2022 — Grapevine, TX/US
LD Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Hello, I'm a relatively new parent judge. So please be understandable. Don't talk way too fast because I won't be able to understand. Also, remember to be loud and clear. But other than that will have a good time. I always look forward to doing my best and judging fairly and accurately.
I'm a parent judge, put me on the chain if you want to spread.
speaks are based on posture and clarity.
K, T, theory, and Phil still go over my head, but if you can connect the dots, I'll vote on it.
Debate well. Don't go fast. Don't make frivolous or untrue arguments. You have a prescribed debate topic for a reason, so debate the topic.
Note: Things that are bolded in my paradigm are things I think people are generally looking for or I think are worth noting about my preferences. Read the bottom for my speaks paradigm.
Intro: Hi I'm Austin. I mainly debated LD in high school, but I'm familiar with most other event formats. I graduated from Northland Christian HS in 2020 and UT Austin in 2022 with a psych major phil minor. I'm currently a 2L at Texas Law. I competed on the local and national circuit all four years of high school (and have been judging/coaching consistently since graduating), so I like to think I'm pretty up to date on the technical nuances of LD. Add me to the chain at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to email me with specific questions before the round or thoughts on how I could improve my paradigm!
TLDR paradigm: I don't gut check "bad" arguments; I really love highly technical debates especially on a theoretical layer but I'm good with evaluating policy, kritik-al debate, etc.; I feel like this goes without saying but I will not vote on something I don't understand; by nature (even outside of debate) I default erring on the side of the person who is most logically consistent which means I will not vote for you unless you are ahead on a technical level (absent someone proposing an alternative method for me to evaluate by); I enjoy analytics more than empirics; I love tricks, but I think they're only pedagogically valuable for their ability to boost critical thinking other than that they're generally just for funzies and potentially bad for debate; due to the nature of my paradigm and the debates I typically judge because of it please read the fourth point in the general section as well; lastly my opinion on anything in this paradigm can change, just make the proper arg.
- I default comparative worlds but love truth testing
- I presume neg unless the neg reads an alternative that is farther from the squo than the aff's plan/advocacy (or presume aff/neg args are made, same for permissibility)
- I will vote on literally anything given the proper framing metric and justification
- I will NOT make arguments for you because I believe judge intervention is the worst for the activity; consequently if your opponent does something that propels a model of debate that is sexist/racist/homophobic/transphobic/abelist or something similar I will not drop them unless you mention it. It can be as simple as "they said/did x and that makes debate less accessible so they should lose." Otherwise the only thing I have jurisdiction to do is give them god awful speaks. To clarify if you don't say that they should lose for their discriminatory actions and they are ahead on the tech debate I will vote for them and be very very very sad about it. Please do not make me do this and call them out for being unethical. It's an easy ballot and better for debate.
- you don't have to ask me to flow by ear; I promise I'm both listening and reading your doc (to clarify, I'll catch extemporized blippy analytics)
- I probably default more T>K but that's really up to you
- Weighing makes me happy, as well as a strong fw tie/explanation
- For ethics challenges/evidence ethics calls reference the NSDA guidelines for this year; if the guidebook doesn't make a speaks claim I will either evaluate them myself given the speeches read (if any) or default normal round evaluation (meaning speaks spikes are viable)
- I don't have a default on disclosure at the moment but in debate I defaulted disclosure bad; regardless of my default it doesn't affect my ability to listen to either stance and adjudicate accordingly
- My ability to understand spread/speed is pretty good; feel free to go as fast as you want but please be clear
- Please please please ask your opponent if your practices are accessible before the round so you are 1. not exclusionary and 2. not susceptible to an easily avoidable independent voter; if you don't ask and end up doing something inaccessible you'll probably lose (provided they make it a voting issue); this includes giving trigger warnings
- flex prep is cool
- if you don't read a fw/fw is a wash I'll presume neg (same for voters on t/theory)
- there are only a few norms I think are pretty true; among them are judge intervention bad, no new 2ar arguments, and normal speech times (although these can easily change and I'm coming around to new 2ar args as the default; idk it's complicated)
- you don't have to ask if I am ready for you to speak; I am probably paying attention (to clarify, default I am ready unless I say something that suggests otherwise)
Pt. 1 Pref Shortcuts (by my confidence in my ability to adjudicate and 1 being most confident 5 being least):
Theory/T/Tricks- 1 or 2 (depending on density)
Phil/High Theory- 1 or 2 (depending on density)
K- 1 or 2 (depending on density)
LARP- 1 to 3 (depending on density)
Pt. 2 Pref Shortcuts (by my desire to see them in round and 1 being most desirable 5 being least):
Phil/High Theory- 1
note: I will be happy to adjudicate LARP it's just not my highest preference
- Love these please know what your own plan says though
- I default plans are abusive mainly because I never read one for its PeDaGOgiCaL VaLUe it was always for strategy but don't let this discourage you from reading a plan seriously they're fine
- Honestly severance is cool with me but if they point it out and make a theoretical reason to drop it could be hard to beat back; if they read a condo or dispo CP, however, it becomes a little easier to get out of
- the solvency section is important for plans, if you don't have one it's gonna be rough
- please have an advocate just for the sake of an easier theory debate
- These are cool but better if they're actually competitive; read as many as you want just know anything more than 1 is hard to justify theoretically especially if it's not uncondo (although I love multiple cp debates)
- Any cp is cool (including actor, process, etc.) just make sure the 2nr extension is sufficient to vote on
- I default condo bad but don't let that discourage you from utilizing it as I think condo is super strategic (which is good for speaks), you just have to be technically ahead on the theory debate; feel free to read like 8 condo cps just know it's an uphill theoretical battle (but certainly not impossible)
- I default perms as an advocacy because they always seem to be extended as such but it is really up to you
- Probably my least favorite position because they all seem to go down the same path towards the 2nr, but a good explanation and coupling with a competitive cp makes this position much better
- the more unique the da the more I'll like listening to it (please don't make me listen to a basic three card econ disad unless you don't plan on going for it)
- Please do notttt confuse this with basic fw debate
- I used to read a few high theory positions but that doesn't mean my threshold for explanation on those positions is lower/higher than any other argument
- Kant is kool but I'm not a hack
- If the aff doesn't have a fw and the neg strategically reads a fw the aff can't link into, aff is probably losing
- If no one reads a fw I will probably not evaluate any post-fiat implications of either side and just vote on strength of link weighing (if justified)/presumption or a higher layer (i.e. I will NOT default util or sv for you this isn't pf)
- I'm hesitant to say this but I did read a decent amount of Baudrillard just know there is a reason why I stopped lol feel free to still read it though I love hearing it as well as any other high theory author
- I especially love hearing new philosophies that are either obscure or that I just haven't heard of yet; phil debate is one of my favorite parts of ld
- I am more likely to vote on presumption than I am to evaluate strength of link to fw in the instance I cannot decide which model to evaluate under
- K Affs are fun but I am more inclined to err on the side of t-fw as that's what I mostly read and it seems intuitively true; it really depends on the framing metric though and I will definitely vote on a k aff vs t-fw as long as there is sufficient tech offense
- KvK is cool
- poems/music/art/performance can be offense and if you don't respond to it your opponent can extend it as conceded (I have no problem voting on conceded performance offense with the proper framing mech)
- should have a ROB and/or ROJ (and the best ones are not blatantly inaccessible to one side)
- if your opponent asks you a specific question about the framing of your kritik and you cannot give them a cohesive answer it's gonna look bad
- if the distinction is unclear between the method the k evaluates by and the aff's you will have a hard time winning
- please don't read links that you yourself link into
- Having specific rhetoric from the aff itself or your opponent is great and much better than just topic/omission links
- I love seeing the extrapolation of links as linear das in the 2nr
- I am comfortable voting off state/omission links they're just boring
- you must have them and they must be unique; please do weighing as well because k impacts don't always contextualize themselves
- explain plz; It doesn't have to be explained super well if your opponent doesn't press the issue but I need to have a basic understanding of what I'm voting on i.e. what the world of the alt looks like (unless a set col type arg is made about imagining the alt being a move to settlerism, etc.)
- Please don't make the alt condo/dispo if your k is about some sort of oppression it looks bad
- do not read two contradictory alts in front of me you will probably lose; if they work well together that's cool
- I LOVE these they make it easier to evaluate the line by line because all the big picture issues are out of the way
- Please make sure the overview is not just line by line in disguise (I was guilty of this) but is instead framing the ways I need to evaluate offense
- literally my fav the more you read the more I'll enjoy the debate as long as you know what you're doing
- friv is fantastic
- please make them positively worded
- be careful of your wording; poor wording leaves you susceptible to easy i meets
- have them and extend them in the next speech
- screenshots/photos are the best
- there are really only like four good standards that the rest fall under categorically but it's whatever
- the more the merrier
- if you do fairness and education linkage inside the standard block I'll be happier
- I default rvi's good and competing interps unless otherwise specified
- I tend to default fairness first but am VERY easily able to be persuaded otherwise
- you must justify voters independently of the standards section (i.e. explain why fairness, education, fun, etc. matter)
- I evaluate these arguments like any other (if they have a claim/warrant/impact you're good)
- I think a block of text is funny but definitely annoying as far as the organization of your spikes/tricks so preference is at least numbering but it's really not a big deal if you can explain them well
- These arguments are generally so bad but if you don't respond or spend too much time messing with them the round becomes significantly more difficult for you
- I can be persuaded by some sort of spikes k so be wary
- I'm unsure if afc/acc are tricks, but know I'll listen to both and any other pseudo-trick
- aprioris and eval after the 1ac are the a-strat
- I'm fine with indexicals, condo logic, log con, etc. (idk how else to say i'll vote on literally any trick/arg generally)
- I will grant a 30 speaks spike (i.e. give both/one of the debaters 30 speaks for x reason) as long as it is extended throughout
- if no ties are allowed on the ballot I technically am unable to perform "give both debaters 30 speaks" and i'll evaluate like i normally would; if you know no ties are allowed/are uncertain if ties are allowed, spec 30/29.9 rather than 30s bc that's always permissible on tab (and i'll give the 30 to whoever would be ahead under my typical speaks evaluation unless told otherwise)
- if you're uncertain if tab
- I generally give speaks based on strategic decision making (and will try to justify the deductions if asked, although ultimately they're always on some level arbitrary)
- Anything that you do that purposefully makes your opponent uncomfortable, expresses discrimination/oppression, or generally makes the debate space unsafe will result in your top speaks being a 25 and more likely will result in a 0 or whatever the lowest allowed speaks value is
- for locals I generally give 28-30 and for nat circuit 27-30 unless the tournament has a specified structure; occasionally if the round is super underwhelming I'll evaluate a local like I would a nat circuit
- If you make me laugh you're definitely getting a speaks inflation but this is rare and it has to be genuine
- I'll clear twice without a speaks deduction and definitely have more lenience in the online format (i hardly ever clear anyways)
hi !! i'm lilly - I debated for Northland Christian from 2019-2022. I qualled to the TOC my senior year, got 2nd speaker/made it to octos, and bid/broke at a few tournaments.
EMAIL CHAIN: email@example.com
Tech > Truth
Fairness > Education
1NC Theory/T > 1AR Theory
T/Theory > K
No RVIs, Competing Interps, DTD
(obviously my opinion on these can be swayed if u make the arg - these are j defaults)
HOT FLAMING Ls
Racism/sexism/homophobia/transphobia/anything else that makes the debate space unsafe
1 - T/Theory
1 - LARP
2/3 - Trix
3 - Phil
4 - Ks
What I mostly debated and am most comfortable with
Pls explain semantics
Friv theory is good but the threshold for responses is lowered
Good for all types of positions + enjoy cheaty counterplans
weighhhhh oh my godddd
In depth scenario analysis in rebuttals/a display of understanding of plan nuances will make your speaks happy
debated heg good v bad debates way too often and now kind of enjoy IR debates
are for kids but i will evaluate
threshold for responses is pretty low tbh
your speaks prob won't be fantastic
I don't spend that much time thinking about this
pretty good understanding of: util, kant, hobbes, prag, ilaw
anything else please please warrant and explain
good for k affs but also pretty receptive to t-fw
the argument i spent the least amount of time with in debate
alt explanations/analysis are extremely important
willing to vote on anything but the burden is on you to explain your literature
30 - breaking @TOC
29 - late elims of any given nat circuit tournament
28 - you'll prob make it to a bubble round
27 - well youre def here and you def said words
26 - you said something shitty/just had really bad strat/incomprehensive after warned
25 - racist/sexist/we had a problem in the round
if u include a haiku ill boost ur speaks by .3 :)
firstname.lastname@example.org for the chain
*Please show up to the round pre-flowed and ready to go. If you get to the room before me or are second flight, flip and get the email chain started so we don't delay the rounds.*
Currently the head coach at Southlake Carroll. The majority of my experience is in Public Forum but I’ve spent time either competing or judging every event.
You would probably classify me as a flay judge. The easiest way to win my ballot is through comparative weighing. Explain why your links are clearer and stronger and how your impacts are more important than those of your opponents.
Speed is fine but if I miss something that is crucial to your case because you can’t speak fast and clearly at the same time then that’ll be your fault. If you really want to avoid this issue then I would send a speech doc if you plan on going more than 225 wpm.
I do not flow cross so if anything important was said mention it in a speech.
I would classify myself as tech over truth but let’s not get too crazy.
Typical speaks are between 27-30. I don’t give many 30s but it’s not impossible to get a 30 from me.
I would much rather you sacrifice your speed for clarity. If you can’t get to everything that you need to say then it would probably be best to prioritize your impacts and do a great job weighing.
Any comments that are intended (or unintended in certain circumstances) to be discriminatory in any form will immediately result in the lowest possible speaker points.
I’m probably not evaluating your K or theory argument at a non-bid tournament. If you’re feeling brave then you can go for it but unless the literature is solid and it is very well run, I’m going to feel like you’re trying to strat out of the debate by utilizing a style that is not yet a norm and your opponents likely did not plan for. If we're at a bid tournament or state, go for it.
Don’t just extend card names and dates without at least briefly reminding me what that card said. Occasionally I write down the content of the card but not the author so if you just extend an author it won’t do you any good.
I have a super high threshold for IVIs. If there's some sort of debate based abuse run a proper shell.
LD Specific (This is not my primary event so I would make sure I check this)
Cheatsheet (1 is most comfortable, 5 is lowest)
Topical Ks: 2
Non-Topical Ks: 4
I’ll understand your LARP arguments. I’ll be able to follow your spreading. I can evaluate most K’s but am most comfortable with topical K’s. I will understand your theory arguments but typically don't go for RVIs. I would over-explain if you don’t fall into those categories and adjust if possible.
I have coached LD at Strake Jesuit in Houston, Tx since 2009. I judge a lot and do a decent amount of topic research. Mostly on the national/toc circuit but also locally. Feel free to ask questions before the round. Add me to email chains. Jchriscastillo@gmail.com.
I don't have a preference for how you debate or which arguments you choose to read. The best debaters will 1. Focus on argument explanation over argument quantity. 2. Provide clear judge instruction.
I do not flow off the doc.
- I rarely read evidence after debates.
- Evidence should be highlighted so it's grammatically coherent and makes a complete argument.
- Smart analytics can beat bad evidence
- Compare and talk about evidence, don't just read more cards
- I default to competing interps, no rvi's and drop the debater on shells read against advocacies/entire positions and drop the argument against all other types.
- I'm ok with using theory as a strategic tool but the sillier the shell the lower the threshold I have for responsiveness.
- Please weigh and slow down for interps and short analytic arguments.
Non-T/Planless affs: I'm good with these. I'm most compelled by affirmatives that 1. Can explain what the role of the neg is 2. Explain why the ballot is key.
Delivery: You can go as fast as you want but be clear and slow down for advocacy texts, interps, taglines and author names. Don't blitz through 1 sentence analytics and expect me to get everything down. I will say "clear" and "slow".
Speaks: Speaks are a reflection of your strategy, argument quality, efficiency, how well you use cx, and clarity. I do not disclose speaks.
Things not to do: 1. Don't make arguments that are racist/sexist/homophobic (this is a good general life rule too). 2. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand or arguments that are blatantly false. 3. Don't be mean to less experienced debaters. 4. Don't steal prep. 5. I will not vote on "evaluate after X speech" arguments.
Coach at Heights High School (TX)
Separately conflicted with: Archbishop Mitty SM, Carnegie Vanguard KF, Cypress Ranch KH, Woodlands SP
Set up the email chain before the round starts and add me. I would strongly prefer email over NSDA Classroom fileshare, and please title the chain as so: "Tournament Year + Name - Round # - _____ vs. _____ (Judge)"
If I'm judging you in LD: email@example.com
If I'm judging you in policy: firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated LD for Timothy Christian School in New Jersey for four years. I graduated from Rice University, am currently a teacher at Heights, and predominately coach policy: my program competes through the Houston Urban Debate League and the Texas Forensic Association. My views on debate are heavily influenced by Kris Wright via the Texas Debate Collective Teachers Institute. Most of the sections below are relevant for both policy and LD; see the very bottom for policy/PF-specific thoughts, although policy teams might also want to review the sections for LARP/T/K.
- LARP/Policy: 1
- T/Theory: 1-2
- Phil: 2*
- Kritik (identity): 2-3*
- Kritik (pomo): 3-4*
- Tricks: Strike; I can and will cap your speaks at a 27, and if I'm on a panel I will be looking for a way to vote against you.
*Ratings vary as function of what you're reading and whether I'm familiar with it. It's not that I will refuse to evaluate an author or position that I haven't seen before - rather, it'll just be more challenging for me to adjudicate. Feel free to ask me before round about a specific author.
- I will try to be tab and dislike intervening so please weigh arguments and compare evidence. It is in your advantage to write my ballot for me by explaining why you win which layers and why those layers come first.
- I won't vote on anything that's not on my flow. I also won't vote on any arguments that I can't explain back to your opponent in the oral.
- I default to a competing worlds paradigm.
- Tech > Truth
- I'm colorblind so speech docs that are highlighted in light blue/gray are difficult for me to read; yellow would be ideal because it's easiest for me to see. Also, if you're re-highlighting your opponent's evidence and the two colors are in the same area of the color wheel, I probably won't be able to differentiate between them. Don't read a shell on your opponent if they don't follow these instructions though - it's not that serious.
- Prep time ends when you've finished compiling the document. I won't count emailing but please don't steal prep.
- Signpost please. I prefer debaters to be explicit about where to flow things and I appreciate pen time. If you're giving a speech and I'm looking around the different sheets of paper instead of writing, I'm likely trying to find the argument and will probably miss something.
- Not fond of embedded clash; it's a recipe for judge intervention. I'll flow overviews and you should read them when you're extending a position, but long (0:30+) overviews that trade-off against substantive line-by-line work increase the probability that I'll either forget about an argument or misunderstand its implication.
- I presume aff in LD: neg side bias exists so in the absence of offense from either side the aff did the better debating. It is unlikely, however, that I will try to justify a ballot in this way; I almost always err towards voting on risk of offense rather than presumption in the absence of presumption arguments made by debaters.
- Debaters should time every speech and should always count down on their timer for their own speeches. That way, it'll go off when your time runs out, which will keep you honest and ensure that you don't accidentally go over. I might not cut you off if your time runs out, but I'll stop flowing and deduct 0.1 speaks for every 3 seconds you go over if your timer doesn't ring.
- Given that I predominately coach policy, I am probably most comfortable adjudicating these debates, but this is your space so you should make the arguments that you want to make in the style that you prefer.
- You should have be cutting updates and the more specific the counterplan and the links on the disad the happier I'll be. The size/probability of the impact is a function of the strength/specificity of the link.
- Terminal defense is possible and more common than people seem to think.
- I think impact turns (dedev, cap good/bad, heg good/bad, wipeout, etc.) are underutilized and can make for interesting strategies.
- Perms are tests of competition, not shifts of advocacy.
- If a conditional advocacy makes it into the 2NR and you want me to kick it, you have to tell me. Also, I will not judge kick unless the negative wins an argument for why I should, and it will not be difficult for the affirmative to convince me otherwise.
- A 1NC strategy that doesn't include a substantial investment on case is generally sub-par.
- I default to competing interpretations. I'll evaluate shells via reasonability if you ask me to but I'd prefer an explicit brightline for determining what constitutes a reasonable vs. unreasonable practice rather than drawing upon my intuitions for debate. If you just ask me to intuitively evaluate the shell without an explanation of what that constitutes, my aversion to intervention will likely lead me to gut check to competing interpretations.
- I default to no RVIs (and that you need to win a counterinterp to win with an RVI).
- You need to give me an impact/ballot story when you read a procedural, and the blippier/less-developed the argument is, the higher my threshold is for fleshing this out. Labeling something an "independent voter" or "is a voting issue" is rarely sufficient. These arguments generally implicate into an unjustified, background framework and don't magically operate at a higher layer absent an explicit warrant explaining why. You still have to answer these arguments if your opponent reads them - it's just that my threshold for voting for underdeveloped independent voters is higher.
- Because I am not a particularly good flower, theory rounds in my experience are challenging to follow because of the quantity of blippy analytical arguments. Please slow down for these debates, clearly label the shell, and number the arguments or I will likely miss something.
- Disclosure is good. However, I do coach both sides of this debate. Read it if you'd like, just don't be mean about it and be prepared to defend your performance if your opponent is clever.
- "If you read theory against someone who is obviously a novice or a traditional debater who doesn't know how to answer it, I will not evaluate it under competing interps."
- I will not evaluate the debate after any speech that is not the 2AR.
Framework (as distinct from T-FW)
- I believe that impacts are relevant insofar as they implicate to a framework, preferably one which is syllogistically warranted. My typical decision calculus, then, goes through the steps of a. determining which layer is the highest/most significant, b. identifying the framework through which offense is funneled through on that layer, and c. adjudicating the pieces of legitimate offense to that framework.
- You should assume if you're reading a philosophically dense position that I do not have a deep familiarity with your topic literature; as such, you should probably moderate your speed and over-explain rather than under. Especially if your framework is complex or obscure, a brief summary of how it functions (i.e. how it sifts between legitimate and illegitimate offense) would be helpful.
- I have a decent conceptual understanding of k debate, especially after teaching it to students every year, but don't presume that I'll recognize the vocabulary from your specific literature base. I am not especially well-read in kritikal literature so explain well. It is in your best interests to keep your speeches well-structured so they are easy to follow.
- I especially appreciate kritikal debates which are heavy on case-specific link analysis paired with a comprehensive explanation of the alternative. Good K debates typically include quotes from lines in your opponent's evidence/advocacy with an explanation of why those are additional links.
- I don't judge a terribly large number of clash debates, but I've also coached both non-T performative and pure policy teams and so I do not have strong ideological leanings here.
- Too many Role of the Ballots are impact-justified; if you're reading one you should warrant it more substantively.
- Speed is generally fine, so long as its clear. I'd place my threshold for speed at a 8.5 out of 10 where a 10 is the fastest debater on the circuit, although that varies (+/- 1) depending on the type of argument being read.
- Slow down for and enunciate short analytics, taglines, and card authors; it would be especially helpful if you say "and" or "next" as you switch from one card to the next. I am not a particularly good flower so take that into account if you're reading a lot of analytical arguments. If you're reading at top-speed through a dump of blippy uncarded arguments I'll almost certainly miss some. I won't backflow for you, so spread through blips on different flows without pausing at your own risk.
- If you push me after the RFD with "but how did you evaluate THIS random analytic embedded in my 10-point dump?" I have no problem telling you that I a. forgot about it, b. missed it, or c. didn't have enough of an implication flowed/understood to draw lines to other flows for you.
- My flowing limitations are a contributing factor to why I'm probably not a great judge for you if tricks are your A-strat. If you're reading tricks one of three things is likely to happen: I'll miss it, I won't understand it, or I'll think it's stupid. Additionally, I won't hold your opponent to a higher standard than I hold myself to, so if I didn't understand the implication of an argument (especially a blippy/shady one) in a prior speech, I'll give them leeway on answering it in a later one.
- I'll yell "clear" or "slow" once but that means I already missed something. Honestly though, it's not uncommon for me to be so preoccupied with trying to keep up that I forget to call clear or slow.
- A 28.5 or above means I think you're good enough to clear. I generally won't give below a 27; lower means I think you did something offensive, unless the round is bad and it makes me want to go home.
- I award speaks based on quality of argumentation and strategic decision-making.
- I won't disclose speaks so don't bother asking.
- I give out approximately one 30 a season, so it's probably not going to be you. If you're looking for a speaks fairy, pref someone else. Here are a few ways to get high speaks in front of me, however:
- I routinely make mental predictions during prep time about what the optimal 2NR/2AR is. Give a different version of the speech than my prediction and convince me that my original projection was strategically inferior. Or, seamlessly execute on my prediction.
- Read a case-specific CP/Disad/PIC that I haven't seen before.
- Teach me something new that doesn't make me want to go home.
- Be kind to an opponent that you are more experienced then.
- If you have a speech impediment, please feel free to tell me. I debated with a lisp and am very sympathetic to debaters who have challenges with clarity. In this context, I will do my best to avoid awarding speaks on the basis of clarity.
- As a teacher and coach, I am committed to the value of debate as an educational activity. Please don't be rude, particularly if you're clearly better than your opponent. I won't hack against you if you go 5-off against someone you're substantively better than, but I don't have any objections to tanking your speaks if you intentionally exclude your opponent in this way. As a former competitor from a school with very limited competitive infrastructure, most of what I know about debate I had to learn myself absent formal instruction. This makes me very sympathetic to debaters from small schools or under-resourced programs who might not be familiar with the technical jargon of the activity but who, nevertheless, make good arguments. It behooves you, if you've had access to more privileged instruction, to debate in a way that keeps the round accessible for everyone.
If Judging Policy
- Please keep in mind that although I coach policy now, the entirety of my competitive experience and the bulk of my training, judging and thinking about debate has been funneled through the lens of LD. If you're a policy debater, it's probably still useful for you to review the specific argumentative sections above (ex. LARP, Theory, K), depending on what you're planning to read.
- I presume neg in policy because in the absence of offense in either direction, I am compelled by the Change Disad to the plan. However, presumption flips if the 2NR goes for a counter-advocacy that is a greater change from the status quo than the aff.
- I frequently see teams read half a T-shell in the 1NC (unwarranted standards/voters/implication/paradigm issues, or missing those pieces altogether) and then blow it up in the block. I think that if you read a disad in the 1NC it should probably contain the core parts (uniqueness/link/impact), even if you read additional evidence in the block, and I hold T to the same standard. Otherwise, I'm receptive to efficient 2AC responses along the lines of "that's not a complete argument; lack of warranted standards means there's no offense to the interp and you should reject the shell" and will allow new responses in the 1AR in response to developments in the block.
- If your counterplan is 8 seconds long with no cards, the 2AC probably needs no more than 0:15 answering it and I'll be super lenient with 1AR responses if you blow it up in the block.
- Smart, analytical arguments (particularly as no-links on a kritik or an improbable impact chain) are heavily underutilized in policy. My ideal 1NCs/2ACs incorporate analytics as a component of a layered response strategy. I see too many policy debaters who are just card bots, including reading cards that don't actually contain warrants and reading additional cards in a later speech instead of going for preexisting evidence.
If Judging PF
- I rarely judge PF and I avoid it when I can. I won't know what your topic is and I probably had to google the speech times beforehand.
- If you're paraphrasing cards I will evaluate them as glorified analytics. Alternatively, if you're one of the rare teams that actually reads cards and doesn't paraphrase, say so and I will reward you with speaks. Just don't commit to reading cards and then paraphrase; that's clipping.
- I don't know what it is with PF debaters either stealing prep or stealing speech time, but I'm not here for your shenanigans. There should not be more than a 0:10 difference between your timer and mine, and I stop flowing at the timer. I will deduct speaks if this comes up.
toss me on that email chain: email@example.com
I graduated from UCLA in 2019. I coached LD for 4 years at Harker. I work in a volunteer capacity with the Heights now. That said, I have always had a lower threshold for speed. I'll yell slow twice then I stop flowing until I can comprehend the argument.
I am the most familiar with policy/framework/theory arguments. I won't vote on an RVI on T
Practices Trigger Warnings
Debaters reading positions about suicide, depression/specific mental health, sexual violence, or any similarly traumatic issue, the onus is on them to ask those in the room permission to read the position. Spectators may leave, but judges and opponents do not have that option, meaning there is an expectation that if one of them objects to the triggering subject, that the debater will not read that position. If a debater does not adjust their strategy after being asked to, they will start the round with a 25. If you do not ask before round, but someone is triggered, speaks will similarly be docked. If there is no trigger warning but no one is triggered, the round can continue as normal.
The question for what necessitates a trigger warning is difficult to objectively delineate - if you have a reasonable suspicion someone could be negatively impacted by your position, ask before you read it - explicit narratives are probably a good starting point here. Trigger warnings are contentious in debate but I've seen students negatively impacted in rounds because they were not present and have engaged in conversations with other coaches that lead me to conclude something along these lines is necessary. At the very least, debate is (or should be) a 'safe space', and I believe this is a necessary first step towards achieving that goal. Feel free to discuss this before the round if you are worried it will become an issue in round.
This (admittedly strangely) probably means I'm not the judge for "must read a trigger warning" shells - they often make debate rounds uncomfortable and i have seen them leveraged in ways that make debate spaces unsafe - if no one was triggered, don't spend your time on that shell.
This article is very good at articulating my views on the importance of trigger warnings
It is not up for debate that if someone was triggered on account of your failure to adequately make use of trigger warnings, you'll be punished through speaks and/or the ballot
- Things I will drop a debater on whether or not their opponent brings it up: Card clipping, mis-representing the authors claims, grossly misrepresenting a cite (Use discretion here - but a completely missing site would seem to qualify here). The round stops if I notice this happen, or if the opponent brings up this claim. If the opponent brings forward this claim, I will evaluate the claim after the round has stopped.
- Things I believe should be debated out (with the caveat here that it's an uphill battle - I think these are good norms): Other disclosure norms (not including the whole paragraph in a cut card, broken links, etc).
- If you expect the round to be stopped (Category #1, or Category #2 but its a panel) I expect clear standards/arguments in a doc emailed out laying out the evidence claim, and specifically, why I should vote on it
- I will not vote on evidence ethics claim that hedge on the TFA constitution. While I respect the TFA executive board and generally agree with most of the constitution, I think it sets a bad precedent in requiring debaters, especially in Texas, to be beholden to overarching academic councils.
[Things I would like written out before a speech]
- Interps & Counterinterps
- Perm texts
[Strategies I love]
- A good internal link debate w/ deep evidence comparison
- Having a true/stellar response to UQ or Inherency
- Nuanced T
- A unique plan aff that is extended the whole round & leveraged correctly
[Strategies I don't love]
- Dense Phil
- Analytical args
- Dense critical lit
If anything is unclear, don't hesitate to ask me before the round starts. Email for chains: firstname.lastname@example.org
About me: I debated at Colleyville Heritage High School (CX my first year and LD for 3) and graduated in 2015. I started competing more on the national circuit my senior year. I graduated from UT Austin in 2018 and Cornell Law School in 2021. It's been a while since I've judged but most of my paradigm is the same from when I graduated.
Speed: I can understand most speeds as long as you're clear. It's been a while since I've judged, so don't go top speed and hope that I get everything down. The best thing to do is start slower so I can get accustomed to your voice and then speed up. Tag lines/Author names should be the most clear.
Speaks: A generally good speaker who is clear (doesn't need to be told clear more than once) will probably get a 28/28.5. If you want higher speaks here are some things I will look for: If you're passionate about your arguments, and I can tell, you will get higher speaks. This doesn't mean screaming at the top of your lungs, but just in general, it's about how you convey the argument and answer questions in CX. If you are particularly strategic, you will get higher speaks. If you give unique arguments that I haven't heard on the topic before (and are uncommon), you will get higher speaks.
Framework: I think this is especially important, whatever form it may take. Framework gives me a lens to evaluate arguments, so either present me with a framework or link into your opponents (whichever works best for you). Value- not necessary but thats cool if you have one. Standards/Criteria/Burdens- should tell me how to weigh impacts.
Theory: I didn't run much theory as a debater, but I did answer it a lot. Be clear on the interp/ counter-interp and don't make it frivolous. I generally default reasonability, but if you justify competing interps, I will evaluate it. I'm open to RVI's but the justification for them needs to be there. I like unique voters, so give me something other than fairness and education if you want a more compelling ballot story. If you need to call out abuse, it doesn't need to be in shell format, but you need to warrant why certain arguments are abusive.
Kritiks: K's are great, but know what you're talking about. If you're running something that is pretty dense, slow down and try to crystallize it as much as you can.
Overall, run whatever you want but be clear with it and ensure that it makes sense.
Some things in general:
Don't be offensive.
Don't assume things about your opponents private life (i.e. make comments on privilege, race, sexual orientation etc.)
Don't force your opponent to disclose information about them that they don't want to.
Won't vote on 30 speaks theory
Say you want to play the speaks games
Then I will put into random number generator
3/4 chance of 30 speaks 1/4 chance of 25 speaks
I want to be on the email chain: email@example.com
Update: I coach mostly the K now - I read Policy and K in college
I was fairly flexible as a debater and ideologically flexible.
Arguments I like: Stock util aff, Spec affs, kant affs, Cap K, all phil, anything else ask b4 round
Arguments I don't like: soft-left aff, spikes, racism good, deleuze
I AM NOT VERY GOOD AT FLOWING I have severe dysgraphia and adhd - SEND ANALYTICS AND SLOW DOWN ON IMPORTANT ARGUMENTS. I will flow off the doc and backflow cuz its not your fault but regardless proceed with caution.
+.5 speaks if you send analytics
HOW you go about articulating your arguments is way more important than WHAT you chose to read. I could care less what you go for as long as it's explained and implicated well.
· WARRANT TO WARRANT COMPARISON WINS ROUNDS. If their DA says X and your link turn says Y, explain to me why I should prefer your link turn. Make clash explicit and do the work on the flow for yourself. Otherwise, be prepared to receive a decision with which you’re unhappy
· I’m willing to vote on anything, as long as it has a claim, warrant, and an impact. Just explain the argument to me and why it should be in my RFD. This means you need to be doing clear layering and weighing
· Tech > Truth
· Please pop tags and author names
· Your extensions need to have warrants—even in the 1AR/2AR. That being said, all it needs to be is an overview of the advantage—just tell me what the aff does, what it solves, and how it does so. The more a warrant in your aff is contested, the more thorough your extension of that part of the aff should be.
· This should go without saying, but….you need to win uniqueness for a link turn to be offense
If you want judge kick be explicit
- Please don't read the I don't like the can't say slur shell - replace with other truism if you want to go for no NR i meet.
· prob a bad judge for this - suck at flow
· Defaults (theory): drop the arg, competing interps, no RVIs. DTD on T is the default. These are all very soft defaults—PLEASE present actual paradigm issues
· If you blitz through blips I won’t catch everything, so slow down where it counts.
· The more you number/label, the easier it is to flow you
· PLEASE do weighing between theory standards. Tell me why ground outweighs limits or whatever other arguments are in play
· Please do clear framework weighing. Tell me why one framework justification matters more than another and so forth...if both sides have “my framework precludes”-type claims, tell me why yours matters more than your opponent’s!
· Phil can be very hard to flow—make it easy for me. Flashing analytic dumps would be cool, but if you don't want to do that, then please make sure you're being clear and are delineating one arg from the next
· I don't really like debate phil - I find it very unintuitive so overexplain
· I’ll probably have a basic understanding of whatever K you read, but I will not vote for you unless YOU explain your theory to me.
· Prefer tech, tricks and lbl to long overviews
· The most important thing for you to do is to explain the interaction between the K and the aff. Explain why it outweighs/turns the case/why the perm fails/why the K is a prior question
Impact turning K is good infront of me but I will not vote on ressentiment good - anything else goes
Vs K affs
T-framework 50-50 but good for any framework 2nr. Good for straight up framework to tactics/middleground
Cap K good - its what I mostly went for
Presumption/case turns also good
Impact turns good
KvK debates are probably won on the perm vs link debate - I think these debates become easier to resolve when affs/negs make an explicit framework argument about how I should evaluate this
Am convinced that humanism good is true
last updated: 9/24
conflicts: Clear Lake MK, Downtown Magnets SS, Jordan KV, Jordan VS, Heritage WT, Liberal Arts and Science Academy AB, Liberal Arts and Science Academy AR, Liberal Arts and Science Academy RX, Liberal Arts and Science Academy OX, Oak Ridge AA, Rock Hill DG, The Woodlands SP, Unionville AS, William G. Enloe PD, William G. Enloe RN
Hi! I'm Ammu (they/them/thems), I'm a second year at Texas (competing). In the past summer, I taught at the UTNIF and TDC.
For full disclosure, I do have ADHD (and a likelihood of the 'tism from recent updates from therapy...), so the way I think about debate arguments may be distinct or different from neurotypical people. However, I'm very amenable to my thoughts and my evaluative measures for debate surround relational and functional approaches (i.e: think interactions between arguments, winning offense/defense zeroing out, etc).
Other than that, I'll vote up anything barring a few exceptions:
2] "Racism/sexism/[insert] good"
3] Arguments without a warrant
I believe debate is a communication activity that has norms agreed upon from thousands and thousands of speeches and debates. Each debate constitutes a performance act that adheres to the speech times governing the activity.
At some levels, this activity is very insular and resistant to producing "spillover change", which in of itself can be a good thing. However, a lot of people's first exposure to sociality of change and activism is through this activity, which means the activity benefits from discussions of those topics from former debaters creating change, whether its adhering to the legal systems of the status quo or producing newfound communal resistance to institutions, I'm cool for any spin to your rhetoric.
My ballot does absolutely nothing but endorse the communicative aspect of your speeches to be more persuasive than the other team's rhetoric, and consequently, to vote up the "better debating". It does not signify material change, nor make any descriptive claims about the characters of anyone. You can make arguments for what better debating looks like, but I'll default to my own subjective understandings, if nothing else.
An argument requires a claim, warrant, and an impact. Asserting something as true without explaining why (or contextualization of why you can assert something as true) will be a hard sell in front of me. For example, I don't think I'm a good judge for "tricks debate" that relies on drops being automatically true, or K debate where I have to believe a theorization of the world is automatically true, barring any sort of comparative analysis done.
Data is tenable to critique and can be optional at times, but the other three are required for me to vote up anything. Data doesn't trump all, but given two equal positions, better argumentation/testing can be found with data that has clear and concise warrants. Data can be skewed, misrepresented, or have illogical bases. It is your job as a debater to make it clear why the methodology/epistemology of their data is bad.
Here is a brain dump of things:
- the ld prefs (based on what people will pref me for):
1] larp, k
2] theory, also cool here for larp/k
3] phil (kant/util v anything)
4] tricks, denser phil
- textual and functional competition is awesomesauce - aff teams need to use it more in LD to takeout bad process CPs
- perms are a test of competition between the squo and the CP, usually not an a new world advocacy, though it could be justifiable against alternatives
- if you insert rehighlighting, at the end of the debate i will read that card as well as any others that are contextual to my understanding in relation to the argument in question
- if you're clipping and your opponent doesn't notice, i don't plan on intervening in context to wins and losses, but take some hints: i will probably say clear up to three times and you will see me holding my pen away from any flow paper. I think if you clip through a substantial amount of cards, i will straight up refuse to flow and you'll be very sad to wonder why I didn't evaluate.
- i think if you can't respond to an "anti-intellectual" argument (see: "5G radiowaves causing cancer"), then maybe you should lose?
- the "K of cap" is dope - i think Escalante is sort of a mid alt though I'm not convinced electoral systems are chill like that, people's war is gas
- i've read lots of lit bases, here's the list if you care: Cap, Grove, Beller, Spivak, Psychoanalysis, Settler Colonialism, Security IR, Caste Studies, Munoz, Wilderson, etc. Most of these literature I have a pretty good understanding content wise, but I will probably need their debate application explained more to me.
- (mostly) all your Ks are just building upon sociological/psychological explanations of various philosophers and thinkers
- meta-weighing is fantastic in LD and will award you my praise and speaker point allotments if you do this
- i think the revolution will probably need specific affective infrastructure and places for various groups and beings to play integral roles in making that happen - however can be convinced of the opposite that its all a ruse to never accomplish anything
- i lean neg on T-fwk - clash is awesomesauce and all the K affs that are like "debate bad" need to have a fantastic answer as to why clash doesn't matter or that if they have a model of debate, clash is non-uq to the squo
- neg teams should punish bad LD affirmatives with bad internal links to their impacts - I feel more than happy evaluating zeroing out offense for the aff if the evidence looks like it was taken from the 2000s era backfile and plastered together into a file like a scrapbook
- deleuze hurts my brain, please be cautious and overexplain it for me
- i think some "tricks" can be educational like logic puzzles (ie the LSAT/law often utilizes these things). things like the principle of explosion and then reading unfunny spikes and NIBs copied for the past 5 years is not it and i will consider it warrantless
- the scholarship from Nebel T sets you up to be like the person on tiktok who makes bird languages to read the navy seal copypasta in it - take that as you will.
- Spread as much as you'd like - but I am following along and will yell out clear
- blue highlighting => green highlighting > yellow highlighting > weird purple highlighting
- i like pettiness and competitive drive, make it entertaining and I will shower with speaks :<
- prep ends when you send the doc
- go ahead and read your intrinsic tests to a DA - i want to see some chaos this season
- theory restarts make me sad - uplayering and choosing a shell is the equivalent of shooting a shotgun at a target far away - i would rather you win 1 argument really well! :>
- i'm now convinced that meta-theory is poop and you're better off going for an RVI or just reading your own shell and uplayering
- pre-fiat and post-fiat is near incoherent
- impact turns are awesome but don't double turn yourself!!
- im pretty oblivious to philosophy in LD other than the strains of Kant and Util at most, i have a pretty good understanding of things like bindingness, tjfs, phenomenology, etc but you're gonna need to explain
(Update for UK Online: I think extensions of the ROB text are good. This is a technical paradigm issue for me, if it is delineated in a doc differently then just like copy paste it from the NC please I beg)
Please add me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi a lot of you already know me but I'm Amanda, FSU grad. Bachelor in Intersectional Women's Studies and Media/Comm. I competed in LD for four years (Im sure you can find my records somewhere idk, I've judged enough to be qualified anyway), I also competed as a varsity policy team for UMW my freshman year of college pre-covid. I've coached the FFL State Champion (2x), TOC qualled debater (they've done more but Im lazy). I also coach a highly competitive Public Forum team (they definitely are sm better then some of the stuff I hear in LD and sometimes I wish I judged more there).
QUICK hack sheet:
LARP : 2
Tricks: 5 ( i strongly urge you to not read these in front of me, definitely am tired of being the subject of a discord chat after someone loses a round because they didn't read my paradigm)
Performance:2/3 (just add trigger warning if necessary! Im good with anything)
Alright here are some people I paradigmatically agree with: Deena Mcnamara, Charles Karcher, Delon Fuller, Joey Tarnowski, and Crawford Leavoy.
Here is a list of things I used to get asked and now people just don't read my paradigm anymore (please at least read 1 and 6):
1. I've debate plenty of times on the national circuit, I've seen it during its highs and lows. PLEASE MAKE DEBATE ACCESSIBLE!
2. I will try my best to evaluate the round in which you wish it to be evaluated, however, I need a clear articulation on how to do so.
3. I will adapt to you. If you are a speed demon then go ahead. As long as you are clear I am totally cool with it.
4. There is a difference between being witty and being arrogant. ZERO tolerance for disrespect in debate.
5. Please use proper pronouns when referring to your opponent-they are not an object, they are a person so don't say "it says". Please don't say "The judge believes x,y,and z."- you have no clue what Im thinking. Also just be a nice person, it's not that hard to adapt strategies for opponents that may or may not have the same experiences as you (I will evaluate the round as such and even if you win, I will indeed tank your speaks for being hella exclusionary) :)
6. I STRONGLY hate 1AC disclo. It is the one thing that will absolutely send me into a spiral if I hear that round one. The 1NC is a reactive strat, for the love of god don't complain if this is an issue of someone didn't properly disclo round reports. Seriously, the only thing we cared about when I debated was past 2NR's so can we just please learn how to actually debate. xoxoxo your friendly K judge.
Traditional- I am perfectly alright with traditional debate. I loved it as a freshman and sophomore. A good friend of mine, Fiona Barry, was a phenomenal trad debater. Highly recommend preffing me for a lay judge. I value debaters making strats accessible for all debaters. Make sure that you are weighing and using that short 1AR/2AR to crystalize and extend your arguments. Nothing is ever implied, please use well-warranted args.
LARP- I'm fine with LARP debate. Policy-making is cool, do whatever you want. Plan texts need a solvency advocate, idc what ur coach says. CP's are cool, make sure there is some sort of net benefit and also if you don't answer the perm I'll be very sad. DA's are fun as long as there is a clear link to the aff, also for the love of god weigh.
K's- K's are groovy. I think non-t k affs are cool, just need clear explanation why that is good for debate. Don't like when it creates assumptions about your opponents identity because that just creates hostile rounds (that I have definitely had and they are not fun). Intersectional Fem Lit was my jam, everyone can read fem (it's not a framework that is meant to exclude people from reading it, love a good fem debate :))
Phil- I love good phil debates, I'm comfortable with standard Util v Kant and more abstract framework debates. I think if you go this route you need to win why your paradigm is ethically relevant, and then be able to win offense/defense underneath that framing mech. Love Derrida, Hooks, and anything that has a little philosophical spice.
Theory- I used to say theory debate was okay as I started to judge it more. I lied. Don't make this round a headache for me to adjudicate. I dislike when 5 shells are read with stat skew standards then is followed by a six page card dump on the aff flow. MAKE THIS EASY FOR ME. I think I need clear extensions of warrants if the debate winds down to theory v (insert anything) or theory v theory debates. By now I've realized that most kids sigh when they get me as a judge and they predominantly read theory, as long as you don't make it messy then I'll be fine lol. This is just a question of adapting, if you can't do that then work on it.
Tricks- This is probably my weakest place in regards to judging but that doesn't mean I won't try. If you want to pref me and read tricks then just make sure they are clear and there is an explanation somewhere in the round about how it functions in the round and I'll try my best to judge accordingly. I hate debates that are just sloppy tricks debate, if this applies to you then dont pref me at all like please don't pref me if you just want to meme around.
Performance- I have a pretty decent ability to judge a performance debate and I think they are pretty dope. However, I don't think that debaters need to degrade their opponent during a round to "get the point across" especially because I think that ruins the integrity of the round itself. If you are going to engage in an in-round performance, please extend it in rebuttals or else I fail to understand how it is important to the aff/neg.
Please add me to the email chain email@example.com
I am a debate coach with experience judging at national tournaments at the novice and varsity levels. I prefer arguments to be well structured, articulated clearly (please no spreading but I can understand a considerably faster than conversational pace) and supported by convincing evidence. Please slow down on the tags so I can accurately flow. I don't mind listening to a unique or interesting argument but somehow you MUST link it back to the resolution if you are going to get my ballot.
Plans: All good, just make it relatable to the topic
Counter-plans: All good.
Theory: If there is significant violation or abuse in a round that warrants running theory, I will vote on it but generally not a fan of debating about debate.
Ks: Willing to listen to a good K as long there is a really strong and convincing link back. Not a fan of generic links or links of omission as an excuse to run the K you want to run.
DA: I'm fine with them, we are all good here
T: I think aff has an obligation to be somewhat topical and neg has the right to question whether aff is in fact being topical. That being said, while I generally will not vote on a straight RVI, running T for the sole purpose of creating a time suck for aff and then kicking it in the NR is not a strat that is going to sit well with me.
Conditional Arguments: Anything more than 2 conditional arguments is abusive and puts aff in an impossible situation in the 1AR. I will vote off “Condo bad” in these situations.
Disclosure: Seems like it gets run a lot for no purpose other than trying to get a cheap win. However, If the affirmative is reading a case that is so unique, such as a specific plan text, that the negative would have difficulty engaging with then disclosure is the fair thing to do.
Feel free to ask me if clarification is needed
Hi, I’m Jay. I competed in LD all four years of high school, won TFA state (way too long ago to be relevant but my kid made me write it in the paradigm), then did policy at UT for two years.
TLDR: You do you, be respectful to your opponent. Don’t run tricks, don’t run an identity-based K that you don’t personally identify with, but ultimately I am good for anything else.
LARP/Policy: Great for this, but I want to see a better internal link than is usually presented during these debates. Small, obscure changes in policy = nuke war is probably not something I’ll be super happy voting on.
T/Theory : Down for most theory, just not friv theory. Probably yes RVIs, DTD tends to have a higher bar than DTA, no deep thoughts on condo.
K: I love K debates, the more specific the link into the aff is, the better. ROB should actually do something for debate, or at least strive to. I said this above, but please do not run stuff like afropess if you are not black (or just ID-based args that you don’t identify with), it’s probably not an auto L but I don’t like these debates.
K aff: Fine with these, but I like affs with really good links into the topic. I also enjoy good T debates (IMO if you are running a K aff, you had better have some good responses to T).
Phil: Especially good for Kant, Rawls, all the French guys and anything pomo. Phil debates are great. No strong caveats, just make sure the links are as good as they would be if it was LARP.
Tricks: Go ahead and strike. I don’t think tricks are good for debate at all, and most of the time they are exclusionary. Just please do not run these.
firstname.lastname@example.org for email chain purposes, yes I want to be on the email chain.
Good luck, I look forward to judging!
add to chain/speech drop:
I debated policy on education, immigration, arm sales, did LD 2019-2021. Doing policy for the University of Houston on the antitrust topic and legal personhood. I now coach a lot of high school LDers on a variety of arguments. My background in debate doesn't necessarily overdetermine how I evaluate rounds, but it may inform my understanding of certain arguments, so I felt it is worth mentioning.
top level---(updated after 22-23 TOC):
TLDR: I will vote on anything.
Policy and K debates are my favorite, but reading what you want and giving a good speech is much more likely to get higher speaks than trying to tailor what you read to what you think my ideological preferences are.
Tech > truth, but truth determines the extent tech matters. A blatantly false claim like "the sky is red" requires more warranting than a commonly accepted claim ie "the sky is blue". Unwarranted arguments in the constructive that receive warrants later on justify "new" responses to those warrants. This doesn't mean I won't vote on tricks or theory, but the ability to say "X is conceded" relies on "X" having a full Claim/Warrant/Impact - the absence of crucial elements of an argument such as warrants will mean that adding them in later speeches will justify new responses.
--- Qualified authors & solid warrants in your ev are important. Evidence comparison and weighing are also important. In the absence of evidence comparison and weighing, I may make a decision that upsets you. That is fundamentally your fault.
--- In the absence of paradigm issues on my flow, I'm going to evaluate theory as no RVIs, reasonability, drop the argument (unless its incoherent, such as condo bad). For example, if a 1AR tells me "PICs are a voter cuz they steal the aff", I am going to be very convinced by a 2NR that says this is unwarranted and drop the arg. These defaults can be changed through warranted, extended arguments.
--- Most Ks that people get away with in LD have horrible warranting in the 1NC. Blowing up blippy Ks with elaborate turns case analysis, framework arguments, thesis explanations, etc that is not present in the 1NC obviously merits 2AR responses that I will give full credence to.
--- I will not judge kick a counterplan or alt unless I am told to.
--- I default to presumption affirms when the 2NR extends an alt/counterplan, as there is a new world that has been introduced that is a greater shift from the status quo than the plan. But please don't make me vote on presumption.
--- Process and agent counterplans are great. So is in-depth competition theory.
Tabula rasa. Speed as fine as long as I can hear you.
Clash is good. I like creativity and will reward that in the round. A creative case is better than one I'm going to hear every round.
I like an efficient round - please have speech doc sharing etc completed before the round begins.
Philosophy: The function of the debate should be education. To that end, be courteous, resolute, and considerate while planning an offense. Lean towards lay judge (but can still run progressive tactics). CX competition experience and LD coaching experience.
Preferences: No spreading, evidence is more important than theory arguments, apathetic towards solely philosophical arguments, Kritiks must be very well-structured to run.
Email Chain: email@example.com
I debated LD for 3 years for Harvard-Westlake School (2014-17) - 13 career bids, Dukes and Bailey 17', won some tournaments/broke at the TOC. I loved debate because of the variety. I could be a fan of any argument you want to read, provided it 1) is explained in a way I can understand and 2) has an explicit reason why that means you should win. I like when debaters appreciate the space they've been given and use it to do what they like. This means engage in the resolution and your speaking time however you want whether that means dense moral philosophy, theory, or critical debate. Just do what you find meaningful even if that just means doing what gives you the best chance to win. My biggest preference in terms of what you run is that you make good arguments which you understand and execute well. I hated judges that said "I won't vote on X because I disagree with/don't like it" so I try not to be one, but I reserve the right to hold debaters to a reasonable standard of quality argumentation.
You must share your speech docs with your opponent. Flashing, emailing, speechdrop, NSDA Campus message; whatever method of sharing you prefer as long as it's more effective than looking over your shoulder.
I think disclosure is very good for debate. This is not to say you cannot beat disclosure theory in front of me—it just means you will have a very hard time. This is not an invitation to whip out your “must disclose 1ar frontlines” or whatever race-to-the-bottom shell—my preference is for fairly disclosed debates, not gotchas disguised as legitimate theory.
Prep ends when the flash drive leaves the computer/the email is sent
- Here is the procedure i will follow if a student drops off a call, or I drop off a call: students are expected to maintain local recordings of their speeches - if they drop off, they should complete the speech and immediately email their recording upon completing it. I will not allow students to restart speeches / attempt to figure out how much time they had left, particularly in elimination rounds.
- If someone drops off a call, please do not steal prep time.
- It will make the round easier for all of us if you figure out a way to be able to see both me and your opponent on screen - non-verbal communication is really helpful for e-debate working at its best, and if we both nod at "everyone ready," you need to be able to see that, not just be waiting on us to un-mute ourselves and speak up! if you do not hear from me or see me indicate I am ready in some form, you should not assume i am ready. one thing i think this means is that "is anyone not ready" is no longer the right question to ask - "is everyone ready" is gonna be key to ensure no one misses anything.
- Slow down. i think online you should be going at 70% or so of the speed you would go in person. if you do not slow down and technical difficulties mean i miss arguments, i will not be very sympathetic to the post round - I have had a lot of kids not be able to hear me bc of the way zoom handles microphones - i am sorry if you do not hear me say "slow", but i cannot emphasize enough the need for you to slow down.
- You should have an email chain - if you are flight b, the chain should be set up before you hop on the call if possible.
I like good K debate a lot. An NR containing a well explained, and well impacted K that doesn't forget about the case is a good thing. An NR containing a K you've never read the lit for is hair pullingly frustrating. Ask yourself if you can explain your position without the use of buzzwords, if the answer is no, you risk being in the latter category.
I'm not generally a huge fan of the 4 minute K overview followed by line by line constituted primarily by "that was in the overview". Take time to clearly explain and implicate the links/impacts/framing arguments and contextualize them to the aff.
I believe people should be able to do whatever they want with their affirmative, and I will by no means auto vote you down for not being topical. That said, T/Framework was my favorite argument in high school, and I will be hard pressed to vote aff absent a robust defense against it—whether that comes in the form of impact turns, a counter-interp, or something else is up to you. I find myself voting aff during these debates more often than not for two reasons: 1) The NR on framework is more whining about how hard the aff was to prep than it is clear impact comparison; 2) The NR doesn't engage the 1ar arguments properly—the 2nr should both deal with the warrant AND implication of these arguments because too often I have on my flow "this doesn't make any sense" without an explanation of why or why that matters.
I think these can be some of the best debates around. I would love you if you did good evidence comparison and comparison of links to the impact rather than doing superficial weighing of impacts. The straight turn and impact turn are both deeply underutilized arguments in LD. I'm sick of judging 1ARs that are 80% defense against the DA.
I'm not normally a fan of rote plans bad theory arguments. I think you should either read a T shell or a more nuanced reason why their type of plan text is bad.
Your interp needs evidence, standards and voting issues. A good T debate is one of my favorite debates and should involve a deep comparison of the world of debate each interp justifies, not just competing 6-points of the limits standard. Textuality as a voter just barely meets the standard for coherent argument, i'll vote on it, but it will be defeated easily in front of me. RVIs on T are not a thing.
I'm not a fan of frivolous theory, I'll vote on it, but there is a low bar for answering it. If you're struggling to figure out whether a certain shell is too frivolous for me to give the benefit of the doubt, don't read it. I am extremely persuaded by infinite regress/arbitrariness arguments against the vast majority of spec shells.
I am far and away the least versed in this part of LD. I'm not unwilling to vote on anything you choose to read, just understand that if it's more complicated than the simple end of ripstein or util, you will need to explain it to me like I'm a distracted 5 year old. You should know that I, generally speaking, am a firm believer that comparative worlds is the best interpretation for debate and, as a result, I will likely not love your burdens aff/whatever postdating related trend is popular.
Note: I have had this section of my paradigm virtually unchanged for a long time and, while I do now have a degree in philosophy, I have left it intact. In my experience, the vast majority of debate moral philosophy is kind of like the theory debate—there seems to be a fairly small universe of arguments (mostly straw-men of what authors actually have to say—“induction fails so consequences, no matter how great, can’t even be considered in moral calculus”) that both sides already kind of know and trot out against each other over and over. I describe myself as a distracted 5 year old here because I remain mostly in the dark about how to evaluate these kinds or arguments and about how to compare offense under means-based frameworks. I would be tremendously impressed by a debater who was able to deliver a speech on one of these positions that didn’t leave me frustrated by its lack of nuance and argumentative clarity and would reward them with very high speaker points.
I will vote for these arguments if I absolutely have to, but I greatly dislike and generally don't understand them. Chances are if you're winning in front of me on a blippy theory spike or an a priori, it's because the rest of the debate was literally impossible to evaluate and you will not be happy with your speaker points because of it.
I'm Jayanne [ JAY - Ann ], a.k.a. Jay.
I debated for Fort Lauderdale HS (FL) for 4 years in LD and Policy. I am a pre-med Columbia University (NY) alumna, with a BA in African American and African Diaspora studies. I currently coach for Lake Highland Preparatory school.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Start an email chain, Speechdrop, or use file share on NSDA Campus. DO NOT share me to a google doc of your case, but feel free to send me a google doc link with view-only access.
Policy arguments & T - 1
Critical arguments/Ks - 1 [non-topical AFFs: 2, not my fave if they could have been T with same lit base as the framing]
Theory - 3
Frivolous theory/trolling/tricks - 4/5/strike
** note: I get triggered by graphic depictions of anti-black violence (e.g. very graphic examples of police brutality, slavery etc) and sexual assault. If you plan to read afro-pessimism, please read a trigger warning or simply take out horrific examples of gratuitous violence. Black violence is not a spectacle for an audience, these are real people with real experiences.**
- I don't disclose speaker points. I base speaks off the clarity of speech, the quality of arguments, and the strategic choices in the debate.
- I don't want to flow off speech docs, speak clearly and slow down on tags + author names. PLEASE PAUSE BETWEEN CARDS.Internet connection and computer issues do not grant you extra prep time. If debating virtually please locally record your speeches.
- I get annoyed by asking for "marked docs" when there are marginal things cut out (e.g. one card is marked, cards at the end of the doc aren't read, etc.). I think knowing how to flow, and not exclusively flowing off a doc solves this.
- I'm not a big fan of complex theory/skep/tricks or heavily pre-written stuff that you do not understand. I encourage you to do whatever you are passionate about, just take the round seriously.
- I think there are productive ways to engage in critical race theory. I don’t think that non-black debaters should be reading radical Black advocacies (e.g. afropessimism, Black nihilism etc.). Read your social justice positions, but please leave our radical Black authors/groups out of it. If you're not Black and you read aforementioned positions I will not vote on it. If you say any racial slur written by the author (or just on your own whim) I will drop you and give you zero speaker points.
Hi! I did not do PF in high school but I have coaching experience. You can read anything in front of me, but the onus is still on you to explain your arguments! Collapse and weigh impacts clearly for good speaks and an easy decision.
PSA: If you say anything blatantly anti-black, misogynistic, anti-queer, ableist, etc. and your opponent calls you out, I will drop you. Debate should be a home space for everyone and you are responsible for the things you say because it is a speaking activity.
Speed is fine as long as you're clear - speaker points get marked down if you're not
Tell me which args you win and weigh the impacts for me
Feel free to ask me to clarify or elaborate on anything before the round starts
-Debated 4 years LD, graduating in 2013; qualified to TOC twice and reached Quarterfinals my senior year.
-Have coached for 10 years; am currently the Head Debate Coach at Lynbrook High School.
- My goal when judging is to be tab.
- That being said, I am way better at judging phil debates than policy debates.
- Start your last speech with an overview that tells me as directly as possible why you win. It shouldn't be prewritten. It should go something like: 'I'm winning X argument because Y, and it comes first because Z.'
- Please compare clashing arguments as soon as possible (i.e. in the NC/1AR). Weighing is more important to my ballot than extra cards.
- I like theory but NOT when it's extra ridiculous (i.e. shoe theory).
EMAIL CHAIN: email@example.com
Please do not call me judge - Henderson - no Mr/Ms just Henderson. This is what I am most comfortable with.
Please share speech docs with me, your opponent in a timely manner. If it get long, your speaks drop. I've been saying for a couple years now that I cannot physical handle the top debaters speed any longer. I will not backflow or flow from doc. This is an oral activity so adjust. I am very expressive in round and you should have no issue discerning if I am with you or not. For me it is definitely that my pen times needs more time, so look periodically and you should be fine.
The older I get the more triggered I find I am when someone spreads unnecessarily. If you using speed to increase clash - awesome! If you are using it outspread your opponent then I am not your ideal judge. I can understand for the AC but I think a pre-round conversation with your opponent is both helpful and something as a community we should attempt to do at all time.
If you do not adjust or adapt accordingly I will give you the lowest speech possible. If this is a local, I am likely to vote against you - TOC/State - you will likely get the ballot but again lowest speaks possible.
I am an educator first. This means that I am concerned about the what happens in the debate more than I do about what the debate claims to achieve. This does not lessen my focus on argumentation, rather it is to say that I am sensitive to the issues that concern the debaters as individuals before I am my concern about various claimed link stories. Be honest, fair and considerate to each other. This manifests itself in my judging when I pay particular attention to the division of prep time. Debater who try to steal prep or are not considerate of their opponents prep will irritate me quickly (read: very bad speaks).
This is a common question given I tend to be critical on points. Basically, If you deserve to break then you should be getting no less than a 28.5. Speaker points are about speaking up to the point that I can understand your spread/read. Do not docbot. If you do not intonate you are not debating you are reading and that is just frustrating to me. Beyond that there are mostly about argumentation. Argumentation includes strategy, crystallization, and structuring of speeches. If you have a creative strat you will do well. If you are reading generics you will do less well. If you tell a full story on the implication of your strat you will do well. If I have to read cards to figure out what you are advocating you will not. If you collapse well and convene the method and meaning of your approach you will do well. If you go for everything (neg) or a small trick you will not. Finally, if you ask specific questions about how I might feel about your strat you will do well. If you ask, "What's your paradigm?" because you did not take the time to look you will not. Previously, I had a no speaker point disclosure rule. I have changed. So ask, if you care to talk about why; not if you do not want to discuss the reasoning, but only want the number.
I truly like a good theory debate. I went for T often as a debater and typically ran quasi topical cases so that I could engage in theory debates. This being said, what you read should be related to the topic. If the words of the topic do not occur in what you read you are in an uphill battle, unless you have a true justification as to why. I am very persuaded that we should learn about certain topics outside of the debate topic, but that just means you should create a forum or propose a topic to the NSDA, or create a book club. Typical theory questions: Reasonability is defense, competing interps are offense. Some spec is generally encouraged to increase clash and more nuance, too much should be debated. Disclosure theory is not very persuasive too me, unless debated very well and should only be used after you sought to have an actual conversation with your opponent prior to the debate. I am very persuaded by contact info at national tournaments - put up contact info and any accomodations you need - it makes for a safer space.
A kritik is a disad with a counterplan, typically to me. This means I should understand the link, the impact and the alternative as much as I would if you read a disad and counterplan. I vote against kritik most often because I have no idea what the alt does. This happens when the aff fails to engage and you think that you now just need to extend tags on the alt and assume that is enough. I need a clear picture of the link and the alt most importantly regardless of how much the aff has engaged or not. Gut check is a real thing. If your kritik is death good you are working uphill. If you are reading "high theory" know that I have not read the literature, but I will do my best. In the 1890s, when I debated, I was really into Cap and Gender based positions. My debaters like Deleuze and Cap (probably my influence, if I possession such).
If you are trying to convince me that what you are doing matters and can change people in some way I really need to know how. If your claim is simply that this method is more approachable, well that is generally not true to me and given there is only audiences beyond me in elim.s you are really working up hill. Access trumps all! If you do not make the method clear you are not doing well. If your method somehow interrogates something, what does it interrogate? how does that change things for us and why is that meaningful? And most important you should be initiating this interrogation in round. Tell me that people outside the debate space should do this is not an interrogation. That is just a plan with a specific mechanism. Pre-fiat claims are fine, but again I need to understand the implication. Telling me that I read gender discrimination arguments and thus that is a pre-fiat voter is not only not persuasive it is not an argument at all. Please know that I truly love a good method debate, I do not enjoy people who present methods that are not explicit and full of nothing but buzzwords.
Arguments should be competitive otherwise they are just FYI. This means kritikal argument should likely be doing more than simply reading a topic link and moving on. All forms are perms are testable - I do not default to a view on severance/intrinsic - it's all debatable. I do default on perms do a test of competition. If you want to advocate the perm this should be clear from the get. A perm should have a text, and a net benefit in the opening delivery otherwise it is a warrantless argument.
In policy, (LD its all debatable) a few layers are fine - 4+ you are testing the limits and a persuasive condo bad argument is something I would listen to for sure. What I am absolute about is the default. All advocacy are unconditional unless you state in your speech otherwise. No this is not a CX question. You should be saying, I present the following conditional CP or the like, explicitly. Not doing this and then attempting to kick it means an advocacy shift and is thus debatable on theory.
I was a policy debater, so disads and counterplans are perfectly acceptable and generally denote good strat (read: better speaks). This does not means a solid NC is not just as acceptable, but an NC that you read every debate for every case that does not offer real clash or nuance will make me want to take a nap. PIC are debatable, but I default to say they are acceptable. Utopian fiat is generally not without a clear method story. Politics disad seem mostly silly in LD without an explicit agent announcement by the AC. If you do not read a perm against a counterplan I will be very confused (read: bad speaks). If you do not read uniqueness then your link turns are just defense.
I really enjoy good framework debate, but I really despise bad framework debate. If you know what a normative ethic is and how to explain it and how to explain your philosophical basis, awesome. If that is uncomfortable language default to larp. Please, avoid cliche descriptors. I like good framework debate but I am not as versed on every philosophy that you might be and there is inevitable coded language within those scholarship fields that might be unfamiliar to me. Most importantly, if you are into phil debating do it well. Bad phil debates are painful to me (read: bad speaks). Finally, a traditional framework should have a value (something awesome) and a value criteria/standard (something to weigh or test the achievement of the value). Values do not have much function, whereas standards/criterion have a significant function and place. These should be far more than a single word or phrase that come with justification.
I have very frustrated feeling about PF as a form of debate. Thus, I see my judging position as one of two things.
If this is a debate event then I will evaluate the requirements of clash and the burden of rejoinder. Arguments must have a claim and warrant as a minimum, otherwise it is just an assertion and equal to any other assertion. If it is an argument then evidence based proof where evidence is read from a qualified sources is ideal. Unqualified but published evidence would follow and a summary of someone's words without reading from them would be equal to you saying it. When any of these presentation of arguments fails to have a warrant in the final focus it would again be an assertion and equal to all other assertions.
If neither debate team adheres to any discernible standard of argumentation then I will evaluate the round as a speaking event similar to extemp. The content of what you say is important in the sense that it should be on face logical and follow basic rules of logic, but equally your poise, vocal variation and rhetorical skills will be considered. To be clear, sharing doc.s would allow me to obviously discern your approach. Beyond this clear discernible moment I will do my best to continue to consider the round in my manners until I reach the point where I realize that both teams are assume that their claims, summaries etc... are equally important as any substantiated evidence read. The team that distinguishes that they are taking one approach and the opponent is not is always best. I will always to default to evaluate the round as debate in these situation as that is were I have the capacity to be a better critic and could provide the best educational feedback.
If you adhering to a debate model as described above these are other notes of clarity.
I’m very resistant to theory debates in Public Forum. However, if you can prove in round abuse and you feel that going for a procedural position is your best path to the ballot I will flow it. Contrary to my paradigm for LD, I default to reasonability in PF.
I think the function of framework is to determine what sort of arguments take precedence when deciding the round. To be clear, a team won’t win the debate exclusively by winning framework, but they can pick up by winning framework and winning a piece of offense that has the best link to the established framework. Absent framework from either side, I default utilitarianism.
Finally Word for All
I am sure this is filled with error, as I am. I am sure this leaves more questions than answers, life has. I will do my best, as like you I care.
Put me on the email chain: Lawsonhudson10@gmail.com
Baylor '24 - 2x NDT Qualifier
TLDR: Do what you want and do it well. Paradigms can be more dissuasive than informative so let me know if you have any questions before the round. I've almost exclusively done K debate so more judge framing in policy v policy rounds is very helpful. Depth over breadth, if your strat is 7+ off Im probably not the judge for you. I'll always read ev and be engaged in the round but it's your responsibility to tell me how to evaluate the round/impacts. Debate is fundamentally a communicative activity, I usually flow on paper and if you want me to evaluate your args I need you to explain your warrants rather than just extending tags/card names. If there's disputes over what a piece of evidence says I'll read evidence but I shouldn't have to sift through a card doc to resolve a debate. If there's anything I can do to make debates more accessible for you, please let me know before round either via email or a pre-round conversation. Debate well and have fun!
I honestly don't care what you do or say, just please have fun and value the time you have at tournaments; and don't say messed up things. I've been a 2n most of my career but I've also been a 2a at times. I've read everything from baudrillard to disability and performance arguments on the aff to cap, spanos, necropolitics, semiocap, set col, and hostage taking on the neg (this isn't an exhaustive list). I can count on 1 hand the number of times I've went for fw since hs (one time). This doesn't mean I won't vote on it, but it is to say I will have have a hard time being persuaded by "K affs set an impossible research burden" or "procedural fairness is the only thing that matters in debate." More thoughts on fw below. I want to see and will reward with increased speaks the following: argument innovation, specificity, quality ev, jokes/good vibes, good cx, examples, and judge instruction. Please give me judge instruction. Write my ballot in the beginning of your final rebuttal and make sure to resolve the offense on the flow. I want to see clash, the more you clash with your opponents, the more likely you are to get my ballot.
Go for it. Affs that defend doing things in the direction of the topic tend to do better in fw debates but if your aff doesn't do that, just win why not doing that is good and you'll be fine. I'm honestly down for whatever. Whether your strategy is to have a connection to the topic and a method that results in topical action, or you read your aff to impact turn fw I've done it and will evaluate anything. I tend to thing presumption is a strategic strategy against k affs that at least forces teams to explain what they are defending. Tell me what my role in these debates is, what the ballot does, and what the benefit to debating the aff is. If you do these things, you're good.
Go for it. I think T is especially underutilized against certain policy affs. Contrary to some belief, I will vote for fw and will evaluate it like any argument. I usually evaluate fw debates through the lens of competing models of debate but can be convinced otherwise. For the neg, I find arguments about clash and advocacy centered on the topic generally more persuasive than arguments about procedural fairness. Especially on this topic, I think having offense as to why debating fiscal redistribution is good would be beneficial for the neg. TVA's probably need to have at least texts, can be convinced they need solvency advocates too. I can be convinced affs make clash impossible, but if your only idea of clash is the politics da and the states cp I'll be less persuaded. In my opinion, the best way to go for fw is to win your interp creates a model of debate that is able to solve the affs offense (either through the tva or ssd). For the aff, its usually easier to win impact turns to fw but having a solid defense of your model/counter interp goes a long way in mitigating neg offense. I enjoy creative we meet args/counter-interps. New, innovative approaches to fw are always exciting as these debates can get very stale.
These debates are where I have the most background and feel the most comfortable judging. The two biggest issues for the negative in K debates tend to be link application and alt explanation. Focusing on these areas along with round framing i.e. fw (for both the aff and the neg) will largely determine the direction of my ballot in these debates. Affs needs to explain how the permutation functions in the context of the alternative rather than simply extending a perm text as well as net benefits to the perm while the negative should equally spend sufficient time explaining why the aff and the alt are mutually exclusive. I don’t think the neg necessarily needs to go for an alt but if that's your thing you need to make sure you win the framework debate. Affs tend to do better when they engage with the actual content of the K and extend offense in addition to the case. If your aff obviously links to the K i.e. cap vs an innovation aff, you're probably in a better position impact turning the K than going for the no link/perm strategy in front of me. Aff teams would benefit from spending less time on framework/reading endless cards and more time engaging with the links/thesis of the K.
Make sure to explain how the counterplan is mutually exclusive with the aff and what the net benefit is. When going for the disad the negative needs to have a clear link, preferably reasons why the disad turns the case, and Impact Framing. Both the 2nr and the 2ar need to explain to me why your impacts outweigh theirs because I don't want to do that work for you.
While I've done LD, I have done exclusively progressive LD so I'm not familiar with some of the traditional LD norms. I'm fine with general theory arguments like conditionality and disclosure theory but if your strat relies on your opponent conceding a bunch of blippy, unwarranted statements that don't mean anything I'm probably not the judge for you. I'd much rather you see you win on the content of the debate than extending a blippy 1ar theory argument so you don't have to debate the substance of the case. Go as fast as you want as long as you are clear. I'm not likely to vote on tricks/spikes and long underviews in 1acs are annoying. If the 1ac involves reading 5 minutes of preempts with 1 minute of content I’m probably not the judge for you. I'm a policy debater at heart. I ultimately don't care what you do or say in round as long as it's not racist, sexist, ableist, or transphobic. Just make arguments - claim, warrant, impact - and tell me why you're winning the debate in the rebuttal speeches. I judge LD rounds slightly differently - I flow on my laptop. I first evaluate the fw debate which only ends up mattering when it does I guess? I then evaluate the 2nr/2ar to resolve key points of offense. I find LD debaters are often too defensive in their rebuttals and if that's you its not likely to work in your favor. Have offense. Be willing to impact turn your opponents position. I want to see ~clash~.
[[ ]] poststructuralist positions have seemingly fallen out of the meta for some reason. this is saddening - i love the weird poststructuralist goop. if these positions are something you are interested in PLEASE email me because i would love to help out :0.
[[ ]] an updated thought on non-black engagement with afropessimism as of 8/29/23 - i am not and have never been a scholar on anything black studies, wilderson, etc. thus, i do not personally feel comfortable taking a hardline stance on the issue of whether or not non-black engagement with these arguments within debate is acceptable. i totally understand the perspective that would lead someone to make this conclusion, however, my relative ignorance of the arguments contained within the literature makes me feel personally uncomfortable with taking this stance, particularly since, after a bit of introspection, it comes from a place of personal discomfort as opposed to the actual argument contained within the literature. this is all to say - this is a debate that is to be had in front of me as opposed to something that I am going to reject on face. i am receptive to arguments that this kind of engagement is parasitic and should be avoided, however, i am not going to make that argument for students and i am interested in adjudicating this debate as it happens as opposed to using preconceived notions about the acceptability of these arguments. i do think though that this is a debate that should be handled tactfully and in good faith - if i get the inkling that is not the way the argument is playing out, i reserve the right to make decisions based on my personal biases.
[[ ]] update: since its something ive been asked more than once - i will follow along on the doc, but regardless i flow what you say and not what i read.
[[ ]] top level
- hi yall !! my name is dylan. i debated for plano west for four years and graduated in 2021. during my time i qualified to the toc and predominantly read critical arguments. i now attend UTD and competed for about a semester, mostly reading policymaking arguments.
- if you dont want to read: just read the bold. it's all the important stuff. if you REALLY dont want to read then i am best thought of as a "clash" judge. i am best for the kritik and policy. i dislike strategies that rely on avoiding clash ie lots of procedural uplayering, arguments that would be thought of as "tricks" and endlessly proliferating offs in the 1nc.
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- i am not judging as much as i used to this season which i think has made me better at thinking about debates than i formerly was, mostly because i feel to some degree separate from insular debate nonsense. this means i think ive developed less of a tolerance for debater nonsense than i had before.
- i have a zero tolerance rule for any kind of violence happening in front of me. this means any of the -isms or misgendering, but this list is non-exhaustive. i prefer to give minoritized people the agency to do what they would like in the event of violence. if you feel something violent has happened, feel free to let me know what you would like me to do. regardless of what happens with the round, however, doing any of the above most likely will result in a conversation with tabroom and your coach, as well as the lowest speaker points i can possibly give.
- i do not feel comfortable voting on out of round conduct EXCEPT that i think abusers should take Ls. If you think this applies to you PLEASE reach out so i can address it through the proper channels but I will try my best to make sure you dont have to debate in an unsafe environment.
- i like debate in all forms and i think it holds deep educational value that is not accessible anywhere else. i do not think debate is just a game and on some level i think debate in and of itself is a good thing. that does not mean that these assumptions cannot be changed or debated through, its just a small disposition i have. this means that i am unreceptive to and deeply dislike strategies that attempt to avoid nuanced debate and clash.
- think about me the same way you would Holden but less interested in pretending to want to adjudicate vacuous non-arguments that waste everyone's time (sorry holden <3)
[[ ]] K
- I used to consider myself best for the kritik, but this has since changed. nowadays i spend most of my time thinking about debate thinking about counterplan competition, topicality, and other policy-esque things. this is due, in large part, to having a disdain for the way the kritik is being executed most commonly in the meta. i am GREAT for you if you have specific links, can do specific analysis, if your aff talks about the topic, etc.
- likewise, i am TERRIBLE for you if you are reading generic backfile arguments, do not know what your cards say, etc. i hold these debates to higher standards because I think about it a lot and i know what you SHOULD be doing.
- i spend the most time thinking about poststructuralism, but i do not understand the high/low theory distinction that debaters so often make since I think most literature bases interact with each other and build upon each other. i do not think this should be relevant.
- the only real grippes i have in these debates are the things that most people get annoyed with which are: vague non-clarifications of arguments, not having any idea what your advocacy does, and doing very little specification and argument interaction outside of pre-written overviews.
- i have noticed that i have a disposition for 2nrs that include the alternative as opposed to a 2nr on framework. this is not to say framework collapses are bad, but ive found that these debates get repetitive and boring fast.
- rambling about the pre-post-fiat distinction makes me especially upset. pls do actual weighing and talk about your scholarship/research practices/whatever instead of just asserting the aff is pre-fiat or something like that.if i hear assertions about the pre/post fiat distinction without implications as to why it matters, i will cry.
- authenticity testing is GOOD and im tired of seeing takes that assert its not. knowing whether or not someone is personally invested in the fight theyre fighting is often important and can be especially important for preventing instances of violence ie cis people reading arguments abt gender at trans people, etc. If you are reading radical ontological positions concerning identity groups you do not belong to, you should be prepared to defend why that is good. i, again, do not have a hardline stance and this is a winnable argument.
[[ ]] Policy
- i am quite good for these debates or at the very least a lot better than you think i probably am. the best debates ive ever judged are policy debates and im very secretly a policy fascist.
- i think evidence quality wins and loses these debates more often than not. i encourage you to read your opponents evidence and call for me to read it if it sucks because i can and will do that and i've decided multiple debates based on how i feel about evidence.
- i love good impact turn debates and i think they're often underutilized.
- i will judge kick absent a theoretical objection. i think condo is good and infinite and am hard pressed to vote on it absent something egregious. i will not flow condo against one-off, since i think defending the squo should always be an option.
- I presume negative and i don't think any sort of LD theoretical argumentation will change that. i thinks affs need to defend something.
- risk starts at zero, yes zero risk is a thing.
[[ ]] Clash
- I am extremely good in these debates because i fall almost dead in the center on the T question. on a truth level i think a model of debate with the kritik is probably better but i vote for framework more often than not.
- I far and away have the most thoughts on these debates because it feels like this is the bulk of my judging.
- Jurisdiction is uncompelling and is almost never something im going to vote on.
- Procedural fairness is fine but more often than not it gets implicated as an internal link to clash rather than being a robust defense of fairness as an impact itself. while i think this is fine, i think there are significantly more strategic ways to go for fairness that dont just devolve to fairness good because clash. fairness is probably an impact.
- clash is goated and can be leveraged so strategically. probbaly my favorite of the framework 2nrs.
- more K teams in LD specifically should go for precision? framework teams read definitions that are HOT garbage and it confuses me as to why the counterinterp is usually not paired with precision offense.
- i think more often than not framework teams lose when they dont talk about the aff and read generic prewritten 2nrs. i think framework is very good when it gets contextualized to the aff in front of it and can talk about why the model of the aff in front of it is bad.
- i think k teams lose when they do not have a clear model of debate that they can defend that justifies the aff. i usually think the best way to do this is through a counterinterp but raw debate bad no debate impact turns are fine too.
- i have many more thoughts here but most are irrelevant. u do u.
[[ ]] T
- always down for a good T debate
- definitions are important because precision is probably the only impact that matters and being able to compare two different linguistic interpretations of the topic goes a long way.
- i dont really think pragmatic questions of an interpretation matter. i think the semantic and linguistic validity of an interpretation provides the basis for whats pragmatically viable. just because the topic sucks doesnt mean that you can just not be topical.
- framers intent also does not matter. if the intent was different then different words would have been chosen.
- a lot more open to T-whole res or T-subsets than i once was but if it reads cards from a certain debate author i would say probably dont. i still dont really understand the upward entailment test.
- wont vote on rvis.
[[ ]] theory
- definitely not the judge for a bunch of procedural uplayering that sacrifices actual argument engagement.
- will never vote on shells that blatantly dont have a violation, even absent an i meet
- will almost never vote on an rvi absent a straight up concession.
- happy to vote on disclosure theory when the interp is something like "must disclose 30 minutes before." more specific interps like full text, cites, etc will make me annoyed more than anything. the violation must be verifiable ie text screenshots or something. a verbal disclosure interaction that i cannot verify is something i do not want to have to deal with because people like to lie about this stuff for some god forsaken reason. im going to choose to not engage with it or vote on it if i cant verify the violation.
[[ ]] LD SPECIFIC:
[[ ]] phil
- significantly worse for this than i once thought but not terrible for it.
- i am far too eager to pull the trigger on extinction outweighs and i think you should probably have a robust and nuanced response.
- i think a lot of these debates end up consisting of arguments that are considered tricks which i would advise you against.
[[ ]] tricks
- no. i think the phrase "shut up" is probably sufficient to answer most arguments in this category.
- i likely will not think your independent voter is independent and likely will not evaluate it in a vacuum ie independently like you want me to. i put this in the tricks section because i feel as though ivis in their current state are tricks; ie one-line arguments with implications that do not match the warranting. voting on an ivi usually necessitates winning some sort of framework argument as well as a solvency claim that i think is usually almost impossible to win with one line in the 1ar.
[[ ]] evidence ethics
- since it has become relevant: i will not evaluate these arguments as a theoretical indict or a reason to drop the team. i believe accusations of academic dishonesty deserve to be treated with a level of seriousness that it cannot get if these arguments can be made without consequence. if this is an argument that is made, i will verbally ask if you are staking the round on it to ask for confirmation. if the answer is yes, i will stop the round. if the answer is no, i will delete the argument from my flow.
- if the violation concerns the content of the evidence, i much prefer rehighlighting as opposed to staking the round. i would prefer to not adjudicate an evidence ethics dispute if possible.
- if the argument concerns the form of the evidence, i will defer to the rules at the tournament (TFA/NSDA) and use that as the baseline for how i adjudicate the dispute.
for anything else: i would ask before round or email me. im always down to talk about my thoughts on debate! otherwise have a great round
About Me: I graduated from Kempner High School in 2015, where I debated LD for two years on the TFA/TOC circuit. I currently debate at The University of Texas at Dallas (Policy).
YOU WILL TAKE AN L IF I HEAR ANYTHING MORALLY REPUNGENT
Cross Examination: While in front of me cx is binding anything you say pertaining to intricacies in your case do matter. I dont care about flex prep but I will say that the same rules of regular cx do apply and if you do so your opponent will have the chance to do so.
Theory: While reading your shell, slow down for the interpretation and use numbering/lettering to distinguish between parts of the shell. Make sure there is abuse in the round.
Speaks: I start at a 27 and go up (usually) or down depending on your strategy, clarity, selection of issues, signposting, etc. I very rarely will give a 30 in a round, but only if 1) your reading, signposting, and roadmaps are perfect 2) if the arguments coming out of your case are fully developed and explained clearly 3) if your rebuttals are perfectly organized and use all of your time wisely 4) you do not run arguments that I believe take away from any of these 3 factors. I will say clear 3 times before docking points.
General Preferences: I need a framework for evaluating the round but it doesn't have to be a traditional value-criterion setup. ROB' are tight. You're not required to read an opposing framework (as the neg) as long as your offense links somewhere. NIBs/pre standards are both fine, but both should be clearly labeled or I might not catch it. If you're going to run a laundry list of spikes please number them. Please explain the argument, reading the tag is not enough to extend, and just because you endend evd. dosent mean you win the round, give reasons to why extending that piece of evd is instrumental in the round.
Kritiks: I love the K debate. Please be carefull in cuttting the cards. Should have an explicit role of the ballot argument (or link to the resolution). For K's that are using postmodern authors or confusing cards, go more slowly than you normally would if you want me to understand it and vote on it. Slow down and explain the story or I am not voting. Do read the K the right way or thats a good way of taking an L. Slow down on the tags and I should be good, if i say clear slow down and explain the K.
Extensions and Signposting: Extensions should be clear, and should include the warrant of the card (you don't have to reread that part of the card, just refresh it). I am not a fan of "shadow extending," or extending arguments by just talking about them in round - please say "extend"!! Signposting is vital - I'll probably shuffle my flows a lot if I'm lost.
I'm old school. I'm a parent. You need to be slow, clear, and eloquent. I've judged over a dozen debate rounds before, and in my experience, I like debaters who stick to a good old-fashioned value and value criterion. I don't know what a "critique" is, so I will not vote on it. No one will ever earn a 30, because no one is perfect. I don't believe in decimals. I'll vote for the debater who tells their case like a coherent story. I'm impressed by debaters (27-28 points) who maintain eye contact with their judge. Most importantly, have fun!
I am a debate coach at Little Rock Central. Please put both on the email chain: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
You do you. Let it rip. Seriously. A judge does not exist without the debaters, and I view my role as a public servant necessary only to resolve arguments in a round to help empower young people to engage in meaningful discourse. I believe that it is important for me to be honest about the specific things I believe about common debate arguments, but also I find it more important to ensure I am prepared for debaters to persuade me away from those beliefs/biases. Specifically, I believe that my role is to listen, flow, and weigh the arguments offered in the round how I am persuaded to weigh them by each team. I will listen to and evaluate any argument. It is unacceptable to do anything that is: ableist, anti-feminist, anti-queer, racist, or violent.
I think debates have the lowest access to education when the judge must intervene. I can intervene as little as possible if you:
1) Weigh your impacts and your opponents' access to risk/impacts in the debate. One team probably is not most persuasive/ahead of the other team on every single argument. That needs to be viewed as a strength rather than a point of anxiety in the round. Do not be afraid to explain why you don't actually need to win certain arguments/impacts in lieu of "going for" the most persuasive arguments that resolve the most persuasive/riskiest impacts.
2) Actively listen and use your time wisely. Debaters miss each other when distracted/not flowing or listening. This seems to make these teams more prone to missing/mishandling arguments by saying things like, "'x' disad, they dropped it. Extend ____ it means ____;" yet, in reality, the other team actually answered the argument through embedded clash in the overview or answered it in a way that is unorthodox but also still responsive/persuasive.
3) Compare evidence and continuously cite/extend your warrants in your explanations/refutation/overall argumentation. Responses in cross that cite an individual warrant or interrogate their opponents' warrants are good ethos builders and are just in general more persuasive, same in speeches.
Go for it. Your pathway to solving a significant harm that is inherent to the status quo with some advantageous, topical plan action is entirely up to you. There are persuasive arguments about why it is good to discuss hypothetical plan implementation. I do not have specific preferences about this, but I am specifically not persuaded when a 2a pivot undercovers/drops the framework debate in an attempt to weigh case/extend portions of case that aren't relevant unless the aff wins framework. I have not noticed any specific thresholds about neg strats against policy affs.
Go for it. Your pathway/relationship to the resolution is entirely up to you. I think it’s important for any kritikal affirmative (including embedded critiques of debate) to wins its method and theory of power, and be able to defend that the method and advocacy ameliorates some impactful harm. I think it’s important for kritkal affirmatives (when asked) to be able to articulate how the negative side could engage with them; explain the role of the negative in the debate as it comes up, and, if applicable, win framework or a methods debate. I don't track any specific preferences. Note: Almost all time that I am using to write arguments and coach students is to prepare for heg/policy debates; I understand if you prefer someone in the back of the room that spends a majority of their time either writing kritikal arguments or coaching kritikal debate.
This is all up to how it develops in round. I figure that this often starts as a question of what is good for debate through considerations of education, fairness, and/or how a method leads to an acquisition/development of portable skills. It doesn't have to start or end in any particular place. The internal link and impact are up to you. If the framework debate becomes a question of fairness, then it's up to you to tell me what kind of fairness I should prioritize and why your method does or does not access it/preserve it/improve it. I vote for and against framework, and I haven't tracked any specific preferences or noticed anything in framework debate that particularly persuades me.
Overall, I think that most neg strats benefit from quality over quantity. I find strategies that are specific to an aff are particularly persuasive (beyond just specific to the overall resolution, but also specific to the affirmative and specific cites/authors/ev). In general, I feel pretty middle of the road when it comes to thresholds. I value organization and utilization of turns, weighing impacts, and answering arguments effectively in overviews/l-b-l.
Other Specifics and Thresholds, Theory
• Perms: Be ready to explain how the perm works (more than repeating "it's perm do 'X'"). Why does the perm resolve the impacts? Why doesn't the perm link to a disad?
• T: Normal threshold if the topicality impacts are about the implications for future debates/in-round standards. High threshold for affs being too specific and being bad for debate because neg doesn't have case debate. If I am in your LD pool and you read Nebel, then you're giving me time to answer my texts, update a list of luxury items I one day hope to acquire, or simply anything to remind myself that your bare plurals argument isn't 'prolific.'
• Case Debate: I am particularly persuaded by effective case debate so far this year on the redistribution topic. Case debate seems underutilized from an "find an easy way to the ballot" perspective.
• Disclosure is generally good, and also it's ok to break a new aff as long as the aff is straight up in doing so. There are right and wrong ways to break new. Debates about this persuade me most when located in questions about education.
• Limited conditionality feels right, but really I am most interested in how these theory arguments develop in round and who wins them based on the fairness/education debate and tech.
• Please do not drop condo or some other well-extended/warranted theory argument on either side of the debate. Also, choosing not to engage and rely on the ethos of extending the aff is not a persuasive way to handle 2NRs all in on theory.
TOC Requested Update for Congress (April 2023)
Be your best self. My ranks reflect who I believe did the best debating in the round (and in all prelims when I parli).
The best debaters are the ones that offer a speech that is appropriately contextualized into the debate the body is having about a motion. For sponsors/first negs, this means the introduction of framing and appropriate impacts so that the aff/neg speakers can build/extend specific impact scenarios that outweigh the opposing side's impacts. Speeches 3-10 or 3-12 (depending on the round) should be focused on introducing/weighing impacts (based on where you are in the round and where your side is on impact weighing) and refutations (with use of framing) on a warrant/impact level. I value structured refutations like turns, disadvantages, presumption, PICs (amendments), no solvency/risk, etc. The final two speeches should crystallize the round by offering a clear picture as to why the aff/neg speakers have been most persuasive and why the motion should carry or fail.
The round should feel like a debate in that each speaker shall introduce, refute, and/or weigh the core of the affirmative and negative arguments to persuade all other speakers on how they should vote on a pending motion.
Other TOC Requested Congress Specifics/Randoms
Arguments are claim, warrant, impact/justification and data when necessary. Speeches with arguments lacking one or more of these will not ever be rewarded highly, no matter how eloquent the speech. It is always almost more persuasive to provide data to support a warrant.
Impacts should be specific and never implied.
Presiding officers should ensure as many speeches as possible. The best presiding officers are direct, succinct, courteous, organized, and transparent. Presiding officers shall always be considered for ranks, but ineffective presiding is the quickest way to a rank 9 (or lower).
More floor debaters are experimenting with parliamentary procedure. Love it, but debaters will be penalized for misapplications of the tournament's bylaws and whichever parliamentary guide is the back up.
Nothing is worse in floor debate than repetition, which is different than extending/weighing.
- Decorum should reflect effective communication. Effective communication in debate often includes an assertive tone, but read: folx should always treat each other with dignity and respect.
Woo Pig. I am not here to force you to capitulate a paradigm that you find in someway oppressive to what your coach is teaching you to do. I will drop you for clipping/cheating, and I do not reward (and will rank low in congress) bad/no arguments even if they sound as rhetorically smooth as Terry Rose and Gary Klaff singing "Oh, Arkansas."
I've been a part of the activity for a little over a decade now and have judged pretty much everywhere. I'll briefly summarize how my thought process breaks down when I'm judging debates so that you have a pretty straightforward route to the ballot.
I always start by asking what we use to frame the debate (aka Framework). I'm pretty liberal in terms of my views on Frameworks that are acceptable in debates and will typically allow debaters to tell me what framing matters in each debate. The only exception of intervention would be frameworks that I personally find morally reprehensible (basically if your framework would advocate the removal/elimination/discrimination/otherization of groups/subjects I'm not going to be for it). I think a framework can take many forms and I am open to whatever that form takes. It can be theory args, Phil framing, Role of the Ballots, Larping, etc. As long as you can explain why your framing is the one that should be used to evaluate/weigh offense then I will accept it as my primary determination of offense.
After Framework, I look at the case or your Offense when evaluating my decision. I try to keep my biases out of debate but, admittedly, there are some arguments I am fond of and others that I'm skeptical of (this doesn't mean I will automatically vote for you if you read what I like or vice versa, it just means you might have some degree of difficulty or ease in convincing me to buy your f/w and arguments). I'll just make a list of what I like and dislike here and my reasoning for each one so you can see what arguments you want to go for:
Phil Positions: I'm pretty neutral to these positions and will accept nearly all of these arguments. I read a little bit of some Phil positions and have had students read authors such as Kant so I'm not too unfamiliar with the positions. I will certainly judge and accept these arguments as long as they are well-defended and easily explained. I have a fairly moderate threshold to responses towards these arguments and expect debaters to clash with the analysis and foundations of the arguments rather than just reading blocks of evidence and not making a good comparative analysis.
Ks: Admittedly, my favorite position. I love any argument that challenges any underlying assumptions being made by either the debaters or the topic. And I enjoy these arguments b/c I believe that they provide a level of argumentative flexibility and uniqueness to the positions. That said, I am not a fan of lazy K debate and will be able to pretty easily sniff out if you are reading arguments that you have no underlying understanding of (aka reading policy backfiles) vs. actually knowing the literature base. You should always make sure you explain the arguments effectively and why your position would resolve whatever harm you are Kritiking. Do that and you should be in good shape.
I also am a fan of performative responses to other arguments made in the debate. For example, using the K to clash with theory and claiming K comes prior is an argument that I enjoy seeing and have voted on more times than not, if it has been well explained and defended. This will be a good way to get extra speaker points.
Larping: I have a policy background so I am fine with people reading policy args in debate. Plans, CPs, DAs. I'm familiar with and can understand them. I'm not a huge believer that PICs are legitimate arguments and do have a fairly low threshold to answer these arguments. Just make sure to explain your internal links and your impact analysis and you should be good.
Theory: I believe that education is the internal link to fairness. That doesn't mean that you can't win otherwise, but I am biased in believing that the educational output of the activity is more relevant than the fairness created in the activity. That being said, I will evaluate theory and weigh it under whatever voters you make. My threshold on the responses to shells will flip depending on the interp. If the interp is clearly a time suck and designed to simply throw off your opponent or abuse them then I have a fairly low threshold for answers towards it. If it is a legitimate concern (Pics bad, Condo) then I have a fairly middle ground towards responses to it.
I default on reasonability unless specified otherwise in the debate.
I default RVI's unless specified otherwise and not for T (unless you win it)
Some other random items that you might be looking for:
I need impacts to extensions and need extensions throughout the debate. For the Aff, this is as simple as just giving an overview with some card names and impacts.
When you are extending on the line by line be sure to tell me why the extension matters in the debate so I know why it's relevant
I am fine with speed in debate. I would prefer that both debaters understand each other and would ask that you spread within reason and be compassionate towards your opponents. If you know that you are debating someone that cannot understand the spread and you continue to do it bc you are going to outspread your opponent then you will most likely win, but your speaks will be absolutely nuked.
Tricky args like permissibility and the args that fall under these, I'm not a fan of. I think that these args are fairly lazy and don't believe that there is much educational value to them so I tend to have a low threshold to responses towards these args. And, if you win, you're not going to get great speaks from me.
I give speaks based on strategic decisions and interactions with your opponents as opposed to presentation and oratory skills. I usually average a 28.5
If you're at a local tournament, I don't expect there to be disclosure from debaters and don't really care too much about disclosure theory. My threshold is really low to respond to it. If it's a national circuit or state tournament, then I would prefer you disclose but will always be open to a debate on it.
I do not disclose speaks but will disclose results at bid tournaments. I will not disclose for prelim locals, for the sake of time.
Email for chain is: email@example.com
Hello! My name is Michael Kurian and I did Natcircuit LD for 2 years at Dulles High School in Houston, TX.
I had 5 career bids and qualled to the TOC as a junior and senior. I also did a bit of policy as a senior and qualled to NSDA in CX.
Yes, email chain me friends:
Do whatever you want, some things tho
1. I will say clear and slow if you're incoherent. I have ADHD and will lose focus if the debate has 5+ shells and every single sentence refers to a specific line by line argument. Extremely dense theory debates are not good for me and I will vote on overviews and voting issues, ignoring line by line concerns sometimes. I would not recommend you debate like this infront of me.
2. I dislike theory when frivolous (you know what "frivolous" means) but will vote on it. This means yes, I will vote on it, but I give the opposing side a ton of leeway. If the aff makes a bad I meet or has marginal offense on a really dumb shell like "Link chains bad" I will err that way. I like theory when strategic, but LOVE it when there is legit especially if you use creative interps or good combo shells. My favorite theory shell is O-Spec :)
3. Lets say you read a dump of some kind and you don't flash the arguments to the room. If your opponent asks you to flash them during CX or prep, you will do so. Otherwise, I will eviscerate your speaks.
4. You're allowed to be a jerk proportionally to the amount of foolery going on in the debate
ex. If the aff has 3 NIBS, you can be a little mad. If the 1NC is racism good, you can be furious etc.
5. I dislike partial disclosure shells ie. "Must disclose Plan Text of new aff, must open source, etc."; Disclosure is simple - if you've read it, disclose it. All of it. If you haven't broken it yet, you don't owe your opponent jack. You can give them the ROB text or the plan text if you're feeling benevolent.
*****I will NOT vote on ****
1) Brackets theory
2) Font theory
3) Arguments that are explicitly homophobic, racist, or otherwise bigoted.
4) Evaluate the debate at X speech (no - I will eval the whole debate regardless)
5) New affs bad (but "Must disclose plantext/framework" is fine)
6) Arguments that exclusively link to your opponents/your identity without structural warrants- ex. "White ppl should lose", "vote for me cuz im X minority group"
7) Must Disclose Round Reports
This is the form of debate that I did the most in high school. I will probably understand your insane postmodern nonsense as long as you understand it enough to explain the application back to me. Race and Id pol Ks are fine
1) Link work - really important.
2) Alternative explanation - I have a somewhat low threshold; I'll assume it solves case and the K's links unless that is contested by the Affirmative
3) WEIGH with the ROLE of the BALLOT - tell me why your pedagogy is important, why it belongs in debate, and how we can use it to derive the best form of praxis. If you aren't doing these things, you will probably lose to a more intuitive RoB.
Things I don't like but will still vote on:
1) Kritikal presumption arguments
2) Links of Ommission
3) Lazy, overused link arguments
4) edgy jargon that stays edgy jargon (explain ur stuff at SOME point at least)
Love it, think its cool and underused.
Do lots of weighing and explain why your framework resolves meta-ethical problems -- Infinite regress, Constitutivism, Actor spec. etc. If not, tell me why it should be preferred over another framework. I don't like particularism (or rather I like it as an ethical theory, but think it is weird when used in debate); my favorite frameworks to hear are Pragmatism and Virtue Ethics.
I prob went for a DA 2 times in my entire career lol. Just do weighing and warrant comparison. It's a relatively intuitive debate style and if it doesn't seem so, I'm not one to say, but you might be doing it wrong. I'm a sucker for good IR analysis. If you understand how States function in relation to eachother and can use concrete examples in explanations I'll be persuaded and also boost your speaks.
Weigh. Make good arguments or make really creative bad arguments. Failure to do either will make me sad.
On the Theory vs K debate:
1. If the AC references the topic heavily, is strongly in the direction of the topic, defends implementation, and/or in some other way grants you your topic ground, don't whine and call me a K-hack when I err aff against whatever shell you read. If they're doing everything within reason to grant you your prep, and I still hear 9+ mins of crying in the 1NC and 2N about how you have LITERALLY ZERO GROUND™ I'm going to be much more likely to vote the other way. That being said, if you genuinely feel like the aff is out of the range of the topic or is straight up non-T, go for T, or T - Framework, and go as hard as you want.
2. Reading disclosure against K affs is a good strat.
I just evaluate it the same way I would a bs-heavy theory or framework debate, which lets be honest, is what this is.
Paradoxes, Aprioris, and presumption/skep triggers are all fine.
Things I'll boost your speaks for:
Naruto Reference in speech: +.1
Dressing like you don't give a crap: +.1
Cool Affirmatives: +.3
Solid Collapsing: +.5
Creative arguments: +.2
30: straight fire
29.5-29.9: ur fire
28.6 - 29.4: You good
26.1-27: big oof
25.1-26: go to church dude lol
25: f you
I debated for Strake Jesuit and qualled to the TOC twice
Set up the email chain before you come into round please
Stop taking so long to send docs
For NSD Camp Tournament: Read whatever you want. It's a camp tournament so view it as a chance to read the arguments you've been working on for the past 3 weeks. I would rather judge a round that you've drilled with and researched as opposed to arguments you read only because they are arguments I'm more familiar with.
I don't have a preference for how you debate or which arguments you choose to read. Be clear, both in delivery and argument function/interaction, weigh and develop a ballot story. Read whatever you want.
Theory: I default to competing interps, no rvi's and drop the debater on shells read against advocacies/entire positions and drop the argument against all other types. I'm ok with using theory as a strategic tool but the sillier the shell the lower the threshold I have for responsiveness. Please weigh and slow down for interps and short analytic arguments.
LARP: Weigh please. I like these debates a lot when you do good impact calc.
Non-T affs: These are fine just have a clear ballot story. I'm not the most familiar with performance arguments so please give clear explanations.
Ks: Don't expect me to be familiar with the literature your K comes from which means overexplain in the 2NR if it isn't a generic K.
Phil: I read a lot of Kant. I'm not very familiar with phil that isn't read commonly on the circuit. Do good explanation and you'll be fine.
Tricks: They're cool if done cleanly. I'll vote on any argument with warrants. Please don't do this debate if you're gonna make it messy. Collapsing and overviews are important.
Delivery: Don't blitz through 1 sentence analytics and expect me to get everything down. I will say "clear" and "slow". I'm not a great flow-er so please slow down on analytics. If I don't catch an argument, lol that sucks slow down and signpost next time
Speaks are dependent on how I'm feeling that day but here's how to get your speaks tanked:
- being unclear
- making bad collapses or bad strategic decisions
- stealing prep or clipping
- taking forever to send docs
- being racist, homophobic, sexist or just problematic
- being mean for no reason especially to novices (this includes cx, raising your voice doesn't make you look persuasive)
If you make the round entertaining or do something funny, I'll boost your speaks a lot
tldr do what you do best; i'll only vote for complete arguments that make sense; weighing & judge instruction tip the scales in your favor; disclosure is good; i care about argument engagement not argument style; stay hydrated & be a good person.
policy coach @ damien: spring 2022 - present
ld coach @ loyola: fall 2023 - present
debated ld in high school 2016-2020 @ the hill school; only did ld because there was nobody to do policy with. would have strongly preferred to do policy :,(
My strongest belief about argumentation is that argument engagement is good - I don't care what styles of arguments teams read in front of me, but I'd prefer if both teams engaged with their opponents' arguments; I don't enjoy teams who avoid clash (regardless of the style of argument they are reading). I would consider myself to be competent at evaluating whatever debate you want to have.
ideological flexibility is what i value most in a judge. i try to be someone who will vote on any argument as long as it meets the minimum standards to be considered a complete argument.
General note about reading my paradigm - most things are phrased in terms of policy debate structure & norms (2nr/2ar being 5 minutes, "team" instead of "debater," "planless aff" = "non-t k aff," etc). If I'm judging you in LD and you have questions about how something translates to LD, feel free to ask!
if you need to contact me directly about rfd questions, accessibility requests, or anything else, please email firstname.lastname@example.org (please don't email the teamail for these types of requests)!
All of my deal-breakers/hard and fast rules/moments of "I won't vote on this" are dependent on four things:
1 - protecting the safety of the participants in the round (no harrassment, no physical violence, etc).
2 - voting for things that meet the minimum standard to be considered an argument (it needs to have warrants & make some amount of logical sense).
3 - rules set forth by the tournament (speech times, one team wins and one team loses, I have to enter my own ballot, etc).
4 - i will only evaluate the debate after the end of the 2ar. this is 0% negotiable. i did not think i would have to say this, but i guess i do.
I don't care what style of argument you read. My voting record is roughly 50-50 on most major debate controversies (yes, even planless affs vs framework). As long as your argument doesn't violate the above four criteria, go for it!
I think that warrants are hard to come by in many debate rounds these days, even ones with “good” teams. Err on the side of a little too much explanation, because if your arg is warrantless, you will be ballotless. Extensions need to include warrants, not just taglines.
Independent voters need warrants and an articulation of why they should be evaluated before everything else.These debates could generally benefit from more judge instruction and weighing. Simply calling something an independent voter doesn’t mean I vote for you if you extend it.
Disclose or lose. Non-new affs should be on the wiki & should be disclosed to the neg team a minimum of 30 min before round. Neg offcase positions that have been read before should be on the wiki. Past 2nrs should be disclosed to the aff team a minimum of 30 min before round. New affs don't need to be disclosed pre-round. I am 1000000% done with teams that don't disclose, teams that say "I don't have to disclose because I'm X identity," and any other nonsense variations of non-disclosure. I have zero belief that you have any good reason why you should be able to read your args in public but then not disclose them properly, so save your time and don't make the "it's unsafe for me to disclose" plea. If your opponent engages in any disclosure nonsense, read theory and there's a 95+% chance I vote for you, regardless of how good they are at the theory debate. Don't like disclosing? Pref someone who is willing to tolerate your nonsense (not me).
Some general notes
Accessibility/content warnings/etc: I would strongly prefer that accessibility issues are resolved pre-round so that everyone is able to engage in the debate. The current trend of accessibility-related procedurals being weaponized is getting uncomfortable to evaluate as a judge. Make a good-faith effort to discuss accessibility requests pre-round (and feel free to include me in the email exchange if needed).
Speed/clarity – I will say clear up to two times per speech before just doing my best to flow you. I can handle a decent amount of speed. Going slower on analytics is a good idea. You should account for pen time/scroll time - it takes time for me to find the place on the flow where you want me to flow a certain arg. It's generally more efficient to handle arguments in the order they were on the flow, or at least try to jump around as little as possible.
Coach-written evidence/articles - I'm increasingly unconvinced by cards cut from articles written by debate coaches. This is not directed at any one specific person or style of argument. I'm not saying you can't make certain arguments, but I am saying that you should probably find actual academic literature that is not written by a debate coach that makes the argument. If there is only one person you can find who says the thing you want them to say, and that person is a debate coach, you should think about why the only person saying what you need them to say is a person who has a vested competitive interest in the thing they're saying being perceived as true. Do with this info what you will.
Online debate -- 1] please record your speeches, if there are tech issues, I'll listen to a recording of the speech, but not a re-do. 2] debate's still about communication - please watch for nonverbals, listen for people saying "clear," etc.
Speaker points are dependent on strategy, execution, clarity, and overall engagement in the round and are scaled to adapt to the quality/difficulty/prestige of the tournament.
I try to give points as follows:
30: you're a strong contender to win the tournament & this round was genuinely impressive
29.5+: late elims, many moments of good decisionmaking & argumentative understanding, adapted well to in-round pivots
29+: you'll clear for sure, generally good strat & round vision, a few things could've been more refined
28.5+: likely to clear but not guaranteed, there are some key errors that you should fix
28+: even record, probably losing in the 3-2 round
27.5+: winning less than 50% of your rounds, key technical/strategic errors
27+: winning less than 50% of your rounds, multiple notable technical/strategic errors
26+: errors that indicated a fundamental lack of preparation for the rigor/style of this tournament
25-: you did something really bad/offensive/unsafe.
Things that you can do to improve your speaker points:
-debate well, be clear, and win decisively (this will always be the primary factor i consider when awarding points)
-be kind! make the round more enjoyable and be kind to your opponents, partner, and judges! i hate being in debate rounds that feel like divorce court!
-be accessible and accommodating. be nice about tech issues, be nice to newer teams, be considerate of accessibility requests, check tab postings/the wiki for pronouns, etc.
-adapt to things that happen in-round. adjust to judges saying "clear," watch for nonverbal reactions/visible confusion, and engage with args.
-disclose! go to the room after pairings to disclose the aff/past 2nrs. if you think you've disclosed particularly well, let me know, and if i agree that you've disclosed well, i'll boost your speaks a bit!
Things that will actively get you bad speaks:
-discrimination of any sort(I expect debaters to be kind and respectful to each other regardless of identity)
-disclosure practices that are clearly in bad faith or are meant to avoid argument engagement.
-unnecessarily rude/disruptive behavior during the other team's speeches.
-ad-homs & asking me to evaluate things that happened outside of the debate & making the debate about someone's personal life.
the notable exception to this is disclosure - this is pretty much the only out-of-round event that i'm comfortable evaluating debates about.
-attempts to avoid argument engagement/clash. examples include "you can't answer the k because you're not x identity," "neg must concede aff framing mechanism," "no neg fiat," and other similar strategies.
Opinions on Specific Positions (ctrl+f section):
I think that negatives that don't engage with the 1ac are putting themselves in a bad position. This is true for both K debates and policy debates.
Extensions should involve warrants, not just tagline extensions - I'm willing to give some amount of leeway for the 1ar/2ar extrapolating a warrant that wasn't the focal point of the 2ac, but I should be able to tell from your extensions what the scenario is, what the internal links are, and why you solve.
I've been on both sides of the planless aff debate, and my strongest opinion about planless affs is that you need to be able to explain what your aff does/why it's good.
I tend to dislike planless affs where the strategy is to make the aff seem like a word salad until after 2ac cx and then give the aff a bunch of new (and not super well-warranted) implications in the 1ar. I tend to be much better for planless aff teams when they're straight-up about what they do/don't defend, they use their aff strategically, engage with neg arguments, and make smart 1ar & 2ar decisions with good ballot analysis.
T/framework vs planless affs:
I'm roughly 50-50 in these debates. I don't have a strong preference for how framework teams engage in these debates other than that you should be respectful when discussing sensitive material.
I think that TVAs can be more helpful than teams realize. While having a TVA isn't always necessary, winning a TVA provides substantial defense on many of the aff's exclusion arguments.
I don't have a preference on whether your chosen 2nr is skills or fairness (or something else). I think that both options have strategic value based on the round you're in. Framework teams almost always get better points in front of me when they are able to contextualize their arguments to their opponents' strategy.
I also don't have a preference between the aff going for impact turns or going for a counterinterp. The strategic value of this is dependent on how topical/non-topical your aff is, in my opinion.
The less frivolous your theory argument, the better I am for it.
Please weigh! It's not nearly as intuitive to make a decision in theory debates - I can fill in the gaps for why extinction is more impactful than localized war more easily than I can fill in the gaps for why neg flex matters more/less than research burdens.
Topicality (not framework):
I like T debates that have robust and contextualized definitions of the relevant words/phrases/entities in the resolution. Have a clear explanation of what your interpretation is/isn't; examples/caselists are your friend.
Grammar-based topicality arguments: I don't find most of the grammar arguments being made these days to be very intuitive. You should explain/warrant them more than you would in front of a judge who loves those arguments.
Tricks (this is mostly an LD thing):
I used to say that I would never vote on tricks. I've decided it's bad to exclude a style of argumentation just because I don't enjoy it. Here are some things to know if you're reading tricks in front of me:
1 - I won't flow off the doc (I never flow off the doc, but I won't be checking the doc to see if I missed any of your tricks/spikes)
2 - The argument has to have a warrant in the speech it is presented
3 - The reason I've been so opposed to voting on tricks in the past is that I've never heard a trick that met the minimum threshold to be considered an argument
I tend to like K teams that engage with the aff and have a clear analysis of what's wrong with the aff's model/framing/epistemology/etc. I tend to be a bit annoyed when judging K teams that read word-salad or author-salad Ks, refuse to engage with arguments, expect me to fill in massive gaps for them, don't do adequate weighing/ballot analysis/judge instruction, or are actively hostile toward their opponents. The more of the aforementioned things you do, the more annoyed I'll be. The inverse is also true - the more you actively work to ensure that you don't do these things, the happier I'll be!
Zero risk probably doesn't exist, but very-close-to-zero risk probably does. Teams that answer their opponents' warrants instead of reading generic defense tend to fare better in close rounds. Good evidence tends to matter more in these debates - I'd rather judge a round with 2 great cards + debaters explaining their cards than a round with 10 horrible cards + debaters asking me to interpret their dumpster-quality cards for them.
I don't have strong ideological biases about how many condo advocacies the neg gets or what kinds of counterplans are/aren't cheating. More egregious abuse = easier to persuade me on theory; the issue I usually see in theory debates is a lack of warranting for why the neg's model was uniquely abusive - specific analysis > generic args + no explanation.
Judge kick - you've gotta tell me to do it. I'm not opposed to it, but I won't assume that you want me to unless the 2nr tells me to. No strong opinions for/against judge kick.
Arguments I will NEVER vote for:
-arguments that are actively discriminatory or make the round unsafe ("misgendering good," "let's make the debate about a minor's personal life," other stuff of that nature).
-any argument that attempts to police what a debater wears or how they present (this includes shoes theory/formal clothes theory).
-any argument that denies the existence/badness of oppression (i don't mean i won't vote for "extinction outweighs." i mean i won't vote for "genocide good.")
if there's anything i didn't mention or you have any questions, feel free to email me! if there's anything i can do to make debate more accessible for you, let me know! i really love debate and i coach because i want to make debate/the community a better place; please don't hesitate to reach out if there's anything you need.
**NSD: Don't bully novices - I will severely tank speaks and err against your arguments. If you can't win those debates without tricks and spikes then you don't deserve the ballot.
I did LD debate at LHS for four years. I qualified for the TOC twice and currently coach the Lexington Debate Team.
Speech docs are good for numerous reasons, especially evidence ethics, so send them.
If you have any questions about my paradigm please feel free to email or messenger me.
1) If you are unclear and as a result, I miss arguments it is your fault. I will yell clear when needed - if an argument was half a sentence and unclear in the 1AR/1NC assume it doesn't meet the litmus test for having a warrant... meaning I won't vote for a collapse on it.
2) I am not debating, so I don't have a right to tell you what you read. Please do and read what you like.
3) Truth over tech is wack - A complete argument (claim, warrant, impact) if dropped is automatically true.
4) I have a low threshold for 1AR and 2AR extensions for dropped arguments - just mention the tag or interp - but I need explanations for its implications and applications on the flow.
5) Debates a game
6) I do not vote on ad hominems
7) I will boost speaks if you sit down early or/and take no prep only if you can still win.
Theory - 1
Kritiks - 1
Phil - 2
Tricks - 3
Policy/LARP - 4
For specifics -
Tricks: I'm well versed - people give this style of debate a bad name by extending every dropped sentence and throwing crap at the wall with no weighing or implication - impact out a few well and explain why they justify a ballot.
Theory: No such thing as frivolous theory, reasonability is strategic if well justified, do standard weighing between multiple shells or I'll default substance. I'm not very well versed in grammar rules so err on the side of over-explanation. 1AR theory makes being aff so easy so read it lol. Yes, RVIs is a good argument.
Stock K's/Topical K's: Please err on the side of heavy LBL rather than reading a 5-minute overview with loads of embedded clash. I view the K as a philosophical argument so framing is important. Have a counter-interpretation to weigh the case and read case defense (extinction inevitable is smart) or else you'll lose. I'm open to VTL arguments, debate bad, ID pol tricks, K tricks (e.g. floating PIKs), and death good. K v K debates are fun as long as there is good impact calc, link analysis and examples.
Non T: I read a lot of these. I enjoy the "debate good-bad" debate. T Framework makes the game work though so have well developed impact turns.
Policy/LARP: Getting better at evaluating it.
Philosophy: I'm confident in evaluating this correctly. Please make framework interactions (hijacks are good). Don't shoehorn terrible offense just so you can read the Phil you want, you will probably lose. if you justify epistemic modesty, explain how I resolve the round correctly under it. I have a high threshold for winning extinction o/w against deontic theories - you probably won't win this if you lose util under epistemic confidence.
I am a new parent judge. My focus will be on two aspects: (1) Logical arguments (2) Presentation style.
If you are going to claim that your position will save Earth/Humanity, you better have supporting statements equal in magnitude.
i love debate.
tell me how i should evaluate the round. tell me why you win if i choose to evaluate the round that way.
whatever style of debate you feel best doing: go for it. i usually flow by hand so please pop your tags.
keep it lovely. i take speaker points when debaters are mean.
if the debate is lopsided and you're winning by a mile against more novice debaters, you'll get a 30 and 29.9 by going slower, explaining the debate to the other team clearly during cross-ex, and making the round educational.
im familiar with all styles of 1ac's. i consider role of the ballot arguments as framing, and dont necessarily weigh traditional standards and f/w voters above other frameworks unless told to with warranted arguments. using specific cards of a k aff to impact turn framework is undervalued in high school debate, for some reason.
im looking for warrant comparison in the rebuttals. i like to directly quote the 2nr and 2ar in my rfd, so impact stories and reading warrants from important cards are winning strategies to get my ballot.
i have little sympathy for debaters answering cards that are in the doc but are not read in the speech. this is worse than missing a card on your flow, it shows that you're just not flowing. i want to be added to the doc so i can read your evidence throughout the debate, but i will not flow off the doc.
copied from a former coach:
*I think 'previous debate experience' sections of judging philosophies are mostly for peculiar in group fronting and/or serve to reify fairly problematic norms of treating debate 'expertise' or whatever like a value neutral concept, so.
Jenn (Jennifer) Miller-Melin, Jenn Miller, Jennifer Miller, Jennifer Melin, or some variation thereof. :)
Email for email chains:
If you walk into a round and ask me some vague question like, "Do you have any paradigms?", I will be annoyed. If you have a question about something contained in this document that is unclear to you, please do not hesitate to ask that question.
-Formerly assistant coach for Lincoln-Douglas debate at Hockaday, Marcus, Colleyville, and Grapevine. Currently assisting at Grapevine High School and Colleyville Heritage High School.
I was a four year debater who split time between Grapevine and Colleyville Heritage High Schools. During my career, I was active on the national circuit and qualified for both TOC and NFL Nationals. Since graduating in 2004, I have taught at the Capitol Debate Institute, UNT Mean Green Debate Workshops, TDC, and the University of Texas Debate Institute, the National Symposium for Debate, and Victory Briefs Institute. I have served as Curriculum Director at both UTNIF and VBI.
In terms of debate, I need some sort standard to evaluate the round. I have no preference as to what kind of standard you use (traditional value/criterion, an independent standard, burdens, etc.). The most important thing is that your standard explains why it is the mechanism I use to decide if the resolution is true or false. As a side note on the traditional structure, I don't think that the value is of any great importance and will continue to think this unless you have some well warranted reason as to why I should be particularly concerned with it. My reason is that the value doesn't do the above stated, and thus, generally is of no aid to my decision making process.
That said, debates often happen on multiple levels. It is not uncommon for debaters to introduce a standard and a burden or set of burdens. This is fine with me as long as there is a decision calculus; by which I mean, you should tell me to resolve this issue first (maybe the burden) and that issue next (maybe the standard). Every level of analysis should include a reason as to why I look to it in the order that you ask me to and why this is or is not a sufficient place for me to sign my ballot. Be very specific. There is nothing about calling something a "burden" that suddenly makes it more important than the framework your opponent is proposing. This is especially true in rounds where it is never explained why this is the burden that the resolution or a certain case position prescribes.
Another issue relevant to the standard is the idea of theory and/or off-case/ "pre-standard" arguments. All of the above are fine but the same things still apply. Tell me why these arguments ought to come first in my decision calculus. The theory debate is a place where this is usually done very poorly. Things like "education" or "fairness" are standards and I expect debaters to spend effort developing the framework that transforms into such.
l try to listen to any argument, but making the space unsafe for other bodies is unacceptable. I reserve the right to dock speaks or, if the situation warrants it, refuse to vote on arguments that commit violence against other bodies in the space.
I hold all arguments to the same standard of development regardless of if they are "traditional" or "progressive". An argument has a structure (claim, warrant, and impact) and that should not be forgotten when debaterI ws choose to run something "critical". Warrants should always be well explained. Certain cards, especially philosophical cards, need a context or further information to make sense. You should be very specific in trying to facilitate my understanding. This is true for things you think I have read/should have read (ie. "traditional" LD philosophy like Locke, Nozick, and Rawls) as well as things that I may/may not have read (ie. things like Nietzsche, Foucault, and Zizek). A lot of the arguments that are currently en vogue use extremely specialized rhetoric. Debaters who run these authors should give context to the card which helps to explain what the rhetoric means.
One final note, I can flow speed and have absolutely no problem with it. You should do your best to slow down on author names and tags. Also, making a delineation between when a card is finished and your own analysis begins is appreciated. I will not yell "clear" so you should make sure you know how to speak clearly and quickly before attempting it in round.
I will always disclose unless instructed not to do so by a tournament official. I encourage debaters to ask questions about the round to further their understanding and education. I will not be happy if I feel the debater is being hostile towards me and any debater who does such should expect their speaker points to reflect their behavior.
I am a truth tester at heart but am very open to evaluating the resolution under a different paradigm if it is justified and well explained. That said, I do not understand the offense/defense paradigm and am increasingly annoyed with a standard of "net benefits", "consequentialism", etc. Did we take a step back about 20 years?!? These seem to beg the question of what a standard is supposed to do (clarify what counts as a benefit). About the only part of this paradigm that makes sense to me is weighing based on "risk of offense". It is true that arguments with some risk of offense ought to be preferred over arguments where there is no risk but, lets face it, this is about the worst type of weighing you could be doing. How is that compelling? "I might be winning something". This seems to only be useful in a round that is already giving everyone involved a headache. So, while the offense/defense has effectively opened us up to a different kind of weighing, it should be used with caution given its inherently defensive nature.
Theory seems to be here to stay. I seem to have a reputation as not liking theory, but that is really the sound bite version of my view. I think that theory has a place in debate when it is used to combat abuse. I am annoyed when theory is used as a tactic because a debater feels she is better at theory than her opponent. I really like to talk about the topic more than I like to wax ecstatic about what debate would look like in the world of flowers, rainbows, and neat flows. That said, I will vote on theory even when I am annoyed by it. I tend to look at theory more as an issue of reasonabilty than competing interpretations. As with the paradigm discussion above, I am willing to listen to and adjust my view in round if competing interpretations is justified as how I should look at theory. Over the last few years I have become a lot more willing to pull the trigger on theory than I used to be. That said, with the emergence of theory as a tactic utilized almost every round I have also become more sympathetic to the RVI (especially on the aff). I think the Aff is unlikely to be able to beat back a theory violation, a disad, and a CP and then extend from the AC in 4 minutes. This seems to be even more true in a world where the aff must read a counter-interp and debate on the original interp. All of this makes me MUCH more likely to buy an RVI than I used to be. Also, I will vote on theory violations that justify practices that I generally disagree with if you do not explain why those practices are not good things. It has happened a lot in the last couple of years that a debater has berated me after losing because X theory shell would justify Y practice, and don't I think Y practice would be really bad for debate? I probably do, but if that isn't in the round I don't know how I would be expected to evaluate it.
Finally, I can't stress how much I appreciate a well developed standards debate. Its fine if you choose to disregard that piece of advice, but I hope that you are making up for the loss of a strategic opportunity on the standards debate with some really good decisions elsewhere. You can win without this, but you don't look very impressive if I can't identify the strategy behind not developing and debating the standard.
I cannot stress enough how tired I am of people running away from debates. This is probably the biggest tip I can give you for getting better speaker points in front of me, please engage each other. There is a disturbing trend (especially on Sept/Oct 2015) to forget about the 1AC after it is read. This makes me feel like I wasted 6 minutes of my life, and I happen to value my time. If your strategy is to continuously up-layer the debate in an attempt to avoid engaging your opponent, I am probably not going to enjoy the round. This is not to say that I don't appreciate layering. I just don't appreciate strategies, especially negative ones, that seek to render the 1AC irrelevant to the discussion and/or that do not ever actually respond to the AC.
Debate has major representation issues (gender, race, etc.). I have spent years committed to these issues so you should be aware that I am perhaps hypersensitive to them. We should all be mindful of how we can increase inclusion in the debate space. If you do things that are specifically exclusive to certain voices, that is a voting issue.
Being nice matters. I enjoy humor, but I don't enjoy meanness. At a certain point, the attitude with which you engage in debate is a reason why I should choose to promote you to the next outround, etc.
You should not spread analytics and/or in depth analysis of argument interaction/implications at your top speed. These are probably things that you want me to catch word for word. Help me do that.
Theory is an issue of reasonability. Let's face it, we are in a disgusting place with the theory debate as a community. We have forgotten its proper place as a check on abuse. "Reasonability invites a race to the bottom?" Please, we are already there. I have long felt that theory was an issue of reasonability, but I have said that I would listen to you make arguments for competing interps. I am no longer listening. I am pretty sure that the paradigm of competing interps is largely to blame with for the abysmal state of the theory debate, and the only thing that I have power to do is to take back my power as a judge and stop voting on interps that have only a marginal net advantage. The notion that reasonability invites judge intervention is one of the great debate lies. You've trusted me to make decisions elsewhere, I don't know why I can't be trusted to decide how bad abuse is. Listen, if there is only a marginal impact coming off the DA I am probably going to weigh that against the impact coming off the aff. If there is only a marginal advantage to your interp, I am probably going to weigh that against other things that have happened in the round.
Grammar probably matters to interpretations of topicality. If one reading of the sentence makes sense grammatically, and the other doesn't that is a constraint on "debatability". To say the opposite is to misunderstand language in some pretty fundamental ways.
Truth testing is still true, but it's chill that most of you don't understand what that means anymore. It doesn't mean that I am insane, and won't listen to the kind of debate you were expecting to have. Sorry, that interp is just wrong.
Framework is still totally a thing. Impact justifying it is still silly. That doesn't change just because you call something a "Role of the Ballot" instead of a criterion.
Util allows you to be lazy on the framework level, but it requires that you are very good at weighing. If you are lazy on both levels, you will not make me happy.
Flashing is out of control. You need to decide prior to the round what the expectations for flashing/emailing are. What will/won't be done during prep time, what is expected to be flashed, etc. The amount of time it takes to flash is extending rounds by an unacceptable amount. If you aren't efficient at flashing, that is fine. Paper is still totally a thing. Email also works.
Conflicts (ghill, memorial, Marlborough, )
Memorial '19 SMU '23 (don’t know why you’d care but some people do)
Yeah, I want the docs --Misrap354@gmail.com I’ll say clear once.
TLDR: Twice as good as your average local judge, half as good as your favorite circuit judge (prove me other wise and you get a cookie)
Judged wayyy to much in college 1year post college now. Take that as u will; no I haven’t kept up with the topic lit or what this years new fad is in debate.
If you have any questions about what’ I like to see: look at my past judging, but please don’t read dense phil. I do not care for it and will not make an effort to understand it.
Any memorial debater, Acadmey of classical Christian Studies JM, or any debater that larps or pretends to larp with hidden tricks describe the style of debate im okay w judging w/ zero topic knowledge
Pretty hard to get below a 28.9 infront of me, esp if u ask for high speaks.
My name is Semu Moges (Dr. Moges).
I am a parent judge, and this is the first tournament I’ve ever judged. I will vote on anything as long as it’s a convincing and persuasive argument. I will not tolerate bigotry or arguments against marginalised groups.
I believe in the pursuit of a higher, shared human destiny. I generally value education, reason, progress, and science.
I want to be added to the email chain: email@example.com
I graduated from Heights High School. My competitive experience is exclusively in policy for three years, but I attended Texas Debate Collective, an LD camp, for three consecutive years.
I was a stock policy debater for the first two years of my high school debate career before I moved onto reading non-topical performatives. As a judge, I try to be as tab as possible. I presume affirmative most of the time.
All I really ask is that you understand and explain your arguments well.
I will say that I have not debated nor judged in about 3 years, so take that as you will.
tech > truth (most of the time).
Please don't be rude. If someone's clearly way less experienced, please make the debate round more accessible to them. I don't tolerate any slurs or any insults thrown at your opponents. I will also vote you down if you read racist/transphobic/bigoted arguments. Throwing in 5 second arguments that make no sense about communities you are not a part of will not appeal to me; if you don't know what you're talking about, don't make the argument. I think it's important to remember everyone in the round still has to leave the round and continue living - what you say in round does not always stay in round.
Stock Policy Affs
I was a stock debater for the first two years of my debate career, so I'm familiar with stock debates. While I usually prefer more kritikal rounds, I won't vote you down for stock policy affs, and I'll try to be as tab as possible.
I'm 100% okay with Kritikal Affirmatives, but I think you should have a clear ROB, especially if you're non-topical. You should be defending your ROB until the end.
I really like performance; I think there's a lot to be said through debater's personal narratives.
I don't really feel any type of way towards CPs or DA. If you're reading a CP, you should explicitly state why it's competitive. If you're reading a DA, the link and internal link should be strong.
I don't particularly like theory, but I will vote on it. I have a high threshold for theory, so I'll be less inclined to vote for you if you're reading one to just to read it. You should have a clear abuse story.
I ran a fair amount of kritiks as a senior, so I'm probably a bit biased, although I know that kritiks aren't always well understood by debaters, so if you're reading a kritik, I like good link stories as well as alternatives that make sense. I'm more likely to vote for you, if you can explain your kritik well. As a judge, I'm more receptive to identity politics.
i debated LD and policy in high school, graduating in '13. this is my 5th year coaching @ greenhill, and my first year as a full time debate teacher.
- i coached independent debaters from: woodlands ('14-'15), dulles ('15-'16), edgemont ('16-'18);
- team coach for: westwood ('14-'18), greenhill ('18-now);
- program director for dallas urban debate alliance ('21-'22)]
i would like there to be an email chain and I would like to be on it: firstname.lastname@example.org. would love for the chain name to be specific and descriptive - perhaps something like "Tournament Name, Round # - __ vs __"
I have coached debaters whose interests ranged from util + policy args & dense critical literature (anthropocentrism, afropessimism, settler colonialism, psychoanalysis, irigaray, borderlands, the cap + security ks), to trickier args (i-law, polls, monism) & theory heavy strategies.
That said, I am most comfortable evaluating critical and policy debates, and thoroughly enjoy 6 minutes of topicality or framework 2nrs [like, T-framework against k affs, not kant] if delivered at a speed i can flow. I will make it clear if you are going too fast - i am very expressive so if i am lost you should be able to tell.
I am a bad judge for highly evasive tricks debates, and am not a great judge for denser "phil" debates - i do not think about analytic philosophy / tricks outside of debate tournaments, so I need these debates to happen at a much slower pace for me to process and understand all the moving parts. This is true for all styles of debates - the rounds i remember most fondly are one where a cap k or t-fwk were delivered conversationally and i got almost every word down and was able to really think through the arguments.
i think the word "unsafe" means something and I am uncomfortable when it is deployed cavalierly - it is a meaningful accusation to suggest that an opponent has made a space unsafe (vs uncomfortable), and i think students/coaches/judges should be mindful of that distinction. this applies to things like “evidence ethics,” “independent voters,” "psychological violence," etc., though in different ways for each. If you believe that the debate has become unsafe, we should likely pause the round and reach out to tournament officials, as the ballot is an insufficient mechanism with which to resolve issues of safety. similarly, it will take a lot for me to feel comfortable concluding that a round has been psychologically violent and thus decide the round on that conclusion, or to sign a ballot that accuses a student of cheating without robust, clear evidence to support that. i have judged a lot of debates, and it is very difficult for me to think of many that have been *unsafe* in any meaningful way.
7 things to know:
- Evidence Ethics: In previous years, I have seen a lot of miscut evidence. I think that evidence ethics matters regardless of whether an argument/ethics challenge is raised in the debate. If I notice that a piece of evidence is miscut, I will vote against the debater who reads the miscut evidence. My longer thoughts on that are available on the archived version of this paradigm, including what kinds of violations will trigger this, etc. If you are uncertain if your evidence is miscut, perhaps spend some time perusing those standards, or better yet, resolve the miscutting. Similarly, I will vote against debaters clipping if i notice it. If you would like me to vote on evidence ethics, i would prefer that you lay out the challenge, and then stake the round on it. i do not think accusations of evidence ethics should be risk-less for any team, and if you point out a mis-cutting but are not willing to stake the round on it, I am hesitant to entertain that argument in my decision-making process. if an ev ethics challenge occurs, it is drop the debater. do not make them lightly.
i mark cards at the timer and stop flowing at the timer.
- I do not believe you can "insert" re-highlightings that you do not read verbally.
please do not split your 2nrs! you will be far likelier to win if you develop one flow for the 2nr, and will be served poorly by the attempt to go for every 1nc arg in the 2nr. In principle, this is also true for your 2ARs. if any of your 1nc positions are too short to sustain a 6 minute 2nr on it i think that likely means the 1nc arg is underdeveloped.
Evidence quality is directly correlated to the amount of credibility I will grant an argument - if a card is underhighlighted, the claim is likely underwarranted. I think you should highlight your evidence to make claims the author has made, and that those claims should make sense if read at conversational speed outside of the context of a high school debate round.
i do not enjoy being in the back of disclosure debates where the violation is difficult to verify or where a team has taken actions to help a team engage, even if that action does not take the form of open sourcing docs, nor do i enjoy watching disclosure theory be weaponized against less experienced debaters - i will likely not vote on it. if a team refuses to tell you what the aff will be, or is familiar with circuit norms but nothing on their wiki, I will be more receptive to disclosure, but again, verifiability is key.
topicality arguments will make interpretive claims about the meaning or proper interpretation of words or phrases in the resolution. interpretations that are not grounded in the text of the resolution are theoretical objections - the same is true for counter-interpretations.i will use this threshold for all topicality/theory arguments.
Finally, I am not particularly good for the following buckets of debates:
Warming good & other impact turn heavy strategies that play out as a dump on the case page
IR heavy debates - i encourage you to slow down and be very clear in the claims you want me to evaluate in these debates.
Bad theory arguments / theory debates w/ very marginal offense (it is unlikely i will vote for theory debates where i can not identify meaningful offense / where the abuse story is very difficult for me to comprehend)
Identity ks that appropriate the form and language of antiblackness literature
affs/nc's that have entirely analytic frameworks (even if it is util!) - i think this is often right on the line of plagiarism, and my brain simply cannot process / flow it at high speeds.
TFA State update: I coach McNeil here and this is my last debate tournament
Kandi King RR Update: ok ok ok ok THIS is my last debate tournament (for real this time - I mean it)
My Judge Stats from Nelson Okunlola's script: "Out of 202 rounds, you voted AFF 48.02% of the time and NEG 51.98% of the time. Out of being on 48 panels, you sat 6.25% of the time (3 total) (solid imo)"
Lindale '21 U of Houston '25
Tech > Truth to the fullest extent ethically possible
Phil - 1
Theory - 2/3
Policy - 1
Tricks - Please just read policy, I'll evaluate it I guess but please don't make me ;(
K - 2
I am a sophomore at U of H - I coached for DebateUS! in my freshmen year of college, then taught at DebateDrills camp, Texas Debate Collective (also taught before freshmen year), the Houston Urban Debate League, ODI for three years, I coached at McNeil High School and my old alma mater, Lindale High School. I'm far enough out of high school where I don't think my HS experiences affect how I judge too much - I've coached students for every style of debate and have judged every style of debate. If you really really want to adapt for me (I would advise against it) I really like and appreciate multi layered strategies (e.g DA, Kant NC, Util triggers permissibility and a bunch of case turns against a policy aff or extinction outweighs, perm do both, cap good, alt backfires, and case when answering a Cap K with a policy aff for example)
I evaluate rounds through the easiest path to the ballot and with the least intervention - please, please, PLEASE tell me everything in the beginning of the 2NR/2AR and why everything is the way it is. I err heavily toward round analysis done by the debaters than round analysis I have to do - write my RFD for me. The less resolution and thinking I have to do - the better for both of us (I'm a business major I hate thinking and there's less uncertainty for you since you control how I view the round).
I'll also be on my phone during cross or prep usually since cross is for you unless you tell me to flow something or write it down e.g "Phoenix write the status of the counterplan down"
I've judged about 300-350 rounds (some at HUDL/not on tab) and I've only made two decisions where I've realized I was wrong after (once at Loyola as a FYO and the second time at TFA State '23). I'm human and might make a mistake - only thing I can do is be aware and do my best.
- Probably comfortable with whatever author you read
- Syllogism > Spammed independent reasons to prefer
- Dense framework debates should have good weighing and overviews to make them resolvable
- General Principle means nothing, just answer the counterplans
- default epistemic confidence
- I can evaluate K debates but I'm probably a mediocre judge for it - there are better judges than me at this and there are worse
- Specificity is always better - state links or fiat links are usually not good (since it doesn't really disprove that the aff is a good idea)
- Please stop being rude as part of your performance (e.g not answering questions for queer opacity or acting strange as part of baudrillard)
- Do not read nonblack afropess in front of me. I am not afraid to give you an L0 after the 1NC.
- Alt solves case/Link turns case are smart and I think underutilized
- Flex your knowledge! I will reward people who have obviously done their homework on their literature and can list historical examples on the spot
- Probably my favorite style of debate so far, judged the best policy debates from the best policy debaters
- Complex policy debates will be rewarded with speaks
- Weighing is how you get my ballot (meta-weighing <3 <3)
- Will evaluate your wacky impact turns
- Please do more case debate. I repeat, please do more case debate. No such thing as too much time on case - I mean that. The best 1NC, 99% of the time, is 0 off case.
- Perms are tests of competition not advocacies
- Uncondo means, unless going for theory or a higher layer, the advocacy must be defended by the neg in the 2NR in some form or fashion
- I will judge kick if instructed but I really don't want too since I think that forces the aff to debate both the world of the CP and the squo
- Was my coaching specialty as a FYO but I'm old now and I think my flowing abilities have aged with me so I'd much prefer a policy or K round to theory
- Don't think voters are needed (every standard can be impacted out independently and probably connects to both fairness and education - if questioned though, you should prove why standards are impacts independently in round, I won't intervene for you)
- I think RVIs get a bad wrap but I think they can be a very useful tool against bad theory e.g an RVI against shoes theory would be very strong
- Will vote on friv theory but it should be related to the round i.e I like AFC but I don't like "must wear x clothing" because AFC has some connection to the arguments in round but clothing does not. Exception: Stuffed animals theory, love that (TDC 6th Lab <3).
- Default on drop the debater, competing interps, yes rvis
T-Framework v K Affs
- Not at all susceptible to debate bad affs as I think it's intuitive that debate is good - again though won't do this work for you and just auto down a debate bad aff, you gotta prove why debate is good even if I think it is
- 1AR probably needs a counter interp/what debate looks like in the aff's world
- TVAs are overrated and usually don't solve the 1AR offense (unless specific to the aff, then maybe)
- the 1AR should still do LBL and the 2NR should not be 3 minutes of an overview that can be summarized in "I think clash is cool"
- I'll evaluate it (sadly) but if you make me evaluate it please do it well and not just an old Testimonies aff from 2017 or something
- If you don't have too, please don't.
Make me laugh- I've probably been judging a thousand rounds that day and could use entertaining rounds just have fun with it and don't take debate too seriously
I try to keep a 28.5 average but my friends make fun of me for being a speaks fairy
Just have a good time - at the end of the day, you are all high schoolers yelling at each other about random topics whether it be Kantianism or International Relations in random classrooms or zoom calls this isn't as serious as you think it is, just have a good debate and everything will be fine :) Also non-CX clarifications are fine - I'm not someone who will yell at you and say "grr questions only cx!!!1111!!" I do not care. Also, don't be rude to your opponent for no reason, no need to be hyper aggressive or anything it's just a debate round.
If you harass your opponent (i.e asking them if they are single in CX) I will drop you with 0 speaks and contact tab. Absolutely zero tolerance of any forms of harassment in front of me. I will not hesitate. Any judge who is tech>truth should believe the same - since to be tech>truth assumes value in the game, and the game cannot exist without players. Players do not want to play if they are harassed while playing.
You work hard to debate, and I promise I will work hard to judge you and give a decision that respects the worth of that.
My favorite debates so far:
JWen v Max Perin @ Emory Quarters 2022
Daniel Xu v Miller Roberts @ TFA Prelims 2022 (Only ever double 30)
JWen v Anshul Reddy @ King RR 2022
Hey I’m Jack! I went to and now coach at Northland in Houston, TX. Feel free to ask questions before or after the round. Add me to email chains at email@example.com
TLDR: I will vote on anything that has a claim, warrant, and impact. I most enjoy and am best at judging policy arguments. (P.S. I realized that I tend to give way higher speaks in substance debates. Take that as you wish)
Policy - 1
Theory/T - 1
K (security, cap, set col) - 2
K (anything else) - 3
Phil/Tricks – 3
- Tech > Truth
- Fairness > Education
- 1NC Theory/T > 1AR Theory
- T/Theory > K
- Comparative Worlds
- No RVIs, Competing Interps, DTD
- I'm cool with anything as long as it has a claim, warrant, and impact. None of my personal opinions or interests in arguments will factor into my decision.
- I want you to debate the way you debate best. I want debaters to read what they know and are invested in.
- No buffet 2nrs please
- Be nice to one another and don't take yourself too seriously
- If you are sexist/racist/homophobic/transphobic/ableist or something similar
- Clipping/losing an ethics challenge OR a false accusation.
- Stealing prep
Things I'm not voting on
- Any argument concerning out of round practices (except disclosure).
- Any argument concerning the appearance/clothes/etc. of another debater.
- Any auto affirm/negate X identity argument
- "Evaluate the entire debate after X speech". However, I will evaluate "evaluate ___ layer after X speech".
- IVIs not flagged as IVIs in the 1NC/1AR (possibly a 2NR exception)
- My favorite type of debate to think about and judge.
- Likes: impact calc, ev comparison, plans with tight scenarios and big impacts, rehighlighting ev, cheaty CPs, reading theory against cheaty CPs, "the order is case"
- Dislikes: not weighing, old/no UQ, underhighlighted ev, plan flaw, other debater: asks you a cx question about your ev you: "where is it/that", literally extending your tags in the 2NR
- Somewhat familiar with most K lit at this point, but refuse to fill any substantive gaps in your explanation.
- Likes: robust line by line, root cause, link turns case, good fwk debates, pulling lines from the aff, actual alt solvency, set col vs phil, specific links to the plan
- Dislikes: massive overviews, "what's a floating PIK", the "state" link, the current standard for a sufficient explanation of ontology, no perms in a method debate
K Aff/T Framework
- Affs need solvency and a robust defense of their model of debate
- Negs need an answer to aff solvency and a robust defense of their model of debate
- Likes: testing, fairness, intuitive aff counterinterps, Non T aff vs one off Cap K, TVAs, actual solvency
- Dislikes: "T is violence/policing", 6 minutes of my coaches prewritten fwk 2NR, 3 minutes of my coaches prewritten A2 fwk 2AR, blitzing through the 1ACs theory of power, "we don't need solvency", 2NRs that ignore case
- Not good for dense phil v dense phil (good for util vs other phil)
- Don’t assume I have read your literature. BUT, I will still evaluate just like I would any other type of debate. I just need a very clear extension of why your framework comes first/is true.
- Likes: extinction first, fun calc indicts, Blum, TJFs, going for turns under their fwk
- Dislikes: not reading a fwk in the AC, not reading a fwk in the NC when the AC doesn't read one, the "pragmatism" aff, TT takes out theory, hidden triggers in the fwk
- I will evaluate them the same as any other argument as long as I hear a claim, warrant, and impact.
- Likes: warrants
- Dislikes: "what's an apriori?", condo logic, indexicals, if the negs response to your trick is that it negates just as much as it affirms - you probably shouldn't read it!
- Love it!
- The frivolous nature of some shells does not factor into my evaluation. Although, reasonability tends to become easier to justify and the answer becomes easier.
- Likes: robust weighing, caselists, infinite regress vs spec, combo shells with unique offense
- Dislikes: poor explanation of semantics, 5 second 1AR shells, 2NR theory that isn't severance
- Less prep and sitting down early will be rewarded with higher speaks.
- Clarity is VERY IMPORTANT. If you are unclear and I miss a “game changing” argument – that’s a you problem.
- Speaks will be awarded for good debating (strategy, technical ability, good CX, etc).
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
2023 NDT Champion
2023 CEDA Champion
I used to read plans and afropess. I used to do LD in high school.
The Black Chorus Sings
Experience: This is my first time debating so I don't understand LD as well as I'd like to understand it.
Speech: Speed, articulation, and volume of a person's speech is very important to me as I am a bit hard of hearing in my right ear. A debater's speech style will heavily affect my decision.
Criterion and Framework: I just learned what these are, so I won't judge very hard on them. One thing is that I WILL NOT regard a debater's criterion valid if it isn't explained whatsoever.
Judging style: I won't be too harsh but I'll be looking out for justice as a default in your arguments (other than your framework if justice isn't already the framework). I'll be keeping very brief notes of the debate's main points.
Overall Debate Itself: I'm looking out for a good rebuttal but they cannot at all be too aggressive nor rude to the opponent. Evidence/Examples are somewhat important to me, but properly researched and backed up arguments are the things that I look out for the most out of everything. You'r debate must be well structured and more importantly, well explained. If you're planning to use a very complex philosophical argument please make sure to explain extensively.
Extra: Based on what I've seen in a few videos, I really do appreciate a good questioning period (counter-examination I think its called), so try putting effort into asking well thought out questions.
Philosophy - 1
Theory - 1
Non-Identity Ks - 1/2
T - 2
Identity K's - 2-4 depending how you read them
Policy - 5/Strike
General: I'm tech > truth, read whatever you want. I have a low threshold for extensions of conceded arguments but they need to be extended in each speech. Also, if I don't think an argument has a warrant I won't vote on it. Speaks are inflated by good strategy and execution and capped by how bad i think your arguments are. If you're reading a bunch of unserious nonsense you might win but most likely won't get good speaks.
- I default to truth testing if no other RoB is read.
- I don’t evaluate embedded clash unless there is an argument as to why I should or the round is irresolvable without it.
- I do not believe you get new 2n responses to AC arguments unless an argument is made for why you get those arguments in the NC.
- I will vote on disclosure theory. Just don’t read it against novices or people who clearly don’t know what it is. I also won’t evaluate it if it becomes clear/verifiable the debater’s team won’t allow it or other similar circumstances.
- Don’t need to flash analytics to your opponent but I would like them
- Even if something is labeled an independent voter, if there is no warrant for why it is one, I won’t evaluate it as such. I also don’t really think “x author is sexist/racist/etc so you should lose” makes much sense. I’ll vote on it if you win it but it’s an uphill battle.
Theory: Go for it - this is probably one of the easier things for me to judge, and I really enjoy judging nuanced theory debates. Slow down on the interpretation a bit if it’s something more nuanced. I don’t “gut check” frivolous shells but obviously if you are winning reasonability then I will evaluate through whatever your brightline is. Also, for counter interps “converse of the interp” is not sufficient, if your opponent says “idk what the converse is so I can’t be held to the norm” I will buy that argument, just actually come up with a counter interp.
I really like RVIs and think they are underutilized so if you successfully go for one I will be happy.
T: T debates weren’t nearly as nuanced when I debated so you may have to explain some of the particulars more than you may be used to. I am also a sucker for semantics.
T “framework”: To be honest I am agnostic on whether affs should be T. I probably lean yes, but I also find non-T affs pretty interesting and fun to judge at times. I don’t consider an aff that doesn’t defend fiat but does defend the principle of the resolution non-T, and I am less persuaded by T in that sense.
Tricks: Sure, but speaks might suffer depending how they're executed and how dumb I think they are.
Ks: I really enjoy a good K debate. Especially psycho, baudrillard, nietzsche, and cap. The more specific the links the better. In a relatively equal debate i dont think i've ever voted for deleuze.
Larp: Probably the worst for this but will listen to it, just need to explain things a little more than you normally would. It is probably an uphill battle to win util vs other phil or Ks but possible if that's your thing.
Framework: This is my favorite type of debate and really want it to make a comeback. Great speaks if you can execute this well and/or read something that interests me.
Speaks: I average probably a 28.5. I assign them based on mostly strategy/execution with a little bit of content, but content can only improve your speaks not make them worse really (with the exception of disclosure probably). I like unique and clever arguments and well executed strategy - I would not advise you to go for a tricks aff if you are a larp debater just because I am judging you, do what you do well to get good speaks. I am also somewhat expressive when I think about how arguments interact so be mindful of that i guess. Also, if I can tell your 1ar/2n/2ar is pre-written your speaks will probably suffer.
How do I get a 30?
I won’t guarantee a 30 based on these strategies but it will definitely increase your chances of getting one if you can successfully pull off any of the following:
1) Going NC, AC really well with a phil NC
2) A good analytic PIC
3) Any unique fwk/K/RoB that I haven’t heard before or think is really interesting
4) A true theory shell or one I haven’t heard before
5) Execute a Skep trigger/contingent standard well
6) Successfully going for an RVI
Lay debates: If you are clearly better than your opponent and it is obvious that you are winning the round, please, dear lord, do not use all of your speech time just because you have the time - win the round and sit down so we can have a discussion and make it more educational than just you repeating conceded arguments for 13 minutes.
I've been judging LD for several years and am familiar with the common positions and arguments. Please keep your speed at a moderate pace and slow down for taglines and author names. If your strategy relies on your opponent missing a blip, then I'm not the judge for you.
Theory and T is fine, but I will be sympathetic to your opponent if your shell is clearly trivial.
If you read an alternate role of the ballot, please make it clear how I should evaluate the round under your ROB. All extensions need to be clearly warranted. Add me to any email chains.
Hello. I am a lay judge, so just make sure to speak clearly and enunciate. I want you to lay out your arguments and weigh all of the impacts for me, I don't want to make decisions completely based on my own thoughts.
College: UT Tyler 21-Present
High School: Lindale 17-21
General philosophy: Feel free to read whatever you feel most comfortable with. I went for critical arguments almost every debate my senior year, but the previous three years I spent reading exclusively policy arguments and I read a mix of the two in college. You know what is and is not appropriate to say within rounds and if you don't adhere to that, your points and ballot will reflect it. If you have any questions about your argument and whether or not I'd be receptive to it, it's better to ask than be bothered by my ballot.
If you say the words "for a brief off time roadmap," I am going to be sad.
Tech>truth. A dropped argument isn't assumed true without an extended and weighable warrant.
Depth>breadth. I'm not the best judge for more than 6 or 7 off, but if you feel like you need 13 pages to win a debate, I'll just be sad.
I prefer you to not read 30 cards in a speech. Evidence quality is really important and if you throw that out of the window just to throw the other team off, your speaks will reflect it. Comparing evidence quality is a great way to turn the tide in your favor in debates in front of me, as I will do my absolute best to evaluate only what was said in the round.
If it gives you better context, the most influential people to how I view debate are Cody Gustafson, Quaram Robinson, Yao Yao Chen and Nico Juarez.
-Uniqueness controls the direction of the link, this goes for both sides. If you want to win a link turn, you must win that the disad is non-unique and if you want to win the link you must win that it is.
-Zero risk is possible
-Much more persuasive if they have a solvency advocate, just reading a line in the 1NC just to dump 6 minutes on it in the block means that I give the aff leniency in rebuttals to catch up, but that isn't an excuse for sloppy 2ACs
-This is one place I am very up for a theory debate, whack counterplans that wipe out much of the aff lit base are probably bad for everyone, but the amount of times I've gone for counterplans that definitely cheat on some level puts me in the middle here.
-Doesn't really bother me if they're specific or not, but even if you don't have specific cards you should be able to explain why the counterplan solves the specific harms of the aff with a risk of a net benefit
-Generally for judge-kick, you just need to actually say it. This doesn't mean I can't be dissuaded by the other team in the final speech though.
-Feel free to read them on affirmative or negative, but don't get lazy with them and engage with the arguments the other team is making. Just reading the blocks you wrote at the beginning of the season and not referencing specific authors, lines of evidence from either side and engaging with arguments without specificity is a good way to get really behind in these debates.
-Framework isn't as important to win on negative in a lot of these debates, but if winning a research method through framework is what your critique is all about, of course you must win it.
-Most familiar with critiques of capitalism, settler colonialism and various areas of literature involving anti-blackness. Have read a bit of PoMo, but it is probably the argument you will need to spend the most time explaining. Regardless of my familiarity with your argument, you should be doing the work as if I've never heard your argument before.
-Specific links and explanations of links to either the topic or the affirmative are really important. Even if your link is generic and fits into every shell, that doesn't mean your 2NC or 2AC should sound the same every round. Great link explanation and application is a great way to get better speaks. The inverse is true as well.
-Impact and alt debates are often very muddy. Explaining your impact in a way that it can result from the links and be resolved by the alternative is something that is important. Alt explanation doesn't have to be hard, you just need to do it. History is your greatest resource in these debates, don't forget about it. Examples and explanations are great ways not just to get better speaks, but to win my ballot.
-Do your thing here and go for the impacts you are most comfortable going for. These debates often get lost in the internal links and fall short in the impact debate, be very careful there.
-Topical versions are important, but you need to make inroads outside of them to implicate why they're important within the debate. Don't just shallowly extend it or acknowledge it and move on, these can shred most of your offense on either side, but are very important to win when aff.
-Impact turns and impact defense are important here, but fleshing these arguments out is something a lot of teams don't do.
-I have a higher threshold for voting for this against policy affs, some of these T interps are getting out of hand. That being said, T and advantage counterplans were my favorite arguments to go for, so feel free to read it if you think you can win it. Sometimes you might need to take these debates a little more slowly, it will benefit my comprehension given there are generally fewer pieces of evidence in these debates.
-Having good definitions (that define words in the resolution) is important.
-Please don't refer to a sheet by the authors name, instead refer to it by the word/phrase that the author intends to define.
-Please no tricks, they're bad for everyone
-Reasons to reject require warrants and weighable impacts
-Counterplan theory is probably a good idea, look above.
-IVIs/RVIs are cool, but not every sheet is an IVI. For example, if the negative reads a topicality shell in the 1NC and then choose not to go for it, that isn't a reason to vote affirmative.
I am a high school science teacher and speech and debate coach. I've coached speech and debate for 9 years. I competed in speech and congressional debate in high school, then some speech in college. I am very passionate about the power of communication. Above all, it is extremely important to me that you articulate and enunciate well. This can still be accomplished with reasonable speed. Take care to explain your arguments well. I strongly prefer constructive speeches with resolutional analysis, framework, key definitions, and a standard that I can use to weigh arguments. I should have a solid understanding of what you think are the most important issues in the round. Please use voters! If you want me to vote on it, please make sure it is in your final speech and explain it thoroughly so I can understand it.
Argue on logic, not emotions. Construct well-impacted, well-supported arguments. Quotations have no meaning without explanations. Therefore, always explain the significance of your evidence. The debater that most clearly presents a logical argument AND effectively refutes the opponent will be the victor.
I may ask you to post your case or cards, if a virtual tournament. I may call for cards if your opponents ask me to, if the card is widely disputed during the round, or if it sounds exceptionally sketchy. According to NSDA rules, you can also access the Internet during round if you need to show your opponent the full citation.
Speed and Flowing
Anything below spread speed is fine. If you go fast, you should: SLOW DOWN when using tag lines and signposting. Give clear citations. Make sure you tell me where you are on the flow (off time roadmaps). Please look out for physical cues if you are speed-talking. If I look visibly confused or if my hand isn’t moving, that’s probably because I can’t understand you. While I don’t flow crossfire/cross-ex, I’ll remember anything exceptionally witty or smart you say. Make sure you repeat anything significant from crossfire/cross-ex in your next speeches. Rebuttal speeches should be well organized. Please go straight down the flow.
Don’t be mean. If you’re mean, my brain will naturally find a way to vote against you. Being assertive is valued. Being aggressive is unnecessary. There is a difference between a passionate debater and an abrasive or condescending debater. Crossfires/cross-ex needs to be conducted with civility. You can be civil and still have clash in the round. I enjoy good clash.
Specific to LD
My judging paradigm for Lincoln Douglas (LD) Debate is a clash of values. The value represents a means to an idealistic, just world. The criterion is the standard by which to measure the opposing value and to ultimately define the value that should be upheld. The contentions are used to uphold the value. Impact all your contentions back to your value. Value, criterion, and contentions must be clearly stated by both sides. Therefore, the debater that upholds their value and criteria with the strongest contentions and strongest cross examination will receive the higher points, thus (generally) the win.
30: Excellent job, you demonstrate stand-out organizational skills and speaking abilities. Ability to use creative analytical skills and humor to simplify and clarify the round.
29: Very strong ability. Good eloquence, analysis, and organization. A couple minor stumbles or drops.
28: Above average. Good speaking ability. May have made a larger drop or flaw in argumentation but speaking skills compensate. Or, very strong analysis but weaker speaking skills.
27: About average. Ability to function well in the round, however analysis may be lacking. Some errors made.
26: Is struggling to function efficiently within the round. Either lacking speaking skills or analytical skills. May have made a more important error.
25: Having difficulties following the round. May have a hard time filling the time for speeches. Large error.
Below: Extreme difficulty functioning. Very large difficulty filling time or offensive or rude behavior.
My email is beccatraber (at) gmail (dot) com. I want to be on the email chain. I don't disclose speaks.
I am a debate coach and former teacher at Lake Highland Prep school. I help run NSD Flagship on site. I'm currently a law student at Texas.
Added Nov 19, 2022: Several recent rounds made me think I needed to make something clear. I probably won't find your arguments that funny--I am old, I've certainly seen it before. Please don't waste my time with meme rounds stuffed full with things like shoes theory or other outrageous offs. Particularly don't run things where the joke basically depends on it being funny to care about something related to social justice. I have no aversion to tricky or clever arguments, but I do strongly care about argument quality and if it's something that's been floating around since 2004, I've definitely seen it too many times to actually find it clever. Your speaks will suffer if you don't take this seriously.
I predominately coach k, phil, and theory debaters. I'm comfortable judging any given round. I regularly vote for every type of case/debater. If you want to know what my preferences are, the following is pretty accurate:
K - 1
Phil - 1
Theory - 2
Tricks - 3
Policy - 3** (see details below, in the circuit section)
(My debaters told me to add those numbers, but it bears repeating: I can and will judge whatever round you want me to have. This is just what makes me happiest to judge)
Traditional LD Paradigm:
(If you are reading this at a CFL, this is what you should focus on. You can read the circuit thing if you want, but this overrules it in a very non-circuit context.)
Overall, I want to judge the debate you want me to judge, so you do you. A few thoughts about what I think on things:
- Please don't go new in the second speeches, especially the 2AR. I will not evaluate new evidence or new framing that your opponent doesn't have a chance to answer.
- If an argument is dropped and unresponded to in the first chance it has to be responded to (eg, the NC doesn't respond to something in the AC), I consider it true. You can't respond to it directly, but you may frame the argument or weigh against it. You can contest the implications.
- I flow the whole round on my computer. That's how I make my decision. That's why I am typing the whole time.
- I would prefer if you time yourself--I am very out of the habit of time signals. Tell me if you want them.
- In general, I think the value/criterion is crucial for LD. You must normatively justify a criterion that is capable of serving as a measuring stick for what impacts matter in the round. This means that ideally for me, your criterion should be warranted in terms of why it is the right way to think about morality, not just defining it. This has the effect of me generally preferring criteria that are specific actions ("not treating people as a means to an end") than broad references to the intellectual history of the idea ("Kant's categorical imperative.") To generalize: criteria should have a verb.
- I am willing to exclude consequentialist impacts if the framework is won explaining why I should.
- Comparative impacting is very important to me. I want to know why your argument is good/true, but I want to know that in terms of why your opponent's argument is bad/false.
- Be extremely clear about what you think is aff ground and what is neg ground and why. I've judged a lot of CFL debates lately where there has been intense disagreement about what the aff could defend--be clear when that's happening and try to explain why your approach is more consistent with the literature. Part of that involves looking for definitions and sources in context: avoid using general dictionaries for technical terms.
- If you raise issues like the author qualifications or any general problem with the way that your opponent warrants something, I need an argument from you as to why that matters. For instance, don't just say "this evidence is older than my evidence," point out the intervening event that would make me think the date matters.
- I am fine with speed in theory, but it is very important to me that everyone is on the same page. If your opponent is not used to flowing full spreading, please don't. You may speak quickly, you may sit down, you may do whatever jargon you like--as long as you prioritize sharing the space and really think about explaining your arguments fully.
- I don't mind you reading progressive arguments, but it is very important to me that everyone understand them. What that means is that you are welcome to read a k or topicality, but you have a very high burden of articulating its meaning and function in the round. I'll vote on T, for instance, but I'm going to consciously abandon my assumptions about T being a voting issue. If you want me to vote on it, you must explain it in round, in a way that your opponent understands. The difference between me and a more traditional judge will mostly be that I won't be surprised or off-put by the argument, but you still have to justify it to me.
- I tend not to be allowed to disclose, but I will give oral feedback after the round. You don't have to stay for it, but I'm happy to answer any questions you have!
Circuit LD Paradigm:
Qualifications: I debated on the national circuit for the Kinkaid School, graduated 2008. It's a long time ago, but I finaled at the TOC and won several national tournaments. I've been coaching and teaching on the national circuit since. I am finishing my dissertation at Yale University in Political Theory. In Fall 2020, I started working as a full-time teacher at Lake Highland Prep in Florida. I've taught at more camps than I care to think about at present, including top labs at NSD and TDC.
K - 1
Phil - 1
Theory - 2
Tricks - 3
Policy - 3** (see details below)
Some general explanations of those numbers & specific preferences, roughly put into the categories:
I am well-read in a wide variety of critical literature. I'm familiar with the array of authors commonly read in debate.
I like k-affs, both topical and non-topical. I generally buy method links, method perms, advocacy links, advocacy perms, and so on. I can and do buy impact turns. That being said: I also regularly vote against ks, and am willing to hear arguments about acceptable and unacceptable k/link/perm/alt practices.
I think it is important to be able to articulate what the alt/advocacy looks like as a material practice, but I think that's possible and persuasive for even the most high theory and esoteric ks.
The critical literatures I've coached or read the authors myself include (but aren't limited to): ableism, a variety of anti-capitalisms/marxisms including Jodi Dean, anthropocentrism, a variety of anti-Blackness literatures, Baudrillard, semiocapitalism, ecology critiques, securitization/threat construction, nationalism critiques, a variety of queer theories, Heidegger, Deleuze, Laruelle, Lacan, Derrida, Foucault, Bataille, and others. I'm old and I read a lot. I'm comfortable in this space.
Ontological Pessimism: I am uncomfortable with debaters reading ontologically pessimistic positions about identity groups that they do not belong to. I won't auto-drop the debater reading it, but I am an easy get for an argument that they should lose by the opponent.
As a general thing, I would like to strongly remind you that these are positions about real people who are in the room with you, and you should be mindful of that when you deploy narratives of suffering as a way to win the round. And yes, this applies to "invisible" identities as well. If you're reading an ontologically pessimist position, especially if the thrust of the debate is about how things that are or are not consistent with that identity, and things that identity cannot or can do--I completely think it's fair game for your opponent to ask you if you identify in that way.
If you're not willing to answer the question, perhaps you shouldn't be running the case. I've sat through a lot of disability debates recently and I'm starting to get very frustrated with the way that people casually talk about disabled people, without any explicit accountability to disabled humans as people in the space and not just figures of Lacanian abjection. I will vote on it, but try not to be a jerk. This isn't just a debate argument.
If you read a slur or insult based on an identity that doesn't apply to you (race, gender, ability, class...anything), I am not voting for you. You lose. There's no debate argument that I'll listen to justifying it. Even if it is an example of a bad thing: I don't care. You lose. Cut around it. Changing letters around isn't redacting it if you still read it.
Policy FW/T-Must-Be-Topical: I regularly vote both that affs must be topical and that they don't have to be. I regularly coach in both directions. I think the question is very interesting and one of my favorite parts of debate--when done with specific interaction with the content of the aff. I particularly like non-standard T-FW and TVAs which aren't the classic "must defend the hypothetical implementation of a policy action."
Accessibility note for performances: If you don't flash the exact text of your speech, please do not play any additional sounds underneath your speaking. If there is sound underneath your speaking, please flash the exact text of what you are reading. I do not want to undermine the performance you want to engage in and whichever option you prefer is fine for me. It is fine to have part of your speech be on paper with music underneath and then turn the music off when you go off paper. I struggle to understand what is being said over noise and I'm uncomfortable being unable to know what is being said with precision.
I am well-read in a variety of philosophical literature, predominantly in the post-Kantian continental tradition and political theory. I also enjoy a well-constructed phil case. Some of my favorite debates are k v phil, also--I see them generally as dealing with the same questions and concerns.
For phil positions, I do think it is important that the debater be able to explain how the ethical conception and/or the conception of the subject manifests in lived human reality.
I am generally more persuaded by epistemic confidence than epistemic modesty, but I think the debate is usually malformed and strange--I would prefer if those debates deal with specific impact scenarios or specifics of the phil framework in question.
I prefer detailed and well-developed syllogisms as opposed to short and unrelated prefer-additionalys. A good "prefer-additionally" should more or less be a framework interaction/pre-empt.
In general, I've been in this activity a long time. The frameworks I've coached or read the authors myself include (but aren't limited to): Kant, Hegel, Marx, alienation, Levinas, Butler, Agonism, Spinoza, Agamben, Hobbes, contractualism/contractarianism, virtue ethics, testimony... I'm really solid on framework literatures.
I'm willing to listen to either reasonability or competing interpretations.
I don't assume either fairness or jurisdiction as axiomatic voting issues, so feel free to engage on that level of the theory debate.
I'm suspicious of precision/jurisdiction/semantics as the sole thing you extend out of a T-shell and am generally compelled by reasonability in the form of "if they don't have any pragmatics offense, as long as I demonstrate it is compliant with a legit way of interpreting the word, it doesn't have to be the best interpretation."
I do really enjoy a well-developed theory argument, just make sure you are holding to the same standards of warranting here that I demand anywhere. Internal links between the standards and the interpretation, and the standards and the voter, are both key.
I love a good counter interp that is more than defending the violation--those result in strategic and fun rounds.
I'm willing to buy semantic I-Meets.
I find AFC/ACC read in the 1AR annoying and unpersuasive, though I have voted for it.
I am willing to vote on RVIs. I don't generally think K-style impact turns are automatically answered by RVIs-bad type arguments, unless there is work done.
Disclosure: Is by now a pretty solid norm and I recognize that. I have voted many times on particular disclosure interps, but in my heart of hearts think the ways that most people handle disclosure competing interps tends to lead to regress.
I enjoy when debaters are substantive about what it means to prove the resolution true/false and explain how that interacts with the burdens of the round. I am more inclined to vote for substantive and developed tricks/triggers, and even if you're going for a short or "blippy" argument, you'd be well-served to do extensive interactions and cross-applications.
I want a ballot story and impact scenario, even with a permissibility trigger. (Even if the impact is that the resolution is tautologically true, I want that expressed straightforwardly and consistently).
I have a fairly high gut-check for dumb arguments, so I'm not your best bet if you want to be winning on the resolved a priori and things that are purely reliant on opponents dropping half-sentences from your case. But if you can robustly explain the theory of truth under which your a prior affirms/negates, you're probably okay.
Also: you know what an apriori is. Or you know what they mean. If you want to hedge your bets, answer in good faith -- for instance, instead of saying "what does that mean?" say "many of my arguments could, depending on what you read, end up implying that it is impossible to prove the resolution false/true. what specifically are you looking for?"
"Don't Evaluate After The 1ar": Feel free to run these arguments if you want, but know that my threshold is extremely high for "evaluate debate after [speech that is not the 2ar]." It is very difficult to persuade me to meaningfully do this. A better way to make this argument would be to tell me what sort of responses I shouldn't permit and why. For instance, new paradigm issues bad, cross-apps bad, no embedded clash, no new reasons for [specific argument] -- all fine and plausible. I just don't know what it means to actually stop evaluating later speeches. Paradigmatically, speech times are speech times and it makes no sense to me why I should obviate some of your opponent's time for any in-round reason. If you have a specific version of this argument you want to check with me, feel free to do so before round.
I have policy as a 3 only because I often find myself frustrated with how inane and unsubstantive a lot of long impact stories in LD are. If you have good, up to date evidence that compellingly tells a consequentialist result of a policy: I'm all in, I love that.
I really enjoy specific, well-researched and creative plans. I find a well-executed policy debate very impressive. Make sure you're able to articulate a specific and compelling causal story.
Make sure you know what all the words mean and that you can clearly explain the empirical and institutional structure of the DA/plan. As an example of the sort of thing that annoys me: a DA that depends on a Supreme Court case getting all the way through the appellate system in two weeks to trigger a politics impact before an election will make me roll my eyes.
There's also a disturbing trend of plans that are straight-up inherent--which I hate, that doesn't make any sense with a consequentialist/policymaking FW.
I am absolutely willing to buy zero risk claims, especially in regards to DAs/advantages with no apparent understanding of how the institutions they're talking about work.
I find the policy style affs where the advantages/inherency are all about why the actor doesn't want to do the action and will never do the action, and then the plan is the actor doing the thing they'd never do completely inane--that being said, they're common and I vote on them all the time.
I am generally compelled by the idea that a fiated plan needs an actor.
Assorted Other Preferences:
The following are other assorted preferences. Just know that everything I'm about to say is simply a preference and not a rule; given a warranted argument, I will shift off of just about any position that I already have or that your opponent gave me.
Speed: I have no problem with spreading -- all I ask is that you are still clear enough to follow. What this means is that you need to have vocal variation and emphasis on important parts of your case, like card names and key arguments.
Threshold for Extensions: If I am able to understand the argument and the function of it in the context of the individual speech, it is extended. I do appreciate explicit citation of card names, for flowing purposes.
CX: CX is really important to me, please use it. You have very little chance of fantastic speaker points without a really good cross-x. I would prefer if y'all don't use CX as prep, although I have no problems with questions being asked during prep time (Talk for at least three minutes: feel free to talk the rest of the time, too). If you are getting a concession you want to make absolutely sure that I write down, get eye-contact and repeat to me what you view the concession as.
Do not be unnecessarily mean. It is not very persuasive. It will drop your speaks. Be mindful of various power-dynamics at play in the room. Something I am particularly bothered by is the insistence that a marginalized debater does not understand their case, particularly when it is framed like: [male coach] wrote this for you, right [female debater]? Or isn't there a TVA, [Black debater], you could have used [white debater's] advocacy. Feel free to mention specific cases that are topical, best not to name drop. I can't think of an occasion when it is appropriate to explicitly challenge the authorship or understanding of a particular argument.
When debating someone significantly more traditional or less experienced: your speaks will benefit from explaining your arguments as straightforwardly as you can. I won't penalize you for the first speeches, but in whatever speech happens after the differences in experience level becomes clear, you should treat them almost as a pedagogical exercise. Win the round, but do so in a way where you aren't only trying to tell me why you win the round, but you're trying to make sure your opponent also understands what is happening.
Presumption: I don't default any particular way. I am willing to listen to presumption arguments which would then make me default, given the particular way the round shakes down, but my normal response to a round where no one meets their burden is to lower my standards until one person does meet their burden. Now, I hate doing this and it makes me grumpy, so expect lower speaker points in a situation where nobody meets their burden and nobody makes an argument about why I should presume any which way. This just points to the need to clearly outline my role and the role of my ballot, and be precise as to how you are meeting it.
This is my first time judging debate.
I value clear speaking and a cadence rather than slowing down and hurrying up to finish an argument.
I also enjoy the research and effort put into the debate arguments. Effort and substantiated research will show up in the quality of a performance.
- I don't like crappy cheap-shot arguments.
- I like substantive debates about the core controversies of the topic. My preferences have evolved over time to become very similar to Gordon Krauss's. I would look at their paradigm for specific thoughts that I might also hold. However, I am more reluctant to judge critical negatives and less reluctant to judge critical affirmatives (affs that talk about the topic) than they are.
- Let me know if you need any accommodations/anything before or during the round so you're more comfortable. Don't be late, don't contact me after the tournament ends.
- Not a fan of blanket good/bad claims and I will appreciate specificity. Make arguments you understand so you don’t embarrass yourself.
- The decision is yours but speaker points are mine. You can read incredibly bad arguments in hopes your opponent will miss something. I will evaluate that round objectively and if you win, you win. But you'll get <27.5 speaks!
- I don't flow off the doc.
Hi, my name is Armada (she/they). I debated a few years ago at Centennial in LD. Please use a loud voice and do not full blown spread (70%) as it is the start of the year. Slow down on analytics(or just send them), I won't flow what I don't catch.
If you were to do any K, do it clearly, especially links and alts. Don't do performance, tricks, or phil; I am not familiar with them. DAs and Ts are fine. CPs and theory need good links. Framework debates are good. I'll vote on 2 condo but more than that, and probably I'll err aff. I'll vote on theory but there needs to be clear abuse.
Tell me what argument you won, how, and why it matters. Do the weighing and impact calculus for me. I like good links and evidence- especially when collapsing. Connect it back to the framework. I won't eval without extensions.
Have your cases ready!!
If there is any discrimination, racism, sexism, or homophobia in round, I will tank speaks and hand the L. Be nice to each other and do not create a hostile environment, we want a fun debate :)
Director of Speech & Debate Isidore Newman School
Coach USA Debate
Please slow down! It is much harder for me to hear online. Go at about 75% rather than 100% of your normal pace!!!
Relevant for Both Policy & LD:
This is my 20th year in debate. I debated in high school, and then went on to debate at the University of Louisville. In addition, I was the Director of Debate at both Fern Creek & Brown School in KY, a former graduate assistant for the University of Louisville, and the Director of Speech & Debate at LSU. I am also a doctoral candidate in Communication & Rhetorical studies.
I view my role as an educator and believe that it is my job to evaluate the debate in the best way I can and in the most educational way possible. Over the past several years have found myself moving more and more to the middle. So, my paradigm is pretty simple. I like smart arguments and believe that debates should tell a clear and succinct story of the ballot. Simply put: be concise, efficient, and intentional.
Here are a few things you should know coming into the round:
1. I will flow the debate. But PLEASE slow down on the tag lines and the authors. I don’t write as fast as I used to. I will yell clear ONE TIME. After that, I will put my pen down and stop flowing. So, don't be mad at the end of the debate if I missed some arguments because you were unclear. I make lots of facial expressions, so you can use that as a guide for if I understand you
2. I value effective storytelling. I want debates to tell me a clear story about how arguments interact with one another, and as such see debates holistically. Accordingly, dropped arguments are not enough for me to vote against a team. You should both impact your arguments out and tell me why it matters.
3. Do what you do best. While I do not believe that affirmatives have to be topical, I also find myself more invested in finding new and innovative ways to engage with the topic. Do with that what you will. I am both well versed and have coached students in a wide range of literature.
4. Know what you’re talking about. The quickest way to lose a debate in front of me is to read something because it sounds and looks “shiny.” I enjoy debates where students are well read/versed on the things they are reading, care about them, and can actually explain them. Jargon is not appealing to me. If it doesn’t make sense or if I don’t understand it at the end of the debate I will have a hard time evaluating it.
5. I will listen to Theory, FW, and T debates, but I do not believe that it is necessarily a substantive response to certain arguments. Prove actual in-round abuse, actual ground loss, actual education lost (that must necessarily trade off with other forms of education). Actual abuse is not because you don't understand the literature, know how to deal with the argument, or that you didn't have time to read it.
6. Be respectful of one another and to me. I am a teacher and educator first. I don’t particularly care for foul language, or behavior that would be inappropriate in the classroom.
7. Finally, make smart arguments and have fun. I promise I will do my best to evaluate the debate you give me.
If you have any other questions, just ask.
I am more communication based. I prefer debaters who will prioritize what is important to them. I’m also an educator therefore I focus on the academic aspect of debate.
Did policy in high school but am very rusty
Hi Everyone! I'm Elmer, I debated in Policy in High School, coached Debate through College (first 2 in Policy, last 2 in LD) and just recently graduated with a Business degree from UT-Austin. I currently work at a FinTech firm as a Business Analyst and do part-time independent coaching. I do a decent amount of research so I can follow-on substantive topic jargon but don't be overly aggressive with acronyms.
email - email@example.com
Tldr - Won't intervene w/ the ballot but will w/ speaks. Most importantly, you do you. We all give up a lot of time to this activity and I'd much rather judge a good debate where you debate at your very best, with the arguments you're most familiar w/, then trying to adapt and doing so poorly. I am not the greatest flow - unlikely to catch arguments less than 5 sec in length and small arguments are unlikely to play a huge role in my decision unless decisively emphasized in the last speech. I think of arguments in ballot story-line contexts so you should present a coherent Aff/Neg story rather then extending a blipstorm of arguments.
Debates I'm most confident in judging: 1] K v K, Policy v Policy, Topicality, 2] Policy v K (Clash of Civs), 3] Phil, Theory, 4] Tricks.
Please extend Offense. If you don't explain or defend your Impact, unless something has gone drastically wrong you will not win.
I have spent a lot of time cutting and coaching the K but Clash of Civs debates are kind of repetitive and boring.
Don't really care what Framework Impacts you go for. Fairness for me is an impact but I do think you have to have a defense of the game if the Aff has impact turned the content/form of the game being bad.
I think K-Affs should recognize what they are - either you are actually Topical and which case you should only need the I Meet OR you are not actually Topical and you need to tell me what about the Neg's model of debate is bad. If you waffle in-between, I will think you think there is some value to strategy/the game and it's harder for you to generate your "telos/content of the game is bad". I vote Aff in K vs Framework debates when Offense is clear and weighed - being vague only hurts you, not your opponent.
K v K debates should and do come down to the Perm 95% of the time - structure your offense around it.
T interps must be carded, T interps must define words in the resolution, not abstract grammar principles sloppily applied by high school debaters.
Reasonability is about the Interp not the Aff.
Personal preference is DA/Case 2NRs over CPs, I think it's the purest form of debate - I however understand, cut, and coach CPs very often.
Absent Theory or a Perm, my RFD in a CP v Case debate will always "does the risk of a solvency deficit outweigh the risk of a net benefit" - resolve this debate for me.
I probably will not catch your 5 sec Condo 1AR arg - if you are a West Coaster and you have some moral righteousness over Tricks debate and you do this, shame on you. Some arguments done by West Coasters are so blatantly blippy and meant to be 2AR hail marys if dropped and there is zero difference between that and Tricks debate.
Experience: I have taught at NSD, VBI, TDC. I've been coaching since I graduated in 2015 and I am the former director of debate at the Woodlands High School. My main experience is in LD, but I competed in/coached in NSDA nationals WSD (lonestar district), judge policy and PF somewhat irregularly at locals and TFA State. Across events, the way I understand how things work in LD applies. (WSD Paradigm at end)
Update for series online:
1. I have not judged any circuit-y debate since Grapevine, go slightly slower especially since it is over zoom. I do not like relying on speech docs to catch your arguments, but this is somewhat inevitable in zoom land. If you do go off doc or skip around you need to tell me.
2. Do whatever your heart desires. The paradigm below is merely an explanation of how I resolve debates, not a judgment on what kind of debate you like/have fun with. You can read pretty much whatever you want in front of me (with caveats mentioned below).
LD Paradigm (sorry this is long)
TL;DR: Use TWs, do not be rude, I am truly agnostic about what kind of debate happens in front of me. If you do not want to read through my whole paradigm check pref shortcuts and "things that will get your speaks tanked/I won't vote on."
K: 1-2 (more comfortable with identity Ks like queer theory, critical race theory, etc. I know some post-structuralist like Derrida, some Deleuze, Butler, Foucault, Anthro). Give me a 3 if you read Baudrillard unless you're good at explaining it
A bunch of theory: 2. I have been judging a lot of this lately, so do what you will. More specific theory stuff below.
Tricks: 2-3 I like good tricks but please have the spikes clearly delineated. There have been a couple rounds recently where I started to believe negating was in fact harder due to the affs that were being read. This kind of debate makes my head explode sometimes so collapsing in this form of debate is essential to me.
Policy/LARP: 3 (I guess?) I understand all of the technical stuff when it comes to this style, but I am not the judge for you if you're hoping that I would give you the leg up against things like phil or Ks. I vote on extinction outweighs a lot though (just bc I think LD has made a larger ideological shift towards policy args)
The trick to win my ballot regardless of the style/content: Crystallize!!!! Weigh!!!! Your 2nr/2ar should practically write my ballot.
I know that all of these have me in the 1-3 range, just consider me 'debate style agnostic'
I am familiar with most kinds of K lit, but do not use that as a crutch in close rounds. Underdeveloped K extensions suck equally as much as blippy theory extensions. Here are some other things I care about:
1. Make sure the K links back to some framing mechanism, whether it is a normative framework or a role of the ballot. You can't win me over on the K debate if you don't clearly impact it back to a framing mechanism. The text of the role of the ballot/role of the judge must be clearly delineated.
2. Point out specific areas on the flow where your opponent links. I'm not going to do the work for you. Contextualize those links!
3. If the round devolves into a huge K debate, you must weigh. Sifting through confusing K debates where there isn't any weighing is almost as bad as a terrible theory debate.
Overview extensions are fine, people forget to interact them with the line by line which makes me sad. If there are unclear implications to specific line by line arguments I tend to err against you
Non-black people should not read afro pess in front of me. You will not get higher than a 27.5 from me if you read it, I am very convinced by arguments saying that you should lose the round for it.
I vote on these relatively consistently, the only issue that I have seen is an explanation of why the aff needs the ballot -- I rarely vote on presumption arguments (e.g. "the aff does nothing so negate!") but that is usually because the negative makes the worst possible version of these arguments
I am just as likely to vote on Framework as I am a K aff -- to win this debate, I need a decent counter-interp, some weighing, and/or impact turns. Recently, I have seen K Affs forget to defend a robust counter-interp and weigh it which ends up losing them the round. Maybe I have just become too "tech-y" on T/Theory debates
Also, generally, a lot of ppl against Ks have just straight up not responded to their thesis claims -- that is a very quick way to lose in front of me -- I sort of evaluate these thesis claims similar to normative frameworks (e.g. if they win them, it tends to exclude a lot of your offense)
This is the type of debate I did way back when, so I am probably most comfortable evaluating these kinds of debates (but I only get to rarely). I studied philosophy so I probably know whats happening
Make all FW arguments comparative
Unless otherwise articulated, I probs default truth testing over comparative worlds when it comes to substantive debates
Phil debaters: stop conceding extinction outweighs. It is my least favorite framework argument and it makes me sad every time I vote on it
If you are reading theory against a K aff/K's then you need to weigh why procedurals come first and vice versa. If the K does not indict models of debate/form then I presume that procedurals come first (e.g. if the neg just reads a cap k about how the plan perpetuates capitalism, then I presume that theory arguments come first if there is no weighing at all)
You should justify paradigm issues, but I default competing interps and no RVIs. Reasonability arguments need a specific/justified brightline or at least a good enough reason to 'gut check' the shell. I think people go for reasonability too little against shells with marginal abuse
I tend not to vote on silly semantic I meets unless you impact them well (e.g. text>spirit) my implicit assumption is that an I meet needs to at least resolve some of the offense of the shell. So, if the I meet does not seem to resolve the abuse, then I likely will not vote on it absent weighing
aff/neg flex standards: need to be specific e.g. you cant just say "negating is harder for xyz therefore let me do this thing" rather, you should explain how aff/neg is harder and then granting you access to that practice helps check back against a structural disadvantage in some specific way
If there are multiple shells, I NEED weighing when you collapse in the 2nr/2ar otherwise the round will be irresolvable and I will be sad
Really, just weighing generally.
Shells I consider frivolous and won't vote on: meme shells, shoe theory, etc
Shells I consider frivolous and will vote on: spec status (and various other spec shells beyond specifying a plan text/implementation), counter solvency advocate, role of the ballot spec (please do not call it 'colt peacemaker')
Combo shells are good but please be sure that your standards support all planks of the interp
Alright, so you roll up into the room and you got this really tricked out case with 100 different a prioris, so many theory spikes that they are literally jumping off the page to fight for fairness, and the classic incontestable descriptive offense, and you are ready to win. I just have a couple of requests:
1. I want the spikes clearly delineated. None of that hidden theory spikes between substantive offense bs. I won't catch it, your opponent won't catch it, so it probably doesn't exist (like absolute moral truths).
2. Slow down a little for theory spikes. I was and continue to be terrible at flowing, so help me out a little by starting out slower in the underview section.
Sometimes these debates make my brain explode a little bit, so crystallization is key -- obvi it is hard to be super pathosy on 'evaluate the debate after the 1ac' but overviews and ballot instruction is key here
Also, I likely will never vote on evaluate the debate after "x" speech that is not the 2ar. So if that is a core part of your strategy I suggest trying to win a different spike. I probably voted on this once at the NSD camp tournament, which was funny, but not an argument I like voting on. Similarly, I will evaluate the theory debate after the 2ar; you can argue for no 1ar theory or no 2nr paradigm issues however.
Against Ks, I will likely not vote on tricks that justify something abhorrent. I think 'induction fails takes out the K' is also a silly argument (again, I voted on it like once but I just think its a terrible argument)
Unsure why I have to say this but DAs are not an advocacy and if I hear the phrase "perm the disad" you immediately drop down to a 28. If you extend "perm the disad" then you will drop to a 27. I'm not kidding.
Perms need a text, explanation of how the advocacies are combined, and how it is net beneficial (or just not mutually exclusive)
I do not really have any theoretical assumptions for policy style arguments, I can be convinced either way re:condo and specific CP theory (PICs, consult, etc)
Extinction outweighs: least favorite argument, usually the most strategic argument to collapse to against phil and K debaters
Unsure what else to say here, do what you want
Speaker points are relatively arbitrary anyways, but I tend to give higher speaks to people who make good strategic decisions, who I think should make it to out rounds, who keep me engaged (good humor is a plus) and who aren't mean to other debaters (esp novices/less experienced debaters). Nowadays, I tend to start you off at a 28 and move you up or down based on your performance. The thing I value most highly when giving speaks is overall strategy and arg gen. If I think you win in a clever way or you debate in a way that makes it seem that you read my paradigm before round, then the higher speaks you will get. I think I have only given out perfect 30s a handful of times. At local tournaments, my standards for speaks are a lot lower given that the technical skill involved is usually lower.
Things I like (generally) that ensure better speaks: overviews that clear up messy debates and/or outline the strat in the 1ar/2nr/2ar, effective collapsing, making the debate easy to evaluate (about 7 times out of 10, if I take a long time to make a decision it is due to a really messy round which means you should fear for your speaks; the other 3/10 times it is because it is a close round).
If you are hitting a novice, please don't read like 5 off and make the round less of a learning experience and more of a public beat down. It just is not necessary. I will give you higher speaks if you make the round somewhat more accessible (ie going slower, reading positions that they can attempt to engage in, etc).
Things that will get your speaks tanked and that I will not vote on:
1. Shoe theory, or anything of the like. I won't vote on it, instant 25.
2. Being rude to novices, trying to outspread them and making it a public beatdown. Probs a 27 or under depending on the strength of the violation. What this means is that you should make the round accessible to novices; do not read some really really dense K (unless you are good at explaining it to a novice so that they can at least make some responses), nor should you read several theory shells and sketchy/abusive arguments to win the ballot. Not making the round accessible is a rip, and I think it is important for tournaments to be used as a learning experience, especially if it is one of their first tournaments in VLD.
3. If you are making people physically uncomfortable in the space, and depending on the strength of the violation, you can expect your speaks to be 26 or lower. If you are saying explicitly racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, etc things then probs an auto-loss 25.
4. Consistently misgendering people. L 25
5. I will not vote on the generic Nietzsche "suffering good" K anymore, I just think that it is a terrible argument and people need to stop going to bad policy back files, listen to some Kelly Clarkson if you want that type of education. L 25
Style: To score high in this category, I not only consider how one speaks but the way arguments are presented and characterized. To some extent, I do think WS is a bit more 'performative' than other debate events and is much more conversational. As such, I think being a bit creative in the way you present arguments wins you some extra points here. This is not to say that your speech should be all flowery and substanceless; style is a supplement to content and not a replacement. Good organization of speeches also helps you score higher (e.g clash points, the speech has a certain flow to it, etc).
Content: The way I evaluate other forms of debate sort of applies here. The main thing I care about is 1. Have you provided an adequate explanation of causes/incentives/links etc? 2. Have you clearly linked this analysis to some kind of impact and explained why I care comparatively more about your impacts relative to your opponents? Most of the time, teams that lose lack one of these characteristics of arguments. The best second speeches add a new sub that puts a somewhat unique spin on the topic - get creative.
Models v. Counter-Models: The prop has the right to specify a reasonable interpretation of a motion to both narrow the debate and make more concrete what the prop defends on more practical/policy oriented motions. To some extent, I think it is almost necessary on these kinds of motions because while focusing on 'big ideas' is good, talking about them in a vacuum is not. Likewise, the opp can specify a reasonable counter-model in response/independent of the prop. I try my best not to view these debates in an LD/Policy way, but if it is unclear to me what the unique net benefit of your model is (and how the counter-model is mutually exclusive), then you are likely behind. On value based motions, I think models are relatively silly in the sense that these motions are not about practical actions, but principles. On regrets/narrative motions, I need a clear illustration of the world of the prop and opp (a counter-factual should be presented e.g. in a world without this narrative/idea, what would society have looked like instead?).
Strategy: Most important thing to me in terms of strategy is collapsing/crystallizing and argument coverage. Like other formats of debate, the side that gives me the most clear and concise ballot story is the one that will win. The less I have to think, the better. Obviously, line by lining every single argument is not practical nor necessary; however, if you are going to concede something, I need to know why it should not factor in my decision as soon as possible. Do not pretend an argument just doesn't exist. I also do not evaluate new arguments in the 3rd speeches and reply. For the 3rd speech, you can offer new examples to build on the analysis of the earlier speech, which I will not consider new.
Also, creative burden structures that help narrow the debate in your favor is something I would categorize as strategic. The best burdens lower your win conditions and subsequently increase the burden on the opposing side. Obviously, needs to be somewhat within reason or a common interp of the motion but I think this area of framing debates is under-utilized.
(sorry if the above is somewhat lengthy, I figured that I should write a more comprehensive paradigm given that I am judging WS more often now)
ld @ cypress woods high school '20, parli @ harvard '24.5. dabbled in worlds (usa dev '19)!
please time yourself
ask me anything before round!
i qualled to the toc my senior year and taught at nsd flagship & tdc. if you have questions / for sdocs: firstname.lastname@example.org
1 - phil/theory. i probably give more weight to k v phil interactions, phil v theory interactions, and k interactions in a truth testing paradigm than the average tx judge. i also enjoy interesting paradigm issue interactions on theory
2 - tricks/larp. i’m not familiar with the topic though, nor do i know what the principle of explosion is - you still need to explain things!
3 - k unless they're reps ks, which i read a lot of. i prefer lbl to floating overviews that im not sure what to do with.
- have the doc ready to send ahead of time
- i enjoy a good cx
- i'll call slow and clear as many times as i need to but speaks will drop. im fine w ur opponent calling slow/clear too as long as it's not malicious.
- scripting the entire speech and/or big words without explanation is an ick - i have no idea what, for example, hapticality is.
- postrounding / being aggressive (esp against trad/novices/minorities) makes me sad
- you have to provide evi to your opponent/judge. that does not mean you have to disclose (you can have that debate) but should show them, if requested. evi contestation (clipping, miscutting, etc.) is evaluated however the debaters decide: theory shell, stopping the round, etc.
- reading problematic args (eg racism good) is obvs an L. however, the validity of death good, trigger warnings, etc. are debatable (at least in front of me)
- online rounds - record your speeches in case internet gets funky
- i think the ability to spin evi should be rewarded; having good evi helps but "call for the card" puts me in a weird position. do that weighing for me.
- send any relevant screenshot for violations
i don't want to use defaults but here they are for accountability:
- comparative worlds
- permissibility negates, the side with less of a change from the status quo under comparative worlds gets presumption
- epistemic confidence
- dta on theory, dtd on t, competing interps, no rvis
- no judge kick