Pennsbury Falcon Invitational
2023 — Fairless Hills, PA/US
Varsity Lincoln Douglas Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I am an experienced parent judge (3+ years) and most familiar with traditional debate but if it is within the rules I will do my best to judge it fairly. I am interested in hearing what debaters have to say so please be mindful of your speed. If one debater’s argument goes unchallenged then I will assume it is valid. You'll get dropped and the appropriate tournament officials will be notified if you say anything racist, homophobic, sexist, ableist, etc. Good luck and have fun!
-yes email chain: email@example.com
-if you would like to contact me about something else, the best way to reach me is: firstname.lastname@example.org - please do not use this email for chains I would like to avoid cluttering it every weekend which is why I have a separate one for them
-debated in high school @ Mill Valley (local policy circuit in Kansas) and college @ NYU (CEDA-NDT) for 7 years total - mostly policy arguments in high school, mix of high theory and policy in college
-head LD/policy debate coach at Bronx Science and assistant policy coach at The New School, former assistant for Blue Valley West, Mill Valley, and Mamaroneck
-spin > evidence quality, unless the evidence is completely inconsistent with the spin
-tech > truth as long as the tech has a claim, warrant, and impact
-great for impact turns
-fairness is more of an internal link or impact filter than an impact itself
-don't like to judge kick but if you give me reasons to I might
-personally think condo has gone way too far in recent years and more people should go for it, but I don't presume one way or the other for theory questions
-all kinds of theory, including topicality, framework, and/or "role of the ballot" arguments are about ideal models of debate
-most of the rounds I judge are clash debates, but I've been in policy v policy and k v k both as a debater and judge so I'm down for anything
-for high school policy 23-24: I actually used to work for the Social Security Administration (only for about 7-8 months) and I have two immediate family members who currently work there - so I have a decent amount of prior knowledge about how the agency works internally, processes benefits, the technology it uses, etc. - but not necessarily policy proposals for social security reform
Overview: Debate is for the debaters so do your thing and I'll do my best to provide a fair decision despite any preferences or experiences that I have. I have had the opportunity to judge and participate in debates of several different formats, circuits, and styles in my short career. What I've found is that all forms of debate are valuable in some way, though often for different reasons, whether it be policy, critical, performance, LD, PF, local circuit, national circuit, public debates, etc. Feel free to adapt arguments, but please don't change your style of debate for me. I want to see what you are prepared for, practiced in, and passionate about. Please have fun! Debating is fun for you I hope!
Speaking and Presentation: I don't care about how you look, how you're dressed, how fast or in what manner you speak, where you sit, whether you stand, etc. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable and will help you be the best debater you can be. My one preference for positioning is that you face me during speeches. It makes it easier to hear and also I like to look up a lot while flowing on my laptop. For some panel situations, this can be harder, just try your best and don't worry about it too much.
In terms of clarity - I do not like to follow along in the speech doc while you are giving your speech. I like to read cards in prep time, when they are referenced in cx, and while making my decision. I will use it as a backup during a speech if I have to. This is a particular problem in LD, that has been exacerbated by two years of online debate. I expect to be able to hear every word in your speech, yes including the text of cards. I expect to be able to flow tags, analytics, theory interps, or anything else that is not the interior text of a card. This means you can go faster in the text of a card, this does mean you should be unclear while reading the text of a card. This also means you should go slower for things that are not that. This is because even if I can hear and understand something you are saying, that does not necessarily mean that my fingers can move fast enough to get it onto my flow. When you are reading analytics or theory args, you are generally making warranted arguments much faster than if you were reading a card. Therefore, you need to slow down so I can get those warrants on my flow.
I'm bad at yelling clear. I try to do it when things are particularly egregious but honestly, I feel bad about throwing a debater off their game in the middle of a speech. For rebuttals and analytics that I can't find when I grumpily tab to the speech doc, I will yell clear twice before I stop flowing. If it's in the speech doc, I'll probably flow the important things off the doc unhappily, but it will affect your speaker points.
Logistical Stuff: I would like the round to run as on-time as possible. Docs should be ready to be sent when you end prep time. Orders/roadmaps should be given quickly and not changed several times. Marking docs can happen outside of prep time, but it should entail only marking where cards were cut. CX or prep time needs to be taken to ask if something was not read or which arguments were read. I think it’s your responsibility to listen to your opponent’s speech to determine what was said and what wasn’t. I don’t take time for tech issues and am of course fine with bathroom breaks or whatever debaters need - tournaments generally give plenty of time for a round and so long as the debaters are not taking excessive time to do other things like send docs, I find that these sorts of things aren’t what truly makes the round run behind.
Email chain or speech drop is fine for docs, which should be shared before a speech. I really prefer Word documents if possible, but don't stress about changing your format if you can't figure it out. Unless there is an accommodation request, not officially or anything just an ask before the round, I don't think analytics need to be sent. Advocacy texts, theory interps, and shells should be sent. Cards are sent for the purposes of ethics and examining more closely the research of your opponent. Too many of you have stopped listening to your opponents entirely and I think the rising norm of sending every single word you plan on saying is a big part of it. It also makes you worse debaters because in the instances where your opponent decides to look up from their laptop and make a spontaneous argument, many of you just miss it entirely.
Stop stealing prep time. When prep time is called by either side, you should not be talking to your partner, typing excessively on your computer, or writing things down. My opinion on “flex prep,” or asking questions during prep time, is that you can ask for clarifications, but your opponent doesn’t have to answer more typical cx questions if they don’t want to (it is also time that they are entitled to use to focus on prep), and I don’t consider the answers in prep to have the same weight as in cx. Prep time is not a speech, and I dislike it when a second ultra-pointed cx begins in prep time because you think it makes your opponent look worse. It doesn’t - it makes you look worse.
Speaker Points: I try to adjust based on the strength of the tournament pool/division, but my accuracy can vary depending on how many rounds in the tournament I've already judged.
29.5+ You are one of the top three speakers in the tournament and should be in finals.
29.1-29.4 You are a great speaker who should be in late elims of the tournament.
28.7-29 You are a good speaker who should probably break.
28.4-28.6 You're doing well, but need some more improvement to be prepared for elims.
28-28.3 You need significant improvement before I think you can debate effectively in elims.
<28 You have done something incredibly offensive or committed an ethics violation, which I will detail in written comments and speak with you about in oral feedback.
The three things that affect speaker points the most are speaking clearly/efficiently, cross-x, and making effective choices in the final rebuttals.
If you win the debate without reading from a laptop in the 2NR/2AR your floor for speaks is a 29.
T-Framework: It seems this is the main reason most people read paradigms these days. I have voted both ways in these debates, and have been on both sides (2A reading a k aff & 1N going for fw in the block) of the framework debate in my career.
Neg --I think negative teams here most often miss why things like fairness and education are important. Impact these claims out into some tangible benefit that I can compare against the impact turn. Writing a neg ballot only on procedural fairness is hard for me. I find a lot of these debates to end up pretty tautological - "fairness is an impact because debate is a game and games should have rules or else they'd be unfair," etc. These debates leave me wondering how to compare fairness to something tangible like psychological violence or political passivity in a traditional impact calc sense. I find fairness much more convincing to me as an impact filter, i.e. a reason to be skeptical of the case page, ensuring better clash, etc. This is considered a hot take by a lot of people, but I really don't understand why. Many teams in front of me will win that fairness is necessary to preserve the game, but never take the next step of explaining to me why preserving the game is good. In that scenario, what "impact" am I really voting on? Even if the other team agrees that the game of debate is good (which a lot of k affs contest anyways), you still have to quantify or qualify how important that is for me reasonably compare it to the impact turn. Perhaps if you read something like deontology arguments that say fairness is a virtue I must always preserve, I could vote on it alone, but in a utilitarian sense, I just don't know how to weigh it against anything. Fairness as a filter to some neg arguments and a more external impact like skills or topic-specific education is a much more convincing ballot for me. When I do vote on fairness alone, it is usually because the negative team has also forwarded substantial defensive arguments like a convincing TVA, read it on the neg, or c/i links to aff offense that mitigates the risk of the impact turn to nearly zero.
Aff -- I generally prefer aff strategies that just impact turn framework. I have seen and voted for predictable counter-interps, but a lot of the time it feels like an uphill battle. Most of the time, the neg is able to tie a good chunk of their offense to the predictability portion of the debate, which really hurts c/i solvency. That being said, a counter-interp can still mitigate a good amount of neg offense, so it may be still good to have one even if you are impact turning some of the neg's stuff. I just wouldn't recommend it as the focus of your strategy. Like the neg however, aff teams need to do more than make nebulous references to things like psychological violence. What kind of violence, and why is it more important than debating the topic? Explain to me in clear terms what the impact to your impact turn is. Be careful of large defensive arguments. I have dropped a number of teams who mishandle read it on the neg or who read impact turns that link to their own interp.
Everyone needs to compare their impacts to the other side's as well as relative solvency of the interps, and tell me why I should vote for them. For some reason, impact comparison just seems to disappear from debaters' repertoire when debating framework, which is really frustrating for me.
Kritiks: Both sides of these debates often involve a lot of people reading overviews at each other, especially in high school, which can make it hard to evaluate at the end of the round. Have a clear link story and a reason why the alternative resolves those links. Absent an alt, have a framework as to why your impacts matter/why you still win the round. For affs, pick either the impact turn strat or the perm strat and stick with it. I like impact turns better, but sometimes perms are more strategic. I'm not sure how useful this is, but the way I think about kritiks may also be a bit different than what you're used to. Rather than thinking about it as a non-unique disad with a counterplan, I think about the impacts as negative effects of the status quo, the alternative as a way of resolving the status quo, and the links as reasons why the aff prevents the alternative from happening, rather than something that directly causes the impacts. This framing helps me a lot when I'm thinking through permutations. This is of course when I'm evaluating something like fiat. Winning that the debate should only be about representations and that the affirmative's reps are bad for scholarship is also a convincing ballot for me.
Literature I am intimately familiar with (have run these arguments frequently and/or have done other research outside of debate into them): Cap, Psychoanalysis (more Lacan than Freud), Baudrillard, Foucault, DnG, Bataille, plant ontology (lol), Bifo, Edelman, Puar.
Literature I am somewhat familiar with (have run these arguments infrequently or done some coaching on them): Derrida, Wilderson, Warren, Set Col.
Anything else assume that I have little or no familiarity with.
Affirmatives: I think all affs should have a clear impact story with a good solvency advocate explaining why the aff resolves the links to those impacts. I really enjoy affs that are creative and outside of what a lot of people are reading, but are still grounded in the resolution. If you can find a clever interpretation of the topic or policy idea that the community hasn't thought of yet, I'll probably bump your speaks a bit.
Disads: Love 'em. Impact framing is very important in debates without a neg advocacy. A lot of disads (especially politics) have pretty bad ev/internal link chains, so try to wow me with 1 good card rather than spitting out 10 bad ones. 0 risk of a disad is absolutely a thing. I don't automatically presume a 1% chance of the link for the whole debate just because you read 1 or 2 bad cards in the 1NC. You have to actually win the link debate for me to grant you a chance of a link.
Counterplans: They should have solvency advocates and a clear story for competition. Exploit generic link chains in affs. I read some wonky process cps and pics in my career but if the aff wins theory then they win theory. I won't judge kick unless you tell me to in the 2NR, and preferably it should have some kind of justification.
Topicality: I default to competing interps. Be clear about what your interp includes and excludes and why that is a good thing. I view topicality like a disad most of the time, and vote for whoever's vision of the topic is best. I find arguments about limits and the effect that interpretations have on research to be the most convincing.
Theory: Being a 2A I think makes more inherently sympathetic to affs on theory questions and the like. I think condo has gone way too far in recent years, especially with multi-plank counterplans that have dozens or hundreds of possible combinations that can all be kicked. If the aff wins new affs are good, it doesn't make sense to me why new affs would then justify unbridled conditionality. That being said, I do my best to evaluate theory arguments as well as I would any other argument in debate. I haven't thought too hard about other theory questions. If you're winning it as a reason to reject the team, feel free to go for it no matter how silly you think it is.
1 - LARP, High Theory Ks
2 - Other Ks, Topicality
3 - Phil, Theory that isn't condo or pics bad
4/5/strike - Trad, Tricks
My disclaimer is I try to keep an open mind for any debate - you should always use the arguments/style that you are most prepared with and practiced in. You all seem to really like these shortcuts, so I caved and made one - but these are not necessarily reflective of my like or dislike for any particular argument, instead more of my experience with different kinds, meaning some probably require more explanation for me to "get it." I love when I do though - I'm always happy to learn new things in debate!
Phil Debates: Something I am fairly unfamiliar with, but I've been learning more about over the past 6 months (02/23). I have read, voted for, and coached many things to the contrary, but if you want to know what I truly believe, I basically think most things collapse into some version of consequentialist utilitarianism. If you are to convince me that I should not be a consequentialist, then I need clear instructions for how I should evaluate offense. Utilitarianism I'm used to being a little more skeptical of from k debates, but other criticisms of util from say analytic philosophy I will probably be unfamiliar with.
Trad Debate: By far what I am least familiar with. I don't coach this style and never competed in anything like LD trad debate - I did traditional/lay policy debate a bit in high school - but that is based on something called "stock issues" which is a completely different set of standards than LD's value/value criterion. I struggle in these debates because for me, like "stock issues" do in policy, these terms seem to restrictively categorize arguments and actually do more to obscure their meaning than reveal it. In the trad debates I've seen (not many, to be fair), tons of time was dedicated to clarifying minutiae and defining words that either everyone ended up agreeing on or that didn't factor into the way that I would make my decision. I don't inherently dislike LD trad debate at all, it honestly just makes things more difficult for me to understand because of how I've been trained in policy debate for 11 years. I try my best, but I feel that I have to sort through trad "jargon" to really get at what you all think is important. I would prefer if you compared relative impacts directly rather than told me one is better than the other 100% of the time.
Plans/DAs/CPs: See the part in my policy paradigm. Plans/CP texts should be clearly written and are generally better when in the language of a specific solvency advocate. I think the NC should be a little more developed for DAs than in policy - policy can have some missing internal links because they get the block to make new arguments, but you do not get new args in the NR that are unresponsive to the 1AR - make sure you are making complete arguments that you can extend.
Kritiks: Some stuff in my policy paradigm is probably useful. Look there for K-affs vs. T-fw. I'm most familiar with so-called "high theory" but I have also debated against, judged, and coached many other kinds of kritiks. Like with DAs/CPs, stuff that would generally be later in the debate for policy should be included in the NC, like ROBs/fw args. Kritiks to me are usually consequentialist, they just care about different kinds of consequences - i.e. the consequences of discourse, research practices, and other impacts more proximate than extinction.
ROB/ROJs: In my mind, this is a kind of theory debate. The way I see this deployed in LD most of the time is as a combination of two arguments. First, what we would call in policy "framework" (not what you call fw in LD) - an argument about which "level" I should evaluate the debate on. "Pre-fiat" and "post-fiat" are the terms that you all like to use a lot, but it doesn't necessarily have to be confined to this. I could be convinced for instance that research practices should come before discourse or something else. The second part is generally an impact framing argument - not only that reps should come first, but that a certain kind of reps should be prioritized - i.e. ROB is to vote for whoever best centers a certain kind of knowledge. These are related, but also have separate warrants and implications for the round, so I consider them separately most of the time. I very often can in fact conclude that reps must come first, but that your opponent’s reps are better because of some impact framing argument that they are making elsewhere. Also, ROB and ROJ are indistinct from one another to me, and I don’t see the point in reading both of them in the same debate.
Topicality: You can see some thoughts in the policy sections as well if you're having that kind of T debate about a plan. I personally think some resolutions in LD justify plans and some don't. But I can be convinced that having plans or not having plans is good for debate, which is what is important for me in deciding these debates. The things I care about here are education and fairness, generally more education stuff than fairness. Topicality interpretations are models of the topic that affirmatives should follow to produce the best debates possible. I view T like a DA and vote for whichever model produces the best theoretical version of debate. I care about "pragmatics" - "semantics" matter to me only insofar as they have a pragmatic impact - i.e. topic/definitional precision is important because it means our research is closer to real-world scholarship on the topic. Jurisdiction is a vacuous non-starter. Nebel stuff is kind of interesting, but I generally find it easier just to make an argument about limits. Reasonability is something I almost never vote on - to be “reasonable” I think you have to either meet your opponent’s interp or have a better one.
RVIs: The vast majority of the time these are unnecessary when you all go for them. If you win your theory or topicality interp is better than your opponent's, then you will most likely win the debate, because the opposing team will not have enough offense on substance. I'm less inclined to believe topicality is an RVI. I think it’s an aff burden to prove they are topical and the neg getting to test that is generally a good thing. Other theory makes more sense as an RVI. Sometimes when a negative debater is going for both theory and substance in the NR, the RVI can be more justifiable to go for in the 2AR because of the unique time differences of LD. If they make the decision to fully commit to theory in the NR, however, the RVI is unnecessary - not that I'm ideologically opposed to it, it just doesn't get you anything extra for winning the debate - 5 seconds of "they dropped substance" is easier and the warrants for your c/i's standards are generally much better than the ones for the RVI.
Disclosure Theory: This is not a section that I would ever have to write for policy. I find it unfortunate that I have to write it for LD. Disclosure is good because it allows schools access to knowledge of what their opponents are reading, which in pre-disclosure days was restricted to larger programs that could afford to send scouts to rounds. It also leads to better debates where the participants are more well-prepared. What I would like to happen for disclosure in general is this:
1) previously read arguments on the topic are disclosed to at least the level of cites on the opencaselist wiki,
2) a good faith effort is made by the aff to disclose any arguments including the advocacy/plan, fw, and cards that they plan on reading in the AC that they've read before once the pairing comes out,
3) a good faith effort is made by the neg to disclose any previously read positions, tied to NC arguments on their wiki, that they've gone for in the NR on the current topic (and previous if asked) once they receive disclosure from the aff,
4) all the cites disclosed are accurate and not misrepresentations of what is read,
5) nobody reads disclosure theory!!
This is basically the situation in college policy, but it seems we still have a ways to go for LD. In a few rare instances I've encountered misdisclosure, even teams saying things like "well it doesn't matter that we didn't read the scenario we said we were going to read because they're a k team and it wasn't really going to change their argument anyways." More intentional things like this, or bad disclosure from debaters and programs that really should know better, I don't mind voting on. I really don't like however when disclosure is used to punish debaters for a lack of knowledge or because it is a norm they are not used to. You have to understand, my roots are as a lay debater who didn't know what the wiki was and didn't disclose for a single round in high school. For my first two years, I debated exclusively on paper and physically handed pages to my opponent while debating after reading them to share evidence. For a couple years after that, we "flashed" evidence to each other by tossing around a usb drive - tournaments didn't provide public wifi. I've been in way more non-lay debates since then and have spent much more time doing "progressive" debate than I ever did lay debate, but I'm very sympathetic still to these kinds of debaters.
Especially if a good-faith attempt is made, interps that are excluding debaters based on a few minutes of a violation, a round report from several tournaments ago, or other petty things make me sad to judge. My threshold for reasonability in these debates will be much lower. Having some empathy and clearly communicating with your opponent what you want from them is a much better strategy for achieving better disclosure practices in the community than reading theory as a punitive measure. If you want something for disclosure, ask for it, or you have no standing. Also, if you read a disclosure interp that you yourself do not meet, you have no standing. Open source theory and disclosure of new affs are more debatable than other kinds of disclosure arguments, and like with T and other theory I will vote for whichever interp I determine is better for debate.
Other Theory: I really liked theory when I did policy debate, but that theory is also different from a lot of LD theory. What that means is I mainly know cp theory - condo, pics, process cps, perm competition (i.e. textual vs. functional, perm do the cp), severance/intrinsicness, and other things of that nature. You can see some of my thoughts on these arguments in the policy section. I've also had some experience with spec arguments. Like T, I view theory similarly to a da debate. Interpretations are models of debate that I endorse which describe ideally what all other debates should look like. I almost always view things through competing interps. Like with T, in order to win reasonability I think you need to have a pretty solid I/meet argument. Not having a counter-interp the speech after the interp is introduced is a major mistake that can cost you the round. I decide theory debates by determining which interp produces a model of debate that is "best." I default to primarily caring about education - i.e. depth vs. breadth, argument quality, research quality, etc. but I can be convinced that fairness is a controlling factor for some of these things or should come first. I find myself pretty unconvinced by arguments that I should care about things like NSDA rules, jurisdiction, some quirk of the tournament invitation language, etc.
Tricks: I think I've officially judged one "tricks" round now, and I've been trying to learn as much as I can while coaching my squad. I enjoyed it, though I can't say I understood everything that was happening. I engaged in some amount of trickery in policy debate - paradoxes, wipeout, process cps, kicking out of the aff, obscure theory args, etc. However, what was always key to winning these kinds of debates was having invested time in research, blocks, a2s - the same as I would for any other argument. I need to be able to understand what your reason is for obtaining my ballot. If you want to spread out arguments in the NC, that's fine and expected, but I still expect you to collapse in the NR and explain in depth why I should vote for you. I won't evaluate new arguments in the NR that are not directly responsive to the 1AR. The reason one-line voting issues in the NC don't generally work with me in the back is that they do not have enough warrants to make a convincing NR speech.
Avoid logical fallacies and personal attacks. You can be aggressive in your argumentation as long as you remain respectful.
Evidence should be well sourced. If there’s a bias in your source, I will probably notice.
A good case is dynamic and able to respond to your opponent’s contentions. If you just talk fast and try to make as many points as possible in the allotted time, I will stop listening.
Consider the real world implications of the things that you suggest. If you argue about these things as if they matter, and try to actually convince me that the world you present is better than your opponent’s, you have a strong chance at winning.
I am a traditional Lincoln Douglas judge that prefers philosophical arguments. I love to see value clash and I always prefer a debater that gives clear and concise voting issues at the end of the round. Spreading is okay as long as I can understand you but my preference is to hear a few thoroughly explained arguments over a high quantity of half explained arguments. I am a judge that flows so please give me sign posts so I can keep track of where you are (i.e. "in my opponent's contention one..").
Hi, I am a parent judge. Speak clearly and at a "real life" normal speed, as if you were trying to convince your parents or friends of something that was important to you. Don't spread.
State clearly your value and value criteria at the beginning. Link your arguments back to value/criteria.
Please speak to the resolution. Do not run a topical cases, or theory/trick cases.
I am a traditional judge who weighs the balance of arguments between pro and con.
Coach since 2014
For the most part,you'll be looking at this paradigm because I'll be your LD judge. cross-apply these comments to PF as applicable and to policy if/when I get recruited to judge policy.
Speed and Decorum:
Send me your case. This should go without saying, but let me know that you've actually sent me your case. I won't look for your case unless you tell me to look. Speechdrop.net or tabroom share is probably best rather than email.
I don't care if you sit/stand. Really, I don't. Just generally try to remain in the room. I won't be shaking hands.
Please time your speeches and prep time. I may not keep accurate time of this since my attention is to the content of your speeches. Flex prep is fine if all debaters in the round agree.
I do not prefer theory. I'm usually left feeling that most debaters let it overcomplicate their arguments or worse. Some may even allow it to further make debate inaccessible (especially to those who are likely already crowded out of this forum in some other way). Please don't run it unless there you see literally NO OTHER WAY to respond to your opponent's arguments. Even then, I may not evaluate it the way you want or expect. If you planning to run dense or tricky theory, you should find a different judge.
You have an absolute obligation to articulate your arguments. Even if I’m familiar with the literature or whatever that you might be referencing I *try* to avoid filling in any gaps.
Signposting = GOOD! Flipping back and forth from AFF flow to NEG flow then back to AFF Flow to NEG Flow....BAD.... VERY, VERY, VERY BAD!
Tricks = no. Thanks.
I will not vote for arguments that are ableist, racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, etc. This should go without saying, but for the sake of anyone who needs to see it in writing, there you go.
Above all, strive to make sense. I do not prefer any “style” of debate or any particular kind of argument over another. Regardless of what you run, if your case relies on me to connect the dots for you or if it is a literal mess of crappily cut and equally crappily organized evidence sans warrants, you will probably be sad at the end of the round.
I was a policy debater in high school and college. I have coached students in policy, LD, and PF, but policy is what I enjoyed the most. I view debate as a game. First and foremost, games are fun, so debaters should enjoy what they are doing. Why give up your weekends if you are not having fun? My role is to adjudicate the game in whatever domain the students prefer, but I really hate to intervene. If I must intervene and do your work for you, I will lower your speaker points. I am fine with speed, but please understand the difference between effective and ineffective speed. Ks are fine but please provide an alternative. Counterplans are cool, but I will also vote on counterplan theory if well explained. Finally, some people think it is important that you know that I am an English teacher/grammarian because I like T debates, but again, please explain the violation. Don’t be blippy. Here is my email address: email@example.com
Speech and debate competition is a learning process. A model of our society. In that regard I welcome the diversity, be you, be personal.
Usually I judge speech. As a human being, I know that I have biases, constantly try to identify those unconscious ones and work on them.
When you are in the stage be sure to contact with your audience.
Project but do not scream.
Own your ideas, be authentic.
Check your facts and your sources.
- Please provide evidence for your claims (statistics, sources, numbers, percentages)
- Please behave in a courteous matter with your opponent and act professionally.
- Please speak at a consistent pace and do not speak too fast.
Hi! I'm Shawna Grossman (She/Her) and I'm a parent judge. My daughter does varsity LD so I am familiar with the basics. Please go slow and be cognizant of the fact that I am not a debater myself, so some of the debate terms might need to be simplified/explained. Please remember to be kind to your opponent, because at the end of the day debate should be fun.
I need to see clear weighing. Tell me exactly why I should vote for you and note vote for your opponent. I don't want to have to guess, so tell me exactly what to do. I'll vote based on that.
For speaker points: Please be clear and slow. I need to be able to follow what you are saying. Be confident, it will show in your speaking if you are.
I'll try to give as much feedback/RFD as possible but again, I'm a parent judge with no debate experience myself so please be understanding.
When I participated in the event, I was generally “traditional” in my approach, emphasizing a few contentions to promote a value with minimal card usage or spreading. That being said, as a judge, I am comfortable with circuit debating as long as the argument(s) being made are still logical in nature and applicable to the resolution. I’m happy to answer any further questions you may have in round.
tl;dr - tech and speed good, but I'm not doing work for you. The resolution must be in the debate. Though I think like a debater, I do an "educator check" before I vote - if you advocate for something like death good, or read purely frivolous theory because you know your opponent cannot answer it and hope for an easy win, you are taking a hard L.
Email chain: havenforensics (at) gmail - but I'm not reading along. I tab more than I judge, but I'm involved in research. Last substance update: 9/18/22
Head Coach of Strath Haven HS since 2012. We do all events.
Previously coach at Park View HS 2009-11, assistant coach at Pennsbury HS 2002-06 (and beyond)
Competitor at Pennsbury HS 1998-2002, primarily Policy
I like a quick, technical debate (due to my Policy background) - if I was starting debate today, I would be a PFer. Major difference from what I used to do is that in PF drops are not death because of the weird way speeches match up. But you should warrant and impact your claims throughout the debate so I don't have to! Speed is good when it gets us depth, not as much if it gets us breadth.
1st Rebuttal should be line-by-line on their case; 2nd Rebuttal should frontline at least major offense, but 2nd Summary is too late for dumps of new arguments.
With 3 minutes, the Summary is probably also line-by-line, but perhaps not on every issue. Summary needs to ditch some issues so you can add depth, not just tag lines. If it isn't in Summary, it probably isn't getting flowed in Final Focus, unless it is a direct response to a new argument in 2nd Summary.
Final Focus should continue to narrow down the debate to tell me a story about why you win. Refer to specific spots on the flow, though LBL isn't strictly necessary (you just don't have time). I'll weigh what you say makes you win vs what they say makes them win - good idea to play some defense, but see above about drops.
With a Policy background, I will listen to framework, theory, and T arguments - though I will frown at all of those because I really want a solid case debate. I also have no problem intervening and rejecting arguments that are designed to exclude your opponents from the debate. I do not believe counterplans or kritiks have a place in PF.
You win a lot of points with me calling out shady evidence, and conversely by using good evidence. You lose a lot of points by being unable to produce the evidence you read quickly. If I call for a card, I expect it to be cut.
I don't care which side you sit on or when you stand, and I find the post-round judge handshake to be silly and unnecessary.
tl;dr: Look at me if you are traditional or policy. Strike me if you don't talk about the topic or only read abstract French philosophers or rely on going for blippy trash arguments that mostly work due to being undercovered.
My LD experience is mostly local or regional, though I coach circuit debaters. Thus, I'm comfortable with traditional, value-centered LD and util/policy/solvency LD. If you are going traditional, value clash obviously determines the round, but don't assume I know more than a shallow bit of philosophy.
I probably prefer policy debates, but not if you are trying to fit an entire college policy round into LD times - there just isn't time to develop 4 off in your 7 minute constructive, and I have to give the aff some leeway in rebuttals since there is no constructive to answer neg advocacies.
All things considered, I would rather you defend the whole resolution (even if you want to specify a particular method) rather than a tiny piece of it, but that's what T debates are for I guess (I like T debates). If we're doing plans, then we're also doing CPs, and I'm familiar with all your theory arguments as long as I can flow them.
If somehow you are a deep phil debater and I end up as the judge, you probably did prefs wrong, but I'll do my best to understand - know that I hate it when debaters take a philosophers work and chop it up into tiny bits that somehow mean I have to vote aff. There should be a real clear topical connection that you can explain to me, not because LD is to train future lawyers talking to regular people, but because I can't digest your entire philosopher in the tiny pieces you are feeding me.
If you are a tricks debater, um, don't. Arguments have warrants and a genuine basis in the resolution or choices made by your opponent.
In case it isn't clear from all the rest of the paradigm, I'm a hack for framework if one debater decides not to engage the resolution.
Update for TOC '19: it has been awhile since I've judged truly competitive, circuit Policy. I have let my young alumni judge an event dominated by young alumni. I will still enjoy a quality policy round, but my knowledge of contemporary tech is lacking. Note that I'm not going to backflow from your speech doc, and I'm flowing on paper, so you probably don't want to go your top speed.
1. The role of the ballot must be stable and predictable and lead to research-based clash. The aff must endorse a topical action by the government. For all of the flaws in the structure of debate and the debate community, this is the only way to have a productive debate. You cannot create a role of the ballot based on the thing you want to talk about if that thing is not part of the topic; you cannot create a role of the ballot where your opponent is forced to defend that racism is good or that racism does not exist; you cannot create a role of the ballot where the winner is determined by performance, not argumentation. And, to be fair to the aff, the neg cannot create a role of the ballot where aff loses because they talked about the topic and not about something else.
2. I am a policymaker at heart. I want to evaluate the cost/benefit of plan passage vs. status quo/CP/alt. Discourse certainly matters, but a) I'm biased on a framework question to using fiat or at least weighing the 1AC as an advocacy of a policy, and b) a discursive link had better be a real significant choice of the affirmative with real implications if that's all you are going for. "Using the word exploration is imperialist" isn't going to get very far with me. Links of omission are not links.
I can shift to other paradigms, however, I have never been able to get into abstract philosophy, especially at the speed of a policy round. I understand how critical arguments work and enjoy them when grounded in the topic/aff, and when the alternative would do something. Just as the plan must defend a change in the status quo, so must the alt - otherwise you've got a non-unique philosophical disad.
3. Fairness matters. I believe that the policymaking paradigm only makes sense in a world where each side has a fair chance at winning the debate, so I will happily look to procedural/T/theory arguments before resolving the substantive debate. I will not evaluate an RVI or that some moral/kritikal impact "outweighs" the T debate. I will listen to any other aff reason not to vote on T.
I like T and theory debates. The team that muddles those flows will incur my wrath in speaker points. Don't just read a block in response to a block, do some actual debating, OK? I definitely have a lower-than-average threshold to voting on a well-explained T argument since no one seems to like it anymore.
Notes for any event
1. Clash, then resolve it. Clash is important. Don't structurally avoid clash. But you also have to resolve the issues of clash. The last rebuttals should provide all interpretation for me and write my ballot, with me left simply to choose which side is more persuasive or carries the key point. I want to make fair, predictable, and non-interventionist decisions, which requires you to do all my thinking for me. I don't want to read your evidence (unless you ask me to), I don't want to think about how to apply it, I don't want to interpret your warrants - I want you to do all of those things! The debate should be over when the debate ends.
2. Warrants are good. "I have a card" is not a persuasive argument; nor is a tag-line extension. The more warrants you provide, the fewer guesses I have to make, and the fewer arguments I have to connect for you, the more predictable my decision will be. I want to know what your evidence says and why it matters in the round. You do not, for example, get a risk of a link simply by saying it is a link. Warrantless arguments aren't worth a whole lot. Defensive arguments are good, especially when connected to impact calculus. I don't reject shaky evidence out of hand - but defense can win rounds.
3. Speed. Speed for argument depth is good, speed for speed's sake is bad. I hate voting on the dropped #14 or watching the 1AR get outspread with 8 blippy disads. Clarity is important. My threshold is that you should slow down on tags and theory so I can write it down, and so long as I can hear English words in the body of the card, you should be fine. I will yell if I can't understand you. If you don't get clearer, the arguments I can't hear will get less weight at the end of the round, if they make it on the flow at all. I'm not anti-speed, but I'm not reading the speech doc, I'm just flowing and listening.
4. Finally, I think debate is supposed to be both fun and educational. I am an educator and a coach; I'm happy to be at the tournament. But I also value sleep and my family, so make sure what you do in round is worth all the time we are putting into being there. Imagine that I brought some new novice debaters and my superintendent to watch the round with me. If you are bashing debate or advocating for suicide or other things I wouldn't want 9th graders new to my program to hear, you aren't going to have a happy judge. Don't take yourselves too seriously, but don't waste my time.
I am more than happy to elaborate on this paradigm or answer any questions in round.
Parent judge with history of participating in high school debates from last 1 year. I have judged a few LD competitions in the past year. I prefer that you speak slowly and clearly.
Hi I'm Chandra. I'm a parent judge that's still quite new to judging.
Some important notes:
- I'm not a big fan of spreading since I'm new to judging, but if you do spread, please add me to the email chain and coordinate with you partner beforehand.(firstname.lastname@example.org)
- I don't know too much about theory and tricks debate; I would prefer traditional/lay debate styles that stick to the topic.
- Please provide me with clear voters in the final speech & well-explained warrants/extensions throughout the entire round. Otherwise, you risk confusing me.
Besides that, feel free to debate in the way you prefer. If you have any questions, you're welcome to email me at email@example.com or ask me at the beginning of the round.
1. Please use sources/references for all facts that you are bringing up. This includes percentages, numbers, stats, and any ideas of other authors that you are paraphrasing. I will not believe you if you don't have your facts backed up.
2. Don't eyeroll your opponent or speak in a manner that's rude, i.e., that they don't know what they're talking about. They may have absolutely no idea of what they're talking about, and you should call them out on it, but just don't be rude.
3. Please don't go too fast.
4. Real solutions/real things get across to me much better.
5. I'll only call for cards if you and your opponent are saying opposite things about the same exact thing.
6. You can respond to any rebuttals in any of the time periods allocated for rebuttals. I see a debate as a whole thing, so the entirety of what is said is up for game in rebuttals.
I am an experienced LD judge and former coach. By all measure, I am a traditional judge. I want to see clearly outlined value structure and clash between opposing values. I expect you to link your impacts to your warrants. Crystalize your voters and remember; it is your responsibility to show the judge why you have won the round. I believe flow tech is vital. It is the responsibility of the debater to extend dropped arguments not the judges'. I have no issue with speed. I will vote on any argument as long it functions within the structure of Lincoln Douglas Debate. Also, never forget this is a public speaking event; if you are speaking you are standing.
Kiesha MacLean (she/her)
I am a lay judge. Please be respectful, annunciate and keep within your allotted time.
La Salle College HS:
Policy Debater 2004-2007
Head Coach of Policy Debate, 2012-2016
Head Coach of Speech and Debate, 2016-2023.
As of September 2023, I am no longer actively involved in coaching, but will still judge from time to time.
I have judged debate (mostly policy, but also LD/PF) since 2008. I no longer judge with regularity and while I am fine with speed, etc. I am no longer a judge who does any topic research.
General Debate Thoughts
Read no cards------------------X-----------------Read all cards
Condo good----X--------------------------Condo bad
States CP good-----------------------X-----------States CP bad
Politics DA is a thing------------X-----------------Politics DA not a thing
Always VTL-X--------------------------------------Sometimes NVTL
UQ matters most--------------------------X------Link matters most
Fairness is a thing----X---------------------------Fairness isn’t an impact
Try or die-------------------------------X----------No risk
Not our Baudrillard-------------------------------X Yes your Baudrillard
Clarity-X--------------------------------------------I’ll just read the docs
Presumption------X--------------------------------Never votes on presumption
Longer ev--------X---------------------------------More ev
"Insert this rehighlighting"----------------------X-I only read what you read
- You should do what you do best and do it well – A good judge will not force their preconceived notions on debaters, but you should argue effectively. An effective argument has three parts: a claim, a warrant, and some sort of greater implication regardless of your style. And I think I am a good judge in that I will allow the arguments to develop themselves, and take the responsibility of the judge being a educator seriously.
- My flow will determine every debate I judge. There's one exception to that, I will not vote on any argument that makes me uncomfortable. You should ask yourself, if my teachers/administrators were observing, would I make this same argument?
- Speed is fine, but clarity is important. Most debaters could slow down, get more arguments out, and increase judges comprehension.
- Tech>truth; however, when you have tech and truth on your side, it’s hard to lose.
- Less is more. A smaller 1NC strategy with a lot of emphasis on the case is almost always better than 7 off. An affirmative with two advantages with a solid wall of internal links is my ideal 1AC.
- Be respectful of your partners, opponents, and judges.
- I will generally write out my RFD's and will provide a copy of it in the online ballot. This shouldn't be a cause of concern if you think my RFD is taking a little longer than you think it should. As a coach, I think it is beneficial to see this from a judge - otherwise we are left to our students relatively biased version of events or what they believe they heard the judge say - so I like to provide that same respect for fellow coaches.
What I am looking for while judging debates:
The first thing that I look for in a debate is that the debaters clearly lay out their arguments. Without clearly stating the argument, it is difficult to understand the points that are being debated. Many arguments have nuanced issues that can be easily confused.
Being respectful of the opposing position is also crucial. While it is important to be competitive, there is no reason to be rude to the person you are competing against. The facts and the arguments should make the debate.
Well-research facts and statistics are another critical point. Without sound, well-researched arguments a debate can quickly devolve into bickering.
Listening to an opposing argument during the debate is instrumental in scoring well. The best debaters are able to use their own research to refute specific arguments that are made by the opposing team. This can only be done when the debaters are paying close attention to what their opponents are saying, not just waiting for a chance to speak.
I don't judge often, so excessive speed is counterproductive on the debaters' part. I follow where the rounds are going, and expect to be led to the big arguments for either side, which I hope will somehow conflict with one another. In the average PF round I've seen, decisions boil down mostly to a couple of points, so if each team has three voters separate from the other side's voters, you're asking me to intervene. Pick the arguments you really want me to decide on.
Hi, I'm Casey! Did both speech + debate events as a youngin'. I now work in special education and disability care.
"Strike me and I'll give you 30 speaks" -a judge much funnier than me.
I'm a big believer that debate is a place where anybody from anywhere can come, view the debate, and understand a decent chunk of what is being said. I try to be as tabula rasa as possible, but have outlined circumstances in this paradigm where that goes to the wayside.
If you give me something to judge, and don't tell me why and/or how to judge it, chances are I'm gonna put that point/contention/whatever way at the bottom of my 'things to care about in this debate' list.
♥ A TL;DR of this Paradigm ♥
Don't spread. Quality of arguments over quantity- this goes for any day, any round, any tournament. Run whatever argument you want as long as you link it to your case (yes, this means be topical (on the resolution)). I'm not the best judge by any stretch of the word- SO, please don't use super dense lingo and expect me to understand it.
I don't care about email chains/documents... unless you're running an extremely """progressive""" case. No harm in asking, though.
Tricks debate bad. Unique points good. Being a jerk bad. Positive vibes good. Being condescending big bad. Weighing points good. Roadmaps fine. Extending points good. Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo. Have fun + drink water.
♥ ALL BELOW POINTS MOSTLY CONCERN LD/POLICY ♥
Don't spread- it's straight up unnecessary + cheapens debate to quantity > quality. (Woohoo, strike me!)
That being said, I'm fine with people speaking faster than 'normal'. You know what the difference is. If I have to call for clarity/speed more than 3 times in a round then I'm going to really be harsh on your speaker points.
♥ That's that ish I don't like ♥
You're gonna find it very hard to run some form of Disability Pessimism with me and win- this is one of the only biases that I can't ever seen to get past- I am biased towards cases that do work to make a "positive" outcome the most attainable scenario. This doesn't mean don't run arguments that say the world isn't gonna end- if you can prove the world is gonna end, then seriously, do it.
Nihilistic/depressing for the sake of being depressing arguments make me fall asleep and fall into the ever expanding void of Lovecraftian horrors that no doubt live in the Hudson Bay (or so I've been told).
♥ Uhh idk what to call this section, maybe like 'stuff you probably should and shouldn't do' ♥
I don't care how you access your criterion, I just care that you actually access your criterion. Run any K, plan, CP, or what have you and I'll happily flow it as long as you've linked to the resolution and framework (dead serious- that's it!). If you're running a K, make sure it's topical (like, seriously, I'm a big stickler with this) and assume I don't know what you're talking about in the slightest and go from there- I'll go out of the way to say that traditional K's are an easier way to win. If you're using a K, I need to understand the link and the terms you use! It is not my burden as a judge to flow a point in LD that doesn't link back to your criterion/value/philosophy.
If you're running a plan or counterplan, the more unique the better IMO. Obscure ≠ Unique (Policy debaters are quivering at me saying that- I know, I'm scary- fear me).
I'm not the biggest big fan of how LARP-y LD has become in the past few years. I'm not opposed to it, per se, but strongly believe moral/ framework arguments should always come first in LD. If you're going to run a LARP-y case, have at, but show me why we shouldn't look to a moral system (or whatever way you want to conceptualize it as) to achieve the end result of the round.
Role of the Ballot arguments usually make me cringe. "Education" based arguments also make my brain explode- running these with me unless heavily contextualized will usually go nowhere.
'Debate Space' arguments are bad.
Disclosure (or even time skew, for that matter) theory is usually not good to run with me, unless you really, really feel like the case is abusive and whacky.
I usually see right through trick debate and hate it with a passion. This stuff cheapens debate. Sophistry and my bias against it won't be overcome by you running heavy theory for it, trust me. Same thing with frivolous theory.
Weigh your points (give me them sweet sweet voters), especially in your final speech. I won't vote a point down because you don't extend it, but I'll be a lot more skeptical that you just gave up on the point somewhere along the way.
Truth > Tech, but Tech isn't a bad thing. If there's no base for you to ground your argument in truth, you can't access technical arguments. Extend tech off of truth.
♥ In Closing ♥
I don't like it when people are haughty, pretentious, or talk over others. Don't simply assume your argument is the best because your coach said so. If you sound like a jerk who's simply trying to destroy or demoralize your opponent, I'm a lot more likely to give you less speaker points. That being said, you should still try to destroy your opponent... but like, ~metaphorically, my dude~. This is high school debate. Save the attitude for real-life stuff, like people who think that water isn't wet, people who think Chipotle is better than Moe's (you're literally just lying to yourself, stop smh smh), and people who don't think pineapple belongs on pizza.
Finally, have fun. Bring a sense of humor. Bring some sarcasm. Bring some water. Water is good. Always.
Have a fantastic day, and keep growing and thriving in your Speech and Debate adventure!
I prefer that the students establish the ground rules but here are some of my concerns.
Speed is not your friend. If you speak too quickly, my pen will drop, and I will stop listening.
Analysis is important. Repeating an argument without evidence, logic or some type of rational support is a waste of your time.
I prefer that you refer to a specific argument as opposed to saying carry my subpoint 2.B.
Direct clash with the opponent earns your speaker points. Avoiding issues will cost you speaker points.
17+ years as competitor and coach in Texas and New Jersey
Spreading - I am fine with spreading as long as you can be understood. The point of spreading is not to confuse your opponent, it's to deliver as much material as possible within the time limit. Articulation and enunciation are key. If you aren't doing vocal warm-ups before the round, you probably aren't ready to spread.
Case sharing - I do not give my email for case sharing. Unless there is something specifically mentioned in the debate that I need to read, my job is not to read your case to understand it. You should deliver your case in a manner that is comprehensible without having to be read. That is the art of debate; this isn't just about reading, it's about presentation.
Sportsmanship - Part of being a good debater includes the time when you are not speaking. Be aware the round starts the minute you enter the room. Carry yourself with professionalism and respect.
I am a new judge. I will evaluate who best persuades me of the truth of their position. I do not prefer a fast debate.
I prefer the Debaters to speak clearly and enunciate with a flow that can be understood. Spreading is effective if the I, the listener, can understand your contentions and arguments. Thank you.
Hey everyone! I graduated from high school in 2022, after four years of speech and debate. I am most familiar with LD and Extemp.
Special Note for JVLD:
You likely are just starting out/have only a little experience in the event and that's ok! My advice would be to try to learn as much as you can from your rounds. To that end, don't be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure of speech times or something similar. Feel free to read the below info but it may not apply to you until later.
Putting this on top: I don't necessarily assume that extinction outweighs everything else. I never bought the idea that an infinitesimal chance at extinction (very high magnitude) outweighs a lesser magnitude with much higher probability. I understand how extinction weighing arrives at that conclusion with a magnitude of "infinity" and all. That being said, if this is a straight circuit round, I accept that this is the standard assumption and will follow your weighing arguments as such. If this is a trad round, though, be prepared to defend that to a much higher degree. Especially in a trad round, I am more receptive to arguments with impacts proportionally tied to the resolution rather than a forced link to extinction.
Traditional arguments: I read a lot of more traditional arguments especially when I competed on the local circuit. I am always up for a more traditional round.
LARP/Policy: I am most familiar with LARP/Policy arguments. Plans, CPs, and Disads are all great!
Kritiks: Probably not the best judge for you if you are running Kritiks. If warranted, I would vote for a K but your level of explanation will have to be higher. Especially if you are a novice, you need to really understand what you are reading or you won't be able to explain it to me.
Theory: I am fine with theory but I believe it should be reserved for when actual abuse has occurred in the round. I am not a fan of frivolous theory.
Topicality: I strongly urge you to be topical.
Speed: I don't love spreading. I can understand reasonable speed (you don't have to talk conversation level or slower). If you spread excessively, you risk me not catching crucial information. I'll let you know if you're going to fast, but just keep that in mind heading into the round.
If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask me before the round!
Focus on logic, clarity and quality of your debate, as this is very important for my judging.
Please don't speak too fast, as this will not necessarily increase your probability of winning the debate.
Be kind and polite to each other.
My name is Zi Wang (Zee).
I'm a parent judge. I'd prefer traditional debates over progressive and normally don't vote on tricks, Ks, theory, etc. Please don't go too fast and make your arguments clear. Make sure that you weigh and give clear voters.
LD is my first love. I prefer clean, well laid out arguments that include philosophy. The philosophy must be explicitly defined and explained. I do not appreciate CX like arguments with impacts, etc. I cannot handle much speed. I won't make arguments for you, please do so yourselves. I prefer crystallization on both sides.
I feel comfortable judging: Policy, Trad, T, neolib/cap, MM, Sec, set col, theory
I feel not comfortable judging: PoMo, pess, phil, most non-t affs,
I hate judging: trix, friv theory
also, I am no longer involved in argument formation or prepping debaters, I have very little background info on the current topic
you must send: interps / plan texts / standards (in a theory shell) / alt text / etc...
it would be nice for everyone if you sent: prewritten analytics / summary of standards (or the whole text) / overviews
I think it's also worth mentioning that I do not like disclosure arguments. I do not think the judge should have jurisdiction to vote on things that happen outside the round, as this is an infinite burden. Of course I can be persuaded otherwise
Bronx: I've started to realize that despite me indicating I'm not involved in prep, debaters continue to read 1ac arguments that require extensive background knowledge and research on contemporary global events, without explanation in the 1ac. I will no longer go on a wikipedia binge to attempt to understand the arguments you are making, I'll simply not evaluate them if the 1ac evidence is insufficient to explain the concept.
If you only have 30 seconds
Read no cards------------------X-----------------Read all the cards
Conditionality good--------------X----------------Conditionality bad
States CP good---------------------------X-------States CP bad
Politics DA is a thing----------------------X-------Politics DA not a thing
Always VTL-X--------------------------------------Sometimes NVTL
UQ matters most-----X---------------------------Link matters most
Fairness is a thing-X------------------------------Fairness isn’t an impact
Try or die---------------X--------------------------No risk
Clarity-X--------------------------------------------I’ll just read the docs
Presumption------X--------------------------------Never votes on presumption
Longer ev--------X---------------------------------More ev
"Insert this rehighlighting"----------------------X-I only read what you read
Judge kick good-------X----------------Judge kick bad
3 minutes of theory preempts-----------------------X-a short U/V seems fine
Hi, I'm Tyler, I debated for La Salle College in PA for 3 years and am a second year out. When I debated I was mostly a disclosure/T/Plan debater. I ran some Kritiks, like cap, neolib, and a brief stint in MM and security, but not much else. My favorite 1a was 1-2 advantages, plan, framing, short UV. My favorite 1n was t/theory, 2 da, 1-2 cp, case.
For online tournaments:
please don't go top speed. I haven't judged circuit tournaments recently, and I have a really difficult time understanding things over zoom. It's much easier if you start slower and work up to 200-250 (please nothing over that). I'll say clear 2-3 times but after that I'll flow what I can hear and won't look at the doc.