WIAA Washington State Speech Championships
2023 — U. of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA/US
Speech Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I am looking for style: how well do you deliver your speech?
how is your pacing?
are you emphasizing your points?
are you adjusting your tone and speed?
are you making eye contact?
are you delivering your speech to your audience, or are you just reading your speech?
did you practice your delivery?
Do you have a claim and a solid line of reasoning?
are you incorporating your stats/facts or relying on them?
Facts/stats should enhance your argument, not be the center of it.
Are you brining in something new/unique or are you just repeating previous points?
Is your speech well researched?
are you able to effectively challenge and counter opposing arguments?
are your rebuttals grounded in facts, or anecdotal in nature?
Understanding of legislation and how our political system works
did you do your research?
Bkg: Coach, former competitor
Debate: Traditional, stay true to the debate form. If PF, keep to PF as accessible to the public. Spreading OK in all forms if used intentionally and maintains clarity
IEs: If you have triggering content, state your disclaimer as you walk in the room, so judges can be swapped ASAP as needed. Performance over content in most events, Extemp should be quality and informed content.
With or without policy jargon, I like to see impact calculus and how your arguments evolve throughout the round in response to your opponent. If you tee an argument up early in the round or in crossfire and then forget about it until voters, that's not fair to anyone. I'm okay with speed so long as your opponent is as well.
Original, un canned argumentation goes a long way, but as far as constructive go, it makes no difference to me weather you wrote, bought, borrowed, stole, or found your case in a dumpster. Critical thinking and eloquent delivery are skills that share very little with reading loudly.
A very common stopping point on the way to becoming a great debater is identifying clash. Winning the point, however, takes more than repeating yourself and taking your facts as more true than your opponents. If anyone in the room is going to leave the round with a richer understanding of why you should have won, it's often because of the reconciliation of aff and neg worlds, not writing the opposition off as entirely incorrect. Armchair experts are aplenty. Meeting an interlocutor on their terms is a key lifeskill. (Sportsmanship)
I typically make my decisions off of the flow. Egregiously incorrect information will prompt me to point you in certain directions vis a vis feedback but I will allow you and your opponent to take care of the world building.
If you mention dogs at any point in the round, I’ll know you read this.
Brownie points for strong links and connecting ideas.
If I am your judge, please put me on your email chain: email@example.com
I prefer Aff to be topical. I prefer a traditional Value/Criterion debate. I like clear signposting, that opponents refer to when refuting each other. I also require evidence to uphold your warrants and link to your personal analysis. All affirmatives should have some kind of standard that they try to win, value/criterion. The negative is not necessarily tied to the same obligation. The affirmative generally has the obligation to state a case construction that generally affirms the truth of the resolution, and the negative can take whatever route they want to show how the affirmative is not doing that sufficiently.
When I see a traditional debate that clashes on fundamental issues involving framework, impacts, and what either side thinks, really matters in my weighing of the round, it makes deciding on who was the better debater during the round an easier process. I like debate that gets to the substantive heart of whatever the issue is. There are very few arguments I would actually consider a priori. My favorite debates are the kind where one side clearly wins standards, whichever one they decide to go for, and has a compelling round story. Voters are crucial in rebuttals, and a clear link story, with warrants and weighted impacts, are the best route for my ballot.
I will listen to a Kritik but you must link it to the debate in the room, related to the resolution in some way, for me to more likely to vote for it. I am biased toward topicality.
I hold theory to higher bar. I will most likely vote reasonability instead of competing interpretations. However, if I am given a clearly phrased justification for why I should accept a competing interpretation and it is insufficiently contested, there is a better chance that I will vote for a competing interpretation. You will need to emphasize this by slowing down, if you are spreading, slow down, speak a little louder, or tell me “this is paramount, flow this”.
Reasonability. I believe that theory is intervention and my threshold for voting on theory is high. I prefer engagement and clash with your opponent. If I feel like negative has spoken too quickly for an Affirmative to adequately respond during the round, or a Neg runs 2+ independent disadvantages that are likely impossible for a "think tank" to answer in a 4 minute 1AR, and the Affirmative runs abuse theory, and gives direct examples from Neg, I'll probably vote Affirmative. Common sense counts. You do not need a card to tell me that the Enola Gay was the plane that dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima.
I default Affirmative framework for establishing ground, I default Kritiks if there are clear pre-fiat/post-fiat justifications for a K debate instead of on-case debate. I do not flow cross examination. If there are any concessions in CX, you need to point them out in your next speech, for me to weigh them.
Sitting or standing, whatever you are comfortable with. I'm fine with flex prep. I think debaters should be respectful and polite. Cross examination concessions are binding, if your opponent calls them out in their next speech.
If I do not understand what you are saying, don’t expect to receive anything higher than a 28. You will lose speaker points if your actions are disrespectful to either myself or to your opponent. I believe in decorum and will vote you down if you are rude or condescending toward your opponent. I do not flow “super spreading”. I need to understand what you are saying, so that I can flow it. I will say “slow” and “clear” once. If there is no discernable change, I will not bother to repeat myself. If you respond, slow down, then speed up again, I will say “slow” and/or “clear” again. For my ballot, clarity over quantity. Word economy over quantity. I reward debaters who try to focus on persuasive styles of speaking over debaters who speak at the same tone, pitch, cadence, the entire debate.
If something is factually untrue, and your opponent points it out, do not expect to win it as an argument.
Please give me articulate voters at the end of the NR and 2AR.
I disclose if it is the tournament norm.
If you are unclear about my paradigm, please ask before the round begins.
Public Forum Paradigm
RESPECT and DECORUM
1. Show respect to your opponent. No shouting down. Just a "thank you" to stop their answer. When finished with answer, ask your opponent "Do you have a question?" Please ask direct questions. Also, advocate for yourself, do not let your opponent "walk all over you in Crossfire".
2. Do not be sexist/racist/transphobic/homophobic/etc.... in round. Respect all humans.
I expect PF to be a contention level debate. There may be a weighing mechanism like "cost-benefit analysis" that will help show why your side has won the debate on magnitude. (Some call this a framework)
I really like signposting of all of your contentions. I really like short taglines for your contentions. If you have long contentions, I really like them broken down into segments, A, B, C, etc. I really appreciate you signposting your direct refutations of your opponents contentions.
I like direct clash.
All evidence used in your constructed cases should be readily available to your opponent, upon request. If you slow down the debate looking for evidence that is in your constructed case, that will weigh against you when I am deciding my ballot.
I do not give automatic losses for dropped contentions or not extending every argument. I let the debaters decide the important contentions by what they decide to debate.
In your summary speech, please let me know specifically why your opponents are loosing the debate.
In your final focus speech, please let me know specifically why you are winning the debate.
I have been coaching speech and debate for 6 years. I have judged Public Forum debate, Lincoln-Douglas debate, and various speech events in that time.
-Make sure you state your taglines for your contentions clearly. It should be easy for me to flow your cases and keep track of your arguments, so the clearer you can be, the better.
-Provide clear impacts, and focus on impact calculus. Stress these (especially in your final focus or your final rebuttal).
-Weighing your arguments against your opponent's is the key to winning the debate. Clearly state how your arguments outweigh theirs, and again, stress your impacts.
-Please do not spread. If I didn't hear it, then it never happened. If I can't keep track of what you are saying, then it is possible that your opponent cannot either. Speaking clearly is imperative to a fair debate. It will also result in more speaker points.
-If you have a framework, stick with it. If you drop it, there is no purpose for it, and that hurts your arguments more in the long run (especially if your opponent realizes the framework was dropped).
-I do not flow CX. It is your job to bring up what happened in CX in your next speech. That is the only way it will make it onto the flow.
-For LD, make sure your value/criterion is clearly explained at the start of your constructive speech. If you and your opponent have the same value/criterion, or they are similar, it is best to acknowledge this and focus on arguments rather than getting into a framework debate.
-For LD, keep arguments traditional. I'll listen to counter plans and kritiks, but I prefer traditional arguments.
-Please practice good sportsmanship. Being snarky or belittling an opponent, especially if it is clear they are new to debate will not be tolerated.
-To prove you have read my paradigm, simply say "Bear Down" or "Go Wildcats" prior to starting the round.
Head Coach, Bainbridge HS, Bainbridge Island, WA
Coached: 5 years
Competed: 1 year in policy
Arguments have a claim, a warrant, and a link to the ballot (impact). This is interpreted by my understanding of your explanation of the argument. If I don’t understand the argument/how it functions, I won’t vote on it.
1. Clear arguments-I should be able to understand you. I'm cool with speed, but if I can't understand you then I can't flow it.
2. What are the impacts?-Impact calc is very important. It's the main thing I'm going to vote on as well as the actual topics being clashed.
3. Give me voters in Final Focus, give me voters in the 2AR and 2NR for policy.
4. I find myself voting a lot on de-linked arguments. You could make a sick case for your argument, but if your opponent de-links it then it's gone.
Conduct in the round should be professional-We are here to debate not get into shouting matches. Or insult the opposing team's intelligence, no matter what we may think.
in policy, please don't run garbage filler off-case. If you want to run a T or two or a decent K that's fine. If you run more than four off I'm not listening. Argue the case and cut out that wack garbage version of policy.
I don't want to see evidence/definition wars unless you can clearly prove that your evidence supplements your opponents. Also, evidence handover counts toward your prep time-not outside of it. You wanna see someone's evidence that comes out of your prep.
Speaker Points: I was asked this several times last year so I figured I would add this piece. How to get 30 speaker points from me. First of all I would say that clarity is a big helper in this, alongside that I will also say that asking good lines of questioning in crossfire can help you get better speaker points from me. Be direct, be confident. If I have to keep yelling "Clear" you won't get a 30. This is rarely an issue but be attired properly. I understand that debate attire isn't accessible to everyone, but if you come across like you don't care about the round, it'll be hard for me to give high speaks.
Things that help you win my ballot:
Unique arguments (that actually link to the resolution)
Make it an awesome round. Down to the wire back and forth. Keep me on the edge of my seat.
Things that hurt you:
Being abusive-either in case or in speaking. Aggressive CF and arguments are okay with me, but keep it in check.
Disregarding any or all of the above points.
Insulting an opponent personally.
Remember we're here to have fun, as am I. If your judge is telling you how many times they went to state, they're doing it wrong. If I tell you how many times I went to state (spoiler: it's 0), make fun of me.
How Should Debaters approach Constructive Speeches?
I am more of a quality over quantity judge. If you have a few, solid arguments presented, I prefer that over many, shallow arguments.
How Should Debaters approach Rebuttal Speeches?
Focus should be on breaking down your opponents contentions strategically.
How Should Debaters approach Evidence?
Briefly cite your source, year and author is sufficient.
How would Oral Prompting affect your decision?
I don't like the oral prompting of partners or fellow Senators, other than checking to see if everyone is ready to proceed. I find it unprofessional.
How should debaters use values, criteria and arguments to support a value position?
State your values and criteria clearly, and take time to slow down and explain these if needed.
What arguments (such as philosophical, theoretical or empirical) do you prefer to support a
Philosophical mainly. But all should be proven.
What other preferences do you have, as a judge?
If I am unable to understand what you are saying, I will miss the arguments you are attempting to establish.
If you're comfortable, please share your pronouns so I can avoid misgendering you.
Please include trigger warnings for generally offensive or potentially triggering content.
Assistant Coach, Gig Harbor HS, Gig Harbor WA
Coached PF: 10+ years
Competed in PF: 1 year
Competed in British Parliamentary: 2 years
Competed at the 2012 World Universities Debating Championship in Manila.
Items that are Specific to the 2018 TOC tournament are placed at the end of this-I would still encourage you all to read the whole Paradigm and not just the TOC items.
Note: I debated in PF at a time when things were a bit different-Final focus was 1 minute long, you could not ask to see your opponents evidence and not everything needed a card in order to be true. This might explain some things before you read the rest of this.
Arguments have a claim, a warrant, and a link to the ballot (impact). This is interpreted by my understanding of your explanation of the argument. If I don’t understand the argument/how it functions, I won’t vote on it.
1. Clear arguments-I should be able to understand you.
2. What are the impacts?-Impact calc is very important.
3. Give me voters in Final Focus.
4. Abusive Case/Framework/Conduct: Alright so if you are running some sort of FW or case that gives your opponent a super narrow bit of ground to stand on and I feel that they have no ground to make any sort of case then I will consider it in my decisions.
That being said if your framework leaves your opponents with enough ground to work with and they don’t understand it that's their loss.
Conduct in the round should be professional-We are here to debate not get into shouting matches. Or insult the opposing team's intelligence.
Framework/Res Analysis/Observation’s: Totally fine with as long as they are not super abusive. I like weighing mechanisms for rounds.
Evidence Debates/Handover: I have a very large dislike of how some teams seem to think that PF should just be a mini-CX where if you don’t have a card even if the argument is pure logic, they say it cannot be considered. If the logic and the link works I am good with it.
I don't want to see evidence/definition wars unless you can clearly prove that your evidence supplements your opponents. Also, evidence handover counts toward your prep time-not outside of it. You wanna see someone's evidence that comes out of your prep.
Speaker Points: I was asked this several times last year so I figured I would add this piece. How to get 30 speaker points from me. First of all I would say that clarity is a big helper in this, alongside that I will also say that asking good lines of questioning in crossfire can help you get better speaker points from me. I do tend to grade harder on the rebuttal and final focus speeches since those were what I was primarily doing when I competed. The other thing that can be really helpful is analogies. Good analogies can win you a round. If they are actually good.
Things that help you win my ballot:
Unique arguments (That actually link to the resolution)
Make it an awesome round. Down to the wire back and forth. Keep me on the edge of my seat.
Things that hurt you:
Being abusive-either in case or in speaking. Aggressive CF and arguments are okay with me, but keep it in check.
Disregarding All of the above points.
Not being attired professionally. (Unless extenuating circumstances exist)
Ignoring my point about evidence debate.
Insulting an opponent-personally.
TOC Specific Items
Please share your opinions or beliefs about how the following play into a debate round:
The speed of Delivery: Medium Speed-and clarity tends to win out more then the number of items that you claim should exist on my flow.
The format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?)
I generally would go for either-But Line by line will help my flow be clear and easier to understand at the end of the round. Big picture I tend to believe has more of an impact on the summary and the final focus.
Role of the Final Focus
Put this up at the top: But here it is again: I want to see Voters in the final focus. Unless your opponent pulled some sort of crazy stunt that absolutely needs to be addressed, the final focus is a self-promotion speech on why you won the round.
Extension of Arguments into later speeches
If an argument has not been responded to then you can just extend it. If it has been refuted in some way shape or form you need to address that counter before I will flow it across.
Unless this is explained extremely well I cannot vote on T. Frankly don't risk it.
Not for PF.
With the lack of knowledge that I have in regards to how Kritiks should be run, Please do not run them in front of me. This will likely make vote for your opponent.
You should be flowing in the round-Even if you know that you have the round in the bag. Always flow.
Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally?
Equal. A debator who can combine good arguments with style is going to generally win out over one or the other.
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?
Definetly in the summery. If you have time in the rebuttal you can...
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?
No. If you can start to do that great-but that might push you past the medium speed threshold.
Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus?
If they are new-no. However, if they are extensions of prior arguments then that will be determined on a round by round basis.
If you have anything else you'd like to add to better inform students of your expectations and/or experience, please do so here.
Please read the whole paradigm. Also remember that I am human (I think) and I can make mistakes.
In terms of judging, I lean more on the traditional communication side of LD. While sophisticated argumentation and philosophy are integral to a strong debate, I think that presentation, speaking style, and polish are equally important. Clarity, enunciation, and strong communication skills can be the deciding factor between two equally-matched competitors.
If you lean towards a more progressive style of LD debate, I fully expect to see your Value and Value Criterion supported and referenced throughout each contention. Because LD is a Value-centric debate, even the most logical, well-supported contentions will be useless without reference to LD framework. This support should be explicitly stated: as with any other aspect of your case or the round as a whole, I will not make arguments or connections on your behalf.
Any drops made in-round should be adequately explained and impacted. It is not enough for you or your opponent to tell me to flow a drop; the significance of each drop must be tied either to your case or your opponent's and logically refuted.
Coach, Gig Harbor HS, Gig Harbor WA
Coached LD: 21 years
Coached CX: 17: years
Competed in LD: 4 years
Competed in NPDA: 2 years
Rounds judged 2016-17, LD: 10, CX: 1, PF 1
LD Paradigm: I have been competing in, judging and coaching Lincoln Douglas debate for over twenty years. I have seen a lot of changes, some good, some not so good. This is what you should know.
I will evaluate the round based on the framework provided by the debaters. The affirmative needs to establish a framework (usually a value and criterion) and then show why, based on the framework, the resolution is true. The negative should either show why the resolution is not true under that framework or provide a competing framework which negates. My stock paradigm is what most people now call truth testing: the aff's burden is to prove the resolution true and the negatives is to prove it false. I will default to this absent another paradigm being established in the round. If both debaters agree that I should evaluate as a policymaker, I am able to do that and will. If you both put me in some other mode, that is reasonable as well. If there is an argument, however, between truth testing and another way of looking at the round the higher burden of proof will be on the debater attempting the shift away from truth testing.
As far as specific arguments go.
1. I find topicality arguments generally do not apply in Lincoln Douglas debate. If the affirmative is not dealing with the resolution, then they are not meeting their burden to prove the resolution true. This is the issue, not artificial education or abuse standards. I have voted on T in the past, but I think there are more logical ways to approach these arguments if the aff is affirming the entire resolution. In a round where the affirmative runs a plan, T becomes more relevant.
2. I find the vast majority of theory arguments to be very poorly run bastardizations of policy theory that do not really apply to LD. I especially hate AFC, and must/must not run plans, or arguments of this nature.
3. I have a strong, strong, bias against debaters using theory shells as their main offensive weapon in rounds when the other debater is running stock, predictable cases. I am open to theory arguments against abusive positions, but I want you to debate the resolution, not how we should debate.
4. You need to keep sight of the big picture. Impact individual arguments back to framework.
Finally, I am a flow judge. I will vote on the arguments. That said, I prefer to see debaters keep speeds reasonable, especially in the constructives. You don’t have to be conversational, but I want to be able to make out individual words and get what you are saying. It is especially important to slow down a little bit when reading lists of framework or theory arguments that are not followed by cards. I will tell you if you are unclear. Please adjust your speed accordingly. I will not keep repeating myself and will eventually just stop flowing.
I have not judged very much CX lately, but I still do coach it and judge it occasionally. I used to consider myself a policy maker, but I am probably open enough to critical arguments that this is not completely accurate anymore. At the same time, I am not Tab. I don't think any judge truly is. I do enter the room with some knowledge of the world and I have a bias toward arguments that are true and backed by logic.
1. I will evaluate the round by comparing impacts unless you convince me to do otherwise.
2. I am very open to K's that provide real alternatives and but much less likely to vote on a K that provides no real alt.
3. If you make post-modern K arguments at warp speed and don't explain them to me, do not expect me to do the work for you.
4. I tend to vote on abuse stories on T more than competing interpretations.
5. I really hate theory debates. Please try to avoid them unless the other team leaves you no choice.
6. The way to win my ballot is to employ a logical, coherent strategy and provide solid comparison of your position to your opponents.
I am able to flow fairly quickly, but I don't judge enough to keep up with the fastest teams. If I tell you to be clear or slow down please listen.
I'm Skye, any pronouns are fine.
I prefer traditional debate based on framework, however, I am open to any style of case. I also like progressive debate and appreciate creative arguments.
I am three years into a philosophy undergrad degree so I'll be interested in any writers you want to run.
I did LD in high school and currently do parli, and coach at Seattle U's debate camp if you're interested in my 'experience'.
Abolish prisons, give back the land, reject the ivory tower.
Hi, I'm Allison (she/her) and I competed in Public Forum for 4 years in high school and in Worlds debate at the National Tournament for 3 years. I am also the daughter of two debate coaches and have grown up in the activity.
I am a traditional Public Forum judge. The biggest thing I ask of any debaters I judge is that you persuade me to vote for you. Your FF should be spent spent weighing the round for me, I will not do it for you. I will only vote on points that are carried through from summary to final focus. No off time road maps. Respect and be kind for your opponents.
I'll be flowing the debate but don't expect me to weigh the debate on an issue if you don't touch on that issue during your final speeches. Use the first three speeches to win the debate, use the last speech to tell me WHY you won the debate.
I'm not a fan of progressive argumentation so use only when necessary, I would much rather see a traditional Value-Criterion debate. I can handle some speed. Depth > breadth. Make sure you have clear signposting and use voters! If you do not weigh your impacts, I will not weigh them for you and you will drop my ballot.
All debate styles: The best debaters are the ones who know the most, prove to me you're the debater who knows the most.
Also feel free to ask any questions before the round if you need clarifications. Good Luck!
Hi, Im Sami (she/her) and I am currently a 3rd year student at the University of Washington, studying Political Science and Community, Environment, and Planning. While I have personally never have competed in speech and debate, I grew up going to tournaments since I was 7 years old with my dad who was a debate coach. I also have an older sister who competed in Public Forum and attended Nationals 3 years in Worlds Debate, so I am more than familiar with the event.
I am a traditional Public Forum judge. My biggest ask from debaters to win a round is persuade me to vote for you. I like to see clear arguments with strong support. In your summary, I would like to see what the debate is boiling down to, not just a reflection, I want to see the main ideas and why your side is winning, and why the other is losing. I love to see clash between the two teams, and cross used efficiently. In your final focus weigh the debate for me, I will not do it for you. Finally, please respect your fellow debaters, I don't want to see one group speaking over the other or having personal attitudes filter into the debate.
Also feel free to ask any questions before the round if you need clarifications, Good Luck!
I have over a decade judging debate and four years of debating LD and Policy. While I understand the sport aspects of debate currently in play my judging still relies on proper analysis and links, a strong understanding of the theories you present and your ability to frame the information you are using into a coherent meta-narrative.
Hey! I'm Kristen East, I debated Policy in high school, judged on-and-off while in college, and have been working as an assistant coach for Gig Harbor High School for the past 5 years. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I often use quiet fidgets during speeches and may color during crossfire; these are strategies that I've found help me to pay attention and keep my mind from wandering during rounds. If I'm distracting you at any point, then please politely ask and I'll switch to a different strategy.
Public Forum: I technically did public forum in middle school, so I guess that's relevant? I've also watched a lot of public forum rounds and judged it on and off over the years. I tend to be less formal than some public forum judges. I care more about competitors being considerate of others and having fun than I do about pleasantries and formalities. Please don't be "fake nice" to each other. That being said, I mean don't be offensive (i.e. making arguments based on racial or cultural stereotypes, or making personal ad hominem attacks).
-The biggest thing to know is that I am a "flow judge." I will be flowing/taking notes for each speech, will be writing down rebuttals next to the argument they are addressing, and will draw arrows for argument extensions. What this means for you is that you should be clear about which contention you are talking about, and also that I will be looking for consistency between partners' speeches. There should be continuity of arguments throughout the round. That does NOT mean your last speech needs to have the same arguments as your first speech, but all arguments in your last speech should have been introduced in one of your team's 4-minute speeches. I also will not consider brand-new arguments in any of the 2-minute speeches.
-I like rounds with clash, where each team explains how their arguments interact with the other team's arguments. If you're citing evidence, make sure to mention the warrant (the author's reasoning or statistics that support your claim). Please make it clear during your speeches when you are about to directly quote a source (i.e. saying "in 2019 Santa Claus wrote for the North Pole Times that...") and when you stop quoting them. You don't need evidence to make an argument, and well-reasoned analytics (arguments without an external source) can be just as powerful.
- I will decide the round based on impacts. Please compare your impacts to your opponent's (timeframe, probability, magnitude, etc.). If no one tells me otherwise, I'll probably default util when evaluating impacts. Be specific about how your impact is connected to the resolution, and who/what the impact will affect. Tell me the story of the impact (i.e. If we stop sanctions on Venezuela, then their economy will recover and then xyz people's lives will be saved because they won't die of starvation).
Parli: I've never judged or watched a parli round before. I've heard it has some similarities to policy, which I do have a background in, so feel free to read my policy paradigm to see if that's relevant. I'm excited to judge parli! From what I've heard, it should be fun!
Policy and LD paradigms are below.
Debate Style: I'm good with speed, just start out slow so I can get used to your voice. If you aren't clear, I'll yell at you to be clear. Start out a little slower on tags, especially for Ks and theory. Please don't mumble the text. If the text is completely unintelligible, I'll yell clear, and if you don't clear it up, then I'll count it as an analytic rather than a card. It's a pet peeve of mine when people cut cards repeatedly (i.e. cut the card here, cut the card here). PLEASE, please put theory arguments as a new off (i.e. Framework on a K, Condo bad, etc.). I don't care about tag-teaming in CX, but it might influence speaker points (i.e. if one partner is being rude, or one never answers a question). Be nice to each other. I will vote you down if you're a complete jerk (threaten physical violence, harass someone, etc.). I am somewhat sensitive to how mental health, rape and disabilities are discussed.
Arguments: There are a few arguments I just dislike (for rational and irrational reasons) so just don't run them in front of me. If you don't know what these args are, you're probably fine. Basically, don't run anything offensive. No racism good, no death good (including Spark DA or Malthus/overpopulation arguments). I also hate Nietzsche, or nihilism in general. Also, arguments that seem stupid like time cube, or the gregorian time K, or reptiles are running the earth or some crap like that is prolly not gonna fly. I'm not gonna take nitpicky plan flaw arguments like "USfg not USFG" seriously. I will not vote for disclosure theory unless someone flat out lies about disclosure. Like they tell you they will run a case and then don't run it. Arguments I'll evaluate but don't love/am probably biased against but will evaluate include: PICs, Delay CPs, ASPEC Topicality, kritical-based RVIs on T, Performance Affs.
Defaults: I'm a default policymaker but am open to other frameworks. I do consider Framework to be theory, which means 1) put it on it's own flow and 2) arguments about like, fairness and ground and other standards are legit responses. I prefer frameworks that have a clear weighing mechanism for both sides. I default competing interpretations on T. I was a little bit of a T/theory hack as a debater, so I have a lower threshold on theory than a lot of judges. What that means is that I'll vote on potential abuse, or small/wanky theory (like severance perm theory) IF it's argued well. Theory needs real voters, standards and analysis and warrants just like any other argument. If you're going for theory, go all out in your last speech. It should be 4 minutes of your 2NR, or all of your 2AR.
Note on Performance Ks: I have a high threshold on performance arguments. If you're doing a performance, you have to actually be good at performing, keep up the performance throughout the round, and have a way for the other team to compete/participate in the performance. I prefer for performance Ks to be specific to the current resolution, or in some cases, based on language or something that happened in this round.
Constructive speeches: Clash is awesome. Signposting will help me flow better. Label args by topic not by author because I'm prolly not gonna catch every author.
Rebuttals: In my opinion, the point of rebuttals is to narrow the debate down to fewer arguments and add analysis to those arguments. This applies to aff and neg. Both sides should be choosing strategic arguments and focusing on "live" arguments (Don't waste your time on args the other team dropped in their last speech, unless it's like an RVI or something). Both sides should watch being "spread out" in the 2nr and 2ar.
Note about LD: Being a policy judge doesn’t mean I love policy arguments in debate. In LD, you don’t really have the time to develop a “plan” properly and I probably lean towards the “no plans” mindset. I expect a DA to have all the requisite parts (uniqueness, link, impact). I’m okay with Ks, and theory. To help me flow, please number and/or label arguments and contentions, and signal when you are done reading a piece of evidence (either with a change of voice tone or by saying “next” or a brief pause. That being said, speed is not a problem for me. If you follow the above suggestions, and maybe slow a little on theory and framework, you can go as fast as you’re comfortable with. If I’m having trouble flowing you I’ll say “clear.” No flex prep. Sitting during CX is fine. I love a good framework debate, but make sure you explain why framework wins you the round, or else, what's the point? If framework isn't going to win you the round or change how I evaluate impacts in the round, then don't put it in rebuttals.
I like judging. This is what I do for fun. You know, do a good job. Learn, live, laugh, love.
Kamiak High School 2007
University of WA BA Political Science 2011
Cross Examination Debate Paradigm
I'm a tabula rasa judge with respect to the arguments that I will listen to.
It is important to me that I see an obvious progression on the flow within the round given the arguments made during constructive speeches and questions asked and answers given during cross examination.
Having clear voting issues articulated during rebuttal speeches is more advantageous than not, and having clear ways to comparatively weigh various arguments within the round will help to narrow the bounds for how I arrive at my reason for decision.
I flow the round the best I can, if the speaking is unclear then I will say clear. If I have to say clear a second time speaks will be reduced by a half point. If I have to say clear a third time (this is very rare) then I will grant one less speaker point.
If you have any questions for further clarification of my paradigm it's important that you ask those questions prior to the beginning of the first constructive speech. After that point it is unlikely that I will answer any further questions with respect to my paradigm.
Anything that I do not understand with respect to clarity will not count as an argument on my flow, so it is advantageous to consider slowing down to such a degree that it is clear to me should I state the word clear during a speech.
UPDATED LD Paradigm for the 2021 Season.
I was 4A State Champion in LD(WA) in 2006 and a 4A Semi-finalist for LD at State 2007. Most of my experience as a competitor was with Lincoln Douglas debate although I did compete as a policy debater for a year and so I am familiar with policy debate jargon.
Summary of my paradigm:
Speaking quickly is fine, I will say clear if you are not clear to me.
Theory is fine, I default reasonability instead of competing interpretations. However, if I am given an articulated justification for why I should accept a competing interpretation that is insufficiently contested, then that increases the likelihood I will vote for a competing interpretation. Unique frameworks and cases are fine (policy maker, etcetera), debate is ultimately your game.
I default Affirmative framework for establishing ground, I default Kritiks if there are clear pre-fiat/post-fiat justifications for a K debate instead of on-case debate. Cross examination IS important, and I do reward concessions made in cross examination as arguments that a debater can't just avoid having said.
I disclose if the tournament says I have to, or if both debaters are fine with disclosure and the tournament allows disclosure. I generally do not disclose if the tournament asks judges not to disclose.
The key to my paradigm is that the more specific your questions about what my paradigm is, the better my answers that I can provide for how I'll adjudicate the round.
The longer version:
Speaking: Clarity over quantity. Quality over quantity. Speed is just fine if you are clear, but I reward debaters who try to focus on persuasive styles of speaking over debaters who speak at the same tone, pitch, etc the entire debate. Pitch matters, if I can't hear you I can't flow you. Excessive swearing will result in lower speaker points.
Reasonability. I believe that theory is intervention and my threshold for voting on theory is pretty high. If I feel like a negative has spoken too quickly for an Affirmative to adequately respond during the round, or a Neg runs 3 independent disadvantages that are likely impossible for a team of people with PhD's to answer in a 4 minute 1AR, and the Affirmative runs abuse theory on it, I'll probably vote Affirmative.
I'm fine with flex prep. Cross examination should be fair. Cross examination concessions are binding, so own what you say in cross examination and play the game fairly.
--- Speaking: The same rules for clarity always apply- if I don’t understand what you are saying, don’t expect to receive anything higher than a 28.
You will lose speaker points if you:
1. Use an excess of swearing. If swearing is in a card, that’s allowed within reason. I understand some Kritiks require its use as a matter of discourse, but outside of carded evidence I absolutely do not condone the use of language that would be considered offensive speaking in public considering debate is an academic and public speaking competition.
2. Are found to be generally disrespectful to either myself as the judge or to your opponent. This will be very obvious, as I will tell you that you were extremely disrespectful after round.
You can generally run any type of argument you want in front of me. I generally believe that for traditional LD debate that all affirmatives should have some kind of standard that they try to win (value/criterion), and that the negative is not necessarily tied to the same obligation- the burden on either side is different. The affirmative generally has the obligation to state a case construction that generally affirms the truth of the resolution, and the negative can take whatever route they want to show how the affirmative is not doing that sufficiently. I’ll listen to a Kritik. The worse the Kritik, the more susceptible I’ll be to good theory on why Ks are bad for debate.
Kritiks that in some way are related to the resolution (instead of a kritik you could run on any topic) are definitely the kind I would be more sympathetic to listening to and potentially voting for.
When I see a good standards debate that clashes on fundamental issues involving framework, impacts, and what either side thinks really matters in my adjudication of the round, it makes deciding on who was the better debater during the round an easier process. I don’t like blippy debate. I like debate that gets to the substantive heart of whatever the issue is. In terms of priorities, there are very few arguments I would actually consider a priori. My favorite debates are the kind where one side clearly wins standards (whichever one they decide to go for), and has a compelling round story. Voters are crucial in rebuttals, and a clear link story, replete with warrants and weighted impacts, is the best route to take for my ballot.
I approach judging like a job, and to that end I am very thorough for how I will judge the debate round. I will flow everything that goes on in round, I make notations on my flows and I keep a very good record of rounds.
If something is just straight up factually untrue, and your opponent points it out, don’t expect to win it as an argument.
I'll clarify my paradigm upon request, my default this season has generally been tabula rasa. It's also important to have articulated voting issues during rebuttals.
Congressional Debate Paradigm
I look to several factors to determine what are the best speeches for Congressional Debate when I am adjudicating this event.
To decide the best competitor with respect to speeches I look to speech quality and I consider total number of speeches with respect to if recency is utilized strategically to deliver speeches when there is an opportunity to speak. The more speeches given that are consistently of high quality the more likely that I rank that competitor higher overall.
With respect to speech quality the speeches I tend to give 5 or 6 to have a few important elements. First is the use of evidence. For evidence I am listening closely to if it is primary or secondary evidence, and I'm also carefully listening for citation of evidence to qualify the importance of the evidence with respect to the chosen topic of discussion.
Second is speaking delivery. I'm carefully listening to see if speaking time is used to effectively communicate with the audience. Specifically I'm listening for the use of the word uh, um, overuse of the word like, and also if there's significant amounts of unnecessary pausing during speeches (3-5 seconds). I'm also carefully listening for if there's unnecessary repetition of words. In terms of more advanced speaking delivery things I'm carefully listening for, there's word choice, syntax, metaphor and simile and whether there's an effort being made with respect to vocal dynamics. A speech that is good but monotonous might be ranked 5 while a speech that is of similar quality and employs the use of vocal dynamics to effectively communicate with the audience would likely be ranked 6 instead, for example.
Third is organization. I'm carefully listening to see if the speech is organized in such a way that it effectively advocates for the chosen side to speak on. A speech organized well generally has an introduction or thesis to explain what the speech is discussing, has several distinct arguments, and some kind of conclusion to establish why the speech is being given to affirm or negate the legislation.
For evaluating questions with respect to deciding the best competitor there's two areas of decision happening when I judge Congressional Debate.
Question asking. For question asking I'm carefully listening to see if the question is a clarifying question or if it is one that advances the debate for the chosen side of the questioner or challenges arguments that were made by the questioned. I'm also making an effort to consider volume of questions with respect to participation for the competition. Meaning that if a competitor gives good speeches and consistently asks effective questions when the opportunity is afforded to them to do so then that competitor will likely rank higher than competitors that give good speeches but ask a lot less or no questions.
Question answering. For question answering the important things I'm carefully listening for is if there's an actual answer given or a declination to give an answer. I'm also listening to see if the answer advocates for the chosen side to speak on with respect to the legislation, and if it effectively responds to the question asked.
I competed in PF, LD and Policy in high school, and have been judging sporadically for the last 19 years. I don't have any particular argument preference and am most looking for thorough warrants and clash through the round. Final speeches should include clear voting issues. Speed is fine. Please use tag lines instead of citations when extending arguments. This is my first time judging this school year, so please don't assume familiarity with the literature.
In high school I was a state and national competitor in Dual, Dramatic, and Humorous Interpretation so feedback I give you will come from a perspective eye who has knowledge and time within the events. The biggest thing I am always looking for is how prepared and how confident you are. No matter how good you believe you can hide a lack of preparation or confidence, in the best way possible you can’t. There is a reason that there is no minimum time requirement within these events. I have given competitors who ran a 4 minute speech a 1st place and 20 speaker points because they were confident, prepared, and knew what they were doing. Take the time to memorize your script, and be ready and confident. Enunciate what needs to be, make your volume and tone match with what you are trying to deliver, and have fun with it.
I competed in Expository and Original Oratory for a very short time so I do have experience with the events. While delivering online speeches, it is obvious to tell if you have a script behind your computer screen, so take time to practice and memorize your speech to have more confidence. You will be a better speaker if you have your speech memorized. It is your job to let me know what points need to stick the most within your script. If you don’t enunciate and bring out important points, they will go missed. Speak clearly and at a rate that makes sense, and have fun and be confident with your speech.
I competed in Public Forum and very briefly Lincoln-Douglas while in high school. It is your job as the debater to make sure the judges know what they are judging your argument on. I will always try to enter a round without my own opinions so that I can listen to your debate. I will flow what you tell me to. If you want something weighed when I compare at the end of the debate, make sure I know what should be weighed in your argument. Spreading should only be done if you have experience in doing it well. Personally I should never see spreading in a novice round. I would rather you come into the debate with one strong and well backed up contention then multiple that are weak and hard to flow. Overall speak clearly, don’t insult others in the debate, and have fun.
First year S&D teacher / coach, with ever-increasing knowledge of the fundamentals of the debate (Value, Criterion, Disads, Counterplans, etc.)
50 + rounds judged this season (in LD and PF).
What I like to hear is a well-laid out case, clearly articulated, as well as solid and clear responses to the elements of your opponent's case.
Generally, I'm against spreading. Talking fast is fine, but it's important for me to hear and understand your case, as well as taking an accurate flow. Without a good flow, it's hard to judge the round. Spreading, especially if it inhibits articulation and clarity, is hard for me to follow.
I'm also not opposed to K's, as long as they are articulated well, relevant to the topic, and that the debater has a nuanced understanding of the K. Being able to answer questions about your K in cross is key.
For IEs, my preferences are for clarity of topic, engagement with the audience, dynamic delivery, memorization, and compelling narrative.
Thank you. And good luck!
My name is Bren Hamaguchi (he/him) and I am the assistant Speech and Debate coach at Overlake HS.
I want to be clear: I have no prior experience participating in or judging Speech or Debate (this is my second season). But, as a history teacher, I am familiar with how to construct an argument, thesis, use of evidence, some philosophy, and persuasive speaking techniques.
I have no overt biases that will affect the decisions that I render.
Speed - I have a difficult time following along when people talk fast, I'll do my best, but if I don't write it down there is a good chance I'll forget and I can't judge you on information I don't have. You can send me your case if you think you speak too fast. No spreading, even with a case.
LD - Philosophy, Theory, and K's - if you're going to run theory or use a philosophical argument make it clear. If you reference something you think a Lay judge might not understand, either thoroughly explain it during your time or don't bother. Try at your own risk.
Be careful with the amount of technical LD jargon. My knowledge of technical, especially progressive debate terms, is limited.
LD/PF - ESPECIALLY PF - Be courteous! I really dislike when competitors are rude to each other.
Congress - I have my B.A. in Political Science so I am very aware of congressional procedure and how to construct arguments for and against bills. It is still up to you to follow proper procedure and structure your speeches in accordance with the rules and regulations.
Speech - Speak clearly, have a thesis, stay on time, and have fun!
Good luck everyone!
FYI, there are three different Tabroom accounts for Michelle Hamann. They are all me. This is the current one, so look here for paradigms, but if you want the whole history of my judging you might want to look at the other ones as well.
LD: I have been judging debate longer than you have been alive. I am pretty old-school in my approaches. I will accept more progressive styles, but the focus always needs to be on the resolution and why we should or should not enact it. I'm not really interested in a meta-debate about debate, and if you bring up those arguments I'm probably going to be looking for ways for you to lose.
I flow on paper, and the flow is where I look to make my decision. If you want me to consider an argument you need to give in a clear and organized enough manner that I can get it onto the flow. If you're speaking at 300 words per minute, I'm probably not going to get it onto the flow. If you don't signpost, you're at my mercy on where I put it on the flow.
I care about warrant a LOT. Evidence is good, but if you don't tell me why it matters, it's not going to matter much in my mind.
Quality of arguments will always beat quantity. Just because your opponent drops your contention 10 subpoint Q doesn't mean you win. (Doubly so because a case that has that many contentions probably argued none of them well.)
Be respectful. You can win--and win handily--while respecting your opponent, even if he/she is overmatched.
PuFo: I am a reasonably educated American voter who is relatively well versed in current events. Convince me. I will not flow and do not care about dropped subpoints and technicalities. I will listen to what you say and how you say it, and pick the team that offers the more convincing arguments.
Congressional Debate: How well are you contributing to positive, productive debate? That's the question that underlies every aspect of my judging in Congress.
I have coached LD since the last century. While I am capable of change, I do hold fast to a few philosophies that you will want to know about if I'm your judge.
First, do go ahead and have a value and a criterion for the debate. Hit those arguments (on your own and theirs) hard: I will look for a weighing mechanism that leads me to some large good.
Second, QUALITY OF ARGUMENT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN QUANTITY. Just because your opponent drops your Contention 5 Subpoint F doesn't mean that you've automatically won anything worth winning (least of all the whole debate), because if you have a Contention 5 Subpoint F, none of your arguments are probably at all developed or worthwhile. Doing claim-data-warrant well requires some time, and I'd rather have a few arguments developed beautifully than a bunch of arguments that are underdeveloped.
Kritiks: not a fan, but willing to listen. I tend to view them as an excuse not to debate the resolution, so go with caution, but if you're bold enough to go past this warning and try, I'll listen. You might not want to put all of your eggs in this basket if I'm your judge.
Speed: Ick. I'd like to hear debaters demonstrate communication skills that will be valuable outside of debate rounds, and speed is not that. I find it offensive to me as an English teacher.
I do distinguish between offensive speed and defensive speed. That is to say that if you're just spewing out a billion arguments in hopes that one or two will stick, I will actually resent what you're doing with my time and this event I love. But if you need to speed up a little (for example in the 1AR) to hit some things, I can live with that. Nonetheless, if I can't understand you, I can't flow, and if I don't flow it, you didn't say it.
To put it another way (and not just with speed): it is not my job to understand you. It is your job to be understandable.
I'm sure I'm forgetting something: feel free to ask me in the round if anything is missing here.
I'm old enough that I remember when Public Forum was founded (did you know it was originally called Controversy? Then Ted Turner Debate?). Originally, it was founded as a lay judge debate: something that your smart uncle who has never seen a debate round could judge intelligently. Solid argumentation, thoughtful evidence, but no "card wars" and no debate-head jargon. The idea was that LD was too specialized, too jargony, too aimed at a tiny debate-head population rather than to the general public.
While I love LD (still), I hold to this original purpose for Public Forum Debate. I will listen to anything, but let's stay focused on the topic at hand. I won't flow (though I do take notes to refer to for my RFD).
In other words, when judging Public Forum, I take off my debate-coach hat and put on my citizen hat. Treat me like a citizen hasn't decided on an issue who shows up to hear you debate that issue. When I watch a political debate on TV--let's pretend for a second like these are more than shouting matches--I don't flow those, nor do I want to hear epistemological jargon. I just listen for the best evidence, logic, and (yes) coherent presentation. Wow me with those and you'll be on my good side.
I competed in Policy (among other events) from 2006 to 2010 and in British Parliamentary at the college level from 2010 to 2014. I've been judging since then, and have been running the debate programs at a number of schools since 2016. Please read the applicable paradigm categorized by format below:
I'm a Stock Issues judge! My belief is that we're here to debate a policy option, not discuss external advocacy.
Generally not in favor of the K. If a team chooses to run one with me, provide a clear weighing mechanism as to why I should prefer the K over the policy issue we're actually here to debate.
I do not look upon Performance cases favorably. If you want to pull that stunt and expect to win, go do Oratory.
I'm able to understand speed just fine, but prefer clear articulation. Pitching your voice up while continuing to read at the same speed is not spreading.
I highly value clash and a weighing mechanism in the round, and strongly encourage analysis on arguments made. I work to avoid judge intervention if at all possible, unless there is clear abuse of the debate format or both teams have failed to provide effective weighing mechanisms. Don't just give me arguments and expect me to do the math; prove to me that you've won the argument, and then demonstrate how that means you've won the round.
I have a deep hatred of disclosure theory. I expect teams that I judge to be able to respond and adapt to new arguments in-round instead of whining about how they didn't know the 1AC or 1NC ahead of time. If you want to run this, I have an exceedingly high threshold for proving abuse.
I am a firm believer in traditional LD debate. LD was designed around Value-Criterion debate of the philosophical implications of a resolution, and I'm very happy to see debates of this nature. If you want to run a Plan, CP, or any variation of that, I would like to suggest 3 options for you: Go do Policy, have your coach strike me, or hope for a different judge.
I am not a fan of Kritiks, but haven't been shy about voting for them in the past when they're well-impacted and developed with a competitive alt. You're going to have to do some serious work if you want to try and get me to prefer the K, but it's certainly possible. A K without an alternative is just whining.
No speed. A conversational speaking rate is more than adequate if you've done your homework and refined your case.
Performance/meme cases will result in swift and appalling reprisals in your speaker points, even in the unlikely event that you win the round. A low-point win is virtually inevitable in that case, and likely indicates that your opponent has somehow become incapacitated during the round and was unable to gurgle a response.
Adaptation to your audience is one of the most basic and essential factors in debate, and public speaking in general. Please keep that in mind when formulating your strategy for the round.
I strongly prefer traditional public forum debate. If you treat this like Policy Lite, I will take out my frustration on your speaker points, and if it gets bad enough, on the rest of the ballot as well. PF was intended to be accessible to the layperson, and I take that seriously. Go do Policy if you want to use jargon, run plans or kritiks, or spread.
In order to earn the ballot from me, focus on making clear, well-articulated arguments that have appropriate supporting evidence. Remember to tell me why I should prefer your evidence/points over your opponent's. Make sure your advocacy is continually supported through the round, and give me a good summary at the end to show why you've won.
Traditional Worlds adjudication; please remember which format you're competing in. Do not spread. I voted down a team in Triple Octafinals at Nationals last year for it.
I am okay with some speed while speaking, but you have to be able to enunciate and be clear when speaking.
When looking at the round I will be referencing the flow and looking for where you are carrying your arguments through while attacking the opponents case. In the debate it is important that you are clear in your argument and your attacks and explaining why it matters to the round, don't just say flow through that's not a reason for it to count on the flow.
idc ab time
roadmaps would be cool but if not whatever.
be clear and concise.
don't be aggressive unless need be.
My name is Kaelyn and I did LD for 3 years in high school and have been judging and coaching for past 7 years.
I will look at the round based first by the framework (value and criterion) that is set by the affirmative. The affirmative should be using this value and criterion as a way to prove that the resolution is true and support this with evidence. The negative must then either provide a counter framework to prove why the resolution is not true, or prove why the resolution is not true under the affirmative's framework. If the affirmative cannot prove the resolution to be true or the negative provides more persuasive evidence against the resolution then I will negate. I am open to other ways to weigh the round if both debaters agree on this during the round.
Other aspects to keep in mind:
I am basically going to be deciding who wins the round by looking at the key framework in the round (whichever is established as the most supported framework in the round) and looking at my flow to see which side has the most arguments on the flow that support that framework.
I am in general looking to see the big picture at the end of the debate, I do not want to decide the round based on details of definitions or small semantics. I prefer have bigger impacts linked back to the framework.
Delivery: I am fine with speed but like tags and important information to be read slower. I will say clear if I can't understand the speed.
I do understand progressive debate arguments like topicality, theory, DAs, Ks.
I am open to vote for them if I feel it is warranted within the round. I do not like to see progressive arguments for no reason or to just be confusing. If it is going to be run I want it to be well explained and it is your job to tell me how this is going to function in the round and why I should vote for it. Similar to avoiding nitpicky issues, I expect to see a justification for theory to be run.
Overall, I am looking for clarity, politeness, and a debater to show me exactly how they win the round.
I am a coach (Washington) with most of my skills and training in speech. My high school event (Oregon and Montana) was oratory and interps. When it comes to debate, I am not as experienced though I have been judging it regularly at smaller local tournaments. I have been coaching for over 5 years and attended nationals 3 times. I did judge Big Questions at nationals one year.
I prefer traditional LD and a conversational speaking pace. This is a values debate so you should focus on convincing me that your value is more applicable and that your criterion uphold it better than the opponents. It isn't about how many points you win, but winning the most important ones. If you can show that your side also upholds your opponents value- even better.
Coming from the speech side of things, I appreciate clear roadmaps and organization and speaking skills. Make me want to keep listening (or at least not want to stop). You can have a personality.
I am not a fan of tricks or trying to make it so there's nothing your opponent can really argue against. I want to see both sides being able to bring good ideas and counter things their opponents says. I want this to be a tough decision. Respect your opponents and me and have fun.
Background: I competed in speech at the high school level and performed in dramatic and musical theater productions throughout high school and university. I studied physics, and now work as a machine learning researcher.
Speed: I am a native English speaker, and can handle faster than conversational speech well. That said, I do not appreciate speaking for the sake of making noise; debaters should endeavor to deliver their argument effectively, not to speak until they've used every second of available time.
Lay judge debate paradigm.
I’m the head coach of the Mount Vernon HS Debate Team (WA).
I did policy debate in HS very, very long ago - but I’m not a traditionalist. (Bring on the progressive LD arguments-- I will listen to them, unlike my daughter, Peri, who is such a traditional LD'er.)
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
Please don’t be racist, homophobic, etc. I like sassy, aggressive debaters who enjoy what they do but dislike sullen, mean students who don't really care-- an unpleasant attitude will damage your speaker points.
Speed: I’m worried about judging online, so please slow down a little bit to avoid any issues. Speed hasn't been a problem but I don't tell you if I need you to be more clear-- I feel it's your job to adapt. If you don't see me typing, you probably want to slow down.
Tech = Truth: I’ll probably end up leaning more tech, but I won’t vote for weak arguments that are just blatantly untrue in the round whether or not your opponents call it out.
PSA --- My debater Ausha is my favorite fave : ) but I probably shouldn't given her my tabroom info
I prefer a strong, developed NEG strategy instead of running a myriad of positions that serve no point.
I love it when debaters run unique arguments that they truly believe and offer really high speaker points for this. (I'm not inclined to give high speaks though.)
Any arguments that aren’t on here, assume neutrality.
Do like and will vote on:
T - I love a well-developed T battle but rarely hear one. I don't like reasonability as a standard-- it's lazy, do the work.
Ks - I like debaters who truly believe in the positions they’re running. I like critical argumentation but if you choose to run an alt of "embrace poetry" or "reject all written text", you had better fully embrace it. I’m in touch with most literature, but I need a lot of explanation from either side as to why you should win it in the final rebuttals.
Don’t like but will vote on if won:
“Debate Bad” - I DO NOT LIKE "Debate is Futile" arguments. Please don't tell me what we are doing has no point. I will listen to your analysis. I may even have to vote for it once in a while. But, it is not my preference. Want a happy judge? Don't tell me that how we are spending another weekend of our lives is wasting our time.
LD - Skep, permissibility, etc.
Very, very, very... VERY traditional LD - if you are reading an essay case, congratulations and welcome to my worst nightmare.
Not a huge fan of disclosure theory-- best to skip this.
Don’t like and won’t vote on:
Hello! I'm Peri (she/her) and I debated for Mount Vernon HS in Washington doing LD for 3 years in high school. I have my Bachelors in International Studies focused on Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Middle East and North Africa. Now, I'm enrolled in grad school at American University for a master's in International Relations (meaning I know more about the Middle East than the average person) Here is my email if you need it... firstname.lastname@example.org
A huge pet peeve of mine is 3...2..1 and my time starts on my first word. I wont start your timer until you start speaking. I promise.
Substance > Style
Don't rehash, bring up new points prevalent to the debate. I love to see refutation particularly after the first two speeches. Please, lets move on if we are just going to say the same thing over and over.
Every time you speak in a session, it gives me more reasons to rank you at the end of the round. Fight to give those speeches and use questions! Don't let any of that direct questioning time go to waste!!!
A huge pet peeve of mine is 3...2..1 and my time starts on my first word. I wont start your timer until you start speaking. I promise.
I did traditional LD in high school. I am a traditional LD judge. You can run some arguments but disguise them as more traditional and focus on that style to keep me a happy judge. Take that into account. Don't spread I won't understand. Explain your arguments clearly and you'll be fine. No Meta-Ethics
A huge pet peeve of mine is 3...2..1 and my time starts on my first word. I wont start your timer until you start speaking. I promise.
I'm judging more and more pufo these days. I like clear, well organized constructives. Don't just read everything one note. I appreciate that public forum is supposed to be different than LD and Policy. Keep it that way.
Random framework arguments about the intent of the topic aren't going to work for me. If things change in the status quo, you need to be prepared to discuss them.
I find that it is best to judge on what's being said and understood rather than the largest amount of evidence presented. I want to see competitors use their voice to convince me of their position rather than sprout out tons of pieces of evidence. I want ethos, pathos and logos in your arguments. That being said, I need to hear the arguments so rate of speech is key for me, especially in cross examination.
Start judging PF debate since 2020. I focus on these parts to help me make decision
1)Key points clear and well supported
2)Systematic and logical argument
4)ask right questions during cross fire
Finally, be respectful and enjoy
Hi there! I did LD for 4 years at Central Valley High School (Spokane, WA) and I’ve been doing parliamentary debate at Western Washington University for two years. I attended debate camp for three summers back to back in HS as well. I typically judge LD.
Prefs shortcuts for LDers:
K debaters- 1 or 2
Policy (plans/CPs/DAs,PICs)- 2
Traditional- 1 or 2
Phil debaters- 2 or 3
Theory/trix debaters- 4 or strike
Performance debaters- 1 or 2
*Note for traditional/novice/PF debaters — if none of this makes sense to you, scroll down to the bottom for my traditional paradigm.
- My NUMBER ONE rule is to keep the debate space safe and inclusive. Therefore, if you compromise the safety of the debate space for your opponent, for me, or for anyone, you will likely lose the round. This could include being overly-aggressive in cross-x, treating anyone disrespectfully, disrespecting someone’s pronouns, running something -clearly- outrageous or offensive, or using offensive rhetoric. (Quick note about rhetoric — it’s not a game-over argument in my eyes. If you honestly didn't mean to offend with your rhetoric, it might slide. Typically though, I will punish you for it.)
- Spreading’s okay with me. If you do spread, PLEASE email me a copy of your speech doc before your speech(es). Otherwise I might lose some crucial warrants in cards or something. I will destroy each speech doc in front of both debaters after the round is over.
- I’ll give speaks around 27-30 for standard circuit rounds. I use speaks to punish debaters initially, but ultimately the ballot if you really piss me off. You’ll earn higher speaks by giving good rebuttals, good word economy, appealing to pathos and logos, speaking clearly, and using TASTEFUL puns in your speeches.
Ks- Run them. I’m a K debater myself so I know how to evaluate Ks. My personal favorite Ks (in order) are Anthro, Fem, Cap, afropess, and most of DnG’s stuff. I love these Ks not just because I like the arguments themselves, but I like debates about those critical fields. If you’re running high-level kritiks like Baudrillard, Fanon, etc please slow down to explain them. If you can’t explain your K to a common person, don’t run it. I generally need a ROTB for Ks but I can evaluate it through a value criterion if that’s how you roll. Also - I like it when debaters explain how their alt’s solvency and when they weigh the K and the AC. Oh and K affs are awesome.
Theory- I’ll vote on theory if you win it but I generally don’t like theory debates. If trix or theory-overload is your style, avoid me. I’ll vote on RVIs if you win them. I really have a hard time voting for plan theory/CP theory/DA theory/K theory but if you win it I guess I’ll vote for you. PIC theory/disclosure theory are definitely acceptable positions for me, so go ahead and run that if you want.
Policy- Run it! Plans are totally fine as long as they’re topical (see non-T positions below for non-T plans). CPs/DAs are totally fine and legitimate too. CPs don’t have to be competitive IF they solve much better than the AC. You can also run a CP even if the aff doesn’t have a plan text. DAs need UQ and a solid link, and idc how long the DA is. PLAN-INCLUSIVE counterplans are good with me, but word PICs are usually not legitimate to me. Solvency is a must when you’re LARPing.
Phil- Probably run it if you know it, but be cautious. I know Kant fairly decently, and util/consequentialism is always fine. You MUST send me your speech doc when you’re going for a heavy phil position. Also, you MUST be able to explain the phil if I look confused. I like well-warranted frameworks, and I love syllogisms within the framing. Other notes — standard/value criterions can either be the name of the phil or a text, I LOVE(!) it when you break the framework cards into subpoints, weighing between AC and NC under your phil is a must, and you don’t have to have a value generally.
Performance/Non-topical positions- Run them. Anything counts as a performance if you call it one, so have fun (but be safe). If you claim to be topical and you lose on T with these kinds of positions, you’ll lose the round. Performances/non-T need framing of some kind. Also you need to be able to explain the thesis of your performance’s argument if it’s unclear. Performances need to either be reasonably topical or 100% nontopical. Otherwise, do whatever you want AS LONG AS it doesn’t jeopardize the safety of the debate space. Also - disclosure is nice for nontopical positions. If you provide proof that you disclosed your performance to your opponent BEFORE the round starts, I’ll give you an extra half of a speaker point.
Topicality- I have a very high standard when it comes to topicality. If I feel the shell is especially frivolous, I won’t vote on it. Otherwise topicality is just fine. If your go-to strat is T no matter what, avoid me. Oh yeah, and T’s a voter if you win it.
- MY NUMBER ONE RULE is that every debater must be kind and respectful to everyone in my rounds. Overall, just be a good person :)
- I value effective communication, persuasive argumentation, creative thinking, and having fun! Debate is supposed to be educational and a good time, so make it that way.
- I like giving high speaker points and seeing -tasteful- passion behind what you’re arguing. Logos and pathos go a long way in my book.
- Anything in my circuit paradigm will generally apply if you wanna be circuit at a local, traditional tournament.
- Other random notes — I like good eye contact, slowing down on tags, polite cross-x, humor, and being a human (and not a robot) in round.
- SPECIAL NOTE FOR PF DEBATERS — If I’m judging you for PF, everything from my traditional paradigm still applies. I like when PF teams have frameworks in their constructives but it’s not necessary. Make sure you focus on clash during your speeches and make sure CX isn’t overly-aggressive.
Definitions - unnecessary unless you are defining something creatively. Definitions debates will make me very, very sad.
Framework- You need to have a value and value criterion, and they need to be fair to both debaters. Weighing between frameworks and weighing under your opponent’s framework is a must. But I’m completely fine if a debater just wants to use their opponent’s framework. Also, if you have similar frameworks, I appreciate it if both debaters agree to collapse on a similar goal with their frameworks. (example: aff has justice/consequentialism, neg has morality/util. Debaters agree to weigh their impacts under what’s the most ethical consequence). Generally, I like framework debate more than contention debate, but it depends on the debaters and the topic. I’ll tell you in-person what I like with frameworks on a particular topic.
Contentions- I like well-warranted contentions. They can have multiple sub points, but they all have to be meaningful. Also, contentions MUST HAVE empirical evidence, not just analytical arguments. If you have a good mix of empirical evidence and analytics, I’ll go with it. In traditional rounds, solvency isn’t that important, but nice if you have it. Your contentions also must have impacts and you ABSOLUTELY NEED to weigh those impacts against your opponent’s.
- You can time yourselves.
- You can sit or stand no matter if it’s a circuit round or a traditional round.
- Try to use all of your time in your constructives and rebuttals, but it’s probably okay if you don’t have a lot to ask in cross-x (if you understand everything).
- Memes cannot be offensive or potentially to anyone in the room.
- Content warnings are appreciated BEFORE your speeches.
- My pronouns are he/him/they/them. Don’t care which ones you use.
My contact info —
Email: email@example.com (flag emails as important if I’m ur judge)
Facebook: Gavin McCormick
Have fun out there in the debate world, and I’m looking forward to seeing you if I’m your judge! Thanks for reading my paradigm :)
This is my second time judging World Schools at Nationals.
My World Schools team took second in state this year (full disclosure-- I'm from Washington and we do not have a strong World Schools presence in my state).
I love the uniquenesses of World Schools.
I value good public speaking. Speak like you're trying to actually persuade me. I do not like spreading.
I value going into depth on a few points. Explain your reasoning. Don't just get up and read a bunch of cards. Remember, you don't have to win every point. This is not a flow debate. You need to decide what the key issues are and then go into depth on those issues.
Don't play funny with the definitions. The World Schools norms are you should interpret the resolution as an average, intelligent person on the street would interpret it.
Don't forget to state the impacts of your arguments.
I’m pretty open. At the end of the day, I think of debate as a game where we write rules ourselves. I’m open to almost any kind of argumentation as long as you can make it feel logical and consistent. Kritiks are fine with me. I like philosophy and studied it, feel free to go for the deep cuts.
One thing to note, I’m not as good at flowing post-Covid. Help me by sign posting and being organized. I will not punish you for speed, but I do need to be able to understand you.
I value links a lot. Walk me through why point A leads to B leads to impact C. I will not fill in the dots for you and if your opponent calls you out on not doing so and you haven’t, I will side with them. Give me an impact calculus! Tell me why you are winning. Lay down the law!
I will always answer questions but I do not disclose unless instructed to by the tournament leaders.
Briefly, I tend to be a tabula rasa judge. Overall I favor evidence, and prefer speech clarity to rushed speech.
Case/evidence email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: I've been judging high school Lincoln Douglas for over 6 years and work in the tech industry.
Speed: I'm a native English speaker, so faster than conversational delivery is fine, but debaters should attempt to be persuasive and not speak just to fill time. (I do appreciate good argumentation and have noticed that faster speakers tend to rush past important points without fully exploring their significance, so keep that in mind.)
Criteria: I consider myself to be a "traditional" LD judge. I value logical debate, with analysis and supporting evidence... co-opting opponents' value & criterion and showing how your case wins is completely fair and certainly a winning strategy. I do weigh delivery and decorum to some degree, but generally it isn't a factor... in the event of a tie, Neg wins. Neg owns the status quo, so the burden is on Aff to show why changes must be made.
Note: I don't care for "progressive" arguments... most of the time they're just a cheap ploy to ambush unsuspecting opponents instead of expanding our understanding of the problem and the philosophical underpinnings guiding our decision. (If you'd rather be doing policy, there's a whole other event for you to enter.)
Public Forum is based on T.V. and is intended for lay viewers. As a result, there's no paradigm, but some of the things that help are to be convincing, explain what the clash is between your opponents position and yours, and then show why your position is the logical conclusion to choose.
GENERAL PARADIGM and NOTES - or, "I really hate speed"
Exception: I do not vary from the paradigm stated below with one exception. If both teams desire to speak fast with the understanding that doing so will deprive me of the opportunity to flow the round, they may agree in ADVANCE of beginning the round to “speed” with the understanding that I will listen to the debate, but not flow a single word.
I do not like speed. I believe that the debater’s job is to communicate to the audience. This position is reinforced by the Washington State ELAR’s which require teachers and all persons working with high school students to teach students to communicate at a rate which facilitates communication. I do not interrupt students by yelling “clear” or “slow” during a round. I simply judge the debate.
I am a strict flow judge. If I do not get it in my flow, it doesn’t exist. I don’t care how much I think that the debater meant to make a particular argument or even if I am convinced that he or she did make the argument. If I didn’t get it in my flow, I will not vote on it. Debaters should not, therefore, speak faster than I can flow.
Finally, I will not decide any debate until after the round and after I have had an opportunity to thoroughly examine my flow. I will not reveal a decision unless directed by the tournament director to do so. I will provide an oral critique if allowed by the tournament director, but I keep my critiques short and to the point. Don't expect me to have a lot to say - I'll leave notes in the ballot but I value your time too much to go on and on about the round.
Disclaimer: I can only argue with what is presented to me in round. Ultimately, if you want to run something, who am I to stop you? I'm flexible enough to deal with it.
TLDR: Speed fine. K's n stuff fine. Do what you want.
I don't usually count flashing as prep unless it becomes a problem. Never had a problem outside of policy rounds.
I did LD the most when I was actively debating, but have experience with most other forms of debating and have actively judged for Pufo and Pol (Though still pref LD). I debated a wide range of arguments, from stock to progressive. I have a particular love for K's, especially so when they are accessible by everyone in round, and understood particularly well by the Debater running them.
All Prep is running prep. If you say you're only going to take two minutes of prep, end up taking an extra 30 seconds and try to pass it off as only two minutes... no... just no. I'm not setting a timer, I'm using a stopwatch for all prep. Watch your own time.
Flex-Prep is valid. As in, asking questions during Prep time. I prefer if Flex-prep is less confrontational than CX and much more used for clarifying arguments rather then finding tricky questions... you had your chance in CX. Flex prep is Not binding as far as tricky questions go, however, if a debater willfully misrepresents their argument, I'm either slashing speaks or treating just that misrepresentation as binding, depending on how much that misrepresentation shifts the round. IE. If it becomes a centerpiece for the debate, it's binding. If it's just a side argument... speaks. Try not to do it.
As a judge I really like framework, it tends to make for an easier decision. I.E. some arguments that are argued don't really fit within frameworks in round, and I can just drop them. If there are competing frameworks I expect you to debate them, and end up with one superseding the other. That being said... if you have the same or similar frameworks, unless you're gonna describe what the nuance difference is and how that changes the valuation in round, it's almost better to just agree that the Fw's are the same.
K's function as their own FW. They don't necessarily need a super comprehensive FW with a K, the ALT and Link's are FW on their own. If those aren't sufficient, you can run a bit of FW up top or something, especially if your Alt is Drop the Debater... that isn't really a FW sufficient Alternative and you're going to need some work to set that up. Honestly, I have a higher threshold for Drop the debater args with no intrinsic justification then I do a more progressive mindset alt. You have to disclose an alternative for your K's when you read them, no more hidden drop the debater alt. I weigh the Alt as part of the K's FW. I think it's also good form for accessibility. If you don't disclose an Alt, I'm going to default it to Drop the Debater, and hope you provide justifications in the next speech and probably drop speaks a point or two.
I definitely prefer depth of argumentation over breadth,knowing your evidence is key to educating yourself on the topic. I will always buy a warrant from your evidence that's well explained and utilized over one that isn't. A lot of responses to arguments made against a card can be found within the card itself.
Not really a whole lot to say here, just debate it.
I'm fine with Speed and progressive argumentation.
That all being said, I can only vote for what is offered to me in round, and am pretty flexible with what the debaters want to argue.
My experience is as follows:
I competed in high school for 4 years policy debate, student congress and forensics (speech).
I have judged the last 3 years in PUFO debate and speech events.
My paradigm is as follows:
Speak clearly and articulate your thoughts. If I can’t understand you then I can’t give you credit for providing evidence or making a point. I was a debater so I can flow when someone speaks quickly I just need you to enunciate.
Make sure you have evidence to back up your main arguments and be organized enough to provide the evidence to the other team if they ask for it.
Make sure to not drop an argument.
Hello! My name is Shirley (she/her) and I’m excited to judge! I did speech events in high school and this is my first year judging.
Please avoid gendered language when addressing the crowd. Let me know if you would like to have any time signals. Remember to have fun, be awesome, and self-advocate for accommodations when possible! Make sure to introduce yourself and say, "Go Wildcats!" so that I know you've read my paradigm. : )
Please use the space well. I will be looking for lively energy, purposeful movements, a demonstration of personal knowledge on the topic, as well as an original synthesis of sources. As an AP English teacher I also love coherent arguments that are nuanced and flow well. I especially appreciate humor, theory/philosophy (K), and references to popular culture. I look forward to learning something new from you!
I genuinely appreciate people's commitment to this activity and want to emphasize that I'll do my best to adjudicate. I feel like most of the learning I've had in these activities can be attributed to feedback provided by judges after the round. That said, please know that I am happy to provide feedback and answer questions to make your time in this activity valuable.
Hi, my name is Christine Pyle
I am a coach and participated in debate in school many years ago.
Fast talking(spreading) is fine, however clarity is key.
Signposting is preferred - organization helps not only me but you
If you are utilizing impacts to enhance your case, follow through with those impacts in your case to the end of the debate.
I'm looking for good case structure, compelling arguments, good use of crossfire, and that arguments with weight are flowing through to the end.
I am Nagu, a parent judge from Interlake High school, WA. I am very passionate about public speaking. From my elementary school to all the way till my Masters, I participated in competitive Oratorical events in India.
I judge Speech events and enjoy the experience of judging students' speech performance for the two reasons 1) it is a reliving moment of my speech event days, and 2)an opportunity to learn from and share constructive feedback.
As a judge, I will be impartial and be objective in my decision. Please note that I am a parent judge and therefore do not know debate or topic terminologies. If I don't understand what you are saying, I will not be able to take it into account for my final decision. To win my ballot, speak slowly, clearly, concisely, and confidently, and support your arguments with evidence and thoughtful analysis.
Prepare, Present and Persuade!
I've been an assistant coach at Ferris High School for four years now. I've coached and judged for Ferris at the local, state, and national level.
Tech over truth. Speed is great, I've never had to clear anyone. I don't want to intervene so please do enough work to justify a vote for you (see below, this isn't a problem in most high level debates but if there is heavy framework argumentation in the debate it will be like a breath of fresh air for me). I've voted on Policy, Theory and Kritikal arguments in the past. I like CX debate. I judge because I enjoy the game. Flashing isn't prep but please don't spend too long doing it, a timer should be running for as much time as possible during a debate to preserve fairness and for the good of the tournament schedule. I try to be as attentive as possible so if you have any questions or concerns please let me know before the round starts.
I know that the paradigm so far has been pretty non-specific and not really that helpful but I try to be as much as a blank slate as possible. When it comes to my actual biases, I'm not overly fond of generic procedurals or any arguments that could be described as gimmicky by someone reasonably acquainted with CX. That doesn't mean I won't vote on a procedural but I would probably be more sympathetic towards arguments made against a procedural so long as there isn't a blatant warrant for the procedural to be read.
I'm not particularly tied to any philosophy when it comes to how I should make my decision or what the ballot signifies. Disturbingly often, I'm frustrated by the lack of framework arguments made in rounds and the general lack of instruction about my role is, what my ballot signifies, and what I should be doing when I make my decision. In those sorts of rounds, I'm usually left to make a decision about what I should value most in the debate which is uncomfortable and leaves room for "judging errors" if the framework I was presumed to have assumed but wasn't told to take wasn't taken. I understand that my paradigm should describe the framework that I bring to a round before any arguments have been made, but I am generally apathetic towards most arguments when presented in the abstract. It isn't my job to come to the debate with a well built schema of what should and shouldn't be valued (that is what impact calc and framework arguments are for). In the absence of framework my decision is based off of what arguments I think would be most easily defended in an rfd.
In the unfortunate absence of any framing:
In the absence of any framing to go off of, I suppose I am usually most swayed by the biggest impacts in the round, as most judges are. Those impacts most usually come from policy arguments but can also stem from kritikal arguments as well. I think that a lot of time in rounds is wasted on the link debate, at least in my debate community, which leads to frankly boring debates with excessive defense. I don't vote on defense, there is no reason to (not linking to the negative is not a reason to vote affirmative, it's at best neutral). I like offense heavy debates with well developed off case positions from the negative and well made affirmatives.
My flow is really dense. I write down as much as I am physically able to in every speech. I think that email chains are nice and I appreciate being sent cases. I keep time and will stop speeches that go over time with some leniency. I still encourage everyone to keep track of time within the debate to ensure that everyone is accountable. You can address me as judge, I don't like being referred to directly in a debate round because it breaks my emersion and is at best a waste of time to try to get my attention/ add emphasis to a point when I am already writing down what you are saying. Outside of the round Kyle is fine.
Preparing for a round where I am judge:
Do not fret over anything I said in the sections above. The biggest concern of mine that I bring to a round before anything has been said is the tournament schedule. Please arrive on time. When considering what to run in front of me please consider what would be the most strategic answers to your opponents case. Be polite and respectful to all parties involved. I want to have a pleasant time.
But most importantly of all,
Follow Your Heart.
Key influences in my debate judging choices include the following:
Clarity: Were your contentions well-constructed and easy to follow? Was each contention clearly related back to the resolution? Did you remain on-topic over the course of the debate? In LD, did you pick a solid value/value criterion and shape your arguments around them? Would a person who wasn't an expert on the resolution's topic still be able to follow your argument? (It's okay to assume some background knowledge, but using excessive jargon to prove that you're knowledgeable will not earn you any favor.)
Strength of argument under pressure: How well could you answer your opponent's questions in cross? As the debate went on, did you pivot your argument to appropriately acknowledge and address the challenges brought up by the other side?
Evidence and warrant: Did you provide appropriate factual evidence to back your contentions? When asked to provide additional cards or information to clarify your argument, could you rise to the challenge? Can you explain how your evidence proves your point and why it matters to your greater argument?
Presentation: Speaking skills matter to me here just as much as they do in Oratory. Did you speak in a way that was poised, articulate, and easy to understand? Spreading will almost always lose you favor with me, especially in PF--it's one thing to speak a little fast to get all your information in, but your primary responsibilities as a speaker are to be clear, compelling and easy to follow, which are all quickly derailed if you speak like an auctioneer.
Thinking outside the box: Did you bring up unique perspectives on the resolution? While arguing proficiently is ultimately more important than arguing creatively, I do enjoy hearing ideas and viewpoints beyond what is provided in the topic analysis.
Decorum: This won't make or break your score (unless there's a particularly egregious lack of it), but you will only gain favor from being polite and showing good sportsmanship. Debates come with inherent conflict, but you should be able to manage that objectively without making it personal. I expect you to show respect throughout the round to your opponents and judges.
My judging practices:
Prep time: I am happy to give you a requested amount of prep time or to give you running prep. I will time you. In online tournaments, I will enter the amount of prep time you've used in the chat so that we can both keep track.
Timing: I will time you during each section of the debate and offer you a hand signals for 1 minute, 30 seconds and 10 seconds. You are welcome to self-time.
After the round: I am happy to offer feedback upfront and debrief the session with you, but I will generally not disclose my decision until after I enter my ballot.
My name is Carlos Santos (He/Him/His), I debated in Spokane briefly at Lewis and Clark High School and would consider myself closer to lay than experienced as a judge (though I am learning!). I am the coach for North Central High School and this will be my second year back in the debate circuit. While I am more familiar with traditional debate styles, I am open to progressive debating and do my best to view unfamiliar debate styles impartially.
General: Time limits are to be followed, speaker points are not debatable, self-timing is acceptable.
Policy/LARP – Policy/LARP arguments are fine but avoid contrived scenarios.
K - K aff should be able to provide contextual answers to framework. K affs should have a clear advocacy, whether that be enacted or embodied through performance or advocating a philosophical re-orientation towards/away from the resolution. If you're moving away from the resolution, you need an embedded critique of the resolution - this will give you a large leg up in front of me on the t-framework debate – vague arguments on oppression/racism/capitalism without clear structural analysis and coherent theories of power make it difficult to evaluate within the round.
1 NC K - When using Kritik in the 1NC, you should be able to clearly shift the burden of addressing the underlying issues of the debate to the affirmative. I do not mind at all being asked to consider assumptions I have made regarding the framework of the debate.
Framework: Provide clear structure in framework debate – be sure to elaborate on how I (as the judge) should be interpreting the rules within the round as well as how the round should be judged and provide sound reasoning for this interpretation.
CP – Counterplan should provide a reasonable alternate course of action with a net benefit over the plan – avoid contrived scenarios with unclear net benefits. Your text should be clear in stating your advocacy. Elaborate on how the counterplan is competitive to the plan and provide a net benefit to the counterplan.
DA – disad should operate with a clear link to the plan, please provide evidence and have a clear impact. Because DA impact should be considerable, provide multiple links. Long link chains are acceptable as long as they all relate back to your claim. Impact should be broad and clearly outweigh the affirmative, turn case, or at least nullify the 1AC advantage(s). Impact turns are challenging to do well and inoffensively. Use them only if you are certain it will be effective.
Performance – Performance can be an effective way to communicate narratives that operate outside of the dominant cultural narrative, but make sure the impact is carried beyond the 1AC. Use it as a connection between each part of the round.
T – I have no issue with topicality debates and aff should be prepared to defend against with a clear, delineated counter-interpretation. I am fine with theory debates – just make sure your interpretation is clear and provide a reason for me to give you the ballot or drop the argument
Note: This is a paradigm for my local circuit. For nationals, i still judge similarly.
Background: I competed for a couple years with no particular accolades. I judge Congress a lot. If you see me as a judge in a debate event other than Congress, consider me a smart lay judge with little to no understanding of conventions of your event.
Frankly, Congress is not as complicated as other debate events. You only get three minutes, and there aren't a ton of different ways to argue compared to other debate events. That said, this is how I will judge you in Congress:
-Content matters a lot to me. Lots of judges say they don't like rehash, but I really mean it. If you are the 5th speaker you should probably reference what other speakers are saying. If you are the 15th speaker, please don't pretend your points are new. Flow the round, weigh the values of both sides and argue why the values of your side are the most important of the round. If you have evidence that suggests that your side should win a value that the other side has tried to claim, explain why your side should get that claim over the other, rather than just stating that you do and expecting that to be undisputed. If your speech would work as an authorship and you are not the author, you're not debating. You're giving a 3-minute oratory. If you don't understand how to do that, go watch any PF round and you'll probably see a higher amount of debating than I see in Congress.
-How good of a speaker you are will matter. I probably value your speaking ability less than most Congress judges in Washington, but it still will play a factor in how high you score and rank. Even though we are (supposedly) debating legislation, you're doing it in the form of a persuasive speech, and so all speech conventions apply here.
-Ask good questions. It's by far the easiest way to recognize who is paying attention and understands what's going on in the room. Any question that will be really obviously answered with either a yes or no answer is probably not contributing much to the debate. Ask lots of why questions, especially when speakers should be answering them in their speeches and failed to do so.
-Don't just read off a piece of paper. At least try to make eye contact. I understand why novices do this. I don't understand why open competitors do. It doesn't really feel like you're paying attention if your "contribution" to the round is reading a prepared statement. If speaking from bullet points makes you stutter or lose your train of thought a lot, practice your speeches until it doesn't. I would rather you be a little less polished but be more adaptive and open to your chamber, as long as I can still understand what you're arguing.
-Don't try to be too smart. I see lots of debaters try to be smarter than everyone with their "unique" points that have minimal impacts and/or don't make any sense at all. There's plenty of room for imagination in Congress, especially considering how interesting flaws in legislation can be, but run your point by someone smarter than you before you give it in round.
-Don't be a jerk. I'm a pretty informal judge because that's who I am as a person. I think there's value in making your participation in this event reflect who you are and what you believe. But don't be so loose that you insult people, make racist/sexist/ableist/homophobic/transphobic/any kind of hateful or derogatory comments. I do believe there is room for debate to be fun and also to not be insulting. Don't attack people, attack arguments.
Coach since 1996 - started team at Clover Park High School (3 years) (Coach at Puyallup High School since 2000)
Competed in high school and college - Policy, LD, platforms, and interp.
Charter Board member of The Women's Debate Institute
General - (scale of 1-10) 1=low, 10 high
Speed - 6ish -7 ish, if you are ridiculously clear
Topicality - 3 - I have little regard for T, if you are going for it, it better be your only card on the table and the violation should be crystal clear and beyond egregious.
Kritical Arguments - depends - I'm very interested in language kritiques, but generally speaking I have little tolerance for po-mo philosophy - I think the vast majority of these authors are read by debaters only in the context of debate, without knowledge or consideration for their overall work. This makes for lopsided and, frankly, ridiculous debates with debaters arguing so far outside of the rational context or the philosopher, as to make it clear as mud and a laughable interpretation of the original work. It's not that I am a super expert in philosophy, but rather a lit teacher and feel like there's something that goes against my teaching practice to buy into a shallow or faulty interpretation (all of those dreary hours of teacher torture working on close reading practices - sigh). Outside of that, I'm interested on a 7ish level.
Framework - 9 - I'm all in favor of depth v. breadth and to evaluate the framework of a round or the arguments, I believe, can create a really interesting level of comparison. What drives me crazy is, what appears to be, the assumption that framework is a done-deal. That there is only one way to view framework, is faulty and counter-intuitive. It is the job of both teams to advocate, not just their framework, but the logic behind their framework.
Theory - 8ish. While I'm generally fascinated, I can, very quickly be frustrated. I frequently feel that theory arguments are just "words on the page to debaters" - something that was bought on-line, a coach created for you, or one of the top teams at your school put together at camp. It quickly falls into the same category as po-mo K's for me.
Just a me thing - not sure what else to label this, but I think that I should mention this. I struggle a lot with the multiple world's advocacy. I think that the negative team has the obligation to put together a cohesive strategy. I've had this explained to me, multiple times, it's not that I don't get it - I just disagree with it. So, if at some point this becomes part of your advocacy, know that you have a little extra work to do with me. It's easiest for my teams to explain my general philosophy, by simply saying that I am a teacher and I am involved with this activity bc of its educational value, not simply as a game. So go ahead and lump perf con in with the whole multiple worlds advocacy
Ok, so my general paradigm is 1.) play nice. I hate when: debater are rude to their own partner, me, the other team. Yes, it is a competition - but there's nothing less compelling than someone whose bravado has pushed passed their ability (or pushed over their partner). Swagger is one thing, obnoxiousness is another. Be aware of your language (sexist, racist, or homophobic language will not be tolerated. In my mind, this is not just as issue that will affect speaker points but potentially the round.) 2.) Debate is a flexible game; the rules are ever changing. The way that I debated is dramatically, different then the way that is debated today, versus the way that people will debate 20 years from now. I believe this requires me to be flexible in my paradigm/philosophy. However, I, also, believe that it is your game. I hate it when teams tell me over and over again what they believe that they are winning, but without any reference to their opponent’s positions or analysis as to why. Debate is more of a Venn diagram in my mind, than a "T-chart".
I don't actually believe that anyone is "tabula rasa". I believe that when a judge says that, they are indicating that they will try to listen to any argument and judge it solely on the merits of the round. However, I believe that we all come to rounds with pre-conceived notions in our heads - thus we are never "tabula rasa". I will try my best to be a blank slate, but I believe that the above philosophy should shed light on my pre-conceived notions. It is your job as debaters, and not mine, to weigh out the round and leave me with a comparison and a framework for evaluation.
Be kind in all that you do.
I flow but not particularly well (especially the back half) and generally will not evaluate arguments that I don't understand, so please collapse and make sure you clearly extend your warranting.
I am generally okay with spreading as long as I get a speech doc.
I have a slight preference for truth over tech. My brightline here isn’t totally clear so you’re probably best playing it safe.
Under no circumstances will I vote for a "death good" argument and under very few circumstances will I vote for an "oppression good" argument. Pretty much every other type of argument is fine.
Theory should only be run for legitimate norms and legitimate violations. Running stuff like “tall people theory” or “formal clothes theory” almost guarantees a loss.
- For email chain purposes: email@example.com
I’ve been a member of the debating world for about eight years now. As a competitor, I saw some success at the state and national level in Public Forum, Lincoln Douglas, and World Schools, qualifying for the state championship four times and placing 10th at Nats in 2019. I also competed in BP debate at the university level in England. I am currently an assistant coach for American Heritage School - Broward.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Gender, Sexuality, & Race Studies. I have a Master’s degree in Theory and Practice of Human Rights. You can expect me to have more than the average level of knowledge in those areas. I like to think that I know about as much as the average person on most other things, but for economic arguments (or anything involving math) I get lost easily. Do with that what you will!
I have voted on evidence ethics violations in the past, both with and without competitors calling them out in round. You cannot take evidence out of context (like presenting a straw argument as though it's the actual conclusion of the author), distort evidence (add or delete words to alter the conclusion), or use non-existent evidence. If you do these things, you will lose the round.
Don't paraphrase! I will be very open to cut cards theory, direct quotes theory, or anything else like that. If you do paraphrase, you need to be able to provide a cut card or the exact quote you're referencing if evidence is called. It's not a reasonable expectation for your opponents or I to have to scrub through a webpage or a long document searching for your evidence.
I find myself leaning more and more truth > tech, especially with the state of evidence ethics these days. It's really important for you to explain the link chain and somewhat important for you to explain things like author credibility/study methodology, especially for big impact contentions.
Line-by-line rebuttal is really important in the front half of the round. That means you should be frontlining in second rebuttal, respond to arguments in an order that makes logical sense, and actively extend your own arguments. For an extension to be effective you need to tell me what the argument is, how it works, and why it's important. You can almost always do this in three sentences or less. These pieces are important - I don't flow evidence names, so saying something like "Hendrickson solves" without an explanation does nothing for you.
Fiat is pretty much always a thing - There's a reason Public Forum topics usually ask "is this policy a good idea" and not "will this thing happen." My view of fiat is that it lets the debate take place on a principles level and creates a "comparative" between a world with a policy and a world without a policy. That said, politics arguments can work, but only if they relate to a political consequence of a policy being enacted and not if they try and say a policy will never happen in the first place.
Kritiks and theory are fine in PF. Be mindful of your time constraints. For kritiks, focus on explaining how your cards work and what the alternative is. For theory, make sure there's a legitimate violation and that it's something you're willing to bet the round on. Theory exists to create norms. I won’t vote on frivolous theory and I won’t vote on your shell if you aren’t actively embodying the norm you’re proposing.
Flex prep does not exist. “Open” crossfires don’t exist. As a whole, crossfire doesn’t matter that much but you still shouldn’t contradict yourself between cross and speech.
I really enjoy a good framework debate and it’s something that I find is missing from a lot of modern LD rounds. One of the best parts of LD is getting to see how different philosophies engage with each other, and we’re gonna see that thru framing. I do my best to evaluate the framework debate at the very top and use it as my primary decision-making mechanism. Framing doesn't have to be done with a value/criterion if you'd rather run a K or Theory or something else, but you need to five me a role of the ballot if you don't use a value/criterion.
Please don’t spread philosophy or theory if you want me to flow it - I read and write it all the time and I still barely understand it, so I’m not going to understand what you’re saying if you’re going 500 words per minute. If you must spread your framework or K, send me the case or be prepared to explain it again next speech.
I’m fine with condo, fiat, and counterplans. Please don’t paraphrase and don't rehighlight.
"Debate bad" arguments are pretty weird. I probably won't vote on them because, at the most fundamental level, you're still participating in a debate round and perpetuating whatever core "harm" of debate that you're talking about. If your alternative is a reasonable alternative or reform instead of just "don't do debate", I could be persuaded, but you've got an uphill battle.
Congress (much like the real thing) is fundamentally an acting event. I view Congress as being very much in the same vein as DUO, HI, and DI - I want you to tell me a story. The most compelling performance and the most engaging character is who I'll rank highest. Try to avoid contradicting yourself when the bill changes - You should be the same "character" throughout the round. Something I really love to see is references to other bills and speeches - Call out your opponent's hypocrisy in supporting a bill when earlier in the round they said or supported something else!
Despite that, Congress still needs debate. Something I pay a lot of attention to is how the "arc" of the bill is going. Ideally, the first sets of speeches on a bill present some core arguments as to why the bill is good or bad. The next sets of speeches will start getting into refutation and extension of those core arguments. The final sets of speeches should actively crystalize what others have said (with credit) into a couple voting issues before the in-round vote. If you stand up to give the eleventh speech on a bill and it's a bunch of new arguments with no real thought or connections to anything else, I'm not going to be super receptive to that speech!
The number one mistake I see is people giving authorship/sponsorship speeches without actually explaining what the bill does. If I'm judging, I'm not referencing the packet. You need to explain what the bill does instead of just jumping into reasons to support it.
I'm fine with theory as long as it's a legitimate norm and a legitimate violation. Don't run frivolous theory (I'm not going to vote on something like "debaters should sit during their speeches", for example) and don't run theory if it isn't a norm you're actively doing yourself (don't run disclosure theory if you didn't disclose either). I don't have a preference on DtD vs. DtA or Competing Interpretations vs. Responsibility. I lean rather heavily towards theory being a RVI, especially in PF debates where it often becomes the only argument in the round.
I'm ambivalent about trigger warnings. I'm not going to be the arbiter of somebody else's experience and there's not much evidence that they're actually harmful in any meaningful way. Be aware that simply saying "trigger warning" tells us nothing - If you have one, be specific (but not graphic) about the potentially triggering content.
Kritiks are an incredibly powerful education tool that let debaters bring light to important issues. That said, you do need a link, preferably a resolutional/case one. I'm not opposed to hearing kritiks that tackle the structure of debate as a whole, but I think that it's difficult for you to justify that while also participating in the structure (especially because I've seen the same debaters participate in debate rounds without talking about these structural issues). Just like theory, you should be talking about legitimate issues, not just trying to win a round.
Death Good/Oppression Good
"Death good" is a nonstarter in front of me. I get it - I was a high school debater too, and I have vivid memories of running the most asinine arguments possible because I thought it would be a path to a technical victory. As I've stepped away from competition, entered the role of an educator, and (especially) as I've become immersed in human rights issues indirectly through my research and personally through my work, I no longer hold the same view of these arguments. I've been in rounds where judges and the audience are visibly, painfully uncomfortable with one side's advocacy. I've voted on the flow and felt sick doing it. I don't anymore. Do not run "death good" in front of me unless you want a loss and 20 speaks. It's not good education, it actively creates an unsafe space, and its often incredibly callous to actual, real-world human suffering.
"Oppression good" is also generally bad but I can at least see a potential case here, kinda? Probably best to avoid anyway.
If you are in a rush please skim the bolded text for what is relavent to you, the not-bold text that follow is just the longer clarifying explanation for those that might want more details.
firstname.lastname@example.org is my contact email for any other questions or if you need to add me to a potential link chain
Competed and learned all debate styles in high school.
Competed at NFL(now known as NSDA) Nationals in Congressional Speaking.
Was a high school assistant coach for 3 years. (Currently an unaffiliated judge)
Currently pursuing Bachelor degrees in: Communication, Early Childhood Development, and Psychology.
I do not flow cross-examination period. Meaning only the words spoken in a speech are noted on paper for my decision of the winner. I do listen though so, if you want a notable answer marked in my decision bring it up in your speech so it is on my flow(otherwise it 'didn't happen').
Speed - is no problem. If online I need camera on while spreading though- I have a much harder time keeping up with a case if I cannot read your lips while you're talking if you cannot have your camera on for any reason please slow down your speaking slightly and make sure to emphasize your tags. Standard SpReading rules: Slow for Tagline, Author, Date of evidence. Sign post occasionally. I will say "Clear" if I no long understand you.
I strongly encourage you time yourself. I keep Official Time- but I am not very good at providing time signals while I am also flowing. . If you run out of time I allow approx 4 second grace periods to finish your sentence before I'll have to cut you off. In questioning periods if time runs out with a question unanswered I would prefer a quick answer.
If you make personal attacks on your opponent's character, your speaker points will suffer significantly. It is rare but occassionally if you are too rude and lacking in decorum you can loose a round from that alone. (We all make mistakes, malicious intent vs a slip up is very obvious.)
I believe it is your debate round so you, the debater, determine the direction of the debate. I will listen to any type or style of arguments you want to run, simply explain why that is the most important thing to be looked towards in the round. I say I will listen but that does not mean you win just because your argument is unique. Whoever wins is whoever best explains and supports their claims, and refutes your opponents claims.
Tabula Rasa as much as I can be- knowing i have my own biases and experience that I try to leave at the door but isn't entirely possible. Primarily with emphasis on Flow. I weigh what you present and unless you are clearly and blatantly perpetuating obvious falsehoods I simply look at the facts presented on my flow, if something isn't on my flow it didn't happen in the debate.
Every claim needs a warrant and justification of relevance.
I will leave my political opinions at the door and do not reference them. I don't care what party the current acting president or house leader is, you will refer to them by the office they hold and no other. Don't assume that because you think I believe something personally that I will need less supporting evidence for your claims.
In Lincoln-Douglas I have a slight preferential bias towards more traditional style and format. I will absolutely still listen to progressive styles, you must simply continue to warrant and justify all claims.
I think values and morality ultimately are the core of LD and debates of value are vital to a good LD debate.
I try to use the Value and and Value-Criterion as the primary weighing mechanisms for decision-making in the round. I would really like to see a focus on the value and value-criterion debate but not just how your value clashes with your opponents, I would like to see V and VC incorporated throughout the flow and relating to your contentions as well as how your's should be given more weight than your opponent's.
If you opt to utilize a Standard instead then you must explicitly explain why you chose a Standard over a Value and Value-Criterion and the relevancy of that, all other incorporation into the debate applies the same as what I want to see for V and VC.
If you are running progressive: your evidence needs to be relevant, if I could read your case in 2 months on a different resolution and nothing would need to change then your case will have much less ground to stand on in my eyes.
In Public-Forum the round is generally yours to do with as you please.
Courtesy to your opponents is vital. Being as 4 people can get very heated on topics quite easily I will not put up with disrespectful, rude, or threatening behavior in anyway. PF Cross-fire is the most common place in the debate sphere I consider if a team should loose on decorum, remember you are still talking to other humans that have to go back to their lives after this round ends, loosing civility is not worth maybe winning a round and if I'm judging you probably wouldn't end up winning anyways.
I love Voters at the end please- it helps show what you as debaters believe to be most important in that round.
If no RA, framework, or definitions are provided by either side I will loosely judge the round assuming the most common Webster definitions of terms and utilize a Cost-Benefit Analysis approach of who most accurately addressed and supported their claims in relevance to resolution question and demand, but student defined frameworks(within reason obviously) are my first preference weighing mechanism for the round.
In Congress I am a seasoned Parlimentarian, I've held Parli as multiple state level tournaments in both Idaho and Washington, I look to Roberts rules and NSDA standards. I prefer that POs use audible time signals such as knocking or make a timer accessible and easy to see for the speaker.
In Policy I have the least experience. I have not dealt with Policy style debate much in quite a few years so I am not especially up to date.
I can listen to spreading but I have been hearing LD spreading primarily so consider slowing down a titch - especially on taglines.
Please do not do Performative Affs. I think they are very cool but often, for me, lead to just having more trouble tracking the debate thus harming you in the long run.
Don't expect me to just know your cards and arguments. You have to explain and justify your arguments. If you just say a tag and move on then you aren't willing to work for my vote and likely won't receive it.
I know most concepts within policy but am very lacking on the jargon that coincide so quickly throwing out a few jargon words will lose me.
I'm a parent judge. My wife was an assistant debate coach. All of my kids are in debate.
No spreading. I can't understand it, and if I can't understand you, I can't judge you.
Road maps. Let me know where you're going. Then make sure you go there.
Sign post. That will help me to make sure I capture your contentions.
Provide impact(s). Tell me why what you said is important. It should not be a restatement of your contention.
For PF, f you use a RA, make sure your contentions support your analysis. Ensure I know why it is important to judge on that analysis.
For LD, I expect a traditional LD debate on moral grounds tied to a value. Make sure all of your contentions support that value.
I like a clear case with well defined arguments. I am an Industrial Automation Engineer who designs autonomous machinery. Give me facts and data to judge by. No fear mongering. Emotional arguments will not impress me.
Don't use foul language.
This is my fourth year judging. Past Asst. Coach at Middle School for Public Forum. I debated in High School. I have two children in Debate, one in LD & Congress and one in CX and LD. They do ALL THE IE events.
I like the clash, but keep it polite. My biggest pet peeve is poor sportsmanship. I do not mind if you take control of your cross-ex. Argue your points, and refute your opponents. Back up with facts, quotes, stats. Use impacts and YOUR VALUE!!! Use your VC as a weighing mechanism. I give preference to a traditional case but understand and can work with PROG. However, please explain PROG clearly to me. I am a flow judge and follow my flow and arguments made there. I am a tech over truth judge. Lead me through your evidence and tell me how to vote. Don't make me guess or make my own conclusions, as they may not match what you are presenting. In other words, impacts and voters.
Medium tolerance for spreading. Slow down on tags and framework. If it is critical to your case, slow down for that portion. Ennucation is key for me to understand your case. If I am trying to figure out what you said, I miss your case. Spreading is an art form that has guidelines, breathing patterns, and rhythm. Don't confuse talking fast with spreading, they are two different things. If I cannot flow it, I do not judge it. If my pen goes down or I stop typing, you know I am not getting it.
I will count stutters/missteps and crutch words. If a round is close I will rank off who has less. Tone/Infection are important during any speech, use them. Work on not yelling to show all emotions in any speech. Anger/Sadness has many faces, explore these to rank higher. Those who have their presentation memorized will rank higher than those who do not.
Informative: You got to pick your topic. Make it FUN and INTERESTING to me. Show me your passion and excitement about the subject. Be a human in your speech, not a robot. Please do this by making jokes, puns, or using conversational speech to keep me hooked. Pieces with good transitions, hooks, and conclusions rank higher.
Impromptu: I look for a framework. If you set a framework for your piece, I expect you to follow it. You don't have to have 3 points if you have a strong speech with 2.
Have fun and good luck! :-)
I'm a traditional LD judge - I prefer a traditional V/VC framework, and like a philosophical debate that substantively engages the resolution.
I have very limited tolerance for speed / lack of clarity.
Public Forum: I usually use cost benefit analysis to compare each team's impacts. I prefer to have voting issues for comparison, but they are not necessary as long as the impacts are clear. I do not think that spreading really belongs in PF, but I will flow it as long as you slow down on taglines. At least try to take turns in crossfire. I won't vote a team down for being rude, but it will cost you some speaker points.
Lincoln Douglas: As this should be value debate, I prefer for your value to be a concept with intrinsic worth and for it not to be too vague (for instance, I would prefer "individual rights" over the wildly vague "morality"). This same preference is also true for your criterion. I would prefer that your criterion actually shows me how we determine what is moral vs the circular logic that starts with "promotion/reduction of..." (for instance, I would prefer "Rawl's Veil of Ignorance" to "promotion of equity"). I will follow my flow closely, so make certain that you extend and impact any drops. When you get to voting issues, make certain that you are actually using the criterion that you established in the round and that you are upholding your value.
- Content relevancy
- Audience engagement
- Time management
- Real life examples
- Meaningful messages beyond yourself, which may drive broader and bigger impact
- Use citation and evidence to support the points
- Content relevancy
- A clear topic.
- Persuasive evidence.
- Audience engagement.
- Time management.
- Real life examples.
- Meaningful messages beyond yourself, which may drive broader and bigger impact.
Lincoln Douglas Paradigm
Offer a value with more than just a common dictionary definition. Support the value with a workable criterion through which you can link your contentions. If you accept your opponent's framework, be clear about how your case works better within that framework.
Spread at your own risk. National champions don't do it and spreading often is an attempt to hide weak cases. If you must spread, make sure I flow your tag lines and any critical information you deem essential to winning the debate. You will be able to tell when I am confused or miss something. Respond accordingly.
I should not have to read your evidence to understand your case. Consequently, the only time I ask for evidence is if your opponent believes your evidence does not support or misrepresents your case.
Indulge in collegiate pyrotechnics at your own risk. If you go off-case, offer very clear definitions and impeccable logic.
Finally - be civil. If you are rude or disrespectful, you will lose my vote no matter how strong your case is. See the last paragraph under my PF paradigm.
For Public Forum I take the role of an educated citizen. Public Forum was meant to be heard by an educated public not necessarily trained the same way a policy judge would be trained. Consequently, I frown on debate jargon. If competitors use phrases like "framework", "extend the flow", "solvency", etc. without properly defining those terms, they will have trouble winning the debate.
Be clear and actually give speeches, much like you would for Oratory, rather than simply reading off a screen. This is not Policy or Lincoln Douglas. I should not have to work to understand your speech. Again, your audience are laypeople, not debate experts.
Source credibility is becoming a more central issue. Be careful with your sources.
Finally, I place great weight on closing speeches that crystallize the debate. Don't give me a laundry list of reasons why you think you won. Give me key reasons you think you won and why those particular contentions hold more weight than others.
I was an active competitor in HS and college. I currently coach Newport HS.
I do have my Ph.D. in Composition and Rhetoric, so I can follow your logic, and if you choose theory, I have a VERY high bar.
As far as spreading, I do not like it. I have a hearing impairment - and spreading can make following you difficult. I can only judge what I am able to hear. I will ask you to slow down if it is too fast or unclear the first time. If you start "super spreading" I will not give you more than 27 speaker points, because the speed truly detracts from the art of speaking.
Make sure to stay respectful to your competitor, as well as me. Disrespectful words or attitudes will result in a lower score.
I like arguments that have a clear value asserted and pursued. The more sign-posting and off-clock road maps the better. Also, I love to hear the voters at the end.
I am open to many types of arguments - but make sure you let me what criteria to judge the round - and how you fulfilled it. That is your responsibility as a debater- not mine as a judge.
I am a coach at Mountlake Terrace High School. I was awarded most argumentative in high school, and probably would still hold that title if re-evaluated.
My strength is in historical periods/perspectives and morality. I'm a Math and Social Studies teacher so I like when arguments take good research, with strong sources, combined with logic and interpretation of material mixed into a smooth transitory argument.
I like civility and respect in my debates but don't mind rebuttals and crosses having a little bite to them.
I like sources that are short and concise but to a strong point, especially with numbers/stats!
Fast speaking is okay, but I lean towards a strong, powerful argument as much more important.
I don't mind controversial topics being brought in as long as it is done tastefully and with purpose.
Off time roadmaps are always helpful but by no means necessary.
With so many varying speech types paradigms are a little harder to pinpoint. The most consistent and well-put-together performances that include strong openings and closings with details/script inside. Vocabulary, diction, intonation and articulation in your words, emoting/gesturing in your body language, and preparedness (as much as possible) are the qualities I look for.
Any questions on my paradigms please feel free to ask!
I'm a parent judge that has been judging debate for two years. I try to be tabula rasa to the best of my ability.
Respect your opponents and be polite to each other.
Speak slowly and clearly. Signpost your speeches.
I will dock speaker points if you cut anyone who's giving a speech off. I will cut them off if they keep talking for way too long.
I stop listening when you go over time.
I prefer impacts with a clear link chain over world war three/extinction/nuclear war impacts. Don't sacrifice logic for magnitude. PLEASE.
My personal beliefs are separate from my practice as a judge. Primarily, I will score presenters on their use of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos, as well as their poise, presence, and confidence. Remember it’s okay to take a deep breath and collect your thoughts. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the competition, regardless of the results. Good luck!
My name is Astrid (they/them), and I did speech (info and extemp) all 4 years in High School in the Montana circuit, did 2 years of college level NPDA debate, winning Novice Nationals in 2018, and now coach all events at the high school level. I'm excited to judge!
All Events: Avoid gendered language when possible or addressing the crowd. Let me know if you have any time signals you'd like. Have fun, and respect yourself and others. Self advocate for acommodations when possible!
Lincoln-Douglas: I'm pretty good at speed, I've spread-ed my fair share in my day, but I'm a slow writer. For the sake of detail and understanding I may call out "slow" or "clear" when I need it. Please go slower when you're not reading a card so I can keep up.
I'm a big fan of FW debate, impact calculus, and interesting/lesser known philosophy. Watch yourself on colonialism Ks and anything to do with disability/marginalization; I love love love hearing these arguments, but often debaters end up speaking on behalf of marginalized people in unfortunate ways.
In your final speeches, give me clear voters with a story that carries me throughout the flow so I know what the heck is up. Throughout your speech, signpost WHERE we are on the flow.
I weigh theory debates about accessibility and basic respect (misgendering, accessibility around speed, disclosure/wiki etc.) are weighed very heavily for both sides. Evoke them VERY carefully. I care a lot about access to the event. I weigh procedural arguments first unless given a reason not to.
Run stuff you love and what you think is fun.
if you must email a case, email it to email@example.com
All Speech Events: Move around! Explore the space! Don't get happy feet (shift from foot to foot as if anxious), but don't plant yourself in front of your phone. I value a kind of energy that takes up the whole space. I WILL NOT DETRACT POINTS FOR NO EYE CONTACT, but do look around to various places. I've found if you look at "ghosts," empty seats as if someone sits there, it achieves the same result.
Extemporaneous: I count sources and it contributes to my ranking. I generally like to hear the "out there" questions I know less about, but remember that I might not of heard anything about the topic! Give some preliminary info (which is a great place to stuff in more sources).
Impromptu/SPAR: Explore the space! Have fun! You're in a funny event, make jokes and smile. I love a nice, concise lesson that ties your points together. For Spar, I love having a passion or conviction that is far outside of what is normally considered for such funny topics. I want to feel like you care more about the topic than anything in the world (for both events).
Informative:I will be counting puns and it will contribute to both my ranking and my speaker point allocation. Most puns = 20 speaks no questions asked
Looking for good quality cases, facts, and evidence supporting your contentions from both sides. Listen to your opponent’s arguments, being courteous and logical. Focus on the clarity of the debater's speech, the quality of the arguments made, and the ability to defend your positions.