Colleyville Heritage Winter Invitational
2023 — Colleyville, TX/US
Varsity CX Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Yes I want to be on the e-mail chain (firstname.lastname@example.org).
University of Rochester (Class of 2022) - debated for 3 years; 2x NDT qualifier; Octofinalist @ CEDA, Shirley.
WB Ray High School (Class of 2018) - debated for 2 years (mostly Policy, some LD); NSDA Nationals; 2x TFA State.
Towards the latter part of my college career, most of my debate work was geared towards the policy side of things, but in high school and my first year of college debate most of my debate work was geared towards the critical side of things if that kind of thing is important to you. I don’t really “prefer” either side of this artificial divide so read whatever you want. Far more important to me is that both teams should identify and develop some type of deep and nuanced clash between each other.
I'm also currently a software engineer and was previously an AI/ML researcher so if your arguments rely on going into deep technical details on AI systems or software in general, I'd love nothing more than to hear it.
TL;DR - I believe I'm a good judge for any debate (Policy v Policy, K v K, Clash of Civs, Performance v Performance, etc.), and I have gone for both "policy" and "critical" arguments on a regular basis. I have also been in all of the types of debates I just listed above. Basically, I’m simply a debate nerd. All this to say, you should do/say/argue for literally whatever you want (as long as you're not saying racism/xenophobia/ableism/structural violence etc. good obviously). If there is an argument that I think meets this threshold, I will say "please move on" and will expect you to move on to the next argument you're wanting to make, that being said I default Tech > Truth (no this doesn't mean I'll vote on an "argument" if it doesn't meet the minimum threshold of having a claim, warrant, and impact) in that I believe what arguments are "true" in the context of debate is determined by how the other team responds to said arguments. This is just my predisposition, however, and you're obviously more than welcome to tell me to evaluate the debate in any way you'd like as long as you give me clear instructions and don't just leave it at "evaluate the debate holistically" because I really don't know what that means without context (see my minimum threshold for an argument above). (If you have a bit more time but don't want to read my whole paradigm the bolded parts below are what you should read)
I'm not familiar with this year’s topic at all so while I very much enjoy a good T debate and topic specific debates, please don’t just assume I know what acronyms and topic-specific jargon means.
Online Debating Notes - PLEASE READ BEFORE ROUND:
If you intentionally remove tags from your evidence before sending it over, your speaks are capped at a 28 (exception if the "tag" is part of a performance script that includes personal information about you that you don't want being shared).
Please please slow down a bit; online debate certainly isn't conducive to blazing fast speeds. This doesn't mean you can't spread, just be sure to slow down enough that I can make out every word you're saying. I'll try to tell you if I can't comprehend you but chances are by the time I do I've already missed something important.
If there's any way I can make the round more accessible for you in any way please don't hesitate to let me know before (or even during) the round.
Please try avoiding speaking over each other during CX; I love heated CX but 2+ people with their microphones on proves incomprehensible in an online setting.
On video, you certainly don't have to have it turned on when I'm judging you. There are a multitude of reasons for this from privacy reasons to personal comfort, etc. Basically, you do you. I may also ask you to turn your video off if my internet is being slow, but I will almost never ask you to turn it on. I find myself paying infinitely more attention to what you say and the tone/form in which you say it than your gestures facial expressions anyway.
PLEASE NUMBER 1NC CASE AND 2AC OFF CASE ARGUMENTS AND REFER TO THE ARGUMENTS BY NUMBER THROUGHOUT THE REST OF THE DEBATE.
TLDR - (In debates where the aff has a plan) If you don't have links/spin about the PLAN ACTION and why the PLAN ACTION is bad, I don't want to hear it.
I'm a sucker for specific K's. If you have something that implicates the aff solvency mechanism and have cards actually mentioning the plan action, or at least clever spin about why the plan action is bad, I'd love nothing more than to see it; it will vastly improve my value to life and your speaks. If your A-strat is unironically going for the same K I can find in my inbox from last season, unless you have a clever twist or spin specific to the aff, I am likely not the judge for it.
Went for these a lot in HS, gradually less so over time since then. I am familiar with most literature bases that aren't on the absolute cutting edge (say, published in the past 2 years or so).
With that being said, if I'm not familiar with your specific literature base still feel free to read it just don't expect me to get your buzzwords. Same goes for teams whose literature I've read as well. Again my threshold for voting for you is "if I explained this to an intelligent person using your words, do I think they would be able to understand it".
Yes you can kick the alt/go for FW as the alt, though neg K teams probably do this too often - in my opinion the only situation where you should be going for the K without the alt is if 1) the aff has a lot of good offence against the alt, AND 2) you have a unique linear disad to the aff that also acts as a clean case turn.
K tricks (root cause, floating PIK, alt solves the aff, value to life, etc.) are fine/strategic too but I find a lot of teams, especially at the high school level, rely way too much on hiding a bunch of tricks in the block, waiting for the 1AR to drop one of them, and that dropped trick basically being the entire 2NR strategy (I've certainly been guilty of this - I can't remember the number of times I went for Antonio 95 for 5 minutes of the 2NR in HS). If this is your strategy that's fine but I probably won't be giving you anything above like a 28.5 if your entire 2NR is premised off that/those dropped trick(s).
Link turns the case arguments are heavily underutilized in K debates - please use them.
On floating PIKs, these are fine but they have to be CLEARLY articulated as such in the block (preferably in the 2NC) for me to evaluate them. I suppose saying "the alt can RESULT IN the aff" (NOTE this is different from "alt can SOLVE the aff") is sufficient to signal this but it has to be a full argument IN THE BLOCK and not just a 5 second blip. That is to say, if your 2NR strategy relies on hiding a floating PIK in the block and revealing it in the 2NR, I'm probably not the judge for you.
In K v K debates, the link level is probably the most important part of these debates so focus on that. "No perms" arguments can be great if articulated correctly but most of the time they aren't. Most of the negative's time in these debates should probably be devoted to how the alt is different from the aff, why the aff can't/doesn't get a perm, and articulating the links.
Overall, I would consider myself a pretty good judge for the K in that I will most likely understand whatever you're reading and can probably give you some good advice on how to improve your speeches or what literature bases you can look to for further development.
I go for it a lot. I’ve gone against it a lot. Most of what I wrote below on T is also applicable here.
If I absolutely had to guess which way I lean, it'd probably be negative by like 1%. Honestly, my thoughts on FW have changed so often that I can be persuaded pretty much equally either way. I also suspect that affect/ethos has a uniquely bigger role for me in these debates than in other debates. This obviously doesn't mean I'll automatically vote for the team with the most ethos or that it has much relevance in my conscious decision-making process, just that I believe it has some subconscious, non-zero effect on how I perceive the arguments presented to me.
If you're neg have an impact, don't forget to extend it in the 2NR, and don't forget to extend some case args so the 2AR has a harder time going for "case outweighs and comes before everything".
By default, I view the TVA(s) as a way the aff could have the same discussion under your interp, i.e. it need simply show how the neg interp does not exclude the aff's content/scholarship. This disposition can obviously be changed by debaters' arguments, but you should start this work early as the aff.
I personally find procedural fairness and clash/refinement/iterative testing the most persuasive impacts, though I go back and forth on whether or not I think procedural fairness is an impact in and of itself. This can obviously be overcome with good debating and impact calc by the debaters.
Skills would probably be the next most persuasive standard to me, though it often isn't articulated as well as I would like by neg teams.
Topic education is also persuasive to me but this is the impact I feel like you would probably need actual evidence on. I probably won't vote on iterative testing means no aff unless it's dropped/heavily mishandled (though if that's your jam and you feel like you have good warrants/fire evidence for why that should be the case then by all means don't let my predispositions deter you).
If you're aff, you can propose a counterinterp that you think provides a better model of debate or go for impact turns or both or whatever else is fine. Just make sure to compare your models of debate (no CI still implies a model of debate) and tell me why yours is better. I will say that I'm a hard sell for impact turns that aren't tied to a model of debate that resolves them. "Debate bad" isn't a great argument in my opinion, not only because I think it's good (though I can be convinced otherwise), but because it's probably inevitable and not intrinsic/unique offense to framework.
I think it's pretty difficult to win your Counter-Interp solves ALL of the neg's offence, but I can easily be persuaded that it makes some defensive inroads into the neg's impacts, and that combined with offence that you're likely winning on the case debate/on FW outweighs the neg's offence. Impact turns to the neg's impacts can also be persuasive but please be more nuanced than just saying "framework is policing".
T (not Framework) -
I went for T quite a bit in high school (on average probably once every tournament).
I don't know what the common T interps on this topic are so please give me a cohesive explanation of what the "world" of your interp looks like, i.e. a case list, what affs you exclude, etc.
I lean competing interps over reasonability. This doesn't mean I won't evaluate reasonability if the arg is made. In fact I think it can be a very good and strategic argument if articulated correctly. What it does mean however is you have to say more than "If we're reasonably T we're good" if you want me to treat this argument seriously.
Clash and good impact calculus/comparison is also seriously lacking in most T debates so that is definitely something I'd reward with high speaks. I personally think that limits are probably the best standard (i.e internal link to an impact, NOT an impact in and of itself) for T, but that doesn't mean I can't find other standards persuasive if there's a clear DA to the aff's CI (or lack thereof).
Permutations must be explained in the context of which parts of the plan and/or counterplan they modify and how they shield the link. You should also explain why your perms shield the link to the NB in the 2AC or it probably isn't a full arg.
I greatly enjoy a good counterplan debate, especially PIC's specific to the aff and advantage counterplans that challenge the internal link to aff advantage(s) and solves them better than the aff does. Read whatever kind you want as long as you can justify it.
I will default to judge kicking the CP, but you really should make it an explicit argument either when you're answering condo in the block, or in the 2NR. It would take a lot for the aff to convince me not to do this if it's only an argument in the 2AR, but if you make it in the 1AR then I'll evaluate the judge kick debate like any other, just know that if it's a wash or equally debated on both sides (which, to be fair, it rarely is), I will likely default negative.
While I lean more neg on questions of counterplan legitimacy/theory, I lean more aff on questions of counterplan competition.
If I had to guess my disposition on the legitimacy of counterplans from most theoretically legit to least, roughly, is: Advantage CPs, PICs (Process CP's usually included in this), Agent CPs (non-uniform 50 states included in this), International fiat, Uniform 50 States, Condition, Consult.
On counterplan theory, you're probably not going to convince me that a CP is so bad that I should reject the team outright for it unless it is defended by the negative unconditionally (but hey who knows, maybe you have good reject the team warrants that I've just never heard before), but reject the arg is doable for most CPs (probably not advantage CPs tho).
PICs out of parts of the plan text are probably good, word PICs out of any word in the 1AC are probably bad. For other counterplans (Agent, Conditions, Consult), it is substantially harder for the aff to win theory args if the neg has aff specific solvency advocates or have arguments (i.e good ev in the topic lit base) about why their CP answers a question that is at the core of the topic.
International fiat is probably bad (still pretty winnable for the neg though, especially if you have warrants/ev for why the specific CP you're reading is good on this specific topic/against this specific aff) but definitely not as bad as object fiat (Not very hard to convince me this is bad and should be rejected - and yes some international fiat can be object fiat but not always - debate it out).
Process CP debates are incredibly fun debates especially if grounded in the literature and resolution-specific wording/terms of art.
If the CP is uncondo/dispo - My default is that presumption flips aff if the 2NR goes for a CP, but this can be changed based on args made in the round obviously. The only exception to this is if the counterplan is CLEARLY less change from the status quo than the aff (think PIC out of part of the plan), though you should probably still make that argument. To be clear, if I need to put substantial thought into whether a CP is more or less change than the aff, I'll just default to presumption flipping aff. I honestly don't think this is an issue that will be at the center of my decision for most any debate though to be completely honest.
2NC CP's are fine if you're making a small change or amendment to a counterplan you read in the 1NC, but probably don't read an entirely new one unless it's an advantage CP answering a 2AC add-on. 1NR CP's are probably bad but debate it out. 1AR obviously gets new answers and perms to either.
Turns case arguments are great and you should definitely make them - if you have cards to substantiate it that's even better. Turns case argument that implicate the solvency mechanism of the aff at the link level of the DA are infinitely better than turns case args that go "the impact we read is the same as the aff's impact" but both are/can be strategic.
I think the uniqueness vs. link determines direction of the DA question is highly overemphasized and would probably be better served if the debaters focused on that in the specific context/scenario of the DA rather than having a debate about it in the abstract. If I had to say, I guess I lean towards link determining the direction of the DA, but that really shouldn't change your debating in any meaningful way.
The vast majority of Politics DA's are probably not true but that doesn't mean I don't immensely enjoy these debates or that I won't vote for it (a good number of my 2NR's in college were Politics). That said, Politics and case is not a strategy, unless the aff is atrocious or the negative is absolutely stellar at case debating. For the aff, yes I'll buy your intrinsicness or whatever weird theory args you want to read here if you explain it well and beat the neg on it. I also really don't know why some teams just don't read any offence on the Politics DA in the 2AC - please try to do that. Of course you can obviously win without it but it’s a missed opportunity most of the time, in my opinion.
Performance Neg Strats -
I have to admit I was not very familiar with these until I debated in college. That being said, I think this can be an incredibly valuable and educational form of engagement/debate. Some of the most interesting rounds I've debated in have been performance rounds. I've done everything from playing Naruto for the entire 1NC to poetry about debate to literally doing nothing for the sake of being unproductive.
Just tell me what to vote on and make sure you clearly articulate why your form of engagement/debate is better than the aff's (unless you're a K of that I guess). If that sounds really un-specific and vague that's because I think me going into more depth here is counter-intuitive to what I think these strats are best at/meant for, i.e. new and innovative types of debate.
I'm probably more likely to vote on theory that's not specific to an off-case position - usually that means conditionality - than most judges.
I went for condo quite a bit in relation to the number of times I've been the 2A. However, this usually requires the 1AR to spend a substantial (at the VERY LEAST 30 seconds, likely a minute or more if this is the A or B strategy for your 2AR) amount of time on it for it to be a viable 2AR option. Please have an interpretation in the 2AC, the best in my opinion is dispositionality (if you can defend it in-depth), just please have a cohesive definition of it IN THE 2AC. Unconditional counterinterp is fine just probably a tough hill to climb at this point. For the neg in these debates, rest assured I'm also a 2N most of the time so don't be afraid to go wild with condo if you want and can defend it.
Infinite condo is becoming an increasingly tougher interp for me to accept, so have a more limiting counterinterp but it's not the end of the world.
Just please don't read frivolous theory. By that I mean stuff like "The font of the un-underlined portion of your evidence is too small," (lookin' at you, LDers) not like New Aff's Bad (still not a good arg but not quite frivolous) or Solvency Advocate theory. I won't immediately discount it either I guess but note that I'll have a much higher bar for it, a much lower bar for answering it, and your speaks likely won't be very good.
For the love of everything, please slow down to like slightly faster than normal speech in these debates, especially if this is a viable option for you/if you think this is a viable option the other team will go for. I REALLY don't want to judge two teams reading theory blocks from 2005 at me at 300 words per minute.
Drop the team is a high bar for most theory that's not condo (though if dropped, with a warrant, I will hesitantly vote for it).
Again, I've read basically every type of aff, you do you.
If it's a policy aff, make sure to explain your internal link story clearly (I feel like most teams don't do this well enough) and why your impacts outweigh/turn the neg's. Not much else to say here - I have read everything from heg good to soft left structural violence impacts.
If it's a K aff, I'm fine with literally whatever you want to read (i.e. performance, narrative, plan text you don't defend, no plan, advocacy, no advocacy, etc.) as long as you actually explain your arguments to me and don't just expect me to understand your aff from an overview you blazed way too fast through. My threshold for voting for the aff is "if i explained this to the other team using your words, do I think they would understand it".
Presumption is something I feel like more teams should go for and is something I'm very persuaded by against K aff's that don't defend a change from the squo - don't be too scared away by the aff's grandstanding - especially if the aff is just a change in the way we look at the status quo or just a theory of power.
Will modulate for tournament quality/size. My speaker point scale is: (add ~.2 to most of these ranges for LD - i.e. 28.9-29.1 is breaking)
27 & below - You did something offensive and/or you really did not make arguments.
27-27.4 - You didn't have a real strategy in this round but made a few just OK args that didn't really tie into anything.
27.5-27.9 - You had a strategy in this round but it wasn't good at all (i.e. had no relevance or even semblance of a link) or you only made a few good arguments all round.
28-28.2 - Below average team. Expect you to be solidly in the 2-4 bracket. Probably a newer team who has some stuff figured out but isn't quite there yet.
28.3-28.4 - Solid/average team. Expect you to go 2-4 or 3-3. All the pieces were there but you were lacking a higher degree of argument interaction.
28.5-28.6 - You're on the verge of breaking. Probably a team I expect to go 3-3 or 4-2 and be on the verge of breaking. Good arguments, but you made some broader strategic missteps.
28.7-28.9 - I expect you to break/clear. I liked your well thought out strategy but still need to work on implementing that strategy and you made some great arguments but could have made the debate clearer, more organized or more nuanced.
29-29.4 - You were great and on the threshold of being amazing. I thought you had a well thought out and implemented strategy and great arguments but were somewhat lacking in some form. I expect you to be in later elims.
29.5-29.9 - You were amazing. I expect you to be the top speaker at this tournament and most likely win the tournament or at least make it into deep elims. Any problem I found in your speeches was probably nit-picking. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of your speeches.
30 - Wow. I am beyond words. Watching you didn't register as judging a debate so much as a gestalt phenomenological experience. You were the best debater I've ever seen and have truly inspired me to do/engage in/advocate for whatever your argument was in that round beyond the debate space. You have cured my depression. No I will not give you one (or increase your speaks) just cause you asked for it so don't waste your time.
Policy ("LARP" to some of you) - 1
K - 1 (Down with high theory, id ptx, or any combo of those)
T - 1
Traditional - 2
Phil - 3
Theory - 3 (1 for Policy theory, i.e. CP/alt theory and condo, etc.)
Tricks - 3/4 to strike
LD Paradigm Proper
Did LD a couple of times in HS on both local and Nat circuits before I did Policy (and once after when I didn't have a partner) so am kind of familiar with LD norms but am probably not the best judge for you if you're going for tricks/friv theory/some weird thing unique to LD but not Policy (Nebel T and traditional cases being notable exceptions).
Most of what I said above applies here as well.
*sighs* Please note the theory section... But seriously, if it's a creative theory interp that's actually a somewhat reasonable interp regarding the content of the debate and/or maybe has a critical spin on it, I am surprisingly down. I default competing interps on interps about the substance of the debate and reasonability on others. Please don't make me judge a meta-theory debate. Coming from a Policy background I also have a gut reaction to HATE RVI's, but nonetheless can be convinced to vote on them if dropped or significantly (up for debate what this means) mishandled in LD. Wouldn't suggest that being your go-to though.
Please number 1NC args on case and 1AR args on off case positions. Aff theory also doesn't need its separate flow just read it on the sheet it applies to or pick an off case to put it on. Neg theory can/should be on its own sheet as an off case tho if it's in the 1NC. Don't really want to judge 2NR theory unless ABSOLUTELY necessary (like aff condo or something like that)...
Very down for Nebel T just impact out standards like you would with any other T debate. Other T args are dope too, see that section above.
Not really down for skep/skep triggers (whatever those are).
*sighs again* If you absolutely feel that you must go for tricks, which you shouldn't, and I'll hate you for it, but that's kind of maybe alright HOWEVER I'd HIGHLY suggest 1) trying to convince me that it was something the other debater should/could have anticipated AND 2) that you make it a FULL argument, warrant AND impact it out, walk me through it, and don't just let it be an 8 word blip.
Floating PIKs in LD, in my opinion, make absolutely no sense because either it's not clearly articulated as such in the 1NC in which case the 2AR gets new answers making it unstrategic or it is articulated clearly in which case it's just a regular PIK. It's the neg's burden to make it absolutely clear that the K is a PIK in the 1NC, NOT the aff's burden to ask if it is one in CX/call it out pre-emptively in the 1AR.
Analytic Philosophy is not my grind but if it's yours I'll respect that and obviously evaluate it like any other debate, just make sure to explain it in terms of how I should view/evaluate each side in the debate through the lens of your theory. Please explain this to me like I am 9, for some reason while I enjoy reading continental philosophy, I just don't pick up analytic philosophy easily.
No underviews please for the love of everything.
Caveat to this section is I will stop adding points when you reach a 29.3 AND you can't get more than .5 extra than I would've already given you. I want my speaks to actually mean something and reward exceptional debaters.
I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE academically creative arguments/strategies. If you have some new and innovative argument/strategy whose creativity I'm impressed by I'm willing to give y'all up to half a speaker point added to whatever it was I was gonna give you (probably will be closer to .2 on average though). This is inherently subjective though so please don't ask me what it would take, it's an "I know it when I see it" type of thing.
If you open source all the ev you read with highlighting it's an extra .2. Just let me know right after the round (before I submit my ballot obvi) and I'll take a look at your Wiki. To clarify, you have to be doing this every round already or at the very least do a significant number retroactively and promise to keep doing it in the future before I submit my ballot.
If y'all give me a PoMo vs. PoMo round and give me some actual clash, both teams/debaters speaks are floored at a 29 (yes you read that correctly, I REALLY wanna see this debate). No this does not apply if only one side is advocating one of these positions. Please don't read these if you don't actually know the positions though.
I don't count flashing/emailing as prep. Just please don't steal prep, I will deduct speaker points. Yes, I know when it's happening.
I can handle speed, but please slow down on tags and cites. Like for real, especially author names, otherwise you risk me not knowing what piece of evidence on my flow either side is referring to. Also please slow down to 75-80% ish of your full (clear) card-reading speed in rebuttals. This makes it A LOT easier for me to flow all the beautiful args and nuances you want me to write down and remember them when filling out my ballot.
Open CX is cool.
I will say clear twice before deducting .1 speaks from what I would've given you for each subsequent time I have to say clear. To clarify, I'm probably only saying this if I think you being unclear is a direct result of you going too fast. If you would prefer I say/do something else to signal this please let me know (in person or via email).
Please don't bully small schools with disclosure theory, it'll make you look like mean-spirited and me v sad :( (I am down for (mis)disclosure theory though, just not if you're a school with 5+ coaches reading it against a school that barely has 1).
Finally, some rules I will unconditionally enforce are decision time, one Win and one Loss, don't assault/attack/throw objects at people, and don't intentionally disrupt your opponent's speech. Most other things are up for debate.
please at me to the email chain: email@example.com
Debated at Lansing High School for 4 years
Shawnee Mission South (2023-current)
- tech over truth but arguments must be warranted
- Read whatever aff/neg strategy that you are the most comfortable with and I will do my best to adapt and be unbiased
- Judge instruction is important and often underutilized
- I went for t a lot my senior year and I think it is a good strategy that more teams should go for
- I default to competing interpretations
- Explain what your model means for the topic, case lists can be helpful for this
- framework - I think that fairness and clash can both be both impacts (but that's also up to the debaters to prove). Don't just read generic framework blocks - try to contextualize them to the aff. Specific evidence can be helpful for a TVA but isn't absolutely necessary
- make turns case args and impact calc is helpful
- process counterplans are okay, but I probably err aff on theory
- delay counterplans are cheating
- textual and functional is always good
- err neg on condo but can be convinced otherwise
- all theory args except for condo I default to reject the arg not the team
- I will only judge kick if the neg makes the argument and the aff doesn't contest it, best to start this debate before the 2nr/2ar
- answer arguments on the line by line instead of in a long overview
- specific links are better than generic ones
- clearly explain the link, impact, and alt
- neg should utilize case debates more - could definitely win on presumption
My judging philosophy is first built on the approach that debaters define the debate. This means I generally do not have any predisposition against anything within the context of the debate. Hence, I do NOT push an agenda. The arguments presented before me are to be engaged by both sides and analysis should be given whereby I should either reject or accept those arguments. This means arguments for or against should be well developed and structured logically. There needs to be a clear framework, but this is only the first level. Impacts and disadvantages need to fit within this framework. They need to be developed and consistent within the framework.
If there is one thing I do not like, blip arguments. These are essentially glorified tag lines that have no analysis behind them, where then a debater claims a drop of this 'argument' becomes a voter for them. For me: no analysis = no argument thus is not a voter. However, if within the context of the debate both debaters do this they lose the right to complain about me intervening. So, take heed, do this and I will allow myself to insert how these blips should be pieced together and the analysis behind them.
There needs to be clash. Far too often debaters do not really analyze. Generally, people view good debates where the flow shows responses to everything. I view this as a fallacy. There should be analysis as to how the arguments interact with each other in regards to the line by line debate and hopefully build a bigger view of the entire debate. Again, it is the debater's job to fine tune how everything pieces together. Specifically, I prefer hearing voters that are in some way intertwined versus a bunch of independent voters. Yet, though, I prefer intertwined voters it does not mean independent voters could not subvert or outweigh a good story.
Things I have voted for AND against
K - I actually like a good K debate. However, I do warn debaters that often I see people run K's they have no reason running because they themselves do not really understand them. Further, as a theme, debaters assume I am as familiar with the authors as they are. Not true. Rather, I feel it imperative that the position of K be well articulated and explained. Many debaters, read a stock shell that lacks analysis and explanation. NEW - Alts need to be clear as to what they will cause and what the world of the alt will look like. Nebulous Revolutions will not sway me, because you will need to have some solvency that the revolution will lead to the actual implementation of the new form of thought.
counter plans - I have no problem with these in the world of LD.
Topicality - I generally stand within the guidelines of reasonability. Muddy the waters and that’s what I will likely default to.
Role of the Ballot - At its heart I think the ROB is a paradigm argument or more simply a criterion argument so that even if one on face wins it does not guarantee a win because the opposite side can in the venue of the debate meet the criterion or ROB. However, the ROB I tend not to like are ones devolve the debate into pre fiat and post fiat debate. I tend towards post fiat worlds in close debates.
RVI - Again this less so, an RVI for seems to be justified within the context of some blatant abuse. As an analogy I have to see the smoking gun in the offenders hand. If it not clear I will side with a standard model. To date I have not voted on an RVI as of 2/11/2022
Understand, I honestly do approach all arguments as being justifiable within the confines of a debate. However, arguments I will on face reject are arguments whose sole objective (as a course or an objective for gain) is to oppress, murder, torture or destroy any class or classes of people. That is to say you know what you are doing and you are doing it on purpose.
I'd say that the realm of debate is for students to engage and craft. As I am no longer a competitor my bias, if it exist, should only intercede when debaters stop looking at human beings as genuine but rather as some abstract rhetoric.
Feel free to ask me some questions. but understand I'm not here to define what will win me. Good well structured argumentation that actually engages the other side are the types of debates I find most interesting. It's your world you push the paradigm you want. My voting for it or against it should not be interpreted as my support of the position beyond the confines of the debate.
Personal Narratives - I am not a fan of these arguments. The main reason, is that there is no way real way to test the validity of the personal narrative as evidence. Thus, if you introduce a personal narrative, I think it completely legit the personal narrative validity be questioned like any other piece of evidence. If you would be offended or bothered about questions about its truth, don't run them.
Communication - I believe in civility of debate. I am seeing an increasingly bad trend of students cursing in debates. I fundamentally, think High School debate is about learning to argue in an open forum with intellectual honesty and civility. The HS debate format is not one like private conversations between academics. I reject any belief that the competitive nature of the debate is like a professional sport. Cursing is lazy language and is a cheap attempt to be provocative or to fain emphasis. Thus, do not curse in front of me as your judge I will automatically drop you a point. Also, most people don’t know how to curse. It has its place just not in HS debate.
So what about cards that use curse words? Choose wisely, is the purpose because it is being descriptive of reporting actual words thrown at persons such as racial slurs. I will not necessarily be bothered by this, however, if it is the words of the actual author, I advise you to choose a different author as it is likely using it to be provocative versus pursing any intellectual honesty.
I do not have a have a problem with spreading. However, I do not prompt debaters for clarity as it is the debaters responsibility to communicate. Further, I think promoting is a form of coaching and gives an advantage that would not exist otherwise. If on the off chance I do prompt you (more likely in a virtual world) You will be deducted 1 speaker point for every time I do it. If the spread causes a technical issue with my speakers - I will prompt once to slow it down without penalty, only once.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com for email chains. I am now putting myself part of the email chain due to virtual tournaments and to help overcome technical issues regarding sound. However, please understand I will NOT read along. I have it there for clarification if a audio issue arises during the speech. I still believe debaters should be clear when speaking and that speaking is still part of the debate.
I will automatically down a debater that runs an intentionally oppressive position. IE kill people because the world sucks and it’s bad to give people hope. However, if a person runs a position that MIGHT link to the death of thousands is not something I consider intentional.
NEW - 1/29 7:30PM Central Time
DISCLOSURE - Once parings come out. If you are going to make contact with your opponent requesting disclosure you need to CC me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Unless I am part of the request I will NOT evaluate the validity of the disclosure inside the round. If you do not read my paradigm and you run disclosure and your opponent does read this. They can use this as evidence to kick it directly and I will. This means they do not have to answer any of the shell.
I expect folks to be in the virtual debate room 15 minutes prior to the debate round. I especially expect this is a flip for sides has to be done. We as a community need to be more respectful of peoples time and of course from a practical matter allows an ability to solve technical issues which may arise.
NEW UPADATE 2/11/2022
Evidence - So, folks are inserting graphs and diagrams as part of their cases. I have no issue with this. However, unless there is analysis in the read card portion or analysis done by the debater regarding the information on the graph, diagram, figure, chart etc. I will not evaluate it as offense or defense for the debater introducing these documents. Next, if you do introduce it with analysis, it better match what you are saying. Next, as a scientist I am annoyed with graphs using solid lines - scientist use data points as the point actually represents collected data. A solid line suggest you have collected an infinite amount data points (ugh). The only solid line on graphs deemed acceptable are trend lines, usually accompanied with an equation, which serves as a model for an expected value for areas for which actual data does not exist.
You are welcome to time yourself. However, I am the official time keeper and will not allow more than a 5 second disparity.
When you say you are done prepping I expect you are sending the document and will begin with a couple of seconds once your opponent has confirmed reception of the document. This means you have taken your sip of water and your timer is set.
COMMUNICATION WITHIN THE ROUND - I understand when debating virtually where one is set up is not always going to be an ideal situation. However, one should not be communicating within anyone other than ones own partner. There should be zero communication with someone not in the debate. This means those chat boxes need to be off. I understand there is no way to police this situation, however, please remember it looks poorly and you never want to have doubt cast upon your ethical behavior. Also, its just disrespectful.
Last updated 2/11/2022 6:23 PM - Most of the changes are due to poor grammar.
Top Level: I debated for St. Mark's from 2019-2022. I am a current student at Georgetown.
Tech/Truth, but that doesn't mean abandon all truth--I'll listen to each "if they drop x then we win the debate" argument and be as fair as possible, but I will try my very best to give the benefit of the doubt to well thought out arguments rather than silly shots for the ballot.
I really value impact analysis, you should draw the impacts of the debate out and tell me what I should value more.
My fav debate on the topic so far has been on the NATO good-bad debate. I'll love it if you do good case debating, and reward you with high speaks. Prioritize case in the block, it goes a long way.
K's: I am probably not the best judge to pref if you are a high-theory K team. With regards to security, set col, and cap k, I know my way around, so you should be fine. If you run a K-aff, I do buy into T-USFG a little more, but I can be swayed, as with anything ig.
DA: Impact framing is important. I do not want to judge intervene on whether great power war is more important than nuclear terrorism.
I will lean towards 1% chance of the DA. You have to have a very solid, airtight plan if you want to win 0% risk (i.e. DA already happened/impact is impossible)
CP: Counterplans rarely solve 100% of case, but too often AFFs let it happen. Compare solvency deficit impacts with the DA, do not leave that work up to me please. Please EXPLAIN sufficiency framing, don't just say it otherwise I will assume any argument in the 2AR for why CP doesn't solve disproves sufficiency framing.
T: Resolutional debating is hard and confusing, but I will reward teams that do it really well with good speaks. Love watching good T debates, but make sure to have solid understanding of your interps and how they relate to the topic vision.
Closing thoughts: I am pretty open to most arguments. Debate better than the other team and you will win.
Updated 11/30/23 for Pre-UT
Hi everyone! I’m Holden (They/He)
University of North Texas ’23, and '25 (Go Mean Green)
Update: Longhorn Classic - November 29th, 2023 will forever be remembered as a day of joy for all with justice in their hearts, as it marks the long-overdue death of one Henry Alfred Kissinger. In light of the kickoff to what I believe is the beginning of his well-deserved eternal punishment for his many, many crimes against humanity, I will be rewarding jokes about Kissinger being dead and/or how terrible of a person he was with bonus speaker points throughout the duration of the tournament. They do not even have to be particularly good, as the mere mention of his passing will be enough to elicit a chuckle from me.
*Note for UT* I’ve been judging a lot more policy debates and CP/DA debates more, this makes me happy. Please don’t read process counterplans that don’t have a net benefit that is germane to the plan (IE the uncooperative federalism counterplan). Thoughts about me since then that I think are important:
- 1AC's should be started AT start time barring some exceptions, email chains should be set up, and the 1AC should be sent by 1-2 minutes before start time, and we should all be ready to debate AT the scheduled start time. I will be annoyed otherwise, and your speaks might be docced as well
- Procedural fairness as an impact in policy v k, k aff v tfw debates is much more viable than I previously though, I think operationalizing it in the context of how policy does will make the rfd much better than "fairness is good because anything else concedes the authority of fairly evaluating arguments" as the main warrant for your argument
- I still coach a lot. I am fairly well read on a lot of ecological critical literature because it's what my undergrad philosophy department specialized. I also am familiar with the policy side of the topic because of research and having debated a similar-ish topic my senior year of high school on the fossil fuel subsidies topic
- I am much better for policy debates than previously, counterplan competition are fun debates to have, and I enjoy DA and case 2NR's vastly. Please see extended thoughts about this below
- Neutral/slightly neg leaning on the question of T - subsets in terms of specifying areas of land or water, neutral on that argument in terms of specifying the type of fossil fuel or the type of extraction, but would be substantially better for non-nebel interpretations of the argument
- Please god don't go for 1AR restarts in front of me
Yes speed, but clarity is important as well
In terms of ideology, I’m a lot like Patrick Fox just less grumpy, so you can pref me pretty closely with how you pref him.
Some individuals who have shaped how I debate/have coached me: Colin Quinn and Louie Petit
Some judges who I greatly respect and would love to have on a panel: Scott Harris, David Kilpatrick, and Rob Glass
Some of my former students who share the majority of my opinions/you might pref me similar to: Anastasia Keeler, Sean Wallace, and Graham Johnstone.
Some of my friends who I agree about debate with heavily include: Dylan Jones, Luna Schultz, Elliot Cook, Joseph Wofford, and Zachary Jones.
Triggers – please refrain from reading anything with in depth discussions of anxiety, depression, or suicide that way I can adequately access and evaluate the round. Please give trigger warnings so that debate remains a place in which everyone can participate.
I flow on my laptop, I would put me at a 8-8.5/10 in terms of speed. Just be clear, slow down on tags and analytics a little please
Hi, I'm Holden! I did policy and LD in high school, I wasn't too involved in the national circuit but at the bid tournaments I did attend I did pretty ok. I recently graduated from the University of North Texas with degrees in philosophy and psychology. In college, I competed in NFA-LD, which is essentially just one person policy debate. I had some moderate success, I qualified to and made it to octas of the national tournaments two years in a row, and got gavels and broke at nearly every tournament I attended my senior year. Now, I am a graduate student at the University of North Texas, where I am pursuing a masters in communications and will be a graduate assistant for the debate team. I also judge and coach national circuit high school LD, where I have judged 500+ debates since 2020. In addition, I have coached students to several bids, bid rounds, speaker awards, and late elims of just about every national tournament (including elims and top speaker of the TOC).
Nowadays, most of my research is on the kritikal side of the argumentive spectrum. However, I also do research for policy style arguments on every topic I coach on, and have a secret love for cutting politics updates. With that in mind, I have cut arguments of every style and have coached students to go for arguments in all styles of debate.
(I prefer Holden, but if you vibe with judge then by all means).(Mr. Bukowsky, Sir, etc.)
I have been previously affiliated with: East Chapel Hill AX, Los Altos BF, and Unionville IQ.
Debate is a game with educational implications. I love this activity very much, and take my role in it very seriously. I think it is my job to evaluate arguments as presented, and intervene as little as possible. I am not very ideological in a way that translates to how I evaluate the debate (barring some exceptions) because it's not my place to determine what is a valid argument and what is not. That means please do what you are most comfortable with to the best of your ability, and I will do my best to evaluate the debate as fairly as possible (granted that violent or warrantless arguments are exceptions). As such, I consider there to be two concrete rules of debate - 1. I must choose a winner and a loser, and 2. speech times are set in stone. Any preferences I may have should not matter if you make the argument for me, if I have to default to something then that means that you did not do your job.
I like good debates. If you execute your arguments well, then I will be impressed.
I like debates that require little intervention, make my job easy for me please I hate thinking.
I like well researched arguments with clear connections to the topic/the affirmative.
I like when email chains are sent out at start time, don't delay the round any more than it has to be please.
I like good case debate, this includes a deep love for impact turns.
I like it when people make themselves easy to flow, this means labeling arguments (for example, giving arguments names, or doing organization like "1, 2, 3, a point, b point, c point, etc.), I can't vote for you if I don't know what the heck the complete argument is so making sure I can understand you is key
I like debaters that collapse in their final speeches, it makes nice room for analysis, explanation, and weighing which all make me very happy.
I like it when I am given some kind of framing mechanism to help filter offense. This can take place via a standard, role of the ballot/judge, impact calc, fairness v education, a meta ethic, I don't care. Just give me something to determine what the highest layer/impact should be.
To summarize the way I feel about judging, I think Yao Yao Chen does a excellent job at it, "I believe judging debates is a privilege, not a paycheck. I strive to judge in the most open-minded, fair, and diligent way I can, and I aim to be as thorough and transparent as possible in my decisions. If you worked hard on debate, you deserve judging that matches the effort you put into this activity. Anything short of that is anti-educational and a disappointment."
I dislike anything that is the opposite of above.
I dislike when people make problematic arguments.
I dislike when debaters engage in exclusionary practices.
I dislike unclear spreading.
I dislike messy debates with little work done to resolve them.
I dislike when people go "my time will start in 3, 2, 1."
I dislike when people ask if they can take prep, I don't care just tell me that you're taking it.
I dislike when evidence exchange takes too long, this includes when it takes forever for someone to press send on an email, when someone forgets to hit reply all (it's 2023 and y'all have been using technology for how long??). If you think email chains aren't your vibe then please use a speech drop to save all of us the headache.
I dislike when people are exclusionary to novices, I am very much in the trial by fire camp but you shouldn't throw someone into a volcano. Yes, you can spread, run disads, counterplan, k's, and even phil as long as your explanations are accessible and in good faith. But theory and tricks is a no go and you WILL get your speaks tanked.
I dislike t - bare plurals.
I dislike 1AR restarts.
Across all of my time as a judge, I have judged exactly 557 debate rounds. Of those, I have voted aff approximately 51.71% of the time.
My average speaks for the 2023-2024 season have been 28.47, across my entire time judging they are at 28.503
I have been apart of 149 panels, of those I have sat exactly 20 times (Harvard was rough).
Arguments that involve the appearance of a debater (shoes theory, formal clothing theory, etc.)
Arguments that say oppression is good.
Arguments that contradict what was said in CX.
Contrary to my reputation, I actually quite enjoy and have a good amount of experience on the policy side of the argumentative spectrum. I do quite a bit of research for policy arguments, and do topic research on that side of ground very often. I love a good disad and case 2NR, and will reward well done executions of these strategies because I think they're great. One of my favorite 2NR's to give is one on a disad and circumvention, I think it's great and really rewards good research quality
Counterplans should be functionally and textually competitive, I think most counterplans probably lose to permutations that make arguments about this and love when people make these arguments
Impact turn debates are some of my favorite, give me more of them please and thank you
I reward good evidence, if you cite a piece of evidence as part of your warrant for a argument and it's not good/underwarranted then that minimizes your strength of link. I do read evidence a lot in these debates because I think that it often acts as a tiebreaker
I really appreciate judge instruction, how should I frame a piece of evidence, what comes first, I think that telling me what to do and how to decide debates makes your life and my job much easier
I enjoy really well researched process counterplans. Absolutely makes me smile when the evidence is topic specific, and has great solvency advocates.
Yes judgekick, but make an argument for it please
Explain what the permutation looks like, just saying perm do both is a meaningless argument and I am not filling in the gaps for you
For affs, having well developed and robust internal links into 2-3 impacts is much preferred than the shot gun 7 impact strategy
Explanation of the DA turning case matters a lot to me, explain it please
Say it with me everyone In fact, I think I’ve become more grouchy about k debate lately. Call me old, but I think that often times critical teams get too lost in the sauce, don’t do enough argumentative interaction, and lose the debate because they can’t keep up technically.
This is where most of my research and thoughts are these days. I will most likely be good for whatever literature base you are reading, and have a very decent amount of rounds judging and going for the K. I have most likely judged or read the literature you are going for sometime in my years in debate, so feel free to read anything, just be able to explain it.
Aff teams against the k need to go for framework and extinction outweighs more
My ideal k 1nc will have 2-3 links contextual to the aff (one of which is a topic link), an alternative, and some kind of framing mechanism.
I have found recently that most 2NR's have trouble articulating what the alternative does, and how that interacts with the affirmative and the links. If you are unable to explain to me what the alt does, your chances of getting my ballot go down. I find that examples from both sides of the debate help contextualize the offense you're going for in relation to the alternative/the permutation, you should also explain the perm in the first responsive speech
I've found that most k teams have become rusty at debating the impact turn (heg good/cap good), this is to say that I think that if you are agaisnt the k, I am very much willing to vote on the impact turn given that it is not morally repugnant (see above)
I would very much prefer that you introduce an interesting new argument than recycle the same aff or the same 1NC you've been running for 2 years. At least update your cards every once in a while.
Don't run a k just because you think I'll like it, bad k debates make for some of the worst speaks I've given all year (for example, if you're reading argument related to Settler Colonialism and can't name the 6 settler moves to innocence)
K tricks are cool if they have a warrant, floating piks need to be hinted at in the 1NC please so they can be floating
For you nerds that wanna know, the literature bases I know pretty well are: Marxism, Security, Reps K's, Afro-pessimism, Baudrillard, Beller, Deleuze and Guattari, Halberstam, Hardt and Negri, Weheliye, Grove, Psychoanalysis, Scranton/Eco-pessimism, and Settler Colonialism
The literature bases that I know somewhat/am reading up on are: Agamben, Abolition, Cybernetics, Queer-pessimism, Disability literature, Moten and Harney, and Puar
A note on non-black engagement with afropessimism, I will watch your execution of this argument like a hawk if you decide to go for it. I think that certain authors make particular claims about the adoption of Afro-pessimist advocacy by non-black individuals, while other authors make different claims, be mindful of this when you are cutting your evidence/constructing your 1NC. While my thoughts on this question are more neutral than they once were, that does not mean you get to do whatever with the argument. If you are reading this critique as a non-black person, this becomes the round. This also means that if you are disingenuous to the literature at all, your speaks are tanked and the ballot may be given away as well depending on how annoyed I'm feeling. This is your first and final warning.
Yes, I think these are cool, defend something and have a counter-interp that substantively does something in relation to maybe limiting the topic? I am increasingly becoming convinced that there should be some stasis for debate, I think that having your aff discuss the resolution makes your framework answers more persuasive and makes me happier to vote for you
Presumption is underrated, most affs don't do anything and their ballot key warrant is bad, you should make sure to utilize that.
For those negating these affs, I think that the case page is the weakest part of the debate from both sides. I think if the 2NR develops a really good piece of offense from the case page then the debate becomes much easier for you to win.
Innovation is appreciated, I swear I've heard the same two or three affs twenty times each. If your take on a literature base is interesting, innovative, AND is something I haven't heard this year then you will most definitely get higher speaks
Performance based arguments are also acceptable/enjoyed, in the last tournament of my career I ran one of these and experienced immense success with it. However, I find that most times when they are ran the performance is not really extended into the speeches after this, obviously there are some limitations but I think that it does give me more leeway in terms of leveraging your inevitable application of the performance to other areas of the debate
Quick update as we approach the Shirley: I have become increasingly convinced of the viability of fairness as an impact argument. I do think that it has important implications for the ballot in terms of resolving affirmative and negative impact arguments, but need negative teams to avoid the vacuous and cyclical lines of argumentation that often follow fairness debates.
Framework isn't capital T true, but it also isn't an automatic act of violence. I find myself neutral on the question of how one should debate about the resolution, but I do think that the resolution should be a starting point for the debate. How you interpret that is up to you
I am of the opinion that most framework debates take place on an impact level, with the internal link to those impacts most of the time never being questioned. This is where I think both teams should take advantage of, and produces better debates about what debate should look like.
I have voted on straight up impact turns before, and I have also voted on fairness as an impact, I think that the onus is on you to explain and flesh your arguments in a way that answers the 1AR/2NR. Reading off your blocks and not engaging in the specific warrants of disads to your model often lead to me questioning what I'm voting for because there is often little to no engagement by either side in the debate
Counter-interps are more persuasive to me, and I think are underutilized, counter-interps that are well thought out and have good explanation of what your model of debate looks like does wonders
In terms of impacts to framework, my normal takes are clash > fairness > advocacy skills
"Fairness is good because debate is a game and we all have intrinsic motivation to compete" >>>>>>> "fairness is an impact because it constrains your ability to evaluate their arguments so hack against them," if the latter is your explanation then 9 times out of 10 you are going to lose
I love T debates, absolutely some of my favorite rounds to adjudicate. I think they've gotten a bad rep over the past four or five years because of the bare plurals stuff *shudders*, but interps that are based on words/phrases of the resolution and are gone for well will make me incredibly happy
I think that the semantics of the resolution matter, but not in a "bare plurals mean no spec" way but rather a "this is what this means in the context of the topic."
My normal defaults for these debates are:
- Competing Interps
- Drop the debater
- No RVI's
Reasonability is about your counter-interp not your aff, people need to relearn how to go for this because it's a lost art in the age of endless theory shells
Arbitrary counter-interps such as "your interp plus my aff" are cringe and you are better served going for a more substantive argument
Slow down for me a bit in these debates, I can flow pretty well but T is monster in terms of how many warrants/separate arguments you're spewing out so give me typing time please
You need to read voters, some standards are impacts on their own (precision comes to mind) but outside of that I have trouble understanding why limits is an independent impact sans some external argument about why making debate harder is bad
Weigh your internal links please and thank you
I judge this type of debate a lot, and probably more than most judges. So you'll most likely be fine in these debates in front of me, I just ask that you don't blitz through analytics and make good indepth weighing arguments regarding your internal links to the standards you're going for. I find that a well explained abuse story (whether that be potential or in-round) makes me be conceputally more persuaded by the impacts you go for
Conditionality is good if you win it's such. I've noticed a trend among judges recently just blatantly refusing to vote on conditionality through some arbitrary threshold that they think is egrigious, or because they think conditionality is universally good. I am not one of those judges.justas a general ideology, but your defense of it better be robust if you plan on using abusing conditionality vehemently
Sure, go for whatever shell you want, I'll flow it barring these exceptions:
- Shells about the appearance and clothing of another debaters
- Disclosure in the case in which a debater has said they can't disclose certain positions for safety reasons, please don't do this
- Reading "no i meets"
- Arguments that say that implicate that a debater may not be able to answer a new argument in the next speech (for example, if the 1AR concedes no new 2ar arguments, and the 2NR reads a new shell, I will always give the 2AR the ability to answer that new shell)
Here are my defaults for counterplan theory:
- Counterplans with a solvency advocate, no matter what type they are = good
- PICs = good
- Process CP's = good
- Consult CP's = bad
- States CP's = good
- Actor/Agent CP's = good
- Object Fiat = bad
Since these are becoming increasingly read in front of me, and are becoming a separate argument in debate, I thought they deserved their own section. I think that these are good arguments when executed well. That being said, I think that for these to be won, you need to win either some meta level framing (such as accessibility first) or linking it to an ethical framework. I often have to ask myself “should I abandon the flow if I think that this is violent” and here is the litmus test for how I will determine to abandon the flow, I will:
1. See if you won the flow proper to see if I can avoid intervening
2. If you did not win the flow proper, I will see if the action in question is a legitimate question of violence in the debate space, your explanation may help, your explanation may not. As much as your 2AR ethos may be good, if I do not think that this situation is an act of violence with reasonable malicious intent, then I will not abandon the flow. A few instances in which I will abandon the flow can be: misgendering, dead-naming, some sort of maliciously intended argument meant to exclude individuals from debate
This is not to say I won’t abandon the flow, but I feel like there has to be some outline for how I can reconcile this, or else this would justify me becoming increasingly interventionist for littler reasons which I think is a horrible model of debate.
I would much prefer these debates be executed as a shell rather than having the round staked on them. I hate adjudicating these debates because a. They deprive me of a substantive round and b. Are normally a cheap shot by an opposing debater. As such, if you stake the round on evidence ethics this will be the procedure for which things will go down: 1. I will look into the evidence that is in question 2. Compare it to the claim/violation that is being presented 3. Utilize the rules for which the tournament is using (NSDA, NDCA, etc.) to determine whether or not it is a violation 4. Check with the debater if they are sure they want this to be a drop the debater issue, or to drop the evidence. If it is a violation, then I will drop the person who committed such with 25 speaks if it's a drop the debater issue, if it's not drop the debater then I will not evaluate the evidence and we can debate as normal. If it is not a violation, then I will drop the accuser with 25 speaks if it's a drop the debater issue, if it's not drop the debater then your speaks will be capped at a 28.
Here is what I consider evidence ethics violations in the absence of guidance: 1. If the author concludes in opposition of what is cited 2. If worlds are deleted or inserted in the middle of a sentence 3. If a debater misrepresented what the author says
I think that my thoughts about this are "please don't if you don't have to, but if you aren't the one to initiate you can go ham"
I can judge these debates, and have coached debaters that have gone for these arguments, I would really just rather not. I am tired of the same arguments being recycled over and over again with little to no innovation. If you throw random a prioris in the 1A/1NC don't expect me to be happy about the debate. Carded and well developed tricks > "resolved means firmly determined and you know I am"
Slow down on your long underviews, yes I am flowing them but it doesn't help when you're blitzing through independent theory arguments like they're card text. Go at like 70% your normal speed in these situations
Be straight up about the implication and warrant for tricks, if you're shifty about them in cross then I will be shifty about whether or not I feel like evaluating them. This extends to disclosure practices.
Tricks versus identity-based affirmatives is violent, and bad. Stop it.
I love these debates! I find phil a really interesting part of debate that often goes unexplored. That being said, I prefer well developed syllogisms with pieces of evidence over analytical dumps, I find that analytical syllogisms are often spammy with extremely underdeveloped warrants.
Parts of your syllogisms should at least hint at what their impact is. I think that this becomes even more essential in later speeches where you should collapse and impact 1-2 justifications along with weighing
In phil v phil debates, both sides need to be able to explain their ethic more. These debates can either be super informational, or super messy, and I would prefer that they be the former rather than the latter. Explanation, clear engagement, and weighing is the way to my ballot in these debates
Hijacks are great! Just explain them well since they're often pretty complicated and I can't really understand the warrant if it's less than 10 seconds long
Please slow down a bit in these debates, they ore often very fast, technical, and blippy and I can only flow so fast
For those that are wondering, here are the literature bases I know pretty well: Locke, Hobbes, Pragmatism, Kant, Deleuze, Hume, Descartes, Nietzsche, Berkeley, Leibniz, and Spinoza
I know these literature bases somewhat: Rawls, Plato, Aquinas, Virtue Ethics, ILaw, Moral Particularism, and Constitutionality
I know I have it listed as a phil literature base, but I conceptually have trouble with deleuze ethical frameworks, especially since the literature doesn't prescribe a moral claim but makes a structural one which means that it doesn't make too much logical sense to force the literature to make an ethical claim.
- Comparative worlds > truth testing
- Permissibility negates > affirms
- Presumption negates > affirms
- Epistemic confidence > epistemic modesty
Yes, I can judge this, and debated on a rather traditional LD circuit in high school. However, I often time find these debates to be boring, and most definitely not my cup of tea. If you think that you can change my opinion go right ahead, but I think that given the people that pref me most of the time, it will be in your best interest to pref me low or strike me, both for your sake and mine.
For your pref sheets:
Clash debates (k v k, k v phil, k v policy, policy v phil, etc.) – 1
K – 1
Policy – 1
Phil – 1
T/Theory – 1
Tricks – 4
Trad – 5/Strike
Everything above applies
Don't think I'm a k hack, my background may suggest otherwise but ideologically I have a high threshold for execution and will punish you for it if you fail to meet it. If you are not comfortable going for the k then don't unless you absolutely want to, don't adapt to me. I promise I'll be down for a good disad and case 2NR or something similar
"It's against NFA-LD rules" is not an argument or impact claim and if it is then at best it's an internal link to fairness. Only rules violation I will not roll my eyes at are ethics challenges
Yes non-T affs, yes t - framework, yes cap good/heg good, no to terrible theory arguments like "must delineate stock issues"
Condo is bad if you win that it is bad, it is good if you win it is good
Speaker points challenges (things to maintain my vtl during tournaments):
- Send a picture of your pet (not snakes please I have a phobia of them) in the doc or email chain +.3
- Pepsi challenge jokes (making sense to the debate and actually related to the content) +.1
Things I will be more apt to maybe slightly inflate your speaks for:
- Being generally pleasant (not in the "hi how are you judge" kind of way but being vibey I guess)
- Making actually funny jokes
Across over 200+ prelims at bid tournaments, I have averaged at a 28.5 in terms of speaks, which means I'm not necessarily a speaks fairy or stingy
A 30 is very hard to achieve in front of me, and the only ones I have given out is because of the utilization of the challenges
I don't evaluate "give me x amount of speaks" arguments, if you want it so bad utilize the ways to get extra speaks I have below
They're adjusted according to the tournament, but here's a general scale -
29.6+ Great round, you should be in late elims or win the tournament
29.1-29.5 Great round, you should be in mid to late elims
28.6-29 You should break or make the bubble at least
28.1-28.5 About middle of the pool
27.6-28 You got some stuff to work on
27-27.5 You got a lot of stuff to work on
Anything below a 27: You did something really horrible and I will be having a word with tab and your coach about it
Voting for policy----X----Voting for the K
Researching/coaching policy-------X---Researching/coaching the K
Good evidence-X---------Bad evidence + spin
Will read ev without being told------X----Tell me what to read
Asking "did you read X card"-------X--- Learn to flow or run prep/CX for this
Yes RVIs-------X---No RVIs
Fairness is definitely an impact-----X-----Fairness is definitely not an impact
Alternatives/K affs should solve things or lose--X--------Alternatives/K affs can not solve things and not lose
"It's pre-fiat"--------X--Actual arguments that mean things
Debate good---X-------Debate bad (the activity)
Debate good-------X---Debate bad (the community)
Creative, alternative models of the topic + offense---X-------Impact turn everything vs framework
Yes ur Baudrillard/Kant-X---------Not ur Baudrillard/Kant
Feelings and jokes--X--------Debate robots
Mime-like expressiveness---X-------Statue-like poker face
Assume I understand the things--------X--Assume I do not understand the things
Speaker point fairy------X----Speaker point goblin
LD should be like policy-------X---(Some) LD stuff is cool
Capitalism----------X( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Associate Director of Debate @ Greenhill
Still helping KU in my free time
Please add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I love debate and I will do my absolute best to make a decision that makes sense and give a helpful RFD.
Competing interpretations are easier to evaluate than reasonability. You need to explain to me how we determine what is reasonable if you are going for reasonability.
Having said that if your intep is so obscure that there isn't a logical CI to it, perhaps it is not a good interpretation.
T debates this year (water topic) have gotten too impact heavy for their own good. I've judged a number of rounds with long overviews about how hard it is to be negative that never get to explaining what affirmatives would be topical under their interp or why the aff interp links to a limits DA and that's hard for me because I think much more about the latter when I think about topicality.
Affirmatives should be about the topic. I will be fairly sympathetic to topicality arguments if I do not know what the aff means re: the topic after the 1AC.
I think teams are meming a bit on both sides of this debate. Phrases like "third and fourth level testing" and "rev v rev debates are better" are kind of meaningless absent robust explanation. Fairness is an impact that I will vote on. Like any other impact, it needs to be explained and compared to the other team's impact. I have also voted on arguments about ethics, education, and pedagogy. I will try my best to decide who wins an impact and which impact matters more based on the debate that happens.
I do not think the neg has to win a TVA to win topicality; it can be helpful if it happens to make a lot of sense but a forced TVA is generally a waste of time.
If the aff is going for an impact turn about debate, it would be helpful to have a CI that solves that impact.
I would love to see you go for a disad and case in the 2NR. I do not find it persuasive when an affirmative team's only answer to a DA is impact framing. Impact framing can be important but it is one of a number of arguments that should be made.
I am aware the DA's aren't all great lately. I don't think that's a reason to give up on them. It just means you need a CP or really good case arguments.
I really enjoy an old-fashioned k vs the aff debate. I think there are lots of interesting nuances available for the neg and the aff in this type of debate. Here are some specific thoughts that might be helpful when constructing your strategy:
1. Links of omission are not links. Links of “commission” will take a lot of explaining.
2. Debating the case matters unless there is a compelling framework argument for why I should not evaluate the case.
3. If you are reading a critique that pulls from a variety of literature bases, make sure I understand how they all tie to together. I am persuaded by aff arguments about how it's very difficult to answer the foundation of multiple bodies of critical literature because they often have different ontological, epistemological, psychoanalytic, etc assumptions. Also, how does one alt solve all of that??
4. Aff v. K: I have noticed affirmative teams saying "it's bad to die twice" on k's and I have no idea what that means. Aff framework arguments tend to be a statement that is said in the 2AC and repeated in the 1AR and 2AR - if you want fw to influence how I vote, you need to do more than this. Explain how it implicates how I assess the link and/or alternative solvency.
5. When ontology is relevant - I feel like these debates have devolved into lists of things (both sides do this) and that's tough because what if the things on the list don't resonate?
Generic counterplans are necessary and good. I think specific counterplans are even better. Counterplans that read evidence from the 1AC or an aff author - excellent! I don't have patience for overly convoluted counterplans supported by barely highlighted ev.
I do not subscribe to (often camp-driven) groupthink about which cp's "definitely solve" which aff's. I strongly disagree with this approach to debate and will think through the arguments on both sides of the debate because that is what debate is about.
Solvency deficits are a thing and will be accounted for and weighed along with the risk of a DA, the size of the DA impact, the size of the solvency deficit, and other relevant factors. If you are fiating through solvency deficits you should come prepared with a theoretical justification for that.
I am generally neg leaning on cp theory but if you want to make an argument about why a certain cp is illegitimate (cough, con con) I will do my best to objectively evaluate that argument.
Some people think it is auto-true that politics disads and certain cp's are terrible for debate. I don't agree with that. I think there are benefits/drawbacks to most arguments. This matters for framework debates. A plan-less aff saying "their model results in politics DA's which is obviously the worst" will not persuade absent a warrant for that claim.
Love a good case debate. It's super under-utilized. I think it's really impressive when a 2N knows more about the aff evidence than the aff does.
Please don't be nasty to each other; don't be surprised if I interrupt you if you are.
I don't flow the 1AC and 1NC because I am reading your evidence. I have to do this because if I don't I won't get to read the evidence before decision time in a close debate.
If the debate is happening later than 9PM you might consider slowing down and avoiding especially complicated arguments.
There was once a team who lost an "ethics challenge" because they capitalized a letter in a 1AC that had not been capitalized in the previous version of the 1AC -- that is not actually an ethics challenge. If you make a frivolous or convoluted ethics challenge in a debate that I judge I will ask you to move on and be annoyed for the rest of the round. Legitimate ethics challenges exist and should/will be taken seriously but ethics challenges are not something we should play fast and loose with.
For debating online:
-If you think clarity could even possibly be an issue, slow down a ton. More than ever clarity and quality are more important than quantity.
-If my camera is off, I am not there, I am not flowing your speech, I probably can't even hear you. If you give the 1AR and I'm not there, there is not a whole lot I can do for you.
Colleyville Heritage '21 (TX)
I did policy (and some LD) for 4 years in High School and am currently debating at Baylor University
Try to make the subject of the email chain: "Tournament - Round # - (School 1) AFF v (School 2) NEG" or something similar
I'm not going to do work for you. That being said, you should write my ballot in the 2NR/2AR and tell me what I’m voting on -- this means these speeches need to be heavy on judge instruction.
Evidence quality matters a lot more than evidence quantity -- a more technical and organized debate is easier to vote on than a card-heavy debate.
I start the round with a 100% presumption of a risk of the DA, which the AFF needs to knock down to 0%. This means I need impact calc... Do the risks matter? Do they outweigh the aff's impacts? I don’t know, you tell me.
Make sure you're extending the link and uniqueness debate into the block. This should come before any of the impact debate -- zero risk is a thing, and it's easy to vote on if you mess up badly.
Tech>Truth is probably the most applicable here. This implies more than just saying "a dropped argument is true".
You need to explain why it solves better than the plan. Don't just say "Counterplan Solves" and expect me to vote on it. Same thing with perms too; "perm do both" or "perm do the counterplan" is not an argument, tell me more.
Well thought out PICs/PIKs are fun and strategic when debated correctly
Kritiks (Top Level):
I was a K debater throughout High School and now at Baylor, so I'm probably a good judge for you if you want to go for the K
I've debated a lot of Asian Identity, Pessimism, Logistics, and Racial Capitalism in the past and some Settler Colonialism/Grove and Psychoanalysis currently if that is important to you.
Try not to go for things you're not familiar with -- you're missing out on critical substantive debate when you're reading something just for the sake of it
Long overviews tell me that you don't know how to do a line-by-line. Just shorten your 4-minute 2NC overview of the K and actually answer arguments on the flow
K v Plan:
Sometimes K debates get muddy if there aren't specific links to the aff, so you should probably find some sort of link that is specific enough to the AFF (or at least attempt to contextualize it). That being said, I’ll vote on a generic link if it's insufficiently answered or dropped.
Tell me what the world of the alt looks like; I'm not going to vote for an alt that I can't understand. Same thing with the perm.
I think the AFF gets to weigh the plan, but the NEG should also get residual links of reps to the plan -- I can be convinced otherwise, though.
I literally don't care what kind of aff you read -- I have experience reading straight up Policy Affs to K Affs. However, most of the Affs I have read/cut have been K Affs -- this is the kind of debate I'm more used to.
I think your Aff needs a topic link at the very least, unless you have a cohesive answer as to why you don't have one -- topic relevance is probably best in terms of K v FW debates, but you do you. Ks of debate are also fine.
Topicality debates are my favorite when done well. I love good T debates but I hate bad T debates. Don't make this a bad one.
I really like nuanced T debates against policy affs. I think a lot of these affs get away with WAY too much than they should (like fiating away literally everything) which is why I really appreciate fun little arguments like extra T and effects T being impacted out in the 2NR.
Case lists, examples of ground loss, and a good interp = A good T debate.
Topicality is a question of models of debate, not THIS debate. This means that I would prefer you go for an education or portable skills impact in FW debates as opposed to procedural fairness.
For LD** please (please!) no tricks.
Even as a 2N, I think that condo is probably the only theoretical reason to reject the team, even then, please come prepared with robust explanations of your theory arguments. For all other theory arguments, you should err on the side of over-explanation and more judge instruction.
FW v K AFFs:
Case lists are good, buzz words are not.
I think a lot of teams have trouble with TVAs and SSD, both on the Aff and the Neg. Your TVAs should have clear plan texts and SSD arguments should be able to solve the content of the Aff as well as the 2AC's answers to framework.
I tend to err Neg on the fairness question absent specific Aff answers as to why FW can resolve Aff offense via the TVA/SSD debate.
I think presumption is SUPER underutilized in these debates. K Affs are usually very vague in terms of explaining the advocacy/solvency and I think that presumption is probably a winning strategy against K Affs 9/10 times. A 5 minute 2NR on presumption would probably be my favorite (and most preferred) type of 2NR in these types of debates.
Set up an email chain before the round.
I think Dave Huston's thoughts on progressive PF are probably a good answer to a lot "Ks" that PFers try to read. I'm not against progressive PF but you have to make a strong case for why you're reading what you are. Don't tell Dave that I agree with him (he doesn't need to know that I think he's right).
I appreciate sass and assertiveness (please don't make this boring), but be respectful. That being said, use your critical thinking skills to decide what you want to read in front of me.
Other than disclosure, I won't make a decision based on anything that occurred outside of the round -- I probably don't know you and I don't feel comfortable evaluating the character of a person that I don't know.
If you're interested in applying to/debating at Baylor, please reach out! You can send me an email or find me in person if you have any questions.
Alum of Liberty University - Debated 2 years in college - qualified to NDT (2019-2020 season)
I debated 4 years in high school and 2 years in college.
Top Level Things
I am most familiar with policy arguments, and I like to see good strategy and evidence quality in these debates (Strategy + Quality Evidence = good speaker points).
Non-Traditional Teams - I am not the best for method v method debates, as I am not as familiar with most literature in these debates, but when it comes to clash debates, I voted for non-traditional aff's roughly 60% more than FW as I have a high standard for FW against most K aff's. (Policy teams if you warrant out your arguments in these debates, I am way more likely to vote for FW, but most teams do not do this).
View of Debate
I will judge anything and listen to anything as long as it is explained well. Debate is a game of constant clash and argumentation. I want to hear debates between students that are invested in debating one another's arguments based on rigorous preparation, scholarly evidence, deep content knowledge, and strategic thinking. I do like forms of strategy and trickery as long as they are executed well.
T - I tend to default to competing interpretations but will buy reasonability if it is explained well with reasons, it should be preferred over competing interpretations. I love a good T debate as long as there are clear standards in the end of the debate and reasons I should vote for a team on topicality.
Framework - I am a 2n in college and think that framework is a very viable option. There should be clear impacts in the rebuttals and treat the impacts just as you treat them on a DA.
DA - I like a good DA debate. At the end of the debate, there should be good link analysis and good impact calculus so that I don't have to insert myself into the debate. I think that all DA debates should have a focus on the IL to impacts of the affirmative – this means make arguments like we access, or we turn their impact.
CP - Love a good CP debate - the more specific the better - good CP's should have a good net-benefit. I tend to lean more towards the negative side when it comes to theory (conditionality). With that said if the neg reads 4 conditional advocacies I will lean towards the affirmative side as long as the standards are flushed out and explained.
K - I am well versed in most forms of K literature. I debated the K as a freshman and sophomore (psychoanalysis, Baudrillard, Settler Colonialism) and am a 2A so I know most K's. I also love a classic Cap K or security K as long as the links are contextualized to the aff. Debate like you know how!!!
Updated - Fall 2020
Number of years judging: 12
For the email chain: email@example.com
I want to be on the email chain, but I am not going to “read-along” during constructives. I may reference particular cards during cross-ex if they are being discussed, and I will probably read cards that are important or being contested in the final rebuttals. But it’s the job of the debaters to explain, contextualize, and impact the warrants in any piece of evidence. I will always try to frame my decision based on the explanations on the flow (or lack thereof).
Like every judge I look for smart, well-reasoned arguments. I’ll admit a certain proclivity for critical argumentation, but it isn’t an exclusive preference (I think there’s something valuable to be said about “policy as performance”). Most of what I have to say can be applied to whatever approach debaters choose to take in the round. Do what you’re good at, and I will do my best to render a careful, well thought-out decision.
I view every speech in the debate as a rhetorical artifact. Teams can generate clash over questions of an argument’s substance, its theoretical legitimacy, or its intrinsic philosophical or ideological commitments.
I think spin control is extremely important in debate rounds and compelling explanations will certainly be rewarded. And while quantity and quality are also not exclusive I would definitely prefer less cards and more story in any given debate as the round progresses. I also like seeing the major issues in the debate compartmentalized and key arguments flagged.
As for the standard array of arguments, there's nothing I can really say that you shouldn't already know. I like strong internal link stories and nuanced impact comparisons. I really don't care for "risk of link means you vote Aff/Neg" arguments on sketchy positions; if I don't get it I'm not voting for it. My standard for competition is that it’s the Negative’s job to prove why rejecting the Aff is necessary which means more than just presenting an alternative or methodology that solves better – I think this is the best way to preserve clash in these kinds of debates. Please be sure to explain your position and its relation to the other arguments in the round.
KRITIK LINKS ARE STILL IMPORTANT. Don’t assume you’ll always have one, and don’t over-rely on extending a “theory of power” at the top of the flow. Both of these are and should be mutually reinforcing. This is especially important for the way I evaluate permutations. Theories of power should also be explained deliberately and with an intent to persuade.
I think the topic is important and I appreciate teams that find new and creative approaches to the resolution, but that doesn’t mean you have to read a plan text or defend the USFG. Framework is debatable (my judging record on this question is probably 50/50). A lot of this depends on the skills of the debaters in the room. This should not come as a surprise, but the people who are better at debating tend to win my framework ballot. Take your arguments to the next level, and you'll be in a much stronger position.
Two other things that are worth noting: 1) I flow on paper…probably doesn’t mean anything, but it might mean something to you. 2) There's a fine line between intensity and rudeness, so please be mindful of this.
Introduction: Hello, debaters and fellow educators. I am Tim Ellis, and I am honored to be here as a judge at this high school policy debate tournament. My background includes [briefly mention your educational and professional background relevant to the debate topic or communication skills]. My role as a judge is to evaluate your arguments, critical thinking, and communication abilities, while maintaining a fair and unbiased approach to the debate.
Debate Philosophy: I believe in fostering an environment where students can express their ideas passionately, engage in respectful discourse, and develop their critical thinking skills. I encourage debaters to focus on clear and logical arguments, evidence-based analysis, and effective communication. Substance will always take precedence over style, but effective delivery can enhance your message.
Argumentation: I value well-structured arguments that are supported by credible evidence. When presenting your case, it's important to clearly define your position, provide relevant evidence, and logically connect your arguments. The use of real-world examples and expert opinions can significantly bolster your points. Remember, the quality of your evidence matters more than the quantity.
Clash and Refutation: Debates thrive on clash – the direct engagement with your opponents' arguments. I expect debaters to engage with opposing viewpoints by directly addressing their arguments, demonstrating the weaknesses in their logic, and offering counterarguments supported by evidence. Effective refutation requires a deep understanding of your opponents' case, so take the time to dissect their position and refute it cogently.
Communication: Clear communication is key to conveying your ideas persuasively. Speak confidently, enunciate your words, and maintain a steady pace. Avoid jargon or excessive use of technical terms that might alienate those unfamiliar with the topic. Remember, effective communication isn't just about what you say, but how you say it – engaging with your audience is crucial.
Etiquette and Sportsmanship: Respect for your opponents, your partner, and the judge is non-negotiable. Keep your focus on the arguments and ideas, rather than personal attacks. Maintain a professional demeanor throughout the debate, and remember that good sportsmanship is an integral part of the debate community.
Time Management: Time management is essential. Respect the allocated time limits for your speeches, cross-examinations, and rebuttals. Effective time allocation allows for a balanced and comprehensive discussion of the issues at hand.
Final Thoughts: Debating is a valuable skill that extends beyond the walls of this tournament. Regardless of the outcome, embrace the learning experience. Constructive feedback is intended to help you grow as debaters and thinkers. I am here to provide a fair assessment of your performance, and my decisions will be based on the quality of your arguments, your ability to engage in meaningful clash, and your overall communication skills.
I am looking forward to witnessing your insightful arguments and thoughtful engagement. Let's engage in a spirited and enlightening debate that enriches all of us. Best of luck to each team, and may the discourse be both rigorous and rewarding.
TL;DR – I’m cool with anything as long as it's explained well, please call me Gio and put me on the email chain using firstname.lastname@example.org, I haven’t judged many debates on this topic so clear explanations are super important
General thoughts –
- Just be nice to each other, snark costs speaker points
- Don’t read stuff like Death Good and suicide arguments, you know what I mean
- Clarity and Clash = Money
- I’m pretty expressive in debates, you’ll be able to see what I think about your argument easily
- Evidence Quality really matters, point garbage evidence out and highlight your actual good cards
- Specificity > Generic 100% of the time
- Please don’t just do 9-off, fully develop your 1NC’s
Case Args –
- Please make use of it on the aff instead of just case outweighs, leverage internal links and uniqueness tricks
- Murder it on the neg, it’s usually pretty easy with some time investment and then the aff’s got no game
- Smart Analytics kill affs too
- Slow down please
- Making one specific theory arg > 5 generic theory args (Multiplank Condo PIC’s with No Solvency Advocates are probably worse than just condo)
- Don’t read new affs bad or no neg fiat and stuff like that, waste of time
- Specific internal link and impact work is super important, buzzwords are lame
- Caselists, TVA’s, Switch Side, and other ways to access education are great args
- Please emphasize predictability when discussing interps, even though interpretations may inevitably be arbitrary, there are certainly some that are just contrived and make the topic undebatable
- I think Fairness/Competitive Equity is an impact and an internal link to things like clash and education. Same with education.
- Debate is a game first and foremost to me but discussing the nature and goal of that game is still significant. Defend your vision of this game.
- Default to Competing Interps
- Usually contrived nowadays, especially politics, please exploit that on the aff. Don’t be caught lacking on the Neg.
- Zero Risk of a DA is a thing
- Turns Case analysis should be aff specific, don’t just read your overview
- Apply framing args to DA’s specifically, don’t just assume I’ll crossapply everything perfectly
- Solvency advocates should definitely be a thing unless their evidence is the solvency advocate, if so tell me which card and possibly send a rehighlighting
- Solvency Deficits need actual impacts that outweigh the net benefit
- Sufficiency framing is dope
- CP’s with internal net benefits that aren’t DA’s to the aff get permed hard
- Framework usually doesn’t matter, make it matter by impacting it out while putting defense on theirs
- C l a r i t y i s k e y
- Articulating link narratives and internal links without relying on clunky jargon is crucial, don’t be lazy with simple overviews.
- Examples are super helpful, feel free to drop them.
- Fully explain the world of the alt, nuance here is particularly helpful since the alt’s usually weak and boosting it helps deal with tons of args. Same with the perm, helps deal with links and “DA’s” that they drop.
Update: Longhorn Classic - November 29th, 2023 will forever be remembered as a day of joy for all with justice in their hearts, as it marks the long-overdue death of one Henry Alfred Kissinger. In light of the kickoff to what I believe is the beginning of his well-deserved eternal punishment for his many, many crimes against humanity, I will be rewarding jokes about Kissinger being dead and/or how terrible of a person he was with bonus speaker points throughout the duration of the tournament. They do not even have to be particularly good, as the mere mention of his passing will be enough to elicit a chuckle from me.
tl;dr - "takes his job seriously, but not himself". policy in high school, K in college, enjoys judging both and is loyal to voting for neither. offense/defense, but risk calculus still matters. technical, but bad arguments are still bad. doesn't flow off the doc, so go as fast as you want but not faster than you can. die-hard 2N, very expressive, extremely grumpy. Wheaton's law is axiomatic. please be funny and show me you're having fun. please don't call me "judge", "Mr.", or "sir", pat or p.fox is fine. "Act like you've been here."
I. operating procedure
1. He/him/his - you should not misgender people.
2. email@example.com -
a. I strongly prefer email chains to anything else (SpeechDrop, etc). Please have the doc sent before start time. If the round starts at 2:00, that means I expect the 1AC email at latest 1:58, and the 1AC to begin at 2:00 on the dot, not for you to set up the chain at 2:02. At this point, every minute the chain is late after start time is -0.1 speaks for the 1A - things are kind of getting ridiculous. Obviously, if I'm late (I will work very hard not to be), this is not applicable, as that's on me, not you. You should avoid any risk of any of this by just setting up the email chain when you do disclosure at the pairing.
b. Format subject lines for email chains as "Tournament Round - Aff Entry vs Neg Entry" (e.g: "NDT 2019 Octos - Wake EF vs Bing AY"). Prep ends when the doc is sent. The amount of prep being stolen while "sending it now" is getting ludicrous. It is 2023, we have had several years of eDebate, we all grew up entirely in the era of paperless debate. You should know how to compile and send a speech document efficiently. If you are having difficulty, I suggest Verbatim drills. No, that is not a joke. This also means that I consider not sending cards until after the speech tantamount to stealing prep. This specific practice will be aggressively penalized with speaker points moving forward.
3. I flow on my laptop - this is good for you because if I need lots of space on something (i.e: overview, 2 min perm block), I can make it for you. This is bad for you because if you don't tell me to do so (i.e: "hey pat, make lots of room on pdcp"), I will be medium annoyed.
4. I will make minimal eye contact during any given debate. Don't worry about it.
5. I have hearing damage in my left ear, so ideally I am positioned to the right of whoever is speaking. I sometimes get sensory overload issues, so I may close my eyes/put my head down/stare off into the distance during speeches - I promise I'm not sleeping or zoned out, and even if not looking at my screen, I will definitely still be flowing.
1. Debate is a competitive activity centered around research and persuasion. I adjudicate the competitive aspect to enable progression of students in research and persuasion.
2. The safety of students is my utmost concern above the content of any debate. Crossing this line is the only way you can legitimately piss me off. Avoid it. Racism, transphobia, misogyny, etc. will not be tolerated under any circumstances, and I am more willing to act on this on my own accord than most judges you have had (i.e: I have submitted a ballot mid-1AR before due to egregious misconduct). You should not attempt to toe this line.
3. Two teams are the only entities taking part in the debate. I will decide the debate based on arguments made within speech times, and will submit a decision with one winner and loser.
4. For high school students, I do not want to see or perceive anything that isn't PG-13 - nothing suggestive, no drug use, no extended violence, and you get no more than one single "f*ck".
5. If you try and tell me anything is "binding" on my "jurisdiction" as a judge, you are incorrect. Furthermore, I will resent you telling me how to do my job. I will not evaluate the debate until after the 2AR ends. I also will not evaluate arguments beyond speech times, give you a 3NR, etc. Consider this and other things that literally break debate the exceptions to the below sections unless agreed upon explicitly by all parties.
1. Affiliations - policy debate: University of Houston, Dulles High School, Sidwell Friends School (current), Westside High School (former). LD debate: too much to list, all over the place. Lab leader: UTNIF (CX), TDI (LD). Debated: Kealing Middle School, Jack C Hays High School, University of Houston.
2. Yao-Yao: "I believe judging debates is a privilege, not a paycheck." You work hard to debate, so I will work hard to judge. That means I will not be half-flowing speeches while texting friends, I will not be checking Twitter or spacing out during CX, I will not "rep out", and I will not rush my decision to get back to my own team faster. The most important factor in my own growth as a debater and the most helpful info as a coach has always been well-thought judge feedback, and I think - especially during and post-eDebate - the attention span and work ethic of the average judge has massively declined. I refuse to contribute to what I find to be an alarming trend in many people shirking their responsibility to the community to adjudicate even "boring" or "low-level" debates to the best of their ability. I fundamentally believe no debate is any less or more important than any other, so expect me to judge NCX R1 as if it was TOC finals.
3. I was coached by J.D. Sanford and Aimun Khan in high school, and Richard Garner, James Allan, Rob Glass and Michael Wimsatt in college. My favorite judges were Scott Harris, Dustin Meyers-Levy, David Kilpatrick, and Devane Murphy. Colleagues, former students, and good friends of mine I overlap in my view of debate with include Luna Schultz, David Bernstein, Ali Abdulla, Brett Cryan, Eric Schwerdtfeger, Sean Wallace, E Cook, and Avery Wilson. If you were to treat me like a carbon copy of anyone on this list, it should be Ricky.
4. Speaking of the good Dr. Garner: "I try to evaluate the round via the concepts the debaters in the round deploy (immanent construction) and I try to check my personal beliefs at the door (impersonality). These principles structure all other positions herein."
a. “immanent construction” – I believe evaluative mechanisms should be established by the debaters, which extends to substantive (impact calculus, does the plan solve, etc), but also paradigmatic questions (what is the threshold for a sufficient “warrant”, does xyz argument count as “new”, offense/defense true/false, etc). This extends to both explicit (i.e: debated) and implicit (i.e: conceded) points of contestation. I think "non-interventionist" is a somewhat silly way to describe myself, because intervention is inevitable - there has never been a debate where a judge has employed zero unspoken evaluative mechanisms of their own. Everyone has a different view on what is "too new", what is "unpredictable cross-applications", what is "good evidence", every judge will subconsciously connect some dots more quickly than others because we all resolve implicit questions differently absent instruction due to prior knowledge and personal affinities, but if debaters instruct us to resolve those questions explicitly, it saves me the effort of doing my own evaluations, which means less work for me, which is indicative of better debating by you. Example: if the 1AR impact turns a disad internal link that was in the 1NC, I am inclined to disallow it if told to do so as I think that it's unacceptably new. However, if the 1AR says "you should allow this because the block read tons of new evidence and explanation of the internal link that was much larger in scope than the 1NC evidence indicated", then absent a 2NR answer, I'll allow it.
b. “impersonality” – I have a reputation as a coach for being extremely opinionated on certain issues. This reputation is broadly accurate, but impacts my decisions much less than people expect. I believe my job is to evaluate the debate as it is had, not as I think it should have been. As I get older, I find myself getting more dogmatic, but paradoxically, less invested in the content of debates, because I think that the most interesting part of debate is forced confrontation with intellectual diversity. I tended to spend more time as a debater in college thinking about K than policy strategies, but I did the inverse in high school, I coach an even mix of both, my voting record in clash debates has always been pretty even (probably policy leaning, actually), and these days I actually think I get more policy ballots than K ones. If I were to personally curate the rounds I had to judge (what a dream), it'd be about an even mix of policy affs vs the K, policy affs vs a disad and counterplan, and K affs vs Ks. This is because I do not believe it is my job to unnecessarily impose my views on style or content of argument as a coach or judge as long as the argument meets a consistent threshold of quality at the level of form (clear claim, sufficient warrant, complete implication), and I find all styles of debates capable of producing this. I try to be a good judge for any research-heavy strategy, and I think the best rounds are small debates over a stable controversy. I have coached all styles of debate at very high levels, and above everything else, I care that whatever you do, you defend it (and if it's indefensible, don't do it). I have voted on "killing all white people good", I have voted on heg good, I have voted on "Kant's humanist ethics solves all of racism", I have voted on death good, I have voted on the Tetlock counterplan. Each of these arguments is worse than the last, in my view, but I voted on all of them just the same. I will not be annoyed by you going for arguments "out of my wheelhouse", but I will be annoyed by you overadapting to the point of being bad.
5. I am not a blank slate, and I do not think that the above means I will not find some arguments more compelling than others for various reasons – if evenly and optimally debated, I would consider myself a much worse judge for theory arguments as reasons to drop the debater, "tricks", counterplans that fiat actors not used by the 1AC or lack germane net benefits, "clash", the "ballot PIK", the politics disad, condo bad, "RVIs", and “1% risk of extinction”, and I would consider myself a much better judge for skills impacts (and fairness), critical affirmatives that counterdefine words and go for reasonability, “uniqueness controls the link”, counterplanning in/out of offense and general “negative terrorism”, presumption against critical affs, framework arguments that “delete the plan”, and extra-topical plans. If left to my own devices, I generally tend to have a higher default threshold for a warrant than most judges, I am inclined to punish practices done in bad faith, and I value quality evidence highly. This is not an exhaustive list, and may indicate my inclinations to reward or penalize argument choice with speaker points. However, the key words are “even and optimal”. If any of these views kick in during my decision, the debating at play was either very lacking or absolutely perfect. If I were coaching someone to win in front of me, my principal advice would be to be as explicit about how I should piece the debate together as humanly possible, so as to minimize the impact of some of my very strong predispositions coming into play. If they wanted to debate in line with my own personal preferences to maximize their chances of winning, or were doing prefs and wanting to know what my default assumptions would be in the absence of instruction from the debaters, I would direct them here for an extremely long list of argumentative hot takes, paradigmatic defaults, abstract musings, and miscellaneous quirks.
IV. topic thoughts
1. Policy 2023-24 - fiscal redistribution
a. Taught at the UTNIF on this topic, led a lab, have done moderate amounts of card cutting this season, but I will likely be judging less policy this year than I have in years past – consider my topic knowledge high, but my debate meta knowledge medium. I can hang for debates over dense economic concepts, but worth slowing down and explaining because I won’t be as in the know on current trends and relevant debate shorthand.
b. I don’t hate this topic, and it seems so far that since we have an actual topic disad it has saved me from the hell of process counterplans like the last few seasons. So far, I have shown myself to be an extremely reliable single-issue voter, with the single issue being business confidence. The overlap between K and policy debates seems heavy in that basically all of the critical and normal literature requires a decently dense operating knowledge of economic concepts, which makes me like this topic. I think that for the econ debates most turns case/link arguments and most link turn/solvency arguments will be operating on different levels/mechanisms, and teams should contextualize why their offense matters more, e.g: if aff increases consumer spending but dumps tons of government spending to do so, how do these interact with overall purchasing power and business confidence? Which internal link outweighs? Be more specific than just saying “inflation” back and forth.
c. T - Taxes seems to be the only take people care much about - I probably lean aff. Can be persuaded neg, obviously, but think that both the neg literature is imprecise and it normatively makes being aff somewhat untenable on this topic.
2. LD NovDec '23 - fossil fuels
a. The idea that phase-out is competitive is insane. I went into the topic thinking this was 100% the neg strat, and quickly concluded I was wrong because I think this is the most one-sided any competition evidence and literature has been in years. If competitive, being aff would be impossible because there is not a real deficit in the literature since none of the literature assumes any distinction between the plan and the phase-out counterplan. I will obviously evaluate the debate as it’s had, but I think that if evenly debated with even adequate quality aff evidence I cannot see myself concluding negative on this question because a model of the topic where a core neg strat is the glorified delay counterplan is untenable.
b. Interpretations that indicate that “prohibit” meaning a total ban means affs can’t defend subsets of fuels or lands/waters misrepresent the way that words modify other words. An aff that completely ends coal extraction in Ohio meets this definition of “prohibit” because it doesn’t leave exceptions or remainders for what it prohibits. The only universe subsets is coherent is if you win that “fossil fuels” or “lands and waters” are generic terms that disallow specification, otherwise aff teams will almost always win on pointing out negative evidence defining “prohibit” does not justify the negative interpretation, because “prohibit” only directly modifies “extraction” in the topic. I understand this may be a hot take. The people who disagree with me on this are simply categorically and demonstrably wrong about how grammar and sentence structure works. As above, I will evaluate this debate as it’s had, but it’s a hard sell.
c. More debaters need to do a better job explaining what bubble markets are and what is actually driving the value inflation of commodities like coal or oil - this has been a frustratingly shallow part of several debates I judged at MinneApple on both sides. Ditto why “stranded assets” are a problem that prohibition can or can’t solve.
V. here are the other parts of my decision-making process you should know:
1. I judge a lot - I am a "young" judge (5th year out), but have judged more debates than many people who have been judging much longer. On average, I'm in for ~100 debates a season. This is because of three things:
a. I think judging is a skill, and it is valuable for the community to have a surplus. You can't give a good 2NR if you haven't given a speech in three months, and I can't give a good RFD if I haven't judged all season. Many judges don't think about judging as a skill you can refine, so they never get good at judging. I try to think about this a lot. I’m kind of obsessive about it.
b. I think judging is interesting, because I like debate. Knowing what the best teams are going for both helps my own debaters and keeps me awake - the way the activity (mostly) improves over time is the fun part. I read large amounts of academic literature and research from lots of disciplines in my free time and for school, so I enjoy seeing novel applications of new things on both sides of the argumentative spectrum.
c. I really, really, really love debate. Coaching is the only consistent job I have had since graduating high school, and I am at a tournament almost every weekend, so I am reasonably aware of community norms and have decent experience with the techne of judging. Just focus on executing, and don't be afraid to take risks.
2. Some judges admit they are not the best flows about here in their paradigms. I consider myself very good. I do think there are some judges who are smart enough to reconstruct the debate and render a good decision without flowing everything. I am not one of them, which is why I made a point to get good at flowing. If I am not flowing, you either are not flowable or not making an argument (e.g: repeating yourself, I am very confused, or I cannot understand the words coming from your mouth). I think debate is communicative, so my primary reference for the decision I make is what you tell me to do, not what your doc said or how good your cards are. If you want me to pay attention to those things, tell me to do it. This means regardless of content or style, I value debating which is organized and easy to follow - number arguments, give me "pen" time, slow down for emphasis, signpost. My ideal speech structure is minimal (zero) overview, with arguments answered in the order they were presented, and explaining the parts of your argument in the context of being responses to your opponents (i.e: putting the link debate on the permutation, extending the alt as an answer to the deficit). I am maybe actually open to adopting alternative models of evaluating debate beyond technical refutation (see: immanent construction), but I don't want to reject flowing outright without having a good idea what I should do instead.
3. Not particularly big on "respectability" or "decorum". If tournaments want me to enforce classroom rules, they are welcome to pay me classroom salary. This does not mean that you have a blank check to be mean or obnoxious - being needlessly unkind makes all of the debate less pleasant, and you should absolutely be wary of who you are relative to who you're debating. Some degree of good-faith is probably required to at least be assumed until proven otherwise for this to work. It also doesn't mean every other word should be a curse - I'm not an "f-bomb gets you a 25" guy, but it's just needlessly edgy and negatively persuasive to call everything "dogs**t" or "f****ng trash" instead of actually explaining why the arg is bad (high schoolers seem to have more of an issue with this these days, and I was guilty of this myself at one point). What it means is that I think taking debate seriously doesn't require taking yourself too seriously. Showing me you're having fun and want to be here is good (although being funny doesn't substitute for good debating), small talk and joking around is welcome (but not compulsory), swagger and personality makes you interesting to judge (but unearned arrogance makes you annoying), and being self-important doesn't add to the intellectual rigor of debate (it probably subtracts from it).
4. Every part of an argument (claim, warrant, implication) can be contested, but arguments should always be backed by evidence. Evidence =/= just cards - sometimes the best answer to a stupid disad or silly advantage requires zero cards at all (you obviously don't need a card for "the bill passed this morning", for example), and sometimes experience, performance, examples etc. are good evidence too. Are these necessarily better or worse than traditional academic production? Maybe, maybe not. I am inclined to think scholastic rigor and research is good, but it should be debated out (see: impartiality). Far too often, debaters emphasize what their evidence is/says and not how it comes to its conclusions. Debates about methodology and intent usually matter more than debates about who is "correct" in a vacuum, because those beg the question of how I should evaluate what is "correct" to begin with (see: immanent construction). This isn't just a thing that applies to K debates (although it does apply there very much) - I think lots of case and impact debating would benefit from more emphasis on statistical methodologies, datasets, etc beyond just "our card is newer gg no re".
5. "Tech vs truth" is a false dichotomy. I think DML's paradigm says this perfectly, tbh: "I will not vote for something if I cannot explain why it is a reason that one side or the other has done the better debating… not all technical concessions matter, and the reasons that some technical concessions matter might not be apparent to me. A dropped argument is true, but non-dropped arguments can also be true, and I need you to contextualize how to evaluate and compare those truths." Every argument is, in my mind, a point of agreement or disagreement between debaters, which means unanswered warrants of any sort, whether explicitly conceded for strategic reasons or dropped due to technical errors, are absolutely true, but how much their implications matter is still up for debate. If concessions, intentional or not, are agreements, when the debaters already agreed upon something, I don’t think you get to take that back. I think that debaters oftentimes have a problem with implications - my threshold for explaining/extending dropped warrants is low, but I often am confused why a conceded argument impacts my decision because a speech will just barely explain it, and I think it would be more interventionist to piece that together myself than simply shrug the argument off. The best way to check against this is to be thorough with judge instruction, minimize jargon and debate enthymemes, and try and explain arguments in as simple and cohesive language as possible - my favorite debaters to judge oftentimes have a debate vocabulary much closer to a layperson and do lots of "big picture" work, but couple it with good technical skills and strategic vision, i.e: both truth and tech.
6. The burden of proof precedes the burden of rejoinder. If the argument is not complete when introduced, I don't think the other team needs to answer it while it's still an incomplete argument, because there's nothing to refute. This means I am by default lenient with new answers to block or 1AR shifts, but still extremely judicious in policing the rebuttals (2AR in particular) for new arguments and implications. Example: I have given RFDs that say “the 2AR has X argument from the 1AR that the 2NR did not answer, but the actual warrant for why the argument was true did not exist until the 2AR, so I consider the argument in its winning form ‘new’ and am not very comfortable letting the 2AR sit on this”. You can adjust this threshold by tracing an argument's development and explaining why an argument's warrant was or was not sufficient earlier on, or why a particular implication is predictable if you feel sketchy about any of it (see: immanent construction). The earlier you do this, the better - I am more inclined to let the 2AR have new extrapolations if the 1AR told me why I should. You can avoid this problem altogether by being thorough with explanation throughout the debate, and making fewer robust arguments over many underdeveloped ones.
7. Theoretical/procedural questions ("is there a violation", "does perm do the counterplan sever", etc) are resolved as yes/no, with the burden of proof on the "yes" side (i.e: neg has to prove the counterplan could/should definitely never be the aff - there is no "risk of competition/violation"). Everything else is offense/defense. This is because I think debate makes little sense when framed as absolute correct/incorrect binaries and is more about relative risks of one argument vs another. Because of this, debate is best when debaters speak in relative risk rather than absolutes - I don't think there is very often "zero risk" or "100% risk". Very few cards support clean cut yes/no conclusions, and recognizing that makes you much more persuasive. Example: "No China war now, but plan guarantees it - outweighs because zero impact to prolif" requires absolute certainty to be true. "Likelihood of US-China escalation is low now even with tensions, but the plan is a massive shift towards aggression - it's higher risk than case because external factors check escalation from prolif, but their ev just assumes worst-case scenarios" leaves more leeway to be correct even if I have some doubts. Debaters are never winning anything as decisively as they think, and so the best way to account for this this is to take the most epistemically humble position possible when speaking - in close rebuttals, you should assume I currently think you are losing the debate, and convince me I am wrong. Even if I don't actually feel that way, you will debate much better for it. For LDers, this also means you should view me as very bad for truth testing. It's nothing personal, I will flow the argument, I just mentally struggle with grasping the conceptual framework of arguments as yes/no and not normative - it literally doesn't click in my brain and never has.
8. The best final rebuttals do the absolute bare minimum - if there are not fewer arguments in the 2N/AR than the 2A/NC on a particular page, we’ve lost the plot. Debate is a game of trade-offs, which means choice is the foundation of game strategy, because final speeches that choose the exact smallest number of arguments they need to win maximize the relative time they can spend explaining and impacting each argument. Example: I hear 2N/ARs say things like “we don’t need to win [xyz] to win, but I’ll do it anyways” - why? You’ve just actively told me this has nothing to do with you win-condition, so flowing this is now a waste of time. Either spend the time on things that matter or make this argument matter too. Example 2: The best 2ARs I judge usually begin with something like “there are only 3 arguments that matter for this debate: X, because… Y, because… and Z, because… - we’re going to win all three”. This reflects good strategic vision, because the best strategies make the fewest number of largest disagreements possible central to the debate and construct evaluative mechanisms based on the resolution of those disagreements (see: immanent construction). If the best 2AR is perm do the counterplan, don't bother extending the advantage or a deficit - just spend more time on competition or sit down early. This should be read in conjunction with 5. as meaning I value debaters taking the "easy" ballot when it involves a dropped argument, but only if the argument has been properly warranted, implicated, and weighed. This also means I don't care if you use all your time - condensing down to a single silver bullet and winning it in less time than what is maximally allowed demonstrates excellent strategy and might be rewarded with speaks (this being said, sitting down early and losing will get you abhorrent speaks - as in all things in debate, risk vs reward).
9. Many judges give atrocious RFDs. I try not to. I'm definitely long-winded at times, but being thorough and going through every moving part of the debate is better than a 2 sentence non-decision that hand-waves details. I ask myself what would be most confusing about losing if I was the 2A/2N, and try to answer that question in advance. I will probably not mention every single argument from the final speeches in my RFD - this is not because I didn’t flow or evaluate them, but because it’s very rare that every argument the 2N/AR goes for matters as much as debaters think they do. If you have questions, ask! I think judges who shy away from being “post-rounded” are oftentimes very bad at justifying their decisions. Debate is a thing you are passionate about, which means I respect your right to get worked up about a loss, but I am entirely uninterested in being your punching bag - disagreement is productive, but picking a fight over losing the bubble much less so. I will always let the debater who lost ask questions first, unless there's an elim for the winner to get to. I tend to give very direct decisions and my feedback oftentimes affects as very grumpy. This should not be read too much into - unless I explicitly say "this debate was bad and made me annoyed because XYZ", you should assume the grumpiness is less related to you and more me being dead inside. I tend to decide debates extremely fast, partially because I dislike overthinking decisions as it leads to intervention, and partially because I am usually making calculations about necessary win conditions in real-time as the debate happens - you can both accelerate this process further and sway it in your favor by framing the last speeches in the terms outlined in this paradigm.
1. If I want a card doc, I'll ask, usually for the relevant cards by name. Otherwise, assume I'm good.
2. COVID things: I am vaccinated and boosted, and I take COVID tests before traveling to any given tournament. "Post-pandemic" is an empty signifier. If anyone else in the room is wearing a mask, I will also be wearing a mask. If the tournament has a mask mandate, I will follow it. If anyone asks me to put on a mask, I will. I will hold all of you to the same standards. If you do not have a mask, I will have extra. If you refuse to abide by these very simple and reasonable standards, I will give you an L25. This is not negotiable conduct.
3. I'm comically expressive. It's not on purpose, and I've tried to stop it with no luck - I just have a truly terrible poker face. I shake my head and scowl at nonsense, I grin and nod when I think you're doing the right thing, I shrug when I am lukewarm on an argument, I cock my head and raise my eyebrows if I am confused, and I chuckle if you make reference to any of these reactions in the speech (which I am fine with).
4. I like music and will listen to it during prep time. I enjoy most music - I almost went to school for jazz composition, and regularly listen to hip hop, punk, blues, and metal, as well as lots in between. Any high school debater can suggest a song for me to listen to during prep, and if I like it, I will bump everyone's speaks by 0.1 - there's no penalty if I decide I dislike it.
5. I am inclined to evaluate arguments based on the warrants and implications more than the tag/"claim". If the 2AC says "perm, do both - the counterplan is included in normal means for a way the aff could be implemented, which means it's not inherently a logical opportunity cost to the aff" and warrants accordingly, I will evaluate this argument the same way I would as perm do the counterplan, because that's obviously what it is, and if I can pick up on that, the block should too. That means if the block just answers this argument by saying "do both links to the net benefit", I will be wholly unsympathetic when the 1AR explains why this doesn't apply - I am more inclined to punish debaters who can't flow and comprehend arguments properly than debaters who slightly misuse enthymemes. I put this here because this has mattered in a debate before, but I don't expect it to impact my evaluation of high level debates, more of a learning debater/JV kind of thing. However, if this encourages you to label the econ disad page as "next off, elections" and read your normal 1NC shell, we can laugh when the 2A reads "plan wins swing voters". This is only a default, albeit a very strong one, but could conceivably be reversed with proper debating (see: immanent construction).
6. CX - I consider it a speech. This means I flow it (albeit not as closely as I would a constructive/rebuttal), I think debaters should be held to the things they say in it, and it impacts both my evaluation of the debate and the allocation of speaker points. This also means that, just like constructive and rebuttal speeches, I think one debater from each team should be the primary speaker in each CX - some interjections, elaborations, or clarifications are obviously fine, and even excessive tag teaming will obviously not be disallowed, but it may impact speaks and perception negatively.
7. Flowing is good - stolen from Jake Lee: "You have the doc in front and all you have to do is listen. If I can flow without looking at the doc, you can too!" I am increasingly appalled by the standard of flowing among high school debaters, and questions such as "did you read X card/arg in the doc" are for CX. If you ask this and you haven't started a timer for it yet, I will start one for you. If you ask "can you send a doc without all the cards you didn't read", the other team does not have to do that, because that is not what a marked doc is. As I said, I do not flow off the doc, absent tech issues. If debate is communicative, I think there should be some natural punishment for an inability to communicate. Pop tags, slow down for emphasis, do not go faster than your own clarity threshold allows, etc. Also, if you answer arguments that were not read, but were in the doc, you are getting a 27.5.
8. Ethics challenges/cheating - I have a high bar for voting on it. I do not think power-tagging evidence, cutting an article that concludes the other way later on, etc. are voting issues - you should simply say "this card is bad/concludes neg" as an argument. If you are making the accusation that your opponent has fabricated, miscut, or improperly cited evidence, I will evaluate it with the presumption of good-faith error by the accused. I do not think skipping portions of tags or analytics counts as clipping. Those things are not evidence, so I do not know why they require being held to the standard of evidence ethics. If you are accusing the other team of clipping the highlighted text of evidence, you need a recording to prove it - I will never notice this myself because I will not have docs open during speeches, and I think that if the debate comes down to this debaters have a right to some proof. I will also apply the same standard of good-faith error. This means barring something particularly egregious as to reasonably suggest the criminal negligence if not malicious intent, I will probably err towards not punishing debaters, as I think anything else incentivizes cheap shot wins on dead links in citations, leaving out the last word of a paragraph that was OCR'd badly, or skipping two words in a card on accident. If you read any of these things as a theory argument, I will not flow it, and I will ask after the speech if you are staking the debate on it - if not, I will happily inform your opponent they do not need to answer it. I am open to being asked if I consider certain accusations to meet the threshold of ending the debate on it - my answers will not be negotiable, but they will be honest. I am also willing (I would actually encourage it) to entertain debaters negotiating proportional responses to violations outside of me ending the debate, as I think my role as educator ideally precedes my role as a referee - I'd much rather we all agree to scratch a card that can't be accessed online anymore or that was accidentally clipped than just not have a debate. Otherwise, the party found to be at fault (either the guilty or an incorrect accuser) will receive a loss and the lowest speaks allowed. The other party will get a win and a 28.5/6. All of this goes out the window if the tabroom tells me to do a different thing than what I've outlined above, as their authority obviously supersedes mine.
9. Speaks - they're largely arbitrary, and start at 28.4 for a team I'd expect to go 3-3. I try and keep it relative to the pool - a 30 at TFA State is easier to get than a 30 at GBX (although I don't give out many 30s). Below 28 and I think you are legitimately in the wrong division i.e: go mess around in JV for a bit, below 27.5 and you have done something bad in a moral sense. I tend to reward quality evidence and good argument choice, well-organized speeches, smart and gutsy strategic choices, and debating with character. I tend to penalize unnecessary meanness, bad arguments and cards, and sloppy debating. Not a big believer in low-point wins - if the 2NR makes a dumb decision, but the 2AR doesn't capitalize on it, the 2AR is probably dumber for fumbling a bag. I will not "disclose speaks".
10. When debating a novice/substantially less experienced debater, taking advantage of their inexperience (speeding through a ton of off knowing they can't keep up, going for cheaty counterplans or Ks knowing they won't get it, being obtuse in CX, etc) will be aggressively penalized with low speaks. Like, your cap is a 28. By contrast, giving them the dignity of a full debate without being a dick (slowing down, being extra nice in CX, making the debate smaller, etc) will be generously rewarded. Like, your floor for speaks is a 29. We aren't nice enough to novices and people from smaller, less circuit-y programs, but they are much more important to the long-term health of the activity than any of us.
Good luck, thanks for letting me judge, and see you in round!
I did policy debate at Townview Law Magnet & UTD. Minor experience in LD & World Schools. Currently work with the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance.
Make the debate what you want it to be. I like creativity, think outside of the box, take risks, warrant everything.
Im not partial to anything, nor do I not like to see any particular arguments.
I will be listening to you, not reading your docs.
Feel free to ask me any specific questions.
Assistant Coach @ BVSW
"Using cross-ex as prep" is not a thing that exists. I will not let you do that.
I don't know as much about the economy as you do.
I am very close to just saying everyone needs to debate slow in front of me. Clarity and efficiency matter. I will not clear you. There are some debaters who can be both very fast and clear. You are probably not that debater.
- I won't vote for arguments about a persons worth, or some drama between high school students. I don't think high school students should be coached to attack the quality of another person for the sake of winning a debate round and find it odd that an adult would insert themselves into the lives of high school kids in that way.
- If you only read from your computers, don't look at your flows, have the debate scripted from the first speech, you will get bad speaks. We spend a lot of time getting to tournaments, prepping, sacrificing time doing other things we enjoy. If debate is just a block reading contest, we could save a lot more time not going to tournaments and just submitting speech documents.
Probably fine for everything. Most used to Policy AFF v. K and K AFF v. FW debates.
- I dislike overuse of buzzwords, monologues, jargon. I don't do anything related to debate over the summer. I don't really do research on the topic during the year either.
- Overviews should not exist. Put your arguments on the flow.
I don't like to read evidence when making a decision. I will if I feel I need to. I don't want a card doc.
- Be clear: Slow down and be clear, debate is a communication and persuasion activity.
- Ending rebuttals: should frame my decision. Have a view of the overall round and tell me why you win.
- I've noticed a sharp increase in the amount of time between when prep ends and when you start speaking. There's very little reasons why this should take more than a minute, especially since you just have to click a button to send the document out.
- "Marked copy" does not mean "remove the cards you didn't read." You do not have to do that, and you should not ask your opponents to do that.
T vs. Planless AFFs
-Affirmatives should probably be related to the topic.
-Fairness is an intrinsic good only if debate is also good. If debate is good, usually nothing matters more than fairness. This is why I think affs that are about debate are the most strategic - otherwise it's hard to win that you get to weigh your impacts in front of me since very few non-debate critical affirmatives operate on the same plane as fairness.
Fairness still makes most sense to me as an impact to T-USFG. Most negative clash explanations end up either 1. trying to solve affirmative offense which, oftentimes, ends up being a very defensive strategy or 2. trying to solve some topic education offense which is often an uphill battle against impact turns. I think the most strategic way to go for clash is explaining it as good in and of itself, but usually that explanation ends up resembling fairness. I'm open to hearing most all impacts though.
- Subject formation is persuasive to me if it's about the activity as a whole. I don't think affs need to win subject formation to solve (I typically just vote aff if the aff is a good idea) but I do think they need to win subject formation to access a good amount of their offense. This makes switch side very persuasive to me.
- Thresholds are weird for me, I find myself being pretty hard on affirmative teams to win these debates but at the same time the amount of 2NRs I've heard that are almost purely defense makes me want to rip my hair out. If you explain your argument the best you'll win.
Ks on the Negative
- Links should be to something the AFF does. I don't think you need an alternative.
- Alternatives based in a pure intellectual nature probably just lose to the perm in a world where the affirmative wins framework. Intellectual/epistemology based alternatives should probably lead to something tangible that the perm can't solve.
- Competition - I'm a bit out of my depth when I hear teams trying to defend counterplans that only need to be textually competitive, so it's probably not a good idea to read these in front of me. If you do want to read them I need a great deal more explanation than you'd think, probably.
Feel free to ask if you have any other questions!
Email Chain or questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Speed: Any speed fine. Any argument fine.
Experience: I debated for three years in high school policy debate and two years on the college NDT Circuit. I'm educated as a philosopher and am a criminal defense lawyer. My philosophical training means I really care about logical fallacies and how arguments are posed and answered. Also, I ponder and wonder about big questions so that translates into my debate thinking. I'm a theory hack. Professionally, I defend criminals so I've developed a very thick skin. My love is trying criminal cases so I'm very focused on how folks decide and why, and how to persuade and adapt--oh just like debate. I dislike dogma which is now shockingly rampant on both sides of our current political culture.
FLOW I flow the debate specifically on a sketch pad. Cross X too. If you do not take this into account I'll miss your arguments. That means give me time to turn the page when moving to new arguments and signpost clearly where you going next on the flow (e.g. "on the states counterplan" and give me time to get there.) Connecting arguments - the line-by-line - is essential you don't want me to put the debate together myself. 'I will feel zero remorse if you tell me that I did not decode the word vomit on 2AC 5 subpoint C or the treatise you regurgitated in a 2NC overview. ..It would help me immensely if you used consistent, easily transcribable soundbites' (thanks Shree) and very clear signposting so I can make connections on the flow effortlessly. Long overviews are bad in this same way--put them in the line by line.
Judging Philosophy: Be yourself, because sincerity is transparent and convincing. No argument would cause me to automatically vote against any team, regardless of whether they are labeled politically incorrect, offensive or whatever (I hate dogma.) If a team thinks an argument is morally wrong tell me why I should not vote for it. I HAVE NO DEFAULT OR PREFERRED JUDGING PARADIGM. I'll follow what the round dictates. Nor have I any theory preferences that I apply to my evaluation. I like theory debates and listening to debate arguments about what debate or the theory should be and why. Alot. I expect the debaters to tell me how to decide the debate. I don't want to determine which interpretation is better or whether human rights trumps extinction. The best teams will compare evidence, indict arguments (qualifications or warrants), and resolve debate questions.
Online Debate: Online debate is terrible both as it deemphasizes persuasion intangibles and fails to replicate the community and support of an in-person tournament. But it is better than not debating. Judges should have their camera on during all speeches as debaters need to assess judge reactions and attention. Competitors should have their cameras on during their speeches and cross x so judges can see non-verbal cues to assign speaker points.
Both policy and kritik debates thrill me when there is clash and great intellectual battles. I'm current on most K literature but that is a double-edged sword. I'll probably understand your Kritik, but I have a higher threshold for what you must articulate. And I'll know when you superficially understand your authors or the literature base.
- - Poor DAs/Advantages/K links: More and more I see DAs and 1AC advantages with poor link evidence and then severe brink and obvious uniqueness issues. Often these go unchallenged by opposing teams in a rush to simply read their evidence blocks. A few analytics or even a well reasoned cross-ex questions could destroy some of these disadvantages. Solid analytics will be rewarded with higher speaker points.
- - Evidence Comparison: Great debaters evaluate, compare and attack evidence. There is good evidence and bad evidence; good sources and lousy sources. Quality of evidence is very important to me. I'll be reading along with your speech doc and reading evidence in your prep time.
- - Cross-x: It's not simply your partner's prep time or to get cards you missed. It's another opportunity to make your arguments. You are welcome to do cross x anyway you want but best speaker points are awarded to those who answer their own cross x. And when you find a soft spot in their answers go for the kill and savor it. It's a rare and beautiful thing...as close to a Perry Mason moment as you'll ever find because they don't happen in court, ever. In the 1994 CEDA finals, James Brian Johnston from UKMC as 2AC, questions 2NC Dave Devereux (KSU) and his questioning beginning around 51 minutes into the video is, for me, a perfectly executed aggressive and brilliant cross-examination. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7L5N3Jvg8A&feature=youtu.be
- - Speaker Points I won't give fewer than 26 for any reason. For me, 29 indicates a very good speech with few mistakes. Wake Forest University devised a speaker point scale to attempt to universalize speaker points and I tend to follow it: http://collegedebateratings.weebly.com/points-scale.html
The best debaters I see don't simply bury their heads in their laptop and spread; they actually look at the judge periodically and persuade, particularly in 2NR and 2ar. Watch the 2002 Ceda Finals and see Calum Matheson's 2nc or Jason Regnier's 2ac or 2ar for great examples. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpU21fxfAD4&feature=youtu.be .
Debate is about winning so be assertive even aggressive. Not rude or exclusive but go after your point with passion. We are in the persuasion business and enthusiasm is contagious. Have fun. A sense of humor is priceless (and rare) in a round.
Debated for 4 years at Washburn Rural High School (Class of '22) largely as a 2A, now an assistant for Greenhill.
Currently Undergraduate Class of '26 at the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School of Business)
I am not super familiar with the high school debate topic, so please make sure you explain your arguments to me without using topic jargon and debate with the assumption that I have not done the weeks of background research that you have.
Most familiar with policy-style arguments and affs with a plan text. My partner and I started running kritiks in our later years of high school debate, so I am familiar with Cap and Set Col. Other kritiks I will need a higher level of explanation on to understand your argument. For high level, complicated theory debates I am less confident about, so keep that in mind. By no means does this mean you can't go for topicality in front of me, it just means you need to simplify the argument and tell me explicitly why it outweighs the other team's standards.
There should be a warrant attached to each claim/argument that you make. If you extend an argument but only make a claim, I will not flow it as an argument in the round, because the argument is incomplete.
I tend to be persuaded by strong internal link chains and a good quality of evidence over very large impacts with weak internal link chains, especially if successfully exploited by the other team. I'm willing to vote for a structural violence impact over nuclear war if a team wins the framing that I should prefer it. I don't think it's enough to win an impact just by claiming that you have a larger one, as you still need to be able to explain to me why your impact will happen as supported by evidence.
Do not be rude. It does not make you look better to me by being rude to the other team in cross-ex or making personal attacks to your opponents. For some reason it's the cool new debate culture to be rude to the other team in order to look better to judges and maximize your chances of winning. It's really not cool. Your speaker points will suffer, and I'm not afraid to vote a team down if they are being offensive and creating an unsafe environment. Be polite and respectful. Yes, it is possible to win a debate round that way.
2nd year out. Spent most of my time in policy debates going for impact turns and process counterplans.
I will vote for anything. I care about tech enough to vote for dropped aspec. K affs, T usfg, excessive negative fiat, and conditionality (condo bad, read by the aff) are all winnable in front of me. If I was a hack who only voted for arguments I agreed with I would be an excellent judge for infinite condo and extra topical aff plans.
For Pittsburgh locals: I flow. I don't want to hear "voting issues". I'd like it if your final speeches are ordered "my case your case". Do weighing at the top of your speech and then stick to line by line for the rest.
clash of civilizations
Best for framework 2nrs that go for clash and I think switch side is magic and solves all but the most well thought out framework impact turns.
In practice I vote against fairness only framework 2nrs a lot on a small risk of some external impact to the K teams framework DA outweighing. If you think you can win basically terminal defense to all the K team's offense I'll vote for you but that seems like a very high bar.
Generic "no subject formation" blocks are fine but I think framework teams would often be better playing internal link defense to the specific predictions about subject formation the K team has made.
There is a difference between "no subject formation" (ballots don't influence what debaters believe in real life) and "no norm setting" (ballots don't influence what debaters say in round).
I debated for a year in college at UTD for a Year, Coached at LFS for 3 years and now at Blue valley North. In HS I debated at BVSW and consitantly cleared at TOC tournaments my senior year.
Put me on the email chain maxwell[dot]mccarty[at]gmail[dot]com
Tech > Truth
- I have a lot less topic experience/knowledge than I have had on previous topics. I will definitely need more explaining of things than people who worked at or taught at camps over the summer. This will still be true throughout the season as I spend less time thinking about the topic than in previous years. Simply because I am less involved.
- Over the last couple years of judging I have noticed a trend of people flying through analytics at top speed off the speech doc, if you want me to flow them it is in your best interest to slow down here. If you are doing this and not realizing it my body language will definitely tell you I am not flowing.
- I will not evaluate arguments about an individual's character or behavior that occurred outside of the debate. Serious, good faith concerns should be brought to the tournament administration, not to the judge of a debate, if you have issue before the round, tournament, etc.
- not great/terrible for K v K debates, would rather be upfront for you. Doesn’t mean that I won't try my hardest for you all but it has never been in my realm of expertise, link/perm work is a must, with more explanation than you usually might do
T: As mentioned I have little to no experience with this topic, for T debates that means I need more explanation of what what they competing versions of the topic look like. I think the internal link and impact level of these debates often gets lost, and because of that I found reasonability to be more compelling than I used to in some debates.
Theory: I would certainly prefer to judge debates about the substance of the aff vs the neg, however theory debates are inevitable and here are some quick thoughts:
- I think more teams should go for it, but it should be unique to the debate. I find general arguments of copy and pasted blocks through each speech rather boring and repetitive, and will often conclude there is little offense to reject another team or argument on this. Ways you can fix this, make it unique to the debate ie: "it is not just that they read 4 condo, but the nature of all 4 "doing the whole aff", in tandem with how "CP competition works on this topic makes it uniquely bad..."
- I do generally find condo to be good, doesn’t mean I wont vote for it but it should have nuance to it vs passed down blocks.
I generally think affs should be about hypothetical government action on the topic. However that is my opinion and I will do my best to leave it at the door. I tend to vote 50/50 in these debates here are something that may be helpful for you.
- I generally find arguments about fairness compelling vs arguments about truth testing etc.
- I think clash in these debates are good. Teams need to apply their arguments to what has happened in round. This means you probably shouldn't be reading the same blocks every debate. If your aff this means a 1ar that is contextual to the block. If your neg this means actually answering the DAs the 2ac read etc.
- round vision and the ballot: I should know what voting aff or neg does. A lot of the time this is likely done via impact calc but can often be lost and makes it much harder. By the end of the 2ar I shouldn’t have to re read the 1ac to determine that or by the end of the 2nr I should have to re read the 1nc to determine that etc.
They are great, Impact calc is great it should be done! Link arguments are only as specific or generic as you make them. If you read a generic one that is fine, but spin can make it more specific etc. Same is true with link and internal link defense.
I love them, they should probably compete with the aff. That can certainly be a debate to be had, but generally I find that in debates where teams are technically equal the truth of the argument typically shapes that tech.
I think of Ks as a cp with a net benefit, the more specific it is to the aff the more likely I am to vote on it. I’m not well read in lit at all so explanation goes a long way. I think you should have a somewhat specific link to the aff. I do feel like at the end of the debate the aff should get to weigh the 1ac, in what context is up for debate but im very hard to convince otherwise. Link of omissions are nonstarters. My advice is go for what you are most comfortable with and I will do my best as a judge to leave my biases at the door and evaluate the debate.
This is is a lost art. I think more teams need to be willing to engage with the aff. This can be done on a substance level, impact turns, smart analytical arguments, theory, etc. I have no issue with the neg reading as many offcase args as you want, but if you are doing so at the expense of a well developed case debate than don’t be surprised if I conclude a high risk of the aff, when there is little engagement with it.
Other things/pet peeves
-I think there is a fine line between being an ass and being competitive. If done well your speaks will be rewarded but if done wrong you will not be happy with them rule of thumb don’t be an ass, be respectful and have fun.
-physically mark your cards. if you do not and another team asks for a marked copy I will make you take prep within my arbitrary judgement of what that is.
- you must physically read the rehighlighting of the other teams cards simply saying “I have inserted a rehighlighting here” is not an argument in any sense please read the card. The only exception to this is if it is a small part of a card and you have explained the argument it makes in your speech.
-Clipping will result with a loss with 0 speaks. I do follow along in speech docs so if I see you doing it I won’t hesitate. If you call someone out for it you must have audio evidence of it.
Debated at KCKCC and Wichita State
Two years of coaching at Wichita State, 3 years at Hutchinson High School in Kansas, two years at Kapaun Mt. Carmel, now at Blue Valley Southwest.
Stop reading; debate. Reading blocks is not debating. You will not get higher than a 28.3 from me if you cant look away from your computer and make an argument.
I've seen deeper debates in slow rounds than I've seen in "fast" rounds the last couple years. "Deep" does not mean quantity of arguments, but quality and explanation of arguments.
Talk about the affirmative. I've judged so many debates the last couple years where the affirmative is not considered after the 1AC. Impact defense doesn’t count. I don't remember the last time my decision included anything about impact defense that wasn't dropped.
I am not a fan of process counterplans. I’m not auto-vote against them, but I think they’ve produced a lazy style of debating. I don’t understand why we keep coming up with more convoluted ways to make non-competitive counterplans competitive instead of just admitting they aren’t competitive and moving on with our lives.
I'm not good for the K. I spent most of my time debating going for these arguments, have coached multiple teams to go for them, so I think I understand them well. I've been trying to decide if it's about the quality of the debating, or just the argument, but I think I just find these arguments less and less persuasive. Maybe its just the links made on this topic, but it's hard for me to believe that giving people money, or a job, doesn't materially make peoples lives better which outweighs whatever the impact to the link you're going for. I don't think I'm an auto-vote aff, but I haven't voted for a K on this topic yet.
If you decide to go for the K, I care about link contextualization much more than most judges. The more you talk about the aff, the better your chances of winning. I dislike the move to never extend an alternative, but I understand the strategic choice to go for framework + link you lose type strategies.
An affirmative winning capitalism, hegemony, revisionism true/good, etc. is a defense of the affirmatives research and negative teams will have a hard time convincing me otherwise.
I think K affirmatives, most times, don't make complete arguments. They often sacrifice solvency for framework preempts. I understand the decision, but I would probably feel better about voting for an affirmative that doesn't defend the topic if it did something.
Zero risk is real. Read things other than impact defense. Cross-ex is important for creating your strategy and should be utilized in speeches. Don’t be scared to go for theory.I will not vote on something that happened outside of a debate, or an argument that requires me to make a judgement about a high school kid's character.
Don't clip. Clarity issues that make it impossible to follow in the doc is considered clipping.
Updated Sept 5, 2022
Jesuit College Prep - for a long while; back in the day undergrad debate - Baylor U
Please use email@example.com for speech docs. I do want to be in the email chain.
However, I don't check that email a lot while not at tournaments - so if you need to reach me not at a tournament, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reason for update - I have updated my judging paradigm not because my fundamental views of debate have changed, really. BUT , as one of my labbies put it this summer, apparently the detail of my previous paradigm was "scary". So, I have tried to distill down some of the most important ways I evaluate debate.
Clash - it's good - which means you need to flow and not script your speeches. LBL with some clear references to where you're at = good. Line by line isn't answer the previous speech in order - it's about grounding the debate in the 2ac on off case, 1nc on case.
Dates and "real world" matter - with WMD after 9/11 and immigration during Trump as close rivals, this topic seems one of the most current event influenced debate topics I've experienced. Obviously I mean this in terms of Russia invasion on Feb 24, 2022 - but I also mean in the sense of Madrid Summitt and new Strategic Concept as it relates to the areas; new president in the US as of 2021 with very different policies about NATO and IR; etc. You do not need evidence to integrate current events into your argument - you do need an explanation about why dates matter - ie what's happened that the other team's arguments don't assume. But these arguments can go far in my mind to reduce risk of a DA or an advantage - so you should make these arguments and use as indicts of the other team's evidence as appropriate. . I am persuaded by teams that call out other teams based on their evidence quality, author quals, lack of highlighting (meaning they read little of the evidence
Process CPs and other neg trickeration - it's such a good topic that I would definitely prefer to see topic specific arguments. This means that there are some process CPs or other debates grounded in the lit that are really good debates; there are some that are not. Particularly as the season progresses, I would expect a discussion of what normal means is - both on the aff and the neg to justify process-y cps.
DAs - it's possible to win zero risk that the DA is an opportunity cost to the aff.
Ks - specific links are good. You should have a sense on the aff and the neg what FW is going to get you in a debate.
K affs - should be tied to the topic in some way. If they aren't, then neg args with topical versions or ways to access the education the K aff offers through the resolution are usually persuasive to me. If the aff has a K of the topic, that's great offense that negs need to have an answer. I don't think that debate is just a game. Its a competitive activity that does shape our political subjectivity.
T - if you have a good violation and reasons why an aff should be excluded, by all means read it. If you are just reading it as a "time suck" then, meh, read more substance. And, an argument that ends in -spec is usually an uphill battle unless it's clever [this cleverness standard does preclude generally a- and o-]
Impact turns - topic specific one = good; generic ones - more meh
New affs are good - and don't need to be disclosed before a debate if it's truly the very first time that someone at your school has read the argument. But new affs may justify theoretically sketchy args by the neg - you can integrate that into the theory debate, you don't need a new affs bad 1nc arg to do that.
Be nice to each other - it's possible to be competitive without being overly sassy.
Modality matters - when you are debating in person, remember that people can hear you talk to your partner and you should have a line of sight with the judge. If you are online, make sure that your camera is on when possible to create some engagement with the judge.
Email chains are good. Include me email@example.com
Debate Coach @ Coppell (9th Grade Center and Coppell High School)
I will work hard to be the best judge possible for your debate. I will flow your speeches and cross-ex and base my decisions as much as possible on your words. I love debate and know how much work you put into it and the least I can do is be the best judge I can be for you. Tech over truth. I’m doubling down here this year because so few judges do this in practice. I would rather vote for high quality execution of untruthful argument that is won than interject myself into the debate.
Some thoughts you may care about when doing your pref sheet in no particular order:
1. I don't have any massive preferences in terms of argument content. Please forward a well-developed ballot story. Compare methods and offense. I don't care what you do as long as you do what you do best. Tell me what you want me to vote on. Judge instructions are good. I prefer lbl to long overviews.
2. Evidence quality matters a great deal to me. I enjoy debates where cross-ex is spent digging in on your opponents claims and referencing their ev. Re-highlighted evidence should be read.
3. T - I didn’t work at camp all summer on this topic so please don’t assume I know your security cooperation buzzwords for T arguments. I rarely see 2nr’s that go for T unless a massive mistake has been made by the aff. If you've done the I default to competing interpretations and honestly am finding it harder to know what reasonability even looks like.
4. FW - A lot of people say they end up in a lot of clash debates. I don't know if this is meant to be a flex, if they've collected data and done the math, if there are just more of those debates these days, or it's just a gut feeling.
If I'm being completely honest, I don't think I end up in a lot of debates because of the school I coach, which is understandable. I am much more likely to vote for T than you may think. I vote aff when the neg goes for too much (more than 1 impact) or is sloppy and disorganized. Doing prep against the tendencies of the team you are debating will serve you well in front of me. You should know what evidence they use from the 1ac or are likely to read in the 2ac to justify their counterinterp. What impact turns are they likely to read? The Neg teams that have specific prep tend to do much better in front of me. Fairness is the often the most persuasive impact to me. I tend to believe that unlimited models of debate have no meaningful role for the neg team and are undesirable. That usually means the aff should be related to the topic in some way. Aff team's lose when they make mistakes on the tvota and on switch-side, the limits debate (counterinterp explanation), or isn’t spending time making offensive arguments (or grappling with neg offense).
5. K - Like most judges, case-specifc links pulled from ev, tags/rhetoric, established in cx, etc. are what I'm looking for. Framing rarely informs my decisions and to much time is usually invested here by both teams. I am not usually persuaded by arguments that say that aff offense just poof goes away if the neg is ahead on framing. Please doof my of us a favor and stay organized. I do appreciate clear labels for the different portions of the debate on the k. Please stick to the line-by-line. Short overviews are ok.
6. CP - Case-specfic is best here again. There's almost nothing better than specific cp with high quality evidence. 2ac permutation explanations are your friend. Later in the debate, I tend to think your explanations are just flat out new and not spin. Just invest a bit more time to unpack yourinital permutations. I generally lean aff on consult (but am much more comfortable with them on the NATO topic) and neg on PIC’s
7. DA - I'm going to miss cutting bbb updates as much as the rest of you. Seriously though, da’s, including the not as bad politics da, can be great. Impact calc and scenario comparison is super important here. Creative spin is welcome. Zero risk is possible and extremely small risk of an extinction scenario can matter a great deal or not much at all depending on the evidence and analysis accompanying these arguments.
8. Theory - I started off my career focusing on ld. Trust me, I've evaluated a ton of these debates. Please don’t read this as an excuse to read frivolous theory. There is a reason I embraced policy debate in my heart and I've chosen to invest my time here.
Yes, I want to be on the email chain, please put both emails on the chain.
I attempted to resist the point inflation that seems to happen everywhere these days, but I decided that was not fair to the teams/debaters that performed impressively in front of me.
27.7 to 28.2 - Average
28.3 to 28.6 - Good job
28.7 to 29.2 - Well above average
29.3 to 29.7 - Great job/ impressive job
29.8 to 29.9 - Outstanding performance, better than I have seen in a long time. Zero mistakes and you excelled in every facet of the debate.
30 - I have not given a 30 in years and years, true perfection.
I am willing to listen to most arguments. There are very few debates where one team wins all of the arguments so each of you must identify what you are winning and make the necessary comparisons between your arguments and the other team's arguments/positions. Speed is not a problem although clarity is essential. If I think that you are unclear I will say clearer and if you don't clear up I will assign speaker points accordingly. Try to be nice to each other and enjoy yourself. Good cross-examinations are enjoyable and typically illuminates particular arguments that are relevant throughout the debate. Please, don't steal prep time. I do not consider e-mailing evidence as part of your prep time nonetheless use e-mailing time efficiently.
I enjoy substantive debates as well as debates of a critical tint. If you run a critical affirmative you should still be able to demonstrate that you are Topical/predictable. I hold Topicality debates to a high standard so please be aware that you need to isolate well-developed reasons as to why you should win the debate (ground, education, predictability, fairness, etc.). If you are engaged in a substantive debate, then well-developed impact comparisons are essential (things like magnitude, time frame, probability, etc.). Also, identifying solvency deficits on counter-plans is typically very important.
Theory debates need to be well developed including numerous reasons a particular argument/position is illegitimate. I have judged many debates where the 2NR or 2AR are filled with new reasons an argument is illegitimate. I will do my best to protect teams from new arguments, however, you can further insulate yourself from this risk by identifying the arguments extended/dropped in the 1AR or Negative Bloc.
GOOD LUCK! HAVE FUN!
LD June 13, 2022
A few clarifications... As long as you are clear you can debate at any pace you choose. Any style is fine, although if you are both advancing different approaches then it is incumbent upon each of you to compare and contrast the two approaches and demonstrate why I should prioritize/default to your approach. If you only read cards without some explanation and application, do not expect me to read your evidence and apply the arguments in the evidence for you. Be nice to each other. I pay attention during cx. I will not say clearer so that I don't influence or bother the other judge. If you are unclear, you can look at me and you will be able to see that there is an issue. I might not have my pen in my hand or look annoyed. I keep a comprehensive flow and my flow will play a key role in my decision. With that being said, being the fastest in the round in no way means that you will win my ballot. Concise well explained arguments will surely impact the way I resolve who wins, an argument advanced in one place on the flow can surely apply to other arguments, however the debater should at least reference where those arguments are relevant. CONGRATULATIONS & GOOD LUCK!!!
LD Paradigm from May 1, 2022
I will update this more by May 22, 2022
I am not going to dictate the way in which you debate. I hope this will serve as a guide for the type of arguments and presentation related issues that I tend to hear and vote on. I competed in LD in the early 1990's and was somewhat successful. From 1995 until present I have primarily coached policy debate and judged CX rounds, but please don't assume that I prefer policy based arguments or prefer/accept CX presentation styles. I expect to hear clearly every single word you say during speeches. This does not mean that you have to go slow but it does mean incomprehensibility is unacceptable. If you are unclear I will reduce your speaker points accordingly. Going faster is fine, but remember this is LD Debate.
Despite coaching and judging policy debate the majority of time every year I still judge 50+ LD rounds and 30+ extemp. rounds. I have judged 35+ LD rounds on the 2022 spring UIL LD Topic so I am very familiar with the arguments and positions related to the topic.
I am very comfortable judging and evaluating value/criteria focused debates. I have also judged many LD rounds that are more focused on evidence and impacts in the round including arguments such as DA's/CP's/K's. I am not here to dictate how you choose to debate, but it is very important that each of you compare and contrast the arguments you are advancing and the related arguments that your opponent is advancing. It is important that each of you respond to your opponents arguments as well as extend your own positions. If someone drops an argument it does not mean you have won debate. If an argument is dropped then you still need to extend the conceded argument and elucidate why that argument/position means you should win the round. In most debates both sides will be ahead on different arguments and it is your responsibility to explain why the arguments you are ahead on come first/turns/disproves/outweighs the argument(s) your opponent is ahead on or extending. Please be nice to each other. Flowing is very important so that you ensure you understand your opponents arguments and organizationally see where and in what order arguments occur or are presented. Flowing will ensure that you don't drop arguments or forget where you have made your own arguments. I do for the most part evaluate arguments from the perspective that tech comes before truth (dropped arguments are true arguments), however in LD that is not always true. It is possible that your arguments might outweigh or come before the dropped argument or that you can articulate why arguments on other parts of the flow answer the conceded argument. I pay attention to cross-examinations so please take them seriously. CONGRATULATIONS for making it to state!!! Each of you should be proud of yourselves! Please, be nice in debates and treat everyone with respect just as I promise to be nice to each of you and do my absolute best to be predictable and fair in my decision making. GOOD LUCK!
From the beginning, I think debaters need to understand that I was never a policy debater myself. I took over a successful team at Caddo when they needed faculty support, and the debaters and alums taught me the activity. Over the next fifteen years I learned enough to teach it to novices and intermediates. I judged actively for about fifteen years, but since bringing a new coach to our school seven years ago, I have not been in many rounds. If you want someone who is going to understand clipped references to acronyms or core camp affs that you think everyone already knows on the NATO topic, I am not that guy. You are going to have to break things down and explain. I am a flow judge, but very rusty.
Now, Caddo has been known as a fairly critical team over the last decade, and I have learned to appreciate those arguments a good bit. As someone who teaches sociology, psychology, and philosophy at my high school, I am sympathetic to many identity arguments, critiques of epistemology, etc. However, I am not going to be down with a lot of jargon-filled blocks on framework—you must explain why I should weigh your project or method against fairness arguments of the policy world. I like the kind of literature discussed in critical rounds, but I have voted for policy affs outweighing a critique in different debates, especially where the aff won the framework and the neg did not.
That being said, I am very comfortable listening to case, disad, counterplan rounds. I think topicality sets important rules of the game & so if you plan to flout those rules, you better have a compelling reason. I certainly value the kind of knowledge and skills that policy debaters learn through the activity.
Ethos matters. We all know how important cross-ex is to establishing a confident position, but don’t be rude. If you can have a really competitive round and still treat your opponent—and your partner!—with respect, then that goes a long way with me on speaker points.
Email chain—yes. firstname.lastname@example.org
I am not a proficient enough typist to flow on the laptop, but if you signpost your arguments well enough, I should be able to flow a debate at speed. Being able to read the evidence during the speech certainly helps me though.
Do what you do best in front of me, give full explanations of why I should vote for you, and you will be ok. Make blippy arguments that claim you won because of something that was barely in the debate and dropped by the other team—then no matter how pissed you act when “post-rounding” me at the end, you will still have lost.
This is a great activity. Have fun with it & don’t take yourself too seriously, then we all win.
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
***The big picture***
1. I have 17 years of involvement with debate. I debated in high school and in college at Garden City (2006-2010) and Kansas State (2011, 2014-2017), respectively. In high school I did "traditional" policy debate, and in college I did critical and performance style debate. I read poetry and talked about queer and trans people of color, Chicanx people, decolonial feminist studies, performance studies, etc. I coached high school debate in Kansas for the last 7 years, and this is my first year coaching at UTSA.
2. Debate is a persuasive activity, so your primary objective should be to persuade me to vote for you.
3. I try to be as open-minded as possible, and I will base my decision on the things that happen in the round. That being said, I embody a lived experience, and I will not pretend that I can separate myself from that. I am a queer chicanx man, and I acknowledge that my positionality influences how I move in the world.
4. Do "you" - Be yourself to the best degree possible, and I will be happy. I believe the beauty of debate is that students get power and control over how they express themselves through argumentation.
5. Please don't annoy me about these two things. Prep-stealing and evidence sharing. When you say you are done with prep, I expect you to be ready to give your roadmap and share evidence.
Disadvantages are very important and underutilized in debate. I love a good disad debate. To win a disad in front of me you will need (at least) a unique link and an impact. You should explain why the disadvantage turns and outweighs the case, and you should compare impacts. If you're reading politics, then you should know that I am NOT a news watcher, so you should be explaining your politics disad. Also, I generally dislike politics disads because their stories feel like pieced together lies. I'm not saying I won't vote for them, but it'll be an uphill battle for you.
Counterplans are cool. I am more likely to be persuaded by counterplans that do the following: (1) have text that is clear and understandable and/or well explained, (2) solves the affirmative, or at least enough of the affirmative to outweigh the aff impacts, (3) have a net benefit or external impact that only the counterplan can solve.
Process counterplans (such as executive orders CPs, courts CPs, etc.) are typically less persuasive to me, but I will vote for them if they solve the aff and have a net benefit.
PICS (Plan inclusive counterplans) are cool, but they should have some basic theoretical defense as to why PICing out of part of the aff is legitimate and good.
I enjoy them. To win a K in front of me you will need to win a framing question, a link to the affirmative, and an impact or implication. You should read an alternative, but I am willing to consider voting for a K without an alternative if you tell me why I should. I have a pretty good foundation on critical literature, but you should not assume I have read your literature base. Dense theoretical concepts should be unpacked. Explain how the alt solves the links/impacts.
On the affirmative, if you don't answer the K's framework I will be less persuaded by the affirmative.
I think topicality debates can be really good and fun to watch when they are done well. I am persuaded by the following: (1) A reasonable definition and interpretation (2) A well-defined violation, or an explanation of how the affirmative is outside of the resolution, (3) Standards, or defense of why your interpretation is the best way to determine what is topical/untopical. and (4) voters, or reasons why I should vote on topicality in this particular debate.
If the negative doesn't win standards and voters I am way less likely to be persuaded to vote negative on topicality.
I don't have the quickest ear any more. I need pen time and I need moments where you are speaking to me and not at me. Spreading on zoom doesn't work for me. I cannot keep up and I'm going to be fully honest about it.
- Jesuit Dallas '21 - Debated Education, Immigration, Arms Sales, and Criminal Justice Reform (If this matters)
- A&M '25
- 2N/1A - 1 year (Freshman year)
- 2A/1N - 3 years
- Email for email chains and speech docs: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com (email my personal email for questions about past rounds/general questions; for questions, just give me a couple days to respond)
-- For GDI, just use my personal
- Line By Line matters, clash is key (I will auto number Case args and the 2AC block, if it isn't numbered)
- Please be nice
- My coaches have impacted my view of debate a lot (Tracy McFarland and Dan Lingel), along with my fellow Jesuit Class of 2021 and some alum
- All of these are just my initial views on certain things but obviously my mind can be changed based on who did the better debating
- Evidence comparison is great
- Read your re-highlightings in round unless it doesn't makes sense to do it
- Underviews and overviews that aren't used for judge instruction aren't useful for anyone
- CX is a useful reference to refer to in speeches, I'll try to pay attention
- Short Overviews --X------- Long Overviews
- Explanations X--------- Enthymemes
- Tech ----X----- Truth
- Don't steal ev and disclosure is good, re-highlighting or recutting a card is different than using a card from another team in a debate (I can help with giving access to pdfs/articles, especially if they're Jesuit cut). Also don't clip
- Pretty sure I start speaker points in the 28.5-28.7 range and adjust accordingly (just cause speaker point inflation)
- I will try to read the important ev after the round, especially if you flag it down (probably will ask for a card doc if it's a close debate)
- There's a huge difference between card dumping and reading well warranted cards, please do the latter
- Please feel free to ask any clarifying questions before and after the round
- PLEASE don't read any advocacy advocating for suicide, I will vote you down if you do end up advocating for suicide (There are explicit arguments for that phrase that the authors who use it have, USE THAT EXPLANATION, you are still open to criticisms of that phrase to begin with). Regardless, I personally think there are 100% much better indicts for util/extinction impacts.
- Feel free to ask if you need a clarification of my RFD, I sometimes ramble
FOR NOVICES - Novice year really pushed me to want to continue debate so make sure to have fun and ask questions, I'll do my best to explain the argument and what your answer could've been.
FOR ONLINE DEBATE - I'd ideally like everyone's camera to be on during the debate, or at least when you're giving a speech, but I understand if there's technical problems that mean it's not possible. PLEASE start slightly slower, I have good quality headphones now but like if your mic is peaking I'm just not gonna properly process what you're saying
Econ Topic Specific Thoughts/Ramblings
- Rounds Judged: 3
- T over what "financial redistribution" is seems important
- Speaking of which, while online, go like 70-80% your speed just cause I can't evaluate analytics and rebuttals that I didn't catch (You can gradually grow your speed but if I don't understand, I'll ask to clear) (this applies to both online and in person)
- Majority of my 1NRs were either a DA or T
- Good T debates are really fun to watch and judge, clear up impacts and how your interp best accesses those
- I default to competing interpretations (Reasonability requires you to win some semblance of a we meet or your Counter interp resolving limits)
- Caselists are very very important
- Limits is important but limits for the sake of limits is bad
- Ev should be read in T debates (either interps or what their interp would justify; If you can read a solvency advocate for what their interp would include, that would be very impressive and gives Neg's game on the limits debate), call out interps that aren't related to the topic (PLEASE DON'T JUST CARD DUMP, especially if your interps contradict or aren't in the context of the res, cause the 1AR will be very persuasive to me if they point that out)
- That being said, Interps should probably be in the context of the res, Aff's should either point out it doesn't or draw lines from their interp to prove we meet
- Please make these clean, messy T debates are really easy to just happen and not pog
- Procedurals should have some relation to the res
- Extra-T and Effects T are both cool, but need thorough explanation (I would know cause some 1NRs I would just say it without like a decent explanation). Will definitely vote on it though (probably Extra more than Effects cause Extra is more common)
- Specific DAs = pogtastic
- There can be 0% risk of a DA
- It's very important that DAs have some form of external impact compared to the Aff, please do impact calc that frames the impact stories and their interaction (through like turns case or time frame/probability/magnitude)
- Evidence specificity is important when it comes to DAs
- Politics DAs are potentially alive now, stay within reason, I value recent ev over tech (unless you're spinning the ev harder than Beyblades), I also need you stay coherent with the link story
- Diversify Links and give them some short, flowable labels
- Sufficiency framing should work for most things except structural violence impacts
- Smart, specific CPs are great combined with specific DAs
- Creative Perms are good
- CPs should be competitive, at least functionally if not both textually and functionally
- Affs should call out shady CPs (i.e. the process of the CP or how the CP would solve the Aff)
- Clear up the technical parts of process CPs as I can get lost in the jargon when it's not explained clearly
- I won't automatically judge kick (I also am adverse to judge kick)
- A K was in all of my 1NCs except for one round my senior year (the break down is something like 55% Abolition, 35% Cap/Historical Materialism, 5% Security, 5% Settler Biopolitics, and then like 0.1% Borders)
- FW is pretty important for both the Aff and the Neg but isn't useful when it isn't explained in relation to the rest of the K args
- I'm still confused with high theory Ks (like pomo type stuff, am familiar with the theories but the more vocab you throw at me the more I'm gonna get lost)(race/identity based stuff I'm super familiar with and am comfortable deciding on as long as it doesn't get messy) but I'll do my best (I've run Cap/Historical Materialism, Borders, Deschooling, Security, Abolition, and Bioptx and debated a plethora)
- Link stories are important and explaining exactly what part of the Aff you are kritiking
- Overviews that require a page or half of my flow are not good and will annoy me, ESPECIALLY if you start doing just all the K work on the other page, cause then what's the point of that initial K flow
- Case debating is very important, I'll give the Aff leeway on weighing the Case vs the K if there's 0 contestation throughout the debate/in the 2NR (i.e. Case impacts, value of debating the Aff on FW, Perm explanation, etc.). Neg's can challenge this by either A) actually implicating case args with the K or B) on the K flow, explaining how it relates to the mechanisms of the 1AC/Aff, if that make sense
- K alts must be explained (i.e. explain how the world of the alt would look and how resolves the links), they are often the weakest parts of the K so please try to explain them in some way that resolves the links and the Aff (I use the language of resolve because the Alt doesn't need to "solve" but like prove how the Alt addresses the bad assumptions of the Aff and the harms that the Aff attempts to address); Also, please don't make your K's just sad tarnished case turns.
- Diversify the Links (either with cards, how they explained the Aff would function, or how the Aff is written), if you read generic evidence, please explain how it relates to the Aff and how the Aff is what the card is talking about (generic links are probably alright if they relate to the Aff in some aspect, i.e. if the card doesn't have x part of the Aff in the card or mentions the Aff in any capacity, the Neg should explain why the card still applies)
- I have experience running and debating K Affs (ran some during camp and basically my entire senior year)
- Explain what voting for you means and what my vote means in the context of the Aff (I know that I vote for the better debater, at least that is my default understanding of what the ballot means, but what is the advocacy/worldview of the Aff), both sides must explain the importance of the ballot in relation to the Aff (There's a big difference between advocating for a method related to the topic vs pointing out how x thing is racist and that's bad, etc.; Just because I read K Affs doesn't mean I won't vote on presumption if I have no idea why I vote Aff or what the Aff's method is trying to accomplish)
- Please have some form of advocacy, related to the topic, that you can defend throughout the debate (Don't shift it because it confuses me more and probably gives more leverage to T/FW; consistency is key for Aff offense and fighting the zump)
- I'm much more persuaded on Models of Debate discussions paired with turns/offense over straight Impact turns to education and fairness (doesn't mean I won't vote on education and fairness turns, I just happen to be more familiar with these debates over Counter Interps/Models of Debate)
- T/FW - Debate is a game (a very fun game), Fairness is more of an internal link (Like debate is a game but education/portable skills is stuff we actually get out of round, it's the telos), I prefer Clash/Advocacy Skills/External Impacts over the usual Fairness/Education, TVAs are great and almost always a must. Focus on forwarding offense cause these debates can get compartmentalized, contextualize your blocks (please clash with the args instead of reading your blocks, this goes for both teams) (I find many rounds when I was Aff where I got away with a lot of things b/c of the moving parts of offense). I understand the small distinction between T and FW but at the end, it comes down to models of debate (that is gonna be my default unless you make the distinction clearer for me)
- K's - I understand Historical Materialism/Cap the best out of all the K's in K vs K Aff debates. Probably neutral on whether there are Perms in a method debate (ofc depends on the types of methods engaged in), link debate and framing is where I determine whether I should allow a Perm (FW debate too, probably). Please PLEASE contextualize links to the Aff's method or theory's assumptions, it makes the Link clearer and gives the Aff less room for link turns/Perm explanation.
- Other strats - PICs, procedurals, Counter Advocacies etc. are strategic and interesting. I'll listen to them but will probably evaluate them similar to some of the way I view things above. Feel free to ask specifics.
- Case is/can be important for either 2NR you would go for and some of the Case cards should be cross applied if not referenced. 2NRs not getting to Case gives 2ARs way too much room to use the weight of the Aff vs whatever the 2NR was, which I'm sympathetic to because there wasn't an answer to case (super helpful during my Senior year when Case was like barely anything in the 2NR)
- Theory is pretty cool
- Specific theory = even cooler
- Contextualize it to other arguments run and what happens in the round, this is probably my weakest area to judge a debate on, partly cause if you go too fast, I can't write everything down (PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ACTUALLY COMPARE STANDARDS AND INTERPS, it gets frustrating when both teams just rant about what their interp on theory is, without actually clash between the two)
- Ask if there are any specific views that I have on CPs and other things (Condo is dependent on the situation, PICs are good, Word PICS are 50/50 (probably need a good interp on what words you should be able to PIC out of), Multi-plank CPs with more than one solvency advocate aren't good, Dispo is just spicy Condo, Process CPs are meh, Con-Con and NGAs are boooo)
- This is probably my weakest area to judge (ironic for a former 2A), so please please please make sure that you're clear when spreading through your blocks and make sure that you're doing the right work, because I really don't want to do the comparison for you, especially if I wasn't able to get half your standards
- If I didn't have a DA or T, I always took Case in the 1NR, it showcased how important/helpful it is for in depth case debating that relates back to whatever the 2NC took, whether it was a K or DA or CP
- Offense and defense matters, make sure to frame them
- Impact turns that are smart are great (Won't vote on Racism good, Sexism good, etc.; I don't think I understand Death Good well enough to be able to form an opinion, at least the high theory Baudrillard level of it) (PLEASE don't just card dump, I've done this before and it wasn't clean; if it works against a K Aff go for it)
- 2AR/2NR framing/judge instruction is pretty important and very helpful, didn't realize how important it was until I started listening to some of my speeches, there's a big difference between extending your offense and framing offense against each other and giving me words to write in my ballot and give in the RFD
Blue Valley Southwest - 2016-2019
Currently a student at UT Dallas (not debating)
Affiliations - Blue Valley Southwest, Pace
I look angry, but I'm not. Usually.
Email - tedshi09[at]gmail[dot]com
What you're here for - As a judge, I am willing to listen to any argument (barring ethically suspect arguments). It is always possible to persuade me to vote a certain direction, regardless of my ideological alignment. However, like any judge, there are certain arguments that are a little more difficult to persuade me to vote for, and I believe having some insight on how I debated might clear up some confusion. As a debater, I primarily went for right-leaning, policy arguments. All of my affirmatives had a plan text, and the majority of my 2NRs versus policy affs were either a CP and DA, DA and case, or T. On odd occasions, I went for the K, but those never extended beyond the neolib/security scope of things. Versus K-affs, I never had a 2NR that wasn't framework.
Overall - Debate is a competitive research activity. The bounds of that research are confined within a predetermined topic of discussion. This doesn't necessarily mean that the discussions within debate need to be a policy advocating for USFG action, but they should be centered around the words in the resolution.
Topic - My knowledge regarding this year's topic is approximately zero. Unfortunately I can't be involved as much as I'd like with debate these days. If you're smart, you might be able to use my lack of knowledge to steal a ballot.
Framework/K-Affs - I'm unlikely to understand as much as you think I do. Please explain. This doesn't mean read an overview for 4 minutes off your laptop. Like I said above, debate is a competitive research activity. Both the aff and the neg should attempt to reconcile what this means, or offer a more compelling alternative to what debate is.
Ks on the Neg - Like above, your theoretical jargon will likely sound like nonsense. I'm typically very convinced by arguments that prioritize pragmatism over critical evaluation. Letting the affirmative weigh their plan and having links specific to that plan encourages more fair, educational discussion.
Disads - Uniqueness and link arguments are almost never yes/no questions and explaining them as such frustrates me. As a debater, you should be making comparative claims between your evidence and arguments with that of the opposing team.
Counterplans - Advantage counterplans are obviously better if they solve the internal link to the aff's advantage. Its difficult to persuade me that counterplans that subsume the affirmative are theoretically legitimate.
Case - Like you'll see in every other paradigm, this portion of the debate is underutilized, especially by the neg. On the neg, you can really mess with some teams here. Beefy case arguments and impact turns can really throw off 2ac organization and create openings elsewhere. Impact turns are really interesting and often have better evidence quality than most disads.
Topicality - I'm typically more convinced by reasonability than competing interpretations. This argument will require a lot of explanation given my unfamiliarity with the topic.
Theory - Please actually speak slower. I'm the slowest flower I know.
Edited most recently in March 2018. I debated in high school at Greenhill School (2006) in Texas and debated in college at Michigan State (2010). I have been helping coach Greenhill since my graduation. A fair number of the assumptions that one would draw about me being affiliated with those institutions are probably true. In a given year, I will probably judge 60+ HS policy debates, ~5 HS LD debates, and under 5 college policy debates. There are a couple special notes at the bottom for the latter two groups.
Case Debates – Case debate is underutilized, there are few things that I am more impressed with than beating a team on their own aff. Although, too many teams gloss over the fact that there needs to be uniqueness for neg case turns.
Disads – Defensive arguments are important, and I am willing to assign zero risk of a disad if the affirmative has damning defensive arguments even if the affirmative lacks any offensive arguments. Negatives who rely on there always being a risk of a link will leave me unimpressed. That being said though, I often think that many times a lack of offense does result in a moderate probability of the disad.
CPs – I lean negative on most CP theory issues (more on theory below), although I’m not a fan of the consult cp. I also lean negative on legitimacy of the states CP. This does not mean that affs cannot win theory debates in front of me. Additionally I think some of the arguments that affs make as to why some counterplans are bad, tend to be much better when used as a reason why the permutation is legitimate. Negs should be sure to weigh what happens when there is a solvency deficit to the cp when making their impact calculus arguments. Conversely, affs need to have an impact to their solvency deficits.
Kritiks – Teams must articulate an impact to what happens if they win their framework arguments. I don’t think the negative must have an alternative but I find it hard for the neg to establish uniqueness for their links without one. Affirmatives need to find ways to leverage their aff against the implications of the kritik as well as making sure that they are still able to access their offense if they lose their framework arguments. Negs must also discuss why the aff in particular makes the squo worse. I’m certainly not well versed in much kritik literature so avoiding buzzwords and jargon can help my understanding. If you want me to vote on a kritik, it would benefit you to debate it very much like a CP/DA: turns the case, solves the case, xyz comes first, etc.
Topicality – I tend to view T debates in an offense/defense framework. Its all about competing interpretations, whomever creates the best world for debate should win, issues of abuse are not necessary but can be helpful. That being said, I’m also not a fan of the cult of limits, just going for your interpretation is more limiting will most likely lose to a broader interpretation that is more educational. Also, your K aff's impact turn of T does not amuse me – topicality is a voting issue.
Theory – I lean neg on most theory questions but this is not to be taken to mean that I like to hear your XYZ-Spec argument, your points will go down. Conditionality, or multiple conditional counterplans are both fine. The caveat to this is that I'm not sure if I'm a fan of conditional counterplans with half a dozen planks each independently conditional (ie 2nr could be planks 1-6, or 1-3, or 1&3, etc.). This doesn’t mean I won’t vote aff on theory though, whomever can make their trivial distinctions seem most important will probably win.
Non-traditional affs – I’ve debated at Greenhill and Michigan State, if that doesn’t provide some hint, I’ll break it down some more. The Aff should probably be topical, probably have a plan, and probably also have to defend the effects stemming from the hypothetical enactment of said plan - I've yet to be convinced by a reason as to why any of these things are bad.
General Notes: All of this being said – I will evaluate the arguments made in the round even if they are contrary to my beliefs, this is a guide of what I think and how I will default with a lack of argumentation. Evidence comparisons are important, Impact comparisons as well. There needs to be a decision calculus set up in the final rebuttals – i.e. you can still win the round even after admitting a solvency deficit to your CP. I do like being on the email chain of documents but will NEVER be reading the speech doc during the speech – you need to be clear. I’m only going to flow what the person who should be speaking says, if your partner yells out an argument during your speech, you have not made it.
College debate note: I will judge at one college tournament roughly every four years, this being said, please, please, please, assume I have next to ZERO topic knowledge (careful with acronyms too). I judge a ton of debates, just none on your topic.
Lincoln-Douglas debate notes: Well, you’ve read all of this which means two things: 1. I’m probably judging you. 2. Something has gone terribly awry for both of us. If possible, I’d basically prefer your LD debate to be policy-esque, I can obviously follow whatever but still have no idea what a criterion is. For some reason when I say this, people seem to think theory args are a good idea....most LD theory args seem to be asinine standards that the other team needs to follow…I will not vote on this, and will probably lower your speaker points. Also, if you intend to win due to a theory argument, you need a reason to reject the team – otherwise the obvious remedy is rejecting the argument.
Currently the Director of Debate at Casady School.
Competed at the University of Oklahoma and Owasso High School.
Put me on the e-mail chain: snidert [at] casady [dot] org
Evidence quality and consistency is very important to me. I can easily be convinced to disregard a piece of evidence because it lacks quality, is insufficiently highlighted, or is not qualified.
Author qualifications are under debated and if a piece of evidence lacks a qualification then that should definitely be used in debate.
K Things General
One line should dictate how you approach reading the K in front of me:
“You are a debater, not a philosopher.”
This should be your guiding principle when reading and answering a kritik in front of me. Debaters seem to rely more on jargon than actually doing the work of explaining and applying their argument. Unnecessarily complex kritiks won't get good speaker points (90% of the time you could have just read the cap k).
I will not flow overviews on a separate sheet of paper.
If you plan on reading the K
I've got good news and bad news. I'll start with the bad news: You are very unlikely to convince me not the weigh/evaluate the aff. I'm not persuaded much by self-serving counter interpretations on framework.
That said, the good news is that I think people give the aff too much credit and most of the reasons why I shouldn't evaluate the plan are typically offense against it. For example while I don't find the FW interpretation "Debate should be about epistemological assumptions" very convincing, I will definitely vote on "the affirmative's plan relies on a flawed epistemology that ensures serial policy failure, which turns case."
If you're answering the K
While the above may seem like good news for the aff answering the K, I tend to hold the aff to a higher threshold than most in K debates. I don't think "you need a specific link to the plan" is responsive to a K of the aff's epistemology. Likewise, aff framework interps that exclude Ks entirely are pretty much a non-starter.
Condo seems to be getting a bit excessive, but no one goes for condo anymore so I'm sort of stuck with it.
Tech vs Truth
I think of this as more of a continuum as opposed to a binary. I lean more towards tech than truth, but I'm not going to pretend that I evaluate all arguments with equal legitimacy. For example, I have a higher threshold for arguments like “climate change not real” than “plan doesn’t solve climate change.” I traditionally evaluate the debate in offense/defense paradigm, but there is a such thing as a 0% risk.
I enter every debate with the assumption that the resolution is going to play a role in the round. What role it plays, however, is up for debate. I don’t have a preference between skills or fairness standards.
Common reasons I vote aff on FW:
The neg goes for too many “standards”/"DAs"/whatever-youre-calling-them in the 2NR.
The neg doesn’t even try to engage the aff’s 2AC to FW.
Common reasons I vote neg on FW:
The aff doesn’t have an offensive reasons why the TVA is bad.
The aff doesn’t even try to engage the neg’s standards on FW.
I only flow what I hear, I won't use the doc to correct my flow. If I don't catch an argument/tag because you're too unclear then *insert shrug emoji*. That said, with online debate I will flow what I hear and use the doc to correct my flow after the speech. Including your analytics in the speech document will make correcting my flows much easier.
Guaranteed 30 if you’re paper debate team #PaperDebate
My facial reactions will probably tell you how I feel about your arg.
Live Laugh Love Debate
Washburn Rural '22
University of Kansas '26
Assistant for Washburn Rural
Debate is a technical game of strategy. If you debate more technically and more strategically, you will likely win. Read whatever and however you like. Any style or argument can win if executed well enough or if answered poorly enough. I don’t believe judges should have any predetermined biases for any argument. Dropped arguments are true.
I am operating under the assumption that you have put in considerable effort to be here and you want to win. I will try to put reciprocal effort into making an objective decision unless you have done something to indicate those assumptions are incorrect.
Nothing you say or do will offend me, but lack of respect for your opponents will not be tolerated.
My background is very policy-oriented. I strategically chose to talk about cyber-security instead of criminal justice and water resources. The best argument is always the one that wins. Do what you are best at.
My favorite part about debate is the way different arguments interact with each other across different pages. The way to beat faster and more technical teams is to make smart cross-applications and concessions.
Except for the 2AR, what is "new" is up for debate. Point out your opponent's new arguments and explain why they are not justified.
Evidence is very important. I only read cards after the debate if the issue has been contested. A dropped card is still dropped even if it is trash. Quality > Quantity. I do not see any strategic utility in reading multiple the cards that say the same thing. Card dumping is effective when each card has unique warrants.
Cross-ex is very important. Use it to set up your strategy, not to clarify what cards were skipped. I appreciate it when the final rebuttals quote lines from cross-ex/earlier speeches. It makes it seem like you have been in control of the round since the beginning.
I do not want to hear a prepped out ethics violation. Tell the team before the round.
I do not want to hear an argument about something that happened outside of the round.
Rehighlightings can be inserted as long as you explain what the rehighlighting says. I see it as more specific evidence comparison.
Your interpretation is the tag of your definition. If there is any discrepancy between the tag and the body of the card, that is a precision indict but not a reason the aff meets.
I enjoy quality competition debates. I like tricky perms. Put the text in the doc.
"Links less" makes sense to me for certain disads, but makes it harder for the net benefit to outweigh the deficit. Perm do both is probabilistic. Perm do the counterplan is binary.
If a perm has not been extended, solvency automatically becomes a net benefit.
Most theory arguments are a reason to reject the argument, not the team. I will not reject the team even on a dropped theory argument unless there is a coherent warrant for why it would not be enough to only reject the argument.
I will only judge kick (without being told) if it has been established that conditionality is good.
Most scenarios are very construed. Logical analytical arguments can substantially mitigate them. I do not like it when the case debate in the 1NC is only impact defense.
Punish teams for reading new impacts in the 2AC and block.
Extinction means the end of the species. Most impacts do not rise to this threshold. Point it out.
"Try or die" or similar impact framing is very persuasive when executed properly. If the negative doesn't extend a counterplan or impact defense, they are likely to lose.
Zero risk is possible if your opponent has entirely dropped an argument and the implication of that argument is that the scenario is 0. However, I can be convinced that many arguments, even when dropped, do not rise to that level.
Kritiks v Policy Affs:
I will determine which framework interpretation is better and use that to evaluate the round. I will not adopt a middle ground combination of both interpretations unless someone has convinced me that is the best option (which it usually is).
Make it very explicit what the win condition is for you if you win framework. Only saying "The 1AC is an object of research" does not tell me how I determine the winner.
If the K is just one of many off case positions and the block reads a bunch of new cards, the 1AR probably gets to say any new thing they want.
All affirmatives should endorse a departure from the status quo.
Procedural arguments like topicality come prior to the hypothetical benefits of the aff's implementation, but if there are arguments on the case that also serve as offense against the negative's interpretation, then I will weigh those against the negative's offense.
I do not like it when the 1AC says X is bad, the 1NC says X is good, and the 2AC says no link.
Many debaters do not explain switch side debate as effectively as they could. It should be offense.
Things to boost speaks, but won't affect wins and losses
Give final rebuttals off paper.
Impact turn whenever you can. Straight turn every disad if you're brave. I love chaos, but the final rebuttals better be resolving things.
Good wiki and disclosure practices.
Don't read arguments that can be recycled every year.
Stand up for cross-ex right when the timer ends. Send docs quickly. Preferably in the last few seconds of their speech.
Make jokes. Have fun. Respect your opponents. Good-natured insults can be funny but read the room.
Pretty speech docs. Ugly docs usually means ugly debating.
Debate with integrity. Boo cheapshots. It is better to lose with honor, than win by fraud.
I’ve never had the privilege of sitting through an entire LD round so if there is specific vocabulary I am not in the loop. Assume I have minimal topic knowledge.
Tell me why you access their offense, why it is the most important thing, and why they don’t access their offense. Be strategic.
Answer your opponent’s arguments explicitly. I want to hear “They say x, but y because z”.
I'd like to be added to the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
email chain >> speech drop
I debated at Lansing High School for 4 years
Debated two years at KU (alliances and antitrust)
Shawnee Mission South (current) :)
Top Level -
1. Tech over truth, the only scenario in which I may look towards truth rather than tech is as a means to break a tie in portions of debates that are extremely difficult to resolve (i.e. lack of clash)
2. Don’t let anything said in this paradigm discourage you from reading/going for any argument, the best debates are ones where people have devoted ample time in researching the argumentative positions they read. I enjoy debate and will put my best effort into my decision because of the ample work that debaters put into the activity should be seen and rewarded as such, which I believe requires judges to do the same.
3. If any arguments that are homophobic, racist, and etc. are presented you will lose the debate and be rewarded the least amount of speaks as possible. This also includes any other way that you may make the debate space less safe for people.
4. Taking CX as prep will be rewarded with lower speaks.
5. JUDGE INSTRUCTION! If you think that a portion of the debate should be the deciding factor, then tell me why that is and how I should evaluate it. The more judge instruction that you do, then the more happy you are to be with the decision I give.
I default to competing interpretations, if you believe I should evaluate this differently, then tell me to do so. Some big things that matter to me here is that I think both teams should have a robust explanation of what they think the topic should look like. I find limits to be more compelling than a loss of ground as internal links to the impacts that you are going for.
Impact comparison is still important here, like why does fairness outweigh education or the impacts that your opponents are going for. If the debate takes the course where both teams are going for fairness, then this should be done at the internal link level, but regardless there needs to be more impact comparison in topicality.
I think that I am pretty relaxed with my biases as to what aff's are topical and I like to think that I reward teams who invest research into these arguments and think that teams who read aff's that are perceived to be regarded as topical to the community should be punished for lazy debating on whether their aff is topical or not.
Critical Affs –
I prefer aff's have some relationship with the topic, I also want you to tell me what and how this relationship is established. I feel pretty comfortable adjudicating these debates but also believe that the more judge instruction you give me, the happier you will be. I also think that the more offense that you generate on the fw page, then the better position you put yourself in. I think if you are reading a version of an anti-cap lit based aff, then generating this offense can be more difficult, but not impossible. The ones that I have seen on this topic feel pretty defensive on fw and I think you should invest time into creating this offense.
For the neg --- I believe there is a trend where teams are choosing to read definitions that stop at Ericson, and/or some sort of evidence that is similar to it. I don't think this puts you in a position to win your limits offense and my threshold for aff defense and offense is increasingly more compelling. So, if this is your strategy, then you need to invest time into creating a vision of the topic that is actually limiting.
The 2nr should have some discussion of case, or tell me how fw interacts with the case page and give me ample judge instruction on why it should come first. Reading positions other than just framework are more enjoyable debate to watch, but fw debates can be equally as interesting as long as there is time devoted to it and your strategy.
Not much to say here...
I think there has been a trend towards reading the least number of cards as possible, while there may be SOME cases where those cards make all the arguments needed, I will be sympathetic to new 1ar arguments should they be extended into the block.
Link specificity and spin are what I look for and reward if it is being done. Obviously, the more specific the link the better, but good spin can go a long way.
I like and reward aff strategies that straight turn disads and/or other offense generating strategies.
Counterplans can make for interesting debates. I tend to side with the neg on pics and agent counterplans. I think other competition questions are typically decided on whichever team has invested more time in their strategy revolving around competition. Furthermore, I am more than happy and comfortable in adjudicating these debates, again judge instruction is important here.
With theory debates I think I am most compelled to reject the team only in context with condo but can be persuaded with other theory arguments if you are able to impact them out well enough. I enjoy watching aff teams double-down on condo and I don’t think there is a certain number of off that makes me more/less likely to vote on the argument, just win your interpretation if this is what the debate boils down to.
The more specific of a link I think the better (this goes very any argument though) whether or not this is a link to the plan or the aff's performance, link spin can also go a long way. Pulling lines from evidence and contextualizing them to your link analysis is good. I do not think there must be an alternative in order to win the debate, just make sure you are wining other arguments that justify you doing this (i.e. framework). With these debates telling me what and why x matters are very important in framing my ballot.
With permutations I think the neg has to do more than just say, “all links are disads to the perm,” make sure to explain how they operate as such, and if you are going for the perm being intrinsic and/or severance make sure to explain why and tie an impact to it. On the flip side, I think that aff teams need to do a better job at answering each individual piece of offense to win a permutation (i.e. each link, disad, or solvency question) with a net benefit.
Don’t neglect case, it never hurts to extend some sort of defense or offense no matter how miniscule it may be. I think neg teams going for k’s sometimes get away with not going to the case page, if this happens make sure to use your aff.
I don’t understand the use of framing pages. They are often things that don’t matter if the neg just wins the disad or kritik that they are going for. I think the best examples of framing pages were affs written on the immigration topic and have since not seen one that was inherently offensive rather than defensive. The same goes for pre-empts. This is not to say don’t have a fed key warrant, but rather don’t just read a bunch of thumper cards or random pieces of impact defense. In this instance you should just read another advantage.