April 2023 Potomac Intramural
2023 — Online, MD/US
Public Forum Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
TLDR: be ethical
I debated for Seven Lakes in TX for four years. Primarily Congress and Extemp, Public Forum and World Schools here and there.
Email if you have questions before/after round! firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Misgendering (especially if not corrected or done intentionally) is an automatic drop for me.
2. It's not as simple as it sounds running a case without implicit biases. Be considerate.
3. I check cards, do not use anything fake or reinterpreted.
4. Trigger warnings are important, but it is absolutely not an excuse to use extremely insensitive, descriptive rhetoric.
Please, answer the question. Your subpoints should directly support your response. Good sourcing is expected, entertaining speeches are given bonuses. Make sure to signpost and don't scream.
I welcome creative structures. Though, I can tell if your two point speech was only a result of being ill-prepared.
I appreciate sourcing even more. Academic sources are preferred: think government data, think tanks, books, etc. News organizations should fall shorter on the list.
CX should be a benefit to you, don't choke. Show me what you know.
Rehash is the easiest way for me to drop your rankings. If you GENUINELY have new analysis to add, you should be good enough at reframing that it doesn't become rehash.
I appreciate solid sponsors/authors. Two stock arguments is not a sponsor.
Late round crystals should be well done, focus on weighing and not new arguments.
Clash is important, but wasting 20 seconds name dropping is not. You have 3 minutes, use them well.
If your side hasn't properly addressed a strong opposing arg, I will appreciate clashing it.
Don't ask questions that have zero relevance to the speech's content or anything overly vague during CX. I'm won't be impressed if you ask a million questions that lead the round nowhere. Don't be overly aggressive, I will down you for being disrespectful, ie. cutting the other person off.
Especially with precedence charts, I always use quality > quantity of speeches.
Presentation matters, do not have your eyes glued to a pad or google doc. Especially not printed sheets
I will vote off theory and Ks. I'm extremely progressive but I can tell when this is being abused. Just be respectful.
Weigh early, extending is important, analysis is just as important as your cards.
Roadmaps are appreciated.
Cross is important, make the most of it, but don't get overly aggressive
I weigh evidence quality.
Number your responses and collapse well.
Content warnings or exemptions through google forms are highly appreciated.
I will disclose if allowed.
I've debated PF for the past 3 years and I'm in high school.
I know how to flow. I'm fine with spreading but it needs to be understandable. Make your contentions clear and make sure I know what your impact is throughout the entire round.
I think that crossfire is a great time to poke holes in your opponent's case. I won't flow crossfire but I will be listening. So, if you find a flaw in your opponent's case, make sure to bring it up and make it clear to me why that 'flaw' is important and impactful.
Remember to have fun and don't hesitate to ask questions!
No "spreading" please, speak slowly (especially on zoom debate). I won't call for evidence unless in question, be respectful and weigh impacts!
I am an Elementary School Teacher. I am an enthusiastic parent of a middle school Jr. Varsity debater. I am relatively new to judging. I value evidence over style and logic over emotion.
I will look for concise arguments that flow and demonstrate the impact. I prefer speaking clearly and audibly over at a pace. Be respectful and sensitive to other team members’ opinions. Most importantly, I would value argument that is more convincing and allows me to learn a new perspective.
Hi, I’m a second-year college student and did 4 years of PF, Debating on the National Circuit from Orlando. Debater on the Florida State University debate team
Tech>Truth: I evaluate the round solely on what's presented in the round regardless of the truthfulness of the argument. But remember the more sophisticated your argument gets the lower threshold I have on evaluating responses.
Frameworks: I default to the framework most brought up in rounds throughout speeches, If no clear framework is applied I will be forced to decide the argument by myself. If a team provides a framework for me to evaluate the round under it should be introduced as early as possible and extended throughout all speeches. If there are two frameworks please do the comparative for me and explain why I should pick one over the other. However, if only one team brings up a framework and the other team does not engage with it I will weigh all arguments of that one framework.
Comparative Analysis: Please do the comparative for me with different arguments. If both teams are running similar arguments do the comparative and tell me why yours is better. If teams are running different arguments I need to know why I'm preferring your argument. Absent comparative analysis, I will have to interpret things on my own and you don't want that.
Extension: Extending only the authors and taglines of cards doesn't suffice for me. You need to extend the substance of the card as well and how they relate to your impact. If you want me to evaluate something in FF is should be included in the summary speech. I usually allow first-speaking teams to extend defense straight to final focus but in reality, you should be mentioning important defense extensions in summary.
Progressive args: If you are going to run it then do so well and actually explain it with warrants. I will not buy a simple shell case that gets dropped.
-I will flow cross. If something important happened in cross, mention it in the speech. A good cross is a great way to up speak.
- Will be lenient with going over time however DO NOT make it excessive, if I think you are abusing the system I will stop flowing.
- Quality over Quantity; don't spread. If you plan on speaking fast please send a speech doc. If I can't understand you I'll say clear and after 3 times I'll stop flowing.
- Second rebuttal should respond to turns/disads.
- Please collapse on a few arguments in summary. I prefer quality over quantity and clear extensions.
- Weigh, weigh, weigh (as early as possible in the round)
- Implicate turns and defense
Debate is like driving a car - you need the right accessories, and most importantly, you gotta know how to drive the car. You get better the more you drive, and eventually, you learn some pretty sick moves. I've been driving a car on the college scene for about 7 years. I spent some time driving in Topeka, and eventually, I taught people how to drive in Lubbock. Getting a judge and getting a new car is pretty similar. Both require some getting used to, but once you figure it out, the highway is yours. You might be wondering what kinda car I am. Well, I'm not a 2020 Ford Mustang, but I'm also not a broken down 1988 chevy impala. I'm a 2006 Ford Fusion. I've been around the block and got some miles on me, but now I tend to sit in the garage. Let me give you some advice for driving a 2006 Ford Fusion. Here are some things that make the car run:
If you are affirmative, you should defend some sort of concrete action, preferably an action that can be written in one to two sentences and can be passed to your opponent. I tend to think that affs need stable plan/advocacy texts because it's important to generate stable offense. If your entire 1AC is the text, maybe this isn't the car for you. I also tend to think that the plan action should be topical, or at least topic adjacent. This is really a preference, instead of a hard and fast rule. I'm not a big fan of rejecting the res outright unless it's just that bad. If you find yourself constantly rejecting the resolution, that's awesome, but maybe I'm not the car for you.
Your 2006 Ford Fusion goes 0-60 in 8 seconds, which is a long time. As a debater, try to avoid going 0-60 in 8 seconds. I'm down for speed, but if you start the speech going full speed, I'm probably gonna miss some stuff. I can hang with your top speed, but work your way there. You can drive the car on the highway, but make sure you're using the acceleration ramp.
The car you've been given also has some weird dimensions. I think that debate is a game of net benefits, regardless of the arguments read. I tend to not vote for tiny IVIs or RVI's, but instead, I look at the entire flow. Your job is to create a larger narrative as to why I vote for you, so you should do impact calculus.
This car is a little old. Here's acceptable brands of fuel:
1. Topical affirmatives are great - especially with fleshed out advantages. I tend to award speaker points not just based on the quality of the debate, but the quality of your research. Well researched advantages with tangible impacts are best. The fiat question here isn't too important for me. I assume everything is fiated to some degree, even K affs. Just have something sticky for the neg to garner offense.
2. DA/CP debate is great for me. I love politics and hegemony debates, and I especially love them when paired with counterplans. Make sure your counterplan is competitive and actually solves the aff.
3. Theory. Theory is a great tool when used responsibly. I tend to like most theory, with some exclusions, which I'll get to below. Please note. You don't overfill your gas tank - so don't read too many theory arguments. I tend to think that 2 pieces of theory during a speech is the absolute ceiling. Otherwise, the debate gets messy and the car won't run well for you.
4. K debate. You should do some of that! You should have a clear alternative with links that describe why the plan actually trips the impacts. Saying "Plan uses the USFG" is fine, but that's only a link. Have multiple links. Also it's important that you very clearly describe the world of the alternative. Providing a really dumbed down two-sentence explanation of the action of the alt is recommended.
5. I'm gonna be honest, this car can only take special types of fuel. If you read the following K's in front of me, I'm more down to understand what you're getting at: Neolib, biopower, antiblackness, cap, fem, and on occasion, D&G. It's not that I'm not familiar with other lit, but I'm just not as well read as some others might be.
2006 Ford Fusions are not super complicated to drive, but here are some things that make it break down:
1. Perms are not advocacies, and I don't think they have net benefits. Advocacies have net benefits, but perms do not. They are tests of competition, so you should talk about competition.
2. I don't like silly theory. I think if you read an argument in the 1NC you should read it with your chest. SPEC is cool, but maybe only read it if you're actually going to go for it AND it would be strategically viable for you to do so. Also, I can't really get behind the whole "you should read the plan text in the first X minute thing." Just don't read silly theory. Make it count.
3. The car breaks down when you read disclosure. I won't vote on disclosure arguments, regardless of the format. It's not my realm to decide what happened before the round, but I often think disclosure only benefits larger schools. Disclose, don't disclose, I don't care.
4. I'll be upfront with you, there's a fair amount of car manuals that are not compatible with this version of the Ford Fusion. I get lost easily when the following lit bases are read in front of me: Baudrillard, Bataille, Buddhism, Nietzsche, and really anything in this tradition of really high theory. Again, I might not be the car for you, but if you do have to drive this car, don't use cruise control. Drive the car where you want it to go, and I'll go there with you as long as the path is clear.
5. I prefer depth. I really don't wanna see you read 7 off in the 1NC just to spread the other team out. Read maybe 3 offcase positions and drive the car real nice.
At the end of the day, the 2006 Ford Fusion isn't a hard car to drive, but there are certain ways the car needs to be driven. The car doesn't have a GPS. I don't know where you are going unless you make it explicitly clear. Rebuttals need to be wholistic and have clear win conditions. You've gotta park the car if you want the ballot.
The last thing I'll say is that I expect y'all to be nice. Don't spread your opponents out if they're a novice team, and more importantly, don't be hateful in your speech. It's been a really rough year for all of us, and this is a space to get away from the noise around us. If you start spewing that kinda speech, the car windows are getting rolled up and that's an auto loss. No exceptions. I really don't really think that people should be rude.
Oh yeah, I forgot to talk about speaker points. If you drive the car mostly right, without a fender-bender, the average is around a 28. If you wreck the car or deliberately start reversing on the highway, it'll probably go down from there. Don't wreck the car.
NSDA 2021 Updates: Add me to the email chain, or however you prefer to get me the evidence.
- Please don't miscut (I will drop you)
7/10 on speed, so long as your tags are clear, you're not using speed to obfuscate or misrepresent evidence, and voters are delivered intelligibly.
Policy: I am most comfortable judging a stock-issues oriented policy round. In particular, solvency arguments can be decisive. Generic DAs are fine, but a specific link to the 1AC will always be more compelling. K's are fair game as well, but I tend to want a more specific link for a K than a DA. Common Ks like the Cap K or Fem K are exceptions to this - those Ks are common enough that the Aff should be prepared to debate them regardless. I take a tabula rasa approach to any question surrounding the "role of the ballot," so if you win ROB in a particularly favorable fashion, it can set you up very nicely.
LD: I am extremely comfortable evaluating framework arguments. I prefer a Value/Criterion framing structure for LD, but won't complain if you do something different, so long as you meet the resolution (assuming it isn't a K aff - I tend to view Ks as Neg ground).
General: I expect a bit more than simply regurgitating pieces of evidence. Analysis isn't necessary for every piece of evidence, but if there is a string of cards building some sort of overarching argument, one or two sentences wrapping it up shouldn't be too much to ask. This is especially true for any rebuttals!!
There is almost no chance of me voting for an RVI, unless there is a case of in-round abuse.
Background: Currently, a coach for Liberty University, where I also debated for 4 years, NDT and CEDA octofinalist, and 2021 CEDA Top Speaker. Started by doing traditional policy args, moved to Kritical things, and ended as a performance debater with most of my arguments starting with black women and moving outward such as Cap, AB, Set Col, and so on). started debate in college as a novice and worked my way to Varsity so I do have a pretty good understanding of each division. Also, I'm a black woman if that wasn't obvious or you didn't know lol
I’m here for the petty and I stay for the petty I will vote on the petty but there is a difference between petty and mean I won't vote on mean it makes me very uncomfortable
Judging wise (general things)
How I view debate: Debate is first and foremost a game, but it’s full of real people and real consequences so we should keep that in mind as we play even though it’s a game that definitely has real-life implications for a lot of us.
Facial Expressions: I often make facial expressions during the debate and yes they are about the debate so I would pay attention to it my face will often let you know when I vibing and when I’m confused
Speaker points: --- totally subjective I try and start at 28.7 and then go up and down based on a person’s performance in a debate ---- in the debate, it becomes a trend to ask for higher speaks which is fine but if your gonna do that you best not suck or I will automatically give you a 28.3, also I feel like you need a justification for asking for those speaks outside of a speaker award --- I try to be nice and fair here
Speed: Don’t risk clarity over speed I’m not straining my ear to make sense of mus
Dont go far when the debate is over I tend to know my decision when the debate ends
If you are gonna email questions later pls let me know so I can keep my flows I often throw them away I wanna be to help but its hard for me to answer your questions after the fact if I don't have my flows
Debated a lot of K's, read a lot of K’s as a debater I don’t know every K in existence but with a thorough explanation and well execution, I will probably be fine.
I have a larger threshold for the K because I expect you to explain the linked story and the alternative with warrants so don't assume that just because I know the theory means you don't have to put in the work for the ballot. Links should be contextualized to the aff - please don't restate your tags and author but pull lines from 1ac/2ac. I would also warn against just running a K because you think I'm only a K debater (it’s obvious and annoys me just do what you do best)
I like performative links, not personal attacks. With performative links, just make sure to give a warranted analysis as to why I should vote on it and what the impact is.
Love them is one of my favorite parts of the debate I enjoy the creativity of these!! I do prefer K aff's to be in the direction of the topic or make some attempt to include a discussion of the resolution, but if you are not, then at least give me a warranted explanation as to why you have chosen that route. Those that are on the topic of the resolution, have a clear impact and solvency story. Many times, debaters will get so caught up in the negative arguments that they lose sight of what is important...their aff! So, make sure to keep a storyline going throughout the entirety of the debate.
When you get into FWK/T debates, extend and explain your counter-interpretation. What is your model and why is it good? That plus impact turns = an easy ballot from me.
I think a lot of K teams assume reading your aff is good in debate is gonna do something very big on K aff’s having a reason on why their aff in the debate is good.
It's a strategy that is read against K aff's, it's a strategy tbh I enjoy and am more sympathetic to than most would think. My personal outlook - debate is a game but it has real impacts that can help or harm certain individuals. While it is a competitive strategy, I do not think it is an excuse to not engage the affirmative because most of the time, your lack of engagement is what the aff will use to link turn the performance of reading fwk.
PSA - fairness is not an impact... at best, it’s an internal link. Unless the aff has no justification for their aff, then you got a good chance of getting my ballot by reading fairness. I find it most compelling when you prove in round abuse.
I think a TVA is a must. No, it does not need to solve the entirety of the aff because that is neg ground, but it should be able to solve the main impacts they go for. Lastly, defend your model of debate and explain why it would be better for the debate community writ large. If you are only focusing on one round, then explain why that is better.
Lmao these are things that exist in debate too…
Das I would say make sure you have a clear and warranted link story and awesome impact calc.
And CP’s I’m open to all CPs kinda think of CPs in the context of having a net benefit and how does the CP solve the aff? It's also nice if your CP is competitive...
I think theory is procedural make sure you explain very clearly and slowly what the violation is and why that matters...if you are going to go for theory, I expect the 2n or 2a to spend a good amount of time on it which means not just 30 sec or 1 min.
Policy Affs v K:
Engage the K!Too many times policy teams just write over the K with their fwk thinking that is the only work they have to do but it's just like debating a DA or CP. Do the link work and the more specific answers you have to the alt, the better position you are in. Don't just say Perm DB or Perm aff then alt, but really explain what that means and looks like in the world of the aff. I think you do need fwk to get to weigh your aff but that is all the fwk will get you which means don't forget to extend your aff and the impact story. A really good way to engage the K is to prove how the plan not only outweighs but resolves the specific impacts.
How to get better speaker points with me
Be nice, be funny, be personable
Organized docs and speeches
Mention Scandal/Olivia Pope whom I love in your speech I will bump your speaks like .4
Ohhh and for the black folks ask for speaker points and ye shall receive lol I might not be able to always give you the ballot, but I can give you a 30
A 2NR/2AR with judge instruction is literally the freakin best thing ever
You can call me Joseph (he/him) in rounds.
I was a CX debater in high school for 4 years.
My preference is the k, but I ran a lot of policy. The only arguments you shouldn't run in front of me are tricks and preferably not phil (I never ran it or debated against it, so there's a good chance I can't evaluate a high-level phil round).
Debate however you want, I try not to interject my own biases into the round. This also means I'm tech over truth and will vote for arguments that I personally don't agree with. Cross is binding and I'll be paying attention.
If you make the round easy for me to judge, you will be more likely to win and there's a much lower chance of judge intervention.
Critical literature I read in debate:
- Afropess (Wilderson, Warren, Gillespie, Barber, etc.)
But I'm down with anything, even if it isn't listed above.
Email me if you have any questions!
I am keen on listening to what you have to say and will be judging you primarily, on the following parameters.
1) Structure- clear, concise, well researched presentation of key points that relate to the topic.
2) Eloquence - respectful, assertive, and argumentative in style.
3) Content - claim, reason, support and warrant
Here's the TL;DR version of the paradigm
I am as old-school and traditional as they come when it comes to judging.
Debate is about persuading me (as a proxy for an audience) that your position is the one I should support. I view my role as judge to be in the role of an undecided audience member attending this debate to learn about both sides of the topic. I will use the information, arguments and clash presented in this debate to move me from “undecided” to “decided.”
To do this, I rigorously compare the strengths and weaknesses of the definitions and arguments (or, in LD, the value, value criterion, and contentions) presented and rebutted to determine which side has persuaded me to support their position. I will especially compare the arguments that generate the greatest clash. Since I approach debate as an undecided audience member, I judge strictly on what you say (I mean, this is a competition where you speak your arguments, right?) and WILL NOT read your speeches or your cards, except as noted.
Come at the debate from any perspective or approach you want to--and I do welcome out-of-the-box frameworks provided they provide a reasonable space for clash and argument and can demonstrate direct relevance to the topic. I try to offer each round as blank a slate as I am capable of doing as it relates to the resolution.
Risk-taking is fine as long as you know what you are doing when you take the risk. I like humor. I am generally skeptical of disclosure theory and other "debating about debate" approaches. The game is the game. As long as everyone is in compliance with the tournament rules and the affirmative's definitions allow for clash, I am generally a very hard sell on arguments concerning fairness and disclosure--although you are welcome to try and I will give it as fair a hearing as I can.
To maximize the strength, effectiveness, and persuasiveness of your arguments, they need to be delivered clearly (NO SPREADING), with solid evidence, data, and citations (placed in context for a judge who may not be familiar with them) in a well-organized speech that is delivered TO me, not read like a drone AT me. In other words, you should seek to win on logic and argumentation, but in doing so, you cannot neglect the communications skills necessary to sell your position and ensure that your audience understands your logic and argumentation--just like you would if you were doing this to a real audience in the real world. Accordingly, I should be able to judge the debate solely on the words spoken without having to refer to documentation beyond my own notes when writing my ballot.
If you have any questions about this, ASK!
Now for those who want to get into the weeds on my approach to judging and my thinking about debate.
First and foremost, have fun
Debate should not be a slog for you or me. This paradigm, although long, is really about getting the slogging and ticky-tack nonsense out of this process. We are both giving up our weekends to participate in this. Let's enjoy it. Keep it loose.
I am generally a VERY traditional old-school judge with a VERY clear set of expectations and standards. If I had to pick a judging theory that I fit, I tend to fall into the policymaker/legislative model of judging with some purposeful appearance-style judging thrown in.
My "role" or "persona" is of an average, undecided listener looking to form an opinion on the topic
I view my role as judge to be an undecided audience member attending your debate to learn about both sides so I can form my own opinion on the topic. As that audience member, I will use what is presented in this debate to move me from “undecided” to “decided.” Accordingly, I believe debate is about persuasion--winning the minds AND hearts of the audience, which is, in this case, the judge(s). That means this activity is about all the skills of debate: research, argumentation, speech, persuasion, and rhetoric.
--Your arguments must be strong, with sound logic, solid research, and real analysis;
--Your presentation must be well-organized so the audience can follow it effortlessly without roadmaps and signposts;
--You must overcome the reasonable objections put forward by the other side while attacking their contentions, case, and/or values, especially on arguments with significant clash;
--You must show why your side has the better idea (or the other side's ideas are worse than the status quo if you are the negative and not running a counterplan);
--And you must sell all this with a persuasive delivery that seeks to connect with the audience, which means gesturing and movement, making eye contact, varying your vocal tone, showing passion, and speaking clearly and at a normal pace.
Wait! Aren't experienced judges just into technical stuff and do not consider speaking style?
Here is why I incorporate some "appearance-style" judging into my paradigm. As a competition that includes speaking, I firmly believe that debate requires you to both make strong arguments AND communicate them persuasively through your delivery. You should be connecting with your audience at all levels. In the "real world" a dry, lifeless speaker has a tough time winning over an audience no matter how good their arguments are. I hold you to the same standard.
I HATE spreading
SLOW DOWN!!! If you speak significantly faster than a normal rate of speed or if you "spread," it will show up in your comments and impact your speaks negatively. This is a debate, not a speedreading competition to crowbar 10 minutes of content into a 6-minute constructive. You cannot persuade anyone if the listener cannot follow your argument because you are flying through your speech at 250+ words per minute. "Spreading" has really damaged debate as a discipline. If this is an issue for you, please "strike" me as a judge. I will totally understand. I will say CLEAR once and only once if it is too fast.
I make every effort to come into the round agnostic as it relates to the resolution
I am agnostic about both the topic of the debate and how you build your case--it simply has to be both comprehensible enough and persuasive enough to win. You can approach the case from any fair direction that is directly relevant to the resolution and allows for reasonable clash and interaction from the other side. Just remember that I need to clearly understand your argument and that you have to be more persuasive than your opponent. Also note the next item.
Agnosticism ≠ idiocy, therefore Truth > Tech
I will not accept an argument that the average person would immediately know is simply not true. Being agnostic about the resolution does not mean I am an idiot. The sun doesn't come up in the west. 1+1≠3. Telling me things that would obviously be false to someone with an average understanding of the world is not an argument that can flow through, even if your opponent doesn't address it. By the same token, if an argument like this IS offered and the opponent does not attack it, that will be noted as well--negatively.
Assume I know nothing about the topic beyond what an average person would know
The risk of insult is the price of clarity. As a judge, I am not as deep in the weeds on the subject matter as you are. Avoid undefined jargon, assumptions about what I already know, or assuming that I am familiar with your citations. Better to make fewer points that I do understand than to make more points that I do not. This is CRITICAL if this is a public forum round.
I only judge what I HEAR you say and how you say it
This is a debate--a competition rooted in a tradition of speech and rhetoric--not a competitive speed-reading recital of your persuasive essay writing. That means I want to HEAR your speech and citations, which is really hard for me to do if you spread. Let me be clear. I will not read your speech or look at your cards (unless there is some question about the validity of the source). That means if you insist on spreading and I can't follow it, you are going to run into a HUGE problem on my ballot.
Part of being an effective and successful to debater is to ensure that your audience understands your arguments based on what you say without the audience having to look at a document--think about how you would address an audience in a darkened auditorium, and you will get the idea. I will make an exception about requesting cards if I have reason to question your evidence.
I reward risk-taking and humor
Don't be afraid to take some risks. Be interesting. Be funny. Maybe even a little snark, A well-chosen risk can result in big rewards in your score. Just remember they call it a risk for a reason. You will also never hurt yourself by making me laugh. Debate does not have to be somber, and it does not always have to be serious. If you are funny, be funny--provided you remain persuasive.
I pay close attention to definitions/values/value criterion
Define the terms of the resolution (and, in L-D state a value and value criterion), and then explicitly link your arguments, contentions, and rebuttals back to your definitions and values. I want to clearly understand how your arguments relate to how the debate has been framed and/or how it supports your definition and value. What is the point of taking the time to lay this out and then never mentioning them again when you get into your speech?
How I weigh your arguments
The overall strength of your case and arguments--especially where there is clash--relative to your opponent's case is paramount in earning my vote. This means the quality and development of your arguments, contentions, evidence, citations, and rebuttals are far more important to me than quantity.
--Focus on your strongest arguments rather than throwing in the kitchen sink.
--Make sure they link back to your definition and/or your value and value criterion
--Go deep with your analysis before going broad;
--Use examples and metaphors to illustrate your points;
--Tell the story coherently in a speech that is logically organized to lead me to side with your position.
Ties ALWAYS go to the negative/con
The affirmative/pro always has the burden to convince me to change the status quo and in a tie, the affirmative has failed to meet that standard.In any instance where I truly believe both sides fought the round to an absolute draw, I will cast my ballot for the negative/con. For the history nerds out there, this is based on what is known as Speaker Denison's rule, which is a convention in the British House of Commons that when the Speaker votes to break a tie, they never vote for the side that will change the status quo.
Dropped arguments do not always matter to me
Just because your opponent drops a weak argument does not mean I will flow it through. If you jam ten contentions in and the opponent only responds to 9, that does not mean the 10th argument carries, and you should win the debate because it was dropped and therefore flowed through. The quality of the dropped argument matters a lot. As long as your opponent addresses and rebuts your main arguments and effectively responds to your case overall, I will not be concerned that they dropped some weak, secondary contention, especially if they have filled their time. Obviously, not addressing a major argument will hurt any opposing case.
I never allow off-time roadmaps unless the tournament rules require me to
Unless the tournament rules state otherwise, I will not grant ANY off-time road maps. Off-time road maps are a crutch lazy debaters use to avoid getting their speech into a clear, well-organized form. Worse, being off-time, it allows the speaker to preview their arguments without the clock running--essentially giving them free time to communicate without pressure. Nonsense.
Your speech should be properly organized so that a listener can follow it without you having to spoon-feed them what you are going to do up front. If you need to do a roadmap during your allotted running time, you are welcome to burn your clock time to do so, and I will not penalize it. That said, you would be better served simply organizing your speech and, perhaps, doing some signposting.
Give your citations context so I can give them credibility
Assume I know nothing about your citation nor will I read your card unless I have reason to question the validity of your evidence. While I recognize that a citation of "Smith, 2019" is the minimum the rules often require, it has little real credibility if you don't give me some context about why the citation matters. I don't know who Smith is, where you found his material, or what he wrote in 2019. It is SO much better to say something like: "In a 2019 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Julian Smith, an expert on vaccines, wrote...." Now I know where you read it, who Smith is, and when it was written.
I pay very close attention to CX, crossfire, and POIs
While I generally don't "flow" CX/crossfire (or POIs in Parli), it does matter to me. There should be engagement and clash. Debates I have judged are occasionally won or lost in CX when one debater put the other in a logic box or otherwise made the debate impossible for their opponent to win. Use CX/crossfire (or POIs in Parli) to undermine your opponent's arguments and to expose weaknesses and logic problems in their case, rather than rehear parts of the opponent's speeches you missed the first time. Additionally:
--If you are rude during crossfire/CX by aggressively interrupting or cutting off respondents who are not filibustering, it will impact your speaks;
--If you insist on yes/no answers in crossfire/CX when more information is obviously needed to make a response, it will impact your speaks;
--If you keep asking questions in crossfire without giving your opponent a chance to ask some too, it will impact your speaks;
--If you filibuster and are dilatory to try and run out the clock in crossfire/CX (or refuse to answer at least one POI per opposing participant that asks for a POI in Parli), it will impact your speaks and;
--If you are passive and ask no questions in crossfire/CX (or make no POIs in Parli) or sit back and watch during grand crossfire without participating, it will impact your speaks.
Your public speaking and presentation skills matter to me
Your speaking skills and delivery can impact the outcome of the round. Our greatest persuasive communicators are all excellent and compelling speakers. This idea that debate is some monotone recitation with your eyes glued to a piece of paper or a screen while you stand there like a wax statue is absurd. Yes, your arguments and rebuttal of the opposition matter most, but your job does NOT stop there. You must hold the audience's interest too. It is part of the game. That means:
--Speak TO me, do not read AT me;
--Gesture and move to help communicate your arguments;
--Make eye contact;
--Vary your tone and vocal emphasis;
--Show some passion to demonstrate you really believe what you are saying.
I am the official timer of the round unless the rules say otherwise
Unless the tournament rules state otherwise, I am the official timer of the debate. You may use your timer to monitor your speaking time (but you MUST turn off any sounds or alarms or you will be penalized in your speaker points after one warning), but my time governs.
Before each speech or crossfire, I will ask, "is (are) the speaker (participants) ready? Are the opponents ready? Time begins now." At that point, speaking may start. I will announce "time has expired" when the clock runs out. You may finish your sentence if I make that announcement mid-sentence. No more speaking after that unless the tournament rules allow for a grace period or otherwise limit my discretion to end the speech. I will also update both sides about the remaining prep time during the round.
The game is the game
If something is required by the rules of the tournament, do it--if not, game on. If the tournament rules do not require it, then it is up to you if you want to disclose, etc. Arguments about disclosure, debate fairness (other than debatability of the resolution as framed by the affirmatives' definitions), etc., will meet heavy skepticism if the other team is acting within the rules of the tournament and civil behavior. I am agnostic about arguments for and against the actual resolution. I have limited interest in debates about debating--unless that is the topic. You can certainly argue it in front of me if you want, and I will do my best to take it seriously, but in almost every case you would be better served simply debating the topic and then taking up your disclosure/fairness issues with the coaches, tournament directors, and league administrators.
I will not tolerate racism, rudeness, or nonsense
If you make faces, gestures, or otherwise show disdain for the person speaking, know it will negatively impact your score. Also, anything you say or do that demeans the race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc., of ANYONE (unless you are directly quoting a relevant source or citation), WILL ruin your score. It WILL be reported to the tournament authorities.
Name: Tom Fones
School Affiliation: SPA
Number of Years Judging Public Forum: 13
Number of Years Competing in Public Forum: 0
Number of Years Judging Other Forensic Activities: 33
Number of Years Competing in Other Forensic Activities: 6
If you are a coach, what events do you coach?
What is your current occupation? Retired Teacher and Coach
Please share your opinions or beliefs about how the following play into a debate round:
Speed of Delivery: Need to be understandable, prefer slower than most.
The format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?) Big Picture. Prefer collapse to major issues.
Role of the Final Focus- Show voting issues and weigh.
Extension of Arguments into later speeches- Need to extend arguments to impact them.
Topicality- If needed.
Plans Not explicit plans in PF.
Kritiks- Will listen
Flowing/note-taking- Of course flowing, but the content is important, so a drop is not fatal without significant impact.
Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally? Argument over style
If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? yes
If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech? Don’t require, but think it’s generally good strategy.
Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? No
If you have anything else you'd like to add to better inform students of your expectations and/or experience, please do so here.
I greatly appreciate civility and clear analysis of issues. There is no need for an off-time roadmap in PF.
anthony "andy" stowers forest
I mostly judge PF and LD, but have experience judging Parli/BP and IE (mostly extemp/ADS/Info). I'm a conflict researcher who happens to think debate is fun. I judge and coach in NYC.
My general judging preferences are:
-I'm open to pretty much any argument or weighing mechanism provided appropriate warrants are given. Please do of course include an appropriate quantity of accurate evidence, but I'm looking for you to understand how that evidence logically connects to other evidence and to the argument you are making. Unless there's a source problem, I'm not flowing your sources; I'm flowing your arguments.
-Spreading is fine. If you don't want to spread, that's also fine. I'm evaluating arguments, not speed, so pick the speed that will let you make your case skillfully regardless of what others in the round are doing.
-K is fine, as long as it's genuinely well-considered.
-Please don't waste the entire debate arguing about the rules: make note of the violation and move on. Round abuse is a serious accusation, and it is typically not in your favor to make accusations of round abuse a central part of your argument if I am your judge. Outside extreme situations, consider the possibility that your opponent may simply not have been aware of the problem, inform them (and me) of it, and continue.
-Please do not make up or misrepresent sources...I'm more likely to know than you think. One time a debater made up facts about a research paper I helped write: I encourage you not to put yourself in the same situation.
-Please do not rely on your expectation of my opinion about types of government, people, or countries to shape your argument. If I should support arguments that enhance democracy, why? If I should support arguments that enhance communism, why? If I should be afraid of Russian leadership, why? If I should be afraid of US leadership, why? These explanations can be short, but explanations need to be grounded in fact and respect for all people rather than the expectation of judge opinion.
send the email chain to email@example.com
Hi, I'm Jonah (he/him). I regularly competed in both LD and policy at Advanced Technologies Academy and now attend Rutgers University. My guiding philosophy when judging is that I will evaluate any argument, as long as it is properly warranted and does not make the round unsafe for anyone involved.
These are the rounds I am the most comfortable judging. I like 1NCs that spend a good bit of time on case and really engage with the aff (rehighlightings, smart analytics, things like that). I think impact turns are cool too. I think impact weighing is extremely important, and robust disad turns case explanations make me happy. I enjoy hearing smart advantage CPs. Nebel T is boring but if you read it I think going for limits offense is much smarter than semantics.
I am probably the least comfortable judging these debates. I think policy vs. K debates can be cool, but they often feel overly confusing. I get really annoyed by super long 2NR overviews that don't make things any clearer. If I can understand what the K's thesis is, why the aff links, and why that's bad coming out of the debate - that's perfect. But I find that does not happen often. I have the most experience with cap, security, setcol, and queerpess, but anything beyond that might require more explanation than you're used to. For K affs, if I come out of the 2AR clearly understanding what your model of debate is and why that’s good, I will be very inclined to vote for you. Framework is probably the best strategy to go for in front of me, because K vs. K debates get very confusing quick.
I'm all for it. I only ask for two things: make sure that your arguments are warranted and that you do weighing!! I notice 1AR theory debates become super hard to resolve when standards aren't responded to or weighed. Also it would be great if you go just a bit slower than usual because I am bad at flowing. I recently found out that I think phil debate is pretty cool. Feel free to read any philosopher you are comfortable with as long as you can explain it. I guess I'm fine with whatever tricky arguments you want to read BUT the sillier these args get the lower speaks you will get.
I did a lot of traditional debate in high school am fine with judging it. I think that the value criterion is very important and should be very prevalent in every speech when it comes to weighing. Circuit competitors should be inclusive as possible to traditional debaters.
Adding this here because I occasionally judge this. Hopefully knowing that I have a policy background should be enough for you, but the two most important things to consider is that I evaluate rounds very technically and I won't listen to paraphrased evidence. Disclosure is also not really a norm yet in this event so I'm not very persuaded by related arguments.
Update for TOC Digital (12/2-12/4): I don't believe in sticky defense. Extend your arguments in every speech.
I used to have a somewhat in-depth system here but I realize I really don't follow it. I think most rounds I judge I give speaks from 28.5 to 29. If I think you collapsed well and liked your strategy you'll get 29-29.5. If you are a super duper awesome debater you'll get above that, but it's somewhat rare for me.
- Prep time ends when the doc is sent.
- I'll disclose speaks if you ask.
- I really really really don't like evaluating death good arguments.
- Misgendering is obviously very bad and if you do it repeatedly your speaks (and potentially my decision) will reflect that.
- It would be very cool if you slowed down on analytics, because I can't vote on something I didn't hear. This is compounded by my slightly below average flowing skills.
- If you couldn’t already tell, I lean tech over truth.
- If you are annoying in CX I will get annoyed.
- Accessibility is really important to me. Don’t bully novices and don’t be elitist toward traditional debaters.
- Accusations of clipping/violating ev ethics will stop the round. I think evidence is miscut if it is plagiarized, incorrectly cited (author/date), skips paragraphs, or starts or ends in the middle of a paragraph (where the skipped part of the text changes the meaning). I require a recording to verify clipping. If the accuser is correct, the other team loses with minimum speaks. If the accuser is wrong, they lose with minimum speaks.
Hello! I’m a high school student with 2 years of experience in Junior Varsity and Varsity Public Forum debate.
Typically, I am tech > truth, but I expect arguments to be reasonable, well-supported, and demonstrate uniqueness to the topic, especially impacts! (Please, no slippery slope…)
Super important: weigh your impacts! This is especially crucial during your Summary and Final Focus speeches. It doesn’t have to be very fancy, just tell me WHY I should vote for you!
Be clear and organized when delivering your speeches, for two reasons:
- It will this help me keep track of your arguments in my flow, which I rely on HEAVILY for my RFD!
- It improves your public speaking skills overall, the purpose for participating in debate.
I am okay with speaking fast (aka spreading), but I prefer it if you keep the pace down, which makes it easier for everyone to understand and for your arguments to be more persuasive.
Also, I don’t flow crossfire or count it towards my RFD, but I am always paying attention (so try not to be shouting over each other). If you bring up a good point in crossfire, make sure to mention it later on!
Lastly, if you want any advice or have questions, you can stick around after the round and I’m happy to help with whatever I can!
Good luck and have fun!
I focus on how convincing, straightforward and organized the arguments are. Clear diction is important. I also judge based upon how well debaters deliver their speeches and get their points across. Don't be afraid to ask questions and be active in the debate!
Hey y’all, my name is Flynn Gray and my pronouns are he/him. I debated for Eagan High School 2018-2022 and currently I'm a student at American University and am on the Model UN team there.
Please put me on the email chain, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm okay with speed, but I wasn't the fastest debater and generally preferred slightly slower rounds. But personal preferences aside, I can keep up if you're spreading. I have some team members that could rival Eminem for their words per minute, however if you’re going to go fast in front of me, just know I’m holding you to high standards on your clarity and emphasis. SLOW DOWN ON ANALYTICS - THEY ARE NOT TAGS.
You should be flowing. please, please, PLEASE, flow.
Yes, tag team cross is fine. As long as you’re not taking over your partners cross completely, I’m cool with it. Not cool with arguing with each-other over an answer in cross though.
For the 2021-2022 topic (and heck even the 2022-2023 topic (and also the 2023-2024 topic!)) - if you make some sort of claim on how the harms in your affirmative or negative positions affect mermaids you’ll get +0.1 speaks. I love mermaids, they’re cool, and you’ll be cool too if you mention them
If you’re racist, homophobic, transphobic, or sexist, you know the drill: I will give you the lowest number of speaker points I possibly can.
I study Turkish and Turkish politics for one of my classes so know that I feel confident in being able to judge a more in depth round on that. I've done some background research on the topic so even though I haven't debated on the topic I know a fair amount.
Onto the Juicy Stuff:
I, probably like so many others, would like to think I'm tabula rasa. However in reality, I'm most likely definitely not. So here's what you need to know to debate in front of me...
First off, you do you! (Cheesy but needed to be said). Debate is better when you go for arguments you know you can win on, not ones you think you can win on in front of me. I'd rather see a debater run something they're confident in than one who's making blind guesses on my personal preferences. Despite whatever caveats you think I have, if you know you can win on a k-aff for example, I’d rather you run that than be uncomfortable trying to conform to Debate’s and my perceived expectations of what you should be running. I will do my best to judge the debate on your work, your words, and your arguments. I will try not to intervene or rearrange the flow, and I will try to make sure my decision will display that. I want to do right by you.
- I’m cool if you read kritiks, have fun, go for it, I like listening to kritikal literature butwhen I say I can understand kritikal literature I mean more basic kritiks such as a biopower k, queer k, setcol k or cap k. Anything beyond that especially in the realm of psychoanalysis may push my background knowledge, so if you find yourself reading a k in front of me you better be able to explain the thesis of the k and all of the parts in your own terms (that means not a bunch of big words that only make sense if you wrote the article). I want well developed links that are contextualized to the affirmative, either carded and analytical ones. You can read what you want in front of me, but I want you to use real word terms and words that are accessible to everyone. I won’t vote on something I don’t understand, if you’re going to run a k, put in the work to make it easy for me to vote on.
- I'm honestly not the most experienced judge for a k-aff, I don't have a paradigm on how to judge them so make it easy and not super technical for me to vote you up on it.
- I'm a sucker for a good T debate, and that's what I ran mostly in high school. I don't have any strong feelings on where the violation is derived from, and I think debates where one team is arguing plantext in a vaccum and the other is arguing that it can come from anywhere in the aff are interesting and I'm always down to watch more of those. I think education/portable skills is an under utilized impact to topicality that I weigh on par with a fairness or a clash impact for example. Caselists are always a good idea (even if they're kinda bull). And just saying “voter for fairness and education” is not an argument. Provide some warrants and examples of WHY fairness matters, WHY in round impacts matter more than debating the impacts post plan.
- I'm probably less okay with conditionality than any judge on the circuit and probably align more with some traditional thoughts here. I think more than three condo starts to push it and I'm down to vote on conditionality. I don't want to vote on condo and most likely won't vote on condo if you can't prove why the existence of three counter plans is different than three disadvantages, and if you can't prove some sort of in round abuse.
- DA debating is a skill that I think is hard to do and impressive when done. Crafting a unique DA to the affirmative will help you out, and me out when trying to understand the story of the round. If you need to run your generic DA's, do so with specific links, and if it's not carded but well explained and intuitive it's still going on my flow don't worry (although aff, point out if their link isn't carded, that always helps you). In my view, debate over the DA comes down most critically to uniqueness and the internal link. Warranted out uniqueness and internal link debating is one of my favorite things to flow and I'd rather you shave off a few seconds on impact work or link work or from some other part of the debate and put it there.
- Counter plans are not something I have any feelings towards debating or judging, but I think process cp theory and international fiat are totally available options to run against these. I don't have much to say here, I think this might be a spot where I get more tabula rasa.
- Case debate beyond reading generic impact defense is so often forgotten about, and in front of me is a good attempt for a negative ballot. I can and will vote on no chance of the aff solving, or an impact turn to the aff/a DA on case, or that the aff is non inherent.
- if there's an issue with cites, you're not going to get my ballot off of calling it UNTIL the other team/the team "in violation" has time to explain their side of the story
- I'm not a good judge for a heg debate (unless you're pronouncing heg like egg) but if you're running it I'll do my best to keep up
- perm do both and perm do each are the same thing and I have yet to receive an explanation on why they are not
If you made it this far, good luck and have fun!! It's gonna be a great debate :)
I have been coaching Policy Debate full time since 2014. Arms sales is my 7th year of coaching.
I view my primary objective in evaluating the round to be coming to a decision that requires the least “judge intervention.”
If debaters do not give me instructions on how to evaluate the debate, and/or leave portions of the debate unresolved, they should not expect to get my ballot. My decision will end up being arbitrary, and (while I will likely still try to make my arbitrary decision less arbitrary than not) I will not feel bad.
In the final rebuttals, debaters should be giving me a “big picture” assessment of what’s going on in the debate to give them the best chance to get my ballot. Extending 25 arguments in the rebuttals doesn’t do much for me if you’re not explaining how they interact with the other team’s arguments and/or why they mean you win the round. In my ideal debate round, both 2NR and 2AR have given me at least a 45 second overview explaining why they’ve won the debate where they dictate the first paragraph of my ballot for me.
Important things to note:
-I don’t ever think Topicality is an RVI (*this is distinct from kritiks of the neg’s interp/use of topicality*)
-If you don’t signpost AND slow down for tags, assume that I am missing at least 50% of your tags. This means saying a number or a letter or “AND” or “NEXT” prior to the tag of your card, and preferably telling me which of your opponents arguments I should flow it next to. Speech docs are not substitutes for clarity and signposting.
-I'm probably a 7 on speed, but please see above ^^^^
-High-theory will be an uphill battle.
-I would prefer not to call for cards, I believe it’s the debaters job to clearly communicate their arguments; if you tell me they’re misrepresenting their cards – I will probably call for them. But if I call for it and they’re not misrepresenting their evidence you’ll lose a lot of credibility with me and my cognitive biases will likely run amuck. Don’t let this deter you from calling out bad evidence.
-You can win the line-by-line debate in the 2AR but still lose the debate if you fail to explain what any of it means and especially how it interacts with the 2NR's args.
-Don’t assume I have any familiarity with your Acronyms, Aff, or K literature
-Swearing is probably word inefficient
-You’re in a bad spot if you’re reading new cards in the final rebuttals, very low propensity for me to evaluate them
-CPs that result in the aff are typically going to be a very hard sell, so are most other artificially competitive CPs. Perms are cool, so are time tradeoffs for the aff when this happens. If you really think you've got a sick techy CP make sure to go out of your way to win questions of competition/superior solvency / a specific link to the aff plan alone for your NB
-I think debate is a competition.
-the best “framework” arguments are probably “Topicality” arguments and almost probably don’t rely on cards from debate coaches and definitely don’t rely on me reading them after the round
-Impact everything out... Offense and Defense... I want to hear you telling me why your argument is more pressing and important than the other team's. I hate having to intervene... "Magnitude," "Probability," and "Timeframe" are not obscenities, please use them.
Arguments you shouldn’t waste your time on with me:
-Topicality = RVI (*this is distinct from kritiks of the neg’s interp/use of topicality*)
I am going to have the easiest time evaluating rounds where:
-warrant and evidence comparison is made
-weighing mechanisms and impact calculus guiding how I evaluate micro & macro level args are utilized
-the aff advocates a topical plan
-the DA turns and Outweighs the Case, or the CP solves most of the case and there's a clear net benefit that the perm doesn't solve for
-the negative has a well-researched neg strategy
-I am not expected to sort through high-theory
-the 2NR/2AR doesn't go for everything and makes strategic argument selection
Presumptions I bring into the round that probably cannot be changed:
-I’m voting Neg on presumption until the aff reads the 1AC
-Topicality is never an RVI (*this is distinct from kritiks of the neg’s interp/use of topicality*)
-There is no 3NR
-Oppression of humans = bad (note: I do not know how this compares to the end of the planet/human race, debaters are going to have to provide weighing mechanisms for me.)
-Earth existing = good (note: I do not know how this compares to other impacts like oppression of humans, debaters are going to have to provide some weighing mechanisms for me.)
-I will have a very difficult time bringing myself to vote for any sort of Consult CP if the aff even mumbles some type of “PERM”
-Once the 2AC perms, presumption goes to the neg to prove the perm unworkable or undesirable if the CP/Alt is not textually/functionally competitive
Unimportant things to note:
-Plz read your plan before you read solvency – I will be annoyed and lost if you don’t
-I really enjoy author indicts if/when they’re specific – it shows a team has worked hard and done their research
-I really enjoy case specific strategies – I enjoy it when a team can demonstrate that they've worked hard to prepare a case specific strategy
-I enjoy GOOD topicality debates
-I’ve been involved in policy debate in some capacity for 11 years now – Education is my 5th topic coaching.
-I put my heart and soul into policy debate for four years on high school. I worked tirelessly to put out specific strategies for specific affirmatives and I like to see debaters who I can tell have done the same and are having fun. So, show me you know your case better than anyone else if you're affirmative, or on the neg, show me specific links and answers to the affirmative... I tend to reward this in speaker points. ...That being said, generics are fun, fine, and essential for the negative team. Feel free to run them, you will not be penalized in any way.
I'm good for just about anything that is well debated: T, Theory, DAs, CPs, Ks... I can even be persuaded to vote solely on inherency if it is well debated - if the plan has literally already happened, for the love of god please punish the aff.
That being said, I enjoy seeing a strategy in argument selection, and appreciate when arguments don't blatantly contradict each other (i.e. the DA linking to the CP, or Cap Bad and an Econ Impact on politics). Especially in the 2NR.
I am pretty tab when it comes to LD. My goal is to reach a decision that requires the least amount of judge intervention.
Signpost and slow down on tags. Slow down even more for theory args. Spreading through tags and theory interps is absolutely not the move if you want me to be flowing your speech. I will not be flowing from the doc.
Slow down. No, you don’t have to be slow and you should certainly feel free to read the body of your cards at whatever max speed you are comprehensible at. If you’ve used signposting, slowed down on tags and pre-written analytics, you’re golden. It's inexcusable and unforgivable to not have signposting in the 1ac.
I come into the round presuming:
-the aff should be defending the resolution
-the aff is defending the entirety of the resolution
-my ballot answers the resolutional question
-debate is a game
These presumptions can likely be changed.
Stylistically agnostic, but probably not your best judge for:
-dense phil that you’re spreading through
-undisclosed affs that don’t defend the entirety of the resolution
-process CPs that result in the aff
-more than 2 condo
-friv theory - I ❤️ substance
-Probably not interested in hearing condo if it’s just 2 condo positions
-theory interps that require me to ignore other speeches
I think that I have a low propensity to vote for most arguments regarding things that happen outside of the round or prior to the 1ac. I am not interested in adjudicating arguments that rely on screenshots of chats, wikis, or discord servers.
Questions, or interested in my thoughts on particular subjects not covered in my LD paradigm? Check out my POLICY PARADIGM above!
Public Forum Paradigm:
First speakers get to ask the first question in crossfire. If you ask about the status of this in round, expect to get one less speakerpoint than you would have otherwise.
File Share > e-mail chain.
Depth > Breadth. You only have four minutes to construct your position, would far prefer to hear 2 well-developed contentions rather than 3-4 blippy ones unless they are incredibly straight-forward. Much less interested in adjudicating “argument checkers” than most.
I have been doing Public Forum for about 4 years, and I was the Novice Director at Brooklyn Tech. Overall, I love judging and I really do enjoy giving you feedback on how to grow as a debater.
If you do disclose please email me your case, it makes it easier for me to flow the round and decide who should win the round, my email is email@example.com.
1. Theory: YES. I love it when people run theories. However, you have to realize you're fighting an uphill battle since many judges won't know how to evaluate that. I, however, am bored and get excited about interesting arguments. The well-argued theory makes for interesting debates. This, for example, is how you call people out on rulebreaking - don't just say "it's illegal/not allowed," make it an argument with impacts.
2. Card-calling: I believe that being able to call for a card is an important strategic tool. That means it should be used, get this, strategically. You should have your cards ready and it should not take that much time to get it, however, if you are taking a long amount of time I will start running your prep.
3. Crossfire: Crossfire is your time to clarify. Don't expect me to write any argument you make during crossfire because it won't happen. Instead, follow up on strong points during your next speech. Finally, resist the urge to engage in shouting matches, it will definitely cost you speaker points and is a terrible use of everyone's time.
4. Attitude. If you are rude to either your opponent or me I will deduct your speaker points and if your attitude is off the charts I will give the other team the win regardless of the flow. Overall, be nice.
5. Rebuttals. Signposting is something I want to see all throughout the debate, however, in rebuttals it is key. I like off-time road maps and I expect that you should follow your off-time road map during the speech. I also want a logical and concise analysis of the faults of the opponent's argument, not just "this card says otherwise." Tell me why their argument is faulty and why your argument is better.
30 - If you run a good meme case/if you speak with an eloquence that can only be personified by someone like Barack Obama/Best speaker in the tourney in my opinion.
29 - If you speak really well with minimal error.
28 - Good job but you can use some improvement.
27 - You need improvement, but it's only an upward climb.
26 - There's a lot of room for improvement. Don't get down if you receive this from me. The debate is all about improvement, and if you attain this score then I will definitely give you tips on how to improve and better yourself in the verbal and digital feedback.
25 - Why are you here?
24 - If I have to go down here then you should go to policy/LD/Parli/Anything that isn't PF...
I debate in HS PF, so I have a pretty good idea of how a round works.
I will flow the round, but not cross. Make sure you signpost/roadmap your speeches.
I'm okay with speed but BE CLEAR. I won't flow what I can't understand (i.e. if you're mumbling).
Don't spread--back up your ev with analytics.
Give me comparative and explicit weighing.
You should be collapsing and give me clean voters in FF.
Be nice: during cross and in round. I will deduct speaker points for rude or discriminatory behavior.
Debators can run any (I mean ANY) argument to me as to why they should win the round from the arguments that they are making.
PLEASE give me examples, solvency, and impact analysis in the round, as well as clashing with your opponents and on their arguments.
Tech/Flow/Tabula Judge, but I get skeptical in very blippy arguments so keep that in mind.
The issue of Tech/Truth happens when deciding clash/which impact worse since debaters didn’t do it themselves (cleaning the debate) (Ex: Ontological violence vs. nuclear war)
I hate intervening
I will vote on topic, K, T, Theory, Performance (which I will judge the performance), Presumption, etc…
For T/Theory, explain and show the abuse. Flesh the argument out and explain why I should, don’t just say “vote fairness, the end”
For K: explain the thesis (don't just say post-modern jargon), impact, link, ROTB, Solvency...
Keep the spreading to 350 wpm. If I don't understand you, I will yell "clear!", but if you keep spreading so bad, I'll just stop saying "clear!".
SIGNPOST PLEASE; DON’T MESS WITH MY FLOW
Any questions? Ask me before round
Down Below is a list of critical Literature that I have read/Judged to give debaters an idea of the literature they can use. Always interested in hearing new arguments
Note: Some kritiks are generic due to the many types it has
Ableism, Cyber-Fem/Borg, Orientalism
Schopenhauer, Agamben Derrida, Marxism,
Security, Afro-Furturism, Ecofem, Necropolitics
Terror, Afro-Pessimism, Empire, Neo-Colonialism
Global Warming, Althusser, Hauntology, Nietzsche
Zizek, Anthropocentrism, Lacan
Neoliberal, Nuclear, Baudrillard, Latinx
Peace Theory, Spanos, Batman, Legalism
Post-Colonialism, Anarchy, Bataille
Libertarianism, Queer Theory, Vilirio
Biopower, Fem IR, Settlerism, Spectacle
Borders Gender Language, Subaltern
CRT, Buddhism, Carl Schmitt, Suffering Rep
Tuck and Yang, Capitalism, OOO, Spanos, Militarism
I am a new judge. Please let me know how you want to be evaluated. Please be respectful.
Would like participants to talk clearly. Not very fast.
Be respectful to opponents.
Follow the PF Debate Rules
Mark Kivimaki (he/him) – yes, I want to be on the chain, ask for my email before the round.
Affilitations: Edina HS, Seven Lakes HS, University of Minnesota
Background: I debated 4 years in HSLD, mostly on a traditional circuit. I then did for parliamentary debate for a year in college before switching to policy. I debated at the NDT and CEDA, going exclusively for K arguments. I have coached HSLD for 4 years, and I also have dabbled in speech, PF, and policy. This year, I am working primarily with high school LDers and a college policy team, so I will have the most topic knowledge in those places.
I am appalled with the behavior I have seen from both coaches and students in high school debate this year. Debate is a competition, but it is also a community that depends on students, coaches and judges to stay alive. Opponents should be respected regardless of debate skill. Judges making a bad decision does not justify saying horrible and cruel things about them.
Debate is a communication activity that unfortunately has a clarity problem right now. I don’t want to hear you spreading if I cannot discern the words you are saying. I will not flow from a speech doc, and I will not backflow analytics that I missed. I’ll clear you twice – maybe more, if I am feeling generous, and then I will put my hands in the air to demonstrate that I am not flowing. Most of you cannot spread – just slow down.
Number your arguments and answer arguments in the order they were presented.
I have experience competing in and coaching in all styles and almost every format. I don't hold many substantive beliefs at this point about style or content of arguments. The most important factors for debaters in front of me are demonstrating deep understanding of the arguments presented, nuanced impact calculus and judge instruction, and bold strategic decision making.
I am uninterested in hearing “content warning theory” unless it is for content that is objectively disturbing. There is no reason to present a graphic depiction of violence or SA in a debate, even with a content warning. Reading content warning theory on “feminism” or “mentions of the war on drugs” is unnecessary and trivializing.
Evidence ethics and clipping violations stop the round, and you don’t get to debate them out. I will follow tournament rules to adjudicate. If you’re making a clipping accusation you need recorded proof. Skipping one or two words on accident is not clipping.
Most of my knowledge and research is in K stuff, but I’m totally comfortable evaluating policy v policy.
Counterplan theory is bad and better resolved as a question of competition.
Arbitrariness is the most important consideration in theory debates.
Topicality is good. Compare the actual interpretations and counter-interpretations. T is an evidentiary argument, so you should do evidence comparison. I don’t judge a ton of policy debates so I won’t have well-developed intuitions about what is “core of the topic”.
Extinction does not intuitively outweigh. Prioritizing tiny probabilities of extinction is a deranged way to think about risk calculus, and debaters reading "soft left" affirmatives should make these arguments and read well-warranted cards about risk calculus. This also requires answering the substance of the disad. But these teams do neither, so more power to the extinction first team.
Ks on the NEG – framework is paramount. Do judge instruction about your interpretation and explain what it gets you. Most of these debates come down to underdeveloped issues about the scope of legitimate alternative fiat, whether the AFF gets to weigh case, or the scope of links to the AFF, so you should probably be explicit.
K AFFs – totally fine. Debate about interps/models rather than just impacts. Presumption is underrated. Don’t be generic. “No perms” is a non-starter if the AFF is competent.
Lincoln-Douglas -- National Circuit
Read the policy section.
Barely anyone in this activity knows how to spread. Honestly, you should probably debate at a conversational pace unless you are confident about your clarity.
Down to vote for phil, but I don’t coach or think about it much, so you’ll need to hold my hand a bit more through these debates.
Tricks usually don’t pass the “why test”, but if you read warrants for your arguments and explain why they matter, I’ll vote for them.
Frivolous theory is unpersuasive, but LDers are terrible about justifying “drop the argument” and “reasonability”.
Lincoln-Douglas -- Minnesota Circuit
Line by line matters. Signpost, answer arguments, do evidence comparison, do impact calculus.
Reading circuit arguments at locals is cringe. Counterplans are totally fine if they answer the resolutional question.
Framework debates are important, but you still need to win contention-level offense under the winning framework.
Evidence exchanges in this format are mindboggling to me. You should send a speech doc containing all the evidence you read prior to the speech, and it should be sent to both me and your opponents. I want your opponents to have the evidence so they can look at it rather than asking for individual cards. If you don't do this you get a 25.
I am a Statistician. I'll be looking for evidence-based and well-organized arguments that demonstrate the impact and likelihood of your points. I'll also be looking for direct responses to your opposing team's points.
My judging criteria is as follows:
1. Truth of claim :
The claim must be proven with strong reasons and evidence in constructive and in response to request for evidence from the opponents.
2. Impacting :
The claim once proven should be impacted. The importance of the argument is strongly reliant on your impacts. The greater the impact proven the more likely the importance of the argument increases.
3. Responses :
It is important to provide direct response to your opposing team’s points and attack your opposing team’s arguments. Prioritize the strongest arguments because time limitations do not allow you to fully address every single argument.
4. Weighing :
Most responses within debate rounds usually only mitigate the other teams arguments and do not necessarily prove them to be completely false. The importance of this is to understand the importance of weighing after giving your responses, it is because although mitigated some strong arguments are still left within the round that required to be weighed up. You can use different metrics to weigh your arguments such as which one affects more people, more urgent or occurs more often and many others to prove your arguments are more important.
5. Structure :
It is important to have an argument that flows from the beginning to the end of the argument. This is because it makes it easier to track the argument and reduces the likelihood that there is internal inconsistency within the arguments.
Howdy! I’m a former competitor (middle/high school) and former head coach from AZ. I have experience competing/judging/coaching almost all speech and debate events except for policy.
I consider over-generalizing arguments to be harmful to the debate space. Running arguments along the lines of "X people are not suffering" or "no one has this problem anymore" will hurt your results. Use your clearest judgement when using absolute statements. Your perspective and evidence can only be stretched to an extent. For many conversations in s&d, we have the privilege of discussing topics we will never face; speak with that privilege in check.
Lastly, be kind and have fun! You've got this. Good luck! Feel free to ask me questions - we're all here to learn and grow!
Impacts and weighing are crucial.
Engage and build. Engage with the round and build upon previous speeches by adding new information. Take the argument one step further and connect the dots.
If the debate starts to repeat the same arguments, please move to question.
Happy to consider the PO in my ranking. PO must show a good knowledge of procedures and run a smooth chamber.
I prefer traditional LD and am not a big fan of progressive LD. If you are going to run a Kritik, LARP, etc., I need to clearly understand why it is being used. I understand progressive LD jargon somewhat and will not automatically vote you down for a use of progressive LD, but I can’t guarantee I’ll catch everything perfectly. Particularly, if its use is unclear, it will affect my decision.
I look for weighing arguments/impacts and clear structure/sign posting.
I do not flow cross ex - if you bring up an important point during CX, make sure to include it in your speeches. I will still provide feedback about CX though and it could affect your speaker points.
Moderate speed - while I am familiar with spreading, moderate speed allows me to properly flow all of your arguments.
I appreciate context and clarity with stats (econ is not my strongest suit). I look for weighing arguments/impacts and clear structure/sign posting.
1st speaker and 2nd speaker are equally valuable and challenging roles to take on - for 1st speakers, I typically look for an ability to synthesize the debate and create a clear narrative of why your team is winning; for 2nd speakers, I typically look for direct clash and key voters in the final focus.
I do not flow crossfire - if you bring up an important point during crossfire, make sure to include it in your speeches. I will still provide feedback about your crossfire though and it could affect your speaker points.
Moderate speed - while I am familiar with spreading, moderate speed allows me to properly flow all of your arguments.
When judging a debate tournament, here are the thing I would like to see from the debaters...
- show good attitude
- show respect to others
- be able to deliver the case clearly
- be able to provide strong evidence to support the argument
- be able to show understanding of resolution, evidence, and impact.
my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Reading prog in front of me is Russian Roulette
tech over truth
send docs before speeches if fast
ok with theory
I AM NOT INCLINED TO CONSIDER ARGUMENTS WITHOUT WARRANTS
YOU MUST EXTEND A LINK
i do not want to hear non comparative weighing
I am new to debate. I will appreciate debaters to speak clearly and not to speak too fast.
Flow Judge - Current PF debater, please collapse in back half and signpost.
My judging criteria is as follows:
1. Truth of claim :
The claim must be proven with strong reasons and evidence. The second level of proving the truth of your claim is in responding to responses of your proof of the claim from the opposing team. This is important because the other team could attack a link in the truth of your argument and without sufficient response then the likelihood of truth of your argument becomes diminished. The result of this is that your impacts are unlikely to occur because the claim has been proven to be false which greatly reduces your chance to win the debate.
2. Impacting :
The claim once proven should be impacted. The importance of the argument is strongly reliant on your impacts. The greater the impact proven the more likely the importance of the argument increases. Ensure your impacts are reasonable within the debate and can be proven rather than looking for a huge impact that is unlikely to be proven within the debate.
3. Responses :
There are two level of responses I think are important within the debate. Responses that are constructive in nature which means you are responding to a rebuttal that was attacking your argument and rebuilding your argument. The second are deconstructive arguments attacking the opposing teams arguments. It is important to have different responses to the most strongest arguments in the round. Firstly because it allows you to mitigate the other teams arguments much more and reduces the likelihood the response is answered by an easy response from the other team. Lastly because you need to prioritize the strongest arguments and respond to those particular arguments within the round because they are the most likely to win the round and time limitations do not allow you to respond to every single argument.
4. Weighing :
Most responses within debate rounds usually only mitigate the other teams arguments and do not necessarily prove them to be completely false. The importance of this is to understand the importance of weighing after giving your responses, it is because although mitigated some strong arguments are still left within the round that required to be weighed up. You can use different metrics to weigh your arguments such as which one affects more people, more urgent or occurs more often and many others to prove your arguments are more important.
5. Structure :
It is important to have an argument that flows from the beginning to the end of the argument. This is because it makes it easier to track the argument and reduces the likelihood that there is internal inconsistency within the arguments.
Kindly respect your opponents. Do not engage in any rude and offensive language/actions within the debate round. I encourage you to be creative and have fun as you learn and engage with new people within the realm of debating. All the best !
As a judge, I am looking for debaters who are able to present a well-structured, logical, and clear argument in a respectful manner. I value eloquence and effective communication as essential elements of a successful debate.
I expect debaters to communicate their arguments effectively, with clear enunciation, good diction, and appropriate tone and volume. I appreciate debaters who articulate their ideas, avoid speaking too quickly and use their time effectively and efficiently.
I value well-organized and structured arguments that are logically presented and clearly support the position being defended. Debaters should be able to explain their position clearly and provide convincing evidence to support their claims. I appreciate debaters who can anticipate and respond to potential counterarguments, demonstrating their ability to think critically about their own position and that of their opponent.
Debaters should demonstrate an ability to engage with their opponents' arguments respectfully and constructively. I value debaters who can identify the key points of their opponents' arguments and respond to them in a clear and logical way. Effective rebuttals should challenge the weaknesses of the opponent's position and offer a convincing alternative.
At the end of the debate, I will evaluate the overall impression left by each team. I will consider the strength of the arguments presented, the quality of the evidence provided, and the effectiveness of the rebuttals. I will also take into account the ability of the debaters to communicate their arguments effectively and respectfully.
Well supported arguments that are presented clearly. Arguments should be addressed individually.
I am looking for rebuttals that extend arguments. I like civility, so please don't be offensive, rude and let your opponents finish their thought.
I give weight to impact and good citations. I also award points on how well you present your arguments
I also value the analysis. Use examples or states or qualified opinions and then give me your analysis of the evidence...why does your evidence matter...how does it fit into the topic.
Debate the resolution and make sure to carry through your arguments through till the end.
All aspects of CWAIL is important
Speak clearly. Any speed is fine as long as you slow down and read your tag lines and main points very clearly. Spreading is fine. Give clear indication of when you have reached the burden you set out.
LD: I am a true values debate judge in LD. Tabula rasa judge. Flexible to any kinds of cases and arguments as long as they are respectful. If your case is not topical or abusive and your opponent argues and proves that in their speeches then I am willing to vote based on topicality, education and abuse.
PF and CX: Be respectful and cordial to your opponent. I’m open to most anything in Policy rounds. Always stay on the debate topic, don’t wander off onto an irrelevant subject because it’s more enjoyable to argue about than the topic is. Always allow your opponent the opportunity to complete their sentence before continuing to cross.
I’m a Tabula rasa Judge especially in Policy debate. If you don’t tell me how you want me to weigh the round and set a minimum burden for each side to have to meet within the round to win then I will default to judging based on the block and will turn into a games playing judge and will make voting decisions based on what my flow shows and dropped arguments or arguments that were lost or conceded will very much factor into my vote. Impacts, Warrants and links need to be made very clear, and always show me the magnitude.
Public Forum debate notes: The comments below are written with policy in mind. But the principles apply. I would suggest reading the whole thing but specifically the parts on qualification of evidence, education and accessibility. What I hear and record by hand on my flow sheet is the official transcript of the debate.
I have experience in just about all types of debate. While some distinctions between formats I see similarities rooted in intentional relationships, education and rhetoric. I do not see the judge as a blank slate. So I have some things that I think, based on my experiences as a debater, social science teacher, coach, parent and program director effect my role as a judge. We all have filters.
Personally, I debated NDT for the University of Houston in the early 80's. Achieving out rounds at major national tournaments and debating at both the NDT and CEDA Nationals. I have coached all debate events and many speech events. My policy teams won St. Marks and Memorial TOC tournaments and enjoyed success nationally. My students were also successful on Texas UIL and local circuits. I have had debate teams, LD debaters, extemp speakers and congress entries placed 1st or 2nd in Texas and have also coached a state oratory champion.
Currently, I consult and do debate on the side from home. I'm 62 years old. Concerns or questions about a judge that age are addressed below.
I am open to alternative approaches to resolutions but also enjoy frameworks employed in the past. Debating and coaching in Houston and teaching at the UTNIF for a decade definitely shaped my my ability to listen to different types of frameworks - or what the debate is supposed to mean or accomplish. I have coached at so many levels, for many years on different topics - instead of seeing differences I see many similarities in the way arguments are framed evolve. I debated when it was highly questionable to do anything beyond policy debate - even counterplans, much less conditional frameworks, but being from a small squad (in a different info environment - when access to research and evidence was definiteley privileged) we pursued the edge strategies - such as hypothesis testing to level the field. Coaching in policy we ran all range of arguments. Overtime shifting to a more critical approach. Once again in response, in part, to the changing information space. On an education topic we went deep all year on Critical Pedagogy and on a criminal justice - Constitutive Criminology. There are very few rules in debate. What policy debate means and what my vote means are for grabs by both teams. I'm not into labels at way to define myself. If I had to pick a term it would be: Critic of Argument
A couple of notes
Speed, unless evolution is really off track, speed can't be any faster, even from when we debated in college. Speed is rarely what set the best debaters apart. However, these are my first NDT rounds this year. (I'm contemplating grad schools in the mountain west for next year) Make sure acronyms, initialisms etc. are clear first before ripping through what will be new information for me. I suggest making sure each of you arguments (CP/K/DA - plan objection if you're old -) have a quick efficient thesis that makes sure I understand your position and its potential in the round before you take off speaking more quickly.
I evaluate your proofs. Proof is a broad term - much more than published material.
I consider evidence to be expert testimony. A type of proof. The debater who presents experts to support their claims should lay the predicate - explain why that source is relevant and qualified to be an expert - when they present the evidence. Quotations submitted as evidence with just a publication title or name and date often fall short of this standard. Generally I don't want to call for a card after the round whose author was not qualified when presented in constructives. I will call for evidence on contested points. However, that evidence has been well qualified by the team presenting it and the debaters are usually talking about lines and warrants from the card. It is highly unlikely that I will call for card not qualified and/or not talked about in rebuttals. If a piece of evidence is not qaulified in a meaningful way during a debaters speech - it is unlikely I would call for it after the round. I've seen traveling graduate students from England just dismantle top flight policy teams - they had proofs that all knew and accepted often with out some of the "debate tech" norms found in academic policy debate (NDT/CEDA). See the comments below on what matters in rebuttals!
Notes on Education
Spurious "quick claims" claims of a specific educational standard thrown out with out all elements of an argument are problematic. I am a life long educator who has witnessed and evolved with debate. Often teams quick claim Education as a voting issue. As an educator, I often see performance methodology (like only reading names and dates to qualify evidence or "card stacking" reading only the parts of a card that favor you - even if full context sheds a different light OR speed reading through post-modern literature as probably much more important than a debate tech argument) as serious education issues that could be discussed - and much more primary to education - than debate tech one offs.
I find "debate tech" like spreading and some uses of technology in round serve to privilege or tilt the playing field. This doesn't mean to slow to a crawl - fast and efficient - but also accessible to both the other team and the judge. So winning because the affirmative can't respond in depth to 8 off case arguments is not persuasive to me. Be bold - go deep on issues that you think are yours. "Debate Terms of Art" often fall in this category. Language choice should be accessible - even if it means adapting to your opponent as well as your judge.
Evidence often is not enough
Most debates aren't won early - the changing information space has created a lot of equity. But there two things debaters do in my experience in rebuttals that make a difference. After they have strategically collapsed or decided which issue to go for they:
1. They talk authors and specific warrants contained in the evidence - usually contrasting opposing authors and warrants. These warrants are prima facia - they are best when clearly identified - even in the opening speeches.
2. They can tell a narrative - or give examples of the mechanics, warrants, internal links in the card. They can also explain sequences of events - what would happen if I voted for your argument/position or team.
From an educators view - this is the goal of debate.
Counterplans and debate tech
Counterplan "micro theory" has really evolved. That is my term for many variations of counterplans that drive focus away from clash on the topic. Superficial, procedural and timing exceptions or additions counterplans. I actually spent time reviewing two articles on the history of PICs and their evolution prior to writing this. The excessive use of academic debate "Terms of Art" is problematic, sometimes exclusionary. I prefer head on collision in debate - and debaters who figure out how to position themselves for that debate. I prefer the debate come down to clash on field contextual issue as opposed to "side swiping" the topic. Just my preference.
I also find that this type of debate tech functions as a tool of exclusion. The debate should be accesable to your opponents without an overreliance of theory or tech debates. If they are used as time sucks that rubs me the wrong way going to your Ethos as a debater.
I do not and will not vote on or enforce a preround disclosure issue. Settle that before the round starts. Take it over my head if you object. If you ask me to adjudicate that - you might not like the answer.
How we treat each other
This is something that might trigger my voting in way you don't expect. Let's work on accomodating each other and creating safe spaces for academic discourse and the development of positive intentional relationships.
Former open debater at GMU from 2018-2022. I ran mostly queer theory, disability, and various forms of cap for the last couple years and am most familiar with those lit bases.
She/they pronouns. Put me on the email chain please, ceili1627 at gmail dot com. Feel free to email me after rounds with questions.
TL;DR: run whatever you want and I'll judge as best I can. I think my role as a judge is to be an educator/facilitator of idea exchanges regardless of whether those ideas are connected to anything from USFG action to interpretive dance performances. Keep in mind that even though debate is a game that you should have fun playing, it has real-world consequences for the real people who play it. As a great woman once said, "At the end of the debate, be sure to tell me why I should vote for you; if you don't, then you can't get big mad when I don't ... periodt" and I live by that <3
K Affs: I'm totally down with k affs but I prefer them to have at least a vague link to the topic. It's super easy for the narrative of k affs to get lost during the round so please keep the aff story alive!! In FW/T debates, make sure to explain what debate rounds look like under your counterinterp, and that plus solid impact turns is usually a fairly easy ballot from me.
FW/T: As the same great woman once said, "I have voted against framework, I have voted for framework, but at the end of the day I don't really want to be there when framework is read." Run a caselist. Reasonability isn’t really an argument and fairness definitely isn't an impact. I tend to default to competing interps unless given a good reason otherwise. The neg needs to really spell out why I should err towards them on limits. TVAs are pretty useful for mitigating offense against fw as long as they're explained and contextualized well. Please for the love of god contextualize all your fw blocks to the round & aff in question instead of just reading a transcript of fw blocks from an NDT outround half a decade ago. I'm not persuaded by args that debate doesn't shape subjectivity--if you come out of a round the exact same as you entered it (regardless of if your opinions/beliefs have changed) then you're probably playing the game wrong.
Theory: Trying to convince me to care about potential abuse is an uphill battle. Don’t spread through theory blocks please. For blippy args I generally err towards rejecting the arg but will (extremely) reluctantly vote on it if dropped.
DAs/Case: Impact calc and clear internal link chains are both super important for me to vote on a DA. I tend to think that links determine DA direction but can probably be persuaded that direction is determined by uniqueness. I really enjoy heavy case debates and am disappointed that's increasingly missing from a lot of rounds. Also I think re-highlighting your opponents' ev is a bold move that's cool and often persuasive when it's done right but is pretty cringe if done poorly.
Ks: I was mostly a k debater in college and I'm most familiar with lit bases for queer theory, cap, set col, and debility. Still, you need to clearly explain your theories of power and all that good stuff instead of throwing around a bunch of obscure terms expecting me to know what you’re talking about. Please please please don't read a k just because you think that's what I want to hear--it makes for a bad debate and a grumpy judge. I’d like to think my ballot actually means something so explain to me what it does and I'll be more likely to pull the trigger for you. I feel most comfortable voting on specific links to the aff though I prefer the debate to go beyond the level of you-link-you-lose. Please give me a clear and coherent framework under which I consider the aff vs the alt, but also I think too many policy affs use framework to avoid engaging with the k at all which is both frustrating to judge and not at all strategic.
CPs: 50 state fiat is definitely core neg ground at the high school level. I’m fine with the neg having 2 conditional worlds, 3 makes me lean aff, and the neg shouldn't ever need 4+ conditional worlds. I don't judge kick and I'm likely to entertain most if not all CPs as long as they have a clear net benefit and explanation of how they solve the aff. Super meta CP theory confuses and bores me.
General: Tech > truth (often but not always, e.g. I usually tend to evaluate the debate through tech > truth but can be fairly easily convinced otherwise), debate is a game that you should have fun playing, clarity > speed (especially for zoom debate), I reserve the right to tank speaks if you're being homophobic, transphobic, sexist, racist, ableist, excessively rude, or clipping cards. Please don't make me have to judge something that happened outside the round like authenticity checks or happenings from other tournaments/seasons. I usually have little HS topic knowledge but that doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't pref me ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ it's good for the neg on T insofar as I don't have a predetermined view of what the topic should look like, but it's also good for the aff because I don’t have much knowledge on the nuances of what affirmatives look like under particular definitions. I'm pretty hit or miss on reading ev after rounds unless explicitly told to, and on that note please highlight your cards in as close to complete and coherent sentences as you can. Violent verb fragments aren't arguments.
I did 4 years of PF in high school so I'm quite familiar with this format. Extend your own args, don’t drop your opponents’ args. I vote on the flow and default to util for impact comparison unless you tell me to frame impacts differently. I’m most likely to vote for a PF team that nails impact calc in the rebuttals, does solid work extending offense, and uses effective warrant-level evidence comparison. My 3 biggest pet peeves with PF are (1) labeling literally everything as a voter, (2) saying "de-link,", and (3) using "frontline" as a verb.
I never debated this format, though I understand it, and I tend to judge it from a somewhat policy perspective. I'm cool with both traditional and progressive formats--do what you do best/enjoy most and I'll vote off the flow. What bugs me most is the introduction of some kind of framing lens at the beginning of the round (like value/value criteria or another kind of framework) that isn't extended or used throughout the rest of the debate.
If you use One Direction lyrics in your speechI will raise your speaks a max of 0.5. Do with that what you will.
Plano East 22' ---> utd 26'
policy for 3 years and ld a semester
was the ins on the aff and the 2n - read everything almost everything
Top Level -
The debate should be up to the debaters and i will not intervene - any of my opinions discussed below will not affect my decision-making process if any argument in the debate is made over them.
A lot of this philosophy (and my beliefs in debate) will echo austin kiihnl, kevin hirn, and julian habermann's philosophys'.
There is almost always a risk of any argument, its a question of how the debaters do calc as to which risk matters more
I will vote on any argument that I disagree with or is not true if the argument is won at a technical level (doesn't apply to non-negotiables)
"Evidence quality influences technical debating and I value good evidence highly"
"I have a fairly strong preference for organized, technical debating, and not debating in this way will probably make it a lot harder than you'd like for me to adjudicate the debate." (From Austin)
-Analytics need to be used more (esp vs less truthful args)
-I won't judge kick unless told to
-I don't lean a certain way on cp theory but 2ac blippiness means the neg block has a low threshold to meet. I'm better than most for theory to make it into the 1AR but still, every cp theory other than condo is probably a reason to reject the arg
-We meet on T is a yes/no question - generally T debates are my favorite when done well.
-“I will weigh the aff unless convinced otherwise. I enjoy alt debating far, far more than FW. Aff-specific link explanation will be rewarded highly. I am most likely to vote for a K if it uses its critical theory and explanatory power to directly diminish aff solvency rather than try to access a larger impact. If debated like a critical CP, DA, and case push, you will be rewarded.” (From Julian)
-I've spent a decent amount of time reading critical literature with the most time spent on Calvin Warren, Frank Wilderson, Christina Shrape, Arthur Kroker, and Douglas Kellner in that order. This means my threshold for your explanation might inevitably be higher, however aff specific contextualization and the explanation of the theory of power on the line by line should overcome any gap in understanding.
-I have a sweet spot for impact turn debates.
-My evaluation of K affs vs FW is best for the aff when there is either a firm impact turn strategy with some metric to evaluate aff case offense or a counter interp that focuses on establishing an inroads to 2nr offense while solving external impacts. I'm better for the negative when the strategy is either hard right fairness and providing a metric to view aff offense through or a strategy that revolves around clash/fairness and establishing ways FW can solve aff offense via a TVA/SSD. If it matters I've been on the neg side of these debates slightly more than the aff.
Do not be racist, sexist, homophobic, or misgender.
CX is binding
I will not vote on anything that did not happen in the round because that is not what a judge ought to do.
Be kind and enjoy debating.
Be funny, ill reward it
Call me Rahul
If the debate can be made safer, accessible etc. Please let me know.
Hello! I am a high school competitive debater that's been debating for two years.
I do flow the debate and would appreciate it if you please spoke CLEARLY and do NOT go too fast-- clarity>speed.
Feel free to be assertive during crossfire, but please be polite, especially during the grand cross.
Make sure to weigh your impacts, especially in the final focus.
I will vote for the team that convinces me their side is the right one!
Subject the email chain - Tournament Name Round # - Aff Team AFF vs Neg Team NEG
Debated at Maine East (2016-2020, TOC Circuit) and the University of Pittsburgh (2020-2023, NDT Qual)
Will boost speaker points if brought (vegetarian) food/snacks
Career wise, my arguments of preference were more critical (Afropessimism, Settler Colonialism, Capitalism, and the likes). I enjoy judging clash debates, policy vs critical. Traditional policy debaters should take note of my lack of experience in policy v policy debates and rank me lower on their judging preferences.
The one thing you should know if you want my ballot is this: If you say something, defend it. I mean this in the fullest sense: Do not disavow arguments that you or your partner make in binding speeches and cross-examination periods, but rather defend them passionately and holistically. If you endorse any strategy, you should not just acknowledge but maintain its implications in all relevant realms of the debate. The quickest way to lose in front of me is to be apprehensive about your own claims.
When in doubt, referring the judging philosophies of the following folks will do you well: Micah Weese, Daryl Burch, Reed Van Schenck, Calum Matheson, Alex Holguin, & Alex Reznik
Everything below this line is a proclivity of mine that can be negotiated through debate:
I think that debate is a game with pedagogical and political implications. As such, I see my role as a judge as primarily to determine who won the debate but also to facilitate the debaters' learning. Everything can be an impact if you find a way to weigh it against other impacts, this includes procedural fairness. When my ballot is decided on the impact debate, I tend to vote for whoever better explains the material consequence of their impact. Use examples. Examples can help to elucidate (the lack of) solvency, establish link stories, make comparative arguments, and so many more useful things. They are also helpful for establishing your expertise on the topic. All thing said, at the end of the day I will adapt to your argument style.
I dislike judges who exclude debaters because of what they decide to read in a debate round, I will NOT do that as long as you don't say anything racist, sexist, etc.
Speaker points are arbitrary. I tend to give higher speaker points to debaters who show a thorough understanding of the arguments they present. I am especially impressed by debaters who efficiently collapse in the final rebuttals.
Public Forum Debate
The faster you end the debate, the higher your speaks.
I am a flow-centric judge on the condition your arguments are backed with evidence and are logical. My background is in policy debate, but regardless of style, and especially important in PF, I think it's necessary to craft a broad story that connects what the issue is, what your solution is, and why you think you should win the debate.
I like evidence qualification comparisons and "if this, then that" statements when tied together with logical assumptions that can be made. Demonstrating ethos, confidence, and good command of your and your opponent's arguments is also very important in getting my ballot.
I will like listening to you more if you read smart, innovative arguments. Don't be rude, cocky, and/or overly aggressive especially if your debating and arguments can't back up that "talk." Not a good look.
Give an order before your speech
I am Saundarya Shah but you can call me Saundi (a lot easier). I am the parent of an elementary school debater and this is going to be my first time as a judge. I will look for well-researched, clear, and concise opinions that are presented at a pace that is easy to follow. Debaters’ mannerism in presenting themselves is also important to me. I will give points based on the content, presentation, preparation, organized rebuttals, and evidence of research. Be respectful and sensitive to other team members’ opinions. And most importantly, learn and have FUN!
TL;DR Primarily a Trad coach who also enjoys K's, Tricks, and Theory. I'm fine with LARP but at least run interesting arguments.
Bio: I've coached LD since 2013, and competed since 2009. I've coached students to stage at the NSDA national tournament, and had a lot of local success in Ohio. I'm the director of LD curriculum at Triumph Debate which I co-founded.
I strive to be a tab judge, and am pretty much always tech over truth.
Email: email@example.com - Please put me on email chains. Please.
Sidenote: I judge every weekend in the season, but Ohio doesn’t use Tabroom so it doesn’t show up :( I've probably judged an additional 400+ local rounds
If you cite sources you need to follow evidence standards (this is mostly an issue in Ohio). In my opinion paraphrasing in unacceptable in both LD and PF.
Debate camp is for trying out new arguments and debate styles. Just have fun with it.
Liberty HS (OH)
- Please provide me with a clear way to evaluate the round. If you don't I won't be happy when I try to figure out who won.
- Rounds should be accessible to your opponent. This means that you should, of course, use inclusionary language, correct pronouns, content warnings if necessary, etc. but also means that you should not spread complex Ks or tricks or anything otherwise unnecessarily high level against novices, lay debaters, etc. If you do this I will be supremely annoyed and you will be very unhappy with your speaks. What is the point of winning a debate round if your opponent never has a chance to compete? (more on this in the trad v. circuit section)
- If we're online please just always send speech docs.
- I'm probably not watching the video, so don't stress about that.
- I have ADHD and can lose focus easily. Please try to make sure you're engaging and feel free to yell into a mic, or do something in round if you feel as if I've zoned out.
- Warrants and Links are more important to me than impacts. I'd rather your argument make sense and have some probability of happening, rather than end in extinction. Of course, I still expect good impact calc.
- Impact calc is important. Explain why your impacts are more important than your opponents. This is especially important given the lack of frameworks in PF
- Try to present you case in a way I would actually want to hear it, were I not forced to be judging the round. Be interesting, use unique arguments, vary your rate and volume of speech, etc. Do something to differentiate yourself from everyone else at the tournament.
- If you're circuit or plan on reading prog, I have a very low tolerance for prog in PF. Theory is fine to fight abuse, Topical K's are fine, T is probably necessary at many points in PF.
- I primarily coach, and exclusively competed in traditional LD. Please keep this in mind. It's not that I don't understand circuit or can't flow spreading, I just don't have as much experience here as I do with Trad debate.
- Phil: I enjoy this. Just try to keep the debate accessible and make sure you're explaining things well.
- LARP/ Policy: Not my favorite rounds to judge, but feel free to do it, I won't hold it against you. Provide clear weighing mechanisms (and use them to weigh). I prefer more interesting arguments to generic ones.
- Tricks: Go for it
- K's: I prefer it if we keep things vaguely topical, but you do you.
- Theory & T: I weirdly enjoy theory debates when it's done well. T is fine with me as long as it's not to out there.
Framework is the lens through which I'll evaluate the round. That means to win the round you need to show how you best achieve whichever framework won the round.
Values - Are a waste of time and should just refer to some sort of generic good concept.
Philosophy - I'm cool with anything from a philosophy standpoint and enjoy seeing interesting takes on the topic. Personal Preferences are Hobbes, Kant, and Rawls, and I'm not a fan of libertarianism. I'll still evaluate everything fairly though.
“They do not achieve their fw” is not a response to the fw. “My fw is a prerequisite” is almost never explained and I usually cannot figure out a single reason why it matters or is true.
If what you really want is the util debate, then just run util. Traditional debaters do this thing where they’re like “my framework is rights” but it’s clearly just util.
Trad vs Prog
I believe some of the best education in debate comes out of traditional vs progressive rounds, that said, it is largely based on how the progressive debaters acts towards the trad debater.
Trad debaters - Don't whine about progressive debate being bad, don't read spreading bad shells that a teammate gave you, don't read K's bad, etc. Engage with the arguments and refute them, and you'll be fine.
Prog debaters - It is your job to keep this debate accessible. This means doing things like accepting your opponent won't read a counter interp, but if they engaged with the theory argument just going with it. This means politely explaining the K in cx (both substance of the K, and how K's operate in general). As long as you're polite, and make the round accessible and fair, we won't have any issues. Feel free to ask for guidance before the round if you have ANY questions on this.
I borrowed parts of this paradigm from Eva Lamberson. Thank you Eva.
Thank you for reading this paradigm, I will award references to horses with a very small bump in speaks as a reward for actually reading my paradigm.
I have been judging and coaching since 2016, before that I was a competitor in high school. My day job is a compliance director and pre-kindergarten teacher . My paradigms are pretty simple. In debate I vote by flow, show me the link chain, connections, and how your evidence or case is stronger than your opponent. If you provide a frame work, carry it through the round. I do not like spreading and super fast speaking, slow down and annunciation your words. Debate is still a speaking event, show off your public speaking skills . My pet peeve is interrupting opponents and rude manners, such as mumbling rude comments, if you ask a question, wait for a reply before moving on. Keep your comments to the case not other students. In IE events, I am looking for annunciation, smooth pace of speaking, use of gestures and showing a varied range of emotions. Best of luck in your rounds, feel free to ask any questions.
I participated in competitive speech and debate all four years of high school. I competed extensively at the local, state, regional, and national levels. My primary event is Lincoln Douglas, but I have experience with PF, Parli, Big Questions, and some familiarity with Policy. I do not have experience with speech as a competitor or as a judge. I have experience judging both middle and high school debate tournaments.
I can handle pretty much anything in any debate round. I am fine with spreading, but if you know doing so inhibits the comprehensibility of your speech, please send me your case. Run any arguments you'd like (including Kritiks, CPs, Performance Affs, etc). Be clear with extensions and voting issues. For LD in particular, I like to see an emphasis on framework and clash.
Feel free to ask any questions or clarifications prior to the start of the round.
Yes, I would like to be on the email chain: matthewsaintgermain at gmail. Affirmatives should have the email chain up and ready to roll immediately upon getting settled in the round. Please do not wait for everyone to arrive to start this. No "oops, I forgot" 1 minute before the round starts please! Unpack your stuff and get on this immediately, preferably sending a blank test email ASAP to make sure we're not having connection issues right before you stand up for 1AC. Also please only use an email chain and not the file drop and please do not send me a live doc as I flow on my computer (a Mac, so please send pdfs) and working from a file that people are updating live causes issues on my end so create a copy of your doc and send so I can view it without issue. I have multiple screens up optimized to flow the round and fill out the ballot via web browser split screen with a spreadsheet program and having to search for your evidence or view it outside of a browser before your speech messes my whole deal up. Despite all this being clear in my paradigm for some time now people keep ignoring it so it seems as if I have to give you justification for why this is important and it is because doing it any other way causes all my screens to get totally out of order as well can cause system resources to go wild. Having to minimize a screen to open up a word editor to then maximize and place back in my dual screen takes time and then rearranges the order of all my windows meaning in the time I'm trying to accomplish this while muted, debaters often go "I'll start if i don't hear from anyone in 3... 2..." and I'm now scrambling to try and find the window that Mac has decided to randomly change position in my window swipe order meaning where I think it is it isn't, and by the time I find it to unmute myself y'all are already speaking despite me not being ready and struggling to tell you this because of your choices to send me stuff that does not comport with my set up. Please keep things easy for me by running an email chain where you send pdfs, not doing this tells me you haven't read the very top level of my paradigm.
Former Edina High School (MN) policy debater (1991-1995) and captain (1994-1995). Former Wayzata High School (MN) policy coach (2019-2022).
I have judged just about every year since then for various high schools in the Twin Cities metro, including Edina, Wayzata, Minnetonka, and South St. Paul, from 1995 to present, with only two years off, just about 27 years. Please note, however, that this has not meant coaching on those topics up until 2019 through the end of the 2021-2022 season.
I'm versed in plenty of debate theory but I'm still catching up on nuance of newer nomenclature so get wild on the meta jargon at your own peril. Especially on critical theory arguments, you would do well to SLOW WAY DOWN and explain yourself thoroughly as while these things may be crystal clear to you, I'm not reading theory or complex philosophy In my free time so stuff like telling me to look beyond the face and totalizing otherness isn't going to immediately jog my "oh, yeah, that stuff" part of my dusty closet of a brain as you're going a million miles an hour with almost zero audible indication of where tags or analysis begin or end with relation to the evidence you're blazing through. I am 45 years old, I played in bands and have worked in rock clubs for years which has impacted my hearing, and especially over the Internet, speed reading complex philosophy through whatever variable quality mic you have often results in a kind of unintelligible din that is not helping you. You may in fact say it is actively hurting you. SLOW DOWN. This is an issue of accessibility and ability. If you're doing this and not sending the analysis that you're straight up reading from a file but expect me to somehow jot down multi-syllabic, college-level philosophical words while you triple-auctioneer speed over the internet, I mean, you're gonna get what you're gonna get, and no amount of post-rounding questions about things that were so clear to you is going to demystify what I humanly was able to get down. I need to stress this. If you're going philosophical and going even moderately fast, you're probably going to lose. Acting shocked after the round isn't going to change what you could have easily adapted to before the round started.
Unless you're theorizing it on the fly, send me everything you read, not just evidence. There is no material audible difference for the listener between you reading evidence and you reading analysis as fast as humanly possible. Both are just a kind of variable din regardless of the content.
My primary focus has been and continues to be Policy debate on the high school level, and that's where probably about 85% of my judging work has come. But I have ample experience judging circuit-level LD and PF through breaks alongside college debate and am more than comfortable adjudicating these different forms of debate.
This paradigm is a constant work in progress.
Dear debaters: I want to up front set your mind at ease by saying that debate, as I see it, is a club that by the start of your very first round, you are all a valued member of. The fact that you gathered up all your anxiety and worries and excitement and talent and got up and gave your very first speech, it's totally awesome. To me, you are part of a distinct kind of people, different from all the non-debate people, and as such, I want you to both embrace failure as a growth methodology as well as let go of any worries or judgments or preconceived notions about whether or not you belong here. You absolutely do. Please, not only feel okay making mistakes here but look for opportunities to make them! Take chances, especially in your first two to three years of debate. This debate stuff can honestly be mentally rigorous at times, but it's all about a kind of shedding of your prior self and any of the BS put on you in your lives outside of debate. Here you're on the team so any and all advice given to you is purely about building you up even if it feels like criticism. Only internalize what you need to fix, not that it means anything about you. I've learned over nearly 30 years of judging and coaching that while there are kids whom take to this immediately, that there are also kids who seem like they can't handle this at all and drop terrible rounds in their first year or even two, whom end up becoming TOC and Natty quals debaters that blow you away. I've seen it over and over. Debate (and especially policy debate) is a gauntlet that takes years to develop your skills, and so long as you stick with it, you'll succeed. The fact that you are here means that you're already one leg up on winning arguments in regular meatspace as is, but stick with it and it'll change your life over a myriad of domains.
If you think I'm not paying attention to you, you're wrong. I have probably one of the most detailed flows you're ever going to see, which you won't, but you get my drift. I just try very hard to look almost disinterested so you don't really know what I'm thinking and so it won't mess with you, though there are points where something does trigger a response and you should notice that, but anything else is just me trying to give you nothing visual to go off of. Just never confuse it with anger or indifference or whatever. Like, if you do something egregious, you'll know because I'll tell you. Otherwise, there's no subtext or hidden meaning behind anything I'm relaying to you as I'm extremely direct. I promise you I don't hate you.
Time yourselves, across all levels of debate, including novices. Y'all can handle this and take responsibility for each other by keeping tabs on both your and your opponents time.
Straight up don't go whole hog on disclosure. There was no disclosure when I debated. There wasn't even really "let me see your evidence" my novice year. You went in raw dog and dealt with it. That's not to say that I don't understand the whys here, it's just that I really don't find them compelling versus the debate we still could have with you ripping through open ev quick-like. If your opponent is being intentional here, didn't disclose or did something different than what their wiki said or what they told you, I think you have a path to argue presumption tilting your way but I still really need you to debate the actual debate rather than dumping a ton of time into an argument I would honestly feel dirty voting for. If you want to run disclosure, honestly do not spend more than 30 seconds in a constructive or rebuttal on it. Make your violation, set your standard, show how they violate, move on to actual substantive issues. You're just never going to win a "5 min on disclosure in 2NR" strat with me. Do other stuff.
If your Neg strat involves multiple off and post Aff-response you kick out of a ton of stuff that the Aff responded to and just go for something that was severely undercovered, yes, I'll still maybe vote for this because technically you are winning, but this won't engender good speaks, and the other team really has to mismanage it. I don't believe this is all that educational of a debate (hint: there's an in-round arg here) and I think smart Affirmative teams should challenge this strat within the confines and rules of the round (meaning I think there's an argument you can construct, esp w/in policy, to check against this strat in your 2AC/1AR). To be clear, I am not anti-speed whatsoever, but a straight dump strat and then feasting on the arg that they had at the bottom of the flow with few responses is just like meh. It's honestly poor form. You're telling me you cannot beat this team heads up on the nuts and bolts argumentation. Affs are responsible for handling this, no doubt, but we're walking a fine line here when it comes to previous exposure and experience, and if it's clear this is not a breaks team and your whole strategy is just making debate less educational for them by spreading them out of the round, I'm not going to dole you out rewards beyond the technical win.
Unless the other team insults your character, microaggression/community critiques are an almost auto-loss for me for the team that runs them. If one team is being a bunch of dongs, I may say something in round, but if I don't it's because it has not risen to the level wherein my intervention is necessary. Otherwise, this is something to solely bring up with your coaches and bring to tab; it's not in-round argumentation PERIOD and turning it into offense is well beyond problematic to me. My degree is in psychology and this greatly informs my position on this across a variety of domains, and one of the central reasons is argumentation like this used as offense almost entirely is not followed up with any kind of tournament debrief between tab and the two teams and their coaches. Because no one wants to nor cares about that in these rounds where the offense is beyond subjective. If these are such severe circumstances that you're claiming rises to the level of an ethics violation, there's a process here that involves a lot of parties and time and I've yet to see this happen at all in rounds where the violation is tenuous at best. As one of the judges in both the '22-'23 MN State Final Round in policy between Eagan and Edina and '20-'21 Nat Quals policy round between Rosemount and Edina, I rejected both of these arguments with prejudice. Character assassinating a kid in round will *NEVER* fly for me and if this kid is such a well known problem, then coaches, tab, and the state high school league must be involved before they even sniff the morning bus to the tournament, let alone in the round itself. This has nothing to do with the Role of the Ballot and is extrinsic to why we're here to debate. Again, I will not have rounds I judge turn into character assassinations of individual debaters just because you don't like their personality. If they drop something offensive, like actual name calling, I'll even bring it to tab, but a little friendly sparring does not make the activity unsafe and not liking how someone speaks or their intonation sets a precedent that makes it even harder for neurodiverse kids (and adults) to participate. Make no mistake, this is not a "kids these days are too soft" boomer doomer arg. It's expressly about protecting everyone and not having DEBATE rounds devolve into some inquisition about a teenager's however unsavory-to-you approach. Racist, sexist, ableist, etc. comments are squarely different from this, though I believe teams who make an honest mistake and apologize should not be rejected and we should continue to move on, with the understanding that I'll likely mention something to your coaches to make sure the mistake is noted beyond the confines of the round.
I view the intent of debate to be about education while simultaneously playing an intellectual game. I think that the word education itself is up for debate, but I would tend to view it as both mastery of epistemology and praxis. I am open to a discussion of that truth but I enter the world of debate with a certain set of beliefs about larger issues that should the round conform to that precondition, I am likely to vote there.
I would outwardly suggest that I am a tabula rasa judge who will vote for anything (that isn't reveling in things that make all debaters unsafe and are conscientious of specific situations that tend to be more unique for particular populations), but if you pinned me down on what I tend to think of when I think "policy debate," I would likely default to being a policymaker who attempts to equally weigh critical debate, meaning if the analysis/evidence is good, I can be persuaded to buy "cede the political," but it's not my default position.
Within the realm of policy, I believe a lot is up for grabs. The rules themselves are up for debate, and I think this can be a wonderful debate if you really want to go there. And just because I say I'm a policymaker doesn't mean that I'm against critical arguments; quite the contrary. I will vote on anything so long as the reasoning for it is sound. My preference is to hear about a subject that the affirmative claims to solve and why I should or should not vote for it. If that means that the policy entrenches some problematic assumption, that's 100% game; if it means something beyond the USFG, that's also fine.
Brass tacks, I'm not going to deny it: you give me a solid policy style round, I'm gonna love it. But I'm right there with you if you want to toss all that aside. As a debater, I chose to run arguments (borders K in 94/95) for an entire season that over half of my judging pool rejected on face as a valid form of argumentation with some making a drammatic display of holding their pen in the air while I was speaking and placing it on the table and then folding their arms to let me know just how horrific my choice of argumentation was. So for critical teams know that outside of Donus Roberts in the back of the room, I was a K debater who intentionall ran Ks in front of judges that thought I was ruining the activity and exacted punishments against me throughout my entire senior year basically destroying my experience. These were grown ass adults. While I might hedge towards policy as policy, I was a K debater myself so I am open to anything. I ran what I wanted to run, and I think the debaters of today in policy should run what they want to run, and our job as judges is to fairly adjust to how the activity adapts while connecting the activity to the constructs that best define it. That said, the further you diverge from the resolution on the aff, the more neg presumption is not just fair, but warranted.
I believe debate is also much more about analysis of argumentation than just reading a bunch of evidence. It's awesome you are able to quickly and clearly read long pieces of evidence, but absent your analysis of this evidence and how it impacts the round/clashes with the other team's argumentation, all you've done is, essentially, read a piece of evidence aloud. I need you to place that evidence within the context of the round and the arguments that have been made within it. I don't need you to do that with ALL the evidence, just the pieces that become the most critical as you and your opponents construct the round. Your evidence tells the story of your arguments, and how far they'll go with me.
If you hit truth, I'm there with you, but I can't make the arguments for you (I lean more truth than tech but I just can't make the arguments for you). When rounds devolve into no one telling me how to adjudicate the critical issues, you invite me to intervene with all my preconceived notions as well as my take on what your evidence says. To keep me out of the decision, I need you to tell me why your argument beats their argument based on what happened in the round (evidence, analysis, clash). I need you to weigh for me what you think the decision calculus should come down to, with reasons that have justification within the sketch of the round.
If you're a critical team reading this, know I've voted for K affs, poetry affs, narratives, and the like before. I'd even venture to guess my voting record on topics venturing far from the resolution is probably near 50/50. But I will buy TVA, switch-side and the like if they're reasonably constructed. The further you are from the resolution, the more I need you to justify why the ballot matters at all.
I believe line-by-line argumentation is one of the most important parts of quality debate. Getting up and reading a block against another team's block is not debate. Without any form of engagement on the analysis level, the round is reduced to constructives that act like a play. I want you to weave the evidence you have in your block into the line-by-line argumentation. This means even the 1NC. Yes, you are shelling a number of arguments, but you do have the ability as a thinking brain to interact with parts of the 1AC you think are mistagged, overstated, etc.
2AC and 2NC cause significant in-round problems when they get up and just group everything or give an "overview" of the specific arguments and then attempt line-by-line after I've flowed your 15 arguments on the top of the flow. Don't do this. Weave case extensions within the structure of replying to the 1NC's arguments.
The strongest Negative critical argument to me is "One Off" in the 1NC and then just horizontally eating that team alive the whole round on this one argument. I don't care how good the Aff is, "ONE OFF" uttered as the roadmap in 1NC sends chills down anyone's spine. Honestly, I HATE "6 off" and then feasting on the one arg the Aff fumbles. As I grow older, I'm less and less and less inclined to dole out the win on this strat. I also probably am not the best judge to run condo good against if the way you operationalize stuff is a pump and dump strat.
The following specific speech comments of this paradigm are more focused for novice and junior varsity debaters. At the varsity level, all four debaters should feel free to engage in cross ex, though, if you are clearly covering for a partner who seemingly cannot answer questions in varsity, that's going to impact their speaks and you highlighting it by constantly answering first for them is kinda crappy, kid.
Specific Speech Thoughts:
I do not like tag team cross ex for the team that is being questioned. Editing this years on, and I think the way this is phrased is misleading. A digression: some of the best cross-exes I've ever seen involved all four debaters. That said, the time was still dominated by those who were tasked with the primary responsibilities. And I think saying "I do not like tag team cross ex" makes it seem like I would be against the thing I just described as being great. This is only meant regarding scenarios in which it is clear one person is taking over for another for whatever reason. Taking over for your partner without allowing them the opportunity to respond first makes it look like they don't know what they're talking about and that you do not trust them to respond. Further, doing this prevents your partner from being able to expertly respond to questioning, a skill that is necessary for your entire team to succeed. I have little to no qualms about tag team questions, meaning if it's not your c/x and you have a question to ask, you can ask it directly rather than whispering it to your partner to ask. Again, however, I would stress you should still not take over your partner's c/x. Also, I'm generally aware when it's a situation where there is a pull up and the team has to make due. Obviously speaks will be attenuated, but also do think this is some kind of "I'm angry at you," deal. I can generally recognize in these scenarios and don't worry if you're trying to help your pull up.
Further, there is no "preparatory" time between a speech and cross ex. C/x time starts as soon as speech time ends.
Global (all speeches):
- I was an extremely fast, clear, and loud debater. I have no issue with real speed. I have an issue with jumblemouth speed or quiet speed. I especially have an issue with speed on a speech with little to no signposting. Even if you are blindingly fast, you should ALWAYS slow down over tags, citations, and plan (aff or neg). Annunciate explicitly the names of authors. Seriously... "Grzsuksclickh 7" is how these names come out sometimes. Help me help you.
- Need to be signposted in some way. This means, on a base level, that you say the word "NEXT" or give some indication that the three page, heavily-underlined card you just read had an ending and you've begun your next tag. Simply running from the end of a piece of evidence into more words that start your next tag line is poor form. It makes my job harder and hurts your overall persuasion. Numbering your arguments, both in the 1AC and throughout the round, goes a long way with me.
- Optimize your card tags to something a human can write/type out in 3-5 seconds. Your paragraph long tag to a piece of evidence hurts your ability for me to listen to your evidence. No one can type out: "The alternative is to put primary consideration into how biopower functions as an instrument of violence through status quo education norms. Anything short of fundamentally questioning the institution of schooling only reifies violence. The alternative solves because this analysis opens space for discovery and scholarship on schooling that better mitigates the harms of status quo biopolitical control" within about 5 seconds, while you are reading some dense philosophical stuff that we ostensibly are supposed to listen to while trying to mentally figure out how to shorthand the absurdly long tag you just read. And yes, that's a real tag and no, it's not even close to the longest one I've heard, it's just the one I have on hand.
- The ultimate goal is to not be the speech that completely muddles/confuses the structure of the round.
- It's supposed to be a persuasive speech. It's the one speech that is fully planned out before the round. You should not be stuttering, mumbling, etc. throughout it. You've had it in your hands for an ample amount of time to practice it out. Read it forwards and backwards (seriously... read your 1AC completely backwards as practice, and not just once but until you get smooth with it). It's your baby. You should sound convincing and without much error. If you are constantly stumbling over your words, you need to cut out evidence and slow down. Tags need to be optimized for brevity and you should SLOW DOWN when reading over the TAG and CITATION. And you should be able to answer any question thrown at you in c/x. 2A should rarely, if ever, be answering for you.
- Operates much like a 1AC, in that you have your shells already fully prepared, and only really need to adjust slightly depending on if the 1AC has changed anything material. If you are just shelling off case, then you are basically giving a 1AC, and you should be clear, concise, and persuasive. As with 1ACs, if you are stumbling over yourself, you need to cut out evidence/arguments. If you are arguing case side, you need to place the arguments appropriately, not just globally across case. Is this an Inherency argument? Solvency? Harms mitigation? Pick out the actual signposted argument on case and apply it there. As with 1A, your 2 should not be answering questions for you in c/x.
- If the 1NC did not argue case, I do not need you to extend each and every card on case. "Extend case," is pretty much all I need. Further, this is a great opportunity to use any of the 1AC evidence against the off-case arguments made. Did you drop a 50 States Bad pre-empt in the 1AC? Cross-apply it ON THE COUNTERPLAN. I don't need you extending it on case side which literally has zero ink from the 1NC on it. KEEP THE FLOW CLEAN.
- You should be following 1NC structure, and line-by-lining all their arguments. Just getting up and reading a block on an argument is likely going to end up badly for you, because this is shallow-level, novice-style debate, that tends to miss critical argumentation. I need you to *INTERACT* with the 1NC argumentation, and block reading is generally not that.
- First and foremost, you need to make sure you are creating a crystal clear separation between you and the 1NR in the negative block. Optimally, this means you take WHOLE arguments, not, "I'm gonna take the alt on the K and my partner will take the rest of the K." Ugh. No. Don't do this. Ever. It's awful and it ruins the structure and organization of the round. If there were three major arguments made in 1NC, let's say T, K, and COUNTERWARRANTS, you should be picking two of those three and leaving the third one completely untouched for the 1NR to handle.
- Use original 1NC structure to guide your responses to 2AC argumentation. Like the above, you should not be reading a block to 2AC answers. You need to specifically address each one, and using the original 1NC structure helps keep order to the negative construction of argumentation.
- Following from the above, you should not be recovering anything the 2NC did, unless something was missed that needs coverage. You should be focused on a separate argument from the 2NC. As above, don't just get up and read a block. Clash! Line-by-line! Make the 1AR's job harder.
- The hardest speech in the game. This is a coverage speech, not a persuasive speech. By all means, if you can be persuasive while covering, great, but your first job is full coverage. You do not need to give long explanations of points. Yes, you do need to respond to 2NC & 1NR responses to 2AC argumentation, but much of the analysis should have already been made. Here's where you want to go back and extend original 1AC and 2AC argumentation, and you only need to say "Extend original 1AC Turbinson 15, which says that despite policies existing on the books in the SQ, they continue to fail, everything the Negs argued on this point is subsumed by Turbinson, because these are all pre-plan policies." The part you don't need to do here is get into the *why* those plans fail. That's your partner's job to tell the big story. Again, if you are good enough to pull this off in 1AR, that's amazing and incredible, but no one is expecting that out of this speech. All judges are looking for from the 1AR is a connection from original constructive argumentation to the 2AR rebuttal. Rounds are generally NEVER won in 1AR, but they are often lost here. Your job, as it were, is essentially to not lose the round. Great 1ARs, however, begin to combine some of the global, story-telling aspects of 2AR on line-by-line analysis. But one thing none of them do is sacrifice coverage for that. Coverage is your a priori obligation and once you master that, then start telling your 1AR stories.
- Put things like Topicality and the Counterplan on the top of the flow.
2NR & 2AR
- Tell me why you win. Weigh the issues and impacts. Tell me what they are wrong about or analysis/argumentation they dropped. Frame the round.
- I tend to believe that any case that is reasonably topical is topical. You have to work hard to prove non-topicality to me, but that does not mean I will not vote for it. 2AC should always have a block which says they meet both the Neg definition and interpretation, as well presents their own definition and interpretation.
- And as a bit of history, when I was a debater, the Kritik was an extremely divisive argument, with more than half of the judges my senior year (1994/95) demonstrably putting their pen down when we'd shell it and would refuse to flow or listen to it. We decided that we were not going to adjust for these judges and ran the K as a pretty much full time Negative argument and we were the first team in the State of Minnesota debate to do this. This made sense at the time as the topic was Immigration and a solid 75% of the cases we hit were increased border partrol, or ID cards, or reducing slots, etc. So, I'm quite familiar with the argumentation and I'm sympathetic to it. But I also feel it is overused in a sense when much more direct argumentation can defeat Affs and I would venture to guess many of the authors used in K construction would not advocate its use against Affs which seek redress for disadvantaged groups. I want you to seriously consider the appropriateness of the link scenario before you run a K.
- Negs need to do a lot of work to win these with me. It can't just be the rehashing of tag lines over and over and over. You need to have read the original articles that construct your argumentation so you can explain to me not only what the articles are saying, but are versed on the rather large, college-level words you are throwing around. Further, I find kritiks to be an advocacy outside of the round. I find it morally problematic to get up in the 1NC and argue "here are all these things that impact us outside of the round because fiat is illusory" and then kick out of this in the 2NR.
- I also want you to seriously consider the merit of running these arguments against cases which seek to redress disadvantaged groups. While I get the zeal of shoving it down some puke capitalist's throat, I question whether running said argumentation against a case which seeks, for example, to just provide relevant sex education for disabled or GLBTQ folx as appropriate. You're telling me after all these years of ignoring educational policy which benefits straight, cis, white guys that *now's the time* to fight capitalism or biopower or whatever when the focus on the case is to help those who are extremely disadvantaged in the SQ. This is an argument that proffers out-of-round impacts and I certainly understand the ground that allows this kind of argumentation to be applied, but a K is a different kind of argument, and I think it runs up against some serious issues when it attempts to lay the blame for something like capitalism at the feet of people who are getting screwed over in the SQ.
- I'm going to copy my friend Rachel Baumann's bit on the identity K stuff: "I will also admit to being intrigued with the culture-based positions which question the space we each hold in the world of debate. I have voted both for and against these arguments, but I struggle with which context would be the appropriate context in which to discuss this matter. The more I hear them, the less impressed I am with identity arguments, mostly because, again, I struggle with the context. Also, there is the issue of ground. Saying "vote against them because they are not... X" (which is an actual statement I heard in an actual round by an actual debater this year) seems just as constraining as the position being debated, and does not provide the opposing team any real debatable ground."
- I will vote on IT ALL. Their barrier is existential? Well, that's an old school argument and I will totally vote on an Aff not meeting their prima facie burden, and I will not find it cute or kitsch or whatever. It is a legitimate argument and I am more than happy to vote there, but you have to justify the framework for me.
- Negatives must keep in mind that unless you have some crystal clear, 100% solvency take out, you are generally just mitigating their comparative advantage. Make sure that you aren't overstating what you are doing on case and that you weigh whatever you are doing off case against this.
- Also into it all and will vote on it. I think Vagueness and Justification and Minor Repairs all are quite relevant today with how shoddily affirmatives are writing their plans. Use any kind of argumentation that is out there, nothing is too archaic or whatever to run. Yes, this means counterwarrants!
Much of the above for Policy crosses over into LD. I often sit in LD rounds where the criterion and value are mentioned at the front end of the debate and then never again. It would seem to me that these help bolster a framework debate and you're asking me to lock into one of these in order to influence how I vote, so then never really mentioning them again, nor using them to shape the direction of the debate always confuses the heck outta lil ol' me. Weigh the issues, write the ballot for me. Not locking argumentation down forces me to go through my flows and insert myself into the debate. Will vote on critical argumentation on either side (check my responses on 'distance from the resolution' up in the policy part, applies here as well) and you can never go too fast for me so don't worry.
The requisite "I'm a policy coach, you can do whatever with me in PF" applies. Just tell me how to vote.
Adapted from a fellow coworker:
- Voters and weighing. I don't want to have to dig back through my flow to figure out what your winning arguments were. If you're sending me back through the flow, you're putting way too much power in my hands.
- Clear sign posting and concise taglines.
- Framework. If you have a weighing mechanism, state it clearly and provide a brief explanation.
- Unique arguments. Debate is an educational activity, so you should be digging deep in your research and finding unique arguments. If you have a unique impact, bring it in. I judge a lot of rounds and I get tired of hearing the same case over and over and over again.
-Just referencing evidence by the card name (author, source, etc.). When I flow, I care more about what the evidence says, not who the specific source was. If you want to reference the evidence later, you gotta tell me what the evidence said, not just who said it.
-SPEED. I'm a policy coach. There is no "too fast" for me in PF. Seriously. There's no way possible and anti-speed args in PF won't move me in the slightest. Beat them heads up.
-Evidence misrepresentation. If there is any question between teams on if evidence has been used incorrectly, I will request to see the original document and the card it was read from to compare the two. If you don't have the original, then I will assume it was cut improperly and judge accordingly.
-Don't monopolize CX time. Answer quickly the question asked with no editorializing.
-"Grandstanding" on CX. CX is for you to ask questions, not give a statement in the form of a question. Ask short, simple questions and give concise answers.
-One person taking over on Grand CX. All four debaters should fully participate. That said, I really don't need any of the PF niceties and meta communication. Just ask away. Seriously. The meta performance of cordiality seems like a waste of time in a format with the least time to speak.
-K cases. I'll vote for em. K arg's same. If you hit a K arg, don't deer-in-headlights it. Think about it rationally. Defend your rhetoric and/or assumptions. Question the K's assumptions. Demand an alternative. Does the team running the K bite the K themselves? What's the role of the ballot under the K? There's plenty of ways to poke a sharp stick at a K. Simply sticking your head in the sand and arguing "we shouldn't be debating this" is not and will never be a compelling argument for me and you basically sign the ballot for me if the other team extends it and goes for the K with only your refusal to engage it as your counter argumentation.
-Evidence Exchanges. If you are asked for evidence, provide it in context. If they ask for the original, provide the original. I won't time prep until you've provided the evidence, and I ask that neither team begins prepping until the evidence has been provided. If it takes too long to get the original text, I will begin docking prep time for the team searching for the evidence and will likely dock speaker points. It is your job to come to the round prepared, and that includes having all your evidence readily accessible.
-If anything in my paradigm is unclear, ask before the round begins. I'd rather you begin the debate knowing what to expect rather than start your brutal post round grilling off with one-arm tied behind your back. ;)
I do bring a policy comparative advantage approach to PF. In the end I believe there are two compelling stories that are butting heads and which one both 1) makes the most sense, and 2) is backed up by argumentation and evidence in round. I am pretty middle of the road on truth vs tech, requiring a lot less when the arg aligns with the truth, but if you are cold dropping stuff there's no amount of reality I can intervene to make up for that. You are each attempting to construct a scenario to weigh against the other and I'm deciding which one makes more sense based on the aforementioned factors. Point out to me how you've answered their main questions and how your evidence subsumes their argumentation. Point out your strongest path to victory and attempt to block their road. Don't just rely on thinking your scenario is better, you must also harm theirs.
No one really gets their full scenario, it's all a bunch of weighing risk and probability and if you can inject doubt into the other teams scenario, it goes a long way towards helping weigh the risk of your scenario against yours. Keep the flow clean and do this work for me and you'll get your ballot.
e-mail chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Heyyyy, I’m Eli (nickname Afro)! I debated for Brooklyn Tech and currently debate for Binghamton University (former Bing PT, now Bing CT).
Personal thoughts (on debate): Debate is legit a business. To debate is work. So my advice: put as much, or as little, time in debate but let it be with intention, purpose, and control. Like yes, enjoy the activity, but after a certain point what is the plan for how you interact with this space (and especially your arguments)?
That said, I do not have the capacity to busy myself with argumentation that is a waste of time (meaning it lacks intention, a goal, and/or a purpose). I'm deeply intuitive and clock things with ease.
Let me not feel about your arguments how Grace Jones felt about meeting Lady Gaga:
Top of the line: I view everything through ethos, and/or the lack of it (this hurts you). I vote for the team who best articulates a politic that shows an understanding of the world beyond technicalities and jargon.
Speed: If I yell clear twice, more than likely I will default to what I’ve heard and understood. So, if it comes down to the flow, please make sure I understand the important points. For your sake, not mine.
Policy Affs- I need a clear framework for how I am to evaluate the plan (and round) beyond a reactionary response to the negative. I also require a clear link story to the impact(s), and how the plan actualizes a politic to secure a resolution to the harms of the 1AC.
In many words, block out for T. That seems to be a lot of policy teams' (on the Affirmative) weakness.
T/Framework: I think procedurals can be a proper way to contest the aff's methodology and solvency mechanism. That depends on nuance and the way it is read. So, T-USFG: that’s fine (sometimes convincing), but you're not gonna go far if the block is just surface level on questions of YOUR wants.
I think frameworks in the realm of materiality/embodiment/etc are good.
CPs: I’m pretty neutral on them. Please just remember to have a net benefit (whether it’s internal or a DA).
I love Critical CPs.
DAs: Again, also pretty neutral. In order to justify a win with the DA, I require a very clear and concise link story as well as impact comparison to justify the DA as a takeout to Aff solvency. Like, why is it important? Many times I see DAs be ran and I'm just like... this feels like a huge FYI and still don't know why I should care (judge instruction)...
Aff: Let the aff be in discussion of the topic. If not, I need instruction as to why I should care. I feel like that's my entire paradigm: why should I care... how should I evaluate the round...?
Neg: I think it’s important for content and form to be aligned. I require strong judge instruction because I refuse to do any more labor than I need to. This applies to Affs as well, but I specified here as the Neg has the burden of rejoinder. Meaning y'all have to win an actual DA to the Aff and/or an outweigh claim.
POMO: I require an advocacy that could easily be materialized or understood in a way that I can intuitively see it solving for the impacts. Examples and analogies would be best.
Identity 'ish: to win my ballot, you have to win your Theory of Power and that your method best alleviates the violence that incurs from power (as opposed to being an 8/9-minute FYI). I'm familiar with many and live in the intersections of many. Black Fem args have my heart tho
Performance: As someone who's only done this style since High School, know this: just because you think your art is cool or creative, does not make it new or good. It’s important to stay on point as there’s a higher threshold for how the critique can actualize in-round (due to its deviation from normative performances). This is especially true if you black.
So, make sure to be consistent in each speech- because your stylistic choice in itself is also a critique. Lastly, be strategic and use your 1AC/1NC to leverage offense throughout the round.
Theory: No one reads it properly for me. Divert from only using shells and apply it to the performances of the opposing team, so that I can evaluate the importance of this voter. Clear articulation (and extension) of the abuse story is key.
Any rhetoric that defaults to antiblackness (yes that includes misogynoir), queer/trans-phobia, ableism, etc- I have the complete right to drop you and end the round. I do not care. Auto-loss.
I live for a good ki ki, a roast, a gag. So, gag me and I will give a boost to your speaks.
Anything more than 5 off, you're clicking... but you're clicking down (hopefully y'all know the reference).
I (still) flow on paper.
I cuss, but only to emphasize certain points. That said, with Novs/JV I'll watch my mouth but varsity? I view y'all as growing academic peers and therefore will speak to you as such. Do not be surprised if I say a curse here or there, it is what it is.
My name is Nuveria Tajammul; I competed in Debate during all four years in high school in Public Forum, Lincoln Douglas, and Congress and was the Captain of my Debate team senior year. I went to NSDA Debate Nationals in 2021 and invitational nationals like Duke University (2020), etc. I also judge professionally for Public Forum, Lincoln Douglas, Parliamentary, Congress, World School, Big Future Debates, and Speech Events.
The debate case should have clear contentions with evidence supporting your claims that explain the topic well. Generally, your case should be structured so it is easy to flow and understand as the audience. The arguments should be concise, and clash is essential. Follow the structure of the debate format you are competing in. For example, in LD, the Value and Value Criterion are significant; centralize your case towards them. Extend your arguments throughout the Debate; consistent repetition is not necessary.
As a judge, I am committed to addressing barriers to accessibility in debate.
I did high school Lincoln Douglas for 4 years, and JV Policy at the collegiate level (Trinity University) for 2 years until 2018 or so. I have experience judging policy, LD, PF, and some speech events. I judged tournaments in the Houston, Austin, and San Antonio areas from around 2015-2018, took a break, and have been regularly judging online tournaments since 2020. I'd say I'm still very knowledgeable with the basics, but I'm less comfortable now with high-jargon arguments in policy and LD (see, theory in LD, some K literature). Having good and clear voters is important to me - I'd say the best 2NRs/2ARs are the ones that write my ballot for me.
I judge speaker points based on how clearly you navigate the flow (sign post, please!) and how clearly you articulate your voters in the final speeches. No speaker points will be deducted for stuttering - so long as you sign post (tell me where you are on the flow), have good organization on the flow, and tell me what arguments I should vote on, you will get above a 29. You will get low speaks if your speech is disorganized, and lower speaks if you are rude to your opponent.
My scale is usually:
30-29.5: excellent sign posting, clearly outlined voters, very good round.
29.4-29: mostly good sign posting, at times a bit unclear, but you did a generally good job.
28.9-: not enough sign posting, your speech was somewhat disorganized.
I will permit spreading evidence ONLY IF all debaters in the round consent to a request – if you wish to spread (evidence only), please clearly ask beforehand in front of all participating members. If you or your opponents do not want to spread, no reason is necessary, and I will not flow any arguments that are spread if your opponent and I have explicitly asked you not to before the round.
If all debaters agree to spreading, then you HAVE to slow down for tag lines – if it’s important and you want it on my flow, then you HAVE to slow down and provide emphasis. It's been awhile since I did debate, so I'm not fast to flow anymore - ESPECIALLY for final speeches, do not spread analytics if you want your arguments on my flow/ ballots. I cannot give you a good RFD if I cannot flow your arguments.
When extending an argument, you must extend the warrant as well. A dropped argument is a conceded argument.
I enjoy framework debates, but they usually aren't enough to win a round alone. Clearly weigh your offense through the winning framework - you can win the value criterion debate, but if your opponent has stronger offense, and they link it to your framework, they will win. In LD, if you're reading a complicated framework, be sure to clearly explain it.
Ks are okay, but make sure your arguments are clear. Especially if you're reading denser philosophy, be sure to explain it clearly - I'm good on stock Ks, but if it's high level/ complex, explain it to me like I'm a lay judge.
Love them, and I especially enjoy a good comparative worlds debate.
IN CX: Topicality is fine, I will vote for it if there is a clear violation and it's articulated well. I am not the biggest fan of Theory.
IN LD: TLDR: Treat me like a lay judge if you're running theory, please do not spread your theory debates.
My longer response: I think that theory in LD is very different than theory in policy. I was never really into the technical aspects of theory, and my skills in being able to judge it have eroded over the years. If you want a good and coherent RFD from me stay away from theory, and probably stay away from T as well (though I am more willing to hear this). If you are running theory/T in LD, you HAVE to slow down if you want it on my flow/ ballot. If you choose to run theory and spread in front of me, I will do my best to judge this, but I would encourage you to run any other arguments in front of me. Judge adaptation is an important skill to have!
Everything above applies! Some additional notes:
- If you plan on speaking quickly/ spreading, then please make sure your opponents are comfortable with that before the round - I generally prefer it if PF rounds stay at a conversational pace, but if both teams want to speed up the speeches, that's okay.
- PF is not policy/LD. Remember - one strong argument with good weighing is better than multiple poorly warranted ones - know how much time you and your partner have to commit to addressing all arguments in play. I am okay if you want to run more policy-like arguments.
- Open cross is fine.
- I don't count flashing in prep, but keep this within reason.
- You are responsible for timing your own prep - I prefer to not have to keep time myself. Same with timing speeches - you are responsible for keeping track of your own time.
- If time is up, you can finish your sentence, but do not go significantly over. I do usually time speeches and will stop flowing when your time is up - if you're going towards 30 seconds over, this will reduce your speaker points.
- I will not vote on any morally repulsive arguments.
- Do not be rude. Debate is a competition, but we should respect one another and do our part to make this a welcoming environment.
COVID/ VIRTUAL DEBATING UPDATES:
- Please try to show up on time to rounds - that includes showing up to whatever "report time" or "check time" the tournament outlines. That being said - technical difficulties happen, and this will not factor into my RFD.
- If you think you'll be asking for evidence, collect emails/ create a Google Doc BEFORE speeches begin. No prep time is needed to share evidence, but try to be as quick as possible so that we can have an efficient round. Please get my email in round so I can be on the email chain.
If you have any specific questions about my paradigm, feel free to ask me before the round begins! Best of luck y'all, and have a great round!
hi! i debated pf in hs. toc '19! i was a former co-director for nova debate camp and go to uva now. i also coach ardrey kell VM and oakton ML. add me to the email chain! email@example.com
tl;dr, i'm a typical flow judge. i'm tab and tech>truth, debate however you want (as long as it does not harm others). for more specific stuff, read below!
most important thing:
so many of my RFDs have started with "i default on the weighing". weighing is NOT a conditional you should do if you just so happen to have enough time in summary - i will often default to teams if they're the only ones who have made weighing. strength of link weighing counts only when links are 100% conceded, clarity of impact doesn't.
other less important stuff:
online debate: unless you're sending speech docs, please just make a shared google doc and paste cards there. i get it, you want to steal prep while waiting. but really, it's delaying tournaments and i get bored while waiting :( (you don't have to though, esp in outrounds - but i will be happier if you do)
also, if you're debating from the same computer, it's cool, just lmk in the chat or turn your camera on before the round so i know, because i usually start the round when i see 4 ppl in the room
speed is ok. i think it's fun. i actually like blippy disads (as long as they have warrants). but don't do it in such a way that it makes the debate inaccessible - drop a doc if your opponents ask or if someone says "clear".
whenever you extend something, you have to extend the warrant above all else.
defense is not sticky, but my threshold for completely new frontlines in second summary is super high. turns must be frontlined in second rebuttal.
new implications off of previous responses are okay (in fact, i think they're strategic), but they must be made in summary (unless responding to something new in final). you still need to have concise warranting for the new implication, just as you would for any other response.
i don't listen during cross - if they make a concession, point it out in the next speech.
weighing is important, but comparative and meta weighing are even more important. you can win 100% of your link uncontested but i'd still drop you if you never weigh at all and the opps have like 1% of their link with pre-req weighing into your case. don't just say stuff like "we outweigh because our impact card has x and theirs has y and x>y", but go the next step and directly compare why your magnitude is more important than their timeframe, why your prereq comes before their prereq, etc. if there is no weighing done, i will intervene.
i encourage post-round questions, i'm actually happy to spend like however long you want me to just answering questions regarding my decision. just don't be rude about it.
i will evaluate progressive arguments (Ks, theory, etc).
no friv theory, no tricks
i default to reasonability, RVIs, and DtD *if not told otherwise* - before you start e-mailing me death threats, this is just so teams can't read random new shells in summary unless they're going to spend the time reading warrants for CI and no RVIs - i prefer theory debates to start in constructive/rebuttal, and i'll be sympathetic to teams that have to make new responses to a completely new shell in summary or final focus
i'm less versed on Ks than i am theory. i can probably follow you on the stock Ks (cap, sec, etc), but if you're going to run high level Ks (performance, afropess, etc), i'll still evaluate them, but i advise you run them with caution, since i might not be able to get everything down 100%. it's probably best to make these types of Ks accessible to both me and your opponents (you should honestly just explain everything like i'm a lay judge, and try to stay away from more abstract phil stuff like epistemology/ontology/etc).
if you have any more questions, feel free to ask or e-mail me before the round!
I will look like I'm angry or not paying attention during the round. This does not mean I don't take you seriously or that I don't value your performance! I just do this to remain as expressively neutral as possible.
I will always vote for the ratatouille K. /s
BSE, Chemical Engineering; BS, Mathematics & Political Science; BA, Anthropology & Philosophy (Morality, Politics & Law). Currently a Ph.D. student in Molecular Engineering (Immunoenginering). No, I will not fault you for making poor scientific claims unless your opponent picks up on it.
Tobi is a student sometimes, a part-time oceanographer and an amazing adjudicator every day. If there is anyone to be referred to as one of the faces of adjudication in Africa, Tobi is one of your go-to people. With over 60+ breaks in tournaments, you can think about, Grand-Final and Semi Judge at about 25 including, PAUDC 21, Western IV 2022, and IIT Bombay 22. He has served as Language Officer at Campbelltown Australs, NEADC 22, SANUDC 22, and was on Appeal for Madrid WUDC 2023. He is the absolute definition of excellence meets hardwork. He is also the first West African to judge the Quarter-finals of the World Universities Debating Championship, Belgrade 22, talk about awesomeness. He was on CAP over 10+ tournament including, RRAC 23, Kampala Open 23, Debate A+ 23, Uganda National Team trials, Zimbabwe National Team trials and, Jozi Open, others. Outside of the debate room, Tobi is that sweet and soft guy you want on your corner everyday of the week. Always willing to help however he can.
Hi, I’m Asher (he/him). I competed in LD from 2017-2020 and qualified to the TOC twice. Currently coaching the LD debaters at Canyon Crest Academy. Shortened my paradigm for efficiency – feel free to email/message me if you have any questions about my opinions on specific arguments. Other events at bottom
1. It’s in your best interest to go at 50-65% speed for analytics and 80-90% speed for cards. Slower on tags, conversational pace for short tags that are 1-3 words/plan texts
2. Record your speech locally to send in case there are network/wifi issues. I will not let debaters regive speeches – if you didn’t record it locally I will vote off of what I have on my flow
1. I will vote on anything as long as it is won, not blatantly offensive, and follows the structure of an argument (claim, warrant, and impact). My decisions are always impacted first and foremost by weighing, no matter what style of debate you choose. I value argument quality and development – I’m unlikely to pull the trigger on cheesy, one-line blips and reward debaters that perform quality research and explain their positions well.
2. You must take prep or use CX if you want to ask your opponent what they did/did not read
3. I will not vote on anything which occurred outside of the round (with the exception of disclosure) or use the ballot as a moral referendum on either debater. Genuine safety concerns will be escalated and not decided with a win or a loss.
4. "Insert rehighlighting" - you should be reading the card if you're making a new argument distinct from the one the evidence made when it was initially introduced. Insertions are okay if you're providing context, but you should briefly summarize the insertion. I'm unsure how to enforce this besides being a little annoyed if you go overboard, but if your opponent makes an argument that your insertion practices are toeing the line I'll be inclined to strike them off my flow
1. I think theory can be an invaluable check on abuse and enjoy creative interpretations that pose interesting questions about what debate should look like. The more bland and frivolous the shell the more receptive I am to reasonability. Reasons to reject the team should be contextual to the shell – otherwise rejecting the argument should be able to rectify the abuse. Counterplan theory is best settled on a competition level
2. Kritiks should be able to explain and resolve the harms of the affirmative - the less specific the link arguments, their impact, and the alternative the more likely I am to vote aff on the permutation and plan outweighing. Impact turns are underutilized. 2NR fpiks = new arguments unless clearly indicated earlier in the debate
3. I have no strong ideological predispositions against planless affirmatives. However, in a perfectly even matchup I would likely vote on framework
I will end the round and evaluate whether or not the evidence is objectively distorted: missing text, cut from the middle of a paragraph, or cut/highlighted intentionally to make the opposite argument the author makes (ie minimizing the word “not”). For super tiny violations like powertagging I’d prefer you just read it as a reason to reject the evidence.
Be nice to your opponent! Will nuke your speaks if you are too rude, especially if your opponent is a novice or is making a good faith effort to get along
PLEASE TIME YOURSELVES.
I'm comparatively less involved in this event and so I'll try not to impose my opinions on its conventions. For varsity, I'd prefer both teams share their evidence prior to their speeches, and I dislike paraphrasing as a practice but won't automatically penalize you for it. Speed is fine but not ideal given the norms of the activity. Generally speaking, I would prefer you not read progressive-style arguments given this format's time limitations. Other than that, just weigh.
I am a flow judge. I am currently a junior at Richard Montgomery. I have debated PF debate for a little over two year. I have topic experience/background knowledge. I am aggressively tech over truth. I will not flow cross, unless summoned (hocus pocus judge please flow this). I will always buy solid and clear warranting over a card. I will disclose and give an rfd.
Instagram and Snap: alexw1_jw
Use trigger warnings for triggering content
Be kind and respectful. You will be dropped for being racist, sexist, homphobic etc. Cursing is ok in moderation.
Speak at a reasonable pace. If you spread I need to see the speechdocs.
Weigh. I will not weigh for you, and will default to your opponents mechanism, or to utilitarianism.
Extend through summary AND final focus. Defense is sticky, but please extend at least a tagline in both speeches.
Collapse in summary of ff. It makes things so much easier for me.
Tell jokes, unless you’re not funny
Offtime roadmaps. They are super helpful especially in summary.
- Have fun!
Run theory or a K, unless there is a serious violation. Even then there is a good chance I will be voting off of substance. I do not like engaging in meta-debate
Use words that are too big. My vocabulary is not the greatest
Spread. Mainly for the sake of your opponents
Frontline during 2nd summary. It’s just straight up abusive and will not be flowed
Bring up new arguments in FF
Abusively paraphrase. Please use good evidence ethics
Run extremely squirrely arguments. The link chain has to make sense. Meme cases are ok though.
- Go over time. Please keep track of your own time.
I default to 28.5, you will have to speak clearly and persuasively to get any higher. Please be respectful and kind to your opponents, especially in crossfire. Making ad hominem attacks will lose you speaker points. If you're funny or do like funny random stuff I'll probably give you more speaker points.
As the father of a debate student/enthusiast, I have a plethora of second-hand experience with PF processes and etiquette as a result from my daughter's relentless applications. That being said, I have very little first-hand experience from a formal aspect, but my personal portfolio has a lengthy history of personal position jousting and overall competition.
It's important to note that I like to establish a solid point before filling as many potential loopholes as possible. As such, I tend to subconsciously apply the same ideal process when exposed to the positions of others. To be continued...
I consider myself a lay judge, but I will attempt to flow during the round. Here are a few of my preferences to keep in mind:
Please be clear and concise. You should be explaining your arguments (and context) in-depth. Give me a clear link that I can follow. As always, I need to hear good warranting in case AND hear it be extended.
NO SPREADING. If I don’t understand an argument, I’m not voting for it.
Organization matters, please signpost.
Do comparative weighing. Give me something tangible to vote for. Tell me what is most important, and why I should be valuing this over everything else.
Finally, the best debate rounds are inclusive and respectful. Be a good, kind person. You can be skilled and assertive without being rude.
Add me to the email chain, firstname.lastname@example.org
Best of luck everyone!