National Speech and Debate Season Opener hosted by UK

2018 — KY/US

Allen Abbott Paradigm

eTOC people: Please include me on all email chains.

"Back in my day, we only had two minutes to give our summaries!"

Hi I'm Allen and I'm an old second-year out who competed in PF all four years of high school (fun fact: I also competed in DI for three years). In my hey day, Ahana (my former partner) and I cleared at the TOC and a number of other cool nat circuit tournaments. Last year, I coached Dalton CY (best team on the circuit don't @ me) and Capitol Debate's travel team. I founded PF Videos and used to be a mod of /r/Debate. I'm no longer involved in debate, sans for judging at Glenbrooks (and I guess eTOC this year).

Outside of debate, I'm a second-year at UChicago studying data science economics and various other interdisciplinary fields in the social sciences. I don't know much about the topic within the debate world, but I do have a strong academic and professional background in IR, terrorism, and the Middle East. Specifically, I’ve worked at the Chicago Project on Security and Threats, directed by Professor Robert Pape, studying terrorist strategies in Afghanistan and Yemen, and suicide terrorism generally. I’m also very familiar with IR theory (I.e. Mearsheimer, Ikenberry, Waltz, Schmitt, etc.) and those regression studies debaters tend to cite on ME topics (I.e. Woods, Pape, Choi, etc.).

For those of you who had me as a judge last year: I probably haven't changed much. I've probably become a better judge than I was last year because I'm not in deep with the community (i.e. I don't know the top teams on the circuit this year and I don't personally know the topic arguments or lit, so I will have very few implicit biases walking into the round).

Important: please don't be afraid to debate fast, tech, complex, or however else you want. I still remember how debate works (I'm not that old) and I've been doing finger exercises (i.e. flowing Nueva CS rounds) for a month to prepare to flow at high speeds for Glenbrooks.

For those of you who haven't had me before, or want a refresher:

1. Tech > Truth. Most debate arguments are BS (we all know it) and I don't have a problem with smart high schoolers coming up with creative or original arguments. I've completely suspended my belief for this tournament.

2. I love argument comparison! This can take the form of (but does not exclude other methods of comparison) doing impact framing/meta weighing. Please don't forget about reading/extending internal links and terminal impacts.

3. My default beliefs for the round are:

a) second rebuttal should frontline

b) first summary should interact with defense to the extent that the second rebuttal frontlined (so, if the second rebuttal frontlines, the first summary should interact with that frontlining if they plan to go for anything from rebuttal in final focus); if second rebuttal doesn't frontline, the first speaking team can extend defense from rebuttal to final focus

c) no new arguments in final focus (unless the first final focus is answering something new in second summary)

d) the judge only calls for cards if their is a dispute over them or a debater tells me to call for them

e) the judge presumes for the first speaking team

But, debaters are always free to read theoretical justifications in the round to tell me otherwise!

4. If there is anything I can do to make the round more accessible, please let me know beforehand.

5. I love fast debate, but have Auditory Processing Disorder, which means I sometimes don't immediately comprehend everything I hear during speech. Thus, I may ask for clarifying questions after your speech about a tag or warrant I didn't catch in your speech (I'm not intervening, I'm trying to do the best that I can to give you a fair round). Please give me (and your opponents) a speech doc if you go above 300 words per minute.

6. I start at a 29 for speaker points. Points go up for good strategic decision on the flow. Points go down for miscut cards, ghost/no extensions, and bad behavior in round.

If you haven't gathered, I'm a funny (I tell myself this) and sarcastic (other people tell me this) individual. The following is a joke:

I will give you +0.1 speaker points for every TableTote height setting used in round above the first. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check this out.

Automatic 30 for a Coke Zero (not a Coke Zero Sugar) or freshly made risotto (recipe below).

Allen's Signature Parmesan Risotto


-3.5 cups chicken broth

-3 cups water

-4 tablespoons unsalted butter

-1 medium onion, finely diced or minced

-2 cups dry white wine

-2 cups Arborio rice

-1.5 cup Parmesan cheese

-Ground black pepper (white pepper, if you're feeling spunky)

-Penzy's Italian Herb Mix (which consists of oregano, basil, parsley, marjoram, thyme, and rosemary)


1. Bring the broth and water to a simmer in a large saucepan (I use a Dutch Oven) over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting after the broth reaches its boiling point. Keep on the backburner.

2. Melt the butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Once the foaming subsides (DON'T BURN THE BUTTER), add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft and translucent, about 9 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the edges of the grains are transparent, about 4 minutes. Add 1 cup of the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until the wine is completely absorbed by the rice, about 2 minutes. Add 3 cups of the warm broth and, stirring frequently, simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the bottom of the pan is dry.

3. Add more of the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, as needed, to keep the pan bottom from becoming dry; cook, stirring frequently (every 1 or 2 minutes), until the grains of the rice are cooked through but still somewhat firm in the center, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese and the remaining wine. Season with the herbs, salt, pepper, and additional cheese, to taste (DON'T OVER-PEPPER! WHITE PEPPER IS ESPECIALLY STRONG).

Honestly, debaters focus too much on persuasion through auditory perception. I'd like for there to be a debate event where we use olfaction and gustation as tools for persuasion. However, PF isn't that event, and you probably weren't going to get the kitchen/utensils/wine necessary to make the risotto during a tournament. So, we're back to just debating. But you should try making this risotto! It's very good, and everyone in my residential house in college loves it (except when I over pepper/burn the butter).

Ramesh Adabala Paradigm

I have judged a few PF tournaments in last 4 years. I prefer traditional styled debates at an average speed. The debate should involve polished presentation skills, good contrast in the arguments, and an emphasis on evidence. I value a good balance between presentation and content. Also, be respectful to your opponents and your partner!

Mark Allseits Paradigm

8 rounds


I will not vote on explicitly oppressive arguments. No exceptions.

I look for the easiest route to the ballot. Definitely not a big fan of intervention. Speaks are based on quality of argument and organization, not the way you sound. I hate unwarranted spikes or theory preempts sprinkled in between cards. If you are making a new argument get a new sheet.

I default to a logical decision-making paradigm. As a result I prefer topic-centered debate but I am totally opened to warranted reasons as to why that is a bad metric for debate.

I think the link (or violation or mutual exclusivity, same concept different name) is the most important part of every position and debaters who get good speaker points and win regularly in front of me have robust discussions on the link.

I place a high value on quality evidence and think preparation is the cornerstone of the educational aspects of this activity. I think that extensions of evidence should be more than just blippy tag extensions. If you aren’t extending warrants, I am not going to find them in the evidence for you after the round.

Speed: I think clear speed improves debate. I am cool with any clear speed that isn’t being used to intentionally exclude your opponent or other judges on a panel. I will say that it seems like a lot of HS LD students rely on the email chain for judges to get their warrants: this practice will likely result in diminished speaker points and possibly a poor decision on my part. It is probably a good idea to slow down a bit on tags and make it clear when a tag starts and a card ends. Flying through blippy theory shells at 400 wpm just seems like a bad idea if you want me to flow it all.

Specific Arguments

Topicality: I assume it’s a voter but the neg needs to explain why and I will listen to reasons why it shouldn’t be, extra and fx are up for debate, abuse is just a marginally more persuasive standard, standards are reason to prefer an interp, I don’t like to vote on RVIs unless they are well warranted and even then the aff sneezing on the flow might be enough for me to ignore it. I will probably ignore jargon that is unwarranted like just saying reasonability or competing interps without explanations.

DAs: I will vote on linear and unique Das. I don’t believe a negative needs one to win a round. I am usually very skeptical of politics but still vote offence/defense paradigm on it.

Theory: Most specs are just defense to solvency for me. I definitely get they are a valuable part of a strategy for time and fairness reasons but I find them generally unpersuasive. I will vote on them though if mishandled by the affirmative(or negative) . All that said if you have a really interesting super spec procedural I’ll listen to it with an open mind. 5 off all procedurals will tank your speaks.I generally think there are ways to resolve theoretical objections that don’t necessitate a ballot on theory.

Ks: As with every other position I want the link to be specific and prefer the literature to be in the context of our topic. I think the necessity of framework depends on the nature of the alternative and the presented 1AC. I generally view links as a DA to the perm. I think you need a stable alt text.

Counterplans: I don’t think conditionality is a problem but you can read whatever against the CP. I don’t think you have to establish ME in the NC but I think it ends up being more persuasive if the AR concedes it. I prefer if they have an advocate, but not a deal breaker. You should have a stable CP text. Open to perm theory, same concept as other theory shells though.

Defense: I’m predisposed to believe it’s not a voting issue but if someone concedes some fwk that says it is I guess I would vote for it. This applies to answering neg positions as well.

Performance: I am totally fine with it, but again I think it’s important to explain how it relates to an affirmation or negation of the resolution. That being said, I am completely open to arguments about why resolution centered debate is bad.

A2 K/Performance AC/NC: ENGAGE. Just framing your way out the debate is super boring to me. Cut cards answering their method. If they give you links, use them.

(Paradigm largely stolen from Spencer Orlowski) -> we view debate similarly. I will make a more specific paradigm soon.


To be honest, aside from evaluating practice debates, I have never formally judged an NFA LD round at a tournament since graduating. That being said, I will try and give you my best insight into how I tend to evaluate debates if you have me at NFA. Please feel free to ask me any questions my paradigm does not answer for you before the round begins.

Pet Peeves

Topicality without carded interp

Super short cards with no warrants

Super long tags on policy Affs

Tags that don't use the rhetoric of the card (powertags)

Lack of Sign-Posting


I am cool with it so long as your opponent is. If I am unable to follow you due to delivery rate I will say speed. If you are unclear I will say clear. There is a difference. I expect a debater to audibly say clear or speed. I am not ok with speed being a tool of exclusion and will be persuaded if I see a clear abuse of speed. I am also not ok with debaters calling speed as a competitive tool when they can truly keep up and are debating at speeds as fast as, if not faster than their opponent.

Speaker Points

Speaker points are not largely determined by how pretty you sound. Rather, I use them as a reward for your talent as a critical thinker. Things I evaluated include but are not limited to - organization, pointing out logical inconstancies or double turns, articulating implications of impacts, etc.


I probably will not be persuaded by theory positions that would be better articulated as solvency deficits to the Aff (i.e. - vagueness). That does not mean I will not vote on these positions, but it is an uphill battle to argue I should drop the debater when in reality it is just a solvency question. Other than that, I do believe that theory is meant to protect yourself and please use it as necessary. Obviously, proven abuse is preferable but if you persuade me that potential abuse should be a voter, then I will vote there. I am particularly persuaded on theory/T if you show me the abuse on clearly on each sheet. Please please please weigh the impacts of standards. Too often, theory/T debates do not resolve which standard is most important. Reminder - please card interps and number your violations clearly if there are multiple.


Don't really care about the structure of an Aff. If the Aff is not topical, it helps to provide justification in the 1AC as to why the Aff is not topical. This is not necessary, but I think it will make framework and T preempts much cleaner and easier for you.


Do your thing. I am persuaded by logical responses to DAs if they are true (i.e. Uniqueness overwhelms the link). If your link is not specific to the Aff, then please contextualize the Aff to your link after you read the link ev.


I have no on face rejection to any types of CPs or their respective status. That being said, I can definitely be persuaded why certain types of CPs should be excluded via a theory debate. I also don't think you need to solve every harm of the Aff.


Do your thing. Aff specific links are preferred. If you are reading generic or topic links, then please contextualize them to the Aff in the NC. I am cool with kicking the alt and using the link and impact as a linear DA to the case but that does open you up to the theory debate which I am not afraid to vote on.

Evaluating Arguments

I default to a comparative advantages frame work. If there is a 1% chance the Aff can solve, and the neg has no substantial harm to weigh against the Aff, I won't vote on solvency as a stock issue. I am not persuaded by lazy try-or-die arguments, but when done properly this framing is persuasive. Weigh, weigh, weigh. If you aren't reading extinction level impacts, that's fine. But please provide some framework/weighing mechanism if you take this approach.



I have competed and coached public forum debate for 8 years.

I have debate experience in NFA LD and Public Forum Debate.

Pet Peeves

I have a number of pet peeves so listen up:


2. Asking vague questions about my preferences, you can find them below. If you have more targeted questions about what arguments I have been voting on, which arguments I have not been persuaded by, what I think teams have been doing improperly on the specific topic, etc., I will answer them, no problem!

3. Do not laugh at your opponents. Disrespect is not tolerated at all.

4. 5 pieces of evidence back to back in a case within 30 seconds of reading drives me nuts. I much prefer you all reading cards which have warrants instead of your paraphrasing. To me, warrants are very important.


I am open to any argument so long as it is not offensive (i.e. racist, sexist, etc.).

Creativity is good, but I caution that I hold non-conventional arguments to a higher standard. I.e. - If you want to have a topicality debate, you must have standards. If you want to read K Lit, you must be able to explain it. If you want to read theory, you better have standards and proven abuse (potential abuse is usually a non-starter for me but if you win the debate on that I can change my mind).

DO NOT expect me to do work for you. I only evaluate offensive arguments found in both the summary and final focus. Defense is not necessary to be extended in these speeches, but can help build a narrative.

I am ok with a team kicking out of case (and answering any turns), and then going for turns to your opponents case.

Please use ballot directing language. I will not be offended if you tell me "your ballot should read...". In fact, please tell me that. It makes my life easier.

Sign Posting

Sign post and number responses. I hate the overuse of numbers (using letters to sub point numbers solves this issue). I don't wan't my flow to look like

1) Warrant

1) Sub Warrant
2) Sub Warrant

2) Warrant

1) Sub Warrant
2) Sub Warrant

Instead it you should alternate between numbers and letters

1) Warrant

A) Sub Warrant
B) Sub Warrant

2) Warrant

A) Sub Warrant
B) Sub Warrant

I do flow author names and year but it helps to tell me where the evidence is on the flow. This sign posting is also helpful to do in case.

Speaker Points

Speaker points are not largely determined by how pretty you sound. Rather, I use them as a reward for your talent as a critical thinker. Things I evaluated include but are not limited to - organization, pointing out logical inconstancies or double turns, articulating implications of impacts, etc.

Evidence Ethics
PLEASE READ FULL CARDS - if you do not, I will hold you to a very high level of scrutiny and will likely call for more of your cards and evaluate them myself. I have seen too many teams lose debate rounds because debaters have misrepresented evidence that was never called for.


In PF, I am cool with speed and will be able to flow you if you read full cards. I have experience in debate with speaking speeds up to 500 wpm. However, if you are reading paraphrased cases with 10 pieces of evidence paraphrased in 30 seconds, I will not catch author name and year. So slow down for author names and tags. If you aren't reading full cards (then read full cards), but if you really choose not to you cannot go as fast.

ALSO - YOU CANNOT USE SPEED AS A TOOL OF EXCLUSION. If both teams want to go fast, go for it- I will be more than capable of following. However, if your opponent is excluded from the round because of your speed, I will vote against you if you do not slow down. If you feel as if you are being excluded from the round please say "speed" audibly while your opponent is speaking. If your opponent has said speed 2-3 times and you haven't slowed down, I will be very persuaded to drop you for your abuse of speed.

Weird Arguments and Vague Topics

I am definitely ok listening to arguments that may not be intuitive (prolif good, warming good, etc.). However, I am not a fan of unreasonably stretching the scope of the resolution. For example, if the topic asks about increasing military spending, I don't think the Aff gets the right to pick one obscure program, such as nuclear submarines a professor in Europe thought about in the 90s if it hasn't been discussed as a legitimate policy suggestion. I am much more likely to vote on something ripped from the headlines. Thus, if the Aff reads evidence that says the military is short on funding but its main priority is increasing troop presence to fight ISIL, it is easy to make the logical assumption that if funding were increased that is what the government would do.

I think vague topics are bad in PF but we have our fair share of them. I don't think teams get to cherry pick facets of a topic and claim them as their "advocacy". For example, if the resolution is The USFG should prioritize welfare of transportation, I don't think the neg gets to say that we only defend revamping bike paths and bus routes and then ignore all other aspects of the topic. The Aff has every right to say that increased spending would be used to improve airports which increases ozone deterioration even though you didn't talk about airport infrastructure in your con. In essence, in my eyes you don't get "advocacies. Rather, it is your job to be prepared to defend the whole of the resolution for whichever side you are on.


I don't judge these events as much but I have experience in both. Ask me particular questions before round but here is a quick list of things you may want to know.

- Aff doesn't have to be topical if there is a good justification

- That doesn't mean I won't vote on FW or Theory

- I will vote on T - not a hack but I don't throw it out the window like some judges

- Speed Friendly

- K friendly but you will need to explain the lit in your own words to contextualize high theory to the Aff

- I prefer specific vs general links on the K debate (extra-speaks will likely follow if you have case specific links to your K)

- Weigh weigh weigh

- Collapse

Caspar Arbeeny Paradigm

About Me

I debated for 4 years at Poly Prep and was relatively successful on the national circuit.

I now coach PF for Edgemont Jr/Sr HS in New York.


You know how you debate in front of a classic PF flow judge? Do that. (Weighing, Summary and final focus extensions, signposting, warrants etc.)

That said there are a few weird things about me.

0. I mostly decide debates on the link level. Links generate offense without impacts, impacts generate no offense without links. Teams that tell a compelling link story and clearly access their impact are incredibly likely to win my ballot. Extend an impact without a sufficient link at your own peril.

1. Don't run plans or advocacies unless you prove a large enough probability of the plan occuring to not make it not a plan but an advantage. (Read the Advocacies/Plans/Fiat section below).

2. Theory is important and cool, but only run it if it is justified.

3. Second summary has an obligation to extend defense, first summary does not.

4. I am not tab. My threshold for responses goes down the more extravagant an argument is. This can include incredibly dumb totally ridiculous impacts, link chains that make my head spin, or arguments that are straight up offensive.

5. I HATE THE TERM OFF TIME-ROADMAP. Saying that term lowers your speaks by .5 for every time you say it, just give the roadmap.

6. You should probably read dates. I don't think it justifies drop the debater but I think it justifies drop the arg/card.

7. I don't like independent offense in rebuttal, especially 2nd rebuttal. Case Turns/Prereqs/Weighing/Terminal Defense are fine, but new contention style offense is some real cheese. Speak faster and read it as a new contention in case as opposed to waiting until rebuttal to dump it on an unsuspecting opponent.

Long Version

  • Don’t extend through ink. If a team has made responses whether offensive or defensive they must be addressed if you want to go for the argument. NB: you should respond to ALL offensive responses put on your case regardless if you want to go for the argument.
  • Collapse. Evaluating a hundred different arguments at the end of the round is frustrating and annoying, please boil it down to 1-4 points.
  • Speech cohesion. All your speeches should resemble the others. I should be able to reasonably expect what is coming in the next speech from the previous speech. This is incredibly important especially in summary and final focus. It is so important in fact that I will not evaluate things that are not said in both the summary and final focus.
  • Weighing. This is the key to my ballot. Tell me what arguments matter the most and why they do. If one team does this and the other team doesn’t 99/100 times I will vote for the team that did. The best teams will give me an overarching weighing mechanism and will tell me why their weighing mechanism is better than their opponents. NB: The earlier in the round this appears the better off you will be.
  • Warrants. An argument without a warrant will not be evaluated. Even if a professor from MIT conducts the best study ever, you need to be able to explain logically why that study is true, without just reverting to “Because Dr. Blah Blah Blah said so.”
  • Analysis vs. Evidence. Your speeches should have a reasonable balance of both evidence and analysis. Great logic is just as important as great evidence. Don’t just spew evidence or weak analysis at me and expect me to buy it. Tell me why the evidence applies and why your logic takes out an argument.
  • Framework. I will default to a utilitarian calculus unless told to do otherwise. Please be prepared to warrant why the other framework should be used within the round.
  • Turns. If you want me to vote off of a turn, I should hear about it in both the summary and final focus. I will not extend a turn as a reason to vote for you. (Unextended turns still count as ink, just not offense)
  • Speed. Any speed you speak at should be fine as long as you are clear. Don't speak faster than this rebuttal
  • Advocacies/Plans/Fiat. I grant teams the weakest fiat you can imagine. The aff is allowed to say that the action done in the resolution is passed through congress or whatever governing body we are discussing. That is it. This means that you cannot fiat out of political conditions (i.e. CUTGO, elite influence, etc.) or say that the resolution means we will increase infrastructure spending by building 20th century community learning facilities in the middle of Utah. If you want to access plans and still win my ballot, you must prove a rock solid probability of the advocacy occurring in the real world.. (Note the following is just a guideline, other forms of proving thee following are ok as long as they actually successfully prove what they say will occur.) In an ideal world that means 3 things. First, you prove that there is a growing need for such action (i.e. If you want to run that we should build infrastructure in the form of low-income housing, you need to prove that we actually need more houses.). Second, you prove that the plan is politically likely (Bipartisan support doesn't mean anything, I want a bill on the house floor). Finally, you need to prove some sort of historical precedent for your action. If you are missing the first burden and it's pointed out, I will not by the argument on face. A lack in either of the latter 2 can be made up by strengthening the other. Of course, you can get around ALL of this by not reading any advocacies and just talking about things that are fundamentally inherent to the resolution.
  • Squirrley Arguments. To a point being squirrely is ok, often times very good. I will never drop an argument on face but as an argument gets more extravagant my threshold for responses goes down. i.e. if on reparations you read an argument that reparations commodify the suffering of African Americans, you are a-ok. If you read an argument that says that The USFG should not take any action regarding African Americans because the people in the USFG are all secretly lizard people, the other team needs to do very little work for me to not evaluate it. A simple "WTF is this contention?" might suffice in rebuttal. NB: You will be able to tell if I think an argument is stupid.
  • Defense Extensions. Some defense needs to be extended in both summary and final focus, such as a rebuttal overview that takes out an entire case. Pieces of defense such as uniqueness responses that are never responded to in summary may be extended from rebuttal to final focus to take out an argument that your opponents are collapsing on. NB: I am less likely to buy a terminally defensive extension from rebuttal to final focus if you are speaking second because I believe that it is the first speaker's job to do that in second summary and your opponent does not have an extra speech to address it.
  • Signposting/Roadmaps. Signposting is necessary, roadmaps are nice. Just tell me what issues you are going to go over and when.
  • Theory. Theory is the best way to check abuse in debate and is necessary to make sure unfair strategies are not tolerated. As a result of this I am a huge fan of theory in PF rounds but am not a fan of in using it as a way to just garner a cheap win off of a less experienced opponent. To avoid this, make sure there is a crystal clear violation that is explicitly checked for. It does not need to be presented as the classic "A is the interpretation, B is the violation, etc." but it does need to be clearly labeled as a shell. If theory is read in a round and there is a clear violation, it is where I will vote.

Speaker Points

I give speaker points on both how fluid and convincing you are and how well you do on the flow. I will only give 30s to debaters that do both effectively. If you get below a 26 you probably did something unethical or offensive.


I may call for evidence in a few situations.

  • One team tells me to.
  • I can not make a decision within the round without evaluating a piece of evidence.
  • I notice there is an inconsistency in how the evidence is used throughout the course of the debate and it is relevant to my decision. i.e. A piece of evidence changes from a card that identifies a problem to a magical catch-all solvency card.
  • I have good reason to believe you miscut a card.


I encourage teams to ask questions about my RFD after the round and for teams to come and find me after the round is over for extra feedback. As long as you are courteous and respectful I will be happy to discuss the round with you.

Jai Bansal Paradigm

I like debaters that are chill and don't get heated. My ideal round is relaxed and filled with humor.


Please do not cite fake news such as CNN.

General Stuff

I don't really understand K and Theory but if you warrant it and you convince me you get my ballot.

Warrant your weighing / evidence comparison

Don't need an off time roadmap, just tell me where on the flow you're starting and signpost from there.

If you miss something your opponent read in their case while flowing if they were going too fast or were unclear at some point, I encourage you to ask to see their case during prep time / crossfire.

Flow Stuff

Extensions need a warrant and an impact. When I say impact, I default to impacts about humans. If your terminal impact is killing 1000 fish, do better or tell me why this impact is important. An impact to an increase in climate change is not terminal, but telling me how many people are affected by climate change is.

Second Rebuttal should respond to all offense, including turns from first rebuttal. If the second rebuttal misses a turn from first rebuttal, that turn is conceded, and the only thing the second speaking team can do is outweigh the turn if it is extended in the first summary.

Second Summary should have defense. I got you first summary don't worry about it UNLESS the other team is trying to frontline everything in rebuttal, then your first summary better have defense.

Loren Bendall Paradigm

Loren Bendall, Chagrin Falls High School

I am the parent of a debater. Although I am not currently practicing, I am an attorney who specialized in contracts and tax litigation. I have judged PF tournaments for two years.

I am not wild about speed. I will follow your points and sub-points and keep track of whether they are refuted; however, I think that excessively fast talking can diminish the persuasiveness of the underlying arguments.

Generally, I will decide the round based on who makes the most persuasive arguments, not who makes the most arguments. I am not a flow judge, but I will take notes and track all arguments to determine whether they were persuasively rebutted. I value the quality and impact of the argument over the quantity of arguments raised. If an argument has an impact, and it is not rebutted, you risk losing the round.

I think evidence is important as long as it is impactful; however, I can also be persuaded by logic, especially in rebuttal. I find that prolonged evidence battles are rarely necessary or persuasive. Arguments should be extended throughout the round.

I will consider new arguments raised in grand crossfire but not final focus.

I enjoy a lively crossfire within reason. I find trading off questions and answers to be much more persuasive than prolonged speeches. Time between sides should be divided somewhat evenly.

If I determine, based on the arguments, that a contention is a plan, that contention will be dropped.

Good luck and have fun.

Shivaprasad Bhuvanendran Paradigm

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Julia Bittencourt Paradigm


Stating something that contradicts what your opponents have said isn't debating; it's disagreeing. I look for the path of least resistance when I'm deciding a round.

If you misrepresent evidence I will drop you.

I'm not going to time you. If I catch you pausing your clock in the middle of the speech to get more time, I will stop flowing and dock your speaks :)


Debated in PF during all four years of HS for Bronx Science, Policy for a year at Emory.

Judged PF, LD, and Policy since like 2013.

Stacey Bragg Paradigm

Not Submitted

Will Brennan Paradigm

8 rounds

Topic knowledge:

I typically read a lot of news, and you can expect me to be on top of major current events. I also have a fairly broad knowledge base, and will usually know at the very least some background about a debate topic. That being said, I am not a debate coach, I do not prepare or help prepare cases on the debate topics, and I do not do any specialised research or read any briefs to acquaint myself with a topic I am going to judge. Do not expect me to know specific details, acronyms, jargon, or sources related to a topic unless you tell me about them/what they are. This is especially true in the earlier rounds at a tournament. If you're using names or acronyms you had never heard of before researching the topic, and would probably never learn otherwise, tell me what they mean the first time you use them.

The same thing goes for the background literature behind any K or other non-traditional arguments you make. I know very little abstract philosophy beyond the basics of deontological ethics vs utilitarianism. I tend to dislike Ks, but I'll keep an open mind to any argument and try to judge it on its merits. To do that, I'll probably need you to really explain the theory behind your K, rather than just name dropping a famous philosopher or one of their theories. If you don't, there's a good chance I'll have no idea what you're talking about. That won't end well for you.


Competitive Experience: Two years of high school public forum. Two years of collegiate experience in various types of debate and speech events.

Judging Experience: Since 2016 for Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas, plus various types of speech


I try to be Tabula Rasa, within reason. If you want me to know a specific piece of information, tell me. If you want me to weigh the round a certain way, tell me. If your opponent tells me what they think I need to know, and how to weigh the round, and you don't, they're going to have a distinct advantage.

Organize your speeches well, and please signpost and give clear tags as you go. It makes it easier for me to give you the credit you deserve for your arguments. If I don't know where to put something on my flow, it might get left out, or I might miss part of it while deciding where to flow it. Even if I do end up writing it down, it will probably be in the wrong place. I can't emphasize this enough: if I can't find something on my flow, then it didn't happen.

Every argument needs a link and an impact, and I prefer for these to be as clear as possible. Occasionally I see contentions without impacts, but more often than not, I see missing links. If your opponent shows me that you don't have a link, that point falls, period. If your opponent doesn't have a link, make this abundantly clear.

Clash with your opponent's case. The more you clash, the easier it is for me to see the strengths of your case and the flaws of your opponent's. If you just end up repeating your case, you're not giving me any new reasons to vote for your side or against your opponent's.

It should go without saying, but Lincoln Douglas is NOT one on one Policy debate, and Public Forum is NOT Policy-lite. If you want to debate policy style, I won't hold that against you. Policy is a valuable style of debate that stands on its own merits. Just don't do it when you're signed up to compete in LD or PF and I'm your judge.


Decorum - Be polite, be courteous, and be a decent human being. Poor decorum typically won't affect my decision on the ballot, but it will affect your speaker points. As long as you attack your opponent's arguments, and not them as people, we should be fine.

Evidence - Evidence is a powerful tool. We are not all experts on every topic, but evidence allows the experts to weigh in to separate truth from fiction. It can strengthen your arguments, and every case should have at least some. But evidence does not replace basic logic. It does not replace the need to provide links. The better you understand your evidence, and that of your opponents, the stronger your position. I also prefer quality over quantity: don't try to overwhelm me or your opponent with evidence, use it to further develop your position.

Speed - I'm not a fan of spreading. If you do end up going too fast for me to flow, I'll put my pen down, cross my arms, and look unhappy. It should be pretty obvious. Once you slow down, I'll start flowing again. If this happens, and you fix it, then no harm, no foul. If you don't slow down, then I won't flow a word you say, and you'll get terrible speaker points. My body language will be clear. Listen to it.

TL;DR Version

Be clear, be logical, be polite, give a well-structured case, don't spread, tell me what I need to know, and clash with your opponents.

Christopher Bryant Paradigm

I believe that public forum was designed to have a "john or sally doe" off the street come in and be a judge.  That means that speaking clearly is absolutely essential.  If I cannot understand you, I cannot weigh what you say.  I also believe that clarity is important.  Finally, I am a firm believer in decorum, that is, showing respect to your opponent.  In this age of political polarization and uncompromising politics, I believe listening to your opponent and showing a willingness to give credence to your opponents arguments is one of the best lessons of public forum debate.

Brendon Bultman Paradigm

Experience: Currently an Engineering Student at UK. Did debate throughout high school and went to some national tournaments but I haven't judged since the last UK season opener.

Preferences: Debate how you want. Since I haven't been too involved with the debate community, it would be nice if you went at a slower pace. I really would like summary to start condensing the round, especially since y'all have 3 minutes now. Feel free to ask me more specific questions before round. If you're reading my paradigm and want to ask questions in-case you want to strike me, just message me on facebook (Brendon Bultman).

I would say I'm pretty flay at this point.

Lilly Cao Paradigm

I am a parent judge.

-Speed is not ok




-Convince me, i like pretty speaking.

Kayla Chang Paradigm

**Sorry it’s long, tl;dr read the bold to avoid nasty surprises post-round!! If possible, please flip and pre-flow if y'all are outside the room waiting (I get bored :0). For background, I debated PF 4 years at Newton South and it's my 3rd year coaching Nueva.

I feel like it's best if you probably treat me like a flay leaning tech judge? If you have issues with any parts of my paradigm I'm happy to discuss and/or potentially change some preferences for the round.

---Normal tech stuff

First speaking teams: terminal defense is sticky if you extend it into FF (obviously you must respond if it's frontlined), any offense must be in summary but I'll extend dropped turns thru FF as mitigation/terminal D.

Second speaking teams: Turns and disads coming out of 1st rebuttal must be responded to or it's a drop, you can respond to terminal D in summary. Don't read DAs in 2nd rebuttal, I'll prolly allow it but have a very low threshold for responses needed to block it.

Tech~Truth: I will buy anything that at least kinda makes sense as your arguments get more extreme (ex. War is good) I will need more work from you to win it and less work from opponents to lose it.

---More unique stuff

You need cards, but more importantly warrants; I will buy a strong analytic over a unwarranted card. Extend internal links (logical warranting) in addition to overall links/impacts otherwise I won't want to vote on it (99% of the time this is the reason I squirrel in out rounds)

Please signpost by voter tag, links, or impacts (ideally numbered). I don't always catch card names and I guarantee I'll miss content if I don't know where to flow.

---Other stuff

- Speaking: Speed is fine short of spreading but it's annoying when people try to speak fast and can't. Speaks are based on speaking and content, I will bump if you pull off a cool strategy in round well. Don't be a bully, don't let yourself be bullied. I might not be looking/flowing during cross but I'm generally at least listening, make jokes and stuff, have fun :)

- Theory/Progressive args: Run at your own risk, I'm not an expert but know the basics. I tend to think theory disadvantages new debaters though, so I'll probably only vote on it if: y'all all are down for it pre-round (and my level of judging lol) or there's actual discrimination happening or it's drop the arg not the debater

- Weighing: "Strength of link," "urgency," and "clarity of impact" mean nothing unless you warrant and implicate them. I have the same link standard for weighing as I do with voting issues. But weigh! Do it! Yes!

- Evidence: Don't lie. Even if it’s an accidental miscut, it’s still wrong. I have voted teams down and dropped speaks for bad evidence ethics. Find cards within a couple minutes or I'll ask you to drop them. I'll call cards if you tell me to, but won't do it on my own unless a card is both important and sketchy - if it is bad, I won't consider it regardless of whether your opponents called it or not.

- Be sensitive and respectful: Co-opting issues for a strat is not ok - care about the issue, have a productive debate. Consider if you need a content/trigger warning + spare contention. These issues are real and affect the people around you, possibly including me and those in your round and I will not hesitate to vote you down and drop speaks if something is up. That being said, let me determine that: please don't make "they don't care enough" args.

- Thoughts: I try to be easy to read, feel free to take those signs; I generally don’t presume (tbh I think I just forget it's an option so I have to not understand ANYTHING going on - but feel free to discuss w me or make an argument why and for whom I should), I'll generally instead just lower my link/round standards til someone meets them. My name is not judge. If I fall asleep and you call me out I'll give double 30s. Let your parents watch your rounds! They've earned it. And remember to eat!

PS if you have questions, want my flow after round, I’m running late, etc. text me! (6179999700). If you need a coach/human because of issues you're facing (bigoted judging, can't afford lunch, like, anything) please also feel free to reach out :)

James Chen Paradigm


I debated for 5 years so I can handle tech speed etc. Personally, I've never found paradigms very useful. My best advice would be to just debate the way you're most accustomed to and you'll probably be most likely to win by ballot anyway. But, if you want the specifics of my preferences, read below:

Things I like:

  1. logical analysis
    1. smart analytics + evidence always beat evidence. blipping a bunch of evidence is not very strategic / convincing.
  2. Front-lining in second rebuttal
    1. Given the new summary times, it would make 1st FF basically impossible if you waited until 2nd Summary to do all of your frontlines for 3 min. I can't force you to frontline in 2nd rebuttal but frontlines you wait longer to make will be given less weight, and I will have a lower bar for what counts as a good response in the 1FF
  3. Weighing
    1. You do don't need to rely on buzzwords like "probability" and "timeframe" just make sure to spend time directly comparing offense

Things I don’t like:

  1. New contentions read in 2nd rebuttal
    1. They’re abusive, given that summary is only 2 min. They’re also usually fairly bad arguments but only strategic because they’re tough to respond to so late. These are usually disguised as “offensive overviews” or “Disads”. I will be very hesitant to vote on these.
    2. This also means if you read a tiny turn in 2nd rebuttal and blow it up in 2nd FF I will be much less inclined to vote on it.
  2. Theory / K / progressive arguments
    1. I will evaluate them, but I have a low bar for what counts as a good response to these arguments. Also I never properly learned about these arguments so if the round devolves into a theory round I’ll (probably) make a bad decision.
  3. Over-competitiveness
    1. A kind of vague category which includes things like trying to reexplain arguments to me as you hand me evidence, being rude in CX, or stealing prep time while you call for cards.

Kyle Chong Paradigm

Berkeley 19, Coach at the Nueva School

I first evaluate the framework debate, then I vote based on who generates the most offense off of the winning framework. I also appreciate a good strategy, so debaters who do a good job telling a coherent ballot story will make me happy. Finally, and arguably most importantly, I refuse to clear up clash for any team. This is the responsibility of the debaters.

Lynda Cobb Paradigm

Lynda Cobb

Hi. I coach both middle and high school PFD and Congressional Debate as a volunteer. I was a policy debater.

I am a policy analyst and an editor.

Clash, persuade, funnel. I don’t mind observations, but don’t give me a ten-pointer and apply it to every argument. I do flow. Be CLEAR. Please follow the flow in your speech and sign post for me. If I am flipping pages to find where you are, it is generally not good for you. Please give me a framework- it doesn't necessarily have to be in case, but make it known soon so your narrative throughout the round can fulfill it.

I do have some troubles with evidence in PFD. It is generally cut to be conclusionary. Know the author, know why they are a better source than your opponent's evidence, know WHY they said what they said AND PLEASE TELL ME. That can be the BEST argument in the round.

After having judged quite a few national circuit rounds, there have been a few teams that go too fast. They spit out a number of poor arguments and win because the other team can't cover them all and the dumpers cherry pick and pull. I get it all down, but I don't necessarily grok all the arguments...mostly because they are a skeleton of an argument. Honestly, this makes me sad. At that point, it is not about persuasion and argumentation. And the thing is, these rounds had 4 smart people in them. They could have made great arguments. They chose to overwhelm rather than outwit.

Summary speech is REALLY important. It is the chance to play chess- very strategic. In Final Focus, tell me why your voters win the day. Shore up your warrants and weigh those impacts. I do enjoy some panache and humor.

Finally, don't be a jerk a.k.a. a contemptibly obnoxious person. In cross, lay your cards down. Being evasive makes me unhappy. If your opponent keeps asking and you keep evading, I will not let you win the argument you are hiding for later.

You are amazing for getting up early on a weekend to throw words at me. :)

Mason Colby Paradigm

My debating experience is national circuit LD, but before it went to spreading. I have a basic understanding of PF, but may not follow you if you're going fast and using a lot of jargon. I like to hear clearly reasoned and articulated arguments from respectful opponents. This will be especially important in the online format. Slow down and make your best case rather than going fast and ticking through every argument / card. Obviously, I'm not saying drop contentions on purpose. But distill your reasoning into a coherent, persuasive speech rather than a laundry list of points.

Malcolm Davis Paradigm

I debated in high school a lot, I debated some in college. I now help out with debate when I can.

I like debate, and I hope you do too!

I think debates should be fun and I do not like it when people aren't friendly.


CX Paradigm

I am somewhat new to judging CX (Bronx 2019 was my first time judging circuit policy) but I really enjoy it and am excited to improve! I have lots of experience judging PF and college parli, but I'm well aware policy is a different beast and so I hope you'll bear with me! If I can't understand you I'll yell clear!

Do add me to the email chain:

I don't have strong beliefs that should move you to alter your style in front of me. My favorite thing about CX is the creativity y'all have with arguments and strategies; please do your thing and tell me why it's dope.

I have more experience judging policy-style rounds than K debates. That said, my academic interests are much more in line with the sort of literature I understand appears in many K debates (I'm a philosophy major with specific interests in french post-structuralism, german idealism, and psychoanalysis). That said, my experience with this sort of literature is not in the context of debate.

If you have more specific questions, ask me before the round or shoot me an email.


PF Paradigm:

As I get old and grumpy, I am increasingly frustrated with PF's bells and whistles. We are all regular people. You don't need to 'strongly urge an affirmation' or proudly declare what the 'thesis of your case' is or anything, you just need to debate the round and explain what's going on clearly. There needn't be pomp and circumstance in a room where we're talking about ideas for fun on the weekend.

I will evaluate the arguments as best I can based on what I understand in the round and what lands on my flow. I regret to admit that if something makes no sense to me I will be deeply reluctant to vote on it.

I don't have strong opinions about most practices in PF (defense in first summary, frontlining case in second rebuttal) beyond my personal beliefs about what is strategic. I am more than open to hearing arguments in the debate about why I should care about these things.

I deeply appreciate clever strategies and will reward them with speaker points that reflect how stylish the play was.

If you want to win my ballot, win the round. If you want to win my heart, concede everything your opponent says and still win the round.

If you have specific questions that I have failed to answer here, feel free to ask them before the round, shoot me a message on Facebook, send me an email, or mail me a postcard.

Elise Dirkes-Jacks Paradigm

PFD coach, 5 yrs.


Weigh well and give me effective and concrete impact calculus. Ultimately I like a good clear collapse in the FF. Don't try to go for everything.

I can appreciate passion and humor, but please do not be rude. This will result in lower speaker points.

Second rebuttal should of course respond to first rebuttal.

Evidence does not argue for itself. This is true in case and throughout the round. Citing a card in rebuttal without explaining the link, or however you use using it for a refutation, is not adequate. Memorizing cards is not true argumentation.

I really appreciate well organized speeches.

Now that we've got longer summaries, be sure yours does good offense and defense. You have time. Summary should not be a second rebuttal though...if you don't give me offense there, I can't carry any more for you throughout the round.

Good luck!

Bob Dolan Paradigm

I am NOT a fan of speed, nor speed/spread. Please don't make me think I'm in a Policy Round!

NSDA evidence rules require authors last name and THE DATE (minimum) so you must AT LEAST do that if you want me to accept the evidence as "legally presented". If one team notes that the other has not supplied dates, it will then become an actual issue in the round. Speaker points are at stake.

Don't just tell me that you win an argument, show me WHY you win it and what significance that has in the round.

Please narrow the debate and WEIGH arguments in Summary and Final Focus. If you want the argument in Final Focus, be sure it was in the summary.

In close rounds I want to be persuaded and I may just LISTEN to both Final Focus speeches.

I am NOT impressed by smugness, smiling sympathetically at the "stupidity" of your opponent's argument, vigarous head shaking in support of your partner's argument or opposition to your opponents'. Speaker points are DEFINETLY in play here!

Madelynn Einhorn Paradigm

Background: 2 years of policy debate and 2 years of PF for Oakwood High School. I currently compete in NFA-LD for Western Kentucky University.

1. Second rebuttal doesn't have to frontline, but they can. First summary must extend defense if second frontlined it.

2. Go any speed you want as long as you are clear.

3. Everything you want me to vote on must be in final focus.

4. I'm tech>truth and evaluate the round purely on the flow.

5. Please weigh. Actually compare impacts.

6. I'm totally fine if you want to try more progressive K, theory type arguments.

If you have any questions feel free to ask more before the round!

Ozan Ergungor Paradigm


and don't give off-time roadmaps

i begged you


you didn’t

and you


-rupi kaur

Kegan Ferguson Paradigm

Put me on the email chain:

Assistant Director of Debate at North Broward Prep.

Debated in Indiana/at Indiana University, and went to the NDT in '15/'16. Fifth year judging.

Policy Paradigm:

DA's: I prefer smart, clear policy debate over stringing together awful disadvantages. One of my least favorite things in debate is a DA that has entirely misconstrued evidence, no real internal links, and a nonsense impact card. I would much rather people stick to politics or well-researched DA's instead of trying to go shoddy but tricky (looking at you, Miller DA)

CP's: Delay CP's are bad, UQ CP's are meh, Conditions CP's are meh, Consult CP's are mediocre, Specific PICS are great. Go for theory against abusive stuff, but the threshold is higher for aff's outside of the core on arms sales.

Topicality: Nebulous 'it's the heart of the topic' claims do not make you topical. I default to competing interps and think that reasonability generally requires the aff to extend a counterinterp that is reasonable.

K's: Topic specifics are my fav, and always will be. Alt solvency is more important than most rounds treat it. Same goes for internal link turns to the aff. Policy aff's should focus on impact turns and alt answers instead of the perm (unless the aff is written to go for a perm)

Framework: Fairness can be an a-priori impact if you win it is one. I find it persuasive when fairness is also clearly explained as an internal link turn to aff impacts. Debate is an offense-defense activity and clearly explaining your offense matters a lot. FW is more of a question about whose interp cultivates education and good debates than it is a question of rules.

Theory: I don't particularly enjoy theory debates. I will vote on Condo bad if you win it/it's dropped, but I find most neg answers persuasive. Though the higher the number of conditional positions the more there's a debate to be had. Squo is not an option unless you say so. I won't kick the CP for you unless an argument is made for why I should.

Ethics: Don't be hateful or use bigoted language. Don't clip. Don't intentionally steal prep.

PF Paradigm:

Disclosure = slight speaker point bump

I don't need to be there for the flip. I don't care what side of the room you sit on.

Feel free to go for K's or theory arguments, but I have a high standard for quality here. Most of the debates I've judged that attempt to run these arguments have resulted in very low speaks. Don't try to force them if you haven't practiced.

If you take minutes to bring up a card that was called for I will tank your speaks.

Impact calc is most important. Warrants always beat taglines. I prefer hearing smart arguments over a large quantity of them.

2nd rebuttal should answer the 1st, non-negotiable. First summary should extend defense, especially given the 3 minute change. Arguments in final need to be in the summary. Argument spin I could clearly see coming is not new.

Keep your evidence in cut card form, and don't just hand me an article if I call for evidence after the round. I will discount it. Don't misrepresent things and then get caught when I read evidence after the round - that's a quick way to a low speaks L.


29.6 -30: I think you are debating like a Top 5 debater at a national tournament.

29.3 – 29.5: I think you are debating like a Quarter-finalist at a national tournament

28.8 – 29.2: I think you are debating like a doubles or bubble team.

28.5 – 28.7: Debating like you should be .500

28 – 28.4: Debating on a very average level

27-27.9: lots of room for improvement

Below 27: You have used some hateful language, been excessively rude, or given up mid speech

Sandra Galaska Paradigm

Not Submitted

Kevin Gallagher Paradigm

I am a volunteer parent judge with experience in the Wilson Wyatt Debate League and the Kentucky Debate League.

I look for strong arguments, contentions, supported by logic and facts. Quality and clarity are more important than quantity with respect to factual support. I look for strong rebuttals and lively exchanges. Strong command of the issue and preparedness are readily apparent.

Steve Goodbred Paradigm

I am a university science professor and have judged on local PDF circuits for the last five years, and also several national tournaments. I look for data-driven, evidence-based arguments that are grounded in reality, not hyper-speculative or overly contrived.

I do not mind rapid speech, as long as words are well articulated and not delivered in an evenly paced monotone. Emphasizing key points through a change in pace or intonation can ensure that I understand your case structure and am drawn to your most important evidence ... in other words, make your strongest evidence and cards clear.

I will look for the winning team to develop and defend its own case at least as strongly as it tries to negate the opposing team's arguments. During cross-fire, exerting control over the pace and direction of questioning is fine, but rude, intimidating, or overly aggressive behavior will not earn speaker points.

In arriving at a final decision, I will always value well-researched arguments over rhetoric and diatribe.

Matthew Grimes Paradigm

Public Forum:

Let's start by saying this - I'm a wild card judge at times. There is no one thing that wins the round for me, and there's no one thing that loses it. I evaluate each debate on its own merit and set of circumstances. If you must know something that remotely looks like a paradigm/philosophy, though, here goes...

Although I am a coach, I still believe that public forum is an event intended for the layman. Throwing around fancy phraseology that shows me you've been to prestigious debate camps and have a diverse set of experiences on the national circuit doesn't impress me as much as you might like - it all boils down to effective argumentation and refutation. Framework/weighing mechanisms are extremely helpful. Otherwise, you've got a trigger-happy judge like me trying to determine standards upon which to evaluate the round, and you know as well as I do that people can be foolish doodyheads. Lead the horse to water, and it will drink on its own. Don't lead the horse to water, and it may gallop around everything but the water.

I'm getting off track.

I can comprehend just fine in terms of speed, but don't spread because you think introducing eighteen different contentions will win you the round. It won't. "They dropped my really obscure point about the squirrel population and the environment - you're gonna flow that to us." No, I'm not! Just because an opponent doesn't address subpoint 3c of contention 2a doesn't mean they lose the round - that's tactics and strategy, and while it can assist you, it will very rarely be my RFD.

I do flow, but it will look like a deranged person's flow - I got thrown into debate by my own high school coach at the last second without any prep, so I made it up as I went along ("fake it 'til you make it," after all). Hopefully you won't notice it on Zoom.

Civil crossfires, please. This is where my pen drops the most; I interpret speaking over one another as rude and inconsiderate. I don't anticipate that as much with a virtual crossfire (#thanksalotcorona), but I thought I would mention it.

I can't do the pen twirly thing. I've tried, and I just don't have the coordination.

Hope that provides you some level of understanding of the claptrap that is my mind.

Ben Hanson Paradigm

I did PF for 4 years at duPont Manual in Louisville, Kentucky. Since graduating I’ve competed primarily in NFA-LD, impromptu and extemp at Western Kentucky University. Lately, I've been helping the Potomac School with coaching and judging.

Yes, add me to the email chain: But, if you haven’t ever used you should check it out because it’s a lot easier for file sharing in round. Especially for the upcoming online tournaments, my preference would be to create a speechdrop room rather than an email chain.

I do my best to conflict any school/team that I've worked with before in tabroom. If there appears to be an issue with my conflicts before the round, please mention it before it's too late to fix.

TLDR: Do what you’re most comfortable doing, and I’ll do my best to evaluate it well. Will vote on the flow 100% of the time. Feel free to ask questions before the round.

General Thoughts/Notes:

- Tech > Truth when applicable but certain arguments have lower thresholds than others in terms of what’s required as a response.

- In each team’s last speech, it’s be helpful if you gave me a brief overview that frames my ballot and how to filter arguments in the round. Tell me which flows to look at first and why, otherwise I’ll pick whichever one I’m vibing with the most.

- Go as fast as you want, I promise I can keep up with you. That being said, I will call clear as many times as I need to if I can’t understand you. If I find myself excessively calling clear, I will dock speaks. Place extra emphases on enunciating author names clearly so I catch them on my flow.

- Publication dates matter, please have them (I’m looking at you, PF kids). If a publication doesn’t have a date, give me a date of access instead.

- No preference if you introduce evidence as “Hanson ‘20” or “Ben Hanson of Western Kentucky University in 2020.” However I expect author quals to be readily available if requested.

- Please feel free to go into the room, set up, and flip (if necessary) before I get to the round. I usually don’t run behind at tournaments, but in the event that I do I’d prefer to not hold the tournament up any longer than I already have.

- I flow on excel so don’t be caught off guard if I don’t look up from my computer much throughout the round. Also I don’t follow CX super closely so make sure to flag important concessions on the flow during your speech.

- I do my best to catch every author name on my flow, and unpopular opinion but I prefer if evidence is referred to by author names rather than tags for the purpose of my flow.

- Don’t be afraid to ask questions about my RFD after the round. I like to think of myself as a good judge, but at the end of the day I’m not afraid to admit that I miss things from time to time. I’ll do my best to defend my decision to you if there’s any concerns you have. - Death is probably bad and there’s a pretty high threshold to convince me otherwise.


- Second rebuttal has to respond to all offense, even though I’d prefer if they’d cover defense on their case in addition to turns. If it’s not in the summary, it shouldn’t be in the final focus.

- I like signposting. I haven't seen a lot of GREAT signposting in speeches this year. As such, many of my flows have become messy because teams aren't telling me where to write down arguments. In attempt to remedy this, I've decided to begin flowing PF like you'd expect someone to flow policy/LD. I'm going to begin keeping every contention on its own sheet (don't worry about the environmental impact of this, it'll still be in excel). What this means for you, if I'm judging you, is that I need you to clearly tell me when you're switching contentions (or flows) AND what sheets to make cross applications on or I'll most likely miss your arguments and they might not make it into my RFD. Also, when giving your offtime roadmap, don't just say "our case then theirs" or vice versa, tell me the order you'll be addressing the contentions in your speech. That allows me to order my sheets correctly, and will most likely benefit you in the round.

- Extra speaks for:

a) reading real cards instead of paraphrasing AND an email chain in the round (yes, both).

b) Full disclosure and a well organized wiki (show me after the round).

***It is my understanding that online TOC is mandating the share of evidence over some sort of email chain. I'll still offer a (smaller than normal) speaker point boost if your evidence is in a cut card, rather than paraphrased. Don't send me full PDFs over an email chain or through speechdrop, I don't have the time or brain power to sift through 20 articles to find all your quotations in context.

- Speed is fine. Speech docs preferred if you’re going to > 250 WPM (especially for online TOC). I don’t like speed as a weapon of exclusion, but I don’t find speed to necessarily be exclusionary in nature. If you have questions, ask before the round.

- Theory/K friendly. Attempt at your own risk - poorly executed tech arguments/under-explained postmodern kritiks of the world are less persuasive to me than solid, policy arguments that rely on hypothetical fiat. See the policy section of my paradigm for more specific notes.

- If your opponent calls for your evidence, I expect you to be able to find it in 45 seconds or less. If it takes you longer than 45 seconds to find a card I'm striking it from my flow and I'm not evaluating it. I’m also not a big fan of teams handing each other full PDFs instead of cut cards. Citations and quotes in context should be readily available if another team asks to see that evidence. If you don't have cut cards, I'll probably dock your speaks, and I’m open to voting on (and have voted on) theory arguments related to paraphrasing


I never did policy in high school, nor have I coached it in college; but, I still don’t think you shouldn’t strike me on face. In terms of argumentation, I think I would have no problem keeping up with an average HS policy round. I don’t know the topic well though, so keep that in mind. My biggest challenge as a judge is not knowing the event super well (what each speaker needs to do in the block, which speeches it’s ok to read new cards in, etc.) so make sure to point those sorts of things out in your speech if you think they’re important in deciding my ballot. Here’s my thoughts on various positions:

DA: Majority of my collapses in college debate. Very big fan of the politics DA - elections and agenda scenarios specifically. Econ DAs are cool but I’m an Econ major so if you explain the economy improperly I’ll probably be a little upset and dock a speak or two. Well executed topic DAs are always encouraged, but I don’t know the topic well so you might have to do a little more explaining on sheets you want me to vote on in the 2NR. The federalism DA is a slept on strategy, I’ll leave it at that.

CP: As long as it sufficiently resolves the majority of the affirmative’s offense and has a net benefit, I’ll vote on it. Condo is more than likely good for debate, and I personally believe the neg is entitled to one PIC + as many ADV CPs as the aff has advantages out of the 1AC (2 ADVs = 3 CPs, etc). I’ll vote on condo if it’s all the 2AR goes for, but substance is probably the better strat if that’s an option. Any CP theory besides condo is probably a reason to reject the argument not the team, but I probably could be persuaded otherwise.

Impact Turns: Dump the tub in front of me. Super willing to vote on dedev, spark or ice age if well executed. I’ve never given a 30, but I think I might be willing to finally give one out if the neg read nothing but impact turns in the 1NC and wins the flow.

T: Probably more likely than your average judge to pull the trigger on T. I default to fairness outweighs educations, and competing interps unless one team wins otherwise, so affs should have solid answers to limits and ground arguments. Your 1NC shell has to make sense - it must have clear standards and voters otherwise I’m skeptical of it getting blown up in the block. Don’t split the 2NR if you want me to vote on T - doing so is a high risk, low reward gamble.

Theory: I default to competing interps and drop the argument, but can evaluate differently if that’s how the debate plays out. Frivolous theory is bad for debate, please don’t waste our time on this in front of me. RVIs don’t make sense and I’m 99% sure I won’t vote on an RVI so I would avoid spending a lot of time on that in any of your speeches.

K: I have a lot less experience reading/evaluating these arguments than traditional policy arguments. I would say I have a very elementary understanding of the following authors/arguments: Culp, Marxist Materialism, Security, Set Col, Baudrillard, D&G. I’m certainly open to listening to anything outside of that scope, but make sure to make your argument super clear so I know what to vote on. Slow down in your overviews and tell me a story, don’t flash me a huge block of text and expect me to read the whole thing for myself during prep because I won’t. Teams that read poorly explained or vague Ks should probably strike me, you probably won’t get my ballot on these arguments and speaks will probably reflect my distaste for how these debates typically play out. Contextualizing the alternative is crucial to getting my ballot - I can’t vote for the K if I don’t understand what my ballot endorses.

K Affs - You have to be topical, but what constitutes a topical affirmative is up for debate. I’m probably a bigger fan of framework than your average judge, but I wouldn’t quite consider myself entirely a framework hack. Limits and ground are the most important standard arguments in my mind, and I really like TVAs vs affs that kritik the topic. As the neg, don’t be afraid to think outside the box and read something besides cap and framework. I’ve read topic DAs against non-T affs plenty of times, and would have no problem with you doing the same.


- See the policy section for my notes on specific arguments.

- My condo notes from policy don’t apply to high school LD. College LD has a 6 minute 1AR, and I already think that’s too short of a speech so I couldn’t imagine only having 4 minutes. I default to the negative is entitled to ONE conditional CP unless I’m convinced otherwise. I’m very open to voting on condo if the 1NC has 2+ advocacies in it.

- Less tab than your average circuit LD judge when it comes to theory. Don’t read dumb theory arguments in front of me please.

- I’m not familiar with skep, and from what I’ve heard about the argument I don’t really want to become familiar with it. If this is your go-to strategy, you should probably strike me.

Max Hardt Paradigm

PF in 2020:


I am an assistant coach at The Potomac School, and previously was the Director of Forensics at Des Moines Roosevelt. If you have any questions about Public Forum, Extemp, Congress, or Interp events, come chat! Otherwise you can feel free to email me at: for any questions about events, the activity, or rounds I've judged.

I'm a flow judge that wants to be told how to feel. Ultimately, Public Forum is supposed to be persuasive--a 'winning' flow is not inherently persuasive. My speaker points are generally reflective of how easy I think you make my decisions.

Things to Remember…

0. The Debate Space: R E L A X. Have some fun. Breathe a little. Sit where you want, talk in the direction you want, live your BEST lives in my rounds. I'm not here to tell you what that looks like!

1. Framework: Cost/benefit unless otherwise determined.

2. Extensions: Links and impacts NEED to be in summary to be evaluated in final focus. Please don't just extend through ink--make an attempt to tell me why your arguments are comparatively more important than whatever they're saying.

3. Evidence: If you're bad at paraphrasing and do it anyway, that's a reasonable voter. See section on theory. Tell me what your evidence says and then explain its role in the round. I also prefer authors AND dates. I will not call for evidence unless suggested to in round.

4. Cross: If it's not in a speech it's not on my flow. HOWEVER: I want to pay attention to cross. Give me something to pay attention to. Just because I'm not flowing cross doesn't make it irrelevant--it's up to you to do something with the time.

5. Narrative: Narrow the 2nd half of the round down with how your case presents a cohesive story and 1-2 key answers on your opponents’ case. I like comparative analysis.

6. Theory: If an abuse happens, theory shells are an effective check. I think my role as an educator is to listen to the arguments as presented and make an evaluation based on what is argued.

Disclosure is good for debate. I think paraphrasing is good for public forum, but my opinion doesn't determine how I evaluate the paraphrasing shell. This is just to suggest that no one should feel intimidated by a paraphrasing shell in a round I am judging--make substantive responses in the line-by-line and it's ultimately just another argument I evaluate tabula rasa.

7. Critical positions: I'll evaluate Ks, but if you are speaking for someone else I need a good reason not to cap your speaks at 28.5.

8. Tech >< Truth: Make the arguments you want to make. If they aren't supported with SOME evidence my threshold for evaluating answers to them is, however, low.

9. Sign Post/Road Maps: Please.

**Do NOT give me blippy/underdeveloped extensions/arguments. I don’t know authors of evidence so go beyond that when talking about your evidence/arguments in round. I am not a calculator. Your win is still determined by your ability to persuade me on the importance of the arguments you are winning not just the sheer number of arguments you are winning. This is a communication event so do that with some humor and panache.**

Tony Huang Paradigm

I am a parent judge, and I have judged for more than 3 years on the national circuit.


- Speak clearly at a conversational pace

- Have logical and well-explained arguments

- Avoid debate jargon

- Signpost clearly

- No Ks, Theory, etc.

- Be professional and civil

- Cross: I may not take notes but I pay attention

Matt Karijolic Paradigm

8 rounds


1X HS State Champion in PF

2x College State Champion

3X National college out-round participant


I'm a tab judge, within reason. If you say it, I'll flow it. I find often that I am inclined to enjoy framework debates. I will take Topicality arguments and Kritiks, but make sure you justify them and that they are properly formulated. I'm not a huge fan of speed, but can flow it and am fine with it as long as your opponent is.

Gia Karpouzis Paradigm

PF & Parli coach for Nueva

- Use your agency to make this safe space and non-hostile to all debaters & judges

- non-interventionist until the point where something aggressively problematic is said (read: problematic: articulating sexist, racist, ableist, classist, queerphobic, anything that is oppressive or entrenches/legitimates structural violence in-round)

- tech over truth

- please time yourselves and your opponent: I don't like numbers and I certainly don't like keeping track of them when y'all use them for prep, if you ask me how much time you have left I most probably won't know

- if you finish your speech and have extra time at the end, please do not take that time to "go over my own case again" - I recommend weighing if you want to finish your speech time, or alternatively, just end your speech early


- I guess I expect debaters to ask POI's, but I won't punish you for not asking them in your speaker scores

- I give speaker scores based on function, not form (I don't care how fluid you are, I care what it is that you're saying). I think speakers are arbitrary and probably problematic. Tell me to give everyone a 30 and assuming tab allows, I'll do it. That being said, I will never factor in appearance into your speaker points or the ballot. I’m not in the business of policing what debaters wear.

- I do my best to protect the flow, but articulate points of order anyway

- recently I've heard rounds that include two minutes of an "overview/framework" explaining why tech debate/using "technical terms" in debate is bad - I find this irritating, so it would probably be in your best interest to not run that, although it's not an automatic loss for you, it simply irks me

- feel free to ask questions within "protected time" - it's the debater's prerogative whether or not they accept the POI, but I don't mind debaters asking and answering questions within

- I like uniqueness, I like link chains, I like impact scenarios! These things make for substantive, educational debates!


- I don't call for cards unless you tell me to; telling me "the ev is sketchy" or "i encourage you to call for the card" isn't telling me to call for the card. tell me "call for the card" - picking and choosing cards based on what I believe is credible or not is sus and seems interventionist

- I don't flow cross fire but it works well to serve how much you know the topic. regardless, if you want anything from crossfire on my flow, reference it in-speech.

- I give speaker scores based on function, not form (I don't care how fluid you are, I care what it is that you're saying). I think speaker points are arbitrary and probably problematic. Tell me to give everyone a 30 and assuming tab allows, I'll do it. That being said, I will never factor in appearance into your speaker points or the ballot. I’m not in the business of policing what debaters wear.

- if you want me to evaluate anything in your final focus make sure it's also in your summary, save for of course frontlines by second-speaking teams - continuity is key

- in terms of rebuttal I guess I expect the second speaking team to frontline, but of course this is your debate round and I'm not in charge of any decisions you make

- hello greetings defense is sticky

- please please please please please WEIGH: tell me why the args you win actually matter in terms of scope, prob, mag, strength of link, clarity of impact, yadda yadda

Other than that please ask me questions as you will, I should vote off of whatever you tell me to vote off of given I understand it. If I don't understand it, I'll probably unknowingly furrow my eyebrows as I'm flowing. Blippy extensions may not be enough for me - at the end of the day if you win the round because of x, explain x consistently and cleanly so there's not a chance for me to miss it.

email me at with any questions or comments or if you feel otherwise uncomfortable asking in person

Armeer Kenchen Paradigm

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Kasandra Lambert Paradigm

8 rounds

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Gumei Liu Paradigm

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Sam Lu Paradigm

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Gloria Mao Paradigm

I am a parent judge so speak at a reasonable pace, if you are too fast I won’t be able to keep up. Extend important arguments and articulate your points clearly. Be respectful to the other team. You will see my decision on tabroom.

Laura McAllister Paradigm

8 rounds

My paradigm boils down to four points:

1. Please provide me with a framework/weighing mechanism for the round.

2. Do not spread. I will put my pen down if you're going too quickly for me to understand.

3. Tag your points and subpoints––as a judge, I like to be able to strike through these points as the other team tackles them, or else to draw them through several speeches. That way, it's very clear who won and who lost, and little is left up to my own biases/personal paradigm.

4. Be nice to each other :)

Debora McCormick Paradigm

So I’m probably one of the most lay judges your going find.

Dont talk too fast or I will just stop listening as I cannot keep up.

Make sure to explain your arguments in your case don’t just cite cards

Also tell me why your arguments are more important than theirs and make sure to tell me why you are winning in final focus.

Maintain the same narrative throughout the round

i do not understand any debate terminology so if you are going to use it explain it to me.

Chris McDonald Paradigm

While I mainly have coached and judged Policy Debate for the past 31 years I do judge my fair share of LD and Public Forum Debate Rounds. Last year I primarily judged Public Forum debate at the varsity level.

1. Evidence is very important to me. I prefer direct quotation of evidence over paraphrasing but understand that paraphrasing is allowed in PF. Please make note of the new NSDA rule regarding paraphrasing. Source Citations: make sure that you present enough of a source citation that I should have no problem locating the evidence you present in the round. This would include the author or periodical name and date at a minimum. So we are clear Harvard in 2014 is not a source citation. Harvard is a really great University but has, to my knowledge never written a word without the assistance of some human that attends or works at Harvard.

2. There is to be no game playing with regards to evidence sharing during or after the round. If you are asked for evidence by your opponents you must produce it in a timely manner or I will discount the evidence and only treat the argument as an unsubstantiated assertion on your part. Even if it means handing over one of your laptops you must provide evidence for inspection by the other team so that they may evaluate it and respond to the evidence in subsequent speeches.

3. Prep Time - you are only provided with 3 minutes of prep time. Please use it wisely. I will only give a little latitude with regards to untimed evidence sharing or organizing your flows, but please be efficient and quick about it.

4. Argument choices are completely up to the debaters. I prefer a good substantive debate with clear clash and that the debaters compare and weigh the arguments they feel are important for their side to prevail as the debate comes into focus but the substance of those arguments is completely within the control of the teams debating.

5. Please respect your opponents and treat everyone involved in the debate round with the utmost respect. Speaker points will be effected by any rude behavior on the part of a debater.

6. I will disclose and discuss my decision at the end of the round so long as there is time and the tournament stays on schedule.

7. Finally, please remember to have fun and enjoy the experience.

Chad Meadows Paradigm

8 rounds

Debate should reward hard work. Your strategies and in round execution should reflect intensive research and thought about the topic/your opponents arguments.

Truth over Tech - but you have to be prepared to debate. I have strong preferences against nonsense, but you must be skilled enough to meet a minimum threshold for responsiveness.

Things to not do

Read topicality without a definition.

Read procedurals without implications for topicality.

Read a bunch of old debate articles/textbooks without links topic specific evidence.

Make a bunch of underdeveloped defensive arguments and appeal to presumption.

Make a bunch of shallow offensive arguments and appeal to “try or die”.

Appeal to the rules as a primary strategy.

Rely on an RVI as a response to Topicality. I don’t even flow it.

Pretend that a stock issues paradigm is a reliably valuable approach to evaluate policy controversies.

Be an unreasonable awful person as you debate.

Trot out an obscenely outdated back-file that you are not prepared to defend or persuasively argue. I get that back-files are helpful, but preparation has to be more than Copy/Paste.

Things to do

Read about the topic. Anything about TOPIC. Gender/Security Rhetoric/Leadership/Drug Policy/Eco-Feminism / Post-Colonial Studies ….IT DOESN’T MATTER. Just read about the topic, or you missed the point. Nearly all question of argument preference could be filtered through the lens of topic relevance.

Demonstrate competency when selecting the arguments you advance in the debate. This includes collapsing in the 1NR.

Demonstrate a reasonable amount of preparation to discuss a diverse set of issues relevant to the resolution and in round performance.


Debate should be a referendum on the quality and quantity of research done first, and then a matter of execution later. I will reward debaters who do excellent and thorough research over debaters who have “slick tricks” to win debates. I think evidence is VERY important, its quality and qualifications should be debated. I will usually prefer excellent evidence to spin. When comparing a good card which was not well explained/had no spin vs. no card or a bad card with excellent spin I will typically prefer the good card. I will call for cards after the debate. I will generally only call for evidence which is referenced in the final two rebuttals. Refer to evidence by last name and date after it has been cited in the first instance. If you do not READILY share citations and evidence with your opponent in the round - I WILL be cranky, probably vote against you, or at the very least give you TERRIBLE speaker points.


If speaking at a more rapid rate is used to advance more scholarship in the round, I encourage debaters to speak quickly. If speaking quickly devolves into assaulting the round with a barrage of bad arguments in the hope that your opponent will not clash with them all, my ballot and speaker points will not encourage this practice. I keep an excellent and detailed flow. However, winning for me is more about establishing a coherent and researched explanation of the world rather than extending a specific argument. An argument is not “true” because it is extended on one sheet of paper if it is logically answered by evidence on another sheet of paper or later on the line by line. You can check your rhetorical bullying at the door. Posturing, repeating yourself (even loudly), insulting your opponents, or insisting that I will "ALWAYS vote here" are probably a waste of your time.

Argument Selection

Any argument that advances argument on the desirability of the resolution through valid decision making is persuasive. The source of argumentation should be left up to the debaters. I am very unlikely to be persuaded that the source of evidence justifies its exclusion. In particular I am unconvinced the methodology, epistemology, ontology, and other indicts pertaining to the foundation of the affirmative are unjustified avenues of research to explore in debate. Above all else, the content of your argument should not be used to duck clash.

Strong Argument Preferences:

1 - Topicality is a voter and not a reverse voter. "Proving abuse" is irrelevant, well explained standards are not.

2 – The affirmative does not have to specify more than is required to affirm the resolution. I encourage Affirmatives to dismiss specs/vagueness and other procedurals without implications for the topicality of the affirmative with absolute disregard.

3 – Conditionality is logical, restraints on logical decision making are only justified in extreme circumstances.

4 – There is nothing implied in the plan. Consult, process, and other counterplans which include the entirety of the plan text are not competitive.

5 – I will decide if the counterplan is competitive by evaluating if the permutation is better than the counterplan alone or if the plan is better than counterplan. Ideological, philosophical, and redudancy standards for competiton are not persuasive and not useful for making decisions.

6 – I mediate my preferences for arguably silly counterplans like agent, international, and PICS/PECS primarily based upon the quality of the counterplan solvency evidence.

7 – Direction/Strength of link evidence is more important than “controlling uniqueness” This is PARTICULARLY true when BOTH sides have compelling and recent uniqueness evidence. Uniqueness is a strong factor in the relative probability of the direction of the link, if you don't have uniqueness evidence you are behind.

8 - I do not have a "threshold" on topicality. A vote for T is just as internally valid as a vote for a DA. I prefer topicality arguments with topic specific interpretation and violation evidence. I will CLOSELY evaluate your explanation on the link and impact of your standards.

9 - I am very unlikely to make a decision primarily based upon defensive arguments.

Public forum

1 - First summary does not have to extend defense if it is not frontlined. If it is frontlined then you must extend it.

2 - 2nd rebuttal will get a major bonus in terms of speaker points and argument evaluation if they collapse and also frontline the argument you collapse to.

3 - Read real cards. Please please please read cards.

Jeffrey Miller Paradigm

Jeffrey Miller
Director of Speech & Debate at Marist School in Atlanta, GA (2011-present)
Director of Debate/Asst Director of Debate, Fayette County High School in Fayetteville, GA (2006-2011)

Thoughts about the new PF rules:

1) 3 minute summaries don't change anything in the grand scheme of things. I still believe that a) teams should respond to the first rebuttal in the second rebuttal, b) everything in final focus needs to be in summary and c) there should be weighing throughout the round. What 3 minute summaries do effect is that they raise my standard for what is acceptable as an extension. Merely re-stating your claims is no longer enough to count as an extension - you have an extra minute - make actual arguments in the summary speeches.

2) The new paraphrasing rules indicate that you must have cut cards. Don't read that as you must read cards, but read it as I believe the new rules indicate that that for the protection of the debater you must have cut the card. I will not evaluate evidence that is not cut. I will not wait for you to cut a card in the post round if I need a piece of evidence. If I see you exchange evidence throughout the debate that is not cut, I will dock your speaker points.

Guide to Prefs Based Your Research Habits

If you cut cards & read cards in case & rebuttal -- I am probably a top 10 judge in your prefs. This is my ideal version of debate - I will flow the warrants of your cards and not just the taglines.

If you cut cards, read cards in case & paraphrase in rebuttal -- C'mon, its not that hard - just read cards in rebuttal. Believe me, the time you think are "wasting" by reading cards is worth it. But besides that, I'm probably a pretty good judge for you.

If you cut cards, but paraphrase throughout the debate -- I'm not your worst judge by far. I have a higher standard of holding arguments to their original context than others, but I won't vote you down just because you paraphrase. If this describes you, it is truly silly to strike me over someone who's never judged a debate before.

If you do not cut cards and you paraphrase -- strike me. please.

3) "Progressive" Argumentation, lol. I don't think there is enough time in a PF speech to warrant clearly most kritiks - that doesn't mean I won't vote for them, but it does mean that you're starting from a disadvantage because I don't think you can fully articulate why they should be voted on. For theory, there needs to be actual abuse and it needs to be used sparingly. Disclosure Theory is dumb, but sometimes necessary - I think misdisclosure is way worse than not disclosing. Paraphrasing Theory is also kind of dumb based on my previous statement of there needs to be actual abuse. If a team is paraphrasing a card poorly, you don't need theory to beat them - just beat their argument and call them out. Every other theory arg I've judged honestly doesn't have its place in the debate. Theory is not a way to win rounds, its a way to check bad behaviors.

**The Rest**

Debate is hard. I expect every debater to work hard before, during and after each tournament. Working hard means cutting cards and doing research on the topic. I expect debaters to not search for shortcuts to make this easier - doing your own research and cutting your own cards will pay dividends in all of your debates. In debates I judge you, you should expect I work hard to evaluate the debate and make the best decision possible. That's my guarantee to you.

Since Public Forum is a research based activity, I expect debates to be more about evidence usage and execution than persuasive speaking. If I expect debates to be about evidence usage, the prerequisite to this is having evidence and using it. I expect all five participants in the round (myself and the four debaters) to be well read on the topic and flow the debate. You should expect me to give you constructive feedback on the ballot as well as in round after the debate.

In debates, speeches build off of each other. It would be weird if we engaged in a communication activity where we ignored what the other person did right before our speech - that's why the second rebuttal must respond to the first rebuttal and so forth. Consistency is vital in debate therefore this expectation continues into the second half. Arguments that you extend in the final focus must be in the summary.

How do I define good evidence ethics?

Every card you read within a debate should be cited (by author, not institution) and be available (almost immediately) within context for your opponent to read. Within context does not mean full text, but the full paragraph of the cited line. (Asking for the full text of the study is dumb/waste 96% of the time, because you have 3 minutes of prep and I'm sorry you don't have enough time to read the full text. I understand sometimes you want to read the conclusion, but you still can't do that within the time limits of this event for more than 1 card usually.)

Teams who cannot quickly exchange evidence should not pref me - please strike me.

Don't lie or blatantly misrepresent about your evidence, I will drop you whether or not the argument is made in the round. I define lying or blatantly misrepresenting evidence as excluding key phrases that are in the text of the document that contradict your point, using portions of evidence to make arguments the authors do not intend, etc. Indicts are not lies or misrepresentations, they're arguments. Cards that are poorly cut/don't make a good argument are just not persuasive. Don't ruin the game, it's really fun when done correctly.

Come to the debate prepared and you won't have a problem.

What is my speaker point scale?

Speaker points are earned for the arguments you make in the debate. Every debater in every round starts at a 28.0. I will move up/down on a scale with steps of 0.1 and not 0.5. You're probably not going to get a 30 from me as that means you were truly perfect. Making smart, strategic arguments is going to maximize your points from me.

Ryan Moore Paradigm

i was the pf coach at dublin jerome high school in ohio from 2016-2019.

1. you don't need to extend defense in 1st summary if it's not front-lined in 2nd rebuttal.

2. you should definitely be front-lining in second rebuttal. at the very least, you've gotta answer the turns.

3. use off-time roadmaps (at least tell me where you're starting).

4. nothing from any cross is going to be on my flow whatsoever. if you want something said in cross to be on my flow, say it in the subsequent speech.

5. i'm pretty iffy on theory and k's. i like the ideas and motivations behind many of them, but i do not feel very confident that i'll be able to evaluate them in a technically correct way.

6. please keep paraphrasing to a minimum. ideally you're not doing it at all. reading authors and dates is probably beneficial for everyone in the round.

7. for any ohio/locals folks reading this, feel free to use the internet in-round.

8. please don't shake my hand

in general, in any round, i'm looking to vote on the cleanest, clearest offense that's well-warranted, defended and weighed at the link and impact level. smart evidence indicts (esp. to academic studies) can get you high speaks. ask questions if you have them.

Kathy Noe Paradigm

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Spencer Orlowski Paradigm


TLDR: K/Policy style Coach, getting better at phil, won't vote on oppressive arguments, prefer clash and depth to tricks and blips. I reward hard work and passion for the activity. -2 speaks for "welcome to ______" tag.

Pref Cheat Sheet

1: Topical K Debate

2: Policy Debate/ Non-T Ks

3: Topical Phil Debate/ Topical Tricks & Theory

4: Generic Tricks and Dumb Theory

5/Strike: Jerks

I will not vote on explicitly oppressive arguments. No exceptions.

I try to intervene as little as possible and will look for the easiest route to the ballot. Speaker points are calculated by the quality of argumentation and the strategy of the collapse. I give a lot of low-point wins as a result. I am super sick of voting on unwarranted blippy args and I am willing to ignore them every round. (I have and will ignore shoes theory against K affs)

I default to a logical decision-making paradigm. As a result I prefer topic-centered debate but I am totally open to warranted reasons as to why that is a bad metric for debate.

I place a high value on quality evidence and think preparation is the cornerstone of the educational aspects of this activity. I think that extensions of evidence should be more than just blippy tag extensions. If you aren’t extending warrants, I am not going to find them in the evidence for you after the round.

Speed: I think clear speed improves debate. I am cool with any clear speed that isn’t being used to intentionally exclude your opponent or other judges on a panel. I will say that it seems like a lot of HS LD students rely on the email chain for judges to get their warrants: this practice will likely result in diminished speaker points and possibly a poor decision on my part. It is probably a good idea to slow down a bit on tags and make it clear when a tag starts and a card ends. Flying through theory shells at 400 wpm just seems like a bad idea if you want me to flow it all. If you can only beat a lay debater by spreading you are going to get low speaks.


Specific Arguments

Topicality: I generally believe it’s a voter but the neg needs to explain why and I will listen to reasons why it shouldn’t be, extra and fx are up for debate, abuse is just a marginally more persuasive standard, standards are reason to prefer an interp, I don’t like to vote on RVIs unless they are well warranted. I will probably ignore jargon that is unwarranted like just saying reasonability or competing interps without explanations. It feels like H.S LD conflates theory and topicality a lot. I think if you are saying someone isn't meeting a word in the rez, you need to define it.

DAs: I will vote on linear and unique Das. I don’t believe a negative needs one to win a round. I am usually very skeptical of politics but still vote offence/defense paradigm on it.

Phil: Explaining the argument helps. Compare your frameworks. I'm ok with TJFs. I generally find long frameworks really boring and prefer substantive topic debate. Stuff like Skep and Monism are super boring. The more specific the ethic to the topic, the better. I haven't seen many burden affs.

Theory: Most spec shells are just defense to solvency for me. I definitely get they are a valuable part of a strategy for time and fairness reasons but I find them generally unpersuasive. I will vote on them though if mishandled by the affirmative(or negative) . All that said if you have a really interesting super spec procedural I’ll listen to it with an open mind. 5 off all procedurals = 25 speaks. I am super persuaded by alternative punishment arguments (i.e. the impact to a spec is don’t accept no links based on clarifications of the agent in the AR). I generally think there are ways to resolve theoretical objections that don’t necessitate a ballot on theory. "6-7-4-6-3" does not constitute an argument. Plans bad is a super boring arg IMO.

Ks: Ks are probably my favorite part of debate, but bad K debate is super frustrating. As with every other position I want the link to be specific and prefer the literature to be in the context of our topic. I think the necessity of framework depends on the nature of the alternative and the presented 1AC. I generally view links as a DA to the perm. I think you need a stable alt text. The more performative, the better.

Counterplans: I don’t think conditionality is a problem but you can read whatever against the CP. I don’t think you have to establish ME in the NC but I think it ends up being more persuasive if the AR concedes it. I prefer if they have an advocate, but not a deal breaker. You should have a stable CP text. Open to perm theory, same concept as other theory shells though.

Defense: I’m predisposed to believe it’s not a voting issue but if someone concedes some fwk that says it is I guess I would vote for it. This applies to answering neg positions as well.

Performance: I am totally fine with it, but again I think it’s important to explain how it relates to an affirmation or negation of the resolution. That being said, I am completely open to arguments about why resolution centered debate is bad.

A2 K/Performance AC/NC: ENGAGE. Just framing your way out the debate is super boring to me. Cut cards answering their method. If they give you links, use them. It is insufficient to assert Ks are unfair. I really don't see a distinction between Hume vs Kant and Reed vs Wilderson

FOR PF: I did PF for 4 years in HS and I currently coach it. I flow a lot. Any argument you want in the second FF should be in the 2nd Summary. The first summary doesn't need to extend defense as long as the second rebuttal didn't respond to it. I think the 2nd rebuttal should probably respond to the first, just seems strategic. I read a lot on each topic and will hold you to a standard of accuracy for the most part. Speaker points are based on skill in crossfire, strategy of collapse, and quality of evidence. If it takes you longer than a min to produce evidence, it doesn't exist. If I think you inappropriately paraphrased I will ignore evidence. I will vote on theory and Ks. See above for notes on those positions.

Les Phillips Paradigm


I have judged all kinds of debate for decades, beginning with a long career as a circuit policy and LD coach. I have judged parli less than other formats, but my parli judging includes several NPDA tournaments, including two NPDA national tournaments. Speed is fine, as are all sorts of theoretical, Kritikal, and playfully counterintuitive arguments. I judge on the flow. Dropped arguments carry full weight. I do not default to competing interpretations, though if you win that standard I will go there. The texts of advocacies are binding; slow down for these, as necessary. Ask me questions!


I have judged all kinds of debate for decades, beginning with a long career as a circuit policy and LD coach. Speed is fine. I judge on the flow. Dropped arguments carry full weight. At various times I have voted (admittedly, in policy) for smoking tobacco good, Ayn Rand Is Our Savior, Scientology Good, dancing and drumming trumps topicality, and Reagan-leads-to-Communism-and-Communism-is-good. (I disliked all of these positions.)

I do not demand that the second speaking rebuttal or any summary speech do anything in particular. If an argument is in final focus, it should be in summary. I am very stingy regarding new responses in final focus. Saying something for the first time in grand cross does not legitimize its presence in final focus.

NSDA standards demand dates out loud on all evidence. That is a good standard; you must do that. I also expect debaters to be able to state/defend the qualifications of every single piece of evidence they use. Though it is not the explicit NSDA standard, I believe that quals should be read out loud. I will bristle and/or throw my pen if I hear "according to Princeton." Evidence standards in PF are improving, but they are still not good. You will not get good points if you do not meet these standards.

Please please terminalize impacts. Do this especially when you are talking about The Economy. "Helps The Economy" is not an impact. "Helps The Economy" is to impacts as "according to Princeton" is to cites. Economic growth is not intrinsically good; it depends on where the growth goes and who is helped. Sometimes economic growth is very bad. "Increases tensions" is not a terminal impact; what happens after the tensions increase?


For years I coached and judged fast circuit LD, but I have not judged LD since 2013, and I have not coached on the current topic at all. Top speed, even if you're clear, may challenge me; lack of clarity will be very unfortunate. I try to be a blank slate (like all judges, I will fail to meet this goal entirely). I like the K, though I get frustrated when I don't know what the alternative is (REJECT is an OK alternative, if that's what you want to do). I have a very high bar for rejecting a dcebater rather than an argument, and I do not default to competing interpretations; I would like to hear a clear abuse story. I am generally permissive in re counterplan competitiveness and perm legitimacy. RVIs are OK if the abuse is clear, but if you would do just as well to simply tell me why the opponent's argument is garbage, that would be appreciated.

Caryn Piechota Paradigm

I co-coached a strong south Florida team and have judged PF for 2 years going on 3. I have coached my team to many victories and have a lot of experience on how PF works. I am a medical professional who has a love of beagles and is in the process of opening a beagle rescue. I flow on my laptop and take note of cross. If I look confused I probably am, take note of that.

I am considerably lay but my two kids (debated for 2 years going on 3 and 1 year going on 2) have taught me a lot on the topics and the general PF debate style alone. Most of my preferences are based on them (in general)

I am not one to make a quick vote on lives. In order for me to consider it on my flow, I need to hear a two world analysis between the sides and weighing along with it.

General preferences-

1. I am okay with speaking speed but warn me before you start. If you are doing spreading, be prepared to give me a copy of your case. I can keep up for the most part but will not penalize your for you speed.

2. I do not disclose in round (unless mandated by the tournament) but will give generous feedback if asked about the round. I know the topics to a degree due to previous judging but as a debater it is your job to convince me. I will not vote off of previous knowledge.

3. I do ask that all crossfire be for the purposing of furthering case not combative only. Issues in cross need to be mentioned in a speech for me to evaluate them. Dominance in cross, especially in grand cross, does not mean cutting off your opponents.

4. You have a five (5) second grace period past speeches and anything said after that will not be taken into consideration. When it comes to cross, as long as the question is asked before the time, an answer is permitted.

Tournaments judged + many more...

Blue Key (2017 & 2018)

Blake (2017 & 2018)

Sunvite (2018 & 2019)

The Tradition at Cypress

Harvard (2018 & 2019)

Nova Titan 2018, TOC 2018, UK Season Opener, and many more (locals and such)

If you have specific questions that aren't answered here, please don't hesitate to ask.

*If you can logically work in how you save a beagles life in one of your speeches, you can have guaranteed 29 speaks. Does NOT need to be extended throughout the round*

(See top of paradigm for my reasoning to the above statement)

Paco Poler Paradigm

Some things:

1. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not worry about making me like you. I'm here to judge your debating, not your personality. Ask me as many questions as you want about my paradigm before the round (I want to do everything I can to ensure my rfd does not come as a surprise to anyone), and I'm more than happy to discuss my rfd in length after the round (I won't get offended if you try to convince me I made a bad decision).

2. I have much experience in flow PF debate and some experience in flow Parli, so I'd like to believe that I will do a good job voting tabula rasa, off the flow, and I'm open to (and capable of properly evaluating) progressive and/or technical arguments. That said, I am new to judging, so idk keep that in mind I guess.

3. I have a very low tolerance for new arguments in late speeches. That means it's probably in your interest to, for example, frontline turns in second rebuttal, because I will tend to side against you for sandbagging. As far as extensions go, please try to at least mention every part of your link chain and the impact–even if it's conceded! Losing because you only spent three seconds on a conceded winning argument is no fun.

4. I will get grumpy if you're misconstruing evidence. I might even go as far as calling for a card without being asked to if it's central to a winning argument and I notice that what the card says has changed to dodge responses. If your evidence doesn't say what you say it does, I'll take it off the flow. If you're being really abusive, I might drop you. Also: please include the qual and date for your evidence, that's a big pet peeve of mine.

5. Framework/weighing is your friend!!

6. Defense doesn't need to be in first summary if it wasn't addressed in second rebuttal. All offense needs to be in both late speeches.

7. I presume first-speaking team unless told otherwise.

Melissa Quinio Paradigm

Not Submitted

Lee Quinn Paradigm


Titles: Assistant Director of Debate at Samford University (AL).

Head Coach at The Altamont School (AL).

TL;DR: I love debate. It is the greatest pedagogical activity the academy has invented. If you're a debater who wakes up and breathes debate, I'm you're judge. Just grab that mic and crush it.

Debate Background:

3x TOC Qualifier. 2011 Winner of Emory's Barkley Forum in Policy Debate. Greenhill and Harvard Round Robin Invitee. Winner of Woodward JV Nationals. Third Place at NSDA Nationals in 2011. Seventh Place NSDA Nationals 2010.

Top Speaker at ADA Nationals. 2x NDT First-Round Bid at Wake Forest. 2x NDT Octofinalist. 2x Kentucky Round Robin. Dartmouth Round Robin.

Policy Thoughts:

I’m not the smartest human. You’re maybe/likely smarter than me. Please do not assume I know anything you are talking about. And I would honestly love to learn some new things in a debate about arguments you invented.

Debaters are guilty until proven innocent of clipping cards. I follow along in speech docs. I believe it is judges job to police clipping and it is unfair to make debaters alone check it.

Meta level: Research skills and persuasive speaking are the foundation of debate. The team that persuasively makes the most arguments backed by the Brookings Institute likely will win my ballot.

To quote Jacob Hurwitz's judge philosophy, "the only thing worse than conditionality is the collapse of American hegemony."

Condo. 3 against a basic/big stick aff is about my ceiling. 3 contradictory condo and I can more easily be persuaded to vote on condo. For new affs, I think at most 5 condo is permissive. Anymore and I think you risk losing on theory.

Process/ Conditions/ consult CPs are the devil, unless you have a fire solvency advocate specific to their plan text which can prove its predictable and important for that area of debate. But I’m persuaded that a generic/predictable aff posted on the wiki can win a theory debate against a generic process/ conditions/ consult CPs. You just need an interpretation about a world of debate that excludes these CP’s. This is especially true with any Con Con CP. Con Con is the worst.

K debate is cheating in policy. Especially K affs (fact). Krtikal literature is obviously very relevant to being educated and ethical, but in debate this lit is bastardized for polemic positions that unfairly tilt debate in their favor for a litany of obvious strategic gains.

I hate judge kick. Do you want me to flow for you too? Maybe compose your speech doc while you're at it? I don't give the affirmative random permutations. Don't make me kick your trash counterplan for you. I won't be there to take your boards or bar exam saying "hey don't worry I got you if you make the wrong choice.

PS- Please do not read global warming good. Global warming is real and will kill us all. And I am particularly persuaded by the argument that introducing these arguments in debate is unethical for spreading propaganda and should be deterred by rejecting the team. I'm way more persuaded by reasonable inevitability and alt cause args.

LD Paradigm

I am largely engaged with college policy debate levels of debate. I will flow every word you say. Speed is a weapon in debate. LD is often one big K debate which is fine in LD but I err towards util/consequentialism FW's. I can be persuaded pre-fiat impacts are extra-topical and can be rejected as such (likely not a reason to reject the team). But I do love me a good ol' fashioned value premise throw down from time to time, I must admit. It is the premise.

PF Paradigm

I'm increasingly frustrated with the liminal space public forum operates in. I'm so happy to see the progress made in terms of substance and clash, but am frustrated at the lack of norms that should accompany these progressive improvements. Here are my thoughts when judging a PF debate:

- Public Forum, if you're looking for your paraphrasing theory gatekeeper, you've found them. I will vote on paraphrasing bad theory ONLY IF the you read properly cited and highlighted cards that are sent out prior to your speech. Please dear god people, let's stop this spreading "Reuters '19" and "Forbes '19" non-sense. Atleast policy has to read long cards, that's WHY they have to spread. Paraphrasing makes debate impossible for both debaters and judge to genuinely test the veracity of evidence sources. This is an increasingly important issue too in our modern age of disinformation, fake news, and propaganda. Let's all work together to continue the progress being made in PF.

- I DO NOT CONSIDER URL/ARTICLES EVIDENCE. if you have to google/search for an article after I call for a card I will not evaluate the evidence and will treat it as an analytic. A CARD HAS TO BE CUT. There has to be some norm to reward actual research and preperation.

- I do not want to be a "policy judge" in PF. Please do not unload the canon and spread at 110%. If you want to do that, just come to policy debate and I'll be happy to judge it. I feel like my experience in policy debate/another debaters experience asymmetrical tilts the debate in a way that is unfair to debaters who do not have policy experience or experience spreading. You can make a ton of arguments while still going at 60-70% of your top speed. How do I plan to enforce this? I'm not entirely sure. It will definitely be reflected in speaks and will feel empathetic to the other team, but past that I'm not entirely sure. I have judged enough PF rounds now where debaters come in and spread that I feel like I am unfairly skewing the debate in one teams favor. Please do not make me feel like this! If you wanna spread, do policy/come do policy for me at Samford.

- Disclosure norm. I'm a BIG advocate of open source/wiki, but I'm not entirely sure I'm willing to vote down a small local school who maybe didn't know there was a wiki against a big school reading disclosure theory "to help small schools." It almost seems counter-productive. I think it can be an easy win if the other team drops it, or if its two big schools debating, I could consider it. But I literally judged a round where a team from a the reigning TOC policy champion school read disclosure theory against a small rural school with no coach and said it would help small programs. I'm not the biggest fan there.

Jenifer Rodriguez Paradigm

8 rounds

I am a flow judge.

Weighing is important, make sure to explain why your point is more impactful than theirs.

If you want something in your final focus make sure to include it in your summary.

Please signpost

I handle speed okay, just don't spread.

Hagan Rose Paradigm

I vote tech over truth. I try to interfere as little as possible, and the best way to make your case is weighing. However, debate is an art, not a science, and just because you win the flow doesn’t mean you’ll win the round 100% of the time.

Debate Theory usually plays poorly-run at your own risk. At this level, presentation and delivery should be strong; clash is often the differentiator in my rounds. I’m fine with a little speed, but I won’t flow anything that’s TOO fast. Probably 225 words per minute is an upper limit.

Additionally: Warrant extensions are crucial. Give me a strong argument and apply your warrants through the round.

Obviously practice good evidence ethics. I will call cards if necessary and judge how they fit the round. Feel free to keep your own time. Don’t be rude or disrespectful- we’re here to have fun. I’m happy to provide more insight at the beginning of the round.

Matthew Rosenblum Paradigm

I've been out of debate for about a decade. That means I'm a bit slow, and, while everything is slowly coming back to me, it is in your best interest to keep this bit of information in mind. Be loud and clear or you risk losing me. Do what you're comfortable with, and I'll do my best to accommodate you, but, especially with regard to T and theory (debates on which I never much cared for anyway) my muscles are somewhat atrophied. If given the choice between a debate about the practical implications of public policy and one concerning the underlying epistemological assumptions of the plan, I will usually opt for the second option. My academic background is in critical human geography and my upbringing in the field is highly tied to various strains of social theory (particularly, numerous critical understandings of race, sex/gender, and other axes of social exclusion). With that said, since returning to debate I find myself voting against the K with a fair amount of regularity. Don't pretend to be something you're not. If you're into a more traditional understanding of policy debate then live your truth. I actually really enjoy watching big clash of civilization debates. I love to watch the 2AC spend a lot of time impact turning the K. I think it's fun. I don't necessarily 'hate' traditional policy debate, I just happen to think that our seemingly collective fantasy regarding the existence of the internal link to the politics disad is boring. Entertain me. Go crazy. Be evil. Just be able to defend that strategy. If you really feel like you MUST include framework as a part of your strategy against K teams, my preference is for less of a focus on debate theory and more of a substantive defense of policy making.

To be continued...

Gabe Rusk Paradigm

PF Paradigm 2019-2020 Season:


- The narrative surrounding Actor A reacts X when the US pulls out is a very messy one. If we are going to have a comparative debate that says when the US pulls out and Saudi Arabia/Iran/Israel are going to react in a certain way I need you to do comparison on how I determine that is the probable action. It might be something like a mix of precedent, game theory, empirical studies, internal politics, etc. Idk I'm infinitely tired of seeing debates that are like: No pull out makes Actor A more aggressive/less aggressive because they want to expand/the existential threat is gone. How do I reconcile competing reasons why a country may escalate or de-escalate? What if you have precedent and the other team has evidence on the internal politics of the country? How is one factor more important in determining how a future actor will act? The debate cannot be here are three reasons why they do x and the other side is three reasons why they will do y. Why are those reasons more illustrative of a trend or action than the other? Help me out.

- I consider myself tech>truth but I have been approaching a closer equilibrium between the two lately due to how poor evidence ethics have been become.

- I'm going to read the cards in the email exchange if you do evidence comparison in the round. Do not lie, miscut, or egregiously paraphrase. This could be an independent reason I vote you down.

- They asked us to keep our video on during rounds. Unless y'all start significantly lagging I will abide by this requirement. I may turn off my video if things are slowing down.

- Read my analysis on theory below. I'm less inclined to vote on theory arguments more than ever before. That being said in the last three tournaments I have voted for a handful of theory based violations but the vast majority of the time the other team has either won the standards or impact debate on theory. I just want to be honest and let you know I don't think PF offers the time to handle these claims properly but I will evaluate them sincerely as they come.

Big Things

  • What I want to see: I'm empathetic to major technical errors in my ballots. In a perfect world I vote for the team who does best on tech and secondarily on truth. I tend to resolve clash most easily when you give explicit reasons why either a) your evidence is comparatively better but more often when you tell me why b) your warranting is comparatively better. Obviously doing both compounds your chances at winning my ballot.
  • Weighing Unlike Things: I need to know how to weigh two comparatively unlike things. If you are weighing some economic impact against a non-economic impact like democracy how do I defer to one over the other? Scope, magnitude, probability etc. I strongly prefer impact debates on the probability/reasonability of impacts over their magnitude and scope. Obviously try to frame impacts using all available tools but it's less likely I will defer to nuclear war, try or die, etc on the risk of magnitude. Probability over magnitude debates unless I'm given well warranted, carded, and convincing framework analysis to prefer the latter.
  • Weighing Like Things: Please have warrants and engage comparatively between yourself and your opponent. Obviously methodological and evidentiary comparison is nice too as I mentioned earlier. I love crossfires or speech time where we discuss the warrants behind our cards and why that's another reason to prefer your arg over your opponent.
  • I'm comfortable if you want to take the debate down kritical and/or theoretical roads. Here be dragons. I will say though, over time I've become more tired of bad or unfleshed out theory debates in PF. I will be especially incredulous of your theory argument if I discover your application of theory is principally inconsistent. For example, you are running disclosure or paraphrasing theory against one team for violating but not another team who violated (assuming both judges would have equally been receptive.) There may be other extenuating circumstances that explain the discrepancy in application but they need to be addressed. Lastly, if you look back at the last 20 rounds or so I've judged with theory as the primary voter I've probably only voted for the team who introduced theory in the round 6 of 20 rounds. All variables being equal I would prefer topic specific rounds but in principle remain tabula rasa.

Little Things

  • What needs to be frontlined in second rebuttal? Turns. Not defense unless you have time.
  • If you want offense in the final focus then extend it through the summary.
  • Defense is not sticky between rebuttal and final focus. Aka if defense is not in summary you can't extend it in final focus. I've flipped on this recently. I've found the debate is hurt by the removal of the defense debate in summary and second final focus can extend whatever random defense it wants or whatever random frontlines to defense. This gives the second speaking teams a disproportionate advantage and makes the debate needlessly more messy.
  • Calling for cards. It should not take more than 1 minute to find case cards. Smh y'all.
  • If you spread that's fine. Just be prepared to adjust if I need to clear.
  • My favorite question in cx is: Why?
  • My favorite phrase in debate is: "Prefer our warrant" or "comparing our warrants you prefer ours because..."
  • Don't read "framework" at the top of case unless it's carded. Rarely is it warranted or carded. It's almost always asserted. If you have a card and have an independent warrant go for it. Otherwise don't waste our time in the speech when we know the debate will end with CBA. You can run overviews and weighing but that's different than framework as some approach it. Let's not miss the forest for the trees.
  • Don't read definitions if the judge is familiar with the topic. Waste of time.
  • I will pull cards on two conditions. First, if it becomes a key card in the round and the other team questions the validity of the cut, paraphrasing, or explanation of the card in the round. Second, if the other team never discusses the merits of their opponents card the only time I will ever intervene and call for that evidence is if a reasonable person would know it's facially a lie.
  • I understand the desire to ask for quantifications or quantitative brightlines. It can be helpful in some debates. However, if you ask for a specific quantification then the burden on you in turn is to provide quantifications for your argument as well. I can't tell you how many times I see teams ask others to quantify their impacts and little if none of their own meet that same standard.
  • If you run a percentage increase in an impact or effect you better have the original baseline or original percent if asked. Saying something increases by 845% is misleading without context. If my tea drinking increased by 200% per day and the original amount was 2 oz that isn't significant in context.
  • Offtime road maps fine
  • Pre-flowing in general should be done before the round. Especially if it's second flight. Like what are y'all doing outside the room lmao.
  • Germs are scary. I don't like to shake hands. It's not you! It's me!
  • To see my discussions and extended preferences please check out r/debate on reddit:

Gabe Rusk

Debate Experience: TOC Champion PF 2010, 4th at British Parli University National Championships 2014, Oxford Debate Union competitive debater 2015-2016 (won best floor speech), LGBTQIA+ Officer at Oxford Debate Union

Coaching Experience: 10+ years of coaching, instructor at 12+ debate camps, debate camp director, Senior Instructor and PF Curriculum Director at the Institute for Speech and Debate, Director of Debate at Fairmont 2018-Current, La Altamont Lane 2018 TOC, Capitol 2016-2018, GW 2010-2015. British Parli coach for universities including DU, Oxford, and others.

Education: Masters from Oxford University '16 - Law & Religion - Dissertation on the history of the First Amendment - Majored in Religion and Philosophy at DU '14. Other research areas of familiarity include Buddhism, comparative religion, free speech, art law, copyright law, & SCOTUS history.


Ahhhhh! You made it this far. If you want a free First Amendment sticker let me know! They are an exact copy of the one on my laptop.

Charles Schletzbaum Paradigm

Co-Director: Milpitas High Speech and Debate



Myers Park, Charlotte N.C.
(85-88) 3 years Policy, LD and Congress. Double Ruby (back when it was harder to get) and TOC competitor in LD.

Summer 87: American U Institute. 2 weeks LD and congress under Dale Mccall and Harold Keller, and 2 more weeks in a mid level Policy lab.

St. Johns Xavierian, Shrewsbury, Mass
88~93 consultant, judge and chaperone

Summer 89 American U Coaches institute (Debate)

Milpitas High, Milpitas CA
09-present co-coach

(Important note, I have noticed I have been getting a little triggered when people completely misconstrue how some MTW programs work. Please make sure you know how they work before you make some sometimes uninformed assertions about them)

ALL EVENTS EXCEPT PARLI NEED TO KNOW NSDA RULES OF EVIDENCE (or CHSSA RULES OF EVIDENCE) OR DO NOT EXPECT ME TO COUNT IT(NSDA MINIMUM IS "NAME" AND "DATE" ****READ IN ROUND****) Anything else is just rhetoric/logic and 99% of the time, rhetoric vs card mans card wins.

If you put conditions on your opponent getting access to your evidence I will put conditions on counting it in my RFD. Evidence should be provided any time asked between speeches, or asked for during cx and provided between speeches. Failure to produce the card in context may result in having no access to that card on my flow/decision.

Part of what you should know about any of the events
Events Guide
13-14 NSDA tournament Operations manual

All events, It is a mark of the competitors skill to adapt to the judge, not demand that they should adapt to you. Do not get into a definitional fight without being armed with a definition..... TAG TEAM CX? *NOT A FAN* if you want to give me the impression your partner doesn't know what they are talking about, sure, go ahead, Diss your partner. Presentation skills: Stand in SPEECHES AND CX and in all events with only exception in PF grand.

ALL EVENTS EXCEPT PARLI NEED TO KNOW NSDA RULES OF EVIDENCE (or CHSSA RULES OF EVIDENCE) OR DO NOT EXPECT ME TO COUNT IT(NSDA MINIMUM IS "NAME" AND "DATE"****READ IN ROUND****) Anything else is just rhetoric/logic and 99% of the time, rhetoric vs card mans card wins.


While I was not able to compete in public forum (It did not exist yet), the squad I coach does primarily POFO. Its unlikely that any resolution will call for a real plan as POFO tends to be propositions of fact instead of value or policy.
I am UNLIKELY to vote for a K, as I have seen a bizarre one once, and I don't even vote for K in policy. Moderate speed is fine, but to my knowledge, this format was meant to be more persuasive. USE EVIDENCE and make sure you have Tags and Cites. I want a neat flow (it will never happen, but I still want it)

I WANT FRAMEWORK or I will adjudicate the round, since you didn't. I FLOW LIKE POLICY with respect to DROPPED ARGUMENTS (if a speech goes by I will likely consider the arg dropped... this means YES I believe the 4th speaker in the round SHOULD cover both flows..)

Remember, Pofo was there to counteract speed in Circuit LD, and LD was created to counter speed, so fast is ok, but tier 3 policy spread is probably not.

ALL EVENTS EXCEPT PARLI NEED TO KNOW NSDA RULES OF EVIDENCE (or CHSSA RULES OF EVIDENCE) OR DO NOT EXPECT ME TO COUNT IT(NSDA MINIMUM IS "NAME" AND "DATE" READ IN ROUND ) Anything else is just rhetoric/logic and 99% of the time, rhetoric vs card mans card wins.

If you have one advocacy, and you claim solvency on one advocacy, and only if it is implemented, then yeah that is a plan. I will NOT weigh offense from the plan, this is a drop the argument issue for me. Keep the resolution as broad as possible. EXCEPTION, if the resolution is (rarely) EXPLICIT, or the definitions in the round imply the affirmative side is a course of action, then that is just the resolution. EXAMPLE
September 2012 - Resolved: Congress should renew the Federal Assault Weapons Ban
the aff is the resolution, not a plan and more latitude is obviously given.

If one describes several different ways for the resolution to be implemented, or to be countered, you are not committing to one advocacy, and are defending/attacking a broad swath of the resolution, and this I do NOT consider a plan.

ALL EVENTS EXCEPT PARLI NEED TO KNOW NSDA RULES OF EVIDENCE (or CHSSA RULES OF EVIDENCE) OR DO NOT EXPECT ME TO COUNT IT(NSDA MINIMUM IS "NAME" AND "DATE" ****READ IN ROUND****) Anything else is just rhetoric/logic and 99% of the time, rhetoric vs card mans card wins.


If your plan is super vague, you MIGHT not get to claim your advantages. Saying you "increase" by merely reading the text of the resolution is NOT A PLAN. Claiming what the plan says in cx is NOT reading a plan. Stop being sloppy.

I *TRY* to be Tabula Rasa (and fail a lot of the time especially on theory, Ks and RVI/fairness whines)
I trained when it was stock issues, mandatory funding plan spikes (My god, the amount of times I abused the grace commission in my funding plank), and who won the most nuclear wars in the round.

Presentation skills: Stand in SPEECHES AND CX and in all events with only exception in PF grand.

Please don't diss my event.
I ran
Glassification of toxic/nuclear wastes, and Chloramines on the H2O topic
Legalize pot on the Ag topic
CTBT on the Latin america topic.

In many years I have never voted neg on K (in CX), mainly because I have never seen an impact (even when it was run in POFO as an Aff).(Ironic given my LD background)

I will freely vote on T if it is run properly (but not always XT), and have no problem buying jurisdiction......
I HAVE finally gotten to judge Hypo-testing round (it was fun and hilarious).
One of my students heard from a friend in Texas that they are now doing skits and non topical/personal experiece affs, feel free, BUT DON'T EXPECT ME TO VOTE FOR IT.

I will vote on good perms both ways (see what I said above about XT)

SPREAD: I was a tier B- speed person in the south. I can flow A level spread *IF* you enunciate. slow down momentarily on CITES and TAGS and blow through the card (BUT I WILL RE TAG YOUR SUBPOINTS if your card does not match the tag!!!!!!)
If you have any slurred speech, have a high pitched voice, a deep southern or NY/Jersey drawl, or just are incapable of enunciating, and still insist on going too fast for your voice, I will quit flowing and make stuff up based on what I think I hear.

I do not ask for ev unless there is an evidentiary challenge, so if you claim the card said something and I tagged it differently because YOU slurred too much on the card or mis-tagged it, that's your fault, not mine.

LD (p.s. Sep/oct 2016 pronounce NEW-CLEE-ERR *sigh*)

I WILL JUDGE NSDA RULES!!!! I am NOT tabula rasa on some theory, or on plans. Plans are against the rules of the event I judge. LD was supposed to be a check on policy spread, and I backlash, if you have to gasp or your voice went up two octaves then see below... Topicality FX-T and XT are cool on both sides but most other theory boils down to WHAAAAAAHHHH I don't want to debate their AFF so I will try to bs some arguments. It didn't work for the racism k kids in policy in the movie resolved, and drop the debater because fairness is a voter won't work either in my round (for example)

-CIRCUIT LD REFER to policy prefs above in relation to non topical and performance affs

- I LOVE PHILOSOPHY so if you want to confuse your opponent who doesn't know the difference between Kant, Maslow and Rawls, dazzle away :-).
Clear VP and VC (or if you call it framework fine, but it is stupid to tell someone with a framework they don't have a VC and vice versa, its all semantics) are important but MORE IMPORTANT is WHY IS YOURS BETTER *OR* WHY DO YOU MEET THEIRS TOO and better (Permute)

IF YOU TRY TO Tier A policy spread, or solo policy debate, you have probably already lost UNLESS your opponent is a novice. Not because I can't follow you, but because THIS EVENT IS NOT THE PLACE FOR IT!!! However there are several people who can talk CLEARLY and FAST that can easily dominate LD, If you cannot be CLEAR and FAST play it safe and be CLEAR and SLOW.....

Sub-pointing is still a good idea, do not just do broad overviews. plans and counter-plans need not apply as LD is usually revolving around the word OUGHT!!!! Good luck claiming Implementation FIAT on a moral obligation. I might interrupt if you need to be louder, but its YOUR job to occasionally look at the judge to see signals to whether or not they are flowing, so I will be signalling that, by looking at you funny or closing my eyes, or in worst case leaning back in my chair and visibly ignoring you until you stop ignoring the judge and fix the problem. I will just be making up new tags for the cards I missed tags for by actually listening to the cards, and as the average debater mis-tags cards to say what they want them to, this is not advisable.

If you have one advocacy, and you claim solvency on one advocacy, and only if it is implemented, then yeah that is a plan. I will NOT weigh offense from the plan, this is a drop the argument issue for me. Keep the resolution as broad as possible.

EXCEPTION, if the resolution is (rarely) EXPLICIT, or the definitions in the round imply the affirmative side is a course of action, then that is just the resolution. EXAMPLE
September 2012 - Resolved: Congress should renew the Federal Assault Weapons Ban
the aff is the resolution, not a plan and more latitude is obviously given.

If one describes several different ways for the resolution to be implemented, or to be countered, you are not committing to one advocacy, and are defending/attacking a broad swath of the resolution, and this I do NOT consider a plan.

I repeat, Speed = Bad in LD, and I will not entertain a counter-plan in LD If you want to argue Counterplans and Plans, get a partner and go to a policy tournament.

GOOD LUCK and dangit, MAKE *ME* HAVE FUN hahahahahah

Christian Sheerer Paradigm


I debated for four years in Public Forum on the national circuit for Flanagan in South Florida. I'm currently a freshman at Duke University. This isn't fully comprehensive of my preferences as a judge, but definitely ask me any specifics before the round and everything in Hebron Daniel's paradigm applies, especially the World Star section.

Things I like:

- Consistency between the summary and the final focus. These two speeches should be very similar in that they re-iterate the same points that you think win the round for you.

- Weighing. You're probably not going to win every single argument in the round, so I want to give me tangible reasons as to why the argument you should win the round based on is more important than your opponents'. Beyond just regular magnitude, scope probability, I really like teams who get more creative with their weighing (ex: Strength of Link, Clarity of Impact, etc). Good weighing will usually win you my ballot and give you a speaker point boost.

- Frontlining in 2nd rebuttal. The 2nd rebuttal should answer all offense, including turns.

Things I don't like:

- Speed. I spoke relatively fast when I debated but hated it. I can generally flow speed but anything close to spreading shuts me off. You can usually get the same quantity of arguments out by just improving your word economy instead of picking up your speed.

- Theory. I definitely think theory and other types of critical arguments have a place in this activity, but only in certain, very limited circumstances (ie read theory when there is clear, substantial abuse in the round). You don't need to read full shells or anything for me, I'm totally fine with paragraph theory.

- Making absurd arguments. This event tests your ability to gain and disseminate knowledge and that needs to be done with integrity. If part of what makes debate an activity is discerning between misrepresentations and realities of the world and communicating them to the general public (in a forum), then I reserve the right to disregard silly arguments that blatantly misrepresent how the world works in my attempt to tell who has done the better debating. For example, impacting strictly to GDP growth as a good thing would be an argument I could not evaluate (ask me in person for why this absolutely makes no sense).

Going for TRUTH is not as incompatible with the TECH as you'd like to think. It's harmful to think they're unequivocally at odds.

Bob Shurtz Paradigm

PF Paradigm: I am an experienced PF judge on the national circuit. I judge primarily on impacts. You need to give a clear link story backed up with logic and evidence. Framework is important. Weighing is very important. It is better to acknowledge that your opponent may be winning a certain argument and explain how the impacts you are winning outweigh than it is to ignore that argument made by your opponent. Don't extend through ink. If your opponent attacks your argument you need to respond to that attack and not just repeat your original argument. I don't mind rapid conversational speed - especially while reading evidence, but no spreading. I will keep a good flow and judge primarily off the flow, but let's keep PF as an event where persuasive speaking style, logic, evidence, and refutation are all important. Also let's keep PF distinct from national circuit LD and national circuit policy - let's avoid kritiks, disads, plans, counterplans and theory arguments.

LD Paradigm: I am an experienced LD judge. I do prefer traditional style LD. I am, however, OK with plans and counter-plans and I am OK with theory arguments concerning analysis of burdens. I am not a fan of Kritiks. I will try to be open to evaluate arguments presented in the round, but I do prefer that the debate be largely about the resolution instead of largely centered on theory. I am OK with fast conversational speed and I am OK with evidence being read a little faster than fast conversational as long as tag lines and analysis are not faster than fast conversational. I do believe that V / VC are required, but I don't believe that the V / VC are voting issues in and of themselves. That is, even if you convince me that your V / VC is superior (more important, better linked to the resolution) than your opponent's V / VC that is not enough for me to vote for you. You still need to prove that your case better upholds your V / VC than your opponent's case does. To win, you may do one of three things: (1) Prove that your V / VC is superior to your opponent's AND that your case better upholds that V / VC than your opponent's case does, OR (2) Accept your opponent's V / VC and prove that your case better upholds their V/VC than their case does. OR (3) Win an "even-if" combination of (1) and (2).

CX Paradigm: I am an experienced LD and PF judge (nationally and locally). I have judged policy debate at a number of tournaments over the years - including the final round of the NSDA national tournament in 2015. However, I am more experienced in PF and LD than I am in policy. I can handle speed significantly faster than the final round of NSDA nationals, but not at super-fast speed. (Evidence can be read fast if you slow down for tag lines and for analysis.) Topicality arguments are fine. I am not a fan of kirtiks or critical affs.

Caleb Smith Paradigm

Round Preference: Public Forum should be respected as Public Forum. Do not run a complicated Policy or Parliamentary round simulating a lawyer-judge scenario when you should be running a simple round simulating a lawyer-jury scenario.

Alyssa Turk Paradigm

I was a public forum debater in high school and have coached PF debaters since then.

I am a flow judge. I can follow speed, but I would prefer you only use it when necessary.

I have a few things you should keep in mind:

I evaluate the rounds based on the framework provided by debaters.

When extending evidence, extend the warrant not just the author (because sometimes I don't write down the tag and just the warrant).

Everything in final focus must also be in summary speech.

I do not flow crossfires. If you make an argument in crossfire or your opponent concedes an argument in crossfire, you must say it in a speech in order for me to count it.

**Although I am a flow judge, I reserve the right to forfeit my flow (and vote like a lay judge) if competitors are offensive, bullying, or just unnecessarily rude.

Jakob Urda Paradigm

Background: I competed for four years in high school for Stuyvesant. I have coached for four years for Poly Prep.

I am a flow judge. Offense should be extended in summary and the second rebuttal doesn't necessarily need to frontline what was said in first rebuttal (but in some cases, it definitely helps). Weighing in Summary and FF is key. I'll steal this line from my favorite judge, Thomas Mayes, "My ballot is like a piece of electricity, it takes the path of least resistance." I have a hard time voting on disclosure theory in PF. Have fun and be nice.

General: Debate rounds are about students so intervention should be minimized. I believe that my role in rounds is to be an educator, however, students should contextualize what that my obligation as a judge is. I default comparative worlds unless told otherwise. Slow down for interps and plan texts. Signpost please.

Teresa Uthurralt Paradigm

I started judging PF in 2016. Prior to that I judged middle school parli for 5 years.

I was a policy debater in high school and college 30 years ago, so I am comfortable flowing, can deal with real speed etc. For context, I have never heard a PF debater spread faster than I can flow. Ha! However, I am not deep on any on any technical aspects of PF---still learning :-)

Some pointers on me:

1.) Please signpost. I like to flow so I am annoyed when you do not signpost.

2.) I like evidence so I will sometimes ask to see it after the round. Don't over-represent what it says as that undermines your credibility. However, this does not mean that I don't value analysis. The best strategy involves excellent analysis backed by strong evidence.

3.) No new arguments in Final Focus.

4.) As I am a civilian judge, you should assume I know very little about the topic, i.e. what a college educated adult would know from 10 minutes of NYT reading per day. The only exception to this is business/technology as I work at a tech company on the business side. You should assume I am deep on those issues.

5.) I am lazy. I won't do anything that you don't instruct me to do. If you assume that I will connect things without you explicitly saying so, you do so at your peril.

6.) Humor is important. You get bonus points for having a sense of humor. I am kind so it counts even if you just try to have a sense of humor and aren't actually funny :-)

On a personal note, debate is the only thing I learned in high school that I have used at work every day for the past 25+ years. So great to see all of you competing!

Christian Vasquez Paradigm

*Update before Milo Cup
If you start an email chain in round, I will start speaker points for you at 28 instead of 27. The doc isn't meant to be a crutch for you to be unclear while speaking but rather to cut down on the amount of wasted time that people spend looking for evidence and also for me to check that you're actually reading cards.

Strike me if you're not going to read cards. These are cards. If I have to ask for a card at the end of the round and what you show me isn't close to that, I'm just not considering it for the round. I'll just evaluate my flow as if it wasn't there.

Telling me that you've summarized this part and that part of a 40 page PDF is ridiculous. More than half the time the article isn't about the actual debate topic and you're just hoping no one calls you out for it. Paraphrasing in public forum is out of control and it's really become intellectually dishonest.

Here's even a link to Verbatim, a macro template that works with Microsoft Word so that card cutting is really easy.

I currently am one of the assistant coaches at The Blake School in Minneapolis

Public Forum

I competed primarily in Minnesota which means I have a couple of different opinions on how the round should function.

The Split

If you are the second speaking team, I expect that you will respond to the speech that happened before yours at some point in your rebuttal. Zero split between attacking their case and rebuilding your own doesn't constitute an automatic loss or clean extensions on their part, but I'm going to be a lot less accepting of brand new answers in the second summary when the first speaking team doesn't have any time to deal with them. I'll be a lot more forgiving of extensions by the first team as long as they point out the ridiculousness of the new answers. I don't require a perfect two minutes-two minutes, but something has to be done to make the debate fair. Otherwise, the second speaking team should just win day in and day out, unless they're making continuous strategic mistakes and dropping everything on the flow.

Summary and Final Focus

The summary and final focus are shorter for a reason. Line by line debate isn't going to be great, and I'd rather half a handful of voting issues to evaluate than throwing me everything and the kitchen sink to weigh. If you're just trying to extend everything, your analysis is probably dropping off because of it. I want to see a good debate and that means you need to be weighing in depth and not making blippy arguments. If you want something to be a voting issue in the final focus, it also needs to be in the summary.

Speaker points

My average is a 27 for the losing team and a 28 for the winning team. I think speaker point inflation is pretty ridiculous these days. A 30 to me means that there is nothing I can critique about your speech and it was perfect. Somethings that can help you with getting a higher score:

A) Voting issues, not just blind extensions. Talked about this a bit up above. I want to hear real weighing in the round, and that means actually applying some form of calculus to the arguments. I think categorizing arguments into broader issues allows you to do this. Feel free to prove me wrong though, and I mean that sincerely.

B) I like clever lines of questioning. In PF this is a little bit more difficult to do, since crossfire is double-sided but I think it can still be done. You're never going to get a good opponent to concede some major point by just blatantly asking if they're wrong. Rather, asking small questions that build up and setting a trap is not just strategic, but makes me impressed as a judge

C) Jokes. I like to laugh and smile, but lately a lot of rounds have done the opposite for me.

Things that will not help your points:

A) "Off Time Roadmaps." In CX and LD there's multiple flows. In PF there's one. If your roadmap is "Their case, our case" I'm just going to knock half a speaker point off every time you say it. If you're giving one, and I still would prefer you didn't, it needs to be a weird order on the flow that might be hard to follow. That's acceptable. Otherwise you should be signposting well enough that I can follow you along normally.

B)Rudeness. Cutting off your opponent repeatedly without letting them answer isn't helpful and I don't want to see it.

C) Sexist, racist, homophobic, or otherwise hateful language. I'll drop your points to whatever the tournament forces me to stop at. If it continues in round, it'll cost you the round too.


If you are reading cards in the round, I expect that you can produce them if your opponent asks for them. This means that if you're claiming Johnson 17 says this, you can pull up that card in a reasonable time. Reasonable to me is within a minute if it's in your constructive, and within two if it's in the rebuttals or summaries. Taking anything more than that means I'm just going to wipe it off my flow. You're wasting your time, your opponents' time, and my time by not being organized. I've been judging rounds and my teams have been competing in rounds where it's taken more than ten minutes total for people to produce evidence and it's ridiculous.

If I call for a card and it's very different from what you said it claims and how it actually reads, I'm dropping it immediately from my flow. I will be explicit about what cards I'm calling for and the authors. If I'm wrong, correct me immediately. But if you show me something different than what I asked for, it's too late to change my mind.

Theory/"Progressive" arguments


I think PF debate is finally opening up to the idea that practices and norms done by some teams are abusive and hurt the educational aspect of this activity for the sake of a win. I'm now open to a variety of theory arguments, but mostly just as a check back for this type of abuse that I think is happening in far too many rounds.

Some things I'd like in a theory debate:

1. An actual shell and a prompt for multiple flows. I know I said PF is only one flow and I don't really think off-time roadmaps are useful but if we're going to adopt ideas from other forms of debate we should stick to those norms.

2. Frivolous theory isn't acceptable. Theory is the introduction of norms and habits that you think would be good for the community to accept. Discussions on paraphrasing, disclosure and even speed are acceptable debates to have between teams. Theory to win a debate based on tricks because a team dropped the shell isn't a good norm.

3. Bias I have on theory:

I default to reasonability without being told how else to evaluate dueling arguments

Disclosure is good

Paraphrasing is a terrible practice and should honestly be banned from the activity

Speed without email chains for the opposing team is exclusionary


My background in LD was to read Deont FW on most topics and when it came to Policy we read plans on the aff and DAs/CPs on the neg. The closest we got to K debate was to read generic cap bad arguments and we weren't great. The K wasn't my favorite type of argument in high school and I had little experience with it besides losing to it. That being said, as I've read more and talked to more policy teams that read these positions I'm much more open to them than I once was.

I have a couple of things that shape my thoughts on Kritikal positions:

1. I don't understand post-modernism in debate. I understand the critiques of objectivist realities and attacks against structurist understandings on power and the state but I don't necessarily follow easily what I'm supposed to do with my ballot if the pomo team is winning. I'm an idiot and my inexperience with these arguments in a competitive environment means I need you to explain them slowly and deliberately to me.

2. I need an alternative. If the team running the kritik is just a description as to why what the other team is doing is bad, that doesn't mean I necessarily vote against them. An alternative is a sign to me as a judge that I can do something because I see it as the formation of offense off what is typically a non-unique disad. Reject alternatives I think are acceptable.

Lastly I'll say that I love war scenarios in general and debates centered around questions of hegemonic power distribution. For this reason foreign policy topics are the most interesting to me even if it's not my academic background.

Rachel Williams Paradigm

8 rounds

Dr. Rachel Williams

I teach Public Forum debate and public speaking at Global Academic Commons.

In a Public Forum debate, I look for strong arguments supported with strong evidence presented in a clear manner.

I would define a strong argument as one that relates to the resolution at hand, is well-organized, and clearly states your position, using solid logic and reasoning. Quality, well-explained arguments will trump a mere quantity. Debaters should use quoted evidence to support your claims, and well-chosen, relevant evidence will strengthen, though not replace, arguments.

Effective persuasion requires credible, unbiased, strong supporting evidence. In your speeches, this includes proper citation of any evidence used, and this must include source name and date. You should use direct quotations of your evidence and must have it available when asked.

Clear communication is a consideration. I will weigh arguments only to the extent that they are clearly explained, and will discount arguments that are too fast, too garbled, or too jargon-laden to be understood.

Drew Young Paradigm

I have coached and judged a lot over the last few years, and will adhere fairly strictly to the flow. The only time I should be doing any work for anyone is if the round necessitates it by a lack of weighing or critical comparison. In those instances, I may have to make decisions, so I would prefer to always avoid that. A few general rules:

1. Anything that needs to be on the ballot, needs to be in Final Focus.

2. The first speaking team should be predicting the offense in first summary that needs to be responded to, and putting defense on it then. This ALSO means that the second speaking team has to frontline in the rebuttal. Any arguments/defense that are not in the First Summary are dropped, and any arguments that are not frontlined in the second rebuttal are dropped.

3. Summary to Final Focus consistency is key, especially in terms of the relevance of arguments, if something is going to be a huge deal, it should be so in both speeches.

Speed is fine, I'll evaluate critical arguments if they have a solid link.

I evaluate theory if it's needed, but I'm semi-skeptical of how often that really is.

Feel free to ask for anything else you need to know.

You should also probably pre-flow before the start time of the round, that will help your speaks!

Thomas Zhang Paradigm

8 rounds

Ravioli, ravioli. Give me the formuoli.


"Last changed 12/16 10:56P EST" - Tabroom

If you have any questions or concerns about my paradigm, please direct them to Kate Selig.


Creds: Kelly Zheng!

Rui Zhao Paradigm

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.

Kelly Zheng Paradigm


I did PF and International Extemp for four years for Miramonte High School both on my local circuit and on the national circuit. If my paradigm doesn't cover something, please feel free to message me on Facebook or ask me before the round.

General Stuff:

- Signpost. Please. If I don't know where you are I'll have a really hard time following you.

- I'm not a fan of offensive overviews in second rebuttal because I find them to be abusive

- If you're speaking second, I think you should frontline first rebuttal. At the very least, you should respond to turns. I find making new responses to turns in second summary a little abusive

- Be nice to your opponents!!! I cannot stand people who are rude, cocky, obnoxious, etc. in round. I will tank your speaks if you are rude

- Preflow before the round (I will be really annoyed if you don't, especially if you're flight 2)

- I don't flow cross so if something really incredible happens make sure you tell me in the next speech.

- I don't care if you sit or stand. Do whatever you're the most comfortable with

- If you need accommodations, I am happy to accommodate you. If you don't feel comfortable asking in front of your opponents, feel free to message me before the round or come up to me privately.

Summary/ FF:

- Summary and FF should mirror each other

- Defense that is frontlined in second rebuttal needs to be in first summary now (it always should've been), but defense that is unresponded to doesn't need to be extended into first summary

- Make sure you extend both warrants and impacts

- If you don't adequately weigh, I will do my own weighing and things might get a little wonky if I do that. On that note, please, please, please weigh! Judging becomes so much harder when you don't.


Feel free to go pretty fast as long as you enunciate well. That being said, please speak at a pace at which your opponents can understand you. If your opponents obviously can't understand you (regardless of whether or not they yell clear) your speaks will likely take a hit. I'll yell clear if I really need to. But even if I don't, pick up on non-verbal cues that I can't follow you (not writing, looking confused, etc.).


I will call for evidence if: 1) you tell me to, 2) the evidence is key to my decision. If you have poor evidence ethics, depending on how bad they are, either your speaks will be hit or disqualification is possible.

Creative (?) Argumentation:

I did not do policy or LD in high school and I do not consider myself a technical debater in the slightest. I quite honestly do not really understand theory or Ks, but if some form of abuse occurs in round, explain your argument well and I will try to evaluate it the best I can. But PLEASE try to save theory/ K's for when it's absolutely necessary (hint: probably don't read disclosure theory). This does not mean I will not vote on theory or a K. These arguments just need to be run in a way that I can understand. But generally, please please please don't read theory because you'll probably be unhappy with the result, sorry :(


Overall, I'm here for a fun time and I hope you have a good time too!