Pennsbury Falcon Invitational
2023 — Fairless Hills, PA/US
Varsity Public Forum Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Background: I am a former PF debater and current PF coach at Phillipsburg High School. I have over a decade of experience in all debate and speech events.
Email Chains: I don't want to be a part of email/evidence chains, I trust you all to present/use your evidence fairly and accurately. If there is a lot of back and forth on evidence throughout the whole round I will call for it after if it will impact my decision but I prefer not to.
Progressive Debate: I am a traditional PF debate judge who focuses majorly on clash, substantial weighing, and topical arguments. I am not a fan of progressive debate so please no Theory/Ks. If that is what you want to run you probably won't get picked up by me. When it comes to tech over truth I'm moderate, use your best judgment. Links should be explicit, and super long unwieldly link chains often become too tedious and I won't always buy them.
Speed: When it comes to speed I can handle a little bit but no spreading in PF, please. If you want to send a speech doc then you are probably going to speak too fast and I am not going to read it. Present your case articulately and clearly, PF is not policy or LD.
Weighing: Comparative weighing and good impacts are super important. Also, be super explicit, don't just say things like "we win off magnitude and probability" tell me exactly what your impacts are "we win on magnitude because we help 327 million more residents blah blah.." again please just be explicit.
- I value clear PF debate: good frameworks from the start of the debate, I care very heavily about impact-driven debates, and good weighing.
- Frontlining is a must in second rebuttal
- Please spell things out clearly: links, turns, especially extensions ex: Don't just say "Extend Connor 22" say "Extend Connor 22 which says a 3% increase blah blah..." Being more explicit is always better.
- Signposting is important, please please please do it. I don't like messy debates and I want to know exactly where we are on the flow.
- I don't flow CX but if a good point is made and you bring it back up in speech I will listen. Also be respectful in CX.
- If you are racist, homophobic, xenophobic, sexist, ableist, etc. I can and will drop you.
I would also identify as a traditional LD judge who is very open to well-thought-out and engaging arguments. My background is PF and I tend to judge LD on the traditional circuit. I will evaluate the round in the best way you present to me and I really appreciate strong values, VC, and FRs in the round. When it comes to things like disads and kritiks I think that if they are well done and add to the debate in a substantive way that is fine. I tend to not love theory debates because I often view them as a timesuck and see that they take away from the debate a lot. One other thing is that I do look toward more realistic impacts bc of my PF background. Impact calc is very important but if there are massive unrealistic logical jumps I am not going to buy it i.e. impacting on nuclear war/extinction in a round concerning animal rights. Lastly, when it comes to speed I can handle a little bit of it but I prefer slower cases so I can more thoroughly flow and pay attention better.
I am a parent and a lay judge so speak slow and clearly.
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.
Hi! I did debate in high school, have subbed in for debate classes at my school, and judged for the first time last year.
I'm a back-to-basics kind of judge. Demonstrate your skills. Be clear. Be respectful. Listen well. Respond to your opponent. Get creative but not unfounded.Remember we're all here to learn! Every debate where you improve is a victory.
That said, I often learn fromyou. If you're highly skilled, show me what your argumentation style is all about.
With all that in mind, let me reiterate the basic things I'm looking for which you already know how to do:
-First team, define terms and frame the debate.
-Second team, if you disagree with the framing, dismantle it and wrest control over the discourse.
-Make strong claims. Build them out to consequential impacts.
-A few strong pieces of evidence cited properly and interpreted well are preferred.
-Leave none of your opponent's points unanswered.
-Speak clearly. If I can't understand you the argument is essentially non-existent. Go at the fastest pace you can still articulate well.
-Be confident. Don't worry if you 'make a mistake'. I may not know you slipped up!
-Adjust to your opponent's arguments. I like to hear you apply your reasoning skills on the fly. Anyone can read cards. Dismantling your opponent's arguments or using them to further bolster your own claims is your true time to shine!
Simple Paradigm, I am a traditionalist when it comes to LD so I know, when judging on the circuit I will be blocked, but this is LD not Policy.
Debate the resolution, not something you bought from a college student or topic you find enlightening - the resolutions are chosen , voted on , for a reason.
Repeat: Debate the resolution
One more time: Debate the resolution
So with this in mind, speed and flow, I can flow very quickly, however if it sounds like you are hyperventilating then well, breathe, breathe and slow down, you will need to since you just dropped those points or contentions - you may even see me put my pen or pencil down as an indicator. Have you ever wondered what those breathing exercises got you? Do they help with a college or job interview? If you ever do speak that quickly during an interview can you please tape and put on youtube so we can watch the other person's reaction. =)
For your K - well we all know some may try to use, not the biggest fan, especially when the debater does not fully understand what they arguing or at least the premise of their K and or using a generic K that could be used anywhere in the world!!! What would be fun to hear is that the impact and alternative brought about puppies and rainbows =)
So with that in mind, life is simple, right? Your Value should simply win out and and your VC better convince me that all those contentions and sub-points make sense, especially since you slow downed so I can actually hear them. =) Yes I like smiley faces, life is fun, take a step back and enjoy it!
Oh wait, almost forgot, remember this is not policy !
I did policy debate for 3 years and now am coaching public forum. With that being said, i am okay with some spreading but i need to be able to understand what your saying. Ill vote on anything, however, if your going to go for something it needs to be rebutted throughout the entire speech. You should try and write my ballot for me at the end of the round by giving me 2-3 of your best arguments and going for them. If I look confused its because I am confused, so try to not do that. I pay attention to cross x, but i dont flow it. If I feel like theres an important point being made ill for sure write it down. Cross x is the most entertaining part of the debate, so make it entertaining. Be confident but don't be rude, theres a big big difference. I prefer that you have more offensive (your flow) than defensive arguments (your opponents flow) but you need to have both in order to win the round.
If you have any specific questions let me know and Ill be sure to answer them before the round.
Like i mentioned in my PF paradigm, i did policy debate for 3 years and am now coaching Public Forum. I am good with anything you do. That being said, I don't know a lot about this topic. I'm cool with speed, but you have to be clear. Bottom line, ill vote for anything, as long as you give me a clear reason to vote for you at the end of the round. I consider a dropped argument a true argument.
Im not okay with shadow extending. If something gets conceded, you need to explain to me the argument, and why its important to the round. If your going to do an email chain, which id prefer, id like to be on that. My email is at the top of the paradigm.
Topicality: love T debates, i need a clear limits story. I am more willing to vote for you if theres in round abuse, but you do not have to prove an abuse story to win.
Ks: I will listen to them, but i am not great with Ks. I am not up to speed with all the k jargon. I need a clear link and alt. If you can prove at the end of the round why you won, and i think its convincing, ill vote for you. I recommend slowing down in the 2nr, especially if your going for the K.
Das: I do not buy generic links. If your going to read a politics da, you need to give me case specific links. Ill also be more than likely to vote for you if you can provide me with good and comparative impact calc.
Case Negs: I love case specific debates. Ill vote on presumption, and honestly any type of solvency takeout. I give analytical case arguments, especially if they are good, a lot of weight. Love impact turns.
Affirmative: I tend to swing aff when it comes debating against ptix disads with a bad link story. Same goes for cp solvency, and k links.
If you have any specific questions let me know and Ill be sure to answer them before the round.
I do not prefer fast talking . I like to understand the points being made. Being new to judging debates, I like to hear meaningful substantive debate focused more on facts and less on rules of debating. In other words, it is safer to make an evidence based argument rather than try to win on technicality.
About myself- I'm currently an ophthalmic technician and mom, but was a wildlife biologist before parenthood. This is my third year judging public forum. I appreciate factual evidence and well supported arguments. Please remain respectful while debating, and speak clearly.
Hello! I am Geetha Dwarakapuram. I am a senior technology manager at Bank of America. As for public speaking and giving speeches, I speak on a daily basis in front of large groups of people as part of my job. I am also a volunteer at a local youth Toastmasters club. My son and daughter are both active competitors in Congressional Debate.
Congress: I like to look for concise speeches that support the argument with evidence contradicting the opposing side. I also look for senators and representatives that mention others to enhance their ideas. I highly frown upon rehash but enjoy listening to speakers who engage the audience with their take on the bills. While your speaking style and delivery are, of course, an important part of the overall package, it is congressional debate after all, so I'll always rank a less polished speaker with better arguments higher than somebody who's a great orator but isn't providing something new or doesn't have the same quality of evidence. For presiding officers, I mainly judge if they do not stick out to me during the session and run a smooth and steady round.
Speech: I look for eye contact and a powerful voice when talking. I should be able to understand what you are talking about and like to be engaged throughout the whole speech. I enjoy speeches that have a memorable ending, or " end with a bang" as I like to call it. For dramatic speech events, I should be able to feel the emotion that you are trying to show with your voice. Time limits are something I look at when deciding scores.
As a judge, I prefer for debates to stay on resolution / topic, does that mean I am more traditional, yes. The formats were formed for a reason and that should be followed. If you get too progressive, well please see what I initially started myparadigmwith. As for speed, can flow very well, however if it sounds like you are choking and cannot breathe, well you just dropped those contentions, cards, points, whatever you were trying to establish. In most things, quality outweighs quantity, like do you attend three, four, five colleges at once, no, no you do not do that, you pick the one of highest quality and focus on that, so in that vein, remember, this is not policy, but either PF or LD and looking for quality during the rounds. Please respect each other and have a great debate.
Hi! I’m Sophie, I’m a student at Penn, and this is my second time judging a high school tournament. I’m from Philly and have experience in the local after school league, plus some experience in the national circuit (the most relevant of which is making it to octos (bid) at Villiger three years ago).
A few things to note about my debate background/practices
- Standard tech > truth pf judging outlook- what matters is the evidence and reasoning presented in round, not what is more broadly considered reasonable or what I think
I flow, but I'll prioritize what you say in round in terms of which arguments interact with each other + which are the most important
I’m familiar with common debate terms and concepts: frontlining, warranting, links, uniqueness, etc. I’m all good if you use those terms in-round, but please don’t overuse them, as they represent concepts that it could sometimes strengthen your speech to just explain
I don’t know much about more niche/advanced jargon or about the norms and procedures for using theory in-round. I see the theoretical value of critically evaluating + shaping the debate setting, but I can’t really make judgements on how well a given team is doing that because of my limited background in that area. Similarly, I’m not sure of the practices for anything too far outside of the norm, like joke cases, performance debate, etc.
Some other general comments:
Please be mindful of interrupting each other and respectful when questioning interpretations of evidence + understandings of opposing arguments
- I'm a fan of roadmaps, signposting, and weighing (all pretty common I guess)
Please don’t purposely misread your evidence :( I may call for cards if they're important for the round or if a given interpretation is challenged in-round
I know debate speech is generally pretty fast and I can keep up with it, just please don’t spread
Good day debaters,
I have volunteered as a parent judge for past 2 years. I prefer clear, concise arguments over speed. if you are going to use acronyms or technical terms, please take your time to explain as much as possible. Please be respectful and polite to your opponents. I love to see the argument viewed from multiple angles and positions substantiated with facts and figures. good luck!
Table of Contents: PF, MS Parli, Congress, Policy/LD, BQ
If you remind me, I'll give you my email in round for email chains or feedback.
Coaches: Tim Scheffler, Ben Morris
(Former) PF Partner: Sorin Caldararu
Schools: Madison West '22, Swarthmore College '26 (econ/math), judging for Strath Haven now.
Qualifications: 3 TOC gold bids in PF, doubles at TOC, won Dowling, broke 3x at Wisconsin PF State (made finals once), finals in state Congress twice, almost competed in extemp a couple of times, judged a few MSPDP and BQ rounds, judged a lot of PF rounds.
Lots of this is explaining how to debate. That's mostly so you know that I know how to debate, I assume you'll know most of this stuff pre-round.
- NEW UPDATES: if you go to a privileged school, are facing an underprivileged school, and spend the round commodifying the issues of underprivileged schools in an unnuanced disclosure/paraphrasing shell, your speaks will be capped at a 26 and I will be very tempted to drop you for it. If your entire strategy for winning rounds is to weigh extinction impacts over everything else, your speaks will be capped at a 28.5 unless you present some type of interesting nuance in the weighing debate. If I have to flow you off a speech doc, your speaks are capped at 28.5.
- Relatively standard flow and tabs judge who votes for the team that extends and the "biggest" impact(s) (it is up to you to WEIGH so I know your impact is the biggest).
- Tech over truth but I admire appeals to truth when done well.
- Collapse early and explain warrants – bad extensions (i.e. you say “extend this author” without re-explaining or extend part of your link chain) don't fly with me unless the round is so fast you have to. If you are concise enough that I have to flow at breakneck speed and you still don't have time to extend your case, I'll cut you some slack.
- Terminal defense is a prerequisite to weighing. If your opponents show your argument is bogus, I don't care anymore that it had good magnitude.
- Progressive debate is good but it might make intervention more likely. WISCONSIN CIRCUIT: Disclo and paraphrasing are not norms on the Wisconsin circuit, so I'm going to need a pretty high bar of in-round abuse for me to justify a ballot. This is especially the case since the Wisconsin circuit has much more extensive rules, including about evidence ethics, which could cover disclosure and paraphrasing if necessary. I need to know why the round, not coach meetings in the summer, should be where disclosure is made a norm.
- Now you know the wiki exists: https://opencaselist.com/hspf22. Not disclosing is now your choice. If you don't know what that means, ask me.
- On that note: my opinions about debate shift a lot. Don't hang your hat on something I say in my paradigm – cite my paradigm in-round to guarantee I care.
- I am a proud hack for evidence ethics.
- If you're a small school and you're up against a team from a big prep school, I am a judge you want. I debated a lot on the national circuit, but I went to a public school that barely funds its debate program. Unlike a lot of judges who consider themselves "flow," I don't care if you use the same useless circuit buzzwords I use and I'm really not impressed by people that read 5 poorly warranted turns in rebuttal that one of their 15 coaches wrote for them in a prepout.
- Speed is fine -- send doc for over 250wpm. I'm bad at flowing off docs and don't like doing it. See above -- I'll dock your speaks for it.
- If you are in a JV, novice, or middle school division, tell me your favorite animal for an extra speaker point to show me you've read my paradigm carefully. Skip to the section for middle school and JV competitors; the stuff there is more relevant to you.
You can honestly stop reading here and you'll probably be able to adapt.
- Non-util frameworks should be introduced or implied (i.e. you run racism so it's pretty clearly not straight util) in case. Util can be introduced in either rebuttal.
- Unless an explicit argument is made countering my paradigm, you do not have to respond to any of first case (this INCLUDES theory and framework) in second case.
- I don't care if you provide an "alternative" in framework/theory debates (you need one in K’s though). If a framework is proposed by your opponents, you don't have to say "util" in rebuttal to refute it – as long as you say why your opponents' framework sucks, I will default to util if you're right. Likewise, if someone reads paraphrasing theory on you, you don't have to read a counterinterp that you may paraphrase. If you prove their interp is bogus, then I assume that debaters may paraphrase. I am aware that this is an unorthodox standard for responding to theory. If I were debating a round, I would explicitly propose a framework or counterinterp. However, I think saying "you didn't propose an alternative, so I had to default to the other team even though the link-level defense was good" is intervention.
- I reserve the right to intervene if I dislike your theory. I likely won't though; I could only see it happening if for instance you run a really weird meme interp because you know the other team won't know how to respond (i.e. "Interpretation: debaters must flap their arms and fly to rounds instead of walking"). Disclosure, paraphrasing, etc. are all fair game, except for the exceptions listed at the top of the TL;DR.
- (This is my bias, just so you know) Norms that DEFINITELY should be enforced through the ballot: not being ___ist, not misrepresenting evidence, not being rude. Norms that should be enforced through the ballot: disclosure, having cut cards, being able to share evidence efficiently, not stealing prep time, trigger warnings. Norm that should be encouraged through word of mouth but not the ballot: reading cards.
- Prefiat impacts almost always outweigh postfiat impacts. If prefiat debate is initiated, generally we're not gonna be debating substance. That doesn't make theory abusive – if you hit theory you can win by responding to it.
- Number responses in rebuttal – it's good practice. I need to know if you're grouping responses/contentions.
- Weighing should start in rebuttal and get extended through the round. If your weighing is in more speeches than your opponents' weighing, I will default to it absent good metaweighing.
- Meta-weighing should start as soon as you've heard the other team weigh (bonus if you anticipate how your opponents are going to weigh and metaweigh before they even get the chance to weigh).
- I don't evaluate non-comparative weighing.
- Weigh disads when they are presented (in rebuttal). I default to on-case arguments over disads aren't weighed.
- Frontline in second rebuttal. I don't evaluate new frontlines in second summary. Don't tell me what your case is in first rebuttal unless you cross-apply it.
- Don't read a new contention in second rebuttal. I'll dislike you if you read a new contention in first rebuttal.
- My impression of SOL v probability v clarity: SOL = your links have more defense than ours. Prob = your links are inherently less probable for generally accepted reasons. Clarity = the effect of affirming or negating we show is either more easy to isolate from other factors or more easy to quantify compared to your arguments. Probability weighing absolutely exists in debate. The content of your weighing is more important than the buzzword.
- Link weighing is awesome. Teams tend to only do it when it's obvious they have to. Do it anyway.
- Summary/FF should mirror each other.
- Sticky defense doesn't apply with the three-minute summary unless you are concise and still don't have time for defense.
- Repeat your impacts in summ/FF unless the round is legit so fast you don't have time.
- The "voter vs line-by-line" distinction is dumb. Just tell me what I need to know in FF and jump around as little as possible.
- Don't say "extend the Caldararu evidence" without telling me what Caldararu says. I try to flow author names and usually fail.
- Don't extend too much. 1 clean link chain with weighing is enough to win a round.
- If no offense ends up on the flow at the end of the round, or if making a decision based on tech is impossible for some reason, I default to an entirely lay paradigm and vote on truth. If your opponents are running like 5+ voters and making the round impossibly messy, I could be receptive an appeal to presumption. Make me like you enough for me to presume for you.
- Some wise words from my coach Ben Morris: "I am inclined to reward good communication with speaker points and a mind more receptive to your arguments"
- I will look at evidence if I think that it would be a good idea. That's not intervention.
- You can ask me to call for evidence (from your side or your opponents' side) after the round in one of your speeches (or cross-ex if that floats your boat). I will probably not remember. After the round, say "remember when I asked you to look at the Caldararu card?" and I will look at it.
- American-impacts-first weighing is meh, but if it isn't warranted then it can come across as racist and it usually is racist. "Social contract" stuff isn't good enough for America-first.
- Most prerequisite and timeframe weighing in PF is trash. I tend to prefer good weighing to trash weighing even though how it's done matters the most. Good prerequisite weighing is amazing and I love it. If you like to read disads and weigh them in rebuttal you better do it well or else you'll get an unhappy judge.
Evidence Ethics: Don’t misrepresent evidence. I do not care whether or not you paraphrase. Just do it well – it's not that hard and most teams paraphrase well.
When you read evidence, say the author name (always), and the date and publication if they matter. Read the date if there is a reasonable chance either team will claim recency matters. Otherwise, read it if you feel like it. Read the publication if it is an exceptionally good or bad source. If you want to explain your evidence just to be safe, that's probably a good idea.
Don’t misrepresent who wrote your evidence. If the article comes from the opinion section or is an academic study, you cannot cite it solely by institution. The New York Times does not publicly agree or disagree with what Ross Douthat writes for them (and I’m sure it would often vehemently disagree, as would I), so citing his op-eds by saying “the New York Times says...” is incorrect. You should say "Douthat of the New York Times says..."
If both teams have warrants, the team with better empirics wins the link over the team with better warrants, unless the legitimacy of the warrants is explicitly weighed in the round. If one argument has a card and another doesn't, I don't automatically default to the card.
If you can't produce a card that's called for, you should be really apologetic.
I weigh analysis backed up by evidence over analysis not backed up with evidence if you beef up the credibility of the person who wrote the card. If you don't, I default to the better weighed warrant. Ways to do this well (not a complete list): your source is a professor, your source is a really good journalist who got a Pulitzer Prize or something, or your source has some type of firsthand experience with the topic. Ways to do this badly: "uhh, our guy wrote for ______ so I guess he must have some qualification even though I don't know what it is".
If I call a card and it's misrepresented, I drop you with low speaks. Non-negotiable.
On the flip side, if your opponents misrepresent evidence, you get high speaks even if you really sucked. I don't believe teams should face any negative consequences from performing badly against teams that, by misrepresenting evidence, have a structural advantage. Point out miscut cards in email chains even after the round; it may sway my vote.
Be able to pull up cut cards that you read in a speech. Don’t paraphrase an entire article into a sentence. If you have URLs at the bottom of your case for your evidence, that's bad but I'll deal with it if you know the exact paragraph you paraphrased or quoted without searching endlessly and wasting time. If I call a card, I don't need the full article, but I'm not one of those judges who drops teams for showing the wrong one and being cranky.
- 30 = I sincerely learned something from you and feel gratitude towards you as a result.
- 29 = you went into the round with a plan and it worked.
- 28 = no egregious strategic mistakes
- 27 = a few egregious mistakes
- 26 = very major mistakes
- 20-25 = I will explain why you got a 20-25 in my RFD
- 30 = I sincerely learned something from you and feel gratitude towards you as a result. Next time go to varsity.
- 29.5 = You went into the round with a plan, and it worked. Next time go to varsity.
- 29 = no egregious strategic mistakes. Next time go to varsity.
- 28.5 = a few mistakes
- 25-28 = major mistakes
- 20-25 = I will explain why you got a 20-25 in my RFD
Ways to get 20-25 (not a complete list if I think of something else): rudeness, very intentional or potentially intentional racism/sexism/etc, or implying that your opponents suck.
Speed: I can handle a decent level of PF speed. However, speed is a tool that must be correctly. Don’t speed through a speech and end up with time remaining or end up going over arguments you already told me again. Don’t speed through a speech so you can say “like” after every word instead of being concise. If you go too fast, which you probably won’t (since I can tolerate a normal level of speed), I’ll say “clear." Also, if you speak fast, you may risk my not fully understanding the warranting behind an argument, which you wouldn’t like. It is a risk that is sometimes worth taking, though. Go at the speed that you need to present a narrative and cover the flow.
Cross: Cross shows me if you did your due diligence prepping. It also gives you ground in later speeches, if you want to cite a concession or logical flaw that was exposed in cross. I don’t flow cross.
Not "directly" debate-related:
Fairness > Education > Winning the round. Anything you do that is discriminatory will get you dropped and get your speaks tanked.
I’m a cis white male – that means I might not catch something discriminatory. If I didn’t catch something, let me know at any point (e.g. not necessarily in the time constraints of a speech if you don't want). There are no frivolous requirements here (e.g. I don't need a theory shell to vote on an out-of-round action in this situation). You'll probably get a W30 if what you're saying makes remote sense. If I notice a male debater talking down to a female debater in cross, I'll try to butt in and point it out. I probably am not the best at dealing with sexism/racism/etc, but I do my best. PLEASE READ THIS ARTICLE.
- Keep the tournament running as fast as possible. That means you should enter and unpack before I get to the room. Plop yourself down in any chair that looks satisfactory to you – I do not care where you sit. I don't need to watch you flip a coin unless you want to meet me before picking your side (I sometimes like to meet a judge to get a sense of what to pick in a flip).
- The idea of debaters wearing uncomfortable formal clothes to impress me as a judge pains me (although it does make me feel powerful), so take off your tie or whatever if it's uncomfortable. You can debate in a t-shirt in front of me. I believe that uncomfortable clothes make people worse debaters.
- Have preflows done (not the end of the world if you don’t, but a good practice).
- The one exception – I probably will take a long time to write my RFD. So hang tight.
- I flow on my computer. I have been told by friends that I press the keys down hard when I type. This makes noise. Deal with it.
- I disclose my decision.
- Roadmaps are fine. Short roadmaps project confidence.
- Thanks to Ben Morris for this idea: if you say "3-2-1" to start a speech, I may say "blastoff," and you will have to deal with it. Nobody starts a conversation by saying "3-2-1 hello," so don't start your speech with "3-2-1 we affirm."
- "If you pronounce “Reuters” as “rooters” or "nuclear" as "nook-you-ler" I will be sad." –Sorin Caldararu, my brilliant partner.
- I'm going to Swarthmore College (one of the most left-leaning colleges in America), I live in Madison, Wisconsin (one of the most left-leaning cities in America), and my debate coach was a civil rights lawyer. This should give you a sense of my political views.
I have judged some Middle School Parliamentary rounds before, and I have a lot of experience in novice/JV public forum.
- There are essentially three parts of debating: making arguments, responding to arguments, and weighing arguments (i.e. comparing your arguments and with those of your opponent). Ideally, you should start by mostly making arguments, and by the end you should mostly be weighing arguments that have already been made. You can make that very clear to me by saying things like "now I'm going to respond to my opponent's argument about ______."
- An argument usually has to involve saying something will cause something else. Say we're debating whether the government should create a single-payer healthcare system. If you are on the proposition, saying "healthcare is a right" isn't really an argument. Rather, it's a catchphrase that hints at a different argument: by making healthcare single-payer, the cost doesn't change whether you go to the doctor or not, making people more likely to get care that improves their quality of life and could even save lives. The difference between the first argument and the second is pretty subtle, but it's important for me as a judge: saying "healthcare is a right" doesn't tell me how single-payer gets people healthcare, and it also doesn't tell me who I'm actually helping by voting in favor of single-payer. The second argument answers those questions and puts those answers front and center. And that makes it much easier for me, as a judge, to vote for you.
- To that end, I'm not a fan of new arguments in late speeches. It makes the debate feel like whack-a-mole: a team makes one argument, but once it's rebutted, they present another argument, which then gets rebutted, and so on.
- Generally, I find logic to be more compelling than moral grandstanding. For example, if we're debating if it should be legal to feed kids McDonalds and you argue that it shouldn't because McDonalds is unhealthy, it doesn't help to say stuff like "they're basically stepping over the bodies of dead children" in a speech. It sounds like overkill and makes me not want to vote for you as much.
Short and sweet:
- I probably would rather judge PF. Try to change my mind. (just kidding)
- I was a huge fan of really weird yet hilarious intros, and had one for just about every speech freshman year. It was then squeezed out of me by a combination of tremendous willpower and coaching. (I once said that Saudi Arabia was acting like Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes).
- Don’t re-word a speech someone else just gave two minutes ago.
- I shouldn’t be able to tell if you have a background in policy or PF debate. Don’t speak like you would in a PF or policy round.
- If you give a late-cycle speech, you should have something valuable to say. If you don’t have something valuable to say, don’t speak.
- You should vote to call the question, but not if it will prevent someone who needs to speak from speaking. Basically, if you are bored of debating a given bill, call the question. If you believe that calling the question would be a good underhand ploy to prevent somebody from speaking, don't call the question.
- Don’t speak right after someone spoke on your side, unless you absolutely have to (you probably don't have to).
- Don’t use precedence/recency to give the first pro speech if the writer of the bill is in the chamber and wants to speak. I have no idea if writing a bill allows you to give the first pro speech regardless of precedence and recency, but that should be a rule. This should give you an indication of my level of experience with Congress.
Policy/LD: If I am judging you in policy or LD, I might have a slight bias towards a more PF style of debate. Read my PF paradigm since most things will apply. I find the ideas and concepts in policy and LD interesting and worthwhile even though I'm not inclined to participate in those styles of debate. Just keep it under 300wpm, use PF-level lingo, and keep in mind I can flow spreading but I can't flow it as well as an actual policy or LD debater. I'm probably more down for progressive debate than most PF judges, especially in those events. I know I can be a hard judge to adapt to for circuit policy and LD, so I'll cut you some slack with speed and clear you like 10 times before I stop trying to flow.
I judge BQ exactly like I judge PF, but obviously framework matters more because it's philosophy. Just read the PF section. It all applies.
Hi folks! I go by He/They pronouns, and will likely ask what your preferred pronouns are, before the debate begins. As a judge, I believe in the values of debates fostered with critical evidence, and logic based rationale. I'm a more traditional judge, and prefer a debate with more fully fleshed out evidence, and detail to arguments. I expect arguments to be made in a respectful, non-discriminatory manner. I'd prefer your argument explain why youwin the round, as opposed to your opposition losing the round; What is your weighing? What points have you made, that your opponent has failed to address?
Greetings everyone! My name is Timothy Huth and I'm the director of forensics at The Bronx High School of Science in New York City. I am excited to judge your round! Considering you want to spend the majority of time prepping from when pairings are released and not reading my treatise on debate, I hope you find this paradigm "cheat sheet" helpful in your preparation.
2023 TOC Congress Update
Congratulations on qualifying to the 2023 TOC! It's a big accomplishment to be here in this room and all of you are to be commended on your dedication and success. My name is Timothy Huth and I'm the director at Bronx Science. I have judged congress a lot in the past, including two TOC final rounds, but I have found myself judging more PF and Policy in recent years. To help you prepare, here's what I would like to see in the round:
Early Speeches -- If you are the sponsor or early speaker, make sure that I know the key points that should be considered for the round. If you can set the parameters of the discourse of the debate, you will probably have a good chance of ranking high on my ballot.
Middle Speeches -- Refute, advance the debate, and avoid rehash, obviously. However, this doesn't mean you can't bring up a point another debater has already said, just extend it and warrant your point with new evidence or with a new perspective. I often find these speeches truly interesting and you can have a good chance of ranking high on my ballot.
Late speeches -- I think a good crystallization speech can be the best opportunity to give an amazing speech during the round. To me, a good crystal speech is one of the hardest speeches to give. This means that a student who can crystal effectively can often rank 1st or 2nd on my ballot. This is not always the case, of course, but it really is an impressive speech.
Better to speak early or late for your ballot? It really doesn't matter for me. Wherever you are selected to speak by the PO, do it well, and you will have a great chance of ranking on my ballot. One thing -- I think a student who can show diversity in their speaking ability is impressive. If you speak early on one bill, show me you can speak later on the next bill and the skill that requires.
What if I only get one speech? Will I have any chance to rank on your ballot? Sometimes during the course of a congress round, some students are not able to get a second speech or speak on every bill. I try my very best to evaluate the quality of a speech versus quantity. To me, there is nothing inherently better about speaking more or less in a round. However, when you get the chance to speak, question, or engage in the round, make the most of it. I have often ranked students with one speech over students who spoke twice, so don't get down. Sometimes knowing when not to speak is as strategic as knowing when to speak.
Questioning matters to me. Period. I am a big fan of engaging in the round by questioning. Respond to questions strongly after you speak and ask questions that elicit concessions from your fellow competitors. A student who gives great speeches but does not engage fully in questioning throughout the round stands little chance of ranking high on my ballot.
The best legislator should rank first. Congress is an event where the best legislator should rank first. This means that you have to do more than just speak well, or refute well, or crystal well, or question well. You have to engage in the "whole debate." To me, what this means is that you need to speak and question well, but also demonstrate your knowledge of the rules of order and parliamentary procedure. This is vital for the PO, but competitors who can also demonstrate this are positioning themselves to rank highly on my ballot.
Have fun! Remember, this activity is a transformative and life changing activity, but it's also fun! Enjoy the moment because you are at THE TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS! It's awesome to be here and don't forget to show the joy of the moment. Good luck to everyone!
2023 - Policy Debate Update
I have judged many debates across all events except for policy debate. You should consider me a newer policy judge and debate accordingly. Here are some general thoughts to consider as you prepare for the round:
Add me to the email chain: My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Non-Topical Arguments: I am unlikely to understand Ks or non-topical arguments. I DO NOT have an issue with these arguments on principle, but I will not be able to evaluate the round to the level you would expect or prefer.
Topicality: I am not experienced with topicality policy debates. If you decide to run these arguments, I cannot promise that I will make a decision you will be satisfied with, but I will do my best.
Line-by-line: Please move methodically through the flow and tell me the order before begin your speech.
Judge Instruction: In each rebuttal speech, please tell me how to evaluate your arguments and why I should be voting for you. My goal is to intervene as little as possible.
Speed: Please slow down substantially on tags and analytics. You can probably spread the body of the card but you must slow down on the tags and analytics in order for me to understand your arguments. Do not clip cards. I will know if you do.
PF Paradigm - Please see the following for my Public Forum paradigm.
Add me to the email chain: My email is email@example.com.
General overview FOR PUBLIC FORUM
Experience: I've judged PF TOC finals-X------------------------------------------------- I've never judged
Tech over truth: Tech -------x------------------------------------------- Truth
Comfort with PF speed: Fast, like policy fast ---------x--------------------------------------- lay judge speed
Theory in PF: Receptive to theory ------x------------------------------ not receptive to theory
Some general PF thoughts from Crawford Leavoy, director of Durham Academy in North Carolina. I agree with the following very strongly:
- The world of warranting in PF is pretty horrific. You must read warrants. There should be tags. I should be able to flow them. They must be part of extensions. If there are no warrants, they aren't tagged or they aren't extended - then that isn't an argument anymore. It's a floating claim.
- You can paraphrase. You can read cards. If there is a concern about paraphrasing, then there is an entire evidence procedure that you can use to resolve it. But arguments that "paraphrasing is bad" seems a bit of a perf con when most of what you are reading in cut cards is...paraphrasing.
- Notes on disclosure: Sure. Disclosure can be good. It can also be bad. However, telling someone else that they should disclose means that your disclosure practices should be very good. There is definitely a world where I am open to counter arguments about the cases you've deleted from the wiki, your terrible round reports, and your disclosure of first and last only.
Now, back to my thoughts. Here is the impact calculus that I try to use in the round:
Weigh: Comparative weighing x----------------------------------------------- Don't weigh
Probability: Highly probable weighing x----------------------------------------------- Not probable
Scope: Affecting a lot of people -----------x------------------------------------ No scope
Magnitude: Severity of impact -------------------------x----------------------- Not a severe impact
(One word about magnitude: I have a very low threshold for responses to high magnitude, low probability impacts. Probability weighing really matters for my ballot)
Defense in first summary? Depends if second rebuttal frontlines, if so, then yes, I would expect defense in first summary.
Offense? Any offense you want me to vote on should be in either case or rebuttal, then both summary and final focus.
Flow on paper or computer? I flow on paper, every time, to a fault. Take that for what you will. I can handle speed, but clarity is always more important than moving fast.
What matters most to get your ballot? Easy: comparative weighing. Plain and simple.
I think you do this by first collapsing in your later speeches. Boil it down to 2-3 main points. This allows for better comparative weighing. Tell me why your argument matters more than your opponents. The team that does this best will 99/100 times get my ballot. The earlier this starts to happen in your speeches, the better.
Overviews: Do it! I really like them. I think they provide a framework for why I should prefer your world over your opponent's world. Doing this with carded evidence is even better.
Signpost: It's very easy to get lost when competitors go wild through the flow. You must be very clear and systematic when you are moving through the flow. I firmly believe that if I miss something that you deem important, it's your fault, not mine. To help with this, tell me where you are on the flow. Say things like...
"Look to their second warrant on their first contention, we turn..."
Clearly state things like links, turns, extensions, basically everything! Tell me where you are on the flow.
Also, do not just extend tags, extend the ideas along with the tags. For example:
"Extend Michaels from the NYTimes that stated that a 1% increase in off shore drilling leads to a..."
Evidence: I like rigorous academic sources: academic journals and preeminent news sources (NYT, WashPo, etc.). You can paraphrase, but you should always tell me the source and year.
Theory in PF: I'm growing very receptive to it, but it really should be used to check back against abuse in round.
Pronouns: I prefer he/him/his and I kindly ask that you respect your opponents preferred gender pronoun.
Speed: Slow down, articulate/enunciate, and inflect - no monotone spreading, bizarre breathing patterns, or foot-stomping. I will say "slow" and/or "clear," but if I have to call out those words more than twice in a speech, your speaks are going to suffer. I'm fine with debaters slowing or clearing their opponents if necessary. I think this is an important check on ableism in rounds. This portion on speed is credited to Chetan Hertzig, head coach of Harrison High School (NY). I share very similar thoughts regarding speed and spreading.
I value logical reasoning which is backed by reliable data. Tangible impacts with numbers and data attached to it, is also something I look for. Link chains should be blatantly clear and reiterated throughout the round.
Hey! I've competed in Public Forum and LD in high school.
I'll flow your round, and I'm fine if you speak fairly quickly, but please don't sacrifice clarity for speed and be mindful that if an argument doesn't end up on my flow, I won't consider it.
Overall, I prefer traditional debate, with no spreading, no kritiks, etc. I'll weigh the importance of the arguments based on whether they're supported by evidence and I expect impacts to be clearly linked with evidence. Evidence comparison (and impact comparison) is good! If you have conflicting evidence or if your opponents don’t have evidence, point it out and explain to me why your evidence is better. Use framework, tell me how to evaluate the round, and remember to extend your impacts and evidence in the last few speeches.
If you're running something unconventional, make sure to explain why it matters in the context of the debate.
Let me know if you have questions!
hi! i'm angie khadijah. i studied philosophy at columbia (barnard class of '22) and competed on the houston circuit for 4 years @ cinco ranch high school. i've worked for the NYCUDL, judged at national circuit tournaments, and currently work with the Brooklyn Debate League (BDL) -- i'm passionate about speech advocacy!
questions about my paradigm? wanna chat? confused about my decision? feel free to email me! firstname.lastname@example.org
tldr; give me a weighing mechanism so you don't leave the round confused by my decision. impact thru everything. link chains are super important. i will always look for the clearest path to the ballot and try to be as tab as possible.
speed is totally fine, but clarity is essential in this activity. use jargon when its needed please.
i will drop a debater who wields anti-Black/racist/unapologetically insensitive etc. speech or behavior if their opponent asks me to. this is a speaking activity: you are responsible for your words.
please add me to the email chain: email@example.com
i am down to hear anything. this is your space, please use it how you'd like. i recognize the labor and time invested in this activity by so many of you, and sincerely thank you for sharing it with me.
i like kritikal debates, though i aim to be an approachable and reasonable judge for all levels/styles of debate :)
i am *not* the judge for you if t is your entire neg strat. i am not as well versed on t as some other judges and often find complex theory debates to be frivolous. i will hear anything, but want to remain fair to you!
i vote tech > truth but will definitely discuss truth-y issues if its problematic or if you wanna philosophize after the round.
i love performance and GREATLY appreciate all attempts to make the debate space less elitist + more radical.
impacts and links are important to me!
i avg 28.5 speaks. earn a 30 by being unique and memorable :)
yes i disclose and always try to give constructive feedback to both sides
summary is the most important speech of the round, followed by rebuttal.
weigh! impact! tell me how to vote!! i love unique args.
i vote off my flow, looking for the clearest path to the ballot.
debate is about education imo. feel free to talk about this space w me before or after round (or in round...do what you want)
HAVE FUN!! seriously, this activity is great and i hope to foster an inviting and intellectually rigorous space in all my rounds.
I am a previous PF debater, so I value logic and clarity in arguments (no long link chains) and no spreading.
Hello, I am Atul Mathur. I have judged as a parent in Public Forum locally for the past three years in association with Rock Ridge High School. I am pretty familiar with the debating format and have a few key notes of what I like to see in a round and on what basis I cast my ballot:
Well thought out ideas and clarity of speeches; don't try to rush many ideas in a speech at a time and stay within the time limit. I am a flow judge but quality of speaking and clarity of thought is very important.
Be logical in your argumentation and clear with your link chains. If I can't understand what you are arguing for then it makes it very difficult for me to vote in favor of you. Please bring examples when you are making a point.
I expect all debaters to be respectful and good sport towards each other regardless of victory or defeat. I look forward to hearing everyone's speeches and wish everyone good luck!
I am a standard PF judge. I mostly make my decisions based on weighing, topical arguments and argumentative structure. I don’t really enjoy Kritiks or other non-traditional strategies. However, I have 4 years judging experience and 3 years of coaching, so if these arguments were done very well and within PF parameters, I would be open to them. Speed is usually not an issue, but if you speak too quickly I will notify you to slow down. I will almost-definitely not believe your nuclear war impact, unless it is pertinent to the resolution.
I am a parent judge with few public forum judging experience. The use of jargon during rebuttals should be kept to a minimum. My vote goes to the team who persuaded more with key arguments. I prefer medium-slow speed during debate to observe the flow. And I prefer arguments with facts, evidence and logical reasoning. Keep track of your own and opponents time.
I am a parent judge, I always come with a 100% open mind to learn your perspective on different topics and resolutions.
I respect and appreciate that you have put in immense efforts to prepare, so please don’t rush through the content. Please state your contentions slowly and clearly. I like to hear the impacts of your contentions and am always eager to see how you bring it all together through your summary and final focus. Being respectful and courteous to your opponents is very important to me.
Good luck and have fun debating!
This is the second time I am judging public forum.Kindly speak slowly and clearly. I expect you to treat your opponents with respect.
Parent judge. Please speak clearly. Don't spread.
Prefer well-developed arguments with good logical reasoning, crossfire must be civil. Respect each other and enjoy the debate.
Arguments need to be extended effectively. Prioritize, and weigh.
Clarity, Evidence, and Courtesy go a long way.
I debated at NSU University School in Public Forum Debate for five years, where I amassed 12 bids and reached Quarters at TOC. I am currently a sophomore at Penn.
- Tech > Truth. I will vote for any argument that is extended, warranted, and weighed. Debate is a game. However, every part of the argument (uniqueness, link, internal link, and impact) needs to be extended.
- Second rebuttal must frontline turns and defense you are going to collapse on.
- Defense is not sticky. Everything in final focus needs to be in summary.
- I prefer line-by-line instead of big picture in the second half of the debate.
- Signpost: I don’t need a roadmap if you signpost well.
- I can flow most speeds as long as you are clear.
- As a debater, I ran mostly structural violence arguments and weighing overviews. While I enjoy these types of debates, I think they need to be done well. I won’t assume this type of framework unless you give me a warrant.
- Only 3 types of weighing mechanisms: probability, time frame, and magnitude.
- Please do comparative weighing. Weighing your own arguments does not matter if it is not compared to how they weigh theirs. If two teams have competing weighing mechanisms, tell me which one is more important.
- I prefer cut cards over paraphrasing. It is harder to misconstrue evidence.
- I won’t call for evidence unless it is contested by both teams. I consider it judge intervention.
- Disclosure is good; paraphrasing is bad. While these are my personal opinions, I won’t pick you up automatically if you don’t win the shell.
- Theory is intended to make the debate space more equitable, so don’t read frivolous theory.
- I have minimal experience with Kritiks and other forms of progressive argumentation. I will try my best though to evaluate it.
Ask me any questions you may have before the round. You can also refer to Amanda Frank’s paradigm for similar preferences.
Hello everyone! My name is Sharath Sadashivan and I have served as a parent-judge on Public Forum (PF) debates for the past 4 years. Here is what I am looking for in a PF debate round.
Overall Framework: I think that a well-reasoned argument should be clear, concise, and backed by credible and relevant evidence. It should also adhere to the rules of the debate, respect the opposing team and the audience, and engage with the topic in a meaningful and insightful manner.
Speaker Points: Speaker points will be awarded based on the quality of your delivery, organization, and clarity of speech.
Evidence: Evidence is an important aspect of Public Forum Debate and will play a crucial role in determining the winner of the round. I will evaluate the evidence presented by both teams based on the relevance and reliability of sources, the quality of analysis, and the use of statistics.
Crossfire Rounds: I will evaluate cross-examination based on the relevance of the questions asked, the clarity of the responses, and the quality of the rebuttals.
The winner of the Public Forum Debate will be determined based on the criteria outlined in this paradigm, including the quality and persuasiveness of the arguments and evidence presented and the effectiveness of delivery.
Hello, I am a parent judge. I will vote on knowledge and accurate facts presented, based on extensive research.
Try to persuade me the best you can.
Please make your arguments clear and convincing.
Thank you so much for letting be a judge.
I am a law professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. I have taught legal thinking and writing for 22 years.
Argumentation: I like clear, concise, and substantive arguments.
Cross ex: You must answer questions asked of you. Do not avoid questions. I will flow cross examination.
Presentation: I must be able to understand you when you are speaking.
I debated four years pf, ld, and policy in high school and four years of policy in college.
I can flow pretty much everything, and I’ll evaluate all the arguments to the best of my ability. Try to give your arguments impacts and help me create a framework to evaluate the debate.
I am a parent judge and would love to judge the debate tournament. To help me judge effectively here are some pointers. Don't speak too fast, and don't yell during cross. Practice good debate ethics and respect your opponents. Don't cut others off. You need to convince me to win my ballot.
My name is RJ Tischler, and I've been volunteering as a judge for speech & debate since 2016.
For debate: Clarity is key. Don't speak too fast. Weigh the impacts at the end of the round for me. Explicitly state what your voters are.
Prioritize clash. That is the purpose of a debate. I am not inclined to buy arguments that "the opponents didn't respond" to contentions that you neglected to revisit & therefore didn't result in clash. If your opponent truly doesn't respond to an important contention, be sure to point that out in rebuttal or crossfire. Don't wait until summary. (specific to PF)
If you'd like, feel free to send me your case to read along: email firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a parent judge with minimal knowledge on the topic. Please speak slowly and clearly as I am trying my best to understand what each side is saying.
I appreciate logical warranting and a clear narrative as to why you are winning the debate.
Director - Ridge High School
30+ years experience coaching and judging
I'm considered a very traditional flow judge within the various competitive debate arenas. I appreciate slightly-higher than conversational rates as a maximum. I will afford you a 'clear' if necessary.
I do expect and reward debate with a clear framework of understanding. I also like direct application of your argument to clear and defined system(s). I don’t believe we exist in a vacuum – there must be context for me to consider and weigh an argument, and I recognize the resolution is created and should be interpreted within a particular context. Therefore, hypothetical worlds must be warranted as reasonable within a pragmatic context developed within the resolution. I appreciate creative, though plausible and non-abusive, House interpretations in Parliamentary rounds.
In LD and PF, all evidence must be clearly tagged and clearly linked to the grounds within your claims. In Parliamentary, examples should be true, contextually-defined, when appropriate, and directly linked to your claims. You can create hypothetical examples or indicate your personal beliefs on an issue; however, if you are unsure what a particular constitutional amendment or Supreme Court decision states, please avoid introducing it. Also, where tag-teaming is permitted, proceed with caution. One or two interjections is fine. More than that diminishes your partner's voice/skill and will be considered in speaker points and, if excessive, the RFD.
Crystallization is key to winning the round. Be sure you allow yourself ample time to establish clear grounds and warrants on all voters. I don’t consider arguments just because they are uttered; you must explain the ‘why’ and the ‘so what’ in order for me to weigh them in my decision, in other words, directly impact them to the framework/standards. I do appreciate clear signposting throughout the round in order to make the necessary links and applications to other arguments, and I will give you more speaker points if you do this effectively. Speaker points are also rewarded for competence, clarity, and camaraderie during the round. In LD and PF, I will not give below a 26 unless you're rude and/or abusive.
Overall, please remember, I may not be as well-read on the resolution as you are. I do not teach at camps; I don’t teach debate in any structured class, nor do I judge as regularly or frequently as others. I will work hard to reach the fairest decision in my capacity. I really enjoy judging rounds where the contestants make a concerted effort to connect with me and my paradigm. I don't enjoy rounds where I or my paradigm is ignored. Thanks for reading this far!! Best of luck in your round.
I have 25+ years experience in Congressional 'Debate' and REALLY enjoy judging/parli'ing great rounds! I evaluate 'student congress' as a debate event; hence, if you are early in the cycle, I am looking for clear affirmative and negative grounds to establish clash and foundation for the remainder of the debate. If you speak later in the cycle, I expect extensions and refutations of what has already been established as significant issues in the debate (beyond just name dropping). I see each contribution on the affirmative and negative sides as extensions of the previous speeches presented; consequently, if there is a significant argument that has not been addressed to by opponents, I expect later speakers to build and expand on it to strengthen it. Likewise, if speakers on the other side do not respond to a significant issue, I will consider it a 'dropped argument' which will only increase the ranking of the student who initially made it, and lower the rankings of students who failed to recognize, respond or refute it; however, it is the duty of questioners to challenge opposing speakers thus reminding the room (including the judges) on significant arguments or issues that have gone unrefuted. In other words, students should flow the entire round and incorporate that information into their speeches and questions. I also highly encourage using the amendment process to make legislation better. Competitors who attempt it, with germane and purposeful language, will be rewarded on my ballot.
Most importantly, enjoy the unique experience of Congressional Debate. There are so many nuances in this event that the speech and debate other events cannot provide. Own and appreciate your opportunity by demonstrating your best effort in respectful dialogue and debate and be your best 'self' in the round. If you do, the rewards will far outweigh the effort.
EVIDENCE: All claims should be sufficiently warranted via credible evidence which ideally include both theoretical and empirical sources. I reward those who consider constitutional, democratic, economic, diplomatic frameworks, including a range of conservative to liberal ideologies, to justify their position which are further substantiated with empirical examples and data. All evidence should be verbally-cited with appropriate source and date. Students should always consider biases and special interests when choosing sources to cite in their speeches. I also encourage students to challenge evidence during refutations or questioning, as time and warrant allows.
PARTICIPATION: I reward participation in all forms: presiding, amending, questioning, flipping, and other forms of engagement that serve a clear purpose to the debate and fluent engagement within the round. One-sided debate indicates we should most likely move on to the next piece of legislation since we are ready to vote; therefore, I encourage students to stand for additional speeches if your competitors are not willing to flip, yet do not wish to move to previous question (as a matter of fact I will highly reward you for 'debating' provided that you are contributing to a meaningful debate of the issues). I expect congressional debaters to remain engaged in the round, no matter what your speaking order, therefore leaving the chamber for extended periods of time is highly discouraged and will be reflected in my final ranking. Arriving late or ending early is disrespectful to the chamber and event. Competitors who appear to bulldoze or disenfranchise others regarding matters of agenda-setting, agenda-amendments, speaking position/sides can also be penalized in ranking. I am not fond of splits before the round as I've seen many students, typically younger folks, coerced into flipping; hence, students should just be ready to debate with what they've prepared. If you are concerned with being dropped, I recommend exploring arguments on both sides of the bill/resolution.
PRESIDING OFFICER: Thank you for being willing to serve the chamber. I look highly upon students who run for PO. If elected, be sure you demonstrate equity and fairness in providing the optimum opportunity for every competitor to demonstrate their skills as a debater and participant in the chamber. I value POs who assert a respectful command and control of the room. Do not allow other competitors to take over without your guidance and appropriate permissions (even during breaks while others may be out of the room). Your procedures of recognizing speakers (including questioning) should be clearly communicated at the top of the round to promote transparency and a respect for all members of the chamber. Mistakes in recency or counting votes happen -- no big deal (just don't make it repetitive). Public spreadsheets are appreciated.
DELIVERY, STYLE and RHETORIC: Good delivery takes the form of an argument and audience-focused presentation style. Authorship/ Sponsorship/ first-negative speeches can be primarily read provided the competitor communicates a well-developed, constructed, and composed foundation of argument. These speeches should be framework and data rich -- and written with a rhetorical prowess that conveys a strong concern and commitment for their advocacy.
After the first speeches, I expect students to extend or refute what has been previously stated - even if offering new arguments. These speeches should be delivered extemporaneously with a nice balance of preparation and spontaneity, demonstrating an ability to adapt your advocacy and reasoning to what has been previously presented. Trivial or generic introductions/closings typically do not get rewarded in my rankings. I would much prefer a short, direct statement of position in the opening and a short, direct final appeal in the closing. Good rhetorical technique and composition in any speech is rewarded.
DECORUM & SUSPENSION OF THE RULES: I highly respect all forms of decorum within the round. I value your demonstration of respect for your colleagues referring to competitors by their titles (senator, representative) and indicated gender identifiers. Avoid deliberate gender-specific language "you guys, ladies and gentlemen" etc. I encourage any suspension of the rules, that are permitted by the tournament, which contribute to more meaningful dialogue, debate, and participation. Motions for a suspension of the rules which reflect a lack of decorum or limit opportunity are discouraged. I also find "I'm sure you can tell me" quite evasive and flippant as an answer.