Jimmy Finney Paradigm

Last changed 2/13 3:13P EDT



I am familiar with high school debate regarding how it functions. However, I have never directly competed in debate. Despite this, I have judged Congress, Public Forum (PF), and Lincoln Douglas (LD) on the high school level a few times.

My expertise and experience lies in Individual Events (IE) in both the high school and college realm.

Your assessment will primarily focus on argumentation. I do my best to avoid intervening in decisions, as it should be focused on the argument, as opposed to whatever narrative appeals to me (which unfortunately happens with some judges).

If you are disrespectful to your competitor, your score will reflect this.


Please do not make general assumptions, arguments not substantiated with evidence or logical rationale, or emotionally based arguments. I am keen in identifying weasel words (e.g. "Studies show ...", "The vast majority ...", "It has been shown that ..."). Most importantly, do not make fallacious arguments (e.g. personal attacks (ad-hominem), appeal to authority, appeal to popularity, correlation without causation).

While this may seem very standard, I have seen competitors make the above mistakes.

Please make solid, substantiated, and logical arguments that clearly prove your point, as this is the most important criteria in the assessment.


The delivery of your content is somewhat important. You should present your arguments clearly, make proper eye contact, gesticulate in an enhancing manner (as opposed to distracting the judge), vocally deliver well, and have good posture.

However, your focus should be on your argumentation.


I understand that the culture of debate may incline you to speak faster to present more points. However, if you speak too fast (i.e. spread), I will most likely not be able to understand you or remember what you said. I highly advise against spreading.

Most Importantly

Most importantly, I hope that you gain knowledge from this experience and (of course) have fun!

Full Judging Record

Tournament Date Ev Rd Aff Neg Vote Result
Cal Invitational UC Berkeley 2/16/2019 VPF Double Nueva CS Carmel Valley GA Aff Aff on a 3-0
Cal Invitational at Berkeley HS Tournament 2/13/2016 JVLD R6 Elite of Irvine AQ Oakwood School - North Hollywood EN Neg