Polar Bear Open
2022 — Des Moines, IA/US
Saturday Public Forum Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
NOTE: I am always happy to provide additional feedback if desired (feel free to email me at email@example.com). Speech and debate is awesome, please stick with it if you’re reading this especially if you’re in Iowa. I'm committed to making speech and debate a safe and welcome space for everyone.
My promise to you as a judge is always giving you 100% of my attention and rendering decisions that I honestly believe in and can defend/justify.
Public Forum paradigm
[NATIONAL CIRCUIT ONLY — local competitors just do your best, your coach should’ve taught you how to win PF at a fundamental level, I give really extensive and constructive feedback]
Include me on the email chain (firstname.lastname@example.org). In national circuit varsity/bid PF rounds, send speech docs with cut cards ahead of (1) case & (2) all speeches where you read new evidence. (i.e. not a link to a google doc, not just the rhetoric, etc.) This is non-negotiable. (1) It makes the debate and by extension the tournament run on time and (2) it allows me to be as non-interventionist as possible.
I used to have a really long paradigm (it's still too long probably) with a diatribe about how I generally don't like theory or Ks in PF. At this point I'll vote on any and everything -- BUT I would still much, much prefer a substance debate (even if it gets really techy or framework-y or evidence comparison-y) over anything that attempts to modify the role of my ballot. Again, I'll still vote on those things, I think judge interference is really bad, -- I just won't have as much fun as a judge. If you think there's been a violation (disclosure, paraphrasing, misgendering, etc.) run a shell. Ks have forced me to expand my literature base, I'd consider myself familiar with setcol, afropess, feminism, cap bad, securitization, and I understand the warranting behind most other identity Ks. I'm not as familiar with other standard Ks nor more philosophical ones. If you have questions, please ask (preferably with both teams present), I want debate to be fun and educational.
I’m a tech judge (tabula rasa and all that), I flow on my computer using Flower. Best way to win the round is to do the work for me
Be kind and respectful, it would take a lot for me to change a ballot because of this but I’m pretty quick to change speaks if it’s rough
Extend everything you’re going for through every speech except 1st rebuttal
I vote on impacts/voters/the weighing debate unless the framework set forth is something other than stock benefits/harms or cost-benefit analysis
Speed is fine
I don’t flow cross but I pay attention, it’s fun, you should be able to extemporaneously explain things
I always disclose my decision alongside some feedback
Speaker points: 0/minimum = abuse, 26 = novice, 27 = needs improvement, 28 = solid, 29 = excellent, 30 = a top debater at this specific tournament the score is given out; I give speaker points for clarity and quality of argumentation (if there's a low speaker point win, the low team won "on the flow" but the higher team were generally better speakers and arguers and probably won the "truth" debate but not the "tech" debate). I don't bump speaks for anything arbitrary, it'd be so stupid for someone to get like a 4-2 screw bc another team mentioned a le epic meme in their speech and I definitely am skeptical of people who do this even if it seems innocuous.
(Also, Iowa judges who are reading this paradigm: The speaker point range is 26-30 in 2023, with 26 meaning "the student was a really bad speaker." It's not a decade ago where it was 20-30. Stop making students freak out and arbitrarily lowering their seeds by giving them a 26-27 unless they truly deserved it.)
Long story short, Just win baby~!
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Interp: Please have a clear theme or focus to your performance (It's why piece selection is so important -- please don't get frustrated if I downgrade a performance if I don't enjoy the piece. A prurient example of this is me judging my local circuit's DUOs one year. There was a performance of an excerpt from "Little Women" that was performed/acted beautifully... but the script was just horribly boring and the outdated language + no context for the full story of the [excellent!] novel just made it impossible to get into, so I never ranked them very high despite their great talent. In other words, be entertaining and compelling!)
Extemp: This event doesn’t leave a lot of leeway, the only consistent thing I see people do that hurts them is not answer the question accurately even if they have solid speaking/organization/etc.
OO/INFO: Persuade me and/or inform me, and just generally be compelling and/or entertaining, if you don’t do those things you probably won’t finish very high
Impromptu/Spont: Not telling (:
Bills: Please make them workable and just generally make them make sense, I hate disorganized and unfocused bills that have zero real-world implication
1st aff: This speech has no excuse to not be rock-solid because you technically have had a week-ish to write it, I’m way more willing to drop 3s and 4s on 1st affs that aren’t effective, give me your impacts clearly and show me why on a human level this bill is needed
1st neg: Need to respond to 2 things: the 1st aff and the bill itself, please do both otherwise it’s not worth the time and either the bill or the 1st aff’s arguments go unchecked
Subsequent speeches: These should be extemporaneous and directly respond to arguments previously made, do not be redundant with previous speeches on your side, I value speaking and argumentation above all
Questioning: Why are Congress competitors so afraid to ask questions? Most Congress speeches at least on the local Iowa level have major flaws either in argumentation/logic or in interpretation/workability of the bill, please call these flaws out if you see them, it’s not disrespectful or bad decorum to use your designated questioning time
Presiding: If I can essentially forget that you exist, you’ll get a really high rating, but if you’re constantly asking the parli for help/stumbling over procedure/messing up recency you won’t be ranked at all
Overall: Give me impacts, actually work really hard in preparation both before and during the session, speak well, and run an efficient and compelling debate
Lincoln-Douglas / Policy / World Schools
Minimal experience, but I'm always excited to learn more! I'm confident in my ability to evaluate arguments and debate but I'll probably get lost if you use excessive event-specific jargon, so please hold my hand a little haha. My overriding philosophy of tabula rasa, keeping judge ballot interference out of decisions, etc. also applies here
Director of Forensics of Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, IA, former coach for Ames (IA)
I debated PF in high school in rural Iowa and had no exposure to national circuit BUT since then have coached multiple partnerships to TOC and state champions
Am decently experienced in Congress and Speech as well, I coached national qualifiers in each in my first year as coach (22-23)
Favorite debate event is Public Forum and my favorite speech events are Extemp and Oratory
Coaching forensics and attending tournaments are among my favorite things in life~ I feel so lucky to be able to do this a couple dozen weekends every year.
PF - I have been judging PF for around 7 years now. I am a judge that listens for Impacts on why your Impacts outweigh others. I am not a huge fan of speed. I am more concerned with the content of the speech rather than the amount of information given. I do understand the PF jargon. It is up to you to persuade me to vote for your side. I am not a huge fan of using FW and definitions as a weighing mechanism but will consider it if the other arguments are well balanced. Make sure to clearly state your Impacts and how these impacts link to the resolution.
Congress - I am looking for you to know the Robert's Rules of Order as well as seeing you participating in the debate by asking questions. In terms of your speech, I would like to hear a clear structure for your speeches. I want to hear the impacts of your points and I want you to be very familiar with your speeches as well. Make sure to bring up new arguments when a bill has been debated for awhile. If you speak later in the session, I want to hear clash with other representatives/senators. I also want to hear new information if you are representing the same point as someone who has spoken previously. I also track recency so I will note if a PO may miss a recency order. Make sure to maintain your professionalism during cross and during your speech. I will knock down a speaker if I feel they are being too aggressive during their speech or their cross.
LD - I do not have much experience judging LD currently. Please focus on argumentation and impacts rather than the jargon that goes along with LD. Tricks, theory, etc. will not work with me. Also, speed is discouraged during your speeches. Please make sure I can follow your supporting evidence and arguments. I am familiar with PF and judging PF.
In high school I was a policy and public forum debater at Olathe Northwest in Kansas. After high school, I competed in college level Lincoln Douglas, IPDA, and public forum debate. My partner and I went on to win a PKD national championship in IPDA. Due to my experience in debate I would describe myself mostly as a gamesplayer. This means I will believe what you say until your opponent refutes it and vice versa. I place structure and tech almost above all in the debate. Check your framework and your impacts!
Besides the obvious hateful speech and arguments, mostly any arg, being a K or a performative speech, is okay with me.
If you are speeding and your opponents ask you to stop, I will also ask you to stop. Please do not use speed as a weapon.
Err on extending the cards and contentions that your opponents have dropped. I am a little old-school when it comes to this extension theory but its the way I was taught and I believe it is good practice.
I hate judicial activism. Please use your framework and explain why you win. I will not do the arguing for you, if you havent said it, it doesnt go on the flow. I will not flow arguments you do not make no matter how much I want to make them for you or no matter how much you claim you made them in your constructives.
If you have anything more specific please do not be afraid to ask before round.
I previously debated for four years in high school, ending in 2013. Oh no, I'm old.
I have a journalism background. The more open you are with your evidence, the happier I will be. Sourcing does matter to me, but it won't factor into my decision unless it's brought up.
This is policy debate, so I am policy-oriented. I find pragmatic arguments more appealing than abstract ones. I won't say I'm closed to kritiks — I'll consider every argument — but you'll have to do work to get me there. Counterplans are fine. Topicality will usually have to be straightforward for me to vote on it.
Speed is OK with me. But note that I would much rather listen to a few well-developed arguments than a dozen slapdash ones. Quality over quantity.
And, of course, be respectful to your opponents, even when they're being annoying during cross-x.
Anything else you have questions about, feel free to ask before the round. Have fun!