Glenbrooks Speech and Debate Tournament
2022 — Northbrook and Online, IL/US
Varsity Public Forum Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
As a judge, I am personally very big on delivery and the style in which the presentation is done. I am a strong believer that a passionate, engaging form of delivery is crucial for any successful speech. I like to see active participation and I also like when competitors avoid direct-reading like the plague!
I’ve been judging both speech and congress for over 5 years and can say that the experience has been great!
I have done Public Forum Debate for 4 years and am familiar with the format. I will primarily be judging the round based on the technical aspects, focusing on what pieces of offense are left by the end of the round by the teams and then weighing these arguments based on a framework to determine my vote. Narratives and rhetoric will affect the frameworks I choose to adopt in my judgment of the round. I will not consider new arguments and evidence developed during and after 2nd summary unless they are clearly interacting with previous statements made.
I like to see debate that shows a strong display of knowledge for the basics of public forum. I appreciate off time roadmaps. I pay close attention to sources and will weigh sources within the round. Speed consistency is more important than just speed; in other words, spreading is fine but only if you can maintain the same speed without abruptly having to speed up at the end or losing momentum and slowing down. In terms of attitude, it is important to show sportsmanship with your teammate and competitors.
I am a head coach of a Speech and Debate Team. When it comes to Debate, I am lay judge but can understand tech-type jargon. I do not flow, but take shorthand notes. If you give me a verbal outline, I can track it.
These are do’s and Don’t for me judging your round:
Please do not use ‘K’’s to win your round, or run anything progressive, as you probably won’t win.
I appreciate off time road maps. Sign Posting is also very helpful for me to track your arguments
I will defer to the tournament organizers as to disclosure at the end of the round. If there are no instructions, I will disclose at the end of the round
A disrespectful team will most often lose the round
Trigger warnings are appreciated, but must be followed if asked to
I default to most lives affected/saved if no other framework is presented
Please do not spread, I asked nicely.
Make link chains as clear as possible, with clear warranting, especially when they are lengthy
Evidence is important. Accurate evidence is even better. Valuable evidence is best. This means if your opponent is using faulty or poor evidence call them out on it. Thus, ask for evidence.
As a lay judge, crossfire allows me to see the caliber of each team. Respectful, meaningful, and purposeful crossfire will help me decide the victor of the round.
Post round questions are helpful for my growth as a judge, so please ask for reasoning. However, your obligation is to beat your opponent, not argue with the judge, so clarifying questions will be entertained, but attempts to change my mind will not.
I've been involved with debate since 2010.
When I was in high school I debated three years in policy, (2010-2013) I attended DDW and DDI, I qualified to nationals, won tournaments etc.
I coached policy from 2013-2020 and now have coached PF from 2020-to now,
there hasn't been a time in my adult life that I wasn't actively coaching or judging
Because of my debate experience I am fine with speed, unless its being used to just outspread your opponent , that is just bad debating and will cost you speaks. On the same note if you aren't clear and I can't flow you then I wont evaluate it.
I'm fine with almost any kind of arguments, theory, k's etc. Explain your link clearly and impact it out to get my ballot.
I am a flow judge, they are what I vote off of, if its not on the flow chances are I didn't evaluate it, this is why I high recommend being good at signposting and doing a clear line by line to win my ballot.
Good impact debates with impact comparison and turn case analysis will also get you ahead
I'm tech over truth and tabula rasa
If you have any questions ask before round
Email: Canderson@revereschools.org if you need to reach out with any further questions after the round
- Be confident in round
- Be respectful of your opponents
- Please speak slow and clear
Policy debate, kritikal
SDSU Comm major
NDT / CEDA qual
Your work towards making your speeches clear for my flow will be reflected in my ballot.
Please include me in the email chain email@example.com
email for the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
TLDR: Big on clear explanations, big on meaningful clash over card spam.
General:I debated in LD all of high school and now compete in college CX debate for Northwestern. I strongly believe debate should be a space open to everyone and anything in round (discrimination, hateful speech, etc) that goes against that will result in a team being dropped immediately and tournament staff/coaches contacted. I have a fair amount of experience on the HS policy topic- I was a lab leader at NU's camp this summer and have judged a little bit of local circuit CDL. That being said, I didn't do HS policy and am not familiar with certain norms/terms so doing a little more work on explanations will be to your benefit. I flow very closely- that being said please do weighing and don't put me in a position where I as a judge have to evaluate the significance of your arguments. That's your job lmao. On a similar note, I give the highest speaks to debaters that meaningfully interact with their opponents arguments and don't just read some tangentially-related card.
I will drop speaks for rounds where an experienced team is rude to younger debaters/novices. Telling me in the 2AR that you're "absolutely crushing them" is not a flex. Be considerate and avoid mean-spirited language in rebuttals, everyone starts from somewhere.
Update 11/17 for Glenbrooks: Most of my paradigm is policy stuff below that won't be too helpful but all general points above apply. I did not compete in PF but I am familiar with the basics. No experience on the current topic outside of very limited judging novice PF debates for CDL. I am open to "progressive" PF arguments like Ks, CPs, etc but will be sympathetic to trad teams hitting these arguments.
K- I know nothing about your literature bases, I will listen to and evaluate everything you're saying but again doing a little extra work on clear explanations will really help you. Links should be specific to the aff for neg Ks. I have very little experience evaluating aff Ks but will do my best.
Case- Case debating is so important for both sides in my opinion. This is probably one of the biggest areas I see get caught up in both sides just reading unrelated cards and not meaningfully interacting with the flow. Don't do that please :D
CPs-Love as long as neg proves competition and defends their links. Lazy perm args from the aff become less and less persuasive as the debate goes on. If you're going for a perm please do the work to explain why the aff avoids the net benefit.
DAs-No big thoughts here that would change how you debate.
T- Also big controversial thoughts here, aff needs at counter interp and a each side needs to explain why their interpretation is the one I should be using.
Theory-Not very sympathetic to condo when the neg ran 2 or less advocacies without conditional planks. Very sympathetic to condo where the neg runs a cp with 20 conditional planks that solve every possible aspect of the aff. "Condo is a voter" does nothing for me or my ballot if you don't explain why and what impacts are for fairness, education, etc. My brother does local circuit HS policy for St. Ignatius High School in Ohio and from listening to him I get the impression theory is more varied on the high school circuit than in college. All that means for you is be extra clear about what violation has been committed and what that means for my ballot/the round.
conflicts: groves high school (class of 2019), wayne state university (class of 2023, secondary ed major w/ minors in public health & gender, sexuality, and women's studies), detroit country day high school, marist (including them now because i judge more for them than i do anyone else at this point)
always put me on the email chain! Literally always! if you ask i will assume you haven't read this! legit always put me on the email chain! email@example.com
**edit for glenbrooks: after getting roasted for the dissertation that was my paradigm, i've decided to cut it down quite a lot.
the abridged version:
do you, and do it well
don't cheat in ways that require me to intervene
don't misgender me, or your competitors
do not assume i am going to vote for you because you say my name a lot
some general stuff:
the more and more i do debate the less i care about what's put in front of me. when i first started debating, i cared very deeply about norms, the resolution, all that jazz. now, if you're willing to read it i'm willing to judge it. i'd rather see an in depth debate with a lot of offense and clash than anything else, and i don't care whether you do that on a T flow vs. a k aff or a cap flow vs. a policy aff.
my least favorite word in the english language (of which is not a slur) is the word "basically." i would rather listen to everyone for the rest of time describe everything as "moist" than listen to you say the word "basically." i've hated this word for years, do not use it. make of that what you will.
it should be said i at one point read a parody aff that involved my partner and i roleplaying as doctor/patient during the 1ac. i care exceedingly little what you want to do with your 8 minute constructive, 3 minute cx, and 5 minute rebuttals - but those speech times are non-negotiable (unless the tournament says otherwise). play a game, eat a salad, ask me about my cat(s), color a picture, read some evidence; but do it within the constraint of a timer.
(this "time fetish" is less of a "respect my time" thing and more of a "i need to know when i can tell tab who i voted for" thing. i take a lot of pride in getting my decision in before repko, and i wish to continue that streak.)
stuff about me as a judge:
i do not follow along in the speech doc. i try not to look at cards. be clear, be concise, be cool. debate is first and foremost a communicative activity. i will only read y'alls ev if there is serious contention, or you tell me to. i HATE DOING THIS, and this very often does not go how people think it will.
if you say "insert re-highlighting" instead of reading the re-highlighting i WILL consider that argument uncarded
bolded for emphasis: people are also saying they can 'insert a caselist' for T flows. this is not a thing. and i will not consider them part of the debate if this occurs.
i do not play poker both because i am terrible at math and because i have a hard time concealing my emotions. i do have pretty bad rbf, but i still think you should look at me to tell what i'm thinking of your speeches/cx.
Misgendering is bad and a voting issue (at the very least I will give you exceptionally low speaks). due to my gender identity i am hyper aware of gender (im)balances in debate. stop being sexist/transphobic jerks, y'all. it's not that hard. additionally, don't be racist. don't be sexist. don't be ableist. don't be a bad person.
Assigning speaker points comes down to: are you memorable? are you funny? are you a bad person? Did you keep my flow neat?
I usually give in the 28.2-29.9 range, for reference.
(pssst that's where my "basically" shpiel above comes into play)
i consider ethics violations clipping, evidence fabrication/omission of paragraphs between the beginning and end of the card, and violence (e.g. calling Black people the n word as a non-Black person, refusing to use correct pronouns).
for clipping: a recording must be presented if a debater brings forth the challenge. if i notice it but no one brings it up, your speaker points will suffer greatly.
for evidence miscutting (this is NOT power tagging): after a debater brings it forward the round will stop. if the evidence is miscut, the team who miscut the evidence will lose with lowest speaker points possible. if the evidence is not miscut, the team who brought forth the violation will lose with the lowest speaker points possible. i will not entertain a debate on the undebatable.
for violence: i will stop the debate and the offender will receive the lowest speaker points possible and will lose. the person who is on the receiving end of the violence is not expected to give input. if you misgender me i will not stop the debate, but your speaker points will suffer.
one of these, because i love getting caught in the hype
brad hombres ------------------------------------X--banana nut brad
generic disad w/ well developed links/uq------X------------------------------------ thing you cut 30 mins before the round that you claim is a disad
read a plan--------------------X---------------------don't read a plan
case turns--X----------------------------------------generic defense
t not fw--------------X-------------------------------fw not t
"basically"-------------------------------------------X-just explaining the argument
truth over tech------------------X--------------------tech over truth
being nice-X------------------------------------------being not nice
piper meloche--------------------X--------------------brad meloche
'can i take prep'----------------------------------------X-just taking prep
explaining the alt------X--------------------------------assuming i know what buzzwords mean
process cps are cheating--------------------------X-------sometimes cheating is good
fairness--------------------------------X----------------literally any other fw impact besides iteration
impact turn-X--------------------------------------------non impact turn
fw as an impact turn------X--------------------------------fw as a procedural
green highlighting-X----------------------------------------any other color
rep---------------------------X----------------i don't know who you are and frankly i don't care to find out
asking if everyone is ready -X-----------------------------------asking if anyone isn't ready
jeff miller --------------------------------------X--- abby schirmer
PUBLIC FORUM SPECIFIC THINGS:
i find myself judging this a lot more than any other activity, and therefore have a LOT of opinions.
- time yourself. this includes prep. i'm not your mom, and i don't plan on doing it for you. the term "running prep" is becoming very popular, and i don't know what that means. just take prep.
- don't call me judge. "what should we refer to you as?" nothing! i don't know who is teaching y'all to catch judges' attentions by referring to us directly, but it's horrible, doesn't work, annoys all of us, and wastes precious time. you should be grabbing my attention in other ways: tone, argumentation, flowability, humor, sarcasm, lighting something on fire (please do not actually do this). call me by my first name (luke) if you have to, but know if you overuse it, it has the exact same affect as calling me "judge."
- PLEASE don't assume i know community norms, and saying things like "this is a community norm" doesn't automatically give you that dub. i entered PF during covid, and have a very strong policy background. this influences how i view things like disclosure or paraphrase theory.
- even more so than in policy, "post-rounding" me after a decision is incredibly common. be aware i'm a petty college student with nothing to lose by arguing with you about my decision, so you're allowed to fight with me all you want. just know it doesn't change my ballot, and certainly won't change it the next time around.
- i will never understand this asking for evidence after speeches. why aren't we just sending speech docs? judges are on a very strict schedule, and watching y'all spend five minutes sending evidence is both annoying and time consuming - bolding, because i continue to not get and, honestly? actively hate it when everyone spend 5-10 minutes after each speech exchanging evidence. just sent the whole speech. i don't get why this isn't the norm
- i'm fine with speed and 'unconventional arguments.' in fact, i'm probably better for them because i've found PF aff/neg contentions to be vague and poorly cut.
- PFers have a tendency to call things that aren't turns "turns." it's very odd to me. please don't do it.
- i'm not going to delay the round so you can preflow. idk who told y'all you can do that but they're wrong
- if you are using ev sending time to argue, i will interrupt you and make you start and/or i will tank your speaks. stop doing this.
- i'm very split on the idea of trigger warnings. i don't think they're necessary for non-in-depth/graphic discussions of a topic (Thing Exists and Is Bad, for example, is not an in-depth discussion in my eyes). i'm fine with trigger warning theory as an argument as long as you understand it's not an automatic W. i
- flex prep is at best annoying and at worst cheating. if you start flex prepping i will yell at you and doc your speaker points.
LINCOLN DOUGLAS SPECIFIC THINGS:
please read my policy and pf paradigms. they have important information about me and my judging
of all the speech activities, i know about lincoln douglas the least. this can either be to your advantage or your detriment
apparently theory matters to a lot of y'all a lot more in this activity than in policy. i got a high threshold for voting on any sort of theory that isn't condo, and even then you're in for the uphill battle of the century. i like theory debates generally, but watching LDers run theory like RVIs has killed my confidence in LD theory debate.
'i'm gonna take X minutes of prep' isn't needed. just say you're taking prep and take prep. i'll never understand LD or PF judges who act as if they are parents and y'all are 5 year olds asking for cookies after dinner; if you can figure out how tabroom works and how to unmute yourself, i'm pretty sure you can time your own prep.-
going fast does not mean you are good at debate, please don't rely on speed for ethos
i hate disclosure theory and will prob vote neg 99.9% of the time (the .001% is for new affs or particularly bad answers). just put your stuff on the wiki, i genuinely don't understand why this is a debate to be had. just disclose. what year are you people living in.
things i don't care about:
- whether you keep your camera on or off (if you wanna lose free speaker points, that's up to you)
- speed. however, you should never be prioritizing speed over clarity.
hidden at the bottom: if you read the kato k and call it the "oppenheimer k" in the roadmap for the whole round i will give you a 30
please use all your time. my bar for civility is much lower than most neda judges, so make of that what you will. please also use evidence.
I competed in Public Forum debate for four years and judged the category for three years. Additionally, I assist an Ohio debate team.
First and foremost, there is absolutely no toleration for being disrespectful to opponents or talking over each other.
The rate of delivery does not impact my decision making. With that being said, you should enunciate if you are speaking fast, so I can evaluate your argument. Also, sign posting is critical for an organized speech.
Using terminology such as uniqueness, links/internal links, impacts, and impact and link turns is fine. However, you should try to contextualize them to the arguments in the round rather than just merely using jargon.
Weighing is extremely important. Magnitude, probability, time frame, and impact turns are far more useful than just saying "vote for the team that saves more lives".
Finally, I don't mind evidence requests but don't abuse it. I am willing to read evidence if there is a dispute between opponents.
How I sign my ballot:
As stated earlier, weighing mechanisms are very crucial. You as the debater should tell me why your impacts are winning in comparison to your opponents. Your final focus should assist me in signing my ballot. Tell me WHY I should vote for you. My decision is mainly based on who wins the KVI's.
You can add me to email chains firstname.lastname@example.org
Debated @ Westwood for 4 yrs
Competed on both the local and national circuit (gave up on debate when COVID hit so I am a bit rusty)
Yes, add me on the email chain: email@example.com
I hate post-rounding. If you post round, L-25.
If you have any questions about your round, feel free to hit me up on messenger or I can tell you after RFD (if I got time).
Tech>Truth (I like true args tho). Read Amogh Mahambre's bit on this if you want to understand the specifics of my philosophy on this. Basically sums up how I am w/Tech>Truth.
SEND OUT SPEECH DOCS IF YOU ARE READING EV (Constructive and rebuttal especially). I'm fine with no speech docs for summary or final focus – I don't expect to recieve one. If you have a speech doc for those speeches, don't send them. I only want constructive and rebuttal speech docs.
If you're paraphrasing, there should be cut cards. Ev ethics is a huge problem, and I take it in high regard. If you bracket, I have a problem with that.
I evaluate theory, but not the best at it. (para and disclosure hack)
No k affs, ks, or non-t affs. I am not comfortable voting off of them, even if I know the args.
Fine with spreading, but send speech doc. It'll be tough for me to flow w/o a speech doc.
Defense isn't sticky (has to be extended no matter what)
I'm fine with whatever you read (obv not discriminatory, racist, or sexist), but I prefer well-warranted args over anything else.
High threshold for warrants and extensions
Link weighing>>>>impact weighing
Assume that I don't know anything about the topic – I'll only do some topic research if a) I actually like the topic or b) I kinda know what's going on
People whose paradigms I mostly agree with – Amogh Mahambre, Srikar Satish, and Akhil Bhale. To simply sum it up, I would like to consider myself to be less technical than them but technical enough to be considered a tech judge.
For the love of god, please set up email chains. If I hear google docs, I will literally flip out. I will nuke speaks if there is not an email chain established. I would want everything you are reading (yes, I only want rhetoric, NOT CUT CARDS) and paste it on the email.
A lot of the args ran are just the same – a lot of debaters tend to focus on impact-level weighing and not link-level. Please focus on the links, especially if everyone impacts the same thing. I think there's a lot more education to focus on the links and it makes the round a lot more interesting for me to judge (I also touch on this subject later down in my paradigm).
Topic knowledge is there and I know some of the stock args on this topic. However, a lot of the args people are running don't make any sense. I'll still evaluate it. but be prepared for some critiques with the link-story/ ev y'all use.
It has been a while since I judged a round so I'm sorry if I don't catch things initially. However, this point makes it huge for why I want speech docs (at least for constructive and rebuttal). It'll really do a huge favor for me. And I'll say this – if your coach prohibits you to send out speech docs, tell them you'll be hurting your chances for a W if I'm your judge.
Also, to note, I might suffer from some internet issues as the wifi at my dorm is kinda bad. Just a heads up.
Lowest I give is a 27. I use speaks only to award for round strat. I'll really nuke speaks if your comprehensibility impedes your arguments. I also will give a 27 if there aren't any cut cards given whenever new ev is not introduced.
It's a given that 2nd rebuttal has to collapse (if you don't, I'm not going to flow your rebuttal). 2nd rebuttal should not read any new DA/ADV (it's abusive).
Quality>>>Quantity ALWAYS. I will literally scream if y'all give me fire ev that is NOT MISCONSTRUED. If y'all know that y'all have good ev, don't rely on the author to do the work for you. I would want some clear warranting and implication of the response from the debater itself. I agree with the specifics Amogh mentions on his paradigm as well. If y'all do what he mentions, I'll be impressed.
If you do not collapse, I'm going to have a huge problem with that. I want summary to have a well-warranted narrative and to make the round very clear to me on what to vote on. Emphasize link weighing over impact weighing. Weighing should be fully developed – gives me a clearer picture of who to vote on. Don't say "vOtE fOr Us Bc We PrEvEnT NuKe WaR, KiLlInG eVeRyOnE iNcLuDiNg YoU jUdGe" – give a comparative with link level weighing. Impact-level should come later.
Summary is the round-deciding speech for me. Strat is really crucial. I truly believe summary sets the ground for final focus.
I strongly like it if Final mirrors what happens in summary (at least the warranting). If not, I'll have a problem with that. Nothing new in first or second final (if there's new in final, I will not evaluate it).
I prefer voters.
Feel free to ask any questions about my paradigm or my decision in your round.
I had my fair share of experience with some prog args when I debated. However, I'm not well-versed with the lit on non-t affs (race war) and ks (fem ks, cap ks) but I do know the basic argument structure for them. In my junior and senior yr, I slowly started to understand prog args but that was when I kinda had less of a commitment to debate.
I am fine with any link story that impacts extinction. Imo extinction args should be ran more in the circuit bc then it makes the debate more focused on the link level, hence more interesting for me to judge.
I was more inclined to econ-related args when I was debating (hence why I'm studying Finance), so I'm extremely picky when it comes to those args. I will instantly call BS if I know something in your arg is not true when it comes to that regards.
I am fine with analytics as responses. I have done that a lot and I really believe analytics that are well warranted>>>>500 pieces of ev that give me 0 warranting. I would obviously pref ev over analytics but if you give a very well-warranted analytic or simply just state the obvious, I would evaluate it. Don't feel intimidated to read analytics.
Time-prep stealing is something I hated, especially with online debate. I had the experience of my competitors in round to waste 30 minutes in a round compiling a full rebuttal against our case, using "my computer crash" as an excuse. To make rounds more equitable (especially for online debates), have cam on and stay unmuted if an actual tech issue occurs.
I'm fine with skipping grand-cross. It's literally a waste of time and I ain't trynna hear high schoolers ask questions about the same things they asked before. I'm also fine with flex prep and open cross (basically grand cross but for all cross-fires).
If you read Bradford, you better extend the internal link to it as well.
If you have me as your LD judge…it's lost bro it's lost.
I debated four years at Emporia High School and Washburn Rural High School (Kansas)—class of 1991. I went on to debate at the University of Texas for three years. I suppose I should be considered a traditionalist, but I don’t have any predisposition against more progressive styles of debate.
My judging experience is mainly from policy debate. I expect my approach to public forum debate will be similar. You tell me how I should view the round. I will default to a utilitarian calculus, but it is up to you to define how I should rank competing impacts and values. I view the competing teams as authors of their own worlds, and I must choose which world I prefer.
Debates that demonstrate substantial interaction with the positions of the other side are more interesting than debates that operate in independent universes. Strategically, conceding too much of the case debate leaves you fighting an uphill battle.
I was around during the early days of the kritik, but I don’t have a lot of knowledge of most of today’s kritiks. If you abandon the case debate to focus on a generic kritik with only tangential links to the affirmative you potentially relieve the affirmative of their burden of proof.
Tactics that will help you win my ballot:
Be intelligible. I’m not going to flow the emailed text of your speech. I’m going to flow what I hear you say in the round. Go as fast as you want as long as you are not sacrificing comprehensibility. The goal is to deliver an efficient speech that maximizes word economy.
Explain the implications of the arguments that you are winning. It’s not enough to win the argument. Explain how the argument fits into how you want me to evaluate the overall round.
Specifically counter your opponents’ arguments. Highlight the weakness of their sources, or of the logic of their sources’ assertions. I’m looking for a demonstration of your ability to think independently of your front-line blocks.
Evidence is a tool to support your arguments and analysis. I’ll give more weight to a logical, original analytic than a piece of evidence with thin reasoning.
It’s an honor to participate in this activity with you. Have a great weekend!
A little bit about me: I coach for Millburn High School in New Jersey. I completed on the circuit in high school and college.
I do my very best to be as non-interventionist as possible, but I know some students like reading judges paradigms to get a better sense of what they're thinking. I hope that the below is helpful :).
Overall: You can be nice and a good debater. :)
Here are some things to consider if I'm your Parliamentarian/ Judge in Congressional Debate:
- I am a sucker for a well-executed authorship/ sponsorship, so please don't be afraid to give the first speech! Just because you don't have refutation doesn't mean it isn't a good speech. I will be more inclined to give you a better speech score if you stand up and give the speech when no one is willing to do so because it shows preparedness.
- Bouncing off of the above bullet point, two things I really dislike while at national circuit tournaments are having no one stand up to give the earlier speeches (particularly in out rounds) and one-sided debate. You should be prepared to speak on either side of the legislation. You're there to debate, so debate. I'm much more inclined to rank you higher if you flip and have fluency breaks than if you're the fourth aff in a row.
- Asking the same question over and over to different speakers isn't particularly impressive to me (only in extreme circumstances should this ever be done). Make sure that you are catering the questions to the actual arguments from the speech and not asking generic questions that could be asked of anyone.
- Make my job easy as the judge. I will not make any links for you; you need to make the links yourself.
- Warrants are so important! Don't forget them!
- If you are giving one of the final speeches on a piece of legislation, I expect you to weigh the arguments and impacts that we have heard throughout the debate. Unless there has been a gross negligence in not bringing up a particular argument that you think is revolutionary and changes the debate entirely, you shouldn't really be bringing up new arguments at this point. There are, of course, situations where this may be necessary, but this is the general rule of thumb. Use your best judgment :).
- Please do your best to not read off of your pad. Engage with the audience/ judges, and don't feel as though you have to have something written down verbatim. I'm not expecting a speech to be completely flawless when you are delivering it extemporaneously. I historically score speeches higher if delivered extemporaneously and have a couple of minor fluency lapses than a speech read off of a sheet of paper with perfect fluency.
- Be active in the chamber! Remember, the judges are not ranking students based upon who is giving the best speeches, but who are the best legislators overall. This combines a myriad of factors, including speeches, questioning, overall activity, leadership in the chamber, decorum, and active listening (i.e. not practicing your speech while others are speaking, paying attention, etc.) Keep this in mind before going into a session.
- Please please please don't speak over the top of one another. This being said, that doesn't mean you have a right to monopolize the questioning time, but there is a nice way to cut someone off if they're going too long. Use your best judgment. Don't cut someone off two seconds after they start answering your question.
- I rank based on who I think are the overall best legislators in the chamber. This is a combination of the quality of speeches, questioning, command of parliamentary procedure, preparedness, and overall leadership and decorum in the chamber.
Let me know if you have any questions! :)
Here are some things to consider if I'm your judge in Public Forum:
- I am really open to hearing almost any type of argument (except K's, please don't run K's in PF)). Do your thing, be clear, and enjoy yourselves!
- Please debate the resolution. It was written for a reason.
- It's important to me that you maintain clarity throughout the round.
- Take advantage of your final focus. Tell me why I should vote for you, don't solely focus on defensive arguments.
- Maintain organization throughout the round - your speeches should tell me what exact argument you are referring to in the round. Signposting is key! A messy debate is a poorly executed debate.
- I don't weigh one particular type of argument over another. I vote solely based on the flow, and will not impose my pre-existing beliefs and convictions on you (unless you're being racist, sexist, homophobic, antisemitic, or xenophobic). It's your show, not mine!
- Please please please don't speak over the top of one another. This being said, that doesn't mean you have a right to monopolize the questioning time, but there is a nice way to cut someone off if they're going too long. Use your best judgment. Don't cut someone off two seconds after they start answering your question.
- Be polite!
- Make my job easy. I should not have to (and will not) make any links for you. You have to make the link yourselves. There should be a clear connection to your impacts.
- Weighing impacts is critical to your success, so please do it!
Any questions, please feel free to ask!
Hi! I’m really excited to be your judge today!
A few notes:
1. Sign posting is an absolute must. If I cannot follow you, that’s a problem.
2. No spreading, this isn’t policy debate.
3. I will reward you for being clear and impacting all of your claims. Tell me why this argument matters!
4. Be civil! I will give you low speaks if you are rude and talk over the top of one another.
5. Be clear on why you believe you have won the round. Evidence, Evidence, Evidence!
I debated in PF for 4 years and did Prose for 3 years and was my school's team captain for both events :)
2. Unless you are kicking case to go for turns/disads, Second Rebuttal has to respond to defense and turns that are read in the first rebuttal
3. pls weigh but don't start shouting random weighing mechanisms to me without clearly warranting
4. extensions are crucial!!!
6. summary and final should mirror each other
7. If you don't know what I'm referring to, don't worry! You can always ask me questions before the round, but essentially I want you to present your arguments convincingly and logically while adequately responding to the arguments of the other team
8. “If you at any point in the debate believe that your opponent has no routes to the ballot whatsoever i.e. a conceded theory shell/link or impact turn/ double turn/ terminal defense/, you can call TKO (Technical Knock Out). What this means is that if I believe that the opposing team has no routes to the ballot, I will give you a W30. However, if there are still any possible routes left, I will give you a L20." -Cara Day
9. I don't have too much experience with progressive arguments and honestly have no idea how to evaluate them so...
10. also pls dont spread
everytime you make a taylor swift reference I'll bump your speaks by 0.1 each time (0.25 if its a midnights reference)
I'm basically okay with anything you're comfortable with, just make sure you indicate your title/piece and keep track of your own time!
If you have any questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or just ask me before the round begins.
I did public forum debate for 4 years at Westlake (graduated 2022), qualified to the TFA twice and the TOC once. My email is email@example.com - include me on speech docs/email chains, which I prefer everybody sends.
Tech>truth. I can evaluate a flow
I don't have any topic knowledge but it shouldn't matter. Bring up everything you want me to know in speech.
Don't go too fast. I haven't debated for a while and was never great with too much speed, especially if you're unclear. I evaluate MY flow, so I can only evaluate the responses and weighing that I was able to hear and flow in round.
Don't say anything offensive or I'll tank your speaks and potentially down you.
Be respectful to everyone in round or I'll tank your speaks.
As far as progressive argumentation goes, I'm fine with theory and probably okay with K's (I ran a couple cap Ks but otherwise am not super familiar with any others, though I generally know how they work. also keep in mind I did PF). Friv theory is fine, but my threshold for responding to it will be lower than it would be for a regular shell. Extend all parts of a theory shell and the underviews that you want to be considered in summary/final.
Disclosure is good but I won't hack for it if you can't defend it. Paraphrasing is probably bad but I'm more lenient to it than a lot of judges and I won't hack for it if you can't defend it. Content/trigger warnings are good and it will be difficult to sell me on tw bad theory, but I won't hack for it if you can't defend it.
Second rebuttal has to frontline. Summaries have to extend everything you're going for (defense is not sticky) with warranting (NOT just card names and jargon) and should collapse. Everything in final needs to be in summary. You should point it out if your opponents bring up new stuff in final so that I can scratch it off in case I didn't catch on. With the exception of second constructive, arguments are dropped if they aren't covered in the next speech.
I presume by flipping a coin unless told to do otherwise in round.
I don't look at evidence unless I'm told to call for it/it becomes a major point of contention. Indicts need to have clear warranting.
PLEASE weigh. Your defense is probably not as good as you think it is and I will need weighing to evaluate the round. Strength of link is not a real weighing mechanism. Probability usually isn't either. If your opponent reads responses as "probability weighing" or does strength of link just point it out and tell me to scratch it off my flow so I don't have to evaluate it.
**Online update: if my camera is off, i am not there**
I think debate is a game with educational benefits. I will listen to anything, but there are obviously some arguments that are more persuasive than others. i think this is most of what you're looking for:
1. arguments - For me to vote on an argument it must have a claim, warrant, and impact. A claim is an assertion of truth or opinion. A warrant is an analytical connection between data/grounds/evidence and your claim. An impact is the implication of that claim for how I should evaluate the debate. debate is competitive and adversarial, not cooperative. My bias is that debate strategies should be evidence-centric and, at a minimum, rooted in an academic discipline. My bias is that I do not want to consider anything prior to the reading of the 1AC when making my decision.
3. framework - arguments need to be impacted out beyond the word 'fairness' or 'education'. affirmatives do not need to read a plan to win in front of me. however, there should be some connection to the topic. fairness *can be* a terminal impact.
4. critiques - they should have links to the plan or have a coherent story in the context of the advantages. i am less inclined to vote neg for broad criticisms that arent contextualized to the affirmative. a link of omission is not a link. similarly, affirmatives lose debates a lot just because their 2ac is similarly generic and they have no defense of the actual assumptions of the affirmative.
5. counterplans - should likely have solvency advocates but its not a dealbreaker. slow down when explaining tricks in the 2nc.
6. theory - more teams should go for theory more often. negatives should be able to do whatever they want, but affirmatives need to be able to go for theory to keep them honest.
7. topicality - its an evidentiary issue that many people impact poorly. predictable limits, not ground, is the controlling internal link for most T-related impacts. saying 'we lose the [insert argument]' isnt really an impact without an explanation of why that argument is good. good debates make comparative claims between aff/neg opportunities to win relative to fairness.
8. clipping - i sometimes read along with speeches if i think that you are clipping. i will prompt you if i think you are clipping and if i think you are still clipping i will vote against you even if the other team doesnt issue an ethics challenge.
9. 2nr/2ar - there are lots of moving parts in debate. if you disagree with how i approach debate or think about debate differently, you should start your speech with judge instruction that provides an order of operations or helps construct that ballot. teams too often speak in absolute certainties and then presume the other team is winning no degree of offense. that is false and you will win more debates if you can account for that in your speech.
10. keep track of your own time.
unapologetically stolen from brendan bankey's judge philosophy as an addendum because there is no reason to rewrite it:
---"Perm do the counterplan" and "perm do the alt" are claims that are often unaccompanied by warrants. I will not vote for these statements unless the aff explains why they are theoretically legitimate BEFORE the 2AR. I am most likely to vote for these arguments when the aff has 1) a clear model of counterplan/alternative competition AND 2) an explanation for where the
I would prefer that debaters engage arguments instead of finesse their way out of links. This is especially awful when it takes place in clash debates. If you assert your opponent's offense does not apply when it does I will lower your speaker points.
In that vein, it is my bias that if an affirmative team chooses not to say "USFG Should" in the 1AC that they are doing it for competitive reasons. It is, definitionally, self-serving. Self-serving does not mean the aff should lose [or that its bad necessarily], just that they should be more realistic about the function of their 1AC in a competitive activity. If the aff does not say "USFG Should" they are deliberately shifting the point of stasis to other issues that they believe should take priority. It is reciprocal, therefore, for the negative to use any portion of the 1AC as it's jumping off point.
I think that limits, not ground, is the controlling internal link for most T-related impacts. Ground is an expression of the division of affirmative and negative strategies on any given topic. It is rarely an independent impact to T. I hate cross-examination questions about ground. I do not fault teams for being unhelpful to opponents that pose questions in cross-examination using the language of ground. People commonly ask questions about ground to demonstrate to the judge that the aff has not really thought out how their approach to the resolution fosters developed debates. A better, more precise question to ask would be: "What are the win conditions for the negative within your model of competition?"
Kempner '20 | Stanford '24
or just facebook message me
4 years of PF, qualified to TOC twice
23-24 update: I haven't thought about debate in a minute, so the likelihood I know the intricacies of your arguments is low. However, don't hold back, treat me as tech judge, ask any questions beforehand.
- stop saying actor incentive analysis
***Update for Zoom Tournaments: Slow down on authors and tags in all speeches. If you are worried about speed, I'll take speech docs and follow along. Clarity>>>
dec '22 update:
Send case cards on the email chain so we don't have to wait a bunch for cards
Updates as of Jan '22 topic
- FOR STRAKE RR OR ANY RR: I WILL NOT EVALUATE PROGRESSIVE ARGUMENTATION UNLESS IT IS SOMEHOW RELATED TO THE TOPIC, i.e don't read disclosure or paraphrase bc you didnt do any prep (normal tournaments, do whatever, keep my progressive section in mind)
- Far too many teams are sacrificing warrants in exchange for technical victories. To win you must fully extend your argument, i.e the uniqueness, link and impact, with the warrants on each of those levels.
-send me your case docs and set up an email chain with your opponents(lets save time)
- if you debate without your computer auto 30 (in-person)
- if your tournament isn't running on Pacific Time, please be considerate on early rounds, it's super early out here
- if you are flight 2, preflow/flip/set up chains or docs before and be ready to start by the time flight 1 is over.
- Debate is a game so tech>truth
- Speed: go as fast as you want, if you’re going faster than I can process, I’ll yell clear once and then it’s on you. Also, the faster you go the more likely I am to miss something, so do that at your own risk
- Defense you want to concede should be conceded in the speech immediately after it was originally read
- a concession requires an implication of how the defense interacts with your argument not just "we concede to the delinks"
- I don't care if you sit or stand/wear formal clothes etc, all that doesn’t matter to me
- if i look confused, i probably am
- give trigger warnings- if another team does not feel comfortable with an argument, change it. you can argue whether trigger warnings are good/bad for debate/society, but don't proactively cause harm on someone else.
- defense isnt sticky
- Flex prep is cool and tag team speeches/CX is fine with me
- if ur down to skip grand for 30 seconds more prep (during the time of grand), i'm down
- absent any offense in the round, i'm presuming neg on policy topics and first on "on balance" topics
- Have fun. Do whatever you want to do
- For reference, here’s the link to our circuit debater page to see the style of arguments my partner and I used to read. (Look for Kempner BS)
- I prefer framing arguments to be read in case, i.e extinction/structural violence authors.
- Offense overviews in second rebuttal are annoying, but you do you
- I think you need to frontline in second rebuttal but do whatever you want to do, however,
- Anything not responded to in second rebuttal is regarded conceded
- Turns that are conceded will have 100% probability
- Caveat on turns. Like my friend Caden Day, I believe that If you extend a link turn on their case, you must also make the delineation of what the impact of that turn is otherwise I don't really know what the point of the turn is.
- case offense/ turns should be extended by author name, you'll probably get higher speaks if you do, it's a lot clearer for me
- do- “Extend our jones evidence which says that extensions like these are good because they're easier to follow"
- Dont do "extend our link"
- for an argument to be voteable I want uniqueness/ link/ impact to be extended
- please extend warrants, I don't want to have a flood of blippy and unwarranted claims on my flow at the end of your summary
- this also goes for arguments that are conceded
- First summary
- Defense should be extended but I’ll give slightly more lenience to your side if extended in final especially since the second speaking team already had a chance to frontline it twice. However at this point, it’s probably not terminal defense if it was originally, but it’ll at least mitigate their impact
- Second summary
- This is your side’s last chance to weigh, so if the weighing is not here then I will not evaluate any more weighing from your side
- Defense must also be extended
- Just mirror summary, extend uniqueness, link and impact.
- Don't make new implications on something that was never heard before, it’s annoying for me to go look back and see if you really said that, plus it’s just abusive
- Cross is binding, just bring it up in a speech though
- I'm most likely not going to be paying attention during cross, so don't mind any nodding/movements from me
- I know how bad evidence ethics are, however, I will only call for evidence if if the other team tells me to call for it
- If your opponents are just blatantly lying about a piece of evidence, call it out in speech and implicate what it means for their argument
- I’ve always been a firm believer that a good analytic with a good warrant beats a great empiric with no warrant. Use that to your advantage
- You’ll have a minute to pull the evidence your opponents called for before your speaks start getting docked
- Exception- the wifi is bad/something is paywalled and you have to go around it
- there are also a few hard rules when it comes to debate
- Speech times are set (4-4-3-4-4-3-3-3-3-2-2)
- Prep Time is set (3 minutes)
- I will vote for one team and one team only
- I will evaluate theory
- Shells I'd be more willing to vote on - Actual abuses that make sense (trigger warning, gendered language [I think this is more specific to competitors than to authors], DA's in second rebuttal)
- Shells I'd be less willing to vote on - Disclosure, paraphrasing, friv theory, 30 speaks
- if you read a small schools warrant and you're from a big school, you are getting a 25.
- Paragraph Theory works too, no need to get fancy if you don't need to.
- I err on the side of reasonability here, I think it's the only fair way for teams who aren't experienced with this stuff to be able to interact.
- I reserve the right to just not evaluate a shell.
- i will not evaluate K's with no link to the topic and tricks. I don't know how to evaluate this stuff and I also think these arguments are insanely exclusionary.
- K's with links to the topic are your best bet with me if you're gonna read these kinds of arguments
- at the end of the day, it's substance or you're scared. I think topical progressive arguments make a lot of sense and are good for the activity, reading stuff like the Good Samaritan paradox ain't it.
- Sam's Thoughts on progressive debate align really closely to mine, It's a long read but I think it definitely goes into a lot more detail than what I have here.
- Spread on novices- I understand you want the dub but remember you were also there at one point and also what good is beating a novice team you could’ve beaten anyways by spreading
- This includes reading disclosure/progressive stuff on novices
- Be toxic- meaning, dont be an jerk during round in general, don't start yelling/cutting your opponents off etc
- Say something that’s blatantly racist/sexist/misogynistic/ xenophobic
- having moving target warrants that change from speech to speech
- From cara’s paradigm ““If you at any point in the debate believe that your opponent has no routes to the ballot whatsoever i.e. a conceded theory shell/link or impact turn/ double turn/ terminal defense/, you can call TKO (Technical Knock Out). What this means is that if I believe that the opposing team has no routes to the ballot, I will give you a W30. However, if there are still any possible routes left, I will give you a L20.”
- if you call "harv*rd" Stanford of the East, you get +0.5 speaker points (this has to be if you had evidence from that organization, it cant just be random)
- I agree generally with Nibhan, Nilay, Raj and Abhi when it comes to general views on debate (tech specifics are on my paradigm)
- im probably not the best judge here, but most of the same norms apply (ask for specifics)
- if you are running progressive stuff, just slow down/explain and i should be fine, your signposting is gonna be insanely important
I am a lay-judge who does not tolerate kritiks, spreading, or generally just running performance. Thank you! :-)
hi! my name is devanshi (she/her), i'm a current junior at mcgill university (it's in montreal) and i debated policy at lexington before that. if you're reading this, i'm probably your judge.
if the round's about to start:
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- be organized - subpoints, good line by line, etc.
- tech > truth - if you win the flow, you win the round.
- p l e a s e be clear. if you don't think you can be clear, slow down a little: you're better off going at 80% speed where i can understand everything you're saying as opposed to 100% where i can understand maybe half. i'm not shy about asking you to be clear but tbh it's not a good experience for any of us so please let it not come to that.
- pf specific: speed is fine. theory is fine, progressive args are fine, identity args are fine: i'll vote based on what's on the flow; simply reading any of these arguments doesn't guarantee a ballot for or against you.
- my topic knowledge is p limited - i study microbiology + immunology, so i get epidemiology / pandemics / public health, but outside of that, assume my understanding is what you'd expect for ur average college kid
- please don't make arguments or engage in behavior that threatens the safety and wellbeing of the people in the room or marginalized folks writ large. this includes, but is not limited to: making racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic comments, deadnaming / (intentionally) using incorrect pronouns, saying slurs, etc. i will not tolerate it, and doing so will result in an automatic loss, laughably low speaker points, and a word with your coaches.
- if your opponents are making you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, please let me know! i believe every video conferencing system has a function where you can privately send people messages. you can also email me. similarly, if there's anything i can do to make your experiences better (including using correct pronouns, avoiding certain topics, etc.) please let me know in whatever way is comfortable for you.
- disclosure = good - show me you disclose, and i'll give you + your partner +0.2 points
- speaks are fluid and arbitrary, but i do my best to default to higher speaker points :')
- for pf specifically: i have 0 idea what defense being "sticky" is ??
other stuff / if you have more time:
- an aff has to do two things: 1) create change; 2) be tied to the resolution in some way. beyond that, i don't really care whether it's a k aff or not. either ways, you should be able to defend your model of debate.
- i won't meticulously comb through your evidence for you. if there's a specific card that's really good for you or damning for your opponents, point it out to me in round.
- kritiks --> i'm minimally familiar with antiblackness, cap, and feminist literature, but beyond that, assume i have a very basic understanding (except for pomo, in which case, i know literally nothing). either ways, i find jargon confusing + unnecessary - in my experiences, the best k debaters have also been the ones who could most clearly explain what their theories are and how they link to the aff
- i do my best to consciously distance my decisionmaking from any preconceived biases. that being said, here are the ones i won't budge on: death is bad, racism/sexism/homophobia/genocide/bigotry is bad, climate change is bad, cancer/disease is bad.
- impact calc <3
- i like when counterplans have a solvency advocate that's specific to what the text mandates.
- not a huge fan of dodgy politics disads; make sure they're extended well and supported by your evidence.
- try not to be aggressive?? especially to novices / younger debaters / people with obviously less power in the situation than you. if you need to make someone feel small to look better, you're probably not a good debater lol
- recommend me a book/show: if i've read/seen it, +0.1 points; if i haven't, +0.2 points; if it's one of my favs, +0.3 points.
- tell me how to vote in the 2nr/ar!
good luck, be nice, have fun! <3
I competed for ERHS Highschool in both the National and Minnesota circuit. I was kinda mid at debate but my partner and I were the drippiest debaters in ERHS history.
Add me to the email chain at email@example.com
It's been a while since I have debated, and this is my first time judging in a minute, just FYI.
(https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED165201) Tabula Rasa Judge. Weigh, give me good warranting. The defense is sticky if it is dropped in the second rebuttal. Extend your arguments with card names, warrants, links, and impacts in the back half. Weigh links and turns, defense, and pretty much everything else.
- I'll default 29.5 for the winning team and 29 for the losing team
Speed: I can handle some speed, however, I do prefer slower speed with deeper warranting. If you talk REALLY fast (spread) send a speech doc.
Extend Warrants, if you just say, "Extend Brands '19" I'm not going to extend the card for you. You have to actually extend the warrant behind the card. The same goes for overviews, under views, weighing, frameworks, theory shells, etc.
-I prefer fewer contentions with more warranting as opposed to like 4+ blippy contentions
- If you don't have warrants, there is no argument.
- I'm not going to flow or vote off anything said in the crossfire (honestly I'll prolly be on my phone) unless you bring it up in a Speech.
- I'm SOOOOO down for yall to skip grand cross and just take one minute of prep, if both teams agree. (I think Grand CX is usually a waste of time lol).
- Second rebuttal SHOULD FRONTLINE (I think it's the most strategic and easiest for the judge); any defense you don't frontline in rebuttal is sticky. AKA: Defense is dropped if it isn't frontlined in the second rebuttal.
- Implicate responses; I want good weighed and warranted responses rather than card spam
-Preferably give a line by line
- If you're speaking second, collapsing in rebuttal is strategic IMO
-If you are a Varsity debater, I would prefer if you do a "line-by-line"
- Weighing has to be in summary in some facet. I won't accept new weighing in FF that wasn't in Summary, unless its a response to your opponent's weighing.
- I need link extensions of your arguments and impacts
- Collapse PLEASE!!!!!!!!
-The same thing as summary pretty much; Try to mirror the structure of the summary
- No new implications or weighing that wasn't in Summary
-If you can, slowing down in FF is strategic
- I'll disclose rounds if I can.
- I personally don't LOVE progressive debate in PF, so running it is a bit risky. I debated at a smaller school and don't have that much progressive debate knowledge :(. I'll do my best to evaluate your arguments though.
-Progressive arguments still require warrants
- The off-case takes priority over substance debate
- I'm not going to look at evidence unless A. you ask me to or B. I feel that it's crucial to my decision
- I'm fine with paraphrasing if the evidence is not grossly misconstrued
- Don't send uncut evidence and ask your opponents to "Control-F".
- Try not to take TOO long to find evidence. I'll be a bit lenient ESPECIALLY if you're a newer debater, but if its takin you more than 5 minutes I'm just gonna scratch that card on the flow
Please be on time for check-in.
- Current varsity policy debater at Samford University (class of 24').
- 2022 ADA novice national champion, 2022 novice debater of the year, 2022 Front Royal Cup winner.
- 1 time NDT qualifier.
I prefer clear, slow speaking over fast, unintelligible speaking. With online debate, clarity is key. A lot of technology leaves failure points where I may miss something. I will be more likely to vote for the team that carefully explains their arguments over a team that provides more evidence but neglects warrants.
I will not vote for death good or warming good. Be prepared to get 25s and an L if you read them in front of me. Do real debate.
If I notice you are clearly clipping cards or are engaging in racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. remarks or behavior, I will vote you down. If you want to call out a team that you believe is clipping cards, debaters are innocent until proven guilty. Be prepared to have it recorded or have some other way for me to verify it.
Disclosure: Debaters should disclose. I am fine with disclosure arguments.
Judge kick: I will kick the cp for the neg if no one tells me not to.
Don’t ask me for a 30.
Tech > Truth with limits. A dropped argument is assumed to be contingently true unless it is obviously unethical or when I go back and read your evidence, it does not say what you say it does. I will read most of the evidence in round but if you're answering a specific argument/link/internal link with a generic, I won't always accept that without contextualization. If you leave it up to me to resolve an argument, you get what you get.
More specific thoughts:
I default to sufficiency framing. The Cp's viability as a winning argument is essentially a product of how much it resolves the aff's impacts and the magnitude of the NB. Also, if it is not 100% clear on the distinction between the cp and the plan, outline the differences for me. If the CP has no external net benefit-- it must solve better than the aff for some reason.
Be clear on the link level- this means I don't want you to just read cards on why you don't link-- I want an explanation. I will vote for a DA if I think there is a small risk of a link and a significant probability of an impact. I will not vote for a DA if I feel like there is not a significant probability of an impact, even if there is a small risk of a link. There are downsides to every policy-- it's the burden of the neg to prove why their impacts outweigh.
I'm most comfortable evaluating policy rounds, but I'm finding myself becoming more and more comfortable judging critical debates. Keep in mind that this is only my third year in debate, so it's better you just assume I know nothing about your literature base. I will vote for a K if it is specific and interacts with the Aff. I will not vote for generic Ks that are not explained well or lack evidence. Line-by-line is very important for these debates so don't just rely on cards. Unless told specifically otherwise, I assume that life is preferable to death. In order to convince me otherwise, you must prove that a world with no value to life/social death is worse than being biologically dead. My best piece of advice is that if you want me to vote for the K, you must prove how it SOLVES whatever the debate is about. If the K doesn't solve anything, expect an L. I think too often, Ks get away with cheap solvency. My only caveat here is that I am more likely to vote on bad rhetoric Ks/independent voters- these arguments are sometimes very convincing to me.
I am not the best person to judge a super in-depth T debate, but I'll do my best. I view topicality through the lens of competing interpretations, but I could possibly be persuaded to vote another way. I tend to have a high threshold for voting on T so if you are going to go for it, commit to it. T outweighs condo 98% of the time.
I lean neg on theory. Condo- good and key to neg flex, but it's a debate to be had. For me to vote on generic condo, there needs to be something egregiously abusive going on in the round. My only caveat here is that I am more likely to vote on contra condo. Going 5+ off with multiple contradictory conditional options is a voting issue for 2AC fairness and education. Any other theory argument I think is categorically a reason to reject the argument and not the team.
Please read a plan. Without a plan, often the thesis of the aff gets lost, which is super frustrating. This doesn't mean I won't vote for you, but if you decide to not read a plan just make sure that you thoroughly explain what the aff does.
PF & LD
Use an email chain with me on it. Do not drop line by line to summarize your arguments. I'm more likely to vote for the team that interacts with the other teams' arguments to accelerate their own. I'm fine with CPs, DAs, plans, etc. if you want to run them. Impact calc is a must and make sure you collapse down to your best arguments in the summary. Don't waste time on insignificant arguments you're not going for. You must explain the warrants of the evidence you read. I will not accept the extension of a tag. Lastly, I hate tricks and will vote you down if that's what you go for. Your speaker points will be awful too.
TL;DR mostly trad flow judge. Can judge circuit stuff, rankings go phil (NOT TRICKS PHIL)>LARP=K’s>theory>tricks, i did some PF in HS u can trust me for that as well
I do college debate (BP) which has increased my appreciation for reasonable debate (still tabula rasa tho).
I DO NOT KNOW THE TOPIC LITERATURE OR ANYTHING PLEASE DO NOT TREAT ME LIKE I DO
I don’t want to HAVE to flow off of the doc but put me on the email chain. It is firstname.lastname@example.org
I have adhd and thus some auditory processing problems so if you are a fast spreader go about 80% of full speed especially if it isn’t on the doc. If you’re a clear spreader a lot of problems go away lol.
Hey! I go by she/her pronouns. I’m an FYO who did pretty well at traditional debate and qualified to the TOC my senior year. Not gonna make my paradigm a list of accomplishments because that is lame, just know that I know how debate works.
General stuff (pls read at least this before you have me as a judge):
Round safety is a first priority for me. I had a really traumatizing situation in a final round because of the lack of trigger warnings. If it's a very egregious violation I don’t care if your opponent runs theory or not, your speaks are getting tanked and I may stop the round. This is stolen from my past debate coach’s paradigm (Eva Lamberson), who many of my debate opinions are stolen from, “If you are feeling unsafe in a round, please feel free to email or FB message me and I will intervene in the way you request.”
I like snarky and relaxed debate. If you make me laugh, that's a win. People need to be less afraid to add some spice to the round. Just don’t be mean. This includes being aware of societal imbalances in debate rounds, the level of snarkiness can feel very different based on different power dynamics.
I don’t care what type of argument you run as long as it isn’t offensive.
I try my best to be tabula rasa and tech>truth. Let me be tech by explaining why you win. To do the whole tech thing I want to do I need to know what the warrant is how it functions and why I care.
One more stolen thing from Eva here because I am too lazy to type my own version “Rounds should be accessible to your opponent. This means that you should, of course, use inclusionary language, correct pronouns, content warnings if necessary, etc. but also means that you should not spread complex Ks or tricks or anything otherwise unnecessarily high level against novices, lay debaters, etc. If you do this I will be supremely annoyed and you will be very unhappy with your speaks. What is the point of winning a debate round if your opponent never has a chance to compete?”
Tricks - They annoy me and I probably won’t catch them
Policy/LARP - Go ahead I understand it and like it. Please just do it well. Give me evidence AND give me warrants. If there isn’t analysis or reasoning and you spit cards at me I won’t be happy. I have no strong opinions on condo when it’s small amounts of cp’s but once it gets to like 5 I start thinking it’s defintely bad.
Kritiks - I actually quite enjoy K’s. BUT, I am not super well versed in them. I probably won’t know the nuances of your literature. I will happily vote off of basically any K if you explain it well. I still need the same things as for every argument, warrants and why I care. Performance and non-t stuff is on the table just be very clear about how it functions in the round. Don’t use non-t stuff as an excuse to not have warrants, use it as an excuse to be even clearer.
Phil - I ran some heavier frameworks in high school and feel pretty comfortable with a range of philosophy. Just don’t run it wrong, it will annoy me. Even though I will know a fair amount of philosophies, please still explain clearly to me how I’m supposed to use it to weigh the round. People apply things differently, if you just say your philosophy without explaining you can’t be mad when I don’t use it to weigh exactly how you want me to. So just tell me.
Theory/T - Use sparingly and be very clear. I have very minimal experience with theory and will get confused very easily. I will mess up judging complicated theory. I am not a good judge for you if this is your strat. I know and understand TW and disclosure theory well so those you can definitely feel comfortable running in front of me. If you are running any theory (it most often is disclosure…) as a time suck I will be very very very unhappy. This does not mean I won’t vote off of theory besides those two I listed. I just am not the best judge for evaluating the nuances of those types of rounds.
I find myself to be as flow as it gets for traditional rounds. I care about the warrants and interactions on individual arguments but make sure you tell me why I care at the end. Give me the claim warrant impact and why that impact matters the most under the framework of the round. If you give me those things you are on track for a win as so many traditional debaters are missing one of those things.
On framework, you can run any traditional framework in front of me. Call it like it is though. Don’t give some fake name to util that makes it sound like a completely different framework. Also don’t forget that framework is a lens to view the arguments in the round through, link your arguments back to framework please. I’m always extra happy to watch a traditional debater run an interesting framework in a smart and strategic manner!
Current Affiliations - competitor @ Washburn University: '21-Present, coach @ North Broward Prep: '22-Present.
Past Affiliations - Topeka High School: '17-'21
Don't be mean, this should be a fun event for everyone. People who are mean will be punished via lower speaks. People who are actively awful (discriminatory, violent, or hateful to no end) will be punished via a combination of lower speaks, an L, and a discussion with relevant coaches/adults affiliated with your school.
- Tech over truth until you say something morally reprehensible (actively perpetrating -isms and -phobias, primarily --- don't be an ass and you'll be fine, you'll know if you're approaching a line)
- Case debate is good
- Not biased towards K AFFs/Framework, just very inexperienced in competing in, or evaluating those debates.
- Do line by line
- depth > breadth - especially true with case
- gimme pen time when ur switching between flows/broad swathes of argument (e.g., moving from theory to substance, framework to the k flow proper, etc.)
I have found myself to have a decently high threshold for what I consider an "extension" to be. I think teams must coherently extend an advantage story/solvency mechanism throughout the debate (either via overview, or actually extending 1AC evidence on the line by line), and same goes for disadvantages/counterplans/critiques. Author names ≠ warrants.
Theory, topicality, and anything else that requires in-depth analytical debate should be done slower than other parts of the flow, I don't get how people think my magical fingers can type (or write) fast enough to catch 4 different 1-sentance standards within 5 seconds, but without slowing down here, odds are I'm missing some important stuff. The analysis that makes the most sense to me is articulating a vision of a debate round where your opponents interpretation is considered a "debate norm" and isolating reasons why that norm is bad, so explaining the impact story in that context is more likely to be compelling.
The 2NR/2AR should spend a decent amount of time answering why/how I sign my ballot for them. This can look like a lot of things, but I need to know what I am voting for, the key warrants/analysis that makes that argument a decision-maker, and answers to the central responses from your opponent. 2NRs should be "closing doors" on potential 2AR spins, 2ARs should be doing a bit more mechanical work responding to 2NR articulations of arguments. Final speeches need to still be technically sound, but I also think one's organization and ethos tends to stand out the most in the final speech compared to others.
Speaker points - you get what you get and don't throw a fit - I average around the 28-29 range, lower than that and I think you are struggling with some fundamental portions of the activity, above that you are probably doing a bang up job and (in my opinion) are deserving of breaking/low speaker award/etc. Asking me about speaker points/asking me to give you certain speaker points, probably results in your speaks becoming lower.
I DO NOT WANT TO BE ON YOUR GOOGLE DOC - WORD DOCs on EMAIL CHAINS OR SPEECHDROP PLEASE
email@example.com -- make an email chain and put me on it! doing this before the round starts = +.1 speaks
Below is a list of "non-negotiables" that if not followed, will be rewarded with not good speaker points/decisions for the team(s).
- evidence must bein the form of cards (see: policy debate), I've come to the point where paraphrasing is in my eyes nothing more than a fancy analytic. Proper cards are much preferred, and your speaker points are capped at 28.5 if you are not reading them.
- Teams must respond to opponents arguments, and extend their own arguments, in every speech, including offensive reasons to vote for their team. Preferably in line-by-line fashion.
- IF requested by a competitor, both teams/all speakers will not spread. While I understand the trend is PF being "policy lite" I believe if anything, it provides a chance for some accessibility in "higher echelons" of the activity, and will do what I can to help that. I will not be compelled by theory arguments/critiques about the nature of spreading, unless a request is made prior to the debate, for the sake of avoiding "gotcha" criticisms.
- Arguments must be extended in both summary and final focus to be considered on my RFD.. see whats below on flowing/line-by-line
- If evidence is being sent after speeches (not sending marked docs of what you didn't read after the speech), someone is taking prep time. I do not plan to wait and delay my decision/the tournament for 10 minutes of post 1AC/1NC evidence sharing
While public forum is intended to be more "communicative" than other formats (whatever that means), I do not believe that comes at the cost of technical engagement and argumentation. Competitors should be coherently responding to opponents arguments, in order, based off the flow. Flowing is good, and demonstrating that one can competently do it will be rewarded.
I am fine with policy tactics in PF (plans, counterplans, etc.), however the speech times and resolutions in this activity are most likely more conducive to whole-resolution focused debating more than anything else.
Extra notes -
There is no need to tell me how much prep time you plan to take.
You do not really need to specify in the "roadmap" anything more than which case/side you will begin on -- saying "ill start with links then do weighing and then make voters" is irrelevant and does not change how i flow arguments
Disclosure theory is quite often a bad argument when deployed in PF, if you plan to read theory, it should not take more than 30 seconds of your speech. I do not understand the "here is 2 minutes of theory offense" trend. If you plan to go for theory in your last speech, it should be the entirety of your speech. Procedurals (arguments about the nature of the debate round) usually come prior to questions of substance (offensive/defensive arguments within the debate round).
TOC Update: Must send speech docs and cards before every carded speech --> cases and rebuttal especially. This means your case (paraphrased is fine) WITH cards. If you don't, you get capped at a 27.5. If you do, you start at a 28.5.
Yes, I want to be on the email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org. Label email chains with the tournament, round, and both teams. Send DOCS, not your excessively paraphrased case + 55 cards in the email chain.
I debated 3 years of PF at Coppell High School. I am now a Public Forum Coach at the Quarry Lane School.
Standing Conflicts: Coppell HS, Quarry Lane, Brookfield East (2021-), Ransom RT (2021-)
If there are 5 things to take from my paradigm, here they are:
1. Read what you want. Don't change your year-long strategies for what I may or may not like - assuming the argument is not outright offensive, I will evaluate it. My paradigm gives my preferences on each argument, but you should debate the way you are most comfortable with.
2. Send speech docs. I mean this - Speaks are capped at a 27.5 for ANY tournament in a Varsity division if you are not at a minimum sending constructive with cards. If you paraphrase, send what you read and the cards. Send word docs or google docs, not 100 cards in 12 separate emails. +0.2 speaks for rebuttal docs as well.
3. Don't lie about evidence. I've seen enough shitty evidence this year to feel comfortable intervening on egregiously bad evidence ethics. I won't call for evidence unless the round feel impossible to decide or I have been told to call for evidence, but if it is heavily misconstrued, you will lose.
4. Be respectful. This should be a safe space to read the arguments you enjoy. If someone if offensive or violent in any way, the round will be stopped and you will lose.
5. Extend, warrant, weigh. Applicable to whatever event you're in - easiest way to win any argument is to do these 3 things better than the other team and you'll win my ballot.
Online Debate Update:
Establish a method for evidence exchange PRIOR to the start of the round, NOT before first crossfire. Cameras on at all times. Here's how I'll let you steal prep - if your opponents take more than 2 minutes to search for, compile, and send evidence, I'll stop caring if you steal prep in front of me. This should encourage both teams to send evidence quickly.
All arguments should be responded to in the next speech outside of 1st constructive. If is isn't, the argument is dropped. Theory, framing, ROBs are the exception to this as they have to be responded to in the next speech.
Every argument in final focus should be warranted, extended, and weighed in summary/FF to win you the round. Missing any one of these 3 components is likely to lose you the round. Frontlining in 2nd rebuttal is required. I don't get the whole "frontline offense but not defense" - collapse, frontline the argument, and move on. Defense isn't sticky - extend everything you want in the ballot in summary, including dropped defense.
Theory: I believe that disclosure is good and paraphrasing is bad. I will not hack for these arguments, but these are my personal beliefs that will influence my decision if there is absolutely no objective way for me to choose a winner. I will vote on paraphrasing good, but your speaks will get nuked. I think trigger warnings are bad. The use of them in PF have almost always been to allow a team to avoid interacting with important issues in round because they are afraid of losing, and the amount of censorship of those arguments I've seen because of trigger warnings has led me to this conclusion. I will vote on trigger warning theory if there is an objectively graphic description of something that is widely considered triggering, and there is no attempt to increase safety for the competitors by the team reading it, but other than that I do not see myself voting on this shell often.
I think RVI's are good in PF when teams kick theory. Otherwise, you should 100% read a counter-interp. Reasonability is too difficult to adjudicate in my experience, and I prefer an interp v CI debate.
K's/Non-Topical Positions: There are dozens of these, and I hardly know 3-4. However, as with any other argument, explain it well and prove why it means you should win. I expect there to be distinct ROBs I can evaluate/compare, and if you are reading a K you should delineate for me whether you are linking to the resolution (IMF is bad b/c it is a racist institution) OR your opponents link to the position (they securitized Russia). I think K's should give your opponent's a chance to win - I will NOT evaluate "they cannot link in" or "we win b/c we read the argument first".
I will boost speaks if you disclose (+0.1), read cut cards in rebuttal (+0.2), and do not take over 2 mins to compile and send evidence (+0.1).
Ask me in round for questions about my paradigm, and feel free to ask me questions after round as well.
I will never forget the day Shabbir saved me from the slums of India. I had grown up in a small village where opportunities were scarce and I was struggling to make ends meet. I was living in a tiny, cramped shack in the slums and barely able to afford the basic necessities for myself and my family.
One day, while I was scavenging for scraps to sell, I came across a flyer for a free workshop on entrepreneurship. I had always dreamed of starting my own business, but I didn't have the resources or the know-how to make it happen. So, I decided to attend the workshop and see what I could learn.
That's where I met Shabbir. He was the leader of the workshop and he had a wealth of knowledge and experience when it came to starting and running a business. He was kind, compassionate, and he truly cared about helping others succeed. He saw potential in me and he took me under his wing, teaching me everything he knew and providing me with the support and guidance I needed to get my business off the ground.
But Shabbir didn't stop there. He recognized that I had the potential to achieve even more and he encouraged me to apply to Hustlers University, a prestigious business school that could provide me with the education and opportunities I needed to succeed. I was hesitant at first, not sure if I was good enough or deserving enough. But with Shabbir's encouragement and support, I mustered up the courage to apply and, to my surprise, I was accepted.
Thanks to Shabbir's help, I was able to escape the slums and attend Hustlers University, where I received a top-notch education and gained the skills and knowledge I needed to succeed in the business world. And with Shabbir's guidance and support, I was able to turn my dream into a reality, starting my own successful business and leaving poverty behind for good.
I will forever be grateful to Shabbir for his kindness and his willingness to help me succeed. Without him, I don't know where I would be today. He truly saved me from the slums and gave me the chance to live a better life.
University of Chicago 26'
3x Nats, TOC, States Qualifier; Made it to some outrounds here and there.
I am tabula rasa when it comes to substance debate. I will be completely non-interventionist and vote of the flow/articulation of how your arguments interact on the flow.
If you tell me the sky is red and the other team doesn't contest that, its red. I think of debating as more of a game
- I'm ok with basic theory - paraphrase, new offense in second rebuttal etc
- Less familar with K's, but if you feel like you can explain them to me go for it
Do whatever your comfortable with, I can keep up with speed up to about 300 wpm, faster than that send a doc.
Be chill and don't get worked up in the round and just present your arguments the best you can without being rude.
"The subversive intellectual enjoys the ride
and wants it to be faster and wilder;
she does not want a room of his or her own,
she wants to be in the world, in the world with others
and making the world anew."
-Jack Halberstam, The Wild Beyond: With and For the Undercommons
I love debate. Enough to give it 6 years of my life and likely many more. I have made a point to engage in every format and have made pretty good progress in that goal. I love the tech of Policy, NFA-LD, NPDA, but do heavily enjoy rhetorical presentation in forms like BP or PF. I'm currently a college debater and am always learning new things, but I promise to listen closely, judge with as open of a mind as possible, and offer feedback to help you improve.
I view debate as competitive story-telling. Both sides are here to tell me a story about the topic. This effects how I view most questions in debate. As a quick outline toward earning my ballot, however, I care about three things:
1) The Contents of Your Arguments
2) Why they are Important
3) How they Compare and Interact with Your Opponent's Arguments
If you articulate to me these three things better than your opponent, I will very likely vote for you. Other than that, I want to hear your voice in the story that you want to tell. Please run the arguments and have the debate that you are most comfortable with, in the style that you are most comfortable with. I love new ideas and I love clash. If you can promise these two things, I will be entertained.
While like most judges, I will vote for an argument if it's clearly won, here's an FAQ list for how I tend to lean on different controversial issues in the community:
Tech -----x-------------- Truth
Good Analytic --x----------------- Bad Card
Contextualized links --x----------------- Uncontextualized Studies
While I appreciate the more rhetorical framework that PF is supposed to exist in, I like concrete impacts and a story for why those impacts matter and how they relate to the resolution. I love evidence comparison, impact analysis, and analytical examples.
I'm likely more open to theory or more progressive argumentation than your typical judge, but I love traditional argumentation as well. Tech isn't a tool for bullying or obfuscation. The burden of proof is on you to explain your argument to your opponents. If your opponents don't get your argument, that's your fault.
An argument needs a claim, warrant, and impact for me to consider it. This weird 'tricks' trend where teams sneakily toss in an independent line about voting for them isn't tech or line-by-line debate. It will only lower your speaks and my opinion of you as a debater.
I lift my pen up and stop flowing after the time for your speech runs out(I time independently).
Don't be rude to your opponents during Crossfire and allow the other team roughly equal speaking time(I keep track and it effects speaks).
Also when it comes to framing what's in the resolution/what it looks like, I am far more convinced by probability evidence("The Japanese Prime Minister says Article 9 Revision would be this") then debate theory analysis("this is the most fair ground for a debate"), please still make voter impact comparisons however if this ends up being the clash but I'd prefer to at least start in the lit base for determining what the resolution means.
On the "sticky defense" conversation. I like arguments to be extended in the summary. That being said, I don't need you to repeat word for word every argument made. For instance "extend our 5 points of defense on their first contention" would work well for me especially if you then contextualize those 5 points to the weighing.
On Kritiks, I'm honestly uncertain what that means in context of Public Forum debate. Can you make arguments or entire contentions based in "critical" theories of power? Absolutely!! In fact, when I debate in PF those are my favorite arguments to make. However, in PF you are explicitly given ground to defend which can run you into uniqueness problems. For instance, on the Japan Article 9 resolution, you can absolutely tell me that deterrence is part of a militarist mindset and even if it does technically "work" to solve an individual problem like Chinese aggression in the South China Sea that it creates a type of society or outlook that is very negative. This works because it makes sense to me on face that revising Article 9 would be a dramatic departure toward a militarist mindset/society then the Status quo. However, if you were to tell me that capitalism is bad, I'd agree with you but become confused as to how Capitalism would be any different between the squo and an article 9 revision. In plan-based formats like Policy this is solved by creating a counterplan(called an alternative) that shifts away from Capitalism but I'm unsure how you'd resolve the uniqueness issue in PF. However, if you think your argument makes sense in a PF paradigm, then I'd love to hear it.
I tend to agree that the magic of policy debate over other formats is knowledge production, I want to hear your learned perspectives on the resolution. However, I still would like to see lots of clash rather than a framework fight all day. My paradigm above still applies and so while your line-by-line needs to happen, I'd like to have an overall picture of what the world you've built through your evidence looks like and why I should or should not favor doing the plan in that.
Like most judges, I view the Negative as having the burden of rejoinder of a prepared affirmative opponent. What this means in practice:
Conditionality, I lean Aff. 1 CP and 1 Alt plus the squo is very reasonable for fruitful engagement over the Affirmative. Every added Counter-advocacy after that is exponentially more potential negative worlds added and I lean more to depth over breadth when it comes to clash and do believe complaints about time from the Aff can be very valid(Having only 30 seconds in the 2AC per CP for instance is often not a very productive debate).
I define dispositionality as "if there is offense on the shell, the Neg can't just kick it." it's my admittedly loose default view on disads and I could even be persuaded to apply it to CPs if the Aff put in the work. I will not reanimate turned Das though if they're not extended in the 1 and 2ar. You have to make the strategic decision to go for them. Also Neg, don't be afraid to run theory that Das should be fully conditional, it'll be pretty easy to persuade me unless Aff puts up a fight. I'd honestly be very interested if a dispo debate erupted in front of me and I could promise high speaks to everyone for making the leap.
On sneakier Counterplans like Consult, Process, Actor, Delay; I need direct solvency advocates to buy these as legitimate and I need an explanation of how they are functionally competitive. If consulting is a ten minute phone call from the President, I don't see why that can't happen while Congress passes the plan. If no one runs theory, then I'll take it for granted but I'd encourage your opponents to go for it
Perms are advocacies. While they are a test of competition, don't think of them as a point of terminal defense but an explanation of what the world with both the Plan and Counterplan would look like. If the Counterplan isn't at all competitive then the world is only better off, however, even if there is functional tradeoffs to the Perm, I could be convinced the net benefits outweigh.
2AR and 2NR collapses need to pick an advocacy and tell me why that is better. I will not judge kick a CP for you unless there is theory telling me otherwise. Same thing with the Aff, you get either the plan or a perm, not both. Your job in the last speech isn't to show how you've won the debate via a thousands cuts, but to synthesize all the elements in the debate and give me a clear story of why I should vote for you.
Kritiks: love 'em. Yes the German spelling should be used. Shanahan didn't fall in love with Heidegger and write tens of debate articles for nothing. However, a couple of things:
I have a good basis in critical theory(especially post-structuralism), this means I will likely know what your high theory jargon actually means. It also means I'm impatient for someone's misuse of high theory jargon as a bullying/obfuscation tactic. A story needs to be able to be read and thus kritiks need to be grounded in either examples or a clear-worded explanation. I will not vote for something that I do not understand and if your opponents do not understand it, I probably don't either. As a side-benefit, if I understand your kritik on a deeper level, I'll probably learn something about your literature or your perspective on the world and be that much more willing to vote for you.
I need something to give me uniqueness usually an alternative. Alternatives can be as simple as a re-orientation or be full counterplans, but if I buy they have questionable solvency, your kritik impacts become non-unique really fast. I think in some ways, judges let alternatives get away with murder when I think alternative solvency should be a serious consideration when it comes time to vote.
That being said, I believe in systemic causality way more than brinks and love root-cause argumentation. However, Serial policy failure means nothing unless contextualized to this Aff's policy.
Links should be specific and compelling. The more generic or nonspecific the link, the more convinced I am that a perm is net-beneficial. A link of omission unless under very specific circumstances is simply not a link. Framework will also majorly affect how seriously I take your link. If I buy material proximal causes are what I should care about, rhetoric becomes a lot harder to justify as important.
For the Affirmative on kritiks, specificity applies as well. If the Neg's position is that capitalism creates a harmful ontology, I don't want to hear about how capitalism has been good historically for material luxuries. I think kritiks can have this weird mystical aura where we just assume the Aff now has the burden of defending all of capitalism but that's often not the case. The more specific the defense of your plan, the more I'm likely to buy it.
Critical Affirmatives: I despise what's become known as the clash of civilizations. Identity/nontopical Affs are cool in some circumstances, I will vote on Neg framework in others. As a breakdown:
I think there is value to exploring the stories of the topic, despite the apparent focus of the community, I've always thought that the scope of the topic being defined as the USFG is dumb. However, I think a limitless topic is harmful to clash. The way I currently see it, debates are storytelling and topics are genres. The farther away from the genre your story is, the harder it is for me to learn about the genre or to see clash with opposing stories. The less germane to the topic you are, the easier it is for the Neg to convince me that clash and literature education have been lost.
It's unfortunate but I believe judges have to take t-usfg framework seriously so as to have predictable core generic for the negative. Therefore, neither team should expect me to do the heavy lifting for them in the framework debate.
Fairness is not a voter unless fleshed out. I'm unsure what fairness looks like in debate. By design it is an asymmetric game and in some ways, the different positions people find themselves in is very cool and educational. My worst fear for debate is becoming replaceable with AI that autogenerates cases. We are all different humans, with different styles, brains, and perspectives. I want to hear what is interesting to you.
For the Neg, Topical Versions of the Affirmative are awesome. If it's possible to access the Aff's library while being topical suddenly the Aff's offense will shrivel up. However, remember that social death is different from material death.
For the Aff, Framework for Clash is awesome. Providing a debate framework that still allows Neg clash and good educational debate to happen will start to evaporate the Neg's offense. Being able to provide Neg ground for engagement will do wonders for both speaks and overcoming ground and predictability standards.
Outside of framework, I would love Neg clash on the core of the 1AC. There's a lot of literature out there and a well-put together negative strategy on a critical affirmative would be at the very least rewarded with high speaks and seems like a much better way to win as well. Attack their assumptions, attack their methods, provide counter-advocacies. Tell me an alternative story.
Attached to this, if you choose to read an argument in debate, you've invited others to clash. The Aff chooses the conversation and have invited the Neg. I dislike the idea that 1ACs or certain parts of 1ACs are too personal to be involved in the debate. If that's the case, please save yourself the trauma and leave that out of the speech.
My threshold for dismissing "conservative" arguments is low. Especially if I'm not sure what a conservative even is anymore. If an argument wouldn't get a professor or teacher fired, I think it's educational to learn how to clash with it.
"No perms in a methods debate" doesn't intuitively make sense to me. With the caveat that I think that 1ACs should be bounded to their assumptions. If the Aff assumes social death is caused by libidinal investment in institutions, it feels weird that their advocacy would shift to include institutions without in some way having different solvency. Tl;dr I need an articulation from the Negative why one method of activism would trade-off with another.
For you debate historians out there: in the 2013 NDT Finals, I'd have voted for Emporia SW over Northwestern LV. In the 2002 CEDA Finals I would've voted for Michigan State CM over Fort Hays RR. Both were very close debates for good reason, but that's just how I fall as a judge in the way I currently see debate.
Theory: I love it. Then I hate it. Then I'm back to loving it again. It's an organized way of explaining that your opponents have somehow violated the rules of debate. I will admit that I have always felt policed by theory so run it at your own risk. That being said, if you win, you win. I have voted in favor of the interp more than the counterinterp despite my own embarrassment at that fact. I'd like to share some controversial or surprising takes I may have when evaluating arguments.
Standards are links, voters are impacts, and your interp is the uniqueness. I think there is a tendency of judges to not vote based on the flow and instead glaze their eyes over as if theory is just an invitation to listen to mechanical dialogue then vote up their personal favorite speaker. Though it may get messy, I will do my best to evaluate each theory shell as it's own flow.
Also theory is more organized way of making a traditional rhetorical argument around what should be allowed in debate which means I don't necessarily need someone to articulate the debate norm that's been violated as an "interp." More rhetorical substitutes such as "abuse" do just fine as long as I can trace your argument to a rule, a violation, and an impact to that violation.
"We Meets" are terminal defense as it renders the impact nonunique. I am tired of teams not taking the argument seriously and judges letting debaters get away with some of the worst interpretations I have ever seen. If your opponent is arguably topical within your interpretation, I find it hard to take your voters rhetoric seriously. If you are going to run theory in front of me please have a specific interpretation and violation. As for the Aff, if you want to be clever with the We Meet arguments then please do so. To me the violation is the most important part of the t-shell and I wish teams reprioritized it. IT IS A VOTING ISSUE! Expect me to take your interpretation and violation seriously. That part of the flow is my starting question for every theory debate.
include me on email chain: email@example.com
graduate of The New School, debated all four years, mostly a kritikal/performance debater, it has been said that my partnership's specialty was Marxism, started as a college novice, broke to elims at 2021 & 2022 CEDA Nationals + 2022 NDT qualifier, 1st team from TNS to qualify for the NDT, current first year law student at Rutgers Newark
majored in politics & economics with a minor in philosophy, which is to say that i read a lot of books in these areas and understand the basics of most theory.
BINGHAMTON NOTE:this is my first time judging the topic & have not been too involved with research so far (blame it on law school) so please take note of that!
- do your thing. don't stress too hard about adapting everything to me, this activity is for you so i'll come along on whatever journey you'd like me on.
- i do not care whether you sit or stand or how you're dressed, please do whatever feels comfortable for you. as long as i can hear you, i'll judge only on the words you say.
- tech > truth, but only by a little. i'll vote on the flow.
- i tend to lean K over policy, but that's mostly because i don't automatically default policy/extinction impacts.
- i don't flow cross-x.
- i flow on paper so please give me pen time!
- give me a roadmap—this should tell me exactly what order my pages should be in for your speech so i'm not flipping back and forth
- give me all the good impacts in your final speech- write the ballot for me. AFF, how do y'all resolve your impacts and why am i prioritizing them? NEG, where's the link and how should i be comparing your impacts with your opponents? give me an easy decision and spell it out for me, i'll probably take it!
- prioritize accessibility every round, please take measures to ensure everyone is able to participate in debate. this means sending evidence if you're spreading and respecting the needs of your opponents. check your speed— make sure taglines and analytics are clear enough for me to flow.
i have zero tolerance for racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, or any sort of discriminatory language or action in the debate space. the content of your arguments matter, don't run harmful or discriminatory things because you think it could get the ballot (it definitely will not). what we say in this space matters and the language we use matters. please make an effort to be respectful of your opponents, especially during cross x. i understand debate is stressful and adversarial in nature but do not belittle or be outright rude to one another, it's just not cool. be outright discriminatory or disrespectful to your opponent or partner, then be prepared for your speaks to suffer.
K DEBATERS HERE'S THE SENTENCE YOU'RE LOOKING FOR: i'm probably your guy for weird stuff— i love the kritikal and experimental so bring it on. love some performance in debate! this doesn't mean i can't be convinced by policy args or fw, but i naturally lean on the side that critique and subversiveness good/discourse matters type stuff.
T/FW: not my favorite of all time, but if you fully impact it out and cover the whole flow, i'll vote on it. i'm going to need more than procedural fairness as a voter on T, it's not an impact on its own. i'm also just not a huge fan of voting on T (because of my K debater sensibilities), but if you clearly win it i'll vote on it. + winning framework won't win you the round, it only gives me a lens to view the round through. if you win framework, i'll vote on whatever wins under that interp.
rule of thumb is that i'll vote for whoever is giving me the easiest time doing so. tell me what to do (y'know, nicely) and i will follow those instructions unless the other team gives me a compelling reason not to. pretty simple and i vow to do my best at not intervening as much as possible. above all, i want you to do YOUR thing more than i want you to adapt to me.
honestly, if you have time, just read Vik Keenan's (my former coach's) paradigm. pretty much all of my foundational knowledge about what debate can be came from Vik and this is just starting to sound a lot like her.
i'm a policy debater so most of my debate sensibilities come from policy debate. however, i'll keep my weird policy expectations out and i'm voting on the flow.
i try to be as common-sense as possible, just explain your args and win them and i'll vote for you. if there's some super technical LD-specific stuff you want to try, it probably goes without saying but i'm definitely not going to appreciate it as much as an LD person would.
i'm used to policy spreading speeds so i'm down to clown as long as the other side is cool with it as well (spreading can become an accessibility problem real quick and real easy). make sure you are CLEAR, i really want to be able to understand you! speed without enunciation is just straight-up impossible to evaluate. if you're looking for a K judge, same as policy, i'm totally your guy. i read books and stuff so if you want to go down a philosophy rabbit hole together, i'm totally down as long as you're still doing the explanation work you need to do throughout the round.
LD theory gets a little out of hand for my tastes. not to say i won't vote on theory or you shouldn't go for it, but try to go for substance first and don't blow up a tiny little theory thing. theory that's well-covered and well-explained throughout the round is cool and good, though.
set up the email chain before the round starts please! yes, i would like to be on it, my email's at the top.
if you're doing evidence comparisons, send me the evidence you're referencing! i know this isn't policy so it's not standard to send all evidence, but i would prefer having the evidence in front of me so i can actually read/compare it. in my opinion, just saying that an author says something doesn't really constitute strong evidence for me. i won't penalize you for not sending evidence à la policy debate, but don't expect me to weigh evidence without any of it in front of me.
i'm okay with speed as long as the other side is (please send a speech doc if you're about to spread). i do not care if you sit or stand or where in the room you want to set up, just do what's comfortable for you and i'll adjust myself if necessary.
just give me some good weighing and framing and i'll vote on the flow. make sure you're extending your impacts throughout the round and doing comparative work between you/your opponents impacts through the whole round, not just the final focus. give me the actual internal link story for your impacts—don't just repeat your statistics and impacts over and over again, tell me HOW your impact stories happen.
final focus should be my RFD—make sure you’re doing the work here to weigh both sides and write my decision for me. make sure there's no new arguments here and you're giving me a summary of what i should focus on in the round and why that means you win. you should be telling me 1. your impacts, 2. why i am prioritizing them over your opponents', 3. links to the case (on the CON), and 4. how you resolve your impacts.
good luck, have fun, make friends :)
Hey y’all I graduated Southlake Carroll in '22 and will graduate from Texas A&M in '26
Long story short you do you if you have any questions before round pls ask me!
I did this event for 4 1/2 years in high school. I'm cool with most things, I ran mostly policy arguments. I am good with CPs, DAs, topicality, most theory shells, and Ks (I would over-explain more complex Ks like Baudrillard, Deleuze, etc.). Definitely not good for tricks and extremely frivolous theory shells.
For online tournaments go about 70% speed, online makes it laggier and harder to hear. I will yell clear twice and then after that ask that you slow down.
I did this event in my senior year of high school! I liked it a lot, since I come from an LD background I am probably going to be more technical than not. I like weighing in this event :). I don't mind definition debates but there should be obviously two different models competing AND solid warrants.
Not my main event put PLEASE send cases before the round starts. Setting up an email chain halfway through the round is time-consuming and delays the round. Theory in this event is (generally) fine, and so are Ks.
Speak slowly and clearly. Whatever I can note down is likely what I will remember when I cast my vote.
Before using abbreviations, say the full phrase or name. Assume I have never heard the abbreviation before.
Don’t use highly technical terms. I am unlikely to understand them.
Assume I have no knowledge on the topic.
Lexington High School 2020/Northwestern 2024
Before the round starts, please put me on email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org(no pocket box, and flashing is ok with no wifi)
Scroll down for PF/LD paradigm
TLDR: tech over the truth but to a degree. (no sexist, racist, other offensive arguments) You do you, and I'll try to be as objective as possible. Aff should relate to the topic and debate is a game. Just make sure in the final rebuttal speech you impact out arguments, explain to me why those arguments you are winning implicate the whole round.
2022 season: I have absolutely no topic knowledge on this year's topic so expect me to know nothing and make sure you explain the stuff in a very detailed yet not convoluted manner.
The long paragraphs below are my general ideas about the debate
Top Level Stuff
1. Evidence -- I believe debate is a communicative activity, thus I put more emphasis on your analytical arguments than your cards. That being said, I do love good evidence and enjoy reading them. I think one good warranted card is better than three mediocre ones. I am cool with teams reading new cards in all the rebuttal speeches. A good 1AR should read more than 3 cards and don't be afraid to read cards in the 2NR. I believe that at least one speech in the block should be pretty card heavy, otherwise it makes the 1AR a lot easier. I will read the tags during rounds for the most part and read the text usually after rounds, but I won't do the extensive analysis for you because you should have already done that in the round.
2. Cross X is incredibly important to me and I flow them---I find it extremely frustrating when the 2N gets somewhere in 1ac cx, and then the 1N doesn't bring it up in the 1NC. Winning CX changes entire debate both from a perceptual level and substance level. Use the 3 minutes wisely, and don't ask too many clarification questions. You can do that during prep.
3. Be nice -- Obviously be assertive and control the narrative of the debate round, but there's no reason to make the other team hate the activity or you in the process. I am cool with open cross x but you should try to let your partner answer the questions unless they are going to mess up.
4. Tech over truth, but to a degree- If an argument is truly bad, then beat it. Otherwise, I have to intervene a ton, and I prefer to leave the debating to the debaters. However, I'm extremely lenient when one team reads a ton of blippy, unwarranted, and unclear args( quality over quantity). The only real intervention is when I draw the line on new args, but you should still make them and somehow convince they aren't new.
5. Pay attention to how I react in-round --I will make my opinion of an argument obvious
6. Make 1AR as difficult as possible. I know a lot of 2Ns want to win the round by the end of the block. However, that doesn't mean you should just extend a bunch offs terribly. In response, the 1AR should make the 2NR difficult- reading cards and turning arguments.
7. Please please have debates on case. I understand neg teams like to get invested in the offs, but case debate is precious. A lot of the aff i have seen are terribly put together, especially at the Internal Link level. Even if you don't have evidences, making some analytical arguments on why the plan doesn't solve goes a long way for you. I vote on zero probability of aff's ability to solve so even when you go for a CP, you should still go to case so I would have to vote you all down twice to vote aff.
8. Impact/Link Turns-- love them; i don't care how stupid the impact is(wipeout, malthus, bees etc), as long as you read ev and the other side doesn't argue it well, I will vote for you. As for link turn, I don't really need a carded ev for that, just nuanced analytic is sufficient for me to buy them.
9. Be funny-debate is stressful and try to light up the mood. Love a few jokes here and there, but since I am someone not invested in pop culture too much, some of the references I probably wouldn't get. If you do it well, your speaker point will reflect it.
10. Speaks- I am very lenient on speaks. I just ask you to slow down on the tags and author name and any analytical args but feel free to spread through the text of the card. I love any patho moments in the final rebuttal speeches on both sides. Here are how I give speaks
29.7-30: A debate worth getting recorded and be shared with my novices.
29.3-29.6: You are an excellent debater and executed everything right
28.7-29.2: You are giving pretty good speeches and smart analytics
28.5-28.6: You are an average debater and going through the process. I begin the round with that number and either go up or down.
28.0-28.4: You are making a few of the fundamental mistakes in your speeches or speaking unclearly.
27.0-27.9: You are making a lot of fundamental mistakes and you are speaking very unclearly
<27.0: You are rude ie being mean to your partner, opponents, or me (hope not).
Clipping card results in automatic 0 speaks and a loss, but I won't intervene the round for you, you have to call out your opponents yourself. If one team accuses the other team for clipping, I will stop the round and ask the team if they are willing to stake the round on that. If the team says yes I will walk out with the recording provided by that team and decide if the cheating has happened or not. A false accusation results in an automatic loss of the team that got it wrong. Spakes will be given accordingly.
Now on arguments
Yes, love them(Idk if there is anyone who doesn't like a good DA debate) -- go through their ev in the rebuttals; this is where i would like a team to read A LOT of evidence on the important stuff. You can blow off their dumb args, especially the links.
Zero Risk is very much a thing and I will vote on it.
If the 1ar or 2ar does a bad job answering turns case and the 2nr is great on it, it makes the DA way more persuasive -- and a good case debate would greatly benefit you as well.
Politics is OK -- fiat solves link, da non-intrinsic are arguments that I will evaluate only if the other team doesn't respond to them at all. However, I do want to see good ev on why the plan trades off with the DA.
I think it's best to have a CP and DAs together because there are just a lot more options at that point. If you really wanna just go for the DA, you need to have a heavy case debate up to that point for me to really evaluate the status quo since most of the aff are built to mitigate the status quo.
CPs and theory
I dislike process CPs-- I really don't like these debates -- I've been a 2n as well as a 2a, but I will side with the aff - this goes for domestic process like commissions as well as intermediary and conditional that lurk in your team's backfile. However, I have a soft spot for consult CP (my first neg argument). Just make sure you do a great job on the DA.
States, international, multi-plank, multi-actor, pics, CPs without solvency advocates are all good -- i'll be tech over my predispositions, but if left to my own devices, I would probably side with aff also
Condo -- all depends on the debating -- I think there could be as many condo as possible. but I also believe zero condo could be won. Still, my general opinion is that conditionality is good and aff teams should only go for them as a last resort.
I will read the solvency evidence on both sides. Solvency deficits should be well explained, why the solvency deficit impact outweighs the DA.
I don't like big multi-plank CPs, but run it as you like and kicking planks is fine
Judge kick unless the 2AR tells me otherwise.
I have some decent knowledge with a lot of the high theory Ks, but I am probably most well versed in psychoanalysis. That being said, I do want you to explain to me the story of the k and how it the contextualizes with the aff well in the block. Don't just spill out jargons and assume i will do the work for you. A good flow is important. What happens with alot of K debates is that at some point the negative team just give up on with ordering and it's harder for me to know where to put things. Any overview longer than 3 minutes is probably not a good idea but if that's your style, go for it, just make sure you organize them in an easy to flow manner. I probably will do the work for you when u said you have answered the args somewhere up top, but i would prefer the line by line and your speaker point will reflect how well you did on that.
FW should be a big investment of time and I think it's strategic to do so. That being said, you have to clearly explain why the aff's pedagogy is problematic and the impacts of that.
I am meh with generic links, just make sure you articulate them well. That being said, most of these links probably get shielded by the permutation.
Alt debate is not that important to me. I don't believe a K has to have an alt by the 2nr. I go for linear DA a lot, but make sure you do impact calc in the 2nr that explains why the K impact outweighs the aff. For the alt, I would like the aff to read more than just their cede the political block, make better-nuanced args.
I am probably not the best judge for these kinds of aff but I will evaluate them as objectively as possible
The aff should defend the hypothetical implementation of a topical plan. At the very least, the aff has to have some relationship to the topic. I want the offense to be articulated well because many times I get confused by the offenses of these affs. I think fairness is absolutely an impact as well as an I/L. I default to debate is a game and it's gonna be hard to convince me otherwise.
I think the ballot ultimately just decides a win and a loss, but I can be convinced that there are extra significances and values to it. That being said, I have seen a lot of k aff with impacts that the ballot clearly can not address.
Not a big fan of these debates and never have been good at it.
From Seth Gannon's paradigm:
"Ironically, many of the arguments that promise a simpler route to victory — theory, T — pay lip service to “specific, substantive clash” and ask me to disqualify the other team for avoiding it. Yet when you go for theory or T, you have cancelled this opportunity for an interesting substantive debate and are asking me to validate your decision. That carries a burden of proof unlike debating the merits. As Justice Jackson might put it, this is when my authority to intervene against you is at its maximum."
On this topic specifically, I dislike effect Ts
These debates are boring to me and I will side with the aff if they are anyway close to being Topical, and that's usually how I have voted.
Reasonability = yes
I feel like most of the policy stuff should apply here. I never debated LD but I have judged quite a bit and I almost always see it as a mini Policy round.
I am more tech than truth, but I will absolutely check on evidence quality to make sure your warrants indeed support your claims. Feel free to run whatever arguments and I am willing to vote on any level of impact as long as good impact calc and weighing is done. If you have strong evidence you shouldn’t worry. I will not evaluate anything that’s not in summary by the final focus. And also please don’t stop prep to ask for another card. Ask for all the cards you want in the beginning and you will see plus on your speaks.
last updated: 9/24
conflicts: Clear Lake MK, Downtown Magnets SS, Jordan KV, Jordan VS, Heritage WT, Liberal Arts and Science Academy AB, Liberal Arts and Science Academy AR, Liberal Arts and Science Academy RX, Liberal Arts and Science Academy OX, Oak Ridge AA, Rock Hill DG, The Woodlands SP, Unionville AS, William G. Enloe PD, William G. Enloe RN
Hi! I'm Ammu (they/them/thems), I'm a second year at Texas (competing). In the past summer, I taught at the UTNIF and TDC.
For full disclosure, I do have ADHD (and a likelihood of the 'tism from recent updates from therapy...), so the way I think about debate arguments may be distinct or different from neurotypical people. However, I'm very amenable to my thoughts and my evaluative measures for debate surround relational and functional approaches (i.e: think interactions between arguments, winning offense/defense zeroing out, etc).
Other than that, I'll vote up anything barring a few exceptions:
2] "Racism/sexism/[insert] good"
3] Arguments without a warrant
I believe debate is a communication activity that has norms agreed upon from thousands and thousands of speeches and debates. Each debate constitutes a performance act that adheres to the speech times governing the activity.
At some levels, this activity is very insular and resistant to producing "spillover change", which in of itself can be a good thing. However, a lot of people's first exposure to sociality of change and activism is through this activity, which means the activity benefits from discussions of those topics from former debaters creating change, whether its adhering to the legal systems of the status quo or producing newfound communal resistance to institutions, I'm cool for any spin to your rhetoric.
My ballot does absolutely nothing but endorse the communicative aspect of your speeches to be more persuasive than the other team's rhetoric, and consequently, to vote up the "better debating". It does not signify material change, nor make any descriptive claims about the characters of anyone. You can make arguments for what better debating looks like, but I'll default to my own subjective understandings, if nothing else.
An argument requires a claim, warrant, and an impact. Asserting something as true without explaining why (or contextualization of why you can assert something as true) will be a hard sell in front of me. For example, I don't think I'm a good judge for "tricks debate" that relies on drops being automatically true, or K debate where I have to believe a theorization of the world is automatically true, barring any sort of comparative analysis done.
Data is tenable to critique and can be optional at times, but the other three are required for me to vote up anything. Data doesn't trump all, but given two equal positions, better argumentation/testing can be found with data that has clear and concise warrants. Data can be skewed, misrepresented, or have illogical bases. It is your job as a debater to make it clear why the methodology/epistemology of their data is bad.
Here is a brain dump of things:
- the ld prefs (based on what people will pref me for):
1] larp, k
2] theory, also cool here for larp/k
3] phil (kant/util v anything)
4] tricks, denser phil
- textual and functional competition is awesomesauce - aff teams need to use it more in LD to takeout bad process CPs
- perms are a test of competition between the squo and the CP, usually not an a new world advocacy, though it could be justifiable against alternatives
- if you insert rehighlighting, at the end of the debate i will read that card as well as any others that are contextual to my understanding in relation to the argument in question
- if you're clipping and your opponent doesn't notice, i don't plan on intervening in context to wins and losses, but take some hints: i will probably say clear up to three times and you will see me holding my pen away from any flow paper. I think if you clip through a substantial amount of cards, i will straight up refuse to flow and you'll be very sad to wonder why I didn't evaluate.
- i think if you can't respond to an "anti-intellectual" argument (see: "5G radiowaves causing cancer"), then maybe you should lose?
- the "K of cap" is dope - i think Escalante is sort of a mid alt though I'm not convinced electoral systems are chill like that, people's war is gas
- i've read lots of lit bases, here's the list if you care: Cap, Grove, Beller, Spivak, Psychoanalysis, Settler Colonialism, Security IR, Caste Studies, Munoz, Wilderson, etc. Most of these literature I have a pretty good understanding content wise, but I will probably need their debate application explained more to me.
- (mostly) all your Ks are just building upon sociological/psychological explanations of various philosophers and thinkers
- meta-weighing is fantastic in LD and will award you my praise and speaker point allotments if you do this
- i think the revolution will probably need specific affective infrastructure and places for various groups and beings to play integral roles in making that happen - however can be convinced of the opposite that its all a ruse to never accomplish anything
- i lean neg on T-fwk - clash is awesomesauce and all the K affs that are like "debate bad" need to have a fantastic answer as to why clash doesn't matter or that if they have a model of debate, clash is non-uq to the squo
- neg teams should punish bad LD affirmatives with bad internal links to their impacts - I feel more than happy evaluating zeroing out offense for the aff if the evidence looks like it was taken from the 2000s era backfile and plastered together into a file like a scrapbook
- deleuze hurts my brain, please be cautious and overexplain it for me
- i think some "tricks" can be educational like logic puzzles (ie the LSAT/law often utilizes these things). things like the principle of explosion and then reading unfunny spikes and NIBs copied for the past 5 years is not it and i will consider it warrantless
- the scholarship from Nebel T sets you up to be like the person on tiktok who makes bird languages to read the navy seal copypasta in it - take that as you will.
- Spread as much as you'd like - but I am following along and will yell out clear
- blue highlighting => green highlighting > yellow highlighting > weird purple highlighting
- i like pettiness and competitive drive, make it entertaining and I will shower with speaks :<
- prep ends when you send the doc
- go ahead and read your intrinsic tests to a DA - i want to see some chaos this season
- theory restarts make me sad - uplayering and choosing a shell is the equivalent of shooting a shotgun at a target far away - i would rather you win 1 argument really well! :>
- i'm now convinced that meta-theory is poop and you're better off going for an RVI or just reading your own shell and uplayering
- pre-fiat and post-fiat is near incoherent
- impact turns are awesome but don't double turn yourself!!
- im pretty oblivious to philosophy in LD other than the strains of Kant and Util at most, i have a pretty good understanding of things like bindingness, tjfs, phenomenology, etc but you're gonna need to explain
Eagan High School, Public Forum Coach (2018-Present), National Debate Forum (2016-2019), Theodore Roosevelt High School, Public Forum Coach (2014-2018)
Also technically my name is now Mollie Clark Ahsan but it's a pain to change on tab :)
Always add me to your email chain - email@example.com
I consider myself a flow judge HOWEVER the narrative of your advocacy is hugely important. If you are organized, clean, clear and extending good argumentation well, you will do well. One thing that I find particularly valuable is having a strong and clear advocacy and a narrative on the flow. This narrative will help you shape responses and create a comparative world that will let you break down and weigh the round in the Final Focus.
Good and clean warrant and impact extensions are what will most likely win you the round. Extensions are the backbones of debate, a high-level debater should be able to allocate time and extend their offense and defense effectively. Defense is NOT sticky- with an additional minute in summary, defense that is unextended is dropped.
Ethical use and cutting of evidence is incredibly important to me, while debate may be viewed as a game it takes place in the real world with real implications. It matters that we accurately represent what's happening in the world around us. Please follow all pertinent tournament rules and regulations - violations are grounds for a low-point-win or a loss. Rules for NSDA tournaments can be found at https://www.speechanddebate.org/high-school-unified-manual/.
Speed, Speaking, & Unconventional Issues
- I can flow next to everything in PF but that does not mean that it's always strategically smart. Your priority should be to be clear. Make sure you enunciate so that your opponent can understand you, efficiency and eloquence in later speeches will define your speaks.
- Please be polite and civil and it is everyone’s responsibility to de-escalate the situation as much as possible when it grows too extreme. Do not yell. Understand your privileges and use that to respect and empower others.
- Trigger warnings are appreciated when relevant
- I'm learning to live with theory. It's not my favorite thing to see, but I'll consider whatever arguments you make.
Speaker Point Breakdown
30: Excellent job, you demonstrate stand-out organizational skills and speaking abilities. Ability to use creative analytical skills and humor to simplify and clarify the round.
29: Very strong ability. Good eloquence, analysis, and organization. A couple minor stumbles or drops.
28: Above average. Good speaking ability. May have made a larger drop or flaw in argumentation but speaking skills compensate. Or, very strong analysis but weaker speaking skills.
27: About average. Ability to function well in the round, however analysis may be lacking. Some errors made.
26: Is struggling to function efficiently within the round. Either lacking speaking skills or analytical skills. May have made a more important error.
25: Having difficulties following the round. May have a hard time filling the time for speeches. Large error.
Below: Extreme difficulty functioning. Very large difficulty filling time or offensive or rude behavior.
Background: Currently, a coach for Liberty University, where I also debated for 4 years, NDT and CEDA octofinalist, and 2021 CEDA Top Speaker. Started by doing traditional policy args, moved to Kritical things, and ended as a performance debater with most of my arguments starting with black women and moving outward such as Cap, AB, Set Col, and so on). started debate in college as a novice and worked my way to Varsity so I do have a pretty good understanding of each division. Also, I'm a black woman if that wasn't obvious or you didn't know lol
I’m here for the petty and I stay for the petty I will vote on the petty but there is a difference between petty and mean I won't vote on mean it makes me very uncomfortable
Judging wise (general things)
How I view debate: Debate is first and foremost a game, but it’s full of real people and real consequences so we should keep that in mind as we play even though it’s a game that definitely has real-life implications for a lot of us.
Facial Expressions: I often make facial expressions during the debate and yes they are about the debate so I would pay attention to it my face will often let you know when I vibing and when I’m confused
Speaker points: --- totally subjective I try and start at 28.7 and then go up and down based on a person’s performance in a debate ---- in the debate, it becomes a trend to ask for higher speaks which is fine but if your gonna do that you best not suck or I will automatically give you a 28.3, also I feel like you need a justification for asking for those speaks outside of a speaker award --- I try to be nice and fair here
Speed: Don’t risk clarity over speed I’m not straining my ear to make sense of mus
Dont go far when the debate is over I tend to know my decision when the debate ends
If you are gonna email questions later pls let me know so I can keep my flows I often throw them away I wanna be to help but its hard for me to answer your questions after the fact if I don't have my flows
Debated a lot of K's, read a lot of K’s as a debater I don’t know every K in existence but with a thorough explanation and well execution, I will probably be fine.
I have a larger threshold for the K because I expect you to explain the linked story and the alternative with warrants so don't assume that just because I know the theory means you don't have to put in the work for the ballot. Links should be contextualized to the aff - please don't restate your tags and author but pull lines from 1ac/2ac. I would also warn against just running a K because you think I'm only a K debater (it’s obvious and annoys me just do what you do best)
I like performative links, not personal attacks. With performative links, just make sure to give a warranted analysis as to why I should vote on it and what the impact is.
Love them is one of my favorite parts of the debate I enjoy the creativity of these!! I do prefer K aff's to be in the direction of the topic or make some attempt to include a discussion of the resolution, but if you are not, then at least give me a warranted explanation as to why you have chosen that route. Those that are on the topic of the resolution, have a clear impact and solvency story. Many times, debaters will get so caught up in the negative arguments that they lose sight of what is important...their aff! So, make sure to keep a storyline going throughout the entirety of the debate.
When you get into FWK/T debates, extend and explain your counter-interpretation. What is your model and why is it good? That plus impact turns = an easy ballot from me.
I think a lot of K teams assume reading your aff is good in debate is gonna do something very big on K aff’s having a reason on why their aff in the debate is good.
It's a strategy that is read against K aff's, it's a strategy tbh I enjoy and am more sympathetic to than most would think. My personal outlook - debate is a game but it has real impacts that can help or harm certain individuals. While it is a competitive strategy, I do not think it is an excuse to not engage the affirmative because most of the time, your lack of engagement is what the aff will use to link turn the performance of reading fwk.
PSA - fairness is not an impact... at best, it’s an internal link. Unless the aff has no justification for their aff, then you got a good chance of getting my ballot by reading fairness. I find it most compelling when you prove in round abuse.
I think a TVA is a must. No, it does not need to solve the entirety of the aff because that is neg ground, but it should be able to solve the main impacts they go for. Lastly, defend your model of debate and explain why it would be better for the debate community writ large. If you are only focusing on one round, then explain why that is better.
Lmao these are things that exist in debate too…
Das I would say make sure you have a clear and warranted link story and awesome impact calc.
And CP’s I’m open to all CPs kinda think of CPs in the context of having a net benefit and how does the CP solve the aff? It's also nice if your CP is competitive...
I think theory is procedural make sure you explain very clearly and slowly what the violation is and why that matters...if you are going to go for theory, I expect the 2n or 2a to spend a good amount of time on it which means not just 30 sec or 1 min.
Policy Affs v K:
Engage the K!Too many times policy teams just write over the K with their fwk thinking that is the only work they have to do but it's just like debating a DA or CP. Do the link work and the more specific answers you have to the alt, the better position you are in. Don't just say Perm DB or Perm aff then alt, but really explain what that means and looks like in the world of the aff. I think you do need fwk to get to weigh your aff but that is all the fwk will get you which means don't forget to extend your aff and the impact story. A really good way to engage the K is to prove how the plan not only outweighs but resolves the specific impacts.
How to get better speaker points with me
Be nice, be funny, be personable
Organized docs and speeches
Mention Scandal/Olivia Pope whom I love in your speech I will bump your speaks like .4
Ohhh and for the black folks ask for speaker points and ye shall receive lol I might not be able to always give you the ballot, but I can give you a 30
A 2NR/2AR with judge instruction is literally the freakin best thing ever
-Consistent arguments/logic (do the arguments you use have consistent logic with others you use? Are you arguments cohesive?)
-Thoughtful research/well-chosen examples (not as many examples as one can think of, just your best/strongest)
-Civil tone/respect between debaters/good sportsmanship
-Limited amount of logical fallacies (goes back to first point, but figured I'd include it; if you can avoid them altogether this is preferable)
-Good/relevant crossfire questions and responses (also keeping consistent with your team's overall logic/argument)
-Weigh your arguments/impacts in the second round! (This helps me frame how I'm meant to think about your evidence and strengthens your view)
Not Looking For:
-"Spreading" or any "speed" debating (I am not specifically trained in this style of debate, nor do I find it beneficial in the long-run; watch your speed––it's just as important that your judge/audience can fully parse/absorb your arguments/info as it is to fit every piece of information in)
-Redundant/repetitive arguments or contradictions in your own information/logic (ties into the above points on having consistency and well-thought-out examples)
-"Dancing around" the question (particularly noticeable in crossfire exchanges; there is no shame in admitting to not knowing something/needing more research to be done on a given question; you're not running for high office so no need to circumvent direct/clear answers to things)
Debated for Rowland Hall (~1 yr on the circuit), West HS (1), and Brookfield East (1).
Add me to the chain firstname.lastname@example.org
TL;DR debate is a game
I learned from the goat Arunabh
- send evidence read in speech to the chain for a bump up in speaks, same goes for open-source disclosing and not paraphrasing
- don't delay the round so just preflow before round
- if you read like a 4 contention case I'll be sad, sole contentions tend to have better depth of argumentation.
- DAs/Overviews in PF are very scummy so if you read a DA make sure it actually interacts with some level of the argument (preferably link).
- weighing should be started in rebuttal -- it makes for the most fun debates imo.
- Fine with speed if it is cut card spreading just send a doc if above 275 wpm and slow down on tags and author names.
- do not spread 250+ wpm if you paraphrase it just makes me wanna cry bruh cause its a 4 minute speech scattered with 50 cards and blippy warranting.
- I'll yell clear.
- slow down in final
- even though I don't like paraphrasing I'll still evaluate paraphrased ev.
- misconstrued evidence is struck off the flow but depending on the severity it can warrant an L
I believe that disclosing is good (here's how to) and paraphrasing is bad but I won't necessarily hack for either.
- If you read disclosure theory I expect open source disclosure with tags, highlights, and cites/creds. I'll evaluate OS v Full-text debates.
- If you read paraphrasing theory I expect you to tag, not just read the cut (the vacancy of tags just leads to more blippy args which doesn't abide by one of the common justifications of the theory)
- default to competing interps and no RVIs
- Read trigger warnings for obviously triggering subjects
- severance is bad -- explain kicks or turns are fair game
- kritiks are ok especially topical ones (please not cap k though). Make sure you have an alt that isn't "reject the aff." I don't really like judging these rounds though.
- no tricks
- theory spikes are kinda wack but I'll evaluate them
hi, im jasper! i debated in high school and read every argument you could think of when debating! add me to the email chain: email@example.com, and contact me on facebook if you have questions :)
my only unwavering bias in the round is that debate is good. that is not to say our current model of debate is good or your method of debate is good, but just that debating, in general, is a good thing, and more people debating is a good thing. to that end, please read content warnings with opt-outs, be respectful to everyone, and try to be as ethical as possible. i do not care what arguments you read or how you present yourself, just that you make well-warranted arguments and compare them to the other arguments in the round.
second rebuttal needs to answer everything from first rebuttal that you plan on collapsing on. defense isn't sticky.
30 speaks if you open-source disclose with highlights.
debate is a communication activity (especially pf), so i can handle speed but im not flowing off a doc.
i presume neg.
dont read anything -ist, read arguments without a warrant, be overly technical on novices/debaters who are out of their depth, or read identity positions against debaters who share that identity.
ask any other questions if you have them :)
My name is Marcus, please just call me Marcus or judge if you are not comfortable using my first name. I use He/Him pronouns.
I competed in PF for 4 years from 2007-2011, winning PA states in 2010. I am a physicist by trade and have two cats who may make an appearance on camera. This will be my first time judging PF virtually, so please go easy on me. However, I have plenty of experience judging in person. Don't worry, I will flow the round.
Feel free to talk quickly, but please do not spread at me. If I miss an argument in your speech due to speed, it will be missed unless brought up at a later time. It is the obligation of the speaker to make sure I am able to follow the arguments. That being said, I do not care what you argue as long as it makes sense and is articulated well. You have a bunch of evidence to show something? Great. You outweigh your opponents impacts? Awesome. You're running a K? More power to you. Just make sure you do things well.
After the round, I am happy to share my flow. Please just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will gladly pass it on to you. When I was debating, I learned the most from judges who disclosed after the round. I am happy to give feedback between rounds. I believe I am obligated to say that I will not disclose the results of the round.
Hello! My name is Tim (Sim Low's league partner), and you can call me by my name.
Everyone should understand that although debate is a competitive activity, it should still be one that is enjoyable. Winning is great, but please relax and enjoy your round.
I competed mainly in Public Forum as the second speaker and in Lincoln-Douglas as well as in some Forensic events (Impromptu and Original Oratory) during high school. My high school team competed mainly on the VHSL district level, where I won speaker and team awards. I now currently compete in College Parliamentary at Johns Hopkins University, where I major in neuroscience on the pre-med track.
For other inquiries such as questions about your round, how to improve, etc., you can reach me at email@example.com.
The most important thing in any debate round is asking "why." Every debater should always ask why their argument is being said and why it is even important in the round. Please do not give me bare statements that are simple reiterations of what your research says. Remember to always warrant, mechanize, and impact/weigh your arguments.
I can, and will, follow speed; that does not mean, however, that you should speak at an incomprehensible pace. I will say ‘clear’ or ‘slow’ up to three times - if you fail to adapt, I will flow what I can and whatever I cannot will be missed. I realized that there are some of you guys who speak at >500 wpm; this is absolutely insane for me, so please slow down or you risk me not catching and flowing what you say, which will be reflected in the RFD.
I am very strict on debate being inclusive and equitable. If you even, at the slightest, include any rhetoric that is prejudiced or bigoted towards your opponents, you will automatically be given a loss with the lowest speaks possible. Trust me, I have done this in the past and will continue to do so as it makes my job easier. Likewise, please do not be rude to each other during the debate, particularly during the cross-examinations/rebuttals. I understand that aggressive debates exist; however, if I find that you are being excessively, and persistently, disrespectful, I will dock your speaks. Lastly, please disclose on time. I hate voting on disclosure because I want to hear what you guys have prepared. However, if your cases are not disclosed on time and there is a disclosure argument that has substantive warranting and weighing, I will end up voting for it at the very top.
I will happily answer questions after the round, but I will not tolerate being yelled at by you or your coaches. As much as I love feedback from you guys, please do not post-round me in bad faith. If you decide to post-round me, trust me that my decision will not change. My RFD will be comprehensive enough that when I explain it to tab or whoever I must explain it to, they will also agree with my RFD and stick with my decision.
I believe that the two most important skills in Public Forum are 1) comparative analysis and 2) weighing. What this looks like is comparing the two worlds and showing me why your world is better or showing me why your arguments are the most important for x, y, z reasons. Please also look at the internal links! If you fail to do so, then I will adjudicate based on what argument I believe to be winning, and I can promise you that it will not work in your favor.
I likewise believe that having cards with proper citations is extremely important. If you assume that I will not catch you, I promise you that I will. When I enter a round, I expect all debaters to not cheat. If you do not have proper citations or if you even attempt to misrepresent research, I will drop you with the lowest speaks possible. With this in mind, please send me all your cases and any evidence you intend to read prior to starting your speeches. Yes, I mean all. If you opt out of this, I will assume that you have made up every single card that you are reading and drop you on the spot. In the extreme case that both teams do not send me their cases, have improper citations, or misrepresent research, I will ask Siri to assign the win. I take this very seriously, and I hope you all do too.
If you are inefficient in sending cases, cards, or any forms of evidence when requested, I will start your prep time; if it becomes excessive, I will deduct speaker points. I understand that internet issues exist, but this should not be taking you anything more than a couple minutes at most. I have had too many rounds where the round went past the tournament time by 15-20 minutes, and this not only takes away my time, but also delays the tournament. It really is not hard to have everything prepared before each round starts, so please spend a couple minutes after pairings drop to ensure that you have everything ready.
I have two new pet peeves in this format. The first is when you guys tell me that "you are going to collapse on x argument because it was dropped" and then subsequently do nothing. Just because there is an argument that is dropped and you say "you are going to collapse on it" does not mean I will auto-vote on it. You still need to show me why you are collapsing on that argument, why it is important, and why it outweighs any other arguments that your opponents bring up. The second is when you guys tell me that "this is frontline" or that you guys are going to "extend this." If you do not tell me why you are doing these things or why these things matter in the round, then I will not care.
Over time, some of you guys have been trying to include arguments from other formats into Public Forum. Look, if you want to engage in K debates, then go switch your format to Policy. I am unsure as to why you want to include such arguments in a format that traditionally does not include them; I promise you that you are not doing something unique by bringing in these arguments. Theory is permissible and has always been okay in this format, and that is theory when it pertains to violating basic rules, misrepresenting research, improperly cutting cards, and so on.
At the end of the day, please do not make me do extra work. If you are going to make a claim, warrant, mechanize, and impact it out. If you are going to go for any argument, delineate everything to me. What this looks like is going from step one of an argument and showing me all the steps in between to reach step five of the argument. You should never give me one step and then jump to the conclusion without delineating to me how you got there. If you fail to do so, I will not be upset, but sad... very sad.
I will be very honest; Policy is a relatively new format for me. Although I believe that I have become a more experienced Policy judge, especially in the K debate, I am nowhere near as good as the top judges that you have seen on the circuit. I will change this once I know that I can be a proper judge for you all.
I know that many judges include in their paradigm specific preferences for how certain arguments should play out; for example, a judge may describe their preferences regarding CPs, DAs, theory, topicality, and so on. For me, I genuinely do not care about which arguments you run, as long as they are all properly explained. What this looks like is running Cap K and telling me your arguments, why you link, and why it matters in the round that you are in. Just treat me as a lay judge and explain everything to me.
Lincoln-Douglas has changed a great deal since I have participated in this event. I still know, to a great extent, the many philosophers that Lincoln-Douglas debaters cite and use in their arguments. However, I do not know much about truth-testing, tricks, combo shells, and paradoxes. If you have me as your judge, you need to either 1) include cards about the basics behind these arguments and why you are using them in your round or 2) avoid them. Take the time to explain them to me and I will be more than happy to go back and understand them so that you can still use such arguments. Otherwise, you can treat the round like any other Lincoln-Douglas round.
When I judge, speaks always start at 28.0. Depending on how the round goes, I move up or down. I do not see the need to explain what constitutes a high score versus a low score, but here is a short description on what your speaker scores should mean to you when I judge you. If you get a 29.5-30.0, I am clearing you and expect you to break. If you get a 29.0-29.4, you did well and I believe you can break if you are in a bubble. If you get a 27-28.9, you performed as expected. If you get anything below a 27, you did something terrible and I had no qualms docking you. Please do not be the first debater that I have given below a 27 to. Most importantly, I do not, and will not, entertain any speaks theory.
If you have made it to the end of my paradigm, congratulations are in order. You can make a joke during any of your speeches and I will bump up your speaks by 0.1 and possibly 0.2. Please enjoy your round and have fun!
CONGRESS PARADIGM IS BELOW THIS PF Paradigm
ALMOST EVERY ROUND I HAVE JUDGED IN THE LAST 8 YEARS WOULD HAVE BENEFITTED FROM 50% FEWER ARGUMENTS, AND 100% MORE ANALYSIS OF THOSE 50% FEWER ARGUMENTS. A Narrative, a Story carries so much more persuasively through a round than the summary speaker saying "we are going for Contention 2".
I am NOT a fan of speed, nor speed/spread. Please don't make me think I'm in a Policy Round!
I don't need "Off-time roadmaps", I just want to know where you are starting.
Claim/warrant/evidence/impact is NOT a debate cliche; It is an Argumentative necessity! A label and a blip card is not a developed argument!
Unless NUCLEAR WINTER OR NUCLEAR EXTINCTION HAS ALREADY OCCURED, DON'T BOTHER TO IMPACT OUT TO IT.
SAVE K'S FOR POLICY ROUNDS; RUN THEORY AT YOUR OWN RISK- I start from ma place that it is fake and abusive in PF and you are just trying for a cheap win against an unprepared team. I come to judge debates about the topic of the moment.
YOU MIGHT be able to convince me of your sincerity if you can show me that you run it in every round and are President of the local "Advocacy for that Cause" Club.
Don't just tell me that you win an argument, show me WHY you win it and what significance that has in the round.
Please NARROW the debate and WEIGH arguments in Summary and Final Focus. If you want the argument in Final Focus, be sure it was in the summary.
There is a difference between "passionate advocacy" and anger. Audio tape some of your rounds and decide if you are doing one or the other when someone says you are "aggressive".
NSDA evidence rules require authors' last name and THE DATE (minimum) so you must AT LEAST do that if you want me to accept the evidence as "legally presented". If one team notes that the other has not supplied dates, it will then become an actual issue in the round. Speaker points are at stake.
In close rounds I want to be persuaded and I may just LISTEN to both Final Focus speeches, checking off things that are extended on my flow.
I am NOT impressed by smugness, smiling sympathetically at the "stupidity" of your opponent's argument, vigorous head shaking in support of your partner's argument or opposition to your opponents'. Speaker points are DEFINITELY in play here!
1: The first thing I am looking for in every speech is ORGANIZATION AND CLARITY. 2. The second thing I am looking for is CLASH; references to other speakers & their arguments
3. The third thing I am looking for is ADVOCACY, supported by EVIDENCE
IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS IS A SPEAKING EVENT, NOT A READING EVENT! I WILL NOT GIVE EVEN A "BRILLIANT" SPEECH A "6" IF IT IS READ OFF A PREPARED SHEET/TUCKED INTO THE PAD OR WRITTEN ON THE PAD ITSELF; AND, FOR CERTAIN IF IT IS READ OFF OF A COMPUTER OR TABLET.
I value a good story and humor, but Clarity and Clash are most important.
Questioning and answering factors into overall placement in the Session.
Yes, I will evaluate and include the PO, but it is NOT an automatic advancement to the next level; that has gotten a bit silly.
I am a former PF Debater who graduated high school in 2018.
Some things I think you should know about me:
- While I did well on the National Circuit (won 5th and then 3rd at nationals, won Florida Bluekey in 2017, deep outbound runs at other tournaments, etc.) I haven't interacted with debate much since graduating. This means I'll be slower at flowing and more of a Flay judge than anything else.
- I'm probably not the guy to run some crazy theory with, but if that's your bread and butter or you're very confident in it, I'll give you a shot.
- I don't necessarily care about disclosure theory so run it at your own risk.
- At the end of the day I care about your warrants and I'd place myself in the dwindling truth > tech camp. The way I see it, what you're arguing needs to make sense and be self-consistent. With that said don't be afraid of a judge intervention situation unless what you're saying is egregiously wrong or misleading.
- Related to this first point (added this post-Glenbrooks because of an in round situation), I am very much annoyed at the tendency of PF moving towards people using blippy cards that don't say what they say it says. If you notice that a team is misconstruing their evidence or outright lying about what their cards says, call it out. I will read the evidence after the round and if the evidence was critical to their case, I will no longer weigh that argument. If the misconstruing is so aggregious that it completely altered the flow of the round, I will likely drop the offending party. Don't take this to mean you need to call for a million cards during the round and try to make the debate about the ethics of the evidence. I prefer rounds that are clean with clash and give the benefit of the doubt to debaters that their cards say what they say. However I am also aware that there are many situations where cards are construed in the wrong way and I believe that these situations are antithetical to the point of debate. So if you see this happening in your round, call it out and I'll read the card.
Background - PhD in science and engineering (materials, chemical)
Debate judge for a few years - judged middle school and high school debates
I will flow the round
tech > truth
clear/structured > compiling/spreading
cards/logic reasoning > buzz words/waving hands
Public speaking > screen reading
Respect to other team > aggressive
Get permission first > say sorry later
I value clear and concise arguments and responses with strong cards or logic reasoning. Compiling/spreading is not encouraged.
If your opponent wins one link in a link chain, then you can not use your impact. Make sure that the links are for your side in order for your impact to stand.
Make sure that your impacts are clearly stated. I do not want to guess what your impact is. Tell me what it is clearly.
If you give me a framework, tell me why the framework should be there. Explain why the framework works in the resolution and why the framework will benefit the round.
I will not view what you say in cross-fire for the actual debate unless the point is brought up in speeches.
In rebuttal, if you are planning to respond, give me clear signposting on what your response is. Don't just repeat your contentions again as that is not responding to what your opponent is saying.
Make sure you extend your contentions throughout the debate. In summary, you should extend your contentions and collapse if you want. I want weighing in summary on the impacts. Tell me why your impact is more important than the opponents' impact.
I value probability > magnitude and scope. If something will not happen, then there is no magnitude or scope. Make sure you prove that your impact has a probable chance.
I want voting issues in final focus to help me understand your main arguments. Tell me what is important in final focus so I know what to judge off of.
I am a lay judge with limited knowledge of the debate topics. Please speak clearly and at a reasonable rate of speed.
I like well organized arguments with supporting citations and evidences. Please have the full original cards available to share in case they are requested.
I am familiar with the PF format. I will time speeches, cross ex, and prep time. I expect the debaters to time themselves as well. How well the debaters manage their time is one of my criteria to judge the debate.
hey! i'm katheryne. i debated natcirc for whitman for 3 years, and now am a sophomore in college and assistant coach at taipei american school. i will flow and can evaluate whatever.
**if you are going to read theory in front of me, please read the bottom of this paradigm very carefully!**
my goal is to make rounds safe and inclusive, so if you're not sure what any of this stuff means, please ask me before the round! for email chains my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- will always start evaluating with the weighing debate, if there's no weighing or it's unresolved i will have to intervene in some way.
- claims need warrants. evidence that makes a claim with absolutely no warrants is less valuable than a smart analytical warrant for me.
- all arguments must be responded to in the next speech (minus second constructive responding to first). stuff can't get conceded and responded to later, including weighing.
- super willing to default against a team that doesn't extend a link. i need a link extension in summary and final focus. point it out if your opponents don't.
- i think the best debaters are ones that build a narrative and still engage well on the tech (which is my way of saying poor spreading, short extensions, and a bunch of underwarranted blippy frontlines are not the way to my heart nor my ballot). my favorite debates are pretty quick techy substance rounds that still have lots of warranting and very clear ballot directive language in the backhalf.
- speed is fine but i strongly prefer if i don't need your doc to flow. speaks are capped at a 28 even for perfect strategy if i have to stare at my screen to flow your speech in this communication activity.
- i like engagement and clash, which means i don't like disads. i prefer you read turns that actually engage with their link. i also think that defense (terminal and mitigatory) both get a bad rap. i love defense! read it! use it as weighing! if they have a bigger impact that you're mitigating by 90% apply that to the weighing debate and win it.
can i read xyz in front of you?
- experience: by the end of my career, i read everything from substance w/ framing, theory, IVIs, ks with topical links, and non-t ks w/ performances. i consider myself decently comfortable evaluating all of them. clarity and good explanations are king. be clear about my role as a judge.
** if you are reading any theoretical or otherwise unconventional argument on a novice/local circuit team that clearly does not know what is going on, i may pick you up if you win the round, but i will give you the lowest speaks i can. reading structural violence arguments while reproducing structural inequality in round is not hot!! **
i won't evaluate any arg that is exclusionary. bigotry = L + as few speaks as i can give you.
stolen from my lovely debate partner sophia: DEBATE IS ABOUT EDUCATION, FEEL FREE TO USE ME AS A RESOURCE.You are always welcome to ask questions/contact me after the round. My Facebook is my name (Katheryne Dwyer) and my email is email@example.com.
theory section sigh:
- i honestly hate most theory debates and DO NOT TRUST MYSELF TO BE A GOOD ENOUGH THEORY JUDGE TO EVALUATE COMPLEX ONES.i am definitely, definitely not your optimal theory judge.
- I've never judged a theory round I could not describe as frivolous. if your round seems like it's threatening to evolve into a tornado of crap I am extremely open to evaluating under reasonability.
- theory must come in speech after abuse!
- RVIs DO NOT REFER TO ARGUMENTS WHICH GARNER OFFENSE. an RVI would be to win bc you won a terminal defensive argument on a theory shell. I will still vote on a counter interp or a turn on theory EVEN IF NO RVIs IS WON.
- you need to extend layering arguments, ESPECIALLY if there are multiple offs! i will not default to give you theory first weighing or a drop the debater!
- in general, i refuse to give you shitty extensions on theory warrants just because you think i may know them. saying "norm setting" is not enough, explain how you get there and what it means.
- i will not vote on an out of round abuse UNLESS it happened between last round and this round (ie they're not disclosed from last round and not breaking new). if you ask me in r7 to correct an abuse that happened in r1, that means they could be dropped for it forever and i'm unwilling to set that precedent.
- will not vote on needing to content warn a structure!!!! they don't need a content warning to say "misogyny" or "racism" --> but totally will vote on needing to content warn depictions of violence to varyingly graphic degrees.
- I WILL NOT VOTE ON ROUND REPORTS, OR OPEN SOURCE VS FULL TEXT. IF A TEAM READS THESE ON YOU IN FRONT OF ME, SIMPLY SAY "AS PER YOUR PARADIGM DROP THEM" (i probably won't do it unless you call it out though).
k debate :0:0:0
i think my experience reading ks has encouraged people to think that i really love k debate and am happy to vote for it. this is not the case! i actually think most k debate happening in pf right now is disappointingly bad. in some ways i think i am probably the worst judge for a k because i am both not as competent as someone who has spent years reading/teaching them, and not as excited/willing to vote them up as someone who never read them at all. this is all to say please do not assume i am excited to see a k debate.
if you are going to do k debate though, here are some thoughts i have: i like ks with topic links infinitely more than non-t ks. straight up i am just not a good judge for anything non-t. your link should be specific, that's cool! how does X piece of evidence (or even better X narrative which is shown in Y way in ABCD pieces of evidence) display the assumption you are critiquing! the same beg for specificity also goes for the impact debate.way too often in PF k debates, you hear something like "their link is the X evidence which assumes the US government having power is good. the impact is imperialism which means extinction!!!!" to avoid this trap, explain precisely how your link gets to your impact, and prove that the causality is not in the other direction! also, the way alts function in pf is hyper event specific and is probably a good enough reason in itself that this isn't the activity for k debate tbh. you do not get to just fiat through an alt because you're reading a k and everyone is confused! if your alt is a CP and you can't get offense without me just granting you a CP you will not have offense! i think alts that rely on discourse shaping reality are fiiiiiiiiiiiiine i guess but i prefer alternatives that make a tangible change to the mindset of the round. i am open to different ways to see my ballot - to align myself or not with a protest, to decide which conception of reality i see as more correct, or really anything! but i am equally open to arguments about topicality that say it is not just a question of whether or not you have a topical link, but also the way you frame discussions of the topic in certain scenarios can make it non-topical -- harms/benefits resolutions being explicitly reframed is an example. i love perms! read more perms!
finally, some no-gos. having read all of these things, i am iffy on how good the following things are: links of omission, discourse generating offense, and reject alts. what we call IVIs are mostly underdeveloped and silly. the lack of structure seems to equal a lack of warrants. only time i'm open to this is calling out specific instances of harmful language.
Harvard Update: Get to your rounds on time and have preflows done by the start of round-- if you are late I won't have time for feedback and might get annoyed.
If you are sick, don't come near me please, or at least wear a mask.
Pet Peeve: Poorly extended arguments. Please extend your arguments well. There is a sweet spot between brevity and depth that you should try to hit, but don't extend your case in 5 seconds please. This is a hill I will die on, and so will my ballot.
TLDR: I'm a typical flow judge. I value quality of argumentation over quantity. Please collapse, extend warrants and impacts, frontline, and weigh your arguments. I'm fairly a fairly tech (see my notes at the bottom and make your own assessment).
Background: Was a mediocre debater for 4 years in Minnesota at both traditional and nat circuit tournaments. Coached and judged since 2020.
Basic Judging Philosophy I vote off of what is warranted, I prefer what is weighed. Give me reasons to prefer your warranting over their warrants and do weighing that COMPARES your impact to their impact by telling me why yours is more important and WHY. Don't just say a buzzwords like "scope" or "de-link" and move on.
After the round: I will give you an oral RFD if possible once I submit my ballot, and feel free to question/post-round me because it makes me a better judge. I will also call for cards (see evidence section).
- I can handle around 250 words per minute BUT only if you SLOW DOWN ON TAGLINES. Send a speech doc if you are above 225 wpm or have bad clarity.
- Reading fast is not an excuse to be blippy. Speed should allow you to have better warranting and more depth, not less. Speed + 6 contention cases are not the move
- Just because you CAN read fast with me, doesn't mean you SHOULD. Read at whatever pace you debate best at, don't try and rush just because I'm techy.
- You may paraphrase, BUT I expect you to send a cut card with a citation. DO NOT send me a full PDF and tell me what to control+F. I doc speaks for bad behavior in this department.
- After the round I will call for some key cards from case/rebuttal, even if they weren't relevant to my decision. This is my way of checking power tagging/bad cuts. If a card sounds too good to be true, I will call it. Even if the card isn't relevant to the round, I will drop your speaks if it is miscut.
- Number your responses so it's easy for me to flow.
- Collapse in 2nd rebuttal (it's strategic in winning my ballot). you MUST frontline offense in 2nd rebuttal, and I strongly strongly strongly prefer you frontline every arg you are going for fully.
- Disads are fine in rebuttal. If a DA is read in second rebuttal, I'm more lenient on frontlines/responses in 1st summary. Try and link-in if you read a DA.
Summary & Final Focus
- I have a VERY high threshold for case extensions (lots of warrants plz). Don't underextend or you will probably lose.
- I prefer defense to be in summary (defense isn't sticky). I will maybe evaluate defense that is extended from 1st rebuttal to 1st Final Focus ONLY IF it is cold dropped, but there is a low chance I will evaluate 2nd rebuttal to Final Focus defense. I will never evaluate defense that isn't extended in Final Focus. Your best chance of winning defense is to extend it in both summary and final focus.
- Offense needs to be in both summary and FF.
- If you don't collapse, frontline, and weigh in summary, you probably won't win my ballot.
- I will vote on theory, but I prefer it to be read in the first speech possible (ie, don't read a shell in 2nd rebuttal if it can be avoided). Disclosure, paraphrasing, and misgendering theory are all fair game.
- Very pro-content warning shells, but ONLY when they aren't friv (i.e., I think reading one on a poverty impact is too much, but reading like a gendered violence content warning shell is definitely not friv). However, I'm non-interventionist so I'll vote on anything, just be aware of my personal beliefs. I do believe that content warnings aren't a race to the bottom and that there is some reasonable threshold for me to buy them.
- If you use theory to exclude your opponents and you have structural advantages in the debate community I will you drop the shell faster than you can read your interp. But, if it's two rich private schools bashing each other over the head with theory, go ahead.
- Don't extend your shell in rebuttal (you wouldn't extend case there either)-- I don't care about extension outside of FF and Summary
- I've voted on Kritikal args several times before, but I'm not well-versed in the lit so slow down on tags and key warrants.
- You need to at least have minimalist extensions of the link, impacts, and all other important parts of your arg (framing/ROB) in summary AND Final. Don't try and read the whole thing verbatim please.
- Prog weighing is cool-- I like well-warranted metaweighing, link weighing, and structural violence framing.
- Saying the words "strength/clarity of link/impact" is not weighing .
- If both teams want to skip cross/grand cross and use it as flex prep, I'm cool with that.
- READ CONTENT WARNINGS PLEEEEEAAAASE. Google forms are ideal, but give adequate time for opt out no matter how you do it.
-There are 4 ways your speaks get dropped: 1) Arriving late to round, 2) Being slow to produce evidence or calling for excessive amounts of cards, 3) Stealing prep time, 4) Saying or doing anything that is excessively rude or problematic.
How tech am I? Here are some arguments and how I'd evaluate them.
- Climate change fake/good: While obviously untrue, I would vote on it as turn/defense. However, my threshold for frontlines would be low, so it isn't strategic.
- Politics Disads/[politician] bad: Would 100% vote on it-- run whatever so long as it isn't objectively offensive
- Racism/sexism/homophobia good: Nope.
- Economic Growth Bad (DeDev): Would 100% vote on this.
- Tricks: Nope.
- Impacts to animal/plants: I would love the chance to vote on this with a framework.
I, Lily Erickson, am currently attending The University of Oklahoma majoring in Astrophysics.
I am a Seven Lakes High School Alumni.
I have competed with the Seven Lakes Speech and Debate team. Therefore, I do obtain a concrete understanding of each individual event.
Do not start until I say so, please. I want to make sure that we are technologically good before starting.
Please mute yourself if you are not speaking
Try to have as much background noise eliminated as you can.
I will do my best to keep track of the chats.
If you have a question ask me prior to the round starting by unmuting yourself.
- Please include me in email chains @ firstname.lastname@example.org
My Facial Expressions- During Rounds, I do my best to keep a neutral "serious" face, however, I am an expressive person, therefore, if you are ever wondering how you are doing just look at me.
I do not appreciate and will not tolerate disrespect toward myself or others. So, speak with respect and dignity.
I appreciate people who are “ready” and “organized”. I don’t want time wasted.
Confidence is everything.
- I usually make my decisions based on content, however, if the content weighs almost the same I will take into consideration delivery to make my decision.
- You may keep track of your own time. I advise you do so because in the midst of judging I forget to time.
Please stop when your time is done. This shows me that you actually prepared prior to the round and including details that are necessary.
If there is a situation, usually during crossfire, where I notice that a team has taken up a majority of the time I will allow extra time for the other team to get their questions in. Try not to be the team that takes up all the time.
Speed- As someone who speaks fast, I do not have a problem with speed. HOWEVER, speed can not compromise the quality of language. For instance, speak clearly, don’t mumble words, and try not to stutter. If it's an online tournament, take into consideration that your words could glitch or don’t come across to me clearly and if that happens, sorry but that’s on you.
Tone- You should and I want you to utilize vocal variations I know you can be passionate about your arguments but DO NOT YELL! We will hear you perfectly fine! Do not be aggressive either.
Speaking with control and clarity is the biggest thing! This really shows me you know what you are talking about.
Evidence- Make your cards efficient. Don’t overload one card to where you are reading that one card for a long time.
Clearly state contentions and sources etc.
Please allow your opponent time to answer the question.
Crossfire is a time to ask questions not a time to argue/ correct your opponent on the information.
Don’t talk over each other.
In conclusion, my biggest thing as a judge is respect, time efficiency, confidence, and ORGANIZATION!!!
Other than that, I want you each and every one of you to enjoy, have fun, and learn from this experience.
I am a new parent judge from RE. I prefer clean, well laid arguments supported by facts. Therefore, ensure that whatever you want to emphasize as important is supported by facts. I do not like excessive speed; quality over quantity wins.
NOT OK: Arguments that are obviously racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, etc.
Don't forget to smile and have fun.
I did public forum for 4 years in high school and have been coaching it for 2 years now. I am okay with speed. However, send me your case if you think you will be speaking too fast. I need to understand what you are saying if you want me to vote for you. I like to see clear and clean extensions of your links, warrants, etc. You need those to win the round. You don't need to weigh too much in your rebuttal, but you need to start weighing in summary for me to vote for you. And make sure to signpost too. It's also easier for me to vote for you if you write the ballot for me. And don't be rude in the round to me or your opponents. You can be good at debate, but don't be cocky. Don't be afraid to ask me questions about my paradigm or the round if you have them (or email me too)!
Also, if I am ever in the policy pool, please strike me! I am not a policy judge so I don't want to screw over your round because I am not totally sure how to judge policy.
email - email@example.com
Congress: I like to see that you know the game of Congress so if I can tell that you're strategizing (internally, with others in the room, with teammates) I'm gonna be happy. I like debaters that debate. Sounding pretty is good but giving rebuttals and avoiding giving constructive speeches in the middle of the legislation are even better. You should have enough evidence or common sense to speak on either side of the legislation at any point, wasting recesses to write speeches or chide others for not being ready (while you're not offering to speak either) will be criticized.
Public Forum: Give me voters in summary and final focus or give me death! I am a logic-chain judge; if your arguments require me to suspend disbelief or ignore reality then expect them to be dropped from the flow. Behavior within the round matters just as much as performance so please do not be rude to your partner or competitors and try to maintain professionalism for the sake of an efficient round. Speeches that matter the most to me are rebuttals so an organized rebuttal that responds to as much of the competitors case as possible will positively impact my vote overall.
I've been around the debate world for about 20 years, competing, coaching and judging, middle school, high school, and college tournaments. I have seen everything and can accommodate your style accordingly. My paradigm is pretty simple: have proper decorum to be respectful of everyone in the room.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a parent judge with little experience of judging at Varsity level.
Please be clear in your speech and talk at a pace that I can understand. This will help me follow your case and comprehend your arguments.
Support your positions with statistical data, numbers and warrants. Make sure you sign post and don't hop around cases. Logical flow of arguments will make your case easier to understand and hence strengthen your position.
In summary and final focus, be clear on what your impacts are and why they matter more than your opponents.
I update myself with the debate topics that I am judging, so be ready to comprehend your arguments well.
Please share the relevant docs pertaining to your case.
Please be kind to your competitors. Don't try to be rude or discriminatory otherwise points will be taken off.
I am currently a freshman at Brown University.
I debated public forum for four years I am very well versed in debate jargon and terminology. Some key things:
- I am fine with speed, but if I miss something due to your speed it is your fault.
- I will flow your arguments, but please signpost it makes my job a lot easier.
- I will not make assumptions for you, I want you to walk me there and be specific.
- Comparative weighing is important. Tell me why you win, not why your opponent loses.
- Warrant everything out!
- Please implicate! This includes turns or responses. I do not want to just hear "this is wrong because Reuters 22 says so" tell me why!!!!
- Have fun! As formal as debate is the goal is to have fun. Be kind to your opponents, treat them as equals. Do not be condescending
- Don't card dump.
- Compare sources. If you have opposing cards tell me why I should vote for yours. ie. postdating, sample size, etc.
- NO THEORY, Ks, Critiques or anything like that. I am here to see you debate the topic, not 1 offs.
- Extra speaks for Drake references.
- Include me on email chains.
- Feel free to ask anymore questions during round or email me at email@example.com
I coach for the College Preparatory School. I debated for two years for Bethesda-Chevy Chase HS. In my senior year I won Glenbrooks, the Strake Round Robin, Blake, Durham, the Barkley Forum, Stanford, Harvard, the King Round Robin, and NDCAs.
Tech>truth. Weigh, give me good warranting, and speak as fast as you want. Defense is sticky; first FF may read some new weighing (NOT elaborate weighing… no overviews, prereq analysis, etc.). Extend your arguments with card names, warrants, links, and impacts in the back half. Weigh links and turns, defense, and pretty much everything else. Please read the evidence section of my paradigm and abide by those rules, they will be enforced.
DEBATE IS A GAME, PLAY TO WIN.
Tech>truth. I will vote for pretty much any argument as long as it's warranted well. have experience with traditional and progressive. I will vote on the flow.
How I Judge:
If my paradigm is unclear, my favorite judges were Will Sjostrom, Chad Meadows and Marcus Ellinas; anything PF-specific in their paradigms should give you a fairly good idea of how I hope to evaluate the round.
———PART I: SPEECHES———
This is essential; do it.
I might listen but I won't vote off or remember anything said here unless it's in a speech. Don't be rude. Feel free to skip GCX if everyone agrees—both teams get 1min of prep.
Read as much offense/DAs as you want, just please implicate them on the line-by-line and weigh them. Second rebuttal MUST frontline terminal defense and turns, probably some defense too, but blippy NLs from the first rebuttal don't all need to be answered here.
First summary only needs to extend turns but should also extend terminal defense if you have time. Defense is sticky, however, I’d prefer for the second summary to extend as much defense as possible. The only new turns or defense I’ll evaluate in summary are as responsive to new implications made by the other team.
First final can do new weighing but no new implications of turns, or anything else UNLESS responding to new implications or turns from the second summary. Second final cannot do new weighing or new implications. Final focus is a really good time to slow down, treat me like a flay judge in these speeches and my decision becomes a lot easier.
———PART II: TECHNICAL STUFF———
I default to util. If there's no offense I presume to the first speaking team. I will always disclose after the round. I can also disclose speaks if you ask.
I will not accept paraphrased evidence. I treat paraphrased cards as equal in link strength to analytics. (You can make a theory argument as to why I shouldn't). If there are two pieces of competing evidence that will determine the round and both teams want me to look at it... I will almost always err on the side of the non-paraphrased evidence. Whether or not you paraphrase, YOU MUST have cut cards, if you don't I will cap your speaks at 27 and you should strike me (27 speaks cap does not apply for MSPF, NPF or JVPF).
When evidence is called for, take less than 1 minutes to pull up the cards or it comes out of your prep.
If you misconstrue evidence—you know who you are—and I find out, I will either drop you or give you the lowest possible speaks, depending on the severity of the misconstruction (I am more than willing to assign an L20 or below). If you catch your opponents misconstruing evidence, call it an independent voting issue (IVI) and I will treat this as a pre-fiat round-ending argument if the evidence is sufficiently misconstrued.
Please label email chains adequately. Ex. "TOC R1F1 Email Chain Bethesda-Chevy Chase GT v. AandM Consolidated DS."
Whether or not the tournament is online I will require an email chain for every round, evidence exchange is faster and more efficient. If you are spreading or reading any progressive argument you must send a doc before you begin; otherwise, sending a doc will not be required.
Don't steal prep or I will steal your speaks. Feel free to take prep whenever, flex prep is fine too.
These are non-negotiable. I stop flowing after the time ends, and I reserve the right to scream "TIME" if you begin to go over. Cross ends at 3 minutes sharp, if you’re in the middle of a sentence, finish it quickly.
I can follow speed (300wpm+) but be clear, if I can't understand what you're saying that means I can't flow it. I'd like a speech doc if you're going to go over 275 words per minute. Speed is good in the first half and bad in the second half, collapse strategically; don't go for everything. If you spread (300+ wpm) paraphrased cards there is no way you get above 27 speaks. If I miss something in summary or final focus because you're going too fast and I drop you it's your fault; slow down, don't go for everything, and be efficient.
Clarity and strategy determine your speaks. I disclose speaks as well, just ask.
Postround as hard as you want, I think it's educational. Before you start make sure I've submitted your speaks.
I do not require trigger warnings. I will not reward including them, nor will I penalize the absence of them. This is informed by my personal views on trigger warnings (see J. Haidt and G. Lukianoff, The Coddling of the American Mind) This means that I will never opt out of an argument. I will not hack for trigger warning good theory; I am open to trigger warning bad arguments (though I will not hack for these either).
———PART III: PROGRESSIVE DEBATE———
I enjoy theory debate; I ran theory frequently. You do not need to ask your opponent if they are comfortable with theory; 'I don't know how to respond' is not a sufficient response. To quote my former partner, "don't put your kids in varsity if they cannot handle varsity arguments" (saying that is terminal defense against any 'idk how to respond' argument and will result in a 30 for whoever says it).
Theory/T - 1
LARP - 1
Kritik - 3
Tricks - 3
High Theory - 4
Non-T Kritik - 5 (Strike)
Performance - 5 (Strike)
Yes, I think paraphrasing is bad and disclosure is good. No, I will not hack for either of these shells.
I really like theory. I think frivolous theory is bad. I'll evaluate it, but I have a lower threshold for responses the more frivolous the shell. Poorly executed theory will result in low speaks. If you've never run theory before, and feel inclined to do so, I'm happy to give comments and help as much as I can.
I default to competing interps and no RVIs. I believe that winning no RVIs applies to the entire theory layer unless your warrants are specific to a shell, C/I, etc. Non-friv theory should be a zero risk issue to check abuse, I will still vote for RVIs if you win them.
Unless I am evaluating the theory debate on reasonability you must read a counterinterp... if you do not all of your responses are inherently defensive because your opponents are the only team providing me with a 'good' model of debate.
Theory should be read immediately after the violation. Eg. if you're speaking first disclosure must be in your constructive for me to evaluate it. However, I am willing to vote off of paraphrasing theory read after rebuttal if your interpretation is that people shouldn't paraphrase in rebuttal. You MUST need to extend your own shell in rebuttal if it was read in constructive; you must frontline your opponent's shell in the speech after it was read (unless there is a theoretical justification for not doing this).
I have run Ks a few times, however, I am not the best judge for these rounds. I'm more familiar with biopower, security, cap, and imperialism than anything else.
These are pretty stupid but go for them if you want to.
Framework, soft-left Ks, CPs, and DAs are fine.
If your opponent has no path to the ballot (conceded theory shell or them reading a counterinterp that they do not meet themselves) invoke a TKO and you win with 30 speaks (unless you have violated any previous clauses related to speaker points), if they did have a path to the ballot you lose with 21s.
I am a parent judge who has only judged twice before, and those were a couple of years ago. I am definitely a "lay" judge. Please keep time yourselves, as it will be hard for me to watch the clock and take notes, though I will do my best. Try to speak at a reasonable pace. If I can't follow it and don't write it down, you are going to have a hard time trying to convince me to vote on it. I generally favor clear, logical, arguments, and you should collapse and extend throughout the round. The more fleshed out and clear your side is, the easier path to the ballot. I am a college professor of American History, so I do have quite a bit of background knowledge on this topic. That being said, you should always warrant and implicate the examples you bring up in round. I am probably not the right judge for theory. Good luck!
I judge based on the quality of arguments that you advance on behalf of the resolution. That means you clearly state your claims, provide reputable evidence in support of those claims, and drive home the implications of your claims. Your arguments should be well-developed and category-relevant. Rarely do I find Kritiks persuasive.
Keep in mind that in public forum, the goal is for you to make arguments that are persuasive to a “citizen judge” or lay person. Thus, you should speak deliberately (slowly) and clearly, avoid jargon, and demonstrate the logical connections between your evidence and claims, and the resolution.
Please engage one another respectfully and respond directly to your opponents’ claims and evidence. Ad hominem attacks, grandstanding, and condescending remarks are not appropriate. Good debates, grounded in classical rhetoric, explore relevant claims and evidence, and empower the audience to make an informed decision.
My Background: More than 25 years of teaching argumentation, persuasion, and public speaking at the undergraduate level, a Ph.D. in communication and rhetoric, and a research focus on the implications of argumentation on public policy.
Congratulations on making it to my paradigm, this is the first step to a great round!
TL,DR for those who ain't got time for that: I'm experienced in debate as a coach and competitor. I'm not the best with speed and if you wanna go quick give me the speech docs please. Give me some decent framing/weighing beyond surface level. Depth over breadth in general. I am cool with K's and all that jazz. Be ethical.
Do not feel afraid to ask me what something is or what I mean by something. Read the intro, how I vote, and your specific section of debate is my recommendation.
I coached mostly PF and LD for 4 years total and I have competed for even longer, placing in college nationals and plenty of tournaments. I have a bachelor's in political science and a minor in philosophy and I listen/read sci-fi and philosophy in my free time (amongst other things). So I am an experienced judge and debater with high academic literacy.
I tend to want to keep a face of impartiality while judging, I try not to go beyond a flat expression when possible. Let me know if you don't prefer this, I can certainly try to be more expressive in what arguments I like versus don't to help y'all out.
How I vote:
Depth over breadth in general.
I try to be as tab ras as possible, when conflicting arguments are similar in strength, especially, since I weigh links heavily. Especially the depth and explanation of the link. Links usually come down to which one is more true in the round, and who gave me the most depth.
I can keep up for the most part on flows but I have trouble at high speed, as I only have one ear so it makes it more difficult to hear at times. I still listen to podcasts and youtube videos between 1.15 and 1.5 speed pretty much always, so I can certainly keep up to a certain point, but clear tags and authors and dates will be necessary and you need to have good pronunciation. So in general, air on the side of flay or fast but not spew speed.
Dropping something in a speech and bringing it up later is pretty much a no-no. If they discuss something in CX I think it's fair game to talk about in your next speech but I don't flow cx so it needs to be on the flow from a speech in order to really count in the round.
Paraphrased and cut evidence needs to be legitimate and not exaggerated. The more you power-tag your evidence the less likely I vote for you. The more you paraphrase the more I rely on your links to be legitimate.
Use of logic, common knowledge, philosophical implications, etc... are all ways to provide evidence to an argument that doesn't necessitate the use of cards. Feel free to use them, I weigh these types of arguments and believe they matter depending on the topic. In general, evidence is preferred in matters of things likely to happen. And the philosophy should have implications to some ethical framing and told why it matters. An example I see students fail at too often that I know could be better is privacy. You need to tell me why privacy matters in this round, not just that it invades privacy but that it causes actual harm to people like distress, corruption, etc....
Road map and organize the flow well in the speech, please. If you plan on following a CP/K/etc... format please let me know how many sheets I need.
Be clear about what your arguments mean for the round, i.e. go back to the framing of the round, whether that be framework of a case or argument. Tell me why it matters for who I sign the ballot for.
Please be ethical. Do not steal prep, get evidence to your opponents in a timely manner, and treat debate as a friendly game. Plastic trophies don't matter after a few years, trust me I have thrown away countless awards from random invitationals at this point. What matters is the work you put in and the memories you get out of debate. Look to 'steelman' your opponents argument, i.e. try to be even better than your opponent at explaining their argument. If they are having trouble framing their argument, help them. This gives you lots of credibility and allows for cleaner wins if you are good enough.
Understand what you are winning and losing on, it's probably not worth going for things you are way behind on unless it's critical to winning the round.
I don't time evidence transfers until they start being laborious. Be respectful of my time and your opponent's time.
Roadmaps can be off time as well and I recommend you use one if you are doing more than telling me aff or neg flow first and the other 2nd (i.e. policy style flowing). Just tell me where you are starting if it's just an aff and neg flow of traditional debate.
I'm open to hearing essentially any argument, including things like speed Ks. The impacts matter a lot to me. Why are the in round impacts worth talking over the education of a traditional round. Why is this an a priori issue or a prerequisite to in round impacts?
Weighing- I've heard a lot of basic impact calculus this year and it's been okay. But you need to do the comparison to why things like your probably impacts matter more than their magnitude impacts. People miss the clash on impact weighing far too often. Usually, you fight over whether the probability vs. magnitude matters more, but if you both run nuclear war you need to argue why your timeframe and/or probability are stronger, or that your severity is stronger. What I mean is, why is nuclear war worse in one area over another (usually because it will cause some other bad impacts like climate change, effect air quality, destroy more crops, etc...).
Tag teaming- In general, I am cool with tag teaming to answer questions or to help your partner by clarifying the language of the question they want to ask. I don't want partners to be ignored and talked over. Each of you need to know what you are talking about, tag teaming only helps the collaborative nature of the debate.
Speaker Points- I tend to give the strongest debaters speaker points but rudeness and influency do make a difference. If the tournament allows, I'm more than willing to give low-point wins because one mistake can cost you a round even if you were the better debater. This is rare but does happen.
I will drop you if you just say cost/benefit analysis as your framework without any other context. You need to tell me how to weigh certain costs and benefits over others. Seriously, tell me why things matter.
I'm cool with teams running alts but the other team can perm them. Pro does not need a specific plan but not having some sort of model or idea to what you are doing will hurt you in most rounds unless you show me why your ground is more broad than a basic model. This can have multiple parts to achieve something.
Dropping arguments as the 2nd speaking debater is still dropping arguments, don't give new refutation in the summary as I will not listen by that point and will sign my ballot. Figure out what to go for and what not to, figure out how to win without directly refuting an argument, or just get good in general.
If you are using Val/Cri's, only debate over them if it matters for the round, disagreeing over the minutia of which utilitarian framework to use is not fun to sit through or debate it. Clash with the key differences if you need to and don't be afraid to clash if you feel it gives you ground you wouldn't otherwise have.
Cool with CPs and Plans, the same rules apply from policy if you choose to do this especially. Consider reading that section if you are wanting to run a CP or plan.
I will drop you if you just say cost/benefit analysis as your framework without any other context. You need to tell me how to weigh certain costs and benefits over others. Seriously, tell me why things matter.
Please don't put too much fluff and defense in your case, that's what refutation is for. Only define the terms that need defined. And everyone reserves the right to clarify a definition in the next speech after a definition becomes an issue.
Depth over breadth, please.
I'm cool with K's, CPs, etc... and I will flow the different main arguments on separate pieces of paper, just let me know on stuff like theory, framing, etc... where to flow and I will really appreciate it. I tend to take debate as a serious mental game, and respect what it can be even if most of the time it doesn't reach that. So give me reasons to vote for weird arguments that matter because things like K's and Theory matter when it makes a difference in the debate space.
Like I said above, I'm fairly comfortable with speed to a certain point but just be cognizant about your pronunciation and your taglines with the author and date. I keep a good flow and can handle most people's speed but I can't keep up with spewing usually.
Learn how to actually impact calc, look above for some instruction as I discuss it in how I vote.
I tend to not be conditional, if you feel other arguments are better than others, collapse to what you think will win you the round.
Benjamin Hagwood, Director at Vancouver Debate Academy
About me - former college policy debater, flow-centric, like all arguments but the politics DA (Elections gets a pass)
Debate is a game that can be played in a multitude of ways. It is the responsibility of the students to determine the parameters of the games and to call "foul" if they think someone has done something abusive. I will judge the round as it happens. Here are a few things about me that you might find useful when preparing for a round:
- Flowing - I do my best to have as accurate a flow as possible while trying to capture but the context and citation of your arguments. Dropping arguments could be detrimental if your opponents extend and weight those arguments properly.
- Observer not a Participant - I won't do work for you or insert myself into your debate. You will win OR lose based on the arguments in the round not my person opinion.
- Style over Speed - swag is subjective - bring yours.
- Petty but not Disrespectful - don't be unnecessarily rude to your opponent - but I must admit being petty is strategic.
- Challenges - if you challenge someone and lose the challenge you lose the debate (this could also apply on theory debates depending on the debate - but not RVI's)
Universal Speaker Point Adjustments: all students are evaluated on their level. A 29 in novice is not the same as a 29 in open. 28 is my base for completing all your speeches and using all your speech time.
- Wear a bowtie (+.5 point)
- Be entertaining (tell jokes...if I laugh...you get points...if I don't you won't be punished) (+.5 point)
- Be rude (-.5 point)
- Don't use all your time (-.5 point)
- Steal prep (-.5 point)
If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me and ask. Students may request my flow and written feedback at the end of the debate if they want. I will only share it with the students in the round unless they consent to the flow being shared with other opponents.
General: I competed in high school for 4 years on the local&national circuit, and now I compete in college. This will be my 7th year in competitive debate.
Please send speech docs! (also if you say "mark the card here" please mark it)
I think you should run whatever you feel comfortable with. I do not wish to be the judge who dictates what is allowed in a round. Lets all learn something from each other. Debate is supposed to be fun, that being said, if you are having fun, I'll have a better time judging the round.
Signposting is important, please do this throughout your speeches and tell me the order beforehand. Slow down on your tags but go as fast as u need.
- Uniqueness controls the direction of the link, this goes for both sides. If you want to win a link turn, you must win that the disad is non-unique and if you want to win the link you must win that it is
- There is such thing as 0% risk of a link.
- You CAN read process CP's and PIC's in front of me
- Don't love throw away CP's that take up a line in the 1 and 6 minutes in the block
- If you are kicking the CP, you must say it
- You should have a net benefit. There needs to be a good articulation for why the aff links to the net benefit and good answers to CP solvency deficits, assuming there are any.
- Your permutations should be made exceptionally clear. Just saying "perm do both" and moving on won't cut it. The NB to the permutation, if applicable, should also be well articulated.
You can go for T but do it earlier. This isn't a decision to be made in the last rebuttals. I probably won't pay a ton of attention to T shells that are overly generic. I have and will vote for T against both policy and non T affs. A TVA probably always helps you here.
-No RVI's, please
- specific links to the aff..... please?
- Feel free to read them on affirmative or negative, but don't get lazy with them and engage with the arguments the other team is making. Just reading the blocks you wrote at the beginning of the season and not referencing specific authors, lines of evidence from either side and engaging with arguments without specificity is a good way to get really behind in these debates.
- I have the most experience with cap
- I will not pretend to understand it if I do not, and you probably should not do this either.
-It seems that many times debaters don't take the time to really explain what the alternative is like, whether it solves part of the aff, is purely rejection, etc. If for some reason the alternative isn't extended or explained in the 2nr, I won't just apply it as a case turn for you.
- "Drop the team" is not a good enough reason to drop the team
I err neg on theory. Yes I think paraphrasing is bad and disclosure is good. I default to competing interps>reasonability.
- Tricks are bad for this event
Go as fast as you need & slow down on tags
I have progressive software running on traditional hardware. I like progressive arguments such as Ks and narratives, but I cannot flow speed or blippy arguments because of my disability. Rhetoric is important, oratory is important, substance is what I vote on.
I prioritize clash over everything else, including procedurals and framework. I don't care how many arguments you make or how much evidence you provide if there is no clash in the round. I will only vote on uncontested offense if it is both extended and impacted in a later speech. Do not frontload the AC with an absurd amount of offense, see what your opponent misses in the NC, and then only extend uncovered offense. You will not win this way, I do not allow debaters to throw in everything and kick out of all but the easiest route to win.
I have Dysgraphia which affects physical writing and information processing. I cannot write quickly, even if I'm flowing digitally, and it takes me longer to process what I'm writing. That means if you choose to spread, or have a speech full of blippy arguments I will probably miss some things. If I miss an argument for this reason, it is not a voting issue. Do not grill me after the round as to why I did not vote for X or Y, and DO NOT try to figure out my threshold for speed. I understand that you're just trying to understand what you can do for your best chance at success, but please understand how insulting that is.
I never want to interfere in a round, but in the case of abuse I will. Decorum is a voting issue!
Hey! My name is Andrew and this is my first time judging! I really like the clash of ideas and warrants, and clear extensions of arguments. Please don't spread or read any progressive arguments. Thank you!
I am not a formally trained debater. Please do not spread, and explain your logic clearly. Refrain from using fancy debate terms, I will not understand them.
Since I judge a lot more Public Forum now than the other events, my paradigm now reflects more about that activity than the others. I've left some of the LD/Policy stuff in here because I end up judging that at some big tournaments for a round or two. If you have questions, please ask.
NONTRADITIONAL ARGUMENTS: These arguments are less prevalent in PF than they are in other forms. The comments made here still hold true to that philosophy. I'll get into kritiks below because I have some pretty strong feelings about those in both LD and PF. It's probably dealt with below, but you need to demonstrate why your project, poem, rap, music, etc. links to and is relevant to the topic. Theory for theory's sake is not appealing to me. In short, the resolution is there for a reason. Use it. It's better for education, you learn more, and finding relevancy for your particular project within a resolutional framework is a good thing.
THEORY ARGUMENTS IN PF: I was told that I wasn't clear in this part of the paradigm. I thought I was, but I will cede that maybe things are more subtle than they ought to be. Disclosure theory? Not a fan. First, I am old enough that I remember times when debaters went into rounds not knowing what the other team was running. Knowing what others are running can do more for education and being better prepared. Do I think people should put things on the case wiki? Sure. But, punishing some team who doesn't even know what you are talking about is coming from a position of privilege. How has not disclosing hurt the strategy that you would or could have used, or the strategy that you were "forced" to use? If you can demonstrate that abuse, I might consider the argument. Paraphrasing? See the comments on that below. See comments below specific to K arguments in PF.
THEORY: When one defines theory, it must be put into a context. The comments below are dated and speak more to the use of counterplans. If you are in LD, read this because I do think the way that counterplans are used in LD is not "correct." In PF, most of the topics are such that there are comparisons to be made. Policies should be discussed in general terms and not get into specifics that would require a counterplan.
For LD/Policy Counterplan concepts: I consider myself to be a policy maker. The affirmative is making a proposal for change; the negative must demonstrate why the outcome of that adoption may be detrimental or disadvantageous. Counterplans are best when nontopical and competitive. Nontopical means that they are outside of the realm of the affirmative’s interpretation of the resolution (i.e. courts counterplans in response to congressional action are legitimate interpretations of n/t action). Competitive means there must be a net-benefit to the counterplan. Merely avoiding a disadvantage that the affirmative “gets” could be enough but that assumes of course that you also win the disadvantage. I’m not hip deep sometimes in the theory debate and get frustrated when teams choose to get bogged down in that quagmire. If you’re going to run the counterplan conditionally, then defend why it’s OK with some substance. If the affirmative wishes to claim abuse, prove it. What stopped you from adequately defending the case because the counterplan was “kicked” in the block or the 2NR? Don’t whine; defend the position. That being said, I'm not tied to the policy making framework. As you will see below, I will consider most arguments. Not a real big fan of performance, but if you think it's your best strategy, go for it.
TOPIC SPECIFIC ARGUMENTS: I’m not a big “T” hack. Part of the reason for that is that persons sometimes get hung up on the line by line of the argument rather than keeping the “big picture” in mind. Ripping through a violation in 15 seconds with “T is voting issue” tacked on at the bottom doesn’t seem to have much appeal from the beginning. I’m somewhat persuaded by not only what the plan text says but what the plan actually does. Plan text may be topical but if your evidence indicates harm area, solvency, etc. outside of the realm of the topic, I am sympathetic that the practice may be abusive to the negative.
KRITIKS/CRITIQUES: The comments about kritiks below are linked more to policy debate than LD or PF. However, at the risk of being ostracized by many, here is my take on kritiks in PF and maybe LD. They don't belong. Now, before you start making disparaging remarks about age, and I just don't get it, and other less than complimentary things, consider this. Most kritiks are based on some very complex and abstract concepts that require a great deal of explanation. The longest speech in PF is four minutes long. If you can explain such complex concepts in that time frame at a comprehensible speaking rate, then I do admire you. However, the vast majority of debaters don't even come close to accomplishing that task. There are ways you can do that, but look at the section on evidence below. In short, no objection to kritiks; just not in PF. LD comes pretty close to that as well. Hint: You want to argue this stuff, read and quote the actual author. Don't rely on some debate block file that has been handed down through several generations of debaters and the only way you know what the argument says is what someone has told you.
Here's the original of what was written: True confession time here—I was out of the activity when these arguments first came into vogue. I have, however, coached a number of teams who have run kritiks. I’d like to think that advocating a position actually means something. If the manner in which that position is presented is offensive for some reason, or has some implication that some of us aren’t grasping, then we have to examine the implications of that action. With that in mind, as I examine the kritik, I will most likely do so within the framework of the paradigm mentioned above. As a policymaker, I weigh the implications in and outside of the round, just like other arguments. If I accept the world of the kritik, what then? What happens to the affirmative harm and solvency areas? Why can’t I just “rethink” and still adopt the affirmative? Explain the kritik as well. Again, extending line by line responses does little for me unless you impact and weigh against other argumentation in the round. Why must I reject affirmative rhetoric, thoughts, actions, etc.? What is it going to do for me if I do so? If you are arguing framework, how does adopting the particular paradigm, mindset, value system, etc. affect the actions that we are going to choose to take? Yes, the kritik will have an impact on that and I think the team advocating it ought to be held accountable for those particular actions.
EVIDENCE: I like evidence. I hate paraphrasing. Paraphrasing has now become a way for debaters to put a bunch of barely explained arguments on the flow that then get blown up into voting issues later on. If you paraphrase something, you better have the evidence to back it up. I'm not talking about a huge PDF that the other team needs to search to find what you are quoting. The NSDA evidence rule says specifically that you need to provide the specific place in the source you are quoting for the paraphrasing you have used. Check the rule; that's what I and another board member wrote when we proposed that addition to the evidence rule. Quoting the rule back to me doesn't help your cause; I know what it says since I helped write most or all of it. If you like to paraphrase and then take fifteen minutes to find the actual evidence, you don't want me in the back of the room. I will give you a reasonable amount of time and if you don't produce it, I'll give you a choice. Drop the evidence or use your prep time to find it. If your time expires, and you still haven't found it, take your choice as to which evidence rule you have violated. In short, if you paraphrase, you better have the evidence to back it up.
Original text: I like to understand evidence the first time that it is read. Reading evidence in a blinding montone blur will most likely get me to yell “clear” at you. Reading evidence after the round is a check for me. I have found in the latter stages of my career that I am a visual learner and need to see the words on the page as well as hear them. It helps for me to digest what was said. Of course, if I couldn’t understand the evidence to begin with, it’s fairly disappointing for me. I may not ask for it if that is the case. I also like teams that do evidence comparisons. What does your evidence take into account that the other teams evidence does not? Weigh and make that claim and I will read the evidence to see if you indeed have made a good point. SPEECH DOCUMENTS: Given how those documents are currently being used, I will most likely want to be a part of any email exchange. However, I may not look at those electronic documents until the end of the debate to check my flow against what you claim has been read in the round. Debate is an oral activity; let's get back to that.
STYLE: As stated above, if you are not clear, I will tell you so. If I have to tell you more than once, I will give much less weight to the argument than you wish me to do so. I have also found in recent years that I don't hear nearly as well as in the past. You may still go fast, but crank it down just a little bit so that this grumpy old man can still understand the argument. Tag-team CX is okay as long as one partner does not dominate the discussion. I will let you know when that becomes the case. Profanity and rude behavior will not be tolerated. If you wish me to disclose and discuss the argument, you may challenge respectfully and politely. Attempts at making me look ridiculous (which at times is not difficult) to demonstrate your superior intelligence does little to persuade me that I was wrong. My response may very well be “If I’m so stupid, why did you choose to argue things this way?” I do enjoy humor and will laugh at appropriate attempts at it. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask. Make them specific. Just a question which starts with "Do you have a paradigm?" will most likely be answered with a "yes" with little or no explanation beyond that. You should get the picture from that.
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.
This is my first time judging any tournament and my first time encountering public forum debate. First and foremost, although I have been speaking english for years, it is my second language so please speak SLOWLY––I cannot emphasize that enough. Slow. Secondly, just assume I know nothing about the topic and explain your arguments thoroughly. Doing these two points will only help me understand your arguments better, which makes it more likely I'll vote for you. I recommend you collapse your arguments so you have time to explain them and make it really clear why they're most important. Please avoid debate jargon because chances are I'm not going to know what you mean. And finally, please be polite and respectful to your opponents and remember to have fun!
hi! i'm sky.
email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
please have pre-flows done before the round for the sake of time. don't be late.
tech over truth. i won't do work for you. your arguments should have explicit explanations and contextualization. tell me a thoughtful and thorough story with substance. even if you sound pretty, my ballot will ultimately go to those who did the better debating.
read any argument you want, wear whatever you want, and be as assertive as you want. any speed is fine as long as you are clear. my job is to listen to you and assess your argumentation, not your presentation. i'm more than happy to evaluate anything you run, so do what you do best and own it!
do note that the only exception to this philosophy is if you make blatantly ignorant statements.
rfds. i always try to give verbal rfds. if you have any questions regarding my feedback, feel free to ask. i also accept emails and other online messages.
topicality. it would behoove you to tell me which arguments should be debated and why your interp best facilitates that discussion. if you go for framework, give me clear internal link explanations and consider having external impacts.
theory. make it purposeful. tell me what competing interps and reasonability mean. i like nuanced analyses; give me real links, real interps, and real-world scenarios that bad norms generate.
counter-plans. these can be fun. however, they should be legitimately competitive. give me a clear plan text and take clever perms seriously. comparative solvency is also preferred. impact calc is your friend.
disadvantages. crystallize! your uniqueness and links also matter.
kritiques. i love these, a lot. i enjoy the intellectual potential that kritiques offer. show me that you are genuine by committing to the literature you read and provide an anomalous approach against the aff. judge instructions make my life easier and can win you the debate.
cross. i'll listen, but i won't evaluate arguments made in crossfire unless you restate your points in a speech. use this time wisely.
evidence. i'll read your evidence at the end of the round if you tell me to or if it sounds too good to be true. however, this isn't an excuse to be lazy. narrative coherence is very important to me.
public forum debaters should practice good partner coordination, especially during summary and final focus. arguments and evidence mentioned in final focus need to have been brought up in summary for me to evaluate it. please weigh, meta-weigh, and crystallize!
tl;dr. show me where and why i should vote, thanks.
you are all smart. remember to relax and have fun!
Hi! I'm Charles (he/him pronouns). My email is ckarcher at chapin dot edu.
I am affiliated with The Chapin School, where I am a history teacher and coach Public Forum.
This is my 10th year involved in debate overall and my 6th year coaching.
Conflicts: Chapin, Lake Highland
Previous affiliations: Fulbright Taiwan, Lake Highland, West Des Moines Valley, Interlake, Durham Academy, Charlotte Latin, Altamont, and Oak Hall.
I am less concerned about having a detailed paradigm these days. I find that, at this point, debaters either don't read it anyway or already know to pref (or not pref) me. That said, here are some broad strokes that I feel inclined to keep:
Debate is what you make it, whether that is a game or an educational activity. Ultimately, it is a space for students to grow intellectually and politically. Critical debate is what I spend the most time thinking about. I’m familiar with most authors, but assume that I know nothing. I want to hear about the alt. I have a particular interest in the Frankfurt School and French authors. I have prepped and coached pretty much the full spectrum of K debate authors/literature bases. Policy-style debate is fun. I like good analytics more than bad cards, especially when those cards are from authors that are clearly personally/institutionally biased. Inserted graphs/charts need to be explained and are their own claim, warrant, and impact. Taglines should be detailed and accurately descriptive of the arguments in the card. 2 or 3 conditional positions are acceptable. I am not thrilled with the idea of judge kicking. Theory and tricks debate is the farthest from my interests. Being from Florida, I've been exposed to a good amount of it, but it never stuck with or interested me. Debaters who tend to read these types of arguments should not pref me.
Other important things:
1] If you find yourself debating with me as the judge on a panel with a parent/lay/traditional judge (or judges), please just engage in a traditional round and don't try to get my tech ballot. It is incredibly rude to disregard a parent's ballot and spread in front of them if they are apprehensive about it.
2] Speaks are capped at 27 if you include something in the doc that you assume will be inputted into the round without you reading it. You cannot "insert" something into the debate scot free. Examples include charts, spec details, and solvency details. This is a terrible norm which literally asks me to evaluate a piece of evidence that you didn't read.
3] When it comes to speech docs, I conceptualize the debate space as an academic conference at which you are sharing ideas with colleagues (me) and panelists (your opponents). Just as you would not present an unfinished PowerPoint at a conference, please do not present to me a poorly formatted speech doc. I don't care what your preferences of font, spacing, etc. are, but they should be consistent, navigable, and readable. I do ask that you use the Verbatim UniHighlight feature to standardize your doc to yellow highlighting before sending it to me.
- My defaults: ROJ > ROB; ROJ ≠ ROB; ROTB > theory; presume neg; comparative worlds; reps/pre-fiat impacts > everything else; yes RVI; DTD; yes condo; I will categorically never evaluate the round earlier than the end of the 2AR (with the exception of round-stopping issues like evidence evidence allegations or inclusivity concerns).
- I do not, and will not, disclose speaker points.
- Put your analytics in the speech doc!
- Trigger warnings are important
- CX ends when the timer beeps! Time yourself.
- Tell me about inclusivity/accessibility concerns, I will do whatever is in my power to accommodate!
Hi!! Thank you for taking the time to read my paradigm, and I'm super excited to be your judge!
About me: I did PF for four years at Bronx Science and was co-captain my senior year –– that being said, I would honestly describe myself as a flay debater. Assume I know very little about the resolution (because I probably do). I also really don't want to have to judge super tech-heavy rounds, and I am definitely not the person to run a k/progressive argument in front of. I prefer logical, consistent, and heavily-weighed argumentation that is both cogent and nuanced.
- Warrant + Weigh (and make it actually comparative with your opponents, not just saying "scope" or "timeframe")
- Link/offense extensions (through summary and final)
- Extended turns (w/ weighing!)
- Bringing up concessions from cross
- Rude or offensive behavior in any form
- Bringing up new arguments OR previously dropped arguments in final (especially if speaking second)
- Not weighing
- Reciting the resolution at the top of case
- Not weighing x2
Feel free to ask me anything about my preferences before round!! Email is email@example.com for email chains + questions! :)
I've debated PF at Stuyvesant High School for 4 years. Speech-docs would be appreciated and can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
IMPORTANT:Read the pet peeves section of my paradigm at the very least. I get really annoyed when literally everyone still does all of the pet peeves in round.
PLEASE BRING ME FOOD. If you do I’ll give you 30s!
Debate is a game so have fun
- Tech>truth most times, but the crazier an argument gets, the lower my threshold for responses to that argument is. Feel free to run wacky arguments as long as they have good warranting though.
- If something happens in cross, please bring it up in the next speech.
- Weigh Weigh Weigh Weigh Weigh it's how I decide the round pls weigh. Totally new Weighing in first FF is okay, but it's better if done earlier (not in second FF though)
- Make your weighing comparative, don't just use buzzwords like "we outweigh on scope" — that means nothing to me; there should be comparison and actual warranting for why I should prefer your arguments to your opponents
- I won't vote off of dropped defense if it is not extended
- No new arguments in FF. This applies to extensions. If there isn't a clean link and impact extension in summary, I won't evaluate it even if it is in FF.
- Second rebuttal must respond to turns otherwise they are dropped
- Defense should be in first summary as I think that 3 minutes is long enough to do so.
- Please collapse and extend case properly in summary and final focus. This means extending the uniqueness, link, and impact. I probably can't grant you any offense if you don't do this.
- I presume the first speaking team if no offense is generated in the round
-Theory: You can read it, just understand I might spend the round being grumpy and miserable. That being said:
- Read theory to counter actual abuse, if you read frivolous theory I will drop you.
- Signpost, otherwise I'll be hella confused as to where you are on the flow
- Speak pretty, and be strategic and you'll get high speaks
- Moderate speed is ok, but if you start spreading I will drop your speaks
- Going new in the 2. Don't do this, I'll ignore it and tank your speaks
- This goes without saying but teams who are racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, etc will receive a 25L
Evidence is overrated, I think that PF has become much more focused on the validity of evidence, and while this is important, warranted analytics beats unwarranted carded stats every single time.
- Saying "My time starts on my first word". No really? I thought it started on your fourth word.
- Saying "We're gonna take some running prep." As opposed to walking prep? Where's the prep going? Just take prep, and tell me how much you took after.
- Giving a really long off-time roadmap, and then not even sticking to it. PF rounds are often pretty linear, you can just tell me what side of the flow you're starting on
If you do a 360 jump and call it a massive 180 when you read a turn: +0.5 speaks
The Office jokes in speeches: +0.5 speaks
Annoying Erica Lung (PLEASE SPAM HER email@example.com): +0.5 speaks
-You have to weigh it has to be comparative and I prefer specific warrants based on in-round argument vs general ideas on how two impacts interact in a vacuum
-I wont accept new weighing in first final unless no other weighing is done before and 2nd can respond but can't read their own weighing
-in 2nd rebuttal two things you have to frontline and dont read disads if theres a legitimate violation/issue I'll evaluate a new off but I don't recommend doing it on a ticky-tack violation
-Im fine with progressive arguments but you cant kick it you can collapse on specific warrants but any argument you read should make it to final and i wont evaluate no RVIs or must read competing interps
-im fine with any speed in the front half of the round but in the back half the faster you go the more I'll miss or not get which makes it hard to vote for you so make a judgement call
-warrants and contextualization are more important in the back half than the front half that doesn't mean you can make up new warrants in the back half it just means dont forget if your argument doesnt make sense I wont vote for it because I dont know what Im voting for
-Ill give block 30s if I can so if you dont get a 30 its because of your behavior in the round so I would call on you to reflect a little on what may have happened in the round to warrant it
I did public forum for 4 years in high school and I coached for 2 years. That being said, I'm now 4 years out from high school so my flowing isn't quite as fast as it used to be. Do with that information what you will.
Otherwise my paradigm is pretty simple:
The most important thing is that I will always choose the easiest/cleanest path to the ballot.
Terminal defense does NOT have to be in first summary.
I like weighing. Judging is super hard when I have a bunch of arguments on both sides with no way to analyze them and if I'm feeling rushed I might analyze them wrong on my own. So do it for me.
Don't trust my facial expressions. You can say the best argument I've ever heard and I'll still look bored.
Don't be rude in round. I know the difference between aggressive and mean, and I'm not afraid to dock points if I see the latter.
If you have any questions feel free to ask before the round.
I used to have something on here saying "strike me if you're gonna run theory", however; it would seem that they have become so pervasive in debate that everyone would have to strike me. So now I will just say: I barely understand how progressive arguments work, I have no understanding of the rules behind them, and I really really REALLY prefer arguments that stick to the topic. So like I said at the beginning, do with that information what you will.
Hi, I am a parent judge. I understand that since I am parent, I am not as qualified a professional judge, so feel free to strike me. With that said, I do have quite a bit of experience judging have judged several national circuit debates and late elimination rounds at nationals.
Overall, I really appreciate if you go slow and really explain your arguments. For me, while sounding pretty is good, I will look at who is winning the merit of the argument and throughout the round who most consistently rebuts and actually analyses the arguments better on a technical sense.
Crossfire is also important as well as other regular lay norms.
DO NOT SPEAK FAST, AND DO NOT SPREAD
I am a lay judge, so try to explain everything well, and clearly. You can time your own speeches, but I will also time; you must stop as soon as the timer goes off, not one second later.
Don't be disrespectful.
I have done speech and debate for 6 years at both an academy and my high school, mainly competing in oratorical interp (aka declamation), dramatic interp, impromptu, and public forum; however, I have experience in many events (impromptu, storytelling, LD, Duo, HI, Congress, parli, HI) and have strong knowledge in part and all speech events. I can't wait to see the youth become more and more passionate in speech and debate, and produce some of the strongest and most unique breeds of individuals!
I have judged multiple times and I want my job as the judge to be educated in what I am listening to and be as fair as possible, which means only basing my vote on the arguments/ statements given and rid of any of my personal opinions.
- Framework, framework, framework; this is the backbone of your case and I believe it should be constantly referred to and withheld during the whole round if it is ever mentioned in the first place
- I make sure to take note of dropped arguments, meaning if you mention it initially in your first speech, and forget to refer to or emphasize it again until your last speech, I won't consider it an active argument against your opponent unless constantly mentioned on my flow.
- Whether it is crossfire or in your speech, be respectful of your opponents
- Final speeches should be clear with the voting issues of why I should vote for you
- NO spreading
- I encourage strong eye contact
- Please be clear in articulation and hand gestures
- I will allow for a 30 secs grace period but will stop you from anything past that
I did high school debate for 4 years and have both local & nat circuit experience. I did pf for 2 years and qualified to TFA both times. I consider myself a pf judge.
If I hear you were discriminatory or bigoted in any fashion at any point, in or outside of the round, you will immediately get tanked speaks for the rest of the season.
Before the round
Include me in the email chain (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you are going to spread (full on ld/cx level spreading, double breathing and whatnot), send me a speech doc. Unless you plan on reading that fast I won’t need a speech doc.
I don't care about how fast you read as long as you send me all the evidence/arguments. If I miss an argument that is not on the speech doc, I won't put it down on the flow. It is your responsibility to articulate your arguments well enough for me to understand.
tech > truth.
If evidence A says sky is green and evidence B says sky is blue, please weigh and tell me which evidence I should prioritize or I would be forced to intervene and believe what I think is true (evidence B). As long as you weigh evidence A over evidence B, yes I will believe that the sky is green.
I like framework when it’s run well. 2nd rebuttal is too late to read an overview/framework of any sort: the round is already too crystalized for you to tell me what I should prioritize first and foremost when signing the ballot and if you are going to run framework, you should be willing to sacrifice your speech time to expand upon it- aka take the risk of going first. Utilitarianism is the default weighing in round unless you tell me otherwise.
I don't vote off of cross unless it is completely mind blowing. Most of the times, I won't be paying attention to it. If you want to bring up something from cross in your later speeches, shout "Judge, this is important" or something along those lines during cross so that I can note it down. Don't turn cross into a shouting match and don't be rude.
Don’t extend your own case in both rebuttals and in 2nd rebuttal you HAVE to frontline or you’ll automatically lose the round. Reextending cards in case isn’t frontlining.
Defense isn’t sticky
Whatever goes conceded in summary can’t be brought up in final focus and in summary go beyond just reiterating what went on in rebuttal and be interactive with your opponents’ argument.
In final focus, the round should be narrowed down to 1 or 2 voters and I honestly don’t like it when you overcomplicate things by trying to go for multiple things when you can just focus on one voter and extend it really thoroughly. A good final focus should mirror summary and quite literally tell the judge how to write their ballot.
Progressive arguments : I probably won't be able to evaluate progressive arguments to an extent that LD/CX judges do, so keep that in mind whenever running them.
- YALL PLS DON'T BE LIKE "OH THE SPREADING WAS ANALYTICAL" I CAN'T FOLLOW ALONG, ALWAYS SEND A SPEECH DOC
I don’t want to see a pf round turn into LD 2.0 so if you are going to run progressive arguments, make sure it fits into the format of a PF round. Don’t spread like 5 off and expect me to follow along w/o a speech doc and I honestly don’t think any education can come out of a round that a judge can’t understand properly.
Kritiks: this is the progressive argument I feel most comfortable in judging, in most cases I probably won’t have any trouble evaluating them.
Theory: If you are going to run it, do it well. What I mean is if you would like to run theory as a sole voting issue in the round, you would need to put in time and effort to persuade me into thinking that I should drop the debater (which is a pretty high goal). If you are going to read it as a time suck and ultimately end up kicking it (which you totally can), don't expect me to account for the t shell in making my decision. Also, don't be abusive with theory. If you're objectively from a big school with lots of resources running theory to a small school who doesn't even know what theory is, I don't think the round would be very fair. In short, don't run theory just because you want an easy win and don't weaponize it.
don’t be abusive/disrespectful with progressive arguments
Don't be racist, sexist, homophobic, discriminatory, or derogatory in any manner. That would result in a 25L. If you're going to run an identity based argument(especially afropessimism, orientalism, LGBTQ+ literature, etc) don't do it unless you're part of that community.
Please weigh. If you and your opponents both do everything right and I'm left with two valid arguments that say the opposite, it is quite literally impossible for me to determine who the winner is without intervening. Tell me why your evidence or logic is better than your opponent's.
Have fun debating:)
I have been coaching and judging PF for eleven years. I judge on local circuit tournaments and have also judged many national circuit tournaments, including the TOC. I am familiar with the topic, but that does not mean that you should not explain your arguments. As a coach I am very aware of all the nuances of Public Forum debate.
Put me on the email chain: email@example.com
Tech>truth (I always try to be tabula rasa and not interject my knowledge into your round). I will vote on just about anything besides abusive, offensive arguments. I will take arguments as true, unless otherwise argued by your opponent for the scope of the round.
I can flow speed, but I prefer not to. I do not want you to use it as a way to exclude your opponents. In the end, Debate is about intelligible conversation, if you are going too fast, and don't do it well, it can get in the way of clarity of expression, which upsets me.
I do not flow cross-fire, but I do pay attention to it. However, if you make an excellent point in cross-fire, you will have to bring that information up in a subsequent speech. Also, DO NOT be rude, I will reduce your speaker points for it. It is inappropriate for teams to make their opponent's feel inferior or humiliate them in the round.
If you are speaking second, please address your opponent's responses to your case, especially turns. It does not have to be an even split, but make sure it is something that you do. Defense is not sticky, you need to extend it.
I expect that summary and final focus are cohesive to each other. First summary needs extend defense. Second summary needs to address responses on your case, especially in areas you are going to collapse on, and it should also respond to turns. I do expect that you collapse and not go for everything on the flow in summary. I WILL NOT vote on an issue if it is not brought up in summary. Please weigh in your final two speeches and clash your arguments to those provided by your opponent.
As I expect the summary and final focus to be consistent, that also means that the story/narrative coming from your partnership also be consistent. I may not give you a loss because of it, but it is harder to establish ethos. Defend a consistent worldview using your warrants and impacts.
Make it easy for me to fill out my ballot. Tell me where I should be voting and why. Be sure to be clear and sign-post throughout.
Extensions need to be clean and not just done through ink. In order for you to cleanly extend, you need to respond to responses, and develop your warrant(s). You cannot win an impact withtout warranting. In rebuttal, please make sure you are explaining implications of responses, not just card dumping. Explain how those responses interact with your opponents' case and what their place in the round means. DO NOT just extend card names in subsequent speeches.
The flow rules in my round for the most part, unless the weighing is non-existent. I will not call for evidence unless it is a huge deal, because I view it as interventionist.
DO NOT make blippy arguments-warranting matters!
DO NOT make the round a card battle, PLEASE. Explain the cards, explain why they outweigh. A card battle with no explanation or weighing gets you nowhere except to show me why I shouldn't vote on it.
And finally progressive debate-I really don't have preferences for progressive arguments, except that you do them correctly, and are not using them as a gimmick to win a round. I will evaluate Ks and theory, but they are not a huge part of debate in my state in PF, run at your own risk.
Hi, I am a third-year student at the University of Virginia. I've judged speech and PF before and am a lay judge. I usually take a lot of notes but please limit the technical stuff if possible.
Crawford Leavoy, Director of Speech & Debate at Durham Academy - Durham, NC
Email Chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a former LD debater from Vestavia Hills HS. I coached LD all through college and have been coaching since graduation. I have coached programs at New Orleans Jesuit (LA) and Christ Episcopal School (LA). I am currently teaching and coaching at Durham Academy in Durham, NC. I have been judging since I graduated high school (2003).
- Speed is relatively fine. I'll say clear, and look at you like I'm very lost. Send me a doc, and I'll feel better about all of this.
- Run whatever you want, but the burden is on you to explain how the argument works in the round. You still have to weigh and have a ballot story. Arguments for the sake of arguments without implications don't exist.
- Theory - proceed with caution; I have a high threshold, and gut-check a lot
- Spikes that try to become 2N or 2A extensions for triggering the ballot is a poor strategy in front of me
- I don't care where you sit, or if you sit or stand; I do care that you are respectful to me and your opponent.
- If you cannot explain it in a 45 minute round, how am I supposed to understand it enough to vote on it.
- My tolerance for just reading prep in a round that you didn't write, and you don't know how it works is really low. I get cranky easily and if it isn't shown with my ballot, it will be shown with my speaker points.
SOME THOUGHTS ON PF
- 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 bevery 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.
- Everyone should be participating in round. Nothing makes me more concerned than the partner that just sits there and converts oxygen to carbon dioxide during prep and grand cross. You can avert that moment of mental crisis for me by being participatory.
- Tech or Truth? This is a false dichotomy. You can still be a technical debater, but lose because you are running arguments that are in no way true. You can still be reading true arguments that aren't executed well on the flow and still win. It's a question of implication and narrative. Is an argument not true? Tell me that. Want to overwhelm the flow? Signpost and actually do the work to link responses to arguments.
- Speaks? I'm a fundamental believer that this activity is about education, translatable skills, and public speaking. I'm fine with you doing what you do best and being you. However, I don't do well at tolerating attitude, disrespect, grandiosity, "swag," intimidation, general ridiculousness, games, etc. A thing I would tell my own debaters before walking into the room if I were judging them is: "Go. Do your job. Be nice about it. Win convincingly. " That's all you have to do.
- I'll give comments after every round, and if the tournament allows it, I'll disclose the decision. I don't disclose points.
- My expectation is that you keep your items out prior to the critique, and you take notes. Debaters who pack up, and refuse to use critiques as a learning experience of something they can grow from risk their speaker points. I'm happy to change points after a round based on a students willingness to listen, or unwillingness to take constructive feedback.
- Sure. Let's post round. Couple of things to remember 1) the decision is made, and 2) it won't/can't/shan't change. This activity is dead the moment we allow the 3AR/3NR or the Final Final Focus to occur. Let's talk. Let's understand. Let's educate. But let's not try to have a throwdown after round where we think a result is going to change.
I am a lay judge who began judging debates last year when my son entered HS. I have been a judge in about five debate tournaments not including States, which was this past Spring. I take judging seriously, and have incredible admiration for HS debaters and the time and effort that one has to contribute in order to be an effective and competent competitor.
What I look for when judging is mutual respect, debaters to not rush their words so that we, the judges, can understand what they are trying to communicate, and I highly encourage signposting. I want to underscore the importance of not speaking so fast that it becomes difficult to follow your argument.
While I appreciate the motives behind progressive argumentation, I do not have experience judging it and therefore would advise debaters to not use this in rounds that I judge.
Although I am not perfect, I promise at each debate to do my best and to give my full attention to the debate at hand.
- Former student at New Trier HS (2015-2019) and the University of Pittsburgh (2019-2022).
- Experience: 6 years as a policy debater, no TOC bids, & NDT doubles (NDT '21) in college. I have been coaching for 2 years and judging for 4 years, albeit the past year and a half has been PF heavy.
**PF Stuff at the bottom
Cameras on preferably, slow down, and I don't know why this happens but wait until you know 100% that I am present before you give an order or start your speech. A black screen with my name means I am not there/ready unless I say otherwise.
- For this specific topic, I am not familiar with the trends and arguments being made on the circuit, specifically the subsets, but I am knowledgeable on NATO as an organization from a previous college topic.
- My experience is policy-heavy, but in college, I strayed away from strict policy debating to more critical debating on both sides, mostly reading iterations of racial security and racial capitalism kritiks and critical affs with a plan. I am most comfortable adjudicating DA v. case, CP/DA v. case, and K v. case; it ultimately isn't my choice what I hear, but point is I think I've seen, heard, and debated a wide variety of arguments that will help aid in judging so do what you know best.
- I find debate enjoyable and I truly appreciated judges who gave a full effort in paying attention and offering an understandable RFD so I will attempt to emulate that in every round that I judge. With that, the best thing you can do for yourself is, up to you how you go about this, to orient your debating around "making my job easy". Whether you lean critical or policy, be more reliant on explanation and spin rather than being solely reliant on what your evidence says. Show me the big picture and within that picture, point out any fine details that are important for me to evaluate. Be explicit, get straight to the point, and avoid unnecessary speak/fillers. Judge instruction is key.
- A judge is never going to be unbiased when listening to different types of arguments. However, pre-conceptions are malleable and good debating (lbl, explanation, etc.) can supersede argument bias, but given my varying degrees of knowledge/expertise in different arguments, adaptation will matter in how "good debating" is performed in round.
- Continuity in argumentation and explanation will be scrutinized. Having been on both sides as a 2N and 2A, I believe many final rebuttals get away with a lot of new spin/explanation, so as I have throughout judging debates, I will hold a higher standard for extensions and such.
- Absolutely do not read morally reprehensible arguments such as death good, racism good, homophobia good, etc. There is no room for that in debates, and it is not courteous to your judge or opponents. You will be dropped and receive a zero.
- The link below will take you to a doc that I wrote many years ago, containing specific thoughts I have about specific types of arguments. I honestly do not think it's as relevant as it was when I was a first year out, but if you aren't familiar with what I think of certain arguments, then feel free to check it out to gain some more clarity. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1d5pO-KRsf90F5Y-9Hfc1RlzRxsu21KCSxV9aVZFcRH0/edit?usp=sharing
- Don't hesitate to ask me any questions about my college debate experience as well as my time at Pitt. Feel free to email me or ask after the round!
I am a flow-centric judge on the condition your arguments are backed with evidence and are logical. My background is in policy debate, but regardless of style, and especially important in PF, I think it's necessary to craft a broad story that connects what the issue is, what your solution is, and why you think you should win the debate.
I like evidence qualification comparisons and "if this, then that" statements when tied together with logical assumptions that can be made. Demonstrating ethos, confidence, and good command of your and your opponent's arguments is also very important in getting my ballot.
I will like listening to you more if you read smart, innovative arguments. Don't be rude, cocky, and/or overly aggressive especially if your debating and arguments can't back up that "talk". Not a good look.
Give an order before your speech
hi! i debated pf and parli for princeton high school (2018-22). i now coach for flintridge and compete in british parli for usc
lmk if you have any questions on facebook or email me at email@example.com
tldr normal flow judge who is lazy and doesn't like intervening
honestly, analytics/logic > evidence. i'm super disinclined to vote off an arg if i don't understand it even if you throw a billion stats at me. i'll probably believe anything if it's warranted enough though. this also means i have a really high threshold for extensions in summary & ff so always overexplain please :)
please stay in the 150-200 wpm range or send a speech doc (but this will make me sad i hate flowing off speech docs just read a shorter case pleaseee). also i don't flow author/source names so when u extend don't just say "extend amadeo" tell me what amadeo said
the bare minimum for second rebuttal is responding to turns, you also should frontline anything you want to go for (yay sticky defense)
i don't listen to cross, i won't look at cards unless you tell me i have to, i'm not gonna time anything so y'all keep track, idc what you wear to round
if you have questions about my decision don't hesitate to ask me! i'm always down to help clear anything up
don't be any of the -ists, if you do i drop you with the lowest speaks possible
disclaimer: i was an east coast pf debater, run at your own risk, and please please i'm begging u don't speak too fast
kritiks: if you run these explain rotb to me like i'm a lay judge bc i have no clue how to evaluate
tricks/trix: no pls
theory: please only run it if you genuinely believe in it and are actually trying to set good norms
sing your case to the melody of Baby by Justin Bieber for 30 speaks
bring me watermelon for 30 speaks
reference A barbie movie (not THE barbie movie, important distinction, ask me for examples if you're confused) for 29+ speaks
if it's just a chill friendly round everyone gets higher speaks, my least fav rounds are when i walk away hating everyone in the round
follow me on instagram :) @annaliuu_
I'm glad you're doing Debate, I look forward to watching your round, and I wish you the very best of luck!
Before all else, I am a FLOW JUDGE. Here's more specifics on what I want to see in a round:
- All arguments need clearly explained logical warrants, as it's not my job to make logical leaps for you
- Claims must be grounded in evidence, and when there's contradictory evidence on both sides, I'd like an explanation of why to prefer your evidence/warrant, because otherwise I'm left guessing
- Structure your speeches how you feel is best, but signpost so that I know where you're at on the flow
- In a good round, both sides will have valid arguments left, so please WEIGH IMPACTS in later speeches
- I don't flow cross-ex, so if something important happens there, make sure it's in your next speech
- I expect you to stand your ground (this is debate after all), but maintain a baseline of respect/decorum
- I would much rather you ask a clarifying question than attack an argument that wasn't made (don't strawman your opponents, ever)
- I'm cool with a little speed, you have a lot to cover, but please don't spread, because that defeats the point of this activity (I also don't like K's/theory/progressive debate)
I'm always happy to answer any questions before or after the round, since this is an educational tool before all else, and you're here to learn (don't lose sight of that).
Have a great day, make a friend, learn something new, and enjoy it.
my email is firstname.lastname@example.org for email chains.
i debated pf for four years at nueva with anjali ramanathan and graduated in 2020. in the fall i'll be attending uchicago!
my view of debate is very similar to anjalis and she does a good job explaining her paradigm here: https://www.tabroom.com/index/tourn/postings/judge.mhtml?judge_id=1287777&tourn_id=16664
tl;dr: i'll hear basically anything unless its problematic, i like clear narratives/link stories with weighing, i don't mind a little speed but i'm also usually pretty tired so know that it doesn't always work in your favor, and have fun because then i'll have more fun :))
do let me know if you have any questions and i'd be happy to answer them!!
Coach for Westwood
I will flow every speech and be focused on the round. I love the activity and know how much time you put in - you deserve a judge that pays attention and that cares. Go as fast as you want but be clear. More often than not you don't need to read 4 contentions or go as fast are you're going - quality is way more important than quality.
Speaks are a function of strategy (good collapsing, weighing, going for dropped turns and doing it well, etc) and practices (disclosure, cut cards, etc). I do not care what you wear. Speaks will range from 28 to 30 unless you do something unacceptable.
I will research most, if not all, of the topics. So, you can assume I have background knowledge, but if you're reading something super specific explain it and your acronyms.
Smart analytics > bad evidence or paraphrased blips.
If you want a short version - I agree with Akhil Bhale.
- No prep stealing (it's quite obvious)
- Have the cut card for any piece of evidence that you read easily accessible (bare minimum), if your going to send links to large PDFs please strike me.
- I am uninterested in listening to and will not vote for arguments that endorse self-harm or suicide. Spark and other hypothetical impact turns are fine.
- Do not use racist/sexist/misogynistic rhetoric.
- I will "flow" cross-examination and it is binding (it exists for a reason). I hate it when teams don't understand their own arguments and this is the time to make it obvious. Probably won't be a voting issue but could be made into one.
"Preferables" (your speaks will automatically improve but I won't hold it against you unless convinced otherwise by theory etc.) :
- Disclose previously broken positions on the wiki (personally think new Affs/Negs are good but that is a debate to be had)
- Read from cut cards
- Send constructive and rebuttal docs with all the cards before your speech. I will never call for specific evidence after the round. If I think the evidence will decide or influence my decision I will go to speech docs to read it, if it isn't there too bad. Sending evidence after the round is just a way for debaters to send new evidence they didn't read, highlight evidence, cut parts out - I don't want to deal with that. TLDR: It helps both you and the debate if you send docs. I am a sucker for good evidence. If you have some really good evidence make sure I know about it - call it out by name. Again not an excuse for not debating - don't hide behind your evidence.
- Pre-flow before the round.
- Tech > Truth (to an extent) - if an argument is dropped it is considered true but still has to be an argument for you to win on it (ie. it must be extended with uniqueness/link/internal link/impact), new implications or cross applications justify new responses to the specific implication. If you blow up a 2-second rebuttal blip - my threshold for responses won't be very high. More stuff on progressive arguments later.
- Read whatever you want to read - do your own thing. More on specific progressive arguments later.
- Open CX is fine (both people can speak/explain during cross-examination). Flex prep is fine and often good (ask questions during your prep time).
- 2nd rebuttal should collapse and frontline everything on the argument you're going for. Efficiency will be rewarded with good speaks. Defense is not sticky. Most "weighing" is new responses more on that later - at the latest 1st final but that's probably way too late and justifies 2nd final responses which isn't good for you anyway. 0 risk is a thing, but most defense will be evaluated on a probabilistic scale. 1st summary is the last time, I will flow new arguments. (There is a distinction between new arguments and new weighing - be careful.)
- Most substantive questions will be revealed on a probabilistic scale - comparative risk of the arguments. In 99% of debates, both sides will win some offense so comparative weighing and impact calculus can and often decides rounds. Procedural arguments often have to be evaluated on a yes/no basis (does the AFF violate the interp, RVIs or no RVIs, etc.)
- Turns. I love them but they are often done terribly. 99% of link turns need uniqueness to be offensive (ie. If the AFF tells me there is no negotiation in the status quo, and the NEG goes for a link turn about how the AFF makes negotiation worse, I have no idea what the impact to negative negotiation is.) Impact turns are also often interesting debates - if the link is contested (I hope it isn't if you're going for an impact turn) or if your opponents go for a different argument, then extend it clearly. If both teams seem to agree to the link and it just becomes an impact debate, I don't really care about link extensions too much. There are only 2 types of turns. Link turns and impact turns. New DAs and ADVs are often labeled as turns but you won't fool me and don't try - more on that later.
- Weighing. Also something I love but is often done wrong. There are three weighing mechanisms: probability, timeframe, and magnitude. Any other mechanism is either a subset of those three (ie. scope is a subset of magnitude) or isn't a weighing mechanism (ie. clarity of the strength of the link or whatever people like to say.) Unless convinced otherwise (which is easily possible), link weighing/debating > impact weighing. I often find that nuclear war outweighs climate change or poverty outweighs death is irrelevant with good link weighing. I will give examples of link weighing below: at the latest these arguments need to be introduced by 1st summary. Probability link weighing are no-link arguments or "mitigatory defense." Stuff like "it is hard for terrorists to get BMDs because of monetary and technical constraints" is definitely link defense and needs to be in 1st summary at the latest. Probability is a function of how much defense you win on an argument, I will not arbitrarily assign probabilities (ie. say climate change is more probable than nuclear war) - you have to explain to me why that is the case which often is just link defense. Timeframe link weighing can be great. Arguments like the NATO bank at the earliest even if created won't get funding for years etc. Magnitude link weighing is really good and often underused (ie. "scope of solvency"). Solving bitcoin emissions won't solve climate change writ large etc. That being said, I can be convinced that impact weighing comes before link weighing. Arguments like extinction first and Bostrom and viable and can also be good. I hope everyone knows what impact weighing is so not going to go too in-depth on that. Last note - turns case is really, really good and also really, really underutilized in PF. Conflict probably ends negotiations, climate change probably makes war more likely, economic growth probably resolves underlying conditions for crime, etc. These types of arguments can really help you frame a round and establish why your came case comes first. Impact weighing and turns case can come by 1st final by the latest.
- Try or die can be convincing if done well. It is often a great strategy if you are going for an extinction impact and the NEG has conceded uniqueness. This is not an excuse for not frontlining - 0 risk is a thing. Timeframe is a really good weighing mechanism in try or die/extinction first debates and can often implicate probablity.
- Framing debates are also really interesting - extinction first etc. Framing arguments are not a substitute for link debate but a supplement. If you win policy paralysis and the other team wins a very large risk of their extinction scenario, the other team has probably won the round.
- Quality > quantity. Not too many interesting thoughts here. Good weighing and link debating wins rounds - avoiding clash, being shifty, and dumping blips doesn't.
- Empirics aren't arguments but can help your position combined with warrants. If you have good empirics that are specific to the mechanism of the resolution/your argument you're probably in a good spot.
- I could care less about quantified impacts. They are often random predictions by conspiracy theorists or terrible models. Even worse, debater math. I would much rather your impact be economic growth than some math you did with different studies and percentages. Extinction is an impact, recession is an impact, etc - I do not care about your 900 million card.
- Kicking case in reading a new DA/ADV in 2nd rebuttal is a bad idea. You essentially just wasted half of the debate. I will have a very low threshold for responses and encourage theory. This is different from reading 4 minutes of turns (ie. kicking case and just going for prolif good). I am perfectly fine with that, in fact, that would be quite fun.
Below are some thoughts on progressive argumentation. Don't read these arguments to win rounds - it's quite obvious. You disclose for the first time and read disclosure theory, change from full text to open source for 1 tournament to meet your interp, etc. I will still vote for it if you win but your speaks won't be great. Also, don't read progressive arguments just to beat novices - I will give you the worst speaks I possibly can.
- I have mixed feelings on disclosing broken interps - could be convinced either way. In general, meta-theory is interesting and under-used.
- Topicality is also interesting. Define words in the resolution. Intent to define and evidence quality is extremely important. Unlike most theory debate, precision, your interpretation, and the evidence matter a lot more to me than the limits/ground debate.
- While I will not "hack" against these arguments be aware it is an uphill battle if you are defending paraphrasing good or disclosure bad. If you win your CI and everything on the flow of course I will still vote for you. If it is a close-round, you know which way I am probably going to vote.
- I default to competing interpretations, no RVIs, spirit of the interp, and drop the debater. I can easily be convinced otherwise. If paradigm issues are dropped/agreed upon they do not need to be extended in every speech. If the debate devolves to just theory under competing interps - I am voting for the better model of debate, I could not care that you won no RVIs (personally, no RVIs doesn't mean you can't win on a counter-interp in my mind)
- Reasonability is a good tool against mis-disclosure (open-source versus full text etc) and frivolous shells. You should still read a counter interp - but explain why the marginal differences in your models of debate are outweighed by substance crowd out etc.
- Read your shell the speech after the violation (if they paraphrase in 2nd rebuttal - feel free to read paraphrasing theory in 1st summary.) Theory after that is fairly late and really hard to have good clash, thus probably will result in intervention but if you think its necessary read it (bad language etc.)
- For some reason, small school counter-interps are quite popular and I get why (I read them myself a few times.) However, I am inclined to believe that arbitrary entry limits are just that arbitrary. Also, a lot of small schools are in big prep groups with a lot of resources, or just don't have a lot of people competing etc.
- Theory is unaccessible is a terrible argument - there are tons of resources out there and if you need more help/advice feel free to email me. It is just like responding to any other argument.
- Theory cards, in most cases, are overrated and are often just written by former debaters and will be evaluated on the same level as any other standard/argument. This is different from topicality interpretations and impact weighing/cards against Ks.
- "Substantive Ks" like Cap K or Security K are great but probably will just be evaluated as DAs or impact turns. Reading it as a K is often just an excuse to get out of the uniqueness debate, and when your alternative is just rejection, I don't think that gets you very far.
- Non-topical positions are also fine - I am familiar with most of the stuff people read in PF, but if you're reading high-theory or something confusing - slow down and explain it. I won't vote for something I can't explain back to you. This is my one exception to disclosing new Affs/Negs. I strongly believe non-topical positions should be disclosed before the debate to allow for clash.
- I slightly lean towards T/FW against K affs/negs probably because K debate in PF isn't done very well - but can easily be convinced otherwise. K teams should go for impact turns, weigh the K against the shell, and have a good CI that mitigates the limits offense. Do not read a K based on research about x argument and discourse and then make a prepouts bad argument on theory - that doesn't make too much sense. Weighing is really important in these rounds and I find that the theory teams get away with some stuff too easily (answer stuff like fairness is key to participation which comes before your method.)
- I am also down for a method v method debate, or PIKs etc. Conditionality is probably good against a new K aff/neg (ie. fine with T/FW combined with a PIK etc)
- Long pre-written overviews are not as useful as line-by-line and specific weighing.
- Also, please have an actual method. If you say "vote for me because I pointed this out," you probably won't get my ballot.
- Paraphrased Ks are a big no. Non-negotiable.
If you got this far, thank you for taking the time to read this. If you have any questions feel free to email me whenever. I will always disclose unless the tournament explicitly tells me not to. Postrounding is good if it is constructive and educational - but this time, I will have already submitted my ballot and will not be able to change it. Feel free to email me questions after the round as well.
LD debater for 4 years and coach since 2012. I am fine with most debaters' speed and I will say clear until I can understand you. I am fine with policy style/structured arguments (Plans, DAs, CPs, Ks, T, Theory, etc). While I have written, ran and coached kids in basic K debate, its been 6+ years since fully immersing myself in the literature. Because of that, you may should do a little extra when explaining the implications of arguments (same goes for other forms of dense philosophy).
In most varsity rounds I think prep time is better spent strategizing/layering than generating arguments. Show me you understand how to prioritize, layer and the way arguments interact, not that you can ten-point everything on the flow.
For all arguments, it seriously irks me when people run positions in a way that excludes their opponent from understanding them as a tactic to win. That will tank speaks.
I really enjoy the use of weighing metrics and if you give me analysis as to why your metric is better than your opponents metric (e.g. probability vs. magnitude, etc.), it will raise your speaks.
Love to be on the chain.... email@example.com
edited for LD 2022-3
I have not judged a lot of LD recently. I more than likely have not heard the authors you are talking about please make sure you explain them along with your line by line. Long overviews are kind of silly and argumentation on the line by line is a better place for things Overview doesn't mean I will automatically put your overview to it. If you run tricks I am really not your judge. I think they are silly and will probably not vote for them. I have a high threshold for voting on theory arguments either way.
edited for Congress
Speak clearly and passionately. I hate rehash, so if you bring in new evidence and clash you will go farther in the round than having a structured speech halfway to late in debate. I appreciate speakers that keep the judges and audience engaged, so vocal patterns and eye contact matter. The most important thing to me is accurate and well developed arguments and thoughtful questions. For presiding officer: run a tight ship. Be quick, efficient, fair, and keep accurate precedents and recency. This is congressional debate, not congressional speech giving, so having healthy debate and competition is necessary. Being disrespectful in round will get you no where with me, so make sure to respect everyone in the room at all times.
Don't ask about speaks you should be more concerned with how to do better in the future. If you ask I will go back and dock your speaks at least 2 points.
Edited for WSD Nats 2020
Examples of your arguments will be infinitely more persuasive than analogies. Please weigh your arguments as it is appropriate. Be nice, there is a difference between arrogance and excellence
Edited for PF 2018-9
I have been judging for 20 years any numerous debate events. Please be clear; the better your internal link chain the better you will do. I am not a big fan of evidence paraphrasing. I would rather hear the authors words not your interpretation of them. Make sure you do more than weighing in the last two speeches. Please make comparison in your arguments and evidence. Dont go for everything. I usually live in an offense defense world there is almost always some risk of a link. Be nice if you dont it will affect your speaks
Edited for 2014-15 Topic
I will listen to just about any debate but if there isnt any articulation of what is happening and what jargon means then I will probably ignore your arguments. You can yell at me but I warned you. I am old and crotchety and I shouldn't have to work that hard.
CXphilosophy = As a preface to the picky stuff, I'd like to make a few more general comments first. To begin with, I will listen to just about any debate there is out there. I enjoy both policy and kritik debates. I find value in both styles of debate, and I am willing to adapt to that style. Second, have fun. If you're bored, I'm probably real bored. So enjoy yourself. Third, I'm ok with fast debates. It would be rare for you to completely lose me, however, you spew 5 minutes of blocks on theorical arguments I wont have the warrants down on paper and it will probably not be good for you when you ask me to vote on it. There is one thing I consider mandatory: Be Clear. As a luxury: try to slow down just a bit on a big analytical debate to give me pen time. Evidence analysis is your job, and it puts me in a weird situation to articulate things for you. I will read evidence after many rounds, just to make sure I know which are the most important so I can prioritize. Too many teams can't dissect the Mead card, but an impact takeout is just that. But please do it all the way- explain why these arguments aren't true or do not explain the current situation. Now the picky stuff:
Affs I prefer affs with plan texts. If you are running a critical aff please make sure I understand what you are doing and why you are doing it. Using the jargon of your authors without explaining what you are doing won't help me vote for you.
Topicality and Theory- Although I certainly believe in the value of both and that it has merit, I am frustrated with teams who refuse to go for anything else. To me, Topicality is a check on the fringe, however to win a procedural argument in front of me you need specific in round abuse and I want you to figure out how this translates into me voting for you. Although I feel that scenarios of potential abuse are usually not true, I will vote for it if it is a conceded or hardly argued framework or if you can describe exactly how a topic or debate round would look like under your interpretation and why you have any right to those arguments. I believe in the common law tradition of innocence until proven guilty: My bias is to err Aff on T and Negative on Theory, until persuaded otherwise. Disads- I think that the link debate is really the most significant. Im usually willing to grant negative teams a risk of an impact should they win a link, but much more demanding linkwise. I think uniqueness is important but Im rarely a stickler for dates, within reason- if the warrants are there that's all you need. Negatives should do their best to provide some story which places the affirmative in the context of their disads. They often get away with overly generic arguments. Im not dissing them- Reading the Ornstein card is sweet- but extrapolate the specifics out of that for the plan, rather than leaving it vague. Counterplans- The most underrated argument in debate. Many debaters don't know the strategic gold these arguments are. Most affirmatives get stuck making terrible permutations, which is good if you neg. If you are aff in this debate and there is a CP, make a worthwhile permutation, not just "Do Both" That has very little meaning. Solvency debates are tricky. I need the aff team to quantify a solvency deficit and debate the warrants to each actor, the degree and necessity of consultation, etc. Kritiks- On the aff, taking care of the framework is an obvious must. You just need good defense to the Alternative- other than that, see the disad comments about Link debates. Negatives, I'd like so practical application of the link and alternative articulated. What does it mean to say that the aff is "biopolitical" or "capitalist"? A discussion of the aff's place within those systems is important. Second, some judges are picky about "rethink" alternatives- Im really not provided you can describe a way that it could be implemented. Can only policymakers change? how might social movements form as a result of this? I generally think its false and strategically bad to leave it at "the people in this debate"- find a way to get something changed. I will also admit that at the time being, Im not as well read as I should be. I'm also a teacher so I've had other priorities as far as literature goes. Don't assume I've read the authors you have.
Include me in the evidence chain if we're using one: firstname.lastname@example.org
If any of this is confusing, ask me before the round and I'll explain.
Former PF debater with Nueva. Flow judge but my flowing skills were never that great - I'll follow your complicated arguments as long as you signpost your way through them.
It is my belief that debate is a game which we engage with to better ourselves through the mechanisms of competition, collaboration, inquiry, and improvisation.
Prefer if you don't call me "judge". Generally - it's my opinion that the speeches don't actually need to address a specific person (the judge), but instead should be given as if given to a public forum (hah, imagine that). If you want, you can just call me Liam though.
I can track relatively quick speech, but anything quick risks getting muddied on the flow - if you're way too fast for me to understand I'll call "clear".
All offense in final focus wants to be in a summary - ideally this means extended specific cards as well. No new offense in rebuttals (unless it links out of opponents case: turns, etc.). The whole offensive overview situation is pretty ambitious these days IMO - but I understand it's allowed as a convention. I feel like it crosses a line when there's new terminalization in an offensive overview read at the top of rebuttal that doesn't link out of internalized link turns on the opponents case.
I flow your summary entirely on your sheet in a new column - this shouldn't effect you unless you don't signpost your points and just read down the opponents flows when defending during summary (voters based summary speeches are sick).
Cross-X is for y'all not me. I won't flow it. Use it to understand the other case and bring any cool epiphanies into the actual speeches.
The fastest path to the ballot is to weigh your terminal arguments against theirs in final focus.
I interpret Tech > Truth. This means that I will vote on an argument that I know to be factually incorrect if it isn't adequately defended.
I have no real exposure to theory, but I have no real baseline objections given that it's unlikely your opponents are any more clueless than me. Articulate it well and we'll see.
I'll call for any cards which end up affecting ballot evaluation and are contested in round. I'll also call for any cards that are blatantly absurd, but I'll only flag these if you're committing pretty egregious evidence abuse.
Good (qualified) cards > good analytics > bad cards > bad analytics.
One of the more compelling ways to weigh your arguments in the final focus is to specifically compare the veracity of your link chain to theirs in the context of the outstanding defense - not new argumentation, but why I should prefer your link story to theirs.
Outside of extent circumstance a non-terminalized argument doesn't exist on the flow.
I'll give verbal RFDs. If you really want an in-depth written one, let me know and I'll try to write it up.
The fastest path to the ballot is to weigh your terminal arguments against theirs in final focus.
I have a bias towards arguments which present bold and/or interesting perspectives on the topic. These will get my attention. Any contention which internally links through bat extinction gets a free 30 speaker points.
I have no preferences with regards to how you present yourself physically. Sit down during speeches. Wear a t-shirt. As long as everyone in the space is comfortable and I can hear you, I don't care.
My understanding of the lit is that speaker points are objectively pretty biased - often against the intentions of the judge. To mitigate this my speaker point range will be clamped to 28 to 29.5 outside of a few exceptions:
- If you're abusive during the round (reading exotic argumentation against teams that clearly aren't prepared and not accommodating, verbally aggressive during CX, pretty much any ad-hom) you might get something lower.
- If you take ages to pull up evidence or don't have it cut to the (relatively low) standards of PF you probably get lower.
- If you're violent (verbally counts) against any marginalized groups you probably get a 0. If this is blatant you probably end up dropped as well. I will not be a perfect judge of this but I think it is a necessary ex-ante responsibility of the judge role.
- Any brazenly creative arguments (fresh, spicy, innovative) can earn you a 30
- A really really clean and organized first summary can warrant a 30 - that speech is tough.
cosby '21 fsu '25
put me on the email chain email@example.com
3 years pf (Qualled to TOC, States, Broke at many Nat Circuit Tourneys), 1 year NFA-LD (Qualled to NFA Nats)
let me know if you want to see my flow of your round after it's over - i'm uncomfortable sending flows to debaters that weren't in the round though because i think that unfairly helps debaters w more clout
feel free to postround me respectfully, i recognize that i'm capable of making wrong decisions or understanding arguments incorrectly - i'm here to learn and improve just as much as both teams are
i will drop you for misgendering someone, apologies don't solve and i'm not at all open to hearing arguments that claim otherwise.
please read an opt-in cw for any argument that may contain sensitive content, if you don't and a team reads cw theory I honestly don't see myself ever not voting for it. when in doubt err on the side of reading one.
how do i decide who i vote for?
first - i go through every piece of offense in each final focus and determine if every important piece of the argument is extended (all too many rounds i vote based off a team failing to extend a link, warrant, or impact)
next - i look at the defense on each of these - if no weighing is done, i default to whichever argument is the path of least resistance - if both teams have no offense left, i presume the first speaking team - this is also when i call any cards i'm told to or that i think are bad
then - assuming there is weighing, i vote based on whichever weighing mechanism is best justified - if none are justified, i default magnitude first, probability second, and timeframe third - i think lots of other mechanisms used in pf fall into one of these (for example, severity is a type of magnitude, strength of link is probability) i also look to framing at this step if there is any and apply that as well. also on weighing, the most convincing and best weighing is link-ins and prereq weighing, this prob comes before any other generic mechanisms
paraphrasing is fine, just please have a cut card for whatever ur paraphrasing. if someone calls for ev and u send an 80 page pdf and tell me to control f something and read around it im not evaluating your ev. its really not that hard to just copy and paste that paragraph and highlight what your reading.
theory and ks are fine, I didn't run them in HS but I have gotten a lot more familiar with them in college ld so I would probably be a good judge if you want to try/test prog args. just please dont run trix, i hate them.
for theory i default to competing interps and no rvis
ks are fine, just try to have a link to the resolution
most importantly i want to make debate an inclusive space where everyone can have a fun and educational time so please let me know if there is anything i can do to make the space more accessible
North Broward Prep '22
Add me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Any args are fine, as long as it is clearly explained
I'll give high speaks as long as you debate relatively well and are respectful
A little bit about me: I competed in speech and debate for three years during high school, specifically in PF, Congress, limited prep, and interp events. I even dabbled a little in LD and World Schools. Now, I stay involved with the speech and debate community by coaching PF at Phoenix Country Day School in AZ.
As far as paradigms go, I'm open to pretty much any argument you can warrant properly and impact out. I will vote off the flow, but that means your arguments need to be made clear to me. I can keep up with speed, but if I put my pen down, you've lost me. At the end of the round, I am looking for offense, which includes both the impact and the link into that impact, that has been extended cleanly through the debate. Then, it comes down to the weighing that you have done for me on that offense. Don't make me do that work for you because it probably won't turn out the way you want it to!
General things to note:
- Please stand for your speeches unless there is a legitimate reason you are unable to. It helps your public speaking, your persuasiveness, your confidence, you name it.
- For the love of all things holy, SIGNPOST, SIGNPOST, SIGNPOST!!!! I want clear taglines and numbered responses. The more organized you are in your responses, the more likely I will follow every piece of your argument, meaning the more likely I am to vote for you.
- I like off-time roadmaps. That means something short like, "I'm going aff then neg," or, "The order will be overview, their case, our case." It shouldn't be anything more than telling me where I will be flowing.
- I will not call for a card unless you specifically ask me to during one of your speeches.
- If something important happens during CX, bring it up during a speech.
- Don't be rude to your opponents. I love a little sass and sarcasm because debate definitely calls for that sometimes, but don't blatantly disrespect one another.
Technical things to note:
- Second rebuttal should frontline (quickly) anything that will be extended in summary.
- Extend important defense. Defense is sticky, but it strengthens your position if you hang onto important defense throughout the round.
- Counterplans: These don't belong in PF. They are a clear violation of rules. Counter advocacies with the necessary probability weighing are fine, but no plan text or specific implementation plan.
- Kritiks: I find Ks really interesting, and I am all for their entrance into PF when you have a tech judge/panel. I want you to read your K to me as if I have not read the literature surrounding the issue though. Just because you say a buzz word, does not mean I understand the argument. Make sure it is well formulated if you want my ballot.
- Theory: If there is a clear violation of PF rules, don't run a shell. Just tell me about the violation during a speech, and that will suffice. If there is a violation of norms that you feel is genuinely worthy of bringing up (i.e. no frivolous theory), I am willing to hear it out. That being said, I am not super well-versed in theory debate, so you just need to make sure you explain to me what the impact of your argument is on the round and why I should care about it. In all honesty, if a team runs theory, you are probably more likely to get my ballot without running a counterinterp and just responding to it the way you would any other argument. All the jargon starts to get lost on me.
I started this technical section based on questions I am frequently asked in round. It is nowhere near exhaustive, so if you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to ask me when both teams are present before the round!
Also, please include me in the email chain: email@example.com
I am a lay judge who prefers to see clear and persuasive arguments that convince me to vote for you.
hi im sahana ! I am currently a freshman at Emory university. I debated public forum at quarry lane for four years.
tech > truth
please add me to the email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org. Send speech docs before each speech !
I'm fine with speed, but make sure you're clear. Frontline in 2nd rebuttal. Any offense you're going for in final focus should be extended completely (uniqueness, links, impacts) in summary. Please collapse !
Start weighing as early as possible and definitely focus on comparative weighing (both link and impact level if possible), when I'm looking at the arguments, I'll start with the one with the strongest weighing.
Always be respectful towards your opponents. I won't evaluate arguments that are sexist, racist, homophobic, ableist, etc. Lastly, debate can be stressful but make sure to have fun :)
Regarding progessive arguments, I have little to no experience with Ks (I’ve debated a K maybe once or twice). If you want to read a K, I think it’s super interesting but I probably won’t be able to evaluate it well and am not a great judge for that. I’ve debated theory, and have more experience with it than Ks, but I’m not extremely experienced with it either.
Good luck and feel free to email me before or after the round if you have any questions.
Speak clearly. Any speed is fine as long as you slow down and read your tag lines and main points very clearly. Spreading is fine. Give clear indication of when you have reached the burden you set out.
LD: I am a true values debate judge in LD. Tabula rasa judge. Flexible to any kinds of cases and arguments as long as they are respectful. If your case is not topical or abusive and your opponent argues and proves that in their speeches then I am willing to vote based on topicality, education and abuse.
PF and CX: Be respectful and cordial to your opponent. I’m open to most anything in Policy rounds. Always stay on the debate topic, don’t wander off onto an irrelevant subject because it’s more enjoyable to argue about than the topic is. Always allow your opponent the opportunity to complete their sentence before continuing to cross.
I’m a Tabula rasa Judge especially in Policy debate. If you don’t tell me how you want me to weigh the round and set a minimum burden for each side to have to meet within the round to win then I will default to judging based on the block and will turn into a games playing judge and will make voting decisions based on what my flow shows and dropped arguments or arguments that were lost or conceded will very much factor into my vote. Impacts, Warrants and links need to be made very clear, and always show me the magnitude.
High School Policy - 3 Years
College Policy (City University of New York)- 4 Years
Cumulative Judging/Coaching (CUNY, NYU, NYCUDL, Bronx Science, Rutgers University) - ~ 5 years
GSU 2017 Edition
I'm coming out from a 2 year debate hiatus and an intensive video production/broadcasting program. I haven't been up to date with the latest literature on the debate circuit so don't assume I know your Jackson evidence is hot fire without any warrants. I also may not be your top pick for your fast and clever Consult CP debate because my hands are not fast enough to send that message to my brain. This might change with more judging throughout the season but I'll let you know.
On to the general stuff...
I evaluate the debate based on who did the best debating. That's usually done through my flow unless you create a framework for me to do otherwise. Run what argument fits your style and do it to the best of your ability. Args of the meme variety are on the table but you would have to do a lot, and I mean a lot of work, for me to vote on them. Please also note that I won't be down for your oppression good, rights Malthus type of args.
Make sure you can jump / e-mail chain files in less than 5 minutes (not for me but for the tournament staff). I will do my best to keep my rhetoric gender neutral. As a general rule, I tend to stick to gender-neutral pronouns however I will do my due diligence to be familiar with your preferred pronouns and you have every right to correct me on the spot if I fail to do so.
Solid. I'm not the best public policy analyst on the circuit to know some of the nuances of your args so this would require some explanation of what these abbreviations mean and what do they look like in the context of the debate.
I'll listen/flow them. I vote on them every now and then.
As I mentioned above I'm not the best when it comes to CP theory. My general opinions on CPs, in general, is neutral so if you need someone with a firm stance on whether a consult CP is legit or not then you should defer to a different critic.
Mid America Cup 2023 UPDATE: please send all cases (and cut cards) to email@example.com prior to constructive for me to read along w you.
I kinda don't care about cross in tech rounds. If something important happens, say so in a speech.
HOWEVER, if both teams agree, I'm more than happy to cut all prep time for 6 additional minutes of grand cross.
For prog stuff, I'm really pretty out of the loop in terms of jargon. Explain it well.
Hi I'm Abraham (he/him).
If there's anything I can do to make the round more accessible to anyone in any way, please let me know and we can work on something together :)
I evaluate the round primarily off of the arguments made.
Properly extended links, warrants, and impacts (with good frontlines, as necessary) that are clearly compared against - and weighed over - other arguments (on link, warrant, and impact level, also as necessary) will win my ballot. (Proper weighing isn't just saying "probability" or "magnitude." It must be directly and specifically comparative)
That being said, I'm also a fan of "big picture" and "narrative" style debating. Make your arguments fit a clear theme, or have a theme around your arguments: make and frame the round (or at least your arguments) about a bigger idea or concept. Boil your points (and narrative) down to a concise, simple, and memorable message or thesis (if you can, aim for a unique narrative as well). Also, weighing your narrative makes it all the more persuasive. [To be clear, I think narrative debate won't necessarily decide who I vote for: if you win the narrative but lose all your arguments, I'm probably gunna drop you - but, if you win your arguments and can make a good, effective narrative as well (while not abandoning the flow), I will like that, and give higher speaks. Narrative can also be helpful for winning close rounds as well.]
I also a sucker for clever bits of rhetoric, such as well thought-out and executed analogies or witty chiasmus (to be clear, good rhetoric alone won't win you the round, but it'll help your speaks). Funny quips are also good.
Be smart and strategic. You can go fast if you want.
Also if something is dropped in the speech after it is read, it is dropped for the round. So, if 1st Rebuttal reads something, 2nd Rebuttal drops it, 1st Summary extends it as dropped, it is TOO LATE for 2nd Summary to read new responses (2nd Summary CAN weigh against it though). That being said, new stuff can be in 2nd Summary if it's "advancing the debate" in my opinion. So, if R1 says something, R2 responds, S1 rebuilds/responds to what R2 said, S2 can further "advance the debate" on said thing, giving new analysis / evidence to what S1 said in response to R2. This is rather rare though, often the debate doesn't get to that level. If that does happen, and S2 says new stuff that specifically responds to S1's response to R2's response to R1's response, F1 can advance the debate even farther by saying new stuff in response to S2's new response (which is in response to S1's new stuff, which responds to R2's new stuff). So yeah, new in final is ok in this case. In theory, that means that F2 can say new things as well if it's responding to new analysis from F1, but this is such a specific and small case that I doubt it will happen. Generally, rather than continuing to go back and fourth like that on some response by adding new stuff or warranting, teams should weigh the response against the case/frontlines given, or weigh the case/frontline against the response. It's cleaner and easier.
Also, if one team makes a poor extension (misses links or whatever) and the other team points it out in the speech after, that counts as pretty terminal defense, e.g. if 1st Summary extends case poorly, and 2nd Summary points that out, then that arg is pretty sufficiently responded to in my view. It's also too late for 1st Final to try to extend fully to make up for 1st Summary. BUT: if 1st Final does try to revive it, 2nd Final should point out the improper extension made in 1st Summary.
**PLEASE don't be afraid to ask me any questions 1) before the round, about anything covered or not covered here, or 2) after the round, about anything in my decision or evaluation of the round - just as you all want to improve as debaters, I want to improve as a judge. (Please postround me. I do not find it disrespectful. Please postround. PLEASE!)
Other stuff that other judges probably have that might be helpful for you as a debater:
- i'M a FoRmEr Pf DeBaTeR
- Go as fast as you want. I'll let you know if it's too fast or unclear what you're saying.
- 2nd Rebuttal doesn't HAVE to frontline anything necessarily, but it's usually strategic to do so. If R2 speaker does not frontline anything on their own case, all the defense (and turns) is/are conceded, which basically means that their case is now perma gg'ed. Some rounds it doesn't make sense to frontline case though. Up to you to decide what to do in R2 that's strategically best for you in the round. Basically, if you wanna win case, you should probably frontline in R2, but it's not necessarily always strategic to try to win case...
- bE rEsPeCtFuL iN cRoSs -> meh I don't really care. Be aggro if you want, I was always kind of aggro in cross, don't be outright mean though - let them talk. You can push for concessions and stuff tho, or try to ask trap questions to put them in a bind. If they do concede something important, mention it in a speech - the first one that you can after the cross in which the concession was made (if they concede a contention in 1st cross, have rebuttal mention it - don't say nothing about it in rebuttal and expect me to value the concession if it's only later explained in summary)
- email chain or google doc is preferred.
- wear whatever you want in the round - I don't have a preference on whether you're in a suit or a t-shirt - whatever you feel comfortable in and helps you debate the best (for me, it was a suit lol, but my partner liked casual dress)
- If you get to round before your opponents and I'm also in the room (like one team and I are just chilling, waiting for the other team), you can challenge me to a game of online chess (probably blitz) on lichess/chess.com, you don't need an account to play btw. If you beat me, +.3 speaks. If I beat you, auto L20. Jk. If I win, nothing happens, if you win, slight speaks boost (you'll get more depending on how badly you beat me. If you crush me in a beautiful way, sacrificing your queen for some crazy checkmate pattern, I might award you up to +.8 speaks or whatever). If you also wanna just play for fun, that's cool too. [note: I'm not that good at chess, but I enjoy it, so challenge me and you can probably win some free speaks] [note: you can also still get a 30 without playing chess w me]
Please use a proper content warning prior to discussing potentially sensitive topics in speech. What that means:
1. Say, before the speech begins, a brief content warning statement (eg. "Brief content warning, this speech discusses nongraphic references to _____. We will provide an anonymous google form for opting in or out, as well as additional questions")
2. Send a link to an anonymous google form in the chat (or some other anonymous system, ideally not phone number). Provide not only a "opt in / opt out" option, but also a box for anonymous questions that could be used to ask for more specifics on something. State, however, that such questions will be answered out loud, unless specified otherwise. (You can make a link shareable google form in about 2 minutes. If needed, I can make one)
3. Wait until you receive "opt in" for every person participating in the round - BOTH opponents, and ALL judges. You can ask spectators to please leave the room if they would like to opt out.
4. If there is unanimous "opt in", say so out loud, and you may proceed with your speech. If there is EVEN ONE "opt out," please DO NOT proceed with your speech. If the CWed argument was a block, don't read that block, if it was a contention, read a different contention.
5. If you forgot to do this before your speech, and you started your speech, and realized you are about to make an argument about a potentially sensitive topic, please PAUSE YOUR SPEECH, proceed with the above steps, and you may resume your speech when all participants have answered, adjusting your speech accordingly. You will not be penalized in any way for doing this. In fact, I would greatly appreciate it.
Please follow these steps. Failure to follow these steps will make me unhappy, and potentially cause bad experiences for other members of the round. If you fail to do this, the bar for content warning theory is low, and I'll probably vote off it. Debate should be safe and accessible for all, no exceptions.
PROGRESSIVE ARGUMENTATION (feel free to skip this section if you're not gunna read some prog.)
I DO evaluate progressive argumentation. High bar though, must be done properly. If not, I’ll just look elsewhere, and you will have wasted your speech time. Be smart about it. Also, the same rules for extending regular arguments applies to prog too. If you want me to vote off of it, you gotta extend it properly and fully. If the other team calls out a poor extension, that's probably GG for the prog argumentation, unless perhaps you make some new prog warrants as to why it shouldn't be GG, and why I should change my judging philosophy. The bar for responses to that kind of prog ideas (ideas like my partner's summary extension can be sus and you should still vote for it bc XYZ) is pretty low - the other team doesn't have to say much for me to not believe the prog warrants for why I should let bad extensions happen. Oh yeah, that also means don't read new prog warrants in 2nd FF as to why your partner's bad 2nd Summary extension is permissible, it's too late lol. Even if other team doesn't make technical responses like "they dropped role of the ballot," if the prog team did, in fact, drop some crucial part to the argument, then I still probably won't vote for it (unless you give me prog reasons why I should vote for it anyway).
If you are going to read prog, let me know before the speech so I can get another piece of paper. If what you're going to do is really out there, feel free to ask me about it before the round starts, I can give you my opinions on it / if I know how to evaluate it.
I'm down for some wacky stuff - you could run some prog saying I should evaluate rounds differently - like, if you give good warrants as to why I should just not pay attention to their 2nd Final for whatever reason lol, and it's like uncontested, I'll probably buy it, given it's done in a good way, presented sufficiently early in the round. That being said, there are some things I can't do. I can't give double win or loss, as far as I know. I can't give you 100 speaks. (I mean maybe if a team makes a prog arg saying I should do one of those things, and then proceeds to tell me how to do it bc I'm dumb and don't know how to hack tabroom's code to let me do something like that, then maybe I'll do it haha). Other than that, I'm open to prog stuff relating other, less rigid parts of the debate, like maybe speech times or something.
Args for presumption are important if you want me to presume a specific way. If no presumption arguments are made and I have to presume, I'll probably flip a coin or have siri flip a coin. If it's your strategy to have the round decided on a coinflip, great! If not, make args to why I should presume a certain way.
ALSO: don't just dump unintelligible prog on some novices or something. No point. If you're like a senior and you can't beat a novice team on the flow without prog, cmon. (this is a little tricky because ideally everyone should be evaluated on an equal plane, but there's a pretty big prog disparity on the circuit. I don't want to say I'll drop you for running prog in bad faith, because I understand that prog has some clear strategic benefits, but idk. I guess if you're gunna run prog for the ballot, make it AS ACCESSIBLE AS POSSIBLE for the opponents, ESPECIALLY if you know they may not specialize in this style of debate. I think we'd all prefer a good round over of a bad one, where the opponents are completely shut out from debating.
If you get prog run on you, and you'd rather concede the round to spend the remaining time to just discuss prog in general or discuss the arguments that the prog team read, with the goal of furthering understanding, that's cool with me.
ALSO: if you do run prog: be nice about it. If the opponents genuinely don't understand / are trying to understand it better, don't be mean to them. If you are, I might drop you just because.
ALSO: I reserve the right to intervene on / against any specific prog argumentation - like if someone makes an especially problematic prog argument, I may intervene against it. I also am not opposed to intervening and/or ending the round for reasons of mental wellbeing - eg: if a team asks me to end the round over a content warning shell, and I believe it is warranted, I will end the round.
Feel free to ask me questions about prog before the round. That being said, my knowledge and understanding of this style of debate is by no means exhaustive. I know there's a lot I don't know about prog.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org, pronouns: she/her
hello! i debated in pf at dougherty valley for 3 years (doughtery valley kp and dougherty valley rp) and am now a sophomore at ucla. i'm a flow judge that will buy basically anything, but above all please make sure you are inclusive and kind.
- first: make sure you are reading content warnings with opt outs for sensitive topics (if you are unsure if a topic requires a content warning, better safe than sorry). if you are racist, sexist, homophobic, or discriminatory in any way i will drop you regardless of the content of the round.
- tech>truth, i love unique arguments that bring new perspectives to topics, i will not call for any evidence regardless of how sus i think it is if you do not prompt me to (i think that's intervention) HOWEVER, if i do call for the evidence and it is terribly misrepresented, i reserve the right to drop you
- second rebuttal should frontline, at least all of the offense, if you don’t i consider it dropped
- no "offensive overviews" in second rebuttal please, pf speech times were not built for this, if you are reading turns they must be implicated when you read them, i will not buy new implications into second summary and final
- i love love love weighing and think it's the best part of a debate round! please do it as early as second rebuttal. PLEASE please collapse on ONE argument in second rebuttal
- speaks are started at 28.5, i think speaks are arbitrary and allow biases to creep into judging so i will only go up based on strategic decisions made in the round or if you make me laugh , not speaking style
- you can talk as fast as you want but if i say clear 2 times and still can't understand you i'll stop flowing
- i prioritize WARRANTS over an evidence throwing party any day. good analysis > unwarranted stats
- i really really don't like when people get angry and mean during debate rounds. there is no reason to be mean over a round you won't remember in a few weeks.i will tank your speaks heavily for this :(
- summary and final should mirror each other and extend your case and impact. i will not vote off of it if the full argument and impact are not in both speeches.
- i have experience with theory arguments but if i feel even slightly that you are reading the argument to win ballots, not because there is abuse, i will not vote on it. i have slightly less experience with Ks but i can understand and judge most if you explain the warrants and framing.
above all, have fun! let me know if there's anything i can do to make the round more comfortable for you :)
i debated at hamilton high and toc qualled senior year
while i'm all for dumping responses, i would prefer if y'all actually warrant and implicate your responses
2nd rebuttal doesn't have to frontline defense, but it does have to frontline turns/DA's
if 2nd rebuttal doesn't frontline defense, then 1st summary doesn't have to explicitly extend it
i generally give high speaks unless someone was being rude, sexist, racist, homophobic, etc.
im open to progressive argumentation, but im fairly new to it so explain it thoroughly
speed doesn't really matter as long as you're clear, but if you're going to spread send a speech doc
if you have any questions feel free to ask before the round
email - email@example.com
Hey, I'm Vienna! I did PF at Harker, but as a judge I lean more flay than flow.
Add me to email chains: firstname.lastname@example.org
- I'm okay with speed to a reasonable extent, and please signpost.
- Second speaking team's rebuttal should at the very least frontline new offense brought up during first speaking team's rebuttal.
- Everything in final focus should ideally have shown up in summary
- Claim + warrant + impact + author + date. Particular emphasis on the warranting part because chances are you know the ins and outs of the topic much better than I do. I'm all for hearing out squirrely arguments as long as I can understand them.
- Blatantly misconstruing/paraphrasing evidence in a way that strongly favors you will probably automatically lose you the round.
- If evidence is called, find and send it in a timely manner. And don't steal prep (this especially goes for online tourneys).
- I have extremely minimal experience in evaluating progressive arguments (e.g. theory, Ks, Tricks, etc.)
I mostly did PF in HS.
read bolded for a quick rundown if you're unwilling to go through the whole paradigm.
1. Truth>Tech. That being said, I will not prescribe my own understanding of argumentative substance to bail you out when you're confronting bad substance/bad faith arguments. If the content of your opponents' arguments is fundamentally false, they should be especially easy for you to answer without any help from me.
2. On Speed/Spreading - Speed is fine but it must be purposeful. Speed is not purposeful if you're unclear and lack diction (I will yell 'clear' or 'louder' if I struggle but if I need to keep doing that I'm going to nuke your speaks). Speed is not purposeful if all you're doing is introducing blippy arguments in hopes that one makes it across and wins you the round (you could literally just read more cards on legitimate arguments to strengthen your links instead of the blips). Speed is not purposeful if you're actively disenfranchising the other team by spreading (you do NOT need to spread versus a novice team, just out-debate them). Just because I might have your case doesn't mean it's all on my flow, I am not as familiar as you are with your own literature. If you're incomprehensible all you're doing is making me uninterested.
3. On Ks - Kritik arguments should NOT depend on my understandings of terms of art/common terms from your authors, whose viewpoints I am likely unfamiliar with. Just because you're running doesn't a K doesn't mean you don't have to DEBATE and explain why you're winning on the K flow. Yeah if the K goes unresponded then its a winning argument but if you don't extend/explain to me why the K wins (aff or neg) beyond "they had no response to the K" then presume I drop the K. Extend the K.
4. On Weighing - Rhetoric impacts are bad arguments. Explain/Weigh why your impacts are impactful. Don't just tell me 'poverty bad', explain why poverty is bad and what poverty actually causes. You can't outweigh on "Scope". There is no implication to what "Scope" means unless you give it context. Impact calculus takes into account Magnitude, Probability, Timeframe. Implicate what your advocacy has in terms of contextualized warranting versus just yelling out "scope" and praying it works out (it won't).
5. On Evidence Sharing - Just use an e-mail chain/Speechdrop. Please don't be the reason the tournament is running 30min-1hr longer than needed. I'm not saying you have to send over your cases (PF), I know that the norm on that is still being established (in PF) but no judge wants to watch you stand awkwardly over someone's shoulder while waiting for a card, just send it electronically and that way judges can have it too if it becomes a point of contention. If a card you called out for is miscut/misleading and this is enough to win you the round TELL ME THIS. TELL ME TO READ THE CARD BEFORE I MAKE MY DECISION BECAUSE IT TURNS THE ROUND. Don't get mad at me after the round because you didn't explicitly tell me to read a card.
6. On New Arguments - I try my hardest to give debaters as much agency as possible to actually debate. That being said, DO NOT introduce new arguments in the last speech of the debate, I will - at best - ignore them or - at worst - vote you down if the team after you argues that the introduction is a voting issue (fairness/time, etc.) This happens enough that it needs its own section.
7. On Framework - I will default to a utilitarian framework to weigh unless given an alternative by either team. In terms of defaulting to utilitarianism, unless a team in the round offers an alternative framework then this is generally what people would end up arguing under anyway (I literally don't trust teams to weigh appropriately so I'll just save us all the time and say this in my paradigm to at the very least mentally prepare you to weigh in some capacity). You can lose the framework debate and still win the round. Winning framework does not inherently mean you win the round. It is entirely possible to lose (or concede) the framework debate and still win. Framework is about who operates better under that given paradigm.
8. On Crossfire - I don't flow crossfire. If anything happens during Cross that you feel is relevant to winning then refer to it in your next speech so it is on paper. This doesn't mean saying something like "In Cross they said Nukes aren't real so they lose C2." I want you to tell me the other team conceded the link on C2 so I can put it on my flow (SIGNPOST WHERE THE RELEVANT CROSS INTERACTION SHOULD/WOULD BE ON MY FLOW). Aff always gets first question. Why are we doing the whole "may I have first question" song and dance still?
9. On Extensions - Summary and Final Focus should be aligned - whatever you extend in Final Focus should also have been present in Summary. I don't believe defense is sticky. You should still extend defense on an argument unless the other sides explicitly kicks out.
10. On Tricks - Don't. Deliberate attempts to subvert clash by lying, misleading, hiding arguments, being unethical will be poorly received. What're you trying to prove by doing this? That you can't win a round by actually debating? I'll nuke your speaks since I believe this actually "kills debate". To be clear, a funny tagline is funny and okay, but you know when something is a pun and when something is deliberately misleading.
11. Don't be rude - Personally abusive language about, or directed at, your opponents will have me looking for reasons to vote against you. There are more important things in life than winning while also being mean to other human beings. We're all trying to partake in something that we enjoy/makes us happy. Don't be the reason someone has a terrible day.
LES PHILLIPS NUEVA PF PARADIGM
I have judged all kinds of debate for decades, beginning with a long career as a circuit policy and LD coach. Speed is fine. I judge on the flow. Dropped arguments carry full weight. At various times I have voted (admittedly, in policy) for smoking tobacco good, Ayn Rand Is Our Savior, Scientology Good, dancing and drumming trumps topicality, and Reagan-leads-to-Communism-and-Communism-is-good. (I disliked all of these positions.)
If an argument is in final focus, it should be in summary; if it's in summary, it should be in rebuttal,. I am very stingy regarding new responses in final focus. Saying something for the first time in grand cross does not legitimize its presence in final focus.
NSDA standards demand dates out loud on all evidence. That is a good standard; you must do that. I am giving up on getting people to indicate qualifications out loud, but I am very concerned about evidence standards in PF (improving, but still not good). I will bristle and/or throw my pen if I hear "according to Princeton" as a citation. Know who your authors are; know what their articles say; know their warrants.
Please please terminalize impacts. Do this especially when you are talking about a nebulosity called "The Economy." Economic growth is not intrinsically good; it depends on where the growth goes and who is helped. Sometimes economic growth is very bad. "Increases tensions" is not a terminal impact; what happens after the tensions increase? When I consider which makes the world a better place, I will be looking for prevention of unnecessary death and/or disease, who lifts people out of poverty, who lessens the risk of war, who prevents gross human rights violations. I'm also receptive to well-developed framework arguments that may direct me to some different decision calculus.
Teams don't get to decide that they want to skip grand cross (or any other part of the round).
I am happy to vote on well warranted theory arguments (or well warranted responses) and am receptive to Kritikal arguments in PF.
LES PHILLIPS NUEVA PARLI PARADIGM
I have judged all kinds of debate for decades, beginning with a long career as a circuit policy and LD coach. I have judged parli less than other formats, but my parli judging includes several NPDA tournaments, including two NPDA national tournaments, and most recent NPDI tournaments. Speed is fine, as are all sorts of theoretical, Kritikal, and playfully counterintuitive arguments. I judge on the flow. Dropped arguments carry full weight. I do not default to competing interpretations, though if you win that standard I will go there. Redundant, blippy theory goo is irritating. I have a fairly high threshold for deciding that an argument is abusive. Once upon a time people though I was a topicality hack, and I am still more willing to pull the trigger on that argument than on other theoretical considerations. The texts of advocacies are binding; slow down for these, as necessary.
I was trained in formats where the judge can be counted on to ignore new arguments in late speeches, so I am sometimes annoyed by POOs, especially when they resemble psychological warfare.
Please please terminalize impacts. Do this especially when you are talking about The Economy. "Helps The Economy" is not an impact. Economic growth is not intrinsically good; it depends on where the growth goes and who is helped. Sometimes economic growth is very bad. "Increases tensions" is not a terminal impact; what happens after the tensions increase?
When I operate inside a world of fiat, I consider which makes the world a better place, I will be looking for prevention of unnecessary death and/or disease, who lifts people out of poverty, who lessens the risk of war, who prevents gross human rights violations. "Fiat is an illusion" is not exactly breaking news; you definitely don't have to debate in that world. I'm receptive to "the role of the ballot is intellectual endorsement of xxx" and other pre/not-fiat world considerations.
LES PHILLIPS NUEVA LD PARADIGM
For years I coached and judged fast circuit LD, but I have not judged LD since 2013, and I have not coached on the current topic at all. Top speed, even if you're clear, may challenge me; lack of clarity will be very unfortunate. I try to be a blank slate (like all judges, I will fail to meet this goal entirely). I like the K, though I get frustrated when I don't know what the alternative is (REJECT is an OK alternative, if that's what you want to do). I have a very high bar for rejecting a debater rather than an argument, and I do not default to competing interpretations; I would like to hear a clear abuse story. I am generally permissive in re counterplan competitiveness and perm legitimacy. RVIs are OK if the abuse is clear, but if you would do just as well to simply tell me why the opponent's argument is garbage, that would be appreciated.
The state of PF has compelled me to do the unthinkable — write an actual paradigm. Here we go!
I debated for Walt Whitman High School for 3 years in PF.
I WILL NOT FLOW OFF OF A DOC.Read fewer arguments, don't try to dump your way out of clash.
NEW WARRANTS ARE NEW ARGUMENTS. If your argument didn't have a warrant or an impact in rebuttal, I will evaluate it without one, even if it newly appears in summary or (god forbid) final focus. That being said, GOOD WARRANTS > UNWARRANTED EVIDENCE.
RESOLVE THE WEIGHING DEBATE. If nobody tells me definitively which impact is more important I will decide based on vibes. This is probably a BAD THING for you. I really like pre-requisite and short-circuit analysis — if you don't butcher it I'll probably vote off of it.
Ks ARE GREAT, THEORY BETTER NOT SUCK. To be fair, your K better not suck either. I have fairly significant experience with K debate, but definitely make my role as a judge clear in your advocacy. If you run a frivolous or weirdly nit-picky shell in front of me, the best-case scenario for you is an LPW. Disclosure good, paraphrasing bad whatever. I don't really care about niche theory jargon; "paraphrasing is bad for X reasons" is the same thing as "A IS THE INTERP HEWJKHFJQKHJK" to me.
I AM LITERALLY BEGGING YOU ON MY HANDS AND KNEES TO COLLAPSE. I won't hack against you if you don't, but I will definitely assume that you hate me and want me to suffer if you extend 5 args in the back-half.
BE SILLY AND GOOFY AND HAVE FUN. Having a toxic, venomous round is such a headache. We will all feel better if you chill. To my guys and dudes specifically, bulldozing female debaters in cross isn’t a slam dunk. It makes you look like a loser.
DEBATE IS ABOUT EDUCATION, FEEL FREE TO USE ME AS A RESOURCE.You are always welcome to ask questions/contact me after the round. My Facebook is my name (Sophia Polley-Fisanich) and my email is email@example.com (don't put me on the email chain tho).
I am a parent judge and this is my second time judging PF. I have a few simple guidelines:
- Be courteous. No personal attacks or rudeness. Stay focused on the content of the topic, not veer into debate technicalities and theory.
- Use clear arguments, followed by evidence. Limit debate jargon
- Impact over speed: few clear arguments win over cramming in a bunch so fast that I cannot understand you. Please send me a speech document if you have one. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Final focus - Summarize in a way that writes out the ballot.
I will judge the debate as if I have no prior knowledge of anything that is being said in the round. If an argument or point is not refuted/contested by the other team, I will accept it as true.
Current:PhD student @Rice
Past: Mountain House '18, UCLA '22,
For Last Chance Qual:
Debate stock, do flay LD. No spreading. Actually try to talk persuasively, not at 300 wpm.
Efficiency, strategic collapsing, weighing >>> generic card dump
I did PF and believe debate is a game meant to be done with some flair. i’ve judged lots of ld, pf and parli (circuit, trad, whatever) at this point, can handle speed (hit me with your best shot), but I’m also older and don’t spread in my daily life. By the way, the faster you go, the more you should enunciate... People are getting worse and worse at spreading... If you can do LARP, please do LARP. If you don't LARP, procedural arguments are also good (I love T debate), theory is fine, just be clean on the flow and your extensions.. Be mindful that I am not super familiar with it. K's are okay, heed the warnings in bold below.I won't vote on any argument I don't understand; my threshold for voting on something convoluted that you spread at me is much higher. That being said, if you explain a creative, strategic argument well and carefully --> more speaks and my ballot. Entertain me, and you will be rewarded.
"The easiest way to win my ballot is to follow these three rules. Pick an issue and defend against responses constructively with more than just a re-assertion of your argument. Weigh the link against other links and the impact against other impacts. Use this issue to tell a clear story that leaves me confident when I vote."
I study engineering, so I like to consider myself an engineer/scientist in training. if a card is important to my decision, I call for it. If I find that you misrepresented it, put it out of context, whatever, I won't consider it and will tank your speaks. That being said, clever indicts against your opponents' evidence, or knowing their evidence better than they do will majorly help your speaks. Show that mastery of the topic in cross and in your speeches.
Tech >> truth, I can vote on anything and everything, and I don't believe in any form of judge intervention whatsoever. That doesn't mean you should run terrible -ism arguments, just that you can and I will consider it in my decision like any other position. However, my threshold for your opponent to call you out on it and drop it is much, much lower (because these arguments are always objectionable under normative ethics frameworks, and you have to do extra work to prove otherwise, I default normative ethics if there's no FW clash here).
for judging LD/Policy/Parli: **HATE FRIV THEORY and tricks, NOT SUPER FAMILIAR WITH KRITIKAL POSITIONS except very neolib, biopolitics, and especially, THE FEM K. If you run a K, explain it well. I've definitely gotten slower (I'm 5 years out and I no longer coach), so don't spread so quickly that you start foaming at the mouth. I can handle 300-500 wpm (this is different from online debate comfort levels, read that section). Stock issues, case, LARP, love science centered cases --> good. Don't bite each other in cross/flex.
If you run friv theory despite my warnings, and the round becomes a friv theory/trix wash of a massive shitshow on both sides, I will drop the team/debater that read the first shell. Consider yourself warned. ~~
If I stop flowing or put my pen down, you're either going too fast, or you're wasting your time by saying what you are saying, so you should switch strats immediately.
I hate frivolous theory & RVIs, so I have a much higher threshold for voting on it. I prefer case debate, but if you don't wanna do that, that's your call.
It's become clear to me that over the online format, spread is just much more unintelligible than usual. Slow down. Speed is just you compensating for inefficiency, and I'm more receptive to efficiency than anything else. If you are efficient and stay below / around 250 wpm, I will boost your speaker points by a lot. Thank you for adapting to the format.
I'm also a lot more receptive to ableism, speed K args that are triggered by shitty spread in the online format. this is an actual issue and problem that I think matters given the circumstances... Haven't heard a good shell for this, but if you run it, I will like it.
I think first speaking teams are structurally disadvantaged in PF (first summary is arguably the hardest speech to give), so if there is no offense generated in the round, absolute wash, then I default to the first speaking team.
Please weigh. Probability, Scope, and Magnitude. Impact Calculus is good. Weighing needs to start in the summary speech, maybe even the second constructive. In general, good debaters tend to be very good at weighing. Comparative statements are also good: "Even if they win [arg tag], if we win [arg tag], you vote us up because [....]"
NSDA has given summary speeches another minute.. 2nd summary better have defense, both summaries better have comparative weighing. I have a MUCH LOWER tolerance for ships passing in the night now.
Give me a roadmap, and follow it. Signpost frequently. Card by card extensions are good, and please have good warranting. 2nd summary better have defense. Don't be a jerk in x-fire.
On evidence, if a particular card is very important to my decision, I will call for it. If you misrepresented it, then I won't consider the offense/defense it generated on your side. Evidence ethics are terrible in PF. If a team tells me to call for a card, I will call for it. If all your cards seem to be terrible, I'll tank your speaks.
ONLINE PF SPECIFIC PREFS:
PF usually doesn't have emailchains, but since audio can be faulty, people can cut out for a second, please send me and your opponents the case, cut cards should be attached in a separate document (assuming you paraphrased). This saves everyone time when cards are asked to be seen during prep anyway, and I think it's a net good for education + accessibility.
Clements '22 | UT '26
4 years of PF, state and nats quals, etc etc.
put me on the chain: email@example.com
TLDR: do what you want, have fun, be respectful. im pretty flow
any form of bigotry is entirely unacceptable and will immediately result in an L25.
bring me candy/food/energy drinks for more speaks, i'm more than happy to evaluate an argument that everyone should get perfect speaks if you read it.
- pretty straightforward do what you want
- send case with cards before you speak
- framing should be read here
- anything not responded to here is considered conceded
- no need to send docs unless you're spreading or reading new offs, but i will never say no to a doc
- by far the most important speech
- if you haven't started weighing already, definitely start doing it now
- any voters in final must be in summary. if it's not here i dont care about it
- extensions are more than just "extend x card/author/arg" i need claim-uniqueness-warrant-link-impact
- defense is NOT sticky now that speeches are 3 minutes. that means defense must be re-extended in every speech that follows any offense
- like above, if its not in summary, i dont care if its in the final
- please mirror summary in both content and order
- weighing should have started earlier; the only new weighing i'll evaluate in FF is meta-weighing, which requires warranting as to why i should prefer one mech over another. it is NOT just yelling mechanisms at me
- cross is binding so long as you bring it up in a speech
- i will not look at any evidence unless i am explicitly told to do so. poor evidence ethics will tank speaks but will not lose a round, unless that argument is made
- i have little experience with progressive argumentation but i am happy to evaluate it. keep in mind i may not evaluate it how you want me to, so probably not a great idea to read 7 off
- be nice to novices, you can beat them without being rude and condescending
- i'll evaluate TKOs. If at any point in the round (post constructives) you think the opponent has NO routes to the ballot, the round will immediately end and you get a W30. However, if I think the opponent has any route to the ballot, you get an L25. High risk, high reward.
- I try to appoint speaks as fairly as possible according to each category. However, if you are losing every argument, you will not win a round just because you had a better strategy. Thus, I will retroactively adjust points as necessary.
- the first speech should have definitions, framing, burdens, a worlds comparison, and the first two substantives. It's fine if you don't have each part, but you cannot bring them up in subsequent speeches (other than substantives)
- the second speech should respond to the first and introduce the third substantive. again, you don't need a third sub, but you can't bring it up any later
- each speech should progress argumentation. i dont want to be hearing the same things in the reply as i heard in the one.
- i have only seen a handful of teams actually weigh. it needs to start at the latest in the three. you need to do more than just tell me what your impact is; compare it to the opponents' and tell me why yours is better using some mechanism
- if you want me to vote on argument, it needs to be in the 2, 3, and reply. if its missing in any of them, i will not evaluate it
- i used to have a longer paradigm but it was deleted. feel free to ask if you have any questions
If you want my ballot you need to effectively write my ballot for me. There are a few things that I mention in my paradigm that I love to see that people seem to forget about. Namely extending and weighing. You need to extend the warranting for whatever argument you are going for and extend the impact. If your opponent does not do this PLEASE point it out because in my opinion with 3 minute summaries you do not have offense unless you give some extensions. With that said, to avoid losing my ballot please signpost your extensions. Say to me "Judge please extend our first contention where we say ____ which leads to ___ which gives us our impact of ____". If only one team extends, as long as that team has some access to their argument they will probably win. This also goes for weighing. I as a judge do not want to intervene. Weighing is the easiest way for me to compare your arguments, so please weigh. If only one team weighs, as long as they have some access to their arg they are probably going to win because it doesn't matter how hard you are winning your argument if you do not tell me how to compare it to your opponents arg. In an ideal world both teams have a couple pieces of weighing by summary and then both do meta weighing in FF. Same thing goes for weighing in terms of signposting. Please directly tell me you are about to weigh and please tell me where to weigh it.
I have not ever judged LD and really do not know much about it. Please treat me as a flay judge. You can read prog arguments in front of me, but realize that I likely do not really know how evaluate them. I can handle some speed, but definitely not a lot. If you have circuit and trad cases please read the trad ones. Even if you aren't going fast I would appreciate getting put on the email chain. Please let me know if you have any questions before the round.
TW - IMPORTANT (Specifically for PF)
If you are reading something that is potentially triggering please read a TW, and give your opponents the opportunity to opt out. If you read an argument that could obviously trigger someone like sexual assault without a TW I will be mad and not like you. I understand that some people may feel this is a stupid rule because they think that it is unreasonable to force debaters to have multiple cases, but I would say it is a lot worse to force someone to relive trauma.
I think Parli rounds are typically either really good, or quite disappointing, mainly because I think there is a big divide between teams that know how to prep, and teams that don't. Parli is not a debate about who has the best cards the way that Policy, PF, and LD are, HOWEVER, that doesn't mean that I as a judge don't value cards, I think that I have an obligation to. In my opinion the best cards to try and find in Parli by far are impact cards. You can use logic to make link chains, and you don't need evidence to define basic political facts, but you can't just assert that the electrical grid being damaged kills X many people. Having quantifiable impacts is such a huge help especially in the weighing side of the debate.
In terms of progressive debate, I am not opposed to it, but know that I am not the best judge for it.
I think weighing is incredibly important when you don't have cards, as such I think weighing should be like your main focus in Parli. You should probably start weighing as early as you can. I am also a huge sucker for meta weighing because I think that it is super under utilized, so if you do that I will be quite happy.
Although I don't think most Parli rounds should be judged on a strictly line by line level, that doesn't mean that you should abandon the flow. In fact chances are if you go line by line you are a lot more likely to get my ballot than if you don't.
A lot of my PF paradigm applies as well, so probably read that if you have time. Otherwise if you have any other questions just ask me.
I did PF. I can flow moderately fast but don't go too fast. If you spread I will insta drop you (please be aware I define spreading very liberally so to be safe just go slower). I am definitely not opposed to hearing K's or theory debates, but please be aware that I do not have a lot of experience in that realm of debate and as such I am definitely not the best judge for it. With that said, please be aware that I come from a school that did not have any support for debate and as such, although I do recognize the positive change that can run from running progressive arguments (especially against other good teams who know how to handle those arguments), I also recognize the inherent inaccessibility that prog arguments possess. I mention this so you know that I support you running prog arguments, but also am subconsciously more likely to support and vote for the team not running those args.
You need to weigh, if only one team weighs I will default to them.
Extend warrants and not just authors.
2nd rebuttal should probably frontline, but prioritize turns. Defense is sticky in 1st summary.
For the most part I am only going to call for cards if either one of the debaters tells me to, or if the card seems kind of outrageous. If I call for a card just because it seems outrageous I will only check to see if it is blatantly fake, all other evidence analysis should be done by the debaters. Any other questions just ask me.
One last thing. PLEASE EXTEND. I have had to drop multiple teams now that were dominating the round simply because they only extended their impact. You need to extend the warranting. To be safe signpost your extending. Don't just frontline and extend somewhere in your frontlining. At some point in Summary or FF say to me now extend my whatever contention.
DROPPED DEFENSE DOES NOT NEED TO BE EXTENDED IN SUMMARY
But it does need to be in FF
Dropped offense must be extended.
SIGNPOST I want to know where I'm flowing your arguments. Jumpy responses confuse me. If I’m confused by your speech you are less likely to win.
WARRANT I need you to explain why your turn is a turn to extend it. Tell me, “extend the turn on their C2, where we tell you _______ according to _______.” I won't vote on a turn without warranting.
COLLAPSE Don't make the round about 10 different arguments. Narrow it down to something you can flesh out at the end of the debate. This has become a huge issue. If the other team doesn’t collapse and you do, I’ll be more likely to vote for you because I’ll have a better comprehension of your case.
WEIGH Tell me why I prefer your argument PLEASE! SEVERITY, REVERSIBILITY, MAGNITUDE, TIMEFRAME; USE IT. If you weigh and your opps don’t; guess what? You win. Weigh.
Things that will ding your speaks/get you dropped:
1. Bad evidence ethics. If you very blatantly misrep evidence then at best I will drop your points by 1. If your opponents call for your card and then tell me to read it and drop you for bad evidence, there's a chance I'll drop you for it. Bad evidence undermines education.
2. Sexism, racism, and general excessive rudeness with get you L20ed instantly.
When giving my rfd, I am not opposed to clarifications of the debate from both teams (like postround me, hard (this doesn’t mean you get to argue with me. I’m for postrounding to clarify my decision, not to continue the debate.)). Hopefully this clarifies the debate and prevents any team from feeling like they got screwed. A judge should be able to explain their decision. I'll ask questions if I think I'm missing something.
For the most part I will support anything you run, but just ask me about it before the round.
If are going to do an email chain please put me on it: firstname.lastname@example.org (To be clear, although I want to be on the email chain for convenience sake just in case I need to look at a card, I do not plan on/want to have to be looking through your cards)
P.S. If something happens during the round that you don't feel comfortable talking about publicly (i.e. misgendering) send me a dm in zoom, an email, or any other way of conversation.
BLAKE UPDATE: If you are reading this and in LD, full disclosure, it has been a minute since I have judged LD and I have yet to do so online! Just be mindful of speed so that you don't get cut off by the tech
if you're going to not read cards or you paraphrase , you should probably strike me. In addition, it shouldn't take you longer than 30 seconds to find evidence. After 30 seconds, I will begin your prep. If it takes you longer than a minute and 30 seconds, all you can bring up is a 30 page PDF, or you cannot produce the evidence at all, you will lose the round. Please send the email chain to both email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
TL;DR- I was primarily an LD debater in high school, debating for Whitefish Bay HS in Wisconsin. I am now an assistant coach at The Blake School in Minnesota. I have different paradigms for different events, so read for the event that pertains to you and all should be fine!
Speed: Typically, I can understand most speeds. However, i have let to judge online LD, so going a bit below your top speed may be beneficial to you. Slow down for tags, CP/Plan Texts, and if you’re reading unusual kritiks or frameworks. I want to make sure I spend more time conceptualizing what you’re talking about as opposed to figuring out what you just said. I will say “clear” or “slow” three times before beginning to dock speaks.
Plans and Counterplans: Follow your dreams. I find these debates to be very interesting and a great way for debaters to creatively attack the topic. Make sure to make your advocacy very clear though.
Kritiks: While I do love a good Kritik, make sure you’re running it well. Understand your kritik, don’t just pull one out of your backfiles and hope for the best. Again, make your advocacy clear. If you’re kritik is weird, please explain it well.
Theory: I will vote on theory, but I do have questions about frivolous theory. That said, use your best judgement within the context of the round.
Philosophy: Yes please! Explain it well and you should be golden!
I will pretty much listen to, flow, and vote off of anything. Have fun :)
I do have a high threshold for extensions. Blippy extensions are not my favorite thing, so extend your warrants as well
The inability to produce a piece of evidence that you have introduced into the round ends the round in an L-25 for your team
- theory is lovely. I genuinely believe disclosure is good and that paraphrasing is bad.
- Provide impact calc throughout the round
- I will not vote on arguments that are dropped in summary, even if you bring them up in final focus, be warned. I may consider them if the warranting is a little bit blippy in summary, and better explained in final focus, but it has to 1) have been in rebuttal as well and 2) basically the only clean place to vote
- CLASH IS KEY
Please read cards. Paraphrasing is becoming a problem in debate and often leads to some kind of intellectual dishonesty. Let's just avoid that.
- Try to avoid Grand Cross becoming Grand Chaos in which there's just yelling. It isn't at all productive.
2nd rebuttal should rebuild!
- extending over ink makes me very sad :(
Do not be a terrible person. Don’t be sexist/homophobic/racist etc. If I see this, not only will I be sad, but so will your speaker points
Please please please weigh your arguments.
Also- please please please give voters!! If you don’t tell me what you think is important in round, I’ll have to decide for myself and you may not enjoy that.
please please please time yourselves and your opponent. I do however have a 10 second grace period to finish arguments you are already in the process of making, but I won't evaluate entirely new args after the speech time
Yes- I want to be on the email chain. My email is email@example.com
1. PLEASE SPEAK SLOWLY!!
2. Be polite in cross
5. Overall, just make smart arguments, while maintaining a good presentation. Please be respectful to your opponents.
6. If you add me to the email chain I will bump up your speaker points by 0.5, if you send cases I'll bump it by 1.
7. I'm a traditional parent judge.
my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a Lay Parent Judge and this will be my first time ever judging. Please speak at a moderate pace, make your points very clear, and don't use too much debate jargon.
hi hi im soph i debated w ransom everglades for 4 years on the nat circuit. now i am a sophomore at emory and coach:)
preflow before round cuz as soon as everyone is there im starting
pls add both emails to the email chain (I prefer email chains to docs) and send speech docs w/ cut cards
(i don't know why this is formatted weirdly tab just does it idk)
i will vote off the flow
tech > truth but don’t say anything ridiculous and this doesnt apply if it makes the round unsafe
start weighing in rebuttal if possible and keep it consistent
COMPARATIVE WEIGHING don’t just say “scope”
PLEASE WEIGH ANYTHING OFFENSIVE (THIS INCLUDES TURNS)
no new weighing in final, no offensive overviews starting at first summary but i dont rly like it in 2nd reb either
extend links, not just a tagline with an impact
saying “extend tariko ‘21” is also not a link extension
signpost, especially in rebuttal, if i don’t know where you are i can’t flow
SIGN MY BALLOT FOR ME. tell me what i’m voting for and why. also tell me why i’m not voting for your opponents
if there’s no offense i’ll presume for the side that lost the coin flip
- defense isnt sticky
you should have cut cards
if you want me to call for evidence, tell me to
- I'm down w ks and paraphrase theory (shoutout jdog) but technically i never actually RAN a K or initiated theory i just know how they work so take that as u will - that being said I coach 3 K teams and understand how they should be run but in like a watered down pf way so run whatever u want but send rhetoric
- with that being said- I have a very LOW threshold to feel bad if a team is in varsity and upset about hitting a varsity argument when there is a novice and/or JV division. if you are in varsity, be prepared to hit theory and potentially a K. simply saying "pf is for the public" and/or "I don't know how to answer this" probably wont win my ballot unless there is no nov division and you are clearly a nov. if that is the case-L25 for the team reading varsity stuff on novs, otherwise if you are volunteering to be in varsity nothing is off limits
- I'm not the best w tricks but I can try
- if you genuinely think I made a mistake you can postround but not aggressively pls <3
- im not gonna flow cross so just say it in a speech
- I don't hack for or against anyone so if you know me, that isn't going to influence my decision and I would be a waste of a strike
- the only caveat to the thing above is if you are known to be problematic to like an egregious point (i.e having a national news article referencing being publicly antisemitic or saying racist, homophobic, or sexist things) then strike me lol. i cant like separate the art from the artist or whatever. ill down u.
send speech docs even if you go slow and send all cut cards
i’m ok with speed as long as i can understand you, but i would still send the text to be safe
have fun, make jokes, but dont force it cuz thats weird
do not give speeches in crossfire, it’s so annoying
i start at a 28.5 ish (ill adjust based on how good the round is)
- I'm a college student who flies to tourneys so if you give me paper that will make me very happy and likely to boost your speaks it will also make my rfd better cuz I don't like laptop flows
-.5 speaks for “starting with an off time road map”
-1 speaks if you miscut/misconstrue/lie about evidence
+1 speaks if you make me laugh
please don’t call me judge im literally 18 (you can just not say judge but if you NEED to address me specifically just call me soph i guess)
you will get high speaks if you and your partner have good energy together (i wont dock you speaks if you dont cuz you have enough problems at that point)
i’ll give speaks based on strategy, how well i can understand you, and (if necessary) rhetoric
i’ll drop you w 25s if you say anything offensive
- at any camp/single pool tourney- if you read a k/theory on novs and it is obvious that they are novs prior to initiating i will drop you with 25s
I'm currently an undergrad at UC Berkeley and an assistant Speech and Debate coach. I'm a former debater who mainly competed in Parliamentary debate for Claremont High School. Alongside that, I've competed in and/or judged LD, PF, Worlds, BQ, Congress, and several speech events (mainly Impromptu/Extemp). I always appreciate a competitive and respectful round so I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say!
General Debate Notes
Please focus on your links! I believe they are just as/more important than your cards/impacts. Arguments that depend on well-thought out logic are always more interesting to listen to than a random card without much analysis from the debater. I weigh magnitude and probability heavily, meaning I will not vote for your nuclear holocaust argument just because you tell me to based on a 0.0000000001% chance. Please provide a roadmap and signpost in each speech! I want to be able to flow your case/refutations as accurately as possible and it's difficult when you spew random facts at me for 7 minutes. Remember, you could have the most beautiful argument to ever be conceived of in human history, but if I don't know where/how to flow it I can't give you credit. Lastly, be respectful! Especially during POIs and cross. That also means avoid making faces or facepalming while your camera is on, I'll probably tank speaks if a debater is being disrespectful throughout the round.
Kritiks & Theory
I'm open to hearing these arguments as long as you can justify them. There are definitely rounds where these arguments are necessary and will impact my decision. I'm not the most familiar with K's so please explain each component to me! If there's one thing I hate more than spreading, it's frivolous theory/k's that you wrote at camp 5 months ago and decided to shoe into your case. Make sure the K actually makes sense for the specific round, not one that you already decided to run before the topic is even announced. (It's an exclusionary tactic against new debaters and makes me sad ). Don't feel pressured to run these arguments either, you don't need to use jargon or this structure to explain why a definition or argument is abusive!
I'm pretty generous when it comes to speaks. If you make me laugh I'm probably going to boost your speaks too. Be respectful to your opponents, being rude is an easy way for me to dock your speaks without feeling very bad. Don't Spread, Don't Spread, Don't Spread.
If you have any other questions feel free to ask them in round! :)
Debate Experience: TOC Champion PF 2010, 4th at British Parli University National Championships 2014, Oxford Debate Union competitive debater 2015-2016 (won best floor speech), LGBTQIA+ Officer at the Oxford Debate Union.
NSDA PF Topic Committee Member/Writer: If you have any ideas, topic areas, or resolutions in mind for next season please send them to my email below.
Coaching Experience: Director of Debate at Fairmont Prep 2018-Current, Senior Instructor and PF Curriculum Director at the Institute for Speech and Debate, La Altamont Lane 2018 TOC, GW 2010-2015. British Parli coach and lecturer for universities including DU, Oxford, and others.
Education: Masters from Oxford University '16 - Dissertation on the history of the First Amendment - Religion and Philosophy at DU '14. Other research areas include Buddhism, comparative religion, conlaw, First Amendment law, free speech, freedom of expression, art law, media law, & legal history. AP Macroeconomics Teacher too so don't make econ args up.
2023 Winter Data Update: Importing my Tabroom data I've judged 651 rounds since 2014 with a 53% Pro and 47% Con vote balance. There may be a slight subconscious Aff bias it seems. My guess is that I may subconsciously give more weight to changing the status quo as that's the core motivator of debate but no statistically meaningful issues are present.
Website: I love reading non-fiction, especially features. Check out my free website Rusk Reads for good article recs.
I am very familiar with the Septober topic. Already judged 20 rounds over the summer. Probably have read over 1000 pages. In particular, I would recommend reading The Polar Pivot (22). Great way to get background on the topic. Don't try to fudge the facts. I won't intervene but I will be mad and sad.
I consider myself tech>truth but I have been approaching a closer equilibrium between the two lately due to the poor state of evidence ethics, power tagging, clipping, and more. Further, I know stakes can be high in a bubble, bid, or important round but let's still come out of the debate feeling as if it was a positive experience. Life is too short for needless suffering. Please be kind, compassionate, and cordial.
What I want to see: I'm empathetic to major technical errors in my ballots. In a perfect world I vote for the team who does best on tech and secondarily on truth. I tend to resolve clash most easily when you give explicit reasons why either a) your evidence is comparatively better but also when you tell me why b) your warranting is comparatively better. Obviously doing both compounds your chances at winning my ballot. I have recently become more sensitive to poor extensions in the back half. Please have UQ where necessary, links, internal links, and impacts. Weighing introduced earlier the better. Weighing is your means to minimize intervention.
Weighing Unlike Things: I need to know how to weigh two comparatively unlike things. If you are weighing some economic impact against a non-economic impact like democracy how do I defer to one over the other? Scope, magnitude, probability etc. I strongly prefer impact debates on the probability/reasonability of impacts over their magnitude and scope. Obviously try to frame impacts using all available tools but it's less likely I will defer to nuclear war, try or die, etc on the risk of magnitude. Probability over magnitude debates unless I'm given well warranted, carded, and convincing framework analysis to prefer the latter.
Weighing Like Things: Please have warrants and engage comparatively between yourself and your opponent. Obviously methodological and evidentiary comparison is nice too as I mentioned earlier. I love crossfires or speech time where we discuss the warrants behind our cards and why that's another reason to prefer your arg over your opponent.
Don't be a DocBot: I love that you're prepared and have enumerated overviews, blocks, and frontlines. I love heavy evidence and dense debates with a lot of moving parts. But if it sounds like you're just reading a doc without specific or explicit implications to your opponent's contention you are not contributing anything meaningful to the round. Tell me why your responses interact. If they are reading an arg about the environment and just read an A2 Environment Non-Unique without explaining why your evidence or warranting is better then this debate will suffer.
I'm comfortable if you want to take the debate down kritical, theoretical, and/or pre-fiat based roads. I think framework debates be them pre or post fiat are awesome. Voted on many K's before too. Here be dragons. I will say though, over time I've become increasingly tired of opportunistic, poor quality, and unfleshed out theory in PF. But in the coup of the century, I have been converted to the position that disclosure theory and para theory is a viable path to the ballot if you win your interp. I do have questions after the summer doxxing of judges and debaters whether certain interps of disc are viable and am interested to see how that can be explored in a theory round. I would highly discourage running trigger warning theory in front of me. All variables being equal I would prefer post-fiat stock topic-specific rounds but in principle remain as tabula rasa as I can on disc and paraphrasing theory.
What needs to be frontlined in second rebuttal? Turns. Not defense unless you have time. If you want offense in the final focus then extend it through the summary.
Defense is not sticky between rebuttal and final focus. Aka if defense is not in summary you can't extend it in final focus. I've flipped on this recently. I've found the debate is hurt by the removal of the defense debate in summary and second final focus can extend whatever random defense it wants or whatever random frontlines to defense. This gives the second speaking teams a disproportionate advantage and makes the debate needlessly more messy.
I will pull cards on two conditions. First, if it becomes a key card in the round and the other team questions the validity of the cut, paraphrasing, or explanation of the card in the round. Second, if the other team never discusses the merits of their opponents card the only time I will ever intervene and call for that evidence is if a reasonable person would know it's facially a lie.
Calling for your opponent's cards. It should not take more than 1 minute to find case cards. Do preflows before the round. Smh y'all.
If you spread that's fine. Just be prepared to adjust if I need to clear or provide speech docs to your opponents to allow for accessibility and accommodation.
My favorite question in cx is: Why? For example, "No I get that's what your evidence says but why?"
Germs are scary. I don't like to shake hands. It's not you! It's me! [Before covid times this was prophetic].
I don't like to time because it slows my flow in fast rounds but please flag overtime responses or raise your phone. Don't interrupt.
Ramblings on Trigger Warning Theory
Let me explain why I am writing this. This isn't because I'm right and you're wrong. I'm not trying to convince you. Nor should you cite this formally in round to win said round. Rather, a lot of you care so much about debate and theory in particular gets pretty personal fairly quickly that I want to explain why my hesitancy isn't personal to you either. I am not opposing theory as someone who is opposed to change in Public Forum.
- First, I would highly discourage running trigger warning theory in front of me. My grad school research and longstanding work outside of debate has tracked how queer, civil rights advocates, religious minorities, and political dissidents have been extensively censored over time through structural means. The suppression and elimination of critical race theory and BLM from schools and universities is an extension of this. I have found it very difficult to be tabula rasa on this issue. TW/anonymous opt outs are welcome if you so wish to include them, that is your prerogative, but like I said the lack of one is not a debate I can be fair on. Let me be clear. I do not dismiss that "triggers" are real. I do not deny your lived experience on face nor claim all of you are, or even a a significant number of you, are acting in bad faith. This is always about balancing tests. My entire academic research for over 8 years was about how structural oppressors abuse these frameworks of "sin," "harm," "other," to squash dissidents, silence suffragettes, hose civil rights marchers, and imprison queer people because of the "present danger they presented in their conduct or speech." I also understand that some folks in the literature circles claim there is a double bind. You are opting out of trigger warning debates but you aren't letting me opt out of debates I don't want to have either. First, I will never not listen to or engage in this debate. My discouragement above is rooted in my deep fear that I will let you down because I can't be as fair as I would be on another issue. I tell students all the time tabula rasa is a myth. I still think that. It's a goal we strive for to minimize intervention because we will never eliminate it. Second, I welcome teams to still offer tw and will not penalize you for doing so. Third, discussions on SV, intersectionality, and civil rights are always about trade offs. Maybe times will change but historically more oppression, suppression, and suffering has come from the abuse of the your "speech does me harm" principle than it benefits good faith social justice champions who want to create a safe space and a better place. If you want to discuss this empirical question (because dang there are so many sources and this is an appeal to my authority) I would love to chat about it.
Next, let me explain some specific reasons why I am resistant to TW theory in debate using terms we use in the literature. There is a longstanding historical, philosophical, and queer/critical theory concern on gatekeeper shift. If we begin drawing more and more abstract lines in terms of what content causes enough or certain "harm" that power can and will be co-opted and abused by the equally more powerful. Imagine if you had control over what speech was permitted versus your polar opposite actor in values. Now imagine they, via structural means, could begin to control that power for themselves only. In the last 250 years of the US alone I can prove more instances than not where this gatekeeping power was abused by government and powerful actors alike. I am told since this has changed in the last twenty years with societal movements so should we. I don't think we have changed that significantly. Just this year MAUS, a comic about the Holocaust, was banned in a municipality in Jan 22. Toni Morrison was banned from more than a dozen school districts in 2021 alone. PEN, which is a free press and speech org, tracked more than 125 bills, policies, or resolutions alone this year that banned queer, black, feminist, material be them books, films, or even topics in classrooms, libraries, and universities. Even in some of the bills passed and proposed the language being used is under the guise of causing "discomfort." "Sexuality" and discussions of certain civil rights topics is stricken from lesson plans all together under these frameworks. These trends now and then are alarming.
I also understand this could be minimizing the trauma you relive when a specific topic or graphic description is read in round. I again do not deny your experience on face ever. I just cannot comfortably see that framework co-opted and abused to suppress the mechanisms or values of equality and equity. So are you, Gabe, saying because the other actors steal a tool and abuse that tool it shouldn't be used for our shared common goals? Yes, if the powerful abuse that tool and it does more harm to the arc of history as it bends towards justice than I am going to oppose it. This can be a Heckler's Veto, Assassin's Veto, Poisoning The Well, whatever you want to call it. Even in debate I have seen screenshots of actual men discussing how they would always pick the opt out because they don't want to "debate girls on women issues in front of a girl judge." This is of course likely an incredibly small group but I am tired of seeing queer, feminist, or critical race theory based arguments being punted because of common terms or non-graphic descriptions. Those debates can be so enriching to the community and their absence means we are structurally disadvantaged with real world consequences that I think outweigh the impacts usually levied against this arg. I will defend this line for the powerless and will do so until I die.
All of these above claims are neither syllogisms or encyclopedias of events. I am fallible and so are those arguments. Hence let us debate this but just know my thoughts.
Like in my disclaimer on the other theory shell none of these arguments are truisms just my inner and honest thoughts to help you make strategic decisions in the round.
Philosophy Updated 9-5-17
Nick Ryan – Liberty Debate – 10th year coaching/Judging
Please label your email chains “Tournament – Rd “#” – AFF Team vs Neg Team” – or something close to that effect. I hate “No subject,” “Test,” “AFF.” I would like to be included “email@example.com”
Too often Philosophy’s are long and give you a bunch of irrelevant information. I’m going to try to keep this short and sweet.
1. I spend most of my time working with our “Policy teams,” I have a limited amount of working with our “K/Non traditional” debaters, but the bulk of my academic research base is with the “traditional” “policy teams;” don’t expect me to know the nuances of your specific argument, debate it and explain it.
2. Despite this I vote for the K a fair amount of time, particularly when the argument is contextualized in the context of the AFF and when teams aren’t reliant on me to unpack the meaning of “big words.” Don’t rely on me to find your “embedded clash” for you.
3. “Perm Do Both” is not a real argument, neg teams let AFFs get away with it way too often and it shifts in the 1AR. Perms and Advocacy/CP texts should be written out.
4. If neither team clarifies in the debate, then I default to the status quo is always an option.
5. These are things that can and probably will influence your speaker points: clarity, explanations, disrespectfulness to the other team, or your partner, stealing prep time, your use of your speech time (including cx), etc.
6. Prep time includes everything from the time the timer beeps at the end of the lasts speech/CX until the doc is sent out.
7. I think Poems/Lyrics/Narratives that you are reading written by someone else is evidence and should be in the speech document.
ADA Novice Packet Tournaments:
Evidence you use should be from the packet. If you read cards that weren’t in the packet more than once it’s hard to believe it was a “honest mistake.”
If you have any questions about things that are not listed here please ask, I would rather you be sure about my feelings, then deterred from running something because you are afraid I did not like it.
I have judged PF, Policy, and others forms of debate many times over the past few years, but I have never done debate myself.
I like a polite debate. The less cutting each other off the better especially since we are online.
It's also more important to me that you speak clearly and passionately than speaking as fast as possible.
I debated for three years on the national circuit for North Broward Prep in South Florida. I am now a student at UNC-Chapel Hill.
-Put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
-PREFLOW BEFORE THE ROUND AND DON'T BE LATE
-I will probably give you a 30 if you disclose open-source on the wiki (tell me before the round starts) and send speech docs with cut cards before constructive speeches (case and rebuttal)
-No progressive arguments unless you are disclosed open-source on the wiki
Case: I do not care what substance arguments you read as long as they are not exclusionary. I will also evaluate disclosure and paraphrasing theory if your cases are disclosed open-source on the wiki (full text disclosure/ highlights is NOT the same thing). I am probably not the best judge to read K's and other progressive arguments (with the exception of standard theory shells) in front of, but if you send speech docs and explain your arguments throughly and accessibly I will try my best. I will be fine with any speed you choose to read your case at so long as you are sending speech docs with cut cards BEFORE your speech. I will NOT be happy if you decide to spread a paraphrased case and refuse to send speech docs. This doesn't mean that I require teams to send speech docs with cut cards before speeches--just make sure that if you plan on spreading/speaking at above 300 wpm, you do so. I am not a fan of "ghost"/"hidden" links in case and my threshold for responses to these arguments will be lower in rebuttal.
Rebuttal: Again, feel free to go as fast as you want/dump as many responses as you'd like as long as you are sending speech docs with cut cards before rebuttal. I will be extremely unhappy if you dump turns and blow up the one your opponent didn't respond to in the back half if you did not send an organized speech doc before your speech. My threshold for frontlines will be VERY low if this is your strategy. I require that all offense AND defense on the contention you are collapsing on be frontlined in second rebuttal and will consider responses you don't frontline dropped. Turns must be implicated and warranted well the first time they are read if you plan on going for them. Please do line-by-line and don't read huge prewritten OVs and DAs to time skew your opponents--I understand that this is becoming a more common strategy in PF but specific responses are always best.
Summary: PLEASE extend defense in first summary. Nothing is sticky. Extend all parts of the argument that you are going for (this includes uniqueness, link, and impact) with clear warrants. Weighing must start in summary at the latest. Be efficient--you should not need to spread in back half speeches if you are collapsing strategically.
Final Focus: I will not vote for any arguments that are not explicitly explained in the final focus speeches. I will not flow any new responses and will not evaluate new weighing that isn't a response to previous weighing. You must also FULLY extend your arguments in final focus to win it.
-Please read trigger warnings on arguments that warrant one and include an anonymous opt-out form for all judges and participants. While I am a strong proponent of trigger warnings, they are not at all required for non-graphic descriptions of common debate impacts. I will certainly not look favorably upon those who use trigger warning theory to avoid discussing important issues.
-I always default to util and will presume for the first speaking team if there is no offense left in the debate
-Do not misconstrue evidence. If your opponents call you out on an egregious ethics violation, I will drop you and give you the lowest speaks possible. Do not take more than 2 minutes to pull up evidence; I will start running your prep. You MUST have cut cards ready to show your opponents if they are called for. I will not accept a 300 page pdf as your evidence and will tank your speaks if this is the case.
-Feel free to ask any questions about my paradigm before the round starts if anything is confusing
-I will disclose my decision after every debate. Postround as much as you want and feel free to ask questions about my decision. I would be happy to give speech-by-speech feedback and offer tips for improvement as well.
-Have fun and be respectful; I will not tolerate rudeness or discrimination of any kind
I did PF for 6 years at Fairmont, qualified to gold TOC twice.
Ask any specific questions you have before the round.
email chain-- email@example.com
Some stuff lol:
1. be polite, your speaks will be docked if you are rude/problematic etc *especially in cross
- cross is not a time to be making speech like arguments, use it to ask questions, clarify, set strategy etc I will not be writing things on my flow during cross unless its to clarify something
2. if its not in summary it should not be in FF. PLS EXTEND CLEAN link warrant impact if u want me to vote for it.
- big on the warranting. extensions that are blippy are not extensions i want to vote on and neither are just card names- extend warrants
- i will not vote for turns that are not terminalized or are very blippy
3. At least frontline turns in 2nd rebuttal (if you start condensing here i will be happy- feel free to drop arguments early and build clear narrative)
4.time your own speeches (and prep) and be respectful about it- a couple seconds grace period is fine
5. i prefer you do not spread, speed is fine **if it will be very fast let me know beforehand and give me and the other team a speech doc
- if it is early in the morning or late at night pls go easy on my brain lol
6. sign post please; if you are doing something weird give me a roadmap
7. prog- I'm good with it as long as u explain it/warrant well and it isn't just to mess ur opponents up
8. evidence exchange should really not take more than a minute have ur stuff ready
9. WEIGH!!!!!! and actually clash and interact with their points
10. I debated with my twin sister my entire career so if ur a twin-team auto 30s (unless you’re mean) <3
any references to the weeknd in speech will boost ur speaks (we <3 able); so will making me laugh debate is a game play it
have fun <3
Hey, I'm Cade (he/him). I debated and did extemp for Teurlings Catholic on the Louisiana and national circuits for four years. Now I compete for LSU (Geaux Tigers!) and occasionally coach/judge for Isidore Newman.
I enjoy lay/traditional debate as much as I enjoy circuit debate. Sometimes, though, I find it frustrating. To avoid frustrating me (and to get more speaks and my ballot), I suggest avoiding the following practices:
-- Spending a lot of time on the framework debate when it really doesn't matter. Don't be afraid to concede framework if you think you can weigh your impacts under your opponent's framework. 39 times out of 40, the "value debate" has no weight in my decision-making process. Ask yourself how winning the framework debate affects your overall chances of winning the debate.
-- Not collapsing. Pick one or two arguments and go for them in your final speech. This allows you to develop your central claim much more fully than you otherwise would be able to in a 3-minute 2AR. I promise you will not be able to properly extend all of the offense you read in the constructive in your final rebuttal. Trust.
-- Not having real impacts while reading a consequentialist framework. Your impacts should be a scenario. Try to paint a clear picture of what the world of the aff/neg looks like. Err on the side of over-explaining your impacts. Also, weigh them against your opponent's impacts in terms of probability, magnitude, time frame, etc.
1] Post-rounding is good! It promotes education and keeps judges accountable. Feel free to ask me as many questions as you like after my RFD. However, I will be capital p Pissed if your coach comes and fusses at me after the round has already ended — especially if you didn’t ask me questions when you had the opportunity. My only obligation as a judge is to make the best decision I possibly can. Sometimes, those decisions will be flawed. But under no circumstances will I ever be interested in engaging in any flavor of weird national circuit politics.
2] Don't be bigoted. Tech and truth go out the window the second you make a blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise exclusionary argument/remark.
3] For online debate: keep a local recording of your speeches in case someone loses connection. I really don't want to hear a rebuttal re-do.
I'm putting LD and Policy in the same section because I think most of my relevant thoughts regarding LD and Policy apply to both events. If I have a thought that I think applies to either LD or Policy but not both, I'll flag it as such. Be mad if you feel so inclined.
Run whatever you want. I'll be fine. Still though, there are some arguments that I'm more experienced/better at evaluating than others. Here's a pref shortcut:
1- policy, traditional, stock Ks
2- T, theory, phil, more dense/complex Ks
3/4- tricks (depends on the level of density)
1] An argument is a claim, a warrant, and an impact. I won't vote on anything that doesn't meet that threshold. I also won't vote on an argument that I can't explain back to your opponent in the RFD, so be clear.
2] Impact framing is really important in every debate, regardless of whether its a standard DA/CP v case debate or a K v K smackdown. I don't see myself connecting the dots for you, so, again, be clear.
--add on: I've found that I'm very reluctant to vote on vague/poorly explained impact scenarios. Err on the side of over-explaining the story of your impacts. I might care about it more than other judges.
3] I think I'm alright at flowing, but I would really appreciate it if you slowed down on tags and analytics, especially when you're reading theory. I'll say "slow!" or "clear!" as much as I need to, so I won't feel bad not voting on an argument because I missed it on my flow.
4] I think I'm fairly neutral in most K aff v T Framework debates, but I'm more receptive to T Framework arguments that leverage education/clash as impact instead of just "pRocEDurAl faIRnEsS." But in these debates, I think the side that paints the clearer picture of what their model of debate looks like typically wins.
5] For LD specifically, I don't understand what it means to defend the resolution but not defend "implementation." "Defending implementation" seems to me to be a logical consequence of fiat.
6] Also for LD specifically, I wish phil debates focused more on the logical syllogism of whatever normative theory is being debated than a bunch of poorly developed reasons to prefer.
7] I have a couple of defaults that dictate how I evaluate the round. They can all be changed with proper argumentation.
- competing interps
- DTA unless it's something that's irreversible like T
- No RVIs
- Epistemic confidence
- No judge kick
- presumption goes to the side whose advocacy deviates least from the squo
- permissibility goes neg
- comparative worlds
8] Debate means different things to different people. Be cognizant of that.
9] Be accessible. In the context of debate, this means not doing things that would jeopardize debate as a site of inclusive, constructive, and critical discussion. I think most people intuitively know what "accessibility" means in debate, but, just in case, I'll outline a few implications of the "accessibility" maxim:
a] Don't be a dick.
b] Don't be shady. Obviously, don't clip cards or falsify evidence. If you do, you'll lose. But also, be forthright about the arguments you're making. Don't act like you don't know what a floating pik is in cross. Don't send a doc with only some analytics (i.e. sending eight out of your nine frontlined responses to T but not the "I meet").
c] If you're debating a novice or a traditional debater, consider reading arguments with which your opponent can substantively engage. I won't penalize you for going for any particular strategy, but your speaks will look better if you make an effort to make the round productive.
All of the stuff from my LD/Policy paradigm apply to PF too. It's worth noting that I only competed in PF like three or four times, so I evaluate PF rounds the exact same way I would a policy-style DA v case debate in LD. I don't see why that would be problematic in any way, but it might be worth considering. Here are some of my PF-specific thoughts.
1] I think a lot of PF teams get away with really lazy extensions. It's not enough to just jump to impact weighing without explaining the link story of the argument you're going for. I won't vote for an argument that isn't properly extended.
2] It irks me when grand cross is dominated by only one debater from each team. I view every speech as a performance, and cross-ex is no exception.
3] PF rants and side quests:
a] Why are evidence ethics in PF so bad? Paraphrasing is stupid. I will give you +.3 speaks if you read highlighted sections of the actual text of what you're referencing. If you're going to paraphrase evidence anyway, put the full text of the card in the doc and highlight the parts that you're referencing. Also, every card you read should include the name of the author(s), the title of the piece, the date on which it was published, and a link/DOI if applicable.
b] Why are email chains in PF so weird? It seems incredibly inefficient to send cards your opponent calls for after the speech has already ended. Just send a complete doc before the speech starts! I will give you +.2 speaks if you send the doc before the speech starts.
Assistant at the Nueva School and Park City.
I competed in PF and most speech events for four years. I've been coaching since 2018 - mostly PF, but a mix of all events.
Please produce an email chain titled 'Tournament A Round B - Team C (aff) vs Team D (neg),' and add me to it:firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm open to almost any strategy to generate offense. I'm just as happy to evaluate a critique of an argument is I am topicality.Theory debates will make me unhappy but you can certainly win that they're necessary and relevant on my flow.
I never did policy or LD debate and most of my coaching has been in PF. While I am open to any kind of argument, it is ultimately up to you to explain it with this in mind.
In any round, quality judge instruction is very helpful. It is much easier to evaluate a debate where both teams make one or two well-weighed arguments in the final focus than one in which the kitchen sink is thrown at me in every speech.
Debate jargon is bad word economy. Topic jargon is risky if unexplained -- my topic research varies month to month.
I'm a mediocre poker player. You'll know if I think something bad is happening. Follow the faces.
A reference to an argument is not the same thing as making an argument.I've grown increasingly stingy about extensions as I have grown old. Uniqueness, a link, and an impact have to be extended in summary and final focus on any offensive argument you expect me to vote for.
Make the round a pleasant, safe, and respectful venue for an educational debate. I will never vote on an argument that depicts or promotes self-harm of any kind. I will be hesitant to vote on arguments I perceive as structurally violent. It's very rare I have to intervene on such bases. All else equal, I'd give higher speaks to a debater who is funny in crossex than one who is overtly aggressive.
I politely request that you strike me if you do not follow NSDA evidence rules, including that all cited evidence must have a cut card associated with it at a minimum.
Subject the email chain - Tournament Name Round # - Aff Team AFF vs Neg Team NEG
Debated at Maine East (2016-2020, TOC Circuit) and the University of Pittsburgh (2020-2023, NDT Qual)
Will boost speaker points if brought (vegetarian) food/snacks
Career wise, my arguments of preference were more critical (Afropessimism, Settler Colonialism, Capitalism, and the likes). I enjoy judging clash debates, policy vs critical. Traditional policy debaters should take note of my lack of experience in policy v policy debates and rank me lower on their judging preferences.
The one thing you should know if you want my ballot is this: If you say something, defend it. I mean this in the fullest sense: Do not disavow arguments that you or your partner make in binding speeches and cross-examination periods, but rather defend them passionately and holistically. If you endorse any strategy, you should not just acknowledge but maintain its implications in all relevant realms of the debate. The quickest way to lose in front of me is to be apprehensive about your own claims.
When in doubt, referring the judging philosophies of the following folks will do you well: Micah Weese, Daryl Burch, Reed Van Schenck, Calum Matheson, Alex Holguin, & Alex Reznik
Everything below this line is a proclivity of mine that can be negotiated through debate:
I think that debate is a game with pedagogical and political implications. As such, I see my role as a judge as primarily to determine who won the debate but also to facilitate the debaters' learning. Everything can be an impact if you find a way to weigh it against other impacts, this includes procedural fairness. When my ballot is decided on the impact debate, I tend to vote for whoever better explains the material consequence of their impact. Use examples. Examples can help to elucidate (the lack of) solvency, establish link stories, make comparative arguments, and so many more useful things. They are also helpful for establishing your expertise on the topic. All thing said, at the end of the day I will adapt to your argument style.
I dislike judges who exclude debaters because of what they decide to read in a debate round, I will NOT do that as long as you don't say anything racist, sexist, etc.
Speaker points are arbitrary. I tend to give higher speaker points to debaters who show a thorough understanding of the arguments they present. I am especially impressed by debaters who efficiently collapse in the final rebuttals.
Public Forum Debate
The faster you end the debate, the higher your speaks.
I am a flow-centric judge on the condition your arguments are backed with evidence and are logical. My background is in policy debate, but regardless of style, and especially important in PF, I think it's necessary to craft a broad story that connects what the issue is, what your solution is, and why you think you should win the debate.
I like evidence qualification comparisons and "if this, then that" statements when tied together with logical assumptions that can be made. Demonstrating ethos, confidence, and good command of your and your opponent's arguments is also very important in getting my ballot.
I will like listening to you more if you read smart, innovative arguments. Don't be rude, cocky, and/or overly aggressive especially if your debating and arguments can't back up that "talk." Not a good look.
Give an order before your speech
Background: I’m a second-year Journalism major at the University of Texas at Austin. I did 2 years of Congress and 2 years of PF at Vista Ridge High School.
2nd rebuttal should be frontlining
Extensions, extensions, extensions
Weigh as early as you have time for and make sure that it’s comparative. I want clear warranting as to why I should vote for one impact over the other, not just name-dropping random weighing mechanisms
I won’t vote on theory unless there’s an actual reasonable violation in round, so no disclosure, paraphrasing, etc
I never really learned progressive argumentation, so think of me as a lay judge when it comes to that and run it at your own risk
It’s really up to you, but I prefer line-by-line in summary and voters in FF
Definitely frame the round and WEIGH in summary
I’m listening during cross but won’t vote on anything
Add me to the chain: email@example.com
Don’t just ask for multiple pieces of evidence for the purpose of prep
I’m generally ok with speed as long as you’re speaking clearly, but if you’re going to spread send me a doc
Be respectful. I will lower your speaks if you’re rude or excessively aggressive during CX
I will immediately vote you down if you say anything racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.
Do not just give multiple sponsorship speeches in a row. After the first speech, your speeches should be interacting with the arguments before
- do not repeat arguments from prior speeches unless you're specifically adding something new to the conversation and acknowledging that you're doing so
If you’re giving one of the last speeches of the round, crystallization is preferred
Clear cited evidence
This is my first year judging PF. This means that you must do your job to adapt to me as a judge, but at the same time I will do my best to follow what you say and take notes.
Please speak slowly, and explain everything that you are saying very clearly. Do not skip any steps in your logical chains - things that are intuitive to you might not seem that way to me. If you see me lift up my pen or not write anything for a while, it means you are going too fast for me. Slow down and speak at an understandable pace.
I will do my best to judge the round fairly as long as you do your best to convince me on why you should win. Please speak in a conversational tone - do not yell - and be as persuasive in round as you can. Most importantly, have fun.
My name is Lindsey (she/her) and I competed in public forum debate for four years. I have two years of experience coaching public forum debate and three years experience judging public forum debate.
***EDIT: If you are here from the article citing my paradigm, please read the following:
The first quote used by James Fishback was taken completely out of context and written two years ago. I updated it before I started regularly judging tournaments again. I feel my current paradigm explains my reasoning much better. The main intention behind the 2 year old quote I had was for debaters to understand that running an identity K when you are not a part of that identity may not be a strong argument (not that I would auto vote it down) AND for debaters to have a bit of a heads up when discussing very graphic or disturbing impacts, especially if the argument is off-topic from the resolution. Essentially, I just want debaters to have empathy for one another, but I realized the quote could be easily misconstrued to look like I want to prevent arguments, so the next time I had a tournament I removed this quote from my paradigm. I thought I had removed it rather quickly. His screencap he shared with me in our correspondence includes an old school I had worked for and I would have taken this information out after I had stopped working for them in 2022.
Even when this was in my paradigm statement, I had many lines of my paradigm dedicated to telling debaters I will not intervene with my own thoughts in round. I am Technicality>Truth above all else. I really did not mean for this sentence to be a voting issue and it was not placed under the "path to my ballot" subheading. I never said I would auto drop an argument that fell under this category, just as I would not auto drop someone for not condensing or not extending an impact.
More importantly, I meant for the sentence cited to be an example of something that could be considered unkind to do in a debate space and may make the debate less productive. I didn't intend for it to mean I would drop the argument entirely. In fact, I have judged many debates in which this was the case and I still voted for the team that ran the argument because they won the round. It was meant to be a NVI (non voting issue). Additionally, in the sentence, I was referring to off-topic arguments that refer to very graphic race-based impacts run by teams not affected by the impact just as a means to get a win. This is why I ultimately took out that sentence to clarify better what I meant; this was a decorum issue, not a voting issue. I will never prevent a debate on an important issue from happening and I never have.
The author of the article took misconstrued my follow up quote. Here's the entirety of what it said:
Hey James! I don’t know if it’s exactly my place to say what arguments will/won’t make marginalized communities feel unsafe in the debate space and that’s one reason I updated my paradigm. I want it to ultimately be the debater’s decision, but I want to ensure a team that is directly affected by the argument is comfortable discussing it in the debate space. Another reason I eliminated this sentence was because I incorporated a similar idea in my section about progressive debate and I feel it captures the main idea better: I think debaters should communicate before the round to make sure both teams are aware of what topics will be discussed and are comfortable with it. In essence, I think arguments that may be super hard to argue for communities that are directly involved with the impacts should be discussed prior to the round to ensure debate is fun for everyone. My goal isn’t to “eliminate free speech”, but to have both teams be able to have a productive and fun debate.This kinda goes along with my first comment, but I didn’t eliminate the idea itself. I wanted to clarify later in my paradigm that students should notify one another to see if their opponents are comfortable with a proposed topic. I think these topics are important to be discussed, but not when one team is using the argument as a means to get a win without considering the feelings/experiences of their opponents (especially if their opponents are directly affected by the impact).
When explicitly asked how I would evaluate a round in which a debater expressed discomfort, I told James that I would still evaluate the round in its entirety. He completely left this out of his essay. Here is my exact response I gave James:
I consider everything that happens in round. The goal of debate is to be a productive, positive-sum experience for everyone, and debaters need to be considerate of that goal when deciding how to run an argument and whether to run it at all. You can look at my updated paradigm if you want more information as the one you have is nearly two years old.
Here, I tried to make it very clear that my goal was never to censor freedom of thought. In fact, I had in my paradigm for the entirety of the past two years that I am non interventionist and will always evaluate tech>truth (meaning I will evaluate the debate based on how well the debaters responded and not what my own beliefs are). I thought James would operate in good faith when I sent these messages, but my response (with its nuances) were misconstrued. Of course, this is what happens when an individual writes a piece of journalism that is intended to be incendiary and not productive. If he’s “not promoting misinformation,” then why did he intentionally leave out the follow up quote that portrays the opposite of what he portrayed in his article? Why did he cut out the first part of the old quote he cited (you can see this with his insertion of brackets because he quoted the middle of my sentence)?
I stand by supporting students and making speech and debate a space in which everyone can participate in a free exchange of ideas.
Start here to read my actual paradigm:
You can read any argument you want. I will not auto drop you (and have never in my entire history of judging auto dropped a team) for reading a bad argument. However, do keep in mind that if your argument is off-topic, offensive, or ridiculous, you may have a much harder time winning the round due to increased opportunities for your opponent's rebuttal. Debate was created as a truth-seeking activity, so I have found that arguments that are more grounded in reality tend to hold up in round better. Part of debate is being able to present differing ideas in a respectful and productive way; it is a valuable skill to be able to disagree respectfully.
Please try to read content warnings when discussing sensitive topics as it is kind to give your opponent a heads up if you are reading really graphic impacts. Debate should be accessible to everyone!
Be respectful and make the debate fun/ productive. I don't even flow cross X, so talking over your opponent to get more offense in than necessary doesn't accomplish anything and can look a bit rude.
I won't read evidence unless I am explicitly asked to read the evidence. I would prefer to not read evidence and have debaters settle evidence disputes in speeches.
Tech>Truth. My expectation for quality of rebuttal will get lower the dumber the argument is. David Lyons put it perfectly when he wrote in his paradigm: "If your opponents run an argument that army ants are going to overthrow the Romanian government and take over the world, a response of “that’s unlikely” is probably good enough. That said, a response has to exist. If your opponents say Iron Man is engaged to Thor, and you don’t respond, I guess we have a wedding to go to."
Provide an impact with your turn, it makes it much easier to weigh.
I cannot stress just how important weighing is. It makes me really sad when I get rounds where at the end of the debate I am left with like 5 impacts that are completely different with no guidelines on how to evaluate them. If both teams access their impact, but don't weigh, it is basically as if I am flipping a coin.
Condense throughout the round.
I am fine with speed, but if you are going fast, please give an off-time roadmap/signpost.
With offense, it makes it much easier for me if you extend. If you want me to evaluate an argument that you have fleshed out already in an earlier speech, even a one sentence extension is adequate. Please terminalize any impact as well (What does your impact mean in weighable terms? i.e. a recession is bad because x amount of people will go into poverty).
Defense is sticky until frontlined. After your defense is frontlined, you will have to respond to the frontline if you want to extend the said defense. If the defensive response is unaddressed it remains sticky.
I do not flow cross. If you want me to flow something, say it in your speech. Cross is a great time to poke holes in your opponent's link chain and build a narrative that you can later refer to in speeches. Cross is not a good time to talk over your opponent and get in as much information as possible.
- I ran a half-baked K once in HS. I am not a seasoned prog debater, so please don't expect that I am a master at evaluating Theory and K rounds. However, I'm totally cool with teams running theory as I think can be a good tool to check back against abuse and set better norms in debate. I will evaluate theory as a form of offense for the team running it and I will evaluate a Kritik as framing/offense. For example, if the Aff wins their role of the ballot by weighing it effectively against a counter role of the ballot, I will see which team has the most offense and best weighing to support the winning role of the ballot. For example, the winning role of the ballot is to eat mac and cheese, and the neg supports building a Kraft factory on every corner and the Aff is anti mac and cheese, I'll vote neg. It's essentially like a normal pf round for me but with framing that will determine the debate if it is not won. Maybe this isn't your way of evaluating prog debate, but this is intuitively how I see it.
- I'm not going to play dumb and not evaluate arguments just because the other team isn't familiar with the technical lingo. If your opponents respond to your Kritik or theory shell, but don't use technical lingo, those arguments will still be considered. Respond to their rebuttal regardless. For example, I don't want to hear "they agree to our role of the ballot so they concede our argument" when the opponents had contested it but without saying role of the ballot. It's just like how a turn is still functionally a turn even if you don't say turn.
- I am non-interventionist. I will not drop an argument because you misquoted a philosopher and I picked up on it. The burden is on all debaters to provide responses to arguments.
- Try to consider the space you're in. Below are some helpful questions you can ask yourself before running a prog case. As mentioned before, I will certainly not drop your argument just because you don't fit the criteria, but it makes the round more productive and educational (which is why we all love this activity).
A) Are my opponents comfortable and familiar with theory/Kritik?
B) Do I belong to the group in which the Theory/Kritik intends to help? If I am not, did I ask opponents that do belong to this group if they are comfortable with this argument?
C) Am I setting better norms?
If yes to all, this will be a fun/productive/educational round. Just be nice is all I ask. In 5 years, nobody will care/remember how many trophies you had or what your record was at ToC. They will remember if you were a nice person. Be kind and cherish your friends in this activity.
Path to my ballot:
The first way I evaluate the round is by comparing how much offense each team has on the flow. If there are responses on a piece of offense you have, you must frontline them or you cannot extend it.
The second way I evaluate the round is based on weighing mechanisms. If you don't tell me why your argument matters, I can't evaluate it. Weighing must be comparative. Don't repeat your impact without interacting with your opponents' impact. Quantification really helps with weighing.
PF Paradigm: I am an experienced PF judge on the national circuit. I judge primarily on impacts. You need to give a clear link story backed up with logic and evidence. Framework is important. Weighing is very important. It is better to acknowledge that your opponent may be winning a certain argument and explain how the impacts you are winning outweigh than it is to ignore that argument made by your opponent. Don't extend through ink. If your opponent attacks your argument you need to respond to that attack and not just repeat your original argument. I don't mind rapid conversational speed - especially while reading evidence, but no spreading. I will keep a good flow and judge primarily off the flow, but let's keep PF as an event where persuasive speaking style, logic, evidence, and refutation are all important. Also let's keep PF distinct from national circuit LD and national circuit policy - let's avoid kritiks, disads, plans, counterplans and theory arguments.
LD Paradigm: I am an experienced LD judge. I do prefer traditional style LD. I am, however, OK with plans and counter-plans and I am OK with theory arguments concerning analysis of burdens. I am not a fan of Kritiks. I will try to be open to evaluate arguments presented in the round, but I do prefer that the debate be largely about the resolution instead of largely centered on theory. I am OK with fast conversational speed and I am OK with evidence being read a little faster than fast conversational as long as tag lines and analysis are not faster than fast conversational. I do believe that V / VC are required, but I don't believe that the V / VC are voting issues in and of themselves. That is, even if you convince me that your V / VC is superior (more important, better linked to the resolution) than your opponent's V / VC that is not enough for me to vote for you. You still need to prove that your case better upholds your V / VC than your opponent's case does. To win, you may do one of three things: (1) Prove that your V / VC is superior to your opponent's AND that your case better upholds that V / VC than your opponent's case does, OR (2) Accept your opponent's V / VC and prove that your case better upholds their V/VC than their case does. OR (3) Win an "even-if" combination of (1) and (2).
CX Paradigm: I am an experienced LD and PF judge (nationally and locally). I have judged policy debate at a number of tournaments over the years - including the final round of the NSDA national tournament in 2015. However, I am more experienced in PF and LD than I am in policy. I can handle speed significantly faster than the final round of NSDA nationals, but not at super-fast speed. (Evidence can be read fast if you slow down for tag lines and for analysis.) Topicality arguments are fine. I am not a fan of kirtiks or critical affs.
Michael Siller Paradigm
About Me: I have judged many high school public forum and middle school parliamentary debate tournaments. I have been a practicing attorney for over 30 years and have a good sense of what makes a persuasive argument and an effective presentation style.
Procedural Preferences: There are a few guidelines I will ask you to follow as you present your case, to allow me to most effectively understand and judge your arguments:
(i) Identify yourself at the start. I want to make sure I get your names, schools, the side you will be arguing, and the order in which you will present so that I can correctly assign speaker points.
(ii) Please try to avoid speaking too quickly. I prefer that you speak clearly and focus on your most important points, and avoid trying to cram in every argument you can think of. It will be more difficult for me to follow the flow if you are speaking too quickly.
(iii) Signposting, or signaling the parts of your presentation, is important both while setting up your contentions and when rebutting your opponent's contentions, evidence, or impact. It will help me better understand your case and cross-reference it to the rebuttals.
(iv) Mind your time: I will not be judging you by how many seconds you are under or over the limit. A few seconds over is not going to be penalized; on the other hand, you should strive to use up as much of your available time as possible.
(iv) Be polite. There's an apt maxim from the field of legal ethics: One may disagree without being disagreeable. Attack and criticize your opponents' arguments, not your opponents.
"Theory" arguments. If you intend to make theory arguments that's fine, provided you also engage on the merits of the topic at issue. Debaters will be judged on how they address the assigned topic.
Evaluation Criteria: I will evaluate your presentation based on a combination of how well you: (a) appear to demonstrate a mastery of the substance (about which you may I assume I know far less than you); (b) present your arguments logically, coherently, and persuasively; and (c) refute and weigh your opponents' arguments, as well as on your presentation style (e.g., poise and ability to think on your feet).
I wish everyone good luck and look forward to your presentations!
I competed in PF at Nova High School in South Florida from 2014 to 2019. I just graduated from Duke University and am finishing up my fourth year coaching PF at Durham Academy.
For Nats 2023, please put me on the email chain- firstname.lastname@example.org.
How I make decisions-
I tend to vote on the path of least resistance. This is the place on my flow where I need to intervene the least as a judge in order to make a decision. Explicitly identifying your cleanest piece of offense in the round, winning that clean piece of offense, completely extending that clean piece of offense (uniqueness, links AND impacts in BOTH summary and final focus), and then telling me why your cleanest piece of offense is more important than your opponents' cleanest piece of offense is usually an easy way to win my ballot.
- Do all the good debate things! Do comparative weighing, warrant your weighing, collapse, frontline, etc.
- Please preflow before the round. Holding up the tournament to take 15 min to preflow in the room is really annoying :(
- Warrants and full link chains are important! I can only vote on arguments I understand by the end of the round and won't do the work for you on warrants/links. Please do not assume I know everything just because I've probably judged some rounds on the topic.
- I won't read speech docs, so please don't sacrifice speed for clarity.
- I have a really low threshold and 0 tolerance for being rude, dismissive, condescending, etc. to your opponents. I'm not afraid to drop you for this reason. At the very least, I'll tank your speaks and write you a kindly worded educational ballot about making rounds unnecessarily hostile.
- I personally feel that calling for evidence as a judge is interventionist. I will only do it if 1- someone in the round explicitly tells me to in a speech or 2- reading evidence is literally the only way that I can make a decision (if this happens, it means both teams did a terrible job of clarifying the round and there is no clear offense for me to vote on. Please don't let this happen).
- I'll vote on Kritiks if they are clearly warranted, well explained, and made accessible to your opponents. (I am admittedly not a fan of K's but will vote on them if I absolutely must.)
- I will also vote on theory that is clearly explained, fleshed out, and well warranted. I believe that theory should ONLY be used to check egregious instances of in-round abuse and reserve the right to drop you for frivolous theory. I won't buy paraphrase or disclosure theory.
- HUGE DISCLAIMER: My biggest pet peeve in PF right now is the use of progressive args to make rounds inaccessible to teams who don't know how to handle them. Reading progressive args against a clearly inexperienced team to get a cheap win is an easy way to auto lose my ballot. ALSO I am really not confident in my abilities to evaluate progressive arguments. If you choose to run them, you take on the risk of me making the wrong decision despite doing my best. Proceed with caution!
- If you plan on reading arguments about sensitive topics, please provide a content warning before the round.
I debated in policy for The Blake School for four years (2009-2013) and then I debated for Rutgers University-Newark in college (2013-2017). I ran mostly policy based arguments in high school and mostly critical arguments in college. I was an assistant coach (policy and public forum) with the Blake School until 2019, now I teach/coach debate (policy and congress) at Success Academy Midtown West and Harlem West.
Feel free to run any arguments you want whether it be critical or policy based. The only thing that will never win my ballot is any argument about why racism, sexism, etc. is good. Other than that do you.
I do not have many specific preferences other than I hate long overviews - just make the arguments on the line-by-line.
I am not going to read your evidence unless there is a disagreement over a specific card or if you tell me to read a specific card. I am not going to just sit and do the work for you and read a speech doc.
I am not as familiar with the post-modern literature - so just make sure you are clearly explaining the alternative. Most of the K literature I know well is race and gender based.
Note on clash of civ debates - I tend to mostly only judge clash of civ debates - In these debates I find it more persuasive if you engage the aff rather than just read framework. But that being said I have voted on framework in the past.
PF - Please please please read real cards. If its not in the summary I won't evaluate it in the final focus. Do impact calculus. Stop calling for cards if you aren't going to do the evidence comparison. I will increase your speaker points if you do an email chain with your cards prior to your speech.
Background: I have a bachelor's degree in English education and have been teaching language arts at Sheboygan North High School for 20 years. I have coached debaters in policy, Lincoln-Douglass and public forum for 17 years, including multiple state champions. My school's emphasis is on public forum.
It is best if you think about me as a fairly well-informed member of the public to get my ballot.
As far as public forum, I appreciate being given a clear framework to weigh the impacts and other voters in the round.
Debate is an activity of communication, and speed is not effective communication. Public forum is about persuading the average American voter that your stance on the resolution is the best one.
All judges, coaches and debaters who promote speed/spread should reflect on the damage it is doing to the accessibility of the activity to prospective debaters and schools wishing to start a debate program. More skill is demonstrated by honing your arguments down to the point that they can be effectively presented in the allotted speech time rather than racing through myriad of contentions that are under-developed. Speed is not progressive; it is destroying this valuable activity.
That stated, I will listen to any arguments debaters wish to run and the speed at which they choose to speak them, even if that is not how anyone anywhere else ever speaks.
Clash is good.
Adjusting to the judge is good.
Extending your arguments with evidence and not just analytical arguments is good...but analytical arguments are also good.
I believe the rebuttals are often pivotal speeches in the entire round. I reward good ones and blame bad ones for losses, often.
Finally, despite what some public forum judges may tell you, it is not possible, in my mind, to drop arguments in pf. If it was stated, it's on my flow. You don't have to go over every single argument in every single speech for me to continue to consider it. But if an opponent fails to address a key idea, certainly point that out.
My history is such that I have participated in Lincoln-Douglas, Policy, Public Forum, and Congressional debate. The vast majority of it was spent in a very traditional district in Lincoln-Douglas. That being said, I do believe that my varied background does allow for an understanding of progression in each format of debate. I am not entirely shut off to hearing anything, I might not wear a smile on my face about it... but I have voted on things like topicality and theory stuff. Now, if we want to get down to the specifics.
LD: First and foremost, Lincoln Douglas is evaluative debate. It doesn't always necessarily call for specific action, sometimes (most of the time) it just calls for justifying an action or state. I don't buy that there always has to be a plan. Additionally, I'm of the mindset that there is framework and substance. I tend to favor substance debate a lot more, that being said, if there can be a good amount of discussion on both sides of that, even better. I like to hear about the resolution, policy started to degenerate in my area to a series of Kritiks and bad topicality argumentation. I walk in expecting the resolution... I'd like to talk about things pertaining to the resolution if at all possible. The role of the ballot begins at the beginning as who was the better debater, if you want to change that let me know, but I tend to like it there. Finally, in terms of evidence, I hate calling for cards, but if it is so central and the round leaves everything riding on that piece of evidence I'll call for it. (Also if it's that key, and I for some reason miss it in my flow... Judges are human too.)
PF (UPDATED): Having judged and coached for a few years, I've learned to let a lot of the round play out. I HIGHLY value topical debate. It is possible to have critical stances while maintaining some relationship to the resolution. Additionally, I think PF is designed in such a way that there is not enough time to really argue K or T stances in a truly meaningful way. Take advantage of the back half of the round and CLARIFY the debate, what is important, why is it important and why are you winning? Tell me what I'm voting for in the final focus, make my job easier, and there's a good chance I'll make your tournament better.
One last note, please don't be mean spirited in the round, don't say that something "literally makes no sense." Don't tell me there is a flaw, show me the flaw.
In summation, run whatever you are happiest with, I might not be, but it's your show, not mine. Be great, be respectful, have fun. And if you have any other questions, feel free to ask! I'm not a mean judge (Unless I am decaffeinated, or someone is being disrespectful).
Email chain: email@example.com
I'm going to vote for the team with the least mitigated link chain into the best weighed impact.
Progressive arguments and speed are fine (differentiate tags and author). I need to know which offense is prioritized and that's not work I can do; it needs to be done by the debaters. I'm receptive to arguments about debate norms and how the way we debate shapes the activity in a positive or negative way.
My three major things are: 1. Warranting is very important. I'm not going to give much weight to an unwarranted claim, especially if there's defense on it. That goes for arguments, frameworks, etc. 2. If it's not on the flow, it can't go on the ballot. I won't do the work extending or impacting your arguments for you. 3. It's not enough to win your argument. I need to know why you winning that argument matters in the bigger context of the round.
Worlds rounds are clash-centered debates on the most reasonable interpretation of the motion.
Style: Clearly present your arguments in an easily understandable way; try not to read cases or arguments word for word from your paper
Content: The more fully realized the argument, the better. Things like giving analysis/incentives for why the actors in your argument behave like you say they do, providing lots of warranting explaining the "why" behind your claims, and providing a diverse, global set of examples will make it much easier for me to vote on your argument.
Strategy: Things that I look for in the strategy part of the round are: is the team consistent down the bench in terms of their path to winning the round, did the team put forward a reasonable interpretation of the motion, did the team correctly identify where the most clash was happening in the round.
Remember to do the comparative. It's not enough that your world is good; it needs to be better than the other team's world.
Hello, my name is Qibin
This is my second year and fifth tournament judging, I am a lay judge.
A few preferences:
1) Please don't rush/speak too fast
2) I may ask to see the evidence you cite
3) Please signpost clearly so I know what arguments you are addressing
4) Please weigh in summary and final focus
5) Please have clear extensions of your arguments so I can understand them better.
Let's have a fun and educational round!
-Former college and HS policy debater (2004-2012 combined). Experience with all kinds of policy styles, but my endpoint was K/performance. I am in more PF/LD rounds because of the Alabama circuit, but I do actively coach policy.
- Open to most arguments and styles. I'm mostly tech-focused, but still believe winning large-scale theses can shift how I think about nitty-gritty points of contestation. My mental process when judging usually looks like this:
- What framework am I using to evaluate arguments? Does that framework limit out or prioritize anything important? (Frequently this just defaults to cost-benefit analysis of a hypothetical policy proposal and is not a big feature of the debate)
- What impacts are reasonably in the game and with what strength of a link/solvency?
- What outweighs?
-I have a hard time voting for something I cannot confidently verbalize in an RFD and explain why it impacts my ballot, even if it "feels" like that side is winning the issue.
-Speed: 7.5/10. Speed is fine but debate is still a communication-based activity and I'm a poorly aging millennial. Sending speech docs is not a substitute for clarity.
-K: I think all forms of debate are great, but K's and K Affs offer something unique to the activity that enhances its pedagogical value. However, that doesn't mean I know your specific literature or that I am going to immediately buy what you're selling. I like close readings of the 1AC to generate links as quality critical work. I believe if the K has a framework that demands I don't evaluate Aff impacts and the Aff loses framework.... then they don't get to weigh the Aff. Saying "we get to weigh the aff because we get to weigh the aff" is not inherently persuasive given the presence of offense against that stance. The Aff must win framework or in-roads to weigh the Aff. If that's primarily justified by fairness then fairness needs to be impacted out over Neg's justification to exclude.
-K Affs: Like them but think they need to be held to a high standard. I believe the Aff has to advance some contestable methodology beyond "res is bad, reject the res." I usually believe offense on method is the most interesting site for clash. T-USFG/FW isn't off the table as a true guaranteed generic response and can be a really strong option given the way some K teams write their 1AC.
-Theory: Sure. Go a little slower in a T/theory debate if you want me to get follow the intricacies of the line-by-line. I have some hesitation with the direction disclosure and wiki theory arguments are going, but I still vote on it.
-I reward specificity and nuance of arguments/scenarios (ex: specific democracies backsliding vs general democratic backsliding; specific country proliferation vs generic prolif bad)
-I am not part of the cult of numbers, and you can win a round with high magnitude impacts that do not have numbers in front of me. Numbers help contextualize impacts and risk pathways, but it is not game over because a team has expert analysis that doesn't have explicit quantification.
-K's: I'm fine with it but it's just more difficult to do in PF because of time constraints and the way sides/speaker orders go. You should have a coherent link story, alt, and framework that separates it from just a debate on the topic.
-Theory: Sure. I think the only "weird" thing for me on this is that I don't feel the 2nd speaker is obligated to answer theory introduced by the first constructive. They can and it may help, but I do not treat it as a "dropped" argument.
-Please scroll down to "NOTES ON EVIDENCE"
-I come into LD from policy, so you can run traditional case structure or multiple off-case positions that test the Aff. While I'm familiar with K's, CP's, PICs, plan-focus debates, K Affs that don't defend the res/a plan, T, Theory, I'm less familiar with some of the other arguments like a prioris, NIBs, tricks, etc. that are more well known in LD. The burden remains with the debater to make it into a lucid argument I can grasp and understand as offense.
-Good value framework debate presents clear offense as to why yours is the preferable model and helps you win the impact calculation debate, not just descriptions of what a moral systems looks like. No need to get lost in the sauce either. Yes, you have to have it to weigh impacts, but sometimes LDers are guilty of reading value framing that they think is "neat philosophy," but doesn't serve much purpose offensively.
-It is a hard sell to say 1AR doesn't get theory. The 1AC should not have disinvest time to theoretically preempt all potential neg strats, methods, etc.
NOTES ON EVIDENCE - PF/LD
Evidence practices in public forum (and some sections of LD) are atrocious. The fault lies somewhere between debaters and judges refusing to be more aggressive in correction. I default to tournament rules first, and then enforce the NSDA established protocols in the official Unified Manual (specifically pages 29-33) for what’s required in debates in terms of having cards ready for opponents and judges with proper citation. This is not a “personal choice,” even if other judges choose not to enforce it. Here is how I go into the round thinking about evidence norms:
Evidence Theory: I will vote on it. Good theory debating will have a clear interpretation (the NSDA unified manual makes this easy), the violation, and the reason why your interpretation is preferable ("it's in the rules, judge" is sufficient, but higher speaker points for identifying educational standards for why we need your interp's evidence practices). But if you're going to do it you need to be ready to stop the round and stake the ballot on it.
Evidence Sharing/E-mail Chains: The other team is entitled to any and all evidence you claim to read in a speech immediately. Yes, all and immediately. This has nothing to do with if you spread or go slow. Debate is at its best when there is evidence engagement... so why are you so invested in hiding the thing your argument depends on to win legitimacy? I will vote on a well articulated "we called for all ev and they couldn't give it in a reasonable time" theory if they don't provide evidence before a speech AND can't give you ALL evidence when requested after the speech. If you can stake a debate on any piece of evidence you just read it is unreasonable to say that you don't have to send everything cited, especially since they can't predict what you might blow up yet. Don't hold up the round searching. Honestly y'all should be sending it before the speech like policy started doing in 2007 with the dawn of Verbatim - and it's worked great!
Paraphrasing: It is difficult for me to vote on paraphrasing bad theory. The NSDA stance is clear and codified in the Unified Manual and explained in Pilot Rules 2019-20. Paraphrasing is acceptable, but you still have to have evidence paraphrased available in card format for in-round engagement and judge decision making. Do I think paraphrasing is probably bad for debate? Yes - absolutely. But ballot-level debates on whether it's fair or educational seem moot given the NSDA has greenlit it in the same rules that dictate speech times, orders, and other key rules I don't have in-round jurisdiction to contest. Still: hold their feet to the fire on providing the evidence they are paraphrasing!
Cultural Competency Certificate
Working in a small business in Silicon Valley
Please make your contention clearly.
Slowly speech is appreciated.
dont abuse asking for cards to prep
be efficient with time when speakers switch / cx
Send case to email chain before your speech & I might ask for extra cards if I’m curious: firstname.lastname@example.org
My wifi sucks, it'll make it a lot easier for everyone to have at least speech docs prepared for your speeches - lowkey required for rebuttal, others optional but preferred.
General update/preference on framework: I don't like oppression olympics. I don't like talking about why we should prefer one group over another group so if both teams have framing impacting out to marginalized communities, I prefer the debate to just be on the link level unless you are undeniably winning on the warrant level. Also I don't like the "link-ins bad" arg as much either, I just don't like the round being over before it starts.
Theory - pls no theory unless it's about the other team not reading a content warning. I mean if u do read theory i guess i'll judge it but i prefer substance so my threshold for responding to theory is prob a lot lower than u would like.
Evidence - I care about evidence ethics so don't egregiously miscut cards but if you are going to run ev ethics on someone, implicate why it's more important than substance debate or why it should control my ballot. Also, I think paraphrasing is fine in PF so don't run that on me lmao.
- keep track of your own times pls
- pls stop asking if it's okay to take prep just announce to the room so we're not waiting around and time yourselves
- Be clear. I never get enough sleep so if I don't catch it, it won't be on my flow.
- Frontline if you're second rebuttal
- I don't flow crossfire. If it's interesting I'll listen, but if it's important - bring it up in speech.
- Don't be rude to the other team or I’ll drop your speaks. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzpndHtdl9A)
- YOU CAN’T EXTEND ARGUMENTS WITHOUT EXTENDING WARRANTS!!!! (e.g. Don't just tell me ending arms sales causes war - give me reasons WHY that's true and extend the impact of WHY it's important) Every time you extend an argument you should extend the link chain + impact. No blippy extensions.
- Terminal defense is not sticky (translation: Rebuttals will not be directly flowed across so bring it up in summary if you want it in final focus)
- Pls don’t make me intervene (write my ballot for me with weighing)
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in summary and final focus
pls thank u
I'm familiar with policy debate, as in I've judged it before, but I never competed in it. I competed in public forum so keep that in mind when you're debating. Aka:
- don't go too fast, if you are gonna spread - send me a doc
- If you're running theories or Kritiks that are not intuitive -- please EXPLAIN THEM FULLY or it will not go your way. Also if it involves smth sensitive - please include a content warning.
- Time yourselves - I might do it on the side too but I want you guys to keep track of it yourselves. Especially prep or opponent's prep.
Lincoln Douglas - I mainly debated in Lincoln Douglas during my high school debate years and went to nationals my junior year. I am well versed in philosophical and empirical debate. I judge rounds off the Criterion. What this means if that if you prove your Value is good but cannot uphold your Criterion or way of achieving this value I won’t vote for you. I also vote down the flow, so if both sides prove framework and there’s not a lot of clash I would move on to the Contention level and judge off the flow. I judge all arguments so even if it is ridiculous, if it goes unaddressed I have no choice but to flow it through the round.
Public Forum - I debated Public Forum my senior year of high school and got 1st alt. to nationals so once again I would consider myself knowledgeable in PF debate. I judge PF mainly on the flow. So argument clash and clashing of evidence and ideas is big to me. Once again even if an argument is ridiculous, if there’s no clash I’m gonna flow it through the round. I will rarely vote on framework or observations because they are there more to strengthen the empirical rather than becoming their own winning argument.
Overall I prefer good sportsmanship and respect in rounds and I will dock speaker points if this isn’t upheld in rounds and most importantly have fun because that’s what debate is all about.
NYU 26' and College Prep 22'
I'm a 2n to my core. I'd consider myself flex. There's a fine line in cross between being confident and being rude or mean. Err on the side of being nice.
people should go for T more. I like it. good T debates are beautiful
-I think fairness is an internal link to education, more education happens pre round during prep and research
-aff creativity has always been kind of ridiculous to me, affs that say this usually do explode the neg research burden, but i will vote on it if you can effectively weigh it
-I do love when affs on the fringe of topicality have a clever c/i or w/m, its smart and strategic
-i mostly read cap and security - i'm not in the high theory lit, if you want to read things like baudrillard, lacan, or nietzsche, I'm gonna need you to keep it clear
-links of omission are kinda lame, find specific lines or instances where the aff actually links
-i prefer something more material and defined, unless you're reading a rejection/inaction alt with a specific warrant for why inaction is key
-your speaks are getting tanked if you're reading an incommensurability alt and say the k is conditional, either stand by what your authors actually say or don't read it.
-most CPs are cheating, but they're also sometimes cool
-love a creative adv cp
-i think more than 3 condo is pushing it but if you can win your interp, do what you want
-not a fan of the 2ac perm shot gun
-please explain your process cp, a good chunk of these are way wonkier than they need to be. theres definitely a huge advantage to confusing your opponents but a confusing cp is hard to vote for
-be clear, if i can't flow it and you try to weigh it, good luck
-please impact your arguments out early
-prefer condo or process cp bad over things like a 5 sec vague alts bad that get exploded in the 1ar
-for the neg, those hard right aff link chains are often very dubious, your speaks will be rewarded if you use a badly written case to your advantage instead of just spamming CPs and DAs
-2As, I get the need for speed but gimme at least half a second between answering 1NC case args to let me move my pen
-pls pls pls do your impact calc, earlier the better, give me in depth comparison of impacts, not just "it happens faster, vote neg"
-not a fan of ptx, but if you win it, ill vote for it. it's been a hot second since i've seen a decent one.
K affs are fine but I've only read plan affs. I'll do my best to adjudicate as best I can but you're better off preffing someone with more experience here.
I'm more familiar with the cap debate than the fw debate. If you're going for fw, don't blitz through your prewritten blocks and slow down for your standards.
note for PF
I will flow each round. If something is new in the last two speeches, it's much better if you flag it and implicate it.
If you're gonna be paraphrasing ev or spreading, send a speech doc.
Be clear. I've seen some well thought out cases and I've seen some that we're clearly stolen without checking what they actually said.
Most structural impacts are true. Use that to your advantage when weighing.
Keep argumentation inclusive. However, if you want to challenge assumptions of the other team and win why it's good, I will vote for it.
Please don't make me vote on disclosure theory.
hi! i debated pf in hs. toc '19! i was a former co-director for nova debate camp and go to uva now. i also coach ardrey kell VM and oakton ML. add me to the email chain! email@example.com
tl;dr, i'm a typical flow judge. i'm tab and tech>truth, debate however you want (as long as it does not harm others). for more specific stuff, read below!
most important thing:
so many of my RFDs have started with "i default on the weighing". weighing is NOT a conditional you should do if you just so happen to have enough time in summary - i will often default to teams if they're the only ones who have made weighing. strength of link weighing counts only when links are 100% conceded, clarity of impact doesn't.
other less important stuff:
online debate: unless you're sending speech docs, please just make a shared google doc and paste cards there. i get it, you want to steal prep while waiting. but really, it's delaying tournaments and i get bored while waiting :( (you don't have to though, esp in outrounds - but i will be happier if you do)
also, if you're debating from the same computer, it's cool, just lmk in the chat or turn your camera on before the round so i know, because i usually start the round when i see 4 ppl in the room
speed is ok. i think it's fun. i actually like blippy disads (as long as they have warrants). but don't do it in such a way that it makes the debate inaccessible - drop a doc if your opponents ask or if someone says "clear".
whenever you extend something, you have to extend the warrant above all else.
defense is not sticky, but my threshold for completely new frontlines in second summary is super high. turns must be frontlined in second rebuttal.
new implications off of previous responses are okay (in fact, i think they're strategic), but they must be made in summary (unless responding to something new in final). you still need to have concise warranting for the new implication, just as you would for any other response.
i don't listen during cross - if they make a concession, point it out in the next speech.
weighing is important, but comparative and meta weighing are even more important. you can win 100% of your link uncontested but i'd still drop you if you never weigh at all and the opps have like 1% of their link with pre-req weighing into your case. don't just say stuff like "we outweigh because our impact card has x and theirs has y and x>y", but go the next step and directly compare why your magnitude is more important than their timeframe, why your prereq comes before their prereq, etc. if there is no weighing done, i will intervene.
i encourage post-round questions, i'm actually happy to spend like however long you want me to just answering questions regarding my decision. just don't be rude about it.
i will evaluate progressive arguments (Ks, theory, etc).
no friv theory, no tricks
i default to reasonability, RVIs, and DtD *if not told otherwise* - before you start e-mailing me death threats, this is just so teams can't read random new shells in summary unless they're going to spend the time reading warrants for CI and no RVIs - i prefer theory debates to start in constructive/rebuttal, and i'll be sympathetic to teams that have to make new responses to a completely new shell in summary or final focus
i'm less versed on Ks than i am theory. i can probably follow you on the stock Ks (cap, sec, etc), but if you're going to run high level Ks (performance, afropess, etc), i'll still evaluate them, but i advise you run them with caution, since i might not be able to get everything down 100%. it's probably best to make these types of Ks accessible to both me and your opponents (you should honestly just explain everything like i'm a lay judge, and try to stay away from more abstract phil stuff like epistemology/ontology/etc).
if you have any more questions, feel free to ask or e-mail me before the round!
I am new to debate judging. Recently I've judged in two league tournaments, mostly in PF and a couple of Parli debates.
I usually try to learn about the debate topic before judging a debate. I like arguments that are presented in an organized manner. I like arguments with supporting numbers and questions. I like debaters talking in moderate speed and with good presentation skills.
I would like to see debaters treat each other with good manner and have fun.
Paradigm: I'm a "Flay" judge, but I've been judging PF since 2014, and I've judged at major tournaments like Harvard, Georgetown, and UK. Don't spread - I flow the entire round (including crossfires) and I want to be able to not only understand your arguments, but note when you are or are not addressing your opponents' arguments. I prefer clear logic, solid evidence, and confident rhetoric. I don't believe that the entirety of a debate is evidence versus evidence, so frameworks, weighing, and actually speaking persuasively are a major plus. While I fully understand debate jargon, don't rely on it as you would with more technical judges. Make me care more about your world than your opponents'.
I prefer PF rounds are NOT theory or K arguments. However, I will always judge based on how you handle your case, and how your opponent handles it.
If the tournament allows spectators, those spectators should not be leaving and coming back repeatedly during the round. It's incredibly distracting for me and may hinder competitors as well.
FOR DIGITAL TOURNAMENTS: Please speak slowly enough that the internet connection can keep up with you. Even with a solid connection, going too quickly results in a blur of noise that makes it difficult to listen for judges and opponents alike.
Additionally: During a digital tournament, please speak up if you cannot hear your opponent. Don't wait until the end of their speech to note that, for you, they were cutting out. It is better to handle the issue with tech time and have the speech given normally than having an off-time recap.
I have 7 years of both debate and judging experience combined, ill go into deeper detail before an actual debate round (feeling lazy)
I consider myself to be an all around judge, in the sense that my sole purpose in the debate round is to evaluate it and vote on who made the most convincing argument.
-- updated for nsda nats 2023 --
I do tend more flay during this tournament - I would deeply prefer a slower, emphasized pace with really good explanations of warrants and arguments. You are welcome to read the below, but it's long and most of it relates to more progressive debate. I'm not opposed to progressive debate at this tournament, but I strongly encourage the 'layification' of progressive debate here. There are times where PF debate SHOULD be easily accessible to the public, and I believe that NSDA Nationals is one of those times.
Congratulations to all for qualifying to this tournament, you should ALL feel amazing just for earning the opportunity to compete at this tournament. Good luck, and speak well!!
—Updated for Glenbrooks 2022—
Background - current assistant PF coach at Blake, former LD coach at Brentwood (CA). Most familiar w/ progressive, policy-esque arguments, style, and norms, but won’t dock you for wanting a more traditional PF round.
Non-negotiables - be kind to those you are debating and to me (this looks a lot of ways: respectful cross, being nice to novices, not outspreading a local team at a circuit tournament, not stealing prep, etc.) and treat the round and arguments read with respect. Debate may be a game, but the implications of that game manifest in the real world.
- I am indifferent to having an email chain, and will call for ev as needed to make my decision.
- If we are going to have an email chain, THE TEAM SPEAKING FIRST should set it up before the round, and all docs should be sent immediately prior to the start of each speech.
- if we are going to do ev sharing on an email, put me on the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
My internal speaks scale:
- Below 25 - something offensive or very very bad happened (please do not make me do this!)
- 25-27.5 - didn’t use all time strategically (varsity only), distracted from important parts of the debate, didn’t add anything new or relevant
- 27.5-29 - v good, some strategic comments, very few presentational issues, decent structuring
- 29-30 - wouldn’t be shocked to see you in outrounds, very few strategic notes, amazing structure, gives me distinct weighing and routes to the ballot.
Mostly, I feel that a debate is a debate is a debate and will evaluate any args presented to me on the flow. The rest are varying degrees of preferences I’ve developed, most are negotiable.
Speed - completely fine w/ most top speeds in PF, will clear for clarity and slow for speed TWICE before it impacts speaks.
- I do ask that you DON’T completely spread out your opponents and that you make speech docs available if going significantly faster than your opponents.
Summary split - I STRONGLY prefer that anything in final is included in summary. I give a little more lenience in PF than in other events on pulling from rebuttal, but ABSOLUTELY no brand new arguments in final focuses please!
Case turns - yes good! The more specific/contextualized to the opp’s case the better!
- I very strongly believe that advocating for inexcusable things (oppression of any form, extinction, dehumanization, etc.) is grounds to completely tank speaks (and possibly auto-loss). You shouldn’t advocate for bad things just bc you think you are a good enough debater to defend them.
- There’s a gray area of turns that I consider permissible, but as a test of competition. For example, climate change good is permissible as a way to make an opp going all in on climate change impacts sweat, but I would prefer very much to not vote exclusively on cc good bc I don’t believe it’s a valid claim supported by the bulk of the literature. While I typically vote tech over truth, voting for arguments I know aren’t true (but aren’t explicitly morally abhorrent) will always leave a bad taste in my mouth.
T/Theory - I have voted on theory in PF in the past and am likely to in the future. I need distinct paradigm issues/voters and a super compelling violation story to vote solely on theory.
*** I have a higher threshold for voting on t/theory than most PF judges - I think this is because I tend to prefer reasonability to competing interpretations sans in-round argumentation for competing interps and a very material way that one team has made this round irreparably unfair/uneducational/inaccessible.***
- norms I think are good - disclosure (prefer open source, but all kinds are good), ev ethics consistent w/ the NSDA event rules (means cut cards for paraphrased cases in PF), nearly anything related to accessibility and representation in debate
- gray-area norms - tw/cw (very good norm and should be provided before speech time with a way to opt out (especially for graphic descriptions of violence), but there is a difference between being genuinely triggered and unable to debate specific topics and just being uncomfortable. It's not my job to discern what is 'genuinely' triggering to you specifically, but it is your job as a debater to be respectful to your opponents at all times); IVIs/RVIs (probably needed to check friv theory, but will only vote on them very contextually)
- norms I think are bad - paraphrasing!! (especially without complete citations), running theory on a violation that doesn’t substantively impact the round, weaponization of theory to exclude teams/discussions from debate
K’s - good for debate and some of the best rounds I’ve had the honor to see in the past. Very hard to do well in LD, exceptionally hard to do well in PF due to time constraints, unfortunately. But, if you want to have a K debate, I am happy to judge it!!
- A prerequisite to advocating for any one critical theory of power is to understand and internalize that theory of power to the best of your ability - this means please don’t try to argue a K haphazardly just for laughs - doing so is a particularly gross form of privilege.
- most key part of the k is either the theory of power discussion or the ballot key discussion - both need to be very well developed throughout the debate.
- in all events but PF, the solvency of the alt is key. In PF, bc of the lack of plans, the framing/ballot key discourse replaces, but functions similarly to, the solvency of the alt.
- Most familiar with - various ontological theories (pessimistic, optimistic, nihilistic, etc.), most iterations of cap and neolib
- Somewhat familiar with - securitization, settler-colonialism, and IR K’s
- Least familiar with - higher-level, post-modern theories (looking specifically at Lacan here)
I am currently the Assistant Coach for East Ridge High School in Woodbury, Minnesota. I coach Congressional Debate and Public Forum.
High School Debate (Iowa): Public Forum Debate, Congressional Debate, and Speech
College Debate (Loyola U): Parliamentary Debate
Coach/Mentoring: The Chicago Debate League, MN Urban Debate League
Retired Attorney – Business Law for pay and Constitutional Law for fun.
-Congressional Debate is not a Speech event; I am looking for argumentation skills that further the debate.
-I encourage signposting, great intros, and a quick summary conclusion. When appropriate, a joke or pun is always welcome.
-I expect clash, cited evidence, and rebuttal.
-I also appreciate students who immerse themselves in the debate and act as if their votes have importance to their constituents back home.
-The authorship or sponsorship speech should address the status quo, lay out the problem(s), and explain with specificity how the legislation solves it. The first con should be equally as strong. Second-round speeches and beyond should advance the debate – offer something new, clarify something that has been said, or refute something proffered.
-If you are speaking near the end of the debate, then a top-notch, crystallization speech is in order and very much enjoyed when done well.
-One amazing speech will always beat out three mediocre speeches.
-No same-sided questions...it does not further debate.
-Don't break the cycle of debate; either flip sides or give a speech on another piece of legislation.
-Refrain from the three Rs: Repeat, Rehash, Recycle.
-Make your arguments stronger, not louder.
-I expect you to treat your colleagues with respect and civility. Shouting, pointing fingers (literally), and being downright rude in questioning will drop you quickly. I like questions that further debate and shore up the arguments. I frown upon unsportsmanlike shenanigans – no “gotcha” or snarky questions. My frown will extend to chamber rankings.
Presiding Officer: Please consider the job of PO ONLY if you are comfortable with Parliamentary Procedure, keeping track of recency and precedence, and running a controlled chamber. If you are a presiding officer, I want it to run so smoothly and fairly that I never have to step in. I do not mind some levity, but this is also a competition. As PO, please explain your gaveling procedure, your understanding of recency and precedence, and how you call on representatives for questioning. Please do not call for "orders of the day" in front of me. Y'all are using it wrong to give your stats from the round.
Public Forum Debate:
>>>SPEED: I am a Coach, but I still can't write as fast as I hear you. You never said if it does not make it to my flow.
Off-time roadmaps work for me.
I am a fan of clear and smart frameworks.
Don't cherry-pick your evidence.
I want to hear debate on the NSDA PF resolution only. Run anything else at your own risk!
I really need narrative and great warranting - please extend them through the flow. Quantitative impacts mean nothing to me if I don't know how to weigh them.
Are you still terminally impacting to Nuclear War in 2021? If so, use caution because the probability is about 1%. I know that, you know that, and the academic literature states that.
I prefer line-by-line rebuttals.
Collapse as necessary to keep the debate sharp.
Please weigh in summary and final focus. If you want something to be a voting issue, put it in both the summary and final focus. If you don't weigh the round for me, I will, and I will use criteria that will definitely frustrate at least 50% of competitors in the round.
s/o Anthony Ovadje for the paradigm template :)
I did PF for four years at Marist School.
Weigh and warrant arguments.
Tech > Truth
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
If you don't cut cards, strike me. I won't drop you if you paraphrase, but you must have cards available if called for and it will hurt your speaker points. I usually won't call for cards myself, but if your evidence is terribly misconstrued, I won't evaluate it and will tank your speaks.
2nd rebuttal must frontline defense and turns
Summary and FF must extend all parts of an argument if you want me to vote off of it
I'm fine with speed, but clarity is always more important
I have basically no experience with K lit, but I'm open to hearing K/soft left arguments. A lot more warranting and explanation needs to be done if you are running this argument in front of me.
I'll usually vote for paraphrasing and disclosure theory unless it's handled atrociously. If your opponents do something terrible in round, I'll also evaluate some sort of shell explaining why its unfair.
Have fun! Debate is really competitive and intense at times, but you will make rounds better for you, your opponents, and judges if you actually seem to be enjoying yourself.
If you have any questions you can ask me in round or just email me.
1. I will focus only on what I hear in the debate.
2. Speak slow/medium pace.
3. To avoid disturbance sometimes I mute voice...since I take notes sometimes I turn off video so speakers can focus on their thoughts....
4. I look at the entire debate flow and compare both teams....
Good diction and, not talking too fast, are important. When sending evidence ensure you send it on the chat or if emailing the evidence, cc me on the email chain.
1) Extend every part of the argument... uniqueness, link, internal link, and impact. A claim without a warrant is not an argument. If you do not extend your argument then I can not vote on it.
2) I cannot stress enough that fewer well developed arguments will always be better than blips with no argument development or good warrants. I've noticed teams that collapse and more thoroughly explain their arguments tend to win my ballot more often than not against a team that goes for too much.
3) Please weigh. Weighing jargon is weird. Just stick to probability, timeframe/ prerequisites, and magnitude
4) When prep time ends you should be ready to start your speech right away. "Pulling up a doc" or something like that for 30 seconds is stealing prep and should be done before you end your prep time
5) Second rebuttal must answer first rebuttal
6) I wouldn't consider myself good at evaluating theory, so if you look to run it keep that in mind.
Current debater at the University of Michigan. I am a flow judge, have debated 4 years of public forum on both local and national circuit. Broke at UMich, Glenbrooks, Columbia, Harvard, Penn, and NCFL and NSDA Nationals.
Speak fast but no spreading, and speaking fast to cram in as many words as you can doesn't guarantee a good case or speech. Quality over quantity, especially when it comes to evidence. If there is a hotly debated piece or conflicting pieces of evidence in the round, I will call for them, but also makes sure to point out why I should favor your evidence. If I can't differentiate which is better, or you don't tell me why your's is better, then I'll decide the argument is a wash and move on.
Theory: I can't guarantee that I will correctly vote on it, but I do my best understanding and researching theory, just make sure your warranting behind it is good. My threshold for responses to theory is extremely low when it comes to interacting with the "rules" of theory (having a counter interp, etc)
Finally, in a round with no offense for either side (extremely rare), the burden of evidence falls on the Aff, as a large majority of NSDA topics are set up that way. Absolutely no Aff offense (again extremely rare) is a vote for the neg.
Speech docs -> higher speaks
policy rounds firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi! I'm Will, a freshman at Yale. I debated for four years for Bronx Science.
Since BDL assigns me to LD rounds, I'll preface by saying that this isn't an event I have competed in. I do flow, but I also appreciate good rhetoric. As long as you are a competent public speaker, you will get pretty high speaks. If you plan on running any nontraditional arguments, read it under the premise that I likely know nothing about it.
For PF, just debate like you would with a reasonable student judge. Talk pretty and make sense. I would prefer it if you collapse on something reasonable in probability.
I do not take cut cards (I want to see what the author said, not what you manipulated them to say), so just send me a link/pdf with what to control F for. If the debate is in person, I give an automatic 29.5+ if you do a speech without a laptop (the rationale being seldom anyone in the outside world delivers a speech off a screen).
Have fun! It's an exciting activity if you care a little less about results.
yes I want to be on the email chain: email@example.com
Pittsburgh Central Catholic '18
WARNING: I have only been peripherally engaged with the immigration topic - if you're going to use acronyms / do in-depth law analysis you're going to have to slow down and explain it to me
When I debated in high school I primarily ran soft-left affs, but I don't (think) I have a strong ideological preference. I'm not going to pretend I'm tabula rasa but there are very few arguments I will a priori vote down. (For instance, I'm never going to vote for racism = good)
As long as you can provide me with a coherent explanation of your world-view and how that relates to what is being said in the round you'll be okay.
If you have questions about more specific arguments/positions feel free to ask.
My name is Michael Weiss and I am a filet (aka flay; flowing lay, judge). I debated as a policy debater in the late '80s, and have judged a couple of online PF tournaments in the past few years. I am fine with spreading, but please share your speech docs if you plan on exceeding 250 words per minute. I am not familiar with progressive arguments such as theory, K's, and tricks, but if you spell it out to me and explain it in laymens terms I can probably evaluate some simple theory (ex disclosure, paraphrasing) I know absolutely nothing about LD, so if I happen to be judging your LD round, keep that in mind. Please include me in any evidence chains, my email is available upon request. The most important thing is that you have fun and keep the debate space respectful! Please note that although my paradigm may seem pretty tech-y, my PF debater son wrote it for me so I'm not necessarily familiar with all the concepts that I'm discussing :)
Director of Speech & Debate at Taipei American School in Taipei, Taiwan. Founder and Director of the Institute for Speech and Debate (ISD). Formerly worked/coached at Hawken School, Charlotte Latin School, Delbarton School, The Harker School, Lake Highland Prep, Desert Vista High School, and a few others.
Updated for Online Debate
I coach in Taipei, Taiwan. Online tournaments are most often on US timezones - but we are still competing/judging. That means that when I'm judging you, it is the middle of the night here. I am doing the best I can to adjust my sleep schedule (and that of my students) - but I'm likely still going to be tired. Clarity is going to be vital. Complicated link stories, etc. are likely a quick way to lose my ballot. Be clear. Tell a compelling story. Don't overcomplicate the debate. That's the best way to win my ballot at 3am - and always really. But especially at 3am.
firstname.lastname@example.org is the best email for the evidence email chain.
You can ask me specific questions if you have them...but my paradigm is pretty simple - answer these three questions in the round - and answer them better than your opponent, and you're going to win my ballot:
1. Where am I voting?
2. How can I vote for you there?
3. Why am I voting there and not somewhere else?
I'm not going to do work for you. Don't try to go for everything. Make sure you weigh. Both sides are going to be winning some sort of argument - you're going to need to tell me why what you're winning is more important and enough to win my ballot.
If you are racist, homophobic, nativist, sexist, transphobic, or pretty much any version of "ist" in the round - I will drop you. There's no place for any of that in debate. Debate should be as safe of a space as possible. Competition inherently prevents debate from being a 100% safe space, but if you intentionally make debate unsafe for others, I will drop you. Period.
One suggestion I have for folks is to embrace the use of y'all. All too often, words like "guys" are used to refer to large groups of people that are quite diverse. Pay attention to pronouns (and enter yours on Tabroom!), and be mindful of the language you use, even in casual references.
I am very very very very unlikely to vote for theory. I don't think PF is the best place for it and unfortunately, I don't think it has been used in the best ways in PF so far. Also, I am skeptical of critical arguments. If they link to the resolution, fantastic - but I don't think pre-fiat is something that belongs in PF. If you plan on running arguments like that, it might be worth asking me more about my preferences first - or striking me.
Put Me on the Email Chain: Cjaswill23@gmail.com
Experience: I debated in College policy debate team (Louisville WY) at the University of Louisville, went to the quarterfinals of the NDT 2018 , coached and judged high school and college highly competitive teams.
Policy Preferences: Debate is a game that is implicated by the people who play it. Just like any other game rules can be negotiated and agreed upon. Soooooo with that being said, I won't tell you how to play, just make sure I can clearly understand you and the rules you've negotiated(I ran spreading inaccessible arguments but am somewhat trained in evaluating debaters that spread) and I also ask that you are not being disrespectful to any parties involved. With that being said, I don't care what kind of arguments you make, just make sure there is a clear impact calculus, clearly telling me what the voters are/how to write my ballot. Im also queer black woman poet, so those strats often excite me, but will not automatically provide you with a ballot. You also are not limited to those args especially if you don't identify with them in any capacity. I advise you to say how I’m evaluating the debate via Role Of the Judge because I will default to the arguments that I have on my flow and how they "objectively" interact with the arguments of your opponent. I like narratives, but I will default to the line by line if there is not effective weighing. Create a story of what the aff world looks like and the same with the neg. I'm not likely to vote for presumption arguments, it makes the game dull. I think debate is a useful tool for learning despite the game-structure. So teach me something and take my ballot.
Other Forms of Debate: cross-apply above preferences
Hi, I’m Jack Williams (He/Him). I attend The Ohio State University, majoring in PPE (political science, philosophy, and economics), as well as Data Analytics. I debated PF local and nat circuit for 4 years. A couple toc bids, 4x state qual, 2x nat alternate, 2x nat qual, top 25 @ nats junior year.
I encourage you to ask me directly before the round if you have any further questions about how I judge or clarifications on the paradigm.
I would like to be on any card exchange doc or email chain: Jackw2931@gmail.com
I will not vote for any argument that is blatantly sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. Content warnings if necessary please.
Overall, the less work you do for me, the more interventionist I have to be in terms of weighing and evaluating arguments, which I don't want to do. Do the warranting, the weighing, and the analysis for me so that I don't have to do it in my head at the end of the round. Essentially, give me the why's - why is your argument true, why is your argument the most important, and why that gives you the offense that wins the round. If you do that, you're making the ballot a lot easier for you and me.
Also, have fun! I like when people make jokes/make me laugh. Just don't do it at your opponent's expense.
TL;DR of what I value in terms of the ballot:
Extend your arguments. In terms of case arguments, the rule of thumb is that I won't vote for your argument if after your extension I'm not able to re-articulate myself how you get from resolution to impact. Collapsing in the back half of the round will only help you. If you don't collapse at all, you generally are hurting the clarity of your argument and ability to win the round.
I’m a little more forgiving on extending turns and defense, but I still need warranting, not just “Flow the Levi evidence.” If the impact of your link turn is not the same as the impact your opponent reads, you need to implicate/weigh your turn.
I’ll evaluate any framework/overview if it is warranted or dropped. If there are competing frameworks I need to know why I ought to prefer your framework, otherwise, I will make the decision myself.
- Pre-reqs will come first unless I'm told otherwise
PLEASE WEIGH. I think every judge says this but that’s because it's important. If you want to win my vote, you can make it very easy for yourself by leaving me no need to do my own analysis/weighing because you’ve done it yourself. Metaweigh if there is competing weighing. Otherwise, I will default to util.
- Second speaking team needs to frontline, at bare minimum, all offense in rebuttal, however I prefer all defense to be frontlined. Turns dropped through second rebuttal are conceded.
Defense isn’t sticky, but again, I'll be a little more forgiving about extending defense if you have already read it in rebuttal.
If you tell me to call for your opponents evidence, I will look at it. I’ll also call for evidence if it’s important to my decision.
If there is somehow zero offense in the round, I’ll default to the side that is the status quo.
- Speaks are a combination of how well you speak and how well you strategically debate the round in terms of collapsing and weighing.
TL;DR of my personal preferences:
- Give me a brief off time road map before summary and final focus speeches (and where you're starting if you're the second rebuttal)
- Time your own prep
- I can handle speed, but I prefer a moderate speaking pace, especially online
- Collapsing in second rebuttal will only help you on my ballot. Clearer, more in depth argumentation will always be better in terms of my ballot as opposed to sheer quantity.
- If you contradict yourself and you fail to clarify which side of the contradiction is true, I will strike both aspects off my flow. I don't think it's fair when teams seesaw on a contradiction and then go for the one that advantages them the most later in the round.
- If you're reading an off send me the text before you read it
- Theory is fine if you aren't using it in an exclusionary manner; don't abuse the privilege (Debate isn't fun if the other team has no chance of winning). I also won't vote off frivolous theory. Probably don't run a K.
- Call for all the evidence you want, and if you tell me to call for evidence I will. If there is a hard clash of evidence I may call for both pieces.
- If you email me your case text before the round starts I will boost your speaks by .5 (paraphrased or cut cards is fine, it doesn't make a difference to me)
I'm a pretty expressive person -- If you look at how I react to what you're saying in the round, you can probably get a pretty good idea of how I feel about the argument you're making
Speed - I can handle speed, but I don’t really like it, especially online. Speaking at a faster pace is fine if you're making good decisions about what you're saying, and not just putting arguments out for the sake of quantity, but overall being able to speak at a more reasonable pace tells me that you can think critically, debate smart, and decide on the most effective arguments, and that you're not just trying to spread through tons of pre-cut cards and responses. If I miss a response because you're going too fast, that's on you, sorry :(
Tech>Truth, but not all the way. I love unique and tech-y arguments, I ran a lot of them myself. That being said, if your argument is way way out-there and absurd, I will probably have a lower threshold for response.
Moreover, I’ll go with whatever is warranted or carded, but I’m not going to pretend I’m completely tabula rasa. If you make stuff up and it is quite obviously wrong, I'm not going to give you the win because the other team doesn't have cards to counter your made-up claims. If you have the evidence or the warranting to back your statement up, I’ll flow it.
Crossfire - Cross is binding, but I won’t vote off something that is only mentioned in cross unless you bring it up in a later speech.
Evidence - I encourage you to call for as much evidence as you would like, but unless you feel it is necessary, I would try to avoid making evidence indicts your primary method of response. In addition:
I will not buy an indict that says “Their source is biased” unless you explain to me why the source is biased.
I may call for any evidence that critical to my decision.
- If you tell me to call for evidence I will.
If you severely misconstrue evidence, the punishment will range from me just dropping the argument to you getting dropped entirely, depending on how severe your infraction is. Expect lower speaks regardless of what I end up doing with the argument.
Please don't tell me that your card explains it all, and please don't tell me that your card is superior to theirs, unless you have actual, detailed reasons why that is true.
Rebuttal - Second speaking team should frontline defense - at the bare minimum any offense, but ideally all defense. I personally think it is strategic for the second speaking team to start collapsing and weighing here because it makes the back half of the round much cleaner, but I won’t hold it against you if you decide not to. If you drop turns through second rebuttal, they are conceded. Also, Advantages/Disadvantages are fine in first rebuttal (though not a huge fan), but not second.
I won't vote for your argument if I'm not able to re-articulate how you get from the resolution to your impact.
Analysis that's that's unresponded to in the next speech is functionally conceded
First Final is the latest I want to see new weighing. No overviews/prereq stuff new in first final though
With 3 minute summaries, I don’t believe defense is sticky. If it is important enough to be in the round, it needs to be in summary
Offense must be in both speeches, or else I will not vote off of it.
Weighing - Please weigh, it will literally win you my vote if you do it and the other team doesn’t. As long as there's a link to your impact, I will literally vote off of any impact if you tell me why it is the most important one in the round. If there is competing weighing but I don’t get warranting as to why I should prefer one team’s weighing over the other’s I’ll default to my own analysis, which is almost always util. Realistically, you don’t want to have me making that decision for you, so give me the analysis yourself please.
Frameworks/overviews - If you run a framework/overview:
If it isn’t responded to, and you extend it all the way through the round, that is how I will evaluate the round
Warrant your framework.
If you do not warrant your framework, I will only vote off of it if it is 100% dropped by the other team
When frameworks clash, I need to hear real, logical, statistical, or impactful reasons why one is superior to the other, not merely that yours is "better." Tell me why.
Theory - I have a fair bit of experience with theory. I think that PF, being an event designed to have a low barrier to entry, is not intended to have theory. That being said, I will absolutely vote off of a theory shell, but if you are going to run one, don't use it in an exclusionary manner. If you do run it, it should be run in your next speech following the violation.
Kritiks - I’ve never debated or judged a round with a Kritik, so I’m not entirely sure what it is supposed to look like. If you can simplify it for me like I'm a lay judge, then maybe if you think it's really necessary. But, probably just stay away from it, this is PF after all.
Good luck, and have fun!
Hi guys! My name is Ellen and I am a current student at the University of Virginia. I have experience in speech but this is my first time judging public forum. Please speak as slowly and clearly as possible so that I can understand everyone. Good luck!
please start an email chain: email@example.com
I would call myself a fairly flow judge. "tech > truth" unless the evidence that is being read is very misrepresented.
Anything you want me to vote on must be extended in summary. There's no such this as sticky defense. Frontline in 2nd RB. Frontline, if applicable, and extend in summary.
You do not have to extend case in 1st RB.
I prefer the weighing done for me; as in a bunch of warrants, defense and turns will do nothing for me if they are not contextualized. I expect to hear why I should prefer your side with reference to warrants. I could maybe vote on something left off of FF, but I won't extend something from case/rebuttal to summary UNLESS it makes sense in the round (ie opponent brings it up again). Weighing should be comparative, doesn't help if both teams say they have a high probability without comparing to their opponent.
I do not flow cross-ex (but I do listen). if it's a new argument/warranting in CX, it should be in a speech. Be nice
As for mechanics, I am pretty flexible and should be comfortable with speed (unless it will be very fast/spreading) as long as you are clear. A speech doc will be well appreciated if you are speaking fast. I'm open to theory, as long as it is not frivolous (ex: no shoe theory). Ks and shells are both ok. I default to reasonability. Please note I am not an expert with theory, and again speech docs will help me understand more. (especially in online debate)
Have evidence ready, shouldn't take longer than 1-2 min to find it or send it out. Also, I will take it from your prep if you're prepping when your opponent is getting a card. I know online debate means I can't enforce this too well so honor system.
About paraphrasing: It takes away from the education of the debate, I do hate it, and while I won't drop you (on face) for it, I won't like you any better if you give me 40 one-lined "cards" in case or rebuttal. Plus it just takes away from the round when your opponent has to call for 10 cards because you read them too fast. (Anti) Paraphrasing theory will pretty easily win my ballot if done well.
Overall, I try my best to make the right decision (but I'm nowhere near perfect). If you have ANY questions feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or ask me before/after the round. Thank you!
Lowell '20 || UC Berkeley '24 || Assistant Coach @ College Prep || she/her/hers
Add me to the email chain - email@example.com
Please format the chain subject like this: Tournament Name - Round # - Aff Team Code [Aff] vs Neg Team Code. Please make sure the chain is set up before the start time, or you will not like your speaks.
I think about debate in the same way as this guy. (He's probably the person I talk to the most when it comes to strategies and execution, it would be fair to say that if you like the way that he judge then I am also a good judge for you).
I debated for four years at Lowell High School. I’ve been a 2A for most of my years (2Ned as a side gig my junior year). Qualified to the TOC & placed 7th at NSDA reading arguments on both sides of the spectrum. I'd say my comfort for judging rounds is Policy vs. Policy > K vs. Policy > K vs. K.
I learned everything I know about debate from Debnil Sur - his paradigm is 1000x more nuanced and thought-out than mine will be.
Please don't start until you see my camera on!
If you're not wearing headphones with a microphone attached, it is REALLY hard to hear you when you turn away from your laptop. Please refrain from doing this.
I would also love if you slowed down a tiny tiny tiny tiny bit on your analytics. I will clear you at most 3 times, but I can't help it if I miss what you're saying on my flow ;(.
I'll vote on anything.* I think there is certainly a lot of value in ideological flexibility.
*Outside of the blatantly offensive arguments, but I think that's obvious.
Tech >>>>>>>>> truth: I'd rather adapt to your strategies than have you adapt to what you think my preferences are. The below are simply guidelines & ways to improve speaks via tech-y things I like seeing rather than ideological stances on arguments.
Looooove judge instruction - I’m lazy, please write my ballot for me. Top level framing and cleaning up the debate for me >>>>>>>>. This makes it infinitely easier for me to resolve debates, but I'm seeing less and less of this in 2NRs/2ARs that I've judged recently. You will be rewarded with inflated speaker points for simple framing at the top that includes phrases like "You're voting aff this round because x, y, z" or "Even if they're winning x, y is true."
I think evidence quality is important, but I value good spin more because it incentivizes smart analysis/contextualization - I personally believe that a model of debate where rounds are adjudicated solely based on evidence quality favors truth more than technical debate skills. As a result, I tend not to look at evidence after the round unless it was specifically flagged during speeches. With that being said, I’ll probably default to reading evidence if there’s a lack of evidence indicts or resolving done by teams in round. You probably don't want this because I feel like its opens up the possibility for more intervention -- so please just help me out and debate warrants + resolve the biggest points of clash in your 2NR/2ARs.
Obviously I'm fine with speed, but it seems like people have forgotten to sign post or slow down on tags/analytics. I'll clear at most 3x, but if I'm missing important stuff you'd like on my flow, that's on you. I don't flow off speech docs, but I try to follow along when you're reading evidence to ensure you're not clipping. If I catch you clipping, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you don't know what you're doing. I will give you a warning, but drop you if it happens again. If the other team catches you and wants to stake the round on an ethics challenge, I doubt you're winning that one.
My biggest frustration when judging rounds is inaccurately flagging arguments the other team spent a substantial amount time answering as “dropped" - your speaks will reflect this frustration. Second to that is repeating “they dropped x” instead of explaining what the technical concession means for you.
Generally, I don’t think people do enough work comparing/explaining their competing models of debate and its benefits other than “they exclude critical discussions!!!!”
For the aff: Having advocacy in the direction of the topic >>>>>>>> saying anything in the 1AC. I’ll probably be a lot more sympathetic to the neg if I just have no clue what the method/praxis of the 1AC is in relation to the topic. I think the value of planless affs come from having a defensible method that can be contested, which is why I’m not a huge fan of “refusal” affs or advocacies not tied to the topic. Not sure why people don’t think perms in a method debate are not valid - with that being said, I can obviously be convinced otherwise. I prefer nuanced perm explanations rather than just “it’s not mutually exclusive”.
For the neg: I don’t really buy procedural fairness - I think to win this standard you would have to win pretty substantial defense to the aff’s standards & disprove the possibility of debate having an effect on subjectivity. I don't think I'd never vote on fairness, but I think the way that most debaters extend it just sound whiney and don't give me a reason to prefer it over everything else.I usually like to go 6-8 off against planless affs - one off framework debates are boring for me. If the aff says you can read topic disads - hold them to that and read a bunch in the 1NC. If not, there’s your abuse for framework.
Not much to say here - think these debates are pretty straight forward. Smart, nuanced link analysis/internal link explanation >>>> “our impact outweighs on [x] because [unwarranted assertion]!!11!!”. Detailed, subpointed link modules and link turns case analysis will make me and your speaks very happy.
Default to judge kick unless the 2ar is really convincing on why I should not/wins the thesis of condo.
I can't remember the last time I heard a really good counterplan. Process/agent/consult CPs are kind of cheating but in the words of the wise Tristan Bato, "most violations are reasons to justify a permutation or call solvency into question and not as a voter."
Smart solvency deficits >>>>
I think I tend to err neg on questions of conditionality & perf con but probably aff on counterplans that garner competition off of the word “should”. Obviously this is a debate to be had but also I’m also sympathetic to a well constructed net benefit with solid evidence.
Framework is sosososo important in these debates. I don’t think I really lean either side on this question but I don’t think the neg needs to win the alt if they win framework + links based on the representational strategy of the 1AC.
Nuanced link walls based on the plan/reps + pulling evidence from their ev >>>> links based on FIATed state action and generic cards about your theory.
To quote Debnil “I'm a hard sell on sweeping ontological or metaphysical claims about society; I'll likely let the aff weigh the plan; I don't think the alt can fiat structures out of existence; and I think the alt needs to generate some solid uniqueness for the criticism.“
I default to competing interps. Explanations of your models/differences between your interps + caselists >>>>> “they explode limits” in 10 different places. Please please please please do impact comparison, I don’t want to hear “they’re a tiny aff and that’s unfair” a bunch.
Questions of norms ≠ ethics violations. If you believe the ballot should resolve a question of norms (disclosure, open sourcing, etc), then I will evaluate it like a regular procedural. If you believe it's an ethics violation (intentionally modifying evidence, clipping, etc), then the round stops immediately. Loser of the ethics challenge receives an auto loss and 20s.
Evidence ethics can be really iffy to resolve. If you want to stake the round on an evidence distortion, you must prove: that the piece of evidence was cut by the other team (or someone affiliated with their school) AND there was clear and malicious intent to alter its meaning. If your problem isn't surrounding distortion but rather mistagging/misinterpreting the evidence, it can be solved via a rehighlighting.
I've never debated in PF, but I have judged a handful of rounds now. I will evaluate very similarly to how I evaluate policy rounds, which you can read about under the "General Things" section above.
I despise the practice of sending snippets of evidence one at a time. I think it's a humongous waste of time and honestly would prefer (1) the email chain be started BEFORE the round and (2) all of the evidence you read in your speech sent at once. Someone was confused about this portion of my paradigm -- basically, instead of asking for "Can I get [A] card on [B] argument, [C] card on [D] arg, etc...", I think it would be faster if the team that just spoke sent all of their evidence in one doc. This is especially true if the tournament is double-flighted.
If you want me to read evidence after the round, please make sure you flag is very clearly.
I've been in theory/k rounds and I try to evaluate very close to policy. I'm not really a huge fan of k's in public forum -- I don't think there is enough speech time for you to develop such complex arguments out well. I also don't think it makes a lot of sense given the public forum structure (i.e. going for an advocacy when it's not a resolution that is set up to handle advocacies). I think there's so much value in engaging with critical literature, please consider doing another event that is set up better for it if you're really interested in the material. However, I'm still willing to vote on anything, as long as you establish a role of the ballot + frame why I'm voting.
If you delay the round to pre-flow when it's double-flighted, I will be very upset. You should know your case well enough for it to not be necessary, or do it on your own time.
Be nice & have fun.
TL;DR 1) track prep verbally and don't mute otherwise, 2) I flow all crossfires, 3) don't waste time saying what you "don't know" about an argument, 4) in-depth extensions often aren't necessary
Oakton '20 (PF, some LD/policy/congress), JHU '24 (APDA, BP). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for chains, Facebook or email@example.com otherwise. You can ask about decisions, speaks, individual feedback, or anything else - I'm always open to help anyone.
1. If nobody's prep is running, stay unmuted. Your prep starts and stops when you say "start prep" and "stop prep" out loud. Keep track of time - if you go decently over, I'll verbally interrupt your team going forward. I'll verbally notify you when prep ends.
2. Be equitable and respect others, don't use gendered pronouns unless they're explicitly denoted.
3. Don't skip or ask to skip anything. I won't flow over time. Don't hold up your timer/phone/fist when you think someone's time is up.
4. I flow cross. I don't flow off docs. I don't mind "off-time roadmaps" but I won't pay attention, say what your speech will do/is doing (signpost) on-time.
5. If presuming (very rare), I flip a coin, and I don't evaluate arguments saying to presume in other ways.
6. I'll disclose and will disclose speaks on request, average in-division 28, 29.5+ impressed me. No speaks theory.
1. Don't say "this argument is missing a warrant/reason/contextualization" on its own. Add any positive content - reasoning about why that factor's relevant, weighing, some example, connection to another point, anything! - just don't point out the lack of something and move on. This includes claims about what I "don't know," e.g. "you don't know when/where/how much this happens," please do not say this. This part is routinely ignored!
2. Arguments are dropped if the next opposing speech doesn't interact, excluding the first two speeches. (This applies to stuff like explicitly conceding something to make a point, or reading a new theory violation, no waiting around.) I ignore "strength of link weighing" saying to prioritize dropped points because they're dropped.
3. Contested (opponent directly addressed that specific claim) or weighed (you applied/compared to another argument) arguments must be extended in summary and final focus to be considered. Others don't have to be (e.g. an impact when the debate's been about links so far, "drop the debater" when both teams go for theory).
I am a parent judge and have judged more than thirty rounds in several tournaments since October, 2021.
I favor clear structure, comprehensibility, and the quality of arguments over quantity and complexity. I am not a subject matter expert on the topics you are debating. So I will listen to you very intently, take notes, and do my best to render a fair and balanced decision.
Please number your contentions so that I can keep better track of them, as well as using your opponent's numbers in your rebuttal. In judging, I will consider the clarity and organization of your case, whether and/or how well you respond to your opponent's case, the impact of your case vs. the impact of your opponent's case as well as your professionalism, clarity of speech and sportsmanship.
I really care about final summary and final focus which can give you another chance to convince me to vote for you. I am not a native English speaker, so please speak clearly and slowly. If I can not understand you, I cannot vote for you. I am not a professional judge which means that I don't know the detailed technique debate skills. I only vote for the team who can make me understand and convince me by their well organized and thorough arguments.
By the way, I don't like the very aggressive attitude. Please be polite and respectful to your opponents.
Have fun and good luck!
As a parent volunteer, I am not a professional judge. I prefer a speed not too fast. such as not exceeding 5 if the speed scale is 1 to 10. But I have judged LD & PF for several years. I understand the requirements of PF & LD.
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a parent judge who enjoys hearing innovative arguments. I have judged about 15 tournaments and more than 50 rounds of TOC/Varsity level of PF competitions. Below is a list of my criteria:
1. I prefer each team to provide a speech document for at least the cases and rebuttals with cards. It makes the evidence exchange professional, efficient, and fair, while allowing the judge to go back to check the evidence for clarification and validity if necessary.
2. Signpost is highly appreciated.
3. Collapsing in the back half is highly encouraged and appreciated. Also, the final focus is important for my decision, anything you want me to evaluate should be in the last speech.
4. I am okay with speed up to 220 words per minute. Speed is usually always fine, if it is well organized with signposts, and clearly delivered.
5. Tech over truth. It’s your burden to disprove your opponents’ absurdity. Comments such as “this is ludicrous” without a warrant will just make me laugh.
6. Theory running is appreciated in the debate. in fact, any argumentation is encouraged if there is a sound explanation/defense. However, make sure you explain what the jargon means when debating theoretical arguments.
7. Personally, I believe the practice of disclosing arguments on the wiki is in the best interest of the debate community’s well-being, and should become a norm, at least in varsity debate competitions.
8. I do not have a preference of paraphrasing, but evidence ethics is an important voting issue for me. For example, misrepresenting evidence in extremely egregious manner should be considered a fatal error and can’t be overlooked. However, minor infractions should not be zealously prosecuted.
9. If you beat your opponents in crossfire, you need to extend it into the speeches to score points in my evaluation.
As a parent judge, I am committed to fostering a fair and educational debate environment. To ensure a productive debate, please adhere to the following guidelines:
1. **No Spreading**: Debaters are encouraged to speak clearly and at a moderate pace. Avoid rapid speech delivery commonly known as "spreading."
2. **Clear Articulation**: Effective communication is key. Speak clearly and enunciate your arguments for the benefit of both the judge and the audience.
3. **Signposting Welcome**: Feel free to use signposting to help structure your arguments and make it easier for me to follow your case.
4. **Impact Evaluation**: I will assess arguments based on their impact and logic soundness. Explain not only what your arguments are but also why they matter and how they affect the overall debate.
5. **Thorough Analysis in Rebuttal**: In your rebuttals, provide comprehensive analysis rather than mere refutation. Clearly articulate how your rebuttal interacts with the opponent's arguments and why it strengthens your position.
6. **Speech Documents**: If you believe your case is densely packed or contains intricate details, you may submit your speech document. This can aid in my understanding of your case and arguments.
These rules are designed to ensure a constructive and informative debate. I look forward to a lively and intellectually stimulating discussion. Good luck to all debaters!