Melissa Spring Classic
2023 — Melissa Middle School, TX/US
Policy Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I view the round more or less as a Tabula Rasa judge, but you can run just about anything. I'm pretty flexible I just need to know what your talking about, why its important, and what impact is has in the round. Pen down means your judge isn't following your argument. Spreading at a speaking event makes no sense, but I'll listen to it as I grew up with it in round. Spreading Theory blocks I listen to a lot because this is a speaking event and I have to give you speaker points.
I'll vote on it, but it has got to be obvious and perfectly executed. The logical ground work must be there as well as standards and voters.
I'm more of a realist, so abstract Alts are just that to me... abstract. real world Alts are good. I'll listen to the K because I'm a bit of a games player judge as well. Be sure you give me framework and do the mental and logical leg work.
I like a clean clashing rounds. If you can give me that, more quality evidence over quantity, and have a good strat and build in the 2NR (no shotgun arguments), you can have the ballot. I WANT SUBSTANCE!
Topicality is a necessary portion of debate, but one thing I really hate is time suck T's. Although, if the other team is obviously off topic, you better throw a T.
Love disads because most of the time they actually make sense. Humanity is consequentialist by nature so this is the most accepted argument for a reason. I am ok voting for a generic disad if you can make it stick really well. The more specific the better though. Practical impacts are better than the oh so common, nuclear war scene, but I will vote on nuclear war if it sticks in the round and you actually pull its weight across the debate. Just saying "drag across the impact of nuclear war" isn't going to cut it. GIVE ME SUBSTANCE, GIVE ME THE STORY.
I can work with performance debate. I will vote on a K AFF if its executed well. Make sure it makes coherent sense to me and your audience and its content is clearly expressed.
Flash Drive out of the computer and then we stop time. Hands off mouse/computer while opponents get the files up. TIME YOURSELVES! I'm ok with Speech Drop but no on internet usage.
Have a good time... Speaker points go down if you're brash, nasty, and being uncalled for. Explain yourself well, play the game when you must, and also use this time to prepare you to become a well educated and fluent speaker. You control how the debate works, not my paradigm. Lets talk Policy.Lincoln Douglas Touch on every contention. You should be able to keep a solid flow and touch everything. I use observations as framework in the round so point me in the right direction. Neg must clash, AFF must prove. If you want to provide a separate framework, let me know. IF you want me to vote for one contention over another you need to weigh that in round. For LD its all about ground work.
Speech - I value good structure, flow, and content. Have several good sources to support the information/argument you're speaking on. I appreciate when there is connection and the speech is conversational, engage with the audience. I enjoy seeing personality and other things that make your speech memorable.
Mitch Tillison is somewhere between a traditional stock issues judge and a policymaking judge. First decision check is based on simple calculus for impacts of Adv Vs DA. Once a CP is introduced the judge believes in the power of positive intent and will weigh advantages of AFF v NEG CP. Debates often slip the boundaries of such simple calculus, and once they do the judge will be more of a tabula rasa type; however, the judge is less experienced than others so debaters who run more complex arguments will need to be specific and clear.
This judge is also not bothered by spreading, but debaters should provide documentation that is clear and organized well-enough for the judge to flow since this significantly improves the judges ability to follow the debate.
Background: I attended Athens High School and competed in forensics all four years, graduating in '14. I did two years of policy, two years of LD. I also competed in Parli on the collegiate level.
For my general paradigm, I consider myself a tab judge. I'll listen to any arguments that you want to run as long as you're doing the work and telling me why they matter (I shouldn't have to say this but I also expect a level of civility in your arguments, i.e. no racist, sexist, or any other blatantly offensive arguments will be tolerated). I don't think it's my job to tell you that you can or cannot run certain arguments. At the end of the round, I would like you to make the decision for me; meaning you should be telling me how to vote and why. However, if need be I will default to policymaker. Speed is okay with me as long as you aren't sacrificing clarity. If I can't understand you I will stop flowing. Please keep your own time. As for how I feel about certain arguments:
Kritiks: If you want to run a K, I would like it to be done well. That means you should have framework,a roll of the ballot/judge claim, a link, impact, and an alt. I want to know how the way I vote impacts the world or pertains to the argument that you're making. I will listen to multiple worlds arguments but if it becomes ridiculous I will not be afraid to vote on abuse. To win the kritik, I expect well fleshed out arguments that are extended throughout the round.
Theory/Topicality: I look to theory before evaluating the rest of the round. There are a few things that I want if you're going to run and or win on theory. First, I expect you to go all in on it. If you aren't spending all your time in your last speech on theory, that tells me that it's not worth my time voting on it. Second, I want to know where the in-round abuse is. How is what the other team is doing specifically detrimental to your ability to win (hint: don't just say "that's abusive").
Counterplans/Disads: I prefer counterplans to be mutually exclusive and have a net benefit while solving for at least some of the case. In LD if you're going to run one, you're going to have to do a lot of work to prove to me that you can, considering most of the time, there isn't a plan to begin with. Disads should be structured well.
Framework: I look to fw before evaluating the rest of the round, after theory obviously, specifically in LD. It would probably be beneficial to run arguments on both sides of the framework in case I wind up voting against or in favor of the framework you go for.
If you have any specific questions or concerns about my paradigm or the way in which I evaluate the round, don't be afraid to ask before the round starts.