In its truest form, I am a “Tabs” judge. I enter every round as a blank slate. I am willing to vote on anything from reverse voters on Topicality to Theory to a lack of inherency. While I do have preferences, at the end of the day, I do not like judge intervention, so even though there are arguments that I am not a fan of, that does not mean that I will not vote for them, if they are the winning argument at the end of the debate round.

If there is any advice that I can give debaters that are debating in front of me it would be to debate what you are most comfortable debating, there are no arguments that I am going to disregard completely and there is nothing that when run appropriately, I will not consider in my judging decision. After this brief overview I will get into the nitty gritty of my preferences, but please remember, these are simply preferences.

My history in debate is that I debated both V4 and VSS for Mukwonago, and then debate at Michigan State University in the NDT and CEDA circuits. That being I have been out of debating for about 3 years and in that time I have judged at Glenbrooks, and many VSS tournaments around the country. I am very comfortable with the topic this year.

When it comes to my philosophy on debate. I really like when a team truly understands the evidence and arguments that they are running. Whether it be the Kritik, Theory, or standard case attacks, a lack of understanding of what your arguments are and how that argument related to the round in my experience leads to a muddled debate. Below you can find a bulleted list of common arguments and my feelings on them.
  • Topicality: I think that it is a vital component of debate when run correctly. The negative however does have to prove that there is abuse, and has to put effort in the standards and voters debate in order to win. As I said above everything is a voting issue and I have voted on topicality and on the affirmative reverse voters for Topicality. Make sure that you are able to articulate the abuse in the round.
  • Counterplans: I am ok with all different kinds. I honestly really have no opinion regarding them. I do believe however if you are going to have a counterplan and go with in the 2NR there needs to be a lot of work on describing why the world of the CP is better than the 1AC world, especially if you are capturing most of the 1AC solvency. For the AFF I am ok with perm theory as well as other types of Theory as I will discuss below. I do not care if your CP is topical or not, but just make sure that you are ready for the theory debates if you choose to run those arguments as I will vote on theory if it is under covered or dropped.
  • Kritiks: I always start this explanation by stating that I have a bachelors degree in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy, as well as a Master’s Degree in Law Enforcement and Intelligence Analysis, and a Master’s Certificate in Homeland Security Studies. That coupled with High School and college debate provides me with a large breadth of knowledge on the books and literature that support most of the Kritiks that are run in this state. That being said, please make sure that you understand the theory and meaning behind the Kritik your running as well be able to explain to the other team in cross ex and in the rebuttals if you choose to go for it how their argumentation bites the Kritik and the impact of the that. I am willing to evaluate K’s first if the framework and theory debate has determined that is the way I should frame it. Otherwise, I will look to the impact calculus done in the rebuttals.
  • Theory: Theory debates are very interesting to me. I find them always to get very muddled, or they are very one sided. But just like I said in Topicality, if you are going to run theory, be able to clearly articulate the abuse or the arguments that you are unable to run because of the opposing teams abuse. Theory without standards and voters, is not likely to win you a round with me. Note that I say not likely, it can happen.

Now for those debaters looking to get high speaker points from me there is a pretty simple formula. I do not care about speed in the rounds however clarity is key. Those debaters that are clear and polite in the constructive and persuasive and organized in the rebuttals are normally the debaters that tend to get the highest speaker points. I am not a huge fan of rude debaters. I was one in High School and I have found that in certain cases it has lost me debate rounds. While I will not drop you for being rude, know that I will hurt speaker points if you are rude in round. This is debate. It is imperative to remember that being a good sport and being competitive are not mutually exclusive.

In the end, if there is something here that I have not covered simply ask me and I will be happy to explain or clarify. Good Luck and Have Fun!