Aaron Vinson -- New Trier

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Judging philosophy:

Aaron Vinson
Director of Debate, New Trier High School, Illinois
Formerly, Head Coach, Princeton High School, Ohio
Glenbrook North Alum, Miami University of Ohio Alum

How familiar are you with the topic/how much do you judge?
I taught at institute (SDI) for the Space topic; I judge about 4 prelim rounds + 2 elim rounds every tournament.

What is your ideal rate of delivery, and how many issues would you like to see in a debate?
Fine with speed. At some point there are diminishing returns between your speed and the amount of arguments that make it to the line by line. Big 1nc's are fine, especially if you collapse down to a few flows in the block.

What is your ideal 2NR strategy?
I really will vote on anything. But if I had to choose one favorite it would be counterplan + disad.

What is your views on cheap shots- are they voters or not?
I went for and think the following are arguments I would vote on: consultation counterplans, spec arguments, condition counterplans, delay counterplans. I really will vote on anything if it rises above a cheap shot - meaning it is a well developed and impacted argument. If you can really explain aspec and impact it well - you aren't just shadow extending it - then I might vote for it. If you don't invest the time, I probably can't stomach it. Safe rule: if you're worried I won't vote on it because you won't develop it enough, don't go for it.

What is your view on K framework that change the decision from yes/no policy- are they acceptable?
Acceptable yes. Preferable no. But largely irrelevant because 99% of kritik debates framework is a push because the neg concedes the aff can weigh their case. In debates where the neg is ahead/aff drops framework arguments like representations come first, the aff will probably lose. As a quick aside, negatives win kritik debates in front of me very often because the affirmative fails to 1) extend a perm explanation that solves various neg links, 2) explain why the alternative does not solve case and/or the kritik impact, 3) use the specifics of the plan/1ac to beat the kritik.

What are your views about T on the space topic- are the 2-3 most common violations persuasive to you?
Most affs will meet either exploration or development so T will be a hard sell. Even arguments that are decent, like t-human presence are contrived and do not seem to create a terribly good interpretation of the topic. Update: And then my first three rounds at Wake the 2nr went for T - and I voted neg on T 2 out of 3 times. This was because of drops, failure to read counter interpretations, etc.

Where do you draw the line in terms of what counterplans you think are acceptable?
PICs are fine, consultation is fine, condition is fine, international agent is fine, domestic agent is fine. In 99% of debates I resolve theory arguments as reasons to reject the counterplan, not team (when this argument is made explicitly by the negative).

Uniqueness or link- who do you love?
Close but link. If a politics bill is going to pass the plan can always increase the chance of it passing because nothing is 100%.

Who are recent debaters/teams that you loved to judge?
Good question. I'll come back to this at some point during the year.

What do you consider the bounds of appropriateness- either in terms of niceness or humor?
I'm a high school teacher. If you wouldn't make the joke in front of a high school teacher, don't make it in front of me. Regarding being nice/mean - it's one thing to be competitive and a little mean but don't be rude.

Offense/defense vs reasonability- where do you fall, does it vary from issue to issue?
Reasonability is persuasive to me on topicality and theory issues. Offense/defense is not my default way of evaluation but it's one way I break ties when competing frameworks of evaluation are not presented by debaters. Arguments about presumption do not make sense to me. If a disadvantage has been reduced to almost zero, the affirmative should not automatically lose. No one automatically loses because you say so.

Speaker points
I don't give terribly high points. I give as low as a 25 sometimes. I think I've given three 30's in ten years. Those three people would go on to win the TOC at some point in their careers. Good points are given to those people who beyond being good speakers make good strategic decisions that (sometimes) simplify debates and make things clearer for evaluation.

Things I actually won't vote on
Reverse voting issues - if you are topical, good job, you don't automatically win. I think that's it.

Paperless debate
I am very supportive of paperless debate but the other team must have a way to view what you read. This means that if you don't have a viewing computer you must make your computer available to them at any point in the debate. No exceptions to this. Reading large amounts of cards off of your partner's computer during speeches where your whole speech should be together (like the 1nc say) is frowned upon. I also don't stop prep until you give the flash drive to the other team. Don't argue with me on this because I usually give you the benefit of the doubt when "for some reason the file didn't save to the flash drive."

Other notes
Debate is about communication and oral argumentation - if it wasn't in the debate or if it was not clear to me in a debate, I do not see a reason why I should give you a friendly push and/or read your cards.

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