2022 — NSDA Campus, US
Public Forum Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Second year assistant coach
Enjoys clearly stated framework and contentions
Reading cards is not enough, you must be able to understand and apply studies/evidence being used
Proper dress and decorum is important
Will take notes, not an expert flower
PF Coach @ The Potomac School,
W&M '24,GMU '22 (debated (policy) 4 yrs in HS & 4 yrs at GMU)
Put me on your email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
Flow judge, tell me how to evaluate the round
Here are a few thoughts:
1. I absolutely despise the way evidence is traded in PF. It is so unbelievably inefficient. You will probably be rewarded if you just send cases/rebuttal docs before each speech because I will less annoyed. If you are asking for opponents to write out/send analytics, you are self reporting, I know you aren't flowing.
2. Links and impacts need to be in the summary if you want me to evaluate them in the final focus. Please do not tagline extend your argument, do some comparative analysis in regard to your opponents arguments. Please go beyond just extending author names as well - most of the time I don’t really flow authors unless it matters.
3. Tech > Truth
4. I don’t flow cross, but I am listening. If something important happens in cross it NEEDS to be in your speech.
5. Theory: I am comfortable evaluating theory, although it super aggravates me when debaters read theory on teams that clearly wont know how to answer it just because they think it is an easy ballot, I will tank speaks for this. Either way, theory is just another argument I will evaluate on the flow, so make sure you are doing line-by-line, just like you would on any other argument. However, generally I think disclosure is beneficial and CWs are good when they are actually needed.
6. Ks: I will evaluate them, but probably have a pretty high threshold for explanation. I think there are ways to run them and be effective, but I think it is extremely hard given the time constraints of PF. I hate link of omissions though. pls stop
*UPDATE for Wake 2022*
I have not researched/coached at all on the personhood topic so pls do not assume that I knowthings.
Online things - pls slow down a lil - I already flow on paper and if you are flying through analytics online there is a good chance I wont catch some stuff
TLDR: I’m receptive to all kinds of arguments. Read what you are good at.
Policy v Policy
Cards: I will read them to answer questions about my flow or to compare the quality of evidence of well debated arguments (this is not an excuse for poor explanation) .
T: The standards I prefer and find most persuasive are limits/ground and real world context. I default to competing interpretations if no other metric is given. However, I err aff if I think your interp is reasonable (given reasonability is explained properly, it is often not) and the negative did not prove you made debate impossible even if neg interp is slightly better. Otherwise, just defend your interp is a good vision of the topic.
I am generally fine with unlimited condo. However, will be much more inclined to vote on condo if your vision of unlimited condo is 7 counterplans in the 1NC with no solvency advocates. Fail to see how that is a) strategic or b) educational. I will certainly vote on condo if it is dropped or won tho.
I'm fine with PICs out of specific portions the aff defends.
99 out of 100 times, if it's not condo, it's a reason to reject the arg. You need a clear reason why they skewed the round to get me to drop them even if it is dropped. Having said that, if you win that a CP is illegitimate you're probably in a good spot anyways.
K v Policy Affs
Specificity of links go a long way. This doesn't mean your evidence has to be exactly about the plan but applying your theory to the aff in a way that takes out solvency will do a world of good for you. Please remember I haven't done research on this topic, so good explanations will be to your benefit.
Make sure the alt does something to resolve your links/impacts + aff offense OR you have FW that eliminates aff offense. (Having an alt in the 2NR is definitely to your benefit in these debates, I am less likely to err neg even if you win a link to the aff without some resolution).
However, I probably tend to err aff on the f/w portion of the debate. Weigh the aff, key to fairness, etc are all arguments I tend to find persuasive. I also think a well developed argument about legal/pragmatic engagement will go a long way.
Good impact framing is essential in the majority of these debates. For the aff - be careful here, even if you win case outweighs, the neg can still win a link turns case arg and you will lose.
Contextual line-by-line debates are better than super long overviews. I will not make cross-applications for you.
K Affs v Policy
K Affs should probably have some relation to the resolution. They should also probablydo somethingto resolve whatever the aff is criticizing. If it isn't doing something, I need an extremely good explanation for why. TLDR: if I don’t know what the aff does after the CX of the 1AC, you are going to have a v hard time the rest of the round.
Negative teams should prove why the aff destroys fairness and why that is bad. Fairness is an impact. However, go for whatever version of FW you are best at. In the same vain as some of the stuff above, being contextual to the aff is critical. If you make no reference to the aff especially in the latter half of the debate, it will be hard to win my ballot.
Both teams need a vision of what debate looks like & why that vision is better. Or if the negative team does not have a superb counterinterp - impact turn the affs model of debate.
K v K
If you find me in these debates, make the debate simple for me. Clear contextual explanations are going to go a long way. Impact framing/explanation is going to be key in these rounds.
I strongly believe in narrowing the debate in the summary speeches. I really want you to determine where you are winning the debate and explain that firmly to me. In short: I want you to go for something. I really like big impacts, but its's important to me that you flush out your impacts with strong internal links. Don't just tell me A leads to C without giving me the process of how you got there. Also don't assume i know every minute detail in your case. Explain and extend and make sure that you EMPHASIZE what you really want me to hear. Slow down and be clear. Give me voters (in summary and final focus).
Speed is fine as long as you are clear. I work very hard to flow the debate in as much detail as possible. However, if I can't understand you I can't flow you.
Hi! I debated PF for two years at Durham Academy. In that sense I'm a flow judge, but I also don't have a lot of experience with very progressive arguments/debating, and I see PF as a more lay debate style that should be easily understood and argued using logic and persuasion. I don't have a lot of preferences, although I'm not a huge fan of theory in PF.
I tend to vote based on which team makes arguments that hold up the most logically and are extended through the round. Persuade me with both evidence (that is clearly in support of what you're saying) and warrants. I like a lot of organization and signposting in summary and FF, especially having the debate narrowed down to a few voting points + weighing by the FF -- what is the most important issue(s) in this round? Overall, though, debate how you like, I'm not going to vote against you for any one specific thing!
I'm okay with speaking on the slightly quicker side as long as it's clear and well-modulated (aka doesn't sound like you're just reading really fast) but slower speech and narrowed-down arguments is almost always better than speaking very quickly to fit in a ton of points.
I believe that public forum was designed to have a "john or sally doe" off the street come in and be a judge. That means that speaking clearly is absolutely essential. If I cannot understand you, I cannot weigh what you say. I also believe that clarity is important. Finally, I am a firm believer in decorum, that is, showing respect to your opponent. In this age of political polarization and uncompromising politics, I believe listening to your opponent and showing a willingness to give credence to your opponents arguments is one of the best lessons of public forum debate.
Engineering grad and IT practitioner; have been judging debate since 2018. I did PF all through high school in Virginia.
1. I'm fine with speed; just speak clearly.
2a. Time yourself. When you run out of time, finish your sentence gracefully, on a strong note, and stop speaking.
2b. I will also time you. When you run out of time, I will silently stop taking notes on my flow and wait for you to finish. I will cut you off if you are 30 seconds over time; if I cut you off, it means I didn't listen to anything you said for roughly the last 30 seconds.
3. I don't care if you sit or stand. Do whatever works.
4. Although I like hearing Ks, I think they're cool and I like when debaters deconstruct the format/topic/incentive structure of debate... I don't like evaluating them and voting off them as a judge. It's outside my comfort zone as a judge and I don't have the experience and confidence to evaluate Ks in a way that is consistent and fair. I use my paradgm here to disclose what I vote off, and I'm not likely to change my mind in-round to vote on a K.
I vote on terminal impacts. Use your constructive to state and quantify impacts that I as a human can care about. I care exclusively about saving lives, reducing suffering and increasing happiness, in descending order of importance. Provide warrants and evidence for your claims, then extend your claims and impacts through to final focus. In final focus, weigh: tell me *how* you won in terms of the impacts I care about.
0. Cut your cards in advance and be on the ball with finding and sharing them. If you can't find your card promptly we'll assume it doesn't exist and move on.
1. Please indict bad cards. Misleading claims, baseless speculation, "studies" that don't exist, that sort of junk: if you convince me it's bad, I'll strike it gleefully from my flow.
2. Be nice to each other in cross; let the other person finish. Cut them off if they are monopolizing time.
3. If you want me to consider an argument when I vote, extend it all the way through final focus.
The way I vote in LD is different from how I vote in PF. In the most narrow sense, I vote for whichever team has the best impact on the value-criteron for the value that I buy into in-round.
This means you don't necessarily have to win on your own case's value or your own case's VC. Probably you will find it easier to link your impacts to your own value and VC, but you can also concede to your opponent's value and link into their VC better than they do, or delink your opponent's VC from their value, or show that your case supports a VC that better ties into their value.
I don't judge Congress nearly enough to have an in-depth paradigm, but it happens now and then. I will typically give POs top-3 if they successfully follow procedure and hold the room together.
Ranking is more based on gut feeling, but in a few words: did you speak compellingly (like you actually care), did you do good research to support your position, and did you take the initiative to speak, particularly when the room otherwise falls silent.
I am honored to be judging your rounds and look forward to what you all have prepared!!
I have experience on every major circuit in the country in various events. I specialized in extemp, congress, and world schools, but I have experience in and an understanding of every event.
Speech and Debate are the antithesis of complacency, and I expect competitors to represent that by challenging and changing content and arguments throughout the year. Do not get comfortable with the normal. Challenge and change the status quo, and that starts with creativity.
TLDR: Tech>Truth but I have a much lower threshold for blatantly wrong statements.
If you have any questions or advice, simply ask me after the round or email me here: email@example.com
LD/CX: I am largely tech over argument, excluding certain situations. I am not opposed to any kritiques or technical arguments, but I am going to weigh and vote off of the arguments and the warrants you provide. I am a strong believer that complicated or convoluted arguments that are conveyed poorly are far worse than a simple arguments conveyed convincingly and strongly. I'm fairly well-read on philosophy, but if you are going to attempt arguments of that vein, you best be prepared to utilize that argument in a rational and pragmatic way.
PF: I want to hear strategic and planned responses that actually signpost where and what the judge and opponents need to pay attention to. Way too many PF rounds become messy, and both sides misconstruing arguments in good or bad faith. If you provide rational impact calculus and extend the right arguments, it will be reflected in my ballot.
Congress: I have spent most of my debate career in congress and extemp, so I know what fluff is and what is real. I do NOT take kindly to excessive theatrics, a lack of clash, and a lack of real content. I also know when your speech is nothing but "rhetoric" versus actual points. I need to see proactive and unique points, especially creativity and risks. As for the PO, I need to see you stand out. All PO's are not created equal, and if you can have a hold over your chamber while being a charming or dynamic competitor, I will thank you and vote you highly. Take risks, don't let this event homogenize into people doing the same thing over and over again.
Extemporaneous Speaking: Performance and presentation matter, and they absolutely will reflect positively on your ranking. However, I see extemp as a mix between speaking and debate. I want to see the content, the link chain, the impact, and the warrants. Tell me why your topic matters, its effects past the direct "what the eye can see", and compare it. Use the skills of persuasion and informing and give me an argument. If you can do that and communicate your point effectively, you are absolutely going to rank highly with me.
World Schools: I absolutely give merit to the content and the arguments here. However, this event gives the opportunity to branch out and address arguments from a much more holistic and broader perspective. Take control of that opportunity. I give a lot of leeway here, but in the end this is world schools. All arguments are fair game for me.
Interp/OO/Info: I follow most of the standard paradigms and norms of the event, and view these events as more so to cater to your preferences than mine. Show me what you got!
Coach since 2014
For the most part,you'll be looking at this paradigm because I'll be your LD judge. cross-apply these comments to PF as applicable and to policy if/when I get recruited to judge policy.
Speed and Decorum:
Send me your case. This should go without saying, but let me know that you've actually sent me your case. I won't look for your case unless you tell me to look. Speechdrop.net or tabroom share is probably best rather than email.
I don't care if you sit/stand. Really, I don't. Just generally try to remain in the room. I won't be shaking hands.
Please time your speeches and prep time. I may not keep accurate time of this since my attention is to the content of your speeches. Flex prep is fine if all debaters in the round agree.
I do not prefer theory. I'm usually left feeling that most debaters let it overcomplicate their arguments or worse. Some may even allow it to further make debate inaccessible (especially to those who are likely already crowded out of this forum in some other way). Please don't run it unless there you see literally NO OTHER WAY to respond to your opponent's arguments. Even then, I may not evaluate it the way you want or expect. If you planning to run dense or tricky theory, you should find a different judge.
You have an absolute obligation to articulate your arguments. Even if I’m familiar with the literature or whatever that you might be referencing I *try* to avoid filling in any gaps.
Signposting = GOOD! Flipping back and forth from AFF flow to NEG flow then back to AFF Flow to NEG Flow....BAD.... VERY, VERY, VERY BAD!
Tricks = no. Thanks.
I will not vote for arguments that are ableist, racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, etc. This should go without saying, but for the sake of anyone who needs to see it in writing, there you go.
Above all, strive to make sense. I do not prefer any “style” of debate or any particular kind of argument over another. Regardless of what you run, if your case relies on me to connect the dots for you or if it is a literal mess of crappily cut and equally crappily organized evidence sans warrants, you will probably be sad at the end of the round.
I am relatively new to PF debate judging and have judged about 25 PF debates. I am ok with some speed, as long as you are clear when articulating your key contentions, subpoints, and rebuttals. While I do consider delivery, I am a flow judge and the team that is able to best argue and support their contentions with with logic and strong evidence, while effectively rebutting the contentions made by their opponents, will win the match. I place emphasis on when strong contentions (i.e., supported by clear evidence) are made by one team and not rebutted/addressed by the other team. In my view that's an implicit agreement with the contention.
When stating evidence, please ensure you provide the date when referencing.
On crossfire, my expectation is for each team to give each other the chance to ask at least one question.
I prefer for the teams to manage the debate round, including maintaining order and making sure to ask for prep time. I will have a timer, but teams are encouraged to maintain their time as well. I will ask at the beginning of the round, if teams want a 1-minute, 2-minute, etc. warning.
Please be courteous and respectful to each other.
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.
At the top, I would greatly prefer if you sent me case docs so I could follow along during round and easily reference arguments and specific cards at my leisure. Sending firstname.lastname@example.org early as you can before round it would be optimal. Outside of that, do include me in the email chain if one is made.
Throughout High School I competed primarily in PF on the national circuit. I went to NSDA twice in PF, was a State Champion in the event, and competed in multiple nat circuit tournaments.
Despite this, I don't really like theory and arguments of this nature very much. If you explain it well enough and make me interested I might vote on theory, but don't hold out too much hope. You stand a much better chance of winning if you stick to relevant on case arguments.
I have a pretty high tolerance for speed, but you need to make sure you're clear if you're going to speak at a quicker pace.
I also want to see frontlining occur in the right speeches. (this primarily means 2nd team rebuttal addressing the 1st team rebuttal and not waiting until summary to frontline) If you fail to address an argument at the right time and your opponent says you don't bring up a response, I'm gonna drop whatever argument was attacked without a second thought.
Most importantly, be civil when you debate. Don't try to harass your opponent, intentionally talk over them, or flex that you're some debate genius. Winning one debate round in high school isn't so big a deal where trying to fight the opponent in round. Debate is about discourse before anything else, so act in a way that best suits delivering knowledge.
For LD and Policy, most of the same things apply. Remember to be coherent with clear arguments.
This will be my second year judging debate. I value the flow, organization, and providing credible evidence/sources in support of your arguments. Talk clearly, slowly at a pace that the judges and your opponent can understand. This will help me in taking note of all your points. Make sure you stick to the time slots assigned to each round.
Good luck and happy debating!!
Parent judge. Please speak slowly and clearly.
I am a parent of one of the debaters. I'm a lay judge, please speak a little bit slowly and make the debate easy to understand. Thanks!
Don't be a bigot. This includes misgendering competitors. You will lose the ballot.
I generally give relatively high speaks due to the subjective nature of speaker points and the issues therein.
Remember to time yourselves and your opponents.
At invitationals, add me to the email chain using email@example.com .
In all forms of debate, I value logical argumentation and strong analytics supported by credible evidence. Speed, if clear, is fine, as long as it remains at a level that works for all debaters in the round. Out-spreading an opponent kills education.
Policy (and Policy-Style Parli)
I am open to theory arguments and will rarely vote on T , but you need to explain them clearly and thoroughly in the round. I studied critical theory as applied to literature in both undergraduate and graduate school, so I have a strong background in feminist, Marxist, deconstructionist, queer, and psychoanalytic theory. I enjoy a well-executed K, but only run kritiks you know well -- not something you grabbed off the wiki/open ev.
I strive to evaluate the round using the framework agreed upon by the debaters and do not have a particular preference regarding stock issues, policy maker, etc.
Support and bring everything back to your V/VC -- even if you're running a plan (for non-CA LD). Evidence certainly matters but evidence without analytics will do very little for you.
I'll accept theory arguments when necessary to address in-round abuse, but please proceed with caution. I still value Public Forum as a form of debate that can be understood by lay judges, so please don't spread or run a K, and keep the jargon to a minimum.
In extemp, I want to see your introduction connect clearly with the topic and the rest of the speech (bring it back briefly at the end). Please clearly sign-post your main points and cite your evidence (ideally with more than just "According to the New York Times this year..."). Don't be afraid to use humor -- even if it's a little dark. Most of all, be authentic, engaging, and keep things flowing.
I will give time signals in extemp and impromptu.
In original oratory, original advocacy, & informative speaking, I look for well-crafted speeches delivered with fluency and appropriately varied tones.
If you're competing in an interp event, your intro should make me care about the topic at hand and should, of course, be your original words. Also, if you're competing in oratorical interpretation and the original speech includes cursing, please say the actual words or select a different speech (e.g., AOC's 2020 address to Rep. Yoho in which she quotes his profanity).
I debated PF for Centerville High School in Ohio for four years and coached the middle school team for three years. I am a senior at Vanderbilt University coaching the University School of Nashville's debate team.
I competed at a few national circuit tournaments, but most of my debating was done on the local circuit. Because of this, I am not too familiar with theory and Ks. I am open to hearing these arguments, but I won't be the best at evaluating these types of arguments.
Add me to the email chain at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you spread, send a speech doc.
In terms of the round, here are a few things that I want to see:
1) You don't have to read direct quotes. I am fine with paraphrasing. However, if I find that you are misconstruing your evidence to make your claim, then I won't vote for that specific argument. Your speaks probably will go down as well if your opponents call you out for misconstruing evidence.
2) If you are speaking second, make sure to frontline any offense. I think it is strategic to frontline everything but at the minimum frontline turns.
3) I won't flow cross-fire, but if something major happens, make sure to address it in the next speech.
4) When extending cards and offense in the latter half of the round, make sure that you explain the warranting behind it.
5) If evidence is called, make sure to produce it in a timely manner. Also, I will call for evidence if you tell me to call for evidence.
6) Don't just dump responses. Explain what your evidence indicates and how this piece of evidence is significant in responding to your opponent's case.
7) I like to see you start weighing in rebuttal. I think it is strategic to set up the weighing earlier in the round and then carry that through summary and final focus.
How I vote:
If you want me to vote on a certain argument, it should be in both summary and final focus. Your argument should be explained in a clear manner and your impacts should be extended. Weighing your argument and impacts against your opponent's argument and impacts will make your path to the ballot easier. I will try not to intervene, but please weigh arguments comparatively to make my job easier as a judge. If not, I will have to decide which arguments are more important.
If there is no offense generated from each side (highly unlikely), then I will default to the first speaking team. If you say things that are sexist, racist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, or are extremely rude in any way, I will drop you and give you low speaks. The debate should be civil and debaters should be respectful.
Please do not postround me. I do encourage you to ask questions about the round and why I voted the way I did. I am always looking for feedback to improve my judging.
If you have any additional questions, let me know.
Hi! My name is Aleena Joseph and I am a sophomore at Texas A&M University. In high school, I was an avid speech and debate competitor, particularly in Original Oratory, Informative Speaking, Public Forum, Dramatic Interpretation, and Humorous Interpretation. I was strongest in Original Oratory and Informative Speaking as a 2-time state qualifier for both, and a national tournament qualifier and attendee for Oratory. I competed heavily in Public Forum in my sophomore year and judged novice rounds in my senior year. My experience levels would match a flay judge, so I highly recommend articulating your arguments thoroughly. The easier it is for me to understand your arguments, the better your speaker points will likely be. I also critique your speaking heavily, so try your best to speak clearly with articulation and tone.
Basic Things I Appreciate In a Round (Debate)
- Good articulation and overall outstanding speaking
- Simple Termed Arguments
- Overall respect for each other. I do NOT tolerate mansplaining or any other disrespect in the round.
- WEIGHING IS SO IMPORTANT. I need to be convinced that your argument is the best for society as a whole.
- Have fun! I love when I see competitors having fun and enjoying their rounds.
- I likely will not disclose, but you can ask.
How I Judge Speech --
- Strong arguments with creative examples to follow
- Expressions and inflection get you major points with me!
Good luck! I’m super excited to judge your round!
If you have questions after the round, feel free to email me at email@example.com! Thanks!
I am a lay judge. Please talk slowly and clearly so that I can take note of all your points.
Make sure to keep your own time, it is your responsibility to ensure everyone is following the time requirements.
This is my third year judging PF.
I am a practicing physician and can always appreciate a good debate.
I value organization and the use of credible evidence to support your arguments.
Speak clearly at an understandable pace and above all please be respectful of your opponents.
The email you can use to share evidence: firstname.lastname@example.org
4 years of pf @ oakton || email@example.com for email chains
lmk if you have questions about my paradigm! ◡̈
- resolve clash/compare warrants (!!!!!), collapse, extend, & weigh
- alright with speed, send a doc if going fast (but i still might not catch everything)
- second reb should frontline, if not i'll be very hesitant to buy new frontlines in 2nd sum
- unless given warrants otherwise, i'll presume the team that lost flip
- if it's side locked i'll presume the squo
- i understand theory a lot more than k's, no friv theory or tricks
^ i have v basic understanding of prog so i might vote wrong, make sure it is rly warranted
- L20 if you run problematic arguments or run prog/spread on newer debaters
^ aka don't ask anything starting w/ "but wait"
Hi! I’m Arfa (er-FAH). I did 4 years of PF and 2 years of Informative/Oratory. Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
TD;LR: warrant, collapse, implicate, weigh, extend consistently and don't be offensive
I do not tolerate disrespect, racism, sexism, transphobia, etc. in round. Please respect your opponents and read trigger warnings BEFORE the round.
For novices: The learning curve in debate can seem daunting. The most important things are to try your best, fill your speech times, explain your arguments clearly, and tell me why they matter more than your opponent’s.
Speed: Clarity > Speed. I do not prefer spreading. If you do spread, I will only flow what I can follow.
Extensions: I expect internal links in arguments (including those within impacts) to be extended for you to maintain the full weight of your argument. Extensions are things you can always practice, so I expect them to be clean and well-articulated.
Defense is sticky until it’s frontlined.
Weighing: Tell me WHY the extended argument matters more than your opponents. If your opponents give me a different mechanism than you to prefer their argument, explain why your mechanism should be evaluated first (metaweighing).
You can start weighing as early as 2nd case or 1st rebuttal. (Weighing overviews are great when possible!)
Tech > Truth: If you didn't say it in the round, don't expect me to evaluate it regardless of how "true" the argument may be. That said, use common sense and have good judgement.
Signpost/Road Map: I like an organized flow so let me know where you are.
Framework: Default is cost-benefit analysis unless otherwise stated. If not addressed in rebuttal, it’s conceded.
Collapse: This is critical in PF with such short speech times, especially in the second half of the round. Consolidate and crystalize, group arguments, and do not go for everything on the flow.
IMPLICATE: You need to tell me HOW each of the arguments you make fit within the scope of the round. I will not make any connections for you unless you do it explicitly. → Tell me what argument serves as turns/terminal defense, why, and what that means for you/your opponents in the round.
Progressive Arguments: I prefer substance, which is where I have the most experience and will be best able to evaluate the round. However, feel free to read them if you like, just explain things very clearly to me.
If you want more breadth: you can refer to Alina Shivji's paradigm (I took most of this from her); she taught me everything I know about debate.
Hey, please add me to the email chain email@example.com.If you really don't want to read this I'm tech > truth, Warranted Card Extension > Card Spam and really only dislike hearing meme arguments which are not intended to win the round.
PF and LD specific stuff at the bottom. All the argument specific stuff still applies to both activities.
How to win in front of me:
Explain to me why I should vote for you and don't make me do work. I've noticed that I take "the path of least resistance" when voting; this means 9/10 I will make the decision that requires no work from me. You can do this by signposting and roadmapping so that my flow stays as clean as possible. You can also do this by actually flowing the other team and not just their speech doc. Too often debaters will scream for 5 minutes about a dropped perm when the other team answered it with analytics and those were not flown. Please don't be this team.
Online Debate Update
If you know you have connection/tech problems, then please record your speeches so that if you disconnect or experience poor internet the speech does not need to be stopped. Also please go a bit slower than your max speed on analytics because between mic quality and internet quality it can be tough to hear+flow everything if you go the same speed as cards on analytics.
By default theory and topicality are voters and come aprior unless there is no offense on the flow. Should be clear what the interpretation, violation, voter, and impact are. I generally love theory debates but like with any judge you have to dedicate the time into it if you would like to win. Lastly you don't need to prove in round abuse to win but it REALLY helps and you probably won't win unless you can do this.
I feel framework should be argued in almost any debate as I will not do work for a team. Unless the debate is policy aff v da+cp then you should probably be reading framework. I default to utilitarianism and will view myself as a policy maker unless told otherwise. This is not to say I lean toward these arguments (in fact I think util is weak and policy maker framing is weaker than that) but unless I explicitly hear "interpretation", "role of the judge", or "role of the ballot," I have to default to something. Now here I would like to note that Theory, Topicality, and Framework all interact with each other and you as the debater should see these interactions and use them to win. Please view these flows wholistically.
I am comfortable voting on these as I believe every judge is but I beg you (unless it's a politics debate) please do not just read more cards but explain why you're authors disprove thier's. Not much else to say here besides impact calc please.
I am a philosophy and political science major graduate so please read whatever you would like as far as literature goes; I have probably read it or debated it at some point so seriously don't be afraid. Now my openness also leaves you with a burden of really understanding the argument you are reading. Please leave the cards and explain the thought process, while I have voted on poorly run K's before those teams never do get high speaker points.
Look above for maybe a bit more, but I will always be open to voting and have voted on K affs of all kinds. I tend to think the neg has a difficult time winning policy framework against K affs for two reasons; first they debate framework/topicality most every round and will be better versed, and second framework/topicality tends to get turned rather heavily and costs teams rounds. With that said I have voted on framework/topicality it just tends to be the only argument the neg goes for in these cases.
Perms are a test of competition unless I am told otherwise and 3+ perms is probably abusive but that's for theory.
So I will only intervene if the 2AR makes new arguments I will ignore them as there is no 3NR. Ethics and evidence violations should be handled by tab or tournament procedures.
- What gets you good speaks:
- Making it easier for me to flow
- Demonstrate that you are flowing by ear and not off the doc.
- Making things interesting
- Clear spreading
- Productive CX
- What hurts your speaks:
- Wasting CX, Speech or Prep Time
- Showing up later than check-in time (I would even vote on a well run theory argument - timeless is important)
- Being really boring
- Being rude
- I am much more lenient about dropped arguments than in any other form of debate. Rebuttals should acknowledge each link chain if they want to have answers in the summary. By the end of summary no new arguments should made. 1st and 2nd crossfire are binding speeches, but grand crossfire cannot be used to make new arguments. *these are just my defaults and in round you can argue to have me evaluate differently
- If you want me to vote on theory I need a Voting Issue and Impact - also probably best you spend the full of Final Focus on it.
- Make clear in final focus which authors have made the arguments you expect me to vote on - not necessary, but will help you win more rounds in front of me.
- In out-rounds where you have me and 2 lay judges on the panel I understand you will adapt down. To still be able to judge fairly I will resolve disputes still being had in final focus and assume impacts exist even where there are only internal links if both teams are debating like the impacts exist.
- Please share all evidence you plan to read in a speech with me your opponents before you give the speech. I understand it is not the norm in PF, but teams who do this will receive bonus speaker points from me for reading this far and making my life easier.
- 2AR should extend anything from the 1AR that they want me to vote on. I will try and make decisions using only the content extended into or made in the NR and 2AR.
- Don't just read theory because you think I want to hear it. Do read theory because your opponent has done or could do something that triggers in round abuse.
- Dropped arguments are true arguments, but my flow dictates what true means for my ballot - say things more than once if you think they could win/lose you the round if they are not flown.
I did 3 years of policy debate in the RI Urban Debate League. Been judging since 2014. As a debater I typically ran policy affs and went for K's on the neg (Cap and Nietzsche mostly) but I also really enjoyed splitting the block CP/DA for the 2NC and K/Case for the 1NR. Despite all of this I had to have gone for theory in 40% of my rounds, mostly condo bad.
Experience: Debated in high school and college, now coach.
Paradigm: Persuade me.
...no really, that's it. Persuade me. You can persuade me using any number of techniques, but whether I'm voting off the flow, on theory, or topically on a well impacted argument, I'm still just voting on what I find the most persuasive.
If I can't understand you, I'm not being persuaded.
If an argument is important, make sure you've clearly communicated it. If it's an online debate, make sure you repeat or slow down when making important points.
If only one side in a PF debate gives me voting criteria, I will most likely be voting for that side.
A few other things:
-Nazis equal Nazis. If you are going to link to Nazis or the Holocaust, do so carefully and avoid trivializing Nazis or the Holocaust by comparing everything to them.
-if you have a preferred pronoun, please let me know how you would like to be addressed prior to the start of the round.
-If you are reading a case that might be upsetting/triggering to your opponent, please provide a content warning at the beginning. If your opponent requests you not read triggering content, I will seek guidance from Tab and see if a side switch or other accommodations can be made. However, just because content is uncomfortable does not automatically mean it should not be read.
A proudly African woman from Kenya who is obsessed with debate and the culture of sharing knowledge, perspectives, and experiences! Has organized and hosted multiple debate tournaments across continents, and is a debate and judge coach to African debaters in the British Parliamentary debate circuit. Studies computer science as a university degree, and spends her free time debating, judging, listening to music, dancing, eating great food and of course, travelling!
In any given debate, there are a few baseline criteria I use to evaluate arguments and speeches:
1. Clarity: tell me what the debate is about and what it should be evaluated on, e.g. helping vulnerable groups, maximizing freedom of choice, etc. These should ALWAYS be followed by mechanization.
2. Mechanization: do not just state claims and rebut them with counter-claims. Mechanization means giving me strong reasons why your claim or counter-claim is true, and why it is not only important in the debate, but the MOST IMPORTANT in the debate. That means you must do good quality weighing along with your mechanization.
3. Weighing: take the best case scenario of the other side, and do a comparative analysis with the average case or worst case scenario on your side. If you can show me that even if your side's best case does not work, your average or worst case is still better than the other side's best case, and give me strong reasons as to why, you've scored a solid win.
4. Engagement: being genuine in addressing the other team's case is key to winning a debate. Do not assume points for the other side, or try to water down their points without giving me proper rebuttal. Listen keenly to what each speaker says, and do your best not to run away from the core of their case, even if it seems hard to engage with. Try your best!
5. Structure: present your speeches in a clear and simple way. Complexity does not win debates, simplicity does. Clear structure and simple but detailed analysis makes it easy for teams to understand your arguments and for me as a judge to do so as well. I value signposting (giving me a brief outline of what you will talk about in your speech), flow (signaling the end of one argument and the beginning of another), and clear comparatives throughout the speech.
6. Team Dynamic: how you and your partner present your case is important. I need to see strong support structures and extensions to strengthen arguments, and see well thought out speeches that do not sound contradictory or confused on one end. Cohesion and synchronicity is key!
7. Respect: let's not be derogatory or discriminatory towards anyone in the debate. Let us not think differently of them because they have different accents or are not from where you are from. Any slander, arguments based on stereotypes, lack of respect for gender identities and general offensive language will result in repercussions, and a report to the tournament organizers. Let's celebrate diversity and culture, and learn from everyone's different perspectives!
Good luck everyone!
This is my first judging debate. I am a scientist by training, so I value simple and concise arguments. If you use statistics/numbers, please make sure that you can explain them and show that you understand them. Please speak clearly and if possible, slowly.
I am new to the debate and speech judging. I am a parent and a lay judge. Please do not spread or speak too fast. Please be polite and time yourself. Thank you.
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.
The most important thing to know if you're going to be debating in my room is how much I value fair and thorough engagements! This looks like making concessions where necessary (when the cases have been properly analyzed and are logical) and engaging in fair and charitable comparisons.
Next up, don't be rude or disrespectful! Avoid racist and discriminatory slurs. I am more than willing to penalize debaters on this basis.
Thirdly, I am fully cognizant of the fact that speakers have a lot of material to cover in such a small time, but please make sure you don't excessively speed through those arguments! DO NOT SPREAD. If I can't hear it in your speech, I will not flow. Please speak clearly so your opponents and I understand you.
Finally, always be conscious of your burdens in the debate and do justice to them. Do not merely assert, justify those claims.
I'm a 4th-year debater, with this being my Third year in varsity at Sequoyah. For qualifications, I have been a semifinalist at second year state for PF and a Quarterfinalist at State.
*Please show up to your round early, so tech issues can be fixed if they come up*
How I will evaluate the debate/general thoughts:
You can go as fast as you want, but please do ask both me and your opponents if you are choosing to spread. One tip I will give: don't sacrifice clarity for speed (I can't flow what I can't understand).
Please extend all of your arguments, especially any arguments you want to collapse on, as Final focus should be the main points of the debate. When extending, please refer back to your case and signposting, Ie. “In contention 2 Sub-point A, we state…”
Weigh arguments and use ballot directing language - you can do this with an overview in the last speech that tells me how you win or with voters; I don't care.
Both carded evidence and logic rebuttals are good. Logic rebuttals should be fleshed out though, so that everyone can understand the logic behind the rebuttal.
If you can, please number your responses to arguments so I know if I missed anything
You can be aggressive; please don't be rude (Rudeness = lower speaks) Cross is a two sided portion of the debate, so it should not be completely dominated by one team.
Overall I will not flow cross, so if you make a good point that you believe should be on the flow, make sure to bring it up in your following speech.
I will try to disclose and give you a detailed RDF.
If you have any questions at all, you can ask me in round or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a good time and good luck debating
I have competed in and coached PF, parli, extemp, and congress, and I'm familiar with almost all other events. I highly value strong speakers. I will evaluate speaking style in your points, and I do not preference cookie cutter speaking styles. Creative and dynamic speakers are often more convincing, so use this to your advantage. I can also see through convincing speaking styles and gesticulation to evaluate the content, so you need to be strong in both.
I am a flow judge. I appreciate line-by-line rebuttals, and I will take note if you drop subpoint rebuttals, so don't just carry taglines and unwarranted rebuttals. Debate is an opportunity to employ logic and reasoning, not just repetition and intuition. PF speaking times are not great venues for critical theory, but I'm comfortable evaluating theory if you have a strong grasp on what you're talking about. If you run a K, please don't assume that it will automatically win you the round- really think deeply about what you're trying to accomplish. Often a K is just a framework or an argument, so think about the intended outcome of your approach. Similarly, I am comfortable with PF cases that prioritize value or ethical principles. There are many ways to analyze a resolution.
You should provide a weighing mechanism and framework, and this should be carried through the round. Tell me how to evaluate the round. If your opponent offers a weighing mechanism and you provide no reason for me to doubt its validity, that will be the the way that I evaluate the round. If neither team tells me how to evaluate the round, I will run down my flow for dropped arguments, then evaluate winners in clash, then look at the strength of the original arguments.
Brief roadmaps are okay if necessary and should be roughly 5 seconds. I will keep time, but please keep your own time so that I don't have to interrupt you. I also understand the need to call for cards- but it should be within reason. If your opponent asks for a card and it is revealed that your framing was blatantly misleading or the evidence just does not exist, that will reflect negatively on your speaker points and potentially my overall ballot. Be honest. It doesn't serve you to lie.
Most importantly- I'm excited that you've chosen to participate in debate. Please be courteous to one another and take seriously the opportunity and responsibility to discuss issues that impact real people every day.
I have countless years of experience as a judge/coach for HS debate, and I was a collegiate competitor back in the day ... Not to mention I have been judging on the local, state and national level around the country.
- PLZ treat your opponent the way you would want to be treated, there is no room for rudeness or hate in debate
- if you treat us judges terribly I will spread your name among the community and encourage everyone to blacklist you
- tournaments that use .5 speaks are VERY bad, .1 all THE way
- My philosophy is Teachers teach, Coaches coach and Judges judge ... it is what it is
- Talking fast is ok, spreading is a big NO for me ... also if its not a bid tournament I DONT want to be on the chain / will not look at the doc
IE's: MS and HS level - you do you, be you and give it your all!!
Collegiate (AFA) - you know what to do
(MS , HS , College) - I'm a stickler for binder etiquette
if you treat this event like its a form of entertainment or reality TV I WILL DOWN you , you are wasting your time, your competitors time and my time
POs: I'm not gonna lie, I will be judging you the harshest - you run the chamber not me and I expect nothing but the best. Please be fair with everyone , but if I feel the PO is turning a blind eye or giving preferential treatment I will document it
Competitors: Creativity, impacts, structure and fluency are a must for me.
don't just bounce off of a fellow representatives speech, be you and create your own speech - its ok to agree tho
don't lie about sources/evidence... I will fact check
best way to get high ranks is to stay active thru the round
clash can GO a long way in this event
For direct questioning please keep it civil and no steam rolling or anything harsh, much thanks.
gestures are neato, but don't go bananas
witty banter is a plus
I only judge congress in person not online
NEVER wants to Parli a round
if y'all competitors are early to the round go ahead and do the coin flip and pre flow ... this wastes too much time both online and in person
tech or truth? Most of the time tech, but once in a while truth
I better see clash
if the resolution has loose wording, take advantage of it!!
When did y'all forget that by using definitions you can set the boundaries for the round?? With that being said, I do love me some terms and definitions
I'm all about framework and sometimes turns ... occasionally links
I don't flow during cross x , but if you feel there's something important that the judge should know.. make it clear to the judge in your following speech
I LOVE evidence... but if your doc or chain is a mess I'M going no where near it!!!
Signposting - how do I feel about this? Do it, if not I will get lost and you won't like my flow/decision
FRONTLINE in second rebuttal!! (cough, cough)
Best of luck going for a Technical Knock Out ... these are as rare as unicorns
Extend and weigh your arguments, if not.. then you're gonna get a L with your name on it
I'm ok with flex prep/time but if your opponent isn't then its a no in round - if yes don't abuse it ... same goes for open cross
When it comes to PF ... I will evaluate anything (if there's proper warranting and relevance) but if its the epitome of progressive PLZZ give a little more analysis
^ Disclosure Theory: if you have a history of disclosure then do it, if not then you will get a L from me, why? Great question, if you don't have a history of promoting fairness and being active in the debate community you have no right to use this kind of T
I'll be honest I am not a fan of paraphrasing, to me it takes away the fundamentals from impacts/evidence/arguments/debate as a whole - it lowers the value of the round overall
Speaker points - I consider myself to be very generous unless you did something very off putting or disrespectful
Easiest way to get my ballot is by using the Michael Scott rule: K.I.S "Keep It Simple"
take it easy on speed , maybe send a doc
Tech > Truth (most of the time)
links can make or break you
value/criterion - cool
P/CP - cool
stock issues - cool
K - cool
LARP - can go either way tbh
Trix/Phil/Theory - PLZ noo, automatic strike
never assume I know the literature you're referencing
I don't judge a lot of CX but I prefer more traditional arguments, but I will evaluate anything
look at LD above
PLZ send a doc
I expect to see clash
no speed, this needs to be conversational
don't paraphrase evidence/sources
STYLE - a simple Claim , Warrant , Impact will do just fine
its ok to have a model/c.m , but don't get policy debate crazy with them - you don't have enough time in round
not taking any POI's makes you look silly , at least take 1
^ don't take on too many - it kills time
don't forget to extend, if you don't it a'int being evaluated
the framework debate can be very abusive or very fair ... abuse it and you will get downed
as a judge I value decorum, take that into consideration
Should any debate round be too difficult to evaluate as is.... I will vote off stock issues
I like to consider myself a calm, cool and collected judge. I'm here doing something I'm passionate about and so are y'all - my personal opinions will never affect my judgement in any round and I will always uphold that.
If anyone has any questions feel free to contact me or ask before round - whether online or in person.
May all competitors have a great 2023-2024 season!!
I am a parent judge.
I appreciate slower/ clearer speaking with structured arguments. Repeat your main arguments in final focus.
This is my first time judging, please be sure to talk slowly and clearly to allow me to take notes.
Please keep your own time.
Best of luck!
I'm a former university debater and currently a post-grad student-judge with 7 years of experience in judging various debate formats. I have graduated high school last 2015. I have judged parliamentary debates (British Parliamentary, Asian Parliamentary, Canadian Parliamentary, and Parliamentary Debate) since uni, having judged 20+ parliamentary debate out rounds. I have extensive experience in judging other debate formats such as Worlds Schools, Policy, Public Forum, Lincoln-Douglas, IPDA, NPDA, and Congress. I also have extensive experience in judging speech formats as well such as Impromptu, After-Dinner Speaking, Poetry, Extemporaneous, Informative Speech, and Persuasive Speech. For more information, you may email me at email@example.com
I'm okay with spreading.
Theory: I'm open to theory arguments being ran as long as they are tied back to how it is relevant to the resolution.
Kritiks: Openly welcomed given that they are linked to the resolution
Speed: I can track speeches regardless of pace and speed.
Complexity of arguments: I'm open to arguments of varying complexity.
Arguments and rebuttals of varying breadth and depth are generally welcomed as long as they are tied to the resolution.
Gabriel, He/Him/His, firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated Policy for 4 years at both the state and national level, and have experience judging all three debate events. I was an assistant Public Forum coach for a year and have also helped coach Policy students. I'm fine with spreading as long as you slow down for your analytics-- if it's unintelligible, I won't flow it. Just make it really clear when you're transitioning from one idea to another.
I don't trust tabroom completely anymore, so if you have any issues seeing ballots/ anything else with my profile, just email me, I will have the rfd's all saved in a word doc.
Because this is a concern I've heard expressed from some debaters I know-- if I'm not looking at you, it's a good sign, because it means I'm flowing. If I am looking at you, I'm trying to figure out what on Earth you are saying, so I can try to flow it.
Please put me on the email chain.
FOR LD/POLICY (pfers scroll to the bottom):
On Policy and "traditional" args
Theory/ Topicality: I'm cool with this stuff if and only if it is run when necessary. Be careful with theory as it isn't always your friend-- sometimes it is just a time waster. For example, I don't like it when teams run disclosure just cause they're used to it/good at it. Run it if the aff is tricky and them not disclosing actually hurts how you are able to debate-- you need to prove that it is your education at stake if you want to run disclosure in front of me. Truth over tech for sure when it comes to theory.
Topicality I have more patience for (I'm more willing to vote on it for tech-based reasons) but also you need to prove to me why it's bad for debate if the aff is untopical. I'm not going to vote on theory or t just because the aff drops one of your million analytics--but I will vote on them if I feel like you've proven to me the world of debate will be better adhering to your norms. I actually really like topicality when it's run properly I just think that often times it's run as a time suck which makes me sad.
Other Policy args: Framework is good. Disads are good. CP's are good (but I am sure to be considerate of the aff and the potential harm that ridiculous CP's bring, especially if aff makes args for itself). "Traditional" style LD debates are good. Policy style debates are good.
Everything is pretty much good with me if it doesn't undermine the well-being of your fellow debaters or marginalized groups in some way. I also value education in the debate space VERY highly-- don't stifle it.
Tricks-- If you have to rely on tricks to win a debate round, you should probably strike me.
On K Debates
I'm cool with K debates and think that if done right they are some of the most educational debates. I do have one rule, however. Either a K aff should be semi-related to the resolution or the aff debater needs to devote a couple seconds to telling me why the K takes preference to the resolution. I feel like most debaters do this, so it's not normally an issue, but if you don't I think then it's fair game for the neg to fight for resolutional debate. Basically, I go into the round prepared to vote based off the resolution, but I will do differently if it is successfully argued otherwise.
I've both debated K's and debated against K's before, BUT if you read anything too critical, consider summarizing it briefly for me in lay terms-- if I don't know what it is, it'll help me out, and if I do, then it'll boost your speaks because it shows me you can adapt to lay debate with critical arguments. Putting it into a "real-world" perspective will highlight to me why this argument matters.
Overall I think K debates are great and are always better if they're a K you run passionately than if they're the old Cap K you pulled from a camp file 2 years ago and shoved a link card on.
On Voters/ how you should debate
I love both traditional debates and non-traditional-- but I need you to include voters in your rebuttals that tell me why I should consider voting for you. These voters should be for strats that you have carried throughout the round and fleshed out well-- it's okay to condense down to a couple key arguments if you know they can win you the round. What's not okay is just dropping your opponent's arguments without either making it clear to me why they don't matter in the context of the round or neglecting to tell me why the issues you have selected are the critical talking points of the round and deserve all of my attention. There are usually so many arguments in the round, and having each team tell me what they value as the most important argument and why said argument is a voter makes it much easier for me to give a ballot (this means you should condense, even if you are aff, don't try to go for everything, it never ends well). Without voters, you risk me voting on whatever issues I think are most important, and who knows if that will benefit you or not.
Again, tell me exactly WHAT you did that I should focus most on and WHY it is worthy of a ballot. I can look through my flows and evaluate the technical aspect of the debate myself-- what I can not do myself is determine which arguments are most important without bias. Please don't make me even come close to having to rely on my personal opinions to decide a round.
Overall, debate is a game, somebody will win, and somebody will lose. I love seeing different strategies and approaches to it-- that's what makes debate fun. That being said, no game should ever come at the expense of hurting somebody personally, so if there are abusive attacks and/or harmful arguments at the expense of a marginalized group/ a debater, I will take it very seriously both in the administration of the space and with my ballot.
Always feel free to ask me questions before round.
Speaks Chart (for tournaments with decimal speaks):
30: I feel lucky to have judged you because you are just that good.
29.7-29.9: Your performance "wowed" me, good on the flow, good at speaking, and with exciting argumentation.
29.3-29.6: Great debaters.
28.5-29.2: Good debaters and good at speaking.
28-28.4: Good debaters with room for improvement on speaking.
27.5-27.9: You made a couple of errors, but nothing that significantly frustrated me.
27-27.4: You made several errors, but I can see a semblance of strategy.
26.5-26.9: You made several technical errors that have me questioning if you really ever had a path to the ballot.
26 or lower: You said something really offensive/made the debate space actively bad.
1) Weighing is really important!!!! Teams NEED to tell me how to vote-- I go in to the round open to voting for just about anything (no racist, homophobic, etc. arguments). Telling me how to vote and providing me with evidence/args to back up your claim that you have the best voters is key to my ballot. Especially in debates with lots of args all across the board-- I need voters so that I can see what you think is most important about the round. Teams weighing helps make my ballot so much easier.
2) Refute your opponent's arguments in addition to extending your own, but also don't try to go for everything in your final focus. CONDENSE! PLEASE!
3) As a former policy debater, I'm decent with speed, but be careful transitioning too fast between contentions/ analytics. Those fast transitions are what can make PF hard to flow. Basically just slow down to sign post so I put things on my flow properly. Maybe one day PF will pick up flashing and I can delete this.
4) Have arguments that are backed up by both evidence and analytics. I'm not going to vote solely on unwarranted claims, but I'm also not going to vote for you because you threw a bunch of authors at me and just said "figure it out." Evidence debates are only good if your opponent's evidence is unethical/incorrect, and rarely are good when your evidence is just "better."
5) I'm not the biggest fan of sticky defense or not frontlining defense in second rebuttal, but I understand that PF speeches are short and you're in a time crunch, so I won't hold these things against you. All offense must be frontlined in second rebuttal, however. No new arguments in second final focus, ever!
I'm not a fan of PF cross x and there is a pretty big chance I won't evaluate it unless things that are said come up again in later speeches. I will listen to it, but probably won't put anything down on my flow based solely off of what I hear in cross. Teams being nice, clear, and not turning cross X into a garbled mess often times get rewarded with high speaks from me in this event.
If you have more questions you can ask me before the round. I implement the same speaks chart as listed in the LD/Policy section (if there are decimal speaks).
I have been a judge of speech and debate for about two years experience.
For debaters, please show your solid logic and reasoning, advocate a position, utilize evidence, and communicate clear ideas using professional decorum.
For speakers, please demonstrate your clear organization, reasoning analysis, and effective delivery.
Hope you have a great event!
TL;DR: warrant, collapse, implicate, weigh, extend consistently and don't be offensive/rude. Add me to the email chain: Alina.email@example.com
Go as fast as you want, and I’ll flow it. If you’re unclear, I’ll say clear twice and then put my pen down. After that, what I can follow is entirely based on your clarity.
Feel free to read them. That said, these arguments don’t typically function well in PF due to time constraints. So, I do prefer substance in PF. If you do debate progressively, note that crossfire and flex prep serves as accountability on your advocacy. My default is reasonability. If you want me to approach these args from a different standpoint, tell me.
Feel free to read arguments about any of the -isms. But, make sure in the process, you’re not otherizing. For example, if you are not a Muslim woman who identifies with the LGBT+ community, don’t read arguments about it. Also, if you are reading any arguments concerning sexual harassment/assault/suicide/etc., I expect a trigger warning BEFORE the round.
I have a high threshold for extensions. I expect you to extend the internal links to the argument as well as the impact. In other words, just tell me how you get from point A to C before you extend the impact. If you don’t, I’ll still evaluate the arg but I’ll be less inclined to vote for it.
Defense is sticky until it’s frontlined
respond to offensive responses ie turns and terminal defense before you access weighing in the second rebuttal
Tell me WHY the extended argument matters more than your opponents. If your opponents give me a different mechanism than you to prefer their argument, explain why your mechanism should be evaluated first (metaweighing).
Don’t introduce new weighing in second FF unless your opponents made a critical weighing concession in GCX. The only other exception to that rule is when neither team has weighed up until the second FF.
I try not to intervene as much as possible. If there’s no offense in the round and its a policy-oriented topic, I’ll default neg aka the status quo. If it's not a policy-oriented topic, I'll default towards what's most probable.
I won’t call for evidence unless you tell me to. If the evidence is miscut, I won’t evaluate it and I will penalize your speaks for it.
TECH > TRUTH
If you didn't say it in the round, don't expect me to evaluate it regardless of how "true" the argument may be. That said, use common sense and have good judgement. If you say something incorrect, it won't influence my decision, but I will call you out after the round.
The link to an argument matters but if you don't tell me HOW it fits in the round, I won't know what to do with it. So, tell me what argument serves as turns/terminal defense, why, and what that means for you/your opponents in the round.
My name is Schylar and I just enetered my junior year of college at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I debated all four years of high school at Timberline High School in Boise, Idaho. I did policy my freshman and sophomore year. My junior year and senior year I did PF. If you have any more questions, you should ask me before the debate. I will try my best to put everything on the ballot, but if you have more questions you can email me. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I am not familiar with any of the topics so try and explain them without missing the more niche parts of the debate! I worked at the Gonzaga Debate Institute 2023, so I am more framiliar with the policy topic than the others. Debate is supposed to be fun and educational so I am fine if you do pretty much anything you want. I have some specifics laid out for the different debate types so read those. In this paradigm I have sectioned it by debate type so go to yours :)
I am the most familiar with policy and its arguments. I am fine with any argumentation but you better know how to execute it. On topicality you need to go slower than regular to make sure I get all the standards and voters. On disads I am looking for clash. If the aff hasn't done enough coverage and I still think the impact of the disad is reasonable, I will vote neg. If the 2NR goes for a disad or two I still want to see sufficient extention of the case debate. Other than that I want strategic debating. For Ks, I am pretty fine with anything. I am the least framiliar with them, but still understand the debate. Framework on the K is really important to my voting so don't just wash over it or go through it really quick. Most times I flow FW on a different page so feel free to go off. I am fine with any speed but slow down on tag lines so I can flow them. Also I rarely flow author names so refer to the arguments by author name and what the argument is. You can tag team in CX but if one partner dominates both answering periods or questioning periods, I will give you both lower speaker points. Put me in the email chain... its at the top :)
I can judge PF fairly well and am pretty experienced in it. I went to nationals in PF in 2021 and 2022. I view PF as the debate type that any one can judge. That means that you should be very good at explaining and persuading the judge. Other than that I think you can do anything that you want. Basically run whatever arguments you want, just make sure I understand. I think that you should have some sort of framework because that helps me evaluate the round. Cross fire periods should be an equal amount of questions and answers. If someone dominates then I will lower both you and your partner's speaker points. During Grand Cross all four people should be able to speak during this and if not... I will lower your speaker points. Final focus is the most persuading to me if you touch on both your and your opponent's cases.
LD is very interesting to me. When it comes to arguments I am basically a TABS judge, although I still want the value/criterion debate. I vote on a few things when it comes to it. (1) If the other side proves that your case doesn't fit under your value or your criterion. (2) You should try to prove that your value and criterion are best for evaluating both sides. I am fine with any argument, including CPs on the neg. CX should be an equal amount of questions and answers. If you dominate the CX periods, you will get lower speaker points. In other words, let your opponent answer/ask questions.
Lay judge. 4th year of judging. I have judged many, many tournaments. I keep myself informed on current events/news including complex issues. Please be very organized in your speeches and be polite during questioning. Time yourselves please. DO NOT SPREAD.
This is my daughter's third year competing, so I have moderate judging experience in speech and debate events.
For debate: Please do not spread. Signposting is extremely helpful. Make sure that you are creating the arguments for me. Clearly lay out your impacts and tell me exactly why I should vote for you. I won't flow cross but I will be listening. Time yourselves. I will value tech over truth for the most part but avoid making far-fetched arguments.
For speech: I value good speaking style and originality.
Overall, be kind and courteous and have fun!
Ashton Swinney, Senior Intelligence Analyst - Fort Bragg, NC
I am an Intelligence Analyst that works for the US Military. I have spent over 10 years in the role. My job has made me very familiar with public speaking, albeit within a military framework.
With that in mind, while I am adept at picking up jargon pretty fast, I am not familiar with the colloquialisms/slang of this organization quite yet. So I would ask that you keep that in mind.
I expect all arguments to remain professional and respectful. You may speak at what pace works best for you, as long as you are speaking clearly and concisely. I am used to listening to my audiobooks/podcasts/videos at 2-2.5x speed, so I don't expect speed to be an issue unless what you are saying is said poorly enunciated. Please do not test how much you can say in one breathe though.
I don't care if you sit, stand, or talk with your hands.
If the tournament allows it, I'll disclose the decision at the end of the round after I have submitted my ballot.
I am a coach at The Potomac School. Experience in coaching and competing in speech and debate at the High School and College levels - 12 years.
Basic round guidelines:
-General courtesy towards other debaters/speakers. Good sportsmanship before, during, and after rounds.
-Be careful about making large scale claims about minority/marginalized groups, arguments need to be more general (i.e. people in x situation generally do y. NOT this group does y in x situation.). In my mind this is the easiest way to create a friendly and educational environment that doesn't exclude people or make them uncomfortable.
Delivery - At a minimum I must be able to hear and understand the words you are saying. I am not a fan of visual aids, I find they usually waste time and distract from the speech's purpose.
Evidence usage - Evidence should inform and bolster your argument. Looking for a good balance of evidence variety and volume.
Analysis - I need to know the context of the evidence that is being provided and see how it connects to your argument. I will not connect the dots myself.
Decorum - Maintain good sportsmanship and a professional atmosphere.
Voting - If there is an outstanding decorum issue, this will be my primary voting point and I will note it in your ballot. Other than that, I will always lean towards analysis.
-Heavier on content than delivery, but delivery must be understandable, (i.e. slow enough to understand, If you do spread, I'll do my best to flow and follow the speech but if it's too fast, the arguments get dropped) have a sense of clarity, and some composure.
-Round clash is important - including directly answering questions from opponents.
-Warranting and impacting makes up a large part of my ballot.
-Looking to see the full range of your speaking capabilities.
-Please make sure I can hear you in rounds, if I cannot hear you, I cannot rank you properly.
-Do NOT use your phones during rounds. Please show respect to your fellow speakers.
I did extemp and policy debate in high school (College Prep CA) and policy debate in college (UC Berkeley). I am a lawyer, and my day job is as a professor of law and government at UNC Chapel Hill. I specialize in criminal law.
For more than 10 years, I have been coaching at Durham Academy in North Carolina. I’ve coached a little bit of everything but mostly public forum. We’ve been nationally competitive in PF during that time. For example, we have won Glenbrooks, Harvard, and NSDA nationals.
Although I did policy debate, I see PF as a distinct form of debate. Accordingly, I prefer a more conversational pace and less jargon. I'm open to different types of argument but arguments that are implausible, counterintuitive or theoretical are going to be harder rows to hoe. I prefer debates that are down the middle of the topic.
I flow but I care more about how your main arguments are constructed and supported than about whether some minor point or another is dropped. I’m not likely to vote for arguments that exist in case but then aren’t talked about again until final focus. Consistent with that approach, I don’t have a rule that you must “frontline” in second rebuttal or “extend terminal defense in summary” but I do think that you should spend time talking about and developing the issues that are most important to the round.
Evidence is important to me and I occasionally call for it after the round. However, the quality of it is much more important than the quantity. Blipping out 15 half-sentence cards in rebuttal isn’t appealing to me. I dislike the practice of paraphrasing evidence — in my experience, debaters rarely paraphrase accurately. Debaters should feel free to call for one another’s cards, but be judicious about that. Calling for multiple cards each round slows things down and if it feels like a tactic to throw your opponent off or to get free prep time, I will be irritated.
As the round progresses, I like to see some issue selection, strategy, prioritization, and weighing. Going for everything isn't usually a good idea.
Finally, I care about courtesy and fair play. This is a competitive activity but it is not life and death. It should be educational and fun and there is no reason to be anything but polite.
I am a parent lay judge. Before the starting, please tell me the topic, your name, school, and the side you are on.
I will be taking quite a bit of notes and trying to follow your arguments. I am learning that I am more tech over truth. That being said, I am still am a lay judge - so don't go full blown tech! If you speak quickly, please speak clearly so that I can understand what you are saying. Your arguments should be clearly connected throughout the round. I am OK if you cut down to one argument ('collapse') - just be clear that you are doing it. Before the end, please clearly explain why you should win the debate.
Be confident and kind, respectful to all. Make sure to have fun!
I'm currently a university student studying Political Science at University of California - Berkeley. I started doing Public Forum in 7th grade, so I have around 6 years of experience in debate.
What I'm looking for in debate rounds:
I will definitely flow all your arguments, and the arguments I have written down on my flow will be the most important factor when I'm deciding who won the round. But more specifically, I am looking for clear, quantifiable impacts that I can consider when weighing.
If you drop an argument during your summary/final focus, I will not incorporate that into my voting issues. It is your responsibility to extend through all evidence and arguments to the very last speech if you want it to win you the round.
I was also a second speaker during my time as a high school debater, so I am looking for direct clashes to arguments in the refutation speech. I want you to directly attack the links and analysis to an argument when refuting.
In terms of speaking style, I am okay with speed, as long as it is not spreading. If you spread, especially in an online tournament, I will not be able to understand you as it is much harder to understand through a zoom call compared to an actual in-person debate.
Other than that, speak clearly and persuasively, but at the end of the day, if you have better arguments and evidence, speaking style comes second.