The Hilltopper Classic

2018 — Milwaukee, WI/US

Pamela Brown Paradigm

For the duration of the LD debate round, I expect both competitors to respect and uphold the rules and regulations established by the WDCA.  Should any competitor fail to comply with rules and regulations, the results will be an automatic loss for the round, and/or disqualification.  Respectful consideration should be taking during cross-examination and prep.  Each competitor has the right to allow or decline sharing of case evidence; however, should any of the competitors refuse to answer their opponents questions, the result will be an automatic deduction in positional speaker marks.


The most important strategy to remember; voters in the rebuttal is a vote for all mankind!  Although standard impacts and observations may be compelling in the 1A, the affirmative must provide a value and criterion to insure strong voting and education within the round.  Failure to extend or address any established framework throughout the rebuttal is a high-risk voter for both the affirming and negating competitor.  Should either competitor provide a “burden”, supplement to the framework, I suggest they account for the extra baggage before exiting the rebuttal.  Competitors are allowed to share (encompass) the same value or criterion. The wash reverts to weighted impacts in the RFD.


It would be a shame not to end all arguments in extinction.  With that being said, uniqueness/ links/ warrants to impacts are the cherries on top of the RFD.  Impacts should have clear relevance to the value and criterion.  An Impact turn makes me want to do a happy dance; favorably considered within the RFD.  All negative competitors beware!  Refusing to address the affirmative in any way, even by part of establishing a progressive counter, IS LAME!!  “Best for education” arguments are a time suck, and the RFD will likely flow affirmative.


In a nutshell…  voter gooooood!  Debating the affirmative gooooood!  Become the cherry.  Be the cherry.

Nnamdi Carter Paradigm

I am an impacts judge I like to see how impacts beat out other impacts. In other words, why does your case outweigh your opponents, why is your side more important, or better yet why should I care. I dislike speed, but I can flow it to a certain extent, and I will give you verbal cues if you are too fast. Other than the two aforementioned preferences I am pretty open.

Souleymane Drame Paradigm

8 rounds

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Sophia Ellinas Paradigm

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Josh Evers Paradigm

Um, so, like, so, ummmm, so ... yeah.

He/Him/His pronouns

Add me to the email chain or involve me in flash trades ->

I guess I should put my experience here:

I debated 3 years at Appleton East in PF, competing both in state and in the national circuit. Since graduation (2-3 years now), I have coached LD mainly on the national circuit.

General beliefs

How to win my ballot

I default to an offense-defense paradigm to evaluate rounds (maybe that's bad, terminal defense is a thing, but I generally have a high threshold for terminal d). This has a few implications for how I make my decision. First, I love turns, especially if they are not just blips in the rebuttal. I will happily just vote on your opponents' case if you turn each of their arguments and extend those turns. Second, if you only extend defensive arguments and your opponent extends one offensive argument I will vote for them even if they do not point that out.

Above all, I try not to intervene. I do as little work for you as possible, I flow very well, and I put a lot of thought into my decision. I judge because I like doing it and I think Public Forum specifically needs more flow judges that want to be there.


I do not care about how fast you talk in PF or local LD. For nat circuit LD, I can usually handle a 7-8 dependent on how tired or hungry I am (If it is an 8 am round, I'll prolly be a bit rusty so that that with a grain of salt). If I can't understand you, I will yell "Clear" (yeah, this almost never happens, y'all are pretty good at understanding when I'm tired). Jargon is good as it usually helps me understand what you are saying. If it stops being helpful, my expression will let you know.


I guess I'm kinda picky about extensions. Just saying "extend this piece of evidence" is not gonna be enough in my eyes. I will only extend evidence that is warranted, especially if it is key to your offense.


I will reward debaters for clarity, humor, tech skill, strategy, and topic knowledge. Here is my scale: 30 - You were amazing, I will remember your performance six months after the round. 29 - You were great, I was impressed by your performance, but not overwhelmed. 28 - You were good, but there is room for improvement. 27- You were below average or didn't disclose :[ . 26 - You were not so good. 25 and below - You said something offensive.


Technical Beliefs about PF

EVIDENCE (updated 4/28/19)

- I've done a lot of thinking about evidence quality in PF specifically. I've come to the realization that paraphrasing is not just bad for the debate community (because it allows for power-tagging, misconstruing evidence, the whole shebang) it is also intellectually dishonest and should be punished. If you paraphrase cards in front of me in the constructive or rebuttal, I will regard that evidence as an analytic that has no empirical backing and you will likely get an L. If you don't have a card cut and instead pull up a pdf that makes it impossible to determine what you actually read in the round, I will also consider that an analytic and you will likely get an L. This is not negotiable. Cut cards, ask your coach the proper formatting, and PF will be much better. Strike me if you don't want to engage in norms that every other form of debate has practiced since at least the 70's.


- In order for me to evaluate arguments in the final focus, they MUST be in the summary. This includes offense from case, turns from the rebuttal or defense you want to extend. If you want to win with me at the back of the room, you must be consistent.


- I do not believe that that second speaking team must return and answer the entirety of the first rebuttal as the time skew is much too great. I do think that this second speaking team should adapt to the round and answer major offense that could be damning to them in the speech.


- Plans and counterplans have their own place in PF and if justified by the language in the resolution - I'm okay with. I am not very sympathetic to "you can't have a plan/counterplan in PF" or other rules based arguments unless well laid out. Impact the breaking of the rules by the opposing team or find a better argument against it.


- I am in favor of unconventional argumentation. As a debater, I frequently made arguments about nuclear war and extinction. I am happy to vote for big (albeit unrealistic) impacts as long as there is a solid link chain. I will vote for any type of argument, including critiques, performances, plans, theory, etc. and have had some decent experience evaluating these types of arguments in national circuit LD. Read my LD paradigm for thoughts on those more progressive arguments.

- I am not in favor of violent argumentation. I will not vote for racist, sexist, homophobic, or other oppressive arguments, and I might intervene against teams making them. A surefire way to ensure that I vote against a team making an oppressive argument is to say: "As a judge you have an ethical obligation to vote against arguments like these because they exact violence on people that you are supposed to protect in this space."

- PF specifically needs more T/Theory arguments. Too many of y'all are getting away with really bad interpretations of debate. I am not afraid to pull the trigger on disclosure good arguments and if you're not disclosing, particularly on the national circuit, you're going to have a rough time with me at the back of the room. Spending the extra minute to disclose your positions is not that tough and has never hampered good debates in LD and Policy. I expect the same in PF.

More evidence stuff that won't cost you an L but might lower you speaks

- During the round evidence should be exchanged quickly and often. I prefer to use an email chain at the beginning of rounds (yes, even in pf - y'all gotta stop power tagging every damn card you read), but if you don't, evidence will be exchanged off of prep time unless they read it during a speech or crossfire. If a team does not have a piece of evidence available I will disregard it. I will call for evidence if not in an email chain after the round in four scenarios.

First, if during the round a debater tells me to look at specific evidence I will ask to see it. If the evidence is misrepresented I will reevaluate the argument that the evidence relates to as though it had never been read, which likely means that I will no longer be comfortable voting on that argument.

Second, if you cite a piece of evidence that I have read and it is blatantly misrepresented I'll want to see it to see who has the correct interpretation. For example, if a debater reports the wrong date for an event for which I know the correct date, provided that the date matters for the argument and the argument is made a voting issue, I'll need to see the source. In this case, do not be tempted to falsify the date on the evidence, I will google it to make sure that what you give me matches the actual evidence.

Third, I'll call for a piece of evidence if it's obviously false. For instance, I might want to read evidence that states that during the round global nuclear war broke out and everyone outside of the room is dead.

Fourth, if there is a "tie" I will ask for evidence from both teams. (This occurs when neither team weighs any of their arguments, extends clean offense, or has an obviously bigger impact.) If either team has misrepresented evidence pertaining to their key arguments I will vote against them. If each team has a similar quality of evidence I will intervene in the best way I can.

Ok, if you’re a pfer, this is where you can check out (read the bottom if y'all feel like getting some extra speaker points tho).


Great, you made it this far, congrats.


Bad topicality debates are just the negative whining that “the aff is obviously untopical because we didn’t have any evidence prepared against it.” This is not a winning argument whatsoever. To more easily win a T debate, debaters should have two things:

1. A clear, exclusive interpretation of the resolution. This doesn't necessarily need to be carded.

2. An impact showing why your interpretation is better, whether that be a clear disadvantage to the opposing team’s interp or advantages to your interpretation. This includes clear impact calculus and comparison to outline which definition is superior for the activity and why.

I usually don't default to reasonability but can be persuaded to fit check interps. I often find myself in debates where t isn't really an issue, but often times negatives don't realize when they are ahead on the t debate. Either way, do what you do.


Bad, cheaty cp's are really bad, but good ones I really enjoy hearing. Don't be afraid to go for the PIC, process, or consult CP if the aff undercovers it. Don't let my predispositions decide the debate, particularly when the flow dictates it. Counterplan theory is a good way to answer this. I default to rejecting the argument and not the debater. Also, seeing as people in state (WI) don't really run counterplans that well, I need to hear a net benefit to the aff. If you don't have that it's going to be an uphill battle to win my ballot.


I am not here to listen to Jake Nebel's stupid nonhypocritical theory. If you read that in front of me I will not be happy. (This is also the same dude that says stock issues like T and Theory shouldn't be a voting issue in LD. Stop listening to the garbage he spouts.)

I weigh theory in an offense-defense paradigm. If the negative gives some crappy answer to a theory argument that only has defense, don't be afraid to go for it. If you have the only offense, you'll win. Generally, I think theoretical objections are a reason to reject the argument (except for condo), but I can be persuaded otherwise if you show me a reason how the other team has caused irreparable damage to the fairness of the round. I don’t think that theory necessarily comes down to a debate of competing interpretations as it should in T debates, but if a question comes up as to where a bright line should be drawn between what is (for example) a process counterplan and what is not, you should be prepared to provide that bright line so that your theoretical objection has a clear basis as to what is and what is not legitimate. I do believe the negative in particular gains a lot from defending an interpretation of what is legitimate (especially as it pertains to conditionality). Additionally, slow down on the theory debate. I don't have your old ass condo block file in front of me like you do. If you just blow through like 5 subpoints in just as many seconds, I will probably not catch all of it. If I don't catch it, I won't be flowing the "extension" of it in later speeches.


Typically, I see K debates as a double-edged sword. Usually, teams either are great at what they’re doing and have blocked responses to typical 2AC answers and know how to employ those responses at later points in the debate OR a team throws together a 1NC shell and thinks if they say “it’s better to have no life than to live one with no value” enough times then they win. Don’t be the latter team. On the other hand, affirmatives should be far less fearful of the K. It truly isn’t all that much more than a uniqueness counterplan and a generic disad (most of the time). That being said here are the things I should see from a successful negative team debating the K:

1. A clear explanation of what the alternative does and why it solves

2. A link that is specific to the affirmative

3. An impact that is explained as per the context of the debate; the impact debate is oft-ignored by the negative

An explanation of an alternative shouldn’t just be “we break down capitalism.” You need to explain to me how. If I don’t know what the world of the alt is like it makes it hard for me to vote on it. A link specific to the affirmative should be more than just cherry-picking a representation from an impact in the 1AC. Tell me specifically how the aff presentation of that representation is especially problematic. The impact is where this debate is won and lost. Whether the impact comes from extinction, turning aff solvency, structural violence, etc. you need to tell me why your impact is worse in the context of what the impact to the affirmative is. Just because you’re reading a K doesn’t excuse you from doing impact calc. Do your K tricks and whatnot too. Floating PIKs, serial policy failure, etc.

K affs

I'm cool with them. I have had limited experience running and judging k affs, so take that with a grain of salt. T/Fw is usually a good response to K Affs, but that may just be my experience speaking.

As far as clash of rev debates go, I have little experience adjudicating or debating them. I'll try to judge them as best I can and have judged a fair number of them on the LD nat circuit, but do not construe that with me being comfortable with them (though I will try my best to interfere as little as possible)


A good disad should have a clear link and impact and be able to turn the impacts to the affirmative. It's cool if they act as the net benefit to the cp or on its own. Using the DA to turn the case is prolly a good thing. I love a good politics DA debate (but this congress is weird so the link and il is gonna be crucial to win).

Phil, Skep, and the like

- yeah, so ummmm...

- This is the thing I am least comfortable adjudicating. I'll evaluate it the best I can and have voted on phil plenty of times, so don't discourage that from letting you do your thing, but ... yeah.

One last thing,

"'"If you haven't disclosed you will not get above a 27."- Akhil Jalan' - Kedrick Stumbris" - Joshua Evers.

- Plz put me on the email chain -->


Judge person

Justin Flynn Paradigm

Short Version

I have ten years of debate experience and will buy any argument, as long as it is well structured. I am known to be a very progressive judge, but I do love a good traditional debate as well. Most importantly have fun in a round!

Long version

Framework: Please tell me how the framework contextualizes your offense / defense in relation to the ballot and/or the round. I require framework to also contextualize how your opponents arguments are implicated by your Framework arguments.

Argument Resolution: I reward debaters who clearly articulate and provide reasons why their warrants, impacts, sources are stronger in this round – Impact calc and voters are great ways to do this. Debaters who provide well warranted arguments on the flow that are developed early and throughout the debate get both high speaks from me and my ballot.

Theory: I vote on well developed procedurals, I do not vote on blipped shells that blow up later in the debate so have voters and standards don’t just give me an interp and violation - this isn't to say don't run T in front of me but rather that you need to provide me a well developed justification for why to prefer your side. Focus on impacts through a education/fairness filter will be the easiest way to my ballot on this issue. I do hate it when teams use theory as a time suck.

K debate: I have read and actively coach a lot of critical debate but you should not however assume I know the literature base you will be pulling from, feel free to ask prior to the start of the round about my familiarity. The more specific your argument is to the round or issue at hand then the easier route you will have to my ballot. I usually am not a fan of Perm because it can make the debate muddy. I do love conditionality debate.

Disadvantages: Disads are my favorite off case argument. I evaluate Disads first on the risk of intrinsic link to the AFF before questions of uniqueness and the way this implicates the affirmative, this isn't to say questions of uniqueness don't implicate the link but questions of link comes first and then are determined to be strengthened / weakened by the uniqueness. - Work done on the impact level to have strong warrants as well as good weighing are an easy way to my ballot.

Counter Plan: My second favorite off case argument to see. Make sure they are mutually exclusive and AFF can’t perm. Also I hate Perm debate usually on CP because it is either an easy win or waste of my time. I think overall Cp play well with Disads and are a easy way for NEG to win my ballot.

Speed: I am perfectly fine with speed usually I will only yell clear once and it is because you are not speaking clearly.

Flashing: Add me to the email chain, my RFD will be better if you do.

Kris Glanville Paradigm

8 rounds

Convince the citizen in the town square of the validity of your argument, and you win in public forum. I am just a citizen.

Kimberly Herrera Paradigm

Kimberly Herrera

Brookfield Central High Scool

Brookfield, WI

Experience: 4 years judging; 1 year policy, 3 years LD/PF

In an LD round, whoever achieves the accepted value and value criterion better will win the round. I’m traditional in that I do like you to debate the framework. Don’t ignore it and flow it through the round.

I value clash. That goes for all divisions. Make sure you’re attacking your opponent’s case equally to defending yours. Give me line-by-line analysis and impact analysis. It’s nice if you tell me your voters, but if you don’t, I’ll fall back to the framework debate and decide who achieves it better. I don't like theory arguments, unless you can make it clear on what the theory is and explain it thoroughly.

In policy I flow all arguments. I look for solvency in the round. If there is no solvency then I'll weigh the round based on impacts. Counterplans are okay, I’m less familiar with Kritiks. If you’re going to run it, make sure you explain it well.

I don’t prefer speed. I can handle it to an extent but be clear and enunciate. If you’re going too fast I’ll tell you. I do allow using your phone as timers.

I will only disclose if I know my decision. If I do not know my decision, I will let the students go while I look through my flow and decide.

I also dont give oral critiques, i will write them on the ballot.

Brandon Largin Paradigm

My history with debate is 4 years of PF in highschool up to 2012 and I have been judging both PF and LD since then.

In general I prefer the standard debate methodology, Other styles of argumentation are fine, but if they aren't run well or detract from the overall debate experience I am far less likely to pick them up.

Please do not sacrifice clarity for the sake of speed, if I can't figure out what you are saying I cannot flow, should this be the case I will verbally request for clarity, if it persists beyond that point my ability to flow will be impacted. That said, I am generally fine with a moderate amount of speed when clear.

I am perfectly fine should you wish to use a cellular device for a timer or a laptop or tablet as a document reader / note taker.

I appreciate brief roadmaps prior to giving a speech, which I will not time.

Impacts/voters/solvency and the like are particularly relevent without the internal comparisons provided by the debate, I am left to weigh from a complete external view, Its often best to frame to end of the round to promote that the major foci are perceved as you wish them to be.

Over the course of the debate I expect interaction between debaters, without back and forth the overall quality of the debate is diminished and it becomes harder to judge.

As for speeker points, professionalism is highly encouraged, try to stay organized and track your own time, I will be doing so as well but having good tempo and structure to arguments vastly improves a speeches cogency. Additionally if you come across as disrespectful or rude you take away from the debate experience and I am inclined to take away speeker points.

If you have any questions feel free to ask before the round starts, (note: i will only answer if all relevent people are present)

Jake Mikic Paradigm

Speed is fine so long as what you say is understandable, don't sacrifice clarity for the purposes of spreading. Strong logical arguments upheld by sound evidence is essential, and statements that are blatantly false are massive checks against you (don't try to tell me Egypt built the Great Wall of China). I will only disclose when the tournament requires and only give oral critiques when I think they are absolutely necessary, and usually not at end of year tournaments like NFL's, CFL's, or State.

Andie Peterson Paradigm thats my email before you ask.

Experience: I am currently the head coach for Neenah high school and have been a coach for debate the last 5 years. This is my fourth year as a judge ('19-'20). I judge all categories, except varsity policy. I was not a debater in school, so I have a more basic understanding of the more obscure things that go on in debate.

"I have 5 minutes and wanted to check your paradigm quick, whats the headlines?"

I wasn't a debater- explain things clearly or I drop arguments I don't understand.

***note on that- I understand the terms of debate (link, turn, impact, etc), just not more niche philosophies and less popular arguments***

Be nice to each other- respect will get you far with me

Impact calc and weighing of final arguments is the best strat with me

Don't argue with me in rfd. If I drop you and you think you should have won, explain it better next time.

I can handle post-nov level speeds for spreading, but thats it.

Use a timer, and stick to it- I hate it when kids go over time. I stop flowing within 5 seconds of the end of your time.

See below for more in-depth explanations

Public Forum

Preferences: Please be clear and professional in round. I hate that the attitudes and behaviors seen in other styles is seeping into PF. As noted in other sections, I was not a debater, so don't expect me to know every single term you share. Generally, if i make a somewhat confused face, define your term.

A few things I love to see: Please, collapse arguments. It's so awesome to watch a veteran team (or even a novice team) weigh arguments and determine the largest impacts and points in the round and weigh them against each other, rather than slowly increase their speed in through the debate to try and get every single argument in to the last speech.

A few things I hate in rounds: Veteran debaters being overly hard on novices- we want to keep them in the activity, don't discourage them by running super dense over the top arguments- you will probably win if you just run a standard argument simply by being more experienced. "Stealing" prep- if you need prep take it, don't make me sit for 35 seconds and then tell me you're taking prep.

Lincoln Douglas

Preferences: I’m generally tabs. I will flow everything and I will say clear if necessary, but only once before I stop flowing you. I was not a debater, so my knowledge of progressive arguments is lacking. Let me say that again. I WAS NOT A DEBATER- EXPLAIN WHAT YOU MEAN. I encourage you to run whatever you like, but explain it very well, especially if it is not something common. Err on the side of caution if you are not sure if it is common- like I said I am not well versed in most of the different arguments. In terms of speed I judge a lot of policy, so I would say I am comfortable with most speeds seen in LD- like a 6/10 if I had to rate it.

A few things I love to see in round: Impact calc- it is the most important thing to me; please weigh & please tell me how to vote so I don’t have to intervene in any capacity. I also like to see super high respect for your opponent. This is such an underrated part of PF that is not nearly as present in LD or Policy, and it totally should be.

A few things I hate in rounds: Swearing- This seems like an obvious one, but is lacks professionalism if it is not needed to actually make the points. "Stealing" prep- if you need prep take it, don't make me sit for 35 seconds and then tell me you're taking prep. Veteran debaters being overly hard on novices- we want to keep them in the activity, don't discourage them by running super dense over the top arguments- you will probably win if you just run a standard argument simply by being more experienced. Finally- straight theory arguments- its done to death, and isn't really making either debater better. I will still pick you up if it wins, but I would prefer to see more educational rounds. Last thing: if you run a "fairness" argument that you couldn't prep against your opponent and then you have a case against your opponent, expect me to completely drop your fairness argument. You just proved that you lied about the fairness.


Preferences: I do not like any tricks or unprofessional behavior in round. I prefer not to hear teams talking to each other while their opponents are presenting, as it is distracting to me as a judge. Open speeches are a no-go. If you don't have your own stuff ready, then take prep time. If you're out of prep time, organize yourself better next time.

I am fine with spreading, (probably a 6/10 for speed) however if you are not understandable, I will only tell you clear two times before I stop flowing you. Please be aware of your own speaking issues- for example, if you have braces and rubber bands, you probably should not spread, since you will be almost unintelligible. On the topic of spreading- I understand it is a strategy to get as many arguments in as possible, but be aware that a large breadth of arguments you do not understand is basically useless.

Impact calc is huge for me. If I don't clearly hear you explain why your impacts are bigger or more important, I judge completely by what is on my flow. DA's and CP's are fine in a round, and good experience for a novice/Post nov. I always flow cross x, and keep track of questions asked. I do not want to see a framework in novice policy.

Misc. Stuff for any style debate:

-I am not about speaker points- I think its a really biased system, but I do it because its required. I would not consider myself generous with points, but I try to be fair with the way the system is set up. That said, if you’re mean to your opponent I will substantially dock your speaks. If you can’t control your round without being disrespectful there is something wrong.

-I usually flow CX. I find it to be one of the more telling parts of any round about who has stronger arguments and better understands the content

-Please understand whatever you’re running before you run it in front of me- it is super frustrating to hear kids hem and haw about defining terms when they didn't take time to understand what they are saying.

-I dislike timing rounds and I've found I'm extremely inaccurate. I will keep time, but it is best if we have multiple timers going to ensure accuracy. Please time yourselves and hold your opponent accountable so that I don't have to.

Peter Rehani Paradigm

Peter Rehani

UPDATED 11/15/19: Clarified evidence policy and paradigm comprehension reward.

UPDATED 5/25/19 for NCFL NATIONALS SPECIFICALLY: Regarding prep time, I will allow 10 seconds for teams to find cards under the requester’s prep time; after that, I will consider it an abuse of prep time and therefore it will not count.

PF TLDR: Heavily flow based judge. My biggest voters rely on extensions and clash in the round. Weigh and define the voters in the final focus. If you have a framework, I expect you to explain why you win under that framework (similarly, if your opponent's provide a framework, weigh under that too). Signpost. Signpost. Signpost.

Congress TLDR: I try to weigh speaking style equally for debate--for debate, I look for clash, extension, and clear reference back to previous speakers. Avoid rehash at all costs, else you will end up on the bottom of my ballot. Speak clearly and ensure that your speeches are clear and well structured.

I strongly encourage you to read this thoroughly. PLEASE ASK ME BEFORE THE ROUND IF SOMETHING IS UNCLEAR TO YOU. I will gladly answer any questions before the round (or after the round). I will try my absolute best to justify my decisions to you (debaters!) during PF disclosure, and if I'm not communicating in a way that you understand, it is YOUR responsibility speak up and let me know.

PF Paradigm:

  • If the tournament doesn't explicitly disallow plans and both teams agree before the round to allow plans, feel free to run a plan-based debate if the topic calls for it. I find it more educational.
  • In the case of an evidence question being called, I default to tournament rules; barring specific guidelines from the tournament (if tournaments require prep to be run), my policy is to begin prep as soon as the opposing team provides the exact location of the reference. All citations should include dates. Paraphrasing is a realistic way to get more evidence on the flow, but you shouldn't be using evidence as your argument -- they are there to supplement and support your arguments. Otherwise I default to not running prep for evidence exchange.
  • If it's not in the final focus, it's not a voter.
  • I appreciate effective crossfire, however I don't flow it unless you explicitly tell me to write something down, like a specific concession (hint: you should do this, explicitly say "write that down").
  • I am inclined to reward good communication with speaker points and a mind more receptive to your arguments.
  • Outside of the fact that the 2nd overall speech is allowed to just read case, I expect FULL case/off-case coverage in EVERY speech starting with the 2nd rebuttal (4th overall speech) -- i.e. extend everything that you want weighed. The 1st rebuttal (3rd overall speech) doesn't need to extend case -- they just need to refute the opposing case.
  • Exception to the above: Framework. If you're speaking second, don't wait until 15 minutes into the round to tell me your framework. You're obligated to make those arguments in case. I vastly prefer to see framework at the top of all speeches, as it provides structure and a lens to understand your arguments--if you wait 1:30 into summary to discuss framework, it's likely that I'll lose it on the flow.
  • For rebuttal, my general preference for the sake of sanity in organization is concise, top down, line by line responses. I feel that this is often the best way to ensure that you get through everything in the case. Rebuttal does not have to repeat everything, but should provide organized responses. Please signpost.
  • I am very likely not the judge you want if you're running a non-canonical strategy, like a "kritik". I am an engineer and I have a fairly rigid policymaker paradigm.
  • I don't flow anything called an "overview". Overviews are heuristic explanations to help me make sense of the round. Please don't expect to generate offense off of an overview.
  • I'm fine if you'd like to time yourselves with an alarm; however, for the sake of common courtesy, please turn this off if you plan to time your opponents.
  • I am inclined to give bonus speaker points if I see an effort to "read me" as a judge, even if you read me wrong. Cite my paradigm if you need to. Learning to figure out your audience is a crucial life skill. On a related note: if you use the secret word 'lobster' in your speech, I will give you and your partner a metaphorical 0.5 extra speaker points, since it means you read my philosophy thoroughly. This applies to LD too.
  • I generally prefer debates I'd be able to show to a school administrator and have them be impressed by the activity rather than offended or scared.
  • Please give me voter issues in the final focus. Weigh if at all possible. When I weigh for you, hell breaks loose. I cannot stress this enough.

Congress Paradigm:

  • I try to judge congressional debate through as balanced a lens as possible--this means I tend to value speaking quality equally to the quality of your debate abilities.
  • Typically, the biggest reason that I knock speakers down comes from non-original arguments/causing rehash in the debate. I feel that this decreases the quality of the debate and fundamentally mitigates the educational benefits of congressional debate.
  • Regarding roleplay of a true Congress, I think it adds a bit of humor to the debate and leads to more engaged speakers.
  • On the note of questioning, I prefer when students keep questions as concise as possible to avoid burying the speaker in a mountain of jargon.
  • Clash and extension (similar to my PF paradigm) are my biggest factors on the debate side--please please please introduce clash and cite the speaker that you are extending or clashing. It helps to follow the flow of the argument as you speak, and it demonstrates you're actually paying attention.
  • The later you speak in cycle, the more clash I expect to see and I judge on that metric. Similarly, I strongly dislike having 2 speeches on the same side, as it often leads to rehash. If you are speaking for the second time on the same bill, I look more closely for unique arguments and extended clash, and tend to judge these speeches slightly more harshly.
  • Extension of questioning time often leads to less speeches getting in, and ultimately means that less people get a chance to speak. For this reason, I'm typically opposed to having students extend their questioning periods.
  • For later cycle, I don't mind crystallization speeches but I do expect to see weighing and clear reference back to previous speakers.
  • As stated above, your evidence is not your argument--It serves to support your argument.
  • Speaking: gestures and clear movements add to structure and to the quality of your speech. Gesturing for the sake of gesturing, and non directed movements do not. I tend to prefer when speakers keep it simple with the style instead of over-complicating everything.
  • For authorships, sponsorships, and first negs, I tend to look at fluency breaks and time more critically, as these are speeches that should be well rehearsed ahead of time.
  • I view a logical argument that flows well to be on par with literal evidence from a perspective of supporting your arguments. This means that 1-you shouldn't be afraid to use logic in your speeches and 2-evidence debates will not hold up for me.

Ted Sanders Paradigm

For LD


Speed is fine, flash me if you're reading faster than 320 wpm

Please make good use of the framework debate, it should play heavily into impact calculus

Will vote on theory

Spikes are fine

Ks are kool

I like to see trix and creative arguments/cases

For PF

Tech over truth

Most of my experience is judging, competing in, and cleaning LD

Frontlines in summary are fine for second speaking, but please try to cover as much as of the flow as is possible, especially things you want to remain relevant

I'm ok with minimal weighing until final focus, but it needs to be extremely clear at that point

Please signpost very clearly

Clash is everything, and the simplest path to my ballot is winning over the parts of the flow where there's a lot of clash

Strike me if you're paraphrasing. It creates a ridiculous research burden for your judges and opponents. Debate cases are also necessarily not subject to the same scrutiny as published academic works, so they are not comparable.

I'm ok with speed, but I prefer to be flashed if you're going over 320wpm. That said, there's no need to be excessive with less experienced opponents

I love (brief) framework long as it's relevant to weighing or as an impact filter, but if you're second speaking it has to come up in constructive. It's acceptable in first rebuttal as long as your opponent introduced some in second constructive

In that vein, K cases are acceptable.

I have nothing against theory, but I'm still inclined to think PF rounds are too short for most full shells. Concise, well reasoned analytics will do

Tim Scheffler Paradigm

I am the head debate coach at James Madison Memorial HS (2002 - present)
I am the head debate coach at Madison West HS (2014 - present)
I was formerly an assistant at Appleton East (1999-2002)
I competed for 3 years (2 in LD) at Appleton East (1993-1996)

I am a plaintiff's employment/civil rights lawyer in real life. I coach (or coached, depending on the year) every event in both debate and IE, with most of my recent focus on PF, Congress, and Extemp. Politically I'm pretty close to what you'd presume about someone from Madison, WI.

Congress at the bottom.

I prefer a team that continues to tell a consistent story/advocacy through the round. I do not believe a first speaking team's rebuttal needs to do more than refute the opposition's case and deal with framework issues. The second speaking team ideally should start to rebuild in the rebuttal; I don't hold it to be mandatory but I find it much harder to vote for a team that doesn't absent an incredible summary. What is near mandatory is that if you are going to go for it in the Final Focus, it should probably be extended in the Summary. I will give cross-x enough weight that if your opponents open the door to bringing the argument back in the grand cross, I'll still consider it.

Rate wise going quick is fine but there should be discernible variations in rate and/or tone to still emphasize the important things. If you plan on referring to arguments by author be very sure the citations are clear and articulated well enough for me to get it on my flow.

I'm a fairly staunch proponent of paraphrasing. It's an academically more realistic exercise. It also means you need to have put in the work to understand the source (hopefully) and have to be organized enough to pull it up on demand and show what you've analyzed (or else). A really good quotation used in full (or close to it) is still a great device to use. In my experience as a coach I've run into more evidence ethics, by far, with carded evidence, especially when teams only have a card, or they've done horrible Frankenstein chop-jobs on the evidence, forcing it into the quotation a team wants rather than what the author said. Carded evidence also seems to encourage increases in speed of delivery to get around the fact that an author with no page limit's argument is trying to be crammed into 4 min of speech time. Unless its an accommodation for a debater, if you need to share speech docs before a speech, something's probably gone a bit wrong with the world.
On this vein, I've developed a fairly keen annoyance with judges who outright say "no paraphrasing." It's simply not something any team can reasonably adapt to in the context of a tournament. I'm not sure how much the teams of the judges or coaches taking this position would be pleased with me saying I don't listen to cards or I won't listen to a card unless it's read 100% in full (If you line down anything, I call it invalid). It's the #1 thing where I'm getting tempted to pull the trigger on a reciprocity paradigm.

Exchange of evidence is not optional if it is asked for. I will follow the direction of a tournament on the exchange timing, however, absent knowledge of a specific rule, I will not run prep for either side when a reasonable number of sources are requested. Debaters can prep during this time as you should be able to produce sources in a reasonable amount of time and "not prepping" is a bit of a fiction and/or breaks up the flow of the round.

Citations should include a date when presented if that date will be important to the framing of the issue/solution, though it's not a bad practice to include them anyhow. More important, sources should be by author name if they are academic, or publication if journalistic (with the exception of columnists hired for their expertise). This means "Harvard says" is probably incorrect because it's doubtful the institution has an official position on the policy, similarly an academic journal/law review publishes the work of academics who own their advocacy, not the journal. I will usually ask for sources if during the course of the round the claims appear to be presented inconsistently to me or something doesn't sound right, regardless of a challenge, and if the evidence is not presented accurately, act on it.

Speaker points. Factors lending to increased points: Speaking with inflection to emphasize important things, clear organization, c-x used to create ground and/or focus the clash in the round, and telling a very clear story (or under/over view) that adapts to the actual arguments made. Factors leading to decreased points: unclear speaking, prep time theft (if you say end prep, that doesn't mean end prep and do another 10 seconds), making statements/answering answers in c-x, straw-man-ing opponents arguments, claiming opponent drops when answers were made, and, the fastest way for points to plummet, incivility during c-x. Because speaker points are meaningless in out rounds, the only way I can think of addressing incivility is to simply stop flowing the offending team(s) for the rest of the round.

Finally, I flow as completely as I can, generally in enough detail that I could debate with it. However, I'm continually temped to follow a "judge a team as they are judging yours" versus a "judge a team as you would want yours judged" rule. Particularly at high-stakes tournaments, including the TOC, I've had my teams judged by a judge who makes little or no effort to flow. I can't imagine any team at one of those tournaments happy with that type of experience yet those judges still represent them. I think lay-sourced judges and the adaptation required is a good skill and check on the event, but a minimum training and expectation of norms should be communicated to them with an attempt to comply with them. To a certain degree this problem creates a competitive inequity - other teams face the extreme randomness imposed by a judge who does not track arguments as they are made and answered - yet that judge's team avoids it. I've yet to hit the right confluence of events where I'd actually adopt "untrained lay" as a paradigm, but it may happen sometime.

The later in the cycle you speak, the more rebuttal your speech should include. Repeating the same points as a prior speaker is probably not your best use of time.

If you speak on a side, vote on that side if there wasn't an amendment. If you abstain, I should understand why you are abstaining (like a subsequent amendment contrary to your position).

I'm not opposed to hearing friendly questions in c-x as a way to advance your side's position if they are done smartly. If your compatriot handles it well, points to you both. If they fumble it, no harm to you and negative for them. C-x doesn't usually factor heavily into my rankings, often just being a tie breaker for people I see as roughly equal in their performance.

For the love of God, if it's not a scenario/morning hour/etc. where full participation on a single issue is expected, call to question already. With expanded questioning now standard, you don't need to speak on everything to stay on my mind. Late cycle speeches rarely offer something new and it's far more likely you will harm yourself with a late speech than help. If you are speaking on the same side in succession it's almost certain you will harm yourself, and opposing a motion to call to question to allow successive speeches on only one side will also reflect as a non-positive.

A good sponsorship speech, particularly one that clarifies vagueness and lays out solvency vs. vaguely talking about the general issue (because, yeah, we know climate change is bad, what about this bill helps fix it), is the easiest speech for me to score well. You have the power to frame the debate because you are establishing the legislative intent of the bill, sometimes in ways that actually move the debate away from people's initially prepped positions.

In a chamber where no one has wanted to sponsor or first negate a bill, especially given you all were able to set a docket, few things make me want to give a total round loss, than getting no speakers and someone moving for a prep-time recess. This happened in the TOC finals two years ago, on every bill. My top ranks went to the people who accepted the responsibility to the debate and their side to give those early speeches.

Dawn Siegel Paradigm

Not Submitted

Kaija Snyder Paradigm

jan 13 20

TL;DR: Do whatever you're in for. Don't care if or where you sit/stand. I'm good with speed. I like everything but I pref more progressive stuff and I'm bored of theory (which is maybe a product of inexperience/a lack of complete understanding: I didn't go to camp and my circuit experience is generally ~3 tournaments/year). I default to offense/defense/util. Magnitude of impacts should be adjusted to the standard (assuming it's not some variation of util) but if you don't do that work understand that I won't either. Put me on the email chain ( Don't read graphic depictions of sex abuse in front of me and don't be an asshole. I'm not going to time you. She/her/hers.


Experience: I graduated from Neenah (WI) in 2016. My freshman and sophomore years, I debated v e r y sporadically in PF, and transitioned to LD as a junior to compete much more seriously and competitively in and out of WI for the rest of my career. I started coaching Neenah post graduation and am now one of three coaches there. I coach all of Neenah's LDers. I occasionally work with our policy kids & PFers.

My prefs: I am in for anything that isn't fucked-up (as in, offensive/discriminatory--I'm cool to vote for debate bad and death good). I'll flow it all and I'll yell clear (although I don’t especially like to) if nec. You do you however you do you best. I don't feel especially warm (or cold) towards any particular argument. I pref progressive rounds; I'd rather judge a kritical round than a traditional one but it isn't like I'm less apt to vote for traditional constructives.

The only thing I'd really rather not have to vote on is theory, simply because I'm bored of it and tired of evaluating rounds on arguments I feel educate no one and waste everyone's time (par consequence I'm pretty receptive to RVIs).

I was not super progressive as a debater, namely because that change didn’t reach my judging pool when I was in high school, but I do appreciate that style more as a judge/coach. In that effect, I am not well-read on k literature. If what you’re reading isn’t relatively common, please explain maybe 10% more clearly (I do still encourage you to read it).

I’m good with speed. I would like to be on email chains ( I would generally consider myself a hyper-specific 9.1/10 on the speed scale.

I'm not about to rank arguments/styles BECAUSE I want that to be your decision and I am not into confining or shrinking your education in this space. I mean it when I say I'm good for it all.

Your prefs: I suggest preffing me high if you fall somewhere in the middle of the scale that is proper and progressive debate, pref me somewhere in the middle if you’re running something incredibly dense that requires extensive background knowledge, and strike me if you’re running something you don’t understand yourself or if your general strat includes being an asshole to your opponents (I am R E A L L Y not about that; be nice).

Et cetera, et cetera:

-I am neither ungenerous nor generous with speaks. I think I do a decent job of donning what you deserve.

-That said, if you’re an asshole I will substantially dock your speaks. If you can’t control your round without being condescending there is something wrong.

-I didn't go to camp, my students don't go to camp, my teammates didn't go to camp, and no one who coached me went to camp. I don't have a terribly strong grasp on more nuanced mechanics, particularly those surrounding theory. If I'm judging you in elims/a bubble round, dumb those arguments down for me a little & spend the last 30 seconds or so writing my ballot for me PLEASE

-If you are an experienced debater and you choose to make it unnecessarily difficult for a novice or someone who clearly has less experience to learn something from the round, I will dock your speaks. Win the round without discouraging novices to continue debating or going completely over their head with material and inhibiting them from taking anything away from the round. That's hard to watch and I am not about it.

-I flow CX.

-I'm down w flex prep.

-I do not care if you sit or stand during speeches. Stop asking :).

-I'll obviously tank your speaks if you're offensive or MEAN (like, I'm not kidding)

-I think I'm marginally more receptive to 1% solvency/probability arguments than other judges

-It weirds me out when you try to shake my hand before/after a round

-Please stop twisting around in your seat to look at me during your opponent's speech: it's annoying & weirds me out


-Probably the only contentious part of this paradigm: If you don't give a trigger warning for something that obviously deserves a trigger warning AND give your opponent (& me) the chance to respond (like, don't give it after the AC starts, ya?), I will probably automatically drop you, whether your opponent brings this up or not. I'm a giant proponent of making this space more inclusive and that is not the way we do that. I'm not about to facilitate a round in which you give people panic attacks against their will.

-Which means: Do not read anything that includes graphic depictions of sexual abuse OF ANY KIND in front of me (like, I'm talking more performance-y stuff). I won't flow you, I'll drop you, you'll get a 20 (or less). I cannot impartially evaluate those arguments. Don't be that person. If you wanna challenge me/that & have a chat about it, okay, cool, but do it well before the round starts.

-Please understand whatever you’re running before you run it in front of me. It crushes my soul to see people run things I know well poorly.

-I enjoy dense fwks and wish LDers (& all events) would interact with them more.

-Impact calc please :)

-I'm late to a lot of shit, please feel free to head into the room well before I arrive

-On disclosure theory: Should you disclose? Yes. Is it probably sketchy to not disclose? Yes. Will I be marginally peeved and probably give you marginally lower speaks if I learn you did not disclose? Yes. Do I want to listen to disclosure theory? not even a little bit. Will I vote for it? Yes, though unhappily.

-I really really hate timing rounds and I've found I'm extremely irresponsible when I do try to. Please time yourselves and hold your opponent accountable so that I don't have to. I'm terrible at it. (That is a means to say: assume I am not timing you. I'm going to be annoyed if you look at me half way through prep and ask how much time you have left.)

-Pretty into any and all args that outline how much debate sucks, hit me with those.

Email me w/ Qs:

Nick Stumbris Paradigm

Speed - When I say that I am fine with speed, I mean that I can handle pretty much any speed, I just prefer clarity. If you are SO unclear that I can't flow you, you will notice when I stop. I will also give verbal warnings if it becomes a problem. Compared to most other judges, I like to consider I have a pretty high threshold for that point.

Quick Version - Everything is debatable. I will do my best to keep myself out of the round as much as possible. I went for both policy and critical arguments when I debated so I don't really have a preference, although I am probably better oriented with policy oriented rounds. Remember that my preferences are always available for negotiation (besides the things listed in the "unacceptable" section) so do what you do and PLEASE don't try and conform to whatever things I put on here.

Other Meta level things - I am a tech oriented judge, a good analytical argument beats a bad card everyday of the week. I also believe that a dropped argument is a true argument, however, this doesn't matter if it isn't impacted. Comparative impact analysis is a must. I try to stick to the flow. I will default to offense/defense. I think it is extremely rare for there ever ever ever to be zero risk of a link.

T - I default to competing interpretations. I think you need to have a counter-interpretation in order to make me vote on reasonability. Topicality debates too often come down to whining, whereas it should be treated like any other section of debate. Impact your arguments and do comparative impact analysis (i.e. why education outweighs fairness, etc.).

CP - They should be competitive. I believe counterplans can be textually competitive, but obviously the net benefit should be formulated as such. I find myself leaning neg on a lot of CP theory questions (agent, pics, dispo, states) and think that you should reject the argument not the team. I do not think that CPs that compete on the certainty of plan (consult, condition) are competitive but that this is a reason the aff should get permutation and not a reason to reject the CP in most instances. As a side note, if running topical counterplans is your thing, then do that. Also, I can be persuaded that any differential of a link could be a possible net benefit, but if it becomes a wash, I will not be working for either side.

Conditionality- My predisposition is that the neg should get one conditional counterplan. I've not heard many good reasons that the neg should get multiple counterplans. It think that 1 is a logical limit and that to say that 2 or more is OK becomes a slippery slope. I think we all need to do a better job of protecting the aff in this department because multiple counterplans make it strategic suicide for the aff to make their best answers and forecloses a real search for the "best policy option." Along this vein, unless the neg explicitly says it I will not "reject the CP and default to the status quo because it's always a logical option."

Kritik - I think that debate should be a model for policy-making education. Reps and generic language Ks often run from topic specific education. Topic specific Ks that turn and/or solve the aff are better. I grant the aff a lot of leeway on “K doesn’t remedy “x” advantage and that outweighs” if the neg is not good and explicit about it. I also grant the aff a lot of leeway about why short term extinction claims should come before questions of the K structural impacts. However, I appreciate well run Ks, and ran a fair amount of Ks when I debated, so if it is your thing, do it well.

DA - I love a good politics debate more than anything. I am less likely to vote on cheap shots (intrinsicness, vote no, fiat solves, etc.) but can be persuaded otherwise. Evidence comparisons on all levels of the disad are necessary whether you're aff or neg. If I'm left weighing impacts after the debate because no one has done any comparative work you're probably not going to like the outcome. All in all, disads are good so you should probably run them.

UNACCEPTABLE - Cheating (obviously). This includes scrolling down on the speech doc ahead of where people are reading, clipping cards, cross reading, the whole shebang. If I catch you doing this, I will assign you a loss and minimum speaker points. Hint: It is pretty obvious when people are clipping cards.

Paperless - I will stop prep time when the jump drive is ejected from the computer. Do not abuse me being lenient with such problems. If I notice you flowing the speech doc instead of the round, I will probs tank your speaks. It seems to be that a lot of debaters don't even listen to speeches of other debaters anymore. Listen to the other team and flow what they are saying, after all, debate is a communication activity.

Speaker Points - I try to assign speaker points relative of the division I am judging (i.e. I won't be as harsh on a novice as I would a varsity debater)

Standard Scale
26 (or below) - You did not speak well. You may have been mean to your partner of the other team. You need work.
26.5 - Below average. You have more work to do and more room to increase.
27 - Slightly below average, but not too bad overall.
27.5 - Average Speaker.
28 - Above average. You spoke well.
28.5 - Good. You may good strategic decisions and probably won the round.
29 - You are a talented debater and will probably be within the top 20 speakers at the tournament.
29.5 - You will probably be in the top 10 speakers at the tournament, won the round and I loved some aspect of your speech to a large extent.
30 - Your speeches were the best 13 minutes of my life

David Umstot Paradigm

Three years policy debate experience, head coach at Brookfield Central High School.

I'm a tabula rasa judge, but if you don't tell me what to vote on, I'll fall back to which is the better policy based on impact calculus. Do the impact calculus for me, unless you want me to do it myself.

I'm not a fan of Topicality. I'll hear it, and I'll flow it, but you must convince me that it's a voter and your definition can't be absolutely ridiculous.

I love Counterplans, as I was a CP-heavy debater myself. Kritiks are fine, but give me a clear alternative and make sure that you explain your K well.

You can speed, but not through tags or analytic arguments. I need to be able to flow. I'll tell you if you're speaking too quickly for me.

Use roadmaps and signposting. It makes it easier for me to flow, and better for you if I can understand the debate.

Clash is by and large one of the most important things in a debate for me. You'll keep my attention and get much higher speaker points.

I like real-world impacts. You might have a hard time convincing me of global extinction. Be smart when it comes to impacts and make sure they realistically link.

Open C-X is fine, but don't go overboard. Keep in mind that it's your partner's C-X, and if you use all of it, I will dock you speaker points.

New in the 2 - I'm okay with this I suppose...but with this in mind, the Affirmative is definitely free to run theory on this if the 2N is just trying to spread the Aff out of the round by saving their entire offense for the 2NC.

First and foremost, I evaluate the framework. However, even if you lose the framework, that doesn't mean you've lost the round. Prove your case can fit under your opponent's framework. If I can still evaluate your case under your opponent's framework, I can still buy your case. As far as the contention debate goes, I don't necessarily buy that you have to win every contention to win the contention debate. You don't have to take out all of your opponent's contentions, either. Focus on impacts. Focus on weighing your case against your opponent's case, and how each contention provides the best example of the value. The team who provides the most evidence that shows affirming/negating will benefit society (through either value) more will win the debate.

I welcome CPs, Ks, and ROTBs, as long as you are running them because YOU understand them, not because you think your opponent WON'T. The point of debate is education, and running a tricky K in a convoluted way to confuse your opponent won't win you a ballot in front of me. Be clear and contribute to the education of debate. I prefer that you don't spread too much in LD. Although I do judge policy as well, and can flow most speed, it's not my preference.
I'm not going to disclose and I'm not going to give you excessive oral critiques. That's what my ballot is for.

Antwoyne Walker Paradigm

I am a impacts/solution judge. Meaning Impacts and solutions to impacts play a big Factor in deciding a close round and Winners. In other words I like to see What impacts outweigh the other and whether or not you have solutions that will either prevent or postpone those impacts. If you make drops or fail to properly extend arguments I will consider them when deciding a winner. I dislike speed, but I can flow it to a certain extent, and I will give you verbal cues if you are going too fast.