Phyllis Schatz Invitational at Binghamton University

2018 — NY/US

Naseeb Ally Paradigm

6 rounds

Please add me to the email chain

General: Do whatever works for you in the realm of debate. I am not the biggest fan of spreading/speed reading but don't not do it because of me as long as you speak as clear as possible its not a voting issue for me. Tell me a story (compare evidence) and explain why I should vote aff/neg.

Experience: I debated for 4 years on the varsity team of my high school and represented us in our districts finals. I have also competed in 2 tournaments through the BU debate team.

What I Like: I love a good K as long as its explained well so the opposition and myself can fully understand it to have a meaningful debate. I also enjoy hearing the unique performances/arguments and will vote on them if you make it explicitly clear why i should do so.

Carlos Astacio Paradigm

2 rounds

I competed in LD at University High School in Newark New Jersey, I was nationally competitive for three years.. I also compete in policy debate for Rutgers University.

Presumption: I think it highly unfair for me to presume to any side when debaters have NO control over which side they are going to be debating. So I don't have any bias toward Aff or Neg.

Speed: I don't generally have an issue with speed, however I do have a problem with monotone speed, unclear speed. I will yell clear if I can't understand you, but it will only be maybe once or twice, if you don't become clear by then, my ability to properly evaluate the arguments may possibly become impaired. Also, your speaks probably won't be awesome if I have to keep yelling clear.

-I would like you to significantly slow down when reading tags/card names so I can have a properly structured flow, but while reading the card you are welcome to go at top CLEAR speed(a few caveats to be explained later)

-When making analytical arguments, please be clear, because it's difficult for me to follow analytics when they are weirdly phrased and also being spread.

-I don't like speed for the sake of being fast, I prefer when speed is used as a catalyst for an awesome case or a multilayered rebuttal with really nuanced responses on case.

Evidence: Despite what happened in the round, I may call for the cites for cards read in round, I'll specify which specific cites I would like to see. I do this for two reasons: to ensure that there was no miscutting of evidence, and because I believe in disclosure and am from the school of thought that everybody in the round should have access to all evidence read in the round. I don't appreciate a denial to share citations, if citations are not readily available, I may choose to disregard all evidence with missing citations(especially evidence which was contested in the debate).

Cross Examination: I don't know how much I can stress it...CROSS EX IS BINDING! I don't care if you present arguments for why it shouldn't be binding or why lying in CX is ok, or any arguments with the implication which allows dishonesty in CX, there is NO theory to be ran to change my mind. Nevertheless, I don't flow CX, so its up to the debaters to refresh my memory of any inconsistencies between speeches and CX answers. On the other hand, CX can be the BEST or the WORST part of a debate, depending on how it plays out. A funny yet not disrespectful CX will score big when I'm deciding on how to assign speaks, while a rude and boring CX will negatively influence how I assign speaks. Clarification questions during prep is fine, but I'm not cool with trying to tear down an argument during prep, if it was that important, it should have been in the formal CX, rather than during prep. Don't be afraid to refuse to answer a non-clarification question during your opponents prep time.

Critical/Weird Arguments: I love well explained critical positions. With the caveat that these critical arguments are logically explained and aren't insanely convoluted. I have no issue voting for the argument. But if I can't understand it, I won't vote on it. Also, I am a fan of interesting debate, so if you have a neat performance to run in front of me, I would love to hear it!

Theory: I don't presume to competing interpretations or reasonability. The justification for either one needs to be made in round. I don't like greedy theory debates, which means that I generally view theory as a reason to reject the argument rather than the debater. YES, this means you must provide reasons in or after the implications section of your shell, for why this specific violation is a reason for me to use my ballot against the other debater. I'm not persuaded by generic 12 point blocks for why fairness isn't a voter, I prefer nuanced argumentation for why fairness may not be a voter. RVIs have to be justified but I'm willing to vote on them if the situation presents itself, but its up to you to prove why you defensively beating theory is enough for me to vote for you.

Prestandard: I don't like having preconceived beliefs before judging a round, but this is just one of those things that I need to reinforce. I WILL NOT vote on multiple apriori blips, and winning a single apriori is an uphill battle, a serious commitment to advocacy is necessary(you devote a serious amount of time to the apriori position.)

Speaks: I average about a 27, I doubt I'll go lower than 25(unless you do something which merits lower than a 25) because I personally know how disappointing the 4-2/5-2 screw can be, nevertheless I am more than willing to go up or down, depending on the performance in that particular round. The reason I average around a 27 is not because I generally don't give nice speaks, its because the majority of tournaments, I'll judge only a few rounds that deserve more than a 28. It's not difficult at all to get good speaks from me. I reserve 30's for debaters who successfully execute the following: speak really well, good word economy, good coverage/time allocation, takes risks when it comes to strategy, weighs really well, provides AWESOME evidence comparison, and adapts well to the things happening in the round. I really enjoy seeing new strategies, or risky strategies, I.E. I am a fan of the straight refutation 1N, attempting something risky like this and pulling it off, gives you a higher chance of getting a 30. Another way to get high speaks is to be a smart debater as well as funny without being mean or making any kind of jokes at the expense of your opponent(this will lose you speaks)

Delivery: I need evidence comparison! It makes me really happy when debaters do great evidence comparison. Also, I would appreciate for you to give status updates as the rebuttals progress, as well as giving me implications for each extension. When extending arguments which rely on cards, in order for it to be a fully structured extension it must contain: The claim/tag of the card, author/card name, warrant from the card, and the implications of that extension (what does it do for you in the round).

Miscellaneous: You are more than welcome to sit or stand, I don't mind people reading from laptops or being paperless as long as it doesn't delay the round. Also, I don't care if you are formally dressed, jeans and a tshirt will get you the same speaks that a shirt and a tie will. :) I also believe its impossible for me to divorce my judging from my beliefs, but I'll do my best to attempt to fairly adjudicate the debate.

P.S. I don't like performative contradictions...(just felt like I should throw that out there)

Cedric Bonsol Paradigm

6 rounds

PLEASE READ (accessibility issue): For the love of God, if you want me to understand your analytics/tags(/card warrants), please slow down and be CLEAR on those parts. I can understand and flow speed for the "most" part, but keep in mind that just as debaters have different levels of accessibility/ability, so do judges. If you monotone spread at me paragraphs/lists of blocks/analytics, I do not consider it my fault if I find my physically unable to write/type it all down or mentally keep up with your extremely above average speed.

*Full disclosure/honesty: I am probably not the ideal judge for you, if your style of debating is extremely fast and technical*

Yes, please add me to email chain if possible:


do whatever you want pls - I'm down with it all--policy, K, "performative" (everything is performative), etc. For me, the only rules to enforce are speech/prep times, but other than that, debate and what you do with those speech/prep times is what you make it. Debate is what you make it and can LITERALLY (please do not underestimate how much I really mean this) be whatever you want in my opinion. Just frame it well. Policy debate = da best db8? ok go for it and explain why. K/Performance/my-arbitrary-way-of-debate=better? pls go for it yes do whatever you want. fast (but not too fast/unclear) tich tech debate vs meta-framing debate? down, just explain why your side is better. pls do whatevs. Hell, fuck what I think even. Challenge my preferences--I will respect it. Just don't be unwarrantedly rude or blatantly offensive/violent--debate is a toxic enough space as it is.

The rest:

I just graduated from University of Rochester, and have been involved in policy debate since summer after freshman year of high school at Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School (although the past few semesters my debate involvement has been on and off). People seem to care about stuff like this, so I'll include this in my paradigm if it helps inform you of myself: my high school partner and I qualified to NAUDL nationals in our 2015 senior year and broke to Octofinals, and we later won the annual City Championship for our Urban Debate League, LAMDL (Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League). I have also had some experience judging and working with LD students.

"Tabula rasa": Tabula rasa is a lie. There is no such thing as an an objective blank slate (otherwise, why would we even need judge paradigms in the first place if it's not to communicate personal evaluation/argumentative styles/preferences?). Every debater, judge, coach, and just person really in general has biases formed by their own lived experience within their subject position in the world. With that being said, I will always try to be as "objective" as possible, and will try my best to put my own biases aside, as I agree with the normative judge that I will primarily consider and weigh your arguments in a debate round insofar that you have developed them in your speeches/CX.

Having established that no one is a blank slate, here are some features of my slate:

Stylistic Experience/Orientations: I am (at least a little) familiarized with debating or researching a variety of different arguments on the policy debate "spectrum" of style: traditional policy affs, hard left policy affs, soft left policy affs, non-traditional kritikal affs, traditional kritiks, high-theory Ks, performance debate, etc. Throughout high school, I almost always argued "policy", although later in college I began to lean toward a more kritikal, and then later even more non-traditional and performative orientation towards debate and what/how we discuss in it.

Creativity of arguments is a HUGE plus for me, and I would love to see a lot more of it in debate arguments, whether kritikal, non-traditional (even policy). How and why we do debate are such arbitrary things that can be changed and molded into whatever we make them or however we conceptualize them. I would love teams to really exploit this aspect of my paradigm.

As said before though, I will try my best to put biases aside and to only consider your arguments insofar that you have developed them in the round. So please, do not assume that because I think/like x, I will automatically vote for (or against) y. In the same way that "policy" debaters will be held to a certain standard of round-winning argumentation, "kritikal" or "performance" debaters should also meet a certain threshold for explaining their arguments and outframing the other team.

Framework/Framing (also: Ks, T, Traditional FW, impacts in general, etc.): This is huge for me, if not the most important thing. No, I do not mean having topical USFG policy debates is the most important thing to me--I mean that clearly communicating to me how I should prioritize and evaluate arguments and impacts in the debate is ultimately one of the most crucial factors for getting me to prefer your impacts to the other team. Is policy debate about becoming better political advocates to engage the State? I'm all ears. Is policy debate about ethical orientations? Is this a space of activism? Are we scholars/academics? Policymakers? Explain why that is preferable to the other team's framework. The importance of debate or of certain arguments, or what our roles are are really all up to you when you debate in front of me.

Just because I prefer a certain argument to be run or made doesn't mean that I will evaluate it any less heavily than an opposite argument--I will not lower speaks because you ran T/USFG, and you can still get high speaks and win in front of me if you explanation of why your prioritizations of fairness/education/political-engagement are more preferable to the other team's. Explain why this broader model of debate is better than the AFF's individual advocacy itself.

Whatever K you wanna run (ableism, antiblackness, settler colonialism, baudrillard, capitalism, queerness, etc. whatever), it is likely I'm familiar with it, have seen it, or have argued it (although I won't claim by any means to be an expert on all, even any, of them). The main point I want to get across is that you can run whatever you want in front of me, just be sure to explain it well and why your alternative or framework for how we respond to the AFF team is better to vote for.

DAs+CP Strategy: Go for them, yeah. Just please cross-apply what I've said above here, and explain why you outframe the other team here (all of debate is framework to me). why do your impacts outweigh the AFF? why does probability matter more than magnitude? why does your impact come before all others?


If you go too fast, I will call "clear". I also believe that debate is an activity of persuasion, and for me, it feels less persuasive to hear monotone, quiet "cheat" spreading of cards as opposed to a natural fluctuation of tone and emotion.

Being a fast, loud debater doesn't make a debater more persuasive to me than a quiet, slow, even speech-impeded debater who is ultimately making better arguments.

Cards and evidence are supplements in the end. Your explanation always comes first. If I have to read your evidence to understand your argument, you have not sufficiently explained it. Btw I don't limit evidence to traditional "cards". To be honest, traditional cards are not even crucial for me to evaluate an argument (assuming it it is explained well), 1ac, 1nc, etc. Do with this as you wish.

As vague as this sounds, if you do anything in the round that impresses me as significantly deconstructive or challenging of the ableist, antiblack, elitist, etc. toxic nature in debate (or even in just this very moment of debate) your speaks will likely go up.

Isaac Brown Paradigm

6 rounds

Issa Paradigm

I'd never worship a god that didn't know how to dance

For the brave:

I am not the gambling type but I do love a good joke, and a good joke deserves a reward of .2 to a .5 speaker point boost to your total speaker points, but there are limits as to what I will dub as funny enough to avoid having to judge rounds of last comic standing. The jokes I will reward are as follows,

1. The "Lt. Louis Armstrong" voice - get it right and you get a .5 boost, get it wrong and you lose .1

2. Strong pun game - puns get a bad for a reason, they are often terrible. Although anyone who knows me well knows I love well timed, expertly executed puns. Here's your opportunity to prove your pun game is strong. .4 boost if you make a pun and I enjoy it, fail you lose .2

3. Use the phrase "Omae wa mou shinderiu" correctly in a debate you get a .3 boost. Get it wrong you lose .3

These are the jokes I will reward; may the odds forever be in your favor.

Things you need know:

Yes, I would like to be in the email chain, my email is

No, I do not believe that novice should have to debate K affs until the tail end of the second semester, these debates are often anti-educational hurt novice development. Which is to say I believe you must first learn debate before you can debate about debate. This is not to say that I won't judge these debates fairly, but rather a warning that I am incredibly sympathetic to the otherside of the argument. Although once it is the 2nd half of the first second semester my sympathies die out.

I always flow on paper so give me pen time when you're blazing through your analytics

I will not vote on comparing arguments to sexual assault in anyway shape or form, I think those debates are violent, anti-educational and only risk net harm to everyone involved.

I debated a total of 7 years

2 years in the Chicago UDL

5 years at George Mason 1-year policy 1 year flex 3 years critical. I went to the NDT twice and I broke into elims of CEDA twice. I debated off of my flow and I judge the same way. It really doesn't matter what your argument is, if you can communicate it to me and the other team cannot then simply put, you are ahead. It is your responsibility to get your arguments onto my piece of paper and I will do everything that is in my power to get the ballot to tab with your name as the victor but that's only if your opponent doesn't beat you to the ballot. All of this is to say, read what you want in front of me, the flow is the deciding factor.

What I want to hear:

This should never be the question you ask when you get me in the back of the round, I want to judge you at your best so read whatever it is that is your best. Be fast, be strategic, be smart and be effective. These are the traits that I look for in a good debater, which is to say I don't place a limit on the style of debate you do, if the argument you like going for involves telling me that Russia has got it out for the US and the only thing that can solve that is a single-payer health care system then DO THAT. Or if your best is telling me the world as I know it writ large is founded on a set of principles that require investigation and or just blanket rejection DO THAT. My job is not to actively seek confirmation bias by judging every Baudrillard/Afro-pess debate ever, I am here to take really fast notes and tell you what I think the best argument was at the end of the debate. So, do you in whatever form that may look.

The ways I evaluate debates:

1. As mentioned above I follow the flow to the T, but even this is debatable although even in debates that critique flowing in a normative fashion, I will continue to flow unless explicitly asked not to (this is for my benefit as I like to have a point of reference when deciding things.)

2. In particularly messy debates I will be annoyed and you will lose points if my flow becomes a random assortment of words. Line arguments up as best as you can, this is for my benefit as well as yours, debate is a communication activity and good line by line while hard to come by is extremely important when the debate comes down to a degree of nuance. You don't want me to have to do work for you by having to decipher the entire debate. You want to be clear, concise and ready to go. Line by line then while not necessary is preferred.

3. Tell me a story, but make sure this story has a claim warrant and impact. Reel me in with whatever necessary just make sure you have a complete argument.


Stolen from Patrick McCleary

“I give speaker points based on how effectively students articulate their arguments, regardless of the type of argument. Above a 29.5 deserves to contend for top speaker, 29-29.5 is a speaker award, 28.5-29 is good/should be clearing, 28.1-28.5 is on the cusp of clearing, 28 is average, 27.5 is below average, 27 needs work. Any lower and you are probably either in the wrong division or did something offensive. Given what I've seen from people who compile the data on this stuff, this seems to be somewhat close to the community norm.”

"Debaters who have used the opportunity afforded by annual resolutions to learn about the topic and are able to apply that knowledge in the round will be in position to receive higher points than debaters whose speeches are lacking in this category. Debaters whose speeches reflect little to no effort at having learned about this season's topic may win the debate, but will not receive good points.

This does not mean the AFF must read a plan text...nor that the NEG can only debate the case (rarely a wise strategy). It simply means I am listening for proof that debaters are taking advantage of the opportunity to learn about a different topic area each season."

Theory/T Debates:

Provide me an interpretation and defend it I’ll evaluate it.


Outside of what I read as a debater this is probably the argument I know the most about on both the AFF and NEG side of things and while I would impact turn this whenever I heard it that does not mean I am AFF leaning on FW. Simply put I will vote on what’s on my flow regardless of how I feel about it despite that I feel it necessary to disclose several arguments that I find more persuasive on both sides of the debate.


· Debate is a Game (This can be debated and if you win it on the flow I am amendable to change but it is my default setting)

· AFF’s should have to defend something (this does not mean they must have a plan)

· AFF’s should be testable (this doesn’t mean that a generic counterplan/DA is the best method to test the AFF)


· If you can do it on the neg they should be prepared (In that scenario they get to weigh their aff, making this not an argument alone you have to impact this argument to make it more offensive)

· K-affs inevitable (Doesn’t make those affs predictable)

· Fairness is often times arbitrary (But winnable, I think the move to deliberation over procedural fairness is silly, just tell them to get out of your house)


I am tech over truth appeals to my emotions gets you speaker points not ballots. Simply put I will do no work for you and I will judge the flow and only the flow unless an argument is made telling me not to.

Thomas Buttgereit Paradigm

6 rounds

2019 Update

Am adding some things I have learned about myself after a year of judging:

In framework debates, defense is pretty important to me. Both teams are usually doing a lot of work to put offense on the flow so the side that is able to use either the TVA or the Counter Interpt to absorb more of their opponent's offense often finds themselves ahead with me in the back.

I have a somewhat high threshold for 1AR-2AR consistency, so I am very conscious of not voting for arguments that based on my flow and understanding of the round are new.

I have realized that there are two different articulations of framework that are most persuasive to me 1) a ballot K version that frames out the ballot's ability to solve any of the aff's impacts 2) One that strongly defends the value of debate and a reason we would want a model that preserves it.

Basic Paradigm

Please put me on the email chain

I am a coach at Binghamton, where I debated for four years. I qualified to the NDT a few times, and have now been coaching Bing for two years.

I have deployed almost entirely critical/performance style of debate throughout my career but am familiar with most forms of argumentation in the activity and actively believe that whatever people want to defend/advocate belongs in the activity. So I'll treat your argument with the respect it deserves(and so should you).

Overall, debates usually come down to big picture framing for me. At the end of the debate, I tend to really be focusing on one or two big issues that are decided by the smaller arguments that are occurring on the flow. This doesn't mean that I don't value tech, but I need those concessions to really matter and frame the debate.

Framing is pretty important to me, a mix of impact calculus and explaining to me how I should view and evaluate the debate will go very well for you.

Teams that make smart arguments about the nature of debate, and garner offense around the nature of the activity and the kinds of norms and consequences it creates usually impress me and can earn higher speaker points. Debate isn't a blank or neutral space and I think recognizing that opens up powerful argumentative opportunities.

K Debate:

I've read K arguments basically my entire career and they've been a mix of theoretical and performative. So I have a lot of respect for these arguments. That being said, there's a few things K teams usually do wrong in my mind.

K Affs- K affs that have either a clear framing mechanism for the ballot or an educational solvency mechanism are good in front of me, but affs that merely state theories of power or a way the world operates are vulnerable to presumption strategies or being outweighed by the neg strategy. You can definitely win this debate by putting heavy amounts of offense on the alt or framework, or winning that the best theory of power should win, but it's a slightly harder path.

Ks- I think one problem Ks often have is knowing whether or not they need the alt in the 2NR. Not going for the alt can make it so that even if you win heavy offense against the aff, if your impacts are non-unique/unsolvable I may buy that they can resolve something else that outweighs. However sometimes 2NRs are spent unnecessarily going for an alternative when your time is better spent on impacts or framing my ballot in your favor. 2Ns should reflect on this as their preparing their 2NR.


On the impact level, I think fairness, limits, and predictability are more persuasive as links than impacts. Fairness has to be good for something(education, exportable skills, etc). I am much more persuaded by arguments that policy education is key because people in positions of upper education need to be able to use that position to make change. Again, explain to me why this activity has value, don't just assume it does. That being said, I will vote on a good fairness/limits debate(especially if conceded) so the affirmative should not take my view there for granted.

When giving a TVA explain how it could actually solve the impacts of the aff, don't just read the resolution back at the affirmative and say it solves. Engage with their impacts and you have a much better shot of winning TVA in front of me.

I think looser less strict interpretations can be useful to get out of a lot of the aff offense, but at the same time if you're going for predictability or limits you have to be able to explain how those concepts are preserved within your more liberal interpretation of debate.

Clash Debates:

Policy teams should really put more offense against the alternative rather than just defensive alt can't solve arguments. If you win your impact framing and then a few da's to the alt you can be confident in my ballot.

For the neg in these debates, case defense and solvency take outs are good touches, I also find that if you make smart ballot arguments and frame the affirmative out of getting their impacts I am usually persuaded to vote negative.

Final Thoughts:

Overall you really shouldn't adapt too much to me, good debaters can win anything in front of me, and my only goal is to give you a decision you can respect and be comfortable with. I will do my best to give you educational and meaningful rfds and encourage any and all questions after the decision.

Timothy Byram Paradigm

6 rounds


First off, do you. If my judging philosophy meant that you were put at a disadvantage for any particular style of debate, that would be indicative of a larger problem.

I am a Junior at Liberty University. I have done traditional policy, critical, and performative debate, though recent experience has drifted heavily toward the latter end of the spectrum. I am decently well-versed in most forms of critical literature. However, my level of familiarity with a topic should be largely irrelevant to the way you debate. I view debate generally as a format established for the clash of pedagogies. This clash can take place on the macro level or the micro, and applies to both policy and critical debate. The key is to explain which premises of your opponent’s arguments are in contestation and why. In other words, it can be as broad as a discussion on the merits or demerits of proximate state action, or as specific as the effectiveness of China deterrence to maintain US hegemony. This principle can be applied to virtually all arguments:

Ks: Isolate what the affirmative has done, explain how their particular methodology/epistemology perpetuates structural violence, and give me a clear explanation of how to avoid those harms. In debate-speak, spell out the link/s, draw a story between that link and a particular impact, and explain to me how your alternative avoids said link/impact story. The debaters who do this best are the ones who can relate the structural to the specific (ie, the aff’s use of x term/methodology/analysis leads to y structural impact writ large through z process). K affs function similarly: Tell me what systems of behavior or thought are perpetuated in the status quo, how this is done, why it is bad, and what you do about it.

FW: Framework can be run in many different ways, and should be contested in accordance to the specific argument run. For the team running it: Tell me the specific violation of the affirmative, and give me palpable reasons why the aff perpetuates a model that is harmful for debate/why your model is relatively better. Central to this argument is an explanation of why your version of debate is good, or at least better than that of the affirmative. Contestability is important, but it must ultimately be tied to the specific impacts of the model you are offering. For the team answering it: tell me in what ways you meet their interpretation, or in what ways that interpretation is bad. On both sides of the debate, blanket statements are insufficient. Tell me specific reasons why your opponents’ framing is bad. This involves an interplay of tech vs. truth that I will attempt to balance depending on the arguments made in the particular round.

DAs & CPs: My assessment of the risk of the DA happening as a result of the aff is dependent on the specific details offered as part of the negative strategy. Give me a clear line of reasoning between that link and the impact. Specificity is also important for Counter Plans, in that you must show me how the Counter Plan is competitive with the aff. Don’t assume I am familiar with the jargon.

T: I like T but I am not particularly well versed in the area. Be creative, slow down a bit, and give me well-reasoned applications to the aff.

Robert Cavanaugh II Paradigm

6 rounds

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Jesus Cepin Paradigm

6 rounds

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Vida Chiri Paradigm

1 rounds

I’m currently a junior at Liberty University and debated in high school at University High School (Jersey Urban Debate League). This is approximately my 7th year in debate and as such I have engaged in both 'traditional' and now 'performance' style debate.  Ultimately, I have come to conclusion that debate is a game but this game also has real life effects on the people who choose to participate in it. Therefore, BE NICE, HAVE FUN, and DO YOU!!! 


I have found in my time debating that there are a few things that debaters are looking for when they read judging philosophies (including myself) so I’ll get straight to the point: 


K's: I’m fine with them and have run them for quite some time in my career. However, this does not mean run a K in front of me for the fun of it - rather it means that I expect you to be able to explain your link story and the way the alternative functions. I find that most teams just make the assumption that the Aff doesn’t get a perm because "it’s a methodology debate". That’s not an argument, give me warrants as to why this is true if this is the argument you are going to for. K Aff's are fine often times debaters lose sight of the strategic benefits of the Aff, So a simple advice I can give is DONT FORGET YOUR AFF!! 


DA's: In general I like strong impact analysis and good link story. Make logical argument and be able to weigh the impact story against the Aff.


CP’s:  I am open all types of CP’s you just have to prove the competitiveness of said CP and make sure it has a net benefit.


FW:  Again….Debate is a game but this game has real life implications on those who choose to engage in it. I think FW can be strategic against some Aff’s but don’t use it as a reason to not engage the Aff. Win your interpretation and weigh your impacts. Aff’s: don’t blow off FW answer it and engage it or tell me why you are not engaging in it.


Theory: Not a big fan of it, but make sure you slow down as to ensure I get all the arguments you are making. But do you! 


Cross X: I think this is the best part of debate and LOVE it. Don’t waste those 3 min, they serve a great purpose. I am ALWAYS paying attention to CX and may even flow it.


*** Please remember that I am not as familiar with the high school topic so don’t assume I know all the jargon ***



Last but not least, watch me!(take hints from the visual cues that I am sending) 

Aaron Clarke Paradigm

6 rounds

Aaron Clarke, former varsity debater at George Mason University (, if you want feedback after the round and want to shoot me an email)

**HIGH SCHOOL/SPACE TOPIC: I haven't done any topic research for this topic so I'm not going to know any acronyms or anything like that.

Top-Level Stuff: I don't really care what you go for, but traditional policy debate was what I spent about 95% of my debate career doing. I typically went for traditional arguments but 1) I often read non-traditional arguments on the aff and neg AND 2) I want you to do what you want to do. Debate is only fun when you're doing what you like.If you want to go for a K, aff or neg, go for it.


It's usually in the 1NCs my partner reads and I'll definitely vote on it. Reasonibility should not be your A strat when debating T. It does not make sense when there are competing interpretations. I'm also down to hear framework against K affs. That's usually my strat because I don't know too much K lit to read a K against it (more below).


Condo is good up to two counter-advocacies. Once you hit three counter-advocacies, I'll start feeling heavy sympathy for the aff. That being said, if the neg drops condo, I'll vote on it. My stance on condo does not allow you to blow over it shallowly. I tend to reject the arg, not the team.


I'm gonna keep it real with you chief: I'm not the best judge for you on this. High theory lit is going to go over my head but other K lit I at least have a basic understanding of it.


I'm down for most CPs. I'm split on counterplan theory like process CPs and consult CPs, but hey, it's debate. If you can convince me they're not abusive, okay. If you can convince me it is abusive, okay. I'll vote either way.


I. Love. Disads. Being a former 2N, disads were my bread and butter. I love topic DAs and I love politics DAs. Once again, although I hold DAs close to my heart, if you lose a DA, you lose a DA. There can be zero risk of a link. I love impact turn debates as well.


This is my favorite debate as most of my 2NR's were DA and case.

Details of warrant extrapolation and depth in the 2NC are key. 2AC's tend to be blippy so take advantage.

Aff’s should choose and break down more in the 1AR. Choose your impact comparison to the DA or solvency deficit connected to an advantage in the 1AR. It is difficult when the 2ar breaks down and establishes a new lens such as time frame, of which there is no record for in the previous speeches and one the 2NR would likely have responded too.


See "Top-Level Stuff" I'm open to listening to theory and will vote on it. If you do go for a K aff, make sure it relates to the topic. I'll lean neg on Framework if your aff has no relation to the topic.


It flips neg when they don't go for a CP or K. Flips aff when they go for a CP or K

Tech vs. Truth:

This is circumstantial. I generally reward technical concessions and try to hold a firm line on new arg's in rebuttals. Though, I also think a silly advantage or DA can be demolished in cross ex

Cross Ex:

Cross ex can be the best moment of a debate if deployed correctly. I reward speakers that have a strategy and use their time wisely in cross ex.

Other notes:

Don't be a jerk. I find myself in too many debates where people equate being a dick to having a lot of ethos. Not only will it piss off your opponents, it'll put you in poor position speaker point wise. I don't have a problem if you rip someone's arguments apart in cross-ex, but there is a respectable way to do it.

If you show a fairly large amount of knowledge about the topic, that goes a long way in terms of speaker points.

The timer for prep stops once you stop making changes to the doc. Don't try and take advantage of this by saying you're "saving" when really you're typing up more stuff

I wouldn't consider myself a point fairy, but I think I give out pretty good speaker points.

Brady Fletcher Paradigm

3 rounds

I don't think anything below is very provocative or counter-intuitive, but here it is:

I am open to any argument you want to make in the debate round. You need to thoroughly explain, justify, and impact the argument for me to seriously consider it. I can't stress this enough! If you've been articulate and you've provided strong analysis that contextualizes your arguments in the debate (and CLASHES with your opponents), you have probably won me over. It's your job to do the better job of debating, and to me that means real explanation and analysis - not just buzzwords and/or jargon. Slow down and thoughtfully explain arguments to me when it matters to the result of the debate.

I don't have that much to say about specific NEG arguments, other than this: as I said above, I like thorough impact analysis, and this goes especially for T and procedural arguments. If it's a voter, my pen doesn't touch paper until I know why it matters, specifically to the debate in question. The same goes for Kritiks: "no value to life" has little value to me. Concretize and contextualize your K link stories and impacts. Alternatives also need to be thoroughly defined and explained. If a DA/CP doesn't make sense to me, well, that's your problem! (I probably dislike shallow explanations of T/procedurals and DAs/CPs most of all).

I'm open to experimentation on the AFF. I need to know why you've made the choices you've made, and why they matter. I'm inclined to cut you slack on prodcedural/framework "violations" if you clearly justify the discussion you're trying to have, the relation to debate you're trying to articulate, etc. (You should be responsive to the procedural/framework claims too). I'm not going to do any of this work for you, at all, ever. That's your job!

Please feel free to approach me with questions any time. I'm always happy to clarify/specify/elaborate!

Fernando Gamboa Pena Paradigm

4 rounds

Please add me to the email chain: and

I use He/Him Pronouns

I'm a recent James Madison University Graduate; I debated for 4 years in college, as well as 3 years in high school. I started doing more traditional policy arguments in college and slowly moved into soft left and kritical arguments towards the end of my career.

For the most part I would prefer you do what you're comfortable with over what you think I'd like. If you don't understand what you're doing, there's a good chance I won't either. I have very little topic knowledge, so you will go far by slowing down and explaining what you're talking about outside of the context of debate.

Framing Issues: I want you to tell me how you would like me to start evaluating my decision – is it impact calc? a voting issue? Write my RFD for me. I don't think you're going to win on a role of the judge/ballot/round, etc. These are ineffective ways of expressing how you want me to start thinking about evidence, impacts, or debate; as such I will be very persuaded that the ROTJ is to adjudicate the round, ROTB is to decide a winner, etc. (but please make warrants as to why). FW should have an interp and standard(s), they shouldn't be self-serving or arbitrary.

Overviews: Please don't go over a few sentences. My flow (and my ability to piece your debate together at the end of the round) will suffer. If you feel you must tell me how much paper I need and slow down/check in with me to make sure I'm catching what you're saying.

Being nice: I can understand getting heated, but unless someone is being offensive you should treat your opponents with respect. If something offensive is said feel free to pause and collect yourself or you partner. Nothing should happen in the round that makes anyone upset or distressed – be a person first, before being a debater. Please let me know if I can help or if you'd like me to find someone to help.

Topicality: You don't have to be topical, just have a good reason why. I don't think you wanting to be untopical is reason enough. I think your aff should do something. You shouldn't shutter when the other team asks you for examples of what your aff is or does. Help me imagine the world of the aff. Please explain your TVA's and why they are topical. Don't just read a list of TVAs and assert they solve the aff. Explain the difference between the aff and the TVA. Explain why that difference matters and makes one topical and the other not.

Kritical Args: I probably don't know what your author means or what they are saying; it is your job to explain it to me. Tell me the story and I'll be with you. If you don't understand the K your opponent is reading, I probably don't either. Defend your aff and don’t just read the blocks your team gave you. Reading one card and making a few, thought out analytics will go much farther than you just reading your blocks and checking out.

If you aren’t part of an identity category tread lightly when choosing what arguments you want to read (Eg.Two white people or NBPOC probably shouldn’t be reading Wilderson like it’s the way, the truth, and the light or straight people probably shouldn’t be reading queer theory). I’ll be persuaded by arguments about credibility in instances like these. If your partner is not part of your Identity category, have no fear – just make sure you’re taking control of what is happening, it’s not a free pass for them to be making questionable race-related arguments.

DA/CP: Make sure I hear what the CP text is and know what the net benefits. I don’t think one conditional CP is abusive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t read theory.

Perms: You don't get to perm FW/T. You need to have a perm text (you gain nothing from listing off perms without having an explanation for what they do different than the aff or CP/K and why they don't link to the DA).

Theory: It’s useless without all the parts. Have and extend your interp, standards, voting issues, and impacts. ASPEC/OSPEC/Most Specs are silly, unless the topic makes it relevant (Eg. Regulation specs on the Legalization Topic). See fairness discussion above.

Other Notes: Please have fun! Make me laugh, be witty in CX, don’t be afraid to make banter with the other team. Don’t steal prep, if it becomes a problem I’ll run it. Deleting your analytics (or the ones you coach wrote) IS PREP and a turd move! You gain nothing except for my annoyance and a messy flow all over, so please don’t (odds are another one of your teams already sent it out and you’re just wasting everyone’s time).

Please ask me if you have any specific questions.

Rob Glass Paradigm

6 rounds

Affiliation: University of Houston

I’ve been judging since 2011. As of the start of the Space topic I had judged the second most College Policy rounds in the era of tabroom of any judge. Jackie Poapst was the only person ahead of me, close behind me were Armands Revelins and Daniel Stout. Take this how you will.

Yes, I want to be on the E-mail chain. Send docs to: robglassdebate [at] the google mail service . I don’t read the docs during the round except in unusual circumstances or when I think someone is clipping cards.

The short version of my philosophy, or “My Coach preffed this Rando, what do I need to know?”:

1. Debate should be a welcoming and open space to all who would try to participate. If you are a debater with accessibility (or other) concerns please feel free to reach out to me ahead of the round and I will work with you to make the space as hospitable as possible.

2. Have a fundamental respect for the other team and the activity. Insulting either or both, or making a debater feel uncomfortable, is not acceptable.

3. Debate is for the debaters. My job, in total, is to watch what you do and act according to how y’all want me. So do you and I’ll follow along.

4. Respond to the other team. If you ignore the other team or try to set the bounds so that their thoughts and ideas can have no access to debate I will be very leery of endorsing you. Find an argument, be a better debater.

5. Offense over Defense. I tend to prefer substantive impacts. That said I will explicitly state here that I am more and more comfortable voting on terminal defense, especially complete solvency takeouts. If I am reasonably convinced your aff does nothing I'm not voting for it.

6. With full credit to Justin Green: When the debate is over I'm going to applaud. I love debate and I love debaters and I plan on enjoying the round.

2019-2020 Update:

Empirically using prefs to fine-tune judge selection is a fool's errand. All evidence indicates that judge behaviour deciding rounds is effectively identical as long as strikes are in the mix. So, for your own sake you shouldn't spend too much time thinking about how to pref me. You probably have more important things to do in your life and more interesting things to read. If you want to talk to me about this please do, I'll gladly talk your ear off about the statistical work I've done with debate and what I think it reveals about the activity.

There's no kind of argument I find myself deeply opposed to*, and if won in round I'll vote on just about anything. I tend to lean 'left' on framework claims in K Aff vs. Policy debates and 'right' on substantive claims in round, including K Aff vs. Policy debates. I love in-depth debate and people who show genuine knowledge and passion for their args will be rewarded. While I view Politics DAs as being the educational ZP2theHC I have made my peace with their existence in this activity.

If you're still confused about this, you're overthinking this.

* PRE-UCO Update: I have started to see judge kick ooze its way out of High School debate and into College Debate. I think judge kick is an abomination and forces 2ARs to debate multiple worlds based on their interpretation of how the judge will understand the 2NR and then intervene in the debate. It produces a dearth of depth, and makes all of the '70s-'80s hand-wringing about Condo come true. My compromise with judge kick is this: If the 2NR advocates for judge kick the 2A at the start of 2AR prep is allowed to call for a flip. I will then flip a coin. If it comes up heads the advocacy is kicked, if it comes up tails it isn't. I will announce the result of the flip and then 2AR prep will commence. If the 2A does this I will not vote on any theoretical issues regarding judge kick. If the 2A does not call for a flip I will listen and evaluate theory arguments about judge kick as is appropriate.

Samantha Godbey Paradigm

Samantha Godbey, PhD

Director of Debate

West Virginia University

A note about my education-I started as a novice in 2004 (fossil fuels)- debated through college mostly in CEDA Northeast. My PhD is in Political Science, in particular my dissertatation is on the American public policy process in the area of human trafficking policy. I also have comped in International Relations and Comparative Politics- I have never taken a communications class in my life. All of that means literally nothing except that there are pretty good odds I have not read whatever it is you are reading (policy or k lit). It is your job to explain it to me and pursuade me, not assume that I already know what you are talking about.

How I feel about arguments

I want you all to do whatever it is you do best/ enjoy the most. There is nothing I won’t listen to/ vote on. I really like offense. It is very persuasive to me. I feel as if that is what I look for when I am making my decision at the end of the round, I also like when debaters tell me how they won. I don't like having to look for those reasons/ decide which is most important myself.

Im not crazy about judge intervention, I do my best to come in to every round as tabula rasa as possible. It is your responsibility to persuade me in one way or another to get my ballot.

I believe that I am extremely flow centric (unless you tell me not to be), also seems like I should note that I flow what you say not what is in your speech doc. I wont have your speech doc open at any time unless I am reading cards at the end of the debate. So, if its said in the round, it'll be on my paper. The round is therefore decided by my flow (again, unless told otherwise).

I vote for who wins the debate, I find all types of arguments persuasive from critical to straight up policy. I don't care what you do, just do what you do best (and impact it).

Ramya Gopalakrishnan Paradigm

6 rounds

I've only been a K debater but a K AFF or Alt that isn't explained well will not get my ballot. Good Ks are super interesting to hear so make sure to try to make the other team understand your arguments for effective debates.

T usually won't get my ballot unless really explained and ran well. The education impact really needs to be made clear, as that is probably the most important part of a FW debate. I'll vote on unusual and unique performances/arguments if you make it clear why I should do so. Really anything goes if done well.

Noah Graham Paradigm

2 rounds

4 years at derby high school in kansas

sophomore at george mason

please put me on the chain:

talk as fast if you want

i will read as little as possible after the debate, id rather make my decision based on the speeches.

Case- make sure to utilize the 1ac and never forget the aff, case debates are often shallow but is a key question in most rounds. impact turns are good

DA/CP- these are good. i think that condo is good but will vote for the team that better executes theory

T- love topicality. make sure to go slower in these debates so that i can get everything

FW- affs should definitely at least have a loose relation to the topic

K- please explain alt and contextualize link arguments

CX- is a speech. when 3 minutes is up i will stop listening, also please do not steal prep (flashing/email is not included here)

dont clip cards - its dishonest and bad for debate, i will drop you - burden of proof is high for a team that accuses

Cecilia Hagen Paradigm

5 rounds

Cecilia Hagen

What is important to me:

Clarity is important to me. If I cannot understand you I won't be able to flow you. Be knowledgeable about your arguments and be ready to defend your links and impacts.

Novices* Flow the debate so you don't drop important arguments or miss key details.

J.V. and Varsity* Please explain things for me, I am not always up to date on the topic and it is better to cover all your bases and have a nice clean and clear debate.

For Performance, critical teams and any others* In general I have voted for many arguments. The most important aspect of the debate for me are clarity- being clear and concise, also taking the time to explain arguments for me.

Feel free to ask me specifics before your round if you have any more questions.

Michael Hall Paradigm

Michael Hall

Liberty University

19 Years coaching

The comments below reflect preferences (some of which are strong), but they are fluid in the context of any given debate.

Theory: I am not tabula-rosa. Minimally, each argument should contain a claim, some support (evidentiary or otherwise), and an impact. That said, I do my best to minimize my substantive preferences and therefore find myself voting for positions I don’t particularly like. I attempt to use the decision calculus most persuasively advocated by the debaters.

Topicality: I tend to see topicality as a contest of competing interpretations. I probably vote on T more often than most judges and have no problem voting against "core affirmatives" when the negative has a superior interpretation of the topic. I strongly prefer that the negative team develop arguments based on a comparison of ground offered under each interpretation of the resolution. In-round abuse is not necessary or usually persuasive. I am usually more persuaded by arguments about the types and numbers of cases allowed by each interpretation than I am with the fact that you can’t win a link to your favorite disad. Topicality is by nature exclusionary. If your affirmative forces you to argue that topicality is bad, I'm not the judge for you.

Counterplans: I like creative counterplans tailored to specific affirmatives. The affirmative should be prepared to defend the entirety of the plan, and plan inclusive counterplans are one way of making them do so.

I’ve found myself voting against conditional counterplans a little more often lately, which I attribute to the quality of the negative’s defense of conditionality rather than a change in my CP leanings. If the negative justifies the conditional nature of the counterplan, other theory arguments are reasons to reject the counterplan not the team.

The text of the counterplan and all permutations should be written out. Trying to win a perm that doesn’t include all of the plan or that contains action not contained in the plan or counterplan is nearly impossible.

Kritiks: Given my preference for debates over competing policies, I find arguments that link to the action of the plan more compelling than arguments over the discourse of the 1AC. Like any other part of the negative strategy, the more you tailor your link arguments to the affirmative in question, the more likely I am to find your arguments persuasive. Likewise, an overview that details how the kritik turns the affirmative’s solvency, outweighs the case, etc. would be more helpful than several more impact cards.

Performance: While I am willing to evaluate your critical performance in a debate, I believe strongly that all affirmative arguments should be grounded in a plan text that represents topical action. If you want to use poetry, music, and dance to advocate a plan, go for it.

Style: This is probably the most important section of my philosophy. Things you should know in descending order of importance: (1) I am a better critic for those who collapse the debate in the block and 2NR than for those who go for most of their 1NC arguments into the 2NR. (2) I am a better critic for debaters who emphasize clarity over speed. I’ve found this to be especially true in paperless rounds where everyone in the debate except for the judge is reading along with the speech doc. I’ll give you verbal and nonverbal signals if I can’t understand you. (3) I have come to the conclusion that the more evidence I read, the less my decisions have reflected the arguments made by the debaters. As a result, I try to read fewer cards after a debate and am more easily persuaded to see a debate through the lens that allows me to do so. (4) If you think an argument is important, find a way to set it apart from the rest of the debate.

Prep time: Prep time stops when the speech doc is speech doc is emailed or the flash drive is removed from your computer.

Heather Hall Paradigm

1 rounds


Heather Hall

Heather Holter Hall
Liberty University

A plan should be the focus of debate.  The “big question” in a debate should be “Is the plan a good or bad idea?”  The answer to that question can be based in substantive policy, philosophical arguments, questions of representations, etc. as long as the debate is grounded in a plan.  

There are no arguments that I will off-hand reject but there are definitely some that are harder sells. I especially dislike the trend towards multiple conditional advocacies. And this is mostly because those debates are rarely executed well. I am not an expert in the topic so I come to a debate to learn.The more you teach me, the better the debate will be.If you assume I am an information-processing machine who can process your research and strategic decisions and spit a scientific answer of correctness back to you, you will probably lose.

For performance debates, I have very strong feelings about preserving some of the fundamentals of debate. I believe things like responsiveness, time limits, "fiat", plan texts, and even clear speed have enormous educational value and teach skills not available in other forums. I am in favor of making debate more inclusive and including other types of evidence as long as there is still clash and topic related education in the round. Most importantly, I like consistent, creative, well thought out arguments.

Topicality requires well-explained, specific examples of ground or educational loss. I am not a huge fan of spec arguments.

Counterplans can be conditional and plan-inclusive but I can also be persuaded that they are abusive, given the right explanation. I really dislike multiple conditional CPs. I really love a good case debate.

Kritiks require very specific and concrete links. The more you explain the K in non-philosphical jargon terms, the more persuaded I will be. You must have an active alternative. There are only a few instances in which the "resist the aff" alternative is persuasive. Fiat is imaginary for both the aff AND the neg. You don't get magical powers to pretend that resistance will immediately reshape the entire world's perspective on critical issues. Be real about how reistance works and I can vote for you. I think kritiks of epistemology are circular in the context of debate.

I tend to like substantive debates over theoretical ones. I think that meta debates should be a part of a debate that also contains topic related arguments. Just winning your framework but failing to use this new methodology to say something about the topic misses a huge part of debate--our ability to learn about this topic and I value the educational aspects of debate very highly.

I give good speaker points to debaters who are clear, smart, and kind. I will not read a lot of evidence in order to recreate the round because it was so unclear that I couldn’t get it the first time. Clarity and good arguments are way more important than speed and if I can’t understand you, you lose. The more concrete explanations offered to me, especially in the last two speeches, the better off you are.

I love the activity of debate and especially the people I am blessed to know through the activity. Whatever arguments you run, just remember that each individual debate is about more than just that round. There have been thousands who have debated before you and many more will follow so please respect the activity and all the people involved. It is not just about your own ego or simply winning a ballot.

Have fun!


Lenny Herrera Paradigm

6 rounds

Debate History: I debated for Towson University & Binghamton University (4 years college).

First and foremost, I will not tell you how to engage in the debate. Whether it be policy or K affirmatives I'm open to debaters showcasing their research in any format they choose. However, I do prefer if debaters orient their affirmative construction towards the resolution. 

When evaluating a debate I tend to weigh the impacts of the affirmative to any disadvantage or impact the negative goes for in the 2NR. Therefore, if the affirmative does not extend case in the 2AR it becomes more difficult for me to evaluate the debate unless you tell me the specific argument I should be voting on otherwise. 

Next, is framework. I evaluate this before anything else in the debate. If you run framework in front of me go for decision making, policy research good, learning about X (insert topic related policy discussion i.e. warming, tech, economy, education, etc.) is good, clash or ground. I do not want to feel as though your framework is exclusionary to alternative debate formats but instead debate about its inherent benefits. 

I also really enjoy case debate. If you are on the negative please have case turns and case specific evidence so that the debate for me is a bit more specific and engaging. 

CP's and DA's are also arguments I evaluate but I need to have a good link for both or it will make it difficult for me to vote for them. 

Please focus more on explanation of evidence and not on the amount of evidence introduced in the debate. 

I tend to keep up on politics and critical literature so don't be afraid of running an argument in front of me. I will always ask for preferred pronouns and do not tolerate racism, white supremacy, anti-blackness, sexism, patriarchy, transphobia and xenophobia. 


Dale Hommerding Paradigm

Officer at West Point with no background in debate. Do not spread or go fast. Carefully explain impact calculus and link chains. More comfortable with policy analysis than critical debate

Josh Imes Paradigm

3 rounds

Updated March 2019

New School Debater 2007-2010 / New School Coach 2010-2014 / WVU Coach 2014-2019

Please feel free to do what you are most comfortable with. I have a reputation for being very critically oriented, but I feel as if I vote for policy arguments more and more. I am still pretty far left of center, but not as far left as I was when I first started. I will not, however vote for arguments that I find morally repugnant. If you don't know what those things might be, then "better safe than sorry" might be a good strat.

Some general comments that will help you understand how I feel about certain parts of the debate. I think that a compelling, developed argument without cards will often beat a highly carded, poorly explained argument in almost every case. If you can make smart arguments and analytics, then I am probably going to be persuaded by you. I don't think that every arguments needs to have a card to be true, and I don't think an unwarranted card makes a bad argument true.

A few technical things: I vote more and more on my flow than on my overall perception of a debate. If I don't know what you're saying, then you should probably be clearer or slow down. I don't want to read a lot of cards after the round, but I will read important ones that you tell me to if you explain why I have to read that card. Tell me that it directly answers their important cards, or that it is the best piece of evidence that shows why you win, or that it's written by an author I like, and then I'll probably read it. When it comes to the end of the debate, give me specific ways to vote for you. The easier you make it on me, the more likely I'll be to vote for you.

T- I used to be very biased towards T arguments, but I am less so now. I think that T arguments can devolve into blippy extensions of a three word definition. Those are the kinds of T debates I dislike. If there is a specific reason why an interpretation changes the way an aff functions, then I am open to that debate. I think that an argument over "how much is substaintial" is not particularly useful. I am completely fine with non-topical affs, in fact I like them a lot. With that having been said, with great power comes great responsibility and that responsibility is often answering T and FW. For me, “T is fascist” is not enough. You need to explain why you need to be non-topical and why a topical version of your plan is a bad idea. I am more likely to buy abuse stories that involve education in a coherent way, saying non-topical plans kill education is not enough, explain how that type of education is bad, and why a topical version might work better, or just a modified version. If you are going for the "topical version" argument, then you should probably have an example of what a topical version would be.

FW- I default to the framework of the aff unless the neg on face challenges it, but the aff also has to defend their framework and answer the other team’s objections with substantive answers, “aff choice” isn’t enough. If they want to use USFG policy to do something, then so be it. If they want to use themselves as agents, then that is good too. You have to defend which option you choose. I feel that debates about debate can be important and useful, but only if they are substantive and meaningful (I don’t find the Shively “Euthanasia” card falls into those categories).

DA’s- As a debater, I never read DAs, but I am becoming more comfortable with them. I don't do tons of policy research every day, so I may not know every scenario currently being read. That only means that it is the neg's responsibility to explain the story of the disad and the warrants of the cards. This is the bare minimum for any argument. I am sympathetic to K’s of DA’s, so be warned. That doesn't mean that I have an aff bias on disads, but that I am more familiar with the literature critiquing them than the uniqueness card you cut last night. Just one thing that might help you out, I am pretty willing to buy a “try or die” situation against a DA if there is not enough impact work done. This is especially true absent a CP. If it comes to Plan v. DA, I’m probably going to pick plan unless you explain to me why I can’t. If you make it seem like the plan action will certainly lead to the demise of the entire world then there should be some seemingly factual warrants to why this is the case (remember this doesn't have to be a card, see above).

CP’s- Competition is key. Explaining it is even better. There needs to be a clear discussion to how the CP competes and is net beneficial to the aff. I need a clear net benefit and why that is more important than plan action. I also need clear explanation on the Perm debate. Each Perm should be answered individually or group for some logical reason. Do not make a Perm argument on one perm, drop the others and then pretend you answered them all. I flow your answers on the specific Perm you mention. Be clear and be precise on the Perm debate. I will get to theory below.

K’s- I said at the top I was a K debater, so if you are a K team, this is a blessing and a curse. I will be automatically more attracted to these arguments, but will also hold them to a higher standard. Don’t expect that I know what you’re talking about even if I do. I try my best to only evaluate the arguments made, not what I know about the philosopher/philosophies you are citing. You will win easily if you explain how your arguments function in relation to the other team’s arguments. You will lose easily if you throw out high theory jargon and expect me to connect the dots.

Theory- I don’t particularly like it because it always seems to be lacking. Are multiple perms really that detrimental to anybody? Does it really skew your time that much to answer “do both” and “do the plan, then the alt?” I’ve never seen a really good theory debate and I don’t want to see a lot of bad ones to find a good one. If it’s something you like to do, then do it, but you’re really going to have to sell me on why your scripted block beats their scripted block. One way to do this is give specific examples to the debate you're in. I will be much more likely to buy your theory argument if you make it seem like X thing is bad always, but in this round it is just egregious.

Non-Topical Affs- These are the affs I have the most experience with and what I am used to judging. If you are the team that is looking for the straight up policy debate judge that just finished spending his Friday night cutting politics updates, I am not the judge for you. If you are the K team that is looking for the person that won't automatically vote them down for not being topical, then I am the judge for you.

I think that debate should be much more of an open space than it is. Just because something isn't what you do, doesn't make it automatically wrong and if you debate in front of me with that mentality, you will probably lose. Engaging arguments is the most important part of debate for me.

Willie Johnson Paradigm

4 rounds

I feel the need to fix this huge communication issue in the debate community it will start with my judging philosophy. If you are a debater who say any of the following "Obama is president solves for racism" or "we are moving towards less racism cause of Obama or LBS" and the opposing team reading a racism arg/advantage or colorblindness I will instantly vote you down with 25 points for the debater who said it.

Jumping: Novice please don't but if you must which you all will you have 20 seconds after you call for prep to be stop till I consider it stealing prep and instead of restarting prep I will just measure it by the ticker timer in my head (which you do not want). I suggest that you carry a debate jump drive, viewing computer or the cloud system. For Open debaters I get even more angry with the lack of competence you guys have with being responsible when it comes to jumping files and card. I have a soft warmness for debaters who are mostly paper and may involve me smiling like a boy with a crush don't be alarmed it is just me remembering my old days.

Speaking: I believe that clarity comes before all other ideals of what we often fantasize a good speaker to be, a debater has to be clear so that I spend more time analyzing and processing what is said then trying to comprehend what the hell is being said. This helps in the rebuttals when there is more cross applying of arguments instead of me sitting there trying to ponder what argument reference is being made. Speed is something I can adjust to not my general forte yet if you are clear I can primarily make easier adjustments (look I sound like a damn metronome). I tend to give hints towards the wrongs and rights in the round so I won’t be put off if you stare at me every now and then. Debates should be a game of wit and word that upholds morals of dignity and respect do not be rude and or abrasive please respect me, the other team, your partner and of course yourself

The Flow: My hand writing is atrocious just incredibly horrible for others at least I generally flow tags, authors and major warrants in the world of traditional debate. Outside of that with all the other formats poetry, performance, rap, theatricals and so forth I just try to grasp the majority of the speech incorporating the main idea

The K: yeah I so love the K being from a UDL background and having running the K for a majority of my debate career, yet don't let that be the reason you run the K I believe that a great K debate consist of a in-depth link explanation as well as control of the clash. There should be Impact calculus that does more then tell me what the impact is but a justification for how it functionally shapes the round which draws me to have a complete understanding of the Alt versus the plan and there must be some idea of a solvency mechanism so that the k is just simply not a linear disad forcing me to rethink or reform in the status quo (K= reshape the Squo)

The T debate: First I find it extremely hard to remember in my entire debate career where I cast a ballot for topicality alone yet it is possible to get a T ballot you must have a clear abuse story I will not evaluate T if there is not a clear abuse story. Voters are my best friend and will become a prior if well explained and impacted, yet I do believe education and fairness have extreme value just want to know why.

The D/A: Well I actually find myself voting more on the Disad then the K I just think that the disad debate offers more tools for the neg then the K yet it is the debater who optimize these tools that gain my ballot, link debates should contain at least a specific link as well as a an established Brink generic links are not good enough to win a D/A ballot and any good aff team will destroy a a generic link unless there is some support through a link wall. Impact debates must be more than just nuke war kills all you have to place comparative value to the status quo now and after plan passage. Yet a disad is an easier win with the advantages of solvency deficits and the option of competitive counter plans.

The Counter Plan: Competition is key if there is no proof that the end result is not uniquely different from the aff plan it is less likely to capture my ballot. So C/P solvency and competition is where my voter lies on the C/P flow this involves establishing and controlling the clash on the net benefit. PIC's usually rely on proving that the theoretical value of competition is worth my jurisdiction.

Theory: cross apply T only thing with a theory debate that is different is you must be able to show in where the violation actually happens yet I find theory to be easy outs to traditional clash.

Framework: this is where my jurisdiction truly falls and it is the teams’ job to not only introduce the functioning framework but to uphold and defend that their framework is worth singing my ballot towards. I have no set idea of a framework coming into the round your job is to sell me to one and by any means my job is not to look at what framework sounds good but which is presented in a manner that avoids judges intervention (really just the team that prevents me from doing the bulk of the work if any).

In general: I love a good old debate round with tons of clash and where there is an understanding and display of your own intellect I find it hard to judge a round where there is just a display of how well a team can read and make reference to evidence, usually I hope that ends or is done less coming out of the 1AR. I'm a man who finds pleasure in the arts and execution of organic intellect and can better give my decision and opinion based mainly on how one relates back to competitive debate, if debate for you is a card game then it forces me to have to make decision based off my comprehension of the evidence and trust me that is never a good thing, yet a round where the discussion is what guides my ballot I can vote on who upholds the best discursive actions.

V Keenan Paradigm

1 rounds

This is not a change in philosophy; it’s a clarification for those who lack the literary interpretation skills for the haikus and those who don’t quite feel I’ve written enough about my particular lens on debate.

I do not WANT to be on the email chain/what-not; however, I SHOULD* be on the chain/what-not. Note the critical ability to distinguish these two things, and the relevance of should to the fundamental nature of this activity. Email for this purpose: .

(Do not try to actually contact me with this address - it’s just how I prevent the inevitable electronically transmitted cyber infection from affecting me down the road, because contrary to popular belief, I do understand disads, I just have actual probability/internal link threshold standards.)

Things I am cool with:

Tell met the story

Critical Args

Critical Lit (structural criticisms are more my jam)

Performative strategies

CP fun times and clever intersections of theory

A text. Preferable a well written text. Unless there are no texts.

Not half-assing going for theory

Case debate


So many things about SPACE!!!

You do you

Things that go over less well:

Blippy theory

Accidentally sucking your own limited time by unstrategic or functionally silly theory

Critical lit (high theory … yes, I know I only have myself to blame, so no penalty if this is your jelly, just more explanation)

Multiple contradictory conditional neg args

A never ending series of non existent nuclear wars that I am supposed to determine the highest and fastest probability of happening (so many other people to blame)

Telling me a proper “international treaties” topic predicated on international law is not part of the “legal topic” rotation year and then making them a plank of something that doesn’t seem to be able to teach the basics of test cases in judicial restrictions.

Not having your damn tags with the ev in the speech doc. Seriously.

As a general note: Winning framework does not necessarily win you a debate - it merely prioritizes or determines the relevancy of arguments in rounds happening on different levels of debate. Which means, the distinction between policy or critical or performative is a false divide. If you are going to invoke a clash of civilizations mentality there should be a really cool video game analogy or at least someone saying “Release the Kraken”.

Don't make the debate harder for yourself.

Try to have fun and savor the moment.


*** *** ***


*Judges should be on the chain/what-not for two reasons: 1)as intelligence gathering for their own squad and 2) to expedite in round decision making. My decisions go faster than most panels I’m on when I am the one using prep time to read through the critical extended cards BEFORE the end of the debate. I almost never have the docs open AS the debaters are reading them because I limit my flow to what you SAY. (This also means I don’t read along for clipping … because I am far more interested in if you are a) comprehensible and b) have a grammatical sentence in some poor overhighlighted crap.) Most importantly, you should be doing the evidence comparisons verbally somehow, not relying on me to compare cards after the debate somehow. If I wanted to do any of that, I would have stayed a high school English teacher and assigned way more research papers.

I’m taking the time to explain this bit in detail because 1) I don’t have an actual team here and 2) I wrote some of this last year for the NDT**. SIGH**. That also ALL required hedging your bets competitively on a panel, so I recognize that I may not be the person your strat is ideally geared towards, which is fine, and can be a strategically smart choice. But that means understanding what I do and do not care about on the flow in that case will matter more. I’m old, so I really have no compunction identifying that I didn’t get something because you failed to flag it well, or yelling “clear” when you start to mumble through your 8th uniqueness card I don’t care about.

** Collins, Suzanne (2009-09-01). The Hunger Games. Scholastic Press. Kindle Edition

The rules of the Hunger Games are simple. In punishment for the uprising, each of the twelve districts must provide one girl and one boy, called tributes, to participate. The twenty-four tributes will be imprisoned in a vast outdoor arena that could hold anything from a burning desert to a frozen wasteland. Over a period of several weeks, the competitors must fight to the death. The last tribute standing wins. Taking the kids from our districts, forcing them to kill one another while we watch — this is the Capitol’s way of reminding us how totally we are at their mercy. How little chance we would stand of surviving another rebellion. Whatever words they use, the real message is clear. “Look how we take your children and sacrifice them and there’s nothing you can do. If you lift a finger, we will destroy every last one of you. Just as we did in District Thirteen.” To make it humiliating as well as torturous, the Capitol requires us to treat the Hunger Games as a festivity, a sporting event pitting every district against the others. The last tribute alive receives a life of ease back home, and their district will be showered with prizes, largely consisting of food. All year, the Capitol will show the winning district gifts of grain and oil and even delicacies like sugar while the rest of us battle starvation. “It is both a time for repentance and a time for thanks,” intones the mayor.

Christopher Kozak Paradigm

3 rounds

Experience: 4 years high school policy, 4 years college policy, 4 years coaching college and high school. Current director of debate at Rutgers-Newark. 

My judging philosophy/preference is simple. Make arguments. That includes a claim, a warrant and why in a world of competing claims does your claim matter. I don't have a judging "paradigm" and to say that I am a tablarasa is as naive as it is stupid. I am going to split the difference and just explain to you what kinds of arguments I am familiar with.

I debated the K for most of college. I value K's that are nuanced, well explained, and clearly applied to a specific context. I like original thinking in debate and will try my best to adapt to any performance style that you wish present in the round. Just be aware to all teams when debating framework on these issues that I do not consider appeals to "objective rules" persuasive in the context of determining debate norms. Debate is a rare activity in which students are allowed to define the conditions of their own education. I take this aspect of debate very seriously. This does not mean I am hostel to "policy debate good" arguments, it just means that I am holding both teams to a high stander of explanation when evaluating framework arguments.

I was mostly a straight up debater in high school so I am also familiar with the other side of the fence. I love a good straight up policy round. I am a current events junkie and find that form of debate extremely valuable. I would just say that the only thing you need to worry about in front of me in a straight up round is that I have a hard time flowing quick blipy analysis (who doesn't?). Again, not really my style of debate, but honestly if you just make sure you pause for a breath or something between arguments I will get everything you need me to get on my flow.

It may sound like I have a lot of "biases" but I do honestly try to evaluate arguments exactly as debaters tell me to. These preferences mostly come into play only when debaters are not doing their jobs.

Avoid having to adapt to me at all and just tell me what you would like my preferences to be and we will be straight.

I welcome you to ask any specific questions you may have about my philosophy before the debate considering I don't have much of an idea about what to put in these things.

Joe Leeson-Schatz Paradigm

1 rounds

Updated for 2014-2015 debate season.


I am no longer awarding points for people taking the veg pledge. However, I still strongly believe that if you care about the environment, racism, or injustice that you should register at tournaments vegetarian or vegan. Tournaments will provide for your nutiritional needs and you will have abstained from using your registration fees paying for the slaughter of sentient creatures whose death requires abhorent working conditions for people of color, massive greenhouse gas emissions, and the death of individuals. 

Meet Your MeatView From AboveDeforestation of Animal AgricultureRunoff from Hog Farm


What people decide to consume is a political act, not a personal one. Deciding to consume flesh at debate tournaments continues the pattern of accepting violence and discrimination. This happens for workers, for people living in food deserts, people living in countries across the world, and for the non/human animals sent to slaughter. Tournaments are not food deserts. Your choice to consume differently can make a tangible impact on debate as a community and beyond. Your choice has global and local ramifications. I urge you to make the correct choice in registering your dietary choice even if it has no impact on your speaker points. Several people said that they didn't want to be coerced into making the decision to go vegetarian or vegan at tournaments for speaker points. Now is your chance to make that choice without the impact of speaker points.


All that being said, how you choose to debate is a political choice as well. You can debate however you like but you should realize that the methodology and the content you put forth are not neutral choices. Whatever choices you make you should be ready to defend them in round. “As Stuart and Elizabeth Ewen emphasize in Channels of Desire: The politics of consumption must be understood as something more than what to buy, or even what to boycott. Consumption is a social relationship, the dominant relation-ship in our society – one that makes it harder and harder for people to hold together, to create community. At a time when for many of us the possibility of meaningful change seems to elude our grasp, it is a question of immense social and political proportions.” (hooks 376).


If it is not already clear, I will say it outright: I view debate as a space for education, activism, and social justice. This does not mean I won't vote on framework or counterplans. What it does mean is that the arguments that I will find most appealing are those arguments that speak to how traditional approaches to debate are beneficial to us as individuals to create a better world. It is not that fairness is irrelevant, but that fairness is relevant only to that extent. Fairness plays a part in constructing meaninful education and activism but is not the sole standard to enable good debate. Concepts of fairness are not value-neutral but it is a debate that can be defend and won in front of me since I do not think fairness is irrelevant either. For teams breaking down such structures, you still must win the debate that your approach to debate is better for advacing causes of social justice. If you like policymaking and are running counterplans you merely need to win that your counterplan is a better approach. The same applies for theory violations. I will vote on them if you win that the impact to the violation is important enough for me to pull the trigger. The same is also true for kritiks and other styles of debate. Win that your approach and your argument deserves to win because of the impact that it has.


Again, to be clear, this does not mean that I intend to abandon the flow or vote based upon my personal beliefs. My belief is that debate is more than a game and that the things we say and do in it are not neutral-choices. This does not necessarily mean that so-called traditional policy debate is bad but that the way it should be approached by those teams should not be assumed to be neutral.


Whether it is what you eat, or what you debate, your choice is political. Our world can change. It is up to all of us to make it happen. Movements are already happening all around us. Don't let the norms dictate what you debate or what you consume. Debate should be at the forefront of these initiatives. Use the education you gain in debate to say something and to do something meaningful both in round and beyond.


Vines Gardens

Urban Farming




Chris Leonardi Paradigm

6 rounds

Modern problems require modern solutions.

P.S. I have never and will never evaluate a judge kick argument as if it were valid. If you make a 2NR decision, you've made it. You can't unmake soup. I'm not going to intervene into the debate to fix your 2NR mistakes.

Michael Lewis Paradigm

6 rounds

I'm a policy debater so I lean towards policy alternatives but, I will vote for teams with out a plan text if you impact framework or T well. If you are a K team don't change your strat for me because I prefer good debate over everything else. NO CLASH means bad speaker points. I am fine with speed so go as fast as you can. I will tell you to be clear once in a speech before I stop flowing. In rebuttals I want a story tell me how A gets to B don't just tell me A and B.

I'm ok with you making jokes in speeches and cross ex just don't be rude. I don't count flashing as prep but, when you are done with prep don't prep. The speech timer starts when the opposing team opens the speech doc.

Zhane Lloyd Paradigm

6 rounds

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Yes, include me on the email chain.

Brooklyn Tech: 2011 - 2012 (those three novice UDL tournaments apparently count)
NYU: 2014 - 2018

I help coach for Brooklyn Tech and The New School.

Update 2019: I don't feel like deleting below the TL;DR because some things may still apply, but I'd like to add some new stuff that are probably most salient for debaters required to look at a paradigm 15 minutes before the round.

For monetary reasons primarily, I've begun judging PF. Points 2-5 below are probably most beneficial for looking at.

1). SPACE TOPIC SPECIFIC: I don't care whether or not you explicitly talk about China/Russia cooperation, but I think outer space itself is a cool topic and I do want to hear about it in round.

2). There is 75% chance I know something about what you're saying, but for debater's sake, I don't know anything and want it explained to me. Very well. I am a storyteller and I like storytelling. Tell me the story of your argument.

3). Impact framing matters SO much. I need the question "why should I care" to be answered by the debaters. The question "why should I care about your argument more than your opponents" should also be answered.

4). I don't have an argument or style preference. The creative in me loves a good performance though.

5). I can't believe I have to say this, but the 2NR and 2AR are the round winning speeches. This seems like a 'duh', but I've been questioned about arguments that were in the debate that I didn't evaluate and usually it's because it wasn't in the final two speeches. If debaters don't care enough to put an argument in their final speech, then I don't care enough to evaluate it.

TL;DR - Debating for NYU pretty much means I'll vote for anything argued reasonably well with very few exceptions.

Most of the affs I ran at NYU were soft left - government solvency w/structural violence impacts - so I think it makes me sympathetic towards most kinds of aff, irregardless of where they fall on the spectrum. Either that or my feeling that debate is a game so debaters are entitled to whatever argument they think is most strategic. Within reason of course.

My feelings on affs that do nothing is based on the topic. For something like education or immigration that effects the average person and not just fancy policymakers in $2,000 suits- I want an aff that interacts with those structures in some way (even if it's just an epistemic shift). If it's something like space exploration or executive authority - I'm less likely to care that the aff does nothing. Regardless of how I feel about the topic or the aff, I'll always vote for whichever team I think did the better debating.

I don’t mind speed, but when you read tags, slow down. I need to understand what you’re saying because it’s going on my flow. This is also true of analytics and theory arguments. If it’s not on my flow, I’m not going to evaluate it.

A White boy from Walter Payton joined the NYU team and read nothing but Baudrillard in his first year, so it's made me more sympathetic towards post-modernism (still doesn't rank high in my fave args though). With that being said, if you want a judge to help you argue it better, then I'm not the judge for you.

Yes, I will vote on T and Framework. I went for T a lot in my senior year and was also pretty sympathetic towards Framework. If the 2NR was popping or the 2AR was shit (or both), I will pull the trigger on Framework or T as I would a K, DA, or CP.

Even though I lean towards Ks (primarily ones centered around Blackness), I do not know all of the scholarship, so I expect that to be well explained in the debate. That should be a good rule of thumb regardless to be honest. Of course, there is nothing wrong with a traditional disad or counterplan – I am willing to vote on those as well.

Also, there's a 99% chance I will be wearing a WWE shirt. Make a reference and I'll give you higher speaks.

Most likely, if you've had me as a judge, then you know my timer. This is where I downloaded it from (and yes, it's wrestling-related):

Ian Lowery Paradigm

6 rounds

Ian "Bishop" Lowery, 4 years of policy debate at George Mason University. I'm currently a second-year coach/judge for GMU.

Please strike me. PLEASE! Even if you think I'm a good judge, Imma need you to take this L for me.


Tabula Rasa. I believe that my role as judge is to absorb the information provided within the round and decide who wins based on the debater's ability to explain and defend their position. Do whatever you were going to do before you saw my name on the pairing. Treat the following as proclivities that may make my decision easier or increase your speaker points.

I'm not very familiar with the current topic, so it probably isn't wise to assume that I know all the policy techne or kritical link stories to the topic or specific affs. I mostly ran kritical arguments during my time as a debater, in my earlier years I ran traditional policy but most of my relevant experience is with the K. That said, I believe that all arguments should be made palatable for the judge, so if I don't understand what i'm voting for, i'm not likely to vote for it.

General Stuff:

Conduct - Don't be a jerk. It's alright to be aggressive, but have a point. Don't be malicious. At it's core, debate is a game, so everyone should have fun. Keep it playful.

Time - Prep ends when the document is saved. Debaters should keep track of their own and opponents speech times.

E-mail Chain? - Yes, I would like to be on the email chain:


Theory - One of the most interesting parts of debate is that it the players can make rules as they play the game. For that reason, I love theory. However, I don't like listening to two teams read pre-written blocks at one another with no clash. The more technical team gets their way. I can be persuaded to reject the arg not the team. Potential abuse is not a voter unless well impacted. Please, no reverse voters.

Counterplans - I'm fine with most CPs. Not a huge fan of process and conditional multiplank CPs. Judge kicking isn't really my thing (I will if the neg says I should and the aff doesn't respond, but don't expect me to on default). A large part of the 2nr should be explaining why this position is uniquely better than the Aff and explaining what that world looks like.

Kritiks - I prefer alts that actually claim to do something. I don't like links of omission. Argue your position well and prove that you have an understanding of your literature base = I will probably want to vote for you.

Kritical Aff's/Framework - I am willing to vote on alternative interpretations of debate or turns to framework. I don't consider "fairness" an impact by default, but certainly can be convinced to vote for it if well impacted in the round. If the Aff doesn't have any clear bridge to the topic/resolution, I'll be sympathetic to fairness arguments. Novices should read a plan.

The Gamble - If you successfully do the following, you will get a .2 boost in speaker points. If you try and fail at the following, you will lose .2 speaker points (hence the gamble). Incorporate the words: Boneless, Clout, or Deadass into your speech in a manner that makes me laugh. If it doesn't make me laugh, you lose the gamble. You can try as many times as you wish, but you can only win once per debate.

If you have any questions, hmu at I will try to answer them to the best of my abilities. If your league doesn't allow RFD disclosure, it might be in your interest to reach out to me.

Ryan Marx Paradigm

6 rounds

An important part of a debate is what motivates it. I understand that a team is a given a certain resolution to defend, but there ought to be deeper motivating reasons than wanting to win a debate competition, the normative reasons for preferring one position over another are of great interest, and where the clash is most interesting.

Having a background in normative and applied ethics, I greatly value debate when it clashes around normative underpinnings. Evidence is an important component in making a good argument, but it is merely supporting material; it is not the argument.

I have a high bar on accepting T arguments; if you make them, then make them well!

Having said that, I greatly appreciate the avoid of technical jargon, and a focus on "plain-speaking." Argumentation is often a performance to convince an audience, not the debaters. Debaters should not expect their audience to possess the technical vocabulary used in research materials.

In all cases, my decisions on what makes a good argument prioritize clarity and strong normative frameworks.

Roberto Montero Paradigm

6 rounds

Roberto Montero, Bronx Science ’16, Binghamton ’20. I debated 4 years in high school and broke at the ToC if that means anything to you.

There are two types of arguments in debate (and their inverses): smart arguments and good arguments. Some arguments happen to be both but most of the time they are neither (thus either a bad argument or a not-so-intelligent argument). A smart argument is well-researched, nuanced, and interesting. Good arguments are strategic and effective at winning debates. For example, the politics disad is a ‘good argument’ in that it wins a lot of debates and can be executed and deployed to perfection in the correct hands. That doesn’t make it a smart argument because every novice can tell you that it doesn’t reflect real politics outside of a basic uniqueness claim (which half the time is cut out of context because news articles aren’t written as conclusive as cards are purported to be). A smart argument isn’t always good however. If you have a critique that you’ve put a grad thesis amount of work into, it might make some interesting observations about the world/aff but may not be the most strategic.

Understanding the distinction between these two types of arguments is a recipe for combining them and developing the most well rounded arguments and a higher quality of debates. However, it isn’t my job to sit behind my laptop and mock the quality of your arguments, rather it is up to you as debaters to develop and articulate your arguments as such. When judging I do my best to let debaters do the debating so regardless of what my opinions/thoughts on your arguments are, as long as they are warranted, impacted and clearly extended throughout the speeches. This is also important for understanding how I judge debates—framing your rebuttals with important technical concessions on the line by line is valuable in making my decision easier and not make me sift through dropped arguments on both sides.

The biggest problem in most debates starts with that whole line by line thing. Teddy Albiniak taught me that one of the ways that high schoolers develop bad habits is through imitating prominent college debaters. The thing that bothers me the most is the reliance on 7/8 minute overviews. While this may be something that works for some very talented college debaters, generally it shouldn’t be a tactic employed by most. There is a place for an overview, and it serves a valuable and strategic function but there is such a thing as excessive. This is one of the biggest tradeoffs with engaging in the line by line in general which is pretty important.

*This last portion, like most of my paradigm, assumes a basic model of debate. This means that if you present an alternative model of debate and a different metric for evaluating arguments I will accept that. To quote Alain Badiou It’s only a principle, it’s not a programme. Debate isn’t standard and that is one of the things that makes it such an enjoyable and valuable activity, so take this with a grain of salt.

The second biggest problem is case debating. ~~Newsflash~~ most affs are bad. Not even most, definitely all of the affirmatives are bad. One of the best way to satisfy judges (and me) is by exploiting that on the case page. The threshold for smart 1nc case analytics is a little high but by the block some smart engagement with the warrants and internal links of the 1ac, especially at a basic, logical level, can only help you in the long run. This is particularly important for me as a judge because I can easily justify pulling the trigger on a presumption/0 risk of the aff type argument if mishandled by the affirmative and well-articulated/nuanced by the negative. This is not to say it’s impossible to be aff or that even that the standard is higher but that you should be prepared to defend the 1ac against larger level solvency questions.

We also need to talk about presumption. It is important, especially versus critical affirmatives. If your aff cannot answer the question of why the ballot is key or implicate it in any sense, you have abdicated my role as an adjudicator. All I can really do is enter a team that is victorious on a ballot, just saying that this is obvious does not mean the issue goes away. Perhaps this contradiction is too much to overcome in 8 minutes of a 1ac, and maybe is a problem with how we construct affirmatives but something persuasive needs to be said that doesn't amount to "You're right nothing we said or do matters but you should vote for us anyways" in 1ac cross-x.

Tl;dr please debate the case. Just do it. Like cigarettes and overviews it’s not cool just because the big kids do it.

As for specific arguments I don’t have much to say on all the ~nuances~ of agent counter plans or the intricacies of politics disad theory. I think the go through every issue thing is cliché and generally just a waste of time. If you have any specific questions about my thoughts on some random thing I’d be happy to answer it but I won’t bother to write down an arbitrary opinion on the 7th subpoint of some condo block from 2006. The only issue worth addressing (and what I’m almost confident is the only thing people look at) is framework.


The biggest problem with framework is that a lot of 2nr’s seem to forget to extend an impact. And when they do remember to extend an impact it turns out to just be a really bad impact. Although I’m willing to vote on a dropped fairness argument I’m still skeptical that the age old phrase ‘Debate is a game so fairness you broke the rules you lose’ meets the necessary threshold of an argument. If you plan on going for this impact in front of me make sure it is clearly articulated and not the same circular claim without a warrant.

What I think the so called ‘intrinsic’ value of debate is can be loosely understood as clash. The ability for two teams to debate the merits of competing positions seems valuable not only for education but is just plain fun. Not to say that clash is an impact in it of itself because at some level it’s fundamentally inevitable, but it’s a question of what that clash looks like. This should structure how you articulate a framework impact (or answer one for that matter) most likely to get my ballot. If framework is a question of competing models or visions of debate then you just have to prove comparatively that your model produces better debates, skills or education.

The second biggest problem with framework debates is that negative teams let affs get away with too much. If the 2ar gets to stand up and weigh the entirety of the 1ac versus framework it puts you way behind. The easiest way for an affirmative to defeat framework is to complicate and problematize the way they have constructed the world. This means if you win some truth claims about your aff and the way the world operates through your theory or interpretation then it nullifies a lot of their arguments. For example if you read an affirmative that says the global system of capitalism is bad and the 2nr doesn’t answer the case debate, then what do their skills matter if they can only reproduce a system of capital you have critiqued. This, like any good framework rebuttal, requires a lot of framing and contextualizing the line by line through these bigger picture questions.

The best way for negative teams to check back against this is to just reduce the risk of the aff. You can look back up to that whole portion about case debating, it applies to K affs as well. The other necessary piece is a topical version of the aff. Obviously not helpful against an anti-topical aff but in a majority of framework debates a persuasive and nuanced topical version of the aff goes a long way in resolving a lot of their offense. It still requires a larger impact in conjunction because at the end of the day it is still a defensive argument.

Tl;dr don’t waste time, make good arguments, do line by line, debate the case, extend a framework impact, don’t say talks about how.


John Nagy Paradigm

1 rounds

Please include me in your speech doc thread. My email is

I enjoy coaching and judging novice debates. I think the novice division is the most important and representative of what is good in our community. That being said, I opposed and still oppose the ADA Novice Curriculum Packet. It's an attempt by some in the community, who don't even have novice programs, to use the novice division to further their vision of what debate "should" look like. I don't like that.

I really like judging debates where the debaters speak clearly, make topic specific arguments, make smart analytic arguments, attack their opponent’s evidence, and debate passionately. I cut a lot of cards so I know a lot about the topic. I don’t know much about critical literature.

Framework debates: I don’t enjoy judging them. Everyone claims their educational. Everyone claims their being excluded. It’s extremely difficult to make any sense of it. I would rather you find a reason why the 1AC is a bad idea. There’s got to be something. I can vote for a no plan-text 1AC, if you’re winning your arguments. With that being said, am not your ideal judge for such 1AC’s because I don’t think there’s any out of round spill-over or “solvency.”

Topicality: Am ok with topicality. Competing interpretations is my standard for evaluation. Proving in-round abuse is helpful but not a pre-requisite. If am judging in novice at an ADA packet tournament, it will be very difficult to convince me to vote on topicality. Because there are only 2-3 1AC's to begin with, there's no predictability or limits arguments that make any sense.

Disadvantages: Like them. The more topic specific the better.

Counterplans: Like them. The more specific to the 1AC the better. Please slow down a little for the CP text.

Kritiks: ok with them. I don’t know a lot about any critical literature, so know that.

Rate of Delivery: If I can’t flow the argument, then it’s not going on my flow. And please slow down a little bit for tags.

Likes: Ohio State, Soft Power DA’s, case debates

Dislikes: Michigan, debaters that are not comprehensible, District 7 schools that cut and paste evidence from other schools and present it as their own without alteration. Do that in front of me and I might vote against you automatically.

Joe Patrice Paradigm

3 rounds

Joe Patrice


Paperless Policy: I'm at Or I can do the situational dropbox thing. Whatever. Regale me with your evidence. I don't read it during round, I just want it all for post-round evaluation and caselist obligations. I still flow based on what you SAY so don't cut corners on clarity just because I have your speech docs in my inbox.

Everything Else: I listen to everything, but I characterize myself as a critic of argument. Basically that’s a kind of pretentious way of saying that I listen to everything, but realistically note that in evaluation, all else equal, certain things are more compelling than others.

NOTE: Do not necessarily interpret any of my preferences as bans on any kind of arguments, or even guides to how to select down. It's a threshold of believability issue.

Policy Debates: Compare your impacts, weigh them, and tell me a story of the world of voting Aff vs. voting Neg.

I prefer fewer positions with longer evidence, clearer scenarios, and more analysis of impact probability rather than harping on the massive size of the impacts. If I hear that an increase in spending will collapse the world economy and trigger a nuclear war, you may as well tell me aliens are invading. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll vote on it, but I’ll die a little inside and there’s frighteningly little of my soul left to kill – I’m a lawyer.

Counterplans are cool. In the world of Agent CPs I prefer topic specific agent fights over broad generic agent shifts, but I’ll vote on them because, hey, it’s the world we live in. I’ve been more demanding of CP/Perm theory arguments. I think these arguments are akin to T, yet unlike T people don't feel compelled to explain the abuse story. I do not think "the Perm is severance" is a link...I need to know why it severs and preferably a reason why that is uniquely disadvantageous. That said, if that's in the debate I'm more than willing to vote on these args because people all too often don't answer them well enough, probably because they don't know how to flow anymore. But who am I to judge! Oh right... I'm the judge. Kinda my job.

In other words, if you're going the policy route, you’ll make me so happy teeing off with specific arguments tied to the real policy debate of the subject.

And if you’re reading this harsh criticism of policy debate with a smug look on your face, slow your roll there K debater...

Kritik Debates: Kritiks challenge the advocacy of the other team in salient ways that could be lost in a pure utilitarian analysis. Issues of exclusion and oppression ingrained in the heart of a policy proposal or the representations of the other team can be called out with kritiks ranging from simple “-ism” args to a postmodern cavalcade.

It is NOT an excuse to say random pomo garbage that sounds cool but doesn’t bear upon what’s happening in the round. Esoteric ramblings from some dead German can – and often do – have as little to do with the debate round as the hypothetical global nuclear wars that have killed us a million times over in this activity. Look, I actually KNOW what most of that garbage means, but that's not a reason for you to not make sense. Make the K relevant to the specific policy/issue discussion we’re supposed to be having and I’ll be very happy.

Again, I vote on this stuff, but see above about killing me inside.

When it comes to K/Performance Affs, I’m pretty open to however you justify the Aff (metaphorically, as activism, as some kind of parable), so long as deep down you’re advocating that all things equal, “current space policy bad.” Take whatever tack to get there you want, but basically be the direction of the topic, folks. With all these caveats, if you outright refuse to "affirm" anything in the "topic," that's all well and good, just be a really good T debater. I'll vote for a compelling justification — I’ve recently been told that according to Tabroom, I’m almost exactly .500 in these debates over the last few years. I don’t know if that’s true, but it sounds right. Frankly, I'd rather hear "we can't be Aff because the resolution is broken and we'll win the T/Framework debate" than some squirrely "we're not topical, but kind of topical, but really not" thing.

An honest pet peeve (that I can be talked out of, round-by-round) is that I don't think “performance” means doing this stuff in-round. For example, Dadaism is an argument, not a reason to answer every question with “Fishbulbs!"

Every time you steal prep time will also kill me a little more inside. But you’re going to do it anyway.

Joe Patten Paradigm

6 rounds

Joe Patten - I make it a point to judge the round based on the evidence provided by both teams, and do not make arguments for teams - in other words, I will vote for teams even if I don't personally agree with their arguments.  I can judge speed, but tend to give higher speaks for debaters who speak clearly.

Vladimir Pavlov Paradigm

3 rounds

Email: (yea. seriously. it gets my emails to me on time and im not really looking for a change. i know the world uses gmail)

Please add me on the email chain.


1. Judged around 25 rounds on the space topic.

2. Coming to the end of the year this has been a strange topic because relative to other years the literature is much less vast but also leaves more room for interpretation for how the topic can be approached. The sub area I think this most applies to is 'planetary defense'. It doesnt just need to be affs that blow up asteroids, I think there are a lot of ways affs can approach this and Id love to hear it.

3. As I said above the literature base isnt overly vast on space but as an extension that means we just dont know too much about space. That means that this topic uniquely provides a opportunity to explore alternate futures and what space means for us. I think sci-fi args are fantastic on this topic and I hope to hear more as we near the end of the year.

4. Im not even sure what a flat earth aff would sound like but if you feel like breaking one (or something equally unusual) go for it.

Top 'things everyone should be aware of with me judging' level

I debated for NYU for 3 years. Most ran policy/soft left affs, but have gone for many things on the neg.

Since NYU teams run the gamut from traditional policy to critical args to performance, do whatever you're best at in front of me. Execute and compare in rebuttals and you'll be on the right track.

Left to my own devices, I default to 2 conditional options for the neg, reject the arg not the team, and presumption goes neg unless the aff gives a warrant for why it should shift but I'll listen to whatever interpretation you want to go for.

Impact framing makes my life and yours easier especially in clash of the civilization rounds. When in doubt, do it old skool, spell out why you win simply and how your args short-circuits the ability of the other side to access their impacts [too few negs do this and without that step, the 2AR has a lot of ground to play with unencumbered].

Debate probably has rules, I generally default to those rules. The rules of debate are up for debate. Im game.

Frankly, Im willing to listen and vote on anything. Despite my background, if your argument if well executed Ill be happy to vote for it. I hope this goes without saying but this DOES NOT mean I will vote on ANY sort of arg that promotes any level of oppression. Never the less, if you feel like you need to know how I view certain args, details are below.

Timing ends when you tell me it ends, I dont believe it should count as prep to save and send a file. Dont touch your computer or write anything when prep isnt going.

I flow on paper, while im fine with speed this means, especially for rebuttal speeches, that if you make a blippy argument and move on in your speech, dont get offended if I dont vote on it since Im not able to get it down properly as ill be moving on to the next arguments youre making and trying to get those down. If its a killer argument slow down and spend time on it. Explain why it wins you the debate.

Generally Tech > Truth, this list might grow in the future, but if a theory argument is dropped by a team but is just 100% not true I wont vote on it. For example, if the neg claims the aff severed from their aff but thats not the case I will not vote on dropped severance theory.

Affirmative: You do you, I love hearing affs that approach the topic from a new perspective.

Often times affirmatives get caught up in neg arguments and dont refer to what they are trying to defend. At the end of the debate I want a clear articulation of your affirmative story and what impacts Im supposed to vote on.

Case Debates: Really enjoy good case debates, unfortunately they dont seem to be very common. Smart analytics and close reading of aff evidence can get the neg far. Ive been convinced of aff having nearly no solvency with some smart re-highlighting of evidence.

Neg: You do you, and Im fine with voting on it. I think love hearing things that divert from typical strats. If you want to run the death K please do. Ive gone for anything from DAs, to Ks, to T so Im familiar with a wide range of debates.

DAs: I like them. BUT. DO NOT READ 30 POWER TAGGED CARDS THAT HAVE 4 HIGHLIGHTED WORDS EACH. You've been warned. Generally the Links and internal links are pretty weak in most DAs, so try to have a clear articulation how you get to your extinction scenario. The more clear this is, the more happy ill be to vote on it. Topic specific DAs are fantastic. A great part of debate is the research and knowledge about the topic that debaters gain. When you read a well thought out DA it shows a great knowledge and effort into the topic.

CPs: Go for it. Im fine with PICS or consult CPs. Have a clear net benefit.

Ks: Something Ive done a lot of. Gone for Biopower, Cap, University, and others. Still, dont assume I know your literature. I love hearing various Ks and I also want clear articulations and showing an understand of what your K is trying to say. Ideally I want to hear a clear articulation of an alt, and some articulation of how it functions in the real world. I also want smart links, while you can read generic links, I love hearing links developed in the debate based on the other teams arguments or in round actions. The more specific the link is to the aff the better.

Links of omission are not links. If the aff doesnt call you out on it, I guess youll get away with it. If the aff does, youll be in a very bad spot.

Im not the best judge for high theory Ks. If you do have me in the back of the room, I would recommend you spend more time breaking down your stuff a lot more then you probably would to some other judges, especially in the later speeches.

FWK: Happy to vote on it. While I ran mostly topical affs, since I stopped debating Ive been coaching more borderline/non topical affs and definitely understand the benefit and necessity of non topical affs. I dont think I have a predisposition for FWK either way. Win the flow, win the round.

Performance: Overtime Ive been finding myself judging more of these rounds. While its not something I've ever done and not literature Ive read, as long as you can clearly articulate why your aff is a good idea Ill be happy to vote on it.

Theory: Teams cheat. Teams read arguments that are probably unfair. If a team made it hard for you to debate let me know. I might vote on it. These arent my favorite debates to judge, but I also understand that 5 conditional worlds are hard to debate against. Please dont read violations that didnt happen in the round or REALLY didnt impact your ability to debate at all.

Generally becomes a debate of two teams reading blocks of text against each other with 10+ points. Unless one side horribly mismanages this flow it probably wont mean too much at the end of the debate. If you go beyond reading walls of text, and actually make an argument out of the Theory argument you go for, this could become a voter at the end of the debate. Although it seems like its really rare that a deep debate happens on this flow.

If you feel like you can win the debate on another flow I would much prefer that. Unless there is VERY CLEAR in round abuse I find that theory becomes incredibly subjective and the line between abuse and no abuse is very murky. To win any future abuse justification, you need to win in round abuse and why you are unable to win this debate because of it.

Ive seen affs in the 2AC sever out of the entire 1AC. Thats probably bad. Thats probably abusive. Theory makes sense.

Novice Things: If youre a novice and got down this far, congrats. Here are things that if I see in a novice debate your speaks will go up some arbitrary amount.

1. Time yourself. But theres a catch. I will offer a safety timer at the start of a round should you choose to accept it, no bonus. If you dont want it, and successfully time your prep and speeches you get better speaks. Mess up the timing and speaks go down.

2. Overviews are cool.

3. Less cards, more engaging with the other teams args.

4. 2nrs that go for one off case position.

Jackie Poapst Paradigm

2 rounds

About me:

Assistant Director of Debate at George Mason University.
Former varsity debater at Liberty University (Middle East 2007-Immigration)

I know you work hard at debate so I will work hard to be your judge. I know the rest of this is long, but I really hated when judges didn’t have in depth philosophies when I was a debater.

I vote neg more than aff.

Paperless or questions:

Top level Space Topic thoughts:

-Say no = best neg case arg on the topic.

-It's really hard to be neg, so I will probably lean neg on CP theory issues.

-I will normally not open docs during the debate. I will edit this, however, if both teams request that I follow along while cards are being read. In debates where I am asked to follow the doc, my speaks will reflect a formula of 60% Clarity, Persuasion, Presence and 40% Strategy and Cross-ex effectiveness. In debates where I do not follow along in the doc, my formula will be 40% Clarity, Persuasion, Presence and 60% Strategy and Cross-ex effectiveness.

Update Wake 2019: Random Things that Annoy me:

1. It's U.S.M.C.A., new nafta, or Nafta 2. Not YOU-SMACK-UH. I will dock speaks.

2. Don't put cards in the body of the document.

3. Yelling over each other in cx - everyone will lose speaks.

4. Interrupting your partner in cx - I am seriously close to saying I want closed cx, I am so annoyed at how egregious this is becoming. I will deduct speaks from both partners.


I evaluate the round in the paradigm that is provided to me by the debaters. If none is provided, I default to consequentialism. If you win an argument I will vote on it. However, one thing you have to keep in mind is that winning may be harder if I don’t understand what you are talking about, so explanation and analysis is key.

I have been having a kind of difficult time determining if I am a more tech over truth judge when the situation demands that I make a pedagogical choice. I will be honest and say that sometimes it really depends on my mood. With that in mind, framing my ballot earlier on for how I should view decision making between those two philosophies is probably a good idea.

Cross ex note: I stop listening after the 3 minutes of cross ex ends. Sometimes I will leave the room in protest of you attempting to use cross ex to ask more questions. You get clarification questions once cx is over. That's it - and I'm actively not paying attention to the responses.


Space note: I am 100% ok with an interpretation eliminating broad swaths of this topic

I love topicality debates. My voting record leans much more neg than aff in topicality debates. Couple framing issues for me on topicality debates:

Competing Interpretations > Reasonability

Predictable Limits > Ground/Education

Debate-ability > Framer's Intent (I'm okay with voting that certain parts of the topic should not have been included if the topic committee just fucked up the wording.

If cross ex actually checked for specification questions (i.e. "who is the actor" - and they tell you "Congress") - that is the only argument the 2ac needs to make against a 1NC spec argument.

NOVICE NOTE: I think it is ridiculous when novices read no plan affs - do whatever you want in other divisions, but these kids are just learning how to debate, so providing some structure and predictability is something I think is necessary. I err heavily on framework in those debates for the negative in the first semester.


Besides conditionality, theory is a reason to reject the argument and not the team. Anything else is an unwinnable position for me. One or two conditional options is probably good for negative flexibility, anymore is pushing it a little. Granted, conditionality theory is all debateable.


Are awesome. The trickier, the better. I’m okay with most of them, but believe that the action of the CP must be clearly explained at least in the 2NC. I don’t vote on something if I don’t know what my ballot would be advocating. I shouldn’t have to pull the CP text at the end of the round to determine what it does. I err to process/agent/consult cp’s being unfair for the aff (if you can defend theory though, this doesn’t mean don’t read them). Also, I think that perm do the cp on CPs that result in the plan can be rather persuasive, and a more robust textual/functional cp debate is probably necessary on the negative's part.

**Delay and consultation cp’s are illegit unless you have a specific solvency advocate for them. Agenda DA Uniqueness cp’s are too – I’m sorry that the political climate means you can’t read your politics strat on the negative, but that doesn’t mean you should be able to screw the aff’s strategy like that. Have other options.

**ESR CP - I have heard persuasive reasons that they are both unfair and fair. At the beginning of the year, I thought I would 100% side with "can't fiat Executive restraint" - but I think I'm now at about 60% can't fiat restraint.


Wonderful. Disadvantages versus case debates are probably my favorite debates (pretty much every 2NR my partner and I had). I love politics disads (RIP the trump administration ruining the best DA strat), I think they are educational in many ways. However, I can be very persuaded by no backlash/spillover answers on the internal link – in so many situations the internal link just makes NO sense. Offense is always preferred against da’s, but I think that there is such a thing as 100% no link (LOVE thumpers btw). Like elections DA's - not a huge fan of impact scenarios relying on the democratic candidate doing something once they get in office. Think shorter term impact scenarios are necessary. Also, will probably be persuaded by the affirmative arg that we don't know who the candidate for the dems is yet, so predictions are too early.


I wrote my thesis on queer rage and my research now focuses on a Derridian/Althusserian analysis of Supreme Court rhetoric - but that does not mean I will automatically get whatever random critical theory you are using. Due to who I coach and what I research for academics, I am most familiar with identity theories, biopower, Marxism, any other cultural studies scholarship, Baudrillard, Derrida, and Deleuze. If your K isn't one of those - hold my hand through your shit. I think the most persuasive kritik debaters are those who read less cards and make more analysis. The best way to debate a kritik in front of me is to read slower and shorter tags in the 1NC and to shorten the overviews. I find most overviews too long and complicated. Most of that work should be done on the line-by-line/tied into the case debate. Also, debating a kritik like you would a disad with an alternative is pretty effective in front of me. Keep it clean. Unless your kritik concerns form/content - be organized.

Update: due to dissertation research monopolizing a large portion of my scholarly reading time, I have been unable to keep up with the newest writings of afro-pessimist/indigenous scholars. If you are reading anything from 2018-2019, assume I have not read it.

Note for policy v K regarding the "weigh the affirmative or nah" framework question - basically no matter how much debating occurs on this question, unless the affirmative or negative completely drops the oppositions' arguments, I find myself normally deciding to the affirmative gets to weigh the affirmative's advantages but is responsible for defending their rhetoric/epistemology.

Critical Affirmatives:

Space note: Not really sure what the TVA is this year, so I would recommend impact turning as primary strategy to FW in front of me for critical affs.

Overall Framework update: Procedural fairness IS an impact, but I prefer clash key to education. I find it difficult to vote for impacts that preserve the game when the affirmative is going for an impact turn.

Generic Case Update: I find myself voting neg on presumption often when this is a large portion of the 2nr strategy. I recommend affirmatives take this into account to ensure they are explaining the mechanism of the aff.

Your aff must do something. Deferral is not a strategy for me. I am not a fan of teams that just wait to get links until the 1NC occurs. I find performance debates some of the most fun rounds that I have debated in/seen, but I do like when critical affs engage the topic somehow. I find that interesting and usually a happy medium. Don’t get me wrong, I vote on who wins the argument so framework v. critical aff that engages the topic is still an option for the negative. Look at my Kritik views to get more ideas, but once again go slower on the tags so I can get what you are talking about. There is nothing worse than figuring out what the affirmative does in the 1AR-2AR.

I find judging non-black teams reading afro-pessimism affirmatives against black debaters an uncomfortable debate to decide, and my threshold for a ballot commodification style argument low.

Individual survival strategies are not predictable or necessarily debatable in my opinion (i.e. "This 1AC is good for the affirmative team, but not necessarily a method that is generalizable). I enjoy critical methods debates that attempt to develop a praxis for a certain theory that can be broadly operationalized. For example, if you are debating "fem rage" - you should have to defend writ large adoption of that process to give the negative something to debate. It is pretty difficult for a negative to engage in a debate over what is "good for you" without sounding incredibly paternalistic.

Overall Sound:

I am partially deaf in my left ear. It makes it difficult to decipher multiple sounds happening at the same time (i.e. people talking at the same time/music being played loudly in the background when you are speaking). I would recommend to reduce the sound level of background music to make sure I can still hear you. Also means you just have to be a smidge louder. I'll let you know if sound level is an issue in the debate, so unless I say something don't let it worry you.


I love flowing. I now flow straight down in columns in an excel document, and have found it has made my decisions much more cohesive. I do my best to transcribe verbatim what you say in your speech so I can quote portions in my RFD. If you ask me not to flow, the amount I pay attention in the debate probably goes down to 20% and I will have mild anxiety during the round.

Your Decorum:

Debate should be fun - don't be assholes or rhetorically violent. This includes anything from ad homs like calling your opponent stupid to super aggressive behavior to your opponents or partner. Speaker points are a thing, and I love using them to punish jerks.

My Decorum:

I am extremely expressive during round and you should use this to your advantage. I nod my head when I agree and I get a weird/confused/annoyed face when I disagree.

<3 Jackie

Moriah Rader Paradigm

3 rounds

I am a GSA for Liberty's debate team and debated for four years previously at Liberty. I primarily ran non-traditional affirmatives on the aff and k's on the neg, but I am not opposed to policy arguments when I judge. The most important thing for me is that you do you in debate rounds and have fun. I believe at the end of the day that debate is a game, but I also believe that the "game" is full of very real in-round and out-of-round implications for debaters and that those implications matter.

Don't read a k just because you read this and see that's what I read as a debater, read what you want to read/will enjoy and I will follow along.

Here are my notes on the things you're probably scanning this for :)

K's are fine with me, just be sure that your link story is strong, you weigh it against the aff's impacts (or explaining how you solve them) and the alternative is clearly explained. But don't assume I know what you're talking about just because I read k's often, I am likely not as familiar with your lit base as you are.

When you're aff debating a k, don't lose your aff!! It's probably your strongest offense and needs to be weighed against the k. Be careful not to get behind on the framework debate and please answer the k with more substance than just framework arguments and theory. I will need warrants and examples of how the perm could function, not just the word "perm."

CP's are neat - explain what parts of the aff they solve for and be clear about what it does. I think CP's can be a super smart option for negative teams, even against non-traditional affs. Also be sure to highlight any net-benefits at least by the block so I get a good picture of what you do.

DA's are fine, but not my favorite if there isn't a strong and well-articulated internal link story. Don't just blitz through blocks or card-dump, but explain your impact scenario clearly and how it out-weighs the aff. With a DA, the impact analysis is probably most important to me followed by the strength of the internal link chain.

Framework vs. Non-Traditional Affirmatives: I enjoy the discussion framework creates about why we debate, the purpose of debate, and whether or not its good. But I don't like framework when I get the sense that it is being used to control the conversation or to avoid the discussion the affirmative has proposed. Keep the flow organized for me, keep your impact scenarios in front of everything, and make smart arguments about a tva and/or ssd solving the aff's impacts.

Non-Traditional Affirmatives vs. Framework: Don't lose your aff! Framing is key throughout the 1ar/2ar. Do your best to explain to me via your counter-interpretation what your model of debate looks like in the debate community and weigh that against framework. Framework has a lot of moving parts, but make sure you're garnering strategic offense wherever you can to win.

This is not totally inclusive, but should give you a bit of an idea of how I think through debates. If you have any questions at any point feel free to reach out to me at

Also, I'd appreciate being added to the email chain ahead of time at the same address that's above!

Lastly, I will dock speaker points for using hateful and oppressive speech in any form, even if the other team doesn't call you out on it, I will deduct speaker points as I see fit (max -30 if its seriously awful). I have no issue voting down a team on performance issues if that becomes part of the debate, but I think its up to the debaters in the round to make those arguments and let me know that's where you're taking the debate.

Trevor Reddick Paradigm

6 rounds

Who I Am

Debated for Binghamton (2010-2014), coached for Binghamton (2015) and Baylor (2015-2017).

What I Like

Framing & Weighing - The most compelling speeches tell me what arguments to prioritize when evaluating the debate, and why you still win even if your opponent's evaluative metric is deemed preferable.

Slowing Down on Theory - My flow, active comprehension, and your speaker points will be better as a result. I can't vote on something I didn't get down or understand.

Explaining Terms of Art - I'm not in the activity full-time anymore so assume I do not know your acronyms. Defer to conceptual over-explanation on T and case debate accordingly.

What I Don't Like

Calling for Evidence - **I am flowing your speeches, not your speech docs** Evidence comparison is the bread and butter of this activity. The team who does the best comparison in the debate tends to win my ballot. If I'm calling for evidence you might not be happy with my interpretation and/or the decision. I'm likely not happy either.

Pavan Reddy Paradigm

2 rounds

Put me on the doc chains:

Currently a varsity policy debater at GMU in my fourth year of debate.

Top Level Things:

I default to util unless told otherwise

I try to focus on tech more than truth

Claims without warrants will not be evaluated unless dropped. Even then, I tend to give the arg less weight and the other team more wiggle room in mitigating the dropped claim.


I prefer affs to be topical, but I default to competing interpretations. If you are reading a policy aff that has little relevance to the topic, or a very small portion of it, you should have good defenses for doing so.

CPs/CP Theory:

Slow down while reading theory/CP texts. I think 1 condo is about as far as I lean neg. Anything more is when I start agreeing more heavily aff on theory.

You need to provide a detailed explanation of how the CP solves all of the aff's internal links starting in the 2NC. If it does not claim to solve 100%, there needs to be a lot of explanation coming out of the block explaining why I shouldn't care about the solvency deficit as part of your sufficiency framing. You need to disprove perms well. Multiplank CPs with a plank to solve various internals are fun, though they should be unconditional. My favorite CPs to hear are creative advantage CPs. CPs should definitely have solvency advocates.

I've seen this format in several places and have decided to incorporate it with my theory thoughts.

Conditionality Bad--X---------------------------Hard Debates Good

PICs Good-----------------X-------PICs Bad

Condo Planks Magnify Abuse-X----------------------Condo Planks Are Fine

50 State Fiat Good---------------------X-----------States CP is Awful


Priority for me is link over uniqueness. If you're going to group sections, answer each argument made against that section, don't just read a generic link wall and assume that I'll connect everything on the line-by-line.


Case debates are great. Impact defense is the most important argument to get on these flows. I will vote neg on presumption, but you need to spend a lot of time on it. Disads on case are very fun. Impact turns are my favorite arguments in debate, but think that teams don't typically expand them well in the block.

Top Level: I'm much more of a policy judge than a K judge just because most of the time I've put into debate has been spent with policy or at most clash rounds. Due to this, I am unfamiliar with most of the lit bases being read on the topic or the greater nuances of them. I will try to judge as fairly as possible but I need you to do a very good explanation on all levels of the debate.

Most Ks are explained with specific terminology from their authors, and while I understand why you may do this, I don't really want to hear it. Don't assume that saying words that end in “-ology” is an automatic reason to vote neg or that I know what you're talking about. You have to justify what that means in the context of the debate, and why it should be valued. PLEASE avoid tag-line extension, especially with your alternative. I also like to hear more concrete examples in explanations of the alternative. Your kritiks should have specific links to the plan or its actions, and not be based around generic state bad links or links of omission.

I think the aff gets a perm. It's up to the aff to explain to me why the kritik is not mutually exclusive. For the neg, I can be convinced that the aff doesn't get the perm if you explain why it's bad.

Outside of something that was blatantly offensive, I personally believe that language is contextual and words only mean as much as the meaning attached to them. Thus, args like "we didn't use it in that context" are convincing to me. I can be persuaded to vote them down, but I am going to be more biased the other way.

K affs/framework:

Framework is a good option. I think that the aff should at least be tied to the resolution. Fairness is an impact. I tend to prefer limits and iterative testing as standards.


-Clarity should never be sacrificed for speed, though I make exceptions if you're trying to squeeze out one last card. I'll say clear once if you get incomprehensible, and afterwards will stop flowing until I can understand you again.

-Be respectful to other debaters. I encourage humor and small quips, but there is a fine line between sarcasm and being a jerk. Don't cross it.

Armands Revelins Paradigm

3 rounds

my email for email chains is

Quick update 2018 - some years ago I drafted the rubric for speaker points that you see below. Since then I have monitored developments in the debate community on typical speaker point distribution across all judges/tournaments, as discussed online by people who keep track of such things. I don't really dwell on this data much, but I do try to be mindful of community tendencies. Also, I notice how my own debaters read judge philosophies in crunch-time right before a round, and realize debaters reading this want a tl:dr.

Therefore, note that I probably now give speaker points that inch higher than what I initially suggested. This means in most cases I'm giving 28 and above, for debaters who seem to be doing elim-level debate it's usually 28.5 and above, and for especially impressive debate it's 29 and above. I do still dip into the mid-to-high 27's in occasional instances where I want to make it clear that I think the particular speeches really could use some work. At the time of writing (Jan 2018) my average speaker points are about a 28.5.

*******Paradigm Edited 11/10/13, prior to Wake Forest 2013 *******

** Scroll past speaker point scale to get a shorter philosophy explanation **

Speaker point scale:

0 = the debater committed some sort of ethics violation during the round (e.g. clipping cards)

26 to 26.9 = one or both of the following things happened: a) the debater made some kind of major tactical mistake in the debate, such as a completely dropped off-case position, without any attempt to address how they might still win the debate even if that argument is charitably given the full weight that the opposing team prefers. (more leeway on this is given to novice debates) b) the debater was hostile or rude towards competitors in the debate such that opportunities for respectful discourse concerning different ideas devolved into a breakdown of communication. Debaters have different personalities and approaches and I encourage you to explore ways of comporting yourself that express these personalities and approaches (be proud, indignant, cunning, provocative, etc), but please at all times also communicate with each other as students from different schools who respect each other for taking the time to have a lengthy debate round, in whatever part of the U.S. where you may presently have journeyed for such an encounter.

27 to 27.4 = the debater's overall strategy made sense, but various parts of the debate could have used more depth when instead those parts were fairly 'paint by numbers' (e.g. addressing certain arguments with generic/block answers instead of dealing with them more specifically). Evidence comparisons were fairly sparse, but the basic story on a given sheet of flow paper was clear enough.

27.5 to 27.9 = the debater did a solid job of debating. A coherent strategy was executed well. For certain key issues, initial clash advanced into higher forms of assessment, including a charitable understanding of why your opponent's arguments might be good yet your argument is ultimately more important/relevant.

28 to 28.4 = the debater did a solid job of debating across all the flows that were alive in the round. The debater focused on what mattered, was able to swiftly discount what did not ('closing doors' along the way), and took initial clash on key points to highly advanced levels. Given what I just witnessed, I would not be surprised if a debater with points like this advanced to early elimination debates (e.g. double octo's)

28.5 to 28.9 = the debater did everything from the previous scale, but was also able to do this with incredible organization: the most important things were in rank order, the crucial arguments were made without repetition/with cogent word economy, and I felt that the debater's communication seemed to guide my flow along with me. If cards/evidence are in question, you're able to speak of the overall ideologies or motivations driving a certain scholarship/movement, thus "getting behind" the card, in some sense. If a point is made without evidence or without a traditional claim/warrant structure, the debater does so in way that requires translation/interpretation on my part, yet the manner in which I should translate/interpret is also elicited from me/taught to me over the course of the debate. Given what I just witnessed, I would not be surprised if a debater with points like this could advance past early elimination debates.

29.0 to 29.4 = the debater did everything from the previous scale, but approached a sort of fluency that amazed me. The debater not only did what they needed to in order to match or outclass their opponents, but I furthermore felt that the debater was connecting with me in such a way where your arguments trigger understanding almost as a gestalt phenomenological experience. Given what I just witnessed, I would not be surprised if you did well in any of your other debates, prelim or elim.

29.5 to 30 = If memory serves, I have rarely if ever given speaker points that inch this close to 30. This is because 30 is perfection, without any umms, ahhs, odd turns of phrase, instances where you just lost me or where, given a rebuttal redo, you yourself would probably have done that part of your speech differently. If you are this close to 30 then you have perfect command of your opponent's position, of whatever gap you have to bridge in order for things to 'click' with me, and you are able to talk about your research and core arguments in a way where you yourself are clearly ready to push the scholarship/performance that you draw upon to its next heights, if you are not doing so already.

Objectivity and consistency is an elusive ideal: the reality is that subjectivity and some variability is inevitable. I think a good judge should be attentive in debates and vigiliant with self-assessments, not solipsistically but in light of evolving encounters with others. One of the biggest lessons I got out of my philosophy work was the extent to which all humans are prone to habits of self-deception, on many levels.

***** Debate experience

- Debated policy 4 years in high school (won the TOC)

- Debated policy 4 years at University of Southern California (4-time NDT qualifier, elims in my senior year)

- I was away from debate while in graduate school for philosophy

- I have coached Policy and PF debate at two high schools (Notre Dame and Millburn)

- I have coached Policy debate at two universities (Binghamton and Cornell)

- I am currently Assistant Director of Forensics/head debate coach at Cornell University

***** Some views on certain arguments

Any kind of argument is fine by me: I wait to see how debaters respond to what happens in the round and try not to import any predispositions concerning the default way that I should evaluate things. There are various harms/impacts that can orient a given side’s concern, plus various meta/framing/sequencing arguments that grant, reorient, or block my access to consideration of those harms/impacts, depending on how these issues play out in a debate.

Various kinds of challenges to the resolution and norms of the community are fine by me.

Kritiks: I ran them often in high school/college. I studied philosophy in graduate school.

Counterplans can take various forms: bring it on. See below about having full cp/permutation text for the entire round (to check against ‘morphing advocacies’).

Topicality debates: if an affirmative is trying to present a topical example of the resolution being true, but the negative thinks the aff is not topical then it is the negative’s right to go ‘all in’ on such an argument.

I debated policy advantage/da/impact debates almost as often as kritiks. Any politics link and link turn debates need to be laid out pretty clearly for me - mind your jargon please. The same goes for impact scenarios: who, what, against what country, etc.

For any asserted advocacy or test of competition, the plan text, permutation, etc needs to be clearly articulated in the round and written down so that it can be evaluated. For any card that you want me to read in last rebuttals, you should be telling me what I will find when I read that card and why it matters for the debate. I won't sift through a series of cards if you have just mentioned them/rattled off the citations without making use of them.

***** final notes

I have an aversion towards 'cloud clash', i.e. rattling off 2-3 minutes of overview and then basically hoping that the judge plucks out whatever applies towards some later part of the debate. Line-by-line debate and the elegance of organization that it offers is in decline lately. This has a lot to do with recent norms and computer-debating. This is at the cost of clash and direct refutation, and can come across as being aloof/wanting the judge to do the work for you. So, overviews should be short and then get on with actually responding to individual arguments.

I prefer the email chain over jumping flash drives, when possible. One click of ‘send’ and there is no longer the agonizing wait of flash drive driver installation, throwing jump drives around, etc.

Please communicate with each other, instead of yelling at each other (see my speaker point scale above for the under 27 range).

At the end of any round, I will vote for one team over the other and indicate this with my written ballot. This will be the case for any debate round that I can presently imagine.

That is all I can think of. Feel free to ask me more questions in person.

Kathryn Rubino Paradigm

Kathryn Rubino
Put me on the chain:

I dislike intervening in debate rounds. I would much rather apply the criteria the debaters supply and work things out that way. As a result the final rebuttals should provide me with a clean story and a weighing mechanism. If only one side provides this I will default to their standards. If neither side does this, I’ll use my own opinions and evaluations of the round.

Simply put the debate is about impacts- weigh them, their likelihood and magnitude and we’re doing fine.

I think it is the debater’s responsibility to explain the analysis of their cards, particularly on complex positions. However, I recognize the time constraints in a round and will read cards that receive a prominent place in rebuttals. But I do not like to read piles of cards and being forced to apply my analysis to them. As a side note, I rarely flow author names so don’t just extend the author’s name- also be clear to which argument the card applies to.

I’ll listen to whatever people want to say- but you should probably know my dispositions ahead of time. Be warned however, I have voted against my preferences many times and anticipate doing it again in the future.

I like kritik/advocacy debate. That being said, I do not have a knee-jerk reaction when I hear them. Part of what makes kritiks interesting is the variety and depth of responses available. To get my vote here I generally need a clear story on the link and implication levels.

I enjoy framework debates- debating about debate is fun- and as a bonus I don’t think there are any right or wrong answers- just arguments that can be made.

I rejoice the return of topicality! And I have no problem voting on topicality, even if I don’t agree with a particular interpretation, but I do think a T story needs to be clear and technically proficient.

DAs are great, and the more case specific the better. Make sure you have a clear story and try to create distinctions between multiple end of the world scenarios if that's your thing.

I don’t mind listening to PICs or other interesting CPs, and I often feel they’re good way to test the validity of a plan. However, I am open to theoretical debate here and I’m willing to vote on it.

I will vote on the easy way out of a round- I don’t try to divine the ultimate truth of what the debaters are saying. I’m just adjudicating a game- a fun game that can teach stuff and be pretty sweet- but still a game. So enjoy your round, do your job and I will too.

Nick Ryan Paradigm

Philosophy Updated 9-5-17

Nick Ryan – Liberty Debate – 10th year coaching/Judging

Please label your email chains “Tournament – Rd “#” – AFF Team vs Neg Team” – or something close to that effect. I hate “No subject,” “Test,” “AFF.” I would like to be included “”

Too often Philosophy’s are long and give you a bunch of irrelevant information. I’m going to try to keep this short and sweet.

1. I spend most of my time working with our “Policy teams,” I have a limited amount of working with our “K/Non traditional” debaters, but the bulk of my academic research base is with the “traditional” “policy teams;” don’t expect me to know the nuances of your specific argument, debate it and explain it.

2. Despite this I vote for the K a fair amount of time, particularly when the argument is contextualized in the context of the AFF and when teams aren’t reliant on me to unpack the meaning of “big words.” Don’t rely on me to find your “embedded clash” for you.

3. “Perm Do Both” is not a real argument, neg teams let AFFs get away with it way too often and it shifts in the 1AR. Perms and Advocacy/CP texts should be written out.

4. If neither team clarifies in the debate, then I default to the status quo is always an option.

5. These are things that can and probably will influence your speaker points: clarity, explanations, disrespectfulness to the other team, or your partner, stealing prep time, your use of your speech time (including cx), etc.

6. Prep time includes everything from the time the timer beeps at the end of the lasts speech/CX until the doc is sent out.

7. I think Poems/Lyrics/Narratives that you are reading written by someone else is evidence and should be in the speech document.

ADA Novice Packet Tournaments:

1. It is hard to convince me that AFFs aren’t reasonably topical when there are only two affs that you didn’t get to choose.

2. Evidence you use should be from the packet. If you read cards that weren’t in the packet more than once it’s hard to believe it was a “honest mistake.”

If you have any questions about things that are not listed here please ask, I would rather you be sure about my feelings, then deterred from running something because you are afraid I did not like it.

Dhruv Sehgal Paradigm

6 rounds

Yes, I want to be in the e-mail chain:

I was a grad assistant/coach at UT Austin.

I debated 4 years in college and went to the NDT 3x.

I judged, coached and performed mostly critical arguments extensively throughout my time in debate.

I have an English degree, but a majority of my academic background is in Eastern and Continental philosophy.


I view debate as a testing ground for competing ideas and views of the world.

Regardless, there is zero excuse to berate or insult other people in debate. It doesn't make you cool or funny (to me, anyway), it just makes you unbearable to be around and I will dock your speaker points. I don't care how great you think you are.

Besides that I enjoy debates which focus on:

- EFFICIENCY/EFFECTIVENESS: being efficient and effective highlights to me a degree of professionalism and confidence in debate that I think is admirable. It makes the debate go smoother, and it moves towards clarity and elucidation versus confusion and deception, which I tend not to be a big fan of. Be clear about your arguments from the outset, and we will all have a much a better time in the debate

- IMPACTS (re: STAKES) THAT MATTER: prioritize what is the most important aspect of the round and be willing to sacrifice your life on it. when you raise the stakes of the debate not only does it tend to make you a better advocate for what you are talking about, it helps me as a judge figure out which impacts matter and which don't. doing impact framing/calc matters, especially in close debates.

- (AN ACTUAL?!) CASE DEBATE: this is more if you are neg in front of me. i tend to be more in favor of having specific and thorough case debates, as opposed to generic link stories that you could have read against any aff on the topic. moving towards specificity as opposed to generality is a major 🔑 for me if you are interested in being an effective/great/constantly winning 2N.

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” - George Bernard Shaw

Jason Smith Paradigm

4 rounds


All email chains are welcome.

I debated for four years in High School (2010-2013), and four years at Binghamton University (2013-2017).


Here's a list of preferences:


Plans must have texts.

Permutations are bad.

What's performativity? I prefer you to perform card reading...

Alternatives must solve the entirety of the AFF.

Counterplans > Kritiks

Zero speaker points for non topical plans.

Framework makes the game work.

Cap is not the root cause, the economy is.

Antiblackness is also not the root cause.

Meat is not murder.

Rules do exist.

More cards = better debating.

Love the RVI

Spending DAs are my favorite.



Congratulations, if you're reading this you have reached the undercommons. Everything written above is a lie. Please debate in whatever way you prefer! As long as there is clash, I'll think it's a good debate.

Also, my email and debate experience still stand...

Grace Song Paradigm

6 rounds

Hello, my name is Grace Song and I have done policy debate at the collegiate level for two years. I will be starting my second year of my MA in Historical Studies program. For my undergrad, I majored in History and double minored in Politics and Museum and Curatorial Studies. I have written my senior thesis on the history of the Columbus Monument in Columbus Circle, New York City. I like to see the intersection between art and politics within policy debate.

I like to have arguments explained to me clearly. I will probably not be reading your cards while I flow. I will first listen to what is being said in the blocks. Also meaning that I want to actually hear what you say instead of mumbles. (I am not a huge fan of spreading!!!) It will be helpful if you do not spread because I will be able to record your arguments on my flow. This does not mean you cannot talk fast, I just want you to be clear when you read your cards. Especially during rebuttals, there is no reason for anyone to "spread" through the arguments; it is very unnecessary.

Other than that, if you can make a case for your argument, logically and clearly, there should not be a problem. Obviously I have my beliefs and subjectivities, but I am persuadable.

I love having fun with debate and the creativity that comes with many teams, but that itself will not make me vote for your team.

I am here to learn as a judge and would also love to hear feedback from all debaters! I am always open for improvement and hope to continue on with the debate community!

Nikolas Swihart Paradigm

5 rounds

I'm a master's student in historical studies. I've debated for five full semesters at the New School. I've mostly done critical args with some performative stuff. Not an experienced judge but I look forward to hearing novice debate, becuase it is the area of debate I see the most growth.

Because I am not very experienced I prefer slower speech. I don't really like having to stare at my computer to keep up with what is happening. I really prefer to hear evidence heavy constructive and well articulated rebuttals. That sounds generic but what I mean is that the constructive should be treated as an opportunity to construct a story or world and the rebuttal should be a way of comparing and challenging each others worlds. That is essentially what I think I'll be voting on, what world do I want to be living in when the round ends.

Don't really have a preference for argument types, the only thing I know I don't like is topicality. Of course I'd vote on if it was well articulated and impacted, but I prefer that teams just engage with what the other team is trying to say. We only have so long in debate, and so many opportunities to talk about the things we enjoy. That shouldn't be limited in totality by the resolution.

One last thing to stress again, I am not super experienced, I have not heard everything before, and some things will be new to me. Please keep this in mind when I am judging.

Erin Szczechowski Paradigm

3 rounds

I recently graduated from NYU after three years debating for the policy team, and am now sticking around to help coach NYU as well as Mamaroneck high school. I am open to most arguments - I tend to kind of adopt the style of my partner, so while I was running performance my last year, I still jive with straight policy.

I'm sure I make the wrong decision some times, but I do care about debate, and I do care about people, and I'll try my hardest to be as fair as I can.

Like to be added to the email chain:

For the Affirmative:

Give me what you got. Like I said, I've run both performance and policy affirmatives before, and see the value in each kind of debate. For performance debates, at least have some sort of relation to the topic, even if you don't endorse a plan. Other than that, go wild. Woo.

For the Negative:


Enjoy them. Make sure the link story is clear. When I debate on negative, I often run Ks, but if you're not winning the link then you're not going to win the round. I prefer links that are actually contextualized to the affirmative, and not just links of omission. Make the alternative clear and consistent throughout the round. While I'm familiar with the basic Ks - biopower, cap, security, etc - if you're reading more obscure kritiks or high theory Baudrillard-type stuff then do yourself a favor and make sure that I understand what you're talking about.


Despite not always being the most topical, I also tend to enjoy T debates (when against non-topical teams, that is,...when you run T against a policy affirmative I'll begrudgingly vote on it if the other team terribly mishandles it, but I'll hate myself a little bit). I am willing to vote about equally for either affirmative or negative in performance rounds: just comes down to who is winning on the flow. In general, I think education slightly outweighs fairness, but you can convince me otherwise. A well-thought out TVA will make me much more likely to pull the trigger for you.


I enjoy zany DAs that aren't just the same boring politics DA. That said, I will vote for that same boring politics DA. Make sure impact calc is tight, and good evidence comparison will notch up your speaker points.


I really enjoy a smart CP! Pair it with a clear net-benefit (not just oooooh we solve the aff better) and I'll be intrigued.

Agent CPs and Consult CPs tend to make me sad.

I think PICs can be both really cool and really abusive. Figure it out for me on the PICs Bad/PICs good debate.


Hmm. Don't spend most of my nights analyzing my views on various theory arguments, so not too much to say here. Conditionality is the first one that springs to mind. In general I think condo is good for a couple positions, but if we're getting to 3 and above then I'll be more receptive to your condo bad claims, even if it physically pains me to vote for conditionality (although if the neg drops conditionality bad even when they're running 1 or 2 positions, I'll still vote on it if you blow it up in the 2AR, and will likely laugh about it later). If you plan on going for condo bad in the 2AR then make sure the 1AR is already fleshing out the proper arguments.

In General:

Listen to your opponents arguments, and make sure you are responding to them, and not just re-establishing your own positions (although you should do that too). I'm a pretty easy-going person, and I stop prep time before you send out the email. If you offer me gifts of caffeine, I will not be anymore likely to vote for you, but I will like you as a person. Sometimes, those long debate tournaments with 3 hours of sleep can get exhausting, so if you're sassy without crossing over to asshole territory it might entertain me and boost your speaks.

Michelle Thomas Paradigm

6 rounds

names michelle. Asst coach at gmu, previously binghamton for 2 years. debated for 5 years at mason

fyi, im a trash person and am probably running late so please have the email chain ready. i will cut into ur prep if i determine ur using excessive time to email docs. my email is

Do whatever you do best. I debated on both sides of the clash so I’ll hear just about any arg as long as it’s well warranted and you make it interesting. That said, I do have a few opinions. I have voted against these opinions tho so don’t think they’re set in stone. i still dont really know how to write a paradigm yet so hope this helps.

FW - fairness is probably just an internal link. i am not compelled if ur tva isnt actually responsive to the aff. even if ur going for fw, u still need to answer the aff.

for answering fw - if youre a team that does nothing in the 1ac and all of ur offense is based on just impact turning whatever the 1nc said, im probably not the judge for u. i like affs that defend things. i need a v clear explanation of wut ur interp is and wut it actually means in a competitive sense; debate is a pretty cool activity and if ur interp is just 'fuck debate' ill be sad.

t - default to competing interps. Unlike fw, I think fairness is an impact to t - if you’re reading a plan text, it should probably be topical. this topic is already galactic in size (heh) so im willing to take a stand.

disads - i think there can be zero risk of a link. if a k aff gives u a disad link, why arent you going for the disad against them?

Counterplans - condo is good up to about 3 conditional worlds. conditional planks are like never ok. 1nr counterplans r trash (the 1nr isnt a constructive and i will fight u).

case debate - dear god please #bringbackcasedebate I LOVE good impact turn debates and will reward you for going all in. seriously, give me ur best heg good or warming good speeches. first strike china. go for cap good against k teams. have fun! I’m slightly more likely to pull the trigger on presumption than a fair amount of other judges

K - I prefer specificity in the link story, but who doesn’t. i need a clear explanation of what my ballot does - this requires a decent level of framework debating.

some odds and ends -

im typically a big picture thinker, so meta level questions and framing args are critical to instructing my ballot.

if im in a straight up policy db8, i dont get these too terribly often, so id recommend not making it too big - id prefer depth over breadth. i do have some topic knowledge tho for a mostly k coach so i generally should not have too much trouble following along.

ive found im a pretty expressive judge, and if i am confused or cant understand u my face will make that clear.

That’s about it. Have fun, be clear, be clever. Don’t say fucked up shit.


the queen bee of db8 polls, becca steiner, also came up with some fun db8 polls so ill include my answers here

1. In roughly 6 days, 344 debaters (172 partnerships) from college debate programs in 26 different states across 3 divisions will begin an adventure that will forever change their lives… the season opener at GSU and a new year of college policy debate. In a debate featuring two teams of comparable skill, do you sense that Framework is still a winnable argument in 2018-2019?

- Yes

- Fairness 4 whom cmon judge

2. If you’re having trouble researching for a topic DA, you are not alone according to David Cram Helwich and Justin Green. While you keep looking, does uniqueness control the direction of the link? Does link direction control uniqueness?

- All about the UQ

- Link controls cmon judge

3. Each debater should be assigned speaker points on a .1 scale with no ties between debaters.

- Obvi dot gov

- Allow ties, cmon judge!

4. Should the National Debate Tournament committee revise its rules regarding hybrid participation at the NDT? O:-)

- Time 4 change

- No hybrids cmon judge

5. You (the judge) are watching a 1nc this year at the season opener and the neg reads the Executive Self Restraint CP (The executive should restrict itself in a sub-area of the topic). As the 1nc is occurring, do you have any gut leanings regarding the theoretical legitimacy of the counter plan?

- Hella cheating

- Core ground, cmon judge!

6. Does file sharing (ex. speech documents) during debates enable more effective judging? Dr. Eric Morris has some thoughts. What about y'all?

- Ya

- lol nah, cmon judge

7. Folks at the amazing Jayhawk Debate Institute run by Kansas Debate were wondering: "Is there ever a world in which presumption stays negative even when the 2NR goes for a CP?"

- Ya

- No! cmon judge

8. You (the judge) are watching a 2ar going for a global warming impact. Existential risk, extinction first, try or die - Have these impact framing arguments run their course? Asking for a friend whose name rhymes with Pollen Fork. Feel free to make a case for either retaining these lenses, modifying them, or throwing them out altogether in favor of something new.

- New framing args needed

- Bostorm 2 cmon judge

9. If the negative team wins a DA to the aff but you (the judge) determine the CP the 2nr went for doesn’t solve the case, is it acceptable if you (as the judge) kick the CP for them and decide the negative wins the debate on the DA alone?

- meh sure

- no! cmon judge!

10. Alright u̶p̶p̶e̶r̶ ̶e̶a̶s̶t̶ ̶s̶i̶d̶e̶r̶s̶, current paperless debaters and coaches: People have different visions of competition and "competitive game spirit." Deleting tags from the navigation pane is…

- For cowards

- alright with me cmon judge

11. When evaluating or cutting evidence: Should we (debate coaches, critics, and educators) count the qualifications of an author at the time they wrote the article, or their present-day qualifications? Asking for a friend whose name rhymes with Bryan Callaway.

- publish date quals

- current quals cmon judge

12. Is it okay to “insert” (not read) a re-highlighting of the other teams’ evidence into the debate?

- sure

- read it aloud cmon judge!

13. Good luck to those prepping to compete at NSDA Nationals later this week. As you are in debate mode prepping, help us settle a debate at the ENDI: Should the aff be allowed to impact turn and link turn the same position in a debate?

- sure

- no cmon judge

14. New summer, new kids to teach at the Emory National Debate Institute ! As I settle in to the dorms, here is an oldie but a goodie to ponder: Does the aff need to have a counter interpretation on T in order to win that they are "reasonable" ?

- yes

- nah cmon judge

15. You’re judging a policy debate. The 2ac is giving their road map. One of the off-case positions in the 1nc is not in the 2ac roadmap. Is it appropriate for you, as the judge, to intervene and ask the 2a about it? Perhaps to directly ask “what about the courts counterplan?” Or to ask them to re-give the order, in case it was just a mistake? Or should you wait and see what happens?

- im willing to intervene

- zip it, cmon judge!

16. Many colleges/universities have sports rivalries. Can you think of a current or historic debate program that your college/university was/is rivals with?

- not really

- of course, cmon judge!

17. When it comes to college policy debate tournaments over winter break, I would prefer 1. A more traditional “swing” with 2 separate tournaments or 2. 1 tournament only but with more preliminary rounds than the average tournament

- swing, swing

- more prelims, cmon judge!

18. As a debater, coach, judge, or scout, I would rather see policy debate tournaments operate with

- traditional cx and prep

- alt us time, cmon judge

19. “You must judge 12 debates this season prior to the NDT or you are a free strike” is

- too fast, too furious

- p reasonable, cmon judge

20. In 2012, the "going rate" to sell/hire 1 college policy debate was $25-30. In 2018, this rate went up to around $35-40 per debate. (Of course, certain tournaments may offer more such as the NDT). Overall, I think this amount of money is..

- reasonably good

- too little, cmon judge

21. On balance, college policy debate tournaments provide adequate (enough for all veg attendees, tasty) vegetarian and vegan options.

- lol, nah

- good enough, cmon judge

22. Many resolutions are “list topics” such as the 2018-2019 college policy topic which (in short) includes nukes, trade, treaties, deference, surveillance.

Imagine a hypothetical new season with a “list topic” as well. There is no novice packet. In lieu of that, would you support a fall novice tournament/s where the novice division would agree to debate only 1 of the “list” areas? For example, novices at this year’s GSU perhaps could have debated only the nukes area.

- sure

- packet or bust, cmon judge

23. On balance, I (a debater, judge, or coach) see more benefits to side equalization in elimination debates than harm.

*side equalization assigns sides based on seeds rather than using coin flips.

- let my ppl flip

- side equalization, cmon judge

24. A non-USFG resolutional actor could sustain an entire season’s worth of college policy debates.

- usfg or bust

- time 4 change, cmon judge

24. Speaker points accurately reflect debater performance in a given debate.

- speaker points r broken

- agreed, cmon judge

25. To apply for a first round at large bid to the National Debate Tournament (NDT) a team must have competed at at least 1 regional tournament.

- ya, regional db8 is good

- too taxing, cmon judge

26. It is acceptable if the negative team reads arguments that contradict each other in the 1nc.

- negation theory bb

- no perf con, cmon judge

27. Are disadvantages and other arguments that you are not bound to "conditional," or is that term exclusively reserved for conditional "worlds" like the Kritik or a counterplan/s? Asking for a friend - Craig Hennigan

- all args are condo

- only cps and ks r cmon judge

28. Maintaining brackets is educationally sound.

*The term “breaking brackets” refers to the practice of
re-seeding the elimination pairings to prevent competitors from the same school from debating. see more:…/rost…/luong-maintintegrityFeb99.pdf

- agreed

- break brackets, cmon judge


Prelims are over. Overall, I see more benefit than harm in making 75% of the judging pool roughly equally “get-able” and essentially striking the other 25%.

- eh

-save db8, cmon judge!

30. Any prior affirmative case on this sub-area of the topic means this other one you're about to read can't be disclosed as "new"

- agreed

- too limiting, cmon judge

Tommye Weddington Paradigm

6 rounds

Hey, so apparently sending evidence without tags is a thing now. Don't do it in front of me. I'll cap your speaks at 28.


I don't want to be on the email chain. If I want to, I'll ask. You should debate as if I'm not reading a speech doc.

I'm currently a phd candidate and I view debate as an educator and also activist/organizer. This is to say that I ground much of what I think is important in debate in terms of how skills critical thinking in debate rounds adds into a larger goal of pursuing knowledge and external decisionmaking.

i've been in debate since fall 2008. at this point i'm simultaneously more invested and less invested in the activity. i'm more invested in what students get out of debate, and how I can be more useful in my post-round criticism. I'm less invested in personalities/teams/rep/ideological battles in debate. it's entirely possible that I have never heard of you before, and that's fine.

you should run what will win you the round. you should run what makes you happy. don't run what you think I want to hear.

Impact scenarios are where I vote - Even if you win uniqueness/link questions, if I don't know who's going to initiate a war, how an instance of oppression would occur, etc. by the end of the round, I'll probably go looking elsewhere to decide the round. The same thing goes for the aff - if I can't say what the aff solves and why that's important, I am easily persuaded by marginal negative offense.

Prep time ends when you email the file to the other team. It's 2019, you've likely got years of experience using a computer for academic/personal work, my expectations of your email prowess are very high.

Competing methods debates don't mean no permutation, for me at least. probably means that we should rethink how permutations function. people/activists/organizers combine methods all the time.

I don't think I've ever voted a team down b/c theory. an arg yes, but not a team:

I've found myself especially unwilling to vote on theory that's on face not true - for example: if you say floating PICs bad, and the alternative isn't articulated as a floating PIC in the debate, I won't vote on it. I don't care if it's conceded.

I think fairness is an independent impact, but also that non-topical affs can be fair. A concession doesn't mean an argument is made. your only job is to make arguments, i don't care if the other team has conceded anything, you still have to make the argument in the last speech.

Affs I don't like:

I've found myself increasingly frustrated with non-topical affs that run philosophically/critically negative stances on the aff side. The same is true for non-topical affs that just say that propose a framework for analysis without praxis. I'm super open to presumption/switch-side arguments against these kinds of affs.

I've also become frustrated with non-topical affs that do not have any sort of advocacy statement/plan text. If you're going to read a bunch of evidence and I have to wait until CX or the 2AC to know what I'm voting for, I'll have a lower threshold to vote on fw/t/the other team.

Finally, I have limited belief in the transformative power of speech/performance. Especially beyond the round. I tend to think that power/violence is materially structured and that the best advocacies can tell me how to change the status quo in those terms.

Negs I don't like:

Framework 2nr's that act as if the affirmative isn't dynamic and did not develop between the 2ac and the 1ar. Most affs that you're inclined to run framework against will prove "abuse" for you in the course of the debate.

Stale politics disadvantages. Change your shells between tournaments if necessary, please.

Theoretically inconsistent/conflicting K strats.

I don't believe in judge kicking. Your job is to make the strategic decisions as the debate continues, not mine.

if you have questions about me or my judge philosophy, ask them before the round!


Rob Wimberly Paradigm

3 rounds

Rob Wimberly
Debated for 4 years at Dominion High School, 2 years at the University of Mary Washington, 2 years judging/coaching

I would like to be on the email chain. My email is If I had to direct you to my paradigm to get my email and you're just now reading this, know that I'm disappointed that you didn't read my philosophy before the round.

Please label the subject of the email chain with both team names, the tournament, and the round


Big Stuff:

Debate is a communicative activity, and it's your job to make sure that I understand the arguments that you're making. I'm a pretty expressive judge, so if I'm not understanding your argument, I will probably give you a weird look. If clarity is a problem I won't yell clear, but my face will show it - it's your and your partners' job to make sure that you are communicating clearly. I don't like trying to put together poorly explained arguments at the end of the debate, and in the post-round I'm more than willing to tell you that I didn't understand your argument based on how it was presented in the round. 

Beyond building communication skills, I think debate's other big benefit is exposure to a wide variety of literature bases (international relations, critical theory, public policy, economics, etc.). I like it when teams are experts on the research they're presenting, and if I feel like I've learned something new, it will show in your points. 

Organization: Line by line matters. I'm happy when my flow is kept clean. I reward efforts to help me keep my flow clean with speaker points. Please name your flows in the 1NC. I'm not a huge fan of overviews. Debate like this and I'll reward you with points

Quals matter. I would prefer it if you read the qualifications to enter them into the debate before you argue that your author's qualifications are better than your opponent's. Remember that qualifications aren't necessarily based on education alone - relevance of experience to the substantive argument in question is also a factor.

Truth matters. "Alternative facts" are not facts. I reserve the right reject evidence that is blatantly out of context or arguments that are particularly morally repugnant (i.e. "racism good"). I will read the unhighlighted part of your evidence to assess "truth," but I do my best to separate that from how your argument was explained in the debate. Ev comparison is welcome.

Prep starts at the end of speech time and ends once the email is sent/the document is saved.


Specific Arguments

T - I'm not really sure where reasonability begins and ends, so I tend to favor competing interpretations. I think vagueness and specification arguments are important and worth evaluating, but this should begin in cross-ex

Advantage/Disadvantage debate - Impact comparison is important and necessary. I am frustrated by 

Uniqueness shapes the direction of the link. If you're hoping to go for link shapes uniqueness, refer me to parts of the uniqueness debate that you think proves that uniqueness is close.

Counterplans - 2nr should be explicit in weighing the risk of a solvency deficit against the risk of the net benefit. Affs should be specific when making permutations. Most counterplan theory is a reason to allow cheaty perms or reject a counterplan altogether rather than a reason to reject the team.

Conditionality - I'm OK with the community consensus of 1 CP 1 K, but that can be changed by good debating. Convince me that your interpretation is better for accomplishing the big picture issues I noted at the top, and you'll do well. Affs should capitalize on strategies that are abusive for a combination of reasons (floating piks with a conditional alternative for instance). 

Critiques (and critical affirmatives) - I'm open to them. I'm not super familiar with all but the most basic parts of the lit base. I tend to be much better at concrete (rather than abstract) thought, so use lots of examples. Long overviews should be discouraged (see above). Root cause arguments don't make a ton of sense to me logically - if a carbon tax solves global warming by making renewable energy comparatively more economical than fossil fuels, why does it matter that capitalism caused global warming? Likewise, "alt solves case" arguments tend to fall victim to timeframe problems. The best way to win in front of me is to go for scholarship related arguments - if you prove that the scholarship of the 1ac leads to faulty conclusions that implicate solvency/the 1ac scenarios. 

Case - Presumption is a thing. Most 2nrs should address the case

Feel free to email me with questions!

David Michael Woodward Paradigm

3 rounds

***Short Version + General Notes***

I debated for five years for George Mason University, 5th year judging

I do want to be included on e-mail chains if they happen, my e-mail is dwoodward92@gmail

More tech over truth, biases are below but unless you say something offensive good debating > my preferences. Read what you're best at.

Have questions? read specific sections below or feel free to ask/email me.

*** Post-Bing Update: Don't troll in debates.*** IF you want to forfeit just tell me. Doesn't preclude off the wall strategies versus affs- if there's good faith involved points will be normalized. IF it's an obvious joke/waste of time then you + partner get a 15/15.1: If you make me laugh enough even after wasting that time then you'll get a 25/25.1 instead.

***End Short Version + General Notes***

***Novice Division Specifics***

Still not fan of packet but since GMU's following it yall should too (when the tournament mandates it)

Still want people to be nice/friendly in debates

Still am ok with non topical affs in novice but again keep them simple/to the point. general brightline for framework is MUCH lower than what it is in JV/Open debates.

Still giving full attention in novice debates

Still think it's the division that deserves a the largest amount of investment and support in college debate


Always a voting issue- can't change this

T comes first. Aff could win theory/other arg comes first but unlikely

Competing interpretations generally better than Reasonability

Affs should have a counterinterp

***Executive Authority After Wake Note***

Topic's in a good place


I reward negative teams who correctly punish aff teams for lack of defenses to portions of their aff, or topic literature of alternatives to the aff, so things like "x portion of your plan is actually good/bad so do the rest of it other than the good/bad part." OR "the main author for your solvency advocate says do x thing instead, so do x".

I respect the hustle but do not reward teams who interpret this as "the aff doesn't have a congress/federal/immediate action key card" in the 1AC.

I don't kick the counterplan for the negative if extended in the 2nr

Theory specifics

I believe in you can do what you can justify. Theory is easily the most common place where good debating will beat my preferences. At the same time I think a lot of counterplan things that exist are more likely cheating than not. I don't think permutation theory is a reason to reject the team, but all other theoretical reasons are. Also NDT/New Aff/GSU etc. isn't an excuse to read ridiculous CP things. As for conditionality, 2 IF old aff, 3 if new is where i'd give the 50/50 odds for both teams. Obviously fewer/more would shift my aff/neg bias there.

I think the ESR counterplan in certain forms is cheating on the current topic, though the fewer planks and fewer unrealistic hoops you have trump jumping through the better. Used to be far more it's unacceptable other than being a generic but between judging and wiki searches i've found there's both ok versions and ones that are very theoretically illegitimate.

Also borrowed this scale because i've seen many other people do this and it draws lines a lot better than I explain them.

Conditionality Bad------X-------------------------Negs can read as much/whatever they want

PICs Good-X------------------------PICs Bad

Condo Planks Magnify Abuse-X----------------------Condo Planks Are Fine

50 State Fiat Good------------------------------X---States CP is Awful

ESR Good --------------------X------ESR Cheat

Aff stuff

Read above. I want you to go for theory to punish the neg for questionable CP practices. This does not mean I want you to go for theory IF you are winning on substance, but it's an option.

Solvency deficits go a long way as does good permutations

CP specific offense definitely gets you some speaker point boost.


Not much to say, turns case args are good.

Midterms/Politics: I will vote on it. At the same times these DA's have made very little sense/haven't been a thing since 2010 except maybe SKFTA/sometimes debt ceiling. Logical arguments based on current events are super persuasive in front of me. I'm not saying don't read midterms/politics in front of me but analytics about gridlock/current congressional problems (they're in a recess currently, etc.) are more persuasive than you'd think.

***Critiques/Critical Affs***

I'm fine with them, read what you're best at. All I ask is that you explain things to me.

***Issues that apply to both the aff/neg***

Explanation is incredibly important. As I said above I mostly work with JV/Novice kids. Sometimes I cut cards/read critical lit but this is far and inbetween. I have general knowledge based on rounds i've judged and conversations but I don't read a lot of it in free time even though I find it interesting. I won't put things together for you at the end of a debate so don't assume I will.

I'm more familiar with identity based args than dense philosophy, still needs a lot of explanation though

Defend something. This matters more to the aff than the neg but the main point of the argument should be doing something. Doing nothing to do nothing doesn't read as an argument.

Specificity is better than generics- contextualizing your links/solvency to the topic/aff is fantastic- the more you are able to articulate how the aff causes/the aff fixes the problem in society makes things MUCH easier for you.

Tricks are encouraged but don't hide them from the judge as well. Pretty much if there's a trick to the aff/neg spring it early. In fact 2AC/2NC reveals or explanations are far better for you and me voting on it than 2NR/1AR tricks.

Defend what you say, don't be vague/shifty for no reason. Like IF the other team lets you get away with being shifty then exploit that but don't do it just to do it- i still need to know what to do at the end of the debate.

***Critical Affs w. Plan/Defending Implementation***

Do it or don't. 2AC's who shift one way or another irratate me. Makes winning against T/Framework arguments much harder. Best example, IF you say if the 1NC reads x DA and it links and the neg takes you up on that you should have that debate. If you spike out then T is much harder for you to beat.

Make sure I understand how the aff solves + use the aff to your advantage to get around CP's, DA's, etc. Offense is very important

Framing also important- easiest way to help me figure out who should win.

***Critical Affs w/o Plan/Defending Implementation***

Do it or don't- see above

Do something

Defend the topic

make sure you can explain/defend why your aff solves whatever you try to solve

specificity towards framework/critique/DA answers goes a long way.

specifics are good when it comes to dealing with framework/critiques/case args - not a fan of "not our x" to get out of case args.

***Aff vs. Critiques***

Defend your aff

Fine with either perm strat or case OW's

Alts very susceptible to whether it matters or not- needs to solve something

Perm should be specific but also if the neg lets you you can do what is needed.

***Neg vs. Critical Affs***


Limits/Fairness more persuasive than Delib/Portable Skills

T version can be very persuasive

Answer the specifics of the aff- the more specific your framework is to the aff the better.

take a hardline stance- either be very left wing framework or right wing. toeing the line doesn't help you.

Framework is a T arg- I don't count it as a conditional world


try and be specific to the aff, don't let perm cheat, explanation key

***Neg vs. Policy Affs***

Specific Links to the aff = good

K tricks encouraged

Links of Omission = not real args

Framing arguments help a lot

IF alt is relevant to winning the debate/solving your impacts then this should be made clear + explain how alt resolves your links/impacts

Don't let the aff cheat with the perm but also IF they let you get away with weird alt stuff then do it. But keep it stable.

All parts of the K should be in the 2nr and very extensive/understandable.

***Other Notes***

I dislike embedded clash

Clarity over speed

Don't clip- if you think someone is clipping/cheating, have audio evidence. Round will stop. if accused is guilty, they get a 0, the loss and everyone else gets average points. If accused is innocent, team who made the challenge gets a 0 + loss, others get averaged speaks.

Be nice, we have to see each other for 4-5 years, being nice is not being a doormat, similarly, being sassy is not the same as being hostile.

I don't take time for prep unless it's blatantly being stolen. And at that point i'll start running the clock without telling you. so don't steal prep.

I like spin over evidence dumps. explaining your evidence and the warrants clearly and in a way where it sticks with me helps. Spin will beat a card unless the quality difference is massive.

I don't read cards unless necessary. It makes me question my decisions/RFD's in ways that I later question how I determine debates. I feel more secure when debaters take the time to not only explain the warrants and arguments within the evidence to persuade me why I should prefer them. If the debaters make it part of the debate with a warrant larger than just "read the cards at the end judge", I'll happily read them or if it is a vital point to determine the debate. I am less happy if I am forced to read cards because the original presentation was not clear or comprehensible.

Allan Xu Paradigm

6 rounds

last updated: january 2020

edgemont class of 2015

binghamton class of 2019

my email is -- pls add me to the email chain

tl;dr - do whatever you want. don't be offensive. content is much less important than execution (clear explanation and example debating). line by line is important and makes it a lot easier for me to decide debates

that being said, i have a few random thoughts about debate

- i'm 51/49 against framework (ie i'd vote aff in a tie) but my bias is SUPER easily overcome by good debating. all framework impacts are kinda boring tbh, but the neg needs to do a better job figuring out what the 1ar messed up instead of blindly going for the impact they like the most or they perceive as the best. clearly the claim that decisonmaking skills solve extinction is less convincing than an impact based around competitive equity, but the flow/individual debate should decide the truth claims of those things. what's the point of the 5 new f/w impact / tricks you read in the 2nc if you just never go for them... case defense / solvency presumptiony case arguments are also super valuable -- the aff winning a meta level thesis claim makes it hard for you to weigh offense since the aff can just impact turn things at a terminal level. why do portable skills matter if we just use them to advance imperialism / antiblackness / capitalism?

- 2nc k extensions often suffer from a lack of flow-ability that frustrates me greatly. please try to organize your speech in a constructed manner that revolves around answering the 2ac -- simply saying "go to the link debate" or "go to the impact debate" does not help me in where i should put these things. i will be a much happier camper if you put those things on individual 2ac arguments (ie put the link debate in the perm debate, put the impact debate on some impact defense).

- line by line makes a lot of sense to organize the debate and generally just makes me happy, but i find a lot of the times the more "technical" team will get caught up in extending a bunch of conceded arguments but don't answer an overarching impact outweighs / framing argument the other team advances. even if certain arguments aren't answered, how does that interact with their offense / framing of the debate?

- counterplan theory - very much case-by-case basis - i think that a neg pic that shows that they did their research (cutting 1ac ev, reading lit that directly responds to the 1ac solvency advocate) that is responded to by "pics bad" by the aff is utterly unconvincing - however, reading the most generic counterplan on the rez and saying that we have a card about "surveillance" brings out my inner 2a and leads me to sympathize with the aff

- defense is very good and needs to be used more

- aff needs to put pressure on the block/neg - given the advent of rampant conditionality and other factors, a 2ac that just plays defense on everything the neg says is a ticket to failure - the aff needs to control the direction of the debate using strategically placed 2ac offense (addons, theory arguments, straight turns etc) or the block will run over the aff with new cards and 13 minutes

- haven't judged a debate on this rez so please explain common acronyms and things others might take as granted esp when going for T -- not sure how my time away from the activity has changed my perspectives on potentially common things but ya it's been a little under a year since i've judged a debate

- avid melee player so if you like the game talk to me about mango and ill give you some speaker points. my hands are also getting the work from melee so my ability to flow has definitely decayed -- be cognizant of your speed pls

Jefferson Yahom Paradigm

6 rounds

I did LD for 4 years, then I did college policy for 4 years. Now I'm the assistant director of debate at the University of Rochester. Now I've been coaching debate at the University of Rochester for 5 years. I like critical theory, especially the works of Sylvia Wynter.

A few things I think are generally good:

- I don't like disclosure theory.

- I don't like it when people ask for high speaker points.

- Plans, no plans, there are good reasons to have them and good reasons to not have them. Policy debate existed before plan focus debate, policy will continue even without the plan.

- If you see me flowing on a computer, hand me paper and a pen and you'll get my full attention.

- Neg flex is theoretically justifiable, but I value smaller debates because I like it when people paint me a picture of the debate and their scenarios. Go 7 off at your own risk because those sorts of debates get in the way of storytelling. (I get it someone broke new and you gotta go do what you gotta do)

Speaker points:

I'm still trying to figure these out. I think I'm closer to what they should be than I was in the Fall.

Debaters that I would consider giving a 30 to with how I think about points now:

Rashid Campbell, John Spurlock, Gabby Knight, Brad Bolman, Kaine Cherry, Quaram Robinson

Types of debates I'm in and my thoughts:

K v K: in these a lot. Please don't assume I've read everything or agree with your interpretation of texts. I'm not always up-to-date on the coolest in the K, a lot of K arguments that are new are really just repetitions of previous types of debates, please flag it as a newer version of that type of debate so that I'm thinking about it in that manner.

A lot of folks don't really properly frame arguments so I'm not sure which arguments do and don't matter. The newer your argument is, and less framing I'm given, the more arbitrary my decision will sound.

Clash: in these a lot. Clash and debatability are pretty persuasive impacts to me since, I, like many coaches love debate and the process of going through tournaments, going to the lab afterwards to tweak and repair blocks/constructive speeches.

That said, I do think some K teams shoot themselves in the foot for trying to meet teams in the center. Y'all should be theoretically consistent at the risk of harming clash and debateability that disavow elements of structural violence. If that sounds like buzzwords, I'm saying that if you're telling me we gotta have an ontological that says we're on turtle island, T USFG should be grounds for you to want to throw ideological hands.

Policy v Policy: in these occasionally. A clever PIC/disads with uniqueness, and I'll be swooning. But please don't assume I know all the foreign policy shorthand and buzzwords, I may have cut a card about A2AD/BMDs in the past, but I don't honestly know what that means, so you gotta walk me through that or else I'm gonna get lost.

Also, I strongly suggest y'all check out Keiko Takemiya's To Terra. It's really good. Especially for this year's space topic.

Daniel Yoon Paradigm

5 rounds

Daniel Yoon

Lexington High School, MA - 3 years
Cornell University, NY - 3 years

Do what you are good at, and you will be fine. I would prefer to watch a round in which both teams know well what they are reading although I may dislike the argument compared to a round where I love the arguments, but both teams have no idea what it means. Debate is for the debaters, and I'm just observing. Make your moves, and make your own decisions.

I've mostly debated as a straight-up policy debater with CP-DA or DA-Case. I love the Politics DA when the links are there. I'm not very versed with critical literature, but I have an understanding of at least what the basic arguments are.

If you come ready for a DA CP debate, YAY. If you have a 9 minute 1AC dance performance, I'll listen and watch. Be aware though, I'll need a pretty strong reason to vote for you in these cases. I do admit however, that the most fun and interesting rounds that I have had have been rounds involving "non-traditional" arguments such as performance. Its a much much higher threshold, but its still there.

Don't steal prep. Prep ends when the jump drive leaves the computer.

Be clearer when reading CP Texts, Plan Texts, Alts, etc

Conditionality is probably good. Multiple World Conditionality (3+) is probably bad. "Reject Arg Not Team" applies for most theory arguments.

Otherwise, Have Fun!