Andrew Potter Judging Philosophy
Judging Philosophy – Andrew Potter
I have changed my judging philosophy for nationals. The new parts are underlined.
4 years high school policy at a small Kansas school on the UN, Civil Liberties, National Service, and Sub-Saharan Africa topics. 4 years NPDA/NPTE parliamentary debate at William Jewell College
I learned debate from Kevin Garner, Kyle Dennis, Luke Landry, Tim Brooks, David Dingess, and the all-knowing Gina Lane. A lot of what they think about debate is what I think about debate. Seeing as they are probably judging you, it would behoove yourself to read their philosophies because it sheds light on mine.
That being said, I have come to some realizations about myself as a judge during the year I have been out. First, this is your game not mine. You do what you feel comfortable with if you can justify it, then you can run it. Wanna run a K aff? Better win the T debate. Wanna run multiple conditional positions? Better know the theory. I have voted on almost anything this year as long as the argument is won so do your thing.
I only have one thing to add though, I think all resolutions are calling for a policy.
As I am sure almost anyone can tell you, I like a good joke. I think debate should be fun for those debating and for those who watch. Political jokes are good and I am not really one to be offended easily by humor. The things I will be offended by are general disrespect for your competitors or using hate speech. Those are sure fire ways to get your speaks nuked.
Lord of the Rings
Big 12 Football and Basketball
Kansas City sports
Video Games (Specifically Zelda, God of War, and Starcraft)
Incorporating these likes into a joke or an analysis of an argument effectively will improve your speaker points.
Defense may win championships in sports but offense is what wins debate championships. However, that does not mean to cast off defensive arguments because those can be damn useful when weighing impacts. Use both offense and defense strategically and you will likely get higher speaker points and access to my ballot.
Status of Counter Plans/Kritiks
I am prone to believe all positions are dispositional. Each piece of paper has an impact on the round once it is said. A good example is a DA. Team A runs the DA. Team B answers the DA Once the argument has been answered there are one of three scenarios that are true with regards to said position. 1)Team A avoids the impacts, 2)Team B avoids the impacts, 3)There are no impacts for either team. It is up to both teams to tell me which of these three scenarios I am supposed to believe. Every position (CP, K, DA, T, Theory, Adv, etc.) ran in the debate is prone to these three scenarios.
Now, this does not mean I will not vote for a conditional CP or K. What the former paragraph means is that I am swayed by dispo but I will give all arguments their fair shake.
My definition of dispo is: If you straight turn the CP, we have to go for it. If you prove it is not an opportunity cost to the plan i.e. a perm, CP links to the DA, Net-Benefit has no impact, then you reserve the right to defend the SQuo. I also believe the status should be said right before the text as in “The CP, the Unconditional Text, US Congress will pass and President Obama will sign blah blah blah”
I flow the Resolutional Analysis, Background, Plan, and Solvency contention (if there is one) on one piece of paper. All subsequent advantages/off case positions get their own sheets of paper after that. I break up Counter Plans and the Net-Benefit into separate sheets of paper. Also, each section of the K gets its own piece of paper with the Alt and Alt Solvency on one paper.
I flow answers to positions in a long column starting with 1,2,3 etc.
My general tendency towards speed is that if you are going too fast for me to flow, then I will yell “clear.” I do not believe speed is the issue, it is clarity. There is nothing wrong with going slower but being more clear. You will probably win more rounds and get better speaker points if you do so. Also, I do not like seeing speed used as an exclusionary tactic. If you are clearly faster than your opponents and they yell clear but you do not slow down or try to accommodate them, then your speaks are gonna suffer. However, I do not find “Speed Kills” arguments persuasive because it feels like some sort of intervention would have to happen on my part to vote on that position and that is not a position I am comfortable judging.
Also, here is how you can make sure I get all your arguments. For example, if you are answering a DA then it should go something like this “1, Non-Unique, Dems capitol low b/c blah blah blah. 2, Non-Unique Obama capitol low b/c blah blah blah. 3, No-Link, plan doesn't affect captiol. 4, Turn, plan increases Dem cap blah blah blah......”
Yes, please! I fall into the Luke Landry school when he says, “I guess I missed the meeting where people decided not to use warrants.” I will have a high threshold voting on positions that are lacking substantial warrants. I will also have a tough time voting on positions that are one thing in the LOC and another thing in the MOC and will be pretty sympathetic to new PMR characterizations of MG responses to fit the transformed position. I do not like adding warrants for the argument based off of my own knowledge, and I like being able to repeat the position I am voting for (the story of the Adv, DA, or theory position), so add warrants. Also, since there is no pen time, then you need to add that time with the warrants so I can get your argument down and will not miss the next one.
I believe it is the duty of every constructive to take one question. Every constructive has importance for another speech's strategy. If Team A is speaking and Team B asks for a question but Team A says they are not taking a question, then I will do one of two things but probably both 1) give leniency to the strategy choices of Team B or 2) allow Team B to shout their question while Team A is speaking. Team B will suffer no consequences of speaker points while the speaker from Team A who refuses a question will see a deduction. In a format that does not allow C-X and is getting increasingly fast and techy it is ridiculous to refuse to give ONE question. Also, the time it takes Team A to refuse and to justify why like saying “not during the constructives” would take the same or less time than answering the question in the first place.
I ran theory a lot in college and feel like I have a decent grasp on the ins and outs of theory. However, that does not mean I will fill in blanks for theory. Every theory position should have an interpretation that is read twice and preferably slower than other arguments, a violation, reasons to prefer, and voters. I view theory debates similar to CP/Plan debates. There are texts, DA or Advs to those texts, and impacts for voting for or against a certain text. I would say I have an average threshold on voting for theory but if you can run it well and win it, then my thoughts should not detract you from making that strategic decision.
I feel like this is the most straightforward part of my philosophy. Disads need to be unique and warranted. I feel this is a question more on Econ or Politics debates. On Econ, instead of just throwing numbers my way, why not make some comparison why your numbers are more important/predictive of economic trends. Politics is the same way, do not just throw out Dems high, Bill gonna pass, you stop it, bill woulda done some good things, WE ALL GONNA DIE. Instead, I like Politics that focus on key members of the Senate or House who would be influential in the bill's success or demise and EXACTLY what the bill does. That will give me a better idea of how to evaluate the claims of the debaters.
Run any impact and make it important. I usually default to Timeframe 1st with Probability and Magnitude 2nd and 3rd. I like good impact analysis with Timeframe because if you win the impact to a disad/adv before the other DA/Adv happens, then it probably changes the impact story of the other DA/Adv.
CPs need to be functionally competitive and have a net-benefit, whether that is an advantage the CP captures that the plan does not or a DA that is avoided while gaining the Solvency of the Aff. I feel like I have a decent grasp on what textual competition is and I have determined it is not nearly as important as people have made it out to be. Functional competition is the way to my heart.
Types of CPs to be ran in front of me:
Alt Agent (mmhhmmm they warm my soul)
Alternate Plans that avoid the DA but solve the Case (Example: Plan regulates Ag pollution with an Environmental Adv. CP is to clean up ag pollution and run a regulations bad DA.)
These were not really my thing in debate. I ran them occasionally but it was nothing super tricky or too post modern. Basically I ran Biopower. However, I have judge multiple K rounds this year and I have found them a lot easier to judge than I expected. I have voted for criticisms and voted against criticisms both on the aff and the neg. I will just say that if this is some new kind of K that is supposed to catch the other team off guard, then you should explain it well because I am not the most well read in that area.
Texas Tech Graduate Teaching Assistant
Last edited by APotter : 02-15-13 at 10:07 PM.
Well, Corax from WWU, my speaker points will be on a scale of 25-30. I will probably rarely ever hand out 30s and 25s. I suspect a lot of 27-29s.
Texas Tech Graduate Teaching Assistant
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