Adam Testerman -- Texas Tech University
My background as a competitor involved a couple years reading primarily policy strategies and a couple years reading primarily old-white-man criticisms (Baudrillard, Marx, Lacan, etc). As a coach, my teams have dipped their toes into nearly every kind of argument. I love it all, when it is done well. I can hate it all, when it ain't.
I feel comfortable judging any Ã¢??genreÃ¢?Â of argument and have no real argument preference beyond the desire to see clash.
I coached for three years at Lewis & Clark College; this is my fourth year as Director of Forensics at TTU.
Parliamentary debate is the most fun and the most educational when a variety of argumentative styles, people, knowledge bases, and strategies are given room to thrive. I feel lucky to have judged a vast array of different arguments in my judging career. One of my main goals as a judge is to allow teams to run the arguments they feel are most compelling in front of me. IÃ¢??ve picked up teams reading structural indictments of debate about as many times as IÃ¢??ve picked up teams reading policy affirmatives and defending incrementalism.
It is my goal to involve myself in the debate round as little as possible. I have no preference for any particular kind of argument and generally feel that almost every debate issue can be resolved in the round. I will vote for arguments with warrants. I will try my best to synthesize your arguments, but I also believe that to be a central skill of effective debaters.
Parli debates should be slower than policy debates. Your theoretical top speed is too fast for parli, in my opinion (we don't flash documents, and we don't have enough predictable CX time to clarify key issues). I don't think I've been unable to keep up with even the fastest parli debaters the past several years, however, when in doubt... slow down just a bit.
I will vote for arguments I think are stupid 10 out of 10 times if they are won in the round.
I rely on my flow to decide the round. I attempt to flow performances and I do my best to write down what youÃ¢??re saying as close to verbatim as my fingers allow me. If there is an expectation that I not decide the round based on the way I understand argument interaction on my flow, that should be stated explicitly and it would be a good idea to tell me how I am intended to evaluate the debate round.
Emphasize explanation earlyÃ¢?Â¦ donÃ¢??t let your argument make sense for the first time in the LOR or PMR etc.
All constructive speeches should take a question if asked, and itÃ¢??s strategic to ask questions (unless there is flex, then I'm agnostic on this question).
Theory interpretations and advocacy statements should be read slowly and read twice.
Points of Order should be called, but I will also do my best to protect new argumentsÃ¢?Â¦ donÃ¢??t be excessive with them though [IÃ¢??ll be vague about what that means, but be an adult]
RVIÃ¢??s have never been good arguments, read them at your own risk.
I cut my teeth on procedural arguments in college, and I am still a huge fan. To vote on a procedural, I need an interpretation explaining how the debate should be evaluated, a violation detailing specifically why the other team does not fit within that interpretation, standards that explain why the interpretation is good, and a voter that outlines why I should vote on the argument. PLEASE read your interpretation/definition slowly and probably repeat it. It is good to have an interpretation that makes some sense.
DAs and Advs. require uniqueness arguments that explain why the situation the affirmative causes is not happening in the status quo. Defensive arguments are useful, but they often serve to make offensive arguments more impactful or serve as risk mitigation, as opposed to terminal takeouts.
I ran politics in a majority of my negative rounds and I coach my teams to read the position as well. So, I will totally vote on politics every time it is won. That being said, IÃ¢??m finding the position to be one my least favorite and least compelling these days. The obscene nature of congress make the position even more laughable than it was in the past [and itÃ¢??s always been sketchy at best, without cards (and with?)]. Read the DA if youÃ¢??re a politics team, but there are almost always better arguments out there.
Critique debates can be fun to watch, but only when the position is clear at the thesis level. If your shell argues that the K is a prior question or something like that, spend some meaningful time explaining why thatÃ¢??s the case instead of Ã¢??shadowÃ¢?Â extending an argument from the shell. I am familiar with a lot of the literature, but you should argue the position as if I am not. Critiques are totally dope, but only because they have the potential to advance compelling argumentsÃ¢?Â¦ not because they are obtuse.
Framework debates (on the top of critique... i.e.: epistemology comes first) are a waste of time a vast majority of the time. I do not understand why teams spend any substantive amount of time on framework. The question of whether the affirmative methodology/epistemology/whatever vague term you want to use, is good or bad should be determined in the links and impacts of the criticism. I see almost no world where framework matters independent of the rest of the shell. SoÃ¢?Â¦ the only K framework questions that tend to make sense to me are arguments about why it is a prior question. It makes sense that if the critique wins that the affirmative impacts are threat constructions that IÃ¢??m not going to weigh the affirmative impacts against the position. ThatÃ¢??s not a framework debate though, thatÃ¢??s a question determined by winning the thesis of the position.
Critical affirmatives can be cool, but they also put me in a weird position as a judge sometimes. If your affirmative is positioned to critique DAs, then I still want to see specific applications of those arguments to the DAs. I need to see how the DA demonstrates your argument to be true in some specific way. By that I mean, if the negative outright wins a DA, I would need to see why that would mean the affirmative shouldnÃ¢??t lose early, often, and specifically. The same is true of any set/genre of negative positions.
Performance/Non-Topical Affirmatives/Alternative Approaches to Debate
I tend to not have super strong feelings in favor or in opposition to Ã¢??performanceÃ¢?Â style arguments. Several of the teams I have coached have run non-traditional arguments and I have seen those be incredibly beneficial for the debaters and have a positive effect on education garnered from their rounds. I have also seen people really struggle with performance-style arguments on an interpersonal level, in both advocating their positions and responding to others doing so. I defer to the debaters to wade through the various issues related to alternative approaches to debate.
I will vote for framework as answer to these arguments if the other team Ã¢??winsÃ¢?Â the position. However, I also think most non-topical affirmatives are written with 5 minutes of impact turns to framework. Affirmatives must explicitly extend those kinds of arguments to answer framework (don't assume I understand how that's happening just by you extending the affirmative) and teams going for framework should not assume the "a priori" nature of theory means I reject the aff out-of-hand.
I tend to think arguments about the collapse of debate due to alternative approaches to debate, are frequently poorly warranted. Which doesn't mean those warrants don't exist... I just need them to be made explicitly. Debate can look like many things, and still be interesting/educational/productive, in my mind. However, I also believe compelling arguments about "topical versions of the affirmative" can be very compelling. If there is a way to read your criticism as a nuanced way to affirm the resolution, you've probably landed close to my ideal version of critically framed affirmatives. Affirmatives seeking to indict structural conditions of debate can also be very compelling, too. I hope to put my personal desires for a particular model/instantiation of debate to the side in any particular round I'm judging.
In general, the CP/DA debate is probably what I feel most comfortable judging accurately and I think CPs that solve the affirmative are very strategic. There are probably enough arguments on both sides to justify different interpretations of how permutation or CP theory in general should go down, that I donÃ¢??t have strong opinions about many CP related issues.
I tend to think objections to conditionality are rooted in some very valid arguments, however I find myself concluding conditionality is probably more good than bad in my mind. That only means the conditionality debate is totally fair game and I probably have voted conditionality bad as many times as I have voted it is good.
Cheater CPs are cool with me, so feel free to deploy delay, conditions, consult, whatever. I tend to think the theory arguments read in answer to those positions are more persuasive than the answers when argued perfectly, but that in no way makes me more predisposed to reject any kind of CP strategy.
Alex Baldwin -- McKendree University
Section 1: General Information
Please begin by explaining what you think is the relevant information about your approach to judging that will best assist the debaters you are judge debate in front of you. Please be specific and clear. Judges who write philosophies that are not clear will be asked to rewrite them. Judges who do not rewrite them may be fined or not allowed to judge/cover teams at the NPTE.
My role as the judge is to evaluate the arguments, weigh the impacts, and make a decision. Debaters should know I have not judged much since my last year of competing in 2018 (I mostly judge one tournament a year). Therefore, you should keep that in mind. The most common thing I have seen judging since I finished competing is that debaters often ignore the impact level of the debate entirely. Impact weighing for me, someone who does not judge often, is essential to evaluate the round. Please donÃ??Ã?Â¢??t read texts (plans, counterplans, interps, alts, etc.) at top speed. Read them slowly and twice. When debaters read them at top speed, it is easy to miss the text which makes it hard to evaluate the argument. For speed in general, I am ok with it, but you should focus on clarity over speed. Start out slow, then build up your speed. DonÃ??Ã?Â¢??t start out on your top speed and your speaker points will thank you.
Section 2: Specific Inquiries Ã??Ã?Â
Please describe your approach to the following.
1.Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Speaker points (what is your typical speaker point range or average speaker points given)?
Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â
Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â My range is:
Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â 30-28.9=excellent
Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â 28.8-28.0=above average
Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â 27.9-27=average
Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â 26.9-24.0=poor
Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â My speaker points typically fall between 27-29.
Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â
2.Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â How do you approach critically framed arguments? Can affirmatives run critical arguments? Can critical arguments be Ã??Ã?Â¢??contradictoryÃ??Ã?Â¢?Ã??Ã?Â with other negative positions?
Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â I like critics, but I prefer disads. In evaluating a critic, I will almost never vote on the framework and I think MOs spend way too much time focusing on framework. I think a lot of times (including when I debated), Ks just use a lot of buzz-words and the team reading the argument cannot seem to explain it, so please donÃ??Ã?Â¢??t do that.
Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Affirmatives can run Ks, however, if this is your thing, I might not be the person you want judging you. As mentioned above, I havenÃ??Ã?Â¢??t debated for a few years and do not judge often. These rounds get very technical and often go over my head as a judge. IÃ??Ã?Â¢??m not saying donÃ??Ã?Â¢??t read a K aff if you want to, do what you want to do. I just think it is important to disclose to you that these arguments often go over my head because I have been out of the activity for so long. Keep this in mind when doing prefs/strikes.
Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â I do think critical arguments can contradict other positions, but I am ok with conditionality as long as it is not abusive. By that, I mean I am ok with a team running a K conditionally, but do not run a condo K, condo C, etc.
Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â
3.Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Performance based argumentsÃ??Ã?Â¢?Ã??Ã?Â¦
I am largely not a fan of performance-based arguments. However, if you want to run one, do it. I will evaluate these rounds like any other round. My issue with these arguments is similar to my issue with K AFFs where these rounds sometimes go over my head because I have been out of the competition for so long.
4.Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Topicality. What do you require to vote on topicality? Is in-round abuse necessary? Do you require competing interpretations?
In round abuse is not necessary for me to vote on T. If the aff reads something obviously untopical and you have a generic K that links to everything, abuse is not necessary for me to realize that the aff exploding ground is a bad thing. I do require competing interpretations. Please read your interps slowly or provide me with a text. If you speed through your interp and I donÃ??Ã?Â¢??t get it, there really is not a way for me to evaluate anyoneÃ??Ã?Â¢??s arguments. You generate offense from your interpretation, so you should read it slowly. Please donÃ??Ã?Â¢??t read spec/frivolous theory arguments.
5.Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Counterplans -- PICs good or bad? Should opp identify the status of the counterplan? Perms -- textual competition ok? functional competition?
Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â PICs are bad. If you read a PIC, you should have some really fire PICs good answers, because I definitely lean towards PICs being bad for debate (because they are). I think the opposition should identify the status a CP/K even if not asked by the aff. Textual competition is ok.
Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â
6.Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Is it acceptable for teams to share their flowed arguments with each other during the round (not just their plans)
I donÃ??Ã?Â¢??t see an issue with this.
7.Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â In the absence of debaters' clearly won arguments to the contrary, what is the order of evaluation that you will use in coming to a decision (e.g. do procedural issues like topicality precede kritiks which in turn precede cost-benefit analysis of advantages/disadvantages, or do you use some other ordering?)?
Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Procedural issues come first over everything for me if someone goes for it. Next, are kritiks. If a kritik is present, I evaluate whether the aff gets access to their affirmative and if so, I weigh the impacts of the K and the AFF, then evaluate solvency deficits.
8.Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â How do you weight arguments when they are not explicitly weighed by the debaters or when weighting claims are diametrically opposed? How do you compare abstract impacts (i.e. "dehumanization") against concrete impacts (i.e. "one million deaths")?
When only one team weighs their impacts, I definitely defer to their analysis instead of making my own. In the unfortunate event neither team weighs their impacts, my decision usually comes down to solvency. For diametrically opposed claims, it depends on the context of the round. The team that convinces me I should care more about their impact will win the round. In the event neither team convinces me, again it just comes down to solvency at that point. As far as comparing abstract vs. concrete impacts, I definitely lean more towards concrete impacts, but it really depends on the context of the round. I can be convinced either way. In evaluating the impacts though, I put more emphasis on magnitude and timeframe. This isnÃ??Ã?Â¢??t to say I donÃ??Ã?Â¢??t like abstract impacts-you should always say large impacts are improbable compared to dehumanization. Please weigh the impacts and make them clash. No matter if your impact is large or small scale, I should hear some argument about the other teamÃ??Ã?Â¢??s impact is losing on magnitude, timeframe, or probability.Ã??Ã?Â
Alyson Escalante -- Concordia University Irvine
Andrea Brown -- Saint Mary's College
This philosophy is for for any tournament that has strikes or prefs. I will go back to my other philosophy for other tournaments. Unless something goes really wrong (check out the speed section and the will vote you down for section), I will keep all speaker points in the 28-30 range and norm it at 29. I rewrote my whole philosophy so there's no tldr right now.
Important: If you want me to prioratize truth over tech, please say this in the first speech. I will listen to arguments against truth over tech, but I will analyze them through a truth framework.
I'll vote on whatever but I think there's a lot of sucky Ks out there. I tired of any cap K that thinks raising/changing consciousness is enough. I'm not here for Lacan or Lacan derived arguments (looking at you Edelman and Wilderson) unless your alt/advocacy pulls from outside that lit. Also, I think Hegel is terrible. If your ableism K doesn't address race, it's not very good. If you run nihilism or pessimism in front of me, I might vote for you but I'm going to hate it. Same with wipe-out.
People or theory that I'm a little familiar with and like: Eve Tuck, Tiffany Lethabo King, Spinoza, Gilles Deleuze (although I'm finding Jodi Byrd's argument persuasive, so maybe not focus on the rhizomatic/lines of flights parts but there's still a lot of cool Deleuze left.) Christina Sharpe, some of Sylvia Winters, some community-written disability theory (spoon theory is a good example of this). There's more but that's probably enough for you to get sense of the direction I go in. Note: just because I say I a little familiar and like them doesn't mean I know your relationship to the above folks so don't take shortcuts and assume I'll understand or follow.
There's a lot of really good K arguments out there that I'm less familiar but would love to learn more about so run whatever you want. Even if it's not my cup of tea, I'll vote for it.
I'm cool with straight up but please frame it within antiblackness and/or colonization and/or capitalism or some other structuring event. Tell me the story of how investor confidence is connected to legacies/continuations of extracting resources or pushing out labor or whatever. If you're going to run it, own what you're advocating for and move on. If you're if ideologically opposed to the structure/event framing, that's cool, I've got issues with it too, just frame your arguments within the context of a larger history. If you don't, I won't vote you down necessarily, but you'll be at the low end of my speaker point range (28/28.1).
Speed and decision making:
I'm fine with speed and speed Ks. I will tank your speaks below the 28 threshold if you don't slow down for a team that calls slow. In the MO/LOR/PMR you need go at least two steps slower than your top speed and pick the arguments that matter. Stop extending everything. I start my round analysis with the team that has the conceptually clearer rebuttal, see if I think they've won the arguments they claim they have, and then go through the other team's rebuttal. If you don't funnel your arguments through the role of the ballot, I might do that for you, and I've voted teams down for losing under their own role of the ballot.
I don't need proven abuse to vote on theory but in a close framework debate, I tend to lean towards justice over fairness. I'm usually a flow judge (offense over defense warrants over none) but if that's a bad way of evaluating your arguments, I'm happy to switch to something else just walk me through what you want me to do. I will keep flowing because if I don't, I will forget your arguments/performance/whatever. I've never voted for presumption and if you go for presumption, you're probably already losing. If you tell me to gut check my arguments, I will and my gut will tell me I'm hungry. If you tell me to use my intuition, I will but I will not confine my intuition to one argument so be prepared for those consequences. I fundamentally don't believe contradictions are a thing for the K perm so if you're neg, you need DA(s) to the perm not reasons why it won't work. I'm working on protecting in the rebuttals but only for very big things, if you think it's small but key, call the point of order. Frankly, I would prefer if you didn't trust me and just called it. At the end of a debate day, I am usually exhausted so my capacity to put my decision into words goes way down. If that's you, I'm sorry and you can catch me later and ask me to explain better if you want.
Will vote you down over:
I saw something in lila lavender's philosophy and really liked it so I'm adding a version of it. I reserve the right to vote you down for being overtly oppressive. This means if you say racist, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, Islamophobic, etc stuff, I reserve the right to vote you down. If you do any of those things directly to your competition, I definitely reserve the right to vote you down. However, there's a chance if a competitor does this in a way that outsiders might not realize is violent, nonverbally, or during crosstalk, I won't catch/process it happening during the round so if this is happening in-round, I prefer you pointing that out.
Baker Weilert -- Whitman College
Beth Graham -- McKendree University
I participated in debate for four years with McKendree University. Ã?Â I believe debate is what you make of it. I enjoy most arguments and do not mind critical debate. I also will listen to performance-based arguments. Ã?Â If you are going to read an argument try to have warrants. In terms of speed or talking style, debaters should use whatever speed, volume, or style that they are comfortable with. Ã?Â I will clear if I cannot understand the debater.
Ã?Â With topicality in-round abuse is helpful but not necessary. In addition, competing interpretations are preferred unless you can show that you meet the other team's interpretation. With counter plans PICS bad is an argument that you can make and win. I tend to believe that counter-plans are conditional unless specified otherwise. Perms should be made on a counter-plan and be ready to support why your perm is preferable.
Order of evaluation I use to make decisions tends to be to look at procedural issues, kritik, and then cost-benefit analysis.
Please explicitly weight your arguments. If I must weight impacts myself, I prefer probable impacts to large extinction level events.Ã?Â
Brent Nicholson -- McKendree University
Brittany Hubble -- El Camino College
Do what you want and make the debate space fun and educational. Don't be petty. Don't lie. Don't abuse flex time.
I competed in debate for El Camino College for 2 years from 2013-2015 and I have been coaching parli for El Camino since. While I attended many CC tournaments, I also competed at several 4-year tournaments including NPDA and NPTE. My partner and I ran all types of arguments in debate (policy, critical affs, kritiks, etc.), but typically leaned towards policy debate. However, you are welcome to debate any way you like, but you should be prepared to justify your strategy if it is called into question. I tend to favor the strategy that is the smartest, most warranted and best for winning that round.
You should have them! I believe it is your job to tell me which impacts should carry the most weight in the round and why. I have no problem voting on a nuclear war or economic collapse scenario as long as you have a clear warranted story to explain how you get there. I am also not opposed to you asking me to prefer systemic impacts. It is really up to you, but I will usually default to net benefits and evaluate the impacts using timeframe, probability and magnitude unless I am told otherwise. I really really like impact calc and think it is a necessary component to winning a debate.
I really enjoy the case debate and I really dislike debates where the aff is never discussed. You should engage with the aff no matter what you are running on the neg. Case turns and offense on case are awesome. I am not opposed to voting on 8 minutes of case out of the LOâ?¦in fact this is a great strategy for refuting both policy and critical affs when done well.
Love them. Case specific disads with nuanced internal link stories are great. Please make sure they are not linear, as I will have a low threshold for voting on the aff outweighing on probability.
Another excellent negative strategy. There should be a net benefit to the CP, competitiveness and it should solve the aff. Topical counterplans are fine. PICs are fine but I am also open to hearing why PICs or other types of counterplans are bad. Again, you just need to justify your strategy and win why it is a good idea.
I am not a fan of multiple conditional advocacies but you can read them if you want. In general, I prefer unconditional advocacies and have no problem voting on condo bad. However, if you win the condo debate I will still vote for you and wont punish you for it.
I think there are a lot of rounds where the K is the best and sometimes only good negative strategy. However, I prefer case/topic specific links and arguments other than â??they used the state.â? I am not saying this canâ??t be a link, but you should probably have more compelling ones. I also really like well-warranted solvency that is specific to your method/alternative. You should be well versed in the lit supporting your arguments. I donâ??t like people blurting out tags and then having no idea how to explain them. I think you should call people out on this and use it as offense against them. You should also not assume that I have read the lit on your K and know all of the terms you are using. You are not doing yourself any good by confusing both your opponents and me. Most of this applies to the K on the aff as well. I prefer critical affs that defend the topic or use the topic as a springboard for discussion. I will vote on affs that do not depend the topic, but I will also entertain arguments that say you should.
With the increase in identity arguments being proposed in debate, there is something you should know. While I understand their purpose and ability to be an avenue for individuals to promote advocacy, I find them difficult to evaluate and I am probably not the judge for you. Past experiences debating them have produced triggering memories and force me to include a bias when deciding rounds. I have been in a round where debate became an unsafe space and I would hate to have to adjudicate a round that would recreate that for another individual.
I think theory is a great tool for both the aff and neg to secure ground in the debate and explain why certain arguments should be excluded from a debate. Your argument should have impacts! Donâ??t just say it is bad for education or fairness then move on. You should also have counterinterps, reasons to prefer, offense, etc. against theory to win.
Speed is fine but please be clear. I donâ??t see how it is beneficial for making arguments that only your partner can hear and understand. I also believe the round should be accessible and you should respect a clear. There is nothing impressive about being a bully and spreading someone out of a round after they have repeatedly asked you to slow down. You should probably be able to win without it. Otherwise, I should have no problem flowing you and think speed should be used as a tool to make a lot of good arguments.
Defending the Topic:
Whether or not you choose to defend the topic is up to you. I think you should provide substantial justifications for why you should be required to defend the topic. I will not drop a team for choosing not defend the topics, as I feel the debate space is yours to decide how to manage. However, I believe there are valid arguments to be made why defending the topic is important and how abandoning the topic can be bad. I find it best when negative teams engage with the affirmative in addition to justifying why they should defend the topic. I have both voted for and against teams on framework as well. You really just need to win the argument.
If you can do the above well, you will probably receive good speaker points from me. I tend to believe speaker points are arbitrary and tend to awards speaker points on the higher side. That being said, I reserve the right to punish teams for egregious behavior by deducting speaks.
Be organized and sign post. Donâ??t assume you want me to apply arguments in specific places without being told to. I have pretty apparent nonverbals and you can usually tell if I think your argument is bad. You should probably use that to your advantage and move on. Read plan texts, advocacies, interpretations, counterinterps, role of the ballots, etc. twice and give a copy to your opponents if they want one. I prefer policy debate over value debate and think you can discuss the same arguments in a policy round more effectively. Overall, I think you should have fun with the debate and make it fun for everyone. I am open to answering questions to clarify anything or regarding specifics that may relate to your round.
As flex time has been introduced, I am not particularly receptive to you asking for a copy of every interp, plan, ROB, etc. during speeches. This also means that you don't get to wait to start your flex until you get copies of whatever you want a copy of. Your flex starts immediately after the previous speech. I also don't think it is a particularly strong theoretical argument to claim that you should be handed these texts during the speech. This is parli not policy and you should be flowing these things. That is not to say I will not vote on theory that claims you should be granted these luxuries, but I believe making case arguments are a much better use of your time.
I also don't really believe in RVIs especially on theory.
Caitlin Smith -- University of Minnesota
Casandra Malcolm -- Mercer University
Chris Miles -- University of Minnesota
Cory Freivogel -- McKendree University
Hi! My name is Cory Freivogel. I did four years of policy
debate in high school in the Chicago area. After that, I spent four years doing
Lincoln Douglas and Parliamentary debate at McKendree University. IÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??m currently
the assistant coach there.
I will preface this philosophy in the way that most people do - I think you should debate however you debate best in front of me. That being said, I obviously have certain biases and I think you should be familiar with them.
Some general notesÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¦.
1. I think debate is first and foremost a game. I think you should do whatever it takes to win that game, and I respect people who play the game with a lot of heart and lot of intensity.
2. I like people who do work. This doesnÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t mean that I wonÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t vote for lazy, trite strategies - I have no problem doing that. It just means I respect people who put in extra effort to develop or update sweet arguments.
3. I like people that talk pretty. I certainly donÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t think you should ever sacrifice strategy and execution for eloquence, but if you can give a smart speech thatÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s funny and engaging it will bode well for you. Also, donÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t try to be funny if youÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??re not.
4. DonÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t dismiss defensive arguments. Of course I think you should be making a wide variety of offensive arguments, but do not assume youÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??ll be fine by saying that 9 smart, defensive answers to your affirmative are just defense.
I like these arguments a lot. Running well-researched disadvantages with a diverse set of link arguments and huge probable impacts is the easiest way into my heart. Generic disadvantages like politics, business confidence, etc. are fine as well so long as theyÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??re specifically tailored to the affirmative and properly executed.
Similarly, I think smart negatives (and affirmatives as well) will do a great deal of work comparing impacts. If you do not do this I will make my own determination about the probability and magnitude of a disadvantageÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s impact. I am also probably more concerned about probability than some other judges may be. I am not often impressed by massive impacts that are highly improbable and under-explained. Phrases like Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??even a 1% risk of our impact outweighs the entire risk of the affÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â are typically code for Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??our impact is absurd and our disadvantage barely links.Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â
These arguments are sweet as well. I typically err negative on arguments like PICÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s bad, conditionality bad, etc. I will vote on these arguments, but it will be an uphill battle. The argument that I should reject the argument rather than the team is usually a winner. I think condition, consultation and other silly process counter plans are of questionable legitimacy and I can definitely be more persuaded to drop teams on theory if theyÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??re extending these arguments. That being said I like counter plans of all shapes and sizes and think that if you arenÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t reading one or straight turning the affirmative, then youÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??re probably in trouble.
I am not as hostile to these arguments as most people probably think I am. I am, however, probably as unlikely to understand these arguments as most people think I am. I have not and probably will not ever read any traditional or post-modern philosophy unless someone requires me to do so. IÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??m not trying to dog on anyone that does, but itÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s just not my thang. This is mainly meant as a word of caution. If you run the kritik I will listen, flow and do my best to make a fair decision. But, I am not the best critic for you. If you somehow find me in the back of the room and you have nothing but your criticism, it will serve you well to slow down and eliminate all the jargon you imagine I may be familiar with.
That being said, if youÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??re an affirmative answering these arguments do not assume I will let you get away with answering kritiks poorly. If you mischaracterize the criticism, concede framework arguments, or rely on defense then IÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??ll probably notice and youÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??ll lose.
I like good topicality debates a lot. If you are affirmative, then you need to meet the interpretation or you need a counter interpretation. Absent one of those things, you will probably lose. If you are going for or answering topicality you should be comparing standards and voting issues in the same way that you compare impacts. If you do not compare standards, it will make it very difficult for me to make a good decision and it will be bad for everyone. I am also more persuaded by arguments about ground than limits. I could care less if your interpretation Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??explodes the topicÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â given that the topic will only exist once and you donÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t have to do any research in the future.
ASPEC / OSPEC / FSPEC / BILL NUMBER SPEC / COMMITTEE ORIGINATION SPEC / BLAH BLAH SPECÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¦.
These arguments are really not my cup of tea. This is mostly because I donÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t like giant pieces of shit in my tea. I understand the strategic utility of introducing these arguments in the LOC, but I cannot understand why one would choose to extend them in the MO unless there was some incredible example of abuse. It is difficult for me to imagine giving any higher than a 27 to even the most persuasive extension of a generic specification argument.
People forget about the case all the time. That makes me sad because I love a good case debate. If youÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??re the LOC and you donÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t have an incredible counter plan, then you should be putting a lot of offense on the case. Similarly, the MG should be extending and utilizing the case throughout his or her speech. It frustrates me to no end when affirmative teams assume they can entirely ignore the case until the PMR when it suddenly becomes the focus of the debate. Personally, I think you should have to extend the affirmative throughout the debate.
POINTS OF ORDER
I keep a pretty decent flow and think I can detect new arguments on my own. That being said, they are allowed by the rules and if you think there is a particularly egregious example of an abusive new argument feel free to call it. However, if I know an argument is new I will protect the opposite team regardless of whether or not you say it's new. If you call a bunch of unnecessary points of order on teams just to disrupt their speech or be funny or whatever I will be very unhappy. I hated when teams did that when I debated and I imagine I will hate it even more as a judge. Don't do it.
POINTS OF INFORMATION
I think as a general rule you should probably accept two of these per speech. I could pretty easily be persuaded to pull the trigger on a "they didn't take any questions" type of procedural. Also, no means no. If someone won't take your question don't yell that question or jump around waving your hands like an idiot or yelling "Please!! Just one!!" The only exceptions to this are in instances when you need to know the status of a counterplan or to have a text repeated / handed to you. I don't think you should have to raise your hand to ask for those things. Maybe there is no legitimate justification for that, but that just happens to be what I think.
THE POLITICS DISADVANTAGE - I've become increasingly frustrated with the way politics debates are
playing out. Arguments like "republicans like the plan" or "the
plan costs political capital" are NOT arguments. These claims must be
connected with a logical argument about why the plan is or is not consistent
with the platform of either party or why it will be a tough fight in general.
This can include relevant quotes, references to how similar policies were
perceived, a clever explanation of how the plan will be spun, etc. Politics debates
are contrived as is - no need to make them worse. PMR's will get a great deal
of flexibility when responding to link arguments that are not explained until
Please donÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t say something is at the top of the docket if it isnÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t. I think thumpers are a devastatingly effective MG response to obscure politics disadvantages. Choose your scenario wisely.
In addition, even when teams are making smart arguments about why individuals, lobbies, parties, etc. support or oppose the plan they are rarely making arguments about why those groups are important. The plan costs political capital. So what? Mitch McConnell likes the plan. Who cares? The agricultural lobby would backlash. How so? Why are they relevant? Teams NEED to explain why the groups that would support or oppose the plan are capable of meaningfully influencing political decision-making.
IÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??d be pretty happy with a team that called out a poorly researched or illogical politics disadvantage even if that required making a number ofÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¦GASPÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¦defensive arguments! In fact, IÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??d be much more receptive to the clever dismantling of a weakass disadvantage than the lazy deployment of a bunch of equally illogical link turns.
THE KRITIK - I find myself voting negative in kritik debates all the time. This is partially because teams are reading more strategic criticisms and getting better at explaining them to simpletons like myself (SIU RS and Oregon BG are particularly adept at this). But, I think it is mostly because of the way that affirmatives answer the K.
In parli, I have watched team after team respond to kritiks line by line, never thinking about the utility of the arguments they are making. You donÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t need to (and will never be able to) adequately respond to all the different arguments contained within any kritik. So stop trying! It gets you nowhere. I have seen crafty kritik debaters effortlessly do away with countless affirmative arguments. This is because the MG was just answering things rather than making offensive, round-winning arguments. Take a second and think about whether what youÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??re saying could win you the debate or keep you from losing it. If it canÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t, then donÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t waste your time. You must learn to identify the important stuff, answer it effectively, and execute a strategy of your own. Unless you do that, IÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??ll probably vote negative.
RANDOM STUFF Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?? I flow kritiks on one sheet of paper. I flow MG answers top to bottom on that same sheet of paper. It is how I have always done it. Doing it otherwise messes up my flow and confuses me. If I am forced to separate all the components of a kritik I will do it. Just be warned, this only serves to screw up my organization in a type of debate where I'm already behind the curve. There is not "our framework" and "their framework" there is only framework. Have that debate in the same place.
I think that PICS on topics that require you to pass a single piece of legislation or defend some other massive, multi-faceted policy action are unfair. Theory interpretations which allow PICs sometimes but exclude them in specific instances are deadly in front of me. Conditionality is good.
I think it is awesome that so many debaters know so many things about biology, chemistry, space and other sciencey things. Unfortunately, I got a B- in Wildlife Ecology at a community college. Think about that when writing your moon density disad / synthetic H3 counterplan strat. I'm not an idiot, this just isn't a field that peaks my interests. In science debates slow the hell down and clearly explain things to me. Think of how you would debate if you had Than Hedman or Will Van Treuren in the back and then do the exact opposite of that.
Some things I love Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?? Clash of civilization debates, deep impact debates, topic specific disads, case debates, strategic concessions, taking risks, funny jokes, great speakers, good politics disads, LOR's that influence my decision, clever tricks, good research (ESPECIALLY at tournaments with topic areas), capitalizing on small mistakes, asking good questions, taking notes after a debate, movie references, going hard to the right, reg neg, sweetass affirmatives, good defense and most importantly Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?? an unwavering drive to win every debate you are in.
Some things I hate Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?? Racism, sexism, laziness, sloppy debates, whining, nonsense Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??dehumanizationÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â impacts, reading a bunch of bad link turns, bad jokes, ignoring good defense, consult counterplans, not doing research, not affirming the topic, constantly staking the round on things, points of order, relying on counter-intuitive strategies for no reason, ice age coming now, assuming Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??no warrantÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â is an answer, not comparing impacts, Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??the google testÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â standard, trying to win a Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??no linkÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â argument to the K, reading the plan and counterplan text together instead of saying Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??do bothÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â (and saying that do both is insufficient), and most importantly Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?? lying.
You can go as fast you like so long as youÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??re clear. I went pretty quick when I debated and its unlikely that I wonÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t be able to flow your speech. I do, however, think you should slow down when reading topicality arguments, procedurals and important texts (plans, alternatives, permutations, etc.). I like things to be specific which means copying down an accurate text is pretty important to me. If I canÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t I will let you know. Dress however you want. I honestly do not care what youÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??re wearing or what you look like. DonÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t be an asshole. This doesnÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t mean you canÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t clown on other teams or debate intensely in important rounds (IÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??d actually prefer that you did). What it does mean is that you probably shouldnÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t run up the score on or totally embarrass obviously weaker teams for no reason. It also means you shouldnÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t make racist / homophobic / sexist / whateverist comments.
Also, rights malthus makes sense to me. Take from that what you will.
I suppose thatÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s it. Debate hard, debate smart, and have fun. If you have any further questions feel free to let me know
David Worth -- Rice University
David Worth – Rice
D.O.F., Rice University
Parli Judging Philosophy
Note: If you read nothing else in this, read the last paragraph.
I’ll judge based on given criteria/framework. I can think in more than one way. This means that the mechanisms for deciding the round are up for debate as far as I’m concerned. My decision is based mostly on how the debaters argue I should decide the round but I will intervene if the round demands it. There are many cases where this might be necessary: If asked to use my ballot politically for example, or if both sides fail to give me a clear mechanism for voting, or if I know something to factually incorrect (if someone is lying). In these cases, I try to stay out of the decision as much as I can but I don’t believe in the idea that any living person is really a blank slate or a sort of argument calculator.
I prefer debates that are related to the topic.
I will not vote for an argument that I don’t understand. If I can’t figure it out from what you’ve said in the round, I can’t vote on it.
I will admit that I am tired of debates that are mostly logic puzzles. I am tired of moving symbols around on paper. Alts and plan texts that are empty phrases don’t do it for me anymore. The novelty of postmodern critique that verges on--or actually takes the leap into--nihilism has worn off. I don’t think there’s much value anymore in affirming what we all know: That things can be deconstructed and that they contain contradictory concepts. It is time for us to move beyond this recognition into something else. Debate can be a game with meaning.
Warrants: I will not vote for assertions that don’t at least have some warrant behind them. You can’t say “algae blooms,” and assume I will fill in the internals and the subsequent impacts for you. You don’t get to just say that some counter-intuitive thing will happen. You need a reason that that lovely regionally based sustainable market will just magically appear after the conveniently bloodless collapse of capitalism. I’m not saying I won’t vote for that. I’m just saying you have to make an argument for why it would happen. NOTE: I need a good warrant for an "Independent Voting Issue" that isn't an implication of a longer argument, procedural, or somehow otherwise developed. Just throwing something in as a “voter” will not get the ballot. I reserve the right to gut-check these. If there is not warrant or if the warrant makes no sense to me, I won't vote on it.
Defense can win, too. That doesn’t mean that a weaker offensive argument with risk can’t outweigh defense, it simply means that just saying, “oh that’s just defense,” won’t make the argument go away for me. Debate is not football. There’s no presumption in the NFL, so that analogy is wrong.
You need to deal with all the line-by-line stuff but should not fail to frame things (do the big picture work) for me as well. It’s pretty rare that I vote on one response but it’s equally rare that I will vote on the most general level of the ideas. In a bind, I will vote for what’s easier to believe and/or more intuitive.
Speed is fine as long as you are clear. There are days when I need you to slow down a tad. I have battled carpal/cubital tunnel off and on for a few years and sometimes my hand just does not work quite as well. I’ll tell you if you need to clear up and/or slow down, but not more than a couple of times. After that, it’s on you.
Please slow down for the alt texts, plans, advocacies, etc., and give me a copy too. If I don’t have it, I can’t vote for it.
Strong Viewpoints: I haven’t yet found "the" issue that I can’t try to see all sides of.
Points of Order: Call them—but judiciously. I’ll probably know whether the argument is new and not calling them does not change their status as new. Also, if you’re clearly winning bigtime don’t call a ridiculous number of them. Just let the other team get out of the round with some dignity. If you don’t, your speaker points will suffer. It’ll be obvious when I think you are calling too many.
If the round is obviously lopsided and you are obliterating the other team then be nice. I will lower your speaker points if you aren’t respectful or if you simply pile it on for the heck of it. If it’s egregious enough, you might even lose the debate.
You don’t need to repeat yourself just to fill time. If you’re finished, then sit down and get us all to lunch, the end of the day, or the next round early.
Theory: I’m not going to weigh in on the great theoretical controversies of the day. Those are up to you to demonstrate in the round. T can be more than one thing depending on the round. I’m not going to tell you what to do. Debate is always in flux. Actually, I’ve learned or at least been encouraged to think differently about theory issues from debaters in rounds far more often than from anyone else. If I had pontificated about The Truth As I Knew It before those rounds, the debaters would have simply argued what I said I liked and I wouldn’t have learned, so it’s in my interest as well as yours for me not to hand you a sushi menu with the items I’d like to see checked off. PICS, Framework, Competing Interp, in-round abuse, etc. are all interpretable in the debate. I will say that I probably most naturally think in terms of competing interpretations, but, again, I can think in more than one way.
My “Debate Background:” I did CEDA/NDT in college. I coached policy for years, and also coached parli from the days of metaphor all the way into the NPTE/NPDA modern era. I have also coached NFA-LD.
Finally, I ask that you consider that everyone in the room has sacrificed something to be there. A lot of resources, time, and effort went in to bringing us all there. Be sure to show some respect for that. I am serious about this and it has come to occupy a significant portion of my thinking about debate these days. In fact, I think it’s time for the in-round bullying to stop. I see too many rounds where one team’s strategy is simply to intimidate the other team. I find it strange that an activity that talks so much about the violence of language often does so in such a needlessly aggressive and violent manner. In some rounds every interaction is barbed. Flex/CX is often just needlessly aggressive and sometimes even useless (when, for example, someone simply refuses to answer questions or just keeps purposely avoiding the question when it’s obvious that they understand the question, opting instead for aggression sometimes verging on ad hominem). I see too many other rounds where everyone is just awful to each other, including the judges afterward. You can be intense and competitive without this. We are now a smaller circuit. It’s strange that we would choose to spend so much time together yet be so horrible to each other.
Eric Hamm -- Lynn University
I am a reformed policy debater.Ã? I love theory but hate speed.Ã? I believe that debate is a communication activity, and that speeding makes the activity inaccessible and less valuable.Ã? That said, I am usually OK with critical positions run on the Aff or the Neg (though Aff K need to have substantial "role of the ballot" discussions).Ã? Topicality, along with other procedurals, is always a fun position; I especially prefer good debate on the standards/reasons to prefer level.Ã? Counterplans do not have to be non-topical (with theory to support), but mutual exclusivity is important to avoid a permutation, which usually does not have to be understood as advocacy (but this can be challenged).
The two areas, besides my distaste for speed, that might be understood as more conservative would be regarding the neutrality of political assumptions and my skepticism of performative advocacy cases.Ã? I am open to political arguments from anywhere on the political spectrum.Ã? I will not take as an assumption "Trump bad," nor the contrary "Trump good."Ã? Defend these positions.Ã? For performance, perhaps my skepticism comes from the fact that I haven't yet heard it run well.Ã? Perhaps you can convert me. Identity positions have a higher threshold to clear.
With value-based debate, I expect clear discussion of the value and criterion.Ã? I enjoy getting into the philosophical weeds.Ã? I am a philosophy professor who specializes in 19th and 20th century continental philosophy.Ã? I also have an economics background, so feel free to get wonky.
Fiker Tesfaye -- Texas Tech University
Please, I beg, read the things I write here.
I'm Fiker (pronounced like snicker). She/her/hers. I debated a bit in high school which is mostly unimportant, and then did four years (2015-2019) at Texas Tech University. I (and my partner) won the NRR and I won all 3 national top speaker awards in 2019. Now I judge and coach for TTU. So it goes.
I generally think debate is a game, but a useful and important one. It may not be "fiat" but it does influence the real world by how we exist inside of it. Let's not forget we're human beings. Read what you want, I certainly did. Speed isn't usually an issue but if we're blazing, let me know so I can use paper and not my laptop.
Things to keep in mind: I like to do as little work as possible when it comes to making decisions on the flow. Impact calculus is essential. however many warrants you have, double it. Don't be terrible. Don't be bigots. Condo is good, but don't test the limits. I don't really get presumption. Thought experiments aren't real. Jokes are fun. 9/10 the MG theory is not worth it.
Affs: Read them. K affs are fine (I'm a big fan) just make sure the things you say make sense and do something. Read case against them. Be clear.
DA/CP: Also read these. They need to be complete and fleshed out. Warrants are your best friend. CPs should come with written texts, imo. I would say I have a slightly higher than average threshold for CP theory.
Theory: I like this and my threshold is pretty equal if run well, but I needneedneed good structure. Interpretations are key, please slow down and repeat them. Now, I don't need several sheets of theory, MG theory, overly high-level theory, and certainly not MO and later theory. Keep it at home. Have voters. Defend them.
Ks: I love them, but I don't vote on nothing. Framework needs to be strong or it needs to not bog down the real parts of the argument. Links need to link..... please......Alt needs to make sense, repeat them twice for me, and if they're long, I'd like to be told in flex or given a copy. Even if I know your literature, I am not debating. Please do that work for me in round. Identity arguments are fine, do as you please just don't be offensive or overly satirical about real violence.
Have a debate. Live your life. Yee, and dare I say it, haw.
Its Black History Month. Adjust preferences accordingly.
Jackson De Vight -- Concordia University Irvine
Jackson De Vight
Background: I have been debating for 10 years. I started in high school with LD, policy, and parli, and did parli in SoCal for 4 years. IÃ??Ã?Â¢??m now a graduate coach at TTU.
- PLEASE READ: I am hard of hearing and have wrist issues so please emphasize clarity and word economy over speed. I'll get to argument preferences later, but TBH just understand that I prefer depth and organization way more than speed. If you're one of the faster teams, go about 2/3s your full speed for maximum comprehension. I will clear and speed-check you, but if I drop my pen, that's the final signal that you've lost me. I vote on my flowÃ??Ã?Â¢?Ã??Ã?Â¦so donÃ??Ã?Â¢??t lose my flowing.
- Read all plan texts, counterplan texts, advocacy texts, alternative text, and interp/role of the ballot arguments slowly, twice, and clearly.Ã??Ã?Â
- I donÃ??Ã?Â¢??t time speeches myself.
- I may want a copy of all texts, interps, and ROBs beyond specifically what I flow, so be prepared.
- Topical debates are by far my preferred mode.
- I generally dislike Condo, mostly because it's generally deployed pretty poorly. You can use it, but I'm pretty sympathetic to Condo Bad when warranted well.Ã??Ã?Â
- Ideologically IÃ??Ã?Â¢??m fairly open to most arguments but do realize that my social location and political perspective are probably irrevocably intertwined in the way I evaluate rounds. Like, IÃ??Ã?Â¢??m pretty moderate, so warranted arguments about the wonders of the free market or the necessity of social purging arenÃ??Ã?Â¢??t likely to do well in front of me if your opponent knows what theyÃ??Ã?Â¢??re doing.
- For the K:
TL; DR Ã??Ã?Â¢?? unless itÃ??Ã?Â¢??s a pretty well-structured criticism that links well and specifically, IÃ??Ã?Â¢??m probably just not the judge you want in the back of the room. Ultimately, I'm compelled to vote for well-warranted, smart arguments regardless of the form they take.Ã??Ã?Â Because of my experience/background, I'm less compelled out-of-hand by approaches that do not seek to engage the core of the topic (and that goes for aff and neg), but see previous sentence for how you should to debate in front of me. I want to hear your best arguments, and I'll vote on what's won.
Assume I donÃ??Ã?Â¢??t read your lit base. Most of my issues following those arguments have to do with the use of phrases IÃ??Ã?Â¢??m not familiar with. If you have me in the back of the room, consider simplifying the terminology and I should be fine. However, I am not the best critic for your arguments. I think about public policy frequently. This is less true for critical arguments.Ã??Ã?Â Also, if you go one off and 5 minutes of case and the one off is a disad, youÃ??Ã?Â¢??ll probably have my heart forever.
I very much believe that debate is a game that you are trying to win. Utilizing debate rounds as personal platform ventures into a realm I am deeply uncomfortable assessing. You are free to engage in debate in a manner you see fit, but realize that I likely do not possess the capacity to properly assess the role of personal history as part of a critical debate. You will do much better here if you have a solidly built framework and well articulate ROB.
Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â * I cordially dislike almost every affirmative criticism that does not uphold the burden of the affirmative in relation to the resolution.Ã??Ã?Â
Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â ** For criticisms that utilize personal experience, please avoid using arguments about mental health issues or sexual violence.
Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â *** Performance-oriented criticisms will need to do serious work to justify a performance as something I should vote on.
Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â **** When I ran critical arguments, they were mostly economic, ablism, or ecological in nature.
Arguments: Overall, youÃ??Ã?Â¢??re going to get a lot more mileage from me by going for fewer, more well-articulated, and more warrant-heavy argumentation. As indicated above, speed is not your friend when IÃ??Ã?Â¢??m in the back of the room so just go for depth over breadth.
Counterplans: I prefer that you provide a copy for the other team.Ã??Ã?Â Make sure you have a written text. I like advantage counterplans, PICs, and actor counterplans. Consult less so, but IÃ??Ã?Â¢??m open to it. For the affirmative: IÃ??Ã?Â¢??m open to PICs bad but donÃ??Ã?Â¢??t default that way. Well utilized CP strats are beautiful.
Permutations: Permutations are tests of competition, not advocacies. Multiple perms arenÃ??Ã?Â¢??t unfair, but theyÃ??Ã?Â¢??re a little silly unless you explicate why you want more than one. I will not reject a permutation outright unless you give me a reason of why it shouldnÃ??Ã?Â¢??t be evaluated. HAVE A PERM TEXT
Theory: All theory positions should have an interpretation, a violation, standards, and voting issues. Please read your interpretations more than once. I am pretty willing to vote on well warranted theory arguments.
Topicality:Ã??Ã?Â My threshold for T is maybe lower than some. If you win your interpretation, violation, and your standards outweigh I will vote for you.
Speaker Points: Be smart and concise and your speaker points will range between 26-30. Utilization of racist, sexist, etc. rhetoric will sink your points pretty quick, as will parroting to your partner. Like, win the round, but donÃ??Ã?Â¢??t parrot if you can help it.
Voting/Rebuttals/POO: Have clear voting issues either through distinct voters, two world analysis, or some other format. YOU MUST DO IMPACT CALCULUS IF YOU WANT IT CONSIDERED. Call POOs if you hear them. I try to protect, but you should call them all the same.
Feel free to ask questions. I can give you my professional email if youÃ??Ã?Â¢??d like it. Debate is great.
Jessica Jung -- Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley
Joe Provencher -- University of Texas at Tyler
The allegory of the cornbread:
Debate is like a delicately constructed thanksgiving dinner. Often, if you take time to make sure you donâ??t serve anyone anything theyâ??re allergic to, we can all grit it and bear it even if we really didnâ??t want to have marshmallows on our sweet potatoes. Mashed potatoes and gravy are just as good as cranberry relish if you make it right. Remember, If youâ??ve been invited to a thanksgiving dinner you should show up unconditionally unless you have a damn good excuse or your grandma got hit by a reindeer because weâ??re here to eat around a point of commonality unless your great uncle happens to be super racist. Then donâ??t go to thanksgiving. Iâ??ll eat anything as long as youâ??re willing to tell me whatâ??s in it and how to cook it. Remember, you donâ??t prepare stuffing by making stuffing, thatâ??s not a recipe thatâ??s a tautology. I eat a lot, Iâ??m good at eating, and Iâ??d love to help you learn how to eat and cook too.
PS: And why thanksgiving? Because youâ??re other options are Christmas featuring a man way too old to be doing that job asking if youâ??ve been naughty or nice at the hotel lobby, the Easter bunny which is just a man way older than youâ??d think he is in a suite offering kids his definitely-not-sketchy candy (who maybe arenâ??t really even old enough to be eating all that candy), or Labor Day where everyone realizes they canâ??t wear their hoods and be fashionable at the same time.
Jonathan Veal -- Point Loma Nazarene University
I have been coaching college parli since 2016 and competed in the activity previously.
Case debate/Policy: I really enjoy case debate. I am particularly persuaded by positions that interact with the uniqueness of the topic. DAÃ¢??s that are bottom heavy or generic can work but are vulnerable to MG non-unique and link arguments.
Theory: I default to competing interpretations. I tend to hold MG theory to a relatively high threshold due to lack of backside rebuttals, but see it as a check against particularly abusive neg strategies. I will go either way on condo depending on the argumentation in the round, but I tend to vote aff on delay/consult theory and when the neg reads multiple advocacies.
Critical Debate: Love it. Aff KÃ¢??s need to either interact with the topic or present strong reasons for not doing so. I really like to see topic oriented-debate if possible. Accessibility is key, so I will not fill in the blanks on K authors even if I am familiar with them. Explain your Thesis/Solvency in a way that can be understood by the other team. Links of omission/generic links tend to be iffy for me. Show clear links.
Speed: I will listen to speed procedurals if the other team does not respond to clears and the team reading the position is clearly losing access to participating in the round. Speed is both strategic and lacks a bright line, but that is not an excuse to push people out of debate.Â
Feel free to ask me any questions before the round.
Some side notes
- Be cool to your opponents. Seriously, I consider this important enough to influence my decision in extreme instances.
- Provide a plan/CP/interp/perm text if asked. Perms with clear texts are preferred.
- Read trigger warnings if you are in doubt.
Joseph Laughon -- Concordia University Irvine
Joseph Evans -- El Camino CollegeÂ Â About me:I have been involved in forensics for over 13 years including 7 years of coaching. I have debated in High School, College and I am now currently a full-time professor and Director of Debate at El Camino College. I view debate as a game of argument and impact prioritization. Thus, I believe that any method of debate is viable when used as a strategic ploy to win. I will try to list my views on the major themes within debate. Please feel free to ask me for clarification before the round!. Â Â
Framework/Role of the Ballot:Â Â I will evaluate and weigh the round through any framework that the Aff or Neg presents to me. I have no predisposition towards one specific FW because all frameworks can either be strategic or not depending on how itâ??s debated. In terms of evaluating competing FWs, I will only make my decision on how each are warranted and impacted out in round and will never insert my own beliefs. In terms of the ROB, I will weigh the ROB through the FW presented and if itâ??s not contested, this will frame how I evaluate the rest of the round.Â Â If no one tells me how to frame the round, I tend to fall back to evaluating the round through the lens of utilitarianism (net benefits). When impacting out why you win a policy debate, please frame your impacts through lenses like timeframe, magnitude, probability, reversibility.Â
TLDR: Framework is important! You win the framework if you provide me clear warranted arguments for your position, and impact out why your framework is best.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Theory: I will evaluate theoretical positions the same as others. The interpretation will frame how I evaluate the position. You must have a clear description of how the debate round should have been constructed. Additionally, I will evaluate the interp/counter-interp debate based on the standards/impacts presented.Â Â I donâ??t have any preference in regards reasonability vs. competing interps you must justify why I should frame theory through either. If a teams decides to kick out of the position, I usually don't hold it against them (unless there is conceded offense).Â
Counter Plans/Alts/Perms:Â I view counterplans or alternatives as a test of competition against the affirmativeâ??s advocacy. I believe that counterplans/alts can compete based on impact prioritization, functional competition, or (sigh) textual competitiveness. I have no predisposition towards one type of competition. Teams must justify why I should vote on the competitiveness or lack of in the CP or Alt debate. In terms of the perm debate, perms also tests of the competitiveness of the counter advocacy. In order to win the perm debate you need to justify and impact out why it outweighs the CP or alt. I am also open to theoretical reasons why the CP/ALT or Perm should be rejected in the round.Â
Speed:Â Go as fast as you want but please be clear! I have judged NPTE/NPDA finals and/or semi-finals the last 3 of 4 years so I will be able to keep up. However, if you are unclear, I will give you non-verbals or yell â??clearâ?. My priority is getting everything you say on my flow so sacrificing clarity for speed is not advisable. Additionally, I have voted on speed arguments a few times when teams use speed as a bullying or ableist technique. So be conscious of how you use speed within the round. If you can beat a team without going fast, itâ??s a win-win for both teams. You get the W and the other team has an educational/ teaching moment.Â Â
Kritical Arguments: I believe that any augment that is present is a viable way to win. Kritical arguments fall into that category. I am well versed in most critical arguments, but I am not by any means an expert on critical theory. Therefore, if you are running something new or obscure, donâ??t assume I understand the literature.Â Â Regardless of the K, I will listen how your frame, impact and weight the FW and Alt/Alt solvency. Additionally,Â
Josh Vannoy -- Grand Canyon University
Joshua Vannoy - Grand Canyon University
Experience: 4 years of NPDA Debate at Concordia University Irvine. 4 years of coaching at GCU, one as ADOD and three as DOD. I competed at the NPTE and NPDA all four years of college. Kevin Calderwood, Bear Saulet, and Amanda Ozaki-Laughon have all been large influences in my debate career.
Debate is a game. There are arguments I personally will lean towards, but ultimately you should make the argument you want to make.
- One question should be answered during each constructive. (Flex can make this semi-optional)
- Partner to partner communication is cool, but if you (the speaker) don't say the words I won't flow it.
- Be friendly
Theory ran properly can win my ballot. I would avoid V/A/E/F specs/specs in general, unless the abuse is really clear. All interps should be read slowly twice, or I won't be able to flow it. I do not need articulated abuse. Competing interps is my go unless you have something else. I most likely will not vote for you must disclose arguments.
If your PMC lacks warrants/impacts the ballot should be pretty easy for the Neg. If the entire PMC is dropped, it should be a pretty easy ballot for the Aff. I will not do work for any impacts, if you just say "poverty" without terminalizing the impact, I will not terminalize it for you.
So I personally enjoyed performative debate, it was fresh and interesting. If you decide to have a performance argument/framework you need a justification and a true performance. If you say performance is key in the FW and then do not "perform" anywhere else then there may be an issue. I will need performance specific Solvency/Impacts if you take this route. In your performance never do harm to yourself or another competitor.
All K's should have a FW, Thesis, Links, Impacts and an Alt with Solvency arguments. If one of these pieces is missing it is going to be difficult for me to evaluate the criticism. Sometimes people skip the thesis, that is ok so long as you describe the thesis somewhere else in the K (Earlier the better). The closer your K is to the topic the easier it is for me to vote for it. Reject alts are ok, but I find ivory tower arguments to be very compelling in these debates. I ran Mark/Symbolism the most but am open to any other type of K. I probably have not read your author so please be very clear on what the Thesis of your argument is; name-dropping means nothing to me unless you explain the idea.
After four years of seeing many non-topical debates as a judge, I have become more open to hearing them without much justification needed to reject the topic. With that being said I am still compelled and convinced by FW if ran effectively on the negative.
Is condo bad? Probably? Having debated under Kevin Calderwood for three years this one of the arguments that stuck with me. If a condo bad shell is run properly and executed well I will probably vote for it. Although I am open to a conditional advocacy (that means one) if you can justify it in responding to condo bad arguments (Multiple conflicting advocacies make it really easy for the aff to win the condo debate).
Never run delay.
50/States/Consult/Courts need a DA/Net Ben/Justification for doing so.
Pics are awesome if done well (Does not mean PICS bad is also not a good argument), and please read all CP texts (Just like All Alt/Plan texts) slowly twice. If you do not provide a written copy for me and I do not hear it well enough to write it down then what I wrote will be what I work with.
I am not a fan of the multiple perm trend, 1-2 perms should be enough, I am open to Neg multi perm theory arguments when teams run 3-8 perms. If your perm does not solve links to the DA's/Offense it would probably be better to just respond to those arguments instead of making a perm, considering a perm is just a test of competition.
I have found that I have a pretty routine pattern of speaker points; I generally give out 26 -29.5 depending on how well the debaters perform. With the 26-27 range being debates that usually are more learning experiences for the debaters, while the 28-29 range is usually for the debaters who do not have as much technical work and have very competitive performances. Jokes and making debate fun is always a safe way to get higher speaks in general. I also have found that the more hyper-masculine an individuals performance is, especially directed towards the other team, the lower my speaker points go for that individual.
Julia Shotwell -- Point Loma Nazarene University
Debate however makes you comfortable, but don't sacrifice clarity because I still need to follow along, and also don't forget to tell me how to evaluate the round. I really value the rebuttals to analyze the important arguments and voting points in the debate. Don't be rude to me or your opponents, because that makes debate uncomfortable for everyone.
I'm fine with critical arguments and theory, but I need you to still explain yourself so I don't do work for you. The way you interact with your opponents' arguments and apply offense throughout the debate is probably something I'll pay attention to. Read 'important' arguments twice/clearly: plan texts, interps, etc. I'll call speed if I need to I guess. I have experience debating parli for four years and now I'm coaching at PLNU.
Kelly Hutchison -- University of the PacificRead what ever you want, I am willing to listen to any argument, critical or topical affs. I like framework arguments, but make sure that they have impacts and flush them out. I wonÃ?Â¢??t do extra work for you, that means you need to make extensions. Please make sure that you have evidence to back up your claims, and then give analysis. Debates without evidence are boring and not as educational.
Kelly Burns -- Texas Tech University
Kinny Torre -- Western Washington University
Kyle Bligen -- Whitman CollegeIngredients NutritionDirections
Kyle Cheesewright -- The College of Idaho
This is my most recent judging philosopy. If you want to see a collection of them, with information that is more or less relevant, Net Benefits has an interesting archive.
“All that you touch
All that you Change
The only lasting truth
God Is Change.”
–Octavia Butler, “Parable of the Sower.”
Debate is a game. Debate is a strange, beautiful game that we play. Debate is a strange beautiful game that we play with each other.
I love debate. It’s the only game that exists where the rules are up for contestation by each side. There are some rules that aren’t up for discussion, as far as I can tell, these are them:
1/ Each debate will have a team that wins, and a team that looses. Say whatever you want, I am structurally constrained at the end of debate to award one team a win, and the other team will receive a loss. That’s what I got.
2/ Time limits. I think that a discussion should have equal time allotment for each side, and those times should probably alternate. I have yet to see a fair way for this question to be resolved in a debate, other than through arbitrary enforcement. The only exception is that if both teams decide on something else, you have about 45 minutes from the start of the round, to when I have to render a decision.
Pretty much everything else is open to contestation. At this point, I don’t really have any serious, uncontestable beliefs about debate. This means that the discussion is open to you. I do tend to find that I find debates to be more engaging when they are about substantive clash over a narrow set of established issues. This means, I tend to prefer debates that are specific and deep. Good examples, and comparative discussion of those examples is the easiest way to win my ballot. Generally speaking, I look for comparative impact work. I find that I tend to align more quickly with highly probable and proximate impacts, though magnitude is just so easy.
I tend to prefer LOC strategies that are deep, well explained explorations of a coherent world. The strategy of firing off a bunch of underdeveloped arguments, and trying to develop the strategy that is mishandled by the MG is often successful in front of me, but I almost always think that the round would have been better with a more coherent LOC strategy—for both sides of the debate.
At the end of the debate, when it is time for me to resolve the discussion, I start by identifying what I believe the weighing mechanism should be, based on the arguments made in the debate. Once I have determined the weighing mechanism, I start to wade through the arguments that prove the world will be better or worse, based on the decision mechanism. I always attempt to default to explicit arguments that debaters make about these issues.
Examples are the evidence of Parliamentary debate. Control the examples, and you will control the debate.
On specific issues: I don’t particularly care what you discuss, or how you discuss it. I prefer that you discuss it in a way that gives me access to the discussion. I try not to backfill lots of arguments based on buzzwords. For example, if you say “Topicality is a matter of competing interpretations,” I think I know what that means. But I am not going to default to evaluating every argument on Topicality through an offense/defense paradigm unless you explain to me that I should, and probably try to explicate what kinds of answers would be offensive, and what kinds of answers would be defensive. Similarly, if you say “Topicality should be evaluated through the lens of reasonability,” I think I know what that means. But if you want me to stop evaluating Topicality if you are winning that there is a legitimate counter-interpretation that is supported by a standard, then you should probably say that.
I try to flow debates as specifically as possible. I feel like I have a pretty good written record of most debates.
Rebuttals are times to focus a debate, and go comprehensively for a limited set of arguments. You should have a clear argument for why you are winning the debate as a whole, based on a series of specific extensions from the Member speech. The more time you dedicate to an issue in a debate, the more time I will dedicate to that issue when I am resolving the debate. Unless it just doesn’t matter. Watch out for arguments that don’t matter, they’re tricksy and almost everyone spends too much time on them.
Before I make my decision, I try to force myself to explain what the strongest argument for each side would be if they were winning the debate. I then ask myself how the other team is dealing with those arguments. I try to make sure that each team gets equal time in my final evaluation of a debate.
This is a radical departure from my traditional judging philosophy. I’ll see how it works out for me. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. For the record, I have strong opinions on just about everything that occurs in a debate round—but those strong opinions are for down time and odd rants during practice rounds. I work to keep them out of the debate, and at this point, I think I can say that I do a pretty good job on that account.
I just thought of a third rule. Speaker points are mine. I use them to indicate how good I thought speeches are. If you tell me what speaker points I should give you, I will listen, and promptly discard what you say. Probably.
For the sake of transparency: My personal gig is critical-cultural theory. It’s where my heart is. This does not mean that you should use critical theory that you don’t understand or feel comfortable with it. Make the choices in debate that are the best, most strategic, or most ethical for you. If your interested in my personal opinons about your choices, I’m more than happy to share. But I’ll do that after the debate is over, the ballot submitted, and we’re just two humans chatting. The debate will be decided based on the arguments made in the debate.
“[Y]ou can’t escape language: language is everything and everywhere; it’s what lets us have anything to do with one another; it’s what separates us from animals; Genesis 11:7-10 and so on.”
-David Foster Wallace, “Authority and American Usage.”
Lance Allen -- McKendree University
I competed for Mckendree for 4 years and have been coaching since 2013. I try to open about most any arguments that are placed in front of me. I am pretty good with speed, but clarity is important, because Im not as good as I used to be. I will say clear or speed if Im not getting enough. I am open to most any critical arguments; I just need it to be explained and impacted effectively. I am open to performance based args as well, again impacts are important and should be obvious to me and to opponents.
When it comes to topicality, I do not require in round abuse, but it helps. Competing interps is the best way get ahead as an Aff. You should be able to explain why your interp was best.
CP: I generally think pic are bad, but Im ready to hear that debate in round. And, in some specific cases a PIC can be warranted. Any type of competition is acceptable to me in CP.
I usually start evaluating a round on the procedural items and then make my way to case. I think that DA come last because even if I win 100% solvency of the AFF there is a chance I link to the DA or K. If I link, then I evaluate the off-case impacts. To be clear, I should never have to make the choice about where I need to go to evaluate. Debaters should be framing their offense for the judge.
I think that in most cases the easiest thing to default to is terminal impacts. I tend to weigh them first. Systemic impacts are next. Again, I feel uncomfortable making the choice as to what come first, I really want the debate to tell me what needs to be weighed and why.
Make the rounds as clear as possible for me. An arg you know best and can explain best to me is you best route to my ballot.
Lauran Schaefer -- Whitman College
Lucas Barker -- McKendree University
Background: In high school I participated in Public Forum all four years. In college, from 2010-2014 I debated in both Lincoln-Douglas and Parliamentary debate for McKendree University. Additionally, I intermittingly judge at debate tournaments. Finally, I realize the importance of a judge's paradigm and background information and if this philosophy is not comprehensive enough to answer your question(s) please do not hesitate to ask during breaks and/or before debate rounds. IÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??ll do my best to answer any and all questions you may have. I want you to be able to maximize your prep time.
lÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â Approach of the critic and to decision-making- My Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??default settingÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â for a debate round is a policy making one. I believe the Affirmative should defend a topical plan and that the Negative should defend the status quo or present a competitive counter-policy option. If you believe the round should be Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??debatedÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â in another way you will have to give me compelling reasons as to why that is the case. I find impacts with large magnitudes compelling, but I am also willing to vote for probability. Either way you should explain to me how your arguments interact with timeframe, probability, and magnitude. I am not particularly fond of Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??fact debatesÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â since I dealt with more than enough of those in high school. I strongly encourage you to run a plan even when itÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s a Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??factÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â resolution.
lÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â Relative importance of presentation/communication skills to the critic in decision-making-Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â I enjoy watching debates that are passionate and include confidence when one is speaking. Ideally, you should not only be winning the round but also appear and sound as if you are winning the round. Don't be hesitant about being creative with your arguments since that will most likely leave more of an impression. Additionally, you do not have to like your opponents in a debate round, but you should at the very least be polite. Bullying and/or being a generally rude will be reflected in your speaker points and may even affect my perception of your arguments. I really enjoy when someone is funny while still being strategic in a debate round, but I do not encourage it if you know that you are not funny.
lÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â Relative importance of on-case argumentation to the critic in decision-making-Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â I enjoy rounds where the negative has not only provided disads, kritik, and/or a counterplan but also provides specific arguments that engage the AffirmativeÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s advantages. I think that case arguments are generally light or absent in most debate rounds so when they do occur I tend to enjoy those rounds more. Since I typically gave the MO I enjoy seeing rounds where the MO decides to make bold moves in the block such as willing to go for only arguments on-case (when it is the ideal choice). Finally, I am probably more persuaded by smart defensive arguments than the average judge and that is a result of having Cory Freivogel as a coach.Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â Note:Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â That does not mean I donÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t evaluate offensive arguments!Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â
lÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â Preferences on procedural arguments, counter-plans, and kritiks-
Topicality: I will vote on topicality and if you find yourself facing an un-topical affirmative and you know how to go for topicality then you should. If there isn't in-round abuse and you read topicality out of the LO with no additional arguments I don't know why I should vote for you.
Spec Arguments: I do not like spec arguments since most of the time teams only read them as a time trade-off. An adequate MG's response to spec argument for me is to just say Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??lolÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â and move to the next sheet of paper. That being said... if an Affirmative refuses to grant you links to your disadvantage/argument because they are not specifying something you should call them on it and it will be something that I consider when deciding the round.
Counterplans: A counterplan must be competitive and have a net benefit for me to vote for it. But, the Aff must also give me a reason why the CP is not competitive. If there is no net benefit I do not know why I wouldn't just vote for the Aff.
Kritiks: I am fine with Kritiks but I enjoy topic specific K's. You will have to explain the Kritik to me and provide logical reasons such as examples as to why the K matters, how it links to the Aff, and why it outweighs. You should also be able to answer a permutation to your K. If you want to run an untopical Kritcal AffÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â I will listen but it may be an uphill battle for you.Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â NOTE:Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â If you are running multiple conditional strategies I have voted on performance contradictions when it comes to a K. Not saying it will happen all the time or most of the timeÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â BUTÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â it has happened before. This is your activity so argue the way you want to argue
Conditionality: I am fine with conditionality (I ran conditional arguments regularly.) but I do believe that there is a tradeoff. At a certain point if you are reading an obscene amount of strategies your arguments will not be as well developed and therefore not as persuasive as your opponents.Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â NOTE:Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â I will not say that I will never vote for condo bad but I have yet to vote for condo bad so please keep that in mind when it comes to your strategy.
With all that being said I encourage you to use your strengths when it comes to debate, to partake in this activity in a passionate way, and debate the way you enjoy the most. I will do my best to be as open to your strategy as possible. At the end of the day I hope everyone is having fun! questioregarding it feel free to ask at the tournament.Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â GOOD LUCK!!!Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â
Mackenzie Marquess -- University of Texas at Tyler
Madi Moser -- Appalachian State University
I debated in NPDA for one year before graduating and I am in my first year of judging and coaching.
I am very familiar with theory arguments. I tend to default that PICs and conditional advocacies are abusive but I will vote for a PIC/conditional advocacy if you win on the theory arguments.
I enjoyed running kritiks and I enjoy hearing them. I will vote up a K that relates to the topic and allows room for engagement from the other team. Iâ??m also probably a pretty good judge for running your weird/funny Kâ??s, but make sure I can understand what youâ??re talking about and the position for which you are advocating.
When it comes to Kâ??s, I prefer the alt to demonstrate that it will generate some sort of in round or real world solvency, otherwise I see it as a â??do nothingâ? advocacy. If â??do nothingâ? is demonstrated to be better than the aff advocacy, then Iâ??ll vote it up, but if thatâ??s the strategy you want, Iâ??d prefer to see you run a few DAâ??s.
For straight policy or value cases, I donâ??t have specific preferences for weighing arguments (like impacts over solvency over framework), I will you vote on what you clearly demonstrate to me is the most important voter in round. However, I don't support weaponizing identities against the other team. I will vote down teams that commit egregious and unnecessary violence against the other team, in the debate space. The other teamâ??s presence is not a free pass to attack them to win on a piece of paper.
I like talking fast and listening to fast talkers, but Iâ??m not the best with ultra-speed, so keep it at a fast-talking pace. I appreciate coherency and articulation. I don't want to have to interrupt your speech to ask you to slow down. If you see me looking confused or stop flowing, probably check your speed.
Please please please signpost. If I donâ??t know where you are in your argument, it slows down my flow, and I canâ??t get your words down. I automatically protect against new arguments in the PMR, but I think itâ??s good praxis to call a point of order. Extend your arguments and impacts throughout your speeches. In your LOR/PMR, tell me where Iâ??m going to be voting, I love a clear list of voters. Argue your points but donâ??t be a dick to the other team.
Margaret Rockey -- Western Washington University
Maria DeMarco -- McKendree University
Read bolded portions if youÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??re in a hurry!
Maria Judith DeMarco
B.A., Communication Studies
Texas Tech University '19
I debated on the NPTE/NPDA circuit for 4 years. During 2 of those years I also competed in IEs. My former coaches, including Adam Testerman, Joe Provencher, Kaitlyn Johnson, David Hansen, Jackson DeVight, and other members of the current TTU coaching staff inform the majority of my views about debate. If you have any additional questions about my background, where IÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??m at now, or anything else regarding my judging philosophy, please feel free to ask at tournaments or add & message me on Facebook.
I love good debates! <3 That is all. I do not enjoy being in the back of rounds when debaters are clearly unprepared, disinterested, or otherwise demonstrate a lack of engagement; there are too many individuals who make enormous sacrifices for students to not reciprocate by investing all they can. This is not to say that you should not prioritize having fun or that things must be serious, but it is always better to watch a round in which everyone is committed to doing the best they can. This also extends to my personal role as a critic. I care about the rounds I watch and will not be a judge who carelessly makes a decision.
I do not prefer one type of debate over another, and do not have any favorite arguments. Though I read the K, performances, and other identity arguments for the better part of 3 years, I read straight up policy arguments for most of my senior year and fell in love with that strategy.
Feel free to read literally anything & please do not make assumptions about what debates I like to see Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â
I have read a wide variety of arguments from afrofuturism to feminist rap, and I love hearing unique positions. If you donÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t talk about the topic, great (although specific topical links are preferred). If you talk about the topic, also great. I do not necessarily require specific links to the resolution if you are reading a Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??projectÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â or other argument about the debate space rather than the topic.
However, perhaps my strongest opinion at the moment is thatÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â This refers to theory that (and IÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??m being generous) is overly Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??nuancedÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â to be meaningful. I will reluctantly vote on these arguments if you decisively win them, but will be less receptive and have a higher threshold if you go for 3 sheets of theory in the block without collapsing, or read a canned/irrelevant Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??specify your ethicsÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â argument when it is a very, very thinly-veiled time suck. Unless there are legitimate violations or these arguments are clearly applicable, there are almost always more strategic and pedagogically productive interpretations that have the same utility. To quote the wonderful David Worth, Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??I am tired of debates that are mostly logic puzzles.Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â I have taken the LSAT and can assure you I do not need further practice with it.
- multiple sheets of theory which are not collapsed in the MO
- ethics/philosophy SPEC
- any CP theory that is not conditionality
- PMR theory
That being said, I do not have predispositions to viewing a theory debate any other way than how you tell me to evaluate it. I do think that most arguments function through competing interpretations; for example, reasonability is often just another way to interpret the rest of the debate that follows.Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â to avoid confusion and intervention.
I donÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t always feel the most comfortable in evaluating politics disads. Though I frequently read ptx, it took me longer than normal to fully understand how the politics scenario would break down. If you choose to read politics, it would be best to slow down slightly on the links. Also, tenuous links are a no-go. If you are creating several internal links that are only tenuous, I will have a hard time finding a way to vote for you because itÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s unclear whether you even garner an impact.
Please ensure that you know what your K does, and that you are able to articulate that clearly. ItÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s fine to be more ambiguous in the beginning, but by the end of the round,Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â to solve the main points of clash in the debate. If you are going for proximal impacts and your solvency mechanism is predicated on your K doing something in this particular room and round, you need to win why those impacts are more important than other impact calculus like timeframe/magnitude/probability/severity.
More importantly,Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â . For example, do not go for proximal in-round impacts if youÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??re reading a K that claims to solve capitalism. This does not apply if you clearly explain that in-round solvency is a prerequisite or has inroads to solving other impacts in the future. However, doing that type of analysis requires warrants (not assertions) that it might lead to something later. For example, a Cap K with dialectical materialism or similar solvency for gaining class consciousness within a certain round also needs to explain how a few people gaining consciousness could realistically translate into solving capitalism writ large.
A note on answering Ks:
Always read a perm! There is rarely a reason not to and I will be sad if you are decisively winning the rest of the debate but lose because you did not perm.
I intend to write RFDs that minimize personal biases, thoughÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â I have participated in too many rounds where teams read Nietzche, Buddhism, or similar Ks and thought it appropriate to inform me that sexual violence and abuse was inevitable and ought to be embraced. Not only are these arguments often traumatic to hear, but are also gross mischaracterizations of actual philosophy, so if you do not fully understand said philosophy then avoid debating it altogether. Weaponizing nonsense like this for the sake of a ballot is just not the move, and if you find yourself resorting to verbal violence to get a W, it demonstrates not only a general lack of care but also a lack of skill. However, do not take this as an open invitation to pretend that violence is happening in an attempt to win by saying to prefer "tech over truth" if nothing offensive has truly happened.Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â
I try to stick to the most commonly used speaker point breakdown. A below average debate will be around 26, average will be around 27-28, and above average will be around 29. 30s are reserved for speeches that I thought were near-perfect. If you have questions about an RFD or how you might improve speaker points in another debate in front of me, please ask for more feedback.
Do not be afraid to use speed if you are clear. Over the past two years IÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??ve been partners, and had practice rounds, with some of the fastest debaters in the nation, so if you can read a 4-off LOC then go for it. However,Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â
Make sure you clearly signpost. Beyond that, I will be on board for wherever you take the debate.
I was a double leader for almost my whole career.Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â , and would prefer a few turns that are related to your off-case position(s), but are combined with more turns that garner external offense. I am willing to listen to an LOC that is straight case but have rarely seen it done well.
If you feel the need for me to flow them separately, it should be because the debate was particularly messy or if it is the only way you have learned to give the speech.
The PMR and LOR were my favorite speeches; I love impact calculus and it is an absolute necessity to compare and weigh your impacts against your opponentÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s impacts throughout the speech. I do not prefer certain impacts over others, but I do need clear reasons why your impact is more important; i.e. magnitude does not matter in a world where the impact is improbable. I also need a clear thesis and overview at the beginning of your speech that is at least one sentence explaining why you win. It is okay (and sometimes necessary) to give a speech that answers back line-by-line arguments in the block, but I would prefer if you group arguments or simply tell me what the most important issues are in the debate because it is generally more efficient. You can also provide a brief explanation about why you are not answering a certain argument with a line that says something like Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??the most important argument on this sheet of paper is X Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?? the others do not have terminalized impacts.Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â
Warrant comparison in rebuttals is a great way to boost your speaker points. It is crucial that I know why your warrant is a better indicator of an impact than the opponentÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s, especially if you are going for the same impact. For example, a round where both teams are going for an Econ impact but disagree on whether consumer confidence or investor confidence is key to the economy needs to articulate why their metric is preferable. Please also make sure you do not mix up your warrants by changing what argument they correspond to from speech to speech.
As someone with minimal debate experience prior to joining college parli, I am unsympathetic to the notion that the NPDA format is wholly inaccessible to people who do not have a debate background/did not come from policy. That being said, I am 100% understanding of the substantial learning curve when it comes to Parli, especially for teams with limited resources/coaching/travel opportunities/etc.Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â
Mark Bentley -- Appalachian State University
Mark Bentley, Appalachian State University
**I have made some modifications to my judging philosophy to better reflect my view of debate**
Section 1: General Information
I approach debate primarily as an educational activity with interwoven game elements. Our in-round discourse has critical, real world rhetorical implications and the debate space functions best when critiquing ideas and power structures, whether through policy implementation or critical framework. While I am very receptive to advocacies of violence against the state or other power structures, I am very opposed to violence targeting individuals in the debate space. This doesnÃ¢??t refer to a couterplan or procedural run against you that you donÃ¢??t like, but that our praxis, even in competition, should be kindness towards each other, directing violence towards oppression, power structures and discourses of power and domination. Please give trigger warnings when appropriate. Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â
I really like specific, well run critical debates. They are my favorite, but I'm also totally good with non-critical arguments. So, if critical arguments are not your thing, don't feel like you have to run them in front of me or I won't vote for you. I vote for plenty of non-critical arguments. Likewise, just because you run a critical argument doesn't mean I'm automatically going to vote for you.
I evaluate arguments in whatever framework I am presented with, as long as it's warranted (don't just tell me something is important, tell me why it's important). I usually do not vote on defense alone, and prefer offensive arguments on positions rather than just defensive. When weighing arguments, I default to weighing probability over magnitude and timeframe, but I will weigh them differently if you explain why I should.
I have a rather high threshold for spec arguments and need to see clearly articulated in-round abuse, or I will not vote on them. This usually manifests itself as obvious underspecified, groundshift-ready plan situations. Spec arguments generally function best for me as link insurance for other positions. Asking questions are a must when running spec arguments. I tend to think conditionality, and PICs are bad, but a procedural needs to be run and won to get my vote. However, even if an argument is kicked, the rhetoric of the position has already been introduced into the round and I still consider valid link access to that rhetoric.
I tend to protect against new arguments in the rebuttals, but like POOÃ¢??s called when whoeverÃ¢??s giving the rebuttal thinks theyÃ¢??re getting away with sneaking new arguments in. Ã?Â I tend to grant the PMR access to new articulations to existing arguments from the MO, and the opposition from arguments suddenly blown up in the PMR.
Section 2: Specific Inquiries Ã?Â
Please describe your approach to the following.
1. Speaker points (what is your typical speaker point range or average speaker points given)?
Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â 25-30. 27-30 is my typical range, 25 and below is typically for abusive individuals.
2. Ã?Â How do you approach critically framed arguments? Can affirmatives run critical arguments? Can critical arguments be Ã¢??contradictoryÃ¢?Â with other negative positions?
I definitely prefer critical arguments that are Ã¢??grounded in the specificityÃ¢?Â of the resolution, over generic, over-run kritiks (if your criticism is as important as you say, you can certainly link to and specifically engage with any res/arguments the other team runs). I will vote on permutations and theoretical objections. I also give weight to performative contradiction arguments as deficits to solvency (or however else you would like to use them). I tend to get bored with highly generic kritiks. I do not prefer non-topical Affirmative kritiks, because they unnecessarily exclude the Negative and Ã?Â if the issue is as important as you claim, it definitely has specific topical application that can allow for equitable engagement by the Negative. Failure to apply your criticism to the topic puts the kiritik at a rhetorical disadvantage and opens the Affirmative up for methodological criticism by the Neg. I also prefer methodological challenges to non-topical Aff KÃ¢??s rather than topicality procedurals, as the method debate tends to engage more with the substance of the kritik and doesnÃ¢??t link into replications of structural oppression as readily.
Explain your ideas instead of just throwing terms around. Sure, I may know what the terms mean, but I need to know what you mean by them and how you are using them to determine the functionality of the argument. I also think itÃ¢??s important to not only tell me the importance of (or need for) the interrogation or deconstruction a criticism engages in, but also why should we engage with THIS specific interrogation/deconstruction and what, if anything, it seeks to solve, resolve, change, etc. In other words, donÃ¢??t drop or omit solvency of the criticism. Also, donÃ¢??t give blanket blips of Ã¢??alt solves allÃ¢?Â because, no, it doesnÃ¢??t. I understand that argument as a game piece, but if your advocacy is worth voting for you need to have more substantial analysis than that. Use solvency as a way to justify the need for the criticism through analysis of what it actually does.
3. Ã?Â Ã?Â Projects and performance based argumentsÃ¢?Â¦
Ã¢??Performance based argumentsÃ¢?Â are hard to run well, but definitely possible. The act of debating, criticizing, and advocating itself is a performance, and so you will need to do extra work to justify how and why yours is uniquely important. The way "performative arguments" are often run makes it too easy for the other team to non-unique the "performance" with links to existing power structures/discourses/performances. I tend to evaluate Ã¢??performance argumentsÃ¢?Â within the proximal space of debate, and apply solvency accordingly, but also acknowledge the real world rhetorical impacts of the arguments. As with non-topical Affrimative kritiks, Ã¢??performance based argumentsÃ¢?Â should have specific topic application and allow for equitable engagement for both sides.
For "projects" I have and will vote for "projects" that engage with the topic and the other teamÃ¢??s arguments. Ã¢??ProjectÃ¢?Â arguments absolutely must not replicate the oppressive structures they seek to critique against the individuals in the room. Violence should be directed at systems and people of power and oppression, not towards individuals in the round. I strongly advocate for avoiding debates that would pressure individuals in the round to disclose personal details not otherwise known or they are unwilling to discuss in a debate round. Indict rhetoric and ideas, but not individuals in the round. Practice kindness towards others, and violence towards oppression.
4. Ã?Â Ã?Â Topicality. What do you require to vote on topicality? Is in-round abuse necessary? Do you require competing interpretations?
I tend to weigh topicality through competing interpretations (make them clear what they are). ItÃ¢??s much easier for me to vote on Ã¢??articulated in-roundÃ¢?Â abuse, than potential abuse.
5. Counterplans -- PICs good or bad? Should opp identify the status of the counterplan? Perms -- textual competition ok? functional competition?
I tend to view most counterplans as theoretically legitimate and like to leave it up to the debaters to determine what is or is not legitimate in the given round. I donÃ¢??t like delay counterplans, and will not be likely to vote on a PIC when the resolution calls for a specific plan action on the part of the affirmative. I donÃ¢??t prefer conditional advocacies. I am open to voting for a PIC/Condo bad procedural. Neg should give CP status. CPÃ¢??s and perms can be either textual or functionally competitive, as long as there is a net-benefit or demonstration of non-competition.
6. Ã?Â Ã?Â Is it acceptable for teams to share their flowed arguments with each other during the round (not just their plans)
Yeah, I donÃ¢??t really care what you share...but that also doesnÃ¢??t mean you donÃ¢??t have to flow and just use the other teamÃ¢??s flows. Also, I don't think teams are necessarily under any sort of obligation to share their flows with the other team, but this can also be contextually dependent.
7. Ã?Â Ã?Â In the absence of debaters' clearly won arguments to the contrary, what is the order of evaluation that you will use in coming to a decision (e.g. do procedural issues like topicality precede kritiks which in turn precede cost-benefit analysis of advantages/disadvantages, or do you use some other ordering?)?
First off, you should definitely tell me which order I should evaluate and why. If you havenÃ¢??t, this usually tells me you havenÃ¢??t done your job. I usually evaluate KÃ¢??s and procedurals first, then advantage/disadvantage impact calculus, probability before magnitude and timeframe.
8. Ã?Â Ã?Â How do you weigh arguments when they are not explicitly weighed by the debaters or when weighting claims are diametrically opposed? How do you compare abstract impacts (i.e. "dehumanization") against concrete impacts (i.e. "one million deaths")?
Again, if it gets to this point, you havenÃ¢??t done your job and I wonÃ¢??t be real happy, and you probably wonÃ¢??t be happy with my decision. I donÃ¢??t automatically weigh death more than dehumanization, but can go either way based on the context and arguments. Dehumanization is a terminal impact. Well warranted impacts are always preferred over poorly warranted ones. I greatly prefer systemic impacts over low probability, high magnitude impacts, but will evaluate impacts on whichever framework wins out in the round.
Marquis Bell-Ard -- William Jewell College
Matt Parnell -- Texas Tech UniversityÃ?Â Ã?Â MATT PARNELL JUDGE PARADIGMÃ?Â
Section 1: General information
I debated four years of high school policy and then another five in parli at Washburn. I believe that offense will win you most debate rounds as long as itÃ¢??s packaged well enough. As a debater, I read a lot of different positions but there is a soft spot in my heart for politics + counterplan debate. I can hang with most positions however if youÃ¢??re reading something new, you might wanna go a bit slower so I can jive with what youÃ¢??re reading. I will say that theory is my jam. I wonÃ¢??t vote for silly theory (I mean I might if you win it) but I do love really good and deep theory debates. Overall, IÃ¢??ll vote on the framework that you present. IÃ¢??ll default to an offense vs. defense paradigm but if you want me to evaluate the round differently, you gotta let me know.
Identity/Performance/Critical Arguments: I view these arguments very similarly as I do Ks. Provide a clear advocacy, or at least some form of tangible action and tell me why that action is key to resolve your links. Provide a clear way for me to weight the debate through impacts. At the core, I believe your argument should have some sort of linkage to the topic. IÃ¢??m not asking you to be topical, but I am asking for at least a little time in the PM/LO dedicated to a discussion of the topic.
Flowing: I need like a second of pen time between positions. If you have any particular questions about my flow, just ask. Essentially I will vote based on what I have on my flow. IÃ¢??m a big fan of debaters who organize well.
Texts and Interps: Slow down when you read plan/cp/alt texts. I think texts are pretty important to the round and I want to ensure that I understand what the text of your arg is.
Procedurals/Theory/T: I love theory. That doesnÃ¢??t mean I like really silly theory but a really intense and deep theory debate is fantastic. I need interps to be said slowly. I think that if you collapse to theory you need to be doing the work on the voter level. So many times, debaters blip out fairness and education and call it good however if you go for theory, give me actual, termialized impacts to those claims. I will vote on potential abuse but you need to tell me why I am doing so. It makes me happy to see debaters having an in depth theory debate. Generally, I think condo is bad however I am not rigid in that interpretation. I will vote on condo strats and condo good if youÃ¢??ve won the flow.
DAs: Read them. The more specific the link story the better. I was a politics debater so I enjoy a good politics debate. I do have a high threshold when it comes to the uniqueness question of a politics disad so give actual details i.e. who is voting for what, vote counts, etc.
CPs: Also read them. I really like creative counterplans. If you read a counterplan, make sure you have a net benefit attached.
Ks: These are also fine. Please explain what the alternative does however. IÃ¢??m willing to pull the trigger on any K however I need an explanation of how the alternative resolves the links page. Also try not to slam a bunch of postmodern terms together and call it good. The alt advocates a particular action so please, tell me what that action is. IÃ¢??m at least baseline familiar with most lit bases however if youÃ¢??re breaking something completely new, give a small thesis at the top of the shell.
Perms: Perms are fine and you should be making them. You donÃ¢??t have to read the entire perm text for me. Just say Perm do X and here are the net benefits. Perms are a test of competition but if you want me to treat it as an advocacy, you better make that argument.
Speaker points: IÃ¢??ll start at 28 and go up or down. If you give a good speech with solid arguments, youÃ¢??ll be rewarded. If I canÃ¢??t understand you, you will be punished. IÃ¢??ll really only give less than a 26 for things such as hate speech, hyper aggression, etc.
This is your space so you do what you want. I will judge what you want me to judge. I only ask that you be considerate of the other people in the room.
Nadia Steck -- Lewis & Clark College
Nora (Justin) Fausz -- McKendree University
Paul Villa -- University of the Pacific
Rashid Campbell -- William Jewell CollegeMy Judging philopsophy is simple. I debated for the University of Oklahoma and became the First African-American Top Speaker of the National Debate Tournament in 2014. I understand every style of debate. I debated about Whiteness and could be classified as a performance debater. I vote for teams who explain clearly how thier plan/kritik works. More so the teams I usually vote for win because of their explanation of their impacts and the ways that those impacts are effectected by the other team. I prefer debaters to explain their arguments in full. I will not flow the rest of an argument that is not explained or in other words I will not do the debating for the debater. I like real world debates that talk about realistic impacts and not just Extinction and Nuclear War. I will Vote for T or any other argument if it is explained in a way that I believe is persuasive. All in all any debater can win in front of me they just need to clearly explain thier argument.
Rodney McBride -- McKendree University
I debated for McKendree from 2013-2016, qualifying for NPTE in my last two years of competition.
If I have to, I will roll my eyes, sigh, shrug, and vote for your critical Aff, but please dont lie to me about it. Make coherent arguments. Dont make me make arguments for you, I make weird arguments. I dont care about the inherency of the transparency of your jargony bargaining. Say smart things, not purposefully confusing things. I am not bothered by your speed, but be polite. Win your argument.
Sarah Dweik -- Texas Tech UniversityÃ?Â Ã?Â My background:Ã?Â I debated for 4 years on the NPTE/NPDA circuit (2.5 years at the University of Missouri and 1.5 years at Washburn). I have helped coach policy, public forum, and parli debate, finished my undergraduate degree at Washburn, and am now pursuing my Master's degree at Texas Tech. IÃ¢??m currently judging for Texas Tech. Starting off at a student-run program has helped me learn debate from a variety of different people and from learning from watching rounds online. I have also largely been shaped by people like Doubledee, Ryan Kelly, and Calvin Coker.
Highlights:Ã?Â I think that debate is a space where we can all engage with each other to different degrees. Personally for me, debate became a place where I could feel more comfortable to express myself and engage with others in-depth over a variety of topics that exist or arenÃ¢??t discussed outside of this space. I am fine with whatever arguments you decide to read in front of me, but I cannot claim to fully understand every argument that is read in front of me. I do have an expansive knowledge regarding a lot of different K's, but that doesn't mean that I know everything that you will talk about in the round. I am here to learn just as much as you are. The round is yours and you should do what you are comfortable with, have fun, be respectful, and compete.
I prefer debates that engage the topic and, in an ideal situation, utilize fiat to do so, but I will definitely listen to arguments that interpret the topic differently or if you decide to reject it. I would prefer that you read advocacies unconditionally, but I will not vote you down without the other team winning the condo bad theory. IÃ¢??m most familiar with the following arguments: Politics, T, Hegemony, Feminism, Black Feminism, Queerness, Orientalism, and most other identity or state based criticisms. I will try and protect from new arguments in rebuttals, but please still call them out if you think they are new so I am not intervening as much. I will vote for who wins the round, regardless of my personal views, as long as you can clearly explain your offense and how to weigh the impacts of your strategy. And finally, impact calculus is the most important thing to me as a judge. I want the rebuttal speeches to help me craft my ballot through the lenses of timeframe, probability, and magnitude (not necessarily in that order). I enjoy rebuttals that reflect as much of the RFD as possible, so framing in the LOR and PMR is critical.
Identity/Performance/Critical Arguments:Ã?Â I totally think that debate is a performance, but make the round for you. I judge these arguments similarly to other criticisms. Therefore, I need a clear advocacy; it does not need to be an alternative, but make your advocacy clear (whether it be a poem, metaphor, alt, etc.). I still think you need to have very strong solvency for your argument and I need some type of way to weigh the debate through impacts or a mechanism that you make clear to me. IÃ¢??m willing to listen to framework debates and many times would use framework as an answer to critical affirmatives. I do think that if you are rejecting the resolution then you need some sort of justification for doing so or some kind of explanation or link to the resolution because I think this fosters creativity and gives context within the round of why the debating the resolution, in this case, is bad.
Flowing:Ã?Â I flow on my laptop because I can type a lot more quickly and clearly than I can write. This means that I would prefer if you just gave me enough time to switch tabs on my laptop when you switch sheets, and please flag when you're moving on so I can make sure your arguments go where you want them to be. If I think you are too quiet, unclear, or fast I will let you know immediately. I keep a good and fast flow as long as youÃ¢??re clear.
Texts and Interpretations:Ã?Â You can either provide me with a written copy of the text or slow down when you read the plan/cp/alt and repeat it. I think this is very important during theory debates and framework debates. I would like you to either repeat it twice and slowly to make sure that I have a copy of it or make sure that you give me a copy. If I don't get your text or interp, I will make sure I have the correct wording in my flow when the round ends.
Procedurals/Theory/T:Ã?Â I enjoy a good T debate and I default to competing interpretations, but this does not mean that I wonÃ¢??t listen to other frameworks for evaluating T. I think that all procedurals can have a role depending on the round. I am not a fan of RVIÃ¢??s. I understand the utility of these arguments, but they likely arenÃ¢??t going to win my ballot. I do not need real in round abuse, but an abuse story needs to exist even if it is potential abuse. I need procedurals to have clearly articulated interpretations, violations, standards, and voters not just blips in the LOC of, Ã¢??vote for us for fairness and educationÃ¢?Â. I view topicality similarly to a disad in that I view standards as being the internal links to the voters (impacts). When it comes to theory concerning advocacies, I find multiple worlds bad theory to be quite compelling because I find that inherent contradictions in strategies for the sake of winning take away from the in round education. I am not a huge fan of multiple new theory sheets in the MG. I can see the utility of MG theory arguments, but reading them to simply shotgun the other team hyper-expands the debate into a jumbled mess. If you are going to read multiple theories, please collapse :D
Disads:Ã?Â I enjoy topic specific disads. However, I also loved reading politics, so I understand the utility of reading politics on a variety of different topics. However, I have higher standards for voting on politics than most others because I ran the argument so often. I need specifics such as vote counts, those whipping the votes, sponsors of the bill, procedural information regarding passage, etc. All disads are great in my book and I will always love hearing them in round.
CPs:Ã?Â I love counter-plans and I regret not reading them as much while I was a competitor. I am not prone to vote against any type of counter-plan. I prefer functional competition over textual competition because it is easier to weigh and more tangible to me, but if you want to go for textual competition, just show me how to weigh and vote on it.
Ks:Ã?Â I enjoy criticisms and I believe that they can offer a very unique and creative form of education to the debate space. If your criticism is complicated, then I would like a thesis page or an explanation of what the alternative does. I really enjoy a good perm debate on the K and am not opposed listening to theory regarding the alternative/perms (floating PICs, severance, etc.). When reading a K, please give me a clear explanation of what the alternative does and what the post-alt world looks like. Just a bunch of fancy words pushed together doesn't mean that I understand what your K is doing. With the alt, there should also be a stable and clear solvency/alternative ground that allows the other team to have some space to argue against it.
Perms:Ã?Â I really enjoy perm debates. As a PMR, trust me, I really love the perm debate. I think that the text of the perm is critical and must be clear in the debate. Slow down, read them twice, and/or give me a copy of the text. You donÃ¢??t have to read the entire plan text in K debates and instead it is sufficient to say, Ã¢??do the plan and xÃ¢?Â. My definition of a legitimate perm would be that they are all of the plan and all or parts of the CP/Alt. I think that perms are in between a test of competition and an advocacy (because youÃ¢??re really achieving both, ya know).
Speaker Points:Ã?Â I usually start at 28 and will go up or down depending on how everything goes. I do think speaker points are totally random, with no real scale for all of us to follow, but I will try my best to reward you on how well you do. I highly value the argumentation that is made to earn speaker points, although if I canÃ¢??t understand your arguments, then we might have a problem. I do love quotes from RuPaul's Drag Race, after all "Facts are facts, America!"
Basically, I want you to come into a round and not think that I would keep you from reading what you want to read. I understand that I won't get every argument read in front of me, but I want to make sure that I am not preventing you from expressing yourself the ways that you want to in this space. This space for me is something extremely important, so I want to make sure that I can at least help it continue to be important for you.
Serena Fitzgerald -- Oregonn/a
Shannon LaBove -- Rice University
Shannon LaBove MA, JD
ADOF Rice University
Background of the critic (including formats coached/competed in, years of coaching/competing, # of rounds judged this year, etc.)
I started debating at age ten when I could not see over the podiums in Junior High LD and loved it...still do. I competed LD in High School, Parli in college (I was in NPDA-90’s style with hands on the head questions) and have coached a combination of Parli, IPDA and NFA-LD for 12 or so years for a combination of NPDA, PRP and PKD. Needless to say I understand that there are many styles of debate and consider myself a Tab/Flow judge who likes to evaluate the round presented. I am very keep it simple and give me a place to vote.
Approach of the critic to decision-making (for example, adherence to the trichotomy, stock-issues, policymaker, tabula rasa, etc.)
I do have what many call an “old school” debate preference which includes the following:
I don’t do flow work for debaters. If you want it flow it through.
I don’t like bad law. If you don’t know it don’t get complicated with it.
I don't like performance. This is not to say I don't see it as a valid mechanism this is to say it is not my preference in a round to watch.
Clash-don’t just dismiss and assume I know the position. I like link and clash work.
Easy decisions-tell me where and how you want me to vote.
Run what you would like-I try not to be interventionist
Aff to define round-Will buy a trichotomy/framework issue if it is blatant and abusive.
Relative importance of presentation/communication skills to the critic in decision-making
I don’t mind speed but am a stickler for organization and clarity.
Relative importance of on-case argumentation to the critic in decision-making
I like Clean case/off-case structure and for things to be run correctly. For me the Aff has Burden of Proof and the Opp to refute. Clash on case is great and preferred but will vote off/critical.
Preferences on procedural arguments, counterplans, and kritiks
No real preference here but you have to link up to round. Generic without clear link does not fly well with me.
Preferences on calling Points of Order.
If you see it call it.
Anything else feel free to ask. I look forward to watching great debate!
Steven Farias -- University of the Pacific
PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE SPECIFIC PHILOSOPHY
Updates: My threshold to vote on theory has decreased. Proven abuse is not a necessity on T, though it is preferred. Also, my thoughts on role of the ballot has changed under my section for K's.
TLDR Version: I am okay with whatever you choose to read in the debate, I care more about your justifications and what you as the debaters decide in round; however, theory I generally have a high threshold for voting on theory except CONDO Bad, in which case the threshold is lower. CPs/Alts are generally good ideas because I believe affirmatives usually solve harms in the world and permutations are not advocacies. Finally, pet peeve but I rule on points of order when I can. I generally think it is educational and important for the LOR/PMR strategy to know if I think an argument is new or not. I protect the block as well, but if you call a point of order I will always have an answer (not well taken/well taken/under consideration) so please do not just call it and then agree its automatically under consideration.
Section 1: General Information-
While I thoroughly enjoy in-depth critical and/or hegemony debates, ultimately, the arguments you want to make are the arguments I expect you to defend and WEIGH. I often find myself less compelled by nuclear war these days when the topic is about education, a singular SCOTUS decision, immigration, etc. BE RESOURCEFUL WITH YOUR IMPACTS- ethnic conflict, mass exodus, refugee camps, poverty, and many more things could all occur as a result of/in a world without the plan. I think debaters would be much better served trying to win my ballot with topically intuitive impact scenarios rather than racing to nuclear war, ESPECIALLY IF PROBABILITY MEANS ANYTHING BESIDES A DROPPED, BLIPPED INTERNAL LINK which I think it does.
I do my best to keep up with the debate and flow every argument. However, I also will not stress if your 5 uniqueness blips dont ALL get on my flow. I am unafraid to miss them and just say I didnt get that. So please do your best to use words like because followed by a strong logical basis for your claim and I will do my best to follow every argument. Also, if you stress your tag I will be able to follow your warrants more too.
Section 2: Specific Arguments
K debate- I do not mind critical affirmatives but be prepared to defend topicality with more than just generic links back to the K. Moreover, I feel that this can even be avoided if the affirmative team simply frames the critical arguments they are going to make while still offering, at the very least, the resolution as a policy text for the opposition. On the negatiave, I think that Ks without alternatives are just non-unique disads. I think that reject and embrace are not alternatives in and of themselves, I must reject or embrace something and then you must explain how that solves.Â
NEW:Â In terms of ballot claims, I do not believe the ballot has any role other than to determine a winner and a loser. I would rather be provied a role that I should perform as the adjudicator and a method for performing that role. This should also jive with your framework arguments. Whoever wins a discussion of my role in the debate and how should perform that role will be ahead on Framework. For performance based arguments, please explain to me how to evaluate the performance and how I should vote and what voting for it means or I am likely to intervene in a way you are unhappy with. Also, please do not make myself or your competitors uncomfortable. If they ask you to stop your position because it emotionally disturbs them, please listen. I am not unabashed to vote against you if you do not. I believe you should be able to run your argument, but not at the expense of others engagement with the activity. I will consider your narrative or performance actually read even if you stop or at the least shorten and synthesize it. Finally, I also consider all speech acts as performative so please justify this SPECIFIC performance.
Topicality/Theory- I believe T is about definitions and not interpretations, but not everybody feels the same way. This means that all topicality is competeing definitions and a question of abuse in my book. Not either or. As a result, while I have a hard time voting against an aff who was not abusive, if the negative has a better definition that would operate better in terms of ground or limits, then I will vote on T. To win, I also think you must either pick theory OR the case debate. If you go for both your topicality and your K/DA/CP I will probably not vote on either. Caveat- I think that negative teams should remember that a contextual definition IS A DEFINITION and I consider multiple, contradictory definitions from an affirmative abusive (so make Aff doesnt meet its own interp arguments).
In terms of other theory, I evaluate theory based on interpretations and I think more specific and precise interpretations are better. Contextualized interpretations to parli are best. I also think theory is generally just a good strategic idea. However, I will only do what you tell me to do: i.e.- reject the argument v. reject the team. I also do not vote for theory immediately even if your position (read: multiple conditional advocacies, a conditional advocacy, usage of the f-word) is a position I generally agree with. You will have to go for the argument, answer the other teams responses, and outweigh their theoretical justifications by prioritizing the arguments. Yes, I have a lower threshold on conditionality than most other judges, but I do not reject you just because you are conditional. The other team must do the things above to win my ballot on theory.
Counterplans- CPs are the best strategy, IMHO, for any neg team (or at least some alternative advocacy). It is the best way to force an affirmative to defend their case. PICs, Consult, Conditions, etc. whatever you want to run I am okay with. I do not think that We Bite Less is a compelling argument, just do not link to your own disad. In terms of perms, if you do not in the end prove that the Perm is preferential to the plan or cp, then I will simply view it as an argument not used. This means if you go for the perm in the PMR, it must be as a reason the CP should be rejected as an offensive voting position in the context of a disad that does not link to the CP. Finally, CP perms are not advocacies- it is merely to demonstrate the ability for both plans to happen at the same time, and then the government team should offer reasons the perm would resolve the disads or be better than the CP uniquely. K perms can be advocacies, particularly if the Alt. is a floating PIC, but it needs to be explained, with a text, how the permutation solves the residual links.
Evaluating rounds- I evaluate rounds as a PMR. That means to me that I first look to see if the affirmative has lost a position that should lose them the round (Ts and Specs). Then I look for counter advocacies and weigh competing advocacies (Ks and Alts or CPs and Disads). Finally, I look to see if the affirmative has won their case and if the impacts of the case outweigh the off case. If you are really asking how I weigh after the explanation in the general information, then you more than likely have a specific impact calculus you want to know how I would consider. Feel free to ask me direct questions before the round or at any other time during the tournament. I do not mind clarifying. Also, if you want to email me, feel free (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have any questions about this or anything I did not mention, feel free to ask me any time. Thanks.
Trevor Greenan -- Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley
I came from a high school parli background, but most of my relevant experience is from the last 3 years with the Parli at Berkeley NPDA team. I competed on-and-off for 3 years, and now exclusively coach/run the program. As a debater I was probably most comfortable with the kritikal debate, but Iâ??ve had a good amount of exposure to most everything in my time coaching the team. A lot of my understanding of debate has come from working with the Cal Parli team, so I tend to err more flow-centric in my round evaluations; that being said, I really appreciate innovative/novel arguments, and did a good amount of performance-based debating as a competitor. Iâ??m generally open to just about any argument, as long as thereâ??s good clash.
I try to keep my evaluation of the round as flow-centric as possible. This means that Iâ??ll try to limit my involvement in the round as much as possible, and Iâ??ll pick up the worse argument if itâ??s won on the flow. That being said, I recognize that thereâ??s a certain degree of intervention thatâ??s inevitable in at least some portion of rounds, and in those cases my aim is to be able to find the least interventionist justification within the round for my decision. For me, this means prioritizing (roughly in this order): conceded arguments, arguments with warranted/substantive analysis, arguments with in-round weighing/framing, arguments with implicit clash/framing, and, worst case, the arguments I can better understand the interactions of.
In-round framing and explanation of arguments are pretty important for me. While I will vote for blippier/less developed arguments if theyâ??re won, I definitely have a higher threshold for winning arguments if I feel that they werenâ??t sufficiently understandable in first reading, and will be more open to new-ish responses in rebuttals as necessary. Also worth noting, I tend to have a lower threshold for accepting framing arguments in the PMR.
The LORâ??s a tricky speech. For complicated rounds, I enjoy it as a way to break down the layers of the debate and explain any win conditions for the negative. I donâ??t need arguments to be made in the LOR to vote on them, however, so I generally think preemption of the PMR is a safer bet. I prefer to not flow it on one sheet, but if you strongly prefer that format Iâ??d rather have you do that than throw off your speech for the sake of adapting.
I have no preferences on conditionality. Perfectly fine with however many conditional advocacies, but also more than happy to vote on condo bad if itâ??s read well.
Please read advocacy/interp texts slowly/twice. Written texts are always nice.
I will do my best to protect against new arguments in the rebuttals, but itâ??s always better to call the POO just to be safe.
Iâ??m open to alternate/less-flow-centric methods of evaluating the round, but I have a very hard time understanding what these alternate methods can be. So, please just try to be as clear as possible if you ask me to evaluate the round in some distinct way.
- I evaluate shadow-extensions as new arguments. What this means for me is that any arguments that a team wants to win on/leverage in either the PMR or LOR must be extended in the MG/MO to be considered. I'll grant offense to and vote on positions that are blanket extended ("extend the impacts, the advantage is conceded", etc.), but if you want to cross-apply or otherwise leverage a specific argument against other arguments in the round, I do need an explicit extension of that argument.
I think the framework debate is often one of the most undeveloped parts of the K debate, and love seeing interesting/well-developed/tricksy frameworks. That being said, absent substantial argumentation either way, Iâ??ll usually defer to each side being able to leverage their advocacy/offence against the other.
I have a pretty high threshold for voting on presumption. I find it difficult to buy that either side has actually won terminal defense, absent a good amount of work in the round. That being said, I default to presumption flowing negative.
Prior question arguments in framework are fine/good, just make sure that thereâ??s sufficient explanation of these arguments and application to the rest of the round. Iâ??m not very likely to vote on a dropped prior question/independent voter argument if there isnâ??t interaction done with the rest of the arguments in the round.
I generally feel very comfortable evaluating the theory debate, and am more than happy to vote on procedurals/topicality/framework/etc. Iâ??m perfectly fine with frivolous theory. Please just make sure to provide a clear/stable interp text.
I default to competing interpretations and drop the team on theory, absent other arguments. Competing interpretations for me means that I evaluate the theory layer through a risk of offense model, and I will evaluate potential abuse. I donâ??t think this necessarily means the other team needs to provide a counter-interpretation, although I think it definitely makes adjudication easier to provide one.
I have a hard time evaluating reasonability without a brightline. I donâ??t know how I should interpret what makes an argument reasonable or not absent a specific explanation of what that should mean without being interventionist, and so absent a brightline Iâ??ll usually just end up evaluating through competing interpretations regardless.
I have a very high threshold on RVIs. If extremely well-developed and extremely mishandled by the other team I could imagine myself voting on one, but I would hope to never have to.
Uniqueness determines the direction of the link (absent explanation otherwise), so please make sure youâ??re reading uniqueness in the right direction.
I have a pretty high threshold for terminal defense, and will more often than not assume thereâ??s at least some risk of offense, so donâ??t rely on just reading defensive arguments.
Perfectly fine with generic advantages/disads, and Iâ??m generally a fan of the politics DA. That being said, the more you can contextualize your argument to the round the greater weight that I will give it. Specific and substantial case debates are great.
I default to fiat being durable.
Please give me specific texts.
Fine with cheater CPs, but also more than happy to vote on CP theory.
I default that perms are tests of competition and not advocacies.
I generally wonâ??t buy textual competition absent arguments in the round telling me why I should.
I really enjoy the K debate, and this was probably where I had the most fun as a debater. I have a pretty good understanding of most foundational critical literature, and I have a decent understanding of postmodern theory (particularly Foucauldian/Deleuzian/Derridean). That being said, please make the thesis-level of your criticism as clear as possible; I will do my best to not just vote for an argument I understand absent explanation in-round, and thereâ??s definitely a good amount of literature I wonâ??t know of.
Iâ??m perfectly happy to vote on kritikal affirmatives, but I will also gladly vote on framework. On that note, Iâ??m also happy to vote on impact turns to fairness/education, but will probably default to evaluating the fairness level first absent other argumentation.
Same with CPs, I default to perms being a test of competition and not an advocacy. Iâ??m also fine with severance perms, but am also open to theoretical arguments against them; just make them in-round, and be sure to provide a clear voter/impact.
I default to evaluating the link debate via strength of link, but please do the comparative analysis for me. Open to other evaluative methods, just be clear in-round.
I have a decent understanding of performance theory and am happy to vote on performance arguments, but I need a good explanation of how I should evaluate performative elements of the round in comparison to other arguments on the flow.
Regarding identity/narrative based arguments, I think they can be very important in debate, and theyâ??ve been very significant/valuable to people on the Cal Parli team who have run them in the past. That being said, I also understand that they can be difficult and oftentimes triggering for people in-round, and I have a very hard time resolving this. Iâ??ll usually defer to viewing debate as a competitive activity and will do my best to evaluate these arguments within the context of the framing arguments made in the round, so please just do your best to make the evaluative method for the round as clear as possible.
Vasile Stanescu -- Mercer University
Many judges say they are "tableauÂ rasa" (i.e. open to any way you want to debate); I am not sure if they are. I try to be. As long as it does not literally break the rules of the NPDA (or...the law?)--I'm open to it. You're in charge. I don't tell my debater how to debate --I'm certainly not goingÂ to tell you. Truly. Run whatever you want---however you want.
Zach Schneider -- McKendree UniversityHi! IÃ?????????Ã????????Ã???????Ã??????Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??m Zach. I debated for 5 years of NPDA/NPTE parli (4 at Cedarville University and 1 at SIU) and this is my 5th year coaching/judging.
lila lavender -- Saint Mary's College
UPDATE: shit has been really rough lately, so I am asking a few things of the competitors I'll be judging this weekend. A). Please dont read any detailed descriptions of male violence, theoretical (w warrants ofc) is fine. B). Dont read anything about suicide or self harm, nothing at all. C). When you start your speech start loud and 2/3rds of your max spread, after 30 secs or so you can ramp up to max.
I'll drop you for violating A) & B), and wont be too thrilled (but wont drop you ofc) if you dont adhere to C).
"To speak of desire in its multiplicities: the survival and breathing and possibility of transfeminine desire amid and beyond our social and material conditionsÃ?Â¢??of austerity, racism, xenophobia, transphobia and transmisogyny, ableism, whorephobia. How can we connect these conditions that undergird the negative affects of transfeminine life to ground a politicized understanding of our brokenness?"
-Nat Raha, "Transfeminine Brokenness, Radical Transfeminism"
Hey yall!!! I'm lila (pronouns she, her and they, them) and I debated for roughly 7 years!! I did LD for 4 years in high school, competing in the national circuit for both my junior and senior year, qualifying and debating at the TOC my senior year. I finished my competitive debate career after doing 3 years of NPDA Parli at Western Washington University. My freshman year I qualified and got 14th at NPTE nationals. My sophomore year my partner (Serena Fitzgerald) and I cleared to finals in 50% of the total tournaments we participated in, winning Lewis and Clark, Berkeley, and the Point Loma Round Robin; netting us 5th place overall in the country. We placed 8th at the NPTE nationals tournament. For the first half of my Junior year season I debated with Cameron Allen, getting 2nd at all 4 of the tournaments we attended. For the latter half of the year, Jessica Jung and I decided to hybrid together for the remainder of the year and our debate careers as an act of trans woman rage/joy. We won all 3 pre-nationals tournaments we attended and despite being barred from competing at the NPTE, got 3rd at the National Round Robin and won the NPDA nationals tournament. That said, I find myself caring less and less about the competitively technical parts of debate and more so about the survival and revolutionary potential the space has. Due to that fact, if you want to use our round as a place to disrupt the normativity of debate (in whatever way you see fit) I would absolutely love to help facilitate that and be a body present for such disruption!! :) currently associated with Impact Debate!!!!
Tldr: Go as fast as you want, ill be able to flow it. Most people would probably label me as a K hack, so do what you will with that information. That being said though, I don't really care what you do, unless it is overtly oppressive, if you win whatever position you are reading I will vote for it. I have no inherent predilections to what debate should be, or how specific 'rules' of debate ought function (barring those that are violent). It's your job to tell me how to evaluate that, so please do it. Oh also I won't kick arguments for you, if you don't know how to collapse your a bad debater.
Note 1: If you misgender me, your competitors, or anyone else within the space during the time at which i am judging and don't correct yourself or continue to do so I will auto drop you. This extends to any sort of transphobic and/or transmisogynistic violence; I am done with having to put up with that shit and ill use my temporary power as a judge to create an incentive for students to stop doing so. I say this not because transphobic violence is an exceptional form of violence among other despotic assemblages, cause I will surely auto drop you for being reactionarily violent in other ways, but rather because debate seems libidinally attached to transphobia in a way that is very specific, and given my subject location, very violent towards myself. In that sense, I find it important to highlight. This may seem harsh, and thats cause it is, it should be. If you have any complaints or are butthurt about this I refer to you Sara Ahmed "the transfeminist killjoy...is without doubt a violent figure: to point out harassment is to be viewed as the harasser; to point out oppression is to be viewed as oppressive. Part of the work of the killjoy is to keep pointing out violence. In making these points, killjoys are treated as people who originate violence. This is the hard work of killjoys. They are up against it! Transfeminist killjoys expose hammering as a system of violence directed against trans people, including from some of those who identify as radical feminists. Some of the hammering might seem on the surface quite mild because it appears as an instance: a joke here, a joke there. And jokiness allows a constant trivializing: as if by joking someone is suspending judgment on what is being said. She didnÃ?Â¢??t mean anything by it; lighten up. A killjoy knows from experience: when people keep making light of something, something heavy is going on. Something heavy is going on. Many of these instances might be justified as banter or humorous (the kind of violent humor that feminists should be familiar with because feminists are often at the receiving end). So much of this material makes trans women in particular the butt of a joke. Following Julia Serano, I would describe much of this material as trans misogyny: what is evoked is the figure of the hyper-feminine trans woman as a monstrous parody of an already monstrous femininity."
Note 2: While it is true that I was quite a fast debater, this does not mean that if you are slower and/or more lay that I don't want to judge you. I think that lay debate can be just as good as hyper technical/fast debate, as long as it constantly works to break out of the violence it is necessarily predicated on, and in that sense, I would love to judge good lay debate. When I say do whatever you think will best help you win the round, that means do whatever you want, not just within the realms of going fast. Most importantly though, if you slow and/or clear your opponents (if they are going too fast or are being needlessly unclear) and they do not adapt to meet those demands, then I absolutely will tank their speaks and give you a lot of leeway in answering their arguments even if they are technically conceded. We as a debaters have an obligation to extend mutual aid to our comrades, and that means adapting our styles to make them accessible to anyone who we may debate!!
Obviously everything below applies to Parli as well, so please read it. If you ask my what my paradigm is in the round instead of reading it on tabroom I am going to be a little grumpy. That said, please do not hesitate to ask any specific questions or confusions about something in my paradigm because I am more then happy to help with that!!
Policy Affs: Despite my love for the K, I think a strategic and well written policy aff make for some of the best debates possible. I have no preferences on how policy affs should be formatted but I think it is always a good idea, especially since having me as a judge means the neg will probs run a K, to have a framework on the top, or bottom, of the 1AC that justifies policymaking in some manner. Other then that, do whatever you want but please for all of our sakes make sure your ADV's have uniqueness, links, and impacts.
K Affs: K Affs, 'performative' or not, are amazing. I put 'performative' in scare quotes not because I don't like those positions that have been signified as performances within debate, in fact quite the opposite, but rather to indicate that all of debate is a performance and to parse out radical mircopolitical revolutions within debate as exclusively 'performative' seems silly to me. That said, if you want to read these types of arguments in front of me, please please please do. Once again I do not really care about the content of K affs but I am most familiar with original and contemporary deleuzoguattarian lit, postmodernism writ large, antiblackness, colonalism and settler colonalism, trans and queer theory, anti-capitalism, and lesbian/trans feminism. I hate Lacanian psychoanalysis, and most psychoanalysis writ large, and think its fundamentally irredeemable. That being said, just because that is true does not mean I won't vote on it, it just wont make for a round that I am very happy to be judging in. Mentioning those areas of critical theory that I am most familiar with is not to say that those are the only ones I will listen to/vote for. Rather, I mention them because if you read them in front of me I will most likely know more about them then you do, and because of that, it heightens my threshold for shitty answers/bad runnings of them. That said, if these are positions that are your bread and butter and something that you are quite deep on then I am most likely the judge for you. If you are going to reject the res, which is totally cool with me, you should make sure to have justifications as to why the res is bad and why rejecting it on the affirmative is key. To give you an example of what K Aff's I tended to go for, Jessica and I most often went for Gender Death, Sex Workers, Juche, Medicalization, and Han.
Framework Affs (LD): As a quick preface, if you are doing LD and reading this you can run whatever type of aff you want, I have merely labeled this under LD because its most relevant to LD. Framework affs are dope, I love them and used to run them all the time when I was debating in LD. I am pretty well versed in most of the frameworks that are common on the circuit and especially with, as much as I hate it, Kantianism and Deontology. What makes framework affs strategic is their ability to have a framework that when won, wins the debate for the aff. Due to that fact, if you are running a framework heavy aff then you should make sure you have a framework that is strategic in that vein, not just a framework that seems fun to run.
Note: Again, if you are in LD you can run whatever off positions are the most strategic, do whatever you think will best win you the round. That being said though, while I am cool with it and will be able to flow you, if you are hitting an opponent who does not want you to spread, don't be an ass. That does not preclude you from running K's or DA's or T, just don't spread them if you opponent does not want you to.
DA/CP: DAs and CPs are great, but I have noticed this trend lately in which people label every piece of case specific offense as "Disads." This is slightly annoying because it greatly reduces and distorts the reasons that DAs are strategic. DAs need to have uniqueness, case specific links, and external impacts that the Aff cannot resolve; all other case offense are just case turns. Even if you have a CP that solves for your DA(s), make sure you have status quo uniqueness on the top of the DA that way you are not forced to go for the CP if you want to go for the DA. If you are running a counterplan make sure it has clearly defined sections of "text," "competitiveness," and "solvency." Also I think that conditionality is great, not that I wont vote on condo bad, so if you wanna read 5 contradictory condo offs I am very cool with that.
Ks: I love Ks, they are what I ran most in highschool and what I ran most in college. If you want to see the types of Ks that I am most familiar with, and what that means for you, look to the K aff section of my paradigm. If you are in policy, during the 1NC make sure you have either labeled or unlabeled thesis, links, impacts, and alt sections. If you are going for the K in the block it is always a good idea to read a framework for the K in the 2NC. On the other hand, if you are in LD and reading a K in the 1NC you need to make sure to have a framework, thesis, links, impacts, and alt. Something that I have noticed in hs LD and Policy is that K alts never explains why the alt is key in resolving the K, but rather just describes what the alt is, so make sure your alt actually has descriptive solvency. In terms of the K's I went for most, Jessica and I often collapsed to Bataille, Barad, Semiocap, Maoism, and Trans Spatiality.
T/Theory: I love good topicality and theory debates, they are some of the most technical types of debate and I love good technical debate. While theory and topicality are not exactly the same thing, they do share a similar structure of how they should be formatted. Both should have a clear interpretation, violation, standards and voters. While I know the general trend is to collapse the standards and voters into the same section, it would easier for me if you would make sure that those are two distinct sections wherein the standards explain why violating the interp is bad, and how losing that standard links into what ever voters you are going for. Then in the voters section terminalize why those voters are the biggest impact in the round. I have a pretty low threshold for frivolous theory in that I think if a theory position really is that bad, then you should not lose to it. I think most people would probably in fact label me as a debater who reads and goes for frivolous theory quite frequently, so if thats your jam, go for it. That said, if you use frivolous theory as a form of disrespect, i.e. reading 40 spec shells against a project, that is not going to fly for me. Read it when its strategic, not when its repugnant.
Final Note: For both LD and Policy I would like to be on an email chain for all of the speech docs read in the round, email is "email@example.com." If you have any other specific questions about my paradigm you can message me on facebook at "Chris Coles (lila lavender)" or email me.