Kirk Gibson -- Pace Academy

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Judging philosophy:

Topicality: A good topicality debate requires evidence beyond the definition in the 1NC. Obviously this is easier to do with terms of art rather than words like "substantially," but that's what makes those more enjoyable. Comparison of education, ground, limits, etc. needs to start earlier than the 2NR and the more effective it's done, the easier my decision will be. I default to competing interpretations.

Disads/Counterplans/Case: Yes, please. I especially love the politics DA and impact turning advantages. Competition off of certainty or immediacy is exceedingly stupid. As are agent counterplans. As such, I believe that affirmative teams have the right to clarify their plan text in the 2AC (with "perm: do the counterplan"). What is most upsetting to me is that negative teams feel that they need these kinds of counterplans to win. Depth on a DA, impact defense, impact turns, advantage CPs, etc. are better alternatives to what I see as negative cheating.

Critiques: I think affirmatives must defend the outcome of the plan but don't object to critical advantages. As for K's on the negative, I am not the best judge for K's that are not topic-specific since I do not read the literature, find it difficult to read, and often have no idea what they say (Zizek). It is better for me if the negative can go through 1AC evidence and show examples of the link, and make clear both how this calls into question the other assumptions of the aff and also how this causes the impact. I find myself voting aff in many K debates because the affirmative wins that many of their truth claims are true and the case outweighs. If you put some time into making the K specific and making clear what a world of the alternative looks like, I'll have a much easier time voting for the K. Conversely, affirmatives should focus on those two areas as well.

Theory: The more specific your theory violation is (e.g. conditional pics are bad as opposed to conditionality or pics are bad) the better position you'll be in. I often don't like to decide these rounds because it's difficult to flow quick, multi-pointed blocks. With that said, here's things that I am more easily persuaded by: offense/defense (1% risk) on a DA is bad, 50 state fiat or at least uniformity is illegitimate, counterplans without a solvency advocate are illegitimate (often this includes consult and conditioning). Things that I am less persuaded by: conditionality is bad, PICs are bad, cheap shots (severance perms are a VI). And things that I am indifferent to: multiple conditional worlds are bad, word PICs are bad. I don't believe that my personal convictions should decide the round, though, and will vote for whichever team does the better debating. Finally, I default to rejecting the argument so, unless "reject the team" is dropped, a 2AR on theory needs to spend some time on an abuse story.

Random other comments: I think I tend to hold the line on new 1AR/2NR/2AR arguments. With that said, it does fill me with joy when 1ARs make bold moves or smart, strategic decisions (especially when it's a recovery from a 2AC screw-up). Responding to new links with new link turns, new impacts with new impact turns, kicking out of an advantage to read a bunch of cards on one part of the debate (depth) is all totally awesome.

Pet Peeves: Unnecessary aggression, rebuttals that throw around the word "conceded" like 400 times when that's clearly not the case (as if the other debater just stood up and dicked around for 5 minutes. seriously, it makes you sound like a total idiot) the phrase "cold conceded," gratuitous prep stealing (also makes me especially grumpy), tub thumping to emphasize something (oh my god.)

If you have specific questions, please don't hesitate to ask before the debate starts or email me

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