Plano Senior Clark Swing

2018 — Plano, TX/US

Vonn Albright Paradigm

8 rounds

General Debate: Don't be rude or overly condescending to your opponents it makes debate less fun for everyone and it will cost you speaker points. Basically just be the bare minimum of a decent person in round and you'll be in good shape.

I don't flow cross examination, but if you want me to flow something that happened in cross just bring it up in your next speech.

Please sign post and do off the clock road maps for all speeches other than constructive.

If you're opponents go overtime for more than like finishing a sentence or a thought just hold up your fist instead of stopping them verbally.

LD Paradigms: My debate experience is in PF meaning that if you're gonna spread it HAS TO BE CLEAR or I will have trouble flowing. It would be nice for you to flash me the case if you choose to spread. If the round is going to be non-traditional you're going to have to hold my hand or spoon feed me through it if you aren't willing to do that I highly recommend keeping the round traditional. Giving me clear voters, impact calculus, and extensions is your best way to win the round.

PF Paradigms: You can use all the debate jargon & lingo you want no problem. You can go as fast or slow as you want so long as you don't spread it's still PF.

I'd like for 1st speaking team summary to respond to attacks made in 2nd speaking team's rebuttal, this can bring in new cards, but other than that no new arguments for the rest of the round. Both summaries should start weighing, focus on clash, and narrow down the round.

Both Final focuses should be made up of clear voters, impact calculus, and extensions and if you're first speaker doesn't bring up your voter in summary it's already dropped and I won't vote on it.

CX Paradigms: My debate experience is in PF meaning that if you're gonna spread it HAS TO BE CLEAR or I will have trouble flowing. If the round is going to be non-traditional you're going to have to hold my hand or spoon feed me through it if you aren't willing to do that I highly recommend keeping the round traditional. Giving me clear voters, impact calculus, and extensions is your best way to win the round.

Speech/Congress: I value content over form, meaning if you talk pretty, but say something wrong/crazy/offensive I'll probably rank someone who had less fluency but made sense over you. Though fluency & clearness are still highly important. I'll do "three down fist at start of grace" unless you ask for something else.

Blake Andrews Paradigm

8 rounds email with questions or for email chain purposes.

update for St. Marks - 1. I've only judged a handful of rounds on the current topic/ I'm not familiar with the literature. 2. Please slow down on tags and analytics. 3. Please extend warrants for arguments.

-I have a second email attached to tabroom that also includes more of my judging record.

Update Nov 2018- I have noticed more hostility in the debate community and would strongly prefer debaters be civil towards one another. I don't want this statement to discourage individual's from making jokes or having fun in round, but I don't tolerate overly confrontational behavior, hostile behavior, racism, sexism, and discrimination in round. I reserve the right to decrease speaks and in the most extreme cases drop a debater for creating a hostile environment.

Some general information

-I enjoy judging high quality K/ Performance debaters and am reading more critical literature in my free time.

- I am normally somewhat familiar with each topic.

- I am probably not the best judge for hardcore T and theory debates(that doesn't mean I won't evaluate these arguments, but I would prefer the debate be focused elsewhere if possible).

-I am ambivalent about disclosure theory, but will vote on it and have voted on it in the past if won in round.

If you have any questions before the round starts please don't hesitate to ask. I will try my best to articulate my decision at the end of each round and highlight a few things each debater can improve upon.

Short version: Speed is fine and go for whatever type of argument you want( i.e. I don't care if you go for traditional policy arguments versus a K... just debate well)

I took this from M. Overing's paradigm and I think it sums up what I want debaters to do in a round pretty well.
"If you want my ballot, this is really a simple concept. Tell me 1) what argument you won; 2) why you won it; and 3) why that means you win the round. Repeat."

Side note ignore any grammar problems I’m writing this quickly.

About Me:
B.A. University of Texas at Austin 2015
prior:George Washington University ( where I briefly competed in college CX and went to some local and regional tournaments)
Parish Episcopal (competed in LD and extemp every now and then. Go to my LD section for more about my high school debate career)

Paperless stuff- I don’t count time for flashing evidence, but will severely dock speaks if someone is stealing prep time. When someone else is flashing nobody should be taking prep.

LD- When I debated I was in out rounds at TFA state, Churchill, Stanford, Colleyville, and Alta (for LD). I will attempt to keep this as short as possible. Speed is fine and policy arguments are also fine. I mostly ran util and semi critical positions in high school, but I'm fine with whatever type of argument you want to go for( Ie go for the CP/DA if you want to or the K... I'm cool with either strat). Some things I like, but don't often seen in LD include---> debaters conceding to arguments, but still explaining why they win the round, weighing offense( i.e. scope, magnitude, probability etc), and K's with really specific links to the aff. I will increase speaks for debaters who conceded to arguments, weigh well, or run K's with specific and clear links to the aff ( rather than generic backfile link cards)

Policy – Ive judge a handful of rounds on the 2016-2017 high school topic, but I don't judge often( I primarily judge LD) . If you have questions before the round and want to know anything specific I will do my best to articulate how I view debate and give you any insights into my paradigm. Aff should probably be topical, but its possible to win that T doesn’t matter. . I haven't read a ton of critical literature, but I'm familiar with most of the authors K debaters use regularly. Specific DA’s and counterplans are great. Kritiks that link to the aff are great. Link of omission K’s are not. Word pics, and other random stuff is fine. I'm a big picture kind of guy. Please explain what the role of the ballot is and you should be in good shape. Also, I will definitely want to be on the email chain so hook me up!

Robert Ashcraft Paradigm

8 rounds

I'm a parent judge, put me on the chain if you want to spread.

speaks are based on posture and clarity.

K, T, theory, and Phil still go over my head, but if you can connect the dots, I'll vote on it.

Bekah Boyer Paradigm

8 rounds


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

I feel very strongly about evidence ethics in academia.


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

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

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

Speech Docs:

You can e-mail speech docs to and/or

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

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

Adjudicating rounds:

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

· Speaker Points, in general-

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

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

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

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

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

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

Argument Specific Questions:


· I default to drop the arg over drop the debater

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

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

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

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

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

· RVI's –

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

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

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

Default Spikes/Presumption/etc:

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

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

Narratives/Micro political arguments

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

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

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

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

Misc. Laundry List of Paradigmatic questions:

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

· You gotta have uniqueness to win a turn.

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

Other Issues

Flex Prep:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parker Childress Paradigm

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Tammy Claeson Paradigm

8 rounds

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

Lincoln Douglas Points ~

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jake Cosio Paradigm

8 rounds

School Affiliation: Coach at Lovejoy High School

Debate Experience: Coaching and judging LD and CX since 2013, PF since 2016

On CX and LD:

Speed - I don’t mind speed. Please clearly signal that you are transitioning from cards to tags. Slow down for your tags (especially if they are super long) and cites. If you could number or in some way signal me on analytics to help me get my flow to match yours it would be much appreciated. In summation, the more explicit you are with organization the better I will be able to flow. Additionally, I will say “clear” if your words are slurred or say “slow down” if you are simply outpacing my ability to flow accurately.

Theory - I like theory when it is necessary, but dislike the use of blippy theory. If you have any theory (or any other format of arg) that says using specific words is bad, just tell everyone before the round what is preferable. If they bait it after that then I’m all ears, but will have a really high threshold on this otherwise (as in you will have to prove to me why it wasn’t important enough to disclose before the round but is important enough for me to vote on). On other issues, I’m really looking for good internal links to your voting issues. Absent debate, I tend to prefer single actor CP’s to multi-actor and dispositionality to condo.

Topicality - I default to competing interpretations. In round abuse is preferable, but I will listen to potential abuse if well developed and defined. Make sure to clearly link and establish your impact(s) to your standards. I am generally not inclined to vote on T as an RVI.

Kritiks - Being completely honest, I am not the best at evaluating K debate. I prefer strategies going for a mix of DA/CP/T/Case and am much more comfortable evaluating these. I would say you're running the K at your own risk. If you are a K debater, that’s fine, but please take the time to explain your K to me without assuming that I have read your authors and/or have intimate knowledge of their content. To be clear, speak in plain English when explaining everything (even your tags).

Speaks - I generally reward organization, clarity, and efficiency. In essence, the easier you make it for me to flow (without boring me to death) the better your speaks will be. On the other hand, I penalize rudeness and unprofessionalism. I expect a fairly high level of decorum (stand while speaking, don’t use offensive/vulgar language, etc.).

On CX specifically:

To categorize myself neatly in some distinct category isn’t fair for anyone, but the closest approximation that I can make is to place me on the policy maker side of tab with a few caveats (as outlined above).

In cross-examination I have a preference for the speakers traditionally assigned to a certain cross-x to be the people that are active during this time. If your partner is answering a significant portion of the questions asked of you, you will be penalized in speaker points. One or two questions isn’t a big deal to me, but 50+ percent of them would see a small penalty.

On LD specifically:

Keep in mind that I am not necessarily expecting (or even wanting) you to run policy args. A good framework with well established advantages of affirming/negating is a completely acceptable strategy to me.

On PF:

Speed - a fast conversational seems best suited to PF for me. I will probably penalize speaks for anything excessively fast.

Format of Summary Speeches - I would prefer a line by line, but if grouping is necessary for efficiency I am ok with it.

Role of the Final Focus - Weighing and voters

Topicality - Run it if it is necessary, but I am most likely just going to default to reasonability and gut check it before anything else on the flow.

Plans - I think all offense should be linked directly to the resolution, but you can characterize how the resolution would be implemented. In the instance of Con speaking first, I will not allow the Pro to no link all of the Con offense simply because they present a plan.

Kritiks - I'm really bad at them. Probably not a good idea (see above).

Flowing/note-taking - I will judge based on my flow.

Argument vs style - my ballot will be based on the arguments. Style will not weigh in much to my decision (as long as style does not interfere with my ability to understand you).

A few questions you may want answers to:

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, it should be extended.

If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech? It is not required, but is not discouraged either.

Do I vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? No

Anything else:

Feel free to ask me questions before the round if you can be reasonably specific.

Dan Crawford Paradigm

"Hit the Hits"


Be sure and be able to delineate harms and DA's W/ the status quo.

Then, show how those harms are endemic to the status quo and will not change sans USFG legislation

Topicality is minor to me in the AFF

Tell us why these harms are significant

Finally, delineate how your plan is solvent.


No counterplan is necessary, but is allowed.

Topicality is more important in the NEG case

Prove that the AFF plan is harmful, has inherent DA's, and will not work.

Speak at a fast pace, but slowly enough that you can be understood.

Andrew Crosswhite Paradigm

8 rounds

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Brenden Dimmig Paradigm

8 rounds

I've rewritten my paradigm. The last time I made large edits was when I made it, which was in 2013 after I graduated high school. I've tried to answer as many questions on arguments as possible. Instead of telling you what I know about arguments, I think telling you how I evaluate them in rounds is better (I know, duh). Things that have three stars (e.g. ***) are things that have not changed since the last time I made my paradigm.

***Judging/Coaching history: A lot of times individuals will post their philosophies without giving an indication as to their debate background. I believe giving a background allows the debaters to gain a better understanding of who the judge actually is. So, the following is my background in terms of debate experience.

(2019-Present): I will be the assistant director of forensics who coaches PF at the Delbarton School, and policy coach at Princeton High School.

(2017-2019, summer) I was a parli graduate coach at UNT and policy coach at Melissa H.S.

(2015-2017, summer) I helped coach PFD teams and some LD & policy squads at Southlake Carrol H.S..

(2014-2016, summer) I helped coach policy teams at Prosper H.S.

(2014-2015, summer) I was the assistant debate coach for Crandall H.S.

(2013-2014ish, summer) I debated for the University of North Texas for one year(ish).

(2009-2013, summer) Lampasas High School: Policy Debate.

Reasons to strike me

1-I won't play along with your ridiculous 3NR's. If you're going to question me, spin my RFD, and attempt to generate a explicit concession to why I voted the wrong way, I probably will say what I did round 1 at nationals "1.) I'm done here 2.) your coach should be ashamed of the way that you are conducting this RFD." Note: I don't care if you question me about my RFD, but these ridiculously rude and condescending ways of conducting an RFD are not something I care to waste my time with. If I wanted to waste time, I would have spent my day at home.

2-if you are racist, sexist, homophobic, and so on.

3-If I have coached you before in any capacity (you know who you are).

Policy Debate Paradigm

Synthesis: Offense/Defense.

Can I still win the debate if I only have defensive issues, or if I go for the stock issues? Probably not. There's only been one time I voted on defense in my judging days.

What is your speaker point scale? Look, I hardly every give below a 28.5. I've been called the speaker point inflationary man by some. This, however, does adjust based off of the tournament that I am at. If I am at a TFA local, my average is probably a 28.5 If I am at a national tournament like Texas, Grapvine, or Houston, my average will be between a 28-28.3.

How do I increase my range on the scale? Evidence comparison is important to me. Being strategic is something that will be highly looked up (e.g. going for the dropped link turn on the disad when you're losing everything else). Employing or operationalizing case specific or nuanced stratagies.

What kind of aff do you prefer? Honestly, I don't care. However, if I was "pinned" to a preference, I would say soft left affirmatives. However, I grew up going for hard right affs, and predominately coached that the first 2-3 years I was out of high school. I've voted for Jesuit, Churchill, Greenhill, and other great team on numerous occasions who have employed both far right and soft left affs. As I go into my 7th year coaching, 11th year in debate, I have deviated from this. I have been more versed in coaching soft left positions the past 3 years. Due to graduate school and judging more national tournaments, I'm way more comfortable seeing aff's without a plan text. I had the pleasure of judging teams like Wylie and Coppel DR who read aff's without a plan.

What kinds of kritikal arguments are you familiar with? Gender and Heidegger (that has been a hot minute, though).


Competing Interpretations or Reasonability? Don't have a preference. This may be contingent on the debate.

What do teams not do that you think is important? I think on the ground standard, you need to warrant how you are loosing the ground argument you indict that you are losing. Whenever you are impacting your limits disads, please contextualize how a limit on a certain phrase within the resolution (e.g. Foreign Military Sales) is important. I think that will gain you a lot of traction in front of me.

What about the impact level? Right, I think that if you are making fairness outweighs education, fairness is an internal link to education, or the reverse, then that may help generate a ballot for you depending on the T argument.


Competing interps or reasonability? Idk it depends on the theory argument.

What are teams doing poorly? Making blanket statement interpretations to why something is bad. For example, just saying "conditionality is bad" is probably not a good interpretation.

Theoretical Predispositions? I think that it is easy to persuade me why, for instance, if there is just one conditional advocacy, why conditionality is good. I think that it is easy to persuade me why delay counterplans are dumb. I think that it is easy to persuade me why 50 state fiat is a good thing. I think that it is easy to persuade me why negative fiat is a good thing.

Does theory come before topicality? Maybe. It depends on the debate.

When is the last time that you voted on theory? When a novice team dropped conditionality back in 2015.


Is framework argumentatively racist? Maybe. It depends on the arguments within the debate.

Have you voted on framework before? Yes.

Have you NOT voted on framework? Yes.

What do you think about the impact level? I think that it is easy to turn fairness and education. I think that here, moreso than T, that there are stronger arguments about why you internal link better into fairness or education and why that outweighs the other.


Can I win the disad if I do not have case? Maybe. You need some strong arguments to why either the disad solves the aff (e.g. immigration politics on the 2013 topic or on the 2018 topic), or make some persuasive disad turns and outweighs the aff arguments.

If I win the disad but lose T, do I win the debate? No.

What part of the disad is the most important to you? I think that if you are losing the uniqueness question, I don't think, unless it is a linear disad, that you will get very far. If you're losing the link youre probably going to lose the disad. In other words, I don't know if there is a predisposition that I have, here.

If I lose the disad/net benefit, can I still win the counterplan? Maybe. It would have to depend on some other type of net benefit, like an internal net benefit.

What does it take to win a straight turn? A non-unique argument and link turn. I would be persuaded in the negative's direction if you do not have a non-unique argument.


Is conditionality good? Yes. See above.

Are there certain counterplans that are "bad"? No. I do however think that delay is dumb. I have, however, voted for it.

Are consult counterplans good? Yes. They depend on the topic, but I especially think on the FMS topic that they are viable.

Advantage counterplans? PIC's? Agent Counterplans? Multiplank counterplans? All fine. I wrote a lot of PIC's on the immigration topic for Melissa GS. Agent counterplans are also good depending on the topic (e.g. immigration, transportation, and so on) so that you can generate the states counterplan or whatever. I think employing PIC's are persuasive. If you even have internal net benefits with or without a disad, I think that it fine, too.

***Pemutations: Just saying "perm do both" doesn't do a whole lot for my ballot. What do those three words mean? What are you perming? What is it like in the world of the permutation? Just saying "perm do both" doesn't do a whole lot for my ballot. What do those three words mean? What are you perming? What is it like in the world of the permutation? Please explain, in other words, how the permutation operates and how it either shields the disad link or resolves it.

Performance & Kritiks

Have you voted on this before? Yes.

Method vs. method debates? That's probably a good way to engage the criticism beyond framework and case.

What's the most under developed part of this argument within debates that you see, in your opinion? The method debate. Like my friend Chris O'Brien, I think that I start at the level of the alternative and go up from there. If there is an insufficient explanation to the alternative or method, I do not think that you will be in a very good position to win if they are largely contesting the alt. Reject alts are fine. Having a more tangible alt, however, will get you farther.

Does the aff get to weigh it against other arguments? Maybe. Depends on the arguments presented.

***Case debate: 1st this debate is very underutilized. 2nd, impact turns are functionally underutilized. I REALLY love for these debates to happen. I'm game for voting solely on you impact turning the aff, as long as it is impacted out. 3rd, comparative analysis on evidence will get you super far. If you need me to call for evidence, I sure will. If I feel like I need to reciprocally, I will. 4th, if you're going for a disadvantage you need to probably win some type of defense to the aff. 5th spin and the actual text of the evidence are two different things. Please remember that, especially if I am going to call for the evidence at the end of the round.

***Clipping cards: This is defined as "intentionally skipping over the already underlined and or boded text you are reading from your card". If you DO NOT say "cut the card here" and just magically assume you read the whole card, I will vote you down and give you the lowest possible speaker points. This is cheating. You are making me assume you read the whole card. This is ESPECIALLY problematic when I call for the evidence, and I evaluate all of it, but you only read certain warrants. Preface: if none of your card(s) is highlighted/bolded/underlined and I call for it I'm voting in the opposite direction. I've stared indicating on a my flow where you have marked the card at, if you did. With that, if you GIVE ME A DOC WHERE THE CARD IS NOT PROPERLY MARKED, I WILL GIVE IT BACK. THAT IS ON YOU. I'm not going to vote you down for "clipping cards per say", I'm just going to reject that piece of evidence due to you failing to do your job. If that results in you loosing the debate, well, mark the cards properly. It becomes very simple and requires just a couple of seconds of time. "Don't be a Lance Armstrong" [Petit, L. (2013). Lecture, not named, University of North Texas. No stable URL.].

***Email Chain:As this is my 6th year judging, I'd like an email chain. If you ask, I'll say yes. I usually have a computer on myself at all times, if not two: there's no reason for me to say no unless I'm being irresponsible and not bringing my computer(s) to tournaments. Other than that, I may occasionally ask for a email chain if I feel like I want to stop teams from clipping cards. This usually happens latter on in the tournament, especially if at the beginning I am seeing teams clip cards.


Framework: if you force me to vote in a framework debate, so be it. I think that for you to win this debate you need to be winning one of, or in terms of an even if claim, two arguments. 1-Why you're winning more offense in the debate by just looking at your framework. If going through your framework is just a better option, that's fine. I need be figuring our why your framework outweighs in some way your opponents framework. This requires you to filter through your sense of framework as a means of comparative analysis to your opponents framework. 2-Internal link turning your opponents framework. This requires analysis on gauging why your standard/criterion is the option by which better resolves or gets to your opponents value in a better way.

I think if someone reads a typically or traditional case (i.e. framework and contentions, I don't necessarily think that framework is the best argument to read against the aff). If someone is read a performance or K aff, then for sure.

Value/Criterion (general): I don't have a predisposition as to what values are "pertinent" or "tangental" to the resolution, or think that some are worse or better over others. That reciprocally applies to the standard/criterion debate.

Observations: Not a lot to say here besides cool.

Theory: Cool, see above in the policy section. In LD specifically, I find that too many times people are putting in these large theory shells in the 1AC/1NC as a means to pre-empt some type offense that might be coming later. I think there needs to be an explanation for how this functions really.

Disads/Counterplans/Kritiks: Cool, see above in the policy section for details. They probably need to be reading a plan for you to generate a disad link or your disad needs to be in tangent with the aff's method.

Contention Level: I frame these, inside of my mind, as analogous to advantages in policy debate. This is where I would like the debate to come down to. Granted, I understand that this cannot happen without a discussion of the framework debate. So, if you can tie this into the framework debate that would be awesome. If not, that's fair. If it's just an all out contention level debate, well, I can dig it.

Meta-Level Debate:** I feel as if this is where my greatest weakness lies in terms of judging this particular forum of debate. I find that too many individual's are going for these types of arguments and going so fast without a means to allow me a little "pen time" if you will to catch everything you heart wants me to catch (aaaahhhhhh, get it-pun----never mind). Also, I probably am not versed in the particular engaging strategy in which entails a deep meta-level analysis of the resolution in some way due it being, probably, pretty contextual to the resolution. Explanations here are key. If you go for this that's awesome, just allow me to have some pen time as well as some type of functional overview that really explains to me what you're indicating to myself.

Public Forum Paradigm

I think that in the last speeches it is to your benefit to collapse on the arguments that you go for. I think that if you want me to call for the evidence, I will. However, that does NOT mean that I am going to call for the entire PDF. That's ridiculous. I'll be looking at your evidence within the debate, although I understand that these types of disquisition do not happen as much as they do in policy or LD.

I'm pretty cognizant to how impacts "translate" or transfer from policy to PF. So, you need to win an impact, which in policy is an internal link (e.g. war, recession, ect.). I look at PF in an offense/defense framework/paradigm.

I award speaker points to efficient debates. I think that good PF debaters will sound well. Great PF debates will sound well and be efficient.

I also award speaker points and applaud teams for being able to operationalize dual strats. If you want to go for structural violence offense, please be my guest. If you want to go for a util based impact, then be my guest. Additionally, i do NOT care if you read your case and make competing arguments within the 2nd speech. If this frames the way that you flip the coin within the debate, okay. If this is a reason to strike me, okay.

Disclosure: Do I think the aff or neg needs to disclose? No. The limited time due to the activity makes it functionally and operationally different insofar as research is concerned when compared to policy and even LD. I also understand that the majority of the teams may not want to do it due to their school size. These arguments will get you far within the disclosure debate.

Madi Gackenbach Paradigm

8 rounds

Head coach at Plano East Senior High.

In LD, I’ve gotten much more progressive, but I tend to still favor traditional. Kritiks are not a favorite, I feel like they are too generic and lazy debating. On case attacks are important! Theory, CPs, PICs, RoB, DAs, are all good.

In PF, I’m traditional. I don’t like spreading in PF and there should definitely not be CPs, Theory, Kritiks, or anything like that.

I understand spreading, but if you become unclear I will say "clear" once, and after that, if you do not clear your speaking, I will stop flowing, more than likely hurting your chances. 7/10 speed please. Slow down on tags please.

I do not tolerate rudeness. I love seeing passion in rounds, but being passionate about your topic does not mean you get to be rude. Excessive rudeness results in lowest speaks possible.

Include me in on email chains:

I look forward to hearing you speak!

Robey Holland Paradigm

8 rounds

I am the head coach at Plano West. I was previously the coach at LC Anderson. I was a 4-year debater in high school, 3-years LD and 1-year CX. My students have competed in elimination rounds at several national tournaments, including Glenbrooks, Greenhill, Berkeley, Harvard, Emory, St. Marks, etc. I’ve also had debaters win NSDA Nationals and the Texas State Championship (both TFA and UIL.)

Email chain:

PF Paradigm

· You can debate quickly if that’s your thing, I can keep up. Please stop short of spreading, I’ll flow your arguments but tank your speaks. If something doesn’t make it onto my flow because of delivery issues or unclear signposting that’s on you.

· Do the things you do best. In exchange, I’ll make a concerted effort to adapt to the debaters in front of me. However, my inclinations on speeches are as follows:

o Rebuttal- Do whatever is strategic for the round you’re in. Spend all 4 minutes on case, or split your time between sheets, I’m content either way. If 2nd rebuttal does rebuild then 1st summary should not flow across ink.

o Summary- I prefer that both teams make some extension of turns or terminal defense in this speech. I believe this helps funnel the debate and force strategic decisions heading into final focus. If the If 1st summary extends case defense and 2nd summary collapses to a different piece of offense on their flow, then it’s fair for 1st final focus to leverage their rebuttal A2’s that weren’t extended in summary.

o Final Focus- Do whatever you feel is strategic in the context of the debate you’re having. While I’m pretty tech through the first 3 sets of speeches, I do enjoy big picture final focuses as they often make for cleaner voting rationale on my end.

· Weighing, comparative analysis, and contextualization are important. If neither team does the work here I’ll do my own assessment, and one of the teams will be frustrated by my conclusions. Lessen my intervention by doing the work for me. Also, it’s never too early to start weighing. If zero weighing is done by the 2nd team until final focus I won’t consider the impact calc, as the 1st team should have the opportunity to engage with opposing comparative analysis.

· I’m naturally credulous about the place of theory debates in Public Forum. However, if you can prove in round abuse and you feel that going for a procedural position is your best path to the ballot I will flow it. Contrary to my paradigm for LD/CX, I default reasonability over competing interps and am inclined to award the RVI if a team chooses to pursue it. Don’t be surprised if I make theory a wash and vote on substance. Good post fiat substance debates are my favorite part of this event, and while I acknowledge that there is a necessity for teams to be able to pursue the uplayer to check abusive positions, I am opposed to this event being overtaken by theory hacks and tricks debate.

· I’m happy to evaluate framework in the debate. I think the function of framework is to determine what sort of arguments take precedence when deciding the round. To be clear, a team won’t win the debate exclusively by winning framework, but they can pick up by winning framework and winning a piece of offense that has the best link to the established framework. Absent framework from either side, I default Cost-Benefit Analysis.

· Don’t flow across ink, I’ll likely know that you did. Clash and argument engagement is a great way to get ahead on my flow.

· Prioritize clear sign posting, especially in rebuttal and summary. I’ve judged too many rounds this season between competent teams in which the flow was irresolvably muddied by card dumps without a clear reference as to where these responses should be flowed. This makes my job more difficult, often results in claims of dropped arguments by debaters on both sides due to lack of clarity and risks the potential of me not evaluating an argument that ends up being critical because I didn’t know where to flow it/ didn’t flow it/ placed it somewhere on the flow you didn’t intend for me to.

· After the round I am happy to disclose, walk teams through my voting rationale, and answer any questions that any debaters in the round may have. Pedagogically speaking I think disclosure is critical to a debater’s education as it provides valuable insight on the process used to make decisions and provides an opportunity for debaters to understand how they could have better persuaded an impartial judge of the validity of their position. These learning opportunities require dialogue between debaters and judges. On a more pragmatic level, I think disclosure is good to increase the transparency and accountability of judge’s decisions. My expectation of debaters and coaches is that you stay civil and constructive when asking questions after the round. I’m sure there will be teams that will be frustrated or disagree with how I see the round, but I have never dropped a team out of malice. I hope that the teams I judge will utilize our back and forth dialogue as the educational opportunity I believe it’s intended to be. If a team (or their coaches) become hostile or use the disclosure period as an opportunity to be intellectually domineering it will not elicit the reaction you’re likely seeking, but it will conclude our conversation. My final thought on disclosure is that as debaters you should avoid 3ARing/post-rounding any judge that discloses, as this behavior has a chilling effect on disclosure, encouraging judges who aren’t as secure in their decisions to stop disclosing altogether to avoid confrontation.

· Please feel free to ask any clarifying questions you may have before we begin the round, or email me after the round if you have additional questions.

LD/CX Paradigm

Big picture:

· You should do what you do best and in return I will make an earnest effort to adapt to you and render the best decision I can at the end of the debate. In this paradigm I'll provide ample analysis of my predispositions towards particular arguments and preferences for debate rounds. Despite that, reading your preferred arguments in the way that you prefer to read them will likely result in a better outcome than abandoning what you do well in an effort to meet a paradigm.

· You may speak as fast as you’d like, but I’d prefer that you give me additional pen time on tags/authors/dates. If I can’t flow you it’s a clarity issue, and I’ll say clear once before I stop flowing you.

· I like policy arguments. It’s probably what I understand best because it’s what I spent the bulk of my time reading as a competitor. I also like the K. I have a degree in philosophy and feel comfortable in these rounds.

· I have a high threshold on theory. I’m not saying don’t read it if it’s necessary, but I am suggesting is that you always layer the debate to give yourself a case option to win. I tend to make theory a wash unless you are persuasive on the issue, and your opponent mishandles the issue.

· Spreading through blocks of analytics with no pauses is not the most strategic way to win rounds in front of me. In terms of theory dumps you should be giving me some pen time. I'm not going to call for analytics except for the wording of interps-- so if I miss out on some of your theory blips that's on you.

· I’m voting on substantive offense at the end of the debate unless you convince me to vote off of something else.

· You should strive to do an exceptional job of weighing in the round. This makes your ballot story far more persuasive, increasing the likelihood that you'll pick up and get high speaks.

· Disclosure is good for debate rounds. I’m not holding debaters accountable for being on the wiki, particularly if the debater is not from a circuit team, but I think that, at minimum, disclosing before the round is important for educational debates. If you don’t disclose before the round and your opponent calls you on it your speaks will suffer. If you're breaking a new strat in the round I won't hold you to that standard.


· Speaker points start at a 28 and go up or down from their depending on what happens in the round including quality of argumentation, how well you signpost, quality of extensions, and the respect you give to your opponent. I also consider how well the performance of the debater measures up to their specific style of debate. For example, a stock debater will be held to the standard of how well they're doing stock debate, a policy debater/policy debate, etc.

· I would estimate that my average speaker point is something like a 28.7, with the winner of the debate earning somewhere in the 29 range and the loser earning somewhere in the 28 range.

Trigger Warnings:

Debaters that elect to read positions about traumatic issues should provide trigger warnings before the round begins. I understand that there is an inherent difficulty in determining a bright line for when an argument would necessitate a trigger warning, if you believe it is reasonably possible that another debater or audience member could be triggered by your performance in the round then you should provide the warning. Err on the side of caution if you feel like this may be an issue. I believe these warnings are a necessary step to ensure that our community is a positive space for all people involved in it.

The penalty for not providing a trigger warning is straightforward: if the trigger warning is not given before the round and someone is triggered by the content of your position then you will receive 25 speaker points for the debate. If you do provide a trigger warning and your opponent discloses that they are likely to be triggered and you do nothing to adjust your strategy for the round you will receive 25 speaker points. I would prefer not to hear theory arguments with interps of always reading trigger warnings, nor do I believe that trigger warnings should be commodified by either debater. Penalties will not be assessed based on the potential of triggering. At the risk of redundancy, penalties will be assessed if and only if triggering occurs in round, and the penalty for knowingly triggering another debater is docked speaks.

If for any reason you feel like this might cause an issue in the debate let’s discuss it before the round, otherwise the preceding analysis is binding.


· I enjoy a good framework debate, and don’t care if you want to read a traditional V/C, ROB, or burdens.

· You should do a good job of explaining your framework. It's well worth your time spent making sure I understand the position than me being lost the entire round and having to make decisions based on a limited understanding of your fw.


· I’m more down for a topicality debate than a theory debate, but you should run your own race. I default competing interps over reasonability but can be convinced otherwise if you do the work on the reasonability flow. If you’re going for T you should be technically sound on the standards and voters debate.

· You should read theory if you really want to and if you believe you have a strong theory story, just don’t be surprised if I end up voting somewhere else on the flow.

· It's important enough to reiterate: Spreading through blocks of analytics with no pauses is not the most strategic way to win rounds in front of me. In terms of theory dumps you should be giving me some pen time. I'm not going to call for analytics except for the wording of interps-- so if I miss out on some of your theory blips that's on you. Also, if you do not heed that advice there's a 100% chance I will miss some of your theory blips.


· I’m a fan of the K. Be sure to clearly articulate what the alt looks like and be ready to do some good work on the link story; I’m not very convinced by generic links.

· Don’t assume my familiarity with your literature base.

· For the neg good Kritiks are the ones in which the premise of the Kritik functions as an indict to the truth value of the Aff. If the K only gains relevance via relying on framework I am less persuaded by the argument; good K debates engage the Aff, not sidestep it.


· If you give good justifications and explanations of your performance I'm happy to hear it.


· These are good neg strats to read in front of me.

· Both the aff and neg should be technical in their engagement with the component parts of these arguments.

· Neg, you should make sure that your shells have all the right parts, IE don’t read a DA with no uniqueness evidence in front of me.

· Aff should engage with more than one part of these arguments if possible and be sure to signpost where I should be flowing your answers to these off case positions.

· I think I evaluate these arguments in a pretty similar fashion as most people. Perhaps the only caveat is that I don't necessarily think the Aff is required to win uniqueness in order for a link turn to function as offense. If uniqueness shields the link it probably overwhelms the link as well.

· I think perm debates are important for the Aff (on the CP of course, I WILL laugh if you perm a DA.) I am apt to vote on the perm debate, but only if you are technical in your engagement with the perm I.E. just saying "perm do both" isn't going to cut it.


· I'm not very familiar with it, and I'm probably not the judge you want to pref.

Feel free to ask me questions after the round if you have them, provided you’re respectful about it. If you attempt to 3AR me or become rude the conversation will end at that point.

Geetha Iyer Paradigm

8 rounds

I’m a parent judge. I probably won’t be able to keep up with spreading, so go slow please. Try to avoid T and theory as I won’t be able to evaluate it properly. Ks are probably a no-go as well but I can evaluate if necessary/if you elaborate and make the story very clear. Try to keep the round as clean as possible and write the ballot for me. Don’t be rude in round and just make sure that you are extending your arguments.

Todd Kessler Paradigm

8 rounds

School Affiliation: Coach at The Episcopal School of Dallas

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tricks: Please don't.

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

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

Robert Lavinsky Paradigm

8 rounds

Not Submitted

Eric Melin Paradigm

8 rounds

Email chains are good. Include me

Coach stuff:

Debate Coach @ Coppell 9th Grade Center and Coppell High School (2018- )

Mean Green Comet Debate Institute -Director of LD (2019 - )

Previously coached teams: Grapevine and Colleyville (2017-2018), Law Magnet (2015-2017), Hockaday (2009-2014), Southlake Carroll (2006-2009), Colleyville and Grapevine (2005-2006).

I debated for Grapevine High School, graduating in 1997. I judged debate for a few years after that before taking some time off for grad school. In have been a classroom teacher and debate coach since 2007. I was an LDer in high school but competed in policy at some tournaments junior and senior year. I also debated for UT Austin for one year. While most of my time coaching has been spent focusing on LD, I began coaching policy debate regularly in 2015 when I worked at Law Magnet. I coached the policy kids at Grapevine last year and now (2018-2019)coach policy at Coppell and Coppell 9.

I think debate operates in a unique place in the high school experience, where it serves as a crucible for the development of advocacy skills and critical engagement that is not replicated anywhere else. I love this activity and want each successive generation to be able to enjoy it. As such, be good to one another! Take care of our space and leave it better than the way you found it. Come back and give back if debate has given you a space to develop yourself.

Paradigm stuff:

1. Please forward a well-developed ballot story.

2. Tell me what you want me to vote on.

3. Compare evidence - this doesn’t happen enough and it’s usually what close debates depend on to resolve.

4. K aff’s - I default to believing that K aff's should still be affirmative arguments. I think switch-side debate is good and develops a portable skill that other activities do not. K aff's should forward counter-interpretations as needed. I am willing vote on framework. That being said I am unimpressed with teams that run framework but never go for T in other debates.

5. Counterplans - when they are case specific they are great less specific is obviously less good. I am not thrilled by the 50 states cp or consult cp’s generally. PiCs are fine. The aff should have to defend their plan.

6. I prefer line-by-line debate more than long overviews. Too many rebuttals I’ve seen recently spend a ton of time explaining arguments in over views that should just be done on the flow. Numbering arguments and following the order of your opponents is preferable or at least be explicit when re-grouping the flow.

7. I cannot flow a string of unending analytics with no time to type even if its in perfect outline form in your speech doc. This means slow down on theory arguments, 2ac blocks of text that you have read a lot of times but I am hearing for the first time, etc. I will not vote on what I don't catch.

8. I will be following along with the evidence read in the debate on my computer. I will not be on Facebook or otherwise doing things that would take my attention away from the debate. I wish more judges would commit to paying attention to every debate.


LD specific (also see notes above)

Theory is over-used in LD. You will always have links of omission to generate violations. I have a high threshold for frivolous theory.

RVI's can be justified but not on topicality. That said ditching substance and going for 4 minutes of RVI in the 1ar is not the A-strat in most rounds in front of me.


PF specific:

You must email/flash/give a copy your cases (and evidence in later speeches) to your opponents prior to the beginning of your speech.

You may not read paraphrased evidence and expect me to evaluate it.

I will listen to disclosure arguments and theory arguments about bad evidentiary practices.

Jenn Melin Paradigm

8 rounds

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

Email for email chains:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jennifer Nguyen Paradigm

8 rounds

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Dawn Paciotti Paradigm

8 rounds

Speaking fast does not make you a better debater. I can tolerate a clipped conversational pace. If you are double breathing and blurring words together, I will say clear. If you are in an outround and the other two judges are okay with speed, you may be tempted to go faster. It's certainly your choice, but if I don't understand your arguments, I'm not going to vote on them. I have a higher tolerance for speed in the 1AR. Speeding through cases will just annoy me.

In terms of argumentation, I am open to anything that isn't offensive. If you're trying to make an argument based on debate jargon you will want to explain it to me. Just because you think you sound cool saying something doesn't mean I am going to vote on it. I do not vote off tricks on the flow. Not every dropped argument actually matters. On the flipside, don't ignore arguments. LISTEN to your opponent. Respond to them.

I vote more on the big picture - overall impacts, overall strategy. I want to see you show why your side of the resolution is comparatively better than your opponent's. I do not like overwrought impacts. I am going to buy the impact about a million people that has a high probability of happening and a strong link chain over an existential impact that has a shady link story. If you think your opponent's impact is ridiculous, I probably do, too. Point that out to me so I can vote on yours instead.

Lastly, be respectful of me and of your opponent. If I am cringing by how rude you are in CX, you won't be getting high speaks. If you disregard my preferences on speed, that's another route to lower speaks. I don't vote for bullies. I vote for debaters. If you have questions about how to get better after the round, you can ask me. If you want to re-debate the round, I will not be tolerant. You had a chance to communicate to me, and if you lost, you lost. I am not going to change my mind, and arguing with me will just mean I will be in a bad mood if I ever have to judge you again. I judge often enough you want to be the person I smile when I see.

Robert Perry Paradigm

8 rounds

I tend to view myself as conservative and traditional judge. When judging LD I taught this for twenty years and I tend to focus on intent of resolution and the burdens of each speaker. I don't favor critiques nor do I want the negative to present a counter plan. When judging Policy I do not just pay attention to stock issues, I also think that I occasionally view a round through the eyes of a policy maker. I truly enjoy teams that are organized and can articulate clearly the impacts of evidence and connect the evidence appropriately to their position. If you claim a comparative advantage, then be prepared to support it with evidence that actually links clearly back to a specific piece of evidence your opponent used. I do not mind voting on topicality, however the wording of the resolution is flexible and your analysis of terminology and application within the round can make even a topical case susceptible to a no vote if you neglect to properly articulate why you are significant or substantial with adequate evidence or proof. I prefer to hear arguments proving the disadvantages or why a counter-plan can solves and I don’t think that everything leads to total destruction. I am not overly fond of kritik’s but I will listen and I have voted on them when they are well presented and supported by evidence and understood by both team members. I flow fairly well but, if you use speed you must have clarity of speech. I think the spread is not really necessary if your research and understanding of the resolution is sufficient.

Seth Phillips Paradigm

8 rounds

General CX/LD/PFD Preferences:

Professionalism and civility are required and weigh heavily in speakerpoints

Standing CX/Crossfire; seated Grand Crossfire; look at judge in CX/Crossfire

Don't use open CX/Crossfire as a crutch (I will dock speaks if it's clear one partner is doing all the heavy lifting)

I may critique after round, but only if both teams request. If I do critique, I will generally not disclose and I will keep it brief as I write a lot on the ballot for the benefit of your coach.

My view on speed (spreading) is that I will flow it, but a speaker should not sacrifice articulation for speed. If articulation is an issue, please slow down as I have some nerve deafness in my left ear, so you must be clear. However, PFD is an event where spreading is highly discouraged.

I'm a rule follower, so if there is a tournament prohibition on open CX, email chains, prompting, etc., don't do it!

CX Argument Preferences:

I most want to see in a debate round a few, well developed, substantive arguments

I will consider and vote on:

- Disadvantages almost always (i.e., if properly weighed against Aff advantages/turns)

- Counterplans almost always (however, must show solvency for Aff harms and not link to any DAs/other offense against Aff)

- Kritiks rarely (i.e., if properly weighed; compare worlds). Alt needs to compete. "Reject" isn't sufficient.

- Conditionality arguments sometimes (e.g., unless team offering argument argues otherwise, I will assume an unconditional status on all augments offered)

- Theory sometimes (particularly if there is clear evidence of in-round abuse such as over-limiting topic, denying fair ground, etc.)

- Topicality sometimes (e.g., if clear in-round abuse; over-limiting topic)

- Inherency sometimes (i.e., if plan is already in status quo, then no reason to vote for Aff)

- Solvency/Workability almost always (i.e., a plan that doesn't work, doesn't solve for status quo harms/claim advantages and thus doesn't provide a net benefit)

LD Argument Preferences:

If you run policy/critical arguments, I tend to vote as a policy-maker (see CX paradigm above). Traditional Value/Criterion arguments are also fine by me in LD.

I most want to see in a debate round a few, well developed, substantive arguments.

Empirical examples are as important, if not more important, than reading "unique", esoteric cards.

PFD Argument Preferences:

While I am a coach, this event was designed to be accessible for "lay" judges, so please adapt accordingly.

Empirical examples are very useful and don't necessarily require a source, if general knowledge.

While framework is not essential, it is often helpful in close rounds.

Congressional Debate Argument Preferences:


Structure and content are both essential. In each speech, there should be a clear intro with statement of position on resolution and preview of main points. Main points should be supported by the type of evidence you would expect a member of Congress to rely upon for a speech before the House/Senate. Responses to fellow members and a discussion of how the legislation would impact one's "constituents" are part of the "debate" aspect of this event. Walking transitions between points and when answering questions is expected.

Parliamentary Procedure and PO duties:

Efficiency, use of proper voting procedures and correct motions to move along debate are an obligation of ALL members of the chamber and should not have to be repeatedly prompted by the PO. The PO's primary duties are to keep speech time and recognize speakers/questioners based on a strict, impartial adherence to precedence/recency. Do not run for PO if you do not feel prepared to execute these duties. Serving as PO is never a guarantee of breaking; a PO's performance is weighed against the PO expectations outlined above.

About me:

Speech/Debate Coach at Prosper High School, Prosper, Texas

Licensed Texas Attorney

BA/MA in Communication Studies, Texas Tech University

Doctorate of Jurisprudence, Southern Methodist University

Member of LGBTQ community

Pronouns: Prefer he/him

Paul Philp Paradigm

8 rounds

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Parker Pogue Paradigm

8 rounds

Intro: I debated for 3 years at Royse City (it’s okay if you don’t know where that is) I was the only debater at my school my senior year but actively competed on the National circuit. I primarily did LD but I also have experience in Policy I ran just about everything during my years of debate from non-T affs, K affs, and any option on the neg that saying I’m open to any argument you will read.

Short version- I try to be as TAB as possible knowing there are some preferences just read whatever you want I don’t have preferences in that sense (plans, DAs, Ks, theory) just tell me why you ran them and why they matter. Go as fast as you want I’d like to say I’m pretty good at flowing. I’m not the best at really dense phil so please explain exactly what the argument means (even if you win the tech debate it’s hard for me to vote on an argument that wasn’t explained well during round.


1. Policy args (CP, DA, ADV)

2. T & Theory

3. K

4. Phil

If you start an email chain put me on it.

Long version-

Framework- V/C debate, ROB, ROJ, are all acceptable. I didn’t really run dense framework in my years of debate but for certain positions its required so go for it. I’m sad I have to say this but just because you win framework doesn’t mean you win the round. Please weigh well tell me how your arguments fit in the framework and why that framework matters. I feel like most debaters don’t do a great job at arguing frameworks after the first two speeches so even if you read a 5-card dump on your opponent’s framework you still need to extend and say why yours is good.

Policy args- I tend to lean to policy style debates even in LD but only if the topic allows it. If the wording of the resolution doesn’t ask for some sort of policy action don’t try to fit on in.

Topicality/ theory- When you read these arguments in front of me give 1. A proper structure Interp, violation, standards, voters 2. A clear abuse story (if one isn’t pointed out it’s hard for me to vote on it even if you when the tech debate) don’t just say it’s bad for education or fairness show me why that matters and how it’s bad for debate 3. I feel like competing interps is a better way to debate theory but sometimes reasonability is a good strategy (I don’t like reasonability as much because it calls for me to create some type of Brightline and requires a bit of intervention) 4. I feel like the 1AR is one of the hardest speeches in debate and will vote on RVIs for theory or topicality if the RVI is properly warranted.

K- I don’t have a lot of experience in super dense K debate so if you’re going hard please explain it because it’ll go right over my head. I’m good with general Ks Biopower, Cap, ECT. If you can explain the position in an overview in a way that I can understand I will vote on it.

Demarcus Powell Paradigm

8 rounds

Feel free to email me with any questions about my paradigm.

Only send speech docs to for Dallas tournaments national circuit tournament please send speech docs to

ASK FOR POLICY PARADIGM - The paradigm below is designed mostly for LD. Some things change for me when evaluating the different events/styles of debate. Also when you ask please have specific questions. Saying "What's your paradigm?", will most likely result in me laughing at you and/or saying ask me a question.

About Me: I graduated from Crowley High School in 2013, where I debated LD for three years mostly on the TFA/TOC circuit. I ran everything from super stock traditional cases to plans/counterplans to skepticism, so you probably can't go wrong with whatever you want to run.I debated at The University of Texas at Dallas, in college policy debate for 3 years .Running any sort of Morally repugnant argument can hurt you, if you're not sure if your argument will qualify ask me before we begin and I'll let you know.

Speed: I can flow moderately fast speeds (7-8 on a scale of 10), but obviously I'll catch more and understand more if you're clear while spreading. I'll say "clear"/"slow" twice before I stop attempting to flow. If I stop typing and look up, or I'm looking confused, please slow down!! Also just because I can flow speed does not mean I like hearing plan texts and interpretations at full speed, these things should be at conversational speed.

Cross Examination: While in front of me cx is binding anything you say pertaining to intricacies in your case do matter. I don't care about flex prep but I will say that the same rules of regular cx do apply and if you do so your opponent will have the chance to do so. Also be civil to one another, I don't want to hear about your high school drama during cx if this happens you will lose speaker points.

Prep Time: I would prefer that we don't waste prep time or steal it. If you're using technology (i.e. a laptop, tablet, or anything else) I will expect you to use it almost perfectly. These things are not indicative of my decision on the round rather they are pet peeves of mine that I hate to see happen in the round. I hate to see rounds delayed because debaters don't know how to use the tools they have correctly.UPDATE. You need to flow. The excessive asking for new speech docs to be sent has gotten out of hand. If there are only minor changes or one or two marked cards those are things you should catch while flowing. I can understand if there are major changes (3 or more cards being marked or removed) or new cards being read but outside of this you will get no sympathy from me. If you are smart and actually read this just start exempting things. I don't look at the speech doc I flow. If you opponent doesn't catch it so be it. If this happens in rounds I am judging it will impact your speaker points. If you would like a new doc and the changes are not excessive per my definition you are free to use your own prep time, this will not effect your speaker points.

Theory: I don't mind theory debates - I think theory can be used as part of a strategy rather than just as a mechanism for checking abuse. However, this leniency comes with a caveat; I have a very low threshold for RVI's (i.e. they're easier to justify) and I-meet arguments, so starting theory and then throwing it away will be harder provided your opponent makes the RVI/I-meet arguments (if they don't, no problem). While reading your shell, please slow down for the interpretation and use numbering/lettering to distinguish between parts of the shell!

Also theory debates tend to get very messy very quickly, so I prefer that each interpretation be on a different flow. This is how I will flow them unless told to the otherwise. I am not in the business of doing work for the debaters so if you want to cross apply something say it. I wont just assume that because you answered in one place that the answer will cross applied in all necessary places, THAT IS YOUR JOB.

  • Meta-Theory: I think meta-thoery can be very effective in checking back abuses caused by the theory debate. With that being said though the role of the ballot should be very clear and well explained, what that means is just that I will try my hardest not to interject my thoughts into the round so long as you tell me exactly how your arguments function. Although I try not to intervene I will still use my brain in round and think about arguments especially ones like Meta-Theory. I believe there are different styles of theory debates that I may not be aware of or have previously used in the past, this does not mean I will reject them I would just like you to explain to me how these arguments function.

Speaks: I start at a 27 and go up (usually) or down depending on your strategy, clarity, selection of issues, signposting, etc. I very rarely will give a 30 in a round, however receiving a 30 from me is possible but only if 1) your reading, signposting, and roadmaps are perfect 2) if the arguments coming out of your case are fully developed and explained clearly 3) if your rebuttals are perfectly organized and use all of your time wisely 4) you do not run arguments that I believe take away from any of these 3 factors. I normally don't have a problem with "morally questionable" arguments because I think there's a difference between the advocacies debaters have or justify in-round and the ones they actually support. However, this will change if one debater wins that such positions should be rejected (micropol, etc). Lastly, I do not care if you sit or stand while you speak, if your speech is affected by your choice I will not be lenient if you struggle to stand and debate at the same time. UPDATE. If you spend a large chunk of time in your 1AC reading and under-view or spikes just know I do not like this and your speaks may be impacted. This is not a model of debate I want to endorse.

General Preferences: I need a framework for evaluating the round but it doesn't have to be a traditional value-criterion setup. You're not required to read an opposing framework (as the neg) as long as your offense links somewhere. I have no problem with severing out of cases (I think it should be done in the 1AR though). NIBs/pre standards are both fine, but both should be clearly labeled or I might not catch it. If you're going to run a laundry list of spikes please number them. My tolerance of just about any argument (e.g. extinction, NIBS, AFC) can be changed through theory.

Kritiks and Micropol: Although I do not run these arguments very often, I do know what good K debate looks like. That being said I often see Kritiks butchered in LD so run them with caution. Both should have an explicit role of the ballot argument (or link to the resolution). For K's that are using postmodern authors or confusing cards, go more slowly than you normally would if you want me to understand it and vote on it.

Extensions and Signposting: Extensions should be clear, and should include the warrant of the card (you don't have to reread that part of the card, just refresh it). I not a fan of "shadow extending," or extending arguments by just talking about them in round - please say "extend"!! Signposting is vital - I'll probably just stare at you with a weird look if I'm lost.

Some of the information above may relate to paper flowing, I've now gone paperless, but many of the same things still apply. If I stop typing for long stretches then I am probably a bit lost as to where you are on the flow.

Michael Pulver Paradigm

8 rounds

2017 Grad from Athens High School

Current Debater for the University of North Texas

Policy Debate Paradigm -

Let's set some goals while you are reading:

1. Don't think you can't run something because you've heard some lay judge or parent judge call your argument stupid. (I will listen to your argument)

2. Internal links to offense are more important than the offense itself.

3. Your ability to do comparative analysis and using inductive reasoning is very important and can boost your speaks.


It is difficult for me to set an arbitrary standard for speaker points because, at the end of the day, it's simple: bad debate can lead to bad speaker points. Bad debating is hard to delineate sometimes and that's why it's difficult for me to just give out 30's or whatever number suffices. BUT I give speaks off of criteria; like good line-by-line, really good offense, not putting the decision so much in my lap and pointing out the obvious decision. If you want to crack jokes for speaks, I might laugh but that doesn't mean more speaks. It'd be a joke if you're wasting your time; so don't waste mine. In conclusion, I'd say I tend to put higher speaks for great-good debaters (anywhere between 30-28). Bad debating does, sadly, mean less speaks (27-25). And please don't make me go lower.... just, please.

Speaking Style-

- Speed? Go for it.

- Caveat? Absolutely. Don't think I can understand you if your mouth isn't annunciating clearly. AND I DO MEAN CLEARLY.

- Clear? Sure. I will say clear if I can't understand you. Just please don't make me say it more than once.

Debate Arguments -


I'll default to the 2AC interpretation unless the block gives me a reason not to. Standards should not be quick blips of words. I think an in-depth debate on T/Frameworks does often come down to how well the standards debate is handled so if you're not providing internal links to offense, then why you reading it? Additionally, voters and impacts to framing should also be treated this way. "Voters are for fairness and education" is not a voter at all. I want a reason for why that's true in the context of your T/Framework. Please provide strong voters as it can save you in a debate.


I have more experience with K literature now but I think it's important to explain the Framework and world of the Alternative. I tend to buy that rejection alts aren't real and are artificial competition. However, I think utility through framing and rejection can overcome this bias. If you feel uncomfortable reading a certain K due to this philosophy, don't be afraid to ask. I understand the utility of these arguments and I don't think you should be afraid of reading them.

K Affs-

Pretty much all the reasons above are good except a few caveats. I think you should be sitting on internal links to offense more in the rebuttals as reasons to prefer. Additionally, I do buy that you can endorse fiat, however, I need to know the function of the state to understand your affirmative. I understand middle of the road Affs as well as over-identification but anything outside of these will require you explaining the function, if any, of the Aff.


CPs are cool with me. Just have a net-benefit of some sort and explain how that net-benefit is a much more damning reason to vote negative. I do not believe you absolutely need to solve or avert a DA in order to get a net-benefit but you do need at least a card explaining how the CP is mutually better. Let's look at how I feel on specific CPs:

- PICs: Unless you have some good theory, doing all of the affirmative is shaky. Some parts? I can roll with it.

- Delay: Good with me.

- Consult: No Problem.

- Agent: I really buy that this isn't real fiat but I will listen.

Disads that have specific links to affirmatives are golden. Do good during the block to read a link wall or build a solid internal link story to push my love for your DA. For politics or elections, I can seriously buy the argument that certain polling data is not a good starting point for uniqueness. I think this is relatively true with all DAs in their fundamental studies but I think politics can be absolutely crushed if the 2AC just reads of card talking about why the DA polling data isn't good data because they use robocalls or whatever.


A debate has no rules. If you think some should be made, then do it. However, don't read theory shells just to read them. If clear abuse is present, then it's on you to point it out. All my weighing of the theory of the debate is the same as my explanation of T/Framework above.

Lincoln Douglas Debate Paradigm

Everything above stays relatively similar. I judge LD and Policy in a similar fashion. I'll point where I'm different below and If nothing is written below on an argument then I have a no different paradigm of that argument in LD or Policy. However, I do recognize that LD is becoming more policy every day but that doesn't mean I won't evaluate your traditional argumentation. Keep this in mind:

1. LD doesn't provide much time for dense conversations but the more you can give me, the better.

2. The subjectivity of values and criterions is the biggest problem, in my mind, of LD on traditional and national circuits so I try to keep myself objective as possible when weighing the round. This requires you to be precise and understand that authors view ideologies differently from one another; even if they all agree to one ideology.

3. Offense should be derived through how well you link to your Framework. If you think you can have internal links comparatively through your opponent's framework, then describe and do work to tell me how.


Value debate is pretty simple: don't use the rhetorical offense that revolves around you saying my value is better than their value because.... I don't care because that isn't offense. Tell me how that value has deficits to the topic or even to the real world. Otherwise, I have no problem with anything so long as it makes total sense.

Roll of the Ballot/ of the Judge or whatever

My philosophy at one point was different on ROB's but I consider them important more on Framework than I use to. I think they need a certain comparative analysis between the world of the AFF/Status Quo/ or NEG interpretation of the ballot. ROJ's need this as well in my opinion but you should at least show me what the role of a judge is other than an educator because I don't see what I am differently unless you tell me.

Other things-

- Want to flash your evidence? Do it but be quick.

- Your partner isn't great at answering questions and you want to join in? Go right ahead. However, if a tournament has rules against it, can't help you then.

- Be respectful to your opponents and audience members.

- Don't be afraid to ask questions prior to round and have fun.

Mario Shields Paradigm

8 rounds

Word of advice.... Always see if your judge has a posted paradigm online. Save yourself time and frustration and read for comprehension. Get clarification as needed and then don't just disregard what you find out about that judge.


My mindset going into the round is basic the Aff will prove that the plan or case is a viable/moral/good idea that I should approve of with them gaining the ballot. The Neg will prove that the aff doesn't uphold or violates the resolution and that negating is the only truth of the resolution after all.

I dont need a trigger warning but I will warn you any moral repugnance ie RACISM (which has been way too prevalent of late), SEXISM, HOMOPHOBIA you get the jist I have a zero tolerance policy for and I promise I will have no problem setting you straight dont test it.


I strive to be Tabula R. but will always weigh STOCK ISSUES 1st. Don't overcomplicate the story bc presumption is also in play. Keep my flow clean and I am your friend ... if you don't then I make no promises. Remember your primary goal is to communicate a viable policy option so persuade me that you know what you are selling. Signposting is very important ... watch my flipping of pages etc since I still flow on paper. There should be structure not just 1 long stream of thought moving down the flow. Im big picture and open minded to strategy and games playing.

Neg's please don't just waste time throwing up 15 arguments when 3-4 will be more strategic... and please kick out properly. On K Aff's don't overlook simple stock issues burdens being dropped. I see a lot of teams not go for the obvious because they think that they are going to set off a trigger warning. ALWAYS get some case offense and defense unless you're going to truly commit to T.

Also plan out the positions for strategy even if generic.... sometimes things that still work get dropped too soon ... make the Aff work for it. Also cover as many stock issues as possible or at least go on case and really look for weaknesses. Always give us a reason to doubt the 1AC. Even if its a small chance it could be the tie breaker that gains you the ballot by pushing you into no other reason but to negate.

Topicality - rare that I vote on so be prepared to prove the abuse if its just a way to time skew then my advice is to spend another minute on case you have a better tradeoff that works for me.

Kritiks - the link in round is most important... also I need to believe that you know what you are trying to accomplish with the Kritik fyi not many high schoolers are truly prepared here so please do your due diligence... keep it simple.

Counterplans - net benefit and competition... give me a reason that the Plan is not the CP

Perms - slow down to speed up ... make sure that you dont leave any confusion

Framework - How do I evaluate the round ... Tell me what matters most.


In CX please stand and face the judge only never your opponent and dont be "lazy" stand tall and proud. ALWAYS convey confidence.

I prefer a more traditional approach to LD over progressive but I will adapt if you communicate to me what you want to happen.

I will always give you a fair evaluation no matter what you present as long as you are confident and OWN your personal compelling reasons to prefer how you interpret the resolution. Give me conceptual points over trying to fit in 5-7 more cards.

Again I prefer big picture logical storytelling not just more "evidence". That being said most importantly support your premise of the resolution and may the ballot be ever in your favor.

Aff - Take advantage of 1st and last speech. Never forget the importance of definitions and setting up a strong weighing mechanism in the AC. I have a super high threshold on theory so save yourself a lot of time in the 1AR giving me clear reasons that the Neg should have just read a counterdefinition rather than make you spend 2 minutes of your speech to address it properly. That to me is way more reasonable and actually kicks the abuse claims back on the Neg.

You set the tone dont waste it Tell us what the resolution wants us to settle and allow for your framework to work towards that goal. Give solid structure in your case and build great analytics from a wide variety of cards over just 1 author... the power of multiple sources backing up your advocacy is an advantage. I do prefer Value and Criteria.. still not sure how you can affirm without it. Any other "standards" can be easily challenged if a neg opponent calls a warranted BS.

Neg - I will allow policy positions but please understand that in a question of SHOULD/OUGHT that they don't apply the same. The goal isnt 1 man CX debate. In my humble but accurate opinion you do alot more work to achieve less results. Have fun and think of how u can be more productive by making life more complicated for your opponent rather than yourself. Again on reading Topicality I feel it is super abusive in LD because there are other ways to pressure your opponent into dropping arguments etc. You truly have to prove it ... it just makes more sense to me to just read a counterdefinition or to give a definition and now you get to redefine the round how you see it. Let's make life simple when its an option.


Ok after seeing too many rounds where this has become an issue I have to mention the following... BE NICE / CORDIAL to your opponents in the round and as a general policy for being a good human to each other. Rudeness and aggression will make me more likely to vote for the team that plays the game fairly and professionally. In CX I am used to the banter that teams have developed with teams that they hit all the time or the level of coyness blended with sass of an LD round but remember overall PF was intended to have the feel of a lay town meeting so I recommend keep it simple and it doesnt hurt to say the topic multiple times. NOTE no matter what popular opinions and trends try to tell you this isnt micro CX so dont overcomplicate your life. Tell the story and AGAIN Keep it simple / Im an avg joe US taxpayer ... logic and confidence are key be captain obvious on my flow why you win !!

Breann Smith Paradigm

Date Last Reviewed: 7/25/18
Name: Breann Smith [she/they]
Schools: LCS ’16, Austin College ‘20
Conflicts: Guyer High School

Debate Background: I did 4 years of LD at LCS in Argyle, TX. I competed on the local, state, and national circuits, and was competitive at each level. Notable achievements include qualifying to the TOC my senior year by reaching semis at Isidore Newman and winning Holy Cross, qualifying to NSDA Nationals in LD both junior and senior years, and accumulating 85 career TFA state points. I am currently an LD assistant coach for Guyer HS and compete in mock trial at Austin College.

Disclaimer: You can change any of the following preferences in round. You just have to tell me how you want me to evaluate the round, and give me a warrant as to why it should be that way.

Paradigm Proper:
At the end of the round, this is my thought process:

First I evaluate who won the framework debate. I don’t vote here, but it does determine what offense I can look to in the round. I don’t care if you win Turn #5 to their contention level if it doesn’t have an impact back to the winning framework. From there I look at voters/crystallization to see who is winning the “best” issues in the round, i.e. who links to the winning framework and why the way they link matters more. (“Best”=however you decide to weigh. In the absence of weighing I default util in the sense that I vote for the biggest impact under the winning framework.)

Specific Issues

Important Misc. Stuff

  • Please provide a trigger warning if you plan on dealing with sensitive topics. I do have two triggers that I would rather not have to deal with in round unprepared.
  • Email chains>flashing>Viewing laptop>Passing Pages
  • Speed is fine (plz be clear)
  • I will say "clear" and "loud" as many times as it takes, although I will get irritated after two times
  • Flex prep is okay if both parties are cool with it
  • I don’t count compiling docs or flashing/emailing as prep until it gets ridiculous (honestly it shouldn’t take over :20)
  • Your opponent needs to have access to anything you read if they ask
  • You can be perceptually dominant, but don’t be an asshole. UPDATE: I thought I was okay with this, but I'm a pretty chill person so it kinda irks me when people have no chill. That being said, you can still go for your perceptually dominant strat if that's your thing though.
  • Please don’t be racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, anthropocentric, etc. That's the kind of stuff that will get you dropped.
  • Just something I've noticed, you should ALWAYS ask the status of the offs if you're affirming and the neg runs multiple offs. I don't know why people don't seem to do that anymore.

Flowing: I flow on paper (most of the time), and can catch quite a lot, but here are some preferences that would make everyone’s life easier:

  • Slow down a bit for tags and especially author names (I suck at getting author names)
  • Slow down for or repeat plan/counterplan texts and theory/T interpretations
  • If you plan on reading T or theory, please tell me so I can flow that part on my computer. It’s easier for me to get theory down typing for some reason.

Extensions: I have a pretty low threshold on what counts as an extension, especially for the 1 and 2ARs. For me to consider something “Extended” at the end of the round, it needs to:
1) Be extended in every rebuttal with the word “extend” in there somewhere
2) Have a claim and a warrant

Signposting: Keep in mind that I suck at getting author names unless you slow down for them, so if you say “off Smith 3” I’ll probably be confused until you explain what the arg is. It is significantly easier for me if you say “off contention one”/ “Off turn #2”/ “Off <insert tag here>”. (Seriously though, this was a problem at a couple of the tournaments I've been to).

Speed/Speaker Points
I will mainly use three scales for speaker points [I do use tenths of a point].For novices I will generally use the "persuaders" scale.
1) For “Persuaders”
30 – You persuaded me with your points wonderfully, had excellent presentation skills, and used one or two vocal fillers.
29 – You were pretty persuasive, had great presentation skills, and had four or five vocal fillers.
28 – You were persuasive for the most part, but could use a bit of work, presentation skills were a bit messy, and used a few too many vocal fillers.
27 – You weren’t very persuasive, had decent presentation skills, and you wasted minutes of your speeches with fillers.
26 or below – I wasn’t persuaded at all, you were all over the place with no rhyme or reason, and I had to start tallying your vocal fillers.

2) For “Spreaders”
30 – You were very clear, I knew exactly were you were on the flow, and you gave great line by line as well as overview analysis of the round
29 – You were pretty clear, I knew where you were the majority of the time, and you gave great line by line OR overview style analysis of the round
28 – You were mostly clear, I could *kind of* tell where you were, and you gave good line by line or overview analysis of the round
27 – You weren’t clear most of the time, you skipped around the flow a lot, and you didn’t really give good analysis of the round
26 or below – I couldn’t understand what you were saying, I had no idea where you were on the flow, and you gave little to no analysis of the round.

3) For Anyone at a bid tournament [Adjusted based on the pool]
30 – I expect you to win the tournament or be in finals
29.5 – You should be in late out rounds
29 – You should break
28.5 – You could be on the bubble
28 – You could have a winning record
27.5 – You’ll probably break even
27 – You’ll probably have a losing record
26 – It was a rough time

I really don’t care what you do in terms of framework; you just have to have one that you can weigh back to. I am familiar with meta-ethics, dense philosophy, kritikal framing, and util. I know how burden structures work, but I never ran any myself.

Different Styles/ Types of Debate
I’m indifferent to whatever style of case you want to run, whether it’s traditional, kritikal, performance, policy style, or tricky. You do you. I’d rather see you excel in a great tricks debate than see you have a shitty kritik debate because that’s what you think I like more.

However, there is a catch: I really don’t like affs that aren’t topical. Nine times out of ten there will be a topical version of your aff, you’re just deliberately choosing to avoid it. That being said, I won't vote you down if you run an untopical case, but I certainly won’t be very happy.


So I initially didn't think I was going to add a section on perms, but I think it could prove helpful

  • If you just say "Perm: Do both," then explain why the CP/Alt isn't mutually exclusive, then that is a test of competition. If you win the perm, the CP/Alt isn't competitive and I have to look elsewhere on the flow.
  • If you say "Perm: Do both" then explain why it isnt' mutially exclusive and then have net benefits to that perm, it becomes an advocacy I can vote on because then I have reasons why actively doing the perm would be a good thing.


The only theory shell I will never vote on is disclosure theory. I do think that you should disclose, and I did my entire senior year even though I was functionally a lone wolf, however I don’t think people should be voted down for not doing it if it’s not explicitly required by the tournament. I don’t care if you’re winning your shell and they completely drop it, I won’t vote on it. This doesn’t mean I’ll down you for running it; I’ll just grumpily look elsewhere on the flow.

There are two other theory shells that I have a very high violation threshold for to consider:

  • Brackets Theory: For me to vote on brackets theory, you have to show that they have significantly altered the meaning or intention of the card. I won’t vote on brackets theory if all they do is change for grammar or offensive language.
  • Wifi Theory: For me to vote on wifi theory, you have to prove that the opponent was actively using the Internet to communicate with outside persons or to cut evidence/look something up during round. I will not vote on wifi theory if they weren’t using it for anything, but they just forgot to turn it off.

Other Theory notes:

  • I'm actually a fan of well-executed meta theory. I think it's very strategic.
  • A shell needs to have a violation for me to evaluate it.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at or message me on Facebook