TOC Digital Speech and Debate Series 1
2022 — NSDA Campus, US
Public Forum (Varsity) Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I am a parent judge with 5+ years of PF/LD/ Policy experience. Please consider me a Flay Judge.
- Speak as fast as you would like, but I will ask you to slow down if I cannot understand. No spreading please. I am fine with 15 seconds of grace time.
- Please be respectful of your opponents and give them a chance to speak. Do not keep interrupting or be rude or condescending. If not, I will drop your speaker points.
- Please do not read any form of progressive argumentation (theory, kritiks, etc.) as I cannot evaluate them and will not give you credit for them.
- Off-time roadmaps and sign-posting are encouraged. It helps me follow your debate better.
- My decision will be based on your contentions, evidence, rebuttals, impacts, summaries and weighing. I will evaluate all those on both sides to come to a decision.
- I like to see well-researched cases backed by strong and credible evidence. Please include me in the email chain to share cards as I like to review them as well.
Good luck and have fun!
Forensics is a speaking competition in which the art of rhetoric is utilized - speaking effectively to persuade or influence [the judge].
I take Socrates's remarks in Plato's Apology as the basis of my judging: "...when I do not know, neither do I think I know...I am likely to be wiser than he to this small extent, that I do not think I know when I do not know" (Ap. 21d-e).
My paradigm of any round is derived from: CLARITY!!!
All things said in the round need to be clear! Whatever it is you want me to comprehend, vote on, and so forth, needs to be clearly articulated, while one is speaking. This stipulation should not be interpreted as: I am ignorant about debate - I am simply placing the burden on the debater to debate; it is his or her responsibility to explain all the arguments presented. Furthermore, any argument has the same criteria; therefore, clash, at the substantive level, is a must!
First and foremost, I follow each debate league's constitution, per the tournament.
Secondly, general information, for all debate forms, is as follows:
1) Speed: As long as I can understand you well enough to flow the round, since I vote per the flow!, then you can speak as slow or fast as you deem necessary. I do not yell clear, for we are not in practice round, and that's judge interference. Also, unless there is "clear abuse," I do not call for cards, for then I am debating. One does not have to spread - especially in PF.
2) Case: I am a tab judge; I will vote the way in which you explain to me to do so; thus I do not have a preference, or any predispositions, to the arguments you run. It should be noted that in a PF round, non-traditional/abstract arguments should be expressed in terms of why they are being used, and how it relates to the round.
Set a metric in the round, then tell me why you/y'all have won your metric, while your opponent(s) has lost their metric and/or you/y'all have absorbed their metric.
The job of any debater is to persuade the judge, by way of logical reasoning, to vote in his or her favor, while maintaining one's position, and discrediting his or her opponent's position. So long as the round is such, I say good luck to all!
Ask any other clarification questions before the round!
Last edited for ’23-24. This paradigm tries to be expansive as possible a) to avoid a slew of questions pre-round (it’ll happen anyway bc people have stopped reading these) and b) because most judges really aren’t transparent at all and I do have real preferences.
Email chains for lay rounds? No thanks, just flow. And make real arguments, regardless of form or content.
About: Did 4 years of LD at a high school you’ve never heard of, ended up learning circuit debate independently, currently a senior/master's student at UGA (studying what is basically just K lit) and not doing college CX but still actively judging and coaching LD—this means I'm reasonably familiar with the rez.
- Pronouns: they/she (basically anything that isn’t masculine)
- I listen to girl in red (iykyk)
- I don’t shake hands, pls don’t try and shake my hand after the round (thanks for your understanding)
Speaks (Numbers n Stuff):
- Go as fast as you want, just be clear, and slow down on interp texts, advocacy texts, and standards plz
- I won’t listen to arguments asking for extra speaks, I also tend to not disclose speaks
- I want to be on the chain, no need to ask: email@example.com
- I typically try to average ~28.5 relative to the pool, they’re always based off efficiency/strategy rather than the ableist method of evaluating “speaking ability”
Prefs Cheat Sheet:
K, Policy: 1
Theory and Tricks: 4
Trad: Your call (I would place myself around a 2 for these kinds of rounds)
*I prefer genuine ACs/NCs to tricks—a “Korsgaard AC” is best read as Korsgaard and not 3 min of goobledygook
TL;DR: engage, clash, and read substantive arguments that are well-thought out and you should be fine
Here are the most common things people look for, people have stopped reading paradigms:
- Paradigms are largely unhelpful bc they're all iterations of "fine with anything" and "do what you do best" - point blank, I do best with Ks and policy, understand philosophy which means I have a higher threshold for it (debate is so far removed from real philosophical deliberation that it hurts sometimes), and do not prefer tricks/friv theory - in general, I'm fine for arguments that are pedagogically responsible (warranted and have real value), bad for arguments that are frivolous
- A lot of my RFDs involve in-round explanation of some degree (in both directions)—well-warranted and explained arguments tend to fare better than meaningless walls of buzzwords and claims, and since debate is a communicative activity, I need to be able to understand and articulate your arguments
- Method and framing evidence has been atrocious as of late—it's underhighlighted and doesn't warrant what's in the tag—if I can't piece together what you're trying to say with the highlighted portion alone, I'm not going to fill in the rest for you—blitz through this at your own risk
- I will always disclose the decision (but not speaks) at the end of the round (if the tournament won’t let me, I will do it anyway if you email me afterwards) – all good judges disclose their decisions. It sometimes takes me a moment to type stuff up if the round was close. I will always try to give the “right” decision since I care a lot about giving quality feedback + results, but similarly, don’t aggressively postround me.
- Misgendering, general misconduct (like being racist or sexist) is a reason for me to damage your speaks at best, if you continue to do it, try to impact turn it, and/or willfully ignore it, neither one of us will like the end result
- Discourse violations are better read as kritiks than theory but I will vote on both (I tend to be slightly annoyed by the team/debater that used harmful discourse to begin with, so no need to worry about how you go about this)
- To add to the above: pls let me know if you have any accommodations that need to be met before the round (slower spreading than normal, preferred pronouns, etc.) to make the round as safe and inclusive as possible, debate is for everyone—I care a lot about student well-being and any accessibility concerns should be relayed in a manner you feel comfortable with (getting my attention or emailing me, whatever you need to do)
- Weighing is good. please do it. thx in advance <3
- Good K debates are the best types of rounds, but bad K debates are frustratingly difficult to resolve (i.e., pre-scripted 2NRs loaded with buzz terms that don’t frame anything for my ballot)—know your lit base (theory of power, topic links…the whole shebang), make it meaningful
- I have noticed a major uptick in criticisms of settler colonialism following the “open borders” topic from J/F 2023—if you’re going to read it, a) read the full text from which you cut evidence and actually read Tuck and Yang first (not just the abstract) and know what the 6 moves to innocence are, read la paperson 2017 (it does not conclude ‘state reform good’), b) have the historical knowledge to actually go for these arguments, c) perf-cons are incredibly damning in these rounds, d) center Indigenous scholarship in the round or read another position
- Fav lit bases are queer and feminist lit but if you don’t know these lit bases, they can also make me v sad
- I'm a material kinda person, which means I like to see material examples of theory in power in motion—always willing to vote on high theory arguments, but it is a near necessity that there be a connection to the material world
- Do impact analysis/weighing bc these debates can otherwise become messy, also do lots of link and alt work and don’t just talk past the Aff—lack of engagement and poor alt work are two ways to a good old-fashioned L
- Non-T Affs are always great but be ready for generic responses (and just make sure the Aff does ‘something’…I don’t really care what that ‘something’ is though)
- T-FW should engage with the Aff and explain what it means to affirm (“must defend only a policy” is a terrible argument and does not explain what it means to affirm), DAs to models of debate are underrated—tailor it to the Aff (ngl, I don't really take a definitive stance on what T-FW should look like, just make it good)
- Aff FW v. K: a) just bc you win that you weigh case, doesn’t mean you’ll win the round, b) state engagement good needs to be contextualized to the specific criticism, otherwise you should just debate at the link level—also, most state engagement good cards are really underhighlighted/underwarranted c) extinction outweighs is often a link but I’ll go either way on this one, d) only makes sense in policy v. K rounds tbh
- K v. K – always welcome but can be very difficult to evaluate without effort on your behalf
- Don’t be lazy—explain the perm (beyond ‘double-bind’ bc that means nothing) and explain the alt
- I do think that debaters should be held accountable for their discourse in-round—I prefer only going for discourse links when the link is egregious (like calling an immigrant an 'illegal alien'), and also think that word PIKs can be policing (basically: tread carefully, do this when it's necessary)
- Performances: can really matter in terms of how the Aff frames its engagement w/ debate + the world, but if it’s a 5-10 second “land acknowledgment” that takes place in your constructive and never gets brought up again, then idrc—performances have as much meaning as you articulate them to have, and can be as simple as playing background music to as complex as layering personal anecdotes/poetry in the round—you do you, I’m here for it
- Sure, did this for a while and it’s probably the most common type of round I judge, fine with however you carry out policy rounds though I much prefer topic-specific ptx positions and impact turns to generics like “x is the actor, extinction”
- Weighing = necessity (and beyond just “magnitude” if there are two competing extinction scenarios), I really like “even if”/relativistic claims to be made in these rounds (it’s never absolute…trust me) and doing evidence comparison/weighing is super helpful
- Case debate is great debate - contest the scenarios, solvency, and other details too beyond just impact D
- “Judge kick” seems rather goofy
- If you can read CP texts and plan texts at conversational speed, that’d be fantastic
- The 1AC probably needs to at least mention Util/SV (even if it’s just a one-liner), the 1NC should exploit Affs that don’t
- Extinction is overused in debate (won’t hack against it but like…do we need to be mentioning extinction on “standardized tests?”)
- I like tests of competition more than theory debates (plan v. CP perm debates are underrated), but if you go with theory, pls weigh against 1NC procedurals
- Less a fan of limits/fairness for the sake of limits—overlimiting is a thing, I prefer topic lit implications and warrants (and similarly this constrains semantics impacts)
- Losing influence in the meta, I did study philosophy for some of college and still actively keep up with philosophy,I prefer real-world style philosophical argumentation to shenanigans based on my experiences in actual philosophical inquiry
- I prefer sensical ACs/NCs to nonsense, not a fan of tricks disguised as philosophy, generally quick to understand what you're reading but many debaters do a very poor job of in-round explanation (just keep that in mind)
- FW justifications need real warrants - a lot of them like "performativity" are like really circular and never explain why the FW is actually true
- A lot of phil contentions don't actually align with their framing - Kantian philosophy, for example, would not conclude "taxation is impermissible under the criterion"
- Don’t quote things like source Kant (Korsgaard is cooler anyway)
- TJFs—mixed feelings, most of them aren’t fantastic arguments but I’m fine voting on them
- I heavily dislike AFC/ACC (debate is about clash lol), not fond of Truth Testing ROBs in place of FW debates
Traditional LD (Trad)
- I would consider myself a reasonably competent judge; I can evaluate whatever you’re doing just fine—traditional rounds are easier to evaluate if you weigh, give clash, and give voters at the end, but are more difficult to resolve in the absence of crystallization in latter speeches
- Please don't read arguments like "we must follow what is in the constitution and only what is in the constitution" as "this is ethical" - consider that you're reading an argument weaponized against queer people in front of an openly queer judge
- Counterplans are a good thing for debate, but many counterplans read in lay debates do not make sense
- Please say the name of the card BEFORE you start reading off the actual card—this makes it so much easier for me to flow (i.e., “Jones 20: blah blah”)
- I’m not a parent judge who cares about “speaking well” or “the values debate” – you should debate impacts instead of framework if the two don’t clash with each other
- Words in the rez =/= abstract principles of good
- The Aff must provide solvency to some extent (implied solvency doesn’t exist)
- “Where’s the statistic for x” is only a legitimate argument when dealing with utilitarian impacts
- I view the rez as a fluid idea—I don’t hack against any given arguments (except obv problematic ones), which includes “circuit arguments” (also, as a heads up: if your opponent is reading a kritik, you should probably not call it “[a] theory” or say “they didn’t have a value/VC” – these two things will tank your speaks)
- Full disclosure here - my ability to eval these rounds is entirely dependent on execution - if you actually do weighing (between standards, paradigm issue warrants, etc.), we're fine, if the opponent concedes something, make that the center of attention, if these things don't happen, brace for impact
- Overall: good for policy-type theory (condo, warranted spec theory like aspec, CP theory, etc.), bad for friv theory, won’t vote on out-of-round violations (beyond disclosure, which similarly needs a clear violation or I won’t vote on it) or theory where there is no in-round abuse
- Won’t evaluate arguments about your opponent’s appearance or other ad hom-type theory (please don’t), similarly have a very high threshold when theory is deployed to shut out hard convos, it’s bad for debate
- People need to SLOWWW DOWN when reading the interp text (conversational speed would be amazing)
- Reading more than 2 shells in-round (on either side) will usually lead me to question your strategic decisions
- I don’t apply defaults in theory rounds—read paradigm issues pls and thx
- Reasonability is always an option (please?) – similarly, I think it’s actually quite strategic to read reasonability as a paradigm issue for accessibility-type theory (must not misgender opponent, accessibility formatting, etc.)
- The RVI: have voted for one before, not an impossible battle, just not an easy one
- I have judged several debates in which there is a “misdisclosure” violation and it devolves to “they said-they said” – please: a) collapse to something else most of the time, b) explain at like 60-70% speed “I asked for x before the debate, they said they would provide it, and then y happened” – basically, make the violation super clear to me, and c) take screenshots that are definitive evidence - this isn't to say "never go for it," it's more so to say "go for it if you think an outsider (me) will get it"
- Disclosure has made debate better, but reading disclosure theory is an attempt to mandate equality when we should be focusing on issues of equity
- You don’t have to disclose performances
- I will not vote on disclosure at locals (as aforementioned at the top), if you think it should be enforced, we can have a conversation about it, but let's be honest: you just want a cheap tech ballot
- Learning about disclosure norms is a topic for out-of-round discussion but not one I ever feel comfortable adjudicating (i.e., rounds where disclosure theory is deployed when one team doesn’t know how to use the wiki)
- Genuine philosophical paradoxes (like stuff out of Socratic dialogues), innovative arguments, and creativity are okay—anything else is probably a non-starter for me, especially if it’s an argument that can be dismantled via any coherent thought (the key distinction is how much explanation is put into the argument…much like other styles in debate)
- I understand ethical paradoxes within the time constraints of a debate round much better than logical formulae/dense logic equations—blitzing through a paragraph of “if p then q” will leave my head spinning and a mess on my flow
- I seriously dislike the way Truth Testing gets deployed in debate, especially if you use it against Ks or K Affs (it’s violent) – I do think that identity tricks are a valid response to violent practices, although you can (and should?) also go for it as a link
Misc/Defaults for LD
- FW Defaults: Comparative Worlds, Epistemic Confidence
- Permissibility and presumption both negate at face value, unlikely to vote on permissibility affirming (given ‘ought’ in the rez), presumption flips Aff if the Neg reads an advocacy, but I seldom vote on either one
- Don’t care if you sit or stand
- If I am on a panel with two lay/parent judges, I apologize to everyone else in the room in advance
Sequoyah HS, Perry HS, Ivy Bridge Academy, Dean Rusk MS
Please speak at a slow, respectable speed, make your points clearly, provide solid evidence that is clear and concise, be respectful to other speakers. Have fun!
i judge debate rounds like the new york times editorial board: i just wish i could vote for everyone!
2015-2019 circuit pf/extemp at theodore roosevelt in des moines, iowa
i go to depaul university now
put me on the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
DEBATER MATH IS BAD MATH
tl;dr anything not discriminatory goes, please comparatively weigh, collapse strategically, and frontline!!!
first to steal some from other paradigms:
ethics > tech > truth, if I think that voting for you makes debate more exclusionary, in a manner I find indefensible, I will have no problem dropping you without a technical justification. Sorry not sorry.
the most enjoyable part of debate is when debaters successfully mold a convincing narrative out of ridiculous concepts
I will not vote on any case arguments addressing domestic violence, sexual violence, or rape that were not preceded by a pre-round trigger warning. If, upon hearing this trigger warning, the opponent requests the argument not be made and that request is denied, I'll listen/be receptive to theory arguments about why I ought to vote a particular way based on the introduction of that issue. That doesn't mean I'll automatically pull the trigger on it one way or the other, but I will be exceptionally open to doing so if the argument claiming I should evaluate the mere fact that the sexual violence argument is made is won in the debate.
now, some thoughts of my own:
Ks encouraged, your speaks will reflect that if you run them well...
HOWEVER if you run an identity-based position and neither of you are a member of that community, don't
i'd prefer theory to be run in shell form but i won't penalize you if you're unfamiliar with formal technical structure, just explain why your opponents are being abusive/bad for debate and why that means i should vote for you
if strictly a substance debate, i evaluate the fw debate first and do impact calc under that
good and interesting fw debates will lead to high speaks, but also don’t throw a framework in just because (especially CBA, which is just a waste of time in constructive)
presume 1st speaking team if no offense, absent a presumption arg made in the round
if an argument is not addressed in the next speech, it is a dropped argument (this means yes, you do have to frontline in second rebuttal)
defense is sticky!!! if you drop terminal defense on an argument i won't vote for you on it, even if it never comes up again after first rebuttal
weigh comparatively ideally beginning in rebuttal, if your "weighing" is just yelling your impact and some buzzword like magnitude at each other, nobody's gonna be happy
for me to vote on any offense and frontlined defense that is in final focus, it must also be in summary
be strategic! you don't have to go for everything, and it's never a good idea to do so!
speed-wise I’m good for ~250wpm anything more and I’ll need a speech doc to avoid missing things (but if you feel excluded by your opponents going too fast, implicate that as in-round abuse for a path to the ballot)
evidence should have author last name and date
extensions have warrant and impact, actually explain the argument and why it matters rather than just “extend Whalen 14 moving on”
speaks are 27 and above unless you’re big heinous
plz plz plz ask me any questions you have before/after the round, this is an educational activity
auto-30s if you:
-win on anthro or baudrillard (this doesn’t mean I’ll hack, you have to actually win the arg)
-take no prep time & win
I am currently a student at the university of Michigan. I am currently studying finance with a data science concentration alongside public policy. Throughout my debate career I have debated mainly Road schools to be a long side policy and Lincoln Douglas.
I am a parent judge, and have been judging mainly PF for 4+ years. I appreciate clear communication and respect for time. I prepare for the topic and like to be involved. I will accommodate any challenges due to online nature of the debate, but would appreciate if the participants have tested their connectivity etc.
I'd really appreciate a card doc at the end of the round.
Debated in policy for four years at Damien High School in La Verne, CA. I had 5 career bids and I participated in the 2020 eTOC. I placed pretty well at some national tournaments and received some speaker awards along the way. I have worked as a judge and staff member at the Cal National Debate Institute. I was a consultant/judge for College Prep, and this is my first year as an assistant coach for College Prep.
I mostly think about debate like her. If you like the way she thinks then I probably think the same way.
**** I will try my hardest to flow without looking at my computer so I suggest debating as if I have no reference to what is being read. Clarity is much more important than unchecked speed ****
Debate is a competition, but education seems to be the most intrinsic benefit to the round taking place. I believe that debates centered around the resolution are the best, but that can mean many different things. Debate is also a communicative activity so the first thing that should be prioritized by all the substance is the ability to clearly convey an argument instead of relying on the structure and tricky nature of policy debate.
The most important thing for me as a judge is seeing line-by-line debating instead of relying upon pre-written blocks. Drops happen and that is debate, but what I most hate to see are students reading off their laptops instead of making compelling indicts of their opponents' arguments off the top of their heads. Debate requires some reaction to unexpected things but I think that it enhances critical thinking and research skills.
When it comes to content, I sincerely do not have any big leans toward any type of argument. Just come to the round with a well-researched strategy and I will be happy to hear it. My only non-starters are arguments that promote interpersonal violence, prejudice toward any group of people, or danger toward anyone in the round. If those arguments are made, the offending team will lose, receive a 0 for speaker points, and I will speak with their coach. The safety of students is the number one priority in an academic space such as debate.
Thoughts on Specific Arguments Below:
Disadvantages: Impact calculus and Turns case/Turns the DA at the top, please. These debates are won and lost with who is doing the most comparison. Don't just extend arguments and expect me to just clean it up for you. I like politics DAs, but I want more comparisons of whose evidence is better and more predictive instead of just dumping cards without any framing arguments. Go for the straight turn. I love bold decisions that are backed up by good cards.
Counter plans: I am all about good counterplan strategies that have great solvency evidence and finesse. I have grown tired of all the nonsense process, agent, and consult counter plans, and while I will vote for them, I prefer to hear one that is well-researched and actually has a solvency advocate for the aff. Regarding theory, most violations are reasons to justify a permutation or to lower thresholds for solvency deficits, not voters. Consult CPs are however the most sketchy for me, and I can be convinced to vote against them given good debating.
Topicality: Love these debates, but sometimes people get bogged down by the minutiae of the flow that they forget to extend an impact. Treating T like a disad is the best way to describe how I like teams to go for it. Please give a case list and/or examples of ground loss. Comparison of interpretations is important. I think that the intent to exclude is more important than the intent to define, but this is only marginal.
Kritiks: Over time I have become more understanding of critical arguments and I enjoy these debates a lot. The alternative is the hardest thing to wrap my head around, but I have voted for undercovered alternatives many times. I think that the more specific link should always be extended over something generic. Extending links is not enough in high-level rounds, you have to impact out the link in the context of the aff and why each piece of link offense outweighs the risk of the aff internal link. I prefer that the negative answer the aff in these rounds, but I do not think it is impossible to win without case defense. The only thing that matters is winning the right framework offense.
Planless Affs: Performance 1ACs are great but there has to be an offensive reason for the performance. I won't vote on a dropped performance if there is no reason why it mattered in the first place. I prefer that these affs are in the direction of the topic, but if there is a reason why only being responsive to the resolution matters, then I am fine with it not being so. Framework is a good strategy, but I don't like voting on fairness, because I don't believe that it is a terminal impact. I believe that having a fair division of labor is important, but not because debate is a game. Debate has intrinsic educational value and both teams should be debating over how they access a better model of the activity. For the negative, I like it when teams just answer the aff method and clash over the effectiveness of the 1AC.
Conditionality: I think that up to 3 advocacies are fine for me. Anything more and I am more sympathetic to the aff. Don't get it twisted, if the neg screws up debating condo, I will vote aff.
Feel free to ask me anything before the round. Most importantly compete, respect each other, and have fun.
I am from TN and am looking forward to judging debate. Please make sure to speak on the slower side and clearly so that I can understand your arguments. Make sure to speak loudly and make eye contact as it helps me understand you better as well. Please be polite .
Kempner '20 | Stanford '24
or just facebook message me
4 years of PF, qualified to TOC twice
23-24 update: I haven't thought about debate in a minute, so the likelihood I know the intricacies of your arguments is low. However, don't hold back, treat me as tech judge, ask any questions beforehand.
- stop saying actor incentive analysis
***Update for Zoom Tournaments: Slow down on authors and tags in all speeches. If you are worried about speed, I'll take speech docs and follow along. Clarity>>>
dec '22 update:
Send case cards on the email chain so we don't have to wait a bunch for cards
Updates as of Jan '22 topic
- FOR STRAKE RR OR ANY RR: I WILL NOT EVALUATE PROGRESSIVE ARGUMENTATION UNLESS IT IS SOMEHOW RELATED TO THE TOPIC, i.e don't read disclosure or paraphrase bc you didnt do any prep (normal tournaments, do whatever, keep my progressive section in mind)
- Far too many teams are sacrificing warrants in exchange for technical victories. To win you must fully extend your argument, i.e the uniqueness, link and impact, with the warrants on each of those levels.
-send me your case docs and set up an email chain with your opponents(lets save time)
- if you debate without your computer auto 30 (in-person)
- if your tournament isn't running on Pacific Time, please be considerate on early rounds, it's super early out here
- if you are flight 2, preflow/flip/set up chains or docs before and be ready to start by the time flight 1 is over.
- Debate is a game so tech>truth
- Speed: go as fast as you want, if you’re going faster than I can process, I’ll yell clear once and then it’s on you. Also, the faster you go the more likely I am to miss something, so do that at your own risk
- Defense you want to concede should be conceded in the speech immediately after it was originally read
- a concession requires an implication of how the defense interacts with your argument not just "we concede to the delinks"
- I don't care if you sit or stand/wear formal clothes etc, all that doesn’t matter to me
- if i look confused, i probably am
- give trigger warnings- if another team does not feel comfortable with an argument, change it. you can argue whether trigger warnings are good/bad for debate/society, but don't proactively cause harm on someone else.
- defense isnt sticky
- Flex prep is cool and tag team speeches/CX is fine with me
- if ur down to skip grand for 30 seconds more prep (during the time of grand), i'm down
- absent any offense in the round, i'm presuming neg on policy topics and first on "on balance" topics
- Have fun. Do whatever you want to do
- For reference, here’s the link to our circuit debater page to see the style of arguments my partner and I used to read. (Look for Kempner BS)
- I prefer framing arguments to be read in case, i.e extinction/structural violence authors.
- Offense overviews in second rebuttal are annoying, but you do you
- I think you need to frontline in second rebuttal but do whatever you want to do, however,
- Anything not responded to in second rebuttal is regarded conceded
- Turns that are conceded will have 100% probability
- Caveat on turns. Like my friend Caden Day, I believe that If you extend a link turn on their case, you must also make the delineation of what the impact of that turn is otherwise I don't really know what the point of the turn is.
- case offense/ turns should be extended by author name, you'll probably get higher speaks if you do, it's a lot clearer for me
- do- “Extend our jones evidence which says that extensions like these are good because they're easier to follow"
- Dont do "extend our link"
- for an argument to be voteable I want uniqueness/ link/ impact to be extended
- please extend warrants, I don't want to have a flood of blippy and unwarranted claims on my flow at the end of your summary
- this also goes for arguments that are conceded
- First summary
- Defense should be extended but I’ll give slightly more lenience to your side if extended in final especially since the second speaking team already had a chance to frontline it twice. However at this point, it’s probably not terminal defense if it was originally, but it’ll at least mitigate their impact
- Second summary
- This is your side’s last chance to weigh, so if the weighing is not here then I will not evaluate any more weighing from your side
- Defense must also be extended
- Just mirror summary, extend uniqueness, link and impact.
- Don't make new implications on something that was never heard before, it’s annoying for me to go look back and see if you really said that, plus it’s just abusive
- Cross is binding, just bring it up in a speech though
- I'm most likely not going to be paying attention during cross, so don't mind any nodding/movements from me
- I know how bad evidence ethics are, however, I will only call for evidence if if the other team tells me to call for it
- If your opponents are just blatantly lying about a piece of evidence, call it out in speech and implicate what it means for their argument
- I’ve always been a firm believer that a good analytic with a good warrant beats a great empiric with no warrant. Use that to your advantage
- You’ll have a minute to pull the evidence your opponents called for before your speaks start getting docked
- Exception- the wifi is bad/something is paywalled and you have to go around it
- there are also a few hard rules when it comes to debate
- Speech times are set (4-4-3-4-4-3-3-3-3-2-2)
- Prep Time is set (3 minutes)
- I will vote for one team and one team only
- I will evaluate theory
- Shells I'd be more willing to vote on - Actual abuses that make sense (trigger warning, gendered language [I think this is more specific to competitors than to authors], DA's in second rebuttal)
- Shells I'd be less willing to vote on - Disclosure, paraphrasing, friv theory, 30 speaks
- if you read a small schools warrant and you're from a big school, you are getting a 25.
- Paragraph Theory works too, no need to get fancy if you don't need to.
- I err on the side of reasonability here, I think it's the only fair way for teams who aren't experienced with this stuff to be able to interact.
- I reserve the right to just not evaluate a shell.
- i will not evaluate K's with no link to the topic and tricks. I don't know how to evaluate this stuff and I also think these arguments are insanely exclusionary.
- K's with links to the topic are your best bet with me if you're gonna read these kinds of arguments
- at the end of the day, it's substance or you're scared. I think topical progressive arguments make a lot of sense and are good for the activity, reading stuff like the Good Samaritan paradox ain't it.
- Sam's Thoughts on progressive debate align really closely to mine, It's a long read but I think it definitely goes into a lot more detail than what I have here.
- Spread on novices- I understand you want the dub but remember you were also there at one point and also what good is beating a novice team you could’ve beaten anyways by spreading
- This includes reading disclosure/progressive stuff on novices
- Be toxic- meaning, dont be an jerk during round in general, don't start yelling/cutting your opponents off etc
- Say something that’s blatantly racist/sexist/misogynistic/ xenophobic
- having moving target warrants that change from speech to speech
- From cara’s paradigm ““If you at any point in the debate believe that your opponent has no routes to the ballot whatsoever i.e. a conceded theory shell/link or impact turn/ double turn/ terminal defense/, you can call TKO (Technical Knock Out). What this means is that if I believe that the opposing team has no routes to the ballot, I will give you a W30. However, if there are still any possible routes left, I will give you a L20.”
- if you call "harv*rd" Stanford of the East, you get +0.5 speaker points (this has to be if you had evidence from that organization, it cant just be random)
- I agree generally with Nibhan, Nilay, Raj and Abhi when it comes to general views on debate (tech specifics are on my paradigm)
- im probably not the best judge here, but most of the same norms apply (ask for specifics)
- if you are running progressive stuff, just slow down/explain and i should be fine, your signposting is gonna be insanely important
I'm a former four-year high school PFD debater and currently participate on the college circuit for both Mock Trial and British Parliamentarian Debate. In high school, I also dabbled across Individual events: Poetry, Poi, Oratory, Congress, getting to NSDA Nationals, and NITOC in Poetry and Poi respectively. For PFD, I was both a first and second speaker. In congress, I was the district's presiding officer.
In college, I'm a planned Political Science, Philosophy, and Econ major with a minor in data science. I say this to show I will hear both deontological and utilitarian arguments equally but want to hear at least some weighing in the summary and final focus. This weighing should be done on some agreed framework-I don't like rounds that are just fw based, I get if it is a point of contention up until summary speeches but beyond that is just draining for everyone (I find that if this is the case one team is usually being abusive).
If you spread, I'm ok with that, but please make sure you are articulating well and that you read your tags/sources for every card.
On sources, this is a major gripe of mine. I will be open to hearing any source objections play out, and if the opposition can not give you a valid citation I will expunge the card from my final calculus. Essentially, cite credible sources and have those citations handy.
I was big in high school on having outside-the-box cases and theory, and think it is always exciting to hear these arguments, but make sure you have a clear link chain, if one leg breaks do you have another to lean on? (if so make that known---remember I'm a Philosophy major so I love a well laid out arg).
I always hated when judges added in their own argumentation as a means to justify a loss: to be clear, I will not do that. If I add a possible question or counter arg that was not articulated in the round to your ballot, know that did not factor into my ruling.
That being said, I'm competent enough to understand where most arguments are going...As I said I am studying poli-sci and econ. If it's between a summary speech rearticulating a non-responded objection or hitting another arg, always hit the other arg.
Finally, a note on formatting. I'm not a stickler for the off-the-clock road map that has grown to be ever so pervasive-instead I just want you to signpost throughout your speech-I and everyone else in the room should be flowing, help us out when you transition from one side of the flow to the other.
First and Foremost any racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic, ableist, demeaning, degrading comments or arguments will instantly result in me dropping the debater in round and 0 speaker points for them.
Second, this paradigm was written by Satyam Bhushan from East Ridge Debate :)
I am a lay judge and this is my first year judging. Speak to me as if I'm a middle schooler. Assume all I know is what the resolution is.
Keep track of time by yourself.
Prog Arguments: I have no experience with Ks, Theories, or Tricks (I'm also not particularly a huge fan of them). Running them is just a risk for yourself and I would prefer the debate remained on substance. I would hate to vote against a team simply because I don't really understand progs.
Constructive: Avoid spreading, you can give it a go but it would be at your own risk. Clear and concise speaking will go a long way.
Rebuttal: Again no spreading, ensure the responses are warranted, don't just say "on their [insert card name] card blah blah blah". You can read the card name but make sure you tell me what the card is saying and why your response interacts with it.
Summary: When extending, don't just read the card name, give me a story and a scenario, ensure the extension is clear and not rushed. Frontlines should be well sign-posted and warranted. Ensure you weigh, why does your impact matter. Do all of these in a way that you would try to convince a middle schooler or anyone who doesn't know the topic to a great detail. No new frontlines in second summary. You can analyze what has been said already or bring in a new thought process of what's already been said but there should definitely not be new information or cards.
Final Focus: Emphasize on extending and weighing similar to summary but definitely condense the debate and tell me what the real issues are and why you win them.
Crossfire: I would prefer grand cross would not be skipped. Be respectful in all the crossfires. I will not consider any statements made in cross in my ballot unless it comes up in a speech.
The most important thing is that throughout the debate you are telling me a story and why its more valuable. Due to my inexperience, be wary and do your best to prevent me from getting lost in the tech and the line-by-line that many debaters are used to.
Hello My name is Mariana Blanco, I am parent judge with no prior experience.
I ask that you speak clearly, at a medium speed as I don’t want to miss key points of your argument because of trying to understand what you are saying. Communicate in an organized manner providing sufficient research evidence and reasoning with logic.
Good sportsmanship and kind and respectful attitude towards your opponents are important to me.
Current Affiliations - competitor @ Washburn University: '21-Present, coach @ North Broward Prep: '22-Present.
Past Affiliations - Topeka High School: '17-'21
Don't be mean, this should be a fun event for everyone. People who are mean will be punished via lower speaks. People who are actively awful (discriminatory, violent, or hateful to no end) will be punished via a combination of lower speaks, an L, and a discussion with relevant coaches/adults affiliated with your school.
Tl;dr - well enough for anything, best for policy affs vs. any variation of strategy. go fast, but go fast well. extend ur arguments. write good plan texts or suffer the consequences. sucker for case debate. do what you can justify, and don't blame me if you fail to.
I generally believe debates are determined by a comparison of offensive arguments to relevant defensive responses in the debate. To win under this frame of reference teams should be articulating why the offense they are attempting to win on first overcomes the defense the opposing team has read against it, and second, proving that their offense outweighs its competition. If there is another paradigm for me to evaluate through, it should be articulated as an argument in the round as any other. I think arguments should be properly extended in each speech/block of speeches and will ‘strike-out’ arguments that do not meet that burden if pointed out by the opposing team (sans arguments that are entirely new in the final speeches, given that I am able to identify them as such myself).
I am fine with folks reading fast, but I have become disillusioned by the lack of clarity in many of the speeches I hear. If I say clear (at least in-person) twice, and the problem is not rectified, I will sit my pen down until it is. I think clarity is especially important on taglines, theory positions, any analytical argument, etc. I do not flow off of the speech doc (or usually even look at it beyond the 1AC/1NC) and expect to be able to understand the content being presented.
I like to think I have no preference for a particular type of argument, but I know that I am probably better for certain debates than others. The following list ranks from best to worst what types of debates I am most comfortable evaluating:
1 – Policy vs. K
2 – Policy vs. Policy
3 – K vs. K
4 – K vs. Policy
I will note that I am most considerate of affirmatives that explicitly relate themselves to the topic. How one establishes relation to the topic is debatable, but I consider 'relation enough' to be such that a negative team can access normative arguments about the direction of the topic.
While I enjoy debates with a critical tinge, I have a strong dislike for rounds where it is obvious the team reading the argument does not understand it. If you have a hint of discomfort reading the argument, it is probably best to pick something else one is more confident in. It will always be better to read a perhaps marginally less strategic argument one is confident in than something a bit better that one has no understanding of. I worry less about my understanding of a particular vein of literature and worry more about any given debater’s ability to teach it---critical rounds will never get to the level of nuance or criticism that the authors they are based off of do, and attempting to make it so results in a confusing engagement that leaves everyone worse off.
I prefer affirmatives to have plan texts specific to the solvency advocates being read to justify them. I also prefer plan texts themselves to be grammatically accurate. Given these things, I am usually sympathetic to teams reading theory arguments about solvency advocates or the shortcomings of the plan text itself. Presumption definitely exists (though I don't understand how it 'flips neg' and doesn't just become a burden shared by the plan and counter-advocacy), and I am more predisposed to voting on it than others I am sure.
Being raised a 2N, I appreciate crafty 1NC strategy, and am generally okay with wacky counterplans and types of argument. The problem is, often wacky arguments are built on poor evidence or illogical premises, usually making them hard to defend. My thoughts regarding counterplans generally come down to ‘do what you can justify’, understanding that justifying arguments becomes much harder the worse quality the evidence is. I think most theoretical objections in terms of counterplans and permutations are ‘reject the argument’ at best, sans conditionality. Things like judge-kick and sufficiency framing are not assumed and must be articulated.
Disadvantages require each of their requisite components, uniqueness, a link, internal-link, and impact. Disadvantage evidence should be highlighted such that the warrants required to demonstrate that the components exist are spoken. Case turns should be read on case!
In terms of topicality, I find myself often unpersuaded by arguments for reasonability, and think teams would find a more strategic out by either writing a properly topical plan text and winning the we meet or dedicating time to winning a workable counter interpretation. The plan text seems to be the only metric I can evaluate the topicality of the aff through.
I DO NOT WANT TO BE ON YOUR GOOGLE DOC - WORD DOCs on EMAIL CHAINS OR SPEECHDROP PLEASE
email@example.com -- make an email chain and put me on it! doing this before the round starts = +.1 speaks
Below is a list of "non-negotiables" that if not followed, will be rewarded with not good speaker points/decisions for the team(s).
- evidence must bein the form of cards (see: policy debate), I've come to the point where paraphrasing is in my eyes nothing more than a fancy analytic. Proper cards are much preferred, and your speaker points are capped at 28.5 if you are not reading them.
- Teams must respond to opponents arguments, and extend their own arguments, in every speech, including offensive reasons to vote for their team. Preferably in line-by-line fashion.
- IF requested by a competitor, both teams/all speakers will not spread. While I understand the trend is PF being "policy lite" I believe if anything, it provides a chance for some accessibility in "higher echelons" of the activity, and will do what I can to help that. I will not be compelled by theory arguments/critiques about the nature of spreading, unless a request is made prior to the debate, for the sake of avoiding "gotcha" criticisms.
- Arguments must be extended in both summary and final focus to be considered on my RFD.. see whats below on flowing/line-by-line
- If evidence is being sent after speeches (not sending marked docs of what you didn't read after the speech), someone is taking prep time. I do not plan to wait and delay my decision/the tournament for 10 minutes of post 1AC/1NC evidence sharing
While public forum is intended to be more "communicative" than other formats (whatever that means), I do not believe that comes at the cost of technical engagement and argumentation. Competitors should be coherently responding to opponents arguments, in order, based off the flow. Flowing is good, and demonstrating that one can competently do it will be rewarded.
I am fine with policy tactics in PF (plans, counterplans, etc.), however the speech times and resolutions in this activity are most likely more conducive to whole-resolution focused debating more than anything else.
Extra notes -
There is no need to tell me how much prep time you plan to take.
You do not really need to specify in the "roadmap" anything more than which case/side you will begin on -- saying "ill start with links then do weighing and then make voters" is irrelevant and does not change how i flow arguments
Disclosure theory is quite often a bad argument when deployed in PF, if you plan to read theory, it should not take more than 30 seconds of your speech. I do not understand the "here is 2 minutes of theory offense" trend. If you plan to go for theory in your last speech, it should be the entirety of your speech. Procedurals (arguments about the nature of the debate round) usually come prior to questions of substance (offensive/defensive arguments within the debate round).
I have 4 years of experience judging PF, both in-person and online. I'm not quite a tech judge, but am getting closer. For PF debates:
- Clearly lay out your contentions and subpoints upfront, and refer back to them during the round when you're providing additional evidence or warrants. Extend in your final speeches.
- I don't need an off-time roadmap, but feel free to provide one if you think it's helpful. Your speech should be organized well enough that I can tell when you're talking about your case or your opponent's, without an upfront roadmap to guide me there.
- I don't flow crossfire unless something new jumps out that I'm looking for later. In the next speeches, be sure to extend anything from crossfire that you want me to consider. Otherwise, you've made the decision that it's not important for me to hear or consider.
- Weigh, or at least tell me what the impacts are of your argument. Without that, I'm left without much of a "why" upon which to judge the round.
- That said, impacts should be reasonable and realistic. If nuclear war and 7 billion deaths really are a likely impact of your argument, that's fine. But I might give equal weight to an argument that would lead to 100K deaths from a conventional war that is more likely to happen in your future-state or the status quo. Or one that would increase the deficit by 5%, if that's more likely to be the outcome. And I definitely won't give much weight to a nuclear war impact from something like organic farming, or Medicare for All -- again, be realistic.
- If you want to run theory, go for it, but remember you're trying to convince me (not a professor or college debater) that your argument is better than your opponent's. Most theory cases don't do a lot for me, so you have a higher bar to clear if you're going to go that route.
- This goes without saying, but be polite and respectful to each other, and have fun. Even if it gets testy during the round, please congratulate each other at the end and shake hands (or fist-bump). I know the competitive aspect of this is real and can get intense, but remember why you're here.
I believe that public forum was designed to have a "john or sally doe" off the street come in and be a judge. That means that speaking clearly is absolutely essential. If I cannot understand you, I cannot weigh what you say. I also believe that clarity is important. Finally, I am a firm believer in decorum, that is, showing respect to your opponent. In this age of political polarization and uncompromising politics, I believe listening to your opponent and showing a willingness to give credence to your opponents arguments is one of the best lessons of public forum debate.
Engineering grad and IT practitioner; have been judging debate since 2018. I did PF all through high school in Virginia.
1. I'm fine with speed; just speak clearly.
2a. Time yourself. When you run out of time, finish your sentence gracefully, on a strong note, and stop speaking.
2b. I will also time you. When you run out of time, I will silently stop taking notes on my flow and wait for you to finish. I will cut you off if you are 30 seconds over time; if I cut you off, it means I didn't listen to anything you said for roughly the last 30 seconds.
3. I don't care if you sit or stand. Do whatever works.
4. Although I like hearing Ks, I think they're cool and I like when debaters deconstruct the format/topic/incentive structure of debate... I don't like evaluating them and voting off them as a judge. It's outside my comfort zone as a judge and I don't have the experience and confidence to evaluate Ks in a way that is consistent and fair. I use my paradgm here to disclose what I vote off, and I'm not likely to change my mind in-round to vote on a K.
I vote on terminal impacts. Use your constructive to state and quantify impacts that I as a human can care about. I care exclusively about saving lives, reducing suffering and increasing happiness, in descending order of importance. Provide warrants and evidence for your claims, then extend your claims and impacts through to final focus. In final focus, weigh: tell me *how* you won in terms of the impacts I care about.
0. Cut your cards in advance and be on the ball with finding and sharing them. If you can't find your card promptly we'll assume it doesn't exist and move on.
1. Please indict bad cards. Misleading claims, baseless speculation, "studies" that don't exist, that sort of junk: if you convince me it's bad, I'll strike it gleefully from my flow.
2. Be nice to each other in cross; let the other person finish. Cut them off if they are monopolizing time.
3. If you want me to consider an argument when I vote, extend it all the way through final focus.
The way I vote in LD is different from how I vote in PF. In the most narrow sense, I vote for whichever team has the best impact on the value-criteron for the value that I buy into in-round.
This means you don't necessarily have to win on your own case's value or your own case's VC. Probably you will find it easier to link your impacts to your own value and VC, but you can also concede to your opponent's value and link into their VC better than they do, or delink your opponent's VC from their value, or show that your case supports a VC that better ties into their value.
I don't judge Congress nearly enough to have an in-depth paradigm, but it happens now and then. I will typically give POs top-3 if they successfully follow procedure and hold the room together.
Ranking is more based on gut feeling, but in a few words: did you speak compellingly (like you actually care), did you do good research to support your position, and did you take the initiative to speak, particularly when the room otherwise falls silent.
My highest commitment as a judge is making this activity accessible and inclusive. I am committed to developing novices and want to make varsity debate a welcoming environment for students who are moving from novice/JV to varsity.
I understand and appreciate critical and policy arguments and am fine with you arguing about whatever you wish to make the debate about. I see my role as an educator, however, and so will not allow anti-trans, antiblack, or bigoted language or attitudes that would deny the humanity of any participant in the activity. With those ground rules in place, I try to center my decisions on the arguments made in the debate and bracket my own predilections as much as I can. This is an aspiration but I also recognize and try to be reflective about the way my identity and history shapes my thought. It is important not to bracket these questions, even as I try to evaluate arguments fairly and not intervene to tip the scales.
With that said, here are my thoughts on procedural arguments.
Games have to be fair and simulate something we love about life, or be connected to life or they are not very fun. But what does it mean for a game to be fair? Is that the only value I should care about?
I love debate, so access to it is a terminal impact. It is an educational game (or it has been for me) so education is also a terminal impact. But it's a game. So fairness matters.
I don't think any of these three procedural impacts are more basic or fundamental than the other. I just abide in the tension and allow debaters to frame the impacts.
I believe debate is about open inquiry, and I want to allow debaters to test all kinds of claims. Admittedly, if you choose to examine philosophical questions, I will enjoy the discussion. Please note that explanation will serve you in debates centered around complicated concepts. Although I have a Ph.D. in philosophy, I would rather be treated as an informed layperson than a specialist.
Current Affiliations - Parent of Rock Hill High School student
Top level note - Be respectful to your opponents. If I detect a rude or callous tone in your voice or body language it will count against you. If your intent is to use these type tactics it would be best if you strike me.
I DO NOT WANT TO BE ON YOUR GOOGLE DOC - WORD DOCs on EMAIL CHAINS OR SPEECHDROP PLEASE
firstname.lastname@example.org - please create an email chain prior to the round
My student participant is educating me on the event terminology, so please don't overestimate my complete understanding of the vernacular.
- Spreading: Do not spread...I don't have extensive experience judging that style. I won't comprehend the argumentative context if I don't hear it.
- Paraphrasing: Do not paraphrase evidence...all evidence should be introduced as full cut cards. I understand that in PF this may be the norm, but if your opponent calls it out I'm very inclined to vote on that.
- Extensions: Bring up each extension of an argument in each speech. If you don't extend thru speeches, I will likely not vote on that argument.
- Progressive Arguments: Do not run theory, kritik's or topicality arguments. I am new to this event and I will not be able to effectively vote on them.
- Exception - If there is clear abuse of the rules in the round, a well explained theory argument may work but take into account my previous points
Raul Cepin (he/him/his)
Binghamton University '18
Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School ’13
Debated for 4 years in high school, debated in college and qualified to the NDT every year I debated. Qualified teams to the TOC.
1. I think line by line as a guideline for the structure of flowing is effective
2. K, performance all okay - debated this kind of stuff. Be clear and make sure I get it.
3. T/FW - T is good and important, so is framework. You need to defend an interpretation.
4. Tricks are a no-go
I am a parent judge so please speak clearly and so I can understand what you are saying and why.
I will give full speaker points to all debaters who can do this.
I will ultimately vote for the team who can best use logic to support their case.
When judging a debate, I consider
- arguments and style about equally. It is easier for me to evaulate arguments presented in a structured format.
- the final focus as a chance for debaters to summarize their strongest arguments
- whether the debater extends an argument in rebuttal or summary speeches
- analytics supported by evidence over analytics.
I'm a parent judge and have been judging PF for two years
Speaks start at a 28 and go up or down depending on the round
I like a clean debate and clear arguments. I will vote off dropped arguments and weighing
Impact before speed. Please do not spread or yell. Use fewer, clear arguments that I can understand. This will win over cramming in so much so quickly that I can't understand the points you're trying to make.
Please email case, documents or cards to email@example.com
Don't be disrespectful or impolite to your opponents. Be courteous and no rudeness or personal attacks. I will drop speaker points
If an argument or point is not refuted or contested by the other team, I will accept that as truth.
My background: I am a former CEDA debater (1987-89) and CEDA coach (1990-93) from East Tennessee State University. Upon my retirement in August 2021 I've judged numerous at numerous debate tournaments for PF, LD, IDPA, Parli, and Big Questions (mostly PF and LD).
Speed: I can keep up with a quick-ish speed - enunciation is very important! Pre round I can do a "speed test" and let you know what I think of a participant's speech speed if anyone wants to. I was never a super speed debater and didn’t encourage my students to speed.
Theory: I am familiar with topicality and if other theory is introduced, I could probably understand it. (I also used to run hasty generalization but not sure if that’s still a thing or not.) Theory is best used when it’s pertinent to a round, not added for filler and needs to be well developed if I am expected to vote on it. If you are debating topicality on the neg you need to provide a counter definition and why I should prefer it to the aff.
The rounds: Racism/sexism etc. will not be tolerated. Rudeness isn’t appreciated either. I do not interject my own thoughts/opinions/judgements to make a decision, I only look at what is provided in the round itself. Re: criteria, I want to hear what the debaters bring forward and not have to come up with my own criteria to judge the round. My default criteria is cost/benefit analysis. I reserve the right to call in evidence. (Once I won a round that came down to a call for evidence, so, it can be important!) As far as overall judging, I always liked what my coach used to say – “write the ballot for me”. Debaters need to point out impacts and make solid, logical arguments. I appreciate good weighing but I will weigh the arguments that carried through to the end of the round more heavily than arguments that are not. Let me know what is important to vote on in your round and why. Sign posting/numbering arguments is appreciated and is VERY important to me; let me know where you plan to go at the top of your speech and also refer back to your roadmap as you go along.
Cross Examination: a good CX that advances the round is always valued. If someone asks a question, please don’t interrupt the debater answering the question. I don’t like to see a cross ex dominated by one side.
In most rounds I will keep back up speaking time and prep time.
I hope to see enjoyable and educational rounds. You will learn so many valuable skills being a debater! Good luck to all participants!
Lynne Coyne, Myers Park HS, NC. 20+ years experience across formats
At the NCFL 2023 I will be judging policy debate for the first time in a decade. Here is the warning: I know the generic world of policy, but not the acronyms, kritiks, etc., of this topic. You need to slow down to make sure I am with you. As in all forms of debate, choice of arguments in later speeches and why they mean you win not only the argument, but the round, is important.
I have coached debate, and been a classroom teacher, for a long time. I feel that when done well, with agreed upon “rules of engagement”, there is not a better activity to provide a training ground for young people.
Debate rounds, and subsequently debate tournaments, are extensions of the classroom. While we all learn from each other, my role is parallel to that of an instructor. I will evaluate your performance. I see my role as to set a fair, but stringent, set of expectations for the students I am judging. At times, this means advancing expectations that I feel are best for the students and, at times, the broader community as well. I see myself as a critic of argument , or in old school policy lingo, a hypothesis tester. The resolution is what I vote for or against, rather than just your case or counterplan, unless given a compelling reason otherwise.
Below please find a few thoughts as to how I evaluate debates.
1. Speed is not a problem. In most of the debates I judge, clarity IS the problem not the speed of spoken word itself. I reserve the right to yell “clear” once or twice…after that, the burden is on the debater. I will show displeasure… you will not be pleased with your points. Style and substance are fundamentally inseparable but I recognize that low point wins are often a needed option, particularly in team events. The debater adapts to the audience to transmit the message-not the opposite. I believe I take a decent flow of the debate.
2. I generally dislike theory debates littered with jargon (exception is a good policy T debate that has communication implications and standards—if you’ve known me long enough this will still make you shake your head perhaps). Just spewing without reasons why an interpretation is superior for the round and the activity is meaningless. Disads run off the magical power of fiat are rarely legitimate since fiat is just an intellectual construct. I believe all resolutions are funadamentally questions of WHO should do WHAT--arguments about the best actor are thus legitimate. I am not a person who enjoys random bad theory debates andugly tech debates.
3. Evidence is important. In my opinion debates/comparisons about the qualifications of authors on competing issues (particularly empirical ones), in addition to a comparison of competing warrants in the evidence, is important. Do you this and not only will your points improve, I am likely to prefer your argument if the comparison is done well. All students should have full cites for materials.
4. I am not a “blank state”. I also feel my role as a judge is to serve a dual function of rendering a decision, in addition to serving a role as educator as well. I try not to intervene on personal preferences that are ideological, but I believe words do matter. Arguments that are racist, sexist, homophobic etc will not be tolerated. If I see behaviors or practices that create a bad, unfair, or hostile environment for the extension of the classroom that is the debate round, I will intervene.
The ballot acts as a teaching tool NOT a punishment.
5. Answer questions in cross-examination. Cross-ex is binding. I do listen carefully to cross – ex. Enter the content of CX into speeches to translate admissions into arguments. Do not all speak at once in PF and do allow your partner to engage equally in grand cross fire.
6. Debating with a laptop is a choice, if you are reading from a computer I have three expectations that are nonnegotiable:
A) You must jump the documents read to the opposition in a timely manner (before your speech or at worse IMMEDIATELY after your speech) to allow them to prepare or set up an email chain.
B) If your opponent does not have a laptop you need to have a viewing computer OR surrender your computer to them to allow them to prepare. The oppositions need to prep outweighs your need to prep/preflow in that moment in time.
C) My expectation is that the documents that are shared are done in a format that is the same as read by the debater that initially read the material. In other words, I will not tolerate some of the shenanigan’s that seem to exist, including but not limited to, using a non standard word processing program, all caps, no formatting etc..
7. Weighing and embedded clash are a necessary component of debate. Good debaters extend their arguments. GREAT debaters do that in addition to explaining the nexus point of clash between their arguments and that of the opposition and WHY I should prefer their argument. A dropped argument will rarely alone equal a ballot in isolation.
8. An argument makes a claim, has reasoning, and presents a way to weigh the implications (impacts). I feel it takes more than a sentence (or in many of the rounds I judge a sentence fragment), to make an argument. If the argument was not clear originally, I will allow the opponent to make new arguments. If an argument is just a claim, it will carry very little impact.
Choose. No matter the speech or the argument.
Please ask me specific questions if you have one before the debate.
You can call me Joseph (he/him) in rounds.
I was a CX debater in high school for 4 years and now debate for UTD.
My preference is the k, but I ran a lot of policy. The only arguments you shouldn't run in front of me are tricks and preferably not phil (I never ran it or debated against it, so there's a good chance I can't evaluate a high-level phil round).
Debate however you want, I try not to interject my own biases into the round. This also means I'm tech over truth and will vote for arguments that I personally don't agree with. Cross is binding and I'll be paying attention.
If you make the round easy for me to judge, you will be more likely to win and there's a much lower chance of judge intervention.
Critical literature I read in debate:
- Afropess (Wilderson, Warren, Gillespie, Barber, etc.)
But I'm down with anything, even if it isn't listed above.
Email me if you have any questions!
I am a trial attorney that has been practicing law since 2000. I never participated in speech or debate competitions as a high school or college student, but through the past twenty years and law school I have been actively arguing on behalf of my clients. I have two children with several years of speech and debate experience so I know the hard work and commitment that it takes to be prepared for these tournaments.
Important to Me
I want to understand your arguments. Do not speak super fast as I don't understand what you are saying. I would like for you to speak at a normal pace and provide the facts and resources that support your arguments. Simple vocabulary words are great. A 6th grade student should be able to understand your arguments and all the words you use. Listen to your opponents arguments and state specifically why you disagree with them. Do not restate your argument as a reply to the opponents positions. I want to feel like you believe in your argument and really understand it. I assume you have requested your opponents arguments prior to the round, and if you have not, then you should do so.
Relax and have fun. Assume, I don't know anything about your topic so I am looking forward to hearing about it. If you need help with timing, please let me know.
Debated PF at Westwood High School, 2018-2022
Send Email Chain before round starts and add me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I agree with Amogh Mahambare's Paradigm.
K's and Theories are fine, but make sure to articulate it well and clearly.
Speed is fine, just don't spread. Treat me as a flay judge for better results.
For the rounds I am judging, I will be looking for mechanisms of arguments, analysis of impact, proper structure when presented, with attention to how you explicate the arguments you believe best sum your case.
When it comes to style, the ability to flow from one arguments to the next and the clarity of presenting your argument is important. That being said, respecting your opponent is of utmost importance.
It is also important to see how you collaborate with your teammate, building on top of their arguments, refering to points made by teammate (without repeating them whole) to better your point
For Glenbrooks doc sharing - email@example.com
Cases ahead of time appreciated, but not required.
I am a relatively new parent judge with limited understanding of debate jargon. My day job is developing software for a financial services company.
I think I would be best described as a flow judge. I don't flow cross fire (so don't use it to introduce arguments or evidence), but I listen to it to correct statements I may have misheard. That said, if you bring up a point in cross fire that is a new point, I expect that to be brought up in a subsequent speech in order for it to impact my decision.
I don't flow speed really well, so spread at your own risk.
I think I am tech > truth. If you do not address your opponents arguments, I will accept them as true.
As the round progresses I am looking for your team to:
- Clearly state your contentions.
- Support your contentions with at least 1 piece of evidence.
- Tell me the impacts, their weight, and their probability.
- Tell me why the collective weight and probability of your impacts out weigh your opponents'.
- Respectfully refute your opponents' claims, evidence, weighing or probability as appropriate, preferably with counter evidence of your own.
I will drop your speaker points for rudeness. You can passionately debate the topic and still be respectful.
I don't understand theory and Kritiks so probably best not to use them with me.
send the email chain to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi, I'm Jonah (he/him). I regularly competed in both LD and policy at Advanced Technologies Academy and now attend Rutgers University. My guiding philosophy when judging is that I will evaluate any argument, as long as it is properly warranted and does not make the round unsafe for anyone involved.
These are the rounds I am the most comfortable judging. I like 1NCs that spend a good bit of time on case and really engage with the aff (rehighlightings, smart analytics, things like that). I think impact turns are cool too. I think impact weighing is extremely important, and robust disad turns case explanations make me happy. I enjoy hearing smart advantage CPs. Nebel T is boring but if you read it I think going for limits offense is much smarter than semantics.
I am probably the least comfortable judging these debates. I think policy vs. K debates can be cool, but they often feel overly confusing. I get really annoyed by super long 2NR overviews that don't make things any clearer. If I can understand what the K's thesis is, why the aff links, and why that's bad coming out of the debate - that's perfect. But I find that does not happen often. I have the most experience with cap, security, setcol, and queerpess, but anything beyond that might require more explanation than you're used to. For K affs, if I come out of the 2AR clearly understanding what your model of debate is and why that’s good, I will be very inclined to vote for you. Framework is probably the best strategy to go for in front of me, because K vs. K debates get very confusing quick.
I'm all for it. I only ask for two things: make sure that your arguments are warranted and that you do weighing!! I notice 1AR theory debates become super hard to resolve when standards aren't responded to or weighed. Also it would be great if you go just a bit slower than usual because I am bad at flowing. I recently found out that I think phil debate is pretty cool. Feel free to read any philosopher you are comfortable with as long as you can explain it. I guess I'm fine with whatever tricky arguments you want to read BUT the sillier these args get the lower speaks you will get.
I did a lot of traditional debate in high school am fine with judging it. I think that the value criterion is very important and should be very prevalent in every speech when it comes to weighing. Circuit competitors should be inclusive as possible to traditional debaters.
Adding this here because I occasionally judge this. Hopefully knowing that I have a policy background should be enough for you, but the two most important things to consider is that I evaluate rounds very technically and I won't listen to paraphrased evidence. Disclosure is also not really a norm yet in this event so I'm not very persuaded by related arguments.
Update for TOC Digital (12/2-12/4): I don't believe in sticky defense. Extend your arguments in every speech.
I used to have a somewhat in-depth system here but I realize I really don't follow it. I think most rounds I judge I give speaks from 28.5 to 29. If I think you collapsed well and liked your strategy you'll get 29-29.5. If you are a super duper awesome debater you'll get above that, but it's somewhat rare for me.
- Prep time ends when the doc is sent.
- I'll disclose speaks if you ask.
- I really really really don't like evaluating death good arguments.
- Misgendering is obviously very bad and if you do it repeatedly your speaks (and potentially my decision) will reflect that.
- It would be very cool if you slowed down on analytics, because I can't vote on something I didn't hear. This is compounded by my slightly below average flowing skills.
- If you couldn’t already tell, I lean tech over truth.
- If you are annoying in CX I will get annoyed.
- Accessibility is really important to me. Don’t bully novices and don’t be elitist toward traditional debaters.
- Accusations of clipping/violating ev ethics will stop the round. I think evidence is miscut if it is plagiarized, incorrectly cited (author/date), skips paragraphs, or starts or ends in the middle of a paragraph (where the skipped part of the text changes the meaning). I require a recording to verify clipping. If the accuser is correct, the other team loses with minimum speaks. If the accuser is wrong, they lose with minimum speaks.
I am a parent judge. I will be taking notes on the debate. I would like debaters to explain their arguments very clearly. I will not evaluate new arguments brought up in the final speeches.
I am a parent judge so please no spreading. I am looking for clear arguments and for a respectful debate. Please keep your own time.
Hi, I am a parent of an avid debater, and I am a scrupulous note taker. I always read up on the topic prior to judging, but explain things to me as if I am learning about it for the first time. I have an extensive history judging on the national circuit for PF. I like teams which have good evidence to support their claims. Try to tell me a story with your arguments about why your impacts matter in the first place. Links in your logical reasoning should be clearly explained, and I won't consider your impacts unless your links make sense. Also, if it is not in summary, then it shouldn't be in final focus. During Cross-X try be as respectful of your opponents as possible, and being respectful helps your speaker points. If you're going to turn your opponent's argument, make sure there is an impact. Also last but not least, weighing during summary and final focus definitely makes it easier for me to judge your round. Look forward to judging your round!
I am a lay judge with 2 years of judging experience. A few notes about my preferences
Don't speak too quickly, explain arguments and enunciate well as if I am unable to understand what you are saying I will not be able to evaluate it in my decision
Be respectful during cross, as I will lower speaker points if you are rude to your opponents
Don't run any arguments such as theory or K's that use complex arguments
And lastly, have fun and debate well!
Affiliations: Middleton High School (WI), Tufts University
Background: I debated PF for three years and Congress for fours years in Wisconsin, with limited experience on the national circuit. I'm a history and political science double major, so I love seeing historical examples/political theory (not to be confused with debate theory) within cases :)
General Paradigm (PF): I'm definitely more of a traditionalist, but I’m tech over truth as long as you aren’t blatantly lying. Don't spread; talking fast is fine, but speak at a rate that a non-debater would be able to understand. (If you have to take giant gasps of air when speaking, it's a sign you're going too fast) I'm not the best with too much speed, so I might miss arguments. I will not read speech docs. If I do not hear the argument, it will not be a factor in the round. Use all the PF jargon you want, but please don't use any disads, Ks, or anything rooted in Policy/LD. If you’re fiating something, please make sure your explanation is clear.
Also, please extend (this means your warrant and your impact) your arguments with their card tags, signpost, give me a brief road map (signposting > roadmap) and weigh. Weighing is extremely important for me. Saying that something pre-reqs something else means absolutely nothing if you haven’t given me a warrant, and I don’t see it as a form of weighing. I will vote for a bad argument weighed well over a good argument weighed poorly. Meta-weigh if you have to. If your opponents are weighing on probability and you're weighing on magnitude, tell me why I should prefer probability over magnitude. These things will both elevate the round and make judging it way easier, so it's a win-win for all of us.
Lastly, if you're going to read triggering arguments, read a trigger warning and make sure everyone's okay with you running that kind of contention before case/before the round.
Theory/Prog Arguments: I don't like theory, but I am willing to keep an open mind.
Evidence: If there's an evidence conflict in the round that's serious enough or a card that sounds too good to be true, I'll call for the card. If it's an online tourney, send evidence to email@example.com.
Speaks: Please don't be overly aggressive. I won't flow cross, but I will note disrespectful behavior, so make sure everyone gets enough time to speak, and be aware of implicit power dynamics due to race, gender, age, etc.
Other Stuff: Have fun with it! There's far too many debaters who walk in stiff-postured and stony-faced. At the end of the day, this is a performance. Loosen up, crack some jokes, smile a little, anything that will make your side more compelling and more interesting to watch. There is a fine line between being funny and being mean, though. Don't cross it.
I've been judging Congressional Debate at the TOC since 2011. I'm looking for no rehash & building upon the argumentation. I want to hear you demonstrate true comparative understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of the plan presented by the legislation. Don't simply praise or criticize the status quo as if the legislation before you doesn't exist.
Each LDer should have a value/value criterion that clarifies how their case should be interpreted.
I prefer to evaluate a round by selecting whose V/VC weighs most heavily under their case. Winning this is not in itself a reason for you to win. Tell me what arguments you're winning at the contention level, how they link, and how much they weigh in comparison to other arguments (yours and your opponent's) in the round.
Voting down the flow, if both sides prove framework and there’s not a lot of clash I would move on to the contention level and judge off the flow.
Don't. I can't deal with speed.
Paraphrasing is a horrible practice that I discourage. Additionally, I want to hear evidence dates (year of publication at a minimum) and sources (with author's credential if possible) cited in all evidence.
I believe it is the second team's duty to address both sides of the flow in the second team's rebuttal. A second team that neglects to both attack the opposing case and rebuild against the prior rebuttal will have a very difficult time winning my ballot as whichever arguments go unaddressed are essentially conceded.
The summaries should be treated as such - summarize the major arguments in the debate. I expect debaters to start to narrow the focus of the round at this point.
FOCUS is key. I would prefer 2 big arguments over 10 blippy ones that span the length of the flow. If you intend to make an argument in the FF, it should have been well explained, supported with analysis and/or evidence, and extended from its origin point in the debate all the way through the FF.
INTERP overall: I pay real close attention to the introduction of each piece, I look for the lens of analysis and the central thesis that will be advanced during the interpretation of literature. When the performance is happening, I'm checking to see if they have dug down deep enough into an understanding of their literature through that intro and have given me a way to contextualize the events that are happening during the performance
POI: I look for clean transitions and characterization (if doing multiple voices).
DI: I look for the small human elements that come from acting. Big and loud gestures are not always the way to convey the point, sometimes something smaller gets the point more powerfully.
HI: I look for clean character transitions, distinct voices, and strong energy in the movements. And of course the humor.
INFO: I'm looking for a well researched speech that has a strong message to deliver. Regardless of the genre of info you're presenting, I think that showing you've been exhaustive with your understanding is a good way to win my ballot. I'm not wow'd by flashy visuals that add little substance, and I'm put off by speeches that misrepresent intellectual concepts, even unintentionally. I like speeches that have a conclusion, and if the end of your speech is "and we still don't know" then I think you might want to reassess the overall direction you are taking.
FX/DX: When I'm evaluating an extemp speech, I'm continually thinking "did they answer the question? or did they answer something that sounded similar?" So keep that in your mind. Are you directly answering the question? When you present information that could be removed without affecting the overall quality of the speech, that is a sign that there wasn't enough research done by the speaker. What I vote on in terms of content are speeches that show a depth of understanding of the topic by evaluating the wider implications that a topic has for the area/region/politics/etc.
I am a retired coach. I have judged LOTS of rounds in all formats. I consider myself traditional in my approach to all events. I have provided my paradigm for speech and debate events here.
Public Speaking Events
All speeches should have well structured introductions, fully developed body, and satisfaction for your audience thru your conclusion. Sources are key to your speech, you should use a variety of appropriate sources. I expect that your speech will include the "why do I care" - What draws your audience to want to learn more from what you have to say. In extemp, I expect you to answer the specific question you were given. I evaluate all non-verbal communication in your presentation. I accept all perspectives on all topics; however, I expect that your are aware of your audience and avoid language or statements that may be offensive.
First and foremost, pieces should be appropriate for the venue. While I understand that some pieces may contain some sexual innuendo, I will reject innuendo that is not a part of the original script or that is added for the "shock value" rather than the development of the performance. Your introduction should be more than telling me the storyline that you are presenting. There is a reason you chose this piece, a topic you want to discuss. Share that in your intro. Give me believable characters that I can empathize with. Be sure there is an identifiable difference in your characters.
In all debate rounds
Don’t depend on email chains or flashing briefs to include an argument in the round. If it is not spoken during your speeches, it is not in the round. I prefer a more communicative speed of delivery, especially when using online competition. I can keep up but, I think the idea of trying to spread your opponent out of the round is not in the realm of what debate should be. I would rather hear a good clash on the arguments presented.
I believe PF should be a debate with class. Interactions between opponents should be cordial. Crossfire should be used to obtain information NOT to belittle your opponent. You can not ignore your opponent's arguments and expect to win. Evidence and common sense are key.
I feel that LD should be philosophy based. Even if the topic is policy-oriented, the selection of a policy is always based on values. Therefore, you should be prepared to debate your value and criterion to support your view on the topic. If you can't support your view, how can I accept your position?
A Kritik on the topic is not an acceptable position. You have been given a topic to debate and that is what I expect to hear. If all you offer is the Kritik, you have not upheld your burden and will lose the round. Running a Kritik on the topic in addition to case arguments is a huge contradiction in your case.
If you want me to view the round from your viewpoint, you must provide voters in your final speech.
This is a congressional debate. I expect that you do more than read a prepared speech. There should be responses to previous speeches. You need to be active in the chamber. Questions are an essential part of the process. With that being said, don't ask questions that do not seek to expand information. That is a waste of the chamber's time and takes time away from those with solid questions. Provide sources to the house to substantiate your points.
I encourage traditional debate in terms of format. That means I do not like open cx. With that being said, I accept progressive style arguments. I will listen to your arguments, but I expect you to provide warrants and logical analysis. If you are the opponent, don’t assume I will reject an argument on face, you must respond if you want to win the argument.
I DO vote on STOCK ISSUES. So Affirmative teams should be prepared to meet those standards.
Negative teams, please don’t throw out a dozen arguments only to drop the ones that don’t stick. If you bring the argument into the round plan to carry it thru to the end.
Label your arguments before you start reading your briefs!
I believe it is essential that you weigh the impacts of your argument in the round.
I am a parent judge and have judged a few times in the past.
I DO NOT HANDLE SPEED. If you are reading to fast or do not speak clearly I can’t understand.
Time your own prep and speeches.
I don't have a particular preference on how you debate. Just follow the guideline and assume I know nothing about the topic that you are debating on.
Explain why your case is better than your opponents, and why you should win the round over them.
**If you run any sort of K or theory with me as your judge it is incredibly unlikely I will vote for you, I have never met a team that has run a K well with a lay judge
Be professional and Happy debating.
I am a new judge this year, please don't spread in your speeches and talk at a moderate pace.
Follow these guidelines and you will be successful with me as a judge -
1. The Most Obvious - Be Nice!
Be nice to your opponents in round, and if you are rude in crossfire or speeches I will drop your speaker points.
2. Please provide full cards
When giving cards, please send the link to the website, the authors name and date, and the paragraph from the website.
3. I am big on weighing
Please make sure to weigh your impacts to show why you are winning the round and tell me what you are weighing off of.
4. Make sure to time yourself
I am a flay judge. I usually vote off of logical arguments with solid evidence and weighing.
I am a linguist by training so your language of debate matters to me. I like clear and comprehensible speeches, meaning you might have to slow down a bit (I'll give extra speaker points to those speakers)
I also care about being courteous and professional during your debate, meaning I would never vote for those who are too aggressive and rude.
I value speaking skills as much as logical ability. Speak clearly and concisely. I prefer if you are NOT speed reading. If I can't hear/understand what you are saying, I can't vote on those aspects of your argument.
I don't know your case as well as you do. Explain it to me. Sell me on your arguments. In short: Explain Like I'm Five.
I am a parent judge and fairly new to the world of Speech and Debate. Please do not spread (i.e., speak clearly and slowly enough so I can understand you) and keep your own time. I would also appreciate clearly stated and well-structured arguments so I can follow the flow of debate. I am looking forward to a respectful and courteous debate. Good luck and most importantly, have fun!
Please send your cases to firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated LD and PF in hs, APDA in uni. Currently studying applied math, biology, and computational medicine at Johns Hopkins
Note: For PF teams, I am comfortable with Ks, Theory, etc. just execute it well...please
5-6: Tricks (please just strike me)
It seems like there is a tendency to pref based on speaks given so here are some quick stats on that
Avg Aff Speaks: 28.9
Avg Neg Speaks: 28.8
Avg Overall Speaks: 28.8
Side Skew: 50.575% Aff, 49.425% Neg
1st Speaker Avg Speaks: 28.8
2nd Speaker Avg Speaks: 28.7
Side Skew: 42.500% Aff, 57.500% Neg (idek what's going on here tbh)
Avg Speaks: 29.1
Last Updated: 10.22.2022
• I default to semantics > pragmatics
• I default to epistemic modesty but I don't mind using epistemic confidence; just warrant why I should.
• I default to competing interps. Feel free to run RVIs when deemed appropriate but warrant why I should err towards accepting the RVI.
• No matter what you do, please have a non-arbitrary role of the ballot else I will likely struggle in terms of framing the debate on both sides. Make sure you explain how your case functions in the round and explain why it's important through the ROB/J/S. That said, explain why we should reject/interpret the resolution differently.
• Aff, please respond to TVA as too many rounds with these types of affs have been lost because of a dropped interp or dropped TVA. Conversely, neg, please run TVA on these types of cases and it will make your work a lot easier if you win it. However, TVA is not enough for you to win the round.
• Cross is binding for me as I do believe that you can garner links/DAs off of the performance of either you and or your opponent even if your evidence says something else. That said, I'd like to emphasize that for these debates that the form of the evidence presented becomes far less restricted and there isn't some inherent hierarchy between them so don't disregard them.
• The permutation tends to be more awkward to both understand and evaluate in these debates so I'd suggest that you overexplain the perm to make it clear. This includes how you sequence the perm.
• Ks that only link to the aff’s FW and not to their advocacy feel awkward to me, so take that with a grain of salt.
• I default to perms being a test of competition rather than advocacy. You can try to change this, but you'll have to overexplain to me what it means for a perm to function as advocacy and clearly characterize the advocacy of the perm.
• PF teams, I love hearing Ks but only if they are well done. This means you should know what you are talking about and have a deep understanding of the literature you are reading. That said, please don't be a prick by reading a K in front of a team that clearly has no experience with progressive debate (just use your common sense, it's not that hard to figure this out).
• I don’t have defaults w.r.t. to voter questions such as DTD vs DTA, fairness/education being a voter, etc. It is YOUR job to tell me why your shell is a voting issue.
• I don’t particularly have an issue with RVIs. Feel free to go for an RVI, but I will need convincing on why you get them in the first place, characterize/construct it for me, etc.
• Please don't run frivolous theory in front of me. If the round becomes messy because of it, then your speaks will suffer.
• PF teams, while I am a supporter of theory in PF, please please please don't read shells unless there is/are an actual abuse story behind them. If not, your speaks will suffer.
• I generally am not a fan of conditional counterplans especially since I feel like the neg time skew arguments can be really strong. That said, I am fine with listening to them and will vote on them just please don't be dodgy by not clearly answering whether the counterplan is conditional or not.
• If the neg is running a conditional counterplan, I won't kick it unless it's clear that the counterplan is kicked. This means that just because squo is better than aff doesn't mean I default to voting neg if it wasn't made clear that the conditional counterplan is kicked.
• My position on perms is the same in LARP strategies as it is for Ks.
• If you are comfortable doing so, feel free to message me on FaceBook or email me if you want to ask if I know your philosopher well. Otherwise, don't assume that I am well-read up on the specific philosophy that you're reading and do the work of walking me through with it.
... <- this summarizes my thoughts and feelings about tricks, take that as you will
Other Points of Interest
• Aff/Pro should have a speech doc ready to be emailed by round start time. Flight 2 should enter the room at Flight 2 start time.
• If both sides are fine with it, I’m fine with granting flex prep. Don’t be rude about it, or else your speaks may suffer. Don’t take too long flashing prep unless you want your prep docked along with your speaks
• Engaging with the tagline alone ≠ engaging with the argument or the card. This is a huge pet peeve of mine so please don't just engage with the tagline but engage with the internal warranting of the cards being presented. Cards don't exist simply to back up the claims made by taglines but they have within them their own layers of argumentation which is centralized by a thesis that links to the tagline. TL;DR respect what the authors are actually saying especially given that probably over 80% of your speech is their words verbatim.
• If your speech includes abbreviations or acronyms, please explain them first. Never assume that I know what they mean.
• While I recognize there's no obligation to share your analytics, I will award +.3 speaker points for those speeches including all/nearly all analytics in the speech doc AND that are organized in a coherent manner.
• I tend to make facial expressions that reflect how well I am processing an argument when it's being read i.e. if I am confused then I'll look confused and if I think the argument is good then my face will show this.I apologize in advance if my expressions confuse you; strike me if this is an issue.
If you have any questions for me before the round starts about my paradigm, please ask after all the debaters are in the room so I don't have to repeat myself. Quick shoutouts/other paradigms that may be worth your time looking at of those who have influenced me as a debater, judge, and a person include Anne-Marie Hwang, Adam Tomasi, Sim Guerrero-Low, Michael Koo, Martin Sigalow, and Annie Wang I am more than happy to explain my decision whether it be in person after the round or through email/social media. Thanks for reading, good luck and have fun!
I've judged public forum debates for a while now, so I'm familiar with common positions and arguments. Please speak at a moderate pace and slow down for taglines and author names.
I'm an open-minded judge. Sticking to the resolution is crucial, and creative thinking is valued. However, the ability to handle strong arguments and deep thinking is just as important.
Remember, let's keep the focus on the topic and have a constructive exchange of ideas. Good luck to both teams!
I have been coaching and judging PF for eleven years. I judge on local circuit tournaments and have also judged many national circuit tournaments, including the TOC. I am familiar with the topic, but that does not mean that you should not explain your arguments. As a coach I am very aware of all the nuances of Public Forum debate.
Put me on the email chain: email@example.com
Tech>truth (I always try to be tabula rasa and not interject my knowledge into your round). I will vote on just about anything besides abusive, offensive arguments. I will take arguments as true, unless otherwise argued by your opponent for the scope of the round.
I can flow speed, but I prefer not to. I do not want you to use it as a way to exclude your opponents. In the end, Debate is about intelligible conversation, if you are going too fast, and don't do it well, it can get in the way of clarity of expression, which upsets me.
I do not flow cross-fire, but I do pay attention to it. However, if you make an excellent point in cross-fire, you will have to bring that information up in a subsequent speech. Also, DO NOT be rude, I will reduce your speaker points for it. It is inappropriate for teams to make their opponent's feel inferior or humiliate them in the round.
If you are speaking second, please address your opponent's responses to your case, especially turns. It does not have to be an even split, but make sure it is something that you do. Defense is not sticky, you need to extend it.
I expect that summary and final focus are cohesive to each other. First summary needs extend defense. Second summary needs to address responses on your case, especially in areas you are going to collapse on, and it should also respond to turns. I do expect that you collapse and not go for everything on the flow in summary. I WILL NOT vote on an issue if it is not brought up in summary. Please weigh in your final two speeches and clash your arguments to those provided by your opponent.
As I expect the summary and final focus to be consistent, that also means that the story/narrative coming from your partnership also be consistent. I may not give you a loss because of it, but it is harder to establish ethos. Defend a consistent worldview using your warrants and impacts.
Make it easy for me to fill out my ballot. Tell me where I should be voting and why. Be sure to be clear and sign-post throughout.
Extensions need to be clean and not just done through ink. In order for you to cleanly extend, you need to respond to responses, and develop your warrant(s). You cannot win an impact withtout warranting. In rebuttal, please make sure you are explaining implications of responses, not just card dumping. Explain how those responses interact with your opponents' case and what their place in the round means. DO NOT just extend card names in subsequent speeches.
The flow rules in my round for the most part, unless the weighing is non-existent. I will not call for evidence unless it is a huge deal, because I view it as interventionist.
DO NOT make blippy arguments-warranting matters!
DO NOT make the round a card battle, PLEASE. Explain the cards, explain why they outweigh. A card battle with no explanation or weighing gets you nowhere except to show me why I shouldn't vote on it.
And finally progressive debate-I really don't have preferences for progressive arguments, except that you do them correctly, and are not using them as a gimmick to win a round. I will evaluate Ks and theory, but they are not a huge part of debate in my state in PF, run at your own risk.
Hi, I am a third-year student at the University of Virginia. I've judged speech and PF before and am a lay judge. I usually take a lot of notes but please limit the technical stuff if possible.
Gina Li is a strategy, merger and acquisition professional with 20+ years working experiences in various sectors. She was an expat working abroad for 15 years with global perspectives. She has been judging both Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas since 2018 at various events, in addition to facilitate local student-run speech and debate volunteer activities in the bay area.
She requires all contestants to speak clearly, not necessarily faster the better, try to maximize the given time to rationalize the best data and evidences to support the key arguments. While majority of the contestants are well prepared on their contentions, the winner normally possess the abilities in better framework, effective arguments to counter opponents positions during rebuttal, crossfires and closing. Also please RESPECT your opponents, try not to cut them off if possible.
Knowing everyone is working very hard on each tournament, I wish each contestant the best luck!
I am a lay judge. I am a parent judge that has judged at a few tournaments.
Don't read fast, if I can't understand or don't hear it, I won't evaluate it.
Make sure to be respectful to your opponents at all times.
Being respectful and persuasive is the best way to win.
Try to make the vote as easy and clean as possible. Tell me why you have won the round.
I am a new judge. I will flow in debate, and prefer a well-paced presentation, with clear logic behind evidence. Eye contact helps as well. Please be clear when speaking.
Hello! I am a parent judge volunteering my time to participate in various online and in person Speech & Debate tournaments. With a degree in Social Sciences, love of current events, history, politics and culture, and former high school teacher of 11 years, participating as a judge in tournaments is quite rewarding. I take my role seriously and approach each presentation with an open mind and true admiration for the hard work and dedication students put into developing their craft. Although I have judged many rounds and categories of speech, I consider myself a novice when participating in various forms of the debate arena. Thank you.
I am a lay parent judge that prefers respectful argumentation at fair speeds with clear articulation and professional behavior.
I am an old school debate judge. Though I have only judged a few rounds of WSD this year, I have coached and judged WSD within the Houston Urban Debate League. I have also judged WSD at NSDA Nationals.
In debate, as in public speaking, I believe in effective communication; that translates to No Speed in delivery.
In WSD, the status quo must be viewed within any plan offered. I have heard, and voted on, the Prop’s use of stock issues. Though I am not a fan of progressive cases. I do not like Kritiks. Like in policy debate, I prefer simple language without the use of jargon.
Contentions must be clear along with source citation. If the debater has a contention with multiple cards, it is recommended that sub-pts be applied to distinguish the argument / claim.
I prefer the impact of the argument to be stated at the end of each contention. In the warrant(s), I like examples that can be related to. Links need to be clear and present.
Depending upon the resolution, I do enjoy hearing about a moral obligation, or the desirability or undesirability of the topic.
I like professional interaction between the debaters during POI. Participation in POI have an effect on ranks. I like to see everyone at least ask two and take two questions, if possible.
I am more a line by line judge on the flow. Direct clash is essential. Team members working together is very important.
Speech/case organization is important, and should be relatively easy to follow.
Any other questions may be asked in the room.
I am a traditional judge. Value & Citeria are paramount…philosophically based. If the word “ought” is present, the moral obligation must be established. The Aff & Neg must show how their value and criteria outweighs their opponent. It must be shown how the value is achieved by the criteria. Contentions must be clear and signposted. Sub-pts within contentions for multiple cards are necessary to distinguish the sub-pt claim’s significance.
L-D is not policy debate. I prefer no plans, CP’s, stock issues, kritiks, or progressive cases. Direct clash and refutation is important.
I am an opponent of speed.
Hello everyone, my name is Brighid! I'm very excited to be judging in your debates! I'm a relatively new judge who highly encourages a focus on speech clarity and making the debate easy to understand. In short, present your contentions concisely and confidently.
Background: I am a second-year law student at NYU and help coach Delbarton (NJ). He/Him/His pronouns.
Email Chains: Teams should start an email chain immediately with the following email subject: Tournament Name - Rd # - School Team Code (side/order) v. School Team Code (side/order). Please add firstname.lastname@example.org to the email chain. Teams should send case evidence (and rhetoric if you paraphrase) by the end of constructive. I cannot accept locked Google Docs; please copy and paste all text into the email and send it in the email chain. It would be ideal to send all new evidence read in rebuttal, but up to debaters.
Evidence: Reading Cut card > Paraphrasing. Even if you paraphrase, I require cut cards. These are properly cut cards. No cut card = won't be evaluated in the round.
Main PF Paradigm:
- I look at the round through an offense/defense paradigm. Ultimately, offense wins debates and requires proper arg extensions, frontlining, and weighing. It will be hard to win with just terminal defense.
- Speech specifics: Second Rebuttal -- needs to frontline first rebuttal responses. Anything in Final Focus should be in Summary (weighing is a bit more flexible). Backhalf extensions, frontlining, and "backlining" matter.
- Please weigh. Make sure it's comparative weighing and uses either timeframe, magnitude, and/or probability. Strength of link, clarity of impact, and solvency are not weighing mechanisms.
- I'll evaluate (almost) anything. Expect that I'll have already done research on a topic, but I'll evaluate anything on my flow (tech over truth). I will interfere (and most likely vote you down) if you argue anything racist, sexist, homophobic, or fabricated (i.e., evidence issues).
- I will always allow accommodations for debaters. Just ask before the round.
- Ks - I'm okay with the most common K's PFers try to run (i.e. Fem/Fem IR, Capitalism, Securitization, Killjoy, etc.), but I am not familiar with high theory lit (i.e. Baudrillard, Bataille, Nietzsche). But please don't overcomplicate the backhalf.
- Theory - Debate is a game, so do what you have to do.*** Evidence of abuse is needed for theory (especially disclosure-related shells). I will (usually) default competing interps. I generally think disclosure is good, open source is not usually necessary (unless your wiki upload is just a block of text), and paraphrasing is bad, but won't intervene if you have good responses. Again, don't overcomplicate the round.
- Trigger warnings with opt-outs are necessary when there are graphic depictions in the arg, but are not when there are non-graphic depictions about oppression (general content warning before constructive would still be good). Still, use your best judgment here.
- ***Note -- if you read an excessive number of off positions that appear frivolous, I will be very receptive to reasonability and have a high threshold for your arguments. So it probably won't work to your advantage to read them in front of me. Regardless of beliefs on prog PF, these types of debate are, without a doubt, awful and annoying to judge. I'll still evaluate it, but run at your own risk.
Misc: Please pre flow before the round; I don't think crossfire clarifications are super important to my ballot, so if something significant happens, you should make it in ink and bring it up in the next speech; I'm okay if you speak fast (my ability to handle it is diminishing now though lol), but please give me a doc; speaker points usually range from 28-30.
Questions? Ask before the round.
I am in my second year of judging PF debates. My judging paradigms are -
- Communicate arguments clearly with logical reasoning and good evidence.
- Speak clearly.
- Weighing arguments is important.
- I will evaluate arguments that are extended through the round.
- Collapse on the strongest arguments in summary and final focus.
- I don't judge Theory.
Hi, I have judged at national-level tournaments in PF and LD.
All events: be inclusive and KIND :)
I like good slow arguments and prefer speakers give clear instructions and organizations.
I will listen to all argumentations but please be reasonable...
I have taken the Cultural Competency course and other certifications for NSDA.
ASK BEFORE ROUND FOR ANY QUESTIONS.
Hi friends! My name is Rhea Nandwani. (she/her) I am a sophomore at UF studying psychology, criminology, and sociology. I competed on the national circuit for 5 years and coached for my high school's debate team last year.
With that being said, here are a few things I like as a flow judge:
first and foremost, please do your part to make debate a safe, educational environment. don't be sexist, homophobic, islamaphobic, xenophobic, racist, ableist, etc. If you are, I will drop you and tank your speaks. this is a zero-tolerance policy.
as an extension of the first bullet point, you must read trigger warnings for any sensitive arguments related to identity, mental health, or structural violence. this is basic human decency. If not, I will evaluate tw theory- this is the only time I’ll invite theory. For non-graphic arguments, you just need to read a TW. For graphic arguments, you need a TW and an opt out. Opt out through anonymous google forms.
- I do not believe that theory or non-topical kritiks belong in Public Forum. Please do not run it with me as a judge. I will, however, always evaluate topical frameworks/ks. Again, tw theory is fine to run with me when there has been a violation. You can also read IVIs with me.
make sure everything you want me to vote on is in summary or final focus. tell me why you are winning.
please implicate and weigh turns
- please collapse
I would like to see all the evidence shared in round. I will only consider it in my decision, however, if you tell me to in your speeches.
I can handle speed, but if you spread I can't promise that I will catch everything you say; send docs for accessibility purposes if you are speaking over 950 words in 4 minutes.
weighing is the key to winning rounds. please interact with your opponents' weighing.
second rebuttal must frontline.
defense is sticky for the first speaking team (just extend it/talk about it in final)
postround me all you want. I want to answer your questions so that I can be a better judge
- i am never going to factor cross into my decision. if something significant happens in cross, please point it out to me in a speech if you want me to consider it in my decision. lowkey probably gonna be on my phone during cross.
- i default to first speaking team absent weighing or any path to the ballot
I think speaker points based on presentation are stupid. I will never evaluate speaker points based on how 'well'/loud you speak or how 'clear' you are. What you are wearing/how you look does not matter to me either. Literally, in round, feel free to take off your blazer/heels/tie. Be yourself. Instead, I will evaluate speaker points based on strategic decisions made in round and quality of responses/arguments.
please let me know if there is absolutely anything I can do to make debate a safer/more fun/more educational experience for you. I am happy to talk to you before/after rounds to support you in any way I can. Debate is scary and hard at times, but talking about it can make a difference. Feel free to contact me with questions or concerns at email@example.com
Lastly, I know it is difficult, but TRY to HAVE FUN! At the end of the day, this is just a debate round. Your intelligence or worth is not dictated by your success at tournaments. In addition, regardless of your records at tournaments, you are learning and growing just through the time you put into preparing topics. You are doing great!
- i would love it if you include a reference to music artists or tv shows hehe
Good luck:) you got this:)
Debates tournaments were not a part of my schooling and thus I am not very versed in technical issues with debate tournaments. So I value clarity of argument and speech. Thus fast speech is something that hinders my understanding of what the participant is trying to present. Well-paced speech which is clear in content is valued more than fast speech with more content. I also like to have participant keep their own time. If possible presenting links of reference in the chatbox are prefered.
Have more than one year experience in debate judge. As a senior leader in my current organization, I host and present several meetings globally. My goal is deliver right contents to the audience, demonstrate appropriate body language, keep the audience interested by not repeating the contents, have a constant eye contact, modulation of voice, using the right speed and pronunciations to deliver the contents effectively.
During the judging process, I take notes and compare the notes for providing points, my rationale and feedback. I look for passion from the students on the topics they debate. This will show their hard work and how involved in the topics.
I am currently a sophomore at Emory university. I debated public forum at the quarry lane school for four years.
tech > truth
please add me to the email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org. Send speech docs before each speech !
I'm fine with speed, but make sure you're clear. Frontline in 2nd rebuttal. Any offense you're going for in final focus should be extended completely (uniqueness, links, impacts) in summary. Please collapse !
Start weighing as early as possible and definitely focus on comparative weighing (both link and impact level if possible), when I'm looking at the arguments, I'll start with the one with the strongest weighing.
Always be respectful towards your opponents. I won't evaluate arguments that are sexist, racist, homophobic, ableist, etc. Lastly, debate can be stressful but make sure to have fun :)
Regarding prog arguments, I have little to no experience with Ks (I’ve debated a K maybe once or twice). If you want to read a K, I think it’s super interesting but I probably won’t be able to evaluate it well and am not a great judge for that. I’ve debated theory, and have more experience with it than Ks, but I’m not extremely experienced with it either.
Good luck and feel free to email me before or after the round if you have any questions.
Speak clearly. Any speed is fine as long as you slow down and read your tag lines and main points very clearly. Spreading is fine. Give clear indication of when you have reached the burden you set out.
LD: I am a true values debate judge in LD. Tabula rasa judge. Flexible to any kinds of cases and arguments as long as they are respectful. If your case is not topical or abusive and your opponent argues and proves that in their speeches then I am willing to vote based on topicality, education and abuse.
PF and CX: Be respectful and cordial to your opponent. I’m open to most anything in Policy rounds. Always stay on the debate topic, don’t wander off onto an irrelevant subject because it’s more enjoyable to argue about than the topic is. Always allow your opponent the opportunity to complete their sentence before continuing to cross.
I’m a Tabula rasa Judge especially in Policy debate. If you don’t tell me how you want me to weigh the round and set a minimum burden for each side to have to meet within the round to win then I will default to judging based on the block and will turn into a games playing judge and will make voting decisions based on what my flow shows and dropped arguments or arguments that were lost or conceded will very much factor into my vote. Impacts, Warrants and links need to be made very clear, and always show me the magnitude.
High School Policy - 3 Years
College Policy (City University of New York)- 4 Years
Cumulative Judging/Coaching (CUNY, NYU, NYCUDL, Bronx Science, Rutgers University) - ~ 5 years
GSU 2017 Edition
I'm coming out from a 2 year debate hiatus and an intensive video production/broadcasting program. I haven't been up to date with the latest literature on the debate circuit so don't assume I know your Jackson evidence is hot fire without any warrants. I also may not be your top pick for your fast and clever Consult CP debate because my hands are not fast enough to send that message to my brain. This might change with more judging throughout the season but I'll let you know.
On to the general stuff...
I evaluate the debate based on who did the best debating. That's usually done through my flow unless you create a framework for me to do otherwise. Run what argument fits your style and do it to the best of your ability. Args of the meme variety are on the table but you would have to do a lot, and I mean a lot of work, for me to vote on them. Please also note that I won't be down for your oppression good, rights Malthus type of args.
Make sure you can jump / e-mail chain files in less than 5 minutes (not for me but for the tournament staff). I will do my best to keep my rhetoric gender neutral. As a general rule, I tend to stick to gender-neutral pronouns however I will do my due diligence to be familiar with your preferred pronouns and you have every right to correct me on the spot if I fail to do so.
Solid. I'm not the best public policy analyst on the circuit to know some of the nuances of your args so this would require some explanation of what these abbreviations mean and what do they look like in the context of the debate.
I'll listen/flow them. I vote on them every now and then.
As I mentioned above I'm not the best when it comes to CP theory. My general opinions on CPs, in general, is neutral so if you need someone with a firm stance on whether a consult CP is legit or not then you should defer to a different critic.
I am a parent of one former and one current PF debater. I have judged a fair amount of local tournaments and a few national circuit tournaments here and there. I am by no means a experienced judge, and my knowledge on debate jargon and technicalities is limited (keep that in mind during the round and please adjust).
Some things I look for/like to see:
- Clarity of speech; Try to refrain from speaking too fast and talk clearly, if I cannot keep up with you, I cannot fairly judge the round.
- Body language; Eye contact and a confident posture/presence is always good!
- Speaker points; I mostly award speaks based on clarity of speech, and your sportsmanship/attitude in the round. Be respectful to your opponents and the round, and you'll most likely get good points.
- I'm not very picky about speech time/prep time; as long as its agreed upon by both teams, feel free to go over 10-15 seconds. Just try not to take advantage of this.
Good luck to all of you, I know you've all worked very hard to get here, and have a fun tournament!
- Competed in PF and Public Speaking in HS
- Send me an email before/after rounds if you have questions; feel free to use this email for an email chain
- Minimal spreading is fine but if I can't understand you, it won't end up on my flow
- Clear taglines are helpful
- Tech > Truth
- Weigh in FF with voters!
- I don't flow crossfire; mention it in rebuttal/summary/FF if you want it to go on my flow
- If it takes you more than 5 minutes to find a card, you don't have it
- If you're asking for every single evidence and I don't see why you needed it, it won't benefit you
- Be respectful during the debate
The most important thing to know if you're going to be debating in my room is how much I value fair and thorough engagements! This looks like making concessions where necessary (when the cases have been properly analyzed and are logical) and engaging in fair and charitable comparisons.
Next up, don't be rude or disrespectful! Avoid racist and discriminatory slurs. I am more than willing to penalize debaters on this basis.
Thirdly, I am fully cognizant of the fact that speakers have a lot of material to cover in such a small time, but please make sure you don't excessively speed through those arguments! DO NOT SPREAD. If I can't hear it in your speech, I will not flow. Please speak clearly so your opponents and I understand you.
Finally, always be conscious of your burdens in the debate and do justice to them. Do not merely assert, justify those claims.
I am a former Oklahoma Speech Theater Communications Association State Policy Debate Champion (1998) I also debated in CEDA in college and went on to coach in the Southern Oklahoma Jr. High and High School competitive speech teams.
Stock Issues: Legal Model – Topicality – Significance of Harm – Inherency – Solvency – Advantage Over Disadvantage
Policy Making: Legislative Model – Weigh advantages versus disadvantages
Hypothesis Testing: Social Science Model – Each negative position (some of which may be contradictory) tests the truth of the affirmative; it must stand good against all tests to be true.
Tabula Rasa: Democracy/Anarchy Model – Whatever basis for decision the debaters can agree on will be used as a judging standard.
Game Player: Gaming Model – Debate is a rule-governed game; you play by (and are judged by) the rules.
I am familiar with all of these judging paradigms. If you believe I should follow one then present an argument for it and support it with evidence. Without evidence and analysis, I default to being a stock issues judge.
For additional insight on how I judge individual issues please see the following link: https://www.nfhs.org/media/869102/cx-paradigms.pdf
In a debate round, most of all I'm looking for a clear, concise, and robust exchange of ideas. Some ways to work on this are to make sure you're roadmapping and signposting in all of your speeches, planning ahead to ensure that you're fitting the most important contentions and objections into the allotted time, and responding directly to the arguments and objections your opponents put forth in their own speeches. Do all of this without strawmannirg your opponents (or committing any other major logical fallacies).
Most importantly: Don't take it for granted that your judges can see why your opponents are wrong, or that your contentions speak for themselves in response to challenges. Even if I do see these things, I can't score you well unless you are doing this work yourselves in the debate. Don't let any of your opponents' objections make it through the flow uncontested.
A couple of notes on questioning: I'm not a fan of debaters interrupting or steamrolling their opponents. Be courteous, and give the other team/person a chance to respond and to ask their own questions during grand cross while still using your own speaking time well. Being the loudest person in the room is not synonymous with being the best debater. I do not flow questioning, either. If you want something that came up in questioning to factor into my decision, you need to bring it back up in one of your speeches.
For Congress: It is to the whole chamber's disservice to get stuck on one bill or one series of bills. Even if your favorite bill is being discussed and you haven't gotten a chance to speak yet, it's in your best interest not to extend a tired debate. I would rather see fresh debate on a bill that is less familiar to you than continue to see the same arguments recycled over and over again. Congress is meant to be an extemporaneous event. I don't want your speeches to be pretty and polished like a speech event, or even like a first constructive speech in PF or LD. I want you to show me that you have a range of knowledge and interest in an even wider range of topics in current events, and can speak extemporaneously on these topics in the chamber. There's little I dislike more in debate than for a Congress chamber to take a recess so everyone can "write their speeches." This fundamentally misunderstands the purpose of Congress. The best advice I can give Congress debaters for prep isn't to write polished speeches, but to regularly read (not watch) reputable news sources likeThe New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,The Atlantic,andThe Economist. If you must watch your news, go with the PBS News Hour or something international (i.e. the BBC), not partisan entertainment-oriented channels like CNN, FOX, or MSNBC. Podcasts are fun, but not a substitute for reputable news organizations with full-time fact checkers.
For Lincoln-Douglas: If you're using a moral or political theory from analytic philosophy (i.e. utilitarianism/consequentialism, deontology/rights-based, virtue ethics, Rawls's distributive justice/justice as fairness, any kind of social contract theory, principles from medical ethics, etc) please make sure you know what you're talking about, otherwise it's best to play it safe and stick to something simpler. I have way too many rounds where a untilitarian or consequentialist framework devolves into deontology or rights-based theory, and vice versa. And these are the simplest moral theories; the bar will be even higher if you choose Rawls or something more obscure. I'm not against you using these theories, but make sure you're not biting off more than you can chew. I highly recommend that all LD debaters read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy extensively in order to better prepare for using and coming up against philosophical concepts in rounds.
For Public Forum: Evidence matters here even more than in the other debate events. Make sure you're reading all of your sources in their entirety before cutting cards. I'm always paying attention, and so are most of the other debaters: if you're using something out of context, you will get called on it eventually by one of your opponents or judges. I will call for evidence in close rounds, so be prepared to hand over your cards. Making empirical assertions without providing empirical evidence will make it very hard for me to vote for you, and misusing evidence will make it nearly impossible.
I am not a fan of most forms of progressive debate, as I want you to make accessible arguments relevant to the resolution, not signal your position on whatever is currently in vogue. For example, if the resolution is about whether the United States should raise taxes on the wealthy, and you're arguing in favor of doing so, it is 100% okay (and probably a great idea) to give arguments about how capitalism can leave certain groups behind and how trickle-down economics only exacerbates wealth inequality and thus eliminates equality of opportunity. It is not germane to the resolution, however, to make all of your arguments about how capitalism is nothing but a tool of oppression and we need to abolish it, as this is not what is at question in the resolution. Similarly, I find meta-analysis of debate as an activity in-round to be grating. I will always favor the person/team using their speaking time to discuss the issue at hand in the resolution.
I don't mind if you spread, but other judges will.
My preferred pronouns are they/them.
I debated in the NDT-CEDA policy circuit for 4 years.
I believe the topic is always being negotiated, not static. Much like a German Shepherd, framework is not always policing, but it may lend itself to such a service. Debates come equipped with norms, but those are not law.
High School 2020-21
Speed is fine, but go only as fast as you can handle. Conditionality is generally okay. Everyone in the debate should be timing. I have ADHD so I am terrible at remembering to press start. Rely on my timer at your own peril.
I like to hear critiques explained through history and current events. Examples are the easiest way to make a complex concept simple enough to evaluate in the short span of time we have together.
Police apologists whose arguments rely on the fear of the criminal will gain little traction on my ballot. Discussion of crime requires nuance as it easily becomes anti-black very quickly given the history of politicians using thinly veiled "tough on crime" platforms to wrestle over power. Read the links below and avoid an automatic L.
The Willie Horton Ad
I'm the head coach of speech and debate at The Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City, MO. I competed as an LD and Policy debater in high school. I coach all events. My team competes in the Kansas City region as well as national circuit tournaments (on occasion).
Extensions: in order for an argument to be properly extended in the debate, the warrant of that argument must be extended through the necessary speech. It is not enough to say, "Extend Smith '20". You must extend the warrants as well.
Respect/decorum: debate is historically an unequal place for women, non-binary students, and BIPOC. Debate is also an activity that is meant to educate and empower young people. You are allowed to make mistakes, and you should apologize when that mistake disrespects an opponent/judge. You are not allowed to make debate an unsafe space for anyone, and you deserve to lose if you do. While all debaters deserve your respect and professionalism, you should pay extra attention to ensuring that you are not engaging in culturally normalized behavior that makes spaces unsafe for the people I've listed above. I will happily listen to and vote for arguments I disagree with. I will not allow debaters to demean or dehumanize their opponents.
I am not fast enough to flow fast TOC rounds, I will not flow off of speech docs unless technical issues require me to do so--If I can't hear the tag/author/warrant, it doesn't go on the page. So, fast is fine, slower spreading is fine, but I don't judge enough super fast rounds to keep up with you. If you are concerned about this, two tips: 1. watch me, if I'm not holding my pen I'm not flowing. 2. Ask for verbal cues to slow if you want them.
I'll listen to every argument with the exception of positions that advocate racism/sexism/bigotry in the debate space.
Ks-Its fine to argue and go for Ks in front of me, but you must be able to articulate your warrants/impacts through both the warrants in the card and your own words. If you can't explain the K, you can't extend the K. Generic Ks are fine, but I prefer link/uniqueness debate over impact debate. Obviously, impact calculus is essential as the debate crystallizes.
T-I'm happy to watch a 2NR completely focused on T, don't be shy about reading T in front of me. Sub T should have specific, contextual language on the interp and violation.
DAs-I tend to give very little access to "any risk of the link" arguments on generic DAs. I much prefer link debate and uniqueness debate over impact debate. Obviously, impact calculus is essential as the debate crystallizes, but the arguments I am most persuaded by are link and uniqueness arguments.
ROTB-I try to be as open to ROTB claims/arguments from both teams as possible, but your position must make an AFF ballot possible in the 1AC and a NEG ballot possible in the 1NC. Debate is a game, but its purpose is educational.
Language/Abuse/Rules-I am persuaded by arguments that call for a stop to the debate for immediate adjudication on these issues. If you are accusing your opponents of breaking a rule/doing something abusive or disrespectful at a level in which you believe they should lose the round then I encourage you to advocate for that position. If that is your true point of advocacy, call for a stop and adjudication when appropriate.
LD is a Value debate. I tend to favor cases with specific values and value criterions.
Speed: See policy
Plans and CPs: Totally fine, make sure you have solvency evidence in the case
Ks: I don't really get Ks in LD, the structure of LD as a V/VC debate allows debaters to make these arguments inside of the traditional structure. That's what I'd prefer. I'm not opposed to voting for a K in theory, but I think my barrier to voting for that position is higher than if it was advocated for inside of the traditional framework. You are welcome to change my mind, but tell me why the presentation of this position as a K is important and how I should weigh it against the V/VC framework of your opponent.
Impacts: I'm happy to evaluate LD under a deontological or consequentialist framework, but you should be consistent with your advocacy. While I default to "LD is a debate of moral questions" the reality is many topics ask debaters to imagine the moral calculus of policymakers. So, how to frame these impacts is up for debate.
Plans and counter plans are against the rules in PFD. Period. Now, I know topics frequently put the PRO team in the position of advocating for a plan, and in those cases, supporting the resolution is functionally supporting a plan. That does not mean the CON is afforded CP ground. The CON (in these situations) is welcome to advocate for the status quo or the opportunity/loss of endorsing a PRO plan when alternative plans may be available.
Example: let's say PRO ground is the US passing Medicare for All. The CON may not advocate for Medicare for most with a private option--that's a CP. But, the CON may argue that voting PRO costs the opportunity of Medicare for most with a private option as Medicare for All explicitly forbids a private option. They can even try to establish that the status quo (in terms of solvency) will ultimately lead to Medicare for most with a private option if we just wait it out and don't pass Medicare for all. But they can not endorse the advantages of a private option as a function of CON ground. In these cases, you must establish these positions as general advocacy or solvency arguments.
Role of speeches: I believe the role of the first speech is to present the case, the second is to attack the case, the third is to defend the case, and the fourth is to crystalize and weigh the debate. I will not punish you if your interpretation is different (just please signpost so I know what's coming), but I will also not punish a second speech that doesn't extend the case nor a third speech that doesn't extend attacks).
Role of the ballot: it is the job of the debaters in the round to frame the role of the ballot in the final speech. You tell me what I'm supposed to weigh/vote for.
My primary coaching event is Congressional Debate. Don't freak out, I prefer the debate portion of the event as my high school background is in PF/LD.
For CD: I’ll always consider a balance of presentation, argumentation, and refutation. If you happen to drop the ball on one of those traits during a speech, it won’t ruin your rank on my ballot. I look for consistency across the board and most importantly: What is your speech doing for the debate?
For both PF/LD: As long as you're clear/do the work for me, I have no preference for/against what you run/do in the round. I'll vote off of what you give me. With that, I really stress the latter portion of that paradigm, "I'll vote off of what you give me". I refuse to intervene on the flow, so if you're not doing the work for me, I'm gonna end up voting on the tiniest, ickiest place that I should not be voting off of. Please don't make me do that. Respect the flow and its links.
PF specific: I love theory. I don't prefer theory in PF, but again I'll vote off of where the round ends up...it'd be cool if it didn't head in that direction as a good majority of the time you can still engage in/ win the debate without it.
I don't time roadmaps, take a breather and get yourself together.
Speed isn't an issue for me in either event.
Avoid flex prep.
I prefer googledocs to email for evidence sharing (email@example.com).
Hello. I am a parent judge.
Please speak slowly and clearly so I can understand and digest your points and arguments. With that said, please don't throw around evidence, instead give solid reasoning for all your points.
I am influenced by data and credible evidence supporting your positions with good reasoning as well.
I would like to see respect shown on both sides of the debate. Talking over each other in the crossfire is not the best way to get your point across.
Good luck and I look forward to judging the round!
Hello, my name is Qibin
This is my second year and fifth tournament judging, I am a lay judge.
A few preferences:
1) Please don't rush/speak too fast
2) I may ask to see the evidence you cite
3) Please signpost clearly so I know what arguments you are addressing
4) Please weigh in summary and final focus
5) Please have clear extensions of your arguments so I can understand them better.
Let's have a fun and educational round!
I am a parent judge and have some debate experience. I ask all of you to please be respectful of each other. Please speak slowly and keep track of your own time. Additionally, at the start of each round please share emails and get a google doc created to share evidence cards. I will also flow each round.
Thank you and good luck!
My name is Nuveria Tajammul; I competed in Debate during all four years in high school in Public Forum, Lincoln Douglas, and Congress and was the Captain of my Debate team senior year. I went to NSDA Debate Nationals in 2021 and invitational nationals like Duke University (2020), etc. I also judge professionally for Public Forum, Lincoln Douglas, Parliamentary, Congress, World School, Big Future Debates, and Speech Events.
The debate case should have clear contentions with evidence supporting your claims that explain the topic well. Generally, your case should be structured so it is easy to flow and understand as the audience. The arguments should be concise, and clash is essential. Follow the structure of the debate format you are competing in. For example, in LD, the Value and Value Criterion are significant; centralize your case towards them. Extend your arguments throughout the Debate; consistent repetition is not necessary.
Parent judge for Germantown Friends School.
Speak clearly, speak confidently, and do not be aggressive. Debate is an activity that we are lucky to participate in, make sure that you understand we should all be appreciative of this. It's okay to be passionate but keep the environment comfortable for everyone.
Any racist, homophobic, or otherwise exclusionary arguments will result in L + lowest speaks possible.
Explain your argument clearly to me. I will not vote on something I am not sure I understand.
Send case to email chain before your speech & I might ask for extra cards if I’m curious: firstname.lastname@example.org
My wifi sucks, it'll make it a lot easier for everyone to have at least speech docs prepared for your speeches - lowkey required for rebuttal, others optional but preferred.
General update/preference on framework: I don't like oppression olympics. I don't like talking about why we should prefer one group over another group so if both teams have framing impacting out to marginalized communities, I prefer the debate to just be on the link level unless you are undeniably winning on the warrant level. Also I don't like the "link-ins bad" arg as much either, I just don't like the round being over before it starts.
Theory - pls no theory unless it's about the other team not reading a content warning. I mean if u do read theory i guess i'll judge it but i prefer substance so my threshold for responding to theory is prob a lot lower than u would like.
Evidence - I care about evidence ethics so don't egregiously miscut cards but if you are going to run ev ethics on someone, implicate why it's more important than substance debate or why it should control my ballot. Also, I think paraphrasing is fine in PF so don't run that on me lmao.
- keep track of your own times pls
- pls stop asking if it's okay to take prep just announce to the room so we're not waiting around and time yourselves
- Be clear. I never get enough sleep so if I don't catch it, it won't be on my flow.
- Frontline if you're second rebuttal
- I don't flow crossfire. If it's interesting I'll listen, but if it's important - bring it up in speech.
- Don't be rude to the other team or I’ll drop your speaks. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzpndHtdl9A)
- YOU CAN’T EXTEND ARGUMENTS WITHOUT EXTENDING WARRANTS!!!! (e.g. Don't just tell me ending arms sales causes war - give me reasons WHY that's true and extend the impact of WHY it's important) Every time you extend an argument you should extend the link chain + impact. No blippy extensions.
- Terminal defense is not sticky (translation: Rebuttals will not be directly flowed across so bring it up in summary if you want it in final focus)
- Pls don’t make me intervene (write my ballot for me with weighing)
warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants warrants (warrants =/= evidence)
weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh weigh but make it comparative
in summary and final focus
pls thank u
I'm familiar with policy debate, as in I've judged it before, but I never competed in it. I competed in public forum so keep that in mind when you're debating. Aka:
- don't go too fast, if you are gonna spread - send me a doc
- If you're running theories or Kritiks that are not intuitive -- please EXPLAIN THEM FULLY or it will not go your way. Also if it involves smth sensitive - please include a content warning.
- Time yourselves - I might do it on the side too but I want you guys to keep track of it yourselves. Especially prep or opponent's prep.
hi! i debated pf in hs. toc '19! i was a former co-director for nova debate camp and go to uva now. i also coach ardrey kell VM and oakton ML. add me to the email chain! email@example.com
tl;dr, i'm a typical flow judge. i'm tab and tech>truth, debate however you want (as long as it does not harm others). for more specific stuff, read below!
wacfl: go as fast as you want, read prog, make it interesting
most important thing:
so many of my RFDs have started with "i default on the weighing". weighing is NOT a conditional you should do if you just so happen to have enough time in summary - i will often default to teams if they're the only ones who have made weighing. strength of link weighing counts only when links are 100% conceded, clarity of impact doesn't.
other less important stuff:
online debate: unless you're sending speech docs, please just make a shared google doc and paste cards there. i get it, you want to steal prep while waiting. but really, it's delaying tournaments and i get bored while waiting :( (you don't have to though, esp in outrounds - but i will be happier if you do)
also, if you're debating from the same computer, it's cool, just lmk in the chat or turn your camera on before the round so i know, because i usually start the round when i see 4 ppl in the room
speed is ok. i think it's fun. i actually like blippy disads (as long as they have warrants). but don't do it in such a way that it makes the debate inaccessible - drop a doc if your opponents ask or if someone says "clear".
whenever you extend something, you have to extend the warrant above all else.
defense is not sticky, but my threshold for completely new frontlines in second summary is super high. turns must be frontlined in second rebuttal.
new implications off of previous responses are okay (in fact, i think they're strategic), but they must be made in summary (unless responding to something new in final). you still need to have concise warranting for the new implication, just as you would for any other response.
i don't listen during cross - if they make a concession, point it out in the next speech.
weighing is important, but comparative and meta weighing are even more important. you can win 100% of your link uncontested but i'd still drop you if you never weigh at all and the opps have like 1% of their link with pre-req weighing into your case. don't just say stuff like "we outweigh because our impact card has x and theirs has y and x>y", but go the next step and directly compare why your magnitude is more important than their timeframe, why your prereq comes before their prereq, etc. if there is no weighing done, i will intervene.
i encourage post-round questions, i'm actually happy to spend like however long you want me to just answering questions regarding my decision. just don't be rude about it.
i will evaluate progressive arguments (Ks, theory, etc).
no friv theory, no tricks
i default to reasonability, RVIs, and DtD *if not told otherwise* - before you start e-mailing me death threats, this is just so teams can't read random new shells in summary unless they're going to spend the time reading warrants for CI and no RVIs - i prefer theory debates to start in constructive/rebuttal, and i'll be sympathetic to teams that have to make new responses to a completely new shell in summary or final focus
i'm less versed on Ks than i am theory. i can probably follow you on the stock Ks (cap, sec, etc), but if you're going to run high level Ks (performance, afropess, etc), i'll still evaluate them, but i advise you run them with caution, since i might not be able to get everything down 100%. it's probably best to make these types of Ks accessible to both me and your opponents (you should honestly just explain everything like i'm a lay judge, and try to stay away from more abstract phil stuff like epistemology/ontology/etc).
if you have any more questions, feel free to ask or e-mail me before the round!
Paradigm: I'm a "Flay" judge, but I've been judging PF since 2014, and I've judged at major tournaments like Harvard, Georgetown, and UK. Don't spread - I flow the entire round (including crossfires) and I want to be able to not only understand your arguments, but note when you are or are not addressing your opponents' arguments. I prefer clear logic, solid evidence, and confident rhetoric. I don't believe that the entirety of a debate is evidence versus evidence, so frameworks, weighing, and actually speaking persuasively are a major plus. While I fully understand debate jargon, don't rely on it as you would with more technical judges. Make me care more about your world than your opponents'.
I prefer PF rounds are NOT theory or K arguments. However, I will always judge based on how you handle your case, and how your opponent handles it.
If the tournament allows spectators, those spectators should not be leaving and coming back repeatedly during the round. It's incredibly distracting for me and may hinder competitors as well.
FOR DIGITAL TOURNAMENTS: Please speak slowly enough that the internet connection can keep up with you. Even with a solid connection, going too quickly results in a blur of noise that makes it difficult to listen for judges and opponents alike.
Additionally: During a digital tournament, please speak up if you cannot hear your opponent. Don't wait until the end of their speech to note that, for you, they were cutting out. It is better to handle the issue with tech time and have the speech given normally than having an off-time recap.
-- updated for nsda nats 2023 --
I do tend more flay during this tournament - I would deeply prefer a slower, emphasized pace with really good explanations of warrants and arguments. You are welcome to read the below, but it's long and most of it relates to more progressive debate. I'm not opposed to progressive debate at this tournament, but I strongly encourage the 'layification' of progressive debate here. There are times where PF debate SHOULD be easily accessible to the public, and I believe that NSDA Nationals is one of those times.
Congratulations to all for qualifying to this tournament, you should ALL feel amazing just for earning the opportunity to compete at this tournament. Good luck, and speak well!!
—Updated for Glenbrooks 2022—
Background - current assistant PF coach at Blake, former LD coach at Brentwood (CA). Most familiar w/ progressive, policy-esque arguments, style, and norms, but won’t dock you for wanting a more traditional PF round.
Non-negotiables - be kind to those you are debating and to me (this looks a lot of ways: respectful cross, being nice to novices, not outspreading a local team at a circuit tournament, not stealing prep, etc.) and treat the round and arguments read with respect. Debate may be a game, but the implications of that game manifest in the real world.
- I am indifferent to having an email chain, and will call for ev as needed to make my decision.
- If we are going to have an email chain, THE TEAM SPEAKING FIRST should set it up before the round, and all docs should be sent immediately prior to the start of each speech.
- if we are going to do ev sharing on an email, put me on the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
My internal speaks scale:
- Below 25 - something offensive or very very bad happened (please do not make me do this!)
- 25-27.5 - didn’t use all time strategically (varsity only), distracted from important parts of the debate, didn’t add anything new or relevant
- 27.5-29 - v good, some strategic comments, very few presentational issues, decent structuring
- 29-30 - wouldn’t be shocked to see you in outrounds, very few strategic notes, amazing structure, gives me distinct weighing and routes to the ballot.
Mostly, I feel that a debate is a debate is a debate and will evaluate any args presented to me on the flow. The rest are varying degrees of preferences I’ve developed, most are negotiable.
Speed - completely fine w/ most top speeds in PF, will clear for clarity and slow for speed TWICE before it impacts speaks.
- I do ask that you DON’T completely spread out your opponents and that you make speech docs available if going significantly faster than your opponents.
Summary split - I STRONGLY prefer that anything in final is included in summary. I give a little more lenience in PF than in other events on pulling from rebuttal, but ABSOLUTELY no brand new arguments in final focuses please!
Case turns - yes good! The more specific/contextualized to the opp’s case the better!
- I very strongly believe that advocating for inexcusable things (oppression of any form, extinction, dehumanization, etc.) is grounds to completely tank speaks (and possibly auto-loss). You shouldn’t advocate for bad things just bc you think you are a good enough debater to defend them.
- There’s a gray area of turns that I consider permissible, but as a test of competition. For example, climate change good is permissible as a way to make an opp going all in on climate change impacts sweat, but I would prefer very much to not vote exclusively on cc good bc I don’t believe it’s a valid claim supported by the bulk of the literature. While I typically vote tech over truth, voting for arguments I know aren’t true (but aren’t explicitly morally abhorrent) will always leave a bad taste in my mouth.
T/Theory - I have voted on theory in PF in the past and am likely to in the future. I need distinct paradigm issues/voters and a super compelling violation story to vote solely on theory.
*** I have a higher threshold for voting on t/theory than most PF judges - I think this is because I tend to prefer reasonability to competing interpretations sans in-round argumentation for competing interps and a very material way that one team has made this round irreparably unfair/uneducational/inaccessible.***
- norms I think are good - disclosure (prefer open source, but all kinds are good), ev ethics consistent w/ the NSDA event rules (means cut cards for paraphrased cases in PF), nearly anything related to accessibility and representation in debate
- gray-area norms - tw/cw (very good norm and should be provided before speech time with a way to opt out (especially for graphic descriptions of violence), but there is a difference between being genuinely triggered and unable to debate specific topics and just being uncomfortable. It's not my job to discern what is 'genuinely' triggering to you specifically, but it is your job as a debater to be respectful to your opponents at all times); IVIs/RVIs (probably needed to check friv theory, but will only vote on them very contextually)
- norms I think are bad - paraphrasing!! (especially without complete citations), running theory on a violation that doesn’t substantively impact the round, weaponization of theory to exclude teams/discussions from debate
K’s - good for debate and some of the best rounds I’ve had the honor to see in the past. Very hard to do well in LD, exceptionally hard to do well in PF due to time constraints, unfortunately. But, if you want to have a K debate, I am happy to judge it!!
- A prerequisite to advocating for any one critical theory of power is to understand and internalize that theory of power to the best of your ability - this means please don’t try to argue a K haphazardly just for laughs - doing so is a particularly gross form of privilege.
- most key part of the k is either the theory of power discussion or the ballot key discussion - both need to be very well developed throughout the debate.
- in all events but PF, the solvency of the alt is key. In PF, bc of the lack of plans, the framing/ballot key discourse replaces, but functions similarly to, the solvency of the alt.
- Most familiar with - various ontological theories (pessimistic, optimistic, nihilistic, etc.), most iterations of cap and neolib
- Somewhat familiar with - securitization, settler-colonialism, and IR K’s
- Least familiar with - higher-level, post-modern theories (looking specifically at Lacan here)
I am currently the Assistant Coach for East Ridge High School in Woodbury, Minnesota. I coach Congressional Debate and Public Forum.
High School Debate (Iowa): Public Forum Debate, Congressional Debate, and Speech
College Debate (Loyola U): Parliamentary Debate
Coach/Mentoring: The Chicago Debate League, MN Urban Debate League
Retired Attorney – Business Law for pay and Constitutional Law for fun.
-Congressional Debate is not a Speech event; I am looking for argumentation skills that further the debate.
-I encourage signposting, great intros, and a quick summary conclusion. When appropriate, a joke or pun is always welcome.
-I expect clash, cited evidence, and rebuttal.
-I also appreciate students who immerse themselves in the debate and act as if their votes have importance to their constituents back home.
-The authorship or sponsorship speech should address the status quo, lay out the problem(s), and explain with specificity how the legislation solves it. The first con should be equally as strong. Second-round speeches and beyond should advance the debate – offer something new, clarify something that has been said, or refute something proffered.
-If you are speaking near the end of the debate, then a top-notch, crystallization speech is in order and very much enjoyed when done well.
-One amazing speech will always beat out three mediocre speeches.
-No same-sided questions...it does not further debate.
-Don't break the cycle of debate; either flip sides or give a speech on another piece of legislation.
-Refrain from the three Rs: Repeat, Rehash, Recycle.
-Make your arguments stronger, not louder.
-I expect you to treat your colleagues with respect and civility. Shouting, pointing fingers (literally), and being downright rude in questioning will drop you quickly. I like questions that further debate and shore up the arguments. I frown upon unsportsmanlike shenanigans – no “gotcha” or snarky questions. My frown will extend to chamber rankings.
Presiding Officer: Please consider the job of PO ONLY if you are comfortable with Parliamentary Procedure, keeping track of recency and precedence, and running a controlled chamber. If you are a presiding officer, I want it to run so smoothly and fairly that I never have to step in. I do not mind some levity, but this is also a competition. As PO, please explain your gaveling procedure, your understanding of recency and precedence, and how you call on representatives for questioning. Please do not call for "orders of the day" in front of me. Y'all are using it wrong to give your stats from the round.
Public Forum Debate:
>>>SPEED: I am a Coach, but I still can't write as fast as I hear you. You never said if it does not make it to my flow.
Off-time roadmaps work for me.
I am a fan of clear and smart frameworks.
Don't cherry-pick your evidence.
I want to hear debate on the NSDA PF resolution only. Run anything else at your own risk!
I really need narrative and great warranting - please extend them through the flow. Quantitative impacts mean nothing to me if I don't know how to weigh them.
Are you still terminally impacting to Nuclear War in 2023? If so, use caution because the probability is about 1%. I know that, you know that, and the academic literature states that.
I prefer line-by-line rebuttals.
Collapse as necessary to keep the debate sharp.
Please weigh in summary and final focus. If you want something to be a voting issue, put it in both the summary and final focus. If you don't weigh the round for me, I will, and I will use criteria that will definitely frustrate at least 50% of competitors in the round.
Yes email chain: email@example.com
Rip my old paradigm - tabroom made me get rid of all my "profane language".
No camera preference.
Debated at Raymore-Peculiar High School for 4 years
Fifth year debating for Kansas State - 2x NDT Qualifier
MArch '24 - Ask me about the projects I'm currently working on!
Usual things - do whatever makes you happy, don't let my paradigm convince you otherwise. Feel free to ask questions if anything in here is nonsensical and you need clarification lol.
I'm not one for "wearing a poker face", so if it looks like I'm not understanding you/confused, that's probably the case.
Obviously any acts of racism, sexism, etc. will be voted down on face. My threshold for tolerating two white individuals running afrofuturism/pessimism is also really really high - as a POC it's pretty hard for me to sit through two white people trying to prescribe the implications of anti-black violence to me and telling me what I should be doing about it.
I don't judge LD or PF very often and I'm not going to make a whole section dedicated to them so sorry - some of these things will apply to you some won't.I find myself always telling debaters in these rounds that they need to spend more time expanding the depth of their impact calculus, so do that. Impact calc is not just a policy debate thing.
Truth = Tech (my coach clowned me for this but I'm sticking to it lol - good truth abilities is technical).
Onto the semantics-
K Debate: I decided to put this at the top because I feel like it's one of the first things teams search for when looking at paradigms. I do prefer sitting in the back of K aff rounds is opposed to policy aff rounds, but that does not mean I will vote for a K aff 100% of the time. I often think these affs lack substantive solvency mechanism, that allow for easy presumption neg ballots (though I always grown when signing a presumption ballot - more K aff teams need to spend time impact turning presumption as a concept). I'm far from an expert on K literature (throwing out random "woke" phrases or author names to seem smart does nothing for me or anyone so don't do it). So, if the debate turns into a high theory debate, make sure you're using the 2NR/AR to really pump the breaks and break it down - this should be an opportunity for me to go back through my flow and make sure I got everything that you were talking about. (Specifically important for the 2NR to isolate link(s) and impacts). I think judge intervention (though inevitable) is unequivocally bad, and should be avoided at any cost - which means I really want the last 30 secs of the final speeches to be the top of my RFD.
FW: Coming off the heels of that paragraph about how much I love listening to K affs, you can probably tell that I'm not super inclined to vote on FW. I don't think an aff is required to be "in the direction" (whatever that means) of the topic, but I'm not totally unsympathetic to those type of FW args. I totally get FW in the 1NC and even 1NR as a test of competition, but just get a little sad inside when it gets carried through to the 2NR. That being said, I'm not an "absolutely no FW" type of guy - if aff really fumbles FW coming out of the block, by all means go for it. But if you have something better and there is no damning concession, I really urge against going for it. Lack of a (quality) TVA makes me really sympathetic to aff arguments. I also really enjoy out of the box FW interpretations - it doesn't always have to be the Ericson evidence. What kind of models should debate allow for that don't always require the use of the USFG?
T: I'm a lot more willing to vote on T than framework, and I don't think I stray too far from the beaten path when it comes to T. Have all four components solid and ta-da you win. Obviously I'd prefer not to listen to a T debate but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. I do need really really specific ground loss examples if you're going for ground though, and why the ground that you want to access is actually good ground (k/2 the core of the topic or whatever)
Theory: I think theory is often underutilized in debates - specifically condo. Condo is the internal link to a lot of different things and shields from neg blowing up dropping 2AC args. Undercover a sheet in the 2AC and drop some args? That's offense for condo being a voter, and condo justifies new 1AR spin. Neg caught in some perf cons? Condo is the internal link. That being said, voting for condo makes me a little sad but if they fumble it you can go all in in the 2AR I guess. Just make sure if you utilize it for the things mentioned above (or anything similar) you give it a light 15 sec extension in the 2AR. If you can somehow convince me that dispo is good, I might bless you with a few extra speaker points (that requires you to have a coherent interp of what you think dispo is). If you ask me to judge kick something, I will probably just laugh (see above, judge intervention bad)
CPs & DAs (And case lol): Again, not far from the beaten path here. I'm okay with them all. Have all the parts. Please do something on case. Case turns are fun. I debate for K-State so I'm a big lover of PICs. Also read a DA (or random case cards) to prove offense on T - makes for a more fun debate.
List of random gripes:
If you're reading unhighlighted cards please tell me if you are reading the whole card, just underlined, or just bold before you start reading the card.
I really distain underviews. I get they are useful for lay judges, but please don't do them in front of me. You should probably be using that time on impact calc instead :)
Read the theory section if you haven't already. What happened to teams running condo???
Good diction and, not talking too fast, are important. When sending evidence ensure you send it on the chat or if emailing the evidence, cc me on the email chain.
Alum of the program, competed 4 years and have coached for the last 2 (give or take). I have judged pf before as well as multiple speech events.
I look for who has the better cohesive argument. I also look closely for who is better able to thoughtfully deconstruct the other sides argument in cross. I am not picky, just be coherent.
My goal is to judge debates with the least intervention possible. This does not mean I do not have ideological convictions, but those can easily be overridden by good technical argumentation and execution. Debate is hard and I appreciate the time and effort debaters put into the activity. Given this, I have zero interest judging debates about anything other than efficacy of political advocacies. Treating ad hominems and ethics challenges as case negs is a terrible norm for the community and can almost always be resolved without using character assassinations to get the ballot.
Notes for 12/2 -I'm not familiar with this topic, so make sure to say the full name of something before abbreviating!
- Please preflow before the round and give an off-time road map that tells me which specific argument you're starting on
- Second rebuttal should rebuild your own case and respond to theirs, and begin the weighing debate! ALL speeches after 2nd reb should have weighing
- Comparatives are very important: tell me why to prefer your reasoning over your opponents (eg. maybe because it's empirically proven, maybe because you have the best evidence on the question), most close rounds are resolved this way.
This can be evidence comparison too (eg. our ev is more holistic source, takes into account xyz factors). Please do this if you have conflicting evidence on a question, otherwise I have to sift through the email chain myself afterward to resolve this
- Impact calc is key, but make sure it's comparative and warranted!
- Link-ins and prerecs are good and useful weighing args that should be made. However, I think they're often given too much weight on the ballot and come out too late in the round, so if you want to use this mech make sure it's well warranted and well developed from summary (extra points if they come out in rebuttal). I also have a very low threshold for responding to them if they're blippy or simply asserted.
- Don't hesitate to call for evidence! Also, when you're sending it in the email chain, send cut cards, not just a link.
More on evidence, borrowing from Ale Perri: "Cut cards. Paraphrasing is becoming an easy vehicle for total misrepresentation of evidence. So I would strongly advise reading cut cards in front of me. The NSDA requires that you are now paraphrasing from a cut card or paragraph, meaning that if you are paraphrasing an entire pdf or article, I will evaluate the flow without that argument and your speaks will get tanked. I still strongly believe that even paraphrasing from cut cards is unacceptable because of the time skew that it enables against a team that is cutting and reading cards (i.e you are able to read 3 "cards" for every actual card they can read), but I will not drop you or the evidence for this if the paraphrase is legitimate."
- I'm down to hear progressive arguments but run them well. On a relative level, I'm more receptive to Ks than theory (pref disclosure and paraphrasing theory; don't run stuff like resolved theory)
- Any speed is alright, but this isn't an excuse for blippy arguments. If you're going faster this means more depth in each arg/more of the card being read.
Back half specifics:
- Extensions (re-explanations of arguments) in summary need to be clear and warranted
- Strategy in summary/ff need to be similar, I won't vote off of a blippy claim made in summary and blown up in final focus
- For the arguments they've collapsed on, defense in ff needs to be in summary
- Collapse hard on a few arguments! If I see this properly executed earlier in the round, I'll boost your speaks
- I'm cool with any style. I don't think debate boils down to persuasion, but instead understanding the nuances of the argument and being able to do effective comparison. I view debate more as an academic means to unpack policy, and much less a speech event. It's a test of your research and efficiency, not your language.
- avg is 28
- will drop you and your speaks for exclusionary language or behavior
Feel free to ask any questions before round! Best reachable by email.
Put Me on the Email Chain: Cjaswill23@gmail.com
Experience: I debated in College policy debate team (Louisville WY) at the University of Louisville, went to the quarterfinals of the NDT 2018 , coached and judged high school and college highly competitive teams.
Policy Preferences: Debate is a game that is implicated by the people who play it. Just like any other game rules can be negotiated and agreed upon. Soooooo with that being said, I won't tell you how to play, just make sure I can clearly understand you and the rules you've negotiated(I ran spreading inaccessible arguments but am somewhat trained in evaluating debaters that spread) and I also ask that you are not being disrespectful to any parties involved. With that being said, I don't care what kind of arguments you make, just make sure there is a clear impact calculus, clearly telling me what the voters are/how to write my ballot. Im also queer black woman poet, so those strats often excite me, but will not automatically provide you with a ballot. You also are not limited to those args especially if you don't identify with them in any capacity. I advise you to say how I’m evaluating the debate via Role Of the Judge because I will default to the arguments that I have on my flow and how they "objectively" interact with the arguments of your opponent. I like narratives, but I will default to the line by line if there is not effective weighing. Create a story of what the aff world looks like and the same with the neg. I'm not likely to vote for presumption arguments, it makes the game dull. I think debate is a useful tool for learning despite the game-structure. So teach me something and take my ballot.
Other Forms of Debate: cross-apply above preferences
Debate is fun. I enjoy judging. Most of my judging experiences are PF followed by LD. I also judged limited rounds of parli, policy and congress. Except for PF, don't assume that I am familiar with the current topic. I usually disclose and give my RFD if it's allowed and time permits.
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I value clear warrants, explicit weighing and credible evidence. I do care a lot about the tech side, but pretty much tech = truth if you read substance.
- Speed: talking fast is not a problem, but DON'T spread (less than 250 words per minute works). Otherwise, I can only listen but not keep up flowing. If I missed anything, it's on you.
- Warrants: the most important thing is clear links to convince me with supporting evidence (no hypothesis or fake evidence - I will check your evidence links). If you drop your warrants, I will drop you.
- Flow: I flow everything except for CX. Clear signposts help me flow.
- Rebuttals: I like quick thinking when attacking your opponents' arguments. Turns are even better. Frontlines are expected in second rebuttal.
- CX: don't spend too much time calling cards (yes, a few cards are fine) or sticking on something trivial.
- Weighing: it needs to be two-world comparisons. Bring up what you want me to vote on in both summary and FF, and extend well.
- Timing: I don't typically time your speeches unless you ask me to do so (but if I do, the grace period is 10 sec), but I often time your prep and CX.
Ts: limited judging experience. Explain well to me why your impact values more and focus on meaningful violations. Don't assume an easy win by default reading Ts, if you sacrifice educational value for the sake of winning.
Ks: no judging experience. Only spectated a few rounds. Hard to understand those big hollow words if you don't have enough warrants. If you really want to do Ks, do stock Ks, instead of performance.
Finally, be respectful and enjoy your round!
Lowell '20 || UC Berkeley '24 || Assistant Coach @ College Prep || she/her/hers
Please format the chain subject like this: Tournament Name - Round # - Aff Team Code [Aff] vs Neg Team Code. Please make sure the chain is set up before the start time.
I think about debate in the same way as this guy. (He's probably the person I talk to the most when it comes to strategies and execution, it would be fair to say that if you like the way that he judge then I am also a good judge for you).
I debated for four years at Lowell High School. I’ve been a 2A for most of my years (2Ned as a side gig my junior year). Qualified to the TOC & placed 7th at NSDA reading arguments on both sides of the spectrum. I'd say my comfort for judging rounds is Policy vs. Policy > K vs. Policy > K vs. K.
I learned everything I know about debate from Debnil Sur - his paradigm is 1000x more nuanced and thought-out than mine will be.
I'll vote on anything.* I think there is certainly a lot of value in ideological flexibility.
*Outside of the blatantly offensive arguments, but I think that's obvious.
Tech >>>>>>>>> truth: I'd rather adapt to your strategies than have you adapt to what you think my preferences are. The below are simply guidelines & ways to improve speaks via tech-y things I like seeing rather than ideological stances on arguments.
Looooove judge instruction - I’m lazy, please write my ballot for me. Top level framing and cleaning up the debate for me >>>>>>>>. This makes it infinitely easier for me to resolve debates, but I'm seeing less and less of this in 2NRs/2ARs that I've judged recently.
I think evidence quality is important, but I value good spin more because it incentivizes smart analysis/contextualization - I personally believe that a model of debate where rounds are adjudicated solely based on evidence quality favors truth more than technical debate skills. As a result, I tend not to look at evidence after the round unless it was specifically flagged during speeches. With that being said, I’ll probably default to reading evidence if there’s a lack of evidence indicts or resolving done by teams in round. You probably don't want this because I feel like its opens up the possibility for more intervention -- so please just help me out and debate warrants + resolve the biggest points of clash in your 2NR/2ARs.
Obviously I'm fine with speed, but it seems like people have forgotten to sign post or slow down on tags/analytics. I'll clear at most 3x, but if I'm missing important stuff you'd like on my flow, that's on you.
Not much to say here - think these debates are pretty straight forward. Smart, nuanced link analysis/internal link explanation >>>> “our impact outweighs on [x] because [unwarranted assertion]!!11!!”. Detailed, subpointed link modules and link turns case analysis will make me and your speaks very happy.
Default to judge kick unless the 2ar is really convincing on why I should not/wins the thesis of condo.
I can't remember the last time I heard a really good counterplan. Process/agent/consult CPs are kind of cheating but in the words of the wise Tristan Bato, "most violations are reasons to justify a permutation or call solvency into question and not as a voter."
I think I tend to err neg on questions of conditionality & perf con but probably aff on counterplans that garner competition off of the word “should”. Obviously this is a debate to be had but also I’m also sympathetic to a well constructed net benefit with solid evidence.
Framework is sosososo important in these debates. I don’t think I really lean either side on this question but I don’t think the neg needs to win the alt if they win framework + links based on the representational strategy of the 1AC.
Nuanced link walls based on the plan/reps + pulling evidence from their ev >>>> links based on FIATed state action and generic cards about your theory.
To quote Debnil “I'm a hard sell on sweeping ontological or metaphysical claims about society; I'll likely let the aff weigh the plan; I don't think the alt can fiat structures out of existence; and I think the alt needs to generate some solid uniqueness for the criticism.“
Generally, I don’t think people do enough work comparing/explaining their competing models of debate and its benefits other than “they exclude critical discussions!!!!”
For the aff: Having advocacy in the direction of the topic >>>>>>>> saying anything in the 1AC. I’ll probably be a lot more sympathetic to the neg if I just have no clue what the method/praxis of the 1AC is in relation to the topic. I think the value of planless affs come from having a defensible method that can be contested, which is why I’m not a huge fan of “refusal” affs or advocacies not tied to the topic. Not sure why people don’t think perms in a method debate are not valid - with that being said, I can obviously be convinced otherwise. I prefer nuanced perm explanations rather than just “it’s not mutually exclusive”.
For the neg: I don’t really buy procedural fairness - I think to win this standard you would have to win pretty substantial defense to the aff’s standards & disprove the possibility of debate having an effect on subjectivity. I don't think I'd never vote on fairness, but I think the way that most debaters extend it just sound whiney and don't give me a reason to prefer it over everything else.
I default to competing interps. Explanations of your models/differences between your interps + caselists >>>>> “they explode limits” in 10 different places. Please please please please do impact comparison, I don’t want to hear “they’re a tiny aff and that’s unfair” a bunch.
I don't flow off speech docs, but I try to follow along when you're reading evidence to ensure you're not clipping. If I catch you clipping, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you don't know what you're doing. I will give you a warning, but drop you if it happens again. If the other team catches you and wants to stake the round on an ethics challenge, I doubt you're winning that one.
Questions of norms ≠ ethics violations. If you believe the ballot should resolve a question of norms (disclosure, open sourcing, etc), then I will evaluate it like a regular procedural. If you believe it's an ethics violation (intentionally modifying evidence, clipping, etc), then the round stops immediately. Loser of the ethics challenge receives an auto loss and 20s.
Evidence ethics can be really iffy to resolve. If you want to stake the round on an evidence distortion, you must prove: that the piece of evidence was cut by the other team (or someone affiliated with their school) AND there was clear and malicious intent to alter its meaning. If your problem isn't surrounding distortion but rather mistagging/misinterpreting the evidence, it can be solved via a rehighlighting.
Please don't start until you see my camera on!
If you're not wearing headphones with a microphone attached, it is REALLY hard to hear you when you turn away from your laptop. Please refrain from doing this.
I would also love if you slowed down a tiny tiny tiny tiny bit on your analytics. I will clear you at most 3 times, but I can't help it if I miss what you're saying on my flow ;(.
Lay Debate / GGSA
I actually really appreciate these rounds. I think at the higher levels, debaters tend to forget that debate is a communicative activity at its core, and rely on the judge's technical knowledge to get out of impacting out arguments themselves. If we are in a lay setting and you'd rather not have a fast round when I'm in the back, I'll be all for that. There is such a benefit in adapting to slower audiences and over-explaining implications of all parts of the debate -- it builds better technical understanding of the activity! I'll probably still evaluate the round similar to how I would a regular round, but I think the experience of you forcing yourself to over-explain each part of the flow to me is greatly beneficial.
I've never debated in PF, but I have judged a handful of rounds now. I will evaluate very similarly to how I evaluate policy rounds, which you can read about under the "General Things" section above.
I despise the practice of sending snippets of evidence one at a time. I think it's a humongous waste of time and honestly would prefer (1) the email chain be started BEFORE the round and (2) all of the evidence you read in your speech sent at once. Someone was confused about this portion of my paradigm -- basically, instead of asking for "Can I get [A] card on [B] argument, [C] card on [D] arg, etc...", I think it would be faster if the team that just spoke sent all of their evidence in one doc. This is especially true if the tournament is double-flighted.
If you want me to read evidence after the round, please make sure you flag is very clearly.
I've been in theory/k rounds and I try to evaluate very close to policy. I'm not really a huge fan of k's in public forum -- I don't think there is enough speech time for you to develop such complex arguments out well. I also don't think it makes a lot of sense given the public forum structure (i.e. going for an advocacy when it's not a resolution that is set up to handle advocacies). I think there's so much value in engaging with critical literature, please consider doing another event that is set up better for it if you're really interested in the material. However, I'm still willing to vote on anything, as long as you establish a role of the ballot + frame why I'm voting.
If you delay the round to pre-flow when it's double-flighted, I will be very upset. You should know your case well enough for it to not be necessary, or do it on your own time.
Be nice & have fun.
Hi! I’m Jen (she/her), a first-year out who debated PF for Taipei American.
How I view debate
- W's based on flow but a strong narrative helps me a lot **edit: I realize I vote pretty often on how comfortable I feel about an argument based on how consistent the narrative is as well.
- Sacrificing clarity for speed is bad; If I didn't catch it then it's not on the flow
- Warrants (why) and implications (so what) are the two most important things
- Defense is not sticky (however if something is clearly dropped, simple extensions are sufficient)
- Collapse second half and do it well (this means extending ALL parts of the contention you are going for and not going for your entire case)
- Comparatively weigh, preferably not just the impacts. Metaweighing can be good too. Also, don't sneak any responses you forget to read in rebuttal as weighing, I can tell lol
- What's in the FF needs to be in the summary, even better if they mirror
- I listen to cross but I noticed that I am not the most focused during it. Bring it up in a speech again if there is something important.
- Evidence ethics matters, don't egregiously miscut things; it's not fair to the argument nor to your opponents.
- Progressive debate? Not really down and If I were you I would not trust me assessing these arguments. If you still decide to do so, explain to me step by step as if I'm a lay. I really dislike disclosure and paraphrasing theory though. **edit: substance with prog framing is fine, but it should come up very early in the round, rebuttal at the latest.
Please ask me any questions before round or after my RFD. Lastly, I take this community’s work towards bettering inclusiveness very seriously. If there are any actions that raise doubts against this, you will face the consequences. So be a decent human being and glhf :)
TL;DR: If it’s not on my flow it doesn’t exist. If I can’t explain the argument to you in oral critiques/on my ballot I won’t vote on it. Disrespect, discrimination, or rudeness will cost speaks or, if severe enough, the round. Also, I agree with Brian Darby's paradigm. Go read that and come back here for specifics.
If the words "disclosure theory" are said in the round I will automatically give the team that introduced it the down.
General: I won’t do the work for you. I am tech unless the argument being run is abusively false (Ex: The Holocaust was fake; the Uyghur camps in China are #FakeNews; the sky is red; etc.). I don’t care what you run or how you run it (with a few exceptions below). You need to weigh, you need to explain why you won, you need to extend, you need to signpost. At the end of the round, I want to be able to look at my flow and be able to see clear reasons/arguments why one particular side won the round. I don’t want to have to do mental gymnastics to determine a winner and I hate intervening. Do I prefer a particular style? Sure, but it doesn’t impact my flow or my decision. If you win the argument/round (even if I don’t enjoy it) you won the argument/round.
Don't put me on the chain. You should be speaking slow enough that I don't need to read the speech docs in round to keep my flow clear.
First, I still flow on paper - not the computer - keep this in mind when it comes to speed of speech. I kill the environment in Policy by flowing each argument on a different page. Be kind and let me know how many pages to prepare in each constructive and an order to put existing flows in. I flow taglines over authors so, let me know what the author said (i.e. the tag) before you give me the analysis so I can find it on the flow.
SLOW DOWN ON TAGLINES I used to say I’m good with LD level of spreading but Policy was too much. In today’s world, I definitely feel like that has flipped as I have had more trouble with the speed in LD rounds versus Policy. In the physical world if you ever go too fast I will throw down my pen and cross my arms. In the virtual world, I suggest you start slow because tech and internet speed has proven to be a barrier for spreading, but I will give you two warnings when you start skipping in and out or when you become unclear. After two, unless it’s an actual tech issue, I’ll stop flowing.
Prep time ends when you press "send" for the doc OR when the flash drive leaves your computer (or in PF when you stand to speak). That being said, I don’t time in rounds. You should be holding each other accountable.
I generally start at 28 and work my way up or down. As a coach and a teacher I recognize and am committed to the value that debate should be an educational activity. Do not be rude, discriminatory, or abusive – especially if you are clearly better than your opponent. I won’t down you for running high quantity and high tech arguments against someone you are substantively better than, but I will tank your speaks for intentionally excluding your opponent in that way. It can only benefit you to keep the round accessible to all involved.
Nothing is "sticky." If it is dropped in summary I drop it from my flow and consider it a "kicked" argument or you "collapsed" into whatever was actually discussed. Do not try to extend an argument from rebuttal into Final Focus that was not mentioned in summary. I will not evaluate it. Don't run Kritiks - more info below
If you have it, use it. Don’t make me flow a framework argument and never reference it again or drop it in your calculations. LD: Be sure to tell me why you uphold your FW better than your opponent, why it doesn’t matter, or why your FW is superior to theirs. Do not ignore it.
I’m fine with you kicking particular arguments and won’t judge it unless your opponent explains why I should, but it won’t be difficult for you to tell me otherwise.
LD/CX: If you aren’t Black, do not run Afropessimism in front of me. Period. End of story. In fact, if you are running any K about minorities (LGBTQ, race, gender, disabilities, etc.) and you do not represent that population you need to be VERY careful. I will notice the performative contradiction and the language of your K (Afropessimism is a great example) may sway my vote if your opponent asks. Anything else is fair game but you need to explain it CLEARLY. Do not assume I’ve read the literature/recognize authors and their theories. You decided to run it, now you can explain it.
PF: Don't run this in front of me. You don't have time to do it well, flesh out arguments, and link to the resolution. I will most likely accept a single de-link argument from your opponents or a theory that Ks in PF is bad. For your own sake, avoid that.
Make sure that you understand the beliefs/positions/plights of your specified groups and that your language does not further the structural violence against them. These groups are NOT pawns for debate and I will impact your speaks if you use them as such.
You can run it (minus disclosure), but if your impact is “fairness” you better explain 1) why it outweighs their quantitative impacts and 2) how what they are doing is so grossly unfair you couldn’t possibly do anything else. If you run this I will not allow conditionality. Either they are unfair and you have no ground, or you have ground and their argument is fine. Choose. Do not run theory as a timesuck.
Strike me. I don’t know what they are, I will probably miss them – just like your opponent – and you and I will both be wasting our time on that argument.
My interpretation of Congress debate is a combination of extemporaneous speaking and debate. The sponsorship/authorship and first opposition speech should be the constructive speech for the legislation. The rebuttals should build on the constructives by responding to arguments made by the opposing side. Both styles of speech should:
- Engage with the actual legislation, not the generalized concepts,
- Have clear arguments/points with supporting evidence from reputable sources
- Have a clear intro and conclusion that grabs the audience's attention and ties everything together
- Articulate and weigh impacts (be sure to explain why the cost is more important than the lives or why the lives matter more than the systemic violence, etc.)
Rebuttal speeches should clearly address previous speeches/points made in the round. With that in mind, I will look more favorably on speeches later in the cycle that directly respond to previous arguments AND that bring in new considerations - I despise rehash.
Delivery of the speech is important - I will make note of fluency breaks or distracting movements - but I am mainly a flow judge so I might not be looking directly at you.
Participation in the chamber (motions, questioning, etc.) are things I will consider in final rankings and generally serve as tie-breakers. If two people have the same speech scores, but one was better at questioning they will earn the higher rank. Some things I look for in this area:
- Are your questions targeted and making an impact on the debate of the legislation OR are they just re-affirming points already made?
- Are you able to respond to questions quickly, clearly, and calmly OR are you flustered and struggling to answer in a consistent manner with the content of your speech?
- Are you helping the chamber move along and keep the debate fresh OR are you advocating for stale debate because others still have speeches on the legislation?
- Did you volunteer to give a speech on the opposite side of the chamber to keep the debate moving OR are you breaking Prop/Opp order to give another speech on the heavy side?
To earn a high rank in the chamber as the PO you should be able to do the following:
- Follow precedence with few mistakes
- Keep the chamber moving - there should be minimal pause from speech to questioning to speech
- Follow appropriate procedures for each motions - if you incorrectly handle a motion (i.e. call for a debate on something that does not require it or mess up voting procedures) this will seriously hurt your ranking
I am currently a Policy Debater at Gonzaga University and am coaching at Niles West High School
Yes email chain - email@example.com
Time yourself and time your opponents
I have experience with most types of arguments but don't assume I have read your author/lit already. Explain your theory/complex legal args in language that is understandable
Impact calc wins rounds
speed is fine but outside of policy it's cringe
Tech over truth within reason (ie a dropped arg with no warrant or impact doesnt matter)
I don't care at all what you say and will vote on anything that is not immediately and obviously violent
Not a fan of the super-aggressive debate style
Profanity should generally be avoided it comes off as awkward and cringe 99.9% of the time
I tend to look at T stuff through a lens that is sympathetic to the neg
That said I think a lot of counter interps are pretty limiting and unconvincing/self serving
Going for T doesnt mean you cant extend a case turn youre winning
I have read both policy and K affs but recently have been reading majorly critical arguments
Debating about debate is cool but if it is distracting from x scholarship it is less cool
Bad K affs are not cool but good K affs are cool
I lean neg on framework. That said if a K aff sufficiently answers/turns FW I have no problem voting aff. I find this specifically true when the 1AC has built-in or at least inferential answers to fw that they can deploy offensively
Debate bad as an argument is not convincing to me, we are all here by free will and we all love debate or at the very least think it is a good academic activity
Switch side debate probably solves your impact turn to framework
K affs that don't address the resolution/stem from topic research are not good
Theory is good.
If you read like 6 reasons to reject the team I think some warrants are necessary. ex:"Reject the team, utopian fiat bad" is not an argument
If you are going to go for a theory arg in a final rebuttal ensure your partner extended it substantially enough for you to have adequate arguments to go for or give a nuanced speech on the specific args extended by your partner - generalized rebuttals on theory are bad. At the same time I am cool with hailmary rebuttals on theory because you are getting destroyed in every other part of the debate
I tend to lean neg on condo stuff but not by much
Will vote on perf con
Dont read your theory args at 2 million wpm
Bonus points for contextualizing your theory args to the round they are being deployed in
If you want to go for theory spend more than 7 seconds on it when you are first deploying the argument
Cool with a 1 off and case strat
Kritiks are cool
Vague alts are annoying and if I cant understand how the alt solves case and you don't have good case D I am gonna have a tough time voting neg unless the link debate implicates that (and is articulated)
Explain links in clear terms and be specific to the aff you are hitting. Specific links are better than generic like state bad links but if you have a generic link please explain to me how the aff uniquely makes the situation WORSE not just that it doesnt make it better - these are different things
I am totally cool with performance and love me some affect but if you are reading cards about how performance is key to X and your whole "performance" is playing like 10 seconds of a song before your 1AC and you don't reference it again then I am cool voting neg on "even if performance is good yall's was trash" (assuming this arg is made lol)
Winning FW is huge but you still need to leverage it as a reason for me to vote on X
CPs are great but 10 plank conditional counterplans are kinda silly.
2nc CPs (or CP amendments) are lit
DAs are awesome and CP DA strat is a classic
UQ is extremely important to me. A lot of links are ignorant to UQ so explain the link in the context of the UQ you are reading
Explain your impact scenario clearly - bad internal links to terminal impacts r crazzzzzy
I did PF in HS but it was trad so I am likely going to evaluate the round through a policy lens.
Will vote on theory
Cool with K stuff
Pretty much same as PF - never did LD but I have judged it a ton so I will likely judge how you instruct me to but default to a policy lens.
Debate is hard and stressful but relax and be confident and have fun!
Feel free to email me with any questions firstname.lastname@example.org
Firstly and most importantly, it'll be difficult for me to follow your argument if you speak too fast. Speak slowly.
I prefer weighing in summary and final focus.
Crossfire matters, I flow cross, although it's not as important as the other speeches to me.
I'm not too strict on time, I'll usually give a grace period of a few seconds after you go over time in your speeches, but please try to keep track of your own time.
Extend your arguments, I also expect both teams to frontline their arguments.
I expect you all to keep track of your own prep time.
Another small thing, I don't really care what year both team's cards are from, although it would be great if both teams cross-examined each other's evidence.
I'm a lay judge but I've been judging debates for a while now. I promise I'll be unbiased and work hard as a debate judge.
I am a lay parent judge. I prefer that debaters don’t speak too fast so that I could follow your arguments.
I will judge based upon:
1) solid logic and reasoning.
2) strong advocacy of your position.
3) utilization of evidence.
4) clear communication.
Please speak at a moderate speed.
Welcome to my angry rant!....I mean, my paradigm!
(don’t worry, I am nicer in my RFD).
I have 5 years experience in World Schools and Public Forum Debate. Flay for policy.
I hold debaters accountable for Public Forum’s original purpose- which is to communicate to the public*. I am not a lay judge, but if a layman couldn't at least understand you, you are defeating the purpose of public forum and you should be in policy instead.
tabula rasa, but don't overdo it. You don't need to define "the" for me :P.
I love kritiks when used sincerely, but not when they are used frivolously.
Substance over theory, forever and always. I despise theory (except topicality). If you use theory, you better have a GOOD reason and address a REAL issue, because it will not impress me as a default strategy. Theory was designed to keep debate fair...so don't be like rain on your wedding day (ironic...Alanis Morissette...no one?) and use it abusively.
There is nothing I hate more than a petty theory debate with no substance....but spreading is a close second. If a teacher assigned you a 2 page paper and you used 1pt font to get as much info in as possible while also hoping the teacher didn't catch your mistakes, you wouldn't get away with it. Spreading is no different. The assignment is to convey your message to the public as persuasively as you can in 4 minutes. I consider spreading to be like using 1pt font: cheating. Not to mention that spreading is SUPER elitist to ESL debaters.
Truth over tech, sorry not sorry. It’s not because I am lay, its because I am allergic to kool-aid and won’t drink it. I still hold you accountable to technical aspects of debate, but not if tech isn't supporting truth. I don't care if you memorize more jargon than your opponent, I care if you have better arguments. Impressive impacts with strong links win.
Framework should not be neglected!!!!
---------------Advice for my victims....I mean, competitors--------------------------------------------
I have a tendency to favor global impacts over domestic, and I am a sucker for strong logic based on economics. Please remember- the United States is NOT the world, and the values of the United States are NOT universal. If your opponents make assumptions, point them out to me.
Don't assume I am a liberal- if you want to argue that republicans are inherently bad, you need to prove it.
Don't collapse on a good argument for the sake of collapsing. It might take 5 seconds out of your summary speech to keep a contention in play that could save your whole round.
Don't focus on niche issues when your opponents' impact effects the whole world.
Real world impacts are more impressive to me than theoretical ones. Don't tell me something is going to lead to nuclear war unless you really can prove it. -_- Links or its fake.
If you are going to use climate change as your impact, you better be able to prove uniqueness.
I have a pet peeve for arguments that falsely equate correlation with causation. If your opponent calls you out on this correctly....-_-
Don't give me a false dilemma. Don't strawman. Don't be dumb. Don't be tricky. Just do your research.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WEIGH YOUR IMPACTS.