California Invitational Berkeley Debate
2023 — Berkeley, CA/US
World Schools Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Grand Oaks '22
Hello! My pronouns are she/her. I primarily have experience in World Schools Debate, but I have also competed and judged Public Forum, Extemp, Lincoln Douglas, and some speech events.
The main thing I look for in a debate round is respect for your opponents. Keep your arguments on the topic; don’t resort to insults or petty commentary. It will not win you the round.
In general for debate events, I am not the hugest fan of spreading (I probably won’t be able to flow your arguments well) so please do not speak too insanely fast— conversational speed is most preferred. As a previous third speaker in WSD, I LOVE when people weigh their arguments so please utilize weighing mechanisms in the round! If you do it well, you probably will win.
For World Schools specifically:
Don’t bombard a speaker with POIs to the point they cannot provide adequate argumentation. Don’t ask another question/provide a statement right after your POI has been answered or acknowledged by the opponent UNLESS you have been accepted for a follow-up. If your POI hasn’t been answered or even acknowledged for more than 20 seconds, please sit down. You’re only wasting time you could use for flowing at that point.
Structure: If you haven’t practiced your speech as a first speaker or done mock rounds, it’s clear as day in your timing. I want definitions, burdens, first and second substantive, and a foundation for framing in first speeches. As a first opp, I think it is more strategic to refute then introduce the case but it also depends on how lengthy your case is, so be smart with timing and strategy. Second speakers should always refute and then introduce the third substantive! I believe the third speech should ultimately convince me to vote for your side— no new arguments, have good organization, and please weigh both worlds. I usually make my decision by the third speeches and will not flow the replies.
Argumentation: I don’t like fallacies. I don’t like over-exaggerations. I don’t like straw-manning. Focus on the stakeholders, impacts, and be smart about how you frame the debate.
You can email me if you have any questions: email@example.com
Hey dudes !
I am a rad debate dad. I’ve judged world schools pretty frequently and consider myself to be a pretty okay judge. I’ll vote you up on style content and strategy, but really try and sell what you’re saying to me.
signposting will help you a lot
let’s have some fun!
I am a coach with more than a decade of experience in the speech/debate community, including as a coach of two NSDA national champion teams in World Schools Debate. I work mostly with World Schools Debate, Congress, Public Forum, and Parliamentary competitors, as well as with Speech competitors. I am somewhere between lay and proficient as an LD judge, and I should be treated as a lay judge in Policy rounds.
As of September 2023, I have squirreled less than 9% of rounds that I've judged.
1. Brief roadmaps are welcome and appreciated. Also, please signpost! I shouldn’t leave the round wondering what your primary case arguments were, and how they correlate with those belonging to your opponents.
2. Frame and weigh arguments/impacts/evidence/etc for me and provide a clear analysis of the various items on the flow. As important as it is that I can identify that debaters' arguments, it's even more important for you to guide me through comparative weights and why your arguments/evidence/analysis is stronger and/or more important than those of your opponents.
3. I generally believe the Affirmative has the burden of proof. If AFF can’t make the case why their proposition is better than the status quo, NEG is almost certain to get my ballot. On the other hand, it isn't enough for NEG to simply say, "AFF's world isn't perfect, therefore NEG's world is better and you must negate".
4. If you do not address your opponents’ arguments, I am assuming you do not intend to refute them. Time management is important when strengthening your arguments and still leaving room to refute your opponents’. Take a few seconds to collapse so my flow is clean at the end of the round.
5. Treat me as though I have an at-best average understanding of what you're debating. I consider myself a fairly well-informed and logical person, so while I'm likely understanding the terminology and abbreviations you are rushing through, I have blind spots (like all human beings). I generally provide more weight to things that you spend time emphasizing--if you're taking the time to make sure I understand something, I'm going to assume it's pretty damn important.
6. I am not really Tech>Truth or Truth>Tech. I probably vote more consistently on the side of tech, but if you make an argument that is wildly untrue/unreasonable, I'm not going to vote for it regardless of whether your opponents call that argument out or not.
7. I'm open to a good/reasonable K, but there are very few instances where I believe a K has both been argued effectively and makes sense in the context of the round. I will never, never vote on disclosure theory, so don't bother running it.
Preferences that do not normally factor into my decision:
1. DO NOT SPREAD. If you are speaking and moving too quickly that I can’t keep up, we have a problem that could end with me missing something crucial to your case. I will stop taking notes if I cannot understand you.
2. There is a fine line between charm and smarm. Know the difference, because I certainly do. Humor, when done well and at the appropriate time, will endear me to you as a speaker. Too much humor/sass/sarcasm, and I think you've misunderstood this competition for amateur night at your local comedy club.
3. If your opponent calls for a card, you should have it relatively readily available. I don’t expect it to be at your side immediately, but when we get past 45 seconds, I’m either losing my patience or start to suspect you don’t have it.
4. PF'ers - Cross and Grand Cross should not be seen as opportunities to see who can speak the loudest or be the most assertive.
WORLD SCHOOLS DEBATE
In general, my expectation for WSD rounds is that you are taking your opponents at their highest ground. Motions should be reasonably interpreted, but I am not interested in an interpretation-exclusive approach to rebutting your opponents' arguments. Call out abuse when reasonable, and move on.
Compare worlds for me--to win the comparative, you need to prove to me that your world is substantively better than your opponents', and explain why.
Content: What does your case look like? Are your arguments fully fleshed-out? I expect you to state your claim, establish plenty of warrants behind that claim, and link concrete impacts. I reward solid analysis with high scores.
Style: This one's pretty straightforward. I mark down speech readers, and boost solid rhetoric turns/flips. I want to know that you, as a speaker, are fully engaged with your opponents and judge(s).
Strategy: This is where I evaluate your approach to the motion, as well as how you approach your opponents' case and arguments. One of the most important things that I look for are your understanding of arguments that require your response and arguments that require your dismissiveness. I expect you to break down the flow, but not all arguments are created equally. I recognize solid strategy scores from debaters who are able to zero in on the arguments that are likely to matter to me at the end of the round. I also expect POI's to have a purpose--they're the Chekov's gun of this event. If you're asking a POI, it should be evident at some point in the next speech why that POI was asked.
In general, I highly value Congressional debaters who are equally adept at rhetoric/presentation and argumentation/technical debate skills. I don't flow a Congress round the same way I might any other debate round, but I AM tracking arguments and who is helping to structure and frame the debate.
You can be the best speaker in the round, but if you disappear during other speakers' CX, you should expect to be marked down significantly.
Unless you are the very first speaker on legislation, I expect at least one small refutation from you during your speech. The later the round goes, your refutation bar rises higher.
Late-round speakers who do not add anything substantive to the debate will not stand out for me. Even if you feel there aren't many new arguments left to be made, crystallize other arguments for me and explain why some matter more than others.
Presiding Officers - I should feel like I'm very much in YOUR chamber, not mine. PO's who truly control the room are the ones who stand out. I weigh your efficiency, procedural knowledge, and style.
Hey! I did CX, PF, LD, and Congress in high school, and I've been debating parli at UC Berkeley for the past two years. I'm willing to hear out a spectrum of argumentation, as long as it's well-researched and well-qualified. You're welcome to spread if you really think it'll do you the most good, but please flash me your case if you choose to do so. Please don't say anything racist/homophobic/transphobic because I would hate to drop a team automatically. I'll also be looking for continuity in flow and consistent clash—make things spicy!
Background: I'm the Director of Debate at Northland Christian School in Houston, TX. In high school, I debated for three years on the national and local circuits (TOC, NSDA, TFA). I was a traditional/LARP debater whenever I competed (stock and policy arguments, etc). I teach at GDS in the summer.
Email Chain: Please add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2023-2024 Update: I have only judged at 1 or 2 circuit LD tournaments the last two years; I've been judging mainly WS at tournaments. If I'm judging you at Apple Valley, you should definitely slow down. I will not vote for something I don't understand or hear, so please slow down!
Judging Philosophy: I prefer a comparative worlds debate. When making my decisions, I rely heavily on good extensions and weighing. If you aren't telling me how arguments interact with each other, I have to decide how they do. If an argument is really important to you, make sure you're making solid extensions that link back to some standard in the round. I love counterplans, disads, plans, etc. I believe there needs to be some sort of standard in the round. Kritiks are fine, but I am not well-versed in dense K literature; please make sure you are explaining the links so it is easy for me to follow. I will not vote on a position that I don't understand, and I will not spend 30 minutes after the round re-reading your cards if you aren't explaining the information in round. I also feel there is very little argument interaction in a lot of circuit debates--please engage!
Theory/T: I think running theory is fine (and encouraged) if there is clear abuse. I will not be persuaded by silly theory arguments. If you are wanting a line by line theory debate, I'm probably not the best judge for you :)
Speaker Points: I give out speaker points based on a couple of things: clarity (both in speed and pronunciation), word economy, strategy and attitude. In saying attitude, I simply mean don't be rude. I think there's a fine line between being perceptually dominating in the round and being rude for the sake of being rude; so please, be polite to each other because that will make me happy. Being perceptually dominant is okay, but be respectful. If you give an overview in a round that is really fast with a lot of layers, I will want to give you better speaks. I will gauge my points based on what kind of tournament I'm at...getting a 30 at a Houston local is pretty easy, getting a 30 at a circuit tournament is much more difficult. If I think you should break, you'll get good speaks. Cussing in round will result in dropping your speaks.
Speed: I'd prefer a more moderate/slower debate that talks about substance than a round that is crazy fast/not about the topic. I can keep up with a moderate speed; slow down on tag lines/author names. I'll stop flowing if you're going too fast. If I can't flow it, I won't vote on it. Also, if you are going fast, an overview/big picture discussion before you go line by line in rebuttals is appreciated. Based on current speed on the circuit, you can consider me a 6 out of 10 on the speed scale. I will say "clear" "slow" "louder", etc a few times throughout the round. If you don't change anything I will stop saying it.
Miscellaneous: I don't prefer to see permissibility and skep. arguments in a round. I default to comparative worlds.
1. I'm not likely to vote on tricks...If you decide to go for tricks, I will just be generally sad when making a decision and your speaks will be impacted. Also, don't mislabel arguments, give your opponent things out of order, or try to steal speech/prep time, etc. I am not going to vote on an extension of a one sentence argument that wasn't clear in the first speech that is extended to mean something very different.
2. Please don't run morally repugnant positions in front of me.
3. Have fun!
WS Specific Things
-I start speaks at a 70, and go up/down from there!
-Make sure you are asking and taking POIs. I think speakers should take 1 - 2 POIs per speech
-Engage with the topic.
-I love examples within casing and extensions to help further your analysis.
I'm here as a debate parent, but in my professional life I am a broadcaster. I am fair and objective when it comes to listening to debates and learning more about the topics. I do not let my bias or background knowledge on topics influence my decisions in debates, and I come in with a fresh perspective to each debate. The debate style I prefer is to speak slowly and clearly, articulating ideas clearly by emphasizing the important points of a speech. Please do not speak too quickly or I will have to disregard information that I missed. I take notes, so make sure to emphasize what you really want me to hear. Tell me why you win this debate so I don’t have to guess. Above all, have fun.
I am currently a student at Texas A&M and I have experience competing in Public Forum, Congress, and primarily World Schools Debate at the state, national, and international levels.
Organization/ roadmaps go a long way. It helps keep your speech on track and easily followed. Relevant introductions and conclusions are very important, and bonus points if you can weave them in throughout your speech! If you bring up a point, you better have evidence and reasoning to back it up. Try to utilize a variety of credible sources, you shouldn’t reference the same Facebook blogger three times. Remember faster ≠ better.
For the love of all things, DO NOT SPREAD. If I have to connect the dots with all of your arguments, we have an issue. Furthermore, you cannot win by simply having more arguments than your opponent, they must have weight over the other and you have to prove it to me. Signposting and organization help me flow and will in turn help me follow and understand your side better. I shouldn’t be getting lost in your speeches. Always keep your style respectful, don’t let your confidence turn into cockiness, and remember that speaking louder doesn’t make anything you say more believable.
WSD: Understand your speaker roles! First speeches should be very polished and not read off to me. These speeches should build a solid foundation for your team to build off of. The third speaker should solidify my vote for your side (don't try cramming in new arguments, weigh both worlds, and put everything into perspective), essentially go back through the flow and clarify anything that needs it. If a third speech does all of that well, I won’t even need to flow the replies.
POIs play into your strategy; asking too many or too few will affect your score. Remember to not badger your opponent with them and respect protected time. Be sure to keep a consistent narrative across the bench. I should feel like all four speeches came from the same team and weren’t thrown together randomly.
PF/ LD: Use prep time wisely and strategically. I will keep a running track of your prep time, and I won't stop my timer until you're done conversing/ working on the bench, EVEN IF your personal timer goes off, prepping is prepping. All questions and responses during cross should have a meaning behind them that impacts my ballot. Don’t ask questions for the sake of asking them and don’t let your answers leave room for interpretation. Personally, I dislike off-the-clock roadmaps. If you want to implement some sort of startup organization for your rebuttal, then it should be the beginning of your speech and kept up throughout your speech.
Hey! Nice to meet you!
I'm MK! I competed in almost all types of speech and debate events in high school, but I mainly competed in Congressional debate. With that being said, my standards for Congress are much higher than other events. To me, Congress is not just a debate event, it's role-playing a real senator or representative. Tell stories to empathize with your constituents. Formulate defensible arguments that are backed up with strong impact and analysis... Why should I care? Are you making me care? I reward and love varied sources(articles, books, research papers, etc.), I hate rehash( please don't let me get bored), and cookie-cutter speeches(I can tell if you didn't write the words you speak). Stand out to me, in a positive light, and you will be rewarded.
* you will be judged the moment you walk into the room*
Debate: I'm looking for clarity and strong arguments. Please be clear about what you're trying to convey. Speak slowly, and stay engaged throughout the debate. Never forgot your claim, warrant, and impact! I want to see a strong value and criterion. Warning: I will keep a rigorous flow.
Speech: Love good storytelling. Project your voice, I have bad hearing. Stay engaged with your audience. Speak slowly. Show your personality through your piece.
For WSD I like clear argument engagement that includes thoughtful weighing and impact analysis. I prefer debates that have colonial and imperial powers recon with their history (if its germane to the topic). When it comes down to relevancy and impacts/harms, I prefer debates that show how their resolution (whether we're going for opp or prop) will benefit or improve black and brown communities, or the global south.
Interp overall: I pay real close attention to the introduction of each piece, I look for the lens of analysis and the central thesis that will be advanced during the interpretation of literature. When the performance is happening, I'm checking to see if they have dug down deep enough into an understanding of their literature through that intro and have given me a way to contextualize the events that are happening during the performance
POI: I look for clean transitions and characterization (if doing multiple voices)
DI: I look for the small human elements that come from acting. Big and loud gestures are not always the way to convey the point, sometimes something smaller gets the point more powerfully.
HI: I'm not a good HI judge, please do not let me judge you in HI. I don't like the event and I do my best to avoid judging it. If that fails, I look for clean character transitions, distinct voices, and strong energy in the movements. Please don't be racist/homophobic in your humor.
INFO: I'm looking for a well research speech that has a strong message to deliver. Regardless of the genre of info you're presenting, I think that showing you've been exhaustive with your understanding is a good way to win my ballot. I'm not wow'd by flashy visuals that add little substance, and I'm put off by speeches that misrepresent intellectual concepts, even unintentionally. I like speeches that have a conclusion, and if the end of your speech is "and we still don't know" then I think you might want to reassess the overall direction you are taking, with obvious exceptions being that we might literally not know something, because its still being researched (but that is a different we don't know than say, "and we don't know why people act this way :( ")
FX/DX: When I'm evaluating an extemp speech, I'm continually thinking "did they answer the question? or did they answer something that sounded similar?" So keep that in your mind. Are you directly answering the question? When you present information that could be removed without affecting the overall quality of the speech, that is a sign that there wasn't enough research done by the speaker. What I vote up in terms of content are speeches that show a depth of understanding of the topic by evaluating the wider implications that a topic has for the area/region/politics/etc.
Leland '22, Berkeley '26
I did speech and debate for 4 years in high school but mainly did LD! I haven't debated or judged since March 2022 so please dont use random debate jargon bcs I might not understand it.
I'm super big on respect and being nice to your opponent! Please be cordial and just a good person, we're all here to have fun and learn something new so please leave the weird reactions and rude comments at home/in your hotel rooms. If you don't respect your opponent or me I'll tank your speaks.
Some General Tips:
- Don't spread. I won't be able to flow most of your arguments if you do.
- Speak confidently!!! Even if you do not know what you're talking about I don't know that, so just fake it till you make it
- PLEASE do not say you "solve" for issues like racism, poverty, sexism, world hunger, etc (or other issues you are not going to solve with one resolution). It's lowkey very insensitive and sounds weird coming from a high school debater (who comes from a lot of privilege.) Please call your opponents out if they say this.
- CLASH CLASH CLASH!!! It's honestly really frustrating to see debaters talk about completely different things during the round and do not engage with each other. It makes judging a lot harder and makes everything really messy. Engage with your opponent's arguments, a response is better than no response.
- Don't have crazy link chains. Make sure your impacts from links are clear and make sense and don't need 10 links.
- SIGN POST! If you don't sign post I won't flow it. Just do it, it makes everyone's lives easier.
- Weigh your arguments! If you weigh well you'll probably have my ballot.
- Value and Value Criterion are so important. Please make sure your framing is fair and makes sense. This is what makes LD debate unique so please spend time on it
- CX is so important! Use this time for strategic questions. It can really make or break the round so use all the time you can,
- Make sure you have a story that flows throughout your case. It helps me understand your side more and makes the debate more interesting.
- Don't drop arguments! Always respond to everything and collapse to voters in your final speech
- Make voters clear and concise. I want you to write my ballot for me and tell me why you won.
- Feel free to ask any other questions in round too :)
- Please don't ask too many POIs and on the same note don't ignore all your opponent's POIs. Be reasonable and engage with your opponent without bombarding them with questions
- Please frame the debate at the top just for clarity
- Make sure you collapse to key points and voters at the end.
Other than that have fun, that's genuinely the most important thing!
If you have any questions email me: email@example.com
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’m the head coach of the Mount Vernon HS Debate Team (WA).
I did policy debate in HS very, very long ago - but I’m not a traditionalist. (Bring on the progressive LD arguments-- I will listen to them, unlike my daughter, Peri, who is such a traditional LD'er.)
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please don’t be racist, homophobic, etc. I like sassy, aggressive debaters who enjoy what they do but dislike sullen, mean students who don't really care-- an unpleasant attitude will damage your speaker points.
Speed: I’m worried about judging online, so please slow down a little bit to avoid any issues. Speed hasn't been a problem but I don't tell you if I need you to be more clear-- I feel it's your job to adapt. If you don't see me typing, you probably want to slow down.
Tech = Truth: I’ll probably end up leaning more tech, but I won’t vote for weak arguments that are just blatantly untrue in the round whether or not your opponents call it out.
PSA --- My debater Ausha is my favorite fave : ) but I probably shouldn't given her my tabroom info
I prefer a strong, developed NEG strategy instead of running a myriad of positions that serve no point.
I love it when debaters run unique arguments that they truly believe and offer really high speaker points for this. (I'm not inclined to give high speaks though.)
Any arguments that aren’t on here, assume neutrality.
Do like and will vote on:
T - I love a well-developed T battle but rarely hear one. I don't like reasonability as a standard-- it's lazy, do the work.
Ks - I like debaters who truly believe in the positions they’re running. I like critical argumentation but if you choose to run an alt of "embrace poetry" or "reject all written text", you had better fully embrace it. I’m in touch with most literature, but I need a lot of explanation from either side as to why you should win it in the final rebuttals.
Don’t like but will vote on if won:
“Debate Bad” - I DO NOT LIKE "Debate is Futile" arguments. Please don't tell me what we are doing has no point. I will listen to your analysis. I may even have to vote for it once in a while. But, it is not my preference. Want a happy judge? Don't tell me that how we are spending another weekend of our lives is wasting our time.
LD - Skep, permissibility, etc.
Very, very, very... VERY traditional LD - if you are reading an essay case, congratulations and welcome to my worst nightmare.
Not a huge fan of disclosure theory-- best to skip this.
Don’t like and won’t vote on:
I'm an administrator at Northland Christian that has been traveling with our debate team for over 10 years. Over the years, I have judged a variety of events like PF, Congress, and IEs. Each year, I judge at a couple of tournaments for our school like Berkeley and Glenbrooks. When making a decision, I will look mainly at content and style. Students should not speak too fast and should make logical arguments throughout the debate; they should be considerate to their opponents and the judge throughout the round. I will not keep a rigorous flow throughout the round, but I will take notes to help me make a decision. For Isidore Newman, I will be judging Worlds. I have seen a couple of practice rounds and understand the style and expectation of students in this format, but this will be the first time I judge this event.
I am a debate coach and familiar with all formats of debate. Primary focus is now World Schools Debate. I have coached teams and competed on the international level with those teams so I am well versed in WSD. Embrace the format of this special debate. I don't enjoy seeing a PF attempt in this format-make the adjustment and be true to the form as intended for it to be.
I'm a policy-maker at heart. Decisions will be flow-based focusing on impact calculus stemming from the question of the resolution.
If I'm not flowing, I'm either not buying your current argument or not appreciating your speaking style.
Play offense and defense; I should have a reason to vote FOR you, not just a reason to vote AGAINST your opponents.
WSD-Show me what the world looks like on your side of the motion-stay true to the heart of the motion
Yes, manners. Good debate is not rude or snarky. Do not let your primal need to savagely destroy your opponent cost you the round. Win with style and grace or find yourself on the wrong side of the ballot. You've been warned.
WSD- I love the passion and big picture
Speed is not a problem with me, it's probably more of a problem with you. Public Forum is not "Policy-lite" and should not be treated as such as far as speaking style goes. The beauty of PF should not get lost in trying to cram in arguments. Many times spreading in PF just tells me you need work in word economy and style. Feel free to speak at an elevated conversational rate displaying a rapid clarity that enhances the argument.
WSD-Don't even think about speed!
Speeches should follow the predetermined road map and should be signposted along the way. If you want an argument on the flow, you should tell me exactly where to flow it. If I have to make that decision for you, I may not flow it at all. I prefer your arguments and your refutation clearly enumerated; "We have 3 answers to this..."
Framework and Definitions
The framework (and definitions debate) should be an umbrella of fairness to both sides. The framework debate is important but should not be over-limiting to your opponents. I will not say "impossible" here, but winning the round without winning your framework is highly improbable. I am open to interpretation of the resolution, but if that interpretation is overtly abusive by design, I will not vote for your framework. That said, I caution your use of abuse stories. Most abuse arguments come off like whining, and nobody likes that. If a framework and accompanying definition is harmful to the debate, clearly spell out the impacts in those terms. Otherwise, provide the necessary (and much welcomed) clash. Most definition debates are extremely boring and a waste of time.
Your FF should effectively write the RFD for me. Anything less is leaving it up to my interpretation.
Good luck, and thank you for being a debater.
Background: I primarily did PF in high school (as well as other speech events + Congress). Currently I'm a coach. 3x National qualifier.
In all forms of debate, I prioritize clash and impact weighing. Tell me where to vote on the flow. Tell me how you've won your debate.
PF: Cards without valid reasoning to demonstrate how they support your argument do not prove your point. Signpost, warrant, and weigh.
LD: I prefer a traditional approach to LD. Set up a framework that explains how your value weighs more or solves for your opponent's case. Use the framework as you weigh voters. Prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to words/speed. LD shouldn't be treated like circuit policy.
Policy: I can keep up with any speed. I'll consider kritiks, counterplans, and disadvantages.
Decorum: To me, debate should be inclusive and welcoming to students of all identities and experience levels. If you make it hostile for someone, I will not vote for you, no matter the flow. Laughing at your opponents, excessively whispering during others' speeches, making implicitly sexist or racist arguments will affect your speaks and my ability to buy your argument. Additionally, I will deduct speaker points if I encounter students from the same program running the same arguments word-for-word. Share ideas, sure, but write your own cases, debaters.
Email chains: Add me! email@example.com.
I mainly judge public forum, and occasionally policy or congress.
The following is for Public Forum. Here’s what I expect:
1. Make sure you introduce yourselves before you start.
2. I expect all debaters to know the rules and be respectful to one another.
3. Debaters should keep track of their prep time and speech times but I may monitor them and time myself.
4. Be clear and communicate effectively (No spreading please). If I can't understand you, I will assume you don't know your topic.
5. Anything dropped in the round can not be responded to later in the debate.
6. Don’t read new cards in the Final Focus.
7. Do lots of weighing in the Summary and Final Focus; you should make it clear to me who won the round, I shouldn’t have to do the weighing myself.
1. Come prepared to round with a flash drive in case the WiFi is down and you can't email your speech docs.
2. Say which argument you are responding to before you read a card, and group arguments.
3. Don't read just evidence and expect me to interpret why they were said; make it clear what each card means in the context of the debate with analysis.
4. Do what you would do in a normal policy round- don't read floating pics and unreasonable theory shells against your opponents just because they or I don't know the rules as much as you.
5. I will be reading your speech docs but it would be wise for you to read at a speed at which I can clearly understand what you're saying.
6. Divide the neg block between your partner reasonably- for example you shouldn't be going both case and off case in each speech of the block.
7. Properly flow the round and be respectful to your partner and opponents by at least acting like your listening to their speeches. This will enable you to debate line-by-line rather than just using pre-made blocks that don't necessarily address the warrant of your opponent's arguments.
Students @ Berkeley,
I have no formal speech and debate experience. This will be my first tournament. Please speak clearly and avoid jargon. I am looking forward to the debates! ⚽
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
If you have any questions about these points, please do not hesitate to ask me before the round!
My email: email@example.com
I was involved in speech and debate since I was in middle school and throughout my four years of high school. I attended Los Alamos High School in New Mexico and graduated in 2017. I competed in several national circuit tournaments in Arizona, Texas, and National Speech and Debate tournament in 2017. My events included PF debate, LD debate, Original Oratory, and USX/IX. I graduated from UCLA in 2021 and I am currently a PhD student in Statistics at UC Berkeley.
My judging philosophy
1. (esp for CX) DO NOT SPREAD. I understand that you have a lot of ground to cover in a short period of time, so speaking quickly is fine. However, there is a difference between speaking quickly and spreading. Trying to talk at lightning speed will impact your speaker points and in turn the ballot because I cannot understand you. If you are speaking too fast, I will verbally tell you to slow down. Please do not make me tell you more than twice. Speech and debate is about effective and clear communication and spreading detracts from that.
2. Be polite. If you encounter a debater less experienced than you, let them down easy and politely. I will not accept any rude or demeaning behavior. Being rude or patronizing discourages new competitors from staying in the speech and debate community. I am not afraid to punish you with the ballot if you are disrespectful to your opponent.
3. Statistics as evidence. I am a statistician, so I am particularly intrigued by anything involving statistics or data. That being said, I reserve the right to view any and all cards and their corresponding sources upon request. To avoid this, please avoid making statistically incorrect conclusions based on data. I will not consider your contention/subpoint in my RFD if an incorrect statistical conclusion is made. The most common being "X causes Y" when in reality it is "X is associated with Y". In other words, report the results as they are and don't try to oversell them to me.
4. Impacts matter! Make these clear! I care a lot about end-of-round crystallization. Voting issues are a must.
5. Being Progressive (K's, T Shells, Counterplans). You should explain why these are important because I have no idea what they are. It is fine if you want to run this stuff but you should explain the argument to me like you would to your grandmother.
If you search up my debating record, you will probably see that I have a roughly even win/loss record was never a national/state champion or even a tournament finalist. I think I might have made it to semifinals during one year, but I honestly cannot remember (I promise in 4 years you will not remember either).
However, I found speech and debate to be a rewarding time in my high school career, where I learned the importance of effective communication and advocacy on behalf of others. Win or lose, please do not forget about the skills you gain from each round and each tournament you compete in. Good luck!
Very excited to judge world schools. I've judged it a few times over the past couple of years (because I'm usually in LD and Policy land). I did it in high school as well.
The biggest thing I want to see in rounds is impacting and weighing. Don't just recap the argument for me, tell me what happens and why it is important. Otherwise, you should be just fine!
I've been mostly judging/working with WSD this year so my ability to flow spreading is honestly terrible. I can handle above conversation speed but past that you run the risk of me missing things. All my preferences on arguments are the same but the way you deliver has to change.
I'd love to be on the email chain. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm the current assistant coach at Coppell High School where I also have the lovely opportunity to teach Speech & Debate to great students. I did LD, Policy, and Worlds in High School (Newark Science '15) and a bit of Policy while I was in college (Stanford '19). I'm by no means "old" but I've been around long enough to appreciate different types of debate arguments at this point. As long as you're having fun, I can feel it and will probably have fun listening to you, too!
Pref shortcut for those of you who like those:
Theory (if it's your PRIMARY strat - otherwise I can be preffed higher): 3
Credentials that people seem to care about: senior (BA + MA candidate) at Stanford, Director of LD at the Victory Briefs Institute, did LD, policy, and worlds schools debate in high school, won/got to late elims in all of those events, double qualled to TOC in LD and Policy. Did well my freshman year in college in CX but didn't pursue it much after that. Now I coach and judge a bunch.
LD + Policy
Literally read whatever you want. If I don't like what you've read, I'll dock your speaks but I won't really intervene in the debate. Don't be sexist, ableist, racist, transphobic, homophobic, or a classist jerk in the round. Don't make arguments that can translate to marginalized folks not mattering (this will cloud my judgement and make me upset). Otherwise have fun and enjoy the activity for the 45 or 90 mins we're spending together! More info on specific things below:
I get this. The role of the ballots/framing is really helpful for me and usually where I look first.
I understand this. If reading against a K team I'd encourage you to make argument about how fairness/education relates to the theory of power/epistemology of the K. Would make all of our lives better and more interesting.
I also understand this. But don't abuse the privilege. I am not a friv theory fan so don't read it if you can (or else I might miss things as you blip through things).
I understand this too. Slow down when the cards are shorter so I catch the tags.
I don't default to anything necessarily however I do know my experiences and understandings of debate were shaped by me coming from a low income school that specialized in traditional and critical debate. I've been around as a student and a coach (I think) long enough to know my defaults are subject to change and its the debaters' job to make it clear why theory comes first or case can be weighed against the K or RVIs are good or the K can be leveraged against theory. I learn so much from you all every time I judge. Teach me. Lead me to the ballot. This is a collaborative space so even if I have the power of the ballot, I still need you to tell me things. Otherwise, you might get a decision that was outside of your control and that's never fun.
On that note, let it be known that if you're white and/or a non-black POC reading afropessimism or black nihilism, you won't get higher than a 28.5 from me. The more it sounds like you did this specifically for me and don't know the literature, the lower your speaks will go. If you win the argument, I will give you the round though so either a) go for it if this is something you actually care about and know you know it well or b) let it go and surprise me in other ways. If you have a problem with this, I'd love to hear your reasons why but it probably won't change my mind. I can also refer other authors you can read to the best of my ability if I'm up to it that day.
Last thing, please make sure I can understand you! I understand spreading but some of y'all think judges are robots. I don't look at speech docs during the round (and try not to after the round unless I really need to) so keep that in mind when you spread. Pay attention to see if I'm flowing. I'll make sure to say clear if I can't understand you. I'll appreciate it a lot if you keep this in mind and boost your speaks!
Email chain: email@example.com
I did policy debate in high school and coach policy debate in the Houston Urban Debate League.
Debate how and what you want to debate. With that being said, you have to defend your type of debate if it ends up competing with a different model of debate. It's easier for me to resolve those types of debate if there's nuance or deeper warranting than just "policy debate is entirely bad and turns us into elitist bots" or "K debate is useless... just go to the library and read the philosophy section".
Explicit judge direction is very helpful. I do my best to use what's told to me in the round as the lens to resolve the end of the round.
The better the evidence, the better for everyone. Good evidence comparison will help me resolve disputes easier. Extensions, comparisons, and evidence interaction are only as good as what they're drawing from-- what is highlighted and read. Good cards for counterplans, specific links on disads, solvency advocates... love them.
I like K debates, but my lit base for them is probably not nearly as wide as y'all. Reading great evidence that's explanatory helps and also a deeper overview or more time explaining while extending are good bets.
For theory debates and the standards on topicality, really anything that's heavy on analytics, slow down a bit, warrant out the arguments, and flag what's interacting with what. For theory, I'll default to competing interps, but reasonability with a clear brightline/threshold is something I'm willing to vote on.
The less fully realized an argument hits the flow originally, the more leeway I'm willing to give the later speeches.
I'm going to vote for the team with the least mitigated link chain into the best weighed impact.
Progressive arguments and speed are fine (differentiate tags and author). I need to know which offense is prioritized and that's not work I can do; it needs to be done by the debaters. I'm receptive to arguments about debate norms and how the way we debate shapes the activity in a positive or negative way.
My three major things are: 1. Warranting is very important. I'm not going to give much weight to an unwarranted claim, especially if there's defense on it. That goes for arguments, frameworks, etc. 2. If it's not on the flow, it can't go on the ballot. I won't do the work extending or impacting your arguments for you. 3. It's not enough to win your argument. I need to know why you winning that argument matters in the bigger context of the round.
Worlds rounds are clash-centered debates on the most reasonable interpretation of the motion.
Style: Clearly present your arguments in an easily understandable way; try not to read cases or arguments word for word from your paper
Content: The more fully realized the argument, the better. Things like giving analysis/incentives for why the actors in your argument behave like you say they do, providing lots of warranting explaining the "why" behind your claims, and providing a diverse, global set of examples will make it much easier for me to vote on your argument.
Strategy: Things that I look for in the strategy part of the round are: is the team consistent down the bench in terms of their path to winning the round, did the team put forward a reasonable interpretation of the motion, did the team correctly identify where the most clash was happening in the round.
Remember to do the comparative. It's not enough that your world is good; it needs to be better than the other team's world.
I did not do debate in high school or college.
I have coached speech and debate for nearly 20 years. I focus on speech events, PF, and WSD. I rarely judge LD (some years I have gone the entire year without judging LD), so if I am your judge in LD, please go slowly. I will attempt to evaluate every argument you provide in the round, but your ability to clearly explain the argument dictates whether or not it will actually impact my decision/be the argument that I vote off of in the round. When it comes to theory or other progressive arguments (basically arguments that may not directly link to the resolution) please do not assume that I understand completely how these arguments function in the round. You will need to explain to me why and how you are winning and why these arguments are important. When it comes to explanation, do not take anything for granted. Additionally, if you are speaking too quickly, I will simply put my pen down and say "clear."
In terms of PF, although I am not a fan of labels for judges ("tech," "lay," "flay") I would probably best be described as traditional. I really like it when debaters discuss the resolution and issues related to the resolution, rather than getting "lost in the sauce." What I mean by "lost in the sauce" is that sometimes debaters end up talking more about how the debate is going down rather than the actual issues at hand. Try your best to avoid debating debate and debate the resolution.
Argument selection is a skill. Based on the time restrictions in PF debate, you should focus on the most important arguments in the summary and final focus speeches. I believe that PF rounds function like a funnel. You should only be discussing a few arguments at the end of the round. If you are discussing a lot of arguments, you are probably speaking really quickly, and you are also probably sacrificing thoroughness of explanation. Go slowly and explain completely, please.
In cross, please be nice. Don't talk over one another. I will dock your speaks if you are rude or condescending. Also, every competitor needs to participate in grand cross. I will dock your speaks if one of the speakers does not participate.
For Worlds, I prefer a very organized approach and I believe that teams should be working together and that the speeches should compliment one another. When each student gives a completely unique speech that doesn’t acknowledge previous arguments, I often get confused as to what is most important in the round. I believe that argument selection is very important and that teams should be strategizing to determine which arguments are most important. Please keep your POIs clear and concise.
If you have any questions, please let me know after I provide my RFD. I am here to help you learn.