Alex Hall -- Utah State Universityn/a
Andrea Ruiz -- California State University Fullertonn/a
Andy Christensen -- Idaho State Universityn/a
Bob Becker -- Northwest CollegeAs a critic, I believe my task is to weigh the issues presented in the round. I don't enjoy intervening, and try not to do so. To prevent my intervention, debaters need to use rebuttals to provide a clear explanation of the issues. Otherwise, if left on my own, I will pick the issues I think are important. All of that said, I am not an information processor. I am a human being and so are you. If you want me to consider an issue in the round, make sure you emphasize it and explain its importance.
When weighing issues, I always look to jurisdictional issues first. I will give the affirmative some leeway on topicality, but if they can't explain why their case is topical, they will lose. Although some arguments are more easily defeated than others, I am willing to listen to most positions. In reality I probably have a somewhat high threshold for topicality, but if you want to win, you need to spend some time on it and not give the aff any way out of it. In-round abuse is not necessary, but if that argument is made against you, then you need to explain why topicality is important (jurisdiction, aff always wins, etc.) I don’t require competing interpretations.
I am fine with critical arguments, but you need to explain how they impact the round. I have found few students can explain how I should evaluate real-world impacts in a debate world, or how I should evaluate and compare real world and debate world impacts. I’m fine with critical affs, but you better have some good justification for it. “We don’t like the resolution” doesn’t cut it with me. If your critical arguments conflict with your disad, you better have some “contradictory arguments good” answers.
Performance based argument need to be sufficiently explained as to how they prove the resolution true or false. Or, I need to know how to evaluate it. If you don’t tell me, I will evaluate it as I would an interp round.
As with everything else, it depends on how the impacts are explained to me. If one team says “one million deaths” and the other says “dehume,” but doesn’t explain why dehume is worse than deaths, I’ll vote for death. If the other team says dehume is worse because it can be repeated and becomes a living death, etc., then I’ll vote for dehume. I think I’m telling you that abstract impacts need to be made concrete, but more importantly, explain what the issue is and why I should consider it to be important.
I don't mind speed, but sometimes I physically can't flow that fast. I will tell you if I can't understand you. Remember, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure I understand what you are saying. Above all, be professional. This activity is fun. That’s why I’m here, and I hope that is the reason you are here as well.
Brittany Hubble -- El Camino College
I competed in debate for El Camino College for 2 years from 2013-2015 and I have been coaching parli for El Camino since. While I attended many CC tournaments, I also competed at several 4-year tournaments including NPDA and NPTE. My partner and I ran all types of arguments in debate (policy, critical affs, kritiks, etc.), but typically leaned towards policy debate. However, you are welcome to debate any way you like, but you should be prepared to justify your strategy if it is called into question. I tend to favor the strategy that is the smartest, most warranted and best for winning that round.
You should have them! I believe it is your job to tell me which impacts should carry the most weight in the round and why. I have no problem voting on a nuclear war or economic collapse scenario as long as you have a clear warranted story to explain how you get there. I am also not opposed to you asking me to prefer systemic impacts. It is really up to you, but I will usually default to net benefits and evaluate the impacts using timeframe, probability and magnitude unless I am told otherwise. I really really like impact calc and think it is a necessary component to winning a debate.
I really enjoy the case debate and I really dislike debates where the aff is never discussed. You should engage with the aff no matter what you are running on the neg. Case turns and offense on case are awesome. I am not opposed to voting on 8 minutes of case out of the LO…in fact this is a great strategy for refuting both policy and critical affs when done well.
Love them. Case specific disads with nuanced internal link stories are great. Please make sure they are not linear, as I will have a low threshold for voting on the aff outweighing on probability.
Another excellent negative strategy. There should be a net benefit to the CP, competitiveness and it should solve the aff. Topical counterplans are fine. PICs are fine but I am also open to hearing why PICs or other types of counterplans are bad. Again, you just need to justify your strategy and win why it is a good idea.
I am not a fan of multiple conditional advocacies but you can read them if you want. In general, I prefer unconditional advocacies and have no problem voting on condo bad. However, if you win the condo debate I will still vote for you and wont punish you for it.
I think there are a lot of rounds where the K is the best and sometimes only good negative strategy. However, I prefer case/topic specific links and arguments other than “they used the state.” I am not saying this can’t be a link, but you should probably have more compelling ones. I also really like well-warranted solvency that is specific to your method/alternative. You should be well versed in the lit supporting your arguments. I don’t like people blurting out tags and then having no idea how to explain them. I think you should call people out on this and use it as offense against them. You should also not assume that I have read the lit on your K and know all of the terms you are using. You are not doing yourself any good by confusing both your opponents and me. Most of this applies to the K on the aff as well. I prefer critical affs that defend the topic or use the topic as a springboard for discussion. I will vote on affs that do not depend the topic, but I will also entertain arguments that say you should.
With the increase in identity arguments being proposed in debate, there is something you should know. While I understand their purpose and ability to be an avenue for individuals to promote advocacy, I find them difficult to evaluate and I am probably not the judge for you. Past experiences debating them have produced triggering memories and force me to include a bias when deciding rounds. I have been in a round where debate became an unsafe space and I would hate to have to adjudicate a round that would recreate that for another individual.
I think theory is a great tool for both the aff and neg to secure ground in the debate and explain why certain arguments should be excluded from a debate. Your argument should have impacts! Don’t just say it is bad for education or fairness then move on. You should also have counterinterps, reasons to prefer, offense, etc. against theory to win.
Speed is fine but please be clear. I don’t see how it is beneficial for making arguments that only your partner can hear and understand. I also believe the round should be accessible and you should respect a clear. There is nothing impressive about being a bully and spreading someone out of a round after they have repeatedly asked you to slow down. You should probably be able to win without it. Otherwise, I should have no problem flowing you and think speed should be used as a tool to make a lot of good arguments.
Defending the Topic:
Whether or not you choose to defend the topic is up to you. I think you should provide substantial justifications for why you should be required to defend the topic. I will not drop a team for choosing not defend the topics, as I feel the debate space is yours to decide how to manage. However, I believe there are valid arguments to be made why defending the topic is important and how abandoning the topic can be bad. I find it best when negative teams engage with the affirmative in addition to justifying why they should defend the topic. I have both voted for and against teams on framework as well. You really just need to win the argument.
If you can do the above well, you will probably receive good speaker points from me. Being new to judging and understanding that speaker points can impact you in a tournament in ways other than speaker awards, I would say that I am currently on the more generous side of awarding speaker points. That is not to say I just hand out 30s or will not tank your points for being a jerk. I have a very low tolerance for offensive rhetoric or rudeness in rounds.
Be organized and sign post. Don’t assume you want me to apply arguments in specific places without being told to. I have pretty apparent nonverbals and you can usually tell if I think your argument is bad. You should probably use that to your advantage and move on. Read plan texts, advocacies, interpretations, counterinterps, role of the ballots, etc. twice and give a copy to your opponents if they want one. I prefer policy debate over value debate and think you can discuss the same arguments in a policy round more effectively. Overall, I think you should have fun with the debate and make it fun for everyone. I am open to answering questions to clarify anything or regarding specifics that may relate to your round.
As flex time has been introduced, I am not particularly receptive to you asking for a copy of every interp, plan, ROB, etc. during speeches. This also means that you don't get to wait to start your flex until you get copies of whatever you want a copy of. Your flex starts immediately after the previous speech. I also don't think it is a particularly strong theoretical argument to claim that you should be handed these texts during the speech. This is parli not policy and you should be flowing these things. That is not to say I will not vote on theory that claims you should be granted these luxuries, but I believe making case arguments are a much better use of your time.
I also don't really believe in RVIs especially on theory.
CJ Geiger (Hired) -- University of Utahn/a
Chantelle Gossner -- Utah State Universityn/a
Claudia Boyd -- The University of Texas at El Pason/a
Collette Blumer -- California State University Fullertonn/a
Devon Cantwell (Hired) -- University of Utah
Note: This is my first time judging NPDA as I typically judge Policy.
General Background: I’ve been in the world of policy debate for about 12 years, ranging from participation to coaching. Way back in the day, I debated at both Topeka High and Washburn Rural HS. I also debated in the regional circuit for University of Kansas for a few years and coached in Kansas, Alabama, and Mississippi. I have a deep love for the activity. I am currently working on a Ph.D. in Political Science and study immigration surveillance as part of my research.
Topicality/Procedural Issues: I vote on these. While I default to competing interpretations, it's important that you are answering all levels of the argument-- including the impact level of the debate. If you are negative and hope to win the round on T, you need to make sure you have a complete argument out of the gate to vote on. I should see a definition, interp, link, and impact level to your argument and I should see the aff responding to these. Cross apply this to any procedural argument as well (such as ASPEC, condo bad, etc.)
Disads- There needs to be a terminal impact (or at least solid analysis as to why that impact outweighs aff impacts in the round), a risk/okay probability of the disad happening (otherwise, why does your UQ matter?), and a plausible link to the aff. Generic DAs are fine, but there needs to be a plausible link, even if just at an analytical level.
Counterplans-- I tend to be alright with CPs and lean negative. I think most are generally smart. However, that being said, the CP needs to be both rhetorically and functionally competitive. I think Affs can/should be held accountable for clarifications made on positions and that those links apply across both CP and DA grounds.
Kritiks-- I'm fine with these, however, keep in mind that I am studying political theory in a Ph.D. program, so if your whole knowledge of your K is from a long series of back files on the K or from reading a few paragraphs of Nietzsche, this might end badly for you. I tend to prefer Ks with wider reach (capitalism, feminism, racism, etc) and less so Ks of particular authors, mostly because they are generally done poorly. If you run a K, it is EXTREMELY important that you provide a clear narrative of a) the role of my ballot, b) the world of the alternative, and c) how I should prioritize impact calculus in the round.
- If you are going for more than 2 major things in your 2NR/2AR, there is a low chance you are going to win the round. Similarly, if you don't provide an impact calculus, you likely will not like the decision I make at the end of the round.
- Negative strategy-- there needs to be some sort of offense in the round. A defensive strategic approach has rarely won my ballot.
- Please don't be unpleasant during the round. I can almost guarantee that if you are, it's not aligned with the quality of your argumentation and it's just going to be a long round. For me this looks more like arrogance or intentional cruelness-- I'm fine with bluntness, anger, frustration, etc. If you are unsure what I mean by this, please ask.
- I pay attention to the rhetoric used in the round. Slurs and derogatory language will almost assuredly earn you lower speaker points.
- Both teams should start impact calc early, use this to frame your speeches and line by line, and use impact calc to prioritize voting issues and role of the ballot.
- I reward debaters who make an effort to deeply engage with the topic area and issues.
- Squirrel affs are rarely good affs. They generally have poor structure, poor solvency or advantage foundations, and generate poor debate. I would rather see a super mainstream topic that prompts a lot of clash in the round than an aff that is poorly written for an ambush factor.
- In more policy centered debates, I may err more on the tech aspect of the debate. In other cases, I may give some leniency on tech if the arguments are "true" (understanding that truth can be a subjective value).
- I'm starting to realize through my working social justice that I'm more easily effected by detailed narratives of sexism, racism, ableism (esp. invisible disabilities), and sexual assault. Trigger warnings aren't very helpful for me as a judge (I don't have a choice to opt out of them and I don't think that I would want to) but know that I may ask for a minute to just breathe or get some water between speeches, so I can have a clear head for the next speaker, if there is a particularly vivid or powerful speech. This is by no means a common thing that I do, but I did want to add this to affirm the value of self-care in this activity.
- Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
- I flow on my computer, so please make sure you take a beat at the top of flows before jumping in and please slow down to about 70% for analytical arguments, especially if they are fewer than 5 words. I have physical pain with my joints, especially at the ends of long days of judging. This doesn't make my abilities to assess your arguments any less, nor does it impact my competency. I will do my best to say "slow" if my joints can't keep up.
- If you think you might want my flow of the round, I'm happy to send it. Please try to give me a heads up before the round starts, as I organize my flows a bit differently when they are being distributed.
TL;DR: You do you. Have fun. Be a decent human in the round. Learn some things.
Erika Portillo -- El Paso Community Collegen/a
Euni Kim -- University of Utah
My debate background is in British Parliamentary, which means a couple things:Ã?Â
1. I donÃ¢??t like spreading, period.Ã?Â
2. I like when debaters debate the topic, which means TÃ¢??s should only be for when the aff is non-topical, theoryÃ¢??s a pretty hard no, and KÃ¢??s should be at your own discretion.Ã?Â
3. You should be actually making arguments. ThereÃ¢??s nothing persuasive or smart about fancy jargon and/or buzzwords.Ã?Â
In closing, a quote/reminder by someone smarter than either of us:
Ã¢??Be excellent to each other.Ã¢?Â - Michel FoucaultÃ?Â
Frank Gigray -- University of Utahn/a
Harry Schulte -- El Paso Community Collegen/a
Jacqueline Yu -- California State University Fullertonn/a
Jeannie Hunt -- Northwest College
I want to be able to judge the round with no intervention on my part. That means a couple of things. You need to establish a framework that I can follow to evaluate the round. I don’t care what that framework is, but I want one – policy making, critical, big picture, etc. That framework is what I will follow, so please don’t set the round up as a stock round, and then ask me to look at the big picture at the end. More importantly, give me something to look at in the end. I would love to hear some impact analysis, some reasons to prefer, something tangible for me to vote on. Absent that, I have to intervene.
There are no specific arguments that I prefer over another. I will vote on pretty much anything, and I am game for pretty much anything. I do expect that you will not subject yourself to performative contradictions. If you run a k, you should be willing to live in the round with the same k standards you are asking us to think about. However, it is the job of the opposing team to point that out… This is true of any theory based argument you choose to run. I am old, which means that I think the 1AC is important. If you are not going to address it after the 1AC, let me know so I don’t have to spend time flowing it.
Critical rounds invite the judge to be a part of the debate, and they bring with them a set of ethics and morals that are subjective. I love critical debate, but competitors need to be aware that the debate ceases to be completely objective when the judge is invited into the discussion with a K. Make sure the framework is very specific so I don’t have to abandon objectivity all together.
Finally, make your own arguments. If you are speaking for, or allowing your partner to speak for you, I am not flowing it. It should be your argument, not a regurgitation of what your partner said three seconds ago. Prompting someone with a statement like, “go to the DA” is fine. Making an argument that is then repeated is not.
Delivery styles are much less important to me than the quality of the argument, but that doesn’t mean you should have no style. You should be clear, structured and polite to everyone in the round (including your partner if it is team). You can at least take your hat off and tuck your shirt in. Having a bad attitude is as bad as having a bad argument. Speed is not a problem if it is clear.
Because I don’t want to intervene, I don’t appreciate
points of order. You are asking me to
evaluate the worth of an argument, which skews the round in at least a small
way. Additionally, I think I flow pretty
well, and I know I shouldn’t vote on new arguments. I won’t.
If you feel particularly abused in the round, and need to make a point
of some sort, you can, but as a strategy to annoy the other team, or me, it is
Jen Montgomery -- California State University Fullertonn/a
Joe Anderson -- East Los Angeles Collegen/a
Joseph Evans -- El Camino CollegeAbout me:I have been involved in forensics for over 13 years including 7 years of coaching. I have debated in High School, College and I am now currently a full-time professor and Director of Debate at El Camino College. I view debate as a game of argument and impact prioritization. Thus, I believe that any method of debate is viable when used as a strategic ploy to win. I will try to list my views on the major themes within debate. Please feel free to ask me for clarification before the round!.
Framework/Role of the Ballot: I will evaluate and weigh the round through any framework that the Aff or Neg presents to me. I have no predisposition towards one specific FW because all frameworks can either be strategic or not depending on how it’s debated. In terms of evaluating competing FWs, I will only make my decision on how each are warranted and impacted out in round and will never insert my own beliefs. In terms of the ROB, I will weigh the ROB through the FW presented and if it’s not contested, this will frame how I evaluate the rest of the round. If no one tells me how to frame the round, I tend to fall back to evaluating the round through the lens of utilitarianism (net benefits). When impacting out why you win a policy debate, please frame your impacts through lenses like timeframe, magnitude, probability, reversibility.
TLDR: Framework is important! You win the framework if you provide me clear warranted arguments for your position, and impact out why your framework is best.
Theory: I will evaluate theoretical positions the same as others. The interpretation will frame how I evaluate the position. You must have a clear description of how the debate round should have been constructed. Additionally, I will evaluate the interp/counter-interp debate based on the standards/impacts presented. I don’t have any preference in regards reasonability vs. competing interps you must justify why I should frame theory through either. If a teams decides to kick out of the position, I usually don't hold it against them (unless there is conceded offense).
Counter Plans/Alts/Perms: I view counterplans or alternatives as a test of competition against the affirmative’s advocacy. I believe that counterplans/alts can compete based on impact prioritization, functional competition, or (sigh) textual competitiveness. I have no predisposition towards one type of competition. Teams must justify why I should vote on the competitiveness or lack of in the CP or Alt debate. In terms of the perm debate, perms also tests of the competitiveness of the counter advocacy. In order to win the perm debate you need to justify and impact out why it outweighs the CP or alt. I am also open to theoretical reasons why the CP/ALT or Perm should be rejected in the round.
Speed: Go as fast as you want but please be clear! I have judged NPTE/NPDA finals and/or semi-finals the last 3 of 4 years so I will be able to keep up. However, if you are unclear, I will give you non-verbals or yell “clear”. My priority is getting everything you say on my flow so sacrificing clarity for speed is not advisable. Additionally, I have voted on speed arguments a few times when teams use speed as a bullying or ableist technique. So be conscious of how you use speed within the round. If you can beat a team without going fast, it’s a win-win for both teams. You get the W and the other team has an educational/ teaching moment.
Kritical Arguments: I believe that any augment that is present is a viable way to win. Kritical arguments fall into that category. I am well versed in most critical arguments, but I am not by any means an expert on critical theory. Therefore, if you are running something new or obscure, don’t assume I understand the literature. Regardless of the K, I will listen how your frame, impact and weight the FW and Alt/Alt solvency. Additionally,
Katelyn Brooks (Hired) -- University of Utahn/a
Kayla Griffin -- Weber State Universityn/a
Kourtney Maison -- University of Utah
Matthew Zimmerman -- Utah State Universityn/a
Matthew Minnich -- El Paso Community Collegen/a
Michael Wollin (Hired) -- University of Utahn/a
Sarah Hinkle -- Colorado College
I mostly live in the world of IEs (read: 20 years of either competing or coaching) but have moderate experience training in Worlds and IPDA-style debate.
I like speakers who are fair and balanced: Ethics, Argumentation, Strategy, and Style.
Construct your case carefully with well-developed arguments. Build a foundation with clean definitions. Create values/criteria so I know how to weigh out the evidence. Provide Impacts and explain how you get there. I want a lively debate with good clash.Â Be well-versed in the topic while implementing high quality and recent research. Respect each other.
By the end of the debate, I should be able to clearly understand the significance of your position to the resolution.
I tend to prefer argumentation to be grounded somewhat in the real world and prefer depth rather than rattling off a list of contentions. Tell me a story. Paint a picture. Speakers who effectively demonstrate why an issue is significant and/or relevant are building strong ethos. I want to be as involved as possible.
Have fun and ignore my non-verbals! I tend to look surly but that's just my face. J
Sarah Partlow Lefevre -- Idaho State Universityn/a
Taylor Johnson (Hired) -- University of Utah
Victor Torres III -- Colorado College
I have competed in Speech and Debate in college as well as coached it at my Alma Mater. I am very familiar with the IE side of things; however, I can hold my own in comprehension and analysis of debate arguments.
I expect you to tell me where we are and how to vote. I will watch time, but I prefer you to time yourselves in case I am flowing. I would also appreciate if the burdens were introduced early in the debate (e.g., criteria, key values, decision-rules, framework-type arguments, moral imperatives, and etc.). I would lastly emphasize the importance of a clear impact analysis. Be clear on your positions and be careful to present it in a clear an organized fashion that is easy for me to digest.
With regards to critical arguments, I need you as the debater to explain to me how your argument impacts the round. These points are important for me to see in your argument: be sure to explain your view of the world and of your own argument, link to some sort of advocacy for the other team and offer a constructive solution. I support critics that offer solutions to the problems they bring up.
Performance debate arguments are fine; however, I need to see that you have clear framework on how I should vote. I like to know the role of the ballot and why I should vote the way I should.
I do not have much experience as a debate judge so be careful with the technical finer points of your debate strategy. Also please be aware of your speed. I am fine with you speaking fast; however, please be cognizant that I may not be able to flow that fast. If there is some point or argument topic that you would like me to write down, please repeat it so that I have the signal â??Oh that is importantâ? and then will write it down. Be sure to speak clearly, annunciate, and have fun.