13th Annual Alief Hastings Speech and Debate Tournament
2023 — Houston, TX/US
Congress Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Forensics is a speaking competition in which the art of rhetoric is utilized - speaking effectively to persuade or influence [the judge].
I take Socrates's remarks in Plato's Apology as the basis of my judging: "...when I do not know, neither do I think I know...I am likely to be wiser than he to this small extent, that I do not think I know when I do not know" (Ap. 21d-e).
My paradigm of any round is derived from: CLARITY!!!
All things said in the round need to be clear! Whatever it is you want me to comprehend, vote on, and so forth, needs to be clearly articulated, while one is speaking. This stipulation should not be interpreted as: I am ignorant about debate - I am simply placing the burden on the debater to debate; it is his or her responsibility to explain all the arguments presented. Furthermore, any argument has the same criteria; therefore, clash, at the substantive level, is a must!
First and foremost, I follow each debate league's constitution, per the tournament.
Secondly, general information, for all debate forms, is as follows:
1) Speed: As long as I can understand you well enough to flow the round, since I vote per the flow!, then you can speak as slow or fast as you deem necessary. I do not yell clear, for we are not in practice round, and that's judge interference. Also, unless there is "clear abuse," I do not call for cards, for then I am debating. One does not have to spread - especially in PF.
2) Case: I am a tab judge; I will vote the way in which you explain to me to do so; thus I do not have a preference, or any predispositions, to the arguments you run. It should be noted that in a PF round, non-traditional/abstract arguments should be expressed in terms of why they are being used, and how it relates to the round.
Set a metric in the round, then tell me why you/y'all have won your metric, while your opponent(s) has lost their metric and/or you/y'all have absorbed their metric.
The job of any debater is to persuade the judge, by way of logical reasoning, to vote in his or her favor, while maintaining one's position, and discrediting his or her opponent's position. So long as the round is such, I say good luck to all!
Ask any other clarification questions before the round!
The speaker captivates its audience. Is very precise on the approach of persuading or informing. Whether you use your body or not, nonverbal communication represents 93% of my understanding. Speech and debate is a great stage for inclusion and creativity, but use of vulgar words and content should be communicated before hand as to show respect to judges and audience. It is important to protect avenues we use to grow and uphold values of professionalism.
Purpose of debate at its core is argumentation. Winners in debate events bring not only the passion they have for their side but clear communication that judges and opponents can understand in attempt to create a well exchanged debate. Successful debate research hit the core of the cause at hand, assertions are impactful and are supplemented with recent/reliable evidence. Winners in debate do not always have to prove they are right , just that you are wrong.
Coach at THE Atascocita High School
PUT ME ON THE EMAIL CHAIN: John.Rogers@humbleisd.net
I debated for New Caney High School for three years and have completed my sixth year as a high school coach. My program competes primarily throughout the Houston TFA circuit and has a heavy focus on Congressional Debate. I judge as needed at local invitational TFA tournaments and have experience judging all debate events, with the exception of World Schools. I also have experience judging IEs though my experience and expertise are limited.
Presiding Officer Philosophy- If the PO runs a flawless chamber, it is almost certain that they will advance to the next round, especially if they were the only one volunteering to do so.
I like to see all of the normal things we look for within a speech (arguments, evidence, responses to arguments from previous speakers, etc.). Offense is key.
Pet Peeves- (1) Do not tell the PO you have a speech when gathering splits and then not have a speech for the chamber. This makes for bad debate. (2) Faux outrage in order to gain a ballot is annoying. Refrain from shouting and pretending to be angry about something that you don't have a personal stake/connection in/to.
CX Shortcuts (1-YES; 5-STRIKE):
· From the 1AR of one of my favorite former Kingwood HS debaters, “You’re a policymaker. You vote on one of three things: (1) a policy option, (2) a competing policy option, or (3) the Status Quo.” I think that this debater did a great job of describing pathways to win my ballot.
· I don’t like intervening in debate rounds. However, I have to write a ballot. My suggestion for all debaters is to use your rebuttal speeches to write my RFD for me. I’m very fond of “even if” strategies when it comes to ordering arguments of importance (Ex: “You vote NEG because of _____. Even if you don’t buy that, you vote NEG because of ___.”)
· Tech > Truth (Please note that I’m reevaluating this idea each time I hear a terrible argument. I don’t recommend counting on me dismissing an argument on a truth standard. I DO recommend going line-by-line.)
· PREP TIME ends when your flash drive leaves your computer. If we’re on an email chain, which I prefer, you will see me get frustrated if I feel you’re stealing prep.
· Line-by-line is important. This is where clash should happen. When you read a long overview, and even though most of y’all tell me to flow it on a separate sheet of paper, those arguments don’t ever cross over to my flow. This is where arguments are missed and, possibly, rediscovered post RFD.
· I will presume NEG in policy rounds due to unlimited prep for the AC. I will, from time to time, depending on the quality of the argument, go for the “any risk of [impact solvency] you vote AFF” in the absence of any negative offense. I will NOT presume NEG for a counter advocacy other than the status quo.
· NEG STRAT: Not a fan of negative teams that go more than 4-5 off.
· If you’re looking for a speaker point fairy, or if your think that you are a magical unicorn that deserves a 30 every round, please don’t pref me.
· I don’t remember the last time I gave below a 25 in any round judged on any circuit, and I don’t remember the last time that I gave a 30.
· In really good rounds, I don’t have a problem giving more than one speaker a 29.5. I don’t tend to give tenths of points other than halves. My speaks in these rounds usually averages somewhere around 28.5.
· I will tank your speaks if you use arguments to attack debaters personally. You should be responding to the argument itself, not assuming that the argument represents the debater that is making it. Same goes to being rude and/or disrespectful to other debaters.
o With that said, I love aggressive debate. If your level of aggressive toes the line of aggressive and disrespectful, I’ll err on aggressive when it comes to my ballot and just make a comment to you at the end of the round.
o Anything overboard that deserves more than just a warning, I’ll stop the round and give you a loss (this hasn’t happened yet throughout my career).
· I’m about a 6/10. I can give you a little room to go faster if I have your doc in front of me on my computer.
· Please slow down on your tag lines so as to help me flow. I don’t tend to flow authors unless they’re addressed in the round, so please let me know what the author said (the tag), let me find it on the appropriate flow, and THEN give me your analysis.
-If you try to read at a 10/10 pace and mumble over half of your evidence, that is grounds for 25 speaks. This is almost the same thing as clipping to me.
· Go for it.
· Full, 4-card DAs are best for a 1NC.
· Case-specific links are best. As debates get better, I like to see more unique DAs that are more specific to the AFF. Then again, I’m probably more familiar with the generic DAs, so you do you.
· Go for it.
· Not a fan of multiple CPs as a neg strat.
· Please be sure to evaluate risk of impacts instead of making the round about how a nuclear war is definitely going to happen. Appropriately evaluating impacts improves quality of debates tremendously.
· This is probably not the best way to my ballot, but I’d love for a good K team to help me change this mindset.
· While I understand real-life impacts are present in our society (structural violence, racism, sexism), I’d prefer to have some kind of policy solution to these problems rather than just talk about them. I will roll my eyes if the word "reimagine" is in the text of your ALT.
· I have not read any of your literature. I am not familiar with any of your literature. Please make appropriate adjustments if you choose this strategy.
· Not at all a fan of non-topical affirmatives. 1AC should always have a plan text.
· If there is an accusation of cheating, the round will stop, and the burden of proof is on the accuser to prove that the accused cheated. If cheating is proven, the round will be awarded to the accuser, if cheating is not proven the round will be awarded to the accused. 30 speaks for winning team; 20 speaks for losing team. The purpose of this is to discourage false accusations, but at the same time encourage teams to challenge if they have solid evidence that cheating has occurred.
· Debaters are accountable for the evidence that they read. I will be a little more lenient if the card is from a camp file, but that does not excuse blatant misrepresentation/academic dishonesty.