Nick Ryan -- Liberty University

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Judging philosophy:

I’m currently in my third year of judging. I debated for 4 years in High School, and an additional 4 years at the University of Mary Washington, this is my 3rd year of coaching for Liberty University. If you have any questions about things that are not listed here please ask, I would rather you be sure about my feelings, then deterred from running something because you are afraid I did not like it.

******Things you must know******
Since most people don’t seem to read my philosophy I’ve decided that this is probably the best way to spoon feed debaters my preferences and reward those who read my philosophy. These are the issues in which I may or may not differ from the rest of the debate community.

1. Paperless teams beware – After having coached my teams on the transition to paperless debate I’ve grown frustrated with paperless team’s inability to do it efficiently. I simply do not understand why it takes so long to jump a document to the other team. Mostly this stems with my frustration about teams taking 5 minutes to save a file. I’ve decided to start a special “bonus” time for paperless teams. If you are paperless and rely on jump drives you will receive 3 minutes of bonus time. This time will not be added to your prep, rather the time it takes you to save your file will be counted down from 3 minutes, if you go over these 3 minutes of “bonus” time then your document saving time will start coming out of your prep time.

2. Permutations and CP texts – They must be written out, I am not going to be happy when I call for the CP and Perm Texts and have the AFF scribbling out Do Both (which I don’t think is an argument, I think AFFs must write the perm so that it can be done). The following perms do not mean anything to me and therefore NEGs can vary easily convince me to not evaluate them:
A. “Perm – Do Both”
B. “Perm – Do the plan and all non-mutually exclusive parts of the alternative”
I won’t evaluate these perms because they don’t explain how the permutation will function which I believe is the AFFs burden to do, otherwise the permutation will just morph, in other words I will vote against these perms if the negative simply says “these aren’t real arguments, they don’t explain how they function which justifies them being a moving target”.

3. Perm Advocacy – Negs must ask if AFFs can advocate the perm, if it is not discussed prior to the 2nr /2ar I am likely to let the AFF advocate the perm.

4. The Status Quo always remains an option –absent any clarification in the debate I generally believe that the status quo remains a logical option for the negative at the end of the debate (this means that if I find that the CP doesn’t solve the AFF, I believe I can vote in favor of the Squo and the Disad). That being said questions I think need to be in the debate every time there is a CP:
A. Under what condition can you kick the CP?
B. If the 2NR goes for the CP, can the judge default to the Squo (if they say yes, that probably helps you on your conditionality bad args, if they say no that just means you do not have to worry about me defaulting to the Squo.)

*****General things you should know******
Communication – as a debater I always appreciated judges that provided feedback during speeches, and as such I will try to do the same, if I am confused I will indicate it non-verbally, by looking up and looking confused, you should take this as a sign that you should go back to whatever you were trying to explain and explain it again. If I do not understand your arguments and you ignore my feedback indicating such, I am more than willing to discount said arguments.

Speaker points – whatever point scale the tournament is utilizing, whether it be the 30 or 100 point scale, these are things that can and probably will influence your speaker points: clarity, explanations, disrespectfulness to the other team, or your partner, stealing prep time, your use of your speech time (including cx), etc.
Things that will cause you to lose speaker points (seeing as how most tournaments are moving to the 30 point decimal scale these are the point values you will lose):

1 full point for the phrase "Cold Conceded" –(I really hate this phrase) although I will let you keep the 1 point if you can tell me what the difference is between something that’s hot conceded, cold conceded, and just plain conceded.
.2 Points for saying the phrase "Gut Check"
.2 Points for saying something is conceded when it is not.
.2 Points for the phrase "Card one"
.2 Points for the "Pepsi Challenge"
.2 Points for “Jack Taco”

Flowing - I will flow every speech, including CX, it enables me to organize the debate better. I may not be the best flow in the world but if you are organized in your speeches, I will get a majority of your arguments down. If you are disorganized on the flow, I cannot be held accountable for cross applying arguments to other areas of the flow that you do not instruct me to apply them to. I prefer good line-by-line debates instead of top-heavy overview debates where you just tell me it is answered in the overview.

Dropped Arguments – You need to extend defensive arguments if you are kicking out of a DA or argument to get out of a turn. Otherwise you risk letting the 1AR just go for the offensive arguments and not the defensive arguments.

*****Other Specifics*****
Topicality and Plan Flaws– T is always a voter and never a reverse. I strongly believe that all AFFs need to have a written plan text/advocacy statement. If you are going to go for Topicality in front of me these things will help me buy into your violation more and will improve your speaker points – I would prefer to hear a case list or a description of what the topic would look like under your interpretation vs. their interpretation, a good explanation of the in round vs. potential abuse that has/could occur under their interpretation, and why I should care. If you are AFF in a Topicality debate I am willing to listen to the reasonability vs. competing interpretations arguments, but you need to have some warranted analysis on this point starting in the 1AR. In addition, I do not believe that AFFs can be reasonably topical without a counter interpretation. As far as plan flaws go, I always read the plan text before the debates to look for tiny flaws that I could point out, I am willing to vote on plan flaw means you don’t solve, however if it is merely a matter of grammar (which I am not very good at) then it’s probably not worth your time. (I have heard a lot of T substantial debates on this year’s topic, I think if the negative is ever going to win these in front of me it is their burden to prove a. what their percentage is. b. what the AFFs percentage is (why they don't meet, this is not the AFFs burden, in a T substantial debate I would probably be fine with the AFF saying "make them read a piece of evidence saying we are X percent and then we will debate this")/
Theory – I loved theory debates as a debater, I went for ASPEC a lot, purely because theory debates interest me. However, two teams’ just reading blocks back at each other on the theory debate is a good way to kill my happiness with theory. You need to have well warranted and impacted theory arguments that directly refute the other team’s arguments if you are going to go for theory in front of me. I was a 2N for most of my college career and as such, I am a little more neg friendly on theory then some other people. I ran consultation Counterplans a lot, in addition to PICs. This is not to say that AFFs cannot win these arguments, it just means that is what I believe. I am generally fine with conditionality (however AFFs can win that it is bad), I also believe that dispo is really just conditionality, because it’s just some arbitrary burden that AFFs can never meet (I don’t care if you say your CP or K is dispo, however I am willing to buy the argument that it is really just conditionality in disguise). The only real theoretical issue I strongly favor the AFF on is object fiat is bad. That being said it is open for debate and am willing to vote for whoever wins the argument. I am also willing to buy the argument “reject the argument not the team” so if you want to go for theory in front of me (even if it is a dropped “cheap shot”) you need to explain to me why I should reject the other team. In addition (just for your reference) when I was AFF, theory was a big part of our 1AR strategy, not just the generic CP theory that you always hear, but non-intrinsic arguments, and politics theory such as “vote no” etc. Therefore, I am willing to listen to these arguments and vote for them, and just as willing to vote that they are cheating. (What you do with that info is entirely up to you).

Disads – I love disads. I believe that it is possible to win zero risk of a link, however, I do not think that happens very often (I went for these arguments a lot on the AFF, and believe that I can figure out when a DA really links or not). I think that AFFs would benefit from questioning the Internal Link story more then they usually do, tons of Disads are missing them in the 1NC shell, and AFFs never point it out. Uniqueness is interesting to me, since a lot of debates focus here; I think that it is nearly impossible to win a 100% non-unique to most disads, especially politics disads. Uniqueness cards also tend to be not very good, I think that it can mitigate a Disad; however, I do not think that AFFs can win the debate purely on the non-unique claim, except in very rare occasions. Counterplans: As I stated in the theory section, I generally lean negative on CP theory, whether the CP is topical, a PIC, PEC, conditional/dispositional, international fiat, agent etc. If AFFs are going to win these theory debates I think there best strategy would be to make a combination of arguments, specifically “conditional consultation CP’s are bad” something that negs are more than likely to just read their conditionality good and consultation good blocks to, which may or may not answer the specific reasons why running them both together is bad. I love good CP debates though, I think that negs probably should have a solvency advocate, but what that means is up for debate (I tend to think I am neg bias on this point, in that on this topic if the neg has a card saying a specific state needs X subsidy for Y reason, that a CP to exclude Z state would have a solvency advocate based on that card).

Kritiks – I did not run a whole lot of these in college, so do not expect me to be too familiar with the literature. That being said I am willing to listen to them, however you will need to give a lot more warrants and clear explanations to get me to understand your kritik. Here are a few other things that will help you win your kritik, make it specific, the more specific the better, I need lots of Link and impact explanations instead of generic extinction inevitable claims. I need a clear explanation of what the alternative does, how it functions, and how it solves the K. I have also noticed that some K debaters get too overview happy and forget the line by line, that will not make me happy, I want to hear the explanation on the line by line, overviews are fine however if it’s half of your speech you are wasting your time. Alt Texts and perms also need to be written out, and clearly articulated. I think that AFFs can and should be able to permute parts of the alternative card, if it says things other than the Alternative text. As far as K AFFs go, they are fine so long as they have a plan, engage the resolution and are topical. Just do not assume I know what you are talking about.
Non-Traditional/ Performance – If this is the primary way you debate, I am probably not the best judge for you. I will attempt to be open minded, however I tend to think that debate is generally good. I do think you need to engage the topic in some way. I also tend to believe that if the other team engages you in your style of debate you cannot blow off their arguments, if you do I think it grants them a lot more credibility on framework debate. If you are debating these types of teams, you need to pin them down on what their advocacy is, how it works, how it will solve, and what exactly they do and do not do. Then argue what they change is bad for whatever reason.

Seasonal voting record:

TourneyDivRdAFF    NEG    Decision
WestPtNov3Army/CUNY Spikol28Espinoza 27.2CrnlDong27.8Matos27.6NEG
WestPtNov4MUFeldstein26.7Halwagy27.4CUNY Correa26.8Figueroa26.9NEG
WestPtNovDoubCrnlDong0Matos0Army/CUNY Spikol0Espinoza 0AFF 3-0 (AFF)
WestPtJVOctoCrnlKuo0Naqvi0WestVaJensen0Palmer0NEG 3-0 (NEG)
WestPtJVQurtBosColBartholomae0Folio0CrnlFurman0Yoon0AFF 3-0 (AFF)
WestPtJVFinalWestVaJensen0Palmer0BosColBartholomae0Folio0AFF 3-0 (AFF)
NavyNovQurtGeoMasAhmad0Kostiuk0VandyPelaschier0van der Walt0NEG 3-0 (NEG)
NavyOpenQurtJamesMBrass0Waugh0GeoWasSommers0Tan0AFF 2-1 (AFF)
NavyJVSemiArmyDavis0Hodgkins0VandyRehman0Zhan0AFF 3-0 (AFF)
USCOpen1SamforDeFoor28.3Vande Kamp27.8HarvardDimitrijevic28.5Taylor28.6NEG
USCOpenDoubWakeMcCarty0Miller0UGALacy0Layton0AFF 3-0 (AFF)
CSUFOpenDoubGonzoKanellopoulos0Moczulski0WhitmanHumble0Zendeh0AFF 3-0 (AFF)
ADANatsNov6VTDeal27.7Deevi27.6Vandyvan der Walt27.8Pelaschier27.5NEG
ADANatsOpenQurtJamesMBrass0Waugh0VandyWilliford0Stothers0AFF 2-1 (AFF)
ADANatsJVFinalVandyRehman0Zhan0WestVaWarne0Jensen0AFF 2-1 (NEG)

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