coming out of case. In other words, do not rename arguments later in the round because you think they sound cute or persuasive. If I cannot figure out where to flow the argument, I am not listening to what you are saying, but rather trying to figure out where it goes.
Make sure whatever you carry into Final Focus, is also part of Summary. All of the sudden extending arguments that have not been part of the debate is not a winning strategy.
I am not sure I am a fan of "sticky defense."
Weigh the round, explain why your arguments outweigh your opponents'. Be specific; do not just say you "outweigh" leverage certain cards and contentions to explain.
Dropped arguments only matter if you tell me why they matter!
I stop listening to Cross-Fire if it is loud and the debaters talk over each other.
I hate short, blippy cards and reading one right after another is actually really hard to flow.
Truth over tech; facts and reality matters. I will not vote off improbable, unrealistic or fundamentally flawed arguments. This does not mean opponents can just say they are improbable and move on, work must still be done to explain why the arguments are flawed, but if it is close and the arguments have been discredited with evidence and analysis, I will err on the side of "truth".
Head Coach George Washington High School.
If this paradigm isn't completely clear, please ask questions before the round! I'd rather you be informed than to be inconvenienced by a misunderstanding about anything said here.
Most Importantly: I haven't judged much circuit policy, but that doesn't mean I don't know what I'm doing.
If you want to have a good round in front of me, there's a couple things you should do/not do.
1. PLEASE take it easy on speed. Given that I do not judge on the circuit often, I'm a little out of practice flowing. This means that if you want me to understand what you're saying, you need to slow down. Obviously, this means you should far and away strive for clarity over speed.
2. If you are reading positions that are silly/don't make sense, expect to be disappointed with the decision that I make. Overly absurd Kritikal positions, and politics disads that seem to not have any internal links are definitely a no-go in front of me. I'm open to Kritikal positions, and I think they're interesting, but things like Death-Good aren't up my alley. Read a position that you know well in front of me and I'll enjoy it.
3. I'm comfortable evaluating Framework debates. I think affs should be at least tangentially related to the resolution. I'm not fond of just "Anti-USFG" affs. In addition, don't assume that I know all of the arguments that you're trying to make. On either side, the arguments should be explained clearly and concisely.
Although I come from a state that does primarily traditional value-criterion debate, I am an experienced policy coach (see the paradigm above). I can evaluate policy style arguments and am very open to them. I am much more persuaded by arguments that are related to the resolution and can be linked back to it as opposed to Kritikal arguments that do not link. I am, however, excited by some the resolution specific Kritiks and would love to hear them! I am familiar with a number of off case positions and theoretical arguments, please do not make assumptions and take time to give brief explanations.
I may not be able to easily follow or be familiar of all theory arguments. Slow down and explain them.
Dropped arguments only matter if you tell me why. You do not automatically win just because an argument is dropped.
As far as speed goes, I can keep up with it if it is clear and well articulated and has the purpose of covering more arguments. But I am not a fan of going fast just to go fast.
I am a teacher at Mission San Jose High School.
First and foremost, our school believes in fairness and transparency in debate. For varsity debaters, this means that you are expected to provide wiki disclosure, which must include all of the arguments and evidence that you plan to use in the round. Second, we believe in the importance of reading direct quotes rather than paraphrasing. Finally, you must use email chains to share evidence prior to the debate.
For my decision I will also consider the organization and flow of the debate, and the extent to which debaters are able to effectively convey their arguments and evidence. Debaters should use clear signposting and transitions to guide the audience through their reasoning. Debaters should also be able to adapt their strategy and arguments in response to the arguments and evidence presented by their opponents. I expect debaters to conduct themselves with professionalism, respect and should refrain from personal attacks or disrespectful behavior.
I will judge on Theory only on the varsity level.
If a team did not fully disclose on Wiki for any reason (personal, school policy, ect.) they will not win my vote.
Lastly, such an argument on disclosure MUST be made in the opening Constructive Speech of the team.
In order of importance:
1) Clear thesis of your presentation
2) Development or growth of character/speaker during the speech
3) Know your lines
4) Use of space
5) Moment to moment objectives
NOTE FOR BERKELEY: IF YOU MEOW AT MY CAT AND SHE MEOWS BACK YOU GET A 30. IDK IF SHE WILL SHE DOES LIKE HALF THE TIME. UP TO YOU IF YOU WANNA TAKE THAT RISK
hey! i'm nate. put me on the email chain. email@example.com facebook.com/nate.nyg
he/him! will boost speaks +.1 for debaters who ask before round :)
i did ld at hunter and qualled to the toc my senior year. I was a 2n at wake forest for 2 years where my partner and i reached quarters of ceda. i did pf my freshman year, so i'm familiar, but don't assume i know every single thing about the activity and its conventions.
i'm willing to vote on anything and am purely tab with the caveat of intervening against oppressive argumentation. if you're reading theory or k's in pf, i'd vote on it, but please make an effort to make your arguments accessible to your opponents -- pf has not entirely adapted to new norms and if you don't try to adapt your arguments to pf and instead just assume your opponents will know your exact format and everything i'll be annoyed and speaks will suffer. bad theory and k debates are lame, frivolous theory in pf is probably the stupidest thing i can think of lol
oh also i'm judging policy now lol -- what i said above is still true -- was a 2n at wake, haven't debated in like a year, my partner and i quartered ceda reading black feminist lit on the aff and cap on the neg, that's a pretty good indicator i think of the types of arguments i enjoy voting on and judging the most. i'll judge a policy round if you want to have it obviously, i also have been coaching pf 2 years now so my ears are at least a little more attuned to util impacts than previously. in the same way that critical teams are expected to justify why they are moving away from the topic, i believe policy teams should be justifying why they are choosing to debate the topic in clash rounds -- this doesn't mean i'll hack for Ks -- it just means that the same standards apply because i view topicality/its reading as a speech act and i'm not sure why the fact that a speech act is also a procedural would mean i should disregard its implications or its context. that being said, my sophomore year my partner and I won R1 at the season opener reading disclosure, i'm willing to vote on whatever. if you're racist or talk down to women or misgender your opponent or do some other messed up stuff without both making good faith attempts to repair the potential for a safe debate and apologizing without reservation for said messed up act you will get an L20. one time my partner and i debated this guy who would only respectfully talk to me and refused to listen to her whatsoever, talking over her constantly. when we called him on it he said it was because of his adhd and then kept doing it (as a psych major i have never heard of adhd that only appears when you're talking to women!). please use that as an example of what NOT to do.
in the same way i try to hold policy teams to higher standards -- if you're reading a k -- i'm not just gonna hack. justify why the aff is necessary in debate, this round particularly, what my ballot does, make and justify spill up claims, have an awesome theory of power, make material arguments (the best thing i ever learned as a debater is how to read cap links that are 100% disads to the aff -- do that)
good luck have a great round hope it's fun feel free to ask me any questions i am happy to answer them
if you're curious -- my thoughts on debate right now are most influenced by asya taylor, darius white, jacob smith, and the wake coaches who read Ks when they debated (jgreen also)
for k teams -- i am in big support of high schoolers reading k's, i think it's super educational and definitely made me a lot of who i am now (ew. hate typing out that debate made me part of who i am, kinda gross), in support of that practice please feel free to after rounds ask me any random questions you have about lit or strategy, even if it's not related to the round you just had -- i'll do my best to give you some help! it's my understanding these tournaments are designed in part to increase debate access/let teams that might not otherwise get to too many nat circuit tournaments attend -- i coach a lot and have worked at ld camps the past few summers, i also understand wake has a very genius/expensive coaching staff and would be happy to redistribute some of what i've learned from debating here down because truthfully the coaches here are incredible and it should not just be a few debaters at random colleges getting their knowledge!!
CAL UPDATE: Bring me food and both teams get max speaker points (preferably little gem or a crave subs chicken little or almare gelato)
I did circuit LD, parli, and Congress in high school for Mitty and I coach there now (qualled to states, nats, and was pretty highly ranked in parli), and I'm a junior at Cal doing CS and Business (firstname.lastname@example.org). I can judge any event except like platform speech at a pretty tech level, so just be yourself and have fun!!!!
I'm too lazy to write my argument preferences out so yeah I'm fine with anything. I'm fine with any type of argument (phil, Ks, theory, CPs) and any arguments against them. I'm pretty tabula rasa, like the limit approaches infinity for how tab I am.
You do you, just don't be a meanie. Also, be clear and dont go like 300+ WPM, I'm probably tired.
Off time roadmaps preferred
You can talk fast as long as you enunciate
Debate Jargon is allowed and understood
Please speak loudly and clearly. Don't speak too fast, explain to me clearly why I should vote for you
Gina Li is a strategy, merger and acquisition professional with 20+ years working experiences in various sectors. She was an expat working abroad for 15 years with global perspectives. She has been judging both Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas since 2018 at various events, in addition to facilitate local student-run speech and debate volunteer activities in the bay area.
She requires all contestants to speak clearly, not necessarily faster the better, try to maximize the given time to rationalize the best data and evidences to support the key arguments. While majority of the contestants are well prepared on their contentions, the winner normally possess the abilities in better framework, effective arguments to counter opponents positions during rebuttal, crossfires and closing. Also please RESPECT your opponents, try not to cut them off if possible.
Knowing everyone is working very hard on each tournament, I wish each contestant the best luck!
1) Parent judge
2) No spreading
3) Not a flow judge
4) Don't run any theories or k's, don't try to be fancy, I will not understand it
5) tech > truth
6) You can clash/cut each other off during cross but just don't be rude
I am a parent judge, looking for clear and concise arguments. Usually, a slower speed on what you want to emphasize may get the point across better. Please time yourself, but I will keep official time. If your evidence is false, there is a high chance I will drop you. I won't disclose.
Hi, I competed in PF for Hamilton High and am currently a college senior.
I am old and uninvolved with debate, so I probably can't flow speed well anymore. I would suggest you treat me like a flay judge.
**Note for Cal Invitational: I am only judging Sunday and skipped Saturday. Hence, I am NOT familiar with the topic and what is considered stock/trendy.
TLDR: quality>quantity, extend your link story, weigh. Everything here is pretty standard.
1. Collapsing is absolutely necessary; do not try to extend everything in case and win every argument. Going for 1 or 2 pieces of offense will result in a much cleaner round.
2. I expect you to *EXTEND YOUR LINK CHAIN* in both summary and final focus. Walk me through your warrants and impacts again. Don't just frontline and entirely skip over your link story (ghost extensions).
4. Defense does not need to be extended into the first summary, unless 2nd rebuttal chooses to respond to defense from first rebuttal (I won't strictly force frontlining in 2nd rebuttal). However, it might be good to extend important terminal defense into the first summary for the sake of emphasis (up to you).
5. **Weigh, weigh, weigh**. Don't forget to also weigh turns (too many teams don't do this). Keep your weighing comparative -- saying "poverty is the most important impact" is not real argument comparison. My decisions very often come down to whichever team did the better job weighing, especially when the link debate becomes messy. If you are speaking 2nd, don't wait until FF to weigh (I will default to this if no other weighing is done).
6. If you want to read an actual warranted framework, that needs to come no later than 1st rebuttal. This means if you are speaking 2nd, you will need to introduce any framework starting in case (not 2nd rebuttal).
7. I have minimal experience with progressive argumentation, so steer away from it. I heavily frown upon what I perceive to be tricks or gimmicks.
Feel free to post-round/ask questions until you are satisfied. Once upon a time, I was once a tryhard, sweaty, angry PF debater myself, so I understand the pain of dropping rounds. Please time yourselves.
In general I am flexible about your debate/speech style. But below are some of my preferences:
- Being respectful instead of being hostile
- You could speak fast but make sure it is clear to everyone
- Make sure to have clear logic and evidence in your speech
TL;DR - Parent judge who was a national circuit policy debater in high school and college long ago (see experience at very bottom of paradigm). Judging mostly open/varsity parli since Fall 2018 with some LD, PF, and Policy judging the last couple of years. Sections below for Parli, PF, and Policy.
General Overview: I will evaluate framework/criteria/theory/role of the ballot issues first. Unless argued/won otherwise, I default to judging as a policy maker weighing aff plan/world against status quo or neg counterplan/world using net benefits and treat debate as an educational game. I will ignore new arguments in rebuttals (summary/final focus in PF) even if you don't call a POO (Parli). I'm fine with tag teaming (but only flow what the actual speaker says). Speak from anywhere you prefer as long as everyone can hear you. When speech time expires, you can finish your thought, but I will not flow any new arguments started after time expires (no new args in grace period). Cross-ex/crossfire will not be considered in my decision unless you reference it in a speech (that will bring it into the round). You can go fast but probably not full speed (not 200+ wpm). I will call clear or slow as needed. If you run K's, please clearly link them to the resolution/aff plan/aff arguments and explain (K's post-date my debate experience). Signpost. Clearly justify/link theory arguments (high bar for you to win frivolous theory). Don't care about your attire. I rarely look up from my flow during rounds. No need to shake my hand.
If allowed by the tournament rules, please add me to your email chain (if applicable) using edlingo13 [at] gmail.com
Parli Debate Notes (though much is applicable to all forms of debate):
** Note to Tournament Directors - Please add Flex Time to High School Parli debate (see sections 4.C. & 4.H. of the NDPA rules for a definition of Flex Time). I think it will increase the quality of debates/clash in the round, give judges a bit of time to clean up their flows & make notes for later feedback to debaters, and ensure fairness in how much time is taken for each speaker to start.
In the absence of a contrary framework argued/won in the round, I will make my decision as a policy maker comparing the aff plan/world against the status quo or neg counterplan/world.
Unless argued/won in the round otherwise, I think debate is an educational game. I believe the educational part is primarily for the debaters and only secondarily (at most) for the judge(s) and/or audience. This is one of the reasons I have trouble with K's that are loosely, if at all, related to the resolution being debated. The game aspect of debate implies a need for fairness/balance/equity between aff & neg sides.
With the above defaults (and realistically biases) in mind, I will try to come into the round tabula rasa ("blank slate"). Certainly I won't intentionally bring my political biases into the round. I will try to minimize using any outside knowledge of the topic, but realistically some of that may creep in unless background information is clearly explained in the round.
Especially if you don't like the above framework, please do provide your own in the round. I'm far more likely to make the decision you expect if I'm using framework/weighing criteria that you know (above) or have argued/won in the round.
Fine by me. But as with everything else, please explain/justify the theory arguments you make. Don't like blippy theory you toss out in hopes the other side will drop your one line VI/RVI or, similarly, some pre-canned, high speed theory block that even you don't understand (and I can barely flow, if at all).
As long as you can still be clear, I am fine with any speed. I will call "slow" or "clear" as needed during the round. But, it's still best to slow down on tags and issues you believe are critical in deciding the round. Especially in the first tournament or two of the year and the first round in the morning, best to go a little slower for me. If you want me to get a clean flow, keep things to a max of perhaps 200 or 250 wpm rather than 350 or 400. Don't spread in a monotone. I know from experience that it is possible to add (brief) pauses where there is a period, slow down on tags, and vary your speed while still averaging 300+ wpm. If you are going to go very fast, it is your responsibility to practice it until you can do so with clarity and in a way that can be flowed.
K's post-date my competitive debate experience. I have read up a bit on them and seen them used in a few rounds (parli and policy rounds). If you run one (or more), make sure you have a clear link to the resolution/aff plan/aff args. It's also important that you clearly explain the K to me and to the other team (including why it applies in this round and why it should be a voting issue). Just spreading through a K that even you don't understand in the hopes I will understand it and your opponents will mishandle it is very unlikely to be successful. On the other hand, if you understand it, clearly explain it, and answer POI's from your opponents if they seem confused by it, I will seriously consider it in my decision. If you plan to run a K-aff, please disclose to your opponents at the start of prep (or earlier). If you don't, a theory argument by the neg that you should have done so is very likely to win.
Counterplans seem like a natural fit for Parli to me. Especially with a topic that gives the aff broad leeway to choose a somewhat narrow plan, CPs are a good way to make the round fair for the neg side.
I will extend arguments that your opponents dropped for you (I think this is now called protecting the flow), but it's still best for you to extend them yourself so that you can explain to me why/how those dropped arguments should factor into my decision. When you extend, I don't need you to re-explain your arguments or extend every individual point in a block that is entirely dropped (though no harm in doing so). How you believe the dropped arguments should impact the overall round is more important to me.
New Arguments in Rebuttals/POO's:
I will ignore what I believe to be a new argument in a rebuttal speech, so you don't have to call a POO. However, I do understand the general POO process. So if you want to make certain that I will be treating something as a new argument in rebuttals (and therefore excluding it from my decision making process), go ahead and call the POO. I'd prefer that you don't call a lot of POO's (more than 3), but certainly won't count it against you if you feel the need to call each one out. Though odds are if you are calling that many, I already get that we've got a rebuttal speaker who doesn't realize I will ignore new arguments in rebuttals.
Fine by me. I will, of course, only include what the actual current speaker says in my flow.
Stay sitting, stand up, or go to a podium. It's all fine by me. However, if you are a quiet speaker in a noisy room and/or I or the opposing team call out "clear", "louder", etc. please speak in a direction/location that you can be heard by all. I'm fine with taking some time before a speech or stopping time during a speech if we need to adjust everyone's location so all speakers can be clearly heard. If someone can't hear the current speaker, I'm fine with them calling out "louder". If the speaker can't easily adjust so everyone can hear them, go ahead and stop time and we will take time to rearrange so you can be heard without having to shout.
PF Debate Notes:
My apologies in advance as I have only judged perhaps half a dozen PF rounds. I am familiar with the basic structure of PF and have extensive experience judging and competing in other forms of debate. Even though I have only judged a few PF rounds before, here's a few notes I hope will help you.
- Because I am flowing, I don't need you to do a whole lot to extend dropped arguments. If you are pressed for time, and, for example, an entire contention is dropped by the other team, you can just say "extend contention 2 which is dropped". It can help to reiterate the arguments to help fill in details I may not have gotten right on my flow or to draw my attention to particular impacts, but there is no need to individually extend every element of the contention. You can save the analysis for weighing.
- Please do your best to clearly weigh impacts in final focus. I know time is short. However, if you leave it up to me to weigh the advantages of both sides against each other, you are taking a big risk. Best to explain to me why you believe your impacts (harms/benefits) outweigh those presented by the other team. Though not required, I am fine with some weighing also happening in earlier speeches (summary, even rebuttal). For example, if after constructives you think you clearly outweigh, no need to wait until final focus to point that out.
- I don't flow crossfire, but do pay attention and will use it to help clarify my understanding of issues/positions in the round. Bring it up in a speech if you want something said in crossfire to be part of my flow/input to my decision.
- Where there are evidence conflicts (each side has evidence saying the opposite), please do your best to explain why I should prefer your evidence over that of your opponents (study vs. opinion, better author credentials, recency, etc.).
- In general, do what you can to provide clash. If each side just reiterates and defends their own case, that leaves a lot up to the judge. If you want my decision to go your way, best to provide that clash/analysis so I know why you believe you should win the round.
- Unless not allowed by tournament rules, I prefer to be on the email chain -- edlingo13 [at] gmail.com (mostly it helps me fill in my flow if I missed anything).
Policy Debate Notes:
- Debated 4 years of policy in high school (in CFL/California Coast district, went to State & Nationals, won State), but that was long, long ago.
- Defaults: I will default to judging based on stock issues as a policy maker. For theory issues, I will default to treating debate as an educational game (game implies fairness/equity). On both counts, I am open to alternative frameworks/roles of the ballot.
- Theory, framework, K's need to be developed/clearly explained to me and your competitors or you will have an uphill battle trying to win them (doesn't mean you won't if the other teams drops it or grossly mishandles it, but I do need a basic understanding of your argument in order to vote on it). Likewise, calling something a voting issue doesn't make it one unless you explain why it should be a voting issue.
- I know very little K literature.
- I won't be able to keep up with a full speed/invitational/tech debate these days. But you can certainly speak at a rate that the "person on the street" would think of as quite fast. I will call clear/slow if I'm having trouble keeping up.
- I don't flow cross-ex, but do pay attention and will use it to help clarify my understanding of issues/positions in the round. Bring it up in a speech if you want something said in cross-ex to be part of my flow/input to my decision.
My competitive experience is almost exclusively policy debate from the late 70's and early to mid-80's. Four years in high school policy debate (1 yr Bellarmine followed by 3 yrs Los Gatos High). Quarters or better at many national invitational tournaments (e.g. Berkeley & Harvard back when they weren't on the same weekend ;-). 1st Place California (CHSSA) State Championships. Invites to national level round robins (Glenbrook, Harvard, UCLA/USC, Georgetown) -- back then the tournament director invited those teams they believed to be the top 9 in the country (perhaps a few more if some teams couldn't attend). In high school I briefly experimented with LD. During my senior year in college (UC Berkeley), I debated one year of CEDA debate. Went to perhaps a half dozen tournaments. Won a couple of them, made it to quarters/semis at some others. Helped the Cal team reach #2 in the national CEDA rankings.
I am a parent judge but have judged for multiple years since 2016. I mostly judged PF but I also judged Congress and Parliamentary.
I am flay, meaning I take notes, but not in a flow style.
I like to focus on direct clashes and rebuttals of your opponent's arguments. Points need to be extended in every speech, and if one team brings up a point that is not extended, I will not consider it. It is also up to the opponent team to bring this to my attention.
I will always weigh impacts. I primarily weigh on the magnitude, but I will also consider timeframe and probability.
Do not spread. I want every speaker to give their speeches in a clear, systematic way and emphasize the main points they want to resonate with me.
Yea, I'm one of THOSE judges
I have been judging LD and PF debates for about 6 years. I do flow cases so it will be great if you could provide me with an off-time roadmap and signpost your arguments. I judge based on tech>truth.
It is important to have a clear framework, so make sure that you state that this is contention 1, subpoint 1 etc. Please extend your arguments and make sure that you have cards for your evidence since I do read them. I like clash so you have to defend your contentions during cross examination.
Please be respectful to your opponent during cross examination. Do let your opponent finish their question or sentence. I will sign my ballot the second that I hear any discriminatory language.
Have fun, do your best and good luck!
My email is email@example.com for email chains.
I debated PF for four years at Nueva with Anjali Ramanathan and graduated in 2020. I'm now a senior at UChicago.
My view of debate is very similar to Anjali's and she does a good job explaining her paradigm here: https://www.tabroom.com/index/tourn/postings/judge.mhtml?judge_id=1287777&tourn_id=16664
TL;DR : I'll hear basically anything unless its problematic, I like clear narratives/link stories with weighing, I don't mind a little speed but I'm also usually pretty tired so know that it doesn't always work in your favor. I don't have a lot of experience with K's and theory, so I can't say I'll evaluate them perfectly, but I'm willing to listen to them. Also, more generally, have fun with your round :))
Do let me know if you have any questions and I'd be happy to answer them!!
I teach math and serve as chair of the math dept at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans. I retired from coaching high school at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. I coached Policy and LD (as well as most every speech event) for over 25 years on the local and national circuit. In the spring of 2020, we started a Middle School team at Newman and have been coaching on the middle school level since then.
I judge only a handful of rounds each year. You will need to explain topic specific abbreviations, acronyms, etc. a little more than you would normally. You will also need to go slower than normal, especially for the first 30 sec of each speech so I can adjust to you.
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
My philosophy is in three sections. Section 1 applies to both policy and LD. Section 2 is policy-specific. Section 3 is LD-specific.
Section 1: Policy and LD
Speed. Go fast or slow. However, debaters have a tendency to go faster than they are physically capable of going. Regardless of your chosen rate of delivery, it is imperative that you start your first speech at a considerably slower pace than your top speed will be. Judges need time to adjust to a student's pitch, inflection, accent/dialect. I won't read cards after the round to compensate for your lack of clarity, nor will I say "clearer" during your speech. In fact, I will only read cards after the round if there is actual debate on what a specific card may mean. Then, I may read THAT card to assess which debater is correct.
Theory. Theory should not be run for the sake of theory. I overhead another coach at a tournament tell his debaters to "always run theory." This viewpoint sickens me. If there is abuse, argue it. Be prepared to explain WHY your ground is being violated. What reasonable arguments can't be run because of what your opponent did? For example, an aff position that denies you disad or CP ground is only abusive if you are entitled to disad or CP ground. It becomes your burden to explain why you are so entitled. Theory should never be Plan A to win a round unless your opponent's interpretation, framework, or contention-level arguments really do leave you no alternative. I think reasonable people can determine whether the theory position has real merit or is just BS. If I think it's BS, I will give the alleged offender a lot of leeway.
Role of the Ballot. My ballot usually means nothing more than who won the game we were playing while all sitting in the same room. I don't believe I am sending a message to the debate community when I vote, nor do I believe that you are sending a message to the debate community when you speak, when you win, or when you lose. I don't believe that my ballot is a teaching tool even if there's an audience outside of the two debaters. I don't believe my ballot is endorsing a particular philosophy or possible action by some agent implied or explicitly stated in the resolution. Perhaps my ballot is endorsing your strategy if you win my ballot, so I am sending a message to you and your coach by voting for you, but that is about it. If you can persuade me otherwise, you are invited to try. However, if your language or conduct is found to be offensive, I will gladly use my ballot to send a message to you, your coach, and your teammates with a loss and/or fewer speaker points than desired.
Section 2: Policy only (although there are probably things in the LD section below that may interest you)
In general, I expect that Affs read a plan and be topical. K Affs or Performance Affs have a bit of an uphill climb for me to justify why the resolution ought not be debated. If a team chooses this approach, at minimum, they need to advocate some action that solves some problem, and their remedy/method must provide some reasonable negative ground.
I think K's need a solid link and a clear, viable, and competitive alt, but I best understand a negative strategy if consisting of counterplans, disads, case args.
Section 3: LD only (if you are an LDer who likes "policy" arguments in LD, you should read the above section}
Kritiks. In the end, whatever position you take still needs to resolve a conflict inherent (or explicitly stated) within the resolution. Aff's MUST affirm the resolution. Neg's MUST negate it. If your advocacy (personal or fiated action by some agent) does not actually advocate one side of the resolution over the other (as written by the framers), then you'll probably lose.
Topicality. I really do love a good T debate. I just don't hear many of them in LD. A debater will only win a T debate if (1) you read a definition and/or articulate an interpretation of specific words/phrases in the resolution being violated and (2) explain why your interp is better than your opponent's in terms of providing a fair limit - not too broad nor too narrow. I have a strong policy background (former policy debater and long-time policy debate coach). My view of T debates is the same for both.
Presumption. I don't presume aff or neg inherently. I presume the status quo. In some resolutions, it's clear as to who is advocating for change. In that case, I default to holding whoever advocates change in the status quo as having some burden of proof. If neither (or both) is advocating change, then presumption becomes debatable. However, I will work very hard to vote on something other than presumption since it seems like a copout. No debate is truly tied at the end of the game.
Plans vs Whole Res. I leave this up to the debaters to defend or challenge. I am more persuaded by your perspective if it has a resolutional basis. For example, the Sept/Oct 2016 topic has a plural agent, "countries" (which is rare for LD topics). Thus, identifying a single country to do the plan may be more of a topicality argument than a "theory" argument. In resolutions when the agent is more nebulous (e.g., "a just society"), then we're back to a question as what provides for a better debate.
Please ask specific questions should you have them. Prefer substantive debates. And, fully support teams who take the initiative to stop rounds when concerned re: evidence ethics (the instructions are fully detailed in the NSDA High School Event Manual, pp. 30-33). On Theory and other such arguments in Public Forum Debate:
I am new to judging high school debate. I am just a volunteer. Please speak at a slow conversational rate and avoid jargon.
Email Chain: email@example.com
Competed in PF for four years from 2018-2022 on the national circuit under the codes University MN and University HM at University School in Ohio.
I will judge off the flow. Pls weigh. Have a nice narrative in the round. Feel free to ask me in the round if you have any questions or clarifications!
pls bring food for auto 30
Pls pls look at this it'll be the easiest round of ur life if you can follow the steps below
How I evaluate
-I look to who's winning the weighing debate
-If team x is winning the weighing I look to their case first
-if team x winning their case, the round is over
-if team x is losing case, I look at team y case
-if team y is winning case the round is over
-if team y is also losing case I presume neg
-bring food for auto 30 :/
Long: (copied from dan yan lmao)
1. Speed: Speed is fine unless you're unclear. Send a speech doc if you plan on going super fast. I won't flow based on the speech doc if I can't understand what you're saying at all.
2. Weighing: Please do comparative weighing and start it as early as possible! If you just say "we outweigh on scope" without explaining why I will be sad. If both teams do different types of weighing and do not meta-weigh then I will also be sad and have a headache. I will not default to prioritizing a certain weighing mechanism–I will simply tally up who has more.
3. Frontlining: You must frontline offensive arguments in second rebuttal including kicking out of turns. If you are biting a delink to get out of a turn, please explain how it delinks it. If you choose to frontline defense in second rebuttal on a certain argument, you must frontline all of it or else it's conceded.
4. First summary: First summary only needs to extend defense if it is frontlined in 2nd rebuttal.
5. Final focuses: All offense in final should be in summary. If you want something to be on my RFD, it must be in final focus.
6. Implications: Please implicate everything clearly! This is especially true for (but not excluded to): Overviews, cross-applications, turns.
7. DA's/ADV's: Call them like they are. If you say they are "turns" but they are clearly unrelated to the argument, I will be sad.
8. Turns: I like turns, especially if they are explained very well. I encourage you to go for them if it is strategic. However, be sure to fully extend the argument just like any other argument! (link, turn, impact)
9. Collapse: Please collapse only if it is strategic (Most of the times it is). If there is no reason for there to be 8 pieces of offense at the end of the round I will be sad and speaks will be lower.
10. Extensions: I care about good extensions. I will not appreciate it if you simply say "extend our Smith '18 response." You need to fully extend the response and implication. Same thing goes for case arguments. I will not consider poorly extended arguments only if the other team points it out–otherwise, I will grant bad extensions (unless it's 2nd final).
11. Analytics vs Evidence: Good warrants are good warrants even without evidence. In fact, I'll probably be more impressed by you if you can give well warranted analytics.
12. Evidence: I will try my best to not call for evidence and only judge off of what was said in the round. I will only call for evidence if the round is unresolvable without it where one team says it's good and the other says the opposite and you ask me to call for it. I will not call for your evidence just because you claim it is good and want me to look at it. IF I do end up calling for evidence and it indicts itself later, it will not factor into my decision unless the other team points it out.
13. Crossfire: Have fun & make me laugh. Use this time to ask clarifying questions and help yourselves– I'll only care if someone makes a critical concession and is brought up again in a later speech.
14. Progressive Arguments (I'll try my best)
I will most likely not understand anything beyond what I've mentioned so run them at your own risk.
Speaks: (I tend to give high speaks)
1. I'll be a big fan if you make a cool strategic decision (ie. weighing out of turns ect.)
2. Make me laugh... judging is boring
3. Don't sacrifice clarity for speed
4. Don't doc bot
5. Off-time roadmaps: Just tell me where you're starting and signpost idc about every little thing you're doing. If you do an elaborate roadmap and then don't follow it I'll be sad :(.
6. come preflowed please
Berkeley Class of 2025 - Majoring in Political Science, Economics, and Data Science with a minor in Public Policy
I went to Tracy High School, and I competed in Public Forum for 5 years with Capitol Debate (Capitol CM), Now I'm on the Berkeley British Parli Team
I'm flow in PF, but in any event other than PF please consider me lay!!
When adding me to email chains, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the header formatted like "Capitol CM v Capitol BC" with your team listed first
If you are lost on our campus, feel free to email me for help (subject line should be in the format "LOST!: 'team name'")!
Also feel free to email me with any RFD questions/advice on literally anything (debate, college, cal, greek life, etc) (subject line should start with "ADVICE:")
- Pre-flow before please (we used to print ours the night before.. highly recommend)
- Please keep track of your own preps/speech times
- finding evidence shouldn't take more than a minute -- if it's not linked and ready don't run it
- Don't show paraphrased evidence if it's called for, have the original wording ready
- misconstrued evidence is just embarrassing for you
- tech>truth ... for the most part with my discretion
- ROADMAP & SIGNPOST! It makes life so much easier for everyone - I enjoy a good old off-time road map
- don't just name-drop cards, unless it's late in the round and you have already mentioned it numerous times, remind me what the card said
- spreading is fine, but if you suck at spreading and I can't understand what you're saying... that's on you
- I'll say "clear" if you need to speak clearer/ slow down -- your opponent has the same right
- I don't flow in cross, although I do listen.. remind me of anything you want me to flow in your speech
- Extend your case in first rebuttal... this can be through cross-applications to their case, but don't drop your whole case
- avoid new arguments in second summary... you should have frontlined during your rebuttal
- everything in final focus must be in summary -- if you need to respond to something new utilize prior arguments and cards
- no new weighing or arguments in second final focus especially
- if it's not in final focus I won't vote for it
- weigh! Do the work for me!
- I hate disclosure theory and paraphrasing theory... however I will still vote for it reluctantly if it's run well (I also dislike trigger warning theory in most contexts)
- I strongly prefer not to judge theory/K rounds! I will not let this affect me as a judge, but be cognizant...
- When responding to theory/Ks, I don't care about structure, just give an adequate response and make sure to engage with it -- don't stress and treat it like a normal contention
- don't be rude or you'll get <25 speaks
- I expect respect, both for the other team and to me during RFDs
- be accessible to your opponents! if it is clear they cannot handle you spreading/using jargon, I will be far more impressed if you are able to engage in a meaningful debate with them rather than you flouting your experience/access to coaching
- I appreciate humor & puns, have fun with the debate (while being RESPECTFUL)
- + 1 speaks if you start a speech with "if pleases your grace" in a British accent and do a curtsy
- or + 1 speaks for a game of thrones reference
My favorite judge is Gabe Rusk... refer to his paradigm for more specifics on how I judge
You don't need to be overly polite, but you also do not need to be rude. I will vote for the other team if you are blatantly disrespectful and rude with no context for it within the round.
How fast can I go?
As fast as you want while remaining clear. Do not spread, speak quickly. If you must spread, make sure the tag and author/date are very clear. If I can make out the individual words you're using, I can keep up. I'm not going to tell you if I can't keep up, you should be able to tell if I can keep up by watching me. I am usually much more in favor of a smaller amount of well supported and reasoned arguments though. Technical skill alone will not win a round judged by me.
How does he award Speaker Points?
Purely based on who the best speaker is, which is a totally subjective system. If you can speak clearly yet quickly, maintain eye contact when appropriate and keep filler words to a minimum you'll get higher speaking points. If you can find a way to speak to me instead of at me, you'll get higher speaker points. Don't feel like you need to do anything special, I'm not stingy with Speaker Points.
What can I run in front of him?
Run whatever you want, I'll judge it based on the arguments presented to me by you and your opponent.
I'm a debate coach, and have debated for a few years in high school. I've been involved with the debate community in some way, shape or form for more than 10 years. Philosophical arguments are immensely appealing to me, so if you are running a Kritik I will be more than happy to follow along if you decide to get really technical. I enjoy technical and nuanced arguments, feel free to really dive into things because I will be able to follow your train of thought and weigh it against your opponents if you do a good enough job contextualizing it and tying it into the debate. If you read evidence to me and don't spend any time analyzing the evidence and contrasting it with your opponents/telling me why I should value your evidence over theirs I will not be happy. Don't just read evidence to me and expect me to do the work.
Don't add me to the email chain as a way to ignore speaking clearly.
I am a UC Davis student with a few years of experience in PF and Parli debate from high school so I'm excited to judge you! I am not a lay judge and will be judging your points and overall skills.
I may or may not flow, but please go in order. I will look for who has won arguments-wise, or I will go by who has better proved the standard (If there is one). I will particularly be looking at weighing impacts. Personally, I find weighing impact super important, so please do that. My expectation for each part of the debate has been posted below:
First Speaker Speech
- Pretty Standard
- You have fifteen seconds to finish your speech after your time is up
- Ask actually questions
- Don't just waste time asking stupid questions
- If your question is related to cards or sources, just check the card in Prep, don't ask them to read it out loud.
- 3 minutes long
- I will pay special attention to this speech; use it well!
- Weigh, Weigh, and Weigh! If your opponents don't weigh, and you do weigh, you will automatically be put up in my decision making for the round.
- 2 minutes long
- Anything you mention in this speech I will consider in my decision, so if you had something important, bring it up again here
- Like summary, Weigh!
- 3 minutes
- You can ask for cards here
- If your opponents ask for a card, you have 1.5 minutes to bring it up, or it will be dropped
- If I find your sources fishy or suspicious, I will check them
- If I catch you with fake sources, you will lose the round
- Don't search anything up during the debate
- Don't make things up during the debate
Speaker Points / Cheating
- Being formal and good etiquette will win you some speaker points
- If you get heating up or start yelling you will lose speaker points
- There is a fine line between provoking and straight-up bullying
- If you cheat in any way, You will get a significant deduction in speaker points.
- I will not tolerate, sexual, racial, or offensive statements of any manner.
- Any offensive comments will not only cause you to lose the round, but I will also report you to the tournament officials or tabroom.
Good luck with it and have fun with the debate!
*Any other information I bring up at the start of the debate is included in my paradigm.
I am a parent judge and you can assume that I will not know deep debate terminology. I will weigh your arguments based on the factors such as relevance, logic and likelihood. Things that matter to me: clarity of arguments (it does not matter how solid your argument is if you cannot explain it clearly) and politeness (focus on the ideas, not the person).
UPDATE FOR BERKELEY: I am a first time judge. Please do not speak fast or spread, as I will not understand you. If I do not understand your argument, I will not be able to vote for you. Additionally, please do not use debate jargon as I will not understand that either.
Parent and never have done debate. Please talk very slowly and explain everything clearly. Dont be rude in crossfire. Dont use any complex debate words. Please provide definitions for words or terms that a normal person wouldn't know as well.
I think that public forum is, at its core, the melding of sound argumentation and solid speaking. You should present not only well-structured, rational, strongly warranted arguments, but you should also do so in a way that can be relatable to whomever is in the back of the round.
That being said, I don't mind some speed - but be sure you are articulate and clear, especially with tags and authors. Sacrificing quality for quantity is a poor choice if you cannot handle (or your judge cannot handle) the speed. Make wise choices.
In terms of 'atypical' arguments. I think that it is very hard to run a K argument well in PF. I don't believe that it cannot be done, just that it is very rare. If you are running theory, then you better have extremely solid warrants and you should have it explained to the level of access of understanding fitting to this style of debate. DO NOT just read cards that you got from your Policy friends/teammates and call it a day. ALSO...YOUR ADVOCACY SHOULD MATCH YOUR ACTIONS. Do NOT use theory arguments as a cheap tool to surprise unwitting opponents and get the ballot when you have engaged in no actions that match the advocacy of your theory arguments. If you are running disclosure theory, there better be a history of you disclosing at EVERY round and you engaged in multiple forums, workshops, discussion boards where you are ACTIVELY engaged in increasing disclosure in a way that promotes education and fairness. If you get up and read disclosure in front of me and do not have this, it will be an automatic loss. I am not joking.
I think that framework is a solid strategy - if there is a purpose. Frequently teams have f/w just to have it and then don't touch it for the rest of the round. If it is there, then you should extend.
On the issue of extensions, be sure that your arguments are carried through the debate. Do not read at the beginning and then bring back up in the final focus and expect me to grant them to you.
Finally, there should be a clear advocacy in the round - and a clash between teams. I hate debates that are like ships passing in the night - no clash.
email chain: email@example.com
TLDR: I primarily debated Public-Forum in high school, so I am familiar with debate, but I am not a good judge for topicality/tricks/kritiks. If these arguments are read, I need extensive judge instruction and explanation. I will only vote for arguments I understand and can explain back to you!
Policy Arguments: I understand these and am comfortable judging these debates. Impact turn and DA vs Case debates are debates I enjoy very much. Counterplan debates I understand, but complex process counterplans (e.g. Consult, Delay, etc) I don't understand so please do not read them.
Kritiks: I am familiar with simple identity kritiks (e.g. Afropessimism, Settler Colonialism), but it's been a while since I've debated them. Explaining your theory of the world concisely and clearly is important for me voting for you. Please do impact calculus, root cause, and framing debate to win reasons for why the kritik outweighs or comes before the case.
Topicality/Theory: I'm not good at judging these debates and do not handle theory debates very well. That being said, I'm familiar with common theory arguments (e.g. conditionality, PICs, RVIs). Disclosure and paraphrase theory are fine.
Last but not least, remember to have fun!
Gordie O'Rorke (he/him)
- University of Texas '26 -- not debating
- Winston Churchill '22
- Put me on the email chain -- firstname.lastname@example.org
- I do not know this topic. Please explain acronyms, intricacies, etc. clearly. I am willing to listen to any arguments that aren't racist, homophobic, sexist, etc. Don't sacrifice clarity for speed--I don't care how good your arguments are if I can't understand them.
- I am tech>truth. You still need to extend arguments completely even if they're dropped.
*UT NOTE -- World Schools
i'd prefer you to clash and interact with arguments rather than prioritizing perfect speaking styles. this will help your overall points.
if you are reading evidence, please send it out.
models and countermodels must me mutually exclusive, otherwise i will be easily persuaded by one model probably accounting for a substantial part of the other.
poi's should be purposeful and not taken advantage of. don't be irritating during speeches.
Other Relevent Things:
- Not a fan of small talk.
- I prefer word docs over google docs and pdfs.
- Don't say "see-pee".
- Disclosure is good -- send your ev.
- Ok for it. I lean towards competing interps. Have an impact.
- Wildly arbitrary process cp's aren't my fav but I guess if you're good at it. Not good for intricate cp theory debates.
- No unique thoughts here. Love turns case args.
- Not familiar with niche lit bases and args. I prefer if you have an alt, but not necessary. I default to weighing the aff.
- Be in the direction of the topic. Love SSD and TVAs. I might get lost in deeply theoretical K v K debates.
- I am unfamiliar with the intricacies of these events. RVIs are a non-starter. I don't know what "tricks" are and I don't care to learn.
For email chains: email@example.com
Four years of Parliamentary Debate and Congress, as well as one year of Policy and Public Forum at San Dieguito Academy High School. Used to competing in traditional (more lay) Parli, but prefer to compete in circuit/flow as well as judging the latter. Spent a year at the POI Debate Institute at Berkeley. Below are my preferences, if you want me to expound upon them in greater detail, ask me before round. I'm a Junior at UC Berkeley studying Philosophy and Political Economy, so those topics are my area of expertise. My paradigm is my paradigm, if you think something is unfair feel free to let me know but don't expect me to change my mind without good reason.
Tech vs Truth:
It's a false dichotomy, and, in a perfect round, there should be no distinction between the two. But in the event that there is conflict, I'll probably default to tech. It varies from round to round, but more often than not tech provides greater equality in round between both aff and neg.
How I value args epistemically:
Theory > K > Regular Case
My reasoning is theoretical debates frame pretty much the entire rest of the round, and Ks, as unique as they are, are pretty much just a Disad. I default to the idea that debate ought be an educational event and not just a sport, and so I'm more sympathetic to theoretical arguments because they tie directly into that thesis. However, if the K directly attacks that thesis and critiques the fundamental assumptions of not just the aff, but also the debate, then I will weigh the K and the Theory against one another on equal footing.
I won't flow arguments that aren't extended. When you extend them, you also ought to explain the argument and not just mention it. This isn't a deal breaker, but it helps me remember what your argument was without having to go over my flow again.
Please try and weigh your arguments in the rebuttal/last speech. It helps me judge the round by condensing the main points of the debate.
I can flow at most, if not all, speeds on my laptop. If you're going too fast, I'll say clear. If you don't slow down, I'll repeat a couple of times but if you don't adjust I will stop flowing until you do. If the other team calls clear, you better show them the same courtesy you show me. If they're clearly being absurd, I'll call them out on it, stop time, and tell them to show you more respect.
If your CP doesn't prove mutual exclusivity, I'm just not going to flow it. Simple as that. A counterplan that can be done in conjunction with the plan is not a counterplan, it is a non sequitur. Other than that, go to town, Counterplans make the debate incredibly fun.
However, I'll flow PICs if your opponents don't run theory against it.
If you're going to cite any data, especially economic data, you need to have very solid links. Don't just tell me that employment increased after the passing of NAFTA, tie it directly to NAFTA. Explain how free trade led to a growth in positions for the service industry. If you just mention a figure without linking it to the trend you're talking about, I won't consider it. It's in your best interest to explain yourself as fully as possible.
I'll accept any theoretical argument, so long as it's substantiated. This is certainly the area where I feel the most comfortable judging in terms of non-standard arguments.
I'll vote on pretty much any standard negative kritiks, just make sure you fully explain the argument.
I /can/ vote on performance Ks, I just prefer not to. Make it very clear what the argument is to the other team, if not it's just abusive. If both me and your opponent don't understand the performance, then I'll probably hand the other team my ballot.
Generally, I'm not voting on Aff Ks. They're abusive. If you want to run it, tell me beforehand and give me the broadstrokes. I'll more often than not just say no, but I'm open to having my mind changed.
I'll vote on a prioris and skepticisms, so long as they're substantiated, but I refuse to vote on theory spikes. Theory is an inherently reactionary argument, it's meant to respond to something your opponent has already done, a theory spike is counterintuitive to the purpose of a theoretical argument.
I don't really have a set system for determining speaks, but I assign speaks entirely based on rhetoric and actual speaking ability. Think of it like a bellcurve.
25 = 2.1nd Percentile of speakers
26 = 16.1th Percentile of speakers
27 = 50th Percentile of speakers
28 = 84th Percentile of speakers
29 = 98.9th Percentile of speakers
30= 99.9th Percentile of speakers
Justify. Justify. Justify.
This is a big pet peeve of mine. If you don't justify your weighing mechanism, and the other team does, I'm using theirs. If neither do, I'll either choose or use neither. If you don't like that, then you better provide me with a weighing mechanism and justify. Justify. Justify.
Speaking of pet peeves:
1) Please signpost. It makes it much easier for me to flow. I don't care if it sounds stunted, just let me know what argument you're making, and what specific section of it we're currently at.
2) Don't be vulgar. I get it in the context of a performance, but otherwise there's no place for it in debate.
3) Politeness. I'm fine with you getting provocative and even a bit heated, so long as it's proportional to the arguments your opponents make (i.e. if they're lying about something, misconstruing data to a gross extent, or saying something bigoted). If your opponents say something stupid and bigoted and you call them out for it feel free to be as heated as you want. I'm not gonna punish you for it.
4) That being said, don't be arrogant, especially if you're winning the round. This won't cost you the ballot, but it betrays bad character and will probably end up being reflected in your speaks.
Seasoned ex-public forum debater. Currently a law school student and PF varsity coach for MVLA.
Judging Philosophy: Tech > truth
I'm down for anything as long as it's warranted and linked properly. Please do impact analysis/weighing to make my life easier. The more messy a round is, the more likely my flow becomes the wild west.
Growing List of Pet Peeves:
- Even tho I'm tech over truth, if you break evidence ethics, either drop the card or it's an auto-drop from me. I don't really care about paraphrasing but will evaluate paraphrasing theory.
- Don't make evidence calls longer than they should be.
- I'm good with speed and if I can't keep up, I'll say "clear".
- I don't care about being on the email chain. I'll call for evidence if it becomes an issue after round to evaluate.
- I make faces, I'm sorry.
- I don't time because it slows my flow, but please flag overtime.
- I like a spicy debate but don't be mean and condescending about it.
- I half (don't really) listen to crossfire so if it's important, bring it up in speech.
- Please don't try to talk to me before the round starts; more than likely, I'm half asleep.
- Don't mess with the rooms; that's just rude.
- Don't try to extend everything in summary and final focus, collapsing is your friend.
- Don't whisper during your opponent's speech; just pass notes.
- Good theory + Ks are aight. Bad/poorly done theory + Ks are an auto drop. TW stuff is my least favorite to evaluate (this means don't run it).
- To get access to your impacts -> you need to provide me the internal link and it's not enough to be a surface-level link.
- I usually disclose and if I don't, that means the round was messy and I have to clean up the flow (that's a bad sign).
talk slow; i'm a lay parent judge
assume i don't know the topic; i flow links, warrants, and impacts -> give me a good warrant, and i'll vote on your impact
I did PF in high school, TOC qualled 2011 and 2012. I've judged nat circuit PF for the last couple years, and also judge middle school parli to help out my cousin. I occasionally judge congress, but wouldn't consider myself an expert in the event at all. Just happy to help the community.
#1 Tip: I don't know the topic as well as you do, especially early in a tournament
- Commons Arguments:Often times, later in competitions, people get lazy with how they're running common arguments because they expect judges and opponents to know the gist of it. I do not lol.
- Acronyms: My acronym literacy is next to nothing. If you're going to use an acronym in round, especially for a foreign policy thing (ASEAN, NPT, PMC,... there are tons), please make it clear what the thing is and the letters that go with it so I know what you're talking about. Do this the first time you bring up the acronym -- if it is in case, open up your case right now and add in the spelled out version of the acronym.
Things you can/should do in PF:
Sign post well
Speak as quickly as you want, but if you speak so fast/with poor diction I can't write down/don't understand your arguments I won't vote based on it. This means if you're running complicated arguments that are hard to follow/have lots of links, it's in your best interest to slow down so I don't miss anything.
It's in your best interest to distill things to voters in summary and final focus. Saying "i'm starting with their case, then my case" this late in the round probably means nothing to me, because I know more about the arguments being discussed than where they came from. It also means your speech will be a lot easier to follow instead of having to keep cross applying stuff that was said in random places.
If the round gets too messy/hard to follow, I might miss arguments, and you might not be happy with my RFD.
Treat your opponents and all arguments they make with respect.
Not a fan of when people say "for a brief off time roadmap" prior to giving the roadmap. Just tell me the roadmap, i'll assume it's off time. I'll start time when you start talking about the arguments. In rebuttal, just tell me which case you're starting with. In summary and final focus, just tell me the voters. Examples
- Rebuttal: I'll be starting with the pro case and then the neg. Is everybody ready? [speech]
- Summary/Final Focus: I'll be talking about key voters: Economic impact, Justice, and Global warming. Is everybody ready? [begin speech]
I really don't like keeping time, I trust you all to do a good job. Seems like this is harder online, so I will do my best to keep time, but don't make my life difficult.
If you're sending links instead of cut cards to your opponents, it's disrespectful to them and their prep time.
When I call for evidence if I have to read the whole article and you're misrepresenting any of it, I won't vote on it. I will look for ways you are misrepresenting it, and will definitely vote against it if the other team points it out, and will probably vote against it even if the other team doesn't point it out..
Nuclear war will pretty much never happen, or at the very least is unpredictable. If your opponent says you don't provide a threshold or uniqueness (and you don't), I won't vote on it.
In public forum, I need the summary to be a line by line comparison between both worlds where the stark differences exist and what issues need to be prioritized. Remember in the collapse, you cannot go for everything. Final focus needs to be a big pic concept for me. Feel free to use policy terms such as magnitude, scope, probability. I do evaluate evidence and expect you all to do the research accordingly but also understand how to analyze and synthesize it. Countering back with a card is not debating. The more complicated the link chain, the more probability you may lose your judge. Keep it tight and simple and very direct.
Just know that theory arguments confuse me, and I probably won't understand if you run theory.
Don't speak too fast, I won't understand you, and I won't vote for you if I don't know what you say.
I place a lot emphasis on eye contact and facial expression. Use your hand motions to express your self! Please talk to your audience, not to the computer screen or to your notes. Please don’t hold a computer in your hands- Instead, keep your hands free so that you can use them to express yourself. Please don’t keep looking at your computer screen and read straight off the screen with a monotone voice. You should know your facts well enough that you can make eye contact and only look once in a while at your notes. Please be courteous and kind to your opponent, and show good manners. Be honest in your facts and your sources. Present a well organized and convincing argument. Most of all, enjoy the debate !!!! I look forward to judging! Good work!!!
LES PHILLIPS NUEVA PF PARADIGM
I have judged all kinds of debate for decades, beginning with a long career as a circuit policy and LD coach. Speed is fine. I judge on the flow. Dropped arguments carry full weight. At various times I have voted (admittedly, in policy) for smoking tobacco good, Ayn Rand Is Our Savior, Scientology Good, dancing and drumming trumps topicality, and Reagan-leads-to-Communism-and-Communism-is-good. (I disliked all of these positions.)
If an argument is in final focus, it should be in summary; if it's in summary, it should be in rebuttal,. I am very stingy regarding new responses in final focus. Saying something for the first time in grand cross does not legitimize its presence in final focus.
NSDA standards demand dates out loud on all evidence. That is a good standard; you must do that. I am giving up on getting people to indicate qualifications out loud, but I am very concerned about evidence standards in PF (improving, but still not good). I will bristle and/or throw my pen if I hear "according to Princeton" as a citation. Know who your authors are; know what their articles say; know their warrants.
Please please terminalize impacts. Do this especially when you are talking about a nebulosity called "The Economy." Economic growth is not intrinsically good; it depends on where the growth goes and who is helped. Sometimes economic growth is very bad. "Increases tensions" is not a terminal impact; what happens after the tensions increase? When I consider which makes the world a better place, I will be looking for prevention of unnecessary death and/or disease, who lifts people out of poverty, who lessens the risk of war, who prevents gross human rights violations. I'm also receptive to well-developed framework arguments that may direct me to some different decision calculus.
Teams don't get to decide that they want to skip grand cross (or any other part of the round).
I am happy to vote on well warranted theory arguments (or well warranted responses) and am receptive to Kritikal arguments in PF.
LES PHILLIPS NUEVA PARLI PARADIGM
I have judged all kinds of debate for decades, beginning with a long career as a circuit policy and LD coach. I have judged parli less than other formats, but my parli judging includes several NPDA tournaments, including two NPDA national tournaments, and most recent NPDI tournaments. Speed is fine, as are all sorts of theoretical, Kritikal, and playfully counterintuitive arguments. I judge on the flow. Dropped arguments carry full weight. I do not default to competing interpretations, though if you win that standard I will go there. Redundant, blippy theory goo is irritating. I have a fairly high threshold for deciding that an argument is abusive. Once upon a time people though I was a topicality hack, and I am still more willing to pull the trigger on that argument than on other theoretical considerations. The texts of advocacies are binding; slow down for these, as necessary.
I was trained in formats where the judge can be counted on to ignore new arguments in late speeches, so I am sometimes annoyed by POOs, especially when they resemble psychological warfare.
Please please terminalize impacts. Do this especially when you are talking about The Economy. "Helps The Economy" is not an impact. Economic growth is not intrinsically good; it depends on where the growth goes and who is helped. Sometimes economic growth is very bad. "Increases tensions" is not a terminal impact; what happens after the tensions increase?
When I operate inside a world of fiat, I consider which makes the world a better place, I will be looking for prevention of unnecessary death and/or disease, who lifts people out of poverty, who lessens the risk of war, who prevents gross human rights violations. "Fiat is an illusion" is not exactly breaking news; you definitely don't have to debate in that world. I'm receptive to "the role of the ballot is intellectual endorsement of xxx" and other pre/not-fiat world considerations.
LES PHILLIPS NUEVA LD PARADIGM
For years I coached and judged fast circuit LD, but I have not judged LD since 2013, and I have not coached on the current topic at all. Top speed, even if you're clear, may challenge me; lack of clarity will be very unfortunate. I try to be a blank slate (like all judges, I will fail to meet this goal entirely). I like the K, though I get frustrated when I don't know what the alternative is (REJECT is an OK alternative, if that's what you want to do). I have a very high bar for rejecting a debater rather than an argument, and I do not default to competing interpretations; I would like to hear a clear abuse story. I am generally permissive in re counterplan competitiveness and perm legitimacy. RVIs are OK if the abuse is clear, but if you would do just as well to simply tell me why the opponent's argument is garbage, that would be appreciated.
*Varsity Speaks I changed my paradigm to include this last season mid-tournament and I'm keeping it this season. Boost in speaker points when you compliment your partner in-speech - the more fun or earnest, the higher the speaks boost :) I've found this gives some much needed levity in tense rounds.
*Online: Please go slower online. I'll let you know if you cut out. I'll try on my end to be as fair as possible within the limits of keeping the round reasonably on time. If the tournament has a forfeit policy, I'll go by those.
Background: 3 years of college super trad policy (stock issues/basic T & CPs) & some parli. I coach PF, primarily middle school/novice and a handful of younger varsity teams. She/her.
Firm on paraphrasing bad. I used to reward teams for the bare minimum of reading cut cards but then debaters would bold-faced lie and I would become the clown emoji in real time. I'm open to hearing arguments that penalize paraphrasing, whether it's treating them as analytics that I shouldn't prefer over your read cards or I should drop the team that paraphrases entirely.
Disclosure is good because evidence ethics in PF are bad, but I probably won't vote for disclosure theory. I'm more likely to reward you in speaks for doing it (ex. sharing speech docs) than punish a team for not.
“Defense is sticky.” No it isn’t.
As a result, frontline whatever you want to go for in summary in second rebuttal - first summaries, call it out if not.
If you take longer than a minute to exchange a card you just read, it starts coming out of your prep. I don't believe in the trend of judges I've seen that get upset at the team asking for cards rather than the team that can't produce the cards they just read. It's your stuff, you either have it or don't.
If it's in final focus, it better be in summary.
Collapsing, grouping, and implicating = good, underrated, easy path to my ballot! Dumping as many blippy, unwarranted responses as you can = overrated, not fun, will probably annoy me.
Messy debates make me sad. I think cleaner debates collapse earlier rather than later.
I'm super into strategic concessions. "It's okay that they win this, because we win here instead and that matters more bc..."
I have a soft spot for framing. I'm most interested when the opposing team links in (ex. team A runs "prioritize extinction," team B replies, "yes, and that's us,"), but I'll definitely listen to "prioritize x instead" args, too. Just warrant, compare, etc.
Other "progressive pf" - I have minimal experience judging it. I'm not saying you can't run these debates or I'm unwilling to listen to them, but I'm saying be aware and slow down if I'm the one evaluating it. Update: So far this season, I've voted down trigger warning theory and voted for paraphrasing theory.
I'll accept new weighing in final focus but I don't think it's strategic - you should probably start in summary to increase my chances of voting off of it.
All else fails, I will 1) look at the weighing, then 2), evaluate the line-by-line to see if I give you reasonable access to those impacts to begin with. Your opponents would have to really slip up somewhere to win the weighing but lose the round, but it's not impossible. I get really sad if the line-by-line is so convoluted that I only vote on the weighing - give me a clean place to vote. I'll be happy if you do the extra work to tell me why your weighing mechanism is better than theirs (I should prefer scope over mag because x, etc).
I’m a better judge for you if you're more trad/LARP. The more "progressive," the more you should either A) strike me if possible, or B) explain it to me slowly and simply - I’m open to hearing it if you’re willing to adjust how you argue it. Send a speech doc and assume I'm not as well-read as you on the topic literature.
If it's before 9am, assume I learned what debate was 10 minutes ago.
Open/varsity - time yourselves. Keep each other honest, but don't be the prep police.
On speed generally - I can do "fast" PF just fine, but if it's anything that resembles spreading in another event, I'm not your best bet.
Content warnings should be read for graphic content. Have an anonymous opt-out.
Have warrants. Compare warrants. Tell me why your args matter/what to do with them.
Don't post-round. Debaters should especially think about who you choose to post-round on a panel when decisions echo one another.
Having a sense of humor and being friendly/accommodating toward your opponents is the easiest way to get good speaks from me. Be kind, have fun, laugh a little (but not at anyone's expense!!), and I'll have no problem giving you top speaks.
If I smile, you did something right. If I nod, I'm following what you say. I will absolutely tilt my head and make a face if you lost me or you're treading on thin ice on believability of whatever you're saying. If I just look generally unhappy - that's just my default face. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I am a lay judge. I would prefer if debaters spoke slowly and clearly.
I have an Electrical Engineering degree and work in semiconductor and software development.
I am looking for a logical extension of arguments supported by evidence to support your contentions leading to the impact.
please email all documents
My e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I work in the Technology Sector in the Bay Area. I judge for Dougherty Valley, and though I am quite novice at judging, I have watched a lot of rounds and have a good understanding of the format and logistics.
As a heads-up, I plan to take notes during the debate, but it is better if you treat me as a "lay" judge.
I have a good amount of general knowledge on the topics provided for these events, but may not know the specifics of your topic.
a) Speak loudly and clearly. Please no "spreading". I will not be able to understand what you are saying, so speaking slower will allow me to process your arguments more clearly.
b) Be polite and fair to your opponent. If you are outright rude (ie. yelling, mocking, laughing, cutting opponents off) you will not get good speaks. Also, please note that team work is key and I find that the best debaters can work together efficiently.
c) Explain arguments thoroughly. Remember I do have some background in topics but not in debate so terms such as "uniqueness" should be more elaborated upon. Another important aspect is organization so try to state clearly what you will be talking about. (ie. Next, lets talk about the first contention.)
I will try to be as fair as possible and explain my decision in the best way I can using the above criterion as well as the debate itself. I will not carry personal biases into the round.
I will vote for the team that explains their warrants and why their impacts matter to me.
If your arguments are too complicated to be understood by the average person, then I will probably be less likely to vote for you.
Additionally, presentation will probably also influence my decision. Be confident, if you make it seem like you are losing then I will think that.
I expect teams to time their speeches themselves. But, if you want me to time, I can do that as well.
If you think that I should look at your/your opponent's evidence, please let me know.
I'm a lay parent judge, here are some important things to keep note of:
- Speak slowly, I will not try to listen to your arguments if you do not speak slowly
- No new arguments after summary
- Be kind and respectful - debate should be a safe and fun space for everyone
- Absolutely no spreading
I will not be disclosing results :)
I did Parli and PF in high school for 3 years. I am a Software Engineer and studied Software Engineering at San Jose State University.
Add me to the email chain before the round starts: email@example.com
Before I begin, I want to credit my friend and debate partner, Vishnu for a very articulate and concise paradigm.
Don't spread. That would be ideal.
It will serve you best to think of me as a deeply experienced flay judge rather than a circuit judge.
Preflow before the round. When you walk into the room you should be ready to start ASAP.
I will NOT entertain post-rounding 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 that 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 truth generally but I cannot buy egregiously unreasonable arguments. Good warrants and link chains are key to convincing me that your arguments are indeed reasonable.
I'll accept theory on the condition that there's real demonstrated abuse in the round. Norms are fake and breaking norms in most cases is not abuse. I'll go by what is in the explicit CHSSA/NSDA rules. Besides, how do you expect a debater to know about these norms at their first invitational?
I generally dislike theory shells like Nebel or hyperspecific stuff. Like I said earlier, you have to do a lot of work to convince me in these shells that there was abuse so you're better off not going down that route. Not a big fan of disclosure either. I think performance Ks, K Affs, RVIs and tricks are a byproduct of debaters seeking to win this "game" of debate. You win not by utilizing ridiculous strategies but by genuinely convincing me of your argument. You're better off not even going down this route. If you are running a K, explain your author and phil thoroughly. You can't expect me to know your author and what your K is.
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. I also like how traditional debaters debate philosophy as well. Framework debate is good but I'm not a huge fan of value/VC debate.
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.
I am a parent judge. This is my first season judging debate and I have tried my best to be as prepared as possible, but I am a lay judge.
I prefer when the speaker talks at a moderate speed. Please do not spread as I will be taking notes. Additionally, clear signposting and thorough explanations of jargon are appreciated. The better I understand your arguments, the better I can judge.
Please state your name, school, and speaker position before the beginning of every speech. This helps me give accurate speaker points.
If you feel that an offtime roadmap would help me follow what you are saying, please keep it brief (no more than 15 seconds). In a panel, use your best judgement based on the other judges' preferences.
I have a bit of general knowledge on the topic, but do not assume I know as much as you do. I will keep my bias out of the round.
I will not be keeping track of speech or prep time. Set timers for yourself and your opponents.
Hi I'm Rohan. I debated PF at Harker in high school. If you have an email chain please add me (firstname.lastname@example.org) but I won't look at evidence unless you tell me to.
If you have 10 minutes, I highly recommend watching this video on learning how to give summary speeches. I'd also recommend the rest of the videos on their channel for learning other PF skills.
Here's how I judge a round
- I see who's winning the weighing debate
- If that team is also winning their case, they win the round
- If they aren't winning their case, I evaluate the other team's case. If the other team wins their case, they win the round.
- If neither team clearly wins their case, I have to personally intervene to choose a winner (This will probably not go your way)
Things I like to see
- Weighing (Tell me why your arguments are more important than your opponent's arguments)
- Signposting (Tell me where on the flow you are; numbering your responses; ex: "We have 3 responses to our opponent's 2nd contention. First, ...")
- Extending your arguments in summary, making sure to not only focus on your own argument but also to address your opponent's responses to that argument (frontlining)
- Frontlining in second rebuttal (This isn't necessary, but it would be to your advantage especially if there were turns read on your case in first rebuttal)
- Not stealing prep (Don't prep outside of prep time like when your opponents are pulling up evidence)
- Not running Kritiks, theory, or other progressive arguments unless it's absolutely necessary
- Speaking at a conversational pace or slightly faster but nothing more than that, otherwise I may not be able to flow your arguments.
- Extra: I'll listen to cross but it's mostly for speaker points and won't affect my decision unless you bring up concessions in a speech.
“Victory comes from finding opportunities in problems” - Sun Tzu, Art of War
I am open to all arguments. I really want debaters to explain why their specific argument is better than the other side. If you are arguing theory be sure to make sure I know where the abuse/ violation is and why it is more important than other arguments in the round. I am fine with speed in person but I have found that sound quality from mics and speakers are huge variables that can cause problems and although you might be clear in person it may not be coming across clear on my end and I will let you know and ask you to slow down.
El Camino Real Charter High School
English Department Chair
Speech and Debate Coach
I currently teach Honors British Literature and AP Language and have taught almost every English course possible at the high school level, including AP Language. I have over 8 years experience teaching English at El Camino Real.
Please share your opinions or beliefs about how the following play into a debate round:
Although speech delivery is very important for students, learning how to support their argument with facts and passion is just as important, if not more important. With the time constraints imposed on students they often speak very quickly so it is important to emphasize their supporting information very clearly and concisely. What generally helps me is if the student begins with the big picture so I can tell where they are heading, and following that up with line by line details, allowing some time for me to absorb the information and take notes. They should also be prepared for their opposition by stating any known contradictions and addressing them head on. Their final focus should repeat their strongest arguments and why I should vote for their side. Also, remember to repeat these strongest arguments whenever they speak again.
I find that sometimes students try to bring in too many arguments. Then they spend too much time defending these lesser arguments and lose focus on the big picture. Remember, the opposition will try to undermine your support so the fewer you have the easier it will be to stay focused on the facts you have to support your argument.
As far as style, first and foremost, be yourself. Be enthusiastic about your topic. Be confident in your argument, don't let the opposition distract you by hammering on one of your arguments, restate your facts and then reinforce your other arguments. If the other team or person does something you feel is against the rules, don't argue with them during your time. Wait for Cross and then mention it but don't let yourself be drawn into an argument at that time. State your concern and let the judge take it into consideration. I have seen a lot of time wasted as students argue the point during the speech process. Also, a few moments of silence is OK. You don't have to fill the time with "ummm" or something similar. You are allowed to take a moment to think out your answer or your next argument.
Finally, remember, you don't have to prove the opposition is wrong, only that your argument will lead to the best outcome. This should be the focus throughout. Yes, it is a good idea to point out flaws in their argument, but it is more important to reiterate your argument and why your point is the best outcome for the issue at hand.
I'm currently an undergrad at UC Berkeley and an assistant Speech and Debate coach. I'm a former debater who mainly competed in Parliamentary debate for Claremont High School. Alongside that, I've competed in and/or judged LD, PF, Worlds, BQ, Congress, and several speech events (mainly Impromptu/Extemp). I always appreciate a competitive and respectful round so I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say!
General Debate Notes
Please focus on your links! I believe they are just as/more important than your cards/impacts. Arguments that depend on well-thought out logic are always more interesting to listen to than a random card without much analysis from the debater. I weigh magnitude and probability heavily, meaning I will not vote for your nuclear holocaust argument just because you tell me to based on a 0.0000000001% chance. Please provide a roadmap and signpost in each speech! I want to be able to flow your case/refutations as accurately as possible and it's difficult when you spew random facts at me for 7 minutes. Remember, you could have the most beautiful argument to ever be conceived of in human history, but if I don't know where/how to flow it I can't give you credit. Lastly, be respectful! Especially during POIs and cross. That also means avoid making faces or facepalming while your camera is on, I'll probably tank speaks if a debater is being disrespectful throughout the round.
Kritiks & Theory
I'm open to hearing these arguments as long as you can justify them. There are definitely rounds where these arguments are necessary and will impact my decision. I'm not the most familiar with K's so please explain each component to me! If there's one thing I hate more than spreading, it's frivolous theory/k's that you wrote at camp 5 months ago and decided to shoe into your case. Make sure the K actually makes sense for the specific round, not one that you already decided to run before the topic is even announced. (It's an exclusionary tactic against new debaters and makes me sad ). Don't feel pressured to run these arguments either, you don't need to use jargon or this structure to explain why a definition or argument is abusive!
I'm pretty generous when it comes to speaks. If you make me laugh I'm probably going to boost your speaks too. Be respectful to your opponents, being rude is an easy way for me to dock your speaks without feeling very bad. Don't Spread, Don't Spread, Don't Spread.
If you have any other questions feel free to ask them in round! :)
Debate Experience: TOC Champion PF 2010, 4th at British Parli University National Championships 2014, Oxford Debate Union competitive debater 2015-2016 (won best floor speech), LGBTQIA+ Officer at the Oxford Debate Union.
NSDA PF Topic Committee Member: If you have any ideas, topic areas, or resolutions in mind for next season please send them to my email below.
Coaching Experience: Director of Debate at Fairmont Prep 2018-Current, Senior Instructor and PF Curriculum Director at the Institute for Speech and Debate, La Altamont Lane 2018 TOC, GW 2010-2015. British Parli coach and lecturer for universities including DU, Oxford, and others.
Education: Masters from Oxford University '16 - Dissertation on the history of the First Amendment. Religion and Philosophy BA at DU '14. Other research areas include Buddhism, comparative religion, conlaw, First Amendment law, free speech, freedom of expression, art law, media law, & legal history. AP Macroeconomics Teacher too so don't make econ args up.
2023 Winter Data Update: Importing my Tabroom data I've judged 651 rounds since 2014 with a 53% Pro and 47% Con vote balance. There may be a slight subconscious Aff bias it seems. My guess is that I may subconsciously give more weight to changing the status quo as that's the core motivator of debate but no statistically meaningful issues are present.
Website: I love reading non-fiction, especially features. Check out my free website Rusk Reads for good article recs.
I see this as an analogue to a lot of previous econ topics. Like UBI there might be a lot of link debates. If I have two competing economic warrants (moral hazard will happen because x and won't happen because y) I need to know why your warrant is more intuitive or true. By definition that's hard to do analytically so I think the best way to resolve economic debates is empirics. Compare studies, methodologies, sources. Break the clash on why your evidence is better. Remember post-dating works much better when you explain why their evidence is outdated vs just saying it's less recent.
I think it's silly that judges don't own up to having federal student loans. I voted basically 50/50 at Mineapple at the topic despite having them so no bias either way. I will never intervene but just know it hurts my soul when I hear "the SAVE plan isn't even live until next year" when I'm literally in the SAVE program right now lol. Y'all are cutting a lot of extinction cards and don't even know the basics of IDR, PSLF, and SAVE...
I consider myself tech>truth but constantly lament the poor state of evidence ethics, power tagging, clipping, and more. Further, I know stakes can be high in a bubble, bid, or important round but let's still come out of the debate feeling as if it was a positive experience. Life is too short for needless suffering. Please be kind, compassionate, and cordial.
What I want to see: I'm empathetic to major technical errors in my ballots. In a perfect world I vote for the team who does best on tech and secondarily on truth. I tend to resolve clash most easily when you give explicit reasons why either a) your evidence is comparatively better but also when you tell me why b) your warranting is comparatively better. Obviously doing both compounds your chances at winning my ballot. I have recently become more sensitive to poor extensions in the back half. Please have UQ where necessary, links, internal links, and impacts. Weighing introduced earlier the better. Weighing is your means to minimize intervention.
Weighing Unlike Things: I need to know how to weigh two comparatively unlike things. If you are weighing some economic impact against a non-economic impact like democracy how do I defer to one over the other? Scope, magnitude, probability etc. I strongly prefer impact debates on the probability/reasonability of impacts over their magnitude and scope. Obviously try to frame impacts using all available tools. I am very amicable to non-trad framing of impacts but you need to extend the warrants and evidence.
Weighing Like Things: Please have warrants and engage comparatively between yourself and your opponent. Obviously methodological and evidentiary comparison is nice too as I mentioned earlier. I love crossfires or speech time where we discuss the warrants behind our cards and why that's another reason to prefer your arg over your opponent.
Don't be a DocBot: I love that you're prepared and have enumerated overviews, blocks, and frontlines. I love heavy evidence and dense debates with a lot of moving parts. But if it sounds like you're just reading a doc without specific or explicit implications to your opponent's contentions you are not contributing anything meaningful to the round. Tell me why your responses interact. If they are reading an arg about the environment and just read an A2 Environment Non-Unique without explaining why your evidence or warranting is better then this debate will suffer.
I'm comfortable if you want to take the debate down kritical, theoretical, and/or pre-fiat based roads. I think framework debates be them pre or post fiat are awesome. Voted on many K's before too. Here be dragons. I will say though, over time I've become increasingly tired of opportunistic, poor quality, and unfleshed out theory in PF. But in the coup of the century, I have been converted to the position that disclosure theory and para theory is a viable path to the ballot if you win your interp. I do have questions I am ruminating on after the summer doxxing of judges and debaters whether certain interps of disc are viable and am interested to see how that can be explored in a theory round. I would highly discourage running trigger warning theory in front of me. See thoughts below on that. All variables being equal I would prefer post-fiat stock topic-specific rounds but in principle remain as tabula rasa as I can on disc and paraphrasing theory.
What needs to be frontlined in second rebuttal? Turns. Not defense unless you have time. If you want offense in the final focus then extend it through the summary.
Defense is not sticky between rebuttal and final focus. Aka if defense is not in summary you can't extend it in final focus. I've flipped on this recently. I've found the debate is hurt by the removal of the defense debate in summary and second final focus can extend whatever random defense it wants or whatever random frontlines to defense. This gives the second speaking teams a disproportionate advantage and makes the debate needlessly more messy.
I will pull cards on two conditions. First, if it becomes a key card in the round and the other team questions the validity of the cut, paraphrasing, or explanation of the card in the round. Second, if the other team never discusses the merits of their opponents card the only time I will ever intervene and call for that evidence is if a reasonable person would know it's facially a lie.
Calling for your opponent's cards. It should not take more than 1 minute to find case cards. Do preflows before the round. Smh y'all.
If you spread that's fine. Just be prepared to adjust if I need to clear or provide speech docs to your opponents to allow for accessibility and accommodation.
My favorite question in cx is: Why? For example, "No I get that's what your evidence says but why?"
Germs are scary. I don't like to shake hands. It's not you! It's me! [Before covid times this was prophetic].
I don't like to time because it slows my flow in fast rounds but please flag overtime responses in speechs and raise your phone. Don't interrupt or use loud timers.
Ramblings on Trigger Warning Theory
Let me explain why I am writing this. This isn't because I'm right and you're wrong. I'm not trying to convince you. Nor should you cite this formally in round to win said round. Rather, a lot of you care so much about debate and theory in particular gets pretty personal fairly quickly that I want to explain why my hesitancy isn't personal to you either. I am not opposing theory as someone who is opposed to change in Public Forum.
- First, I would highly discourage running trigger warning theory in front of me. My grad school research and longstanding work outside of debate has tracked how queer, civil rights advocates, religious minorities, and political dissidents have been extensively censored over time through structural means. The suppression and elimination of critical race theory and BLM from schools and universities is an extension of this. I have found it very difficult to be tabula rasa on this issue. TW/anonymous opt outs are welcome if you so wish to include them, that is your prerogative, but like I said the lack of one is not a debate I can be fair on. Let me be clear. I do not dismiss that "triggers" are real. I do not deny your lived experience on face nor claim all of you are, or even a a significant number of you, are acting in bad faith. This is always about balancing tests. My entire academic research for over 8 years was about how structural oppressors abuse these frameworks of "sin," "harm," "other," to squash dissidents, silence suffragettes, hose civil rights marchers, and imprison queer people because of the "present danger they presented in their conduct or speech." I also understand that some folks in the literature circles claim there is a double bind. You are opting out of trigger warning debates but you aren't letting me opt out of debates I don't want to have either. First, I will never not listen to or engage in this debate. My discouragement above is rooted in my deep fear that I will let you down because I can't be as fair as I would be on another issue. I tell students all the time tabula rasa is a myth. I still think that. It's a goal we strive for to minimize intervention because we will never eliminate it. Second, I welcome teams to still offer tw and will not penalize you for doing so. Third, discussions on SV, intersectionality, and civil rights are always about trade offs. Maybe times will change but historically more oppression, suppression, and suffering has come from the abuse of the your "speech does me harm" principle than it benefits good faith social justice champions who want to create a safe space and a better place. If you want to discuss this empirical question (because dang there are so many sources and this is an appeal to my authority) I would love to chat about it.
Next, let me explain some specific reasons why I am resistant to TW theory in debate using terms we use in the literature. There is a longstanding historical, philosophical, and queer/critical theory concern on gatekeeper shift. If we begin drawing more and more abstract lines in terms of what content causes enough or certain "harm" that power can and will be co-opted and abused by the equally more powerful. Imagine if you had control over what speech was permitted versus your polar opposite actor in values. Now imagine they, via structural means, could begin to control that power for themselves only. In the last 250 years of the US alone I can prove more instances than not where this gatekeeping power was abused by government and powerful actors alike. I am told since this has changed in the last twenty years with societal movements so should we. I don't think we have changed that significantly. Just this year MAUS, a comic about the Holocaust, was banned in a municipality in Jan 22. Toni Morrison was banned from more than a dozen school districts in 2021 alone. PEN, which is a free press and speech org, tracked more than 125 bills, policies, or resolutions alone this year that banned queer, black, feminist, material be them books, films, or even topics in classrooms, libraries, and universities. Even in some of the bills passed and proposed the language being used is under the guise of causing "discomfort." "Sexuality" and discussions of certain civil rights topics is stricken from lesson plans all together under these frameworks. These trends now and then are alarming.
I also understand this could be minimizing the trauma you relive when a specific topic or graphic description is read in round. I again do not deny your experience on face ever. I just cannot comfortably see that framework co-opted and abused to suppress the mechanisms or values of equality and equity. So are you, Gabe, saying because the other actors steal a tool and abuse that tool it shouldn't be used for our shared common goals? Yes, if the powerful abuse that tool and it does more harm to the arc of history as it bends towards justice than I am going to oppose it. This can be a Heckler's Veto, Assassin's Veto, Poisoning The Well, whatever you want to call it. Even in debate I have seen screenshots of actual men discussing how they would always pick the opt out because they don't want to "debate girls on women issues in front of a girl judge." This is of course likely an incredibly small group but I am tired of seeing queer, feminist, or critical race theory based arguments being punted because of common terms or non-graphic descriptions. Those debates can be so enriching to the community and their absence means we are structurally disadvantaged with real world consequences that I think outweigh the impacts usually levied against this arg. I will defend this line for the powerless and will do so until I die.
All of these above claims are neither syllogisms or encyclopedias of events. I am fallible and so are those arguments. Hence let us debate this but just know my thoughts.
Like in my disclaimer on the other theory shell none of these arguments are truisms just my inner and honest thoughts to help you make strategic decisions in the round.
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.
UPDATE FOR WSD @ TFA:
I am pretty new to world's but I judged every single round from prelims to finals at the Berkeley tournament, so my experience is not null.
Big things for me: I like clash, I want yall to answer the question, and I reward good on the spot analysis of your opponents argument, don't get so caught up in your case that your forget to answer your opponent's argument. Also I am fine with speed, but I don't think its necessary in worlds and honestly I prefer speech's that are stylistic and given like a PA. Please let me know if you have any questions and congrats on making it to state!
IE: I am pretty open to any stylistic choices or preparations of a speech/script, it is an Interpretation after all, so creative choices are welcome!
Extemp- You should have ample amount of evidence for the three main claims you decide to make. Please have your speech as structured as possible as it makes it easier for me to follow along and judge. It’s better for your speech to run 5 minutes, but be clear and conscie than for you to stay up there for seven minutes rambling on.
OO/INFO- There should be at least three sources in your speech. I don’t mind when you try and break the very formulaic structure of OO or info, but I should be able to easily follow along. I.E. you dont have to go “But first, then, finally” but hey whatver works for you, works for me, speak clear, be confident, and have fun up there.
HI- Use your space, HI is about physical humor as much as its about the jokes you are telling! Racist/misogynistic/Xenophobia etc humor is not funny. It’s not.
DI- Be careful with your content, DI’s are serious and I understand that, but be careful with how graphic you get. I am not a squimish judge so curse words dont bother me and mature material is fine, just try and be as tasteful as possible. And DONT mis-represent a character I.E. if you are playing a forty year old mom who just suffered the loss of her son, thats fine, but if you are speaking for an identity you cannot identify with, maybe not. DONT USE SLURS. Even for effect. It’s not needed. Use the space and be comfortable with silence. There is a lot of pauses and silence in DI and when its intentional l it works really well, so dont be afraid of it!
PR/PO- Don’t let your binder fall flat. I don’t think there is one right way to hold the binder, but there are a million wrong ways. It’s awesome when you find a way to incorporate the binder for techy stuff, but its def not necessary.
Your teaser should give me a clue about what your piece is about, (AND IT SHOULD BE MEMORIZED) it doesnt have to be a summary, but a couple of lines to let me know where the piece ie headed is great!
TIME. Be concious of it. Don’t run 10:29 or 10:30, once the fist is up WRAP IT UP.
If you forget your piece, take a moment to pause and collect your thoughts, try not to show it in your face and dont worry about it too much.
Be respectful to other performers, if you are on your phone, eating loudly, sleeping, or being distracting in anyway. I might factor it into your rank. It’s not cool, respect eachothers work.
Did nat circuit PF and Extemp at Dougherty Valley
I evaluate tabula rasa which means you can read whatever you want and I will evaluate any argument as long as it is WELL WARRANTED. Warranted evidence > warranted analytics > unwarranted evidence. TECH > TRUTH (again only if it is warranted well). Don't speak way too fast as you risk me missing things and lowering your speaker points, particularly in the back half of the round.
I won't flow cross so if something important happens bring it up in a speech.
Make sure to have clear SIGNPOSTING of your arguments in rebuttal, summary, and final focus. When doing extensions don't just extend last name and year, actually extend the warranting behind the argument as well. I would say overall I have a high threshold for off case args.
Anything you want evaluated in final focus needs to be in SUMMARY.
Exchanges of evidence between teams are fine as long as they take less than two minutes. I may call for evidence if it ends up being critical in round or if I am asked to call for it. I am unlikely to time speeches and prep time but I expect both teams to keep each other accountable.
To minimize intervention please remember to WEIGH your impacts and/or links against those of your opponents in final focus (or even earlier speeches).
If you are too rude or aggressive to your opponents I will drop your speaks. Please don't say my opponents drop this the whole round if they clearly didn't drop something, expect low speaker points if you do that. I will only drop a team if they clip/severely powertag evidence or act sexist, racist, homophobic, etc.
I don’t like to shake hands. I don't care if you sit or stand and wear whatever you want. Try to preflow before the round.
Feel free to ask me any questions before the round or message me on facebook messenger, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a Public Forum coach. I like to see teams who are polite and respectful to their opponents, especially during crossfires. Definitely include weighing and impact calculus in your final focus, don’t leave it up to me.
I am Parent Judge and I have experience in judging LD and PF for about 3 years. I like crisp and clear speaking during debate. Fast or slow does not matter as long as I can understand. I prefer to listen to actual facts rather than just theory. Please be respectful of your opponents. Off-time roadmaps helps me while judging and I believe will help the candidates also from speaker point of view.
Please introduce yourself and introduce topic in 1-2 sentence .
Arguments- Back them up with good evidence, data , analysis.
Cross fire- Be respectful and stick to the points
Speaker points - Clear concise with moderate pace speaking , good performance in crossfire will get highest speaker points.
Enjoy debate and have fun.
Please reach out to me if you have any questions.
I did PF and qualled to gold TOC twice.
- if its not in summary it should not be in FF; extend links, warrants, and impacts please don't just say u can extend this
- Frontline turns in 2nd rebuttal, defense is sticky but I will not evaluate offense unless it is extended and implicated
- speed is fine. if you will be spreading send me a speech doc (email@example.com)
- sign post please
- tech > truth
- Ks and theory are fine if you run it well and explain (do not do it just to confuse ur opponents)
*please for the love of god preflow before the round if I have to wait for you I will be spiced, possibly enough to drop ur speaks*
- make me laugh
- do not make up evidence
I did PF for 6 years at Fairmont, qualified to gold TOC twice.
Ask any specific questions you have before the round.
email chain-- firstname.lastname@example.org
Some stuff lol:
1. be polite, your speaks will be docked if you are rude/problematic etc *especially in cross
- cross is not a time to be making speech like arguments, use it to ask questions, clarify, set strategy etc I will not be writing things on my flow during cross unless its to clarify something
2. if its not in summary it should not be in FF. PLS EXTEND CLEAN link warrant impact if u want me to vote for it.
- big on the warranting. extensions that are blippy are not extensions i want to vote on and neither are just card names- extend warrants
- i will not vote for turns that are not terminalized or are very blippy
3. At least frontline turns in 2nd rebuttal (if you start condensing here i will be happy- feel free to drop arguments early and build clear narrative)
4.time your own speeches (and prep) and be respectful about it- a couple seconds grace period is fine
5. i prefer you do not spread, speed is fine **if it will be very fast let me know beforehand and give me and the other team a speech doc
- if it is early in the morning or late at night pls go easy on my brain lol
6. sign post please; if you are doing something weird give me a roadmap
7. prog- I'm good with it as long as u explain it/warrant well and it isn't just to mess ur opponents up
8. evidence exchange should really not take more than a minute have ur stuff ready
9. WEIGH!!!!!! and actually clash and interact with their points
10. I debated with my twin sister my entire career so if ur a twin-team auto 30s (unless you’re mean) <3
any references to the weeknd in speech will boost ur speaks (we <3 able); so will making me laugh debate is a game play it
have fun <3
Hi Everyone. I am an experienced parent judge, and know how to take general notes and as long as you send a doc, that is well formatted, you can probably get away with talking a little faster. As for my general preferences.
1. YOU ARE IN A LAY ROUND! Thus I expect you to utilize delivery and external persuasive techniques. The winner isn't who can win the most arguments, its the one who wins the most impactful argument and can present it in a way that shows its impact. Thus not only explaining what the voters are, but why those must be the voter is very important.
2. CX is very important. This is the only time in the debate round where you can directly engage with you opponent, so use it. This is the time you show me how your opponent doesn't know what they are talking about, by asking strategic questions and replying strategically. Considering all this, it is never okay to be rude to your opponent or to make your opponent feel uncomfortable.
3. Delivery. Like I said you can go slightly faster (not spreading), as long as you are clear. Clarity is key. This is reflected not only in whether you stutter or not, but also word choice and being able to explain a concept in a way that is easy to understand.
These are my general preference, and should give you an idea of how you want to structure your speeches. Note I am taking notes, not flowing, thus it would be great if you guys could adapt to these criterions, cause otherwise the lense at which you look the round from may be different than how I look at the round.
Did PF for 4 years, won nat quales, top 4 at nats.
how to get my ballot:
- DEBATE THE TOPIC
- weigh when you can
- Run theory at your own discretion, if I suspect that you don't understand what you're saying, I will 25 spks you
- if arg not in summary it should not be in final focus
- don't be a menace, but clashing during cross is good
- 2nd rebuttal should have frontlines
- don't lose
I am a lay judge.
I will be listening to your debate and taking notes.
Being clear and logical wins you the round.
Be good debaters!
I am a LAY judge.
Speak at a normal pace and explain everything and try to be as clear as possible.Be polite to your opponent and be respectful.
The more I understand your arguments, the more likely I will vote for you. I appreciate a clear analysis of why you should win in the final focus.
Please send me your case at email@example.com before we start our round .
If you have any questions about these points, please do not hesitate to ask me before the round!
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
UPDATED 6/1/2022 NSDA Nationals Congress Update
I have been competing and judging in speech and debate for the past 16 years now. I did Parli and Public Forum in High School, and Parli, LD and Speech in College. I have judged all forms of High School Debate. Feel free to ask me more in depth questions in round if you don't understand a part of my philosophy.
Given that my background is in debate I tend to bring my debate biases into Congress. While I understand that this event is a mix of argumentation and stylistic speaking I don't think pretty speeches are enough to get you a high rank in the round. Overall I tend to judge Congress rounds based off of argument construction, style of delivery, clash with opponents, quality of evidence, and overall participation in the round. I tend to prefer arguments backed by cited sources and that are well reasoned. I do not prefer arguments that are mainly based in emotional appeals, purely rhetoric speeches usually get ranked low and typically earn you a 9. Be mindful of the speech you are giving. I think that sponsorship speeches should help lay the foundation for the round, I should hear your speech and have a full grasp of the bill, what it does, why it's important, and how it will fix the problems that exist in the squo. For clash speeches they should actually clash, show me that you paid attention to the round, and have good responses to your opponents. Crystallizations should be well organized and should be where you draw my conclusions for the round, I shouldn't be left with any doubts or questions.
POs will be ranked in the round based off of their efficiency in running and controlling the round. I expect to POs to be firm and well organized. Don't be afraid of cutting off speakers or being firm on time limits for questioning.
- I know how to flow and will flow.
- This means I require a road map.
- I need you to sign post and tell me which contention you are on. Use author/source names.
- I will vote on Ks. But this means that your K needs to have framework and an alt and solvency. If you run a K my threshold for voting on it is going to be high. I don't feel like there is enough time in PF to read a good K but I am more than willing to be open to it and be proven wrong. For anyone who hits a K in front of me 'Ks are cheating' is basically an auto loss in front of me.
- I will vote on theory. But this doesn't mean that I will vote for all theory. Theory in debate is supposed to move this activity forwards. Which means that theory about evidence will need to prove that there is actual abuse occurring in order for me to evaluate it. I think there should be theory in Public Forum because this event is still trying to figure itself out but I do not believe that all theory is good theory. And theory that is playing 'gotcha' is not good theory. Having good faith is arbitrary but I think that the arguments made in round will determine it. Feel free to ask questions.
- Be strategic and make good life choices.
- Impact calc is the best way to my ballot.
- I will vote on case turns.
- I will call for cards if it comes down to it.
I tend to vote more for truth over tech. That being said, nothing makes me happier than being able to vote on T. I love hearing a good K. Spread fast if you want but at a certain point I will miss something if you are going top speed because I flow on paper, I do know how to flow I'm just not as fast as those on a laptop. Feel free to ask me any questions before round.
Fair warning it has been a few years since I have judged high level LD. Ask me questions if I'm judging you.
You do not win rounds if you win framework. You win that I judge the round via your framework. When it comes to framework I'm a bit odd and a bit old school. I function under the idea that Aff has the right to define the round. And if Neg wants to me to evaluate the round via their framework then they need to prove some sort of abuse.
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 email@example.com 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!
I am a parent judge, who has judged a few tournaments in the past. The most important thing to me is talking at a rate I can understand. That means no spreading. If you don't speak clearly then it will be harder for me to weigh you in the round. Make sure to enjoy the debate, but at the same time remember to remain polite and courteous.
I believe that it is not the judge's job to decipher the round but instead the debater's job to simplify the round to the judge. I vote for teams with simple cases that are clear and easy to follow.
Affiliation: Leland HS '20, UC Berkeley '24
Background: Competed extensively in Congress for my four years of HS (top 40 Nationals, Berkeley finals, 2x State, etc.), with experience judging or competing in basically every event except Interp and Policy.
General Comments (for all events):
Always treat your fellow competitors with respect. For speech events, this includes paying active attention, not stonewalling, and staying quiet when your competitors are speaking. For debate events, this includes not rolling your eyes/shaking your head when your opponent is reading their arguments, asking for cards in a respectful manner, and not being disruptive while they are speaking (whispering to your partner is allowed, but don’t be obnoxious)
Don’t be discriminatory/racist/sexist.
Presentation is key. If I can’t hear and understand what you are saying, then it doesn’t matter how good your content is. Good speaking skills (voice inflection, meaningful pauses, etc.) will always be rewarded.
Organization is very important. Use taglines and signpost so I can easily follow along w/your speech on the flow.
Don’t abuse your event’s grace period. Doing so will result in lower ranks and/or speaking scores, and I won’t listen to any arguments made past the grace period.
Remember to enjoy yourself and have fun! Good luck!
Always give me your topic before you begin your speech.
I rank good organization, effective speaking, and the inclusion of emotional rhetoric (when appropriate) very highly.
Do not become a thesaurus -- larger synonyms of simpler words aren't impressive. Keep in mind that clarity is the number one most important aspect of a speech, and using any superfluous words doesn’t help you achieve that goal.
Out of all the debate events, Congress is the most holistic. This means that I will judge you not only on your argumentation (speeches/questions), but also on your overall presentation skills (speaking proficiency/level of engagement with the chamber/Congressional role player) Congress does have a role playing element -- it is important to treat your fellow legislators with the appropriate level of maturity and formality.
Presiding: I judge POs equally fairly as I judge speakers -- there is no competitive disadvantage for POing. I will not hesitate to give an excellent PO the 1 (or a very high rank) in the round. That being said, POing is an art -- you must always be fast, fair, efficient, clear in your communications, maintain chamber decorum, and understand proper procedure. If there is clear bias (e.g. coincidentally choosing your schoolmates three times in a row) or you make repeated/notable mistakes, you can expect low ranks. Just as a speaker will need to be flawless to obtain the 1, a PO will similarly have to be of excellent quality.
I have been in too many rounds, especially as one attends more prestigious/national tournaments, where no one wants to deliver the first authorship and/or early speeches. If you volunteer to give the authorship speech after 10 minutes of dawdling because no one bothered to prep, I will look upon your speech more favorably. In addition, good authorships (establish strong context and explain the legislation’s mandate and initial advantages) will be ranked very highly. Authorships are essential and I heavily appreciate those who put in the work to prep one.
Rebuttal/Crystallization speeches with clash are the bread and butter of Congress -- I should be hearing more of these as we progress through cycles. Excellent rebuttal and crystallization speeches are hard to find, but when delivered appropriately, will be ranked extremely highly. Do your best to deliver such a speech.
Engagement with other speakers by mentioning their names shows me that you’re paying good attention, however, don’t make laundry lists of legislator names.
Part of being an exemplary Congressional debater is adapting to the flow of the round as cycles progress -- I look down severely on rehashing points that another speaker mentioned earlier without offering a new perspective or extending their argument.
As cycles continue, I expect each speech to have some degree of rebuttal or crystallization. I will severely penalize you if you give a pure constructive speech in late cycles (if there is a particularly profound point, exceptions can be made here)
Good intros and persuasive rhetoric will be heavily rewarded. I’ve heard all of the low-effort/cliche/joke intros -- avoid them. Crafting an excellent intro will earn you my respect and appreciation.
Aim to speak at medium speeds -- I am a “flay” judge, so I will not understand spreading but I will record my own flow. If you go too fast for me, I will call “clear” -- please slow down if you hear this. If you continue to speak too fast, don’t expect perfect case comprehension or a high speaker score.
Practically all of my experience is with lay/case debate, which I have a strong understanding of and preference for. If you really have to run theoretical/kritikal arguments, understand that I will not be well-read or experienced at all -- be prepared to do more explaining at a more basic level than you usually do. In general, if you keep things simple/clear/clean/organized, I’ll have the best chance at understanding and voting for your arguments.
Time your own speeches and your opponents, and keep them responsible to their time. If your opponents go overtime, silently hold up your stopwatch/phone and I will get the message. If you are a debater who habitually abuses the grace period, read my note about this above in “General Comments”.
Framework (V/VC/burdens) is incredibly important and round-defining. Take your time to flush out and argue for your own framework, because I will judge you off of the agreed framework of both teams. If there is no agreed framework, I expect both teams to argue for their own framework effectively. If either team goes a speech without arguing for their framework, I will assume that you accept your opponents framework. A good framework can augment your argumentation and easily set up your team for victory -- don’t make the cardinal sin of ignoring this part of debate. If neither team presents their own framework, I will default to utilitarianism.
Include impacts in each of your arguments and use impact calculus. Your impacts should be attached to a clear, consistent, and strong internal link chain. Good impacts will always be appreciated and regarded positively.
PLEASE WEIGH! Write as much of my ballot as you can for me by weighing impacts, voter issues, and highlighting critical parts of the debate and why they fall in your favor.
POIs/Crossfire: Always remain respectful during questioning. For Parli, I would prefer you to take at least 1-2 questions; however, due to time constraints, taking no questions will not negatively impact your speaks. I generally do not put POIs and crossfire questions on the flow, though I will note if there is an important concession/anything interesting that gets brought up during questioning.
POOs: Call them. I will be watching my own flow, but I can’t guarantee I’ll catch an entirely new argument brought up in the last speeches. Keep me and your opponents accountable.
Make a JoJo's Bizarre Adventures reference and I'll give you 30 speaker points. Or quote Kanye in round.
Did PF for 4 years at Mira Loma High School.
Can flow 250-300 words per minute. Send a speech doc anyways because lag n all that. I'll only read the speech doc once tho and if I don't get it then....uhhhh....oops :/
I don't think defense is sticky so make sure you extend all dropped defense.
When extending, mention the card name as well as the links/warrants the first time you extend it. In future speeches you can just use the card name because I'll remember it by then
I won't look at cards unless it's heavily contested, or a team asks me to call for one.
I won't pay attention during cross. If something important happens then mention it in your speech.
Okay with Ks and Theory. Make it good though or I'll be less inclined to vote on it (structure it properly and make it make sense in the context of the round).
No Tricks pls
I don't usually judge LD, but I understand the mechanics of the value/value criterion debate.
Not totally familiar with more complex LD literature so if you use any jargon make sure to clarify what it means/give a lot of context for it. I'm going to need it in super techy LD rounds for sure.
I am a lay judge. Please speak clearly and make logical arguments. I generally vote off of the arguments that make most sense to me, and have been clearly won in the round.
Debated PF for Harker for 4 years now at UNC studying Health Policy, coaching for Harker
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please add me to the email chain. If you have any questions about this paradigm, please ask before the round starts.
Tech > Truth
To win the round, you must weigh and collapse, preferably as early as possible or at least by summary. You do not need to weigh every single one of your arguments make sure you are strategic about what you choose to collapse on. If you condense the round it will make it much easier for me to vote in your favor. Make sure your weighing is substantial - a 10 second mechanism at the end of final focus does not count. Also, make sure your weighing is comparative not just a reiteration of your impacts from case.
Make sure any arguments you want me to vote on are well implicated and extended in BOTH summary and final focus. NO NEW ARGUMENTS AFTER FIRST SUMMARY PLEASE! When you extend, make sure you extend the warrant, link, and impact. I will not count an argument extended if I just get a bunch of cards and author names.
I will not flow cross and any conceded arguments must be brought up in the next speech to be evaluated.
I do not have much experience with Ks, tricks, etc. I would prefer you don't run any progressive arguments. Please read theory ONLY ONLY IF you feel it IS WARRANTED and not just as a way to confuse your opponent! In general: I believe reducing disparities in debate is good so whichever team better links will likely win that argument.
As for speed, as long as you speak clearly I am fine but if you decide to spread make sure everyone is fine with it and also share a speech doc with me and the other team. However, I'd prefer if you didn't spread at all as it makes the round much more accessible.
Make sure you add me to the email chain if it is created. Also, I will only call for evidence if it seems key to my decision. If your opponents call for evidence and they do not receive it within 2 minutes, I may take speaker points and your opponents can use the added prep time. tldr; HAVE EVIDENCE ON HAND.
If the round is fairly clean, I’ll give all speakers a minimum of 28 speaker points. Please don’t be rude and try to make the space as inclusive as possible. If you weigh or collapse early, I will probably boost your speaks.
POST COVID: Please try to look up from your screen/flow whenever possible (especially during crossfire). I do not particularly care whether or not you wear a mask (of course depends on CDC recommendations) but wearing a mask will not influence my decision in any way. Also, I prefer you stand during your speeches just so we all can hear you.
Good luck and have fun!
im a debate boomer now ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
yay it's my annual paradigm update. i hope im not a flay now :(
well yes but actually no
lay before 8 AM and after 9 PM
About me: he/him, pf 4 years (2016-2020), got 2nd at silver toc once so that's cool
-pls pls pls weigh and do comparative analysis
-2nd rebuttal should frontline turns/DAs and not have Offensive OVs
-defense is sticky for first summary
-idc about cross
-if you paraphrase I will expect you to have cut cards
never ran Theory/Ks, but I'm down to listen to them and try to evaluate the arguments to the best of my ability.
Speaker Point Stuff:
-good round strat (making my life easier)
-i was once able to understand 300 wpm but prob capped at 250 now sad
-cool pen spinning
dont abuse asking for cards to prep
be efficient with time when speakers switch / cx
NYU 26' and College Prep 22'
There's a fine line in cross between being confident and being rude or mean. Err on the side of being nice.
people should go for T more. I like it. good T debates are beautiful
-I think fairness is an internal link to education, more education happens pre round during prep and research
-aff creativity has always been kind of ridiculous to me, affs that say this usually do explode the neg research burden, but i will vote on it if you can effectively weigh it
-I do love when affs on the fringe of topicality have a clever c/i or w/m, its smart and strategic
-links of omission are kinda lame, find specific lines or instances where the aff actually links
-i prefer a more material and defined alt but this not all at required. that said, if you're reading a rejection/inaction alt please have a specific warrant for why inaction is key
-lowered speaks if you're reading an incommensurability alt and say the k is conditional, either stand by what your authors actually say or don't read it
-i do not want to hear your high theory buzzword soup
-love a creative adv cp
-i think more than 3 condo is pushing it but if you can win your interp, do what you want
-not a fan of the 2ac perm shot gun
-please explain your process cp, a good chunk of these are way wonkier than they need to be. theres definitely a huge advantage to confusing your opponents but a confusing cp is hard to vote for
-be clear, if i can't flow it and you try to weigh it, good luck
-please impact your arguments out early
-prefer condo or process cp bad over things like a 5 sec vague alts bad that get exploded in the 1ar
-for the neg, those hard right aff link chains are often very dubious, your speaks will be rewarded if you use a badly written case to your advantage instead of just spamming CPs and DAs
-2As, I get the need for speed but gimme at least half a second between answering 1NC case args to let me move my pen
-pls pls pls do your impact calc, earlier the better, give me in depth comparison of impacts, not just "it happens faster, vote neg"
-not a fan of ptx, but if you win it, ill vote for it. it's been a hot second since i've seen a decent one.
K affs are fine but I've only read plan affs. I'll do my best to adjudicate as best I can but you're better off preffing someone with more experience here.
I'm more familiar with the cap debate than the fw debate. If you're going for fw, don't blitz through your prewritten blocks and slow down for your standards.
note for PF
I will flow each round. If something is new in the last two speeches, it's much better if you flag it and implicate it.
If you're gonna be paraphrasing ev or spreading, send a speech doc.
Be clear. I've seen some well thought out cases and I've seen some that were clearly stolen without checking what they actually said.
Keep argumentation inclusive. However, if you want to challenge assumptions of the other team and win why it's good, I will vote for it.
Please don't make me vote on disclosure theory.
I am a PF lay judge. Few notes:
-State your points clearly and concisely with researched backup arguments, avoid jargon
-Make sure to cite your evidence
-Please be respectful of your opponents
-Make sure to time yourself
-Will provide written feedback after the round, no verbal feedback
All the best!
I am a mom of 3 and one of them is in public forum. I like proper understandable speaking. I do ask that you speak a little slower than you are used to so that I can understand. If you bring up complicated topics make sure you explain them to me and I also take some notes. I weigh mainly based off who wins the debate and I award based off skill. I also judge off your confidence. I don't time speeches.
Background: PF @ Mountain House High School '19, Economics @ UC Berkeley '22, Berkeley Law '26. This is my 5th year judging.
THREE ABSOLUTE ESSENTIALS BEFORE YOU READ THE REST OF MY PARADIGM:
Due to the fast paced nature of debate nowadays and potential technical difficulties with online tournaments, I would really appreciate if you could send me the doc you're reading off of before each speech to my email email@example.com. If you can use Speech Drop, that's even better.
Preflow before the round. When you walk into the room you should be ready to start ASAP.
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 am a former PF debater and I still think like one. That means I highly value simple, coherent argumentation that is articulated at at least a somewhat conversational speed.
In my view, debate is an activity that at the end of the day is supposed to help you be able to persuade the average person into agreeing with your viewpoints and ideas. I really dislike how debate nowadays, especially LD, has become completely gamified and is completely detached from real life. Because of this, I am not partial to spread, questionable link chains that we both know won’t happen, theory (unless there is actual abuse) or whatever debate meta is in vogue. I care more about facts and logic than anything else. You are better served thinking me of a good lay judge than a standard circuit judge. NOTE: I also am strongly skeptical of K AFFs and will almost always vote NEG if they run topicality.
That doesn’t mean I do not judge on the merits of arguments or their meaning, but how you present them certainly matters to me because my attention level is at or slightly above the average person (my brain is broken because of chronic internet and social media usage, so keep that in mind).
I will say tech over truth, but truth can make everyone’s life easier. The less truth there is, the more work you have to do to convince me. And when it’s very close, I’m probably going to default to my own biases (subconscious or not), so it’s in your best interest to err on the side of reality. This means that you should make arguments with historical and empirical context in mind, which as a college educated person, I’m pretty familiar with and can sus out things that are not really applicable in real life. But if you run something wild and for whatever reason your opponent does not address those arguments as I have just described, I will grant you the argument.
You should weigh, give me good impact calculus (probability, magnitude, scope, timeframe, etc), and most importantly, TELL ME HOW TO VOTE AND WHY! Do not trust me to understand things between the lines.
More points that I agree with from my friend Vishnu's paradigm:
"I do not view debate as a game, I view it almost like math class or science class as it carries tremendous educational value. There are a lot of inequities in debate and treating it like a game deepens those inequities.
Other than this, have fun, crack jokes, reference anecdotes and be creative.
There is honestly almost 0 real world application to most progressive argumentation, it bars accessibility to this event and enriches already rich schools.
Basically: debate like it's trad LD."
SPEAKER POINT SCALE
Was too lazy to make my own so I stole from the 2020 Yale Tournament. I will use this if the tournament does not provide me with one:
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
below 27/lowest speaks possible - OH MY; You did something very bad or very wrong
I'm a Lay Judge. So, avoid running DA's, counterplans, plans, theory, critics, and other technical arguments. Speak clearly with good enunciation for me to best understand what you are talking about. If you speak very fast, I may not catch your actual intention
Bring the VOLUME, not the PACE! In other words, try to SPEAK CLEARLY and LOUDLY, but not FAST!
Don't use buzzwords, i wont be able to understand debate jargon.
Keep it structured like an argumentative paper! (Intro, three points, conclusion [with several sub-points in your main points])
To ensure that I catch all the most important parts of your case (like the value, value criterion, and each of your contentions), try to slow down and emphasize when you are introducing your framework and each of your contentions. Throughout your entire case, speak clearly.
Do your thing. Just keep your flow going and do your best; anything works! Depict good communication skills and try to elaborate as much as you can on your arguments!
I like a good cross fire.
Be nice! :) Any rudeness, discrimination, or any negative comments will NOT be dismissed but will be used AGAINST you during your rounds.
Make strong weighing arguments and explain clearly why your contentions fit the winning framework better than the opponent's contentions.
Keep track of time and maintain formality throughout the round.
I am looking forward to judging your debates. Good luck debaters!
I am a new judge to Public Forum.
Please speak slowly and explain your thoughts clearly.
I will drop you if you are racist, sexist, or homophobic.
Hi! I’m Shehbaz, a senior studying Biochemistry and Public Health at UC Berkeley. I did Lincoln Douglas debate in high school mainly in the lay circuit. I have not done anything debate related for a very very long time and have no knowledge of current topics.
I am a lay judge. I’m not comfortable with K’s, T’s, and spreading. Please speak clearly, at a reasonable speed, and signpost your arguments so so can easily follow.
Have fun and be respectful!
I'm a first-time judge and I have no debate experience, although I competed in speech when I was in high school.
I would prefer that debaters speak clearly above all else (do not rush or overcrowd your speaking, nor should you speak exceptionally slowly). I have no preference for debate style. The most important thing is that your argument is intentional in its structure and carefully walks your audience through your logic rather than jumping to huge, generic claims. Also, please clearly and specifically define the key terms of your debate at the beginning of your performance. Please be respectful to your opposing team. I will weigh performance and the logic behind your debate equally.
I am a flay judge in that I have lots of experience judging, but I'm not an actual flow judge. I know how the debate process works, and I've judged in over 15 tournaments.
Good rhetoric and lay appeal and I will most likely vote for you. If you don't know something or are otherwise unsure/unready for something just fake it until you make it; I like seeing confidence.
I will not flow cross-ex but I will be paying attention. If you bring something up in cross-ex and want me to flow it, remember to say it in speech as well. Emphasize important points with speech inflections, as well as bring up things you want me to remember/write down several times. Don't put down your opponent (like in LD) and don't bully during cross-ex, although remember to be assertive and stand up for your partner (during grand) if you have to.
It doesn't matter to me what you do while you speak, as long as you make eye contact regularly. Sit, stand, meditate, doesn't matter to me. Please try to signpost as much as possible, it really helps, and it makes it a lot easier to follow what you're saying. It also helps your speaks (now you're listening, huh?). Gesticulate, use ethos, pathos, logos, talk loud, whatever you have to do to get my attention and my vote (and high speaks).
Since I'm not a professionally trained judge, I don't have any specific policy against K's, but don't expect me to go with your point of view without strong rhetoric. I must need to know exactly WHY their view on a policy is wrong, and WHY your take matters more. If I were you, I would not run a kritik.
Insulting your opponent is DIFFERENT FROM arguing with them. You can say the same thing by yelling as you can by assertively speaking to your opponent. Please do not argue/yell/bully your opponent. That is a sure way to lose speaks and maybe the entire round.
I, like the vast majority of other judges, will have an easier time listening and understanding to you if you speak slower. Note: I prefer slower speaking, but I can handle faster speed to some degree. I may look confused/stop writing/not take note of important parts if you are going to slow; that means I do not understand you, and you may need to slow down.
I can promise you that I will understand these issues more than most judges. Please make sure to time yourselves, if there is a discrepancy between the prep time, speech time, etc., try to work it out yourselves, although I will interfere if too much time is taken.
Thanks for reading this information, although I know it's long and boring. Good luck!
Hello Great Debaters!
Here are some notes when debating in front of me:
- If this is PF, you will win or lose as a Team, so be confident in your partner.
- Exhibit a stoic demeanor in your approach and command the room with your thoughtful argument.
- I’m a past singer, so tone, inflection, articulation, and breaths matter.
- I’m also an engineer, so I like a good process flow from when you walk in to when you finish your last statement.
Other than that, convince me the entire time.
*Is there always a bonus? Well, I like when speeches flow are done in a melodic authoritative tone.
Please send your literature here: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a lay judge in Speech and Debate. I do not like fast debate. I am a practicing attorney and have done Moot Court, and am familiar with argumentation.
Hello my name is Meredith Wick and I'm a Lay judge. I will try my best to flow, but make it clear what points you are addressing in your speech.
Most important for me, please state your name, school, and speaker position before the beginning of every speech. This helps me give accurate speaker points.
Off-Time Roadmaps: I know they are a divisive issue. But if it's just me, the roadmap is greatly preferred. In a panel, use your best judgement based on the other judges' preferences.
Please no spreading or talking fast. If I can't hear you, I can't score you. Be nice to your opponents.
I will not be keeping track of speech or prep time. Set timers for yourself and your opponents. I hope for honesty, but I am relying on you to enforce it.
Director of Speech & Debate at Taipei American School in Taipei, Taiwan. Founder and Director of the Institute for Speech and Debate (ISD). Formerly worked/coached at Hawken School, Charlotte Latin School, Delbarton School, The Harker School, Lake Highland Prep, Desert Vista High School, and a few others.
Updated for Online Debate
I coach in Taipei, Taiwan. Online tournaments are most often on US timezones - but we are still competing/judging. That means that when I'm judging you, it is the middle of the night here. I am doing the best I can to adjust my sleep schedule (and that of my students) - but I'm likely still going to be tired. Clarity is going to be vital. Complicated link stories, etc. are likely a quick way to lose my ballot. Be clear. Tell a compelling story. Don't overcomplicate the debate. That's the best way to win my ballot at 3am - and always really. But especially at 3am.
email@example.com is the best email for the evidence email chain.
You can ask me specific questions if you have them...but my paradigm is pretty simple - answer these three questions in the round - and answer them better than your opponent, and you're going to win my ballot:
1. Where am I voting?
2. How can I vote for you there?
3. Why am I voting there and not somewhere else?
I'm not going to do work for you. Don't try to go for everything. Make sure you weigh. Both sides are going to be winning some sort of argument - you're going to need to tell me why what you're winning is more important and enough to win my ballot.
If you are racist, homophobic, nativist, sexist, transphobic, or pretty much any version of "ist" in the round - I will drop you. There's no place for any of that in debate. Debate should be as safe of a space as possible. Competition inherently prevents debate from being a 100% safe space, but if you intentionally make debate unsafe for others, I will drop you. Period.
One suggestion I have for folks is to embrace the use of y'all. All too often, words like "guys" are used to refer to large groups of people that are quite diverse. Pay attention to pronouns (and enter yours on Tabroom!), and be mindful of the language you use, even in casual references.
I am very very very very unlikely to vote for theory. I don't think PF is the best place for it and unfortunately, I don't think it has been used in the best ways in PF so far. Also, I am skeptical of critical arguments. If they link to the resolution, fantastic - but I don't think pre-fiat is something that belongs in PF. If you plan on running arguments like that, it might be worth asking me more about my preferences first - or striking me.
UPDATE 2/2023: I have not coached or judged circuit PF in 2-3 years. The following paradigm was written in 2019 (I think). Most of what is below still holds true but some of my opinions and preferences have changed since then. Please ask me questions before the round and I will be happy to explain things there.
I debated for Mission San Jose High School for 4 years, and was relatively active on the Public Forum circuit in my junior and senior year. I currently coach Lake Highland Prep.
I have included my preferences below. If you have questions that are not answered here, ask them before the round begins.
- I evaluate arguments on the flow.
- I am a tabula rasa judge; I will vote on almost any argument that is topical, properly warranted, and impacted. If an argument makes no sense to me, it's usually your fault and not mine. In the absence of an explicit framework, I default to util.
- I am fine with moderate speed. Although I spoke very quickly when I competed, I will misflow tag-lines and citations if they are rushed, and I prefer a more understandable debate. You also may run the risk of too much speed hurting your speaker points.
- If there is no offense in the round, I will presume first speaker by default, not con. This is because I believe PF puts the first speaking team at a considerable structural disadvantage. If both teams have failed to generate offense by the end of the round, the onus should fall on the team going second for not capitalizing on their advantage. This is my attempt to equalize the disparity between the first and second speaking team.
- I do not take notes during crossfire and only pay attention selectively. If something important comes up, mention it in your next speech.
- I will typically only vote on something if it is in both summary and final focus. If you read an impact card in your case and it is not in summary, I will not extend it for you, even if the other team does not address it. Of course, there are inevitably exceptions, e.g. defense in the first FF.
- No new evidence is permitted in second summary (it's fine in first summary). This is to encourage front-lining and to discourage reading new offense in second rebuttal. Additionally, new carded analysis in the second summary forces the final focus to make new responses and deviate away from its initial strategy. The only exception I will make is if you need to respond to evidence introduced in the first summary. New analytical responses are fine.
- First summary doesn't have to extend defense for it to be in final focus, but it is responsible for extending turns/any offense. This obviously does not apply if your defense is frontlined in second rebuttal. Second summary and both final focuses need to extend defense.
- I try to be visibly/audibly responsive, e.g. I will stop flowing and look up from my computer when I don't understand your argument and I'll probably nod if I like what you're saying. I will also say 'CLEAR' if you are not enunciating or going too fast and 'LOUDER' if you are speaking too quietly. If you're worried this may distract you, I will not do so at your request.
- I will only ask to see evidence after the round in one of three scenarios. (1) I was told to call for a card in a speech (2) Both teams disagree over what the card says and it's never fully resolved (3) I'm curious and want to read it.
- I usually won't keep track of your speech and prep time. It is your job to keep your opponents accountable. If there is any particular reason you cannot keep time, please let me know and I will try to accommodate.
- I will evaluate theory arguments and Kritiks if they are well warranted enough. As a disclaimer, if something doesn't make sense to me, I may not feel comfortable voting on it. This means you will probably have to over-explain advanced and complex arguments. I'm not a fan of pre-fiat Ks at all. You have to do a really good job if you want to run one in front of me, and I'll probably still tank your speaks.
- I evaluate the debate on an offense/defense paradigm but I personally dislike 'risk of offense' arguments because I think they allow lazy debating, but I will happily vote on them if they are well executed. You must answer responses that indict the validity of your link chain if you want to access offense from an argument.
- I reserve the right to drop you for offensive/insensitive language, depending on its severity.
- If you plan to make arguments about sensitive issues such as suicide, PTSD, or sexual assault, I would advise issuing a trigger warning beforehand. If you don't know how to properly issue a content warning, ask me before the round. I believe debate should be a safe space, and while I don’t necessarily believe inclusivity should compromise discussion, the least we can all do is make sure everybody is prepared for the conversation.
- I expect all exchanges of evidence to take no longer than 2 minutes. If you delay the debate significantly while looking for a specific card, I may dock your speaker points for being disorganized and wasting time. If someone requests to see your evidence, you should hand it to them as soon as possible; don't say "I need my computer to prep."
- Wear whatever you want, I don't really care.
- Be nice to each other!
Debate is fun. I enjoy judging. Most of my judging experiences are PF followed by LD. I also judged limited rounds of parli, policy and congress. Except for PF, don't assume that I am familiar with the current topic. I usually disclose and give my RFD if it's allowed and time permits.
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I value clear warrants, explicit weighing and credible evidence. I do care a lot about the tech side, but pretty much tech = truth if you read substance.
- Speed: talking fast is not a problem, but DON'T spread (less than 250 words per minute works). Otherwise, I can only listen but not keep up flowing. If I missed anything, it's on you.
- Warrants: the most important thing is clear links to convince me with supporting evidence (no hypothesis or fake evidence - I will check your evidence links). If you drop your warrants, I will drop you.
- Flow: I flow everything except for CX. Clear signposts help me flow.
- Rebuttals: I like quick thinking when attacking your opponents' arguments. Turns are even better. Frontlines are expected in second rebuttal.
- CX: don't spend too much time calling cards (yes, a few cards are fine) or sticking on something trivial.
- Weighing: it needs to be two-world comparisons. Bring up what you want me to vote on in both summary and FF, and extend well.
- Timing: I don't typically time your speeches unless you ask me to do so (but if I do, the grace period is 10 sec), but I often time your prep and CX.
Ts: limited judging experience. Explain well to me why your impact values more and focus on meaningful violations. Don't assume an easy win by default reading Ts, if you sacrifice educational value for the sake of winning.
Ks: no judging experience. Only spectated a few rounds. Hard to understand those big hollow words if you don't have enough warrants. If you really want to do Ks, do stock Ks, instead of performance.
Finally, be respectful and enjoy your round!
Hi! I am a parent judge. Although I am flay, I have judged for many years and has experience to some extent. Here are a few preferences that may win you a round:
1. Please be nice to your opponents. If something rude or offensive is brought in, I will automatically vote for the other side.
2. Please do not spread. You can speak at a fast pace as long as it is clear, although I do prefer a slower and steadier pace.
3. When your opponents ask for cards, please give them in less than 2 minutes. After 2 minutes is up, it will count as your own prep time.
4. I do not flow crossfire. If you want me to flow something brought up in cross, please extend them in later speeches.
5. I have some knowledge over this debate topic, but please do make sure you explain your arguments clearly.
6. I prefer Truth > Tech, but if your truth makes no sense, then I will not buy it.
7. Please weigh impacts and bring up voter issues in the final speeches.
8. I will provide a 10 second mercy rule after you have reached the speech limit. Note that I will not flow anything after that.
9. Have fun! I am looking forward to seeing you all! :D
I am a very, very inexperienced lay judge. I know the structure of PF and that's pretty much it.
- Please speak clearly and slowly.
- Break down your arguments to me as if I'm a granny. Explain why your impacts matter and how they outweigh your opponents in simple terms.
- Signposting would be nice.
- No theory, Ks or progressive arguments. I won't understand them.
- Use good evidence and be ethical. Don't make up stuff. Don't pull shenanigans.
- I may not disclose.
- Last but not least, be respectful and have fun!
I am a lay judge with five years of combined Parli and PF judging experience.
- Be polite, especially in cross. Don't shout at each other, please.
- Speak clearly. Don't spread.
- Take the time to explain complex arguments.
Debate how you want to debate, and I will evaluate your arguments to the best of my ability.
important: have fun. yay.
I am Haichuan (Alex) Zhang.
My judgement will be based on:
- Clarity of speaking
- Clear Signposting
- All points well explained
I am a first time judge so please be paitent with me. I am grateful to have the opportunity for being a judge in this tournament. Thanks, Haichuan
I am Haijiang ZHANG (John). My judgement on debate will be mainly based on the following aspects:
- Know and cite the facts/history well and properly (minimize citing unverified speculations or propaganda).
- Clear and consistent logic/reasoning in debate.
- Techniques for both offense and defense in exchange session.
- Speak clearly at proper speed and volume
- Stay respectful
Best Luck for everyone & Thanks!
Hi! I'm a third year at Santa Clara University studying Finance and I debated PF for Gunn High School for 4 years.
I haven’t judged/done anything debate related in a while and know nothing about this topic - old paradigm below
I'm cool with all types of argumentation so feel free to do whatever you want - if you're planning on running a K or T please explain your argument thoroughly.
I am fine with speed but if you are going way too fast or speaking totally unclearly, I'll let you know. Have fun in cross and please stay calm and polite.
Some important things to note:
- read TWs if/when needed
- defense is sticky
- no new evidence in second summary, unless responding to new evidence in first summary
- I will typically only vote on something if it is in both summary and final focus
- tech > truth
- I will ALWAYS (unless you argue otherwise) presume first because I believe the first-speaking team has a structural disadvantage and significant time skew.
- weighing is def a good idea (also pls read substantive comparative weighing - just saying the words "scope" or "magnitude" does not count as weighing)
- respond to all turns in 2nd rebuttal AND frontline
- engage with clash
- if you are extremely rude or offensive (racist, sexist, ableist etc.) in any way at all I'll drop you and give you 25 speaker points.
- I won't call for evidence unless you tell me to and it's a) essential to adjudicate the round and b) sounds misconstrued
- evidence exchanges under 2 minutes
- email any piece of interesting news to me before the round, I love learning about anything tech, finance, economic, gaming, and sports related.
Feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have any questions after the round - I'm happy to give advice or further explain my decision at any time!
Please speak at a moderate speed.
Welcome to my angry rant!....I mean, my paradigm!
(don’t worry, I am nicer in my RFD).
I have 5 years experience in World Schools and Public Forum Debate. Flay for policy.
I hold debaters accountable for Public Forum’s original purpose- which is to communicate to the public*. I am not a lay judge, but if a layman couldn't at least understand you, you are defeating the purpose of public forum and you should be in policy instead.
tabula rasa, but don't overdo it. You don't need to define "the" for me :P.
I love kritiks when used sincerely, but not when they are used frivolously.
Substance over theory, forever and always. I despise theory (except topicality). If you use theory, you better have a GOOD reason and address a REAL issue, because it will not impress me as a default strategy. Theory was designed to keep debate fair...so don't be like rain on your wedding day (ironic...Alanis Morissette...no one?) and use it abusively.
There is nothing I hate more than a petty theory debate with no substance....but spreading is a close second. If a teacher assigned you a 2 page paper and you used 1pt font to get as much info in as possible while also hoping the teacher didn't catch your mistakes, you wouldn't get away with it. Spreading is no different. The assignment is to convey your message to the public as persuasively as you can in 4 minutes. I consider spreading to be like using 1pt font: cheating. Not to mention that spreading is SUPER elitist to ESL debaters.
Truth over tech, sorry not sorry. It’s not because I am lay, its because I am allergic to kool-aid and won’t drink it. I still hold you accountable to technical aspects of debate, but not if tech isn't supporting truth. I don't care if you memorize more jargon than your opponent, I care if you have better arguments. Impressive impacts with strong links win.
Framework should not be neglected!!!!
---------------Advice for my victims....I mean, competitors--------------------------------------------
I have a tendency to favor global impacts over domestic, and I am a sucker for strong logic based on economics. Please remember- the United States is NOT the world, and the values of the United States are NOT universal. If your opponents make assumptions, point them out to me.
Don't assume I am a liberal- if you want to argue that republicans are inherently bad, you need to prove it.
Don't collapse on a good argument for the sake of collapsing. It might take 5 seconds out of your summary speech to keep a contention in play that could save your whole round.
Don't focus on niche issues when your opponents' impact effects the whole world.
Real world impacts are more impressive to me than theoretical ones. Don't tell me something is going to lead to nuclear war unless you really can prove it. -_- Links or its fake.
If you are going to use climate change as your impact, you better be able to prove uniqueness.
I have a pet peeve for arguments that falsely equate correlation with causation. If your opponent calls you out on this correctly....-_-
Don't give me a false dilemma. Don't strawman. Don't be dumb. Don't be tricky. Just do your research.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WEIGH YOUR IMPACTS.