Experience- This will be my second year as the Assistant Director of Debate at Marquette University High School. Before coaching, I debated at Marquette High for four years. During that time period my partner and I had great success in the state of Wisconsin, broke at many national tournaments, and qualified to the TOC. I do a large amount of research for the Marquette High squad and am therefore more familiar with the topic than most, however, I have not had the opportunity to judge too many Varsity rounds on the topic so some degree of explanation as to the intricacies of some of your arguments that you might think are obvious to anyone debating on the topic might need a little bit more explanation in front of me.

I know that I tend to rant on and on about some of my opinions regarding particular arguments or argumentative styles in debate so for the sake of efficiency,here are a couple of major highlights about my thoughts and predispositions as a judge.

-I believe that rounds often lack comparative claims about the relative quality of arguments and how this impacts the interactions of arguments. Put another way, impact calculus does not only pertain to weighing the magnitude, timeframe and probability of impacts against each other but also pertains to comparing the way in which defensive arguments, claims about qualifications, evidence quality or other similar arguments impact how I should evaluate certain arguments within the round. When debating, always ask the question "Why?", such as "If I win this argument, WHY is this important?", "If I lose this argument WHY does this matter?". If you start thinking in these terms and can explain each level of this analysis to me, then you will get closer to winning the round. In general, the more often this happens and the earlier this happens it will be easier for me to understand where you are going with certain arguments. This type of analysis definitely warrants higher speaker points from me and it helps you as a debater eliminate my predispositions from the debate.

-I debated in, and currently coach in, a team culture that places high importance on evidence quality and this fact is evident in how I judge. I believe that part of my job as a judge is to evaluate evidence as a way to compare arguments made by either team. Quality of cards without a doubt beats quantity of cards, in my opinion. This does not mean that I will decide rounds only on evidence, or call for cards without there having been moments in which the particular cards in question were not highlighted in the round. Again, it is your job to tell me why you think this particular card is important within the narrative of the round. I also find it easier to make decisions one way or another in which debaters describe the comparative lens through which I should view evidence ie. author qualifications, recency, predictive vs. descriptive claims, etc.

- I do believe that terminal defense is a real possibility in debate rounds. This means that I will not always evaluate the round through a lens of offense-defense. Again this plays into evidence questions and the relative impacts of arguments claims made above.

With those three main paradigmatic questions out of the way, here are my thoughts on particular arguments. This list is by no means exhaustive and if you have any questions about specifics, feel free to ask. Again, these are just predispositions that I would like to eliminate as much as possible while judging but I cannot shy away from the fact that they exist and will impact the way I think about rounds.

Case- Debates are won or lost in the case debate. By this, I mean that proving whether or not the aff successfully accesses all, some or none of the case advantages has implications on ever single flow of the debate and should be a fundamental question of most 2NRs and 2ARs. I think that blocks that are heavy in case defense or impact turns are incredibly advantageous for the neg because they enable you to win any CP (by proving the case defense as a response to the solvency deficit), K (see below) or DA (pretty obvious). I think that most affs can be divided into two categories: affs with a lot of impacts but poor internal links and affs with very solid internal links but questionable impacts. Acknowledging which of these two categories the aff you are debating falls should shape how you approach the case debate.

I will say that I think the strategy of going for the K with case defense is an argument combination that is rarely taken advantage of. I think that case defense allows you to provide substantive ways in which I can call into question the assumptions of the aff. I think that it is very difficult in high school debate for an aff team to come back from a block that consists of the K and case defense exclusively (NOTE: This is not me encouraging you to exclusively debate like this in front of me, I just think that it is an under used strategy).

DA- I most often evaluate the DA through a lens of probability. Your job as the aff team when debating a DA is to use your defensive arguments to question the probability of the internal links to the aff. Likewise, the neg should use turns case arguments as a reason why your DA calls into question the probability of the aff's internal link. I think that an interesting argument that is often not taken advantage of by the neg is DA is the prerequisite for the aff argument.

K- I am not completely immersed in as much critical literature as some other judges but I would think that I am a decent enough judge for the K. I by no means want you to avoid reading it in front of me. I think that the best critiques are critiques that directly engage the action of the affirmative, however, criticisms or the representations of the aff are also fair. Most rounds on the K are won in front of me when the 2N explains how the K turns the case or is somehow a prerequisite for the aff. I do find permutations persuasive when this sort of analysis is lacking, however. I also find that I will give higher speaker points to the team that explains links to specific lines in their opponents' evidence or to the logic within cross-x answers etc.

T- I will say that T is not necessarily my strong suit. It never was as a debater and I am still trying to figure out the best way to judge a T debate. This does not mean that you should not go for T in front of me, however, you should be warned that my knowledge on this issue is limited. I think that portable skills are the best impact teams can make when they are engaged in T or theory debates. Comparative impact calculus and a discussion of how each team accesses their impacts will be important in winning my ballot in T debates. I find it incredibly problematic when there are multiple T interpretations in the round, especially when there are multiple definitions of the same word.

Theory- I debated on a team that engaged in a lot of theory debates in high school. There were multiple tournaments where most of our debates boiled down to theory questions, so I would like to think that I am a good judge for theory debates. I think that teams forget that theory debates are structured like a disadvantage. Again, comparative impact calculus is important to win my ballots in these debates. I will say that I tend to err aff on most theory questions. For example, I think that it is probably problematic for there to be more than one conditional advocacy in a round (and that it is equally problematic for your counter interpretation to be dispositionality) and I think that counterplans that compete off of certainty are bad for education and unfair to the aff. Again, portable skills are the most important to me in terms of my predispositions so you will need to do work in round to explain your arguments in this context.