Greenhill Fall Classic
2022 — NSDA Campus, TX/US
Lincoln Douglas Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Updated January 2023
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org please put me on the email chain
Pref Shortcuts: 1: substantive arguments about the topic 2: mainstream K's, good T debates 3: Theory, Pomo K's 4: Phil 5-6: Tricks
I expect the debate to be conducted as though it were a classroom setting. As such inappropriate behavior, specifically cursing, will not be tolerated. If you choose to curse during the debate expect dramatically lower speaker points. Further, if the behavior of one of the teams crosses the line into what I deem to be inappropriate or highly objectionable behavior I will stop the debate and award a loss to the offending team. Examples of this behavior include but are not limited to highly sexual or sexualized performances, abusive behavior or threats of violence or instances of overt racism, sexism or oppression based on identity generally.
My background prior to coming to Harker in 2010 was almost entirely in college policy debate though I have been coaching LD since then and Public Forum since 2016. But it is hard for me to separate my years of policy debate experience from the way I judge all debates.
I do not judge very much anymore but enjoy judging when I am able to do so! Despite not judging a great deal I am very involved in our team's evidence production and preparation and judge lots of practice debates in class so my topic knowledge is fairly strong.
The execution of the argument is as important as the quality of the evidence supporting the argument. A really good disad with good cards that is poorly explained and poorly extended is not compelling to me. Conversely a well explained argument with evidence of poor quality is also unlikely to impress me.
Critiques: I am familiar with most mainstream critical arguments that are prevalent but anything outside of that is likely to require more explanation. I took a handful of continental philosophy classes in grad school but that was a long time ago and my knowledge of a lot of the underlying literature for lots of critical arguments, particularly high theory, is likely lacking. Having said that I think I am an ok judge for critical arguments, especially when executed technically. I often find the strongest elements of K's to be the link and the weakest to be the alternative, though of course this varies from argument to argument. I also think impact turning is an underutilized strategy though I get that can be hard to pull off at times in LD.
Critical Affs: I think the affirmative should have a meaningful relationship to the topic. Thus topical, soft left affs are often very strategic. I am very sympathetic to t/framework against affs with little or no relationship to the topic. In these debates I think the best aff strategy is to impact turn framework, depending on what that looks like in the context of the aff. But overall I am likely not the best judge for non-T affs.
Topicality/Theory: I am slightly less prone than other judges to vote on topicality. Although I do take a fairly strict view of the topic and am willing to enforce that view when teams do a good job of arguing topicality. I often find topicality arguments that are not based on expert/technical definitions of key terms of art in the resolution to be fairly hard for the negative to win. I am also more likely than most judges to vote on reasonability if well explained and this is true for most theory arguments as well.
In debates about counterplan theory, I probably err slightly neg. on most theory issues, though I have voted aff. on things like PIC’s bad, etc. so I am not terribly biased. The main exception is that I think that a lot of mainstream counterplans that compete on the function of the affirmative are not competitive (think consultation, delay). I am kind of a sucker for the argument that counterplans should be functionally and textually competitive though this is not something I will automatically check in on, especially if the negative has strong explanations for their defense of their counterplan.
I will not judge kick unless instructed to do so and if this is contested I probably lean slightly towards no judge kick. I think debaters should be able to make strategic choices.
Theory arguments like “abbreviating USFG is too vague” or “You misspelled enforcement and that’s a VI” are non-starters. Don’t waste your time.
Theory arguments are generally too underdeveloped for my tastes so if that is a key part of your strategy invest some time.
The likelihood of me voting on a 1ac spike or tricks in general are exceptionally low. There is a zero percent chance I will vote on an argument that I should evaluate the debate after X speech. Everyone gets to give all of their speeches and have them count. Likewise any argument that makes the claim "give me 30 speaker points for X reason" will result in a substantial reduction in your speaker points. If this style of theory argument is your strategy I am not the judge for you.
Philosophy/Framework: dense phil debates are very hard for me to adjudicate having very little background in them. I default to utilitarianism and am most comfortable judging those debates. Any framework that involves skep triggers is very unlikely to find favor with me.
Evidence: Quality is extremely important and seems to be declining. I have noticed a disturbing trend towards people reading short cards with little or no explanation in them or that are underlined such that they are barely sentence fragments. I will not give you credit for unread portions of evidence. Also I take claims of evidence ethics violations very seriously and have a pretty high standard for ethics. I have a strong distaste for the insertion of bracketed words into cards in all instances.
Cross examination: is very important. Cross-ex should be more than I need this card and what is your third answer to X. A good cross-ex will dramatically increase your points, a bad one will hurt them. Everyone in the debate should be courteous.
Disads/CP's: these are the debates I am most familiar with and have spent nearly all of my adult life judging and coaching. DA turns the case is a powerful and underutilized argument. But this is all pretty straightforward and I do not think I have a lot of ideas about these that are not mainstream with the exceptions in the theory section above.
Speaker points: for me are based on the following factors - clarity of delivery (especially important in online debates), quality of evidence, quality of cross examination, strategic choices made in the debate and also, to a degree, on demeanor. Debaters who are friendly and treat their opponents with respect are likely to get higher points. I have noticed a disturbing trend towards lack of clarity. I will say clear once or maybe twice and if clarity does not improve afterwards I will flow the things I understand and the speaker's points will decline significantly. I will not vote on a card or argument I was incapable of flowing. I will under no circumstances flow from the speech doc.
Pretty much everything in the above paradigm is applicable here but there are two key additions. First, I strongly oppose the practice of paraphrasing evidence. If I am your judge I would strongly suggest reading only direct quotations in your speeches. My above stated opposition to the insertion of brackets is also relevant here. Words should never be inserted into or deleted from evidence.
Second, there is far too much untimed evidence exchange happening in debates. I will want all teams to set up an email chain to exchange cases in their entirety to forego the lost time of asking for specific pieces of evidence. You can add me to the email chain as well and that way after the debate I will not need to ask for evidence. This is not negotiable if I'm your judge - you should not fear your opponents having your evidence. Under no circumstances will there be untimed exchange of evidence during the debate. Any exchange of evidence that is not part of the email chain will come out of the prep time of the team asking for the evidence. The only exception to this is if one team chooses not to participate in the email thread and the other team does then all time used for evidence exchanges will be taken from the prep time of the team who does NOT email their cases.
Other than that I am excited to hear your debate! If you have any specific questions please feel free to ask me.
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!
I am a head coach at Newark Science and have coached there for years. I teach LD during the summer at the Global Debate Symposium. I formerly taught LD at University of North Texas and I previously taught at Stanford's Summer Debate Institute.
The Affirmative must present an inherent problem with the way things are right now. Their advocacy must reasonably solve that problem. The advantages of doing the advocacy must outweigh the disadvantages of following the advocacy. You don't have to have a USFG plan, but you must advocate for something.
This paradigm is for both policy and LD debate. I'm also fine with LD structured with a general framing and arguments that link back to that framing. Though in LD, resolutions are now generally structured so that the Affirmative advocates for something that is different from the status quo.
Be clear. Be very clear. If you are spreading politics or something that is easy to understand, then just be clear. I can understand very clear debaters at high speeds when what they are saying is easy to understand. Start off slower so I get used to your voice and I'll be fine.
Do not spread dense philosophy. When going quickly with philosophy, super clear tags are especially important. If I have a hard time understanding it at conversational speeds I will not understand it at high speeds. (Don't spread Kant or Foucault.)
Slow down for analytics. If you are comparing or making analytical arguments that I need to understand, slow down for it.
I want to hear the warrants in the evidence. Be clear when reading evidence. I don't read cards after the round if I don't understand them during the round.
Please don't run more than 5 off in policy or LD. And if you choose 5 off, make them good and necessary. I don't like frivolous arguments. I prefer deep to wide when it comes to Neg strategies.
Make it make sense. I'll vote on it if it is reasonable. Please tell me how it functions and how I should evaluate it. The most important thing about theory for me is to make it make sense. I am not into frivolous theory. If you like running frivolous theory, I am not the best judge for you.
Don't take it out of context. I do ask for cites. Cites should be readily available. Don't cut evidence in an unclear or sloppy manner. Cut evidence ethically. If I read evidence and its been misrepresented, it is highly likely that team will lose.
For LD, please not more than 3 offs. Time constraints make LD rounds with more than three offs incomprehensible to me. Policy has twice as much time and three more speeches to develop arguments. I like debates that advance ideas. The interaction of both side's evidence and arguments should lead to a coherent story.
30 I learned something from the experience. I really enjoyed the thoughtful debate. I was moved. I give out 30's. It's not an impossible standard. I just consider it an extremely high, but achievable, standard of excellence. I haven't given out at least two years.
For policy Debate (And LD, because I judge them the same way).
Same as for LD. Make sense. Big picture is important. I can't understand spreading dense philosophy. Don't assume I am already familiar with what you are saying. Explain things to me. Starting in 2013 our LDers have been highly influenced by the growing similarity between policy and LD. We tested the similarity of the activities in 2014 - 2015 by having two of our LDers be the first two students in the history of the Tournament of Champions to qualify in policy and LD in the same year. They did this by only attending three policy tournaments (The Old Scranton Tournament and Emory) on the Oceans topic running Reparations and USFG funding of The Association of Black Scuba Divers.
We are also in the process of building our policy program. Our teams tend to debate the resolution with non-util impacts or engages in methods debates. Don't assume that I am familiar with the specifics of a lit base. Please break things down to me. I need to hear and understand warrants. Make it simple for me. The more simple the story, the more likely that I'll understand it.
I won't outright reject anything unless it is blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic.
Important: Don't curse in front of me. If the curse is an essential part of the textual evidence, I am more lenient. But that would be the exception.
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com. I prefer email chain to Speechdrop, but either work.
I competed in LD from 2009-2013 and have been the LD coach at Eagan (MN) since 2014 and judge 100+ rounds a season. I qualified debaters to the TOC from 2021-2023 who won the Minneapple and Dowling twice. One primarily read phil and tricks while the other primarily read policy arguments, so I am pretty ideologically flexible and have coached across the spectrum.
If you're not at a circuit tournament, scroll to the bottom for my traditional LD paradigm.
I won't vote for arguments without warrants, arguments I didn't flow in the first speech, or arguments that I can't articulate in my own words at the end of the round. This applies especially to blippy and underdeveloped arguments.
I think of the round in terms of a pre- and post-fiat layer when it comes to any argument that shifts focus from the resolution or plan (theory, Ks, etc.). I don't think the phrase "role of the ballot" means much – it's all just impacts, the strength of link matters, and your ROB is probably impact-justified (i.e. instrumentally valuable and arbitrarily narrow).
I tend to evaluate arguments on a sliding scale rather than a binary yes/no. I believe in near-zero risk, I think you can argue that near-zero risk should be rounded down to zero, but by default I think there’s almost always a risk of offense.
As a corollary to the above two points, I will vote on very frivolous theory or IVIs if there’s no offense against it, so make sure you are not just defensive in response. “This crowds out substance which is valuable because [explicit warrant]” is an offensive response, and is probably the most coherent way to articulate reasonability.
I reserve the right to vote on what your evidence actually says, not what you claim it says.
As a corollary to the above, you can insert rehighlighting if you're just pointing out problems with your opponent's evidence, but if you do then you're just asking me to make a judgment call and agree with you, and I might not. If it's ambiguous, I'll avoid inserting my own interpretation of the card, and if you insert a frivolous rehighlighting I'll likely just disagree with you. If you want to gain an offensive warrant, you need to read the rehighlighting out loud.
Facts that can be easily verified don't need a card.
I'm skeptical of late-breaking arguments, given how few speeches LD has. It's hard to draw a precise line, but in general, after the 1N, arguments should be *directly* responsive to arguments made in the previous speech or a straightforward extrapolation of arguments made in previous speeches. "Here's new link evidence" is not a response to "no link". "DA turns case, if society collapses due to climate change we won't be able to colonize space" is fine in the 2N but "DA turns case, warming kills heg, Walt 20:" should be in the 1N.
Any specific issue in this paradigm, except where otherwise noted, is a heuristic or default that can be overcome with technical debating.
This is the area of debate I'm least familiar with – I've spent the least time coaching here and I'm not very well-read in any K lit base. Reps Ks and stock Ks (cap, security, etc.) are okay, identity Ks are okay especially if you lean in more heavily on IVI-type offense, high theory Ks are probably not the best idea (I'll try my best to evaluate them but no promises).
The less the links directly explain why the aff is a bad idea, the more you'll need to rely on framework, particularly if the K is structured like "everything is bad, the aff is bad because it uses the state and tries to make the world better, the alt is to reject everything". If you want me to vote on the overall thesis of your K being true, you should explain why your theory is an accurate model of the world with lots of references to history and macro trends, less jargon and internal K warranting with occasional reference to singular anecdotes.
Conversely, if you're aff you lose by neglecting framework. If you spend all of 10 seconds saying "let me weigh case – clash and dogmatism" then spend the rest of your speech weighing case, you're putting yourself in a bad position. I don't start out with a strong presumption that the aff should be able to weigh case or that the debate should be about whether "the aff is a good idea".
For pess Ks, I'll likely be confused about why voting for you does anything at all. You need a coherent explanation here.
I don't think "the role of the ballot is to vote for the better debater" means much. I'm going to vote for the person who I think did the better debating, but that's kind of vacuous. If your opponent wins the argument that I ought to vote for them because they read a cool poem, then they did the better debating. You need to win offensive warrants on framework.
I’m bad for K arguments that are more rhetorical than literal, e.g. “X group is already facing extinction in the status quo” – that’s just defining words differently.
- Not a fan of arguments that implicate the identity of debaters in the round. There's no explicit rule against them, but I'm disinclined to vote for them and they're usually underwarranted (e.g. if they're not attached to a piece of evidence they're probably making an empirical claim without an empirical warrant and your opponent should say that in response).
K affs: not automatically opposed, not the ideal judge either. I'm probably biased towards K affs being unfair and fairness being important, but the neg still needs to weigh impacts. I’m very unlikely to vote on anallytic RVIs/IVIs like T is violent, silencing, policing, etc. unless outright dropped – impacts turns should be grounded in external scholarship, and the neg should contest their applicability to the debate round. You also need a good explanation of how the ballot solves your impacts or else presumption makes sense. "Debate terminally bad" is silly – just don't do debate then.
This is what I spend most of my time thinking about as a coach. Expect me to be well-read on the topic lit.
There is no "debate truth" that says a carded argument always beats an uncarded argument, that a more specific card always beats a more general card, or that I'm required to give more credence to flimsy scenarios than warranted. Smart analytics can severely mitigate bad link chains. It is wildly implausible that banning megaconstellations would tank business confidence, causing immediate economic collapse and nuclear war – your cards *almost certainly* either don’t say that or aren’t coming from credible sources.
Probabilistic reasoning is good – I don't think "what is the precise brightline" or "why hasn't this already happened" are damning questions against impacts that, say, democracy, unipolarity, or strong international institutions reduce the overall risk of war.
Plan vagueness is bad. I guess plan text in a vacuum makes sense, but I don’t think vagueness should be resolved in a way that benefits the aff.
I’m baffled by the norm that debaters can round up to extinction. In my eyes, laundry list cards are just floating internal links until you read impacts, and if your opponent points that out I don’t know what you could say in response. I encourage you to have good terminal impact evidence (particularly evidence from the existential risk literature that explicitly argues X actually can lead to extinction or raise overall extinction risk) and to be pedantic about your opponent's. Phrases like “threatens humanity”, “existential”, etc. are not necessarily synonyms for human extinction.
Pointing out your opponent’s lack of highlighting can make their argument non-viable even if they’re reading high-quality evidence – you don’t get credit for the small text.
Some circumvention arguments are legitimate and can't just be answered by saying "durable fiat solves".
In general, I lean towards the view that the 1N should make an argument for how the counterplan competes and why. I think 2N definition dumps are too late-breaking (although reading more definitions in the 2N to corroborate the 1N definition may be fine).
Perms should have a net benefit unless they truly solve 100% of the negative’s net benefit or you give me an alternative to offense/defense framing, because otherwise I will likely vote neg if they can articulate a *coherent* risk. E.g. if the 2AR against consult goes for perms without any semblance of a solvency deficit, perm do both will likely lose to a risk of genuine consultation key and the lie perm will likely lose to a risk of leaks – even if the risk is vanishingly small, “why take the chance?” is how I view things by default.
I think counterplans should have solvency advocates and analytic counterplans are bad except in the most trivial of cases. E.g. if the aff advantage is that compulsory voting will increase youth turnout and result in cannabis legalization, then “legalize cannabis” makes sense as a counterplan because that’s directly in the government’s power. Otherwise, you should have evidence saying that the policy you defend will result in the outcome that you want.
Normal means competition is silly. It’s neither logical nor theoretically defensible if debated competently.
There’s probably nothing in any given resolution that actually implies immediacy and certainty, but it’s still the aff’s job to counter-define words in the resolution.
I spent a good amount of time coaching process counterplans and have some fondness for them, but as for whether they’re theoretically desirable, I pretty much view them as “break glass in case of underlimited topic”. A 2N on a process counterplan is more “substantive” in my eyes than a 2N on Nebel, cap, or warming good. If you read one and the 1AR mishandles it, the 2N definitely should go for it because they make for the cleanest neg ballots. I’ve judged at least a few rounds that in my eyes had no possible winning 2AR against a process counterplan.
I consider myself a middle of the road judge on theory. Feel free to go for standard policy theory (condo, various cheaty CPs bad, spec, new affs bad, etc.) or LD theory (NIBs / a prioris bad, combo shells against tricky strats, RVIs, etc.), I won't necessarily think it's frivolous or be disinclined to vote for it. On the other hand, I don’t like purely strategic and frivolous theory along the lines of "must put spikes on top", etc. I'm also not great at evaluating theory on a tech level because it mostly consists of nothing but short analytics that I struggle to flow.
Checks on frivolous theory are great, but competing interps makes more sense to evaluate based on my views on offense/defense generally. Reasonability should come with judge instruction on what that means and how I evaluate it – if it means that I should make a subjective determination of whether I consider the abuse reasonable, that's fine, just make that explicit. The articulation that makes the most sense to me is that debating substance is valuable so I should weigh the abuse from the shell against the harm of substance crowd-out.
Both sides of the 1AR theory good/bad debate are probably true – 1AR theory is undesirable given how late-breaking it is but also necessary to check abuse. Being able to articulate a middle ground between "no 1AR theory" and "endless one-sentence drop the debater 1AR shells" is good. The better developed the 1AR shell is, the more compelling it is as a reason to drop the debater.
If debated evenly, I tend to think limits and precision are the most important impacts (or rather internal links, jurisdiction is a fake impact). There can be an interesting debate if the neg reads a somewhat more arbitrary interpretation that produces better limits, but when the opposite is true, where the neg reads a better-supported interpretation and the aff response is that it overlimits and kills innovation, I am quite neg-leaning.
Nebel T: I’m open to it. It’s one of the few T interps where I think the overlimiting/innovation impact is real, but some LD topics genuinely are unworkably big (e.g. “Wealthy nations have a moral obligation to provide development assistance to other nations”). The neg should show that they actually understand the grammar arguments they’re making, and the aff’s semantics responses should not be severely miscut or out of context. “Semantics are oppressive” is a wildly implausible response. I view “semantics is just an internal link to pragmatics” as sort of vacuously true – the neg should articulate the “pragmatic” benefits of a model of debate where the aff defends the most (or sufficiently) precise interpretation of a topic instead of one that is “close enough”, or else just blow up the limits impact.
RVIs on T are bad… but please don’t just blow them off. You need to answer them, and if your shell says that fairness is the highest impact then your “RVIs on T bad” offense probably should have fairness impacts.
- I debated in a time when the meta was much more phil dominant and I coached a debater who primarily ran phil so this is something I'm familiar with. That being said, heavy phil rounds can be some of the most difficult to evaluate. I'm best for carded analytic moral philosophy -- Kant, virtue ethics, contractarianism, libertarianism, etc. I'm worse for tricky phil or hybrid K-phil strategies (agonism, Deleuze, Levinas, etc.).
- By default I evaluate framework debate in the same offense-defense paradigm I evaluate anything else which means I'm using the framework with the stronger justification. Winning a defensive argument against a framework is not *automatically* terminal defense. This means you're likely better off with a well-developed primary syllogism than with a scattershot approach of multiple short independent justifications. Phenomenal introspection is a better argument than "pain is nonbinding", and the main Kantian syllogisms are better arguments than "degrees of wrongness".
- If you'd rather not have a phil debate, feel free to uplayer with a TJF, AFC, IVIs, etc. I also don't feel like I ever hear great responses to "extinction first because of moral uncertainty", more like 1-2 okay responses and 3-4 bad ones, so that may be another path of least resistance against large framework dumps.
- If you're going for a framework K, I still need some way to evaluate impacts, and it's better if you make that explicit. Okay, extinction-focus is a link to the K, but is utilitarianism actually wrong, and if so what ethical principles should I instead be using to make decisions?
I'm comfortable with a lot of arguments that fall somewhere under the tricks umbrella -- truth testing, presumption and permissibility triggers, calc indicts, NIBs that you can defend substantively, etc. That being said, I'm not a good judge for pure tricks debate either -- evaluate the round after X speech, neg must line by line every 1AC argument, indexicals, "Merriam-Webster's defines 'single' as unmarried but all health care systems are unmarried", "you can never prove anything with 100% certainty therefore skep is true and the resolution is false", etc. I don't have the flowing skill to keep up with these, many of these arguments I consider too incoherent to vote for even if dropped (and I'm perfectly happy for that to be my RFD), and I really don't like arguments that don't even have the pretense of being defensible. I also think arguments need clear implications in their first speech, so tricks strategies along the lines of "you conceded this argument for why permissibility negates but actually it's an argument for why the resolution is automatically false" are usually too new for me to vote for.
- I have a strong expectation that debaters be respectful and a low tolerance for rudeness, overt hostility, etc.
- If you’re a circuit debater hitting someone who is obviously a traditional debater at a circuit tournament, my only request is that you not read disclosure theory *if* preround disclosure occurred (the aff sends the 1AC and the neg sends past speech docs and discloses past 2Ns 30 minutes prior). If they have no wiki or contact info, disclosure theory is totally fair game. Beyond that, I will probably give somewhat higher speaks if you read positions that they can engage with, but that’s not a rule or expectation. If you’re a traditional debater intending to make arguments about accessibility, I’ll evaluate them, but I will have zero sympathy – a local tournament would be far more accessible to you than a circuit tournament, and if there’s not a local tournament on some particular weekend, that simply is not your opponent’s problem.
- I reserve the right to ignore hidden arguments – there’s obviously no exact brightline but I don’t view that as an intrinsic debate skill to be incentivized. At minimum, voting issues should be delineated and put in the speech doc, arguments should be grouped together in some logical way (not “1. US-China war coming now, 2. Causes extinction and resolved means firmly determined, 3. Plan solves”).
- I’ll drop you for serious breaches of evidence ethics that significantly distort the card. If it’s borderline or a trivial mistake that confers no competitive advantage, it should be debated on the flow and I’m open to dropping the argument. I don’t really understand the practice of staking the round on evidence ethics; if the round has been staked and I’m forced to make a decision (e.g. in an elims round), I’m more comfortable with deciding that you slightly distorted the evidence so you should lose instead of you distorted the evidence but not enough so your opponent should lose.
- I’ll drop you for blatant misdisclosure or playing egregious disclosure games. I’d rather not intervene for minute differences but completely new advantages, scenarios, framing, major changes to the plan text, etc. are grounds to drop you. Lying is bad.
Traditional LD Paradigm
- This is my paradigm for evaluating traditional LD. This applies at tournaments that do not issue TOC bids (with the exception of JV, but not novice, divisions at bid tournaments -- I'll treat those like circuit tournaments). It does not apply if you are at a circuit tournament and one debater happens to be a traditional debater. And if you're not at a bid tournament but you both want to have a circuit round, you also can disregard this.
- Good traditional debate for me is not lay debate. Going slower may mean you sacrifice some amount of depth, but not rigor.
- The following is a pretty hard rule: "Each debater has the equal burden to prove the validity of their side of the resolution as a general principle." At NSDA Nationals, this is written on the ballot and I treat that as binding. Outside of nats, I still think it's a good norm because I believe my ballot should reflect relevant debate skills. I do not expect traditional debaters to know how to answer theory, role of the ballot arguments, plans, non-T affs, etc. Outside of circuit tournaments, one side should not auto-win because they know how to run these arguments and their opponent doesn't. However, "circuit" arguments that fall within these bounds are fair game -- read extinction impacts, counterplans, dense phil, skep, politics DAs, topical Ks, whatever, as long as you explain why they affirm or negate the resolution.
- As a caveat to the above statement, what it means to affirm or negate the resolution as a general principle is something that is up for debate and depends on the specific wording of the resolution. I'm totally open to observations and burden structures that interpret the resolution in creative or abusive ways, and think those strategies are often underutilized. If one side drops the other's observation about how to interpret the resolution, the round can be over 15 seconds into rebuttals. They just need to come with a plausible argument for why they meet that constraint.
- You cannot clip or paraphrase evidence and need a full written citation, regardless of your local circuit's norms. The usual evidence rules still apply.
- Your opponent has the right to review any piece of evidence you read, even if you're not spreading.
- Flex prep is fine -- you can ask clarification questions during prep time.
- Because (typically) there's no speech doc and few checks on low-quality or distorted evidence, I will hold you to a high standard of explaining your evidence in rebuttals. Tagline extensions aren't good enough. "Extend Johnson 20, studies show that affirming reduces economic growth by 20%" -- what does that number represent, where does it come from? This is especially true for evidence read in rebuttals which can't be scrutinized in CX -- I will be paying very close attention to what I was able to flow in the body of the card the first time you read it.
- Burdens and advocacies should be explicit. Saying "we could do X to solve this problem instead" isn't a complete argument -- I *could* vote for you, but I won't. This can take the form of a counterplan text / saying "I advocate X", or a burden structure that says "Winning X is sufficient for you to vote negative because [warrant]" -- it just needs to be delineated.
- Even if you're not reading a big stick impact, you still benefit a lot by reading terminal impact evidence and weighing it against your opponents' (or lack thereof). When the debate comes down to e.g. a federal jobs guarantee reducing unemployment vs. causing inflation, even though both of those are intuitively bad things, it's really hard to evaluate the round without either debater reading evidence that describes how many people are affected, how severely, etc.
- Normative philosophy is important as a substantive issue, but the value and criterion are not important as procedural issues. I do not mechanically evaluate debates by first deciding who wins the value debate, and then deciding which criterion best links into that value, and then deciding who best links into that criterion. Ideally your criterion will be a comprehensive moral theory, like util or Kant, but if not then it's your proactive burden to explain why the arguments made at the framework level matters, why they mean your offense is more important than your opponent's. This applies when the criterion is vague, arbitrarily narrow, identifies something that is instrumentally rather than intrinsically valuable, etc. (Side note: oppression / structural violence frameworks almost always fall into one of the latter two categories, sometimes the first.)
I am currently coaching 3 teams at lamdl (POLAHS, BRAVO, LAKE BALBOA) and have picked up an ld student or 2. I am pretty familiar with the fiscal redistribution topic and not very with the federal lands topic.
I do have a hearing problem in my right ear. If I've never heard you b4 or it's the first round of the day. PLEASE go about 80% of your normal spread for about 20 seconds so I can get acclimated to your voice. If you don't, I'm going to miss a good chunk of your first minute or so. I know people pref partly through speaker points. My default starts at 28.5 and goes up from there. If i think you get to an elim round, you'll prob get 29.0+
Evid sharing: use speechdrop or something of that nature. If you prefer to use the email chain and need my email, please ask me before the round.
What will I vote for? I'm mostly down for whatever you all wanna run. That being said no person is perfect and we all have our inherent biases. What are mine?
I think teams should be centered around the resolution. While I'll vote on completely non T aff's it's a much easier time for a neg to go for a middle of the road T/framework argument to get my ballot. I lean slightly neg on t/fw debates and that's it's mostly due to having to judge LD recently and the annoying 1ar time skew that makes it difficult to beat out a good t/fw shell. The more I judge debates the less I am convinced that procedural fairness is anything but people whining about why the way they play the game is okay even if there are effects on the people involved within said activity. I'm more inclined to vote for affs and negs that tell me things that debate fairness and education (including access) does for people in the long term and why it's important. Yes, debate is a game. But who, why, and how said game is played is also an important thing to consider.
As for K's you do you. the main one I have difficulty conceptualizing in round are pomo k vs pomo k. No one unpacks these rounds for me so all I usually have at the end of the round is word gibberish from both sides and me totally and utterly confused. If I can't give a team an rfd centered around a literature base I can process, I will likely not vote for it. update: I'm noticing a lack of plan action centric links to critiques. I'm going to be honest, if I can't find a link to the plan and the link is to the general idea of the resolution, I'm probably going to err on the side of the perm especially if the aff has specific method arguments why doing the aff would be able to challenge notions of whatever it is they want to spill over into.
I lean neg on condo. Counterplans are fun. Disads are fun. Perms are fun. clear net benefit story is great.
If you're in LD, don't worry about 1ar theory and no rvis in your 1ac. That is a given for me. If it's in your 1ac, that tops your speaks at 29.2 because it means you didn't read my paradigm.
Now are there any arguments I won't vote for? Sure. I think saying ethically questionable statements that make the debate space unsafe is grounds for me to end a round. I don't see many of these but it has happened and I want students and their coaches to know that the safety of the individuals in my rounds will always be paramount to anything else that goes on. I also won't vote for spark, trix, wipeout, nebel t, and death good stuff. ^_^ good luck and have fun debating
I attended and debated for Rutgers University-Newark (c/o 2021). I’ve ran both policy and K affs.
Influences In Debate
David Asafu – Adjae (he actually got me interested in college policy, but don’t tell him this), and of course, the debate coaching staff @ RU-N: Willie Johnson, Carlos Astacio, Devane Murphy, Christopher Kozak and Elijah Smith.
Yes, I wish to be on the email chain!
COLLEGE POLICY: I skimmed through the topic paper and ADA/ Wake will be my first time judging this season. Do with this information what you wish.
GENERAL: If you are spreading and it’s not clear, I will yell clear. If I have to do that too many times in a round, it sucks to be you buddy because I will just stop flowing and evaluate the debate based on what I can remember. Zoom through your cards, but when doing analytics and line by line, take it back a bit. After all, I can only evaluate what I catch on my flow. UPDATE FOR ONLINE DEBATES: GO ABOUT 70% OF YOUR NORMAL SPEED. IF YOU ARE NOT CLEAR EVEN AT 70%, DON'T SPREAD.
In general, I like K’s (particularly those surrounding Afro-Pess and Queer Theory). However, I like to see them executed in at least a decent manner. Therefore, if you know these are not your forte, do not read them just because I am judging. One recent pet peeve of mine is people just asserting links without having them contextualized to the aff and well explained. Please don't be that person. You will see me looking at both you and my flow with a confused face trying to figure out what's happening. Additionally, do not tell me that perms cannot happen in a method v. method debate without a warrant.
I live for performance debates.
I like to be entertained, and I like to laugh. Hence, if you can do either, it will be reflected in your speaker points. However, if you can’t do this, fear not. You obviously will get the running average provided you do the work for the running average. While I am a flow centric judge, be it known that debate is just as much about delivery as it is about content.
The bare minimum for a link chain for a DA is insufficient 99% of the time for me. I need a story with a good scenario for how the link causes the impact. Describe to me how everything happens. Please extrapolate! Give your arguments depth! It would behoove you to employ some impact calculus and comparison here.
Save the friv theory, bring on those spicy framework and T debates. Please be well structured on the flow if you are going this route. Additionally, be warned, fairness is not a voter 98% of the times in my book. It is an internal link to something. Note however, though I am all for T and framework debates, I also like to see aff engagement. Obviously these are all on a case by case basis. T USFG is not spicy. I will vote on it, but it is not spicy.
For CPs, if they're abusive, they are. As long as they are competitive and have net benefits, we're good.
On theory, at a certain point in the debate, I get tired of hearing you read your coach's coach's block extensions. Could we please replace that with some impact weighing?
Do not assume I know anything when judging you. I am literally in the room to take notes and tell who I think is the winner based on who gives the better articulation as to why their option is better. Therefore, if you assume I know something, and I don’t … kinda sucks to be you buddy.
I’m all for new things! Debating is all about contesting competing ideas and strategies.
I feel as though it should be needless to say, but: do not run any bigoted arguments. However, I’m well aware that I can’t stop you. Just please be prepared to pick up a zero in your speaking points, and depending on how egregious your bigotry is, I just might drop you. Literally!
Another thing: please do not run anthropocentrism in front of me. It’s something I hated as a debater, and it is definitely something I hate as a judge. Should you choose to be risky, please be prepared for the consequences. (Update: voted on it once - purely a flow decision)
For My LD'ers
It is often times difficult to evaluate between esoteric philosophies. I often find that people don't do enough work to establish any metric of evaluation for these kinds of debates. Consequently, I am weary for pulling the trigger for one side as opposed to the other. If you think you can, then by all means, read it!
Yale Update: Tricks are for kids.You might be one, but I am not.
I'm gonna have to pass on the RVIs too. I've never seen a more annoying line of argumentation.
In general, give me judge instructions.
On average, tech > truth --- however, I throw this principle out when people start doing or saying bigoted things.
BIG BRONX 2023 UPDATE: I haven’t judged in over a year, so I am very behind on topic-specific literature. I would also appreciate being on the slower side when it comes to spreading since I haven’t engaged in it since then, either.
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi! My name is Dahlia Bekong (she/they). I debated in LD for Bronx Science for four years, competed at the TOC my senior year, and am now a sophomore at Binghamton University. I mostly read performance and kritiks throughout high school (specifically anti-blackness & quare theory), but I’m fine with most things.
TLDR: Ks/K-affs/Non-T/Performance > K Theory > LARP > T/Theory > Phil > Friv Theory/Tricks (Depends)
A few things to note:
- Disclosing to Black debaters is a must. I am of the stance that Black debaters don’t have to disclose to non-Black debaters. Debaters reading anything that makes ontological claims of violence toward a group they do not belong to will result in me autovoting you down.
- I have been out of debate for a while, so please make sure to go at about 70% circuit speed AT MOST. I was never that good at understanding spreading anyway so if you’re fine with it I’d prefer if you went even slower than that, but I’ll try to keep up with whatever pace you decide to go for.
- Please refrain from doing anything racist, transphobic, ableist, etc. If you think your position would specifically perturb me or your opponent, either refrain from reading it or ask us beforehand if it’s okay to read. If you think your opponent violates this, impact it out and I’ll def be willing to vote on it.
- I have sensory issues so if your case utilizes flashing imagery and/or loud sounds, either heavily reconsider reading that or the accept the fact that I will be too zoned out to flow that part of the debate.
- Above all, I LOVE creativity regarding positions. A position that’s well-constructed and has its implications thought out is something a lot of debaters lack, so if you’re willing to go the extra mile and can explain it, feel free to blow my mind.
Okay, actual debate thoughts.
First and foremost, have a model of debate. If both debaters end up LARPing or something then this probably won’t come up, but I default to debate being a homeplace, where idea testing is somewhat good but never trumps the actual safety and/or right for debaters to be in the space. This is especially true for clash of civ debates: explain your model of debate, including why you’re here, why I’m here, what we should individually do, and what the utility of the ballot is.
I’m gonna borrow a phrase from Temitope Ogundare’s paradigm that I really liked: “Truth over tech until tech overwhelms truth (probably because you were inefficient)”. A lot of the times I find “tech over truth” is pragmatically used to shut down any conversations about the way personal identity manifests itself.
However, there does exist a threshold where if you clearly don’t know what you’re doing I can’t really say anything. If you’re winning the flow on a technical level and can explain why that’s actively good then I will vote for you, but if you’re doing something like distinguishing between structural and procedural fairness solely to shut out identity positions then you’re doing way too much.
Finally, I’m on the firm position that debate is not a game. I personally depended on debate as a way to cope with transphobia and help pay to go to college in the first place, which is to say, debate has very material impacts for people that can begin from reading something in round and extend to the outside world. If your shells rely on this as a crutch to shoo way identity arguments, then I’m gonna tell you to take the L on this one.
Okay, even more specific debate thoughts.
Identity Ks/Performance: Yeah!!! I have the most experience with running these, but I will emphasize to only read one if you know what you’re doing. Slow down to explain concepts and warrant your arguments. Err on overelaborating about what the alternative actually does and weighing that against the world of the aff. For performances, make sure that the performance isn’t simply tangentially related to the case but also gives you material offense. I love specific and clear link stories so I will be very swayed if you convey that in the 2NR.
K-Affs/Non-T: Yeah!!! These were my favorite positions in high school. You can mostly look at the previous section but for these I will also advise you take an extra hard look at the model of debate stuff. Whether the aff has a clearly defined model of debate that accounts for why they’re doing what they’re doing AND the debate space at large will usually dictate whether they win against T.
K Theory: Ranges from “Yeah!!!” to “Cool”. I love seeing the incorporation of critical literature into an argument meant for norm-setting but the same rule of actually knowing what you’re talking about applies here, ESPECIALLY since you’re talking about your literature in a “debate-rule” context.
LARP: Ranges from “Cool” to “Eh”. A lot of LARP ends up impacting out to nuclear war, which is very tiring. I’d like to see weighing that involves more metrics than magnitude or scope so I don’t have to worry about the next coming of Fallout 3. I’d like to see more weighing, period. Please read proper plan texts that either correlate with your evidence or that you can explain the link between the text and your evidence. Please remember mutual exclusivity exists, especially in the case of CP’s (doubley with PICs). PLEASE make your links specific to the aff.
T/Theory: VERY heavily depends. I have an extremely high warrant for T and theory to the point where I don’t think fairness is a valid terminal impact. There are other impacts out there that actually account for material violence that occurs from the same standards that are impacted out to fairness. Make sure your interp is specific and actually encapsulates what your model of debate is (planks are very useful for this).
Identity K/Non-T aff v T/Theory (Yes, this is a specific section): Aff gets to weigh. A pet peeve is when debaters overexaggerate the reality of debate norms (i.e. someone reading one non-T aff destroying limits completely). A BIGGER pet peeve is when debaters read the latter argument to disengage from the former (especially against Black debaters). Debates of these nature should never boil down to whether the aff belongs in the space, but whether their way of incorporating it could be improved. If the neg doesn’t have a way to account for the affs’ harms, I will presume aff.
Phil: Ranges from “Cool” to “Ugh”. I’m probably the least experienced with this so I will absolutely need you to overexplain your arguments. Can very quickly become mumbo-jumbo that makes my head spin so focus on big picture work and my route to the ballot.
Friv Theory/Tricks: Ranges from “Ehh” to “No”. Will autovote you down if you read these against an Identity K/Performance position, I consider it a sign of extreme disrespect to the affirmative. Reading these against LARP, Phil, and non-identity based positions is fine and often entertaining but I have a really low warrant for responses.
My judging philosophy is first built on the approach that debaters define the debate. This means I generally do not have any predisposition against anything within the context of the debate. Hence, I do NOT push an agenda. The arguments presented before me are to be engaged by both sides and analysis should be given whereby I should either reject or accept those arguments. This means arguments for or against should be well developed and structured logically. There needs to be a clear framework, but this is only the first level. Impacts and disadvantages need to fit within this framework. They need to be developed and consistent within the framework.
If there is one thing I do not like, blip arguments. These are essentially glorified tag lines that have no analysis behind them, where then a debater claims a drop of this 'argument' becomes a voter for them. For me: no analysis = no argument thus is not a voter. However, if within the context of the debate both debaters do this they lose the right to complain about me intervening. So, take heed, do this and I will allow myself to insert how these blips should be pieced together and the analysis behind them.
There needs to be clash. Far too often debaters do not really analyze. Generally, people view good debates where the flow shows responses to everything. I view this as a fallacy. There should be analysis as to how the arguments interact with each other in regards to the line by line debate and hopefully build a bigger view of the entire debate. Again, it is the debater's job to fine tune how everything pieces together. Specifically, I prefer hearing voters that are in some way intertwined versus a bunch of independent voters. Yet, though, I prefer intertwined voters it does not mean independent voters could not subvert or outweigh a good story.
Things I have voted for AND against
K - I actually like a good K debate. However, I do warn debaters that often I see people run K's they have no reason running because they themselves do not really understand them. Further, as a theme, debaters assume I am as familiar with the authors as they are. Not true. Rather, I feel it imperative that the position of K be well articulated and explained. Many debaters, read a stock shell that lacks analysis and explanation. NEW - Alts need to be clear as to what they will cause and what the world of the alt will look like. Nebulous Revolutions will not sway me, because you will need to have some solvency that the revolution will lead to the actual implementation of the new form of thought.
counter plans - I have no problem with these in the world of LD.
Topicality - I generally stand within the guidelines of reasonability. Muddy the waters and that’s what I will likely default to.
Role of the Ballot - At its heart I think the ROB is a paradigm argument or more simply a criterion argument so that even if one on face wins it does not guarantee a win because the opposite side can in the venue of the debate meet the criterion or ROB. However, the ROB I tend not to like are ones devolve the debate into pre fiat and post fiat debate. I tend towards post fiat worlds in close debates.
RVI - Again this less so, an RVI for seems to be justified within the context of some blatant abuse. As an analogy I have to see the smoking gun in the offenders hand. If it not clear I will side with a standard model. To date I have not voted on an RVI as of 2/11/2022
Understand, I honestly do approach all arguments as being justifiable within the confines of a debate. However, arguments I will on face reject are arguments whose sole objective (as a course or an objective for gain) is to oppress, murder, torture or destroy any class or classes of people. That is to say you know what you are doing and you are doing it on purpose.
I'd say that the realm of debate is for students to engage and craft. As I am no longer a competitor my bias, if it exist, should only intercede when debaters stop looking at human beings as genuine but rather as some abstract rhetoric.
Feel free to ask me some questions. but understand I'm not here to define what will win me. Good well structured argumentation that actually engages the other side are the types of debates I find most interesting. It's your world you push the paradigm you want. My voting for it or against it should not be interpreted as my support of the position beyond the confines of the debate.
Personal Narratives - I am not a fan of these arguments. The main reason, is that there is no way real way to test the validity of the personal narrative as evidence. Thus, if you introduce a personal narrative, I think it completely legit the personal narrative validity be questioned like any other piece of evidence. If you would be offended or bothered about questions about its truth, don't run them.
Communication - I believe in civility of debate. I am seeing an increasingly bad trend of students cursing in debates. I fundamentally, think High School debate is about learning to argue in an open forum with intellectual honesty and civility. The HS debate format is not one like private conversations between academics. I reject any belief that the competitive nature of the debate is like a professional sport. Cursing is lazy language and is a cheap attempt to be provocative or to fain emphasis. Thus, do not curse in front of me as your judge I will automatically drop you a point. Also, most people don’t know how to curse. It has its place just not in HS debate.
So what about cards that use curse words? Choose wisely, is the purpose because it is being descriptive of reporting actual words thrown at persons such as racial slurs. I will not necessarily be bothered by this, however, if it is the words of the actual author, I advise you to choose a different author as it is likely using it to be provocative versus pursing any intellectual honesty.
I do not have a have a problem with spreading. However, I do not prompt debaters for clarity as it is the debaters responsibility to communicate. Further, I think promoting is a form of coaching and gives an advantage that would not exist otherwise. If on the off chance I do prompt you (more likely in a virtual world) You will be deducted 1 speaker point for every time I do it. If the spread causes a technical issue with my speakers - I will prompt once to slow it down without penalty, only once.
My email is email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org for email chains. I am now putting myself part of the email chain due to virtual tournaments and to help overcome technical issues regarding sound. However, please understand I will NOT read along. I have it there for clarification if a audio issue arises during the speech. I still believe debaters should be clear when speaking and that speaking is still part of the debate.
I will automatically down a debater that runs an intentionally oppressive position. IE kill people because the world sucks and it’s bad to give people hope. However, if a person runs a position that MIGHT link to the death of thousands is not something I consider intentional.
NEW - 1/29 7:30PM Central Time
DISCLOSURE - Once parings come out. If you are going to make contact with your opponent requesting disclosure you need to CC me on the email chain: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Unless I am part of the request I will NOT evaluate the validity of the disclosure inside the round. If you do not read my paradigm and you run disclosure and your opponent does read this. They can use this as evidence to kick it directly and I will. This means they do not have to answer any of the shell.
I expect folks to be in the virtual debate room 15 minutes prior to the debate round. I especially expect this is a flip for sides has to be done. We as a community need to be more respectful of peoples time and of course from a practical matter allows an ability to solve technical issues which may arise.
NEW UPADATE 2/11/2022
Evidence - So, folks are inserting graphs and diagrams as part of their cases. I have no issue with this. However, unless there is analysis in the read card portion or analysis done by the debater regarding the information on the graph, diagram, figure, chart etc. I will not evaluate it as offense or defense for the debater introducing these documents. Next, if you do introduce it with analysis, it better match what you are saying. Next, as a scientist I am annoyed with graphs using solid lines - scientist use data points as the point actually represents collected data. A solid line suggest you have collected an infinite amount data points (ugh). The only solid line on graphs deemed acceptable are trend lines, usually accompanied with an equation, which serves as a model for an expected value for areas for which actual data does not exist.
You are welcome to time yourself. However, I am the official time keeper and will not allow more than a 5 second disparity.
When you say you are done prepping I expect you are sending the document and will begin with a couple of seconds once your opponent has confirmed reception of the document. This means you have taken your sip of water and your timer is set.
COMMUNICATION WITHIN THE ROUND - I understand when debating virtually where one is set up is not always going to be an ideal situation. However, one should not be communicating within anyone other than ones own partner. There should be zero communication with someone not in the debate. This means those chat boxes need to be off. I understand there is no way to police this situation, however, please remember it looks poorly and you never want to have doubt cast upon your ethical behavior. Also, its just disrespectful.
Last updated 2/11/2022 6:23 PM - Most of the changes are due to poor grammar.
Yes I want to be on the email chain - Xainalgebra@gmail.com
Flashing is not prep but if you are stealing prep, expect lower speaker points. Clipping is auto-loss.
Experience: I debated for Hebron High School with 2 years of LD experience and almost 2 years of Policy experience. I am a TOC Qualifier for my senior year, and a 2x TFA state qualifier. I primarily read kritiks and non topical affs but don't try to conform to that. Do what you do best and explain it well. I am a 2A.
General: Do whatever u want but don't be offensive or make an argument that is racist, sexist, transphobic, ableist, etc. Speed is good so you can go as fast as you want just be clear, I will say clear twice before your speaker points go down. I have high expectations for Line-by-line because i want there to be good clash. If you want to go for High Theory that's cool. I hate new arguments past the 1NR , and most likely wont evaluate unless you do really well on it and its dropped, or if its a response to something new. Weighing is very important - A conceded argument is a true argument but that doesn't mean it matters the most, you should be telling me why winning that argument mans you win the debate or a certain portion of the debate.
- Clarity > speed
- Tech > Truth in most instances
- Don't be violent (racism, sexism, genocide good)
- Clipping is bad (L and 0 speaks for the team who does it)
- Reject the arg > reject the team ( can be convinced otherwise)
- I prefer K v Policy>= K v K > Policy v Policy but will judge anything
Arguments: 1 Being the most comfortable vs 5 being the least comfortable. You can still read the arguments that I put lower just make sure you are extra clear with your warrants and don't assume I know terms.
- Policy Debate
Ks - 1
T - 3
Theory - 4
DAs - 2
CPs - 2
- LD Debate
Ks - 1
T - 3
Theory - 4
DAs - 2
CPs - 2
- Enjoy these debates.
- I don't care how long your overview is, but technical line-by-line is preferable and very important.
- More specific the link/analysis, the better.
- Familiar with a litany of theory basis, but when making specific analysis, make sure your explanation starts broadly.
- My evaluation begins with the framework portion of the debate - make sure you have a clear articulation of your model of debate and why it is preferable.
- If your read a kritik against a K aff, I will reward specific engagement by holding affirmative teams to a higher standard for permutation explanation.
- I can be convinced to vote for anything in regards to reasonability/competing interps.
- Impact comparison is pretty important.
- Good counter interp ev is very important and will be rewarded in terms of eval.
- Smart, creative counterplans are appreciated if executed well.
- I lean neg for most counterplan theory except for consult, condo, solvency advocate.
- I need instruction for judge kick.
- Presumption flips if there is a counterplan in the 2NR.
- Good impact comparison makes me happy.
- DA turns case arguments when executed correctly are strategic and beneficial for negative teams.
Policy: Read whatever you want, if you are a novice go to the novice section for specifics. Open CX is fine. Im cool with non-T affs but i will also vote for FW. I'm not great with politics DAs but I can follow along if you don't buzz word your way through it all. Non - Politics DAs im good with. I expect clash on the case debate, i think that you should engage with your opponents cases.
LD: Most of the same things apply as in policy I dont really care what you read. I expect very strong clash in terms of framework on the ROB, Standard, or V/C. Im chill with RVIs and I will vote on conceded ones. Not a fan of theory spikes in the 1AC but i will vote on conceded ones. I really don't like frivolous theory, so if you go for it make sure you have a clear impact that lines up with the violation.
Novice: For Novice I am very opposed to reading non-topical kritikal, no plan affirmatives or not affirming the resolution affirmatives, i most likely wont vote you down if you read one but you will get maximum 28 speaker points. In terms of reading Ks on the negative I would prefer it doesn't happen; cap is fine anything else I would rather you not read especially in novice but explain it well and I will vote on it, your speaks should be fine if you are able to explain the argument well
Overall: Overall do what you want and be respectful - Good Luck to all debaters.
Dougherty Valley '21, Cal '25
Adults in debate need to stop involving children in their weird clout chaser politics and treat this activity like the educational space that it is.
be comprehensible/go slower - i dont judge as often as you compete
probably better for the K now than I was 2 years ago - I still require explanation and examples to the same extent though
Debated mostly in LD but went to policy camp and some policy tournaments. If you're a PF-er you shouldn't have counteradvocacies but other than that I will judge it like it’s a policy round - read cards
add me to the email chain (email@example.com).
if you're short on time, just read this top section:
don't overinvest, have fun
Tech>Truth, but it’s easier to win more truthful arguments.
arguments require a claim and a warrant and (eventually) an implication. i wont pretend you said something you didn't and have no problem voting on lack of explanation or not hearing something.
online: record speeches locally if online, flash analytics if possible
email chain should be set up at start time
- you don't need to adapt to novices if on the national circuit
- sending a marked copy does not constitute prep, requesting a doc where "unread cards are deleted" does
- tell me to judge kick or I won't: condo assumes 2NR collapse exists.
- circumvention and impact turns are nice
- you can insert rehighlights
- number/delineate your arguments
- will reward fun, high-risk strategies such as 1-off disad, a massive impact turn , 7 minutes of case turns or circumvention etc.
- "independent voting issues" are rarely ever independent or voting issues
- if you or your opponent might read theory or topicality as a viable out, read the "rant" under the theory section. everything else in the paradigm is extremely standard and you'll be fine even if you don't read it.
- disclosure is good, read theory
- happy to give the "i don't get it" rfd
- defaults: comparative worlds (LD), no judge kick, "competing interps", no rvi, drop the debater on T and condo and disclosure theory and drop the argument on all other theory, fairness and education are voters, everything other than fairness and education is not a voter
-clipping if you do catch clipping, do not make clipping an argument in the debate - stake the round and show me the recording.
- ev ethics - any misrepresentation of evidence (stopping in the middle of a paragraph, if the article concludes the opposite way after the card ends, mis-cited) is an automatic L even if not called out. if your link is dead but the article can be procured through a different method you won't lose.
- i expect evidence to have cites/qualifications and not be bracketed unless offensive language. read theory
- i read a lot of ev, the quality of the warrant is the quality of the argument.
- extend warrants, weigh, and answer warrants. implicate each argument, don't leave it to me to do the work for you
- you still need to answer the disadvantage
- this just shifts the burden of explanation, it doesn't magically make extinction not a problem anymore. that being said, you should still leave some time for the framing portion of the debate
- politics disads are cool
- do impact calc
- no new links/IL/impacts/uq arguments in the 2NR, but may use cards to answer (new) 1AR arguments
- 2NR/2AR impact calc isn't new
- love smart and creative counterplans
- start the solvency debate in the 1NC (card or analytic), not the 2AC. burden of proof on the negative!
- defining "sufficiency framing" isn't enough - make it contextual.
- read CP theory but don't speed through blocks. Counterplan theory is generally a question of research and predictability, having a specific advocate is important.
- i do not have a predisposition for/against condo/dispo bad in LD (they're good in policy)
- err neg/drop the argument on 1AR theory is persuasive in LD
- LD only: while i do think non-resolutional actor CPs in LD don't provide an opportunity cost to the plan insofar that the aff's obligation is to prove an actor's moral obligation, i will still evaluate them as they are read and debated unless that argument is made.
Kritiks (on the negative):
- good k debates are cool but rare - consequently good k debates with explanation and knowledge of your argument will get great speaks and bad k debates meant to take your opponent by surprise or rack up easy wins with blocks will get extremely deflated speaks.
- the more the negative wins their link the easier it is for them to win Framework
- filter alt solvency through Framework - and actually explain it please!
- please actually warrant your fairness arguments on Framework - 'moots the aff' absent an explanation of why consequences are specifically key is probably not enough
- LD only: Link walls must be in the 1NC. New 2NR links from the 1AC are new and will not be evaluated. New 2NR links based on the 1AR will be evaluated. In policy, new 2NC links are fine
- not relying on precluding the aff = higher speaks.
- extensions of 'ontology' and similar broad claims need to be much more robust than you think they do. you can't just say the buzzwords "natal alienation" or "gratuitous violence" or "metaphysics" without telling me 1) what they are and 2) how they implicate progress.
- i will vote for warranted K "tricks" but keep the overview shorter rather than longer please
- vagueness in cx bad
- particularity vs Ks is good and Ks should either link turn or impact turn this and overinvest time on this argument
Kritiks (on the affirmative):
- T-USFG/Framework - aff teams can easily out-tech neg teams but i usually went for T/Fwk. Don't care which internal link/impact you choose: fairness, skills, testing, etc. as long as they have an actual impact
- try to answer the case even if you go for T especially the parts that interact with the shell
- you get a perm
- go for presumption if the 1AC is just an impact turn to Framework
- i like T, went for it a lot.
- weighing is essential
- evidence comparison is underutilized
- Rant: Reasonability vs Competing Interps is much less important than you think it is. If the substance tradeoff DA or overpunishment DA by dropping the debater outweighs mitigated interp offense, I will vote against theory because of "reasonability". If neither of those arguments are introduced or leveraged successfully, I will not use reasonability (i.e. there must be some offense vs the interp to vote against theory). if both teams pretend like this part of my paradigm doesn't exist, I'll likely just use competing interps because it causes me less of a headache to evaluate
- RVIs are bad but don't drop them
- if a 1AC theory underview has more than yes/no theory, competing interps/reasonability, dtd/dta, voters you instantly lose 0.5 speaker points for making me flow all that :)
- Interpretations are models of debate, and definitions are the warrants for why those models are predictable - standards should be filtered through predictability
- "semantics first" is not persuasive, precision as an internal link is persuasive
LD Philosophy/Ethical Framework Debates:
- i am much better for literally any other argument
- if your cards and rebuttals do a good job of explaining the syllogism and reasons to prefer(they usually don't), you'll be fine.
- tricks: If there's a clear claim, warrant, and implication to an argument when it is first introduced, then I will flow and evaluate it like any other argument. Even if you go for terrible one-liners that are almost definitively false, you should still collapse and oversell the truth of your arguments.
- "we defend the aff as a general principle" is a topicality issue about implementation.
- general confidence vs modesty bores me - contextualize (with cards) !
CX matters, -0.1 speaks if you shift around your order multiple times when giving it or if you don't label your flows in the 1nc ("next off" is insufficient).
Credit to whoever I copped some lines of this paradigm from
Given that fascists are now doxing judges for their paradigms, I have removed mine from tabroom. My paradigm will not be publicly accessible until cybersecurity and digital access changes are made to protect judges and other members of the debate community. If you want to read my paradigm, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please refer to everyone involved in the round gender-neutrally unless otherwise stated by a participant or judge.
START THE EMAIL CHAIN AS SOON AS ALL DEBATERS ARE IN THE ROOM.
Yes, include me. My email is: email@example.com
high school debate: crenshaw high school ( policy )
college debate: st. john's university ( BP )
currently: i'm usually in someone's tab. as such, i'm not keeping up with current arguments, authors, strats etc. assume i'm used to your evidence at your own risk.
hi i'm amber (they/them) and i want you to have fun and learn new things. debates are for learning, not for whoever gets to nuclear war fastest. tech issues aren't considered prep, but do not abuse this.
I HAVE TINNITUS AND CANNOT HEAR MONOTONE READERS.
I HAVE TINNITUS AND CANNOT HEAR MONOTONE READERS.
I HAVE TINNITUS AND CANNOT HEAR MONOTONE READERS.
I HAVE TINNITUS AND CANNOT HEAR MONOTONE READERS.
I HAVE TINNITUS AND CANNOT HEAR MONOTONE READERS.
you have GOT to put inflections, emphasis etc in your speeches otherwise i WILL NOT be able to hear, understand, and flow you. if you pick up nothing else from this paradigm, absorb this and invest in practices that will allow you to be a clear and impactful reader.
you have one instance of me saying "Clear" in round before i stop flowing.
i flow args not authors most of the time. EXTEND YOUR ARGS. TELL ME WHAT THEY'RE REPLYING TO. "judge, extend our brooks '03" tells me nothing. where am i putting that? what is it answering? how is it relevant? if i have to answer those questions myself, there's an issue. you want me to do as little intervention in the back as possible-- tell me exactly where you want something flowed, that way at the end of the round we can be assured that my decision is based off of what you all debated for me, not my own opinions or biases.
1. I DO NOT FLOW FROM SPEECH DOCS. i flow what i hear, which means speak up, speak clearly, and if you're tempted to double breathe, don't. it's distracting and doesn't actually help you debate better or faster. if you go silent while you spread, don't. i have tinnitus in BOTH ears, i will stop flowing if you become unintelligible. you have one instance of me saying "Clear" in round before i stop flowing.
2. do not read theory at me. your speaks will reflect you reading theory at me poorly
3. keep your flows organized-- the easiest way to do that is by sign posting ("next", "and", "now onto" are perfect phrases for keeping the pace of a speech while still allowing the judge time to switch flows).
4. for neg teams in particular: do not prioritize reading a thousand args in the 1NC over 1-2 actual strategies. i will not reward you for wasting aff and MY time. do not play with me on this.
5. Do Not Read Theory At Me.
6. If you're nonblack and running Black args, 1) your reasoning had better be solid 2) i'm giving 24s and below to whoever does it poorly. using antiblackness, afropess and other Black args as "gotchas!" against teams in rounds IS in itself antiblack, and i'm not going to listen to the commodification of Blackness for a ballot. if your strategy needs to change because of this, you also need to be evaluating why you had those args in your arsenal in the first place.
- read clearly and loudly, or i will not flow your speech. don't read theory at me. don't read bad Ks at me. your speaks will reflect you reading things poorly at me. don't read Black args if you're not Black, as 'gotchas' against your opponents; i will break tabroom giving you the lowest possible speaks.
if you want to have an in depth, hardcore theory or k debate, i am not the judge for you. don't do it to yourself or to me. generally i'll evaluate most arguments fairly; if a team can explain and convince me to vote for them, and the flow matches, that's all i really need to give a ballot. that being said, i don't regularly judge LD so my ear is NOT trained to y'all's jargon and whatnot. in case you didn't read above, i have tinnitus in both ears and need you to SLOW DOWN THE BEGINNING OF YOUR SPEECH. enunciate anything of importance; no, that doesn't mean your whole speech lmao (unless you're going for high speaks, bc yes i will award higher speaks to whoever enunciates and emphasizes arguments in their speeches).
T: i don't like T debates, but i'll give them a fair evaluation!
larp v larp: sure, go for it
larp v k: i'll be honest, i'll probably lean larp here if the k team doesn't properly explain or defend themselves
k v k: please god do not do this to us. i mean it. it will be an unpleasant round for everyone involved.
disclosure: fairness is an impact but don't take this to an extreme.
no RVIs: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
friv. theory: if it's truly frivolous, no i'm not voting on it. i'll evaluate every argument given in the debate, but it NEEDS to have a basis in truth, or be proven not an absolute waste of debate time.
My name is Chris Brown. I'm a second year judge. I have had the opportunity to judge PF, Congress and LD rounds.
I strive to listen to the arguments of both sides. My expectation is for debaters to provide arguments with appropriate evidence. I also expect debaters to be smooth in their delivery, without pauses, ums or other sounds that interrupt their delivery. Being able to respond to your opponent in a cogent manner is very important.
I do not like spreading. If you are going to go as fast as possible, I require having a copy of your case. Otherwise, it's difficult for me to keep up and if I'm judging, you want to make things as easy for your judge as possible
In LD - the clashing of sides is really important. Although the opening speeches are important, the cross and returning speeches are a big part of how you do in LD. Listening to your opponent and being able to respond effectively is the name of the game.
I'm judging based what is presented by both sides - as much as I may disagree with a particular viewpoint, if the other side can't counter it, I have to go with what is presented.
It is an honor to be able to do this and I will strive to be the best judge I can be for myself and the debate community.
My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
Grant Brown (He/Him/His)
Millard North '17, currently a PhD student in Philosophy at Villanova University^
Head of Debate at the Brearley School
^ [I am more than happy to discuss studying philosophy or pursuing graduate school with you!]
Conflicts: Brearley School, Lake Highland Preparatory
Last Updates: 9/26/2023
Scroll to the bottom for Public Forum
The Short Version
As a student when I considered a judge I usually looked for a few specific items, I will address those here:
1. What are their qualifications?
I learned debate in Omaha, Nebraska before moving to the East Coast where I have gained most of my coaching experience. I qualified to both NSDA Nationals and the TOC in my time as a student. I have taught numerous weeks at a number of debate summer camps and have been an assistant and head coach at Lake Highland and Brearley respectively.
2. What will they listen to?
Anything (besides practices which exclude other participants) - but I increasingly prefer substantive engagement over evasive tactics, tricks, and theory cheap shots.
3. What are they experienced in?
I coach a wide variety of arguments and styles and am comfortable adjudicating any approach to debate. However, I spend most of my time thinking about kritik and framework arguments, especially Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, and Deleuze.
4. What do they like?
I don’t have many preconceived notions of what debate should look, act, feel, or sound like and I greatly enjoy when debaters experiment within the space of the activity. In general, if you communicate clearly, are well researched, show depth of understanding in the literature you are reading, and bring passion to the debate I will enjoy whatever you have to present.
5. How do they adjudicate debates?
I try to evaluate debates systematically. I begin by working to discern the priority of the layers of arguments presented, such as impact weighing mechanisms, kritiks, theory arguments, etc. Once I have settled on a priority of layers, I evaluate the different arguments on each, looking for an offensive reason to vote, accounting for defense, bringing in other necessary layers, and try to find an adequate resolution to the debate.
The Longer Version
At bottom debate is an activity aimed at education. As a result, I understand myself as having in some sense an educational obligation in my role as a judge. While that doesn't mean I aim to impose my own ideological preferences, it does mean I will hold the line on actions and arguments which undermine these values.
I no longer spend time thinking about the minutia of circuit debate arguments, nor am I as proficient as I once was at flowing short and quickly delivered arguments. Take this into consideration when choosing your strategy.
I like them. I very much value clarity of explanation and stepping outside of the literature's jargon. The most common concern I find myself raising to debaters is a lack of through development of a worldview. Working through the way that your understanding of the world operates, be it through the alternative resolving the links, your theory of violence explaining a root-cause, or otherwise is crucial to convey what I should be voting for in the debate.
I am a receptive judge to critical approaches to the topic from the affirmative. I don't really care what your plan is; you should advocate for what you can justify and defend. It is usually shiftiness in conjunction with a lack of clear story from the affirmative that results in sympathy for procedurals such as topicality.
I really have no interest in judging ridiculous tricks and/or theory arguments which are presented in bad faith and/or with willfully ignorant or silly justifications and premises. Please just do not - I will lower your speaker points and am receptive to many of the intuitive responses. I do however enjoy legitimate abuse stories and/or topicality arguments based on topic research.
I really like these debates when debaters step outside of the jargon and explain their scenarios fully as they would happen in the real world. For similar reasons, good analytics can be more effective than bad evidence - I am a strong judge for spin and smart extrapolation. I tend to like more thorough extensions in the later speeches than most judges in these debates.
I greatly enjoy these debates and I spend pretty much all of my time thinking about, discussing, and applying philosophy. I would implore you to give overview explanations of your theory and the main points of clash between competing premises in later speeches.
If your version of an ethical framework involves arguments which you would describe as "tricks," or any claim which is demonstrably misrepresenting the conclusions of your author, I am not the judge for you.
I usually judge Lincoln Douglas but am fairly familiar with the community norms of Public Forum and how the event works. I will try to accommodate those norms and standards when I judge, but inevitably many of my opinions above and my background remain part of my perception.
Debaters must cite evidence in a way which is representative of its claims and be able to present that evidence in full when asked by their opponents. In addition, you should be timely and reasonable in your asking for, and receiving of, said evidence. I would prefer cases and arguments in the style of long form carded evidence with underlining and/or highlighting. I am fairly skeptical of paraphrasing as it is currently practiced in PF.
Speaks and Ethics Violations
If accusations of clipping/cross-reading are made I will a) stop the debate b) confirm the accuser wishes to stake the round on this question c) render a decision based on the guilt of the accused. If I notice an ethics violation I will skip A and B and proceed unilaterally to C. However, less serious accusations of misrepresentation, misciting, or miscutting, should be addressed in the round in whatever format you determine to be best.
sbrowndebate at gmail
background: mcdonogh ('08) policy debater & have coached debate ever since
my decisions are highly flow based - i'm a great judge for technical, mechanical flow based line by line debate
i'm an excellent to great to good judge for most arguments that originate in policy debate, think: disads, cps, pics, kritiks, k affs, plans, not plans, theory, topicality, performance, etc
i'm an ok to mid to meh judge for phil - if your phil/kant is more card heavy, less tricksy/paradoxy, i'd put me in the middle of your sheet. if this isn't you, i'd probably avoid taking me
i'm probably not the best judge for t-framework/usfg/must "larp" against k affs - i'll vote for it, just being open/honest that i'm historically atrocious for this argument
i'm an awful judge for card text speed analytics (please just slow down), tricks, and disclosure/wiki arguments
speaker point floor typically 29.0
there is zero risk that i will win a gold medal in the 100m dash at the 2024 paris olympic games
Updated 11/30/23 for Pre-UT
Hi everyone! I’m Holden (They/He)
University of North Texas ’23, and '25 (Go Mean Green)
Update: Longhorn Classic - November 29th, 2023 will forever be remembered as a day of joy for all with justice in their hearts, as it marks the long-overdue death of one Henry Alfred Kissinger. In light of the kickoff to what I believe is the beginning of his well-deserved eternal punishment for his many, many crimes against humanity, I will be rewarding jokes about Kissinger being dead and/or how terrible of a person he was with bonus speaker points throughout the duration of the tournament. They do not even have to be particularly good, as the mere mention of his passing will be enough to elicit a chuckle from me.
*Note for UT* I’ve been judging a lot more policy debates and CP/DA debates more, this makes me happy. Please don’t read process counterplans that don’t have a net benefit that is germane to the plan (IE the uncooperative federalism counterplan). Thoughts about me since then that I think are important:
- 1AC's should be started AT start time barring some exceptions, email chains should be set up, and the 1AC should be sent by 1-2 minutes before start time, and we should all be ready to debate AT the scheduled start time. I will be annoyed otherwise, and your speaks might be docced as well
- Procedural fairness as an impact in policy v k, k aff v tfw debates is much more viable than I previously though, I think operationalizing it in the context of how policy does will make the rfd much better than "fairness is good because anything else concedes the authority of fairly evaluating arguments" as the main warrant for your argument
- I still coach a lot. I am fairly well read on a lot of ecological critical literature because it's what my undergrad philosophy department specialized. I also am familiar with the policy side of the topic because of research and having debated a similar-ish topic my senior year of high school on the fossil fuel subsidies topic
- I am much better for policy debates than previously, counterplan competition are fun debates to have, and I enjoy DA and case 2NR's vastly. Please see extended thoughts about this below
- Neutral/slightly neg leaning on the question of T - subsets in terms of specifying areas of land or water, neutral on that argument in terms of specifying the type of fossil fuel or the type of extraction, but would be substantially better for non-nebel interpretations of the argument
- Please god don't go for 1AR restarts in front of me
Yes speed, but clarity is important as well
In terms of ideology, I’m a lot like Patrick Fox just less grumpy, so you can pref me pretty closely with how you pref him.
Some individuals who have shaped how I debate/have coached me: Colin Quinn and Louie Petit
Some judges who I greatly respect and would love to have on a panel: Scott Harris, David Kilpatrick, and Rob Glass
Some of my former students who share the majority of my opinions/you might pref me similar to: Anastasia Keeler, Sean Wallace, and Graham Johnstone.
Some of my friends who I agree about debate with heavily include: Dylan Jones, Luna Schultz, Elliot Cook, Joseph Wofford, and Zachary Jones.
Triggers – please refrain from reading anything with in depth discussions of anxiety, depression, or suicide that way I can adequately access and evaluate the round. Please give trigger warnings so that debate remains a place in which everyone can participate.
I flow on my laptop, I would put me at a 8-8.5/10 in terms of speed. Just be clear, slow down on tags and analytics a little please
Hi, I'm Holden! I did policy and LD in high school, I wasn't too involved in the national circuit but at the bid tournaments I did attend I did pretty ok. I recently graduated from the University of North Texas with degrees in philosophy and psychology. In college, I competed in NFA-LD, which is essentially just one person policy debate. I had some moderate success, I qualified to and made it to octas of the national tournaments two years in a row, and got gavels and broke at nearly every tournament I attended my senior year. Now, I am a graduate student at the University of North Texas, where I am pursuing a masters in communications and will be a graduate assistant for the debate team. I also judge and coach national circuit high school LD, where I have judged 500+ debates since 2020. In addition, I have coached students to several bids, bid rounds, speaker awards, and late elims of just about every national tournament (including elims and top speaker of the TOC).
Nowadays, most of my research is on the kritikal side of the argumentive spectrum. However, I also do research for policy style arguments on every topic I coach on, and have a secret love for cutting politics updates. With that in mind, I have cut arguments of every style and have coached students to go for arguments in all styles of debate.
(I prefer Holden, but if you vibe with judge then by all means).(Mr. Bukowsky, Sir, etc.)
I have been previously affiliated with: East Chapel Hill AX, Los Altos BF, and Unionville IQ.
Debate is a game with educational implications. I love this activity very much, and take my role in it very seriously. I think it is my job to evaluate arguments as presented, and intervene as little as possible. I am not very ideological in a way that translates to how I evaluate the debate (barring some exceptions) because it's not my place to determine what is a valid argument and what is not. That means please do what you are most comfortable with to the best of your ability, and I will do my best to evaluate the debate as fairly as possible (granted that violent or warrantless arguments are exceptions). As such, I consider there to be two concrete rules of debate - 1. I must choose a winner and a loser, and 2. speech times are set in stone. Any preferences I may have should not matter if you make the argument for me, if I have to default to something then that means that you did not do your job.
I like good debates. If you execute your arguments well, then I will be impressed.
I like debates that require little intervention, make my job easy for me please I hate thinking.
I like well researched arguments with clear connections to the topic/the affirmative.
I like when email chains are sent out at start time, don't delay the round any more than it has to be please.
I like good case debate, this includes a deep love for impact turns.
I like it when people make themselves easy to flow, this means labeling arguments (for example, giving arguments names, or doing organization like "1, 2, 3, a point, b point, c point, etc.), I can't vote for you if I don't know what the heck the complete argument is so making sure I can understand you is key
I like debaters that collapse in their final speeches, it makes nice room for analysis, explanation, and weighing which all make me very happy.
I like it when I am given some kind of framing mechanism to help filter offense. This can take place via a standard, role of the ballot/judge, impact calc, fairness v education, a meta ethic, I don't care. Just give me something to determine what the highest layer/impact should be.
To summarize the way I feel about judging, I think Yao Yao Chen does a excellent job at it, "I believe judging debates is a privilege, not a paycheck. I strive to judge in the most open-minded, fair, and diligent way I can, and I aim to be as thorough and transparent as possible in my decisions. If you worked hard on debate, you deserve judging that matches the effort you put into this activity. Anything short of that is anti-educational and a disappointment."
I dislike anything that is the opposite of above.
I dislike when people make problematic arguments.
I dislike when debaters engage in exclusionary practices.
I dislike unclear spreading.
I dislike messy debates with little work done to resolve them.
I dislike when people go "my time will start in 3, 2, 1."
I dislike when people ask if they can take prep, I don't care just tell me that you're taking it.
I dislike when evidence exchange takes too long, this includes when it takes forever for someone to press send on an email, when someone forgets to hit reply all (it's 2023 and y'all have been using technology for how long??). If you think email chains aren't your vibe then please use a speech drop to save all of us the headache.
I dislike when people are exclusionary to novices, I am very much in the trial by fire camp but you shouldn't throw someone into a volcano. Yes, you can spread, run disads, counterplan, k's, and even phil as long as your explanations are accessible and in good faith. But theory and tricks is a no go and you WILL get your speaks tanked.
I dislike t - bare plurals.
I dislike 1AR restarts.
Across all of my time as a judge, I have judged exactly 557 debate rounds. Of those, I have voted aff approximately 51.71% of the time.
My average speaks for the 2023-2024 season have been 28.47, across my entire time judging they are at 28.503
I have been apart of 149 panels, of those I have sat exactly 20 times (Harvard was rough).
Arguments that involve the appearance of a debater (shoes theory, formal clothing theory, etc.)
Arguments that say oppression is good.
Arguments that contradict what was said in CX.
Contrary to my reputation, I actually quite enjoy and have a good amount of experience on the policy side of the argumentative spectrum. I do quite a bit of research for policy arguments, and do topic research on that side of ground very often. I love a good disad and case 2NR, and will reward well done executions of these strategies because I think they're great. One of my favorite 2NR's to give is one on a disad and circumvention, I think it's great and really rewards good research quality
Counterplans should be functionally and textually competitive, I think most counterplans probably lose to permutations that make arguments about this and love when people make these arguments
Impact turn debates are some of my favorite, give me more of them please and thank you
I reward good evidence, if you cite a piece of evidence as part of your warrant for a argument and it's not good/underwarranted then that minimizes your strength of link. I do read evidence a lot in these debates because I think that it often acts as a tiebreaker
I really appreciate judge instruction, how should I frame a piece of evidence, what comes first, I think that telling me what to do and how to decide debates makes your life and my job much easier
I enjoy really well researched process counterplans. Absolutely makes me smile when the evidence is topic specific, and has great solvency advocates.
Yes judgekick, but make an argument for it please
Explain what the permutation looks like, just saying perm do both is a meaningless argument and I am not filling in the gaps for you
For affs, having well developed and robust internal links into 2-3 impacts is much preferred than the shot gun 7 impact strategy
Explanation of the DA turning case matters a lot to me, explain it please
Say it with me everyone In fact, I think I’ve become more grouchy about k debate lately. Call me old, but I think that often times critical teams get too lost in the sauce, don’t do enough argumentative interaction, and lose the debate because they can’t keep up technically.
This is where most of my research and thoughts are these days. I will most likely be good for whatever literature base you are reading, and have a very decent amount of rounds judging and going for the K. I have most likely judged or read the literature you are going for sometime in my years in debate, so feel free to read anything, just be able to explain it.
Aff teams against the k need to go for framework and extinction outweighs more
My ideal k 1nc will have 2-3 links contextual to the aff (one of which is a topic link), an alternative, and some kind of framing mechanism.
I have found recently that most 2NR's have trouble articulating what the alternative does, and how that interacts with the affirmative and the links. If you are unable to explain to me what the alt does, your chances of getting my ballot go down. I find that examples from both sides of the debate help contextualize the offense you're going for in relation to the alternative/the permutation, you should also explain the perm in the first responsive speech
I've found that most k teams have become rusty at debating the impact turn (heg good/cap good), this is to say that I think that if you are agaisnt the k, I am very much willing to vote on the impact turn given that it is not morally repugnant (see above)
I would very much prefer that you introduce an interesting new argument than recycle the same aff or the same 1NC you've been running for 2 years. At least update your cards every once in a while.
Don't run a k just because you think I'll like it, bad k debates make for some of the worst speaks I've given all year (for example, if you're reading argument related to Settler Colonialism and can't name the 6 settler moves to innocence)
K tricks are cool if they have a warrant, floating piks need to be hinted at in the 1NC please so they can be floating
For you nerds that wanna know, the literature bases I know pretty well are: Marxism, Security, Reps K's, Afro-pessimism, Baudrillard, Beller, Deleuze and Guattari, Halberstam, Hardt and Negri, Weheliye, Grove, Psychoanalysis, Scranton/Eco-pessimism, and Settler Colonialism
The literature bases that I know somewhat/am reading up on are: Agamben, Abolition, Cybernetics, Queer-pessimism, Disability literature, Moten and Harney, and Puar
A note on non-black engagement with afropessimism, I will watch your execution of this argument like a hawk if you decide to go for it. I think that certain authors make particular claims about the adoption of Afro-pessimist advocacy by non-black individuals, while other authors make different claims, be mindful of this when you are cutting your evidence/constructing your 1NC. While my thoughts on this question are more neutral than they once were, that does not mean you get to do whatever with the argument. If you are reading this critique as a non-black person, this becomes the round. This also means that if you are disingenuous to the literature at all, your speaks are tanked and the ballot may be given away as well depending on how annoyed I'm feeling. This is your first and final warning.
Yes, I think these are cool, defend something and have a counter-interp that substantively does something in relation to maybe limiting the topic? I am increasingly becoming convinced that there should be some stasis for debate, I think that having your aff discuss the resolution makes your framework answers more persuasive and makes me happier to vote for you
Presumption is underrated, most affs don't do anything and their ballot key warrant is bad, you should make sure to utilize that.
For those negating these affs, I think that the case page is the weakest part of the debate from both sides. I think if the 2NR develops a really good piece of offense from the case page then the debate becomes much easier for you to win.
Innovation is appreciated, I swear I've heard the same two or three affs twenty times each. If your take on a literature base is interesting, innovative, AND is something I haven't heard this year then you will most definitely get higher speaks
Performance based arguments are also acceptable/enjoyed, in the last tournament of my career I ran one of these and experienced immense success with it. However, I find that most times when they are ran the performance is not really extended into the speeches after this, obviously there are some limitations but I think that it does give me more leeway in terms of leveraging your inevitable application of the performance to other areas of the debate
Quick update as we approach the Shirley: I have become increasingly convinced of the viability of fairness as an impact argument. I do think that it has important implications for the ballot in terms of resolving affirmative and negative impact arguments, but need negative teams to avoid the vacuous and cyclical lines of argumentation that often follow fairness debates.
Framework isn't capital T true, but it also isn't an automatic act of violence. I find myself neutral on the question of how one should debate about the resolution, but I do think that the resolution should be a starting point for the debate. How you interpret that is up to you
I am of the opinion that most framework debates take place on an impact level, with the internal link to those impacts most of the time never being questioned. This is where I think both teams should take advantage of, and produces better debates about what debate should look like.
I have voted on straight up impact turns before, and I have also voted on fairness as an impact, I think that the onus is on you to explain and flesh your arguments in a way that answers the 1AR/2NR. Reading off your blocks and not engaging in the specific warrants of disads to your model often lead to me questioning what I'm voting for because there is often little to no engagement by either side in the debate
Counter-interps are more persuasive to me, and I think are underutilized, counter-interps that are well thought out and have good explanation of what your model of debate looks like does wonders
In terms of impacts to framework, my normal takes are clash > fairness > advocacy skills
"Fairness is good because debate is a game and we all have intrinsic motivation to compete" >>>>>>> "fairness is an impact because it constrains your ability to evaluate their arguments so hack against them," if the latter is your explanation then 9 times out of 10 you are going to lose
I love T debates, absolutely some of my favorite rounds to adjudicate. I think they've gotten a bad rep over the past four or five years because of the bare plurals stuff *shudders*, but interps that are based on words/phrases of the resolution and are gone for well will make me incredibly happy
I think that the semantics of the resolution matter, but not in a "bare plurals mean no spec" way but rather a "this is what this means in the context of the topic."
My normal defaults for these debates are:
- Competing Interps
- Drop the debater
- No RVI's
Reasonability is about your counter-interp not your aff, people need to relearn how to go for this because it's a lost art in the age of endless theory shells
Arbitrary counter-interps such as "your interp plus my aff" are cringe and you are better served going for a more substantive argument
Slow down for me a bit in these debates, I can flow pretty well but T is monster in terms of how many warrants/separate arguments you're spewing out so give me typing time please
You need to read voters, some standards are impacts on their own (precision comes to mind) but outside of that I have trouble understanding why limits is an independent impact sans some external argument about why making debate harder is bad
Weigh your internal links please and thank you
I judge this type of debate a lot, and probably more than most judges. So you'll most likely be fine in these debates in front of me, I just ask that you don't blitz through analytics and make good indepth weighing arguments regarding your internal links to the standards you're going for. I find that a well explained abuse story (whether that be potential or in-round) makes me be conceputally more persuaded by the impacts you go for
Conditionality is good if you win it's such. I've noticed a trend among judges recently just blatantly refusing to vote on conditionality through some arbitrary threshold that they think is egrigious, or because they think conditionality is universally good. I am not one of those judges.justas a general ideology, but your defense of it better be robust if you plan on using abusing conditionality vehemently
Sure, go for whatever shell you want, I'll flow it barring these exceptions:
- Shells about the appearance and clothing of another debaters
- Disclosure in the case in which a debater has said they can't disclose certain positions for safety reasons, please don't do this
- Reading "no i meets"
- Arguments that say that implicate that a debater may not be able to answer a new argument in the next speech (for example, if the 1AR concedes no new 2ar arguments, and the 2NR reads a new shell, I will always give the 2AR the ability to answer that new shell)
Here are my defaults for counterplan theory:
- Counterplans with a solvency advocate, no matter what type they are = good
- PICs = good
- Process CP's = good
- Consult CP's = bad
- States CP's = good
- Actor/Agent CP's = good
- Object Fiat = bad
Since these are becoming increasingly read in front of me, and are becoming a separate argument in debate, I thought they deserved their own section. I think that these are good arguments when executed well. That being said, I think that for these to be won, you need to win either some meta level framing (such as accessibility first) or linking it to an ethical framework. I often have to ask myself “should I abandon the flow if I think that this is violent” and here is the litmus test for how I will determine to abandon the flow, I will:
1. See if you won the flow proper to see if I can avoid intervening
2. If you did not win the flow proper, I will see if the action in question is a legitimate question of violence in the debate space, your explanation may help, your explanation may not. As much as your 2AR ethos may be good, if I do not think that this situation is an act of violence with reasonable malicious intent, then I will not abandon the flow. A few instances in which I will abandon the flow can be: misgendering, dead-naming, some sort of maliciously intended argument meant to exclude individuals from debate
This is not to say I won’t abandon the flow, but I feel like there has to be some outline for how I can reconcile this, or else this would justify me becoming increasingly interventionist for littler reasons which I think is a horrible model of debate.
I would much prefer these debates be executed as a shell rather than having the round staked on them. I hate adjudicating these debates because a. They deprive me of a substantive round and b. Are normally a cheap shot by an opposing debater. As such, if you stake the round on evidence ethics this will be the procedure for which things will go down: 1. I will look into the evidence that is in question 2. Compare it to the claim/violation that is being presented 3. Utilize the rules for which the tournament is using (NSDA, NDCA, etc.) to determine whether or not it is a violation 4. Check with the debater if they are sure they want this to be a drop the debater issue, or to drop the evidence. If it is a violation, then I will drop the person who committed such with 25 speaks if it's a drop the debater issue, if it's not drop the debater then I will not evaluate the evidence and we can debate as normal. If it is not a violation, then I will drop the accuser with 25 speaks if it's a drop the debater issue, if it's not drop the debater then your speaks will be capped at a 28.
Here is what I consider evidence ethics violations in the absence of guidance: 1. If the author concludes in opposition of what is cited 2. If worlds are deleted or inserted in the middle of a sentence 3. If a debater misrepresented what the author says
I think that my thoughts about this are "please don't if you don't have to, but if you aren't the one to initiate you can go ham"
I can judge these debates, and have coached debaters that have gone for these arguments, I would really just rather not. I am tired of the same arguments being recycled over and over again with little to no innovation. If you throw random a prioris in the 1A/1NC don't expect me to be happy about the debate. Carded and well developed tricks > "resolved means firmly determined and you know I am"
Slow down on your long underviews, yes I am flowing them but it doesn't help when you're blitzing through independent theory arguments like they're card text. Go at like 70% your normal speed in these situations
Be straight up about the implication and warrant for tricks, if you're shifty about them in cross then I will be shifty about whether or not I feel like evaluating them. This extends to disclosure practices.
Tricks versus identity-based affirmatives is violent, and bad. Stop it.
I love these debates! I find phil a really interesting part of debate that often goes unexplored. That being said, I prefer well developed syllogisms with pieces of evidence over analytical dumps, I find that analytical syllogisms are often spammy with extremely underdeveloped warrants.
Parts of your syllogisms should at least hint at what their impact is. I think that this becomes even more essential in later speeches where you should collapse and impact 1-2 justifications along with weighing
In phil v phil debates, both sides need to be able to explain their ethic more. These debates can either be super informational, or super messy, and I would prefer that they be the former rather than the latter. Explanation, clear engagement, and weighing is the way to my ballot in these debates
Hijacks are great! Just explain them well since they're often pretty complicated and I can't really understand the warrant if it's less than 10 seconds long
Please slow down a bit in these debates, they ore often very fast, technical, and blippy and I can only flow so fast
For those that are wondering, here are the literature bases I know pretty well: Locke, Hobbes, Pragmatism, Kant, Deleuze, Hume, Descartes, Nietzsche, Berkeley, Leibniz, and Spinoza
I know these literature bases somewhat: Rawls, Plato, Aquinas, Virtue Ethics, ILaw, Moral Particularism, and Constitutionality
I know I have it listed as a phil literature base, but I conceptually have trouble with deleuze ethical frameworks, especially since the literature doesn't prescribe a moral claim but makes a structural one which means that it doesn't make too much logical sense to force the literature to make an ethical claim.
- Comparative worlds > truth testing
- Permissibility negates > affirms
- Presumption negates > affirms
- Epistemic confidence > epistemic modesty
Yes, I can judge this, and debated on a rather traditional LD circuit in high school. However, I often time find these debates to be boring, and most definitely not my cup of tea. If you think that you can change my opinion go right ahead, but I think that given the people that pref me most of the time, it will be in your best interest to pref me low or strike me, both for your sake and mine.
For your pref sheets:
Clash debates (k v k, k v phil, k v policy, policy v phil, etc.) – 1
K – 1
Policy – 1
Phil – 1
T/Theory – 1
Tricks – 4
Trad – 5/Strike
Everything above applies
Don't think I'm a k hack, my background may suggest otherwise but ideologically I have a high threshold for execution and will punish you for it if you fail to meet it. If you are not comfortable going for the k then don't unless you absolutely want to, don't adapt to me. I promise I'll be down for a good disad and case 2NR or something similar
"It's against NFA-LD rules" is not an argument or impact claim and if it is then at best it's an internal link to fairness. Only rules violation I will not roll my eyes at are ethics challenges
Yes non-T affs, yes t - framework, yes cap good/heg good, no to terrible theory arguments like "must delineate stock issues"
Condo is bad if you win that it is bad, it is good if you win it is good
Speaker points challenges (things to maintain my vtl during tournaments):
- Send a picture of your pet (not snakes please I have a phobia of them) in the doc or email chain +.3
- Pepsi challenge jokes (making sense to the debate and actually related to the content) +.1
Things I will be more apt to maybe slightly inflate your speaks for:
- Being generally pleasant (not in the "hi how are you judge" kind of way but being vibey I guess)
- Making actually funny jokes
Across over 200+ prelims at bid tournaments, I have averaged at a 28.5 in terms of speaks, which means I'm not necessarily a speaks fairy or stingy
A 30 is very hard to achieve in front of me, and the only ones I have given out is because of the utilization of the challenges
I don't evaluate "give me x amount of speaks" arguments, if you want it so bad utilize the ways to get extra speaks I have below
They're adjusted according to the tournament, but here's a general scale -
29.6+ Great round, you should be in late elims or win the tournament
29.1-29.5 Great round, you should be in mid to late elims
28.6-29 You should break or make the bubble at least
28.1-28.5 About middle of the pool
27.6-28 You got some stuff to work on
27-27.5 You got a lot of stuff to work on
Anything below a 27: You did something really horrible and I will be having a word with tab and your coach about it
Voting for policy----X----Voting for the K
Researching/coaching policy-------X---Researching/coaching the K
Good evidence-X---------Bad evidence + spin
Will read ev without being told------X----Tell me what to read
Asking "did you read X card"-------X--- Learn to flow or run prep/CX for this
Yes RVIs-------X---No RVIs
Fairness is definitely an impact-----X-----Fairness is definitely not an impact
Alternatives/K affs should solve things or lose--X--------Alternatives/K affs can not solve things and not lose
"It's pre-fiat"--------X--Actual arguments that mean things
Debate good---X-------Debate bad (the activity)
Debate good-------X---Debate bad (the community)
Creative, alternative models of the topic + offense---X-------Impact turn everything vs framework
Yes ur Baudrillard/Kant-X---------Not ur Baudrillard/Kant
Feelings and jokes--X--------Debate robots
Mime-like expressiveness---X-------Statue-like poker face
Assume I understand the things--------X--Assume I do not understand the things
Speaker point fairy------X----Speaker point goblin
LD should be like policy-------X---(Some) LD stuff is cool
Capitalism----------X( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
I debated on the TFA and TOC circuits for 4 years in high school (2012-2016) and have been coaching and judging on/off for the last few years. I'm comfortable with speed and familiar with most arguments around the circuit. If there's anything else you need to know, just ask!
I will generally vote on any argument that is warranted, extended, explained with reference to the ballot, and does not create an unsafe space for students or participants involved. I encourage creativity with arguments and don't have strong feelings toward any specific style or type of position. I will not evaluate arguments that don't have warrants, even if they are conceded. Bad warrants are OK - they just have to be impacted to a ballot story.
I do not assume any particular role of the ballot or theory of debate - I will look at debate, education, and arguments in whatever way you tell me to. I do generally assume that my ballot must be connected to some decision-making paradigm and that my decision about the winner must stem from this paradigm, regardless of what that may be. I am open to diverse arguments that apply to debate in creative ways and will evaluate offense accordingly.
I tend to flow constructives off of speech docs and rebuttals by ear, even when there is a doc sent out. That means if you add an analytic in your constructive while in the middle of a speech doc, it is highly likely that I will miss it and not vote for it. Clarity, sign-posting, and spacing are really important to me because they help me flow. Flowing speeches well is hard. If your speeches are easier to flow, you will have an advantage.
I will only look at evidence if 1) It is explicitly called for in round 2) A warrant/explanation is mentioned that I do not have in speech 3) If I feel it is possible that evidence is being misrepresented. I generally think that debaters should be explaining the warrants in their evidence during speeches - but at the very least, tell me how good and warranted your evidence is in the speech so I can verify the claims you are making.
I do not have an objective scale for awarding speaker points. I try to award them based on how well I feel a debater has performed relative to their own average performance (average being 28). But, if I think you deserve to break at the tournament you're at, I'll usually start with a 29. I acknowledge that this is not a perfect system but it is how I award speaks. If you are a stronger, more experienced debater hitting someone significantly less experienced: the way to get high speaks from me is to win the round effectively and efficiently with a clear ballot story, then continue to use the rest of your speech time to have an engaging debate with your opponent's position. The more educational, the better. I'm begrudgingly receptive to strategically sidestepping clash in most situations, but not this one - respond to their position, please!
Otherwise, I generally award speaker points based on strategy, execution, efficiency, creativity, performance, clarity, and personality.
I give oral disclosures and feedback unless explicitly instructed not to. I try to spend a few minutes going through each speech offering feedback and constructive criticism. If you want to test out a new position, I'm a good person to innovate in front of - I'll try my best to give a few tips and thoughtfully engage with what you've written or put together.
Once again, if you have any questions or are confused by what's written above, just ask. I'm very open to questions. Otherwise, try to learn something, get along, and have some fun!
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.
1. I believe the topic is a hypothesis that is to be tested by argument and analysis during the specific round in which I am assigned to critique. I focus, generally, on line-by-line analysis of the arguments and analysis generated by each team to determine which side did the proverbial "better job of debating." I typically render my decisions based on the positions taken in constructive arguments and advanced through rebuttals. I welcome and invite debaters to provide me with the frameworks and meta-analysis needed to render a decision, but, in the final analysis, I rely on the arguments on the flow and how they are developed in each round. I depend on evidence-based argument as a general rule, but am also open to analysis and strategic constructs which may arise in any particular round. The following may be helpful to in-round participants. I also welcome queries from the in-round participants so long as no attempt is being made to "pre-condition" my ballot.
2. T - When I debated in HS and College, T was "the last refuge of the damned." I have a very high bar for T because I think limiting the topic limits creativity in argument. Also, because I am a lawyer and not necessarily connected to the debate community I don't have the credibility to limit research outside of a debate coach's perogative. In the past, I have rarely balloted on T. I will, however, "pull the trigger" when T arguments are mishandled. With respect to extra-T, I tend to give a little more
"love" to such claims when linked to a specific violation.
3. Counterplans - I tend to be somewhat conservative with C-Plans. I tend to require that they be 1) non-topical, 2) competitive, and 3) provide some net benefit. I perfer that C-Plans are solvent with evidence independent of the affirmative. That being said, I have balloted for topical c-plans, and have balloted for net benefit c-plans. I have also balloted for partial c-plans (not completely solving the aff harm area).
4. K - Affs - I find critical affs interesting and will ballot when they carry the day. To defeat a critical aff, I tend to require specific evidence taking out the authors or positions advanced. As for Neg K, I am generally open to them but usually require some impact analysis - with evidence, please, that overcomes the affirmative.
5. DA - With respect to DA's, I need intrinsic and extrinsic links to some type of terminal impact to ballot. If the links are weak, you need to explain things to me in late rebuttals - althought it's never to early to start this process.
6. I do try to line up and compare analysis and argument at the end of the round to reach my decision, but the more help you give me, the more likely I will find in your favor.
7. The same holds true for LD and POFO debates that I witness.
8. I flow cross-ex and hold teams to the positions they take.
I debate currently at CSUF Until further notice
I debated for around 5.5 years and my background is mostly K args, but dont be afraid to run policy, I’m cool with both
Keep me on the chain por favor – email@example.com
If you have any questions for after the round or just need some help feel free to email, I’ll try to get back
- I will distribute speaker points based off the accumulated performance from y’all, I like hearing arguments more if you truly believe in what you’re saying, especially debating Kritiks, be funny tho I’ll probably laugh, try to have fun and be the chill ones, try not to be toxic and even more so do not be violent, no -isms
- I will try to keep up on the flow but do not hyper-spread through theory blocks or any block for that matter, I will most likely not catch it
- be chill with each other but you can be aggressive if thats just your style, try not to trigger anxiety though in other debaters if you’re going too far
———- some more specifics ———-
I run and prefer Kritikal arguments, I am more comfortable listening to Settler Colonialism, Afro-Pessimism and Marxist literature, but that does not mean you can just spew jargon and hope to win, explain what your theories mean and your arguments, it will go a long way for your speaker points as well
Speaking of, i will be in the range of 27.5 - 29.9 for speaker points, I will try to be objective as possible but you do you, if you can do that well the speaker awards will come too
On T/FW, please make sure that your standards are specific to the round and are clearly spoken, I am substantially less convinced if you do not argue how that specific aff loses you ground and/or justifies a bad model of debate, but I will not vote it down for no reason, argue why those skills are good to solve the aff or provide a good model that sustains KvK debate in a better way than the aff justifies. Just don’t try to read your generic 2NC blocks, it gets more obvious the longer the debate goes on, do it well.
On Counterplans, try to have a net benefit, be smart with it, try not to have a million planks, having a solvency advocate is cool too, not much here.
Disads - do your link work as usual, I will vote on who does the better impact framing, just make sure you still got that link :) p.s for affs, just dont leave it at the end of the 2AC with a 2 second “they dont link isn’t it obvious”, please explain your answers and divide up time strategically
on K’s, I love good 2NC/1NR link stories, try not to just extend some evidence and answer 2AC args, evaluate why your links implicate the aff and how their specific aff makes something problematic. I dont mind a 2NC only the K with no cards, just make sure you’re not reading prewritten blocks, please be as specific as possible
Please stick to your arguments and embody them, just tell me what to evaluate at the end of the debate, I will very much appreciate if you can tell me how that happens, be revolutionary if you want to, I would probably enjoy the debate more.
I have coached LD at Strake Jesuit in Houston, Tx since 2009. I judge a lot and do a decent amount of topic research. Mostly on the national/toc circuit but also locally. Feel free to ask questions before the round. Add me to email chains. Jchriscastillo@gmail.com.
I don't have a preference for how you debate or which arguments you choose to read. The best debaters will 1. Focus on argument explanation over argument quantity. 2. Provide clear judge instruction.
I do not flow off the doc.
- I rarely read evidence after debates.
- Evidence should be highlighted so it's grammatically coherent and makes a complete argument.
- Smart analytics can beat bad evidence
- Compare and talk about evidence, don't just read more cards
- I default to competing interps, no rvi's and drop the debater on shells read against advocacies/entire positions and drop the argument against all other types.
- I'm ok with using theory as a strategic tool but the sillier the shell the lower the threshold I have for responsiveness.
- Please weigh and slow down for interps and short analytic arguments.
Non-T/Planless affs: I'm good with these. I'm most compelled by affirmatives that 1. Can explain what the role of the neg is 2. Explain why the ballot is key.
Delivery: You can go as fast as you want but be clear and slow down for advocacy texts, interps, taglines and author names. Don't blitz through 1 sentence analytics and expect me to get everything down. I will say "clear" and "slow".
Speaks: Speaks are a reflection of your strategy, argument quality, efficiency, how well you use cx, and clarity. I do not disclose speaks.
Things not to do: 1. Don't make arguments that are racist/sexist/homophobic (this is a good general life rule too). 2. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand or arguments that are blatantly false. 3. Don't be mean to less experienced debaters. 4. Don't steal prep. 5. I will not vote on "evaluate after X speech" arguments.
Coach at Heights High School (TX)
Separately conflicted with: Archbishop Mitty SM, Carnegie Vanguard KF, Cypress Ranch KH, Woodlands SP
Set up the email chain before the round starts and add me. I would strongly prefer email over NSDA Classroom fileshare, and please title the chain as so: "Tournament Year + Name - Round # - _____ vs. _____ (Judge)"
If I'm judging you in Policy: firstname.lastname@example.org
If I'm judging you in LD: email@example.com
I debated for Timothy Christian School in New Jersey for four years. I graduated from Rice University, am currently a teacher at Heights and predominately coach policy: my program competes through the Houston Urban Debate League and the Texas Forensic Association.
- Policy: 1
- T/Theory: 1-2
- Phil: 2
- Kritik (identity): 2
- Kritik (pomo): 3
- Tricks: Strike; I can and will cap your speaks at a 27 and if I'm on a panel I will be looking for a way to vote against you.
- Absent tricks or arguments that are morally objectionable, do what you are best at rather than over-adapting to my paradigm.
- Tech > Truth
- I will try to be tab and dislike intervening so please weigh arguments and compare evidence. It is in your advantage to write my ballot for me by explaining which layers come first and why you win those layers.
- I won't vote on anything that's not on my flow. I also won't vote on any arguments that I can't explain back to your opponent in the oral.
- It is unlikely that I will vote on a blip in the 2NR/2AR, even if it is conceded. If you want an argument to be instrumental to my ballot, you should commit to it. Split 2NR/2ARs are generally bad.
- I presume neg; in the absence of offense in either direction, I am compelled by the Change Disad to the plan. However, presumption flips if the 2NR goes for a counter-advocacy that is a greater change from the status quo than the aff. It is unlikely, however, that I will try to justify a ballot in this way; I almost always err towards voting on risk of offense rather than presumption in the absence of presumption arguments made by debaters.
- If you want to ask your opponent what was or was not read, you need to take prep or CX time for it.
- I'm colorblind so speech docs that are highlighted in light blue/gray are difficult for me to read; yellow would be ideal because it's easiest for me to see. Also, if you're re-highlighting your opponent's evidence and the two colors are in the same area of the color wheel, I probably won't be able to differentiate between them. Don't read a shell on your opponent if they don't follow these instructions though - it's not that serious.
- You don't get to insert rehighlighting; if you want me to evaluate it, you have to read it.
- Signpost please. I prefer debaters to be explicit about where to flow things and I appreciate pen time.
- Not fond of embedded clash; it's a recipe for judge intervention. I'll flow overviews and you should read them when you're extending a position, but long (0:30+) overviews that trade-off against substantive line-by-line work increase the probability that I'll either forget about an argument or misunderstand its implication.
- Given that I predominately coach policy debate, I am probably most comfortable adjudicating these rounds, but this is your space so you should make the arguments that you want to make in the style that you prefer.
- You should have be cutting updates and the more specific the counterplan and the links on the disad the happier I'll be. The size/probability of the impact is a function of the strength/specificity of the link.
- Terminal defense is possible and more common than people seem to think.
- I think impact turns (dedev, cap good/bad, heg good/bad, wipeout, etc.) are underutilized and can make for interesting strategies.
- If a conditional advocacy makes it into the 2NR and you want me to kick it, you have to tell me. Also, I will not judge kick unless the negative wins an argument for why I should, and it will not be difficult for the affirmative to convince me otherwise.
- I default to competing interpretations. I'll evaluate shells via reasonability if you ask me to but I'd prefer an explicit brightline for determining what constitutes a reasonable vs. unreasonable practice rather than drawing upon my intuitions for debate. If you just ask me to intuitively evaluate the shell without an explanation of what that constitutes, my aversion to intervention will likely lead me to gut check to competing interpretations.
- I default to no RVIs (and that you need to win a counterinterp to win with an RVI).
- You need to give me an impact/ballot story when you read a procedural, and the blippier/less-developed the argument is, the higher my threshold is for fleshing this out. Labeling something an "independent voter" or "is a voting issue" is rarely sufficient. These arguments generally implicate into an unjustified, background framework and don't magically operate at a higher layer absent an explicit warrant explaining why. You still have to answer these arguments if your opponent reads them - it's just that my threshold for voting for underdeveloped independent voters is higher.
- Because I am not a particularly good flower, theory rounds in my experience are challenging to follow because of the quantity of blippy analytical arguments. Please slow down for these debates, clearly label the shell, and number the arguments or I will likely miss something.
- Disclosure is good. However, I do coach both sides of this debate. Read it if you'd like, just don't be mean about it and be prepared to defend your performance if your opponent is clever.
- "If you read theory against someone who is obviously a novice or a traditional debater who doesn't know how to answer it, I will not evaluate it under competing interps."
- I will not evaluate the debate after any speech that is not the 2AR.
- I have a solid conceptual understanding of kritks, given that I teach the structure and introductory literature to novices every year, but don't presume that I'll recognize the vocabulary from your specific literature base. I am not especially well-read in kritikal literature. It is in your best interests to keep your speeches well-structured so they are easy to follow.
- Pretty good for policy v k debates. Less good for k v k debates.
- I especially appreciate kritikal debates which are heavy on case-specific link analysis paired with a comprehensive explanation of the alternative. Good K debates typically include quotes from lines in your opponent's evidence/advocacy with an explanation of why those are additional links.
- I don't judge a terribly large number of clash debates, but I've also coached both non-T performative and pure policy teams and so do not have strong ideological leanings here. I have voted for both framework and k affs.
- I believe that impacts are relevant insofar as they implicate to a framework, preferably one which is syllogistically warranted. My typical decision calculus, then, goes through the steps of a. determining which layer is the highest/most significant, b. identifying the framework through which offense is funneled through on that layer, and c. adjudicating the pieces of legitimate offense to that framework.
- You should assume if you're reading a philosophically dense position that I do not have a deep familiarity with your topic literature; as such, you should probably moderate your speed and over-explain rather than under.
- Especially if your framework is complex or obscure, a brief summary of how it functions (i.e. how it sifts between legitimate and illegitimate offense) would be helpful.
- Default epistemic confidence.
- Speed is generally fine, so long as its clear. I'd place my threshold for speed at a 8.5 out of 10 where a 10 is the fastest debater on the circuit, although that varies (+/- 1) depending on the type of argument being read.
- Slow down for and enunciate short analytics, taglines, and card authors; it would be especially helpful if you say "and" or "next" as you switch from one card to the next. I am not a particularly good flower so take that into account if you're reading a lot of analytical arguments. If you're reading at top-speed through a dump of blippy uncarded arguments I'll almost certainly miss some. I won't backflow for you, so spread through blips on different flows without pausing at your own risk.
- If you push me after the RFD with "but how did you evaluate THIS random analytic embedded in my 10-point dump?" I have no problem telling you that I a. forgot about it, b. missed it, or c. didn't have enough of an implication flowed/understood to draw lines to other flows for you.
- I'll yell "clear" or "slow" once but that means I already missed something. Honestly though, it's not uncommon for me to be so preoccupied with trying to keep up that I forget to call clear or slow.
- A 28.5 or above means I think you're good enough to clear. I generally won't give below a 27; lower means I think you did something offensive, although depending on my general level of annoyance, it's possible I'll go under if the round is so bad it makes me want to go home.
- I award speaks based on quality of argumentation and strategic decision-making.
- I won't disclose speaks so don't bother asking.
- I give out approximately one 30 a season, so it's probably not going to be you. If you're looking for a speaks fairy, pref someone else. Here are a few ways to get high speaks in front of me, however:
- I routinely make mental predictions during prep time about what the optimal 2NR/2AR is. Give a different version of the speech than my prediction and convince me that my original projection was strategically inferior. Or, seamlessly execute on my prediction.
- Read a case-specific CP/Disad/PIC that I haven't seen before.
- Teach me something new that doesn't make me want to go home.
- Be kind to an opponent that you are more experienced then.
- If you have a speech impediment, please feel free to tell me. I debated with a lisp and am very sympathetic to debaters who have challenges with clarity. In this context, I will do my best to avoid awarding speaks on the basis of clarity.
- As a teacher and coach, I am committed to the value of debate as an educational activity. Please don't be rude, particularly if you're clearly better than your opponent. I won't hack against you if you go 5-off against someone you're substantively better than, but I don't have any objections to tanking your speaks if you intentionally exclude your opponent in this way.
Won't vote on 30 speaks theory
Say you want to play the speaks games
Then I will put into random number generator
3/4 chance of 30 speaks 1/4 chance of 25 speaks
I want to be on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: I coach mostly the K now - I read Policy and K in college
I was fairly flexible as a debater and ideologically flexible.
Arguments I like: Stock util aff, Spec affs, kant affs, Cap K, all phil, anything else ask b4 round
Arguments I don't like: soft-left aff, spikes, racism good, deleuze
I AM NOT VERY GOOD AT FLOWING I have severe dysgraphia and adhd - SEND ANALYTICS AND SLOW DOWN ON IMPORTANT ARGUMENTS. I will flow off the doc and backflow cuz its not your fault but regardless proceed with caution.
+.5 speaks if you send analytics
HOW you go about articulating your arguments is way more important than WHAT you chose to read. I could care less what you go for as long as it's explained and implicated well.
· WARRANT TO WARRANT COMPARISON WINS ROUNDS. If their DA says X and your link turn says Y, explain to me why I should prefer your link turn. Make clash explicit and do the work on the flow for yourself. Otherwise, be prepared to receive a decision with which you’re unhappy
· I’m willing to vote on anything, as long as it has a claim, warrant, and an impact. Just explain the argument to me and why it should be in my RFD. This means you need to be doing clear layering and weighing
· Tech > Truth
· Please pop tags and author names
· Your extensions need to have warrants—even in the 1AR/2AR. That being said, all it needs to be is an overview of the advantage—just tell me what the aff does, what it solves, and how it does so. The more a warrant in your aff is contested, the more thorough your extension of that part of the aff should be.
· This should go without saying, but….you need to win uniqueness for a link turn to be offense
If you want judge kick be explicit
- Please don't read the I don't like the can't say slur shell - replace with other truism if you want to go for no NR i meet.
· prob a bad judge for this - suck at flow
· Defaults (theory): drop the arg, competing interps, no RVIs. DTD on T is the default. These are all very soft defaults—PLEASE present actual paradigm issues
· If you blitz through blips I won’t catch everything, so slow down where it counts.
· The more you number/label, the easier it is to flow you
· PLEASE do weighing between theory standards. Tell me why ground outweighs limits or whatever other arguments are in play
· Please do clear framework weighing. Tell me why one framework justification matters more than another and so forth...if both sides have “my framework precludes”-type claims, tell me why yours matters more than your opponent’s!
· Phil can be very hard to flow—make it easy for me. Flashing analytic dumps would be cool, but if you don't want to do that, then please make sure you're being clear and are delineating one arg from the next
· I don't really like debate phil - I find it very unintuitive so overexplain
· I’ll probably have a basic understanding of whatever K you read, but I will not vote for you unless YOU explain your theory to me.
· Prefer tech, tricks and lbl to long overviews
· The most important thing for you to do is to explain the interaction between the K and the aff. Explain why it outweighs/turns the case/why the perm fails/why the K is a prior question
Impact turning K is good infront of me but I will not vote on ressentiment good - anything else goes
Vs K affs
T-framework 50-50 but good for any framework 2nr. Good for straight up framework to tactics/middleground
Cap K good - its what I mostly went for
Presumption/case turns also good
Impact turns good
KvK debates are probably won on the perm vs link debate - I think these debates become easier to resolve when affs/negs make an explicit framework argument about how I should evaluate this
Am convinced that humanism good is true
last updated: 11/28 for the longhorn classic
please add email@example.com to the chain
conflicts: Clear Lake MK, Downtown Magnets SS, Jordan KV, Jordan VS, Heritage WT, Liberal Arts and Science Academy AB, Liberal Arts and Science Academy AR, Liberal Arts and Science Academy RX, Liberal Arts and Science Academy OX, Oak Ridge AA, Rock Hill DG, The Woodlands SP, Unionville AS, William G. Enloe PD, William G. Enloe RN
Hi! I'm Ammu (they/them/thems), I'm a second year at Texas (competing). In the past summer, I taught at the UTNIF and TDC.
For full disclosure, I do have ADHD and (likely) the 'tism, so the way I think about debate arguments may be distinct or different from neurotypical people. However, I'm very amenable to my thoughts and my evaluative measures for debate surround relational and functional approaches (i.e: think interactions between arguments, winning offense/defense zeroing out, etc). I'm always learning and constantly shifting my thoughts about my debate, so use your round to teach me why your thoughts and takes on debate should win!
I'll vote up anything barring a few exceptions:
2] "Racism/sexism/[insert antagonism here] good"
3] Arguments without a warrant
I believe debate is a communication activity that has norms agreed upon from thousands and thousands of speeches and debates. Each debate constitutes a performance act that adheres to the speech times governing the activity.
At some levels, this activity is very insular and resistant to producing "spillover change", which in of itself can be a good thing. However, a lot of people's first exposure to sociality of change and activism is through this activity, which means the activity benefits from discussions of those topics from former debaters creating change, whether its adhering to the legal systems of the status quo or producing newfound communal resistance to institutions, I'm cool for any spin to your rhetoric.
My ballot does absolutely nothing but endorse the communicative aspect of your speeches to be more persuasive than the other team's rhetoric, and consequently, to vote up the "better debating". It does not signify material change, nor make any descriptive claims about the characters of anyone. You can make arguments for what better debating looks like, but I'll default to my own subjective understandings, if nothing else.
An argument requires a claim, warrant, and an impact. Asserting something as true without explaining why (or contextualization of why you can assert something as true) will be a hard sell in front of me.
Addendums for LD (11/22) -
1] given the nature of tech over winning arguments sufficently well, I tend to begin from the starting point that the aff should get more 'lee-way' in the debate. It is up to the negative to sufficently disprove the affirmative, whereas if there a sizable benefit to the affirmative, I'll find myself erring affirmative in the question of bad spin/bad evidence on the negative. I still find myself refining this process of evaluating debates given the nature of judging messy-ish debates from debaters who are in positions yet-to-be experienced. This happens a lot in K debates, where for example 2NRs will give me a buffet of words and sit on a link of omission and wonder why they lose when the 2AR wins that there is not a link to the actions of implementing the plan. I think this distinction however becomes murky on the question of planless constructions of affirmatives such as a phil AC that does not implement anything.
2] I am getting increasingly frustrated and jaded at most theory and trick arguments. I don't think these arguments hold much educational value nor are real arguments and this hasn't been disproven as of this season. You should consider me a strike for tricks and frivolous theory arguments without an IRA story. My litmus for determining if theory is frivolous is that the violation must occur in-round and must be pertaining to the way debate as an activity operates. Theory arguments made external (see: appearance, safety out of round as a theory interp, etc) to that will be considered warrantless. Theory with IRA is still fine for me to evaluate, read your paradigm issues, etc. For any safety concerns, I am more than happy to stop the round and proceed with either ruling a decision then and there/resolve using proper channels.
3] I'm uninterested in adjudicating 2NRs/2ARs on evidence ethics theory shells. If that's at the top of your 2NR/2AR, I'm automatically voting for the other side, no exceptions. Your best bet is to stop the round and begin a challenge -- malice and bad-faith intention must be proven in order to win the challenge.
4] IVIs must be made explicitly clear in the speech they are read in and must have warrants as to why they are DTD. Just saying "X is an independent voter" or "X is bad because [antagonism]" in 2 seconds without warranting is not a strategy you should go in front of me.
5] I usually can keep up in most phil debates, but I require a lot more judge instruction than most. I am perfectly capable to evaluate the Util v Kant, Kant v K matchups and you can pref me normally. For other interactions outside of those two philosophies should consider how much explanation their arguments need to win.
6] Here's where you should be preffing me for LD:
1 - Policy, K
3 - Theory
4 - Phil
Strike - Tricks
Data is tenable to critique and can be optional at times, but the other three are required for me to vote up anything. Data doesn't trump all, but given two equal positions, better argumentation/testing can be found with data that has clear and concise warrants. Data can be skewed, misrepresented, or have illogical bases. It is your job as a debater to make it clear why the methodology/epistemology of their data is bad.
I tend to give speaks based on if I think you can make it to elims/late-elims or not, the enjoyability of the round, pettiness, and execution of strategy.
1] Plan affs/DAs:
Nothing much to comment here. Run and gun with your favorite big stick impact affs/DAs and we'll be good vibes here. Winning good links to the affirmative/affirmative winning a net-benefit preferable to the squo is the way to go in these debates.
On the topic of PTX DAs...:
1] Political capital is a farce
2] The Rider DA and Horsetrading DA are the worst PTX DAs.
3] State governments probably don't have that much say in how climate change policy is being shaped in the next decade
4] Specific bills in the agenda in the senate/house usually have the best links to the DA in non-election years, second to the Elections DA in election years. (we will miss you thoroughly, USMCA Farm bill!)
5] I wouldn't be surprised if the 2024 election results in a Trump re-election. Personally don't think Biden re-election key warrants are going to be any more convincing that Vivek Ramaswamy taking away voting rights for anyone below the age of 25.
6] I also like UQ in these debates. Not all UQ evidence is the same, and some polls are just bad measurements of the direction of voters.
7] Courts DA are actually some of my favorite of the PTX-DA adjacent of the bunch. Hollow hope might be true.
8] Affirmatives should know the direction of their plans and its reception to voters to get ahead in these debates
1] Conditionality is awesome. Negative teams should probably get anywhere between 2-4 in Policy, 2-3 in LD, however I can be convinced other interpretations based on the abuse story.
2] Affirmative teams get ahead in these debates by having smart deficits from the 1AC and unique ways to approach the competition and/or permutation debate.
3] A counterplan probably needs both textual and functional competition to be mutually exclusive with the affirmative. If you're missing one, the permutation becomes a lot more feasible.
4] I think severance/intrinsic permutations against shifty PICs are awesome. But to each their own on how these debates play out.
5] Will not be judge kicking unless told. Probably convinced by 2ARs that explain the negative by the end of the debate should either defend the squo or one world.
6] perms are a test of competition between the squo and the CP, usually not an a new world advocacy, though it could be justifiable against alternatives
7] Nothing much else comes to mind. Boring process CPs are boring.
1] I judge this a lot. Fun stuff.
2] i've read lots of lit bases, here's the list if you care: Cap, Grove, Beller, Spivak, Psychoanalysis, Settler Colonialism, Security IR, Caste Studies, Munoz, Wilderson, etc. Most of these literature I have a pretty good understanding content wise, but I will probably need their debate application explained more to me.
3] Kritiks need links to the actions and assumptions made by the plan. I'm very receptive to affirmatives sitting on links are a link of omission if the 2NR sounds like you're reading the same O/V to the K every round. That being said, not everything is a link of omission.
4] 2NRs on the K either need to be FW/ROB+Link, or Link+Alt solves case.
5] Alts that do more than just rejecting are awesome, and contextual ones to the topic (or even the affirmative's impacts) are even better.
6] Cap K is one of the best Ks there is in the game. Read up on that fountain of knowledge, its amazing.
7] I find high schoolers can't explain Deleuze well in a debate sense and find myself frustrated evaluating these debates. Please take some time (about 5 minutes) before the round to look up what a google blog says about Deleuze and give me that explanation over making something up.
8] Negative teams need to stop letting aff teams get away with butchering the alternative with the explanation on the permutation. Clearly the aff and alt will have disagreements, make that clear and get ahead on that debate.
9] Reject alternatives/reps based Ks/Ks that 'do nothing' suck.
10] Cap K is one of the best K. Vertical organizing is gas. People's war is gas. A Cap K explained as an election pitch I would hear at a dem-soc rally sucks.
1] One of my favorite types of theory. Definitions matter, and so does their intent!
2] Don't split up terms of art to define words individually.
3] [LD] Pragmatics > Semantics. I still evaluate semantics since like not everything is just based on "the vibes" of how the statement is constructed and things like the adverb or upward entailment test in terms of plural sets and groups matter.
4] [LD] I think a lot of people underscore the importance of the semantics subset debate versus the plural 's' debate that occurs. While interesting, I find the justifications from the plural 's' side usually kind of bad.
5] Yes read your paradigm issues. I don't know how to make sense of DTA on T but I will not vote on an RVI on T. Your explanation of norm setting on T should be contextual to how debates on the topic should occur, not just about debate generally. I will know if you docbotted paradigm issues, and will have a lower threshold for the affirmative to win defense to the shell.
Yes this is awesome, planless affirmatives definitely need a good answer to either why the current model of debate is bad and should be rejected on face, or that there is an interpretation in the squo that debates under the topic should be in the direction that the affirmative thinks is a good idea/producing different debates.
2NRs on T should probably be one of the following:
1] Clash+Fairness - usually contextualized to the affirmative, where engaging with the affirmative not plausible because [predictability/ground/skew/limits] which is unfair because [contextualization]
a] I don't think the reading of critical literature constitutes some form of unfairness. I think affirmatives that do no attempt to engage with the topic and shift out of core neg ground need robust answers as to why the impact of the affirmative o/w things like procedural fairness. Negative teams should probably be making the "abuse story" in context of the topic and how debates under the topic would get produced.
2] TVA+SSD - there is an affirmative that is the 1AC and debatable under the topic, and the critiques made in the 1AC can be read on the negative to test other affirmatives under the topic.
3] Skills - where debating about the topic allows us to learn and use our new knowledge to "energize" movements/activism.
1] Theory needs an IRA story. I will ignore theory shells that do not.
2] Not really interested in evaluating 1AR/NC theory. I care more about the explanation of the abuse story than sitting on a paradigm issues. I won't straight out flat refuse to evaluate these, but you shouldn't overly worry on trying to get ahead on that specific part of the technical debate.
3] Weighing voters/impacts to the shell is your best bet in these debates.
4] Combo shells are a lot more better imo and usually allows anyone reading the shell to be ahead on these debates because people are not great at contextualizing standards in context to the abuse story.
Good to evaluate the Util v Kant matchup. Everything else should be done with caution since I'm fine understanding what the framework says, I need their debate applications and implications of things explained a lot more than other judges. Yes I do know the things about like phenomeonology, bindingness, etc - I just need phil debaters to explain their positions more and less on being super-technical in these debates.
8] Here is a brain dump of miscellaneous things:
- if you insert rehighlighting, at the end of the debate i will read that card as well as any others that are contextual to my understanding in relation to the argument in question
- if you're clipping and your opponent doesn't notice, i don't plan on intervening in context to wins and losses, but take some hints: i will probably say clear up to three times and you will see me holding my pen away from any flow paper. I think if you clip through a substantial amount of cards, i will straight up refuse to flow and you'll be very sad to wonder why I didn't evaluate.
- i think if you can't respond to an "anti-intellectual" argument (see: "5G radiowaves causing cancer"), then maybe you should lose?
- meta-weighing is fantastic in LD and will award you my praise and speaker point allotments if you do this
- neg teams should punish bad LD affirmatives with bad internal links to their impacts - I feel more than happy evaluating zeroing out offense for the aff if the evidence looks like it was taken from the 2000s era backfile and plastered together into a file like a scrapbook
- Spread as much as you'd like - but I am following along and will yell out clear
- blue highlighting => green highlighting > yellow highlighting > weird purple highlighting
- i like pettiness and competitive drive, make it entertaining and I will shower with speaks :<
- prep ends when you stop typing
+.2 speaks if you can figure out my favorite Lil Uzi Vert song (unreleased & released each)
GFC update (9/22):
please go slow and explain <3 these are my first rounds since last spring and I’m pretty unfamiliar with the topic specs right now so over explain in front of me!
jw patterson update (10/21):
Things I'm going to start dropping your speaks for - 1. counting down before your speeches 2. calling me judge/ms. curry(misgendering me)/any formality - please just call me Ausha(Aw-shuh) or don't refer to me lmao (asking "judge ready?" is okay)
^if you do this i'll know either a. you didn't read my paradigm (bad) or b. did read my paradigm and just aren't respecting it (also bad)
Hi! I'm Ausha
I'm a current sophomore at American University majoring in a mix of poli sci/econ, probably going to do some form of debate here too. In high school I did 2 years of policy and 2 years of LD, running stock and critical args in both. I finished top 50 at NSDA Nats in 2021 and was the WA state LD champion.
Put me on the email chain if you make one : ausha.L.firstname.lastname@example.org
tldr -- Run whatever you want to run. I'll listen. I'll vote where you tell me to, that's your job in the rebuttals.
Don't do/say anything racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamphobic, etc. It'll 100% result in an L20. If at any time during the debate you feel unsafe, feel free to email me and i'll end the round and deal with it accordingly
Policy/LARP - 1
Basic Ks - 1
T - 1
Uncommon Ks - 2
Phil - 3/4
Other Theory - 3/4
Tricks - strike
1. online - go maybe 80-90% max speed and definitely start a little bit slower in case the audio is shady. also plz locally record your speeches in case either of our internet cuts out !
2. disclosure - I won't vote on disclosure unless the violation is super egregious. i was literally the only circuit debater at my HS and i couldn't afford programs like debate drills, etc. so if you're in a similar boat i will def be empathetic towards you in these rounds. On the flip side if you're from a school that has a massive team and try to run the small school arg i won't buy it (interlake i am looking @ u)
3. tech > truth - please be super clear about signposting especially online. even if your opponent straight out concedes something, I still need extensions of a warrant and some weighing for me to vote on it
4. speed - speed is good, slow down on plan/cp texts, interps, etc. I'll yell clear or just ask for the doc post speech if I feel like I missed anything too significant (if it wasn't sent already). If your 1ar is entirely analytics please either slow down or send them in the doc
5. Ev ethics - if u suspect ur opponent is clipping cards, let me know after their most recent speech. it'll also require some sort of recording for proof. Yes stake the round on it, or you can run a theory violation on it and it'll be nicer for everyone
Argument Specific -
tricks - strike me. i won't go for any of the "neg doesn't get CPs" or "eval the debate after x speech". i think they're genuinely cheating, a bad model of debate, and incredibly exclusionary and i will die on that hill
t/theory - I love t, please run it. I spent a lot of my time in policy going for t in the 2nr so I'd say this is where I'm pretty comfy judging debates. I have a pretty high threshold for other theory, especially super friv theory like font size
LD specific: I didn't run a ton of grammatical stuff like Nebel in LD but if you run it well and explain the violation clearly, it's a pretty good shot I'll vote for it. i've come to the realization i don't particularly love theory 2ars if it's only introduced in the 1ar. I think it's made for some pretty shallow debates, but again, i will vote on it unhappily
Defaults: Competing interps, DTA, condo good, PICs good, yes RVIs (note: this doesn't mean i won't flip, you'll just have to debate it)
trad (LD) - will get through these rounds unhappily, but please spice it up a little bit. Make me not want to rip my ears off. Explain phil well, i've never ran one of these cases but i've won against them if that means anything to you. please do comparative work otherwise i will have no idea how to weigh. (Post GFC outrounds, please do not go top speed for kant I NEED you to slow down and explain how everything interacts with each other)
CPs - please make them competitive and have some sort of solvency evidence unless it's some a structural issue (ie taking an offensive word out of the plan text and replacing it). i use sufficiency framing for weighing the cp against the aff meaning you'll have to do more analysis than just "cp doesn't link to the net benefit" in the final rebuttal for me to vote on it. I think both internal and external net benefits are good.
DAs - I enjoy unique, nuanced das. I really like politics and i'll buy them pretty easily if there's a good link to the aff. Should have an overview in the final rebuttal and the block shouldn't be just reading new ev and not answering line by line.
ks - go for it! I like them if they're ran well but make sure you know that your own lit. I'm most familiar with generics (setcol, cap, security), Foucault, a little Edelman, and Baudrillard, any other high theory ones you should explain more though. open to pomo but never really ran it during high school and only hit it a couple times.
k affs - I like these, i ran more than a few. They don't have to be topical, but I think it's easier to win on t if they're in the direction of the topic. I mostly end up going for k v k against these affs but i also run fw in the 1nc, see the t section above if you have questions about that. tvas can be deadly so please blow it up if T/FW is your nr strat!
performance - never ran this, but always enjoyed watching these rounds. Tell me why the 1ac is important in the debate space and win T and it'll be a super easy aff ballot. negs be careful and please don't say anything offensive <3 but i feel like a different K or pik is always a better bet than fw against these
I think i tend to give relatively high speaks averaging between a 28-29. Things that'll boost your speaks: nice pics of aubrey plaza at the top of the speech doc, good organization, clear weighing, and strategic decisions
+.5 for flashing analytics
“Too long, didn’t read”:
- Start weighing as soon in the round as you can.
- Signposting (i.e., telling me where you are on the flow) is essential.
- Debate is comparative.
- Do not forget to also warrant in the back half of the debate.
2017-2019 LAMDL/ Bravo
2019- Present CSU Fullerton
Please add me to the email chain, email@example.com
-Disclose as soon as possible :)
- Don't be rude. Don't make the round deliberately confusing or inaccessible. Take time to articulate and explain your best arguments. If I can't make sense of the debate because of messy/ incomplete arguments, that's on you.
-Speed is fine but be loud AND clear. If I can’t understand you, I won’t flow your arguments. Don’t let speed trade-off with the quality of your argumentation. Above all, be persuasive.
-Sending evidence isn't prep, but don't take too long or I’ll resume the timer. (I’ll let you know before I do so).
Things to keep in mind
-Avoid using acronyms or topic-specific terminology without elaborating first.
-The quality of your arguments is more important than quantity of arguments. If your strategy relies on shallow, dropped arguments, I’ll be mildly annoyed.
-Extend your arguments, not authors. I will flow authors sometimes, but if you are referencing a specific card by name, I probably don’t remember what they said. Unless this specific author is being referenced a lot, you’re better off briefly reminding me than relying on me to guess what card you’re talking about.
-I don’t vote for dropped arguments because they’re dropped. I vote on dropped arguments when you make the effort to explain why the concession matters.
- I don’t really care what you read as long as you have good reasoning for reading it. (ie, you’re not spewing nonsense, your logic makes sense, and you’re not crossing ethical boundaries).
[AFFs] Win the likelihood of solvency + framing. You don't have to convince me you solve the entirety of your impact, but explain why the aff matters, how the aff is necessary to resolve an issue, and what impacts I should prioritize.
[Ks/K-affs] I like listening to kritiks. Not because I’ll instantly understand what you’re talking about, but I do like hearing things that are out of the box.
k on the neg: I love seeing teams go 1-off kritiks and go heavy on the substance for the link and framing arguments. I love seeing offense on case. Please impact your links and generate offense throughout the debate.
k on the aff: I like strategic k affs that make creative solvency arguments. Give me reasons to prefer your framing to evaluate your aff's impacts and solvency mechanism. The 2ar needs to be precise on why voting aff is good and overcomes any of the neg's offense.
[FW] Choose the right framework for the right aff. I am more persuaded by education & skills-based impacts. Justify the model of debate your interpretation advocates for and resolve major points of contestation. I really appreciate when teams introduce and go for the TVA. Talk about the external impacts of the model of debate you propose (impacts that happen outside of round).
[T/Theory] I have a higher threshold for voting on minor T/Theory violations when impacts are not contextualized. I could be persuaded to vote on a rebuttal FULLY committed to T/theory.
I am more persuaded by education and skills-based impacts as opposed to claims to procedural fairness. It’s not that I will never vote for procedural fairness, but I want you to contextualize what procedural fairness in debate would look like and why that’s a preferable world.
[CPs] CPs are cool as long as you have good mutual exclusivity evidence; otherwise, I am likely to be persuaded by a perm + net benefit arg. PICS are also cool if you have good answers to theory.
[DAs] I really like DAs. Opt for specific links. Do evidence comparison for me. Weigh your impacts and challenge the internal link story. Give your framing a net benefit.
I am more persuaded by impacts with good internal link evidence vs a long stretch big stick impact. Numbers are particularly persuasive here. Make me skeptical of your opponent’s impacts.
After a year of judging, I feel I am probably best at evaluating clash rounds than straight policy rounds, although I primarily judged the latter last year and enjoyed it. As a competitor, I was frequently on both sides of policy v kritik rounds and would be happy to judge these.
Good judge instruction feels like a lost art and will be rewarded handsomely. The best debaters make my job pretty simple by accurately pointing out the key issues in the round, why those issues are key, and explaining why they are ahead on those issues.
I care far more about your grasp of the arguments you choose to read than the actual content of the arguments. Please demonstrate a high understanding of strategy, regardless of what you read. I would prefer if you stay away from exceptionally bad theory arguments.
Disclosure is good, but I'm more convinced debaters should make a good effort to allow for engagement in round that meet an arbitrary threshold of disclosure (e.g. open source v full text, etc)
Even though these were not my favorite arguments, I have voted for a state bad link, a "trigger warnings" theory argument, and Kant takes out settler colonialism.
I enjoy hearing creative/"cheaty" counterplan rounds. Sillier impact turns (spark, CO2 ag) are more difficult to win if handled properly. IR-based impact turns are fair game.
I much prefer specific K links to some portion of the aff instead of state good links packaged as having some relation to the topic.
I am least interested in judging arguments that rely on your opponent missing a barely-warranted argument or are attacks towards your opponent's character or background. Debate is about argumentative flexibility, not individual people. Please clash and weigh.
Please do not be mean or say something offensive. I can tank speaks for the former and drop you for the latter.
Because argumentation is a game, technology trumps facts.
Speed: Please keep your conversation contained and talk at a normal pace. You should know that the quicker you run, the more likely I am to miss anything.
Any surrendered defence must be made within the speech itself, just after it was read.
Instead than merely saying "we agree to the delinks," a concession should imply how the defence interacts with your argument.
Provide trigger warnings; if another team does not feel comfortable with an argument, adjust it. I don't care whether you sit or stand, wear professional attire, or anything else. You are free to discuss the merits of trigger warnings for discourse and society, but you should not intentionally damage another person.
The defence isn't cohesive.
Tag-teaming speeches/CX and flex preparation are ok by me.
I'm going to assume a negative vote on policy items and a first place vote on "on balance" topics until shown otherwise in the round.
Be merry. Just do what you want.
Authors that frame their arguments in terms of a case study (like those who write on extinction or systemic violence) have my undivided attention.
As such, I shall have a lower bar for responding to the offensive overarching arguments included in the second reply.
I believe it's important to make a strong showing in the second rebuttal, but you may use whatever approach you choose there.
The odds of a conceded turn are always one hundred percent.
There's a catch with the twists and turns. If you extend a link turn on their case, as my buddy Caden Day and I both feel you should, you should also make the delineation of what the effect of that turn is, otherwise I don't understand what the goal of the turn is.
It would be much easier for me to follow the argument if you listed case offences and turns in order of author. Don't state "extend our link" if you want your argument to be upvotable: "Expand our jones evidence which suggests that extensions like this are beneficial since they are simpler to follow." I want amplification of originality/connection/impact.
Do not finish your summary with a barrage of shaky, unreasonable statements; this includes arguments that have already been acknowledged.
The defence should be pushed back, but if you push it back in the last round, I'll be a little easier on your side. This is particularly true given that the non-native speakers have had two opportunities to address the issue. Nevertheless, it is not a fatal defence at this stage, and it will at least lessen their effect.
In the event that the weight is not present at this time, I shall not consider any further weighing from your side.
Defenses need to be made more expansive.
Simple repetition; emphasise originality; increase relevance and effect.
Don't imply meaning where none exists; It is not feasible to check to see if I misheard, and it wastes my time.
The cross is persuasive, but only if mentioned in public.
Notwithstanding my awareness of the problematic nature of evidence ethics, I will only request evidence if the other side requests it of me.
If your opponents are deliberately misrepresenting evidence, you should address the issue head-on in your argument.
A excellent analytic with a decent warrant, in my opinion, is superior than a fantastic empiric with no warrant. Put it to good use
You have one minute to provide the proof your opponents have demanded before your speaking points begin to be deducted.
The only exception is if the wifi is terrible or if you need to bypass a paywall.
For WSD I like clear argument engagement that includes thoughtful weighing and impact analysis. I prefer debates that have colonial and imperial powers recon with their history (if its germane to the topic). When it comes down to relevancy and impacts/harms, I prefer debates that show how their resolution (whether we're going for opp or prop) will benefit or improve black and brown communities, or the global south.
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'm not a good HI judge, please do not let me judge you in HI. I don't like the event and I do my best to avoid judging it. If that fails, I look for clean character transitions, distinct voices, and strong energy in the movements. Please don't be racist/homophobic in your humor.
INFO: I'm looking for a well research 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, with obvious exceptions being that we might literally not know something, because its still being researched (but that is a different we don't know than say, "and we don't know why people act this way :( ")
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 up 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.
First, and most importantly, I am a Black man. I competed in policy for three years in high school at Parkview Arts/Science Magnet High School; I did an additional year at the University of Kentucky. I am now on the coaching staff at Little Rock Central High School. I have a bachelor's and a master's in Communication Studies and a master's in Secondary Education. I said that not to sound pompous but so that you will understand that my lack of exposure to an argument will not preclude me from evaluating it; I know how to analyze argumentation. I have represented Arkansas at the Debate Topic Selection for the past few years (I authored the Middle East paper in 2018 and the Criminal Justice paper in 2019) and that has altered how I view both the topic process and debates, in a good way. I think this makes me a more informed, balanced judge. Summer '22 I chaired the Wording Committee for NFHS Policy Debate Topic Selection; do with this information what you want.
I find that many teams are rude and obnoxious in round and don’t see the need to treat their opponents with dignity. I find this mode of thinking offensive and disrespectful to the activity as a whole
I consider myself an open slate person but that doesn’t mean that you can pull the most obscure argument from your backfiles and run it in front of me. Debate is an intellectual game. Because of this I find it offensive when debaters run arguments just run them.
I don’t mind speed and consider myself an exceptional flower. That being said, I think that it helps us judges when debaters slow down on important things like plan/CP texts, perms, theory arguments, and anything else that will require me to get what you said verbatim. I flow on a computer so I need typing time. Your speed will always outpace my ability to type; please be conscious of this.
Intentionally saying anything remotely racist, ableist, transphobic, etc will get you an auto loss in front of me. If that means you need to strike me then do us both a favor and strike me. That being said, I’m sure most people would prefer to win straight up and not because a person was rhetorically problematic, in round.
Update for Online Debate
Asking "is anyone not ready" before an online speech an excise in futility; if someone's computer is glitching they have no way of telling you they aren’t ready. Wait for verbal/nonverbal confirmation that all individuals are ready before beginning your speech, please. If my camera is off, I am not ready for your speech. Online debate makes speed a problem for all of us. Anything above 75% of your top speed ensures I will miss something; govern yourselves accordingly.
Please make sure I can see your face/mouth when you are speaking if at all possible. I would really prefer that you kept your camera on. I understand how invasive of an ask this is. If you CANNOT for reasons (tech, personal reasons, etc.) I am completely ok with going on with the camera off. Debate is inherently an exclusive activity, if the camera on is a problem I would rather not even broach the issue.
I would strongly suggest recording your own speeches in case someone's internet cuts out. When this issue arises, a local recording is a life saver. Do not record other people's speeches without their consent; that is a quick way to earn a one-way trip to L town sponsored by my ballot.
Lastly, if the round is scheduled to start at 2, don’t show up to the room asking for my email at 1:58. Be in the room by tech time (it’s there for a reason) so that you can take care of everything in preparation for the round. 2 o’clock start time means the 1ac is being read at 2, not the email chain being set up at 2. Timeliness, or lack thereof, is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves. Too often debaters are too cavalier with time. Two things to keep in mind: 1) it shortens my decision time and 2) it’s a quick way to short yourself on speaks (I’m real get-off-my-lawn about this).
My previous paradigm had a thorough explanation of how I evaluate most arguments. For the sake of prefs and pre round prep I have decided to amend it. When I debated, I was mostly a T/CP/DA debater. That being said, I am open to just about any form of argumentation you want to make. If it is a high theory argument don’t take for granted that I understand most of the terminology your author(s) use.
I will prioritize my ballot around what the 2NR/2AR highlights as the key issues in the debate. I try to start with the last two speeches and work my way back through the debate evaluating the arguments that the debaters are making. I don’t have to personally agree with an argument to vote for it.
Yes I coach primarily K teams but I have voted for T/framework quite often; win the argument and you have won my ballot. Too often debaters read a lot of blocks and don’t do enough engaging in these kinds of debates. The “Role of the Ballot” needs to be explicit and there needs to be a discussion of how your ROB is accessible by both teams. If you want to skirt the issue of accessibility then you need to articulate why the impact(s) of the aff outweigh whatever arguments the neg is going for.
I am less and less persuaded by fairness arguments; I think fairness is more of an internal link to a more concrete impact (e.g., truth testing, argument refinement). Affs should be able to articulate what the role of the negative is under their model. If the aff is in the direction of the topic, I tend to give them some leeway in responding to a lot of the neg claims. Central to convincing me to vote for a non-resolutionally based affirmative is their ability to describe to me what the role of the negative would be under their model of debate. The aff should spend time on impact turning framework while simultaneously using their aff to short circuit some of the impact claims advanced by the neg.
When aff teams lose my ballot in these debates it’s often because they neglect to articulate why the claims they make in the 1ac implicate/inform the neg’s interp and impacts here. A lot of times they go for a poorly explained, barely extended impact turn without doing the necessary work of using the aff to implicate the neg’s standards.
When neg teams lose my ballot in these debates it’s often because they don’t engage the aff. Often times, I find myself having a low bar for presumption when the aff is poorly explained (both in speeches and CX) yet neg teams rarely use this to their advantage. A good framework-centered 2NR versus most k affs involves some type of engagement on case (solvency deficit, presumption, case turn, etc.) and your framework claims; I think too often the neg gives the aff full risk of their aff and solvency which gives them more weight on impact turns than they should have. If you don’t answer the aff AT ALL in the 2NR I will have a hard time voting for you; 2AR’s would be smart to point this out and leverage this on the impact debate.
If you want toread a kritik of debate,I have no problems with that. While, in a vacuum, I think debate is an intrinsic good, we too often forget we exist in a bubble. We must be introspective (as an activity) about the part(s) we like and the part(s) we don't like; if that starts with this prelim round or elim debate then so be it. As structured, debate is super exclusionary if we don't allow internal criticism, we risk extinction in such a fragile world.
If you don't read a "plan" then all the neg has to do is win a link to the resolution. For instance, if you read an aff that's 6 minutes of “whole rez” but you don't defend a specific action then the neg just needs to win a link based on the resolution OR your impact scenario(s). If you don't like it then write better affs that FORCE the neg to get more creative on the link debate.
If theory is your go-to strategy, on either side, please strike me. I am sick and tired debaters refusing to engage substance and only read frivolous theory arguments you barely understand. If you spend your time in the 1AR going for theory don’t you dare fix your lips to go for substance over theory and expect my ballot in the 2AR. LD, in its current state, is violent, racist, and upholds white supremacy; if you disagree do us both a favor and strike me (see above). Always expecting people to open source disclose is what is driving a lot of non-white people from the activity. I spend most of my time judging policy so an LD round that mimics a policy debate is what I would prefer to hear.
I’m sick of debaters not flowing then thinking they can ask what was read “before” CX starts. Once you start asking questions, THAT IS CX TIME. I have gotten to the point that I WILL DOCK YOUR SPEAKS if you do this; I keep an exceptional flow and you should as well. If you go over time, I will stop you and your opponent will not be required to answer questions. You are eating into decision time but not only that it shows a blatant lack of respect for the "rules" of activity. If this happens and you go for some kind of "fairness good" claim I'm not voting for it; enjoy your Hot L (shoutout to Chris Randall and Shunta Jordan). Lastly, most of these philosophers y’all love quoting were violently racist to minorities. If you want me (a black man) to pick you up while you defend a racist you be better be very compelling and leave no room for misunderstandings.
I came into this activity as a fierce competitor, at this juncture in my life I’m in it solely for the education of the debaters involved; I am less concerned with who I am judging and more concerned with the content of what I debate. I am an educator and a lover of learning things; what I say is how I view debate and not a roadmap to my ballot. Don’t manipulate what you are best at to fit into my paradigm of viewing debate. Do what you do best and I will do what I do best in evaluating the debate.
hi! i'm lily :) firstname.lastname@example.org
i'm a sophomore at binghamton and study math/philosophy.
i did hsld and college policy, and mostly read pomo and theory. that said, i have read almost every style of argument at some point, so read what you want and debate well.
i am sort of out of debate now so i have a lower threshold for speed/clarity than i did last year
i do not have the power to decide what arguments are valuable and which kind aren't. if you can't answer a bad argument, my ballot will likely be an indication that you cannot answer bad arguments.
tech>truth but arguments need warrants!!! not voting on under-explained arguments, even if it's an econ da i've heard a million times that wasn't explained in the 2nr
 i am tab on content/trigger warning theory BUT reserve the right to end a round or hack against you if you try gratuitously discuss a sensitive topic, regardless of whether you read a warning or not (mentioning violent events like suicide or assault is perfectly fine, describing them is not. gut check i'll generally use is seeing if a part of your speech was necessary for you to make your point). in other cases, content warnings function more as common courtesy and you should give them when appropriate, but i won't penalize you for not doing so (unless you lose to your opponent saying you should)
i have a lot of other thoughts on content warnings in debate and believe the current norms have made debate more unsafe on a larger scale, and tend to agree w mark kivimaki. i will omit them here but this is something i am happy to discuss
 do not delay rounds. don't be late (unless there's a legitimate reason, preround coaching/prepping is not), don't steal prep, don't give long orders (you're gonna have to signpost anyway), don't go overtime in speeches, etc. i have never lowered speaks for this before, but i will if you annoy me enough
 i encourage postrounding in the sense that i would rather stay a few minutes to clarify my decision to you, so that even if you leave still thinking i made the "wrong" decision, you at least understand where i'm coming from, and learn to adapt to me (+ i will probably take away a few things as well).
however there's a tipping point where postrounding becomes an emotional outlet or intimidation tactic. i consider myself pretty tab but even so there are differences in how i evaluate rounds w other tab judges, and after this tipping point is hit i will just tell you to adapt better or strike me and leave
i sympathize w how stressful debate can be and how emotional debaters can get when losing important rounds, but yelling at me or postrounding for 20+ min will not make me ask tab to change the decision. if you need to get some emotion out after the round and want to talk about my rfd later in the day or over email that's fine
 despite what i said at the top, i do think debate is ultimately an educational activity and is so in many different ways. because of this, i think it is important rounds remain safe & accessible (esp against novices! you can win against a novice while keeping the round welcoming)
i also think that making mistakes is inevitable and okay. i might point them out but please don't let the take-away be "i suck" and use them as a learning moment instead
there is one exception: i think that if you are reading critical identity studies, ESPECIALLY if they are focused on an identity that is not your own, you should be somewhat well-read. you don't need to be an expert (after all, you're here to learn) but if you can't answer basic cx questions correctly or blatantly misinterpert lit i might tank ur speaks
-Debated 4 years LD, graduating in 2013; qualified to TOC twice and reached Quarterfinals my senior year.
-Have coached for 10 years; am currently the Head Debate Coach at Lynbrook High School.
- My goal when judging is to be tab.
- That being said, I am way better at judging phil debates than policy debates.
- Start your last speech with an overview that tells me as directly as possible why you win. It shouldn't be prewritten. It should go something like: 'I'm winning X argument because Y, and it comes first because Z.'
- Please compare clashing arguments as soon as possible (i.e. in the NC/1AR). Weighing is more important to my ballot than extra cards.
- I like theory but NOT when it's extra ridiculous (i.e. shoe theory).
- Please don't read disclosure theory in front of me. When I competed, disclosure wasn't a thing yet. Nobody knew what the aff was going to be until the timer started. I think this was a way better model for debate because it forced competitors to actually think on their feet. Debate seems very robotic nowadays and I think a large part of that is because of the very uptight disclosure practices.
- The time it takes PF teams to share evidence is a massive problem in this activity. Please, please, please don't take too much time to share evidence -- this drastically increases the length of rounds and delays tournaments.
- I feel like PFers often assume a far greater familiarity with the topic, current events, and economic theory than I actually have. Please over-explain your arguments, and don't instantly assume I understand your responses.
Eric He -
Better than most for cp theory
Slightly neg on condo when equally debated
Kritiks are ok
Affs should probably be topical but will still vote for affs that do not have a plan text - I belive fairness is an impact
Wipeout and/or spark is :(
for LD -
really quickly - CP/DA or DA or CP+some net benefit = good, K = good, T/Condo = good, phil = eh, tricks = bad
I am a policy debater. That means I am ok with speed, and I much prefer progressive debate over traditional LD. Bad theory arguments are :( - that means stuff like no neg fiat
Offense defense risk analysis will be used
solvency is necessary
T is not a rvi
yes zero risk is a thing
please be clear
please do line by line
stop asking if i disclose speaks
also speed reading blocks at blazing speed will get you low speaker points, debating off your flow will get you good speaker points
if i have to decide another round on disclosure theory i will scream
EMAIL CHAIN: email@example.com
Please do not call me judge - Henderson - no Mr/Ms just Henderson. This is what I am most comfortable with.
Please share speech docs with me, your opponent in a timely manner. If it get long, your speaks drop. I've been saying for a couple years now that I cannot physical handle the top debaters speed any longer. I will not backflow or flow from doc. This is an oral activity so adjust. I am very expressive in round and you should have no issue discerning if I am with you or not. For me it is definitely that my pen times needs more time, so look periodically and you should be fine.
The older I get the more triggered I find I am when someone spreads unnecessarily. If you using speed to increase clash - awesome! If you are using it outspread your opponent then I am not your ideal judge. I can understand for the AC but I think a pre-round conversation with your opponent is both helpful and something as a community we should attempt to do at all time.
If you do not adjust or adapt accordingly I will give you the lowest speech possible. If this is a local, I am likely to vote against you - TOC/State - you will likely get the ballot but again lowest speaks possible.
I am an educator first. This means that I am concerned about the what happens in the debate more than I do about what the debate claims to achieve. This does not lessen my focus on argumentation, rather it is to say that I am sensitive to the issues that concern the debaters as individuals before I am my concern about various claimed link stories. Be honest, fair and considerate to each other. This manifests itself in my judging when I pay particular attention to the division of prep time. Debater who try to steal prep or are not considerate of their opponents prep will irritate me quickly (read: very bad speaks).
This is a common question given I tend to be critical on points. Basically, If you deserve to break then you should be getting no less than a 28.5. Speaker points are about speaking up to the point that I can understand your spread/read. Do not docbot. If you do not intonate you are not debating you are reading and that is just frustrating to me. Beyond that there are mostly about argumentation. Argumentation includes strategy, crystallization, and structuring of speeches. If you have a creative strat you will do well. If you are reading generics you will do less well. If you tell a full story on the implication of your strat you will do well. If I have to read cards to figure out what you are advocating you will not. If you collapse well and convene the method and meaning of your approach you will do well. If you go for everything (neg) or a small trick you will not. Finally, if you ask specific questions about how I might feel about your strat you will do well. If you ask, "What's your paradigm?" because you did not take the time to look you will not. Previously, I had a no speaker point disclosure rule. I have changed. So ask, if you care to talk about why; not if you do not want to discuss the reasoning, but only want the number.
I truly like a good theory debate. I went for T often as a debater and typically ran quasi topical cases so that I could engage in theory debates. This being said, what you read should be related to the topic. If the words of the topic do not occur in what you read you are in an uphill battle, unless you have a true justification as to why. I am very persuaded that we should learn about certain topics outside of the debate topic, but that just means you should create a forum or propose a topic to the NSDA, or create a book club. Typical theory questions: Reasonability is defense, competing interps are offense. Some spec is generally encouraged to increase clash and more nuance, too much should be debated. Disclosure theory is not very persuasive too me, unless debated very well and should only be used after you sought to have an actual conversation with your opponent prior to the debate. I am very persuaded by contact info at national tournaments - put up contact info and any accomodations you need - it makes for a safer space.
A kritik is a disad with a counterplan, typically to me. This means I should understand the link, the impact and the alternative as much as I would if you read a disad and counterplan. I vote against kritik most often because I have no idea what the alt does. This happens when the aff fails to engage and you think that you now just need to extend tags on the alt and assume that is enough. I need a clear picture of the link and the alt most importantly regardless of how much the aff has engaged or not. Gut check is a real thing. If your kritik is death good you are working uphill. If you are reading "high theory" know that I have not read the literature, but I will do my best. In the 1890s, when I debated, I was really into Cap and Gender based positions. My debaters like Deleuze and Cap (probably my influence, if I possession such).
If you are trying to convince me that what you are doing matters and can change people in some way I really need to know how. If your claim is simply that this method is more approachable, well that is generally not true to me and given there is only audiences beyond me in elim.s you are really working up hill. Access trumps all! If you do not make the method clear you are not doing well. If your method somehow interrogates something, what does it interrogate? how does that change things for us and why is that meaningful? And most important you should be initiating this interrogation in round. Tell me that people outside the debate space should do this is not an interrogation. That is just a plan with a specific mechanism. Pre-fiat claims are fine, but again I need to understand the implication. Telling me that I read gender discrimination arguments and thus that is a pre-fiat voter is not only not persuasive it is not an argument at all. Please know that I truly love a good method debate, I do not enjoy people who present methods that are not explicit and full of nothing but buzzwords.
Arguments should be competitive otherwise they are just FYI. This means kritikal argument should likely be doing more than simply reading a topic link and moving on. All forms are perms are testable - I do not default to a view on severance/intrinsic - it's all debatable. I do default on perms do a test of competition. If you want to advocate the perm this should be clear from the get. A perm should have a text, and a net benefit in the opening delivery otherwise it is a warrantless argument.
In policy, (LD its all debatable) a few layers are fine - 4+ you are testing the limits and a persuasive condo bad argument is something I would listen to for sure. What I am absolute about is the default. All advocacy are unconditional unless you state in your speech otherwise. No this is not a CX question. You should be saying, I present the following conditional CP or the like, explicitly. Not doing this and then attempting to kick it means an advocacy shift and is thus debatable on theory.
I was a policy debater, so disads and counterplans are perfectly acceptable and generally denote good strat (read: better speaks). This does not means a solid NC is not just as acceptable, but an NC that you read every debate for every case that does not offer real clash or nuance will make me want to take a nap. PIC are debatable, but I default to say they are acceptable. Utopian fiat is generally not without a clear method story. Politics disad seem mostly silly in LD without an explicit agent announcement by the AC. If you do not read a perm against a counterplan I will be very confused (read: bad speaks). If you do not read uniqueness then your link turns are just defense.
I really enjoy good framework debate, but I really despise bad framework debate. If you know what a normative ethic is and how to explain it and how to explain your philosophical basis, awesome. If that is uncomfortable language default to larp. Please, avoid cliche descriptors. I like good framework debate but I am not as versed on every philosophy that you might be and there is inevitable coded language within those scholarship fields that might be unfamiliar to me. Most importantly, if you are into phil debating do it well. Bad phil debates are painful to me (read: bad speaks). Finally, a traditional framework should have a value (something awesome) and a value criteria/standard (something to weigh or test the achievement of the value). Values do not have much function, whereas standards/criterion have a significant function and place. These should be far more than a single word or phrase that come with justification.
I have very frustrated feeling about PF as a form of debate. Thus, I see my judging position as one of two things.
If this is a debate event then I will evaluate the requirements of clash and the burden of rejoinder. Arguments must have a claim and warrant as a minimum, otherwise it is just an assertion and equal to any other assertion. If it is an argument then evidence based proof where evidence is read from a qualified sources is ideal. Unqualified but published evidence would follow and a summary of someone's words without reading from them would be equal to you saying it. When any of these presentation of arguments fails to have a warrant in the final focus it would again be an assertion and equal to all other assertions.
If neither debate team adheres to any discernible standard of argumentation then I will evaluate the round as a speaking event similar to extemp. The content of what you say is important in the sense that it should be on face logical and follow basic rules of logic, but equally your poise, vocal variation and rhetorical skills will be considered. To be clear, sharing doc.s would allow me to obviously discern your approach. Beyond this clear discernible moment I will do my best to continue to consider the round in my manners until I reach the point where I realize that both teams are assume that their claims, summaries etc... are equally important as any substantiated evidence read. The team that distinguishes that they are taking one approach and the opponent is not is always best. I will always to default to evaluate the round as debate in these situation as that is were I have the capacity to be a better critic and could provide the best educational feedback.
If you adhering to a debate model as described above these are other notes of clarity.
I’m very resistant to theory debates in Public Forum. However, if you can prove in round abuse and you feel that going for a procedural position is your best path to the ballot I will flow it. Contrary to my paradigm for LD, I default to reasonability in PF.
I think the function of framework is to determine what sort of arguments take precedence when deciding the round. To be clear, a team won’t win the debate exclusively by winning framework, but they can pick up by winning framework and winning a piece of offense that has the best link to the established framework. Absent framework from either side, I default utilitarianism.
Finally Word for All
I am sure this is filled with error, as I am. I am sure this leaves more questions than answers, life has. I will do my best, as like you I care.
Hi I'm David. I debated for Strake Jesuit for 4 years now I'm at Princeton. I qualed to TOC junior and senior year and broke my junior year. I primarily read K's and Theory/tricky stuff so that's prolly what ill enjoy the most.
Alright I'm gonna list the things I don't like to judge (not to say i can't judge, just something I recommend you steer clear from)
- dense tricks with terrible formatting
- being rude to your opponent
- really not a fan of evidence ethics I just don't think it deserves someone losing a round. If there is a violation made, I will reference the tournament rules and strictly abide by them.
- if you steal prep I won't say anything ill just give you a 27.
Some things I do love judging
- great LARP debates (just not too fast)
- good k debates (not too dense)
- fantastic and innovative strategies like blending a counterplan with kritikal framing!!!
- nice theory debates that arent just reading off a doc
Generally going to average 28.5 speaks but if your clear/strategic/not a doc bot, you could get well above a 29.5
get a coach to message me if you have any questions or concerns I'm happy to help!
quick note: if the 2n is completely on theory, the 2ar must still extend case.
EXPERIENCE: I'm the head coach at Harrison High School in New York; I was an assistant coach at Lexington from 1998-2004 (I debated there from 1994-1998), at Sacred Heart from 2004-2008, and at Scarsdale from 2007-2008. I'm not presently affiliated with these programs or their students. I am also the Curriculum Director for NSD's Philadelphia LD institute.
Please just call me Hertzig.
Please include me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
QUICK NOTE: I would really like it if we could collectively try to be more accommodating in this activity. If your opponent has specific formatting requests, please try to meet those (but also, please don't use this as an opportunity to read frivolous theory if someone forgets to do a tiny part of what you asked). I know that I hear a lot of complaints about "Harrison formatting." Please know that I request that my own debaters format in a particular way because I have difficulty reading typical circuit formatting when I'm trying to edit cards. You don't need to change the formatting of your own docs if I'm judging you - I'm just including this to make people aware that my formatting preferences are an accessibility issue. Let's try to respect one another's needs and make this a more inclusive space. :)
CLARITY in both delivery and substance is the most important thing for me. If you're clearer than your opponent, I'll probably vote for you.
Ks (not high theory ones) & performance - 1 (just explain why you're non-T if you are)
Trad debate - 1
T, LARP, or phil - 2-3 (don't love wild extinction scenarios or incomprehensible phil)
High theory Ks - 4
Theory - 4 (see below)
Tricks - strike
*I will never vote on "evaluate the round after ____ [X speech]" (unless it's to vote against the person who read it; you aren't telling me to vote for you, just to evaluate the round at that point!).
If, after the round, I don't feel that I can articulate what you wanted me to vote for, I'm probably not going to vote for it.
I will say "slow" and/or "clear," but if I have to call out those words more than twice in a speech, your speaks are going to suffer. I'm fine with debaters slowing or clearing their opponents if necessary.
I don't view theory the way I view other arguments on the flow. I will usually not vote for theory that's clearly unnecessary/frivolous, even if you're winning the line-by-line on it. I will vote for theory that is actually justified (as in, you can show that you couldn't have engaged without it).
I need to hear the claim, warrant, and impact in an extension. Don't just extend names and claims.
For in-person debate: I would prefer that you stand when speaking if you're physically able to (but if you aren't/have a reason you don't want to, I won't hold it against you).
Link to a standard, burden, or clear role of the ballot. Signpost. Give me voting issues or a decision calculus of some kind. WEIGH. And be nice.
To research more stuff about life career coaching then visit Life coach.
Give me music recommendations and I'll give you +.1 speaker points.
Intro / About Me:
Shout out to Westside High and UH - I wouldn't be anywhere without you. <3
Don't be discriminatory. I'm warning you now if you have to ask, "Is this problematic? Don't read it - there are better strategies out there.
Also Important: If you read spreading bad in front of me, I will not hack for you. I can spread and I can flow, but I am disabled and these skills were harder for me to develop than most. Many debaters see this as an opportunity for a persuasive 2ar and 2nr push, don't let this be you. I consider this motivated and ableist.
You're either winning an argument on the flow or you're not. Trivializing my struggles or the struggles of any judge for the ballot is an easy way to get me to despise you.
Debate is a game, but it is an academic game. Tech over truth, but truth constrains tech. You'll have a harder time convincing me global warming is fake than convincing me warming will destroy the planet. If two debaters are equal on a particular flow, truth is the obvious tie breaker.
I will try to intervene as little as possible - I'm old school in that you need to explain things to me like I'm 5 for me to grant you the arguments you want to go for.
I have been in this space for too long. I have zero clue how some old heads have been here for 20+ years. As such, it's becoming much harder to tolerate cringe, posturing, flexing, and generally being an obnoxious debater stereotype. While I will not punish you for it, it will still make me cringe. Be nice to people, there's a difference between being confident and being mean.
I vibe check speaks, I don't know what a 30 looks like, but I can feel it. But that doesn't mean that speaks are arbitrary because my flow checks my vibes. I default to a 28.5 and go higher or lower based on your strategic decisions.
Online debate and its consequences have been a disaster for the debate community. Disclose quickly, don't steal prep. I am growing tired of people that can't manage their files and make a 45-minute round an hour long.
Post UT update: Post rounding is cool and checks against dumb decisions, I frequently make bad decisions and I encourage you ask questions, but do it nicely.
Now for the gross stuff
I love the K. I've read many lit bases.
Know your lit, theorize, and don't neglect the material implications of your literature.
I think generic links are fine, but specific links are always better. Saying that a K link is generic and so I should gut check it is never sufficient - you need to explain why a generic link doesn't apply to your aff.
Don't drop your alt unless you're winning a framework push because dropping the alt means that I have to weigh the aff versus the status quo, and 9 out of 10, you will lose that debate.
I default to weighing the aff against the K or something to that effect. If you wan't me to exclude aff offense, you need to do some heavy work.
Fairness is not a good argument if a K team is winning that your model is problematic, justify policy making and then cry about fairness.
Substantive reasons for why they don't get the perm > Theoretical reasons for why they don't get the perm.
You must explain how the perm works for me and the net benefit. Saying "perm do both" - is okay but super weak and usually will not be enough to overcome disads to the perm.
Love kritikal affs, but TVAs usually pick up my ballot here. You need to explain your model of debate / method. You should have a strong relationship to the topic or at least explain why a relationship to the topic is bad or doesn't matter.
Define how your method of debate works, the benefits only your method can access, and why you can include their model / arguments, even if they can't argue for their perfect advocacy.
Generally speaking, it's okay if the topic excludes your specific author - you don't get the perfect aff sometimes, it is what it is. Debate is about controversies and every advocacy (mostly) will have side-constraints, disadvantages, or criticism from different schools of thought. You should embrace this.
Don't neglect case - if they're winning that their scholarship is good and key, it'll be much harder for you to win this flow.
Debatability is not the sole metric that I use to decide T debates. Real world application of literature is another side-constraint of an interpretation.
Sure, your interpretation might produce the most clash, but if there's no exportable topic education, what's the point of clash?
I'm very happy to vote on "Nobody in X field or expertise defines the words in the resolution in a specific way." I hate fake debate T interpretations with 0 real world application.
You need to weigh between standards and different implications of interpretations.
Also weigh definitions - but saying, "Our definition is from a reliable source, and yours isn't." is not an argument.
Competing Interps > Reasonability.
Deploy whatever arguments you need to win the round.
I love a good counterplan gimmick.
Pics are good. But my default can change.
Delay counterplans are not legit. Unless, the net benefit is fire and super specific.
Process counterplans are suspect, but I'm willing to vote on them.
Actor counterplans are fine.
You must justify judge kick - and say you're kicking something.
Use differential degrees or lense of sufficiency framing to explain how I should evaluate solvency deficits vs. the net benefit of the counterplan.
Weigh between different scenarios please.
Compare warrants and explain why yours are better, this is super neglected in policy and LD especially.
Explain how the PIC solves the aff. I will not give this to you just because you label something a pic.
No opinions on condo, dispo, or how many offs are too much. I will police this more in LD. I think 2 to 3 condo positions + squo is enough neg flex, but you're more than welcome to convince me otherwise. I really don't care.
There can be 0 risk of a DA - but it's very rare. You need to do stellar work here for me to say there's no risk to the DA.
I don't like these debates in LD - they're way overused.
In policy, theory debates are fine.
Reasonabilty > Competing Interps
Yes, 1AR theory.
DTA > DTD, unless DTA is impossible.
I used to discriminate against these arguments, but there's no reason why these arguments are any less legit than the K, a DA, or T. I'm just not qualified to be your judge - read at your own risk.
Debated policy in high school and parli at Columbia University
judging for over 4 years
IHSA 2022 Update:
Debate Philosophy: Generally, I default to voting for the team that has done the better debating, in terms of proving the merit of the arguments they make against some comparative (opponent's arguments, status quo, resolution, etc.). Offense is good, and I normally vote for the team that has more offense.
UK Digital Speech & Debate #2 Edit:
What debaters should do more of: give roadmaps, sign post, slow down on taglines, do impact calculus/weigh, do line-by-line analyses, compare evidence, collapse on key args in final rebuttal speeches, and say why you are winning/get the ballot (write my ballot for me)
What debaters should avoid doing: spreading through overviews and theory shells (if need to spread please send out a doc), saying they have proved something to be true, bringing up that something was dropped/conceded without explaining why it matters or is a critically important to evaluating/framing the round, jumping all over the flow (please sign post so I can accurately flow/ keep track of your arguments), and sending out speech docs that can't be downloaded or copied from. ALSO please no postrounding and no sending me emails before a round is scheduled to occur nor after a round has occurred, as judges are not allowed to have contact with debaters except during a round.
Kritiks I like to hear: Afropess/antiblackness, cap, set col, afrofuturism
hi, i'm graham. i competed at vestavia hills for two years, acquiring two bids and qualifying to the toc my senior year. i go to stanford now, and i know that it is college apps season, so if you have any questions / do not know where to start / need help (to an extent) feel free to reach out below!
add me on the chain- email@example.com
tldr: read anything. the pref chain is just indicative of what i read as a debater/how comfortable i am with each style. argumentative dogmatism is bad! i also heavily align ideologically to my former coach sira ahuja, whom i will quote multiple times in this paradigm.
k - 1
policy - 1/2
theory - 2/3
tricks - 2/3
normative phil - 4/5
i do have very slight hearing issues so i will sometimes corroborate my flow with the doc. however, that also means that you should slow down and clear off the doc (which you should have been doing anyways). if i don't catch something, i'll be upfront about it if applicable.
- i like to read evidence (especially in policy rounds) - if you read good, warranted evidence and follow it up with contextual, explanatory analysis that makes it to where i have to do less reading, your speaks will be rewarded tremendously.
- lean neg on process and condo and some actor, lean aff on multi-actor, international, etc.
- (in the context of policy) big fan of new 2nr evidence - but will limit it to 4-5 cards at max.
- with regards to t-framework, i actually really love framework debates. despite reading mainly k affs in high school, i have been on both sides of the debate many times and am as neutral as can be. that being said, k 1ars against framework with little-to-no clarity regarding the affirmatives model of debate/the role of the negative will lose in front of me.
- in terms of k literature, most familiar with ir k's (namely grove), baudrillard, set col, psychoanalysis, cap (mainly beller), and queerpess. i never encountered afropess as a debater, but i did read some of warren, wilderson, and gillespies' works.
- i love creative arguments regardless of which style of debate they're categorized as. things like clash royale theory, the 21 savage kritik, the rider disadvantage, and alien wipeout ( thanks anshul) are things i enjoy very much. creativity/interesting strategy will be rewarded with better speaks if executed well!!! (this does not mean spamming random 1ar shells and throwing every other flow.)
things i don't like / will refuse to evaluate:
- do not commit one of the isms
- reading an argument that violates a pre-stated accommodation.
- very high threshold for disclosure against novices and / or small school trad debaters (anything else is fair game tho, i just think disclosure against those who don't know how to disclose / know what it is should be taught out of round.)
if you do any of these things (except maybe disclosure), expect a 25
i'll disclose them if you ask. picture of a cute pet animal (must be yours or a relatives) in first doc will bump your speaks up .2 at max.
(I go by Sai + they/them)
Quarry Lane 19, NYU 22
(firstname.lastname@example.org) -- Pls use fileshare or add me to the email chain! And feel free to ask me questions before round about my paradigm or judging, but have some key random notes at the bottom and specific sections below!
I don't know how much this matters, but this is my 9th year in debate -- pls I'm so old. I debated for Quarry Lane in high school and then for NYU in college. I had 9 career TOC bids in high school LD, broke at the TOC, championed a college policy tournament, reached late elims of college tourneys, and I've coached LD debaters who reached late elims at the TOC and other bid tourneys. I've also judged like 300 rounds of LD and policy at bid tournaments since 2019, including bid rounds in both. I care about my role as an adjudicator and educator, and also think extensively about my paradigm when making decisions, meaning nothing will affect my decision that is not on here. :))
My approach to rounds has always been who do I need to do the least work for. That means you’re always better off with more judge instruction, clear weighing, impact comparison, and strong line by line as well as overview analysis. That’s obviously a lot (and LD rounds are short), so prioritize issues and collapse in later speeches. I am more than willing to vote on impact turns, independent voting issues, etc. — just make them clear, warrant them, and don’t leave me with a ton of questions at the end of the round. I default comparative worlds, but tech > truth. I think I probably have a relatively high threshold for warrants, which means quality > quantity. I don’t see myself really reading through evidence or revisiting your docs to find args — it’s your job to do that work for me.
I have become quite generous with speaks, but humor, creative args, or strong execution is the key! I'm more than willing to give out a 30 and have increasingly done so. Do you and make sure you signpost, warrant, and slow down on important things -- I appreciate passion, strong research and/or analysis, and well-crafted strategies! I also think a smart CX helps with ethos and also definitely will help bump your speaks -- many debates are also lost and won in CX ultimately.
If you slow down to an easily flowable speed and give a good speech, I will be far more likely to be persuaded to vote for you and give you a 30 (or 29.5+). I find that I am also most persuaded by debaters who close doors, slow down and impact things out, and avoid silly args. Go to the bottom for more speaks incentives and qualms of mine!
I don't care if you read K's, phil, policy, theory, etc. -- but I do care for warrants, weighing, and interesting args so have fun and do you -- I have a pretty good amount of experience with every style and form of debate in LD and policy, so feel free to read whatever you're most comfortable with. My only hardcore paradigmatic policies are that I will not enforce an argument about what a debater should wear because I feel uncomfortable doing that (shoes theory, clothing theory, etc. will earn you an auto-loss) or anything that is overtly violent, but you are also welcome to ask me or have your coaches ask me about my comfort evaluating certain strategies or arguments.
You do you and I'll do my best — I aim to be as tab as I can -- I appreciate judge instruction, clarity > speed, and clear framing -- but regardless, tech > truth and I will vote for whoever has the cleanest route to the ballot/whoever I have to do less work for.
You do NOT have to accommodate lay debaters -- if you want to spread, that's fine -- don't be mean though and don't be too evasive, but I don't think you have to stop reading your K or NC. And I am NOT afraid to drop you -- I have heard a lay debater win impact turns to a Baudrillard alt, so I will happily vote either way.
Please give me trigger/content warnings
Go to the bottom for stuff about speaks and some random shtuff I care about (also influences speaks tho)
For prefs -- I like to think I'm a good judge for you regardless of what you read, as long as you warrant and explain how I should evaluate arguments. I read everything during my career and have actually mostly judged non-K rounds (despite having mostly read them) -- I feel confident I'm a good judge for really any style of debate because I'll grant anything with a warrant -- the bigger the claim, the more established the warrant should be ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . So yes, I will grant your non-T aff and be interested, I will grant your paradoxes and be interested, I will grant your interps and be interested, and I will ALWAYS grant a well-researched and updated DA story -- read what you want, just don't bore me.
I don’t think there’s much of an issue here since this is my initial foundation, I defended plan aff's and DA's throughout my career, I was a west coast debater, I read policy strategies in college with my partner, coached a couple policy and LD kids who read topical plan aff's, and I love policy debate. Debate as you do and I doubt there’s gonna be a problem for me. I'm a sucker for weighing and warrant comparison.
However, these debates do end up getting quite messy, especially in LD. I am a sucker for strong link overviews with impact calc that's also comparative. I think collapsing, impact overviews, and framing analysis can help here.
Don't be afraid to defend a policy aff against k's or phil -- I don't mind voting aff on Zanotti 14, but I'd rather you have a coherent justification for the aff being a good idea and a developed link turn strategy. Compare between the aff and the alt. Do framework comparisons if there's an NC and don't pretend Bostrom is enough. Also, adding in an impact that applies to marginalized populations could really help in debates where you want to go for a DA against a K aff, which shouldn't be hard to find since shtuff like climate change, war, and poverty affect those groups the most and also first.
DA's and CP's are fine and I have no problem here. I really like specific links and very specific politics scenarios, from like specific bills in Congress to international relations (I love IR). I think 2 condo PIC's might be starting to push it, but that just means you should be ready to defend that you get them because I don't care as long as you answer any potential theory args.
I’m mostly familiar with Kantian ethics, and have experience with Epistemic Humility, Civic Republicanism, Virtue Ethics, Pragmatism, Particularism, Agonism, Butler, Levinas, Hobbes, Rawls, Locke, and other social contract theories. I've read and/or defended all of these, but never studied them in-depth academically and wouldn't call myself an expert -- I haven't had trouble judging them and actually enjoying hearing them, so just do your best and you should be fine. Also I love Kant LOL.
I actually grant a lot more credence to these arguments that I believe other judges do -- i.e., I don't think someone can ignore spikes or shy away from answering bindingness -- but I would need you to slow down and collapse a bit in later speeches. Again, you do you! I am happy to judge anything and love K's as much as I love Kant or paradoxes.
I find Phil vs. K interactions really interesting, but both sides could benefit from specific warranting when it comes to this rather than just winning your own framework or theory of power, but I am just as willing to vote on Kant as I am to vote on a K.
I am not very persuaded by author indicts of philosophers, but can be convinced if it is argued well -- BUT I have a higher threshold for this than a turn to the framework itself. For example, I won't vote on Kant is racist, unless someone proves that his theory is and does the work of proving the aff is as well, OR is able to prove to me why I should not evaluate any of the work that someone who is a racist philosopher/writer has done -- which is a valid argument to make, but again, it requires a LOT more work than simply saying it.
You can't just end it at Kant or Hobbes (or X author) is racist -- explain to me why that's a voting issue/reason to drop the debater/argument because I'm so far not convinced by the super old and recycled cards everyone keeps reading against aff's that don't actually even cite primary source philosophers. And if you're defending a framework against these objections, stand your ground and defend your aff without being repugnant -- impact turning racism is NEVER ok, but you can definitely win that your framework guides against structural violence even if the original author sucks.
HOWEVER, this is a different story if they actually read cards/cite the author you are calling out -- i.e., if someone read a Kant card and you read Kant is racist, I don't see a way for the affirmative to win a no link argument or prove why their reading of Kant is uniquely necessary -- at which point, the author is racist voter issue becomes very very persuasive to me (this is true regardless of whether it's a philosopher) -- however, this is pretty rare and it's 2023, so update your authors.
I default epistemic confidence, but am open to hearing epistemic modesty and/or other framing mechanisms for evaluating competing ethical theories -- but that's up to you to justify and win.
I don't mind if you read these -- read a fair share of them myself (good samaritan paradox, a priori's, k tricks, etc.) and went for them too, coached debaters who read them, and have judged many rounds that came down to tricks. Substantively justified ones are the best and I'll vote for you if you win it because I'm tab and will vote on tech, but you need to impact them out.
HOWEVER -- I think that you could gut check most tricks with racism to develop strong offensive answers and potential stories for why I should vote down models that reproduce white supremacy.
I think that topic-based presumption triggers/case turns, framework centered tricks, burden structures, K-based framing tricks, etc. -- are more of what I'm hip with and a good judge for.
I sometimes like them, sometimes hate them, and also think they're fun depending on how you go for them. Nonetheless, I am committed to being a tab judge and I will comfortably vote on tricks when they're impacted out and you explain the ballot story to me.
Go for it. I read everything from solvency advocate theory to disclosure to body politics, so I as long as it’s not actively violent (look at the bottom of my paradigm for more on that) and you're not being too frivolous -- it's fine with me -- the more frivolous it gets, the lower my threshold for responses gets ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
My defaults: competing interps, drop the debater, no RVI’s — this is just how I will evaluate the theory debate if you don't give me paradigm issues, but please do and I'm more than willing to vote on reasonability or grant an RVI if it's won.
Impact turns are not RVI's and I still haven't heard a single persuasive or compelling reason I shouldn't vote on an impact turn -- feel free to read your no impact turns dump, but I recommend just cleaning up the flow by answering them instead -- a lot of impact turns to both T and theory are just cross-apps of case or huge conflations of arguments -- point that out, make it a link, put offense on that too (i.e., when they rely on warrants in the aff and you're reading arguments on T/theory for why you couldn't engage those warrants, granting the impact turn doesn't make sense in this case and seems to supercharge the abuse story) -- however you deal with it, deal with it.
I read topicality against most k aff’s that I hit my senior year, both just defend the topic and framework itself, and I read spec bad against like every larp aff my last topic too. However, I have no biases here and can be persuaded to vote either way.
I have no issues with you going for 1-off T-FW against K aff’s and I’m more than willing to vote on it, but I do think there are ways to win my ballot easier. Having a clear TVA is always persuasive, but what I mean by this is not just like a literal plan text that mentions the identity group the aff talks about — take it further and explicitly explain to me why that TVA is a much better model for debate than the version of the aff that was the 1AC.
I think having either offense on the case page or doing clear interactions between the aff offense and the T flow is persuasive and useful when I write my ballot. I’d prefer you tell me a story in the 2NR and really sell your model of debate to me. In other words, it is not sufficient to win that debate is solely a competitive game for me, I want you to really explain the implications of that to me because that’s a pretty bold claim considering all that this activity has been for a ton of people.
When debating T — have a clear counter-interp and defend your model of debate. I am more than willing to vote on an impact turn and am down for all the drama of various T strategies. Regardless, have a strong and robust defense of whatever model you choose to defend. I have been on both sides of this issue and I love debating from both sides of the issue (to some extent -- some language y'all be using in both your topicality extensions and your topicality answers are very iffy), and I find these to be some of the best and worst rounds. However, I am here for it.
Quick side note on Nebel -- I have not read much into Nebel, but it's not very persuasive to me that I should determine the topic by conventional grammar rules in a language that has been so deeply tied to colonialism -- I don't think this means I will auto-vote on grammar/textuality is racist, but I can be very strongly persuaded to and I think negatives need to have a robust defense prepared against this -- as in, take it serious and engage the argument by explaining to me why Nebel is not racist/answering the aff arguments, but don't assume I will vote on fairness outweighs or semantics first in a scenario where you are losing on that argument. That being said, a simple spec bad shell with a limits standard gets the job done and is a very great strat in front of me.
Yes. This is what I’m most comfortable evaluating. However, I will hold you to really knowing your lit -- buzzwords need to make sense.
I’m most comfortable with identity based lit -- especially Critical Race Theory and Antiblackness, Queer Theory and Queer of Color Studies, South Asian/South Asian American Studies, Postcolonialism, and Performance Studies. I'm most familiar with antiblackness, queer theory, and necropolitics -- some of my fav authors: Tiffany Lethabo King, Alexander Weheliye, Jasbir Puar, Achilles Mbembe, José Esteban Muñoz, Marquis Bey, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. I'm also comfy with Foucault, Baudrillard, Derrida, Freud, Lacan, Deleuze, etc. -- all the pomo shtuff is fair game. I don't really think there's a K you'd read that I'd be completely unfamiliar with or uncomfortable with, but I also don't care what K it is and am happy to listen -- get creative. :))
Also, please be aware of your own privilege -- have a strong and robust defense of why you should be able to read the K, what your relationship is to the literature, and how I should evaluate the round given all that. This doesn't mean you need to run from reading the K -- just be able to answer these questions and defend your position.
Along those lines, since this has become a serious area of discussion on the LD debate circuit -- non-black people reading antiblackness is fine BUT you should be prepared to discuss what your role as a non-black person is, both in reading the K and in relation to antiblackness. I will vote on arguments for why non-black people shouldn't read antiblackness, but I am also chill voting the other way. I think y'all need to stop running from the challenge of answering the argument because the scholarship is great, but be prepared in case the argument is made.
Leverage the K against other flows and put offense on different layers — if you’re winning a case turn, implicate it both through the thesis of the K and independently.
Engage the thesis claims and answer the links in the 1AR.
Perms should probably have a text, but I'm open to the 2AR having leeway to explain them. But if you just yell "perm -- do the aff and graffiti the alt" -- I'm not gonna be very inclined to vote aff if I have no explanation of why that does anything. Have a relatively clear warrant and explanation of the perm that you can develop in the 2AR if you collapse to it.
Kicking the alt is fine — win the links and warrant presumption. I’m also fine with all your K tricks, but I’m not gonna stake the round on the 2AR dropping that fiat is illusory ABSENT some clear warranting and judge instruction with it, as well as some comparison between your claim and a 1AR/2AR arg about the value of simulating policymaking or whatnot.
Yes. These are my favorite aff’s and I find them super interesting. I read them for like 7 years, I've coached them for like 5 years, and I've debated/judged them for longer. I don’t care if you defend the topic or not, but be prepared to defend your aff and all the choices you made in it. I also did read topicality/framework against most non-T aff's I debated lol, so I am happy to vote either way, but I am definitely a good judge for these aff's.
From the moment that I realize the aff is performative and/or critical, I am watching very closely to see how you perform it, defend it, and frame it. I also physically am usually watching you and making eye contact because I know that part of your discussion is also about me and the fact that I am not a passive decision-maker. I know that can make some people uncomfy, so I apologize in advance and promise I'm not like staring at you with bug-eyes or anything, but just noticing the choices you make and the way the aff is presented. I appreciate the fact that you made a lot of intentional choices when writing and formulating the aff, so I am respecting your use of them, especially in CX as well.
Presumption is fine, but I’m probably not gonna be persuaded by the classic arg that the aff does not affect how I view the world, feel, etc. This is not to say that I will not vote on a ballot presumption argument if it is argued well and won, but don't expect me to bank the round on a 5 second shadow extension that lacks clear warrants or weighing. I prefer presumption arguments to be reasons for why the performance of the aff is inconsistent with the method or other parts of the 1AC somehow, lack of solvency, vagueness, etc., and make sure the turns are impacted out effectively and weighed against affirmative's.
Be creative. Have fun. Express yourself. The best kritikal and performative aff’s that I have seen are a result of how they are presented, written, and defended — I think these can be some of the best or some of the worst rounds, but the only thing I’ll hold you to is defending something clear, whether a method, advocacy statement, praxis, or whatnot. Just be clear and tell me how to evaluate the round, considering most of these aff’s ask for a shift in how to evaluate and view debate itself.
Do not read these in front of me just because it’s what I did. Also, feel free to ask me any questions — I’d be more than happy to help you figure out some aspects of how you wanna explore reading this and I know I definitely benefitted from judges who did that for me, so I got you. With that being said, here's some cool things I'd love to see.
Something I loved doing was impact turning presumption args — 1AR’s and 2AR’s that can effectively do this and collapse to it are dope and I’m here for it.
I think CX is a place to perform too -- I love performances that somehow extend beyond just the 1AC because they bring so much more of the drama of debate into question. However, I have also seen many people do this in ways that aren't very tasteful and end up either confusing me or triggering me. On the other hand, I've also found that these can be some of the most brutal and successful CX strategies when done well.
Regardless, don't feel shy about testing the waters in front of me, within reason. However, fire hazards are real and pls warn me about flashing lights (personal medical reason). In other words -- sure, go off, but don't get me (or yourself) in trouble or do anything hazardous/risky. Also, I don't think it's ok for you to infringe on someone else's literal ability to debate, in terms of doing anything to their flows or picking up their computer for whatever reason -- please don't. I won't be happy and coaches/schools won't be happy. Other than that, have fun! I like hearing creative arguments and fun stuff that makes me pay attention and wake up. :))
For Policy/CX Debate:
There's not a lot I think I really need to say -- I was a college policy debater at NYU and I went to RKS 2018 -- I judged a bid round/up to early elims at tourneys, coached some policy debaters in the past, and I'm pretty familiar with both policy and K lit -- I also read a ton of performative args from cardless aff's about throwing a party to queer bombs, tons of K's (queer theory, gender studies, critical race theory, indigenous studies, disability studies, and pomo), but also read a ton of straight up strats from a Bahrain aff to the classic politics DA + framework/T against almost every non-T aff -- I have been on both sides of most issues, but I don't really care about my opinions and I'm down with whatever you wanna read -- so you do you.
Most of the LD stuff should also be relevant if you want specifics (minus the phil and tricks stuff prolly).
My approach to rounds is typically to vote for the team that I need to do less work for to determine a ballot -- I need warrants for claims that you make and I think these warrants need to be defended in CX, explained in later speeches, and developed with contextualization and examples -- meaning, you need to make sure you warrant everything because I will feel uncomfortable voting for something I cannot adequately explain back to y'all without intervention. This kinda just means I wanna hear internal links and their warrants, and/or a strong overview defense of your impacts.
I think framing is important -- doesn't mean you have to win util or a ROTB, but just do weighing, impact comparison, and draw me a ballot story by telling me what matters most in the round.
Everything else is pretty straight forward -- tech > truth, judge instruction, and you do you.
Feel free to hit me up and ask me any questions if you have em on either FB or my email.
Pls read the TLDR right below this, but I am relatively experienced with debate, so I don't think you need to adapt much. I also went to Quarry Lane for high school till 2019 (QLS was very involved in PF so I'm no stranger to the event) and traveled with the PF debaters everywhere, but also did a bit of PF at smaller tourneys and judged it before. I am down to vote for anything, just don't be racist/homophobic/misogynistic, etc. I also read a lot of performance args and K's as a debater, so that's something I'm comfortable with -- BUT don't read it just to read it, I'm also very chill with policy-esque args and general topic area args + would rather hear what you're good at than a random K that you pulled up.
ALSO -- I have trouble following card names sometimes cause y'all do be paraphrasing and moving past things real quick, so please reference arguments rather than X author name so I can follow you -- I don't expect this to be a big issue, but if you're ramping up the speed and gonna give me one-liners as you move between cards, either send me the doc so I can follow OR reference impacts over last names.
I loved getting speaker awards, so just do you and I got you, but here's some incentives + random things LOL
- + speaks for everyone if you have the email chain set up before I walk into the room
- Clarity and enunciation > speed please
- --- if you are able to give a solid speech at a good speed where I can write/type out every word and feel very part of the process, I will be VERY happy
- Passion and ethos are dope — I don’t care what form this is in, but really sell whatever you read to me
- I average a 29+ and give higher speaks when you slow down, are very clear, or when you collapse really well
Some qualms of mine (these will affect speaks):
- Non-black folx who read anti-blackness specifically AGAINST black folx will prolly lose in front of me (I have not yet seen it happen), but I am likely to give you pretty low speaks either way -- however, non-black folx reading anti-blackness generally is fine.
- Please please please slow down on tags and give me something to differentiate between args (i.e., “and”)
- I will not vote on anything that polices what clothing other debaters are wearing — this is not negotiable sorry and yes, that means I will not vote on shoes theory or formal clothing theory — I don't feel comfortable deciding what children should wear
- If you are reading a card with more than one color highlighted in it, please remove the highlights of what you're not reading -- it really messes with me and I have issues processing that -- it's not a huge deal, but it will help me adjudicate better
- Evidence ethics is quite important to me -- just cite stuff and use EasyBib if you are unsure how -- that means I have very low tolerance for lack of citations (the minimum is the author name, name of the book/article, where it was published, and when), clipping, and more
- Pronouns are important — misgendering is not cool w me, so try your best — I recommend defaulting to “they” anyways
- Trigger and content warnings are important to me as an educator in the activity, but also as a participant in the round — if you’re going to be talking about sensitive topics, please give me (and everyone in the room) a heads up -- (this does not mean you don't get to read it tho -- you don't need my permission, just let us all prepare emotionally/mentally)
- Feel free to ask where someone stops or if they didn't read a certain arg in the doc, but I think y'all be losing a ton of ethos in front of me when I realize that you're not listening to each other's speeches and instead flowing robotically along with the doc because you ask if they didn't read arguments they DEFINITELY did. Although this is actually usually what the other debater is reading, I'd rather hear you ask tough questions while they fumble to send you the doc than sit here in silence watching. I also just think y'all can flow and catch where they skip things or that I should encourage you as an educator to learn to. Regardless, now that it's on my paradigm, I feel comfy dropping your speaks for unprepared CX's -- not that I'm tanking them, but please pay attention.
- Hmm, I'm starting to get skeptical of how y'all be using prep and time to send docs -- if I can tell that you're editing a doc after saying ur sending it and you stopped prep time, I am gonna start docking speaks, BUT also you should be sending the doc RIGHT after prep is over
Kyle Kopf (He/Him/His)
West Des Moines Valley High School ‘18 || University of Iowa '22 || Iowa Law '26
I want to be on the email chain (but I do my best to not flow off of it): email@example.com
Conflicts: Iowa City West High School, West Des Moines Valley High School
Bio: I coached Iowa City West LD for 5 years. I debated LD for Six Years. Received one bid my junior year and 3 my senior year.
I don't like long paradigms so I did my best to keep this as short as possible. My opinions on debate aren't what matters anymore. I try to be as tech as possible and not intervene.
I won’t automatically ignore any style of argument (Phil, Theory, K, policy, T, etc), I will only drop you for offensive arguments within that style (for example, using a policy AC to say racism is good). That being said, I am more familiar with certain styles of arguments, but that does not mean I will hack for them. Shortcut for my familiarity with styles:
Phil – 1
Theory/T – 1
K - 1
Policy - 2
Tricks - 3
-Please speak at like 70-80% of your top pace, I'll be much more likely to catch your arguments and therefore vote for you if you actually slow and don't rely on me shouting "slow" or "clear" a lot. Also, slow down extra on underviews, theory, and author names because I'm extra bad at flowing those.
-Please keep a local recording in case your speech cuts out to the point where I miss arguments. If you do not there is no way for me to recover what was missed.
-I find myself flowing off the doc more with online debate than I do normally
-If you think there are better norms for judging online I should consider, feel free to share before the round!
-I will always keep my camera on when debaters are speaking. Sometimes I turn my camera off during prep time. Feel free to ask me to turn my camera on if I forget.
Based on strategy, quality of discourse, fun, creativity etc. NOT based on speaking style. I will shout “clear” as needed without reducing speaks.
Don’t start speech at top speed, build up to it for like 10 seconds. Slow down significantly on author names and theory underviews.
IDENTITY AND SAFETY:
Firstly, I've stuttered for my entire life, including the 6 years I was in debate. Speech impediments will not impact speaks or my evaluation of the round whatsoever. I default shouting “clear” if needed (I always preferred being told to clear than losing because the judge didn’t understand me) so please tell me if you prefer otherwise.
Secondly, If there is anything else related to identity or anything else that might affect the round, please let me know if you feel comfortable doing so.
This is what I primarily read in high school. I’m familiar with K strategy, K tricks (floating PICs need to be in some way hinted at in the 1N), etc.
I read some theory although significantly less than Ks. Since I've started coaching I've become a lot more familiar with theory strategy. Assuming literally no argument is made either way, I default:
- No RVI
- Competing Interps
- Drop the debater on theory and T
- Text of interp
- Norms creation model
- “Converse of the interp/defending the violation” is sufficient
I started reading phil in high school and I coach a lot of phil now. I'm comfortable in these debates.
I'll vote on just about anything with a claim warrant and impact.
While I never debated policy arguments in high school, I've judged a lot of policy-style rounds and am much more comfortable with them now.
I think post-rounding is a good norm for debate to encourage good judging, prevent hacking, etc. Always feel free to post-round me. I'll be VERY strict about starting the next flight/round, allowing debaters to be on time, etc but feel free to find me or email me later (email at top).
*If you're kicking a CP or K, you need to explicitly say "kick the CP/K", not extending is not sufficient to kick
*All arguments must have some sort of warrant. The warrant doesn’t have to be good or true
*if an argument is new in the 2, I will disregard it even if it’s not pointed out. To clarify, you still should point it out in case I missed it.
What's up. I'm Lukas/Luka (either is fine, they/them). Yes, I do want to be on the email chain. Lukrau2002@gmail.com, but I prefer using the fileshare option on NSDA campus, or speechdrop. If you would like, I am happy to send you my flow after the round.
Important Warning: the longer the tournament goes the worse I become at judging. If I've judged like 10+ debates be prepared for short rfds and be clear so I don't misflow you and make things obvious so I dont do illogical things.
I will listen to any argument, (yes, including tricks, nebel T, intrinsic perms, extra T, K affs of any type, listing these as they are supposedly the most "controversial") in any event, against any opponent, with the exception of the obviously morally objectionable arguments (use common sense or ask), arguments attempting to change the number of winners/losers, and arguments attempting to take speaker points out of my hands. With those exceptions, my only dogma is that dogma is bad. If you are confident in your ability to beat your opponents on the flow, pref me high. If you have certain arguments you dogmatically hate and are terrible at debating against, it is probably in your best interests to pref me low, because I will almost certainly be willing to evaluate those arguments no matter how silly you find them.
I believe that paradigms should exclusively be used to list experience with arguments, and that judges should not have "preferences" in the sense of arguments they dont want to evaluate. We're very likely being paid to be here to adjudicate the debates the debaters want to have, so the fact that some judges see fit to refuse to evaluate the fruit of some debaters' labor because they personally didn't like the args when they debated is extremely frustrating and frankly disrespectful to the time and effort of the debaters in my opinion. So below is my experience and a quick pref guide, based not on preference, but on my background knowledge of the arguments.
Experience: HSLD debate, Archbishop Mitty, 2018-2021; TOC qual 2020, 3 career bids. VBI camp instructor - Summer of 2021, Summer of 2022, Summer of 2023. Private coaching - Fall 2021-2022 (no longer actively coaching). Happy to talk about math stuff, especially topology! My current favorite theorem is Brouwer's fixed point theorem.
Pref guide - based on experience as a debater and judge, not personal arg preference
1 - Weird/cheaty counterplans
1 - Policy Args
1 - Phil
2 - Ks (queer theory, cap)
2 - Tricks
2 - Theory
2 - Ks (other Ks, not high theory)
3 - Ks (high theory)
Again, I cannot stress enough that this is solely based on my knowledge of the lit bases, not my love for the arguments. I read and enjoyed judging many a deleuze aff as a debater and more recently judge. The amount of reading I did to read those affs was very minimal and I mostly just stole cards, so would I say I actually know the args very well? Probably not. Would I enjoy evaluating them? Absolutely.
Below are purely procedural things
Ev ethics note: I will evaluate ev ethics claims the way the accusing debater wants me to out of 2 options: 1] stake the round on the egregiousness of the ev ethics claim, if the violation meets my arbitrary brightline for egregiousness I will drop the debater with bad ev ethics, if not the accusing debater will lose 2] if you read it as a theory shell I will evaluate it as a theory shell. If you're unsure about my arbitrary brightline for staking the round, note that such ev ethics violation need to be reasonably egregious (to auto end the round, I would prefer to see malicious intent or effect, where the meaning of the evidence is changed) - whereas my brightline for voting on it as a theory shell is much lower, and given the truth of the shell you will likely win on the shell, regardless of effect or intent. This means if you have an edge case its better to debate out the theory because you'll probably win simply bc those theory shells are pretty true but I'm pretty adverse to auto dropping ppl so you might not if you stake. If it is obvious and egregious though feel free to stake the round I will definitely vote against egregious miscuttings.
CX is Binding. This means with respect to statuses, etc, your arguments must abide by the status you say in either the speech you read the argument, or the status you say the argument is in cross X. If you say an arg is uncondo in CX, but attempt to kick it in a later speech, & I remember you saying it was uncondo in CX, I will not kick the arg.
But I take this notion farther than just argument statuses. If your opponent asks you "what were your answers to X", you may choose to list as many arguments as you like. You may say "you should've flowed" and not answer, that's your prerogative. But if you DO choose to answer, you should either list every argument you read, or list some and explicitly say that there were other arguments. If your opponent asks something like "was that all," and you choose to say yes, even if I have other args on my flow I won't evaluate them because you explicitly told your opponent those were your only responses. DO NOT LIE/GASLIGHT IN CX, even by accident. Correct yourself before your opponent's prep ends if you've said something wrong. I will not drop you for lying but I WILL hold you to what you say in CX.
My personal beliefs can best be described via Trivialism: https://rest.neptune-prod.its.unimelb.edu.au/server/api/core/bitstreams/3e74aad4-3f61-5a49-b4e3-b20593c93983/content
i have recently shortened this paradigm cuz it was getting really ranty - if you would like to see my thoughts on specific arguments, feel free to look at my rant doc
I’m Eva (they/them) - please just call me Eva in round instead of judge. I did traditional LD (Canfield ‘18) in HS and have coached since graduating. I primarily coach traditional debate, but when I bring kids onto the circuit they typically go for theory and K heavy strats
- Affiliations: Hawken, VBI
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org put me on the chain but speechdrop is better :) i think docs are a good practice even for lay debaters
Sidenote: I judge every weekend in the season, but Ohio doesn’t use Tabroom so it doesn’t show up :( I've probably judged an additional 500+ local rounds
TL;DR FOR PREFS i have come to the conclusion that i actually care very little what you read and hold a minimal amount of dogma re: what arguments should be read and how they should be read. i am good for whatever barring anything offensive, obviously. i have judged & voted for basically everything - if you have good strategy and good judge instruction, i will be happy to be in the back of your round whether you're reading the most stock larp stuff ever or tricky phil or friv theory or a non-t aff, etc. read the rant doc if you're interested in my specific thoughts on specific types of arguments. basically, do whatever you want, seriously
i believe debate is a game and it's not my job to tell you how to play it; i will be happiest when you are debating the way you enjoy the most and are best at
i consider myself a fairly flexible judge and try not to be biased toward any particular style. however, in very close clash rounds, i may lean towards arguments i find to be simpler/easier to vote for or that i understand better. to be open about my biases, i will say that i find myself voting for theory, phil, and tricks more than ks and all the above more than policy
- round safety is very important to me, and if there is a genuine safety concern that is preventing you from engaging in the round, i would prefer it be round ending as opposed to a shell - if you are feeling unsafe in a round, please feel free to email or FB message me and I will intervene in the way you request.
pls give me a heads up if you're gonna read explicit discussions of self harm or suicide. you can still read them in front of me but i would like a warning as early as possible - email or messenger is the fastest way to reach me during tournaments
- DO NOT try to SHAKE MY HAND. on this subject, i am a huge germaphobe - i will be wearing a mask probably until the end of time, don't worry i'm not sick, i just don't want to get sick. if there are covid precautions or anything like that you want us to take in the round, please vocalize this and we will make that happen (open windows, masking, etc.)
Hi. I did LD at Westwood High School for four years. Put me on the email chain - email@example.com
Affiliations: Westwood ('19-'22), DebateDrills Club Team ('21-'22)
I've shortened this paradigm because it was very lengthy, but the full one from the 2021-2022 season can be found here.
UT 2023 Update: I have not judged in 9 months. I know nothing about the topic and nothing of the current debate meta. If you think there's a chance I don't know an acronym or I'm unfamiliar with a certain strategy, I strongly advise you to slow down for your sake.
1] I am comfortable judging policy-style debates and T/theory debates, though the worse the shell gets, the more unhappy I am. I am comfortable judging phil and kritik debates if they don't get too advanced for my brain (pomo, Baudrillard, existentialism, etc.). I am not comfortable judging tricks debates, and though I will still evaluate those debates, I have great distaste in that debate and my threshold for answering those arguments is much lower than other arguments.
2] I agree with Rodrigo Paramo on evidence ethics and trigger warnings. Detailed specifics for ev ethics is below as well.
3] I think tricks args operate on a sliding scale; I think some tricks are worse than others. For example, calc indicts are fine whereas "evaluate the debate after the 1AC" is horrendous. Likewise I also think indexicals and tacit ballot conditional are horrendous arguments for debate. If you're not sure whether an argument is too tricky to read in front of me, err on the side of caution, or just email me pre-round.
4] I believe in open-source disclosure. I think most disclosure arguments that go beyond this are bad (contact info, round reports, actual tournament name, etc.).
5] I give speaks based on how far I believe your performance would get you at the tournament I'm judging at. I tend to average around a 28.5. Yes I will disclose speaks if requested.
6] I require much more explanation for arguments than you think I do. Many 2AR's that I've judged go for a 3-second argument in the 1AR that I did not catch/have an understanding for, and many 2NR's that I've judged blitz through overviews of the theory of power/philosophical position that I cannot keep up with. Either slow down or be clearer in explanations.
7] Slow down please, especially in online debates. You will not be happy with my RFD if I don't catch something because you're blitzing too fast.
8] I am extremely visually expressive. I know it's hard during online debate to see my face when you're reading through a doc, but you should almost always be able to tell if I like something/find something confusing.
9] I don't know anything about this topic. Err towards overexplaining and try not to use too many acronyms.
I perceive the following to be cheating (or check Rodrigo's paradigm):
- Cards starting or ending in the middle of a paragraph, or leaving paragraphs out (yes this includes the "they continue" stuff
- Miscutting evidence
- Misrepresenting the date of evidence
I would much prefer debaters stake the round on evidence ethics claims. I will notice clipping without debaters pointing it out, though you should still do so to make it easier for me. If there is an evidence ethics violation, it will result in the offending debater getting an L 25. If there is not a violation, the accusing debater will get an L 25.
General guidelines for debating in front of me:
1) Introduce and go for a few deeply developed arguments rather than presenting a scattershot set of short/undeveloped arguments.
2) No "tricks."
3) I don't care for most theory arguments. I won't vote on RVIs.
4) I have a prima facie presumption against topicality if the affirmative can produce contextual evidence that their plan is topical. Given textual support for two competing interpretations, I find it ludicrous to think that a 1% risk of a limits disad justifies voting negative.
5) Conditionality is good and I generally view counterplans as opportunity cost disadvantages. Judge kick is a logical extension of this understanding.
6) With regard to "philosophy" debate, I generally view debate as a practice in applied ethics. Winning a normative framework that excludes all other moral considerations will be difficult. There is a place for ethics beyond utilitarianism, but to entirely deny the moral relevance of suffering and wellbeing is asinine.
7) I will read evidence after the round. Quality is relevant and informs technical debating.
Background- Debated policy for 6 years. LD/Policy judge over 6 years.
Spreading is fine, please be sure to slow down on the tagline and when quoting evidence so I can properly flow the arguments in the round. I also recommended that debaters share the files before each speech just in case I miss anything on flows during the speeches. I also do not recommended fully spreading in the rebuttal rounds.
I am very traditional when it comes to policy debate and my judging style is very straight forward. If you are Aff please convince me how the Aff solves for its impacts. Be very cautious to extend solvency and impacts throughout the round. I would also recommended an overview at the beginning of the second affirmative speech.
Neg team should be careful not to be abusive and run frivolous off case arguments only as a time advantage. When there is multiple off case arguments in a round, the neg needs to let me know what they want me to vote on. Make sure all off case arguments have the components needed to win, a dis ad needs a strong link and impact and a counter-plan needs to have a net benefit for me to vote on it.
I am open to non traditional Affs but are very hesitant to vote on them if they are not ran properly or explained in a way that I am able to understand. I think it is very important for the team to explain to me why running non traditional Aff is a better move than policy. Other than that I am open to all arguments and case types, as long as I have something to vote on at the end of the round. I really enjoy fun and creative K affs. I am very big on solvency and even though an Aff may not be policy it still needs to solve in some way.
Neg teams that run Ks need to do a good job at explaining the K, also if there is an alt , you must convince me how the world of the alt solves and there needs to be very clear explanation. In other words, the alt needs to make sense. I do not recommend running a K that you do not fully understand, it will likely cause you to lose the round.
I assign speech based on the clarity of the debaters in the round and the overall quality of the speeches from each debater. Debaters who are more convincing and strategic are more likely to get higher speaker points.
I sometimes doc speaker points if debaters are rude to each other in cross ex, there is nothing wrong with being aggressive or strategic in cross x but it needs to have a purpose. Let's have fun and be respectful.
Kritiks I like to hear: Afropess/antiblackness, settler colonialism, Security, Cap K, Anarchy
FYI-(Please do not send me emails outside or after a tournament, Judges are only allowed to have contact with debaters during a round.) it’s fine to ask questions after a round on clarification or how to improve but please don’t post round me, especially coaches! Please be respectful. Decisions are final and I’ve already submitted the ballot before giving feedback per tournament rules.
I come from a Policy Debate background. You can spread...or not, but if I can't flow it, I can't know it.
I probably won't be impressed with arguments that attempt to circumvent discussion on the actual resolution, so you may be better served scrapping your K affs (or negs) or topicality negs (unless, of course, you are responding to a K aff with a topicality neg). If you choose to run one or more highly philosophical and/or theoretical argument(s) and proceed to read cards that say things like: "Having one’s experiences obscured and rendered unintelligible due to herme-neutical injustice is an infringement upon the epistemic agency...," or "Particularly the Cartesian dualism between the extended physical world and the nonphysical world of thought was seen as the definitive completion of the pre-Socratic turn from mythos to logos, when myth finally became synonymous with the subjective and the irrational. From this point onward, myths could neither serve as cosmological narratives of the universe, nor as valid allegories of nature, for they were now fully associated with the inner realm of subjective experience and not with the outer realm of the objective physical world," you should know that I will NOT understand them. I am a highly educated former debater, but I cannot possibly digest any of this in the few minutes of time I get to do so. I, unlike you, do not have the benefit of being able to think through these types of arguments in advance of the round. Frankly, even if I did, I am quite certain I still would not understand them standing alone let alone in the context of the debate. In fairness to you, you should know that.
I think that debate on matters unrelated to the resolution fundamentally stifle fairness for several reasons. In the first instance, they impede a competitor's ability to adequately prepare by creating a universe where one side dictates the narrative of the debate, or, alternatively, the debate consists of two people talking past each other. This strategy creates a world where there is absolutely no point in even having a resolution. The rules tell me that the competitors are to debate a particular resolution, and the debater tells me I can't until we first talk about ageism or ableism or the relative value of dogs over cats or whether french fries are proof of a higher being (they are). Secondly, they heavily favor schools and students with copious economic resources who have the privilege and luxury of being able to expand their preparation into this infinite universe of argument. Let's level the playing field a bit better (maybe we should debate that instead?).
On that note, I value responsiveness to your opponent's arguments, and I love a good common-sense position. However, if you are going to rely on factual/empirical arguments, please make sure they are supported by evidence. Most importantly, I do not tolerate unsportsmanlike conduct. I was a litigator for many years and stared down many an adversary, but I was always respectful, polite, and kind. Since I am judge and jury in this debate, I will not be impressed by the debater that yells louder or whose tone is more indignant. Rather, the debater that makes the more compelling arguments will win the round.
Other things: I don't love pics or piks. If you run one anyway (which is completely fine) do not extend disads that your pic/k would equally trigger AND the pic/k into your rebuttal. If you give me contradictory arguments, I won't know which to vote on, and they will likely cancel each other out in my decision calculus.
If I cannot hear or understand what you are reading during the allotted time you are given, I will not consider it in my analysis of the round. Sharing your constructive should not be an end-run around time limits by emboldening you to speak so incoherently that the content is indiscernible based on your belief that I can simply read the case on my own.
Also, a note about tech troubles. I think the best debater should win and not the one who had a better WiFi connection (unless, of course, they are one and the same). I understand that technology is not infallible, and I will NOT punish you if your connection is lost or you cut out. I believe that an important tenet of fairness and sportsmanship is the right to be heard. That means that I will show you grace and patience if you have tech troubles. I will ask you to repeat things and add time as necessary.
Good luck everyone!
tldr do what you do best; i'll only vote for complete arguments that make sense; weighing & judge instruction tip the scales in your favor; disclosure is good; i care about argument engagement and i value flexibility; stay hydrated & be a good person.
policy coach @ damien: spring 2022 - present
ld coach @ loyola: fall 2023 - present
My strongest belief about argumentation is that argument engagement is good - I don't have a strong preference as to what styles of arguments teams read in front of me, but I'd prefer if both teams engaged with their opponents' arguments; I don't enjoy teams who avoid clash (regardless of the style of argument they are reading). I value ideological flexibility in judges and actively try not to be someone who will exclusively vote on only "policy" or only "k" arguments.
I am comfortable evaluating arguments that are commonplace in policy (cx) debate; less comfortable evaluating nonsense trick-blip-phil-paradox-skep-word-soup quirks of lincoln douglas. This means that any CX team that debates in a coherent and well-researched manner (whether policy or k) should be fine in front of me. LD teams that read real arguments should be fine in front of me. LD teams that read "eval after 1ar" should strike me before they strike a parent judge.
General note about reading my paradigm - most things are phrased in terms of policy debate structure & norms (2nr/2ar being 5 minutes, "team" instead of "debater," "planless aff" = "non-t k aff," etc). If I'm judging you in LD and you have questions about how something translates to LD, feel free to ask!
if you need to contact me directly about rfd questions, accessibility requests, or anything else, please email firstname.lastname@example.org (please don't email the teamail for these types of requests)!
flowing: it is good and teams should do it
stolen from alderete - if you show me a decent flow, you can get up to 1 extra speaker point. this can only help you - i won't deduct points for an atrocious flow. this is to encourage teams to actually flow. i recently witnessed a 2ac that answered a whole k that was not read in the 1nc. it nuked my value to life. this is my attempt at remedying it:)
All of my deal-breakers/hard and fast rules/moments of "I won't vote on this" are dependent on four things:
1 - protecting the safety of the participants in the round (no harrassment, no physical violence, etc).
2 - voting for things that meet the minimum standard to be considered an argument (it needs to have warrants & make some amount of logical sense).
3 - rules set forth by the tournament (speech times, one team wins and one team loses, I have to enter my own ballot, etc).
4 - i will only evaluate the debate after the end of the 2ar. this is 0% negotiable. i did not think i would have to say this, but i guess i do.
My voting record is roughly 50-50 on most major debate controversies (yes, even planless affs vs framework). As long as your argument doesn't violate the above four criteria, go for it!
I think that warrants are hard to come by in many debate rounds these days, even ones with “good” teams. Err on the side of a little too much explanation, because if your arg is warrantless, you will be ballotless. Extensions need to include warrants, not just taglines.
Independent voters need warrants and an articulation of why they should be evaluated before everything else. These debates could generally benefit from more judge instruction and weighing. Simply calling something an independent voter doesn’t mean I vote for you if you extend it.
Disclose or lose. Non-new affs should be on the wiki & should be disclosed to the neg team a minimum of 30 min before round. Neg offcase positions that have been read before should be on the wiki. Past 2nrs should be disclosed to the aff team a minimum of 30 min before round. New affs don't need to be disclosed pre-round. I am 1000000% done with teams that don't disclose. I have zero belief that there is any good reason for non-disclosure. If your opponent engages in any disclosure nonsense, read theory and there's a 95+% chance I vote for you, regardless of how good they are at the theory debate. Don't like disclosing? Pref someone who is willing to tolerate your nonsense (not me).
note: i am far more lenient on disclosure with novices/debaters who haven't debated at national-circuit tournaments before. the grumpiness of the above section is directed at people who know how to disclose and purposefully avoid it. you know who you are:)
Some general notes
Accessibility & content warnings: Email me if there is an accessibility request that I can help facilitate - I always want to do my part to make debates more accessible. I prefer not to judge debates that involve procedurals about accessibility and/or content warnings. I think it is more productive to have a pre-round discussion where both teams request any accommodation(s) necessary for them to engage in an equitable debate. I feel increasingly uncomfortable evaluating debates that come down to accessibility/cw procedurals, especially when the issue could have easily been resolved pre-round.
Speed/clarity – I will say clear up to two times per speech before just doing my best to flow you. I can handle a decent amount of speed. Going slower on analytics is a good idea. You should account for pen time/scroll time.
Online debate -- 1] please record your speeches, if there are tech issues, I'll listen to a recording of the speech, but not a re-do. 2] debate's still about communication - please watch for nonverbals, listen for people saying "clear," etc.
I am not comfortable evaluating out-of-round events. The only exception to this is disclosure. I will vote on reasonable and good faith disclosure theory (yeah you should probably disclose on opencaselist, no you probably shouldn't lose for forgetting one round report). I will not vote on arguments about random out-of-round events, things that happened in another round, things that happened on a team's pref sheet, or any other arguments of this nature.
Speaker points are dependent on strategy, execution, clarity, and overall engagement in the round and are scaled to adapt to the quality/difficulty/prestige of the tournament.
I try to give points as follows:
30: you're a strong contender to win the tournament & this round was genuinely impressive
29.5+: late elims, many moments of good decisionmaking & argumentative understanding, adapted well to in-round pivots
29+: you'll clear for sure, generally good strat & round vision, a few things could've been more refined
28.5+: likely to clear but not guaranteed, there are some key errors that you should fix
28+: even record, probably losing in the 3-2 round
27.5+: winning less than 50% of your rounds, key technical/strategic errors
27+: winning less than 50% of your rounds, multiple notable technical/strategic errors
26+: errors that indicated a fundamental lack of preparation for the rigor/style of this tournament
25-: you did something really bad/offensive/unsafe.
Extra speaks for flowing, being clear, kindness, adaptation, and good disclosure practices.
Minus speaks for discrimination of any sort, bad-faith disclosure practices, rudeness/unkindness, and attempts to avoid engagement/clash.
Opinions on Specific Positions (ctrl+f section):
I think that negatives that don't engage with the 1ac are putting themselves in a bad position. This is true for both K debates and policy debates.
Extensions should involve warrants, not just tagline extensions - I'm willing to give some amount of leeway for the 1ar/2ar extrapolating a warrant that wasn't the focal point of the 2ac, but I should be able to tell from your extensions what the scenario is, what the internal links are, and why you solve.
I've been on both sides of the planless aff debate, and my strongest opinion about planless affs is that you need to be able to explain what your aff does/why it's good.
I tend to dislike planless affs where the strategy is to make the aff seem like a word salad until after 2ac cx and then give the aff a bunch of new (and not super well-warranted) implications in the 1ar. I tend to be better for planless aff teams when they have a meaningful relationship to the topic, they are straight-up about what they do/don't defend, they use their aff strategically, engage with neg arguments, and make smart 1ar & 2ar decisions with good ballot analysis.
T/framework vs planless affs:
I'm roughly 50-50 in these debates. I don't have a strong preference for how framework teams engage in these debates other than that you should be respectful when discussing sensitive material.
I think that TVAs can be more helpful than teams realize. While having a TVA isn't always necessary, winning a TVA provides substantial defense on many of the aff's exclusion arguments.
I don't have a preference on whether your chosen 2nr is skills or fairness (or something else). I think that both options have strategic value based on the round you're in. Framework teams almost always get better points in front of me when they are able to contextualize their arguments to their opponents' strategy.
I also don't have a preference between the aff going for impact turns or going for a counterinterp. The strategic value of this is dependent on how topical/non-topical your aff is, in my opinion.
The less frivolous your theory argument, the better I am for it.
Please weigh! It's not nearly as intuitive to make a decision in theory debates - I can fill in the gaps for why extinction is more impactful than localized war more easily than I can fill in the gaps for why neg flex matters more/less than research burdens.
default to no rvis <3 medium uphill to change my mind on this one
Topicality (not framework):
I like T debates that have robust and contextualized definitions of the relevant words/phrases/entities in the resolution. Have a clear explanation of what your interpretation is/isn't; examples/caselists are your friend.
Grammar-based topicality arguments: I don't find most of the grammar arguments being made these days to be very intuitive. You should explain/warrant them more than you would in front of a judge who loves those arguments.
Tricks (this is mostly an LD thing):
I used to say that I would never vote on tricks. I've decided it's bad to exclude a style of argumentation just because I don't enjoy it. Here are some things to know if you're reading tricks in front of me:
1 - I won't flow off the doc (I never flow off the doc, but I won't be checking the doc to see if I missed any of your tricks/spikes)
2 - The argument has to have a warrant in the speech it is presented
3 - The reason I've been so opposed to voting on tricks in the past is that I've never heard a trick that met the minimum threshold to be considered an argument
I tend to like K teams that engage with the aff and have a clear analysis of what's wrong with the aff's model/framing/epistemology/etc. I tend to be a bit annoyed when judging K teams that read word-salad or author-salad Ks, refuse to engage with arguments, expect me to fill in massive gaps for them, don't do adequate weighing/ballot analysis/judge instruction, or are actively hostile toward their opponents. The more of the aforementioned things you do, the more annoyed I'll be. The inverse is also true - the more you actively work to ensure that you don't do these things, the happier I'll be!
Zero risk probably doesn't exist, but very-close-to-zero risk probably does. Teams that answer their opponents' warrants instead of reading generic defense tend to fare better in close rounds. Good evidence tends to matter more in these debates - I'd rather judge a round with 2 great cards + debaters explaining their cards than a round with 10 horrible cards + debaters asking me to interpret their dumpster-quality cards for them.
I don't have strong ideological biases about how many condo advocacies the neg gets or what kinds of counterplans are/aren't cheating. More egregious abuse = easier to persuade me on theory; the issue I usually see in theory debates is a lack of warranting for why the neg's model was uniquely abusive - specific analysis > generic args + no explanation.
Judge kick - you've gotta tell me to do it. I'm not opposed to it, but I won't assume that you want me to unless the 2nr tells me to. No strong opinions for/against judge kick.
currently no strong opinions on things like normal means or counterplan competition on the fiscal redistribution topic. this means you can probably get away with more in front of me as long as you warrant it/read good evidence.
Arguments I will NEVER vote for:
-arguments that are actively discriminatory or make the round unsafe ("misgendering good," "let's make the debate about a minor's personal life," other stuff of that nature).
-any argument that attempts to police what a debater wears or how they present (this includes shoes theory/formal clothes theory).
-any argument that denies the existence/badness of oppression (i don't mean i won't vote for "extinction outweighs." i mean i won't vote for "genocide good.")
if there's anything i didn't mention or you have any questions, feel free to email me! if there's anything i can do to make debate more accessible for you, let me know! i really love debate and i coach because i want to make debate/the community a better place; please don't hesitate to reach out if there's anything you need.
No spreading unless you send the doc I prefer speech drop. please give a road map in the round and clear reasons why I should vote for you. I’m okay with kritiks as long as you’re able to explain it well. I have a high threshold for T/topicality.
Hi! I'm Emmiee (they/them) - email@example.com is the email
I did 4 years of debate in HS (3 policy, 1 LD) and 3 years of college policy for UC Berkeley. In both I started off reading very LARP/policy arguments and then branched out into more soft left and K territory. The arguments I've spent most of my time reading are queer pessimism, psychoanalysis, and Russian set-col. I've been coaching Harker LD for 6 years now and have taught at ~10 LD/policy camp sessions.
I try to stay as tab and non-interventionist as possible. There is literally not a single argument I have not voted for. All of my decisions are purely based off of how the flow lines up and I don't care if you're going for an RVI on Nebel, a PoMo FrankenK, indexicals, a heg DA, "surrender to ____", the Hobbes NC, etc. If I stopped voting for downright horrible arguments that were won on the flow, I would quickly end up having to give out double losses.
It's not my job to "preserve the sanctity of the activity" or whatever, especially given all of the things I pulled in my own debate career; it's my job to vote for whoever won and then roast any arguments I didn't personally like in the RFD. There are only three arguments I don't want to see: those that are blatantly oppressive (___icm good, etc), those that are unethically read (clipped, text of article altered, etc), or those that lack a claim/impact/warrant.
Other Important Info:
• In general, I judge a lot of clash debates, bubbles, bid rounds, etc and I get that stress is high, different schools/regions/circuits have different norms and habits, everyone's tired, etc but please do your part to make the round as un-painful as possible. Assume good intent, don't be purposefully sketchy or mean, etc.
• I am 100% cool with post-rounding - if you think I forgot to flow something important, gave a nonsense RFD, didn't address something you think should have decided the debate, etc by all means grill me over it, as long as you're not actively rude to me or your opponent.
• Some rounds I take a super long time to decide and have a lot of comments - it's usually because I'm typing all the comments out on my flow for a while. If I take forever or dump feedback on you, it's not a bad thing - I probably just have a lot of random thoughts, especially if it's a K debate. If it's too fast, too much, it's the end of the day and you want to go to bed, you need to run to another round or prep, etc just let me know I 100% get it.
• Incoherently rapid-spread a million blippy analytics and lose - if you want me to flow your giant analytic wall via online debate without missing anything important, you are going to need at least 3 of the following:  doc was sent out with the analytics in it,  you are at least somewhat clear and aren't going the same speed you go reading a random line in a card,  there's intonation/volume changes when you go from arg to arg and/or on the important terms, or  the arguments are numbered/labelled/separated somehow and you more-or-less stick to the flow when you extend them instead of dropping them in a bunch of random places.
• Don't over-accommodate but don't be mean to traditional/novice debaters - if you're in the top 50% of the pool I will boost speaks if you slow down somewhat (especially on tags), are polite and don't clown on your opponent for not understanding something basic, generally try to be helpful and CX and try to help them understand your arguments if they're confused, etc. Likewise, will drop speaks if your strategy for the W is very blatantly just to spread out a newer kid with a bunch of arguments they've never heard of while being rude to them the whole time.
• I also tend to get progressively stupider as the tournament goes on and I'm sorry if you catch me on the end of day 2 and I'm a little spacey. Tournaments tend to aggravate disability-related things and I burn out especially fast. I can still make coherent decisions, but will just take a little longer and give less concise RFDs. If you're going to break a DA with a super convoluted and nuanced I/L chain or get into a super ticky-tacky phil throw down in R6, please adjust your degree of hand-holding accordingly.
• LARP: This is the style of debate that I mainly coach and am most comfortable with (along with Ks). I'll vote for your totally contrived politics DA and for "heg good outweighs the K/soft left AFF" if you win it on the flow.
Various other things of use:
- I default to presuming NEG, unless the NEG reads a counter-advocacy.
- I also tend to rely on how people explain their arguments and don't do a lot of card reading unless I'm forced to or someone asks me to do it.
- If you're AFF and the NR dropped the AFF so the 2AR is clearly going to be impact v. offcase weighing and then all about the DA or CP or whatever please give me at least 1 sentence about the 1AC scenario somewhere so I know how we got to a certain impact outweighing something else or what the PERM on the CP would look like. If the NC totally drops the AFF and you go for 100% SOL we O/W whatever whatever in the 2AR please give me a sentence in the 1AR about the AFF because it's weird to have it disappear and then reappear and very confusing.
- I'm agnostic on a lot of things that the LARP community seems to be split on and will let it slide or let debaters debate it out in round. If you insert rehighlightings and say in your NC something to the extent of "their ____ scenario is horribly cut - we've inserted the rehighlightings" so I know it's something you meant to insert and not something you didn't read due to time constraints and the other team says nothing, I'll evaluate it. If they read theory, I guess we're having a theory debate now. Same with judge kick - I'll do it if I'm asked to, won't do it if you don't or you do and your opponent wins that I shouldn't for some reason. Multiplank CPs where you kick out of planks, "haha PERM do the CP this is normal means" reveals in the 1AR, etc are all very much in the same camp - I'll roll with it if it's not contested, will evaluate contestation and potentially roll with it anyways otherwise.
• K: I'm generally very down for weird/memey arguments but on god if you choose to pull a bunch of conflicting pomo ev into a doc just so you can spend the round yelling vague buzzwords without making any attempt to say anything specific about the AFF I will tank your speaks. If you're not familiar with whatever you're reading so your arguments or cards you end up cutting aren't phenomenal that's fine. If your K is about the need to sideline the AFF/topic and instead center your performance, community, something else, etc that's that's fine. If you have a genuine defense of why you need to sound like the PoMo generator or remain very nebulous and vague that's fine. I truly don't care what it is you do, but please don't just try to win by being too incoherent/confusing for your opponent.
Other fun things:
• If someone's reading a K vs. you and you're confused, at least 50% of the time in my experience the argument is just incoherent and you should make the common sense "the alt obviously doesn't solve because ___"/"nothing about their K vaguely makes sense"/"___ isn't a link and the card isn't even about the topic or the tag it's something else entirely" argument that's in your head. I keep having to vote for Ks that I know are poorly executed because the other side psychs itself out.
• I vote for K AFFs and I vote for FWK all the time - it usually comes down to which side actually engages the other as opposed to reading generic prewritten overviewy dumps because that's the side that doesn't drop a bunch of things in the 1AR/NR/2AR. I'm down to vote for the "debate is a game and only a game ergo procedural fairness" flavor of FWK as well if you win it, but I very quickly start getting turned off if part of that strategy involves being a jerk to the other side.
• White debaters doing the Race War disclosure stuff confuses me. I'm not opposed to voting on it at all but I simply have no idea what this does so if it's going to be part of your strategy I need you to articulate the I/L link between that and whatever you claim it solves or allows you to do. Strategy-wise, "I'm not ____ but I get to read arguments about ____ group because ____" is a lot more intuitive to me than whatever is going on here.
• If you're going to go for "____ thing that wasn't on-face morally abhorrent is a V/I" I need to hear:  a warrant in both speeches and  some articulation of why this comes before whatever other framing arguments/layers exist in every speech this argument is made in - you can obviously have a lot more extrapolation on #2 when you go for it, but I find it hard to be persuaded by a 5 word argument that only really gets explained at the end of the debate
• Phil: I'm pretty familiar with the literature at this point even though this really wasn't my corner as a debater. A lot of the stuff immediately below applies - phil debates tend to devolve into each side proliferating a bunch of one-liners and then going for three of them without much weighing/etc and that makes it very hard to parse through. When one side says "nuclear bomb kills everyone so we can't enjoy life or discuss values ergo util" and the other side says "adding a circle to a circle doesn't make it more circular ergo kant" it is two ships passing in the night that hurt my brain. Please for the love of God tell me what the implication of you winning something on your end is for the phil debate writ large, why your stuff comes first, how it interacts with what's going on on the other side, etc. If you extend your 3 hot takes on the NC and do 0 actual interaction with the AC FWK or vice-versa you will either lose or have to sit for an hour while I stare at the flow and try to make it make sense.
• T/Theory: I will vote for it; I'll vote for the RVI on it. I don't think my personal opinions on how many condo is ok or semantics matter because it shouldn't factor into how I judge. In the absence of clear warranting from either side, I will obviously be more swayed by nebulous abuse or reasonability claims depending on the context of that specific round. The bullet point about incoherent rapid-spreading analytics definitely applies here - I can't vote for what I can't flow and a few good arguments go so much farther than proliferating random impacts and links that'll just get everyone confused all over the place. It's hard to yell "clear" over Zoom because it cuts out the other person's audio for a second so if you're blitzing through huge walls of text I'm probably going to miss arguments.
If you write the RFD for me in the debate that explains how impacts and layers stack up and weigh, you are overwhelmingly likely to have that be the actual RFD. If you end up neck deep in a super messy and dense theory/T debate and manage to stay organized, clear, and pretty line by line, you will get a 29.5 minimum. My biggest issue with these debates by far is the messiness and lack of weighing on both sides. It is really hard for me to evaluate debates when no one explains why they have the stronger I/L to education, why phil education outweighs topic education, why their NC theory should come before 1AR theory, whether T or theory comes first, etc.
Only other relevant things is that I presume T/Theory > K unless told otherwise and am not the best with grammar so I can flow your upward entailment test argument and vote for you off it, but I don't have more than a surface level understanding of it outside of its strategic value in debate.
• Trix: I've voted for lots of tricks debaters, but think that tricks objectively are all silly and false and have adjusted my threshold for responding to them to a comparable level. My bar for responding is "this is nonsense and you shouldn't vote on it because ___". If there's three hidden words in an analytic wall that are dropped, the threshold changes to the above along with "you should allow this response even though it's new because ____" in the next speech. I'm very sympathetic to newer LDers or policy cross overs losing over mishandling some silly spike they didn't know about and personally took a lot of Ls that way, but if you decide to sit the entire round without making a single argument about why "evaluate the round after the 1AC" is a horrible idea, you will lose to it.
All of the stuff in the T/Theory section about spreading through analytics, the fact that no one weighs or implicates anything, etc all applies.
I am a consultant, former school principal and long-time teacher. I competed in VLD debate all four years of high school (Law Magnet HS in DFW/North Texas, 2004-2008). I saw LD make the change from three to four minutes of prep. We used an actual timer back then. Kept my batteries in place with tape. We primarily read off cardstock paper and rushed to print before heading out to compete. Laptops started to be used but were a novelty if you read from them. Different, huh? I do not presently affiliate myself with any school, district, or coach that currently competes on the circuit.
I will occasionally come back to the sport as a hired judge. I found it important back then to have judges who understood the sport. Although now I feel as lay as ever. The sport has made a shift towards mirroring policy more which is fine with me. But I won't pretend to know or understand more than I do. I listen to the news every morning so love the shift in topics. Likewise, I will praise my peer judges on a panel when their analysis is enlightening and challenges me, even if it differs from mine. Being in this space gives me so much hope for our future. And you, debater reading this, bring me joy.
As I have seeped myself back in the world of judging, I have found the following to be important to me:
- Clear storytelling. A debater presents and extends evidence with a few technical terms thrown here and there for dramatic effect. A strong compelling debater prioritizes the content in the round, articulates how I should frame the round, and makes logical analysis that provides deep insight into the implications of an aff/neg ballot for the round.
- I leverage your own words as much as possible in my RFD. Do the work for me. If I am having to do a lot of connections, comparisons, and weighing -- then the round didn't have much of a clear winner. As much as possible, direct me how to vote in your closing argument so I know what to weigh based on what's important in the round.
- Weight the arguments. I will often give a 28 if your speech is clear, speed or not, but a lot of your airtime outside of card and tagline reading is a repetition of this same language and full of technical terms. It's just not new. But if you are actually illustrating the clash, impacts, scenarios, and decision calculus for me -- easy 29. Non-negotiable 30, winner or not, when the big picture is insightful for implications past the round at hand by making my way to vote crystal clear.
Too, unless I am in an elimination round, I prefer to not disclose. For whatever reason, my outcome for decision gets challenged when I share in preliminary rounds. I prefer we keep the tournament on time and humility at the forefront. If needed, I will share any pertinent feedback to the debaters in-round. If I need to address anything potentially harmful to the sport, I will ask you (or your opponent) to stay behind so I can do so privately and in a safe space. I have only had to do this once to share with a novice debater re: how their presentation of self could be deemed as rude, disrespectful, and personal instead of constructive and about the content. But this all comes from a kind place. This sport should help transform you to be better, not worse. I, in turn, also welcome your own feedback and thoughts. Let's transform our lives with this sport to make the world a better place.
- https://speechdrop.net/ over e-mail
- Speed is fine, unclear speech is not. I will tell you to clear but hate that it breaks your focus
- I prefer for CX to be closed and that competitors are not speaking or interrupting one another in prep
- I would prefer that you time yourselves and when over time, to finish the immediate thought -- not the next paragraph. Cue awkward intervention by me when this happens
Dear Novices: I very much love and appreciate you, but will a little more if you 1. have some framework interaction (tell me why I should use your framework and why I shouldn't use your opponent's) and 2. do some impact weighing (explain why your impact(s) is the most important compared to the others in the round). Keep up the good work!! you can ignore the rest of my paradigm.
Online: I wasn't very good at flowing online debate so please speak clearly and use inflection in your voice to emphasize key things you want me to get down.
For the email chain or whatever feel free to shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
My Debate background:
I debated 4 years at Millard North, 2 years of policy, and 2 years of LD. I had success on a mixed bag local circuit(progressive and traditional), winning tournaments and speaker awards. I was okay on the national circuit, breaking at some tournaments. I qualified for Nationals 3 years. I was a flex debater running mostly Kritiks, theory, phil, and tricks.
Currently on my demon time as an assistant coach at Millard North, coaching LD.
Pref Cheat sheet:
K- 1 or 2
Theory-1 or 2
Phil-1 or 2
Tricks- 2 or 3
Larp- 3 or 4
General things to know/things I default to:
truth testing>comparative worlds
Epistemic Confidence>Epistemic Modesty
Permissibility affirms, Presumption negates.
No RVIs(it's not hard to convince me otherwise though.)
Drop the Debater>Drop the Argument.
I tend to give pretty high speaks, 28.5= Average Debater. I base speaks on efficiency and the quality of your arguments, I don't care how pretty you speak so long as I can understand you.
Be Nice & don't say anything blatantly offensive (Racism, queerphobic, etc.)
LD & Policy- I'll evaluate these two the same way.
Larp: Didn't do much of this in either event, just make sure you give me a justified framing mechanism so I can evaluate and weigh impacts, instead of just assuming I care, I.E. if you make Cap good impact turns on a cap k even if you end up winning them, if your opponents ROB is the only framing mechanism your impact turns mean nothing (unless you articulated a way in which they weigh under the ROB).
Phil: I read a good amount of phil, I'm fine with Normative or Descriptive frameworks. I read Kant, Hobbes, Functionalism(or constituivism), Realism(IR), International Law, Contractarianism, and maybe some others that I can't remember.
T/Theory: You can see some of my general things I default to above in my paradigm. The voters are my lens in which I use to evaluate the theory debate and the standards are your impacts. Make sure that you do weighing between your arguments don't just repeat your arguments verbatim in the rebuttals and expect me to somehow resolve the debate for y'all. (In front of me yes policy kids you can debate paradigmatic issues like yes or no RVI.)
Kritiks: I mess with Kritiks, one thing I'll generally note on them is that their ROBs are typically impact justified, either don't have a impact justified framing mechanism or explain why being impact justified is good or doesn't matter (if this is an issue brought up). I'm most familiar with Modernist Cap ks. I'm familiar with D(& G), Puar, Buadrillard, Foucault, Agamben, Afropessimism, Queer pessimism, maybe some others you can always ask. Please still explain your arguments, I will try my best not to commit the sin of judge intervention by doing work for anyone.
Tricks: I ran tricks a little bit, they're fun please just make sure they're clearly delineated and are actually warranted and implicated in the first speech that they're made in. Also try to read them slower.
PF- Never did PF, just give me a clear framing mechanism in which I can evaluate the round and weigh between impacts. I'm open to arguments being made that aren't typically in PF, just make sure you're running stuff you understand.
Congress- I did congress once, if I end up judging, you should probably try to appeal to the other judges more, I don't care how you speak, I like clash and I like the content of what you're saying.
I have been competing, coaching, and judging in forensics for over 3 decades. I have judged, competed, or coached just about every type of debate that exists at the high school and collegiate levels. That being noted, my paradigm is as follows.
The debate is defined within the round by the competitors. However, I do prefer full arguments and positions rather than blip arguments. I do not mind any arguments being offered as long as there is a rational, logical, and coherent justification to do so. I prefer there is cogent argumentation rather than tricks or K for the sole purpose of trying to win, this cheapens the activity and reduces it to a game. I believe there are valid reasons for running a K, but those justifications need to be made apparent within the debate.
I also have the highest respect for this activity and hope that students do as well. This activity is about arguments. As such, any ad homs or discrimination of any kind will result in a loss. These are antithetical to the fundamental principles of debate and the respect that competitors deserve.
I will admit that I am not a huge fan of speed. I can flow fast debates, but if the arguments are incoherent, I cannot judge them. I do not believe that my reading of a case or arguments is an actual debate. That is not to say that I won't interrogate or call for evidence, but I do not want to rely on reading cases to be able to understand the debate.
I love debate and want to make sure that students are holding this incredible activity in the highest esteem.
Add me to the chain: email@example.com
tldr: My name is Jonathan Meza and I believe that at the end of the day the debate space is yours and you should debate however you want this paradigm is just for you to get an insight on how I view debate. One thing is I won't allow any defense of offensive -isms, if you have to ask yourself "is this okay to run in front of them ?" the answer is probably no. I reserve the right to end the debate where I see fit, also don't call me judge I feel weird about it, feel free to call me Meza or Jonathan.
debate style tier list:
S Tier - Policy v k, Policy v Policy, Debates about Debate
A tier - K aff v Policy, K aff v Framework, Performance debate (either side)
B tier - K v K, Theory,
C tier - Phil
D tier - Trix
F tier - Meme/troll
about me: Assistant debate coach for Harvard Westlake (2022-). Debated policy since 2018 that is my main background even tho I almost only judge/coach LD now. Always reppin LAMDL. I don't like calling myself a "K debater" but I stopped reading plan affs since 2019 I still coach them tho and low key (policy v k > K v K). went 7 off with Qi bin my senior year of high school but not gonna lie 1-5 quality off case positions better than 7+ random shells.
inspirations: DSRB, LaToya,Travis, CSUF debate, Jared, Vontrez, Curtis, Diego, lamdl homies, Scott Philips.
theory: Theory page is the highest layer unless explained otherwise. Aff probably gets 1ar theory. Rvis are "real" arguments I guess. Warrant out reasonability. I am a good judge for theory, I am a bad judge for silly theory. Explain norm setting how it happens, why your norms create a net better model of debate. explain impacts, don't just be like "they didn't do XYZ voter for fairness because not doing XYZ is unfair." Why is it unfair, why does fairness matter I view theory a lot like framework, each theory shell is a model of debate you are defending why is not orientating towards your model a bad thing. Oh and if you go for theory, actually go for it do not just be like "they dropped xyz gg lol" and go on substance extend warrants and the story of abuse.
Topicality: The vibes are the same as above in the theory section. I think T is a good strategy, especially if the aff is blatantly not topical. If the aff seems topical, I will probably err aff on reasonability. Both sides should explain and compare interpretations and standards. Standards should be impacted out, basically explain why it's important that they aren't topical. The Aff needs a counter interpretation, without one I vote neg on T (unless it's kicked).
Larp: I appreciate creative internal link chains but prefer solid ones. Default util, I usually don't buy zero risk. For plan affirmative some of you are not reading a different affs against K teams and I think you should, it puts you in a good place to beat the K. as per disads specific disads are better than generics ones but poltics disads are lowkey broken if you can provide a good analysis of the scenario within the context of the affirmative. Uniqueness controls the link but I also believe that uniqueness can overwhelm the link. straight turning disads are a vibe especially when they read multiple offs.
K affirmatives: I appreciate affirmatives that are in the direction of the topic but feel free to do what you want with your 1ac speech, This does mean that their should be defense and/or offense on why you chose to engage in debate the way that you did. I think that at a minimum affirmatives must do something, "move from the status quo" (unless warranted for otherwise). Affirmatives must be written with purpose if you have music, pictures, poem, etc. in your 1ac use them as offense, what do they get you ? why are they there ? if not you are just opening yourself to a bunch of random piks. If you do have an audio performance I would appreciate captions/subtitles/transcript but it is at your discretion (won't frame my ballot unless warranted for otherwise). In Kvk debates I need clear judge instruction and link explanation perm debate I lean aff.
Framework: I lean framework in K aff v framework debates. These debate become about debate and models defend your models accordingly. I think that the aff in these debates always needs to have a role of the negative, because a lot of you K affs out their solve all of these things and its written really well but you say something most times that is non-controversal and that gets you in trouble which means its tough for you to win a fw debate when there is no role for the negative. In terms of like counter interp vs impact turn style of 2AC vs fw I dont really have a preference but i think you at some point need to have a decent counter interp to solve your impact turns to fw. If you go for the like w/m kind of business i think you can def win this but i think fw teams are prepared for this debate more than the impact turn debate. I think fairness is not an impact but you can go for it as one. Fairness is an internal link to bigger impacts to debate.
Kritiks: I am a big fan of one off K especially in a format such as LD that does not give you much time to explain things already reading other off case positions with the kritik is a disservice to yourself. I like seeing reps kritiks but you need to go hard on framing and explain why reps come first or else the match up becomes borderline unwinnable when policy teams can go for extinction outweighs reps in the late game speeches.
Generic links are fine but you need to contextualize in the NR/block. Lowkey in LD it is a waste of time to go for State links, the ontology debate is already making state bad claims and the affirmative is already ahead on a reason why their specific use of the state is good. Link contextualization is not just about explaining how the affirmatives use of the state is bad but how the underlining assumptions of the affirmative uniquely make the world worst this paired up with case take outs make for a real good NR Strategy.
speaker points: some judges have really weird standards of giving them out. if I you are clear enough for me to understand and show that you care you will get high speaks from me. I do reward strategic spins tho. I will do my best to be equitable with my speak distribution. at the end of the day im a speaker point fairy.
I have judged elimination rounds at more than 50 debate championships on five continents (Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, and North America), served on 14 Chief Adjudication Panels, 2 Equity Panels, and more than 15 Grand Finals, and chaired more than 10 elimination rounds. I am experienced with the WSDC, CNDF, BP, CP, PF, LD, Policy, Asians, Australs, and Easters formats.
General Notes for speakers:
- I really admire teams that are well-structured and can clearly express the implications of the evidence.
- While you’re going to use evidence, it's preferable that you also explain the underlying trend/core issue associated withit.
- If you argue a comparative advantage, be prepared to justify it with proof that explicitly links to that piece of proof that your opposition used.
- If you’re presenting counter-plans, be prepared to analyze why your counter-plan is a better approach, for example, you reach the resolution faster/easier and take fewer resources.
- Please don’t present any point that will not be understandable to an average intelligentvoter. If you do so, that piece of material will be discounted.
- Please don't use any offensive language that leadsto equity violations.
- Roadmapsare appreciated.
- Speaking fast is fine, but please use clarity.
- Any kind of style is fine with me as long as you're fairly understandable. I acknowledge that different debaters come from different backgrounds, and thus have different styles.
- I am reasonably low during speech. During the crossfire, I take notes for the most important questions raised and how they're answered.
Conflicts (ghill, memorial, Marlborough, )
Memorial '19 SMU '23 (don’t know why you’d care but some people do)
Yeah, I want the docs --Misrap354@gmail.com I’ll say clear once.
TLDR: Twice as good as your average local judge, half as good as your favorite circuit judge (prove me other wise and you get a cookie)
Judged wayyy to much in college 1year post college now. Take that as u will; no I haven’t kept up with the topic lit or what this years new fad is in debate.
If you have any questions about what’ I like to see: look at my past judging, but please don’t read dense phil. I do not care for it and will not make an effort to understand it.
Any memorial debater, Acadmey of classical Christian Studies JM, or any debater that larps or pretends to larp with hidden tricks describe the style of debate im okay w judging w/ zero topic knowledge
Pretty hard to get below a 28.9 infront of me, esp if u ask for high speaks.
This is the LD paradigm. Do a Ctrl+F search for “Policy Paradigm” or “PF Paradigm” if you’re looking for those. They’re toward the bottom.
I debated LD in high school and policy in college. I coach LD, so I'll be familiar with the resolution.
If there's an email chain, you can assume I want to be on it. No need to ask. My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org. For online debates, NSDA file share is equally fine.
Summary for Prefs
I've judged 1,000+ LD rounds from novice locals to TOC finals. I don't much care whether your approach to the topic is deeply philosophical, policy-oriented, or traditional. I do care that you debate the topic. Frivolous theory or kritiks that shift the debate to some other proposition are inadvisable.
Yale '21 Update
I've noticed an alarming uptick in cards that are borderline indecipherable based on the highlighted text alone. If the things you're saying aren't forming complete and coherent sentences, I am not going to go read the rest of the un-underlined text and piece it together for you.
Topicality is good. There's not too many other theory arguments I find plausible.
Most counterplan theory is bad and would be better resolved by a "Perm do the counterplan" challenge to competition. Agent "counterplans" are never competitive opportunity costs.
I don’t have strong opinions on most of the nuances of disclosure theory, but I do appreciate good disclosure practices. If you think your wiki exemplifies exceptional disclosure norms (open source, round reports, and cites), point it out before the round starts, and you might get +.1-.2 speaker points.
If the strategic value of your argument hinges almost entirely on your opponent missing it, misunderstanding it, or mis-allocating time to it, I would rather not hear it. I am quite willing to give an RFD of “I didn’t flow that,” “I didn’t understand that,” or “I don’t think these words in this order constitute a warranted argument.” I tend not to have the speech document open during the speech, so blitz through spikes at your own risk.
The above notwithstanding, I have no particular objection to voting for arguments with patently false conclusions. I’ve signed ballots for warming good, wipeout, moral skepticism, Pascal’s wager, and even agenda politics. What is important is that you have a well-developed and well-warranted defense of your claims. Rounds where a debater is willing to defend some idiosyncratic position against close scrutiny can be quite enjoyable. Be aware that presumption still lies with the debater on the side of common sense. I do not think tabula rasa judging requires I enter the round agnostic about whether the earth is round, the sky is blue, etc.
Warrant quality matters. Here is a non-exhaustive list of common claims I would not say I have heard a coherent warrant for: permissibility affirms an "ought" statement, the conditional logic spike, aff does not get perms, pretty much anything debaters say using the word “indexicals.”
The negative burden is to negate the topic, not whatever word, claim, assumption, or framework argument you feel like.
Calling something a “voting issue” does not make it a voting issue.
The texts of most alternatives are too vague to vote for. It is not your opponent's burden to spend their cross-ex clarifying your advocacy for you.
I am pretty well-read in analytic philosophy, but the burden is still on you to explain your argument in a way that someone without prior knowledge could follow.
I am not well-read in continental philosophy, but read what you want as long as you can explain it and its relevance to the topic.
You cannot “theoretically justify” specific factual claims that you would like to pretend are true. If you want to argue that it would be educational to make believe util is true rather than actually making arguments for util being true, then you are welcome to make believe that I voted for you. Most “Roles of the Ballot” are just theoretically justified frameworks in disguise.
CX matters. If you can't or won't explain your arguments, you can't win on those arguments.
Regarding flex prep, using prep time for additional questions is fine; using CX time to prep is not.
LD paradigm ends here.
I qualified to the NDT a few times at GSU. I now actively coach LD but judge only a handful of policy rounds per year and likely have minimal topic knowledge.
My email is email@example.com
Yes, I would like to be on the email chain. No, I don't need a compiled doc at end of round.
I have a high threshold for non-resolutional theory. Most cheaty-looking counterplans are questionably competitive, and you're better off challenging them at that level.
Extremely aff leaning versus agent counterplans. I have a hard time imagining what the neg could say to prove that actions by a different agent are ever a relevant opportunity cost.
I don't think there's any specific numerical threshold for how many opportunity costs the neg can introduce, but I'm not a fan of underdeveloped 1NC arguments, and counterplans are among the main culprits.
Not persuaded by 'intrinsicness bad' in any form. If your net benefit can't overcome that objection, it's not a germane opportunity cost. Perms should be fleshed out in the 2AC; please don't list off five perms with zero explanation.
I do find existential risk literature interesting, but I dislike the lazy strategy of reading a card that passingly references nuke war/terrorism/warming and tagging it as "extinction." Terminal impacts short of extinction are fine, but if your strategy relies on establishing an x-risk, you need to do the work to justify that.
Case debate is underrated.
Straight turns are great turns.
Topics DAs >> Politics.
I view inserting re-highlightings as basically a more guided version of "Judge, read that card more closely; it doesn't say what they want it to," rather than new cards in their own right. If the author just happens to also make other arguments that you think are more conducive to your side (e.g. an impact card that later on suggests a counterplan that could solve their impact), you should read that card, not merely insert it.
See section on framework. I'm not a very good judge for anything that could be properly called a kritik; the idea that the neg can win by doing something other than defending a preferable federal government policy is a very hard sell, at least until such time as the topics stop stipulating the United States as the actor.I would much rather hear a generic criticism of settler colonialism that forwards native land restoration as a competitive USFG advocacy than a security kritik with aff-specific links and an alternative that rethinks in-round discourse.
While I'm a fervent believer in plan-focus, I'm not wedded to util/extinction-first/scenario planning/etc as the only approach to policymaking. I'm happy to hear strategies that involve questioning those ethical and epistemological assumptions; they're just not win conditions in their own right.
CX is important and greatly influences my evaluation of arguments. Tag-team CX is fine in moderation.
9 November 2018 Update (Peach State Classic @ Carrollton):
While my background is primarily in LD/Policy, I do not have a general expectation that you conform to LD/Policy norms. If I happen to be judging PF, I'd rather see a PF debate.
I have zero tolerance for evidence fabrication. If I ask to see a source you have cited, and you cannot produce it or have not accurately represented it, you will lose the round with low speaker points.
If my camera is off, don't start your speech. If you want to email me questions about your round, please do so with haste because I have an awful memory.
Kapaun Mt. Carmel/Mount Carmel Independent '19. I did policy debate for four years.
University of Southern California '23. I did not compete but was still involved with the policy debate team.
Please be kind. I promise I'm not angry or upset, my face is just like that.
Again, I haven't competed since high school and I'm not as involved as I once was: this means I've forgotten lots of jargon and you will need to slow down a bit. The technical nuances of debate aren't as intuitive to me anymore so please explain the implications of your arguments more.
I don't really have any firm and strong opinions on debate other than:
(1) be kind to your partner and opponents, and
(2) debate is a valuable activity and all argumentative styles that allow chances for contestation/clash are essential for that. If you take time out of your own prep to delete analytics from constructives, you're only hurting yourself.
Feel free to email me with any further questions.
Do whatever as long as it's not repugnant. If you're unsure if your argument falls under this category, then probably don't read it.
For what it's worth, I read mainly policy arguments in high school and am not super familiar with critical arguments. If you read the latter, you're going to have to explain your arguments more. Such debates are easier for me to follow if your strategy engages the impact level. Non-USFG affs should have a debate and ballot key warrant. I always went for framework, a topic disad if it linked, or an impact turn against such affs.
I think fairness is the best impact.
I think affs should get to weigh their plan and it will be an uphill battle to persuade me otherwise.
I know very little about the topic. Please keep this in mind if going for T.
I like impact turns. That does not mean death good. That does not mean wipeout. Please.
*LD note: I dislike RVIs.
Good luck! Have fun! Learn lots! Fight on!
Case/evidence email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: I've been judging high school Lincoln Douglas for over 6 years and work in the tech industry.
Speed: I'm a native English speaker, so faster than conversational delivery is fine, but debaters should attempt to be persuasive and not speak just to fill time. (I do appreciate good argumentation and have noticed that faster speakers tend to rush past important points without fully exploring their significance, so keep that in mind.)
Criteria: I consider myself to be a "traditional" LD judge. I value logical debate, with analysis and supporting evidence... co-opting opponents' value & criterion and showing how your case wins is completely fair and certainly a winning strategy. I do weigh delivery and decorum to some degree, but generally it isn't a factor... in the event of a tie, Neg wins. Neg owns the status quo, so the burden is on Aff to show why changes must be made.
Note: I don't care for "progressive" arguments... most of the time they're just a cheap ploy to ambush unsuspecting opponents instead of expanding our understanding of the problem and the philosophical underpinnings guiding our decision. (If you'd rather be doing policy, there's a whole other event for you to enter.)
Public Forum is based on T.V. and is intended for lay viewers. As a result, there's no paradigm, but some of the things that help are to be convincing, explain what the clash is between your opponents position and yours, and then show why your position is the logical conclusion to choose.
Put me on email chain email@example.com
I debated LD in the mid-80s and then policy in both high school and college and have judged at several tournaments in the last three years.
Nothing is off limits for me except trix and speed is OK with articulation; since I haven't been listening to spread for about 20 years (until 2-3 years ago) it is really nice if you slow down for tags and major arguments and then spread through the evidence; it is also better speaking form. The winning debater will make my job easy by writing my ballot. I may not be up to speed on all of the current terms and approaches, so please avoid the use of jargon and define terms. I can follow logic. Anything can be argued (i.e. theory) as long as it is clearly explained and there is proof that it should be argued. I like creativity, but the logic has to be solid.
The winning debater will make clear arguments, with clear links, consistent with the winning the framework. Rebuttal arguments should state an argument with clear proof; simply stating an argument does not prove it, unless its a well known fact like x person is president of x state.
Debaters who earn high speaker points will state a road map, follow the road map, use logic to prove arguments supported by evidence (not just refer to cards), use their speech time wisely, and treat their opponent and judge with respect. As mentioned above, slowing down a bit for tags and major arguments will improve both my flow and your speaker points.
Add me to the chain - Aidin123@berkeley.edu
ASU LD: I can evaluate both progressive and traditional debates. Do what you do best. Though within progressive-based arguments, I have a better understanding of some arguments over others; below is a quick look for prefs:
1 - Policy/Traditional
2 - Theory, Common K's (Cap, Set-col, etc..)
3 - Phil, Whacky K's (Need more explanation for me to evaluate fairly)
5/Strike - Non-T K Aff's, Tricks, Friv Theory (I do not have the background that I think I need to have to evaluate all arguments fairly and to the quality that you deserve, and friv theory is just a nuisance that is incredibly annoying)
- Scroll to the bottom for some additional specifics about things
- I haven't judged fast debate in like a year so please please start slow and build into it I need to adjust back.
LD at the bottom:
Just call me Aidin
UC Berkeley Chemistry 23' GO BEARS! BOO PINE TREES!
LD Coach Park City (2020 - Present)
I'm a very expressive person if my face says I hate it. It means I hate it. If I nod or smile, I like what you're saying. Follow the faces
Impact turns anything that isn't morally repugnant -- corruption, terrorism, oil prices -- because there are two sides to every story
I will say clear three times before I stop flowing altogether. Whatever is not on the flow is not going to be evaluated. PLEASE SIGNPOST!
Weigh, weigh, weigh, weigh a little more, and then after weighing, weigh again for good measure
Write the ballot for me in the last speech; the easier it is for me to vote for, the more likely you are to win
Utah Circuit: I debated a lot on the local circuit and now judge a lot. Have impacts and weigh.
- One rule: An extension is not an extension without an explanation and warranting behind it. I will not flow "Extend Contention 3," and that's it.
Follow my dearest friend Gavin Serr's paradigms for a more comprehensive look at how I would judge PF.
- Don't steal prep - It's not hard to start and stop a timer.
- I default Neg. If there is no offense from either side, I'll stick with the status quo
- It's not an argument without a warrant
- A dropped argument is true, but that doesn't mean it matters. I need reasons why the extension matters. I'm not voting on something that I don't know the implications of it.
- Reading a card is part of the prep, without a doubt.
- If you want me to read a card indite, it's not my job as a judge to win you the round.
- If you will talk about marginalized people, framing and overviews are your friends.
- Please have link extensions in both the summary and FF
- Weighing requires a comparison and why the way you compare is better. Which is better, magnitude or timeframe? IDK, you tell me.
DAs need to have solid internal links
Offense on the DA needs to be responded to even if kicked
Perms need to be contextualized
A flushed-out link story is fabulous; do this every time you run a K.
line by line analysis is of the utmost importance
explanation and quality is better than quantity; I do not vote on things I do not understand, so take the safe route and spend a little more time explaining 5 arguments than dumping 15 that are all blippy
Use a framework and weighing case as your friend.
AFF - please extend and weigh case
I love the theory. Few caveats, however.
1) I hate frivolous theory. If you run condo bad on 1 or 2 off, I will likely drop your speaks because you're annoying. That being said, please respond to it, but the more frivolous it is, the lower my threshold for responses to it.
2) Disclosure is a MUST. Don't run disclosure theory if your opponent doesn't know what the wiki is. You don't need to disclose new aff's. 30 is enough time to prep.
3) Please WEIGH as much as possible I don't know the difference between an opponent winning time screw and another winning on the ground.
4) Competing interps - The less I intervene, the better for y'all, especially on the highest layer of debate where the round is won or lost. So I try to limit "gut checks" and reasonability unless otherwise told to in the round.
5) No RVI's default but can be changed with hearty effort
6) Please slow down on theory; it's hard to flow everything at top speed, especially if it's not carded and has 5 sub-points.
How I write my RFD's: “Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.” - Michael Scott
How I give my RFDs: “I talk a lot, so I’ve learned to tune myself out.” - Kelly Kapoor
How I feel judging: “If I don’t have some cake soon, I might die.” - Stanley Hudson
What I want to do instead of judging: “I just want to lie on the beach and eat hot dogs. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.” - Kevin Malone
What happens when no one weighs: “And I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.” - Michael Scott
Have questions about chemistry, Berkeley, or why Stanford sucks? Ask away
Debate is something to be proud of, win or lose, and have a smile on your face.
Newark Science | Rutgers-Newark
Email chain: Ask me before the round. Different vibes, different emails ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
If it matters, I've done basically every debate style (LD/CX in high school. CX, BP, PF, LD, Civic, and Public in college). I don't care what you read as I've probably just about made every argument from policy action good to talking about grandmas. Throughout my career, I read trad args, Kant, Hartman, Bataille, Disclosure, Wilderson, Gumbs, Wipeout, Politics DA, T, framework, etc.
My only real rule is don't make the room an unsafe space. I've always loved the creativity that debate allows so I would implore you to be free and do what you want as well because I genuinely don't care. Debate's a different game than when I was in it and I'm just here to follow the vibes. Please remember I'm an adult viewing the game, not participating in it.
- Spreading is fine. Open CX is fine. Flex prep is fine.
- Having an impact is good. Doing impact weighing is great.
- Efficiency is good! Arguments being grouped is fun and shows me that you have a strategic vision of what is necessary to win and what arguments are connected, etc.
- Truth over tech until tech overwhelms truth (probably because you were inefficient).
- Don't be lazy. For example, even if case is conceded, the aff should still be in the 1/2AR (do not dedicate the whole time to it but remember to use the strategic pieces of your aff that you built).
- I am offering a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen when debate forgets that they should be creating good people. Don't be afraid to find me or talk to me after a debate or whatever. I do wellness checks when I can (and I have/will hold up a round or 2 to do so).
Trix (or Tricks): Please don't play with me.
I EXPECT ROUNDS TO START EXACTLY (MAYBE EVEN EARLIER) THAN THE DESIGNATED START TIME. IF YOU START THE CHAIN AND SEND THE 1AC 2 MINUTES PRIOR TO THE START TIME WE'LL BE GOOD.
THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR FLIGHT 2 DEBATES STARTING LATE BECAUSE OF DEBATERS. YOU HAD AN HOUR EXTRA TO PREPARE AND START THE EMAIL CHAIN.
Okay enough yelling.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org [Add me to the chain]
About me: I debated in Texas mostly in LD and did a little Policy. Had a short stint for Northwestern debate (GO CATS). 6+ years judging and coaching.
- Tech > Truth
- Judge instruction is axiomatic
- Assume I know very little about the topic, your author, the norms, the meta e.t.c.
- I'm not flowing of the doc - I believe that judges flowing off the doc incentivizes HORRIBLE clarity and rhetorical practices. Won't even glance at the document unless absolutely needed (1/10 debates). It is YOUR job to to extend and explain your evidence, not my job to read it and explain it for you. Clarity is axiomatic.
- Please for the love of God SLOW DOWN on analytics, tags, interpretations, plan/cp text, theory. You can go as fast as you want on the card body
- Prep time ends when the doc is sent and I will strongly enforce this now.
- Debate whatever and however you want. Go all out and do your thing, just do not be violent and make the space unsafe.
- Frame your impacts and weigh your impacts. No one wins their framework anymore. Its a shame. It would make debates atleast 37% easier to decide.
- Errr on the side of explanation and slow down a bit for dense [analytic] philosophical debates. I do not have a PhD in philosophy.
- Bad theory debates get more annoying as I get older. I promise you no one is thrilled to decide on a debate on "evaluate the debate after the 1AC" be forreal. You still have to respond to bad theory arguments though (shouldn't be terribly hard)
- You will auto-lose if you clip cards or falsely accuse. You will auto-lose for evidence ethics violations
- A good speech consists of judge instruction, overview, line by line, and crystallization (and obviously strategy). Good speeches = good speaks. Rhetoric and Persuasion is important.
- I don't care how far away or how close to the topic you are but you must justify your practice. This is your activity not mine. I'm simply here to give feedback, decide a winner, and embrace the free food from the judges lounge. If you think fairness is an impact, defend it. If you think skills matter, defend it. If you think defending USFG action causes psychological violence, defend it.
- If there's an important CX concession, please flag it and/or get my attention in case I have zoned out.
- If i'm judging Policy debate, just don't assume I know some jargon, norm, or innovative strategy and err on the side of explanation.
- I won't kick the CP for you unless you tell me to and justify why I should.
- No you cannot "Insert re-highlighting" if its not read, its not on my flow.
- Don't get too **graphic** on descriptions of antiblack violence (or any violence for that matter). Trigger warnings are welcomed and encouraged.
- Referencing college teams or other teams doesn't really get you anywhere, "our models allows for Michigan vs Berkeley debates" I simply do not know or care about these teams
- If you need to know something specifically ask before the round.
- Good luck, do your thing, and have fun!
Debated for bravo medical magnet high school.
The first few years I ran mainly policy affs and negs, then my last year I ran a k aff on chicana feminism, and set col/cap ks on the neg.
spreading is fine, just make sure you are very clear.
Disclose as soon as possible pls.
Debate should be fun so run what you like (however any hurtful arguments will not be tolerated).
Be respectful, nice and have fun!
add me to the email chain please: email@example.com.
I ran policy affs my first few years of debate. Make sure you’re winning your solvency and preferably a framing argument as to why the aff is important within this space.
For the neg, case turns ! also solvency deficits.
Ks & k affs
I like them. This however doesn’t mean I know all about them so make sure you really explain your theory of power and really flesh out your links. If you want to win the alt, make sure everyone knows what your alt actually does. Specific aff links> generic links, 1 off K with a lot of substance are probably some of the best debates. In terms of framework make sure its clear why your interp should be preferred,
Make sure your CP is competitive with the aff and you have a good net benefit.
I get easily persuaded by good permutations, so make them and also don't drop them (both sides).
Make sure to explain that your disads ow the aff. impact calc! On the aff, link turns!
education>fairness. Make sure you’re contextualizing your impacts to the round and the space.
i debated LD and policy in high school, graduating in '13. this is my 6th year coaching @ greenhill, and my second year as a full time debate teacher.
- i coached independent debaters from: woodlands ('14-'15), dulles ('15-'16), edgemont ('16-'18);
- team coach for: westwood ('14-'18), greenhill ('18-'22);
- program director for dallas urban debate alliance ('21-'22);
- full time debate teacher - greenhill, ('22-now).
i would like there to be an email chain and I would like to be on it: firstname.lastname@example.org -would love for the chain name to be specific and descriptive - perhaps something like "Tournament Name, Round # - __ vs __"
I have coached debaters whose interests ranged from util + policy args & dense critical literature (anthropocentrism, afropessimism, settler colonialism, psychoanalysis, irigaray, borderlands, the cap + security ks), to trickier args (i-law, polls, monism) & theory heavy strategies.
That said, I am most comfortable evaluating critical and policy debates, and in particular enjoy 6 minutes of topicality 2nrs if delivered at a speed i can flow. I will make it clear if you are going too fast - i am very expressive so if i am lost you should be able to tell.
I am a bad judge for highly evasive tricks debates, and am not a great judge for denser "phil" debates - i do not think about analytic philosophy / tricks outside of debate tournaments, so I need these debates to happen at a much slower pace for me to process and understand all the moving parts. This is true for all styles of debates - the rounds i remember most fondly are one where a cap k or t-fwk were delivered conversationally and i got almost every word down and was able to really think through the arguments.
i think the word "unsafe" means something and I am uncomfortable when it is deployed cavalierly - it is a meaningful accusation to suggest that an opponent has made a space unsafe (vs uncomfortable), and i think students/coaches/judges should be mindful of that distinction. this applies to things like “evidence ethics,” “independent voters,” "psychological violence," etc., though in different ways for each. If you believe that the debate has become unsafe, we should likely pause the round and reach out to tournament officials, as the ballot is an insufficient mechanism with which to resolve issues of safety. similarly, it will take a lot for me to feel comfortable concluding that a round has been psychologically violent and thus decide the round on that conclusion, or to sign a ballot that accuses a student of cheating without robust, clear evidence to support that. i have judged a lot of debates, and it is very difficult for me to think of many that have been *unsafe* in any meaningful way.
8 things to know:
- Evidence Ethics: In previous years, I have seen a lot of miscut evidence. I think that evidence ethics matters regardless of whether an argument/ethics challenge is raised in the debate. If I notice that a piece of evidence is miscut, I will vote against the debater who reads the miscut evidence. My longer thoughts on that are available on the archived version of this paradigm, including what kinds of violations will trigger this, etc. If you are uncertain if your evidence is miscut, perhaps spend some time perusing those standards, or better yet, resolve the miscutting. Similarly, I will vote against debaters clipping if i notice it. If you would like me to vote on evidence ethics, i would prefer that you lay out the challenge, and then stake the round on it. i do not think accusations of evidence ethics should be risk-less for any team, and if you point out a mis-cutting but are not willing to stake the round on it, I am hesitant to entertain that argument in my decision-making process. if an ev ethics challenge occurs, it is drop the debater. do not make them lightly.
i mark cards at the timer and stop flowing at the timer.
- Complete arguments require a claim warrant and impact when they are made. I will be very comfortable rejecting 1nc/1ar arguments without warrants when they were originally made. I find this is particularly true when the 1ar/1nc version are analytic versions of popular cards that you presume I should be familiar with and fill in for you.
- I do not believe you can "insert" re-highlightings that you do not read verbally.
please do not split your 2nrs! if any of your 1nc positions are too short to sustain a 6 minute 2nr on it, the 1nc arg is underdeveloped.
Evidence quality is directly correlated to the amount of credibility I will grant an argument - if a card is underhighlighted, the claim is likely underwarranted. I think you should highlight your evidence to make claims the author has made, and that those claims should make sense if read at conversational speed outside of the context of a high school debate round.
i do not enjoy being in the back of disclosure debates where the violation is difficult to verify or where a team has taken actions to help a team engage, even if that action does not take the form of open sourcing docs, nor do i enjoy watching disclosure theory be weaponized against less experienced debaters - i will likely not vote on it. if a team refuses to tell you what the aff will be, or is familiar with circuit norms but has nothing on their wiki, I will be more receptive to disclosure, but again, verifiability is key.
topicality arguments will make interpretive claims about the meaning or proper interpretation of words or phrases in the resolution. interpretations that are not grounded in the text of the resolution are theoretical objections - the same is true for counter-interpretations.i will use this threshold for all topicality/theory arguments.
Finally, I am not particularly good for the following buckets of debates:
Warming good & other impact turn heavy strategies that play out as a dump on the case page
IR heavy debates - i encourage you to slow down and be very clear in the claims you want me to evaluate in these debates.
Bad theory arguments / theory debates w/ very marginal offense (it is unlikely i will vote for theory debates where i can not identify meaningful offense / where the abuse story is very difficult for me to comprehend)
Identity ks that appropriate the form and language of antiblackness literature
affs/nc's that have entirely analytic frameworks (even if it is util!) - i think this is often right on the line of plagiarism, and my brain simply cannot process / flow it at high speeds. my discomfort with these positions is growing by the round.
Former open debater at GMU from 2018-2022. I ran mostly queer theory, disability, and various forms of cap for the last couple years and am most familiar with those lit bases.
She/they pronouns. Put me on the email chain please, ceili1627 at gmail dot com. Feel free to email me after rounds with questions.
TL;DR: run whatever you want and I'll judge as best I can. I think my role as a judge is to be an educator/facilitator of idea exchanges regardless of whether those ideas are connected to anything from USFG action to interpretive dance performances. Keep in mind that even though debate is a game that you should have fun playing, it has real-world consequences for the real people who play it. As a great woman once said, "At the end of the debate, be sure to tell me why I should vote for you; if you don't, then you can't get big mad when I don't ... periodt" and I live by that <3
K Affs: I'm totally down with k affs but I prefer them to have at least a vague link to the topic. It's super easy for the narrative of k affs to get lost during the round so please keep the aff story alive!! In FW/T debates, make sure to explain what debate rounds look like under your counterinterp, and that plus solid impact turns is usually a fairly easy ballot from me.
FW/T: As the same great woman once said, "I have voted against framework, I have voted for framework, but at the end of the day I don't really want to be there when framework is read." Run a caselist. Reasonability isn’t really an argument and fairness definitely isn't an impact. I tend to default to competing interps unless given a good reason otherwise. The neg needs to really spell out why I should err towards them on limits. TVAs are pretty useful for mitigating offense against fw as long as they're explained and contextualized well. Please for the love of god contextualize all your fw blocks to the round & aff in question instead of just reading a transcript of fw blocks from an NDT outround half a decade ago. I'm not persuaded by args that debate doesn't shape subjectivity--if you come out of a round the exact same as you entered it (regardless of if your opinions/beliefs have changed) then you're probably playing the game wrong.
Theory: Trying to convince me to care about potential abuse is an uphill battle. Don’t spread through theory blocks please. For blippy args I generally err towards rejecting the arg but will (extremely) reluctantly vote on it if dropped.
DAs/Case: Impact calc and clear internal link chains are both super important for me to vote on a DA. I tend to think that links determine DA direction but can probably be persuaded that direction is determined by uniqueness. I really enjoy heavy case debates and am disappointed that's increasingly missing from a lot of rounds. Also I think re-highlighting your opponents' ev is a bold move that's cool and often persuasive when it's done right but is pretty cringe if done poorly.
Ks: I was mostly a k debater in college and I'm most familiar with lit bases for queer theory, cap, set col, and debility. Still, you need to clearly explain your theories of power and all that good stuff instead of throwing around a bunch of obscure terms expecting me to know what you’re talking about. Please please please don't read a k just because you think that's what I want to hear--it makes for a bad debate and a grumpy judge. I’d like to think my ballot actually means something so explain to me what it does and I'll be more likely to pull the trigger for you. I feel most comfortable voting on specific links to the aff though I prefer the debate to go beyond the level of you-link-you-lose. Please give me a clear and coherent framework under which I consider the aff vs the alt, but also I think too many policy affs use framework to avoid engaging with the k at all which is both frustrating to judge and not at all strategic.
CPs: 50 state fiat is definitely core neg ground at the high school level. I’m fine with the neg having 2 conditional worlds, 3 makes me lean aff, and the neg shouldn't ever need 4+ conditional worlds. I don't judge kick and I'm likely to entertain most if not all CPs as long as they have a clear net benefit and explanation of how they solve the aff. Super meta CP theory confuses and bores me.
General: Tech > truth (often but not always, e.g. I usually tend to evaluate the debate through tech > truth but can be fairly easily convinced otherwise), debate is a game that you should have fun playing, clarity > speed (especially for zoom debate), I reserve the right to tank speaks if you're being homophobic, transphobic, sexist, racist, ableist, excessively rude, or clipping cards. Please don't make me have to judge something that happened outside the round like authenticity checks or happenings from other tournaments/seasons. I usually have little HS topic knowledge but that doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't pref me ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ it's good for the neg on T insofar as I don't have a predetermined view of what the topic should look like, but it's also good for the aff because I don’t have much knowledge on the nuances of what affirmatives look like under particular definitions. I'm pretty hit or miss on reading ev after rounds unless explicitly told to, and on that note please highlight your cards in as close to complete and coherent sentences as you can. Violent verb fragments aren't arguments.
I did 4 years of PF in high school so I'm quite familiar with this format. Extend your own args, don’t drop your opponents’ args. I vote on the flow and default to util for impact comparison unless you tell me to frame impacts differently. I’m most likely to vote for a PF team that nails impact calc in the rebuttals, does solid work extending offense, and uses effective warrant-level evidence comparison. My 3 biggest pet peeves with PF are (1) labeling literally everything as a voter, (2) saying "de-link,", and (3) using "frontline" as a verb.
I never debated this format, though I understand it, and I tend to judge it from a somewhat policy perspective. I'm cool with both traditional and progressive formats--do what you do best/enjoy most and I'll vote off the flow. What bugs me most is the introduction of some kind of framing lens at the beginning of the round (like value/value criteria or another kind of framework) that isn't extended or used throughout the rest of the debate.
If you use One Direction lyrics in your speechI will raise your speaks a max of 0.5. Do with that what you will.
Updated 11/19/23 for Winter Trophy
LD-this is not policy therefore focus on framework particularly value weighing. Full paradigm below.
I have great admiration for the speech and debate community and consider it a privilege to support you all as a judge.
Like you I value inclusivity and condemn exclusivity. My role in the round is to act as a proxy for members of society - particularly those aged 14 - 99. Evaluate your delivery (speed, use of jargon, and other exclusive rhetorical devices) accordingly. I am confident you too will reject exclusivity and include me, and by proxy society, in the round through your use of accessible delivery and argumentation.
My default remains that participants are ethical, but recent events surrounding evidence use have created doubt and made this assumption contested. Therefore I always value truth over tech, warranting over evidence, and if you have a concern about your opponent's use of evidence please direct me to call for the card.
I am an experienced community judge, as my history/record indicates, I have experience judging all events (with the exception of policy) in person and online.
Best ever LD paradigm that captures my philosophy-Yibo Chen. Everything I admire about LD is in his rap. Read it! Follow it!
Lders - use the 2023 National Finals round Eshan Velidandla v Jonathan Adler as your model. NO progressive debate, kritik, counterplan and no spreading.
Aldi is values not policy debate. Therefore the affirmative does not have to propose nor support any plan of implementation. You should focus your clash on the framework specifically which value I should prefer.
The national final round was a traditional LD debate delivered at a conversational rate of argumentation that was accessible to everyone including your grandparents, my 9-year-old grandson, and a well-informed individual with no knowledge of the topic - if these two finalists at Nationals can debate in this manner, so can and should you. See below for specifics but I repeat - first argue at a conversational rate that your grandparents can understand and NO progressive debate, kritik or counterplan.
Thank you and I regret having to repeat and emphasize this simple and common sense admonition
I am looking forward to your warrant based argumentation presented at a conversational pace as I consider LD a public speaking event.
I will be the most traditional and old-fashioned LD judge you will encounter. I ballot based upon first framework, second quality of argumentation which includes a link to your framework and clarity in your analysis of reasonable effects. I reject on their face all extinction impacts.
Pet peeves: flow this point, start the timer on my first word, one, two three, off time road map, misstatement of opponent argument (I will drop you for this) and EXTINCTION IMPACTS. I am maintaining a flow and as this is not policy debate. If you do not weigh the arguments I will. I will also add this - LD is values debate and not policy debate therefore the affirmative is under no obligation to present a plan or implementation.
As a long time community judge I have found that debaters who focus on a single argument as opposed to a laundry list tend to earn my ballot. I never ballot for analysis that ends with a laundry list of supposedly dropped arguments or zero probability impacts. As we consider the pros and cons of prohibitions on public lands in the US you will immediately earn my skepticism with supposed impacts to climate change, nuclear war, or worldwide hunger and death.I look for you to weigh the arguments that were made in the round.
This is values debate, not policy, thus my emphasis on framework. I discount analysis/argumentation centered on provision and base my ballot only on topical (framework) considerations.
Read Frederick Changho paradigm - scroll down to see PF. Once exception - I am Truth > Tech*
I have found PFers tend to avoid most of the problems outlined in LD. Again I look for clarity, simplicity, and analysis in your argumentation. Remember as a community judge I have limited capacity to process a case predicated on volume.
Therefore, you would be well advised to collapse your argumentation in summary to the most important argument and voting issue in the round around. Final focus should begin and end with your weighing the round and assuming you have taken my advice and collapsing to a single voting issue providing a rationale for weighing that argument above your opponents.
Arguing before me with a strategy of simplicity and clarity and focus on links to your warrants rather than impacts will make my ballot much easier.
Summary of expectations
Do not spread
No plans, counterplans or Kritik
LD is values debate not policy
Weigh the round! It you don't I have to.
Warrant (evidence is not a warrant)
Not all impacts need, or should, be extinction
Quality > Quantity
Truth > Tech (Truth - always, Tech - never)
Ethical Debate-I condemn sophistry, unethical behavior and immoral conduct. Your conduct reflects your character therefore reach for virtue rather than vice.
I'm always extremely grateful to have the opportunity to judge IEs. I have tremendous respect and admiration for the creativity, thought, passion, and commitment actors and public speakers demonstrate in these events. I leave every round having learned something important and most often being deeply moved.
I am open to all types of pieces and focus on the thought, creativity, and authenticity you bring to your performance.
I tend to be much more impressed by the performance that reaches deep within to find some sort of reality or authenticity and I tend to be less impressed by the well developed techniques that excellent actors employ.
Extemp - I value analysis within the context of a cohesive narrative over quantity of evidence cited. BTW as a former extemper I have a particular respect and admiration for all who compete in this event.
Scroll down to the end of Zoe Soderquist paradigm for delivery.
Read Christopher Klugman paradigm for ranking.
All experienced Congressional debaters should support the community and PO. Your service to the community will support new Congressional debaters and model excellence in Congressional debate procedure. Scroll to end of Yibo Chen paradigm and read his advice. Based upon his experience competing, his experience in judging and his clarity, following this excellent advice will, when you come to the fork in the road lead you to enlightenment rather than perdition.
Arizona has a richly deserved reputation for excellence in Congressional debate. Remember your burdens in speaking particularly after the first affirmative and negative. It's very important not to speak unless you have something to add to the debate.
Excellence in Congressional debate is exemplified by your ability to argue either side of the bill.
I value excellence in PO, the round would be impossible without a member of the chamber willing to lead. Typically the PO will rank in my top five. I value excellence as a PO over excellence as an in round debater. That said a PO has a number of important functions and must be competent in all. The best PO is like a umpire or referee and is judged less on what they say and more on the productivity and flow of the chamber debate.
The easiest speeches to make are first and second affirmative and negative. You distinguish yourself by speaking later in the round with equal attention in your 3 minutes speech to offense and defense, that is a minute and a half considering the affirmative position and a minute and a half considering the negative position.
Remember when speaking later in the round of crystallize and provide clear a weighing mechanism for your colleagues and judges. And then most importantly weight the round.
It is extremely important not to read a speech even the first affirmative or negative. You need to connect with the chamber and not be tied to the text of your notes for your comments. Congressional debate at its highest combines excellence in preparation, research, extemporaneous speaking, and analysis.
While appropriate humor is appreciated in the chamber less is more in this regard.
- Truth > Tech - clearly as an Aristotelian who values virtue, truth and justice I would always place truth above sophistry. Frankly, in the speech and debate community I am baffled, not to mention disappointed, that the inverse seems to prevail in debate. Connor Engel, must read on this topic - https://www.debatedrills.com/blog/tech-and-truth-how-judges-are-ruining-debate. BTW - as I indicate in my paradigm, I do require a clear warrant. :-)
Hey! My name is Abhived and I am a Sophomore at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign!
I am very very expressive. I frown, stick my eyebrow up, and do other rlly obvious things when I don't like an argument. Please do not go for said argument. I will note vote on the silence pic or any other argument that was not read.
No Google Docs! Download the Doc and send it in the chain or file share.
Please slow down!I have not thought about this activity since mid-2022. This means you should go half your speed and do a lot more judge instructions if you want to win.
The less time you take in your speech to win the higher speaks you will get. If you win the debate with more than half of the time left in your speech you will get a W30 in front of me, regardless of who your opponent is.
If you are debating against T/Theory in the 2A extend case. Bare minimum.
My email is email@example.com
I am a good judge if:
- You are good at the K
- You enjoy fun tricks + friv theory debates
- You are really good at explaining your stock Phil position
- 2N on Framework
- You wrap the round up cleanly and quickly
I am a mid judge if:
- You are meh at explaining your phil
- You are a legit theory/T debater
I am a bad judge if:
- You are an intense policy debater. I judged one good policy round this year and it made my head hurt.
- We are in an intense phil v phil debate
- You over adapt and are reading buzzwords for a K that no one understands
- You go too fast- I am so so bad at flowing
A couple more things:
- No misgendering- speaks will get slashed after the second time and I will be more than happy to down you if your opponent asks me to
- Plz don't read the Small Schools Disad on T fw- I think that the argument is poop
- Postrounding is good. If I can not defend my decision I probably did not make the right decision + you are holding me accountable. Don't be super rude and we won't have any issues.
Hey I’m Jack! I went to and now coach at Northland in Houston, TX. Feel free to ask questions before or after the round. Add me to email chains at firstname.lastname@example.org
TLDR: I will vote on anything that has a claim, warrant, and impact. I most enjoy judging policy arguments.
- Tech > Truth
- Fairness > Education
- 1NC Theory/T > 1AR Theory
- T/Theory > K
- Comparative Worlds
- No RVIs, Competing Interps, DTD
- Presumption flips neg unless they go for an alternative advocacy
- No judge kick
- I'm cool with anything as long as it has a claim, warrant, and impact. None of my personal opinions or interests in arguments will factor into my decision.
- I want you to debate the way you debate best. I want debaters to read what they know and are invested in.
- No buffet 2nrs please
- Be nice to one another and don't take yourself too seriously
- If you are sexist/racist/homophobic/transphobic/ableist or something similar
- Clipping/losing an ethics challenge OR a false accusation
- Stealing prep
Things I'm not voting on
- Any argument concerning out of round practices (except disclosure)
- Any argument concerning the appearance/clothes/etc. of another debater
- Any auto affirm/negate X identity argument
- "Evaluate the entire debate after X speech". However, I will evaluate "evaluate ___ layer after X speech".
- IVIs not flagged as IVIs in the 1NC/1AR (possibly a 2NR exception)
- My favorite type of debate to think about and judge
- Evidence comparison and impact calc are the most important things
- Great for heavy case pushes. Impact turn heavy strategies are good and solid execution will be rewarded with solid speaks
- Please have an actual internal link
- All CPs are fine and all CP theory args are fine
- I don’t have a strong preference for or against certain literature bases
- I won’t fill any substantive gaps in your explanation (this goes with anything, but it seems most relevant to what I’ve seen in K debates)
- I really enjoy when the 2NR includes lots of examples, especially with more uncommon literature bases.
- K framework args should be in the 1NC
- I think the interaction between Ks and Phil affs are really interesting and when done correctly turn out to be some of the best debates.
K Aff/T Framework
- The affirmative needs to provide a model of debate with a role for the negative.
- It is vital that aff teams provide an explanation of solvency that I can easily explain back (maybe slow down a bit here)
- I’m skeptical of arguments that say framework is some form of policing or genocide
- Negatives should have an answer to case
- Not good for dense phil v dense phil (good for util vs other phil)
- I’ve noticed that lots of phil aff contentions are pretty weak, I’d like to see more neg teams go for turns on the contention
- CPs with phil offense under the aff are very underused
- I guess :(
- Don’t be sketch in CX, it’s just annoying
- Not voting on something that I don’t understand/can’t explain back.
- Great for theory.
- The frivolous nature of some shells does not factor into my evaluation. Although, reasonability tends to become easier to justify and the answer becomes easier.
- I’ve never voted for a team that violates in a debate where they don’t disclose (this means they didn’t disclose anything in any way) the exception is obviously new affs.
- Good T debates are so much fun, bad T debates are so painful.
- Caselists are a must.
- The negative needs definitions. Debate over T definitions are great. Slow down when doing comparison
- Recent explanations for bare plural arguments by negative teams have been nothing short of atrocious – please understand the semantics before you read Nebel.
- Prep ends when the email is sent
- CX is binding
- Less prep and sitting down early will be rewarded with higher speaks.
- Clarity is VERY IMPORTANT. If you are unclear and I miss a “game changing” argument – that’s a you problem.
- Speaks will be awarded for good debating (strategy, technical ability, good CX, etc).
Debate for me first and foremost is an educational tool for the epistemological, social, and political growth of students. With that said, I believe to quote someone very close to me I believe that it is "educational malpractice" for adults and students connected to this activity to not read.
T/ and framework are the same thing for me I will listen AND CAN BE PERSUADED TO VOTE FOR IT I believe that affirmative teams should be at the very least tangentially connected to the topic and should be able to rigorously show that connection.
Also, very very important! Affirmatives have to do something to change the squo in the world in debate etc. If by the end of the debate the affirmative cannot demonstrate what it does and what the offense of the aff is T/Framework becomes even more persuasive. Framework with a TVA that actually gets to the impacts of the aff and leverages reasons why state actions can better resolve the issues highlighted in the affirmative is very winnable in front of me.
DA'S- Have a clear uniqueness story and flesh out the impact clearly
CP's- Must be clearly competitive with the aff and must have a clear solvency story, for the aff the permutation is your friend but you must be able to isolate a net-benefit
K- I am familiar with most of the k literature
CP'S, AND K'S- I am willing to listen and vote on all of these arguments feel free to run any of them do what you are good at
In the spirit of Shannon Sharpe on the sports show "Undisputed" and in the spirit of Director of Debate at both Stanford and Edgemont Brian Manuel theory of the TKO I want to say there are a few ways with me that can ensure that you get a hot dub (win), or a hot l (a loss).
First let me explain how to get a Hot L:
So first of all saying anything blatantly racist things ex. (none of these are exaggerations and have occurred in real life) "black people should go to jail, black death/racism has no impact, etc" anything like this will get you a HOT L
THE SAME IS TRUE FOR QUESTIONS RELATED TO GENDER, LGBTQ ISSUES ETC. ALSO WHITE PEOPLE AND WHITENESS IS NOT THE SAME THING
Next way to get a HOT L is if your argumentation dies early in the debate like during the cx following your first speech ex. I judged an LD debate this year where following the 1nc the cx from the affirmative went as follows " AFF: you have read just two off NEG: YES AFF: OK onto your Disad your own evidence seems to indicate multiple other polices that should have triggered your impact so your disad seems to then have zero uniqueness do you agree with this assessment? Neg: yes Aff: OK onto your cp ALL of the procedures that the cp would put into place are happening in the squo so your cp is the squo NEG RESPONDS: YES In a case like this or something similar this would seem to be a HOT L I have isolated an extreme case in order to illustrate what I mean
Last way to the HOT L is if you have no knowledge of a key concept to your argument let me give a few examples
I judged a debate where a team read an aff about food stamps and you have no idea what an EBT card this can equal a HOT L, in a debate about the intersection between Islamaphobia and Anti-Blackness not knowing who Louis Farrakhan is, etc etc
I believe this gives a good clear idea of who I am as judge happy debating
yes, add me to the email chain: email@example.com
I've worked/taught at camps such as utnif, stanford, gds, and nsd.
overall thoughts: I believe it's important to be consistent on explicit labeling, generating offense, and extending some sort of impact framing in the debate because this is what ultimately frames my ballot. Debate is a place for you to do you. I will make my decisions based on what was presented to me in a debate and what was on my flow. This means I am unlikely to decide on debates based on my personal feelings about the content/style of an argument than the quality of execution and in-round performance. It is up to the debaters to present and endorse whichever model of debate they want to invest in. Have fun and best of luck!
-- Case is incredibly underutilized and should be an essential part of every negative strategy. You need to have some sort of mechanism that generates offense/defense for you.
Policy affs vs. K
-- I am most familiar with these types of debates. With that being said, I think the affirmative needs to prioritize framing i.e. the consequences of the plan under a util framework. There need to be contestations between the aff framing versus the K's power of theory in order to disprove it, as not desirable, or incoherent, and why your impacts under the plan come first. Point out the flaws of the kritiks alternative and make solvency deficits. Aff teams need to answer the link arguments, read link defense, make perms, and provide reasons/examples of why the plan is preferable/resolve material conditions. Use cross-x to clarify jargon and get the other team to make concessions about their criticism.
-- CP(s) need to have a clear plan text and have an external net benefit, otherwise, I'm inclined to believe there is no reason why the cp would be better than the affirmative. There needs to be clear textual/function competition with the Aff or else the permutation becomes an easy way for me to vote. Same with most arguments, the more specific the better.
-- The 2NR should generally be the counterplan with a DA/Case argument to supplement the net benefit. The 1AR + 2AR needs to have some offense against the counterplan because a purely defensive strategy makes it very hard to beat the counterplan. I enjoy an advantage counterplan/impact turn strategy when it’s applicable. Generally, I think conditionality is good but I can be persuaded otherwise.
-- Please have good evidence and read specific DAs. If you have a good internal link and turn case analysis, your speaker points will be higher. For the aff, I think evidence comparison/callouts coupled with tricky strategies like impact turns or internal link turns to help you win these debates.
-- I don't really have a threshold on these arguments but lean towards competing interps over reasonability unless told otherwise.
-- When going for theory, please extend offense and weigh between interps/standards/implications.
-- When responding/going for theory, please slow down on the interps/i-meets.
-- Comparative analysis between pieces of interpretation evidence wins and loses these debates – as you can probably tell, I err towards competing interpretations in these debates, but I can be convinced that reasonability is a better metric for interpretations, not for an aff. Having well-explained internal links to your limits/ground offense in the 2NR/2AR makes these debates much easier to decide, as opposed to floating claims without warranted analysis. A case list is required. I will not vote for an RVI on T.
-- I prefer framework debates a lot more when they're developed in the 1NC/block, as opposed to being super blippy in the constructives and then the entire 2NR. I lean more toward competing interps than reasonability. Aff teams need to answer TVA well, not just say it "won't solve". Framework is about the model of debate the aff justifies, it’s not an argument why K affs are bad or the aff teams are cheaters. If you’re going for framework as a way to exclude entire critical lit bases/structural inequalities/content areas from debate then we are not going to get along. I am persuaded by standards like Clash and topic education over fairness being an intrinsic good/better impact.
K affs vs. T-Framework
-- There are a couple of things you need to do to win: you need to explain the method of your aff, the nuanced framing of the aff, and the impacts that you claim to solve. You should have some sort of an advocacy statement or a role of the ballot for me to evaluate your impacts because this indicates how it links into your framework of the aff. If you’re going to read high theory affs, explain because all I hear are buzzwords that these authors use. Don’t assume I am an expert in this type of literature because I am not and I just have a basic understanding of it. If you don’t do any of these things, I have the right to vote to neg on presumption.
-- You need a counter-interp or counter-model of debate and what debate looks like under this model and then go for your impact turns or disads as net benefits to this. Going for only the net benefits/offense without explaining what your interpretation of what debate should look like will be difficult. The 2AC strategy of saying as many ‘disads’ to framework as possible without explaining or warranting any of them out is likely not going to be successful. Leveraging your aff as an impact turn to framework is always good. The more effectively voting aff can resolve the impact turn the easier it will be to get my ballot.
-- I went for the Kritik in almost every 2NR my senior year. I have been exposed to many different types of scholarship, but I am more familiar with some critical race theory criticisms. This form of debate is what I am most comfortable evaluating. However, it is important to note I have a reasonable threshold for each debater's explanation of whatever theory they present within the round, extensions of links, and impact framing. I need to understand what you are saying in order for me to vote for your criticism.
-- You should have specific links to affirmatives because without them you will probably lose to "these are links to the squo" unless the other team doesn't answer it well. Link debate is a place where you can make strategic turns case/impact analysis. Make sure you have good impact comparison and weighing mechanisms and always have an external impact.
-- The alt debate seems to be one of the most overlooked parts of the K and is usually never explained well enough. This means always explaining the alt thoroughly and how it interacts with the aff. This is an important time that the 2NR needs to dedicate time allocation if you go for the alternative. If you choose not to go for the alternative and go for presumption, make sure you are actually winning an impact-framing claim.
K vs. K
-- These debates are always intriguing.
-- Presumption is underutilized by the neg and permutations are allowed in a methods debate. However, it is up to the teams in front of me to do this. There needs to be an explanation of how your theory of power operates, why it can preclude your opponent’s, how your method or approach is preferable, and how you resolve x issues. Your rebuttals should include impact comparison, framing, link defense/offense, permutation(s), and solvency deficits.
-- I am not the best at evaluating these types of arguments. It is important to extend the claim, warrant, and impact of your argument and WEIGH. Please slow down on analytics that are important, especially in theory debates.
Email - Rogersjoey171@gmail.com
Competed in LD for all 4 years of high school, both on the TFA and TOC circuits. Qualified to TFA state my junior year
I'll evaluate any argument with a clear ballot story and explicit offense
I'm competent with most LARP debates, Just make sure you do explicit weighing between impacts or just some clear ballot story for your scenario over theirs. Really long and technical plans/CPs with tons of different planks might lose me, so please be really explicit with how it functions and try and stay away from the policy jargon. On the other hand, creative and interesting plans/cps/DAs when explained well and executed correctly I think are really cool and a breath of fresh air from the same handful of LARP args that I feel get repeated every topic.
I like theory debates I think they can be really interesting when done well but also really messy and hard to evaluate when not. just please weigh between your standards and give me a clear violation and abuse story. Also please make paradigm issues clear I can be convinced of pretty much any of them so long as you argue it well enough.
No RVIs , Drop the debater, and competing interps
Definitely my favorite kind of debate and the thing I have the most experience in. As a debater, I loved reading new and unique literature for Ks, and as an extension will give increased speaks for good execution of unique Ks. Please give me an explicit link with the K so many people (including myself sometimes) will just read generic links that don't apply to the aff, so just do the work on making the K link to the aff.
love these don't care if they have anything to do with the topic as long as you prove why it cant/shouldn't be and do the proper weighing of the affs education against topic edu.
On the other hand, a good K aff that works with the topic is awesome please read these.
Started getting into this kind of debate my senior year, I like it a lot and think it can create really interesting debates. Framing is everything I like creative hijacks and well-explained takedowns of your opponent's syllogism. That all being said I'm still pretty new to this style of debate so please do clear overviews on the FW page and why it matters.
eh, I think some tricks debates can be interesting when done REALLY well, not a big fan of the shallow a prioris or hidden auto wins. I prefer tricks debate that is more fleshed out, contextual to the round with clear and in-depth explanations on a. how the trick operates b. why it operates that way and c. why that means you win the round. I also think layering is super important in these debates so please do the layering debate no matter what side of the debate you are on. Run tricks at your own risk bad tricks debate with little explanations, layering, or clash will tank your speaks and I will set the bar for refutation very low.
If I can't understand why you should auto-win you won't.
My background in debate is that I was a Policy debater in the Chicago Debate League for four years in high school and I debated on the College LD circuit for one year.
I was a K-heavy debater. This doesn't mean you will be automatically advantaged by reading a Kritik. They are the area of debate I am most knowledgeable of, and thus it's most clear if you're butchering the source material. However, I cannot deny that they are the arguments in debate I find most persuasive, as they are the arguments that persuaded me when I was a debater.
I focused on Cap K, Security K, Social Ecology K, and Delueze and Guatarri Ks.
I'll list my thoughts on each stock arguments.
My general paradigm:
I will do my best to be a clean-slate judge, but I'm only human.
I have a high threshold for when I consider an argument valid. It is not enough to simply state a point, but you must also justify it.
If your strategy is to throw out more arguments than the opponent can respond to this will both not work for me and earn yourself poor speaker points. That practice is exclusionary, poor rhetoric, intellectually lazy, and quite frankly boring.
Make an effort to clash with your opponents to earn high speaks.
Inherency, Harms, and Solvency are stock issues. You must defend them.
I'm okay with Kritical Affs, I ran a few of them. However, they must be related to the Topic and be a high enough quality argument to justify the educational impacts of significantly breaking the rules.
Prepare on-case arguments. It's just better debate practice. Impact turns are dope.
Debate, in general, has a horrible habit of having absolutely nonsense DAs that win rounds. So many of them are truly ridiculous and are historically and empirically proven nonsensical fearmongering.
That said, it's the affirmative's responsibility to convince me in round that an impact is highly unlikely.
I've always found the Impact and internal Link chains to be the most suspect part of a DA in most cases. No, I don't think a modestly higher federal deficit will cause Great Power War with CHINA.
Perm is a test of competitiveness, not an advocacy.
I consider PIC's highly abusive, lazy, and boring. If you want to run a PIC criticizing problematic language they or their authors used, you should run a critique or run a separate off-case.
Debaters used to argue CPs themselves are abusive and unjustified. The debate community has largely resolved this question in favor of CPs, but I think the community should revisit it. There are some very interesting arguments to be made and I will boost your speaker points for running this.
The least interesting debate to be had, and I'll be more than a little salty if I have to vote on it.
That said, if an AFF is GENUINELY UNTOPICAL I have no problem hearing T out and voting on it.
I generally dislike the accepted strategy that you should always run T just to waste the AFF's time, and your speaker points will reflect that.
I find Ks the most interesting part of debate, and I would love to see good K debate and I will be personally biased towards high speaks in these rounds.
That said, there is absolutely nothing worse in debate than bad K debate. I would rather listen to a 1nc of T and oncase.
Your alt matters. Too many critical teams, especially ones I've faced have some of the laziest excuses for alts. It must solve the impacts, or the impacts should not be weighed.
Perm is a test of competitiveness not an advocacy.
Read the literature. If you don't, it shows. If you want to be a good K debater, you must ABSOLUTELY READ THE LITERATURE. You will get so much more out of the experience.
Law Magnet High School: 2012-2016
The University of Texas at Dallas: 2016-2019
Assistant debate coach at Coppell HS: 2018-now
firstname.lastname@example.org - I would like to be on the email chain :)
Case: You should read it. Lots of it. It's good, makes for good debates and is generally underutilized. Impact turns are best when they are debated correctly.
Topicality: I enjoy T debates. If you're looking for a judge willing to pull the trigger on T, I'm probably a good judge for you.
DAs: DAs are a core debate argument and I love judging DA(& CP) v. case debates. Specific DAs are always a plus, but obviously that's not always possible. I tend default to an offense/defense paradigm.
Counterplans: A well thought out specific counterplan are one of the strongest debate tools that you can use. I will vote on almost any cp if you can win that it is theoretically legitimate and that it has a net benefit.
Kritiks: I have a pretty good grasp of a lot of the more popular Kritiks, but that isn't an excuse for a lack of explanation when reading your argument. But be aware that if you are reading more PoMo/high-theory args, you might have to explain the arg a bit more.
K AFFs: I have no problem with teams running untopical affs but this doesn't mean that I wont pull the trigger on FW, you still have to win the affs model ow the negs model of debate.
Theory: I have no problem voting on theory if it is well warranted. I honestly believe affirmative teams let the negative get away with a ton of stuff, and shouldn't be afraid to not only run theory but to go for it and go for it hard.
*Note for online debates: I'm very forgetful and my keyboard is loud af, so if I forget to mute, remind me to mute myself if the keyboard noise is being bothersome.
History: Graduated from Hebron 2020, qual to the TOC in policy
email chain- Aashir.email@example.com
*If there are any other questions about how I would evaluate something more specifically feel free to ask
*Online Debate - not sharing your evidence in some capacity is an easy way to lose speaks in front of me
*Please type remaining prep in chat if possible- just makes keeping track of prep time easier
Please understand the capacity of debating online- microphones create echos and wifi cut-outs are regular- I guarantee if you're spreading your blocks/analytics at full speed I'm going to miss something, and no one is going to be happy about that- I say clear once per speech at most- if I can't cleary understand an articulation, its not making it to my flow
**PLEASE READ- I always preferred judges to be honest so here's my attempt to do so:
1. I was really only successful in policy, did LD at locals and some TOCs- This means I can flow, but I may not be familiar with LD's meta or LD lingo being thrown around- if you have any doubts feel free to ask me before round
2. please take your time to clearly articulate arguments and most importantly make clear implications- I feel judge instruction is severely underutilized by a majority of debaters- rather than being confused about why I viewed an argument a certain way, tell me how to view it and what it means for my decision making.
3. I will obviously try my best to get every argument I hear- but remember, everyone makes mistakes- it never hurts to repeat something you think is important- doing so only increases the chances that it makes it to your judges flow and subsequently into my decision
**EDIT for 2023 Season
1. Topic- keep in mind I haven't done any topic research- I'm confident you're familiar with the topic literature so please explain it thoroughly
2. Speed/Spreading- Please slow down for analytics- I've noticed some debaters literally spread analytics, and to be honest I don't flow fast enough to keep up with that- for me specifically I would say analytics should at a bare minimum be 20-25% slower than your top speed. if you want it on my flow I advise you to articulate it clearly
3. Interps- for your sake and mine, please slow down on the interp at the very least- It doesn't have to be a conversational speed, but should not be spreading either- Ive noticed I'm usually annoyed by casual transitions that are difficult to follow- what i mean is for example if your reading condo bad on the cp flow- make it very clear where you're transitioning to theory- this is easily solved by slowing down and giving clear articulation- if possible I would even a pause at the start of the transition or change your tone so its easier for me to identify a switch is occurring.
"If you want my ballot, this is a simple concept. Tell me 1) what argument you won; 2) why you won it, and 3) why that means you win the round. Repeat."
To be honest, most of my debate experience was with Ks, however, I will try to evaluate each argument to my best ability.
Ks - 1
Policy/Larp - 2-3
Phil - 4
Phil and Tricks- I never really debated these, but it's not like I won't vote for it- I just might require more explanation than a judge more familiar with the argument.
Defaults- all of these can be persuaded differently you just need to give me a reason why:
1. No RVI on Theory- IE theory is no risk (Same for T)
2. Competing Interps > Reasonability
3. Default Framing = Util
4. Tech > truth (in all instances except for things like racism good, sexism good, etc)
a) "are you okay with speed/spreading?" - yeah just try to be clear
b) please, do not spread analytics at 100%. I doubt I type faster than you speak
An ongoing list of things I've noticed I commonly say were insufficient (doing these things will likely make my decision easier) :
1. Judge Instruction- what I mean is beyond just telling me what you're winning (and why you're winning it) give me the implication to the argument (IE what that means for my decision)- doing so makes my judging experience much easier
2. Fleshed Out Extensions- beyond just a reiteration of the tagline
IF YOU ARE READING THIS, THAT MEANS I AM (PROBABLY) YOUR JUDGE. YIPEE!!
BACKGROUND: Debated for four years for Horizon High School in Arizona, graduated 2019 and now I judge for Collegiate Academy in New York. I mostly ran performance/queer rage Ks in high school, if that matters to anybody reading.
CRASH COURSE: The floor is truly yours, run whatever you like I want to hear it!! Please explain your complicated lit, I really hate having to read a bunch of fine print in order to judge the round.Oh my gosh please please please use speechdrop.net I ABSOLUTELY DESPISE EMAIL CHAINS THEY TAKE SO STINKIN' LONG. STOP. I am fine with spreading, but please pause and emphasize important bits of your speeches. Card tags/authors, impacts, links, anything that you think NEEDS to be on my flow, take .5 seconds to pause and emphasize. Even raising your voice helps if you dont have the time to pause, it really helps me out on my flow. WEIGH WEIGH WEIGH, IMPACT ANALYSIS IS KEEEEYYY to winning my ballot! Also please extend, otherwise I will LITERALLY drop anything you did not extend by the end of the round.
PF: I never really was a PF person, so it's hard to say what I like to see in a PF debate. My big thing is impact analysis, I don't really care for "my evidence is better than YOUR evidence" debates. I feel like a lot of PF debates focus too much on things that don't really affect /my/ ballot (how recent your evidence is, statistics, etc.) which I personally don't like, but I also know thats just part of the event.
FRAMEWORK: I love me some good framework debate. If you're running traditional I think you should REALLY focus in on framework.Please, add some extra meat to your framework beyond "value: [BLANK], criterion: [blank],"I want to know why you chose your framework and how it fits into the round before you even get into contentions.
LINKS: To me, anything is a link. And Imean anything.You tell me it links, and I'll believe you.That is not the same for delinking, please tell me why a link is BS and I will believe you.Too many debaters have simply tried to tell me "this doesn't link, drop the argument," without telling mewhyit doesn't link.
IMPACTS: You need to really hammer in why your impacts win the round!! EVEN WITH EXTINCTION IMPACTS, TELL MEWHY IT MATTERS.YOU CANNOT JUST GIVE ME EXTINCTION IMPACTS AND EXPECT ME TO VOTE FOR YOU WITHOUT DOING THE PROPER WEIGHING!! Magnitude, scope, whatever,weigh. all. of. the. impacts. in. round.
PLANS/COUNTERPLANS: I'm lukewarm on plans, I think if you're gonna run a plan it should be very fleshed out otherwise why not just run a trad aff lol? Counterplans are cool too, but please just let me know when you ARE running a counterplan. Obviously plans and counterplans can be run as trad, but it's just to help me flow and keep track of what is being said, thank you!
KRITIKS: My faaaavooritteeeeee!!! I love em all!However, I have not competed in almost 5 years(
ohgeezthatscrazyimgettingold)and I am NOT college edumacated. Please explain your lit!Add some extra analytics after cards, something, anything like that. I have a pretty good understanding of a lot of phil, but I just need my hand held a little bit.Also if your opponent clearly is confused, PLEASE DO NOT CONFUSE THEM MORE BY NOT EXPLAINING THINGS.That is really, really mean and I do not like it ONE BIT.This is why I encourage flex prep, let your opponent ask clarification questions and answer themHONESTLY.Oh and also please LABEL each section of the K!! Makes it a lot easier for me as a judge.
THEORY: Personally, I am not super big on theory. I like that debate doesn't have any rules, why argue about made up rules? Either way, I encourage theory, but please make the violation very very clear to me. AND PLEASE MAKE IT A WELL FLESHED OUT THEORY SHELL. IF I HAVE TO MAKE AN ENTIRE NEW FLOW FOR THEORY JUST FOR YOU TO SPEND 15 SECONDS ON IT I WILL BE SO MADD!!! Basically, if you are trying to win my ballot, do not think that a theory shell will do it.
TOPICALITY: I personally don't see why ANYBODY has to be topical in LD, so please please give me some clear impacts. Again, I'm willing to listen to it, but you really need some good impacts for me to vote on it.
DISCLOSURE: Same for above, I NEED a valid violation for disclosure especially. I think a lot of disclosure theory is very frivolous, so please flesh out your shell if you're going to run it in front of me.
PERFORMANCE: I love performance in debate. I come from a theatre background, so if you've always wanted to run performance and you've never done it before, I am the perfect judge to do it front of.Please do not drop your performance after your first speech because I will be so sad):
SPEAKER POINTS: Much to tabroom's dismay, I am not a fan of speaker points. It is my least favorite part of judging I hate having to give a number value to your speaking ability I think it is kind of dumb and doesn't make any sense in a debate setting. I'll almost always give pretty high speaks, unless you're like crazy offensive or something.
Well, that is basically everything I can think of. I encourage all debaters to have fun, debate is a really stressful activity and you all need to remember to prioritize yourselves and your own mental wellbeing. Please feel free to email me with ANY questions that you have before AND after the round! I am always happy to answer any questions and provide extra feedback as needed.
If you are still reading, pet this cat!
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daniel please, Not judge and definitely not sir
So who is this random guy?
Policy debater at Houston Memorial (2022), TFA, and NSDA Qualifier with a horrendous record at National Circuit tournaments- Arkansas 26(Not debating)
I judge mostly these days for fun, and far less than I used to. I cover sports in my spare time for sports illustrated, Slow down from top speed, DSDS 1 will be my first circuit tournament all year.
An extra note on speed: The question everyone goes hunting for in every paradigm... My answer has always been to go as fast as you NEED to go, not how fast you want to show me how fast you "can" go. I don't do speaker points like your normal circuit judge, you will get a 30 (29.9 if the tournament does not allow tied 30s and you lose the debate) STOP TRYING TO SHOW OFF. It just hurts my brain, remember who's watching the debate...
A debater turned sportswriter who does not care about "Wow! this kid can go really fast"
If you're in out rounds two other judges who (probably) also don't care about the above
Your opponent, who definitely doesn't care about what your top speed is... That's it. No one else. Debate is not a entertainment spectacle for the masses.
(Real theory-Condo, T Violations vs LARP AFF, etc.) 1-2
Trix-The cereal is for 3-year-olds, and so is this kind of debate :)
This used to be a heck of a lot longer, I’m convinced that most of y’all didn’t read that disorganized mess. This is how you should think of me as a judge. A former policy debater that went strictly topic related T and Policy stuff and a few basic Ks. Slightly out of practice but judged 50+ circuit LD rounds last year.
Yes, I want to be on the email chain. firstname.lastname@example.org
UT '21 update (since I'm judging policy): I judge probably around a dozen policy rounds on the DFW local circuit a year (since about 2011), so I'm not a policy debate expert but I shouldn't be confused by your round. That means that I will probably understand the arguments you're making in a vacuum, but that you should probably err on the side of over-explaining how you think those arguments should interact with each other; don't just expect me to be operating off the exact same policy norms that you/the national circuit do. I am fairly willing to evaluate arguments however you tell me to. I have read a decent bit of identity, setcol, and cap lit. I am less good on pomo lit but I am not unwilling to vote on anything I can understand. Totally down for just a plan v counterplan/disad debate too.
Tl;dr I'm fine with really any argument you want to read as long as it links to and is weighed in relation to some evaluative mechanism. I am pretty convinced that T/theory should always be an issue of reasonability (I obviously think that some debates are better when there is a clear counter-interp that offense is linked back to); if you trust me to compare and weigh offense on substantive issues in the debate, I can't figure out why you wouldn't also trust me to make the same judgments on T/theory debates (unless you're just making frivolous/bad T/theory args). I enjoy any debate that you think you can execute well (yeah this applies to your K/counter-plan/non-T aff; I'll listen to it). I base speaker points on whether or not I think that you are making strategic choices that might lead to me voting for you (extending unnecessary args instead of prioritizing things that contribute to your ballot story, dropping critical arguments that either are necessary for your position or that majorly help your opponent, failing to weigh arguments in relation to each other/the standard would be some general examples of things that would cause you to lose speaker points if I am judging). Beyond those issues, I think that debate should function as a safe space for anyone involved; any effort to undermine the safety (or perceived safety) of others in the activity will upset me greatly and result in anything from a pretty severe loss of speaker points to losing the round depending on the severity of the harm done. So, be nice (or at least respectful) and do you!
elijahjdsmith AT gmail.com
My General Thoughts on Debate
Debate is what you make it. I have an extensive history in circuit policy/ld and college policy debate. I care about education more than fairness, good cards over the quantity of positions, and quality arguments over the number of arguments in a debate.
An argument has a claim, warrant, and impact in a single speech.
The role of the affirmative is to affirm and the role of the negative is to negate the affirmative in an intellectually rigorous manner. However, I would personally like to hear the affirmative say we should do something. I would prefer to hear about an actor outside of the folks reading the 1AC (Nonprofits, governments, the debate community as a whole, etc) do something but that is not a requirement. Most of it sounds good to me.
Please don’t say racist, sexist, ableist things or things that otherwise participate in -isms . Sometimes these are learning moments. Sometimes these are losing moments.
If there was an accessibility, disclosure, or other request made before the debate that you plan to bring up in the debate please inform me before the debate. I would like to evaluate the debate with this information ahead of time. More personal issues/things that someone did last year are difficult for me to understand as relevant to my ballot.
I decide debates by figuring out 1. framing issue 2. offense 3. good defense 4. if the evidence is as good as you say it is 5. deciding which world /side would result in a better outcome (whatever that means for the debate in front of me)
These thoughts are fairly general yet firmly how I think about debate.
My RFDs have been less "little c, little d mattered to my ballot" and "let's talk about the conceptual, big-picture things that both sides missed that will help you win the next debate". If you want the small line-by-line issues to matter as much you have to give them weight in your final speech. That requires time, investment in explanation, and comparative claims.
Tricks, silly arguments, etc. Please skip. I haven't read your ethics phil but I've voted on it when it makes sense. 4+ off is grounds for a condo debate. K links require longer than 15 seconds to explain.
If you already know what evidence you are going to read in the debate/speech you have to send a document via email chain or provide the evidence on a google document that is shared with your opponents before the debate. Those cards have to be provided before the speech begins.
You don’t get unlimited prep time to ask for cards before prep time is used. A PF debate can’t take as long as a policy debate. You have 30 seconds to request and there are then 30 seconds to provide the evidence. If you can’t provide it within 30 seconds your prep will run until you do.
The Final Focus should actually be focused. You have to implicate your argument against every other argument in the debate. You can’t do that if you go for 3 or 4 different arguments.
Updated 4/11/23 -I haven't judged circuit debates in a hot minute, don’t go your top speed and develop your arguments more thoroughly than you normally would.
Email for speech docs: email@example.com. Make sure there’s parity in document access during the round.
My background: I did LD for 3 years. I was the director of debate at Hopkins for 4 years, coached at St. Thomas Academy & Visitation for 2 years, and have been the head coach at Apple Valley since 2017. I’ve worked at VBI since 2012 and I’m currently the director of instructional design and curriculum.
· Good debate involves well developed arguments and genuine interaction/clash with the other debater’s arguments.
I’m not going to be able to flow twenty back-to-back 1-sentence arguments at 400 WPM. If I didn’t initially catch the argument, then I’m not going to evaluate it.
· Quality >>>>>> quantity of arguments.
· I’m going to be skeptical of arguments that start out as 7 seconds of content but suddenly become multiple minutes of a final rebuttal. If the argument isn’t adequately developed in the speech that you initially make it then I’m likely not going to give you credit.
· Generally open to most arguments, but don’t forget that this competitive activity is also an educational activity. I understand progressive argument mechanics, but don’t assume I’m up to date on recent developments in the meta.
· Strategies designed to avoid meaningful engagement probably isn’t given me evidence you are doing the better debating.
Nope |---------------------X--------------| Heck ya
Nope |----------------------------------X-| Heck ya
Nope |-----------------------X------------| Heck ya
· I think Nebel T is correct but am totally game for y’all to have a throwdown on this.
· There’s this odd trend to stray far from the core of the topic literature for some far-fetched x-risk scenario. Not a huge fan of this trend.
· You have to establish a baseline of credibility for me to care about your scenario. @ folks reading extinction impacts on the standardized tests topic.
Nope |-------------------X----------------| Heck ya
· Cases should be built around the topic literature, not just the author/theory you want to read. If your contention is just analytics and/or cards written in a wildly different context than what the topic is about then it probably isn’t a very strong case.
· I think phil has mainly become a vehicle for tricks, which makes me sad.
Nope |-------------------X----------------| Heck ya
· I used to be a giant K hack because I love critical theory. Unfortunately, K debates have become increasingly convoluted and clashphobic.
· I think the aff should probably defend the topic. That doesn’t mean there’s only one way to interpret a topic. I’ll listen to non-t affs, but framework debates will be an uphill battle for you. Just reading a contestable 1NC link card isn't a very persuasive argument for you not having to defend the topic.
Nope |------------X-----------------------| Heck ya
· Theory/T obviously has a place in debate since debaters are true artisans at inventing & discovering arguments & strategies that skew the playing field or rob the round of any educational value.
· That being said, theory/T debates happen way more frequently than they should.
· Theory/T needs to be sufficiently developed in the first speech that the argument is made.
· If the violation is absurd or silly it isn’t going to pass my sniff test. But once the sniff test has been passed, I’ll evaluate the theory/T debate as tab as I can. Default competing interps. Neutral on RVIs.
· You need to actually show that the crime fits the proposed punishment. I think offering an alternative punishment to solve the violation is a criminally neglected response to theory/T.
Nope |---X--------------------------------| Heck ya
· Winning through tricks is rarely evidence that a debater is doing the better debating. When a hyper-focus on strategy comes at the expense of having an enriching experience in the round then I get sad.
· I almost never vote on presumption/permissibility/skepticism since there’s usually a risk of offense.
· I default to comparative worlds and need some convincing to adopt truth testing.
An important note for progressive debaters: if you’re debating someone that is a traditional debater or significantly less experienced than you then you should adjust what you do so that there can be an actual debate. Don’t read a non-topical Baudrillard AC at 450 wpm against a new novice. Don’t have your 1NC be skep and a PIC against a traditional debater who hasn't had the opportunity to learn about the mechanics of such arguments. Slow down and/or read arguments that your opponent can actually understand. Use your best judgement. If I think that you knowingly made choices that functionally preclude your opponent from engaging then I may murder your speaker points and/or drop you.
I care deeply about inclusion and accessibility within debate. I’m more than happy to vote against debaters who engage in practices that promote exclusion or inaccessibility, even if they’re winning on the flow. I’ll be a tab judge until you give me a good reason not to be.
I will yell clear or slow once or twice; after that it is up to you to pick up on non-verbal cues. I expect you to make serious alterations to your delivery if I’m forced to yell. I won’t vote on an argument, even if it is in the speech doc, if I didn’t flow it or understand when it was initially read in the round. I’m a trashcan judge to have in the back of the room when the rebuttals are filled with hundreds of 1 sentence arguments (especially for T/Theory debates) without real clash, impact analysis, and framing.
Speaker Points: The factors I focus on for determining speaker points are: strategic choices, execution, and how persuasive I found your argumentation. My normal range is 25-30, with 20-24.9 being reserved for super rough or problematic debating. My speaker points are relative to the strength of the pool: 30 for champion level performance, ~28.5 for a performance worth making it to elims, and I aim for ~27.5 as an average performance.
Hi, I'm Allyson Spurlock (people also call me Bunny)
I did policy debate for 4 years at CK McClatchy High School in Sacramento, CA where I qualified to the TOC three times and was a Quarterfinalist. I am currently a debater at Georgetown.
I will diligently flow the debate, read the relevant evidence flagged by the final rebuttals, and assign relative weight to arguments (which originate completely/clearly from the constructives) in accordance with depth of explanation, explicit response to refutations, and instruction in how I should evaluate them.
I have few non-obvious preferences or opinions (obviously, be a respectful and kind person, read qualified/well-cut + highlighted evidence, make smart strategic choices, etc).
I have thought a lot about both critical and policy arguments and honestly do not think you should pref me a certain way because of the kinds of arguments you make (HOW you make them is pretty much all I care about). Judge instruction is paramount; tell me how to read evidence, frame warrants, compare impacts, etc.
Evidence quality matters a lot to me, but your speeches need to do the work of extending/applying specific warrants. Condo is probably good, but many CPs I think can be won are theoretically illegitimate/easily go away with smart perms. Debating the risks of internal links of Advs and DAs is much more useful than reading generic impact defense.
Different approaches (on both sides) are all fine, as long as you answer the important questions. Does debate change our subjectivity? What is the role of negation and rejoinder? What does the ballot do? Fairness can be an impact but the 2NR still needs to do good impact calculus/comparison.
Policy Aff v K:
FW debates are often frustratingly unresolved; the final rebuttal should synthesize arguments and explain their implications. Because of this, it is often a cleaner ballot for the 2NR to have a unique link that turns the case and beats the aff without winning framework. 2ACs should spend more time on the alt; most are bad and it is very important to decisively win that the Neg cannot access your offense.
Would prefer not to judge debates about silly theory arguments, RVIs, T arguments written by coaches, or other tricks. Err on the side of extra explanation for LD-specific things.
+0.2 speaker points if you don't ask for a marked doc after the speech
Affiliation: Winston Churchill HS
*I don't look at docs during the debate, if it isn't on my flow, I'm not evaluating it*
**prep time stops when the email is sent, too many teams steal prep while 'saving the doc'**
Do what you do well: I have no preference to any sort of specific types of arguments these days. The most enjoyable rounds to judge are ones where teams are good at what they do and they strategically execute a well planned strategy. You are likely better off doing what you do and making minor tweaks to sell it to me rather than making radical changes to your argumentation/strategy to do something you think I would enjoy.
-Clash Debates: No strong ideological debate dispositions, affs should probably be topical/in the direction of the topic but I'm less convinced of the need for instrumental defense of the USFG. I think there is value in K debate and think that value comes from expanding knowledge of literature bases and how they interact with the resolution. I generally find myself unpersuaded by affs that 'negate the resolution' and find them to not have the most persuasive answers to framework.
-Evidence v Spin: Ultimately good evidence trumps good spin. I will accept a debater’s spin until it is contested by the opposing team. I often find this to be the biggest issue with with politics, internal link, and permutation evidence for kritiks.
-Speed vs Clarity: I don't flow off the speech document, I don't even open them until either after the debate or if a particular piece of evidence is called into question. If I don't hear it/can't figure out the argument from the text of your cards, it probably won't make it to my flow/decision. This is almost always an issue of clarity and not speed and has only gotten worse during/post virtual debate.
-Inserting evidence/CP text/perms:you have to say the words for me to consider it an argument
-Permutation/Link Analysis: I am becoming increasingly bored in K debates. I think this is almost entirely due to the fact that K debate has stagnated to the point where the negative neither has a specific link to the aff nor articulates/explains what the link to the aff is beyond a 3-year-old link block written by someone else. I think most K links in high school debate are more often links to the status quo/links of omission and I find affirmatives that push the kritik about lack of links/alts inability to solve set themselves up successfully to win the permutation. I find that permutations that lack any discussion of what the world of the permutation would mean to be incredibly unpersuasive and you will have trouble winning a permutation unless the negative just concedes the perm. Reading a slew of permutations with no explanation as the debate progresses is something that strategically helps the negative team when it comes to contextualizing what the aff is/does. I also see an increasingly high amount of negative kritiks that don't have a link to the aff plan/method and instead are just FYIs about XYZ thing. I think that affirmative teams are missing out by not challenging these links.
FOR LD PREFS (may be useful-ish for policy folks)
All of the below thoughts are likely still true, but it should be noted that it has been about 5 years since I've regularly judged high-level LD debates and my thoughts on some things have likely changed a bit. The hope is that this gives you some insight into how I'm feeling during the round at hand.
1) Go slow. What I really mean is be clear, but everyone thinks they are much more clear than they are so I'll just say go 75% of what you normally would.
2) I do not open the speech doc during the debate. If I miss an argument/think I miss an argument then it just isn't on my flow. I won't be checking the doc to make sure I have everything, that is your job as debaters. This also means:
3) Pen time. If you're going to read 10 blippy theory arguments back-to-back or spit out 5 different perms in a row, I'm not going get them all on my flow, you have to give judges time between args to catch it all. I'll be honest, if you're going to read 10 blippy theory args/spikes, I'm already having a bad time
4) Inserting CP texts, Perm texts, evidence/re-highlighting is a no for me. If it is not read aloud, it isn't in the debate
5) If you're using your Phil/Value/Criterion as much more than a framing mechanism for impacts, I'm not the best judge for you (read phil tricks/justifications to not answer neg offense). I'll try my best, but I often find myself struggling to find a reason why the aff/neg case has offense to vote on
6) Same is true for debaters who rely on 'tricks'/bad theory arguments, but even more so. If you're asking yourself "is this a bad theory argument?" it probably is. Things such as "evaluate the debate after the 1AR" or "aff must read counter-solvency" can be answered with a vigorous thumbs down.
7) I think speaker point inflation has gotten out of control but for those who care, this is a rough guess at my speaker point range28.4-28.5average;28.6-28.7 should clear;28.8-28.9 pretty good but some strategic blunders; 29+you were very good, only minor mistakes
I debated LD for three years for Strake Jesuit (after a brief period in PF). I qualified for TFA State and TOC in LD, and I have instructed at TDC and NSD. I am conflicted with Strake Jesuit. Contact me/add me to docs at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can call me "JP." "James," "Mr. Stuckert" or "judge" are fine but weird to me.
For online rounds:
1. Keeping local recordings of speeches is good. You should do it.
2. If I or another judge call “clear” video chat systems often cut your audio for a second. This means (a) you should prioritize clarity to avoid this and (b) even repeat yourself when “clear” is called if it’s a particularly important argument.
3. I don’t like to read off docs, but if there's an audio problem in an online round, I will glance to make sure I at least know where you are. I would really prefer not to be asked to backflow from a doc if there's a tech issue, hence local recordings above.
4. You should probably be at like 70% of your normal speed while online.
· I aim to be a neutral party minimizing intervention while evaluating arguments made within the speech times/structure set by the tournament or activity to pick one winner and loser for myself. Some implications:
o The speech structure of LD includes CX. Don't take it as prep and don't go back on something you commit to in CX (unless it's a quick correction when you misspeak, or is something ambiguous). I generally flow cx and factor it into speaker points, but arguments must still be made in other speeches.
o The speech structure also precludes overt newness. Arguments which are new in later speeches should be implications, refutations, weighing or extensions of already existing arguments. Whether 2N or 2AR weighing is allowable is up for debate and probably contextual. Reversing a stance you have already taken is newness -- e.g. you can't kick out of weighing you made if your opponent didn't answer it. (Obviously you can kick condo advocacies unless you lose theory.)
o I won't listen to double-win or double-loss arguments or anything of the sort. You also can't argue that you should be allowed to go over your speech time.
o Being a neutral party means my decision shouldn't involve anything about you or your opponent that would render me a conflict. If I were involved in your prefs, I would consider myself to essentially be a coach, so I won't listen to pref/strike Ks. If other types of out-of-round conduct impact the round, I will evaluate it (e.g. disclosure).
o Judge instruction and standards of justification on the flow are very important, and if they are not explicit, I look to see if they are implicit before bringing to bear my out-of-round inclinations. If two debaters implicitly agree on some framing issue, I treat it as a given.
o Evidence ethics: I will allow a debater to ask to stake the round on an evidence ethics issue if it involves: (1) brackets/cutting that changes the meaning of a card; (2) outright miss-attribution including lying about an author's name, qualifications, or their actual position; (3) alterations to the text being quoted including ellipses, mid-paragraph cutting, and changing words without brackets. Besides these issues, you can challenge evidence with theory or to make a point on the line-by-line. For me, you should resolve the following on the flow: (1) brackets that don't change meaning; (2) taking an author's argument as a premise for a larger position they might not totally endorse; (3) cases where block quotes or odd formatting makes it unclear if something is a mid-paragraph cut; (4) not being able to produce a digital copy of a source in-round. If another judge on a panel has a broader view on what the round can be staked on, I'll just default to agreeing it is a round-staking issue.
· Despite my intention to avoid intervention, I am probably biased in the following ways:
o On things like T framework and disclosure I think there is an under-discussed gap between "voting on theory can set norms" to "your vote will promote no more and no less than the text of my interp in this activity."
o I will be strongly biased against overtly offensive things (arguments which directly contravene the basic humanity of a marginalized group). I don’t think it’s prima facie offensive to read moral philosophy that denies some acts are intrinsically evil (like skep or strict ends-based ethical theories) or which denies that consequences are morally relevant (like skep or strict means-based theories). I also don't think generic impact turns against big stick impacts are innately offensive. But I will certainly listen to Ks or independent voters indicting any of those things.
o Speaks: each speech counts, including CX. Strategy and well-warranted arguments are the two biggest factors. My range typically doesn't go outside 28 to 29.5. I adjust based on how competitive the tournament is. I don't disclose them.
o Be polite to novices, even if you can win a round in 20 seconds it’s not always kind to do so. Just be aware of how your actions might make them feel.
o I am usually unpersuaded by rhetorical appeals that take it for granted that some debate styles (K, LARP, phil, theory, tricks) are worse than others, but you can and should make warranted arguments comparing models of debate.
(updated Oct 2022)
Dylan Sutton (he/him/his)
email@example.com go ahead and include me on email chains please, but I try not to read evidence to make decisions unless it is unavoidable.
Debated national circuit policy for Fremont (NE) 2000-2004
Debated at UMKC for a hot second in 2004-2005
Assistant policy coach various schools in NE from 2005-2019
Head Coach & English teacher, Millard North (Omaha, NE) 2021-present
General judging philosophy (all events):
I’m an educator first. This means I view debate rounds as extensions of the classroom and believe the primary value of debate is education. That perspective causes me to value the truth of your argument over your argumentative technique and also informs a number of my argument preferences. It also means if you do things in debate that create a hostile environment I will intervene against you. This primarily means no violent actions or hate speech, but it is not strictly limited to those things. Basically, behave as you would in school. Violations of this sort will be brought to the tabroom’s attention as well.
More generally, kindness/positivity is encouraged and will help your speaker points. Nothing will cause me to have a stronger bias against you than if I perceive that you are being needlessly negative/rude/mean/etc. There’s enough negativity in the world.
I try to be objective in the sense that I try not to let my preferences influence my decisions. This is why I try not to read cards after debates, as I believe part of being objective is evaluating the words spoken in the debate rather than literature that is vaguely referenced. If you want credit for a warrant, state the warrant out loud rather than repeating an author’s last name or a tagline (a claim). That said, I am not perfectly objective. My social location influences how I understand the world, including debate rounds. The preferences for certain arguments over others that I will express in other places in this paradigm also evidence a lack of total objectivity.
I generally prefer depth of analysis over breadth. What that means is I would prefer you spend your time debating a small number of things very well, rather than a larger number of things at a lower quality. Specific practices that line up with this preference: Know the warrants for the evidence you read and be able to explain them. Read your opponents cards, read the underlined portion of them even and use those lines to make arguments. Make arguments about the quality of their sources. Debate the case.
I’m fine with speed reading (I have a background in national circuit policy). That said, debate is a communicative activity. This means 1. I flow what you say out loud. For example, if you say “the Smith evidence proves this” you get credit for those 5 words, which don’t contain the warrant for the Smith evidence. If I need to read cards to pick a winner I will, but I will actively resist doing so until it is absolutely necessary. 2. I can’t vote for arguments I can’t hear/understand. I don’t think it’s my job to say things like “clear” to tell you you are giving an unintelligible speech, so watch for nonverbals and err on the side of caution. This is especially true for analytical arguments (arguments that aren’t direct quotes from research/evidence). If you’re reading theory or an overview or that sort of thing, slow down a bit.
Cross-x is both important and binding. I don’t flow it but I listen and often do take notes, and it does influence my decision.
I think disclosure is good because it fosters higher quality, more educational debates. I’m aware disclosure isn’t the norm in every region or activity, but my general preference is for disclosure when reasonable. That said, I’m not interested in listening to debates about the minutiae of how teams ought to disclose. If they don’t disclose at all, read the theory and have a debate about disclosure in general. If they disclose something, it’s probably good enough. I would encourage full source/round reports, but the distinction isn’t significant enough for me to want to listen to a whole round about that.
The more you can do to write my ballot for me, the more likely you are to win. While I’m here as an educator, I’m also not trying to work harder than is necessary. Do things like compare warrants for competing claims, weigh impacts, create layers of ways you win (“even if” statements), and when appropriate engage in ‘meta weighing’ or ‘framework’ debates about which kinds of arguments I should prefer as a judge/critic. In the absence of these framing devices I generally default to a cost benefit analysis, usually pretty utilitarian. I’m not particularly beholden to that though. Defense wins champions. I believe offense is necessary but defense can result in zero risk of an argument, so it is also a good idea. Good defense beats mediocre offense.
Online debate - The biggest concern here is audio/technology. I will try to be as lenient and understanding as possible, but also understand that the tournament is on a schedule and ultimately if I can’t hear you I can’t vote for you. I will follow tournament instructions on this issue, but my patience for tech issues is going to be fairly low given that we’ve been at this remote stuff for two years now and most tournaments have ample opportunities for you to test equipment before the rounds begin.
I’ll have my camera on, I would ask that you do as well because I believe your nonverbal communication is part of debate and is important. That said, I understand there may be equity related reasons you’d prefer not to have your camera on so it is not something I require. You don’t have to explain yourself if that is your situation.
Speaker points - On a 30 points scale, I tend to give a 26 if your speech contained numerous egregious speaking errors. Anything below that is reserved for things like hate speech. You get more points as you speak better moving up to 30. I very rarely give a 30. Since it is the top of the scale, I interpret that to me there couldn’t be a better speech. So if I can think of ways the speech could have been better, it’s not a 30. If the tournament has a different scale I will comply with tournament instructions.
Everything from the policy section of my paradigm also applies to LD. The things in this section are things that are unique to LD.
My big thing about LD is that the round/speech time is significantly shorter than policy so it can’t just be a one person policy event, in particular with regard to theory. I would also suggest that this means that speed probably isn’t as desirable in LD, again particularly in regard to theory. I think these are factors that make the 1AR harder, not easier. I’m new enough to judging LD though that I’m still developing my belief system about the best pedagogical practices here, so nothing is set in stone. Except tricks. Those will always be bad.
Topicality/Theory - 4
I’m not your guy for this debate in LD. I’ve only really gotten into judging LD since 2019, but in my experience there is FAR too much theory debate happening in LD and much of the debate that is happening is very shallow. I think the AR in LD is very hard and am willing to make appropriate accommodations, and the neg gets some reasonable amount of flexibility, but I would strongly prefer to hear debates about the topic and not about theory.
That being said, if you insist on going for theory you need to actually develop and warrant it, and respond to all the opposing arguments. This is what you would do when going for any other position, but for some reason in theory students seem to believe they can successfully go for theory in like 30 seconds. To “go for” any position in your last rebuttal should probably take at least 2 minutes, theory included.
I strongly prefer examples of in round abuse to potential for abuse arguments. I default to competing interpretations but can be easily persuaded to adopt a reasonability framework.
RVIs are way less popular in policy so if you want me to vote there I need more work than most. I find the arguments that are specific to the format of LD to be most persuasive on this question.
"Tricks" - Worse than 4
To my understanding, these are arguments that attempt to avoid clash and are primarily anti-intellectual. As such, I hate them and am very unlikely to be persuaded that they are a reason to vote for you. I’m fine with y’all having fun, but not at the expense of the value of the activity.
I approach this as I would a policy round. I was primarily a K debater in my time in policy but we did a ton of DA/CP/Case debate as well.
K/Phil - 1
Again, policy paradigm. I have experience with most areas of critical scholarship with the exception of psychoanalysis. I don’t have a problem with psych, I'm just not as well versed in the literature. In K v LARP or framework debates, I generally dislike framing arguments that are just “this type of impact shouldn't be allowed” ie “no Ks” etc. On the other side, I strongly encourage K teams to have a defense of your prefered impact framing and your solvency method/mechanism (ie, I’m fine with you singing a song to create change, but you need to explicitly defend that as a method that is successful and not just do it to do it).
In my general info section I talk about how I try not to read cards to evaluate debates because I feel like that is me judging more than the words spoken in the debate. That means that my absolute favorite thing for you to do is to directly quote from your evidence. You explaining specific warrants from your evidence or re-reading parts of your opponents evidence to make a counter-argument are perhaps the best way in general to increase your chances of success in front of me.
If this type of debate is your thing, go for it. I read a politics DA almost every round and have coached teams on these strategies many times.
I strongly prefer specificity over breadth. This means things like:
As I said in the general advice section, debate the case. The more specific to the aff, the better.
DA links should be specific to the action/advocacy of the affirmative
CP text and solvency should be very closely related. The CP solvency evidence should say the text of the CP solves.
Permutations are more persuasive and harder to answer when you explain the combination, how it works/what it looks like rather than just saying “do both”.
T v traditional aff - 3
I’m an English major, so I find debates about words interesting. The best version of T debates are robust considerations of what the word/phrase means in the topic lit, what would be best for debate as an educational endeavor, and how individual rounds shape community norms.
Things I would encourage:
I strongly prefer examples of in round abuse to potential for abuse arguments.
I default to competing interpretations but can be easily persuaded to adopt a reasonability framework.
Case lists. What is topical under your definition?
No RVIs. I can be persuaded otherwise but in general not my preference.
That being said, I would expect you to develop T or any theory with the same level of rigor you would a DA or CP if you want me to vote on them. Nobody extends a DA for 30 seconds and seriously expects a win, but it happens all the time on theory. If you insist on going for theory you need to actually develop and warrant it, and respond to all the opposing arguments.
Please slow down when reading/going for theory. It’s all analytics, there’s no breaks. So unless you want to risk me missing arguments/warrants, slow down.
I’m going to say this again because it applies more to theory arguments than it does T: I would expect you to develop any theory with the same level of rigor you would a DA or CP if you want me to vote on them. Nobody extends a DA for 30 seconds and seriously expects a win, but it happens all the time on theory. If you insist on going for theory you need to actually develop and warrant it, and respond to all the opposing arguments.
I don’t have particularly strong opinions about specific theory arguments, but in general I would prefer that theory debates be a defense against practice that materially harmed/altered the debate for one team and not just a way to win. IE if the neg reads 5 contradictory timeframe CPs, sure. If it’s one conditional CP, not so much.
K (general) - 1
I ran Ks, I coached Ks, I’m fine with the K in general. As a debater ran pretty generic K positions - cap bad, etc. When I was the assistant coach at Millard South our teams ran some more performative things. I’ve read at least some of many fields of critical scholarship and feel very comfortable judging debates about those issues. My biggest weakness is psychoanalytical theories; I just haven’t read much of that field so I’m less familiar with jargon and the relationships between scholars and ideas. I would encourage you to simplify psychoanalytic ideas as much as possible, or perhaps over explain them.
My biggest advice for the K is make it as specific as possible. The more specific the link is to the affirmative (whether that be the action of the plan, the words they said, the philosophies they advocate) the better. Same with the Alt. The more specific the description of what the action of the alt is and how it resolves the impacts, the more persuasive. The less specific the link & alt, the more leeway the aff gets on the permutation. On that note, have a defense of your methodology - however you are trying to create change, read some evidence or make some arguments about its effectiveness.
One important note for K debaters - I’m fine with multiple worlds/condo in general, but if one of your other off case positions links to your K, you are going to have a hard time overcoming arguments about how your advocacy as a team links just as much as your opponents, that if you get to kick things that link so do they, that it justifies the perm, etc.
K affs - 1
Conceptually fine. I ran critical affs as a debater and most of the team’s I’ve coached have done so at least once. I strongly encourage K aff teams to have a defense of your prefered impact framing and your solvency method/mechanism (ie, I’m fine with you singing a song to create change, but you need to explicitly defend that as a method that is successful and not just do it to do it).
Framework v K - 4
I generally dislike framing arguments that are just “this type of impact shouldn't be allowed” ie “no Ks” etc. If you’ve read my old paradigm, it called these kinds of frameworks “violent”, amongst other things. That should give you a sense of my opinion. Just because the ground you came prepared to debate (like a politics DA) doesn’t link to this aff doesn’t mean the aff is conceptually bad, it just means you have to have been prepared for different ground. This isn’t different than traditional affirmatives that don’t link to your generic positions.
While I am sympathetic to the reality that you can’t prep a specific strat to every possible K aff, and that sympathy causes me to be more understanding of FW in rounds where the K is obscure or opaque, in general I think the arguments about how you couldn’t predict a relatively known K (for instance cap bad) and don’t have any ground are silly. Especially when part of a framework that attempts to entirely exclude a particular genre of argument, like the K, I think that’s pretty bad pedagogically. Better version of that would be less exclusive (ie, still allowing all types of arguments to be read) and used against less generic/stock K positions.
This isn’t an event I judge very often, so I’m not very familiar with community standard practices and norms. I would strongly encourage you to read the “general judging philosophy (all events)” section to get a sense of how I think about judging.
More specifically, I try to approach PF as I would a traditional policy debate round. So if you also look at the “CP/DA/Case” section of the policy part of my paradigm that might also give you some insight.
In general in PF, here’s my advice:
Even though I’m policy, don’t try to do policy in PF. Just do your thing. I’d rather see you be a really awesome PF debater than try to do something you’re not familiar with just to accommodate me. Doing a bad version of something I love is not going to endear you to me.
Answer all of your opponent’s arguments in the next speech after they make them. I judge PF rounds occasionally where some of the speeches don’t respond to opposing arguments made in previous speeches and I’m not sure if that’s a failing of particular teams or if it’s a community standard practice, but I’m too locked into the “line by line” system from policy to ignore dropped arguments.
More specificity is better. I’d rather you be very detailed and nuanced in winning one impact than be shallow in winning 4 impacts. Same thing applies to your attacks on your opponent's cases. The more specifically your attack applies to what the other side is defending, the more likely I am to vote for you.
That specificity also extends to evidence. I hate the practice of summarizing/indirect quoting of evidence. I hate it because it makes it much less likely that there is debate about specific lines/quotes/warrants from evidence, which is basically my favorite part of debate. So direct quote your evidence, and read your opponent’s evidence to find things you can use against them.
Impact analysis/weighing is vital. There aren’t very many rounds where you just win 100% of the contention level, so impact weighing becomes an essential way for the judge to resolve two competing contentions that are both mitigated. If you don’t weigh your impact compared to your opponent’s, you probably won’t win.
firstname.lastname@example.org is my email but I don't need your speech docs. If I need to read evidence I'll call for it after the round. I try very hard not to call for evidence though, so you should do your best to extend specific warrants on the flow.
My job is teaching. As such, I approach debate from the perspective of an educator. This isn't itself super relevant but it does inform how I approach debate. So I'm going to default to an educational paradigm absent any other given to me by the debaters in round - this means things like truth over tech, quality over quantity, and most importantly be respectful of one another and the spaces in which we compete.
I'm from Nebraska and have coached in some capacity since 2005.
I am primarily a policy trained debater and judge, but I have been coaching and judging LD and PF over the last couple years as well. Because of my background, most of the assumptions you would make about a "policy judge" likely apply to me, for better or worse.
I won't tolerate violence or discrimination in round. You will lose my ballot immediately and I will talk to your coach and the tab room.
Speak from where you are comfortable. Tag team CX is fine. Please time yourselves (I will too but more is better). I will allow for a reasonable period of time to exchange speech docs, but don't abuse that privilege or we'll run prep time.
I try to be very flow centric and not impose my beliefs about particular arguments or styles onto the round, but that being said I am human so I am susceptible to bias just like anyone else. What that means for you is I will take every effort to resolve the round using only the words spoken by the debaters on the line-by-line. If I find that not to be possible, that is where I'll start to resolve issues based on my preferences.
My overwhelming preference is for specificity. Specific warrants are better than generic claims, specific links are better than generic ones, etc.
It is my belief that a well executed "defensive" argument can still win you a round.
Don't contradict yourself.
I'm not a fan of theory/"tricks".
Otherwise, I'm down for whatever you can defend. As long as you can make well warranted arguments for a given subject or method, I'll vote for it if you win the line-by-line. I've coached students who read very complicated K arguments, others who were very traditional in their style, others who sang songs, painted, re-enacted famous protests, read poetry, narratives, anything and everything so long as you can make a good argument. That said, I am still an educator so messing around just for the sake of messing around is not a path to my ballot.
Everything below the line is my old paradigm, which I wrote when I was only judging policy. It still has good insight into what I believe about debate, but it is mostly relevant to policy arguments.
the least i'd hope you'll read:
This is written assuming policy debate. If I'm judging you in another event, I apologize. I'm just getting back to judging after taking about 5 years off, so I may be a bit out of date on topic knowledge and specific literature. I try to keep a very open mind about how I should evaluate rounds, and as such am willing to listen to most any role for myself as a judge or my ballot you wish to defend. That being said, I'd very much rather not judge anymore framework debates, I would much rather you engage the content of that which you would seek to frame out of the round. I've done the DA/CP/T thing extensively in the past and have no problem with it, but am at this point more grounded in critical literature and will be more entertained by a more creative round. Regardless of your argument, you shouldn't be worried that I will categorically refuse to listen. Pretty much only violence and hate speech are out of bounds. Don't be rude. Tag team cx is fine. Speak from where you are comfortable. Time yourselves if possible. Be reasonable about speech docs. Feel free to ask questions.
everything i care to say:
I debated in both high school and college, predominantly in the midwest. Specifically I debated for Fremont High in Nebraska (graduated '04) and the University of Missouri at Kansas City. I've since judged and coached for Fremont, Lincoln East, and Millard South, and Westside. So all told I've been active in the regional circuit since about 2001 until I stepped away to finish my degree. I worked at the Nebraska Debate Institute in the summers since of 2006 until recently.
Everything is pretty much a "make smart arguments" situation. I have no aversion to any particular type of argument so long as it is sufficiently explained and justified. That said - "the sun's not yellow, it's chicken". That is to say, I've become relatively bored by "traditional" policy debate. I am infinitely more interested in the critical, particularly the creative. Don't get me wrong, I've read/wrote lotsa DAs and some CPs in my time and voted on them quite often. I've just come to see that whole world as at best tiresome and at worst absurd to the degree of appearing to be self-mocking parody. Word to the wise - don't read this as me trying to code in something like "I'll automatically vote on Ks". If you read something that's either nonsensical or strategically a blunder, those things probably overcome the fact that I might find what you said intellectually stimulating. It would, however, be safe to read this as me saying "I'm down with anything" and actually meaning anything.
I conceptualize the round in terms of what actually comes out of your mouths, especially in the rebuttals. That means if you say "The Smith '05 evidence answers this", those 6 words are pretty much all you get credit for. What I'm trying to say is, you're better off saying the argument/warrant from the evidence as a part of the extension rather than expecting me to read your evidence after the round. I make a conscious effort not to read evidence after rounds. That's not an absolute, but it's the way I lean in evaluation. That said, I also believe that form and content are to some degree inseparable. so if you believe the form your arguments take (whether that be poetic or lyrical or whatever) is important, or theirs is bad, make that an issue.This belief is probably also at the heart of my disdain for multiple contradictory arguments. I want to make this fairly clear because I am apparently exceptional in this way: I will drop you because your cp/da/whatever link to the k you read, even after you've collapsed the round to one flow. Obviously like anything that assumes the argument is made and won in the round, but i am very easily persuaded that at very least the aff gets the perm, severance, and to kill the solvency for the alt. A foolish consistency may be the hobgoblin of little minds, but a foolish inconsistency likely loses you my ballot.
Something else you'll probably wanna know is that I don't minimize the importance of so-callled 'defensive' arguments like a lot of people do. Often you'll hear people talk about giving "risk" to an argument despite the presence of a very smart, unrefuted 'defensive' argument against it. Just know that the risk i will give arguments that have good defensive arguments left standing against them is not very high, not high enough for the position to matter much at all.
The specific issues I tend to mention are topicality and theory. In terms of interest level, I enjoy a good topicality debate. I have been told that according to my voting record, I tend to not vote on topicality. I am one of those guys that requires an impact topicality (crazy I know). That is to say, voters require some work - or at least
more than simply being asserted. Perhaps keep in mind that my teams like to "impact turn" T when you're deciding how much time to devote to your voters.
Also, theory. A good general rule is to ask yourself "Am I just playing a game with this argument"? If your answer is largely "yes", you should probably reconsider. I know I don't often vote on theory. I have nothing conceptually against voting on theory, but it is rarely executed in a way I find persuasive enough to vote on. If you're wanting me to vote solely on theory you need to devote the depth to it that you would anything else you want me to vote solely upon. Noone extends a
disadvantage for 45 seconds and expects a vote on it, but it happens on theory all the time. I'll need specific analysis of the round that is happening and how it has been effected by the theory issue, refutations to their arguments, and comparisons between your theoretical impacts and theirs.
things i don't like: contradictory conditional arguments, states counterplans, policy only frameworks, and mint.
Any other questions you may have you can ask me in person. I'm really laid back about judging rounds. I'd like it if you'd talk to me, because otherwise things get sort of boring.
Affiliation: Marlborough (CA), Apple Valley (MN)
Past: Peninsula (CA), Lexington (MA)
I like substantive and engaging debates focused on the topic's core controversies. While I greatly appreciate creative strategy, I prefer deeply warranted arguments backed by solid evidence to absurd arguments made for purely tactical reasons.
I find the tech or truth construction to be reductive — both matter. I will try to evaluate claims through a more-or-less Bayesian lens. This means my knowledge of the world establishes a baseline for the plausibility of claims, and those priors are updated by the arguments made in a debate. This doesn’t mean I’ll intervene based on my preexisting beliefs; instead, it will take much more to win that 2+2=5 than to prove that grass is green.
I default to viewing resolutions as normative statements that divide ground, but I’m open to arguments in favor of alternative paradigms. In general, I believe the affirmative should defend a topical policy action that's a shift from the status quo. The negative burden is generally to defend the desirability of the status quo or competitive advocacy.
Affirmatives should advocate a clearly delineated plan or advocacy, which can be the resolution itself. The aff's advocacy text is the basis for negative competition and links, and as such, it must contain any information the aff feels is relevant to those discussions. Affs cannot refuse to specify or answer questions regarding elements of their advocacy and then later make permutations or no-link arguments that depend on those elements. "Normal means" claims can be an exception but require evidence that the feature in question is assumed. Proof that some possible version of the aff could include such a feature is insufficient. Refusal to answer direct questions about a particular element of the advocacy will likely take "normal means" claims off the table.
I prefer policy/stock arguments, but I’m certainly open to critical or philosophical positions and vote for them often.
If you refer to your arguments as “tricks,” it’s a good sign that I’m not the best judge for you. Debaters should, whenever possible, advance the best arguments at their disposal. Calling your argument a "trick" implies its value lies in surprise or deception, not quality.
Note: an odd topic construction could alter these priors, but I'll do my best to make that known here if that's the case.
Generally, affirmatives should be topical. I have and will vote for non-topical positions, but the burden is on the aff to justify why the topicality constraint shouldn't apply to them.
Topicality is a question of whether the features of the plan/advocacy itself being a good idea proves the resolution. This means I will look unfavorably on a position that is effects topical, extra-topical, or related to the topic but doesn't in and of itself prove the resolution.
In topicality debates, both semantics and pragmatic justifications are essential. However, interpretations must be "semantically eligible" before I evaluate pragmatic advantages. Pragmatic advantages are relevant in deciding between plausible interpretations of the words in the resolution; pragmatics can't make those words mean something they don't. I will err aff if topicality is a close call.
Affs nearly always must disclose 30 min before start time, and both debaters should disclose which AC they will read before elim flips.
Affirmatives should usually be topical.
Plans are good, but they need to be consistent with the wording of the topic.
Extra T is probably bad
Severance is bad
Intrinsicness is usually bad, but I'm open to intrinsic perms in response to process cps
Conditionality is OK
PICs are OK
Alt agent fiat is probably bad
Competing interpretations>reasonability, usually
Probably no RVIs
Almost certainly no RVIs on Topicality
I don't like arguments that place artificial constraints on paradigm issues based on the speech in which they are presented.
No inserting evidence. Re-highlights should be read aloud.
I am open to Ks and vote on them frequently. That said, I’m not intimately familiar with every critical literature base. So, clear explanation, framing, and argument interaction are essential. Likewise, the more material your impacts and alternative are, the better. Again, the more unlikely the claim, the higher the burden of proof. It will take more to convince me of the strongest claims of psychoanalysis than that capitalism results in exploitation.
Establishing clear links that generate offense is necessary. Too often, Ks try to turn fundamentally defensive claims into offense via jargon and obfuscation. A claim that the aff can’t or doesn't solve some impact is not necessarily a claim the aff is a bad idea.
It's essential that I understand the alternative and how it resolves the harms of the Kritik. I won't vote for an advocacy that I can't confidently articulate.
Arguments I will not vote for
An argument that has no normative implications, except in situations where the debater develops and wins an argument that changes my default assumptions.
A strategy that purposely attempts to wash the debate to trigger permissibility/presumption.
A contingent framework/advocacy that is "triggered" in a later speech.
Any argument that asks me to evaluate the debate after a speech that isn't the 2AR.
Arguments/Practices I will immediately drop you for
Any argument that concludes that every action is permissible.
Any argument that creates a hostile environment for either myself, the other debater, or anyone watching the debate.
Any argument that explicitly argues that something we all agree is awful (genocide, rape, etc.) is a good thing. This must be an argument THAT THE DEBATER AGREES implies horrible things are ok. If the other debater wins an argument that your framework justifies something terrible, but it is contested, then it may count as a reason not to accept your framework, but it will not be a reason to drop you on its own.
I only judge PF a few times a year, mostly at camp. Arguments are arguments regardless of the format, so most of my typical paradigm applies. The big caveat is that I strongly prefer teams read actual cards instead of paraphrasing evidence. I understand that there are differences of opinion, so I won't discount paraphrasing entirely, but I'll have a lower bar for indicts. Also, I'm not reading ten full articles at the end of the debate, so I'd appreciate it if you could prepare the paraphrased portions in advance.
Old paradigm, I will no longer give extra speaks for anything listed as extra speaks, but I think this paradigm is a classic: https://tinyurl.com/yyhknlsn
[Updated 3/3/2021] In fact, here is a list of things I dislike that I will probably not be giving good speaks for: https://tinyurl.com/55u4juwp
To clarify: I like K's and LARP the LEAST (as in, you should rate me a 4 if you like Ks and LARP a lot) and I like Tricks, Framework, and Theory the MOST (you should rate me a 1 if you like Tricks, Framework, and Theory a lot).
Overall I am willing to vote on anything that isn't an instance of explicit isms (racism, sexism, etc.).
Other than that, here's a bunch of small things in a list. I add to this list as I encounter new stuff that warrants being added to the list based on having difficulty of decision in a particular round:
1. Part in parcel of me not being a great judge for LARP due to my low understanding of complex util scenarios is that I am not going to be doing a lot of work for y'all. I also will NOT be reading through a ton of cards for you after the round unless you specifically point out to me cards that I should be reading to evaluate the round properly.
2. I know it's nice to get to hide tricks in the walls of text but if you want to maximize the chances that I notice something extra special you should like slightly change the tone or speed of delivery on it or something.
3. If you have something extremely important for me to pay attention to in CX please say "Yo judge this is important" or something because I'm probably prepping or playing some dumbass game.
4. I will evaluate all speeches in a debate round.
"Evaluate after" arguments: If there are arguments that in order for me to evaluate after a certain speech I must intervene, I will do so. For example, if there is a 1N shell and a 1AR I-meet, I will have to intervene to see if the I-meet actually meets the shell. Update: In order for me to evaluate "evaluate after" arguments, I will have to take the round at face value at the point that the speeches have stopped. However, as an extension of the paradigm item above, the issue is that many times in order for me to determine who has won at a particular point of speeches being over, I need to have some explanation of how the debaters thing those speeches play out. If either debater makes an argument for why, if the round were to stop at X speech, they would win the round (even if this argument is after X speech) I will treat it as a valid argument for clarifying how I make my decision. Assuming that the "evaluate after" argument is conceded/true, I won't allow debaters to insert arguments back in time but if they point out something like "judge, if you look at your flow for the round, if you only evaluate (for example) the AC and the NC, then the aff would win because X," then I will treat it as an argument.
Update P.S.: "Evaluate after" arguments are silly. I
of course won't on face not vote on them , but please reconsider reading them.
Update P.S. 2: "Evaluate after" causes a grandfather paradox. Example: If "Evaluate after the 1NC" is read in the 1NC, it must be extended in the 2NR in order for me as the judge to recognize it as a won argument that changes the paradigmatic evaluation of the round. However, the moment that paradigmatic shift occurs, I no longer consider the 2NR to have happened or been evaluated for the purposes of the round, and thus the "Evaluate after the 1NC" argument was never extended and the paradigmatic evaluation shift never occurred.
5. "Independent voters" are not independent - they are dependent entirely on what is almost always a new framework that involves some impact that is presumed to be preclusive. I expect independent voter arguments to have strong warrants as to why their micro-frameworks actually come first. Just saying "this is morally repugnant so it's an independent voter" is not a sufficient warrant.
Also - independent voters that come in the form of construing a framework to an implication requires that you actually demonstrate that it is correct that that implication is true. For example, if you say "Kant justifies racism" and your opponent warrants why their reading of the Kantian ethical theory doesn't justify racism, then you can't win the independent voter just because it is independent.
6. I will no longer field arguments that attempt to increase speaker points. I think they are enjoyable and fun but they likely are not good long term for the activity, given that when taken to their logical conclusion, each debater could allocate a small amount of time to a warranted argument for giving them a 30, and then simply concede each others argument to guarantee they both get maximal speaks (and at that point speaker points no longer serve a purpose).
7. My understanding of unconditional advocacies is that once you claim to defend an advocacy unconditionally you are bound to defending any disadvantages or turns to that advocacy. It does not mean you are bound to spend time extending the advocacy in the 2NR, but if the aff goes for offense in the 2AR that links to this unconditional advocacy and the neg never went for that advocacy, the aff's offense on that flow still stands.
Update: Role of the Ballots are frameworks and do not have a conditionality.
8. Don't like new 2AR theory arguments.
9. I don't time! Please time yourselves and time each other. I highly recommend that you personally use a TIMER as opposed to a STOPWATCH. This will prevent you from accidentally going over time! If your opponent is going over time, interrupt them! If your opponent goes over time and you don't interrupt them, then there's not much I can do. If you are certain they went over time and your opponent agrees to some other way to reconcile the fact that they went over time, like giving you more time as well, then go ahead. I do not have a pre-determined solution to this possibility. I only have this blurb here because it just happened in a round so this is for all of the future rounds where this may happen again.
10. If you do something really inventive and interesting and I find it genuinely funny or enjoyable to listen to and give good speaks for it, don't run around and tell any teammate or friend who has me as a judge to make the same arguments. If I see the exact same arguments I will probably consider the joke to be stale or re-used. Particularly funny things MIGHT fly but like, if I can tell it's just a ploy for speaks I will be sadge.
11. In general, for online events, say "Is anyone not ready" instead of "Is everyone ready" solely because my speaking is gated by pressing unmute, which is annoying when I have my excel sheet pulled up. I'll stop you if I'm not ready, and you can assume I'm ready otherwise. (However, for in person events, say "Is everyone ready" because I'm right there!)
12. I will not vote for you if you read "The neg may not make arguments" and the neg so much as sneezes a theory shell at you.
For traditional rounds: speak and argue however you want (bar racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other ism or phobia)
*WHEN YOU READ TRICKS: I PREFER BEING UP FRONT ABOUT THEM. Pretending you don't know what an a priori is is annoying. Honestly, just highlight every a priori and tell your opponent: "here are all the a prioris"**.
**Seriously, I have yet to see anyone do this. Do it, it would be funny, I think.
My name’s Luke (he/they), you can just call me that in round. I’m a very traditional guy when it comes to LD. I competed in Ohio for 4 years and judged for 2. So with Ohio being very traditional that is all I have seen.
For LD I think the most important aspect of it is the FW debate. However if you aren’t good at it don’t focus on it a lot. I pay the most attention to FW warrants.
The more clear and concise you are the more likely I am to vote for you. I don’t like doing work so the more work you do for me the better. Do the weighing for me. If you are trying to do a turn or anything like that, tell me.
I have ADHD so the more entertaining you are the better. I will try my best to follow along even if you aren’t but I’m not making any promises. Also call me Luke in round it will make it easier for me to pay attention.
When it comes to speed. DO NOT spread or anything close to it. I cannot follow it and makes debate inaccessible.
Also I have judged all year it won’t show up though because Ohio uses speechwire.
My email: Lucastom495@gmail.com
Hi, I’m Asher (he/him). I competed in LD from 2017-2020 and qualified to the TOC twice. Currently coaching the LD debaters at Canyon Crest Academy. Shortened my paradigm for efficiency – feel free to email/message me if you have any questions about my opinions on specific arguments. Other events at bottom
1. It’s in your best interest to go at 50-65% speed for analytics and 80-90% speed for cards. Slower on tags, conversational pace for short tags that are 1-3 words/plan texts
2. Record your speech locally to send in case there are network/wifi issues. I will not let debaters regive speeches – if you didn’t record it locally I will vote off of what I have on my flow
1. I will vote on anything as long as it is won, not blatantly offensive, and follows the structure of an argument (claim, warrant, and impact). My decisions are always impacted first and foremost by weighing, no matter what style of debate you choose. I value argument quality and development – I’m unlikely to pull the trigger on cheesy, one-line blips and reward debaters that perform quality research and explain their positions well.
2. You must take prep or use CX if you want to ask your opponent what they did/did not read
3. I will not vote on anything which occurred outside of the round (with the exception of disclosure) or use the ballot as a moral referendum on either debater. Genuine safety concerns will be escalated and not decided with a win or a loss.
4. "Insert rehighlighting" - you should be reading the card if you're making a new argument distinct from the one the evidence made when it was initially introduced. Insertions are okay if you're providing context, but you should briefly summarize the insertion. I'm unsure how to enforce this besides being a little annoyed if you go overboard, but if your opponent makes an argument that your insertion practices are toeing the line I'll be inclined to strike them off my flow
1. I think theory can be an invaluable check on abuse and enjoy creative interpretations that pose interesting questions about what debate should look like. The more bland and frivolous the shell the more receptive I am to reasonability. Reasons to reject the team should be contextual to the shell – otherwise rejecting the argument should be able to rectify the abuse. Counterplan theory is best settled on a competition level
2. Kritiks should be able to explain and resolve the harms of the affirmative - the less specific the link arguments, their impact, and the alternative the more likely I am to vote aff on the permutation and plan outweighing. Impact turns are underutilized. 2NR fpiks = new arguments unless clearly indicated earlier in the debate
3. I have no strong ideological predispositions against planless affirmatives. However, in a perfectly even matchup I would likely vote on framework
I will end the round and evaluate whether or not the evidence is objectively distorted: missing text, cut from the middle of a paragraph, or cut/highlighted intentionally to make the opposite argument the author makes (ie minimizing the word “not”). For super tiny violations like powertagging I’d prefer you just read it as a reason to reject the evidence.
Be nice to your opponent! Will nuke your speaks if you are too rude, especially if your opponent is a novice or is making a good faith effort to get along
PLEASE TIME YOURSELVES.
I'm comparatively less involved in this event and so I'll try not to impose my opinions on its conventions. For varsity, I'd prefer both teams share their evidence prior to their speeches, and I dislike paraphrasing as a practice but won't automatically penalize you for it. Speed is fine but not ideal given the norms of the activity. Generally speaking, I would prefer you not read progressive-style arguments given this format's time limitations. Other than that, just weigh.
Background: PF @ Mountain House High School '19, Economics @ UC Berkeley '22, Berkeley Law '26. This is my 5th year judging.
THREE ABSOLUTE ESSENTIALS BEFORE YOU READ THE REST OF MY PARADIGM:
Due to the fast paced nature of debate nowadays and potential technical difficulties with online tournaments, I would really appreciate if you could send me the doc you're reading off of before each speech to my email email@example.com. If you can use Speech Drop, that's even better.
Preflow before the round. When you walk into the room you should be ready to start ASAP.
I will NOT entertain postrounding from coaches. This is absolutely embarrassing and if it is egregious I will report you to tab. Postrounding from competitors must be respectful and brief.
I am a former PF debater and I still think like one. That means I highly value simple, coherent argumentation that is articulated at at least a somewhat conversational speed.
In my view, debate is an activity that at the end of the day is supposed to help you be able to persuade the average person into agreeing with your viewpoints and ideas. I really dislike how debate nowadays, especially LD, has become completely gamified and is completely detached from real life. Because of this, I am not partial to spread, questionable link chains that we both know won’t happen, theory (unless there is actual abuse) or whatever debate meta is in vogue. I care more about facts and logic than anything else. You are better served thinking me of a good lay judge than a standard circuit judge. NOTE: I also am strongly skeptical of K AFFs and will almost always vote NEG if they run topicality.
That doesn’t mean I do not judge on the merits of arguments or their meaning, but how you present them certainly matters to me because my attention level is at or slightly above the average person (my brain is broken because of chronic internet and social media usage, so keep that in mind).
I will say tech over truth, but truth can make everyone’s life easier. The less truth there is, the more work you have to do to convince me. And when it’s very close, I’m probably going to default to my own biases (subconscious or not), so it’s in your best interest to err on the side of reality. This means that you should make arguments with historical and empirical context in mind, which as a college educated person, I’m pretty familiar with and can sus out things that are not really applicable in real life. But if you run something wild and for whatever reason your opponent does not address those arguments as I have just described, I will grant you the argument.
You should weigh, give me good impact calculus (probability, magnitude, scope, timeframe, etc), and most importantly, TELL ME HOW TO VOTE AND WHY! Do not trust me to understand things between the lines.
More points that I agree with from my friend Vishnu's paradigm:
"I do not view debate as a game, I view it almost like math class or science class as it carries tremendous educational value. There are a lot of inequities in debate and treating it like a game deepens those inequities.
Other than this, have fun, crack jokes, reference anecdotes and be creative.
There is honestly almost 0 real world application to most progressive argumentation, it bars accessibility to this event and enriches already rich schools.
Basically: debate like it's trad LD."
SPEAKER POINT SCALE
Was too lazy to make my own so I stole from the 2020 Yale Tournament. I will use this if the tournament does not provide me with one:
29.5 to 30.0 - WOW; You should win this tournament
29.1 to 29.4 - NICE!; You should be in Late Elims
28.8 to 29.0 - GOOD!; You should be in Elim Rounds
28.3 to 28.7 - OK!; You could or couldn't break
27.8 to 28.2 - MEH; You are struggling a little
27.3 to 27.7 - OUCH; You are struggling a lot
27.0 to 27.2 - UM; You have a lot of learning to do
below 27/lowest speaks possible - OH MY; You did something very bad or very wrong
Hi I'm Jannat/Leo (they/them). I want to be on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't be offensive in round. This means that I won't tolerate anything racist, sexist, antisemitic or anti-queer in round. If you do decide to be offensive I'll give you a L20. Bullying novices with spreading, Ks or other prog args is not cool. I won't give you the L but I will doc speaks. Spreading is fine but slow down on analytics. If your analytics are typed then I do think you should email them out. If I can't flow your analytics because you were going to0 fast then thats on you. Disclosure is good.
Debate is a game
Ratings (idk what this is called)
Policy - 1
K - 2
Theory - 2/3
Phil/Trix - 4/5 (a bit more flexible with this now)
I have no problem with policy. I can evaluate disads & cp debates, just make sure to weigh. Overviews/summaries of the disad story and cp are appreciated and highly encouraged. Politics disads are wacky so if you plan to read them make sure you have a spec link to the aff and that your ev is recent and up to date. For cps, I'll err neg on conditionality, but if you are reading more than 2 then it starts getting sus. CPs should have solvency advocates, if they don't then I assign them less legitimacy in their ability to solve than the aff. Sufficiency framing on cps is *chefs kiss*. International fiat, 50 state fiat and individual actor fiat are sus, so if you read them be prepared to deal with the theory debate that usually accompanies these arguments. PICs are good and theory arguments that say that they are abusive are usually not properly warranted. Have a solvency advocate for your PICs and for the love of god explain why its mutually exclusive form the aff.
On the aff, if they read T and you no link out of every disad then that does supercharge the T shell. PLEASE DON'T DOUBLE TURN YOURSELF. Weighing against disads is cool and greatly appreciated. Impact turning disads or straight turning them is even cooler. Reading ev against disads is prolly better than just analytics unless you're extending stuff from your case. On cps, if you're going for the perm then please explain what the perm looks like instead of just saying "perm do both" or some variation of that. An extension of the solvency deficit when going for the perm makes the cp debate so much easier to evaluate as well.
Ks are cool and I love seeing them in debates, but don't assume I know your lit base. Running more than 1 k in the round is 1) sus and 2) messy. Links should be carefully articulated and their impacts in the context of the aff should be explained. Topic spec links>>>>gen links. Your alt should resolve your links, if it does not then I'll prolly give the aff more leeway with the perm. You should be able to explain your theory of power and alt solvency during cross. If you can't then that's not v good. Reps Ks are fine, just explain the implication of the link in the round. Also, if you're going for reps links then please do a lot of work on f/w so I know how to evaluate the round. I really don't want to be in the a spot where I am having to weigh reps v. extinction by myself. Floating PIKs are fine. I usually default fairness is good but am willing to be swayed - just be clear about what material harm fairness in debate causes.
On the aff, if its a reps k then plz do work on the f/w flow. Impacting turning Ks is cool and v fun. If you are going for the perm then please explain what the world of the perm looks like and how the aff fits into it. Just saying "perm" won't get you anywhere. Going just for the perm is going to make it very difficult for you to gain the ballot. Go for more than one out, so if you're going for the perm then also ext and alt cant solve claim. Just remember FPOSTAL and you should be good.
K affs are good. Just have some relation to the topic otherwise winning the T debate is going to be a lot harder. While K v. K debates can be really fun, they also tend to get very messy so just sign post well and explicitly articulate your links and offense. To be honest, I really love when people run critical disads v. Ks because those debates are incredibly fun and at times easier to evaluate. But at the end of the day, run your strat and I will evaluate it to the best of my abilities.
My thoughts on this have actually changed a lot. I still really love theory and want to see more of it in debate.
I will evaluate frivolous theory if it is warranted correctly - blips are sus for multiple reasons and they also make the theory extensions so much more difficult to evaluate. Please please please flesh out your theory shells. Theory debates are best when they have arguments about model setting because they make the debate so much easier to weigh. In theory v. theory debates, I tend to default to competing worlds - truth testing is cool but I am not very good at it so you're going to have to flesh out the argument a lot more. Explain it to me like you would a 2 year old.
Disclosure is good, but I have a hard time buying it when it's a big school reading it against a small school.
I'm not the best with phil, so you'll prolly have to explain your lit base p in-depth. I default util, and give it a lot of leeway in phil debates. I appreciate phil debates that are very theory dependent because I think they are fun and easier to evaluate than just a dense phil. Again explain phil to me like you would a 2 year old.
Trix are for kids, but seriously. I don't like trix because they tend to be very underdeveloped and make the debate more complicated than it needs to be. If you are going to read trix then just be prepared to flesh them out a lot so I can actually evaluate them. I will evaluate fairness args v. trix because I do think they hold up some truth. For the love of god, be strategic in how you answer trix. LbLing every blip is not worth it and is such a waste of time. Group your arguments.
Debate is already a very exclusionary practice and I think speaks make it more inaccessible for people that might have speech problems, public speaking anxiety, people that might be immigrants etc etc. Because of this I don't believe in ranking people through speaks. I will give everyone in the round 30 speaks unless you're bigoted or participate in exclusionary practices in debates (this includs bullying novices, spreading infront of people that told you they can't deal with that, not disclosing etc etc). Feel free to ask me about this in the round if you have any questions.
Use people's pronouns and don't misgender people in the round. It's problematic and an act of violence in the round. Obviously, mistakes happen but don't try to do stuff like that on purpose.
If you feel unsafe at any point in the round then please let me know. Your safety comes before arbitrary wins or losses.
Don't post round me - Like I won't get mad, but it most probably will not change my mind. If I didn't catch something then it was probably because (1) it wasn't extended properly and (2) its impacts weren't fleshed out. I promise I am thinking these decisions out and making the best decision possible.
Don't call me judge. I am fresh out of high school and that is lowk awk. You can call me Leo or not refer to me at all i dont care.
Sit, stand, walk, jump do whatever you need to do to feel comfortable during the round. Just don't intrude on your opponent's space and obviously be respectful. You don't have to be formal in the round - professionalization of people and language in debate is net bad.
Im a college student so if you need any papers or evidence then email me and I will try to get them to you. For that email me here - email@example.com
Have fun and do your thing!
* Update for Jack Howe (and any tournaments after): please don't read eval after the x speech in front of me. These debates get very confusing since most debaters never articulate what evaluating the debate after x speech looks like.
*Update for Holy Cross: I did an extensive amount of traditional debate in my career, so I would consider myself a pretty good judge for traditional rounds. I am more than happy to listen to a standard v/vc debate. Also, if you are a traditional debater debating against a circuit opponent, please feel free to message me on Facebook or email me with any accommodations that you need. The National Circuit does tend to be elitist towards traditional debaters, so I want to do what I can to mitigate that environment.
Hey y'all! I debated for Mountain House High School for 4 years, one of them on the national circuit. Cleared at a couple of bid tournaments, Qualified to NSDA in Policy, and CHSSA State in LD.
add me to the chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
TLDR: you do you, and I'll evaluate accordingly. I'll vote on any argument with a warrant, given that it is not violent or oppressive (things like racism good, sexism good, homophobia good, etc.) - these arguments will result in an L20 potentially lower speaks. I will be recording rounds for the sake of clipping (with permission of course), and if there is a claim that someone in the round is clipping, I will look back at the recording and make a decision. If you are caught clipping, it's an L20, but if the accusation is false then it's an L20 for the accuser.
I average speaks at around 28.8. Things that will raise your speaks include good collapsing and good strategy (also humor! Debate is supposed to be fun!!). Things that will lower your speaks are overwhelming novices or just being unstrategic.
PF Paradigm's below the general one! If you want to read prog stuff, I have my general preferences in the PF paradigm, but more specific queries should be addressed in my general paradigm.
Phil - 2 (not excessive reliance on trix)
Policy/Theory - 1
K - 2 (never read one but trust me I'm really good at evaluating this)
Trix - 3 or 4
Things I went for: Policy and K affs (Speeced Plans and Agamben/Baudrillard), Phil NC's, Lots of 1AR theory and Topicality, CBW Disads on the JanFeb topic, Set Col (on the standardized testing topic), Truth-testing, A Rawls AC.
Yes RVI's (both sides get this)
Presumption flows neg
Yes 1AR theory
Any arguments will override my defaults.
Thoughts about arguments
I don't want to make this long, so I'll just list things that you should keep in mind while arguing K's and Trix in front of me (Policy args are p simple - just prove why the plan's a good idea, or why the plan is a bad idea).
K's - cool with K affs. I am a better sell for debate bad than you think. Explain your theory of power and what that means for the round. K tricks and Floating PIK's are cool, but theory on that is warranted. I will vote against a K on presumption if there's a warrant. Kick the alt of the K if you want, just tell me how to vote for you in that case. I definitely lean more towards k aff in a kaff v tfw debate, mostly cuz tfw debaters don't articulate their fairness impacts strategically.
Tricks - If you're shady in cross, you won't be happy with your speaks. Defend your aprioris and NIB's and win on them. I think theory against apriori's is fine, but I think TT takes out theory (you have to make that argument). Innovative tricks will earn you high speaks and a smile on my face.
Phil - Explain your syllogism and how it interacts with your opponent's framework/offense. If they don't get offense under your framework, explain why. Don't spam me with preclusion arguments, actually clash with the opposition framework. I'm a good sell for deontological frameworks and induction fails.
Ask me any questions if I haven't covered a topic you need to know. Good luck and let's have a fun round!!
PF Paradigm - NANO NAGLE RR AND OTHER TOURNAMENTS
I've debated a lot of PF on a local level and a couple of nat circ tournaments in my junior year. I would say that I evaluate PF in a similar fashion as LD with 2 major exceptions: No counterplans and a higher threshold on extensions (that being said, I'm open to reasons why counterplans can be in pf and my threshold on extensions is not too much higher -> I just want card extensions as well as a scenario explanation). Second rebuttal doesn't have to frontline, but it's much better. Anything I vote on has to be in final focus, and anything in final focus has to be in summary, so make sure everything important's in summary!
I think this is where the most questions will be so.... yes, I am very open to prog stuff. K's, Theory, even tricks and framework is cool in front of me. Just give me warrants and explanations for why that model of debate is good/allowed within the confines of PF. That being said, I'm not endorsing really bad prog debate - just cuz I'm your judge doesn't mean you should whip out that kritik you've never read before. I won't do any analysis for you, so make sure you warrant things well if you read prog stuff.
Director of Speech & Debate Isidore Newman School
Coach USA Debate
EMAIL: Add me to the chain:
Please slow down! It is much harder for me to hear online. Go at about 75% rather than 100% of your normal pace!!!
Relevant for Both Policy & LD:
This is my 20th year in debate. I debated in high school, and then went on to debate at the University of Louisville. In addition, I was the Director of Debate at both Fern Creek & Brown School in KY, a former graduate assistant for the University of Louisville, and the Director of Speech & Debate at LSU. I am also a doctoral candidate in Communication & Rhetorical studies.
I view my role as an educator and believe that it is my job to evaluate the debate in the best way I can and in the most educational way possible. Over the past several years have found myself moving more and more to the middle. So, my paradigm is pretty simple. I like smart arguments and believe that debates should tell a clear and succinct story of the ballot. Simply put: be concise, efficient, and intentional.
Here are a few things you should know coming into the round:
1. I will flow the debate. But PLEASE slow down on the tag lines and the authors. I don’t write as fast as I used to. I will yell clear ONE TIME. After that, I will put my pen down and stop flowing. So, don't be mad at the end of the debate if I missed some arguments because you were unclear. I make lots of facial expressions, so you can use that as a guide for if I understand you
2. I value effective storytelling. I want debates to tell me a clear story about how arguments interact with one another, and as such see debates holistically. Accordingly, dropped arguments are not enough for me to vote against a team. You should both impact your arguments out and tell me why it matters.
3. Do what you do best. While I do not believe that affirmatives have to be topical, I also find myself more invested in finding new and innovative ways to engage with the topic. Do with that what you will. I am both well versed and have coached students in a wide range of literature.
4. Know what you’re talking about. The quickest way to lose a debate in front of me is to read something because it sounds and looks “shiny.” I enjoy debates where students are well read/versed on the things they are reading, care about them, and can actually explain them. Jargon is not appealing to me. If it doesn’t make sense or if I don’t understand it at the end of the debate I will have a hard time evaluating it.
5. I will listen to Theory, FW, and T debates, but I do not believe that it is necessarily a substantive response to certain arguments. Prove actual in-round abuse, actual ground loss, actual education lost (that must necessarily trade off with other forms of education). Actual abuse is not because you don't understand the literature, know how to deal with the argument, or that you didn't have time to read it.
6. Be respectful of one another and to me. I am a teacher and educator first. I don’t particularly care for foul language, or behavior that would be inappropriate in the classroom.
7. Finally, make smart arguments and have fun. I promise I will do my best to evaluate the debate you give me.
If you have any other questions, just ask.
Hey! I’m Ananta (she/her/hers), and I debated for 4 years in LD at Scarsdale High School, serving as captain my senior year. I have taught at NSD during the 2018 & 2019 summers & TDC during 2019, 2020, and 2021. I just graduated from UCLA where I majored in Molecular, Cell, Developmental Biology and minored in Musicology. Go Bruins!
Greenhill 2022 Update: Hello Hello - I am now literally a college graduate, so debate has become a distant memory for me. I literally have not judged in over a year. Keeping that in mind, please slow downnn A LOT, explain everything to me in a beautiful ballot story in your later speeches, and remember that I have not kept up with recent metas at ALL, so if you want to do something new and novel, go for it - v exciting - but please take time to make sure you have caught me up too as I promise you, I will not be able to respond and evaluate effectively otherwise. Thanks so much - good luck with the season everyone!
Stanford 2021 Update: Hi all! I hope everyone is holding up well. This tournament is my first time judging since last summer and my first tournament judging in the online format. While I still hold all my previous beliefs, I definitely would need you all be to a bit slower, emphasize clarity, writing ballot stories, and I'm sure everything will go great. Enjoy & stay safe! :)
WIN Debate Tournament 2020 Update: Hello! I am super excited to be part of this tourney and to support women in debate. I just wanted to say that while I hold all my beliefs and can still competently evaluate rounds, I have not thought about debate in 4 months, and I would implore you to keep that in mind when I judge you, but again, I am super excited, and I am always down to help out/teach/give advice if anyone wants some - just send me an email. Have fun! Stay Safe! Social Distance!
Harvard Westlake 2020 Update: I still hold most if not all of past beliefs. I do, however, ask that if you do get me as a judge at HWL this weekend, a) go for what you are best at because I am a bit sick of people just reading theory in front of me because I read it a bunch and doing it poorly. I can evaluate and like evaluating everything equally at this point, b) be SUPER clear - my flowing and hearing abilities are not what they used to be (thanks to genetics, headphones, and being a bit removed from the activity) so I would really appreciate it, c) explicitly extend, and d) have fun! Thank you :)
The short of it: The majority of my debates during high school revolved around theory, tricks (mostly theoretical tricks) framework, and kritiks, but that doesn’t mean I am unable to evaluate other forms of debate, I’ll just have a bit less background knowledge and experience resolving them so you’ll have to do more explanation. I am open to voting on pretty much any argument as long as it has a warrant that is clearly articulated. Please go for all your nontopical K affs, frivolous theory, and tricks but you still have to win them technically like any other argument.
Feel free to reach out about any questions you might have about my paradigm or in general about debate - I am always down to help out, give reading or drill recs, and be a resource!
Email (yes, put me on the chain, I am a terrible flower): email@example.com
Conflicts: Scarsdale, LHP
Now, onto specifics:
I love this type of debate and towards the end of my career, I went for theory pretty much every round. I find these debates to be so much fun, engaging, and I am most comfortable evaluating these types of debates. I default to drop the debater, competing interps and no RVI, but that's only if no other argument is made on either side for an alternate paradigm. Also, unless specified in a speech, I don’t think I-meets trigger the RVI, but I am definitely willing to vote on it if you tell me why I should. Also, please weigh really explicitly between shells, standards, etc. Theory debates get super messy and blippy really easily, and I want to be able to evaluate correctly.
These are another type of argument that I am quite familiar with as I read quite a few cap Ks and Deleuze Ks in my time. I will probably know most of the common K literature so you don’t need to be that worried about me not knowing it. I think a good K debate consists of a lot of specific weighing as to why your advocacy is better in this instance. K debate can easily become an oppression Olympics, so I would be cognizant of that when you read Ks.
A good framework debate will make me smile as it’s a dying art, but a part of debate that I found totally educational and will probably be able to evaluate. I read a lot of Agonism, Kant, & Butler as a debater. I am familiar with most philosophers even pomo and all, but if you want to read for example, some super non canon frameworks such as Baudrillard, please understand that you will have to take sometime explaining it to me in your speeches so that I will feel comfortable and be able to vote on it.
I was decently tricky as a debater and read a good amount of truth testing, NIBs, a prioris, etc. If tricks debate is executed well, I will be impressed, thrilled, and give high speaks. I debated a lot of Good Samaritan paradox and Rodl but never really read it so just make sure you explain why these are offense for you, why they outweigh, etc. I am not the best flower in the world so just be sure to really articulate blips clearly and if something super important happens like the concession of an a priori, to slow down a bit and make sure I have it. Side note: I will not dock speaks for winning on the a priori as I think that’s a legit strategy, but it would be a lot better if you had other sources of offense too.
This type of debate is the type that I am least familiar with but after being on the West Coast for the last year, I definitely think I know what's up, the common Util tips and tricks, and don't mind judging them. I taught and evaluated it a bunch at camp too so I definitely think I have a stronger basis in it than I did as a debater, but I never really larped after half way through my sophomore year. That being said, if you want to larp in front of me, go for it as I can competently evaluate these types of debate given that you WEIGH (cannot emphasize this enough) and differentiate between your weighing I.e. meta weighing - tell me if magnitude or time frame is more important and why, articulate your impacts I.e. extinction vs whatever, and are clear in your ballot story.
Other Important Notes:
1. I presume AFF if there is no offense left in the round and no other presumption argument is presented to me - gotta correct for that side bias.
2. If you are rude or offensive in ANY way, I will be annoyed or not just angry, stop the round, tank your speaks, give you a stern lecture, tell your coach, and drop you. Just don’t make debate what it shouldn’t be and enjoy the activity PLEASE. Also, be nice to novices, you don't have to not spread or change your strategies too much, just be kind and understanding because you were once a novice too and we should encourage everyone to enjoy and partake in the activity! I probably will lower speaks if you are being absolutely ridiculous and rude to a novice.
3. I think trigger warnings are probably a good norm in debate, but if you don’t read them, I won’t have a problem or really pay it much attention unless a) your opponent is having a problem with it or b) your opponent reads arguments as to why you should be dropped for not reading them - I will vote on those.
4. I am willing to vote on disclosure theory, and I don’t really have strong opinions on it - you do you! I think it can be really strategic, but I also think reading disclosure against a small school debater who doesn’t even know what the wiki is is a bad practice. While I will vote on it, I’ll probably be irritated, and your speaks will probably reflect that annoyance.
5. I will not vote on racism, sexism, oppression, etc. good - I’ll just ignore it when I evaluate offense and do some part of what I said I would do in the 2 point of this section. I also don't think it has to be justified that one of the above isms is an bad impact.
6. I am slightly peeved by blips such as "evaluate the debate after the AC" or something along those lines. While I will vote on these types of arguments, they do make me cringe A LOT and your speaks will suffer a bit if this is what you end up winning on.
7. Update based on some arguments I have heard recently: If something is "condo" and you kick it, I think the whole argument including framing, the advocacy, etc. goes away - it's like that part of the flow never happened. Unless you explicitly explain to me why I still can/should look to that flow as an argument in the round even if it was kicked, I don't think I can vote on it because I do not think that is what condo means. I am willing to vote on these types of arguments, I just think I need a pretty coherent why its true.
8. I don't think compiling docs needs to be done during prep unless it gets super unreasonable/seems sketch, then I'll ask you to use prep to do the rest.
I'm probably a speaks fairy! I reward people for being entertaining and creative with their strategies as well as for good execution in the round. Most importantly just have fun and don’t take debate too seriously. I loved debate a lot when I did it and hopefully you do too :) I will award higher speaker points if you make a clever and NOT offensive joke (if you are offensive, you can refer to the 2nd point in the section above). I'm a pretty easy going person. Let’s just make debate less toxic, more fun, and super educational. You are free to ask me questions about debate, UCLA, life, etc.
LD Coach 10 years.
If I am your judge, please put me on your email chain. My email is, firstname.lastname@example.org, prefer Aff to be topical. I prefer a traditional Value/Criterion debate. I like clear signposting, that opponents refer to when refuting each other. I also require evidence to uphold your warrants and link to your personal analysis. All affirmatives should have some kind of standard that they try to win, value/criterion. The negative is not necessarily tied to the same obligation. The affirmative generally has the obligation to state a case construction that generally affirms the truth of the resolution, and the negative can take whatever route they want to show how the affirmative is not doing that sufficiently.
When I see a traditional debate that clashes on fundamental issues involving framework, impacts, and what either side thinks, really matters in my weighing of the round, it makes deciding on who was the better debater during the round an easier process. I like debate that gets to the substantive heart of whatever the issue is. There are very few arguments I would actually consider apriori. My favorite debates are the kind where one side clearly wins the framework, whichever one they decide to go for. Voters are crucial in rebuttals, and a clear topicality link with warrents and weighted impacts, which are the best route for my ballot.
I will listen to a Kritik but you must link it to the debate in the room, related to the resolution in some way, for me to more likely to vote for it. I am biased toward topicality.
I hold theory to higher bar. I will most likely vote reasonability instead of competing interpretations. However, if I am given a clearly phrased justification for why I should accept a competing interpretation and it is insufficiently contested, there is a better chance that I will vote for a competing interpretation. You will need to emphasize this by slowing down, if you are spreading, slow down, speak a little louder, or tell me “this is paramount, flow this”.
Reasonability. I believe that theory is intervention and my threshold for voting on theory is high. I prefer engagement and clash with your opponent. If I feel like negative has spoken too quickly for an Affirmative to adequately respond during the round, or a Neg runs 2+ independent disadvantages that are likely impossible for a "think tank" to answer in a 4 minute 1AR, and the Affirmative runs abuse theory, and gives direct examples from Neg, I'll probably vote Affirmative. Common sense counts. You do not need a card to tell me that the Enola Gay was the plane that dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima.
Progressive Debates: I default Affirmative framework for establishing ground, I default Kritiks if there are clear pre-fiat/post-fiat justifications for a K debate instead of on-case debate.
I do not flow cross examination. If there are any concessions in CX, you need to point them out in your next speech, for me to weigh them.
I'm fine with flex prep. I think debaters should be respectful and polite, and not look at each other. Cross examination concessions are binding, if your opponent calls them out in their next speech.
If I do not understand what you are saying, don’t expect to receive anything higher than a 28. You will lose speaker points if your actions are disrespectful to either myself or to your opponent. I believe in decorum and will vote you down if you are rude or condescending toward your opponent. I do not flow “super spreading”. I need to understand what you are saying, so that I can flow it. I will say “slow” and “clear” once. If there is no discernable change, I will not bother to repeat myself. If you respond, slow down, then speed up again, I will say “slow” and/or “clear” again. For my ballot, clarity over quantity. Word economy over quantity. I reward debaters who try to focus on persuasive styles of speaking over debaters who speak at the same tone, pitch, cadence, the entire debate.
If something is factually untrue, and your opponent points it out, do not expect to win it as an argument.
Please give me articulate voters at the end of the NR and 2AR.
I disclose if it is the tournament norm.
If you are unclear about my paradigm, please ask before the round begins.
Public Forum Paradigm
RESPECT and DECORUM
1. Show respect to your opponent. No shouting down. Just a "thank you" to stop their answer. When finished with answer, ask your opponent "Do you have a question?" Please ask direct questions. Also, advocate for yourself, do not let your opponent "walk all over you in Crossfire".
2. Do not be sexist/racist/transphobic/homophobic/etc.... in round. Respect all humans.
I expect PF to be a contention level debate. There may be a weighing mechanism like "cost-benefit analysis" that will help show why your side has won the debate on magnitude. (Some call this a framework)
I like signposting of all of your contentions. Please use short taglines for your contentions. If you have long contentions, I really like them broken down into segments, A, B, C, etc. I appreciate you signposting your direct refutations of your opponents contentions.
I like direct clash.
All evidence used in your constructed cases should be readily available to your opponent, upon request. If you slow down the debate looking for evidence that is in your constructed case, that will weigh against you when I am deciding my ballot.
I do not give automatic losses for dropped contentions or not extending every argument. I let the debaters decide the important contentions by what they decide to debate.
In your summary speech, please let me know specifically why your opponents are loosing the debate.
In your final focus speech, please let me know specifically why you are winning the debate.
Coach @ Harvard Westlake
S Tier - LARP, Plan v K
A tier - Clash of Civs
B tier - K v K, Theory debates
C tier - Phil
D tier - Trix
F tier - Meme/troll
I did policy debate for 4 years at Downtown Magnets (shout out LAMDL) and 4 years at Cal State Fullerton. I debated mostly truthy performance debates and one-off K strats in high school and debated the K in a very technical way in college. Currently coach flex teams in LD.
I would say my debate influences are Jared Burke, Shanara Reid-Brinkley, Jonathan Meza, Anthony Joseph, Travis Cochran, Toya Green, and Scotty P.
TLDR: I will vote for anything, as long as it's impacted out. The list of preferences is based on my comfort with the argument. Fine with speech drop or email chain.
I think debate is a game that can have heavy implications on life and influence a lot of things
Tech > Truth, unless the Tech is violent (racism good, sexism good, etc.)
Good for all speeds, but clarity is a must
I default my prioritization to theory, T, and then substance. This can be changed if argued
The highest layer of the debate
Disclosure is probably good, can vote on the impact turn though
Yes competing interps, lean no RVIs, DTD
Shells need an interp, violation, standards, voter
Reasonability OK but explain why you are reasonable
Need a good abuse story/how does my ballot set norms? Why does my ballot matter? How does this implicate future debates?
Conditionality is good but can be persuaded on abuse
Absurd internal link chains should be questioned
Uniqueness controls the link
Impact turns are good
Perms are tests of competition, not new advocacies
Yes judge kick
New evidence in NR as long as it's a logical extension of the NC. I'm okay with the 2AR doing this as well to check back, but it may not be strategic.
Will read evidence if told to do so
Quality ev > Card dump of bad ev
CPs need to compete on a functional and textual level
I have a reading background in several critical literature bases. I am most read in anti-capitalist theory, afro pessimism, fugitive black studies, settler colonialism, and Baudrillard. For the sake of the debate, assume I know nothing and explain your K.
Winning theory of power important
Perm solves the link of omission
Specific link > state bad link
Contextualized link > state bad link
Affs should weigh the aff vs. the K, negs should tell me why this isn't possible OR deal with affs impacts.
Framing/framework is super important for how I evaluate the K page
Extinction outweighs debate probably good here
Will definitely vote for K affs. I appreciate affirmatives that are in the direction of the topic. Affs that don't defend any portion of the resolution need a heavy defense of doing so
I try not to have a leaning into T-FW debates, but I find myself often voting negative. Similar to Theory/T, I would love to hear about the affirmative's model of debate compared to the negative's. Impact turns to their model are awesome but there is a higher bar if I don't know what your model is.
Read a TVA -- Answer the TVA
Fairness could be an impact, but starts as an internal link. Clash is important.
KvK debates are super interesting, but I hate when they become the Oppression Olympics. Perms are encouraged. Links of omission are not. Contextualize links to the affirmative and clearly tell me how to evaluate the round.
Presumption isn't gone for enough in these debates.
Yes perms in KvK/method debates
Performances should be used offensively. I will flow your poems/videos/whatever, just have a defense of it and utilize it to win
Not the best for Phil, but open to hearing it. I need a very clear explanation of the arguments, as I did not debate/judge this often.
Weigh in the debate - extend offense
Tricks were not a thing in policy debate, so I'm not the best judge for this
Explain it as if I were the parent judge you were not hoping for
Do not hide tricks
I evaluate the debate after the 2AR - non-negotiable
Pretty much summed up here
If you make a joke about Jared Burke, +.1 speaker point
TLDR: Tech over truth. Go as fast as you want, but be clear. Tell me how to weigh. Extensions should include the original warrant. I'm good for LARP & policy arguments, I can evaluate K debate, and I am probably not your pick for a performance/non-T aff. Don't be rude to your opponent.
I'd like to be part of the email chain, if there is one: email@example.com
GEN: I competed on the circuit for 4 years and went to the TOC in LD. I currently coach for Harker. I'm most comfortable with policy-style arguments and LARP fare, along with theory.
-I default to an offense-defense paradigm. This is the only way I've found to judge debates that both makes sense and is fair, so if you don't want me to use it, you'll have to explain how else I should approach the round.
-True evidence ethics claims are not theory arguments. If you genuinely believe that your opponent has committed an evidence ethics violation, you need to tell me in those terms. The debate will end, the claim will be evaluated, and if there are tournament procedures for EE disputes, I'll initiate them.
-Disclosure is good and should be encouraged. I debated for a small school. I attended multiple tournaments without teammates or a coach. I could talk at length about why this is the best practice for small schools and lone wolf debaters. (Also, disclosure theory is boring, as are debates that come down to it.)
LARP: This was most of my circuit repertoire. I'm extremely comfortable judging these debates. Notes:
-The perm is a test of competition, not a change in advocacy. If you're going to kick something, it should be clean (concede defense on the link).
-Not going for something is not the same as kicking it.
T: I like a good T interp. As with all theory, the abuse story should be tailored to the shell and the violation; hurling around generic blocks about limits and ground will always be less compelling than a cohesive explanation of how your interp specifically encourages substantive debate. Notes:
-I tend to believe that topicality is a true argument. Do with that what you will.
-Someday, in a better place, in a better time, I dream of a world where a debater correctly explains genericity.
Theory: I have a decently low threshold for theory, with the exception of obviously frivolous stuff (e.g. highlighting theory, font theory, etc. — but don't stress too much about what "frivolous" means here, trust your gut). Notes:
-I soft default to competing interps > reasonability, no RVIs > RVIs, and fairness > education. By "default" I mean that in a circumstance where neither debater says any of these words, this is where I fall. It's not a hard preference.
-I won't vote on spikes where the warrant only appears in the last speech. The abuse story has to be delineated in the actual shell.
-I'm a pretty hard sell on RVIs. For one thing, I think going for them is usually a bad strategic move; I'm also disposed against them on theoretical grounds. Still, I'll hear the argument.
-Specific articulations of the nature of the abuse strengthen the shell. The best carded standards in the world won't really help if you can't point to who or what component of debate is being injured by the violation.
-I will not vote on 2AR theory unless there is something truly reprehensible in the 2NR. To me, this is the same thing as judge intervention, and my threshold for it is accordingly high.
K: I've encountered most standard lit on the circuit. I appreciate a K that's well-written and well-researched, and not just the same literature being recut and recycled for the umpteenth time. Notes:
-I need a clear explanation of the alt. I have to know where the solvency is coming from, and to what extent it's working.
-Mindset shift alts probably aren't abusive so much as they make for an uphill solvency debate.
-The K can be leveled against theory, but I default to theory > K unless the debater tells me otherwise. This is another soft default.
Performance/kritikal affs: Fine, but please give me explicit instructions on how you want me to weigh it in the round. I have a LARP brain and I think in terms of offense/defense, so telling me how your interpretive framework can fit into that paradigm will make both of our lives easier.
Speaks: I average around a 28.5 for any given tournament, and I go up or down from there. I tend to give points for good strategy and smart decision-making in the late speeches. I don't disclose speaks.
If you have any questions, shoot me an email or approach me before the round.
I am a parent judge. I prefer traditional over progressive approaches to debate. If you are going to speak fast, please send me your case.
Please be respectful to your opponents. Have a great debate!
Hi Everyone! I'm Elmer, I debated in Policy in High School, coached Debate through College (first 2 in Policy, last 2 in LD) and just recently graduated with a Business degree from UT-Austin. I currently work at a FinTech firm as a Business Analyst and do part-time independent coaching. I do a decent amount of research so I can follow-on substantive topic jargon but don't be overly aggressive with acronyms.
email - firstname.lastname@example.org
This paradigm has been changed to reflect the most important aspects of my judging. When I was a younger judge/coach in the community, I used to have pretty heavy predispositions and annoyances. Now, I care most about you performing your best regardless of style. Everyone has spent so much time on this activity and it would be a disservice to not see you at your best due to my dispositions. The only true thing that annoys me when judging is avoidance of clash. If you chose to introduce an argument for me to listen to, I expect that you know it and are prepared to rigorously defend it through an attack from multiple angles. If you introduce an argument that is so obviously put with no thought and meant to just be hidden and dropped (yes this is most but not all of modern day Tricks debate, but also reflective of incomplete DA's, T shells w/o cards or offense, and 3 second Condo Shells), I will be sad and annoyed that you did not care enough to produce your best. Whether you are reading a K-Aff about Clowns, the Arrow's Paradox, or the Politics DA, I just want to see that you care and you've put thought into your craft. Debate is so much easier to judge if you as debaters look and feel like you're enjoying it and I will enjoy judging you.
ld @ cypress woods high school '20, parli @ harvard '24.5. dabbled in worlds (usa dev '19)!
please time yourself
ask me anything before round!
i qualled to the toc my senior year and taught at nsd flagship & tdc. if you have questions / for sdocs: email@example.com
1 - phil/theory. i probably give more weight to k v phil interactions, phil v theory interactions, and k interactions in a truth testing paradigm than the average tx judge. i also enjoy interesting paradigm issue interactions on theory
2 - tricks/larp. i’m not familiar with the topic though, nor do i know what the principle of explosion is - you still need to explain things!
3 - k unless they're reps ks, which i read a lot of. i prefer lbl to floating overviews that im not sure what to do with.
- have the doc ready to send ahead of time
- i enjoy a good cx
- i'll call slow and clear as many times as i need to but speaks will drop. im fine w ur opponent calling slow/clear too as long as it's not malicious.
- scripting the entire speech and/or big words without explanation is an ick - i have no idea what, for example, hapticality is.
- postrounding / being aggressive (esp against trad/novices/minorities) makes me sad
- you have to provide evi to your opponent/judge. that does not mean you have to disclose (you can have that debate) but should show them, if requested. evi contestation (clipping, miscutting, etc.) is evaluated however the debaters decide: theory shell, stopping the round, etc.
- reading problematic args (eg racism good) is obvs an L. however, the validity of death good, trigger warnings, etc. are debatable (at least in front of me)
- online rounds - record your speeches in case internet gets funky
- i think the ability to spin evi should be rewarded; having good evi helps but "call for the card" puts me in a weird position. do that weighing for me.
- send any relevant screenshot for violations
i don't want to use defaults but here they are for accountability:
- comparative worlds
- permissibility negates, the side with less of a change from the status quo under comparative worlds gets presumption
- epistemic confidence
- dta on theory, dtd on t, competing interps, no rvis
- no judge kick