I debated Public Forum at Brookfield East (WI) and have been judging since I graduated in 2014.
My general judging philosophy: I will do my best to adapt to whatever type of debate the debaters in the round want to have. If both sides want to argue theory, I’ll judge on theory; if they want to have an evidence-heavy debate, I’ll judge on evidence. At the end of the day, I don’t want to intervene. I believe debate is about the debaters and I’ll do the best I can to accommodate whomever it is I’m judging.
That being said, I do have my judging preferences. With a background in PF, I like to be able to break my rounds down to the flow. The following make that easy for me (for the most part, they’re just basic fundamentals of debate):
  • I “can” flow any speed short of spreading, but I’d much rather not. You’ll impress me a lot more with well-articulated argumentation than you will with speed.
Sign posting
  • Make it easy for me to follow what you’re doing. For example, if you’re refuting an argument/contention, make sure you tell me both the number of the contention/sun-point as well as the argument being made. For example: “In response to my opponent’s second contention about <‘the dominance of the Chicago Bears’>, <The Chicago Bears are a terrible football team>.
  • If you want to cross-apply a contention or make an extension, tell me the number of the contention you want to extend as well as the argument you’re making. Also, extend arguments through every speech. You can’t expect me to flow something your way if you only brought it up in your first and last speech. Very similar to the point about sign posting; however, I made this a separate point because I’ve told this to debaters before about 80% of my rounds and less than 10% did what I asked them to.
Back up your claims
  • If you’re arguing anything that’s more contentious than Aaron Rodgers being the best quarterback in the NFL, please have evidence. Essentially, if your opponent has a card on something and you don’t, I’m likely going to give that point to him/her over you.
  • Building on the previous point, be sure to explain why an argument/or piece of evidence you bring up is significant. You can tell me that drugs are bad, but that statement means nothing without you telling me about the negative impacts that make them bad.
  • Identify the key voters at the end of the round! Like I mentioned above, I like to let the debaters control the debate; however, if you don’t give me voters you’re forcing me to decide how to weigh your arguments.
Hopefully this helps; if not feel free to ask me about specifics: ashveersingh12@gmail.com