Judge Philosophies

Alexander Cadena -- Rio Hondo Community College

Background Information:

I have 4 years debate experience in Parli. I competed at Rio Hondo Community College in NPDA and IPDA then transferred to the University of Utah and competed in NPDA and IEs. I have experience judging policy while I was in graduate school. This is my third year of coaching forensics. I enjoy the spirit of this event and I am hoping to do so for more years to come.

How I evaluate rounds:

I find clarity important, make it clear what your argument is and how your impacts are the most important in the round. I like filled and completed arguments. Do you have Uniqueness, Links, Internal Links, and Impacts? I would like Plan texts and CPs to be stated twice. In the rebuttals, tell me what arguments to vote on and why they have greater importance than your opponent's arguments.

If you are running a K, please state the Roll of the Ballot and Alternative twice, it helps me get it down precisely as well as the opposing team. If your K is highly technical, please explain and articulate your argument. For the times when it is K v.s. K debates, (I will question my life choices) I will try to vote on the most articulated position that is flushed out in the rebuttals. I am not a fan of spread. If competitors ask how I feel about spread, I will say â??Its hurts my head.â?

Topicality â?? Theory â?? Procedurals, great! I expect all important aspect of the T-shell to be there. Do not expect me to fill in the â??blipsâ?? of your standards and impacts. Iâ??m not the biggest fan of multiple theory shells that get kicked in the block. Iâ??ve been persuaded by a compelling RVI against that tactic in the past. (They made pretty smart argument which had no response.)

Some other comments:

Debate is an animal that can bring out a lot of different emotions, please remember that you are competing against humans and treat each other as such. There is no need to reduce our humanity to â??win a ballot.â? If you donâ??t care how you win and are willing to treat your opponents poorly. Please strike me, I will not be a critic you want in the back of the room. POIâ??s are good, and remember to call out POOs in the rebuttals. 

P.S. Flex-Time is NOT a designated CX period. There are still POI allowed in speech time, I am not a fan of this social norm where questions are only allowed in-between speeches! Also if you have time before your speeches, you should be pretty close to speaking by the time FLEX ends!


Alicia Batice -- Pasadena City College

n/a

Ayden Loeffler -- Irvine Valley College

  THEORY/THE ONLY SUBSTANTIVE DEBATE - This is my bread and butter. If I were able to pick and choose how every debate would go that I judged or competed in, it would just be layers and layers of theory on top of each other. On a base level I believe that theory is a question of rules that are malleable, completely made up and therefore debatable. This means that I am willing to listen to and vote on a lot of generally agreed upon "bad theory" that is debated well.

When reading fresh new and exciting theory I expect a concise interpretation, a clean violation and a distinct link to the ballot through things that should be prioritized in debate/life. If those 'things' are not fairness and education I'll likely need an explanation as to why I should care about this third priority as well.

Some hurdles (biases) for debaters to overcome when having theory rounds in front of me: (1) I tend to defend against theory than it is to read theory, (2) I find conditionality to be good and healthy for the types of debates that I want to see, (3) disclosure theory does more harm for debate (by dropping teams that didn't know about disclosing) than any good it does, (4) I weigh theory on the interpretation not its tagline (this means debaters should wait to hear the interpretation before they start writing answers that miss a poorly written OR nuanced interpretation), (5) there isn't a number or threshold for too many theory positions in a round aside from speed and clarity, (6) RVIs are not worth the breadth just sit down, (7) you're either going for theory or you aren't, I am heavily bothered by debaters that say the sentence, "and if you're buying the theory here's this disad." 

Read your interpretation slower and repeat it twice. I will not vote on theory that I do not have one clear and stable interpretation for. Also just do it because I don't want to miss out on the substance of the rounds I really want to hear.

Theory positions have differing layers of severity that adjust how I get to prioritize them when writing the ballot. This means that I want to hear arguments that suggest plan plus counterplans are justified when the AFF isn't topical or that MG theory is a bigger offense than topicality etc. Many of my ballots have been decided simple arguments that change the priority of certain theory over others.

SPEED - Speed is a tool just like written notes and a timer in debate that allow us to more efficiently discuss topics whether that be on a scale of breadth or depth. Efficiency requires a bunch of elements such as: both teams being able to respond to all or group most of the arguments in a meaningful way and being able to hear and write the arguments effectively.

To newer debaters who have stumbled into a paradigm, during the other team's speech you are free to use the words "slow" and "clear" if you feel as though you cannot keep up in the round. If the other team does not acknowledge your request, you should make it an argument that you should win the round because the other team has not accommodated basic requests for an efficient debate.

If you are an older debater with lots of experience and debating a team with less experience, I expect you to know that speed doesn't win rounds. The teams that your speed drills will give you an edge over are teams that you could have beat going at their pace. Additionally, speed good arguments being weaponized as reasons to make a grab at the ballot are not compelling to me and I'll write on your ballot that you're a bully.

For the most part, I can handle your speed. Since my time debating at Long Beach I've not had an issue in any round over speed but I have CLEARed people. I will verbally notify debaters if I can't keep up.

CRITICISMS - My interest in criticisms has waned over the years. An older  It could just be a difference in meta between when I debated and now but I find many of the critical arguments run in front of me to be either constructed or read in a way that I have difficulty understanding. I don't vote on criticisms with alternatives that are incomprehensible, poorly explained or use words that mean nothing and aren't explained (the first point of your alt solvency should probably clear up these points if your alt is a mess).

As a debater I read a fair amount of Derrida and Marx. As a student I spent much of my time writing on Derrida, Marx, Foucault, Baudrillard and most of the writers in the existentialism grab bag of philosophers. If  you aren't reading direct copy pastes out of the Long Beach files that Fletcher sent around, it would probably be to your benefit to assume that you know more than I about the inspiration for the position you're reading.

I have a very difficult time weighing identity politics impacts in rounds.

Collapse - Please collapse.

Free Stuff - If you don't have access to files from the old Long Beach Dropbox and would like them, tell me after round and I'll send them to you. Many teams have read positions from this collection of files in front of me, which I don't suggest doing (as they're old and other teams have access to them) however, they're great learning tools.


Benjamin Lange -- El Camino College

n/a

Brandan Whearty -- Palomar College

n/a

Brittany Hubble -- El Camino College

 

BG:

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. 

Impacts:

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. 

Case Debate:

I really enjoy the case debate and I really dislike debates where the aff is never discussed. You should engage with the aff no matter what you are running on the neg. Case turns and offense on case are awesome. I am not opposed to voting on 8 minutes of case out of the LO…in fact this is a great strategy for refuting both policy and critical affs when done well. 

Disadvantages:

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. 

Counterplans:

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. 

Conditionality:

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. 

Kritiks:

I think there are a lot of rounds where the K is the best and sometimes only good negative strategy. However, I prefer case/topic specific links and arguments other than “they used the state.” I am not saying this can’t be a link, but you should probably have more compelling ones. I also really like well-warranted solvency that is specific to your method/alternative. You should be well versed in the lit supporting your arguments. I don’t like people blurting out tags and then having no idea how to explain them. I think you should call people out on this and use it as offense against them. You should also not assume that I have read the lit on your K and know all of the terms you are using. You are not doing yourself any good by confusing both your opponents and me. Most of this applies to the K on the aff as well. I prefer critical affs that defend the topic or use the topic as a springboard for discussion. I will vote on affs that do not depend the topic, but I will also entertain arguments that say you should. 

Identity Arguments:

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. 

Theory:

I think theory is a great tool for both the aff and neg to secure ground in the debate and explain why certain arguments should be excluded from a debate. Your argument should have impacts! Don’t just say it is bad for education or fairness then move on. You should also have counterinterps, reasons to prefer, offense, etc. against theory to win. 

Speed

Speed is fine but please be clear. I don’t see how it is beneficial for making arguments that only your partner can hear and understand. I also believe the round should be accessible and you should respect a clear. There is nothing impressive about being a bully and spreading someone out of a round after they have repeatedly asked you to slow down. You should probably be able to win without it. Otherwise, I should have no problem flowing you and think speed should be used as a tool to make a lot of good arguments. 

Defending the Topic:

Whether or not you choose to defend the topic is up to you. I think you should provide substantial justifications for why you should be required to defend the topic. I will not drop a team for choosing not defend the topics, as I feel the debate space is yours to decide how to manage. However, I believe there are valid arguments to be made why defending the topic is important and how abandoning the topic can be bad. I find it best when negative teams engage with the affirmative in addition to justifying why they should defend the topic. I have both voted for and against teams on framework as well. You really just need to win the argument. 

Speaker Points:

If you can do the above well, you will probably receive good speaker points from me. Being new to judging and understanding that speaker points can impact you in a tournament in ways other than speaker awards, I would say that I am currently on the more generous side of awarding speaker points. That is not to say I just hand out 30s or will not tank your points for being a jerk. I have a very low tolerance for offensive rhetoric or rudeness in rounds. 

Miscellaneous:

Be organized and sign post. Don’t assume you want me to apply arguments in specific places without being told to. I have pretty apparent nonverbals and you can usually tell if I think your argument is bad. You should probably use that to your advantage and move on. Read plan texts, advocacies, interpretations, counterinterps, role of the ballots, etc. twice and give a copy to your opponents if they want one. I prefer policy debate over value debate and think you can discuss the same arguments in a policy round more effectively. Overall, I think you should have fun with the debate and make it fun for everyone. I am open to answering questions to clarify anything or regarding specifics that may relate to your round. 

As flex time has been introduced, I am not particularly receptive to you asking for a copy of every interp, plan, ROB, etc. during speeches. This also means that you don't get to wait to start your flex until you get copies of whatever you want a copy of. Your flex starts immediately after the previous speech. I also don't think it is a particularly strong theoretical argument to claim that you should be handed these texts during the speech. This is parli not policy and you should be flowing these things. That is not to say I will not vote on theory that claims you should be granted these luxuries, but I believe making case arguments are a much better use of your time. 

I also don't really believe in RVIs especially on theory. 


Chathi Anderson -- Irvine Valley College

 

Daniel Zaragoza -- Point Loma Nazarene University

 

Edward Minasyan -- Rio Hondo Community College


Eric Garcia -- Irvine Valley College

 

Francesca Bishop -- El Camino College

My background: I competed in CEDA for 3 years; I have coached parli for about 20 and NFA-LD for 10.  

I had my years of debating; it is now your turn. There are lots of things I believe about debate and the world in general, but I try not to bring them into the round. Thus, if you tell me something, I write it down and assume it true unless it is refuted. That means that you can lose a round if you drop one little argument, though it's unlikely unless your opponents blow it up, but if you drop a lynchpin argument, or a framework argument (where I look first) it could be bad. Although I try to be tabula rasa, there are a couple of exceptions: One is if you tell me to use my ballot as a tool in any way, or ask me to vote on real world impacts. I see this as a demand for intervention based on what I actually believe, therefore I may not vote on arguments that have "won."  A second exception is if you tell me something that I know to be untrue--so please don't guess or make stuff up. 

Because I try to base my decision based solely on arguments that are made in the round, I don't assume anything. Therefore, you need to tell me why something matters. For example, don't expect me to assume climate change is happening or that it's bad, or for that matter, that nuclear war is bad. Likewise, you don't have to run only conventionally believed positions. Arguments are just that--arguments. I don't assume you believe them or if they are "true." In general, know that I don't believe that debate is a search for the truth; I believe it is a game.  As when you play all games, you should have fun!!!



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.  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. Have fun and let the best team win. (I always prefer cordial and educational rounds with elements of quick wit and persuasive argumentation over Nuclear Holocaust, which I really do not care for, especially when it results because of US not buying used car parts from Uruguay.)           


James Laky -- Point Loma Nazarene University

Short version: My debate philosophy, in a nutshell, is that impacts are the most important part of the debate. If you don’t impact a position or tell me how it interacts with an impact, then it’s basically just empty space on my flow.


Specifics: I prefer good straight up debate but I’ll listen to any kriticism as long as it’s contextualized properly. I absolutely love theory debate, but I have a big pet peeve when people run theory positions (or Kritiks)  they don’t fully understand. I definitely view theory from a competing interpretations framework. I won’t protect against new arguments so be sure to call out points of order. I’m a flow judge but I look primarily at the big picture of all the positions so don’t expect one subpoint to win you the round unless you explain how it interacts with the macro-debate. I like a good plan-counterplan debate, but I also think that line-by-line case debate is an art that should be emphasized more. I have zero issue with speed but if you’re going to spread, I’ll expect there to be content to justify that."


John Cho -- Irvine Valley College

 

Jonathan Veal -- Point Loma Nazarene University

  
  • Be cool to your opponents.

  • Provide a plan/CP/interp/perm text if asked.

  • I evaluate theory.

  • Policy is cool I guess.

  • K’s are great if the alt/advocacy has some sort of methodology/solvency.

  • I tend to hack out for uniqueness evaluation and warrants.

  • Speed is fine as long as your opponents and I can understand you and are able to participate.

  • Meh, have fun.


Joseph Evans -- El Camino College

  About me:I have been involved in forensics for over 13 years including 7 years of coaching. I have debated in High School, College and I am now currently a full-time professor and Director of Debate at El Camino College. I view debate as a game of argument and impact prioritization. Thus, I believe that any method of debate is viable when used as a strategic ploy to win. I will try to list my views on the major themes within debate. Please feel free to ask me for clarification before the round!.   

Framework/Role of the Ballot:  I will evaluate and weigh the round through any framework that the Aff or Neg presents to me. I have no predisposition towards one specific FW because all frameworks can either be strategic or not depending on how it’s debated. In terms of evaluating competing FWs, I will only make my decision on how each are warranted and impacted out in round and will never insert my own beliefs. In terms of the ROB, I will weigh the ROB through the FW presented and if it’s not contested, this will frame how I evaluate the rest of the round.  If no one tells me how to frame the round, I tend to fall back to evaluating the round through the lens of utilitarianism (net benefits). When impacting out why you win a policy debate, please frame your impacts through lenses like timeframe, magnitude, probability, reversibility. 

TLDR: Framework is important! You win the framework if you provide me clear warranted arguments for your position, and impact out why your framework is best.        

Theory: I will evaluate theoretical positions the same as others. The interpretation will frame how I evaluate the position. You must have a clear description of how the debate round should have been constructed. Additionally, I will evaluate the interp/counter-interp debate based on the standards/impacts presented.  I don’t have any preference in regards reasonability vs. competing interps you must justify why I should frame theory through either. If a teams decides to kick out of the position, I usually don't hold it against them (unless there is conceded offense). 

Counter Plans/Alts/Perms: I view counterplans or alternatives as a test of competition against the affirmative’s advocacy. I believe that counterplans/alts can compete based on impact prioritization, functional competition, or (sigh) textual competitiveness. I have no predisposition towards one type of competition. Teams must justify why I should vote on the competitiveness or lack of in the CP or Alt debate. In terms of the perm debate, perms also tests of the competitiveness of the counter advocacy. In order to win the perm debate you need to justify and impact out why it outweighs the CP or alt. I am also open to theoretical reasons why the CP/ALT or Perm should be rejected in the round. 

Speed: Go as fast as you want but please be clear! I have judged NPTE/NPDA finals and/or semi-finals the last 3 of 4 years so I will be able to keep up. However, if you are unclear, I will give you non-verbals or yell “clear”. My priority is getting everything you say on my flow so sacrificing clarity for speed is not advisable. Additionally, I have voted on speed arguments a few times when teams use speed as a bullying or ableist technique. So be conscious of how you use speed within the round. If you can beat a team without going fast, it’s a win-win for both teams. You get the W and the other team has an educational/ teaching moment.  

Kritical Arguments: I believe that any augment that is present is a viable way to win. Kritical arguments fall into that category. I am well versed in most critical arguments, but I am not by any means an expert on critical theory. Therefore, if you are running something new or obscure, don’t assume I understand the literature.  Regardless of the K, I will listen how your frame, impact and weight the FW and Alt/Alt solvency. Additionally, 


Julia Leslie -- Irvine Valley College

 

Leia Yen -- El Camino College

 

Leslie Silva-alegre -- University of California San Diego

n/a

Li-Ren Chang -- El Camino College

 

Marc Ouimet -- Palomar College

n/a

Marcos Santos -- Pasadena City College

n/a

Meaghan Loeffler -- Irvine Valley College

  I think as long as the Aff can justify it, no plan is too specific. I don't like listening to non-specified plans and this will likely make me more wary of buying case solvency in particular. I think the PMR can theoretically win the debate easily if done right. I highly value an overview with clear voters, don't make more work for yourself in the rebuttal than you need to. Be as organized as possible so that I know where everything should be and you can have the best opportunity to present offense.

I think neg teams have ample opportunity to win on DAs and CPs. I also think it's entirely possible to win on straight case turns and a DA. I'm experienced with a lot of lower level theory args like T and CP theory. When it comes to kritiks, I'm familiar with some of the literature and/or the arguments that are commonly run but I'm not the best judge to run these arguments in front of though I'll do my best to judge them as best I can. If running a kritik is the strat, clear explanation of the denser arguments will increase my chances of voting on them.

Speed shouldn't be a problem but I will call it if I need to, in which case please slow down. 


Patricia Hughes -- Rio Hondo Community College

When weighing a round, I look first at stock issues, then weigh the clash on the advantage vs disadvantage, using the judging criteria. I like clear analysis of the functionality of each position (plan/counter plan/advantage/disadvantage). Simply put, explain how your warrants lead to your impacts on the advantage/disadvantage. Also explain how your impacts happen, and what your impacts mean. Terminalize, but only use nuclear war or mass extinction if it is actually warranted. On plan/counter plan, explain each plank, how the plan functions (works), and how it is going to solve the issue at hand. Fiat is not clear analysis. Counter plans should have a clear explanation of mutual exclusivity. Permutations should have a new plan text with both plan and counter plan, with an explanation of how they work together. I also have a soft spot for clearly articulated significance arguments. Also, make sure to call out points of order.

            When it comes to theory arguments, use them sparingly. Procedurals are useful tools when stock issues are not met by Aff. Call topicalities and trichotomies when the Aff is not upholding their prima facia burdens. Do not run procedurals as a time skew tactic, or as an argument used in every round. I take the rules of debate seriously. Abusing these arguments will not end well for you. When running a procedural, I am looking for clear articulation of the violation, standards, and impacted voters; as well as counter definitions. I do consider RVI arguments; however, they should include counter standards and voters.

I am not a fan of Kâ??s; however, this is your round. If you choose to run a K, make sure you are able to clearly explain the theory, the roll of the ballot/alt, and clearly define what ground the other team has within the round. If I find the K to be exclusionary of the other team, I will vote against it. There should also be a clear link to the K and the resolution. Also, make sure not to bite into your own K. I judge Kâ??s harshly due to their nature of calling precedence in a round. For Kâ??s that are completely off topic from the resolution, I will highly consider arguments of disclosure; however, you do still need to interact with the K to the best of your ability. 

            I have a moderate tolerance for speed; however, I am not a fan of it. I like clear and articulate arguments. I believe speed is a useless tool that is irrelevant to everyday life. Again, this is your round. Before the round begins, I will ask if both teams agree to spread. If there is not an agreement, I will drop the first team to spread. If there is an agreement, be forewarned, if I put my pen down, I can no longer understand your arguments. I pay close attention to calls of slow/clear/speed. If any of the above are called, and the teams it is called against does not slow or improve articulation, they will be dropped.  

While I understand the beast of competition, there is no need to be rude. I will vote down a team if they are exceptionally rude or condescending. There is no need to belittle the other team; it does not prove your intelligence. Bullying is unacceptable and poor sportsmanlike. 


Robert Campbell -- University of California San Diego

n/a

Robert Seaney -- Irvine Valley College

n/a

Selene Aguirre -- Cerritos College

 

Sevda Gholshani -- University of California San Diego

n/a

Sherana Polk -- Orange Coast College

n/a

Xiangrui Zeng -- University of California San Diego

n/a

Zihad Amin -- Irvine Valley College

  Judging Philosophy

 

2 year community college debater. Competed at state and nationals. Open to everything. Prefer to see debate centered around the resolution. Will flow critiques, but need to make sure the link is clear and strong. Be respectful to your opponents. Partner to partner communication is acceptable, but do not speak for your partner. Will only flow what the primary speaker is saying, nothing that the partner says will be flowed. I have a hearing disability so try not to speak too fast and be clear. Extremely important to be clear so I can get as much of the argument as possible. Will default to judging rounds based on net benefits unless am told otherwise. Really enjoy impact calculus and the round will heavily be weighed on which side provides the clearest and most powerful impacts. I am willing to answer any specific questions debaters may have prior to the round