Pennsbury Falcon Invitational

2020 — Fairless Hills, PA/US

Chris Adams Paradigm

I've been judging for 3 years now and enjoy it a lot. One of my biggest pet peeves is spreading. I am arguably the most anti-spreader judge on the circuit :') I want to learn the topics that are being debated and be able to discern who does a better job of articulating their case. If I can't understand what is being said, it's difficult for me to be able to do that.

Ryan Brooks Paradigm

Debaters should have the means to time themselves, though I will time them as well. Avoid logical fallacies and personal attacks, though aggressive argumentation is acceptable. Contentions should be well sourced. Cases should be able to dynamically work against opponents’ Cases. Rapidly putting out one argument after another without counterpoints will lose you a debate. Holistic arguments that utilize a dialectical materialist framework will go a long way for your case.

Courtney Burke Paradigm

I am a traditional Lincoln Douglas judge that prefers philosophical arguments. I love to see value clash and I always prefer a debater that gives clear and concise voting issues at the end of the round.

Ailan Cheng Paradigm

I am a parent from State College High School. I judged Speech last year. I am new to LD. Please avoid excessive spreading.

Looking forward to the new experience.

Good luck to all competitors.

Tiffany Dacheux Paradigm

Forensics Team coach for Dallastown since 2014

Speed and Decorum:

Send me your case. My email is I cannot overemphasize the necessity of doing this – it will help keep me focused, and generally just make me happier. (Please…and thank you!) If its an organized case, that’s just even better!

Spreading…I can follow it when I have the speech DOC, at least a skeletal outline (preferably written), or clear signposts which are different in emphasis/tone. Real talk time: this is key if you will be spreading in rebuttal.

I really do not care if you sit, stand, or perform yoga poses while you speak. I vaguely care that you remain in the room, and do not want you to touch me/your opponent but other than that pick your own position.

I don't time the debate or prep time, therefore you should. If need me to time, please tell me. Flex prep is fine if all debaters in the round agree.

I’d rather not touch…well…ANYONE, so can we NOT shake hands?


Arguments that are obviously racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, Anti-Semitic, etc. are not OK. (Read: you will lose if you run them.)

I do not like theory. I find it unnecessarily complicated and usually designed to make debate inaccessible (especially to those who are likely already crowded out of this forum in some other way). Please don't run it unless there you see literally NO OTHER WAY to respond to your opponent's arguments. Even then, I may not evaluate it the way you want or expect. If you planning to run dense or tricky theory, you should find a different judge.

You have an absolute obligation to articulate your arguments. Even if I’m familiar with the literature or whatever that you might be referencing I *try* to avoid filling in any gaps.

Signposting = GOOD! Flipping back and forth from AFF flow to NEG flow then back to AFF Flow to NEG Flow....BAD.... VERY, VERY, VERY BAD!

Tricks = no. Thanks.

Above all, strive to make sense. I do not prefer any “style” of debate or any particular kind of argument over another. Similarly, there isn’t much that is “off limits” (other than that which is listed above…pay attention to that). Regardless of what you run, if your case relies on me to connect the dots for you or if it is a literal mess of crappily cut and equally crappily organized evidence sans warrants, you probably be sad at the end of the round.

Nehal Gandhi Paradigm

Hi Debater,

I am looking forward to judging. I am a new judge and would appreciate if the presentation is clear to assist me in doing the judging.

Appreciate the help.



Bridget Gidley Paradigm

I have had several children in LD debate and have helped out with judging over the years. I have a preference for regular speed speaking (not spreading), traditional arguments (FYI not really keen on kritiks run in JV or Novice LD), and clearly laid out cases. While I certainly understand that debaters can be passionate about the arguments in their cases, for me there is no need for out-and-out mean spiritedness in a debate round and that kind of behavior will not serve the debate well.

Cayman Giordano Paradigm


Email if you have questions. If the questions are about a specific flow, please mention the round/flight/tournament.

N-TOCvid-19 Update (Judging on Zoom)

Given the new evidence rules on evidence exchange this year, everyone needs to be on the Email chain. I'll still read evidence sparingly unless asked to, but it's important that everyone is on the chain to verify what evidence gets sent when (and that it was sent to all participants instead of accidentally choosing 'reply' vs 'reply all'.) Because these rules and norms are new to everyone, I'm inclined by default to drop the card and not the team if one side can't fully/correctly comply with an evidence request.

I probably won't be looking at Zoom very much during speeches. My ballot/comments, timer, flow, and any relevant evidence are already competing for screen space.

Since we'll be beta-testing the new coin flip functionality, if/when something goes wrong, I'm fine with holding the round as if everything is normal and straightening out the ballot with tab after the fact. Since flips are time-sensitive and inflexible, if you have any questions for me that may influence how you flip, I'll try to get into the Zoom room early with time to spare. If you're in Zoom and don't see me there, Email me. Normally, I try to avoid answering questions about specific hypotheticals where one team can hear me and the other can't, but I'll make an exception under this ruleset if one team needs to know before their coin flip timer expires and then I'll make an effort to fill the other team in as similarly as I can before the round starts. Also before the round starts, I'll verbally confirm who won the flip and which choice each side made, both because this is a new system and in case it becomes relevant to mid-round arguments.

However fast y'all think you can go without sacrificing clarity is modified by your microphone and your opponents' speakers. I'll let you know if you're unclear to me; if your opponents are unclear to you, either clarify in cross or err on the side of asking for more evidence from the last speech.

If you're waiting for a card to start prep, please don't mute yourselves until prep starts. Prep starts when the requested cards (if any) arrive in the Email chain (or when debaters are obviously prepping) and stops when someone from the prepping team un-mutes and says to stop prep. If your opponents gave you the wrong card, I'll reset prep to where it was when you started, but if you just want to ask for more cards, please do so all at once rather than constantly trying to pause and un-pause prep.

Should you feel compelled to run a full theory argument, please make sure that the interpretation and standards take the current online format into account.

If y'all want to ask your opponents clarifying questions during your own prep time, you're welcome to do so, but it's up to them whether to answer.

Grand cross can get especially messy when feedback and dueling microphones are involved. Please be mindful of the technical issues that talking over each other can cause and interrupt sparingly.


  • Policy and LD since 1998
  • Parli and PF since 2002
  • WSDC and WUDC since 2009
  • Big Questions since it became a non-meme event*
  • Coach for Howard County, MD teams (Atholton, Centennial, Marriotts Ridge, Mt Hebron, Oakland Mills, River Hill, etc.) 2007-present
  • Capitol Debate camps & travel team from 2008-2013
  • James Logan Forensics Institute from 2012-2013
  • SNFI Public Forum 2010-2019

J-V, NCFLs, NJFL, Round Robins, etc.:

  • If I'm judging you in a format where you don't get prefs or strikes and judge assignments are random, it's more my job to adapt to you than your job to adapt to me. Issues with stylistic choices or execution are more likely to find their way into the ballot comments than into the speaker points.
  • Do what you do best; don't second-guess yourselves and do what you think I want to hear if it's not what you're good at.
  • Don't take your norms for granted. If you and your opponent have different ideas of what debate should be or how it should be evaluated, tell me why the way that you do it is superior, the same way you would with any other argument.
  • If you have a panel, do what you have to do to win the panel. If the easiest way to win is to pick up the two lay parent-judges sitting on either side of me and doodling on their ballots while trying to look attentive, so be it. I won't hold panel adaptation against teams. Making me feel engaged and useful is not why you're here.
  • Some leagues ban disclosure. Some leagues ban verbal feedback. Those rules are bad for education and bad for debate. If you have questions about your round, find me after the round and we'll talk about what happened.


  • I don't like calling for cards. If I do, it's either because of a factual/ethical dispute between teams about what the author actually says, because the round had a total absence of weighing outside of the quoted impact cards, or for educational reasons that aren't going to affect my RFD. How teams spin the cards matters, as does how well teams seem to know their cards.
  • I assume ignorance over malfeasance. If you think the other team is being unethical, be able to prove it. Otherwise, correct/educate them by going after the evidence or citation instead of the people.
  • Smart analytics beat un-smart cards every time.
  • If you haven't read the article or chapter or study that your evidence is quoting, you probably shouldn't be using that evidence yet. When I'm evaluating impacts, it does you no favors to add a second sub-level of probability where I have to wonder "But do they know that the evidence actually says that? If so, did they make X argument on purpose?"
  • Saying the word "Extend" is not extending evidence. You're extending arguments, not authors, which means there should be some explanation and some development. Repetition is not argumentation.
  • If you're using digital evidence, it's your responsibility to be able to show the other team. It is not your opponents' responsibility to own laptops or to bring you a flash drive. I'm fine with teams using Email to share evidence - with the notable caveat that if I catch you using internet access to do anything outside tournament rules, your coach and the tab room are both going to hear about it. "Can I Email this so I don't risk getting viruses on my USB?" is a reasonable question most of the time. "Can I get on Messenger so my assistant coaches can type up theory extensions for me?" is NOT an acceptable interpretation of that question.
  • Prep stops when you stop working with the evidence: either when the flash drive leaves the computer or when you send the Email and stop typing or when you stand up with the evidence in hand.


  • I care more about clarity than speed. If I can't understand you, I'll let you know.
  • If you can't understand your opponents, let them know in CX/CF/Prep. Deliberately maintaining an incomprehensible speed to stop your opponents from refuting arguments they can't comprehend is probably not a winning strategy especially in Parli and PF, where speech documents and wikis don't check.
  • Quality > quantity. "Spreading" isn't some arbitrary brightline of WPM; it's when you're talking faster than you can think. Doesn't matter which event. Don't get discouraged just because your opponents are faster than you.

Event-specific stuff:

  • CX:
    • Check the judge philosophies Wiki.
    • If your strategy relies on preffing only judges like me and then telling other teams they can't read their arguments in front of the judges that you've preffed, then please rethink your strategy.
    • I've coached and run a wide variety of arguments. One of the easiest ways to lose my ballot is to be dogmatic and assume that because I've coached it, I like it, or that I think it's intrinsically true. If you have guessed an argument that I actually enjoy running and/or believe in, that still doesn't mean you'll be held to a lower standard on it.
    • With the (hopefully obvious) exception of status theory, I'd prefer to be able to reject the argument instead of the team. You probably want to hedge your bets by telling me how the round changes if the argument is(n't) rejected.
    • Kick your own arguments; don't leave it up to me to decide what should or shouldn't be kicked unless you're actually ok with either option.
  • L-D:
    • The majority of L-D I've judged in recent years has been fairly traditional/local; it's probably the event I judge least at bid tournaments on the national circuit, so it's probably best to treat me as a recovering policy judge.
    • I try not to intervene on theory. If you're winning it, I'll vote for it, even if doing so makes me feel dirty, as long as it's warranted/impacted/developed like any other winnable argument. That said, my theory norms have been largely calibrated by the arguments' CX analogues., so if you think there's something L-D specific I should be aware of (no 2NC's role in disclosure, the absence of a second CX when determining whether answers are binding/whether clarifications are sufficient, the difference between neg block and NR in creating side bias, etc.) be explicit about it.
    • In-round discourse probably comes before theory, T/FW probably come before other theory.
    • I'm not convinced there's such a thing as a "pre-standard" argument. An argument might operate on a higher level of standards than anything else currently in the round, or on a mutually conceded standard, but it still needs to be fully developed.
  • PF:
    • I strongly prefer for the second-speaking team to adapt their definitions/burdens in their OS and their time allocation in 2RB to create clash. I won't auto-drop you for using the 2RB the same as you would have the 1RB, but you're not doing your partner's SM any favors.
    • Deliberate concessions early in the round can get you a long way. Just know and explain where and why they're strategic.
    • Cite authors when possible. The university your author went to / was published by / taught at / is not your author. The way to get around a dearth of source diversity is to find more sources, not to find as many different ways as possible to cite the same source.
    • Teams that start weighing in RB typically have an easier time getting my ballot than teams that just spit out a bunch of constructive arguments and wait for reductive speeches to weigh anything.
    • CF should be focused on asking actual questions, not repeating speeches or fitting in arguments you didn't have time for. "Do you agree", "Isn't it true that", "How would you respond to", and "Are you aware" are rarely ingredients of genuine questions. Good CFs will clarify and focus the round by finding where common ground exists and where clash matters.
    • SM cannot go line-by-line. There's literally not enough time. There are more and less technical ways of looking at the big picture, but you do need to look at the big picture.
    • GCF is a hard place to win the round but an easy place to lose the round. Make sure that you and your partner are presenting a unified front; make sure that you're investing time in places that deserve it, make sure that if you're trying to introduce something new-ish here that you tie it into what's already happened this round.
    • FF shouldn't be a notable departure from SM. Offense matters, especially if you're speaking first.
  • Parliamentary:
    • Naming arguments is not the same as making arguments. I can't easily vote on something that you haven't demonstrated intellectual ownership of.
    • My threshold for beating arguments is inversely proportional to the silliness of the argument.
    • "but [authority figure] says X" is not an argument. Especially in an event where you can't directly quote said person. I don't want to know whether Paul Krugman says the economy is recovering. I don't want to know whether Nietzsche says suffering is valuable. I want to know why they are right. Your warrants are your own responsibility.
    • Intelligently asking and taking POIs is a big factor in speaker points.
    • Most rounds come down to how well the PMR answers the Opp block. If the Opp block was much better done than the MG, there might be no PMR that could answer well enough, but that's rare. Parli seems to have much more potential for teams that are behind to come back than most other events.
    • I'm generally tech > truth. In Parli, however, depending on how common knowledge the topic is and whether internet prep is allowed, a little more truth can beat a lot more tech. Don't be afraid to stake the round on a question of fact if you're sure it's actually a question of fact.
      • I should not have to say this, but given the current state of HS Parli, if I am confident a team is lying and I already intend to drop them for it, I may double-check the relevant fact online just to make 100% sure. This is not me "accessing the internet on behalf of" the team I'm voting for; this is me going the extra mile for the team that I was already intending to vote against anyway. Suggesting that the losing team should be given a win because I gave them a second chance before I signed my ballot is asinine.
    • If you have a collection of 2 or 3 Ks that you read against every opponent, I don't think that aligns with the intention of the format, but I can certainly be convinced that fidelity to that intent is overrated. That said, you should make an extra effort to engage with your opponents and show how your criticism creates clash rather than sidesteps clash.
  • Limited-Prep
    • Extemp - Source diversity matters. I will look ev up online if it sounds sketchy. I do care that you give a direct answer to the actual question you drew, but not every question is written in a way that deserves a definite yes or no answer: if you don't, your speech should still contain elements of nuance and advocacy beyond "...well, yes and no" and should show me why all the simple answers would have been wrong.
    • Impromptu - I don't have a strong preference for one structure over another, but some prompts lend themselves more to certain structures. Not everything needs to be forced into a 3x1 or a 2x2 if it doesn't fit the procrustean bill. Recycled anecdotes and tropes are somewhat inevitable, but canned speeches defeat the purpose of the event.
  • Interp/Platforms/Congress
    • How did you end up with me as a judge? I'm so sorry. You're probably sorry too. Someone probably desperately needed a judge to stop the tournament from running grossly overtime, and all the other potential volunteers either ran faster or hid better than I did. We'll both make it through this somehow. It'll be a learning experience.

Richard Guiton Paradigm

8 rounds

When I participated in the event, I was generally “traditional” in my approach, emphasizing a few contentions to promote a value with minimal card usage or spreading. That being said, as a judge, I am comfortable with circuit debating as long as the argument(s) being made are still logical in nature and applicable to the resolution. I’m happy to answer any further questions you may have in round.

Callie Ham Paradigm

***Include me in your email chain.***

It would be beset for everyone if you kept your own time.

Public Forum

To be a true PF judge, I shouldn't have one of these...right? But see below...

Lincoln Douglas

LD debate should remain distinct from policy debate. While the passage of new policy may be deemed essential for AFF ground with some resolutions (i.e. Sept/Oct 2018), value debate should remain central to the round. I don't mind speed or progressive/policy-style arguments in an LD round as long as you provide analysis of those arguments and link them back to the value debate.

Policy Short Story

As a judge, I am open to all arguments and styles of policy debate. Your job as a debater is to convince me that what you have to say matters and should be preferred to your opponent. The way you go about that is entirely your choice (within reason…professionalism and decorum are key). If you have questions pre-round, please ask. Having said that, here are some specific likes/dislikes as a judge which you can choose to follow or completely ignore (because I will objectively evaluate whatever lands on my flow whether I really like it or not):

Policy Long Story

Case: I do love case debate. I find it hard to vote NEG when case goes relatively untouched and hard to vote AFF when rebuttals focus on off-case arguments. Rounds where case is essentially dropped by both sides are my worst nightmare.

K: Not my favorite, but I will evaluate K. I’m not really well-versed in kritikal literature, so if you choose to run kritikal arguments (AFF or NEG), please provide thorough explanation and analysis. Don’t expect me to know the ideals that Whoever promoted because, unless you tell me, I probably don’t.

T: I tend to be pretty lenient on the affirmative as far as T goes. In order to win on T, the negative must completely prove that the affirmative has totally harmed the fairness and education of the round.

CP/DA: Sure? Run them? Why not?

Theory/Framework: Sure. Whatevs. Just tell me how/where to flow it and why it matters in this round.

The Flow: Tell me how to flow the round. Roadmap. Sign post. Please slow down for clarity on tags and citations. If you insist on spreading tags and cites, please provide me with a copy of your speech. If your arguments don’t make it on my flow, they cannot be evaluated on my ballot. I also do very little (feel free to read that as “no”) evidence analysis following the round. It is your job as a debater to clearly articulate the argument/evidence/analysis during your allotted time.

Have fun! Be nice! (or at least reasonable)

Justin Harbour Paradigm

I have been judging and coaching Lincoln Douglas debate for 2 years. As an academic, I have researched judging philosophies. Based on what I’ve learned and my interpretation of the unique aspects of Lincoln Douglas debate, the following describes my judging paradigm.

Lincoln Douglas debate is a clash of values. The value represents a means to a world “as it should be.” Thus, the debater that upholds their value best will likely win the round. Here are some specific points that I believe are important:

  1. Analysis – The debater will clearly present a logical argument and also effectively refute the opponent’s case.
  2. Proof – There should be a sufficient quantity and quality of evidence to support the case. More evidence is not always better. The contentions should also link back to the value.
  3. Organization - There should be a logical and orderly presentation throughout the round.
  4. Refutation/ Clash – The better debater will demonstrate the ability to critically analyze the opponent’s arguments and develop clear and logical responses with effective use of evidence and examples.
  5. Delivery – The speech must be understandable, interesting, and persuasive. An LD debater should demonstrate effective oral communication skills including effective reading; clear and understandable delivery; persuasive vocal argumentation; presence; and eye contact. “Spreading” during rounds is discouraged for this reason – in opposition to overwhelming your opponent with speed that renders you unintelligible, a superior ability to identify and present the best arguments concisely is a much better representation of analytical acumen and the intent of LD debate.

Good luck to all competitors. I look forward to observing, critiquing, and judging your rounds.



Biju Ittyachen Paradigm

I am a parent and a lay judge​. That being said, I'm only familiar with traditional LD.

If you're a strict circuit debater, please strike me or plan on going lay. ​As far as traditional debate goes:

Things I like:

● Weighing your impacts clearly

● Full extensions - Tell me why what you're extending matters.

● Structured speeches/Signposting

Things I dislike:

● Being abusive in CX/aggressive in general

● Definitions debate - You can go for it, but don't expect to wow me

● Spreading

● Being late to the round


● The obvious: don't be racist, homophobic, etc.

● I will disclose, but will keep it brief.. There'll be more comments in the e-ballot.

● I try to average a 28 in speaker points. I’d say clear rebuttals are the best way to up your speaks.

If you have questions, please ask me before the round starts.

Wei Jiang Paradigm

I am a lay judge and am only familiar with traditional LD. Be a good speaker and tell me why your arguments are better than your opponents and weigh clearly. Good luck!

Ethan Knox Paradigm

"And therefore, as when there is a controversy in an account, the parties must by their own accord, set up for right Reason, the Reason of some Arbitrator, or Judge, to whose sentence they will both stand, or their controversie must either come to blowes, or be undecided, for want of a right Reason constituted by Nature."

- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Pt. 1, Ch. 5, para. 3


I did LD debate for four years in high school, so I understand the event's jargon and how arguments interact with each other in terms of the framework and contention level. This means that I also flow the debate and will make note if a debater extends a conceded argument (so don't expect to win me over with a flowery 2AR if your 1AR was a dropfest). I am definitely tabula rasa, so I'll accept any arguments made in the round as long as they are either uncontested or better upheld in terms of clash, even if I personally disagree or know a given statistic is misleading. However, I will not accept any arguments that are blatantly offensive or abusive (ex: racism and ridiculous "observations" that make it impossible for your opponent to win the round). I cast my ballot by picking the superior framework and weighing who has the most offense under that framework in terms of cards and contentions.


I'm alright with a faster than normal pace, but please don't go full blast. If you feel the need to send me your speech doc via e-mail, then you're definitely going past the line.

Counterplans/kritiks/other policy stuff

I'm alright with you running these in the right context (i.e. it's pretty unfair to run a policy-esque plantext at a traditional tournament in which your opponent almost certainly has no familiarity with such arguments). However, I'm probably less likely to vote on these arguments compared to a traditional 1AC or 1NC, so run them at your own discretion. I'm most open to counterplans, as those are pretty intuitive and they already get run all the time in oblique fashion anyway.

Srilatha Kola Paradigm

My name is Sri Kola and I judge for Council Rock North High School. She/Her pronouns.

I prefer traditional style debate. I don't have any strong opinions on either side of the debate perspective. I would like to see that both parties are courteous to each other and focusing on the context of the debate.

Jesse Laitman Paradigm

PFD: The most important thing to do prior to actually participating in PFD is preparation. One should know not only the current facts of the issue but also the continuity of the issue of time and its possibly complex history. This way, you can weave this history into your arguments by using EXAMPLES related to the historical ramification of the issue to strengthen your own argument while at the same time refuting the opponent.

LD: What I look for in LD is the hard drive of facts fueled by the passion of the debater. Passion does not equal emotion and while debaters tend to conflate the two LD is based in facts and most times statistical data.

Policy: What I look for in an effective Policy debate is fluidity of facts and a clear concise argument that does not get lost in spreading.

Important Note: If you find yourself tripping over words when spreading, try slowing down. When faced with these obstacles, slowing down will equate to the same amount of facts in the same amount of time had you continued with speed but stumbling.

Leo Mullin Paradigm

I have more than 40 years of experience with Forensics. Most of the experience was as an Extemp and Impromptu Coach at St. Joe's University in Philadelphia.

For Lincoln Douglas and Public Forum, effective communication is important. Excessive speed and excessive use of acronyms and jargon will result in lower points.

I expect the competitors to establish the scope and focus of the debate.

Higher points are assigned to the competitors who make an effort to address the issues raised by the opponents.

The use of evidence, logic and other methods to support your contentions are important. Merely repeating a tag line is not the way to win a debate.

The winning competitor will be the person(s) who effectively supports and extends their initial position while also offering a competent clash with the opponent's arguments.

Koraly Perez-Edgar Paradigm

8 rounds

I am a parent judge from State College High School. I participated in forensics as a student in the early 90's, but have not participated since then. Please avoid excessive speed so that I may follow the flow of the argument.

Jennifer Rand Paradigm

My strength is as a speech judge, so I prefer debate rounds where strong communication is utilized. I typically go into my first round not knowing background on the topic so I can be prepared to be convinced. All other things being equal, I am likely to vote on impacts. Don't expect to win me over by niggling about definitions. I value: roadmaps, clarity, evidence, and respectful argumentation. Dislikes: spreading, gish galloping (I admit I had to look that one up, I just knew I wasn't going to like it. Yup. Don't do that).

Samuel Rinkacs Paradigm

I debated Lincoln Douglas for 3 years in high school, and have coached for the past two years with novice debaters. Most of my experience was in western Pennsylvania on a local level, but I did compete occasionally on the national circuit.

My judge paradigm is limited only by what I can understand, because I don't really have any preferences concerning how students should debate or how the round should play out. If you take sufficient time explain your arguments then you can do whatever your want. I'm fine with theory or k's or any other off args, but am not used to evaluating them based on the level of debate I usually judge nowadays. Speed is fine as long as I can flow (can follow the slower end of what is considered "spreading" but not ridiculous speeds). Still debaters should preference clarity over speed. If a point is especially important, slow down. 




Shannon Rodgers Paradigm

Hi! my name is Shannon Rodgers and I was an LD debater for 3 years at Oakland Catholic in Pittsburgh, which was a relatively traditional circuit so I typically tend to favor rounds that lean more traditional. Having said that, I am ok with a progressive round if it is keeping with the "theme" of the rest of the tournament and you and your opponent both agree to a progressive round. Additionally I will permit you to spread however you must share your constructive/cards/etc. with me via email, flash, or shared document prior to the start of the round if you choose to spread.

Another little side note: I coached novices all of last year so my feedback tends to be less of my opinions on the round and more technical and strategical stuff I notice throughout the round.

How to win in my rounds:

~Overall. I do not care what you do/ run in the round so long as you explain it well and do not try to create an unfair debate space.

~Make the round easy for me to follow--if you and your partner create a sloppy round it is impossible for me to come up with a clear verdict because I will be confused as to what I just witnessed.
~I love a good value debate and I will weigh all arguments from both sides under the winning value structure so make sure you don't disregard the value structure. Additionally, if you don't understand your opponents value structure, use cross-ex to figure it out; if I am telling you a value debate is important in this round do not spend 3 minutes trying to trap your opponent during cross instead of figuring out their understanding and usage of their value structure!

~I also find theory debate really interesting, but you must explain it well and make it applicable to the round for me to buy it.

~If you gain substantial offense in cross-ex and you want me to weigh it in the round, you must bring it up in the speech immediately following cross because I will not be flowing cross

~Impact your arguments. It is your job as a debater to tell me why I care about some stat you just told me; if you don't tell me why I should care, I won't care.

~Dropped arguments will only effect the decision if your opponent brings up the dropped argument and makes it evident to me why that argument was important both as a claim and as an impact

~I care about voting issues (voters)--be confident and tell me why you won, especially if you think you won on a point that was not heavily debated throughout the round

~I will be voting off of the flow. Make this easy for me--if you're extending an argument tell me, I will not do this work for you. Also, do not respond to an opponent's argument saying that their argument is non-unique or that your argument outweighs, again you need to tell me why; if you fail to tell me "why" this says to me as a judge "crap, my opponent is right and I have nothing to say in response to this point"

~I reserve the right to call for any evidence during the round or at the end if their is a disagreement over the validity of a card

Ways to lose in my rounds:

~Being a jerk--this pretty much goes without saying but if in anyway you are purposefully a jerk in a round (examples: spreading and running a K on a novice, intentionally misgendering your opponent, being blatantly racist, homophobic, islamophobic, xenophobic, etc., or if you're a guy, mansplaining). You get the point, I want to see a nice, clean round that is based on merit and education, not on one person yelling or personally attacking their opponent

Side note:

~Some cases will contain sensitive subject matter. If you think your case may need a trigger warning, it probably does and if you are unsure, please ask me personally prior to the round. If there is a chance your case does contain sensitive subject matter, it is your responsibility to have a back-up case or at least a "PG" version of your case in the event that you opponent is uncomfortable with your initial case.

~More importantly than anything I just said, HAVE FUN! And if you have any questions after the round, please feel free to ask me in the cafeteria afterwards or email me; I will typically keep my flows!

Ashok Shetty Paradigm

This is my third year judging various Acting and interpretation events, Policy debate and Public Forum. I am mostly a lay judge, I do not understand spreading or progressive arguments. Some tips that you might want to take into consideration:

1. Being agressive is fine, don't say or do anything that is offensive. Personal or otherwise.

2. Be Courteous.

3. You can be light hearted or humourous if the topic permits.

4. I like a great Cross-Examination

5. Having good evidence comparison is really good, don't just take into account that evidence is right on face value.

Enjoy, have fun, it's your debate. Debating is a great skill that will help you build self confidence, help you think on your feet and believe it or not, it is probably one of the most important skill that will help you in life.

Lucy Song Paradigm

Hello! I'm a judge for Whitman High School. I'm a parent of a debater, I don’t have experience in judging I but have received judge training from my school.

I like clear, well-explained arguments, if you explain your arguments clearly, why I should vote on them, and why they're more important than your opponent's, and you'll be rewarded. I will vote based on which side makes the better arguments on that question, in the context of the rest of the round.

Aileen Song Paradigm

Hi! I'm a parent judge so I will want more of a lay debate round. Just some points:

1) Please explain your arguments so I can understand, and really make it clear why I should vote for your side. It's really important to have clash in the round so I can know confidently who's winning. If the debate gets messy or garbled, my decision may not be the one that you want.

2) Any complicated arguments like theory will need to be explained super well for it to be considered, and even then I don't think it'll be the best idea for you to run it. If I can't understand your argument, then I'll probably not vote for you.

3) Be nice. Rudeness or discrimination is not tolerated, and will be punished with lower speaks.

4) I'll say slow/clear if you're talking too fast.

5) Please time yourself. I'll time the speeches but debaters should also time themselves and each other.

6) I give generous speaks. I'll give an average of 27-28.

Steven Sparling Paradigm

I am a traditional/quasi-progressive judge. I enjoy creative arguments of any sort as long as they are argued well. However, if you chose to run more policy-oriented arguments, do not drop the value debate. That is always a key element when deciding the round. Also, do not drop any arguments. I am less focused on whether someone followed the correct format of addressing a specific type of argument but rather the analysis and thought behind it.

If an argument is dropped, do not simply tell me that it was dropped; explain the impact of dropping the argument. On the same note, do not just extend all your cards during your rebuttal. That does nothing to help you win the round. Focus on the arguments and provide clear impacts of why specific arguments were dropped.

Use all the allotted time for both cross-ex and rebuttals. Extra time at the end of your speeches hurts your speaker points. Also, provide clear voting issues.

Please road map before your rebuttals and clearly signpost throughout.

I can handle speed but do not spread. The goal is to be comprehensible.

I was a LD debater when I was in high school and have judged for the past few years. Additionally, I research all the LD topics. As a result, I am very familiar with the LD format and the arguments for the given topic.

Gopalakrishnan Thirukallam Paradigm

I am a parent judge, and lack a little bit of the technical lingo that goes along with the event. I do have a good record at being a fair open-minded judge who is able to discern a good argument. I do understand that limited spreading needs to happen in LD but I do not like excessive spreading. I will give you a verbal warning if you start to spread but if it continues and if I cannot understand you I cannot effectively judge your argument against your opponent.

I believe that an argument should be well thought out, well structured, and cogent. I like to see debaters who challenge their opponents on their points with crafty and well-timed rebuttals.

I'm a judge who likes to go with the flow. I take copious notes when needed, and when I give my decision, I explain in detail why I picked the winner. I expect debaters to have original arguments and a solid framework. I do not like debaters repeating the same argument multiple times to just finish up their time slot.

Justin Thomashefsky Paradigm

Hey ya'll, i'm Justin Thomashefsky and I'm a coach at Truman High School. I've been judging on and off the circuit (for both LD and Policy) since 2012.


I'm much more comfortable judging a policy round but I have a decent amount of experience judging critical rounds.

T - I can vibe with reasonability but I default to competing interps. You need to win in round abuse to get my ballot.

K - I'm familiar and comfortable with most K's but you may lose me with high theory literature.

Please frame my ballot in your last speech. It should be clear what I'm voting for at the end of the round.


For lay rounds: uh... do you need a paradigm for lay LD?

For circuit rounds: See policy stuff

I prefer to see lay rounds in LD. So if you're at a tournament with me that has a weird mix of lay and circuit you might want to default to lay. BUT I'll weigh whatever arguments you put in front of me in any style.

Duke Tran Paradigm

I've served as a parent judge for high school debates in the past few years. I enjoy all logical and creative arguments. I am claiming no expertise in debates; however, as long as you have solid explanations of your arguments, I should be able to follow them.

I am here because I want to be here. You are here to convince me with your excellent research and debate skills! I am more impressed with debaters who apply certain public speaking skills and who can express their arguments with logic, confidence, and clarity. If you follow all debate rules and technicalities, you are in good shape; I'll certainly let you know if you cross the lines.

Feel free to ask me any questions before the round starts, but here are my answers to some issues you may have.

· Speed___I'd prefer moderate speaking speed and slow-down for facts, authors, and taglines. I'll try to follow, but I do not guarantee that I will catch everything being said. Make sure you don't sacrifice clarity for speed.

· Arguments___I'm all ears for any types of arguments -- traditional, progressive, or anything in between -- as long as they are not morally offensive. Just make sure you articulate your arguments with logic, evidence, claims, and impacts.

· Theory___It's an excellent tool and I respect its utility, but I have high thresholds for theory. I would discourage you to run theory unless there is a need for it in the round.

· Speaker Points___I adjudicate speaks based on your delivery and in round behavior.

· Others___I'm big on organization throughout the speech, including roadmaps and signposts. If I don't know where to put your arguments, I'm probably not going to flow it.

· Advice?

1. Remember that this is an educational and friendly competition.

2. Debate in the style you feel most comfortable. Don't be bogged down by debate jargon or styles that your opponents use.

3. Tell me at the end why I should vote for you.

Good luck!

Kristen Tully Paradigm

I am a previous debater and have been judging and coaching for five years now.

Speed is not an issue - speak as fast or as slow as you'd like so long as what you're saying is clear.

I value clear logic and relevant supporting evidence.

I also value strong crossfires as this allows teams to demonstrate their functional knowledge of the resolve.

I want to see that you understand your cases and evidence and aren't just reading from a paper.

Elaine Wang Paradigm

Hey everyone! I'm a freshman at Brown, and I did LD for 4 years at The Lawrenceville School. Arguments-wise I'm open to anything. In high school, I debated on pretty traditional circuits, but I have some experience with Ks/theory/LARP/performance – definitely not as much as a lot of circuit judges though, so don't assume I know anything. If you just throw out an author's name, don't expect me to know who they are or what they say. Generally, I'll vote on pretty much anything as long as it's warranted and not morally repugnant.

Please, please weigh; I'm literally begging you. If you don't explicitly weigh, then as a judge, I have to intervene, and my determinations might not (probably won't) make you happy. If you drop because you didn't weigh and I saw the impact debate differently than you did, that's on you.

I won't vote for any new arguments in later speeches, even if your opponent doesn't point them out. If you don't explicitly extend in every speech (including the 2AR), I won't vote for it.

Speed-wise, I'm fine with spreading but if I can't understand you, I'll stop flowing. Don't be mean to novices or debaters new to progressive – slow down so that the round is educational for everyone. Add me to the email chain (

I'll add .5 speaker points if you're funny in CX. Automatic drop if you say anything blatantly racist/sexist/homophobic. I don't care what you wear, if you sit or stand, etc; just be respectful to everyone in the room and have fun!

Pronouns: she/her

John Wearden Paradigm

yes I want to be on the email chain:

Pittsburgh Central Catholic '18

Pitt '22

WARNING: I have only been peripherally engaged with the immigration topic - if you're going to use acronyms / do in-depth law analysis you're going to have to slow down and explain it to me

When I debated in high school I primarily ran soft-left affs, but I don't (think) I have a strong ideological preference. I'm not going to pretend I'm tabula rasa but there are very few arguments I will a priori vote down. (For instance, I'm never going to vote for racism = good)

As long as you can provide me with a coherent explanation of your world-view and how that relates to what is being said in the round you'll be okay.

If you have questions about more specific arguments/positions feel free to ask.

Emily White Paradigm

8 rounds

Background: I’m a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Gender Studies & Communication, and I did both LD and policy (with a brief stint in PF) for Dallastown High School in Pennsylvania. I competed on both traditional and progressive circuits, so I’m pretty much cool with whatever you want to run. However, as a competitor, I mostly ran non-t affs, soft-left affs, and kritiks.

pronouns: she/her/hers

email chain:

* I care a lot about respect and safety in-round. Debate has a tendency to be a really toxic/hostile environment sometimes, so please don't contribute to that. Similarly, if at any point during the round you feel uncomfortable/unsafe, feel free to stop the round and let me know. I will not tolerate debaters being egregiously disrespectful or inconsiderate of their opponents. This applies to actions done knowingly that make the round inaccessible (e.g. not flashing your case when spreading, not giving content warnings for sensitive topics, etc.) as well as how you speak to/about your opponent (e.g. excessively interrupting them or being overly condescending). TLDR: just be nice y'all, it's not that hard.

**If you spread, EMAIL ME AND YOUR OPPONENT YOUR CASE. Ideally this applies to prewritten analytics as well (or really anything that is typed out and sendable). I cannot stress this enough! If you don’t, I’ll probably dock speaks and be a much less happy judge. I like to think I’m pretty good at flowing at high speeds, but there’s always the chance that I miss something if I don’t have a copy of it, especially since audio can cut out on virtual platforms.

Kritiks: I love them! This was about 80% of what I did in debate, so I love seeing a good K round. However, a bad K debate is probably my least favorite thing to watch, so don’t think that I’ll vote for any kritik no matter what - you need to explain your position clearly, especially your alt.

Non-T affs: I read these for most of my junior and senior year, so I’m very comfortable rejecting/reinterpreting the topic as long as you tell me why I should and what your aff does instead. As far as T vs. a non-t aff — It’s not my favorite thing to see (I personally think reading a K or counter-method is more interesting and creative), but if it’s what you’re good at, go for it. aff still has to explain where they get offense and why topicality is bad, neg has to justify why the aff’s non-topical position is uniquely harmful/abusive, not just why defending the topic is good generally.

Phil/framework: I’m familiar with the basics (deont, virtue ethics, and consequentialism) more so than any other FW authors (especially really obscure ones). I’ll gladly judge other phil - I just may not have any experience with them, so you’ll have to explain it clearly and weigh well. If you could give a quick overview of the theory in non-jargony language during your 1ar/2nr that would also be super helpful. Know your position well and clarify exactly what offense does and doesn’t count under your framework, and you should be fine.

Theory: I generally find it to be unnecessary and used to make the round inaccessible. If there is legitimately no other way for you to respond to your opponent and/or they've done something really really abusive, then read theory. Otherwise, be creative and use logic to tell me why their argument doesn’t make sense - don’t rely on tricky wordings or surprise interps to get my ballot. Also slow down a bit and explain - I will miss something if you rattle off 3 standards in 5 seconds with minimal warranting.

Tricks: I'm ok with one or two spikes in an aff, but as far as a completely tricks case - please just don’t. I will not be amused, I will dock speaks, and you probably won’t get my ballot.

Karen Winters Paradigm

8 rounds

LD is my first love. I prefer clean, well laid out arguments that include philosophy. I do not appreciate CX like arguments with impacts, etc. I cannot handle much speed. I won't make arguments for you, please do so yourselves. I prefer crystallization on both sides.

Cameron Zurmuhl Paradigm

>Debated 4 years in high school, graduated 2016.

>Experience in CX, LD, PFD, Parli, some speech events

>Flow judge, love to see clash and legitimate voters in final speeches. Debaters should do warrant analysis.

>Tabula rasa paradigm.

>Will listen to any argument. Competitors must validly prove abuse if present.

>To win on K convince me on the framework

>Extensions should be carried through the round.