Prosper Rock Hill Swing
2022 — Frisco- Rock Hill High School, TX/US
World Schools Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I have been a coach and consultant for the past 24 years and done every debate format available stateside and internationally. I also have taught at UTNIF and also at Stanford. I think no matter what form of debate that you do, you must have a narrative that answers critical questions of who, what, when, where, why, how, and then what, and so what. Debaters do not need to be shy and need to be able to weigh and prioritize the issues of the day for me in what I ought to be evaluating. Tell me as a judge where I should flow things and how I ought to evaluate things. That's your job.
If you would like for me to look at a round through a policy lens, please justify to me why I ought to weigh that interpretation versus other alternatives. Conversely, if you want me to evaluate standards, those need to be clear in their reasoning why I ought to prioritize evaluation in that way.
In public forum, I need the summary to be a line by line comparison between both worlds where the stark differences exist and what issues need to be prioritized. Remember in the collapse, you cannot go for everything. Final focus needs to be a big pic concept for me. Feel free to use policy terms such as magnitude, scope, probability. I do evaluate evidence and expect you all to do the research accordingly but also understand how to analyze and synthesize it. Countering back with a card is not debating. The more complicated the link chain, the more probability you may lose your judge. Keep it tight and simple and very direct.
In LD, I still love my traditional Value and VC debate. I do really like a solid old school LD round. I am not big on K debate only because I think the K debate has changed so much that it becomes trendy and not a methodology that is truly educational and unique as it should be. Uniqueness is not the same as obscurity. Now, if you can provide a good solid link chain and evaluation method of the K, go for it. Don't assume my knowledge of the literature though because I don't have that amount of time in my life but I'm not above understanding a solidly good argument that is properly formatted. I think the quickest way to always get my vote is to write the ballot for me and also keep it simple. Trickery can make things messy. Messy debaters usually get Ls. So keep it simple, clean, solid debate with the basics of claim, warrant, impact, with some great cards and I'll be happy.
I don't think speed is ever necessary in any format so speak concisely, know how to master rhetoric, and be the master of persuasion that way. Please do not be rude to your opponent. Fight well and fight fair. First reason for me to down anyone is on burdens. Aff has burden of proof, neg has burden to clash unless it is WSD format where burdens exist on both sides to clash. If you have further questions, feel free to ask specifics.
I want you all to learn, grow, have fun, and fight fair. Best of luck and love one another through this activity!!
My name's Emily Jackson but I'd prefer you just called me Emily. I graduated from Plano Senior High School in 2016. I did two years of LD there, PF at Clark High School (Plano) before that, and NFA-LD and parli for the University of North Texas after. Currently associated with Marcus HS and DFW S&D.
FOR NFA - MY LD PARADIGM BELOW IS ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL. In general, refer to my policy paradigm. Here are some key differences:
- NFA-LD is short and I have a lot less tolerance for exploding blippy arguments than you'd probably hope. Keep in mind that the neg only gets two speeches- make your arguments have warrants in both of them. This is true in HS too but I'm also a lot less sympathetic to affs that rely on blip extensions.
- No I do not vote on RVIs in NFA-LD
- No RVIs means I'm more interested in procedural debates
At some point I will add a NFA-LD section but for now if you've got a specific question just ask me.
Short, reading on your phone as you're walking to the room version: Speed is fine, my limit is your opponent. Read whatever arguments you're good at, don't pull out something you don't like running just for me. I like well warranted frameworks, engagement on the framing level, and clear voting issues. I dislike rounds that collapse down to theory/T, but I'm more likely to just be annoyed with those than I am to dock anyone points for it unless you do it badly. Don't run racism/sexism/homophobia/etc good. If you have doubts, don't do it. If you have any specific questions, check below or just ask me before the round.
Fileshare and Speechdrop (speechdrop.net) are my preferred evidence sharing platforms. For evidence sharing and any out of round questions, email me at email@example.com
General: Too many debaters under-organize. Number responses to things, be clear where you are on the flow, refer to cards by name where you can. For some reason people keep not signposting which sheet they're on, so I'd really really like if you took the extra second to do that. This makes me more likely to put arguments where you want them, and generally makes it much easier for me to make a decision.
Speed: I like speed, but there are many valid reasons that your opponent might object and you should check with them first. Slow down on tags, cites, plan/counterplan texts, interpretations on T/theory, values/criterions, and generally anything you want to make sure I have down. If your opponent asks you not to go fast, don't. I will say "clear" if you're not understandable (but this is normally a clarity issue rather than a speed one.) Make sure you're loud enough when you're going quickly (not sure why some people seem to get quieter the faster they get)
Evidence: Know the evidence rules for whatever tournament you're participating in. Normally this is the NSDA. I take evidence violations seriously, but I don't like acting on them, so just follow them and we'll be fine. If you're sharing speeches (flashing, speechdrop, email chains,) I'd like to be a part of it. It's not that I don't trust you, but I know that debaters have a tendency to blow cards out of proportion/extend warrants that don't exist/powertag, so I'd like to be able to see the cards in round if your opponent can.
Speaks: Generally I give speaks based on strategy and organization, relative to where I feel you probably stand in the tournament. This generally means that I tend to give higher speaks on average at locals than larger tournaments. Low speaks likely mean that you were hard to flow due to organizational issues or you made bad decisions.
Framework: High-school me would best be categorized as a phil debater, so it's safe to say that I love a meaty framework. It's probably my favorite thing about LD. I can follow complex philosophical arguments well, but it's probably best to assume that I don't know the lit for everyone's benefit. Frameworks that stray from the util/generic structural violence FW norms of LD are my favorite, but make sure you actually know how it works before you do that. I've also come to like well-run deontological frameworks, but I tend to not see those as often as I like. I generally see who won the framing debate and then make the decision under that framework, but I can be convinced otherwise. Non-traditional structures are fine. As a side note, this applies to role of the ballot args as well, and I'm not going to accept a lower standard just because you call it a role of the ballot instead of a standard or a criterion. The manifestation is often different, but we still need justifications folks. Framework is not a voter.
I have a low threshold for answers on TJFs- I generally don't like them and I think they're a bit of a cop-out.
Ks: I like Ks when they're done well, but badly done Ks make me sad. Make sure you do the necessary work on the link and alt level. I want to know exactly what the link is and how it applies to the aff (where applicable) and I want to know exactly what the alt does and what it looks like. Like on framework, don't assume I know the lit. I might know it, I might have run it, but I still want you to explain the theory anyway in a way that someone who is less acquainted can understand. When done well, K debates are one of my favorite kind of debates.
On non-T K affs - I do very much like judging K v K debates and K affs. I coach non-T K affs now and I think that they can be incredibly educational if done well. I used to run T FW/the cap K a lot, but I feel like that has mostly led to me feeling like I need T FW/cap run well to vote on it as opposed to run at all.
Theory/T: Not a fan, but mostly because the format of LD normally necessitates a collapse to theory if you engage in it. I'm sympathetic to aff RVIs, and I default to reasonability simply because I don't like debates that collapse to this and would like to discourage it. Keep a good line-by-line and you should be fine.
Plans/Counterplans: Go for it. Make sure counterplans are competitive. Perms are a test of competition. I don't really have much to say here.
Some general theory thoughts: Doesn't mean that I'm not willing to listen alternative arguments, but here's where my sympathies lie.
Fairness is an internal link to education
AFC and TJFs are silly and mostly a way to deflect engaging in phil debate
Disclosure is good
1 condo advocacy fine
Nebel T is also silly
Ks: I think winning framing arguments are critical here, as they tend to determine how impacts should be weighed for the rest of the round. That being said, most rounds I've judged tend to be more vague about what exactly the alternative is than what I'd like. Clear K teams tend to be the best ones, imo. Kritical affs are fine provided they win a framework question. Do not assume that I know your literature.
T/Theory: Mostly included this section to note that my paradigm differs most strongly from LD here- I don't have a problem with procedurals being run and I can follow the debate well. I have never granted an RVI in policy and I don't see myself doing it any time in the near future- I default to competing interps without any argument otherwise.
Misc: If I don't say something here, ask me- I've never quite known what to put in this section. Open CX is fine but if one partner dominates all of the CXs speaks will reflect that. Flex prep is also fine, verbal prompting is acceptable but shouldn't be overused. I have a ridiculously low threshold on answers against white people reading Wilderson.
I don't have anything specific here except for the love of all that is good you need to have warrants. Please have warrants. Collapsing and having warrants is like 90% of my ballots here.
Misc, or, the "Why Did I Have To Put That In My Paradigm" Section:
- No, seriously, I will vote on evidence violations if I need to. They're not that hard to follow, so just like, do that.
- "Don't be offensive" also means "don't defend eugenics"
- Misgendering is also a paradigmatic issue. ESPECIALLY if you double down
For TFA State:
Interp: I am a pretty open minded judge when it comes to judging interp overall but there are a few things I look for in performances. Creativity and honesty will always be the most rewarded in my book because it is why we do what we do at the end of the day. Showcasing your own interpretation, but staying true to the core of the story is important to me. Character development and emotional shifts are super important especially over a digital platform to keeping us engaged with the story and showing us the meaning behind the words. Have fun with the choices you make as long as they are PURPOSEFUL, doing something that distracts rather than enhances makes us lose connection between what is happening in the story.
Speaking/Extemp: Big thing is show your own unique style and approach to speaking because this is what separates you from other. I am a big fan of humor, but PLEASE, I BEG do not make it feel forced or this is just awkward for both of us. In terms of depth of the speech, I like more than just surface level arguments and I want to see you get to the higher end issues and core problems effectively. Structure is important obviously to make sure we can connect all of the ideas and know how you are getting to what you are wanting to. Finally, have variation in your delivery, it is important to showcase the different levels and power of your arguments and statements and so we should feel very engaged with how you are saying and what you are saying.
Worlds School Debate:
School affiliation/s : Northwest High School
Hired (yes/no) : Hired for WSD
High School Affiliation if graduated within last five years (required): Northwest High School
Currently enrolled in college? (required) If yes, affiliation? No
Years Judging/Coaching (required) I have been judging for 5- 6 years.
Years of Experience Judging any Speech/Debate Event (required)
I pretty much started off my first year judging in interp and PF and then slowly incorporated all other forms of debate the following year.
Rounds Judged in World School Debate this year (required): Since August I have judged about 40 world school rounds around Texas.
Check all that apply
__x___I judge WS regularly on the local level
_____I judge WS at national level tournaments
_____I occasionally judge WS Debate
_____I have not judged WS Debate this year but have before
_____I have never judged WS Debate
Rounds judged in other events this year : 75 rounds including PF, LD, Interp, Speaking, and Congress.
Check all that apply
____ I have not judged this year
____ I have not judged before
Have you chaired a WS round before?
I have chaired multiple WS rounds before locally.
What does chairing a round involve?
Chairing a round basically is keeping the round in order and ensuring a productive and efficient debate. The chair is in charge of calling up the speakers, leading the RFD for the panel, making sure people do not ask questions during protected time (which I discuss students should keep their own timer at the beginning so we do not have this issue), and making sure a fair debate is occurring.
How would you describe WS Debate to someone else?
I would describe WSD as a form of debate in which you are arguing ideas and issues to show which side of the motion is the most logical. This is way different than Americanized debate where theory and jargon is utilized more, so it is focusing on the core issues of the debate. Worlds is suppose to make sense to anyone who is listening to the debate and therefore the arguments should make rationale sense to anybody.
What process, if any, do you utilize to take notes in debate?
I am fortunate enough to have a full setup for my computer. I have two monitors and on the main monitor I watch the debate, and the second monitor has my tabroom ballot where I am writing notes over each speech and speaker. I also in front of me use a notebook to flow the debate to make sure I keep up with what is being said in the round.
When evaluating the round, assuming both principle and practical arguments are advanced through the 3rd and Reply speeches, do you prefer one over the other? Explain.
This just simply depends on the topic itself. I am pretty open minded when it comes to arguments and do not have a personal preference as long as it is discussed why you chose what to advocate for. This clarity is needed to really emphasize why that approached is needed and it's on the debaters to tell me why it is preferable.
The WS Debate format requires the judge to consider both Content and Style as 40% each of the speaker’s overall score, while Strategy is 20%. How do you evaluate a speaker’s strategy?
I think strategy usually is overlooked in terms of how you want structure arguments. A speaker's strategy is how do you connect the claims you present and how you word things in order to be effective in elaborating on arguments presented by the other side. Picking the right way to argue things and how you say it are definitely things to be aware of for your strategy.
WS Debate is supposed to be delivered at a conversational pace. What category would you deduct points in if the speaker was going too fast?
First, I am glad to have not judged a WSD where someone was spreading, so let's keep it that way hopefully. If someone is just not effective with their speed and tone I usually deduct points from their style.
WS Debate does not require evidence/cards to be read in the round. How do you evaluate competing claims if there is no evidence to read?
As silly as it may sound, I usually vote on simply what makes sense. Since we do not have to have the 20 minutes of calling for cards (thankfully), I simply view whos reasoning and rationale makes the most sense towards the topic and arguments presented in the round. Show me your thought process through your speech and it usually comes down to who can prove their claims in a clear manner, rather than the throw everything at the wall and see what sticks strategy.
How do you evaluate models vs. countermodels?
I look at how effective and clear some model is to make sure it sets the foundation for your ideas. Make sure you think through your model to answer any potential questions individuals may have about it. I do not think all motions need a model or countermodel, so just make sure if you use one there is a purpose to it.
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.
School affiliation/s - please indicate all - None
Hired - yes
If HIRED - what schools/programs in Texas do you work with if any: none
High School Affiliation if graduated within last five years - n/a
Please list ANY schools that you would need to be coded/conflicted against - none
Currently enrolled in college? grad school University of Texas at Dallas
College Speech and Debate Experience - parliamentary debate
Years Judging/Coaching - 4
Years of Experience Judging any Speech/Debate Event - 25
Rounds Judged in World School Debate this year - lots
Check all that apply
_XX___I judge WS regularly on the local level
_XX__I judge WS at national level tournaments
Rounds judged in other events this year
Have you chaired a WS round before? yes
What does chairing a round involve? facilitating between speeches
How would you describe WS Debate to someone else? equal burdens
What process, if any, do you utilize to take notes in debate? flow
When evaluating the round, assuming both principle and practical arguments are advanced through the 3rd and Reply speeches, do you prefer one over the other? Explain. I think there needs to be a balance of both.
The WS Debate format requires the judge to consider both Content and Style as 40% each of the speaker’s overall score, while Strategy is 20%. How do you evaluate a speaker’s strategy? for strategy it's a matter of addressing the arguments in the round and how well they adhere to the norms of their speech order.
WS Debate is supposed to be delivered at a conversational pace. What category would you deduct points in if the speaker was going too fast? style
WS Debate does not require evidence/cards to be read in the round. How do you evaluate competing claims if there is no evidence to read? which side presents more compelling logical warrants as to why something is true.
How do you resolve model quibbles? whichever side does a better job of explaining why we should prefer theirs
How do you evaluate models vs. countermodels? whichever side does a better job of explaining why we should prefer theirs
Hi, welcome to my 30 second tutorial called, 'Answering Arguments Wins Debates.' Notice I didn't say 'repeating arguments wins debates,' because it doesn't. You have to listen to your opponent's argument, and then craft a response that shows why your side of the resolution is comparatively better regarding this issue. Telling me their argument isn't well-warranted isn't enough. You have to provide me with a warrant for why your side of the debate wins that point.
Now onto the stuff about me...
NO SPEED IN DEBATE. If it's faster than you would talk to a parent or teacher, don't do it. I will say clear once, then I will take off speaker points if I have to say clear again. I find speed problematic for two reasons. 1) it does not promote an inclusive debate space, because participants who are new or rarely compete cannot truly participate. 2) it is completely ableist to assume all of your competitors and judges will be able to meaningfully understand your speech. A decade ago I experienced a bipolar break, and since then my brain doesn't work as fast, and my ear-to-brain interaction isn't what it used to be. That doesn't mean I am stupid. It just means that I need to hear things at a normal, conversational speed.
***Whether it's prelims or elims of LD, PF, or worlds, at the point that you disregard my ability to participate in the round, you will not win my ballot. You might think you can win the other two ballots in an elim round, but it's not a great idea to have a 50% chance of winning/50% chance of winning/0% chance of winning when you could go slower and have 50% chance of winning each judge.*** Please note that I rarely am put in policy rounds, but sometimes I am needed. In prelims I expect a slower round. In elims, I will not be offended if you go your regular speed, but you have a greater chance of winning my ballot by going slower, as pointed out above. If you are in LD, PF, or worlds I WILL be offended if you go faster than my preference, and offending judges is not a great look.
In terms of argumentation, I will consider anything that isn't offensive. If you're trying to make an argument based on debate jargon explain it to me. Just because you think you sound cool saying something doesn't mean I am going to vote on it. I do not vote off tricks on the flow. Not every dropped argument actually matters. On the flipside, don't ignore arguments. LISTEN to your opponent. Respond to them.
I vote more on the big picture - overall impacts, overall strategy. I want to see you show why your side of the resolution is comparatively better than your opponent's. I do not like overwrought impacts. I am going to buy the impact about a million people that has a high probability of happening and a strong link chain over an existential impact that has a shady link story. If you think your opponent's impact is ridiculous, I probably do, too. Point that out to me so I can vote on yours instead. Every time a debater makes an argument that extinction level impacts have a zero percent probability, an angel gets its wings and Tinkerbell can fly again. You want to save flying paranormal creatures, don't you? Then be the person who isn't impacting to extinction.
Lastly, be respectful of me and of your opponent. If I am cringing by how rude you are in CX, you won't be getting high speaks. I don't vote for bullies. I vote for debaters. If you have questions about how to get better after the round, you can ask me. If you want to re-debate the round, I will not be tolerant. You had a chance to communicate to me, and if you lost, you lost. I am not going to change my mind, and arguing with me will just mean I will be in a bad mood if I ever have to judge you again. I judge often enough you want to be the person I smile when I see.
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)