UCO Joe C Jackson

2018 — OK/US

Benton Bajorek Paradigm

6 rounds

If I am judging you, then I want your docs. Please set up an email chain and include me (bentonbajorek@gmail.com) or use speechdrop. AFF should have their 1AC ready to send at the start of the round. I will not keep up with time and I expect debaters to keep each other accountable for speech and prep time. I keep my flows, so any questions can be emailed to me.

COVID Online Debate

Issues with clarity and diction compound when listening to debates with headphones. I'm fine with spreading, but please slow down if you are saying something that isn't in your speech doc-- particularly theory and analytics. If they are in the doc you send me, I'll be good to go. Otherwise, I might miss them. I'm more than happy to vote for things like condo in the 2AR, but I likely won't feel comfortable doing it if I couldn't flow all the nuance because were spreading in the 2AC and didn't include your condo block in the speech doc.


This is my sixth season coaching and judging college policy and my second year coaching on the high school policy circuit. As an undergrad, I competed for four years at Arkansas State University primarily in American Parli on the National Circuit. I also debated in Lincoln-Douglas, IPDA, and Team IPDA.


I view debate as a medium of persuasion and judge accordingly. All too often, I feel debaters focus more on beating their opponent instead of trying to convince the judge on an advocacy position. I believe this model is narrow-minded and the most effective way to win my ballot is to use a combination of ethos, pathos, and logos.

I greatly appreciate if tag lines, plan and CP texts, K alts, theory blocks, and perms could be slowed down so I can get a chance to write them on my flow. If a debater becomes inarticulate, I will yell CLEAR and cross my arms if the speech continues in that manner. If I cannot hear you, then I cannot understand your arguments. If I cannot understand your arguments, then I cannot vote for you.

I will vote on any argument. I consider myself a tab judge and vote based on what arguments are made, not what arguments are stated. Just because you extend an author does not mean you have extended an argument. I have certain preferences and thresholds for arguments that I will do my best to articulate below, but clearly articulated warrants and analysis will make me vote against my predispositions.

2NRs/2ARs that have clear voters and impact calculus are preferred.

If you want to make a role of the ballot argument, I need you to articulate what that means and specifically state how I should view particular arguments under that lens. If you just assert that my job is to vote under a specific framework but fail to clearly articulate what that means, then I will default to my personal standpoint of voting for the team that did the better job debating.

I do not tolerate poor sportsmanship. Every debater puts too much time, effort, and energy to arrive at a round and be belittled by their opponent(s). I love a competitive round where teams don’t back down and are assertive, but keep a level of decorum and respect. Ad hominem attacks and condescending behavior will not be tolerated and I will significantly lower your speaker points.


References to the Clippers = 0.2 speaker points

References to the NBA in general = 0.1 speaker point


I view debate as a game with rules that can change from round to round. The rules for debate should foster fairness and/or educational gain. I do not particularly favor one over the other.

Teams should slow down and clearly articulate standards for why I should favor their arguments on framework/T/role of the ballot/condo/etc. I really dislike teams that read directly from their blocks and fail to clash with their opponents’ standards and it makes my job difficult if there is not a direct response to specific arguments. In other words, teams that directly respond to their opponents’ arguments on ground loss will fare better than teams that just assert an argument on ground and make me do the work for them.

I am rarely persuaded by potential abuse arguments. I am strongly persuaded by in-round abuse arguments.


Topicality must have an interpretation, violation, standard, and voters. I really enjoy listening to T and I appreciate a good standard debate with specific and competitive reasons why your interpretation is better/superior to your opponent.

Voters are often overlooked but are the most important part of a topicality. NEG needs to stress why I should vote on this issue. Refer back to my theory section for this one. I have never voted on a topicality that did not have some sort of education, fairness, and/or jurisdiction voter.

Reverse voting issues are not persuasive. I view topicality as a test of the affirmative case and NEG has the right to make this argument. Do not waste your time trying to convince me otherwise. However, I will say that trying to bury the AFF by running 10+ topicality arguments that are not relevant to the round will make me think poorly of you and I will happily vote for a time-suck argument.


Disadvantages need to have a clear uniqueness, link, internal link, and impact scenario. DA’s are arguments that I feel everyone knows how to run, but there are some specific things that I prefer to see.

I want advantage and disadvantage debates to come down to impact calculus. Measure out magnitude, timeframe, probability, etc. If your impact is more meaningful, then tell me why and compare it to other impacts in the round. Pull these arguments out in the 2AR/2NR.

I do not have an opinion on intrinsic perms, but I believe these arguments can be extremely abusive and AFFs choosing to run this will need to lay out some sort of explanation for me to consider it.

Counter Plans

A counterplan must be mutually exclusive with the AFF. If you want to run a plan-plus, consult, push back 3 months CP, etc., then you will need to convince me why your modification of the AFF’s plan is severance, mutually exclusive, and/or has a competitive net benefit.


I ran K’s frequently when I competed and I am very familiar with them. However, when you run a K, do not assume that I know the literature. Do not stick to your cards and be prepared to break down what you are trying to argue with your position. I will not vote for a K if I have no idea what your alt does.

As for specifics, I believe K’s need to win framework or alt solvency for me to vote on them. This goes back to needing to know what the alt does. Understanding how your method is key or has the potential to work in the real world is important for me to vote on it.

I am rarely persuaded by links of omission. AFFs that read 1 card or make a smart analytical argument here are very likely to refute the link.

I prefer specific over generic links. Really prove the AFF team violated the ideas you are critiquing.

Performance in Debate/K AFF’s

I believe that AFFs that do not have a plan are untopical and should lose. I also believe that AFFs that run a plan text, but only garner impacts from their performance are extratopical and should lose.

That being said, I have voted for many K AFFs because they won on Framework and/or T. I do not have to be an auto-strike for you, but a framework block on how I should evaluate your position is necessary for you to win. If you fail to demonstrate and justify a framework for why the round should be seen through your performance then it is difficult for me to understand what my ballot should be doing. This allows me to hold you to a standard and have the other team either challenge you on that idea, or compete against you on it. Don’t be a moving target and state this clearly in your 1AC.

I think K AFFs that talk about the educational benefits of their position or justify the need of their AFF within the debate space to counter hegemonic practices are strong arguments that have potential to convince me to vote for you.

Final note: Any team that uses music in their performance can use it, but it needs to be turned down substantially during speeches and CX. I have trouble focusing with loud music/distractions and this is intended to create access for myself in the debate space and not to silence your performance.

Brendon Bankey Paradigm

2 rounds

Director of Debate at the University of Texas

brendonbankey@gmail.com - please add me to your email chain

***New Paradigm***

Square up. Friday night lights. Fight night. Any given Sunday. Start your engines and may the best debater win.

My bias is that debate is competitive and adversarial, not cooperative. My bias is that debate strategies should be evidence-centric and, at a minimum, rooted in an academic discipline. My bias is that I do not want to consider anything prior to the reading of the 1AC when making my decision. My bias is that I will only flow one speaker in each rebuttal unless it is clearly and compellingly established in the constructives why I should flow both speakers in the same speech.

For me to vote on an argument it must have a claim, warrant, and impact. A claim is an assertion of truth or opinion. A warrant is an analytical connection between data/grounds/evidence and your claim. An impact is the implication of that claim for how I should evaluate the debate.

I think about permutations in a very precise way. I do not think it's the only way to think about them but I am unlikely to be persuaded to think otherwise. I think that a plan specifies a desired outcome. There are a set number of means to achieve the desired outcome. I also think that a counterplan or alternative specifies a desired outcome with a set number of means to achieve that outcome. A permutation asserts that it is theoretically possible for there to be a means of action that satisfies both the outcome of the plan and the counterplan or alternative. A permutation could be expressed as where the set numbers of the aff's and the neg's strategies overlap. Permutations are defense. Rarely do they "solve all their offense." It would behoove affs to know what offense they are "no linking" with the perm and what offense the perm does not resolve. This discussion should ideally begin in the 2AC and it must take place in the 1AR.

---"Perm do the counterplan" and "perm do the alt" are claims that are often unaccompanied by warrants. I will not vote for these statements unless the aff explains why they are theoretically legitimate BEFORE the 2AR. I am most likely to vote for these arguments when the aff has 1) a clear model of counterplan/alternative competition that justifies such a perm AND 2) an explanation for where the aff and the cp/alt overlap

I would prefer that debaters engage arguments instead of finesse their way out of links. This is especially awful when it takes place in clash debates. If you assert your opponent's offense does not apply when it does I will lower your speaker points.

In that vein, it is my bias that if an affirmative team chooses not to say "USFG Should" in the 1AC that they are doing it for competitive reasons. It is, definitionally, self-serving. Self-serving does not mean the aff should lose, just that they should be more realistic about the function of their 1AC in a competitive activity. If the aff does not say "USFG Should" they are deliberately shifting the point of stasis to other issues that they believe should take priority. It is reciprocal, therefore, for the negative to use any portion of the 1AC as it's jumping off point.

I think that limits, not ground, is the controlling internal link for most T-related impacts. Ground is an expression of the division of affirmative and negative strategies on any given topic. It is rarely an independent impact to T. I hate cross-examination questions about ground. I do not fault teams for being unhelpful to opponents that pose questions in cross-examination using the language of ground. People commonly ask questions about ground to demonstrate to the judge that the aff has not really thought out how their approach to the resolution fosters developed debates. A better, more precise question to ask would be: "What are the win conditions for the negative within your model of competition?"

***Old Paradigm (Still True)***

I judge debates based on execution. My decisions rarely come down to just 2NR v 2AR. They are strongly influenced by how ideas develop in CX, the block, and the 1AR.

The best rebuttals will isolate a unique impact and explain why their opponent's impact is either less important or impossible to resolve. The most persuasive rebuttals, to me, are those that explain how I should evaluate the debate given the available information. This is especially true in debates about debate where neither side agrees on a normative method for evaluation.

I can't stress how irritated I am by students that make sweeping claims about argument styles that they don't usually engage in. Debate is hard and everyone puts in an incredible amount of work. Oftentimes, people don't get credit for their effort. That stinks. That does not mean, however, that other folks' contributions are less valuable than yours because they approach the game differently.

I think there is an important role for philosophical arguments in debate, with caveats. Ks should disprove solvency. I think creatively interpreting the resolution is interesting. Affirmative teams that decide the resolution doesn't matter in advance of the debate and only impact turn their opponent's positions bore me. I would rather affs be deliberately extra-topical than anti-topical. Link arguments should be consistent with framework arguments. The terms used in speeches and tags should reflect the language of the literature base they are meant to represent. Not all Ks of humanism are the same. Not all Ks are Ks of humanism.

I think there is an important role for policy arguments in debate, with caveats. Vague plan writing does not equal strategic plan writing. Impact evidence is often outdated and/or includes multiple alt-causes. I perceive a degree of self-righteousness from debaters that have extensive experience going for T-USFG but have little experience going for T in other situations. I perceive a higher degree of self-righteousness from debaters who preach the merits of research when going for T-USFG while very obviously reading evidence they copy and pasted from other school's open-source documents.

What you should expect of me:

1) I will evaluate the debate and cast a provisional decision about which team did the better debating based on the content of the speeches and the cross-examinations.

2) I will flow your debate in an excel template and save a copy after the debate for scouting purposes.

How I think about debate:

I. The aff's burden is to prove that the 1AC is A) an example of the res and B) a positive departure from the squo. The neg should disprove the 1AC and can win by establishing that the aff is wrong about either A or B. The neg can also win by offering a counter-proposal that competes with and is net beneficial to the 1AC.

II. In order to accomplish A, the aff should be able to:

1) provide an interpretation of the resolution

2) explain how the 1AC meets their interpretation of the resolution

3) demonstrate that their vision of the resolution is superior to the neg’s

III. In the event that the aff argues they do not have to abide by the terms of the resolution, the aff should be able to:

1) provide sound reasoning for why the agreed upon point of stasis fails to address the agreed upon controversy area

2) explain the roles of the aff and the neg in their vision of debate

3) demonstrate that their vision of debate is superior to the neg’s

IV. The aff cannot win by simply flipping the burden of proof and indicting the neg’s interpretation of the resolution.* The aff must at all times defend a contestable proposition. If III (see above) occurs, the neg's burden is not to disprove the solvency and harms of the 1AC (B). Rather, all the neg should have to disprove is that abandoning A is necessary to solve/talk about B. If the neg can demonstrate that the original stasis point can accommodate the harms area then the aff has not proven that abandoning the res must occur.

*Exceptions to IV: language Ks, conditionality bad

Things I enjoy:

· When debaters express a nuanced knowledge of the resolution/controversy area

· Good jokes

· Bold choices

· Exposing specious arguments in C-X

· Solvency debates

· Links to the plan

· Supporting claims with high-quality research

· Final rebuttals that begin with a brief explanation of the key issues in the debate and why they have won given the arguments presented in earlier speeches

· When debaters prioritize answering the question, “What should debate look like?”

· Creative permutations—a perm says that there is a possible world in which both the 1AC and the counter-proposal can occur simultaneously, or that the counter-proposal is an example of how the aff’s proposition could be implemented—the aff should describe the permutation in both rebuttals and explicitly argue what elements of the neg’s strategy it mitigates/solves. Asserting the hypothetical validity of a perm and being intentionally vague until the 2AR does not an aff ballot make.

Things I don’t enjoy:

· When debaters compensate for dropping an argument by asserting that it is new

· When embedded clash becomes an excuse for not flowing

· When debaters make straw person characterizations of argument styles they do not personally engage in

· Trained incapacity

· “Death good”/ “death not real”

· Basic strats

· Recycled strats

· Recycled blocks

· K 1NC shells that I can find in my inbox from previous seasons

· “Procedural fairness”

· Teams that don’t take advantage if/when their opponent impact turns fairness

· Affs that don’t defend a substantial departure from the squo

· Affs that don’t specify the terms of the 1AC/backtrack on the terms of the 1AC for the purpose of permuting the neg’s counter-proposal

· Bad internal links

· C-X belligerence

· Hyperbolic impacts

· Counter-perms (honestly, it’s been 10 years and I still don’t get it)

· Asserting “perm do the counter-proposal” when it’s shamelessly severance

· When great CX moments don’t make it into the speeches

· Failing to capitalize on 2AC/block choices and settling for coin flip decisions

· “Point me to a line in the card where it says…” OR “I just ctrl F’ed that word in the document and it isn’t there”

Michael Barlow Paradigm

4 rounds

**If for any reason you ever don't wanna debate and both teams agree, we can flip a coin to determine the winner. Losing side speaks will be 29.1 and 29. Winning side speaks will be 28.5 and 28.6 :)

New to the topic -- Be careful with acronyms and cool kid phrases.

Short and Sweet--I was a kritikal afropessimism debater that liked to also go for framework. Im willing to vote on a wide range of arguments, I have no predispositions. I'm very flow centric. I'll hear any argument just make sure its impacted well and INTERACTS with the other side's arguments. Lean toward competing interpretations, the aff doesn't necessarily need to defend the USFG (you can make the arg) but should at a minimum have some relationship to the Rez, condo is probably good, and advantage CPs are strategic. More specific rambles found below.


With that said, I believe my job as a judge is to facilitate the exchange of ideas. Whether those ideas are connected to a policy option or a dance performance is entirely up to the debaters. Personally my debate strategies have ranged from Wilderson to Consult CP/Politics to Zizek. I am more than willing to hear whatever it is you're confortable with. See the issue specific stuff below.

Topicality--I think it should be a bigger deal on most topics. Too many neg teams are afraid to invest in it. A good T strat will make the violation apparent, along with the standards, AND a topical version of the aff. Anything less is probably not gonna get my ballot. If you're aff winning reasonability is probably an uphill battle.

Framework--Pretty versed in the techniques and strategies. I'll flow it like a disad but truth claims do have weight. Be clear, concise, and explain warrants. Neg without a topical version of the aff probably loses.

Counterplans--Admittingly I'm probably willing to entertain the most abusive of CPs. This isn't to say that you can't win theory against a reccommend CP, but I won't just assume you're right. You'll have to win the theory debate. As far as competition goes, I tend to lean more in favor of the aff when the way in which the CP generates a Net-Benefit is sketchy. I don't think that Politics is as clear of a net-benefit to XO as people may think. But again this is a debate to be had.

Kritiks--You should make the framework in which I consider the plan versus the alternative clear. In combination with this, you should make the alternative's interaction with the advantages clear i.e. does the alt solve the case or does the case just not matter? I think the aff has the same burden. Usually big K debates resolve around the clash of viewpoints so make your viewpoint clear in comparison to theirs.


Case Turns--Fine

Theory--For most blippy theory arguments I probably will default to any articulation of "reject the arg." By blippy I mean perf con or severence reps, etc. This sin't to say I won't vote on theory. If your blippy arg is conceded, I'll painfully vote on it. Also, I'm more than happy to hear a good theory debate via condo, or pics, etc. I probably lean more toward condo being good.

Jeff Bess Paradigm

4 rounds

Updated 11/2018

Email chains: jeffbess.debate@gmail.com

I debated at Missouri State for 4 years (2010-2014). Since then went to law school and now judging here and there.

I usually went for policy arguments but I am generally of the "do your thing" school of judging. Keep in mind that I probably don't know your literature base beyond what I've heard while judging/debating.

Final rebuttals are a time to make key strategic decisions and fortune often favors the bold. If you think you're behind but you've got an angle, go for it. If you leave loose threads, you may not like how I tie them up.

I flow CX and you should use that to your advantage.

I follow along with speech docs, but I only flow speeches (the only way to get what's in your doc "on the record" -- charts excepted) and I defer to in-round explanation over my own ability to re-read your cards after the round and re-construct arguments.

Bottom line: I will do my best to vote for the team I think won, without fear or favor.

Feel free to email questions before or after debates if you have them.

Mia Bonitto Paradigm

3 rounds

I want to receive the speech docs, mcbonitto at gmail.com.

I am currently an assistant clinical professor of education and psychology at Wichita State University. My research focuses on assessment for children with disabilities and mental health needs for diverse students in schools. I have judged at 3-5 college tournaments a year since graduating undergrad, 10 years ago. I also have judged regularly on the high school circuit. I am currently the assistant director of debate at Wichita State University, however, I do somewhat limited topic work. The thing I find myself asking for more than anything else in decisions is more explanations.

I did policy debate in both high school and college, I graduated from Wichita State University in 2011. I have a wide background in debate arguments. I have debated and coached almost every style of argument. I firmly believe that you will do best in debate by reading what you are best at and that is what I want to hear. I want this debate to be about you. I respect you and I value your education in debate. I will try VERY hard to listen to anything you have to say and to vote for whichever team did the better debating.

I have a full-time job outside of debate. I choose to stay involved with debate because it matters to me. I care about being a good judge and a good coach. I view myself as a constant learner, and I enjoy learning about and thinking about all sorts of debate arguments. If I don't know something in a debate, I will usually try to learn about it by the next time I see you.

I think participation in debate is important for all marginalized groups and I believe in the importance of debate as a community of activists and a tool of empowerment. That being said, yes, I will still vote for your framework arguments, your T debates, your theory arguments, your CP's or your disads (I really do want to hear what you're best at).

Don’t talk down to or threaten your partners or the other team. I spend more than most people in this activity in healthcare settings working with people with disabilities, many of whom are actively suicidal, depressed, and/or anxious. If you are someone who needs someone in your corner who has that experience during the tournament, I'm happy to try to be that person. If someone is visibly emotionally upset in a debate, before starting prep time, I will usually stop the debate to check-in, and may encourage a break. I care about people infinitely more than I care about who wins or loses. Also, I am likely not the best judge for death good, or arguments that encourage suicide or are explicitly violent.

Speaker Points: Norms keep changing with points and I'm trying to be attentive in giving points consistent with the community norms. I have been told that my points are both wildly too high and wildly too low at various points throughout the years I have been around judging debates. Know that I honestly am trying and I do apologize if I mess it up. I don't memorize names well and so I am not good at knowing the points you are "supposed" to get. I base points on what I thought of that round and what I perceive to be the norms of that tournament.

Online Debate: I will be flowing on paper for the 2020-2021 debate season so that I can see you and the speech doc on my computer screen at all times. It seems to work best for me, however, I haven't flowed on paper regularly since I debated. It's been going fine, but it helps me if you make sure you are clear about which page you're debating on in all speeches. Please try to slow down a bit and keep your cameras on if possible.

Eli Brennan Paradigm

3 rounds

elibrennan@gmail.com YES, I'd like to be on the email chain (or i guess we may just use Zoom to transfer speech docs).

Evidence: I am happy, very happy, to prefer the team with the better evidence on key questions, you just need to explain why your evidence is superior: be clear about which evidence you want me to read, why I will find it superior, and why that matters for the overall strategic situation of the debate.I haven't been reading much evidence at all after debates because the approach to extending the evidence lacks substantive warranting. In those situations, I prefer to just compare warrants provided by the debaters- to see who did the better _debating_. All that said, I really do like that policy debate can create stable strategic advantages for better research and better interpretation of that research.

Framework: I'm sympathetic to Framework arguments mostly in situations where the Aff. is apparently trying to avoid substantive clash. Many debaters who specialize in, or rely on, framework arguments fail to convince me that they could not have anticipated, or developed answers to, the Affirmative's arguments. Developing substantive responses to widely different kinds of arguments seems like something we should each be good at. I often sense that debaters are just not interested in literature they claim to have been unable to anticipate. All that said, if you have a solid set of answers to the questions our community brings to the topic, and your opponent makes it unreasonably difficult/impossible to engage in those debates, please by all means go for framework. Winning the quality of education component is usually the key to that ballot for me.

K Debate: I like policy debate and critical debate. Do what you do best, and I'll follow. Adapting your blocks to the specifics of the Aff is the easiest way to improve your chances. For the Aff to weigh their advantages against a K, defending the knowledge claims is more reliable than theory arguments (for my ballot). A lot of teams are letting alternatives off the hook, which creates a tough debate for the Aff. Putting both offensive and defensive pressure on the Alternative is a more robust strategy, in my view, than a framework argument giving theoretical reasons I should ignore evidence against the Aff perspective.

Theory: A lot of theory debates are messy because debaters overly rely on their blocks. It gets blippy and lacks the kind of comparisons that make ballots reliable. I do understand, and am sympathetic to, theory positions that are necessary to keep the rest of the debate under control for your side. You often end up needing to go "all in" if the substantive debate gets out of control. Just be sure to debate "access" to the terminal impact of education in a clear and comparative way. I'm probably more sympathetic to process counterplans and solvency advocate arguments than most of my colleagues, in that I like these debates to be resolved with the best research, rather than the best spin.

Global advice: Think actively during the whole debate, find a way to create and enjoy moments of excellence, and respect your opponents (or at least the people they could be). Make whatever arguments you feel/think best. Take the time to explain your argument most comprehensively at the places you are most vulnerable- always contextualizing one step further than your opponent (they say 'purple', you say 'sun-drenched lavender').

Most of my decisions result from setting the 2nr against the 2ar, controlling for new args (esp. new 2ar args), checking evidence, defaulting to meta-arguments (comparisons) from debaters, and then imposing (i hate it as much as you do) meta-arguments where necessary.

I'm happy to answer any questions you may have before, during, or after the debate.

*Sidequests: +.2 Speaker points on offer for the sickest burn on opposing authors.

Brett Bricker Paradigm

5 rounds

Associate Director of Debate @ KU

Last Updated: Pre-GSU 2016

Quick pre-round notes:

I would prefer speech docs while I judge. Please email them to bricker312@gmail.com.

The affirmative should read and defend a topical example of the resolution and the negative should negate the affirmative's example.

I reward teams that demonstrate a robust knowledge of the topic and literature concerning the topic.

More info:

1. The word "interpretation" matters more to me than some. You must counterdefine words, or you will likely lose. You must meet your theory interpretation, or you will likely lose.
2. The words "voting issue" matter more to me than some. I am not searching for cheap shots, nor do I especially enjoy theory debates. However, I feel that I would be intervening if I applied "reject the argument not the team" to arguments that debaters did not explicitly apply the impact takeout to. That said, proliferation of empty voting issues will not only hurt your speaker points, but can be grouped and pretty easily disposed of by opponents.
3. "Turns the case" matters more to me than some. Is it offense? Does the link to the advantage/fiat outweigh or prevent turning the case? Does it mean the aff doesn't solve? Questions that should be answered by the 1ar.

I believe that debaters work hard, and I will work hard for them. The more debaters can show they have worked hard: good case debates, specific strategies, etc. the more likely it is I will reward debaters with speaker points and higher effort. In the same vain, debaters who make clear that they don’t work outside of debates won’t receive high speaker points.

Argument issues:

Topicality – It is a voting issue and not a reverse voting issue. I have not yet been persuaded by arguments in favor of reasonability; however, the reason for this usually lies with the fact that affirmatives fail to question the conventional wisdom that limits are good.

Kritiks – It will be difficult to convince me that I should completely disregard my conceptions of rationality, pragmatism and my aversion to unnecessary death. As a general rule, I think of Kritiks like a counterplan with net-benefits. The more aff specific the better.

Counterplans – I am up in the air about textual vs. functional competition – they both have their time and place, and are probably not universal rules. The cross-ex answer “for your DAs but not your counterplans” has always made negative sense to me. I understand that there are MANDATES of the plan and EFFECTS of the plan; I find this distinction more understandable than the usual c-x answer.

Rundown of general thoughts about counterplans:

Conditionality – it's feeling like a little bit much at the moment
PICs – Good, especially if they PIC out of a part of the plan
Consult/Condition – Up in the air and context specific. Solvency advocates, aff stances, etc. can change my feelings.
Delay – Aff leaning, but might be more competitive based on the structure of the affirmative, or a cross-ex answer. For example, if the affirmative has an advantage that takes the position the advantage can only be solved if it happens before "X" date, then the counterplan to do it after that date seems competitive.
Word PICs – Aff leaning
Alternate non-USFG actors – Aff leaning

Demeanor issues:

Be respectful of your opponent, partner and judge. All types of discrimination are prohibited. Don’t clip cards, don’t cut cards out of context, etc. Don't misclose.

Finally, our community relies on host tournaments with classroom space - don't steal, defame or destroy it.

Any questions, ask.

Shae Bunas Paradigm

3 rounds

Shae Bunas
Debated @ Oklahoma for 4 years.

Currently an Assistant Coach @ UCO.

Big Picture

In general, I don't have much of a preference for what people read in front of me. Despite having debated critiques throughout college I enjoy CP/DA/T debates and hope teams will be willing to read those arguments if they are more prepared to do so. Whatever strategy you choose, the more specific the strategy the better.

Specific arguments

Topicality: Generic T arguments don't get very far in front of me unless they are based in the literature and the negative can prove that the loss of core (generic) ground outweighs the affs education claims (e.g., why is the politics da/other generic da more important than the aff's particular education). If the aff doesn't read any offense they will very likely lose the debate.

Framework: Absent a T component it's not a reason to reject the aff. I have yet to hear a good reason why policy education is the only predictable education.

Disads: 'DA turns the case' is pretty important. I could be persuaded of 'no risk of the da' but it's unlikely. 

CPs: Well-researched PICs are enjoyable and I encourage you to read them. I tend to lean negative on theory but aff on questions of competition. Textual/functional competition is up for debate.

Critiques: In my experience, alternatives are under-debated. The aff needs offense against the alt and the neg needs a specific explanation of how the alt solves the case. Impact framing is important: don't stop at 'utilitarianism is key' or 'ethics first'. Tell me why you should still win even if you lose the impact framing debate (e.g., 'even if the neg wins that ethics comes first you will still vote aff because....'). Absent specific link analysis the permutation is pretty compelling. When deciding between reading the K you always go for and are comfortable with versus reading the K's you know that I read you should default to the K's that you are comfortable with. Don't read a huge-ass overview in the block, put it on the line-by-line.

Theory: Reading blippy blocks is a non-starter as are cheap shots. Just like every other issue in debate it needs to be well-developed before I will consider it. Conditionality is probably ok as long as the neg isn't reading contradictory positions.

Evidence: I prefer a handful of quality cards that are debated well over a stack of shitty cards that are read as fast as possible. As such, I'm persuaded by smart analytical arguments that point out the contrived nature of the case advantage/da/cp/k/whatever. You won't convince me that a card cut from a blog should be rejected if it has a warrant in it. I evaluate arguments, not qualifications with T debates being the exception to the rule: literature-based definitions hold more water than the definition given by merriam-webster or some other dictionary.

Paperless: Clock stops when the jumping team pulls the flash drive out of their computer.

Allie Chase Paradigm

4 rounds

please add me to the email chain: a.rae.chase@gmail.com

Broad things

I love debate and I will do my absolute best to make a decision that makes sense and give a helpful RFD.

I want to give you a sense of my decision making process, which I think is especially important for high school debaters since I am judging many more of those this year. I begin processing the debate with link/uniqueness in most cases. I do this because it is typically the more complex aspect of the debate and needs to be debated with the most care and detail. Ultimately I don't think this influences the outcome a ton but it does mean that I do not just compare the impacts and then vote. There are many features of any given argument that also influence how those impacts may or not play out. A lot of 2NR/2AR's start with impact comparison and that is awesome and I am not asking you to change that. Just make sure this does not trade off with robust explanation/comparison/synthesis of the other parts of the argument.


Competing interpretations are easier to evaluate than reasonability. You need to explain to me how we determine what is "reasonable" if you are going for reasonability. I am typically more persuaded by arguments about limits and fairness but I do think the CJR topic presents the opportunity for more persuasive arguments about topic education. That being said, there still would need to be a "this is how our interp effects the negative" part of the strategy.


Affirmatives should be about the topic. I will be fairly sympathetic to T-USFG arguments if I do not know what the aff means re: the topic after the 1AC. I would feel much better if your specific critique was clear from the very beginning.

I think teams are meming a bit on both sides of T-USFG/Framework debates. Phrases like "third and fourth level testing" and "rev v rev debates are better" are kind of meaningless absent robust explanation. Fairness is an impact that I will vote on. Like any other impact, it needs to be explained and compared to the other team's impact. I have also voted on arguments about ethics, education, and pedagogy. I will try my best to decide who wins an impact and which impact matters more based on the debate that happens.

I do not think the neg has to win a TVA to win topicality; it can be helpful if it happens to make a lot of sense but I don't think the negative is under any obligation to provide a way to solve the aff.


I would love to see you go for a disad and case in the 2NR. I do not find it persuasive when an affirmative team's only answer to a DA is impact framing. Impact framing is important but it is one of a number of arguments that can and should be made.

-CJR specific: I am aware the DA's aren't all great. I don't think that's a reason to give up on them. It just means you need a CP or a lot of really good case arguments.


I really enjoy a sold k vs the aff debate. I think there are lots of interesting nuances available for the neg and the aff in this type of debate. Here are some specific thoughts that might be helpful when constructing your strategy:

1. Links of omission are not links. Links of “commission” will take a lot of explaining.

2. Debating the case matters unless there is a compelling framework argument for why I should not evaluate the case.

3. If you are reading a critique that pulls from a variety of literature bases, make sure I understand how they all tie to together. I am persuaded by aff arguments about how it's very difficult to answer the foundation of 3+ different bodies of critical literature because they often have different ontological, epistemological, psychoanalytic, etc assumptions.

4. Aff v. K: I have noticed affirmative teams saying "it's bad to die twice" on k's and I have no idea what that means. Aff framework arguments tend to be a statement that is said in the 2AC and repeated in the 1AR and 2AR - if you want fw to influence how I vote, you need to do more than this. Explain how it implicates how I assess the link and/or alternative solvency. Done well, I do think aff fw arguments can be really useful.


I see the utility in core topic counterplans. I think specific counterplans are even better. Counterplans that read evidence from the 1AC or an aff author - excellent! I don't have patience for overly complicated and convoluted counterplans.

I do not subscribe to (often camp-driven) groupthink about which cp's "definitely solve" which aff's. I strongly disagree with this approach to debate and will think through the arguments on both sides of the debate because that is what debate is about.

Solvency deficits are a thing and will be accounted for and weighed along with the risk of a DA, the size of the DA impact, the size of the solvency deficit, and other relevant factors.

I am generally neg leaning on cp theory but if you want to make an argument about why a certain cp is illegitimate (cough, con con) I will do my best to objectively evaluate that argument.

Other notes!

Some people think it is auto-true that politics disads and certain cp's are terrible for debate. I don't agree with that. I think there are benefits/drawbacks to most arguments. This matters for framework debates. A plan-less aff saying "their model results in politics DA's which is obviously the worst" will not persuade absent a warrant for that claim.

Love a good case debate. It's super under-utilized. I think it's really impressive when a 2N knows more about the aff evidence than the aff does.

Please don't be nasty to each other; don't be surprised if I interrupt you if you are.

I don't flow the 1AC and 1NC because I am reading your evidence. I have to do this because if I don't I won't get to read the evidence before decision time in a close debate.

For debating online:

-If you think clarity could even possibly be an issue, slow down a ton. More than ever clarity and quality are more important than quantity.

-Let's just try to have grace with each other. Sometimes online debates are smooth and other times they are not.

Kevin Clarke Paradigm

3 rounds

Do what you do best and I will make a decision afterwards


How Ryanmalone makes decisions

I hope Whitehead is right, that even dimwits can make good decisions if they follow an appropriate procedure. It’s only fair then for me to give a general sense of how I make decisions, with as few platitudes as possible, though most of them still apply.

1. After the 2ar I review 2nr and 2ar arguments and their comportment with the block and 1ar. Unless there are arguments about how I should or should not flow, I appreciate when debaters are attentive to line-by-line, but I understand that strategy sometimes calls one to deviate from it. When that occurs, I am less likely to line up arguments in the same way as you may want me to.

2. While doing that I clarify shorthand and mark out errata and things that aren’t arguments. There is a difference between arguments and nascent things that purport to be arguments. We don’t need to talk about Toulmin; an argument is really anything that could inform a decision. This may seem arbitrary or kind of like question-begging, but I don’t think it’s capricious. I don’t do this because I have some ultra-strenuous “not buying it” threshold for what constitutes an argument. My concern is that there is a temptation to embellish not-quite-arguments, especially those that, if they had been full arguments, would be compelling, strategic, or make for an easy decision. Assessing, at the outset, what all on the flow are reasonably arguments is a way to ward off that temptation.

3. I then look to arguments the 2nr and 2ar say are the most important and other arguments that appear central to the debate or that may supplant opposing lines of reasoning. The last part may seem to imply a premium on the meta, but rarely are debates leveraged on Archimedean points.

4. If necessary, I read evidence. I don’t follow along in speech docs or look at speeches in more than a cursory way prior to the end of the debate, with perhaps the exception of interpretations and counterplan texts. I will read a piece of evidence if there is contestation about its quality, applicability, or illocution, if I am asked to compare two pieces of evidence or a piece of evidence and a countervailing explanation, or if some argument is dense and, despite good explanation, I’m just not following. My concern is that the more evidence a judge reads without specific reason, the more they reward good evidence read sloppily over clear, persuasive argumentation and are at risk of reconstructing the debate along those lines.

5. I hash out the above (it’s hard to adumbrate this process in a way that’s not super vague) and I get something resembling a decision. I run through a few even-if scenarios: what, if any, central arguments the losing team could have won, but still lose the debate, and what arguments the winning team would have had to lose or the losing team would have had to win for the losing team to win the debate. Finally, I review the flow again to make sure my decision is firmly based in the 2nr and 2ar and that there is nothing I’ve missed.

Note on Framework

Framework debates are better when both teams have some defense, in addition to offense.

Even if fairness is intrinsically value, by which I mean fairness is valuable regardless of relation, I’m unsure how valuable procedural fairness is, in and of itself. Because of that fairness arguments make more sense to me as internal links rather than impacts.

Similarly, impact turns to fairness are more persuasive when they are about the purported use of fairness as an impartial rule. Phrased differently, in explaining the way structural fairness informs procedural fairness as a difference in fairness-in-rule and fairness-in-practice, it may be worth thinking about fairness as the practice of appealing to rules.

Topical versions are under-utilized.

Things that do not concern how I usually make decisions

Some of the above is assiduously believed, but weakly held, however, the following points are immutable: I will comply with any tournament rules regarding speech and decision times, speaker points, etc. Any request not to be recorded or videotaped should be honored. If proven, clipping, cross-reading, or deceitfully manufacturing or altering evidence will result in a loss and zero speaker points. Unlike wit, sass, and tasteful self-effacement, bald-faced meanness will negatively affect speaker points.

My rfds are brief, which I’m working on. This reason for this is twofold. First, most of what I write down concerns how I make my decision, not how I intend to give it. Second, I don’t presume to act, even temporarily, as something like an arguments coach, nor as someone who can adroitly explain or find fault in an opposing team’s arguments. The last thing I want to do is say something that would lead you astray. At this point in my time judging I’m really just trying to be a good heuristic machine—anything more is just gravy. Obviously, to the degree to which I have insight I will give suggestions, clarifications, or share in your befuddlement.

Please feel free to email me if you have questions or concerns.

Ashley Denney Paradigm

3 rounds




Please include me on email chains - ashley.denney612@gmail.com

Be efficient about email chains. Get them set-up before the start time on the pairing. Multiple problems with email chains may lead to decreased speaker points.


Currently coaching at UTSA, previously at K-State.

Very minor note: I hate being called by my last name. "Ash" or "Ashley" is fine. You won't lose speaker points for it or anything, I'd just rather be referred to by my first name.


Big picture:

Frame the debate for me at the top of the 2nr/2ar. Tell me what to vote on and why that's more important than whatever the other team wants me to vote on.   *Tell me how to weigh impacts. If no one tells me what to prioritize and someone has an oppression/violence in debate impact, I will generally default to weighing that argument first.*

Talk in paragraphs not blips. Give me pen (okay typing) time instead of speeding your way through large blocks of analysis. Slow down on tags. Very little frustrates me more than not being able to tell when you've gone from one card to another.

Stay organized. Giving arguments names is nice. You don't have to be perfect on the line by line, but telling me when you're moving from the link to the alt debate or the ___ "disad" (or whatever) is nice.

Slow down. I'd rather hear you make applications and talk about argument interaction than rattle through another three cards that say the same thing. I get that sometimes you need extra evidence and if there are different warrrants, it makes sense, but think carefully about those decisions. To take advantage of your analysis, I need to be able to flow it so you can't rattle off at the same speed you would a card.


Some specifics:

Framework - I am becoming less and less persuaded by ground and fairness claims against critical affs. Framework is much more persuasive to me as a methodological/educational issue rather than a rules/theory issue.


Kritiks - this is what I'm most familiar with. Have clear links and impacts, tell me what the alt is and what I should be doing as a judge. I generally start with the link and impact debate and then work from there. I've noticed I care a little less about the alternative than other judges, by which I mean even if I'm not totally convinced about alt solvency, I might still think that the K outweighs the aff. I'm more familiar with identity-based literature than with "high theory" literature, not necessarily a big deal, but an fyi. It's not that I won't vote on high theory or that I haven't been exposed to it at all, it's just a general note to avoid relying on buzzwords (which really is a good idea in general).

Performance - Tell me how to evaluate your argument and why I should evaluate it that way.

Theory - slow down on your theory debates. This is hard to win in front of me, so you need to spend real time on theory to win it. Reject the argument not the team is often more persuasive.  General proclivities: severance perms are bad (although probably not a reason to lose), conditionality is good within reason (although critical conditionality arguments are a differnet question), word pics are cool, but might be cheating. You probably won't win that Ks are cheating in front of me.

 Case debates: love them. Sneaky case turns, impact defense, mini-Ks are all great.

Policy arguments - generally lean probability over magnitude. I don't have a lot of predilections here because I don't judge a lot of these debates, but I'm capable of following and willing to vote on policy arguments.



Issie Engelbert Paradigm

6 rounds

2 years NDT CEDA debate experience

1 at JCCC (climate)

1 at Emporia State (healthcare)

Novice debater of the year 2017, 19th speaker at CEDA in 2017

Current debate assistant at Emporia State.

Important Information:

- Please put me on the email chain: iengelbe@g.emporia.edu

- I follow along and flow on paper

- I will vote on framework and impact turns to framework

- Fairness is not an impact, but an internal link to education

- Don’t assume I know your argument, be clear and explain everything

- Don’t throw a book at me titled “7 off and case” - you will benefit from taking the time to explain and contextualize less arguments better

- Don’t forget you want the judge to understand your argument

- Impact calc is important

- CX is important

- Have fun and do what you do!

Juan Garcia-Lugo Paradigm

6 rounds

Juan Garcia-Lugo

UT-San Antonio



Yes, I want to be on the email chain. I don't follow along with speech documents, but I will usually read most of the cards (I'm curious!).

If an argument is complete, I will evaluate it. While my judging and coaching experience heavily leans towards the critical side of debate, I prefer you read something that you are passionate about and are prepared to debate. Tech and Truth both matter. A conceded argument is a true argument but the significance of that argument is still up for debate. There are many ways to do debate, and when two different styles are present, framing arguments are important for establishing argument priorities. I default to the framing arguments presented and won by the debaters. Otherwise, look below for some of the ways I think about arguments.


I understand most K theory through the use of examples, please provide and debate them. I find presumption strategies against K aff's unpersuasive if the affirmative can articulate and defend a form of action. I find them more persuasive against K aff's that are describing a theory of power. K's that don't defend an alternative are fine, but often necessitate strong framework arguments or decisively won offense against the affirmative.


I'm usually concerned with "what makes debate a valuable activity?". The idea of a fair game for its own sake is less persuasive to me than the idea of a fair game being necessary for producing valuable education. Quality evidence on framework goes a very long way for me. I don't like evidence that comes from debate textbooks and manuals, but will vote on them.


Have an interpretation and defend it. I prefer that interpretation not be arbitrary (we get 2 conditional arguments v 3 conditional arguments). When it comes to offense, less is more. Winning 2 big arguments for why process counterplans are good is better than your 8th argument about "best policy option". This is also the only part of debate I strongly stress slowing down on. The impact to most theory arguments is to reject the argument not the team (conditionality is exceptional).

Richard Garner Paradigm

2 rounds

Richard A. Garner | Director of Debate | University of Houston | ragarner@uh.edu

Framework: Neg: topical version is very helpful; aff: probably okay if you defend the government doing a topical thing. One should be able to defend their model of debate. I put this issue first because it’s probably what you really care about. Everything else is alphabetical.

Case debate: Turning the case is my favorite thing to judge. Uniqueness is good here, but not always necessary with comparative evidence.

CPs/Competition/Theory: Comparisons win theory debates, along with impacts. I’m not sure that states or international CPs compete, but no one has ever put this to the test in front of me so it’s hard to say. No strong feelings about consultation or conditioning either way. K affs probably shift competition questions that rely on FIAT. Won't kick the CP unless you tell me to. Non-arbitrary interpretations are ideal.

Critiques: I understand these and am fine with them (understatement). From both the aff and neg, I enjoy narrative coherence, specific application, and alternative debates. New things under the sun are wonderful to see, but so too the old, artisanal ways upon occasion.

Disadvantages: I tend to think risk probability is never 100% absent drops, and that each internal link might reduce certainty. Can have zero risk (though if the CP solves 100% of the case … probably need offense). Don’t tend to think that impacts automatically/100% turn case, or vice versa; instead, comparisons are evaluating risk probability bubbles/multiple competing worlds.

Judge Space: Judges are human beings, not argument processing machines; enjoyable debates matter. Evidence comparison is the highest art. Debaters’ flowing/line-by-line is generally terrible; embedded clash is nice, but at its root it depends on an organized approach to the flow. Drops: before the burden of rejoinder attains, there must be a full argument (claim/warrant/implication). I am displeased by a) subpoints with no b) subpoints, and by "Is anyone not ready?" because it is a linguistic abomination (see: bit.ly/yea-nay). I read a lot of cards, but, paradoxically, only in proportion to the quality of evidence comparison. Highlighting: needs to make grammatical sense; don’t use debate-abbreviation highlighting (ok: United States; not: neoliberalism). If I cannot understand the highlighting, I will not read the rest of the card for context.

Logistics: Add me to the email chain. Prep should stop when you send email. I don’t read speech docs during the debate.

*Principles: Without getting too philosophical, I try to evaluate the round via the concepts the debaters in the round deploy (immanent construction) and I try to check my personal beliefs at the door (impersonality). These principles structure all other positions herein.

Speaker Points: I approximate community norms, like re: Regnier breakdown or Wake scale.

Topicality: I evaluate it first. I enjoy T debates, and lean more towards ‘better interpretation for debate’ than ‘we have the most evidence’.

(Nota bene: There are much more extensive thoughts behind all of these tendencies, so if you want a medieval dissertation on impersonality or disquisition on probability bubbles, by all means ask.)


Brief Debate CV:

South Garland (competitor): 1995-1999

NYU (competitor): 1999-2003

Emory: 2003-2004

NYU/Columbia: 2004-2005

Harvard: 2006-2015

Houston: 2013-present


Random Poem (updated 8/1/19):

The End of the World

Everything is telling me

it’s the end of the world:

the astrologers,

the deadly new viruses,

the ozone layer,

the ant cavorting with the grasshopper,

the wars,

and his message, cold and curt.

But other things change my mind:

the clouds that always know their way,

the seashell that hasn’t quite disclosed all,

the wishes tossed with coins into the fountain,

and the flower, waiting to happen.


Sakutarō Hagiwara, "A Useless Book" (8/1/19)

Catullus, 101 (1/4/18)

e.e. cummings, "O sweet spontaneous" (1/4/18)


Joe Hamaker Paradigm

4 rounds

Experience: 4 years of NDT-CEDA/2 years of NFA-LD at Missouri State, mostly reading policy arguments.

Currently: Graduate assistant at Missouri State seeking an M.A. in Communication

Contact: joehamaker [at] gmail.com. I'd like to be on the chain. If you have questions about an RFD or my judging philosophy, feel free to reach out.

I'm new at this and will update as my philosophy develops.

My goal is to resolve arguments made by debaters to form a coherent decision about the issue that the debaters have decided upon. I have predispositions but I will try hard to evaluate the debate outside of those because debate is for debaters. I list preferences below, but nearly all of them are contingent.


When I evaluate debates, I first identify nexus questions which the debaters have decided upon in the 2NR/2AR. Then, I determine arguments both sides have made on each nexus point and check my flow to assess whether they are sufficiently represented in previous speeches. Next, I evaluate the strength of the arguments of both sides. Often at this step, I will think through the implications of voting for both sides and the complications involved. Sometimes, this will cause me to reevaluate who I think is winning the debate. Finally, I determine who I think won the debate and write a paragraph (or more) of explanation.

It is difficult for me to decide debates which do not clearly identify nexus questions. When I have to determine them, it might work in or against your favor. This is a recipe for frustration for all involved; clear identification and engagement with the nexus questions is the best way to resolve that problem. I should also be able to explain, using language similar to that which is present in the 2NR/2AR, why I should vote for you and vote against the other team. If I cannot make that explanation, it will be more difficult for me to vote for you.

Incomplete list of advice/preferences/thoughts

- I (usually) flow cross-ex because it is binding

- Slow down on overviews and theory

- Tech > truth, but truth is important and doesn't always require a card

- "No perm in method v method debates" requires more explanation than most offer

- Zero risk of an impact is very rare but not impossible

- Stop taking prep outside of speech/prep time

- Make the implications of arguments and cross-applications clear, especially when they span multiple sheets. I should not have to do that work for you.

- Be swift with paperless

- Be caring of your partner and the other team

Scott Harris Paradigm

4 rounds

Harris, Scott (University of Kansas)


Please add me to the email chain.

I am a critic of arguments and an educator not a policy maker. I view my role as deciding who did the better job of debating and won the arguments based on what was said in the debate. I have voted for and against just about every kind of argument imaginable. I will read evidence (including non highlighted portions).

I expect debaters to be comprehensible and I have no qualms about telling you if I can’t
understand you. I try my best to resolve a debate based on what the debaters have said in
their speeches. I try not to impose my own perspective on a debate although there is no such thing as a tabula rosa judge and some level of judge intervention is often inevitable to resolve arguments in a debate. Any argument, assumption, or theory is potentially in play. The purpose of my ballot is to say who I think won the debate not to express my personal opinion on an issue. You make arguments and I decide to the best of my ability who won the arguments based on what you said in the debate. I prefer to follow along with your speech docs to double check clarity, to make sure you are reading all of your ev, and to enhance my ability to understand your arguments.

My speaker points tend to reward smart creative arguments and strategies, smart choices in the debate, high quality evidence, the use of humor, the use of pathos, and making the debate an enjoyable experience. My points rarely go below 28 but you need to really impress me to get me into the 29-30 range. I am rarely impressed.

I have judged lots of debates on the topic and have done a fair amount of research related to the topic.

Absent arguments in the debate that convince me otherwise I have some default assumptions you should be aware of:

The aff should be topical and topicality is a voting issue. What it means to be topical is open for debate and for anyone who wants to build their strategy on framework you should know that I often vote aff in framework debates.

The affirmative must win a comparative advantage or an offensive reason to vote affirmative.

Presumption is negative absent a warranted reason for it to shift.

The affirmative does not need a net benefit to a permutation. The negative must win that a counterplan or critique alternative alone is better than the plan or a combination of the plan and counterplan/alternative.

Permutations are a test of competition and not an advocacy.

Teams are culpable for the ethical implications of their advocacy. This means that framework arguments on K's that say "only consequences matter" have an uphill climb with me. Means and ends are both relevant in my default assessment on critical arguments.

Nicholas Jennings Paradigm

4 rounds

Overall: This sounds simple but it can be difficult, at the end of the round my ballot should sound like the begining of the 2AR or the 2NR. I would like you to explicitly implicate your arguments and form for me the basic idea of why I should vote for you. The best debaters tend to do this at the begining of every 2NR and 2AR.

Disadvantages: I don't like DA's with uniqueness counter-plans, other than that almost any disadvantage is acceptable.

Counter-plans: the legitimacy of counter-plans should always be called into question. why would you just let a team steal most your offense? I normally don't buy X type of counter-plan is a voter, however, I am more likely to vote for it as a reason to disallow the counter-plan. The burden of proof in those situations is much different, to win it is a voter you have to argue that debate is fundamentally impossible to do when X type of counter-plan is introduced. (an example might be Consult Counter-plans don't test the means or necessity of plan action makes it impossible to garner offense without conceding a DA, makes any choice the aff makes a bad choice.) However with rejecting the argument as the standard, I'd be willing to ask the question "Does this Counter-plan make the debate more or less educational, more or less fair. If it makes debate less educational and less fair then that is a sufficient reason to reject the counter-plan.

Kritiks: Theory wise sees counter-plans. Floating PIKS theory needs a Link. Clear and precise (Link-Impact-AltSolves-Perm doesn't) analysis is the quickest way for me to the pull the trigger on the kritik. If you can explain that full chain and I buy your analysis you're in a good place on the kritik (assuming you're not losing framework/theory/impact weighing. )

Framework: I think it's generally accepted that Affs should read frameworks that let them weigh their impacts against any kritik, also I generally think the aff is right they should be able to defend the fiat of the 1AC i.e. their impact claims shouldn't be wished away. Note to aff teams just because you win framework does not mean that you have answered the various impact framing arguments in the round, I've heard several times "but on framework they conceded we get to weigh our impacts." my response is then "Sure, but you don't win that we have any Value to Life in that world/that these threats are constructed and not real/that/etc. I don't think this is controversial at all.

Role of the Ballot: so unlike some people I don't think you have to explicitly state "our Role of the ballot is" while helpful sometimes one could also say "this debate round should be about x" or the "Role of the Judge is X" all of these are competing claims on how I should approach my ballot how I should vote, what my ballot means etc.

Kritik AFFs: I prefer affs that defend a topical plan for a kritikal reason i.e. we shouldn't surveil African Americans, followed by claims about how surveillance of black bodies is bad. versus just standing up and saying "Black bodies are surveilled that's terrible you have some kind of ethical decision making to vote aff, here's Memimi." This is a prefrence and doesn't mean i stop listening when an alternative debate style is defended its just what i find is the best solution to winning in front of me on a kritikal affirmative.

Framework (NEG): Framework can be a viable option for teams debating affs without plan text etc, as long as you answer and deal with the larger education/Fairness claims the aff is inevitably going to lob your way. You could win debate would be awesome with just policy affs but if you concede that this is a form of white settlerism that dominates and erases Native Americans from existence you tend to lose rounds on framework.

Components: need a clear and precise interp that allows you to skirt the offense of the aff, need a clear and precise "topical version of the aff", need to win switch-side debating is in fact good, need to win it's possible for X or Y type of people to enter into the political, do political actions, embrace politics or some other variant of "X type of people can do policy debate", finally need to win an impact. Do those have a solid shot of winning my ballot.

Anthony Joseph Paradigm

6 rounds

I’m highly flow centric.

I don’t always adjudicate debates based on an offense defense paradigm because I try to take into account multiple complexities which often aren’t reducible you the former.

Im not a hack for any one argument

Slow down in the era of online debate

Evidence/Good Cards/Good Spin super important

A wise one once said Never give up on the play

I like lots of nuance in argument interaction. Shadow extending links/perms aren’t persuasive to me as full arguments.

Perms are not automatically advocacies. You have to turn the perm into one by explaining the solvency mech.

Defense is super important to me.

Framing is the key to out maneuver your opponent.

I give great speaks always 28.7- 30. A point fairy to say the least.

Jacob Justice Paradigm

4 rounds

PhD, Communication Studies, The University of Kansas.

Coach and judge for KU since 2014.

Debated at Wayne State University and Dexter High School.

Put me on the email chain, please. jakejustice65 at gmail.

*October 2020 Update*

This past Spring I finished up my PhD at the University of Kansas. I am now a public speaking instructor at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. I will be judging sporadically for Kansas during the 2020-2021 season.

What does this mean?

Don't assume I have high familiarity with the nitty-gritty of the current topic. I coached/judged on the high school military presence topic (2010-2011) and coached/judged extensively on the college military presence topic (2015-2016), so I am familiar with the broad strokes of the current college topic, but the latest and spiciest arguments and acronyms might be unfamiliar to me.

The Wayne State tournament will also be my first time judging an online tournament; although I did judge many online debates at the 2020 Jayhawk Debate Institute and have taught online many times as well. I just wanted to provide a fair warning that you can't rule out a "boomer technology moment" with me in the back of the room as I learn the ropes of this strange new world of online debating.

With these updates out of the way, I think everything below applies.

I always do my best to judge the debate in front of me without letting my own biases creep in. But I (or any other judge) would be lying if I told you I don't have certain preferences: these preferences are spelled out pretty well below.

One additional comment: I find that the most difficult rounds to resolve often involve debates that are occurring on two different registers. A 1AC with massive extinction impacts versus K links about knowledge production or ontology. Or a 1AC about anti-blackness or psychic violence versus a T argument about fairness/education. When debaters' impacts operate on such different levels, it can be difficult to resolve the debate without debaters explicitly telling me what types of impacts to prioritize.

*Previous Philosophy*

First things first:

1) Do what you're best at. As a judge, I should adapt to you and not the other way around.

2) Arguments should have a claim, warrant, and implication. Any argument that contains a claim, data (this doesn't mean carded), warrant and implication is fair game for my ballot.

3) A dropped argument is almost always a true argument. The most common exception is if the original argument did not include the requirements in #2, in which case I might give the team that dropped the arg some leeway in hedging against an entirely new warrant or implication. Tech creates "truth". What is "truth" is contingent on arguments made (and won). I often find myself voting for arguments that I disagree with or find silly when one side executes better.

4) This is a communication activity, so clarity is important to me. I like being able to hear the text of evidence as it is being read. Enunciate! Don't talk into your laptop or read like a robot.

General Notes:

Context always matters. Controlling the contextual framing almost always requires hard pre-round work, and usually wins the round. I value teams that demonstrate robust knowledge of their arguments and the topic.

Clash matters a lot to me. I'm not a good judge for teams whose strategy is built around avoiding a debate. This is true regardless of which side of the K/policy spectrum any given argument falls on.

Impact comparisons are critical, no matter what flavor of debate you engage in. Does negative flexibility outweigh 2AC strategy skew? Are the 1AC’s methodological assumptions a prior question to its pragmatic implications? Does a long term warming impact outweigh a quick nuclear war scenario? In a close round, the team that provides the clearest and most well-explained answer to questions like those usually wins my ballot.

In general, it is better to a develop a small number of arguments in an in-depth manner than to develop a large number of arguments in a shallow manner, although there are certainly exceptions to this rule. Selective rebuttals are typically the most effective. That being said, I recognize the strategic benefit of the 1AR pursuing a handful of lines of argument to give the 2AR flexibility to pick-and-choose.

After judging a year of college debates, I think my biggest pet peeve is vagueness -- be that a vague plan, vague CP, or vague alt. Being clear and detailed is helpful to me as a judge.


See: my previous thoughts about clash.

Teams should defend an example of the resolution. I don't think being topical is an unreasonable expectation when the resolution does not force you to take a conservative or repugnant action (i.e., when legalizing pot or closing military bases is topical). I think fairness is an impact and will vote on it if articulated and debated well.

When answering T with a "K Aff," I think it is important for the AFF team to advance a limiting counter-interpretation of some kind. I am more likely to be persuaded by "we don't make the topic unworkably large" than "destroying debate good."

It is important for affirmatives to demonstrate that their advocacy is germane to the controversy of the resolution and contestable. Affirmatives should explain what type of ground they make available to the negative, and not just by referring to random author names. In other words, it's much more helpful when the affirmative frames the ground debate in terms of: "our affirmative relies on *X* assumption, which *Y* literature base writes evidence refuting" rather than just saying "you can read Baudrillard, Bataille, etc."

Teams should articulate a clear vision of what debate would look like under their interpretation. Ideally, teams should present a clear answer to questions like: "what is the purpose of debate?" Is it a game? A site for activism? Somewhere in between?

I don't think reading topicality is a means to evade clash with the substance of an affirmative -- in many instances it calls core assumptions of the affirmative into question.

Interacting with your opponents' argument is critical. It's important to isolate a clear impact to your argument and explain how it accesses/turns your opponents. Often times I find these debates to be irreconcilable because the arguments advanced by either side have disparate premises. It can be helpful to not conflate procedural justifications for topicality with normative ones, though the internal links to these things often become messy.

I am disinclined to view debate as a role-playing exercise.


I will definitely vote on it, and I have done so often. I am not a good judge for "should = past tense of shall", "reduce =/= eliminate" and other contrived interpretations negatives read against obviously topical affs. For instance, it will be difficult to convince me that an affirmative which removes the Cuban embargo is untopical, absent a massive technical error. That being said I am willing to vote on T, given that an interpretation, violation, standards, and voters are well articulated. Affirmatives should always make and extend a counter-interpretation.

Theory –

It will be tough to persuade me that two conditional advocacies is egregious and unmanageable for the 2AC. Beyond two conditional advocacies is pushing your luck if you are the negative team, especially with multiple "kickable" planks involved.

Basically every other theoretical objection is a reason to reject the argument, not the team.

I haven't formed a solid opinion on "judge kicking" CPs, but since the aff has the burden of proof in most theory debates, I think I am comfortable putting the burden on the aff to prove why the 2NR can't simultaneously go for a CP and the SQ.

-Consult/Condition/Delay CPs – I tend to consider these types of CPs uncompetitive, and am thus receptive to perm arguments. That being said, there is a big difference in my mind between “Consult Japan on the plan” and well-evidenced CP’s that are comparative between doing the plan unconditionally, and using the plan as leverage. The latter brand of condition CP’s are few and far between.


Given my disposition to view things within a cost-benefit paradigm, I am likely to frame the critique as a disad / counterplan. This basic calculus will be different based upon the framework arguments advanced by the negative regarding ontology, epistemology, method, etc.

When indicting an affirmative's knowledge production or epistemology is imperative that you reference quotes or phrases from the 1AC which you think are flawed. It is also imperative that affirmatives defend the truth value of their 1AC's claims from these types of epistemological attacks.

I feel most comfortable in K rounds that involve a lot of interaction with the plan, the advantages, or explicit 1AC claims. There should be a coherent link, impact, and alternative. Don't assume I know what you are talking about.

Affs are best answering the K at the alt and impact level as the neg will almost certainly win a link. Articulating why the alt doesn't solve the case and why the case outweighs the K impacts is usually the best strategy. I am also a fan of the impact turn.

K links should ideally establish that the 1AC/plan is undesirable, not merely that it doesn't account for every foreseeable harm. I.E. links that say: "the plan makes racism worse" are more persuasive than "the plan does not address other instances of racism."

Jesse Keleman Paradigm

6 rounds

Policy Debate

I would like to be on the email chain if there is one. my email is jessekeleman@gmail.com

I am not the fastest flow-er in the world. Slow down a bit or enunciate your tags/ argument names so that I know they are special, and it shouldn't be too much of a problem. As long as I have enough of your argument flowed down to jog my memory, you should be fine.

Basic Philosophy

I debated at UT and debated for 4 years at Grapevine in highschool. I'm currently studying law at the University of Houston. I'm fine with any argument. I really like well-researched PICs.

Try to be clear on what arguments you are winning and why you are winning the round because of it. What this means is that when you make an argument, make sure you explain the larger implications it has on the debate. This doesn't mean make everything a voting issue, but rather that your arguments should all fit together in a neat and understandable way. If I have to do a lot of this analysis myself, you might not like how I end up evaluating your arguments.

An author name is not an extension, and I think debaters tend to breeze over conceded arguments without impacting them out in the way I talked about above. If you think an argument is conceded or mishandled, it still needs to be explained in the final speeches.

I am trying to substantially cut down on the amount of evidence I read. I've been leaning more towards the idea that my decision should mostly be based on what is said in round, as opposed to what the evidence says. That doesn't mean I won't read your evidence if you specifically point me towards a certain card, or that I won't read your opponents evidence if you tell me it contradicts what they are claiming. What it does mean is you have to point those things out to me, and that I'm not going to go back after the debate and read through your evidence to find all the warrants supporting your arguments. Those should be made in your speech, and my new focus on reading that evidence is mostly to make sure that the warrant is actually there.

I'm not too familiar with a lot of the kritikal literature bases besides Virilio, so keep that in mind when explaining your arguments. I still love hearing kritiks, just be sure to make your arguments as clear as possible.
I haven't heard a lot of debates on this topic, so try and keep that in mind if you were planning on throwing around a lot of acronyms at a fast pace. Making your arguments clearer can only be good for your speaker points.

I like hearing specific disads, generic ones are fine too if you can contextualize the link to your argument to the affirmative. Same thing with kritiks.
I'll be glad to answer any more specific questions you have before the round.


I prefer specific disads, but of course that's not always possible. I find that disad links can be pretty awful, and think that it can be a great place for an aff to gain some ground against the disad. However, I think that disads with strong and well-explained links can be extremely convincing. Politics disads can either be underwhelming if extremely generic, or very solid arguments if your link story is a bit more nuanced then "some people in congress hate the plan, so congress will suddenly decide they hate immigration reform.".

I did mainly kritikal debate in college, but in highschool I was more policy oriented, so don't be afraid to lean more policy infront of me. I actually find 8-off debates to be pretty interesting sometimes; I think that they force interesting strategic decisions and require a certain skill to both answer and execute well.


I am not a fan of conditions counterplans, or any other counterplan that causes a very small change in the process the aff goes through (consult counterplans also fall under this category). I tend to think that they form boring and repetitive debates. I will still vote on them if you are winning the argument, but I find the theoretical objections to them to be pretty convincing. I am a huge fan of specific pics. Any well-researched and well debated pic will likely give your speaker points a boost. I am not a fan of generic pics, or some of the old-fashioned word pics, such as the "the" pic. I think advantage counterplans can be extremely strategic, especially when paired with a strong disad.


Kritiks are great, but I am not very familiar with a lot of the more complex kritikal literature. This means you have to make your explanation of the argument clear to me, or I'll have a hard time voting on it. I have no problem with affirmatives that don't defend government action as long as they are relevant to the topic or have a convincing reason not to be, but at the same time I have no problem voting for framework if the negative gives me convincing reasons why debates about government action are more useful than what the affirmative performance is trying to do. I would prefer negatives use well thought-out counter-advocacies over framework as those debates tend to be more interesting, but I do believe that framework has its place in debate.

I generally prefer that your link arguments prove that the aff makes the world a worse place in some way, rather than only prove that they are complicit in certain structures. I think that really talented kritikal debaters are proficient at framing their link arguments in offensive ways that show how an aff replicates problems in the world, rather than just claiming that the aff doesn't acknowledge a problem. The exception to this is if you can win substantial framing arguments that mean I should ignore the aff entirely.


I'd generally prefer a DA or K, but I think that topicality debates can be interesting in their own way. I think that high school debaters tend to expand the topic a little bit too far, and get away with affs that might not necessarily be topical. Running topicality against a clearly topical aff will most likely not get you anywhere, and should probably be replaced with more viable arguments.


I decided to make a separate section for this, since I've been judging it a bit more and have more thoughts about it now. I think that sometimes teams forget that when i vote on framework, I'm voting on an interpretation of how debate should be, rather than voting on whether a team broke some "rule" of debate or not. Your argument could of course be that I should vote them down because they broke a rule, but I find this less convincing than arguments about what debate ought to be. I think that ways of mitigating the other team's offense is vital in these debates. For the neg, those would be SS args, TVA args, or any other argument about how your interpretation doesn't exclude their education. For the aff, this usually takes the form of criticisms of the neg's ideas of education.

A lot of the framework debates I've judged seem to focus on the aff alone, rather than the entire interpretation. I think that this is a mistake, and I would like to see teams tying their arguments back to their interpretations rather than just ignoring the interpretation after extending it and proceeding to talk about how unfair the specific aff is. I find a lot of aff interpretations to be very vague, take advantage of this when you make your predictability and limits arguments.

As a final note on framework, I think that novel and strategic aff interpretations could get you further than just "teams have to talk about the topic".


I find that there are certain arguments in debate that seem polarizing, as far as if they are beneficial arguments that should be used in debate or not. For these arguments that do seem to spur disagreement, I think that theory can be a fantastic argument against them, and would enjoy seeing an in-depth theory debate about them. On the other hand, theory arguments arguing that you shouldn't speed read, that counterplans are bad for debate, or that kritiks belong in LD, I do not find convincing. You're not likely to win on these arguments unless the other team severely mishandles them, so you might as well actually engage in their arguments instead of trying to just ignore them. A questionable argument that has been well-researched and has specific evidence is much more likely to look legitimate to me than a generic counterplan that just pushes the aff back a year and claims a politics net benefit. I think that clash is one of the most important parts of debate, and that if an argument disagrees with the actual content of the 1AC in a substantial matter, it should be permitted in debate. If an argument tries to avoid clash in unhealthy ways (mostly in ways that don't promote topic-specific research), then I am more likely to decide that these arguments are illegitimate.

Conditionality -

I think that more than two conditional arguments is pushing it, but I do not think there is much merit to saying that the negative cannot get even 1 conditional argument. If there's one conditional argument your time is probably better spent on debating the substance of the debate. I also think that you should make your argument as nuanced as possible, for example instead of saying just conditionality is bad, say that multiple contradictory conditional worlds is bad.

Speaker Points - I haven't judged enough rounds to have a well though-out system of giving speaker points, but in general better arguments will get better speaker points, and more persuasive speakers will get better speaker points. I also enjoy hearing novel arguments, especially in areas of debate where you often hear the same arguments over and over again, such as theory debates.


I rarely judge this event. Assume I know nothing about the topic, but I am probably somewhat familiar with the critical literature base you're drawing from. I have a hard time voting aff in LD debates because of the huge time discrepancy that makes it seem as if there are a lot of dropped arguments. To get around this, I suggest grouping arguments often as the affirmative, and making it clear how your impacts outweigh any risk of what the negative is talking about, bringing up at least a few specific examples in the process.

David Kilpatrick Paradigm

3 rounds

New Note - I'm totally uninterested in adjudicating arguments that endorse self harm, suicide, or purposeful death. Things like wipeout/spark/whatever are a little different than this category for me and you can still read those types of hypothetical impact turns don't feel the same, but don't test the line to far. This could change in the future but for now please just stop. I will not judge these arguments fairly whatsoever and will refer to this if you have questions after the debate.

I am a coach at the University of Texas-Austin and Westwood High School. Conflicts: Texas, Westwood, Polytechnic, St Vincent de Paul, Bakersfield High School

Email Chain: yes, cardstealing@gmail.com

2018-2019 Judging record: 84 total debates (excluding HS locals), AFF - 47 NEG - 37

UPDATE: TOC 2020 - 2As who respond to T-Pearson by saying "it overlimits" then giving a thumbs down will receive +0.1 speaker points and will be considered a sufficient response.

Debate is an activity about persuasion and communication. If I can't understand what you are saying because you are unclear, haven't coherently explained it, or developed it into a full argument-claim, warrant, impact, it likely won't factor in my decision.

While there are some exceptions, most debaters I've judged the last few years are pretty unclear, so its likely I will miss some arguments. Final rebuttals offer you a space to retrace the part(s) of the debate you think are most relevant to the decision. This both makes it much more likely I will understand your argument and will likely improve your speaker points.

The winner will nearly always be the team able to identify the central question of the debate.

Virtually nothing you can possibly say or do will offend me, if you can't beat a terrible argument you probably deserve to lose.

Everyone seems to have intense clashphobia these days - this isn't about policy or k debate, its across the board and going for the least covered option seems to be everyone's mantra. I get why you think that's strategic, but typically it results in shallow rebuttals, frustrating decisions, 1-1-1 panels and lower points. Specific AFF/NEG research that demonstrate the third and fourth level testing everyone seems to think is important wil be rewarded with higher points. All in on "not our ___" will not.

I flow CX, unless its some random clarification question you forgot I will stop flowing CX after 3 minutes. The "I'm going to ask a million questions while my partner preps their 2NC" has gotten ridiculous.

Framework-I find myself voting negative a lot on procedural fairness a lot. K affs seem to have a lot of trouble deciding if they want to go for the middle ground or just impact turn--pick a strategy and stick to it 1AC-2AR and you're more likely to be in a good place. The block is almost always great on T, the 2NR almost always forgets to do terminal impact calculus. Testing arguments become much more persuasive to me when you give specific examples for how those would occur. What neg args would you be able to read against a potential TVA? Why is it good for the 2AC to research those positions, how would you researching answers to their answers be beneficial? A lot of this stuff just gets assumed and I think that a lot of repetitiveness from most framework 2NCs can be substituted for this kind of depth early in the debate. 2NRs sometimes seem to spend so much time on why they access AFF lit base/impacts that they don't end up extending a terminal impact or external offense at all. I think it's difficult to win a debate when you basically go for a CP w/o a net benefit.

I'm a lot better for framework that sounds closer to T with a limits and clash as the primary impacts then the soliloquy on the most superior model for debate. Clash as the most important internal link to education/fairness/skills/game etc. is usually more persuasive to me than other arguments on T.


-If your CP competes based on the certainty or immediacy of the plan, it doesn't take a ton on theory for me to reject the counter plan.

HS topic - I think the arms sales topic might be one where conditions CPs are more legit. The amount of specific and good solvency advocates for conditions CPs this year is staggering so I think it's reasonable to expect the AFF to prepare for it. This being said, I'll be pretty hostile towards conditions CPs with terrible solvency evidence given how much good stuff exists.

-I won't kick it for you unless you tell me to. I'm pretty easily sold that judge kick is bad.

-"perm do both" or "perm do cp" with no explanation isn't a complete argument. I get that given negative off-case prolif sometimes this feels inevitable, but I'm confident results will improve if you give warrants for any permutation that you think it's likely will find its way into the 2AR.


-affs usually lose these by forgetting about the case, negs usually lose these when they don't contextualize links to the 1ac. If you're reading a policy aff that clearly links, I'll be pretty confused if you don't go impact turns/case outweighs.

-link specificity is important - I don't think this is necessarily an evidence thing, but an explanation thing - lines from 1AC, examples, specific scenarios are all things that will go a long way


-they should be intrinsic to the plan, with enough time investment affs can potentially win that agenda politics disads are not a logical opportunity cost.

-uniqueness controls the direction of the link typically makes the most sense to me, but you can probably convince me otherwise

Gabby Knight Paradigm

6 rounds

7 years of debate experience. NDT quarters, two time CEDA semifinalist.

I ran all types of arguments my first few years, everything from Heidegger and Baudrillard (sad times) to T and politics. My last years I mostly did kritikal, race and performance debates and while I find these the most engaging that does not mean I won’t vote on FW or non-kritikal arguments.

Add me on the email chain if you want: grk49@cornell.edu

Specific arguments:

T: have an impact and interpretation at the end of the debate please. So many people don’t extend them and just assume it carries over from all other speeches. Saying fairness isn’t enough, explain why it matters

DA: It irks me when tags just say ‘extinction’ but if you explain how we get there, give me a good link story, and do good impact framing you’re more likely to get my ballot. To be clear, ptx das are not my cup of tea but I'll vote on them if you win.

FW: Most of my rounds have been against this so I know when a team does it well even if I don't like it. Contextualize it to debate as well as out of round impacts. Explain why procedural fairness should matter most.

PIKs: I love them. People should read them more.

CPs: abusive counterplans are a thing, but otherwise I have no opinion one way or another.

Ks: Pretty much the only thing I read. I’m familiar with most literature bases, most familiar with race, fem, disability, queer theory and anthro.

Random Things:

Ethics: please do not clip cards, if the other team proves it, my vote is almost immediate. A personal pet peeve of mine is stealing evidence. Not only does reading and recutting cards help you understand the argument better, but there are some labor/ethics questions to be had about stealing evidence verbatim that I may be biased to hearing arguments on, particularly if you’re stealing the evidence straight from poc.

Context: If you don't know me I am a black queer disabled woman

Like Jalisa Jackson please don’t read identity arguments in front of me if it is not your social location. If the other team calls you out at all, you’ll probably lose.

White partner DAs: While I'll listen to them, probably not the most strategic argument to go for in front of me considering throughout my seven years of debate I never had the opportunity to debate with a non-white debater so I'm very sympathetic to the 'don't force me to debate by myself/exert extra labor because my university is racist' args. HOWEVER, this doesn't give blank checks for white partners to say whatever. If you say negro, or other problematic things, having a black/poc partner will not protect you and you will be called out.

Do not say that Obama ended racism

I shouldn't have to say this but I will: do not be racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, etc.

Chris Loghry Paradigm

3 rounds

Online judging note:

Make sure I am in the room and paying attention before you start. Ask me if I'm there otherwise I might not be.

Please slow down a bit, I already have a hard time hearing and the format exacerbates this.

Don't start prepping until everyone is in the virtual room. I will do my best to pause the debate for tech issues, but this lost time eats into decision time.

Clarity note:

I have tinnitus and hearing loss and both have gotten worse over the 2019-2020 season. What this means for you is that I have a hard time getting tags and transitions when everything is the same volume and tone, so please try to make those portions of the debate clear. I also have an extremely hard time hearing the speech when people talk over it, so please make an effort to speak quietly to your partner during the other team's speeches. If you're worried about this stuff, honestly, just slow down and you'll be fine.

"Straightforward" list part:

Here's the stuff I'm guessing you want to know about the most:

1. Please add both my emails to the chain: dontputmeontheemailchain@gmail.com & kurtfifelski@gmail.com

2. I do not generally follow along with speech docs, but have started doing it more to help me make faster decisions.

3. Yes, I will vote on framework. Yes, I will vote on impact turns to framework. Along these lines, Affs can have plans or not.

4. Nobody probably remembers this about me, but I love CP/DA debates. I'm generally open to most CPs too, except for conditions CPs. I really hate conditions CPs. I vote on them, but it's usually because no one knows what artificial competition is anymore. But, yes, please CPs. Veto cheato, con-con, national ref, consult, unilat, etc. But beware of...

5. Read more theory. Go for theory more. No one expects it. You win because of theory and sometimes you even win on theory.

6. Impact turns > Link turns

7. I think there's such thing as "no risk of a link."

8. I try really hard to vote on what happens in the debate, and not on what I know or think I know. I am generally very expressive, so you can often tell if I understand a thing or not. When in doubt, throw in an extra example.

Note about points: I'm trying to give more consistent points, I think speaker points are arbitrary and not actually a great way of determining breaks, so I have found myself at the upper end of points-givers in the past, however, I am currently trying to correct that. Unless I tell you in the post-round that you did something worth getting bad points for, my points aren't actually an attempt to punish you or send a message or anything like that.

Rambling Part:

I view my role in the debate not as arbiter of truth, but critic of argument, as such I attempt to divorce myself from relative "truth" values of arguments. Counter-intuitive arguments can be persuasive, if an argument is bad it should be relatively easy to answer. You should have fun and do things that are fun to do.

If you fail to speak more clearly after I yell "clear" I will most likely not evaluate the evidence read unclearly. I like it when debaters do the arguing instead of simply invoking a citation and assuming it fills in for argument.

I like it in big K/Performance/Whatever debates when there is a clear metric for evaluating competing truth claims (or some other way of comparing methods/strategies/etc). You will probably be much happier with my decision if you put in the time to explain why your method/strategy/etc is good/better and their method/strategy/etc is bad/worse.

I find that I tend to first figure out how big the disad is and then determine how much of the aff needs to be left to outweigh it. For counterplans I tend to first figure out how much of the aff the cp solves and then determine how much of the net benefit needs to be left to outweigh any solvency deficit.

I think I generally default negative on most theory questions, but I will definitely vote aff on theory (or because of theory). I think in many instances affs let the neg get away with WAY too much and need to correct this with a hearty theory debate. I'm finally willing to admit that conditionality is (mostly) good, but there are (perhaps, many) instances in which it is bad.

I really like impact turn debates. I really like a nice cp/da debate too. I hear a lot of high theory K debates and I don’t always hate them, but Baudrillard is dead. Remember that. I like theory debates that are slower so I can flow them, most teams just read off their computer like they’re reading a card. I love it when teams capitalize on mess-ups by their opponents.

To reemphasize: analytics read off your computer at the same speed you read evidence are simply a waste of time. This is especially true if you’re just reading directly into your screen. So SLOW DOWN on these parts of the debate.

Some tips:


A lot of times your evidence isn’t nearly as good as you say/think it is.

Do not assume I can anticipate every possible application of your argument.

Assume your opponents might be winning some of their arguments and make responses contingent on this assumption.

And, most importantly, have fun.

Javier Lopez Paradigm

4 rounds

Debate experience: debated at the University of North Texas 2015-2017

My general philosophy and approach to debate is that education is A-priori. If your arguments are educational I'll buy them. Ask any clarifying questions before the round.

Rating scale - 1 being the lowest possible score with 10 representing the highest

(8 out of 10) Speed - Just be clear on the tags, don't clip cards

(6 out of 10) Topicality - I generally don't vote for T arguments unless it is under covered, dropped, but I will entertain it.

(10 out of 10) Disads and CPs - I will vote for any DA or CP. Multiple conditional counterplans are ok but don't go overboard and read more than 2 or 3.

(10 out of 10) Theory and F/W - I enjoy these arguments and will vote for just about any theory and framework argument.

(9 out of 10) Kritiks - Ill vote for any K, spend enough time covering the alternative.

(10 out of 10) Performance debate - I spent most of my career doing performance and K aff's, these are my favorite debate rounds to judge.

Samuel Maurer Paradigm

3 rounds

Samuel Maurer
Director of Debate at WSU

Yes I want to be on the speech doc. samuel.maurer@gmail.com

I recently broke my flowing hand and its still a little stiff/sore so I'll probably be using the speech doc a lot more than I usually do and ample pen time is appreciated.

I’ll talk about some more specific proclivities that may be useful for your strike-sheet since, if you are reading this, you’re probably filling it out.

Speaker points/CX: I believe that debaters give 4 “speeches” in a debate: C, R, CX, and Being CXed. My speaker points are based on all 4. If you don’t answer/ask a CX question, your speaker points will suffer dramatically. If you’re an jerk or don’t answer simple questions or are simply obstructionist, speaker points suffer. Don’t neglect CX. I will diligently flow cross-examination but if you take prep to ask questions, I consider it to not be part of the debate. Don't be offended if I leave while you go into overtime.

Know when its better to slow down

-- if I’ve never judged you before, give me time at the beginning of a constructive to get used to your voice.

-- complex/tricky CP texts – please slow down during these. I’m not going to look at the speech doc and CX won’t always clear it up. Clearly emphasize the differences (supreme court, different language pic, etc.)

-- Judge instruction helps me -- big picture moments in rebuttals -- "if we win this, we win the debate", etc. Crucial moments of impacts/evidence comparison.

Evidence: Quality over Quantity – I know this is almost a cliché in judging philosophies but I don’t just mean lots of bad cards are worse than 1 good card. That is obvious. I also mean that you should consider focusing on fewer cards in front of me than you might otherwise.

-- Indexing – judging debates where last rebuttals (more often 2NR’s) mention every name of every card and say how it interacts with an argument concept (“McCoy means we turn the link”, “Smith is the impact to that”) is very frustrating for me. I thrive on the big picture. I don’t view your evidence as that or even an argument unto itself – I view your evidence as a tool. You have to explain how it works and why.

-- highlighting – I find myself increasingly choosing to ignore or assign very little weight to evidence because scant highlighting leaves a lot to the imagination. In front of me, it might be wise to select a few important cards in the debate that you would read a longer version of (crucial internal link card for elections, link to the PIC’s net benefits, alt cards, etc.).

-- I read evidence after debates to confirm its function in your speeches, not so that it can “make an argument” to me in some disembodied fashion 15 minutes after the round ends.

I prefer narrower, deeper debates: Not going to lie, when debates get horizontally big and stay that way through rebuttals, I’m less comfortable making a decision. I think this has to do with how I read evidence (above) in that often times debates that stay horizontally big require the judge to do a lot of inference into conclusions made in cards they read as opposed to speeches they evaluate. I’m okay with debates on several sheets of paper but just make sure you are identifying what you think are the strategic bottlenecks of the debate and how you are winning them. “they can’t win X if we win Y because the following impact comparison wasn’t answered…”

Links/UQ: I think debaters too often think of link direction in purely binary terms. In addition to winning links, debaters need to explicitly create mechanisms for evaluating link direction. don’t just put “this thing key” cards in my hands and expect me to ref an ev fight. Tell me why this internal controls the other or vice versa.

Framework: I’ve voted for either side of this debate plenty of times. If it’s a choice between an engaging strategy against a critical aff and T, the former is a preferable strategy in front of me. I will vote on impact turns to topicality even if the negative doesn’t go for it (provided, of course, the affirmative makes a valid argument for why I should). I find myself often frustrated in debates that lack concrete nouns and instead choose arguments/strategies where abstractions are posited in relationship to one another, concretizing through examples helps a lot. I think 'fairness' is an internal link that, when well-developed with method for debate that is academically engaging and balanced, can have a large impact on my decision. By itself, a fair game is just stable, could be good or bad. I think negs running framework are best when talking about dynamics of the debate, not just complaining about how much/many affs there are. I'm not one who believes in the "procedural fairness or education" dilemma, good framework execution involves both I think. TVA's and SSD's are defense/counterplan type arguments that I think both sides are wise to not just address but frame in my decision.

Theory: Seems dead. Seemingly fewer and fewer affirmatives even make a meaningful press on theoretical objections to the CP. I still appreciate theory on the aff and not just as an “independent voter” but rather a good way to strategically dictate the landscape of the debate. This by no means implies that I’m a hack for any affirmative theory argument. But it does mean aff’s that hear a 3 cp’s in the 1NC and don’t make more than a 10 second conditionality block and don’t mention that there were 3 counterplans are giving up on some production. I think it goes without saying that very blippy theory debates are terrible. Slowing down and being more thematic and explanatory is almost always a better approach the theory execution in front of me. In the end, I'm pretty old school and think theory needs to make a comeback (mostly so aff's can not give their cases away to disposable 15-plank hydras every debate) but it seems perfunctory in execution anymore.
Finally, please make sure to mark evidence as you read it.

Hunter McCullough Paradigm

3 rounds

Debated @ UNT 2009-2014

Coach @ St Marks since 2017

Coach @ UTDallas since 2018

If you have questions, feel free to email me at mccullough.hunter@gmail.com

For me, the idea that the judge should remain impartial is very important. I've had long discussions about the general acceptability/desirability of specific debate arguments and practices (as has everybody, I'm sure), but I've found that those rarely influence my decisions. I've probably voted for teams without plans in framework debates more often than I've voted neg, and I've voted for the worst arguments I can imagine, even in close debates, if I thought framing arguments were won. While nobody can claim to be completely unbiased, I try very hard to let good debating speak for itself. That being said, I do have some general predispositions, which are listed below.


-I tend to err aff on T and neg on most theory arguments. By that, I mean that I think that the neg should win a good standard on T in order to win that the aff should lose, and I also believe that theory is usually a reason to reject the argument and not the team.

- Conditional advocacies are good, but making contradictory truth claims is different. However, I generally think these claims are less damaging to the aff than the "they made us debate against ourselves" claim would make it seem. The best 2ACs will find ways of exploiting bad 1NC strategy, which will undoubtedly yield better speaker points than a theory debate, even if the aff wins.

- I kind of feel like "reasonability" and "competing interpretations" have become meaningless terms that, while everybody knows how they conceptualize it, there are wildly different understandings. In my mind, the negative should have to prove that the affirmative interpretation is bad, not simply that the negative has a superior interpretation. I also don't think that's a very high standard for the negative to be held to, as many interpretations (especially on this space topic) will be hot fiery garbage.

- My view of debates outside of/critical of the resolution is also complicated. While my philosophy has always been very pro-plan reading in the past, I've found that aff teams are often better at explaining their impact turns than the neg is at winning an impact that makes sense. That being said, I think that it's hard for the aff to win these debates if the neg can either win that there is a topical version of the affirmative that minimizes the risk of the aff's impact turns, or a compelling reason why the aff is better read as a kritik on the negative. Obviously there are arguments that are solved by neither, and those are likely the best 2AC impact turns to read in front of me.


- I'm certainly a better judge for CP/DA debates than K v K debates. I particularly like strategic PICs and good 1NC strategies with a lot of options. I'd be willing to vote on consult/conditions, but I find permutation arguments about immediacy/plan-plus persuasive.

- I think the neg gets away with terrible CP solvency all the time. Affs should do a better job establishing what counts as a solvency card, or at least a solvency warrant. This is more difficult, however, when your aff's solvency evidence is really bad. - Absent a debate about what I should do, I will kick a counterplan for the neg and evaluate the aff v. the squo if the CP is bad/not competitive

- I don't think the 2NC needs to explain why severence/intrinsicness are bad, just win a link. They're bad.

- I don't think perms are ever a reason to reject the aff.

- I don't think illegitimate CPs are a reason to vote aff.


- Run them. Win them. There's not a whole lot to say.

- I'd probably vote on some sort of "fiat solves" argument on politics, but only if it was explained well.

- Teams that invest time in good, comparative impact calculus will be rewarded with more speaker points, and likely, will win the debate. "Disad/Case outweighs" isn't a warrant. Talk about your impacts, but also make sure you talk about your opponents impacts. "Economic collapse is real bad" isn't as persuasive as "economic collapse is faster and controls uniqueness for the aff's heg advantage".


- My general line has always been that "I get the K but am not well read in every literature". I've started to realize that that statement is A) true for just about everybody and B) entirely useless. It turns out that I've read, coached, and voted for Ks too often for me to say that. What I will say, however, is that I certainly focus my research and personal reading more on the policy side, but will generally make it pretty obvious if I have no idea what you're saying.

- Make sure you're doing link analysis to the plan. I find "their ev is about the status quo" arguments pretty persuasive with a permutation.

- Don't think that just because your impacts "occur on a different level" means you don't need to do impact calculus. A good way to get traction here is case defense. Most advantages are pretty silly and false, point that out with specific arguments about their internal links. It will always make the 2NR easier if you win that the aff is lying/wrong.

- I think the alt is the weakest part of the K, so make sure to answer solvency arguments and perms very well.

- If you're aff, and read a policy aff, don't mistake this as a sign that I'm just going to vote for you because I read mostly policy arguments. If you lose on the K, I'll vote neg. Remember, I already said I think your advantage is a lie. Prove me wrong.


-Don't ignore it. Conceding an advantage on the neg is no different than conceding a disad on the aff. You should go to case in the 1NC, even if you just play defense. It will make the rest of the debate so much easier.

- If you plan to extend a K in the 2NR and use that to answer the case, be sure you're winning either a compelling epistemology argument or some sort of different ethical calculus. General indicts will lose to specific explanations of the aff absent either good 2NR analysis or extensions of case defense.

- 2As... I've become increasingly annoyed with 2ACs that pay lip service to the case without responding to specific arguments or extending evidence/warrants. Just reexplaining the advantage and moving on isn't sufficient to answer multiple levels of neg argumentation.

Paperless debate

I don't think you need to take prep time to flash your speech to your opponent, but it's also pretty obvious when you're stealing prep, so don't do it. If you want to use viewing computers, that's fine, but only having one is unacceptable. The neg needs to be able to split up your evidence for the block. It's especially bad if you want to view their speeches on your viewing computer too. Seriously, people need access to your evidence.


I've decided enough debates on clipping in the last couple of years that I think it's worth putting a notice in my philosophy. If a tournament has reliable internet, I will insist on an email chain and will want to be on that email chain. I will, at times, follow along with the speech document and, as a result, am likely to catch clipping if it occurs. I'm a pretty non-confrontational person, so I'm unlikely to say anything about a missed short word at some point, but if I am confident that clipping has occurred, I will absolutely stop the debate and decide on it. I'll always give debaters the benefit of the doubt, and provide an opportunity to say where a card was marked, but I'm pretty confident of my ability to distinguish forgetting to say "mark the card" and clipping. I know that there is some difference of opinion on who's responsibility it is to bring about a clipping challenge, but I strongly feel that, if I know for certain that debaters are not reading all of their evidence, I have not only the ability but an obligation to call it out.

Other notes

- Really generic backfile arguments (Ashtar, wipeout, etc) won't lose you the round, but don't expect great speaks. I just think those arguments are really terrible, (I can't describe how much I hate wipeout debates) and bad for debate.

- Impact turn debates are awesome, but can get very messy. If you make the debate impossible to flow, I will not like you. Don't just read cards in the block, make comparisons about evidence quality and uniqueness claims. Impact turn debates are almost always won by the team that controls uniqueness and framing arguments, and that's a debate that should start in the 2AC.

Finally, here is a short list of general biases.

  • The status quo should always be an option in the 2NR (Which doesn't necessarily mean that the neg get's infinite flex. If they read 3 contradictory positions, I can be persuaded that it was bad despite my predisposition towards conditionality. It does mean that I will, absent arguments against it, judge kick a counterplan and evaluate the case v the squo if the aff wins the cp is bad/not competitive)
  • Warming is real and science is good (same argument, really)
  • The aff gets to defend the implementation of the plan as offense against the K, and the neg gets to read the K
  • Timeframe and probability are more important than magnitude (because everything causes extinction anyways)
  • Predictable limits are key to both fairness and education
  • Consult counterplans aren't competitive. Conditions is arguable.
  • Rider DA links are not intrinsic
  • Utilitarianism is a good way to evaluate impacts
  • The aff should defend a topical plan
  • Death and extinction are bad

Joshua Michael Paradigm

1 rounds

Updated 2/13/2020

Debated for UWG ’15 – ’17; Coaching: Notre Dame – ’19 – Present; Baylor – ’17 – ’19

email: joshuamichael59@gmail.com


I prefer K v K rounds, but I generally wind up in FW rounds.

K aff’s – 1) Generally have a high threshold for 1ar/2ar consistency. 2) Stop trying to solve stuff you could reasonably never affect. Often, teams want the entirety of X structure’s violence weighed yet resolve only a minimal portion of that violence. 3) v K’s, you are rarely always already a criticism of that same thing. Your articulation of the perm/link defense needs to demonstrate true interaction between literature bases. 4) Stop running from stuff. If you didn’t read the line/word in question, okay. But indicts of the author should be answered with more than “not our Baudrillard.”

K’s – 1) rarely win without substantial case debate. 2) ROJ arguments are generally underutilized. 3) I’m generally persuaded by aff answers that demonstrate certain people shouldn’t read certain lit bases, if warranted by that literature. 4) I have a higher threshold for generic “debate is bad, vote neg.” If debate is bad, how do you change those aspects of debate?

Special Note for Settler Colonialism: I simultaneously love these rounds and experience a lot of frustration when judging this argument. Often, debaters haven’t actually read the full text from which they are cutting cards and lack most of the historical knowledge to responsibly go for this argument. List of annoyances: there are 6 settler moves to innocence – you should know the differences/specifics rather than just reading pages 1-3 of Decol not a Metaphor; la paperson’s A Third University is Possible does not say “State reform good”; Reading “give back land” as an alt and then not defending against the impact turn is just lazy. Additionally, claiming “we don’t have to specify how this happens,” is only a viable answer for Indigenous debaters (the literature makes this fairly clear); Making a land acknowledgement in the first 5 seconds of the speech and then never mentioning it again is essentially worthless; Ethic of Incommensurability is not an alt, it’s an ideological frame for future alternative work (fight me JKS).


General: 1) Fairness is either an impact or an internal link 2) the TVA doesn’t have to solve the entirety of the aff. 3) Your Interp + our aff is just bad.

Aff v FW: 1) can win with just impact turns, though the threshold is higher than when winning a CI with viable NB’s. 2) More persuaded by defenses of education/advocacy skills/movement building. 3) Less random DA’s that are basically the same, and more internal links to fully developed DA’s. Most of the time your DA’s to the TVA are the same offense you’ve already read elsewhere.

Reading FW: 1) Respect teams that demonstrate why state engagement is better in terms of movement building. 2) “If we can’t test the aff, presume it’s false” – no 3) Have to answer case at some point (more than the 10 seconds after the timer has already gone off) 4) You almost never have time to fully develop the sabotage tva (UGA RS deserves more respect than that). 5) Impact turns to the CI are generally underutilized. You’ll almost always win the internal link to limits, so spending all your time here is a waste. 6) Should defend the TVA in 1nc cx if asked. You don’t have a right to hide it until the block.

Theory - 1) I generally lean neg on questions of Conditionality/Random CP theory. 2) No one ever explains why dispo solves their interp. 3) Won’t judge kick unless instructed to.

T – 1) I’m not your best judge. 2) Seems like no matter how much debating is done over CI v Reasonability, I still have to evaluate most of the offense based on CI’s.

DA/CP – 1) No special feelings.


All of my thoughts on policy apply, except for theory. More than 2 condo (or CP’s with different plank combinations) is probably abusive, but I can be convinced otherwise on a technical level.

Not voting on an RVI. I don’t care if it’s dropped.

Most LD theory is terrible Ex: Have to spec a ROB or I don’t know what I can read in the 1nc --- dumb argument.

Phil or Tricks (sp?) debating – I’m not your judge.

Kristina Miller Paradigm

2 rounds

Yes, please include me on the email chain: kikimiller.rf@gmail.com

About: New account, who dis?

I go by "Kiki". I'm an assistant coach for UT Austin and a Ph.D. student studying rhetoric and political communication. I worked in legislative politics for 7 years (bill drafting, policy analysis, and policy advocacy), and I specialized in environmental and civil rights legislation in Colorado and across the Western U.S. I have one master's degree in public policy (environmental policy and law) and another in communication. I like learning new things, particularly through debate and deliberation.

Spiel: I've been in and out of the debate world since the year 2000 (#OldAF) and I do not feel like it's my place to tell you how to debate. Speed is fine. I flow on paper and I'm a sucker for a good line-by-line. Good internal links, impact calculus (where appropriate), and voters are sublime. Enough with this lazy rhyme... I lost a bet, I've paid my debt.

T: My only pet peeve is a lengthy topicality violation in lieu of a carefully crafted neg strategy.

K/Theory: Despite being a coach at UT Austin, most of my personal debate and coaching experience involves plan text case debates. That being said, I am fine with theory. My current academic/professional research focuses on social identity theory, collective action theory, punctuated equilibrium theory, rhetorical criticism, and protest spaces. I am quite schooled in classic social theory (dead white guys) but please do not assume I am familiar with the theory you are espousing. Clearly define your terms, links, and the alternative.

CPs/DAs: Anything goes. Please have a strong and specific link story. Generic blocks in college debate come off as lazy.

Etiquette/civility: Rude/condescending behavior will automatically result in a reduction of speaker points. Online public sphere incivility culture should not extend to in-person behavior.

CX: I flow it. I don't know what that says about me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Misc: I am experimenting with flowing on the computer this season because I am not a fossil quite yet. Please be patient with RFDs as they now take longer to render with a paper and electronic flow. You can generally expect me to render a decision within 10-15 minutes after the 2AR.

"You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist." -- Nietzsche

Matthew Moore Paradigm

Matthew Moore

Judge Philosophy- Update Sept ‘16

 Important questions:

Will you vote on framework? Yes

Will you vote for an aff that is not topical against framework? Yes

I am about 50/50 in these debates because I leave it up to the debaters. The aff usually wins these debates when they have substantive impact turns to the framework impacts. The neg usually wins when a topical version can access most of the aff’s offense. For affs: T version of the aff does not solve is not very persuasive to me when the solvency argument is functionally it does not solve as well as the aff.

Neg goes for a K versus a policy aff:

At the ’16 Texas tournament, negs going for K’s versus policy affs were 3-0 in front of me. Why? The aff only said weigh the aff, it is true, and then had no substantive answer to the K beyond the aff impacts. You should have offense to the alt that is not just the aff.


      After hearing multiple rounds where the 2AR goes for conditionality bad and  not voting on it once, it is highly probable that affs will not win on condo bad in front of me. Not impossible, just highly improbable. This is especially true is the argument is less than five seconds in the 2AC, 30 seconds in the 1AR, and then six minutes in the 2AR. If you think the neg is cheating, tailor specific theory arguments to the situation (i.e. this conditional pic is uniquely bad). That will be more persuasive to me and garner you better points than "Condo is bad, strategy skew and time skew voter for fairness." I will not vote on perm theory. The aff shouldn’t lose for making a perm no matter how bad it is. The more a counterplan/alt cheats, the more lenient I am to theory arguments against it. Cheating is a relative term here, but affs that can demonstrate the cheating in concrete terms will win my sympathy. You should make the arguments.


·         The aff can win there is no link to the DA if they win their link turns. Uniqueness does not make the link magically only go in one direction. 

·         Paperless sharing of speech documents is not an excuse for being unclear. Presentation matters for points. 

·         For K Debaters- saying the aff results in violent interventions like NATO missions in Libya is not an impact. Last time I checked bombing Libya protected civilians from being massacred. At best you have an intervention internal link to something else, not a terminal impact. 

·         Point scale- I will try my best to follow the data Regnier posted in August ’16 for the purpose of points. 29 is the mark for teams that are performing at a level that should be represented in the outrounds (not barely clearing). I tend to adjust my scale at the tournament using the points I have given in previous rounds as a guide for future debates. I am going to try harder to distinguish points between debaters in the round, I feel I have been giving too many points at the .1 difference between all four debaters. Be professional and respectful to each other. Shut up during the other team’s speeches. I will be pretty honest with you after rounds about what I thought was rude/not professional and what was good. These things really do impact your points. 

Don’t read to much into subtle nonverbal cues from me. I have had multiple rounds where I ask a team why didn’t you go for X and they will respond with you looked like you did not like the argument. Judging can be a miserable and uncomfortable experience, usually that look of disgust on my face is the result of a weekend of bad food, lack of sleep, and being stuck in an uncomfortable chair for hours at a time hunched over. I will do my best to make any nonverbal communication that may matter obvious. If I am grimacing because I do not like your argument, that is up to the other team to call out.






Eric Morris Paradigm

4 rounds

Eric Morris, DoF - Missouri State – 29th Year Judging

++++ NDT Version ++++ (Updated 10-22-2019)

(NFALD version: https://forensicstournament.net/MissouriMule/18/judgephil)

Add me to the email ermocito@gmail.com

I flow CX because it is binding. I stopped recording rounds but would appreciate a recording if clipping was accused.

Be nice to others, whether or not they deserve it.

I prefer line by line debate. People who extend a DA by by grouping the links, impacts, UQ sometimes miss arguments and get lower points. Use opponent's words to signpost.

Assuming aff defends a plan:

Strong presumption T is a voting issue. Aff should win you meet neg's interp or a better one. Neg should say your arguments make the aff interp unreasonable. Topic wording or lit base might or might not justify extra or effects T, particularly with a detailed plan advocate.

High threshold for anything except T/condo as voting issues*. More willing than some to reject the CP, K alts, or even DA links on theory. Theory is better when narrowly tailored to what happened in a specific debate. I have voted every possible way on condo/dispo, but 3x Condo feels reasonable. Under dispo, would conceding "no link" make more sense than conceding "perm do both" to prove a CP did not compete?

Zero link, zero internal link, and zero solvency are possible. Zero impact is rare.

Large-scale terminal impacts are presumed comparable in magnitude unless you prove otherwise. Lower scale impacts also matter, particularly as net benefits.

Evidence is important, but not always essential to initiate an argument. Respect high-quality opponent evidence when making strategic decisions.

If the plan/CP is vague, the opponent gets more input into interpreting it. CX answers, topic definitions, and the literature base helps interpret vague plans, advocacy statements, etc. If you advocate something different from your cards, clarity up front is recommended.

I am open to explicit interps of normal means (who votes for and against plan and how it goes down), even if they differ from community norms, provided they give both teams a chance to win.

Kritiks are similar to DA/CP strategies but if the aff drops some of the "greatest hits" they are in bad shape. Affs should consider what offense they have inside the neg's framework interp in case neg wins their interp. K impacts, aff or neg, can outweigh or tiebreak.

Assuming aff doesn't defend a plan:

Many planless debates incentivize exploring important literature bases, but afer decades, we should be farther along creating a paradigm that can account for most debates. Eager to hear your contributions to that! Here is a good example of detailed counter-interps (models of debate). http://www.cedadebate.org/forum/index.php/topic,2345.0.html

Impact turns are presumed relevant to kritikal args. "Not my pomo" is weak until I hear a warranted distinction. I prefer the negative to attempt direct engagement (even if they end up going for T). It can be easier to win the ballot this way if the aff overcovers T. Affs which dodge case specific offense are particularly vulnerable on T (or other theory arguments).

Topicality is always a decent option for the neg. I would be open to having the negative go for either resolution good (topicality) or resolution bad (we negate it). Topicality arguments not framed in USFG/framework may avoid some aff offense.

In framework rounds, the aff usually wins offense but impact comparison should account for mitigators like TVA's and creative counter-interps. An explicit counter-interp (or model of debate) which greatly mitigates the limits DA is recommended - see example below. Accounting for topic words is helpful. TVA's are like CP's because they mitigate whether topics are really precluded by the T interp.

If I were asked to design a format to facilitate K/performance debate, I would be surprised. After that wore off, I would propose a season-long list of concepts with deep literature bases and expect the aff to tie most into an explicit 1AC thesis. Such an approach could be done outside of CEDA if publicized.

This was too short?

Older, longer version is available here: http://bit.ly/1gchPYx

* Some ethical issues, like fabrication, are voting issues, regardless of line by line.

Matthew Reichle Paradigm

6 rounds

email for email chain: empireofme@gmail.com

high school 4 years cx/ld debate at laredo, tx united
college: 3 years policy at the university of texas at san antonio
coaching: 2 years coaching policy at the university of texas at san antonio, coached nine years as director of debate for reagan high school in san antonio, tx. 1.5 years as the director of speech and debate at San Marcos High School, currently the director of speech and debate at James Madison High School in San Antonio.

former writer/ researcher for wisecrack: this does not help you.

***note: please don't call me Matt or Matthew, it is jarring and distracts me. If you must refer to me by name please call me reichle [rike-lee].

(updated sections are marked with a *)

I proclaim, that I am making a concerted effort to be "in the round" at all times from here on out (I suppose this is my jerry maguire manifesto/ mission statement moment) . I understand the amount of time that everyone puts in this activity and I am going to make a serious effort to concentrate as hard as possible on each debate round that I am lucky enough to judge. I am going to approach each round with the same enthusiasm, vigor, and responsibility that I afford members of a writing group--and as such I am going to treat the post round discussion with the same level of respect.

Ultimately debate is about the debaters, not about the ways in which I can inject my spirit back into the debate format. That being said there are a few things that you might want to know about me.

I debated for four years in the mid-to-late nineties in high school and three years at UTSA. I have debated ‘policy’ debates in several different formats. Because I ended my career on the ‘left’ of the debate spectrum is in no way an automatic endorsement for all out wackiness devoid of any content. That is not saying that I don’t enjoy the ‘critical’ turn in debate—quite the opposite, I like nothing better than a debate that effectively joins form in content.

*I prefer explanation and examples in debates, these make sense to me.

*strategy is also something that I reward. I would like to know that you have either thought about your particular strategy in terms of winning the debate round--and I don't mind knowing that you accident-ed your way into a perfect 2nr/ar choice. Either way: the story of the round is important to me and I would like to know how the individual parts of a round fit together (how you understand them). I think this is part of effective communication and it's just helpful for me in case I am missing something. Illumination brought to me (by you) seems to be the crux of getting a decision that is favorable (to you) with me in the back of the room.

*I flow. I may not flow like you, but I keep a flow because my memory isn’t the best and because at some point I was trained to… it just kind of helps me. But I flow in a way that helps me arrange my thoughts and helps me to keep what is said in the debate limited to what is actually spoken by the debaters. I flow the entire round (including as much of the the text of the evidence as I can get) unless I know a piece of evidence that you are reading. That being said… If I can’t understand you (because of lack of clarity) I can’t flow you. also, some differentiation between tag, card, and the next piece of evidence would be great.

Topicality—I don't know why teams don't go for topicality more... it is a viable strategy (when done well in most rounds). In high school I went for T in the 2NR every round. In college I went for T (seriously) no times in the 2NR. While I give Aff’s lenience on reasonability—there is something hot about a block that just rolls with topicality.

*Counterplans/ disads. Sure. Why not. Win net benefits. Answer the perm. Make it competitive. Win your framework (if an alternate framework for evaluation is proposed by the aff). more and more i find the quality of the evidence read for most cp and da's to be shaky at best--not that there isn't great evidence on political capital and the role of popularity in certain aspects of the political economy as it pertains to pending legislation... i just find more and more that this evidence is either written by some rand-o with a blog or is great evidence that is under-hi-lighted. please read good evidence, not evidence that can be written by one of my children on the cartoon network forums section.

Performance/ The K/ the Crazy/Whatever you want to call it: Do what you have to do get your point across. If you need me to do something (see the way I flow) let me know—I will comply willingly. Just warrant your argument somehow. As before, this is in no way a full on endorsement of ridiculousness for the sake of ridiculousness. Win your framework/ impacts and you should have no problem. Please help me out with the role of the ballot. Please.

*theory: I need to flow. I can not flow a theory debate where the shell is read at the speed of a piece of evidence--tag line speed at the fastest for theory, please. Also if you have no differentiation between tag speed and card speed (good for you) but people are only pretending to flow what you are saying.

*paperless issues: prep time is up when the speaker's jump drive is out of their computer/ when you are ready to email your cards (not continue to write blocks as you 'send' your email). Completely understandable if you send the other team a few more cards than you are going to read but please do not jump the other team an entire file or seventy cards in random order. Learn to send evidence to a speech document.

It becomes harder every year for me to think of a way to encapsulate how I view debate in a way that somehow gives a useful suggestion to debaters. It seems that each philosophy follows a formula--assure everyone that you were a good debater up to and including past experience, make sure they know that you are either open or receptive to all types of argumentation while still harboring resentment to anything progressive and different from what is deemed acceptable by personal debate standards, which is then followed by a list of ways the judge hopes everyone debates.

While the formula will apply to some extent I would like to say that i am in every way honest when I say this: do what you do best and read the arguments that you prefer in the style that you prefer in front of me. Do this and I say unto you that it will do less harm than running around in circles in round for the sake of a paradigm. Be the debater that you are, not who you think I want you to be.

That being said; this is who I assume you should be: kind. Be kind to your opponent and avoid shadiness and we’ll have no problems. There is probably a list that defines shadiness but it follows the same rule as inappropriateness: if you have to ask if something is shady--it is.

have fun. have a nice year.

Kate Richey Paradigm

5 rounds

Updated for 2019/20 I love debate and I always have! Here are a few things that might give you a glimpse into how I make decisions:

---I strive to be as fair as possible. Meaning, I take this (my job as a judge to assign a win/loss) seriously and I pay attention.

---Arguments get as much attention from me as the debaters gave them in the debate. Explain, give warrants, read high-quality evidence.

---There's nothing I won't vote on or listen to. Convince me what's important, what's of value, what my ballot means, and why I'm voting the way I'm voting. Do the work.

---I like to be entertained by persuasive speakers, smart arguments, creativity, humor, etc. etc. (doesn't everybody?) and those things are usually rewarded.

---Don't be a sore loser or a smug winner.

David Rooney Paradigm

6 rounds

Put me on your email chain (all of them, even if I'm not judging. I just want to be included): dar298@Cornell.edu

Overview/Long of it:

Now coaching at Baylor

Previously debated at Cornell (ndt Quarters/Ceda semis x2 blah blah). Started as a novice in college and I love novice debate! Don't talk badly of it in my presence.

Started policy debate running xo and politics every round, devolved into reading one off Ks most rounds (mostly anthro and disability [as 2n/1a], sometimes various strains of afropessimism [not as 2n])

Do NOT assume that because I read critical arguments you are better suited to read critical stuff in front of me- do what you do. Don't try and match to me and do something you are uncomfortable with/something I have higher standards for. I love policy research and did a lot of it for various squads over the years so please don't be afraid to go for it in front of me.

I enjoy critical affs, especially if it's something that you have put thought into/challenges how I think of the world. It's some of the best and most educational part of debate.

This does not mean I am opposed to voting on FW or T arguments- it's a large amount of what I debated against so I am well aware of when a team does it well. I think a lot of current K affs mishandle T and it can be a very strategic choice for the negative - especially when T/FW implicates the aff's knowledge production/method.

I am very line by line and flow centric- I don't think this is at all opposed to "big picture debate" or in-depth argumentation but that's just my style that will be represented in my judging- i dislike implicit "overview" clash that doesn't flag what your argument does or how it functions in relation to their argument.

I would rather not read every card referenced in the debate after it ends- debate is a game about communication and spin can beat evidence if you do it well enough- I don't vote on whether or not your or your coach cut a good card, I vote on the way you articulate the importance and weight of an argument the card makes (or comes close to making).

Skip here if you don't care to read above/Specific arguments:

Case: Debate it more- most cases don't make sense and can be dismantled with analytic arguments/a small amount of cards. I don't understand the move towards 4 counterplans and ignoring case by Negs.

DA: I probably have a higher threshold for internal link explanation to impacts than other people - especially advantage extensions in the speeches like the 1AR- too often the 1ar runs through a scenario without an internal link and it pops back up in the 2ar again magically. Other than that- go wild, love a good disad and case debate.

FW: FW is a K, defend your alternative view of the world/debate and the relative disads to the counterinterp/aff and how you capture/mitigate/outweigh/turn their offense. No feeling one way or another, either side can win- debate it.

T: Do it up, love it

K: Familiar with most lit bases in debate, in particular animal studies, afropessimism, disability etc. Don't assume my familiarity with the K- explain the arguments in depth and their importance as if I had no idea what you were talking (which I may not!)

CPs: Impact out your solvency deficits or else it's hard for me to compare relative deficits/advantages in solvency

Other things:

Reading afropessimism is all the rage for non-black people in debate but if you are not black I will be very sympathetic to arguments about that from the otherside- it's a blatant contradiction with the literature and runs too high of a risk of overidentification - years of seeing in this debate has made this extremely obvious to me (Christina Sharpe and Selamawit Terrefe in Rhizomes- "The only people who can be and embrace it are particularly these white, male, young academics who are so excited. They're excited by it. And it's an invigorating theory because it's a purely intellectual enterprise for them. This is something we have to experience and re-experience viscerally when we read Frank and Jared's work. It's a traumatic experience. But it's not a trauma that is being imposed by us— by the theory or by those of us who write and critically engage with the work. It's a trauma that we're reliving because we're never outside of this trauma. So I think Black people's responses, Black academics' responses in particular...it's not a foreclosure the way white or non-Black academics would respond. If it's a negative response it's foreclosing on their own...ethical relationship—")

The one exception to this is I can think of is if you have a partner that is black and wants to read that argument, but I am willing to hear args for and against that. (This does not mean don't discuss race/colonialism/your relation to that if you are white but be critically aware of how you are situated in relation to identity and the dangers involved.)

Please respect people's pronoun choices.

As a disclaimer- I will not vote on arguments that I feel are blatantly racist/heteronormative/transphobic/ableist (ie. calling people r-words good). This does not include disagreements about what constitutes racism(ie. you can win reformism good vs. wilderson) unless it crosses the line into arguments that are blatantly violent (ie. racism good/reverse racism real and o/w's the aff). This also includes impact turns such as anthro good. Arguing that you have a better method to resolve violence or that humans can solve other violence against animals does not fall under that, but I will not vote for an argument that says that animal death/suffering does not matter in relation to human suffering. Debate shapes what we think is ok to think and how we live and I don't want to contribute to the normalization of mass murder and torture against animality in debate rounds, even if it's inevitable outside of it.

That twitter account is not me, it's some impersonator.

Phil Samuels Paradigm

2 rounds

Overview: These are my defaults. Everything is up for debate.  

First, I consider myself an argument critic.  By this I mean that I might vote on an argument that I do not agree with or one that I think is untrue because in the context of the round one team persuades me.   This means that I tend to fall on the side of tech over truth. 

Second, I understand debate by argument.  There is a trend in debate to replace argument for author names. The community has begun to referencing evidence instead of the argument that the evidence is meant to strengthen.  This is a bad trend, in my mind, and should be limited to necessity.

Third, I will not now, nor will I ever, stop a debate if I think that someone is clipping or cross reading.  While I think this is cheating I think it is up to the debaters in the round to make an argument and then for me to judge that argument based on the available evidence and render a decision.  However, if you are caught clipping when I judge I will give your team a loss and zero speaker points.  . 

Fourth, Speaker-Points are dumb.  Preffing judges based on the speaker points they give is even dumber. It has long been the case that weak judges give high speaks in order to be preffed.  It is unfortunate that judges of color have had to resort to giving debaters higher points than they deserve to get into debates.  I will do my best to maintain the community norm.

Topicality: Yes, I vote on it.  It is always a voter.  Topicality debates are about competing interpretations and the benefits of those interpretations.  It is incumbent upon the debaters to do impact calculus of their advantages (these are the reasons to prefer aka standards) vs. the advantages of the counter-interpretation and the disadvantages to your interpretation.   In other words, to win topicality you need win that your interpretation is better for debate than your opponents.  This formula is true for ALL theory arguments if you plan to win them in front of me.  

Framework: Yes, I vote on it. Framework is, to me, a criticism of the affirmatives method.  What does this mean for you?  It means that I am less persuaded by arguments like debate is a game and fairness claims.  I tend to think of fairness, strategically, and my default is to say that fairness almost never outweighs education.  I have voted on fairness as a terminal impact before and will likely do so again but the threshold to beat a team going for fairness is often very low and this gets even lower when the affirmative rightly points out that fairness claims are rooted in protecting privilege.  If you are negative and you are going for framework my suggestion is that you make sure to have as many ways to negate the affirmatives offense as possible in the 2nr; this includes switch side debate solves your offense and topical version of your aff.  If you do that and then win an internal link into education you will likely win my ballot. 

I default to utilitarian ethics when making judgments about what action/vote is most beneficial.  If you would like me to use some other method of evaluation that needs to be explained and it needs to be upfront. 

Counterplans-You should read one.  Counterplans compete through net benefits. 

*Presumption never flips aff.  I know there is a redefinition of Presumption as “less change” but this is a misunderstanding of presumption.  Presumption, simply put, is that the existing state of affairs, policies, programs should continue unless adequate reasons are given for change. Now like everything in this philosophy this is a default. To say that presumption flips affirmative is just to say that the affirmative has achieved their prima facia burden to prove that the SQ needs change. 

*Counterplan theory: My default is that conditionality is the state that counterplans naturally exist. Because I believe counterplans are merely a test of the intrinsicness of the affirmatives advantages it means that I also default to judge kick.  This also means that there is little chance that I will vote outright on conditionality bad.  Instead, I will assess that the Negative is now “stuck” with a counter-advocacy that alters the debate in corresponding ways.


Criticisms:  Criticisms function much like counterplans and disads, insofar, as they should have an alternative and link and impact.  I can be persuaded that K’s do not need an alternative.  With that being said, if you are going for a K without an alternative then you are going to need to have a lot of defense against the affirmative.  Some of that defense can come in the form of the k itself (serial policy failure or impacts are inevitable arguments) but some of it SHOULD also be specific to the plan.   

Any questions just ask. Good Luck! 

Courtney Schauer Paradigm

3 rounds

Competed: University of Minnesota
Coach (Present): Emporia State University; College Prep
Coached (Past): Augsburg College; Highland Park Senior High (MN)


Although my primary background is in policy, I am familiar with the procedures of public forum and spent a season of my high school career competing in the format. Below are my answers to the suggested PF philosophy questions provided by the TOC.

Please share your opinions or beliefs about how the following play into a debate round: Speed of Delivery: Speed is fine so long as clarify doesn't suffer.

Format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?):Both effective line by line and big picture storytelling are important to my ballot.

Role of the Final Focus: Providing a rubric/judge instruction for my ballot

Topicality: Generally these debates are done poorly, it's important to have a comparative metric for evaluating interpretations and a robust discussion of the various impacts to the violation. I do not view topicality in a purely "jurisdictional" way - offense/defense is important.

Plans: Not needed but not automatically disallowed.

Kritiks: Sure although just like any argument, it must be explained, applied, and impacted thoroughly.

Flowing/note-taking: I will flow the entirety of the debate.

Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally? Quality and depth of argument is the primary thing I will evaluate, but style is not unimportant by any means.

If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? Yes.


"I view my role in the debate not as arbiter of truth, but critic of argument, as such I attempt to divorce myself from relative "truth" values of arguments." - Chris Loghry

I like to see debaters deploying arguments that motivate and interest them.

I don’t call for many cards. This does not mean evidence quality does not matter, or that I don’t call cards often. What it does mean is: the debaters make the arguments, not the cards. I will not view them as placeholders for warranted explanation. Not every argument requires a card to answer.

Framing matters: provide me a macro-level filter through which to view the micro-components of the debate. The debates I find myself most frustrated with are the ones in which the 2NR and the 2AR have respectively delivered me 2NC #2 and 2AC #2 and left me to sort through the pieces. Rebuttalists that present a clear story while closing the right doors will be rewarded.

The more explicit you are with me in terms of my ballot, the better. This mostly goes for presumption and judge conditionality, but also for competing Frameworks/Role of the Ballots. If debaters are not explicit, there becomes no objective standard for me to use as a reference for when and where I infer these arguments.

Have a plan for Cross-X.

Things I like to see in cross-x: Asking precise, critical questions. Giving succinct, impactful answers. Writing down all concessions for utilization in the next speech.

Things I hate to see in cross-x: Ad-homs. Open-ended softballs. Questions that blatantly indicate a lack of flowing. Refusal to answer reasonable questions. Repetition of questions to avoid giving answers. Poorly-timed invocations of false ethos. 4-person shouting matches.

If you are reading critical literature, whether on the Affirmative or Negative, please explain and utilize your method. Make the links turn the case. Have a robust explanation of the alternative. Strive for internal, philosophical consistency. Your authors have particular theories of subjectivity, violence, etc., and I want to thear them; just remember that they all can and SHOULD be ACTIVELY applied broadly to frame many portions of the technical debate.

A speech doc is not a flow substitute.

Debate matters just as much to your opponents as it does to you, even if for different reasons. Be mindful of this and respect your competitors.

Daniel Stanfield Paradigm

1 rounds

Updated November 2020 2018 CEDA/NDT

Dan Stanfield

2 Years at Los Rios Community College

1 Year at CSU Fullerton

1 Year at UNLV

2 Years Coaching at UWG

2 years @ Baylor

Iowa 2019 - Current

Coached for CKM on TI topic

Coached for Juan Diego on Surveillance

Coach for SLC West Education

Coach for CKM Immigration - Current

Add me to your email chain stanfield.dan@gmail.com

Post-Blake 2020 Update

If you debate CKM TG/BG and you ignore requests to not forward their docs or add things like westcoastdocs to the chain against their consent I will be very compelled to cap your speaker points at 27.5.

2020 Update

The asshole quotient particularly from male presenting debaters is out of control and I'm honestly sick and tired of it. It doesn't make you cool, it makes you insufferable. It makes me not want to vote for you. This is a communication activity and your affect matters. And an affect of acting like a self-entitled asshole makes this activity worse for everyone that has to interact with you. If you feel it is your god given right to be condescending go ahead, I will also exercise my right to give you a 25.

"I am a firm believer that debate is for debaters. I had my time to make others listen to whatever (and I do mean absolutely whatever) I wanted to say, and its my turn to listen to and evaluate your arguments, whatever they may be. While I'm sure I have my limitations make me adapt to you instead of the other way arouund" -- Lindsay VanLuvanee

I will attempt to limit the amount my predispositions will influence how I evaluate a debate round. Don't feel as if you need to change your strategy to debate in front of me, do what you do best, because the alternative is usually subpar debate. The final two rebuttals should write my ballot for me, teams that accurately break the round down and are reasonable about what they are and are not winning will usually be rewarded with increased speaker points.I enjoy a high level of specificity and nuance broad sweeping claims will get you nowhere. I place importance on how pieces of evidence get debated, as opposed to simply constructing debates based on the pieces of evidence that have been introduced. While I also place a premium on quality evidence (which, I would like to be able to hear during your speech), I believe that a smart analytic argument has the potential to gain equal traction to a solid piece of evidence. Quality always trumps quantity.

I find cross ex to be the most important part of debate its one of the few times I feel I get to connect with the individual debaters, while I don't flow it I pay very close attention to it, and what happens here will inform how I see large portions of the round.

Theory needs to be well executed. Debates in which theory blocks do the arguing almost always favor the neg.

I don’t like cheap shots.(This does not mean I won't vote on them, I'll just be cranky about it) I like arguments to be well developed. Most cheap shots are not reasons to reject the team and significant time would need to be spent in order to convince me otherwise. However, it is your burden to point out how irrelevant many theory arguments that are advanced in debates are, as a concession may force my hand.

Nearly all theory questions I end up siding in favor of the negative, I think conditionality is fine, any potentially abusive CP is checked by quality of evidence. 50 States Fiat is one arg where an affirmative could convince me this is a reason to reject the team it is likely to still be an uphill battle.

Judge Kick: I think this deserves its own section, when the 2nr goes for a CP I believe the debate is solely a question of plan versus the CP. While a 2nr can instruct me to to kick the cp for them if the 2r wins offense against the counterplan an affirmative can respond that I shouldn't kick the counterplan for the negative and I am likely to side with the affirmative. If the 2nr contains a counterplan I have a very strong predisposition that if the affirmative wins substantive solvency deficits to the counterplan or other offense against it that outweighs the net benefit than I should be voting aff. And that I then shouldn't decide to then evaluate the status quo (i..e the net-benefit) vs. the plan.

Separate from the framework section, I really enjoy evidentiary T debates that aren't clash of civ debates. I find these are some of the most nuanced debates about what the resolution means which is always compelling to me. I evaluate topicality like a DA offense v defense. For affirmatives here do not place all your eggs in the basket of reasonability, I think only reasonability is only a question of the interpretation and not the aff or plan itself. Any other interpretation of reasonability I don't think constitutes an actual argument.


First contrary to popular belief I do not hack for framework, however this year I have noticed myself voting for framework more often than I don't vote for framework. For me there are a few ways the framework debates break down in terms of impact, primarily between procedural and education based impacts. By procedural I mean those impact arguments that result from things such as limits, or grounds internal links to impacts like clash, fairness, debatability. The second form of framework are those arguments about decision making skills, topic education, deliberative democracy.

If you are negative reading framework I cannot stress how much I would rather see the version of framework that couches its arguments in terms of the procedural side, ie. limits , ground, etc. I believe this is the most strategic form of the argument. I believe debate is a game and impacts that make the game unable to be played by one side or the other constitute a reason to vote negative. Explanations of the impact that have been compelling to me is that I strongly believe there should be a negative path to victory, a negative that couches their impacts like this will have greatly increased my likelihood to vote for framework. For affirmatives debating this style of framework if you win a counter interpretation that provides a limit on the topic and can explain why that limit on the topic mitigates some portion of the negative offense regards to limits or debateability, then that is the best route for getting me to vote affirmative. I will also say YOU NEED OFFENSE, playing the middle ground will not get my ballot I need impact turns big disads to their interpretation of the topic with well explained impacts. If affirmative I do not need 5-10 barely explained disads to FWI need 1-4 well explained and warranted DA's to the negative interpretation.

Conversely it is much harder to win my ballot exclusively going for arguments about topic education, decision making skills, or deliberative democracy. I believe any affirmative that is even close to knowing what they are doing will be able to easily impact turn these arguments. This isn't to say you shouldn't read these arguments at all they can be excellent external impacts to your interpretation, but instead you should use these arguments as a supplement to the more game-playing/ procedural versions of the argument.

For negatives who have framework as their go to strat THE CASE STILL MATTERS , the reason for this is the case determines the weight I give to affirmative impact turns / disadvantages to framework. If the affirmative solves 100% of their aff then I gave 100% of the weight of their impact turns to framework, conversely if the aff solves maybe 1% of their aff then the strength of the disadvantages or impact turns will be drastically reduced.

Topical version of the aff: You don't have to have one to win but it can help. They also don't have to solve the entire aff instead they are a test to show that the content of the aff is not precluded by the resolutional prompt. For affirmatives the topical version of the aff doesn't solve our aff not very persuasive to me. However, an argument that the topical version of the aff is not in fact topical under the negative's interpretation of the topic is persuasive. Similarly an argument that the topical version of the aff in fact does not allow for the content of the aff to exist. Form based arguments from affirmatives are also compelling to me in response to topical versions of the aff, how the content may exist but the form of it would not be, can be an extremely persuasive argument against both the topical version, as well as also acting as offense against the negatives interpretation.

Beyond counter interpretations it can be incredibly helpful for an affirmative to have a counter model of what debate looks like, which can act as a filter for a variety of the negatives arguments as well as acting as a type of uniqueness for your own impact turns to a negatives interpretation of the topic.

Something I've told to a few debaters this year may help further contextualize what I've said here -- "If both affirmative and neg execute absolutely perfectly I probably lean slightly negative" -- however it should be noted that I have never seen this perfect execution take place.

The K:
I will do my best to limit my predispositions from giving explanation or advancing arguments for the other team. Specificity and spin are important for both sides of the debate. I don’t like generic explanations of meta theory with no tie to the affirmative. Similarly, I don’t like generic responses to critical theory outside of the context of the aff. Generic evidence does not force generic explanation.

Disability k's -- Due to how I spent my last two years in debate , this is obviously a body of literature that I am extremely familiar with however if you are not familiar with it trying to pick it up just because I am in the back of the room is a terrible decision, and one you will almost certainly regret. Secondarily I thought I should include my thoughts on the various ableist language arguments. Essentially most of the time I believe these arguments in and of themselves don't constitute a great argument unless its an especially violent piece of language this doesn't mean what you say doesn't matter what it does mean is that the negative needs to explain to me why the language warrants a negative ballot and not just punitive measures like maybe lower speaker points or not evaluating certain pieces of evidence. I'm happy to explain this further if there are questions.

Recent years I have found I have a tendency to enjoy arguments described as "high-theory" IF THEY ARE EXECUTED WELL. I have coached teams to read all variety or arguments from the cap k to baudrillard, so if the death K is your jam then you should go for it. A lot of my current academic work revolves around disability and psychoanalysis so take that as you will.

If you ask anyone at Baylor they will tell you (and are correct) in that I really enjoy hearing arguments about psychoanalysis I find this to be an incredibly interesting area of argumentation and always enjoy when the affirmative or negative has to do with these questions of psychoanalysis.

I love a good, well-researched, specific strategy. The more generic your strategy becomes, the greater the chance of me assigning an extremely low risk to these arguments. Sometimes there is simply no link. Absolute defense does exist.

The last thing I will say is that debates that I have fun in will be rewarded by higher speaker points. I have fun when I see well thought out and deployed strategy.. Make me laugh and you will be rewarded. Be nice.

Also, I adore good puns (well maybe bad ones even more) make some clever puns in your speeches and you will be rewarded with speaker points.

Change in 2014

excessive / intentional use of racial slurs, jokes in bad tase, misgendering, ableist slurs will result in much lower speaker points. Note: an ableist slur is the R word , or derogatorily referring to someone as a cripple. It is not saying the word stand in your plan text/advocacy statement.

Daniel Stout Paradigm

3 rounds

Debate at Kansas State from Treaties (2001) – Courts (2006), Coached at Kansas State on Middle East (2007) & Agriculture (2008), Coached at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh for Weapons (2009) & Immigration (2010). I am now at Johnson County Community College.

I'd like to be on the e-mail chain- debatelearningdotcom@gmail.com (just copy and past that exact e-mail)

If I leave the room, please send the e-mail. It will signal I need to come back to the room. People should just not open the doc until I get back.

My litmus test for what I can vote for is solely based upon the ability to take what you said while debating and regurgitate it back to the other team as a reason why they lost.

I believe the most important part of debate is impacts. If left with no argumentation about impacts or how to evaluate them I will generally default to look for the biggest impact presented. I appreciate debate that engages in what the biggest impact means, and/or if probability and timeframe are more important. This does not simply mean “policy impacts”, it means any argument that has a link and impact. You could easily win that the language used in the round has an impact, and matters more than the impacts of plan passage. All framing questions concerning what comes first have impacts to them, and therefore need to be justified. The point is, whether you are running a Kritik, or are more policy based, there are impacts to the assumptions held, and the way you engage in politics (plan passage governmental politics, or personal politics). Those impacts need to be evaluated

I also prefer that teams explain their arguments so that a macro level of the argument is explained (Meaning a cohesive story about the uniqueness, link, or link and alternative are also necessary). This means piecing together arguments across flows and explaining how they interact with one another. My threshold for the possibility for me to vote on your argument is determined by whether or not I can explain why the other team lost.

Policy arguments are fine by me.

Quirks with Counterplans- I think consultation and conditions are more cheating, than not cheating, but up for debate. I think conditionality can get out of hand. When conditionality does get out of hand it should be capitalized by the affirmative as justification to do equally shady/cheating things and/or be a justification to vote against a team, again up for debate.

Kritiks- I enjoy Kritiks. Be aware of my threshold for being able to explain to the other team why they lost. This means it is always safer to assume I’ve never read your literature base and have no idea what you are talking about. The best way to ensure that I’m understanding your argument is to explain them with a situations that will exemplify your theory AND to apply those situations and theories to the affirmative.

Framework- I will evaluate framework in an offense defense paradigm. Solely impacting or impact turning framework will rarely win you the debate. You will need offense & defense to win framework debates in front of me. Its an issue that I believe should be debated out and the impact calculus on the framework debate should determine who I vote for. When aff I believe that framework is a non starter. Defending the assumptions of the affirmative is a much more persuasive argument. For the negative, a lot of the discussion will revovle around the topical version of the aff and/or why doing it on the neg is best and solves all the affirmatives offense. I don't generally feel as though framework should be THE option against critical teams.

Framework on the negative for me is also can have and act like a counter advocacy that the problems isolated by the affirmative can be helped by engaging the state. Topical version help prove how engaging the state can create better and meaningful changes in the world. There should also be historical and/or carded explanations as to why engaging the state can help with the problems of the 1ac.

One other caveat about framework. I do not believe that affirmatives must provide a counter interpretation. The affirmative has not forwarded a way to debate in the 1ac, therefore it is the burden of the negative to explain their version of debate and why it's good. This allows affs to just impact turn framework as presumption has flipped in this instance.

With that said, framework is the last pure debate. I very rarely see the better team not win. It's been too hashed out for many if any gotcha moments

Matthew Vega Paradigm

6 rounds

I rarely judge. I do actively coach.

Debate is a game and an educational activity. It ought to be fair, but there are other considerations as well.

CX - great place to earn speaker points. Its the time that you get to interact with the other team. Make it count.

I like quality evidence that is explained well much more than 30 cards with shallow explanation.

Theory: I tend to lean neg on theory, but can be persuaded. Most theory arguments are presumed to be a voiding of the argument about which the theory argument is run. Usually only conditionality/dispo are voters. I am not a fan of stupid theory/cheap shots. Perm do the alt is not an argument - it is a reason to vote for the alt.
I don't understand the trend to have arbitrary interpretations on theory, like conditionality. 2>3, 4>5, those seem really stupid. I can't imagine how that could solve any tangible impact. If conditionality is good, it is good.

Topicality: It should have an impact, and it should be coherent and well-explained. The interpretation should not be arbitrary. Ink does not a winning T argument make...

Impact calculus: I am not a big fan of the counterplan plus "any risk." Win a net benefit. There is "any risk" of just about everythiing. Sure, I use offense/defense, just like everyone (i suspect), but I believe that there exists a point when there is either a zero risk or a risk that is indistinguishable from randomness. In a similar vein, I tend to think that probability of the impact is weighted highly vs magnitude. Don't just read an extinction card and expect the round to be over. Not all extinctions are the same...

Lots of judges say they will listen to about everything. One time someone said they got a 3nr, then they actually stood up and gave one, and then the aff stood up and gave a 3ar. I was on a panel. I signed my ballot after the 2ar...so I won't listen to everything. (by the way, the two other judges waited until after the 3ar...be careful, its a jungle out there.)

Framework: Better on the neg than the aff.

Flowing: I try to do it.

Heather Walters Paradigm

4 rounds

In my ideal debate world, the affirmative would read a topical plan and defend the implementation of that plan.  The negative would read disadvantages, counterplans, and case turns/defense.  Topical research is probably my most favorite part of debate, so I would assume that I would have a tendency to reward teams that I see as participating in the same way I view the game.

I get that my ideal debate world isn't everyone's ideal debate world.  I also vote for teams that prefer to run Topicality, Kritiks, or other arguments as their "go to" strategies.  Good critical debaters explain specific links to the affirmative case and spend some time discussing how their argument relates to the impacts that are being claimed by the affirmative team. I also think it helps a lot to have specific analogies or empirical examples to prove how your argument is true/has been true throughout history.

I expect that paperless teams will be professional and efficient about flashing evidence to the other team. It annoys me when teams flash large amounts of evidence they don't intend to read or couldn't possibly read in a speech to the other team and expect them to wade through it.  It should go without saying that I expect that you won't "steal" prep time in the process of flashing, or any other time really.  It also annoys me when teams don't flow just because they are "viewing" the evidence in real time.    

I expect that teams will post their cites to the wiki as soon as the debate is over, and ideally before I give my decision and otherwise participate in information sharing efforts.  

I like to have a copy of speeches flashed to me as well so I can follow along with what everyone else sees in the debate and because I think it makes the decision making process go faster.

The best way to get high speaker points from me is to be clear, be polite, participate fully in your cross-examinations and use them to your advantage to point out flaws in your opponents’ arguments, try hard, and use appropriate humor. 

Ask me questions if this doesnt cover what you need to know or you can't find the answer from someone else that I have judged/coached.  Obviously there will be tons of other things I think about debates that I haven't posted here.  Have fun.

@smallbiz andy montee Paradigm

6 rounds

I flow everything straight down on paper.

I actually think framework is a good argument, but in the way that I think it pushes K args to defend some of the fundamental aspects of their arguments - reform, legal solutions, the state, progress, liberalism, traditional forms of politics, etc. I think these are the important aspects of framework. Procedural fairness is an impact and not one that I love, but it's a means to an end. You still have to win some kind of terminal impact to framework, otherwise we're just playing a technical game of checkers. Give me a reason to care.

Affs get perms. You need a link to your K anyway. That should make it so the perm is unable to solve the impacts of your criticism. But they still get to make the perm argument so that that aspect of the debate is tested. I get it, it's a method debate. But I super want you to have a link that says why their method sucks.

Example: direct revolutionary praxis vs strategic, opaque resistance. There are a ton of flavors of these methods, but at their roots they are competitive and produce good debates.

"Performance" - All debate is a performance. This categorical distinction is arbitrary and I don't like it. Of course you can read a story to support your argument. People do that.

Evidence – I'm going to read cards. I like them. I think cards should be good and well warranted, and I hate calling for cards only to find a good argument was backed up with some lackluster ev.