The Tradition Cypress Bay

2018 — Weston, FL/US

Abram Abdou Paradigm

8 rounds

Alright so for starters my name is Abram, I was an okay LD debater and Policy debater in high school.

Ask for clarification in round, and I’ll give a brief summary.

Do what you want I'll flow whatever

Have some fun with it!



Jacob Abraham Paradigm

My favorite event is Extemp, so I treat all debaters like I would a national finalist in Extemp. Talk at a human pace so that the audience can understand the debate, but feel free to extend your impacts as far as possible pending you keep up the warrants for each claim. Impact turns make debate more fun, try to turn them. Work to cross apply your contentions to your opponents impacts. Making voting claims that I missed during the round won't be used to judge the round. The speakers have a duty to communicate what they want the audience to hear, the judge has a duty to listen to the best of their ability and shouldn't feel burdened by advanced debaters who go beyond the judge's means. I've got a PhD in Communication Studies and embrace a qualitative perspective, values matter. Be smart, be concise, and be respectful. If you can deliver the argument well, feel free to also be creative.

Faizan Ahmed Paradigm

My name is Faizan Ahmed, and I was a public forum debater for 4 years. I can understand most arguments made but would like to stress that I cannot flow what you do not articulate or explain well. It is more important to me that you speak clearly and make sound arguments well than speaking fast and not properly making an argument. Remember that it's hard to vote on things that do not make sense to me as a judge even if you think your argument is awesome. I love when people weigh arguments, so make sure to do so.

Luiz Bravim Paradigm

*** NO SPEED, NO SPREADING *** It’s not educational, nor is it conducive to my evaluating the round as fairly as possible. If you do use speed, your speaker points WILL be low and I will not weigh ANYTHING you’re running because I won’t understand it. I strongly favor traditional LD arguments over progressive. I dislike theory. I dislike lack of clarity. I dislike non-topical debates and non-topical arguments. The resolution is there for a reason. If you could run your argument on any case/resolution, I probably won’t like it. If you rely on speed or non-traditional arguments to win in LD, STRIKE ME.

PF: I will weigh ethical arguments as long as I have an objective means to evaluate them. It's your job to provide that.

I have been competing, coaching, and judging debate for over 21 years. I have judged every debate event on the local and national circuits. I favor a lot of clash, well-conceived impacts analysis, and an aggressive style of debate. I enjoy aggressive, pointed CX. Warrant everything. In PF, remind me of the big picture from summary to Final Focus. In close rounds, I'll pay close attention to weighing mechanisms and final focus (PF)/2AR/1NR (LD). Give me a clear, logical weighing mechanism and you'll have a major advantage in the round. If you have a particular lens (framework) in which I should view the resolution, make sure it is well-explained--don't assume knowledge! I prefer a few strong voters (2 - 3) to many poorly-explained voters.

Evidence comparison is critical. Please make warranted arguments why I should prefer your card over your opponent's card. There are many ways to accomplish this, I'll consider any of them so long as they make sense. FYI: One relevant, high-quality card is often better than 2 - 3 generic cards that are not.

You can go line-by-line or be more analytical. Anything that is unclear will not get extended or weighed on the flow. Never forget that debate is a PERSUASIVE activity. If you cannot persuade the average Joe or Jane with your case, you aren’t debating effectively. Ways to impress me as a judge: Depth of Analysis, Topic Knowledge, Effective Advocacy throughout the round, and a clear narrative. I value meaningful cross more than most judges. You can lose on CX, take it seriously!

A pet peeve of mine in PF is summary being as a 2nd rebuttal speech. That is not the point of summary! Show me the most important issues and why they favor your side, we already had rebuttal speeches and 2 cross fires (PF).


1. Taking too long to set up for debate. (Be ready, be punctual, be professional)

2. Taking too long to pull a called card from case (after 1 min. it will cost you speaker points)

3. Flex prep (don’t do it)

4. Hand-shaking (I won’t do it)

5. Sitting during a speech or CX

If you want...

30 Speaker Points

1. You are articulate with rich vocabulary and few nonfluencies

2. You have clear, persuasive voters that make it easy for me to decide the round

3. You made smart choices in CX and Rebuttal

4. Weighed like a Pro

5. You could do as well in high level Extemp or Congress (not just the LD National Circuit)

6. You educated me via topical, resolutional arguments

29 Speaker Points

1. You accomplished 3-5 of the 30 Points criteria above

28 Speaker Points

1. Above average debater or 1-2 of the 30 points criteria

27 Speaker Points

1. Average in terms of speech and/or debate

< 27 Speaker Points

You did not read my paradigm or chose to ignore it. Or there were communication, clarity, or argument quality issues in round. Will be explained in RFD.

Anything else, just ask before the round. Good luck to all! I love nothing more than a good, competitive debate round. I will not disclose or give verbal feedback in any double-flighted round for the sake of time.

--Luiz Bravim

Jenny Carbo Paradigm

My daughter has been in debate for the past three years. I have had pleasure of participating as judge for various public forum debate tournaments for the past two.

During rounds I look for articulate, well researched, informative debaters who present their cases clearly with confidence, decorum and poise. Maintaining a professional attitude and vigorously defending their stances with well developed, fact based rebuttals is always enjoyable to watch. Resorting to any kind of rude or derogatory language towards another debater for lack of argument will result in points taken off. Thankfully, I have not had this happen and have great admiration for all these wonderful kids.

Rana Chander Paradigm

Background: My daughter competed in PF for Western High School. My son currently competes for American Heritage School. I have judged at a handful of tournaments and I am most familiar with public forum debate.

Preferences: Do not speak quickly and try not to get too technical. Please explain and analyze evidence. I will take argumentation and style into account when making my decision.

Verne Charles-Pierre Paradigm

I am a lay judge. I don't like fast speaking. I vote for arguments that make sense and are explained to me.

Alexander Corzo Paradigm

Name: Alexander Corzo

School Affiliation: South Plantation HS

Number of Years Judging Public Forum/LD: 6 years

Number of Years Competing in Public Forum: None

Number of Years Judging Other Forensic Activities: 6 years

Number of Years Competing in Other Forensic Activities: None

If you are a coach, what events do you coach? All except policy

What is your current occupation? Debate Teacher/Coach

Please share your opinions or beliefs about how the following play into a debate round:

Speed of Delivery: Should not be spreading in PF, Ok in LD ( although I don't enjoy it)

Format of Summary Speeches Line by Line

Role of the Final Focus: Weighing

Extension of Arguments into later speeches: Required.

Topicality: Very important, don’t stray too far.

Plans: Not a PF thing, LD ok.

Kritiks: How could a lay judge follow this? So, no.

Flowing/note-taking: Essential

Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally? Definitely argument over style.

If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? Yes, I don’t flow cross, if you want credit, it needs to be in a speech.

If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech? It’s not mandatory, but extremely helpful. Sometimes, time doesn’t allow.

Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? Grand Cross, only under extenuating circumstances, FF, never.

I value weighing over mindless card reading. Good luck!

For LD, many of the same comments apply. I'm more of a traditional judge in LD, meaning that although I understand theory and K strategies, unless there's a really good and compelling reason to resort to these progressive strategies, I enjoy traditional LD. In other words, I find many of the "progressive strategies" to be gimmicky.

Jose Denis Paradigm

Email chain:

I am primarily a Speech coach, and am still very new to the Debate side of things. My experience with LD is EXTREMELY limited, so I have yet to hear a large portion of specific tech cases (I've only heard one or two K's, one DA, and 0 Theories).

I do prefer K and philosophical debates more than anything, as I do find them engaging and healthy for debate, especially when the Aff is able to correctly respond to them. The K needs to have a solid link to the topic and good warrants in order for me to consider it though.

As far as speed goes, I can handle most speeds above conversational, just be sure to slow down on tags and signpost often as my Flows aren't the best and I may miss key evidence if you speed through it.

I typically reward speaker points based off of my own arbitrary system because that's pretty much what every judge does when it comes to speaker points in debate rounds. I don't do low point wins.

Nicole Derisma Paradigm

I’m a parent judge - my son has been competing for two years. I will base my decisions off of your case’s framework providing impact and strength in argument, so make sure you warrant and provide the appropriate support. Please speak at a slower more traditional pace, so I can understand all of your arguments. I have been trained using NSDA standards for Public Forum Debate and have had local tournament experience judging.

Bob Dolan Paradigm

I am NOT a fan of speed, nor speed/spread. Please don't make me think I'm in a Policy Round!

NSDA evidence rules require authors last name and THE DATE (minimum) so you must AT LEAST do that if you want me to accept the evidence as "legally presented". If one team notes that the other has not supplied dates, it will then become an actual issue in the round. Speaker points are at stake.

Don't just tell me that you win an argument, show me WHY you win it and what significance that has in the round.

Please narrow the debate and WEIGH arguments in Summary and Final Focus. If you want the argument in Final Focus, be sure it was in the summary.

In close rounds I want to be persuaded and I may just LISTEN to both Final Focus speeches.

I am NOT impressed by smugness, smiling sympathetically at the "stupidity" of your opponent's argument, vigarous head shaking in support of your partner's argument or opposition to your opponents'. Speaker points are DEFINETLY in play here!

Jonathan Dubin Paradigm

I am the current director of speech and debate and Yearbook adviser at Coral Springs High School.

From 1997-2000, I competed in LD and extemp. From 2004-2018, I was an editor at The Miami Herald.

I am in the learning stages for judging PF and LD, so I will need clear arguments and technical explanations. I cannot keep up with spreading yet.

In PF I appreciate unique arguments, but they must be conveyed clearly and in a way most people can understand. In LD, feel free to use any wild arguments or theories, just be able to back them up!

I have no bias toward any argument or theory or style but I require respect for your opponent(s).

Any other specifics, please ask.

Ellis Fraser Paradigm

Don't mind speed, but prefer it be a tad slower than normal. Good argumentation. Really enjoy a good aggressive debate. Not hostility, but if you're opponent makes a bad argument don't be afraid to attack that.

Stephanie Gravina Paradigm

Parent judge; go slow and explain everything. Tell me what I need to vote on the burden is not on me to figure that out.

Lisa Hart Paradigm

I am definitionally a "lay judge".

My son has debated for 3 years on the national circuit. When judging, I have predominantly done so on the local circuit as well as judging a few national tournaments. For reference, the last tournament that I judged was Tradition in 2017.

I prefer you to genuinely warrant as many things within the round as possible in a logically digestible manner. I am not going to believe your argument solely because Jones 12 of Harvard tells me to. Warranting will win you my vote.

In terms of speed, the slower you speak the better chance I have of understanding what you say. If you're making great arguments at a really fast speed I would have absolutely no clue because I can't understand you.

Off time roadmaps are 100% recommended and will help me understand where you are going within your speech. This is especially helpful in summary and final focus.

Weigh your arguments and tell me why I care about what you are saying. Don't just use buzzwords like "magnitude" or "timeframe" but rather actually explain why I should prioritize your argument over your opponents in a logical and laymen's fashion.

Soledad Hidalgo Paradigm

In public forum debate argumentation is key. I need to see proven quantified data in order to make my decisions. In addition, please be respectful to your fellow competitors. Cross Examination can get contentious, especially in this event. Without civility and respect, the debate just turns into a shouting match. Please watch voice projection and speed for better understanding.

Brandon Inzinna Paradigm

8 rounds

Short paradigms are for dorks but if you insist: I am an east coast flow judge and former PF debater from Florida. Do with that what you will. I highly encourage you to read the entire rest of the paradigm for more specific insight.


I competed almost exclusively in Public Forum debate from 2010-2014 at Cypress Bay High School before going on to debate NPDA/NPTE parliamentary debate at Texas Tech University. I've most recently coached the PF teams at Nova High School and West Broward High School. I'm now working with C. Leon King HS out of Tampa.


Whatever kind of speaking style/speed you’re most comfortable with will be fine with me, just try and signpost whenever possible. I try not to penalize teams for having a different regional style than what I might be used to. Off-time roadmaps are not only accepted but encouraged. I’m not the ideal tech judge to spread in front of but I can handle it. Just don’t push it. If you have to trade off clarity for speed, don’t go for speed. My ears can only pick through so much mumbling and if I don’t clearly hear it, it won’t be on my flow. If a speaker makes an argument in the forest and no one is around to hear it, did they even make a sound? Not as far as my flow can tell. Also, keep in mind that you should try to slow down on your taglines and citations as they are crucial to making sure I'm on the same page as you.

Speaker Point Scale:

I go by a pretty standard scale moving in increments of .5 points (where applicable). You’ll never win my ballot just by being the better speakers, but I certainly do appreciate everything that goes into a great presentation/speech. Proper eye contact, appropriate hand motions, clarity, good posture, projection of your voice, etc will win you marks. Low-point wins are rare but totally a possibility based on what happens on the flow.

< 26 = You said something incredibly offensive and I'm considering dropping you on face value.

26-26.5 = You definitely have room for improvement.

27-27.5 = You’re an alright speaker and might even break.

28-28.5 = You’re a great speaker and will probably break.

29-29.5 = You might be in contention for a speaker award with speeches that good.

30 = You impressed/entertained me in such a way that I had no choice but to give you the maximum amount of points.


If you have a framework then it should be warranted if you want me to take it into account when making my decision. The more clearly defined a framework is, the more likely I am to buy into it. I’m open to just about any type of framework but it’s all about how you use it in the later speeches to win. Absent any framework, I’ll just default to stock-issue impact calculus to figure things out.

Kritikal or non-traditional arguments:

I predominantly dealt with these arguments in NPDA/NPTE Parli but I'm open to hearing them in all forms of debate. Don't be overly concerned though, 99% of PF rounds that I watch don’t end up being like this at all and I’m perfectly fine with that either way. I think teams that run these types of arguments just to confuse or exclude their opponents ruin the experience for everyone and should be dropped, but otherwise, it is up to the debaters in the round to tell me why they get to run what they want to and why that matters. Likewise, it’s up to the opponents to tell me why they don’t get to and why that matters as well.


What happens in crossfire doesn’t normally make it onto my flow until you tell me to refer back to it in one of your speeches. I’ll still be listening so stay on your game and keep things engaging. Be extra mindful of respecting your opponents in crossfire to avoid things getting too heated. I appreciate snark and sass probably more than your average parent judge but there is still a limit. This is especially true in Grand Crossfire when most teams are fed up with one another and really start to turn up the heat. It's not life or death, it's just crossfire.

Additional comments:

I try to refrain from intervening under any circumstance. I try to sign my ballot using the path of least resistance for the relevant issues on the flow. Your best bet of getting there comes from your ability to weigh arguments against one another, starting at the very latest in summary and then again in final focus. If you don’t weigh, you leave things up to my interpretation and we may not have the same interpretation of how the round went. That being said, the summary doesn’t need to perfectly mirror the final focus, just have some consistency in what arguments you go for. Moreover, while I don’t think it should be required to rebuild your case as the second speaking rebuttal, it can definitely help your cause. Finally, I’m going to try and be as laid back as possible primarily because I want everyone to be comfortable. Do whatever has brought you competitive success before or whatever you enjoy the most and I guarantee it’ll make for better rounds. At its core, competitive debate is a subjective activity in persuasion and no matter how long of a paradigm I give you, there will always be a human element to these things. If you want disclosure and comments at the end of the round, I’d be more than happy to offer what I can within a reasonable amount of time (assuming the tournament allows for disclosure). Otherwise, the ballot will be filled out rather extensively (in my atrocious handwriting if we're unfortunately on paper ballots).

If you have a problem with any of this, I recommend you strike me ahead of time. Absent that option, cross your fingers.

Kavita Jain Paradigm

I am a lay judge so that means:

Explain your arguments well and how they interact with the opponents arguments

Try not to use debate jargon and if you do explain what that means

Do not speak fast. If you do I will not be able to understand your arguments and you will probably lose

If the other team drops something make sure to tell me that they drop something

If you have any questions, ask me before the round starts and I will do my best to answer.

Jonathan Kang Paradigm

8 rounds

I debated for American Heritage in PF for four years.

TL;DR: Standard flow judge that will vote off anything except theory. I don't give much weight to non-carded arguments and you don't need to extend defense in first summary. Need to extend impact cards with the warrant and source if you want it to be a voting issue.

Speed: I can flow everything besides full out spreading. However, if you see me struggling to follow along please attempt to slow down a bit or else you might lose me.

Cases: Any arguments read should be warranted and carded. Citations must include author last name and the affiliated institution at minimum.Dates are optional but likely should be included from the beginning if you want to weigh recency in later speeches. I also likely won't have been as well read in the topic literature as you will so if you are going to abbreviate arguments please explain at least once before you do it. Paraphrasing is ok.

Cross-fire: Usually nothing important happens here so I don't flow it or really put much stock into it. However, whatever is said in CX is binding. If your opponents make a concession or say something you want to use as offense, bring it up in a later speech, otherwise I won't put it on the flow. Humor is always appreciated but be sure to be respectful and nice towards your opponents.

Rebuttals: Responses should always be carded and directly respond to case offense with little exception. Card dumping is totally fine by me so long as each block has a coherent warrant. Analytical responses and turns will receive much less credence and a simple weighing analysis between a cited vs non-cited source will always be enough for me to err on the side of the former. Offensive overviews are fine but make sure they are contextual to your opponent's case. I will have a much lower threshold for responses to overviews that are inherently new contentions or are merely amalgamations of generic turns in your block file.

Summary: Heroes of the flow always become martyrs of the ballot so please don't go for everything, especially args that you are losing. Strategic weighing is always preferable to spreading yourself too thin. Arguments that are dropped here will be lost to the round and should not be brought back up in FF. New responses from the second summary are only permissible if the first summary read new cards. First summary does not have to extend defense but second summary must.

Final Focus: Voting issues in these speeches should be the same ones that were introduced in the summary. Take this opportunity to completely flush out the narrative and weigh more. I flow so if you extend through ink it will annoy me and likely come off your speaks.


You can choose to either sit or stand for speeches and/or CX. I don't really care.

If the tournament allows me to I will disclose, otherwise you'll have to wait for results to come out later

I don't buy disclosure theory or date theory, please don't read them unless you like to lose

If you don't care about what I have to say at the end of the round go on so it looks like you're taking notes

Kumar Kapersaud Paradigm

I am a debate parent and prefer lay debate. Please speak at a conversational speed and make your points clear. I will not disclose or announce the winner at the end of the debate; however, I will provided a detailed ballot.

Jill Katz Paradigm

Received BA from SUNY at Albany; JD from University of Miami Law School.

I have been judging public forum debate rounds in the south Florida area for several years. My son has been debating on national and local circuit for 4 years now, so I have a good understanding of debate.

I have a basic understanding of public forum debate structure and will do my best to take notes and weigh arguments.

I appreciate clear, moderately paced speakers and well organized arguments.

I value creativity and responsiveness.

Professionalism is really important to me.

I will only call for evidence if it seems to be very important in a round and if I need further clarification on it.

Regarding speaker points, I am pretty generous. The lowest speaker points I've ever given in 4 years of judging is a 26. However, I don't give 30's often.

If you make me laugh in a debate round I will be more inclined to listen.

Diana Khan Paradigm

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David McIntyre Paradigm

I prefer the students to speak at rate that I can understand so just not too fast. Also, I would prefer that in certain cases politicizing a debate topic may not necessarily help the team in the round.

Eden Medina Paradigm

I competed in PF for Charles W. Flanagan High School in Florida for four years.

“They do not provide a warrant” is a sufficient response for me.

If you do not weigh, you leave it up to me to evaluate which argument is most important. I default to util. I will accept new weighing/ new applications of previously made responses in final focus.

Speed: Do whatever you want, but do not sacrifice clarity entirely. I appreciate speed most when it is utilized to implicate and weigh responses and dislike when teams spread through unwarranted responses in rebuttal and then pick one to blow up in the later speeches.

Theory/ alternative arguments: I will evaluate some theoretical arguments. Theory exists to check severe instances of in-round abuse. If your opponents commit an abuse so egregious that you truly believe they should lose the round because of it alone, I will accept theory. I feel like theory is not even necessary in these situations, because I will call for evidence that you say is misconstrued and omit it from my decision if I agree with you, or drop them for offensive in-round behavior. Paragraph theory is acceptable in these instances.

With that said, I disagree with frivolous use of theory in public forum. Teams should not enter rounds with the intention of running theory on negligible violations. In other words, do not look for a violation so that you can make the debate inaccessible for the other team and win the round on a technicality.

I am receptive to meta-debate analyses and arguments about the role of the ballot. I’m willing to listen to Ks, although I'm not sure I know how to evaluate them well. I am very open to hearing deontological or otherwise non-utilitarian arguments.

I appreciate creativity. I will basically listen to any topical, non-discriminatory argument.

Feel free to approach me if you have any questions.

Best of luck! Have fun

Jeffrey Miller Paradigm

Jeffrey Miller
Director of Speech & Debate at Marist School in Atlanta, GA (2011-present)
Director of Debate/Asst Director of Debate, Fayette County High School in Fayetteville, GA (2006-2011)

Thoughts about the new PF rules:

1) 3 minute summaries don't change anything in the grand scheme of things. I still believe that a) teams should respond to the first rebuttal in the second rebuttal, b) everything in final focus needs to be in summary and c) there should be weighing throughout the round. What 3 minute summaries do effect is that they raise my standard for what is acceptable as an extension. Merely re-stating your claims is no longer enough to count as an extension - you have an extra minute - make actual arguments in the summary speeches.

2) The new paraphrasing rules indicate that you must have cut cards. Don't read that as you must read cards, but read it as I believe the new rules indicate that that for the protection of the debater you must have cut the card. I will not evaluate evidence that is not cut. I will not wait for you to cut a card in the post round if I need a piece of evidence. If I see you exchange evidence throughout the debate that is not cut, I will dock your speaker points.

Guide to Prefs Based Your Research Habits

If you cut cards & read cards in case & rebuttal -- I am probably a top 10 judge in your prefs. This is my ideal version of debate - I will flow the warrants of your cards and not just the taglines.

If you cut cards, read cards in case & paraphrase in rebuttal -- C'mon, its not that hard - just read cards in rebuttal. Believe me, the time you think are "wasting" by reading cards is worth it. But besides that, I'm probably a pretty good judge for you.

If you cut cards, but paraphrase throughout the debate -- I'm not your worst judge by far. I have a higher standard of holding arguments to their original context than others, but I won't vote you down just because you paraphrase. If this describes you, it is truly silly to strike me over someone who's never judged a debate before.

If you do not cut cards and you paraphrase -- strike me. please.

3) "Progressive" Argumentation, lol. I don't think there is enough time in a PF speech to warrant clearly most kritiks - that doesn't mean I won't vote for them, but it does mean that you're starting from a disadvantage because I don't think you can fully articulate why they should be voted on. For theory, there needs to be actual abuse and it needs to be used sparingly. Disclosure Theory is dumb, but sometimes necessary - I think misdisclosure is way worse than not disclosing. Paraphrasing Theory is also kind of dumb based on my previous statement of there needs to be actual abuse. If a team is paraphrasing a card poorly, you don't need theory to beat them - just beat their argument and call them out. Every other theory arg I've judged honestly doesn't have its place in the debate. Theory is not a way to win rounds, its a way to check bad behaviors.

**The Rest**

Debate is hard. I expect every debater to work hard before, during and after each tournament. Working hard means cutting cards and doing research on the topic. I expect debaters to not search for shortcuts to make this easier - doing your own research and cutting your own cards will pay dividends in all of your debates. In debates I judge you, you should expect I work hard to evaluate the debate and make the best decision possible. That's my guarantee to you.

Since Public Forum is a research based activity, I expect debates to be more about evidence usage and execution than persuasive speaking. If I expect debates to be about evidence usage, the prerequisite to this is having evidence and using it. I expect all five participants in the round (myself and the four debaters) to be well read on the topic and flow the debate. You should expect me to give you constructive feedback on the ballot as well as in round after the debate.

In debates, speeches build off of each other. It would be weird if we engaged in a communication activity where we ignored what the other person did right before our speech - that's why the second rebuttal must respond to the first rebuttal and so forth. Consistency is vital in debate therefore this expectation continues into the second half. Arguments that you extend in the final focus must be in the summary.

How do I define good evidence ethics?

Every card you read within a debate should be cited (by author, not institution) and be available (almost immediately) within context for your opponent to read. Within context does not mean full text, but the full paragraph of the cited line. (Asking for the full text of the study is dumb/waste 96% of the time, because you have 3 minutes of prep and I'm sorry you don't have enough time to read the full text. I understand sometimes you want to read the conclusion, but you still can't do that within the time limits of this event for more than 1 card usually.)

Teams who cannot quickly exchange evidence should not pref me - please strike me.

Don't lie or blatantly misrepresent about your evidence, I will drop you whether or not the argument is made in the round. I define lying or blatantly misrepresenting evidence as excluding key phrases that are in the text of the document that contradict your point, using portions of evidence to make arguments the authors do not intend, etc. Indicts are not lies or misrepresentations, they're arguments. Cards that are poorly cut/don't make a good argument are just not persuasive. Don't ruin the game, it's really fun when done correctly.

Come to the debate prepared and you won't have a problem.

What is my speaker point scale?

Speaker points are earned for the arguments you make in the debate. Every debater in every round starts at a 28.0. I will move up/down on a scale with steps of 0.1 and not 0.5. You're probably not going to get a 30 from me as that means you were truly perfect. Making smart, strategic arguments is going to maximize your points from me.

Jeff Norman Paradigm

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Heather Parente Paradigm

I am more of a flow judge. Please watch how fast you speak because if you speak to fast I may not understand what you are trying to say.

Tim Quinlan Paradigm

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Mai Rubin Paradigm

8 rounds

Updated for Summer 2019.

Tabroom has the option to specify pronouns for a reason. If a debater specifies certain pronouns by which they identify in a live update, ensure you know them. I have ZERO tolerance for misgendering because it makes the round unsafe. If you object to this, strike me.

TL;DR: Tech>truth, first speaking summary doesn't have to extend defense unless it's frontlined by second speaking rebuttal, in which case you have to respond to frontlines if you wanna go for it in FF.

Hello. I did PF for three years at Boca Raton High School ('17) and currently coach/judge circuit PF. I consider myself a relatively decent debater. I’ve been around the national circuit, so I’ve seen my fair share of debating. I dabbled a bit in college policy, so I’ve grown more acquainted with progressive arguments and speed.

I disclose, so if you have any questions about the round, be it the specifics of the flow or your performance as a speaker, feel free to ask me either during the disclosure or after the round if time permits on my part. If you have any questions about my paradigm or an RFD, feel free to ask before or after round.

As for the paradigm:

1. Debate is a game (unless you compellingly argue otherwise in-round), call me tech>truth. I'll vote on any warranted argument insofar as it isn't unambiguously, maliciously offensive. In the latter case, you'll get an L0-20. I think intervention assassinates pedagogy and fairness because the round is decided by factors outside the control of debaters. *NEW AND IMPORTANT*: To minimize intervention, I will presume the status quo in a scenario where: A. no one is accessing offense, or B. both teams are accessing offense without literally any analysis as to which args are more important. In short, I presume in pretty much any scenario where it is impossible for me to resolve the round without having to introduce any of my own analysis that wasn’t in it. DO NOT ABUSE THAT. If I am forced to solely vote off presumption, your speaks will suffer as much as my brain cells do when the round is resolved this way.

2. First speaking summary doesn't have to extend defense, unless that defense is covered in second rebuttal, in which case, it must be frontlined in first summary and extended if you intend to go for it in FF. Likewise, if you're second speaking and frontline in second rebuttal and your opponents drop the frontline in first summary, you can extend the frontline straight to final focus without mentioning it in summary. I do not require second rebuttal frontlining, but it is probably strategic to do. Beyond that, no new in the two. That includes new weighing in the 2FF. There are two exceptions. Those are if 1FF is answering new arguments from second summary and/or if 2FF is refuting those answers. Second, if you're making a theoretical argument about some abuse committed late in the round. If it's the latter, you better spend a VERY significant chunk of your FF on the argument and warranting why the level of abuse is big enough to outweigh the fairness skew of an arg that is new in the two.

3. The only new frameworks that I feel comfortable with being introduced after summary, absent some argument telling me otherwise, are voters and reasons to prefer/weighing frameworks.

4. Cool w/ progressive arguments if done properly and am tangentially familiar with a decent amount of pomo/high theory K lit. I notice a lot of judges try to ascribe specific purposes to these types of args, like only being for checking back abuse. I think this is intervention. YOU decide and argue in round what the role of a progressive arg is and how that affects the round's outcome. Also, tell me why your args/standards are voters, especially for theory/T. In terms of theory, I default to competing interps, no RVI, and drop the arg, open to otherwise if argued in round. Disclaimer: I have a college policy background, but a limited one, and I was also bad at it. If you're someone reading these types of args, I suggest dumbing them down by spending more time explaining/implicating them.

5. Good w/ speed but notify me if you're gonna outright spread so I can flow on laptop. Send speech docs if spreading or I will not be happy. Slow on tags/authors/analytics. I will clear you.

6. Issues in CX need to be mentioned in a speech for me to evaluate them.

7. If a link turn links to a different impact than the argument it's turning, that impact MUST be weighed for me to evaluate it because these types of arguments don't inherently prevent or hijack impacts, meaning it doesn't function as defense either. Treat it like an impact from case.

8. If a card is disputed throughout the round or has something in it that spikes/responds to another arg, please extend the card name in summary and FF for clarity and signposting.

9. Please warrant new cards/arguments in summary, don't just read a claim that only ever gets warranted in FF.

10. Please weigh because it makes the round clearer and easier for me to judge. Line-by-line is important, but weighing is absolutely necessary. Most teams I've judged haven't weighed, or done so poorly. Weighing doesn't just entail saying why your link/impact is big. Tell me why it's comparatively greater than everything else in the round. Arg interaction is key. NEW: Clarity of impact/link weighing is fake news 90% of the time just becase people throw those buzzwords at me and just say “we outweigh because our arg is true.” Just saying you outweigh because you access an arg is not weighing. Strength of link is fine with very good COMPARATIVE warranting.

11. Absent being told otherwise, I default to evaluating the round on several levels. In descending order: framework, comparative weighing, weighing, offense access. I'm open to some theoretical alternative to evaluating the round if it's proposed to me, I.e. procedural args like theory coming first.

12. If you plan on conceding an arg for strategic purposes, I like that because it’s smart. That said, such can be abusive if used at a point where it is nigh impossible for the other team to respond. I do not wanna intervene on this issue, so: it is fair to make strategic concessions, but only in the speech immediately after those args are made. For example, if someone reads terminal link defense alongside a ton of link turns in first rebuttal, your concession should be in second rebuttal. I won’t take this into account by default. This only comes into play if you argue why it’s abusive. If this happens and you do not make an arg about it, I evaluate it normally. I am VERY receptive to theory arguments on this issue, even in the final focus if the abuse in question happened right before it.

13. As an extension of the above, I don't enter the round with any preconceptions about certain args being abusive. There are no abusive args unless you: A. tell me why the arg is abusive (most people are blippy on this), and B. why that means I shouldn't evaluate them, preferably grounded by some standard like education or fairness (often entirely absent). Or you could read theory, which is fine by me.

14. I tend to evaluate evidence as arguments, unless some arg in round is made that I should eval them otherwise or there is REALLY excessive abuse. That means a few things:

A. Just as I only evaluate arguments as you present them to me, I only eval ev as you present it to me. This means that the claim you present from the ev is how I eval it, and if I call the card and see some other application of the ev that wasn't articulated in round, I'm not gonna consider it.

B. I prefer not to call for cards unless I am told to. In fact, I ABSOLUTELY HATE having to do evidence comparison myself. Please do it for me, it likely won't end well for you if it comes down to this. There are exceptions to this rule for cards I deem important enough to call, and I will admit that metric is somewhat arbitrary. I think, however, that most would agree that such arbitrariness is fine if it leads to accountability. If I call your ev due to an indict, and the specific parts of the ev in question are problematic, my default response is to just drop the ev to minimize intervention. This, of course, can change if your opponents make some argument as to why this should impact the outcome of the round. I also might just call cards for clarification.

C. The only occasion in which I drop a team with the lowest speaks tab will allow for misrepresenting ev is if it is REALLY terrible and malicious, and the abuse is obviously super extreme, i.e. fabricating ev, distortion, or obvious clipping. I haven't had to do this in a round I myself have judged yet, so my threshold for this is very high, don't be alarmed.

15. The Jan topic has taught me that there are some parts of economics that I do not understand. Explain economics to me in round like I'm five, for both our sakes.

16. *NEW AND IMPORTANT* I evaluate embedded clash to an extremely limited extent in the absence of analysis/implication in the round itself, and I only do this when it has to be done to resolve the round. My standard for evalling embedded clash is that if the analysis/extension you read is 100% there and just not signposted in its application or is on the wrong part of the flow, I eval it. By 100% there, I mean I could literally cut and paste that verbatim statement on to the arg it clashes with and have zero issue. If I can't literally just add the phrase "On this argument..." to the analysis/extension that's there, I won't eval embedded clash in the absence of analysis. PLEASE do the analysis properly, I hate evalling embedded clash and your speaks will suffer.

Speaker Points

To me, speaks aren't really about presentation. I tend to give speaks based on one's strategic decisionmaking and argumentation in the context of a round. Cool strategic moves and good efficiency (especially in the backhalf) are the key to my heart. I’m not a fan of giving speaks based off stylistic performance, mostly because those tend to be informed by some pretty bad norms that disadvantage non-cis white male debaters. If your strategy is good, I don’t care how you speak, I will give you good speaks.

Here’s the breakdown:

30: You made the best possible strategic decisions and arguments in the context of the round.

29-29.5: You made smart strategic decisions and arguments. Only a few things you could have done better.

28-28.5: Solid argumentation and middle of the line strategic decisionmaking. What I give to the majority of decent rounds I judge.

27-27.5: Passable argumentation with several mistakes, and a noticeable absence of strategic decisionmaking. Round was way more unclear than it should be, and improvements are definitely needed.

26-26.5: Below average. Major mistakes or problems with the debate, definitely needs immediate improvement.

25-25.5: Very below average. Completely mishandled the round. Significant work needed on how the debate is handled.

<25: You probably said something quite offensive or tried to spread cards without sending a speech doc.

Liza Samuel Paradigm

Hi, I am a parent judge. Please speak clearly and explain your points. Thank you!

Sharan Sawlani Paradigm

I debated for Cypress Bay High School in Weston, Florida for 4 years, all of which in Public Forum (2013-2017). I'm currently a junior at the University of Central Florida and an assistant public forum coach at Cypress Bay.

a couple things:

- don't read a new contention in rebuttal. thats whack

- First summary needs to extend defense if second rebuttal frontlined the argument. Second rebuttal should probably respond to turns and overviews.

- My attention to crossfire will probably depend on the time of day and my current mood. Please use it strategically. I'll probably be on twitter.

- 3 min summary is cool and all but don't go for everything on the flow, condense the round and give me a narrative. Quality of voters> Quantity of voters.

- Ay panini, dont you be a meanie. (seriously, if you're excessively rude you will lose)

- Weigh, weigh, weigh, weigh, weigh. Which weigh? Dat weigh.

- I am a lot more generous with speaks when the round entertains me. As of right now, I especially enjoy Migos, Kanye, Bojack Horseman, Young Thug and/or (appropriate) Big Mouth references.

- Public forum should be accessible to everyone. I will probably not vote off of theory unless there is a serious abuse (disclosure is whack). If you do decide to run theory, don't run it as a cheap way to win.

- Apparently this needs to be clarified now but regardless of speaking order, in the rare situation where there is no offense on either side at the end of the round I will presume neg.

If you have any other questions feel free to email me or ask me before the round provided your opponents are present as well. Hated my decision? send all complaints to and hold nothing back.

Josh Schulster Paradigm

*Last updated 9/8/18*


School: Boca '16, FSU '20

Teams Coaching/Coached: Capitol, Boca

Competitive history:

Public Forum for 4 years in HS - primarily as Boca GS

JV Policy Debate for 2 years in College, starting in Varsity this year - Florida State HS

Public Forum Paradigm:

TL;DR: You do you, .5 + speaks if everyone sends out speech docs.


1)Tech > Truth. If you have strong warrants and links and can argue well, I'll vote off of anything. Dropped arguments are presumed true arguments. I'm open to anything as long as you do your job to construct the argument properly.

2) The first speaking team in the round needs to make sure that all offense that you want me to vote on must be in the summary and final focus. That includes turns on their case. Defense in the rebuttal does not need to be extended, I will buy it as long as your opponents don't respond and it is extended in the final focus. The second speaking team needs to respond to turns in rebuttal and extend all offense and defense you want me to vote on in BOTH the summary and the final focus. This checks back time skew.

3) Weigh and weigh early. If you start weighing arguments in rebuttal or summary it will make your arguments a lot more convincing. Easiest way to my ballot is to warrant your weighing and tell me why your arguments are the most important and why they mean you win the round.

4) If you want to extend a card, you need to extend at the very least the links and warrants of the argument.

5) The final focus writes my ballot. Anything you want me to vote on needs to be in this last speech.


Key to winning framework: warrants. Also, if you're making a FW argument that functions as a prerequisite to contention level debate, you need to clearly explain that. If you don't make responses to a framework argument and your opponents warrant it well and extend it in summary and final focus, you will likely lose.


I will listen to any theory arguments as long as a real abuse is present. Don't just use theory as a cheap way to win, give me strong warrants and label the shell clearly and it will be a voter if the violation is clear. Also, if you're going to ask me to reject the team you better give me a really good reason.

If you are running theory, such as disclosure theory, and you want it to be a voter, you need to bring it up for at least a minute in the summary and another minute in the FF.


I am primarily a K debater in college, so I am familiar with how they function in round. However, given that you can't run an alternative in Public Forum, you can't really run a K because you can't run an alt. You can still run a kritikal disad or case arg and I'll still vote for it, just make sure to contextualize the K and explain it clearly. Just because I read K's doesn't mean I'm familiar with all the different types of K lit out there. The clearer the better.

Offense v. Defense:

I find myself voting for a risk of offense more often than I vote on defense. However, I also have found myself voting for the neg on presumption in the event that the aff isn't winning any risk of any of their offense. If you want me to vote on presumption you have to say so.


I'm just going to be real here, so many good teams that probably deserve speaks higher than a 28 just forget to weigh and I penalize them for this. I hate being in a position where I have to do work to vote for a team. Tell me why your argument is better/more important than your opponents and why that means I should vote for you. Strength of link and/or impact calc is encouraged and appreciated. I find myself voting more often on probability > magnitude but will vote for anything if you debate it better than your opponents.

Evidence Standard:

Oh how I wish PF norms included using speech docs (would make evidence debates a non-issue). I will only call for cards if they are constantly contested in the round, if I think it is necessary to aid me in my decision, or if you tell me to. I will disregard any evidence that is misconstrued/fabricated. I won't touch your speaks at all and I'll only drop the argument if it was contingent on you winning that piece of evidence (but then again, most of the time I won't waste time calling for a card that isn't integral to you in the debate).

Speaker Point Scale:

<26 means you were offensive/rude

26.1-26.9 means you need improvement and/or probably dropped case

27-27.9 means you probably missed things on the flow and might have made poor strategic decisions in the back half of the round.


28-28.9 means you are a good debater, probably can break at the tournament given pairings and other factors; you extend most of the right things in the back half of the round and do decent weighing.

29-29.5 means you extend all or almost all of the right things, explain your arguments/warrants in a concise manner, and, more importantly, you break away from weighing in a vacuum to comparative weighing.

29.6-30 are rarely given out. You made a smart strategic move and comparatively weighed your arguments, collapsed on the right things, and provided a coherent comparative analysis/narrative that made my decision easy.

Speaking Tips:

1) I don't look up that much in the debate because I flow on my computer. I assign speaker points based on how technical you are, meaning even if you speak really pretty you can't get super high speaks unless your actual debating skills are refined.

2) Don't be rude to each other. If I look uncomfortable in my seat it means I'm uncomfortable.

3) Don't be offensive.

4) Be funny. Easy way to get high speaks.

5) Be smart. Being an effective speaker not only rests on how you sound, but what you say. If you make me "wow" at any moment in the debate, I will most likely give you a 29 or 30.

Bonus Speaks:

In order to promote clash, education, and increase evidence standards, I will award each speaker an additional .5 speaker points from what I would normally have given you that round if you and your opponents agree to send out speech docs for case and rebuttal to me and each other. No penalty for not doing this, but the benefits are extra speaker points and potentially a better RFD. The extra speaks will ONLY apply if you AND your opponents send out the docs. Please make this decision before going into the round and have speech docs ready to send on an email chain.


1) I'm fine with speed, but if you're going to spread send out speech docs.

2) Keep your own time.

3) I will disclose if the tournament allows me, and feel free to ask me any questions after my RFD.

4) I only vote off of things brought up in speeches.

5) I flow on excel. Do what you want with that info.

P.S. if you see me nodding my head up and down don't read too much into it, I'm just bobbing up and down because I don't like sitting in a chair for 2 hours straight

Bottom line: Debate is supposed to be fun! Run what you want just run it well.

If you have any questions or you and your opponents agree to send speech docs email me at or ask me before the round.

Club Debate Paradigm:

Club Affiliation: Capitol Debate (since 2017)

General Info:

1)Tech > Truth. If you have strong warrants and links and can argue well, I'll vote off of anything. Dropped arguments are presumed true arguments. I'm open to anything as long as you do your job to construct the argument properly.

2) Do your job. If you are giving the attack speech, you cannot go back to your own case. Use all the time putting responses on your opponents case. If you are giving the defense speech, you are only allowed to respond to your opponents attack speech.

4) Extend arguments, not just card names. If you want me to comfortably vote for an argument you need to extend the argument in its entirety, not just the claim.

5) The summarize and weigh speech writes my ballot. Anything you want me to vote on needs to be in this last speech. Please please please weigh. It's literally in the name of the speech. Easy formula to follow: why you are winning your argument, extend the argument properly, and then explain why it is more important than your opponents argument.


Key to winning framework: warrants. Also, if you're making a FW argument that functions as a prerequisite to contention level debate, you need to clearly explain that. If you don't make responses to a framework argument and your opponents warrant it well and extend it in summary and final focus, you will likely lose.

Offense v. Defense:

I find myself voting for a risk of offense more often than I vote on defense. However, I also have found myself voting for the neg on presumption in the event that the aff isn't winning any risk of any of their offense. If you want me to vote on presumption you have to say so.


I'm just going to be real here, so many good teams that probably deserve speaks higher than a 70 just forget to weigh and I penalize them for this. I hate being in a position where I have to do work to vote for a team. Tell me why your argument is better/more important than your opponents and why that means I should vote for you. Strength of link and/or impact calc is encouraged and appreciated. I find myself voting more often on probability > magnitude but will vote for anything if you debate it better than your opponents.

Speaker Point Scale:

Disclaimer: Your speaking position results in different requirements to score high speaks. Pay attention to what you need to be doing for your respective speech in order to score high.

<50 means you were offensive/rude

50-59 means you need improvement: you don't extend arguments well/properly, have very little if any offense, don't use the entirety of your speech time, undercover the debate (top or bottom heavy included), don't weigh, make poor strategic decisions, lack sufficient clash, lack comparative analysis, etc. Basically this category means you were giving speeches but not really engaging in a debate.

60-69 means you still can improve in some of the categories mentioned previously, but can at least extend the warrant and impact of an argument, have ample coverage, follow the conventions of each speech, and weigh your arguments.

YOU CANNOT GET HIGHER THAN A 70 FROM ME IF YOU FORGET TO COMPARATIVELY WEIGH YOUR ARGUMENTS FOR ME. Note: First Speakers do not need to comparatively weigh to get higher than a 70, although it is encouraged.

70-79 means you are a good debater, probably can break at the tournament given pairings and other factors; you extend most of the right things in the back half of the round and comparatively weigh your arguments.

80-89 means you should be breaking at club tournaments. You do all of the right comparative weighing, make strategic in-round decisions, crystallize well in the back half of the round, and have near perfect line-by-line coverage in the attack/defense speech.

90-100 are rarely given out. You do everything in the previous category, but additionally you had a strong attack with both defense and offense, you effectively compare warrants and/or evidence, and you provided a coherent comparative analysis that made my decision easy. First speakers in this category have an incredibly well-organized and structured opening speech and perfect coverage in the defense speech with early comparative weighing.

Speaking Tips:

1) I don't look up that much in the debate because I flow on my computer. I assign speaker points based on how technical you are, meaning even if you speak really pretty you can't get super high speaks unless your actual debating skills are refined. Speaking pretty is still really valuable though, and you will score higher for speaking well. For example, if you speak really pretty but don't comparatively weigh, you cannot get higher than a 70 but will score highly in the 60-69 category.

2) Don't be rude to each other. If I look uncomfortable in my seat it means I'm uncomfortable.

3) Don't be offensive.

4) Be funny. Easy way to get high speaks.


1) Keep your own time.

2) I will disclose if the tournament allows me, and feel free to ask me any questions after my RFD.

3) I only vote off of things brought up in speeches.

4) I flow on excel. Do what you want with that info.

P.S. if you see me nodding my head up and down don't read too much into it, I'm just bobbing up and down because I don't like sitting in a chair for 2 hours straight

Bottom line: Debate is supposed to be fun! Run what you want just run it well.

If you have any questions or you and your opponents agree to send speech docs email me at or ask me before the round.

Wayne Selogy Paradigm

Do not lie about or manipulate evidence. All arguments and rebuttals must be across my flow throughout the round. Do not make a point in rebuttal and drop it in summary and final. You must weight and you must link to impacts. I appreciate good speakers but will award low point wins in any round where the better speakers fail to cover the flow, weigh, link to impacts or address framework (when applicable).

James Stage Paradigm


Former Competitor: 2008 - 2011

Coach - 2011 - Present

Speed - Go for it, I am not the best with speed but if you go for it, it isn't going to lose you points. I won't say clear or give you any indication that I am missing things though so you are taking a slight risk.

Weighing - Do it. Seriously, If I am given any clear weighing analysis in the round I will go for it. My resume and background reads like a moderate Republican's fantasy. You probably don't want me making personal decisions about how I think we should craft policy or evaluate vague concepts.

Signposting - Clearly tell me where you are going in the round. If I get confused I get disinterested and if I get disinterested I get onto Netflix and watch West Wing with the subtitles on.

Off-time Roadmaps - Do them. If you say you are going to read an overview or a framework, tell me where to put it or I will put in in my computer's trash file and empty it after your speech.

Crossfire - I might look like I am not paying attention to your crossfires. That's because I am not. Thats for you to clarify the round and for me to add detailed comments to the ballot. If something interesting happens, let me know in a speech. If you are going to start hitting someone, let me know and I will get out a camera.

Extending Defense - Meh. You don't really have to do this in my opinion but obviously if your opponents go through ink you might want to remind me of that fact, especially if it is on something you really want me to care about.

Weighing Pt.2 - Please do this. I am begging you.


If I had a PF team that had the capacity to come this wouldn't be necessary but, for now, here we are. Doomed to dance this dance until my obligation of a minimum of three ballots are up and I have left your hopes and dreams broken at my feet.

Let's start this off on the right note. I know enough about LD and all of its components to be dangerous. In clearer terms, when you tell me what you are going to try to do I will conceptually understand what you are going for but I will lack the experience or wherewithal to implement your vision on my flow. See? Dangerous.

Don't take this to mean I don't care about the event or that I don't look forward to these rounds. Do take it to mean that if you are planning on taking any risks or doing anything tricky, that your opponent stands to benefit from my ignorance as much as you.

Speed (Preface): Good luck. Seriously, good luck. Speed is an excellent tool to put more arguments out there on the flow but maybe we want to make sure I understand the basic ones you are dropping first? Just a suggestion. And no, I won't do that "Clear" business. Adapt or die. This is forensic darwinism.

Technical Debate: Solid meh. You can. I won't drop you for it and I get that the adaptations I am asking for will mean that you need to adjust in ways that will force you to use it.

Defaults: Let's return to that dangerous thing. I don't really have any default preferences that I have developed over my lackluster experience judging. You can read my paradigm below for PF to see if you glean any information from that but otherwise, I am tabula rasa to a fault and will stick to what I am given in the round despite any personal beliefs or pre-existing knowledge.

Disclosure: Unless you are disclosing who wins the round before I need to judge it, it's not something I really care about. I buy why disclosure is a good thing and I also get how it can be abused given enough resources. If it becomes an issue I will evaluate it based on the arguments in the round and not the ones in my head.

I hope this helps although it undoubtedly will leave you in a state of fear akin to the people of Pompeii as the ash cloud descended on their once-idyllic town.

For email chains my email is

Zachary Sumislaski Paradigm

NoBro '17 UF '21

Currently am an argument coach for Theodore Roosevelt AC.

Core Beliefs:

My beliefs in debate were largely shaped and developed by policy coaches Shree Awsare and Allison Harper

Debate is a game, a fun one at that so don't make this shit so serious


Speech docs are a necessary tool that speed up rounds and encourage better evidence quality. They also will result in you getting better decisions and having better debates.

With that said sending speech docs = 30s

Without sending speech docs you are capped at 29.

Email them here:


I tend to appreciate teams that utilize more progressive strategies and technical argumentation. That said, don't force yourself to do things you are uncomfortable doing.

Speed: Speed is in no way a requirement. However, I do consider myself to have a pretty good speed threshold. Also, I will say “clear” if I cannot understand you twice, the third time I will just stop flowing.

Rebuttal: I don’t need front-lining in either rebuttal but it could be strategic - I leave that decision to you. I want to see case cross applications, at least some generated offense, and terminalized defense. Overviews are not required but can be useful - be strategic here. I will listen to extended disads in rebuttal, but the threshold for responding to these goes down (especially if you read one as the second speaking team). Also, evidence comparison goes a long way here. Reasons to prefer evidence will make my job and yours a lot easier.

Summary: You don’t have to weigh for me here, but doing so will really help for multiple reasons (i.e. making sure I know weighing is occurring, better speaker points, etc.). Extensions need warrants, and all offense is required to be in summary. I believe in sticky defense for the first summary (yes the first speaking team can go for straight offense), however I think that due to the structural advantage PF gives the second speaking team, if you are second you need to extend defense.

Final Focus: You MUST weigh here for me to vote for you. If neither team weighs, I again defer to a less standardized decision process that you want to avoid. If one team gives bad weighing, I prefer that over no weighing. The better your analysis, the more likely I am to vote for you. However, weighing an impact without a link doesn’t work for me - you need to win the link to the impact to weigh it. I need extensions in summary; I think final focuses are summaries with less front lining and more weighing.

Arguments: I am a fan of unique/fun arguments and love to see them. Have a good time in your debates, I'll listen to any argument that is not offensive (i.e. racist, homophobic, or sexist).

Theory: I think most theory arguments are just reasons to drop the argument, not the debater so unless you give reasons to drop the debater, I won’t. I understand the general mechanisms and know at least basic jargon. Make sure I can understand the argument if you want me to vote for it. That said, I am not in any way biased against theory if run well and understandably, that said with only a 2 min summary in PF CONDO is probably a bad thing, but it is your job to tell me why.

Topicality: This is very important to me. I don’t want to vote for not topical arguments. That said, saying an argument is not topical is not enough - you need to defend an interpretation of the topic and have clear explanation as to why your interpretation is good.

K: I have not read most of the literature so make sure you explain them well and have developed links to either the topic or an action done by your opponents. Going slow and explaining yourself will be the key to winning a K in front of me.

Evidence: I do not want to be an interventionist judge. That means I will not call for evidence and use it to make a decision, unless a team tells me to. If there is general disagreement on evidence, but I am not told explicitly to read it, I will either defer it to the team that better defends their interp of the evidence or not evaluate it (if neither team defends their interp well). I might ask to see it after making a decision just to give both teams a better understanding of how one judge perceives the evidence, and I might call evidence after making a decision that I don’t believe is true. BUT, if no one calls out a team on evidence, I will not drop the other team for it. If a team calls out another for blatantly lying or misrepresenting evidence (i.e. not reading a “not” in an important line), I will look at the evidence after round. The team that is wrong about the evidence (accusers or defendants) will immediately be dropped and given 20s for speaker points.

Ashley Thaw Paradigm

Not Submitted

Katie Tolle Paradigm


Mountain Brook High School Speech and Debate Coach (2018 - Present)

Wheaton North High School Speech (2003-2007)

Wheaton North Public Forum Debater (2006)

As a judge, I want to see debaters that are:

Focused and Organized: The more thoughtful you are about how you present your contentions initially, the easier it for me to judge and for your opponents to interact with your case. Evidence should be succinct and questions during cross should be thoughtful and targeted. A PF round goes incredibly quickly, and it's important that you use each second to your advantage. In particular I appreciate when debaters weigh throughout the round. I want to be sold on why your contentions are stronger and your impacts are more significant.

Prepared: Nothing hurts the quality of a debate more than debaters who do not fully understand the resolution or their opponents’ claims. Good clash can only be built through understanding all facets of the resolution and the evidence available. That being said, citing a piece of evidence is never a substitution for a strong warrant. If you cannot explain your evidence and connect it logically to your argument, then I am less likely to consider it when judging.

Professional: Professionalism will not lose you a round with me, but it will absolutely impact the speaker points I award. Being confident and convincing me that you have won your debate is expected. Being rude, disrespectful, or condescending to the judge, your opponents, or your partner is never acceptable. Debate is an enormous undertaking, and every person’s time and commitment should be respected. It is also incredibly difficult to know what your opponents are saying if you do not give them their time to talk, or when you are overly focused on your own case.

Carlos Verney Paradigm

I'm Carlos Verney, and I have judged high school debate for three years and competed in debate all four years in high school...

Mike Wascher Paradigm

Name: Mike Wascher

School Affiliation: Lake Highland Prep

Number of Years Judging Public Forum: 10

Number of Years Competing in Public Forum: 0

Number of Years Judging Other Forensic Activities: 15

Number of Years Competing in Other Forensic Activities: 8

If you are a coach, what events do you coach? Public Forum, extemp

What is your current occupation? Debate coach

Please share your opinions or beliefs about how the following play into a debate round:

Speed of Delivery As long as it is clear, speed is not important

Format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?) Turning point in the debate where the debater should take from the line by line the arguments they envision as being the decision points. Whether it is organized by the same order as the line by line or re-cast in voting issues makes no difference.

Role of the Final Focus Tell me what arguments you win, explain why those arguments, when compared to your opponents arguments, means you win the debate. The comparative work is crucial. If the debaters don’t do it the judge has to do it and that is a door debaters should never leave open.

Extension of Arguments into later speeches While I have no autocratic rule, I would imagine that something you plan to go for would be something that is extended throughout the debate. If argument X is a winner it just seems reasonable to me that it should be included in all speeches.

Topicality Sadly, this argument isn’t advanced much because the time it takes to present it is generally critical time lost on case arguments and the trade off is seldom worth. Having said that, I would vote on a T argument.

Plans Specific plans are, by rule, not allowed. Generic ideas about solving problems necessarily discusses policy options. The general idea of those options is the resolution when were have policy topics.

Kritiks If Public Forum is supposed to be debate about how current events are debated in the real world I find little room for theoretical ideas that are not considered by real world policy makers. If, however, the critical argument has specific links to the topic, (and history suggests that few I’ve heard do) it should not be rejected because it is critical.

Flowing/note-taking I flow the key parts of the argument and sometimes flow authors. I find myself noting dates when they seem to be old (and possible dated). I listen to cross fire and sometimes make notes when I heard something worthwhile.

Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally? I value argument and I especially value warrants (which aren’t tag lines) that explain why your claims are persuasive.

If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? Not a hard and fast rule with me but I can’t imagine why a winner would be left out.

If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech? Also not a hard and fast rule with me but strategically it is probably important you get back to some of your case, unless you plan to win offense on turns on your opponents case.

Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? Never!

If you have anything else you'd like to add to better inform students of your expectations and/or experience, please do so here. The three things I would like to hear more often in Public Forum debates are:

1) Comparative work. Explain why you win the debate not just win some arguments. You can win every argument you discuss but still not have a better story than your opponent. Take the time to explain why the arguments you win form a better story than your opponent’s offering.

2) Warrants. Claims are not persuasive. Why your claim is true, significant, harmful, etc., make for a persuasive argument. The best claim from the most qualified author is generally useless and it is sad when those “Best” authors write warrants and debaters fail to cut that evidence and read it.

3) Paraphrasing. I recognize that the PF world is at this point. I don’t like it. I believe there are ethical issues when one cites three different authors, for example, and none of the three are working on the same argument but rather writing one line that fits in and is found in a google search. I also find it problematic that some think they can summarize a master’s level work in six words. Paraphrasing opens the world to a lot of potential evil. I read a lot on our topics and do not be the person that is misrepresenting an author by a poor paraphrase. It’s as bad as clipping. Given the power to change the world I would mandate we go back to reading evidence but then again I can’t find enough people, maybe even one other person, willing to give me that power. So we will paraphrase but we will properly represent the evidence.

Maricel Zaldumbide Paradigm

I am a brand new public forum judge so please speak slowly and clearly. Explain all your arguments. In summary and final focus condense the round down to the final arguments. I will remove speaker points if you are rude during round examples of this would be cutting each other off during cross or not letting your opponent finish their thoughts. As for evidence, make sure its clear and well explained. Your main points should be made clear enough that I do not have to search for them.