Stephen Stewart Middle and High School Invitational
2022 — milpitas, CA/US
PF: Varsity Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I am a parent judge with 5+ years of PF/LD/ Policy experience. Please consider me a Flay Judge.
- Speak as fast as you would like, but I will ask you to slow down if I cannot understand. No spreading please. I am fine with 15 seconds of grace time.
- Please be respectful of your opponents and give them a chance to speak. Do not keep interrupting or be rude or condescending. If not, I will drop your speaker points.
- Please do not read any form of progressive argumentation (theory, kritiks, etc.) as I cannot evaluate them and will not give you credit for them.
- Off-time roadmaps and sign-posting are encouraged. It helps me follow your debate better.
- My decision will be based on your contentions, evidence, rebuttals, impacts, summaries and weighing. I will evaluate all those on both sides to come to a decision.
- I like to see well-researched cases backed by strong and credible evidence. Please include me in the email chain to share cards as I like to review them as well.
Good luck and have fun!
First time judging! Please do not speak too fast. Make sure your arguments are clear and quantified.
Do not spread or try to confuse me because if I am confused and lose track, it will be hurting your side.
I am a first time parent judge. Please speak slowly and avoid jargon.
Lay judge with limited experience.
Suggestions for contestants: Be respectful, stick to the facts, watch the timer.
Hi! I'm Claire. I was decent at PF in high school (College Prep BB, if you want to stalk me). I still coach (Palo Alto High School) and debate (BP and APDA at Stanford).
How I judge PF:
Tech > Truth, I'll vote off of anything on the flow as long as it's 1) warranted and extended and 2) not offensive/discriminatory in any way.
Evidence still needs warrants. Please have good evidence ethics and send evidence quickly. I will call for evidence if it's contested, and it should be a proper cut card that actually says what you say it does.
Frontline in second rebuttal and collapse well in the back half, it'll make the round much nicer for everyone involved.
Extend your arguments fully, don't just extend taglines and author names. If you want me to vote for an argument it needs to be warranted and weighed in both summary and final focus.
Weighing should be comparative. Don't just read made up jargon, give me actual reasons why your impacts are more important and tell me how to evaluate the round.
I'm fine with speed. Send speech docs (email@example.com) if you're planning to go fast (or even if you're not), but I won't flow off of the doc; if you're going too fast or are unclear, I'll let you know, but after that it's on you if I miss anything.
I'd prefer you debate the topic, but I'm fine with progressive arguments and will evaluate them just like any thing else. For theory debates, I default to competing interps and no RVIs but you can change that pretty easily.
I don't care about your "brief off time road map." Just tell me what flow to start on and signpost during your speech.
Feel free to ask me any questions before round! And, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out (email or messenger).
How I give speaker points:
1. Auto 30s to everyone in the round if you collectively agree to have a paper only round with no evidence and treat it like it's British Parliamentary.
2. Otherwise, they will be based on cross. I promise I have good reasons for this; I will not elaborate.
How I judge anything else:
Do whatever you want; I probably won't know the rules of your event so you can make new ones up for all I care. Although, being persuasive, reasonable and clear will probably be in your best interest.
I prefer a logical argument with voice that is understandable. Your ability to present convincingly your structure, arguments and cross will earn you speaker points.
Impact weighing is good, link weighing is better
Defense is sticky.
Theory and prog args: I think paraphrasing is good, disclosure is bad, etc, but I will evaluate all shells fairly whether or not they fit with my personal beliefs.
K's are fine, I'm not super experienced with it, but know what you are doing, and please have solvency
If you say Among Us or make a Jojo Reference in any speech I will give you 30 speaks(real)
If you want a long version, look below(totally not stolen from William Pirone)
* * * * *
If you have any questions about my paradigm, please feel free to ask me before the round! My paradigm has recently become egregiously long so just skim through the underlined text if you want the TL;DR.
Tech >>> Truth. You can read any type of argument you want in front of me, as long as it contains warrants. I’ve read everything from politics DAs, tricks, round reports theory, riders, and consult Japan to “warming opens the Northwest Passage which prevents Hormuz miscalc”—do what you’re comfortable with.
Also,go as fast as you want as long as you're clear. I won’t flow strictly off a doc but will take one in case I miss something/want to check for new arguments/implications. Please don’t confuse words per minute with arguments per minute – clear spreading is orders of magnitude easier to flow than a slightly less speedy blip-storm of arguments.
~ ~ ~ ~ Substance ~ ~ ~ ~
This is by far the most fun to judge. Below are some of my preferences/rules when it comes to tech substance debate, listed from the debate norms most specific to me to the least.
Part I - General Substance:
If parts of your argument are uncontested,you do not have to extend warrants for conceded internal linksin summary and final focus. Definitely extend uniqueness, links, and impacts though.
I like impact turns. A lot. Read them.
You also don't have to extend your opponent's link if you're going for impact turns, but you can if you want to.
Stolen from Nathaniel Yoon’s paradigm:I will disregard and penalize "no warrant/context" responses on their own. Pair this with any positive content (your own reasoning, weighing, example, connection to another point, etc), and you're fine, just don't point out the lack of something and move on.
I really value word efficiency– do this well, and you will be rewarded.
"Who what when where why" is not a responseand if your opponents point it out they get auto 30s.
Part II - Evidence:
Smart analytics are great—but please add empirics/warrants to them. Do not dump blippy analytics, ever.
Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseread taglines if you are going fast. I beg of you. In case, rebuttal, everything. No, “thus” and “specifically” don’t count.
Also, please don’t put analytical warrants in tags unless your evidence backs it up. If you pull up with something along the lines of “because a revoked Article 9 would cause a Chinese state collapse and the re-emergence of the bubonic plague, Shale-13 of Brookings concludes: revising the constitution would be unwise,” I will laugh but also be very sad.
Please label email chains adequately. Ex. “TOC R1 – College Prep HP (Aff 1st) vs. LC Anderson BC (Neg 2nd)”
Whether or not the tournament is onlineI will require an email chain for every round, evidence exchange is faster and more efficient. If you are spreading or reading any progressive argument you must send a doc before you begin; otherwise, sending a doc will not be required. Don’t send Google Docs and then delete them after the round, send either a word doc or paste the text into the body of the email.
Part III - Weighing
Weighing = great. Do it.
You still need to win sufficient offense on your weighed argument though—please don’t try to kick out of terminal defense through things like try-or-die weighing, I’m more than happy just voting on one team’s argument having the higher risk than the other team’s argument, especially if both terminalize to extinction.
Impact weighing is good, link weighing is best.
Don't use "probability weighing" as a chance to read new defense. Probability = strength of link in my view, if you win an argument and warrant it then it is probable. General reasons why your argument is a better link, i.e. actor analysis and historical precedent are fantastic, just don’t use this to insert 27 new responses.
Clarity/contextualization/strength of link are not weighing mechanisms – just explain why your argument is more important than your opponents’ assuming that both sides have won their offense.
In almost all circumstances, link weighing is way more important than impact weighing. Don’t just say extinction outweighs and move on—do comparative analysis on why your link is better(larger, faster, more probable, etc).
On a similar note, make sure to resolve clashing link-ins/prereqs—otherwise, I will be very confused and probably have to intervene. This also means that 1FF can read new link weighing mechanisms to resolve clashing prerequisite arguments, as long as they weren’t conceded in first summary.
Part IV - Defense:
Frontline in second rebuttal—everything you want to go for needs to be in this speech. 4 minutes is 4 minutes, read whatever offense you want in both constructives/rebuttals.
Defense isn't sticky. That said, I am very lenient towards blippy defense extensions in first summary if second rebuttal doesn't frontline something at all, just make sure it's there.
Pleasemake frontlining substantive. What I mean by that is actually reading warrants/evidence when frontlining instead of saying “no internal link/warrant/context” and arguments along those lines. Technical responses are fine when paired with substantive responses, but don't read 2 minutes of "1.) no warrant 2.) no impact 3.) no context 4.) the evidence is miscut 5.) we postdate…"
~ ~ ~ ~ Progressive ~ ~ ~ ~
All arguments in this section are fair game, I’ve read basically everything you can think of at some point.
Theory is ok, I read it a lot my junior year. We usually read disclosure/paraphrase/round reports, but I'm good with anything as long as it's warranted. I also won’t be biased when judging theory, so feel free to respond in any way you wish—meta-theory, interp flaws, impact turns, etc, are all fine with me.
I prefer techy substance rounds thoughso speaks might take a slight dip if you do this in prelims.
Yes, I think paraphrasing is bad and disclosure is good.(Tanishq here: This is objectively wrong). No, I will not hack for either of these shells.
If you've never run theory before, and feel inclined to do so, I’m happy to give comments and help as much as I can.
Unless I am evaluating the theory debate on reasonability you must read a counter interp... if you do not all of your responses are inherently defensive because your opponents are the only team providing me with a 'good' model of debate.
Theory should be read immediately after the violation. Eg. if you’re speaking first disclosure must be in your constructive for me to evaluate it. However, I am willing to vote off of paraphrasing theory read after rebuttal if your interpretation is that people shouldn't paraphrase in rebuttal. You MUST extend your own shell in rebuttal if it was read in 1st constructive; you must frontline your opponent's shell in the speech after it was read (unless there is a theoretical justification for not doing this).
Substance crowd-out is most definitely an impact, andreasonability can be very persuasive– just read this off of your CI or as a turn on their interpretation. Please still read a counterinterp.
I default to spirit > text,CI > R,No RVIs,Yes OCIs*,DTA.
If there are multiple shells introduced, make sure todo weighing between them.
If you read disclosure theory, you must have good disclosure norms—I will probably check.
I will never vote on an out-of-round violation other than disclosure/round reports and the like.
Don’t read blippy IVI sand then blow up on them — make it into a shell format.
Theory unaccessible is not a fantastic argument—there are tons of resources out there and if you need more help/advice feel free to email me. It is just like responding to anything else.
Theory cards, in most cases, are overrated and are often just written by former debaters and will be evaluated on the same level as any other standard/argument. This is different from topicality interpretations and impact weighing/cards against Ks.
*OCIs good is the one thing in my paradigm that you cannot alter with warrants. If you win that your shell is better under a model of competing interpretations, or win turns to your opponents’ interp, you win.
I will evaluate kritiks but no promises I'm good at doing so. I'm most familiar with security/cap/Baudrillard. For anything else please slow down and warrant things out.
No paraphrased Ks—this is non-negotiable.
If you read the mythical Bayesianism kritik, I will give you 30 speaks, especially if you can point to specific links from their case.
If you are reading substance + pre-fiat framing (or a topical link to a kritik in any way)you must still win your topical links to access the pre-fiat layer. I am never going to vote for a “we started the discourse” link or arguments about how your opponents cannot link in.
Rejection alts/ROTBs are sus, read an actual one.
Also, theory almost always uplayers the K.You should be reading off of cut cards and open-source disclosing when reading these arguments.
Perms are OP if you use them effectively. I like when people shotgun them.
I will begrudgingly evaluate a plan/counterplan debate. This obviously differs based on the resolution (“on balance” phrasing is weird), but for fiated topics i.e., “Japan should revise Article 9 of its constitution,” they’re probably fair game.
Also, totally open to theory against these– just make the arguments.
Read whatever you want here, I won't be biased one way or another. Extinction reps, Kant,anything goes.
Util is most likely truetil, but I can be convinced otherwise.
If you must, just make sure the other team is cool with them first. Theory against these is smart too.
Make tricks fun, arguments like a prioris or “eval after the 1ac” are meh butparadoxes, skep, etc are great.
Head to the presumption sectionsince it’ll probably be necessary for these rounds.
~ ~ ~ ~ Extra ~ ~ ~ ~
Absent warrants otherwise,I default to the first speaking team. Independent of presumption, I understand that going first in tech rounds puts you at a significant disadvantage, so I will defend 1FF with my life.
Make sure you read actual presumption warrants.I won't evaluate anything in FF, so make sure to make these warrants in summary, or else I will just default to whoever spoke first.
LARP - 1
Theory/T - 2
Kritik - 3
Tricks - 4
Phil - 4
Non-T Kritik - 5
Performance - 5
Postround as hard as you want, I think it's educational.
I usually give pretty good speaks, and assign them based on clarity and in-round strategy, with bonus points forword efficiency and humor. In general, I’m also a speedy person and like to do things quickly, so the sooner the round ends and the less prep you steal, the higher your speaks will be!
If you want a boost:
+0.2 speaks if you're disclosed and you tell me and it’s OS
+0.2 speaks if you don’t paraphrase (+0.2 for rebuttal too)
+0.2 speaks if you read the Keck/Dowd combo
+0.1 speaks if your cards are Times New Roman with green highlighting
+0.1 speaks if you have round reports
I will give you a 30 if you readALL defense/turns in second constructive(first rebuttal must frontline if this happens).
If it’s a prelim and both teams agree before the round, we can switch the resolution to a different one– it can be a previous topic or something new entirely.
I will be listening to the speakers carefully and looking for flow, consistency, evidence and sources of evidence. Will be noting down all the key points and assess based on content presented and will go by the data for final out come. I have judged in Berkley and other tournaments around Bay area before.
For speaks I average a 29.7/29.8 so you will be fine
Yes, I want to be on the email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org. Label email chains with the tournament, round, and both teams. Send DOCS, not your excessively paraphrased case + 55 cards in the email chain.
I debated 3 years of PF at Coppell High School. I am now a Public Forum Coach at the Quarry Lane School.
Standing Conflicts: Coppell, Quarry Lane
If there are 5 things to take from my paradigm, here they are:
1. Read what you want. Don't change your year-long strategies for what I may or may not like - assuming the argument is not outright offensive, I will evaluate it. My paradigm gives my preferences on each argument, but you should debate the way you are most comfortable with.
2. Send speech docs. I mean this - Speaks are capped at a 27.5 for ANY tournament in a Varsity division if you are not at a minimum sending constructive with cards. If you paraphrase, send what you read and the cards. Send word docs or google docs, not 100 cards in 12 separate emails. +0.2 speaks for rebuttal docs as well.
3. Don't lie about evidence. I've seen enough shitty evidence this year to feel comfortable intervening on egregiously bad evidence ethics. I won't call for evidence unless the round feel impossible to decide or I have been told to call for evidence, but if it is heavily misconstrued, you will lose.
4. Be respectful. This should be a safe space to read the arguments you enjoy. If someone if offensive or violent in any way, the round will be stopped and you will lose.
5. Extend, warrant, weigh. Applicable to whatever event you're in - easiest way to win any argument is to do these 3 things better than the other team and you'll win my ballot.
Online Debate Update:
Establish a method for evidence exchange PRIOR to the start of the round, NOT before first crossfire. Cameras on at all times. Here's how I'll let you steal prep - if your opponents take more than 2 minutes to search for, compile, and send evidence, I'll stop caring if you steal prep in front of me. This should encourage both teams to send evidence quickly.
All arguments should be responded to in the next speech outside of 1st constructive. If is isn't, the argument is dropped. Theory, framing, ROBs are the exception to this as they have to be responded to in the next speech.
Every argument in final focus should be warranted, extended, and weighed in summary/FF to win you the round. Missing any one of these 3 components is likely to lose you the round. Frontlining in 2nd rebuttal is required. I don't get the whole "frontline offense but not defense" - collapse, frontline the argument, and move on. Defense isn't sticky - extend everything you want in the ballot in summary, including dropped defense.
Theory: I believe that disclosure is good and paraphrasing is bad. I will not hack for these arguments, but these are my personal beliefs that will influence my decision if there is absolutely no objective way for me to choose a winner. I will vote on paraphrasing good, but your speaks will get nuked. I think trigger warnings are bad. The use of them in PF have almost always been to allow a team to avoid interacting with important issues in round because they are afraid of losing, and the amount of censorship of those arguments I've seen because of trigger warnings has led me to this conclusion. I will vote on trigger warning theory if there is an objectively graphic description of something that is widely considered triggering, and there is no attempt to increase safety for the competitors by the team reading it, but other than that I do not see myself voting on this shell often.
I think RVI's are good in PF when teams kick theory. Otherwise, you should 100% read a counter-interp. Reasonability is too difficult to adjudicate in my experience, and I prefer an interp v CI debate.
K's/Non-Topical Positions: There are dozens of these, and I hardly know 3-4. However, as with any other argument, explain it well and prove why it means you should win. I expect there to be distinct ROBs I can evaluate/compare, and if you are reading a K you should delineate for me whether you are linking to the resolution (IMF is bad b/c it is a racist institution) OR your opponents link to the position (they securitized Russia). I think K's should give your opponent's a chance to win - I will NOT evaluate "they cannot link in" or "we win b/c we read the argument first".
I will boost speaks if you disclose (+0.1), read cut cards in rebuttal (+0.2), and do not take over 2 mins to compile and send evidence (+0.1).
Ask me in round for questions about my paradigm, and feel free to ask me questions after round as well.
I have not participated in a debate team and come from a Marketing background and am well trained in how to make a powerful case and appeal to people with evidence-based arguments.
Given that Marketing background, I value confidence, clarity, and presentation -- in addition to strong and clear arguments. Make sure you lay out a good story and a clear path from A to B to C through your presentation. Start strong and finish strong. Make sure you don't make unfounded assumptions about what your audience knows or doesn't know; i.e., don't talk over my head.
High speed presentation will likely result in a loss of clarity and decline in quality of presentation, so could result in a reduction in scoring -- especially if it is too fast for me to follow along.
I will be looking for solid arguments and a powerful rebuttal, and will not be counting out how many arguments are being made. I will be looking for clear citations of source materials for key facts, and make sure those facts are relevant to the argument being made.
I have a background in software and had many opportunities to informally debate technology as I was always asked to research and provide input on technological directions for the company.
Judged for the first time in late 2022 (an in-person event) and then again 2 weekends in early 2023 (both online).
Of course, sometimes it is required to cover everything but, speaking at nearly an incomprehensibly fast pace just to include relatively unimportant items doesn’t seem to me to be a good strategy or good for speaker points. In my debate judging opportunities so far, I have already seen several examples of convincing major arguments getting lost in a sea of quickly brought up and too-lightly supported very minor and tangential points.
I participated in policy debate in high school and college. As a judge, I value quality arguments and analysis over speed or quantity. Please weigh the issues for me and tell me why you should win rather than expect that I will connect the dots for you. I do not prefer a theory debate for its own sake, but I will listen and evaluate such a debate if the participants want to engage it.
This is my first time being a judge in a speech and debate tournament. I double majored in Anthropology, and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at UC Santa Cruz.
I am a judge for the first time. Please keep your delivery to a slower pace and be clear. I would appreciate clear arguments and explanation of your underlying assumptions.
I’m a parent judge, and I’m very excited to hear your speeches. As always, please be respectful to your fellow competitors and be mindful of the rules and time. Thanks!
This is my second year judging debates. So I am still relatively new to judging. It will be very helpful, if you speak clearly and at a slow to moderate pace.
Doing so will ensure the best understanding of your arguments, ultimately providing you the best chance to secure the winning ballot.
Looking forward to an exciting debate.
General: Graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2021 with a double-major in computer science and anthropology and now work as a product manager in the tech industry.
My email is email@example.com - please add me to the email chain and/or reach out with any questions!
Debate Background: 4 years of circuit policy debate at Milpitas High School (2013-17). 3 years of NPDA Parliamentary and NFA-LD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2018-21).
During my time in college, I coached a handful of high school policy/LD teams and worked as a lab leader (leading labs focused on K arguments) at the University of Texas National Institute of Forensics. Since I graduated and started working, I have been completely removed from debate.
DISCLAIMER: This paradigm was originally written for policy debate but is pretty consistent with how I evaluate ANY style of debate. Let's be real, every debate event seems to slowly adopts new "progressive" norms that make it closer and closer to policy anyway.
Debate is a game. It is influenced by (and often a microcosm of) the social, political, cultural, and libidinal constitution of what we might call the "real world", but is ultimately an argumentative testing ground for ideas.
The only thing I know to be "true" as a judge is that I have been tasked to listen, evaluate, and arrive at a decision based on the presentation and clash of ideas. The scope / nature / telos of those ideas, how I interpret and evaluate argumentation, and what influences my decision-making is entirely up for contestation. I can be compelled to vote for anything regardless of its simplicity, complexity, or absurdity without any preconceived biases as long as it is not racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, etc.
My personal debate career and involvement as a coach was primarily invested into kritikal styles of advocacy, but I do not have any fixed stylistic biases. I will not have a problem understanding and evaluating traditional arguments, but this is an area of research in debate that I did not have too much personal investment in. My policy debate background means I generally won't have a problem flowing speed.
I really do NOT care about trivial debate etiquette. Dress however you want. As long as you're not compromising the safety or access of people, say whatever you want, however you want. Call people out on their BS.
WHAT I LOOK FOR IN (GOOD) DEBATES:
- Tech > truth (but I will only evaluate arguments that I understand).
- Organization, specificity, evidence comparison and argument interaction are key to amazing debates.
- Write my ballot for me - judge instruction is the mark of a well executed rebuttal speech. Frame every part of the debate: tell me how I should be viewing and evaluating arguments and why. Leaving it up to me (or your opponents) to make assumptions or connect the dots to influence my decision may not bode well for you.
- The debate is NOT determined by evidence in a vacuum; it's up to YOU to explain (or spin) warrants, regardless of how amazing (or unfortunately terrible) your cards may be.
- Cross-x is an underutilized art. Destroy your opponents with precise and impactful questions. Be one step ahead. Be witty!
I may not be intimately familiar with topic-specific political processes or terminology, so be sure to explain things and be precise. I would much rather you read one or two well-developed and strategic contentions than several mediocre ones.
I believe that the art of nuanced technical debate is dying, but I'm hoping you prove me wrong. I've noticed a troubling trend of terrible evidence, mediocre internal link explanations, and extensions without substance in the traditional rounds I've had the opportunity to judge. Put in the effort to explain and contextually apply the arguments made in your evidence. Question the merits of bad evidence. Spend the time to frame and impact out your arguments in detail.
Well developed weighing mechanism / impact framing arguments will go a long way with me. I don't presume to know what is good and what is bad - it's up to you to tell me and justify why things are important and what my ballot ought to prioritize.
Because the traditional affirmatives I judge usually end up being versus the K, here's some specific thoughts on those debates:
- Defend your affirmative. Pivoting to spike out of offense is not as strategic as you think. Avoid resorting to vague permutations and/or shifty link defense.
- Utilize and apply your affirmative. Take the time to make specific link/impact turn arguments.
- Engage the criticism. Failing to answer the negative's theory of power is usually an instant recipe for a loss.
- I have a high standard for perm articulation from the affirmative, and link/alt explanation from the negative. Do NOT let lazy K teams get away with bad link analysis or incoherent explanations of their theory.
- Substantive 2AC framework arguments are more likely to influence my decision than whiny procedural stuff.
I have debated against, affirmed, written, and judged a wide variety of K-Aff arguments and fully encourage you to experiment, push the boundaries of literature and debate as an activity, and ultimately use this space to advocate for things of interest or importance to you. If you're looking for an idea of literature bases with which I am most familiar, check the "Kritiks" section of my paradigm.
I will NOT uncritically vote for you because I like your choice or style of argumentation. Although kritikal affirmatives enable potentially valuable breaks in the traditional form/content of debate and the resolution, I believe that there is a level of investment with the literature and knowledge about debate as an activity necessary to successfully challenge the ideological protocols of the game itself and/or operationalize the game as a site of critical contestation.
Take the time to make smart and offensive application of your Aff's criticism, and explain the unique friction between your methodology and the Neg's argumentation. Supplement your blocks and cards with smart in-round analysis and contextual application of your theory. Going beyond the jargon and providing concrete examples in support of your theory of power and/or methodological strategy will typically go a long way.
Successful kritik debating at a minimum requires intimate familiarity with the literature, and clarity and depth in explanation. The best kritik debates happen when you generate unique links to the affirmative and are able to build intricate link-stories by strategically referencing specific warrants, lines, or moments in your opponents performance, argumentation, and evidence and tying it back to your theory of power. Going beyond the jargon and providing concrete examples in support of your theory of power and/or methodological strategy will typically go a long way. I will reward you generously with speaks if you are well versed in your literature and are able to demonstrate your knowledge by making smart and strategic analytic claims and arguments in your speeches and cross-x.
I believe form precedes and determines content: I often begin my decision-making in kritik debates by asking what the telos (or perhaps a lack thereof) of this debate is, and what interpretational lens I ought to use to understand and assess what content means in relation to the presentation of the affirmative and alternative.
I have a general understanding of most criticisms read in debate, but my personal knowledge and interest lies in criticisms pertaining to identity politics and structural positionality. Most of the scholarship I've engaged with as a former debater and coach pertains to various branches of theory speaking to Anti-blackness, South Asian identity, Settler Colonialism, Feminism, Queer/Quare/Kuaerness, and Disability. Although I'm not AS well-read up on the edgy and often unintelligible works of old white dudes, I've judged or been personally involved in a fair share of those debates too and much of the scholarship I engaged with as a debater had its ideological roots in the works of Lacan, Heidegger, Marx, Deleuze, and Baudrillard among others. If YOU understand your criticism and YOU do the work to explain and contextualize your offense, you'll probably be fine.
The more specific and less generic your strategy is, the happier I will be. I have no pre-defined standard for what makes a CP legitimate or abusive. Absent theory arguments, I will evaluate and happily vote on any DA and/or CP strategy without any predispositions.
I may not be intimately familiar with topic-specific political processes or terminology, so be sure to explain things and be precise.
The path to a ballot in these debates (on either side) is to do real comparative work on the level of interpretations and standards. Dive into the nitty-gritty analysis: what type of norms do we want to set in this activity/topic? Why? Why does it matter if the violation is true? What is the threshold to meet your interpretation?
Unlike many judges, I don't mind frivolous theory arguments. This is YOUR debate. If you want to make the debate about some trivial procedural question and you do it well, I'll happily vote on it. If you see strategic value in wasting your opponent's time with frivolous theory, more power to you. Likewise, if you make a well-developed argument that frivolous theory is bad, I'll happily vote on that too.
I think innovative or unconventional topicality and theory arguments (on either side) can make for very interesting discussions about the norms of the activity: arguments about identity, body politics, performativity, agency, boredom, death, simulation, educational models etc.
Impact analysis is CRITICAL to winning T/Theory debates:
Fairness is NOT an intrinsic good. What does fairness mean? Fairness for whom? Why is fairness something we ought to preserve in debate? What is fairness an internal link to?
Education is also NOT an intrinsic good. Why should the telos of debate be to produce education? Why does your model of debate have the ability to produce "good" kinds of education? Why are the specific skills we gain from your model good, and how do we operationalize them?
FRAMEWORK (VS. K-AFFS):
I spent my entire debate career arguing against Framework, but I think there's a lot of merit to these debates (on both sides).
What does your interpretation and model of debate look like in context of the affirmative's criticism? What types of norms and rules do we want to set for the activity? You probably have to win that the affirmative's theory about the way power operates (at least within the debate space) is bad AND/OR fundamentally not testable.
Impact analysis is CRITICAL to winning framework debates:
Fairness is NOT an intrinsic good. What does fairness mean? Fairness for whom? Why is fairness something we ought to preserve in debate? What is fairness an internal link to?
Education is also NOT an intrinsic good. Why should the telos of debate be to produce education? Why does your model of debate have the ability to produce "good" kinds of education? Why are the specific skills we gain from your model good, and how do we operationalize them?
Hi, I am a parent judge and here are some of the things about how I judge rounds:
Your arguments should be clear (and avoid any ambiguity).
If you quote any data, back it by an evidence/reference/logic.
3 ) Content.
Be focused and adhere to the topic. You can throw anything, but if your opponent point it out I will take a note!
If you don't contest your opponent's argument, it will stay for me and will get the point.
If someone says sky is orange and you don't contest it; sky is orange for me!
5) Probable Impact
The argument having a larger impact (with greater probability of happening) will get the point.
An earthquake can have larger impact, but if the area is not earthquake prone, I won't buy it.
You can be fast, but please avoid spreading. If you think you might be too fast - you are.
I am a parent judge for PF.
Please explain your arguments clearly and slow down. Signposting is preferred and slowing down is very important. I listen in cross-fire, and it plays a big role in your speaker points. Be nice to your opponents and keep cross-fire civil.
I am a lay judge who has judged at a few tournaments this year, primarily PF debates.
Rule # 1: Be civil and polite to each other, respect boundaries
Rule # 2: See Rule #1
Rule # 3: Speak slow and steady, do not rush yourself, and do your best.
Strongly advise that you stay within the prescribed time limits. And yes, I will deduct points if that doesn't happen.
Off time roadmaps are appreciated. Eye contacts (not awkward ones), hand gestures and voice modulations would it make more engaging for me.
I do take a copious amount of notes during the round. I intend to provide 3 levels of feedback: overall, individual, and round-specific at the end of every round (if possible within 15 minutes of the finish)
I was a policy and LD debater in high school in the 90s, qualifying for TOC and CA States my senior year. I also coached my high school team while I was in college.
My LD ballot will go to the debater who persuasively argues that their position maximizes the most important values. I'm looking for a clash of ideas; for critical thinking and evidence that backs it up, and for the arguments to be tied back to the values in the end. It's a big advantage to you to crystallize and weigh for me; if I have to decide for myself you're leaving it up for grabs.
I will hear out topicality and theory arguments, but they will only decide my ballot if I think one side has been abusive or off topic beyond a reasonable doubt.
It is important to me that debaters show respect and courtesy to their opponent, to me, and to the event and tournament organizers. Etiquette violations will show up in speaks (but not decide my ballot.)
If I judge students from the same program running word-for-word the same case, I will also deduct speaker points. I'm completely fine with pooling ideas, contentions, and evidence between teammates, but debaters should write their own cases.
Hey Everyone! I graduated from Presentation High School in 2021, where I spent my four years there mostly specializing in Congressional Debate, but I do have experience competing in PF, World Schools, LD, NX, and Impromptu.
To me, Congressional debate is the perfect marriage of Speech and Debate -- combining the best of both worlds. I value clash and refutations above all since it is, first and foremost, a debate event. That being said, your speaking skills and speech structure are also important. I always enjoy good rhetoric and when debaters drop bars or one liners because it is the perfect opportunity for you to show us your style.
Please use and cite your evidence! I vote mostly based on the warranting you present. Do not make your entire speech an emotional appeal -- you can incorporate some elements of pathos, but you definitely need logic, reason, and evidence to support and back up your claim. I prefer to rank debaters that demonstrate comprehensive understanding of topic knowledge and the impact of the legislation.
During authorships or sponsorships, please lay out the reason you need the legislation before explaining how it improves the status quo, and provide the framework for which to evaluate the debate. Every single speech after the authorship or sponsorship should have refutations. I love when debaters present a unique lens of analysis or perspective that changes the scope of the entire debate, especially during crystals. Congressional debate does not offer as many opportunities to directly engage with others, so cross-examination is crucial for asking methodical questions and providing quality responses that further your perspective or argumentation.
Most importantly, HAVE FUN and be kind to each other. You may refute the arguments of fellow debaters, but do NOT name call or be disrespectful. Always remember your oath to this country and your constituents -- the people who elected you into office to represent them.
Note to Presiding Officers: I expect you to know and adhere to proper procedures and protocols (Robert's Rules of Order) to run a fair and efficient chamber, while ensuring decorum. Do NOT abuse your power or attempt to manipulate procedure to drop others, etc. If you do a great job as a presiding officer, I will rank you.
...and on closing thoughts...Good Luck! & Dad jokes are punny :)
Public Forum Paradigm
Yes, I flow. Please provide me with a framework during the constructive speeches and establish why I should favor your framework over the other team's later in the round. That being said, you should still apply your case to both your own and the other teams' frameworks.
If you drop an argument in Summary, do not bring it up in Final Focus because I will not take it into account. I will also not consider any new constructive contentions brought up in Summary and Final Focus. Please show me what worlds look like in the affirmation and negation before you weigh them. You should be weighing and collapsing in Summary. Please terminalize your impacts! I love impact calculus and case turns. Your Final Focus needs to include voter issues; and, please explain their relevance; else what should I vote on?
I expect all debaters to participate in grand cross. I understand that you may want to use that time to prep, but cross examination is still important, even if it does not technically appear on the flow. Please bring up the points you win from cross examination during your speech. Back in my day, PF allotted for 2 minutes of prep time, but you have 3 minutes, so you should do your prep during that extra minute instead.
This goes without saying, but evidence is paramount, so please use and cite your evidence! Also, while my business professor will contend that Cash is King, here, Clash is Key. I appreciate when debaters thoroughly break down and address the warranting of their opponents' argument and prove it to be untrue rather than just tell me that their opponents are wrong. If both sides have evidence, why should I prefer your contention over theirs? Do not expect me to draw the lines for you.
Ultimately, Have a Great Round, be Respectful, and Good Luck!!
Hi, I am Ratan, and here are some of the things about how I judge rounds:
1) Speed: I am new to judging, so I would appreciate if you speak in normal pace (marginal slow or fast is ok) and clearly.
2) Evidences/References: If you quote any data, back it by an evidence/reference.
3) Content: Be focused and adhere to the topic.
4) Please be respectful towards your opponents- no mockery or intimidation.
5) Keep your volume level normal, try not to be too loud.
Hi, I am a parent of an avid debater, and I am a scrupulous note taker. I always read up on the topic prior to judging, but explain things to me as if I am learning about it for the first time. I have an extensive history judging on the national circuit for PF. I like teams which have good evidence to support their claims. Try to tell me a story with your arguments about why your impacts matter in the first place. Links in your logical reasoning should be clearly explained, and I won't consider your impacts unless your links make sense. Also, if it is not in summary, then it shouldn't be in final focus. During Cross-X try be as respectful of your opponents as possible, and being respectful helps your speaker points. If you're going to turn your opponent's argument, make sure there is an impact. Also last but not least, weighing during summary and final focus definitely makes it easier for me to judge your round. Look forward to judging your round!
I am a parent judge since 2018, judging PF Novice and Varsity tournaments.
* I try to take notes as much as I can on the content, facts, rebuttal and reasoning. However, if the speaker presents too fast, then I may not be able to comprehend. So, try to pace it at a medium to fast speed.
* I typically judge on how clear and effective the speaker is, and the facts that are presented to prove their contention
* I like when facts are juxtaposed compared to the opponent, not only numbers but reasoning as well
* I like to hear cross examination, to see how you defend you case and respond to opponents in an effective way
Please be respectful to your opponents and have fun debating!
I have been coach Speech and Debate for Archbishop Mitty HS for 3 years now. I have a strong background mostly speech from when I competed for James Logan HS from 2002 - 2006: 3rd Place in Duo at the 2005 National Tournament. 2006 California State Champion in Duo.
I have a strong grasp on national and international topics. When judging debate, I will be looking for teams that are respectful to one another and make strong points for their cases while also effectively taking apart their opponents cases.
-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.
Hi! I'm a sophomore at Stanford and competed on the PF national circuit as College Prep HO for 3 years. Add me to the email chain please:
tldr - I'm a pretty standard tech judge, w/ tech > truth, and simply put the more work you do for me, the less likely I am to make a decision that you disagree with!
Heads up, I know damn near nothing about the topic lol so please spell out acronyms the first time around and all that to make sure there aren't any leaps you're taking that I miss.
For non substance arguments (e.g. theory, Ks, etc) while I've seen a fair amount of rounds and find them super interesting, I don't have a lot of direct experience myself. Basically just a quick disclaimer to proceed with caution and make your advocacy very clear for me if that's the direction the debate is headed, and it should hopefully make for an interesting round!
Tech > Truth
Make sure you weigh your arguments vs your opponents'! It'll make things a lot easier for me and make it so I don't have to intervene with my own biases/opinions.
An argument has to be fully extended in both summary and final focus for me to vote on it. That means every step of the link chain along with the impact should be in the back half of the round! If you're speaking 2nd, you also have to frontline it in 2nd rebuttal (respond to their responses from 1st rebuttal).
To re-emphasize, extending warrants is critical. Don't just throw out card names and dates. In fact, I'd rather you have warrants than just naming the piece of evidence from earlier in the round. Final focuses should have both though.
(like I said above...) Frontline in 2nd rebuttal!!
I'll vote off the flow based on what's said in speeches (not in cross). If you get a concession in cross, point it out in speech.
Defense is sticky, you can still make my job easier by extending it anyways. If you do want to read it in rebuttal and bring up that it was dropped later, please point out that defense is sticky as you implicate it however you will.
I won't call for cards unless you specifically ask me to within speeches.
Once again (because this is particularly important), PLEASE WEIGH!! Not just the numbers and impacts, but also the warrants, links, etc. Tell me why your argument is more likely, more clear, affects more people, and/or needs to be prioritized for any other reason.
Time yourselves please.
I'm ok with mild speed but definitely rusty so I might miss some things on the flow (especially online considering technical difficulties)... aka proceed at your own risk.
Be respectful, don't say anything hateful or offensive, and fill your time; you'll at least get a 28 from me if you do those things.
Best of luck, and have fun! Feel free to ask me any questions before and after the round, and even reach out to my email way after if you want :)
Hello! My name is Lilly Ho, just graduated from UCI with a major in Criminology and a minor in Social Ecology. First time judging, with no prior experience in debate. Lilly.firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a flay judge but don't spread.
I favor tech over truth but don't go too far with this.
Make sure to extend your arguments in summary and final focus. Do not to bring up any points you dropped earlier in the round and if your opponent drops an argument, mention it.
In summary and final focus, please point out the key voter points of the round and collapse, it will help your case.
For organization in speeches, either be very clear in what point/contention you are talking about or just go down the flow. Also, please include an off-time roadmap.
I personally am not a fan of theory/critiques so I wouldn't recommend running them, but if you do, notify the other team before starting and make it as accessible as possible.
Any other types of debate:
I'm not very familiar with Policy, Parli, or LD so explain things very clearly. In the ending speeches, bring up voter points and state why I should vote for you.
Be nice to your opponents, have fun and clear story.
I've been judging debate for last 3 years. I enjoy good factual debates, professional courtesies and sportsmanship. I love to see teams challenge each other on facts and evidences rather than just through sound. Tell me how and why should I vote a particular way.
Add me on the your Google Doc or Cards: email@example.com
For urgent issues, you can SMS me at +1 408 391 9027
I am a parent judge. Please keep your delivery slow and clear. I appreciate clear analysis of why you should win in the final focus. Please do not bring up new evidence in final focus (especially if you are the team speaking second)
I am a new judge this year, please don't spread in your speeches and talk at a moderate pace.
Follow these guidelines and you will be successful with me as a judge -
1. The Most Obvious - Be Nice!
Be nice to your opponents in round, and if you are rude in crossfire or speeches I will drop your speaker points.
2. Please provide full cards
When giving cards, please send the link to the website, the authors name and date, and the paragraph from the website.
3. I am big on weighing
Please make sure to weigh your impacts to show why you are winning the round and tell me what you are weighing off of.
4. Make sure to time yourself
hi! i'm sky.
email is firstname.lastname@example.org. add me to the email chain.
please try to have pre-flows done before the round for the sake of time.
tech over truth. i don't intervene, so everything you say is all i will evaluate. be explicit; explain and contextualize your arguments. extend evidence properly and make sure that they are cut correctly. tell a thoughtful and thorough story that follows a logical order (i.e. how do you get from point a to point e? why should i care about anything you are telling me? i should know the answers to these questions by the end of your speeches). pursue the points that you are winning and say why you are winning the round. remind me how you access your impacts and do NOT forget to weigh. telling me how to prioritize the arguments read in round is helpful (generally, this is the case for judge instructions). sounding great will earn you higher speaks, but my ballot will ultimately go to those who did the better debating.
read any argument you want, wear whatever you want, and be as assertive as you want. any speed is fine as long as you are clear. i will yell "clear!" if you are not. my job is to listen to you and assess your argumentation, not just your presentation. i'm more than happy to listen to anything you run, so do what you do best and own it!
just don't be rude.
rfds. i always try to give verbal rfds. if you're competing at a tournament where verbal rfds are impermissible, i will still try to give you feedback on your speeches. write down or type suggestions that you find helpful. feel free to ask me any questions regarding my feedback. i also accept emails and other online messages.
topicality. it would behoove you to tell me which arguments should be debated and why your interp best facilitates that discussion. make sure your arguments are compatible with your interp. if you go for framework, give clear internal link explanations and consider having external impacts. explain why those impacts ought to be prioritized and win you the round.
theory. make it purposeful. tell me what competing interps and reasonability mean. i like nuanced analyses; provide real links, real interps, and real-world scenarios that bad norms generate. tell me to prioritize this over substance and why.
counter-plans. these can be fun. however, they should be legitimately competitive. give a clear plan text and take clever perms seriously. comparative solvency is also preferred. impact calc is your friend.
disadvantages. crystallize! your uniqueness and links also matter.
kritiques. i love these, a lot. i enjoy the intellectual potential that kritiques offer. show me that you are genuine by committing to the literature you read and providing an anomalous approach against the aff. alts are important. again, tell me to prioritize this over substance and why.
cross. i listen, but i will not assess arguments made in crossfire unless you restate your points in a speech. use this time wisely.
evidence. i'll read your evidence at the end of the round if i am asked to do so, if your evidence sounds too good to be true, or if your evidence is essential to my decision in some fashion. however, this is not an excuse to be lazy. extend evidence that you want me to evaluate or else it flows as analysis. the function(s) of your evidence should also be clear. narrative coherence is crucial!
public forum debaters should practice good partner coordination, especially during summary and final focus. arguments and evidence mentioned in the final focus need to have been brought up in summary for me to evaluate it. i flow very well and will catch you if you lie, so don't read new arguments or new evidence. focus on what you are winning on and please weigh, meta-weigh, and crystallize!
tl;dr. show me where and why i should vote, thanks :)
you are all smart. remember to relax and have fun!
I am a lay judge and this is my first year of judging. I flow the rounds, and I generally have some background knowledge on the topic, but please treat the round as if I do not because I may not know what you are talking about.
What I look for in a round regarding any debate style:
Speaking Speed: Please go at a moderate speed. I don’t want to have to judge a round where I am barely able to flow because of the speed the round is going at. I also want to make sure that both I and your opponents are able to understand your contentions. It’s very time-consuming in crossfires to ask for a summary of your contention(s).
Timing: Please make good use of your time. I would appreciate it if you time yourself. I will be timing, but I think as debaters you need to develop the habit of timing yourself.
Attitude: Please be respectful. I will not tolerate inappropriate language, interruptions, etc., and it would be in your best interest to avoid this. I will dock speaker points if anyone is rude.
Crossfires: In your crossfires, allow your opponents to respond completely and don’t interrupt anyone. Also, please have your cards handy in case your opponents call for a card. It would save a lot of time.
Cherry Picking: Please don’t take a single example and generalize it to the overarching idea. I’ve judged rounds where debaters have done this - for instance, on the PF NSA surveillance topic the privacy vs. security argument - and it’s very messy and hard to judge.
Prep Time: Please don’t take any prep time before your crossfires. I’ll be glad to give it to you any other time, like before rebuttal, summary speech, etc., but I discourage taking any before a crossfire. I am okay with taking either running or set prep.
Technical Difficulties: I like starting as soon as possible, and it would be greatly appreciated if you can resolve any tech issues with your partner/on your own before entering a round.
Speaker Points: I’ll be basing your speaker points on your speed, style, timing, attitude, crossfires, and, of course, the actual content of your speeches.
Clarify any questions you have for me beforehand.
I look forward to judging a clean and interesting round.
new to judging debate
Hello future debaters! I look forward to judging your rounds, but please keep in mind of these few things.
I am a new judge. This is all new to me. Please talk clearly and slowly. Thank you!
Parent judge; my child is a Varsity Public Forum debater at Palo Alto High School.
In order for me to better understand you can you please email me your cases before speaking. My email is email@example.com
I am a parent judge. I don't have any personal debate nor coaching experience. The fundamentals of your argument is the most important to me. I appreciate clarity and structure in speech so please speak in reasonable speed, and I don't understand debate jargons. Poise is important as I value communications in a civil and educated manner. I appreciate the opportunity to go on an intellectual ride with you and your components, so please speak clearly, be civil, and most importantly show me your ability to think critically.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I am a parent judge. I have no prior debate experience, but my child has competed in PF for the past year. You should assume that I am knowledgeable about the topic if it is PF.
Evidence: I am not tech > truth, so if you want to argue the sky is green, I won't buy it. But I am open to reasonable interpretations of evidence (e.g., sky is purple, pink, orange, blue, a mixture of hues, etc.), particularly if your opponent fails to contest your interpretation.
Please be honest about your evidence. Your credibility matters A LOT. If your opponent points out a weakness in your evidence, you can try to dodge it by diversion, etc., but don't outright lie about it. If you're caught in an outright lie, you WILL lose your round.
Moreover, I want to reward the team that has done its research and can back up their contentions with solid evidence. That's why it is not uncommon for me, especially during elimination rounds, to request to examine cards that I think are crucial to how I might decide the debate.
Spreading/Speaker Score: Don't speak at a supersonic speed. My upper limit for comprehension is about 200 words per minute. So if your speech exceeds 800 words in a 4-minute speech, consider shortening it. Competitive debate may be the only activity where confusing your opponent through mumbling is allowed. I accept it as the reality, but I don't want to reward it. Spread at your own risk.
Beyond your mastery of language and confident articulation, I'm also looking for the ability to explain complex ideas simply and logically. Clarity is crucial in getting a high speaker score from me. Be careful about tossing around jargons. While I may understand it, excessive use of jargons in lieu of plain speaking may lower your speaker score.
During cross, I want to see polite, but assertive examination. Being passive may lower your speaker score.
Constructive: During this phase, I'm looking for debaters to (a) describe a problem, (b) explain to me precisely how the resolution you're advocating for will help solve the problem, and (c) tell me the impacts.
Too often I see debaters unable (or perhaps unwilling) to describe the problem beyond vague, general terms. For example, if you want to argue Chinese hegemony, tell me what specific behavior of China you want to stop or counter. Simply throwing around fancy labels like "hegemony" or "multi-polarity" won't do it for me.
The same goes for (b). To convince why your proposal will work, you need to cite either a credible expert explaining how it will work, or a historical example showing how it has worked, or at least logical reasoning and common sense why it will help. If, after four minutes, I struggle to connect the dots, it would be challenging for me to lean in your favor.
When it comes to impacts, I don't always go with the biggest one. I measure magnitude of an impact along with likelihood as well as timeframe. More importantly, if you don't do (a) and (b) well, I can't give you (c). In other words, accessing (c) is a direct function of doing (a) and (b) well.
Cross-examination: I know some judges don't pay too much attention to this. I REALLY do. To me cross is the essence of debate . During cross, I am looking for you to probe the weaknesses of your opponent's contentions to set up your rebuttals and to defend your own positions. I expect lively exchanges involving vigorous attacks and robust defenses. I will also look to see which team can establish perceptual dominance. Your performance in cross is often a key factor in how I decide speaker scores and possibly the round.
Rebuttal, Summary, and Final Focus. Rebuttal is straightforward, so I won't elaborate. For summary and final focus, I'm looking for debaters who can bring CLARITY (yes, that word again). That often means collapsing and telling me how the contentions interact with each other. Tell me what I need to focus on, why your contention wins, and why your impacts outweigh. Clarity is the key to earning my vote.
Gina Li is a strategy, merger and acquisition professional with 20+ years working experiences in various sectors. She was an expat working abroad for 15 years with global perspectives. She has been judging both Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas since 2018 at various events, in addition to facilitate local student-run speech and debate volunteer activities in the bay area.
She requires all contestants to speak clearly, not necessarily faster the better, try to maximize the given time to rationalize the best data and evidences to support the key arguments. While majority of the contestants are well prepared on their contentions, the winner normally possess the abilities in better framework, effective arguments to counter opponents positions during rebuttal, crossfires and closing. Also please RESPECT your opponents, try not to cut them off if possible.
Knowing everyone is working very hard on each tournament, I wish each contestant the best luck!
TL;DR - Parent judge who was a national circuit policy debater in high school and college long ago (see experience at very bottom of paradigm). Judging mostly open/varsity parli since Fall 2018 with some LD, PF, and Policy judging the last couple of years. Sections below for Parli, PF, and Policy.
General Overview: I will evaluate framework/criteria/theory/role of the ballot issues first. Unless argued/won otherwise, I default to judging as a policy maker weighing aff plan/world against status quo or neg counterplan/world using net benefits and treat debate as an educational game. I will ignore new arguments in rebuttals (summary/final focus in PF) even if you don't call a POO (Parli). I'm fine with tag teaming (but only flow what the actual speaker says). Speak from anywhere you prefer as long as everyone can hear you. When speech time expires, you can finish your thought, but I will not flow any new arguments started after time expires (no new args in grace period). Cross-ex/crossfire will not be considered in my decision unless you reference it in a speech (that will bring it into the round). You can go fast but probably not full speed (not 200+ wpm). I will call clear or slow as needed. If you run K's, please clearly link them to the resolution/aff plan/aff arguments and explain (K's post-date my debate experience). Signpost. Clearly justify/link theory arguments (high bar for you to win frivolous theory). Don't care about your attire. I rarely look up from my flow during rounds. No need to shake my hand.
If allowed by the tournament rules, please add me to your email chain (if applicable) using edlingo13 [at] gmail.com
Parli Debate Notes (though much is applicable to all forms of debate):
** Note to Tournament Directors - Please add Flex Time to High School Parli debate (see sections 4.C. & 4.H. of the NDPA rules for a definition of Flex Time). I think it will increase the quality of debates/clash in the round, give judges a bit of time to clean up their flows & make notes for later feedback to debaters, and ensure fairness in how much time is taken for each speaker to start.
In the absence of a contrary framework argued/won in the round, I will make my decision as a policy maker comparing the aff plan/world against the status quo or neg counterplan/world.
Unless argued/won in the round otherwise, I think debate is an educational game. I believe the educational part is primarily for the debaters and only secondarily (at most) for the judge(s) and/or audience. This is one of the reasons I have trouble with K's that are loosely, if at all, related to the resolution being debated. The game aspect of debate implies a need for fairness/balance/equity between aff & neg sides.
With the above defaults (and realistically biases) in mind, I will try to come into the round tabula rasa ("blank slate"). Certainly I won't intentionally bring my political biases into the round. I will try to minimize using any outside knowledge of the topic, but realistically some of that may creep in unless background information is clearly explained in the round.
Especially if you don't like the above framework, please do provide your own in the round. I'm far more likely to make the decision you expect if I'm using framework/weighing criteria that you know (above) or have argued/won in the round.
Fine by me. But as with everything else, please explain/justify the theory arguments you make. Don't like blippy theory you toss out in hopes the other side will drop your one line VI/RVI or, similarly, some pre-canned, high speed theory block that even you don't understand (and I can barely flow, if at all).
As long as you can still be clear, I am fine with any speed. I will call "slow" or "clear" as needed during the round. But, it's still best to slow down on tags and issues you believe are critical in deciding the round. Especially in the first tournament or two of the year and the first round in the morning, best to go a little slower for me. If you want me to get a clean flow, keep things to a max of perhaps 200 or 250 wpm rather than 350 or 400. Don't spread in a monotone. I know from experience that it is possible to add (brief) pauses where there is a period, slow down on tags, and vary your speed while still averaging 300+ wpm. If you are going to go very fast, it is your responsibility to practice it until you can do so with clarity and in a way that can be flowed.
K's post-date my competitive debate experience. I have read up a bit on them and seen them used in a few rounds (parli and policy rounds). If you run one (or more), make sure you have a clear link to the resolution/aff plan/aff args. It's also important that you clearly explain the K to me and to the other team (including why it applies in this round and why it should be a voting issue). Just spreading through a K that even you don't understand in the hopes I will understand it and your opponents will mishandle it is very unlikely to be successful. On the other hand, if you understand it, clearly explain it, and answer POI's from your opponents if they seem confused by it, I will seriously consider it in my decision. If you plan to run a K-aff, please disclose to your opponents at the start of prep (or earlier). If you don't, a theory argument by the neg that you should have done so is very likely to win.
Counterplans seem like a natural fit for Parli to me. Especially with a topic that gives the aff broad leeway to choose a somewhat narrow plan, CPs are a good way to make the round fair for the neg side.
I will extend arguments that your opponents dropped for you (I think this is now called protecting the flow), but it's still best for you to extend them yourself so that you can explain to me why/how those dropped arguments should factor into my decision. When you extend, I don't need you to re-explain your arguments or extend every individual point in a block that is entirely dropped (though no harm in doing so). How you believe the dropped arguments should impact the overall round is more important to me.
New Arguments in Rebuttals/POO's:
I will ignore what I believe to be a new argument in a rebuttal speech, so you don't have to call a POO. However, I do understand the general POO process. So if you want to make certain that I will be treating something as a new argument in rebuttals (and therefore excluding it from my decision making process), go ahead and call the POO. I'd prefer that you don't call a lot of POO's (more than 3), but certainly won't count it against you if you feel the need to call each one out. Though odds are if you are calling that many, I already get that we've got a rebuttal speaker who doesn't realize I will ignore new arguments in rebuttals.
Fine by me. I will, of course, only include what the actual current speaker says in my flow.
Stay sitting, stand up, or go to a podium. It's all fine by me. However, if you are a quiet speaker in a noisy room and/or I or the opposing team call out "clear", "louder", etc. please speak in a direction/location that you can be heard by all. I'm fine with taking some time before a speech or stopping time during a speech if we need to adjust everyone's location so all speakers can be clearly heard. If someone can't hear the current speaker, I'm fine with them calling out "louder". If the speaker can't easily adjust so everyone can hear them, go ahead and stop time and we will take time to rearrange so you can be heard without having to shout.
PF Debate Notes:
My apologies in advance as I have only judged perhaps half a dozen PF rounds. I am familiar with the basic structure of PF and have extensive experience judging and competing in other forms of debate. Even though I have only judged a few PF rounds before, here's a few notes I hope will help you.
- Because I am flowing, I don't need you to do a whole lot to extend dropped arguments. If you are pressed for time, and, for example, an entire contention is dropped by the other team, you can just say "extend contention 2 which is dropped". It can help to reiterate the arguments to help fill in details I may not have gotten right on my flow or to draw my attention to particular impacts, but there is no need to individually extend every element of the contention. You can save the analysis for weighing.
- Please do your best to clearly weigh impacts in final focus. I know time is short. However, if you leave it up to me to weigh the advantages of both sides against each other, you are taking a big risk. Best to explain to me why you believe your impacts (harms/benefits) outweigh those presented by the other team. Though not required, I am fine with some weighing also happening in earlier speeches (summary, even rebuttal). For example, if after constructives you think you clearly outweigh, no need to wait until final focus to point that out.
- I don't flow crossfire, but do pay attention and will use it to help clarify my understanding of issues/positions in the round. Bring it up in a speech if you want something said in crossfire to be part of my flow/input to my decision.
- Where there are evidence conflicts (each side has evidence saying the opposite), please do your best to explain why I should prefer your evidence over that of your opponents (study vs. opinion, better author credentials, recency, etc.).
- In general, do what you can to provide clash. If each side just reiterates and defends their own case, that leaves a lot up to the judge. If you want my decision to go your way, best to provide that clash/analysis so I know why you believe you should win the round.
- Unless not allowed by tournament rules, I prefer to be on the email chain -- edlingo13 [at] gmail.com (mostly it helps me fill in my flow if I missed anything).
Policy Debate Notes:
- Debated 4 years of policy in high school (in CFL/California Coast district, went to State & Nationals, won State), but that was long, long ago.
- Defaults: I will default to judging based on stock issues as a policy maker. For theory issues, I will default to treating debate as an educational game (game implies fairness/equity). On both counts, I am open to alternative frameworks/roles of the ballot.
- Theory, framework, K's need to be developed/clearly explained to me and your competitors or you will have an uphill battle trying to win them (doesn't mean you won't if the other teams drops it or grossly mishandles it, but I do need a basic understanding of your argument in order to vote on it). Likewise, calling something a voting issue doesn't make it one unless you explain why it should be a voting issue.
- I know very little K literature.
- I won't be able to keep up with a full speed/invitational/tech debate these days. But you can certainly speak at a rate that the "person on the street" would think of as quite fast. I will call clear/slow if I'm having trouble keeping up.
- I don't flow cross-ex, but do pay attention and will use it to help clarify my understanding of issues/positions in the round. Bring it up in a speech if you want something said in cross-ex to be part of my flow/input to my decision.
My competitive experience is almost exclusively policy debate from the late 70's and early to mid-80's. Four years in high school policy debate (1 yr Bellarmine followed by 3 yrs Los Gatos High). Quarters or better at many national invitational tournaments (e.g. Berkeley & Harvard back when they weren't on the same weekend ;-). 1st Place California (CHSSA) State Championships. Invites to national level round robins (Glenbrook, Harvard, UCLA/USC, Georgetown) -- back then the tournament director invited those teams they believed to be the top 9 in the country (perhaps a few more if some teams couldn't attend). In high school I briefly experimented with LD. During my senior year in college (UC Berkeley), I debated one year of CEDA debate. Went to perhaps a half dozen tournaments. Won a couple of them, made it to quarters/semis at some others. Helped the Cal team reach #2 in the national CEDA rankings.
I am a new judge. I will flow in debate, and prefer a well-paced presentation, with clear logic behind evidence. Eye contact helps as well. Please be clear when speaking.
Now that I have judged 100+ debate rounds, you can think that I (mostly) know what I am doing.
Please clearly organize your contentions (for example) using a numbered theme, let me know exactly what the evidence is and what the links are from your evidence to your contentions. Also weigh your impact well, not only what could happen but how probable it would happen. It would be best if you could weigh your marginal impacts, that is, how much impacts can be attributed to your contention.
When you repudiate your opponent's contentions, I'd appreciate critical reasoning, such as what are exactly the logical flaws and/or why their evidence is weak. Remember, no matter how ridiculous an argument is, it will stand if you don't point out why it is wrong.
Don't use scare tactics. Don't tell me the world will end tomorrow if I don't vote for you :-)
I take notes but not as detailed and organized as your coaches train you to do. I don't take notes during crossfire. Include whatever you get from the crossfire in your speeches. Make crossfire purely Q&A. Don't try to make your questions like speeches.
Keep time yourselves so that I don't have to interrupt. Being able to keep your own time shows how disciplined you are in the debate. Nonetheless, I will run a timer as well and will give you a 10 sec grace period before I interrupt.
Finally, stay calm, respect your opponents, and avoid using any provocative or condescending language.
Have fun debating!
I have very limited experiences in judging debate. I have a hard time to take note while listening, and may miss argument points when people speak too fast.
Include me in the evidence chain if we're using one: email@example.com
If any of this is confusing, ask me before the round and I'll explain.
Former PF debater with Nueva. Flow judge but my flowing skills were never that great - I'll follow your complicated arguments as long as you signpost your way through them.
It is my belief that debate is a game which we engage with to better ourselves through the mechanisms of competition, collaboration, inquiry, and improvisation.
Prefer if you don't call me "judge". Generally - it's my opinion that the speeches don't actually need to address a specific person (the judge), but instead should be given as if given to a public forum (hah, imagine that). If you want, you can just call me Liam though.
I can track relatively quick speech, but anything quick risks getting muddied on the flow - if you're way too fast for me to understand I'll call "clear".
All offense in final focus wants to be in a summary - ideally this means extended specific cards as well. No new offense in rebuttals (unless it links out of opponents case: turns, etc.). The whole offensive overview situation is pretty ambitious these days IMO - but I understand it's allowed as a convention. I feel like it crosses a line when there's new terminalization in an offensive overview read at the top of rebuttal that doesn't link out of internalized link turns on the opponents case.
I flow your summary entirely on your sheet in a new column - this shouldn't effect you unless you don't signpost your points and just read down the opponents flows when defending during summary (voters based summary speeches are sick).
Cross-X is for y'all not me. I won't flow it. Use it to understand the other case and bring any cool epiphanies into the actual speeches.
The fastest path to the ballot is to weigh your terminal arguments against theirs in final focus.
I interpret Tech > Truth. This means that I will vote on an argument that I know to be factually incorrect if it isn't adequately defended.
I have no real exposure to theory, but I have no real baseline objections given that it's unlikely your opponents are any more clueless than me. Articulate it well and we'll see.
I'll call for any cards which end up affecting ballot evaluation and are contested in round. I'll also call for any cards that are blatantly absurd, but I'll only flag these if you're committing pretty egregious evidence abuse.
Good (qualified) cards > good analytics > bad cards > bad analytics.
One of the more compelling ways to weigh your arguments in the final focus is to specifically compare the veracity of your link chain to theirs in the context of the outstanding defense - not new argumentation, but why I should prefer your link story to theirs.
Outside of extent circumstance a non-terminalized argument doesn't exist on the flow.
I'll give verbal RFDs. If you really want an in-depth written one, let me know and I'll try to write it up.
The fastest path to the ballot is to weigh your terminal arguments against theirs in final focus.
I have a bias towards arguments which present bold and/or interesting perspectives on the topic. These will get my attention. Any contention which internally links through bat extinction gets a free 30 speaker points.
I have no preferences with regards to how you present yourself physically. Sit down during speeches. Wear a t-shirt. As long as everyone in the space is comfortable and I can hear you, I don't care.
My understanding of the lit is that speaker points are objectively pretty biased - often against the intentions of the judge. To mitigate this my speaker point range will be clamped to 28 to 29.5 outside of a few exceptions:
- If you're abusive during the round (reading exotic argumentation against teams that clearly aren't prepared and not accommodating, verbally aggressive during CX, pretty much any ad-hom) you might get something lower.
- If you take ages to pull up evidence or don't have it cut to the (relatively low) standards of PF you probably get lower.
- If you're violent (verbally counts) against any marginalized groups you probably get a 0. If this is blatant you probably end up dropped as well. I will not be a perfect judge of this but I think it is a necessary ex-ante responsibility of the judge role.
- Any brazenly creative arguments (fresh, spicy, innovative) can earn you a 30
- A really really clean and organized first summary can warrant a 30 - that speech is tough.
I am a parent judge. I have judged LD and PF in the past 5 years and like both formats.
Please email me your cases so that I can better understand what you are speaking in a virtual round: firstname.lastname@example.org
I appreciate well constructed arguments and clear speaking. There is no need to show over aggression in your speeches. Please don't spread but if you do that there is a chance I may not hear you and flow. Yes, I do flow a little though if it is in the context. I consider cross-X sessions also in my evaluation, so be clear when you answer and respectful when you question. Do not interrupt your opponent excessively and let them speak. If I am unable to hear clearly I will not be able to give any credits.
Please respond to all of your opponents arguments with proper justifications. Have proper evidences in support. Be truthful. If I find any indication of falsifying any evidence, that's a disqualification.
Off-time roadmaps are OK. Please stay within the time limits for your speeches.
Be well behaved and respectful to your opponent(s) and enjoy the debate rounds, good luck!
Hi my name is Harinadh. I’m a flay judge and I’ve been judging public forum debate for three years. I’m pretty comfortable with speed but if I can’t understand you, I can’t flow your argument. Please warrant out all your responses in rebuttal and number them if possible. I don’t evaluate crossfire so if there is anything important you want me to consider, bring it up in one of your speeches. Make sure to summarize the round in your summary speech. I will be looking for weighing throughout your speeches. Don’t make new rebuttals in summary or final, just clearly explain to me why I should be voting for you. Overall, be respectful and have fun!
I am a parent judge and you can assume that I will not know deep debate terminology. I will weigh your arguments based on the factors such as relevance, logic and likelihood. Things that matter to me: clarity of arguments (it does not matter how solid your argument is if you cannot explain it clearly) and politeness (focus on the ideas, not the person).
UPDATE FOR BERKELEY: I am a first time judge. Please do not speak fast or spread, as I will not understand you. If I do not understand your argument, I will not be able to vote for you. Additionally, please do not use debate jargon as I will not understand that either.
I am currently a sophomore at Emory university. I debated public forum at the quarry lane school for four years.
tech > truth
please add me to the email chain - email@example.com. Send speech docs before each speech !
I'm fine with speed, but make sure you're clear. Frontline in 2nd rebuttal. Any offense you're going for in final focus should be extended completely (uniqueness, links, impacts) in summary. Cross is binding but doesn't matter unless it's in speech. Please collapse !
Start weighing as early as possible and definitely focus on comparative weighing (both link and impact level if possible), when I'm looking at the arguments, I'll start with the one with the strongest weighing.
Always be respectful towards your opponents. I won't evaluate arguments that are sexist, racist, homophobic, ableist, etc. Lastly, debate can be stressful but make sure to have fun :)
Regarding prog arguments, I have little to no experience with Ks (I’ve debated a K maybe once or twice). If you want to read a K, I think it’s super interesting but I probably won’t be able to evaluate it well and am not a great judge for that. I’ve debated theory, and have more experience with it than Ks, but I’m not extremely experienced with it either.
Good luck and feel free to email me before or after the round if you have any questions.
What's up y'all, I'm Kian. In high school, I debated for Chaska for 4 years, spending my first three years on the MN local circuit and my senior year on the nat circuit. During my senior year, I got a few bids and reached eliminations rounds at TOC, NCFL, and NSDA.
I'm not saying I take bribes, but I am very receptive to frameworks that argue that I should vote for the team that pays me the most money.
TL;DR: I'm a standard tech judge who likes weighing, big brain strategies, good evidence ethics, and not being mean to your opponents. Just read the bolded stuff if you can't read the whole thing.
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Novices scroll to the bottom of the paradigm to read your specific section
I'll put this at the top, because I think it's what gets neglected the most. Implicate! Please implicate all of your arguments and explicitly tell me how each argument you are winning should factor into my ballot. The best speeches are the ones that write my ballots for me, and if I come to a decision that you disagree with, chances are its because you didn't implicate your arguments as well as you should have.
Tech>Truth, but the less warranted and more outlandish the argument is, the lower my threshold for responses will be.
I'll evaluate anything as long as it's well warranted, weighed, and not racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic, or otherwise exclusionary
I can generally handle speeds up to 300 wpm. I'd prefer you stay under that, but if you do decide to go over please send a speech doc. I'll do my best, however, If I can't understand an argument, I won't vote on it.
Everything (Offense, Defense, Turns, DAs, Weighing, and Theory) must be answered the speech after the argument was presented (excluding case). The only way to recover from dropping an argument is to either weigh out of it or implicate something you are winning. In short, I think dropped defense is infinitely sticky.
I evaluate weighing first and then look to the team that best links into that weighing. If there's no one winning under that weighing, I'll go to the second most important, weighed argument and repeat the process.
Please let me know if you need accommodations (can't handle spreading, need speech docs, need me to time for you, etc)
When timing, I'll stop flowing after the first sentence over the time limit, anything after won't be evaluated
I'll always disclose, assuming it doesn't disrupt the tournament. I think debaters should be able to understand and question judge decisions so that they can improve.
If both teams agree before the round on some rule that's not in the NSDA rules (no grand cross, anyone can talk during any cross, etc) I'll evaluate the round with that rule in place. Otherwise, I'll evaluate the round normally.
If you believe my RFD doesn't reflect the beliefs held in my paradigm feel free to tell me, and we can talk about it.
If any of this doesn't make sense, I think Nathaniel Yoon, Zayne El-Kaissi, Christian Vasquez, Dan Bagwell, Bryce Piotrowski, and Maddie Cook are all excellent judges.
Other Tech Preferences
1. I like Off time roadmaps, but you should still signpost in speech
2. Warranted Uncarded responses are better than Unwarranted Carded Responses
3. If you read a link turn and impact turn and are called out on it, then you'll be in trouble
4. Collapse If you go for every argument you make, chances are each will be unwarranted, underweighed, and you probably won't be able to cover your opponent's arguments very effectively. Smart collapse strategies will be rewarded in ballots and speaks.
5. Case extensions must have both cards and warrants You don't need to extend every card and link, but you should be able to extend the basics of the uniqueness, link, and impact
6. Summary-final focus parallelism This is a must. Anything that you want me to evaluate must be in summary and final focus. The only exception is new weighing that is made in the second summary can be responded to in the first final focus. Additionally, new weighing in the first final can be answered in the second final, which means that starting weighing in the first final is probably a bad idea as the other team gets free responses to it that the first speaking team can't answer. Also, new weighing in the second final won't be evaluated unless it's the only weighing that's made in the round.
7. New responses in the second final focus make me sad. They won't be evaluated and I'll drop speaks
8. I don't flow cross, any important concessions must be restated in speech for it to be evaluated
PF evidence ethics is literally so bad lmao like it's crazy; I expect that evidence is represented properly.
Evidence must be cut, cited, and available within 2 minutes of calling for it before I start running prep. Obviously, I'll make exceptions if teams call for like 10 cards, but if that's the case you should prob just send a speech doc.
If I call for a piece of evidence and it's a link to a screenshot of google calculator, I will literally lose my mind. And it hurts that I have to even say this.
I understand that not all teams know what cut cards are (I know I didn't until my junior year), however, teams should still have, at the bare minimum, the link and the paragraph(s) being cited at request. Just sending a link and saying to control f makes the round take literally forever, and I'll drop speaks because of it.
I like it when teams read cut cards. I'll give +.5 speaks if it's done in constructive and +1 speaks if it's done in rebuttal, just make sure you tell me before I submit my ballot
I like it when teams disclose. I'll give +.5 speaks to both debaters if they disclose on the ndca wiki, just make sure you tell me before I submit my ballot
Regarding evidence indites. Saying "this evidence says their evidence is bad" is not an indite. Be sure to explain why the methodology of their evidence is flawed in some way.
Regarding evidence comparisons I think it's really silly when teams just say "my evidence comes from Harvard therefore it's better" or "my evidence is more recent therefore it's better" without explaining why that matters. I'll only evaluate evidence comparisons if a team implicates why the credibility or recency comparison matters; ie by saying "this post date matters because x thing has changed"
Calling for evidence. I'll only call for evidence if a team explicitly tells me to or I get conflicting claims of what the evidence actually says.
Weighing is my personal favorite part of the debate. I think it's one of the only points of the round where teams must rely on their big brains as opposed to evidence, and it makes my decisions sooooooo much easier when it's done well. With that, I have a few preferences
1. Make Weighing Comparative - this means saying stuff like "our argument outweighs on magnitude because it affects millions of people" isn't weighing. A weighing argument must prove why you do meet the metric of your weighing in addition to why your opponents don't meet that metric. ie saying "our argument outweighs on magnitude because we affect millions of people while they only affect thousands"
2. Please make link ins comparative- Saying that your argument independently links into their argument isn't enough. You must explain why your link to their impact is better than theirs. An example would be "recessions link into climate change because they cause governments to look inwards, preventing them from addressing international issues like climate change. Prefer our link in over their case on scope as they only solve for one cause of climate change whereas international regulation solves for multiple."
3. The earlier the better - makes my life a lot easier when the weighing debate starts in rebuttal or summary instead of in final focus
4. Strength of Link weighing- I think this argument is kinda dumb, but that won't stop me from voting on it, but I'm predisposed to believe that as long as a team wins their argument it doesn't matter if there was defense on it, so you'll have to tell me otherwise if you want me to evaluate the arg.
5. I like metaweighing- makes my life easier and simplifies the weighing debate don't be afraid to try it.
6. Weigh everything- Weighing turns, frontlines, backlines, and pieces of evidence in addition to case will put you waaaaaaaaaaay ahead on the flow and will likely be reflected in my ballot.
Being an originally traditional debater, my exposure and experience with progressive arguments are limited to two theory rounds. That being said, I've been exposed to enough theory that I feel comfortable evaluating it effectively.
Without being told otherwise, I default to
1. Competing Interpretations
2. Yes RVIs-
I think that without RVIs it's almost impossible for the team that theory is read on to win because they have to win both the theory and substance, while the team running the theory only has to win one. Additionally, I think RVIs check back against frivolous theory. On a more truthful level, if you really want to set a norm in the debate space, then you should be going for it whenever you read it.
Theory should be read in the speech after the violation, and theory about out of round violations should happen in constructive.
Additionally, here are my preferences on common shells. I won't not vote on ones I don't agree with, but I of course have my biases.
Interps I Like: Paraphrasing bad, disclosure, trigger warnings
Interps I Don't Like: Paraphrasing good, Big School theory, anything obviously frivolous (like shoe theory).
K's- I have no experience debating or writing K's. However, I don't want to deter you from running them. I just recommend that you make sure the K is slow, clear and that the different parts of the arguments are differentiated and implicated so that I can evaluate the argument to the best of my abilities.
For other progressive arguments not mentioned, I know so little about these things that I wouldn't even know what to do with them. You're better off not reading them in front of me.
Speaker Points (stolen from my good friend Ekaanth Veerakumar)
Some judges really are tripping with their inflated speaker points.
Speaker points start at 28 and go up or down based on smart collapsing, being funny, clever argumentation, well-thought-out responses, well-warranted extensions, good non-robotic speaking, and CROSS.
This was stated under "Evidence" but I'll say it here since it applies
I like it when teams read cut cards. I'll give +.5 speaks if it's done in constructive and +1 speaks if it's done in rebuttal, just make sure you tell me before I submit my ballot
I like it when teams disclose. I'll give +.5 speaks to both debaters if they disclose on the ndca wiki, just make sure you tell me before I submit my ballot.
If you come from a genuinely small school program (one or two varsity teams total), then I'll start you .2 higher. I know your struggle and y'all are amazing for pushing through just make sure you tell me before I submit my ballot
Two Notes for less points:
1. If you call for an ungodly amount of cards that I see no strategic reason for, then I'll tank you .2
2. If I catch you stealing prep, then I'll tank you .2
All of this is linear not logistic, the more cards or time you waste the worse the tanking will be.
Generally here's your bar (Unless I'm judging novices in which case everything will be lowered accordingly)
29.5-30: Pleaaaaase give me a shoutout when your in finals of this tournament about to win
29-29.5: Have fun at the TOC I'm rooting for you
28.5-29: Wild out in elims
28-28.5: There's a chance you'll break, I hope you do
27-28: Y'all got the potential to pop off so get back to drilling and prepping if you want to.
26-27: You made some serious strategic and speaking errors that costed you the round massively or made you barely edge out a win, you need to correct them soon.
20-25: You've done something problematic in round
Most of what I said above won't apply to y'all, but feel free to ask any questions you may have. Generally, for your rounds I'll expect you to follow these things
1. Understand your argument and your evidence- If a team asks you about the claim behind your arguments, be sure you can explain it as well as address the attacks they make against it
2. Be sure to not repeat your case, but to defend it against the other team's responses
3. Make sure that your summary and final focus are similar. It's generally unfair for the opponents and confusing for your judges if the summary talks about some arguments and the final focus talks about completely different ones. Remember y'all are working as a team and your speeches should reflect that
Good luck, y'all are sure to become great debaters in the future if you keep working hard.
I know it's a lot but feel free to ask any questions before the round. I look forward to judging y'all! Good luck and Have fun!
Hi, I'm a parent judge. This is my first time judging. Please speak slowly and clearly.
LES PHILLIPS NUEVA PF PARADIGM
I have judged all kinds of debate for decades, beginning with a long career as a circuit policy and LD coach. Speed is fine. I judge on the flow. Dropped arguments carry full weight. At various times I have voted (admittedly, in policy) for smoking tobacco good, Ayn Rand Is Our Savior, Scientology Good, dancing and drumming trumps topicality, and Reagan-leads-to-Communism-and-Communism-is-good. (I disliked all of these positions.)
If an argument is in final focus, it should be in summary; if it's in summary, it should be in rebuttal,. I am very stingy regarding new responses in final focus. Saying something for the first time in grand cross does not legitimize its presence in final focus.
NSDA standards demand dates out loud on all evidence. That is a good standard; you must do that. I am giving up on getting people to indicate qualifications out loud, but I am very concerned about evidence standards in PF (improving, but still not good). I will bristle and/or throw my pen if I hear "according to Princeton" as a citation. Know who your authors are; know what their articles say; know their warrants.
Please please terminalize impacts. Do this especially when you are talking about a nebulosity called "The Economy." Economic growth is not intrinsically good; it depends on where the growth goes and who is helped. Sometimes economic growth is very bad. "Increases tensions" is not a terminal impact; what happens after the tensions increase? When I consider which makes the world a better place, I will be looking for prevention of unnecessary death and/or disease, who lifts people out of poverty, who lessens the risk of war, who prevents gross human rights violations. I'm also receptive to well-developed framework arguments that may direct me to some different decision calculus.
Teams don't get to decide that they want to skip grand cross (or any other part of the round).
I am happy to vote on well warranted theory arguments (or well warranted responses) and am receptive to Kritikal arguments in PF.
LES PHILLIPS NUEVA PARLI PARADIGM
I have judged all kinds of debate for decades, beginning with a long career as a circuit policy and LD coach. I have judged parli less than other formats, but my parli judging includes several NPDA tournaments, including two NPDA national tournaments, and most recent NPDI tournaments. Speed is fine, as are all sorts of theoretical, Kritikal, and playfully counterintuitive arguments. I judge on the flow. Dropped arguments carry full weight. I do not default to competing interpretations, though if you win that standard I will go there. Redundant, blippy theory goo is irritating. I have a fairly high threshold for deciding that an argument is abusive. Once upon a time people though I was a topicality hack, and I am still more willing to pull the trigger on that argument than on other theoretical considerations. The texts of advocacies are binding; slow down for these, as necessary.
I was trained in formats where the judge can be counted on to ignore new arguments in late speeches, so I am sometimes annoyed by POOs, especially when they resemble psychological warfare.
Please please terminalize impacts. Do this especially when you are talking about The Economy. "Helps The Economy" is not an impact. Economic growth is not intrinsically good; it depends on where the growth goes and who is helped. Sometimes economic growth is very bad. "Increases tensions" is not a terminal impact; what happens after the tensions increase?
When I operate inside a world of fiat, I consider which makes the world a better place, I will be looking for prevention of unnecessary death and/or disease, who lifts people out of poverty, who lessens the risk of war, who prevents gross human rights violations. "Fiat is an illusion" is not exactly breaking news; you definitely don't have to debate in that world. I'm receptive to "the role of the ballot is intellectual endorsement of xxx" and other pre/not-fiat world considerations.
LES PHILLIPS NUEVA LD PARADIGM
For years I coached and judged fast circuit LD, but I have not judged LD since 2013, and I have not coached on the current topic at all. Top speed, even if you're clear, may challenge me; lack of clarity will be very unfortunate. I try to be a blank slate (like all judges, I will fail to meet this goal entirely). I like the K, though I get frustrated when I don't know what the alternative is (REJECT is an OK alternative, if that's what you want to do). I have a very high bar for rejecting a debater rather than an argument, and I do not default to competing interpretations; I would like to hear a clear abuse story. I am generally permissive in re counterplan competitiveness and perm legitimacy. RVIs are OK if the abuse is clear, but if you would do just as well to simply tell me why the opponent's argument is garbage, that would be appreciated.
Updated Nov 2023
I competed for four years under Notre Dame High School (2014 - 2018), primarily in Parliamentary Debate and National Extemp. After 2018 I left the debate space and now judge on an ad hoc basis.
I primarily judge debate: not often parli, but mostly PF & LD. I think the below points apply to all.
I am no longer capable of following speeding but still judge entirely on the flow, especially the last speeches from each team. That being said, call points of order.
Tell me the most important issue in the round and I'll vote there if I can. I will flow crossfire. Clear signposting will help both me and you. I love overviews and road maps.
I find links are most often the weakest part of any argument - give me a clear link story and I will give you your impacts. Weigh your impacts too. Please also remember to give me offense I can vote on.
On tech debate: If you don't say it's a priori, I'll probably avoid voting on it. I don't really like judging tech debate. That being said, I will be favorable to T shells where there is legitimate abuse (whatever the brightline for "legitimate" is, which I'll admit probably comes down to judge discretion). I don't like judging Kritiks, mostly because I think the base philosophy generally gets warped beyond repair.
Do not be exclusionary. Have fun!
I don't judge speech very often, but I think the following point is relevant in Impromptu and Extemp: In cases where rankings are close, I decide based on content rather than how "well" a competitor spoke. I think this is the best way to mitigate implicit bias.
For other Speech events, I do have to take delivery into account.
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
1. I will vote for the team that has the best link into the best weighed impact in the round. <= MOST IMPORTANT
2. WEIGH. I cannot stress this enough. Tell me WHY I should prioritize your links/impacts/evidence over your opponents'. If you don't, I'll do the weighing myself (form what I see on the flow), and you won't be happy with the result.
3. Warrant everything (links, weighing, etc.). I'll flow unwarranted claims but I won't be happy about it and have trouble buying it.
4. Signpost clearly. If I don't know where to flow it, then I'll put it wherever I want, and you don't want that.
5. Everything in final focus MUST have been said in summary. (Exception : Dropped defense can go straight form rebuttal to FF)
6. All advances that you make in cross MUST be said in speech for me to flow it. (ex. if you get your opponents to make a key concession in cross, you have to bring it up in speech for me to consider it)
7. You may frontline in 2nd summary. HOWEVER you may not bring up offensive new arguments (in other words: no turns or extensions to case)
8. I'll probably disclose if I feel like it, and if the tournament allows it.
9. I will try my best to be a FIAT judge. That being said I will dock your speaks if you read something that is straight up inaccurate, misinterpreted, etc. (args with incorrect application of economic principles, I'm looking at you)
- follow basic debate etiquette
I have a processing disability that makes it hard to understand fast speakers or multiple voices at once, so please talk at a normal pace. I also have both physical and verbal tics; I cannot control when these happen, please be prepared to have me making random noise in the background during the debate.
speak slow and clear
Hi! I am a parent judge. Please avoid speaking too quickly, using only debate jargon, and being rude to your opponents.
Cultural Competency Certificate
Working in a small business in Silicon Valley
Please make your contention clearly.
Slowly speech is appreciated.
For PF: Speaks capped at 27.5 if you don't read cut cards (with tags) and send speech docs via email chain prior to your speech of cards to be read (in constructives, rebuttal, summary, or any speech where you have a new card to read). I'm done with paraphrasing and pf rounds taking almost as long as my policy rounds to complete. Speaks will start at 28.5 for teams that do read cut cards and do send speech docs via email chain prior to speech. In elims, since I can't give points, it will be a overall tiebreaker.
For Policy: Speaks capped at 28 if I don't understand each and every word you say while spreading (including cards read). I will not follow along on the speech doc, I will not read cards after the debate (unless contested or required to render a decision), and, thus, I will not reconstruct the debate for you but will just go off my flow. I can handle speed, but I need clarity not a speechdoc to understand warrants. Speaks will start at 28.5 for teams that are completely flowable. I'd say about 85% of debaters have been able to meet this paradigm.
I'd also mostly focus on the style section and bold parts of other sections.
2018 update: College policy debaters should look to who I judged at my last college judging spree (69th National Debate Tournament in Iowa) to get a feeling of who will and will not pref me. I also like Buntin's new judge philosophy (agree roughly 90%).
It's Fall 2015. I judge all types of debate, from policy-v-policy to non-policy-v-non-policy. I think what separates me as a judge is style, not substance.
I debated for Texas for 5 years (2003-2008), 4 years in Texas during high school (1999-2003). I was twice a top 20 speaker at the NDT. I've coached on and off for highschool and college teams during that time and since. I've ran or coached an extremely wide diversity of arguments. Some favorite memories include "china is evil and that outweighs the security k", to "human extinction is good", to "predictions must specify strong data", to "let's consult the chinese, china is awesome", to "housing discrimination based on race causes school segregation based on race", to "factory farms are biopolitical murder", to “free trade good performance”, to "let's reg. neg. the plan to make businesses confident", to “CO2 fertilization, SO2 Screw, or Ice Age DAs”, to "let the Makah whale", etc. Basically, I've been around.
After it was pointed out that I don't do a great job delineating debatable versus non-debatable preferences, I've decided to style-code bold all parts of my philosophy that are not up for debate. Everything else is merely a preference, and can be debated.
I strongly prefer to let the debaters do the debating, and I'll reward depth (the "author+claim + warrant + data+impact" model) over breadth (the "author+claim + impact" model) any day.
When evaluating probabilistic predictions, I start from the assumption everyone begins at 0%, and you persuade me to increase that number (w/ claims + warrants + data). Rarely do teams get me past 5%. A conceeded claim (or even claim + another claim disguised as the warrant) will not start at 100%, but remains at 0%.
Combining those first two essential stylistic criteria means, in practice, many times I discount entirely even conceded, well impacted claims because the debaters failed to provide a warrant and/or data to support their claim. It's analogous to failing a basic "laugh" test. I may not be perfect at this rubric yet, but I still think it's better than the alternative (e.g. rebuttals filled with 20+ uses of the word “conceded” and a stack of 60 cards).
I'll try to minimize the amount of evidence I read to only evidence that is either (A) up for dispute/interpretation between the teams or (B) required to render a decision (due to lack of clash amongst the debaters). In short: don't let the evidence do the debating for you.
Humor is also well rewarded, and it is hard (but not impossible) to offend me.
I'd also strongly prefer if teams would slow down 15-20% so that I can hear and understand every word you say (including cards read). While I won't explicitly punish you if you don't, it does go a mile to have me already understand the evidence while you're debating so I don't have to sort through it at the end (especially since I likely won't call for that card anyway).
- Defense can win a debate (there is such as thing as a 100% no link), but offense helps more times than not.
I'm a big believer in open disclosure practices, and would vote on reasoned arguments about poor disclosure practices. In the perfect world, everything would be open-source (including highlighting and analytics, including 2NR/2AR blocks), and all teams would ultimately share one evidence set. You could cut new evidence, but once read, everyone would have it. We're nowhere near that world. Some performance teams think a few half-citations work when it makes up at best 45 seconds of a 9 minute speech. Some policy teams think offering cards without highlighting for only the first constructive works. I don't think either model works, and would be happy to vote to encourage more open disclosure practices. It's hard to be angry that the other side doesn't engage you when, pre-round, you didn't offer them anything to engage.
You (or your partner) must physically mark cards if you do not finish them. Orally saying "mark here" (and expecting your opponents or the judge to do it for you) doesn't count. After your speech (and before cross-ex), you should resend a marked copy to the other team. If pointed out by the other team, failure to do means you must mark prior to cross-ex. I will count it as prep time times two to deter sloppy debate.
By default, I will not “follow along” and read evidence during a debate. I find that it incentivizes unclear and shallow debates. However, I realize that some people are better visual than auditory learners and I would classify myself as strongly visual. If both teams would prefer and communicate to me that preference before the round, I will “follow along” and read evidence during the debate speeches, cross-exs, and maybe even prep.
I like competing interpretations, the more evidence the better, and clearly delineated and impacted/weighed standards on topicality.
Abuse makes it all the better, but is not required (doesn't unpredictability inherently abuse?).
Treat it like a disad, and go from there. In my opinion, topicality is a dying art, so I'll be sure to reward debaters that show talent.
For the aff – think offense/defense and weigh the standards you're winning against what you're losing rather than say "at least we're reasonable". You'll sound way better.
The exception to the above is the "framework debate". I find it to be an uphill battle for the neg in these debates (usually because that's the only thing the aff has blocked out for 5 minutes, and they debate it 3 out of 4 aff rounds).
If you want to win framework in front of me, spent time delineating your interpretation of debate in a way that doesn't make it seem arbitrary. For example "they're not policy debate" begs the question what exactly policy debate is. I'm not Justice Steward, and this isn't pornography. I don't know when I've seen it. I'm old school in that I conceptualize framework along “predictability”; "topic education", “policymaking education”, and “aff education” (topical version, switch sides, etc) lines.
“We're in the direction of the topic” or “we discuss the topic rather than a topical discussion” is a pretty laughable counter-interpretation.
For the aff, "we agree with the neg's interp of framework but still get to weigh our case" borders on incomprehensible if the framework is the least bit not arbitrary.
Depth in explanation over breadth in coverage. One well explained warrant will do more damage to the 1AR than 5 cards that say the same claim.
Well-developed impact calculus must begin no later than the 1AR for the Aff and Negative Block for the Neg.
I enjoy large indepth case debates. I was 2A who wrote my own community unique affs usually with only 1 advantage and no external add-ons. These type of debates, if properly researched and executed, can be quite fun for all parties.
Intrinsic perms are silly. Normal means arguments are less so.
From an offense/defense paradigm, conceded uniqueness can control the direction of the link. Conceded links can control the direction of uniqueness. The in round application of "why" is important.
A story / spin is usually more important (and harder for the 1AR to deal with) than 5 cards that say the same thing.
I generally prefer functionally competitive counterplans with solvency advocates delineating the counterplan versus the plan (or close) (as opposed to the counterplan versus the topic), but a good case for textual competition can be made with a language K netbenefit.
Conditionality (1 CP, SQ, and 1 K) is a fact of life, and anything less is the negative feeling sorry for you (or themselves). However, I do not like 2NR conditionality (i.e., “judge kick”) ever. Make a decision.
Perms and theory always remain a test of competition (and not a voter) until proven otherwise by the negative by argument (see above), a near impossible standard for arguments that don't interfere substantially with other parts of the debate (e.g. conditionality).
Perm "do the aff" is not a perm. Debatable perms are "do both" and "do cp/alt"(and "do aff and part of the CP" for multi-plank CPs). Others are usually intrinsic.
I think of the critique as a (usually linear) disad and the alt as a cp.
Be sure to clearly impact your critique in the context of what it means/does to the aff case (does the alt solve it, does the critique turn it, make harms inevitable, does it disprove their solvency). Latch on to an external impact (be it "ethics", or biopower causes super-viruses), and weigh it against case.
Use your alternative to either "fiat uniqueness" or create a rubric by which I don't evaluate uniqueness, and to solve case in other ways.
I will say upfront the two types of critique routes I find least persuasive are simplistic versions of "economics", "science", and "militarism" bad (mostly because I have an econ degree and am part of an extensive military family). While good critiques exist out there of both, most of what debaters use are not that, so plan accordingly.
For the aff, figure out how to solve your case absent fiat (education about aff good?), and weigh it against the alternative, which you should reduce to as close as the status quo as possible. Make uniqueness indicts to control the direction of link, and question the timeframe/inevitability/plausability of their impacts.
Perms generally check clearly uncompetitive alternative jive, but don't work too well against "vote neg". A good link turn generally does way more than “perm solves the link”.
Aff Framework doesn't ever make the critique disappear, it just changes how I evaluate/weigh the alternative.
Role of the Ballot - I vote for the team that did the better debating. What is "better" is based on my stylistic criteria. End of story. Don't let "Role of the Ballot" be used as an excuse to avoid impact calculus.
Performance (the other critique):
Empirically, I do judge these debate and end up about 50-50 on them. I neither bandwagon around nor discount the validity of arguments critical of the pedagogy of debate. I'll let you make the case or defense (preferably with data). The team that usually wins my ballot is the team that made an effort to intelligently clash with the other team (whether it's aff or neg) and meet my stylistic criteria. To me, it's just another form of debate.
However, I do have some trouble in some of these debates in that I feel most of what is said is usually non-falsifiable, a little too personal for comfort, and devolves 2 out of 3 times into a chest-beating contest with competition limited to some archaic version of "plan-plan". I do recognize that this isn't always the case, but if you find yourselves banking on "the counterplan/critique doesn't solve" because "you did it first", or "it's not genuine", or "their skin is white"; you're already on the path to a loss.
If you are debating performance teams, the two main takeaways are that you'll probably lose framework unless you win topical version, and I hate judging "X" identity outweighs "Y" identity debates. I suggest, empirically, a critique of their identity politics coupled with some specific case cards is more likely to get my ballot than a strategy based around "Framework" and the "Rev". Not saying it's the only way, just offering some empirical observations of how I vote.
I am new to judging. This is literally my first one.
I'd prefer if you spoke at an average speed; speaking too fast might lose me. I value solid arguments.
Background about me: I am an occupational therapy student, pursuing my doctorate and currently attending the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. I have a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis on Movement Science, and a minor in Humanities.
I debated from 16-19 doing PF and LD and coached a top 10 parli team in the 19-20 season. Davis CS '23. This is my fifth year judging and eighth year in the debate-space.
Three absolute essentials from my friend Zaid's paradigm:
1. Add me to the email chain before the round starts: firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure that the documents are .pdfs (so that I can open it directly within the browser).
2. Preflow before the round. When you walk into the room you should be ready to start ASAP.
3. I will NOT entertain postrounding from coaches. This is absolutely embarrassing and if it is egregious I will report you to tab. Postrounding from competitors must be respectful and brief.
I do not view debate as a game, I view it almost like math class or science class as it carries tremendous educational value. I generally dislike how gamified debate has become - especially LD. There are a lot of inequities in debate and treating it like a game deepens those inequities. Progressive argumentation is a practice which big schools utilize to extend the prep gap between them and small schools. Hence, I believe that traditional debate is the MOST educational way to go about this activity.
Your job as a competitor is to make my job AS EASY as possible. The easier you make it, the greater the likelihood of getting my ballot. The less truthful the argument, the more work you have to do to convince me that your argument is true. I am tech over truthbut it's a lot of work to prove factually untrue arguments. It's in your best interest to make sure your arguments are truthful because then you do a lot less work to convince me which makes the round easier for you to win.
I'll accept theory on the condition that there's real demonstrated abuse in the round(going over time repeatedly, spreading when asked not to etc). You should be willing to stake the round on theory - meaning that it should be the only argument that matters in the round. Running shells and dropping them is dumb. Breaking "norms" are not indicative of abuse - you cannot expect someone new to debate to be familiar with every norm on the national circuit.
I generally dislike theory shells like Nebel or hyperspecific/friv shells. You have to do a ton of work to convince me that bare plurals is actually abuse and not just an article written by some random guy at VBI - and there's a variety of other shells that this applies to.
Disclosure theory created by big schools to trick smaller schools into giving up their prep advantage on the wiki because it's "more equitable". A fundamental part of debate is developing the ability to think and interact with your opponents' case, not reading off pre-written responses that coaches write for you (which is really easy to tell when you're doing it and irks me).
Performance Ks, K Affs, RVIs and tricks are a byproduct of debaters seeking to win this "game" of debate so needless to say I don't really enjoy listening to them.
Ks are fine. If it's something unique, you need to explain it thoroughly. If I don't understand the K, I can't vote for it.
Spreading is silly. Slow and good >>> fast and bad. I don’t think being unintelligible on purpose is a very good strategy to winning debates in real life either.
Thus, my threshold for progressive debate is high.
Generally in LD, the arguments in which you will have to do the least work to convince me are substance debate and policy debate. Phil is enjoyable as well. But you need explain explain explain explain.
I don’t think off-time roadmaps are a real concept. When you speak, outside of introductions and niceties, it should be running on someone's time.
Framework debate is good but I'm not a huge fan of value/VC debate (because the analysis is really shallow - "they don't support my VC so they auto lose". If its not that then I really enjoy it. )
If I am judging PF and you run progressive nonsense, it's an automatic loss. PF is MEANT to be accessible to the public. My 90 year old grandpa should be able to judge a round and understand what is happening.
In all events, I don't really care about cross since it's an opportunity for you to set up future arguments. I usually know who's won by the second to last speech (1NR in LD and negative summary) so unless the round is particularly close I don’t flow the last speech (2AR or FF).
It will serve you best to think of me as a deeply experienced flay judge rather than a circuit judge.
I will reward smart arguments with higher speaker points. Weigh effectively and weigh often and provide warrants for your arguments. This is the path to my ballot! Just tell me how and why to vote for you, do not trust me to understand and extend your implicit arguments.
Other than this, have fun, crack jokes, reference anecdotes and be creative. I'll give you +1 speaker points if you use a computer science concept in an analogy.
I have been a judging PF from 2018 onwards. I have judged varied tournaments from Novice to Varsity levels.
Present your story clearly. My preference will be clarity over ambiguity.
I don't mind if you speak fast.
I also weigh based on maturity of the thought, clear communication and metrics relating to your argument
I'm a parent judge. Please speak slowly and clearly. Please don't spread.
Time yourself and your opponents.
Pronouns: He/ Him. Will respect whatever your preferred pronouns are.
Role/ Experience: Director of Debate @ Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, CA. Formerly debated circuit Policy & coached @ Logan, & Parli @ UC Davis.
Evidence: Put me on the chain: email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org. However, I try to avoid reading speech docs for substantive issues- you have to make the arguments, interps, weighing clear to me in your verbalized speech. I will try to intervene/ "do work" for the debater as little as possible, so don't expect that I will buy all of the "fire analysis" of your card if you aren't extending or explaining any of it. Prep stops when you send out the doc. Don't burgle. Don't clip cards. Mark your docs if you end early.
Decorum: Be respectful of all in the round. Ad hominem attacks (about a person's immutable identity/ characteristics/ background) are never OK and will cost you speaker points at the very least. If you cross the line, expect the L and a talk with your coach. Attack arguments and their justifications, not the person.
- Open to any argument. I would say that I default policymaker but am completely open to K arguments/ affirmatives. If going for the K, please overcome my general skepticism by clearly explaining the role of the ballot and demonstrating some level of competitive fairness in your framework. I want to know what exactly I am voting for, not simply that the other side was thoroughly confused.
- Speed is fine, but slow down on tags, blippy analytics, interps, alts, and CP and perm texts. Pause after cites. Introduce acronyms. I'll yell clear if necessary. Avoid other distracting behaviors like loud tapping, pen-dropping, and super-double breadths. Non-speaking teams should limit their decibel level and overt facial indignation.
- T, theory, Ks, etc. are fine. But, as with any argument, if you would like for me to vote for these, you need to give me a clear reason. I am not as well-versed in some K Affs or high theory Ks, but am certainly open to evaluating them if you can make them make sense. I am more comfortable adjudicating T, CP, DA/ case debates, but I am open to voting for arguments of all types (Ks, K Affs, etc...). I will vote for non-conventional argument forms (songs, dance & poetry, etc...), but will be very acutely focused on the education and fairness implications of these alternative styles. I will give you more leeway on unconventional arguments (on the aff) if they bear some relation to the topic. Topic education is valuable. But, other things matter too.
- I leave my assessment of the round largely in the hands of the team that presents me with the best explanation of how to frame the major issues in the round, and why that favors their side. If that work is done thoughtfully and clearly, then my decision about which way the round should go becomes much easier. Oh yeah, it typically helps when you win the actual arguments too (warrants, evidence, links, impacts, & all that micro stuff).
- On theory, I usually will only pull the trigger if I can see demonstrable abuse or unfairness. The "potential for abuse argument" alone doesn't usually cut it with me (unless it's cold-conceded). Show me what specific limitations their interp caused and why that's bad for debate. Condo bad may be a good time trade-off for the aff, but probably won't convince me without some demonstrable in-round fairness/ education loss.
- I appreciate strategy, creativity, and maybe a little humor. Speaks typically range from 27-29.5. I am not impressed by shouting, bullying or obstruction- these will cost you points!! Most importantly, have fun! If you have questions, you can ask me before the round.
(Please see my policy paradigm above as this is where I draw most of my experience and perspective from. You can also find my thought on speed/ evidence/ speaks there. The gist is that I default as a policymaker, but this can be upended if you convince me your framework/ ethical system is good or preferable)
Cross: Speaking over or past your opponent goes nowhere fast. If you ask a question, allow them an answer. If you want to move on, kindly ask to move on, don't shout them down.
Plans: I love them since they impart a clearer sense of your advocacy and one concrete comparative world. Still, you will be held to that plan. Shifting advocacies, vagueness on key functions of the plan, inserting extra-topical provisions to deck case neg offense are likely to get you in trouble. Spec args and funding questions need to be reasonable. Aff can, and probably should, defend normal means in these instances, but clarify what that probably looks like.
Whole Res: This style of debate is fine, but it makes affs vulnerable to a large set of topical, but terrible, ideas. It is each debater's job to weigh for me the preponderance of the evidence. So, even if you prove one idea is the res could cause nuke war, I need to weigh that eventuality's probability versus the rest of the aff's probabilities of doing good. This is a daunting task given the limited speech times, so make your examples as clearly defined, relevant, and probable. I am often persuaded by the most salient example.
Theory: I am far more receptive to theory arguments that pertain to choices by the opponent. Attacking structural differences of the aff/ neg in LD as a justification for some unfair strategy choice is not likely to persuade me and often ends up as a wash. Tell me what arguments their interp specifically limits and why that's bad in this round or for debate in general.
Other things: I do not favor whimsical theory arguments that avoid debating the topic or avoid normative questions of public policy in general. So, save your font size theory for another judge.
Plans are cool/ extra-topical planks are not. Evidence is cool, but warranted and empirically supported reasoning is best. DO NOT take 45 seconds between speeches. DO ASK POIs! Please take at least 2 POIs in constructive for the sake of clarity and education.
Years Judging Public Forum: 9
Speed of Delivery: moderately fast, I would say full speed, but since people throw 8 "cards" up in 20 seconds in PF, you're better off at like 70% of full speed.
Format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?): Line by line with some framing/ voters if it helps to clarify the round.
Role of the Final Focus: Establish voters, demonstrate offense, and weighing.
Extension of Arguments into later speeches: do it, please don't shadow extend everything, I won't do the work for you.
Plans: fine/ unless impossibly narrow
Kritiks: if it links, sure
Flowing/note-taking: Do it, I will.
Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally? Arguments matter more. But, as a member of the human species, style and conviction impact the level to which I am persuaded. Still, I prefer a style that oriented to a calm and reasoned discussion of the real facts and issues, so I think they go hand in hand.
If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? Typically, yes, especially in the summary. The rebuttal may not necessarily have to extend defensive elements of the case.
If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech? Opponents case only; though, you won't get back the time later to explain and frame your best responses, so I'd try to cover responses to case too.
Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? Not unless something unique prompted the response for the first time in the immediately prior speech/ grand-cross.
If you have anything else you'd like to add to better inform students of your expectations and/or experience, please do so here. Be civil, succinct, and provide plenty of examples (either common knowledge or your evidence).
Very experienced judge and coach for Saint Francis high school. I will consider pretty much any arguments that are not blatantly sexist, racist or crudely discriminatory (blatant is the key word here, much of this stuff is debatable and I will try not to punish you for my general feelings about your arguments).
It is important to me that debaters be respectful and polite to each other, this puts the spotlight on the arguments themselves and I am not a fan of extra drama.
I try hard to be fair and the following things help me do that:
- I rarely call cards. I like to focus the debate on the analysis given by the debaters (of course I will usually give more weight to analysis that is taken from qualified sources). I do not like to decide debates on random parts of a card that neither debater really focused on. I will call cards if I forget what they said, if there is a conflict about what they say and I can not remember, or if I am personally interested in the card.
- I try to judge on the flow in the sense that I evaluate the debate on the arguments presented, explained and extended into the rebuttals. I will occasionally do the work to weigh impacts or decide framing if the debaters are not doing that for me.
- I will not yell "clear", so mumble and slur at your own risk (I don't yell clear because I don't want a team to find that sweet spot where I can understand them but their opponents can not). I will also not evaluate arguments that I can not hear. I do not read speech documents during the debate rounds, sometimes I will look at them after the round (see calling cards stuff above).
I am cool with critiques on the aff and neg.
I am cool with framework (I like the debaters to work this out and I am pretty neutral on this question).
I like clarity (both in speech and arguments). I am not impressed by things that are "too complex" for me to understand but I will do my best to try to make sense of it. I am confident enough to not pretend I know your position and I will not fill in the blanks for you.
I am cool with policy arguments.
I have a wide breadth of knowledge but little depth on certain positions, don't assume I know your literature.
I give high speaks for clarity, efficiency, a pace that I can flow, respectfulness and occasionally speaking style.
I feel like the speaker point range I give is pretty close to average (I am not a reliable source of high speaks for everyone, but I will reward excellent debate with high speaks).
mail all speech documents to: email@example.com
anything else (if you want me to read the e-mail or respond): firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm an intermediate-level parent judge with several years of experience judging mostly PF.
I believe the primary goal of debate (and speech) is to communicate effectively and persuasively. Make compelling arguments supported by solid evidence and reasoning and use examples to illustrate your points whenever possible. Aside from constructing your own case, make sure you adapt to your opponents' arguments and avoid talking past each other. Remember that it's not a sign of weakness to acknowledge an opposing viewpoint.
I understand some of you prefer rapid-fire delivery but please prioritize clarity and enunciation over speed and density. This way, I won't miss any of the key points you are making. Keep in mind that I cannot give you credit for things you said but I never heard.
Please do not introduce new arguments in the final speeches of the debate. I will not consider them.
Most importantly: always be respectful to each other, relax and have fun!
Debate is fun. I enjoy judging. Most of my judging experiences are PF followed by LD. I also judged limited rounds of parli, policy and congress. Except for PF, don't assume that I am familiar with the current topic. I usually disclose and give my RFD if it's allowed and time permits.
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
I value clear warrants, explicit weighing and credible evidence. I do care a lot about the tech side, but pretty much tech = truth if you read substance.
- Speed: talking fast is not a problem, but DON'T spread (less than 250 words per minute works). Otherwise, I can only listen but not keep up flowing. If I missed anything, it's on you.
- Warrants: the most important thing is clear links to convince me with supporting evidence (no hypothesis or fake evidence - I will check your evidence links). If you drop your warrants, I will drop you.
- Flow: I flow everything except for CX. Clear signposts help me flow.
- Rebuttals: I like quick thinking when attacking your opponents' arguments. Turns are even better. Frontlines are expected in second rebuttal.
- CX: don't spend too much time calling cards (yes, a few cards are fine) or sticking on something trivial.
- Weighing: it needs to be two-world comparisons. Bring up what you want me to vote on in both summary and FF, and extend well.
- Timing: I don't typically time your speeches unless you ask me to do so (but if I do, the grace period is 10 sec to finish your sentence but not to introduce new points), but I often time your prep and CX.
Ts: limited judging experience. Explain well to me why your impact values more and focus on meaningful violations. Don't assume an easy win by default reading Ts, if you sacrifice educational value for the sake of winning.
Ks: no judging experience. Only spectated a few rounds. Hard to understand those big hollow words if you don't have enough warrants. If you really want to do Ks, do stock Ks, instead of performance.
Finally, be respectful and enjoy your round!
I am a first-time parent judge and English is my second language, please speak slower and clear and use simpler english where possible.
Hi! I am a parent judge. Although I am flay, I have judged for many years and has experience to some extent. Here are a few preferences that may win you a round:
1. Please be nice to your opponents. If something rude or offensive is brought in, I will automatically vote for the other side.
2. Please do not spread. You can speak at a fast pace as long as it is clear, although I do prefer a slower and steadier pace.
3. When your opponents ask for cards, please give them in less than 2 minutes. After 2 minutes is up, it will count as your own prep time.
4. I do not flow crossfire. If you want me to flow something brought up in cross, please extend them in later speeches.
5. I have some knowledge over this debate topic, but please do make sure you explain your arguments clearly.
6. I prefer Truth > Tech, but if your truth makes no sense, then I will not buy it.
7. Please weigh impacts and bring up voter issues in the final speeches.
8. I will provide a 10 second mercy rule after you have reached the speech limit. Note that I will not flow anything after that.
9. Have fun! I am looking forward to seeing you all! :D
Hello my name is Esther and I am parent judge. Clarity is very important to me, I do not know much about this topic so specific jargin will confuse me. I mainly vote off of speaking and voter issues.
Please signpost—I will need explanations of the specific arguments you are responding to. Also make sure to allocate plenty of time to weighing so I can understand why your side is important.
Hi, in order to make it easy for me to understand your case more thoroughly, please kindly speak at a reasonable speed since I am a parent judge. Thank you.
I don't have any particular preference for the debating style. I noticed from previous tournaments that fast-talking doesn't help to win the debate. An argument with strong logical reasoning and supporting evidence is more convincing. Additionally, if possible, I would prefer to avoid using "off-time roadmap", which sometimes takes 30second and does not add much value to the argument. In term of time management, sharing files and cards may help but also take up prep time. The debate should be focused on making logical argument and thus requesting for card can be minimized.
I am a lay parent judge. I prefer that debaters don’t speak too fast so that I could follow your arguments.
I will judge based upon:
1) solid logic and reasoning.
2) strong advocacy of your position.
3) utilization of evidence.
4) clear communication.
I am a parent judge. Please speak at regular speed. If you speak too fast, you risk losing me. I value logic in an argument. I have a strong background in statistics, so please make an effort to fully understand the evidence you present, especially those with numbers. Statistically a good posture and good manners correlate with higher speaker points that I give.
3rd year flay parent judge