Abby Schirmer -- Marist School

Use the back button on your browser to return to the pref entry page or tournament entry list. The judge philosophy appears in a different format at the bottom of the page.

Judging philosophy:

I debated in High School at Belleville East (in southern IL -- that probably doesn't mean too much) for four years, I then debated for Michigan State for four years (that should mean much more). I now coach at Stratford Academy in Macon, GA. Everything indicated below should reflect having debated at MSU.

Case Debate- (neg) I'm for it, but you need much more than a few solvency take outs to win the debate. Case D in conjunction with a CP that might not solve all the case are better round winners in front of me. Negs need U for their case turns, Aff's should probably point this out. (Aff)- you should (but don't have to) win most of your case in order to win the debate, but i do admire the clever 2as that kick the case and go for the link turn.

Disads- Again, i'm for it. Defense and offense should be present. Especially in a link turn/impact turn debate. You will only win an impact turn debate if you first have defense against their original disad. Same holds true for Link turns. You should probably disprove the central thesis of their original link before you can win a link turn. I'm willing to vote on defense (at least assign a relatively low probability to a DA in the presence of compelling aff defense). Defense wins championships. While i think that there is always a risk to a link-- i highly privilege aff's who do more work on the link and impact level (offense and defense) than neg's who whine that "there's always a risk of a link." That in my book is not a reason to vote.

K's- Highly unlikely round winners in front of me. I do not read the literature, i do not like to debate them, in most instances they frustrate me to the point of exhaustion. It is not the type of debate i do, or did, or even like to listen to. This does not mean i do not vote on it. Framework should be a question that gets debated out. What does the ballot mean with in your framework. These debates should NOT be happening in the 2NR/2AR-- they should start as early as possible. These debates need some discussion of an impact-- i do not know what it means to say..."the ZERO POINT OF THE Holocaust." There also needs to be some articulation of what the alternative does... voting neg doesn't mean that your links go away. If you don't win an alt-- you need to win U for your links. Bio power down tho isn't a very compelling arg in my book, so take that as you will. I will vote on the perm if its articulated well and if its a reason why plan plus alt would overcome any of the link questions. Link defense needs to accompany these debates.
If you are aff defending yourself against the K remember your case. Leverage this against the K as much as possible, that is one of the best, and most successful strategies there is. But again i remind you... I do not like the K.

Project Teams- I debated at MSU-- if this does not say enough, you need to probably re think your strike card. I believe policy making is good, and i think that project teams leave very little ground for either the aff or neg to debate. I am not sympathetic to what you do, nor do i think it is particularly educational or good for debate. That being said, i will watch it, and i will flow it (traditionally done as best as i can). I will weigh the arguments (be they framework or just project) in the best manner that i can. I recommend framework for those defending against these affs/negs, and i am very likely to vote that the project doesn't make debate better or infact makes debate worse. I think the aff has to have a topical advocacy (or plan-- but that can be debated). These arguments are compelling to me. If i do watch your debate, and you are a project team, i am sorry.

CPs- Love them. Defending the SQ is a bold strat. I will listen (and most likely vote) on CPs done in either the 1NC or the 2NC. Multiple conditional (or dispo/uncondish) CPs are also fine. One CP that i tend to find trouble with is the consult CP. I think it encourages doing no work, which is where i find a problem with teams running it. Come on... get more creative than that. I'd rather hear multiple conditional CPs, with 7 planks and 3 actors than a consult CP. That being said, i lean neg on theory- yet i think aff's should get some ground so theory debates could get pretty interesting. Aff's make sure you perm the CP (and all its planks). Solvency deficit debates are some of the best, prove why the solvency deficit to the aff (or the CP solving the aff) OWs a solvency deficit to the CP, and you win. Same goes when you're aff. Ensure that you include the question of a solvency deficit when making your impact calculations.
Please ensure that your CP has a Net Benefit, i'm not really compelled by the argument that the CP solves better.

T- Also a decent debate. I view it in an offense/defense type framework. I think competing interpretations are good but do think that some aff's are reasonably topical. Which interpretation is better for debate is most likely going to win the round. Please include in your debate an application of the standards into an impact level. For instance, if the neg has an interp that limits out a portion of the topic why is that bad.. how does that impact debate, how do future link debates work, what does that world look like? K's of T are stupid. I think the aff has to run a topical aff, and K-ing that logic is ridiculous.

Theory- I tend to lean neg. But make a compelling argument and you've got me. Theory is usually a reason to reject the arg, not the team, but you must answer it. Condish/dispo are both fine and i see debates on these questions as a strategic aff tool to waste neg speech time (which is fine). PICs are also good-- see CPs above. I don't like SPEC debates, i think they are stupid especially on some topics when a particular actor with in the gov has to be used. They are a waste of time in front of me... not compelling what so ever. The bottom line is that you must make comparisons to the world of the aff and neg in the presence of the theory argument and weigh what impact those worlds have upon debate.

Remember, All of this is just a guide for how you chose your args in round. I will vote on most args if they are argued well and have some sort of an impact. Evidence comparison is also good in my book-- its not done enough on the HS level and i think its one of the most valuable ways to create an ethos of control with in the debate. Perception is everything, especially if you control the spin of the debate. I will read evidence if i need to-- don't volunteer it and don't give me more than i ask for.
I love fun debates, i like people who are nice, i like people who are funny... i will reward you with good points if you are both. Be nice to your partner and your opponents. No need to be a jerk for no reason.

Seasonal voting record:

TourneyDivRdAFF    NEG    Decision

Judge Philosophy Alternate Format: