Abbigayle Arbuckle - Hired
Addisson Stugart - UNL
Alec Hubbard - Truman
Audrianah Shavrnoch - UNL
Austin Sopko - Truman
Ben Davis - Truman
Cameron Meier - Penn State
Cami Smith - Truman
Cassity Morlan - UCMO
Charles Lally - UIUC
Colin Dike - UNL
Craig Hennigan - Truman
Drew Stewart - Marian
Eduardo Magalhaes - Simpson
Emily Unruh - WU
Ethan Arbuckle - Hired
Evan Kirksey - UCMO
Faris Salem - UIUC
Gabbie Pruitt - CMU
Gage Brookman - MVC
Gina Jensen - Webster
Hannah Johnson - WU
Hey y'all - I assume you're here to figure out how I evaluate debate - all of that information is included below.
Addendum for College LD:
I think most of this information will apply to LD - most of my experience with LD is from the Kansas High School circuit, which is traditional in comparison to the National College circuit, but hopefully my description of how I evaluate policy arguments will help! Also please feel free to ask questions!
A few things about me as a person:
First and foremost, I would appreciate a content warning for domestic violence and sexual assault. I am employed by a school, because of that I am a mandatory reporter. Please consider this when sharing your narratives, personal communications, etc. with me. If you have questions about mandatory reporting, I will happily answer them!
Second, here's my short bio, I'm in my sixth year of judging and coaching in Kansas (four years at Shawnee Heights High School since graduating in 2014 and in my second year at Topeka High School). I debated the space topic, transportation infrastructure topic, and Latin America topic. I divided my paradigm into several categories - an overview of my paradigm, a list of arguments and how I feel about them, and general framing concerns. Any questions? just ask
Third, I am fine with speed. However, I am telling you right now that I will be unable to flow top speed without a speech doc. Also, I will not do the work to flow top speed theory, overviews or general analysis - slow down when you want me to pay attention. I'll be fairly apparent when I stop flowing. If it is especially bad I will clear you. I want to be on the email chain - email@example.com
I'm open/willing to hearing any type of argument (performance, critical, semi-critical, policy, etc.). If y'all don't provide me a framework for how to view the round or a Role of the Ballot that is clearly articulated and developed, then I will default into a policy maker mindset. If y'all are rude to each other, I will write about it on your ballot and most likely dock you speaks, ranks or even give you the L depending on the severity of your actions. I am easy to read as a judge so if you see me stop flowing or looking annoyed it probably means what you're doing is rude or doesn't make sense to me. I'm fine with speed, but clear tags and analysis are appreciated. I want you to be empowered to debate what you want to debate in front of me - this is your round, not mine.
How I evaluate Debaters and their actions:
I've developed a zero-tolerance policy if debaters are rude to any of the debaters in the round - expect a reduction in speaks or losing the round due to your behavior. You are accountable for the way you act so I don't feel like warnings are necessary. Additonally, I hold you accountable for the arguments you choose to read. Therefore, if your arguments are sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, or targeted towards any person or group in a negative-way, expect a reduction in speaks or losing the round. If you have questions about this, please ask me before the round starts - I want to make debate educational and inclusive.
I'm open/willing to listen to any type of affs. Non-T affs are fine IF they are rejecting the topic. If you are Non-T and upholding the use of the Fed Gov, you better have good T blocks written. Any aff needs to provide me with a clear method of how you solve and a way I should view the round.
When I wasn't taking politics in the 2NR, I was probably taking T. Every level of the T flow is important to me so you must extend and explain interp, standards and voters. Saying "we access fairness and education best" isn't going to win you the round. You need to tell me HOW you access fairness and education the best. I enjoy Topical Versions of the Aff, Case Lists and Core of the Topic args. If you can explain to me why your interp is better for fairness/education in this round and in debate in general, you'll have an easy time winning my ballot. Also, I probs default to competing interps.
Generics are fine, but I prefer them to have case-specific links (analytical or carded). When I was in high school, I ran politics disads and would often take them into the 2NR so I'm fairly confident in my ability to understand them.
I get it, Delay CP is the strategic CP on the topic - lots of people run it and it is core neg ground. I am fine with listening to any CP, but you have to be able to answer why PICs are bad, Delay CPs are bad, Condo is bad, etc. I will vote on any of these arguments depending on the level of abuse in round. Otherwise, when running a CP have a clear net ben. Also, I'm fine with CP funding planks. I don't buy 2NC CP amendments, but I'll only vote against them if the aff makes an arg - make sure your plan text read in the 1NC makes sense and isn't just "the 50 states (insert plan text here).
I'm not familiar with most K lit so you'll want to develop clear analysis about the K. I am most familiar with Neolib, Cap and Security, but my familiarity DOES NOT mean I will do the necessary analysis of cards for you. In the rounds I've watched so far this year, framework has been underutilized by teams. Read framework!!! Explain your alts - your alt solvency is important and I won't vote on a blippy extension of Zizek.
You need a clear interp of what the framework or Role of the Ballot should be. There needs to be clash on the framework about why the aff/neg team's framework is good/bad for debate and for education/fairness in the round.
I'm not the judge to talk about aliens/wipeout/goos/etc in front of, but if you still feel inclined to do so, impact out your illogical args logically.
I view debate as an educational activity. I want the best education and most fair experience for both teams. Use this framework when explaining your theory arguments. Otherwise, anything you do to directly harm a debater in round will be counted against you because it conflicts with the aim of using debate as an educational tool.
Jackson Hermann - WU
Jackson Slechta - UNL
Jacob Leger - UL Lafayette
Jacqueline Patterson - SBU
Jaggard Williams - Simpson
James Taylor - KState
Taylor, W. James “JT” Kansas State University, ADOD
# of years coaching/judging: 20+
Most succinctly, I begin the round as a critic of argument. Depending on how the debaters posit my decision calculus, I go from there...But I think the topic should be debated directly--HOW that happens is up to you.
-Don't forget about T vs. Policy Affs.
-DEPTH OVER BREADTH.
-ONLINE DEBATE: Please slow down just a bit--not much but some. Technology issues are YOUR issues, not mine.
-SPEED: Speed is fine but should not be used merely for exclusion. You also need to still be persuasive at speed.
-ENGAGE THE 1AC: I think teams should always engage the 1AC. Even if you are a one-off K team or you mostly take a more performative approach, there is no reason you can’t address the issues, logic, and general claims of the 1AC (denying their logic is not "playing their game"). Even if you don’t have evidence, you should still make smart arguments. Some of this could be approaches like contextualizing your one-off K to the specific claims made. Be smart and make logical arguments against the Aff. I think being educated on the issues of the topic is the true "education" we get out of "topic education". In the end, there should probably be a detailed engagement in the link debate.
-SPEECH DOCS: Ignoring the speeches and just flowing from the speech docs is disrespectful. I love teams who realize this is going on and throw in arguments when that team is not paying attention.
-DEBATE THE EVIDENCE: What are the base assumptions? Studies? Qualifications? These questions are often not engaged by debaters and badly hi-lited 12 page cards just get accepted.
-STOP BEING PETTY: You might think your arguments are the center of the universe, but c'mon. Too many debaters overstate the importance of their claims, fake being deeply offended for purposes of hyping up a link argument, think their type of education is the only acceptable form, deny/ignore the validity of debates about scholarship, or assume that debate is separate from the "real world".
-FRAMEWORK: Although I think most framework arguments are a little silly—I vote on them often due to execution problems by the other team. I think the Aff. Should get to “weigh” the case as offense, unless it begs the question(s) of epistemology/methodology. In that case, the epistemology/methodology should be directly applied to the case debate. Also, don't use framework as an excuse not to engage the Aff. I think there can be real value in policy debate, but not necessarily through its imposition. What rarely gets discussed are the "portable skills" that are fostered through non-policy debates...In the ideal analysis, we would consider all facets of analysis into the discussion or decision-making process (policy, narratives, history, philosophical assumptions, etc.).
-Role of the Ballot – The vast majority of these claims are self-referential and add nothing to debate: “Whoever best does what we said.” Just like policy framework claims, these function with the same intent to exclude. However, some truly act not as a veiled framework but as truly instructional in terms of judging and the meaning of the ballot and the function of my decision. I do not think the ballot inherently means anything beyond a recording of data. Humans infuse meaning to things like the ballot.
-Perm Sloppiness - I think a lot of block debates get sloppy/lazy on the perm. I think the Aff. should have to explain how the perm resolves the links. I also think the Neg. should have to explain why the perm does not resolve those links (don't just say so).
-Method Debates: You need to actually do your method, not just prove it WOULD/COULD be a good idea. Historical Materialism comes to mind...Very few teams actually advance that alternate version of history. Instead, teams usually just read links to how the Aff doesn't fit in their paradigm or somehow masks or trades-off with HM. The same dynamic happens in many other debates.
-Multiple conditional plan or CP planks: I think it is an unrealistic burden for Affs to generate offense against each plank without liability. Aff should get to generate offense and solvency deficits against parts of the CP (or in extremely rare circumstances all parts), but smart Negatives can utilize one plank to compensate for solvency deficits of others or outweigh the internal link to the offense against others.
Jamie Parker - UL Lafayette
Janine Wilkins - Park
John Williams - WU
Overview: These are my defaults. Everything is up for debate.
Ive done debate for a long time and Ive done every form of debate including NDT-CEDA, NPDA-style Parliamentary debate, Lincoln-Douglass, and Worlds at KCKCC and Washburn.
I am a heavy flow critic. I find myself looking towards the arguments and how they function in the debate over the inherent truth? of an argument. I will vote on an argument I know is not true (many economy arguments, for example) if this is not refuted and disproven if I am persuaded by the function of that particular argument. Basically, I am tech over truth in most instances.
However, I will not vote on arguments such as racism good, patriarchy good, transphobia good, ableism good, colonialism good, etc. Give content warnings for graphic content. If there are any of the aforementioned violence practiced theoretically or materially in round I will vote against your team immediately. These types of injustices kill education and means that no ethical pedagogy can occur. Zero tolerance here.
I am more interested in your argument than your author. Avoid name-dropping your author in order to try and win an argument without doing the analysis that makes it an actual argument (an argument is claim, data, warrant. No warranting means the evidence youre using has no true application in this space). This is an odd trend in debate that should be limited.
Flashing is not considered prep time. Cross-ex can be determined to be ran however the debaters are most comfortable and it is up to them to decide.
I am fine with any speed you choose, you will not go too fast for me. However, watch the acoustics in the room as I have an audio-processing disorder and if you are not clear I cannot flow you. Also, do not spread just to push the other team out. That is an accessibility issue and if they are pushed out of the round and make an abuse argument or criticism of your practices I have a low threshold to vote on it.
Topicality: I love it. A good T debate is my favorite debate to judge and was my favorite argument to run. T is always a voter because it taps into the performative aspects of debate and how this education can be effective. They are always about competing interpretations and the reasons as to why that interpretation is more beneficial than others. You must weigh the offense based on your standards/voters vs. the C/I and their subsequent standards/voters. You have to win your interpretation is the best for the debate. This applies to all theory arguments. Oh, and reasonability is composed of two parts: topic literature and grammar of the resolution. If you just say "we are reasonably topic...like come on" I will probably not vote for you.***
***Topicality is just an agreement between two teams on what is to be debated. If there is/are more pertinent issue(s) that the teams wish to discuss (e.g. anti-blackness, transphobia, colonialism, ableism) of a particular event that is proximal to the debaters then that is okay. Do not think you are stuck to the topic if there is a general consensus on what should be debated.
Framework: I also love framework, but your blocks better be updated and stop using arguments from 2005 that K affs collapse high school programs and that this is the wrong forum. The debate has evolved since then. I believe framework is a criticism of the affirmatives method, but it also can be utilized as theory or a counter-advocacy if paired with the correct arguments. Utilize a T version of the aff to win my ballot.
Counterplans: Read one, please. If you dont, you need status quo solves. I am okay with presumption (I have gone for it many times myself) but it needs to be utilized correctly. If you read a perm text, please give SOME explanation on how the perm functions. I dont view perms as advocacies (no one does anymore) because the CP is just opportunity cost to the affirmative, so dont act like you suddenly have an amazing new net-benefit because you permutated the CP. They compete through net benefits, textual competition is a joke 99% of the time. Presumption never flips aff. Presumption, simply put, is that the existing state of affairs, policies, programs should continue unless adequate reasons are given for change. Now like everything in this philosophy this is a default. To say that presumption flips affirmative is just to say that the affirmative has achieved their prima facia burden to prove that the SQ needs change. I believe condo is good, good luck proving otherwise. Other theory is acceptable if adequately proven (Delay/PICs bad).
Criticisms/Performances: I was a performance/K debater, so I am familiar with most lit you will be running. Do not ever run this as a gotcha? or to push the other team out of the round. It should be an advocacy. Additionally, I do not think white debaters should run anti-blackness. I do not think non-queer individuals should run queer theory. This runs the line of commodification and you cannot work within that positionality if you are not that positionality, meaning that you will never truly understand what you are running and operating form a position of privilege to do so. I am okay with whatever criticism or performance you so choose to run, just make sure you can explain it and how it solves the aff.
Any other questions just find me and ask.
John Boyer - Lafayette
John Wallis - Webster
Joseph Packer - CMU
Joshua Stegall - MoState
Justin Kirk - UNL
Director of Debate at University of Nebraska-Lincoln
20 years judging experience @ about 40 rounds per year
"I believe I have an obligation to work as hard at judging as the debaters do preparing for the debates." Scott Harris
General philosophy Debate is primarily a communications based activity, and if you are not communicating well, your arguments are probably incoherent, and you are probably not going to win many debates in front of me. It is your responsibility to make quality arguments. An argument consists of a claim, a warrant, and an impact. Evidence supports argumentation, it does not supplant it. However, analytic arguments and comparative claims about argument quality are essential to contextualizing your evidence and applying it to the issues developed throughout the debate. Quality arguments beat bad evidence every time.
I flow every debate and expect teams to answer arguments made by the other team. You should also flow every debate. That does not mean start flowing after the speech documents run out. Cross-examinations that consist mostly of "what cards did you read" or "what cards did you skip" are not cross examinations and do you little to no good in terms of winning the debate. If you have questions about whether or not the other team made an argument or answered a particular argument, consult your flow, not the other team. The biggest drawback to paperless debate is that people debate off speech docs and not their flows, this leads to shoddy debating and an overall decline in the quality of argumentation and refutation.
Each team has a burden of refutation, and arguing the entire debate from macro-level arguments without specifically refuting the other side's arguments will put you at a severe disadvantage in the debate. Burden of proof falls upon the team making an argument. Unwarranted, unsupported assertions are a non-starter for me. It is your responsibility is to make whole arguments and refute the arguments made by the other side. Evaluating the debate that occurred is mine. The role of my ballot is to report to the tab room who I believe won the debate.
Online Debate - everyone is adjusting to the new world of online debate and has plenty of burdens. I will be lenient when judging if you are having technical difficulties and provide ample time. You should record all of your speeches on a backup device in case of permanent technical failures. Speechdrop is the norm for sharing files. If there are bandwidth problems, I will ask everyone to mute their mics and videos unless they are talking.
Paperless Debate You should make every attempt to provide a copy of the speech documents to me and the other team before the speech. Disclosure is a norm in debate and you should endeavor to disclose any previously run arguments before the debate. Open source is not a norm, but is an absolutely preferable means of disclosure to cites only. The easiest way to resolve this is through an email thread for the debate, it saves time and the risk of viruses are decreased substantially through email. I suspect that paperless debate has also led to a substantial decrease in clarity and corresponding increases in cross-reading and clipping. I have zero tolerance for cheating in debate, and will have no qualms about voting against you, assigning zero speaker points, and speaking to your coaches about it. Clarity is a must. You will provide me speech documents to read during the debate so I may better understand the debate that is occurring in front of me. I will ask you to be clearer if you are not and if you continue to be unclear, I will stop flowing your arguments.
Topicality Is good for debate, it helps to generate clash, prevents abusive affirmatives, and generally wins against affirmatives that have little to no instrumental relation to the topic. Topicality definitions should be precise, and the reasons to prefer your topicality violation should be clear and have direct relation to your interpretation. Topicality debates are about the scope of and competition generated by the resolution. I usually default to competing interpretations, as long as both sides have clear, contextual, and well warranted interpretations. If your interpretation is missing one of these three elements, go for another argument. Reasonability is a winnable argument in front of me as long as you offer specific and warranted reasons why your interpretation is reasonable vis- -vis the negative. I vote on potential abuse and proven abuse.
Kritiks Should be based in the resolution and be well researched with specific links to the affirmative. Reading generic links to the topic is insufficient to establish a link to the affirmative. Alternatives should be well explained and evidenced with specific warrants as to the question of link solvency. A majority of kritik debates that are lost by negative teams where they have failed to explain the link debate or alternative adequately. A majority of kritik debates that are lost by affirmative teams when I am judging are ones where the affirmative failed to sufficiently argue for a permutation argument or compare the impacts of the affirmative to the impacts of the criticism sufficiently. I firmly believe that the affirmative gets to weigh the advantages of the plan against the impacts of the criticism unless the link to the criticism directly stems from the framing of the Affirmative impacts. I also believe that the affirmative can usually win solvency deficits to the alternative based upon deficits in implementation and/or instrumentalization of the alternative. Arguments that these solvency deficits do not apply because of framework, or that the affirmative has no right to solving the affirmative, are non-starters for me.
Counterplans Yes. The more strategic, the better. Should be textually and functionally competitive. Texts should be written out fully and provided to the other team before cross examination begins. The negative should have a solvency card or net benefit to generate competition. PICs, conditional, topical counterplans, international fiat, states counterplans are all acceptable forms of counterplans. NR counterplans are an effective means of answering new 1AR arguments and add-ons and are fair to the affirmative team if they are responses to new 1AR developments. I believe that counterplans are the most effective means of testing the affirmative's plan via competitive policy options and are an effective means of solving for large portions of the affirmative. Counterplans are usually a fair check against new affirmatives, non-intrinsic advantages, and affirmatives with bad or no solvency evidence. If you have a theoretical objection to the counterplan, make it compelling, have an interpretation, and win offense. Theoretical objections to the counterplan are fine, but I have a high threshold for these arguments unless there is a specific violation and interpretation that makes sense in the context of competitive demands in debate.
Disads Yes and yes. A likely winning strategy in front of me usually involves going for a disadvantage to the affirmative and burying the case with quality arguments and evidence. Disadvantages should have specific links to the case and a coherent internal link story. It is your job to explain the causal chain of events that leads to the disadvantage. A disadvantage with no internal links is no disad.
Case Debate - Is a lost art. Most affirmatives are a hodgepodge of thrown together internal links and old impact evidence. Affirmatives are particularly bad at extending their affirmative and answering negative arguments. Especially new affirmatives. Negative teams should spend a substantial portion of the debate arguing why the affirmative case is problematic. Fewer and fewer teams invest any time in arguing the case, at the cost of a criticism or disadvantage that usually isn't worth reading in the first place. Time trade-offs are not nearly as valuable as quality indictments of the 1AC. Spend those three minutes answering the advantages and solvency and don't read that third criticism or fourth disadvantage, it usually doesn't help you anyway. Inidict the 1AC evidence, make comparative claims about their evidence and your evidence, challenge the specificity or quality of the internal links.
Evidence - Qualifications, context, and data matter. You should answer the evidence read in the debate because I will read evidence at the end. One of the largest problems with paperless debate is the persistence of reading cards to answer cards when a simple argument about the context or quality of the evidence will do. It takes less time to answer a piece of terrible evidence with an analytic argument than it does to read a card against it. It is useless to throw good cards after bad.
Speaker Points - Are a reflection of the quality of speaking, arguments, and strategic choice made by debaters in the debate no more, no less.
One final note - I have heard and seen some despicable things in debate in the past few years. Having a platform to espouse your ideas does not give you the right to make fun of other debaters' limitations, tell them to die, blame them for other's deaths, threaten them with violence (explicitly or implicitly), or generally be a horrible person. Debate as an activity was designed to cultivate a community of burgeoning intellectuals whose purpose is the pedagogical development of college students through a competitive and repetitive engagement of complex ideas. If you think that something you are about to say might cross the line from argument into personal attack or derogatory statement do not say it. If you decide to cross that line, it is my interpretation of the event that matters and I will walk out of your debate and assign you an immediate loss.
Justin Raymundo - Hired
Kaila Todd - Hired
Kelly Burns - WU
Kelsey Bowers - Hired
Kylee Johnson - UCMO
Louis Petit - UNT
Luisa Gunn - Lafayette
MacLain Naumann - Webster
Manny Reyes - UCMO
Marie Stone - A-State
I am a student at Arkansas State University currently pursuing a bachelors degree in psychology with a minor in communication studies and a certificate in debate and forensics. I prefer if you dont spread, but I can usually understand fast talkers pretty well. In a debate round, I like to see passion and interest in the subject in a speaker. Normally, I dont do hand signals, but if you need them I need you to tell me before you start. Also, please time yourselves.
Marisa Mayo - Simpson
Matthew Briggs - Hired
Michael Baumann - Marian
Mikayla Throne - Hired
Quinn McKenzie - UNL
Richard Tews - UNI
Sam Winters - Marian
Samantha Luthe - Hired
Scott Elliott - KCKCC
Sean Atkins - MoState
Shanna Carlson - ILSTU
Steve Doubledee - WU
CEDA late 80's early 90's.
Slow and smart beats fast and stupid.
I prefer you embrace the topic.
HEG & Politics debates are fun.
All CPs are fun...even Delay and Consult.
Topic specific K debates are fun.
Impacts = time frame/probability/magnitude.
Topicality viewed through competing interpretations.
Theory-Do what you can justify.
LD = Condo Maybe?-I am leaning more and more towards No Condo but it is still up for debate (for now).
Be polite to each other.
Debate is a game.
Steven Gill - Simpson
Sydney Crank - UCMO
Taylor Corlee - SBU
Terri Magalhaes - Simpson
Tiana Brownen - MoState
Tom Serfass - Webster
Tyler Slinkard - Hired
Zac McGee - Hired