DOWLING CATHOLIC PARADIGM
2022 — WEST DES MOINES, IA/US
Varsity Lincoln-Douglas Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: I competed for Okoboji (IA) and was at the TOC '13 in LD. I also debated policy in college the following year.
I am a flow judge. Offense should be extended in summary and the second rebuttal doesn't necessarily need to frontline what was said in first rebuttal (but in some cases, it definitely helps). Weighing in Summary and FF is key. I'll steal this line from my favorite judge, Thomas Mayes, "My ballot is like a piece of electricity, it takes the path of least resistance." I have a hard time voting on disclosure theory in PF. Have fun and be nice.
General: Debate rounds are about students so intervention should be minimized. I believe that my role in rounds is to be an educator, however, students should contextualize what that my obligation as a judge is. I default comparative worlds unless told otherwise. Slow down for interps and plan texts. I will say clear as many times as needed. Signpost and add me to your email chain, please.
High theory: 1
K: I really like K debate. I have trouble pulling the trigger on links of omission. Performative offensive should be linked to a method that you can defend. The alt is an advocacy and the neg should defend it as such. Knowing lit beyond tags = higher speaks. Please challenge my view of debate. I like learning in rounds.
Framework: 2013 LD was tricks, theory, and framework debate. I dislike blippy, unwarranted 'offense'. However, I really believe that good, deep phil debate is persuasive and underutilized on most topics. Most framework/phil heavy affs don't dig into literature deep enough to substantively respond to general K links and turns.
LARP: Big fan but don't assume I've read all hyper-specific topic knowledge.
Theory/T: Great, please warrant extensions and signpost. "Converse of their interp" is not a counter-interp.
Disclosure: Not really going to vote on disclosure theory unless you specifically warrant why their specific position should have been disclosed. If they are running a position relatively predictable, it is unlikely I will pull the trigger on disclosure theory.
Speaks: Make some jokes and be chill with your opponent. In-round strategy dictates range. I average 28.3-28.8.
Other thoughts: Plans/CPs should have solvency advocates. Talking over your opponent will harm speaks. Write down interps before extemping theory. When you extend offense, you need to weigh. Card clipping is an auto L25.
Can put me on the email chain: lauren [dot] burdt [at] gmail.com
Would prefer Tabroom's anonymized docs sharing if enabled
I coached national circuit LD in Iowa and Nebraska until 2018. Have coached students to late elims of the TOC and NSDA Nats. I've mostly been in tab rooms and judging locally since then, so my threshold for speed and recognition of new arg trends has gone down since then. Debate's your game; I'm happy to be in the back of the room for whatever you prefer to do as long as we're all safe and having fun. 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.
Couple specific things:
-Speed: Probably not keeping up with your top speed these days. Will yell slow and clear. If you're debating someone who asks you to slow down, I expect you to make your best efforts to ensure they can follow the debate.
-Theory/phil: Sure. This is how I debated. I enjoy framing-heavy debates that compare the applications of different ethical frameworks. Engagement > evasion; extensions of a dropped sentence fragment buried within a paragraph of analytics do not particularly excite me.
-T: Substantive topicality debates ("T as a turn to aff's method") typically fare better with me in the back of the room than "aff must read plan", but I'm down for whatever floats your boat.
-K: Sure. This is primarily what I coached. Feel like these debates have gotten more buzzwordy these days which is not a great strategy to pick up my ballot. I'm uninterested in imposing my own ideological preferences as a judge, and I'm open to experimentation with what debate can/should be. I judge a lot of clash debates.
-I'm not following along in the doc. I flow speeches straight down and I evaluate debates holistically. Explanation matters, judge instruction important, big picture storytelling good.
-I like it when debaters are nice to each other. Personality is fun, sass is fun, but I have a pretty low threshold for being annoyed with attitudes that work against building community. Community is more important to me than Ws and Ls. Have fun, be smart, and I'll do my best to evaluate rounds the way you tell me to.
Hi My name is is Swati Chakraborty. Im a former debater, I used to do parliamentary debate. While I could be considered a lay judge I have judged for quite some time now and do know basic debate vocabulary and the ins and outs of this activity.
If you have me as a judge PLEASE keep a few thing in mind
- Tech > Truth
- Don't spread while I'm comfortable with you talking fast if I miss something on my flow its up to you make sure that I end up catching it before its too late within the round. To prevent this from happening feel free to send your cases before the round starts.
- I want to be included on the evidence chain.
- No tricks please .
- Please make sure you signpost throughout.
- Make sure you clearly outline your voters for me.
- If you run theory I will drop you.
Overall be respectful to you opponents and have fun!
Former Assistant Coach at Baton Rouge Magnet, now I mostly work with Millard West and Village Debate
Honestly kind of a wildcard, I find myself voting in ways I never would’ve thought of quite often. At one point in time, I was a well-known policy debater, now I might as well be anyone they just picked up on the way to the tournament.
I’ve judged everything from the finals of CEDA Nationals to pf finals at NSDA. Debate and music pays my rent and puts food on my table, this is a job for me, so take that seriously when trying to make something relatable to me. I am a member of the Cherokee Nation, I grew up in a suburban Chicano/Filipino American Household… I say this because Debates that most capture my heart occur in a similar fashion to the arguments we make at the dinner table.
POLICY: There aren’t a lot of arguments I haven’t seen/heard/smelled… I like clear-cut offense in policy debates. It’s very rare that I vote for anything along the lines of “gotta have a plan” or Topicality in general. I’ve coached both high school and college teams on the explicit premise that the topic and or community engaging the topic is flawed in some way. Ideal debates for me will be more about performance and method, I’m more intrigued by what you did/do than the hypothetical. Even when doing fiat style debate, you need to defend it like it has benefits. If heg/cap is good you gotta sell me on a unique enough reason why in THIS instance I NEED/HAVE NO CHOICE OTHER THAN vote for you. Uniqueness absolutely determines the direction of the link for me in more traditional debates. Although I believe in my heart that conditionality is bad, it's hard for me to vote for condo bad when it is debated so nebulously, I generally believe that the negative should have access to everything under the sun to negate the affirmative.
LD: The best LD debates for me are not some mutant reproduction of old policy arguments and styles. I’m a great judge for you if you read a plan text and go multiple off, but in the back of my mind, I wish more LDers would push arguments against fiat, against this way of debating. My ideal form of debate is based on evaluating performance and method… I.e. I think what you do/did is more important than what could potentially happen if x hypothetical policy were passed. Also after judging a significant amount of y’all on the national circuit I’d like to know who is “we”…A lot of top-level LDers are getting away with regurgitating policy arguments to the point where they don’t even think or change up the blocks. I can’t be the only one slightly concerned at the implications of debaters mindlessly reading whatever is on the page right?
PF: I want a copy of your evidence so I can look at it for myself, preferably a speech doc too… other than that these debates are all about uniqueness and terminal impacts for me. I want a clear and cut disadvantage to your opponents' case… it can’t just be a “here’s our side, here’s their side” type of thing. Challenge sources, challenge privilege, and bias. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.
While I never competed in debate in high school, I did get my degree in Religion and Philosophy from Augustana University (SD). I also did a lot of speaking events throughout high school and college. Now I’ve been teaching speech and coaching debate (mainly LD) for Brookings, SD.
Coming from the world of philosophy and ethics, I am particularly picky when it comes to respectful debate. The more I coach and judge, the more I’ve come to realize I’m not a fan of what I tend to call ‘harsh voters’. What I mean by this is that I’m not a fan of declaring things that are up for me as a judge to decide (i.e. ‘we win because’, ‘this is why you have to vote AFF/NEG’, 'the only option is AFF/NEG', etc.).
When it comes to Interp. and IEs, it’s all about delivery (and content where appropriate). Make sure your voice is loud and clear, but be careful in humorous / dramatic pieces. Things like laughter, screams, cries, etc. can be too much for a small room. I’ll comment on everything from movement, to clarity, to character and everything in between. For pieces that you’ve composed (orig. oratory, extemp., etc.), I’m looking for cohesive structure, good intros/conclusions, and clear main points.
Speed & Clarity
I am fine judging however fast you feel necessary; however, go faster than conversational speed at your own risk. However fast you go, your presentation should be clear, understandable, and well structured.
Roadmaps & Signposting
Make sure your roadmap intros are concise. If I feel like you’ve taken your roadmap too far I will start the timer. Also, ensure that you are giving me ample time to comprehend your contention before moving on to your first subpoint and clearly signpost. If you go too fast or don't clearly tag your arguments, one of the two will probably get lost and it will most likely be your subpoint.
The Nitty Gritty
Make sure when you extend arguments, you make it clear and add a little tag. Also, don’t just extend and leave it, make sure you explain what a card said (as in, if you’ve already quoted it and are pulling it through, make sure you mention what it was about or did for your case.) Also, make sure you’ve actually turned an argument or they have actually dropped something before you declare it in round.
Voters / Clinchers
I love clear and concise voters / clinchers in your final speeches!
This is my bread and butter. With a philosophy background, I’m pretty familiar with just about any philosopher you could throw my way. Particularly with the more popular philosophers, make sure you know how the philosophy you’re using works. If you don’t, it will show.
When it comes to how I judge a round, LD is a value debate and I think this should be the main focus. Your contentions should be purely to support your framework, not the only focus of the debate (it’s not PF).
Outside of what’s listed above, I’m willing to listen to and judge based on what you deem important so long as it’s clear, relevant, and uses sound reasoning. As far as K’s, I’m open to listening to them; however, I’ve found them relatively ineffective, especially if they are not run well.
I am definitely more of an LD person, but have judged/coached PF too. Please make sure you are explaining key terms/ideas and using strong evidence and sound reason. Also, make sure your flow is clearly structured. I feel evidence plays a bigger role in PF than in LD, so I’m far more interested in hearing evidence-based reasoning in round. Just like LD, outside of this, I’m willing to judge what you, your partner, and the other team focus on throughout the round, just keep it clear and structured.
Most importantly, HAVE FUN!!
Affiliations: Edina HS, Seven Lakes HS, University of Minnesota
Background: I debated 4 years in high school LD, mostly on a traditional circuit. I then debated in parliamentary debate for a year in college before switching to policy, where I competed at the NDT and CEDA. In college, I mostly read kritikal / performative arguments. I have coached high school LD for 4 years now, and I recently started coaching high school speech, policy debate, and PF.
I CANNOT EMPHASIZE ENOUGH HOW IMPORTANT CLARITY IS.
Stolen from Spencer:
"Debate has a clarity problem. I think this started during the COVD era. In any case, I really recommend that people watch this lectureat some point. I don't want to hear you spreading if you sound like a vacuum cleaner. It will not get you high speaks and I promise you're not going fast enough to make it worth it. I will clear you three times, and then I will put my hands in the air to demonstrate that I am not flowing because I cannot hear you. At that point, it would make more sense for you to slow down significantly so that I can catchsomethinginstead ofliterally nothing."
New LD Update: if you ask more than one or two "flow clarification questions" during prep you will receive no higher than 27.5 speaker points, absent tech issues or accessibility concerns. If your opponent asks you to repeat arguments from your speech you can simply tell them they should have flowed.
Number your arguments and answer arguments in order. If you don't listen to anything else in this paradigm, listen to this.
Don't be boring.
I have experience competing in and coaching in all styles and almost every format. I don't hold many substantive beliefs at this point about style or content of arguments. The most important factors for debaters in front of me are demonstrating deep understanding of the arguments presented, nuanced impact calculus and judge instruction, and bold strategic decision making.
I keep a rigorous flow and I flow on paper. I will not look at the speech doc. This means you should be very clear and give me pen time. You should probably slow down by about 30%. I think most debaters right now would benefit from listening to a recording of themselves spreading and evaluating whether they are unflowable, even at the highest levels of national circuit competition.
Persuasion in debate is sadly dying. Excellent speeches are not just info dumps - they should do a lot of framing and judge instruction. I like "big picture" explanations of why you win debates, but it also can't be an excuse for poor technical and line-by-line debating. If you just read off a doc for your entire speech you will not get great speaks. Debate is a communication activity, not a document compilation race.
Don't bother asking for a marked doc if you aren't going to do evidence comparison. Don't hold up CX waiting for a marked doc. Marked docs only require denoting where you stopped reading the marked evidence. They do not require you to remove cards or analytics you didn't read.
I am uninterested in hearing content warning theory except for content that is objectively triggering. There is no reason to present graphic depictions of violence or SA in a debate, even with a content warning. Reading trigger warning theory for "feminism" or "the war on drugs" is unnecessary and trivializing.
Evidence ethics and clipping violations stop the round - you don't get to debate them out. Clipping accusations need recorded proof. I will go by tournament rules to evaluate evidence ethics violations.
If you ask for a 30 you get a 25.
On paper I know more about Ks but I am comfortable evaluating a policy v policy throwdown.
Counterplan theory is usually bad and better resolved as a question of competition. Most "process counterplans" are not competitive but AFF teams are bad at establishing that.
Arbitrariness is generally the most important consideration in theory debates.
I like topicality and I don't understand the aversion judges have to voting on it. Predictability and limits are probably the only real impacts in topicality debates.
Extinction does not intuitively outweigh. Prioritizing tiny probabilities of extinction is a deranged way to think about risk calculus, and debaters reading "soft left" affirmatives should make these arguments and read well-warranted cards about risk calculus. This also requires answering the substance of the disad. But these teams do neither, so more power to the extinction first team.
Ks on the NEG - love framework. Do judge instruction and talk about your arguments more - I don't know what it means for the AFF to be an "object and process of research" unless you tell me. I need the debaters to establish positions on issues like legitimate alternative fiat or scope of links to the AFF.
K AFFs - yes. I prefer debating about interps / models rather than impacts. "Fairness is an impact / not an impact" is worse than debating about scope of solvency. Go for presumption. Don't be generic. "No perms" is probably a non-starter if the AFF is competent.
Evidence exchanges in this format are mindboggling to me. You should send a speech doc containing all the evidence you read prior to the speech, and it should be sent to both me and your opponents. I want your opponents to have the evidence so they can look at it rather than asking for individual cards. If you don't do this you get a 25.
I have voted for tricks but I think 90% of the time these arguments don't pass the "why test" with the warrants read for them.
I don't have the depth of knowledge to evaluate a complex phil v. phil debate without you doing explanation and good judge instruction.
"Frivolous theory" is unpersuasive and should always lose when debated equally, but LD debaters are usually terrible at justifying drop the argument and reasonability.
K framework arguments should be in the 1NC.
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.
I do not want to be on the e-mail chain.
You are likely to run into me at Iowa tournaments. I nearly always judge LD. (I judge P/F and Policy on rare occasion. Following my LD paradigm in those events would serve you well also.)
Please keep in mind the following three things, which apply to any form of argument you may consider using:
1. Tell me what to prefer.
2. Tell me why to prefer it.
3. Tell me that you did what I should prefer (at least better than your adversary).
Although I have been around LD since the earth cooled, I have no views about how LD should be. I am not tied to a historical ideal of the activity. In my view, the nature of the activity is to be resolved by coaches, competitors, and competition committees. My job is to evaluate the round that is presented to me, as it is presented to me. I evaluate rounds based on their internal competitiveness, not against some external standard of goodness.
I have no default "positions" or evaluative mechanisms. I will listen to any type of argument. If there is weighing to do, please do it. Since this is a competitive activity, I must award a ballot to someone. If there is no reason to affirm or negate at the end of the round, and I am left to my own devices (meaning neither competitor has done a good job of attending to the three items above), I will penalize the debater who made the biggest strategic error by assigning that debater the loss. Since this is a competitive activity, I will be constrained by any instructions on the ballot (such as instructions regarding burdens, speaker point allocations, etc.).
I am fairly generous with speaker points, tending to cluster around a 27.5 on the customary 1-30 scale. To ensure I remain generous, (1) be smart, (2) be authentic, (3) be decent to your adversary, (4) be clever, and (5) keep trying and pressing your positions until the timer goes off (even if you think you're losing).
Background: I have degrees from Baylor, Iowa, and Lehigh. I have been a practicing attorney for many years and am currently general counsel for the Iowa Department of Education. My favorite things are running, spicy food, caffeine, collecting passport stamps, and Luka Doncic.
Slow down; pause between flows; label everything clearly; be aware that I am less familiar with policy norms, so over-explain. Otherwise I try to be more-or-less tab.
I am the head coach at Valley High School and have been coaching LD debate since 1996.
I coach students on both the local and national circuits.
I can flow speed reasonably well, particularly if you speak clearly. If I can't flow you I will say "clear" or "slow" a couple of times before I give up and begin playing Pac Man.
You can debate however you like in front of me, as well as you explain your arguments clearly and do a good job of extending and weighing impacts back to whatever decision mechanism(s) have been presented.
I prefer that you not swear in round.
hi my name is rachel (she/her) i’m excited to judge (almost always)
chahta yakni | šuŋgmánitu oyáte
apple valley 22- email chains consistently annoy me. if you can use <speechdrop.net> i would appreciate it very much.
going forward- i'm not going to clarify a position on my paradigm for only 1 debater- if you want to ask questions, i think it's only fair that your opponent gets the same opportunity. if you want to email me beforehand, either cc your opponent or just wait until everyone is in the room.
Quick Guide if you want to pref me
1- Give back the land (Tuck and Yang, not Churchill)
Orthodox Marx (i have mixed opinions on Stalin and Mao. I think there are probably better critical theorists who articulate their ideas better, but whatever floats your boat. Lenin is fine, but I'm only really familiar with Imperialism:HSoC. If you read Krupskaya I'll be stoked).
SC authors (Locke especially, Hobbes 2nd and Rousseau 3rd)
LARP (i think of this in two ways, either structurally or argument-wise. I'm pretty solid on both, although you'll be better off dropping some hyper-specific policy language because it wasn't what I usually went for as a debater)
Spinoza (this is only at a 2 because I genuinely don't think you could ever make Ethics topical).
Hegel- i mean what can you do ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
3- Trad/lay (i debated in SD, so go figure).
SOME DnG (I think I get rhizomatic thought, I think I get schizophrenic capital, I don't understand most of the rest of it. Plz be cautious.
Kant- idk man this is run in so many different ways you should just ask.
4- Middle-of-the-road Performance (I have not yet been able to find a debater that clearly articulated how to substantively weigh performance in a round, and I ran performance several times. If you think you can then go off, I'd love to hear it). This includes poems, songs, personal narratives, etc- see "5" for aggressive or emotionally traumatic performance.
"High Theory"- whatever this means, if it's gonna make my brain bleed i'm not a fan.
Chinese Imperial Philosophy: Confucianism, Taoism.
Theory- I'm not a huge fan and I'm bad at flowing it. Like terrible. Please if you do this to me go very slow I will unintentionally drop 50% of your standards. RVIs mostly good. paragraph theory is fine, it just needs clear impacts to the round/debate space.
5- Evola (ill drop you no cap)
Time Cube >:(
badly done death drive (ie "k*ll everyone, nuke war good). Don't justify oppression, don't be rude. Also in here- physical performance or extremely emotional performance. Do not read me trauma-porn.
here is a list of things that make me go :) in rounds
1. extending the whole argument (claim + warrant) in every speech
2. warrants that you can actually explain tbh
3. evidence comparison (especially using author quals)
4. when u kick ur F/W and turn their case (that’s spicy stuff)
5. when u run a well articulated Kritikal position that ur excited about and that makes me learn stuff ( although it makes me go :/ if it’s clearly commodifying a people group- ex. don’t facilitate a performance you have no stake in)
6. in general if u teach me something that’s great!!!!
here’s a list of things that make me go :( in rounds
1. you have a captive audience in the round, so don't make the round unsafe for anyone (think the -ists and -phobias). if you do so in a manner that i think warrants it, i will
a. drop kick u off the ballot
b. give u the lowest legal speaks
c. talk to ur coach
d. tell ur mom
2. when ur winning and u rub it in the other person’s face- that is rude stop. not gonna drop ur speaks though- its just annoying.
3. don’t run afro pes if ur non black or anything like that- don’t use other people’s oppression as a gimmick y’all the ballot isn’t worth it
if you take each part of the debate seriously then u should be fine- most people mess up the most when they get too confident
ask me if u want more info i’ll tell u how i feel about anything and i’ll give u time to change it if u need to
my email is firstname.lastname@example.org if u need it
u get +.1 speaks if u can diss Andrew Myrick in ur speech and it flows well
Bettendorf High School
UPDATED: October 4th, 2022
I'm not sure what happened to my previous Paradigm that was posted, but it appears to have been erased/lost. My apologies as I just learned of this at the Simpson Storm tournament (Sat, Oct 1, 2022) this past weekend.
My name is Joe Rankin and I am the head coach at Bettendorf High School in Bettendorf, IA. I have been the head coach at Bettendorf since the 2005-2006 school year. I primarily coach Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Public Forum Debate, Congressional Debate, and Extemporaneous Speaking...however, I am familiar and have coached all NSDA sanctioned speech/debate events over my time at Bettendorf.
In terms of my coaching paradigm, I'd generally consider these the 'highlights:'
- I prefer topical debate. The resolution was voted on by coaches and students through the NSDA voting process. That's what I want to hear about.
- I can generally handle 'speed,' but that doesn't mean I enjoy it. I'd rather help you develop skills that you will actually utilize interacting with other human beings outside of this one particular subset of existence - so I'd much prefer a rate that is more akin to real-world applications.
- You can make whatever arguments you want to make...but I generally haven't voted on many things associating with theory, kritiks (or however you want to misspell the word critique), or other generally non-topical arguments you make in the round. It takes more work for me to believe those types of arguments are true and not a whole lot of work to make me believe those types of arguments are generally false. So, I wouldn't encourage this type of argumentation in front of me.
I figure that is sufficient for now. If you have any questions, I tend to give you that window before the round begins while setting up to judge. If not, please feel free to ask before the round. The end goal of the round for me is a competitive academic environment that is focused on education. I don't mind answering questions that will help all of us improve moving forward.
Everything important is bolded to save you time
Hi my name is Andrew Shea. I am a sophomore in college studying transnational labor history with the goal of becoming a professor.
I have a kitten named Haywood after Harry Haywood the Black Bolshevik. He is my son.
You can call me Judge, Andrew, Mr. Shea, Fire Lord O'Shea whatever works really.
I use he/him pronouns, if I misgender you/use the wrong pronouns lemme know!
You can contact me/put me on the email chain with this email: email@example.com
I generally was a pretty average K debater in LD and I understand PF well enough. I definitely was a pretty strong Cap K debater and did ok on local circuits and a few national. I also coach and have judged for a good bit so I feel pretty competent in both. I am your typical Marxist Leninist dirty commie so while I try to be tech I'm probably not gonna buy China bad as much over decolonial theory and Lenin and Mao. Not saying I won't vote for you if you say something that doesn't align with my views just letting you know where my biases are.
Preferences Cheat Sheet
Tricks-6/Strike (i don't know enough to judge it)
(Trad debate is tied with policy but I want trad debaters to know I'm a fair judge for them)
Important LD stuff
Please give me an overview(this is important to me) especially if it's a K or phil, I need contextualization, I say this because if it doesn't happen so often the thesis/mechanisms of the case get lost. I can make mistakes so don't let me.
I get very annoyed if you don't weigh in the 1nr and just card drop. By underdeveloping your arguments your run the risk of it becoming new in the 2nr. Additionally, a good 1ar can dismiss more easily underdeveloped arguments because they have a lower threshold for response. Stop doing this it's ridiculous how often I see this
Full on Ks/etc- 3
Important PF stuff
When doing evidence comparison you have to explain why the card in methodology, sample size, etc is better than your opponents. I'm annoying and I will read your evidence to check if it's saying what it's saying. Most of the time. If I remember. If I have caffeine.
Make eye contact, use the room, be loose with your body, and don't be monotone. If you talk to me like a normal human being having a conversation I'll be happy.
Important conduct I expect in round (my treat people like people section)
I expect respect. Be assertive however treat a novice who is at their first tournament with the same respect as a champion of the TOC.
My RFD always breaks down by explaining who won and how the other side could have won my ballot.
Do AA. Ask and advocate for yourself. I want to help make debate fun and better for everyone. If there is something I can do to make the round accessible for you let me and your opponent know. You have my promise I will do my best.
My ballot doesn't indicate your intelligence. Don't tie your intelligence or self-worth to debate. Peasants couldn't read and yet they've been the backbone of revolutions that educated and fed millions. Some nerds arguing in a school is not nearly as important.
You don't have to read detailed prefs if you don't want to. There in case, you need more info.
LD prefs explained
K- I prefer if the K has a link to the topic but I'm fine with non-topical. ROTB should have some sort of impact. I really like epistemology and rhetoric but I'm always happy to see a run-of-the-mill cap K. Combine both, and I'm very happy.
I'm familiar with: Foucault, Derrida, Delezue&Guttari, Baudrillard, Butler, Zizek, Hegel, Wilderson, Said, and a handful of others. That said run what you want but hold my hand through some of the harder jargon. It's possible I've never heard of something so just ask me if "I'm ok with X type of argument" pre-round and I'll let you know. If you run (Micheal) Parenti, Marx/Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Fanon, Gramsci, Davis, Rodney, Hampton, Freire, Federici, Ghandy, Ture, Losurdo etc, I'll be happy.
Phil- I like it. Explain jargon. Give me overview. This is important because it contextualizes phil and helps me understand. I can make mistakes and not understand dense phil 100%. But feel free to run any phil I'll enjoy the round probably. Probably.
Trad*-Love ya trad debaters just need to see the use of that framework in the round. It needs to mean something and have advantages or necessity to using it. Also interact with progressive cases it can be done.
Larp/Policy-Meh but I don't dislike it
Theory-Strongly dislike it, probably not necessary in debate. You should probably strike me. That said want to establish a few things because I'll probably see it anyways. First my threshold for theory response is low. Don't necessarily have to respond with counter interpt or RVIs. That said if you do, I expect you to do it well. If you're gonna play the game you got to do it well. If you truly think some violation has happened look at NSDA/tourney rules and either bring it to me or Tabroom. If you care about it that much those channels exist.
My soapbox on theory is this: Running T shells and 5 off? Strategic sure? Bad for the activity? Yeah. It's like fist fights in hockey except that actually makes for an exciting round to watch. I get put off that plenty of kids pay their own way or their parents work hard/pull extra shifts to pay for tournaments, suits, etc, and you have the audacity to say you didn't disclose and that means you should be excluded from the activity? Not a fan.
Tricks-Don't know enough to say anything on them. They seem not great but I haven't seen a lot of tricks rounds so can't say.
PF prefs explained
I'm fine with most anything and whatever jargon or what not. I'm okay with critical arguments but less confident in the ability of full on Ks to be run in PF debate due to time constraints. I just don't think the material can be handled responsibly but I've also never seen a K in PF so I can be surprised.
Other Preferences stuff
Tech over truth generally-Weird I have to say this but this does mean I can do my own comparative weighing when I think one side is winning a framework/prereq arg that controls the way I weigh things. I'll weigh things under said framework/prereq arg.
Spreading: I'm fine with it but slow down a tiny bit I don't have the best hearing in the world. Also if your opponent asks you not to spread and you spread anyways I will be majorly annoyed and drop speaks.
Tabula Rasa: I try to be but like I've said before I have biases and I am not the judge (heh nice) of how well I hold that up so better not to count on it. Also it sucks in terms of actual education
Signposting: Do it. I wish I was the best judge in the world and didn't need it but I'm not so please, please, please, do it.
Jargon: Fine with most of it but if it's internal to the case mechanics you need to explain it
I am a former policy debater and policy judge and carry some of those assumptions with me into rounds. I am alright with speed reading so long as it is clear, and I'm familiar with and willing to vote on kritiks. That said, my preconceived notion of Lincoln-Douglas debate holds that specific plan texts are not an ordinary part of the field and likely need framework to defend or justify.
I, generally, attempt to listen and weigh each argument as they are argued in round, not based on out-of-round knowledge, unless the opposite is sufficiently argued for via a theory debate. That said, I tend to find that uncarded arguments that match reality and build off of a solid understanding of the topic matter are more convincing than ones which don't. In terms of preferred arguments, I tend to view the debate round primarily as a 'game' in which two 'players' are competing, and the arguments they make are tools they use to attempt to win the round. This means that I am willing to vote for even arguments which might seem patently absurd, so long as they're sufficiently defended, argued, and explained in-round, though I suspect such arguments are frequently more difficult to win.
For argument preferences and biases, I evaluate each round, first, based on the framework debate, which makes that debate more influential than much of the rest. Additionally, although I'm very willing to vote on kritiks, I have a tendency to find nonresolutional kritiks, specifically, more difficult to vote on. Finally, I have a personal preference for debate about how debate ought to be done, frequently called theory debate, though I can have a relatively high bar for seeing it done well.
(updated Oct 2022)
Dylan Sutton (he/him/his)
firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
email@example.com 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.
Head coach, Rosemount, MN. Do both policy & LD, and I don’t approach them very differently.
I’m a chubby, gray-haired, middle-aged white dude, no ink, usually wearing a golf shirt or an Iron Maiden shirt. If that makes you think I’m kind of old-school and lean toward soft-left policy stuff rather than transgressive reimaginations of debate, you ain’t wrong. Also, I’m a lawyer, so I understand the background of legal topics and issues better than most debaters and judges. (And I can tell when you don’t, which is most of the time.)
I was a decent college debater in the last half of the 1980s (never a first-round, but cleared at NDT), and I’ve been coaching for over 25 years. So I’m not a lay judge, and I’m mostly down with a “circuit” style—speed doesn’t offend me, I focus on the flow and not on presentation, theory doesn’t automatically seem like cheating, etc. However, by paradigm, I'm an old-school policymaker. The round is a thought experiment about whether the plan is a good idea (or, in LD, whether the resolution is true).
I try to minimize intervention. I'm more likely to default to "theoretical" preferences (how arguments interact to produce a decision) than "substantive" or "ideological" preferences (the merits or “truth” of a position). I don't usually reject arguments as repugnant, but if you run white supremacist positions or crap like that, I might. I'm a lot less politically "lefty" than most circuit types (my real job is defending corporations in court, after all). I distrust conspiracy theories, nonscientific medicine, etc.
I detest the K. I don't understand most philosophy and don't much care to, so most K literature is unintelligible junk to me. (I think Sokal did the world a great service.) I'll listen and process (nonintervention, you know), but I can't guarantee that my understanding of it at the end of the round is going to match yours. I'm especially vulnerable to “no voter” arguments. I’m also predisposed to think that I should vote for an option that actually DOES something to solve a problem. Links are also critical, and “you’re roleplaying as the state” doesn’t seem like a link to me. (It’s a thought experiment, remember.) I’m profoundly uncomfortable with performance debates. I tend not to see how they force a decision. I'll listen, and perhaps be entertained, but need to know why I must vote for it.
T is cool and is usually a limitations issue. I don't require specific in-round abuse--an excessively broad resolution is inherently abusive to negs. K or performance affs are not excused from the burden of being topical. Moreover, why the case is topical probably needs to be explained in traditional debate language--I have a hard time understanding how a dance move or interpretive reading proves T. Ks of T start out at a disadvantage. Some K arguments might justify particular interpretations of the topic, but I have a harder time seeing why they would make T go away. You aren’t topical simply because you’ve identified some great injustice in the world.
Counterplans are cool. Competition is the most important element of the CP debate, and is virtually always an issue of net benefits. Perms are a good test of competition. I don't have really strong theoretical biases on most CP issues. I do prefer that CPs be nontopical, but am easily persuaded it doesn't matter. Perms probably don't need to be topical, and are usually just a test of competitiveness. I think PICs are seldom competitive and might be abusive. All of these things are highly debatable.
Some LD-specific stuff:
Framework is usually unimportant to me. If it needs to be important to you, it’s your burden to tell me how it affects my decision. The whole “philosophy is gibberish” thing still applies in LD. Dense, auto-voter frameworks usually lose me. If you argue some interpretation of the topic that says you automatically win, I’m very susceptible to the response that that makes it a stupid interp I should reject.
LD theory usually comes across as bastardized policy theory. It often doesn’t make sense to me in the context of LD. Disclosure theory seems to me like an elitist demand that the rest of the world conform to circuit norms.
I am more likely to be happy with a disad/counterplan type of LD debate than with an intensely philosophical or critical one. I’ll default to util if I can’t really comprehend how I’m supposed to operate in a different framework.
Feel free to ask about specific issues. I'm happy to provide further explanation of these things or talk about any issues not in this statement.
Hi, I'm Quincy. I am in college at Rice University, I debated for 2 years and I have been Judging LD for 3 years and PF for 2 years.
Email Chain: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you plan on sharing, please do so a couple of minutes before the round starts, to ensure we can start promptly.
1. If you're spreading, it will only count if you slow down to state key evidence, taglines, or authors. If I cannot understand you, I will say 'clear'. I expect to be on the e-mail chain.
2. I won't time you, I'm a lazy judge. I will notice if you steal prep, but I'm not the referee, I'm the judge(I won't say anything until the round is over).
3. Extensions: If you don't restate a card or argument, or at least paraphrase, that is an insufficient extension(e.g. saying "Extend the Yadayada '23 card" wouldn't be enough, restate the intent of the evidence).
4. Warping a source's intent will result in decreased speaks.
5. I will assign speaker points based on a number of factors, including:
a) Tactics and strategy. Debate is an intellectual battle, use tactics accordingly. Strategy shows that you are a good debater. Creativity in your arguments shows ingenuity, which will be rewarded. Unorthodox standards or contentions are encouraged. Try to throw a wrench in your opponent's plans.
b) Common Courtesy. Some simple things affect this, like whether or not you ask to see if your opponent is ready before a speech or before CX. Tell me how much prep time you are taking. Signposting is always good. Try to leave a good impression on me, and manners are probably the easiest way to do this. Respect your opponent, respect me, but most importantly, respect your school and yourself. Don't make me go away thinking that a round wasn't good just because of poor conduct. Don't be insensitive. Things such as racism, sexism, misogyny, and superiority complexes will be noted and will lead to a drastic dock in points. Basically, try to be a good person.
c) Presentation. Unless you're some prodigy who is certain to win every round, I would suggest that you appear presentable. Not all of this is clothing, and simple things like eating in a round will affect speaks. Basically, act like you are a respectable adult. Listen to your opponent.
I will award speaker points based on these factors, and debaters that exhibit a good combination of both of these will be the only ones whom I will award 30 speaks. I will typically award 27-29 or so.
Finally, a minor thing, I don't care whether you choose to stand or to sit while giving your speech. Honestly, standing is objectively better for giving a speech, but do your own thing. However, I would recommend that you at least sit up.
6. On the topic of in-round conduct, don't steal prep time, don't stall, and most importantly, have your evidence and sources on hand in case your opponent asks about them. It is not fair to waste their prep time due to your lack of preparation.
Lastly, if you have questions, or if anything is clear, don't hesitate to ask. However, you should wait until your opponent is present to ask questions. However, before you do, make a point of reading this, it is essentially a guide from the judge on how to win the round, and I don't want to answer questions that I have already answered here.
In case you hadn't noticed, I would like to be on the e-mail chain: email@example.com
Good luck, and may the best debater win!
Oh also, +1 speaks if you tastefully roast any IC West Debater.+0.1.
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.
***I EXPECT YOU TO USE THE FILE SHARE FOR ALL DEBATES!!! THE IDEA THAT EVERYONE SHOULD NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE CARDS YOU READ IS SILLY AND MAKES FOR BAD DEBATES***
I prefer for us to use speechdrop.net for file sharing but if we have to use one, add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
"debate is bigger than any one person. I believe in debate. I believe in the debate community. I believe that debate is one of the most valuable educational programs in the country and I am proud that it is my home."- Scott Harris
Are you a high schooler interested in debating in college??? If so, you should contact me and ask about it. We have scholarships for dedicated debaters who want to invest in our program and would love to welcome you to our team!
2012-2016: Policy Debate at Lee's Summit West High School, 2x national qualifier [Transportation infrastructure, Cuba Mexico Venezuela, Oceans, Surveillance]
2016-2020: NFA-LD at University of Nebraska-Lincoln [SOUTHCOMM, Policing, Cybersecurity, Energy]
2020 NFA-LD debater of distinction
2018-2019: Justice Debate league Volunteer
2020: Lincoln Douglas Lab leader for the Nebraska Debate Institute
2020-2022: Assistant NFA-LD Coach for Illinois State University
2019-2023: Head LD coach for Lincoln Southwest High School
2022: Lab leader for the Collegiate Midwest Lincoln Douglas Cooperative
2022: Varsity LD and progressive argumentation lab leader for the Nebraska Debate Conference
2022-present: Assistant NFA-LD Coach for the University of Nebraska- Lincoln
0-20: Your coach needs to have words with you about how belligerent/ racist/ homophobic/ rude you are to other members of the community. I have no tolerance for these kinds of things and you shouldn't either. Debate is dying and we are a community. Being aggressive and being rude are separate things. Be kind to one another.
25-26: You failed to do anything correct in the round
26-27: you do minimal correctly. You have not come to grasp with what debate is and how arguments function together.
27-28: You get a c-b on this debate. some important dropped args or framing questions are not challenged
28-29: You handled this round well. There were minute problems that can be resolved easily that can bump you up.
29-29.5: You are a solid debater and have done exactly what I would do (or slightly better) to answer different arguments. Typically this range is also associated with you winning against a very good opponent, or very easily.
30: I have no corrections. You have had a perfect round and all of your arguments are on point and delivered properly. You have made some kind of strategic decision that I did not think about that I find genius.
WILL VOTE ON
theory out of 1AC
Speed theory (if justified, see speed section)
Framework v. K affs
Framework turns v. other positions (Ks, DAs, Case args)
CPs in HS LD
Ks in HS LD (See K section in policy for specifics)
Speaking for others arguments (There are ways to not make this problematic. However, identity is very individualized and commodification of someone else's identity for your own gain is a problem for me. For instance, do not be a white male debater reading the narrative of a black woman.)
SPEED: I can do speed. I do have some conditions though. READ T SHELLS SLOWLY!!!! I need to hear the definitions, standards and voters. Bottom line is if it isn't on my flow I can't vote for it. Speed SHOULD NOT be used as a weapon especially if there is a specific debater in the round that has a disability that hinders them from spreading or flowing quick speech. Be respectful of individuals and their experiences.
TOPICALITY/THEORY: needing proven abuse is BS. Affs that say dont vote on potential abuse are wrong and should read counterinterps that apply to their affs. If the neg interp is bad then warrant that out in the standards debate. I do say if you want to win T you need to go all in in the NR and win the full shell. When it comes to theory I love it. I tend to flow it on a different sheet so tell me when I need to pull one out. That being said I don't see theory as a means of winning the ballot. It is just a means of getting me to not evaluate an argument. This can be changed though. I have done a lot of weighing condo bad v. T. Theory v. theory is always a fun time. Warrant out why some shells are weighed first in the round and explain to me how different shells interact with each other. T is never a reverse voter though and neither is theory. Predictability is not determined by whether or not something is on the wiki or if you have seen it before. Predictability is based on whether or not an interpretation is predictable given the resolution. The same goes for reasonability. Negs who read T should be able to provide a TVA or establish that the education we get from judging the 1AC is bad for the topic.
DISADS: Run them. This is one of my favorite arguments to see and evaluate. I think it is the best way to establish comparative offense. However, if you run generic links that's no bueno for me. generic links from the Neg means generic responses from the Aff are acceptable. I don't want a generic debate y'all. give me some links that pertain to the case at hand.
CPs: They exist. I never really ran them but I do know how they work and I will evaluate them. Also prove it competitive. (Hint: I like Disads. that can help.) I will vote for the perm on presumption if you don’t prove them to be competitive as long as there’s a perm on the CP.
KRITIKS: I like the k debate and will vote for them but explain the literature. I have read some of the authors including Deleuze and Guattari, Puar, D’andrea and most of the authors that relate to neoliberal subjectivity as it applies to consumption. I have also seen antiblackness and afropessimism rounds that I have enjoyed a lot. But that does not mean I am entirely up to date on the newest literature or how your lit plays into the round. Just explain it to me. NEVER RUN MULTIPLE IN ONE ROUND!!!! The Alt debate turns ugly and I don't want to deal with that. Affs should either have a plan text or an advocacy statement as to what they do. I don't like performance debate as much as just reading the cards, however I have voted for poetry performance in rounds. I will listen to identity args. Race, disabilty, and queer lit are all acceptable in front of me and I can/ will evaluate them. Neg should be able to defend alt solvency. I am not going to automatically grant that. I will not kick the alt for you. saying "if you do not buy the alt kick it for me" is not an argument. If you do not explicitly say "kick the alt" or something of that nature I will evaluate the alternative. If it does not solve then I will be persuaded by risk of aff offense. I also want to point out that P.I.L. was correct, Anger is an Energy. If structures upset you, feel free to rage against them. This can include the debate, economic, racial, gendered, and other spaces. If you are oppressed and you are angry about it, I will not limit your ability to angrily refute the system.
CASE: I am always here for the growth, heg, and democracy bad debates as well as the prolif good ones. My strategy typically was to go T, K, O so I enjoy hearing why heg is bad and how the alt avoids it and how the aff isnt topical.
PRESUMPTION: I will not vote for terminal defense on the flow. I need an offensive reason to vote for you. Whether that be a disad, K, or advantage I need something to evaluate to give me a reason to reject the other team. Find it, win it, and extend it. Also, do the calculus for me of what impacts matter and why they matter. When I do the calculus I look to magnitude, timeframe, and probability. Explain why you fit into those please.
CONDO: I find it disingenuous to read more than one condo advocacy in one round in NFA. You can do it if you win the theory debate but I will be more lenient to theory in a world of multiple conditional advocacies. If you are running multiple advocacies please make it only be CPs. I don't want to see a CP and K in a round because almost always the CP will link to the K and I think that's cheating. That is different for policy and I consider it much more debatable then.
PLANLESS AFFS: I believe the aff should do something. How that happens is up to the aff. I do not reject planless affs on face but they should at least have an advocacy. otherwise, I am persuaded by vote neg on presumption because the aff functionally does nothing. arguments about the importance of rhetorical challenges is a way to do this.
For any arguments that relate to it see above. In terms of how I evaluate LD rounds I rely heavily on the framework debate to determine how I will evaluate the round. Pay it it's due and try to win it. However, if you are able to show how your arguments fall into your opponents’ framework then I will be willing to vote for you if they win the framework shell. Also please clash with each other. I have seen too many rounds where each speech is just explaining 1ACs and 1NCs and I don't have a specific reason to vote against one or the other. At that point my personal morals let me decide how I feel about the topic. You don't want that. I don't want that.
I think a lot of LD debaters fail to recognize the importance of uniqueness to their arguments. If the squo is in the direction of the arg you are talking about, you need to prove uniqueness for whatever point you are making.
I tend to default to the idea that Fiat does not exist in HSLD until I am told otherwise. This is an easy arg to make especially with a res that uses the word "ought".
I am more progressive when it comes to LD due to my policy background. This means PICs, Ks, CPs and DAs are all acceptable. weigh them and explain the args as they apply to the aff case.
Phil cases and I do not get along very well. It confuses me and I find that debaters are not the best at explaining philosophy in the limited amount of time we have in debate rounds.
I prefer single standard debate as well. Death is bad and morality is good (but subjective) I dont need a specific mechanism for how we prevent or entrench one or the other. if you read it thats fine but I probably won't look at it that much unless you thoroughly explain it to me.
how to pref me
policy style args (CP, K, DA)-1
tricks-these are typically not arguments and hold minimal weight for me
If you have me in the back of the room for NSDA most likely it will be for public forum. That being said, I am not extremely experienced when it comes to public forum debate. I have coached and debated it in an extremely limited capacity but have substantial experience in other formats. The debate is yours but I have a few things that ought to be known before you walk into the room and start doing your thing.
- Debate is a game of comparative warrants and impacts. Too many people in PF try to rely on just making claims without substantiating those claims with proper warrants. Just giving me a number is insufficient to prove the causality of an argument. I need to understand what the reasoning is behind WHY a number exists.
- Uniqueness MATTERS! I have seen too many debaters (in all activities) fail to explain the uniqueness of their claims and arguments. The resolution provides an overarching truth claim that provides some direction as to how the world reorients itself post implementation. What does each world look like and how is it a shift to the status quo?
- Evidence is incredibly important to me. If you choose to paraphrase, it will negatively impact your speaker points. I emphasize the use of actual properly cut cards in PF. I understand this is not a common practice so if I ask for evidence that you have read, you need to be able to provide the source and the lines where your arguments came from. Failure to do this will result in me not evaluating an argument, filing an ethics complaint, and tanking your speaks. Don't plagiarize or lie to me in a debate.
- Speaker position does not influence me too much. I keep a rigorous flow that consists of all of the arguments made by both teams. You should pref the side you want before picking the order in front of me.
- PLEASE provide an actual impact in debates. most PF rounds I have judged do not express an actual impact story and get stuck at internal links. you need a reason that your contentions are a problem
- Finally, for any of it that applies above, please consult my LD and policy sections of my paradigm to see if any arguments should or should not be read at this tournament. Also, ask any questions that you may have before the round. I enjoy talking to people and hope to enjoy the debate you present me with.
At the end of the day it is my job to sit in the back of the room and listen to discourse on the issues presented. It is your job to determine how that discourse happens. Just because I say I do or do not like something should not change your strategy based on the round. I have voted for things I never thought I would and have changed my opinions about things a lot. I give higher speaks to anyone who can read my paradigm and change my opinion or do something that is incredibly intelligent in round. Do what you are comfortable with and I will adjudicate it based on what is in front of me.
Other than this PLEASE feel free to ask me. I only bite on tuesdays. Pref me a 1 and I'll be able to give you an experienced and fairly well rounded and open round.
I've rewritten my paradigm now that I've graduated and I've shifted to primarily judging NFA LD. I am also a little bit of a hoarder so if you want to see my old paradigm, it's at the bottom of this one. I still believe most/all of those things about debate, I am just endeavoring to make it more concise and NFA specific going forward.
A Little about me:
I debated at University of Nebraska-Lincoln for 4 years (2019-2023). I would like to think I was pretty good at NFA LD, but I also get that doesn't always transfer to judging.
I also coached high school LD for three years at Lincoln North Star High School in Nebraska (2020-2023).
Before that I was a policy debater at Shawnee Mission West in Kansas (2016-2019).
My topic knowledge is probably a 4/10. I am now in law school at Vanderbilt which means I don't cut cards right now because I don't have time, but I am planning to judge NFA pretty regularly for UNL.
My senior year I primarily read affs that were either squarely topical with large impacts or affirmatives with advocacy statements instead of plan texts. On the negative I went for T (60%) or the K (30%) in 90% of my rounds. This doesn't mean you have to debate that way, that's just where I am coming from.
I like speechdrop, but I don't care enough to make you use it. If we do an email chain use email@example.com.
I flow, which comes before almost all my other preferences. I like fast (but accessible) debate. I think the time limits in NFA are broken which changes how I would like to evaluate certain arguments. I will vote for nearly anything that has warrants. If you read a plan text, it should be topical, if you don't read a plan text, I think your aff should be at least tangentially related to the topic. I like when negative debaters lay their cards on the table in the NC to prioritize explanation over shock value in the NR.
Speed: Sure. Go probably 90% of full speed and slow down on analytics. I flow on paper because I don't type very fast. Clear and slow is better than fast and non-understandable. If you're opponent asks you to slow down for accessibility reasons you should. If you ask for someone to slow down for accessibility reasons and then in another debate go really fast, I will not be very forgiving. Those who do this create a poor perception of all requests for slowing down which harms people who actually need to have conversational debates.
Style: Frame my ballot. Tell me which arguments matter the most, why they matter, and why you are winning them. Fewer arguments that are well explained are almost always better than trying to make as many bad arguments as possible. Don't be afraid to "kick" me if you're in front of a more traditional panel. I will still flow and vote off that though, so if you can win both it will be better for you.
NFA Specific Opinions: 2ARs need to do pick their two or three best arguments and then do line by line on the negative's answers to those arguments from the 1AR. NCs should be less afraid of reading only 1 or 2 off. NRs (generally) shouldn't read cards except to answer cards that the aff read in the 1AR. I think generally more than 1 Conditional advocacy breaks the game, but you should probably get to read that one advocacy conditionally. When the Negative goes for multiple off case arguments that aren't part of the same route to the ballot (i.e. DA + K or T instead of CP + DA), I think the aff gets a ton of leeway in answering them all. The 6-3 time tradeoff just necessitates it and neg debaters will find their time is better spent in the NR really explaining 1 route to the ballot instead of shadow extending it all. I am frustrated with NFA judges that have really ideological oppositions to certain arguments and styles, I think it is just as much my (our) job to adapt to you as it is your job to adapt to me (us) and as such I will endeavor to listen to all of your (non-bigoted) arguments with an open mind.
Affs: Should have an advocacy and an impact. I think if you're going to claim to be Topical you should be topical. If you aren't trying to be topical I prefer you just impact turn T instead of going for defense. Don't read cards you don't need in the 1AR, you don't have time.
Disadvantages: Sure, I think you should read your best link card in the NC. I (generally) don't think you get add on scenarios in the NR. Specific links are always better than non-specific links.
Counterplans: Yes. Explain how they solve the aff, how they avoid the net benefits, and why they are theoretically legitimate. Do what you can justify, but I tend to fall pretty in line with (policy) established convention as to whether a certain type of CP is cheating or not. I will say I do like PICs and I think that judges that auto reject PICs are actively inhibiting creative negative debaters and rewarding affirmatives for lazy plan writing.
Kritiks: I lived here for the longest in College. Stylistically I think the NC should read less cards and spend more time articulating the links on the case. Why wait until the NR to make link arguments when you can have two shots at explaining it to me to understand it? Framework arguments should be in the NC/1AR. I don't think the NR needs to go for the alt, but it does need to explain why it doesn't need the alt. I think affirmative debaters get too generic answering kritiks, and should make more specific analytical arguments instead of just asserting "perm double bind." 2ARs should collapse more on these - if you're winning the no link debate, go for the perm. If you're winning the impact turn debate, who cares about the perm?
Topicality: (Against the aff with a USFG plan text) I love a good T debate. I think that topicality informs how we write plans in the future which means competing interpretations and potential abuse are (generally) truer arguments. Define words in the resolution, put any TVAs/ExtraT/FXT/impact framing issues in the NC shell. The NR should go between overviewing/explaining disadvantages to the affirmatives interpretation and line by lining the 1AR responses. Here, again, the aff should pick their battle in the 2AR.
(Against the aff with a non-USFG advocacy) I think this is a viable strategy. You should do more establishment of impacts in the NC then you might against a topical aff. Think of this as more a disad to their method than a prior question, which means you should be making arguments on the case about why topicality harms the aff's ability to solve itself in the NC. You will be hard pressed to win this debate if you do not put some amount of argumentation on the aff. You can win fairness alone but I think it's better explained as an impact to clash/education. Affirmatives should read 2-3 good 1AR impact turns based in AC evidence and explain them in the 1AR instead of 10 blippy, generic arguments. The 2AR should pick the best one and explain it against every macro impact the NR extends.
Last Edited in April of 2023.
Do whatever you want. I typically default to offense/defense paradigm and I think judge adaptation should be a two-way street: yes you should probably do what your judges prefer because its strategic, but judges should also make every effort to understand and evaluate your arguments fairly. I am very frustrated by judges that give RFDs like "I don't evaluate this kind of argument" or "You were going too fast so I didn't even try to flow you." I prefer affs are at least based in literature about the resolution. I started with more exposure to Policy style arguments but have since become somewhat of a "K hack." I love impact turns, T debates, tricky DA's, and well thought out Critical debates, not necessarily in that order.
Speed - Yes I can handle speed, but please don't go full out. I can flow pretty well, but going too fast will likely hurt you more than it will help you. I would say the 1AC/1NC should be like 90% of top speed, and warrants/rebuttals should be 75%, I'm not a very fast typist so I will likely flow on paper.
Frame my Ballot - Please. The 2NR/2AR should almost always start out with an overview of "You vote Aff/Neg Because..." if you fall into the nasty habit of just going straight into line by line without telling me where to look first in the debate, but your opponent gives a clear, concise overview of how I should evaluate the round and which arguments matter the most, you may not like my decision.
Round Vision - Keep an eye out for technical mistakes and cross flow applications. My partner and I came back from a lot of debates that we were very clearly losing by correctly analyzing bad 2NR kick outs or 1AR mistakes. Making strategic concessions and cross applications will be rewarded.
Adapt - If you're debating in front of a panel don't be afraid to kick me and cater to the other judges interests. I get it, no hard feelings. I will still make my decision based on a technical analysis of the flow unless explicitly instructed otherwise.
Affs - I would prefer that Affirmatives are in the direction of the resolution, and have a stable advocacy, otherwise I will likely find a parametrics argument pretty persuasive. I have read planless affirmatives and I think they have lots of merit, but where teams go wrong is shadow extending aff cards but not explaining their method or solvency mechanism. What does the advocacy do? How do you resolve violence? Do you need to resolve violence? I think these are questions that need to be answered early in the debate. That being said, I think impact turns to FW should use the aff. I am not a big fan of copy and pasting your generic K aff blocks to every aff you read when your evidence justifies much more nuanced answers to framework. As for Affs with Plan Texts, I'm down for whatever. My senior year Alex and I mostly read soft left affs with a framing page, but we also occasionally went for a big stick economy aff with a lot of preempts to Cap and Dedev, so read what you want and I should be able to handle it.
Impact Turns - Yes. Please. Dedev and prolif good were my favorite. Focus your attention on the Sustainability debate, impact analysis, and Impact defense. Read any impact turn you want. Although hearing something like death good or wipeout will probably make me sad.
Topicality - I love a good T debate, but the key word there is good. I default to competing interpretations and I don't think you need to win in round abuse to win T. I typically view T as a Disadvantage to the Affirmative through an offense/defense paradigm and I think fairness is just an internal link to education. 2NC/1NR should have a case list and hopefully have a TVA. The biggest problems teams have when going for Topicality in front of me is warranting out their DAs. Why does the aff explode limits? What do they justify? Why is the ground they take core neg ground and why is that bad? Answering the why question will make topicality debates more persuasive for me. When answering T make sure you have offense or a very clear we meet. ***Pet Peeve: Reasonability is an interpretation level argument, not a violation level argument. "We are reasonably topical" makes absolutely no sense. You are either topical or you aren't, and whoever wins the interpretations debate decides that.
Disadvantages - Yes. There was always a Politics DA in my 1NC's in high school and I love them. The best 2NC's/1NR on DA's will have an overview of some form on top. Brink DAs are much more persuasive than linear DAs. Be sure to make turns case arguments and really flesh out your links in the block. Conversely, dropped turns case arguments in the 1AR typically make a neg presumption ballot significantly easier. Read whatever DA's you like and I can jive.
Counterplans - Also yes. The Bread to the Disad's butter. I think that judge kick is implied in condo and if you want to make a more in depth argument about why I shouldn't judge kick the cp for the neg then that debate should start in the 2AC. Conversely, if the aff wins no judge kick I am sympathetic to arguments about presumption flowing aff if a counterplan is in the 2NR. When reading counterplans sufficiency framing is your friend. Make your net benefits clear and your solvency warrants clearer. Carded counterplans are always better than non-carded counterplans, but pointing out that the aff evidence advocates for your generic CP is also pretty cool. I am always telling teams to do more framing in these rounds. What does the counterplan solve and why does it matter? I will draw the lines, but I will be hesitant.
I would say my opinions about counterplan legitimacy are pretty mainstream. If it's typically thought of as a "cheating" counterplan, I probably think its cheating too. That doesn't mean don't read it, just spend enough time to actually win the theory debate. Nuanced interpretations and fewer, better arguments are preferable to your 9 point "yes delay CPs" blocks.
Kritiks (When You are Neg) - Yes. I will listen to K's but I am probably not very familiar with your literature. I am probably a little bit more sympathetic to framework arguments about ontology/epistemology/pedagogy/etc. than some other judges, and I think the most effective way to win the framework debate is to get impacts external to fairness alongside all of your typical clash impact turns. I don't think you need to go for the alt if you can win framework and impact calc. If you do go for the alt, I think the most persuasive debaters describe it more as a process and less as a singular event. The link debate is the most important part, and an analytical extrapolation of generic links and how they interact with the case in the 2NC is more persuasive than reading 10 new cards that don't say much about the aff. My senior year when I went for the K, I mostly went for a Zizek Cap K with a really buff 2NC Framework (I look back and feel silly saying that). I also read Agamben and Security. In college I have focused my research on Ecological Pessimism (A Climate oriented spin off of OOO), Managerialism, Necropolitics as it is theorized by Achille Mbembe, Militarism, China Threat Construction (Pan), and critical pedagogy. The teams I coach read a lot of Warren/Wilderson, Puar, Munoz, and Edelman so I'm being exposed to that lit too. Everything outside of those I probably have a working knowledge of, but you will probably have to do more explaining to me than you might have to with another judge. If I don't understand the core thesis by the end of the round, it will be very hard to win my ballot.
Case Debate - Is a lost art. The more you can attack the internal links of the aff, the more likely you can pick up my ballot. I will vote on presumption if a significant amount of case answers are mishandled or good DA turns the Aff arguments are won. If you are debating against a plan-less aff do what you do - I could listen to a methods debate or a FW debate - I think often teams that read plan-less affs are really only ready for the latter, so you might consider using that to your advantage.
Theory - SLOW DOWN ON YOUR THEORY BLOCKS. The key to a good theory debate is a nuanced interpretation. The more tailored you can make your interpretation to the debate that is happening to subsume the other team's offense, the better off you will be. Theory is almost always a reason to reject the Argument and not the team, but I think the best aff theory is used to justify abusive permutations like Perm do the counterplan. Condo is a different beast, and a reason to reject the team if won. I would prefer the 2AR not devolve to condo, but I also understand that sometimes you get spread out or there are egregious performative contradictions that warrant a complete throw to theory. In these situations outline the in-round abuse and make your impacts clear - ensure that you can explain why your interp is not regressive.
**********************************************HIGH SCHOOL LD****************************************
Because I live in Nebraska I guess I have to include this stuff too...
Top Level: SHARE CASES. I don't understand this permissibility with not seeing your opponents evidence, not for flowing purposes but for checking reliability of the evidence, but it seems more prevalent in HS LD than other places. Pet peeve is debaters who don't share the AC/NC until after they give it or ask which evidence to send instead of just sending the whole doc :)
I have now been coaching/judging LD for the better part of 3 years and more often than not I find myself evaluating these rounds very similarly to how I would evaluate a policy round. With that being said, see above for my policy preferences if you want to have a progressive round, with a few caveats below. If you find yourself more of a traditional or phil debater, that's cool too, read on...
TRAD: This is the LD type I did when I went to high school in Kansas City. If you want me to just evaluate value v value with degrees of solvency, tell me why that's the best method for debate. I prefer arguments steeped in argument quality and structural fairness as opposed to arguments that appeal to "the spirit of LD" or "Morality is useful for everyday life." I find the first to be arbitrary and the second to be just silly. If you are debating against a Traditional case with a progressive case, focus on similar aspects of the framing debate. Tell me why it is pedagogically/competitively valuable to abandon pure value v value debate. I think there is a litany of reasons on both sides of this question and it is up to you to parse out.
PHIL: These are the concepts that are most foreign to me. I enjoy philosophy in my everyday life, but I don't often read a whole lot of books/papers through the philosophical lens of Kant or Locke or what have you. With that being said, I can often understand phil arguments, they just need more explaining in front of me. Explain how your philosophy better explains the world and moral action, and why it specifically takes out the competing method. Don't just say "act omission distinction," tell me what that is and why it's good/bad. Phil cases that I've coached and have begun to understand, but am by no means well versed in are Kant, MacIntyre, and Locke.
PROGRESSIVE: If you're actually reading paradigms this is likely why you're here. I try to be tabula rasa (don't we all?) but I do have preconceived biases that are not hard to overcome with well-developed argumentation. I tend to think that the round should be some flavor of hypo testing where the aff defends the whole rez and the neg defends the status quo or a counter advocacy that is not related to the resolution to resolve aff offense. If the aff reads a plan text, that's fine, justify it and parse it out. I think that gives the negative more leeway for Counterplan or PIC offense, as well as Topicality or Theory. On condo, I think that anything more than 1 or 2 condo in LD is abusive but can be persuaded to think less or more is permissible. I consider myself to be a connoisseur of theory debates, but I hate having 3 or 4 theory arguments flying around from the get-go. I would much rather you focus on one theory argument and really developed and debate it, instead of relying on your opponent dropping standard 3 subsection C.
A CAVEAT ON T WHOLE REZ: If you think this is your best option for the NR go for it, but I want to be very clear on how I often find myself adjudicating these arguments: 1. Grammar over pragmatics is silly to me, I likely won't be as persuaded by a grammar argument about what kind of plural the word "states" is but I would be much more persuaded by a Limits DA. 2. I don't think an interp card is necessary for this argument. I think it's just as viable as a theory argument like solvency advocate theory or Condo - affirmative teams that rely on "You don't have a card for that" will receive much less sympathy from me than teams that make their own counter interp and have the standards debate.
For the most part, everything above about policy debate applies, if you have any specific questions please ask me before the round and I will be happy to answer them. GLHF!
Last Revision: December 9th, 2019
*Digital Debate Note (added 5/16/20):
1) I can handle just about any speed in person. The same doesn't hold true for online debate (at least until I get better equipment/get used to it). I hate telling people to slow down, but you should slow down during online debates. I will indicate via the chat function or by interrupting if you are lagging (just as I would say clear).
2) If someone drops out of the round via connection issues, we will pause the speeches.
3) Just like you wouldn't cheat by chatting with a coach during an in-person tournament, don't cheat in online debate.
4) Don't record the round without the permission of the tournament and everyone in the room.
Email for evidence/cases: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve coached or debated in just about every event, and I’ll do my best to adjudicate the debate as fairly as I can. Your best strategy is probably to make the arguments that you think would be the best arguments to win the debate. As long as you can do that while being a kind and ethical competitor, then you’re good to go. Respect the other people in the room and don’t be a jerk.
Let me know if you have any questions that aren’t answered by this paradigm.
Commonly asked questions about my preferences on a spectrum (heavily dependent on context - you do you 95% of the time):
Truth over Tech <----------------X---------> Tech Over Truth
It’s probably not my job to say what’s true, but silly arguments have a much higher threshold of persuasion.
Speed <----X---------------------> NO Speed
I mostly judge on a local circuit, but assume I can follow unless I say clear/speed.
“Trad” <------------------X-------> “Progressive/Circuit”
I dislike these descriptors, so try to be more specific with your questions.
Debate the Topic <----X---------------------> Non-T
I’ve personally read and voted for/against both, but I usually prefer if you debate the topic.
Quality of Evidence <-X------------------------> A Billion Terrible Cards
Number Your Arguments <-------X-------------------> Say “AND” between each card/analytic
I am the head coach at Lincoln Southeast High School, the former head coach at Lincoln North Star High School, and a former assistant coach at Lincoln East High School. I have been coaching since 2015. I run the Lincoln-Douglas Camp at the Nebraska Debate Institute. In college I won the 2018 national championship in Lincoln-Douglas Debate at the National Forensics Association National Tournament after debating with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for three years. I was one of two American debaters to be chosen for the 2019 Tour of Japan through the National Communication Association’s Committee on International Discussion and Debate’s partnership with the Japan Debate Association. I also coached debate in Shanghai, China during 2018 through a summer fellowship with LearningLeaders. I competed in Nebraska high school debate for 4 years.
Events I most often judge/coach (in order):
HS Public Forum
WSDC (HS Worlds)
British Parliamentary (College Worlds)
American Parliamentary/NPDA (College)
HEnDA (Japanese HS Policy)
Specific Preferences Based on Events
I evaluate the framework first and then look at which debater has the biggest and/or most contextualized offense under that framework. If I cannot distinguish your offense from your opponent’s offense, it is difficult for me to assess how the framework operates in the round. You have to tell me why your offense applies to whichever framework we’re using and why your opponent’s offense doesn’t matter or isn’t as important.
Ks are fine, phil is fine, LARP is fine, etc. Just don’t assume I know your lit. Hold yourself to a high threshold of explanation and go for one or two well-developed arguments rather than many arguments that are barely touched on.
Flex Prep: If both debaters are okay with asking questions during CX, then it's fine. I would prefer if you do not skip CX and use the rest as prep time. If you cut CX short, that starts cutting into your prep time.
I will not vote on your short, barely warranted a priori arguments that don’t connect back to a standard. You don’t get an auto-affirm/negate by dunking on silly trick args.
I won’t vote for suicide = good or oppression = good.
Refer to the College LD paradigm to answer most of your questions. The only warning I’ll give you is that theory justifications that have to do with the exact format of partner policy debate need to be explained since I usually judge 1-1 policy through college LD. I’m not totally up to date on the cutting edge of thinking about best practices in policy, but that just means you’ll have to warrant your theory args and win them rather than pander to my theoretical biases.
I won’t vote for suicide = good or oppression = good.
College LD (NFA-LD)
Yes, I do want the speechdocs.
I don’t find appeals to the rules persuasive.
Ks are fine - contextualize the links as much as you can. I want to know how the alt functions and differs from the Aff.
I will vote neg on presumption if the aff doesn’t function (I won’t vote for an aff with no solvency because they have a “risk of offense” - you have to win that you have a risk of offense).
I don’t need proven abuse to vote on T or theory and I default to competing interps (unless the Aff wins reasons why the neg does need proven abuse or wins reasonability, but that’s hard to do)
Disclosure theory is probably underrated in college LD.
Do not run full-source citations theory.
Don’t read actual plans or counterplans in an attempt to adapt to an LD/Policy judge. However, because I know what these positions are, I won’t drop you or your opponents because they read something that you thought was a plan/CP but wasn’t. Same goes for Ks/Theory Shells (however, theoretical justifications for things like definitions and observations - framework light - are super encouraged).
Read cards rather than paraphrase if you can.