Speed is fine with me. You must be clear. I like when debaters slow down on tags and analytical arguments. If I think you’re being unclear, too fast, or breathy, I’ll just shout something out like ‘CLEAR’ or ‘SLOW.’ Just don’t make me shout it out twice.

I can only evaluate things that were said in the debate. I know what it feels like when it seems that judges are making arguments that simply weren’t there. No judge is perfect but I do my best.

I default to a policy making paradigm, but that’s just my default. Once framework arguments are made I look to those when evaluating the round. I also default to evaluating topicality before framework, unless arguments have been made otherwise, in which case I’ll look to those.

I enjoyed topicality as a debater. I see topicality as a valid test of the affirmative. I like a good standards debate. Even if an affirmative doesn’t meet the definition of the negative, if the affirmative can win that the standards of the negative’s definition aren’t good for debate then that’s what I care about. I will not vote on reverse voters on topicality. The affirmative cannot win just for being topical, or just because the negative ran a topicality argument against them.

I don’t think enough debaters actually take time to read the full text of their cards or their opponent’s cards, including the parts which are not underlined. Practicing this is essential. I often see gaping holes in evidence supporting key arguments that simply went unaddressed by either team.

In overviews it’s not enough to extended cards or explain your side of the story without addressing the arguments your opponent has made. I will assume that you’re reading a pre-written overview, you didn’t flow the debate well enough, or your debate acumen is such that you’re not capable of evaluating the arguments.

I absolutely hate debates where both teams are simply not addressing the other team’s arguments. If the other team reads a card, and all you do in response is read a counter-card, but you don’t compare the warrants of the two arguments or otherwise specifically explain why your argument is more compelling, it makes the debate extremely difficult to evaluate.

I think great debaters generally do three things really well:
1. They explain why they win certain arguments on the flow
2. They explain why winning those key arguments means they win the meat of that position
3. They explain how winning that position plays into them winning the round

Keep in mind that merely saying “we win this argument” is not the same as specifically undermining the warrants of your opponent’s argument, explaining with compelling reasons why your evidence should be preferred, etc. Even if the opponent literally completely dropped all of their arguments on a position, going through the three steps above makes it very easy for me to evaluate the round.

I try to give brief critique for each speech in the round, as well as a general summary of how I evaluated the debate, and what I feel both teams should have done better.