Greenhill Fall Classic

2018 — Dallas, TX/US

Clement Agho-Otoghile Paradigm

6 rounds

Forensics is a speaking competition in which the art of rhetoric is utilized - speaking effectively to persuade or influence [the judge].

I take Socrates's remarks in Plato's Apology as the basis of my judging: "...when I do not know, neither do I think I know...I am likely to be wiser than he to this small extent, that I do not think I know when I do not know" (Ap. 21d-e).

My paradigm of any round is derived from: CLARITY!!!

All things said in the round need to be clear! Whatever it is you want me to comprehend, vote on, and so forth, needs to be clearly articulated, while one is speaking. This stipulation should not be interpreted as: I am ignorant about debate - I am simply placing the burden on the debater to debate; it is his or her responsibility to explain all the arguments presented. Furthermore, any argument has the same criteria; therefore, clash, at the substantive level, is a must!

First and foremost, I follow each debate league's constitution, per the tournament.

Secondly, general information, for all debate forms, is as follows:

1) Speed: As long as I can understand you well enough to flow the round, since I vote per the flow!, then you can speak as slow or fast as you deem necessary. I do not yell clear, for we are not in practice round, and that's judge interference. Also, unless there is "clear abuse," I do not call for cards, for then I am debating. One does not have to spread - especially in PF.

2) Case: I am a tab judge; I will vote the way in which you explain to me to do so; thus I do not have a preference, or any predispositions, to the arguments you run. It should be noted that in a PF round, non-traditional/abstract arguments should be expressed in terms of why they are being used, and how it relates to the round.

Set a metric in the round, then tell me why you/y'all have won your metric, while your opponent(s) has lost their metric and/or you/y'all have absorbed their metric.

The job of any debater is to persuade the judge, by way of logical reasoning, to vote in his or her favor, while maintaining one's position, and discrediting his or her opponent's position. So long as the round is such, I say good luck to all!

Ask any other clarification questions before the round!

Tim Alderete Paradigm

6 rounds

Judging Philosophy - Tim Alderete -The Meadows School -

Time before a round is Limited - you usually can't read the Whole Philosophy -the first part is the Short Version, the second part is if you have time to read it all.

First Part - Short / Pre Round Version

-"If nobody hates you, you are doing something wrong." - Dr. House

-I do want to be on the email chain -
-I have a minimum standard for coherence of arguments or evidence. This probably means you think I’m “Interventionist.”
-I am not the best judge for Bad Theory. This is the area where my “minimum standard” gets used the most.
-I don’t inflate speaker points. To offset my low speaker point range, I offer incentives for flowing and sharing documents.
-I have often voted for kritikal affirmative and negative arguments
-I "can handle" your "speed" and I will call "Clearer" if you are unclear.
-I will vote on Defensive arguments.
-Prep time ends when you hit Send on the Email or hand over the USB.
-(Never thought I would have to state this in my philosophy...) Misrepresenting the context of evidence is cheating and can result in (up to) the loss of the round and points.

Second Part - Longer Version

Initially - I don't think that many people describe accurately how they judge. This is how I think I judge, but it is always better to ask Other people how I judge - they may have more accurate information.

Speaker Points – My speaker point range: 26 (Bad), 27 (Decent), 27.5 (Pretty Good), 28.0 (Very Good), 28.5 (Outstanding). 29.0 and above are saved for the most exceptional speakers – I have only given 3 people over a natural 29.0 in the last five years. I recognize that this range is lower than many judges. My Reason for my range is based upon my 28 years judging well over 4000 rounds at the high school and college levels – I am probably harder to impress than most judges. I have thought about changing my range, but I have chosen not to inflate speaker points, for the same reason that I chose not to inflate grades – it gives me no way to rate truly exceptional debaters, and doesn’t let fair to middling debaters know that they need to improve.

However, I Have chosen to augment points with incentives. If you keep a good flow, and show it to me after the round, I will give you up to an additional speaker point if I agree that it is a good flow. I do this to encourage flowing and organization. If you do not steal Any prep time during the debate and practice good USB/Paperless norms, I will give you up to .5 more. Remember that once I have entered my E-Ballot online, I cannot change your points, so you must Ask before I turn the ballot in.

The Theory – Good theory arguments are essential to prevent abusive practices by teams. Good theory is one aspect of debate that makes our activity unique, because it gives students a sense of empowerment as they control the rules of the game. Theory arguments are sometimes your only option – your “Plan B” – and I respect debaters who recognize and utilize their most strategic options. Bad Theory arguments make it harder for me to take Good Theory arguments seriously, because if everything is a voting issue, then nothing is. I think that currently, Bad Theory is drowning out Good Theory. I admit that there is no precise line or list dividing the two, and I won’t “Automatically Intervene” against arguments that I think are Bad, and I Often vote against my “defaults” or “preferences” on Theory. I will Try to take your Theory arguments as seriously as you do, but at a fundamental level, It is Harder to Convince me of a Dumb argument than a Good argument.

For the most part, debaters do a bad job of justifying that arguments are a reason to vote against a debater, rather than to drop an argument. Debaters too often conflate “Bad Debate Practice” with “Abusive Practices.” Too often, debaters focus on comparing fairness and education as terminal impacts, rather than focusing on the Link Magnitude and Probability of your theory arguments. Too often people overcommit, or go all-in, on theory too early in the debate. I believe that good theory can/should drown out Bad theory. Because that is such an imprecise line, I will try to give you some examples, so that you can see what my proclivities are:

Bad Theory –
Affirmative Framework Choice – this, Literally, Argues that Argument is Bad
“No Solvency Advocate = You Lose” – this is a solvency press, not a theory argument.
“PICs must have one card which advocates the Action it takes and Advocates Not taking the Action it PICs out of” – like above, but Waaay more silly.
“I cannot turn your theory argument, so you lose.” – Fundamental misunderstanding of how arguments work.
“Topicality is a Reverse Voting Issue” – No, it isn’t.
“You lose because you put your Role of the Ballot on the Bottom, not the Top, of the AC.” – Stunning.

"You said no reverse voting issues. That's a reverse voting issue." I'm speechless...
“You lose because you ran both theoretical and substantive justifications for your framework” – Really?!
“You didn’t number your Spikes = You lose.” – Strike me. Seriously.

Good Theory –
Whole Resolution / Plans Bad
Truth Testing vs Competing Worlds
Role Playing Policymakers vs Discourse
PICs Good/Bad (only run against Counterplans, not against Plans or the Resolution… Just FYI)

Fiat issues (Multiple Actors, International Actors, Contingent Fiat, etc. NOT "No Neg Fiat")

Offense and Defense – Offensive arguments are good because they give you options and they pressure the other debater. Defensive arguments are good because they often are necessary complements to offensive arguments, and because they are often the strongest logical flaws against a position. The idea that Defensive arguments cannot take out a position alone is misguided. "Offense/Defense" is a useful teaching concept but it is often misapplied as a debate argument or comparison, most often on theory. It is not an excuse to avoid responding to Link answers or Violation Answers or Counter standards. I am easier to convince than most judges that there is No Case, No Violation or No Interpretation. I rarely default to "There is always some risk." I evaluate impact calculus After I decide whether you have won an argument, not before (or instead of) it. I do not see "Defensive" arguments as being weaker arguments. An Intelligent Defensive argument is better than a Poor Offensive argument. I am willing to vote on Defensive arguments that take out the entirety of a case or the entirety of a Theory argument. It may be a high Threshold, but there is a Threshold. Again, Examples:

“You did not extend your Impacts – therefore there are no impacts” – this is just a weak press.
“Alternative Causality – they cannot solve all racism in the world” – I don’t believe that was their claim to start with…
“Economic Decline doesn’t cause war” – this is Defensive, but just because it doesn’t cause war doesn’t mean that decline isn’t bad.
“There is no Offensive reason why they Don’t have to number their spikes.” – Defense will probably suffice here.
“Obama won’t lose political capital if Kenya decides to ban oil” vs “There is always a risk of a link” – this has crossed the threshold of No Risk.

Kritiks - Good Kritik debates are some of the best debates that I have judged. They are interesting, creative, demand challenging case specific research, and respond to core issues and assumptions raised by the Affirmative. Bad Kritik debates are some of the worst debates that I have judged. They avoid engaging the debate either through obscure jargon or shallow procedurals, or conflate kritiks with other arguments, or are hopelessly generic, or are about Baudrilliard. I think that kritiks often balance well the philosophical and the political in LD – as such, I think that LD has been “Doing Kritiks” for decades, without calling the arguments kritiks. I think that it is a mistake to conflate all discourse arguments with “Micropolitical Activism” – they are not always synonyms.

Prep Time – LD has not developed norms or practices for sharing paperless evidence. This causes a substantial waste of time, which extends or moots prep time limits. At a minimum, I have these expectations:

-Prep time should end when you hand the USB to the opponent.
-Debaters must provide a USB or Email copy of every card they read to their opponent prior to the speech. Paper copies can be handed to them as they are read.
-Reading over someone’s shoulder is NOT a sufficient substitute – it is a major distraction, interferes with flowing, and it means one person will not be able to use their computer
-The Cases, Disads, frontlines, evidence, etc. must All be in One word document, rather than spread out over multiple documents.
-You may time yourself, but only My time is official.
-Why wouldn't you use Microsoft Word?
-I won't read evidence that isn't shared via USB or email. I realize that some teams have a Policy against sharing evidence. Those teams either already strike me, or should in the future.

Policy – I have coached both Policy and LD – although I have focused on Policy for most years. While I have judged a substantial amount of LD, my judging will always, inevitably, be influenced by my Policy background. Because of that:

-I hold debaters responsible for high quality evidence.
-I am familiar with Counterplan, Kritik and Topicality positions and burdens.
-I “can handle” The Speed.
-I have a lower point range.
-I reward strategic choices, and believe that Diverse Options are good.
-I don’t like Disclosure games – Although Don’t take this to mean I want to hear Disclosure theory…
-I will disclose decisions after the debate. I am not used to disclosing points, but I am not opposed to it.

I am usually loud and long winded when explaining decisions - I am not trying to be mean, just loud. I do enjoy judging a lot, even if I appear intimidating. In general, I will flow pretty much any intelligible speed. I will consider pretty much any intelligent argument.

Jonathan Alston Paradigm

4 rounds

I am a head coach at Newark Science and have coached there for years. I teach LD during the summer at the Global Debate Symposium. I formerly taught LD at University of North Texas and I previously taught at Stanford's Summer Debate Institute.

I do believe that basic things are true, though. The Affirmative must present a problem with the way things are right now. Their advocacy must reasonably solve that problem. The advantages of doing the advocacy must outweigh the disadvantages of following the advocacy. You don't have to have a USFG plan, but you must advocate for something.

Be clear. Be very clear. If you are spreading politics or something that is easy to understand, then just be clear. I can understand very clear debaters at high speeds when what they are saying is easy to understand. Start off slower so I get used to your voice and I'll be fine.

Do not spread philosophy. If I have a hard time understanding it at conversational speeds I will not understand it at high speeds. (Don't spread Kant or Foucault.)

Slow down for analytics. If you are comparing or making analytical arguments that I need to understand, slow down for it.

I want to hear the warrants in the evidence. Be clear when reading evidence. I don't read cards after the round if I don't understand them during the round.

Make it make sense. I'll vote on it if it is reasonable. Please tell me how it functions and how I should evaluate it. The most important thing about theory for me is to make it make sense. I would like for the debates about the debate to be interesting. I am not into frivolous theory. If you like running frivolous theory, I am not the best judge for you.

Don't take it out of context. I do ask for cites. Cites should be readily available. Don't cut evidence in an unclear or sloppy manner. Cut evidence ethically. Do not take evidence out of context by cutting qualifiers like "might" or "maybe".

Speaker Points
30 I learned something from the experience. I really enjoyed the thoughtful debate. I was moved. I give out 30's. It's not an impossible standard. I just consider it an extremely high, but achievable, standard of excellence. I haven't given out at least two years.
29 Excellent
28 Solid
27 Okay

For policy Debate (And LD, because I judge them the same way).
Same as for LD. Make sense. Big picture is important. I can't understand spreading dense philosophy. Don't assume I am already familiar with what you are saying. Explain things to me. Starting in 2013 our LDers have been highly influenced by the growing similarity between policy and LD. We tested the similarity of the activities in 2014 - 2015 by having two of our LDers be the first two students in the history of the Tournament of Champions to qualify in policy and LD in the same year. They did this by only attending three policy tournaments (The Old Scranton Tournament and Emory) on the Oceans topic running Reparations and USFG funding of The Association of Black Scuba Divers.

We are also in the process of building our policy program. Our teams tend to debate the resolution with non-util impacts or engages in methods debates. Don't assume that I am familiar with the specifics of a lit base. Please break things down to me. I need to hear and understand warrants. Make it simple for me. The more simple the story, the more likely that I'll understand it.

I won't outright reject anything unless it is blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic.

Important: Don't curse in front of me. I don't like high school students cursing in front of me. Please don't do it. I may take off points because of it. If the curse is an essential part of the textual evidence, I am more lenient. But that would be the exception. Ultimately, I do not think that high school students are grown, and the language that is used should be consistent with my classroom standards.

Malachi Ambrose Paradigm

5 rounds

You do you. I don't really care what you do in round as long as it's not racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic etc. I won't intervene unless the other team instructs me to do so in their speech. In egregious cases I will stop the round.

Now for everything else. I debated for 3 years at Skyline High School in the Bay Area Urban Debate League. My high school career culminated in two major accomplishments, winning the 2017 Urban Debate Championship and having a 4-3 record at the Tournament of Champions. Now I debate for the University of Texas at Austin where I run antiblackness (more specifically a kritik aff and afropessimism or black nihilism on neg).

I have experience judging everything from theory heavy kritik debates to 9 off policy debates. I prefer the kritik but 2 years of judging has made policy affirmatives very persuasive especially when the neg uses buzz words and poorly explains the thesis of the kritik.

Jugal Amodwala Paradigm

6 rounds

Hi I debated LD throughout high school at Westwood (2018), earned two career bids and qualified to the TOC. pls flash

I've been coaching for Westwood since 2018.

In my year at Westwood we had a few debaters that competed a lot on the national circuit and since all five of us (rohith mandavilli, rishabh shah, dhruva mambapoor, and abby grifno) were coached by Rodrigo Paramo I think I share similar views to these people. I also agree with Bennett Eckert, Travis Fife, and Aaron Timmons.

If you're lazy some pref shortcuts:

LARP - 1

Theory/T - 1-3 (depending on the frivolity of the position)

Kritiks - 2

Phil - 2

Tricks - strike

I am NOT tabula rasa and I don't think anyone actually is.

I will ONLY say slow/clear TWICE and after that I'll stop flowing.

My favorite kind of debate was a simple plan/disad/cp debate because I think those brought about the most clash and in-depth evidence comparison at the high school level. That said, I don't want to hear you failing to go for a disad when you've never read one before.

I will not vote for anything I don't understand - I think I have a good grasp of the "generic K's" and Kant but beyond that some explanation might be necessary given I haven't read all of the literature. I think this is especially true for links and alternatives.

I am a very expressive person - I will constantly be making faces in round, think of them as you would like, but I would recommend just ignoring them.

I have become increasingly cynical with k debate in LD the longer I've been judging. It is not fun to judge debates with no clash since no one knows what their position says including the ones reading it. I urge you not to read it unless you're CONFIDENT in your ability to explain it.

I love a good case debate - challenge the aff's home turf.

I STRONGLY believe in disclosure - The only exception is if you are unaware of what the wiki is. Screenshots MUST be provided including TIME STAMPS.

I have a HIGH threshold for good evidence - I think it should be about your scenario and as specific as possible. If it's a politics disad or a time sensitive argument newer evidence from reliable sources prevails. If your evidence isn't particularly relevant it's likely I will discard it.

Evidence ethics challenges means the debate stops. No excuses. See Rodrigo's paradigm for more specific details for things I agree with.

I largely agree with Rodrigo regarding trigger warnings.

I treat theory/T as a kind of disad cp debate with the standards being disads to the aff's interp and the TVA being a CP of some kind. Please WEIGH! I need impact calc on the net benefits or I will probably throw out the shell.

If you intend to read 5+ cards on case, tell me to get another page for them. I haven't quite learned how to copy paste while flowing on paper.

I will wait until AFTER postrounding to give speaks - if you and/or your coach is rude then your speaks will suffer.



I don't recall anyone being too fast for me to understand (I watch school lectures on up to 4.5x speed) on evidence but for short analytics like theory standards you HAVE to go slower bc I can't write at light speed.

Clarity is a MUST, and debaters almost always think they're clearer than they actually are so maybe go slower.

In my opinion the most impressive debaters are able to beat fast opponents by being slow and efficient.


I will award speaks based on what I think your propensity to win the tournament is. If I'm confident you can win, you get a thirty, and it'll go down from there. It's likely that my standards or perception for what this is might be skewed and I will usually end up giving you lower than what your final record will end up being.

Efficiency and good strategy will bump u up.

Try not to 100% BS facts. If you say xyz is polling at 80% when they're actually polling at 40 you will lose speaks.

I WILL dock speaks for being rude and award speaks for being kind.

I appreciate numbering arguments (1. no link, 2. link turn, 3. perm) and labeling offs (next off - econ disad).


I love a good theory or T debate but clear standards need to be emphasized regardless of whether or not it's a potential abuse or in-round abuse claim.

I think potential abuse exists and can be an effective argument even if you have aff specific offense.

I think most theory shells that are based on CX are frivolous (ex. must list perms, must spec k over T, etc)

Counter interps and interps must be flashed before read.

I'm persuaded by disclosure, open source, and brackets - I don't believe these are frivolous as long as the argument is justified with a warrant.

If the 2nr is literally 6 mins of theory/T I think the aff implicitly gets an rvi. I see no benefit to forcing the aff extend the 1ac for ten seconds, and they had the last substance speech so the neg has functionally conceded substance.

I really LOVE specific and in-depth interps but try and make sure it still makes sense as a universal rule and as a sentence.


Dislike nebel T but am somewhat compelled by the latest article. That said, I still don't know what grammar is and the argument must be coherently explained. If I don't get your violation I can't vote on it.

Developed standards and voters are important and weigh between them if you want to have a good debate

I don't think a dictionary definition is mandatory but in T debates it will go a long ways - the more specific the definition the better. However, I am compelled by arguments saying that a counter interp is incomplete without them.

Interps and counter interps need to be complete statements. I treat them like plan texts since they are an attempt at defining a norm, so things like "Counter interp: let this aff in" are not real counter interps.


I strongly believe they should have solvency advocates

frameworks are a must

I'm not a fan of underviews filled with analytics - just read cards bruh


For whatever reason I'm more lenient on the existence of a solvency advocate here, that said having one could be relevant to theory debates

One condo is chill

Not a fan of judge kick and will only evaluate the arg if it's made in the 1NC


I think these are some of the most strategic arguments in debate but I am persuaded by well crafted theory shells saying they're cheating.


The way I've always thought about philosophical frameworks is the same as Kritiks. There should be a way of explaining the world, a link to the topic, and some sort of impact.

I love util but in my senior year I branched out to deontologists like Kant and Hobbes.

Miss me with your justice v morality args - I don't care


Not a fan of Floating PIKs - I think they're cheating but if your opponent doesn't ask it's fair game

I was a big fan of the security and cap K's but specific links make a world of difference.

Unwarranted evidence is far too common in kritik debates. I find it frustrating when the NC is basically just 5 minutes of glorified impact cards.

I have a high threshold for afropessimism based arguments. I think they're often read poorly in LD and commodified, therefore I'm persuaded by the argument that white people shouldn't be advocating for it.

NOT a fan of generic links like the state is anti-black - the more specific the better

Carded responses are my favorite but I understand that the 1AR is time crunched

Kritik's must have SOME form of framing and I believe that the ROTB might precede case but this must be clearly justified.

Big fan of framework against kritiks done similarly to how Policy does it.


go for it as long as it isn't something that could potentially endanger someone

I do think all of your actions must be justified

I'm strongly compelled by T-Framework, and think plans are good for debate


no. A burden will result in an almost instant loss. I'm more than happy to discuss this with you outside of round but I think practices that focus on winning from blippy analytics are bad for debate.

I define a "trick" as a preempt that prohibits an action, like the neg can't read counter plans. Things like aff gets rvis or allow 1ar theory are ok, but annoying.

Byron Arthur Paradigm

4 rounds

Byron R. Arthur

Holy Cross School

Judging Since September 1983

Debate Events Judged : All of Them

Debate Events Coached: All of Them


I have worn a number of professional hats through the years and they all influence how I see the debate. First, I am an attorney. This means that I insist upon evidence and its integrity. Under no circumstances do I tolerate debaters who play fast and loose with interpretation of evidence. Second, I am a teacher which means I seek to maximize education for all of us who are involved in the debate. Please join me in that effort when you are debating in front of me.


Topicality – I am happy to vote on T if it is argued well. You should know that I tend to interpret T very broadly so in some instances you might want to choose something else if your violation is one that is based upon a fairly strict interpretation. Not a huge RVI fellow. I tend not to ignore all else in the round in order to give the AFF a win for meeting one of its burdens.

Types of Arguments – There are no arguments that I reject out of hand. While I was in high school when LD was created, I am not opposed to all of the ways in which it has evolved. Counterplans are not only acceptable but encouraged as long as they are meeting all of the traditional burdens such as competition and net benefits. I would say the same for the disadvantage and its burdens.

I am very fine with the K debate as well. But at the end of the day, there must be a link for me to consider. I love debates about race, gender, sexual orientation, and other opportunities for debaters to engage in discourse about issues that are important. Yet, I also believe that individuals spend time crafting topics for a reason and call me old-fashioned but I still like those discussions. Most topics allow us to have the best of both worlds but at times they do not. Learn to recognize the difference if I am in the back of the room.

Theory is a means to an end and those who love the idea of theory as its own thing should definitely strike me.

Speed – There was a time when I would walk out of a room very impressed with the debater who was incredibly fast and offered a cornucopia of arguments. That was about 30 years ago. Now I am impressed with the debater who does more with less and values depth of discussion and argument.

Points- My range for points is generally between 26.5 -29.9. 26.5 is reserved for those who are incomprehensible, disengaged, non-responsive, or simply missing the boat. 29.9 is reserved for the debater who demonstrates a mastery of argument, communicates nuances, has the ability to analyze arguments and make meaningful comparisons, has on-point evidence, and has outstanding communication skills. THOSE WHO ARE RUDE TO OPPONENTS OR USE PROFANITY WILL RECEIVE A 20. IF YOU ARE UNEASY WITH THIS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER STRIKING ME.

I am very sensitive to the way that we treat each other in this activity. I take allegations of bullying and intimidation very seriously. As an adult in the room, I will immediately deal with these issues and protect the rights of all individuals involved. If you feel that there is an issue when you are debating in front of me, know that we will proceed in the following manner:

1. Please raise the issue when you are aware of it. I will then allow both debaters to go and find their respective coaches/adult chaperone before we proceed. I will not engage students on issues of this magnitude without their adult advocates present.

2. I will listen to both sides of the discussion to determine whether or not we can proceed with the debate or if it should be brought to the tournament director for further resolution.

Aisha Bawany Paradigm

4 rounds

- If you have any questions: message me on Facebook, Instagram, or email me at

I debated in high school in LD for 4 years at the local, state, and national circuit, and 2 years in PF. I did policy debate for two years at UT Dallas.

I'm fine with speed just please be clear.


I believe you need some sort of framework/way for me to evaluate the round. Don't assume that because I did policy that I default to a consequentialist/magnitude impacts. If you want me to evaluate that, you need to have a value/criterion that says that I should evaluate arguments on the scale of consequentialism. I ran different philosophical frameworks when I did LD and enjoy listening to unique ones and the way you justify your position through it. You may be able to convince me that disclosure is good in LD.


I'm going to be honest when I say I'm predisposed to preferring topical aff positions in policy because I have mostly debated with topical policy cases. That is not to say that I won't vote on them, just that I am not the best judge to evaluate K v. K debates, and K Affs v. Framework debates. However, I do have experience running/understanding those arguments because my partner and I ran a nontopical aff for half a semester, so don't stop running those arguments, just make it easier for me to understand the method by which I should evaluate the round. For off cases, I think you need to win a link (by link, I mean a link, not a risk of a link, I mean a LINK) in order for me to vote on any K/DA. Disclosure is good.


- Debate is a game

- The point of debate is to be persuasive, so I think that as long as you persuade me on something, and have some good cards (even if they're untrue) then I'll vote for you. I love people that can answer arguments using a few logical responses. Quality over quantity.

- I will vote on everything in round if it's explained well and you win the argument. Caveat to that is that I don't care about out of round impacts or voting for you because you're discriminated against (sorry not going to give you a W for that guys)

- Debate warrants, not tags. Name the argument not the author. I don't know your case as well as you do to remember your authors name

- I don't read evidence unless it's contested/important. What does that mean? It means that I'm not going to read through your entire case and defend you because that's not my job. It means that YOU need to understand that I can keep up and flow, but you need to extend arguments and not expect me to offer concessions to you. This trend of "oh they have my case in front of them so they don't need me to do anything" doesn't count.Your speech matters. That's why you stand up and talk for a long ass time

- Also LOL @ you if you try to post round me, because idgaf, and my decision isn't fucking changing :)

- To those who like to spread really fast through analytical theory arguments that haven't been written up: good job, I'll probably miss a lot of those arguments, so it's on you for me missing those.

>>>> it basically goes like this:

- Debater spreads analytics so fast that judge can't keep up while flowing

- Judge votes for other debater because they missed something probably important because the debater didn't slow down

Debater: Image result for pikachu meme face

Erick Berdugo Paradigm

6 rounds

My judging philosophy is first built on the approach that debaters define the debate. This means I generally do not have any predisposition against anything within the context of the debate. Hence, I do NOT push an agenda. The arguments presented before me are to be engaged by both sides and analysis should be given whereby I should either reject or accept those arguments. This means arguments for or against should be well developed and structured logically. There needs to be a clear framework, but that is the only first level. Impacts and disadvantages need to fit within this framework. They need to be developed so that they are consistent.

If there is one thing I do not like, blip arguments. These are essentially glorified tag lines that have no analysis behind them, where then a debater claims a drop of this 'argument' becomes a voter for them. For me: no analysis = no argument thus is not a voter. However, if within the context of the debate both debaters do this they lose the right to complain about me intervening. So, take heed, do this and I will allow myself to insert how these blips should be pieced together and the analysis behind them.

There needs to be clash. Far too often debaters do not really analyze. Generally, people view good debates where the flow shows responses to everything. I view this as a fallacy. There should be analysis as to how the arguments interact with each other in regards to the line by line debate and hopefully build a bigger view of the entire debate. Again, it is the debater's job to fine tune how everything pieces together. Specifically, I prefer hearing voters that are in some way intertwined versus a bunch of independent voters. Yet, though, I prefer intertwined voters it does not mean independent voters could not subvert or outweigh a good story.

Things I have voted for AND against

K - I actually like a good K debate. However, I do warn debaters that often I see people run K's they have no reason running because they themselves do not really understand them. Further, as a theme, debaters assume I am as familiar with the authors as they are. Not true. Rather, I feel it imperative that the position of K be well articulated and explained. Many debaters, read a stock shell that lacks analysis and explanation.

counter plans - I have no problem with these in the world of LD.

Topicality - I generally stand within the guidelines of reasonability. Muddy the waters that’s what I will likely default to.

Role of the Ballot - At its heart I think the ROB is a paradigm argument or more simply a criterion argument so that even if one on face wins it does not guarantee a win because the opposite side can in the venue of the debate meet the criterion or ROB. However, the ROB I tend not to like are ones devolve the debate into pre fiat and post fiat debate. I end towards post fiat worlds in close debates.

RVI - Again this less so, an RVI for seems to be justified within the context of some blatant abuse. As an analogy I have to see the smoking gun in the offenders hand. If it not clear I will side with a standard model. To date I have not voted on an RVI as of 9-7-19

Understand, I honestly do approach all arguments as being justifiable within the confines of a debate. However, arguments I will on face reject are arguments whose sole objective (as a course or an objective for gain) is to oppress, murder, torture or destroy any class or classes of people. That is to say you know what you are doing and you are doing it on purpose.

I'd say that the realm of debate is for students to engage and craft. As I am no longer a competitor my bias, if it exist, should only intercede when debaters stop looking at human beings as genuine but rather as some abstract rhetoric.

Feel free to ask me some questions. but understand I'm not here to define what will win me. Good well structured argumentation that actually engages the other side are the types of debates I find most interesting. It's your world you push the paradigm you want. My voting for it or against it should not be interpreted as my support of the position beyond the confines of the debate.

Personal Narratives - I am not a fan of these arguments. The main reason, is that there is no way real way to test the validity of the personal narrative as evidence. Thus, if you introduce a personal narrative, I think it completely legit that the personal narrative validity be questioned like any other piece of evidence. If you would be offended or bothered about questions about its truth, don't run them.

Communication - I believe in civility of debate. I am seeing an increasingly bad trend of students cursing in debates. I fundamentally, think that High School debate is about learning to argue in an open forum with intellectual honesty and civility. The debate format is not that of exclusive conversations academics would have. I reject any belief that the competitive nature of the debate is like a professional sport. Cursing is lazy language and is a cheap attempt to be provocative or to fain emphasis. Thus, do not curse in front of me as your judge I will automatically drop you a point. Also, most people don’t know how to curse. It has its place just not in HS debate.

So what about cards that use curse words? Choose wisely, is the purpose because it is being descriptive of reporting actual words thrown at persons such as racial slurs. I will not necessarily be bothered by this, however, if it is the words of the actual author, I advise you to choose a different author as it is likely using it to be provocative versus pursing any intellectual honesty.

i do not have a have a problem for a spread. However, I do not prompt debaters for clarity as it is the debaters responsibility to communicate. Further, I think promoting is a form of coaching and gives an advantage that would not exist otherwise.

I do not put myself as part of the email chain as I think by reading along it lowers the standard of the verbal communicative aspect of the debate.

I will automatically down a debater that runs an intentionally oppressive position. IE kill people because the world sucks and it’s bad to give people hope. However, if a person runs a position that MIGHT link to the death of thousands is not something I consider intentional.

Special Notes:

You are welcome to time yourself. However, I am the official time keeper and will not allow more than a 5 second disparity.

When you say you are done prepping I expect you are sending the document and will begin with a couple of seconds once your opponent has confirmed reception of the document.


Mike Bietz Paradigm

1 rounds

Head Coach: Harvard-Westlake School, Los Angeles CA |

Use for sharing speech documents. No more email or flashdrive problems. The affirmative should have this ready to go before the round starts.

Jonah Feldman, coach at UC Berkeley, summed up a lot of what I have to say about how I evaluate arguments


I do not believe that a dropped argument is necessarily a true argument

I am primarily interested in voting on high quality arguments that are well explained, persuasively advanced, and supported with qualified evidence and insightful examples. I am not interested in voting on low quality arguments that are insufficiently explained, poorly evidenced, and don't make sense. Whether or not the argument was dropped is a secondary concern...

How should this effect the way I debate?

1) Choose more, especially in rebuttals. Instead of extending a lot of different answers to an advantage or offcase argument, pick your spots and lock in.

2) If the other team has dropped an argument, don't take it for granted that it's a done deal. Make sure it's a complete argument and that you've fully explained important components and implications of winning that argument.

His full paradigm:

More stuff:

I never thought I'd have to say this, but you have to read aloud what you want me to consider in the round. Paraphrasing doesn't count as "evidence."

The affirmative probably should be topical.

I think that I'm one of the few circuit LD judges who votes affirmative more than I vote negative. I prefer an affirmative that provides a problem and then a solution/alternative to the problem. Negatives must engage. Being independently right isn't enough.

I would probably consider myself a policy-maker with an extremely left bent. Answering oppression with extinction usually doesn't add up for me. I'll take immediate, known harms over long term, speculative, multi-link impacts 90 out of 100 times. This isn't paradigmatic so much as it is negatives failing to engage the affirmative.

Given my propensity to vote affirmative and give the affirmative a lot of leeway in defining the scope of the problem/solution, and requiring the negative to engage, I'd suggest you take out the 3 minutes of theory pre-empts and add more substance.

Topicality is probably not an RVI, ever. Same with Ks. Today I saw someone contend that if he puts defense on a Kritik to make debate a safe space, the judge should vote for him because he'll feel attacked.

Cut your presumption spikes. It's bad for debate to instruct judges not to look for winning arguments. It also encourages debaters to make rounds unclear or irreconcilable if they are behind on actual issues.

Where an argument can be made "substantively" or without theory, just make it without theory. For example, you opponent not having solvency isn't a theory violation. it just means they can't solve. Running theory flips the coin again. So it's both annoying and bad strategy. Other examples might include: Plan flaws, no solvency advocate, and so on. Theory IS the great equalizer in that it gives someone who is otherwise losing an argument a chance to win.

Cross-x cannot be transferred to prep time.

Some annoyances:

- Not letting your opponents answer a question. More specifically, male debaters who have been socialized to think its ok to interrupt females who have been socialized not to put up a fight. If you ask the question, give them a chance to answer.

- Ignoring or belittling the oppression or marginalization of people in favor of smug libertarian arguments will definitely not end up well for you.

- People who don't disclose or they password protect or require their opponents to delete speech documents. I'm not sure why what you read is private or a secret if you've read it out loud. The whole system of "connected" kids and coaches who know each other using backchannel methods to obtain intelligence is one of the most exclusionary aspects of debate. This *is* what happens when people don't disclose. I'll assume if you don't disclose you prefer the exclusionary system.

Some considerations for you:

- if you’re reading such old white male cards that you have to edit for gendered language, maybe consider finding someone who doesn’t use gendered language... and if you notice that ONLY white men are defending it, maybe consider changing your argument.

- if you find yourself having to pre-empt race or gender arguments in your case, maybe you shouldn't run the arguments.

Jane Boyd Paradigm

2 rounds

Jane Boyd

School: Grapevine HS

Number of years coaching CX: 31 LD: 27

Number of years coaching speech and debate: 31


What many think is progressive debate was done originally in 98-99 by Grapevine Debaters. We just did it better. Good debate is good debate. Keep in mind that trying to be cutting edge does NOT make for good debate by itself. While I appreciate innovation - I hate tricks for the sake of tricks. Keep that in mind.



Standards, criteria, framework and/or burdens serve as the same thing - these are mechanisms on how to determine who wins the debate. If a value is used it needs to be defended throughout the case and not simply an after thought. The framework of the debate should not be longer than the rest of the case. Unless it is absolutely necessary to make the framework clear, cut to the chase and tell me what is acceptable and not acceptable, but don't spend 2 1/2 minutes on something that should take just a few sentences to make clear. I want to hear substantive debate on the topic not excessive framework or theory. Note the word excessive. I am not stupid and usually get it much quicker than you think. In the debate resolve the issue of standard and link it to the substantative issues of the round then move on.

Evidence and Basic Argumentation:

Evidence adds credibility to the arguments of the case however I don't want to just hear you cite sources without argumentation and analysis of how it applies to the clash in the debate. I don't like arguments that are meant to confuse and say absolutely nothing of substantive value. I am fine with philosophy but expect that you are able to explain and understand the philosophies that you are applying to your case or arguments. A Kritik is nothing new in LD. Traditional LD by nature is prefiat, but I recognize the change that has occurred. I accept plans, DAs, counterplans and theory (when there is a violation - not as the standard strategy.) Theory, plans, and counterplans must be run correctly - so make sure you know how to do it before you run it in front of me.

Flow and Voters:

I think that the AR has a very difficult job and can often save time by grouping and cross-applying arguments, please make sure you are clearly showing me on the flow where you are applying your arguments. I won't cross apply an argument to the flow if you don't tell me to. I try not to intervene in the debate and only judge based upon what you are telling me and where you are telling me to apply it. Please give voters; however don't give 5 or 6. You should be able to narrow the debate down to the critical areas. If an argument is dropped, then make sure to explain the importance or relevance of that argument don't just give me the "it was dropped so I win argument." I may not buy that it is an important argument; you have to tell me why it is important in this debate.


I can flow very well. Speed isn't a problem, it is usually clarity that is the problem. Unless words are clear I won't flow the debate. If I am not writing then you probably need to adapt. Speed for the sake of speed is not a good idea.


I have been around long enough to have seen the genesis of Kritik arguments. I have seen them go from bad to worse, to good in policy. I think that K arguments are in the worse state in LD now. Kritiking is absolutely acceptable IF it applies to the resolution and specifically the case being run in the round. I have the same expectation here as in policy the "K" MUST have a specific link. "K" arguments MUST link directly to what is happening in THIS round with THIS resolution. I am NOT a fan of a generic Kritik that questions if we exist or not and has nothing to do with the resolution or debate at hand. Kritiks must give an alternative other than "think about it." Most LD is asking me to take an action with a plan or an objective - a K needs to do the same thing. That being said, I will listen to the arguments but I have a very high threshold for the bearer to meet before I will vote on a "K" in LD.


I have a very high threshold of acceptance of theory in LD. There must be a clear abuse story. Also, coming from a policy background - it is essential to run the argument correctly. For example having a violation, interpretation, standards, and voting issues on a Topicality violation is important. Also knowing the difference in topicality and extra-topical. or knowing what non-unique really means is important. Theory for the sake of a time suck is silly and won't lead me voting on it at the end. I want to hear substantive debate on the topic not just generic framework or theory. RVI's: Not a fan. Congratulations you are topical or met a minimum of your burden I guess? It's not a reason for me to vote though unless you have a compelling reason why.

Bekah Boyer Paradigm

6 rounds


I competed on various circuits, first in policy debate for 2 years, LD for another 2 (and I have even dabbled in extemp and interp), at Colleyville Heritage in TX under Dave Huston. I've worked at Greenhill School as an assistant LD coach under Aaron Timmons since late 2010.

I feel very strongly about evidence ethics in academia.


DO NOT CLIP CARDS - Every time you clip a card, a kitten gets kicked. Don't kick kittens; don't clip cards. You will lose the round if you have clipped. I will not be lenient on this issue. I may spare speaker points if you attempt to follow the norms outlined or demonstrate a norm that prevents the harms of clipping, etc. *e.g. "saying "cut the card there" and then IMMEDIATELY marking where it is cut instead of saying "cut the card at (last word spoken)."

Check out this article if you don't understand "card clipping."

I expect cites to be able to be provided for all evidence used. I reserve the right to call for them if I so choose - I may do so randomly or if I suspect something is amiss. Evidence ethics is extremely important, and I will let card-clipping, plagiarism, and forged evidence affect my decision as I see fit - in the past, it has just affected speaker points. If it is an egregious, intentional violation (yes, I determine this) I may vote you down/decrease your speaks/refuse to vote on that argument, even if your opponent does not point it out; if your opponent does indicate that I should punish, I will be more comfortable smiting your points.
If you do not know how to cite something, is a great resource.
I am happy to talk to you about this. Seriously, y'all, people get kicked out university/have their careers ruined for improper, albeit unintentional, citation. I'm not opposed to an entirely analytical case if you don't want to take the time to give credit where credit is due.
One great way to combat this in the community is to disclose your positions on

Speech Docs:

You can e-mail speech docs to and/or

If sent a speech doc, I will only open it during CX to follow along with questions about the evidence. Pointed indictments about evidence will increase speaker points.

Generally, I don’t call for evidence, unless the debaters haven’t gone in depth enough with a contestation or I want to give you tips, but I do feel comfortable calling for evidence when I I want to see it.

Adjudicating rounds:

· I default to a comparative worlds paradigm. I would like the affirmative to do something; the negative’s job is to prove why that action is bad/undesirable.

o A CP need a net benefit. Solvency deficits on their own do not make a CP competitive – e.g. If the CP solves the aff and the aff solves with a risk of advantage and no unique advantage on the CP, I will affirm. Perms are a test of competition (Affs should have clearly stated perm texts to minimize confusion and/or potential severance)


· I need a weighing mechanism and offense that links in to that weighing mechanism. Unless given another method, I will default to v/c structure as the mechanism to evaluate & prioritize the round impacts, otherwise. I acknowledge and endorse the advent of multiple, valid methods of argumentation, but I prefer a topic-centered evidence debate comparing pragmatic solutions using CBA, but you do you. Whatever you do, please make an effort to do it well (your arguments must have warrants). Most importantly, I need you to outline how both debaters can expect to access my ballot - particularly if you are employing a non-traditional method of debate.

· What is on my flow is what counts. You will be able to tell if I am lost or confused.
I consider myself alright at flowing, but I am not afraid to admit I am not perfect or even close to the best. That said, I will not vote on something that I:
a) do not not understand
b) don't have on the flow

· I will hold you to your extensions based on what I have on the flow.

o I am more lenient on 1ar shadow extensions than I am for the 2nr (my remedy for the inevitable time skew). If an argument is conceded, use that time to shine and increase your speaker points with a great extension (c/w/I style)

o If you want to win an argument you need to start by extending, at minimum, the basic parts of the argument (e.g. You need to extend T/theory violations; ROB/standards/weighing mechanisms if you want me to vote on them)


o What I don't want: having to wade through the arguments and establish my own opinion

o Pro tip: Give me prioritized voters.This helps me establish that YOU have a strategy and are not just grasping at straws.


· I'm fine with speed, but I'd prefer you to make a couple of really solid arguments than many blippy ones. I will say clear twice per speech before I stop flowing that speech. After a 3rd "clear" in a speech/round speaks will be noticeably affected. Speed is a strategy - I will be annoyed if you go super fast just to make 4 underdeveloped arguments and sit down with lots of time left.

· Best way to make sure we are on the same page? Be clear. SLOW DOWN WHEN YOU ARTICULATE A WARRANT AND ITS IMPLICATION IN ROUND. Again, I have a terrible poker face. Use that to your advantage. It is obvious when I am not getting something. Loudness and/or clarity is usually more of the issue for me than speed and if I am having a “bad disability day” with my hearing, I will let you know at the beginning of the round so we can all start at a higher volume.


o Pro tip: Give me prioritized voters. This helps me establish that YOU have a strategy and are not just grasping at straws. AND it will increase your speaker points

· Speaker Points, in general-

o I try to average a 28.3, but I think points are overinflated these days, and I don’t know how to fix that.

o A good debater who does everything necessary to win with a smart strategy and clear extensions, evidence comparison, and weighing between arguments will receive a 29-29.8. If it is a local, Texas tournament and I think you should break, I will give you a 29+ ; @ TOC circuit tournaments, anything above a 29 means I think you are the bees knees.

o I only give 30sin certain circumstances, usually for a perfect speech, and I will tell you why you got one. In a given season, I usually give 2-3 30s.

o I assume everyone starts with a 27.5 you go up or down by tenths of a point based on strategy, extensions, speaking style, etc --- if tenths aren't available, I will round to the nearest .5. If I round up, I will indicate that on the ballot or in the RFD. Yes, I know this is subjective: welcome to any evaluation of public speaking.

o Protip: If you give me a phrase I write on my ballot, I start you at a 28 automatically instead of 27.5.

-If you are neg and don't flow the 2ar, I will dock .5 speaker point

Argument Specific Questions:


· I default to drop the arg over drop the debater

· The in round abuse story needs to be strong if I am going to drop the debater on theory

· I default to viewing Topicality/Theory as gateway issues, UNLESS other justifications/arguments are given

· If there is not a voter or a violation extended, I will not vote on theory/T.

· I default to reasonability on T if the interp is inclusive not exclusive. I prefer Competing interps because it leaves me less to wade through

o "Reasonability" vs "Competing Interps": Forget the buzzwords: everything collapses to reasonability if the debaters aren't doing comparative work. I would prefer you to have C/I's and substantial clash/weighing against each other's standards OR establish a metric of "reasonablity"

· RVI's –

o I don’t think you should win by being topical or fair; those are obligations and should not be rewarded --- It is unlikely that I will vote on RVI from an I/M on Topicality unless there is demonstrated abuse in the round (you can prove this by running something where the link depends on the interp --- or you can establish it in CX).

o I am more open to independently justified voters against T/Theory than I am RVIs (e.g., T Is racist)

· I am open to listening to RVIs as long as there is clear, obvious weighing between the standards of a competing interpretation!

Default Spikes/Presumption/etc:

· I hate skep triggers and presumption. You can run them, but I will be annoyed. It’s a pretty common strategy... mostly because it's easy. I have voted on them when the lack of clash leaves me no other option and speaks have suffered. Risk of offense means I will unlikely resort to this. Prove to me why you don't need them and speaks will certainly reflect that.

· I just need a reason why those arguments are true, just like any other argument AND how they function as offense/terminal defense. Those arguments have strategic value; I just fear the trend that many debaters employ: blippy spikes as a crutch to avoid substance. If you want to discuss this, please let me know.

Narratives/Micro political arguments

· I am alright with these. I do believe that the debate space can allow the oppressed to speak.

· I am a firm advocate of the consensual nature of all dialogue. The speech act is half talking and half listening: it is undesirable to force people to participate in discourse that would wound them in some way. T

· If the narrative is graphic, I expect you to disclose the nature of the discussion before the round starts to warn me, your opponent, and anyone in the room. Feel free to talk to me about this.

"Policy" Args versus "Traditonal" versus whatever:
Debate is debate. An argument is an argument. As long as it has a claim, a warrant, and an impact. I'll listen.

Misc. Laundry List of Paradigmatic questions:

· Perms are a test of competition. Just as I would like to see a CP text/advocacy, I prefer there to be a perm text/advocacy established so everything is clear.

· You gotta have uniqueness to win a turn.

· If there is inherent harm in the squo and there is a risk that action would solve for that harm, I will take that action. (meaning I'm extremely partial to "risk of solvency" args). Defense doesn't win debate rounds.

Other Issues

Flex Prep:

I am okay with "Flex Prep" if that means you can ask questions during prep. If your "flex prep" is the practice in which you can apply cx time for extra prep, that's not cool. (ex: "I have 1:42 sec of CX left, I'll add that as prep."

Behavior (in round)--- If you know me well or I know you, congratulations; I'm pretty neat and you must be too! I always want debaters to feel comfortable in a competitive environment. I am not scary and I do not think many people are--- so we should all get along!

But...PLEASE DO NOT make your opponent uncomfortable in round because I have judged you a lot or I taught a lab you were in etc. I have been on the other side of that too many times, and it's super awkward.
By all means, say hello outside of the round (sometimes I even have baked things to share)!

Behavior (at anytime):
Be kind to each other. We are all here because debate is awesome - though our reasons may vary. Be courteous and polite. Say what you need to say and stay appropriate.

If you want to do a rebuttal redo, ask how to clarify an argument/response you made, or ask me anything post-round, that is definitely alright. I will do my best to help with the time I am allotted.
Feel free to ask me anything I may not have covered adequately/did not address at all.
You can always reach me through e-mail at
If I don't respond to the follow-up email within 72 hours, please email again.

Tl; dr: You do you, but watch my face - if I am annoyed or look confused, proceed at your own risk.

Chris Castillo Paradigm

3 rounds

I am the LD coach at Strake Jesuit in Houston, Tx. I've been involved in debate since the year 2000. I judge a lot. Mostly on the national/toc circuit but also locally. Feel free to ask questions before the round. Add me to email chains. Jchriscastillo at gmail dot com.

I don't have a preference for how you debate or which arguments you choose to read. Be clear, both in delivery and argument function/interaction, weigh and develop a ballot story.

Theory: I default to competing interps, no rvi's and drop the debater on shells read against advocacies/entire positions and drop the argument against all other types. I'm ok with using theory as a strategic tool but the sillier the shell the lower the threshold I have for responsiveness. Please weigh and slow down for interps and short analytic arguments. D

Non-T affs: These are fine just have a clear ballot story.

Delivery: You can go as fast as you want but be clear and slow down for advocacy texts, interps, taglines and author names. Don't blitz through 1 sentence analytics and expect me to get everything down. I will say "clear" and "slow".

Speaks: Speaks are a reflection of your strategy, argument quality, efficiency, how well you use cx, and clarity.

Prep: 1. I prefer that you don't use cx as prep time. 2. It is ok to ask questions during cx. 3. Compiling a document counts as prep time. 4. Please write down how much time you have left.

Things not to do: 1. Don't make arguments that are racist/sexist/homophobic (this is a good general life rule too). 2. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand or arguments that are blatantly false. 3. Don't be mean to less experienced debaters. 4. Don't steal prep. 5. Don't manipulate evidence or clip.

Daniel Cho Paradigm

3 rounds

About Me

Prior to joining the debate program, I was close with several national NSDA public forum competitors who got me interested in debate. During sophomore year I began my career in Lincoln Douglas and later became captain for my team. I currently attend UT Dallas studying biomedical engineering. In my free time, I play pool, video games, or whatever else my friends are down to do.

Important note: I only competed in UIL Lincoln Douglas and am most familiar with value-criterion debate. I've judged UIL policy and LD debates but am new to NSDA/TFA. I'm open to catering to personal debating styles, but please keep my background in mind as you cater to my preferences.

I'll disclose and enjoy giving critiques, but don't take them too seriously. I'm familiar with hating judges for an unfair ballot, but go easy on me :)

Quick Notes

1. Be confident. Push through mindblanks and reinforce a weak argument with a strong demeanor.

2. Spreading is cool and all, but at least have a clear speaking voice. If I can't understand you, I can't flow the debate.

3. Your opponent may be an enemy in the round, but they're nothing more than another debater. Expect to be voted down for any sexism/discrimination/homophobia or any general animosity.


Especially coming from UIL Lincoln Douglas, I'd like it if rounds were based on theory. I generally disfavor debates with plans and other traditional policy elements, but am still familiar with it.


I generally dislike progressive tactics only because I'm more familiar with traditional LD/PF.

Be clear and concise.

Both debaters receive flex prep (using CX time as additional prep. time); use it wisely. I personally prefer truth over tech, but this is a personal judgement that is malleable based on the arguments made. I generally favor a single powerful argument to trump multiple less-compelling ones, but this is debate.

I firmly believe strong evidence and facts are necessary to make sound contentions. Don't cheat and make up BS facts on the fly, but have solid evidence with with well-qualified authors. I enjoy arguments regarding the disparities of evidence quality, and they have a strong impact on my view of the round.

This should be obvious, but please stay on topic and keep the resolution in mind. I've seen far too many medium-low level debaters go off-topic over irrelevant arguments.

Tammy Claeson Paradigm

6 rounds

I’ve coached LD Debate for 14 years. Policy debate for nine. PF Debate for six. Other speaking events for 24 years. I like a good old fashioned philosophy debate. With that said, I understand those are few and far between. I am not progressive. But I won’t vote you down for it, either.

Lincoln Douglas Points ~

Speed - Don’t spread. There’s no fire. Debate is about communication, not seeing how many points you can get your opponent to skip because they didn’t hear them correctly.

Value - Choose a value other than morality. One that actually matches the resolution. I like to see a good value clash. If you don't know the purpose of a criterion don't just throw it in there to look pretty.

Theory - Make sure you understand it yourself before you try to run it in a round. Don’t throw everything at your opponent and hope something sticks.

Framework - Should be clear and labeled. If you can both agree on a mutual framework, I will judge based on which debater upheld it better.

Offcase arguments- Have fun. I can follow whatever here. Just give me a heads up as to how many you have.

Topicality - I'm fine, if it's well structured.

Case/Plan - If the topic lends itself to one, that's fine. I prefer not to hear a counterplan unless you can show me the value of it. This isn't Policy. But if you want to run it, go for it.

DA's - I will vote you down for non-uniqueness. Make sure your link is clear.

At the end of the round, make sure you give me clear voters. Don’t make me pick my own. I will go for the value I like better.

Last but not least, include me on the email chain.

PF - Crystalize your arguments. Be civil. Stand for cross. Sit for grand cross. Give me voters. Make sure your arguments can be understood by the average person. PF is constantly evolving. As it evolves, you as a debater should evolve.

Courtney Coffman Paradigm

6 rounds

Berkeley 2019 Update: I haven't judge a lot of circuit LD rounds this year. I've been judging a lot of World Schools Debate. Please don't go your top speed and please slow down on tags & author names.

Background: I'm the Director of Debate at Northland Christian School in Houston, TX. I graduated in 2008 after debating for three years on the national and local circuits (TOC, NFL, TFA). I was a "traditional" debater whenever I competed (stock and policy arguments, etc). I have taught at Global Debate Symposium, Mean Green Workshops and Pinnacle.

Email Chain: Please add me to the email chain:

Judging Philosophy: I prefer a comparative worlds debate. When making my decisions, I rely heavily on good extensions and weighing. If you aren't telling me how arguments interact with each other, I have to decide how they do. If an argument is really important to you, make sure you're making solid extensions that link back to some standard in the round. I love counterplans, disads, plans, etc. I believe there needs to be some sort of standard in the round. Kritiks are fine, but I am not well-versed in dense K literature; please make sure you are explaining the links so it is easy for me to follow.

Theory: I think running theory is fine (and encouraged) if there is clear abuse.

Speaker Points: I give out speaker points based on a couple of things: clarity (both in speed and pronunciation), word economy, strategy and attitude. In saying attitude, I simply mean don't be rude. I think there's a fine line between being perceptually dominating in the round and being rude for the sake of being rude; so please, be polite to each other because that will make me happy. Being perceptually dominant is okay, but be respectful. If you give an overview in a round that is really fast with a lot of layers, I will want to give you better speaks. I will gauge my points based on what kind of tournament I'm at...getting a 30 at a Houston local is really easy, getting a 30 at a circuit tournament is much more difficult. If I think you should break, you'll get good speaks.

Speed: I'd prefer a more moderate/slower debate that talks about substance than a round that is crazy fast/not about the topic. I can keep up with a moderate speed; slow down on tag lines/author names. I'll put my pen down if you're going too fast. If I can't flow it, I won't vote on it. Also, if you are going fast, an overview/big picture discussion before you go line by line in rebuttals is appreciated. You can consider me a 7 out of 10 on the speed scale. I will say "clear" "slow" "louder", etc a few times throughout the round. If you don't change anything I will stop saying it.

Miscellaneous: I think permissibility and skep. arguments are defense and don't prefer to see them in a round. I default to comparative worlds.

Other things...
1. Don't try to win on tricks...I will severely dock speaker points and just be generally sad when making a decision (aka don't mislabel arguments, give your opponent things out of order, or try to steal speech/prep time, etc). I am not going to vote on an extension of a one sentence "argument" that wasn't clear in the first speech that is extended to mean something very different.
2. Please don't run morally repugnant positions in front of me.
3. Have fun!

Danny Debois Paradigm

2 rounds

Harvard '18; Harrison '14

I debated for Harrison on the national circuit. I used to coach and judge pretty frequently, but have become pretty inactive since 2016.

I have a high threshold for clarity, and I will drop you if I have to keep calling clear--I will not let you just re-explain things in later speeches. Be careful with new literature and debate strategies--I am happy and interested to hear them, but I am likely unfamiliar with them and will be hearing them for the first time when you read them. That means you need to be slower, not just what you think is clear.

I care much less about the types of arguments you run and much more about the way you run them--be clear, crystallize well, and clash with your opponent. I will vote on anything that has a claim, warrant, and impact, so long as it is not morally repugnant. That being said, I will be much happier with and give higher speaks to debaters who debate the topic and/or show creative, independent thinking. Perceptual dominance, making an attempt at being persuasive, and being kind and respectful will also be good for your speaks.

Ask me about any other specifics before the round.

David Dosch Paradigm

6 rounds

I debated for four years at John Marshall High School in Los Angeles, California. I qualified to the TOC my junior and senior years, attaining a career total of 8 bids. I am the Co-Director of the The Debate Intensive. I am a conflict for any competitors on this list:

Speed is fine. I don't care if you sit or stand, feel free to lay down if that’s how you're most comfortable. I come into the round with very few rigid preconceptions about what arguments should be read. Nearly all of the defaults outlined below can be changed by explicit arguments to the contrary. I will not blatantly intervene against any position (save for those which are morally repugnant).

As a competitor I ran primarily policy style arguments, so I feel very comfortable evaluating these types of debates. Robust evidence comparison is a tool that I feel is very underutilized. Identifying power-tagged evidence and pointing out intuitive logical gaps in an advantage can be just as effective as reading a hefty carded prep-out. I would say that I am fine with more conditionality than most judges. Feel free to read condo bad theory, just know that it’s a slight uphill battle.

The bulk of the K debate should not be centered around arbitrary assertions about the "role of the ballot." I absolutely loathe the state of K debate in contemporary LD. I will reward competitors who can make it through the round without using the phrase ROB or relying on the contrived pre/post-fiat metaphor, with extra speaker points. Rather than relying on Trifonas 03 as your ace in the hole, you should make arguments which actually explain why your criticism is a prior question to the hypothetical consequences of the 1AC. Many kritiks suffer from links which are overly generic and alternatives which are horribly convoluted. Remedy this by pulling specific lines from the Affirmative and by being able to provide an intelligible explanation of your alternative in CX. I'll vote on your silly K tricks (floating PIK, VTL > Extinction, Alt solves the case) just be prepared to defend them theoretically.

Performance/K Affs
I gave this topic a separate heading because it presents unique challenges that may raise more nuanced questions. I am fine with performances and non-topical positions; often they introduce very interesting discussions and literature bases into the round which might otherwise be over looked. I would prefer that your position be at least in the direction of the topic, but that’s no mandate. Please defend something tangible. By tangible I do not mean realistic (feel free to burn it down, just please do tell us what that means!), rather I ask that you defend a consistent position so your opponent can formulate a coherent strategy. I will vote on T. I think topical version of the Aff arguments are pretty close to being silver bullets, so be sure you are winning impact turns to topicality or some other offensive reason why the topical version of your position is bad.

I default to viewing theory as an issue of competing interpretations. To me this means that you need offense on theory to either beat it back, or, assuming you've justified it, gain access to an RVI. Offense on the theory flow can come in the form of turns to your opponent's standards or a counter interpretation with standards of its own. I do not believe that competing interpretations necessitates an explicit counter-interp. If you want to justify an alternate understanding of competing interpretations, go for it, just explain the effect it has on the theory debate. To me reasonability means that winning sufficient defense on your opponent's abuse story is enough to beat back theory. Again, if your understanding of reasonability differs from the above explanation, warrant it and impact it. I default to drop the debater and no RVIs. As mentioned above, you must have offense in order to access an RVI. I will not vote on the RVI + I meet double whammy or any similarly preposterous shenanigans.

I'll touch on the issue of "spikes" here because it fits more neatly under the theory heading than any other. I strongly dislike spike-heavy strategies that rely on deception and trickery to snag a few easy ballots. Please slow down for short spikes. Though not mandatory, it would be greatly appreciated if you numbered your spikes. If your 1AR is four minutes of extending 1AC blips, expect very poor speaks. I am extremely receptive to the argument that spikes needn't be answered until they are extended. I will not tolerate CX evasiveness about the implication of spikes. Answer your opponent's questions honestly or face the wrath of the loss 25.

Ethical Frameworks
I default to a paradigm of epistemic modesty where I assign offense credence to the extent that the framework it links back to is won. I do not view frameworks as being entirely preclusive impact filters. I find framework heavy strategies that concede the entirety of the opposing contention to be unpersuasive. I find framework heavy strategies to be more effective when coupled with case turns/case defense. If you are going to read a generic NC against a plan, please read a link specific to the plan just as you would for a DA or a Kritik.

Be comparative with warrants for your framework. Don't just insist that your framework justifications "come first", instead address the differences between your frameworks at the warrant level. I enjoy good framework clash and appreciate the strategic value of contesting framework.


My range is 25-30. An average performance will earn a 27. Good disclosure practices will earn you extra speaks (like a .5 boost or something).

Bennett Eckert Paradigm

6 rounds

Updated for Emory 2020.

Greenhill 2016
Northwestern 2020
I coach Greenhill. I'm conflicted from Harrison and ETHS.


Emory Updates

[1] Emory is my first tournament judging on this topic and I don't know any of the acronyms/details of the topic literature. You should say what any acronym means / stands for the first time you use it.

[2] Please slow down a little (especially in earlier rounds of the tournament).

[3] I think that many "phil" positions just straight up do not have a warrant and if I do not think that an argument has a warrant, I will not vote for it.

Things to know

[1] I do not flow author names.

[2] I have no interest in judging debates about bad theory arguments. I will not vote for exceptionally bad theory arguments. This doesn't apply to many arguments. Arguments that are fair game are CP theory, plans good/bad, some spec args, AFC good/bad, etc. Exceptionally bad arguments include but are not limited to: "neg may only make 2 arguments," "must spec CP status in speech," "must read an explicit standard text," "must contest the aff framework," and "must spec what you meant when you said 'competing interps.'" Good theory debates are awesome and fun to judge and strategic theory is fine, but theory debates about arguments this bad are honestly just not worth my time.

[3] I value explanation a lot. I vote aff in a lot of debates in which the neg goes for a ton of arguments, each of which could be a winning 2NR but end up getting very under-explained. I have also voted for a lot of debaters whose evidence is not amazing but who give very good explanations/spin for that evidence.

[4] I am unlikely to be convinced that something categorically outweighs something else (e.g. .01% risk of extinction outweighs, fairness outweighs everything no matter what, etc.). Your weighing arguments should be contextual/comparative.

[5] I really enjoy good T, policy-style, theory, and K v. policy aff debates. I think that most "phil" positions are bad philosophy and bad for debate. I like philosophy, but "phil" in LD is not that.

[6] I have voted for T/framework against K affs more often than I have voted against it. When I vote neg in T/FW debates, I normally vote on skills-type impacts and topic education impacts, and I almost never vote on "fairness is an intrinsic good." When I vote aff in these debates, I normally think that the aff has done something to mitigate the neg's impact (e.g. a counter-interpretation that solves, link/impact defense) and won a good-size piece of offense for their counter-interpretation. I think the aff in these debates needs to have a counter-interpretation and should prove that that counter-interpretation is better than the neg interpretation.

[7] I don't really understand most "high theory" arguments (Baudrillard, Bataille, Deleuze, etc.). The bar for explanation is pretty high.

[8] I am very unlikely to vote on a "risk of offense" argument on theory. The debater initiating theory has to generate a real/substantial advantage to their interpretation that I could describe without using the term "risk of offense".

[9] “Reasonability” means to me that the person answering theory need only meet a “reasonable” interpretation, rather than the optimal interpretation. “Reasonability” does not mean to me: “evaluate just whether our particular aff should be allowed,” “only demonstrated/in-round/whatever-you-call-it abuse matters,” or “we may ‘reasonably meet their interpretation.’”

I think that reasonability is most persuasive against theory arguments with a very small impact. The best arguments for reasonability argue that requiring debaters’ practices to meet a certain (reasonable) standard, rather than requiring them to meet the optimal standard, produces the best debates. Generic “competing interps is bad” arguments are not great args for reasonability.

[10] Please slow down on theory arguments, especially if you don't put them on their own pages.

[11] I'm not interested in listening to call-outs of or jabs at other schools, debaters, coaches, etc. E.g. I don't want to hear "[School X] always does this!" or "Of course [Debater Y] is going for [Argument A]!"

[12] You cannot "insert highlighting" or a list of what the aff defends. If either the warrant in a card is given by a chart/table or you want to insert a very long list, then you should at least describe what the chart/table says or identify the source of the list, what it's a list of, and that you'll defend it (respectively).

[13] I quickly get lost in debates that use the word "fiat" a lot. I don't think that the terms "pre-fiat" and "post-fiat" are very illuminating; it's not clear to me what they mean in most contexts or what the significance of supposed distinction between "pre-" and "post-fiat" is supposed to be. I also think that using the word "fiat" as a verb is obfuscatory in a lot of contexts; it's not clear to me that "fiatting" an action is anything over and above just saying that someone should do it. Relatedly, I don't think that "truth-testing" means the aff doesn't have to defend fiat or implementation. (This is largely because I don't know what "truth-testing" does to sidestep the justification for fiat, which comes from the word "ought" in the resolution.)

[14] Framework on both sides in K debates is often under-developed. K 2NR's that include a robust framework argument and explanation of how that includes the neg impacts and excludes weighing the case make it much easier to vote neg. Similarly, 2AR's on the K that include robust "exclusive plan focus good" or "let us weigh the case + case outweighs" arguments make it much easier to vote aff. When neither side clearly labels and develops a framework argument, I find it very difficult to piece these debates together/determine what each side thinks I should be evaluating in the debate.

[15] What is up with this sending cards in the body of the email thing? It is fine in principle to send cards in the body of the email. But if your opponent asks you to send them in a document instead, then you need to take your prep time to compile and send a speech doc (or if you are out of prep time, you should start your speech time to compile + send the doc).

Things About Cheating

[1] I think that evidence ethics matters regardless of whether an argument/ethics challenge is raised in the debate. If I notice that a piece of evidence is miscut, I will vote against the debater who reads the miscut evidence.

I think that a piece of evidence is miscut if:

  • it starts and/or ends in the middle of a sentence or paragraph.

  • text is missing from the middle of the card (replacing that text with an ellipsis does not make it okay),

  • the next paragraph or another part of the article explicitly contradicts the argument/claim made in the card,

  • the card is highlighted in a way that modifies or does not accurately represent the author’s claim [Be careful with brackets - I don’t think they always mean a card is miscut, but I’ve seen that they very often do. I think that brackets, more often than not, are bad - if a bracket changes the strength of a claim made by the author, or in some other way changes the *meaning* of the evidence, it is miscut] [also, I think that highlighting only part of a word is the same as bracketing - if you highlight only part of a word, then the word you read is not what the author wrote],

  • the cite lists the wrong author or article title (I hope to decide 0 debates this year on citations - I’ll only decide debates on them without challenges in the most egregious cases).

If I decide a debate on evidence ethics, I will let the debate finish as normal. If the debate is a prelim, I will decide speaks based on the content of the debate and subtract two speaker points from the debater that I vote against. If the debate is an elim, I will submit my ballot and won’t say anything about my decision until the debate is announced.

If both sides read miscut evidence, I will vote against the debater who read miscut evidence first. (I really don’t love this as a way to evaluate these debates, but the only comparable scenario that I can think of is clipping, and that’s how I would resolve those debates.)

I do not plan to go out of my way looking for miscut evidence or checking to see whether every card is cut correctly. If I do notice that something is miscut, I will vote against the debater who reads it regardless of whether a challenge is made.

Please do not hesitate to ask questions about this before the debate.

[2] If a debater says that a piece of evidence is miscut in round and their opponent clarifies that they are making an "evidence ethics challenge" (and the former person confirms that they want to make a challenge), the debate ends. I will read all of the relevant stuff and then make a decision. Whoever is correct on the evidence ethics challenge wins the debate. The loser will get the lowest speaks I can give.

In lieu of an evidence ethics challenge, I am also ok with asking your opponent to just strike the cards from the doc/cross them off the flow in cx and have the rest of the debate but calling a challenge if they refuse to do so (this is noble but not required). You could also make arguments about why misquoting is bad, but I'm compelled by a response that basically says "call an ethics challenge or don't make the argument; we'll stake the debate on it." Indeed, I think that if you make an evidence ethics argument, you should be willing to stake the debate on it. If you don't stake the round on it, you'll still win (if they committed the evidence ethics violation), but your speaks will be worse than they otherwise would have been.

[3] Clipping is cheating! I read along with most cards, and if I notice that someone is clipping, I'll vote against them and give them the lowest speaks that I can give. I will not stop the debate unless a challenge is made, but if I notice clipping, I will vote on it regardless of whether a challenge is made. For clipping challenges, I'll follow the same procedure that I follow with evidence ethics (above). A similar procedure that might be helpful to look at is written out more formulaically in the NDCA guidelines: <>. (The NDCA guidelines say that clipping has to be at least 5 words, but that seems to me like too many. Skipping ~3 words is definitely clipping, and skipping fewer (i.e. 1-2) is also bad and potentially a VI!)

Things I Won't Vote On

A prioris

Oppression good (if you concede that your position entails that oppression is good, then your position is that oppression is good)

Moral skepticism


Awful theory args


I will give speaks based on how well I think you should do at the tournament. I also give higher speaks to reward strategies and arguments that I think are good/enjoyable to listen to/generally fun.
Here's a rough scale of how I'll give speaks:

30 = you should win everything. I've given one 30 and one 29.9. I would have given a 30 to the person to whom I gave a 29.9 if they had put topicality in the 1NC.

29.5-29.9 = you should be in late elims

29-29.5 = you should clear

28.5-29 = you should be on the bubble

27.5-28.5 = average

26.5-27.5 = you made some important strategic errors/lacked a clear strategy

<26.5 = I found something about this debate very annoying

Average speaks by tournament this year:

Greenhill: 28.60

St. Mark's: 28.36

Apple Valley: 27.85

Glenbrooks: 27.87


Just disclose, ok? If you don't meet some minimum threshold for disclosure (the Greenhill tournament disclosure policy requires what I consider the minimum acceptable disclosure) and your opponent reads disclosure theory, then you're going to lose.

The aff must tell the neg what aff they're going to read unless it's a new aff.

At the Greenhill RR/tournament I am going to adjudicate disputes about the disclosure policy exclusively on the basis of who I think is correct. Both debaters can say their piece/explain the situation but I will not decide these disputes "on the flow." To be clear, I'll still evaluate arguments like "must disclose full text/open source/etc." like other normal theory arguments. But I will decide disputes about the disclosure policy such as those about: lying about what the aff said, whether someone didn't disclose tags/cites/whatever, whether someone waited too long to disclose, etc. based on what I think about the disclosure policy. I will not listen to debates about whether the disclosure policy matters/how it's worded/whether your school doesn't have a wiki (you should have foreseen this problem)/how bad the wifi is/etc. If you have questions about how I interpret the disclosure policy, feel free to ask me whenever.

The wiki goes down every year during the Greenhill tournament. When it does, both debaters should make an effort to contact each other to disclose.

People that have influenced my views on debate

Eli Smith

Rodrigo Paramo

Aaron Timmons

Marshall Thompson

Chris Theis

Jake Nebel

Katya Ehresman Paradigm

6 rounds

TLDR: I am pretty tab and will vote on anything so long as its not morally repugnant and you tell me why it matters.

I would like to be on the email chain; . please time yourselves, flashing isnt prep unless its egregious. Let me know what pronouns you use & pls abide be your opponents pronouns.

Extensions of an aff arent 'overviews to the 1ar'.. they are just on case.. you prob want me to extend them n the flow not in a clump... idk why this is a trend

on this - i tend to haave a higher threshold for extensions, you need a warrant and impact for me to vote on it.

If things get uncomfortable, you need to leave because of mental health/personal safety reasons etc. just message me or knock on the table & give me some look and you will be allowed to go get water/we can stop the round/whatever is best in that situation. Debate should be safe & accessible in order to get these ~portable skillz~ all the kids are talking about.

Short version: Give me some sort of framework to weigh offense under or tell me why the impacts that you are winning are the top layer and I will be happy. I try to do as little work for you as possible so if you didn’t do big picture analysis or weighing the I’ll have to cipher through flows to make a more arbitrary decision and then we are all sadbois. You can read anything you want, though I am probably better at evaluating K/Larp debates and worse at evaluating dense Phil/friv theory debates ~~~ do with that what you will. I care about how you treat one another in round so if you are being obnoxious or problematic in anyway to your opponent, I will start dropping your speaks and if its irredeemable then I won’t vote for you. *shrug emoji* If you are worried about your behavior then… err on the side of being nice?????

Long Version:

I think paradigms are supposed to be more like what sorts of strategies I like to see on each type of flow to help you W30 in front of me so these are things that make me very happy:


  • Great, love them
  • Pls win some sort of link or a reason why me voting for you matters & WARRANT it - I will probably call you on just regurgitating tags if that’s all you do for extensions.. do work please
  • Performance is fine, the resolution isn’t always necessary as a stasis point if you tell me why - but I don’t have a default on this.
  • PIKs are fine, be clear on what exactly you (my ballot) is solving for
    • Subsequently I can be persuaded by PIKs bad, again just warrant it and do top level weighing

K affs:

  • Again, love these! Read a wide spectrum of them myself.
  • Apply strategy/framing issues from the K section here too
  • Win why either talking about the topic is bad, your approach to talking about the topic is better, why your method or approach is good etc. and importantly what happens when I sign aff on the ballot.
  • Don’t shy away from your off in the 1AR - a big pet peeve of mine is when debaters invest a lot of work into a solid K aff that has warrants about why your pedagogy or performance comes first and then you kick it and go for theory or barely extend it and the round comes down to the neg flows… don’t be like this


  • This is great, I love this - go for whatever you feel like/want, make the round your own - again just warrant why its important and importantly what my role in endorsing your performance is/why the round is important for this medium.


  • Great, some of my favorite debates are really good topical, substantive larpy rounds
  • Give me clear impact calculus/ an internal link story
  • I don’t think there are really many paradigm issues surrounding DAs normally… ask me whatever


  • Great and super strategic
  • CP/Pic theory also viable - I don’t really have a default on pics good/bad but am probably persuaded that its good to test the policy of the aff from different angles
  • Analytic, actor, delay etc. Cps are fine - just warrant solvency & competitiveness and give me some sort of net benefit to your world
  • This is true with DAs too but try to give me some comparative worlds weighing, again - tell me where & why to vote


  • Have a low threshold for frivolous theory, would prefer people to just have substantive debate but I am very receptive to engagement and in round abuse preventing topical clash
  • Just warrant an abuse story
  • Go slow on interps


  • very open to this
  • If you’re hitting a k aff then try to weigh offense from the shell under the k fw - do interactions or clear layering, these debates get v messy v quick


  • Slow down a bit on long analytic dumps
  • Err towards over-explaining phil warrants


  • Go as fast as you want but emphasize clarity
  • I give speaks based off of strategy not speaking quality but strategy requires me to flow it and so clarity is somewhat necessary for that
  • I will tank your speaks if you are rude, aggressive, say something morally repugnant, demeaning to your opponent etc. so pls don’t do this

Sean Fahey Paradigm

5 rounds

Benjamin Franklin ‘16, Tulane ‘20
Current Conflicts: The Brentwood School, Cypress Falls RK

Email: (please put me on email chains and feel free to email me questions)

I debated for 4 years at Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans, LA. I competed at the TOC twice and got to finals of the CFL National Tournament my senior year.

In the past my paradigm has been very long and detailed, but I haven’t ever gotten any sense that that has lead to better rounds or better adaptation in front of me, so I’ve decided to keep it short and sweet.

I’m open to all argumentation and speed (clear speed, that is - I will shout clear). I like in-depth debates that emphasize critical and comparative analysis of evidence. Just reading a card is not really an argument to me, rebuttals need to have a clear, full extension of the arguments presented in your evidence and my willingness to evaluate extensions that are just reiterations of the tagline and author name is very small and defers how I evaluate that evidence to my discretion. This should also flag to you that I’m not a huge fan of blippy styles of argumentation, while debate is - in some sense - a game/competitive activity, I’d rather evaluate a somewhat scholastic engagement of ideas.

I think I’m generally very tab with my decisions but everyone says that and it kinda means nothing. That said, hateful/oppressive discourse is not my forte and I’m likely to punish this sort of discourse with my ballot decision and RFD.

In the past I have said I will hack for disclosure, but that is not true. I think open source disclosure is a very good thing and I find most attempts to avoid this norm as unpersuasive. That said, I have voted against disclosure theory many times on impact turns to fairness or transparency, given those arguments are won on the flow, of course. I think reading disclosure theory against debaters clearly out of the national circuit loop is pretty unkind and often voids engagement, so please don’t. That said, I think reading disclosure theory against novices/early varsity members of large programs on the wiki is acceptable because their coaches should tell them to do so/do so for them (especially if the rest of the team discloses) and sometimes these debates are the only way for people to learn.

In the same vein as my policy on disclosure theory, please do not spread out debaters who clearly can not spread. You can still win this way if you're really that much of a tryhard, but I will decimate your speaks because you're being an asshole. Be considerate and inclusive.

In the past I have said what I default to in terms of paradigms for theory and framework, but I’ve come to view this norm as assiduous and incentivizes lazy debating. You should have to justify everything necessary for you to win and if there’s any confusion, my RFD should clarify.

I usually flow CX. I like well-used CX time.

Please show down for plan texts, CP texts, theory interpretations, perm texts, or anything that has precise value in its wording.

I don’t disclose speaker points, but I’m definitely kind of a point fairy compared to others with similar judging experience.

Idk when it took so long to send an email, y’all should get better at this. I won’t count it as prep because there are often legitimate wifi issues at tournaments, but I’d really prefer it if you could handle ALL document creation in prep (organization and properly saving the doc) such that once you end prep you can begin your speech within a minute.

Because I think this is all people really care about now, here’s a few dispositions that I think will help pref if you’ve made it this far:

  • I’m 50-50 on Framework v Non-T affs and not necessarily because of my personal opinions on the matter.
  • I think fairness and education are voters in no particular order, I look at these issues similar to how epistemic modesty views ethical frameworks.
  • That said, I think epistemic modesty, as it is generally used, is pretty nonsensical. Don’t really understand weighing a deontic violation against a risk of an impact.
  • I think K affs should do something or place some theoretical weight in the act of affirmation. Pessimism based affs with no clear solvency mechanism (or definition of what solvency is in the eyes of the affirmative position) generally seem to be negative presumption arguments in my mind. Feel free to change my mind on this point. I’ve seen exceptions to this.
  • Please explain your permutations by illustrating a clear picture of the world it supposes.
  • Finally, can’t believe I have to say this, if you extend an impact you gotta weigh that shit. Don’t presume that I think extinction is worse than genocide, war, etc. because - tbh - I probably don’t.
  • I know I’m young and edgy and I think it’s cool to have passion for your positions, but try and be nice and accessible and use swear words tastefully (if one can imagine such a concept).
  • If I don’t get a real good explanation of the alternative and how it functions in the 2NR, I probably won’t vote for your K.
  • Asinine theory follows the pornography rule for me, you know it when you see and I reserve the right to make that determination and make my decision through that lens.
  • Have fun, take it easy, and make some jokes or something - your debate career is too short to take it too seriously.

Adegoke Fakorede Paradigm

4 rounds

I have debated in Lincoln-Douglas Debate for 4 years in Science park high school. I recently graduated and I am now on the Rutgers Newark debate team. I've qualified to the TOC in both Lincoln-Douglas and Policy debate my senior Year.

I am ok with speed. I love k's and critical arguments when they are ran correctly.

Theory is fine with me as well as topicality but I need really good analysis on the violation and impacts back to standards.

Im really ok with any argument that isn't racist, sexist, or offensive in anyway.

I give high speaks if you are clear and really good in the big picture debate. I like a good story.

email is: for email chains

Danny Frank-Siegel Paradigm

5 rounds

Apple Valley 2019 update

This will be my first tournament judging this year. Do not let this deter you from doing you. It just means you should ease me into your speed and write my ballot really clearly in your last speech. I will reward this with good speaks. Tell me a story. I like judging good high level debates, but if you’re not doing what you do best and telling a clear story I can’t do that. Most of this paradigm still applies, just ask for clarification pre round.


I enjoy a good K debate but I don't hack for the K. I don't love tricks as an argument style but a well explained trick can be fun to judge. When its frivolous I have a hard time buying theory, but will evaluate the debate nonetheless. Over the course of one tournament (Valley) I voted for the indexes a priori, Baudrillard, Kant, a LARP aff, and theory. If any of those things sound like arguments you read and you HAVE CONFIDENCE THAT YOU CAN EXPLAIN WELL ENOUGH TO ME TO WARRANT MY BALLOT then pref me. If you do not believe you can have a good and nuanced debate where you explain the intricacies of your position to me, do not pref me highly, because when you don't explain things and your opponent does you will lose me quickly. The only exception to this is explicitly violent language, which I will not take kindly to/intervene against in extreme instances. This is the only scenario in which I will intervene. You can read the rest of my paradigm if you want to (if you are a theory debater trying to make a judgement call on whether to put me at a 1,2, or 3, you may want to read the TJFs/ Sliding Scale section below), because I do go more in depth on some things. But this should be the size of it.

Extra note: if you are debating a novice/debater without a lot of circuit experience, I won't force you to adapt to them, but an attempt to make the debate more accessible (this can look like slowing down, intentionally being forthcoming in cross, reading a position that is engagable, editing your case so that it can be read in an accessible way) I will bump speaks a bit.


Plant ontology is a true arg. But so is T. Here we go...

tl;dr: do you.

I really don't care what you do. I'm good for all of it. As long as you are not actively offensive in the round. If you are/if someone asks you to stop doing something they perceive as violent and you blow it off/do not make an effort to change your behavior I will take your speaks I would've given, subtract 4, assign your speaks that number, and then wait that many seconds to talk to your coach after the round.

My Preferences/Things you should know about me:

-My pronouns are he/him. I will ask for your pronouns before the round (if I forget please remind me!). That is the most I will ask you to disclose about your personal identity unless you choose to do so later in the round. You do not have to tell me anything about yourself you don't want to.

-I'm kind of a point fairy in LD and more of a stickler in policy. I try to match my speaks to the average I perceive on the circuit.

-I judge a lot of theory debates but I don't love them. I'd much prefer to watch a K vs. K aff round. But since I keep getting preffed by theory kids I guess I'm ok for the theory debate tho. I'm even starting to enjoy watching good debaters go for theory...? But only when its done very well and not frivolous.

-If you read bad theory in front of me (I know this is arbitrary, but I tend to believe that most debaters know what this means and choose to ignore it.) and the other debater tells me to gut check it in any way shape or form, hold this L real quick.

-I will not vote on permissibility skep or any argument akin to "moral decisions are irrelevant," that is explained as "the holocaust/slavery could be good bc everything is true!!1!"

-If you are reading a strategy that doesn't make its arguments until the 1AR (ie you are spamming a speech doc with incoherent cards knowing the only one that matters starts with an R and ends with an odl) you and I will not get along. I'll vote for it if you're winning it, but I'll be unhappy. Caveat: if you're debating a novice/someone without much debate experience and your 1AR is all tricks, yes I'm giving the NR leeway.

-I cuss. A lot. Sorry in advance (and if you are legitimately uncomfortable let me know and I will control my language).

-Albums I'm listening to a lot of right now include but are not limited to: Astral Weeks by Van Morrison, Live in Amsterdam by Phish, Teenage Dreaming by Stranded Civilians (relatively short EP, very worth the listen!!), Close to the Edge by Yes, 10 Day by Chance the Rapper, Blue by Joni Mitchell. If you arrive early to a round and have music recommendations for me I will massively appreciate it :)


I did policy. I'll listen to your LARP args. Specificity on Politics links is usually where I end up pulling the trigger one direction or the other because most of the time they are either the best card in the DA or the worst card in the DA.

Consult/Process/Delay CPs are cheating, but strategic cheating that you have every right to run. But the more unfair your CP the less likely I am to vote against an equally unfair perm.

Idk how I feel about judge kick. I don't love it in theory, but I also don't know how it would interact with flipping the direction of presumption, so just if you want me to do it make the argument in round.


Not super familiar with a lot of super dense philosophy. That said, if you tell me what your offense is and why I care clearly in the last speech you've got my ballot. If my lack of philosophical knowledge is a hindrance to you winning, hinder that hindrance by being clear, making sense, impacting, and explaining (see Kant joke I'm doing my best to accommodate you phil hacks). I'm slowly but surely taking more phil classes in college so my knowledge base has broadened somewhat, but still, explain it to me and we'll all be happy.

Policy framework

It makes the game work. That said, I HATE listening to bad framework debates. If I can tell you're reading someone else's prewritten backfiles and you aren't doing it well speaks won't be great. If I can identify the person who wrote your prewritten backfile I will rate how much I like that person on a scale from 1-10 and give you that many speaks. I hate listening to prescripted crappy framework debates.


Watching LASA MS go for framework honestly was one of my favorite things to do, even though I usually ran things on the other side of it. Seriously framework can be an art form.


T is a procedural and gets evaluated first, but if there is no analysis done beyond your generic blocks I'm gonna be sad and you will too when you see your speaks. Competing interps is my default, but I can be swayed otherwise easily. I try to only evaluate what's in the round. If the aff isn't topical read T. But after the 3rd or so T interp I/We meets become reasonable to me quickly... take that as you will.


Frivolous theory makes me sad but some theory is a necessary evil. That is about as straightforward as I can say. I will listen to your theory shell. But a counter interp explaining why your interp is absurd and your abuse scenario is contrived is gonna make you sad if you are reading a frivolous shell. That said, watching a good theory debater go to work is a thing of beauty and I guess I'll watch and evaluate as such. Side note: I don't understand the obsession with the counter interp "I defend the converse of the interp." It makes it harder for me as a judge to decide these debates because sometimes I have a tough time figuring out what the world of the counterinterp looks like. It also generally lets the person making the counterinterp shift a lot, which seems pretty unfair. I'll listen to the argument, but if your opponent calls you on it, it seems pretty tough to theoretically defend.


I actually find these very convincing when deployed alongside a traditional util framework, and I think that these are a good way for LARP debaters to have a leg to stand on against unfamiliar phil positions full of tricks or Ks that you aren't familiar with. Do I think there's a theory debate to be had over them? Sure. Is it a debate I'm willing to listen to because I think these are a good practice, but there is plenty of theoretical reasons as to why they aren't? Totally. This is also how I approach most theory issues. I will do my best to do due diligence to both positions and hear them out, and legitimately want to hear the theoretical debate about practices that may be a gray area.

Sliding Scale (the shells listed in each section are examples of the stuff I'd put in each category):

Theory I like/would not mind hearing a debate about:

-TJFs Good/Bad

-Disclosure (with MATERIAL evidence proving a violation- I won't vote on something I can't confirm)

-The neg may not read a preclusive theory shell and read multiple counterplans that include the aff (this is an example of how a 1AR theory interp against an abusive neg strategy that would fare well in front of me would look).

Theory I don't like/Will begrudgingly listen to:

-ROB spec (this serves the purpose of policy framework on topics without an agent in my mind)


-Ridiculous spec args (Reporter Spec was not quite in this category in my mind, but it was close. That should tell you what you need to know about this)

Theory I will gut check as soon as one side tells me to:


-must say "bracketed" when reading bracketed card ie just noting it isn't enough (bracket theory can be in any one of these three categories depending on the context, but this version will almost always be here)

-must spec status in the speech

-all neg theory are counterinterps so they must win an RVI to be offensive

One final theory note: I'll vote on any theory, this is just a scale detailing the level of work you will have to do to make me want to consider pulling the trigger for you. Feel free to facebook message me/ask me at a tournament any questions about this scale.


This is my bread and butter, but if its not yours, DON'T DO IT!!! If you know DnG like the back of your hand I'll listen to whatever you have to say about God being a lobster and Rhizomes (but the mitochondria is still the powerhouse of the cell). Even just a well executed cap K or security K is dope. But if you get up there and say "his paradigm said read Ks Imma do the thing now" and have no idea whats going on all of us will be sad. So I'll reiterate. Do you. Not what you think I want to see. Performance is also really fun to judge, but make sure you're explaining and implicating well.

Arguments I like

- Delay CP

- Ship of Theseus procedural

- RodlRodlRodlRodlRodlRodl

- time cube

- thyme cube

- aspec/ospec double bind

- fiat double bind

- Antonio 95

Arguments I don't like

- true ones

- sarcasm bad


Triadica Sebifera.

Sunil Gedela Paradigm

4 rounds

Updated 25 August 2019

TL;DR: Parent judge (arghh/ yipeee/ whatever-you-feel). I am able to flow most common types of args (but not dense phil/Ks) delivered at normal speed. I value logical args/ rebuttals, even if purely analytical.

Spreading: I will likely miss some args but will do my best to follow along with any speech docs you share. I strongly recommend you slow down for your tags and crucial points, especially if extemporaneous. Do signpost.

Case Debate: I expect a basic level of case debate in addition to whatever else you may choose to run.

Theory: I am unlikely to view it favorably unless you can show a timely pre-round good faith effort to avoid citing the violation in question. Unless it is a completely unexpected/ egregious in-round violation, the burden is on you to have engaged in pre-round communications if it could have voided the need for a theory debate.

Warrants: Incontrovertible, objective, data based cards are more potent than opinions/ claims. If I call for a card, I am also checking the text you minimized/ did not read.

ROB/ ROJ: Unless proven otherwise, all args will be viewed as a strategy to win a HS debate round and not as an altruistic endeavor to effect societal/ policy change.

Trent Gilbert Paradigm

6 rounds

For when you inevitably ask for my email for the email chain, my email is


Stanford University '21
Valley HS '17
Conflicts: Valley HS, Southwoods HS

I debated LD for 5 years and coached for 2 years at West Des Moines Valley High School. During my time as a debater, I attended the TOC my sophomore, junior and senior year and attended Nationals my freshman, sophomore, junior and senior year. I acquired 12 bids total during my career, cleared at the TOC my senior year, and was awarded ninth at Nationals my senior year. I've also worked at NSD, TDC, and VBI as an instructor.

If I had to guess, I think I probably approach rounds most similarly to TJ Foley, Leah Shapiro, Evan McKinney, and Jason Smith since they all influenced my understanding of debate in some way. Evan and TJ because we were pretty close teammates that prepped together and debated similarly, Leah because she was most involved in helping me prep my Junior and Senior Year/influenced my strategic vision a ton and Jason because he had a consistent presence in my career as a debater (and even as a coach). Dave McGinnis and Christian Tarsney also had an incredibly formative influence on myself as a debater (and person), though I think I probably approach theory debates slightly differently than they do.


I will evaluate any arguments you make in the round so long as they are not blatantly offensive. I have found that I am often more compelled to vote on line-by-line comparison in rounds rather than overviews that are not directly implicated as responses to arguments on the flow. That said, an overview clarifying the way line-by-line argumentation functions in the context of the round as a whole generally makes it a lot more clear for me on how to evaluate certain arguments.

It was really maddening to me when a judge didn't seem to care about making the correct decision, so please know I'll make my best attempt to fairly and accurately judge your round. I'm okay with you asking me questions after the round about my decision so long as they don't hold up the tournament and your questions don't become insulting to me or your opponent.

UPDATE: I guess I will also add here that I've decided I will no longer intervene against any theory (yes, this does mean I will vote on disclosure theory, an update from my initial paradigm)— this is not to say I'd like to hear either disclosure theory or brackets theory though, and you'll be quite displeased by the speaks you receive if you go for disclosure or brackets bad and really didn't need to.


I will try to default on paradigmatic issues to what's assumed by the debaters (for example, if no one reads a fairness voter, but both debaters talk about fairness like its an end goal, I'll evaluate the round with the assumption that fairness is a voter. To clarify, though, I won't assume fairness is a voter if one debater contests whether or not it is and points out that no fairness voter was read). I also will evaluate internal links on standards if they are embedded implicitly (within reason) to the standard.

If no one seems to take a stance on any issue, here are my defaults:
1) I default to fairness and education are voters.
2) I default to drop the argument.
3) I default to no RVIs (and that you need to win a counterinterp to win with an RVI)
4) I default to competing interpretations. With that said, I will assume the counterinterp is the converse of the interpretation even if no counterinterp is explicitly read. I think this avoids the regressive theory trick about needing a counterinterp to win under competing interps and also makes the round possible to resolve in a muddled theory debate.
5) I default to metatheory comes before other theory.
6) I default to T and theory being on the same layer.

Trust me, though; you should address paradigmatic questions if they're of even vague relevance. If I'm in a situation where I have to default, I'll be pretty frustrated.

A few more things you should be cognizant of:

1) I am not the best at flowing- I catch the majority of arguments made but usually not all of them. if you are reading a dense position filled with analytics and particularly theory, I recommend slowing down. Also, for very technical debates it is best to signpost clearly (it's maddening when I'm trying to flow a speech and I realize the debater suddenly started talking about another layer of the flow without telling me). If you don't do this, there is a decent chance I will miss a few of your arguments.
2) While I read mostly framework heavy positions as a debater, this does not mean I will automatically understand your position- I expect you to make your framework clear enough to me in rebuttals that I feel comfortable explaining the ballot story after the round.
3) When reading Kritiks, it's best to have a well-explained ballot story. I think Kritiks that are well executed are often very compelling, but often Kritiks go poorly explained. Also keep in mind that I probably will not be up to date about the latest norms tied to critical debate and most definitely won't extrapolate implications from your Kritik that weren't explicitly stated in the round, and I've found this particularly applies in reference to pre-fiat implications of a K that are either not explained or barely explained (consistent with my general interpretation of arguments).
4) I rarely took the more than 3-off approach when negating as a debater, but that isn't to say I don't appreciate general LARPy tendencies. I think disads that are pretty specific to the topic with unique impacting that isn't strictly utilitarian are pretty strategic and of course T is a great strategy as well.
5) This is tied in with the don't be offensive part of my paradigm, but I won't vote on anything advocating the exclusion of a certain member of the community (this includes your opponent, your opponent's coach, Dave McGinnis, and anyone else in the community). It will make me particularly unlikely to vote for you as well.

Beyond this, feel free to ask me questions before the round.

Paul Gravley Paradigm

5 rounds

I coach Northland Christian.

Some thoughts:

Please justify a role-of-the-ballot argument (standard, criteria, ROB, ROJ, all fine, just justify it)

Evidence Ethics (and decorum) matter. If there is an evidence-ethics/cheating claim, I will stop the debate immediately. If I believe there is a violation, I will award the accusing debater with a win. I will then immediately contact tab and let them know what I have done. All challenges are then up to the tournament process.

I prefer and believe I am best at evaluating util/policy-style debates. Plans, CP's, Disads, all good.

I like the K debate. I am not well-read in Deleuze or Butler. I am fairly well read in Marx, Wilderson, Curry, and bell hooks. I am very well read in Cone, Augustine, Aquinas, and Wesley. These are not exhaustive lists.

I see theory/Topicality as a matter of competing interps. I am more inclined to buy reasonability arguments on Theory than T.

The K vs Theory debate is interesting. Be clear on in-round implications when impacting out this debate.

I'm probably not your best judge if your strategy is tricks.

Performance arguments are fine. See ROB caveat above.

Speed is fine. Clarity is better. Please make sure I know where a tag starts and a card ends.

I want to be on the email-chain (if the tournament is cool with it). paul DOT gravley AT gmail DOT com

Kelli Grimes Baggett Paradigm

6 rounds

I would still consider myself a lay judge although I am entering my second year of coaching at Montgomery High School in Montgomery, Texas. I have no prior debate experience but do have ample experience in theatre. I love to learn and am ecstatic about being a part of the debate world this 2019 - 2020.

I prefer that you adapt to my needs as a lay judge. Please do not spread!

I need you to articulate your arguments clearly and at a speed that I can keep up with. I value your ability to create intelligent and supportive arguments but love to actively listen and experience someone who is truly passionate about what they are presenting.

Ursula Gruber Paradigm

4 rounds


If you seem like you are having fun and maintaining civility, I will listen to pretty much any argument that isn't intentionally obnoxious or repugnant (death good, racial equity bad, etc.). I prefer lines of argument that don't rely on nuclear war or extinction, but if your case is strong, go for it.

Clash and analysis are key. Use your case to analyze and refute your opponent's arguments. Don't just toss out cards; explain WHY and HOW. If your logic/reasoning is sound, you don't need to extend every card to win. I prefer strategic condensing over shallow line by line rebuttal.

I thoroughly enjoy critical debate. I think it fits super well with the intent of LD. Logic must be sound and you MUST use the conceptual framework of your K as the basis for your argumentation (i.e. don't read "We can't draw conceptual lines between people," and then respond to case with phrases like "those people")

Make sure you weigh your impacts for me. I may have a different perspective so if you don't make the weighing explicit, you are leaving it up to my interpretation. This includes ROBs, etc.

I expect timers and flashing to work without much delay. Having issues more than once in a round will lose speaks.

My speaks start at 28 for circuit tournaments. I'll dock a varsity debater more often for nonsense or rudeness than a JV debater. Making me laugh is a good way to bump up your points. Enunciation is also a bonus.

CX is important and ought to be used for more than just clarification questions. Don't be rude or talk over each other, especially if you are up against a less experienced debater. I will dock points for badgering novices.


I don't mind speed, as long as you are clear. I will only call "clear" twice in a varsity round. Taglines, authors, and card interp should be noticeably slower. It is up to the speaker to communicate their arguments and be aware of the audience's attention level.


I evaluate the full participation of the chamber, from docket maneuvers to quality and variety of questions. Successful legislators are those who drive the debate, present new/unique arguments, extend/refute/deepen previous arguments, choose sources carefully, and use parliamentary procedure appropriately. Debate on the merits/flaws of the specific legislation is given more weight than general issue arguments. Delivery style can enhance the persuasiveness of your analysis, but will not make up for canned speeches, poor supporting materials, or rehashed arguments.

POs are an essential part of the chamber. They set the mood, pace, and attitude of the chamber. It is a risk, and that is taken to account when I score. POs with a good pace and no major errors are very likely to be ranked.

Note on authorships/first pros: The price for establishing recency is that your speech must provide some background for the debate and at least one reason why this legislation in particular is/is not the answer.


The purpose of evidence in all forms of debate is to support your arguments with expert testimony, not to BE your arguments. I will only ask for cards if something sounds exceptionally wonky. Have some understanding of the bias of your sources (Are they all from conservative think tanks?, etc.). It is generally up to your opponent(s) to point out blatantly wrong evidence, but I will dock for egregious offenses.

Nicky Halterman Paradigm

2 rounds

Not Submitted

Kenneth Harris Paradigm

5 rounds

First and foremost, let me explain my view of any debate I am asked to adjudicate. Ultimately, I have a ballot and it is your (or your team's) job to convince me why I should sign the ballot in favor of the arguments you presented. I believe the role of framework and techne is merely a means to that end. Therefore, it is up to the debaters to justify their framework and their arguments within the round. I try my absolute best to be objective in this respect, despite my previous experience with certain forms of debate. For me, my decision will always come down to who I feel most persuaded by. Truth over tech. In terms of tech, I find myself closest to an offense/defense type of paradigm.

Also, an argument has:

A claim (what is true?)

A warrant (why is it true?)

An impact (why does it matter?)

I don't care if your opponent dropped the argument, especially if it was already lacking one of these components. You still need to extend each of these components (especially the impacts) to fully extend the argument. Telling me there's a line-by-line drop in 5-10 seconds is not persuasive.

Likewise, having a "card" for an argument does not justify the argument. Analytics can be just as good as evidence for warrants. In any debate, I highly value specific and in depth evidence/argument analysis over the amount of cards/arguments one team may have.

Speed - As much as I did it in my career, I find speed reading to be one of the least persuasive things we do in debate. I believe there's an argument for the virtue of speed reading as a talent, but in terms of debate I believe how it is deployed as a tool of rhetoric is important. Going fast does not excuse good argumentation or persuasion, and certainly does not impress me in terms of speaker points or argumentation. If you spread too fast through your analytic/theory arguments, I will not flow them or give them to you just because you put them in a speech document.

I especially am against speed reading and defenses of speed reading that are meant to be exclusionary. Obviously a words per minute line pretty easily escapes us, but you know when you're "spreading" and being a good debater ought to mean exercising the interpersonal skill of speaking to different audiences, whether they be your judge, opponents, or spectators. You will not win arguments you obviously went for in an attempt to outspread your opponent. If someone you are debating has difficulty with your level of speed, you need to adjust. If you don't, you will lose.

Policy Debate

I was a policy style debater for all 4 years in high school at Park Hill South in Kansas City, MO. In college, I have competed on and off since 2013 for the University of Oklahoma and the University of Missouri-Kansas City where I switched to being exclusively a K debater. In terms of judging, I have no preference for the style of argumentation, as long as it is done well.

// Will finish at a later date //

Lincoln Douglas Debate

I only sparingly competed in LD in high school, and never did in college. However, since my first year out I have frequently judged HOA regional tournaments in Kansas City, and since my 3rd year out annually have judged the HOA NSDA district qualifier. I have had my fair share of judging traditional value-clash debates over the past 5 years, and have judged alternative forms of LD at these tournaments and at various regionals in Oklahoma.

Again, refer to my general philosophy at the top. I see value/value-criterion, or offense/defense, or whatever the framework may be as a tool of persuasion. Therefore you must justify your frame within the round. Why ought we view the debate using certain values? Why does that matter? Why should we look at other consequences instead? I see Lincoln Douglas as more resolution centered than affirmative case centered, and it no doubt is because of where I am from, but I am more than open to persuasion. Either way, I believe your rebuttals still need to answer the question of why it matters and why it means you have earned the ballot.

For value/value criterion debates - I believe value clash is usually more important than the direct clash between contentions. If your contentions don't align and support the framework of your value/criterion then your case will likely be less persuasive to me. I see contention clash as a way to test the validity of their claims, or to argue which contentions matter more. However, that should ultimately be done in the context of why your values are a better way to approach the resolutional question.

For all debates - As I said I am predisposed to center the debate around aff/neg to the resolution theoretically. Therefore, I believe interpreting the resolution is very important. This doesn't mean adjust to me by filling your case with definitions. This does mean that I am willing to hear arguments based on differing interpretations of the resolution and which I should prefer. This could mean specific definitions, it could also mean defining the ground/burdens that each side has. Even if your framework argues the resolution as an abstract statement matters little, your case ought to have an opinion of the topic.

Rebuttal speeches - In my mind these speeches are about boiling down the round to a few major points. The mark of a good rebuttal is one that correctly identifies their strongest arguments, and considers them/weighs them against their opponents strongest arguments. "Conceding" a line by line argument or a contention doesn't mean anything unless it was already a strong argument and your opponent mishandled it. Even if I give you that conceding the argument means I should give you 99% credibility on it, why does that matter in the grand scheme of things? You never win every single argument in the debate. Rebuttals are about identifying where you're ahead and behind, maximizing where you're ahead, and convincing me why you have won the debate. If you need to flag these arguments as "voters", that's fine. Either way, you should make it apparent to me which argument you're going for and why it outweighs your opponent's best offense (why it matters more than your opponents best argument).

Also, I believe that their should not be brand new arguments in rebuttals. The only exception would be if the rebuttal happened to be the first opportunity a debater had to respond to an argument. This doesn't apply to more relevant evidence, or a different explanation of an earlier argument. A new argument to me is one that conceptually is unique to anything already on the flow.

As a general note, my background has left me obviously inexperienced with certain forms of LD jargon/structure. I can handle most of the styles that are similar to policy, but keep that in mind if I start to look at you funny after a tag line or something. Either way I'm much more concerned with the strength and persuasiveness of your arguments. Jargon is for flags and flowing, it's not persuasive.

Miguel Harvey Paradigm

6 rounds

I am a parent, and I am a judge. That makes me a parent judge. I have cranky dad energy. If you don't like parent judges, auto-strike.

TLDR: If you or your coach are a person who post-rounds after losses, please know in advance that I am an extreme lay judge and strike/block me forever. I don't want to have fights with you or your insufferable 19 year-old coach. Also I'm fine with most (not all) things, including arguments that say the things I'm fine with *aren't* ok. I don't default one way or another on most arguments. Don't be argumentatively or personally abusive. Don't insult my (admittedly limited) intelligence. I will intervene against bigotry and disregard for others' physical and mental wellness. Tricks and excessive preempts/triggers piss me off. For email chain

LARP/1-off (setcol, cap, ap, etc)/tfw: 1

topicality/1nc non-friv theory/softleft: 1/2

most K/high theory/performance: 2

pomo/semio: 2-3

phil/heavy fw: 3

friv theory: 4

tricks: strike

Long version:

Generally, I don't think it's my job to tell debaters what to do; rather, it's the job of the debaters to tell me why to vote a certain way.

Debaters shouldn't lie or act like jerks. While I get that debate is ostensibly a competitive activity and can get very intense, this is supposed to be educational, good-spirited, and fun. Personal abuse, harassment, or competitive dishonesty of any kind is strictly unacceptable. I don't like to intervene, but blatantly oppressive/bigoted speech or behavior will make me consider voting against a debater whether or not the issue is raised by their opponent. If a debater asks you to respect and use preferred pronouns/names, I will expect you to do so. If your argument contains graphic depictions of racial, sexual, or otherwise marginalizing violence, and there's even a slight question as to whether it might be a trigger, please notify your opponent. Blatant evidence ethics violations such as clipping count as "lying" and are an auto-voter. I consider bullying nontechnical debaters a violation of the "shouldn't act like jerks" maxim. Stop yelling at each other.

Our community and the individual people in it are deeply important to me. Please do your part to make debate safe and welcoming for competitors, judges, coaches, family members, and friends. I'm not so completely naive to think everything is fluffy bunnies and we'll all be best friends forever after every round, but I really do believe this activity can be a place where we lift each other up, learn from our experiences, and become better people. If you're reading this, I care about you. I hope your participation in debate reflects both self-care and care for others.

(cw: self-harm)

Mental and emotional well-being are at a crisis point in society, and particularly within our activity. We have all lost friends and colleagues to burnout, breakdown, and at worst, self-harm. If you are debating in front of me, and contribute to societal stigmas surrounding mental health or belittle/bully your opponent in any way that is related to their emotional state or personal struggles with mental wellness, you will lose with minimum speaks. I can't make that any more clear. If you are presenting arguments related to suicide, depression, or self-harm, you must give a content warning for my sake and for your opponent's. I am not flexible on this.


Speaks: You're probably not going to get a 30. I tend to start at 28 and work my way up or down. If you get a 26 or below, you likely did something bigoted/abusive. I usually range between 27 and the low 29s. I'm a little more generous in PF and at locals. I will dock you hard if you make the space unsafe, particularly for women, gender/sexual minorities, disabled or differently abled debaters, and debaters of color.

Speed: Fine, though I love and prioritize clarity. If you are not clear, I will say "clear" once. I like speed to be consistent between reading and extemping, but whatever you do you. If you won't flash or email docs, maybe slow down for tags for my sake and for your opponent's sake.

Kritik: Fine. I have a basic understanding of most of the literature. Explain why I should vote. Your arguments need to be coherent and well-reasoned.

Theory/T: Fine, including 1AR theory. Just like with any other winning argument, I tend to look for some sort of offense in order to vote on either side. I don't default to drop the debater or argument. My abuse threshold on friv shells is much higher. An exception to me voting on friv theory is that I will not ever vote for a shell that polices debaters' appearance, including their clothes, footwear, hair, presentation, or anything else you can think of (unless their appearance is itself violent). I'll have a fairly high threshold on a strict "you don't meet" T argument against an extremely common aff. One more thing - all voters and standards should be warranted. I get annoyed by "T is a voter because fairness and education" without a reason why those two things make T a voter. I don't care if it's obvious.

Frameworks: Fine with traditional (stock or V/C), policy-oriented, phil, critical frameworks, performance, narratives. While I don't think you have to have your own framework per se, I find it pretty curious when a debater reads one and then just abandons it in favor of traditional util weighing. I hate framing that is abusive for abuse's sake, like "the aff/neg must win every round." An example of this is the boneheaded a priori that says "Resolved" means the resolution has already been affirmed. I'm the worst person to pref if you are a tricks debater.

LARP: Fine. Plans, counterplans, PICs, PIKs, disads, solvency dumps, whatever. Argue it well and it's fine. I don't think making something a floating PIK necessarily gets rid of competition problems; it has to be reasoned well. I'm skeptical of severance perms and will have to be convinced. To the extent that anyone prefs me, and you shouldn't, I don't understand why more LARPers don't pref me.

Condo: Fine, although I don't think all conceded offense on kicked arguments just goes away because the argument is conditional (especially stuff like oppression/discourse-related offense). Be really, really careful before you kick a K, especially if it is identity-related - I think reps matter.

Flashing/Email/Disclosure: I will vote for disclosure theory, but have a higher threshold for punishing or making an example of novices or non-circuit debaters who don't know or use the wiki. Lying during disclosure will get you dropped. If you're super experienced, please consider not being shitty about disclosure to novice or small-school debaters who simply don't know any better. Educate them so that they'll be in a position to teach good practices in future rounds. My personal perspective on disclosure is informed by my background as a lawyer - I liken disclosure to the discovery process, and think debate is a lot better when we are informed. One caveat to prior disclosure is that I do conform to "breaking new" norms, though I suppose I'd listen to theory about it. For sharing, I prefer email. Please include me on email chains.

Sitting/Standing: Whatever. I have my own debaters stand if they can because it helps with volume and clarity. But do your thing, it won't affect speaks. Maybe look at me every once in a while, your call.

Flex prep: Fine. More clarity is good.

Performative issues: I am skeptical of white debaters running afropessimism or similar arguments, particularly against debaters of color, but will not tell someone they can't. That said, if you're a white person debating critical race issues against a person of color, or a man advocating feminism against a woman, or a cis/het person talking queer issues, etc., be sensitive, empathetic, and mindful. Also, I tend to notice performative contradiction and will vote on it if asked to. For example, running a language K and using the language you're critiquing (outside of argument setup/tags) is a really bad idea.

I do NOT default to util in the case of competing frameworks.

I tend to think plan flaw arguments are silly, especially if they're punctuation or capitalization-related. I have a very high threshold to vote on plan flaw. It has to be *actually* confusing or abusive, not fake confusing.

I don't vote against a "traditional" value debater because they're "less progressive" or "less cool" or whatever. Every person in our community has value. PUN INTENDED!

Most of this is LD-specific, because that's the pool to which I'll generally be assigned. Policy debaters, most of what is above applies to my policy paradigm. Critical/plan-less affs are fine. That said, just like in LD I like a good T debate. One minor thing is different from my LD paradigm: I conform a little bit more to policy norms in terms of granting RVIs less often in policy rounds, but that's about it. Obviously, framework debate is not usually as important in policy, but I'm totally down with it if that's how you debate. I guess a lot of policy debaters still default to util, so be careful if the other side isn't doing that but I guess it's fine if everyone does it.

PF: If you're actually reading this, congratulations! Speed is fine. Framework is great. Nontraditional PF arguments (theory, spec advocacies) are fine. I will listen to disclosure theory, though I am less likely to buy it if the offending case is straightforward/common. Offense is important. I'm surprised and impressed when PF debaters cut actual evidence rather than summarizing it, especially offense and uniqueness evidence. If you try to read a policy/critical argument you don't understand, I will flame you in the oral, so be ready for that.

All that said, I love that the format is sometimes still accessible to actual regular people. I believe PF debaters should be adaptable, like all-weather shrubbery.

More PF specifics:

Anything above regarding performative issues applies to PF, so please read carefully. I am primarily an LD judge on the Texas and national circuits. Take from that what you will, and assume I am fine with either a more progressive or traditional style of PF debate. "It's not allowed in PF" is not a warranted argument. Line by line debate is important, and as it's what I am used to, I am not likely to vote on new arguments (or arguments that weren't gone for in Summary) made in Final Focus. Weighing offense is important. Framing should be established in constructive or at the very latest on the top of rebuttal. Don't call something terminal without a warrant. Don't call link defense a turn. If you want me to use something from crossfire in my RFD, it needs to be in subsequent speeches. I have an extremely LOW tolerance for miscut or mischaracterized evidence. Evidence ethics arguments have a very low threshold - if you're shady and there's a shell or implication I am very inclined to vote on it. If you're running theory, don't run it wrong or I'll make it really obvious how little I care for your debating.

Please ask questions if I can clarify anything, and don't be afraid to engage and ask questions after the debate. That doesn't mean I want to be post-rounded or harangued about my decision, but I'm happy to discuss stuff in a rational and collegial way. If you get aggressive after the round, expect the same from me and expect me to disengage with little to no warning. My wellness isn't worth your ego trip. I encourage pre-round questions. I might suggest you look over my paradigm, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't ask questions.

Finally, I find Cheetos really annoying in classrooms, especially when people are using keyboards. It's the dust. Don't test my Cheeto tolerance. I'm not joking, anything that has the dust sets me off. Cheetos, Takis, all that stuff. I get that it's delicious, but keep it the hell out of the academy.

Chetan Hertzig Paradigm

4 rounds

EXPERIENCE: I'm the head coach at Harrison High School in New York; I was an assistant coach at Lexington from 1998-2004 (I debated there from 1994-1998), at Sacred Heart from 2004-2008, and at Scarsdale from 2007-2008. I'm not presently affiliated with these programs or their students.

If you're in high school, please just call me Hertzig.

Please include me on the email chain:


CLARITY in both delivery and substance is the most important thing for me. If you're clearer than your opponent, I'll probably vote for you.


- Starting speeches slowly and building speed as you go (rather than starting at top speed)
- Speaking slower than average circuit speed
- Providing an explicit decision-calculus/voting issues
- Explicitly linking to a standard or ROB in speeches, especially rebuttals
- Telling a clear and coherent ballot story
- Weighing between your extensions and your opponent's (not just giving me two non-clashing sets of extensions)
- Reading a whole res aff that defends the topic as a principle
- Having a layered NC and responsive/specific turns off the aff
- Making topical critical arguments/reading Ks that are grounded in the topic lit
- Comparing evidence and weighing
- Giving structured speeches
- Using good word economy


- Using profanity in the round. I don't care what your purpose is; it's not necessary.
- Using ad homs of any kind against your opponent (e.g., commenting on their race, clothing, or practices as a debater). Find a non-personal way of making the argument.
- Reacting non-verbally when your opponent is speaking (e.g., violently shaking your head, making faces, waving your arms, etc.). It's rude, unpersuasive, and unnecessary.
- Indicting or insulting an opponent's team or coach in round (e.g., "It's no surprise [team name] is going for T this round")
- Sitting during CX and/or speeches unless you're physically unable to stand


For the most part, I want to see a substantive round about the topic. My conception of what counts as topical argumentation is based on what's in the topic literature.

If, after the round, I don't feel that I can articulate what you wanted me to vote for, I'm probably not going to vote for it.

Speed: Slow down, articulate/enunciate, and inflect - no monotone spreading, bizarre breathing patterns, or foot-stomping. I will say "slow" and/or "clear," but if I have to call out those words more than twice in a speech, your speaks are going to suffer. I'm fine with debaters slowing or clearing their opponents if necessary. I think this is an important check on ableism in rounds.

Theory: I don't view theory the way I view other arguments on the flow. I will intervene against theory that's clearly unnecessary/frivolous, even if you're winning the line-by-line on theory. I will vote on theory that is actually justified (as in, you couldn't have answered the position without it, or there was something about the opponent's strategy that made it impossible for you to win without theory). Is that subjective? You bet. Is there a brightline? Probably not. Don't like this view? Don't pref me.

Framework: If you and your opponent agree on a FW, great. If not, make the FW debate relatively short (i.e., not 4 minutes of a 7 minute speech). Also, please explain the philosophical concepts you're using instead of assuming that I know them. I probably don't.

Policy Arguments: I dislike generic politics DAs and extinction impacts on topics that clearly don't link to them. If you want to run those impacts on a topic about nuclear weapons, go for it. If the topic's about compulsory voting, I'll be very receptive to good defensive answers from the aff.

Ks and Non-T Arguments: I generally prefer TOPICAL critical arguments, but I'm okay with non-topical affs if you make it super-clear why you had to be non-topical to read them. Otherwise, I tend to think a TVA will solve.

Disclosure Theory: I'll vote for this if I think it's won on the flow, but I'm not a huge fan of rounds that come down to this.

Tricks: Shut the front door! Who are you?! (In other words, "no.")

Extensions: I need to hear the claim, warrant, and impact in an extension. Don't just extend names and claims.

"Flex Prep": Different people use these words to mean different things. I am fine with you asking clarification questions of your opponent during prep time. I am not okay with you ending CX early and taking the rest of the time as prep time.

Other Stuff: Link to a standard, burden, or clear role of the ballot. Signpost. Give me voting issues or a decision calculus of some kind. WEIGH. Be nice. And stand up.

To research more stuff about life career coaching then visit Life coach.

Thomas Hobohm Paradigm

4 rounds

My email for email chains is My facial expressions tend to show what I think during debates because I have a terrible poker face. Please ask me questions. I tend to agree with the judging paradigms Louie Petit, Eric Forslund, and Calum Matheson (that's not to say I actually know these people).

Overview: I debated policy. I went for both critical arguments and policy arguments, depending on what was more strategic. I like speed, tech over truth, and high-level criticism.

General Policy Notes

I generally think college-level speed (spreading) and policy-style arguments (Plan-Based Affirmatives, CPs, DAs, Kritiks, etc.) are good. I ran both hardcore policy arguments and narrative-based critical affirmatives. Speed is good, conditionality is probably good, I enjoy judging both policy-style and critical debates, and can't say I prefer one style of argument over the other. I am willing to listen to whatever arguments the debaters want to make, and I vastly prefer line-by-line to overviews, especially on Kritiks. I'm sick of seeing K teams re-explain their arguments every speech in long-winded overviews and neglect clash. Your time is probably better spent on impact calculus. I am Gay and ran Queer Failure, Queer Optimism, and Queer Pessimism a ton, if you run that argument please do it well or else I will be very sad.

Longer Version

I was a national-circuit policy debater at Southlake Carroll. I attend UT Dallas (while helping coach some HS policy debaters), and am majoring in Economics and Computer Science. I work as a product designer. I will definitely disclose and give you ample feedback. I heavily focused on high-level technical policy debate and narrative-based critical arguments. I often ran queer theory arguments and high-level criticisms (my last year I ran a queer failure affirmative), however I most enjoyed a technical policy debate and collapsing down to a CP / DA; running Kritiks was more of a strategic decision for me. Much of my debate career was driven by building case-specific strategies - I wanted to go with the best argument, regardless of whether it was a CP+DA or Antiblackness. I believe in the value of debate as a serious activity, but at the same time, I don't want you to take it too seriously. Have a good time, learn, and be nice to each other.

I prefer tech over truth. Conditionality is good, the neg should exploit it. I want you to use share evidence with me. I really want you to ask me questions after the round, but I won't change my decision. Here are some important opinions I have about debate:

1. Disclosure is good - you should use the wiki. If I see that you have made a concentrated effort at disclosing your arguments and improving debate, but your opponents have not, please make an argument about it. At the least it will increase your speaker points. If you are unable to disclose for personal reasons, or because your coach / school disallows it, that argument will be sufficient for me to disregard any other disclosure arguments made in the debate. A passage I stole from someone else:

The affirmative must tell the negative what the aff is before the debate, unless it is a new aff. If it is a new aff, the affirmative does not have to tell the negative what the aff is/what the advantages are/what the advocacy text is/anything. All they need to say is "new aff."

Two caveats to this. (a) Forgetting to disclose one or two positions does not constitute failing to disclose. (b) If you are debating someone with clearly far less experience, reading disclosure theory will just make me sad and make me ignore your argument and likely dock your speaks.

2. Author qualifications are important - please bring up disparities between the quality of your evidence and the quality of your opponents. It will heavily affect how I view the round.
3. Clarity - I want you to go fast, but if you maintain an exceptional level of clarity with regards to your arguments, and I find the debate easier to follow / flow due to it, you will be rewarded.
4. Control the frame of the debate - meta arguments about impact comparison, theoretical boundaries of debate, and the importance of different debate styles are far more important than line-by-line issues.
5. Ethical violations that result in a loss with 0 speaks: card clipping (accidentally skipping one or two words in a card is not clipping), accusing the other team of an ethical violation falsely or without proof, and stealing cards.

Quick LD Notes

I am 100% down for policy-style arguments in Lincoln-Douglas and (especially at major tournaments like Greenhill or St. Marks) am not very sympathetic to arguments in favor of traditional value-criterion style Lincoln Douglas debates. If you're wondering whether you can run your plan text aff, critical affirmative, narrative, CP + DA, politics, etc. argument: don't worry, you can, and I hope you will. Please try to stay away from theory unless there is an in-round violation that makes sense; if your opponent runs a theory argument that is dumb, feel free to go all-in on reasonability, I think it is underused in LD. I find that the negative reading the same case every round in LD is pretty useless, if you can just run off-case arguments and then respond to the case.

Long LD Notes

I'd prefer if everyone in Lincoln Douglas debated like they were in a policy round and didn't go for theory. I enjoy watching debates with plans (policy affirmatives), counterplans, disadvantages, kritiks, critical affirmatives, topicality, etc. Politics disadvantages are great, as are advantage counterplans and conditionality. I don't care much for criterion / value debates, impact calculus is significantly more important to me. Impact calculus isn't just about timeframe, magnitude, and probability; it is about relative framing and contextual evidence-based comparison. I'd prefer that you went in depth about how your specific internal link and impact evidence interacts with your opponents instead of reading a typical impact calculus block.For the love of God, slow down on plan / counterplan text and don't read RVIs. Theory preempts / spikes are not persuasive to me and are probably a waste of your time - get into the meat of the argument instead of wasting your time on cheap tricks (this goes both ways). Speaker points are based off of both strategy and clarity. Explanation is important. To steal from Varad, a lack of explanation in the debate round will look as follows:

Neg: And the mechanism to my shitty alt is an affirmation of radical Deleuzian joy in the face of the realpolitik of death [ends explanation].
Aff: That's not an argument.
RFD: That's probably not an argument.

I love people who are efficient, but I also love speakers who are entertaining. The best debaters somehow manage to do both.

Edit after Greenhill 2018:

If (as affirmative) you read a plan and kick it in the 1AR, I will be very sympathetic to theory arguments from the negative about why that is not Ok. If you try to kick it in your last rebuttal you will get a loss. I consider saying "we will not defend the implementation of our advocacy / resolution but only that the resolution is ethically good" when you read an advocacy text to be kicking the plan.

What I believe about debate (stolen from Eric Forslund):

Ultimately I believe that debate is a game. I believe that debaters should have fun while debating. I realize that certain debates get heated, however do your best not to be mean to your partner, and to the other team. There are very few things I hate more than judging a debate where the teams are jerks to each other. Finally, although I understand the strategic value to impact turning the alternative to kritiks and disads (and would encourage it in most instances), there are a few arguments I am unwilling to listen to those include: sexism good, racism good, genocide good, and rape good. If you are considering reading one of those arguments, don’t. You are just going to piss me off.

Avi Jayaraman Paradigm

5 rounds

I competed all over the circuit from 2006-2009. I coached from 2009-2011. I've judged sporadically since then. My paradigm was longer once, but now this is really all I would like to see:

- Run topical arguments. If your opponent's arguments do not impede on your ability to run your arguments and you run theory, I'll punish you with terrible speaker points. If you run theory strictly as a time suck but then win the round off something else, you'll get a very low-point win. That said, if your opponent is running a position that prevents you from running your arguments, I would certainly vote on theory. In fact, I would be happy to vote on theory in instances where it is run for the purpose of checking in-round abuse.

- If you are running a weird, counterintuitive philosophy position that has absolutely no real world implications and uses verbose rhetoric, you will need to slow down quite a bit. If I don't understand your arguments, you'll probably lose the round with bad speaker points.
- As long as you're not going through theory shells and obscure philosophy at blistering speeds, I will be able to handle your top speed if you are clear. I will say clear no more than twice.

To put numbers on it - 275wpm is probably my max for listening to philosophy and theory; closer to 350-375wpm for "normal" arguments and cards.

- Lastly - this should go without saying - do not be mean to your opponents. If your opponent runs something dumb, I expect you to unleash a firestorm of verbal abuse at the argument, not at the person who made the argument. On a similar note, I don't mind if two seasoned debaters get heated and lob some banter at one another (and in fact, I encourage it). But if your opponent is clearly at lower level than you, and you decide to be malicious in your interactions, I will nuke your speaks to the point of hilarity.

- I like debaters who run well-warranted and versatile arguments which can serve multiple purposes in a round. I like debaters who can deconstruct the flow at numerous levels, and win the round at many of those levels.

Feel free to ask any questions before the round; I promise I don't bite!

Austin Johnson Paradigm

6 rounds

Austin Johnson

Trinity Valley School

Head Coach/Program Director

Debating experience

Debate coach for four years. Took kids to TOC and NSDA Nats.

Role of the Judge

I’m willing to evaluate any and all roles-of-the-judge you put forward. It’s the judge’s job to weigh the round under the criteria you give. That is, the judge is a referee who makes decisions about a game whose rules are determined by its players over the course of each round.

Email Chain

If you're going to spread, I want to be on it. I'll give my e-mail at the time of the round.


I do not flow CX.


Track your own prep. I’m okay with flex prep. Flashing is not prep.


Speak as quickly as you are comfortable. However, if you’re going to spread, please be sure to include me on the e-mail chain.


The primary thing, in my opinion, that leads to worse debate is spending a lot of time explaining your opponent's model leads to worse debate. I've tried to be gentle about this. It is apparently time to be clear: I do not want to hear a theory argument. I hate them.

I’ll weigh theory if I must. But I would prefer to vote on literally anything else. If something genuinely abusive (not even in the direction of the topic, undisclosed, etc.) happens in the round, then you should call it out. Otherwise, don’t waste time on. If the only reason you’re winning a debate is because you’re manipulating the rules of debate, you’re not winning a debate.

Additionally, don't run Theory just to suck up time. The only thing worse than winning a round because you're just manipulating the rules is winning a round because you're wasting time talking about manipulating the rules and then not manipulating the rules, because that means I had to listen to your crappy theory non-argument which you then did nothing with!


I’m cool with plans. Just remember that reading a plan in LD means taking on a heavier burden of proof than defending the resolution as-written.


If I’m letting Aff run plans, I should probably let Neg run DAs and CPs. So I do.

Performance Ks

Performance is cool. I buy in-round solvency and pre-fiat alts.


The K is the reason I’m a debate coach. I’m a Ph.D. in English lit who got his degree after 2000, which means I had to be conversant in a loooooot of critical literature. I like materialist or semiotic approaches; psychoanalysis Ks are very slippery and I don’t generally enjoy them.

K Affs

K Affs are fine, but you need to be prepared for a protracted debate about framing that you can actually win.

Todd Kessler Paradigm

5 rounds

School Affiliation: Coach at The Episcopal School of Dallas

Coaching & Judging Experience: I have been coaching teams and judging tournaments since 2006. This includes LD, PF, Congress, CX and IEs at different schools in Virginia and Texas. I have had debaters qualify for NCFL and NSDA on multiple occasions which are both considered traditional tournaments.

Speed: Although I am personally not a fan of it, please make sure your spreading is clear and coherent. If I can't understand you, I probably will not flow it. If you see me stop flowing for an extended period of time then it would be in your best interest to slow down. I also heavily prefer if you go slow on your taglines, analytics and any theory arguments, especially during your rebuttals.

Types of Arguments: Although I prefer framework heavy debates, a lot of clash in the round, and good crystallization and overviews in your final rebuttal, I will still vote on topicality, counterplans, some theory arguments at times and kritiks if they are explained well by the debater. I am not a fan of non-topical Affs as I tend to favor whole resolution ACs. Make sure when you run T, that you are linking your violation to your standards/voting issues and that when you run a CP, you explain your net benefits and how it's competitive.

Theory Argument: If you run any disclosure theory or new affs bad arguments, make sure you thoroughly break down the reasons to prefer. Although I have never really been a fan of these types of arguments, I am willing to consider them if you can show the impacts of the abuse committed by your opponent and how this outweighs. Please make sure that whatever theory shells you plan on running are presented at a slower rate of speed.

Kritiks: Run at your own risk because I'm not really a fan of complicated philosophical arguments that have nothing to do with the actual resolution that should be debated upon. I'm not saying you can't win if you run them, but I might look at you funny and simply not flow the argument depending on the complexity of the K.

Speaks: Clarity over speed is prefered. If your spreading is incomprehensible, this will reflect on your speaker points. Any acts of rudeness or displays of an unprofessional demeanor towards your opponent will also be taken into account. If you go against an inexperienced debater or a traditional style opponent, it would be in your best interest to accommodate their format and invest some time clashing with or turning their value, criterion and contentions. Also, please do not ask me if I disclose speaker points. It's not going to happen. In addition, please do not use profanity at all during the round. It will impact your speaks and could also impact my decision so don't do it.

Tricks: Please don't.

Overview: Debate the resolution, clash with your opponent's arguments, provide framework, slow down during tags and analytics, throw in some voters at the end.

Email Chain: If and only if both debaters are sharing files, please include my email as well:

Gurmeet Kindra Paradigm

4 rounds

I am a simple judge


1. I will say clear or slow-But please don't make me- slow on tags and evidence

2. If I don't have the doc don't plan on spreading

3. I don't have a preference to what you run K's, LARP etc. as long as you can defend your case clearly. If you are spreading make sure you slow down on tag lines.

4. I love smart CX, and I pay close attention to it.

5. Be Eloquent as I do pay attention to that as well


1.Let Weighing live in LD, I don't want a blitz of back file answers without leveraging the AC- then whats the point besides wasting 6 minuets?

2. I know there is a skew! Please don't waste more time complaining about it, it is an acceptable standard in a counter interp or just argument but shouldn't be the the main point of the 1AR, the more time you spend, the less i'll buy it.

3. Not super familiar w/ performance/Non t affs but please go for it- just break it down and you'll be fine


1. I won't vote you down but i'll kill your speaks if you run more than 5 off that are all condo, it always leads to bad debate- I'm generally good with condo but 5 or more off is just abusive

2. I expect clear articulation of what operates on the highest layer, K or Theory- If they go for one and you don't kick the other i'll assume risk of offense so for your benefit be clear

Please Note: I don't disclose. when you see it you will see critique clearly showing what and why.

email the doc to

Jeff Koegler Paradigm

6 rounds

Updated: January 2020

Background: I am the head coach at Lincoln High School (Portland, OR) and a former LD and policy debater from Texas. I have a background in economics, am a military veteran, small business owner, and have ample government experience.

LD Paradigm:

TL;DR version: Speed is fine. If your argument is obscure or poorly linked/warranted, I am not going to do the work for you. I like good theory, but I won't vote on frivolous theory. I default to drop the argument. K's are welcome. I will vote down a debater that creates a toxic environment for debate. Debate is a game. Impact calc evaluation is weighted towards probability.

Speed: Speed is fine. I don't believe in interference in the round, so if you have heard that you are unclear regularly, you might want to take that into account from the outset. I will accept speech docs at koeglerj at gmail dot com.

1) I will not "connect the dots" on your arguments. If it is a complex argument, break it down to the point where an intelligent observer could follow you. Assume that I am an informed judge, both on the topic and in technical debate.
2) I will vote on T. The debate can occur on whatever ground the debaters agree on and I am ok with that, but I will default back to Topical ground. To win T, the neg needs to show me how the Aff has abused the the fairness or educational aspects of debate AND give me the brightline of minimum responsibility the Aff should have used (and why). Conversely, the Aff wins T by showing how their argument answers the resolution substantively. Words matter, so I consider linguistic arguments as valid T challenges.
3) For impact calculus, I weigh probability first.
4) Claim, warrant, impact. Warrantless arguments are ignored. There is no such thing as implied impact.
5) Drops are not "true" arguments. Extend and impact them if they are relevant for you to have me include in my decision calculus.
6) Weighing arguments should be contextual and logically consistent.
7) I try to be tab, but calculus will include whether or not an argument is grounded in reality. Ultimately, flow typically wins.

K's: I like well executed K's, but generally don't buy into generic K's. Frame it well. It must be thoroughly explained. If it lacks analysis, it won't win you anything. A K should have a solid link.

1) Theory should be a response to a violation/abuse, not a standard strategy. A lack of specificity will lose you the argument. If you are rattling off random theory in the hope that something is going to stick, it won't. Save yourself the time.
2) Theory doesn't have to be in a shell as long as you are organized and clear. I accept theory in a shell though.
3) I default towards dropping the argument over the debater.
4) I generally don't buy into RVI's. If you go for "drop the debater", the creation of a W/L mandate for your opponent does open you up for RVI arguments.
5) I default towards reasonability. Instead of debating what the best standard or rule should be, I would rather hear substantive topical debate. I feel that CI is overly advantageous to the debater that introduces the theory and encourages frivolous theory. Reasonability is the check on that though it requires more judge interpretation. I accept bright line proposals. If both debaters want a CI debate, then I go there.

Prep: If flashing, agree upon an email chain or online resource for doc sharing at the beginning of the round. Include me in your document sharing. Please flash me in at koeglerj at gmail dot com.

Speaks: I consider 27.5 (27 on Oregon circuit) to be the average speaks, however I give 29+. Better points are achieved through clarity, professionalism, and technique. Points are deducted for rudeness, poor technique, and incomprehensibility.

Misc Prefs:
1) I will not tolerate racism, sexism, toxic masculinity, etc. If you leave me wondering what you meant, you might just lose a few speaker points. If I feel offended (thats pretty tough to do) or if I feel your opponent is the target of your issues, you will lose the round. Easiest way to avoid: treat every opponent as a person.
2) I prefer substantive debate to theory debate and generally err towards substantive debate. This doesn't mean I don't find value in theory, but I tend to ignore bad theory in order to get back to substantive debate.
3) I don't have any triggers, but I expect you to clear the issue with your opponent and inform the room.
4) Pref list:
Plan/Value/Phil 1
K 2
Theory 2
Tricks 5
5) Signpost. Please signpost. Even if you give a good roadmap before your speech, signpost during, so that I make sure I am following your arguments the way you want me to. You know what happens when you assume...
6) My pronouns are he/him.
7) Just call me Jeff.

Evidence Ethics: If you feel like you are the victim of an ethics violation and want to pursue it, what you are asking me to do is end the round immediately. The burden of proof is on the accuser. I will vote on the spot based on the evidence of the accusation. I don't vote on intent of the accused, just the act of misrepresenting evidence. Accusations that I deem unfounded will be ruled against the accuser.

Policy Judging Paradigm:

TL;DR: Send your speech docs to koeglerj at gmail dot com. Topicality is important. Impact calc evaluation is weighted towards probability, then magnitude. Theory and K's are welcome. I strongly prefer substantive debate.

Speed: I will tell you clear once. After that I can't flow what I cant understand. I don't believe in interference in the round, so if you have heard that you are unclear regularly, you might want to take that into account from the outset. Send me your speech doc at koeglerj at gmail dot com to avoid an issue.

1) I vote on topicality. Be topical.
2) I prefer high probability harms to infinitesimally improbable harms. Look at it this way: if you have harms that have infinitely small probability, that is how much weight I will give them in the round.
3) My ballot calculus typically includes weighing the biggest argument(s) in the round and the flow. Prefiat interests preempt all other weighting.
4) Theory is fine. I don't vote on frivolous theory. I err towards reasonablity, but can vote competing interps.

K's: I like well executed K's, but generally don't buy into generic K's. Frame it well. It must be thoroughly explained. If it lacks analysis, it won't win you anything. A K must have a solid link.

1) I will not tolerate racism, sexism, toxic masculinity, etc. If you leave me wondering what you meant, you might just lose speaks. If I feel offended (which is pretty tough to do) or if I feel your opponent is the target of your issues, you will lose the round. Easiest way to avoid: treat every opponent as a person.
2) Run any argument you want, but I tend to favor T over K Affs. Use them at your own risk. No prejudice against them, but I feel that a burden of proof exists on the affirmative and that is tied directly to the resolution.
3) I don't have any triggers, but I expect you to clear the issue with your opponent and inform the room.
4) Signpost. Please signpost. Even if you give a good roadmap before your speech, signpost during, so that I make sure I am following your arguments the way you want me to. You know what happens when you assume...
5) My pronouns are he/him.
6) Just call me Jeff.

1) Theory should be a response to a violation/abuse, not a standard strategy. A lack of specificity will lose you the argument. If you are rattling off random theory in the hope that something is going to stick, it won't.
2) Theory doesn't have to be in a shell as long as you are organized and clear. I accept theory in a shell though.
3) Instead of stacking your shell with 9 voters or standards, just give me the best one you've got. Please fully explain your violation and ensure that your interpretation actually demonstrates the rule that has been violated.
4) I default towards dropping the argument over the debater. Clearly intentional abuses identified by theory can change that.

Evidence Ethics: If you feel like you are the victim of an ethics violation and want to pursue it, what you are asking me to do is end the round immediately. The burden of proof is on the accuser. I will vote on the spot based on the evidence of the accusation. I don't vote on intent of the accused, just the act of misrepresenting evidence. Accusations that I deem unfounded will be ruled against the accuser. I will read your evidence.

PF Paradigm

I am fairly flexible in my PF paradigm. Feel free to run any argumentation you wish.
1) Speed is fine. Be clear and provide evidence to your opponent after your speech, if requested.
2) I am ok with follow-on questions in crossfire so long as they follow the same thought process. Questions may be answered by partners, but it may impact your speaker points if only one partner ever answers questions. Questions should only be asked by the two speakers from the immediately previous round.
3) Be topical. This is rarely an issue in PF, but I will vote on it.
4) Impacts will be weighed by probability first. Extremely improbable impacts won't impact the ballot significantly even if they are "big stick" impacts.

Parli Paradigm

I have a more traditional view of Parli.
1) Topicality is critical as it is the only way to show comprehension of the topic. Demonstration of comprehension of the topic is required to get my ballot. This means that K's will probably struggle to win my ballot.
2) Prebuilt cases/arguments are discouraged. Theory is still an appropriate way of drawing attention to potential norm violations. I want to see argumentation developed in the allotted time frame.
3) Speakers have an expectation to accept and respond to a reasonable number of questions during the alloted times in their speech. Generally speaking, 3 questions should be responded to (with exceptions). Failure to answer additional questions is acceptable if the speaker fills the remainder of their time with new arguments. You can expect to lose speaks if you don't accept additional questions and end your time with enough time remaining to have fielded those questions. Abuse of the questioning standard (rambling questions, failure to acknowledge questions, interruptions) will result in speaker point losses. Abuses can be used as voting issues.
4) Truth over tech. Arguments that are not factually correct wont be weighed in my calculus.

Jonas Lebarillec Paradigm

6 rounds

UPDATED: 9/21/2019

2013-2017: Competed at Peninsula HS (CA)

Yes I want to be on the email chain, add me:

I primarily read policy arguments during the regular season. At camp I experimented with everything including high theory, performance, (ethical) framework, theory, and tricks.

I am willing to judge, listen to, and vote for anything. Just explain it well. I am not a fan of strategies which are heavily reliant on blippy arguments and frequently find myself holding the bar for answers to poor uneveloped arguments extremely low.

Speed should not be an issue, but be clear.

Theory Defaults:
Drop the argument

Other Defaults:

Epistemic Modesty

If I shout TAGS it means that the end of your cards and the beginning of your next tags are not distinct enough.
If you want a better chance at winning and higher speaks start rebuttal speech with a real impact overview and not just explaining how debate works.

Explaining dense arguments will make me more likely to vote for them/higher speaks.

CX and prep are both flex prep. You can just use CX to prep if you want to, and you can use prep to ask questions, and both!

Incomplete extensions will be viewed with heavy skepticism when evaluating the argument. 99% of the time this is just shouting an argument or an author name without explaining what they say/warrant.

Aff vs. the K: No Link + Perm (Yes)

K vs. the Aff: Ks without a link (No)

"Read the Cards!" : If your 2NR/2AR puts your faith in me to just read all the evidence in the debate without any prodding as to what I am looking for, odds are you may be disappointed. I will not make arguments for you/come to conclusions about an argument on my own.




Buffet 2NRs/2ARs

Only the negative reads off-case positions, if you call a 1ar shell a "new off" and not a "new sheet", you will lose speaks.

No, I do not disclose speaks.

Role of the Ballot = Roll of the Eyes; It's just impact calc.

CX begins immediately after the 1AC and the 1NC.

Erik Legried Paradigm

5 rounds

*Updated on 4/21/18 while migrating to Tabroom. I'm revising this because my former paradigm was dated, not because of any significant changes to my judging philosophy.*

Background: I coach LD for the Brentwood School in Los Angeles. I competed in LD for Robbinsdale Cooper HS and Blake HS, both in Minnesota, from 2006-10. I studied philosophy, economics, and entrepreneurship at Northwestern University, graduating in 2014. I have judged several hundred circuit LD rounds, and plenty traditional rounds too.

Overall: I am a 'least-intervention' judge, and try my best to vote on the arguments in the round. Barring certain complicated extremes (i.e. offensive language, physical coercion), I vote for the best reason articulated to me during the debate. This involves establishing a framework (or whatever you want to call it - a mechanism for evaluation) for my decision, and winning offense to it.

Some implications/nuance to 'least-intervention' - a) I won't evaluate/vote on what I perceive to be new arguments in the 2NR or 2AR, b) I won't vote on arguments that I don't understand when they're introduced, c) I won't vote on arguments that I don't hear, and d) I won't vote on arguments you don't make (i.e. if your evidence answers something and you don't point it out)

Spreading: I think speed is overall bad for debate, but I will not penalize you for my belief. You should debate at whatever speed you want, granted I can understand it. If it's just me judging you, I will say clear / slow up to three times per speech. After three I will stop trying. The first two 'clears' are free, but after the third one I will reduce your speaker points by 2 for a maximum of 28. On a panel I will say 'clear' once, maybe twice, depending how the other judges seem to be keeping up.

Speaker points: holistic measure of good debating. I'm looking for good arguments, strategy, and speaking. I average around a 28.5. A 29.3+ suggests I imagine you in elimination rounds of whichever tournament we're at. I'm averaging a 30 once every four years at my current rate.

Loose ends:

- As of the 4/21/18 update, I do not need extensions to be 'full', i.e. claim / warrant / impact, especially in the 1AR, but I do expect you to articulate what arguments you are advancing in the debate. For conceded arguments, a concise extension of the implications is sufficient.

- If I think there is literally no offense for either side, I presume aff.

- I default to a comparative world paradigm.

- I default to drop the argument, competing interpretations, no RVI, fairness/education are voters.

- I will call evidence situationally - on the one hand it is crucial to resolving some debates, on the other hand I think it can advantage unclear debaters who get the benefit of judges carefully reviewing their evidence. I will do my best to balance these interests.

Feel free to contact me at

Daniel Lewis Paradigm

3 rounds

For Policy Debate:

I started my debate career probably long before your parents met, much less before you were born. I was a Prosecuting Attorney under Janet Reno and still practice occasionally when I'm not teaching or at debate tournaments. I prefer and my expertise is in policy round argumentation but I can be convinced to vote for critical argumentation when done correctly. Barring tournament rules, Flash time is not prep. Email speech docs. Points are between 28-30, barring bizzarro argumentation, presentation or decorum (This does not include personal narratives or performance arguments with a purpose - they are fine). If you speak (debate) worse than the other debaters in a Round, you will get lower points. Quick and clear is OK. Unclear is not. I will let you know at least once - then it's up to you. I will read evidence in a close debate when I think it is at issue because cards exceedingly often don't prove what they are being offered to prove. You have to point it out unless I think the claim is outlandish.

For LD:

See the above. I was a policy debater. So LD theory which deviates from policy may be lost on me. You've been warned. Critiks and CPs are ok. So are theory args against them. Standard frameworks which stifle all critical debate won't fly. Tell me why your framework should be applied in this debate.

Nick Malanga Paradigm

5 rounds


Bolded stuff is the most important to me (read this if i am about to judge you). I Debated for Strake Jesuit senior year and part of my junior year, graduating in 2018. Currently an econ major at Texas A&M. I competed on TOC/TFA circuits. I didn’t have many noticeable accomplishments, I got one bid and a bunch of state points. I feel like as a judge, I have a responsibility to teach people about how to get better, I enjoy it when you lost but still hang around to ask about re-dos and better strats. if you do this, I will probably send you articles to read as well as possibly help you drill. I mostly read LARP positions and theory, and a couple reps K's here and there, and an occasional Kant AC or NC. My favorite rounds to judge are Theory and K rounds. Don't let this be the sole influencer of your strategy. If you are only good at framework debate, then do that. I ideologically agree with Matt Chen, Jason Yang, Chris Castillo, Chase Hamilton, and Jonas LeBarrilec. Here’s my wiki if you want to get an idea of my preferences with argumentation when I debated:



Big picture / miscelaneous

All offense has to be linked back to some framing mechanism. This can be theory voters, a role of the ballot, or a standard. This also means that I think claiming T comes before the K or vice versa is an incoherent and arbitrary concept. What you really mean is procedural fairness comes before x rob.

Tech > Truth.

I've re-written my paradigm after judging a bit, and I do now believe that embedded clash exists and it's an impossible to hold people to the standard of implicating an argument against every single other argument it logically indicts (this is mostly important when it comes to close theory debates).

I won't vote on or endorse in any way explicitly and intentionally problematic arguments or rhetoric. I don't think death good is offensive unless it's 'death is good for one culture/race only' or you openly advocate for killing your opponent. I'm also fine with skep in any context.

Please weigh everything and I mean everything you want me to vote on. Anything else and you will be sad about my decision.

Extensions can be two ways (this is mostly for pedagogical value, if you're very experienced, do your own thing)

1] if a large portion of your position is conceded: “[claim] – they’ve dropped three internal links to extinction. First, [warrant]. Second, [warrant]. Third [warrant].

2] if it’s closely conceded or you’re going to implicate something in multiple ways: “extend jones 18, which says [claim], proven by [warrant], which means no link to the K.

I think that debate is a game, educational benefits are great, but procedurals are extremely necessary to have a functioning activity. I vote for the better debater, meaning whoever did the best job winning a framing argument and offense back to that wins my ballot--this doesn't exclude performances, you just need to frame them. Don't think this makes me hate K's, literally all the kids I coach are K debaters.

I flow on my laptop, and I'm not the best at flowing analytics. Going super fast while reading carded evidence isn't an issue for me since I can backflow, but if you're extemping analytics, go 75-90% of full speed if you're really fast off paper. I will say clear and slow as many times as I need, your speaks won't suffer unless you're just not getting the message.

Please, please, please, clearly signpost, number arguments, and pause after the numbering. If you do this well, your speaks will increase. If you disregard this, then your speaks will suffer and I will probably not get all your arguments where they need to be and I will make a decision on what I have down, meaning you will be sad.

SLOW DOWN ON TAGS AND CITES. Slow down on interps, plan texts, standard texts, or the like.


- Truth Testing (don't interpret that this makes me a trick hack, I just think all arguments can concievably be included under TT)

- Presumption and Permissibility flow neg.

- Competing Interps, Drop the debater, and no RVI

- Jurisdiction > Fairness > Education / K’s > other pre-fiat voting issues

- Meta-theory > T > theory


- I average a 28.6, but I consider myself extremely generous with speaker points. Good performances get much higher, and bad ones get much less.

- Tech, round vision, strategy will get you good speaks, but doing this with persuasion as well as clarity gets you super high speaks.

- Breakdown:

o 30: Perfect round. You probably inspired me in some way. I expect you to at least be in finals.

o 29.5-29.9: Not Perfect, but pretty good. I expect you to be in late out rounds.

o 29-29.4: This is a good debate. I expect you to break.

o 28.7-28.9: You were satisfactory. I expect you to be in the bubble.

o 28-28.6: Still a good amount of ways you can improve. .500 at best

o 26-27: Your performance was lacking in a number of ways.

o 25-25.9: You were rude or offensive in round.


I think tricks like trivialism and condo logic are fun and interesting, however i'm not so sure a prioris are good for debate. I'll give you higher speaks for creative tricks and applications of them, but not for a prioris. Please make sure to expain how they triggered condo logic or the like, if I'm unsure how they did it, I'm less willing to vote on it.

Triggering permissibility or skep is fine, extra points for well-explained arguments and strategic use of these things.

Frameworks which exclude kritiks are cool, explain their implications though.

I grant your opponent new responses to new implications of spikes and tricks in the 2N/2A, but not to the spikes themselves.

Please explain your framework and why it is better than your opponent's.

I think that author indicts i.e. Kant is racist, is a strategic way to layer the round, but should not be the only response to the opponent's framework. also my email is nickmalanga two (number, not the words) at sign gmail dot com. if you read add me to the email chain. I added this here because i feel like no one reads this section of the paradigm, reading all my paradigm makes me happy. if you add me to the chain without having to ask me, I will be very happy. I also find reasons that their framework justifies bad things way more pursuasive than reasons one author might be a bad person. And no, a 5 second argument about kant being racist in the 1AR shouldn't be 2.5 minutes of the 2AR (@josh porter).


- Go for it. I don’t care how frivolous your shell is, if you win it, I’ll vote on it.

- That being said, reading disclosure against a traditional debater who has probably never heard of the Wiki is a bad idea in front of me. Same goes for frivolous theory

- Please weigh voters and implicate standards while extending them.

- No, the 2AR doesn’t get to weigh voters if there was nothing there in the 1AR. Strength of link weighing, however, is something I will allow the 2AR to make. You will get higher speaks if you make it in the 1AR though.

- The best way to get high speaks on in a theory debate is to clearly win the line-by-line with pure technical ability, but also break the round down with an overview that pretty much writes my ballot for me.


Any larp position you can imagine I am perfectly fine with (this does exclude extra-T and effects-T affs)

I have no strong beliefs on the condo good-bad as well as PICs good/bad debate. I lean toward Delay CPs, Object CPs, and Consult CPs bad, but still I don’t have a strong belief here.

Permutations are tests of competition if there is no net benefit, but if there are articulated net benefits then they become a new advocacy which can be kicked in the 2AR. Intrinsicness perms are also ok, but they are hella abusive.

Plans are the best. I am lenient to reasonability versus T if you read a plan, unless the plan is blatantly extra-topical or effects-topical. Have good internal links and good solvency evidence.


- I love a well-done K debate, and I really dislike a poorly-done K debate. Don’t read a K because it seems edgy. Read a K if you think it is your most strategic option against that opponent.

- Don’t hide behind big buzzwords. If you can explain the K in a way I understand it, you get higher speaks.

- K’s I’m familiar with (most to least)

o Generic K’s – Cap, Reps K’s, Anthro

o Baudrillard / Bifo / Semiocap <3 <3 <3

o Deleuze

o Wilderson / Afropessimism

o A little Psychoanalysis

- General K Stuff

o The 2NR overview is powerful. What are you going for? What do you have to do to win? How have they messed up? Questions like these need to be answered.

o Please explain the literature behind the K. It usually isn’t an issue, but in the event that I just don’t know the thesis of the K, I’m very lenient to your opponent's arguments.

o Isolate a clear link to the aff. If I’m unsure exactly what bad thing the aff does, I’m likely to err aff on this debate.

o Impact Framing is crucial. Tell me what counts as offense under your ROB. If you’re going for the K as offense under your opponent’s method, I also expect a significant amount of weighing to be done.

o What does the alt look like in the real world? If I don’t know, I err to your opponent’s arguments.

- K v K debates

o In these debates, it’s of tantamount importance that in addition of explaining the thesis of your K that you explain how your lit base interacts with theirs. If I don’t know what your K says, I’m more lenient to arguments made by whoever is reading a K from a lit base I’m more familiar with.

- Performance, non-t affs, etc. are fine by me. Just give me a way to frame the round. Other than that, the same kind of stuff said above applies. I prefer K affs that are at least somewhat related to the topic.

If Debating a Novice

If you are debating a traditional debater or a novice, I would like it if you are more cordial than usual. Give them the dignity of a full round, but do not read a bunch of frivolous theory or read something like skep, or 5 off. I think that all argument types in these rounds are legit, but don't go for a bunch of a prioris bracketed into cards or take advantage of the fact they don't have the exposure you do.

Evidence Ethics / Extra Stuff

Self-reporting an ev ethics violation immediatley after it's happened (before round if it's something on your wiki) means I won't hold it against you.

If you think someone you are debating has committed an ev ethics violation:

-call it out in cx or flex prep. Give them a chance to scratch it off the flow or a chance to steak the round on it.

-if they don't scratch it, the round continues and you're encouraged to read theory on them.

If you did commit an evidence ethics violation,

-but agreed to scratch the evidence off the flow, then we go back to the rest of the round and act like nothing happened.

-and lost to their arguments about ev ethics being bad, then you lose and I drop 5 points.

If you read theory against evidence ethics, your violation better be freaking amazing or else I will gut check the violation, because you are literally calling someone a cheater. If you win the shell, then I will read over the evidence in question to determine if they violated the interp-- if you won the shell and I think they violate, I vote them down. If you lost the shell you initiated and I think they violate, I also vote them down.

If you steak the round on it and it turns out they did not commit an ev ethics violation, then you will get a L25.

I like full text disclosure. I'm neutral on opensource disclosure. First three and last three is better than nothing, but full text is better.

Things that make me sad.

- not having a framing mechanism

- not weighing or engaging

- rude people

- unnecessary post-rounding

- 'CX isn't binding'

Dhruva Mambapoor Paradigm

6 rounds

Hi I'm Dhruva Mambapoor!

I debated for four years in LD at Westwood HS (2018). I qualified for the TOC my senior year. I am a second-year out.

team email (preferred):

non-team email:


Pref Shortcuts:


K: 2

Phil: 3

Theory: 4

Tricks: Strike


Important Things Others Have Said About my Judging:

1. I'm bad at flowing --- I tend to miss a lot of arguments, I don't like it, but I'm not afraid to admit it because you deserve to know.

To resolve this go somewhat slower than you would with other judges. You don't have to go super slow or repeat things often, just be clearer and go slower than your regular style.

On my end, I will flow on my laptop, because I can type much much faster than I can hand-write, and it's neater.

Will I say slow or clear? I will try, but if your unclear or too fast, most of my attention will be on figuring out what you're saying, so I will probably forget. If its incomprehensible to me, then I will say slow or clear twice and then just focus on listening.

2. I tend to overthink --- I get lost in the minutiae during and after the debate.

That means probably more judge intervention than most judges. Usually its because I'm trying to find a missing piece of the puzzle in your arguments, because I'm afraid I missed something.

That also means I will take a long time to decide.

That also means I confuse myself of a lot. The messier the debate the more this gets worse.

To resolve this make the debate less messy, focus on a few arguments (i will miss something if you just dump a bunch of arguments on the flow), fill in the gaps you may assume I just know, and send a doc with all pre-written arguments in all speeches. On my end I will do my best to sift through the debate, identify what could or could not be judge intervention, and reduce my decision time to avoid over-complicating the debate.

3. Long RFDs --- This is less from giving my decision and more from me giving feedback. I also am not an efficient speaker, which makes things much worse.

To resolve this feel free to interrupt me (yes I know its rude, but keeping the tournament on time matters), point out that I'm being inefficient or going on a tangent, and ask questions to selectively choose the feedback most important to you.

On my end I will keep decision time and feedback to a max of 15 min. Yes that means the messier the debate, the more decision time, and the less feedback time even though messier debates are when you need it the most. To resolve this, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email me at If you're a coach or judge watching and you wanted to give feedback, so I can be a better judge, also feel free to email me.


Overview to How I Evaluate Debates:

I evaluate arguments based on credence. This may be a bad explanation of this or not even close to the actual judging style based on argument's credence values. Basically, I don't start of every argument at 100%. Instead each argument has a certain validity to it, from 0 to infinity and beyond.

How compelling or credible an argument is, I base on two factors:

1. If your justifications are true, how well does the conclusion logically follow.

2. How well does it fit my background knowledge on the subject.

The second usually happens unconsciously, but I've decided to mention it, so you know that I have biases. If I recognize the bias, I will account for it, but recognizing my own bias is a difficult task. You can override the second factor by simply filling in the gaps where I would put my background knowledge. If you say your shirt is green because you rolled around in the grass, that would make sense because I think grass is green and stains clothes. If I didn't, you simply have to say your shirt is green because you rolled around in a green grass field which stains clothes.

If there are no arguments in the debate that are compelling or have decent enough warrants, then I will lower my standards until someone has sufficient offense for me to vote. The more I lower my standards the riskier the debate becomes.

So then what's compelling and fits my background info? see below


The Specifics of the Common Positions:


A debate whose key characteristic is often blitzing through analytics is very risky in front of me because I tend to miss a lot especially when I can't verify with another source of information like a doc or its a common shell I've heard before. You can read theory, just make sure you can really implement the solutions given at the top of this paradigm. That also doesn't mean you can be as abusive as you want. I will give more leeway to common T/Theory (Pics bad, 2+ condo bad, infinite NIBs bad, etc.). That given, reading theory strategically instead of reading it to check abuse (or often both), is ok, but because T/Theory is naturally harder for me to flow and understand, it probably isn't strategic anyways.

Extra note for topicality:

I read basically only plan affs in HS, so I will understand them and the subsequent T/Theory debates more. If you have an untopical K aff, great! I also understand that subsequent T/theory debate more than other T debates as well. As the aff, I just need a stronger defense of why you are untopical and a more easy to understand explanation of the theories behind the K aff. And No, I'm not going to reject the aff just because its untopical. Against K affs, I'm also more interested in an neg strategy that engages with case. That just means I will pay more attention (unconsciously) to neg strategies without T in it or at the least has substantive case answers.


Don't assume I know the lit behind, because I probably don't. In HS I read: Deleuze, Culp (Dark Deleuze), Cap. I have some knowledge on: Deleuze, Culp, Wilderson, Nietzsche, Foucault, Baudrillard, Bataille, Freud and Lacan, Marx, Zizek. I have a little knowledge on: Derrida, Fanon, Queer Pess, Buddhism.

I have high standards for the alt. It should, ideally, resolve the impact, or propose and thoroughly explain some shift in paradigm/lens that is competitive with the aff and is more net beneficial than continuing with the aff paradigm.


Don't assume I know the lit behind it. In HS I read: Util, Generic Structural Violence, and Koorsgard (Kant-ish). I have some knoweldge on: Util, Koorsgaard, Kant, Hobbes, Pragmatism, Levinas. I have a little knowledge on: Scanlon, Jaeggi, Hegel, Grievability.

I love util and SV frameworks. As a good rule of thumb, I will like frameworks that are grounded in materiality more. However, I can like a good phil debate if each argument is developed and fleshed out. I do not like phil debates with a lot of dumps and blippy analytics.


If you run a CP, the burden of proof shifts to you. If the aff and the CP are very similar then I need a strong net benefit to vote neg. The CP alone needs to be better than the perm to win the CP.


Easiest debates for me to understand. I love a good DA debate. If its big-stick (nuclear war, etc.), which it probably is, then I have high standards for evidence. It should at least indicate extinction (or whatever the scope) is possible, or it's paired with a compelling analytic that indicates extinction is possible or you explain why the evidence would imply this well in cross-ex.


I'm not as informed as I would like to be. Given that, I won't be able to verify many analytics so most if not all arguments should have evidence. I will give more leeway to responses because its hard to have applicable evidence to strange politics scenarios or weirdly structured ones.


Disclosing open source is preferred. Disclosing full text is functionally mandatory. If you read a disclosure shell, you must include a screenshot with a timestamp.


Final Remarks:

You can change any of the above with warranted arguments. No I don't mean just good arguments, I mean make arguments with claims like "Big-stick impacts don't need to indicate extinction", "Frameworks grounded in materiality are oppressive", etc. Be very explicit and clear with the paradigm you want me to adopt, and then warrant it well.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me, or ask before the round.

Daiya Massac Paradigm

4 rounds

I competed for Bronx Science 2012-2014, coached Scarsdale 2014-2016, and am now entering my last year of being involved with this activity by coaching independently. Conflicts- Bronx Science, Scarsdale, Lake Travis, and a few others.

Go slower then your top speed, if I don't catch an argument I am not going to flow it. I honestly don't care what is run in front of me- just signpost well and explain your arguments. slow down on tags and analytics. I am cool with flex prep. flashing/emailing better not take over a minute or it eats your prep time. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at (use email for your email chains.)

Edited for LHP RR and beyond: I honestly hate most of the arguments run this year. Don't get me wrong, I love this activity and think that it's awesome but it seems like a bunch of you on the national circuit have taken it upon yourselves to ruin this perfectly nice debate event to the point that I wish I could travel back in time and force myself to join Policy. I haven’t heard much that I thought was smart or creative aside for a few Ks, a couple plans, and a single framework shell. As I am forced to make a decision, I will do my best to adjudicate but I can’t promise you will like my speaker points nor my decision. I got a little better at flowing but being able to hear y’all’s arguments probably will just makes me dislike them a lot more. Best way to win my ballot is to establish a clear framing mechanism and offense back to it. The saving grace for your speaker points and my sanity is the way you present your arguments. Being funny, making gutsy strategic moves, reading interesting arguments, and/or being smart will be rewarded with really high speaker points. If you are a robot that just reads docs please strike me or just have your coach speak for you instead. If you have a coach that wants to waste my time please strike me. If you want to read a case full of analytic arguments that sounds like you are reciting the alphabet or practicing how to count please, for the love of god, strike me. If I judge you I apologize in advance cause if I do and you do not listen to my advice then chances are I am just going to be replaying an episode of "Entourage" in my head instead of paying attention to your boring/asinine arguments. If you want a free conflict, feel free to send me a couple bucks on Venmo and we can claim a financial relationship (just kidding). If you have any questions about my paradigm, feel free to ask me in person (please do not attempt to contact me) about my thoughts on debate.

My pronouns are He/him/his- let me know yours before the round to avoid any issue

Mitali Mathur Paradigm

2 rounds

*UPDATE: I haven't judged a debate in a year, so go a little slower please

About me

I debated for Greenhill School for 4 years
I also was a member of USA Debate for a year
I currently attend Georgetown University

General Comments

    • I view rounds through a comparative worlds paradigm.
    • Don’t be racist/sexist/homophobic/unnecessarily rude in round or ever.
    • Give your opponent a copy of your case if they ask – printed, flashed, e-mailed, or via a viewing laptop - this could affect speaks if your opponent asks and you say no
    • when you talk about the topic
    • when you make your advocacy clear and aren't shifty
    • when you talk about real world issues
    • overviews that explain how I should evaluate the round/prioritize issues
    • weighing with explanation, not just the jargon of magnitude, probability etc.
    • Extensions– I think 1ARs can have a bit more leeway, but make sure warrants and impacts are clear – author names alone don’t cut it
    • A good CX. CX is binding and I’ll pay attention.
    • racist/sexist/homophobic/classist/offensive arguments and comments
    • arguments that say any action is permissible
    • too many spikes or really long underviews that aren’t related to the topic. If you are aff and concerned about a side bias, write an aff that uses the entire 6 minutes with substantive arguments
    • misrepresenting evidence and reading strawperson cards. If there is an evidence ethics challenge, I will read the article and the piece of evidence in question. If you make the challenge, you are staking the round on it.
  • SPEED:
    • Go as fast as you want but don’t sacrifice clarity
    • Please slow down for interpretations and advocacy texts
    • Slow down for spikes/underview type stuff

I never was a framework debater myself. But, if you are a framework debater, don’t shy away from your strengths in front of me, just be extra clear and do a lot of interaction and weighing if it's a more complex framework and it should be fine.

Case Debate
Totally fine. A framework is just a way to evaluate what impacts matter. Tell me what impacts matter and what piece of offense applies under that.

Policy Args
Love them

    • I love a well thought out CP
    • I'm fine with PICs as well
    • When you debate CPs, make at least one cleverly worded perm and explain how the perm functions (solves all offense, mitigates the link to the disad etc.)
    • make sure there is real uniqueness!!!!
    • specific links based on specific affs will make me like you more
  • Ks
    • I prefer specific links over general links that can be re-used
    • Make sure you can defend the alternative and can EXPLAIN what it means
    • I’m fine if you have a role of the ballot/role of the judge – but if there is a counter ROB/ROJ, do some weighing


  • For me, fairness is not a terminal impact, but it is an internal link to other impacts that are important
  • There is no “spirit of the interpretation,” there is just the interpretation
  • Don’t read stupid theory arguments over the smallest technicalities. I’ll be expressive so you can tell what I consider to be reasonable. I’ll evaluate it, but your opponent won’t have a high threshold answering it.


  • T is determined through the plan text.
  • A good T argument should have a specific interpretation and carded evidence
  • I’ll be impressed if you answer T with specific, carded evidence and do some weighing

Rachel Mauchline Paradigm

4 rounds

Rachel Mauchline

Director of Debate Cabot

Conflicts- Bentonville West


Put me on the email chain @

speed is good

tech over truth

flex prep

open cross


I'm commonly a judge that flips between judging cx, ld, and pf. There are specific sections of this paradigm for policy and progressive ld arguments. I've also got a general PF section. Ask questions if you have any comments or concerns.

I typically get preferred for more policy-oriented debate. I gravitated to more plan focused affirmatives and t/cp/da debate. I would consider myself overall to be a more technically driven and line by line organized debater. My ideal round would be a policy affirmative with a plan text and three-seven off. Take that as you wish though.

Public Forum

you do you. make the debate whatever you want it to be. I've got experience judging rounds on multiple levels from local levels all the way to the finals of the toc. I like rebuttals to have clear line by line with numbered responses. second speaker should frontline in rebuttal. summary needs to extend terminal defense and offense OR really anything that you want in final focus. final focus should have substantial weighing and a clear way for me to write my ballot.


I enjoy a well articulated t debate. In fact, a good t debate is my favorite type of debate to judge. Both sides need to have a clear interpretation. Make sure it’s clearly impacted out. Be clear to how you want me to evaluate and consider arguments like the tva, switch side debate, procedural fairness, limits, etc.


This was my fav strat in high school. I’m a big fan of case-specific disadvantages but also absolutely love judging politics debates- be sure to have up to date uniqueness evidence in these debates though. It’s critical that the disad have some form of weighing by either the affirmative or negative in the context of the affirmative. Counterplans need to be functionally or textually competitive and also should have a net benefit. Slow down for CP texts and permutations- y’all be racing thru six technical perms in 10 seconds. Affirmative teams need to utilize the permutation more in order to test the competition of the counterplan. I don’t have any bias against any specific type of counterplans like consult or delay, but also I’m just waiting for that theory debate to happen.


I believe that case debate is under-covered in many debates by both teams. I love watching a case debate with turns and defense instead of the aff being untouched for the entire debate until last ditch move by the 2AR. The affirmative needs to continue to weigh the aff against the negative strat. Don't assume the 1AC will be carried across for you throughout the round. You need to be doing that work on the o/v and the line by line. It confuses me when the negative strat is a CP and then there are no arguments on the case; that guarantees aff 100% chance of solvency which makes the negative take the path of most resistance to prove the CP solves best.


I’m not as familiar with this form of argumentation or literature, but I’ll vote for the k. From my observations, I think teams end up just reading their prewritten blocks instead of directly engaging with the k specific to the affirmative. Be sure you understand what you are reading and not just reading a backfile or an argument that you don’t understand. The negative needs to be sure to explain what the alt actually is and more importantly how the alt engages with the affirmative. Similar to disads, the neg block/nr should expand on the link level of the debate and then condense down to the link they are winning in the 2NR for policy. I am seeing more and more teams, taking the strategy of kicking the alt and cross-applying the links as disads on the case flow. It's important to be aware though that for some kritiks that simply kicking the alt eliminates the uniqueness level of the link debate since they are simply implications from the status quo. That’s a cool strategy, which is also why affirmative teams need to be sure to not just focus on the alternative vs. the aff but also respond to all parts of the K. I think most aff teams that read a plan should have clear framework against the K in order to weigh this aff against the alt. Like I’ve said I judge more K rounds than I expected, but if you are reading a specific authors that isn’t super well known in the community, but sure to do a little more work in the o/v.


I’ll vote for whatever theory; I don’t usually intervene much in theory debates but I do think it’s important to flesh out clear impacts instead of reading short blips in order to get a ballot. Saying “pics bad” and then moving on without any articulation of in round/post fiat impacts isn’t going to give you much leverage on the impact level. You can c/a a lot of the analysis above on T to this section. It’s important that you have a clear interp/counter interp- that you meet- on a theory debate.

Cameron McConway Paradigm

5 rounds

*Updated 12/14/19*

I did LD for three years at Cy-Fair HS outside of Houston, Texas, qualifying to the TOC and NSDA nationals, and finishing in semifinals at TFA state. I work for McNeil HS in Austin while attending the University of Texas, and I teach at NSD and TDC.

Conflicts: McNeil HS, Cy-Fair HS, Lovejoy KC, Pembroke Pines MC


I'd rather evaluate your style of debate than have you do things you're not comfortable with because you think it's what I want. My paradigm is here so you get an idea of how you want to pref me and how to debate in front of me, not to dissuade you from any particular type of debate.

Feel free to ask me questions at

If I am judging you at 8 am or late after a long day of rounds, please make an extra effort to be clear and organized. I'm tired and I want to make sure I can evaluate the debate as best as possible, so this is in your best interest!

The trend of taking forever to send speech docs (and then wait for everyone to download them) is extremely annoying. I haven't figured out the best way to check this, so for now I'm asking that you come to round with the aff ready to send, and have docs ready to send as soon as prep ends before the NC. If you think you might have wifi trouble or problems with your email, a flash drive would speed this process up.


I will vote on most arguments as long as they aren't morally objectionable or blatantly false. I will do my best to be tab, but I think there is a level of plausibility necessary for me to vote on an argument (for instance, I won't vote on an obviously false I-meet). It will be difficult to convince me to vote on a super blippy apriori or an argument that turned into a voting issue after being one line in the original speech.

I'd like to be on the email chain in case I need to look at a card, but I will flow you not the speech doc.


I'm fine with speed, just slow down on tags/author names and interps/advocacy texts. I will yell clear/slow/louder but I will give up if there is no change.


I am comfortable evaluating theory under whichever paradigm you prefer, so long as you justify it. I have found that I enjoy a good theory debate where there is a lot of weighing and internal links.

I am not a fan of disclosure debates, especially when the violation is unverifiable or the wiki was down. That said, there is a difference between a debate about disclosure vs a debate over open source or round reports, and I would much prefer the former.


I read high theory and identity politics and enjoy both of these debates. I feel comfortable evaluating most K debates but I strongly prefer debaters err on the side of overexplaining/not relying on jargon rather than assuming that I am familiar with the literature they are reading. These debates tend to either be excellent and enjoyable or my least favorite.

I enjoy K affs, but I do think if you are nontopical you need to a) win that being nontopical is legitimate b) have an evaluative mechanism and c) have offense under that mechanism. I am happy to listen to unique/innovative K affs regardless of their topicality, though I am also happy to listen to T debates against them. I think these can be interesting debates.

Recent observation: I find positions that rely on premises like "performative contradictions good" or "debate itself bad" to be unpersuasive. Not positions that criticize the current iteration of competitive debate (I am fine with that), but rather I think there is inherent value to the act of debating. This doesn't mean I won't vote on high theory authors like Baudrillard, because I will and I have, but I do think your interpretation of these authors should be compatible with your performance.


I think that high level LARP debates tend to be more difficult to evaluate because a lot of debaters do not do sufficient weighing or impact calc. I enjoy well done LARP debates, just please do good weighing.


I enjoy framework debate more the longer I judge. Slow down a bit on long analytic dumps and err towards overexplaining the dense philosophical warrants, because these things are difficult to flow at your top speed.


I start around a 28.5 and go up or down depending on in-round strategy and skill relative to the tournament. Speaks tend to be over-inflated and relatively arbitrary, so I try to give speaks with influencing who clears in mind. I like speaks as a way to reward well-executed or particularly clever strategies.

David McGinnis Paradigm

6 rounds

I spent a bunch of time before New Trier 19 writing a policy paradigm and in the one round I got the aff read "queer eroticism" so I am done trying to explain to policy teams how to adapt to me. Those of you who would strike or otherwise depref me because I am an LD coach: good call. Those of you who would refrain from striking me and then read "queer eroticism": please reconsider.


I am the head coach at Valley High School and have been coaching LD debate since 1996.

I coach students on both the local and national circuits.

I can flow speed reasonably well, particularly if you speak clearly. If I can't flow you I will say "clear" or "slow" a couple of times before I give up and begin playing Pac Man.

I'm most familiar with philosophical framework debating, but you can debate however you like in front of me, as well as you explain your arguments clearly and do a good job of extending and weighing.


Jennifer Melin Paradigm

6 rounds

Jenn (Jennifer) Miller-Melin, Jenn Miller, Jennifer Miller, Jennifer Melin, or some variation thereof. :)

Email for email chains:

If you walk into a round and ask me some vague question like, "Do you have any paradigms?", I will be annoyed. If you have a question about something contained in this document that is unclear to you, please do not hesitate to ask that question.

-Formerly assistant coach for Lincoln-Douglas debate at Hockaday, Marcus, Colleyville, and Grapevine. Currently assisting at Grapevine High School and Colleyville Heritage High School.

I was a four year debater who split time between Grapevine and Colleyville Heritage High Schools. During my career, I was active on the national circuit and qualified for both TOC and NFL Nationals. Since graduating in 2004, I have taught at the Capitol Debate Institute, UNT Mean Green Debate Workshops, TDC, and the University of Texas Debate Institute, the National Symposium for Debate, and Victory Briefs Institute. I have served as Curriculum Director at both UTNIF and VBI.

In terms of debate, I need some sort standard to evaluate the round. I have no preference as to what kind of standard you use (traditional value/criterion, an independent standard, burdens, etc.). The most important thing is that your standard explains why it is the mechanism I use to decide if the resolution is true or false. As a side note on the traditional structure, I don't think that the value is of any great importance and will continue to think this unless you have some well warranted reason as to why I should be particularly concerned with it. My reason is that the value doesn't do the above stated, and thus, generally is of no aid to my decision making process.

That said, debates often happen on multiple levels. It is not uncommon for debaters to introduce a standard and a burden or set of burdens. This is fine with me as long as there is a decision calculus; by which I mean, you should tell me to resolve this issue first (maybe the burden) and that issue next (maybe the standard). Every level of analysis should include a reason as to why I look to it in the order that you ask me to and why this is or is not a sufficient place for me to sign my ballot. Be very specific. There is nothing about calling something a "burden" that suddenly makes it more important than the framework your opponent is proposing. This is especially true in rounds where it is never explained why this is the burden that the resolution or a certain case position prescribes.

Another issue relevant to the standard is the idea of theory and/or off-case/ "pre-standard" arguments. All of the above are fine but the same things still apply. Tell me why these arguments ought to come first in my decision calculus. The theory debate is a place where this is usually done very poorly. Things like "education" or "fairness" are standards and I expect debaters to spend effort developing the framework that transforms into such.

l try to listen to any argument, but making the space unsafe for other bodies is unacceptable. I reserve the right to dock speaks or, if the situation warrants it, refuse to vote on arguments that commit violence against other bodies in the space.

I hold all arguments to the same standard of development regardless of if they are "traditional" or "progressive". An argument has a structure (claim, warrant, and impact) and that should not be forgotten when debaterI ws choose to run something "critical". Warrants should always be well explained. Certain cards, especially philosophical cards, need a context or further information to make sense. You should be very specific in trying to facilitate my understanding. This is true for things you think I have read/should have read (ie. "traditional" LD philosophy like Locke, Nozick, and Rawls) as well as things that I may/may not have read (ie. things like Nietzsche, Foucault, and Zizek). A lot of the arguments that are currently en vogue use extremely specialized rhetoric. Debaters who run these authors should give context to the card which helps to explain what the rhetoric means.

One final note, I can flow speed and have absolutely no problem with it. You should do your best to slow down on author names and tags. Also, making a delineation between when a card is finished and your own analysis begins is appreciated. I will not yell "clear" so you should make sure you know how to speak clearly and quickly before attempting it in round.

I will always disclose unless instructed not to do so by a tournament official. I encourage debaters to ask questions about the round to further their understanding and education. I will not be happy if I feel the debater is being hostile towards me and any debater who does such should expect their speaker points to reflect their behavior.

I am a truth tester at heart but am very open to evaluating the resolution under a different paradigm if it is justified and well explained. That said, I do not understand the offense/defense paradigm and am increasingly annoyed with a standard of "net benefits", "consequentialism", etc. Did we take a step back about 20 years?!? These seem to beg the question of what a standard is supposed to do (clarify what counts as a benefit). About the only part of this paradigm that makes sense to me is weighing based on "risk of offense". It is true that arguments with some risk of offense ought to be preferred over arguments where there is no risk but, lets face it, this is about the worst type of weighing you could be doing. How is that compelling? "I might be winning something". This seems to only be useful in a round that is already giving everyone involved a headache. So, while the offense/defense has effectively opened us up to a different kind of weighing, it should be used with caution given its inherently defensive nature.

Theory seems to be here to stay. I seem to have a reputation as not liking theory, but that is really the sound bite version of my view. I think that theory has a place in debate when it is used to combat abuse. I am annoyed when theory is used as a tactic because a debater feels she is better at theory than her opponent. I really like to talk about the topic more than I like to wax ecstatic about what debate would look like in the world of flowers, rainbows, and neat flows. That said, I will vote on theory even when I am annoyed by it. I tend to look at theory more as an issue of reasonabilty than competing interpretations. As with the paradigm discussion above, I am willing to listen to and adjust my view in round if competing interpretations is justified as how I should look at theory. Over the last few years I have become a lot more willing to pull the trigger on theory than I used to be. That said, with the emergence of theory as a tactic utilized almost every round I have also become more sympathetic to the RVI (especially on the aff). I think the Aff is unlikely to be able to beat back a theory violation, a disad, and a CP and then extend from the AC in 4 minutes. This seems to be even more true in a world where the aff must read a counter-interp and debate on the original interp. All of this makes me MUCH more likely to buy an RVI than I used to be. Also, I will vote on theory violations that justify practices that I generally disagree with if you do not explain why those practices are not good things. It has happened a lot in the last couple of years that a debater has berated me after losing because X theory shell would justify Y practice, and don't I think Y practice would be really bad for debate? I probably do, but if that isn't in the round I don't know how I would be expected to evaluate it.

Finally, I can't stress how much I appreciate a well developed standards debate. Its fine if you choose to disregard that piece of advice, but I hope that you are making up for the loss of a strategic opportunity on the standards debate with some really good decisions elsewhere. You can win without this, but you don't look very impressive if I can't identify the strategy behind not developing and debating the standard.

I cannot stress enough how tired I am of people running away from debates. This is probably the biggest tip I can give you for getting better speaker points in front of me, please engage each other. There is a disturbing trend (especially on Sept/Oct 2015) to forget about the 1AC after it is read. This makes me feel like I wasted 6 minutes of my life, and I happen to value my time. If your strategy is to continuously up-layer the debate in an attempt to avoid engaging your opponent, I am probably not going to enjoy the round. This is not to say that I don't appreciate layering. I just don't appreciate strategies, especially negative ones, that seek to render the 1AC irrelevant to the discussion and/or that do not ever actually respond to the AC.

Debate has major representation issues (gender, race, etc.). I have spent years committed to these issues so you should be aware that I am perhaps hypersensitive to them. We should all be mindful of how we can increase inclusion in the debate space. If you do things that are specifically exclusive to certain voices, that is a voting issue.

Being nice matters. I enjoy humor, but I don't enjoy meanness. At a certain point, the attitude with which you engage in debate is a reason why I should choose to promote you to the next outround, etc.

You should not spread analytics and/or in depth analysis of argument interaction/implications at your top speed. These are probably things that you want me to catch word for word. Help me do that.

Theory is an issue of reasonability. Let's face it, we are in a disgusting place with the theory debate as a community. We have forgotten its proper place as a check on abuse. "Reasonability invites a race to the bottom?" Please, we are already there. I have long felt that theory was an issue of reasonability, but I have said that I would listen to you make arguments for competing interps. I am no longer listening. I am pretty sure that the paradigm of competing interps is largely to blame with for the abysmal state of the theory debate, and the only thing that I have power to do is to take back my power as a judge and stop voting on interps that have only a marginal net advantage. The notion that reasonability invites judge intervention is one of the great debate lies. You've trusted me to make decisions elsewhere, I don't know why I can't be trusted to decide how bad abuse is. Listen, if there is only a marginal impact coming off the DA I am probably going to weigh that against the impact coming off the aff. If there is only a marginal advantage to your interp, I am probably going to weigh that against other things that have happened in the round.

Grammar probably matters to interpretations of topicality. If one reading of the sentence makes sense grammatically, and the other doesn't that is a constraint on "debatability". To say the opposite is to misunderstand language in some pretty fundamental ways.

Truth testing is still true, but it's chill that most of you don't understand what that means anymore. It doesn't mean that I am insane, and won't listen to the kind of debate you were expecting to have. Sorry, that interp is just wrong.

Framework is still totally a thing. Impact justifying it is still silly. That doesn't change just because you call something a "Role of the Ballot" instead of a criterion.

Util allows you to be lazy on the framework level, but it requires that you are very good at weighing. If you are lazy on both levels, you will not make me happy.

Flashing is out of control. You need to decide prior to the round what the expectations for flashing/emailing are. What will/won't be done during prep time, what is expected to be flashed, etc. The amount of time it takes to flash is extending rounds by an unacceptable amount. If you aren't efficient at flashing, that is fine. Paper is still totally a thing. Email also works.

Dan Miyamoto Paradigm

5 rounds

Former policy debater. Sensibilities skew towards policy making / comparative worlds. Skeptical of root cause kritiks.

Explain the K alt, what it does, why it solves.

Don't assume I'm intimately familiar with your critical theory or its warrants. Make the warrants explicit.

Disclosure is good, you should disclose. It's not my job as a judge to enforce disclosure.

If you plan to go for theory, you should be able to articulate in-round abuse as a result of your opponent's violation.

Sending email counts as prep.

Don't ask if I disclose speaker points. Unless you're tracking the points of everyone in the tournament, that information is useless to you.

* Explicit is better than implicit

* Simple is better than complex

* Complex is better than complicated

* Equity delights in equality.

* One who seeks equity must do equity

* Equity aids the vigilant

Dhanush Nadella Paradigm

5 rounds

TLDR: I did policy all 4 years, so little experience with LD, and I was a “K debater.” Basically go for anything in front of me, major framing is appreciated on all flows. I dislike theory though, especially spikes please try to avoid crappy petty theory debates if possible.

email: (if there is a chain add me please)

Be nice and courteous but a lil sass is dope.

LD Remainder: I didn’t debate LD but major framing is appreciated and I will try to judge to my best ability.

Background: graduated in 2018 go to ucla studying math (no debate program here :\ ), did policy debate all four years of high school, barely know this years topics in all formats. I was, in my opinion, an above average debater.

Speed: I wasn't exactly the fastest of debaters when I did debate but I have been away from the activity for a good year now so slowing down would be much appreciated. Especially during the starting of your speeches so I can get accustomed to spreading voices and also on your tag lines/arguments you want flowed for sure.

DA’s/CP: I debated them in locals liked them vote for them. I do believe in zero percent chance of an impact.

K’s: I was a “k debater.” I read these in bid rounds and other important rounds at tournaments. I don’t have too much experience in literature but I did read Baudrillard, Deleuze, Antiblackness, Cybernetics, Psychoanalysis, and Cap. I have read a fair bit of literature in recent times but I won't just give you the arg if you don't explain it well. Big overviews and links anything is chill as long as there is framing in the last speech and examples are used.

T: It's ok, didnt debate it much though, but a good T debate is dope. In round abuse > potential abuse.

F/W: I debated against this a LOT. Framing is hella important for me on both sides. I will not lie, I do have preconceived notions about some of the impacts ( fairness, “small schools DA”). But, tech over truth and “k teams” don’t answer framework properly way too often so as a judge I see myself going both ways.

Theory: I dislike these debates in all but a few situations. Especially theory spikes. I won’t dock you speaks or vote you down but I dislike these debates so unless there is serious abuse please don't do this to me.

Nelson Okunlola Paradigm

4 rounds

*Glenbrooks Update - I’ll probably be flowing on paper - do with this what you wish*

I still know nothing about the topic.

Earl Warren '17

Northwestern '21

Email: [Add me to the chain]

I did LD and Policy in high school and was a 2N at Northwestern

I haven't read the topic lit. Don't assume I know the acronyms or that I know what's "common sense" in the literature

I generally evaluate LD and Policy the same, correcting for obvious activity discrepancies. If something is specific to one event, ill label it as such.

Do what YOU want and do it well. If something isn't clear here, contact me or ask before the round


- Tech > Truth

- Add me to the chain. Prep time ends when the doc has been saved and is ready to be sent. If you "cease prep" and aren't ready to give your speech within 30 seconds, I'm starting the time again. Get better at compiling docs.

- Ill vote on pretty much anything that's warranted and impacted both generally and to my ballot. I don't give credence to one lit base over another. Reading something just because you think i'd like it is probably not the way to go but do you I guess.

- Debate can be whatever you want it to be, whether that's a game, a liberation strategy, or an activity you do just cause.

- Decision Calculus = "who's winning framing" "who's winning offense under that framing". I’ll evaluate “layers” and all that jazz but thats work you have to do. If your strategy requires a different evaluative mechanism just make that clear

- Absent framing I'll presume util=trutil

- Don't assume I've read your lit

- I'll call for evidence judiciously

Evidence Ethics

- Don't do it, if you do its an L0

- If you make a false accusation, its an L0

- I think brackets are only germane for questionable language, given that the word or phrase you change is not omitted from the text.


- Speed is chill but keep in mind I've never been the best at flowing

- Do not start at full speed, 8/10 times I'll miss the first 3 words

- ******Slow down considerably on tags/texts/analytics. You can speed through anything else

- Some speeds are just incomprehensible for me to flow so I will yell slow and/or clear. I won't dock speaks if you're too fast for me because that's not your fault, but if you are unclear it is my jurisdiction to dock speaks.

- The longer you take to adapt the angrier I get and that affects speaks

[LD] Pref shortcuts

K: 1

"LARP": 1

Theory: 2-3

Framework/Phil: 3

Tricks: 4

[LD] Framework

- Tell me how to evaluate the round. Absent framing, I'll assume util is true and adjudicate accordingly. You don't want me to do that.

- I'm not an analytic/dense phil guy. If this is what you do thats fine just please don't assume I've read your lit.


- CP theory is fair game

- Competition should be clear


- Impact framing and weighing is important and the lack thereof make these debates hard to evaluate


- I need to know what your alt and my ballot means/does

- Don't assume I've read your lit

- Make framing arguments, I don't like intervening

- Go all out, but warrant your arguments/practices

Kritikal Affs/Performance/Micropolitical/T - Resolution

- Warrant and defend your practice/speech act/performance

- Been on both sides of this debate, enjoy both sides of this debate. I'm just as willing to vote on T as I am to vote aff in these debates

- The negative could usually benefit from saying something about the case proper in these debates


- Do it well

- I need to hear your interpretation

- Slow down on the standard/impact names (Limits, Ground etc)

- Ngl I enjoy a good topicality debate

[LD] this isn't policy and there are no stock issues. T is probably not an intrinsic affirmative burden. You probably need a voter.


- I would much rather evaluate substance but theory is fair game. However, just like every other argument, the more bullshit it is, the lower my threshold for responses are but at the same time I won't make those responses for you

- Slow down on the interpretation and the standard/impact names (Predictability, Time Skew etc)

- Reasonability is very underutilized and can be compelling but deploy it effectively

[LD] If theory is your pre-meditated A strat, don't pref me. No one likes frivolous theory, it will make me sad and you'll be sad when you see your speaks

[LD] I shouldn't have to default on any theory paradigms, it's your job to have that debate but without contestation, I'll default competing interpretations and no RVI's. All this means is that if these aren't contested in the round, that's how i'm evaluating theory.

[LD] Theory does not have to be in "shell" format

[LD] Skep

- It's an argument. It can be worthwhile if read well, therefore if you plan on reading this do it well and defend your practice.

- 1 off skep probably won't get you too far but I'll evaluate it I guess

[LD] Tricks

- If your A-strat are tricks then I'm not the judge for you. I honestly don't really know how most of the shits function so you probably dont want me judging you anyways

- Ill still evaluate it, just err on the side of explanation of the utility of your argument.

Speaker points

- This changes depending on the caliber of the tournament

- I see speaks as a tiebreaker for seeding and I evaluate it accordingly

- General criteria: should you clear? strategy, in round persona, "are you good or bad at debate"

- Speech impediments won't factor into my evaluation of speaks

- I'll reward innovation by giving more speaks to debaters that teach me something new

- 29.6-30: You can win this tournament or be in late elims

- 29-29.5: Better than the majority of the pool

- 28-29: You'll probably clear

- 27-28: You'll probably not clear

- 26-27: Lots of room for improvement

- < 26: .........


- Content warnings are valuable

- Lay debate is chill, but I prefer faster debates over slower ones.

PF Paradigms Update 3/27 for TOC

- Everything in the Policy/LD section generally apply, I suggest reading that especially the TLDR/General section

- I prefer faster debates over slower ones

- The only hard and fast/objective rules that constrain me are those of the tournaments/whatever rule guidelines said the tournament is following. Everything else is up for debate (i.e theoretical arguments)

- I don't care what you read/how you read it (see note above)

- Don't assume I've read the topic lit

- I'm fine with "progressive" style arguments but if your opponents ask for clarification you better do some explaining.

Adesuwa Omoruyi Paradigm

6 rounds


I am one of the most naturally neutral individuals I know. I will NOT favor a side because I SHOULD. I will favor a side because you convinced me to... hence the purpose of effective argumentation. Don't assume -- just explain.


Be understood. Be clear. If I don't flow it... IT NEVER HAPPENED. Remember this during warrants / impacts / extensions. I rarely call for cards, so if I need to hear it, make sure you set the scene for optimal results.

Theory/ K

Debating about debate is fun and engaging -- if it makes sense. Silly theories are just silly, but go back to my section on presumption - I will favor a side because you convinced me to... hence the purpose of effective argumentation. If you convince me that the theory is valid, then it is for the round. I will not assume how it functions or the reasonability of it. Prove that it does or doesn't. A good K with clear explinations, links and impacts are refreshing to me. Neg must explain why aff can't perm the day away -- why is the alt superior? Aff, why is the perm better than the alt and case solo? This is where speed choices are important.


Here are a few questions you should ask yourself: Do you understand the card? Does it link to the argumentation presented? Is it topical to the context you're using it in? Do the warrants exist in the text? Is it qualified? Is it dated? clipping truly worth it? 

T's, DA's, CPs

Policy was my niche back in the day. That being said -- I'll buy it if its clear, all conditions are met, it makes sense, and if it actually does something / proves a point. I will follow the flow, and the flow alone. Keep it clean!


Finally... most importantly... tell me WHY I should be voting for you. Yes. I want voters. Explain why a drop is catastrophic. Tell me why case outweighs. You know what happens when you assume... don't assume that I'm rolling with you. Explain why I should be.



Spkr Point Breakdown

30 Likely to take the tournament

29.5 Contender to the crown 

29 Excited to see how deep you go! 

28.5 Highly likely to clear

28 Clearing is possible

27.5 On the bubble, keep pushing

27 Congrats on earning entry into the tournament!!

Rodrigo Paramo Paradigm

6 rounds

i debated ld and policy in high school, i coach ld @ greenhill.

toss me on the email chain:

[current/past affiliations: woodlands ('14-'15), dulles ('15-'16), edgemont ('16-'18), westwood ('14-'18), greenhill ('18-now)]

I am most comfortable evaluating critical and policy debates, but find myself thoroughly enjoying 6 minutes of topicality or framework [like, T-framework against k affs, not kant] if it is delivered at a speed i can flow. I will make it clear if you are going too fast - i am very expressive so if i am lost you should be able to tell. I am a bad judge for tricks debates, and am not a great judge for denser "phil" debates - i do not coach or think about analytic philosophy outside of tournaments, so I need these debates to happen at a much slower pace in order for me to process and understand all the moving parts - notably, this is also true for whoever is answering these positions.

Thoughts I have

0) New Thoughts I Have Had Since My Last Update:

  • i can't think of any instances where a debate round would be better if it includes personal invectives against specific debaters/institutions/etc - i can think of many when it is worse for it.
  • i mark cards at the timer and stop flowing at the timer.

1) Evidence Ethics: Last year I saw a lot of miscut evidence. I think that evidence ethics matters regardless of whether an argument/ethics challenge is raised in the debate. This year, if I notice that a piece of evidence is miscut, I will vote against the debater who reads the miscut evidence.

I think that a piece of evidence is miscut if:

  • it starts and/or ends in the middle of a sentence or paragraph.
  • text is missing from the middle of the card (replacing that text with an ellipsis does not make it okay),
  • the next paragraph or another part of the article explicitly contradicts the argument/claim made in the card,
  • the card is highlighted in a way that modifies or does not accurately represent the author’s claim - i think students & coaches both are far too comfortable highlighting only parts of words/sentences in a way that drastically changes the meaning of a card, and i think this is bad. [Be careful with brackets - I don’t think they always mean a card is miscut, but I’ve seen that they very often do. I think that brackets, more often than not, are bad - if a bracket changes the strength of a claim made by the author, or in some other way changes the *meaning* of the evidence, it is miscut],
  • if a cite lists the wrong author, article title, etc. (I hope to decide 0 debates this year on citations - I’ll only decide debates on them without challenges in the most egregious cases).
  • if a card does not have a citation at all and the debater is asked for it, but cannot provide it, i think this means you do not get that argument. i do not think it would be super hard to convince me that this is a voting issue, but i will not presume that.

If I decide a debate on evidence ethics, I will let the debate finish as normal. If the debate is a prelim, I will decide speaks based on the content of the debate and subtract two speaker points from the debater that I vote against. If the debate is an elim, I will submit my ballot and won’t say anything about my decision until the debate is announced.

If both sides read miscut evidence, I will vote against the debater who read miscut evidence first. (I really don’t love this as a way to evaluate these debates, but the only comparable scenario that I can think of is clipping, and that’s how I would resolve those debates.)

I do not plan to go out of my way looking for miscut evidence or checking to see whether every card is cut correctly. If I do notice that something is miscut, I will vote against the debater who reads it regardless of whether a challenge is made.

Please do not hesitate to ask questions about this before the debate.

Evidence Ethics Procedures: the phrase "evidence ethics" means something - if someone says it and their opponent clarifies "is this an evidence ethics challenge," i understand this to mean that the debate ends - whoever has made the accusation wins if i believe the evidence ethics violation is correct, they lose if i believe the accused did not commit an evidence ethics violation - i will not independently end the round if the accused does not ask for this - if they do, i am happy to - words matter and evidence ethics matters - see the relevant section on bennett eckert's paradigm for more of my thoughts on this question. i also believe that debaters should think carefully before accusing their opponents of academic dishonesty, plagiarism, etc. - heavy claims.

2) Clipping: i have a good ear for when clipping is occurring - if i suspect it is, i will follow along in the speech doc - if i determine i am correct, the person clipping will lose. to be very clear, this does not necessitate the opponent making a clipping accusation - i feel very comfortable making this adjudication on my own.

3) Nebel T Update: in the past i have made clear that the nebel argument did not make a lot of sense to me. in many ways, i am still receptive to the "pragmatics first" school of thought. however i must admit that nebel 19 (the second one) appeals to me on a deep level. i intuitively believe that a world where debate has plans is a better one, but jake has convinced me that our topic wordings do not often justify that world. i will obviously still judge these debates based only on what happens in the round, but i am newly receptive to the nebel argument. some thoughts:

  • portions of the grammar stuff still confuses me at the speed of a debate round, so please slow down
  • given my fondness for plans, i am more sympathetic to semantic claims when you are defending Nebel

4) Comparative Worlds/Truth-Testing:

  • i will default to a comparative worlds paradigm unless the 1ac/nc justifies otherwise - later speeches cannot shift to truth-testing without an indication of that interpretive claim in the constructives.

5) Politics Disads:

  • i follow domestic politics prettttty closely. this means i will be thrilled to reward smart analytics made on politics scenarios and will be impressed if you know your stuff. that said, this means my bs meter is pretty high on some ptx scenarios - for instance, i am not going to vote on an impeachment impact unless you tell me how we get from a 53-47 gop senate to a successful vote to remove trump from office - absent that warrant, i will not grant you "impeachment proceedings remove trump from office" [of course, the opposing side must be able to explain why a 53-47 gop senate is unlikely to cast that votes
  • i think it is (still) a tad too early for good 2020 debates to happen yet, so if you plan on reading them please read high quality evidence and match that with high quality analysis in the 2nr

6) miscellaneous thoughts on Theory/topicality:

  • slow down on it - will say slow twice. after that, i will miss your arguments and that will be the RFD. this is similarly true for perm texts etc - dont super care what the doc said if i didnt flow the text near verbatim in the 1ar. if i say "slow" i have almost certainly already missed an argument - do with that what you will.
  • im pretty receptive to text of the interp/text of the rotb/plan flaw args - i generally think that when issues arise in those 3 things, they are a result of students not giving much thought to them which is a shame bc all 3 are pretty important in my view - well crafted interps, as well as cxes that isolate plan flaws/interp issues will be rewarded (this does not mean i like /bad/ plan flaw args). i am also fairly willing to check in on semantic i meets against frivolous theory.
  • you should always flash or have written down interp/counter-interp texts readily available for both your opponents and your judges
  • i will likely be easily compelled by a "debaters should not bracket evidence" argument *if* you can execute it well - i have grown sympathetic to this argument as abuses become increasingly egregious
  • theory and topicality are different and i think this implicates what the 1ar is expected to do to respond to each. it also implicates what topicality vs theory interpretations (and counter interpretations) are expected to include
  • my reluctance to vote on bad theory arguments is not because they are bad but because i literally dont understand the abuse story on many many shells. some examples: spec status; spec standard; rotb spec; cant concede the aff framework; must concede the aff framework. i am not interested in judging these debates and do not think the feedback i give in these debates is that helpful for anyone involved. good theory debates can be great, but i will feel comfortable saying "i did not understand the abuse story so i did not vote on this shell" (this also applies to framework v k affs)
  • "in the interest of disclosing my own bias, i think the best debates happen when both teams are able to reasonably predict what arguments will be read (with the exception of new affs + unbroken neg positions). i am unsympathetic to arguments about disclosure that do not contest this point. even if you cannot post broken positions on the wiki for whatever reason, it is my belief that you should be willing to provide them, in good faith, to your opponent upon request in some way." - anna (weird to quote a former student on here!)

7) miscellaneous thoughts on T-Framework

  • i spent... a lot of time last summer thinking about framework against k affs - im into it if done well - im not as into the procedural fairness version of it - get creative.
  • i do not think i have ever been convinced by the claim that judges have a jurisdictional constraint to only vote for topical affs - i do not foresee that changing [really, *any* jurisdictional constraint is unlikely to be compelling to me bc it is a claim that just kind of is incapable of a particularly good warrant]
  • I think the best framework shells will be written to pre-empt semantic I meets, and will do more than just define three words in the resolution - they will provide a model for what topical affs must defend, they will have standards level offense that has explanatory power for why debate has rules, what the role of the ballot is, etc. - I suppose in short, the claim behind a good framework shell is stronger than just “the resolution determines the division of aff and neg ground.”
  • your shell should define a word in the resolution besides just "Resolved:"
  • pretty close to 50/50 voting record in clash debates

8) miscellaneous thoughts on permutations:

  • i do not understand why the aff would not get perms in a method debate - i have never seen a compelling warrant and can't really think of one - thus, the default assumption on my part is that the aff does get perms and it is a fairly uphill battle to convince me otherwise
  • i will not grant you the perm if i am uncertain about the perm text bc the articulation between 1ar and 2ar was different
  • perm texts should be more than "perm do both" - *especially* in the 2ar
  • you should always flash or have written down perm texts readily available for both your opponents and the judges

9) miscellaneous thoughts on the Kritik

  • i am so deeply deeply unreceptive to and uninterested in this trend of explaining new identity categories with the same form and language of antiblackness literature. if you do not have a psychoanalytic warrant, dont claim you do! if you do not have evidence identifying a structural antagonism, i do not know why you are using that language! sigh.
  • kritiks i have spent a lot of time thinking about: deleuzean scholarship, queer theory (a lot of authors fall under this second category), borderlands
  • kritiks I judge a lot: afropessimism, settler colonialism
  • kritiks I don't really get: baudrillard [i am far far more receptive to baudrillard on the negative than on the affirmative, but i think it is a kinda uphill battle against identity affs in front of me]
  • i think that the best k affs will have a defense of why *debating the aff* is good - not just why *the aff* as an object is good - why is the process of reading it in an environment where the neg must respond to it good? (in other words, the affirmative should answer the question of why it is good to read non-t affs on the aff, not just in debate)
  • i really enjoy a good performance debate
    • i think that people often attempt to go for performative offense when all they have done is read cards that are formatted in a normative way, at a conventional speed, and where later speeches revert to a hyper technical style of debate - i am *very, very* skeptical of the level of offense that these performances access - to get access to a "we change debate" claim, you should... do something I haven't seen before. a performance debate should not be indistinguishable from a policy debate, and these days almost all of the ones i judge are. that is a real shame.
  • my threshold for "debate bad" is fairly high - my presumption is that there is a lot of value in debate, and that is why I have stuck around for so long.

10) miscellaneous thoughts (other):

  • Evidence quality is directly correlated to the amount of credibility I will grant an argument - if the card is underhighlighted, the claim is likely underwarranted. The 1ac/nc should have evidence of high quality, and the 1ar/2nr/2ar should have explanation of that evidence of a similarly high quality
  • if the 2nr is split that is rarely a great sign for speaker points - it also is liable to implicate your ability to win the debate
  • i will not vote for a position i do not understand - this includes poorly explained kritiks, sloppy link scenarios on a disad, dense ncs that i probably wont get, and theory shells whose abuse story i can not adequately explain back to the debaters
  • I'll say clear/slow twice - speaks will be deducted after that
    • given how clear it is to me that no one could flow a debate round as it is delivered, i am cool w debaters tossing out a "slow" at their opponents if they can't flow them at top speed
  • flex prep means asking questions during prep time - in no world does unused CX time become prep time
  • speech times dont change presumption how wild - people should deploy presumption more against affirmatives that do not defend anything!
  • clarity is important for high speaks but more important than how you sound is making strategic decisions in the 2AR/NR collapse in the 2nr/2ar
  • I love a robust debate on the case line by line - I do not love a case debate that is just three disads read on the case page, or that dumps generic case turns on the page with no signposting / interacting with cards from the ac - this is particularly true when you read all the generic turns and then do the line by line.
  • i generally do not believe you can merely "insert" a list of what the aff defends - I think this is functionally equivalent to not reading it.
  • my average speaks so far this year:
    • grapevine: 28.32
    • greenhill rr: 28.63
    • greenhill: 28.43
    • marks: 28.72
    • apple valley:28.3
    • glenbrooks + glenbrooks rr: 28.71
    • ut: 28.18
    • blake: 28.9
    • first semester average: 28.52
    • churchill: 28.38
    • hwl: forgot to calculate them + speaks arent public! :/

11) on trigger warnings:

Debaters reading positions about suicide, depression/specific mental health, sexual violence, or any similarly traumatic issue, the onus is on them to ask those in the room permission to read the position. Spectators may leave, but judges and opponents do not have that option, meaning there is an expectation that if one of them objects to the triggering subject, that the debater will not read that position. If a debater does not adjust their strategy after being asked to, they will start the round with a 25. If you do not ask before round, but someone is triggered, speaks will similarly be docked. If there is no trigger warning but no one is triggered, the round can continue as normal.

The question for what necessitates a trigger warning is difficult to objectively delineate - if you have a reasonable suspicion someone could be negatively impacted by your position, ask before you read it - explicit narratives are probably a good starting point here. Trigger warnings are contentious in debate but I've seen students negatively impacted in rounds because they were not present and have engaged in conversations with other coaches that lead me to conclude something along these lines is necessary. At the very least, debate is (or should be) a 'safe space', and I believe this is a necessary first step towards achieving that goal. Feel free to discuss this before the round if you are worried it will become an issue in round.

This (admittedly strangely) probably means I'm not the judge for "must read a trigger warning" shells - they often make debate rounds uncomfortable and i have seen them leveraged in ways that make debate spaces unsafe - if no one was triggered, don't spend your time on that shell.

This article is very good at articulating my views on the importance of trigger warnings
It is not up for debate that if someone was triggered on account of your failure to adequately make use of trigger warnings, you'll be punished through speaks and/or the ballot

Scott Phillips Paradigm

1 rounds

Scott Phillips- for email chains please use iblamebricker@gmail in policy, and for LD
Coach@ Harvard Westlake/Dartmouth

2018 Updates

My general philosophy is tech/line by line focused- I try to intervene as little as possible in terms of rejecting arguments/interpreting evidence. As long as an argument has a claim/warrant I can explain to your opponent in the RFD I will vote for it. If only one side tries to resolve an issue I will defer to that argument even if it seems illogical/wrong to me- i.e. if you drop "warming outweighs-timeframe" and have no competing impact calc its GG even though that arg is terrible. 90% of the time I'm being postrounded it is because a debater wanted me to intervene in some way on their behalf either because that's the trend/what some people do or because they personally thought an argument was bad.

Old Stuff
Rounds Judged on the topic- a lot
My Ideal affirmative- 2 well constructed advantages
My Ideal 1NC- 5 off and case

Cliffs Notes-Top 10 Things you should know

1. I vote on arguments commonly considered "bad" frequently because a team mishandles them, it is my belief belief that most bad arguments can be defeated by making a thumbs down motion, so if you fail to meet that minimum threshold I will be qualmless voting against you. The overarching principle of my judging is "least intervention"-Much like Harrison Ford in Ender's Game under no circumstances will I help you with bad arguments, I believe in self help.

2. I vote on kritiks a lot because the team answering them reads a lot of bad generic answers instead of making analytic arguments based on the specific arguments they have made in that debate. To clarify this sentence - what I mean is an analytic based on your 1AC- ie "tradable permits empirically don't cause commodification and extinction since we already have them for SO2". In general I think most debaters have no idea what they are saying when reading a K and that affirmatives SHOULD win about 80-90% of the debates in which the negative goes for one.

3. No plan affs- 100% of the time when I vote against you on framework its because the other team won theory was a trump card over issues like education/K impacts and you didn't advance theory offense for your interpretation. I end up voting for no plan args frequently because the neg collapses/has no idea what to do.

4. Theory needs to come back with a vengeance

A. Entirely plan inclusive counterplans- I have never heard a theory argument to defend them that passes the minimum threshold explained above. That being said, winning a solvency deficit against them is basically impossible.

B. More than 2 conditional counterplans is just you being a chazzer

C. K frameworks/roles of the ballot that stack the deck absurdly are worse than entirely plan inclusive counterplans

D. Reject argument not team produces terrible debates with very bad strategies. Voting on theory doesn't fix this, but it improves it substantially.

5. I believe you have a choice
A. Clearly articulate your ground/say as much in CX
B. Because your position is vague you are susceptible to a reduced credibility modifier that taints many of your arguments. Plan vagueness affects plan solvency, alternative vagueness affects.... etc.

6. IMO there are, in fact, risks of things. Debaters should be aware of this and make arguments about how I should resolve risk. The plan may be popular with 5 people and unpopular with 6, should I place more emphasis on the number of people or maybe are those 5 more important? Very few link cards establish such a clear threshold that you can say with certainty (when contested) yes definite link. (this point is largely irrelevant now as the tides of history have turned and no risk people have been successfully marginalized)

7. I will always defer to debater argument resolution if one side does it and the other doesn't-no matter how bad or illogical I think the argument is. This is to me, the most important part of debate.

8. I try really hard to flow well. Teams who willfully ignore line by line/structure - I will not do work for you to figure things out if the other team does line by line barring some argument why I should.

9. I often call for lots of evidence after a debate, most of the time this is just out of curiosity. When making my decision evidence is only a factor when it is a point of contest or someone has made an argument for why it should be a part of the decision. I am not a judge who reads every card from both sides and makes a decision based on the evidence.

10. Evidence quality in debate is in terminal decline. If you have good evidence and you make an issue of it in the debate (talk about quals, or recency for uniqueness) you will most likely crush.

Making a decision:
Everything is debatable but speech times: The role of the ballot, whether evidence or analytic arguments are more important, is it acceptable for the other team to read off their computers, who gets presumption and why etc. If neither team makes an argument on the issue, the following are my defaults:

1. Evidence and analytic arguments are treated equally- I will look at the total sum of explanation offered for an argument, from any form. So if a well explained analytical will beat a poorly written piece of evidence. If one teams reads qualifications and the other doesn't, the team who read quals will receive a slight bump in the level of quality I assess to their explanation (assuming all other factors are equal). Treating them as equal until told otherwise is my way of encouraging debate.

2. Presumption, in the case of a tie or too close to call resolution of an argument, goes to the team advocating the least change. I would use presumption in the instance where each team had an advocacy and an offensive argument, and each team dropped a terminal defense argument to their own offense such that the net risk in either direction of presented offense was exactly zero. In that instance the "hidden disad" of change makes sense as a decision making tool. In no other circumstance I can think of would I use presumption unless explicitly instructed by the debaters.

3. If an argument is unresolveable (or tough to resolve) I will use a "needs" test- the burden of explanation will be assessed to the team who NEEDS the argument to win. So for example
-on a CP permutation, if the neg would win the debate without the permutation, then the aff needs it to win- so the burden of explanation is on them
-for CP solvency, if the neg would lose if the CP did not solve the case, then the neg needs to win solvency- so the burden of explanation is on them

4. Concession= truth. If you drop epistemology comes first/is a side constraint, then it is. You can drop that framing issue and still win as long as you beat the link (that your epistemology is flawed), but you will not be allowed new answers to the impact. I use a reasonable person standard- if I was unaware that the 1NC presented a epistemology first argument (based on what was said in the 1NC, not my prior knowledge of the negative team), then if the aff says "they didn't say this, therefore our answers aren't new" I would allow it. But remember, everything is debatable. If the 2NR comes back and asserts it was clearly stated when they said XYZ, the aff has to disprove that.

5. The threshold for how good a response to an argument has to be is directly related to the quality of the initial argument. Saying "RANT" is sufficient to beat a lot of voting issues. If the other team answers RANT in their 2NC sever perms are a VI block, and thats all you say, you will be in trouble. Similarly, many counterplans (consult, recommendation, delay, lopez) are easily defeated by theory arguments but almost impossible to beat on substance. A well rounded debater should avoid trying to ice skate uphill.

6. I spend a lot of time on debate. Other than eating and playing video games, basically all of my time is spent cutting cards, coaching, writing and reading about debate. A lot of judges say "I'm not a very good flow". I'm a very good flow, I may even go as far as to say probably one of the best. All that being said, it is very possible that you could say a string of words, or utter a quote from an article I have written that fully conveys your argument to me, but would leave a less experienced/judge with a life with no idea what you were saying/what your argument was. I try to temper this fact by using a "reasonable person" standard for what makes a complete argument. I feel this is essential because otherwise any student who was in my lab, had emailed me a question, or had just read a lot of the 3NR would have an absurdly unfair advantage vs a similarly skilled student. So if I made a joke in lab about saying "purple monkey dishwasher" and that meaning "we do the whole plan minus the reps", so you say that in a debate and expect me to vote on it, I won't. Unless you are debating someone else from the lab who had equal access to that information. Similarly, even if I flowed an argument/got the jist of what you were saying, but feel that the other team is being reasonable when they say your argument was poorly explained/did not constitute an argument I will be open to that and you need to respond.

Speaker points:

1. I like fast debate. That being said, some people give fast debate a bad name. You can be fast only after you are clear and efficient. I should be able to understand every word you say, not just the tags. If you are stammering (or displaying other verbal missteps) excessively you are going faster than you are capable of going imo.

2. Points are determined by how well you perform your function, which depends on what speeches you give. A 1AC should be perfectly smooth because you can practice it as much as you want. A 2NC assembled on the fly vs a new case can be excused a few missteps on the other hand. I think auto giving the 1N low points because they could be replaced by a robot in most debates is a bit unfair- a blazing fast 1NC and devastating 1NR can be game changing. That being said, rarely do people perform up to that level.

3. Points are assessed relative to the field in which you are competing. The same speech can be a 29 at a local, but a 27.5 at St Marks.


What is your threshold for T?
The threshold is established by the other teams answers- if they make good defensive arguments and argue reasonability well than my threshold will be high. If they don't it will be very low.

What are you favorite kinds of debate?
Ones in which there are clash, since that is not really a thing anymore its usually impact turn debates- heg bad, de-dev, CO2 ag and warming good- loved to go for these when I debated and love to see them debated now. CO2 ag is the upper limit of stupid I think is acceptable.

Did you run kritiks when you debated?
Not as much as Bricker would want you to believe. My senior year in HS and my senior year in college I went for K's about 30% of the time, in the other years of my debate less than 5%.

Did you ever read a critical aff?
By today's standards no- I always had a plan, though sometimes the advantages were not nuke war.

You bash the politics disad a lot, will you still vote for it?
Yes, almost always because the affirmative never does anything of the things that highlight the problem with politics.

Are you OK with speed?
Yes, if anything I dislike slow debate. However this is a double edged sword- if you do fast debate terribly I will punish you for it.

Is Fem IR beatable?

What race do you play in SC2?
Usually random, but if I pick -zerg.

If you were in Game of Thrones, which house would you belong to?

Random Gripes

A note on jumping:

I want to see good debates. I'm not interested in charging you 10 seconds of prep to jump your speeches. If, however, you show total technical incompetence at jumping/severely delay the round your speaks will suffer. A good jump is like a good road map- its not hard, so get it over with quickly.

Standards for sharing should be reciprocal, and as such are established by the team willing to do the least. If Team A doesnt jump speeches as a policy that is fine by me, but then Team B is under no obligation to let Team A see any of their evidence. If Team A doesn't jump analytics, Team B doesn't have to etc.

A note on quality:

I generally believe that there are certain "norms" in debate- don't steal prep time, don't clip cards etc. These norms are not rules, and as such as a judge I don't think its my job to enforce them. In fact, I think it SHOULD be the burden of a good team to be on top of is the other team stealing prep, are they clipping cards etc. Encouraging students to take responsibility for this is the best model imo. However, there are debates where there is a huge mismatch in terms of the quality of the teams involved. I no longer think it reasonable to expect novices entered in their first varsity tournament to check to see if the Baker Award winning team they are debating is stealing prep. I also don't really care to argue with you about whether or not you are stealing prep. So my solution is that for all things that could be considered a violation of good sportsmanship I will severely jack your points if it is a debate where I subjectively decide the other team should not be responsible for checking you.SO

-If I think you are clipping cards/stealing prep/misquoting evidence/lying in cx in the finals of the TOC vs another excellent team I would expect the other team to catch you
-If I think you are clipping cards/stealing prep/misquoting evidence/lying in cx during a preset vs a vastly inferior team I will severely dock your speaker points

Parker Pogue Paradigm

4 rounds

Intro: I debated for 3 years at Royse City (it’s okay if you don’t know where that is) I was the only debater at my school my senior year but actively competed on the National circuit. I primarily did LD but I also have experience in Policy I ran just about everything during my years of debate from non-T affs, K affs, and any option on the neg that saying I’m open to any argument you will read.

Short version- I try to be as TAB as possible knowing there are some preferences just read whatever you want I don’t have preferences in that sense (plans, DAs, Ks, theory) just tell me why you ran them and why they matter. Go as fast as you want I’d like to say I’m pretty good at flowing. I’m not the best at really dense phil so please explain exactly what the argument means (even if you win the tech debate it’s hard for me to vote on an argument that wasn’t explained well during round.


1. Policy args (CP, DA, ADV)

2. T & Theory

3. K

4. Phil

If you start an email chain put me on it.

Long version-

Framework- V/C debate, ROB, ROJ, are all acceptable. I didn’t really run dense framework in my years of debate but for certain positions its required so go for it. I’m sad I have to say this but just because you win framework doesn’t mean you win the round. Please weigh well tell me how your arguments fit in the framework and why that framework matters. I feel like most debaters don’t do a great job at arguing frameworks after the first two speeches so even if you read a 5-card dump on your opponent’s framework you still need to extend and say why yours is good.

Policy args- I tend to lean to policy style debates even in LD but only if the topic allows it. If the wording of the resolution doesn’t ask for some sort of policy action don’t try to fit on in.

Topicality/ theory- When you read these arguments in front of me give 1. A proper structure Interp, violation, standards, voters 2. A clear abuse story (if one isn’t pointed out it’s hard for me to vote on it even if you when the tech debate) don’t just say it’s bad for education or fairness show me why that matters and how it’s bad for debate 3. I feel like competing interps is a better way to debate theory but sometimes reasonability is a good strategy (I don’t like reasonability as much because it calls for me to create some type of Brightline and requires a bit of intervention) 4. I feel like the 1AR is one of the hardest speeches in debate and will vote on RVIs for theory or topicality if the RVI is properly warranted.

K- I don’t have a lot of experience in super dense K debate so if you’re going hard please explain it because it’ll go right over my head. I’m good with general Ks Biopower, Cap, ECT. If you can explain the position in an overview in a way that I can understand I will vote on it.

Chris Randall Paradigm

6 rounds

Debate for me first and foremost is an educational tool for the epistemological, social, and political growth of students. With that said, I believe to quote someone very close to me I believe that it is "educational malpractice" for adults and students connected to this activity to not read.

Argument specifics

T/ and framework are the same thing for me I will listen. I believe that affirmative teams should be at the very least tangentially connected to the topic and should be able to rigorously show that connection.

DA'S- Have a clear uniqueness story and flesh out the impact clearly

CP's- Must be clearly competitive with the aff and must have a clear solvency story, for the aff the permutation is your friend but you must be able to isolate a net-benefit

K- I am familiar with most of the k literature

CP'S, AND K'S- I am willing to listen and vote on all of these arguments feel free to run any of them do what you are good at

In the spirit of Shannon Sharpe on the sports show "Undisputed" and in the spirit of Director of Debate at both Stanford and Edgemont Brian Manuel theory of the TKO I want to say there are a few ways with me that can ensure that you get a hot dub (win), or a hot l (a loss).

First let me explain how to get a Hot L:

So first of all saying anything blatantly racist things ex. (none of these are exaggerations and have occurred in real life) "black people should go to jail, black death/racism has no impact, etc" anything like this will get you a HOT L


Next way to get a HOT L is if your argumentation is dies early in the debate like during the cx following your first speech ex. I judged an LD debate this year where following the 1nc the cx from the affirmative went as follows " AFF: you have read just two off NEG: YES AFF: OK onto your Disad your own evidence seems to indicate multiple other polices that should have triggered your impact so your disad seems to then have zero uniqueness do you agree with this assessment? Neg: yes Aff: OK onto your cp ALL of the procedures that the cp would put into place are happening in the squo so your cp is the squo NEG RESPONDS: YES In a case like this or something similar this would seem to be a HOT L I have isolated an extreme case in order to illustrate what I mean

Last way to the HOT L is if you have no knowledge of a key concept to your argument let me give a few examples

I judged a debate where a team read an aff about food stamps and you have no idea what an EBT card this can equal a HOT L, in a debate about the intersection between Islamaphobia and Anti-Blackness not knowing who Louis Farrakhan is, etc etc

I believe this gives a good clear idea of who I am as judge happy debating

Bianca Rathwick Paradigm

6 rounds


I debated at Winston Churchill (SATX) from 2014-2018 in LD and policy.


If you and your opponent are both waiting outside of the room between flights or waiting for me to get to the room etc., please have the email chain ready to send out the 1AC ASAP.

Few important things:

Tech over truth: Technical debaters do all of the work for me and understand how to evaluate arguments as opposed to leaving it up to the truth of an argument which largely relies on my own personal bias.

Don’t try to spread too fast. I was pretty fast in high school. But I also heard a lot of double breathing, gasps for air, wiggling around and not standing still. Overall looks funny and doesn’t make you sound persuasive. Your speaks will suffer.

I am ~generally~ open to whatever and want you to actually be into the debate and not sound robotic or just be reading blocks throughout every rebuttal. Do what you know and are good at. With that being said, here is how I view most arguments.

K affs: I read k affs sometimes. I enjoy them sometimes. That being said, if the 1AC is a riddle of buzzwords with no topic cards I’ll probably just stop flowing. I’m not going to vote on an aff I think you explain poorly. For instance, if your answer to every cx question sounds like “we solve by deconstructing subjectivities” (or something like that idk lol) I’m not going to be compelled to buy your solvency. Additionally, your aff should talk about the resolution, AFFIRM it, and have a methodology that is in line with what the resolution is doing. I’m fine with performances just please make sure it’s relevant to the resolution.

T/Theory: I personally default to evaluating competing interps because reasonability seems arbitrary unless you substantially explain to me why I should prefer reasonability and why that is good. I really like T and think teams need to be going for it way more often. As far as theory goes: condo, vague alts bad, floating piks bad, pics bad are all fair game in front of me. Where I will literally stop flowing are theory shells like: any spike ever, that shell that’s like “the solvency advocate of the k or cp must be the same actor as the aff” etc. Not convinced by RVI's.

Phil: I don’t know anything about phil and feel that high school debaters are very bad at explaining it. The frameworks confuse me and I always feel like there’s literally no offense whatsoever so if you want to read it in front of me you need to be explaining it and impacting out in the same way that a policy aff would be explained. Just because you have some framework from like 1822 that your opponent doesn’t understand doesn’t mean you can just extend that and weird anecdotes without ever talking about the advantages/contentions.

CP’s: You really can’t go wrong with a solid counterplan in front of me. Please slow down on the cp text. Do a good job of explaining how it solves the aff. Clearly explain and articulate how it doesn’t link to the DA. I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this but I do: make sure there’s a net benefit to the counterplan.

Disads: Have solid internal links and know how to articulate them clearly so I feel comfortable voting on a risk of the disad. Please get in the habit of doing a substantial amount of impact calc.

K’s: I enjoy them. While I’d rather hear a solid cap debate you can read whatever you’d like in front of me. That being said, there are a few areas where my prior knowledge is pretty limited. I probably don’t know about your new pomo strat. While I get the general theories behind big name authors I won’t be as caught up on the vocabulary of the alternative and stuff like that. So please make sure you are doing a good job of explaining things and NOT RELYING ON BUZZWORDS. Other than that, do whatever.

-Make sure you have good topic links that apply to the aff. I probably won’t vote on your Wilderson 10 card that was cut 4 years ago and is being recycled on every topic. However, if you’re reading older link evidence I will buy it if you know how to extrapolate on how it links to the aff in new creative ways whether it be specific instances of the language in the 1ac or particular moments in the debate.

-You really need to be doing a good job on the framing debate. I think the framing debate is something that is often under covered but it one of the easiest routes to the ballot.

-As far as permutations go, please slow down on the text of them so I am actually able to flow them and keep track of which ones are answered etc. If your opponent “dropped” one of your ten perms I need to have it on my flow before I can vote on it. As for the affirmative, spend your time in the 2ar explaining what the permutation functions as and what the net benefits are. I’m very convinced by policy affs that leverage their access to solving immediate tangible impacts which creates a sequencing question. Use that to your advantage.

-I don’t have any opinion on types of k’s that certain people can read. Just remember to be respectful and as a rule of thumb: read arguments that you actually care about and preferably the ones that you’ve actually read the lit for.

Other: Don’t be condescending to your opponents. I know it gets intense but make sure you maintain a level of civility. Actually answer questions in CX. Don’t just say things like “why not” in response to “why vote aff?” If you’re debating someone that is more traditional or much younger than you be nice and don’t spread at your top speed because that isn’t enjoyable for anyone involved. Other than that have fun!

Grace Reon Paradigm

5 rounds

I am a collegiate debater at Southern Methodist Univeristy currently in my eighth year of competitive debate. In high school, I did LD debate, and I currently participate in the IPDA league. I have debated and judged at both the state and national level.

For LD, I can handle and understand speed-especially if you flash/email your evidence, but I also really value presentation and speaking skills. I also really like value/value criterion clash. I tend not to like theory shells or topicality except in cases where it's really necessary. I just don't think they make for a compelling debate.

I think debate should be fun and I encourage debaters to try new and risky things when I'm judging. Have a CP you've always wanted to run? Want to make jokes in the round? Go for it. Honestly, you can run whatever you want as long as I can understand it, you can link it to the resolution, and it makes the debate more interesting. The main thing is to thoroughly explain CPs, kritiks, etc. so I can easily link them to the rest of the debate.

Claudia Ribera Paradigm

6 rounds

Katy Taylor '17

Texas '21

Add me to the email chain:

Hello, I’m a junior at Texas and coach CX and LD. I was coached by Elijah Smith (Emporia SW) in high school and he taught me everything I know about debate. This means I've had my fair share of reading and/or coaching teams reading very policy arguments to very critical arguments. I debated nationally in high school and have coached kids in both events to deep elims of tournaments, round robins, and accumulate bids to the TOC.

2019-2020 Conflicts: Houston EP (CX), Alief Kerr EG (CX), Katy Taylor AP (LD), and Guyer CM (LD).

Previous Conflicts: Katy Taylor, Cy-Fair TW, and Woodlands MR

Overall, I think it's important to be consistent on explicit labeling, generating offense, and having a clear impact framing because this is what ultimately frames my ballot. Debate is place for you to do you. Just like everyone, I have my own predispositions (see further explanation below). However, I make my decisions on what was presented to me in a debate and what was on my flow. I am unlikely to decide debates based on my personal feelings about content/style of argument than the quality of execution and in-round performance. Have fun and best of luck!

Policy paradigm

General: Clarity is important and debaters forget to slow down on long blocks of analytics (especially for T/theory) and pls try to follow the line by line as best you can.

Case: Case is incredibly underutilized and should be an essential part to every negative strategy. You need to have some sort of mechanism that generates offense/defense for you.

Policy Affs: if you have a traditional policy aff just slow down on the plan text pls and have some sort of impact calc in the 2AR. I think these are fine.

CP/DA: Don't forget to ask the status and PICs are fine. Test the competition of the cp(s) and make impact turns/defense. Explain why the perm(s) won't solve. Collapse in the 2NR!

K Affs: There are couple things you need to do to win: you need to explain the method of your aff, the nuanced framing of the aff, and the impacts that you claim to solve. You should have some sort of an advocacy statement or a role of the ballot for me to evaluate your impacts because this indicates how it links into your fw of the aff. If you’re going to read high theory affs, explain because all I hear is buzzwords that these authors use. Don’t assume I am an expert in this type of literature because I am not and I just have a basic understanding of it. If you don’t do any of these things, I have the right to vote neg on presumption.

Theory: I'm persuaded more by competing interps than reasonability.

Kritiks: Yes. However, it is important to note I have a reasonable threshold for each debater's explanation of whatever theory they present within the round, extensions of links, and impact framing. I need to understand what you are saying in order for me to vote for your criticism. You should have specific links to affirmatives because without it you will probably lose to "these are links to the squo" unless the other team doesn't answer it well. Link debate is a place where you can make strategic turns case/impact analysis. Make sure you have good impact comparison and weighing mechanisms and always have an external impact. The alt debate seems to be one of the most overlooked parts of the K and is usually never explained well enough. This means always explain the alt thoroughly and how it interacts with the aff. This is important time that the 2NR needs to dedicate time allocation for if you go for the alternative. If you choose not to go for the alternative and go for presumption, make sure you are actually winning an impact framing claim.

Framework: I like fw debates a lot more when they're developed in the 1NC/block, as opposed to being super blippy in constructives and then the entire 2NR. I lean more to competing interps than reasonability and believe that the neg should make sure to fully flesh out the link and internal link to your impact and actually make offensive arguments against fairness/education voters. Make strategic TVAs. Aff teams need to answer TVA well, not just say it "won't solve". Framework is about the model of debate the aff justifies, it’s not an argument why K affs are bad or the aff team are cheaters. If you’re going for framework as a way to exclude entire critical lit bases/structural inequalities/content areas from debate then we are not going to get along. Aff teams this means: 1) You need a counter interp or counter model of debate and what debate looks like under this model, and then go for your impact turns or disads as net benefits to this. Going for only the net benefits/offense without explaining what your interpretation of what debate should look like will be difficult. 2) The 2AC strategy of saying as many ‘disads’ to framework as possible without explaining or warranting any of them out is likely not going to be successful. 3) Leveraging your aff as an impact turn to framework is always good. The more effectively voting aff can resolve the impact turn the easier it will be to get my ballot.

LD paradigm

Theory: I will default to “competing interps” and “No RVIs” unless told otherwise. I will not make any presumptions on the voter level of the debate. This includes the voter (fairness/education/etc.) and the implication (drop debater/argument). Failure to present arguments in favor of a voter and its implication is to present an unwarranted argument. I will not evaluate the argument. This also means you should be extending your voter and its implication properly and in every speech. Just slow down on interps on shells. Weigh standards!

Frivolous theory/tricks: No.


  1. Voting Neg on Presumption
  2. No RVI

Kritiks: I went for the K almost every 2NR the second half of my senior year. I am the most familiar with structural criticisms like Anti-Blackness, Settler Colonialism, and Quare/Queerness Kritiks. I am not well versed in post-modernism so please do not blaze through the intricate details of your arguments. Give examples on the link level (this is super important), generate link turns to the affirmative, and have impact framing because it is incredibly important for you to do that in order to get my ballot. Please include some type of rob/roj.

Performance Debate: I'm always down to listen/watch. You must have a methodology and defend an advocacy. Explain how your performance (aff or neg) does something whether that be within debate or this round etc.

Topicality: Yes. Just weigh in the debate and generate offense. I don't vote for RVI's on T because that doesn't make sense and I will not vote for Nebel T because I don't find it compelling.

Phil Framework: I prefer not to judge these debates because it tends to have a lot of tricks hidden in the fw.

T-USFG/FW: I usually judge these debates in CX and LD and I don't have any preference on either side of this debate. I will vote for the better debater who proves their model of debate is preferable by winning offense on the flow.

Policy arguments: I read a policy aff if I didn't read a K aff. Counterplans are a good strategy and you must have net benefits. Be ready to have the textual/functional competition debate. I don't care for condo bad/good debate unless multiple offs that are conditional. PICs are fine. Disads are always a good strat as well and even better if it is impacted as a net benefit to the cp. Make sure to generate offense and weigh!

Miscellaneous for both CX/LD:

  • I don’t count flashing as prep time unless you're taking too long.
  • Always be ready even if I am not present in the round yet.
  • Tech > truth. the more you're proficient in the debate, the better your speaks will be.
  • Respect your opponent's pronouns.
  • Everything must be together in one speech doc before you stop prep to flash.
  • Time yourselves.
  • Flex prep is cool if your opponent is cool with it.
  • Higher speaks will be rewarded with strategic cross-ex.
  • Don't ask me to disclose your speaks.
  • Disclosure is good.
  • Clarity > Speed.

Here is a list of some people (in addition to Elijah) who are some of my favorite judges and/or have influenced the way I view debate:

Dr. Shanara Reid-Brinkley

Daryl Burch

Anthony Joseph

Amber Kelsie

Devane Murphy

Taylor Brough

Ignacio Evans

Don't be rude and don't make arguments that are bigoted, racist, homophobic, etc. because I will dock your speaks.

Mykaela Salcido Paradigm

5 rounds

Why should I pref you?

I am knowledgeable on a wide array of arguments and comfortable judging a round anyway it unfolds. I can evaluate your framework, or your theory shell, or your performance, or your poetry, or your policy aff. There is nothing I'm unwilling to watch, flow, and engage with. I am a flexible judge with the desire to watch you read whatever you want and are good at. I have multiple years of diverse debate experience ranging from traditional LD, progressive policy debate (including multiple performances cases) and public forum.

How do you feel about K's?

I like them. Establish a clear link to the affirmative, provide an explanation of the alternative, and explain the literature. I LOVE debates with passion. I feel like debate should be a place where we can talk about anything and everything- please feel free to do that in front of me. I want to hear your narratives, poetry, and hot take on capitalism.

How do you feel about framework/theory/topicality?

Framework makes the game work. I love a good framework debate- keep it clean, technical and provide voting issues. I can definitely get down with a solid framework debate- keep the nuance. I can really appreciate a shell that is personalized to around and not just read directly off a computer. Potential abuse isn't really a voter, but maybe you can convince me.

Can I run my policy aff in front of you?

Absolutely! Have internal links to your impacts and weigh them!

What do you NOT like?

When people are rude to each other in the round. I would also prefer you abstain from using gendered language- including terms like "you guys". I like when oponnents are kind, knowledgeable, and non-problematic.

How do you evaluate a round?

However the debaters tell me to. If I am instructed to evaluate a round through a certain framework, I will. If I am told to evaluate through a role of the ballot, or a role of the judge, I will. I prefer to evaluate based off clear framework and impact weighing- good old magnitude, timeframe, and probability.

Matt He/Him/His

Put me on the email chain and I hope you get my ballot!

John Sasso Paradigm

5 rounds

I debated for Strake Jesuit for 4 years, qualifying for TFA & TOC in LD, and I've taught at TDC and NSD.

I will vote on any argument so long as the conclusion follows from the premises–my primary aim is to operate under the shared assumptions held by both debaters, so I will avoid "defaulting" on any framing issue at all costs and will detest being forced to do so. I will evaluate arguments as they are presented on the flow, so I will always prioritize explicit over implicit comparison made between arguments.

Other things that might be important:

-I tend to give speaks based on a mixture of strategy, passion, and clarity. In terms of clarity, I'll call clear three times before I start docking speaks

-If I'm looking at you and not flowing that means I'm not understanding your arguments

-I won't give any credence to arguments that I deem as being made new in the 2N/A

-CX is binding

-If you extend something through ink, I most likely won't evaluate the argument

Wendy Sayre Paradigm

3 rounds

For email chains:

I'm a parent judge, but debated CX and LD in high school and CEDA and British Parliamentary in college in TX. That was a million years ago. Now I judge mainly LD, with some PF and Policy thrown in occasionally.

I mainly operate as a tabula rasa judge. I’m open to most arguments, but need/want a clear explanation as to why I should vote on it. I’m sure there are exceptions to this if you try to push ethical boundaries with an argument.

Plans are fine.

I like a clear debate with lots of clash and clear summaries that explain how you think I should weigh things and how I should vote. Don’t leave it up to me to weigh everything. Give me overviews and voting issues.

I don’t like to have to ask to see cards because I think debaters need to put the arguments on the flow and give me enough info to make a decision. I will ask to see something if it’s not clear in the end and it might be a voting issue, though.

Some speed is OK, but I can’t flow the fastest spreaders. Slow down on tags. I’ll tell you (verbally) if I’m not getting everything and I’ll be annoyed if you are spreading for no good reason.

Flashing is fine, but do it quickly.

Open CX is fine.

I generally don’t care where you speak from, how you are dressed, or how informally you speak as long as it’s a good debate. But be a good human being. I don’t tolerate debaters who disrespect others.

Ekta Shah Paradigm

6 rounds

Updated during Harvard Westlake 2019 because my previous paradigm was a bunch of mumbo-jumbo.

TLDR because you could be reading a more interesting NYT article or somthng:

· I’m not a former debater.

· I’m not a current debater either, although I am often mistaken for one.

· I’ve been teaching high school English and coaching Speech and Debate at Quarry Lane for the past three years.

· Debate is a safe space. I won’t tolerate anyone that violates this. No exceptions.

· My former student Allen Abbott said it best: Debate is still problematic in many ways. If there is anything I can do to make the round more accessible, please let me know beforehand.

· Convince me why I should vote for you and you can win. It’s that simple.

· My email is Start an email chain.

· Extra kudos to those who wear Northwestern merch. Go Wildcats!

Jharick Shields Paradigm

6 rounds

Hello! My name is Jharick Shields and I am the assistant debate coach at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Mississippi. I enjoy listening to/voting for functionally all forms of argumentation, provided that it is clearly explained, implicated, and weighed. Speed is fine, people usually have problems with clarity however. I will say clear twice and then you should watch for me to put my pen down. I am a huge fan of non-verbal cues, so you should watch for those as well. They can give you key insight into how well you’re doing. I am a fan of explanation and thoroughness. People should not expect me to “check in” for certain types of analysis, but should expect to get my ballot if they tell me why they won. Claim. Warrant. Impact. Easy as pie. I am not a fan of blippy analysis and the weight i give each argument will be based on how much work went into it. You shouldn’t expect me to understand words that you do not explain. The rule of thumb is that if you had to read multiple articles to understand it, you should not just throw it at me and then complain indignantly when I tell you I didn’t understand it. I like impact analysis and this part of the debate is important. I get that your impacts are important. Weigh long term v short term. Weigh probability and magnitude. Tell me what my ballot does and tell me why it goes to you. I am not a fan of under-explained theory arguments – theory and topicality are functionally the “death penalty” so just saying the words “the neg skewed my strategy because it’s hard to respond’ doesn’t constitute an adequate reason for me to drop the debater. However, don’t interpret this as “this judge won’t vote for theory, I can’t go for condo in this debate even if it’s the right option” as some have previously. Speaker points start at a 28. They can go up or down from there based on strategy, execution, clarity, and persuasiveness. I like games, so here’s an interesting one: for every correctly identified conceded argument, you get +.1 speaks and for every incorrectly identified conceded argument, you get -.2 speaks. I look forward to judging your debates!

Also, unless you are a peer of mine or graduated, please call me Mr. Shields. K, thx.

Rich Simpkins Paradigm

4 rounds


I'm essentially a tabula rasa judge in that I will listen to justifications for any paradigm that you can convince me to hold  That isn't to say I don't have biases, but I can be convinced to vote against them if you set up standards, win them, and meet them.  One bias that I do hold (and it can be overcome) is that I default to seeing myself as judging the resolution up or down.  That is to say, if you affirm the resolution, I vote affirmative.  So, if you want to, say, run a topical PIC from the negative, you need to tell me why I should write "negative" on my ballot for something that is affirming the resolution.  


Speed is fine so long as you are not skipping syllables or slurring your speech. Too many debaters have a tendency do this to gain speed.  If you want to go faster than you can anunciate, you do so at the risk of losing me.  Slowing down on taglines and citations is always a plus, because I tend to organize my flow around cards (unless you get very theoretical, in which case, I'll switch to line number your arguments in this case). It's also a good idea to get louder (and clearer) on phrases within the card that you especially want me to hear.  Doing this will ensure your argument gets on the flow in context.  Most judges like to hear cards and not just taglines, so we can evaluate source indictments.


I'm evolving on flashing.  I once disliked it because I noticed that it made teams stop flowing, and resulted in less line-by-line rebutting.  This is an unfortunate habit.  I still allowed it because were some teams who managed to handle it just fine.  I think reading clarity is also sacrificed when flashing, because there is not the added pressure of having to be understood by your opponent.  But you still have to be understood by your judge!  Email chains are no better than flashing, by the way, and differ only in that judges are sometimes included in the chain.  I tried this once, and I realized that *I* stopped flowing!  It's not to say that I don't like being in on an email chain (so I can look at it during prep), but if you send me briefs, I will still not flow with them. 

On the other hand, teams who flash look more critically at their opponents' evidence and are less likely to accept the tagline as an accurate description of what the card says.  Even though all of the above problems are real, this new critical way of assessing evidence makes it worth it to flash.  So, flash away, but don't let that stop you from flowing!

This paradigm works for CX, LD and PF, but I should add that 

1) in LD, I am sympathetic to suggested paradigms that flow from the resolution.  For instance, if a resolution includes a call to action, a plan makes more sense.  If it doesn't, then not so much.  I can be convinced to shift this bias, but you must tell me why.

2) in PF, I tend to think more like a lay judge, since that is the spirit of the event.  I will be evaluating speaking skills and your ability to make logical arguments more broadly persuasive to a reasonable (but lay) audience.  That isn't to say I won't follow the flow if you get technical, but I will give you some lattitude to use grouping to buy time for more pathos and ethos.


My email address is

Sam Smith Paradigm

6 rounds

UPDATED: 9/15/18

If you have an e-mail chain going on please add me to it -

I am a Senior at Kansas State University finishing up my undergrad in Philosophy. I have 7 years of debate experience (mostly CX and LD) and 3 years of coaching for my local high schools (Kapaun Mt. Carmel and Wichita East). I peaked at top 40 nationals my Senior year in LD.

I am okay with any argument and any speed, but please fully explain your argument and the impact. I do not like to interfere with the debate as a judge but if you don't tell me how I should evaluate an argument, I will intervene as necessary. Please avoid any arguments that are discriminatory, and in general just don't be rude. Also, I keep track of time in rounds - please don't try and cheat on prep or waste time flashing/e-mailing documents or I will run your prep.

I fully believe that Debate is a site for education and helping people find their voice. While the competition aspect of debate is enjoyable and gives it a way for people to assess their growth, I really want to see people have fun and engage within the debate. That means I judge based on how you performed, not because of the content of your argument or who you are or what school you represent. The implications of this that I hope people take away from my paradigm are these:

1. Don't tag-line debate, please

All arguments should have some level of interactivity. Evidence comparison is great, re-reading un-highlighted portions is great, but saying the word "concede" and "extend" a bunch isn't great. What matters the most for me is the purpose behind why all of that matters. Ex: "They have little ink on our second contention, this is critical because it frames how you view this impact. It also turns link arguments, 3 reasons..."

It's less that I hate those words and more that I want some simple explanation and warranting which can help me establish why you should win. I don't want to render a decision where it sounds like I am bringing in information that was not directly presented in the debate (i.e. I believe that this argument, while strong, doesn't have a clear link to anything the opposing team was talking about).

2. Think of the debate as an open-forum

As noted before, the fact that debate is competitive does not license you to be rude, exclusionary or un-interactive. At the end of the day, debate should be an accessible activity that helps teach people advocacy skills and communication. All that this means to me is that you aren't trying to undermine anyone in the round or try to do anything you can in order to get the ballot.

Oh, and it goes without saying but if I find evidence of you clipping cards in a round that I am judging - 0 speaks, lose. *Disclaimer: do not make false accusations, those are just as bad as clipping*

The rest of my paradigm will be explanatory towards what I believe about certain types of arguments


I will be honest, I am aff biased on T. I prefer reasonability probably 70% of the time. I want T arguments that are innovative and have a clear, not just tangible, relation to the affirmative case.

As for framework debates, I do have an inherent bias in favor of debating the resolution because of my background. I try very hard to separate my personal beliefs from the round as I believe the debate is for the debaters, not for me. However, due to my background, I am more obliged to believe that debating the topic is good. This doesn't mean it's that much harder to win my ballot if you aren't in the topic -- it is ultimately up to the debaters to give me the best and most logical arguments in order to win the round, not repeat "policy debate good" one hundred times.


Please be very clear on the interpretation and violation level for this - if the voting issue just comes down to "they did something bad" and I don't know what it was or what your framework is, it's hard for me to justify voting on it. I'll vote on probably any theory argument, all things aside.

I know that in circuit LD, theory is quite big - I'm not very well-versed in this so please do explain it well enough so that I can grasp onto it. I am cognizant of the fact that there are much more legitimate theory arguments in LD because of the format difference, so I'm more likely to listen to "drop the debater" or RVI arguments.


While I do find that there are some legit spec arguments pertaining to actors and implementation, you will almost always never impress me or win me over by out-spreading the other team with a time suck spec argument. Like any argument, I will still evaluate it but I have a higher threshold for it versus other arguments.


I like DA's...a lot. I was really big into cutting unique disad files when I was debating and I still find myself loving to watch a good debate that comes down to Case vs DA. The most important part of the DA for me is the link and internal link level, win those and it's ball-game.

For Politics specifically - theory on it can get very messy. In general, I really don't believe fiat "solves the link" unless there is overwhelming evidence that the aff's link is weak or that PC is ficticious. Even then, I think it's odd to fiat away a disad that is a core part of negative strategy.


Do not read a Consult CP in front of me, you won't win on it. And if you do, I will be upset.

Otherwise, I like CP's. Theory can be tricky, please try to address all of theory before you answer any of the line by line if possible so that I can flow it separately. If it's not functionally or textually competitive, I will have a hard time voting on it. Be clear in CX and in the 1NC why it competes or what the net benefit is. If you read the net benefit in the block, I probably won't evaluate it because I think that's just dirty. However, feel free to read additional net benefits in the block, so long as they make sense.


I really enjoy Kritiks. They are one of my favorite arguments that can be utilized, but they can also end up being my least favorite if you are not good at explaining it.

What I think is core about kritiks is de-constructing the affirmative and showing some of the inherent problems that are present in the 1AC. The 1NC should make it clear to me about what the aff has done that is wrong, and then further articulate later why I should vote them down for it (be it a rejection of the 1AC or another alternative). In general, rejection alts kind of suck, but you can spin then in a way that still gets my ballot. For example, "Rejection gives us alternative ways to engage within the affirmatives framework, without a focus on extinction level events"

I will vote on floating PIKs, but I think it needs to be pretty clear to me at least somewhere in the block why it solves the aff. If the 2NR gets up and says they conceded the floating pik, i'll probably look at you funny.

I think because of the prevalence of anti-blackness in the debate community, I should explain that I have very little lit base with these kind of Ks, as well as performativity Ks. That doesn't mean I won't vote for it, but my threshold for voting on it will be a little bit higher unless your explanation is solid.


I think for the sake of clarity I will disclose how I usually judge speaker points. I think on face they are 100% arbitrary and don't do a good enough job to evaluate how well a debater has performed because of how low the scale is, and how judge preference and intervention works a lot of the time. Thus, here's what you can take from me if I give you these speaks

30 - Perfect, this is the kind of speech I would expect from a person who could win nationals or get to outrounds at the TOC

29.5 - Outstanding, you had almost no mistakes

29 - Great, your strategy was exceptional, great line by line, I could understand you very well

28.5 - Pretty Good, I believe you have good arguments and understand what you're doing, but could get better at the more technical side of the debate

28 - Good, what you said was fairly accurate but you still might need more warrants or explication of your arguments

27.5 - average, you spoke OK and your strategy makes sense but there is a lot of work to be done as it relates to your technicality, time allocation, speed, etc.

27 - you were not prepared for this debate at all, you might have cut your speech time a lot, you need a lot of practice on the basics

anything below a 27 usually means you said something extremely rude, discriminatory, or otherwise not fit for this debate

Any other questions, e-mail me at

Jasmine Stidham Paradigm

4 rounds

-Pronouns: she/her. I will default to using they/them if I don't know you.

-Yes, put me on the chain.

-I coach/teach at the Harvard-Westlake school, I'm an assistant coach for Dartmouth, and I work at UM 7 Week in one of the seniors labs. I debated at the University of Central Oklahoma for 4 years and graduated in 2018- qualified to the NDT 4x, NDT octafinalist 2x, 1st round recipient, etc.

-LD skip down to the bottom.

Tldr: Flexibility

-No judge will ever like all of the arguments you make, but I will always attempt to evaluate them fairly. I appreciate judges who are willing to listen to positions from every angle, so I try to be one of those judges. I have coached strictly policy teams, strictly K teams, and everything in between because I enjoy all aspects of the game. Debate should be fun and you should debate in the way that makes it valuable for you, not me. My predispositions about debate are not so much ideological as much as they are systematic, i.e. I don't care which set of arguments you go for, but I believe every argument must have a claim, warrant, impact, and a distinct application. I think "tech" matters. Dropping a bunch of arguments means your "truth" claims aren't so true anymore. Evidence quality matters a lot to me. Stop reading cards that don't have a complete sentence and get off my lawn. I strive to be as non-interventionist as possible. Impact framing/judge instruction will get you far. The predispositions I have listed below are my general heuristics I use when making a decision, but I will ultimately vote for the team who wins their argument, even if it strays from these conventions. I appreciate debaters who do their thing and do it well.

-Please, for the love of god, give me some pen time before you start off 0-100.

-Don't base your strategy off of your (probably incorrect) assumptions about my own debate career.

-For everyone: stop being afraid of debate. Cowardice is annoying. Don't run away from controversy just because you don't like linking to things. If you don't like defending arguments, or explaining what your argument actually means, please consider joining the marching band.

-I am growing increasingly annoyed at teams who try to proliferate as many incomplete arguments as possible in the 1NC. If your strategy is to read 5 disads in the 1NC that are missing UQ, or internal links, I will give the aff almost infinite leeway in the 1AR to answer your inevitable sandbagging. I would much rather see well-highlighted, complete positions, than the poor excuse of neg arguments that I'm seeing lately. No one likes cards that could be read as fortune cookies.

-I'm grumpy, but I promise I care a lot.

-Some judges I always appreciated having in the back of the room when I debated: Toya Green, Kristen Lowe, Courtney Schauer, Jyleesa Hampton, Corey Fisher, Hunter McFarland, Will Jensen, Martin Osborn, Allie Chase, Scott Phillips, Kristiana Baez, Kurt Fifelski, Becca Steiner, Travis Cram, Marquis Ard, Sarah Lundeen, Geoff Lundeen, Brian McBride, Andrew Myers, Samantha Rippetoe, Michael Wimsatt.

Topicality: Everyone needs to have evidence that has the intent to define whatever word/phrase is being contested. Evidence that offhandedly mentions how one rando decided to define 'space cooperation' doesn't cut the mustard. *Predictable* limits outweighs limits merely for the sake of limits.

Framework: I vote for framework and I vote against it. I judge a lot of "clash" debates and I'm probably even in terms of my voting record. In my ideal world, affs would defend a clear, controversial advocacy that has predictable neg ground against it, but I understand that debate isn't about me. Affs should have a counter interpretation/model of debate that they think is desirable. I am less likely to vote aff solely on impact turns because I really need to know what the aff's 'vision of debate' looks like compared to the neg. I understand that going HAM on impact turns is sometimes more strategic, so if that's really your style you should stick to it, but you must contextualize those impact turns to whatever DAs the neg is going for and do comparative impact work. I find myself voting neg a lot just by virtue of the aff never doing impact calculus. Unpersuaded by the argument that topical versions should have to solve literally everything ever in a 9 minute speech. Judge instruction is extremely important- please tell me what to evaluate first. I'm fine with any 'flavor' of framework- procedural fairness, skillz, deliberative democracy, etc. Do your thing. The neg needs to explain how the TVAs access the aff's general theory/scholarship, what those affs look like, and how it (could) resolve the aff's impact turns.

Critical affirmatives (no plan): Beyond what I have said about framework, there are a couple things you can do to make sure we're on the same page. First, I need you to answer the question of "but what do you doooo tho?!" even though that question seems obsolete. I don't need a 5 minute overview explaining every part of the aff. I really just need to know what I am voting for and why that thing is good, which seems really simple, but in many debates I am left wondering what I'm supposed to vote for. Second, I am often persuaded by presumption if the neg invests a decent amount of time going for it properly. To counter this, make sure you do the minimum of answering the BWDYDT?! question above, and perhaps give me a different way of thinking about presumption as it applies to critical affirmatives. Third, you need to have a solid relationship to/critique of the resolution. If you read 9 minutes of structural claims about the world and say virtually nothing about the resolutional mechanism, we're not going to be on the same page.

Disads: Love em. I will reiterate an important component: do not hand me a stack of cards at the end of a debate that do not have complete sentences. I would rather read 5, solid, well-highlighted UQ cards than 10 poopy cards that say "it'll pass but it's clooooose!" without ever highlighting anything beyond that sentence. Uniqueness controls the direction of uniqueness and the link controls the direction of the link- not sure why that's controversial.

Counterplans: Love em too. My only predisposition is that I tend to think conditionality is okay, in most circumstances. Some teams try to get away with murder, though. I lean neg when the CP is based in the literature/there's a reasonable solvency advocate. I lean aff when the CP meets neither of those conditions. Judge kick: will only judge kick if told to do so, assuming the aff hasn't made any theoretical objections.

Kritiks: For everyone, please focus on argument development and application in these debates rather than reading 15 poopy backfile cards that probably won't get you anything.

-Stop with the mega overviews. I am not one who will particularly like the style of 6 minute overviews, and then answering the line by line with "ya that was the overview"-- just say those things on the line by line!

-Framework: it's important- the most common mistake I see the aff make is failing to develop substantive framework arguments about legal/institutional/pragmatic engagement. I often see the 1AR get bogged down going for random blurbs about fairness, which ultimately ends up being a wash. You get to weigh your aff. Now explain why I should prioritize your form of political engagement to outweigh the neg's ethics/epistemology/ontology 1st argument(s).

-Impact framing: also important- for the aff, even if the neg does not read case defense, do not make the mistake in assuming that you auto-win. You have to win a subsequent impact framing argument that tells me why those impacts matter. For the neg, the inverse applies. If you do not read case defense, you obviously have to win your impact framing arguments.

-Roles of the ballot are arbitrary. My role is to tell tab who won. Just win your impact framing argument and stop telling me the ballot has a role. PLEASE.

-Really hate it when the first question of 1AC CX is, "why vote aff?"

-1 card Ks in the 1NC can sufficiently be responded to with a thumbs down + fart noise

-If your strategy involves going for some version of "all debate is bad, this activity is meaningless and only produces bad people" please consider who your audience is. Of course you can make arguments about flaws in specific debate practices, but you should also recognize that the "debate is irredeemable" position is a tough sell to someone who has dedicated her life to the activity and tries to make it better.

-Floating PIKs: if the neg makes a PIK that clearly ~floats~ and it's flagged as such, it's up to the aff to call it out- I won't do the theory work for you. If you can't identify it/flush it out in CX, you deserve to lose.

-Examples are incredibly helpful in these debates, especially when making structural claims about the world.

Evidence: Evidence quality correlates with a higher chance of winning. Good evidence does not, however, substitute for good debating. You should be doing evidence comparison. Basic logic will always beat a terrible card without a warrant.

-If you clip, you will lose the round and receive 0 speaks. Seriously, don't cheat. I will vote against you for clipping EVEN IF the other team does not call you on it. I know what clipping is and feel 100% comfortable calling it. Mark your ev and have a marked copy available.

-Shady disclosure practices result in you catching the L. Stop being a coward.

-If I say "clear" more than two times I will stop flowing. I say clear more than most judges because debaters are getting away with murder in terms of clarity.

-If you are a jerk to novices your max for speaker points is a 25.

-Biggest pet peeve: debaters being unnecessarily difficult in cross-ex. This includes asking absurdly vague/irrelevant questions and debaters refusing to answer questions. This also includes cutting people off, and giving excessively drawn out answers to questions that can be answered efficiently. Please recognize that cross-ex is a mutual part of the debate.

-If you want me to evaluate the debate outside of line-by-line, that's fine, just tell me what that looks like so we're on the same page.

-Be respectful to each other, which includes your partner. Pettiness/sarcasm is appreciated, but recognize that there is a line and you shouldn't cross it. You should never, ever make any jokes about someone else's appearance or how they sound.

-If there are any access requirements, just let me know.

LD Specific:

Updated October 2019 to reflect efficiency and a few changes.

Tldr; I come from an exclusively policy background. I had zero experience in LD before I started coaching HW last year. That means everything you do is largely filtered through my experience in policy debate, and I have outlined my thoughts on those specific arguments in the above sections. This is why I am a horrible judge for LD shenanigans and will not tolerate them. So many acceptable LD arguments would be nonstarters in policy, and I will not vote for incomprehensible arguments just because other judges will. I don't say this to disparage someone's preferred form of debate, but I really can't vote for arguments that do not pass the 'makes sense' test. I care deeply about the educational aspects of debate, and will always try to help you improve. However, I am going to hold the line when ridiculous arguments are involved. See the FAQ below to determine if you should pref me.


Q: I read a bunch of tricks/meta-theory/a prioris/paradoxes, should I pref you?

A: Absolutely not.

Q: I read phil, should I pref you?

A: I'm not ideologically opposed to phil arguments like I am with tricks. I do not judge many phil debates because most of the time tricks are involved.

Q: I really like Nebel T, should I pref you?

A: No, you shouldn't. I'm sure he's a nice and smart guy, but cutting evidence from debate blogs is such a meme. If you'd like to make a similar argument, just find non-Nebel articles and I'll be fine.

Q: I like to make theory arguments like 'must spec status' or 'must include round reports for every debate' or 'new affs bad,' should I pref you?

A: Absolutely not.

Q: Will you ever vote for an RVI?

A: Nope. Never.

Q: Will you vote for any theory arguments?

A: Of course. I am good for more policy-oriented theory arguments like condo good/bad, PICs good/bad, process CPs good/bad, etc.

Q: Will you vote for Ks?

A: Of course. Love em. See policy section.

Any other questions can be asked before the round or email me.

Robin Stroud Paradigm

5 rounds

My name is Robin Mitchell Stroud and I'm primarily an LD judge for Norman High School in Norman, Oklahoma.

I didn't compete in high school debate, however, have earned four degrees (BA, MHR, MEd, PhD) and am very comfortable with argumentation in a competitive setting across a breadth of subjects. Educational areas of concentration include:

* Bachelor of Arts (psychology)

* Master of Human Relations (international/intercultural relations)

* Master of Education (foundations of education)

* Graduate certificate (women’s and gender studies), and

* Doctor of philosophy (gender studies; religious studies and philosophies of education)

I am newer to judging in circuit/progressive tournaments, however, have experience and very much enjoy judging in traditional ones. See my preferences for each below.


PHILOSOPHY/FRAMEWORK: I enjoy philosophical/theoretical argumentation and value a strong and clear framework. Be explicit in how your contentions support your framing (when presenting your case and throughout the round).

ARGUMENTATION: Arguments shouldn't merely be repeated in rebuttals. Debaters who extend and develop them will do better in front of me as will debaters who clearly articulate and extend their warrants and impacts.

EVIDENCE: Please don't be repetitive with evidence. Repetitive evidence doesn’t equal more weight, and solid analytics can take out that kind of evidence. While evidence is good, please ensure that it's useful and efficient to your argumentation and soundly ties to your framing.

SPEAKER POINTS: Be respectful. Be confident. Engage with questions in CX. Signpost.

NOTE: If both debaters are okay with bringing circuit style argumentation and speed into a traditional round, I'm okay with it.

Aside from these, be sure to have fun!


PHILOSOPHY: I like and am most experienced with philosophical/theoretical argumentation and enjoy it best in a round. I am accustomed to weighing arguments under dense philosophical frameworks and can understand it if you do the same.

FRAMEWORK: I appreciate strong and clearly communicated framing. If I don't understand how the framing and argumentation engage in a round, I won’t vote on them so please make sure they are clear. While I am most familiar with a traditional structure, I am comfortable judging others. If you can explain your framing and properly weigh with it, I'm open to just about anything.

EVIDENCE: Please don't be repetitive with evidence. Repetitive evidence doesn’t equal more weight, and solid analytics can take out that kind of evidence. While evidence is good, please ensure that it is useful and efficient to your argumentation and soundly ties to the framing.

KRITIKS: I like a debate that is grounded in critical argumentation. I’m well versed in certain kinds of critical, feminist, pragmatist and theo/alogical theories, and am pretty comfortable voting on other kinds of critical arguments if they are explained well in the round.

POLICY: I'm okay with policy style arguments.

SPEED: I like to flow rounds and am generally fine with speed. Just be sure to slow down for tag lines so I can capture them correctly. If you’re going to spread at a super-fast speed, you'll need to flash your case to me.

SPEAKER POINTS: Be respectful. Be confident. Engage with questions in cross examination. Signpost. And again, if you spread, make the taglines clear.

T/THEORY: If you're going to run a T argument, you'll need to do a very good job explaining it and its impact on the round.

If you’re sharing documents, please add me to the chain:

Aside from these, be sure to have fun!

Julien Tagnon Paradigm

6 rounds

Not Submitted

Nathan Thompson Paradigm

6 rounds

(there's always a chance I forgot to update here, so check the date on the wiki to make sure this paradigm is current)

Nathan Thompson
Norman HS 14
University of Oklahoma 18
Updated 15 September 2018 sitting in the cafeteria before Greenhill round 1


I debated for Norman High School (OK) for four years, graduating in 2014. I qualified to NSDA Nationals my junior and senior year, breaking twice and placing 24th my junior year. I primarily debated in Oklahoma and did not have the resources to travel. I have worked at the UTNIF LD camp as an instructor in 2015, 2017, and 2018. I like email chains -


Speaking Preferences

  • Speed is fine. I will clear you twice if I cannot understand you.
  • THAT SAID, please do not fly through analytics or theory. I am decent at flowing but hardly amazing; if you hit the jets while reading a bunch of blipping theory args, I am going to get lost and miss stuff on the flow.
  • I only vote on stuff I've successfully flowed.
  • Indicate where your cards and arguments begin and end and slow down for authors and tags.


  • Value and criterion are not necessary so long as you give me a way to decide the ballot.
  • Label your framework arguments as what they are - I don't like tricky preempts or prestandards that become more than what they were in the constructive.


  • I default to competing interps, although I find I've gotten friendlier to reasonability args over the years.
  • I am probably not the judge to read a half-dozen theory shells in front of - you can do it if you think it's strategic or (obviously) to check abuse, but know that I might not like it if you overdo it.
  • You must have absolute clarity on what your interpretation is, especially if the text that you give your opponent is different than the one you read in round.
  • I will listen to potential abuse as an argument.
  • I do not know what Nebel T is and am not about to learn now. If you read anything like that, don't expect me to know any overly-specific jargon.


  • I will evaluate RVIs like anything else.
  • I will evaluate 2AR RVIs in response to new 2NR theory.
  • The RVI needs offense back to a counter-interp.


  • CX checks abuse!
  • CX checks abuse!
  • CX checks abuse!
  • That said, I'm not flowing CX, so don't lie about what's happening there after the fact...
  • Don't lie or intentionally obscure your answers.
  • I don't care whether you sit or stand, but be engaged.
  • Flex prep is fine as long as it's agreed to by both debaters.


  • I am not opposed to Ks, but I'm not super well-read on the literature base; make sure you're clearly explaining what your K means and does. Remember that there are scholars who study some of these K authors for literal decades to understand them properly; you can at least give a simplified explanation here. None of us are experts.
  • Make sure your alt doesn't suck. I am not enthusiastic about voting on vague K alts that you can't explain to any level of detail.
  • Have clear tags.
  • Your K should still link to an ethical framework.

Extension Evidence

  • New evidence should only respond directly to an objection to the original argument - do not post-date the original card and do not read new offense.


  • Weighing is the difference between bad debate and decent debate. Please do it early and often. Explain your clash and interactions with their arguments.
  • Give overviews in 2NR and 2AR that frame the round.

How to Get Good Speaks

  • Weigh early and often through the round. Demonstrate how your arguments interact with others on the flow.
  • Demonstrate a clear strategy and understanding of the importance of arguments on the flow. Don't just go for everything or straight down the flow.
  • Collapse in the 2NR/2AR! It is not worth either of our time for you to go for everything every round.
  • Be clear in CX. Good strategies needn't be disguised.
  • Don't argue with me about my decision. I will dock you speaks.

If you are clear, I will probably give between a 28 (borderline) and 30 (perfect, you've done something laudable, or I learned something). If you are not clear, I will probably give you between a 26 and a 27.5. Any points lower than 26 will be for punitive reasons (overt aggression or rudeness, problematic, etc).


I think debate has a lot of potential for good, but it's going to take effort from both of us to ensure that it's reached. Ask me questions after round if you want. Just don't argue about the decision.

Adam Torson Paradigm

5 rounds

UPDATED: 9/12/2018

1998-2003: Competed at Fargo South HS (ND)

2003-2004: Assistant Debate Coach, Hopkins High School (MN)

2004-2010: Director of Debate, Hopkins High School (MN)

2010-2012: Assistant Debate Coach, Harvard-Westlake Upper School (CA)

2012-Present: Debate Program Head, Marlborough School (CA)


General Preferences and Decision Calculus

I like substantive and interesting debate. I like to see good strategic choices as long as they do not undermine the substantive component of the debate. I strongly dislike the intentional use of bad arguments to secure a strategic advantage; for example making an incomplete argument just to get it on the flow. I tend to be most impressed by debaters who adopt strategies that are positional, advancing a coherent advocacy rather than a scatter-shot of disconnected arguments, and those debaters are rewarded with higher speaker points.

I view debate resolutions as normative. I default to the assumption that the Affirmative has a burden to advocate a topical change in the status quo, and that the Negative has a burden to defend either the status quo or a competitive counter-plan or kritik alternative. I will vote for the debater with the greatest net risk of offense. Offense is a reason to adopt your advocacy; defense is a reason to doubt your opponent's argument. I virtually never vote on presumption or permissibility, because there is virtually always a risk of offense.

Moral Skepticism is not normative (it does not recommend a course of action), and so I will not vote for an entirely skeptical position. Morally skeptical arguments may be relevant in determining the relative weight or significance of an offensive argument compared to other offense in the debate.


I am skeptical of impact exclusion. Debaters have a high bar to prove that I should categorically disregard an impact which an ordinary decision-maker would regard as relevant. I think that normative ethics are more helpfully and authentically deployed as a mode of argument comparison rather than argument exclusion. I will default to the assumption of a wide framework and epistemic modesty. I do not require a debater to provide or prove a comprehensive moral theory to regard impacts as relevant, though such theories may be a powerful form of impact comparison.

Arguments that deny the wrongness of atrocities like rape, genocide, and slavery, or that deny the badness of suffering or oppression more generally, are a steeply uphill climb in front of me. If a moral theory says that something we all agree is bad is not bad, that is evidence against the plausibility of the theory, not evidence that the bad thing is in fact good.


I default to evaluating theory as a matter of competing interpretations.

I am skeptical of RVIs in general and on topicality in particular.

I will apply a higher threshold to random theory interpretations that do not reflect existing community norms and am particularly unlikely to drop the debater on them. Because your opponent could always have been marginally more fair and because debating irrelevant theory questions is not a good model of debate, I am likely to intervene against theoretical arguments which I deem to be frivolous.

Tricks and Triggers

Your goal should be to win by advancing substantive arguments that would decisively persuade a reasonable decision-maker, rather than on surprises or contrived manipulations of debate conventions. I am unlikely to vote on tricks, triggers, or other hidden arguments, and will apply a low threshold for answering them. You will score more highly and earn more sympathy the more your arguments resemble genuine academic work product.

Counterplan Status, Judge Kick, and Floating PIKs

The affirmative has the obligation to ask about the status of a counterplan or kritik alternative in cross-examination. If they do not, the advocacy may be conditional in the NR.

I default to the view that the Negative has to pick an advocacy to go for in the NR. If you do not explicitly kick a conditional counterplan or kritik alternative, then that is your advocacy. If you lose a permutation read against that advocacy, you lose the debate. I will not kick the advocacy for you and default to the status quo unless you win an argument for judge kick in the debate.

I default to the presumption that floating PIKs must be articulated as such in the NC. If it is not apparent that the kritik alternative allows you to also enact the affirmative advocacy, then I will regard this argument as a change of advocacy in the NR and disregard it as a new argument.


To the extent possible I will resolve the debate as though I were a reasonable decision-maker considering only the arguments advanced by the debaters in making my decision. On any issues not adequately resolved in this way, I will make reasonable assumptions about the relative persuasiveness of the arguments presented.


The speed at which you choose to speak will not affect my evaluation of your arguments, save for if that speed impairs your clarity and I cannot understand the argument. I prefer debate at a faster than conversational pace, provided that it is used to develop arguments well and not as a tactic to prevent your opponent from engaging your arguments. There is some speed at which I have a hard time following arguments, but I don't know how to describe it, so I will say "clear," though I prefer not to because the threshold for adequate clarity is very difficult to identify in the middle of a speech and it is hard to apply a standard consistently. For reasons surpassing understanding, most debaters don't respond when I say clear, but I strongly recommend that you do so. Also, when I say clear it means that I didn't understand the last thing you said, so if you want that argument to be evaluated I suggest repeating it. A good benchmark is to feel like you are going at 90% of your top speed; I am likely a significantly better judge at that pace.


My threshold for sufficient extensions will vary based on the circumstances, e.g. if an argument has been conceded a somewhat shorter extension is generally appropriate.


It is primarily the responsibility of debaters to engage in meaningful evidence comparison and analysis and to red flag evidence ethics issues. However, I will review speech documents and evaluate detailed disputes about evidence raised in the debate. I prefer to be included on an email chain or pocket box that includes the speech documents. If I have a substantial suspicion of an ethics violation (i.e. you have badly misrepresented the author, edited the card so as to blatantly change it's meaning, etc.), I will evaluate the full text of the card (not just the portion that was read in the round) to determine whether it was cut in context, etc.

Speaker Points

I use speaker points to evaluate your performance in relation to the rest of the field in a given round. At tournaments which have a more difficult pool of debaters, the same performance which may be above average on most weekends may well be average at that tournament. I am strongly disinclined to give debaters a score that they specifically ask for in the debate round, because I utilize points to evaluate debaters in relation to the rest of the field who do not have a voice in the round. I elect not to disclose speaker points, save where cases is doing so is necessary to explain the RFD. My range is approximately as follows:

30: Your performance in the round is likely to beat any debater in the field.

29: Your performance is substantially better than average - likely to beat most debaters in the field and competitive with students in the top tier.

28: Your performance is above average - likely to beat the majority of debaters in the field but unlikely to beat debaters in the top tier.

27.5: Your performance is approximately average - you are likely to have an equal number of wins and losses at the end of the tournament.

26: Your performance is below average - you are likely to beat the bottom 25% of competitors but unlikely to beat the average debater.

25: Your performance is substantially below average - you are competitive among the bottom 25% but likely to lose to other competitors

Below 25: I tend to reserve scores below 25 for penalizing debaters as explained below.

Rude or Unethical Actions

I will severely penalize debaters who are rude, offensive, or otherwise disrespectful during a round. I will severely penalize debaters who distort, miscut, misrepresent, or otherwise utilize evidence unethically.

Card Clipping

A debater has clipped a card when she does not read portions of evidence that are highlighted or bolded in the speech document so as to indicate that they were read, and does not verbally mark the card during the speech. Clipping is an unethical practice because you have misrepresented which arguments you made to both your opponent and to me. If I determine that a debater has clipped cards, then that debater will lose.

To determine that clipping has occurred, the accusation needs to be verified by my own sensory observations to a high degree of certainty, a recording that verifies the clipping, or the debaters admission that s/he has clipped. If you believe that your opponent has clipped, you should raise your concern immediately after the speech in which it was read, and I will proceed to investigate. False accusations of clipping is a serious ethical violation as well. *If you accuse your opponent of clipping and that accusation is disconfirmed by the evidence, you will lose the debate.* You should only make this accusation if you are willing to stake the round on it.


I am happy to answer any questions on preferences or paradigm before the round. After the round I am happy to answer respectfully posed questions to clarify my reason for decision or offer advice on how to improve (subject to the time constraints of the tournament). Within the limits of reason, you may press points you don't understand or with which you disagree (though I will of course not change the ballot after a decision has been made). I am sympathetic to the fact that debaters are emotionally invested in the outcomes of debate rounds, but this does not justify haranguing judges or otherwise being rude. For that reason, failure to maintain the same level of respectfulness after the round that is generally expected during the round will result in severe penalization of speaker points.

Nigel Ward Paradigm

5 rounds


Have the email chain setup. There is no reason you should be fumbling with an email chain 10 minutes past start time. It makes me seem late(big image guy) and leads to tab (understandably) sending runners to annoy me...and that annoys me. Put differently: Even if Im late, have the email chain set up and ready to send upon my arrival or speaks will decline by no LESS than 2 whole points...try me! {npiredebate at G mail}

TOC additions:

Paradigmatic additions: FWK/T and Ks are arguments that have been in debate for a while now...get over it and win the debate. If you expect a judge to stop the round after a debater reads a Shapiro or Patterson card...I'm not the judge for you and will probably laugh at you.


I go in to rounds as a blank slate, you should tell me how you want arguments treated/used("filter the debate through permutation etc.) This makes framing HUGE

I love a good T vs policy aff debate

I'm capitalist but think the Cap K is one of the most underrated and strategic positions.]

About me: Existentialist and Capitalist majoring in Finance, Intl Business and Arabic.

Don't be lay. Don't be boring. Don't be anti-semitic. Facts>Feelings. Tech>Truth (default).

"The infants in the graveyard smile widely without teeth, Carefully sewn in columns and rows, rotting little seeds...Raking tears from upturned eyes"

Ed Williams Paradigm

6 rounds


I will listen to most arguments. I have problems with most theory arguments in LD. Topicality is like the death penalty so I proceed with care. I understand policy arguments and kritiks. I flow most of the time. If you have questions about what I think about your arguments you should ask.

I believe debaters should be civil to each other. I would prefer that high school students not use foul language in debates.

I am ok with performance debates. I do believe the teams should engage the topic. If a team chooses not to engage the topic, then I will give the other team leeway to deal with the lack of engagement.

Reverse voting issues do not make sense in most instances.

I am ok with counterplans and disadvantages.

I will vote for the team that makes the most sense at the end of the debate.

Aurelia Williams Paradigm

6 rounds

Im currently studying philosophy at Loyola. I have a background in coaching, judging and debating LD, Public Forum, and Policy. I will listen to most arguments as long as I do not find them offensive. I prefer clarity over speed, that being said I am perfectly fine with speed. If I have to call clear more than three times I will stop flowing. Counter plans and theory arguments are fine as long as they are coherent, the same goes for K's. However, I rarely like to vote on theory arguments unless the violation is resolved by the ballot.

My email is:

Walter Willis Paradigm

4 rounds

I am Dyspolity@gmail on email chains.

Who I am:

Policy debater in the 1970's and 80's. I left debate for 15 years then became a coach in 1995. I was a spread debater, but speed then was not what speed is today. I am not the fast judge you want if you like speed. Because you will email me your constructive speeches, I will follow along fine then, but in the speeches that win or lose you the round I may not be following you if you are circuit fast. If that makes me a dinosaur, so be it.

I have coached most of my career in Houston at public schools and currently I coach at Guyer in Denton. I have had strong TOC debaters in LD, but recently any LDers that I have coached were getting their best help from private coaching. Only recently have I had Policy debate good enough to be relevant at TOC tournaments.

I rarely give 30's. High points come from clear speaking, cogent strategic choices, professional attitudes and eloquent rhetoric.


Line by line debates. I want to see the clash of ideas.

Policy arguments that are sufficiently developed. A disadvantage is not one card. Counterplans, too, must be fully developed. Case specific counterplans are vastly preferable to broad generics. PIC's are fine.

Framework debates that actually clash. I like K debates, but I am more likely to vote on a K that is based on philosophy that is more substantive and less ephemeral.


Theory Arguments, including T. I get that sometimes it is necessary, but flowing the standards and other analytical elements of the debate, particularly in rebuttals, is miserable.

Circuit level speed.

I am fine with conditional elements of a negative advocacy, but I vastly prefer that the specific conditions be stipulated in the constructive. So, I dislike conditional arguments that are not presented cogently.

I default aff unless convinced otherwise. I have a very high threshold to overcome my skepticism on ROTB and ROTJ and Pre-Fiat arguments. I should also include K affs that do not affirm the resolution and most RVI's in that set of ideas that I am skeptical about on face.

Rudeness and arrogance.

Lawrence Zhou Paradigm

6 rounds

University of Oklahoma '19

Bartlesville, OK '14

Affiliations: The Harker School

Conflicts: Apple Valley, Norman, anyone currently employed at VBI

Last updated: 1/12/2020 for Stanford (PF)/Cal (LD)

Email for the chain: (Yes, I want to be on the chain, if you don't put me on the chain, I just assume you haven't read the paradigm)

Any questions, just ask.

If it is right before the round, just look at the "Answers to Common Questions" section. If you are doing prefs before the tournament or have more time before the round, you should begin at the "Prefs Overview" section in my paradigm in full paradigm linked below.

Full Paradigm here.

2020 Update

See full paradigm

Answers to Common Questions

Q: Should I shake your hand?

Q: What's your paradigm?
A: ... the way I evaluate rounds? More specifically?

Q: Are you okay with speed?
A: If I wasn't, do you think anyone would hire me?

Q: What experience do you have as a judge?
A: Too much.

Q: Do you care if we stand/sit?
A: Nope, but it's better for you if you can stand

Q: Preference of seating?
A: Nope.

Q: Will you yell clear/speed?
A: Yes, 2 times.

Q: Are you okay with theory?
A: I suppose.

Q: What do you default on theory?
A: Competing interps, drop the arg, RVIs fine, but need to be justified.

Q: How about policy arguments?
A: I suppose.

Q: What about kritiks?
A: I suppose.

Q: What about performance?
A: I suppose (see below)

Q: What if I read a blatantly non-topical aff?
A: Meh (see below)

Q: Are there any arguments you don't want me to make?
A: Yes, bad arguments. Again, I'll vote on them, but I'd rather not.

Q: Do you disclose speaks?
A: Not anymore

Q: What does it take to get the 30?
A: You probably won't get one, but knock my socks off and you'll get close.

Q: Should I pref this guy?
A: Good question.

Maggie Zollo Paradigm

6 rounds

I currently coach LD, PF, and CX at A&M Consolidated, and did LD at Northland Christian in high school. If you're here for PF, skip to the third paragraph.

As a debater, I read a lot of plans, DAs, and CPs and so I like listening to them, but I'm cool with other off case positions, too. When it comes to Ks, I would really appreciate it if the position was clearly explained (especially in terms of ROB/ROJ and the layer of the debate it functions on) and cleanly extended throughout the round, since I may not be as familiar with some of the literature (especially if you're reading pomo type stuff). I won't vote on any argument that tries to justify unjustifiable things (the Holocaust, slavery, other forms of oppression). If you need clarification on what that means, feel free to ask. If you're reading a process CP I'll be more receptive to perms/theory against it.

I would prefer that you don't read frivolous theory in front of me, it bums me out. I know my definition of that is different than others, so feel free to ask for clarification before the round. I'm open to listening to T, but I'd honestly prefer to not have it become the only layer in the round/the only thing I have to vote off of. Same with RVIs. Also, I find myself voting for K's a lot more often in TvsK debates, so my threshold for "non-topical" affs is probably more forgiving than some. I default to reasonability if it's a situation of potential or frivolous theory but will go with competing interps if you justify it, which isn't hard to do, so please take the extra 15 or so seconds to do so if that's what you want to go with. Also, extend voters and drop the debater arguments please. Condo is fine when limited to one (or two in CX) positions, but feel free to take the time to explain otherwise in either direction. I think conditional K's can be kind of bad perceptually depending on what the pre-fiat impact is if there is one, or if there's a performative/different method-based aspect to it.

You'll get high speaker points if you speak clearly, extend arguments, and weigh, and you'll get low speaker points if you're rude and/or offensive to anyone in the room (I listen to CX, too, so be civil during that), especially if you're debating someone clearly out of their depth and you're obviously winning but you decide to go about it obnoxiously, or if you speak particularly unclearly. In more competitive rounds aka at bid tournaments, speaks will be more likely to be based off of strategy. If you go all in on T or theory when you don't need to, for example, there's a chance I'll dock speaks. You can read as fast as you want, please just be clear. I'll ask you to be clearer a few times, but eventually I'll just have to try my best with guessing if you don't listen, and that isn't good for anyone. Also, for PF, the 2nd speaking team should cover part of the case in the rebuttal speech, terminal defense is fine to extend, and line by line is alright up until the summary, arguably the final focus. Don't go for everything, have solid issue selection since y'all don't get the best time constraints.

Feel free to ask for clarification on any of these points before the round, or ask any more questions that you think could apply to the debate. Thanks for reading this!

My email is, I would love to be added to the email chain.