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University of Texas at Austin
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UIL Speech Judges

If you have corrections, questions or comments regarding this information, please notify The UIL Speech and Debate department at or 512-471-5883.

Ricky Gillespie

Current high school:

Currently coaching?: no

Conference: Not Coaching

Number of years coached:

Number of tournaments judged: 1-3

High school attended:
Athens, Texas

Graduated high school: 2003

Participated in high school: yes

Participated in college: yes

Judging qualifications:
I have been judging various tournaments across Texas since 2005. During this time I have judged just about every speech / interp event, except PFD and duo. I have judged HI and DI occasionally, but I prefer to keep it within prose/poetry. I judged the whole week of CX State last year and am enthusiastic about judging it again this year. I debated in Athens under Cecil Jordan and Myrna Bass. I competed in LD for 2 years and CX for my senior year and attended WTAMU debate camp summer 2002 for CX, and won district in CX with my partner and former UIL intern Jeff Weatherford. I also competed in poetry and extemp, making it to regional finals in poetry in 2003. I absolutely love judging and am dedicated to preserving the integrity of debate competition.

Judging Philosophy


Rounds judged: 4
Judging approach: stock issues
Policy priority: Equal
Evidence philosophy: quality
Paradigm: Topicality, Solvency, Inherency, Significance, Harms--These 5 stock issues form the basis for 90% of my decisions as a judge. Usually I give solvency arguments the most weight analytically, especially on plan text. Harms and Significance typically rely more on preponderance of evidence, with respect to both quality, quantity, as well as recentness. I understand that most topicality arguments are constructed from shells, as much of CX relies on generic evidence, but I do expect attention to be given to the uniqueness of the link; this is especially true also with my weighing of DAs. Inherency is a less prominent stock issue these days (probably because it is harder to build generic inherency arguments), but if the negative can substantiate an argument for the status quo easily solving harms, inherency holds the same deciding weight as any other stock issue. Coming from the tradition of UIL debate, I tend to shy from K / CP as I feel the arguments at the heart of these forms could be made within the context of the stock issues. From my experience, these types of arguments are usually run as neg block time sucks, where no attention is given to specific link or uniqueness. While as a judge it is my duty to decide any given round based narrowly on the information as presented by each side, these types of arguments are against my preference. I have given neg ballots before based on CP / K, but usually I do so reluctantly. Lastly, I am picky with extreme speech speed. I urge participants to make the consideration of the amount of material they intend to present in the context of allotted speech times. If the quality of the communicative element of the speech suffers due to the pace of speech, then it is natural that persuasiveness degrades. A simple metric would be to consider whether the speech rate would be appropriate in a courtroom. EXCEPTION: As many teams split the negative block to try and overload 1AR and induce drops, I tolerate extreme speed in this speech only, in the interest of mitigating this strategy a little.


Rounds judged:
Approach: Equal
Less picky than CX. I prefer philosophy and the abstract arguments to use of specific evidence. Hard facts and evidence can be used, but only to bolster--there is no absolute truth or fact to me as an LD judge. I strongly believe that negative bears the burden of clash. This should dynamically affect the flow of the debate. Typically I find that the debater that wins the value clash wins the round. Affirmative enjoys a responsive privilege, and generally does not have to dedicate substantial time to attacking negative, with certain exceptions (shared values/criteria, philosophers, ect.) I greatly prefer quality of evidence, substantiating a core, cohesive series of related arguments, and polished speaking skills. Speeding or spreading should be avoided at all costs in LD, persuasiveness is (almost) everything, just by the nature of the debate style.

Contact Information

cell: 903 944-9601

Availability Information

Meet types:
Invitational District Regional CX State State Meet

Qualified for:


Region of residence:
Area 1 Austin/San Antonio

I will travel to: 1 2 3 4 5 8