Brad Meloche -- SEAHOLM

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Judging philosophy:

Name: Brad Meloche
School: Seaholm High School
Preclusions: Groves, Seaholm
Rounds on the military topic (as of 9/22/10): 24

A few things I should note first:
1) Be civil during your debate. I really hate it when partners argue throughout the whole debate. Even if you are behind in the debate you will be more likely to get good speaks if you are nice.

2) Arguments should have a claim, warrant, and implication.

3) A dropped argument almost always = a true argument. The only exception is if the original argument did not include the requirements in #2, in which case I might give the team that dropped the arg some leeway in hedging against an entirely new warrant or implication.

4) Finally, all of the below is just personal preference. Do what you are good at and everything will be fine.

Specifics:
DAs – I love them. In-depth politics rounds are great. That being said, I think most affirmatives let the negative get away with way too much. Absent some strategic situation, the 2AC should ALWAYS question the link to the DA on some level. The more specific the DA the better.

Kritiks – K debates are a double-edged sword. They can be off-the-charts great if there is a coherent link, impact, and alternative articulated on the line-by-line, or mind-numbingly awful if the 2NC is just one giant overview that talks about random things for a while. Don’t assume I know what a kritik says. If you are worried about being able to explain your kritik given this you probably shouldn’t run it yet.

Framework – should be brought up as early as possible. While theory is certainly part of this, I think both teams should be reading cards in a good framework debate. Winning frameworks will solve most of the other team's offense while providing for their own argument's legitimacy. If the negative wins the argument that their K is grounded in topic literature then the aff will need to win some (carded) reasons why an exclusive focus on policy debate is good or they will probably lose the race to the theoretical middle.

CPs – I love a good CP debate. See below for theory questions.

Theory – I’ll say this first – I view theory through competing interpretations and will not vote based on personal prejudice. That being said here are some of my general opinions:

-Conditionality is cool, but it gets less cool as the number of worlds presented and the wackiness of the general negative strategy increase. Dispo bad is a really tough sell.
-Perm theory = almost never a reason to reject the team. This is not definite, however. I can be persuaded that a certain perm or things like multiple perms are voting issues, I just don't find those arguments very persuasive.
-Consult/Condition/Delay CPs – I think these CPs are absolutely devastating to aff ground unless the solvency evidence is case-specific. I won’t necessarily vote these CPs down on theory, but I am very receptive to the perm. Simply put, I think that the perm to do the counterplan is 100% legitimate and that severance based on time is stupid.
-Performative contradictions – two examples:
1) Neg reads a states CP and a kritik of capitalism that links to the CP. Perfectly fine in my opinion, but debate it out.
2) Neg reads a kritik of war impacts and reads a DA with a war impact. Probably a bad idea. I will err aff here, so be ready for an uphill battle if you do this on the neg.

Topicality – I’m cool with it. If you are equally winning substance and T and you are trying to decide whether to go for either T or a DA, for example, I’d prefer you go for the DA. I’ll err to competing interpretations because reasonability is completely arbitrary, but debate it out. I think that the terminal impact to most T debates is ground, but the internal links to this should be explained as how they relate to the limits debate. Make distinctions about topic-specific education and predictable ground and you should be golden.

Critical affs – Whatever. I prefer affs that defend a topical plan text, but I could be persuaded otherwise in a particular circumstance.

Performance – I have very limited experience with this but if this is your thing, I’d be happy to listen.

Other procedurals (ASPEC, OSPEC, and the like) – I’ll vote on these, but I think a prerequisite to the neg winning these debates is that they win a resolutional basis. You may give a flawless 2NR on ASPEC but if you don’t convince me agent ground is key to the topic you probably won’t win.

Case – do it. I think the most likely way a negative team will lose is by dropping one or multiple case advantages. Engaging the aff on the case debate is a must if the negative wants any chance of winning without a CP.


Random:
Time issues (New for 2010) – I'm getting really sick of debaters stealing prep, so I've decided to become more strict on timing. Cross-x begins the moment the speech is over. I'm not going to take prep for you to walk up to the podium before your speech, for setting up tubs, or for reading your roadmap, but if your partner is prepping while you do this I will deduct an appropriate amount of prep time and deduct speaks. I am the official timer, don't argue with me about it.

Pet Peeves (I'll add to this as I think of them) – if you tag the Mead '09 evidence as saying "nuclear war" or "extinction" I will deduct half a speaker point.

New in the 2NC – I don’t care one way or the other, but it is almost never strategic. I think that new DAs, CPs, or Ks in the block 1) means I give the 1AR leeway in answering every argument in the debate and 2) justify new 1AR answers, maybe even on old flows.

Speed (1-10) – 9ish (if you are clear you should be fine). That being said, I have a fairly low ability to understand unclear debaters. I will yell clear if I can't understand you.

Speaker points – apparently I am a point-fairy, but I’m trying to change my scale. 27 is my average, 28 means you are on the borderline of being able to clear, 28.5 means I think you should break, 29 means I think you deserve a top-10 speaker award, 29.5 means I think you are in contention for a top-5 speaker award, 30 means you are the best speaker I have ever heard. Low-point wins are rare and usually indicate that one team dropped a small argument on a theory flow or that the 2AC and 2AR were good but the 1AR couldn’t cover.

What I run – not sure why this matters but I've been asked. In the last year I have run positions across the spectrum of argumentation. This includes: Zizek (aff and neg), kritiks of DAs, and DeDev, to a big stick aff, CPs, and politics. (Again, this kind of thing is irrelevant to how I adjudicate rounds, but I've been asked.)

Overviews, not underviews - overviews should frame the debate, not "sum up/do impact calc if I have time."

Stop speaking when you are done making arguments - there are few things I hate more than debaters who just stand up and repeat themselves for 5 minutes.

If there is anything you still have questions about then just ask me before the round.

Seasonal voting record:

TourneyDivRdAFF    NEG    Decision

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