Paige Prichard Judging Philosophy

I was a policy debater in High School, and am in my first year of officially coaching this year at Rufus King International School. I was involved in various events in Forensics from 6th to 12th grade. I started coaching in the spring of ’09 for MDL tournaments, and in 07-08 I was involved as an assistant coach for a small team not affiliated with the WDCA. I have not judged policy frequently, and have mostly worked with Public Forum this year.
Short version: Think Tabula Rasa but pragmatic. Don’t speed.
Long version: (with help from the FAQ on the site) I think that the point of communication is to get your point across clearly and effectively. Mumbling and/or stumbling through too much information in a monotone voice is not clear or effective. Your goal in a debate should be to persuade me, as the judge, to either go with your plan or reject the plan placed before me, not to cram as much information as possible into a timed speech. Cross-Examination is important to me in a debate, as it is really where you showcase you knowledge of your evidence as well as the topic. I do not limit cross-ex in any way beyond the standing rules of the WDCA. Tag-team should only be used sparingly – there should never be one person that takes over every cross-ex for the team.
I prefer to see fewer issues that are covered in-depth. Too many issues brought up leads to incomplete or dropped arguments and rates of speech that cannot be understood.
When done right, Topicality can make or break the round. In order to win on Topicality, the negative must first show that the Affirmative plan does not address the text of the resolution. There should be definitions given with proper supports as to how the Affirmative plan is not related to it and why I should care. However, negatives should be careful not to turn it into nit-picking. If this strategy is used, there should be obvious discrepancies.
Counterplans should be both non-topical and competitive. To successfully use one, you should show me why it is different from the plan, and why it’s better to do it that way. When Counterplans don’t compete with the plan, both could be implemented, and I’d have to go with the Aff plan, since their plan is the one I’m really judging on. After all, the counterplan could be added on later. When counterplans are topical, it becomes tough to keep the round from looking like two Aff teams are in the room. As for objectionable counterplans, keep in mind the pragmatism of your plan/counterplan. If your counterplan relies on $55 million popping out of thin air, I would have a hard time voting for it.
I don’t like jargon- riddled speeches. Sure, the words are there to make it easier for us to refer to strategies, but the English language is lovely. Use that to make your points, and remember that I’m not impressed with how many debate terms you know how to use. What does impress me is how well you can state your points and what you can do logically to connect the dots and convey your information.