Dexter Debate Delight
2022 — NSDA Campus, MI/US
PF Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Hello, thank you for reading my paradigm. I have four years of PF debate experience and qualified for Nationals twice. I will be flowing your arguments and deciding who wins based off of well cited evidence that is constantly referenced throughout every speech since its brought up (cleanly extending arguments). How should I weigh your arguments? Please tell me in speech using impact calculation.
conflicts: groves high school (class of 2019), wayne state university (class of 2023, secondary ed major w/ minors in public health & gender, sexuality, and women's studies), detroit country day high school, marist (including them now because i judge more for them than i do anyone else at this point)
always put me on the email chain! Literally always! if you ask i will assume you haven't read this! legit always put me on the email chain! email@example.com
**edit for glenbrooks: after getting roasted for the dissertation that was my paradigm, i've decided to cut it down quite a lot.
the abridged version:
do you, and do it well
don't cheat in ways that require me to intervene
don't misgender me, or your competitors
do not assume i am going to vote for you because you say my name a lot
some general stuff:
the more and more i do debate the less i care about what's put in front of me. when i first started debating, i cared very deeply about norms, the resolution, all that jazz. now, if you're willing to read it i'm willing to judge it. i'd rather see an in depth debate with a lot of offense and clash than anything else, and i don't care whether you do that on a T flow vs. a k aff or a cap flow vs. a policy aff.
my least favorite word in the english language (of which is not a slur) is the word "basically." i would rather listen to everyone for the rest of time describe everything as "moist" than listen to you say the word "basically." i've hated this word for years, do not use it. make of that what you will.
it should be said i at one point read a parody aff that involved my partner and i roleplaying as doctor/patient during the 1ac. i care exceedingly little what you want to do with your 8 minute constructive, 3 minute cx, and 5 minute rebuttals - but those speech times are non-negotiable (unless the tournament says otherwise). play a game, eat a salad, ask me about my cat(s), color a picture, read some evidence; but do it within the constraint of a timer.
(this "time fetish" is less of a "respect my time" thing and more of a "i need to know when i can tell tab who i voted for" thing. i take a lot of pride in getting my decision in before repko, and i wish to continue that streak.)
stuff about me as a judge:
i do not follow along in the speech doc. i try not to look at cards. be clear, be concise, be cool. debate is first and foremost a communicative activity. i will only read y'alls ev if there is serious contention, or you tell me to. i HATE DOING THIS, and this very often does not go how people think it will.
if you say "insert re-highlighting" instead of reading the re-highlighting i WILL consider that argument uncarded
bolded for emphasis: people are also saying they can 'insert a caselist' for T flows. this is not a thing. and i will not consider them part of the debate if this occurs.
i do not play poker both because i am terrible at math and because i have a hard time concealing my emotions. i do have pretty bad rbf, but i still think you should look at me to tell what i'm thinking of your speeches/cx.
Misgendering is bad and a voting issue (at the very least I will give you exceptionally low speaks). due to my gender identity i am hyper aware of gender (im)balances in debate. stop being sexist/transphobic jerks, y'all. it's not that hard. additionally, don't be racist. don't be sexist. don't be ableist. don't be a bad person.
Assigning speaker points comes down to: are you memorable? are you funny? are you a bad person? Did you keep my flow neat?
I usually give in the 28.2-29.9 range, for reference.
(pssst that's where my "basically" shpiel above comes into play)
i consider ethics violations clipping, evidence fabrication/omission of paragraphs between the beginning and end of the card, and violence (e.g. calling Black people the n word as a non-Black person, refusing to use correct pronouns).
for clipping: a recording must be presented if a debater brings forth the challenge. if i notice it but no one brings it up, your speaker points will suffer greatly.
for evidence miscutting (this is NOT power tagging): after a debater brings it forward the round will stop. if the evidence is miscut, the team who miscut the evidence will lose with lowest speaker points possible. if the evidence is not miscut, the team who brought forth the violation will lose with the lowest speaker points possible. i will not entertain a debate on the undebatable.
for violence: i will stop the debate and the offender will receive the lowest speaker points possible and will lose. the person who is on the receiving end of the violence is not expected to give input. if you misgender me i will not stop the debate, but your speaker points will suffer.
one of these, because i love getting caught in the hype
brad hombres ------------------------------------X--banana nut brad
generic disad w/ well developed links/uq------X------------------------------------ thing you cut 30 mins before the round that you claim is a disad
read a plan--------------------X---------------------don't read a plan
case turns--X----------------------------------------generic defense
t not fw--------------X-------------------------------fw not t
"basically"-------------------------------------------X-just explaining the argument
truth over tech------------------X--------------------tech over truth
being nice-X------------------------------------------being not nice
piper meloche--------------------X--------------------brad meloche
'can i take prep'----------------------------------------X-just taking prep
explaining the alt------X--------------------------------assuming i know what buzzwords mean
process cps are cheating--------------------------X-------sometimes cheating is good
fairness--------------------------------X----------------literally any other fw impact besides iteration
impact turn-X--------------------------------------------non impact turn
fw as an impact turn------X--------------------------------fw as a procedural
green highlighting-X----------------------------------------any other color
rep---------------------------X----------------i don't know who you are and frankly i don't care to find out
asking if everyone is ready -X-----------------------------------asking if anyone isn't ready
jeff miller --------------------------------------X--- abby schirmer
PUBLIC FORUM SPECIFIC THINGS:
i find myself judging this a lot more than any other activity, and therefore have a LOT of opinions.
- time yourself. this includes prep. i'm not your mom, and i don't plan on doing it for you. the term "running prep" is becoming very popular, and i don't know what that means. just take prep.
- don't call me judge. "what should we refer to you as?" nothing! i don't know who is teaching y'all to catch judges' attentions by referring to us directly, but it's horrible, doesn't work, annoys all of us, and wastes precious time. you should be grabbing my attention in other ways: tone, argumentation, flowability, humor, sarcasm, lighting something on fire (please do not actually do this). call me by my first name (luke) if you have to, but know if you overuse it, it has the exact same affect as calling me "judge."
- PLEASE don't assume i know community norms, and saying things like "this is a community norm" doesn't automatically give you that dub. i entered PF during covid, and have a very strong policy background. this influences how i view things like disclosure or paraphrase theory.
- even more so than in policy, "post-rounding" me after a decision is incredibly common. be aware i'm a petty college student with nothing to lose by arguing with you about my decision, so you're allowed to fight with me all you want. just know it doesn't change my ballot, and certainly won't change it the next time around.
- i will never understand this asking for evidence after speeches. why aren't we just sending speech docs? judges are on a very strict schedule, and watching y'all spend five minutes sending evidence is both annoying and time consuming - bolding, because i continue to not get and, honestly? actively hate it when everyone spend 5-10 minutes after each speech exchanging evidence. just sent the whole speech. i don't get why this isn't the norm
- i'm fine with speed and 'unconventional arguments.' in fact, i'm probably better for them because i've found PF aff/neg contentions to be vague and poorly cut.
- PFers have a tendency to call things that aren't turns "turns." it's very odd to me. please don't do it.
- i'm not going to delay the round so you can preflow. idk who told y'all you can do that but they're wrong
- if you are using ev sending time to argue, i will interrupt you and make you start and/or i will tank your speaks. stop doing this.
- i'm very split on the idea of trigger warnings. i don't think they're necessary for non-in-depth/graphic discussions of a topic (Thing Exists and Is Bad, for example, is not an in-depth discussion in my eyes). i'm fine with trigger warning theory as an argument as long as you understand it's not an automatic W.
- flex prep is at best annoying and at worst cheating. if you start flex prepping i will yell at you and doc your speaker points.
LINCOLN DOUGLAS SPECIFIC THINGS:
please read my policy and pf paradigms. they have important information about me and my judging
of all the speech activities, i know about lincoln douglas the least. this can either be to your advantage or your detriment
apparently theory matters to a lot of y'all a lot more in this activity than in policy. i got a high threshold for voting on any sort of theory that isn't condo, and even then you're in for the uphill battle of the century. i like theory debates generally, but watching LDers run theory like RVIs has killed my confidence in LD theory debate.
'i'm gonna take X minutes of prep' isn't needed. just say you're taking prep and take prep. i'll never understand LD or PF judges who act as if they are parents and y'all are 5 year olds asking for cookies after dinner; if you can figure out how tabroom works and how to unmute yourself, i'm pretty sure you can time your own prep.
going fast does not mean you are good at debate, please don't rely on speed for ethos
i hate disclosure theory and will prob vote neg 99.9% of the time (the .001% is for new affs or particularly bad answers). just put your stuff on the wiki, i genuinely don't understand why this is a debate to be had. just disclose. what year are you people living in.
things i don't care about:
- whether you keep your camera on or off (if you wanna lose free speaker points, that's up to you)
- speed. however, you should never be prioritizing speed over clarity.
hidden at the bottom: if you read the kato k and call it the "oppenheimer k" in the roadmap for the whole round i will give you a 30
please use all your time. my bar for civility is much lower than most neda judges, so make of that what you will. please also use evidence.
I'll judge based on only the information given in the debate. Also, don't be jerks.
I am a lay judge. I am a French teacher at Cranbrook; my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the past 40 years, I loved to stay abreast of international affairs and geopolitics.
I am a truth over tech judge.
Please keep your speech under 200 words per minute.
I value eloquence.
Hi everyone! I've been debating for 6+ years in PF, parli, and world schools.
Some notes about my judging:
- I will flow the entire round and make my decision based off the final standing impacts
- Don't just tell me what your contentions/impacts are– weigh them against your opponents' arguments! I really appreciate debaters drawing on specific weighing mechanisms (e.g. magnitude, scope, probability, time frame... etc) as well
- I don't flow crossfire, so make sure to mention anything notable again in a later speech so it makes it on the flow
- I can follow fast speaking, but please don't spread!
- Any comments/arguments/discourse that is racist, sexist, discriminatory... etc in nature will dock your speaks.
I will give you full speaks if you do any one of these:
- Use the word "unctuous" in a speech
- Give a speech on one leg (I must be able to tell)
- Correctly pronounce the word "pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis" on your first try
- Incorporate a nursery rhyme reference in a speech
*******Holt HS 10/22/22 - Public Forum ***************************************************************************************************************
Read below for background on me. I have never judged Public Forum. My background is in Policy Debate which probably means a few things for you:
1) In the absence of an alternative framework, I will default to judging the round in terms of a cost benefit analysis. On balance, weighing the plusses and minuses, does it makes sense to do what the resolution says or no?
2) I am a tabula rasa judge. Whatever framework is argued most compellingly and backed by well-reasoned and clearly articulated analysis will win my ballot. I prefer to let the debaters decide the framework for my decision through their own good argumentation.
3) I pay close attention to the line-by-line. Unanswered arguments are given full weight, BUT their implications still need to be explained by the team that wins them. So in other words, you still have to do the weighing. To me, a good debate is one with direct clash on line-by-line arguments in the early speeches and rebuttals/final focus speeches where two good teams tell me why given what they said versus what the other team said, this why their arguments are better. Don't be two ships passing in the night. Engage with one another's arguments.
4) Performance is for speaker points. You can have superior oratorical skills and and lose the round. This is Debate. Not Oratory in forensics where you just read your speech. Answer your opponents arguments on the flow and frame the round in rebuttals to win my ballot.
5) I do not mind a somewhat faster pace, and can handle flowing it, but I'd strongly prefer a more focused round with direct clash on the most salient arguments in the literature on the topic over anything that resembles a Policy Debate-style spread strategy in Public Forum. That is not what PF, in my mind, is supposed to be about. So you can probably go a little faster with me, but don't go nuts, ok?
*******PAPAS Invitational 10/8/22 - Policy *************************************************************************************************************
I was a Policy Debate coach and judge for almost a decade in the 1990’s. I haven’t judged a round in 20 years, so I’m a little rusty and more recent innovations or conventions in the activity may be new to me and require some extra explanation. As a debate judge, I was basically cryogenically frozen in the year 2000, was thawed out this weekend and handed a ballot. Your coach may have some idea what that means as far as how you should adapt to me and may have even known me back then.
If you tag your arguments with a brief tag (e.g. a sentence or two), and speak somewhat clearly, I should be able to follow you. If you don’t, and I get lost, that’s bad for you. I have zero familiarity with the policy topic this year or common affirmatives or disads or kritiks from camps etc.. Err on the side of over-explaining to me.
Philosophically, I am a Tabula Rasa, non-interventionist judge. To the extent that I can still flow well enough, I will judge based on the line by line. By default, I am a policymaker and will decide the round based on a cost benefit analysis of aff case/plan versus status quo or counterplan, but if I am given compelling arguments to vote on a pre-fiat kritik, an abuse argument (e.g. topicality) or whatever other decision criteria the debaters can construct and successfully defend, I will.
Any questions, ask. I’ll try to clarify as best as I can.
Here are my expectations/paradigm for the round.
- Running obscure arguments on your opponents might seem super cool, but showing probability and a clear link chain will probably have a better chance of winning.
- Second rebuttal needs to address turns from first rebuttal, otherwise your rebuttal is a little too late.
- First summary doesn't need to extend defense unless you think its absolutely necessary for whatever reason.
- You need to extend BOTH the warrant AND impact of your argument(s) in later speeches if you're serious about finessing my ballot.
- I'm all for taking control of CX/the round but if you are abusive/disrespectful in doing so it will reflect poorly on the ballot. Treat you opponents like human beings and we'll all have a good time.
-In terms of speed if your flow and delivery is hot and clear I'm writing it down. If you wanna be Speed Racer go ahead as long as you feel a reasonable person can still understand you.
-Use author qualifications when first citing a piece of evidence (for extensions later on last name will suffice).
Hi everyone! I am a junior at George Washington University, but I used to debate PF for Dexter High School here in Michigan. Above all, be respectful to your opponents and everyone in the room. I view PF as a form of debate where you should be able to convince someone found off of the street of your arguments. That being said, speak clearly (although I will understand any debate jargon you throw at me) and weigh your impacts carefully. I can flow fast debates, but if I feel you are using speed to throw off competitors, I will let you know. Regarding evidence, you should be able to provide your cards quickly and provide (author, year) citations as well. Reviewing evidence = prep. time and I will time it.
I am free to answer any questions or concerns before the debate. Feel free to reach out at email@example.com as well if you have any RFD questions or just want to chat!
I have been judging for five years. I prefer that you speak clearly and not too quickly. I am looking for organized arguments with statistics to back up your claims. Make sure that you reiterate your contentions while also refuting claims that the opposing team provides. It is beneficial to give a framework for which me to judge from.
As a judge, I assure you that I will not vote based on my personal beliefs. I look forward to hearing your arguments.
Currently working towards my PhD at Wayne State University in communication studies. Competed for Wayne State during my undergraduate degree, qualified to the NDT twice. Assistant coach for West Bloomfield High School’s public forum and IE team.
Include me on emails chains please: DouglasAHusic@gmail.com
I flow on paper, please give me pen time. Preference is always towards a speaker starting slower and settling into top speed instead of missing parts early on. I care about clarity more than who reads a few more cards that I didn’t catch because I’m not following the doc. CX is a speech, I flow it in every debate format.
Pre-NDT 2022 Personhood thoughts -
-The comments I have below about my opinions on TVAs I think have been misinterpreted to mean don't make TVAs if Doug is in the back. My point was never a press to stop making the argument, I think as I emphasize there my issue is more with the context it is often deployed. It is not a worthless argument, but I also don't think it acts as the catch-all debaters often make it out to be.
I think TVAs are most useful when either a super specific articulation of a 1ac which synthesize aff theory with policy expressed with a really good or a few really good pieces of evidence, or a diversity of plans which alone don't encompass all of the aff themes but in totality allow us to over the course of a season test multiple premises of the aff in new and interesting ways in combination which a description of how your model can negotiate defense on the style of questions that promotes through the resolution. At best though it is always defense to whatever the affirmative's impact turn is.
I also seem to differ on layer of explanation necessary for a TVA to interact with themes of the 1ac, i'm not good for do RON with this author's book as your impact framing solves. I am great (read as: better contextually) for here is a policy aff which has incorporated theory on the front end from construction or have a theory of the law which supports this style of change, with novel impact framing or advantages the break from the norms of policy framing. More detail and engagement with aff stuff the better and more likely I am to vote for you.
-I miss impact turn debates
-And 1ars that tried to win the debate.
-Bring back theory debating,
i'm sympathetic that the aff should have to specify resolution dependent stuff or terms in the plan. Not as a voting issue but as a circumvention arg.
-I miss aff teams willing to impact turn a bad DA to mess with block strategy, or straight link turns with like good evidence. Too many debaters reaching for death by a thousand defensive cuts.
Pre-NDT 2021 thoughts:
-I've discovered I'm not a very good judge for framework teams who assume I agree that things like research, iteration, fairness, etc. are all inherently good things and don't need like any unpacking. Iteration is probably the worst offender. "3rd and 4th order testing" isn't a warrant/impact in my mind it's an empty signifier. All research is iterative - because it builds on the research conclusions of previous academics/authors/researchers (standing on the shoulders of giants and all that). Does this mean there is no impact to iteration in the world? No, but when you describe it as a process of testing conclusions - its not really an exclusive impact because the affirmative is also (whether you acknowledge it or not) attempting to test conclusions about the world. So what is an avenue you would find more persuasive? Well most simply its not a question of who iterates. But the types of questions/conclusions we iterate upon. I wanna hear what the iterative process looks under your method and not like just like "it's a predictable stasis" but what truths do we get to test more often under your model. is there a benefit to your model making policy affs vs the K the primary way we engage in critical literature? Does their alternative model also utilize problematic research standards? is K v K debate a sustainable controversy even with a focal point of the resolution? These are questions I never hear in framework debates but are ones I'd be way more interested in hearing then every one's copy-pasta explanation of iteration.
First Semester Alliance Thoughts:
1) I try to keep my camera on while you're speaking universally so you know whether or not I'm there. I've only had one issue of dropping out of a call due to my computer crashing this year. In that instance my user never fully disconnected from the call but just showed as if I turned my camera off. If my camera ever turns off in the middle of someone's speech assume I've dropped from the call and try to pause.
2) Framework on this topic:
a) negative teams have been good at explaining impacts in front of me but less good on the link - I've been persuaded in a lot of instances that affs that defend the end to a particular alliance regardless of their agent or method reasonabley meet the negs interp - especially when coupled with arguments about the topic paper predicting this as an approach to reducing alliance commitments. I don't think I'm un-persuadable on this issue but definitely need a more robust push-back on this arg from the neg when the aff relies heavily on it in the 2ac. Debates about extra-T could also be a useful avenue.
Whoever controls the framing of how to evaluate relevant offense in a debate generally wins my ballot this is universally true for all arguments and how I look at my flow at the end of the debate. Specifics for arguments will be listed below. But generally absolute defense is a hard sell absent drops, strategic concessions, or the argument was poorly constructed to begin with.
Debate is a persuasive and communicative activity first and foremost driven by student research. As a debater research was my favorite part of the activity so I certainly appreciate quality evidence production on unique and different arguments. But communicating and persuading me on the importance of evidence is most relevant to how I evaluate it at the end of the debate. A sick card that is undersold and not well explained and applied will get my appreciation but not my ballot. If it’s not on my flow, it doesn’t register for my decision, and, if the warrant is on my flow and uncontested, it won’t matter if the evidence supporting it is weak. Obviously contested argument backed up by quality ev favors the team with the quality ev.
I won't evaluate evidence that is "inserted" but not actually read as part of my decision.
You'll get a lot of return investing time in minimizing the other teams thesis. Probability > Magnitude (unless you fall into a "try-or-die" trap).
Thoughts on framework:
I went for this argument for the majority of my career as a one-off position and am compelled by arguments that there should be some limit on the topic and that affirmative teams should have some relationship to the topic for the purpose of predictable negative ground. So take that for what you will.
However, I can also be persuaded that there are alternative interpretations for the resolution that are beneficial for the purposes of inclusion and are equally as debatable. Teams that have a well thought out counter interpretation and vision for what their model of debate looks like are often in a strategically good place for my ballot. For the aff It resolves what I often find to be a core issue with aff offense on framework is that it is very compelling but the aff doesn’t solve it through the 1ac. Impact turns alone can still win my ballot though.
I think teams focus too much on the need for a TVA. They’re useful contingently but teams waste so much time trying to make something that isn’t even trying to be topical be T. You’d be better served developing better explanations for how SSD resolves their offense or talking about how the communicative model you promote still accesses the relevant pedagogical skills from their literature.
K’s vs Policy teams:
I’m a fan. I like when there is a lot of interaction with the case. I'm an ok judge for specific philosophical criticisms of the plan. I'm a substantially worse judge for "you defend [use] the state." The alternative tends to be the focus of my decision (is it competitive, what does it do to resolve the links, etc). I'm a pragmatist at heart, I believe in real-world solutions to problems and I'm often persuaded that we ought to make the world a better place. How your alternative deals with affirmative attacks of this genre matters a lot to me. I've voted for more pessimistic or alt-less Ks, but, again, mostly due to technical errors by the affirmative. I find myself caring less about alternative solvency when the negative team has spent time proving to me that the aff doesn’t solve their impacts either.
Aff teams are most successful when they have a clear approach to the theme of the negatives K from the 1ac. Either be the impact turn alt doesn’t solve team --- or be the link turn plus perm team --- wishy washiness just gets the aff into more trouble then its worth often allowing the negative a lot of narrative control on what the aff is or isn’t about.
Unless told specifically otherwise I assume that life is preferable to death. The onus is on you to prove that a world with no value to life/social death is worse than being biologically dead.
I am skeptical of the pedagogical value of frameworks/roles of the ballot/roles of the judge that don’t allow the affirmative to weigh the benefits of hypothetical enactment of the plan against the K. You're better served making arguments which elevate the importance of the impacts you've described and undercutting the ability of the aff to resolve their own. I'm totally open to disproving the affirmative's model of predictions - I just think you have to do the work to have my skepticism outweigh their narrative. I don't think its a particularly hard sell for me when the work is done. But I rarely see teams engage the case enough to decrease risk.
I tend to give the aff A LOT of leeway in answering floating PIKs, In my experience, these debates work out much better for the negative when they are transparent about what the alternative is and just justify their alternative doing part of the plan from the get go
Links control the direction of the DA in my mind absent some explanation to the counter in the debate
You should invest neg block time into the link story (unless it's impact turned). A compelling link argument is very powerful, and can cover holes in your evidence. "Impact turns the case" is a bit overrated, because it normally lacks uniqueness. Not making the arg is a mistake, but banking on it can also be a mistake.
theory arguments that aren't some variation of “conditionality bad” aren't reasons to reject the team. That being said, I don't understand why teams don't press harder against obviously abusive CPs/alternatives (uniform 50 state fiat, consult cps, utopian alts, floating piks). Performative contradictions matter less to me in the 1nc especially if they’re like a reps K (stuff like the Econ DA and Cap is more suspect). Performative contradictions carried through as a position in the block grinds my gears and should be talked about more. Theory might not be a reason to reject the team, but it's not a tough sell to win that these arguments shouldn't be allowed. If the 2NR advocates a K or CP I will not default to comparing the plan to the status quo absent an argument telling me to. New affs bad as a policy argument is definitely not a reason to reject the team and is also not a justification for the neg to get unlimited conditionality (something I've been hearing people say).
By default, I view topicality through the lens of competing interpretations, but I could certainly be persuaded to do something else. Specification arguments that are not based in the resolution or that don't have strong literature proving their relevance are rarely a reason to vote neg. I will say though lack of specification often annoys me on both sides have a debate, cut some offense, defend something please. It is very unlikely that I could be persuaded that theory outweighs topicality. Policy teams don’t get a pass on T just because K teams choose not to be topical. Plan texts should be somewhat well thought out. If the aff tries to play grammar magic and accidentally makes their plan text "not a thing" I'm not going to lose any sleep after voting on presumption/very low solvency.
Points - My average point scale is consistently 28.2-29.5. Points below 27.5 are reserved for "epic fails" in argumentation or extreme offensiveness (I'm talking racial slurs, not light trash talking/mocking - I love that) and points above 29.5 are reserved for absolutely awesome speeches. I cannot see myself going below 26.5 absent some extraordinary circumstances that I cannot imagine. All that being said, they are completely arbitrary and entirely contextual. Things that influence my points: 30% strategy, 60% execution, 10% style.
Cheating - I won't usually initiate clipping/ethics challenges, mostly because I don't usually follow along with speech docs. but if i notice it i reserve the right to call you out when especially egregious If you decide to initiate one, you have to stake the round on it. Unless the tournament publishes specific rules on what kind of points I should award in this situation, I will assign the lowest speaks possible to the loser of the ethics challenge and ask the tournament to assign points to the winner based on their average speaks.
Minimal PF/debate experience. Don't rely on theory—treat me like I'm lay. You can speak fast, but at a speed where everybody can understand. I'll be flowing. I'm big on weighing impacts—you give me bigger numbers with strong links, you win. I'm lenient with time—you can go a bit over time, but too much and you'll see that reflected in speaks. If a question is asked at the very end of crossx I'll give the other team time to respond. If you go over prep by a little, that's ok—five seconds over isn't going to change the outcome of a round. And most importantly, don't be rude!
I have been coaching debate since 1983. I was a policy debate coach and judge for 30+ years. In 2012, I started coaching Public Forum debate. I vote on clear impact calculus, politeness, clarity in speaking style and well cited sources. One of the reasons I left policy is because it became a ridiculous spewing of words much too fast for anyone who was not familiar with the evidence to understand.I prefer debaters who tell a "good story" rather than give me a bunch of numbers and blippy arguments. I am looking for real debate in conversational speeches in the round.
I believe crossfire should be where debaters clarify and explain. Answering questions so that we can look at the arguments and evidence honestly is important. Any kind of rude behavior in crossfire could very well lose you the round if I am the judge. I'm looking for an exchange of information in crossfire.
I try to go into each round without preconceived opinions, and I try hard not to intervene. I will look for the easiest place to vote in the round, especially if there is not clear impact calculus in the final two speeches.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
As an old school judge I tend to make my decisions on the clash in the round and how well/clearly the arguments are developed/responded to. A dropped argument does not mean an automatic win for the team if it is not key to the main argument being presented. Evidence is important to me and arguments based on quality of sources, analysis on importance of post dates info, etc are acceptable but should not be the main focus of the debate. I also consider how well the teams treat each other, and rudeness can impact how I view the round. Finally, the last two speeches should be narrowed to winning arguments and articulated in such a way to be convincing. I will make my judgments based on what you say in the final speech, not what I think you meant.
I've coached some solid TOC teams from across the country (ask me about my prep group!) and won the 2nd ever College pf National Championship on the very new, very very small NSDA circuit. Overall, I have ~ 7 years of comp experience across circuit pf, lay pf, college pf, and college policy.
My paradigm used to be way longer! But, in making debaters sift through my incoherent rambles & frequent mental oscillations, I felt like I was probably doing a disservice to them. If you’d like to see the older version or have any specific questions, hmu via email@example.com.
PF judging is in a HORRIBLE spot right now -- I frequently see bad, lay PF judges get away with hilariously terrible decisions (even in elims and bid rounds). I will do everything in my power to ensure that this does not happen to you. I thus encourage debaters to use my rounds to do/practice things that they can't do in front of other judges -- this means you should consider me open to any style of debate including substance, debates about debate, debates about debating about debate, etc. Debate is a game, play it:)
Make fun of Kai Cowin for + 0.5 speaks OR make a Garfield reference for + 0.3.
Do not treat me like a lay judge. Treat me like a tech judge who doesn't care enough to read up on the topic.
- IMPORTANT: Send constructive docs or speaks cap at 28. Paraphrased evidence isn't real.
I really like good rounds and really hate bad rounds. Generally, “good” teams will be super diligent about the LBL, make fun responses, give good OVs, signpost extremely well, and extend the right pieces of offense/defense -- write my ballot for me.
K is fine, but only if you’re good at it – haven’t been convinced that PFers can debate K like they can theory or substance quite yet. I can follow most reps Ks and many prefiat/performance ones. I can't follow phil B.S.
Theory is cool! I like to think I’m a decent judge for it who has seen or evaluated most shells. Pref me if you read stuff like disclo, paraphrasing, speed, or any wacky non-friv! Don't spread through your shell.
T is spectacular (especially in PF).
Egregious speed is bad -- assume I can follow 75% of your top pace. The back half should be slower than the front half.
Cheating is bad.
Fiat good/bad debates are cool and should happen more in PF.
I'm open to tricks. HOWEVER, they should be overwarranted and present themselves as moral vs. sneaky -- find a stupid way of telling me that you did something good for the space / round (or how the other team did something bad)
Defense is sticky because the time constraints of PF make extending everything hard, BUT that does not mean you don’t have to say “extend the mining turn” for me to flow it.
A quick tip: if you're spending 30s/speech on it while they're spending 2m/speech, they're probably winning it.
Debate in a way that allows fun for everyone.
Random, Discombobulated Notes:
1. Don't drop stuff please--it makes the round less fun.
2. DO OVS.
3. Don't try a TKO (one time a team accidentally pasted a TKO into their speech doc and when they got to it said "uhhhhhh skip that" which I thought was funny).
4. Numbering responses is a power move.
5. Dropped turns become untouchable voters and people should go for them more.
6. I adore non-stock cases and run them exclusively in college (shoutout Kai Cowin for pmo 5 years ago)--read p much whatever you want, idc how dumb it is.
7. ate nine
8. For the love of god, don't reread the ENTIRE SHELL in EVERY SPEECH. Just be like "Extend the interp from case and warrants 1 2 & 3 on competing interps" and I'll do the heavy lifting for you.
9. 2R has to frontline--no exceptions.
10. I don't flow or listen at all (tbh) during CX.
11. The outrage via lay judges surrounding extinction impacting is funny--I literally don't care, run whatever impact scenarios you want. I usually pref magnitude>probability as a voter.
12. I love co-op cases.
13. Do tag team CX / flex prep if you want.
14. (Not for locals) if both you and your opp agree before round that you wanna debate a different res/do something funny like a full-analytics round, I'll oblige.
15. I have a generally higher threshold for PF K links (lower for case links, higher for topic ones). Ballot Piks are swag and good please read them against annoying high theory stuff or easily correctable things. If you don't know what they're saying and they're doing a rap or poem, go for T and fairness lol. If not, read their cards -- their link probably isn't as strong as they think.
16 (super important). If someone calls for a card and you send them a hyperlink I'm not evaluating the evidence at all. CUT. YOUR. CARDSSSSSSSSSSSS (see example cutting link above).
17. WRITING "EMAIL US OR WE AUTOMEET" ON YOUR WIKI USUALLY DOESN'T MEAN YOU AUTOMEET LOL (I'll prob buy this on super nitpicky disclo shells if you're generally good about disclo but not if your wiki is completely blank).
18. In the new age of "tech" blippy PF, i find myself frequently just flowing taglines and never even glancing at the actual card text unless told otherwise--to be honest, I think I'm ok with that. Don't powertag everything tho.
19. Weighing debates are generally boring but link ins are really really cool. Do stuff like postdating, meta-study, NUQs, etc.
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org - please include me on the email chain!
As an FYI, I don't coach for any teams currently, and last debated as a senior in high school, so I probably have a little less experience with the intricate details of a lot of arguments than other judges, especially as the season is starting. Explaining everything out to me, no matter how obvious it might seem, is a great way to earn my ballot.
Judging Philosophy - My default position is that debate is an educational competition, and that by exchanging arguments in this space we gain knowledge on the topic, the world, political mechanisms, activism, etc. I can be convinced out of this reasoning but sans framework it's where I default.
I am adamant that I vote only on the arguments presented to me in the round. If an argument is clearly abusive, doesn't link, makes no sense, has no supporting warrants - I am counting on YOU to be the one to point it out. This is a test of your skills, not mine. I've voted for DAs that clearly don't link simply because the Aff let's Neg get away with it - always call out the other team and don't count on me to do it.
A dropped argument is a conceded argument - but you need to point out why this wins you the round.
Slurs or abusive language/arguments designed to hurt others (racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, etc), is an auto-ballot against the violating team. "Fascism good" arguments fall under this category as well.
Sans above, I will be willing to vote for any argument, but historically, I've noted what I find more persuasive below.
Topicality - I'll be honest that I have rarely voted on T's that were not dropped in whole/in part. The neg needs to make the argument that T is a priori (as I will not assume this). The Neg should attempt to prove what education/ground has been lost by the aff with actual examples, otherwise I tend to be unconvinced. If you're going for T, make it the whole 2NR.
DAs - always cool (Unless you're going for "climate change good / isn't happening" in which case I will laugh you out of the room)
CPs - always cool - Neg run what you want, aff run theory it's abusive. Arguments that tell me "this is what debate will look like if we allow ______" are a must if you're arguing abuse.
Ks - cool if explained well. A layperson's explanation is a must, especially on psychoanalytic Ks. It's not necessary for K's critiquing Aff's specific plan epistemology to have an alt, but is never a bad idea. Ks that critique the resolution/general format of policy (IE 'state bad') should absolutely have one. Aff - always question the link.
FW - super cool - needs to be in every round.
Theory - cool - I'm probably in the minority of judges who think so. But debate is a competition, and debating best practices that allow everyone to play the competition are intriguing to me. Statements like "Debate becomes _______" or "Debate will look like ________" are essential.
Performance Affs - cool, but should still be "topical". At minimum, a "plan text" that states "We [do the resolution] by ________".
Impact Calc - absolutely necessary. Probability / questioning the link always seems neglected in favor of magnitude, which would be a mistake for me.
General Things I like:
- SLOW DOWN on your Tags! and tell me NEXT when moving on!
- Explicitly contrasting FW/Role of the Ballot.
- Explaining the benefits or drawbacks of the world of the alt
- Questioning the warrants of cards
- Reading more than just the T or Theory shells.
- Theory debates where we are having honest discussions on game theory/what is best for debate, and moving beyond shell arguments.
Things I'm not the biggest fan of:
- Running Condo with less than 4 off case
- 5 or more off case
- Elections DAs more than 6 months before an election
- Sticking ONLY with T or Theory Shells
- Reading off standards/voters in T/Theory without explaining what they mean (What the heck is "reasonable"? Or "education"?)
- Not explaining the warrants/alt of the K to me.
- Heck, reading any K and not being able to explain it with current / relevant examples outside the space of the round
I debated all throughout high school, so I am very familiar with the mechanics of PF debate. Here is what I ask of you in each round:
1. Be kind and polite to your competitors. Being rude will affect speaker points, and in some extreme cases, the outcome of the round.
2. Talk at a pace that is reasonable to everyone in the round. I can flow speed and will clear you if you are just going too fast, but if I think that you are using speed as a tool to make the round inaccessible to your competitors, that may affect speaker points/outcome of the round.
3. Provide a clear explanation of why you should be winning the round. This will help you to be more sure of the outcome of the round. If you leave me to weigh impacts or compare frameworks, you are giving me a lot of control over the outcome of the round.
4. Provide evidence in a clear and accessible manner. I am totally fine with "Author Name, Year" citations (and in fact, I think this is how you should always cite after the first time you mention the card), but make sure that your citations are consistent and accurate. I will not ask for evidence at the end of the round (unless there is some major disagreement about what the card actually says in the round) because I feel that this is the responsibility of the debaters.
--If evidence is requested by your opponents, you must produce it in 90 seconds, or it will eat into your prep time. When reviewing evidence, that is your prep time. If I think you are using evidence request as a means to steal prep time, I will call you out and it will be reflected in your speaker points.
5. CrossX is a time for asking and answering questions. If I think that you are abusing the purpose of CrossX to respond to your opponent's answers, I will interrupt you. If it continues, it will be reflected in your speaker points.
6. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have. Debate is an excellent learning opportunity, and if there is anything that I can do to make it more educational, just let me know. I am always available via email: email@example.com.
Thank you! Good luck!
Public Forum Debate:
I competed all 4 years of high school in Public Forum at Dexter High School, and have been coaching/judging since 2018. I mainly judge on use of impact weighing, cohesive arguments and responses, and unique/compelling arguments.
I judge on a mix of tech/truth. I won't necessarily drop a rebuttal or response with theory and no evidence as long as it makes sense, but for larger arguments that your case relies on, evidence is necessary. Decorum during the round (rudeness, interrupting repeatedly during crossfire, et cetera) will affect your score, more on this below. I don't flow crossfire and I don't judge on it, but I will be paying attention for contradictions or lack of knowledge/an answer. I'm not a fan of offtime roadmaps, considering they waste time during the round and serve very little purpose. If you signpost your speech properly, you won't need an offtime roadmap.
At the end of the day, I'll judge mostly on voter issues mentioned in the summary/FF, in terms of what arguments have been dropped, responded to, or are still standing, so make sure to collapse and/or mention your strongest points during the round at the end.
If any of the students in the round are having decorum issues, it will greatly affect my decision. I've noticed that most of these issues happen during crossfire, due to how easy it is to get frustrated with your opponent. While I was competing, I was definitely quick to make a crossfire heated - there's a pretty easy fix for this. Your speeches and your arguments should be addressed to me, and not your opponent. Your job is not to wear down your opponent until they concede, your job is to convince me that your arguments are more important. I hope this reframing of the debate can help some of you, even if crossfire isn't something you initially struggle with. Remember, we're here to learn and have fun, not to get angry at each other over arguments that really don't even matter in reality.
Now that forensics is slowly moving to Tabroom, I'll add a little blurb here about it. I competed in both interp and PA events, but found the most success later on in my forensics career in Broadcasting. I am more inclined towards the PA events and will probably be far more helpful as a judge in those events. If you're in interp and you've gotten a basically blank critique sheet from me, I sincerely apologize (if I have nothing to say it means I had nothing bad to say and didn't really notice you doing anything wrong).
That being said, in interp, there are a few things that I do not appreciate. First, adding too much emotion to lines that don't need that much emotion. If the only way you can come across as upset is by screaming your lines, try something else, like using facial expressions. I know a lot of you have pieces that require you to make loud noises, which is fine, but remember that there are usually people competing right next door. Screaming your entire piece is going to give me a headache and it's going to interrupt the round next door. Secondly, adding in incredibly dramatic scenes that make no sense with the cutting/story you're trying to convey. If you're conveying a character arc that has nothing to do with mental illness or suicide and then out of nowhere your character commits suicide, I will find it in bad taste unless there's a reason for it to be there. I don't take lightly to specifically issues of suicide and it won't give you extra points for having a more "emotional" program. Third, if you can do a cartwheel or a back handspring or whatever sort of gymnastic feat, please do not put it in your piece unless your piece calls for your character to do a gymnastic feat. I once judged a round where three people randomly did cartwheels and I had to decide who had the best cartwheel - please don't make me do that again. Thank you.
I'm comfortable with various approaches, cases, and theories so long as you can defend it.
I take detailed notes (flow) during the debate. I do not flow cross examinations. If seeing a specific piece of evidence is relevant to the decision, I will ask for it. Please try to use all of the time allocated to you.
Logical arguments, strength of link chains, and "thinking on your feet" are important. Evidence should help support these arguments and the quality of evidence matters. Please extend arguments through the debate.
You can spread or "go fast", but I have found that Novice and Junior Varsity achieve marginal results. Speed is only an issue when words become very garbled and unintelligible. I would suggest going with a style that is comfortable for you.
Politeness and courtesy are important.
About Me: I went to a small high school and took debate class for all four years. I participated in policy debate, but we often did not compete in co-curricular events. I also joined the CMU Debate team for a semester and participated in Lincoln Douglas debate. In 2007, I judged forensics for MIFA as a student teacher at Utica High School. It has been about 10 years, but I just started coaching and judging Public Forum debate for Utica High School.
Judging Criteria: Providing framework is important, along with clear road mapping throughout your speech. Repeat your framework throughout the speech and adhere to that in your final focus. I usually flow the entire debate and judge primarily off of the flow, but I also weigh persuasiveness, evidence, logic, and refutations. I pay close attention to "dropped" arguments, so I suggest that you and your partner flow as to refute their arguments. Clash is very important to me in a debate. Use all of your speaker time - I am looking for your speech to refute the other teams' arguments, then strengthen your teams' arguments with supplemental evidence. Clear communication is important. Make eye contact as frequent as possible, I also prefer a conversational style, opposed to jargon that a "lay" judge would not understand. I am judging based on the quality of your arguments made - not the quantity. Speakers should appear confident, with clear, logical relevant arguments and recent evidence.
I like confidence in a speaker, but I do not like cockiness or being mean while debating. This is supposed to be fun and educational, so I expect you to keep it classy. Do not look at each other during cross fire - you are trying to persuade me - not your opponent. Do not make statements during cross fire - save that for your summary or final focus. Ask meaningful questions during cross fire, as it can be a turning point for a debate. I am not going to judge a debate based on how "pretty" you speak, but I take your communication style along with case, evidence & arguments into consideration.
I am a parent judge.
I give more weight to contents than to style of delivery.
I highly value clarities in your understanding of the topic, in the contentions you are making, and in the logical connections between your supporting materials and conclusions. Simply citing a researcher or a publication to "prove" X leads to Y without you telling me how that is supposed to work won't help you a lot. This means that you have to do some serious thinking by yourself during your preparation.
As of style of delivery, I still appreciate clarity in your speech. So you really don't want to rush it under the pressure of squeezing in more contents.
Of course, rudeness and sarcasm to your opponent are game losers.
I'll not mind if anybody does not pronounce my name correctly and I may not be good at pronouncing yours either. I believe tolerance means we should demand less from others, not more.
HB Class of 1999
HCC Class of 2002
I am pulling for each of you and will keep an open mind in all aspects. Speed is okay as long as you can be understood. If you have to choose between speed or clarity, please choose clarity. It's not always easy to listen as quickly as you can speak, so keep that in consideration while debating.
Kritiks are good but must use a framework. Connect the philosophy to the contention.
I usually tend to lean towards truth over tech, but both are acceptable.
Give reliable sources (links are great!), and be passionate about what you are saying! I want to see that you really believe what you are debating, so stand firm on what you think while being professional and classy. No interrupting or attacking the person; stick to what you know and have researched.
Hey, my name is Jake, not "Judge".
Addressing me as "Judge" just makes me feel not human and not present in the conversation we're having.
Since the Fall of 2019, I have judged and coached predominantly public forum and congressional debate for Dexter High School. I graduated from MSU with a degree in international relations. I am currently pursuing a Masters in Integrative Management and am a graduate admissions counselor for Michigan State.
I competed in policy debate with MSU from Fall 2015-Spring 2017. I attended Canyon Springs High School in North Las Vegas, Nevada. I’ve done all the forms of debate throughout middle and high school (PF for two middle school years, LD for one year, Congress for a few tournaments, and Policy my sophomore through senior year).
I want to give back to the activity that gave me so much.
I have paradigms written in the order:
1. Public Forum
4. Lincoln Douglas
Please remember that Debate is much more about developing skills than winning a singular debate. I conceptualize Public Forum as an event which can be watched by anyone. You are encouraged to speak clearly rather than "spread". You should strive to learn all the short-hand, technology, and research skills of any other debate. Don't imitate the speaking quirks of other debates.
I'm very much a "flow" judge. I don't care about the things I know about the topic outside of the round, I hope to be completely tabula rasa. If a team says the sky is orange, and it goes uncontested, I will vote assuming the sky is orange. If your response to "The sky is orange." is "That just doesn't make sense, because it's not." I do not want to be the one who does the work for you to assume that because it is not orange it is blue.
I strongly believe that teams should time themselves and call out their opponent when it is "time". If you say you want to use 30 seconds of prep, I will not tell you when those 30 seconds are up, unless you explicitly ask me to be your timer. I will just keep running your time.
You have 3:00 minutes of prep. Use it well. Do not steal prep before speeches. You should be ready when you say you're done. You should immediately go into cross-ex or the next speech. Setting your timer or document up to read is part of prep. Please get better at being more efficient.
I believe the first speaker holds the responsibility of providing definitions and the necessary context for understanding the topic. I do think definitions and context can be framed strategically in favor of the side in which the team is arguing; therefore, I would entertain counter definitions (and warrants to use one definition over another). Also, see the paragraph below about Framework.
I believe that if you are the second speaker, it is strategic for you to have a plethora of contentions that you can draw from to form a case that has built-in answers or "turns" for your opponent's case. For example, you know that you can only fit three contentions into your case to be within time. Yet, you have 5 or 6 possible contentions that you can put together to make a cohesive case. Reading one of your contentions that you know gives you a leg up on your opponents by either turning their argument or refuting their argument is strategic. It will also limit the ability of the first speaker to spread you out after their first rebuttal because the second rebuttal has to not only answer the first rebuttal but provide answers to the opponent's case.
I like it when teams use a lot of evidence, but if you have evidence that is using percentages, decimals, and whole numbers, please just do the conversion so they are all the same. I generally don't like data laundry lists, unless you specifically tell me why each point of data matters.
Your summary should invest a lot of your speech time in impact comparison. Go through magnitude, timeline, reversibility (whether there is a brink point), etc. You need to be contextualizing your link scenario. You can not jump from an overview to saying that causes nuclear war without telling me who is fighting and why.
I catch maybe 50% of the authors/citations from the constructives. You can not just say "Extend Krueger" as an answer or extension. I probably don't know what evidence you're referring to. I would prefer if you say, "Extend Krueger which says...". At that point, I will usually catch the citation and call for the evidence if I really need to. I rarely call for evidence.
Your final focus should start with a Reason for Decision. Tell me at the start the reasons I should vote for you and what my ballot does (does it fiat, actually save lives, decide on a decision about the rules of debate, or is it just a logical decision for which side I think is best.). The best teams can rehash the debate and close all the doors line-by-line.
You should not be asking your opponent to reiterate anything. You should be asking leading questions like, "You said [paraphrase], correct?", "Your first contention was X, correct?". Asking "What was your first contention?" or "Can you explain your link scenario?" just gives your opponents more speech time and often leads to filibustering. If you ask these questions, you're lucky if you get good speaker points. I like teams who filibuster if their opponents don't know how to cross-examine them. I would like cross-ex to end at 3:00 minutes, not 3:30 because you're allowing the other team to ramble.
I don't typically flow cross-examination, but if you're asked a question like, "What is Iran's motivation to attack Israel?" and your response is, "Their feud goes way back." That doesn't give me much confidence that you actually understand your argument. This means your extension of that argument in the speech is just a reiteration with no contextualization, and that's not a good argument.
In most of the PF debates I've seen, framework is not argued properly, and it has become an unnecessary 10 seconds of everyone's speech time. If a framework is not mentioned, I assume I should vote for the team attempting to do the greatest good for all people (general utilitarianism). If you want to provide a framework that tells me to vote for the good of America, the poor, the few, etc. tell me, and my ballot will assume that framework unless argued against. If you do not want to contest your opponent's framework, you don't have to. If the framework goes uncontested after the first constructive on either side, I don't need you to extend it through to your summary and final focus.
I think you can tell me whether my ballot has any actual meaning in the world. Does my ballot have a real world impact as soon as I vote? I would also entertain a framework that tells me to vote for the team that provides the best education/practice of skills because my ballot does not impact real policy.
Public Forum evidence sharing rules are dumb and unclear.
Any evidence read/cited in the round must be made available to the opponent upon request. Teams ought to be able to find and electronically share their evidence very, very rapidly. If the time spent finding a piece of evidence is beyond 90 seconds, I will begin taking prep away from the team asked to provide the evidence. The lack of prep time CANNOT be a reason to deny a team the chance to see their opponent’s evidence.
If a team simply cannot produce their evidence or is out of prep time to find it, it will be dismissed.
Time spent reading the opponent’s evidence must be timed in some way, either as prep time or while another speech/crossfire is underway.
PF has not evolved to include Kritiks, from what I've seen. I don't think it should evolve in that direction. Four minutes doesn't really allow you enough time to make a good case for a Kritik like argument, and I think Public Forum should really be about developing real-world skills.
I started to say “y’all” instead of gendered pronouns, but I don’t think what you say outside of your speech or cross-ex should be a reason to lose the debate; unless the team is clearly sexist/racist/etc.
If you enter the room while someone else is talking, I will hold a vendetta against you forever. I’m okay with everyone acting casual and having a good time. I always enjoyed the debates I had against my friends and with judges that I knew. Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves, loosen up, and wear whatever. I'll be happy if we are all comfortable and relaxed.
My ballots are typically short and include whether you've made an appeal to ethos, logos, or pathos. I try to judge congressional debate as interactive original oratory. Therefore, you should be hold yourself in the role of a senator and making the most appropriate appeal. I judge based on persuasive your speech was in relation to the other debaters, but also how well you held to the appeal you thought was most important on the topic. Make sure you're reading the entirety of the legislation, and speaking to the legislation as written and not the top line idea. Please cite your evidence or at least introduce your author.
Politics is a cut-throat world. I find it humorous that most of the congress rounds I've watched have devolved into this utopian atmosphere where you find a way to make sure everyone can give a speech. I do not like to reward students for being cordial in a competitive event. The presiding officer has the responsibility to give everyone fair and equal opportunities to speak. The other competitors can strategically use the rules of order to be more competitive. If you are consistently overriding the rules to allow multiple Pro speeches in a row, you are not doing anyone favors.
You should be preparing speeches for multiple legislation per round. If you missed your opportunity to speak on the one legislation you had prepared, that sounds like your fault. I also think there are plenty of pieces of legislation that are debatable on both sides, so if you can't play the devil's advocate on lop-sided legislation, you are not "playing the game".
Each speech should have clash. Rebuttal (with a direct reference to the senator who made the argument) is an example of clash. Adding nuance to another senator's point that was on your side is clash. If you are rehashing the same points, you are not clashing, and will not be rewarded for doing so. As the author of a bill, or first speaker on the bill, I evaluate your positive clash by seeing whether you have introduced all the major talking points on your side. I think you can introduce the talking points briefly, and allow other legislators to add evidence.
I think it is very difficult to judge the presiding officer. So long as the presiding officer is staying organized, and doesn't make mistakes, they typically do well. I think presiding officers hold the responsibility of encouraging good debate. They do not have to entertain every motion to postpone the rules and allow the last person to speak if the previous speeches on the topic have only been rehash. Given that presiding officers typically do well, I think it should be a competitive appointment. Unanimous decisions for who should be PO typically mean the kids know who the best in the round is.
For all points of order, I try to use Robert's Rules of Order. I'm no expert, but you should be: http://www.rulesonline.com/index.html
Speed: You do you. I’m pretty good at following arguments if you’re clear and do work signposting. I have experience debating in front of flow and lay judges so I understand any experience level. Some speeds are impossible to follow unless you have a speech doc; don’t go that fast. I don’t think I ever want to get in the habit of flowing on my computer so you will most likely see me flowing on paper.
Theory: I’d vote on theory if it was dropped. Everyone has to lose on condo at least once in their life. If you’re going to make theory the only thing left in the debate, it needs to take up all of your time and you need to do a good job explaining why they’re abusive. Condo is really only abusive if there is more than 1 of each argument, but I can see either side. I’d still vote on condo (in some cases) if the neg met that interpretation but dropped condo.
T: I really only like watching T if the aff is clearly untopical, or if it’s a Kritikal affirmative. I evaluate the analysis of abuse the same as if it were theory. I don’t mind you putting T in the 1NC if you think it would be a viable 2NR option. I went for “T quid-pro-quo” on the Latin America topic quite a bit, but I knew it was really silly. I can also justify T if it is purely for laughs.
CP/DA: 99% of the time these were my go-to arguments in high school. Go for anything here! Extra bonus if you have aff specific arguments. I don't have too much experience going for politics as the Neg. I always went for PC isn't real as the aff and winners win. It's hard for me to vote on an unquantifiable influence token. I am willing to evaluate the evidence and determine my opinion of politics in the round.
K: Don’t read things that you haven’t done background research on. I read the security k and cap/neolib k throughout high school because I read a ton of books about them. I wrote a 25 page research paper on reevaluating American capitalism during my senior year of high school. I have background with any queer theory/gender/sexuality arguments you might have. Other than that, I’m not very familiar with most arguments, but if you do a good job explaining it, I’ll vote on it. Anything is fair game if it isn’t absolutely absurd. Coming from a background with little experience against the kritik, I can sympathize with the teams that freak out when a Kritik is read against them, but I won’t vote for them if they don’t answer the argument. If you can teach me new things, I’ll be happy.
K Affs: I really don’t understand the purpose of Kritikal affirmatives that don’t have a plan text. Most of the time I just hear implications of what voting aff means without getting a concrete answer. You should have a reason to vote aff, and I’m not sure what the reason is without a plan. I’ll vote for you if you do a good job explaining it. I have a litany of ways I’d scrutinize performative arguments that come from my background in interp. Go for what you do best.
Performance arguments: Most of my high school success came from Humorous Interpretation, where I qualified to the NIETOC twice. While I don’t think this will affect how you debate, it should make you think about how you read any performative arguments in front of me. I have been a 2A, 2N, and double 2s. I had a different partner every year in high school. I was mostly self-taught in policy, and my coach advised me to do a lot of silly things. I was part of the only policy team our school had. Therefore, I understand if you aren’t familiar with certain arguments or have limited backfiles, because I was in the same boat. I always preferred judge philosophies that were broke up into categories after the intro; therefore:
Offense vs. Defense: I feel like there are scenarios where the neg can win if they only have defensive arguments at the end of the debate, but don’t make that your priority. In that instance, I would evaluate that scenario as the world is better without the aff. Yet, I’d vote aff in that scenario if they proved benefits outweighed the cost.
Flashing/Prep/CX: Prep time ends when the flash drive leaves the computer/email is sent unless there is a clear computer malfunction. Otherwise, it’s just inefficiency on your part. Don’t steal prep time. I am alright with tag team cross-ex, but don’t take all of your partner’s time. Cross-ex is a good opportunity to elaborate on arguments that have been/will be made.
Word Choice: I started to say “y’all” instead of gendered pronouns, but I don’t think what you say outside of the 8/5 speech or cross-ex should be a reason to lose the debate; unless the team is clearly sexist/racist/etc. I’m okay with some cussing, but don’t make it like you’re talking to your best friend. If the other team reads an argument against you for cussing, I’ll laugh and vote for it if it is good.
Conduct: If you enter the room while someone else is talking, I will hold a vendetta against you forever. I’m okay with everyone acting casual and having a good time. I always enjoyed the debates I had against my friends and with judges that I knew, because it was fairly laid back. Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves, loosen up, and wear whatever. If you can make me feel comfortable, I’ll be happy.
Bonus points: I like people that express Spartan pride. Make good jokes and puns while speaking. Dance at any appropriate time during the debate. Make a reference to someone you know from Las Vegas. My dad is a magician. If you can do a relevant magic trick, I’d be amazed.
I am predominantly a public forum judge and a former policy debater. I'm still learning the nuances of Lincoln Douglas, but hopefully, I can provide you with a clear paradigm. Most importantly, I want you to debate in whatever manner you feel comfortable debating. I can adapt.
I'm very much a "flow" judge. I don't care about the things I know about the topic outside of the round, I hope to be completely tabula rasa. If a team says the sky is orange, and it goes uncontested, I will vote assuming the sky is orange. If your response to "The sky is orange." is "That just doesn't make sense, because it's not." I do not want to be the one who does the work for you to assume that because it is not orange it is blue.
I strongly believe that teams should time themselves and call out their opponent when it is "time". If you say you want to use 30 seconds of prep, I will not tell you when those 30 seconds are up, unless you explicitly ask me to be your timer. I will just keep running your time.
In Lincoln Douglas, I think it is important for each side to present a value and value criterion. If one side has the two, but the other side does not, I will assume I should follow the uncontested value and value criterion.
I am familiar with most philosophies from either my policy experience or the classes I took in college. I'm not a huge fan of advertisements of nihilism, but could be persuaded to understand that some life events are inevitable or needed.
I’ve been coaching for West Bloomfield High School and judging for 7 years. I do not like to intervene and put my personal opinions into the debate. It is up to the debaters to decide how the round will go and to back up their claims through sufficient evidence and reasoning.
Above all else, you are learning and growing as debaters. Any abusive or overly competing behavior does nothing for the educational activity that debate is intended to be.
I do not like when debaters cut each other off during CX. This is a time to understand your opponents case, how are you going to do that if you won’t let them finish their response to the question YOU asked? Keep it down to questions, this is not time to argue. I prefer you address your opponents'caseinstead of addressing them directly.
When I'm judging, I don't get to ask you clarification questions in the round like your opponents do, so -- above all else -- prioritize being understood by ME and not just trying to read fast so you have more on the flow. Remember, for me to flow it, I have to be able to listen to and understand what you're going for; prioritize clarity over speed.
Do NOT spread (speed-read). Anything over 300 wpm (look up a video for reference) is "speeding". It's not like I can stop you from speed-reading, but I only flow the things I can listen to AND understand, not just the remnants of things you vaguely enunciated at 10000mph. I don't care if you've disclosed your entire speech verbatim; if you can't read that speech in a way that I can understand without me looking at your disclosed speech doc, you'll have a tough time with the flow.
Please signpost your arguments! "Signposting" is stating what argument you're responding to before you start responding to it. It helps to organize and understand what you say for both your opponents and the judge.
Cross-examinations: I have always thought CXs were the most important part of any debate round, so listen closely. If you or your opponent say something in VERY stark contrast to your case, that goes on my ballot. Essentially, anything that raises a big red flag goes on the flow. This, however, does not happen often and can be arbitrary since there's no definitive scale for what's considered "in stark contrast" to a case. Thus, your best bet is to mention anything from CX that's of importance in a speech as soon as possible to ensure it gets on my flow.If you ask good questions & are polite here, I typically give high speaks.
I'm a mix of Tech and Truth judging. Tech means judging exclusively on what's said in the round; Truth means judging based on how true your args are to the real world. I think any good judge should consider both -- it can prevent debaters from substantiating args that are exceedingly unrealistic but also holds debaters accountable for making realistic args (or at the very least, bringing them up at the appropriate time).
I fact-check any and all "Truths" before I use them in a decision. If it's highly controversial, out of date, or not concrete enough, I just don't use it in voting and default to whatever you told me in the round. In other words, unless you literally have me trembling in utter fear about being nuked to extinction/pandemic'd to oblivion/whatever, I'm probably going to factor in the more realistic impact.
THEORY & Kritiks
Preferably not in PF... Theory/Ks maybe, but it should be topical and relevant by the time you bring it up. I would vote for theories/kritiks if they're outstandingly clear, but I should be shaking in my boots at the mere thought of not voting for your theory/K.No tricks whatsoever-- they're super abusive and I'm not voting on that.
Don’t be an abusive jerk and you’ll be fine.