Blue Valley Southwest Invitational

2018 — Overland Park, KS/US

Saif Bajwa Paradigm

4 rounds

Disads: Good. Read them.

Topicality: Good. Reasonability is bad.

Counterplans: Competitive counterplans are good.

Kritiks: I don't read a lot of K stuff. Explain what you are trying to say thoroughly. If I don't understand it, I won't vote for it.

Noora Batrash Paradigm

5 rounds

Blue Valley North 2013-2017

update Nov 2019:

I don't debate anymore and don't coach teams. I haven't judged any rounds on the topic. DO NOT assume I automatically know topic acronyms or core args bc I don't. Please help me out by being as specific as possible. In an effort to be transparent, I'll let you know here I'm probably not the best for you to go your absolute fastest on - its been a while :(. I judged a couple tournaments last year. The more removed I am from debate the more I realize I really really hate wasting time in rounds. Be efficient in argumentation. Don't feel like you need to use all speech time if you know you don't need to. If you're confident you're winning, show it (but dont be a jerk). In the words of the wise, here for a good time not a long time

Email chain --

General: I don't believe it's my job to keep you from debating how you want to. Please specify acronyms! If I can't distinguish between your tags and card text, you're in a bad place. I would like to clearly hear authors and dates. Make my flow look good! dont be aggressive -- don't let competition get out of hand. Be nice -- especially during cx. I don't care who you are, but you're not any more important or special in my mind than anyone else in the room so don't act like it. This is especially true if you're rude to your partner. don't be extra!!

Evidence quality: If card quality isn't contested by your opponent, then I probably won't look at it, and I'll prioritize spin. Don't say "their link ev is trash". Instead tell me which card and why, and in that case I'll give it less weight.

Topicality (v policy): affs should be specific in their defense. negative teams should force them to do that. I need examples on T too. Specific instances of abuse > general potential abuse. fairness alone isn't an impact- it's an internal link to education. I'll default competing interps. That does not mean I can't be persuaded to vote on reasonability. I want specific reasons though, not generic blocks.

Plan-less Affs & FWK: You'll probably ((definitely)) have to do more explanation than you normally do. I believe that any aff should defend something that deviates from the status quo and that the aff should have some relation to the topic. If following the 1AC, I don't know what voting aff does or where the topic is involved, I'm going to have a tough time writing an RFD in your favor. Ks of T and framework are legit, and a neg team is going to have a rough time without a good TVA.

DA: nothing new here. Your link story needs to be pretty specific and very solid. 8-card politics disads are improbable and boring.

CP: I don't have any biases against any particular type. some are more susceptible to theory than others, but I won't do that work for the aff. Other than that, go wild.

Theory: Love it. I evaluate these a lot like I do T debates so that section applies here. I default to rejecting the argument before the team.

K: This is where you'll need to help me out the most. I'm probs not the best judge for your K tricks. Using buzz words in place of coherence and logic will frustrate me, and therefore you. Indicts of the alt and link turns are the best way to get my ballot for the aff. If your thing is 1-off Baudrillard, I don't want you to feel as if it's impossible for you to win. Just assume that I've never heard of it before and explain it and the alt really well. If you're good with the arg, then that shouldn't be much of an issue.

In general: Write the ballot for me. The less I have to think writing the ballot, the better for you and the better for me. You'll be much happier with the result if my RFD is words that came out of your mouth.

Misc: I generally don't like to vote on things that happen outside the round. Unless I'm there to see it or have clear proof, I can't really justify it. Tech > truth. Dropped argument is true unless the other team tells me why the evidence behind the dropped arg is bad or mistagged.

If I've missed anything or if anything isn't clear -- ask beforehand

Brian Box Paradigm

3 rounds

I am the debate coach at Blue Valley North. I previously coached at the University of Kansas. I was a policy debater at Wichita State University (2012) and Campus High School. I have taught camp at Kansas or Michigan every year since I graduated and typically judge 50-80 policy rounds per year, plus some pfd/ld/speech.

email chain: brianbox4 @ gmail

I care far more about your ability to send an email, speak clearly and respond to arguments than which aff you are reading. I am a "policy judge" in the strictest sense, but that has far more to do with my experience in debate than any desire to hold the line for a certain style of argument. I am too old, too tired and consider the stakes of a given high school debate too low to fight any kind of ideological battle. My most obvious and influential bias is that I am a neg judge.

The aff should be topical. The aff needs an offensive justification for their vision of the topic. Reasonability is meaningless and ultimately begs the question of the impact. I find the arguments for why the aff should be topical to be better than the arguments against it. If you are reading an aff that is not topical, you are much more likely to win my ballot on arguments about why your model of debate is good than you are on random impact turns to T.

Evidence matters a lot. I read lots of evidence and it heavily factors into my decision. Cross-ex is important and the best ones focus on the evidence. Author qualifications, histories, intentions, purpose, funding, etc. matter. Application of author indicts/epistemic arguments about evidence mean more to me than many judges. I find myself more than willing to ignore or discount poorly supported arguments. Kansas debate is particularly bad about filtering quality and I am probably more "interventionist" than what many Kansas debaters have become accustomed to from judges at local tournaments.

Either get good or get good at going for theory. Judge kick is the logical extension of conditionality. I am far more likely to be convinced by a qualitative interpretation than a quantitative one. Have yet to hear a good reason why 4 conditional is worse than 3 is worse than 2. I am more likely to vote aff on an objection to the competition of a counterplan than I am an argument about limiting the scope of negative fiat. Obviously the two are not entirely separable.

I cannot emphasize enough how much clarity matters to me. If you have dramatic tone changes between tag and card, where you can barely be heard when reading the text of evidence, you will get lower points from me and you should stop doing that. If I can't understand the argument, it doesn't count. There is no difference between being incoherent and clipping.

Lose the computer. Probably the single biggest thing that will cause your points to go up or down in front of me is the amount of time you spend reading into your computer screen at a rate that is impossible for me to flow vs. the amount of time you spend using your flow to identify and respond to arguments.

The link usually matters the most. I typically care more about the link than other parts of the argument. Framework or alternative solvency do not reduce the salience of the link. Evidence is important here. When in competition, you should spend more time answering the link than reading impact defense.

Charlie Clark Paradigm

3 rounds

School Affiliation: Policy Debate Coach - Jefferson City High School
College: UW-Oshkosh (Outrounds/speaker awards at most regional tournaments and doubles of CEDA)
Experience: 12 years in the activity: 3 years high school; 4 years college; 7 years coaching (KC Central, Olathe North, Blue Valley West, and Marquette University High School (DOD))
Rounds Judged on Topic: 3

I'll preface everything by indicating that I'm from the "do what you want" camp. However, since the community wants us to have some guidelines to our philosophy, here they are:

T – I think it’s pretty important, especially on topics where the resolution has words that aren’t very static with their definition. I tend to give a little more weight to education arguments than fairness arguments, unless there is a good limits argument made in the debate. I very much believe that T debates need to be framed to say what arguments are/aren't allowed under each team's interpretation and why that is good/bad.  I also think that competing interpretations is the best way to evaluate T.  I'm somewhat sympathetic to a variety of T arguments on this topic, so don't be afraid to go for it in the 2NR if you feel that you're ahead on it.

Theory – I'm usually more sympathetic to aff teams on conditionality in the instance that the neg reads 3 or more conditional advocacies. I also believe that certain CP's are abusive (word PICs, consult, conditions), but I'm willing to listen to them. Another argument that I've become more receptive to has been floating PIKs bad, particularly because of the amount of abuse that occurs late in the debates. However, on most other issues I tend to err neg for the sake of having debates about substantive issues. I tend to prefer functional competition over textual competition.  Lastly, I usually err to reject the argument, not the team unless there is a very good reason to do otherwise.

K’s – I'm pretty comfortable with the K and usually judge a lot of "clash of civilization" debates. While I'm not completely immersed in all K authors (namely Baudrillard and Deleuze), I'm still familiar enough to adequately evaluate the round. If the alternative doesn't solve itself, I often find myself voting aff. I, like many others, believe that the neg gets the right to the K. Also, I don't necessarily enjoy listening to framework debates against K aff's. I would much rather prefer that you engage their advocacy/argument. However, if there lacks a stable advocacy in the 1AC and the neg cannot get any links off of it, I'm more inclined to listen to framework. At the end of these debates, the team that is winning the framing of the debate is usually the one that wins the round. Another thing to note is that in K vs. K rounds, I usually find myself voting for the team that wins the direction of the internal links. If that is the locus of your strategy in these debates, you're doing something right.

Performance - I think that you need to have some form of an advocacy that at least affirms the direction of the topic. I still have yet to see many of these debates, so I'm not quite sure how I would evaluate the performance aspect of it, unless it is accompanied by some decent justifications in the 1AC/1NC.

CP’s –All of the theory questions are above. I tend to err neg on the question of CP solvency in the world that the aff doesn't have a DA to the CP or solvency deficit. Also, in the world of the neg PIC'ing out of a portion of the plan, you must have some form of a solvency deficit or I will probably give full weight to the net benefit. Further, I believe that a CP should have a solvency advocate so that we can prevent some of these ridiculous CP text/no evidence arguments. I would say that I prefer these debates more than K debates.

DA’s – Once again, I enjoy these debate more than K debates. On politics, I also tend to give a bit more weight to impact defense than some judges and will not vote because "risk of a link" was uttered by the neg. You usually need to have a fairly convincing link story to easily win these debates. However, when combined with an effective CP or case defense, both of those issues become less important. I am also a huge fan of overviews that explain how the DA turns the case, or creates a solvency deficit for the aff. 

Speaks - Since I have to transition between judging Missouri tournaments and national circuit tournaments, I find that my speaker points tend to fluctuate a bit. However, here's a basic outline of what I give out:
30 - not happening unless its the best speech that I've ever heard
29.5-29.9 - You should be winning top speaker at most high school tournaments
29-29.4 - You're really good and should be getting a top five speaker award
28.5-28.9 - Still pretty good and should probably be getting a speaker award
28-28.4 - My most common area. You're above average and should probably break at the tournament.
27.5-27.9 - You're average. 
27-27.4 - You need improvement and are probably in the wrong division.
26-26.9 - You either really messed up the debate, or made me angry
0 - You did something that needed to be punished (I've given this out twice).

Closing notes – This philosophy is just a basic guideline to my thought process in evaluating debates. In reality, you can run whatever you want, as long as you have a defense of it. The main question I try to answer at the end of these debates is "who does the most good?". If you're on the right side of that argument, you're probably going to win the round. Also important to note, this activity is supposed to be academic and professional. This means that you should not be rude to each other. When people do that, it honestly makes the judge feel awkward and very likely to vote against you. For overviews, make them mean something i.e. explain the implications of the argument and then in the rebuttles use it to isolate very important arguments that you happen to be winning. To close, make sure that you have fun in the round, which means have some jokes and lighten up the mood in the room.

Thomas Cox Paradigm

4 rounds

Thomas Cox - BVW Assistant Coach

Rounds judged on the topic - 18

**KCKCC elims update**

The more I judge the more I realize I don't know anything. This level of debate is higher than what I typically debated and higher than what I typically judge. I can work with advanced policymaker args, but like the rest of my paradigm says, you'll have to do a phenomenal job on the K to pick me up. A good rule for me, as well as in life, is assume the person you're talking to knows less than you do. Although I'm an assistant coach, my duties don't really extend beyond making sure kids don't die on the weekends and judging rounds. I don't have time to do topic research and familiarize myself with all the common args on this topic. You'll have two other judges who are probably way more qualified than me. You can ignore me or you can try to cater parts of the debate to what I can handle. Either way, good luck and have fun.


I debated for Blue Valley West from 2010-2014. I have just began working for them as an assistant coach. I was not active with debate while I was in college, so I am sort of reentering the community and space. I likely can't handle the speed that the veteran coaches and judges can on this circuit, but you can still be quick.


It's all about impact framing and calculus.

Topicality - I've seen a few T debates but am still not entirely familiar with the topic literature. I default competing interps but will not rule out reasonability if the aff is doing a better job debating it.

Counterplans - if your CP text is longer than your solvency card and you spread the text to the point that I can't understand it, I will probably kick your CP for you. I've found that I tend to give the aff a little more leeway on CP debates. I personally never once had a CP in my 2NR. My gut tells me most of the "cheating CPs" are actually cheating, but that's up for the aff to prove.

Kritiks - I did not debate the K and I have not seen any critical debates in the past four years. Proceed cautiously. But don't let me dissuade you from giving it a spot in the 1NC if it's your bread and butter. You'll probably be able to tell from my facial reactions what I think of it.

Theory - typically a reason to reject the arg not the team, then the theory debate just turns into a battle of the blocks. If you want to win a round on a theory arg, be ready to really engage the flow and step away from your blocks by the last rebuttal.

Disads - read them. Give overviews. Tell me why it turns the case, not just that it does. Same goes for the aff - I should be hearing why your advantage turns the disad. Engage each other's impact calc. Your impact won't likely win on all three of timefram, prob, mag. So you need to tell me why what you do win is most important.

Other notes

When you all have fun, I have fun. Nothing beats a competitive debate with lots of clash and competitors who are generally respectful towards each other. Don't be too much of a jerk.

Sean Duff Paradigm

6 rounds

Debated 4 years at Dowling HS in Des Moines, Iowa (09-12, Energy, Poverty, Military, Space)
Debated at KU (13-15, Energy, War Powers, Legalization)
Previously Coached: Ast. Coach Shawnee Mission Northwest, Lansing High School.
Currently Coaching: Ast. Coach Washburn Rural High School

Top Level
Do whatever you need to win rounds. I have arguments that I like / don't like, but I'd rather see you do whatever you do best, than do what I like badly. Have fun. I love this activity, and I hope that everyone in it does as well. Don't be unnecessarily rude, I get that some rudeness happens, but you don't want me to not like you. Last top level note. If you lose my ballot, it's your fault as a debater for not convincing me that you won. Both teams walk into the room with an equal chance to win, and if you disagree with my decision, it's because you didn't do enough to take the debate out of my hands.

Carrot and Stick
Carrot - every correctly identified dropped argument will be rewarded with .1 speaks (max .5 boost)
Stick - every incorrectly identified dropped argument will be punished with -.2 speaks (no max, do not do this)

DAs - please. Impact calc/ turns case stuff obviously great, and I've seen plenty of debates (read *bad debates) where that analysis is dropped by the 1ar. Make sure to answer these args if you're aff.

Impact turns - love these debates. I'll even go so far as to reward these debates with an extra .2 speaker points. By impact turns I mean heg bag to answer heg good, not wipeout. Wipeout will not be rewarded. It will make me sad.

CPs - I ran a lot of the CPs that get a bad rep like consult. I see these as strategically beneficial. I also see them as unfair. The aff will not beat a consult/ condition CP without a perm and/or theory. That's not to say that by extending those the aff autowins, but it's likely the only way to win. I lean neg on most questions of CP competition and legitimacy, but that doesn't mean you can't win things like aff doesn't need to be immediate and unconditional, or that something like international actors are illegit.

Theory - Almost always a reason to reject the arg, not the team. Obviously conditionality is the exception to that rule.

T - Default competing interps. Will vote on potential abuse. Topical version of the aff is good and case lists are must haves. "X" o.w. T args are silly to me.

Ks - dropping k tricks will lose you the debate. I'm fine with Ks, do what you want to. Make sure that what you're running is relevant for that round. If you only run security every round, if you hit a structural violence aff, your security K will not compel me. Make sure to challenge the alternative on the aff. Make sure to have a defense of your epistemology/ontology/reps or that these things aren't important, losing this will usually result in you losing the round.

K affs - a fiat'd aff with critical advantages is obviously fine. A plan text you don't defend: less fine, but still viable. Forget the topic affs are a hard sell in front of me. It can happen, but odds are you're going to want someone else higher up on your sheet. I believe debate is good, not perfect, but getting better. I don't think the debate round is the best place to resolve the issues in the community.

Speaker points.
I don't really have a set system. Obviously the carrot and stick above apply. It's mostly based on how well you did technically, with modifications for style and presentation. If you do something that upsets me (you're unnecessarily rude, offensive, do something shady), your points will reflect that.

Tim Ellis Paradigm

6 rounds

Tim Ellis
Head Coach - Washburn Rural High School, Topeka, KS
Debated at Manhattan High School
Updated 7/29/19
Email chain -

First thing is first, if anything in this paradigm isn't clear enough, feel free to ask me before the round, I'd be more than happy to clarify.

Tl;dr - I judge quite a bit, about 100 rounds last year, and am generally pretty familiar with the topic from coaching and working at camps. As a competitor I gravitated toward plan oriented affs and CP/DA strategies on the neg and have coached teams who debate similarly, but I am open to you debating however you would like to. I have literature deficiencies in some areas that make me less knowledgeable of certain strategies. I am also a teacher who believes in debate as an educational activity, so I am generally open to listening to you debate in whatever fashion you're the most comfortable.

If you would like to know more specifics, they are below.

Topicality: I feel like topicality is usually a question of competing interpretations, but just like anything else in debate, you can persuade me otherwise. I tend to think that debaters are not great at explaining the offense that they have on T flows, and particularly, how offensive arguments interact with one another. I have seen a lot of 2ARs recently where the aff doesn't extend a terminal impact to their counter interp. I pretty much always vote neg in these situations. All too often the neg will go for a limits DA and the aff will say precision, but no one will discuss which one has more value in creating a stable model for debate. Reasonability alone is not an argument that makes sense to me, absent an offensive argument. Good is good enough is nonsense - if you are close to beating a DA, I'm still going to vote neg. If you want to utilize a reasonability argument more persuasively, I would suggest that you frame it almost like sufficiency on the counterplan and have an offensive reason that inclusion of the aff is good. As far as spec debates, I usually find them quite dull. I am growing weary of affs that obviously defend a certain agent with their solvency advocate and advantages but will not defend that agent when debating an agent counterplan. Stop this and defend your arguments please.

Framework: I find that framework debates to me are usually an issue of fairness. I find myself generally not super persuaded by the value of topic education vs the value of whatever educational outlet the affirmative has chosen to discuss is. The aff usually has better evidence about the importance of their particular educational outlet anyway, especially given the fact that they know what it is and can adequately prepare for it. Fairness is a bit more contestable from the negative perspective, in my opinion. Central to convincing me to vote for a non-resolutionally based affirmative is their ability to describe to me what the role of the negative would be under their model of debate. K affs can gain a lot of leeway with me by being in the direction of the resolution and defending at least some links in the realm of topic literature. I am not a very good judge for affs that have no resolutional basis. Regardless, I also think that the aff has a better chance by focusing most of their time on impact turning framework and then using the directionality of the aff toward the topic in order to win some defense against the negs framework claims.

Theory: Most theory debates are people reading blocks back and forth and are totally useless. I usually default to rejecting the argument and not the team. Conditionality is a potential exception to that rule, but it has been a long time since I saw a team ready to debate condo very well.

Kritiks: I am not as familiar with the literature base for this style of argumentation. That doesn't mean I don't vote on the K, it simply means that you need a little more explanation for your argument than you otherwise might. I think that good K teams are able to contextualize their argument with the world of the affirmative. Recently I've judged a bunch of K debates where the links all seem to be descriptions of the status quo, but the affirmative is not very good at winning that the aff is in the direction of the alt. If the neg is going to try and go for just framework and a link/ethics argument, I think it is important that they focus a substantial amount of time on the framework debate, and try and have an interpretation of framework that is not completely arbitrary and should try and win that there is a unique link to the aff. If you are able to win framework and a unique link then you're probably good without an alt. If you are going to go for an alternative, it is probably important that you explain to me how the alternative functions and how the alt resolves the links to the K and probably portions of the affirmative, otherwise you will be susceptible to losing on the aff outweighs. Be descriptive of how the alt functions. I have also found myself recently voting for the aff in the vast majority of debates where the 2NR does not have a thorough contestation of the affirmative. You don't explicitly have to go to the case pages, but you should definitely be calling into question the truth of the 1ACs internal link chains or the efficacy of it to solve the problems that it seeks to solve.

Disads/Counterplans/Case: These are the types of debate I am most familiar with. I think the case debate is under utilized, and that the education topic may have been the worst thing in recent memory at teaching people to debate the case. I wish that more teams would focus on the internal links to the aff advantages instead of just reading impact defense and hoping that a DA outweighs. I think delay counterplans are cheating. Conditions and consult counterplans I can easily be convinced are cheating, but having a solvency advocate helps.

Things I like: Rebuttals that paint a clear picture of what an aff/neg ballot means. Evidence comparison. Debaters who don't read off their computer for the whole debate. Debaters who are funny/having fun. Warranted arguments/smart analytics. Well thought out strategies.

Things I dislike: Bluetooth speakers, must define all terms, running arguments you don't really understand, death good, topicality = genocide, general rudeness, stealing prep time, and clipping cards. If you enjoy doing these things, you probably don't want me to judge you.

Disclaimer: I love the activity of debate, and think that it is a place where all types of debate styles/debaters should be welcome. If you are excessively rude to the other team (laughing during speeches, being disrespectful in cross-x, etc) I will let you know. If the behavior continues, there is a strong chance that I will vote against you on principle.

Thomas Ford Paradigm

3 rounds

I’ll vote for whatever you want to read. I like creative arguments and find rounds to be more enjoyable when teams directly clash with one another instead of card dumping and shadowing extending into the 2nd rebutalls. The difference between a good team and a great team is the ability to think critically during rounds and make strategic choices. Don’t go for the buffet 2nr because you think you are winning everything. This is an easy way to lose a round and I’ve seen it a lot this year. If you read any kind of theory argument you should put some thought into your interp and understand that if you are responding to any theory argument you need to actually debate and not read your 13 point block at hyper speed and hope that they drop a standard. In my eyes a good debate happens when teams understand their evidence, their arguments, and strategically prioritize arguments that they think will win the round.

Go go as fast as you want. Read what you want. I want to see a debate where teams show they put the time and effort in outside of round and use that effort to be persuasive and technically proficient.

I think debate is a game. I think the way you win a game is to leverage your advantages while removing your opponents opportunities. Do not be afraid to go for 5 minutes of theory if they didn’t respond well. Don’t be afraid to go for the K, I went for it a lot.

Have fun and put your hard work to bear.


Kenton Fox Paradigm

5 rounds

4 year high school Policy at Newton High School

6th speaker in Policy at 2018 NSDA

1 year Parli at William Jewell College (joke event, don't recommend)

Currently researching philosophy at WJC



My "blank slate" is composed in two enduring elements: 'debate is a game', 'debate has political consequence'

-debate is a game-

... but not an ordinary game: a not yet had debate round is an infinite ontological probability - the possibilities of what could be performed during a round are endless. No theory argument is a rule. Nothing codified by the NSDA, CFL, KSHSAA, or whoever else amounts to a rule. Every principle followed in this space is foremost a convention, a habit the space has formed and continues to re-form every time it is acted out; this means it's a potential of the space. What endures throughout any attempt by some institution to create law is the existential freedom experienced by individuals participating in common space. When you are giving your speech you are bound by nothing but what has been said. The decision will be arrived at by exclusive means of what is on the flow.

-debate has political consequence-

Debate is only a game, but not merely a game among games. Every debate round is also a pedagogical site: dually an ontological and an epistemological construction zone. Acting like (for example) a policy deliberator is not a passive act, it forms habits of interaction with the world which assume the self as part of the state and it develops a policy-oriented psychic configuration: policy solutions as the edifice in which is understood. The principle that debate has political (which includes pedagogical and agential dimensions) consequence is the primary method I use to weight arguments on the flow: the team to win my ballot will be the one which proves best they deserve the political action signified by the ballot to be an upvote of their persons or their in-round representations.


The best way for a policy 1ac to win my ballot is by using very specific internal link chains paired with a strong solvency. More real impact scenarios will always put you in a better position to win for me. Condo is a good arg if neg has an excessive number of offcase positions.

If you have a non-T 1ac, I'm a good person to run it for.


Anything that is not the 1ac is neg ground unless aff wins a theory arg saying otherwise. Any fiated DA is held to the same level of specificity expected of 1ac impact scenarios; this does not necessarily mean case-specific lit, but any generic ev should be highly contextualized to the case during the whole extension from Link (including specific process of overcoming the UQ) to terminal. CP debates will almost always be decided by impact calc.

I'm a good person to run K's for. My most used argument throughout my competitive debate career has been Cap; I've most often ran either a postmodern pedagogical analysis or a Zizekian psychoanalysis. Still, I will enjoy about any K from the most concrete to the most abstract if the analysis is done thoughtfully and is clearly articulated against the AFF.

Most of all, have fun :)

Debate is a game, debate has political consequence: if (as I think they are) these are the only two enduring characters we can attribute to debate, the activity has all the making to be incredible fun - competitive, exciting, purposeful, important, ... That being said, anyone who excessively monopolizes the space in such a way as to prevent others the opportunity to have fun (read: is harassing, abusive, makes excessive use of ad hominem, or is generally a jack@$$) will be downvoted.

Russell French Paradigm

2 rounds

I am a Policymaker judge that also pays attention to the Stock issues. I believe that I can handle a faster rate of delivery as long as it is articulated well. I debated in high school and have been an assistant debate coach for over a decade. If most everyone else understands the delivery, odds are that I will also. If you fear you might be going too fast or not certain that you are being clear you are probably correct and I would suggest slowing down. If I can't understand you I will not say "clear" I will only understand less. Fast delivery does not mean stronger arguments.

I expect the 1AC to present a plan text. I also prefer case-specific evidence for links to DA's. I'm fine with Counterplans but I am not an advocate or fan of Kritiks or theoretical debate.

I expect everyone to be polite, courteous and professional. I genuinely care about this event and everyone involved.

Andrew Halverson Paradigm

3 rounds

Name: Andrew Halverson
School: Wichita East High School (Wichita, KS), Assistant Coach
Experience: 20+ years. As a competitor, 4 years in high school and 3 years in college @ Fort Hays and Wichita State.

[BELOW IS UPDATED FOR DCI AND STATE - My original philosophy is after the update.]

I'm going to be that person that vent a bunch of my pet peeves regarding how the logistics of the debate go and how I adjudicate debates. Here's goes a quick list (I intended this to be a quick list, but now it's decent sized list of what grinds my gears):

1. If possible, I want to be on the email chain (halverson.andrew [at] If not, I want your speech docs flashed to me before you speak. There are a few reasons I would like this to happen: a) I'm checking as you are going along if you are clipping; b) since I am reading along, I'm making note of what is said in your evidence to see if it becomes an issue in the debate OR a part of my decision - these national qualifier tournaments put a heavy premium on quick decisions, so having that to look at before just makes the trains run on-time and that makes the powers that be happy; c) because I'm checking your scholarship, it allows for me to make more specific comments about your evidence and how you are deploying it within a particular debate. If you refuse to email or flash before your speech for me, there will probably be consequences in terms of speaker points and anything else I determine to be relevant - since I'm the ultimate arbiter of my ballot in the debate which I'm judging.

2. Don't make the roadmap harder than it needs to be. PLEASE DO HAVE A ROADMAP! If you were giving a 1nc roadmap, it should sound something like, "There will be 4 off and then case in the order of Advantage 1, Advantage 2, and Solvency." DON'T SAY: "It'll be 4 off and case." WTAF?! Where do I flow these arguments on case? Find a place to put your arguments. Keep to it.

3. This jumping around on the flow thing is ridiculous. I have judged more debates than I can count this year where a debater says: "On Solvency, the AFF is key to...wait, back onto Topicality. Reasonability should be the lens to evaluate T because...oh, back on the other T." THIS DRIVES ME BONKERS!! Be clean on your flows. If I can't figure out where you and what's you're doing it will costs you lots of speaker points and, most likely, a victory.

4. Don't debate off a script. Yes, blocks are nice. I like when debaters have blocks. They make answering arguments easier. HOWEVER, if you just read off your script going for whatever argument, I'm not going to be happy. Typically, this style of debate involves some clash and large portions of just being unresponsive to the other team's claims. More than likely, you are reading some prepared oration at a million miles per hour and expect me to write down every word. Guess what? I can't. In fact, there is not a judge in the world that can accomplish that feat. So use blocks, but be responsive to what's going on in the debate.

5. Blippy theory debates really irk me. To paraphrase Mike Harris: if you are going as fast as possible on a theory debate at the end of a page and then start the next page with more theory, I'm going to inevitably miss some of it. Whether I flow on paper or on my computer, it takes a second for me to switch pages and get to the place you want me to be on the flow. Slow down a little bit when you want to go for theory - especially if you think it can be a round-winner. I promise you it'll be worth it for you in the end.

6. Read below about this but I want to make this abundantly clear. I won't do work for you unless the debate is completely messed up and I have to do some things to clean up the debate and write a ballot. So, if you drop a Perm, but have answers elsewhere that would answer it, unless you have made that cross-application I won't apply that for you. The debater answering said Perm needs to make the cross-application/answer(s) on their own.

7. Stop stealing prep time. In terms of flashing, prep stops when the save is complete and the flash drive leaves your computer. At this point, you should have an idea of a speech order and be getting set to speak. Don't be super unorganized and take another 2-3 minutes to just stand up there getting stuff together. I don't mind taking a bit to get yourself together, but I find that debaters are abusing that now. When I judge by myself, I'm usually laid back about using the restroom, but I strongly suggest that you consider the other people on the panel - not doing things like stopping prep and then going to the bathroom before you start to speak. I get emergencies, but this practice is really shady. Bottom-line: if you're stealing prep, I'll call you on it out loud and start the timer.

8. Disclosure is something I can't stand when it's done wrong. If proper disclosure doesn't happen before a round, I'm way more likely to vote on a disclosure argument in this setting. If you have questions about my views on disclosure, please ask them before the debate occurs - so you know where you stand.

9. New in the 2nc is bad. What I mean by that is whole new DA's read - old school style - in the 2nc does not foster good debate. I'm willing to listen to theory arguments on the matter, BUT they have to be impacted out. However, that's not the best answer to a NEG attempting this strategy. The best answer is for the 1ar to quickly straight turn whatever that argument is and then move on. Debaters that straight turn will be rewarded. Debaters that do new in the 2nc will either lose because of theory argument or have their speaks tanked by me.


I never know how to completely do these things – because I tend to think there’s no way this judging philosophy can 100% accurately describe how I evaluate a debate, but here goes.

Stylistically, I’m a decent flow, but I wouldn’t go completely crazy. That being said, I’m one of those critics (and I was the same way as a debater) that will attempt to write down almost everything you say as long as you make a valiant attempt to be clear. Super long overviews that aren't flowable make no sense to me. In other words, make what you say translate into what you want me to write down. I will not say or yell if you aren’t clear. You probably can figure it out – from my non-verbals – if you aren’t clear and if I’m not getting it. I will not say/yell "clear" and the debate will most definitely be impacted adversely for you. If I don’t “get it,” it’s probably your job to articulate/explain it to me.

What kind of argument and general preferences do I have regarding academic debate? I will listen to everything and anything from either side of the debate. You can be a critical team or a straight-up team. It doesn’t matter to me. An argument is an argument. Answering arguments with good arguments is probably a good idea, if the competitive aspect of policy debate is important to you at all. If you need some examples: Wipeout? Sure, did it myself. Affirmatives without a plan? Did that too. Spark? You bet. Specific links are great, obviously. Of course, I prefer offense over defense too. I don’t believe that tabula rasa exists, but I do try to not have preconceived notions about arguments. Yet we all know this isn’t possible. If I ultimately have to do so, I will default to policymaker to make my decision easier for me. Hope all of this settles a few things about argument selection with me as a critic.

A caveat to the above – I have recently developed a disdain towards Consult CPs and most “cheating” CPs. If it’s a part of your core strategy, you shouldn’t be dissuaded from running these styles of argument. However, I tend to be sympathetic towards the AFF on theory and substantive arguments vs. this style of argument. As the NEG, you had better REALLY win this argument to win my ballot.

Debate theory is something that is continually evolving. As a young debater, you learn and execute the basics. Then other theoretical concepts come into play as you grow in debate. In the end, debate theory can be either really complicated or really interesting. Lots of people like to stay away from theory goo—I used to be one of them. Over time, I changed my viewpoint on the matter. One of my dislikes as a critic is tagline debating—especially when it comes to theory. Repeating your tags over and over again aren’t going to convey your point any further unless you get deeper into the claims/warrants being argued. Anyway, thoroughly explaining your theory argument is a very good idea with me. Like other debate arguments, I want to theoretically know what your interpretation of whatever aspect of debate theory includes or exclude—what the world looks like under your viewpoint.

Comparing and contrast claims, whether with evidence or analytics, is extremely important for me. If you don’t do it, then you’ll leave me to kneejerk to my own proclivities. That means that I’ll probably end up concocting a story that makes sense to me—confusing you and probably leaving you a bit irritated. My advice is do the work for me so I don’t get into such a position. For the record, I do tend to lean liberal with both my debate and political proclivities.

Finally, I know you hear this a lot, but be nice and have fun. If you have any specific question about my philosophy (which you should because this certainly doesn’t explain everything), ask me questions either immediately before the debate or you can e-mail me at halverson.andrew [at] gmail dot com. Hope this clear a few things up. Happy Debating to all of you!!

And by the way, below is a semi-judge of how I give speaker points. I stole the bulk of this (actually all of it) from Lucia Scott, so I guess this means she’s gets a h/t in this portion of my judging philosophy. This is a guide for how I give speaks, but it is subject to contextual change with any given debate (which probably shouldn’t happen very often – if at all).

Speaker Points:

25 or below – You were so offensive I almost told you to shut up. You're lucky my RFD wasn't as long as they would give me telling you how terrible whatever you said was. This also includes instances where I think you probably aren’t ready for the level of debate that I was judging at the time.

25.5-26.5 – You didn't use all your speech time, and/or your partner gave most of your rebuttal. You probably repeated yourself a lot and your speech, most likely, was not compelling at all. You also might have just been absurdly rude.

27 – You failed to extend warrants, your speech was so disorganized it hurt, and/or your rebuttal was clearly scripted. You made some kind of damning strategic error. I had to say clear twice and you still weren't clear.

27.5 – This is where I start. Your speeches were pretty average with no glaring strategic errors. You were decently clear, but by no means should you quit speed drills.

28 – Your strategy or the way you deployed it impressed me in some way. You're pretty fast and pretty clear.

28.5 – You're fast and I understood almost everything you said. You're persuasive. Your strategy was efficient and effective.

29 – I understood everything you said. You obviously know your arguments well, maybe even cut the argument yourself. You were smart and aggressive without being rude at all. I
had fun watching you debate.

29.5 – Your speeches were so devastating the other team had no chance. I heard every single word of every single card. You didn't rely on cheap arguments. Everything you said could've been the 2NR/2AR. This was a super easy decision.

30 – You're not getting one of these UNLESS there are some amazing circumstances that permit it OR you have given one of the top 3 debate speeches that I have ever heard. Usually, this amount of point means that I think you could win the NDT right now.

Carolyn Hassett Paradigm

6 rounds

Shawnee Mission East ‘17

Currently debating at The University of Kansas ‘21

Assistant coach at Shawnee Mission East

Please put me on the email chain: and

Top Level

I am very expressive and you will know what I am thinking. Use that to your advantage

I appreciate jokes and confidence, but don’t cross the line

Disclosure is good

Tech over truth (a dropped argument is a true one as long as it contains a claim and a warrant)

I will not vote on anything that happened outside the round

Clipping or cheating of any kind will result in an immediate loss and 0 speaks

Please respect your partner. It is my biggest pet peeve to see one member belittle the other and act superior. You are only as good as your partner, and please act that way.

** Do whatever you want, my thoughts do not determine how you should debate


I was a 2A for a long time and because of that, I really appreciate well thought out aff’s with a strong internal link chain. If your evidence is bad/ internal links are weak how are you expecting to defend the aff? That being said I have stayed strictly policy and have rarely strayed from big stick impacts. I am open to listening to anything as long as you can defend and explain the aff. I think case debate is very important, too many teams don’t use the offense they have built to their advantage. Spend time extending your impacts and making cross comparisons to other arguments. I also really appreciate new and tricky policy affs that are unexpected.

T vs traditional aff’s

I am a big fan of T debates and feel that they can be particularly compelling and interesting. I default to competing interpretations, but can be persuaded by reasonability if done well. Spend time on impact comparison and explaining the violation, I am most persuaded by limits and precision impacts. T is never a reverse voting issue!


I've never read a planless aff and generally always go for framework or a CP. That being said I do find framework compelling and tend to lean heavily negative. Don’t think my predispositions mean you can get away with a shoddy job on framework and expect to win the round. I am most persuaded by fairness or limits based impacts and will award negatives who are able to explain their argument, 2N's that can give the speech primarily off the flow will be rewarded. I also appreciate different approaches to dealing with planless affs. Reading DA's and CP's against K aff's is cool and fun, you should do it. That being said, it is very easy for me to vote aff if you win your impact turn outweighs their impact or an interp that solves a lot of their offense.


With the exception of condo, I think all other theory based arguments are a reason to reject the argument not the team. I will not vote on cheap shot theory arguments. 2 condo is good, 3+ I can be persuaded, but need a warranted and contextualized explanation of your interp and why it should not be allowed in debate.


Probably my favorite argument in debate. I think a 2nr that is a DA + good case debate is very compelling. I prefer specific links, but there are some instances when generics work too. You need updated evidence!! I will award teams who have obviously spent time cutting new and good evidence. Please make turns case arguments, this is vital in a DA debate. And yeah i like the politics DA.


I also love a good counterplan debate. I think specific counterplans cut from the other teams evidence is especially compelling and I will award you for that. I am neg leaning on a lot of counterplan theory questions, but i can be sympathetic. I am not the greatest when it comes to CP theory so make sure you explain your argument and interp.


The aff should get to weight the implementation of the aff against the K or the squo. I have not done too much K debating in my career and am not too familiar with literature outside of neolib, security, and generics. Do not expect me to be able to follow along with complex K’s as I am not too well versed in the K world.

Neg: It is fine to go for the K with me in the back of the room, but I want a clear explanation of the alt and the link. I think that specific links are particularly important and need to be utilized. Links of omission are not links.

Aff: please impact turn the K

Please feel free to email me with any questions

Margo Johnson Paradigm

4 rounds

Margo Johnson

Debated for four years at Blue Valley Southwest

Senior at the University of Kansas but am not debating. I judged a ton when I was a freshman and sophomore, but it's been a sec since I've judged and I know literally nothing about the 2019-2020 topic.

Speaker positions in high school: 2A/1N

Top level

1. Tech > truth

2. A dropped argument is a true argument only if it’s extended with a warrant.

3. Impact calc plays a large part of my decision.

4. Read a plan text and defend it.

5. Disclosure is good.


Affs with a plan – I evaluate topicality under competing interpretations, but I can be persuaded by reasonability. I find limits the most persuasive standard. I think fairness is a real impact. The neg should have a case list and topical version of the aff, if possible. Most times I'd rather vote on a disad than topicality, and I don't think I'm the best judge for a super techy T debate, but if you're winning the flow and if the aff just isn't T I'm happy to vote on the argument.

Affs without a plan – I think affirmatives should defend a plan text with the United States federal government as the actor. I think the state is generally good. I think the state is redeemable. I don’t think reading structural violence impacts and defending the state are mutually exclusive. If your aff is contrary to anything aforementioned, I’m not the best judge for you. I’m easily persuaded by framework/T, especially topical version of the aff. That being said, I still will vote for an aff without a plan. If the neg does not win the framework/T flow on a tech level, I'll vote for the aff. However, in a debate where both teams are being competent, I'm more neg leaning on the argument. Easiest neg ballot is a combination of winning the state is good + topical version of the aff + no aff solvency + your interp. The roll of the ballot is to vote for the team who won the debate.


I like counterplans a lot, especially if they’re textually and functionally competitive and have a solvency advocate. Judge kick is fine. Solvency is not a net benefit to a CP. You need actual offense. In a CP+DA debate, I find myself almost always looking at the disad first and then I evaluate the CP. So if you've probably won the CP but you haven't won the disad, I will have a harder time voting for the CP.

Cool counterplans – advantage counterplans, executive CPs, states CPs

Bad counterplans – process CPs, consult CPs, delay CPs, word PICs

Questionable counterplans – PICs, international CPs


Theory is generally a reason to reject the argument, not the team. I guess the only exception to this is condo. I have a very high threshold for voting on condo if answered and think 3-4 conditional advocacies is fine. Sure, I'll evaluate no neg fiat. Cheap shots are cool.


I don't particularly prefer kritiks, but if you win the flow, I'll vote for them. I am not well versed in critical literature. I’m fine with neolib, security, imperialism/colonialism, and biopower debates, but past that you run the chance of losing me, and it'll be difficult for me to vote for any kritik but those listed above. I really don’t want to listen to an identity debate. And I really really don’t want to listen to any high theory debates like Deleuze or Baudrillard or psychoanalysis or anything like that like please no strike me now.

Aff – Weigh your aff! I’m usually persuaded that the aff outweighs and turns the kritik. As I mentioned, impact calc is really important. Make sure to answer K tricks because that is a place I will vote and voting on fiat is illusory will make me v sad. Also explain how your perm functions. If you’re going for perm do both, you need to explain how the plan and the alternative functions in the world of the affirmative. If I don’t know what your perm does, I can’t vote for it.

Neg – You need to have a clear link to the aff. Links to the topic and links of omission aren’t links. Links should be generated off the mandate of the plan or the plan’s advantages. I need to know what your alternative does. If you’re into using lots of fancy long words in your alt text but aren’t into explaining what that actually means, I will be more persuaded by no alt solvency. I hate do nothing alts. I think the best alts access institutions. Don't concede case in the 2NR. I most likely won't vote for you if you do that. Although I didn’t read kritiks on the neg often, I read soft left affs my senior year and wouldn’t consider myself a util hack.

K v K debate – No


DA+case and CP+DA debates are my favorites. I love politics. Turns case arguments are really important. Link shapes uniqueness. The aff should take advantage of the DA if the neg improperly kicks out of it.

Sohail Jouya Paradigm

3 rounds

Current Director of Debate at Mill Valley (Kansas)

Formerly of:
Director of Debate at Andover Central (Kansas)
Director of Debate at University Academy and Lincoln Prep (DEBATE – Kansas City)
Coach at Kansas City Kansas Community College

Yes, email chain - sohailjouyaATgmailDOTcom


If you use your phone as a timer and you use this as your ringer - NO POINTS, NO WINS! (That's like anti-ASMR)


- I appreciate adaptation to my preferences but don’t do anything that would make you uncomfortable. Never feel obligated to compete in a manner inhibits your ability to be effective. My promise to you will be that I will keep an open mind and assess whatever you chose. In short: do you.

- Truth > Tech. I recognize that debate is not merely a game, but rather a competition that models the world in which we live. This doesn’t mean I believe judges should intervene on the basis of "realistic impacts" or "reasonability" -- what it does mean is that embedded clash band the “nexus question” of the round is of more importance than blippy technical oversights between certain sheets of paper.
Don't fret: if the 1NC drops case on your Cthulu Aff, you'll probably be fine to weigh against whatever stuff they got...

- As a coach of a UDL school where many of my debaters make arguments centred on their identity, diversity is a genuine concern. It may play a factor in how I evaluate a round, particularly in debates regarding what’s “best” for the community/activity.

Do you and I’ll do my best to evaluate it but I’m not a tabula rasa and the dogma of debate has me to believe the following. I have put a lot of time and thought into this while attempting to be parsimonious - if you are serious about winning my ballot a careful read would prove to serve you well:


- All speech acts are performances, consequently debaters should defend their performances including the advocacy, evidence, arguments/positions, interpretations, and representations of said speech acts.

- One of the most annoying questions a judged can be asked: “Are you cool with speed?”
In short: yes. But smart and slow always beats fast and dumb.
I have absolutely no preference on rate of delivery, though I will say it might be smart to slow down a bit on really long tags, advocacy texts, your totally sweet theory/double-bind argument or on overviews that have really nuanced descriptions of the round. My belief is that speed is typically good for debate but please remember that spreading’s true measure is contingent on the number of arguments that are required to be answered by the other team not your WPM.

- Ethos: I used to never really think this mattered at all. To a large degree, it still doesn’t considering I’m unabashedly very flowcentric but I tend to give high speaker points to debaters who performatively express mastery knowledge of the subjects discussed, ability to exercise round vision, assertiveness, and that swank.

I’m personally quite annoyed at many judges who insert a “decorum” clause in their philosophy regarding the “need for civility.” These notions are quite loaded and make broad assumptions that ought to be unpacked and questioned, particularly if the deployment of this concern consistently villainizes certain subsets of debaters. I certainly believe debaters should show mutual concern for each other’s well being and ought to avoid condescension or physical/rhetorical violence – but I do not conflate this with respectability politics. Arguments are arguments and deserved to be listened/responded to regardless of mainstream notions of digestibility or the personal palate of an opposing team. In all honesty, some humour and shade have a place in rounds so long as they aren’t in bad faith. Please don’t misinterpret this as a call to be malicious for the sake of being cruel.

- Holistic Approaches: the 2AR/2NR should be largely concerned with two things:
1) provide framing of the round so I can make an evaluation of impacts and the like
2) descriptively instruct me on how to make my decision

Overviews have the potential for great explanatory power, use that time and tactic wisely.

While I put form first, I am of the maxim that “form follows function” – I contend that the reverse would merely produce an aesthetic, a poor formula for argument testing in an intellectually rigorous and competitive activity. In summation: you need to make an argument and defend it.


- The Affirmative ought to be responsive to the topic. This is a pinnacle of my paradigm that is quite broad and includes teams who seek to engage in resistance to the proximate structures that frame the topic. Conversely, this also implicates teams that prioritize social justice - debaters utilizing methodological strategies for best resistance ought to consider their relationship to the topic.
Policy-oriented teams may read that last sentence with glee and K folks may think this is strike-worthy…chill. I do not prescribe to the notion that to be topical is synonymous with being resolutional.

- The Negative’s ground is rooted in the performance of the Affirmative as well as anything based in the resolution. It’s that simple; engage the 1AC if at all possible.

- I view rounds in an offense/defense lens. Many colleagues are contesting the utility of this approach in certain kinds of debate and I’m ruminating about this (see: “Thoughts on Competition”) but I don’t believe this to be a “plan focus” theory and I default to the notion that my decisions require a forced choice between competing performances.

- I will vote on Framework. That means I will vote for the team running the position based on their interpretation, but it also means I’ll vote on offensive responses to the argument. Vindicating an alternative framework is a necessary skill and one that should be possessed by kritikal teams - justifying your form of knowledge production as beneficial in these settings matter.
Framework appeals effectively consist of a normative claim of how debate ought to function. The interpretation should be prescriptive; if you are not comfortable with what the world of debate would look like if your interpretation were universally applied, then you have a bad interpretation. The impact to your argument ought to be derived from your interpretation (yes, I’ve given RFDs where this needed to be said). Furthermore, Topical Version of the Affirmative must specifically explain how the impacts of the 1AC can be achieved, it might be in your best interest to provide a text or point to a few cases that achieve that end. This is especially true if you want to go for external impacts that the 1AC can’t access – but all of this is contingent on a cogent explanation as to why order precedes/is the internal link to justice.

- I am pretty comfortable judging Clash of Civilization debates.

- Framework is the job of the debaters. Epistemology first? Ontology? Sure, but why? Where does performance come into play – should I prioritize a performative disad above the “substance” of a position? Over all of the sheets of paper in the round? These are questions debaters must grapple with and preferably the earlier in the round the better.

- "Framework is how we frame our work" >>>>> "FrAmEwOrK mAkEs ThE gAmE wOrK"

-Presumption is always an option. In my estimation the 2NR may go for Counterplan OR a Kritik while also giving the judge the option of the status quo. Call it “hypo-testing” or whatever but I believe a rational decision-making paradigm doesn’t doom me to make a single decision between two advocacies, especially when the current status of things is preferable to both. I don't know if I really “judge kick” for you, instead, the 2NR should explain an “even if” route to victory via presumption to allow the 2AR to respond.
“But what about when presumption flips Affirmative?” This is a claim that probably needs to be established prior to the 2NR. While I say that, I've definitely voted in favour of plenty of 2ARs that haven't said that in the 1AR.

- Role of the Ballots ought to invariably allow the 1AC/1NC to be contestable and provide substantial ground to each team. Many teams will make their ROBs self-serving at best, or at worse, tautological. That's because there's a large contingency of teams that think the ROB is an advocacy statement. They are not.
If they fail to equally distribute ground, they are merely impact framing. A good ROB can effectively answer a lot of framework gripes regarding the Affirmative’s pronouncement of an unfalsifiable truth claim.

- Analytics that are logically consistent, well warranted and answer the heart of any argument are weighed in high-esteem. This is especially true if it’s responsive to any combinations of bad argument/evidence.

- My threshold for theory is not particularly high. It’s what you justify, not necessarily what you do. I typically default to competing interpretations, this can be complicated by a team that is able to articulate what reasonability means in the context of the round, otherwise I feel like its interventionist of me to decode what “reasonable” represents. The same is true to a lesser extent with the impacts as well. Rattling off “fairness and education” as loaded concepts that I should just know has a low threshold if the other team can explain the significance of a different voter or a standard that controls the internal link into your impact (also, if you do this: prepared to get impact turned).

I think theory should be strategic and I very much enjoy a good theory debate. Copious amounts of topicality and specification arguments is not strategic, it is desperate.

- I like conditionality probably more so than other judges. As a young’n I got away with a lot of, probably, abusive Negative strategies that relied on conditionality to the maximum (think “multiple worlds and presumption in the 2NR”) mostly because many teams were never particularly good at explaining why this was a problem. If you’re able to do so, great – just don’t expect me to do much of that work for you. I don’t find it particularly difficult for a 2AR to make an objection about how that is bad for debate, thus be warned 2NRs - it's a downhill effort for a 2AR.
Furthermore, I tend to believe the 1NC has the right to test the 1AC from multiple positions.
Thus, Framework along with Cap K or some other kritik is not a functional double turn. The 1NC doesn’t need to be ideologically consistent. However, I have been persuaded in several method debates that there is a performative disadvantage that can be levied against speech acts that are incongruent and self-defeating.

- Probability is the most crucial components of impact calculus with disadvantages. Tradeoffs ought to have a high risk of happening and that question often controls the direction of uniqueness while also accessing the severity of the impact (magnitude).

- Counterplan debates can often get tricky, particularly if they’re PICs. Maybe I’m too simplistic here, but I don’t understand why Affirmatives don’t sit on their solvency deficit claims more. Compartmentalizing why portions of the Affirmative are key can win rounds against CPs. I think this is especially true because I view the Counterplan’s ability to solve the Affirmative to be an opportunity cost with its competitiveness. Take advantage of this “double bind.”

- Case arguments are incredibly underutilized and the dirty little secret here is that I kind of like them. I’m not particularly sentimental for the “good ol’ days” where case debate was the only real option for Negatives (mostly because I was never alive in that era), but I have to admit that debates centred on case are kind of cute and make my chest feel all fuzzy with a nostalgia that I never experienced– kind of like when a frat boy wears a "Reagan/Bush '84" shirt...


I know enough to know that kritiks are not monolithic. I am partial to topic-grounded kritiks and in all reality I find them to be part of a typical decision-making calculus. I tend to be more of a constructivist than a rationalist. Few things frustrate me more than teams who utilize a kritik/answer a kritik in a homogenizing fashion. Not every K requires the ballot as a tool, not every K looks to have an external impact either in the debate community or the world writ larger, not every K criticizes in the same fashion. I suggest teams find out what they are and stick to it, I also think teams should listen and be specifically responsive to the argument they hear rather rely on a base notion of what the genre of argument implies. The best way to conceptualize these arguments is to think of “kritik” as a verb (to criticize) rather than a noun (a static demonstrative position).
It is no secret that I love many kritiks but deep in every K hack’s heart is revered space that admires teams that cut through the noise and simply wave a big stick and impact turn things, unabashedly defending conventional thought. If you do this well there’s a good chance you can win my ballot. If pure agonism is not your preferred tactic, that’s fine but make sure your post-modern offense onto kritiks can be easily extrapolated into a 1AR in a fashion that makes sense.
In many ways, I believe there’s more tension between Identity and Post-Modernism teams then there are with either of them and Policy debaters. That being said, I think the Eurotrash K positions ought to proceed with caution against arguments centred on Identity – it may not be smart to contend that they ought to embrace their suffering or claim that they are responsible for a polemical construction of identity that replicates the violence they experience (don’t victim blame).


There’s a lot of talk about what is or isn’t competition and what competition ought to look like in specific types of debate – thus far I am not of the belief that different methods of debate require a different rubric for evaluation. While much discussion as been given to “Competition by Comparison” I very much subscribe to Competing Methodologies. What I’ve learned in having these conversations is that this convention means different things to different people and can change in different settings in front of different arguments. For me, I try to keep it consistent and compatible with an offense/defense heuristic: competing methodologies requires an Affirmative focus where the Negative requires an independent reason to reject the Affirmative. In this sense, competition necessitates a link. This keeps artificial competition at bay via permutations, an affirmative right regardless of the presence of a plan text.

Permutations are merely tests of mutual exclusivity. They do not solve and they are not a shadowy third advocacy for me to evaluate. I naturally will view permutations more as a contestation of linkage – and thus, are terminal defense to a counterplan or kritik -- than a question of combining texts/advocacies into a solvency mechanism. If you characterize these as solvency mechanisms rather than a litmus test of exclusivity, you ought to anticipate offense to the permutation (and even theory objections to the permutation) to be weighed against your “net-benefits”. This is your warning to not be shocked if I'm extrapolating a much different theoretical understanding of a permutation if you go 5/6 minutes for it in the 2AR.
Even in method debates where a permutation contends both methods can work in tandem, there is no solvency – in these instances net-benefits function to shield you from links (the only true “net benefit” is the Affirmative). A possible exception to this scenario is “Perm do the Affirmative” where the 1AC subsumes the 1NC’s alternative; here there may be an offensive link turn to the K resulting in independent reasons to vote for the 1AC.

Minha Jutt Paradigm

4 rounds

I debated at Blue Valley North in high school and at UMKC in college. I’ve been an assistant coach at BVN for three years now, led a lab last summer, and have judged about 50 debates on this topic. I don't have much of an ideological preference, and will evaluate all arguments. Here are some thoughts I have:

Evidence quality, comparative impact calc, and technical proficiency are important regardless of your arguments’ content. I dislike embedded clash.

Email chain: minhajutt1 @ gmail


Impact turning DAs/advantages is fine but you still have to do impact calc and evidence comparison for the turn, else the debate becomes difficult to objectively judge.

Responding to terrible internal links with impact defense seems less strategic to me than beating the internal link with alt causes/etc.


Conditionality is good, but the neg has to say judge kick is an option. Most cheating counterplans are fine if you can beat the aff on theory.


Impact calc still matters in T debates! Have defense to the other side’s standards, and explain why your offense outweighs/turns theirs. Be sure your interpretation resolves the offense you extend.

Your standards should be specific and impacted – list arguments their interpretation excludes and why they are good, explain which affirmatives their interpretation justifies and why including them in the topic is bad.

Critical Affs

Everything I’ve said about topicality applies here. I also think the aff typically has to win that debating the resolution is bad and that good debates would occur under their model to beat framework. Negatives need defense to aff impact turns to topic education and fairness. Fairness is an impact, but you need warrants explaining why it is.

You can win that critical affs shouldn’t be allowed perms with nuanced, impacted standards like you would in a standard theory debate


Each link should have an impact. Critiques of plan focus/consequentialism seem more strategic to me than critiques with causal links, but I'll vote for any argument if you win it. Winning framework lets you determine the threshold for the negative to disprove the aff. Explain why your interpretation provides the best model for debate and compare their offense to yours. Explain why you should still win under their interpretation. ROB arguments are arbitrary and usually deployed to avoid clash – do impact framing instead.

Will Katz Paradigm

4 rounds

Yes email chain-- College: and

High School:

4 years debating and 4 years coaching at Washburn Rural High School, 4 years debating and 1 year coaching at KU

Compile a doc of all relevant cards and all relevant marks for me at the end of the debate.

I have been pretty involved in policy topic research for both the HS Arms sales topic and the College Space topic. I have judged almost 100 debates this year between the two (over 100 if you count camp tournament debates), and feel prepared to keep up with most innovations that occur.

2020 Post-Season Updates

Let your partner talk in their cx, if you don't I'll unapologetically dock your speaker points

I don't think I've judged a topic T debate on the space topic, but I think a lot of affs are playing with fire on "cooperation" or topic areas

Specific K's > Generic K of cooperation > Generic K of space

Argument non-specific things

Debate off your flow, don't just read scripts

Evidence quality is important, and that includes how you highlight your evidence

I'm often compelled by teams that have a well-packaged narrative for their argument- this matters a decent amount for winning and a lot for speaker points

I will not evaluate arguments about an individual's intentions, character, or actions outside of the debate.

Policy thoughts

I'm probably not the best judge for affs that say they are basically the status quo so there's no da.

Turns case has been relevant in a lot of rfd's I've given

I am really bad for cp's that do not have topic-specific evidence (see: con-con on the space topic) or any evidence in the 1nc

I think I'm more persuadable than most on well explained defensive arguments to a cp like perm shields the link or cp links to the net benefit.

There are two types of soft left affs. Type 1 is "ignore DAs because they are improbable." Type 2 is "we are going to beat DAs on good specific defensive arguments and use our framing page to explain why offense/defense doesn't really make sense." Type 1 is much more common, type 2 is much more persuasive.

Theory is a winnable 2ar. I think I am just as persuadable that the neg should get 0 conditional advocacies as I am that they should get infinite. To me, it is entirely up to the debaters, which these days makes me a good judge for a team going for theory.

"Conditional" means judge kick but I can definitely be convinced to stick the neg with the cp they went for without wholesale rejecting conditionality

"New affs bad" is a waste of breath.

Framework vs K affs

Historically I am very good for the neg in these debates, I suspect more than most people who (semi)frequently judge these debates. I vote neg a lot because usually it is more clear to me how the negative team's model of debate produces a better season of debates. Aff's would be well served investing a lot of time into describing their model of debate as opposed to their own affirmative


Framework is important. I very rarely vote neg if the neg doesn't win framework. It isn't impossible to win without winning framework/consequentialism, but as the neg it makes your job much harder

I usually determine that negs beat the aff's "plan focus good" framework. This isn't for ideological reasons (honestly quite the opposite) but the block usually has several offensive arguments, cards, defense to aff standards, and the 1ar usually just says "moots the aff that's unfair debate is a game" and moves on.

Negs that do impact calculus, change the framework of the debate, and actually challenge core assumptions of the aff are usually in a good spot

Please do impact comparison, don't just list your impacts in the overview.

Kendall Kaut Paradigm

1 rounds

Kendall Kaut

Olathe North (KS)- 2006-2009

Baylor- 2009-2013

In high school, I finished 6th at the 2009 NFL National Tournament.

I debated for four years at Baylor. I went to the NDT three times and cleared at GSU, UMKC, Kentucky, Wake, USC and Northwestern/Texas.

I've led labs at Baylor and Kansas. I'm now an assistant district attorney in Johnson County, Kansas.

I have been largely out of debate for the last few years. When I debated, I always read a plan and primarily went for politics and a CP. That doesn't mean you have to debate that way.

I am happy to answer any question before the debate.

Truth sets the baseline for how much you might need to out-tech someone. I'd rather be arguing something true than false, but I'd prefer to be the best team in the country arguing something a little less true. That's not me saying the best team in the country--something I have no idea who that is--is going to win me. It's me saying that I'd prefer to be on the side of truth, but that a better team in that debate can probably out-tech someone when the truth differential is low.

Anybody can win any debate. I will vote for the team that I thought won the debate.

Topicality/Framework: When debating is done equally between the sides, I think you should have a plan. Most debates do not happen equally. I have voted for no plan teams or teams with a tangential relationship to the topic. Those teams are going to have a tougher time winning me if the other side is close to them in ability in that debate.

I am open to competing interpretations or reasonability. Generally this does not decide debates--if you're winning reasonability is good, you've probably also won that your interpretation is better--or at least it seems that way in the debates I judge.

I have not done any topic research, and I am not familiar with the topic. If you shout that some interpretation excludes or includes certain affirmatives, please explain why that's a big deal or core topic ground.

DA's- There can be no risk. I am open to one or two good defensive claims, and that's generally better than going for 11 arguments on the DA in the 2AR.

I am probably more open to analytics against bad politics or other DAs than other folks.

Uniqueness determines the direction of the link, or vice versa, normally isn't that relevant. I evaluate everything, and I can't think of a time that's been a decision point for me.

CP's- Open on competition. On the side of truth, I think private actor, consult and non-textually competitive CPs are generally bad. I think states, international actor or PICs are generally good. You can win either side on those things.

Two conditional advocacies seems fine. More than that seems tougher. Again, these are not positions that I find myself unmovable in on a debate.

K's- Generally the more your K interacts with the 1AC, the better place you'll be. Self-serving framework or role of the ballot arguments, unless dropped, are a high climb for me.

Aroog Khaliq Paradigm

4 rounds

Email chain:


I am a sophomore at KU (majoring in english and psychology). I debated at Blue Valley West HS (KS) for four years, three of those years being in the DCI/Varsity division. I am not debating in college, although I occasionally judge HS debate. I've judged 0 policy rounds on the 2018-19 topic.


Speed: I have auditory processing difficulties. Be cognizant of that. If you are not clear, I will not be able to flow you. I want to be able to hear the words in the cards, and prefer that you go slower on tags. I'm a fan of a slower, more persuasive rebuttal.

Speaker Points: If you are rude and/or discriminatory, your speaks will suffer for it. Send me speech docs, because I am strict about clipping; if you clip, I will drop you with minimum speaks. Don't steal prep (everyone can tell when you do).

Philosophy: I don't have an ideological preference, and I will vote how you to tell me to vote (so be sure to articulate that). Impact framing/calculus is really important in how I evaluate the round. I think tech > truth.

We're all here to have a good time, so act like it and be respectful :)


Neg: I evaluate the link first. Articulate the link well and give me impact calculus and turns case arguments early on in the debate. Pull through to the 2NR and develop the argument so when I'm evaluating the risk it's clear-cut. I'm not the biggest fan of politics DAs but I will listen to almost anything, so if you're going to go for it, give me a solid link and do the most with what I outlined above.

Aff: Come through with case outweighs and turns the DA arguments and gut the link. Explain why you outweigh and where the DA fails. Kill the link and it will be easy for me to decide who wins the DA.


Neg: Read whatever you want as long as 1) you can answer applicable theory arguments well and 2) there's a legitimate net benefit attached (no, "CP solves better" does not count). Slow down on long CP texts and don't forget to hammer in why sufficiency > 1% risk of a solvency deficit.

Aff: If you're going for "XYZ type of CP is cheating" be ready to articulate how they're cheating, why I care, what ground you lost, etc. because I'm not doing the work for you there.


My favorite argument (so don't mess it up). Spend time here, specify what your interpretation does for the round and how this affects affs that can/'t be read and why they should/'nt be allowed. Give impacts and explain why yours should be evaluated over theirs. I usually default to competing interps but if your reasoning is good enough, I can be persuaded to evaluate under the lens of reasonability. A well-done 5 minute rebuttal on T will probably move me to tears and boost your speaks, so take from that what you will.


2 conditional advocacies is pretty standard; beyond 3, I can be swayed towards condo bad. You're probably not going to win without an interpretation and specific instances of in-round abuse. If this is bleeding into the 2AR, spend a full 5 minutes on it. Not really a fan of other theory arguments (most of them are reasons to reject the argument, not the team), but if you're following the above guidelines, I will weigh them.


K debates are fun! I read Cap in high school and am familiar with the lit. I am not really into framework debates (I usually went for cap against planless affs), so if you're a planless aff I'm not the best judge for you.

With any K, I need good link and impact articulation (links of omission are not going to persuade me), and you must flesh out the alt.

You will not persuade me with "Ks are cheating." Go for alt indicts and link turns. Make sure you can 1) explain why your perms are legitimate and 2) defend your mode of political action (don't give me generic "state good" cards; tell me why the state specifically is key to combating racism, misogyny, etc.).


Like Titus from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, I am prone to face journeys, so you will definitely know if I'm lost; remedy that, or we will both have a bad time.

Noah Kincaid Paradigm

3 rounds

Debated four years at Lansing

Currently debating at Washburn U

Do whatever you think is going to win you the round. I like seeing rounds that have both sides arguing what they like best. Reading an argument you don’t know / are uncomfortable with is risky and doesn’t work as good as what’s in your back pocket. A good rule of thumb is to explain your arguments that win you the round like I’m a kid. Doing this ensures we are on the same page and I don’t have to do work for you in the rebuttals. On the topic of speed, I can keep up but slow debates are my bread and butter. That said, Speed won’t lose you the debate by any means.

Disadvantages - Probably my favorite rounds to watch are ones that are DA v the Case. Imlact calc debate is a tool that wins debates. Explain why the DA outweighs the case and how you might garner offense from any case turns.

Counterplan - love them. If the aff thinks a CP is cheating it’s their job to convince me why that’s the case.

Theory - I like theory debates. I’m not side biased so shoot your shoot and it could win you a round.

T - T debates are always fun. If there’s in round abuse I’d vote on that.

K - I never really ran K’s in highschool but college has made me understand them better. That said if you ran them just explain them like I’m a kid :) If it’s a fast round go slow on the alt / advocacy.

I probably missed some stuff so if you have questions feel free to approach me whenever so I can answer questions you might have.

David Kingston Paradigm

6 rounds

Put me on the email chain: --- Makes life easier.

Hi, I'm Dave.

I debated 4 years in High School in Albuquerque, NM. I graduated in 1989.
I also debated for 4 years in College at Arizona State and transferred to UMKC. I won CEDA Nationals and graduated in 1994.
After that, I was a grad assistant at the University of North Texas and coached debate for 2 years.
and then got married and took my wife's last name changing mine from Genco to Kingston.
and then was a grad assistant at KU for a couple of years.
and then was the Assistant Director at UMKC until 2000.
From 1994 until 2000 I taught at a bunch of camps.
I've helped out several college teams here and there for the last 5-6 years.
I am currently cutting cards and coaching Blue Valley Northwest on the high school topic.

If you have any questions ask.

TL/DR: I really don't have a preference for what you do in a debate round. I've judged a ton of them over the years. I suggest you do something that you do well.

K: Everyone wants to know if I'm ok with "the K" or "the criticism" or a "performance". Sure. That sounds good to me. I understand those types of arguments. I've become more up to date with some high theory and race/structural Ks. You do you. I don't hold them against you.

CP: You don't have to answer the aff if the Counterplan solves all of the aff and you should point out what disads/turns are net benefits to the counterplans. I do not default to judge kick. I default to you're stuck with what you go for unless you make some argument about it. If you make an argument about the counterplan being condo, then you have to kick it unless you make judge kick args.

DA: They're good. Uniqueness, link or impact defense, and foundational warrant comparison are all good ways to help resolve things. Please don't read generic impact stuff that doesn't take the context of the round into account. It helps my decision and comments if you differentiate your warrants or find ways to compare your link to the turn or vise versa. Do I believe in zero risk? Kinda. Dropped args are probably zero risk. But I default to the arguments made about risk. Generally though, I default to some risk on a contested debate unless the resolution of the arguments is made very clear (Uniqueness goes the wrong direction, dropped args with some analysis, deeper warrants etc.)

T: If you have a good interp you can defend and can do standard debating well, I'm willing to hear the debate.

K Affs: I have been more in touch with this style of debate in recent years. I'm pretty neutral in FW debates. If you're aff vs FW, isolate a couple pieces of offense and you should be all right.

Theory: I don't care about how many or what kind of condo if you can defend it.

Round Comments:

I try to stay neutral in my judging and vote on things said in the round, not things that I make up about things you say. I'll make things up if that's the only way to resolve stuff, but I never feel good about it. Don't make me feel bad, plz.

I don't care how fast you go as long as you don't have mush mouth and I can understand it.

I try not to be a jerk about prep time, please don't be a jerk about it either. That being said, we do have to have a debate and it does have to finish on time, so don't steal prep.

Also, don't clip cards. I read along in the speech doc.

Don't flash docs that contain a ton of cards you're never going to read, and don't mess with the speech docs (remove navigation, purposefully try to avoid sharing, or do other random crap that is borderline cheating). The other team gets to see everything you read, and vice versa.

None of that doesn't mean that you can expect me to ignore arguments that aren't in a speech doc. If it was said, it's an argument. You should FLOW.

I don't like posturing between speeches and during CX in debates. If you have comments to make about the way the other team is debating or the arguments they choose, then you should make them as an argument in a speech.

Speaker Points: I'm trying to achieve more clarity about how I assign speaker points. This should give you a good idea about what I'm thinking when I assign them. This is a bit of an upward departure from points I have given in the past. Basically, I'm looking at points as a consideration of whether or not I think the debating you did was of elim rounds quality or that your performance was worthy of putting you on track to win a speaker award. I have my standards, but my points will probably end up being .2 or so higher than I have given in the past.

Bonus speaker points if you find a way to win that doesn't assume you win all of your arguments.

Have fun and Good Luck!

Kevin Krouse Paradigm

3 rounds

Email Chain:


I participated in debate for 4 years in High School (policy and LD for Olathe East) and 3 years in College (Parli for Washburn University). This is my third year assisting Olathe East debate. At top tier DCI/TOC tournaments, I'm far from the best judge in the pool but I'm the most happy to be here and am giving 100% effort. That being said, here are some insights into how I view debate:


I can keep up for the most part. I will say clear twice in a speech if I feel like I am missing arguments, after that I get what I get. I'd like have speech docs shared with me but ultimately I evaluate the debate from what is on my flow, not in the speech doc. I think times in which I most often miss nuance that become relevant later in the debate are when teams are blazing through topicality and theory blocks at tops speeds.

Argument preferences:

In high school, I preferred traditional policy style debate. In college, I preferred more kritical arguments. I studied philosophy but don't assume I know everything about your author or their argument. Something that annoys me in these debates is when teams so caught up in buzzwords that they forget to extend warrants. In terms of judging, I'd rather you debate arguments you enjoy and are comfortable with as opposed to adapting to my preferences. A good debate on my least favorite argument is far more preferable than a bad debate on my favorite argument. I'm open to however you'd like to debate, but you must tell me how to evaluate the round and justify it. I'm not super prone to voting on Ks that do nothing or simply reject the aff. Justify your methodology.

K affs- I don't think an affirmative needs to defend the resolution if they can justify their advocacy/methodology appropriately. However I think being in the direction of the resolution makes the debate considerably easier for you.

I'm of the opinion that one good card can be more effective if utilized and analyzed effectively than 10 bad/mediocre cards. At the same time, I think a mediocre card utilized strategically can be more useful than a good card under-analysed.

Any other questions, feel free to ask before the round.

Khalil Kumar Paradigm

6 rounds


I would call myself tab but there is no such thing as tab and everyone who says so is a liar, they're all offense/defense judges because there is no such thing as a blank state everyone has their preconceptions about policy already.

Mine are as follows:

T is incredibly important and I will pull the trigger on this arg as long as you A. win your standards, B. explain the internal to your voter, C. win that your voters outweigh, and D. do the work on reasonability. In terms of voters I definitely lean towards fairness, I'm still willing to vote on education but if thats you all-in in the 2ar/2nr be warned. For me to vote on reasonability you probably have to win race to the bottom, and you have to have a pretty solid we meet. I evaluate reasonability like a perm. Ask if this is unclear in any way.

Das are cool, most of them are bullshit and if you're just shotgunning args onto the flow to outspread people, you have to do the work and if I dont understand your I/L story I'm not going to vote here if they have any decent ink on the flow. I also believe in terminal link deficits, meaning I dont care if they concede 8 extinction impacts if they can realistically prove that there just isn't a probable link. 1% risk is pretty bad for debate tbh.

K's are awesome, I love cap and state an bio-politics, I have a pretty solid grasp on most k lit present on the high school circuit, but if you're doing something wacky, just be clear why im voting for the alternative. Ex: if you read an unintelligibility alt, and don't say its an unintelligibility alt, you just are unintelligible, I'm not going to vote for you.

"pre/post fiat": Stolen from my homie Kenton Fox: I think the terms "pre-fiat" and "post-fiat" misconceptualize the function of an alt. Explain the alt as a methodology that can resolve the links and impacts of the k/1AC instead (this in no way means you shouldn't make in-round claims. Example - if you're reading psychoanalysis most of the analysis you do will likely be contingent upon the ballot, whereas if you're reading histomat most of the analysis you do will likely be contingent upon plan action proper. Most of the time when you talk about the "post-fiat" level of the alt you're just describing the world of the alt, which should be accessible (at some level) through the judges endorsement of the alternative

Perf con: I prefer the term ped con or pedagogical contradiction but w/e idc. I will vote on perf con if the alt is epistemic or pedagogical analysis. I believe these alts are best as 1-off or at least with DA's that are not morally contradictory. If you read a "counter-reformist reform" (silly term) 1ac with a indicts of the negs DA impacts, the DA doesn't even necessarily have to be morally contradictory at its core as long as you win the indicts. This does not mean I will always vote on perf con dont assume that you don't have to do the work.

K affs are fine, just have a warrant why its ok to be non-topical in the 1ac and you should still be tangentially connected to the topic. If you arent that cool but you're going to have to do a lot more work on the framework page or I'll just vote neg on fairness.

FW is just a way to evaluate the structure of debate, including the pedagogical and epistemic benefits of the activity. Framing is how the judge should evaluate impacts. This distinction will just make my flow clearer, and make it a lot easier for you to extend your framing/FW as my RFD in the 2ar/2nr.

Condo. I will vote on it if you win the standards/voters debate. I will not vote on one or two conditional advocacies, but past that you hit the point I'm willing to pull the trigger. Multi-plank CP's where each plank is condo is incredibly abusive and I will vote on this near 100% of the time as long as you do the work. I dont like these dont read them please.

CPs are fine, just not delay or multi-plank.

Disclosure: I hate this arg. Im liable to just toss it out because large schools with access to resources benefit the absolute most from things like wiki disclosure, and if you're a small school having disclosure read against you I will vote on an RVI; call it hacking, I don't care.

Braden Lefler Paradigm

5 rounds

Experience: 4 years high school (2009-2013); 3 years college at Wichita State University (2013-2016); assistant coach at Maize High School (2014); assistant coach at Goddard High School (2015-2017).


I am most comfortable judging traditional policy debates because I spent the majority of my debate career reading traditional policy arguments. However, that does not mean that I am unable, or unwilling, to listen to and vote for critical arguments. However, if your k lit is very dense, you will likely need to explain your argument clearly for me to track your argument. As a general rule, I do not vote for arguments that I don't understand at the end of the round because I think it is your job to explain it effectively. All that being said, I did debate long enough that I encountered plenty of ks, and read some too, so I will certainly do my best to follow your argument if that is the route you wish to take the debate. The best advice is to do what you do best.

I spent a lot of time reading T and theory during my career, and think it can be strategic. If the aff is not T, or is implicated by some theory argument, then by all means make the argument. I generally think T should not be an amorphous part of the debate, and weighing the impacts of the interpretations is an avenue which can make T very persuasive, among many others.

I think good evidence and good evidence comparison are very important and can make the difference in close debates. Clarity is very important. If I cannot understand your argument, there is a low chance I vote on it. Be thoughtful and strategic with cx. Too often teams will not give up a line of questioning when it is clear they are not going to get the answer they want.

Otherwise I generally enjoy good strategic cp and da debates.

If you have any specific questions, do not hesitate to ask.

Kathryn Lipka Paradigm

2 rounds

In General—

Put me on the email chain--

I debated 4 years in high school, went to a handful of tournaments with KU, and am in my third year coaching (Lawrence Free State, Pembroke Hill).

I don’t think it is my job as a judge to call for evidence, kick CPs, decide how I should evaluate the debate, etc. It is your job to tell me these things. This means impact calculus plays a significant part in the way I evaluate the round—please do it. I default to moral obligation claims. Warranted extensions only or it isn’t an extension.

I don’t put up with rudeness, racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, or ableism-- these are worthy of losing a ballot and certainly a reason to dock your speaker points.

I expect debaters to do whatever they are best at and want to do in front of me-- debate is not an event for conformity.

My speaker point scale (taken from the KellyThompson):

29+ - you should receive a speaker award in this division at this tournament

28.5+ - you should be in elimination debates at this tournament, and probably win one or more of those rounds

28 - you are competing for a spot to clear but still making errors that may prevent you from doing so. Average for the division/tournament.

27.5 - you are slightly below average for the division/tournament and need to spend some time on the fundamentals. Hopefully, I've outlined in my notes what those are.

27 - you are in the wrong division or at the wrong tournament in my estimation.


If you’re going for T it should be the entire 2NR. If it is not, you’re not doing enough work. I evaluate education and fairness as impacts, so treat them as such. I am more persuaded by education. I am fine with creativity to make the aff topical, but at a certain point would rather you just reject the resolution than squeeze your way into a nonexistent “we meet” arg. I think rejecting the resolution is fine and switch side debate is typically not a winning argument. If you can prove that your education is best in the round I am willing to listen to what you have to say.


Fine, great, everyone should do them. If you don’t have a specific link you better be prepared to do a lot of work for me.


Generic bad. I think smart and well-developed PICs are a good way to control offense in a debate. Don’t assume doing theory and a perm is enough to get out of the CP. I default to sufficiency framing so I need clear reasons why the aff is more desirable. Blippy word PICs and delay CPs are annoying.


Most familiar with neolib/fem/anthro. You need to explain what the alternative does specifically—even if it is inaction. I like to hear “in the world of the alternative…”. I need to know why the aff is uniquely bad. Permutations are always valid, but often poorly executed and cause severance. Severance is probably bad. If I have to do a lot of work just to understand your jargon and what the K is I’m not the judge for you.


I have a higher threshold for voting on theory, it needs to be the center of the rebuttal if that is what you want. I almost always view theory as a reason to reject the argument not the team. Obviously I can be persuaded otherwise. Severance mostly bad. Condo mostly good. K’s are not cheating. PICs are good but also sometimes not. Slow down on theory.

Ryan McFarland Paradigm

Ryan McFarland
Debated at KCKCC and Wichita State

Two years of coaching at Wichita State, 3 years at Hutchinson High School in Kansas, two years at Kapaun Mt. Carmel, now at Blue Valley Southwest.

email chain:

I have become increasingly frustrated at the recent debate trend where debaters just read pre-prepared blocks straight from their laptop at full speed with little contextualization to the arguments the other team is making. That frustration is magnified when the 2AR/2NR re-reads things from earlier speeches, at the same speed, while still not contextualizing those arguments to the other team. I appreciate debaters who debate from their flow and use their computers for reading evidence. Three things you should take away from this;

1. you could technically be winning a debate, but if I don't believe that you have clashed with the arguments presented by the other team, I will likely vote against you. Clash is not "they said perm, so insert generic perm 2NC block here". Clash is directly answering the nuances made by the other team.

2. I'm fairly expressive. I'm not going to say clear or tell you to slow down. If you think reading full speed in the 2NR/2AR is how you can convince me to vote for you, you're mistaken. If I'm not able to process the arguments you are making because you are reading full, card speed during a rebuttal, I'm not going to vote for you. I will either miss important things you want me to vote on, or I will spend my energy trying to make sure I can keep up with everything and not think about the arguments.

3. When I've given low speaker points in the last two years, it was because the things that I have mentioned above.

K v. FW - I'm pretty open to most arguments in the debate, but I will be up front and say that I believe the topic is good and important. This is not to say that I will never vote for a critical affirmative, but I am ideologically on the side of debating the topic is a good idea. With that said, I'm probably split pretty much down the middle on my voting record when it comes to K aff vs Framework. Most of the time when I have voted negative its because the affirmative does not adequately deal with the topical version of the aff. When I vote affirmative its because the negative spends most of its time establishing a link, but very little impact explanation and comparison. I do think that fairness is an impact, and don't find arguments about framework creating actual violence against people persuasive.

I don't find "debate bad" arguments persuasive. I've coached teams to say these things, but still don't find them valuable.

DA v. soft left aff - I don't think I've ever voted on the framing page takes out 100% of the disad. I've seen plenty of teams think that because they've read a framing page they don't need to engage the components of the DA and that will always be a losing strategy. Having specific critiques of disadvantages is more compelling to me. Likewise, negative teams reading a bunch of extinction first, util cards and generically extending them does little for me.

K's on the neg - I'm better for K arguments on the negative than K affirmatives. I might expect more link contextualization than some judges. I don't have a problem voting affirmative if I don't believe you have explained a link that makes sense with the aff.

An affirmative saying "duh" to "fiat isn't real" is sufficient, but you still need to defend your method of policy making.

Other things - I default to competing interpretations on topicality and other theoretical arguments. Conditionality is good but will vote on theory if it's well developed. Read disadvantages and counterplans. Case debate is underutilized and will increase your speaker points.

Judge kick - no idea why affirmatives just let negative teams get away with this. It forces the affirmative to give two different 2ARs. I'm not saying I'll just wholesale reject this, but affirmatives should get smarter.

I appreciate multi-plank counterplans that have some evidentiary support for all planks. I don't appreciate multi-plank counterplans that are used to fiat out of solvency deficits or offensive arguments.

More than 5 off case arguments - bad strategy. Makes me grumpy. Lowers your speaker points. Reading a bunch of bad arguments for the sake of reading more arguments is a bad debate trend.

Stop being scared of going for theory against cheating arguments.

Clipping is cheating no matter the intent.

I won't read or flow your inserted re-highlighting.

Cory Newman Paradigm

3 rounds

I've been involved in debate as either a competitor, a judge, or a coach for over a decade in both policy as well as Lincoln Douglas debate.

I default to a policy maker paradigm, and if all else is truly equal in the round then that's the side that I'll err on, but I have voted on kritikal arguments before and have no problem doing so again if those are the relevant issues in the round. However when I am making decision on kritikal arguments both framework as well as the role of the ballot are very important to me.

On topicality I err on the side of reasonability, but I've voted neg on topicality many times and you should certainly run topicality if you believe the affirmative isn't topical and you feel like that's the strategy you want to go for. If you do go for topicality, unless your opponent has straight up conceded most of the flow, the majority of the 2NR should probably be on topicality. With voters I have a preference for education.

Theory debates are great. Just be sure to legitimize the theory argument with a reasonable voter. Otherwise I have no reason to care about the theory no matter how well you argue it.

Counter-plans are great. Many of the teams I've worked with (including my own partnership) spend the majority of their rounds going for nothing except a single counter-plan and its net benefit, so I'm very familiar with that debate.

I can probably handle whatever speed you throw at me as long as you remain clear. I give two warnings for clarity before I stop telling you to be clear and just flow whatever I can understand.

If your partner prompts you at all during your speech, know that I will not flow a single word of what they say. If you want me to flow it and acknowledge that it was said in the round, then the person giving the speech has to physically say the words.

Unless a speech, CX, or prep timer is running, there should not be preparation going on for either team. During flashing/emailing time, neither team should be prepping. That includes writing on your flows, reading through evidence, and talking to your partner about any arguments in the round.

The bottom line for me in debate is - be reasonable. Conditional arguments are fine, just don't run a large number of them because that becomes unreasonable. Open cross-ex is fine, but if one partner is doing the vast majority of their team's participation in CX then that is no longer reasonable. Flashing evidence to your opponent off-time is fine, but it should be done in a reasonable time (and obviously flashing to your partner is prep time). When in doubt - just ask me.

Lexi Oatman Paradigm

4 rounds

Put me on the email chain please:


Debated at Blue Valley West HS (2010-2012)

Debated at Blue Valley Southwest HS (2012-2014)

Assistant coach for BVSW (2014-2018)

Assistant coach at Lansing High School (2018-current)

General Stuff:

~~I agree with Jamie Welch's view on prep and took this from her paradigm~~ i.e. debates are taking too long so here are things I consider as prep

--- Asking for a "marked doc" and "which cards did you not read?"

--- Answering CX questions after the timer goes off. I will give you a 5 second grace period, but just sit down. If someone didn’t plan enough time to receive an answer then that’s their fault. If you genuinely want an answer to your question, you can take prep for it.

-unless otherwise argued, judge kick is okay

-I will only do evidence comparison if explicitly told to in the debate. Please don't just say you're inserting a card. Read your ev, call for me to read it at the end of the round if you think the round should be decided based on it etc.

-Dropped arg is a true arg as long as the warrant is extended

-I believe that affs should be in the direction of the topic

-disclosure is good

More specific arguments-


-Whatever you decide to run, just apply it to the round you're in. I've been in too many debates recently where everyone is just throwing around buzz words but not applying it to the context of the round. This same point applies to the aff in the context of the perm debate (i.e. how does the perm function why is it a better option etc). I don't care what you read just contextualize it.

-I don't think that a link of omission is a link. My threshold is pretty high for this so if you do so feel compelled to go for this argument, just know you will need to dedicate a lot of time to it.

-I like to see a lot of work done on the alt debate in the block. I need to see clear arguments as to what the world of the alt looks like and why the alt solves better than the aff.


-I think fairness is more an internal link than it is an impact. (i.e. fairness is an internal link to topic education, clash, etc)

-In addition to framework there needs to be some sort of argument to indict the aff's methods. In rounds where this doesn't happen by the neg, I find the aff's argument to weigh the impacts more compelling. Read arguments as to why their theory is wrong.


-Competing interps over reasonability. Doesn't mean I don't vote on reasonability but I don't think enough teams do the work explaining what exactly would being reasonably topical look like in context to the roundor how voting on reasonability solves the impacts.

-Limits are universally good.

-You should slow down

-T-USFG is more persuasive to me than a framework arg.


-should be textually and functionally competitive with the aff

-I think the top of the 2NC/1NR should be explaining what the cp is or how it is different from the aff.

Jackson Ross Paradigm

6 rounds

Jackson Ross

Assistant Debate Coach -- The Barstow School (2017-19)

College Debate -- University of Kansas (2017-19)

High School Debate -- Blue Valley North High School (2013-2017)

add me to the email chain --

Top Level:

1. You should always do what you're best at. This paradigm is not a strict guide for how to debate in front of me rather it is a collection of my thoughts on the debate.

2. Tech>Truth

3. Sqo>Aff>2NR Advocacy

4. A strong warranted analytical argument and common sense can go a long way

5. Disclosure is always good

6. Cheating in any form is unacceptable and will result in an automatic loss and 0 speaks. Wrongly accusing someone of cheating will also result in the same.

7. If you are going to "insert" a re-highlighting please read the re-highlighting.

8. I should not be asked to become the referee on what has happened outside of the debate or what has happened in previous debates.

Aff(s) -- I think that affirmative teams should defend the implementation of a hypothetical plan by the United States federal government.

Topicality --

Affs with a plan -- I like nuanced and well thought out topicality debates. Limits are important, but the negative should attach these to pieces of negative ground or what affirmatives should be excluded. I default to competing interpretations. T-Substantial is a no from me. It is difficult to judge these debates when debaters treat their blocks as cards.

Affs without a plan -- Topicality is an important tool for the negative during these debates. I believe that the affirmative should have a counter-interpretation, not just relying on a criticism of the negative's interpretation or of the topic. I do not think that "policy education good" is an impact. Debate is a research activity. Winning your interp is best requires you to win a reason why the research your interp produces is the best. I will reward teams for in-depth "topical version of the aff" research. I do not believe that topicality is an attempt to exclude or police people in debate.

Disadvantages -- Strong impact calculus and turns case arguments are critical to winning. I think that high quality and recent evidence is also important to this debate. Comparing evidence is absolutely critical. I am very annoyed when I have to read and compare evidence for you at the end of the debate. The link controls the direction of the disadvantage. I will vote on a risk of absolute defense. I enjoy and appreciate well thought out politics disads. Small note: merely saying "immigration unpopular" or "immigration is polarizing" is not a link to a politics disadvantage, you need a reason why the passage of the aff causes the piece of the agenda to either pass or not pass - or causes people to vote one way or another in an election.

Counterplans -- Under very rare circumstances should you go for delay, consultation, or a generic word pic in front of me. I generally err neg on other competition questions. I think counter plans are made stronger by the presence of solvency advocate but given the lack of consensus on what qualifies as a solvency advocate, I think it is unreasonable to demand a solvency advocate for every counter plan.

Theory -- Every theory argument with the exception of conditionality is a reason to reject the argument, not the team (this is non-negotiable). I rarely find myself unwilling to vote for this argument unless it is either dropped or poorly handled. Lateral moves on theory are risky. Please do not just read prewritten blocks, do some debating.

Kritiks -- A kritik should prove why the aff's particular example of hypothetical state action is bad. I believe that the aff should get to weigh the impacts of fiated plan implementation against the criticism. There must be a robust defense of what the alternative does, does not do, turns, or solves. Convince me that the world of the alternative is better than the world of the aff. Please do not assume that you can gloss over important parts of your argument - I am not super deep in the literature. I am not very good for arguments (aff or neg) that involve saying an argument is your "survival strategy". I am not and do not want to be the referee on how you should live your life. I will under ZERO circumstances entertain a "death good" debate.

Strategy -- What has happened to reading uniqueness cards? Coherent DA shells? Counterplan solvency advocates in the 1NC*? Tags that explain your argument? I do not understand the impulse to massively spread out the other team, wait till they drop something, blow it up, and start the debating later. It's gross, messy, hard to decide, and will lower your points. I would much rather watch a really in-depth and clean debate than some silly 7-9 off debate. If this is your style of debate, that is cool, but prove to me you did the research and aren't just backfile checking with your most grossly under-highlighted generic positions. I cannot stress this enough.

Misc -- Other thoughts I have, which you should take into consideration

1. I do not want your flash drive -- I really don't want to be on your pocket box, don't even ask -- just start an email chain.

2. Be nice to your opponent -- I have always disliked teams who have been rude and belittling.

3. Look at me -- My facial expressions are a very good indicator of how I feel things are going.

4. The rebuttals should all include some amount of "judge instruction". What is the question of the debate and how should my ballot answer that question? What should I do when deciding this debate? What is important versus what is unimportant? Be persuasive! The debaters who are the best at this win the most amount of debates. S/O all the judges I have lifted this phrasing from/

5. Saying/Advocating racist, homophobic, antisemitic, transphobic, sexist, and ableist things are not a way to my ballot -- Debate is a community and everyone deserves to be a part of it.

6. Well placed humor is always appreciated -- keep it fun, keep it flirty.

7. Please don't ask me to type in my email into your computer. I don't want to touch your nasty computer. I am very sad when people do not read my paradigm and then ask me for my email and present me with their spit covered laptop.

8. Questions? Just ask

Addison Schlatter Paradigm

6 rounds

Blue Valley North 2013-2017

I haven't debated in a long time, and I don't know anything about this years topic so ~please~ keep that in mind.

General: For the most part I prefer if I can articulate what you're actually saying, but as long as I can understand the tags you're probably fine. If you go faster than I can understand I can't guarantee everything will make it on the flow, so especially make sure to emphasize arguments that aren't in speech docs or are particularly important/ you think should decide the round. I think the way you treat your opponents and partner in round is way more important than the fake arguments you're making, if you're rude I'll drop you its not that deep

Evidence quality: I'm not gonna care about this unless you tell me I should.

Topicality: I probably won't vote on this unless the aff is a really blatant violation of the topic.

Plan-less Affs & FWK: I am very policy oriented, your aff needs to defend a plan text.

DA: I like good, recent uq cards and specific links. Make sure to impact it out. I'll probably vote on a disad before anything else.

CP: I like counter plans a lot. I'll listen to anything, you might just have to do more analysis because its been a while.

Theory: Probably don't unless theres a good reason. Don't assume I know the jargon I default to rejecting the argument before the team.

K: I'm the least comfortable here. The easiest way for you to win the round is to NOT make critical arguments, but if thats literally the only thing you do at least take things slow for me. Have clear, coherent analysis and keep it light on jargon. You have to have an legitimate link and you must have a viable alt. As the aff, honestly all you have to do to beat a K in front of me is prove that they don't have one or both of those things.

In general: Tell me exactly why I'm going to vote for you at the end of the round, you'll be much happier with the ballot and my rfd.

Misc: Dropped arguments are true. I appreciate full speech docs with all your ev and arguments, it will be better for you on the flow. If you have questions about how I'll react to specific arguments please ask them before round so neither of us are surprised when you make them.

Lainey Schrag Paradigm

6 rounds

KU Class of 2019
Debated 3 years at KU
Debated 4 years at Blue Valley Southwest

I debated policy for 4 years and debated my freshman-junior year at KU. I read policy arguments, but I'm not opposed to hearing other styles. If you can convince me of an argument then I'll vote for (unless it's offensive).

I probably lean policy. I like listening to debates, I hate making decisions.

Do whatever you're good at, I don't care.
-Speed: Yes.
-Disclosure: Yes
-Open Cross-X: Yes

Policy Debate:
This is the style I am most familiar with.
-Topicality: I think team's should be topical, but I also believe that it's up to the other team to prove why.
-Counterplans: I enjoy counterplans a lot. Open to hearing theory on 'cheating' CPs, however I think CP theory is usually a reason to reject the arg and not the team.
-Disads: Remember to have impact calculus on both sides. Explain why your disadvantage outweighs the advantages of the 1ac.

K Debate:
I will listen to kritiks on both sides.
Top leveling framing is important (how do I evaluate the debate?).
Affirmative- I am a policy debater so I evaluate the K similar to how I would evaluate any other policy argument. Win your impacts/framing.
Negative- I think that kritik should try to have a specific link to the affirmative and do their best to engage it. Links of omission do not persuade me. Teams should explain how the alt interacts with the impacts of the 1ac otherwise the K just becomes a non-unq da.

I'll vote on condo if that's what it comes down to.
For most other theory args, I am more likely to reject the argument instead of the team.

Nick Schroeder Paradigm

6 rounds

Nick Schroeder

Assistant coach at Blue Valley North High School

Debated at Washburn Rural High School

Updated 8/24/18

Email chain:

Feel free to ask questions before the round if you need clarification or detail on anything.

I debated for 4 years in high and 1 year in college. I usually judge around 20-30 rounds on each topic and gain more familiar with topic literature as the year progresses. In high school I debated mostly an offense/defense policy style with disads, CPs, case turns, and T. That said, I think debate should be an open intellectual space and am open to at least considering most argumentative positions.

T: My default is to competing interpretations. I believe winning reasonability still requires a resolution of the standards debate to prove the interpretation reasonable. That said, it could be effective in cases that the neg interp is arbitrary or if the aff justifies some interpretive flexibility. I like T debates that have a nuanced discussion of the standards and do a good job of impacting out why a certain interpretation creates a fairer and more educational world to debate in. Emphasizing how each standard internal links to an impact is important. Tying arguments such as precision, grammar, and source credibility to the way those things impact case lists, the research process, and ground division is the most effective way to win my ballot.

Theory: I don’t like deciding debates on small technical concessions on theory but could be persuaded to do so if there is a particularly egregious lack of contestation. I’m usually persuaded by reject the argument not the team but will vote otherwise in cases such as condo where a team successfully argues that the larger debate has been skewed.

K: Not my favorite argument form but not something you should feel apprehensive reading in front of me either. A lot of the K rounds I’ve judged I voted aff because the negative went for framing, link, and impact arguments without advancing much of the alternative. While I understand how the aff’s perpetuation of an immoral system is a form of negative offense, I’m generally persuaded by affirmatives that point to the aff as a method to solve a material problem anyway given the inevitability of whatever structure the negative is critiquing without an alternative. I find that I generally have a high degree of skepticism in the alt’s ability to rupture the status quo, so that is a good place to start for affirmatives. In the same sense, I think it is important that the 2NR on the K doesn’t abandon contesting the truth of the 1AC’s internal links or impact scenarios. In most debates where the block focuses heavily on the K and abandons any ambition of beating back the case, I tend to vote that the aff outweighs. I should say I have limited exposure to critical literature but should follow pretty well regardless. I enjoy framework debates that aren’t arbitrary and self-serving. Also, a good cx on the K from either side is nice to see.


I am most familiar with these arguments. I am easily convinced that delay, conditions, and consult CPs are cheating without specific solvency advocates to justify them. Solvency advocates in general are important to have when running theoretically questionable CPs in front of me. I think internal link defense is underutilized, and really enjoy seeing a discussion of the affirmative/DA’s logic in CX and rebuttals. If you think something doesn’t make sense, I probably think it doesn’t either. I think responsible scholarship is important, and sometimes entire flows can be defeated with a good CX and a few strong analytics.

Have fun and be nice.

Mateen Shah Paradigm

3 rounds

My Debate Experience:

I debated for 4 years in high school, graduating in 2012. I was not involved in the activity from 2012-15. I've been an assistant coach at Wichita East (Kansas) since Summer 2016. I usually judge ~2 varsity tournaments per month between September and January. I regularly cut CPs, case negs, and DA updates for my teams.

email: mateen.shah (at) gmail

Please make the subject line of the email chain: "[Tournament Name] [Round Number] --- [AFF School + Code] vs [NEG School + Code]" and not "r1" or "1ac."

Short version:

I mostly judge/coach/understand traditional policy args. I don't dislike critical args, but I am less familiar with them, so my threshold for voting on them is higher than traditional args. I aspire to be the type of judge who says "do what you do best," but I'm not there yet. I care infinitely more about how you make your argument than the content of your argument. I don't think I know a lot, but I try to be honest about my limitations.

The most frustrating part about coaching for me has been when judges give my debaters 2-3 sentence RFDs, and then they proceed to act annoyed/disinterested when my debaters ask follow-up questions or for guidance regarding arguments that weren't in the 2NR/2AR. Debaters work hard and deserve thoughtful feedback. Too often judges are lazy and disengaged, or opt to withhold advice because they want their own teams to have a strategic advantage in later debates. I will never behave like this post-round.

I sometimes have trouble in the 1AR and 2NR distinguishing between new args and new application of earlier args. It helps me out a lot when you justify your new stuff, explain why your stuff isn't new, and/or call out when the other team says new stuff.

Long version:

Speed: I don't care if everything you're reading is in a speech doc. You should still be clear and go slower during overviews/tags/analytics. I use speech docs primarily to read advocacy texts, look at contested ev during cx/prep, and/or to check for clipping.

Condo: Bad for condo debates. Since I began judging in 2016, I've heard one 2AR on condo. It was a really good 2AR. I voted neg.

T: I don't think I'm a good judge for technical T debates. A big part of this is that T debate are too quick and/or I'm bad at flowing T. TVAs, case lists, intent to define and specific DA/CP ground loss are all persuasive. I don't have a strong preference regarding competing interps vs reasonability.

CP: Read CP texts slower. I think judge kick is my default, and I'm probably a bad judge for judge kick debates. I am open to amendments and 2NC CPs, and their respective theory args.

K: If your go-to strat is a 1-off K, you shouldn't pref me. I don't know very much (any) critical lit. In the rounds where I've voted for Ks, the K was relatively simple and/or the aff overwhelmingly lost the framework debate. I'm most comfortable judging epistemology Ks and least comfortable with ontology and pomo Ks.

Judge instruction, historical examples, and simple overviews make these debates much easier for me to follow. Tell me about the world of the alt and why it's incompatible with the aff.

2As that perm Ks should do more than say "do both" and expect me to figure out what that means. Give me a sentence or two about how/why the perm solves the link, read a card, and/or tell me about the world of the perm in the 2AC.

Links of omission and reject alts are unpersuasive.

If I'm unfamiliar with your K, I'm usually reading that ev during cx or prep. If I think your explanation of K (usually the alt) either isn't grounded in the ev that you're reading or is otherwise incoherent, I'm very hesitant voting for you, even if the other team doesn't explicitly make those args.

K affs: I am open to hearing K affs, but I have little experience in these debates. My lack of exposure means that I've had little time to formulate extensive thoughts. Clash and fairness seem most persuasive. I think aff argument's about their model of debate are more persuasive than impact turns.

Case: I think I may have a higher standard for what constitutes a sufficient case extension than other judges. Under most circumstances, I need at least 2 sentences about how the aff resolves its internal links in the 2AC, 1AR, and 2AR. Listing your harms isn't good enough. If the neg has to extend more than their DA impact, so do you. Something like, "The aff ends arm sales, that results in y, which resolves z" is all I want. Too many teams get lazy and ONLY say things like "1% risk of solvency means you vote aff" or "it's try or die for the aff." These are sufficiency framing args, not case extensions. Tell me why you get to that 1%.

Speaker points: Things that I consider when deciding speaker points (in no particular order): effort, clarity, arg quality, ev quality, CX quality, speech doc organization, are you stealing prep, strategic kicks, demeanor during the round (to your opponents and partner,) ability to send an email, whether you're flowing.

Prep: It's never acceptable to use remaining cx time as prep. Asking what cards were/weren't read in a doc is always prep. Please stop asking questions after cx time is up.

Misc info: You should absolutely have an up-to-date wiki if you're competing at a TOC bid tournament. You should probably have an up-to-date wiki if you're competing in the varsity division at any Kansas tournament. Pre-tournament prep is good. Clash is good.

I am intentionally expressionless during rounds. I'm surprised more judges aren't--I think it's blatant intervention for judges to have physical reactions to arguments they like/dislike. It's also extremely condescending when judges vigorously shake their heads and sigh loudly. Don't adjust your strategy because you think you have a read on my facial expression/body language. I don't make a lot of eye contact.

An argument is only as good as your cx explanation. For example, if the neg reads a CP with an external DA net benefit, and during 1NC cx the neg team is unable to explain why the DA doesn't link to their CP, then I will not consider that DA to be the net benefit for the rest of the round. I will automatically disregard any later explanation of why the CP does not link. I apply this standard to all arguments. If you can't explain your "we meet" in cx, you don't get to magically figure it out during your rebuttals.

There's a distinction between spin and making an argument that's not grounded in your evidence. If you're doing the latter, I'm likely going to ignore whatever you're saying.

I think zero risk exists. For example, if the aff's only response to "this advantage has no internal link" is "it's try or die," I'll vote neg and blame the aff for everyone dying. You shouldn't get a W for reading a 1AC with an impact. Also, more teams should lose for writing terrible affs.

I don't think presumption ever flips. The greater the number of unresolved issues in the 2NR/2AR, the more inclined I am to vote on presumption even if the neg does not explicitly make a presumption arg.

I've voted on clipping each season I've judged, regardless of whether the opposing team has called it out.

I'm currently a law student, which definitely colors my reading of Court Affs/CPs/DAs. Practically, I think this means I'm more likely to be persuaded by defense (truth > tech) because internal links are often incomplete/wrong, and plan/CP texts never make any sense.

2As lie soooo much in the 2AR, and 2Ns don't anticipate/pre-empt often enough. Say stuff like, "The 1AR didn't extend a warrant for the link turn--they can't extend it in the 2AR."

Curtis Shephard Paradigm

3 rounds

Curtis Shephard

Email Chain -

Experience: 4 years of college debate (Emporia State and Kansas State). Assistant coach at Manhattan High School, and Washburn Rural High School. Head coach at Maize for 12 years.

An ideal round - Teams are quick but make flowing easy on me, I’m old now. The Aff reads a topical plan text and the neg goes for a disad and a counterplan. I think I’ll be comfortable making a sound decision. Further you go from that, the less confident I’m gonna be.

Framework or K Aff: If I'm your judge in a clash debate, both teams are going to be unhappy. I'll try my best to evaluate both args as fairly as possible. Rounds that I have seen on the question put me at 50/50.

I think debate is a game, but, I am not a fan of judge adaptation, I think you should run what you want, and I will do my best to follow. I don't feel as though I am as 'tech' as I used to be. Big theory debates are going to be frustrating for me to work out, and I will be less confident in my decision.

I will probably make a decision rather quickly. It doesn't mean that I am not paying attention or evaluating your arguments, I usually just don't need a long time to sort things out. I'm probably going to give you a pretty short and sweet RFD.

I don't think I'm hard to read, if I think your argument is bad, you'll probably see that on my face.

Be nice to one another in the round. Being funny is good.

Will I listen to a K? Sure. I have voted here before.

"I am a K team - all I want to do is read the K, all of the K's, both sides, K-it-up, should I pref you?" Let's not get a head of ourselves

Disads and Counterplans? yes please

Do you need to shake my hand?" No thank you

Now, because it is the cool trendy thing to do, here are some rants I agree with:

Will Katz's Grumpy Man Rants

Don’t shrink the text of your cards to 2 pt font. 8 point font is plenty fine. If I ever judge someone who shrinks their text down that much, I’m going to shrink down the highlighted parts that much too and then just not read the card because its too small.

Death good just signals to me that I should kill your points and your chance of winning

If your argument is that debate is always bad, I'm likely to agree with you that your debating is always bad, and as such I'll likely vote for the other team.

If you think you can win with only offense and no defense, then you'll probably have a better time playing on the Cleveland Cavaliers than winning a debate in front of me.

If you sit down in cx, it makes it seem like you don't want me to listen attentively. Who am I to argue with you on that?

If you go top speed all the time, I'd recommend NASCAR over debate. In debate, there is definitely a time to go slow. Although even in NASCAR they don't start out at top speed

Kelly Thompson Paradigm

2 rounds

I debated for 3 years @ Washburn Rural
I debated for 4 years @ Emporia State (NDT '08)
I am the Director of Debate at Lawrence Free State HS (3rd year at FS, 11th year as a head coach, 19th year in Policy Debate)

*Please add me to the email chain if one exists. I won't read along but I will read cards that have been contested during the round to make meta-decisions. and


I will do my best to answer any questions that you have before the debate.

-I don't care how fast you talk, but I do care how clear you talk. I won't clear you but it will be obvious if I can't understand you because I won't be flowing and I communicate non-verbally probably more than most other judges.

-I don't care what arguments you read, but I do care whether you are making arguments, responding to opposition arguments, and engaging in impact calculus (your arg v their arg, not just your arg) throughout the debate.

-I don't care what aff you read, if you defend a plan, or if you debate on the margins of the topic, but I do care if you have offensive justifications for your decisions, and if you solve.

-If you're reading generic link arguments or CP solvency cards - it will matter a great deal how well you can contextual that generic evidence to the specific affirmative plan.

-I think teams should be willing to go for theory more.

Some top level thoughts as we enter the Arms Sales topic:

1) "New in the 2" is bad for debate. I always forget to tell people this at the beginning of the year, then I have to watch sloppy/shallow debates until I remember. If you read new arguments in the 2NC (or 1NR) as a "strategy", you are making the debate round worse. If the other team does not further an argument about it (WHAT! Neither team read my philosophy), I'll evaluate you arguments and not intervene despite my bias. But, if the other team makes an argument about it - I will disregard all new positions read in the negative block.

2) This topic is pretty big and I think T ground is pretty bad for the negative. But - there is strategic value to reading T arguments to ensure links to Disads and competition for CPs.

3) Prep Time: Prep stops when the document is saved to your jump drive or the email is sent. It does not stop when you're "ready" and "just flashing". If you stop prep, and then restart it, its evident you've stolen prep in the interim. I get irrationally irritated about this practice and your speaker points will reflect it. Flowing during "flash time" is stealing prep and cheating. Your speaks will be docked accordingly. Finally, putting flows in order is part of prep time. Saying the order is not.

4) I do not enjoy giving long-winded oral criticisms or RFDs. I will default to tournament protocol - but most of my comments will be on Tabroom. If you struggle to access those after the tournament - email me.

5) If you're flowing the speech doc and not the speech itself you deserve to be conned in to answering arguments that were never made in the debate, and to lose to analytic arguments (theory and otherwise) that were made while you were busy staring at your screen.

General thoughts about debate:

-People should assume their opponent's are winning some arguments in the last rebuttals. A decision to assume you're winning everything nearly guarantees that you are incorrect and minimizes the likelihood that you're doing relevant impact calculus. I really think "even-if" statements are valuable for final rebutalists.

-People should deploy extensive impact calculus regardless of the arguments furthered in their final rebuttal. It is incredibly difficult to evaluate education v. fairness absent work done by the debaters, and I'm not comfortable intervening in doing so. I've found myself leaning negative in debates where this fails to happen because the aff has failed to articulate an impact to voting aff (presumption).

-My speaker point scale has tended to be:

29+ - you should receive a speaker award in this division at this tournamnet

28.5+ - you should be in elimination debates at this tournament, and probably win one or more of those rounds

28 - you are competing for a spot to clear but still making errors that may prevent you from doing so. Average for the division/tournament.

27.5 - you are slightly below average for the division/tournament and need to spend some time on the fundamentals. Hopefully, I've outlined in my notes what those are.

27 - there were serious fundamental errors that need to be corrected.

**I've found that the best way to boost your speaks on my ballot is to demonstrate that you understand the nexus points of the debate and/or when the debate has resolved itself through your argumentative prowess. Often, this means strong/specific overviews, and can sometimes mean not utilizing all of your prep/speech time when the flow of the debate indicates it is impossible for your opposition to come back in the round. (EG - if the 1AR drops a topicality argument in its entirety, and you use 4 minutes of prep for the 2NR and give a 5 minute 2NR speech - you have not demonstrated mastery of the flow.

Standard things:

An argument requires a claim, a warrant, and an impact. Saying "extend my link" is not an argument and likely will not warrant evaluation from me.

Topicality- I really enjoy T debates, I think competing interpretations is probably true and find reasonability arguments to be uncompelling almost always. If you're not topical you should have an offensive reason that you're not. If you are topical then you should win why your vision of the resolution is superior to the negatives. I'm equally likely to vote on a critique of topicality as I am a T argument against a blatantly topical affirmative.

Critiques- I'm fascinated by K debates and the literature, but also am just not being as smart as a lot of other coaches/debate people. As such, the two biggest issues for the negative are assuming I know your K and assuming I understand your alt. The 2NC (or 1NR) should be primarily focused on explaining how the alternative functions and either how it solves the aff or how your framework disengages the aff impacts. K debaters tend to spend an extraordinary amount of time on their link arguments, but no time on explaining how the alternative resolves them. The two biggest issues for the affirmative are assuming a permutation is the only viable answer to the link and also assuming that the 2AC can be defensive.

Counterplans - PICs are good, word PICs are typically not. That does not mean I won't vote for them - I just don't like them and find "pic's bad" to make sense in a world of word pic's.Other counterplans should be aff specific - I think generic CP's without specific solvency evidence (XO, States, Consult) are poor choices I've often found myself believing that process CPs are plan plus or normal means in many cases.

Critical affs- I'm fine with K affs and deployed them often as a debater. I find it difficult to evaluate k affs with poorly developed "role of the ballot" args. I find "topical version of the aff" to be compelling regularly, because affs concede this argument. I have been more on the "defend topical action" side of the framework debate in the last two years or so. I'm not sure why, but poorly executed affirmative offense seems to be the primary cause.

Avanyish Toniappa Paradigm

6 rounds

Blue Valley North 2014-2018

General: I debated for Blue Valley North for four years as primarily a 1A/2N. I haven't judged a lot of rounds on this topic so when using topic specific acronyms or phrases please break them down for me and then I’ll catch on. In terms of argumentation feel free to do whatever you want, just know that I am probably not the best judge for super K oriented debates but if that’s your thing then I will do my best to keep up. I default to tech over truth so dropped arguments have lots of merit and points of contest require specific warrant comparison/analysis rather than surface level claims. Evidence quality is important for winning debates. I will default to how the debaters spin the evidence, but under highlighted cards that don’t really say anything will generally not be persuasive, especially if your opponent calls you out for that. Don't be rude during CX.

Overall, I try not to intervene at all as a judge, so your arguments should write my RFD for me. Make it clear what is important and set a clear framing for what I should consider important.

email chain -

Topicality: competing interpretations is probably a better framing for T debates than reasonability, however, I can be convinced otherwise if the affirmative has a robust explanation of why I should prefer reasonability. The negative team should have specific impacts to their limits or ground arguments. Specific instances of abuse are greater than general potential abuse. FYI don’t spread your t-blocks at me top speed because that’s not ideal.

Framework/Planless Affs: I am down to listen to planless affirmatives, but this is definitely an area where explanations of how the affirmative functions and why the deviation from policy action is beneficial to solvency need to be fleshed out for me. For framework debates I think the negative should have a TVA and specific examples of how the aff hinders fairness or education rather than just generic “policy education good” arguments.

DA: Intricate DA debates are super cool, link turns and internal link turns are things I would encourage (offense is always good). For disadvantages I am down for whatever, but make sure that the cards in the 1NC shell have real warrants and aren’t under highlighted and then blown up in the 2NC because then I will be sympathetic to 1AR spin. Recent UQ cards will always be more advantageous than older cards and specific links to the affirmative should be present at some point in the debate. Try to avoid ridiculous internal link chains, but if your opponent doesn’t call you out for it then… last thought is that specific impact calculus will help you a lot especially with turns case arguments.

CP: Do whatever you want here. Advantage CPs and PICs are smart. The more specific the CP is to the aff the better so I am all about that.

Case: Big fan of good case debates. Impact turns and smart warranted defense on the affirmative can go a long way in assigning zero probability to the affirmative.

K: You can read any K you want and a win is possible, but you should be specifically explaining the links and should have specific links to the aff. The most important thing for me is alt solvency. Please explain how the alt is able to resolve the links of the affirmative prevent the impact. Buzz words and k tricks are probably not the best strategy when I am, in the back of the room, but if you logically explain your argument then I can probably follow it. I am relatively familiar with arguments about Cap/Neolib and biopower and even with those arguments you should be explaining the specifics of how the K functions. Framework on the K goes a long way for both the affirmative and negative team and if the aff has disads to the alt then I find that particularly persuasive. Links of omission are fake.

Theory: My default is to reject the argument not the team. Theory debates are similar to T debates for me so have specific instances of abuse and what the implications of X theory violation are and why that is a reason to reject argument or even team.

Mitch Wagenheim Paradigm

3 rounds

Mitch Wagenheim

Assistant Debate Coach – Shawnee Mission Northwest

Debated 4 Years at Shawnee Mission West

University of Kansas Class of 2019



I am a big fan of the line-by-line debate, but don’t lose sight of the overall picture of the round and how arguments interact with each other. Every speech should have clash and every argument you make should mean something. In your final speeches, I expect to see analysis of how your arguments interact with each other and with the other team’s arguments. I am a much better judge for a politics DA and case debate, as opposed to a deep critical theory debate. While I do have enough experience to adjudicate a dense K debate, you will have to do more explanation than you may have to with other judges.





I would really like to avoid having to make these decisions on a whim. If you have evidence (a recording which is clear), and feel there was a substantial violation, by all means, bring it to my attention. Understand that missing one or two words one time is not grounds for a loss, but skipping many words multiple times is.


Disclosure – I expect you to disclose unless the aff is a new plan with new advantages.


Decorum – I am not too strict here, except you should be respectful to everyone and have enthusiasm for the round. Confidence is good, but cockiness is not.


CX – You should use this time to advance arguments; it’s another speech so use it accordingly.


DA’s – If you are going for a DA, there must be some good impact calc in the block and in the 2NR. The 2AC should have impact defense in the 2AC. Turns case arguments are easy ways to garner significant offense and put you in a better position to win the round. I would not recommend going for “zero risk of ____” unless there is a dropped argument; almost always there is some risk, however minimal of something happening. Comparing evidence, especially on the UQ/Link levels is very valuable: if there is a major contest and no one has made any comparative analysis, I will do the comparison after the round or you can make that comparison clear for me.


Case – Impact calculus should always be a part of the 2AR, unless the neg is all-in on T. Impact defense is very important. The aff will almost always have a risk of solvency, but well-used evidence and analytics can minimize or eliminate this. Too many teams undercover the case, so a strong case debate with adequate offence is a good way to win the round.


CPs – I am not fond of Delay or Process counterplans, but in the absence of a well-articulated theoretical objection, they can be run. If you want to run such arguments, make sure you have a good defense against theory or you will lose that arg. Permutations ought to include the entirety of the plan plus part of the counterplan, but a severance or intrinsic perm that is masked and doesn’t get a theory arg from the neg can also work.


Theory – Your violation must have a serious impact that is articulated well if you want me to vote the other team down on theory. Every theory argument should have an interpretation, violation, standards, and a voting issue. If these are not present, it does not rise to the threshold of an argument and will not get the ballot.


Topicality – I default to competing interpretations, but can be persuaded otherwise. Limits are always important, but overlimiting can have just as large an impact as underlimiting. It is your job to explain why your interpretation is better for debate. Case lists and topical versions of the affirmative will go a long way to winning my ballot.


K’s – I believe the aff should get to weigh their impacts versus the impacts of the K and the neg gets to weigh the alt against the plan. There needs to be a very clear explanation of the alt and how it functions both inside and outside of the round. While I will evaluate every argument, I am not fond at all of arguments saying that debate is intrinsically bad (racist, sexist, etc.). If you choose to run such arguments, feel free to do so, knowing that you are fighting an uphill battle and will have to do more work to respond to the other team.


Non-Plan Affirmatives – I think the aff ought to defend the theoretical implementation of a topical policy option. I can be persuaded otherwise, but it takes work and a well-argued T violation will win the round. If you win the debate on framework and the line by line, I have to vote for you and will assuming you do the better debating.

Amanda White Paradigm

3 rounds

About me: I debated all 4 years of high school and I am a freshman at KU.

General Approach: It's your job to win my ballot, not mine. I'm willing to vote on a lot of different things for a lot of different reasons, but that's not a decision I want to have to make and I won't do any of your work for you (i.e. tell me what I should be voting on and why). If you want me to evaluate the round differently than they do, then I expect you to win a reason why your framework or paradigm is the one I should use. If no one does that, then I'll default to a policymaker paradigm. I don't view offense and defense as an either/or proposition, but if you do then I prefer offense.

Standard Operating Procedure: (How I will evaluate the round unless you win that I should do something different) The affirmative has a non-severable duty to advocate something resolutional, and that advocacy must be clear and stable. The goal of the negative is to prove that the affirmative's advocacy is undesirable, worse than a competitive alternative, or theoretically invalid. I default to evaluating all non-theory arguments on a single plane, am much more willing to reject an argument than a team, and will almost always treat dropped arguments as true.

Mechanics: (I'm not going to decide the round on these things by themselves, but they undeniably affect my ability to evaluate it)

  • Signposting - Please do this as much as possible. I'm not just talking about giving a roadmap at the start of each speech or which piece of paper you're talking about during the speech, but where on the line-by-line you are and what you're doing (i.e. if you read a turn, call it a turn). Tell me where the work you're doing goes and what it's responding to, I won't do it for you.
  • Delivery - I care way more about clarity than speed; I have yet to hear anybody that I thought was clear enough and too fast. I'll say "clear" if you ask me to, but ultimately the burden is on you.
  • Cross Examination - Don't use cross-ex to make arguments, and don't badger each other incessantly. Make your point or get an answer, then move on.
  • Prep Time - I don't think prep should stop until the flash drive comes out of your computer, but I won't take it upon myself to police prep as long as both teams are reasonable.

Argumentation: (I'll probably be fine with whatever you want to do, and you shouldn't feel the need to fundamentally change your strategy for me. These are preferences, not rules)

  • CPs/DAs - I prefer specific solvency and link cards (I'm sure you do, too), but generics are fine provided you do the work.
  • Framework - I prefer that framework gets its own page on the flow, and that it gets developed beyond each side establishing that they have a framework different from the other team.
  • Kritiks - I am not the biggest fan of them, but you can still win on it. I prefer that there is an alternative, and that it has a text. "Reject the Aff." isn't an alternative, it's what I do if I agree with the alternative. It also help if you do plan to go for it you spend time on it and truly explain the alt. I also per if you slow down on them.
  • Performance - I prefer that you identify the function of the ballot as clearly and as early as possible.
  • Procedurals - I prefer that they be structured and that you identify how the round was affected or altered by what the other team did or didn't do.
  • Theory - I prefer that theory gets its own page on the flow, and that it gets developed beyond each side reading a frontline.

Miscellaneous: (These things matter enough that I made a specific section for them, and will definitely be on my mind during the round.)

  • Anybody can read cards, good analysis and strategic decision-making are harder to do and frequently more valuable.
  • Winning an argument is not the same thing as winning the round on an argument. If you want to win the round on an argument you've won or are winning, take the time to win the round on it.
  • The 2NR and 2AR are where you choose what to win the round on. I don't want you to try to win it multiple times in multiple ways, I want you to win it once and in the best way possible.

David Williams Paradigm

3 rounds

Name David J. WIlliams
School; Newton HS Kansas
# of years debated in HS_0 What School NOPE
# of years debated in College_0 What College/UniversityNope
Currently a (check all that apply) xHead HS Coach _Asst. HS Coach
College Coach _College Debater
Debate Fan who regularly judges HS debate
# of rounds on this year’s HS Topic _10_
What paradigm best describes your approach to debate?
_xPolicy Maker _Stock Issues _Tabula Rasa
_Games Player _Hypothesis Tester ___Other (Explain)
What do you think the Aff burdens should be?
I think the aff should affirm the resolution and be topical and have the basic INH/PLAN/ADV/S structure.or something similar. I am willing to listen to any aff position but I am mainly a policy guy but a K aff is fine if you can explain it well enough. I won’t pretend to understand your position, aff or neg, so please prepare a presentation that balances a quicker than normal speech but not spewing and wheezing. Don’t speed through your 1ac and quit with 90 seconds to go.

What do you think the Neg burdens should be?
I think the neg may choose to debate the case or go with a generic position but I am going to vote on offense. I hate topicality and most theory arguments mainly because I hate flowing it. IF the aff is topical, even a little, then don’t run T. I wont flow it the way you want me to and I will default more to reasonability. If is reasonable then I wont vote against them on T. If the aff is not topical then run T. I will punish affirmatives who are non-topical. IF the aff is unreasonable then Neg will win even if I am terrible flowing the T.
How I feel about delivery (slow vs. fast)?
Slow tags/authors and quicker on card content. If I cannot understand you I will say clear. I prefer a slower style of debate that still uses the flow. My flow will be accurate(if you let me) with a slower round. Faster rounds will be my best guess. I would say slow down and be persuasive and signpost for me.
How I feel about generic Disads, Counter Plans, Kritiks?
Generics with good links are fine. I need to know the story of your arguments. If I cannot remember the story then I can’t voter for it.
How I feel about case debates?
I LOVE A GOOD CASE DEBATE…but I don’t require it.

Flashing is prep time. Flashing is not moving all your cards to a speech doc. THIS IS PREP TIME AND SPEECH PREP> IF you jump a speech to the other team please do so quickly. I believe the last step of every speech should be the flash. Once the flash drive is given to the other team..Prep starts for other team if the non speaking team wants to hold up speech to see if it is on jump drive. Prep is over for the non speaking team when they indicate they are ready. IF the speech did not make it or if the format is difficult to use. I will grant a grace period of 1 mintue to resolve the issue. Laptops are normal for me. I don’t want your face buried in your screen.

Tyler Woodcock Paradigm

6 rounds

Debated at the University of Kansas (3 years) | Assistant at Shawnee Mission South


I'm fine with speed. K affs are a legitimate strategy, but I do find myself having a bias for framework (i.e. should things break even - which hardly happens - I would probably vote for framework). K's are fine, but links to plan action are preferable (unless your framework convinces me otherwise). I strongly dislike it when you're being a jerk and your speaker points will reflect this if you are being one.