Policy Debate Experience/Background:
I began as a debater at Hortonville High School from 1999 to 2003 where I debated competitively on the varsity level for four years, traveling equally to both in-state and national tournaments. I then debated at Pace University in New York City for two years where I also did a bit of coaching and judging on the east coast. Since moving back to Wisconsin I spent a year as an assistant coach at Neenah High School in 2006. Since then I have judged on a limited basis, generally two or three times a year. As a debater I ran a very wide range of arguments and am quite familiar with many of the contemporary styles of debate that have evolved since the time I began debating.

Style of Debate Preferred:
I prefer debaters to make arguments and form the debate around things they do well. What that means is that I will listen to anything as long as you know it well enough to make me understand. If that can’t happen by the time the debate is done, I will be a tad partial to logical arguments. I find case-specific debates to be much more educational and spark my interest much more than a debate using vague link and impact analysis. Offering link and impact analysis early in the debate will go a long way for you. On the opposite side, simply extending tag lines or author names throughout the debate without giving warrants or its impact on the debate will leave me searching for opposing warrants to the argument. I like to see strategy being used throughout the debate. With that in mind, I don’t have much of a preference between making a lot of negative arguments versus having a condensed strategy, but I do appreciate the strategy of going ‘all-in’ early.

Be nice and try to enjoy yourself. Keeping me entertained by being funny and using pop-culture references will help your speaker points.

Speed:
Speed is not a big issue for me as long as you are clear. I flow the evidence just as much, if not more, than I do your tags, so please don’t just clearly speak the tags then spit out the evidence incomprehensibly. It is also important to give me just a small bit of time between blippy theory arguments. Generally, if I’m not writing/typing while you are reading, I can’t understand you. I won’t try to pretend that I know what you’re saying so I’ll probably have a confused look on my face if I’m not following you.

Topicality:
Topicality is fine with me. You should treat analysis on topicality much like you would impact analysis on a disadvantage. Also, please explain your standards well throughout the debate. Saying “they dropped my reasonability standard” does not do a whole lot for me. Explain how that impacts the topicality debate. Using examples and case lists on topicality helps as well. Most importantly, I think that clash is huge in topicality debates. If you don’t want me to do my own comparisons you should be engaging the other team’s arguments.

Critiques:
See above regarding knowing your arguments well. I would prefer to hear the critique explained in your own words as the debate goes on rather than your authors’ explanation. An alternative is very important for me, and I like to hear you explain what “vote negative to reject ” means and does. Moreover, if the affirmative’s case claims to solve war and death you should be winning arguments on why I should evaluate the debate using your impact calculus.

Counterplans:
Counterplans are fine, and I will evaluate the legitimacy of your counterplan based on what is on my flow. I really don’t have a bias against any type of counterplan. Please make comparisons between net benefits and case advantages/solvency deficits. Obviously, both teams should be doing this on counterplan debates. Also, I like to see counterplans written specifically for certain cases, but that doesn’t mean I will disregard your fairly generic counterplan.