University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament
2022 — Ann Arbor, MI/US
Online Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
currently the director of high school debate for McDonogh
formerly coached at the University of Louisville, duPont Manual High School (3X TOC qualifiers; Octofinalist team 2002) the head coach for Capitol Debate who won the TOC. McDonogh won the TOC in 2007. I have taught summer institutes at the University of Michigan, Michigan State, Emory, Iowa, Catholic University, and Towson University and Wake Forest as a lab leader.
I debated three years in high school on the kentucky and national circuit and debated five years at the University of Louisville.
I gave that little tidbit to say that I have been around debate for a while and have debated and coached at the most competitive levels with ample success. I pride myself in being committed to the activity and feel that everyone should have a voice and choice in their argument selection so I am pretty much open to everything that is in good taste as long as YOU are committed and passionate about the argument. The worst thing you can do in the back of the room is assume that you know what I want to hear and switch up your argument selection and style for me and give a substandard debate. Debate you and do it well and you will be find.
True things to know about me:
Did not flow debates while coaching at the University of Louisville for two years but am flowing again
Was a HUGE Topicality HACK in college and still feel that i am up on the argument. I consider this more than a time suck but a legitimate issue in the activity to discuss the merit of the debate at hand and future debates. I have come to evolve my thoughts on topicality as seeing a difference between a discussion of the topic and a topical discussion (the later representing traditional views of debate- division of ground, limits, predictability etc.) A discussion of the topic can be metaphorical, can be interpretive through performance or narratives and while a topical discussion needs a plan text, a discussion of the topic does not. Both I think can be defended and can be persuasive if debated out well. Again stick to what you do best. Critiquing topicality is legitimate to me if a reverse voting issue is truly an ISSUE and not just stated with unwarranted little As through little Gs. i.e. framework best arguments about reduction of language choices or criticism of language limitations in academic discussion can become ISSUES, voting issues in fact. The negative's charge that the Affirmative is not topical can easily be developed into an argument of exclusion begat from predictable limitations that should be rejected in debate.
It is difficult to label me traditional or non traditional but safer to assume that i can go either way and am partial to traditional performative debate which is the permutation of both genres. Teams that run cases with well developed advantages backed by a few quality pieces of evidence are just as powerful as teams that speak from their social location and incorporate aesthetics such as poetry and music. in other words if you just want to read cards, read them poetically and know your argument not just debate simply line by line to win cheap shots on the flow. "They dropped our simon evidence" is not enough of an argument for me to win a debate in front of me. If i am reading your evidence at the end of the debate that is not necessairly a good thing for you. I should know what a good piece of evidence is because you have articulated how good it was to me (relied on it, repeated it, used it to answer all the other arguments, related to it, revealed the author to me) this is a good strategic ploy for me in the back of the room.
Technique is all about you. I must understand what you are saying and that is it. I have judged at some of the highest levels in debate (late elims at the NDT and CEDA) and feel pretty confident in keeping up if you are clear.
Not a big fan of Malthus and Racism Good so run them at your own risk. Malthus is a legitimate theory but not to say that we should allow systematic targeted genocide of Black people because it limits the global population. I think i would be more persuaded by the argument that that is not a NATURAL death check but an IMMORAL act of genocide and is argumentatively irresponsible within the context of competitive debate. Also i am not inclined to believe you that Nietzsche would say that we should target Black people and exterminate them because death is good. Could be wrong but even if i am, that is not a persuasive argument to run with me in the back of the room. In case you didn't know, I AM A BLACK PERSON.
Bottom line, I can stomach almost any argument as long as you are willing to defend the argument in a passionate but respectful way. I believe that debate is inherently and unavoidable SUBJECTIVE so i will not pretend to judge the round OBJECTIVELY but i will promise to be as honest and consistent as possible in my ajudication. Any questions you have specifically I am more than happy to answer.
Open Cross X, weird use of prep time (before cross x, as a prolonging of cross x) all that stuff that formal judges don't like, i am probably ok with.
Newbie Coach for ADL
I give pretty high speaks if you're nice.
Email Chain: Brandonchen.firstname.lastname@example.org
Ask in round if you want to know more about me
Do what you do best and have fun.
Apply here for the presidential scholarship at Wake Forest due November 15th. It's a $16,000 scholarship for four years to a top 30 school in the country if you're interested.
- 1ars should try to read cards.
- Fine with speed.
2x ndt qualifier, ceda doubles x2
affiliations: berk prep (2022-), solon and saint ignatius (2021-22)
run whatever you want, i have competed/judged in all types of debates
will vote on 0 risk
speed is fine (I will only "clear" you once and then ill flow what I can)
call me matty or matt not judge (he/him)
don't be racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.
clipping = auto L an 0
unlikely to vote on things that happened outside of the round
I think K affs should have some relation to the topic and am less persuaded by debate bad arguments. you don't need a c/I to win. presumption isn't gone for as much as it probably should. yes the aff gets a perm (unless they drop your theory violation ig :( tech>truth). contextualizing the links to how they specifically destroy the ability of the alt to happen will help you out a lot. don't assume I know any of your lit.
you can win without an alt, however I prefer if you generate UQ from somewhere else rather then going for the k as a linear disad. I think teams spend way to much time on fw, in almost every case the aff gets to weigh the 1ac and I am pretty dissuaded to not let them. that'd being said im very dissuaded to not allow reps based links, I think they are perfectly fine. but as always, tech>truth.
I like well thought out advantage cps. affs don't utilize their 1ac enough when answering cps.condo is good, multiplank condo is good. pretty much all other theory is probably a reason to reject the arg. not a huge fan of process/agent cps.
most likely to vote aff on thumpers. however, neg teams that are behind on UQ should be making arguments about the link shaping the direction of UQ. I enjoy complex scenarios that have very good evidence. I don't like rider DAs/2 sentence politics cards (although that's all I read in hs so I get it).
default to competing interps but its not hard to get me to vote on reasonability. the simpler the definition/the clearer the violation the better.
organization/signposting is important
I enjoy impacts turns/traps/double binds etc.
trailer park boys references = +.1 speaks
Put me on the email chain - email@example.com
Notre Dame '21
PLEASE don't call me judge, Sarah is fine.
-I'd prefer if you have your camera on, but having it off is fine
-If my camera isn't on, I'm not ready
-Ask for confirmation that I'm ready before giving your speech
-time your own speech and prep
-tech > truth
-fairness > education
-I tend to place a lot of weight on evidence quality. I'll still vote on spin of course, but, if the debate is close, I usually look to the quality of both sides' evidence.
-I care a lot about judge instruction in rebuttals. It's really helpful and will get you good speaks
-I love impact turns, advantage cps, and well-debated disadvantages
-I don't like judging topicality or theory debates, but you should still go for it if you know it's the right strategy.
-I was a 2A, but my views are probably more in line with that of a 2N.
-Topical versions of the aff and case lists are good.
-A smaller topic is probably better than aff innovation.
-Competing interpretations > reasonability
Soft left affs:
- I'm predisposed towards extinction-level impacts, and I tend to think utilitarianism is the best framework for evaluating choices between policies. You're far better off spending more time attacking the link and internal link level of a DA than wasting a bunch of time on framing, which is usually a wash anyway. I think that a securitization-type framing argument is way better than some arbitrary "probability first" or "util bad" claim, BUT winning this requires meaningfully reducing the risk of the DA.
- My favorite debates are DA/case debates.
- I love politics DAs, but aff specific and topic DAs are even better. But feel free to read whatever contrived DA scenario you want. I'll vote on it if you win it.
- Pls do impact calculus - it makes my decision 1000x times easier
- Turns case is also super persuasive to me
- If you're going for a non-unique + link turn, actually explain why the aff resolves the link
- Impact out your solvency deficits or explain why the perm shields the net benefit
- I'm not a good judge for process CPs. Complicated competition debates are confusing to me
- I won't kick the CP for you unless you tell me to
- I will vote on theory, but you need to give examples specific to abuse within the debate and impact out theory in the 2AR
- cheaty fiat cps (ie Tsai should resign or Saudi should stop the war in Yemen) are definitely bad
- Agent CPs, 2NC cps, 50 state fiat, consult Cps, con cons, etc are probably good
- condo = good (but, again, I can be persuaded otherwise)
- perf con is a reason you get to sever your reps
Ks on the neg:
- i feel like my views on the k have changed a lot over the past few months. i like it more than i used to.
- cap, security, fem ir, and settler colonialism are the literature bases I'm most familiar with -- if you want me to vote on other things, i need lots of explanation
- i prefer specific links to the plan - the more specific, the better
- actually engage with the 1ac and spend time on case in the 2nr - i like when neg teams take lines out of the 1ac and/or recut 1ac ev
- floating PIKs are bad
- the alt should resolve your impacts and links
- i hate long overviews - your overviews should be short & contextualized to the aff
- I prefer that you read a plan & im probably not the best judge for you if you read an untopical aff, but I'll still vote for a k aff and I have several times in the past
- at least have some sort of relation to the topic
- just asserting that the USFG is bad is not enough to get my ballot
- k affs probably don't get perms - if the aff doesn't have to be topical, then Cps / K's don't have to be competitive, but this needs to be explained in the debate
Neg v. k affs:
- framework - fairness is an impact (but you have to explain why it is), TVAs are great, tell me what debate looks like in the world of the aff & neg and why your model is better
- presumption - go for it. a lot of k affs just don't do anything
- k's vs k affs - not great for this. if you're going to go for a k, pls do thorough explanations and impact out each of your links
- I'll dock your speaks if you're mean or rude to me or others in the round
Hey ya'll, I was a 3-year debater at LAMDL and captained my high school team and graduated UCLA 2021 with background in political science and a concentration in IR. I debated up to varsity so I'm very familiar with all the tricks, strategies, lingo when it comes to debate. I also debated in parli at UCLA for around 2 years.
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Small things that will earn you some favorable opinions or extra speaks
-Be politically tactful on language use. Although I won't ding you if you curse or any of that sort, I do find it more entertaining and fun if you can piss off your opponent while remaining calm and kind to strategically manipulate them rather than yell and get mad. This also means that you should be very careful about using certain words that might trigger the opponent or allow them to utilize that as an offensive tool.
-Use as much tech lingo as you can. Point out when the opponent drops something or why the disad outweighs and turns the case or when there is a double bind, etc etc.
-Analogical arguments with outside references will earn you huge huge points. References through classical literature, strategic board games, video games, anime, historical examples, current events or even just bare and basic academics. It shows me how well versed and cultured you are and that's a part of showmanship.
-Scientific theories, mathematical references, experiments, philosophical thoughts, high academia examples will get you close to a 30 on your speaks and definitely make your argument stronger.
Big things that will lean the debate towards your favor and win you rounds
-I like a good framework debate. Really impact out why I should be voting for your side.
-If you're running high theory Kritik, you need to be prepared to be able to explain and convince me how the evidence supports your argument. A lot of the time when high theory Kritik is run, people fail to explain how the evidence can be interpreted in a certain way.
-Fairness and debate theory arguments are legitimate arguments and voters, please don't drop them.
-I was a solid K debater so it will be favorable for Neg to run K and T BUT I am first and foremost a strategist debater. Which means I will treat debate as a game and you SHOULD pick and choose arguments that are more favorable to you and what the Aff has debated very very weakly one or if there is a possibility that the Disad can outweigh the case better than your link story on the K, I would much prefer if you went for DA and CP than K and T.
-K Affs must be prepared to debate theory and fw more heavily than their impact.
-I LOVE offensive strategies and arguments whether you're Aff or Neg. If you can make it seem like what the opponent advocates for causes more harms than it claims to solve for or causes the exact harms it claims to solve for + more (not just more harms than your advocacy) then it won't be as hard for me to decide on a winner.
-Would love to hear arguments that are radical, revolutionary, yet still realistic. They should be unique and interesting. Be creative! High speaks + wins if you're creative. Try to make me frame the round more differently than usual and think outside the box.
-Answer theory please.
Disclosed biases, beliefs, educational background
West coast bred, progressive arguments are more palatable but some personal beliefs are more centrist or right swinging (depending on what). Well versed with foreign policy and especially issues dealing with Middle East and China, have some economics background. With that being said, I do not vote based on beliefs but arguments, I also don't vote based on what I know. Will vote against a racial bias impact if not clearly articulated. You should never make the assumption that I will automatically already have the background to something, please answer an argument even if you think I already should have prior knowledge on it.
CX:I do not flow but I pay attention.
Flashing:I do not count it as prep unless it feels like you're taking advantage of it.
Time:Take your own time and opponents time, I do not time. If you don't know what your time is during prep or during the speech, I will be taking off points.
0 time TOC qualifier, 4 years of debate for Northside College Prep
If I am judging a virtual debate and you send documents with analytics omitted, you will be docked speaker points. Your mic quality is not nearly as good as you think it is, so why would you voluntarily make it harder for the person who's deciding which team wins (me) to understand what you're saying by omitting a useful visual supplement? Act like I'm half-deaf.
Pay attention to where you use jargon and explain or contextualize where you can. This topic has lots of acronyms so it would help to say full phrases and what they actually mean at least once in-round.
If you can't explain an argument you plan to read in front of me at a conversational speed, there are very good odds that you won't win me over when trying to spread it. Debate what you're comfortable with, not what you think I'll like the most.
Primarily debated soft left affs in high school, but have also read traditional policy. I have read every kind of argument on the neg.
Thoughts on arguments:
- Both aff and neg teams severely underfocus on case. This is almost universal. For the neg, aff evidence is never as good as it's made out to be and should be called out in the 1NC. If you're an aff team and truly believe your case is good, then actually spend time talking about why your warrants respond to the neg's on- and off-case arguments (which it should if it's good) beyond just saying that you are extending X card.
- Disads reach zero risk very easily. Although framing debates tend to be ineffective and misfocused, my general perspective is that low probability likely negates high magnitude at the point that a layman would consider your DA contrived. I like politics DAs but they tend to be really bad, and case-specific DAs are often the most interesting but always harder to develop. In general, if you think your DA is good, I'll probably think it's okay; if you think your DA is bad, I'll probably think it's terrible. A good internal link makes everything I said above moot.
- Counterplans have been massacred without forgiveness and it makes me sad. I strongly dislike the current norm of going for the most abusive counterplan that can still be voted for, but a won argument is a won argument. Still, I tend to bias aff theory against CPs even if it's not a reason to reject the team. (advantage cps > pics/agent cps > process cps > cps that compete off of a single word). As far as complicated mechanisms go, go nuts, I'll be able to grasp it.
- Not sure what this topic holds, but I imagine lots of the research will be focused on security and reps-based kritiks. One characteristic of Ks which somehow appears all the time in K Aff debates but never gets drawn own on the neg side is the role of Ks in shaping how the round is argued. If you treat your K like a counterplan, you're fighting a losing battle. I'm not necessarily pro "framework K," but ultimately the alternative is just a digestible manifestation of the epistemology/pedagogy/whatever that you claim the aff is undermining.
- Topicality debates tend to be dependent on a lot of factors external to the resolution - mainly how late into the year it is and how many affs have already been generated on the topic. A small topic tends to lean aff on allowing innovative (to an extent) plans, but large topics justify limiting what affs are acceptable more stringently. In a given round, this is largely irrelevant, but good debaters draw these characteristics in as warrants on the standards debate. These claims provide rhetorical strength and can help the persuasiveness of the line-by-line on interpretations/standards substantially.
- K Affs are interesting and I'll happily vote on them, but I am, personally, reasonably persuaded by aff arguments favoring predictability and the benefits of switch-side debate. A good kritikal aff is not one which critiques the resolution, but critiques the way that we debate the resolution. If your aff does the latter, most framework arguments go out the window. I will deduct speaker points for 2ACs that have a massive overview but doesn't include analytics in the doc.
- K v K debates are the debates I have debated and certainly judged the least. I think it's the burden of the aff to prove that perms are allowed in a method debate since the aff has already gone so far as to reject the resolution to justify reading their advocacy, but it is up for discussion. Cap links to just about everything but that doesn't always means it's good. The Parenti and Emanuele card is not nearly good enough for the amount it gets read by neg teams. Most of what I said in my thoughts on Ks extends here too.
Two separate instances of clipping will result in an auto-loss and zero speaker points for both debaters. To be clear, clipping is intentionally skipping highlighted parts of a card while acting as though it was still read. To not clip, explicitly state when you stop reading a card before fully finishing ("cut the card at [x]"), keep track of where you stopped reading that card, and after your speech ask if anyone in the round wants a marked copy of your document where the highlighting you didn't read in the card is omitted.
***FOR NOVICES: HOW TO WIN***
Flowing is the most important (and underutilized) skill in debate. Write down your opponent's arguments. All of them.
Do line-by-line - Read and answer everything you just wrote down. Answer your opponent's arguments. All of them.
Novices that learn how to do both of these semi-competently will win the vast majority of their rounds.
My email for speech documents is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Personal email for all other correspondence: email@example.com.
HS debate from 1991 - 1995. CEDA/NDT debate at Pace University from 1995 - 2000. I assistant coached at St. Marks from 2001-2004.
Long break until 2020.
I am currently coaching a new program.
1) How I pick a winner.
****** The first thing the 2NR and the 2AR should say is almost exactly this sentence: ******
The reason you should vote (aff / neg) is because __________________.
That will serve as your thesis as to why you win the debate. After the 2AR, I will then evaluate the flow, with as little intervention as possible, to see if you won the debate according to your own thesis. (You can provide more than one path to victory in your thesis). **see examples at end of paradigm.
Usually, my ballot will contain the exact thesis of one of the two teams. I try to avoid creating my own path to victory for a team.
Speed it is great so long as you can speak clearly as well. I want to hear every syllable. When not judging on a panel - if I can't understand every word of your speech with perfect clarity, I will stop the timer, and ask you to stop and fix the issue. No penalty. Just want us on the same page.
3) Other Info
I love when debates are won in the library.
Power tagged / over-claimed cards:
Feel free to "retag" over-claimed cards as short cut to breaking internal link chains.
These were invented during my long break from debate. I've judged one round of k-aff so far in JV as of 9/8/2021. In that one round, I voted neg on a counter kritik of academia that said the neg was plagiarizing the aff, which was good, because we need to rebel against academia, so I "voted neg to vote aff". That's just how that debate played out on the flow.
So far, I don't see myself casting my ballot as though I am starting a social movement or that it will have out-of-round impacts on the issues being discussed during the round. If I thought my ballot had out-of-round impacts on those issues, I think I would not limit my decision to what was discussed in the round, but rather I would intervene with my own research and opinions. Maybe I am missing something here, and you can explain it better.
** Examples of 2NR or 2AR thesis statements:
2NR: You should vote neg because the timeframe on the Russia/Ukraine war short circuits all other impacts in the round. Before resolving case impacts, you must determine if we have already died in a nuclear war.
2AR: You should vote aff because the deontological decision making paradigm means you must first decide if your action is ethical, before considering the consequences. Leaving current water policy in place is unethical because it directly harms the most vulnerable. This ethical duty comes first.
Mamaroneck ‘21, Johns Hopkins '25
Add me to the chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
+0.3 speaks if you open source all of your docs and tell me.
Tech > truth, but everything needs a warrant.
I was 1a/2n.
I will default to competing interpretations.
You need an alternative to plan text in a vacuum.
Tell me to judge kick.
Smart perms destroy process cps.
You can insert perm texts.
You can insert rehighlightings.
The more specific the disad, the better.
Impact turns are fun (excluding wipeout).
ks on the neg
Ks should have specific links to the plan. Pull quotes from their aff for links.
Reps links are bad.
If the other team doesn’t understand you, don’t assume I will.
Policy teams that can't answer the K deserve to lose.
Framework: Procedural fairness and clash are impacts.
I can very easily be persuaded by presumption against k affs.
If argued by the neg, k affs probably don’t get a perm.
Condo is good but you can persuade me that it is not.
Neg leaning for most theory.
Will vote on conceded aspec and other theory arguments.
Follow speech times, don’t ask for high speaks, don’t ask for double wins, and don’t try to destroy the game.
Emory ’26, Calvert Hall ’22, yes email chain- email@example.com
This used to be much longer, but I abbreviated lots of it because it wasn’t super relevant to my decision calculus. Do line-by-line, judge instruction, warrant arguments, and narrow the debate as it progresses. Any ideological preference can be overcome by good debating. I really don’t want to vote for dropped, arbitrary theory arguments. If you introduce an ethics violation you must stake the debate on it. Tech > truth on most everything that isn’t death good or clearly problematic.
AFFs: good case defense is a lost art, will reward with high speaks. 2AC/1AR should fully answer case arguments with warrants not blips.
T: persuaded by reasonability when impact/internal link differentials are tiny, less receptive when big- “good is good enough” alone doesn’t make much sense. Include caselists, do impact comparison, and make answer defensive arguments contextual to your interp.
CPs: No judge kick unless told to. Evidence quality and impacted deficits matter lots. No advocate is likely not a reason to reject the team but probably justify new responses. Links less is usually unpersuasive, sufficiency framing usually is. Condo- numerical interps are arbitrary, logic + risk aversion make sense to me, and fairness probably outweighs education. Other theory is usually resolved with substantive arguments.
DAs: relative risk precedes and determines turns case- so a timeframe first or link alone turns case claim would help circumvent this. Cards aren’t necessary if logical defense beats a DA, but I’d prefer ev if you have it.
Ks: I want framework to be as much of a wash as possible- “no Ks” and “you link you lose” are equally unpersuasive, so winning alt solves, impact outweighs, or links turn case claims are the path of least resistance in front of mem, but that's not to say I won't vote on framework, especially if large swaths of offense are dropped/mis-answered. Links should be somewhat unique, am more persuaded by “aff outweighs” than the perm/link turn. I find myself voting for the team that best compartmentalizes the moving parts of the debate.
Planless: Anything can be an impact (aff or neg) contingent on comparison and turns case. Extremely persuaded by SSD and TVA when contextualized to AFF offense. It’s hard to toe the line between C/I + link turn and impact turn, so picking one or the other is best. KvK debates almost always come down to the perm, so win a theoretical objection (meh) or material DA (better) to it. Debate prob shapes subjectivity but individual rounds don’t.
Newark Science | Rutgers-Newark
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
If it matters, I've done basically every debate style (LD/CX in high school. CX, BP, PF, LD, Civic, and Public in college). I don't care what you read as I've probably just about made every argument from policy action good to talking about grandmas. Throughout my career, I read trad args, Kant, Hartman, Bataille, Disclosure, Wilderson, Gumbs, Wipeout, Politics DA, T, framework, etc.
My only real rule is don't make the room an unsafe space. I've always loved the creativity that debate allows so I would implore you to be free and do what you want as well because I genuinely don't care. Debate's a different game than when I was in it and I'm just here to follow the vibes. Please remember I'm an adult viewing the game, not participating in it.
- Spreading is fine. Open CX is fine. Flex prep is fine.
- Having an impact is good. Doing impact weighing is great.
- Efficiency is good! Arguments being grouped is fun and shows me that you have a strategic vision of what is necessary to win and what arguments are connected, etc.
- Truth over tech until tech overwhelms truth (probably because you were inefficient).
- Don't be lazy. For example, even if case is conceded, the aff should still be in the 1/2AR (do not dedicate the whole time to it but remember to use the strategic pieces of your aff that you built).
- I am offering a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen when debate forgets that they should be creating good people. Don't be afraid to find me or talk to me after a debate or whatever. I do wellness checks when I can (and I have/will hold up a round or 2 to do so).
Trix (or Tricks): Please don't play with me.
I am fairly new to judging, but I've competed in several competitions before and entered a nation-wide tournament.
Remember to have fun!
- I expect you to time yourself, but in case you can't, I also have my own timer. Just tell me beforehand.
- Most of the time, speed is fine, if you're unclear, I will definitely tell you.
- I base my decision on your argumentations and your analysis of why it's true.
- Please analyze why your claim/argumentation is true after you make a claim. I don't like a jumpy argumentation (from claim and then impact, without explaining first why the claim is true)
- Evidence is nice, but I would like a reasoning of why I should consider the evidence. If you only present argument and evidence, it's a bit hard for me to credit.
- I'll try to be as objective and as honest as possible. If I make a mistake, please point it out.
- Be nice, give good arguments, and you'll get speaker score.
- That's it. If you want to know something else, feel free to ask me.
Technical debating is all that matters, the 'truth' of an argument is irrelevant.
I will be hesitant to litigate personal disputes, slights on character, or anything that happened out of round.
Please send perm texts.
Critiques on the neg
I'm best for K's that moot the plan with a strong framework push. Otherwise, I find the the perm double bind to be almost impossible to beat.
My capacity to judge KvK debates is limited.
Topicality vs K Affs
If debated equally, I will err towards the aff needing a topical plan.
I strongly believe debate is a game. Competition supersedes every part of the activity. Fairness is an independent impact, not an internal link. That being said, these opinions aren't immutable. I'm not "no plan, no win", how you debate matters more than my ideology.
I prefer the neg go for fairness impacts over skills.
Topicality vs Policy Affs
Impact calculus matters. Explain why "small difference in x is outweighed by big difference in y" or "big difference in x is outweighed by small difference in y"
If you're neg, have a counter-interp to plan text in a vacuum
I default to competing interpretations
My default is limitless condo but can be convinced otherwise. I'm less willing to grant excessive 2NC CPs out of 2AC straight turns but I lean neg there as well.
I find other theoretical complaints like 'solvency advocate theory' and 'CPs that result in the plan' to be contrived and arbitrary.
Gbs ‘16 Michigan ‘20
Please add email@example.com
I debated at GBS for four years and at Michigan for two. I’ve coached high school intermittently since 2016.
You can expect that I’ll understand the concepts and implications of your arguments but not that I have any exposure to communal consensus around the validity of any given topic strategy. This is most important if you decide to go for topicality.
My most important preferences by far are that you limit your overviews to 30 seconds or less, do rigorous line by line in every speech after the 1nc, and avoid spreading long pre-written blocks. My decision will be better and your points will be (significantly) better if you are able to do these things.
You should read a plan. This isn’t out of malice, I just find framework debates extremely boring to judge and I almost always vote neg. I’m pretty good for the k if you’re neg, though.
I don’t have any hot takes about policy strategies. If it’s well prepared and/or I can tell you’re adapting strategically during the round, I will want to vote for you. I have a soft spot in my heart for ridiculous impact turns and rider das.
Debated @ University of Kansas 2019-2023 | Debated @ Shawnee Mission East 2015-2019 | Coach @ ADL and Shawnee Mission East
--I believe that AFFs should be topical. The NEG should argue the AFF is undesirable. (Really Bad for K AFFs, Not Great for Generic Ks).
--Truthiness of arguments matters to a degree. I am more likely to be persuaded by complete, sound, and logical arguments. However, technical debating can change this predisposition.
--Preference for fewer, but more developed positions over many underdeveloped ones.
--Efficiency matters. Take the debate seriously. Be reasonable with down time, sending out emails, and please don't send out or ask for a marked doc if it's not needed.
--I want to hear every word that you say. I don't care how fast you are if you sound bad and have no ethos. Will be much more impressed by good strategy, storytelling, and contextualization over argument proliferation.
Topicality vs. Plans
I think there is a high bar to clear to vote negative. The 1NC should establish an interpretation supported by evidence, a violation, and have a reasonable explanation for why the violation matters. It's a common problem for the NEG that the T debate becomes too late breaking.
Both teams should prioritize internal link explanation over impact explanation. I will always think ground, limits, and precision are important, but I care much more about how we get to those things. For me, arguments about ground are the most compelling.
Plan text in a vacuum is generally not a persuasive defense of an non topical AFF.
I will judge kick counterplans unless told otherwise.
I think conditionality is a necessary evil, but I am convinced that fiating out of solvency deficits and straight turns in the 2NC is not a good practice. Increasing the amount of conditional positions usually leads to lower quality debating. Counterplans are for cowards who don't want to debate the case.
AFF on consult, delay, process, international, word PICs, and fifty state fiat. These are reasons to reject the argument. Good for functionally intrinsic textually legit perms to test internal net benefits OR a potentially textually intrinsic functionally legitimate perm against a vague counterplan text.
I hope the 2NR is a DA and the case. I like politics, and will be impressed by mechanically sound DA debating. Turns case is extremely valuable framing for the NEG.
The AFF should have offense when answering DAs. It's always helpful to have the option to shake things up in the 1AR.
If you decide to read a "soft left" AFF make sure the framing page is meaningful. Framing arguments should be offense, and not solely a reason to ignore good NEG arguments.
A Block/2NR that prioritizes the case is potent given the trend for the AFF to be efficient at any cost. I would be happy to boost speaker points for debaters who jump on these mistakes.
Topicality vs. K AFFs
I will want to vote NEG in these debates. I have never been compelled by arguments for why the AFF should not be topical. However, the NEG must still execute the argument.
Fairness is a great impact, but I also like impacts about iterations, research, and clash. Without a predictable AFF constraint, I don't think debate could exist. I think topicality is like a baseball strike zone, its boundaries are not perfectly defined or perfect for either team, but without it the game could not be played in a competitive manner.
In order to win, the AFF needs to defend a model of debate that provides a valuable role for the NEG, solves AFF offense, and is mutually exclusive with the NEG model.
Critiques vs. Policy AFFs
I will likely weigh the plan. To win, the NEG needs to win link turns case arguments, solvency deficits, or impact turns.
You should have a reason for making a framework argument. The 2NR and 2AR need to give judge instruction for what I should do if you win or lose your framework interpretation. I default to weighing the plan against the impacts of links that the alternative can resolve. I think the AFF is only responsible for impacts that they make worse.
I think the alternative should materially solve a problem, and am not persuaded by reject the plan style criticisms. I think linear DAs can be decent. I can be persuaded by an impact framing argument if you win a non-unique link to the plan.
I am persuaded that the NEG doesn't get to sever reps in most cases if other arguments are explicit contradictions with links or the alternative. Examples of this are reading the cap K and growth DA. The AFF should exploit tensions between pages and generate smart DAs to alternatives.
-Hello! Please add firstname.lastname@example.org to the email chain.
-Debated at: University of Kansas '18-'22. Arapahoe HS '14-'18.
-Coached for: Asian Debate League '22-now, Arapahoe HS '22-now, Lawrence Free State HS '20-'22.
-I don't think arguments start at 100% weight/risk. I believe it is my responsibility to assess the extent to which your warrant supports your claim.
-I encourage you to have a coherent overall narrative/strategy, to provide argument comparison/interaction, and to emphasize clarity/organization.
-I would definitely prefer to judge the "best possible argument" as opposed to the "most possible arguments."
-I'm apprehensive about "insert this re-highlighting." If you do this, please make the tagline very clear and don't highlight more than the key part. The trend of "insert this section of a card we read earlier for reference; its warrant is applicable here" seems fine.
Put me on the email chain (WayneTang@aol.com). (my debaters made me do this, I generally don't read evidence in round)
Former HS debater in the stone ages (1980s) HS coach for over many years at Maine East (1992-2016) and now at Northside College Prep (2016 to present). I coach on the north shore of Chicago. I typically attend and judge around 15-18 tournaments a season and generally see a decent percentage of high level debates. However, I am not a professional teacher/debate coach, I am a patent attorney in my real (non-debate) life and thus do not learn anything about the topic (other than institutes are overpriced) over the summer. I like to think I make up for that by being a quick study and through coaching and judging past topics, knowing many recycled arguments.
DISADS AND ADVANTAGES
Intelligent story telling with good evidence and analysis is something I like to hear. I generally will vote for teams that have better comparative impact analysis (i.e. they take into account their opponents’ arguments in their analysis). It is a hard road, but I think it is possible to reduce risk to zero or close enough to it based on defensive arguments.
I vote on T relatively frequently over the years. I believe it is the negative burden to establish the plan is not topical. Case lists and arguments on what various interpretations would allow/not allow are very important. I have found that the limits/predictability/ground debate has been more persuasive to me, although I will consider other standards debates. Obviously, it is also important how such standards operate once a team convinces me of their standard. I will also look at why T should be voting issue. I will not automatically vote negative if there is no counter-interpretation extended, although usually this is a pretty deep hole for the aff. to dig out of. For example, if the aff. has no counter-interpretation but the neg interpretation is proven to be unworkable i.e. no cases are topical then I would probably vote aff. As with most issues, in depth analysis and explanation on a few arguments will outweigh many 3 word tag lines.
Case specific CPs are preferable that integrate well (i.e. do not flatly contradict) with other negative positions. Clever wording of CPs to solve the Aff and use Aff solvency sources are also something I give the neg. credit for. It is an uphill battle for the Aff on theory unless the CP/strategy centered around the CP does something really abusive. The aff has the burden of telling me how a permutation proves the CP non-competitive.
Not a fan, but I have voted on them numerous times (despite what many in the high school community may believe). I will never be better than mediocre at evaluating these arguments because unlike law, politics, history and trashy novels, I don’t read philosophy for entertainment nor have any interest in it. Further (sorry to my past assistants who have chosen this as their academic career), I consider most of the writers in this field to be sorely needing a dose of the real world (I was an engineer in undergrad, I guess I have been brainwashed in techno-strategic discourse/liking solutions that actually accomplish something). In order to win, the negative must establish a clear story about 1) what the K is; 2) how it links; 3) what the impact is at either the policy level or: 4) pre-fiat (to the extent it exists) outweighs policy arguments or other affirmative impacts. Don’t just assume I will vote to reject their evil discourse, advocacy, lack of ontology, support of biopolitics, etc. Without an explanation I will assume a K is a very bad non-unique Disad in the policy realm. As such it will probably receive very little weight if challenged by the aff. You must be able to distill long boring philosophical cards read at hyperspeed to an explanation that I can comprehend. I have no fear of saying I don’t understand what the heck you are saying and I will absolutely not vote for issues I don’t understand. (I don’t have to impress anyone with my intelligence or lack thereof and in any case am probably incapable of it) If you make me read said cards with no explanation, I will almost guarantee that I will not understand the five syllable (often foreign) philosophical words in the card and you will go down in flames. I do appreciate, if not require specific analysis on the link and impact to either the aff. plan, rhetoric, evidence or assumptions depending on what floats your boat. In other words, if you can make specific applications (in contrast to they use the state vote negative), or better yet, read specific critical evidence to the substance of the affirmative, I will be much more likely to vote for you.
PERFORMANCE BASED ARGUMENTS
Also not a fan, but I have voted on these arguments in the past. I am generally not highly preferred by teams that run such arguments, so I don't see enough of these types of debates to be an expert. However, for whatever reason, I get to judge some high level performance teams each year and have some background in such arguments from these rounds. I will try to evaluate the arguments in such rounds and will not hesitate to vote against framework if the team advocating non-traditional debate wins sufficient warrants why I should reject the policy/topic framework. However, if a team engages the non-traditional positions, the team advocating such positions need to answer any such arguments in order to win. In other words, I will evaluate these debates like I try to evaluate any other issues, I will see what arguments clash and evaluate that clash, rewarding a team that can frame issues, compare and explain impacts. I have spent 20 plus years coaching a relatively resource deprived school trying to compete against very well resourced debate schools, so I am not unsympathetic to arguments based on inequities in policy debates. On the other hand I have also spent 20 plus years involved in non-debate activities and am not entirely convinced that the strategies urged by non-traditional debates work. Take both points for whatever you think they are worth in such debates.
In varsity debate, I believe you have to minimally be able to clash with the other teams arguments, if you can’t do this, you won’t get over a 27.5. Anything between 28.8 and 29.2 means you are probably among the top 5% of debaters I have seen. I will check my points periodically against tournament averages and have adjusted upward in the past to stay within community norms. I think that if you are in the middle my points are pretty consistent. Unfortunately for those who are consistently in the top 5% of many tournaments, I have judged a lot of the best high school debaters over the years and it is difficult to impress me (e.g., above a 29). Michael Klinger, Stephen Weil, Ellis Allen, Matt Fisher and Stephanie Spies didn’t get 30s from me (and they were among my favorites of all time), so don’t feel bad if you don’t either.
I dislike evaluating theory debates but if you make me I will do it and complain a lot about it later. No real predispositions on theory other than I would prefer to avoid dealing with it.
Tag team is fine as long as you don’t start taking over cross-ex.
I do not count general tech screw ups as prep time and quite frankly am not really a fascist about this kind of thing as some other judges, just don’t abuse my leniency on this.
Speed is fine (this is of course a danger sign because no one would admit that they can’t handle speed). If you are going too fast or are unclear, I will let you know. Ignore such warnings at your own peril, like with Kritiks, I am singularly unafraid to admit I didn’t get an answer and therefore will not vote on it.
I will read evidence if it is challenged by a team. Otherwise, if you say a piece of evidence says X and the other team doesn’t say anything, I probably won’t call for it and assume it says X. However, in the unfortunate (but fairly frequent) occurrence where both teams just read cards, I will call for cards and use my arbitrary and capricious analytical skills to piece together what I, in my paranoid delusional (and probably medicated) state, perceive is going on.
I generally will vote on anything that is set forth on the round. Don’t be deterred from going for an argument because I am laughing at it, reading the newspaper, checking espn.com on my laptop, throwing something at you etc. Debate is a game and judges must often vote for arguments they find ludicrous, however, I can and will still make fun of the argument. I will, and have, voted on many arguments I think are squarely in the realm of lunacy i.e. [INSERT LETTER] spec, rights malthus, Sun-Ra, the quotations and acronyms counterplan (OK I didn’t vote on either, even I have my limits), scaler collapse (twice), world government etc. (the likelihood of winning such arguments, however, is a separate matter). I will not hesitate to vote against teams for socially unacceptable behavior i.e. evidence fabrication, racist or sexist slurs etc., thankfully I have had to do that less than double digits time in my 35+ years of judging.
I have 12 years of debate experience. I have 2 years of high school LD, 1 year of Policy, and finished with a year of Senate. I then competed in NPDA, LD, IPDA, and BP at UNR. I am versed in debate, so don't be afraid to run technical arguments. However, if you need accessibility, I also understand.
I plan on judging high school and college debate. Please refer to the appropriate section. Thank you!
ToC 2023 Congressional Debate:
Hello everyone! First of all, congratulations on making it to the Tournament of Champions! You should be extremely proud of being able to compete at such a prestigious tournament. I am of the belief that Congress falls somewhere in between Speech and Debate, making it a unique event that encapsulates both aspects. I like a good role play as a Congressperson. Decorum is key. It is more important to be professional than to interrupt others for the sake of standing out in the chamber. I am a sucker for proper procedures and a good PO will be able to stand out from their competitors.
In terms of argumentation: While I understand having a balanced debate on Bills and Resolutions is important to prevent stagnant debate, I do still want to hear solid arguments that I can get behind. I want to hear the benefits of the Pro and the harms of the Con. Or vice versa! I believe in inclusivity, so whichever side is more equitable I will tend to agree with. Good clash is one that acknowledges your colleagues' points first before responding to them. It is part of the mutual respect and decorum that I expect from our Congresspeople, especially so at the Tournament of Champions. Finally, try to stand out!! I was always a fan of fun ways to introduce yourself to the judge before every speech. That, I would say, helped me place above my competitors at every tournament I competed at my Senior year. With so many students in a single chamber, it is IMPERATIVE that you try to stand out!
Finally, try to have fun. I know it's a serious competition and we have to act professionally. However, I think we can all agree that sitting in a room for several hours can get dull if nobody seems engaged. Talk to those next to you between sessions, try to smile and crack a joke from time to time, don't just play the stone faced debater with no emotion. I want to hear passion in your words. Make me CARE about the topic and the side you're on.
LD: Connect your contentions to the (V)alue and (C)riterion. Probably should justify your V and C as the most important/relevant V and C for the RESOLUTION. You can use an analytic, but carded evidence to uphold your V & C would be stronger. You can run your case like a Policy case, but keep it in the format or LD (Value Net Bens through Cost Benefit analysis for example). You can run Ks, just connect it back to your V and VC. You can run whatever really, just justify the argument to me. I'm still not used to hearing CPs in LD, but go for it! I have Parli, Policy, and college LD experience, I can keep up. Be nice to each other.
PF: The only high school debate event I never competed in. Be straight-forward. You have evidence, tell me why it matters. Be nice to each other.
Policy: Run whatever (K, DA, CP, Aff-K, Perf, T., Theory, etc.) but be inclusive. Arguments need to connect logically between cards. Don't make leaps in claims. Be nice to each other.
NPDA: I competed in NPDA for 4 1/2 years for UNR. I will be upfront by saying that I was not nationally competitive. I did not do well at NPDA nor NPTE and have difficulties flowing Elim 2 and beyond at either tournament. That said, I can keep up with most and plan on flowing on paper.
Here is how I evaluate the round:
T/Theory comes before the K unless there's enough work on why the K should come first. I default to competing interps. If you believe the T/Th to be abusive or problematic, I will vote on an RVI for both equity and education. Don't waste my time spreading out your opponents with 3 T/Th and collapsing to the undercovered one. However, I'm more likely to vote the argument down and not the team on an RVI. So at least it's not a one-shot kill(?)
Ks are an important part of critical thinking, and thus important to education. However, I also believe that in a world where the resolution is the only guaranteed point of research, and where Debate should be about having equal access to good education, you need clear links to the resolution. This includes Aff Ks. I think performances face a unique problem in this case. I say, contextualize your perf to debate or the world around us and explain why it's a more pressing issue than the resolution. Give your opponents options to compete against your performance. Disclosing your perf at the start of prep could easily resolve competitive equity claims for me.
The second part of Ks for me are Solvency. I have a hard time buying K solvency. Unless it's rooted in fiat, K solvency often sounds like it's some high theory, PoMo, Ivory Tower analysis that I can't wrap my head around without having prior knowledge on the subject. That said, I try to be tabula rasa, but I obviously have my knowledge bases. I understand Security, Borders, EcoFem, EcoSec, Queer Args primarily, although not exclusively.
RoB/RoJ: I think these are fine, except when you're aff and you also run a Plan alongside the K. Just because your read "PT: The res" does not mean you are doing the res. Unless you are. If you are just saying it to answer back a Theory Interp by saying, "we did read a PT" without actually integrating it into your K args, then you're just wasting your time in my opinion.
Also, give me reasons why your RoB/RoJ is preferable, even in the PMC/LOC.
CP/DA: Competition block. Is it feasible to do both? Is it preferable to do both? What are the advantages of doing the CP alone (the DA that goes with it)? What are the DAs of doing the CP and the Aff? What are the ADV of doing the CP and the Aff?
ADV: I need a clear link story. Internal links are helpful here. Solvency is fine instead of IL. Critical impacts will win my heart, but magnitude, probability, and timeframe are definitely also important. I'll vote on any of the three if you explain why in this round one matters over the others. Or go for all three, whichever.
Don't be rude. Don't attack the opponents, attack their arguments. Be clear in your delivery. Signpost. Have fun. Learn a lot! :D
Arguments have to pass the sniff test.
I'm probably among the most willing to assign negligible risk to an advantage or DA.
I'm not good for affs that don't defend a plan. If I am judging a framework round then establishing that your interpretation can be workable for the neg is probably necessary. I think logically impact turning is also a good approach but I think I'm a hard sell on fairness totally bad or predictability totally bad.
I don't closely follow any topic.
Won't vote on ASPEC or new affs bad unless either dropped for 2 consecutive speeches or 1NC time invested exceeds 10 seconds. I don't presume (or think) that a new aff justifies infinite neg flex.
I usually find most impact calc to be totally useless. Everyone says extinction so it's all about probability at that point. I think timeframe is not an intrinsically important consideration in impact calc since impacts are magnitude times probability. It's more useful to me if you try to quantify how much each argument mitigates a particular piece of offense.
Cross-applications are best made on where they are being re-applied or say something to indicate I should look elsewhere.
I'm fine for any impact turn including spark or wipeout. Aff moralizing should be accompanied with a genuine ethics argument.
I am a *very* good judge for the con on topicality. I think it’s very important that affirmatives prove inherency for topicality.
Quality of definitions is vanishingly important to me. Precision almost never matters.
Very easy to convince me that it's preferable to interpret the plan through things other than plan text in a vacuum.
I could see myself voting for intrinsicness or other disad theory.
Extinction turns case is a useless argument.
Counterplan inherency is not as important as many think, but it can be relevant especially if you choose to “kick” the cp.
I'm probably among the worst judges for the opposition on nearly all CP theory. I think the ideal version of debate would not have conditionality, but I think debate could be too hard for the neg without condo. I think 50 state fiat does not make sense logically if the hypothetical scenario is someone deciding what to do, but debate could be too hard for the neg without it.
That said if you can defend that a cp is legitimate I'm probably among the better judges for judging a competition debate/a debate around somewhat intrinsic perms.
I think CPs need to have some indication that the action is somewhat practical (somewhat being very permissive). Doesn't have to be a full-on solvency advocate that's expected of affs, but I wouldn't accept a CP that has some random individual amend the Constitution without any indication that such an action is even possible.
Affs, please connect solvency deficits to specific advantages/impacts. Negs, please never say "sufficiency framing".
Kritiques on the neg
I think about the alt the same way as a uniqueness cp.
Framework is alright but if you're going for framework you should commit to it. Otherwise I will weigh the aff by default.
I'd prefer if you don't call me "judge". I'd prefer either "Matt" or "hey you".
When you're marking a card say "marked at [word]". Don't say "cut the card at [word]"