Stephen Stewart Middle and High School Invitational
2022 — milpitas, CA/US
LD Varsity Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
This is my third time judging LD. Please speak clearly and not too fast. Explain your arguments thoroughly and signpost in rebuttals. Also, be respectful to your opponents. Good luck and have fun!
Hey everyone! My name is Gurshaan Bariana (preferred pronouns he/him/his) and I did Policy debate on the national circuit for three years at Milpitas High School and just completed my studies at UC Berkeley.
You'll find I'm extremely supportive and want you all to do well, so don't worry about asking me questions after the round if you still need help with anything. I would also like to be on the email chain (email@example.com) just so I can look back at the evidence at the end of the round if I need to.
Now onto the important stuff:
YOU DO YOU. Too many times I've seen debaters worrying about who their judge is and conforming to their style. I would highly advise against this. I am a firm believer in the idea that you should go for whatever you're comfortable with. I would much rather watch an interesting debate than hear exactly what I want to hear each and every round. Now onto more specifics:
Hateful speech will not be tolerated. That includes any racist/sexist/ableist/homophobic rhetoric. I will stop the round immediately if this happens.
Clash is key- I want to see you directly contesting your opponents arguments instead of reading the blocks your coaches gave you before the round. Trust me, I will be able to tell and it will probably show when you see your speaker points. Indicting your opponents authors and responding to each individual piece of their evidence is something I'll look for and reward. Line by line is extremely important to me and should be for you.
I won't count flash as prep. That being said, if it starts taking a ridiculous amount of time to send over one file, I will start counting it as prep.
Tag team cx is ok, but don't constantly speak over your partner as it will reflect poorly on your speaker points.
CX is extremely underrated- use your time to point out contradictions, ambiguity, or just roast them. A little arrogance is amusing and an ethos boost, but it's awkward if you aren't in a position to be doing so. Please don't spend the entire time asking for clarifications about the case.
Policy Affirmative: If this is your thing, go for it. I have a recent appreciation for creative topical affs, so if you are able to do that I'll definitely reward you. If not, I'd prefer you don't go on openev and use the same generic aff everybody already has answers to; I don't want to listen to the same argument every round. Make sure you are able to clearly explain the aff and the impacts behind it. Please please please do not bombard me with nuclear war scenarios because I will probably view those with a little skepticism. Impact calc is definitely something I will be looking for, so make sure you flush it out.
K affs: Only go for it if you know what you're doing. There is nothing worse than a K poorly executed, so I expect you to be able to clearly explain the advocacy and what it entails. If you are a performative team, I am super down to judge that, but once again please make sure you know what you are doing.
Framework vs K affs: Yes. Please do this. Throughout my senior year, framework was my go-to argument against any K affs. Please don't read framework blocks from openev or generic arguments that you found in your backfiles as that will make for a boring round for everyone in the room. The best debates I've seen were super contextualized framework arguments against teams with flushed out impact arguments.
Topicality: I'm not extremely opposed to Topicality, but at the same time I don't know if I would have much fun listening to teams spitting definitions and counter-interpretations back at each other. If you go for this, I want you to go all out. You should emphasize the impacts of topicality and make it extremely clear to me why the other team's aff is bad for debate.
K's: I definitely had more exposure to kritiks during my years of debate, so I'm down to listen. I will not favor any team just because they choose to read a kritik in front of me. Although I will vote for generic links that are poorly handled by the other team, I will definitely reward you if your link is super specific to the aff. I love gutsy 2nr calls, but make your decisions at your own risk. I think it is also especially key to make sure you have several framing arguments and are clearly able to articulate any permutation arguments if it arises. In order for me to vote for you at the end of the round, I need to have a clear understanding of the alternative and its implications.
DA/CP- The more specific they are to the aff, the more I'll love them. I'm not really a fan of politics DA, but anything else I see as a viable option. The link for the DA and the solvency/net benefits for the CP will be extremely important for me, so make sure you take that into consideration.
If you can somehow make me laugh for a good reason, you'll be seeing some boosts in your speaker points (but don't force it please). Other than that, I wish you all the best. Good luck and have fun!
I am a beginner judge of speech and debate tournaments.
For speech tournaments, the guiding principles that I use to judge participants include the following:
- Was the speech compelling? Was it well delivered with maturity, poise, and a demonstrated understanding of the topic?
- Was the logic in the speech sound?
- How well did the speaker present? Did they use effective gestures and facial queues? Did they speak fluently? Were there nervous ticks or unnecessary adds such as the use of "like" or "just" repeatedly throughout the presentation?
For debate tournaments, I look for the following:
- Is the logic used in the debate sound? Are there inconsistencies or logic leaps that make the argument difficult or impossible to follow?
- Did the AF team effectively present a plan that I could understand?
- Did the Neg team present an alternative or effectively refute the plan presented?
- Was evidence used effectively?
- Were ideas communicated in a way that was understandable?
- Which team made the most compelling arguments/which team was able to respond most effectively to key points of the opponent to make or refute a case?
I do my best to remove any bias based on prior knowledge or a topic and/or presenter characteristics.
Hey guys this is Austin, Joel's son here to tell you a little bit about my dad. He is a LAY judge. NO SPREADING. you will lose if you do this. Don't run medium arguments and use jargon like internal link. It will not work well for you. My dad has been working in cyber for 20 years so he knows stuff about cyber but will listen to evidence.
Please talk slowly, introduce yourself,
For debate: state if you are aff or neg
My name is Paul Choi, and I am a parent judge. I am an engineering manager in the tech industry.
I appreciate clearly laid-out arguments. Ideally, the contentions should flow together to create an overarching case for your argument. Each contention should be well-supported by evidence. There is no need to speak fast, or overwhelm the opponent or judges with the volume of evidence - oftentimes I find that the best debaters are able to clearly present their side of the argument with couple of well-chosen contentions and a few supporting evidences.
I have been in awe of many of the debates I've been privileged to witness so far. I am excited to hear more. Good luck and have a great round!
I am a parent judge and judging for past one and half year.
I prefer if both teams would reference their evidence and make their arguments concise and easy to understand.
I look for debaters who have all of the components necessary for an LD case. Focus on explaining your impacts and weighing yours and your opponent's arguments. Do not engage in an evidence dump.
Also, please speak clearly and at a reasonable pace. Be respectful to your opponent; being rude or interrupting will play a role in my decision.
Hello there! If you're reading this, then I'm probably going to be your judge for an upcoming Lincoln Douglas round, and you'd like to get some advantage on your opponent by searching me up. Congratulations, you're an opportunist. You'll go far in life.
I have competed in Lincoln Douglas debate and speech events including Impromptu, Oratorical Interpretation, and Thematic Interpretation. I have been ranked in the top 40 Impromptu speakers in the nation in 2019-2020, 6th in CA Impromptu, and 20th in CA Thematic Interpretation. I've been to a fair few tournaments and seen my fair share of opponents and events, and my beliefs are thus:
Speak cleanly and with purpose. Spreading, in my mind, is dumb. Speaking with a punctual clarity goes to the heart of true debate, and allows for your opponent to comprehend and make substantive arguments for their side. That'll give you high speaker points in my eyes, as well as better performance overall.
Know your cards, and use them well. If you attempt to refute an argument without a card, I won't give it much weight. Backing up your arguments with evidence as much as possible is crucial. Without evidence, you're not a debater—you're simply another person with opinions. Quite frankly, there are a couple billion other people all with opinions in the world, and that's a bit too many already.
Don't drop an argument. If you do, that's a big detraction on your ranking. Responding to an argument is important, and I keep close note on which arguments are raised and which are responded to. If you believe your opponent has dropped something, call them out in speech and I'll take note of it. If you are accused of dropping something when you didn't, also feel free to call them out about it briefly, and I'll vindicate you.
That's about it. Don't be annoying, don't be rude, and keep in mind—this is a debate, not an argument. It's for the enrichment of the mind, not to be petty to win a clash of verbiage. Learn something, maybe even win something, and have some fun. If you've read to the end, include the word "susurration" in a speech of yours and I'll throw a speaker point or two your 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.
Last update: 8 November, 2023 for NPDI
I have mostly retired from judging but pop back in every once in a while. My familiarity with events is as follows: Parli > PF > Policy > LD > others. With that in mind, please be clear with the framework with which you would like me to evaluate the round. I will hold myself to the evaluative method defined within the context of each round. Absent one, expect that I will make whatever minimum number of assumptions necessary to be able to evaluate the round. If I find that I cannot evaluate the round... well just don't let it get there. Have fun!
-Coaching history: The Nueva School (2 yrs), Berkeley High School (2 yrs)
-Competition history: Campolindo (4 yrs, 2x TOC)
•TLDR: read what you want and don't be a bad person.
-If you do not understand the terminology contained in this paradigm, I encourage you to ask me before and/or after the round for clarification
-Please read: Be inclusive to everyone in the debate space - I will drop teams who impede others from accessing it or making it a hostile environment. Structural violence in debate is real and bad. I reserve any and every right to believe that if you have made this space violent for others, you should lose the round because of it. If you believe your opponents have made the round inaccessible to you, give me a reason to drop them for it (ie. theory). Respect content warnings. Ignoring them is an auto-loss. Respect pronouns. Deliberately ignoring them / misgendering is an auto-loss. Outing people purposefully / threatening to do so is an auto-loss. Intentional deadnaming is an auto loss. I am willing to intervene against the flow as I see fit to resolve these harms. I am prepared and willing to defend any decision to tab. If there is any way that I can help you be more comfortable in this space let me know and I will see what I can do :)
-Terminalize and weigh impacts
-Uniqueness must be in the right direction
-Most familiar with UQ/L/IL/I structure, but open to other formats as long as its organized and logical
-Read good, specific links
-No impacts, no offense
-Counterplan strats are cool. do CP things, defend the squo, do whatever you want
•Theory and the such
-Competing interps > reasonability, if you read reasonability it better have a brightline / a way for me to evaluate reasonability
-Friv T, NIB, or presumption triggers: not my preferred strat but if explained and justified, I have and will vote on it
-Read your RVI, justify why you get access to it
-Drop the team, but I am easily convinced otherwise given justification
-Weigh standards, voters
-No preference for articulated vs potential abuse, have that debate and justify
-I won't fill in your blanks, the K must explain itself through its articulation, not its clarification
-Beware of reading identity based arguments that you are not a constituent of
-I'll listen to your K aff, justify not defending the resolution or lmk how your K aff defends the res
-Your alt/advocacy/performance better do something (or not! justify it!)
-Links must be specific, link of omission/generic links <<<<< specific links
-I am not a points fairy.
-if you want me to flow things well, tagline everything and signpost well
-have a strategy, read offense, collapse, justify your impact framing
-Have the condo debate, I don't default
-a thing with explanation and a warrant > a thing with no warrant but an explanation > a thing with no warrant and no explanation
-Default layering is T>=FW>K>Case, but I am easily convinced otherwise given justification
-I can flow your speed (300+ is a bit much for online, but if i can hear it, its fine), "clear" means clear, "slow" means slow
-Speak any way you would like, so long as I can hear your speech you're fine I don't mind what else you do
-I by default track if arguments in rebuttals are new, but if you are unsure if I have flowed it as new, call the POO. When in doubt, call the POO - I will identify whether or not the POO defines an argument that is new.
-Presumption flows neg unless neg reads an advocacy, in which case presumption flows aff, i will vote on presumption but it makes me sad
-tag teaming is fine, but I only flow what the speaker says
-I don't flow POI answers, but they are binding
-if you have texts to pass, do so quickly and within the speech or during flex
-high threshold for intervening in the debate, but I will do so if justified and is the last resort
-i flow speeches, not cross, but again cross is binding
-please time yourselves. i will not time you. if you go egregiously over time I will stop you and tank your speaks
-don't be rude in cross
-i will not call for a card unless the validity of the argument it warrants determines the debate
-don't paraphrase your card or powertag, if you feel like you have to paraphrase, you probably can find a better card
-read offense, I'll only vote on things in the last speech, so if you want me to vote on it, it better be extended through the other speeches explicitly
-put me on the email chain, dgomezsiu [at] berkeley [dot] edu
-if you want extra feedback or have questions, email ^ or facebook messenger is a good place to reach me
-Debated 4 years LD, graduating in 2013; qualified to TOC twice and reached Quarterfinals my senior year.
-Have coached for 10 years; am currently the Head Debate Coach at Lynbrook High School.
- My goal when judging is to be tab.
- That being said, I am way better at judging phil debates than policy debates.
- Start your last speech with an overview that tells me as directly as possible why you win. It shouldn't be prewritten. It should go something like: 'I'm winning X argument because Y, and it comes first because Z.'
- Please compare clashing arguments as soon as possible (i.e. in the NC/1AR). Weighing is more important to my ballot than extra cards.
- I like theory but NOT when it's extra ridiculous (i.e. shoe theory).
- Please don't read disclosure theory in front of me. When I competed, disclosure wasn't a thing yet. Nobody knew what the aff was going to be until the timer started. I think this was a way better model for debate because it forced competitors to actually think on their feet. Debate seems very robotic nowadays and I think a large part of that is because of the very uptight disclosure practices.
- The time it takes PF teams to share evidence is a massive problem in this activity. Please, please, please don't take too much time to share evidence -- this drastically increases the length of rounds and delays tournaments.
- I feel like PFers often assume a far greater familiarity with the topic, current events, and economic theory than I actually have. Please over-explain your arguments, and don't instantly assume I understand your responses.
'Kyle' or 'Judge' (he/him)
Program Director & Head Coach at Palo Alto High School
President of the National Parliamentary Debate League (NPDL)
ex-LD, OO @ Morse High School
ex-APDA @ Yale University
Experienced judge from a traditional background. I'm receptive to many arguments, styles, strategies, etc., but I'm less familiar with the progressive edges of circuit debate (e.g. performance, AFF Ks). I spend most of my time nowadays doing administrative work, so I probably don't know all the latest cards/norms/trends etc. in your event. I'll try to adapt toward the median judge of whatever tournament/event/division I'm judging, so you probably don't need to adapt drastically for me.
- tech AND truth both matter; I think about the flow, not just record it
- better warranting & weighing wins almost all rounds in front of me
- jargon/speed are fine but often unnecessary, even counterproductive
- clarity is your responsibility; I won't vote for anything I don't understand
- kindness and respect are absolutes/non-negotiables
best at judging/comfortable with:
- traditional topical case debate
- soft-left policy arguments
- critically-framed DAs/lay Ks
fine at judging/okay with:
- necessitated theory/T
- analytic philosophy
- hyper-technical LARP
bad at judging/uncomfortable with:
- non-topical/no-link Ks
- performance AFFs
- frivolous theory
HOW I VOTE
I vote for whomever does better comparative weighing of well-warranted impacts about the main clash(es) of the round. Although technique generally determines truth, you're much better off making credible arguments. Since tournaments need judges to vote quickly and critique efficiently, I tend to vote for the side that was clearer to me.
I default to evaluating the topical case layer of the round first. If you want me to evaluate another layer first (e.g. theory, kritik), you need to prove why that layer should supersede – you don't automatically 'up-layer' the debate by making a non-traditional argument. In fact, the more 'progressive' the argument is, the greater your burden of proof is.
Please email speech docs to: firstname.lastname@example.org
TLDR; Flay judge; did policy debate at the national level back in college (this was a REALLY long time ago), so treat me as somebody who mostly has no idea what you are talking about, I'm not up to date on the current policy meta.
Tech>truth, tabula rasa until you're racist/sexist/homophobic/personally offensive in any way, in which case I will instantly drop you with the lowest speaks possible. Defense is not sticky, weighing in the 2AR is imperative, make sure you extend arguments made in the ac/nc clearly across the flow and signpost well so I can flow you, especially if you're speaking fast. Tell me why cards actually matter instead of just throwing around their names in rebuttal. Trad>circuit debate, give me voters in the 1nr/2ar, I will try to remain as noninterventionist as possible and evaluate based off the flow. I look for you to creatively extend your contentions and CPs and think out of the box in your 1ar/2ar/2nrs, those are interesting for me.
I hate speed, I'm not the best flower and I'll probably drop some of your arguments if you spread. I strongly dislike/don't really understand k affs, kritiks, friv t, and non-topical arguments. Avoid tricks as I wouldn't know what hit me and won't vote you up or down for them.
Go for it. Phil debate is an integral part of LD. I default util in the absence of any framing, but if one side offers framing and the other side does not, I'll evaluate based off of framing presented. Just make sure to keep it understandable and don't throw singular cards from random philosophers around as a complete framework.
What's up. I'm Lukas/Luka (either is fine, they/them). Yes, I do want to be on the email chain. Lukrau2002@gmail.com, but I prefer using the fileshare option on NSDA campus, or speechdrop. If you would like, I am happy to send you my flow after the round.
Important Warning: the longer the tournament goes the worse I become at judging. If I've judged like 10+ debates be prepared for short rfds and be clear so I don't misflow you and make things obvious so I dont do illogical things.
I will listen to any argument, (yes, including tricks, nebel T, intrinsic perms, extra T, K affs of any type, listing these as they are supposedly the most "controversial") in any event, against any opponent, with the exception of the obviously morally objectionable arguments (use common sense or ask), arguments attempting to change the number of winners/losers, and arguments attempting to take speaker points out of my hands. With those exceptions, my only dogma is that dogma is bad. If you are confident in your ability to beat your opponents on the flow, pref me high. If you have certain arguments you dogmatically hate and are terrible at debating against, it is probably in your best interests to pref me low, because I will almost certainly be willing to evaluate those arguments no matter how silly you find them.
I believe that paradigms should exclusively be used to list experience with arguments, and that judges should not have "preferences" in the sense of arguments they dont want to evaluate. We're very likely being paid to be here to adjudicate the debates the debaters want to have, so the fact that some judges see fit to refuse to evaluate the fruit of some debaters' labor because they personally didn't like the args when they debated is extremely frustrating and frankly disrespectful to the time and effort of the debaters in my opinion. So below is my experience and a quick pref guide, based not on preference, but on my background knowledge of the arguments.
Experience: HSLD debate, Archbishop Mitty, 2018-2021; TOC qual 2020, 3 career bids. VBI camp instructor - Summer of 2021, Summer of 2022, Summer of 2023. Private coaching - Fall 2021-2022 (no longer actively coaching). Happy to talk about math stuff, especially topology! My current favorite theorem is Brouwer's fixed point theorem.
Pref guide - based on experience as a debater and judge, not personal arg preference
1 - Weird/cheaty counterplans
1 - Policy Args
1 - Phil
2 - Ks (queer theory, cap)
2 - Tricks
2 - Theory
2 - Ks (other Ks, not high theory)
3 - Ks (high theory)
Again, I cannot stress enough that this is solely based on my knowledge of the lit bases, not my love for the arguments. I read and enjoyed judging many a deleuze aff as a debater and more recently judge. The amount of reading I did to read those affs was very minimal and I mostly just stole cards, so would I say I actually know the args very well? Probably not. Would I enjoy evaluating them? Absolutely.
Below are purely procedural things
Ev ethics note: I will evaluate ev ethics claims the way the accusing debater wants me to out of 2 options: 1] stake the round on the egregiousness of the ev ethics claim, if the violation meets my arbitrary brightline for egregiousness I will drop the debater with bad ev ethics, if not the accusing debater will lose 2] if you read it as a theory shell I will evaluate it as a theory shell. If you're unsure about my arbitrary brightline for staking the round, note that such ev ethics violation need to be reasonably egregious (to auto end the round, I would prefer to see malicious intent or effect, where the meaning of the evidence is changed) - whereas my brightline for voting on it as a theory shell is much lower, and given the truth of the shell you will likely win on the shell, regardless of effect or intent. This means if you have an edge case its better to debate out the theory because you'll probably win simply bc those theory shells are pretty true but I'm pretty adverse to auto dropping ppl so you might not if you stake. If it is obvious and egregious though feel free to stake the round I will definitely vote against egregious miscuttings.
CX is Binding. This means with respect to statuses, etc, your arguments must abide by the status you say in either the speech you read the argument, or the status you say the argument is in cross X. If you say an arg is uncondo in CX, but attempt to kick it in a later speech, & I remember you saying it was uncondo in CX, I will not kick the arg.
But I take this notion farther than just argument statuses. If your opponent asks you "what were your answers to X", you may choose to list as many arguments as you like. You may say "you should've flowed" and not answer, that's your prerogative. But if you DO choose to answer, you should either list every argument you read, or list some and explicitly say that there were other arguments. If your opponent asks something like "was that all," and you choose to say yes, even if I have other args on my flow I won't evaluate them because you explicitly told your opponent those were your only responses. DO NOT LIE/GASLIGHT IN CX, even by accident. Correct yourself before your opponent's prep ends if you've said something wrong. I will not drop you for lying but I WILL hold you to what you say in CX.
My personal beliefs can best be described via Trivialism: https://rest.neptune-prod.its.unimelb.edu.au/server/api/core/bitstreams/3e74aad4-3f61-5a49-b4e3-b20593c93983/content
As a judge, I will look for the following in the debate
a) Don't spread too much. If you want to spread, please share the case with me in advance. I may hear your speech/argument, but if you do not give me enough time to process it, I may not vote on it.
b) Don't bring any evidence if the probability of the issue happening is very low.
c) Don't bring any new arguments/evidence in the final speech.
d) I prefer Quality over Quantity.
I will try to be as neutral as possible. Having said that It is your job to make sure I know your argument without having studied it myself.
If you know you know.
"You...kicked me. But I can't be seen by ordinary humans. Are you saying you can see me?" - Rukia Kuchiki
Affiliation: Leland HS '16
Competed 4 years HS parli/extemp, 3 years Congress, 1 year APDA. Now coaching for Leland.
I usually judge parli and congress, with some occasional PF.
-Don't be racist/sexist/ableist/discriminatory.
-Presentation skills(essentially make sure I can hear and understand you) matter for speaker points, but organization/clarity of your case/argument structures matter more. Appearance should not and will not be a factor.
-Organization/clarity is key--signpost, use clear taglines, make it very clear where I should be on my flow.
Parli(and some things applicable enough to PF):
-I'm not going to time for you(so time yourselves), though I may have a stopwatch going for my own personal use. Generally, once you go past 15-20 seconds overtime, I'll just stop flowing.
-Pretty much all of my experience is with lay/case debate, which I strongly prefer/can understand best. I have voted for theoretical/kritikal arguments before, but don't expect me to be particularly knowledgeable or well-read. Run those arguments if you have/really want to, but be prepared to do a bit more explaining at a more basic level than you usually do. Keep things simple/clear/clean/organized, and that'll give me the best chance at understanding/voting for your arguments.
-I can't really do speed,
and cap at maybe 200wpm(exponentially less the deeper in the tournament it is/the more tired I am)? If you go too fast for me, I'll call "clear" and hope you slow down. If you don't, I provide no guarantees for the state of my flow.
-Impacts are very important. Please have them. Impact calculus is also very important to me. Please have it, because that significantly influences how I vote. I'd also suggest you have a clear/consistent/strong internal link chain, because your impacts should make sense.
-Write my ballot for me. To put things poorly, some of the best rounds that I've judged are the ones where I've done a minimum of independent thought and work-give me your impact weighing, make clear the voters, and highlight critical parts of the debate and explain why they fall in your favor.
-POIs/Crossfire: Useful/purposeful POIs are appreciated, but don't be rude or impolite. I would rather that at least one(maybe two) questions be taken, but given time constraints, not taking any questions is perfectly fine, and won't impact your speaks. POIs generally aren't put on the flow, but if something interesting gets brought up, I'll take note.
-POOs: Call them. If a team introduces an entirely new argument in the LOR/PMR, I can't guarantee that I'll catch it unless a point of order is called.
-I see congress as a more holistic event compared to other debates, and will judge as such. Your speaking/presentation skills/quality of argumentation/questioning performance/overall level of activity and engagement with the chamber all matter.
-Presiding: I give good POs high ranks. The PO should not only be fair/fast/efficient, but also should make things very clear and understandable in their decisions and maintain decorum/control in the chamber. If there's clear bias or notable/repeated mistakes, expect low ranks. Know proper procedure. You don't necessarily need to know Robert's Rules of Order front to back, but you should have a very solid grasp on the common general motions/procedures in round. Please remember to call for orders of the day at the end of a day/session. (Note: If I'm a parliamentarian for the session, I'll be largely non-interventionist barring a point of order. Mistakes will still be noted.)
-Clash and rebuttals are important, especially with mid/late-cycle speeches, and will increase your likelihood of getting higher ranks. Clash is not just stating your point and a list of other legislator's names-it is actual engagement with and responsiveness to specific arguments made in the round.
-If you're giving the authorship, while you may not be able to refute anyone, your speech should establish enough background to allow me to understand the context of the rest of the debate. Give me the mandate for the legislation and the initial advantages. Do it well, and even an authorship that generally can't have clash/rebuttal will rank highly. There should not be multiple minutes of dithering because no one wants to give the authorship.
-Know how the flow of debate is going, and adapt your speeches accordingly. What would have been a good constructive speech early in the debate will be far more poorly received in later cycles, where crystallization/weighing/refutation speeches are more appropriate. Even if your speaking is competent, if you don't substantively contribute to the development of the overall debate, you won't get a good rank.
-Be polite/appropriately decorous. There's a not insignificant element of congressional role-playing in this event, and that should reflect in your speeches/argumentation/questioning.
I am an experienced parent judge (lay style, not circuit style).
I started judging in Jan 2022. Please minimize excessive spreading.
I like well-constructed, linear arguments that bear directly on the debate topic.
I do not generally comprehend "meta-rhetoric" (that is, arguments about the merits or validity of the debate question itself).
My email address for sending evidence and cases is email@example.com
I've debated before (LD, policy, Public Forum) so dont worry about holding back. I do care if you are disrespectful to your opponent. I am quite familiar with the topic. I graduated from UC Davis with a medical microbiology degree and have done clinical research. All contentions and CX questions that are answered with valid evidence and reasoning are encouraged and should be an easy round to win.
I appreciate contentions that are explained clearly and in an organized manner. Prefer fewer meaningful arguments over many less impactful ones. Take a few sentences to explain more important arguments, otherwise I might miss them. When referring back to cards made in earlier speeches, it's helpful to mention the essense of the studies rather than just the name of the author. Strongly prefer reasonable analysis over taking arguments to the extreme ending up in nuclear war.
I have been judging Public Forum debate tournaments since fall of 2020.
I look for clarity, consistency and quality of delivery. Please try not to speak too fast so it is easier to follow. It is important to be respectful to your opponents. Also, please explain your arguments in plain terms.
Please ensure your data and stats are factual and supported by credible sources.
Finally, don't forget to have fun!
Thank you and good luck!
I am a parent judge who has had experience for the past 3 years. Please don't spread.
I would prefer it if you debate using stock issues (harms, solvency, DA, etc). Please make substantive arguments that can win you the debate.
I am looking for clarity of thought, structured and substantive arguments (where you keep track of and rebut your opponent's argument), and effective cross-examination.
Please explain why the reasons you have won at the end of the debate.
Good luck to all competitors.
I am a completely Lay judge with no circuit judging experience. If you want to debate circuit, please add me to the email chain so I can read your case and try to follow along (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For both Lay and Circuit, please make your impacts clear and exactly why I should be voting for the affirmative /negation. I am not great with speed so I prefer if you talk slower.
I am a parent judge.
I value tech over truth.
I would like the competitors to speak at a below-spreading level.
Hi - My name is Raji Rao and I am a parent judge. This is my 4th year judging debate tournaments in bay area. I have judged both PF and LD Debates in the past and in this tournament judging LD.
I expect the debaters to keep their timers and prefer an off time road map. Will take both value( and value criterion) and contentions into considerations. Quality over quantity is preferred. Good Luck and bring out the best.
I have judged in the past and find it interesting to analyze view points and perspectives , I have gained information on the topic through online research and reading materials. I would like the debaters to present clear and to the point analysis. The clarity of thoughts should come across through concise and structured delivery on your contentions supported by evidences.
I am a parent judge. Just because you share a speech doc does not mean I will be able to fully understand your contentions or the weight of your arguments if you spread at an incomprehensible rate. Spread at your own risk.
Weight out contentions, be respectful, etc. Engage in a good, substantive round with argumentative clash.
Experience: Did 4 years of Parli in high school, did 4 years in college Parli.
Overview : To be honest, I would prefer the debate to be about the topic, but its not a deal breaker for me.
I’am a flow judge, you tell me to cross apply, I will cross apply; you tell me to extend I will extend, BUT DON’T EXPECT ME TO DO IT FOR YOU, you have to tell me. Offense is more powerful to me than defense, but its still smart to protect your case regardless. IMPACTS are my thing, easiest way to win with me is to have lots of good impacts with clear and reasonable internal links. In the number and variety of the impacts, have at it. If you want to run the impacts like Nuclear War, Space Weapon Planetary Destruction, Anarchy, Dehumanization, Resource Wars etc . Go for it ! Just have the Internal Links to back it up. I only flow what is said by the speaker, during their speech, but feel free to have your partner answer a POI for you. I’m fine with the whole, your partner adding on to your speech, just make sure you restate what they say, so its on my flow. I’m fine with you folks asking any other questions not on this paradigm during round.
Etiquette/Behavior: Debate is a very rigorous, respectable, and educational activity. I have the upmost respect for all of you debaters, so you might see me a bit serious in round. I want all of you to be respectful to your opponents and do not make fun of them and give them the proper attention they deserve. Public speaking is not natural to most, so please, if you are going to talk to your partner while your opponent is speaking, WHISPER. I'm totally fine with you doing your speech standing up or sitting down at your desk, be comfortable. I don’t mind if you are not dressed in “tournament attire”, mainly to avoid the Elitism, Nudist, and/or any other wonky K, but I also know people who are great debaters that cannot afford to wear a nice suit, so there is that.
Flow: Be clear and to the point.
Topicality: I don’t mind voting on T, but I have a very high threshold on them. You need to show me clear and present abuse in round.
Procedural: No A spec, No E spec, for god sake no Funding Spec. Trichot gives me a literal headache, don't go for it in-front of me. All of things you think are procedural should be on solvency and/or the framework.
Every round should be a Policy, miss me with that value/fact debate.
I am a believer of the disclosure. If you run a critical AFF you should disclose your advocacy to the Neg before or right as prep starts. If not and you go for it, and the NEG runs any decently canned disclosure theory on you, you’re in deep water with me. But if you have answers to disclosure good, you can still win as long as they are thicc and warranted.
Kritiks: Meh, they exist. If you make the case compelling. I HAVE voted on it.
What I will do is vote down the K if you don’t follow these prerequisites.
The K must be accessible (in terms of understanding) to everyone in the round. If you see your competitors confused or you see me confused, you're losing your K before you even finished with it. E.g. ontological, existential, pedagogical, epistemology, any philosophical K’s must be read in a way in which everyone in the room can understand what is going on. You will not win the round by your opponents being dumbfounded on your K.
The K also must be organized as well. Do not miss a thing!
There MUST be a link for the K. You must clearly link into why the debates warrants the use of your K.
Your K must have impacts
Your K must have a roll of the JUDGE, role of the ballots are stupid, to be honest. Like its a piece of paper that decides who wins, tell me how my consciences act of selecting the team that wins; has an impact inside and outside of the round.
Adv’s/DAdv’s: Internal links and Impacts ! Please. Harms and links, are a given, you should already know this.
Counterplans: If squo can solve then focus on the DA’s and case turns. If that doesn’t work RUN THE COUNTERPLAN ! But be ready for the PERM. I don’t mind you running your case on status quo, just mind the fact that you as the opp will face “you are not doing anything to fix the problem” argument from the aff.
THE PERM: this is where some the best debates I’ve ever seen, wind down to. The perm is a very serious move that can be run by the aff. I have and will vote on the Perm. It comes down to who really owns it. If you are a good opp and preemptively make your plan mutually exclusive you should be fine, but the usually gov runs a permutation anyway.If the PERM fails, I will resort to which plan has more impacts and are solving for the most harms.
Speaker Points: I judge on clarity and presentation of argument. I really do not care about regalness or elegance. I usually don't give 29 or 30. If you get a 29 or 30 from me, that’s essentially me saying, “damn you're good, you deserve to win top speaker”.
Speed: I’m fine with it, if it gets too fast I will yell “CLEAR”, in which I want you to repeat the last thing you said and slow down a little afterwards. If you make me say it more than 3 times, i'm knocking off a speaker point for every time you do it again.
Anything else you want to ask, ask me before the debate begins or even after. I'm extremely approachable.
I am a first time novice judge. No spreading, theory, or kritiks. Make your arguments clear and understandable, I like quality over quantity.
I am a parent judge who has been judging for a couple of years but have a long history of participating and winning speech and debate tournaments.
I value calm cogent coherent arguments over bombastic and aggressive harangue.
Be kind - to yourself and to your opponents.
Be the best person you can be.
Ad hominem arguments are an immediate fail in my book.
I take a dim view of spreading; if I can't understand you, evidently you can't convince me of the soundness of your arguments.
If you are not clear or understandable, I'll call out "Clear!" Please heed it. I will not be repeating the call more than twice.
Time: I expect the candidates to time themselves and honor it. But I do keep watch.
If you are using frameworks, define them clearly at the outset.
I appreciate good rebuttals and cross examinations.
Good luck, and most importantly, have fun.
Has experienced judging both speech and debate events.
Like to see eye contact, clear tone and confident moments.
I am a first time parent judge--please speak slowly.
Remember to have fun!
I will not give you time signals (although I can if you ask)
TLDR: Warrant out your arguments, weigh, tell my why I should vote for you, be nice, and have fun :)
For email related things: email@example.com
PF Paradigm: I have four years of experience in PF debate both in the local Wyoming circuit and the national circuit. I prefer tech over truth so I'll buy any argument you present as long as it's well-warranted and not unethical (i.e. racist, sexist, etc...). I want to see clash and weighing because I think that makes for more interesting debates. That being said you should tell me how I should vote in the round. I won't intervene in the debate. However, if you don't tell me how to vote I will definitely evaluate the link debate first and probably vote off of whoever has the biggest impact second. I will consider dropped arguments as conceded unless you can give me a reason why I should consider the new answer. I don't really want to hear any new arguments in summary though. If it's something that can be cross-applied to an argument that you have already made, most likely I'll buy it as long as the argument still stands. If there was only defense read on your contention but it's something you're not going to go for I'll let you kick it if you don't bring it up again in summary or final focus. If there is offense on the contention and you don't want to go for it you have to kick it yourself, I will not kick it for you.
Policy Paradigm: This is updated for Nats. I'm good with you reading any type of argument. Speed wise, I'm fine with it as long as you're clear and you send me the doc. I'm a big fan of critical literature and definitely think it belongs in the debate space, but would only appreciate it if it's actual discourse and not just because it's a meme. I think you can read your k aff if you justify it but I want you to actually make sense. I'm good with framework and topicality but any other type of theory arguments I'm not as familiar with. For example, I'm not the most experienced with condo debates. I personally don't think unlimited condo is fair but as long as you tell me why condo is good and your opponents don't adequately address your response, I won't vote you down for it.
LD Paradigm: I don't have much experience in LD but I have judged a bunch of LD rounds. I am open to K's being read in LD because I love the literature, but treat it like you would any other argument (i.e. tell me how I should evaluate it, why I should evaluate it that way, why the links are there, and why your opponents should lose the round). I will not automatically vote for you if you prove that your value and value criterion matters more than your opponent's value and value criterion. I often find that some LDers think that if they prove their value and value criterion matters more then they should win the round and end up forgetting about the rest of their case, but just because you define the utility function doesn't mean you maximize it (i.e. just because you prove your value to be more important, your case or how the arguments are interacting in the round may not necessarily prove it). Otherwise, the rest of my paradigm applies :)
It should be assumed that you shouldn't be mean in rounds so I expect good debate etiquette. If you are rude during the round, at the very least I will give you low speaks. Debate is supposed to be a fun and open environment and we should keep it that way. Overall, just have fun!
If you have any questions about my paradigm, feel free to email me or just ask me before the round starts.
i will flow to the best of my ability i have the carpal tunnel but can still keep up
spreading is only chill if you are clear
I don't need to be on the email chain but here it is if you feel like adding me anyway
I am indifferent to the kind of argument you are choosing to use, i care if you understand it
My paradigm was lost to the void, who knows what it said...
for long beach 2018
i'll make this, and fix it later
1. yes, i flow
2. yes, speed is fine
3. flashing isn't prep (unless it takes wayy to long )
4. i look at the round as competing narratives, i do not care what you run as long as you know what it is you are running
5. ask questions
Debate how you want to debate, and I will evaluate your arguments to the best of my ability.
important: have fun. yay.