Kense Ning Paradigm

Last changed 15 May 2019 10:29 AM EDT

Last affiliated with: Wake Forest University, North Carolina (2014 - 2016.)

Previously Associated with: Edgemont Jr./Sr. High School, New York (2009 - 2014)

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The work I put in is nothing compared to the work you have done preparing for this debate. But I can tell you that I will work hard in trying to make you feel like your time here is not wasted. That your work is being recognized the way that you wish it to be. Despite any doubts you may have of your own talent, to know that your love for this activity is meaningful. That is my promise to you.

At a glance:

-Speaks (novice&jv will vary)- I was told the last time I judged that, "times have changed," and the speaker points I gave were too little. Therefore, I have maintained my standards, but scaled the points to accurately reflect the current trends. I hope you will enjoy.

Line-by-line is necessary to break 27.0
Correct debate execution without appearance of deliberate strategic choices nets you 27.5 - 28.0
Deliberate strategic choices 28.0 - 29.0
Impressive execution and strategic choices 29.0 - 30.0
Missing decency - will not break 26.0

-Opinion on the current meta: teams are running towards affs that defend less and less, and teams are running towards reading framework against those affs. This meta is fine but stale. Words of advice for both sides;

IF you are "framework": I'd rather watch a debate where teams hold the AFF to reading affs within the scope of the topic by running an interpretation of what areas of literature the topic should cover to promote the best depth of knowledge and debate skills about said topic. Then explain why the AFF has not met that interpretation of the topic. Note here that topic =/= usfg.

IF you are "non-traditional debate": You'll have a higher success rate if your aff has links to the topic. Your aff doesn't need to be USFG but it has to do something. That something can be flexible. But as I like saying, "however far of a stretch you think it is, you have to close that distance before you can start on other flows."

-Decision Making-

Debate is a game. It has an established meta. Both sides believes they are correct while the other side is wrong. I'm of the opinion that it's not a game of proving who's right, but effectively translating your ideas and communicating them to me so that I can write a ballot with your name on it. (i.e: policy debate is not an exercise in writing a thesis paper, it is an exercise in translating from your language to mine.) Translation of ideas often times are more successful the more languages you speak - this is to say, having many different ways to say the one thing will find you more success among many different judges through many different rounds. I am no different here. Speak my language and the barrier to explanation will be lower. Speak a foreign language to me and the barrier will be higher.

Speed is good. I akin it to dribbling in basketball/tech-skill in videogames, a barrier of entry that allows for a wider range of volatility, providing an avenue for potential creativity (if you're not fast) or defeating shortcomings through sheer dedication (if you wanna be fast).

Evidence is good. Claims with warrants is an absolute deal breaker. Tech that is true > tech believably true > truth without tech > tech without truth > truth.

(And here is a personal bias: I like a good cross ex moment like any other judge. But where I differ is that if you can be honestly kind during cross ex while still getting the answers you need to get, you'll get a lot higher points from me compared to other judges.)

For novice/jv: If your coach/senpai gave you blocks to read, read them before the debate to figure out what that block is saying, and then re-write the block in your own words. I understand that this cannot be done 100% of the time, but it can be done more often than not. If it becomes apparent that you are reading blocks in the rebuttals without thinking about the arguments and how they interact, I won't just lower your speaks, I will most likely not give that argument much more weight on the flow. I've certainly given novice/jv teams the W when they have lost on the flow, but they understand all the arguments they made and how it interacts with the opponents' arguments. We're aiming for long term growth, not short term Ws in novice/jv.

About me:

I'm an all around low-maintenance judge. But here are some things to keep in mind behavior-wise:

- Please clean up after yourselves. We're most likely having a debate in a public space (some school) or a rented space (some hotel). It would be nice if you are courteous of your surroundings.

- I'll smile and give facial feedback (I am human after all) while you are debating. Look at these and adjust accordingly and you will have more success.

- You can easily hurt my feelings by: not appearing to listen to my reason for decision, appearing to degrade others for wanting to debate, insulting people I hold close to me. Most of the time if this happens before the round, you'll probably lose since I'll look for every reason to vote against you :')

- In case this becomes important, I live under a different rock than you do. I don't really know anything about your "pop-culture" so your references will most likely fly over my head. Sorry ^^

My history:

For those people who think that getting some background on the judge's history tells them more about how they judge debates, I've listed out some important historical details about me:

I've done pretty much all sorts of things in every facet of Debate. I've read a plan text that had ten words to a plan text that read like a novella. I've read a plan without a plan text. I've read a policy big stick aff. I've read a small squirrely aff designed to beat T-substantial but was not substantial. I've read an identity aff. I've read all sorts of negative arguments from consult to pic-ing out of individual debaters, to reading poems about purple kush. I've read everything from Mills to Baudrillard to Rodriguez to Wilderson to Kagan. I've read DisAds that didn't have uniqueness but were 'linear' to the DisAd formerly known as "the Obama DA."
I haven't done all of those things with tremendous success, but I've done all of it at a national-circuit level. Which is something that not everyone can say.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that in front of me, you can be whomever you want to be. You don't have to be yourself if you don't want to. You can be the best politics debater (and by that virtue you can be the worst politics debater and instead go for something else), you can do a mean line by line, you can drop the overview and go for truth, or you can go for conditionality bad for however many minutes your rebuttal is. Whatever floats your PIK.


I used to really like debate. Now it's an old memory of mine. If you're really passionate about debate, don't be afraid to let it show. Hold onto that flame and enjoy it while it lasts.

Best of luck.

Full Judging Record

Tournament Lv Date Ev Rd Aff Neg Vote Result
Wake Forest Fall Classic HS 2017-10-21 Var R4 Lexington SA Caddo Magnet RJ Neg
Wake Forest Fall Classic HS 2017-10-21 Var R3 Georgetown Day FR Lexington LL Aff
Wake Forest Fall Classic HS 2017-10-21 Var R2 Baltimore City CG Lexington HZ Neg
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2016-01-29 PEL R6 Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart GP Cathedral Preparatory HK Aff
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2016-01-29 PEL R5 Mount Vernon Presbyterian MM Fayetteville HS Debate MS Aff
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2016-01-29 PEL R4 Lake Oswego Senior AT Alpharetta KV Neg
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2016-01-29 PEL R2 Leland VV Law Magnet GT Aff
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2016-01-29 PEL R1 Meadows BN Baltimore City YE Neg
Policy Early Bird at Wake Forest HS 2015-09-04 Var R6 Westminster Schools DG East Kentwood MR Neg
Policy Early Bird at Wake Forest HS 2015-09-04 Var R5 St. Vincent De Paul HB CK McClatchy BF Neg
Policy Early Bird at Wake Forest HS 2015-09-04 Var R3 Westminster Schools ZB Juan Diego Catholic AB Neg
Policy Early Bird at Wake Forest HS 2015-09-04 Var R2 Westminster Schools CB CK McClatchy HN Aff
Policy Early Bird at Wake Forest HS 2015-09-04 Var R1 Westlake ST Marist ES Aff