2022 — NSDA Campus, US
Congressional Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
As a parent judge with two years of experience evaluating Congress, I recommend that speakers avoid speaking too quickly and strive for clear and emotionally expressive communication.
During the presentation, make sure to incorporate effective hand gestures, maintain consistent eye contact, project your voice with a commanding presence, convey passion rather than aggression, vary your vocal tones, speeds, and volumes, ensure fluency in your speech, walk purposefully on key points, maintain a conversational pace, and most importantly, conclude on time, adhering to the schedule.
Being a PO carries significant responsibilities, and I usually provide good ratings. Minor errors are acceptable, but if repeated mistakes persist, there's a possibility that your rank might be affected.
A little about me:
Currently coaching: Sage Hill School 2021-Present
Past Coaching: Diamond Ranch HS 2015-2020
I also tab more tournaments, but I keep up with my team so I can follow many of the trends in all events.
I prefer all of my speakers to make sure that any contentions, plans or the like are clear and always link back to the topic at hand. You're free to run theory or K at your peril. I've heard great rounds on Afro-pessimism and bad rounds on it. I've loved a round full of theory and hated rounds full of theory. All depends on how it's done, and what the point of it.
I am a social studies teacher, so I can't unknow the rules of American government or economics. Don't attempt to stay something that is factually inaccurate that you would know in your classes.
Be respectful of all parties in the room - your opponent(s), your partner (if applicable) and the judge. Hurtful language is in not something I tolerate. Pronouns in your names are an added plus.
Speaking clearly, even if fast, is fine, but spreading can be difficult to understand, especially through two computers. I will say "Clear" if I need to. In an online format, please slow down for the first minute if possible. I haven't had to listen to spreading with online debate.
For LD, I don't mind counterplans and theory discussions as long as they are germane to the topic and as long as they don't result in debating the rules of debate rather than the topic itself. In the last year most of my LD rounds have not been at TOC bid tournaments, but that doesn't mean I can't follow most arguments, but be patient as I adjust.
Truth > tech.
*It's work to make me vote on extinction or nuclear war as a terminal impact in any debate. That link chain needs to be solid if you're doing to expect me to believe it.*
In PF, make sure that you explain your terminal impacts and tell me why I should weight your impacts vs your opponents' impacts.
WSD - I have been around enough tournaments to know what I should hear and I will notice if you're not doing it well. Thinking global always. Models should always be well explained and match the focus on the round. Fiat is a tricky thing in the event now but use it as you see fit.
I'm Vansh, a first-year out. I did congress for 4 years and competed on the national circuit. I hope you all can take away something from this activity that used to be such a big part of my life!
The first and most important thing I'm going to be looking for within speeches is just the fundamentals: make sure you have proper speech structure and outlines. I should be able to tell what your claim, warrant, data, analysis, and impacts are. As a judge, I'm not going to try to figure out your speech for you, be coherent and make sure your speech has a clear sense of direction.
The most important parts of your speech are your warrant and your impact. Make sure you emphasize these parts of your speech the most as these explain why your argument is true, and why your argument matters. Speeches without these are hard to follow or are insignificant within the round. Along those lines, make sure your arguments have clear link chains. If you know that there are logic holes within your link chain, then chances are I'm going to be able to recognize them.
Make sure you understand your position in the round and interact with your colleagues. If you are a sponsor or an early-round speaker, explain the bill and set up a framework for your side. If you are in the middle of the round, extend upon the previous arguments and have rebuttals against the opposing side. If you're a late-round speech, crystalize and weigh the arguments and impacts in the round. The debate doesn't exist in a vacuum, so make sure you address other people in the round! Most of the time when people hear this they immediately think of refutation, but there are so many other ways to interact with the debate. You can set a framework, extend on previous impacts, crystalize, set a burden for a side to prove, etc. The interaction within congressional debate is what makes it unique from other events and is also what makes it enjoyable, so embrace it!
Lastly, have fun! I know this sounds super corny, but genuinely the best debaters in the circuit are the ones that enjoy it the most. I know debate can be sucky at times, prep can be really hard and annoying, and rounds can feel intimidating, but I do think there is some beauty within all of it. Try to appreciate the fact that you all are modeling an actual congress, are challenging your perspectives, and are trying to find solutions to genuine issues that occur in the real world.
Debate was a big part of my life in highschool and I hope you all are able to take away as much as I did from it. I look forward to seeing y'all in round!
I am a parent judge who has been judging in the local circuit since 2019. I have completed NFHS Adjudicating Speech and Debate training. While I primarily judge LD, I have experience judging Speech and PF as well.
My professional background is in Environmental Health and Safety and I hold a Master’s Degree in Public Health from New York Medical College.
No spreading please as I want to be able to understand your argument. Please don’t use fast talking to load in too many arguments, I am looking for clear, well-articulated and concise arguments. I am also not a fan of Progressive Theory arguments as I believe they are not in the spirit of the history or traditional style of the Lincoln-Douglas debate.
I like strongly warranted arguments. I enjoy when you tell me what to vote for as I believe it helps in a debater’s argument development. For me a good debater will use clear logic, well-paced speaking, have a consistent and thoughtful case and be respectful and courteous to their opponent. I do not tolerate rudeness to others.
Good luck and have fun!
I'm a former speech competitor that has been judging speech, PF, LD, and CX rounds for 5 years. I am currently a public speaking teacher at the collegiate level as well. The things that I look for are consistent throughout both speech and debate events, recent and unbiased information, clear definitions, and NO SPREADING! The point of debate is to cleanly debate topics as educated individuals and to not devolve into a rude, talking over type of argument. There is a difference between debating and arguing.
The long and short of it all: I want a good, clean and fair fight!
Crawford Leavoy, Director of Speech & Debate at Durham Academy - Durham, NC
Email Chain: email@example.com
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 an experienced coach and judge. I have competed, coached and judged in all areas of speech & debate.
I am a 'tabula rasa' judge, which for me means that I will listen to any reasonable argument. I am always interested in hearing creative approaches to any resolution. However, I fully support the format, style and philosophy of each debate and speech event.
I am not adverse to rapid speaking, because debate time is limited. BUT I will not condone 'spreading' as a tactic. If you insist you win because the opponent did not address all of your issues, I may or may not accept your premise.
Evidence is primary to any good argument. You should be able to coherently present your evidence with citation in every instance. Referencing 'cards' in a case is ambiguous, since I will not have your case in front of me.
In all Cross Ex portions, LISTEN to your opponent. Address their concerns and their rationale for opposing you. Be civil and understand they have as much a right to be here as you do.
I will not make your case for you. I may be very familiar with the resolution, strategy and line of reasoning you are using, but I will not assume you even know what you are talking about. You have to know your case and be able to defend it.
In Congress, competitors must listen to the line of argument and offer unique and relevant arguments. Repeating points or delivering a prepared speech that does not advance the debate is poor practice and means you do not know the bill. Logic and analysis are fine, but a warrantless argument will not have a very big impact.
I do not rank POs particularly high. A competent PO will score near the middle of a typical Congress round.
In Extemp, I want to learn new things, hear unique ideas and understand my world better.
In LD, I am neither a traditionalist or progressive; I want to hear a values-based argument founded on a good philosophical framework. Values are precursors to behaviors, so there is no solving of problems or plans of action.
Lansing High School '21
University of Kansas '25
Please add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do your thing. I'll resolve the debate with as little intervention as possible. I'd rather you read something you enjoy/feel comfortable reading than something you dislike reading, I'll do my best to adapt to what arguments you read.
If anything on my paradigm isn't clear or your have questions - feel free to ask me before round or shoot me an email
You're good to read one in front of me. I'm best at adjudicating and giving constructive feedback in debates with policy affs because that's where most of my experience as a debater was, but I enjoy watching and evaluating planless affs.
Make sure you're explaining the literature/process that your aff takes
Being in the direction of the topic is important
Framework: 2nc/2nr's should interact with the aff at some level, ie. don't just read generic uncontextualized t-usfg blocks. Give a detailed explanation as to why the specific model/aff is worse for debate. Most debates that don't contextualize framework arguments to the aff end up sounding like "K affs are bad for debate". It's easier to win with specific offense and much more difficult to convince me that any and all planless affs are bad for debate.
Fairness and education can both be impacts (unless argued otherwise), but I personally think fairness is argued best as an i/l to education
I default to competing interpretations
TVA's are good to help explain impacts and help contextualize what offense you lose under the aff's model
Slow down a little bit on analytics
Da/cp debates are usually pretty fun and probably my favorite to watch
Specific links>topic links
Not much to say here
Default condo is good, but can be convinced otherwise
Process cp's are fine, but I eer aff on theory
Judge kick is fine, but the neg has to make the argument for me to judge kick before the 2nr
Condo is the only theory argument that is a reason to reject the team
2a's - please utilize going for theory more, negative teams can be pretty abusive when it comes to fiat - even if you don't end up going for it, having it in your arsenal is good practice and might save you from losing to a random process cp one day
Assume I don't know your lit, make sure you are explaining your ev and contextualizing it to the topic/aff
Not the best judge for kvk debates
Line by line>long overviews
Judge instruction is important - your 2nr/2ar should outline what you want the decision on my ballot to look like
Be kind to everyone in the round! Debate is a fun and educational outlet for people - don't make me intervene because you've made someone else feel uncomfortable/unsafe in the debate space.
Please ask me before the round.
My first 20 years of coaching were devoted almost exclusively to policy debate. My second 20 years were spent on every other forensic event. I am a fan of both speech and debate with PF as my personal favorite. Coming from a policy background has helped to mold my judging preferences:
What I like:
Clash - arguments only
Evidence that actually supports the argument it supposed to
IMPACTS - if you don’t have impacts, you won’t win; if you don’t link your impacts, you won’t win
I actually care about topicality and talking about the actual resolution
Real world issues plus a comparison of pro world vs con world
What I don’t like:
Unintelligible grand crossfires because everyone is talking over each other
I don’t mind some speed, but policy garble won’t fly.
I look forward to direct clash in a respectful environment with well vetted ev supporting real world issues.