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.
Alice Lin -- Parliamentary Debate at Berkeleyn/a
Alyson Escalante -- Concordia University Irvine
Amanda Stauder (Ataiyan) -- McKendree University
Section 1: General Information
I debated policy and public forum in high school for four years (2003-2007), debated four years for McKendree doing Parli and some LD (2007-2011) and have been coaching at McKendree and Belleville East high school (PF, LD) semi-regularly since I graduated inÃ???Ã??Ã?Â 2011.
Speed Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?? I think I am relatively competent at flowing debates but admit that I am a little less in the know about current issues and slower in terms of speed than I was when I was still debating. If I canÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t understand you or youÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??re going too fast I will let you know. If IÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??m confused about a position I will look confused.
I generally protect the PMR but just in case I miss something you should call points of order if you think the argument will matter in the decision for the round. Points of order and of inquiry are not your speech time and not a time to make an argument-- they are for question asking or to challenge whether an argument is new. If someone says no to a question do not just talk loudly over them and ask anyway/comment on the round- itÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s annoying and I canÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t flow arguments when two people are talking loudly at me.
Disadvantages- do the impact calculus work in the rebuttals and make sure that the rebuttals include explicit extensions of the position you want me to vote on. Politics- I do not follow domestic politics closely if at all. I do not know which senator is from where and what they think. I did debate in college and have a political science degree so you donÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t have to dumb things down just make sure to clearly explain your story and why points matter on politics disadvantages.
Section 2: Specific Inquiries
Speaker points (what is your typical speaker point range or average speaker points given)?
I try to give the median of speaker points. Higher if you really impress me, lower if you are really offensive or particularly bad at speaking. Stuttering, disorganization, and a lack of understanding about how positions interact will also not be good for your speaker points.
How do you approach critically framed arguments? Can affirmatives run critical arguments? Can critical arguments be Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??contradictoryÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â with other negative positions?
I didnÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t read critiques when I debated but I think I am more critical argument friendly than I was a few years ago, though they are not my favorite. I do not understand nor do I have a background in post-modern literature and the jargon does not make sense to me. Say critical things and use regular words and I should be more than able to follow along. Explain a voting rational for critical arguments over the others in the debate to help me construct a decision for one. Critical affirmatives I like less- I think you should affirm the resolution. I am likely to not vote for performance affs and really critical affirmatives- it will be an uphill battle for you and probably not bode well for your speaker points.
Topicality. What do you require to vote on topicality? Is in-round abuse necessary? Do you require competing interpretations?
I view topicality in terms of competing interpretations- standards claims with impacts to education or ground I find much more compelling that abuse claims and reverse voters, though IÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??m sure most people feel this way. In-round abuse not necessary but you do need to articulate what, as the negative, what you do not get access to in the world of your interpretation and then why I should care (ie how it affects debate, education, ground, etc). For affs, you have to have a clear and supported counter interp and your own counterstandards if you want me to not vote negative.
Counterplans -- PICs good or bad? Should opp identify the status of the counterplan? Perms Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?? textual competition ok? functional competition?
PICS are okay, specify the status of the CP so weÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??re all on the same page from the beginning, not voting for the CP means just that- I can still vote negative on other arguments in the debate. Reading CP with KÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s is okay but you should not go for a combination of those. You can run a K and a CP but you need to pick one in the MO and adequately kick the other which means you have to answer the offense first of course.
CP theory I understand but am not particularly opinionated about. Keeping theory arguments to a minimum is probably best thought sometimes they are warranted when youÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??re caught off guard Ã?????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â or the CP is actually really abusive. Theory arguments are okay but I am more reluctant to vote on them.
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?)?
Topicality is first, then kritiks, then CP/DA/Aff. The order of priority is also up for debate. Framework arguments indicate how to evaluate the kritik verses the aff. See CP stuff above about not going for the K and a DA/CP at the same time.
How do you weight arguments when they are not explicitly weighed by the debaters or when weighting claims are diametrically opposed? How do you compare abstract impacts (i.e. "dehumanization") against concrete impacts (i.e. "one million deaths")?
When not explicitly weighted by the debaters- people dying outweighs human rights abuses. Human rights abuses are the Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??root to all violence everÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â without examples and as a blanketed claim will not get you far with me. Concrete impacts are preferable but some topics lend themselves more readily to arguments about human rights. Which is more important is up for debate and dependent on the context, and resolution, those arguments are made in.
Benjamin Lange -- Concordia University Irvine
TL;DR: Do what you want, but I have a high threshold for theoretical defenses in favor of rejecting the topic (although I'm very in favor of creative ways to endorse the topic), and I tend to hold proximal impact framing/proximal solvency mechanisms to a pretty high standard as well.
While I'm open to arguments about debate being a "training ground" for personal advocacy and political change, I view debate itself as a game. This means that I view arguments very impersonally, and I care more for the strategic aspect of the game than the emotional or truth-based appeals. Those things are obviously still important, but that just means I will very likely vote for arguments that are "winning" even if I don't necessarily like them (just because of how I understand the utility of debate). For impact weighing, I probably default to magnitude>probability>timeframe unless told otherwise, so do in-depth impact comparison that includes weighing of the different metrics. I tend to hold proximal impact framing and solvency mechanisms to a pretty high standard, and while I'm down to vote on proximity you should just keep in mind that I think of all of these arguments as pieces to a game, so I'm not more persuaded by proximal impacts than magnitude-based impacts absent a clear reason.
I'm fine if you want to reject the topic on the Aff, but I'll be very sympathetic to the Neg's theoretical objection to that. You can win the theory debate, but I'll have a pretty high threshold for your theory answers so just be aware of that. Impact turning theory out of the aff is fine as well, but I've found that if the Neg team wins that you shouldn't get to leverage the Aff against theory if truth-testing the aff is impossible, I'll usually evaluate the theory prior to the PMCs reasons that fairness and education are bad or impossible to access. I'm pretty indifferent about conditionality also, but will vote on theory saying it shouldn't be allowed if you win that sheet.
Also on theory, this has only mattered a couple of times, but if I'm not given a paradigm by either team I have a tendency to default to reasonability instead of competing interpretations. This is largely because (absent being told otherwise/as a default) I tend to evaluate theory as a check against abuse (i.e., should I penalize a team for doing something unfair), rather than evaluating it as the endorsement of the "ideal model" of debate, which tends to make a difference regarding how I evaluate the impact framing on the theory, but this has only ever mattered when neither team makes any of the arguments that would give me a cohesive story on theory and I'm left pretty much evaluating a non-functional/unclear interp with no voters.
I love policy debate, but I was also super into reading Ks and I dig janky stuff from obscure philosophical sources. In my opinion, I'm able to understand and follow pretty much whatever you want to throw at your opponent. On the flip-side though, that also means that you probably won't get very far with super ambiguous solvency. You need to have some kind of solvency that is (at the very least) a clearly explained mechanism that is preferably drawn from the literature that the K is based on. As a Neg, I think your best bet is to read a diverse strategy, but if you have a baller K that you want to go all in on then go for it.
Finally, and I've realized that this is probably a very important thing to make clear, I am willing to vote on terminal defense if you are able to explain what it means for the round. That means that if you win the "we meet" on theory, then the rest of the sheet is irrelevant - even under a paradigm of competing interpretations, their rule is irrelevant if you followed it.
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me in person! Good luck :)
Brent Nicholson -- McKendree University
Brittany Hubble -- El Camino College
Do what you want and make the debate space fun and educational. Don't be petty. Don't lie. Don't abuse flex time.
I competed in debate for El Camino College for 2 years from 2013-2015 and I have been coaching parli for El Camino since. While I attended many CC tournaments, I also competed at several 4-year tournaments including NPDA and NPTE. My partner and I ran all types of arguments in debate (policy, critical affs, kritiks, etc.), but typically leaned towards policy debate. However, you are welcome to debate any way you like, but you should be prepared to justify your strategy if it is called into question. I tend to favor the strategy that is the smartest, most warranted and best for winning that round.
You should have them! I believe it is your job to tell me which impacts should carry the most weight in the round and why. I have no problem voting on a nuclear war or economic collapse scenario as long as you have a clear warranted story to explain how you get there. I am also not opposed to you asking me to prefer systemic impacts. It is really up to you, but I will usually default to net benefits and evaluate the impacts using timeframe, probability and magnitude unless I am told otherwise. I really really like impact calc and think it is a necessary component to winning a debate.
I really enjoy the case debate and I really dislike debates where the aff is never discussed. You should engage with the aff no matter what you are running on the neg. Case turns and offense on case are awesome. I am not opposed to voting on 8 minutes of case out of the LOâ?¦in fact this is a great strategy for refuting both policy and critical affs when done well.
Love them. Case specific disads with nuanced internal link stories are great. Please make sure they are not linear, as I will have a low threshold for voting on the aff outweighing on probability.
Another excellent negative strategy. There should be a net benefit to the CP, competitiveness and it should solve the aff. Topical counterplans are fine. PICs are fine but I am also open to hearing why PICs or other types of counterplans are bad. Again, you just need to justify your strategy and win why it is a good idea.
I am not a fan of multiple conditional advocacies but you can read them if you want. In general, I prefer unconditional advocacies and have no problem voting on condo bad. However, if you win the condo debate I will still vote for you and wont punish you for it.
I think there are a lot of rounds where the K is the best and sometimes only good negative strategy. However, I prefer case/topic specific links and arguments other than â??they used the state.â? I am not saying this canâ??t be a link, but you should probably have more compelling ones. I also really like well-warranted solvency that is specific to your method/alternative. You should be well versed in the lit supporting your arguments. I donâ??t like people blurting out tags and then having no idea how to explain them. I think you should call people out on this and use it as offense against them. You should also not assume that I have read the lit on your K and know all of the terms you are using. You are not doing yourself any good by confusing both your opponents and me. Most of this applies to the K on the aff as well. I prefer critical affs that defend the topic or use the topic as a springboard for discussion. I will vote on affs that do not depend the topic, but I will also entertain arguments that say you should.
With the increase in identity arguments being proposed in debate, there is something you should know. While I understand their purpose and ability to be an avenue for individuals to promote advocacy, I find them difficult to evaluate and I am probably not the judge for you. Past experiences debating them have produced triggering memories and force me to include a bias when deciding rounds. I have been in a round where debate became an unsafe space and I would hate to have to adjudicate a round that would recreate that for another individual.
I think theory is a great tool for both the aff and neg to secure ground in the debate and explain why certain arguments should be excluded from a debate. Your argument should have impacts! Donâ??t just say it is bad for education or fairness then move on. You should also have counterinterps, reasons to prefer, offense, etc. against theory to win.
Speed is fine but please be clear. I donâ??t see how it is beneficial for making arguments that only your partner can hear and understand. I also believe the round should be accessible and you should respect a clear. There is nothing impressive about being a bully and spreading someone out of a round after they have repeatedly asked you to slow down. You should probably be able to win without it. Otherwise, I should have no problem flowing you and think speed should be used as a tool to make a lot of good arguments.
Defending the Topic:
Whether or not you choose to defend the topic is up to you. I think you should provide substantial justifications for why you should be required to defend the topic. I will not drop a team for choosing not defend the topics, as I feel the debate space is yours to decide how to manage. However, I believe there are valid arguments to be made why defending the topic is important and how abandoning the topic can be bad. I find it best when negative teams engage with the affirmative in addition to justifying why they should defend the topic. I have both voted for and against teams on framework as well. You really just need to win the argument.
If you can do the above well, you will probably receive good speaker points from me. I tend to believe speaker points are arbitrary and tend to awards speaker points on the higher side. That being said, I reserve the right to punish teams for egregious behavior by deducting speaks.
Be organized and sign post. Donâ??t assume you want me to apply arguments in specific places without being told to. I have pretty apparent nonverbals and you can usually tell if I think your argument is bad. You should probably use that to your advantage and move on. Read plan texts, advocacies, interpretations, counterinterps, role of the ballots, etc. twice and give a copy to your opponents if they want one. I prefer policy debate over value debate and think you can discuss the same arguments in a policy round more effectively. Overall, I think you should have fun with the debate and make it fun for everyone. I am open to answering questions to clarify anything or regarding specifics that may relate to your round.
As flex time has been introduced, I am not particularly receptive to you asking for a copy of every interp, plan, ROB, etc. during speeches. This also means that you don't get to wait to start your flex until you get copies of whatever you want a copy of. Your flex starts immediately after the previous speech. I also don't think it is a particularly strong theoretical argument to claim that you should be handed these texts during the speech. This is parli not policy and you should be flowing these things. That is not to say I will not vote on theory that claims you should be granted these luxuries, but I believe making case arguments are a much better use of your time.
I also don't really believe in RVIs especially on theory.
Caitlin Smith -- University of Minnesota
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.
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.
Grant Tovmasian -- Rio Hondo Community College
The most important criteria for me is fairness. I will avoid interceding on any one's behalf up to a point. Please remember that although I approach the round as impartial as I can, that does not negate the truth, I still am aware which country I live in and who is the president and killing puppies is wrong (also kicking them, and just violence in general, I frown upon)
I expect all debaters to remain cordial and professional throughout the round. The decorum is important so as not to isolate or offend any student. Debate albeit adversarial in nature should be based on arguments and not a personal attack and as such, each student should perceive this as a safe place to express ideas and arguments. I prefer good on case argumentation over near useless procedural that are simply run in order to avoid on case thorough analysis. As such I am a believer that presentation and sound argumentation is critical towards establishing one's position. DA vs Advantages. CP vs Plan are all sound strategies and I hope students will use them.Ã? Ã? If you are running a CP please make sure to explain its status, especially if you are to claim dispositional (EXPLAIN) If permutation can happen in the real world it can happen in a debate round. Please call Points of Order and 95% of the time I will respond with (point well taken, point not well taken) That aside, I am open to any line of argumentation as long as it is complete. Example: I will not do your work for you, no link no argument, no impact no argument, no warrant NO ARGUMENT PERIOD.
I firmly believe that speed kills, as such the first team that uses it as an offensive or defensive tactic will get a loss in that round. Critics, i.e. K are to be run only when one or the other side believes that it is more important than whatever else is happening and is directly connected to either the actions of the other team or resolution in it of itself. As such, they should be willing to commit to it wholeheartedly and most important at the top of everything. For example, if you truly believe that the other team is promoting cultural genocide, seriously do not speak to me about agricultural benefits or disadvantages of the plan first, because then I think you cheapen both the critique and your whole line of argumentation.
I want to hear fun, constructive and polite debates.
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.
Kelly Hutchison -- University of the PacificRead what ever you want, I am willing to listen to any argument, critical or topical affs. I like framework arguments, but make sure that they have impacts and flush them out. I wonÃ?Â¢??t do extra work for you, that means you need to make extensions. Please make sure that you have evidence to back up your claims, and then give analysis. Debates without evidence are boring and not as educational.
Kelly Burns -- Texas Tech University
Lance Allen -- McKendree University
I competed for Mckendree for 4 years and have been coaching since 2013. I try to open about most any arguments that are placed in front of me. I am pretty good with speed, but clarity is important, because Im not as good as I used to be. I will say clear or speed if Im not getting enough. I am open to most any critical arguments; I just need it to be explained and impacted effectively. I am open to performance based args as well, again impacts are important and should be obvious to me and to opponents.
When it comes to topicality, I do not require in round abuse, but it helps. Competing interps is the best way get ahead as an Aff. You should be able to explain why your interp was best.
CP: I generally think pic are bad, but Im ready to hear that debate in round. And, in some specific cases a PIC can be warranted. Any type of competition is acceptable to me in CP.
I usually start evaluating a round on the procedural items and then make my way to case. I think that DA come last because even if I win 100% solvency of the AFF there is a chance I link to the DA or K. If I link, then I evaluate the off-case impacts. To be clear, I should never have to make the choice about where I need to go to evaluate. Debaters should be framing their offense for the judge.
I think that in most cases the easiest thing to default to is terminal impacts. I tend to weigh them first. Systemic impacts are next. Again, I feel uncomfortable making the choice as to what come first, I really want the debate to tell me what needs to be weighed and why.
Make the rounds as clear as possible for me. An arg you know best and can explain best to me is you best route to my ballot.
Li-Ren Chang -- El Camino CollegeImportant stuff:
Mackenzie Marquess -- University of Texas at Tyler
Margaret Rockey -- Western Washington University
Maria DeMarco -- McKendree University
Read bolded portions if youÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??re in a hurry!
Maria Judith DeMarco
B.A., Communication Studies
Texas Tech University '19
I debated on the NPTE/NPDA circuit for 4 years. During 2 of those years I also competed in IEs. My former coaches, including Adam Testerman, Joe Provencher, Kaitlyn Johnson, David Hansen, Jackson DeVight, and other members of the current TTU coaching staff inform the majority of my views about debate. If you have any additional questions about my background, where IÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??m at now, or anything else regarding my judging philosophy, please feel free to ask at tournaments or add & message me on Facebook.
I love good debates! <3 That is all. I do not enjoy being in the back of rounds when debaters are clearly unprepared, disinterested, or otherwise demonstrate a lack of engagement; there are too many individuals who make enormous sacrifices for students to not reciprocate by investing all they can. This is not to say that you should not prioritize having fun or that things must be serious, but it is always better to watch a round in which everyone is committed to doing the best they can. This also extends to my personal role as a critic. I care about the rounds I watch and will not be a judge who carelessly makes a decision.
I do not prefer one type of debate over another, and do not have any favorite arguments. Though I read the K, performances, and other identity arguments for the better part of 3 years, I read straight up policy arguments for most of my senior year and fell in love with that strategy.
Feel free to read literally anything & please do not make assumptions about what debates I like to see Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â
I have read a wide variety of arguments from afrofuturism to feminist rap, and I love hearing unique positions. If you donÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t talk about the topic, great (although specific topical links are preferred). If you talk about the topic, also great. I do not necessarily require specific links to the resolution if you are reading a Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??projectÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â or other argument about the debate space rather than the topic.
However, perhaps my strongest opinion at the moment is thatÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â This refers to theory that (and IÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??m being generous) is overly Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??nuancedÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â to be meaningful. I will reluctantly vote on these arguments if you decisively win them, but will be less receptive and have a higher threshold if you go for 3 sheets of theory in the block without collapsing, or read a canned/irrelevant Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??specify your ethicsÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â argument when it is a very, very thinly-veiled time suck. Unless there are legitimate violations or these arguments are clearly applicable, there are almost always more strategic and pedagogically productive interpretations that have the same utility. To quote the wonderful David Worth, Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??I am tired of debates that are mostly logic puzzles.Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â I have taken the LSAT and can assure you I do not need further practice with it.
- multiple sheets of theory which are not collapsed in the MO
- ethics/philosophy SPEC
- any CP theory that is not conditionality
- PMR theory
That being said, I do not have predispositions to viewing a theory debate any other way than how you tell me to evaluate it. I do think that most arguments function through competing interpretations; for example, reasonability is often just another way to interpret the rest of the debate that follows.Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â to avoid confusion and intervention.
I donÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t always feel the most comfortable in evaluating politics disads. Though I frequently read ptx, it took me longer than normal to fully understand how the politics scenario would break down. If you choose to read politics, it would be best to slow down slightly on the links. Also, tenuous links are a no-go. If you are creating several internal links that are only tenuous, I will have a hard time finding a way to vote for you because itÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s unclear whether you even garner an impact.
Please ensure that you know what your K does, and that you are able to articulate that clearly. ItÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s fine to be more ambiguous in the beginning, but by the end of the round,Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â to solve the main points of clash in the debate. If you are going for proximal impacts and your solvency mechanism is predicated on your K doing something in this particular room and round, you need to win why those impacts are more important than other impact calculus like timeframe/magnitude/probability/severity.
More importantly,Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â . For example, do not go for proximal in-round impacts if youÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??re reading a K that claims to solve capitalism. This does not apply if you clearly explain that in-round solvency is a prerequisite or has inroads to solving other impacts in the future. However, doing that type of analysis requires warrants (not assertions) that it might lead to something later. For example, a Cap K with dialectical materialism or similar solvency for gaining class consciousness within a certain round also needs to explain how a few people gaining consciousness could realistically translate into solving capitalism writ large.
A note on answering Ks:
Always read a perm! There is rarely a reason not to and I will be sad if you are decisively winning the rest of the debate but lose because you did not perm.
I intend to write RFDs that minimize personal biases, thoughÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â I have participated in too many rounds where teams read Nietzche, Buddhism, or similar Ks and thought it appropriate to inform me that sexual violence and abuse was inevitable and ought to be embraced. Not only are these arguments often traumatic to hear, but are also gross mischaracterizations of actual philosophy, so if you do not fully understand said philosophy then avoid debating it altogether. Weaponizing nonsense like this for the sake of a ballot is just not the move, and if you find yourself resorting to verbal violence to get a W, it demonstrates not only a general lack of care but also a lack of skill. However, do not take this as an open invitation to pretend that violence is happening in an attempt to win by saying to prefer "tech over truth" if nothing offensive has truly happened.Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â
I try to stick to the most commonly used speaker point breakdown. A below average debate will be around 26, average will be around 27-28, and above average will be around 29. 30s are reserved for speeches that I thought were near-perfect. If you have questions about an RFD or how you might improve speaker points in another debate in front of me, please ask for more feedback.
Do not be afraid to use speed if you are clear. Over the past two years IÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??ve been partners, and had practice rounds, with some of the fastest debaters in the nation, so if you can read a 4-off LOC then go for it. However,Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â
Make sure you clearly signpost. Beyond that, I will be on board for wherever you take the debate.
I was a double leader for almost my whole career.Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â , and would prefer a few turns that are related to your off-case position(s), but are combined with more turns that garner external offense. I am willing to listen to an LOC that is straight case but have rarely seen it done well.
If you feel the need for me to flow them separately, it should be because the debate was particularly messy or if it is the only way you have learned to give the speech.
The PMR and LOR were my favorite speeches; I love impact calculus and it is an absolute necessity to compare and weigh your impacts against your opponentÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s impacts throughout the speech. I do not prefer certain impacts over others, but I do need clear reasons why your impact is more important; i.e. magnitude does not matter in a world where the impact is improbable. I also need a clear thesis and overview at the beginning of your speech that is at least one sentence explaining why you win. It is okay (and sometimes necessary) to give a speech that answers back line-by-line arguments in the block, but I would prefer if you group arguments or simply tell me what the most important issues are in the debate because it is generally more efficient. You can also provide a brief explanation about why you are not answering a certain argument with a line that says something like Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??the most important argument on this sheet of paper is X Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?? the others do not have terminalized impacts.Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â
Warrant comparison in rebuttals is a great way to boost your speaker points. It is crucial that I know why your warrant is a better indicator of an impact than the opponentÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s, especially if you are going for the same impact. For example, a round where both teams are going for an Econ impact but disagree on whether consumer confidence or investor confidence is key to the economy needs to articulate why their metric is preferable. Please also make sure you do not mix up your warrants by changing what argument they correspond to from speech to speech.
As someone with minimal debate experience prior to joining college parli, I am unsympathetic to the notion that the NPDA format is wholly inaccessible to people who do not have a debate background/did not come from policy. That being said, I am 100% understanding of the substantial learning curve when it comes to Parli, especially for teams with limited resources/coaching/travel opportunities/etc.Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â
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.
Max Groznik -- McKendree University
Nadia Steck -- Lewis & Clark College
Nora (Justin) Fausz -- McKendree University
Paul Villa -- University of the Pacific
Rodney McBride -- McKendree University
I debated for McKendree from 2013-2016, qualifying for NPTE in my last two years of competition.
If I have to, I will roll my eyes, sigh, shrug, and vote for your critical Aff, but please dont lie to me about it. Make coherent arguments. Dont make me make arguments for you, I make weird arguments. I dont care about the inherency of the transparency of your jargony bargaining. Say smart things, not purposefully confusing things. I am not bothered by your speed, but be polite. Win your argument.
Ryan Corso-Gonzales -- McKendree University
I competed on the competitive circuit in Parliamentary debate for 5 years, from 2014-2019. I began my competitive career at Moorpark Community College. I was a two time state champion in California, and one time National Champion at Phi Rho Pi. From there I competed my last three years at Concordia University Irvine. I broke at the NPDA all three years at Concordia. My senior year, my partner Benji and I, took 6th at the NPDA and 4th at the NPTE national championships. I am now a student at the University of Louisville, I'm getting my masters in Communication, my studies focus heavily on Marxism, Neoliberalism, The Public Sphere, and Networking.
I like to think that I understand debate fairly well, and I consider myself a very flow centric judge. Debate is a game, you can run what you want and do what you want in front of me. I'm open to almost all arguments, (No pro racist, homophobic, fascists args, etc) just be prepared to justify your actions, and tell me where to vote (This is what the rebuttals are for). I ran policy args, just as much as I ran Kritiks, however I probably read theory the most. I think people on the circuit would have referred to me as a K debater, yet I wouldn't have.
Winning in front of me is simple, provide an ample framework, clear links and terminal impacts. Win the flow, and collapse to the argument you believe is the clearest and most compelling path to vote on. I love learning new things (Policy, Kritiks and even theory) so you can feel free to use me as a test for a new kritik or position, I'm not affiliated with any school atm, and I just want to experience debates where people talk about what they want to talk about.
I default to policy making good framework, if both teams accept this then great, however, this doesn't mean critical arguments don't operate within that framework. Policy debates should consist of advantages and disadvantages. I prefer the Uniqueness, Link, Internal Link, Impact structure, because I believe it provides the clearest format for debate. I am very familiar with other structures for policy debates as well. Value and Fact rounds do exist and provide unique educational and fairness aspects to them (this probably has to do with my CC background).
Theory is the most important aspect to debate in my view. A good theory consist of a clear interp, and an unique violation that explains the operative nature of that interp. Standards, are not tag lines, this is the substantial aspect of theory. There is a very good lecture on NPTE 14 (youtube) about how standards consist of Links, Internal links and Impacts. Fairness and Education are the only two competitive impacts that I have heard in regards to theory. Do not just read tag lines on in theory debates, I will not fill in arguments for you. Each round is specific and this should be clear in your reading or responding to theoretical positions.
You need a CLEAR link to the AFF, or the topic, for me to even consider voting for you! I will not do the work for you filing in your links. Make sure you have specific warrants and nuance in your links to explain how it uniquely works in this specific round. You do not get to win just because you read a Kritik, you need adequate links in order to win, and an alternative or advocacy that resolves the impacts identified. (This means I'm more then willing to not vote on a kritik that has adequate forms of terminal defense against it. If I believe there isn't an adequate explanation of a link I will not vote on the K.)
If you believe your kritik is complicated, please have a thesis portion! I am a firm believer in providing a thesis for kritiks. Almost all the kritiks I wrote had an in-depth thesis. I enjoy complicated kritiks, and at the end of my career I even began to utilize Kritiks without frameworks, so I understand how a well written kritik has the potential to operate in that manner.
Kritiks are a great method to layering the debate, it doesn't mean that all other impacts are invalid just that new framework arguments are needed to balance or relayer the debate. Please make sure your impacts are terminal and do impact comparison and make sequencing arguments in the rebuttals, even if you believe that you have out framed your opponents.
Here's a list of Kritiks that I read while I competed to give you an idea of what I'm familiar with. Off the top of my head Neoliberalism, Anarchy, Marx, Whiteness, Satire, Absurdism, Deleuze and Guattari, Fragility, Existentialism, Set Col, Feminism, Cyborg Fem, Ecocide, Nietzsche, Reps and Rhetoric. (This doesn't mean read these Ks in front of me, I am much more open to the idea of voting down a bad K shell, then I am picking up a bad K because it's relatable.)
I am not a fan of the speaker point system, I view it as a method to reward good arguments and strategies. An easy way to think about this is in regards to Ethos, Pathos and Logos. I value Ethos and Logos far greater than Pathos. While all are essential to argument making, I don't find pathos as compelling in the debate setting. I give speaker points based on the idea "Who ever did the best debating".
Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â but if you can win it, i guess go for it, but good luck.Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â
, they are illegitimate arguments and I will dock speaker points if you read them in front of me!
*Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â You will not pick up a ballot from me be reading this, it is an internal link to Fairness and Education. If you decide to collapse to a theory shell with this as your only impact, you can just assume you already lost the round.
*Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â this is defense at best. Attempting to turn a defensive argument into an offensive position is not how you win that argument. This falls into the category of relabeling arguments in manners that they do not function. I believe this is bad for debate and creates "improper" forms of education which only harms the event.
I feel that debate is first an educational event, I do feel that it's appropriate to fact check people in round if I believe they are lying, or just factually incorrect.
Therefore, I do not believe that debate is a space for you to impose or weaponize certain religions or religious, or other non-falsifiable content. For instance, I do not feel educated enough on these matters and or comfortable being put into a spot affirming or disaffirming your faith in a certain religion. I think it's also probably disingenuous to weaponize a religion that you do not believe in within the debate space.
I don't know what these kritiks are being labeled these days, but I do not feel that it is my job to determine in round who is or isn't a good person (especially at a national tournament). This doesn't mean I won't vote on kritiks that call out bad rhetoric or whatever that occurred in round, cause I will. Being able to witness the link occur is a lot more of a viable link argument in my opinion then one team claiming things happened outside of the round, or in the past. If have no way to validate an argument I therefore won't feel comfortable voting on something. Please don't expect me to already "know" (I'm removed from the debate community for the most part), also please don't attempt to prove something occurred to me. Also, I feel very compelled by apologies as a method to resolve the kritik, for in most instances I've seen this run I think? I know this is probably a controversial opinion and that's ok with me, if these kritiks are viable and important strategies to you as a debater I think you're better off striking me. Sorry...
I am a year removed from debate, I do not watch debate rounds frequently and very rarely engage in conversations about debate. I'm sure not as strong at flowing or keeping up with speed as I used to be. Please keep that in mind when debating in front of me.
I will do my best to weigh the round in the manner I think is most fair in regards to how you present them. I will try my best to vote for the team I think won... I guess that's all I can do.
If you think my decision is wrong please feel free to talk to me about it. I won't hold grudges for people defending positions they had in rounds. Debate is a very passionate event, I was a very passionate debater, and I think that's a beautiful aspect about debate! That being said there is a difference between being a passionate debater and a jerk in round, I don't think you should belittle your opponents in debate, but you can question me. It is my job to vote for the team I think won, and I believe it is part of a judges job to defend and explain their decision in the instance that occurs.
Good Luck, Have Fun! DEBATE IS A GAME! ENJOY THE RIDE, PLAY IT HOWEVER YOU WANT!
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.
Sarah DeBruyckere -- McKendree University
Section 1: General Information
Please begin by explaining what you think is the relevant information about your approach to judging that will best assist the debaters you are judge debate in front of you. Please be specific and clear. Judges who write philosophies that are not clear will be asked to rewrite them. Judges who do not rewrite them may be fined or not allowed to judge/cover teams at the NPTE.
I did parli debate for 4 years at McKendree University (2010-2014). I qualified for NPTE my last two years, but only competed one of those years. I debated at NPDA all four years. Keep in mind that IÃ??Ã?Â¢??ve been out for a few years, but have been a volunteer coach for McK on and off since graduating.
I was never super into the K debate as a debater, but that doesnÃ??Ã?Â¢??t mean I donÃ??Ã?Â¢??t enjoy a good K debate. DonÃ??Ã?Â¢??t let my personal preferences as a competitor halt you from doing your thing, just please slow down and articulate more because IÃ??Ã?Â¢??m not as familiar with the litbase unless itÃ??Ã?Â¢??s Cap
IÃ??Ã?Â¢??m fine with speed, but it needs to be clear. I'm fine with conditionality and it would be hard to win a round on condo bad, but not unattainable. Not a big fan of generic politics unless it actually has solid links.
Section 2: Specific Inquiries Ã??Ã?Â
Please describe your approach to the following.
1.Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Speaker points (what is your typical speaker point range or average speaker points given)?
My range is probably 26-29, with most people getting 27-28.5
2.Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â How do you approach critically framed arguments? Can affirmatives run critical arguments? Can critical arguments be Ã??Ã?Â¢??contradictoryÃ??Ã?Â¢?Ã??Ã?Â with other negative positions?
You can run whatever you want, but I do think your strategy should be cohesive (IE your CP, K, and disad should all be in the same direction). IÃ??Ã?Â¢??m not saying if you run contradictory arguments youÃ??Ã?Â¢??re going to lose, but I will grant the other team more leniency in the round in those instances.
3.Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Performance based argumentsÃ??Ã?Â¢?Ã??Ã?Â¦
Again, you can run what you want. IÃ??Ã?Â¢??m likely not going to understand as much so please explain the position more clearly and donÃ??Ã?Â¢??t assume I know any of the litbase.
4.Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Topicality. What do you require to vote on topicality? Is in-round abuse necessary? Do you require competing interpretations?
I try not to intervene but I think in-round abuse is good to win T.
5.Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Counterplans -- PICs good or bad? Should opp identify the status of the counterplan? Perms -- textual competition ok? functional competition?
You should be able to run what you want. I think if the other team asks you should identify the status but you donÃ??Ã?Â¢??t have to offer that info off the bat. I will listen to theory shells on CP and let you decide where the debate should go.
6.Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Is it acceptable for teams to share their flowed arguments with each other during the round (not just their plans)
I think if all teams are ok with sharing flowed arguments itÃ??Ã?Â¢??s fine. IÃ??Ã?Â¢??m not trying to stop you from having a comfortable debate, as long as all parties are cool with it.
7.Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â In the absence of debaters' clearly won arguments to the contrary, what is the order of evaluation that you will use in coming to a decision (e.g. do procedural issues like topicality precede kritiks which in turn precede cost-benefit analysis of advantages/disadvantages, or do you use some other ordering?)?
This is hard, and likely just depends on how the debate plays out. I am always going to try and find the easiest route to the ballot. Which means if there are a lot of concessions or IÃ??Ã?Â¢??m not told specifically where to vote first, I am going to look at my flow and find an easy way to the ballot. This could be on any position, and largely depends on how the debate played out.
8.Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â Ã??Ã?Â How do you weight arguments when they are not explicitly weighed by the debaters or when weighting claims are diametrically opposed? How do you compare abstract impacts (i.e. "dehumanization") against concrete impacts (i.e. "one million deaths")?
Ã??Ã?ÂIf IÃ??Ã?Â¢??m not specifically told that dehumanization means more than death, or vice versa, I will likely look at the easiest way to avoid either impact on the flow. ItÃ??Ã?Â¢??s really hard to say without being in the debate. IÃ??Ã?Â¢??d like to say IÃ??Ã?Â¢??m more likely to vote on immediate or large/permanent impacts (such as a million deaths) but thatÃ??Ã?Â¢??s not to say thatÃ??Ã?Â¢??s how IÃ??Ã?Â¢??d always evaluate. If a debate is messy, you might not like the outcome.
Sean McKean -- McKendree University
Experience: 4 years policy debate at Tualatin High School, 4 years NPDA/NPTE experience at the University of Oregon. 3 years high school coaching experience at Thurston High School. Current NPDA/NPTE coach at Oregon.
Quick in prep version: In general I am down with just about anything, however I would much rather hear a good disad than some only tag lines and a bad alternative kritik. Theory was my jam when I was debating, so if you want to read it go ahead, however, IÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??m not going to vote for you just because you read it, while my threshold is probably lower than most judges I like to pretend IÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??m not a hackÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â .
Longer (probably unnecessary) version
My ideal debate is a strategic topical aff v some CPs and a DA or a topic K. That being said, I tend to be down with anything you want to read in front of me, I believe that it is my job to adapt to you and the arguments you want to read not your job to adapt to me. I am not going to tell you what to or not to read in front of me or reject your arguments on face. I tend to prefer more technical debates where you explain to me how all of the relevant arguments interact at the end of the round over just extending them and making me try to figure it out myself at the end. I want to be able to write my RFD at the end of the round by sticking as much as possible to the flow without having to insert my own analysis, this means I want you to write my RFD for me, tell me why I should vote a particular way at the end of the round.
Impact framing is a lost art, itÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s not helpful to just inform me that both teams do, in fact, have impacts. I want to hear how I should evaluate those impacts against each other, ie. Do I care more about fairness or education on the theory flow, is timeframe or magnitude more important, can I even evaluate arguments rooted in some kind of epistemology?
More specific stuff:
Theory/ TÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â : I read a lot of theory when I was debating so I am pretty much able to follow what is going on in complex theory debates, although I would prefer that you slow down a bit when spreading theory since it is more condensed and harder to flow. I evaluate theory just like any other argument, which means I am probably more likley to vote on it than most judges if you go for it correctly. In order to win theory in front of me you are going to need to impact it out and explain what it means for the round. (IE just because they dropped your Consult CP's are illegit argument doesn't mean you insta-win if you don't give me some reason why that theory argument results in a ballot, not just me dropping the CP). I find myself voting a lot this year on teams forgetting to read a counter interp. If I am judging in a competing interps paradigm, which is usually how these things shake out, and there is not either an interp or a counter-interp that you meet I will vote against you regardless of the rest of the flow, as there is not an interp for me to stick your offense to. I think that this is a pretty common way of evaluating theory but I feel it is worth flagging explicitly in my philosophy given that I find myself voting on this a lot.
FrameworkÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â : Framework was my go-to when debating the K aff. That doesnÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t mean that you necessarily shouldnÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t or canÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t read a K aff in front of me, just be aware than IÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??m not going to be one of those judges that just ignores the argument for some vague political reason.
K affsÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â : I would prefer that if you are going to read an aff that isnÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t topical that you have some good justification for doing so, I am not really interested in your Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??I read a cool book and here is my book reportÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â project.
KsÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â : I am down with the K, however there are some recent trends in the kritik that I feel need some addressing here. First, Marx was my bread and butter and I am fairly deep in that literature, but outside of that and maybe Heidegger you should not assume that I am incredibly well read in your lit base. That doesnÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t mean that you canÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t read your K in front of me, it just means that you are going to need to do some more explaining. Second, there has been a tendency of KÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s becoming just a list of tag lines, that then get extended as arguments later in the debate. If your K sounds like this I am probably going to give the other team a lot more leeway in reading new arguments when your K finally becomes something in the block.
CP/ DAÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â : Ayyyyyyyyy
Serena Fitzgerald -- Oregonn/a
Steven Farias -- University of the Pacific
PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE SPECIFIC PHILOSOPHY
Updates: My threshold to vote on theory has decreased. Proven abuse is not a necessity on T, though it is preferred. Also, my thoughts on role of the ballot has changed under my section for K's.
TLDR Version: I am okay with whatever you choose to read in the debate, I care more about your justifications and what you as the debaters decide in round; however, theory I generally have a high threshold for voting on theory except CONDO Bad, in which case the threshold is lower. CPs/Alts are generally good ideas because I believe affirmatives usually solve harms in the world and permutations are not advocacies. Finally, pet peeve but I rule on points of order when I can. I generally think it is educational and important for the LOR/PMR strategy to know if I think an argument is new or not. I protect the block as well, but if you call a point of order I will always have an answer (not well taken/well taken/under consideration) so please do not just call it and then agree its automatically under consideration.
Section 1: General Information-
While I thoroughly enjoy in-depth critical and/or hegemony debates, ultimately, the arguments you want to make are the arguments I expect you to defend and WEIGH. I often find myself less compelled by nuclear war these days when the topic is about education, a singular SCOTUS decision, immigration, etc. BE RESOURCEFUL WITH YOUR IMPACTS- ethnic conflict, mass exodus, refugee camps, poverty, and many more things could all occur as a result of/in a world without the plan. I think debaters would be much better served trying to win my ballot with topically intuitive impact scenarios rather than racing to nuclear war, ESPECIALLY IF PROBABILITY MEANS ANYTHING BESIDES A DROPPED, BLIPPED INTERNAL LINK which I think it does.
I do my best to keep up with the debate and flow every argument. However, I also will not stress if your 5 uniqueness blips dont ALL get on my flow. I am unafraid to miss them and just say I didnt get that. So please do your best to use words like because followed by a strong logical basis for your claim and I will do my best to follow every argument. Also, if you stress your tag I will be able to follow your warrants more too.
Section 2: Specific Arguments
K debate- I do not mind critical affirmatives but be prepared to defend topicality with more than just generic links back to the K. Moreover, I feel that this can even be avoided if the affirmative team simply frames the critical arguments they are going to make while still offering, at the very least, the resolution as a policy text for the opposition. On the negatiave, I think that Ks without alternatives are just non-unique disads. I think that reject and embrace are not alternatives in and of themselves, I must reject or embrace something and then you must explain how that solves.Â
NEW:Â In terms of ballot claims, I do not believe the ballot has any role other than to determine a winner and a loser. I would rather be provied a role that I should perform as the adjudicator and a method for performing that role. This should also jive with your framework arguments. Whoever wins a discussion of my role in the debate and how should perform that role will be ahead on Framework. For performance based arguments, please explain to me how to evaluate the performance and how I should vote and what voting for it means or I am likely to intervene in a way you are unhappy with. Also, please do not make myself or your competitors uncomfortable. If they ask you to stop your position because it emotionally disturbs them, please listen. I am not unabashed to vote against you if you do not. I believe you should be able to run your argument, but not at the expense of others engagement with the activity. I will consider your narrative or performance actually read even if you stop or at the least shorten and synthesize it. Finally, I also consider all speech acts as performative so please justify this SPECIFIC performance.
Topicality/Theory- I believe T is about definitions and not interpretations, but not everybody feels the same way. This means that all topicality is competeing definitions and a question of abuse in my book. Not either or. As a result, while I have a hard time voting against an aff who was not abusive, if the negative has a better definition that would operate better in terms of ground or limits, then I will vote on T. To win, I also think you must either pick theory OR the case debate. If you go for both your topicality and your K/DA/CP I will probably not vote on either. Caveat- I think that negative teams should remember that a contextual definition IS A DEFINITION and I consider multiple, contradictory definitions from an affirmative abusive (so make Aff doesnt meet its own interp arguments).
In terms of other theory, I evaluate theory based on interpretations and I think more specific and precise interpretations are better. Contextualized interpretations to parli are best. I also think theory is generally just a good strategic idea. However, I will only do what you tell me to do: i.e.- reject the argument v. reject the team. I also do not vote for theory immediately even if your position (read: multiple conditional advocacies, a conditional advocacy, usage of the f-word) is a position I generally agree with. You will have to go for the argument, answer the other teams responses, and outweigh their theoretical justifications by prioritizing the arguments. Yes, I have a lower threshold on conditionality than most other judges, but I do not reject you just because you are conditional. The other team must do the things above to win my ballot on theory.
Counterplans- CPs are the best strategy, IMHO, for any neg team (or at least some alternative advocacy). It is the best way to force an affirmative to defend their case. PICs, Consult, Conditions, etc. whatever you want to run I am okay with. I do not think that We Bite Less is a compelling argument, just do not link to your own disad. In terms of perms, if you do not in the end prove that the Perm is preferential to the plan or cp, then I will simply view it as an argument not used. This means if you go for the perm in the PMR, it must be as a reason the CP should be rejected as an offensive voting position in the context of a disad that does not link to the CP. Finally, CP perms are not advocacies- it is merely to demonstrate the ability for both plans to happen at the same time, and then the government team should offer reasons the perm would resolve the disads or be better than the CP uniquely. K perms can be advocacies, particularly if the Alt. is a floating PIC, but it needs to be explained, with a text, how the permutation solves the residual links.
Evaluating rounds- I evaluate rounds as a PMR. That means to me that I first look to see if the affirmative has lost a position that should lose them the round (Ts and Specs). Then I look for counter advocacies and weigh competing advocacies (Ks and Alts or CPs and Disads). Finally, I look to see if the affirmative has won their case and if the impacts of the case outweigh the off case. If you are really asking how I weigh after the explanation in the general information, then you more than likely have a specific impact calculus you want to know how I would consider. Feel free to ask me direct questions before the round or at any other time during the tournament. I do not mind clarifying. Also, if you want to email me, feel free (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.
Zach Schneider -- McKendree UniversityHi! IÃ?????????Ã????????Ã???????Ã??????Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??m Zach. I debated for 5 years of NPDA/NPTE parli (4 at Cedarville University and 1 at SIU) and this is my 5th year coaching/judging.
lila lavender -- Saint Mary's College
UPDATE: shit has been really rough lately, so I am asking a few things of the competitors I'll be judging this weekend. A). Please dont read any detailed descriptions of male violence, theoretical (w warrants ofc) is fine. B). Dont read anything about suicide or self harm, nothing at all. C). When you start your speech start loud and 2/3rds of your max spread, after 30 secs or so you can ramp up to max.
I'll drop you for violating A) & B), and wont be too thrilled (but wont drop you ofc) if you dont adhere to C).
"To speak of desire in its multiplicities: the survival and breathing and possibility of transfeminine desire amid and beyond our social and material conditionsÃ?Â¢??of austerity, racism, xenophobia, transphobia and transmisogyny, ableism, whorephobia. How can we connect these conditions that undergird the negative affects of transfeminine life to ground a politicized understanding of our brokenness?"
-Nat Raha, "Transfeminine Brokenness, Radical Transfeminism"
Hey yall!!! I'm lila (pronouns she, her and they, them) and I debated for roughly 7 years!! I did LD for 4 years in high school, competing in the national circuit for both my junior and senior year, qualifying and debating at the TOC my senior year. I finished my competitive debate career after doing 3 years of NPDA Parli at Western Washington University. My freshman year I qualified and got 14th at NPTE nationals. My sophomore year my partner (Serena Fitzgerald) and I cleared to finals in 50% of the total tournaments we participated in, winning Lewis and Clark, Berkeley, and the Point Loma Round Robin; netting us 5th place overall in the country. We placed 8th at the NPTE nationals tournament. For the first half of my Junior year season I debated with Cameron Allen, getting 2nd at all 4 of the tournaments we attended. For the latter half of the year, Jessica Jung and I decided to hybrid together for the remainder of the year and our debate careers as an act of trans woman rage/joy. We won all 3 pre-nationals tournaments we attended and despite being barred from competing at the NPTE, got 3rd at the National Round Robin and won the NPDA nationals tournament. That said, I find myself caring less and less about the competitively technical parts of debate and more so about the survival and revolutionary potential the space has. Due to that fact, if you want to use our round as a place to disrupt the normativity of debate (in whatever way you see fit) I would absolutely love to help facilitate that and be a body present for such disruption!! :) currently associated with Impact Debate!!!!
Tldr: Go as fast as you want, ill be able to flow it. Most people would probably label me as a K hack, so do what you will with that information. That being said though, I don't really care what you do, unless it is overtly oppressive, if you win whatever position you are reading I will vote for it. I have no inherent predilections to what debate should be, or how specific 'rules' of debate ought function (barring those that are violent). It's your job to tell me how to evaluate that, so please do it. Oh also I won't kick arguments for you, if you don't know how to collapse your a bad debater.
Note 1: If you misgender me, your competitors, or anyone else within the space during the time at which i am judging and don't correct yourself or continue to do so I will auto drop you. This extends to any sort of transphobic and/or transmisogynistic violence; I am done with having to put up with that shit and ill use my temporary power as a judge to create an incentive for students to stop doing so. I say this not because transphobic violence is an exceptional form of violence among other despotic assemblages, cause I will surely auto drop you for being reactionarily violent in other ways, but rather because debate seems libidinally attached to transphobia in a way that is very specific, and given my subject location, very violent towards myself. In that sense, I find it important to highlight. This may seem harsh, and thats cause it is, it should be. If you have any complaints or are butthurt about this I refer to you Sara Ahmed "the transfeminist killjoy...is without doubt a violent figure: to point out harassment is to be viewed as the harasser; to point out oppression is to be viewed as oppressive. Part of the work of the killjoy is to keep pointing out violence. In making these points, killjoys are treated as people who originate violence. This is the hard work of killjoys. They are up against it! Transfeminist killjoys expose hammering as a system of violence directed against trans people, including from some of those who identify as radical feminists. Some of the hammering might seem on the surface quite mild because it appears as an instance: a joke here, a joke there. And jokiness allows a constant trivializing: as if by joking someone is suspending judgment on what is being said. She didnÃ?Â¢??t mean anything by it; lighten up. A killjoy knows from experience: when people keep making light of something, something heavy is going on. Something heavy is going on. Many of these instances might be justified as banter or humorous (the kind of violent humor that feminists should be familiar with because feminists are often at the receiving end). So much of this material makes trans women in particular the butt of a joke. Following Julia Serano, I would describe much of this material as trans misogyny: what is evoked is the figure of the hyper-feminine trans woman as a monstrous parody of an already monstrous femininity."
Note 2: While it is true that I was quite a fast debater, this does not mean that if you are slower and/or more lay that I don't want to judge you. I think that lay debate can be just as good as hyper technical/fast debate, as long as it constantly works to break out of the violence it is necessarily predicated on, and in that sense, I would love to judge good lay debate. When I say do whatever you think will best help you win the round, that means do whatever you want, not just within the realms of going fast. Most importantly though, if you slow and/or clear your opponents (if they are going too fast or are being needlessly unclear) and they do not adapt to meet those demands, then I absolutely will tank their speaks and give you a lot of leeway in answering their arguments even if they are technically conceded. We as a debaters have an obligation to extend mutual aid to our comrades, and that means adapting our styles to make them accessible to anyone who we may debate!!
Obviously everything below applies to Parli as well, so please read it. If you ask my what my paradigm is in the round instead of reading it on tabroom I am going to be a little grumpy. That said, please do not hesitate to ask any specific questions or confusions about something in my paradigm because I am more then happy to help with that!!
Policy Affs: Despite my love for the K, I think a strategic and well written policy aff make for some of the best debates possible. I have no preferences on how policy affs should be formatted but I think it is always a good idea, especially since having me as a judge means the neg will probs run a K, to have a framework on the top, or bottom, of the 1AC that justifies policymaking in some manner. Other then that, do whatever you want but please for all of our sakes make sure your ADV's have uniqueness, links, and impacts.
K Affs: K Affs, 'performative' or not, are amazing. I put 'performative' in scare quotes not because I don't like those positions that have been signified as performances within debate, in fact quite the opposite, but rather to indicate that all of debate is a performance and to parse out radical mircopolitical revolutions within debate as exclusively 'performative' seems silly to me. That said, if you want to read these types of arguments in front of me, please please please do. Once again I do not really care about the content of K affs but I am most familiar with original and contemporary deleuzoguattarian lit, postmodernism writ large, antiblackness, colonalism and settler colonalism, trans and queer theory, anti-capitalism, and lesbian/trans feminism. I hate Lacanian psychoanalysis, and most psychoanalysis writ large, and think its fundamentally irredeemable. That being said, just because that is true does not mean I won't vote on it, it just wont make for a round that I am very happy to be judging in. Mentioning those areas of critical theory that I am most familiar with is not to say that those are the only ones I will listen to/vote for. Rather, I mention them because if you read them in front of me I will most likely know more about them then you do, and because of that, it heightens my threshold for shitty answers/bad runnings of them. That said, if these are positions that are your bread and butter and something that you are quite deep on then I am most likely the judge for you. If you are going to reject the res, which is totally cool with me, you should make sure to have justifications as to why the res is bad and why rejecting it on the affirmative is key. To give you an example of what K Aff's I tended to go for, Jessica and I most often went for Gender Death, Sex Workers, Juche, Medicalization, and Han.
Framework Affs (LD): As a quick preface, if you are doing LD and reading this you can run whatever type of aff you want, I have merely labeled this under LD because its most relevant to LD. Framework affs are dope, I love them and used to run them all the time when I was debating in LD. I am pretty well versed in most of the frameworks that are common on the circuit and especially with, as much as I hate it, Kantianism and Deontology. What makes framework affs strategic is their ability to have a framework that when won, wins the debate for the aff. Due to that fact, if you are running a framework heavy aff then you should make sure you have a framework that is strategic in that vein, not just a framework that seems fun to run.
Note: Again, if you are in LD you can run whatever off positions are the most strategic, do whatever you think will best win you the round. That being said though, while I am cool with it and will be able to flow you, if you are hitting an opponent who does not want you to spread, don't be an ass. That does not preclude you from running K's or DA's or T, just don't spread them if you opponent does not want you to.
DA/CP: DAs and CPs are great, but I have noticed this trend lately in which people label every piece of case specific offense as "Disads." This is slightly annoying because it greatly reduces and distorts the reasons that DAs are strategic. DAs need to have uniqueness, case specific links, and external impacts that the Aff cannot resolve; all other case offense are just case turns. Even if you have a CP that solves for your DA(s), make sure you have status quo uniqueness on the top of the DA that way you are not forced to go for the CP if you want to go for the DA. If you are running a counterplan make sure it has clearly defined sections of "text," "competitiveness," and "solvency." Also I think that conditionality is great, not that I wont vote on condo bad, so if you wanna read 5 contradictory condo offs I am very cool with that.
Ks: I love Ks, they are what I ran most in highschool and what I ran most in college. If you want to see the types of Ks that I am most familiar with, and what that means for you, look to the K aff section of my paradigm. If you are in policy, during the 1NC make sure you have either labeled or unlabeled thesis, links, impacts, and alt sections. If you are going for the K in the block it is always a good idea to read a framework for the K in the 2NC. On the other hand, if you are in LD and reading a K in the 1NC you need to make sure to have a framework, thesis, links, impacts, and alt. Something that I have noticed in hs LD and Policy is that K alts never explains why the alt is key in resolving the K, but rather just describes what the alt is, so make sure your alt actually has descriptive solvency. In terms of the K's I went for most, Jessica and I often collapsed to Bataille, Barad, Semiocap, Maoism, and Trans Spatiality.
T/Theory: I love good topicality and theory debates, they are some of the most technical types of debate and I love good technical debate. While theory and topicality are not exactly the same thing, they do share a similar structure of how they should be formatted. Both should have a clear interpretation, violation, standards and voters. While I know the general trend is to collapse the standards and voters into the same section, it would easier for me if you would make sure that those are two distinct sections wherein the standards explain why violating the interp is bad, and how losing that standard links into what ever voters you are going for. Then in the voters section terminalize why those voters are the biggest impact in the round. I have a pretty low threshold for frivolous theory in that I think if a theory position really is that bad, then you should not lose to it. I think most people would probably in fact label me as a debater who reads and goes for frivolous theory quite frequently, so if thats your jam, go for it. That said, if you use frivolous theory as a form of disrespect, i.e. reading 40 spec shells against a project, that is not going to fly for me. Read it when its strategic, not when its repugnant.
Final Note: For both LD and Policy I would like to be on an email chain for all of the speech docs read in the round, email is "firstname.lastname@example.org." If you have any other specific questions about my paradigm you can message me on facebook at "Chris Coles (lila lavender)" or email me.