Stephen Stewart Middle and High School Invitational
2022 — milpitas, CA/US
Parli Varsity Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
As a former debater I place a heavy emphasis on evidence/contention repetition and presentation.
I will not hesitate to ask for your evidence so keep it handy.
For speakers I have a high preference on referring to previous speakers and building and progressing the debate.
For presiding officers I look at your speaker management and ability to track time and keep the debate moving forward.
disclaimers for preffing:
- i competed four years at archbishop mitty high school, policy for two years and parli for two years after, won chssa parli 2021
- i'm cool with the common k's (cap, neolib, security, etc), as a debater i have experience with running antiblackness, orientalism and queer k's. im good with anything, but im probably not familiar with ur niche lit base so just explain it well. if you're a super high level k or theory debater however, consider preffing me low lol
- spread if you want, i'll say slow or clear if i need to
my judging preferences:
1. if u cause harm in the debate space ill drop u immediately
2. tech over truth unless you don't warrant
3. organize uq/l/il/mpx and signpost
4. impact everything out or it doesn't matter; if i'm judging parli, everything should be centered around your weighing mechanism
5. im down for friv theory, unless u make the debate completely inaccessible to your opponents EDIT: if you are going to run theory, please for the love of god, run it well. don’t give me shitty theory shells to evaluate instead of substantive k/case debate. you may not suffer but i do
6. everyone gets a 29, make an atla/aot/jjk/shadow and bone reference and i'll give you a 30. speaks end up being arbitrary and ableist/sexist anyways so just have fun
7. stick around for feedback, i'll always try to disclose. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need anything else
I'm a parent judge with a few years of experience. That being said, treat me as you would any other lay judge: refrain from speed, jargon etc.
I'm a newer parent judge. I appreciate clear articulate arguments and prefer conversational speed. Make sure to connect different arguments during there round as well as impact/tell me why they're important. Tell me what argument you're on. Explain any jargon. Treat your opponents kindly and with respect. Make sure your arguments follow logic.
General: Debate is a game that is played for the purpose of winning, but it may also be a game with very personal elements. So, in the round, remember to be respectful and inclusive. Tell me the weighing mechanism to employ when deciding who should win, dispute which weighing mechanism is superior, and explain why you win using that weighing mechanism. It's also always better to have more structure and signposting. Unless otherwise instructed, I evaluate the round using the technical components of the flow.
Theory: I can handle anything. I prefer it when it's utilized to really check for abuse in the round rather than just as a time waste, but I'll vote on it regardless. I'm not a fan of the debate around standards vs. voters.
Speed / Speaker Points: I don't mind if you speak quickly, but be clear and use great word economy. Don't use your speed to exclude other teams from the debate; it will cost you speaker points, and I am open to theoretical and critical arguments against it. Otherwise, go at your own pace. Instead of persuasiveness, speaker points are granted based on the quality and competitiveness of the arguments presented.
Updated September 2020
Mostly everything below still applies. Main update about kritiks: I am pretty down to hear kritiks, but will get sad if the kritik misrepresents source material. Buzzwords and tags only will make me sad, but if you've actually read the source material, actually UNDERSTAND what the arguments mean, and can EXPLAIN CLEARLY the argument, I will be very happy :)) THE K IS NOT A TOOL FOR EXCLUSION. IF YOU DO(and with any other argument as well), THAT IS GROUNDS FOR ME TO INTERVENE IN THE ROUND.
K affs should be disclosed, and if you do not disclose, I am very sympathetic to disclosure arguments.
And because I cannot stress this enough..
On weighing: SUPER IMPORTANT DO IT. PMR should have access to weighing arguments, unless it's a new internal link scenario. I would generally like to see weighing arguments starting in the MO, but will allow LOR to make weighing arguments, but depending on the scope of the weighing, may give it less weight. Generally speaking, whoever does better weighing tends to win the round. Hopefully that incentivizes you to weigh.
ALSO please i love helping people with debate, so if any questions, email me at email@example.com
(and i literally mean any, doesn't matter if i've judged you before or not, PLEASE reach out to me)
debated HS parli for 3.5 years, public forum for 2 years, coached MVLA for two years and in my third year of coaching Gunn parli
tech over truth, but keep in mind subconsciously I may be more likely to believe arguments that are the truth if the tech debate is close
Fine with speed(~250 wpm)
Fine with tagteaming, but only flows what speaker says
will do my best to protect, but you should still call POOs on new arguments in case I do not catch it, if there are things that are kind of new but not really, I will give them less weight in the round
no shadow extensions
no stealing prep
WEIGHING WILL WIN YOU THE ROUND. WEIGHING SHOULD ALWAYS BE COMPARATIVE AND CONTEXTUAL TO THE ROUND. The easiest way to my ballot is to weigh. I don't like bad weighing arguments that are generic and not comparative but if nobody else makes weighing arguments in the round, then I will appreciate your effort in at least trying.
some examples of incorrect and correct weighing arguments
Incorrect: "We win because our adv 1 has the biggest magnitude in the round since they did not refute our adv 1" (does not contextualize and compare to other arguments in the round)
Also incorrect: " " (<- the reference here is not doing weighing)
Correct: "We win because our adv 1 saves MORE lives than their DA 1 due to the fact that [x thing mentioned in Adv 1] affects more people than the potential [y problem in DA] would affect" (note how this is comparative and contextual)
An argument is a claim, a warrant, and an implication, and I am hesitant to vote on only claims
I hate voting on presumption and if I have to intervene a little bit to not vote on presumption, I will do that. This is not to say I just randomly like to intervene. I find that the times when I get close to voting on presumption is when BOTH teams have not made explicit offense but rather have gotten close to making an offensive argument(usually in some implicit form). In that case, if one side gets closer to making an offensive argument than the other, I will generally be okay with doing the work for them and considering that just offense. Note that this is just what I default to, not that I will never vote on presumption if the argument is made.
I generally dislike voting off of arguments that are not in the LOR, even if it's in the MO. I do not need the full explanation in the LOR if it's explained in the MO, but it should at least be highlighted as a tagline in the LOR.
How I judge rounds
to note: for me defensive responses on an arg function as mitigation to the risk of the arg happening (ie I'll be more skeptical of the arg and I will evaluate this as the arg having very minimal risk of happening. Depending on how good the defense is, the risk will differ of course, but it's rare that I will believe an arg has 100% chance of not happening unless the other team straight up concedes it. Because this is how I evaluate args, weighing is super super super important)
I read mostly case in hs. I enjoy seeing specific impact scenarios, warrants, weighing arguments and strategic collapses. I care a lot about weighing. If no weighing arguments are made, I look at strength of link * magnitude. I rarely vote on magnitude in a vacuum.
I like them and they're cool. not a huge fan of condo, am a fan of pics, these are just what my preferences were when I debated, but I'm open to hearing arguments that go both ways
I default to competing interps. I don't like frivolous theory and will probably have a lower threshold for reasonability and RVI on friv theory.
Having specific interps is good.
I was not a K debater and am unfamiliar with most lit. I have a pretty good conceptual understanding of cap, biopower, security, colonialism, orientalism, and some nihilism args, but probably won't know the specific author you may read. I will probably know very little about any post modern lit you may want to read. Overall, please make sure to explain your K thoroughly and don’t go too fast, and explain any weird jargon.
Things I have read actual lit on: critical race theory, ableism, and Daoism. I have also read literature that references orientalism and discusses applications of orientalism, but have not read Said's original work. Reading these arguments could go in your favor but it could also not. I like seeing these arguments, but I'll know when you're misrepresenting the argument if you do, and I don't like it when people misrepresent arguments.
I am okay with K affs, but if you do not disclose, I am sympathetic to disclosure theory.
I do not give speaker points based on presentation. Strategic arguments, warrants, weighing, and collapsing will earn you high speaks. I tend to find that the better and more weighing you do, the better your speaks will be. Hopefully this an incentive for you to do more weighing.
also dedev is cool, will give high speaks if read well
I'd appreciate clear articulated arguments and conversational speed. I will grade on both argument and delivery.
I have a lot of high school debate experience, although it was done in a different language. )
Personally, I regard listening as just important as speaking during a debate. Please try to keep an open mind, and truly listen and understand your opponents. This will help you provide clear reasoning as to why your argument is better than that of your opponents.
I am a parent judge and have been judging since September 2019. I have primarily judged LD but in the last 2 years I have judged PF, Parli Policy and Congress too. I do flow and take copious notes. I am not comfortable with spreading, so please speak at moderate speed so that I can understand your arguments. Please make sure you are polite to your opponent. Please provide sufficient evidence to substantiate your contentions and be able to provide evidence when asked by your opponent. Do not introduce new evidence in your final speeches or lie that arguments were dropped when they weren't. It will definitely count against you as I do flow. Overall enjoy the debate and have fun!
I'm a senior who has done Parliamentary debate for the past four years and am the current president of Prospect High School's speech and debate club, so I would say I'm well-versed with the event.
Please ensure not to spread this during your speech because it inconveniences everyone. Try avoiding running Ks as well.
I will not condone any sort of discrimination whatsoever, and the team will be reported if it does happen.
Do not forget to have fun and take the time to gain educational value from your rounds :)
I am a parent judge. I have been judging for 3 years.
Please speak at moderate pace and with clarity. Be respectful to your opponents and keep track of your time so you can end your arguments. When I am judging, I look for:
- Critical thinking about the arguments and supporting your arguments
- Rebut your opponents
- Don't go in circles and keep repeating
- Be logical and realistic with your arguments
- Eloquent communication of your arguments
Good luck and have fun.
No more than 2 POO
Looking for argument with max net benefits.
Hi , I am new Judge, First time Judging debate event, I would like Contestants to speak slowly and use simple words when they speak.
Congratulations for being part of the Speech & Debate Club. Your enthusiasm is truly impressive.
I am a new judge for this event. I appreciate clearly articulated sentences and confident tone. Also I favor logic and reasoning over style, but this doesn’t mean style is less important.
If the opposing side doesn't refute or touch on one of your important points, please state it during your next speaking time.
One last note. Please no spreading, no K's, No T-Shells and No Topicallity.
Lay & flow (circuit) parli debater for Notre Dame & Los Altos (2013-17). Coached at POI 2017, currently coaching for Sequoia High and private students & helping out with NPDL office hours.
I will vote for anything that is not downright morally repugnant as long as you explain it well; whoever has the clearest path to the ballot and explains that will likely win. Make my decision easy and explain where I should be voting. Run whatever you want, but do it well - know your own strengths and debate based on that! I will default to comparing all arguments on both sides against each other - ie K vs case, theory vs K, etc - unless you explain why one type of argument comes first.
I will call clear if I have to, but speed isn’t a problem. Keep taglines slow just for the sake of me keeping a clean flow. The more signposting you do, the faster I can flow. That being said, your speaker points will suffer if you are clearly excluding your opponents from the round by spreading!
If you're being spread out: make it very clear that you can't keep up by calling slow and clear as much as you need to; that being said, speed theory is very rarely run well, you're probably better off spending your time making responses if you have even a chance of doing so or else go all in on speed theory if you have literally nothing.
I’m down as long as they actually have a link, you understand them/can actually explain them, and you take steps to ensure the other team has a chance to engage. You better have a solid alt and alt solvency that explains how you resolve the links if you expect to be winning on the K. K affs can get rather sketch in parli - disclosing that you're not defending fiat is probably a good idea but I don't really have any way to verify it unless you show me a message or something refusing to disclose. Again, I'm not going to intervene against any of these choices - it just means you'll have to win any theory arguments concerning the legitimacy of what you've done. I'm fine with performance Ks, but if you're running an identity based K for an identity that you are not, I will certainly be very receptive to arguments against that. I'll take your arguments at your word, but be ready to explain how you give the neg ground.
Basically, you're welcome to run Ks, but actually do it well - confusing your opponent is a bad way to win the round! Also, I am very much against reading messed up or abusive arguments just to skew your opponents out of the round - while I won't intervene against you unless absolutely necessary, your speaker points and my opinion of you as people and as debaters will greatly suffer.
While I didn't run many Ks myself, I'm decently familiar with cap, fem, antiblackness, anthro, Nietzsche, Baudrillard, Orientalism, Heidegger, security, colonialism [and probably some other stuff I've forgotten] but this does not mean you should explain less.
I'm not a huge fan of framework arguments that entirely exclude the other side, but I will evaluate them if run. If they're read against you - please answer them and leverage offense under both frameworks so I don't have to vote on them!
Love them, make them strategic. Make sure to explain how the CP functions. Defend against the perm; I view perms as test of competition not an advocacy. Good case debate is better than bad K or theory debate, so don’t be cheaty just because you have a backfile. A specific, well-warranted DA will beat a generic any day, but if you have to go generic, at least explain it well and how it relates.
One conditional advocacy is chill, more is potentially kinda sketch but I'll listen to arguments attacking having any or justifying having tons, you just have to win it. Delay, conditions, consult etc CPs are probably cheating, PICs/agent ones are usually fine and uniqueness/advantage CPs are great. But again - all up for debate, if you can justify it go for it. Keep your texts stable.
Good case debate is great! You should always have a clear plan text specifying what you're actually doing - small affs are solid within reason (as long as you have very clear net benefits you should be fine). Make it very clear in your advantages what your links are. Don't be extratopical.
I default to competing interps and no RVIs, but I don’t default to theory comes first unless you tell me to. You need to explain why theory comes before the K if there is one (and vice versa). I don’t need articulated abuse to vote on theory, but if it is there, point it out or articulate why potential abuse is enough in this instance. If you are going for theory, you better actually go for it. I probably won’t vote on it if it is only 30 seconds in the rebuttal. Receptive to arguments on PICs/condo on both sides; whoever wins the standards debate will probably win that.
Be very clear in labeling interp, standards, etc - I will vote on what you said, not what you meant. If you're going for theory - impact out the standards, internal link turn the other side's standards, etc.
If you're going for reasonability - give me a brightline (in addition to explaining why I should prefer it obviously).
Policy is objectively the best way to debate most rounds, but if you really want to run trichot I'll evaluate it. I dislike most spec shells so if you're reading it, it better either be very relevant or very good.
If you're not using some sort of standard util/net benefits framework, explain how I should be evaluating the round. I default to probability over magnitude unless you give me a reason otherwise. Weighing is your job, not mine, so do it. If your opponents drop a point, don't just say they dropped it and thus we win moving on, you still need to impact it out.
Speaking of, terminalize your impacts (death, dehumanization etc). Economic growth is not an impact; nuclear war and extinction scenarios have their place but they better actually be relevant - think of all the marginalization or proxy war impacts you're missing out on by just reading the same extinction scenarios every time! Spend your time on the important areas of clash - ie if the debate comes down to who controls the uniqueness, focus on that, if it's more about whose impacts should be weighed higher, do that, if it's a question of who links harder to the same impacts, focus on the links!
The actual warrant is more important to me than the citation, make sure to explain the argument but also provide evidence if necessary. A good analytic is probably better than a bad stat. Please don't spend all your time arguing over whose source is more credible, if you have clashing evidence use logic and analysis to explain why yours should be preferred!
I don’t shake hands.
Shadow extensions are awful, I will happily accept a point of order on them. Once you've point of ordered a team 2-3 times, I've definitely gotten the picture and you can stop (aka I do not automatically protect against new arguments in the rebuttals unless they are blatantly 100% new, but I will after a couple point of orders). If I'm protecting against a super new argument, I'll stop flowing but if you're unsure feel free to call it.
Questions: please ask and answer them! Be respectful, don't interrupt the speaker unless they've let you stand there for 30+ seconds without any acknowledgement. Once they've said "at the end" or "I don't have any more time" a couple times, be a decent person and wait till the end unless absolutely vital, it's just annoying. As for taking questions: you should always take a question about framework/plan text, and another is nice if you have time. Don't take tons of questions though, this is your speech, be assertive and use your time for yourself!
Calling "status" and "text" (for plans/CPs, K alts, ROTBs, or interps) is 100% legit, please do it (no need to wait to be acknowledged). Always ask status!!
Don't steal prep between speeches or spend excessive time thanking everyone (once, briefly, is plenty).
Tagteaming is all good, but don’t be that kid who tag teams the whole time - no puppeting. Your speaks will suffer.
Speaks are based on strategy more than anything else, but good presentation is also a plus.
I will also use speaks to punish clearly offensive or incredibly abusive behavior/arguments in round - be a decent human being and this shouldn't be an issue!
**Feel free to FB message me with any questions
TLDR: I am a parent judge who did high school policy debate in the 80s. I won state (WA) my senior year. OK to speak fast, but a little above conversational speed is probably what I am most comfortable with. I will tell you slow/clear as needed. I am unfamiliar with theory and the K, so if you run these please explain them very carefully and justify them. If I do not understand your argument, I will probably not vote for you. Weigh in the rebuttals and tell me how I should evaluate the round - this makes my job easy and makes it easier for you to win my ballot. Homophobic/sexist/racist comments and other abuse will not be tolerated. If you abuse your opponents in any way I will drop you and tank your speaks.
Case: Please weigh in the rebuttals, it makes my job and yours a lot easier. Make clear, concise arguments.
Theory: I have a rudimentary understanding of T and how it functions in a round, but please explain your shell very well. Give me a clear interp, standards and voters as well as how I should be weighing T(ex. apriori). Do not run friv T. Prove to me that abuse has happened in the round and that you have an actual reason for running T other than to get an easy route to the ballot and dodge your opponent's case.
I do not understand RVIs and IVIs. Please do not run them. If you do, I will most likely not understand it and vote you down anyways, so it is in your best interest not to.
K: I have virtually zero knowledge about K lit and the structure of the K in general. I would prefer you not to run K’s but if you must, explain how it is relevant to the round. Still, keep in mind that there is a high chance I will not understand your argument and will vote against you as a result.
Speaks: I judge speaks mostly on substance and persuasiveness, not much on individual style. If you are abusive in any way/attempt to spread your opponents out of the round (although a certain amount of speed is fine - just don't be abusive with it), I will dock your speaks.
Hello Eager Debaters,
Even though I have lay judged for about 7+ years, please continue to treat me as a lay judge. Which means:
a. Don't assume - tell me everything about the process, structure, framework, weighing mechanism - all the good stuff you'll tell a lay judge
b. Each argument for me will have almost equal weightage unless there's a glaringly obvious difference in weightage - so make sure you are strengthening / countering all contentions produced
c. It's your responsibility to watch each others' time, speech sequence etc. - I'm focusing all my energy on the debate
d. I will leave as much of my opinion baggage outside the door as humanly possible. Don't make assumptions one way or the other that certain types of arguments will appeal any more or less to me because of who I am or appear to be
e. Be nice, have fun, keep learning! :-)
I am a parent judge with a little experience in debate.
I usually prefer detailed arguments over shallow statements. In other words, I would appreciate it if you could back up your arguments with credible warrants. I would also appreciate it if you could signpost your speech.
I am not too familiar with theory or kritiks, as I normally judge case debates. However, if you feel the need to run one, I will do my best to understand and judge fairly.
Best of luck to all debaters!
I am a parent judge, and now, I think I am an experienced judge. English is my first language. I prefer organized, consistent, clear, and logical explanations. Good luck!
I like to hear structured arguments with explicit reasoning. The plausibility of your reasoning matters. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
I am a parent/lay judge. I do flow your arguments by taking extensive notes. My judgment is based on the strength and scope of your uniqueness, links, and impacts. Having sign posts as you make your speech is very helpful to me. I have little knowledge about theory and kritik and would appreciate that you debate the actual case.
I am a lay judge, so I will decide based on my understanding of your arguments. If you use jargon, please explain. Explain your case clearly; your warrants should include what it means and what the impacts are. If I cannot understand you (spreading), I will be not be able give you credit for your arguments. Please be respectful, speak clearly, number your arguments, and provide organized, logical arguments. Good luck!
Hi, I'm a first time parent judge. I prefer slower speaking, structured and logical arguments. Good luck!
- The COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, and long COVID destroys lives. I will be wearing a mask, and I beg you to do the same if you are in a room where I am judging—both to protect all of us from the continuing pandemic, and because I am particularly at risk due to my own health conditions. I will try to have masks available to share; if you don't have a mask, I will assume that you were unable to access one, and will not ask further questions beyond a quick request. However, I will have trouble believing critical debate arguments that come from people who are not masked, because it seems to represent a lack of interest in pursuing true community care and justice. I don't know how that fits into a meaningful line-by-line evaluation, but I know that I will be unable to stop myself from being distracted from the round by my sorrow at this fundamental contradiction.
- For NPDI: You should be aware that I am still recovering from a series of concussions that mean my ability to follow rapid arguments may be limited. I will slow and clear as needed but please be warned. Fine with all types of argumentation still, it's just a speed issue. That means I may also need extra time moving between arguments/sheets.
- For a dictionary of terms used in my paradigm (or otherwise common in parli), click here.
- Take care, all. Tough times.
TL;DR: call the Point of Order, use impact calculus, make logical, warranted arguments and don't exclude people from the round. It's your round, so do with it what you will. I'll vote where you tell me to.
Background and Trivia
I did high school parli, then NPDA, APDA, BP, and NFA-LD in college; I've coached parli at Mountain View-Los Altos since 2016. My first debate round was against Trevor Greenan in 2011. My opinions on debate have perhaps been most shaped by partners—James Gooler-Rogers, Steven Herman, various Stanford folks who you won't be familiar with—as well as my former students and/or fellow coaches at MVLA—particularly William Zeng, Shirley Cheng, Riley Shahar, Alden O'Rafferty, and Luke DiMartino. More recent people who may evaluate similarly to me include Henry Shi, Keira Chatwin, Rhea Jain, and Renée Diop.
I've squirreled (was the 1 of a 2-1 decision) twice—once was in 2016 with two parent judges who either voted on style or didn't explain their decisions (it's been a while! I can't quite remember); the other was at NorCal Champs 2021, I believe because I tend to be fairly strict about granting credence to claims only if they are sufficiently warranted logically, and my brightline differed from the brightlines of the other judges for determining that.
An argument is a claim, a warrant, and an implication; blips without meaning won't win you the round. Please, if you do nothing else, justify your arguments: every claim should have a warrant, and every claim should have an impact. The questions I've ended up asking myself (and the debaters) in nearly every round I've judged over the past ~7 years are: Why do I care about that? What is the implication of that? How do these arguments interact? Save us all some heartache and answer those questions yourself during prep time and before your rebuttal speeches.
In other words—If there is no justification for a claim, the claim does not exist, or at best is downgraded to barely there. I think the most clear distinction between my way of evaluating arguments/avoiding intervention and some other judges' style of doing so is that I default to assuming nothing is true, and require justification to believe anything, whereas some judges default to assuming that every claim is true unless it is disproven.
Debate should be respectful and educational. This means I am not the judge you want for spreading a kritik or theory against someone unfamiliar with that. Be good to each other.
Fine with kritiks, theory, and any counterplans, but open to arguments against those as well. I don't think layers exist automatically, i.e. you need to explain and warrant why theory comes before a K for it to do so.
I don't give a damn if you say the specific jargon words mentioned here: just make logical arguments and I'll translate them. If you say theory should come before case because we need to determine the rules first, but forget/don't know the words "a priori", congrats, the flow will say "a priori".
Tagteaming and speed are fine, but should be respectful— if you puppet your partner without being asked, I will dock your speaks enough to make a difference for seeding. Please don't go fast if you don't have good word economy
Call the Point of Order.
Pedagogy, or, why are we here?
Debate can be a game, and a fun one at that, but it is not just a game to me—debate is a locus of interrogation, a place where dominant ideologies can be held up and challenged, a home for those of us with trouble in belonging. At its best, debate is a place where we can learn to speak of truths—as I see it, a sort of poetry. Debate is a tool for liberation—the liberatory act of of learning to speak your own truths, and listen to others', and learn from them.
I will not tolerate —phobias, —isms, or misgendering/deadnaming in any debate space that I am a part of. If these things happen, I will tank speaks, and we will talk about it after round, or I will reach out to a coach. I will never vote on arguments that are implicitly harmful (e.g. eugenicist, racist, transphobic) and there is no amount of warranting that can convince me to do so. If you feel like debate excludes you, please consider reaching out to me; I promise that I will always do everything I can to call out/in people causing harm, to use my accumulated authority and networks to hold people accountable, and to listen.
There is often a balance on this circuit between judges who believe that the primary form of exclusion in debate is that of technical teams excluding non-technical teams, and judges who believe that technical debate is a means of inclusion for people who have historically been marginalized in debate settings, and beyond. I err towards the latter, because I rarely hear of or see rounds in which tech debaters are unkind (these days) (thankfully), but I know that technical debate can be intimidating. The most-watched round of my debating is NPDI finals, 2014—in which I argued shakily against a kritik at the fastest speed I could, after learning what they were just two days before. In high school, I learned about kritiks to bitterly beat them. And then I went to a community college to compete in NPDA, and learned that kritiks are not something to be feared, but just another argument to engage with.
If you fear kritiks because they confuse you, recognize that maybe that's something to learn about rather than hate; recognize that kritiks are often a tool by which those of us who are marginalized by this community can, for a few moments, reclaim our space and rebuild our belonging. If you believe you hate all kritiks, ask yourself deeply why it is that you are unwilling to question the power structures that govern debate and the world. Do you benefit from them? Do we all? Can't we all learn to at least think about them too?
Simultaneously—if you run kritiks alongside theory and tricks at top speed on teams that are not comfortable with these things, what are you running the kritik for? How is that an effective form of education? Why do that, when you could simply run a kritik at an understandable speed? In other words—if you read kritiks exclusively to win, and intend to do so by confusing your opponents, I will be a very sad judge at the end of the round.
As a whole, then, I am a strange hybrid product of my peculiar debate education. I believe that the best form of parli is somewhere between APDA Motions and national circuit NPDA. This means the rounds I value most are conversational-fast, full of logic without blipped/unsupported claims, use theory arguments when needed to check abuse, do clear weighing and comparative analysis through the traditional policymaker's tools of probability, timeframe, and magnitude, and use relevant critical/kritikal analysis with or without the structure of traditional criticism.
I will end this section with the following note. Debate is your space, for as long as you are here. It is a space that can give you everything, and make you feel on top of the world, or make you feel utterly worthless. I've been in both places. I know. So I hope that after reading this, or skimming it, or ignoring it, maybe you'll just see this little section here: give yourself space to love debate, and to mourn its exhaustions. This activity, as you know it, will never exist the same way again that it does today. Make it your own. Make it kind. Make it funny. Make it home.
Rebuttals should primarily consist of weighing between arguments. This does not mean methodically evaluating each argument through probability, timeframe, AND magnitude, but telling a comprehensive story as to how your arguments win the round.
Adaptation to the round, the judge, and the specific arguments at hand is key to good debate. Don't run cases when they don't apply.
(UPDATED 11/4/21) I tend to be cautious about the probability of scenarios. This means that I prefer to not intervene or insert my own assumptions about how your link chains connect—if they are not clear, or if they do not connect clearly, I may end up disregarding your arguments. I tend to have a higher threshold on this than most judges on this circuit, courtesy of my APDA/BP roots, so please do not leave gaps!
Default weighing is silly on principle: I'm not likely to vote for a high-magnitude scenario that has zero chance of happening unless you have specific framing arguments on why I should do so, but if you make the arguments, I'll vote on them. Risk calculus is probability x magnitude mediated by timeframe, so just do good analysis.
Presumption flows the direction of least change. This means that I presume neg if there is no CP, and aff if there is. I am certainly open to arguments about how presumption should go — it's your round — but I will only presume if I really, truly have to (and if the presumption claims are actually warranted). If you don't have warrants or don't sufficiently compare impacts, I'll spend 5 minutes looking for the winner and, failing that, vote on presumption.
Fine with perms that add new things (intrinsic) or remove parts of your case (severance) if you can defend them. If you can't, you'll lose– that's how debate works.
I'll be as tabula rasa as possible, but if you say things that I know are untrue/misrepresentations, your speaks might reflect that.
I am such a massive fan of deep case debates, wow! In NPDA I enjoyed reading single position cases, whether a 1-off K or a disadvantage or advantage. These debates are some of the most educational, and will often result in high speaks. I am also a massive fan of critical framing on ads/disads.
Your cases should tell a story— isolated uniqueness points do not a disadvantage make. Understand the thesis and narrative of any argument you read.
Theory (UPDATED 11/4/21)
I default to competing interpretations—In theory rounds, I prefer to evaluate the argument by determining which side has the best interpretation of what debate should be, based on the offense and defense within the standards debate.
I am open to the argument that I should be reasonable instead, but I believe that reasonability requires a clear brightline (e.g. must win every standard); otherwise, I will interpret reasonability to mean "what Sierra thinks is reasonable" and intervene wholeheartedly.
I view we meets as something like terminal defense against an interpretation—I think that if I am evaluating based on proven abuse, and the interpretation is met by the opposing team, there is no harm done/no fairness and education lost and thus theory goes away. However, if I am evaluating based on potential abuse, I think that the we meet might not matter? (As you can see, I'm currently conflicted on how to evaluate this—if you want to make arguments that even if the interp is met theory is still a question of which team has the better interpretation for debate as a whole (e.g. based solely on potential abuse), I'm open to that too!
Weighing and internal link analysis are the most important part of theory debates—I do not want to intervene to decide which standards I believe are more important than which counterstandards, etc. Please don't make me!
Your interpretation should be concise and well-phrased—and well-adapted to the round at hand. In other words, as someone who wrote a university thesis on literary analysis, interp flaws are a big deal to me.
No need for articulated abuse—if your opponents skew you out of your prep time, do what you can to make up new arguments in round, and go hard for theory. Being able to throw out an entire case and figure out a new strategy in the 1NC? Brilliant. High speaks.
(UPDATED 5/6/22) Frivolous theory is technically fine, because it's your round, but I won't be thrilled, you know? It gets boring. However—I am very open to theory arguments based on pointing out flaws in a plan text. Plan flaws, like interp flaws, are a big deal to me.
The trend of constant uplayering seems tedious to me. I would much rather watch a standards debate between two interesting interpretations than a more meta shell without engagement. Your round, but just saying.
Kritiks + Tech
Kritiks are great when well-run. To keep them that way, please run arguments you personally understand or are seriously trying to understand, rather than shells that you borrowed frantically from elder teammates because you saw your judge is down for them.
Originality: I most highly value/will give the highest speaks for original criticism—in other words, kritiks that combine theories in a reasonable way or produce new types of knowledge, particularly in ways that are not often represented in parli.
Rejecting the res (UPDATED 10/9/2021): I tend to think the resolution is the "epicenter of predictability" or whatever the tag is these days. Generally safer to affirm the resolution in a kritikal manner than to reject the resolution outright, unless the resolution itself is flawed, or you have solid indicts of framework prepared. However, if you're ready for it, go for it. Good K vs K debates are my favorite type of debate entirely.
Exclusion: Don't exclude. Take the damn POIs. Don't be offensive.
On identity (UPDATED 10/15/2020): All criticism is tied in some way to identity, whether because we make arguments based on the understanding of the world that our subject position allows us, or because our arguments explicitly reference our experiences. I used to ask debaters to not make arguments based on their identities: this is a position that I now believe is impossible. What we should not do, though, is make assumptions about other people's identities—do not assume that someone responding to a K does not have their own ties to that criticism, and do not assume that someone running a K roots it, nor does not root it, in their identity. We are each of us the product of both visible and invisible experiences—please don't impose your assumptions on others. I will not police your choices; just be mindful of the fraught nature of the debate space.
Literature familiarity: In the interest of providing more info for people who don't know me:
Relatively high familiarity (have studied relatively intensively; familiar with a range of authors, articles, and books): queer theory, disability theory, Marxism and a variety of its derivatives (Marxist-Leninism, Maoism, intercommunalism, eco-marxism, etc), critical legal theory (e.g. human rights), decolonization and "post" colonial studies
Medium familiarity (have read at least a few foundational books/articles): Afrofuturism, securitization, settler-colonialism, Deleuze & Guattari, orientalism, biopower, security, Walter Benjamin, Lauren Berlant, Eve Sedgwick, anti-neoliberalism, transfeminism, basics of psychoanalysis from Freud, Kristeva, etc.
I will be sad and/or disappointed if you read this: most postmodern things that are hard to understand, Lacan, Nietzsche, Baudrillard, any theory rooted in racism, anything that is trans exclusionary.
I'm still not sure what I think of including a list of authors I'm familiar with, but I think on balance that it is preferable to make this explicit rather than having it in my head and having some teams on the circuit be aware of my interests when other teams are unaware. Don't ever assume someone knows your specific theory or author. Familiarity does not mean I'll vote for it.
Conditionality: collapsed debate is good debate. If it hurts your ability to participate in the round, run theory.
Speed: Don’t spread your opponents out of the round. Period. If your opponents ask you to clear or slow, please do so or risk substantial speaker point losses. I've actually found I have difficulty following fast rounds online; I think I'm reasonably comfortable at top high school speeds but maybe not top college speeds. Often the problem is coherency/clarity and people not slowing between arguments—if you aren't coherent and organized, that's your problem.
On philosophical tricks: I'll be honest: I don't understand many of the philosophical arguments/tricks that are likely to be at this tournament (dammit Jim, I'm an English major not philosophy!) I will reiterate with this in mind, then, that I will not vote for your blips without warrants, and will not vote for arguments I don't understand. Convince me at the level of your novices.
Points of Order
I will protect against new information to the best of my ability, but you should call the Point of Order if it's on the edge. If I'm on the edge as to whether something is new, I'll wait for the Point of Order to avoid intervening. After ~2 POOs, I'll just be extremely cautious for the rest of the speech.
Speaker Points (Updated 11/3/18)
25-26: Offensive, disrespecting partner/other debaters, etc.
26-27: Just not quite a sufficient speech— missing a lot of the necessary components.
27-28: Some missing fundamentals (eg poorly chosen/structured arguments, unclear logic chains).
28-28.5: Average— not very strategic, but has the basics down. Around top half of the field.
28.5-29: Decent warranting, sufficient impact calculus, perhaps lacking strategy. Deserve to break.
29-29.5: Clearly warranted arguments, weighable impacts, good strategy, deserve to break to late elims.
29.5-29.8: Very good strategic choices + logical analysis, wrote my ballot for me, deserve a speaker award.
29.9-30: Basically flawless. You deserve to win the tournament, top speaker, TOC, etc (have never given; have known every TOC top speaker for years; can't think of a round where I would ever give this to any of them)
I don't care if you talk pretty, stutter, or have long terrified pauses in your speech: I vote on the arguments.
I really have no desire to shake your hands.
Feel free to email me with specific questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This paradigm is long. If there are teams in the field that I am unfamiliar with, I prefer to err on the side of over-explaining, because short paradigms privilege those who have previous exposure to a given judge, or a given format. I encourage other judges, NPDA and APDA and BP alike, to do the same. My apologies for the essay at the beginning though, hah.
I prefer and value clear and elaborate speaking with good content instead of rushing and squeezing in information into the time. Don't speak too fast! I value speaking style. Make sure that your content is good and logical instead of packing statistics and spreading in your speech. Have enough evidence to back up your claims but reasoning and logically explaining your case is more important. Impact out and link through all of your contentions to show the value of your side. Remember to weigh and clearly show how you win over the other team on specific points. Signpost throughout your speech and remain organized with your points, refutes, and counterarguments. Do not be abusive and make sure your content is not hateful. Please respect everyone in the debate including your opponents and your teammate. In the end no matter the loss or win, have something to take away from the debate as it is essentially a learning opportunity and have fun!
Hi, I'm S. Menon, a parent judge from Washington High School.
A good debater needs to ensure that the topic is properly introduced, with sufficient background information and useful definitions.
I would want a convincing case with:
- An approach to the debate in the context of a wider, real world discussion.
- Proper use of evidence to make a well-structured, clear argument
- Intellectual sophistication (sophisticated ideas/arguments NOT sophisticated words)
- Persuasiveness, passion and animation (as opposed to aggression)
- Relevant questions to opposition
- Addressing the weaknesses in the opposition's arguments with evidence
- Response to all arguments and clear refutations
- Intellectual flexibility to respond to different lines of argument instead of continual re-emphasis of one point
- Appropriate body language
- Volume and diction; do not talk too softly or too fast
- Courtesy and politeness to the other side
What I do not enjoy and appreciate in a debate are....
- Aggression or bullying (Passion and animation are good. Aggression not so much).
- Unnecessarily large words; these do not prove intellectual sophistication and instead complicate the case
- Do not get so stuck arguing about the word choices of your opponent, that focus shifts away from arguments/evidence.
- Unnecessary use of POI's in the middle of the speech; use when necessary and only necessary. They distract not only your opponents but also the judge's train of thoughts.
- I do not like to hear statements that start with words like "We will win this debate because...", "Our argument is better because" etc.
I am a lay judge, so I would appreciate it if the debaters used as little theory as possible. I will accept theory if I deem it necessary and it is clearly explained to me.
I am a parent judge. This is my second year judging the debate. Here are the items I try looking for
Strength of arguments
Claims, reasons, and supporting evidence
Refutation of opponent’s arguments
- are they having fun and enjoying the competition?
I am also learning from both teams debating as a Judge
tl;dr: I am open to almost any argument you want to read and will do my best to judge the round the way you lay it out for me.
I’m a first-year at UC Berkeley now competing in NPDA as a 1A/2N and am currently coached by Amanda Miskell, Will White, lila lavender, and June Dense. I competed for EVHS for four years in NPDL debate as mostly a 2A/2N, but I have some experience with 1A/1N when I mavved at NPDI ‘21. My thoughts on debate so far have been mainly shaped by Trevor Greenan, lila lavender, Will White, Amanda Miskell, so feel free to check out their paradigms - I’ll probably evaluate rounds in a similar way.
My decision is based almost entirely and primarily on my flow (i.e. tech > truth), however if intervention is inevitable, I will try to find the easiest, least interventiony path to the ballot. In a similar fashion to Trevor, I will prioritize (in roughly this order): conceded arguments with weighing/framing, conceded arguments that are otherwise extended, arguments with substantive warrant analysis, arguments with implicit framing, and, worst case, the arguments I can better understand the interactions of. Speed is fine, although be mindful of “slow/clear” calls (see lila’s paradigm for the steph stew 2022 incident - I have very similar thoughts on speed). While I do protect, feel free to call your POOs.
My 1ACs/1NCs for the first half of my career were typically two advantages or DAs with large uniqueness blocks and impact work. Given this, I tend to believe strong uniqueness and on the flip side good defensive analytics make arguments compelling. A structured approach to answering case arguments by section with an overview, signposting, and a good collapse is your best bet to beating back these arguments.
I default to fiat being durable, utilitarianism/net benefits as the moral framework, and counterplans being conditional, but am open to arguments to the contrary.
Read any counterplan you want, cheater or not, but I’ll also vote on MG theory here if it’s won.
Have fun - I lived for theory and I am generally a fan. Collapse to what is strategic - just bc you think I’m a theory hack should not mean you poorly collapse to theory for the hell of it. In fact, I now think bad or unnecessary theory collapses typically lead to a boringish debate compared to a similar quality K or case collapse (still means make strategic choices! if theory makes sense go for it).
My view on theory is that it boils down to case debate with a slightly different structure. This means UQ, links, impact analysis, and collapse should be a big part of any theory debate.
I default to competing interps, and need a good warrant to prefer reasonability + a brightline. Theory is you upholding a model of debate through your interp vs any counterinterp, so you want to do comparative standards and voter work in your collapse.
I did go for MG theory frequently in high school so I will respect your decision to read/go for MG theory, but poorly read multiple sheets in the MG will make me sad.
Since getting into NPDA, I’ve almost exclusively read variations of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM) on both the aff and the neg. In high school, I got a lot more into kritiks in my junior and senior year, with a lot of Buddhism, and some MLM and Baudrillard. I find these arguments to be a valuable and fun tool in debate and am happy to evaluate these debates to the best of my ability.
Don’t assume I know your literature and esp in high school if ur reading smt nuts then take questions (it’ll help me too!).
Specific links to the aff are much more compelling than generic links or those of omission, which I will hold a higher threshold on.
I enjoyed K affs a lot more in my senior year and I’m down to hear them. I think FW/T is good when done well - I personally like the “we lead to better versions of ur aff bc truth testing is good” version more than the “drop them!! they didn’t fulfill their burden!!” complaining version but you do you.
Random Specific Thoughts Post NPTE 2023
Genocide seems pretty bad! The PMR seems to exist! Topicality and spec seem to be different things!
I have similar thoughts to Tim: The PMR should probably get to read new offense against the block’s rhetoric bc how would the MG predict that the block was gonna say slurs. IDK seems to make sense to me. And I will not randomly intervene to decide what rhetoric is “reasonably egregious” or not, ESPECIALLY if I’m a CIA-employed Zionist imperialist actor (to clarify which I am not). That seems pretty bad to me idk!
I have no idea wtf extending the perm means. I feel like if you want to extend a perm to get rid of an unconditional counterplan then you have to either read or pick some kind of terminal defense to get rid of your own competition. For example, you need to say “extend this defense” which means the counterplan doesn’t work and so the world of the counterplan solely is the status quo. Then if you extend the perm that makes sense to me because then the uncondo counterplan is the status quo so the world of the perm vs the CP is the same as the world of the aff vs the status quo. If you don’t do this then the only way you can get rid of offense on your counterplan probably seems to be actually kicking it. But I am slightly iffy about this so explain how extending the perm gets rid of the uncondo CP please thx.
Everything seems like fiat based on my understanding - if fiat is saying that we “should” do something and then imagine the consequences of that action then almost everything seems like it fiats an action. This also extends to the pre/post fiat distinction since either smt that is prefiat is saying their speech act has done something to change the world in which case I don’t know why I have to vote for you uniquely if that impact has already occurred, or my ballot will do something in which case the “pre” vs “post” fiat distinction seems mildly blurry to me but idk. This probably does not change the way I evaluate rounds, since I’ll assume the traditional fiat = policymaking fiat paradigm until someone tells me that fiat is what it rly is, in which case you can do a lot more weighing with the policymaking 1AC. This still doesn’t preclude framework analysis, in which case I will default to epistemic modesty over confidence (this means impacts = probability of ur framework being true x ur impact).
If you have any questions, feel free to message me on Instagram (@tejas.prabhune), Messenger (Tejas Prabhune), Discord (papaya#8124), email me at email@example.com, or ask away before the start of round!
I’m very down to be postrounded at the above places as well - I encourage you to push me to be a better judge.
I am a first-time parent judge; looking forward to it. Win or lose, we all have something to learn. Good luck and hope you have a great experience.
Over 10 years of collective experience as both an NPDA college debater and coach.
Case: I mostly prefer case debates involving arguments surrounding the core topic literature of each side.
Theory: Theory is best used as a protection against abuse or your opponent attempting to gain *unfair* advantages. That said, I generally have a high threshold on theory debates and prefer theory be reserved for legitimately egregious situations.
Kritiks: K’s can be a useful strategic option assuming you have strong link arguments that connect well to the topic, and you are able to explain how your K controls the internal link to the harms of that particular topic.
Personal Identity: Please do not run personal identity based arguments in front of me as I very likely do not know you or your identity personally and cannot verify (or disprove) any of the claims you make about said identity.
- Rebuttals are best used for comparison of impacts and warrants/supporting evidence.
- Impact out your arguments using Probability, Magnitude, Timeframe, and Reversibility.
My expectations are simple:
1.) Speak clearly and at a reasonable pace.
2.) Explain your arguments well. I should be able to reasonably agree or disagree based on your reasoning.
3.) Be kind and respectful.
Don't worry too much about technical debate preferences. As long as you can reasonably explain something, I'm all for it.
I believe that debate is a game. Play to win. Run your theory shells, specs, whatever you need to. Be strategic. Literally everything is up for debate, including the in-round rules. Keep that in mind when you decide what your voters are.
Speed is fine to a point. If it becomes too much I will make it obvious.
If you're going to run any critical arguments, clarity becomes paramount, since I likely won't be as well read on the subject as you.
Write my ballot for me. Make my job easy.
I am a 2nd year parent judge.
I look for facts and examples.
Please be respectful and don’t talk over one another.
Please speak clearly, instead of fast.
Hi, I am a lay parent judge with experience.
Things I like: clear explanation of your side and burden, clear path to the ballot, defend your assigned side of the topic
Things I dont like: technical arguments and fast speaking
* note for TOC * judge paradigms that include things like "I will drop you if you run a kritik," you just don't want black, indigenous, and students of color to access this space and it shows.
Specifics for Parli:
I am the Head Coach of Parliamentary Debate at the Nueva School.
ON THE LAY VS. FLOW/ TECH FIGHT: Both Lay (Rhetorical, APDA, BP, Lay) and Tech (Flow, NPDA, Tech) can be called persuasive for different reasons. That is, the notion that Lay is persuasive and Tech is something else or tech is inherently exclusionary because it is too narrowly focused on the minutiae of arguments is frankly non-sense, irksome, and dismissive of those who don’t like what the accuser does. I think the mudslinging is counter-productive. Those who do debate and teach it are a community. I believe we ought to start acting like it. I have voted for tech teams over lay teams and lay teams over tech teams numerous times. One might say that I do both regularly. Both teams have the responsibility to persuade me. I have assumptions which are laid out in this paradigm. I am always happy to answer specific or broad questions before the round and I am certain that I ask each team if they would like to pose such questions before EVERY round. I do not want to hear complaints about arguments being inaccessible just because they are Ks or theoretical. Likewise, I do not want to hear complaints that just because a team didn’t structure their speeches in the Inherency, Link, Internal Link, Impact format those arguments shouldn’t be allowed in the round.
Resolution Complications: Parli is tough partly because it is hard to write hundreds of resolutions per year. A very small number of people do the bulk of this for the community, myself being one of them. I am sympathetic to both the debaters and the topic writers. If the resolution is skewed, the debater has to deal with the skew in some fashion. This can mean running theory or a K. It can also mean building a very narrow affirmative and going for high probability impacts or solvency and just winning that level of the debate. There are ways to win in most cases, I don’t believe that the Aff should be guaranteed all of the specific ground they could be. Often times these complaints are demands to debate what one is already familiar with and avoid the challenge of unexplored intellectual territory. Instead, skew should be treated as a strategic thinking challenge. I say this because I don’t have the power to change the resolution for you. My solution is to be generous to K Affs, Ks, and theory arguments if there is clear skew in one direction or another.
Tech over truth. I will not intervene. Consistent logic and completed arguments these are the things which are important to me. Rhetorical questions are neither warrants nor evidence. Ethos is great and I’ll mark you on the speaker points part of the ballot for that, but the debate will be won and lost on who did the better debating.
Evidence Complications: All evidence is non-verifiable in Parli. So, I can’t be sure if someone is being dishonest. I would not waste your time complaining about another teams’ evidence. I would just indict it and win the debate elsewhere on the flow. However, there are things that I can tell you aren’t good evidence: WIKIPEDIA, for example. Marking and naming the credentials of your sources is doable and I will listen to you.
Impacts are important and solvency is important. I think aff cases, CPs, Ks should have these things for me to vote on them. If the debate has gone poorly, I highly advise debaters to complete (terminalize) an impact argument. This will be the first place I go when I start evaluating after the debate. Likewise, inherency is important. If you don’t paint me a picture of a problem(s) that need solving, should I vote for you? No, I shouldn’t. Make sure you are doing the right sorts of storytelling to win the round.
If there is time, I ALWAYS give an oral RFD which teams are ALWAYS free to record unless I say otherwise. I will do my best to also provide written feedback, but my hope is that the recorded oral will be better. I do not disclose in prelims unless the tournament makes me.
My presumption is that theory comes first unless you tell me otherwise. I’m more than happy to vote on K Framework vs. Theory first debates in both directions.
I flow POI answers.
Basically, I will vote for anything if it’s a completed argument. But, I don’t like voting on technicalities. If your opponent clearly won the holistic flow, I’m not going to vote on a blippy extension that I don’t’ understand or couldn’t summarize back to you simply.
BE NICE AND PROFESSIONAL. Debate is not a competitive, verbal abuse match. Debaters WILL be punished on speaker points for being rude (beyond the normal flare of intense speeches) or abusive. Example: saying your opponent is wrong or is misguided is fine. Saying they are stupid is not. Laughing at opponents is bullying and unprofessional. Don’t do it.
I’m more than happy to evaluate anything. I prefer education voters to fairness voters. It is “reject the argument” unless you tell me otherwise. Tell me what competing interpretations and reasonability mean. I’m not confident most know what it means. So, I’m not going to guess. Theory should not be used as a tool of exclusion. I don’t like Friv-theory in principle although I will vote on it. I would vastly prefer links that are real, interps that are real, and a nuanced discussion of scenarios which bad norms create. Just saying “neg always loses” isn’t enough. Tell me why and how that would play out.
Delay CPs and Consult CPs are evil, but I will vote for them.
The CP needs to be actually competitive. You also need a clear CP text. Actual solvency arguments will be much rewarded and comparative solvency arguments between the CP and the Plan will be richly rewarded.
Uniqueness does actually matter. Simplicity is your friend. Signpost what is what and have legitimate links. Give me a clear internal link story. TERMINALIZE IMPACTS. This means someone has to die, be dehumanized, etc.. If the other team has terminalized impacts and you don’t, very often, you are going to lose.
I was a K debater in college, but I have come around to be more of a Case, DA, Theory coach. I also have a Ph.D in History and wrote a dissertation on the History of Capitalism. What does that mean? It means, I can understand your K and I am absolutely behind the specific sort of education that Ks provide. That being said a few caveats.
Out of round discussion is a false argument and I really don’t want to vote for it. Please don’t make me.
Performances are totally fine and encouraged. But, they had better be real. Being in the round talking isn’t enough, you need warrants as to why the specific discussion we are having in the debate on XYZ topic is uniquely fruitful. Personal narratives are fine. If you are going to speak in a language other than English, please provide warrants as to why that is productive for me AND your opponents. I speak Japanese, I will not flow arguments given in that language.
I would prefer that you actually have a rough understanding of what you are reading. I don't think you should get to win because you read the right buzzwords.
Alternatives need to be real. If they put offense on the Alt, you are stuck with that offense and have to answer it. Perms probably link into the K, please don’t make me vote for a bad perm.
I am less likely to vote against an aff on a K for something they might do. I am very likely to vote on rhetoric turns, i.e. stuff they did do. That is, if you are calling them racist and they say something racist, please point it out. Your impacts compete, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to answer their theory arguments or make your own. I would encourage you to show how your impacts compete pre- and post-fiat. Fiat isn’t illusory unless you make it so and extend it.
There is also a difference between calling the aff bad or it’s ideology bad and the debater a bad person. In general, debaters should proceed as if everyone is acting in good faith. That doesn’t mean that rhetoric links don’t function or that I won’t vote on the K if you accuse your opponent of promoting bad norms--intellectual, ideological, social, cultural, political, etc.. However, if one takes the pedagogical and ethical assumptions of the K seriously, Ks should not be used as a weapon of exclusion. No one has more of a right to debate than another. To argue otherwise is to weaponize the K. We want to exclude those norms and that knowledge which are violent and destructive to communities and individuals. We also probably want to exclude those who intentionally spread bad norms and ideology. However, I severely doubt that a 15-year-old in a high school debate round in 2022 is guaranteed to understand the full theoretical implications of a given K or their actions. As such, attacking the norms and ideology (e.g. the aff or res or debate) is a much better idea. It opens the door to educate others rather than just beating them. It creates healthy norms wherein we can become a stronger and more diverse community.
I love clean framework debates. I hate sloppy ones. If you are running a K, you probably need to put out a framework block. I would love to have that on a separate sheet of paper.
Links of omission are vexing. There is almost always a way to generate a link to your K based on something specifically in the aff case. Please put the work in on this front.
I love case debate, a lot. Terminal defense usually isn’t enough to win you the debate. But defensive arguments are necessary to build up offensive ones in many cases. Think hard about whether what you’re running as a DA might be better served as a single case turn. Please be organized. I flow top of case and the advantages on a separate sheet.
Specifics for Public Forum:
Please give me overviews and tell me what the most important arguments are in the round.
Unless we are in Finals or Semis, I'm not going to read your evidence. I'm evaluating the debate, not the research that you did before the debate. If the round is really tight and everyone did a good job, I am willing to use quality of evidence as a tie-breaker. However, in general, I'm not going to do the work for you by reading the evidence after the round. It's your responsibility to narrate what's going on for me and to collapse down appropriately so that you have time to do that. If you feel like you don't have time to tell me a complete story, especially on the impact level, you are probably going for too much.
I don't have strong opinions regarding whether you start refutation or defense in the second or third speech. However, if things are tight, I will reward consistent argumentation and denser argumentation. That means the earlier you start an argument in the debate, the higher the likelihood that I will vote on it. Brand new arguments in the 4th round of speeches are not going to get much weight.
Thresholds for voting on solvency:
PF has evidence and for good reason. But, that doesn't mean that you can just extend a few buzzwords on your case if you are going for solvency and win. You have to tell me what your key terms mean. I don't know what things like "inclusive growth" or "economic equity" or "social justice" mean in the context of your case unless you tell me. You have 4 speeches to give me these definitions. Take the time to spell this stuff out. Probably best to do this in the first speech. Remember, I'm not going to read your evidence after the round except in extreme circumstances and even then...don't count on it. So, you need to tell me what the world looks like if I vote Pro or Con both in terms of good and bad outcomes.
I haven't come across any theory in PF yet that made any sense. I'm experienced in theory for Policy and Parli. If there are unique variations of theory for PF, take the time to explain them to me.
There isn't really enough speaking time to properly develop a fleshed out K in PF. However, I would be more than happen to just vote on impact turns like Cap Bad, for example. If you want to run K arguments, I would encourage you to do things of that sort rather than a fully shelled out K.
Specifics for Circuit Policy:
Evidence: I'm not going to read your cards, it's on you to read them clearly enough for me to understand them. You need to extend specific warrants from the cards and tell me what they say. Blippy extensions of tag lines aren't enough to get access to cards.
Go nuts. I can keep up with any speed as long as you are clear.
For all other issues see my parli paradigm, it's probably going to give you whatever you want to know.
Specifics for Lay Policy:
I do not understand the norm distinctions between what you do and circuit policy.
As such, I'm going to judge your rounds just like I would any Policy round --> Evidence matters, offense matters more than defense, rhetoric doesn't matter much. Rhetorical questions or other forms of unwarranted analysis will not be flowed. You need to extend arguments and explain them. If you have specific questions, please ask.
I'm Sarah, I use they/them pronouns, I did CX for 3.5 years in high school, 2 years in college at JMU doing NDT/CEDA, and then just under 2 years of NPDA at Western Washington University ending as a semifinalist with my partner in 2020. I've been coaching middle school and high school parli for the last 3ish years.
Now that we're back to in-person tournaments, please feel free to ask me any specific questions before the round starts if there's anything I can clarify.
this is still a work in progress
On the K-
I'm most familiar with MLM, however I can keep up with and evaluate most everything. I know the framework tricks, if you know how to use them. I have a high threshold for links of omission. I default aff doesn't get to weigh the aff against the K, unless told otherwise. I see role of the ballot arguments as an independent framing claim to frame out offense. I default to perms as tests of competitions, and not as independent advocacies. For K affs-you don't need to have topic harms if your framework has sufficient reasons to reject the res, but from my experience running nontopical affs I find it more strategic if you do have specific justifications to reject the res (I guess that distinction is more relevant for parli).
I default to competing interps over reasonability, unless told otherwise. I have kind of a high threshold for reasonability, especially when neg teams have racist/incorrect interpretations of how debate history has occurred in order to justify reactionary positions. If you have me judging parli-I default to drop the debater; and if you have me judging policy/LD-I default to drop the argument. I default to text of the interp. Parli specific: (if no weighing, do I default to LOC or MG theory? I'll come back and answer this). I don't default to fairness and education as voters, if you just read standards, then I don't have a way to externally weigh the work you're doing on that flow. I default theory apriori, but I have a relatively low threshold for arguments to evaluate other layers of the flow first. I default to "we meet" arguments working similarly to link arguments, the negative can still theoretically win risk of a violation, especially under competing interps. For disclosure arguments-I have a very high threshold for voting on this argument in parli, given that it's nearly non-verifiable. For other formats, I think disclosure and the wiki are good norms. In general, admittedly I have a high threshold for voting on t-framework.
Case-CPs don't get to kick out of particular planks of their CP in the block, if there are multiple. I default to no judge-kick. Given no work done in the round, uniqueness matters more than impacts. Fiat is durable.
I default to impact weighing in this order if no work is done in the round: probability, magnitude, timeframe.
If I am judging you in an event that you read evidence in the round-if there's card-clipping, it's likely to be an auto-drop. If you misconstrue evidence, I won't intervene but I'll have a low threshold for voting on it if the other team brings it up.
Quals: Been doing nat circuit coaching and competing since 2019
Theory: I don't feel strongly about things like condo, dispo, or anything as such. Stonger feelings I do have are event specific and listed at the end of the paradigm. I have a list of defaults but I can def be persuaded otherwise.
- Topicality comes before other forms of theory (like spec!)
- 1NC theory comes before 1AR/2AC theory
- Competing interps > reasonability
- Text > Spirit of the interp
- Drop the debater > Drop the argument
- Meeting the interp is terminal defense
- Theory comes before substance
- Fairness and education are voters
- No RVIs
K Debate: Sure! I was mainly a K debater when I competed. I'm pretty tired of hearing post-structuralist nonsense that amounts to inclusive oppression or do nothing. Cap debates are done wrong in many debates for a lot of the same reasons.
- Reject alts are fine but have a pretty low chance of winning my ballot short of conceding alt solvency.
- I think debates can be won on frame outs paired with a risk of solvency.
- Don't care for role of the ballot debates, however, if done right they can still win rounds if you go for it as a question of whether or not the other team textually meets the role of the ballot. Almost like theory!
- I still don't know what no perms in a methods debate means!
- Critical affs dont need links to the topic if theres substantive framing that justifies the aff.
- Links can be disads to the perm but tell me why!
- Fiat is durable
- Stock issues are not my favorite path to the ballot
- I don't judge kick counter plans unless told to
- kicking planks in a plan or counter plan is cool unless someone wins a theory violation
LD Specific: A couple of quick notes
- You should disclose. I wont auto vote on disclosure but I'll have a high threshold for responses to it
- Either flash analytics or slow down/clear because I'm not going to get the 2 page long overview at 670 WPM
- I evaluate most tricks like theory interps
Parli Specific: I've had these happen enough times back to back that if you do these things its either an auto L and/or 25 speaks
- Reading a K Aff then going for 2AC theory and impact turns to T at the same time when they have the same impact
- Reading a neg perm gets you 25 speaks. Going for it gets you an L.
- Disclosure theory because theres no speech docs or wiki in parli, how do I even verify it!
- Speed bad theory gets you 25 speaks but an auto L if you're an open circuit debater who spreads and read speed bad
- K's bad theory gets you 25 speaks.
MISC: A couple of ground rules!
- Don't read Afropess/social death claims if you're not black
- Not voting on cap good
- Not voting on heg good
- Not voting on racism good
- Terminal defense is hard to win
- Give me pen time
please speak slowly and clearly. English is my second language.
A Frogeel is a hybrid of a Giant frog and a Raw cave eel. Players can create frogeels in Creature Creation, in the basement dungeon of the Tower of Life building once they complete the Tower of Life quest.
A frogeel is created by a player using one pair of Giant frog legs and a Raw cave eel on the Western frogeel altar of life in the dungeon and then activating the altar (found in the west part of the basement). The Homunculus in the dungeon then creates the monster, which appears near the altar and will attack the player.