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.
Alyson Escalante -- Concordia University Irvine
Baker Weilert -- Whitman College
Brent Nicholson -- McKendree University**An argument consists of both a claim and a warrant. If you make claims without providing evidence which explains why that claim is true, I will not vote for that argument. Saying that a study concluded that your claim is true or that a news source claims it is not enough. You need to explain what that study did to conclude that or explain the reasoning of the news source which you reference.**
Brittany Hubble -- El Camino College
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 LO…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 “they used the state.” I am not saying this can’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 don’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! Don’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 don’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. Being new to judging and understanding that speaker points can impact you in a tournament in ways other than speaker awards, I would say that I am currently on the more generous side of awarding speaker points. That is not to say I just hand out 30s or will not tank your points for being a jerk. I have a very low tolerance for offensive rhetoric or rudeness in rounds.
Be organized and sign post. Don’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 -- Saint Mary's CollegeÃ????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â Mid-season change for NPDA/NPTE I am really annoyed by the amount of theory arguments that I have been judging. I will be massively increasing my threshold on these arguments and will generally default to reasonability for most arguments besides topicality. I will also probably cap your speaker points at like 27.
Chris Miles -- University of Minnesota
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?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?Â¢?Ã?Â¦so donÃ?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?Â
- I donÃ?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?Â
- Ideologically IÃ?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?Â¢??m pretty moderate, so warranted arguments about the wonders of the free market or the necessity of social purging arenÃ?Â¢??t likely to do well in front of me if your opponent knows what theyÃ?Â¢??re doing.
- For the K:
TL; DR Ã?Â¢?? unless itÃ?Â¢??s a pretty well-structured criticism that links well and specifically, IÃ?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?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?Â¢??t read your lit base. Most of my issues following those arguments have to do with the use of phrases IÃ?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?Â Also, if you go one off and 5 minutes of case and the one off is a disad, youÃ?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?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â * I cordially dislike almost every affirmative criticism that does not uphold the burden of the affirmative in relation to the resolution.Ã?Â
Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â ** For criticisms that utilize personal experience, please avoid using arguments about mental health issues or sexual violence.
Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â *** Performance-oriented criticisms will need to do serious work to justify a performance as something I should vote on.
Ã?Â Ã?Â Ã?Â **** When I ran critical arguments, they were mostly economic, ablism, or ecological in nature.
Arguments: Overall, youÃ?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?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?Â Make sure you have a written text. I like advantage counterplans, PICs, and actor counterplans. Consult less so, but IÃ?Â¢??m open to it. For the affirmative: IÃ?Â¢??m open to PICs bad but donÃ?Â¢??t default that way. Well utilized CP strats are beautiful.
Permutations: Permutations are tests of competition, not advocacies. Multiple perms arenÃ?Â¢??t unfair, but theyÃ?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?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?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?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?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. DAâ??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 Kâ??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.
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 Evans -- El Camino CollegeAbout 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!.
Framework/Role of the Ballot: 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 it’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 it’s not contested, this will frame how I evaluate the rest of the round. 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.
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.
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. I don’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).
Counter Plans/Alts/Perms: I view counterplans or alternatives as a test of competition against the affirmative’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.
Speed: 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 “clear”. 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, it’s a win-win for both teams. You get the W and the other team has an educational/ teaching moment.
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, don’t assume I understand the literature. Regardless of the K, I will listen how your frame, impact and weight the FW and Alt/Alt solvency. Additionally,
Joseph Laughon -- Concordia University Irvine
Josh Vannoy -- Grand Canyon University
Joshua Vannoy Ã¢?? Grand Canyon University
Experience: 4 years of NPDA Debate at Concordia University Irvine. I competed at the NPTE and NPDA all four years of college. Kevin Calderwood has heavily influenced my views regarding debate.
Debate is a game. There are arguments I personally will lean towards, but ultimately you should make the argument you want to make. I am the current director of debate at GCU and this is my third year as a judge.
- One question should be answered during each constructive.
- If you read my favorite Ks (Marx/Symbolism) I will have a higher threshold regarding them, since I ran them so much. (That means I will want to see more specific arguments and a deeper level of understanding and without either I will have a less likely chance of voting for you)
- Partner communication is fine, but do not puppet your partner or talk louder then the other team.
- 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 wonÃ¢??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 Ã¢??you must discloseÃ¢?Â 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 Ã¢??povertyÃ¢?Â 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 Ã¢??performÃ¢?Â anywhere else I will wonder why it was argued in the first place. I will need performance specific Solvency/Impacts if you take this route. In your performance never do harm to yourself or another competitor or I will have to intervene for the safety of everyone in the room.
When I first started debating at CUI I was afraid of the K, towards the end of my career I loved it. All KÃ¢??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. Like I said above 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 two 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? ProbablyÃ¢?Â¦ Having debated under Kevin Calderwood for three years this is the argument that stuck with me the most. 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, things will not look good when I make a decision.
I am not a fan of the multiple perm trend, 1 Ã¢?? 2 perms should be enough, I am open to Neg multi perm theory arguments when teams run 3 Ã¢?? 8 perms. If your perm does not solve links to the DAÃ¢??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 Ã¢?? 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 a performance is, especially directed towards the other team, the lower my speaker points go for that individual.
Julia Shotwell -- Point Loma Nazarene UniversityÃ???Ã??Ã?Â
Justin Fausz -- McKendree UniversityI also go by Nora. If you want, you can ask which I prefer by going by that day. But I won't be upset if you don't or use either name (I use any pronouns, feel free to ask)
Kelly Hutchison -- University of the Pacificn/a
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.”
Lauran Schaefer -- Whitman College
Mackenzie Marquess -- University of Texas at Tyler
Madi Moser -- Appalachian State Universityn/a
Margaret Rockey -- Western Washington University
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 doesnâ??t refer to a couterplan or procedural run against you that you donâ??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. Â Â 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 POOâ??s called when whoeverâ??s giving the rebuttal thinks theyâ??re getting away with sneaking new arguments in. 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 Â
Please describe your approach to the following.
1. Speaker points (what is your typical speaker point range or average speaker points given)?
Â Â Â Â Â 25-30. 27-30 is my typical range, 25 and below is typically for abusive individuals.
2. Â How do you approach critically framed arguments? Can affirmatives run critical arguments? Can critical arguments be â??contradictoryâ? with other negative positions?
I definitely prefer critical arguments that are â??grounded in the specificityâ? 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 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 Kâ??s rather than topicality procedurals, as the method debate tends to engage more with the substance of the kritik and doesnâ??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 itâ??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, donâ??t drop or omit solvency of the criticism. Also, donâ??t give blanket blips of â??alt solves allâ? because, no, it doesnâ??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. Â Â Projects and performance based argumentsâ?¦
â??Performance based argumentsâ? 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 â??performance argumentsâ? 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, â??performance based argumentsâ? 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 teamâ??s arguments. â??Projectâ? 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. Â 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). Itâ??s much easier for me to vote on â??articulated in-roundâ? 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 donâ??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 donâ??t prefer conditional advocacies. I am open to voting for a PIC/Condo bad procedural. Neg should give CP status. CPâ??s and perms can be either textual or functionally competitive, as long as there is a net-benefit or demonstration of non-competition.
6. Â Â Is it acceptable for teams to share their flowed arguments with each other during the round (not just their plans)
Yeah, I donâ??t really care what you share...but that also doesnâ??t mean you donâ??t have to flow and just use the other teamâ??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. Â 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 havenâ??t, this usually tells me you havenâ??t done your job. I usually evaluate Kâ??s and procedurals first, then advantage/disadvantage impact calculus, probability before magnitude and timeframe.
8. Â 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 havenâ??t done your job and I wonâ??t be real happy, and you probably wonâ??t be happy with my decision. I donâ??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
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.
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 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 LINKâ??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 donâ??t ALL get on my flow. I am unafraid to miss them and just say â??I didnâ??t get thatâ?. So please do your best to use words like â??becauseâ? 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
â??The Kâ?- 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 Kâ??s 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 othersâ?? 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 doesnâ??t 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- CPâ??s 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 â??We Bite Lessâ? 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 (Tâ??s and Specs). Then I look for counter advocacies and weigh competing advocacies (Kâ??s and Alts or CPâ??s 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 (email@example.com). 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.