College Policy Debate Forums

TOURNAMENTS => CSU Fullerton => Topic started by: Donny Peters on December 16, 2013, 02:34:11 PM

Title: 2014 Kathryn Klassic Judge Procedures
Post by: Donny Peters on December 16, 2013, 02:34:11 PM
2014 Kathryn Klassic Judge Procedures

The CSUF policy debate squad has been historically committed to increasing diversity, and that philosophy continues today.

It’s also been our experience that that there has never been a tabulation system that pleases everyone.  As such, we do our best to do what we think is good for the overall community. 

We believe that no system or solution can ever fully correct circumstances where participants act in bad faith, and we are hopeful that alterations in tournament procedure can improve the community if we are willing to collectively acknowledge that we are ultimately bound by pure intentions rather than disciplinary rules. 

We ask that judges vote on the content of a debate without consideration for how their decision will affect their own teams’ competitive interests, that preclusions represent conflicts of interest and not an attempt to improve preference sheets relative to competitors, and that judges self-identify as diverse out of authentic identity concerns and not to counteract other judges’ self-designations. As a community, we survive on trust; traditionally, trust has served us well, and we believe that we can still trust each other today.  Since the first NDT over 6 decades ago it has always been the case that a judge can improve their own team’s chances by giving those they judge lower scores or invalid decisions, but we have thrived this long because so many of us are willing to rise above self-interest and embrace intellectual integrity.

With that being said, the following are the Kathryn Klassic’s tabulation procedures for judge placement:

Diversity-enriched judge pool
An individual who wishes to be viewed as a diverse judge can self identify as a member of an under-represented group.  We ask judges to seriously consider whether they are a member of a traditionally under-represented group before self-identifying, but do not limit to a specific ethnicity or gender category.  The litmus test is whether you are a member of a traditionally under-represented group and that identity gives you a unique perspective on the debates.  We anticipate being able to gather that information prior to the tournament through (further instructions will follow at a later time).  In the meantime, if you know that you want to participate under the diversity-enriched label, email me at  We reserve the right to review designations and may not grant self-identification in all cases.

Debater/Judge initiated constraints:
The tabulation staff will review constraints.  If it appears that a team’s constraints are out of the normal range then we will need to consult with that team to make specific adjustments.
Until our governing bodies (AFA, CEDA and COTD) complete a more comprehensive definition, we assume that constraints are determined on the same characteristics that were announced by Wake Forest University prior to the Shirley. 
Judges should not judge:
•   Debaters they presently or formerly coached (which includes judges that are hired by a team to coach the team for a limited timeframe or weekend)
•   Debaters with whom they were on the same squad at the same time
•   Debaters with whom they have otherwise indicated a conflict of interest (i.e. romantic relationships)
•   Debaters with whom they were at the same school in the past two years, even if not on the same squad
•   In situations governed by CEDA’s Sexual Harassment Policy
We expect everyone to abide by these reasonable interpretations.

Judging commitments/Hired judging
Every squad must meet their judging commitment. Schools must arrange their own hired judging through Tabroom. We cannot guarantee the ability to provide extensive hired judging for the tournament. We anticipate only 10-12 extra rounds of judging.

We follow the Council of Tournament Directors guideline, adopted on the basis of community consensus, which states: “debaters should be prepared to debate in front of all possible judges, and that while placing highly preferred judges is a logical approach, it is not the only goal to be pursued in judge placement.  Other goals include encouraging students to develop audience adaptation skills, helping judges develop as critics, avoiding overuse of highly-preferred judges, and full use of the available judging pool.”  We seek to balance these goals.
We will employ a mutual preference judge system for all divisions using a nine category system that counts each judge based on the number of rounds they are committed to judge.  We are also committed to using all judges to their full commitment.  We will use Gary Larson’s MPJ system within these limits; you should generally expect to debate in front of a judge rated 5 or higher, with the proviso that we will place a mutual 6, 7 or 8 judge if that is necessary for all judges to hear their full commitments.  We anticipate doing so in only a small number of debates since the previous data collected by the Council of Tournament Directors supports the claim that the majority of debates will contain judges in the top 50% of the judge pool. Based on the Wake Forest experience, we believe this will provide proportional representation in prelim rounds.
As was noted in earlier posts by Wake Forest University, this system is designed to get “more people judging that do not get an ample opportunity to judge in the MPJ system.” While we understand that there is an inherent tension between giving debaters the judges they want and having an inclusive judging pool, we view this approach as step in the right direction for increasing diverse interactions for both critics and competitors.  We view these changes as a reasonable course in light of the Wake Forest experiment and as consistent with the judge placement goals in the Council of Tournament Directors.  In line with USC, we will manually review judge placement to maximize judge diversity within the best possible range of mutuality and preference.
Given the relative novelty of a 1-9 system with diversity enrichment goals, we will be testing tab procedures and will announce any modifications that seem appropriate.

Double Z Score
We will adopt the “Double Z Score” as part of the calculation for speaker points at the Kathryn Klassic. The Double Z Score’s calculation is based on the NDT’s formula that was adopted at the 2013 NCA for use at the 2014 NDT. For this reason, the tabulation staff and the tournament directors agree that it is vital to practice its use prior to the national tournament.  Double-adjusted z-scores (which adjust for points above both judge and debater averages) will be the first tiebreaker for speaker awards.

Diversity-enriched elimination round judging
All judges are obligated through the octafinals on the morning of January 9th. We will participate in two elimination round experiments this year.  First, we will have 5 round elimination panels for all elimination rounds from double-octa finals through the final round. We view 5 judges as an imperfect but next step forward in increasing a diverse judge pool.
Similar to WFU, We will engage in aggressive elimination round placement of a diversity-enriching judges.  We will seek to place at least one diversity-enriching judge on each panel. Ideally, this individual will be the highest-preferred diverse person for both teams, and diversity will be determined by the self-identification of the judge prior to the tournament.  All elim judge placements are subject to the constraints of the available pool of judges.  The elimination pool includes committed judges and all volunteers.  If you wish to volunteer to remain in the judging pool as part of a group of diversity-enriched judges or after your team is no longer obligated to provide judging, please email Erika at or let us know at registration. Competitors, please note that, much like the Shirley, if you wish to win the Kathryn Klassic, you will have to debate in front of diverse judges.

Like WFU, we intend to follow a schedule that provides 2:45 decision times.  We ask that panels limit the announcements of decisions and oral critiques to 30 minutes.  Our goal is to release panels for the next debates at 3:15.  It is acceptable for team members preparing for the next debate to dismiss themselves if post round discussions continue.

If you have any questions or comments regarding these procedures please contact either Erika Thomas or myself,



Title: Re: 2014 Kathryn Klassic Judge Procedures
Post by: stables on December 16, 2013, 05:09:52 PM
Both halves of the California Swing are being governed by these principles. If you need to submit any information, please add to that email as well.


Title: Re: 2014 Kathryn Klassic Judge Procedures
Post by: RW Evans on December 30, 2013, 09:30:02 PM
Will USC be publishing the judges included in the DJP prior to the close of prefs?  Considering the subjective nature of the test and its approval mechanism, prior disclosure of who the tournament has approved as diverse would seem prudent.  This information is most important to the class of people this policy is designed to protect:  the diverse.

Title: Re: 2014 Kathryn Klassic Judge Procedures
Post by: stables on December 30, 2013, 10:58:01 PM

Always happy to help. No one has emailed me to designate themselves. I have just asked Fullerton if they have any designees.  We are happy to share this information if/when we have any submissions.