Judging Info for John Knetzger


This is posted for those who might see me during the season. I'm currently serving the President of the WDCA and won't be judging at this year's WSDT.

Background: I debated for Cedarburg in the early 90s, winning a state championship in the 4 speaker division and breaking to the elims in VSS. I'm in my 5th year as the assistant coach at West Bend following stints as the head coach at Homestead and an assistant at Cedarburg. I'm constrained against West Bend and Homestead. This hardly matters, but I'm a stay at home Dad and part-time church musician.

I've been around this activity for a while and the more I judge, the more I realize I've become an "old school" judge and I'm OK with that. It's lead me to a few conclusions about what I believe about debate. Since you're going to be speaking in front of me, you should know what they are:

1. I'm not really impressed by speed, especially when I can't understand what you're saying. Effective speakers will not go faster than their skill allows. One warning is all I'll give before my flowing stops until you correct yourself.

2. I'm also not overtly impressed with critical/philosphical affirmative or negative positions. Run them if you want, but I'm always looking for something tangible to vote for.

3. I don't think it's possible for nuclear war/extinction to always be the imapct for everything. If I'm going to die no matter what, why should I bother voting?

4. Communicating is about listening and speaking. When the other side is talking, I think it's your job to be seated and paying attention. Don't walk over and grab cards, leer over the reader's shoulder, etc. You've got cross-x to ask questions.

5. Civility is required. That means treating your opponents with respect, not using inappropriate language, etc. If you can't handle these things, you will receive a substantially lower speaker point total from me.

6. Both sides have a burden of proof for their offensive arguments. If that burden isn't met, I will not vote on that position.

7. I remain hopefull that line by lines still exist somewhere in the world. Prove to me that you are flowing and can refute what the other side is saying with specifics and you'll go a long way to earn my ballot. When all teams to is read preformatted blocks and extensions, I'm often left with having to look at the round based on #6 above.

8. My job isn't to figure things out for you. Don't assume I'm dumb, but prove to me that you have a solid grasp of your agruments. If you don't, I'm not likely to give them a ton of weight on my ballot.

9. WDCA rules govern the round. Please know what they are. Beyond that, roadmaps are for mostly for my benefit and not timed. When the round ends, my thoughts to you will be on the ballot for you and your coach to read later. I won't hold up the tournament and inhibit the coaching process by sharing exactly the same thing aloud.

10. I'm happy to clarify anything on this page which is confusing to you. However, I will not do so when it is clear that you haven't read it in the first place. At this stage of the game, there isn't a reason for that. I've spent time putting this together and somebody put in a lot of time compiling and posting all of the paradigms. Having knowledge of what judges are hoping for demonstrates respect for them and for the process.

11. If what you've read here leads to you to prefer me with a 'C', you won't make me feel bad. really.