My experience with policy debate: I am an external policy judge for Rufus King High School as I was on the Merrill High School Debate Team from 2002-2008. I debated primarily policy my entire six years of debate but have had some experience in public forum. I'm three years out of debate (currently a Junior at the University of Wisconsin - Madison).


General Paradigm:

My judging paradigm is more traditional. I consider myself a “stolicy” judge, weighting both stocks and policy issues heavily in the round.

Off-case arguments:


General: I tend to vote on disadvantages and counter plans more often than I have topicality and kritiks.

Topicality: Topicality is a voting issue but for me to buy a topicality argument, the affirmative plan should be blatantly un-topical. If AFFs feel they are clearly not un-topical, a "we meet", framers intent, or counter definition typically suffices.

Kritiks: I do not like “out there” super-theoretical kritiks (the human psyche, for example). I really only want to hear real world impacts that I can "wrap my head around". Otherwise, kritiks should be non topical and present an alternative.

Disadvantages: Of course, DA's are great. Please outline clearly your link, uniqueness, brink (optional), and impact. Good strategy is to run solvency in addition to DA - "Not only does plan not solve, but it makes status quo worse!".

Counter Plans: Of course, counter plans are great. Should include a counter plan text, be non-topical, be mutually exclusive, solve, and have net benefits.

Some other random technical things:


  • speed is fine,
  • no open cross examination,
  • you can grab evidence after the speaker is done reading from it so you can analyze it at your desk,
  • please speak with inflection and passion,
  • splitting the neg block is fine,
  • new arguments in the 2NC is fine,
  • please demonstrate your knowledge and understanding by explaining and analyzing your arguments in your own words, and
  • don’t forget to weigh the round!