Debate Coach at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn, NY (2008-2010)
Director of Debate St. John's College High School (2010-present)
Debated three years Jordan High School in Utah, One Semester at Catholic University of America in DC

For the past decade have been involved in debate to a varying extent. During the course of that time through limited national exposure and participating with debaters of a higher calibur than my own career, have developed the following paradigm:

My own time as a debater concluded in a heavily "critical" partnership enamoured by obscure philosphers and the relatively lax research burden that such debate affords. As a consequence I am still responsive to teams that argue a critique well, but the subsequent years and degrees in philosophy have significantly raised the bar for both affirmative and negative teams in terms of the sophistication with which they must present significant reasons why a critic should shift from a default disposition of a judge of a game to a somehow more involved theororist or activist. As a coach, the beauty of a debater than can craft a coherent negative strategy subsisting of multiple disads and a counterplan that work together is far more appealing than it ever was as a debater. Having disclosed that much, I would be inclined to employ the much-maligned phrase "tabula rasa" and default to the role of a judge for whom the role is to evaluate who does the better debating. Speed is absolutely fine, but clarity is essential to the flow, as it seems an intervention with which I am uncomfortable to ask for evidence simply to get a tag. The only qualification to this is that my own life is heavily involved in social advocacy, and any manner of sexist, racist, religiously predjudiced, or various other "ists" and "ices" you might supply will probably result in a lost ballot. Specific positions on typical debate arguments will follow, in which you can attempt to discern the intelligence of the author, the sincerity of the writing, the authenticity of the narrator...

Topicality: Thoughtful analysis by the negative team with an actual violation constructed as an indictment of the affirmative plan can win a ballot. This will require significant work to be done explaining standards and voters, and a commitment by the 2NR to legimate voting on T. My own inclination is to recognize Topicality as a valuable tool to draw out distinctions in counter-plan and disad ground.

Critiques: This was addressed above, but be careful that as a debater you don't assume that post-modern thought immediately addresses the ontological claims of systems of thought that appeared historically prior. A critique is not a magic wand that immediately subsumes the thought and word of your opponents, and a well crafted link story, the specific implications of your opponents' actions, words, or evidence will need to be examined.

Disadvantages: Well-researched and argued D/A's could serve as a negative's bread and butter when it it comes to my evaluation, especially if the default gamer's paradigm is in play. Specific links and solid internal link stories are just fun to listen to.

Counterplans: As a debater I could not beat them, and as a coach I have joined them. Unfortunately counterplan theory eluded my interest and probably exceeded my ability, but at this point it seems an interesting and necessary aspect to many negative strategies. This is another winner if articulated well.

Case: Typically receptive to solvency-heavy offense and some defense on harms and inherency. Anything that is tactically important to a strategy can be buried here without punity as well.

That is the short story. This year I have appeared to be a bit of a point-fairy, which probably has something to do with my antipathy towards point-misers and love of small, mystical winged creatures.
Luke