Steven Finch

Affiliation: Bradley Tech HS, Milwaukee, WI
Constraints: Bradley Tech

Background: Involved with debate for 14 years. Coach and judge for 7 years.

Initially, I would like to say that a great debate for me is when there is a lot of refutation and clash along with organization. (Jumping around the flow is something I really don’t like so try to refrain from that). I really like teams who really look deep down into the evidence not just look at a tag to say that would suffice. Warrants are very important and making me believe your warrant is best is even better. Speed is OK but it MUST BE CLEAR!!!! If I can’t understand you I will tell you that and if you don’t correct it then I will just stop writing.

I like diversity in argumentation. Don’t run a crap-load of disadvantages or solvency turns. Add in topicality a Kritik and a CP and theoretical arguments (if applicable). But make sure that these are positions that you think that you can win. However, that doesn’t mean that I want to see a DA, a CP, a K and a T argument in the 2NR. Please narrow it down to one argument.

If you can add some humor into the round that is great. I feel that debate should be fun (but competitive). So put in your random joke. DON’T DOWN THE OTHER TEAM THOUGH! This WILL cause you to lose speaker points and COULD cause you to lose the round.

Finally, I like impact calculus. THIS IS A MUST IN THE 2NR and 2AR. I prefer even if there is an overview before the line by line.

Arguments I don’t like: (1) T is a reverse voting issue. T is either won or lost not the round. (2) For this year I really don’t want to hear Consult some other country. The poverty and social service problems here I think are pretty exclusive. I don’t want to here Consult some international organization either. (3) Vagueness. If the premise of the plan is in the plan text that is good enough. WE ARE NOT BILL WRITERS! HOWEVER, if a plan is extremely vague, i.e. the premise of the plan is not included then this could be a valid argument. (4) Over specification - it’s a waste of time. (5) Delay Counterplans, Condition Counterplans and the like that is exactly like the affirmative except for one TINY thing.

Now below you will find my position on different arguments and debate practices:

Topicality - Is fine. But don’t run something specific with it if you plan to win on T. But at the same time it should be something that you feel that you can win. So NO TIME SUCK T ARGUMENTS! With that said, if an affirmative is blatantly not topical, then even if you have evidence on it, I could possibly be persuaded to vote on your T argument if sufficient reason(s) are established.

Disadvantages - Generics are fine but I would rather see a specific link. If the link is not that specific I feel that the risk of the impact happening decreases.

Counterplans - I really like a lot. Whether or not they should be not topical is up for debate. Please have net benefits for them as well as solvency.

Kritiks - I have grown to like a lot but don’t spread through them like a race horse. Articulate these very carefully so that they are easily understood. Additionally, I really think that a K alternative should be more than just “reject the aff.” Actually do something constructive to solve the K. I really don’t think that it is fair that an Affirmative has to do something constructive to solve the situation and the negative doesn’t. Kritik Affs are fine as well.

Conditionality: Is fine but you have to live with the consequences. If the Affirmative can articulate a solid abuse scenario then I could definitely vote Affirmative.

Other theory - Is fine, but don’t run it just because. As I stated above actually run arguments that you feel that you have the possibility of winning.

C-X - I'm OK with an open cross-x but I have found that some teams are not. Therefore, my policy with this is that ALL 4 debaters must agree to have open cross examination. However, if the 1A is to question the 1N, the 2A and 2N should not control the cross-x. Speaker points will be docked if the expected questioner or answerer is not asking or answering the majority of the questions. Cross-x is to "poke holes" in the opposing side's argument but also for clarification. I use it as well for clarification, to fill in blanks on my flow. However, if there is a concession by the opposing team and you want it to be flowed, it must be presented in a constructive, 1NR or 1AR, or else the argument will not be weighed.

Evidence grabbing and reading behind someone during constructive - Again just like cross-x, ALL 4 debaters must agree to allow evidence grabbing and/or standing behind someone during a speech in the round. If there is a team that doesn't like that then a decent alternative would be to have the evidence placed in a central location. The evidence must stay in that location during the entire round if you want to check something. You cannot take any evidence to your desk in this case.

Speaker Points - Everyone starts out at a 30 and I take away half points or full points if you do something just a little lack luster. If you have the clearest spread and do everything else right in terms of refutation, organization and have top shelf evidence then you will get a 29.5 or 30 from me. If you curse in my round I will dock 5 points. If you are rude in anyway to your opposition then I will dock points as well.