National Speech and Debate Season Opener hosted by UK

2018 — KY/US

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.

Stefan Bauschard Paradigm

8 rounds


The first "fossil fuel" reduction topic I debated was in 1990. I've coached 5 or 6 high school and college policy topics since then. I've probably cut 20,000 cards on this topic and issues related to it in my lifetime.

I'm old. I was at the first tournament that consult NATO was read. I was also at the first tournament that a kritik was read. Roger Solt told me about the first time someone tried to read a politics DA in the 1970s. I read the Reagan DA when I debated.

I've judged many great debates between the best debaters in all formats at all levels. I judged a novice policy team that reread their 1AC in the 2AC. I've judged elementary school kids debating about the merits of school uniforms and Coke vs. Pepsi.

The rest is covered below, especially under the Policy part in the next section.


If you make your evidence hard for the other team to access when they request it, I'l assume it is crappy. If you have good evidence, you should be proud of it. If you debate in PF and you have your evidence readily available to show the other team and you aren't lying about what it says, I'll give you at least a 29.0. If you lie about your evidence, make it hard for the other team to look at it, and you are dishonest about your evidence you cannot get more than a 28.0.

1. I think you should present strong evidence to support your arguments. I think you should directly quote evidence and have it readily available upon demand. If I ask you to see your evidence after the debate and you hand me an entire article and say, "It basically says it in these 4 pages," I'll just hand it back.

2. You need to extend arguments in Summary and FF for me to vote on them.

3. I flow.

4. You can talk as fast as you want.

5. Debater math...c'mon.

6. Weigh, compare, etc.

7. I have two kids, but that doesn't mean you have to treat me like I'm an idiot.

8. I read an awful lot about the topics and I generally read a lot.

9. If I say I'm going to judge at a tournament I show up and judge at it. I've never ghosted any debaters.

10. If you start screaming at each other in crossfire then I'll just tune out.

Policy philosophy that is applicable where relevant.

1. I don’t have any real substantive argument preferences. I do my best to let those play out in the debate as they do. Unless topicality, a theory issue, or a kritik is involved, I attempt to determine the desirability of the plan relative to the status quo or a specific alternative. I think most arguments that are presented in debates are pretty interesting.

2. Debate topics and arguments tend to repeat throughout history, so I'm familiar with most topic arguments.

3. I think the affirmative should present an advocacy that is reasonably topical. I strongly believe that non-topical affirmative debate has really hurt at least the volume of debate participation, at least at the high school level. Since I think debate is good, I wish people would debate a reasonable interpretation of the topic. "Reasonability" of any interpretation is certainly up to debate, but not advocating for the resolution in some reasonable way is going to be hard, even with me trying to listen more. That said, I'll still do my best to be fair if the situation arises, so negative teams should engage the debate.

4. Link v. Uniqueness. I don’t think that uniqueness is ever absolute and that the direction of the link *usually* has a lot bigger role to play in the debate that most people give it credit for. Certainly proposals can make things worse or better, and that increment, be it large or small, always deserves some calculus in the assessment.

5. Offense v. Defense. Offense helps, and it is USUALLY impossible to reduce the risk of an argument to zero. However, unlike many others, I do not think it is impossible.

6. Back to topicality. I’m old. I thing things have gone way too far in terms of “competing interpretations.” I think that in order for “competing interpretations” to be relevant that both sides need to have a reasonable interpretation that is grounded in a definition/contextual card. Basically, I think most Affs are topical unless they are unreasonable.

7. Theory. I think theory blocks have somewhat ruined theory debates. People can’t win theory debates because the debates are dry, stale, old and not very interesting. If you want to win a specific theory debate explain why the particular argument practice at hand significantly undermines your ability to win the debate and then convince me that I should vote against the other team for having engaged in that practice. Both of those are possible, whereas reading your great “conditionality bad” file is not.

8. Voting issues. I think if you do a good job explaining why a theory argument other than topicality is a voting issue that you can win that it is. HOWEVER, I will IGNORE the random “independent voting issue” consequence.

9. Reading along. I usually read along the speech documents. While I realize this is controversial, I'm not sure why it is desirable to know less about what is going on in the debate than the debaters do during the debate. I also closely look at evidence that is being discussed in the CX. That said, I can more about how debaters use the evidence and won't independently evaluate its strengths unless I'm forced to choose between two arguments and offered little guidance.

10. I'm old and prefer, "flow, line by line" debate.

11. I think the 1NR is a rebuttal and should not be full of new arguments.

12. I prefer less aggressive communication styles and that debaters just focus on the arguments. I realize that these styles my persuade others, I'm just simply not persuaded by them.

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!

Ozan Ergungor Paradigm


and don't give off-time roadmaps

i begged you


you didn’t

and you


-rupi kaur

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--an '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.**

Ryley Hartwig Paradigm


- 3 years national circuit PF at American Heritage-Plantation in Florida (2013-2016)

- 2 years policy debate at FSU (2016-2018)

- 2 years coaching PF for Capitol Debate (2017-current)


- Do anything you want to do in terms of argumentation. It is not my job as a judge in a debate community to exclude certain forms of argumentation. There are certain arguments I will heavily discourage: Ks read just to confuse your opponent and get an easy win, theory read to confuse your opponent, anything that is racist, classist, transphobic, xenophobic, sexist, ableist, etc. I will not immediately drop you for trying to confuse your opponent, I might for the latter half. The threshold for trying to confuse your opponents will be if you refuse to answer crossfire questions or give answers that everyone knows aren't legit.

- The most frequently asked questions I get are "can you handle speed?" and "how do you feel about defense in first summary/does the second speaking team need to cover responses in rebuttal?" To the first, if you are spreading to make this event in accessible to your opponents, I will give you no higher than a 20 in speaks. I am fine with spreading, but if either your opponents or I clear you, I expect you to slow down. If your opponents need to clear you 3 or more times, I expect you send them a speech doc (if you had not already done that). To the second, I do not care. It is probably strategic to have defense in first summary/ respond to first rebuttal in second rebuttal, but if you do not do that, I'm not going to say it has magically become a dropped argument.

- K's are cool, theory is cool. You need to know what you are talking about if you read these. You should be able to explain it to your opponents. If you are doing performance stuff give me a reason why. You should be prepared for the "we are doing PF, if you want to do performance why not go back to policy" debate.

- I default to whatever debaters tell me to default to. If you are in a util v structural violence framing debate, you better have reasons to defend your side. I do not default "util is trutil" unless it is won as an argument.

- Sound logic is better than crappy cards.

- The TKO is in play. If you know, you know.

- Speaker points will be reflection of your skill and my scale will remain consistent to reflect that. The average is between a 28.2-28.5. If you are an average debater, or your performance is average in round, that is what you should expect. Do not expect a 30 from me unless the tournament does not do halves.

Any questions:


Or you can ask me before the round.

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.

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.

Josh Schulster Paradigm

*Last updated 11/7/19*


Schools Attended: Boca '16, FSU '20

Teams Coaching/Coached: Capitol, Boca

Competitive History: 4 years of PF in high school, 2 years of JV policy and 2 years of NPDA and Civic Debate in college

Public Forum Paradigm:

TL;DR: You do you.


1) Tech > Truth. If you have strong warrants and links and can argue well, I'll vote off of anything. Dropped arguments are presumed true arguments. I'm open to anything as long as you do your job to construct the argument properly.

2) The first speaking team in the round needs to make sure that all offense that you want me to vote on must be in the summary and final focus. Defense in the rebuttal does not need to be extended, I will buy it as long as your opponents don't respond and it is extended in the final focus. The second speaking team needs to respond to turns in rebuttal and extend all offense and defense you want me to vote on in BOTH the summary and the final focus.

3) If you start weighing arguments in rebuttal or summary it will make your arguments a lot more convincing. Easiest way to my ballot is to warrant your weighing and tell me why your arguments are the most important and why they mean you win the round.

4) I don't vote on anything that wasn't brought up in final focus.


Frameworks need clear warrants and reasons to prefer. Make sure to contextualize how the framework functions with the rest of the arguments in the round.


I will listen to any theory arguments as long as a real abuse is present. Don't just use theory as a cheap way to win, give me strong warrants and label the shell clearly and it will be a voter if the violation is clear. Also, if you're going to ask me to reject the team you better give me a really good reason.

If you are running theory, such as disclosure theory, and you want it to be a voter, you need to bring it up for a fair amount of time.


I was primarily a K debater when I competed in policy in college, so I am familiar with how they function in round. However, I don't know all the different K lit out there so make sure you can clearly explain and contextualize.

Offense v. Defense:

I find myself voting for a risk of offense more often than I vote on defense. If you have really strong terminal impact defense or link defense, I can still be persuaded to vote neg on presumption.


I hate being in a position where I have to do work to vote for a team. Tell me why your argument is better/more important than your opponents and why that means I should vote for you. Strength of link and/or impact calc is encouraged and appreciated.

Evidence Standard:

I will only call for cards if it is necessary for me to resolve a point of clash or when a team tells me to.


- If I find you offensive/rude I will drop your speaks relative to the severity of the offense.

- I take everything into consideration when giving speaks.

- The easier you make my decision, the more likely you are to get high speaks.


- I'm fine with speed, but if you're going to spread send out speech docs.

- Keep your own time.

- I will disclose if the tournament allows me, and feel free to ask me any questions after my RFD.

- I only vote off of things brought up in speeches.

Bottom line: Debate is supposed to be fun! Run what you want just run it well.

If you have any questions email me at or ask me before the round.

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.

Shane Stafford Paradigm

The Blake School (Minneapolis, MN) I am the director of debate where I teach communication and coach Public Forum and World Schools. I also coach the USA Development Team and Team USA in World Schools Debate.

Public Forum

Some aspects that are critical for me

1) Be nice and respectful. Try to not talk over people. Share time in crossfire periods. Words matter, think about what you say about other people. Attack their arguments and not the people you debate.

2) Arguments must be extended in each speech. This idea of "sticky defense" and not answering arguments in the second rebuttal doesn't understand how debate works. A debater can only make strategic choices about their speech if they base it on what was said in the speech previous to them.

3) Read evidence. I don't accept paraphrasing -- this is an oral activity. If you are quoting an authority, then quote the authority. A debater should not have to play "wack a mole" to find the evidence you are using poorly. Read a tag and then quote the card, that allows your opponent to figure out if you are accurately quoting the author or over-claiming the evidence.

4) Have your evidence ready. If an opponent asks for a piece of evidence you should be able to produce it in about 60 seconds. At two minutes or so, I'm going to just say the evidence doesn't count in the round because you can't produce it. If I say the card doesn't count then the card doesn't count in the round. If you say you can't produce the card then you risk losing. That is called fabrication to cite evidence and then not be able to produce it. If I ask for a card after the round and you can't produce it, again you risk losing the round. Good evidence practices are critical if this format is to rely on citing authorities.

5) I tend to be a policymaker. If there is no offense against trying a new policy then I suggest we try the new policy as it can't hurt to try. Offense is important for both sides.

6) Use voting issues format in summary and final focus. Learn that this allows a clear story and weighing. A voting issue format includes links, impacts, and weighing and provides clarity to just "our case/their case". You are still doing the voting issues on "their flow" or "our flow".

7) Lead with labels/arguments and NOT authors. Number your arguments. For example, 1) Turn UBI increases wage negotiation -- Jones in 2019 states "quote"

8) Racist, xenophobic, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and other oppressive discourses or examples have no place in debate.

Enjoy the debate and learn from this activity, it is a great one.