Gautam Sharda

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Paradigm Statement
Last changed 21 November 2021 8:05 AM CDT

Cliff Notes

-yes email chain:

-College freshman. Not doing college debate, but passively involved.

-Did policy debate in high school for 3.5 years from 2017-2020. Went to Mich 7 week twice (CCPW + BFHPRS). Participated in the 2019-20 TOC (Arms Sales). Did not debate in the second half of the 2020-21 season (Criminal Justice Reform).

-Coaching Iowa City West this year in my free time, but not too deeply involved.

-Have judged 5 debates on the Water topic.

-Have judged 5 varsity debates.

-Have judged 14 novice debates.

-You will benefit from going just a tad bit slower than your usual speed this season.

-Keep in mind - I might be inexperienced with the topic/judging, but I am experienced with policy debate.

-More experience with policy stuff than K, but not a hack, and think the division between the two is overstated

-List of generic 2NRs in order from safest to riskiest: Process CP + Politics + Case, Process CP + internal net benefit, Politics + Case, topic K, Impact Turn(s), Topicality.

This is assuming all were equally well prepared and debated - if you either are significantly better prepared or have more practice with one of these, you should probably stick to that.

A specific strategy would be a better bet than any of these.

-That said, I really do find impact turns of all kinds pretty interesting, including spark and death good - but don't read racism, or any other -isms good unless you want negative infinity speaks

-I do not hesitate to vote on "cheapshot" arguments (assuming a complete argument was made, even if blippy).

For example - if the 2AC dropped an ASPEC argument in a T shell and it looked something like:

"Not specifying an agent beyond the USFG in the 1AC is a voting issue (claim) for fairness and education (impact) because it allows for 2AC respecification which spikes out of agent-based arguments (warrant)"

Then I am likely voting neg so long as they 1 - have the same claim, warrant, and impact in the block and the 2NR and 2 - sufficiently respond to "we get new 1AR responses"

A 1NC shell more incomplete than that OR not meeting the above 2 criteria = I will happily vote aff instead.

-Recent high school debaters that I found to be the most persuasive and would give very high speaker points who have videos of them debating online so you can see what I mean: Rafael Pierry (Monta Vista PS), Dhruv Sudesh (Monta Vista PS), Aden Barton (MBA), Giorgio Rabbini (North Broward MR), Nicholas Mancini (North Broward MR), Grace Kessler (Washburn Rural KP).

-I'd prefer if you demonstrated a basic level of respect for everyone present. Not doing this is the only way to get very bad speaks.

-Tech > Truth / my personal beliefs - but I want to write a helpful paradigm, so I've included the section below.

How you can adapt if you're:

1. Aff

a) Policy aff

vs DA

Do impact comparison I guess. Some judges really hate certain DA's like rider or something, but I'm not so rigid about this, so theoretical objections to DA's need a deeper explanation than "the DA is nonintrinsic so it is not intrinsic and non-intrinsicness is a voting issue".

vs CP

I HATE it when the 2AC spews a bunch of made-up solvency deficits that are just not in the evidence. This is one issue where I really care about evidence quality. Limit yourself to a few, good deficits instead of many non-sensical ones because otherwise when the 2NR says "this is not a real deficit" I will be persuaded regardless of your spin.

I have voted aff on the only condo debate I've judged so far, so it is not a bad choice.

Against a process CP (whatever that means), these are your most persuasive arguments for me (best to worst): a carded solvency deficit, perm + model of competition (functional + textual > functional only), offense, a theoretical objection alone (without a perm + model of competition).

vs K

You should have a defense of the aff separate from its fiated consequences to use as offense vs the K in case you don't win the framework interp of weighing the plan vs the alt - otherwise just don't lose framework, win a deficit to the alt, and win impact comparison = I will probably vote aff

vs T

Reasonability is a viable strategy but you need to at least make a race to the bottom/substance crowd out argument. If all the 2AC says is something like "prefer reasonability -- good is good enough", you're probably not going to win it because this doesn't have much of a warrant or an impact (unlike the ASPEC example above).

Soft left affs

You should absolutely invest in framing. Obviously, you need it to win vs an extinction DA. I will likely be persuaded for evaluating consequences so don't go for deontology or something. Critiques of magnitude times probability alone are also insufficient absent a viable alternative (I haven't found most to be persuasive, but still this is better than telling me to ignore consequences). However, simply saying the risk of the neg's existential scenario is exceedingly low to the point it should be disregarded (Think: Infinitarian paralysis, butterfly effect type arguments) is pretty compelling. There is no persuasive way to actually reduce the risk of the DA except making substantive defensive arguments. This doesn't include conjunctive fallacy, but it could include reading evidence that broadly says the risk of extinction is low. Coupling that with regular DA answers will be best, but I don't think it's necessary.

Overall I will make my decision very similar to how Brandon Stras would ( TLDR = framing-centric.

b) K aff:

vs T

The most persuasive approach for me would be to have a real counter-interp and win the neg's fairness stuff is just fluffy word salad and your model solves real impacts that theirs does not.

vs K

I don't have much judging experience with these debates so basic things like organization and clear line by line will be vital if you don't want me to get lost in the sauce. I would evaluate these pretty similar to a plan vs CP+DA debate where the alt = CP and links = DAs. Impact comparison would matter if you're saying the alt doesn't solve your offense. Explaining how the perm solves each of the links is important.

2. NEG

a) vs Policy Aff


Absent any instruction, I will evaluate the plan vs the alternative (i.e. the world if the plan happens vs if the alt happens). If you don’t want me to do that, that's fine, but you absolutely need to make it very clear what you want me to do - ideally in the form of a framework debate. If you win an alternative framework, then mitigate any aff offense that isn't about it's fiated consequences and I will vote neg. If the aff wins plan vs alt, then you need to win your alt solves their impact OR your impact outweighs theirs on face.


I don't "default to precision" or whatever. Ideally, you'd have justification for whether precision/accuracy matters most or debate-ability (aka limits/ground) matter most - And unless you win your interp is better on both fronts, this is what my decision will be based on - but absent any instruction on this I will just evaluate their combined risk of offense to make a decision.

You should have a coherent argument for why reasonability is bad, defense to causing substance crowd out, and impact comparison between the two.


Be liberal with your use of fiat.

I feel pretty confident evaluating most competition debates.

Answer condo seriously.


I don't have much to say here. Good for generic stuff. Do not really have a super high bar for ev quality generally here (unless told otherwise).


I probably have a soft spot for good, in-depth case debating... who doesn't?

-soft left

framing please (see under 1. Aff -> soft left for more details) - I would vote aff in a CP+DA strategy where you lose framing and the CP doesn't solve 100% of case (aka zero deficits) - but I would vote neg if you win framing and a non-zero risk of the DA even without any mitigation of aff offense

b) vs K Aff


I'm not a fairness hack so don't be deterred from a skills impact. Overall, I don't have a strong preference for hearing a skills or fairness argument, but I think the latter

1 - requires you to explain fairness well (I've seen debates where I'd be underwhelmed by the neg here, although never judged one myself)

2 - win a much higher level of defense to aff arguments

Lastly, if the aff is reading a plan and a counter-interp then you really should invest in winning a violation instead of just asserting one in the block


This can be a strategic choice - Just don't make it super messy in the block please - I'd prefer you have a few clear links/pieces of offense instead of a bunch of shoddily extended arguments/streams of consciousness


I tried to write a paradigm following advice from

Full Judging Record
Tournament Lv Date Ev Rd Aff Neg Vote Result
IHSSA State Debate HS 2022-01-07 CX Quarte Iowa City West KL Iowa City West SC Aff
The Iowa Caucus Debates HS 2021-10-29 VCX Quar Truman SW Blue Valley North TU Neg Neg 3-0
The Iowa Caucus Debates HS 2021-10-29 VCX R6 Univ Of Chicago Lab KS Washburn Rural KP Neg
The Iowa Caucus Debates HS 2021-10-29 NCX R5 Washington PH Blue Valley West SV Neg
The Iowa Caucus Debates HS 2021-10-29 NCX R4 USN CR Blue Valley West SV Aff
The Iowa Caucus Debates HS 2021-10-29 VCX R3 North Broward Prep GN Blue Valley North TU Aff
Cross River Classic Invitational Formerly Kanellis HS 2021-02-19 NCX R5 Maine East RA Dowling Catholic HC Aff
Cross River Classic Invitational Formerly Kanellis HS 2021-02-19 NCX R4 Dowling Catholic SC Oak Park and River Forest CS Aff
Cross River Classic Invitational Formerly Kanellis HS 2021-02-19 NCX R3 Iowa City Liberty FT Barstow OS Neg
Iowa City West Novice One Day HS 2020-10-24 NCX R3 Lansin PW BerPre RC Aff
Iowa City West Novice One Day HS 2020-10-24 NCX R2 IowCit TC SMSOT SS Neg
Iowa City West Novice One Day HS 2020-10-24 NCX R1 BerPre SE SMSOT TZ Neg
Kanellis Invitational HS 2020-02-21 NCX Quarte Washington HT Glenbrook South SW Aff Neg 2-1
Kanellis Invitational HS 2020-02-21 NCX R6 Glenbrook North IK Oak Park and River Forest BL Neg
Kanellis Invitational HS 2020-02-21 NCX R4 Glenbrook South SW Barstow VS Aff
Kanellis Invitational HS 2020-02-21 NCX R3 Glenbrook North AH Barstow SM Aff
Kanellis Invitational HS 2020-02-21 NCX R2 Iowa City Liberty DB Glenbrook North SY Neg
Kanellis Invitational HS 2020-02-21 NCX R1 Glenbrook North NP Iowa City RS Aff
Iowa City West One Day HS 2019-10-19 NCX R2 Iowa City West Chu & Seo Iowa City West Wood & Stier Neg
Valley Junior High Debate Tournament MS 2019-05-04 CX R2 West Des Moines Valley Patel & Kapadia Iowa City West Chen & Chi Neg