TOC Digital Speech and Debate Series 1
2022 — NSDA Campus, US
Policy (MS-Nov) Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Newbie Coach for ADL
I give pretty high speaks if you're nice.
Email Chain: Brandonchen.email@example.com
Ask in round if you want to know more about me
Nice to meet you! I'm Keira, call me Keira. I go by she/they.
Ask me anything before the round starts. I am reasonable!
- Jokes + analogies = I am entertained = more speaks for you
- Don't be rude asdlkf
- Time yourselves, run the round so that I don't need to call on the next speaker for you. No need to ask "is the judge ready?" before every speech; I am always ready unless I say otherwise!
Add me to the email chain if there is one: firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm still a student. I'm still figuring out what debates/styles I prefer over others. That means you can run whatever you want!! :D
That being said, I'm NOT a lay judge. I flow. If you have them, explain K/T/Theory thoroughly.
haha I do policy
If we're online, be aware of your background noise/not-so-great mic/spotty Wi-Fi/etc., and adjust your speed to accommodate for those things, because it's up to you to clearly get your messages across to your opponents and me.
You'll get high speaks (28-30) UNLESS you're egregiously bad or doing something stupid (being rude, racist, sexist, homophobic, anything along those lines)
Might as well put this here too: ask questions, but don't argue with my decision at the end of the round. You can be salty, just don't be a [insert bad word here].
People like talking fast in this debate style but please be clear if you decide to do so. I'll try to clear twice before giving up on flowing. Giving the order before starting your speech helps a lot.
Explain your links and cards at least a little when you extend them. Just saying "extend Bob '22" doesn't cut it, I need to know why.
I don't flow cross, but being mean in cross probably costs speaker points.
Yes theory is the highest layer but if you do not explain standards/voters properly then it doesn't work. Also, if you're going for theory, you collapse on theory ONLY.
Rhetoric is great.
It greatly pains me to vote for extinction impacts just because "oh no everyone's going to die." Please explain it compellingly- respond to the probability argument.
Clarity > Tech > Truth. If it sounds like your case doesn't matter to you, it doesn't matter to me either. Explain all your stuff, explain why it matters and sound at least kind of dedicated to it. Don't be mean to people with less experience. Actually, just don't be mean, thanks
I don't flow cross-ex but I do listen. Bring those points up in the next speech.
Do weighing whenever you want, but make sure you have something you can actually weigh- I'm not going to vote for a half-developed argument.
Explain why I should prefer your evidence.
Prove that you're better, not that they're worse- have offense.
On dropped arguments- tell me that they dropped the argument and if that is true in my flow, I'll be less likely to consider it.
Thank your opponents at the end of the round :)
ferris 21 - (CM: arms sales, CJR.) -> west georgia (CF: antitrust. CL: legal personhood. - gap year for nuclear forces)
conflicts: Fox Chapel, Chattahoochee, North Broward Koh-X.
+.1 speaks if you bring me coffee before the debate.
+.1 speaks if you open source - tell me after the 2ar.
I'm very content agnostic. Read whatever you believe is strategic. If you believe the "evil" position is strategic, I won't dismiss it out of hand as such, but am generally very sympathetic to arguments like "reading evil arguments is bad" contingent on the team winning that the argument is evil & wrong. I care a lot about organization because I flow on paper. Number your arguments for me, reference arguments by name and number. Do line by line. Do judge instruction. I care about evidence quality and highlighting. Claims without warrants are not arguments. Qualifications matter. Grammar matters. Bad highlighting and bad cards will lose you debates. I care about the people in debate, and if you treat people poorly then you should strike me. Many people have shaped how I think about this activity. Listing everyone would take far too long, but the most notable people are Adrienne Brovero, Joe Skoog, David Sposito, Campbell Nofsinger, and the current West Georgia Debate team. If you care about records, I cleared at the NDT in 2023 and qualified to the TOC in high school while consistently clearing at other major tournaments in both high school and college. If you care about argument history, I was a Baudrillard 2A in high school and am currently a 2N who goes for the Cap K or topicality in every debate. See team codes at the top for wikis.
tl:dr - do what you want and i will evaluate it fairly and technically.
If this is all you're here for, I'm okay for you. The thing which will sway me either way in these debates is specificity. Reading blocks through the 2AR/2NR without engaging the nuance of the other teams arguments is a recipe for low speaks and a loss. I don't think reading topicality is necessarily evil, but I do think it can be deployed in ways which are far less than ideal. Listening to your opponents and actually engaging their arguments is the most important thing in a "clash" debate. Don't really care either way on the internal arguments like fairness, education, etc. Everyone's here for different reasons. Just win that your model is good for the reasons the other team says as well as some external offense about why their model is bad.
critique vs critique
These debates are cool. Competition is usually weird and I err a little neg on "no perms", but the neg still needs to prove the aff is bad. What that means is up for debate though. There are so many minor disagreements in literature here that I think PIKS/Theory of Power throwdowns are probably the things that make the most sense. Debates about tactics are fun, but debate is literally incapable of accessing the nuance of actual operational planning that could ever be useful in the real world. Also - military terms 101 - Tactics are the things you do (IE - guerilla warfare), strategy is your plan to achieve a goal (IE - defeat military opposition), grand strategy is your goal (IE - revolution), an operation is the combination of tactics within a strategy. Please stop misusing these.
plan vs critique
Framework matters most. I'm generally unconvinced by "only links to the plan" and "they don't get to weigh the plan" but very convinced by the middle ground of "only links to things the aff defended". However, I won't vote on a framework interpretation which is not made in the debate. If "only links to the plan" vs "no plan" is the debate, then I won't artificially create a middle ground. I'm very interested in how competition functions in K debates. If a team says capitalism is good against the cap K, as far as I'm concerned the permutation is not an option. Affs should choose between link turning and impact turning, much like they'd have to do against a disadvantage, but the plan also probably matters and the perm double bind is probably true if the aff wins a convincing functional competition argument. Creative competition arguments on both sides will make me happy. Alternatives should solve things, ideally the links. I'm versed in most literature, with most of my knowledge in "high theory" and Marxism.
Cool. I like specificity and bravery. Generic process counterplans are boring, specific advantage counterplans with case defense and a smart disad or impact turns are extremely entertaining. I appreciate these straight up the middle debates very much though, and good form can make any argument entertaining. I am a theory nerd who will happily listen to weird inherency arguments, competition arguments, etc. Ambivalent on conditionality, there are both good and bad things about it. Topicality is one of my favorite arguments, just have a caselist please. Reasonability is silly. I am a bit of a presumption hack because affs are bad and, generally, 0 risk exists. Good defense is very underrated. The aff has the burden of proof and if the negative demonstrates the aff does not depart from the status quo either by not solving it's impacts or proving it's impact scenarios are incorrect I think that is a sufficient condition to vote negative and saying "1% risk / but MAYBE we do something good" is not a sufficient condition to vote affirmative.
In a world where effective altruism is gaining traction, I'm extremely sympathetic to low impact-high probability arguments when coupled with framing arguments like "extinction first logic is literally genocide because a 0.0000000000001% risk of losing 10^24 future generations justifies the holocaust" (I did this math recently! it is seriously horrifying what "extinction first" justifies as a "reasonable sacrifice" if impact calculus is just "magnitude times probability" and I hope this activity thinks more about ethics outside the Bostrom / utilitarianism death cult). If both teams agree to extinction first / magnitude times probability through, I suppose that is the debate we will have.
---- clipping is an issue for tabroom, if you want to stake a debate on it, have a recording. the debate will stop & I will award the lowest possible speaks to either the accused or the accuser depending on the truth of the accusation. This is the **only** thing I will stop a debate for (barring obvious exceptions for student safety).
In all debates I hope people are having fun and learning; I will do my best to facilitate those things. Slack > Tech > Truth. If you have further questions just email me.
Email Chain: email@example.com
Debated 4 years at Washburn Rural High School, currently debating at Emory University.
Preference towards policy arguments since I have a better understanding of them, but I can adjudicate other arguments as well. Read what you want, just be sure to explain it well, and be respectful to your opponents.
I'm not that knowledgeable of K's that are Baudrillard/Post-modernist critiques, and am generally biased against things that don't seem to be an opportunity cost to the aff - so be sure to take time and explain your argument.
Besides that, I have a pretty decent grasp of Kritiks, especially cap and set col. Be sure to explain your link argument, and how the alternative solves the links. I don't like disability K's, in particular, disability pessimism.
I'm neg-leaning, but that being said, I'll vote for whoever can prove that their model is net-best. Be sure to do impact calculus with your offense, explain how debates occur under your model, and why they should be preferred.
Explain how the aff SPECIFICALLY triggers the link, otherwise the impact is low-risk and I'll most likely defer aff
Point out they're dropped, and explain WHY it's important that I evaluate it/how I should evaluate it.
I will vote for condo, if it is explained well. Be sure to SLOW DOWN during your condo block. If I cannot flow it, I won't be able to evaluate it in my decision. I will not vote for disclosure theory, unless there is a SERIOUS violation.
Online debate = it's harder to hear, so please try to be extra clear, and slow down
Please keep your camera on if possible
Make sure to check that I am ready before you start, or I'll probably miss something.
Most of all, have fun!
Coach @ Asian Debate League
Debated 4 years at Kapaun** Mount Carmel in Wichita, Kansas, 2017
Debated 4 years NDT/CEDA/D3 at University of Kansas, 2021
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I treat judging debate with the same love and care that I treat my job. I love what we do.
I lean aff for condo. Some might say too much. I might expect a lot from you if you do go for it.
I didn't go for K's much but I really like debating them vs my policy aff. More than policy v policy debates. Links are the most important thing for me. Impacts are a close second. I value consistency between the scale of the links and impacts i.e. in round impacts should have in round links.
I strongly bias toward "The K gets links and impacts vs the aff's fiated impacts" unless someone delivers a very persuasive speech. I can be persuaded that making a personal ethical choice is more important than preventing a nuclear war.
I lean toward affs with plans. Fairness concerns me less than usual nowadays. I like research/clash impacts.
I will read evidence and vote for evidence in debates where things are not settled by the debater's words. This happens frequently in T debates and impact turn debates.
Status quo is always an option=judge kick
How I judge:
I work hard to listen and read your evidence. I am honest about what I don't understand. I am patient with novices.
Be clear or go slower (7 or 8/10) for online debate otherwise I'll miss the nuance in your arguments. I clear twice before I stop flowing.
I flow and use everything I hear in my decision, and overemphasize what is said in the rebuttals. I'll reference the 1AR speech to protect the 2NR on a 2AR that "sounds new" and I'll reference the block on a 2NR that claims the 1AR dropped something. I'll reference a 2AC on a 1AR that claims the block dropped something, etc.
For a dropped argument to be a true argument it must have been a complete claim and warrant from the beginning. I am not a fan of being "sneaky" or "tricky". Unless you are going for condo ;)
I am persuaded by ethos and pathos more than logos. I find myself wanting to vote for a debater who tries to connect with me more than a debater who reads a wall of blocks even if they are technically behind. When both teams are great speakers I rely more on tech and evidence.
I try to craft my decision based on language used by the debaters. I reference evidence when I cannot resolve an argument by flow alone. PhD's, peer reviewed journals, and adequate highlighting will help you here. If I can't resolve it that way I'll look for potential cross applications or CX arguments and might end up doing work for you. If I do work for one team I will try to do the same amount for the other team. It might get messy if its close, that's what the panel is for, but please challenge my decision if you strongly disagree and I'll tell you where my biases kicked in.
2013-2017: Competed at Peninsula HS (CA)
I earned 21 bids to the TOC and was a finalist at the NDCA.
Yes I want to be on the email chain, add me: email@example.com
I am willing to judge, listen to, and vote for anything. Just explain it well. I am not a fan of strategies which are heavily reliant on blippy arguments and frequently find myself holding the bar for answers to poor uneveloped arguments extremely low.
Speed should not be an issue, but be clear.
Aff — Strategies that impact turn the Negative’s offense in combination with solid defense and/or a counter-interp (good)
Neg — Fairness, debate is a game (good)
skills (less good)
Topicality + Theory: More debating should be done over what debates look like under your model of the topic, less blippy debating at the standards level. Caselists are good and underutilized. I think some Condo is good. I think the Aff should be less scared to extend theory arguments against counterplans that are the most cheaty.
Kritiks: I find the link debate to be the most important here. Most times I vote aff it’s because I don’t know why the plan/Aff is inconsistent with your criticism. Strategies that are dependent on multiple non sequitur link arguments are unlikely to work in front of me.
I think that evidence comparison is extremely important and tends to heavily reward teams who do it more/earlier in the debate.
Nick Loew - GMU'24
I have primarily read 'policy' arguments; however, you should read whatever arguments you are most comfortable with and want to go for. None of my opinions about debate are so significant that they overdetermine deciding who won based on the individual debate in front of me. A caveat to this is I'm not very fond of the 'Death K', and I don't really want to hear the 'Christianity Procedural'.
If you have any specific questions feel free to email me.
Theory: I am mostly unfavorable towards/dislike one sentence reasons to reject the team that seem and are arbitrary in nature. However, if mishandled by your opponent and/or conceded, and you extend clear impacts and warrants I am willing to vote on them. Teams responding to these arguments (ex: T is a RVI) should be able to quickly dismiss them assuming the brief response includes a warrant.
Form: Yes I can keep up with you and don't mind if you spread or go fast. All I ask is that you're clear and if making mostly analytical arguments are leaving me some pen time to write down what you're saying. I strongly believe in affirmative disclosure, but won't base my decision or speaker points on it unless that is an argument introduced by the negative. I'm down for whatever argument you want to read and it's also great if you prefer to do more traditional LD. If that's your style your final rebuttals should have "voters" but you should also emphasize the line by line and answering your opponents arguments.
Phil: If your strategy revolves around avoiding negative research by attempting to only defend the moral assumptions of the resolution, I am probably not great for you (ex: Kant).
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a high school varsity debater. I will vote for arguments as long as they are well explained. Though I like K's and will vote for them, I will admit to having more knowledge with policy arguments and am probably alt least a. little policy biased.
Speak as fast as you'd like. If I can't understand, I'll warn you once or twice first.
I set average speaks at 28.5. If you get a 29 or higher, I think you should go to elims.
I'm okay with anything as long as you know what youre talking about
Run an untopical aff, run a plan, advocacy or no advocacy, run a k do whatever you want as long as you know what youre running and are prepared to win on theory/t. Make sure you can explain it to me bc im not gonna vote on something i dont understand and also dont assume I know your authors.
If you go for T or Theory you have to explain how it actually hurts you in the world of debate- don't just read a shell/shadow extend it. I want you to do a line by line on your standards and voters or I won't vote for it. Also if you read disclosure theory that's an isntant loss and no speaks. Sorry you're rich boohoo.
If you're gonna run a BS CP like a PIC or a consult you best have a DA and not just an INB.
Dont go for multiple world advocacies in the 2nr. pick one- you can run multiple advocacies throughout the round- but only go for one
If u go for theory, that better be the only thing u go for or i wont vote on it
more impacts based and please do weighing the last speech- i will defer to FW
For Email Chains: Valenabreu21@gmail.com
TLDR: UF senior: debated in both LD and Policy throughout high school. I don't really care what you read as long as you do it well. Speed is filtered through clarity, so be clear. Assume my topic knowledge is virtually nonexistent (it probably is) so make sure you clarify any ambiguities (ie: issues of topicality, etc).
Honestly just read something fun in front of me, it’s finals week and I’m so so bored. If you can make the round entertaining or memorable or teach us something along the way I’ll probably pick you up and love u forever or smth.
T/Theory- Not my fave but I'll evaluate it nonetheless. That being said, frivolous theory annoys me and will guarantee low speaks. Make sure you slow down for analytics and impact out your arguments as opposed to having a rapid succession of time-sucking blips with no actual basis or voters behind them.
CP/DA- These are fine, just make sure you're specific on how you frame certain arguments like uniqueness and how that interacts with the link debate. I'm all for impact turns, just make sure you do proper impact calc and framing here.
Ks- I'm most comfortable with critical arguments and they're generally my favorite approach in debate. I'll likely be at least reasonably familiar with your literature base; having said this, it's important for you to articulate your argument well and be intimate with the scholarship you present. Specific links to the aff are important as links of omission are rarely persuasive. Impact calc here also makes or breaks it for me.
K AFF's- As a 2A in high school, I rarely strayed from reading K Affs willingly. I love the contribution these argument make as they can be both creative and educational. Make sure you leverage your 1AC against every negative strat to garner offense as well as the permutation.
FW- Despite my critical background I tend to enjoy these debates when the position is run correctly, simultaneously with nuanced case engagement. Don't hesitate to run this, especially against aff's with weak topic links. While I prefer args like truth-testing, institutional engagement > fairness, limits, ground, I'll evaluate both sets of impacts. Affs answering FW should either go for impact turns or present a model of debate with clear aff and neg ground.
Junior @ The Barstow School
owen [dot] snyder [dot] debate [at] gmail [dot] com
I want to judge the arguments that you want to run. I believe that asserting my argumentative preferences is a fundamental hindrance to the aspirations and unique preferences of each debater in the activity.
That being said, i'm not super knowledgable on kritik literature outside of the basics (i.e. cap, security, fem ir, setcol, etc.), so if you are reading something which isn't as 'mainstream', please add some additional explanation of the thesis of the kritik for the sake of my understanding.
Clipping will result in an automatic L, though I will allow the round to finish. I define clipping as missing 5 or more words in a single card, though I reserve the right to vote you down for less. I don't distinguish between accidental and malicious intentions here.
PLEASE only read cards that are highlighted.If you read unhighlighted cards, your speaker points will go down.
If you have questions about specific arguments or desire clarification, you can feel free to ask me questions before the round or via email.
For PF: Speaks capped at 27.5 if you don't read cut cards (with tags) and send speech docs via email chain prior to your speech of cards to be read (in constructives, rebuttal, summary, or any speech where you have a new card to read). I'm done with paraphrasing and pf rounds taking almost as long as my policy rounds to complete. Speaks will start at 28.5 for teams that do read cut cards and do send speech docs via email chain prior to speech. In elims, since I can't give points, it will be a overall tiebreaker.
For Policy: Speaks capped at 28 if I don't understand each and every word you say while spreading (including cards read). I will not follow along on the speech doc, I will not read cards after the debate (unless contested or required to render a decision), and, thus, I will not reconstruct the debate for you but will just go off my flow. I can handle speed, but I need clarity not a speechdoc to understand warrants. Speaks will start at 28.5 for teams that are completely flowable. I'd say about 85% of debaters have been able to meet this paradigm.
I'd also mostly focus on the style section and bold parts of other sections.
2018 update: College policy debaters should look to who I judged at my last college judging spree (69th National Debate Tournament in Iowa) to get a feeling of who will and will not pref me. I also like Buntin's new judge philosophy (agree roughly 90%).
It's Fall 2015. I judge all types of debate, from policy-v-policy to non-policy-v-non-policy. I think what separates me as a judge is style, not substance.
I debated for Texas for 5 years (2003-2008), 4 years in Texas during high school (1999-2003). I was twice a top 20 speaker at the NDT. I've coached on and off for highschool and college teams during that time and since. I've ran or coached an extremely wide diversity of arguments. Some favorite memories include "china is evil and that outweighs the security k", to "human extinction is good", to "predictions must specify strong data", to "let's consult the chinese, china is awesome", to "housing discrimination based on race causes school segregation based on race", to "factory farms are biopolitical murder", to “free trade good performance”, to "let's reg. neg. the plan to make businesses confident", to “CO2 fertilization, SO2 Screw, or Ice Age DAs”, to "let the Makah whale", etc. Basically, I've been around.
After it was pointed out that I don't do a great job delineating debatable versus non-debatable preferences, I've decided to style-code bold all parts of my philosophy that are not up for debate. Everything else is merely a preference, and can be debated.
I strongly prefer to let the debaters do the debating, and I'll reward depth (the "author+claim + warrant + data+impact" model) over breadth (the "author+claim + impact" model) any day.
When evaluating probabilistic predictions, I start from the assumption everyone begins at 0%, and you persuade me to increase that number (w/ claims + warrants + data). Rarely do teams get me past 5%. A conceeded claim (or even claim + another claim disguised as the warrant) will not start at 100%, but remains at 0%.
Combining those first two essential stylistic criteria means, in practice, many times I discount entirely even conceded, well impacted claims because the debaters failed to provide a warrant and/or data to support their claim. It's analogous to failing a basic "laugh" test. I may not be perfect at this rubric yet, but I still think it's better than the alternative (e.g. rebuttals filled with 20+ uses of the word “conceded” and a stack of 60 cards).
I'll try to minimize the amount of evidence I read to only evidence that is either (A) up for dispute/interpretation between the teams or (B) required to render a decision (due to lack of clash amongst the debaters). In short: don't let the evidence do the debating for you.
Humor is also well rewarded, and it is hard (but not impossible) to offend me.
I'd also strongly prefer if teams would slow down 15-20% so that I can hear and understand every word you say (including cards read). While I won't explicitly punish you if you don't, it does go a mile to have me already understand the evidence while you're debating so I don't have to sort through it at the end (especially since I likely won't call for that card anyway).
- Defense can win a debate (there is such as thing as a 100% no link), but offense helps more times than not.
I'm a big believer in open disclosure practices, and would vote on reasoned arguments about poor disclosure practices. In the perfect world, everything would be open-source (including highlighting and analytics, including 2NR/2AR blocks), and all teams would ultimately share one evidence set. You could cut new evidence, but once read, everyone would have it. We're nowhere near that world. Some performance teams think a few half-citations work when it makes up at best 45 seconds of a 9 minute speech. Some policy teams think offering cards without highlighting for only the first constructive works. I don't think either model works, and would be happy to vote to encourage more open disclosure practices. It's hard to be angry that the other side doesn't engage you when, pre-round, you didn't offer them anything to engage.
You (or your partner) must physically mark cards if you do not finish them. Orally saying "mark here" (and expecting your opponents or the judge to do it for you) doesn't count. After your speech (and before cross-ex), you should resend a marked copy to the other team. If pointed out by the other team, failure to do means you must mark prior to cross-ex. I will count it as prep time times two to deter sloppy debate.
By default, I will not “follow along” and read evidence during a debate. I find that it incentivizes unclear and shallow debates. However, I realize that some people are better visual than auditory learners and I would classify myself as strongly visual. If both teams would prefer and communicate to me that preference before the round, I will “follow along” and read evidence during the debate speeches, cross-exs, and maybe even prep.
I like competing interpretations, the more evidence the better, and clearly delineated and impacted/weighed standards on topicality.
Abuse makes it all the better, but is not required (doesn't unpredictability inherently abuse?).
Treat it like a disad, and go from there. In my opinion, topicality is a dying art, so I'll be sure to reward debaters that show talent.
For the aff – think offense/defense and weigh the standards you're winning against what you're losing rather than say "at least we're reasonable". You'll sound way better.
The exception to the above is the "framework debate". I find it to be an uphill battle for the neg in these debates (usually because that's the only thing the aff has blocked out for 5 minutes, and they debate it 3 out of 4 aff rounds).
If you want to win framework in front of me, spent time delineating your interpretation of debate in a way that doesn't make it seem arbitrary. For example "they're not policy debate" begs the question what exactly policy debate is. I'm not Justice Steward, and this isn't pornography. I don't know when I've seen it. I'm old school in that I conceptualize framework along “predictability”; "topic education", “policymaking education”, and “aff education” (topical version, switch sides, etc) lines.
“We're in the direction of the topic” or “we discuss the topic rather than a topical discussion” is a pretty laughable counter-interpretation.
For the aff, "we agree with the neg's interp of framework but still get to weigh our case" borders on incomprehensible if the framework is the least bit not arbitrary.
Depth in explanation over breadth in coverage. One well explained warrant will do more damage to the 1AR than 5 cards that say the same claim.
Well-developed impact calculus must begin no later than the 1AR for the Aff and Negative Block for the Neg.
I enjoy large indepth case debates. I was 2A who wrote my own community unique affs usually with only 1 advantage and no external add-ons. These type of debates, if properly researched and executed, can be quite fun for all parties.
Intrinsic perms are silly. Normal means arguments are less so.
From an offense/defense paradigm, conceded uniqueness can control the direction of the link. Conceded links can control the direction of uniqueness. The in round application of "why" is important.
A story / spin is usually more important (and harder for the 1AR to deal with) than 5 cards that say the same thing.
I generally prefer functionally competitive counterplans with solvency advocates delineating the counterplan versus the plan (or close) (as opposed to the counterplan versus the topic), but a good case for textual competition can be made with a language K netbenefit.
Conditionality (1 CP, SQ, and 1 K) is a fact of life, and anything less is the negative feeling sorry for you (or themselves). However, I do not like 2NR conditionality (i.e., “judge kick”) ever. Make a decision.
Perms and theory always remain a test of competition (and not a voter) until proven otherwise by the negative by argument (see above), a near impossible standard for arguments that don't interfere substantially with other parts of the debate (e.g. conditionality).
Perm "do the aff" is not a perm. Debatable perms are "do both" and "do cp/alt"(and "do aff and part of the CP" for multi-plank CPs). Others are usually intrinsic.
I think of the critique as a (usually linear) disad and the alt as a cp.
Be sure to clearly impact your critique in the context of what it means/does to the aff case (does the alt solve it, does the critique turn it, make harms inevitable, does it disprove their solvency). Latch on to an external impact (be it "ethics", or biopower causes super-viruses), and weigh it against case.
Use your alternative to either "fiat uniqueness" or create a rubric by which I don't evaluate uniqueness, and to solve case in other ways.
I will say upfront the two types of critique routes I find least persuasive are simplistic versions of "economics", "science", and "militarism" bad (mostly because I have an econ degree and am part of an extensive military family). While good critiques exist out there of both, most of what debaters use are not that, so plan accordingly.
For the aff, figure out how to solve your case absent fiat (education about aff good?), and weigh it against the alternative, which you should reduce to as close as the status quo as possible. Make uniqueness indicts to control the direction of link, and question the timeframe/inevitability/plausability of their impacts.
Perms generally check clearly uncompetitive alternative jive, but don't work too well against "vote neg". A good link turn generally does way more than “perm solves the link”.
Aff Framework doesn't ever make the critique disappear, it just changes how I evaluate/weigh the alternative.
Role of the Ballot - I vote for the team that did the better debating. What is "better" is based on my stylistic criteria. End of story. Don't let "Role of the Ballot" be used as an excuse to avoid impact calculus.
Performance (the other critique):
Empirically, I do judge these debate and end up about 50-50 on them. I neither bandwagon around nor discount the validity of arguments critical of the pedagogy of debate. I'll let you make the case or defense (preferably with data). The team that usually wins my ballot is the team that made an effort to intelligently clash with the other team (whether it's aff or neg) and meet my stylistic criteria. To me, it's just another form of debate.
However, I do have some trouble in some of these debates in that I feel most of what is said is usually non-falsifiable, a little too personal for comfort, and devolves 2 out of 3 times into a chest-beating contest with competition limited to some archaic version of "plan-plan". I do recognize that this isn't always the case, but if you find yourselves banking on "the counterplan/critique doesn't solve" because "you did it first", or "it's not genuine", or "their skin is white"; you're already on the path to a loss.
If you are debating performance teams, the two main takeaways are that you'll probably lose framework unless you win topical version, and I hate judging "X" identity outweighs "Y" identity debates. I suggest, empirically, a critique of their identity politics coupled with some specific case cards is more likely to get my ballot than a strategy based around "Framework" and the "Rev". Not saying it's the only way, just offering some empirical observations of how I vote.
Put me on the email chain email@example.com
THE IMPORTANT PART: I try to be totally agnostic when reaching decisions, but in terms of my experience I will probably be the most effective judge for clash of civs and kritik debates. I mostly answered framework and kritiks as a 1A and my neg debates were almost exclusively 1-off settler colonialism. Still, I will absolutely vote on framework against a k aff, and my experience in technical framework debates can probably help you because I can understand how your arguments interact. Trying to win framework versus a k aff in front of me means that a switch side claim or a TVA (the TVA probably being more persuasive) is very important, as aff teams tend to win some amount of "our critique/scholarship is valuable" in front of me, and I need a response to that.
And a bit about me, and how I judge:
I'm Jack, I was a 1A/2N. I judged all last year, planning on judging quite a bit this year too. I debated for three years for Davis Senior High in CX, I attended the TOC my senior year. Did NPDA for two years for UCSD with no major accomplishments, I graduated UCLA this year. I currently coach for the Sac Urban Debate League doing policy coaching and some non-policy stuff as well. If you have questions about debating and growing at a team without debate infrastructure I have a LOT of experience with that, having had to do that in both high school and college. I read queerness arguments on the aff and settler colonialism on the neg.
I'll be able to understand pretty much any rate of speed but I can only write so fast, so slow down a little bit on your very technical and in-depth analytic shells. The average number of times I call clear per tournament is zero, it really probably won't come up. I just don't want you to go top speed through your analytical framework shell so I can get everything down.
I have not yet voted for a kritik that did not win either the efficacy of their alt or their framework interpretation, I could see voting for such a kritik only if your link card is particular spicy and turns case-y (and even then it's still helpful to have framework).
I don't like having to reread speech docs. I will default to the contextualization that I hear in the round of cards, interpretations, linear disadvantages, and advocacies. This means that you have substantial latitude to spin your arguments, but also that I will hold you to a high standard for explanation and cross-application. The way that different arguments implicitly interact will very rarely come into my decision.
When I reach a decision, the first place I look is the 2NR and 2AR. The role of these last two speeches is to explain how I write my ballot for each side. The 2NR should tell me where to look on my flow when crafting a negative decision, and the inverse for the affirmative. I will probably first try to evaluate the relative impacts of the affirmative and negative, based off of the framework/impact debate. Additionally, when reaching my decision I will try to look at the round through both the viewpoint of the affirmative and negative as they portray it in their final rebuttal.
In the last year or so, I have given speaks in the range of 28.4-29.4 about 80% of the time. Above that ~10% of the time, below that ~10% of the time.
I'll probably inflate your speaker points, just don't be racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.
"Ultimately I believe that debate is a game. I believe that debaters should have fun while debating. I realize that certain debates get heated, however do your best not to be mean to your partner, and to the other team. There are very few things I hate more than judging a debate where the teams are jerks to each other."
☆ TLDR: Do what you do best. I will make my best effort to make a decision that makes sense, but I am not very good at this whole debate thing so overexplaining your arguments can only make it easier for me to understand why you are winning. Be nice to each other, stay hydrated, and have fun.
♣ Email: Add firstname.lastname@example.org. Set up the chain before the round starts and include the Tournament Name, Round, and Teams in the subject. Minimize dead time for higher speaks.
♡ AFF Things: Please know what you are defending and stick to it. Or just write better plan texts. I will vote on any theory push if debated well enough, but most things are reasons to reject the argument.
♠ NEG Things: #Stop1NAbuse. Really like case and impact turn debates. Don't read an obscene amount of underdeveloped off-case positions. Quality > Quantity.
♢ T Things: Explain what your model of debate would look like. Definitely outweighs condo and probably is not an RVI. I think plan text in a vacuum is silly but will vote on it. Not my favorite debates.
♫ CP Things: I won't automatically kick a CP. The AFF probably gets limited intrinsicness to test germaneness, but I can be persuaded otherwise. I think CPs should have solvency advocate(s).
ꕤ DA Things: You can win absolute defense in front of me, and zero risk is a thing I will vote on. I have a high threshold for politics because I haven't had a coherent topic disad for a long time. Rider DAs are nonsense.
❂ K Things: Tell me what the ballot does. There is no reason to read a K in a Novice/JV division or against novices. If debated equally, I err towards procedural fairness being a terminal impact.
Lawrence Free State '21. University of Kansas '25.
Coach at the Pembroke Hill School and Shawnee Mission East. Previously coached at the Asian Debate League, Barstow School, and Lawrence Free State.
Yes I want to be on the chain—email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
I do not flow straight down, I line arguments up on my flow. Given that, you should slow down slightly (honestly, you should just slow down in general) so I can do that. If I am unable to line arguments up due to lack of clarity or signposting, I will transition to flowing straight down, but will be unhappy about it.
I do not read the doc during a speech. I have it open, but minimized. I also will only vote on things I have on my flow. That means you should slow down if you want me to hear everything you said---spreading blocks and analytics at the same speed you read card text makes it far more difficult for me to vote for you.
Debate is a game. Any argument is at play as long as it contains a claim, warrant, and impact. I view my role as an educator, adjudicating the debate as it is and voting for the team that did the better debating. I will not insert my opinions into decisions, nor will I identify any argument in my RFD that is not on my flow. The most important thing in my decision calculus is non-intervention—the only thing that matters is what the debaters said, nothing more, nothing less.
That means I will vote on frivolous theory, call outs, poststructuralist critiques, contrived process counterplans, etc. I am appalled by judges who draw arbitrary lines around arguments they deem as "ruining the integrity of debate". It doesn’t mean, however, that every argument is equal—like every other person in this activity, I prefer quality arguments to junk thrown at the wall. The quality of an argument also shapes the burden of disproof, where arguments agreed to be “objectively bad” have a lower burden to beat, but you still have to beat it.
Dropped arguments are only true if they contain a claim, warrant, and impact. Just saying the words “they’ve dropped x and you should vote on it” is insufficient—it still needs to be developed fully for me to consider it in my decision calculus.
What I do care about is clarity (both in terms of clear communication of arguments and literal clarity in speaking) and judge instruction. Just repeating pre-written blocks without taking care to compare them to what the other team has said or explain to me what it means if you win a given argument makes it extremely difficult to vote for you. So many high school debaters forget that debate is not just a reading game, but an argumentation game—in order to win, you don’t just make your own arguments, but win them in comparison to your opponents.
Despite that, however, it does not mean I am the best judge for every argument. I usually don’t follow the norm of argument development in high school, nor I am well-read in many critical literature bases. I will still put my utmost effort into judging, even if I am unfamiliar with a given argument, concept, or literature base, but there are probably better judges for what you do best.
I have also spent almost the entirety of my career as a policy debater—I can count the number of times I’ve read a planless affirmative on one hand, and almost always go for framework while negative against them. My experience and knowledge are exponentially better in policy rounds, and my advice and comments will reflect that. That also means my understanding of most critical arguments stems from a point of view of trying to beat them, not trying to win rounds with them.
I do have some thoughts on debate that are worth noting:
---Go for the impact turn. Do it. I would much rather watch some fun and unique impact turn than another recycled process counterplan. I've been in the weeds of many counterplan competition debates, but I would never call myself an expert (would anyone?).
---Theories of power aren't links. "The USFG is bad" is barely a link. Get something specific to the AFF, to the topic, anything better than just reading the same generic card some college debater cut in 2016.
---Fairness and clash are both impacts—I could care less which one you go for. My voting record in these debates is pretty biased towards the AFF solely because debaters seem to always be stuck in their blocks, and never do the amount of line by line they need to be doing.
---0% risk is a thing, and I will vote on it. If a team keeps dropping defense or never extends their argument, I won't make up an impact for them.
---Don't miss the forest for the trees. Too often debaters spend far too much time on things that don't matter, particularly in clash debates. Prioritize your offense, don't reduce the risk of it because you spent too much time debating the 3rd argument on the 5th link.
---The more specific and tailored the 2AC is to the 1NC, the better. This is relevant both in terms of policy and clash debates—answer every counterplan plank (or group of relevant planks) individually; answer each link to the K individually; answer each warrant of a presumption argument; etc. I've watched many, many debates where the 2AC reads half of an off-case, plops their generic answer, and drops large portions of the nuance of those arguments.
I flow cross-ex. It’s binding, and occasionally more important than speeches because it’s the only time in a debate you can be directly held accountable.
Debating off of the flow is a lost art, so for every speech you give without your computer, I'll give you +.2 speaks. An exception to this is if most of your speech is on the flow, but your partner hands you their computer to read a 15-20 second tidbit.
I think I follow the community norm on speaks---I rarely give below a 28, but also rarely give above a 29.1, and average around a 28.7. The easiest way to get higher speaks than my average is to flow the debate, do direct line-by-line of arguments, and make big picture instruction in the final rebuttals. The easiest way to get lower speaks is to speak straight at your computer, never flow the debate, or waste time (setting the chain up after start time, needlessly long bathroom breaks, etc.).
I co-wrote the Economic Inequality topic with Brett Bricker, John Marshall, and Will Katz.
Broken Arrow HS ‘19 (LD 4 years)
Mo State '23 (NDT/CEDA + NFA LD 3 years)
GTA @ Wichita State
Conflicts: Broken Arrow, Tulsa Union, Truman, Pembroke Hill, Maize South, Missouri State
These are just my random thoughts about debate collected into one place. If you do what you do well, you will be fine.
Policy first, NFA LD next, then HS LD at the bottom -- if there is no specific section for either LD format assume it’s the same as policy or ask me questions pre round! :)
You can call me Lauren or judge.
yes open cx - yes you can sit during cx - yes flex prep
tech > truth
!!:) please send out analytics :)!!
Please provide trigger warnings if there is graphic descriptions of violence against fem people included in your arguments
I enjoy watching these debates, but that does not mean I am the best judge. Read that again. I think that K debates are educational, and make debate interesting - but I am not an expert on the argument.
I am not familiar with all the literature. I am the most familiar with Set Col, Fem, Cap, and Security. Despite having read Bataille and Baudrillard in my last year, I do not understand PoMo lit (life of the 1N).
At the beginning of the round, I start with the assumption that the 1AC should be weighed. Framework can change this assumption. I prefer K affs that are related to the topic OR the debate space. I enjoy watching performance K affs even if I am not the best judge to grasp it.
I believe fairness (procedurally or structurally) is not an impact. I believe it is an internal link.
I love a good TVA - but I would prefer it be creative to the aff and carded to demonstrate that it could solve the aff's offense.
I believe perf con is bad and can be a voting issue. I think some perf con violations are worse than others. Reading spark and set col is probably worse than cap and case defense.
I'm starting to believe I prefer movements / material alternatives over reject / thought project alternatives. I find myself easily persuaded by arguments that alternatives lack the means to resolve the links and impacts. I like when alternatives are specific in what they accomplish in the block.
We should kick the alt more if we're losing it. Just a thought.
I LOVE perm debates. I am a sucker for creative perms that are specific to the alternative. If you execute this strategy correctly, you will be rewarded.
Consult CPs are cheating and I am 100% more than willing to die on that hill.
Net benefits should be identified by the block.
I used to believe infinite condo was good, now I do not. I think condo is good to an extent. I feel like I could sit here and list off random numbers, but I think it comes down to the round. Maybe an update to come after judging more NDT rounds.
I default to judge kick.
I LOVE T - but that does not mean I'm always voting negative.I need a clearly articulated violation and impact. A lot of T debates talk a lot about how the aff is untopical - but they don’t get into why topicality matters. If I determine a team to be untopical, but there's no impacts, there's no reason for me to vote them down.
In round abuse should be present, but I also believe that setting a precedent for the community might be more important.
I think grounds and limits are both good arguments, but I find I am more persuaded by limits. Going for either is fine.
High schoolers - there is a 99% chance I will not vote for topicality if you do not extend it for the entire 2nr. Less than the entire speech is not enough to make a coherent T argument in my opinion.
I LOVE ptx.
I stop flowing after time elapses and you finish your sentence. anything else after will not be on my flow. Time constraints are for a reason. I will finish writing what I am writing, and hold up my hands. If you're still talking, I will interrupt.
I don't have a good poker face. Take that as you will.
My newest pet peeve is reading the first sentence of a card and then marking it and acting like gets you anything. It doesn't.
I will vote on arguments about violence in rounds i.e. racism, misgendering, etc. I think debate should be a safe space for folks. If I find a debater engages in violent behaviors in round, I will give you the lowest speaks Tab will let me assign.
Otherwise, I am extremely generous with speaker points.
NFA LD has some norms that are different than policy so I will try to establish my thoughts on some of those in here.
yes spreading - yes disclose - yes email chain - (sigh) yes speech drop
Will vote on disclosure theory IF it's egregious. I think empty wikis are probably bad after attending 2 tournaments. I think if every aff they've ever read is uploaded, even if not every round is, zeroes the impact. I think not disclosing an aff 15 minutes prior to the round is probably bad if no wiki entries or multiple affs on the wiki. TLDR: nondisclosure has to actually inhibit your pre round prep.
I think mandating an inherency contention is silly, UQ from the advantages can answer this.
Solvency advocate theory is cowardice. If the aff doesn't have a solvency advocate, then... you should... be able to beat it...
Will vote on speed bad due to accessibility concerns. I have some thoughts on how to go about this if there is an accessibility issue. If we are doing online, I personally believe it would be easier to say no speed period than to put a cap on speed. I find it is harder to "clear" the debater online sometimes. If we are in person - then a speed cap would be fine. I expect both debaters to adhere to a no spreading / speed cap on the round.
For condo, my thoughts differ from policy and HS LD. With a 6 minute 1ar, that allows the affirmative more time to answer NC arguments. Therefore, unlike in HS LD, 2 CPs are probably my max. However, if the 2 CPs are polar opposite worlds (ex - US should engage in bilat relations with China vs US should first strike China) I would be willing to err affirmative. Kicking planks is probably bad. Judge kick is probably bad. Basically, make sure your CPs aren't abusive, and I'm good.
Stop being scared to put offense across the pages in the 1ar.
Bad DAs can be beat with analytics and impact D.
Update your ptx UQ cards.
Call out people's crappy case cards.
Cut better case cards.
I hate underviews.
I prefer 1/2 off in depth debates to shallow 3/4 off debates in LD - I find that by the end of the round if there is more than 2 off I am left doing a lot of work for teams simply because there was not enough time to cover every necessary component in an argument.
Underviews are fine.
I find myself voting for the K more often in LD than I do in policy. I am not super familiar with all the lit, so I might not be the best for KvK. If you're about to have a KvK round in front of me, make sure to explain the interactions between both theories. I very much enjoy Policy v K rounds. I think FW is very important and so is alt solvency. Kicking the alt is ok if you're losing it.
RVIs aren’t real and I will never vote on them unless there is literally 0 (and I mean 0, not a single word said) arguments on it. even then, I will be extremely sad. please don't go for it.
1 CP is fine - 2 is too many (hint hint: i am very aff leaning on condo)
Theory in LD is wild to me. I am not the best judge for silly theory tricks. The theory I am most willing to vote on is condo and perf con. Second most willing is any other policy theory arg. If you're wondering about a specific theory arg feel free to ask me pre round.