NORTH AMERICAN DEBATE CIRCUIT Amethyst Cup
2023 — NSDA Campus, US
PF Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Public Forum paradigm
A few remarks:
- If it's important to my RFD, it needs to be in both summary and final focus, especially if it's offense. A few exceptions to this rule:
- Rebuttal responses are "sticky". If there's a rebuttal response that was unaddressed, even if it wasn't in your opponents' summary or FF, I will still consider it against you.
- If a central idea is seemingly conceded by both teams, it is true in the round. For example, if most of the debate is on the warrant level, and the impacts are conceded, I will extend the impacts for you even if you don't explicitly, because this allows you time to more adequately analyze the clash of the debate.
- Especially on framework, you have to do the work for me. I won't evaluate arguments under a framework, even if you win the framework; you have to do the evaluation/weighing.
- Warrants are extremely important; you don't get access to your evidence unless you give me warrants.
- If you are non-responsive, I am fine with your opponents "extending through ink" -- in order to get defense, you need to be responsive.
- Feel free to make whatever arguments you want.
I can be interventionist when it comes to evidence; I will call for it in three scenarios:
- You read evidence that I have also read, and I think you misrepresented the evidence.
- Your evidence is called into question/indicted.
- You read evidence that sounds really sketchy.
What matters, in rough order of importance:
- Ethical treatment of evidence, both yours and your opponents'. (I have given 20s to teams misusing evidence in the past, and I'll gladly do so again--don't tempt me.)
- The presence of weighing/narrative.
- Nuanced, well-warranted analytical argumentation.
- Well-organized speeches. (Road maps optional; Signposting non-optional)
- Appealing rhetorical style.
- In-round courtesy and professionalism.
Hello, I'm Bukunmi Babatunde, a graduate from the University of Ilorin. As a debate judge, my mission is to foster fairness and promote learning. Here's a summary of my judging approach:
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
When you encounter me in a debate, I prioritize fairness and active engagement. I value debaters who fulfill their roles, engage with the debate's burdens, and respectfully address opposing arguments.
Even if you don't agree with the framing or the argument, I encourage you to engage with the other team's case. This demonstrates a comprehensive understanding and helps foster a constructive dialogue.
Clashes and Focus:
To have clashes in the debate, it's crucial to pinpoint and compare the warrants behind arguments. Examples, precedents, and empirics don't clash unless the warrants are addressed. Summaries should focus on key points, warrants, and reasons for winning, without reviving untouched arguments.
Equity and Timekeeping:
Following equity rules is essential for a fair debate environment. Please keep track of time, as it helps maintain a well-organized and efficient debate.
In virtual debate tournaments, if feasible, keeping your camera on is encouraged. Technical issues with wifi or connection are understandable. Additionally, please ensure your speeches are clear and intelligible, delivering at a medium pace for effective communication.
As a judge, I prioritize neutrality and impartiality. I appreciate well-structured arguments supported by evidence and logical reasoning. Clear articulation, persuasive language, and a logical flow in speeches are valued. Respectful conduct, adaptability, and effective rebuttals are important.
Evaluation and Feedback:
At the end of the debate, I evaluate each debater's overall performance based on the strength of their arguments, critical analysis, presentation skills, and engagement with the opponent's case. Constructive feedback will be provided to facilitate growth and improvement.
My goal as a debate judge is to create a fair and intellectually stimulating environment. I evaluate arguments impartially, emphasizing logic, evidence, and adaptability. Through valuable feedback, I aim to contribute to the growth and development of all debaters involved.
STEPHAN BROOKS (updated 07/23/23)
- President & Debate Director @ The Brooks Academy in Fremont, CA (2013-2015)
- Head Debate Coach @ Archbishop Mitty HS in San Jose, CA (2013-2015)
- Head Debate Coach @ Mission San Jose HS in Fremont, CA (2012-2013)
- Public Forum Coach @ James Logan HS in Union City, CA (2007-2011)
- Competitor @ James Logan HS in Union City, CA (2001-2005)
I have been competing and coaching for 20+ years. I have experience in and have judged most formats of debate at every level: local, leagues, circuit, invitationals, TOC, CA State and NSDA Nationals, etc. I specialize in Public Forum and have coached the format since 2007, coaching the event at several San Francisco Bay Area schools and programs, including my own teams. I currently coach privately, and work primarily with middle school students these days. I was a communication studies major in college. Speech and debate is literally my life.
REQUIREMENTS & DEAL BREAKERS: (this applies mostly to PF and generally to other formats)
Do or die! Read carefully! Ignore at your own risk!
1. SPEED/SPREAD: No. I will NEVER tolerate it. I refuse. If you speak over 300 words per minute, you AUTOMATICALLY LOSE!I firmly believe that the whole point of debate as an activity to teach and train effective communication skills. If I (your target audience) tell you I HATE SPEED/SPREAD, and you GIVE ME SPEED, then I will GLADLY GIVE YOU A LOSS. Speed kills.
2a.Paraphrase (especially in PF) is both OK and actually PREFERRED. I competed in Public Forum when the event was first created in the early 2000's as a response and alternative to circuit/spread LD/Policy. The short speech times of PF are by design: to encourage and challenge debaters to interpret and convey the meaning of vast amounts of research in a very limited amount of time. To have debaters practice being succinct. If you run "Paraphrase Theory" in a PF round, I will automatically drop you and give you zero speaker points in retaliation for trying to destroy my favorite debate event.
2b. Email/Evidence Chains: No. I will NEVER call for or read cards- I think judge intervention is bad. It's your job to tell me what to think about the evidence presented in the round, yours and your opponent's.
2c. Warranting sources is required if you want me to VALUE your evidence. Last name and year is NOT good enough for me- your judges don't have a bibliography or works cited page of your case. If you say "Johnson 2020 writes" that means nothing to me. I want credentials/qualifications. If your opponent provides source credentials and you don't, I'll default to your opponent's evidence.
3. FINAL SPEECHES OF ANY DEBATE FORMAT: I REQUIRE 2-3 (no more!) clearly NUMBERED & articulated VOTING ISSUES presented to me at the end of your side's final speech. If you fail to give me voters, and the other side says "our single voting issue is that the sky is blue" I will vote on that issue. Please tell me what you want me to write on my RFD. If you keep debating the flow for the entirety of your final speech, you will lose. I repeat... in the final speech... Don't debate! Tell me why you win!
- I am a "POLICYMAKER" judge and like to tell all of the competitors that I judge that "I like to vote for the team that made the world a better place." That is my ultimate criteria for judging most debate rounds, but I am absolutely open to debaters providing, justifying, and impacting to their own standards.
- I am VERY STRICT about debating the EXACT WORDING of the RESOLUTION: Letter of the law! For example... if the resolution says "X produces more benefits than harms" then I believe we are debating a FACT TOPIC (not policy!) and I will vote for the team that presented the best benefits / worst harms. I will NOT vote for the team that treated the resolution as a POLICY TOPIC and spent the round impacting to a nuclear war in the future that hasn't happened yet.
- Strong impacts are extremely important to me in order to weigh arguments as offense for each side. If you don't impact, I don't weigh. Don't make me do work for you.
- I believe in "affirmative burden of proof"- the AFF typically gets the privilege of defining and last word (outside of PF), so they had better prove the resolution true by the end of the round. If teams argue to a draw, or if both teams are just plain terrible, then I tend to "default NEG" to the status quo.
- As a policymaker judge I like and vote on strong offensive arguments. On that note: I love counter-plans. Run'em if ya got'em.
- I appreciate strong framework, fair definitions, and I love to be given clear standards by which I should weigh arguments and decide rounds. Tell me how to think.
- I am NOT a "Tabula Rasa" judge- Although I hate judge intervention, I reserve the right to interpret and weigh your argument against my own knowledge. I am fine with voting for an argument that runs contrary to my beliefs if it is explained well and warranted. I am NOT fine with voting for arguments that are blatantly false, lies, or unwarranted. If you tell me the sky is green, and I look outside and it's blue, you'll lose.
- I am NOT a "Games Player" judge. Leave that stuff at home. I want real-world impacts not garbage. I hate it when debaters make all sorts of crazy arguments about stuff that would never have a remote chance of happening in reality. Example: "Building high speed rail will lead to a steel shortage (sure...) and then a trade war with China.. (uh huh...) and then a NUCLEAR WAR!" (right...)
- On that note, I HATE MOST "THEORY" & "PROGRESSIVE" ARGUMENTS.I love it when debaters debate about the actual topic. I hate it when debaters debate about debate. Don't do it! You'll lose! Unless your opponent is legit guilty of a genuine fairness violation: moving target, fair ground, etc. Then I will absolutely drop them.
- I flow, but I do NOT "vote on the flow"- my flow helps me to decide rounds, but I'm smart enough that I don't need my legal pad and pens to decide rounds for me.
- Final speeches of ANY debate I watch should emphasize voting issues. Tell me how I should weigh the round and explain which key arguments I should vote for- DO NOT repeat the entire debate, you'll lose.
- Speed: I'm okay with some speed, but I ABSOLUTELY HATE SPREAD. You should be concerned with quality of arguments over quantity. If you're reading more than 250-300 words per minute, you're probably going too fast.
- I generally critique and disclose whenever possible.
- I identify as a Classical Liberal.
- I treat politics the same way I treat religion: like an all you can eat buffet. If I see something I like I put it on my plate, regardless of what party/group it came from, and sometimes even if it clashes with my core beliefs/values. A good idea is a good idea.
- I voted for Obama in 2008, and stay registered as a Democrat in order to vote in the California primary. I made the mistake of donating to Bernie Sanders in 2016 and now the Dems have my email/phone number and hit me up for money every election cycle.
- I'm a big fan of Andrew Yang and the Forward Party. I may not personally agree with Yang on all issues, but I like him as a thinker.
- I listen to Ben Shapiro's podcast/show during the week and watch Bill Maher on Friday nights. I like to think I honestly have an ear for both sides and major political parties in the U.S.
- I competed for James Logan High School in Union City, CA from 2001-2005.
- Trained in Policy Debate the summer before 9th grade.
- Went to VBI to learn LD summer before 10th grade.
- Took up Parli in 11th grade.
- Midway through my junior year I tried out this brand new debate event called "Ted Turner," which would be known as "Controversy" until finally becoming Public Forum Debate.
- Speech: IMP, EXTEMP, DEC/OI
email: email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org (please add both to the email chain)
also please title the email chain in a way that includes the round #, flight # (if applicable), both team codes, sides, and speaking order
- PF Coach for Lakeville South & Lakeville North in Minnesota, 2019-Present
- Speech Coach for Lakeville South in Minnesota, 2022-Present
- Instructor for Potomac Debate, 2021-Present
- University of Minnesota NPDA, 2019-2022
- Lakeville South High School (PF with a bit of speech and Congress), 2015-2019
Updated for November/December 2023:
Generally, I will vote for anything if there is a warrant, an impact, and solid comparative weighing, and as long as your evidence isn't horribly cut/fake. Every argument you want on my ballot needs to be in summary and final focus, and I will walk you through exactly how I made my decision after the round is over. I’ve noticed that while I can/will keep up with speed and evaluate technical debates, my favorite rounds are usually those that slow down a bit and go into detail about a couple of important issues. Well warranted arguments with clear impact scenarios extended using a strategic collapse are a lot better than blippy extensions. The best rounds in my opinion are the ones where summary extends one big issue with comparative weighing and whatever defense/offense on the opponent’s case is necessary.
if you're speed reading this before round, prioritize the general & evidence issues sections (and the kritiks & theory sections if that's a thing you plan to do)
- I am generally happy to judge the debate you want to have.
- The only time you need a content warning is when the content in your case is objectively triggering and graphic. I think the way PF is moving toward requiring opt-out forms for things like “mentions of the war on drugs” or "feminism" is super unnecessary and trivializes the other issues that actually do require content warnings while silencing voices that are trying to discuss important issues.
- I will drop you with a 20 (or lowest speaks allowed by the tournament) for bigotry or being blatantly rude to your opponents. There’s no excuse for this. This applies to you no matter how “good at technical debate” you are.
- Speed is fine as long as you explain your arguments instead of just rattling off claims. For online rounds, slow down more than you would in person. Please do not sacrifice clarity for speed.
- Silliness and cowardice are voting issues.
- Evidence ethics in PF are atrocious. Cut cards is the only way to present evidence in my opinion. At the very least, read direct quotes.
- Evidence exchanges take way too long. Send full speech docs in the email chain before the speech begins. I want everyone sending everything in this email chain so that everyone can check the quality of evidence, and so that you don’t waste time requesting individual cards.
- Your cases should be sent to the email chain in the form of a Word Doc/PDF/uneditable document with all the evidence you read in the debate.
- It shouldn’t take you more than 30 seconds to locate a card, and if it takes more than 2 minutes, I’ll strike it from the flow and start dropping your speaker points.
- The only evidence that counts in the round is evidence you cite in your speech using the author’s last name and date. You cannot read an analytic in a speech then provide evidence for it later.
- Evidence comparison is super underutilized - I'd love to hear more of it.
- My threshold for voting on arguments that rely on paraphrased/power-tagged evidence is very high. I will always prefer to vote for teams with well cut, quality evidence.
- I don't know what this "sending rhetoric without the cards" nonsense is - the only reason you need to exchange evidence is to check the evidence. Your "rhetoric" should be exactly what's in the evidence anyway, but if it's not, I have no idea what the point is of sending the paraphrased "rhetoric" without the cards. Just send full docs with cut cards.
- Frontline in second rebuttal. Dropped arguments in second rebuttal are conceded in the round. You should cover everything on the argument(s) you plan on going for, including defense.
- Defense isn't sticky. Anything you want to matter in the round needs to be in summary and final focus.
- Collapse in summary. It is not a strategy to go for tons of blippy arguments hoping something will stick just to blow up one or two of those things in final focus. The purpose of the summary is to pick out the most important issues, and you must collapse to do that well.
- Weigh as soon as possible. Comparative weighing is essential for preventing judge intervention, and meta-weighing is cool too. I want to vote for teams that write my ballot for me in final focus, so try to do that the best you can.
- Speech organization is key. I literally want you to say what argument I should vote on and why.
- The way I give speaker points fluctuates depending on the division and the difficulty of the tournament, but I average about a 28 and rarely go below a 27 or above a 29. If you get a 30, it means you debated probably the best I saw that tournament if not for the past couple tournaments. I give speaker points based on strategic decisions rather than presentation.
I’ve judged a lot of terrible theory debates, and I do not want to judge more theory debates. But if you decide to ignore that and do it anyway, please at least read this:
- Frivolous theory is bad.
- I probably should tell you that I believe disclosure is good and paraphrasing is bad, but I will listen to answers to these shells and evaluate the round to the best of my ability. My threshold for paraphrasing good is VERY high.
- Even if you don’t know the "technical" way to answer theory, do your best to respond. I don't really care if you use theory jargon - just do your best.
- "Theory is bad" or "theory doesn't belong in PF" are not arguments I'm very sympathetic to.
- A counter interpretation is not an RVI. RVIs are a completely separate (and bad) part of the debate.
- I will say that despite all the above preferences/thoughts on theory, I really dislike when teams read things like disclosure as an easy path to ballot to basically gotcha teams that have probably never heard of disclosure before. I honestly think it's the laziest strategy to use in those rounds, and your speaker points will probably reflect that.
I have a high threshold for critical arguments in PF because I just don’t think the speech times are long enough for them to be good, but there are a few things that will make me feel better about voting on these arguments.
- I am not super well versed on most K lit, and most of the reading I have done has been very casual, so I would probably err on the side of over-explaining your arguments.
- When extending the K, don't just reread the entire thing.
- Any argument is going to be more compelling if you write it yourself. Probably don't just take something from the policy wiki without recutting any of the evidence or actually taking the time to fully understand the arguments.
- I think theory is the most boring way to answer a kritik. I'll always prefer for teams to engage with the kritik on some level.
- I hate long evidence exchanges. I already ranted about this at the top of my paradigm because it is by far my biggest pet peeve, but here’s another reminder that it should not take you more than 30 seconds to send a piece of evidence. There’s also no reason to not just send full speech docs to prevent these evidence exchanges, so just do that.
- I don’t flow anything over time, and I’ll be annoyed and potentially drop speaker points if your speeches go more than 5 or so seconds over.
- Pre-flow before you get to the room. The round start time is the time the round starts – if you don’t have your pre-flow done by then, I do not care, and the debate will proceed without it.
- The phrase "small schools" is maybe my least favorite phrase commonly used in debate. I have judged so many debates where teams get stuck arguing about whether they're a small school, and it never has a point.
- The sentence "we'll weigh if time allows" - no you won't. You will weigh if you save yourself time to do it, because if you don't, you will probably lose.
- If you're going to ask clarification questions about the arguments made in speech, you need to either use cross or prep time for that.
I competed in Congress a few times in high school, and I've judged/coached it a little since then. I dislike judging it because no one is really using it for its fullest potential, and almost every Congress round I've ever seen is just a bunch of constructive speeches in a row. But here are a few things that will make me happy in a Congress round:
- I'll rank you higher if you add something to the debate. I love rebuttal speeches, crystallization speeches, etc. You will not rank well if you are the fourth/fifth/sixth etc. speaker on a bill and still reading new substantive arguments without contextualizing anything else that has already happened. It's obviously fine to read new evidence/data, but that should only happen if it's for the purpose of refuting something that's been said by another speaker or answering an attack the opposition made against your side.
- I care much more about the content and strategy of your speeches than I do about your delivery.
- If you don't have a way to advance the debate beyond a new constructive speech that doesn't synthesize anything, I'd rather just move on to a new bill. It is much less important to me that you speak on every bill than it is that when you do speak you alter the debate on that bill.
If you have additional questions, ask before or after the round or you can email me at email@example.com.
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 so you need to tell me what I need to vote on verbatim. 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.
I am a traditional LD & PF, & Speech judge.
For PF, I want to see you debate the resolution at hand taking into account the kind of resolution. Make sure your clear, have logically connected arguments, and impact your argument. You must tell me why it matters for the argument to have weight.
For LD, I want to see you debate the resolution with a V/VC framework that clearly and reasonably links to your case. Your impacts must clearly show how you access/achieve/propel your Value through your VC.
Policy Arguments, Off Case Positions, Theory, and Kritiks - run them at your own risk - I am less interested in the game of debate and more interested in direct argumentative clash that is centered on the resolution at hand.
Plans and CPs – Not a fan.
Evidence – Your cards have to be good (clear, accurate, relevant, and credible). Explain them, link them to your arguments, and impact them.
For Speeches, it varies depending on the event, naturally, but I am looking for clarity and engagement. Be clear above all else.
I did CX debate in high school and college. I then coached in TX for three years and in CO for five. Most of my coaching experience has been with PF, LD, and Extemp. In PF, I'm fine with quick speed but don't think it should be as fast as CX or national-circuit LD. I judge pretty tight to the flow and think it is essential for both sides to impact their cases and look for specific impact calculus to determine the round.
I am a lay judge; this is my first time judging a Public Forum Debate.
I have a background in journalism and taught middle school language arts in Nashville's public school district for 20 years.
I participated as a judge in countless middle school forensics competitions.
I have watched several PF debates on youtube and was put off by students who appeared to be speed reading and over-using (in my opinion) jargon. As a former writing teacher, I will be persuaded by debaters who demonstrate economy of language, making arguments and presenting evidence using as few words as possible.
1. The preferred rate of delivery: Typical conversational speed.
2. The first or final speech would better include main idea of what he/she wants to deliver.
3. I will decide who is the winner based on how the speaker deliver the key idea using organized logical arguments and proper examples.
I am a parent judge. Please avoid speaking at your topmost speed. I value understanding your argument, so less is sometimes more
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I am a parent judge. I have no prior debate experience, but my child has competed in PF for the past year. You should assume that I am knowledgeable about the topic if it is PF.
Evidence: I am not tech > truth, so if you want to argue the sky is green, I won't buy it. But I am open to reasonable interpretations of evidence (e.g., sky is purple, pink, orange, blue, a mixture of hues, etc.), particularly if your opponent fails to contest your interpretation.
Please be honest about your evidence. Your credibility matters A LOT. If your opponent points out a weakness in your evidence, you can try to dodge it by diversion, etc., but don't outright lie about it. If you're caught in an outright lie, you WILL lose your round.
Moreover, I want to reward the team that has done its research and can back up their contentions with solid evidence. That's why it is not uncommon for me, especially during elimination rounds, to request to examine cards that I think are crucial to how I might decide the debate.
Spreading/Speaker Score: Don't speak at a supersonic speed. My upper limit for comprehension is about 200 words per minute. So if your speech exceeds 800 words in a 4-minute speech, consider shortening it. Competitive debate may be the only activity where confusing your opponent through mumbling is allowed. I accept it as the reality, but I don't want to reward it. Spread at your own risk.
Beyond your mastery of language and confident articulation, I'm also looking for the ability to explain complex ideas simply and logically. Clarity is crucial in getting a high speaker score from me. Be careful about tossing around jargons. While I may understand it, excessive use of jargons in lieu of plain speaking may lower your speaker score.
During cross, I want to see polite, but assertive examination. Being passive may lower your speaker score.
Constructive: During this phase, I'm looking for debaters to (a) describe a problem, (b) explain to me precisely how the resolution you're advocating for will help solve the problem, and (c) tell me the impacts.
Too often I see debaters unable (or perhaps unwilling) to describe the problem beyond vague, general terms. For example, if you want to argue Chinese hegemony, tell me what specific behavior of China you want to stop or counter. Simply throwing around fancy labels like "hegemony" or "multi-polarity" won't do it for me.
The same goes for (b). To convince why your proposal will work, you need to cite either a credible expert explaining how it will work, or a historical example showing how it has worked, or at least logical reasoning and common sense why it will help. If, after four minutes, I struggle to connect the dots, it would be challenging for me to lean in your favor.
When it comes to impacts, I don't always go with the biggest one. I measure magnitude of an impact along with likelihood as well as timeframe. More importantly, if you don't do (a) and (b) well, I can't give you (c). In other words, accessing (c) is a direct function of doing (a) and (b) well.
Cross-examination: I know some judges don't pay too much attention to this. I REALLY do. To me cross is the essence of debate . During cross, I am looking for you to probe the weaknesses of your opponent's contentions to set up your rebuttals and to defend your own positions. I expect lively exchanges involving vigorous attacks and robust defenses. I will also look to see which team can establish perceptual dominance. Your performance in cross is often a key factor in how I decide speaker scores and possibly the round.
Rebuttal, Summary, and Final Focus. Rebuttal is straightforward, so I won't elaborate. For summary and final focus, I'm looking for debaters who can bring CLARITY (yes, that word again). That often means collapsing and telling me how the contentions interact with each other. Tell me what I need to focus on, why your contention wins, and why your impacts outweigh. Clarity is the key to earning my vote.
I am a parent judge and have limited debate/speech experience. Please be respectful of each other.
Please include my email email@example.com if you would like to send your case.
Please speak slowly and I will be taking notes. Clearly call out your contentions, subpoints.
Thank you and good luck!
Hey, I'm Chris, and I debated for Newark Science for four years in LD and Policy. To start, I'd like to say that although I was known as a particular kind of debater, I encourage you to do what you can do the best, whether that be Kant, theory, performance, etc.
As a common rule, please don't go your top speed at the beginning of your speeches. Go slower and build up speed so I can get accustomed to your voice. I've had times where debaters started at their top speed, which wasn't really that fast, but I wasn't accustomed to their voice at all, so I missed a few of their arguments. To prevent this, please don't start blazing fast. Build up to your top speed.
I've come to realize I am probably one of the worst flowers in the activity. This doesn't mean I won't hold you to answering arguments but it does mean that I am far less likely to get a 5 point response than the next person. Take that as you will.
I'm far from a tabula rasa judge; if you say or do anything that reinforces racist, heterosexist, ableist norms then I will vote against you. This is not to say that you'll always lose Kant against Wilderson; rather, it's about the way in which you frame/phrase your arguments. If you say "Kantianism does x, y, and z, which solves the K" then I'm more willing to vote for you than if you say "Kant says empirical realities don't matter therefore racism doesn't exist or doesn't matter"
On that note, I'm an advocate of argument engagement rather than evasion. I understand the importance of "preclusion" arguments, but at the point where there are assertions that try to disregard entire positions I must draw a line. I will be HIGHLY skeptical of your argument that "Util only means post-fiat impacts matters therefore disregard the K because it's pre-fiat." I'm also less likely to listen to your "K>Theory" dump or vice versa. Just explain how your position interacts with theirs. I'm cool with layering, in fact I encourage layering, but that doesn't mean you need to make blanket assertions like "fairness is an inextricable aspect of debate therefore it comes before everything else" I'd rather you argue "fairness comes before their arguments about x because y."
I think that theory debates should be approached holistically, the reason being that often times there are one sentence "x is key to y" arguments and sometimes there are long link chains "x is key to y which is key to z which is key to a which is key to fairness because" and I guarantee I will miss one of those links. So, please please please, either slow down, or have a nice overview so that I don't have to call for a theory shell after the round and have to feel like I have to intervene.
These are just some of my thoughts. If I'm judging you at camp, do whatever, don't worry about the ballot. As I judge more I'll probably add to this paradigm. If you have any specific questions email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE: I will not call for cards unless
a) I feel like I misflowed because of something outside of the debater's control
b) There is a dispute over what the evidence says
c) The rhetoric/non underlined parts of the card become relevant
Otherwise, I expect debaters to clearly articulate what a piece of evidence says/why I should vote for you on it. This goes in line with my larger issue of extensions. "Extend x which says y" is not an extension. I want the warrants/analysis/nuance that proves the argument true, not just an assertion that x person said y is true.
I am a parent judge
I am a parent judge and have some debate experience. I ask all of you to please be respectful of each other. Please speak slowly and keep track of your own time. Additionally, at the start of each round please share emails and get a google doc created to share evidence cards. I will also flow each round.
Thank you and good luck!
I am a parent judge. Please talk slowly and monitor your own time.
Evidence is important:
1) Explain why I should prefer your evidence over your opponent's.
2) Tell me why I should believe your author is saying. With that being said, I tend to believe data, statistics, and empirics over author's opinions.
3) I put greater weight behind recent cards,
Use a point based system awarded on respect for the format of the debate, keeping time. Any humor will be awarded extra points. You are here to learn and enjoy the art of debate - all the best!
I am a flay judge in that I have lots of experience judging, but I'm not an actual flow judge. I know how the debate process works, and I've judged in over 15 tournaments.
Good rhetoric and lay appeal and I will most likely vote for you. If you don't know something or are otherwise unsure/unready for something just fake it until you make it; I like seeing confidence.
I will not flow cross-ex but I will be paying attention. If you bring something up in cross-ex and want me to flow it, remember to say it in speech as well. Emphasize important points with speech inflections, as well as bring up things you want me to remember/write down several times. Don't put down your opponent (like in LD) and don't bully during cross-ex, although remember to be assertive and stand up for your partner (during grand) if you have to.
It doesn't matter to me what you do while you speak, as long as you make eye contact regularly. Sit, stand, meditate, doesn't matter to me. Please try to signpost as much as possible, it really helps, and it makes it a lot easier to follow what you're saying. It also helps your speaks (now you're listening, huh?). Gesticulate, use ethos, pathos, logos, talk loud, whatever you have to do to get my attention and my vote (and high speaks).
Since I'm not a professionally trained judge, I don't have any specific policy against K's, but don't expect me to go with your point of view without strong rhetoric. I must need to know exactly WHY their view on a policy is wrong, and WHY your take matters more. If I were you, I would not run a kritik.
Insulting your opponent is DIFFERENT FROM arguing with them. You can say the same thing by yelling as you can by assertively speaking to your opponent. Please do not argue/yell/bully your opponent. That is a sure way to lose speaks and maybe the entire round.
I, like the vast majority of other judges, will have an easier time listening and understanding to you if you speak slower. Note: I prefer slower speaking, but I can handle faster speed to some degree. I may look confused/stop writing/not take note of important parts if you are going to slow; that means I do not understand you, and you may need to slow down.
I can promise you that I will understand these issues more than most judges. Please make sure to time yourselves, if there is a discrepancy between the prep time, speech time, etc., try to work it out yourselves, although I will interfere if too much time is taken.
Thanks for reading this information, although I know it's long and boring. Good luck!
I am very honored to be your judge. I applaud your hard work and persistence in debate. I am a new judge, so we improve together.
Regarding the general rubric, I value the following aspects:
- Content is logically organized with depth
- Clear introduction and conclusion
- Demonstration of spontaneity during the debate, effective response and refutation
- Strong vocal control and physical presence
Regarding the speed of speech, speaking extremely fast should be avoided. If the speech is too fast-paced for others to comprehend, then it is not effective.
Wish you all have your best performance at the competition! I support you and keep up the good work!