Rui Zhao

  • Paradigm
  • Record
Paradigm Statement
Last changed 7 January 2020 3:52 AM EDT

Updated 1/7/2020:

In evaluating a debate round, there is the choice of evaluating strength of the arguments vs evaluating debate techniques. Of course one could argue that better techniques lead to stronger arguments, so they are pretty closely related. However, sometimes good techniques are deployed precisely to disguise a shaky argument. I vote based on strength of arguments as they transpire in the round.

I realize that given modern technology whatever case a team is running, pretty soon it is known to the entire circuit and every team starts running similar arguments. How do you judge when almost all teams on pro (or con) run similar arguments without being prejudiced towards one side? My focus is on how well a team responds and counter responds to opponent's arguments and counter arguments.

The following are some ways you can strengthen your case.

A) Logical link. Establish clear link(s) for your argument that opponent could not effectively overturn. Please note that merely saying there is a link between A and B or A implies B is not enough. It is up to you to establish and explain the strength of the link, based on logic, scientific theory, statistical inference or common sense. Offer clear logical explanation why opponent's links are weak.

B) Evidence. All pieces of evidence are not equal. It is up to you to explain why your evidence is strong and supportive of whatever you claim, and why your opponent' evidence is weak and non-supportive of whatever they claim. Evidence without clear explanation and context is not effective evidence.

C) Impact. You should weight impact whenever possible. I like numbers but will take them with a grain of salt, especially when you refer to large numbers of lives or huge sums of money, until you explain their plausibility. The better you explain how you arrive at the numbers and in general the better you explain the plausibility of your predicted impact, the more favorable your argument would look to me.

D) Abundant words and last words do not win the round by themselves. However, repetition does help me remember things so please feel free to repeat your key points (don't overdo it), especially in Summary and Final Focus.

More info from earlier version:

I have been judging Public Forum debate for a few years. I have a background in economics. Consider me a rigorous lay judge if that makes sense to you. Some general principles I vote on:

1. Soundness of your logic. If your logic is not clear, your evidence is likely not being used correctly.

2. Evidence. We are not talking about laws of nature. Social outcomes are rarely inevitable just because they seem logical, at least not along a predicted path. Good evidence makes their occurrences seem more likely or reasonable. Please cite your evidence clearly: who said what where and when. Explain how the evidence supports your argument.

3. Weighting impacts. To weight impacts, it often seems like you need to compare apples with oranges. It is your job to find criteria that help me compare apples with oranges. As an example, if you convince me we should only care about sweetness and nutrition of these fruits and oranges are both sweeter and more nutritious than apples, then I will accept that oranges are better than apples. Look hard for common characteristics of different impacts.

Style. It is hard for me to appreciate style if your logic is flawed or your evidence is misused. Having said that, doing somethings right will help you get more speaker points:

a. Be polite. Don’t shout. Don’t try to shut the other team down.

b. Keep your time and opponents’ time well.

c. Keep your cool and remain calm.

d. Humor can be a powerful argument…at the right moment.

Doing the opposite of a, b, c will reduce your speaker points.

Full Judging Record
Tournament Lv Date Ev Rd Aff Neg Vote Result
Tournament of Champions HS 2020-04-17 PFS Octafi University Irvine GM Livingston SZ Pro Con 2-1
Tournament of Champions HS 2020-04-17 PFS R7 Campbell Hall GT WeSchool SZ Pro
Tournament of Champions HS 2020-04-17 PFS R6 Lovejoy CM Blake ES Pro
Tournament of Champions HS 2020-04-17 PFG 5 Campbell Hall SE Mira Loma SS Con
Tournament of Champions HS 2020-04-17 PFS R4 Plano West Sr CK Delbarton GM Pro
Tournament of Champions HS 2020-04-17 PFG R3 Blake JS Newton South MM Pro
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2020-01-24 PF TR Tut North Broward Prep KP Ransom Everglades SD Pro Pro 2-1
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2020-01-24 PF R6 Lake Highland Prep KS Strake Jesuit CW Pro
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2020-01-24 PF R4 Lovett MW Milton RP Con
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2020-01-24 PF R4 Cinco Ranch RT Montgomery Blair TK Pro
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2020-01-24 PF R2 Ramsay CH Science Hill LL Con
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2020-01-24 PF R2 Marist LV Stuyvesant CM Con
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2020-01-24 PF R1 Nova SB Nueva RM Con
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2020-01-24 PF R1 American Heritage Plantation RZ Unionville GQ Pro
The Sunvitational HS 2020-01-10 PF Double Chagrin Falls MH Lake Highland Prep KH Neg Aff 2-1
The Sunvitational HS 2020-01-10 PF Triple Trinity Prep HR Westwood Independent PR Aff Neg 2-1
The Sunvitational HS 2020-01-10 PF R6 Cypress Bay MP St Thomas Aquinas AG Aff
The Sunvitational HS 2020-01-10 PF R5 Boca Raton KP Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches SH Neg
The Sunvitational HS 2020-01-10 PF R2 Santa Fe TF Boca Raton PA Neg
The Sunvitational HS 2020-01-10 PF R2 Lake Highland Prep BP North Broward Prep BC Neg
The Sunvitational HS 2020-01-10 PF R1 Marist OW Miami Beach KV Aff
The Sunvitational HS 2020-01-10 PF R1 Nova RG North Broward Prep ST Aff
45th Harvard National Forensics Tournament HS 2019-02-16 JVPF Triple Newton South TK Syosset CG Pro Pro 3-0
45th Harvard National Forensics Tournament HS 2019-02-16 JVPF R6 Newton South CT Horace Mann GM Pro
45th Harvard National Forensics Tournament HS 2019-02-16 JVPF R6 NHSDLC National HS Debate League of China YW Ashton SC Con
45th Harvard National Forensics Tournament HS 2019-02-16 NPF R5 Princeton ZZ Wheatley YS Pro
45th Harvard National Forensics Tournament HS 2019-02-16 NPF R5 Horace Mann LR Archbishop McCarthy FS Pro
45th Harvard National Forensics Tournament HS 2019-02-16 NPF R3 West Broward GC Stuyvesant AA Con
45th Harvard National Forensics Tournament HS 2019-02-16 NPF R3 St Patrick PA Westborough RV Con
45th Harvard National Forensics Tournament HS 2019-02-16 NPF R2 Evanston Twp CJ Regis BG Con
45th Harvard National Forensics Tournament HS 2019-02-16 NPF R2 Ivy Bridge LZ Bergen County Debate Club KS Con
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2019-01-25 PF OC Tut Unionville KR Poly Prep Country Day FK Con Con 2-1
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2019-01-25 PF DO Tut Corona Del Sol JP Cinco Ranch RT Pro Pro 3-0
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2019-01-25 PF DO Tut Charlotte Latin NS King MP Pro Con 2-1
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2019-01-25 PF TR Tut Westwood BS Edgemont SeKo Con Con 3-0
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2019-01-25 PF R6 Miami Beach Sr KG Coppell PM Pro
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2019-01-25 PF R6 Quarry Lane SV North Allegheny Sr MN Con
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2019-01-25 PF R5 Strake Jesuit SD St Mary's Hall NW Pro
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2019-01-25 PF R5 Miami Beach Sr PS Ft Lauderdale FK Pro
Glenbrooks Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2018-11-17 VPF R7 Colleyville Heritage NW Campbell Hall FE Con
Glenbrooks Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2018-11-17 VPF R6 College Prep GT Bloomington Jefferson RW Con
Glenbrooks Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2018-11-17 VPF R4 Ardrey Kell RG College Prep CG Con
Glenbrooks Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2018-11-17 VPF R3 Clayton-Bradley CC Brophy CP SK Con
Glenbrooks Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2018-11-17 VPF R2 Theodore Roosevelt AM Perry CE Con
Apple Valley MinneApple Debate HS 2018-11-02 VPF Double Hawken EG Westlake HL Pro Pro 3-0
Apple Valley MinneApple Debate HS 2018-11-02 VPF Triple DuPont Manual SP Dalton Independent YC Pro Con 2-1
Apple Valley MinneApple Debate HS 2018-11-02 VPF R6 Thomas S. Wootton MT Denfeld ZR Pro
Apple Valley MinneApple Debate HS 2018-11-02 VPF R5 Walt Whitman O'Le Rowland Hall MS Con
Apple Valley MinneApple Debate HS 2018-11-02 VPF R4 Montgomery Blair TX Blake JG Pro
Apple Valley MinneApple Debate HS 2018-11-02 VPF R2 Hawken EG Blake SW Pro
Apple Valley MinneApple Debate HS 2018-11-02 VPF R1 Harrisburg LL Blake OP Con
New York City Invitational Debate and Speech Tournament HS 2018-10-12 PF Octos La Salle DH Hackley BW Con Con 2-1
New York City Invitational Debate and Speech Tournament HS 2018-10-12 PF Runoff Westfield MZ Dalton Independent CF Con Con 3-0
New York City Invitational Debate and Speech Tournament HS 2018-10-12 PF R5 George Washington QG Poly Prep Country Day LS Con
New York City Invitational Debate and Speech Tournament HS 2018-10-12 PF R5 Stuyvesant GS Bronx HS Of Science BC Pro
New York City Invitational Debate and Speech Tournament HS 2018-10-12 PF R3 Cranbrook SC Hackley RZ Con
New York City Invitational Debate and Speech Tournament HS 2018-10-12 PF R3 Stuyvesant LR Ridge RW Con
New York City Invitational Debate and Speech Tournament HS 2018-10-12 PF R1 Riverdale Country KV Beacon MM Pro
Yale Invitational HS 2018-09-14 VPF Quarte Lake Highland Prep KO Lincoln-Sudbury Regional CS Pro Pro 2-1
Yale Invitational HS 2018-09-14 VPF Octas Fairmont Prep PB Lake Mary Prep HM Con Con 2-1
Yale Invitational HS 2018-09-14 VPF Double Campbell Hall LD Acton-Boxborough LG Pro Pro 2-1
Yale Invitational HS 2018-09-14 VPF Trips Bronx HS Of Science OS Bromfield KS Pro Pro 2-1
Yale Invitational HS 2018-09-14 VPF R6 Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches StGo Berkeley Carroll FM Pro
Yale Invitational HS 2018-09-14 VPF R5 Dalton BS Acton-Boxborough SK Pro
Yale Invitational HS 2018-09-14 VPF R4 Freehold Township CL Newton South FL Pro
Yale Invitational HS 2018-09-14 VPF R1 Woodberry PF XK Leland KX Pro
Yale Invitational HS 2018-09-14 VPF R1 Strath Haven KZ Cinco Ranch TR Con
National Speech and Debate Season Opener hosted by UK HS 2018-09-07 VPF R5 University KK Boca Raton PP Pro
National Speech and Debate Season Opener hosted by UK HS 2018-09-07 VPF R4 Lincoln-Sudbury Regional HS Brentwood TaMe Pro
National Speech and Debate Season Opener hosted by UK HS 2018-09-07 VPF R3 Milpitas PS Poly Prep Country Day RM Pro
National Speech and Debate Season Opener hosted by UK HS 2018-09-07 VPF R2 Chagrin Falls HM Nueva TR Pro
National Speech and Debate Season Opener hosted by UK HS 2018-09-07 VPF R1 Cranbrook RK RTHS Independent HK Pro
National Speech and Debate Season Opener hosted by UK HS 2018-09-07 VPF R1 Fairmont Prep AC Hunter BK Con
Tournament of Champions HS 2018-04-28 SPF R7 St Mary's Hall WN Archbishop Mitty GN Con
Tournament of Champions HS 2018-04-28 SPF R6 Dublin AM BASIS Independent Silicon Valley SI Pro
Tournament of Champions HS 2018-04-28 SPF R3 Potomac AA Ames AM Pro
Tournament of Champions HS 2018-04-28 SPF R1 Rowland Hall ZD NSU ML Pro
Westchester Classic at Lakeland High School HS 2018-03-01 VPF R5 Capitol HW Wayland GZ Con
Westchester Classic at Lakeland High School HS 2018-03-01 VPF R5 Edgemont NG Lexington CB Pro
Westchester Classic at Lakeland High School HS 2018-03-01 VPF R3 Montville Township Independent BL Byram Hills GV Pro
Westchester Classic at Lakeland High School HS 2018-03-01 VPF R3 Sunset Park/Beacon CG Capitol SC Pro
Westchester Classic at Lakeland High School HS 2018-03-01 VPF R1 Huntmann Independent AL Thomas S. Wootton LZ Con
Westchester Classic at Lakeland High School HS 2018-03-01 VPF R1 Leadership and Public Service CS Capitol DW Pro
Yale Invitational HS 2017-09-15 PF Triple Pine View PP Nueva PS Con Con 2-1
Yale Invitational HS 2017-09-15 PF R6 Pine View PP Princeton HW Pro
Yale Invitational HS 2017-09-15 PF R6 Success Academy Manhattan CS Vancouver LT Con
Yale Invitational HS 2017-09-15 PF R4 Sunset Park GK Our Lady of Good Counsel High Sch SA Con
Yale Invitational HS 2017-09-15 PF R3 Archbishop McCarthy GR Pine View AG Pro
Yale Invitational HS 2017-09-15 PF R3 Summit CS Montville LP Pro
Yale Invitational HS 2017-09-15 PF R1 Randolph SY Presentation VM Con
Yale Invitational HS 2017-09-15 PF R1 Kugnus ACTS JC Maranacook DD Con
Middle School TOC hosted by UK HS 2017-05-13 PF Quarte NSU University RS Ivy Bridge DP Pro Pro 2-1
Middle School TOC hosted by UK HS 2017-05-13 PF Octas Fairmont Prep SS Mountain Brook BL Pro Pro 3-0
Middle School TOC hosted by UK HS 2017-05-13 PF R6 Capitol Debate AH Asian Debate League KT Con
Middle School TOC hosted by UK MS 2017-05-13 PF R5 Louisville-Independent CL Ivy Bridge SK Pro
Middle School TOC hosted by UK HS 2017-05-13 PF R4 American Heritage HS - Delray Beach LD Fairmont Prep CT Pro
Middle School TOC hosted by UK 2017-05-13 PF R3 Kudos CF Asian Debate League KC Pro
Middle School TOC hosted by UK MS 2017-05-13 PF R2 American Heritage HS - Delray Beach RL Success Academy Midtown West Middle LB Con
Middle School TOC hosted by UK 2017-05-13 PF R1 Young Leaders VT Asian Debate League CL Con
Georgetown Public Forum and Congress HS 2016-10-08 VPF R6 Poly Prep Country Day SB Capitol Debate HW Con
Georgetown Public Forum and Congress HS 2016-10-08 VPF R6 Capitol Debate BP Edgemont FN Pro
Georgetown Public Forum and Congress HS 2016-10-08 JVPF R4 Lakeland MJ Capitol Debate DT Con
Georgetown Public Forum and Congress HS 2016-10-08 NPF R1 New Horizons DN MH Gunston PJ Pro
Georgetown Public Forum and Congress HS 2016-10-08 NPF R1 Gunston PM Medina LW Con