Paige Prichard -- Mukwonago HS

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Judging philosophy:

I co-coached Debate from the spring of ’09 to the spring of ‘11 for a Wisconsin team, and in 07-08 I was involved as an assistant coach for a small team not affiliated with a state league. I have not judged policy frequently, and have mostly worked with Public Forum previously. I was involved with developing our state’s Novice Packet for policy debate this year, and am active in the Milwaukee Urban Debate League.

Short version: Pragmatic, persuasive arguments win. Don’t speed – quality wins over quantity.

Long version: 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. I do accept fast speaking, but will intervene if you are not clear at the speed you are speaking. I will say “Clear!” if you are not clear enough for me, and if you do not comply after two warnings in a row I will stop flowing.

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 general beyond time constraints. Tag-team or open cross-ex are fine, but should 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 with clash from both sides. Too many issues brought up leads to incomplete or dropped arguments and usually speech patterns 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 T is used, there should be obvious discrepancies between the aff plan and the resolution.

Counterplans should be both non-topical and competitive when at their best. 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. When counterplans are topical, it becomes tough to keep the round from looking like two Aff teams are in the room. Also keep in mind the pragmatism of your plan/counterplan. If your counterplan relies on $55 million popping out of thin air or declaring war on Russia, I would have a hard time voting on it without some justification.

I don’t like jargon- riddled speeches. Sure, the words are there to make it easier for us to refer to strategies and can be useful, 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, back them up, and what you can do logically to connect the dots to convey your information.

Seasonal voting record:

TourneyDivRdAFF    NEG    Decision

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